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WARNING! THIS PAGE ASSUMES YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] AND Fate/Zero! AS SUCH, IT WILL CONTAIN UNMARKED SPOILERS FOR BOTH SERIES. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

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"I WANT THAT!"

Archer: Let's get something straight: You have no wish.
Rin: Correct.
Archer: You think I'm Satan.
Rin: Actually Satan. The "Actually" is important, I think.
Archer: And you would win this war with me, "Actually Satan", leaving the ability to make any wish I want in my hands regardless of what I, "Actually Satan", might want to do with that kind of power?
Rin: Totes.
Archer:...Fuck it, I'm in! I'm all about that zero accountability life!
Rin: Cool.
Archer: I humbly swear, my master, that together, you and I are going to fuck up all the bitches.
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Continuing the proud tradition of the Abridged Series, Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Abridged is created by Project Mouthwash, with the first episode having been released on April 12 2017.

Featuring tons of Mythology Gags to both the spoilery parts of UBW, as well to the prequel Zero. Also notable for containing several Abridged Series stars, most notably being YamatoSFX in the role of Shirou, most famous for his role as Kirito in the insanely popular Sword Art Online Abridged.

The series follows Ax-Crazy Tsundere Rin Tohsaka, her Deadpan Snarker Straight Man of a servant Archer (Actually Satan, at least according to Rin), wannabe hero Shirou Emiya, and his emotionally scarred, perpetually angry servant Saber, as they participate in the Fifth Holy Grail War. If they don't wind up killing each other first.

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Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Abridged Contains Examples Of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: Souichirou Kuzuki becomes Kazuki Yamashiro. Episode 6 reveals it's a Dead Person Impersonation. Incidentally, Kazuki Yamashiro is the name of a teacher from Mahou Tsukai no Yoru.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Taiga clearly does not see Kiritsugu in as much a positive light as her regular series counterpart does. Her visit to his grave is her passive-aggressively ranting at Kiritsugu for his distant and aloof behavior which even Caster admits gave her a bunch of mixed messages.
  • Adaptational Dumbass:
    • Archer. While not by any means dumb, unlike in canon he is a Bad Liar who frequently drops hints about his real identity, Rin, Shirou and Saber are just never able to pick up on them.
    • Rin was often the voice of reason next to Shirou's Chronic Hero Syndrome in canon. While she still acts as the reasonable one in those moments, everywhere else she is a Psychopathic Woman Child who comes up with plans like loudly announcing how defenseless she is in an attempt to lure Caster into a trap, and is shocked when Caster doesn't fall for it.
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  • Adaptational Intelligence: Lancer seems much smarter and more eloquent here than in the original. He makes educated guesses about Archer's identity based on his weapon and waxes philosophical about heroism and the world's view of it as he kills Shirou in the school.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Sakura, full stop. In the original source material, she's a kind and soft-spoken young lady. Here, she's still soft-spoken but way more sarcastic and bitter, constantly commenting on how much of an idiot Shirou is. Considering that she seems to be implicitly aware of how the Unlimited Blade Works route pushes her Out of Focus so Rin can be Shirou's love interest, you can't really blame her for being frustrated that the boy she likes barely gives her the time of day.
    Sakura: I haven't heard from you in a couple of days and you haven't returned my calls. But sure let's go ahead and talk about other girls.
    • Kotomine was a villain in canon, but his manners were genuine. Here is more openly rude. When Shirou was planning to withdraw from the Holy Grail War, Kotomine mocked him for quitting before a single Servant died. When explaining the Holy Grail War and that the winner gets a wish, he state it will even grant stupid wishes like Shirou's.
    • Gilgamesh has so far appeared to be one. While already a Jerkass in canon, here he does nothing to hide his contempt for Shinji. He is also far more rude to Kotomine in their interactions.
    • Rider is also extra-snarky, taking extra shots at her master, Shinji.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Downplayed with Archer. He's still a pragmatic Jerkass, but unlike canon!Archer, he's less willing to commit controversial acts. Best exemplified in his fight with Caster. He saves Shirou on reflex despite his hatred of him, threatens to kill Caster's master if she attacked any more innocent people rather than just let her go like in canon, and admonishes Shirou for saying he should have killed Caster rather than let her go.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Shirou and Saber, even taking into account that Rin is the Love Interest for Unlimited Blade Works. The Ship Tease moments referencing Saber and Shirou's romance have been removed, with their relationship being entirely platonic. Instead their dynamic plays out more like Saber is Shirou's overprotective mother. Archer is shocked to see this.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • While he performs just as well as in the original, here Archer is much more open with Rin about his inability to openly fight Lancer and Berserker, constantly telling her though their Psychic Link that they will kill him.
    • Shirou also qualifies. While he wasn't exactly the picture of Hercules in the original, Shirou is more cowardly here.
    Shirou: [while being chased by Lancer at the school] AH DON'T KILL ME I'M A HERO!
  • Affectionate Nickname: Rin calls Saber "Bae-ber."
  • Alpha Bitch: Abridged!Rin is well aware of how many of her fellow students are attracted to her as well as how proficient she is at magic without any hint of delusion, which she admits she very often uses to her advantage to get what she wants.
