Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – 19 (“Now lean forward and kill yourself!”)

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – 19 review
フェイト/ステイナイト [Unlimited Blade Works] – 19

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19Archer is waiting at Ilya’s castle when Shirou, Saber, and Lancer show up. Archer explains how Rin was able to summon him. He then tells them that he’s given Rin to Shinji. Lancer has orders to protect Rin, so Shirou leaves her in his hands, although they’ll be enemies after all this is over. Saber elects to stay with Shirou and witness what is about to happen between Shirou and Archer. Meanwhile, Shinji is eager to have his way with Rin as soon as all of this is over. As he caresses her legs, Lancer knocks him out. However, to his surprise, his Master reveals himself, the referee priest Kirei.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19Saber chastises Archer for his actions, leading him to start to reveal Saber’s own motives for entering this bloodbath. Saber cuts him off and explains to Shirou her reasons for becoming a heroic spirit and entering the Holy Grail War. Archer explains how as a Guardian, he eventually came to have to kill people he wanted to save. Thus Archer wants to kill Shirou to prevent that from happening. Saber says Archer can’t change things, but he wants to try. He gives Shirou a blade to kill himself with. Shirou refuses and asks Saber to stand aside as he goes to battle Archer. Meanwhile, Kirei reveals he wants Rin to become the Holy Grail and orders Lancer to kill her. He refuses, so Kirei uses a Command Spell to force him to kill himself.

Thoughts/Review:

And the hits just keep on coming. 😀

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

Well, we finally get the low-down on how Shirou became Archer. Not only that, we get an explanation (sort of) on why Archer looks and sounds nothing like Shirou. That was something that never made sense to me. To be honest, it still doesn’t come off totally believable. After all, Saber looked the same in the past as she does now. Ditto Caster. OK, there is Berserker, since I doubt Heracles in the Nasuverse looked as he did in Fate/stay night. I’m probably overthinking this.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

I did like Saber’s and Archer’s conversation, as well as Saber’s reactions to Archer now that she knows he’s Shirou. Archer would know Saber well since as Shirou, she’d been his Servant. (I presume that this Archer originates from the Fate route.) The interesting thing was Saber’s remark that Archer existed outside of time and space, thus Archer killing Shirou will probably not change a thing. Maybe that’s why Archer hasn’t already killed Shirou and been done with it.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

One other item of interest to me was Archer telling Shirou to kill himself, then telling him all of the exposition. I can’t believe that Archer thought his former self would actually kill himself, but it was an interesting moment to me all the same.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

Shifting over to the scumbucket side, Shinji was made to max out his nasty factor with his eagerness to have his way with Rin and try to break her as well as rape her.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

Of course, this set up Lancer’s hilarious arrival to save Rin and knock Shinji out. That was such an awesome moment.

x06 Lancer saves Rin

Lancer in Unlimited Blade Works has been so different from what I remember in the original anime adaptation. I think it is his interactions with Rin and Shirou regarding their romance. He seems to genuinely like and respect Rin, which is why he rebelled against Kirei.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

However, scumbucket number two (Kirei) showed up, and Lancer gets screwed for showing honor in disobeying Kirei’s order to kill Rin.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

I honestly didn’t expect Kirei to order Lancer to kill himself. I know Kirei has his ace in the hole since he’s the one who put the extra Servant, Gilgamesh, with Shinji. And considering how many Command Spells Kirei had, it seems he could have controlled Lancer if he’d wanted.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

Why did Kirei want Rin dead if he was planning to make her into the Holy Grail? He could have just used Ilya for that since Ilya was supposed to become the Grail.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

When Rin learned Kirei was responsible for her father’s death, I liked how the flashback sequence was used. I presume that was from Fate/Zero.  Still, even though Rin knew Kirei was bad stuff, she didn’t know just how bad he was until this episode. I felt for her because on top of all the other crap she had to deal with, she’s suddenly faced with her father’s death all over, only now, she knows the truth.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

I’ve no clue how Shirou survives a battle with Archer, and I can’t imagine Saber breaking her promise to not interfere in their fight. Of course, the situation with Rin may come to light, causing Archer and Saber to come to her aid.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

So, a lot of unexpected stuff happening her, but that’s what makes this anime series so good.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - 19

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25 Responses to “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – 19 (“Now lean forward and kill yourself!”)”

  1. Ferian says:

    Well, we finally get the low-down on how Shirou became Archer. Not only that, we get an explanation (sort of) on why Archer looks and sounds nothing like Shirou. That was something that never made sense to me. To be honest, it still doesn’t come off totally believable.

    Use of magecraft can affect the user’s looks, especially when it strains their circuits – the soul shapes the body, and so, damage to the soul is reflected in one’s appearance. In a way, it’s like getting wrinkles from stress, only the thing that gets wrinkled is your soul, and the body dutifully reflects that change. In Shirou’s case, his white hair and dark skin tone are the result of continuously overusing tracing in his life. His eyes have also changed shape due to intensive and extensive use of reinforcement to enhance his sight.

    That’s the explanation given in the VN, at least.

