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Fridge Brilliance

  • The fact that they chose to adapt the Unlimited Blade Works route instead of the other two seems strange at first; however, it makes more sense since the route is better suited as the continuation of Fate/Zero, considering the Fate route primarily acts as an introductory Info Dump for people completely new to the setting and characters (and has already been adapted once), whereas much of the impact of the Heaven's Feel route is primarily a Deconstruction of the other two routes which results in Continuity Lockout.
    • The legacy of Kiritsugu plays a central role, as the compass of Shirou and the source of Archer's own conflict.
    • Rin's role as Deuteragonist is better handled since, out of the future masters of the Fifth Grail War, she was given the most spotlight in the previous story.
    • The story is handled as a Sequel to Fate/Zero, so it can properly show the reasons and motives of both Shirou and Rin, as well as serve as a proper end to the Emiyas's ideals, accepting the flaws that they have and striving to make them better.
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    • Or, out of the three routes UBW is the one that is least spoiled by Fate/Zero. Nearly every major twist or plot point in the Fate route is explained in Fate/Zero, from Saber's name and wish to Kotomine being evil, Avalon being in Shirou and Gilgamesh still being in the war, as are the plot points in Heaven's Feel of Zouken being evil, Sakura and Rin being sisters, Kotomine and Illya's hidden depths and what Sakura suffered.
    • Also, Fate/Zero can be described as "everyone but Gilgamesh loses." Well, in the UBW route, he is personally defeated by a "faker" in one-on-one combat. This makes sure Gilgamesh gets his comeuppance once and for all.
    • In addition, the UBW route is where Waver's postulates at the beginning of Fate/Zero shine the best: Rin's use of Bajiquan and reinforcement magic is what allows her to almost defeat Caster whereas Shirou's use of projection magic and ultimately Unlimited Blade Works grants him the ability to defeat Gilgamesh.
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  • Whenever Rin uses Gandr against serious opponents, she uses her entire hand to fire. But against Shirou in episode 5 she uses just her index finger, so you know she's going easy on him. This is even shown in the same episode, when she saves Shirou you can see her firing with her entire hand. It gets further confirmed in episode 8, when she interrogates Shinji she only points a finger at him, and then in episode 10 when she makes a "finger" gesture and says that's how she fires a relatively harmless Gandr blast that won't do any serious damage to a regular human.
  • Episode 5 is a reference to a Bad End in the UBW Route of the VN. If Shirou had lost that fight, Rin would have instead harmlessly removed his Command Seals, erased his memories of the Grail War, and sent him home.
  • Saber holds her own against Berserker very well in Episode 3, which is quite a change from the VN. However, after watching Fate/Zero, everything she does makes a lot more sense. In the 4th Grail War, Saber tried to match strength with strength against that Berserker, but was consistently on the defensive and nearly defeated three times. In this war, she again tries to fight Berserker conventionally, but once she sees that isn't working, she quickly adopts a completely different strategy by utilizing Hit-and-Run Tactics and consequently fares much better than when she fought the Black Knight.
  • It's not a big secret anymore due to the original VN and the film, but pay attention to the second opening and both endings and you'll see:
    • Pairings of servant and masters, including Ilya with Berserker, Kuzuki with Caster... and Rin with Saber, so you can guess who shall end up making a contract. Also, the second ending shows Shirou at the end with Rin in a suspiciously similar situation to the one shown in the first ending of Archer and Rin.
  • The battles between Servants in this series happen at a much faster speed than they do in Fate/Zero, with lightning-fast strikes and parries as opposed to the slower and methodical combat in the prequel. This can best be explained in that in Fate/Zero, we were seeing battles from the perspectives of the Servants, who of course have Super Speed and Super Senses, whereas in this show, we are seeing Servant battles the way a normal human would perceive them. When Archer has a rare inner monologue about his assessment of Lancer's ultimate attack, the pace of the fight momentarily returns to that of the ones in Fate/Zero, due to the perspective becoming a Servant's again.
  • Throughout the series, we see Archer preferring to use Kanshou before dual-wielding; examples are in Episode 0, and similarly Shirou at first focuses on Kanshou as well before taking up Bakuya and clashing it with Kanshou in Episode 19. This could represent Archers initial ruthlessness and hatred of himself, whereas Bakuya represents Shirou's ideal, which he 'clashes' against Archer's Kanshou or 'wish to die'. What else supports this is that in Episode 19, a juxtaposition occurs as Archer and Shirou Trace: Archer Traces Kanshou, whereas Shirou Traces Bakuya, furthering this parallel and opposition between them. Alternately, it symbolizes that them meeting in battle is inevitable. Since the power of Kanshou and Bakuya is that both halves are magically attracted to each other regardless of what's in the way, the fact that both of them always draw the opposing color shows that they will inevitably clash. In fact, if you watch closely, you'll see that Byakuyas only clash with Kanshous whenever Archer and Shirou meet head on, never blades of the same color, this is highlighted in episode 20 when, after recovering the will to fight and his inner balance, Shirou is able to fully project both Kanshou and Bakuya.