  • Alternate Universe: Archer retains his memory of events from his own stint in the Murder-Death-Kill, but following the Word of God indicating that Archer is from a world similar to the main Fate route, Archer in the abridged series expects events to follow the Fate/Stay Night route, which grants him foreknowledge of the cast, but this is the Unlimited Blade Works route, so the sequence of events increasingly throws him.
  • Analogy Backfire:
    • Archer tries to illustrate how stupid Shirou's Chronic Hero Syndrome is by saying Shirou would probably try to save Rider if she were about to be hit by a bus, even though Rider had tried to kill him earlier. Shirou points out Rider is a Servant who can't be harmed by non-magical attacks, so a bus would be no threat to her.
    • When Archer lets Caster escape, Shirou calls him Batman and asks why he let Zatanna get away instead of finishing her off. Archer points out Batman doesn't kill and Zatanna is a good guy.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: Played with in Episode 3, where Archer overhears Rin talking about Shirou's "rockin' bod" and then spends a later scene essentially fishing for compliments by asking Rin what Saber might find attractive about Shirou. Rin, who wants Baeber for herself, is less than keen to participate.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Rin is furious at Shirou for essentially giving away Saber to Caster in Episode 7 due to both Saber getting kidnapped and Shirou nearly dying as a result.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: In Episode 7 when Shirou begs that he help Rin save Saber which has Rin at first mumble that she doesn't want him to get hurt which of course Shirou doesn't hear. He asks her what she said before she screams that she likes him as well that he's stupid.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Rider's voice is very sensuous. Shirou thinks she's doing it on purpose to try to make him get Distracted by the Sexy.
  • As You Know: Lampshaded to hell and back due to parodying Fate/stay night's many, many Infodumps. This ranges from Ayako repeatedly telling Shirou about how good he is at archery to Taiga almost out of nowhere mentioning her past as a Kendo champion. Thus far, there is only one defiance of this when Rin unveils her family crest, which Shirou recognizes and Rin acknowledges as a Hand Wave for them to not bother explaining what the hell a crest is due to both of them already knowing what one is.
  • Badass Boast: Unsurprisingly, a few appear:
    Archer: I cannot give you hellfire, Rin, but allow me to show you the might of a hero, who has seen Hell!
    Lancer: Behold - the fangs of Chulainn's Dog!
  • Bad "Bad Acting": After Rider and Shinji's failed assault on the school, Kazuki was reportedly seen laying in a T-pose on the gym floor, flatly intoning about how he was in horrible pain like everyone else. Rin laments his pitch-perfect deception.
    • In episode 7, Rin loudly announces how defenseless she is when dating Saber in hopes it will draw out Caster.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Lampshaded by Shirou about the victims of Rider's Noble Phantasm:
    Shirou: You know, you'd expect some scarring and boils and stuff from the melting as long as they did. But naw. They're all still beautiful! Crazy.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Subverted. Rin very quickly makes assumptions and sticks to those assumptions, but is shown to be perfectly willing to immediately change her mind once irrefutable evidence comes up, such as her quickly accepting that her servant is an Archer once the real Saber appears.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The events of Fate/Zero did not give Saber the best of times. Triggers include guns, explosives, Emiyas, and Command Seals.
    • Rider very quickly becomes enthusiastic about ripping out Shirou's eye upon realizing that he's the boy Sakura told her about.
      Rider: If you are the boy she described, you should know you had this coming.
    • Shirou is basically a button that presses itself whenever Archer sees him or knows that he's nearby.
    • Rin is not happy when Shirou implies she's out of shape.
    • Assassin does not like it when Saber guesses his True Name is Miyamoto Musashi.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: If half of the humor relies on Mythology Gags, then the other half relies on characters lampshading the awkward expositions or story progression the original anime had, such as Ayako's strange existence as nothing but pure Character Shilling, Shirou conveniently already knowing about family crests to avoid any explanations for such lore tidbits and Rin and Shirou for some reason completely and mutually abandoning their fight to investigate someone screaming.
  • Big "NO!": Rin's reaction in Episode 7 when Shirou plans on giving his Command Seals to Caster.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    Rin: ...we're both pretty single-minded idiots with daddy issues and bad reasons to fight in this thing.
  • Black Comedy: Every time Sakura shows up there are frequent Mythology Gags to the Heaven's Feel route and her immense neglect and abuse. Of note is a certain Double Entendre that occurs when Shirou confronts Shinji after discovering Sakura's bruises.
    Shinji: You know it!
  • Blood Knight:
    • Assassin is a polite example, but he lets Archer pass through the gates because he'd rather fight Saber instead. He doesn't even care that Caster is in trouble so long as he can enjoy the fight.
    • Rin's absolute lack of chill lends itself very well to combat.
  • Born Lucky: Saber's incredible Luck stat gets her out of near impossible odds.
    Lancer: Well that's dumb. My attack that will always pierce the heart was disrupted by a metaphysical critical roll on a D20.
    Assassin: [After avoiding Tsubame-gaeshi] Well now, that was just unlikely.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Subverted. Caster ties Shirou up with threads, explains how she has been draining the townspeople, and prepares to steal Saber's contract. Shirou attempts to summon up righteous fury and break the threads, but fails, with Caster pointing out no matter how he talks tough, he lacks the power to do so.