  2. Eldritch Gentleman says:

    Well the reason why Saber looks the same is because she isn’t a proper Heroic Spirit/Counter Guardian yet. Both HS and CG are summoned from the Throne of Heroes. Saber on the other hand is being summoned from the past, from the moments just before she dies. She made a deal with Alaya on her deathbed, Alaya gives her a chance to get the Grail and Saber will become a Counter Guardian. But it hasn’t been fulfilled yet so she is technically still human. This is also why Saber, unlike other Servants, can’t take on the spirit form.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      For some reason, I thought Saber just didn’t have the mana she needed from Shirou to vanish.

  3. Farray says:

    Well, we finally get the low-down on how Shirou became Archer. Not only that, we get an explanation (sort of) on why Archer looks and sounds nothing like Shirou. That was something that never made sense to me. To be honest, it still doesn’t come off totally believable.

    Did we? I mean, we see Shirou probably make his contract with the Counter Force, but we don’t really see an explanation why Archer doesn’t look like Shirou. Archer’s hair and skin are different because Shirou eventually over- and misused Projection magic too much. He also is actually supposed to sound similar to Shirou in the novel. I once mentioned a scene in your episode 09 review (http://anime.astronerdboy.com/2014/12/fatestay-night-unlimited-blade-works-09.html#comment-36822) where Rin notices on the phone that Archer and Shirou have a similar voice.

    In the novel, it is briefly mentioned when Archer made his contract. When a natural disaster occurred, he made his contract to save a few hundred lives and a nuclear catastrophe is also mentioned in Fate/EXTRA, which I presume was what ufotable showed at the beginning of the episode. We only saw Shirou make his contract. A lot is still missing, like when he obtained the holy shroud he is wearing, or anything else in general since his skin and his hair hadn’t changed, yet.

    Archer would know Saber well since as Shirou, she’d been his Servant. (I presume that this Archer originates from the Fate route.)

    Negative. Archer’s story differs from Shirou’s ones in all three routes of FSN. Shirou tries to pursue Saber at the end of the Fate route.

    Spoiler Inside SelectShow

    Also, as I’ve mentioned last episode, Archer sounds like he couldn’t save Saber in his Grail War. Shirou was able to do that in the Fate route.

    The conversation between Archer and Saber was certainly interesting, as before Saber stands a mirror image of hers. She and Archer are so similar that she basically faces her own errors. That’s why she must see the battle between Archer and Shirou. Her telling Shirou his wish was new btw, Shirou actually was supposed to ask Saber that in episode 6 already, after Archer talks with him (although her answer is too vague). That scene where Saber pulled Caliburn out also looked similar to a CG that was shown in the VN.

    VN: http://i.imgur.com/rgDnf27.jpg
    ufo: http://i.imgur.com/IBp1tjk.jpg

    We also see the scene where Saber kills Mordred and I love ufotable’s attention to details.

    Spoiler Inside: Other Fate/ works SelectShow

    What is left out are mostly Shirou’s thoughts.

    The only people a superhero can save are the people he sides with. If one is to lose everything by trying to save everything… It is correct to sacrifice one to save more.

    So yeah, he actually agrees with Archer said. In the following text passage one can also see a difference between Archer and Kiritsugu, who were both betrayed by this ideal:

    Spoiler Inside: Long Archer monologue SelectShow

    And again, Shirou agrees, it is only his wish to see everyone be happy and no one to cry. Kiritsugu actually did dream of a world without conflict. World peace. That is what he wanted. Archer was aware that this isn’t possible, even though he fought to stop conflicts. Rin actually asks Archer in Fate (offscreen) what his wish is and he genuinely tells her that it’s world peace. Rin mocks him for this and tells him that it’s a terrible wish and Archer fully agrees, because no conflicts eventually means that mankind will stop evolving and rot away.

    Archer explains how as a Guardian, he eventually came to have to kill people he wanted to save.

    It’s probably ironic to find out that he just kept doing in afterlife, what he did in life. As he himself said in the novel, this isn’t what he wished for. He didn’t become a Guardian for this. The Counter Force doesn’t differentiate between good and evil. It only ensures mankind’s survival. The sad thing is that it doesn’t come to prevent bad things from happening. The Counter Force only sends its Guardians, when it’s already too late for human intervention and they minimize the damage. Unfortunately, most conflicts mankind has to face are created by mankind itself, so Archer eventually got fed up with mankind after being forced to clean up after them for eternity.

    What I didn’t like was how Counter Guardians are portrayed and the situations Archer faced. Archer, alone, just appears and shoots people with arrows? Where are the other Counter Guardians? And they are only supposed to appear when humanity is close to extinction. Archer, for instance, killing some Roman soldiers and Near East terrorists stopped this? Not a convincing portrayal to me, I wanted to see more. Well, maybe next episode.

    Thus Archer wants to kill Shirou to prevent that from happening. Saber says Archer can’t change things, but he wants to try.

    As I’ve mentioned last episode, Archer is in a place that is not bound by time. All of his summonings are already recorded. So Archer actually doesn’t know how often he tried to kill Shirou in the Fifth War, but it might have already happened a few times. He just can’t measure time anymore. I should also mention that Archer died satisfied. He didn’t have any regrets, the regrets and bitterness came when he ascended to the throne and learned that he became a cleaner and this will never change. Recorded Heroic Spirits are “perfect and unchanging”. Unknown to death, nor known to life, and stuck in eternity to serve, his life has and had no meaning.

    Archer also explains in the novel, that he might create a strong paradox if he himself kills Shirou, but he honestly doesn’t believe it’ll work.

