So, here we are, at the final part of the battle. How many times can we watch basically the same person use the same weapons to try and hit each oner over again?


But seriously, there is alot going on in this fight between Archer and Shirou. First of all, Shirou’s shown that he’s simply not giving up and dying, no matter how much Archer kicks his ass. Despite himself, Archer seems to lose more and more composure as he keeps fighting. At first  wrote it off as him being too idealistic, but then, I realized what this entire fight was pointing to. One thing I especially found interesting is that Saber does not remain just a static onlooker; as the fight is going on, she has revelations of her own.


We see her watching the two people who reflect back at her and her decisions; to become king, to lead the people, and her desire to undo her past wrongs.  We have this breathtaking look at her, at her new examination of her self, and she realizes that, she didn’t make the wrong choice. Her being a king, her following her ideals, was not a mistake.  Even if great tragedy came at the end of her rule, she still held to her beliefs, and brought great good into the world by her deeds.


I think its here she’s able to reconcile herself and what happened to Britain, and her own guilt over everything. She stood for what she followed, and while she may have made mistakes and had regrets, she was able to do what she knew to be right, follow an ideal worth following. That I believe is the crux of what Shirou’s argument is. Just because an ideal is difficult, even impossible, doesn’t mean its a bad ideal to have or not worth trying to follow.

Honestly, this can reflect alot of ways. Everyone has ideals or goals or standards, either for themselves or for how the world should work. And the fact is..most are often impossible. Sometimes you simply are too human to not break the standards you have for yourself, or the world is too difficult and complex for your ideals to become a reality. However, just because an ideal isn’t able to be carried out fully doesn’t mean its not worth following. I feel that is what Shirou is fighting for.


Shirou knows the ideal he wants to follow, of saving everyone and having everyone be happy, is impossible. He is aware of this, but its the goodness of the dream that spurs him on. Good goals are worth following, even if they aren’t possible, and he’ll be happy dedicating his life to them. While often there’s many that vote for the pragmatic approach, and it has its place, idealism is not a bad way to follow either, and Shirou’s going to pursue his impossible goal still.


His resolve is clear, as now it overpowers Archer’s. If I’m interpreting this correctly, Shirou’s own Unlimited Blade Works is breaking into Archer’s since his resolve remains as Archer’s is wavering. Its actually really awesome in this moment, as Archer launches more and more blades, only for them to climactically clash together for the decisive blow.



Archer is himself reminded of the indomitable will he began with, hat desire to pursue his ideal and be a hero no matter what. I think this is what causes him to falter in the last second and Shirou manages to win the fight. They go back to the mansion, Rin sees them both, and Archer basically says he’s given up. Since Shirou’s won their battle of wills, the matter is over. EXCEPT!!


OH SNAPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!! Who could it be? Its scumbag Gil here to swag up and kill you so hard your future self dies.


Gil comes, killing Archer for being a “faker” who copies other’s weapons, something that offends him something fierce. However, that’s not all he’s here to do.  He’s here to have a talk about the grail, catch up with Saber, and even explain his own plans. You know, in others this would be Bond villain level genre blindness, but Gil’s got more than enough villain ego to not care about any of that.  First, he decides to explain on the true nature of the grail. Namely, that while the grail vessel already exists, whats important, and what the grail war is actually for, is filling it. And what is it filled with to give it so much power?



The grail war is made for mages using the souls of the slain servants to power it. Everyone killed in the grail war is broken down as energy for the grail itself. This also means that this was ultimately designed for the masters to use.


This once again has me confused. In the Deen anime, it said that since the grail is a spiritual object, only a spirit like a servant could touch it, hence why both master and servant were required to actually use the grail. However, this would imply that servants can’t use the grail for their wish at all, so I’m generally a bit perplexed on this. Dammit Type-Moon and your elaborate magical systems and plot details.

He also explains that Saber destroying the grail caused the disaster ten years ago, since the grail itself is a twisted, warped creation that now is only good for killing humans. Which, of course, fits perfectly with Gil’s current plans for it.


He wants the grail to act like it did 10 years ago, but on a massive scale, to wipe out billions of humans. This connects to his little speech to Shinji way way back, on how part of the preciousness in something is the rarity of it. And I gotta say this. This plan and Gil is evil. He’s pretty, and charming, and his ego is charismatic, but when you decide to genocide the planet simply because you feel they haven’t earned the right to’re evil. Of course, not all humans he plans on dying…those who live can be his servants, so he can set up a new kingdom.  He wants the grail to be his doomsday machine so he can establish New Uruk and take the throne again.

After expositioning everyone, he decides to depart instead of fight further. While he says he accomplished his goal, he ends up saying its because the wrecked mansion was dirtying his clothes, and he’d not fight there.


However, he’s not done quite yet. He meets back with SHinji, who along with his wound clearly has no self preservation skills in the slightest. He rants and complains and insults Gil more and more, and can’t even see he’s been a chicken walking to the chopping block. While at first they were going to use Rin, any master apparently can do to be the grail vessel…so Gil makes do.

Ok, love him or hate him, that is a really awesome line right there.

And our episode ends on the cheery note of Shinji being twisted and warped into some terrible blob monster and being in terrible agony.



So yeah….that happened.

This episode was really cool. I at first didn’t car much for Archer and SHirou’s fight, but now I dig it a whole lot more. With seeing it that way, the ideals and motivations have a better layer of depth to them. And Gilgamesh continues to be an amazing antagonist, now able to fully take center stage as the final boss. We clearly now see the four remaining players in the story: Gilgamesh, Saber, Rin, and Shirou.  Its these four who will fight in the big climax.  It had great action, characters, plot reveals, and UBW keeps on rocking it. I’m really curious as to how they will spend the next several episodes as we lead to the final part in the Grail War.


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Wanderer

    Ah, so now you see. Yes, you have indeed grasped to essentials of Shirou’s argument. He knows, and has likely known for a long time, that his ideal of being a hero who saves EVERYONE is impossible. He is, in the end, just one person after all. He knows that. But just because the ideal can’t be fully realized doesn’t mean he shouldn’t TRY to follow it anyway. Because the things he can accomplish while attempting to live up to that ideal are things that need doing. He may not save everyone, but there will be some who he will save who otherwise would have died. That is worth doing.

    The fact that Archer lost sight of that, abandoned his ideal, makes him, in the end, a weaker man than Shirou is.

    Re Shinji: karma’s a bitch, ain’t it? He should be glad that Shirou’s the one that has to deal with that and not me, because I wouldn’t even try to save him.

    1. Savage

      Yeah, but I will say it took a bit for me to glean it from the episode and the episode prior. It wasn’t until I fully watched this one and thought over it the message became clear. Part of it may have been how the arguments were phrased, but here its quite clear and I dig it.

  2. Michael Ho

    In the Deen anime it was said that the Grail was a spiritual object. But that was false information given to the Servants and other masters. The three Families(Tosaka, Matou and Einsberns) know that it is merely a ritual to get a limitless supply of power for their own use. However Rin does not know this due to his father dying before tellng her.

  3. Magicalness

    “You calling me a fake?”
    “I ain’t calling you a truther”

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