  • Break Them by Talking: Turns out when Rin said she "obliterated" Ayako, she meant she hurt her feelings.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Episode 3 starts off with Kiritsugu's marble metaphor (see Metaphorgotten below), and ends with this bit of dialogue between Shirou and Archer:
      Archer: Your dream is stupid Shirou!
      Shirou: (exasperated) God, did someone hurt you?
      Archer: Marbles hurt me!
      Shirou: What does that mean? Help me understand you!
    • Episode 3 had Rin and Archer discover that a Love Potion was being crafted when they smell Mountain Dew and compost. Episode 4, which properly introduces Caster has her reveal that she stole enough love to imbue the soil she and Shirou are standing on with the potion. Shirou notes that it smells like Mountain Dew, which Caster confirms is what the essence of men smells like.
    • Caster agrees with Rin and Archer that Shirou has strong hands.
    • When the heroes prepare to ambush Caster and Kuzuki, Shirou points out it won't work because Servants can sense each other, but Rin and Saber brush this off. Later, when Saber attempts to attack Caster, Caster points out she can sense her.
  • Broken Pedestal: Shirou eventually comes to realize that his hard crush on Rin was extremely misguided considering her Ax-Crazy tendencies.
  • Buffy Speak: Rin occasionally swaps in her own to-the-point nomenclature during normal conversation, starting with her insistence on calling the Holy Grail War the "Murder-Death-Kill".
  • ...But He Sounds Handsome: Upon learning that Rin finds Shirou hot, Archer starts "suggesting" that Shirou has other physically attractive qualities like strong hands.
  • Caption Humor: You will want to watch this with subtitles, regardless of how well you can understand the speech.note 
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Rin: "One Hundred Percent Maximum No Chill!" whenever she does....well, anything.
    • Shirou: "I want that!" whenever he sees a servant use their Noble Phantasms. Given the nature of Unlimited Blade Works, this probably doubles as a Mythology Gag.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: After Archer accidentally lets slip that he knows about Reality Marbles, causing Rin to realize he actually has one, he tries (badly) to try and get her to forget about it.
  • Character Shilling:
    • Parodied with Ayako, as her entire character seems to be nothing but existing to say "Shirou, you were an awesome archer!", and serving as a Ms. Exposition to Shirou about Rin's attempts to kill him.
    • Rider spends some time talking about how Shinji's sister is talented and beautiful.
  • Chick Magnet: Saber is both this and a Dude Magnet. It gets to the point that she and Shirou have compiled a list of people who want to get in her pants.
  • Characterization Marches On: Saber's Totally Radical way of speaking eventually phases out, which is lampshaded by Rin in Episode 7 and explained by Saber as her fully acclimating to the time period.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Shirou and Archer, naturally. It's even to the point where Archer saves Shirou from Caster reflexively, despite wanting Shirou dead.
    Archer: What the fuck is wrong with me, why did I do that?
    Shirou: Because you're secretly a really good guy, and you couldn't just let your protege die!
    Archer: You're not my protege! I didn't mean to save you.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Rin. When summoning Archer, she assumes he is a Saber class Servant despite him insisting otherwise, and also believes that he is Actually Satan. In her interactions with Shirou, more often than not she manages to make him look like the normal one in comparison. When noting the two of the are Not So Different, she lists qualities that clearly only apply to her.
  • The Cloud Cuckoolander Was Right: Rin is wrong about Archer's idenity, but is right that he is lying to her about it.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Archer tries to be this to Rin, but she never listens to him, for better and for worse.
  • Color Failure: Saber suffers this when Shirou asks her about Illya in episode 3.
  • Comically Serious: Kirei Kotomine maintains a polite demeanor, even when faced with bizarre situations like Shinji threatening to sue him.
  • Competition Freak:
    • Rin once broke a classmate's legs so they wouldn't beat her in a foot race.
    • Saber hates as much to lose here just at in canon. In Episode 7 when Shirou and Rin were beating her in the batting range, she not only yelled at Shirou but she later threw bats at the fiber mesh separating the three of them in an attempt to stop Rin after she got a comfortable lead.
  • Compliment Backfire: Shirou realizes that, deep down, Archer is a "Good Person" and must have dreamed of helping people, and so promises to become a hero for Archer's sake as well as his father's.
    Archer: I'm feeling very complicated version of hatred right now!
  • Composite Character: Hints about Archer's past reveal he is Shirou from the Fate route, rather than just being Shirou from an unspecified future.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Episode 6 reveals that Kuzuki killed the real Kazuki Yamashiro and assumed his identity to create a new life.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sakura's coping method for being shoved off to the side by the plot of this route is to complain in every appearance, to the point that the subtitles refer to her as Sassy Sakura.
  • Description Cut: Illya appears in episode 6's opening to boast about how Shirou and Rin are probably going out of their minds with dread at the thought of facing off against Berserker again. Cut to Shirou and Rin discussing how to take out Caster and Kazuki, with Shirou wondering if they're forgetting something.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Both Shirou and Rin are guilty of this in Episode 7
    • Rin planned the date hoping to catch Caster off guard while Archer was secretly following them but due to Caster being able to know where all servants are at all times, she was able to trap Shirou, Saber and Rin in a bounded field without Archer knowing what happened.