    There’s still a chance, however small. Just altering the past might not be enough, but the paradox will be even greater if I am the one to do it. If the distortion is large enough… a hero called Emiya will disappear here.

    “And Saber. This is what I’ve been waiting for. I am not looking for results now.
    …I’m just taking my anger out on a kid called Emiya Shirou, the one who will become a clown as a result of his stupid ideal.

    As Nasu describes it, when someone asked what Archer felt when he attacked Shirou back in episode 07:

    When he was attacking Shirou, he was simply devoid of much emotion at all. He was in agony, and was only holding on to the sliver of hope that this would forge a different path for him. His whirlwind of emotions towards Shirou (and himself) were not pleasant for him.

    It is not simply that Archer feels the need to explode in anger, nor is it that he wants to save him. He simply wants to single-handedly sever any possibility of a murderer coming along under the mask of justice in this world line, whilst doing as little as necessary to atone for those who have already been taken.

    Well, we’ll naturally see how Archer will handle his emotions next episode.

    One other item of interest to me was Archer telling Shirou to kill himself, then telling him all of the exposition. I can’t believe that Archer thought his former self would actually kill himself, but it was an interesting moment to me all the same.

    As I’ve mentioned, Shirou’s thoughts are missing again. But I actually don’t think it’s necessary here. Archer suggesting that Shirou should go kill himself (which is a nice parallel event to what was going on with Rin) is new in the anime. But the way Shirou acted, I interpreted as him thinking whether he should actually do that, if Archer and him are really the same. Well, if Shirou had killed himself, he and Archer wouldn’t be similar anyway. That was a scene I really liked.

    Anyway, that’s why Shirou asks Archer whether Archer regrets everything he has done and Archer confirming this makes Shirou believe that they are two different people after all.

    I’ve no clue how Shirou survives a battle with Archer, and I can’t imagine Saber breaking her promise to not interfere in their fight. Of course, the situation with Rin may come to light, causing Archer and Rin to come to her aid.

    I don’t understand the last sentence. Archer and Rin come to whose aid? ^_^

    Anyway, as I said last episode, Shirou knows the meaninglessness of the fight. Archer is Shirou at his peak, even with only 10% of his true power left, he easily surpasses Shirou. But…

    I take a step towards my enemy. We’re close enough to strike at each other.We don’t have any weapons. We confront each other empty-handed. Emiya Shirou is not a swordsman. We are beings that create swords. Then…

    “So it seems you understand.

    Yes, to fight against me is to compete in projection.”

    But…

    (Shirou) …What a bad job.
    The twin swords I once thought were perfect are too unprecise compared to his. An inferior illusion will become a delusion. Probably…
    My swords will shatter and disappear when they crash against his.

    One last note, the track that played at the end was the track everyone was waiting for: エミヤ – EMIYA. It’s Shirou’s theme and eventually became Archer’s theme, too. I actually thought it would play next episode or the one after, but oh well. Sorely missed it in Fate/Zero, but I knew it would eventually be played in UBW, Archer’s route.

    So, now about the scene with Rin:

    I already mentioned Lancer’s search rune and here it is used again. ufotable showed it the way I imagined it, so good job. Btw, if Lancer had seen Shinji already trying to do the act, he would have mercilessly chopped off Shinji’s head. He really did unconsciously punch Shinji away.

    And considering how many Command Spells Kirei had, it seems he could have controlled Lancer if he’d wanted.

    “…I see. I guess it cannot be helped. I do not like wasting a Command Spell on something I can do myself…”

    Well, Kirei can kill Rin himself easily and Lancer is no longer needed. This was the third Command Spell Kirei used on him, so Kirei might not have wanted to waste even more on that guy anymore. On the other hand, wouldn’t it have been better for Kirei to use a Command Spell and make Lancer kill Rin, then use another to make Lancer kill himself for maximum amusement? 🙂

    Btw, I wonder what that effect around Lancer’s destroyed heart was, when he pulled out Gae Bolg. Either it’s the thorn-like heart curse, that causes wounds to not heal or it’s his spiritual core breaking. Probably the latter, because the former should happen the instant he destroys his heart.

    And yes, Urobuchi intentionally wrote FZ-Lancer’s death to parallel Lancer’s death in UBW here. 😀

    Why did Kirei want Rin dead if he was planning to make her into the Holy Grail? He could have just used Ilya for that since Ilya was supposed to become the Grail.

    That entirely depends on what kind of Holy Grail he actually wants to summon. Ilya is a perfect vessel for the Lesser Grail. Rin is… not. She also doesn’t need a heart, as in, she must die, because Gil wants to put in Ilya’s heart, that he ripped out earlier, somewhere, right?

    When Rin learned Kirei was responsible for her father’s death, I liked how the flashback sequence was used. I presume that was from Fate/Zero.

    I had a look at this again and they redrew some parts of the flashback sequence.

    Of course Kirei (and Shinji) fully enjoyed Rin’s reaction, because she never openly showed her emotions like that. She really did love her father very much, because he was perfect in her eyes. She did not realize that he wasn’t as human as Rin is now.

    Something that I liked in this scene in the novel were always Rin’s thoughts. Naturally, they can’t be shown in the episode, but I’ll post them here:

    She won’t give up until the very last second. Help might arrive even at this moment, and she might be the only one that survives after this room miraculously crumbles.
    “……Well, it won’t happen.”
    She won’t give up, but she also understands it’s impossible.

