Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
DVD Release Review
The Holy Grail War. Through the power of the Holy Grail seven Masters summon seven Heroic Spirits to wage war on one another. Each master fighting so that at the end of the blood bath they will be the one holding the all powerful wish granting cup, known only as the Holy Grail.
10 years after the events of the previous Holy Grail War the Grail has returned, the fight for it resumed. Emiya Shirou, a victim of the catastrophe caused by the last great war, now finds himself dragged into a war he knows nothing about. With his servant, Saber, and the help of his classmate Rin Tohsaka, Emiya decides to fight. Not only to live, but to prevent another tragedy the likes of what was caused by the previous war.
The Fate/Stay Night anime series is adapted from the visual novel of the same name. Unlimited Blade Works being just one of the paths you can take in the game. The first path are the events that unfold in the the original Fate/Stay Night anime, the second path being Unlimited Blade Works, with the final route Heaven’s Feel which is getting a movie that is currently in the works.
Each Fate/Stay Night route has a different tone, and Shirou falling for a different heroine. The Unlimited Blade Works route is a story about an internal struggle, and what it takes stick to one’s beliefs knowing full well that the path those beliefs lead you down is a treacherous one that will will eventually break you. Like it’s predecessors Fate/Stay Night, and the prequel Fate/Zero, this anime is a brutal one, filled with death and sorrow — which is something this series portrays really well.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is one of the most highly appreciated shows of the past couple of years. It takes a great setting, a dark and deep story, as well as beautiful artwork, and rolls them to everything you could ask for from an anime.
Now that season two is released, the complete series of Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is available to take home on Blu-ray and DVD by Aniplex of America. I got my hands on the standard DVD releases of both seasons, the standard release has its upside as well as its downside. Upside is obviously the price point, the difference between $79.98 and $179.98 is a staggering one! The down side is the extra features that separate the two. Sure I don’t expect to get the original soundtrack or collectible cards that come with the limited edition with the standard release, but to not include the Fate/Stay Night OVA “Sunny Day” in the standard edition is a huge let down. It’s just opening the door to piracy. To be blunt, I don’t know a whole lot of people that are willing to pay $100 more for a 10 minute OVA.
I know a lot of people gripe and moan over the cost when it comes to Aniplex (me being one of them), but you can’t deny the quality. You can tell the quality the second you pick the DVD case up. Instead of smashing the disc into its slot, they have these easy to press buttons that gently release the DVD from the case. Heck, even the sturdy feel of the case and the sleeve scream high quality.
The English Dub is excellent as well, which is something Aniples usually brings to the table. The dub gathers the talents of Bryce Papenbrook (Eren from Attack on Titan & Kirito from Sword Art Online), Megan Hollingshead (Mai from Yu-Gi-Oh!), Kari Wahlgren (Various roles in Naruto), Kaiji Tang (Kill La Kill & Sword Art Online), and Mela Lee (Bleach & Aldnoah.Zero) making it one that really stands out. Doing a great job of portraying the emotions in their voices, and of feeding off one another, makes the acting great throughout the entire show.
Overall this series is a must have for any anime collector — Otaku or casual. The price might scare a lot of people off of it, but you will be getting your money’s worth. If you are in fact scared away, it’s still a show you need to seek out and watch — it’s easy to find seeing as you can watch it on Crunchyroll. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is 25 episodes of non-stop brutal action that you can watch time and time again.