    • Shirou assumed that Caster was going to use her dagger to cut off his arm which would free Saber from their contract but allow Saber to openly fight Caster or make a contract with Rin. He didn't realize that Caster's Noble Phantasm, Rule Breaker, would simply make Saber Caster's servant right away.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: When Shirou confronts Shinji about Sakura's bruise, the latter insists that he didn't hit Sakura. He just smacked her around a little.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Kuzuki does not like being called by his real name, seeing it as a reminder of his past life as an assassin and much rather be called Kazuki Yamashiro.
  • Dramatic Irony: Quite a few of the jokes rely on the characters not knowing what the audience does, which includes basically 90% of Archer's dialogue.
    • We know Shirou is only Kiritsugu's adopted son but Kirei and Gilgamesh assume they are biologically related. This leads to Gilgamesh sarcastically noting that he got laid again while Kirei lost his wife.
    • Archer wins an argument with Rin the same day Shirou failed to finally tell her off like he intended.
    • Rin, who obsessively pressures Shirou to give her his Servant, despises Shinji, who (unbeknownst to Rin) successfully did the same to Sakura.
  • The Dreaded: Played for Laughs. Apparently Mr. Yamashiro terrified all his drama students into leaving the school, so he's no longer allowed to teach it. But he was only the drama teacher, leaving him without a class. Everyone's too scared to fire him, though.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Saber really doesn't like guns, or explosives for that matter. After Fate/Zero, can you blame her?
    Saber: (after Shirou collapses from his wounds) Shirou! Promise me you'll never touch a gun, and I will get you help!
  • The Dog Bites Back: Downplayed with Shinji; not five minutes after he discovers the Matou families crest worms, Gilgamesh demands Shinji take him to his grandfather (the tremendously wicked Zouken) so that Gilgamesh can murder the old man. Shinji's actually very cheerful at the prospect.
  • Enemy Mine: Sasaki holds off Archer to give Saber and Shirou a chance to escape out of the respect he has for her as a Swordsman...but also because Archer lied to him.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • When Archer and Lancer fight at the school, Lancer recognizes his swords Kanshou and Bakuya. He assumes Archer's true identity is Gān Jiàng, the blacksmith who made them, and that his ability to pull them out of thin air every time they are destroyed is related to his blacksmith legend. In reality, Archer can make any weapon with his Tracing and Projection ability.
    • Illya at one point muses that Shirou and Rin are in fear of Berserker, struggling how to find a way to defeat him. In reality they are entirely focused on dealing with Caster and Mr. Yamashiro.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Played for Laughs Kotomine doesn't approve of Rin calling Saber "Bae-ber," considering it rude. He also doesn't approve of her calling the Holy Grail War the "Murder Death Kill," even after hearing her reasoning says he disagrees "on principle."
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • Rin originally didn't think Shinji would target the school before she started listing off the various reasons why he would exactly be the type of person to do so.
    • When Archer spills that Kazuki is Caster's master, Rin, Shirou, and Saber are in disbelief...until their reasons for why he's not slowly devolves into reasons why he is.
  • Expy: Archer sounds a hell of a lot like he's an Only Sane Man version of Alucard from Hellsing Ultimate Abridged. His voice seems to be emulating Takahata101 as well.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Both Rin and Caster want Saber for reasons more than her being a powerful Servant.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Shinji thinks that he and Gilgamesh will be friends in their first meeting, even though Gilgamesh clearly doesn't like him.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: In episode 7, when Caster attacks the group, Rin dramatically declares that Caster has fallen into her trap and orders Archer to come out hiding and attack... only for nothing to happen as Archer isn't there.
  • Freudian Excuse: It Amused Me traits aside, Rin all but admits that her Ax-Crazy tendencies are brought about by her family's destruction in Fate/Zero and her dedication to maintaining the Tohsaka family's integrity.
  • Fun with Subtitles: The series frequently has jokes buried in the captions, such as "incorrect" declarations of who's speaking.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Shirou is completely against Rin moving in until she says she'll be sharing Saber's room. Once she says she'll be sharing Saber's bed Shirou's all for it.
  • Godwin's Law: After the confrontation with Caster in episode 4, Archer compares himself and Shirou to Hitler. He gives Shirou a hypothetical scenario that mirrors their situation. In it, Hitler, right before his death, gets a chance to go back in time and confront his past self. Archer asks Shirou if Hitler should stop his younger self from going down the same path he did.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Rin interrogates Shinji and at first calls herself the "Bad Cop" and wants Shirou to be her "Good Cop". After seeing that Rider was killed, she tries again, only calling herself "Bad Cop/Worse Cop". She scares him by firing a Gandr near his head and saying Worse Cop wouldn't miss.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Rin, to the hilt. She revels in opportunities to exhibit violence and superiority, and suffers frequent failures to care about the feelings of other people or deal with humiliating events. When Shirou demands an apology from hernote  she struggles with a half-hearted apology that quickly dissolves into a few not-so-Stealth Insults. Later, she demands advice from Shirou about what to do when she loses an argument.
    Rin: If I can't be a monster, nobody gets to be.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: "Nobody gets to say my dream is stupid except me!"