    That’s why she has no fear.

    Except for one thing.
    She imagines that boy’s expression when he finds her dead after coming to save her. She doesn’t want him to cry. It angers her that she’s the cause of his tears, and she doesn’t know how she can apologize to him. No, she can’t apologize if she dies, but she still doesn’t want him to cry.

    “Sorry, Emiya-kun. I’m retiring first.”

    So she decides to apologize ahead of time. It does no good, but it calms her down.

    Btw, a discrepancy many people noticed many years ago is that Rin doesn’t use her Command Spell to summon Saber. At first, people thought it’s because Archer disrupted Rin’s circuits with the reinforced ropes, but that was brushed off because you don’t need to activate your circuits to use a Command Spell. Another theory is that Rin wants Saber to stay by Shirou’s side, so she can protect him, but Saber would automatically disappear, if Rin dies. We still don’t get an answer in this episode, and I personally find that disappointing.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–—-

    Additional notes:

    1. Episode script:

    http://i.imgur.com/u9wg94u.jpg

    2. An unusual amount of flashbacks this episode, yet I don’t think Nasu will ever want to reveal more about Archer, than he already did in FSN and Fate/EXTRA. I am positively surprised they gave Saber more substance. I was worried because they earlier mentioned in an interview, that Saber only plays a motherly/guardian-like figure for the team, and her story should not get much attention in UBW. But perhaps they should have done so earlier.

    3. I like how they divided the scenes between Archer’s conversation and the one with Rin, Lancer and scumbags in the anime. A back and forth would have been bad in the novel in my opinion, but it works better in an anime. I liked the contrast and parallelism between the two scenes.

    4. Having seen the preview pics, I can imagine why they used so many stillshots with talking heads again. They really need to save their budget.

    5. Next episode preview:

    http://i.imgur.com/OxyeaPT.jpg

    Yeah, Saber totally has to see this. 😀

    6. GIFs

    Spoiler Inside: GIFs SelectShow
    • Aki says:

      In the novel, it is briefly mentioned when Archer made his contract. When a natural disaster occurred, he made his contract to save a few hundred lives and a nuclear catastrophe is also mentioned in Fate/EXTRA, which I presume was what ufotable showed at the beginning of the episode.

      Thats interesting to know… I was wondering if this scene was in the original VN or if it was taken from expanded material. The Archer No Name was mentioned to be the same Archer yet different from the Archer Emiya.

      In the novel, it is briefly mentioned when Archer made his contract. When a natural disaster occurred, he made his contract to save a few hundred lives and a nuclear catastrophe is also mentioned in Fate/EXTRA, which I presume was what ufotable showed at the beginning of the episode.

      This was one of the most touching scenes for me. For Saber she wound up tearing her country apart and during the civil war, her friends and fellow knights Lancelot and Gwaine killed each other and Modred who was her ‘son’ so to speak, hated her for not loving her and accepting her to be heir to the throne. The Civil war broke her heart, as her own people grew to fear and hate her as, just like Archer, Saber gave her life to serve the people when, as Rider mentions, a King should be looked up to and for others to lay down their lives to serve them.

      Archer on the hand took things up another level… He didn’t turn a country against him, he turned humanity against him. The world will come to see Shirou as the embodiment of ‘Justice’ but when said Justice is taken too far, they begin to fear him as he was taking out potential threats and caused more problems.

      What I didn’t like was how Counter Guardians are portrayed and the situations Archer faced. Archer, alone, just appears and shoots people with arrows? Where are the other Counter Guardians? And they are only supposed to appear when humanity is close to extinction. Archer, for instance, killing some Roman soldiers and Near East terrorists stopped this? Not a convincing portrayal to me, I wanted to see more. Well, maybe next episode.

      This kind of bugged me as well, but then, from reading your comments, it make sense that Archer can appear anywhere along the timeline because he is removed from time itself.

      As for why he is the only counter guardian to be summoned, I think, if my theory isnt mistaken, it is because of the fact that Emiya is the living embodiment of the concept of ‘Hero of Justice’. Kiritsugu describes his dream as a simple one, a dream that anyone would have, particularly young boys.

      Kids love to read stories of heroes and kids especially today, would love to be one and fantasize about being one but in such era… becoming a hero is a near impossible dream. So when the world and its people are in despair they would wish for a hero to save them and because of how Archer embodies the concept of a Hero who saves and protects others… he is by default the one to be summoned.

      Arthur is known by legend as the Once and Future King so if Alturia was to be a counter gaurdian like Archer then she will be summoned when Camelot and its people need her the most. (From BBC TV Show Merlin, they say when Albion needs him the most, Arthur will rise again.)

      So if the counter force concept works based on the dreams and wishes of others, then they will summon a ‘hero’ that fits their dreams/wishes.

      • Farray says:

        Thats interesting to know… I was wondering if this scene was in the original VN or if it was taken from expanded material. The Archer No Name was mentioned to be the same Archer yet different from the Archer Emiya.

        I think there actually is no real major difference between No Name and EMIYA. I have to look up Nasu’s comments in EXTRA Material again to confirm this, but as far as I remember, the only difference is the power they made a contract with. No Name made it with the Moon Cell, EMIYA with humanity’s Counter Force.

