My thoughts on the ninth episode of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) 2nd Season.
With the battle between Shirou and Archer coming to a close we can begin to see the end of the tunnel and this episode felt like a preface for what is to come. After the close of the battle the rest of the time was spent in what was mostly an explanation/information dump by means of Gilgamesh however, as this is only the UBW route, plenty of things concerning the grail are left unsaid or unexplained.
The ending of the fight was well done and while we have had a few different iterations of EMIYA play throughout their battle this final one was well placed (not that the others weren’t). Emiya changing the reality marble around him was a cool effect and I’m glad that the battle ended with a single blow – Shirou’s idealism and determination winning out over Archer’s disillusionment and suffering. It was ‘that kind’ of battle to begin with and so having it end as a bloody mess would have felt off-tone and this was a proper ending.
It’s hard not to love Gilgamesh’s condescending comments if only primarily because he has the will and the power to back them up. I think a lot of his dialogue directed at Archer and Shirou gives a great flavor to what I can assume will be the final bout – Shirou vs Gilgamesh. His naming them fakes and frauds while he has all of the real authentic treasures in his collection goes hand in hand with Shirou’s beliefs, that he has a fake and a fraud, following an impossible dream. And so while Shirou has defeated Archer in a battle of ideals, the upcoming battle will feature the real versus the fake.
The next episode I think will be a little on the slow side given the whole mana transfer ordeal however we will probably see the setup for the final fight by the end of the episode and then it will be action from then on out. So I will go in expecting a bit of a slower episode next week before we start to finish things out.