  • Honor Before Reason: Even when Saber points out it is logical for her to carry the group's bags because she has Super Strength, Shirou insists on carrying them because he's Shirou. Later, when Caster holds Taiga hostage, he insists on surrendering Saber to her to save Taiga, despite Saber and Rin pointing out they have so many other options. He later lampshades his stupidity.
  • I Hate Past Me: Archer, Up to Eleven. The minute Shirou is around, he'll start begging Rin to let him kill Shirou off, or at least let one of the other servants do it. When that doesn't work, he'll settle for insulting and belittling him at every conceivable turn.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Rin relishes in the fact that she's such a Dude Magnet that undoing a single button on her shirt got people to do whatever she wanted. She attempts this on Shirou (promising to let him touch her boobs if he comes out of cover) but failed to realize that he has enough common sense to know she wants to kill him.
  • Ignored Expert: Archer clearly has knowledge of the Servants in the Holy Grail War, but Rin rarely listens to him. He openly warns her that fighting Lancer is a mistake, and she insists that Archer can beat him anyways despite Archer himself saying he can't. Even worse she insists on him helping against Berserker, despite Archer himself demonstrating that his attacks have no effect on him.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Rin's attempt to lure Shirou out with a promise to let him touch her breast understandably does nothing to make him forget she is trying to kill him.
  • I Have This Friend...: When Archer helps Shirou's out of control magic circuits in episode 6, he says Shirou was lucky as a friend of his had to deal with the same problem for an embarrassing two years.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Rin's reasoning for why she's attracted to Shirou:
    Rin: You're the only person whose ever defied, denied, and outclassed me. And... I think I like it.
    Shirou: Oh... what a strange friendship we have.
  • I Never Told You My Name: Caster is shocked when Archer casually calls her Medea. He later calls Assassin "Sasaki," though that one seems to fly under the radar.
    Caster: Kid's right, you do know things...
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Rin always calls Archer "Actually Satan", saying the "Actually" is important.
    • When Shirou calls Saber a talented swordswoman, she insists he call her a swordsman.
    • Caster mocks Archer for trying to take her on with arrows. He says he uses projectiles, which is accurate since he throws swords as well as arrows.
    • When Caster boasts about her magic, Shirou says he can do magic too. Archer rightfully says Shirou can only do mere magecraft.
    Shirou: Tomayto, tomahto.
    Archer: More like tomato to-Nuclear Warhead!
    • Later, when Shirou attempts to demonstrate his Reinforcement magecraft to Saber, he emphasizes that he is doing magic.
  • Insult Backfire: Archer was smugly confident that Shirou could never actually figure him out enough to return fire against him verbally, and invited him to try his luck in episode 4. Then Shirou called him a "Good Person" who failed to be a hero, and kept going...
  • It's All About Me: Issei is convinced that everything that goes wrong at the school is actually an indirect attack on his tenure as student council president, trying to make him look bad. During his later fight with Rin, Shirou notes that the damage to the hallways will give Issei a heart attack.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Shirou may find Archer's philosophy abhorrent, but he does admit it's true that "saving everyone" and "stopping a threat" are mutually exclusive concepts.
  • Kick the Dog: Archer taunts Shirou about having lost his parents twice.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Illya. Her first encounter with Shirou is played completely seriously, and outside of a few Deadpan Snarker moments, she has thus been played as an entirely serious character.
  • Large Ham: Several of them, actually.
    • Rin. She doesn't half-do things.
    • Shirou, whenever he's in "Hero Of Justice" mode, talks like a stereotypical Knight in Shining Armor, dramatic speeches and all.
    • Mr. Yamashiro says everything in a dramatic, ominous, and vaguely threatening way, to the point where his drama students too scared to come to campus.
    • Saber occasionally forgets that she's supposed to be pretending to be a normal teenage girl and ends up pontificating about how she's a king and calls people she doesn't like "knaves."
  • Laughably Evil:
    • Shinji. He is every bit the Jerkass he was in canon, but his egotism is played up to point where it's downright comedic.
    • Gilgamesh. His egotism and domineering attitude are dialed up to the point where he won't even allow Shinji to speak to him without permission.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Sakura's Adaptational Jerkass makes more sense if you consider the anime and the Unlimited Blade Works route's lack of focus on her.
    • Shirou notes the alarming number of people who are attracted to Saber, aka the Nasuverse's Series Mascot waifu.
    • Shirou and Rin's after school standoff in episode 3 involves Shirou Lampshading the fact that many of the series's jokes rely on knowledge of Fate/Zero and Nasuverse lore to fully appreciate them.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Archer tries to do this by leaving Shirou and Saber alone in the shed in episode 6, except the two aren't dating on this route.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Rin orders Archer to never approach Shirou unless Shirou gives his consent to Archer's very specific and very terrible request. They all agree to wipe it from their memory after Archer says it.
    Archer: Mista Shi-whoa, big tuff muscle myan, would it be OK if wittle ole' me mosey'd on over dere for a byit?
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Deconstructed between Archer and Rin. In the aftermath of the supposed death of Caster, Rin and Archer get into a painfully intense argument that Shirou and Saber compare to a domestic.
  • Like a Son to Me: Saber views Shirou like a troublesome son thus is disgusted when Archer assumes she's dating Shirou in episode 6.