  • One that stretches to episode 1: When asked by Kiritsugu of his name, Shirou only remembers his first name which further explains the memories seen in Episode 20 after EMIYA admits that he forgot something, he forgot his true self.
  • In Episode 21, after Shinji tells Gilgamesh that Kotomine is dead, there is a brief but noticeable pause before he acknowledges the information with a quiet and dead serious "I see." Considering his character, this speaks miles about how much he valued his odd friendship with him.
  • During their fight, Archer creates gigantic swords and launches them at Shirou, but he's able to deflect and destroy them with a semi-broken Bakuya. In episode 20, Archer mentions that projection also relies on strength of spirit. If your spirit is weak, then your projections will be hollow and empty. In a turn of events from the last episode, Shirou is steadily breaking Archer's spirit hence why his projections are getting so easily destroyed.
  • in Episode 21, Gilgamesh states that he plans to use the Grail to kill most of humanity, reasoning that the survivors are worthy for him to rule. At first, this sounds like stereotypical Stupid Evil blather… until you remember what happened to the only normal person who survived being in ground zero of the previous Grail. He had the potential to beat Servants, and would grow up to be qualified to be a Counter Guardian(The Counter Force doesn't pick anyone willy-nilly, the Last Counter Guardian was Jeanne D'Arc, who was able to become a Full Heroic Spirit, a Ruler, no less). Put that into perspective and Gil's plan makes a macabre sort of logic. He already has the proof of concept that his plan would work.
  • Gilgamesh not wearing his ultra-tough armor in the Unlimited Blade Works route doesn't necessarily have to be chalked up to Forgot About His Powers or the Villain Ball in this continuity. Since the Fate route (the one where he did indeed choose to wear his armor) is out of the question, it's entirely possible that the armor was destroyed when the Grail cursed him. Since the Shirou vs. Gilgamesh fight was altered so that Gilgamesh's choosing to get serious was extended from pulling out Ea in a panic to unleashing the full might of the Gate for half a minute, he had ample time to equip his armor if he was really afraid of getting hit by Shirou - yet he didn't. This could be a sign that the armor no longer exists in the Gate.
  • A highlight of the last minutes of Shirou's and Gilgamesh's fight is that it, under more analysis, acts as a visual "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh can only fire his swords in a straight line while Shirou is able to control their direction and gives him a way to cloud the former's sight long enough to get into melee; Shirou eventually gets into a sword lock, manages to physically push Gilgamesh and disarms him, showing which of the two is the better fighter in strength and dexterity; after Gilgamesh unleashes his Gate of Babylon at full strength, Shirou counters with his limitless blades and surpasses the rate of fire of the Gate, allowing him to gain momentum and charge at Gilgamesh; Shirou being able to advance through the rain of blades with the same blades he's being attacked with marks the difference between an owner and a wielder; Shirou surviving the dome attack of Gilgamesh by using Rho Aias shows that he knows the weapons more than Gilgamesh does, and can do more than just be a faker and blindly copy Gilgamesh's weapons; Shirou managing to cut Gilgamesh arm before he uses Ea with Bakuya is, considering the symbolism used with the sword, a victory of Shirou's ideals over Gilgamesh's and Shirou finally managing to strike him with Kanshou is a way of asserting whose self is stronger. It makes more sense that Gilgamesh admits defeat since he was, from any point of view, bested by Shirou.
  • Gilgamesh never found out that Shirou couldn't project Ea. This adds an extra justification for why he was extremely hesitant to use the sword within Shirou's Reality Marble, and why he didn't use it even after claiming that he was going to get serious - because Shirou could summon weapons at a faster rate than Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh naturally had the fear that pulling out Ea would cause Shirou to simply summon his own Ea and utterly humiliate him by killing him with his own Enuma Elish. Supporting this is Gilgamesh telling Shirou "Only the supreme ruler may wield that blade. You don't have the right to gaze upon it," which can be taken as Gilgamesh saying that he'd rather not add that projection to Shirou's library of swords and is disgusted that utilizing Ea just may have.
  • All the recent reveals about Enkidu (the person) adds some depth as to why Gilgamesh is so disdainful of Shirou. It's not so much he's able to make knockoffs of various Noble Phantasms, but rather he seemingly ripped off a major ability of Enkidu (making clay weapons able to match Gil's collection). Shirou was unwittingly ripping off Gil's only friend.
  • Waver's response when Shirou tells him his dream - of course Waver thought that way. After all, he was Rider/Iskander's master and viewed his dream in the same light.
  • More of a case of Heartwarming in Hindsight but it still is brilliant. Beserker, aka, Heracles, was known in his myth to have fits of rage hence why he can be a Berserker. During one such rage moment, he accidentally killed his wife and children. Even when completely raged out in his fight with Gilgamesh, Berserker refuses to leave Illya, and dies trying to protect her. In a sense, Heracles redeemed himself of that horrifying tragedy.

Fridge Horror


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