        As for why he is the only counter guardian to be summoned, I think, if my theory isnt mistaken, it is because of the fact that Emiya is the living embodiment of the concept of ‘Hero of Justice’.

        What you say is correct, Archer is an embodiment of the ideal Superhero/Hero of Justice/Champion of Justice. That is definitely the case in Fate/EXTRA. However, if the situation has become so grave that the Counter Guardians are summoned, I always assumed the scales are so big that one Guardian isn’t enough.

        There are also situations where Counter Guardians clash with Gaia’s Counter Force. Humanity’s Counter Force (Alaya) is part of the planet’s Counter Force (Gaia), which automatically makes Alaya weaker than Gaia, but humanity and the planet often don’t see eye to eye. And one Guardian wouldn’t be able to stop Gaia’s own Counter Force, so I imagined a scene where more than one Guardian, Archer, appeared. Well, it doesn’t really matter.

        Arthur is known by legend as the Once and Future King so if Alturia was to be a counter gaurdian like Archer then she will be summoned when Camelot and its people need her the most. (From BBC TV Show Merlin, they say when Albion needs him the most, Arthur will rise again.)

        This is actually the case, though the legend says that Arthur is resting in that utopian place, Avalon. This is what happened at the end of the Fate route. After Artoria’s “death”, she went to Avalon to rest until Britain needs its king again. Oh, and she was waiting for Shirou.

        Nasu confirms this in Complete Material 3.

        Q: In the Saber route, Saber terminated her contract with the World by breaking the Grail by her own will, but in the end, wouldn’t a hero of the caliber of King Arthur end up being removed from the cycle of transmigration as a Heroic Spirit after death?

        A: King Arthur’s goin’ to Avalon. Among the English, King Arthur’s still very much around. After all, she’s “the Once and Future King”.

        The whole “Saber becoming a guardian” thing is very suspicious anyway, since, as the question stated, she is too famous. Counter Guardians are name- and fameless heroes. Assuming she did not go to Avalon, she would have gone to the Throne of Heroes as a true Heroic Spirit (unlike Archer).

        True Heroic Spirits don’t have any duties like Guardians, they are only role models. The only way around that would be if she really could have changed her past. The remaining episodes will show how Saber will deal with her contract, now that she knows that being a Guardian sucks and is not what she imagined it would be.

        • Aki says:

          That has cleared up a number of things. Though main issue is how the counter force system works which needs more elaboration from Nasu I believe.

          What you say is correct, Archer is an embodiment of the ideal Superhero/Hero of Justice/Champion of Justice. That is definitely the case in Fate/EXTRA. However, if the situation has become so grave that the Counter Guardians are summoned, I always assumed the scales are so big that one Guardian isn’t enough.

          There are also situations where Counter Guardians clash with Gaia’s Counter Force. Humanity’s Counter Force (Alaya) is part of the planet’s Counter Force (Gaia), which automatically makes Alaya weaker than Gaia, but humanity and the planet often don’t see eye to eye. And one Guardian wouldn’t be able to stop Gaia’s own Counter Force, so I imagined a scene where more than one Guardian, Archer, appeared. Well, it doesn’t really matter.

          Hmm the only thing we can throw out is theories I guess…

          Alaya is the humanities Counter Force so I assume rather than the defense mechanism throwing out it’s gaurdians in masses, they select and summon the guardian that the people want the most and give them the power to swiftly handle the situation before it becomes to dire.

          In most cases, a child (and sometimes adults) in a scene where they are on the verge of death and despair from tyranny or terrorism will wish for some kind of Hero to appear and deliver justice.

          Since according to his contract and Ideal, Emiya should be the default guardian to be summoned as the guardian that represent their wishes. A Hero of Justice who defends humanity from people they deem as Evil. But the problem lies in the fact that Good and Evil is a subjective opinion. It may even result in him clearing the way for those who he once sided and protected to become the evil that threatens humanity.

          What bugs me is that No Name and Archer as a Guardian, were both executed by human law systems… No Name explains his ‘Friends and Comrades’ betrayed him out of fear of what he has become. As an entity removed from time.. I’m surprised that Archer could even die as a Guardian.

          The Gaia Counter Force should in theory, only kick in when the planet itself is in damage and is under threat of attack or destruction and it will summon a hero to deal with such a scenario.

        • Farray says:

          What bugs me is that No Name and Archer as a Guardian, were both executed by human law systems… No Name explains his ‘Friends and Comrades’ betrayed him out of fear of what he has become. As an entity removed from time.. I’m surprised that Archer could even die as a Guardian.

          Oh, you misunderstood something. Shirou didn’t become a Guardian when he made his contract. He gained power in return for selling his afterlife. He became a Guardian, a Heroic Spirit in Alaya’s services, after he died. In my opinion, No Name seemed to be less douchebaggy than EMIYA to me. He doesn’t seem to regret his ideals and what he has done as much as Archer right now.

          The Gaia Counter Force should in theory, only kick in when the planet itself is in damage and is under threat of attack or destruction and it will summon a hero to deal with such a scenario.

          And humanity is constantly threatening to destroy the planet, you know? 🙂 That’s why Alaya and Gaia clash. Gaia wants to get rid of the danger, humanity, but Alaya can’t let that happen.