  • Love at First Sight: Rin was already pretty dead set on getting a Saber as her Servant, but upon seeing Arturia, has become practically obsessed with it.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Shirou is oddly indifferent about the fact that he got killed and brought back to life. He chalks it up to his experience as a survivor of the Fuyuki City fire making him having Seen It All. Saber is confused by all this.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Kotomine, unsurprisingly. Rin tries to get him to explain the Holy Grail to Shirou in hopes he will withdraw, allowing Rin to take Saber. When Kotomine learns that Shirou was adopted by Emiya Kiritsugu, he instead explains the Holy Grail War, putting an emphasis on how the winner gets a wish, saying that Shirou can have his desires granted if he wins, convincing him to stay in the war instead. Later when he was planning to gave sanctuary to Shinji, after explaining that a Master who loses their Servant can't compete in the Holy Grail War anymore, he changes his tune after hearing Shinji's family name tells him that he can stay in the war with Gilgamesh as his Servant.
  • Metaphorgotten: In episode 3, we're treated to a flashback of Shirou talking with Kiritsugu, who compares life to a bag of marbles. A metaphor which rapidly devolves into a broken rant about the events of Fate/Zero, with "marbles" as stand ins for the other characters:
    Shirou: Dad... Did marbles hurt you?
    Kiritsugu: No kiddo... I hurt me. I also hurt marbles. I feel worse about the marbles.
  • Morton's Fork: Archer has trouble denying he and Shirou are Not So Different.
    Shirou: He and I are nothing alike!
    Archer: Right; so, since he said that, I'm going to guess that I should say, "we're exactly alike"...? There's no right answer for me here, is there?
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Yamashiro delivers totally innocuous statements with the gravitas of a Shakespearean villain. This causes everyone to be confused and terrified of him.
  • Mundane Utility: Assassin's special technique, the Tsubame Gaeshi, which allows him to strike 3 times in a single breath. He used this incredible magical talent to...kill birds stealing his grain without making a mess.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: In episode 6 when Shirou uses his projection magecraft it cuts to Archer saying he knows something horrible just happened.
  • Mythology Gag: Most of the jokes, really, adding an extra layer for those who have seen Zero or the original UBW.
    • Archer's "hateboner" for Shirou and Saber being weirdly triggered or defensive about seemingly random things is hilarious enough. The more you know about their history however...
    • When Gilgamesh meets with Kirei after the latter met Shirou, Gilgamesh decides to Kick the Son of a Bitch by bringing up Kirei's deceased wife.
    • Shirou's flashback of Kiritsugu has him go into a metaphorgotten about his various regrets over his actions in Fate/Zero. When Shirou mentions this later on to Rin, he also brings up that Kiritsugu let slip the identity of Aŋra Mainyu, though Shirou misremembers it as Angry Matthew.
    • Upon their initial meeting, both Saber and Assassin mistake the other's true identities for someone they naturally don't have pleasant feelings about.
    • Kirei wasn't interested in Shinji until he learned he was the nephew of Kariya, Kirei's previous source of amusement.
    • Archer alludes to the moon being really weird, a reference to it being either the remnant of a TYPE or a massive supercomputer.
    • Archer in general makes a number of references to the Fate route.
      • He is hinted to have romantic feelings for Saber, and noting how iconic Shirou and Saber being a couple is, he is shocked when he learns the two have no romantic feelings for each other.
      • He assumed that Saber used Excalibur to defeat Rider.
      • He states that this is the second Grail War where Caster didn't accomplish anything after he thinks he one shotted her.
  • Narm: In-Universe, Rin lies about the total number of traps she set for Shirou not to have an advantage over him or anything, but because admitting that she set sixty-nine traps would seriously undercut the dramatic showdown they were having. She admits to it exactly one sentence after lying.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Saber chastises Archer for his derisive comments regarding the fallen Rider in episode 5.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Rin argues to Kirei that, like the Holy Roman Empire, the Holy Grail War involves neither an actual Holy Grail nor an actual war.
  • Noodle Incident: We don't know exactly what happened but apparently Archer's meeting with the CEO of Banasonic in Episode 5 went so badly that not only did Archer not get any batteries, he thinks he might have become the CEO's mortal enemy.
  • Not Afraid to Die: In episode 7, Caster threatens Assassin for getting snippity with her. He scoffs and says she can't scare him because he isn't afraid to die. She responds by using her magic to break his ribcage open, but he is nonchalant about that too.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Rin initially assumes Archer is a Saber class Servant, despite his insistance he is an Archer. He doesn't help his point he uses Kanshou and Bakuya, a pair of short swords, against Lancer.
  • Not So Different: After getting to know each other better, Rin realizes that she and Shirou have something in common. They are, in her own words, both idiots with Daddy Issues and terrible reasons to fight in the Holy Grail War.
  • Obviously Evil: Kirei Kotomine. His conversation with Shirou where he convinces him to stay in the Holy Grail War makes it so obvious he is evil that it's downright comedic.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: When Caster as Rider gets uncomfortably close to her, Saber can only exasperatedly lament that yet another person is attracted to her.
  • Off the Rails: From Archer's perspective. His memories are mostly off of the Fate route while the show is based on the Unlimited Blade Works route. While this gives him a lot of early knowledge, he's caught off guard when Rider is killed by someone other than Saber or that Shirou and Saber aren't dating.
