But why rub it in? I can’t say it any better than Waver did, so I won’t beat it into the ground. And truth be told I said pretty much everything I needed to say about my feelings for this slice of the Fate franchise after last week’s episode – which was the real ending if not the finale. In the end I kind of think it was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, and there was really nothing much in this last episode to change that.
Apart from the appearance of a certain Lord El-Melloi II (which was long enough to make me realize how much Unlimited Blade Works could have used him) this final episode was remarkably uneventful for those of us uninvested in the Shirou-Rin relationship. The two of them have enrolled at Clock Tower, and engage in their usual song-and-dance with each other. I will say that the A-part may have come close to a record for the most laboured (note the British spellings, in Clock Tower’s honour) exposition in a single anime episode, but apart from that it was pretty much a yawner.
I did, as usual, like the way ufotable did the backgrounds here (they’re underrated at that). Having been to Glastonbury Abbey I can affirm that it’s a very cool and mystical place, and the visuals did it justice, but Shirou’s visit to Saber’s grave (in truth, almost no historians believe Arthur’s Glastonbury grave is legitimate) was oddly clinical and detached. Even accounting for my lack of emotional investment by this stage, it really seemed as if the direction did the moment short shrift.
And really, that’s about it. In the end, UBW did what it’s always been fated to (pun intended) – preach to the choir. This was fanservice, pitched at the hard-core fans of the franchise, and just as I said about last week’s climax (though not to the same extent) I can’t imagine those folks will have found much to be disappointed about. Those of us hoping that UBW would rise above itself might not have gotten what we wanted, but I don’t think there was any disappointment there either, because the series’ fate has been set in stone for a long time.