          Heroic Spirits that are closer to nature spirits and elementals, that is to say spirits who possess lots of divinity like Berserker or Rider, are closer to Gaia than Alaya actually. And Gilgamesh is a very special case, but I’m sure you know that already.

          As for this:

          That has cleared up a number of things. Though main issue is how the counter force system works which needs more elaboration from Nasu I believe.

          Kara no Kyoukai is a good piece of work to understand the Counter Force better. I copy+pasted an excerpt of it:

          Spoiler Inside: Kara no Kyoukai and the Counter Force SelectShow

          KnK also gives the reader an explanation, why magi reaching (or trying to reach) the Root will automatically alarm the Counter Force. The knowledge someone can gain is dangerous enough to destroy everyone and everything.

          Before someone asks “wait I thought the Counter Force works like this”… (in Fate/ for instance) The older explanation in KnK and later stuff in Fate don’t match up 100%. People argue about all the time whether it’s one or the other, or both, but there is no consensus.

          Alaya will always try to influence other people to clear up the situation. It’s a bit different with Archer-Shirou (and Saber), who didn’t just get influenced, but made a contract and sold his existence to directly receive something in return. If influencing fails and human intervention alone is no longer possible, the Counter Guardians are sent and figuratively nuke the place to stop the threat, without distinguishing good and evil.

          The Guardians were described as “natural phenomenoms” in KnK, but Fate/ changes this a bit, as you can see. But as the text says, sometimes the Counter Force even prevented something that would have brought happiness. Archer probably witnessed something like this too, but without free will, he had to kill and stopped something he truly wanted to defend.

          • Aki says:

            Oh, you misunderstood something. Shirou didn’t become a Guardian when he made his contract. He gained power in return for selling his afterlife. He became a Guardian, a Heroic Spirit in Alaya’s services, after he died. In my opinion, No Name seemed to be less douchebaggy than EMIYA to me. He doesn’t seem to regret his ideals and what he has done as much as Archer right now.

            I think im explaining myself badly ^^;; though what you said does make sense…

            I mean both Shirou and No Name sold themselves in the Nuclear Facility… from that point I thought that would have been the ‘death’ of his mortal life and as a result he because a part of the counter force.

            But then there is story where Archer said he was set up as a mastermind behind an incident and was later trialed and executed at the gallows. In No Name’s case he was betrayed by his friends and comrades who feared him for what he became and was set up, trialed and executed in front of people who what their ‘ideal’ Hero of Justice die. At this point he would have ascended into the throne of heroes and was rewarded with ‘Unlimited Blade Works’.

            The thing im confused about is, did he die a the Nuclear Facility or at the gallows?
            —————————————————————————–
            There too much to quote but your KnK explanation kind of make sense, even if it is outdated it still seems Archer is base on the concept of how it works.

            That’s what the Counter Force is; it’s the collective wish of the entire dominant species — humanity — to preserve its own existence. The fundamental instinct of the human self, coalesced and given form. That would be the “Counter Guardian” that we call the Counter Force.

            In which case… Shirou who offered himself up to be the embodiment of a ‘Hero of Justice’ would be the person that is most regularly summoned to deal with the situation at hand.

            Because from what i’m getting from the whole Explanation… Alaya will always influence an individual to rise up as a hero and counter the threat that humanity itself deems as a dangerous entity.

            However since there is now a catalyst to channel that generic wise/dream of humanity for a hero to appear, Shirou unfortunately becomes the main person to be summoned.

            A better way to explain it is… If Alturia was a part of humanities counter force and Britain wished for its king to save them, then it would summon Arthur to protect them. However if the people wished for something more generic, then the Counter Guardian that is summoned would be Shirou who is a very generic embodiment of a hero… if it was specific then I assume another Counter Guardian would be summoned.

            It could be possible for two Guardians to be summoned… for example, it could occur where the summoned hero is so terrifying that a second guardian is summoned to deal with the initial summoned hero.

            For example Person A is a threat to humanity, so Person B would receive the power to deal with Person A or the Counter Force summons a Person (Archer) to embody the wishes of the people and deal with Person A. However if Person B is so powerful that people feel threatened, then a Person C may appear to deal a more humane justice on Person B.

            (This is starting to get horribly complex >.<)

          • Farray says:

            The thing im confused about is, did he die a the Nuclear Facility or at the gallows?

            See my response to arimareiji below. Shirou didn’t die when he made his contract during the nuclear catastrophe. He gained superhuman power with the contract, which allowed him to act like the superhero he wanted to be. He was still human and mortal at that point. A few years later, he was betrayed and executed.

            As the explanation from KnK above stated, something like “heroes” don’t exist in the modern world anymore. Saving the world is no longer enough. In fact, it is probably no longer possible to become a genuine Heroic Spirit like Cu Chulainn or Heracles. Modern times simply make it impossible for these heroic deeds to become such great feats that the person is worshipped and glorified as a hero.

            A better way to explain it is… If Alturia was a part of humanities counter force and Britain wished for its king to save them, then it would summon Arthur to protect them.

            Artoria. 🙂 But what you describe might be the case, if Artoria were a part of the counter force, which she probably will never be. Though “protect” means “go kill everyone” in this case, because that is what all Guardians do when they are summoned.