  • Only Sane Man: Which of the main four heroes is the one holding the Smart Ball varies between scene to scene with Shirou generally holding it the most and Rin holding it the least.
  • Pet the Dog: Alpha Bitch and Ax-Crazy as she is, Rin's first act of kindness, resurrecting Shirou, is because she knows Sakura likes him and she'll feel bad if anything happened.
  • Phrase Catcher: It's frequently noted that Archer is weird. He's weird about Shirou.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Unsurprisingly, Kotomine and Rin's interactions turn into this. Rin brought Shirou to Kotomine in hopes he would convince Shirou to withdraw from the Holy Grail War. When Kotomine convinced him to stay, Rin exploded at him for standing in the way of her and "Bae-ber." Kotomine instead responds that calling Saber "Bae-ber" is rude, which only makes Rin angrier.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In Episode 7, Saber assumes that her group can stall until Caster runs out of Mana. Caster comments on her error and mocks Shirou and Rin for forgetting to tell Saber that Caster basically has unlimited Mana thanks to her territory.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Partial example. Rin has only read the first four Harry Potter books. When she and Shirou team up, she compares them to Ron and Hermione. Shirou, who has read all the books, feels awkward because those two get together in the end, but Rin doesn't know that.
  • Power Misidentification: As Shirou and Rin are both unaware he has Avalon in his body, they think his Healing Factor comes from his own powers. Avalon only works when Saber is near, so in episode 7, when Caster captures Saber, it becomes moot. Unaware of this, Shirou attempts to call upon his powers to heal his injuries, only to humilate himself.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: After Shirou compared Archer to Batman, Archer tries to kill him after remarking, "Maybe you are my Robin. You do remind me a lot of Jason Todd."
  • Punch Catch: When Archer lets Caster escape, Shirou angrily tries to punch him, but Archer effortlessly catches it. Later, Rin calls him a moron for thinking a punch would work.
    Shirou: Damn, you've got strong hands!
  • Reality Ensues:
    • At one point, Rin offers Shirou to come out into the open with promises to let him touch her breasts. Shirou, understandably freaked out by the fact that Rin is trying to kill him and currently has him cornered in a classroom, refuses in spite of his admitted attraction to her.
    • When Caster ties Shirou up, he declares his righteous fury will give him the strength to break free. It doesn't work. Caster says unless he actually has the power to back up his boasts, all he's doing is talking tough.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Lancer is very fond of speaking in Limericks.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Rin figures out Archer is lying about his amnesia right off the bat... but becomes convinced it's because he's Satan, and refuses to let go of that idea.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Archer is a lot less subtle than he is in the source material, but he makes up for it by making most of his lines sound like he's just heavily mocking Shirou.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Saber points out that you really can't expect the reality manipulating magus' competing in the reality breaking Holy Grail War to actually follow the rules.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Berserker shows up in episode 2, Archer makes a break for it without hesitation.
    Archer: Nope! He who runs away and doesn't fight, runs away first!
  • Servile Snarker: Rider does very little to hide her disdain for Shinji.
    Shinji: RIDER! HE'S FREAKING ME OUT!
    Rider: Doesn't take much, does it?
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Yamashiro congratulates Shirou on scoring Saber.
    • Archer, in spite of his hatred of him, seems to be behind Rin being in a relationship with Shirou. Probably because it would be a victory in romance for him by proxy.
  • Shout-Out: Rin "loves a woman who can kick [her] ass."
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • The school seemingly the victim of a terrorist attack and a student has been found with her blood drained? This is all clearly a supernatural character assassination to discredit Issei's term as student council president.
    • Shirou stops in the middle of a fight to ask Caster and Kuzuki if they can help him reconcile his dream of becoming a hero with the contradictions Archer's criticisms of it pointed out. They and Rin basically ask Shirou if he's lost his mind, yet he keeps talking even when Caster points out she doesn't care about his dream.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Everyone wants Saber, usually to a creepy extent. She and Shirou start making a list about.
  • So Proud of You: When Shirou uses Projection magecraft for the first time and forces Caster and Kuzuki to retreat, Kuzuki comments that while he's disappointed they lost, as a teacher, he is proud of Shirou.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Saber flip flops between speaking in refined and eloquent English and Totally Radical slang. More often than not she's confused by what comes out of her mouth half the time.
  • Straight Man: Archer plays this role to Rin...usually. He'll offer common sense to counter her Insane Troll Logic, attempt to reign in her Ax-Crazy, and grumble about ridiculous the whole situation is...unless Shirou is involved, at which point their roles reverse immediately.
  • Stupid Sexy Friend: Saber doesn't like Archer because he tried to kill Shirou before but takes time to comment on his abs twice in episode 6.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • Saber, when Shirou asks her if she knows anything about Illya.
      Saber: No. I do not know anything about Illyasviel Von Einzbern. Or her mother. Or her terrible father. I have no connection to that family.
    • Rider, after describing Shinji as the the last remaining heir of the Matou bloodline and how he's the brother of the beautiful and sagacious Sakura, denies that she's ever heard of them.
  • Talk to the Fist: Kuzuki punches Rin hard enough to send her flying and knock her out while she was busy bragging about how he is no match for her.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Gilgamesh's reaction when Kirei orders him to become Shinji's Servant.
