This episode..this episode. Its really rather interesting how much works here that didn’t in the Deen anime, and the story telling and animation remains great. Its also giving a lot more depth to the characters. First of all, Shirou.
We see that he’s been working himself hard to try and get stronger, so he can fight more effectively in the future battles. However, something’s going off with him, like the vision he had where his body explodes into blades. One thing also very interesting is how, despite absolutely loathing Archer, he’s been mimicking Archer’s fighting style. Something Saber is less than thrilled with.
He doesn’t mean it to insult Saber, just that he finds Archer’s style easier. And very oddly, he is seen trying to dual wield swords. Curiouser and curiouser….
Of course, since he is a big part of the episode, we have to discuss…Shinji.
His main job is to continue mugging, laughing and being a complete twit. And he succeeds in this, because he thinks he’s amazing even when noone really likes him. He’s just…terrible.
We’ll get back to him in a second. One thing has been slightly perplexing me. This is an adaptation of the Rin route in the games, but so far, there’s been little shipping fuel between them. This episode actually has them talking a lot more, and shows Rin a different side to Shirou.
That’s not to say Shirou isn’t sometimes an absolute braindead doofus, because he certainly can be. It is clear to literally everyone else Rin wants to have lunch with him, but he literally has to be dragged to the rooftop for him to get the message. But there’s clearly more to Shirou than meets the eye, and Rin sees that a lot in this episode. It may be partially that, with our Archer, she needs to rely on Shirou more, which means she can better appreciate how he handles the situation. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Both of them talk, Rin dismissing Shinji as being too weak to do anything and ignoring him, but Shirou points out that Shinji’s been putting up the barrier. Both were underestimating Shinji when, uh oh its too late.
The barrier is up, and its proceeding to suck the energy out of the entire school, in addition to cutting off contact with the outside world.
And even worse, weird skeleton familiars seem to be popping up to attack them. But, this quickly begins to not make sense. Rider shouldn’t be able to summon familiars this way, and why do it here? At any rate, the entire school’s unconscious and likely going to die if the barrier isn’t lifted. Rin’s freaking out, and Shirou actually works very levelheadedly, and takes charge. First off, he summons Saber, who, being Saber, is awesome as usual.
They decide to split up, Saber dealing with the enemy Servant, and Shirou and Rin taking down the barrier. As if on cue, in comes Rider.
Just…stop for a moment, and look at how glorious she is. And her vs Saber, this fight should be so cool and intense and just….
If you thought that fight was too short and anticlimactic, its actually revealed this isn’t Rider. Its a shadow of Caster, who apparently enjoys being all creepy and bad touch with Saber as well. And now things begin falling in to place. This was never Shinj being the real threat, but Caster and her master.
Anyways, an unknown figure confronts Rider, as Shirou and Rin find Shinji doing what he does best, sniveling and likely soiling himself. Seriously, its amusing how pathetic he is, and how he’s finally getting some comeuppance for being the piece of garbage he is.
They realize that, someone else has been manipulating all of these events, and stumble in to seeing the results of Rider’s battle with her mystery opponent.
I just feel…just…so sad…T_T I wanted so much more for her, she had so much to live for. We have to see Shinji live, and Rider die?? sigh That’s part of the adaptation, I suppose. In order to see every character at their fullest, you need to play all the routes in the game, with some routes just taking characters out way before they got the chance to do anything. While this is likely the best route….it means we don’t get to see Rider anymore. And that’s just……so sad….
Farewell, Rider. We’ll always have the upcoming Heaven’s Feel Movie, and Carnival Phantasm, and the plenty of other adaptations you’re in.
Well, after ditching his servant to be killed like a spineless coward, Shinji continues his streak of not being of any use to anyone by not even telling them who he saw fight her, so the assailant is a mystery still. He fucks off, and neither of our heroes decide to just kill the spineless little worm. One day, Shinji…one day.
Anyway, for now, the menace is over, and Rin is impressed by Shirou. While Rin is the prodigy mage who knows the Grail war in and out, she isn’t flawless, and she appreciates the skills and attitude Shirou brings to the table. One cool, but also chilling aspect to it though, is the last words he says.
This is one aspect of Shirou I never got in the Deen anime, and it really colors his characterization in a very interesting way. He isn’t just a simple generic dumb shonen protagonist. He’s suffered hardship, has a lot of issues, and its clearly affected him. While its made him in some ways more capable than he seems, it also just gives a new new dimension to him, that I eagerly want to see in the coming episodes.