            It could be possible for two Guardians to be summoned… for example, it could occur where the summoned hero is so terrifying that a second guardian is summoned to deal with the initial summoned hero.

            A Guardian is a slave and doesn’t possess a free will. So that scenario wouldn’t work, because that summoned Guardian will just do as he/she is told by the Counter Force and get rid of the threat. No matter how terrifying the Guardian might be, it’s irrelevant since that Guardian is controlled. In that case, a second Guardian that is summoned to fight the first Guardian would be unlikely, because he/she would act just the same.

            For example Person A is a threat to humanity, so Person B would receive the power to deal with Person A or the Counter Force summons a Person (Archer) to embody the wishes of the people and deal with Person A. However if Person B is so powerful that people feel threatened, then a Person C may appear to deal a more humane justice on Person B.

            What you say is refuted in the KnK excerpt I posted. Person B can never be stronger than Person A, because the Counter Force will only influence Person B so far. It’s a fail-safe to ensure Person A won’t just be replaced by the person that exterminated Person A. If the Counter Force is… forced to summon someone like Archer to nuke the threat, Person B probably reached the limits of a human and mere influence. Person A would be a far larger threat which needed the Guardians to deal with that person.

            The chosen ones, the heroes, that receive the will of humanity, are carefully chosen. They are rare. That’s why all of them in the past were glorified as heroes. Regarding the human morality, these were “good” people, who were not seen as a threat by the entire consciousness of humanity.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            Reading all of this stuff about “Counter Force”, I realize that Kajishima-sensei used the same concept as his Counteractor in the canon Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki series. However there, the Counteractor was actually born to correct a problem in the universe rather than being chosen for the job.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Did we? I mean, we see Shirou probably make his contract with the Counter Force, but we don’t really see an explanation why Archer doesn’t look like Shirou. Archer’s hair and skin are different because Shirou eventually over- and misused Projection magic too much.

      Oh. Well, that scene certainly didn’t come off that way. It seemed like it was modifying his body, so I assumed (yeah, I know) that this was the event that changed Shirou’s height, hair, skin, voice, etc. To me, Shirou and Archer don’t sound anything alike, which is understandable since they have different seiyuu doing their voices.

      Well, that’s what I get for assuming. 😉

      Archer suggesting that Shirou should go kill himself (which is a nice parallel event to what was going on with Rin) is new in the anime

      Interesting. So all of their chat between Archer tossing the sword and Shirou rejecting the notion of killing himself is all new?

      I don’t understand the last sentence. Archer and Rin come to whose aid? ^_^

      This is why I’ll never be a professional writer. My brain thinks one think and has already moved on to another paragraph (or two), so my fingers are trying to keep up and type the wrong name. *_* I meant Archer and Saber. ^_^;;;

      Btw, if Lancer had seen Shinji already trying to do the act, he would have mercilessly chopped off Shinji’s head. He really did unconsciously punch Shinji away.

      Ah. Interesting. That makes sense, though the scene was done in a way for comedy’s sake.

      And yes, Urobuchi intentionally wrote FZ-Lancer’s death to parallel Lancer’s death in UBW here.

      Thus the tragedy of the Lancer folks who get summoned. I did like the parallel.

      That entirely depends on what kind of Holy Grail he actually wants to summon. Ilya is a perfect vessel for the Lesser Grail. Rin is… not. She also doesn’t need a heart, as in, she must die, because Gil wants to put in Ilya’s heart, that he ripped out earlier, somewhere, right?

      Well, this makes no sense to me. I’m not sure why one wouldn’t want to summon the proper Grail. I’m not sure how putting Ilya’s heart into Rin helps anything, but then I don’t know what Gilgamesh’s (or Kirei’s) true objective is.

      Btw, a discrepancy many people noticed many years ago is that Rin doesn’t use her Command Spell to summon Saber.

      I’ll admit that I didn’t think about that when this episode came out, but in episode 20, I did wonder about it.

      I like how they divided the scenes between Archer’s conversation and the one with Rin, Lancer and scumbags in the anime. A back and forth would have been bad in the novel in my opinion, but it works better in an anime. I liked the contrast and parallelism between the two scenes.

      The contrast and parallelism between the two scenes is indeed what makes the back and forth work so well.

      5. Next episode preview:

      http://i.imgur.com/OxyeaPT.jpg

      Yeah, Saber totally has to see this.

      Har! Saber eating popcorn. 😀

      As always, thanks for the great info. ^_^

      • Farray says:

        Interesting. So all of their chat between Archer tossing the sword and Shirou rejecting the notion of killing himself is all new?

        No. Only Archer telling Shirou to kill himself and tossing the sword is new. The chat with Saber, and Shirou declaring to Archer that they are two different people, since Archer regrets everything, is from the novel.

        Well, this makes no sense to me. I’m not sure why one wouldn’t want to summon the proper Grail. I’m not sure how putting Ilya’s heart into Rin helps anything, but then I don’t know what Gilgamesh’s (or Kirei’s) true objective is.

        Episode 21 will probably give you the answer you want (and if not episode 21, then episode 22). But I’ll just make this clear:

        Ilya is the perfect vessel for the Grail. Rin is not perfect, but probably the next best thing available, which is why Kirei didn’t want her to get damaged (besides the heart that should be removed). Kirei and Gil do not share the same goal, so they act differently and have different intentions concerning the vessel for Ilya’s heart (and it’s not like Kirei could ever possibly control Gilgamesh).