  • Totally Radical: Saber. Evidently, part of the knowledge imparted by the Grail includes modern slang... but not proper context for the slang, resulting in her sounding like this a lot of the time.
  • Tsundere: Doesn't matter if it's a parody, doesn't matter if she's Ax-Crazy here, Rin Tohsaka, is still Rin Tohsaka. Here, it's less a matter of luminescent blushing and more a matter of Rin staging attempts on Shirou's life when she knows he won't be around to die.
  • Tranquil Fury: Rider never raises her voice but is very obviously pissy about having to serve as Shinji's Servant. This is further amplified (and more serious) whenever Sakura is especially concerned.
  • The Unapologetic: Rin does not normally apologize for anything. When she swallows her pride and apologizes for Archer trying to murder Shirou, she finds the experience very disturbing.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Shirou decides he has a chance against Rin on the basis that since mages are more focused on refining their magical craft, they failed to make time to physically tone their bodies for fitness. He gets proven severely wrong when Rin pulls off some Le Parkour while screaming about how out of shape she is.
    • Caster thinks the combined might of Saber, Archer, Assassin, and Caster herself could easily take down Berserker. This just tips Archer off that Caster knows nothing about Berserker.
    • Archer himself thinks Caster is a pushover and is quickly and sorely proven wrong.
    • Rin assumes that because Mr. Yamashiro is an ordinary person with no magecraft, he'll be no match for her, only for him to punch her out.
    • Caster attempts to murder Kirei with her skeleton familiars, only for him to easily smash them. She then comments that she didn't expect him to be a badass.
  • The Unreveal: It's never revealed who Rider was before she died. Bummer.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Caster and Mr. Yamashiro. Caster is a sickingly affectionate towards him, but he makes it clear that their love is mutual.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Ayako doesn't ask any questions about the fact that Rin has a knife coated in a corrosive luminescent glow that ate through her locker. Though it's probably because she knows better than to dig herself deeper when Rin is angry.
  • Vain Sorceress: Rin is rare non villainous example. While some of it has been her awarenss of being a Dude Magnet, she has displayed pride in her looks as well, once describing her chest as "legendary."
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Lampshaded by Shirou who points out he and Rin didn't even learn Rider's name before she died, mostly due to the Unlimited Blade Works route not really focusing on Rider and Sakura.
  • Well Done Daughter Girl: Rin confesses to Shirou and Archer that she honestly couldn't care less about the Grail or its wish. She's fighting the War because it was what her father asked her to do the last time they ever saw each other. She even admits it's probably not a very good reason for fighting in the Holy Grail War.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Shinji asks Shirou to tell Rin that Shinji said she has beautiful eyes.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Rin and Archer tear into Shirou when his stupidity leads to Saber getting captured by Caster.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: After Saber calls Assassin out for developing Tsubame Gaeshi to get rid of birds in his garden instead of just hiring a cleaning lady, Assassin denies that he "wrote this."
  • With Friends Like These...: Lampshaded. After our heroes spend the entire fight with Berserker and Illya arguing, culminating in Archer nearly killing Shirou, Illya decides the best way to kill them is to leave them to their own devices.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Rin undeniably finds power attractive with her openly saying she would hit that when Shirou is talking about how powerful Saber is in episode 2 and admitted she found Shirou incredibly attractive when he revealed his projection magecraft in episode 6.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When Shirou tells Taiga and Sakura about Illya, Sakura says she'd dropkick her in a heartbeat.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Rider spends every scene essentially running on fumes; even after Shinji directs her to unleash a Vampiric Draining field on the whole school, she notes mockingly that his very conspicuous plan will only get her up to bare minimum fighting capabilities. Archer mockingly notes her lack of performance after she dies.
  • Worthy Opponent: Saber and Assassin become fast friends due to their mutually impressive sword skills and polite personalities.
    Assassin: I am having a very fun time, Saber.
    Saber: As am I, other Saber.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • When he and Rin have their after-school standoff, Shirou seems to buy into the RPG cliche that mages are frail and physically weak, having spent time they could have used building strength and endurance instead researching more powerful magic. By this logic, he figures that he can rush Rin and overpower her in melee. Unfortunately for him, Rin is better at time management than that (and Nasuverse magic doesn't work the same way typical RPG magic works), and quickly proves him wrong by empowering her limbs and effortlessly hopping down the stairwell, while screaming at him about how out of shape she is. He quickly concedes the point.
    • Shinji is under the assumption the Holy Grail War works like a video game where Servants can come back from the dead, and goes berserk when he learns nobody told him "permadeath" was a rule.
  • Yandere:
    • Medusa, who gets the inkling that Shirou might just be the boy Sakura's been complaining about, in which case Shirou getting his eyes plucked out is especially well-deserved.
    • Played for Laughs with Shinji, who in his ridiculous attempt at Terms of Endangerment the very next day makes himself sound like he was attacking Rin because he's a Crazy Jealous Guy for Shirou, while still finding room in his little speech to basically beg Shirou to tell Rin that Shinji thinks she has beautiful eyes.
    • After Medusa gets killed, the day after that, Shinji accuses Rin of being a sociopath, while the subtitles swap in the word "Yandere" instead.
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