        Spoiler Inside SelectShow
  4. Aki says:

    I don’t know if this was in the original vn but what surprised me and made me very happy was that in the opening sequence where he made his promise with the counter force, looked like a nuclear facility.

    Having played the fate extra game, the no name archer who is described as being the same archer but slightly different as he was a version where history had forgotten his name and he became no name. He mention to Hakuno, his master that during his final human moments, he ran through a nuclear facility, whilst bypassing security and prevented a nuclear meltdown. Hakuno joked that he must have got one heck of a tan but he rebuke saying even tohsaka rin isn’t capable of such harsh remarks and that his change of appearance was due to over use of his magic and it side effects.

    In extra he says that as a hero he was betrayed by his friends and comrades and was trialed by human laws and when he was sentence to death, he realised he wasn’t being killed by righteous hatred for what he became but for the karma of killing people. No Name archer was put to death in public and the people saw the death of embodiment of justice that they yearned for.

    Archer would know Saber well since as Shirou, she’d been his Servant. (I presume that this Archer originates from the Fate route.)

    Interesting to know I’m not the only one to think that. Couldn’t find ur comment about archer change of appearance but the only place that shows physical change is in fate kalied drei so please do look forward to that in future.

    One other item of interest to me was Archer telling Shirou to kill himself, then telling him all of the exposition. I can’t believe that Archer thought his former self would actually kill himself, but it was an interesting moment to me all the same.

    Reason for the suicide is quite simple… Archer telling a version of himself how he can potentially turn out to be, is so that shirou will sacrifice himself for the greater good. Archer point was to basically say your ideal dictates that you must save and preserve life and peace to the world yet you kill those people that become a threat to humanity, it get to the point where u end up killing people you wish to protect (how kiritsugu was face with the impossible decision by holy grail) and that Emiya shirou existence is a potential threat to humanity who in his pursuit of dreams of saving others and bringing happiness, instead brought fear and hatred to the hearts of men.

    Either way, at the very least he would prevent one world having a hero of justice in a sense… Archer is still following his ideal.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      don’t know if this was in the original vn but what surprised me and made me very happy was that in the opening sequence where he made his promise with the counter force, looked like a nuclear facility.

      I didn’t realize it was supposed to be a nuclear facility, but then my knowledge of the franchise is fairly limited.

      Either way, at the very least he would prevent one world having a hero of justice in a sense… Archer is still following his ideal.

      Yeah, I guess he is following his ideal.

  5. cold_menthol says:

    There’s only one question that immediately popped up in my mind while watching this episode: Why were Shirou’s hair and eyes color still his original when he apparently made the contract?

    Btw, the part at the end was awesome thanks to a certain BGM. ^_^

    • Farray says:

      I was wondering about that, too. I assume ufotable changed some things a bit, since Shirou was supposed to make his contract in his late twenties/early thirties. He looked a bit too young in my opinion, if that were still the case. His projection should have already caused his appearance to change by that point.

      So ufotable probably made him make his contract earlier and Archer-Shirou messed up his body with his magic later.

      • arimareiji says:

        So ufotable probably made him make his contract earlier and Archer-Shirou messed up his body with his magic later.

        Apologies if this is a dumb question because there’s some rule of the Nasuverse that you’ve explained or that I should have noticed which makes it impossible (pauses to take a breath)… do you mean he could have made the contract at Point B in his life but kept on living as Shirou, overused his magic after that for everything from fights with Heroic Spirits to cooking tamagoyaki, died at Point C, and then became the Guardian Archer-Shirou?

        If so, to me it would seem refreshingly simple and relatively free of deus-ex-mach-inanity. (^_~); And for some reason, it calls to mind the contracts in Jigoku Shoujo.

        • Farray says:

          …do you mean he could have made the contract at Point B in his life but kept on living as Shirou, overused his magic after that for everything from fights with Heroic Spirits to cooking tamagoyaki, died at Point C, and then became the Guardian Archer-Shirou?

          Shirou lived on after he made the contract with humanity’s Counter Force. The contract gave Shirou superhuman power, which allowed him to act as a superhero/hero of justice/seigi no mikata/whatever like in his ideals. After he was betrayed and executed, he became the Heroic Spirit Emiya and acted as a Counter Guardian.

          So yes, what you said is what I basically meant. 😉

          And since Archer’s work as a Guardian kind of feels like hell to him, I guess it does call to mind Jigoku Shoujo a bit…

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        I was wondering about that, too. I assume ufotable changed some things a bit, since Shirou was supposed to make his contract in his late twenties/early thirties. He looked a bit too young in my opinion, if that were still the case. His projection should have already caused his appearance to change by that point.

        That’s why I thought he was being transformed at that point, because he made the contract and was marked accordingly.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      There’s only one question that immediately popped up in my mind while watching this episode: Why were Shirou’s hair and eyes color still his original when he apparently made the contract?

      The whole reason Shirou’s body changes so radically was a complete mystery to me. Realistically, one would not expect such a radical change like that. However, since Archer’s identity had to be secret in the story, a reason needed to be constructed to account for this. I thought it was Shirou’s contract, but then I learn that I was completely wrong about this.

  6. Shirou can totally take on Archer… well, sort of. Also, Rin’ll be fine.

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