Well, after the tranquil events of last week’s episode, I predicted that the next installment of Unlimited Bladeworks would be an action-packed extravaganza. And Episode 12 certainly did not disappoint.
The story gets off to a rollicking start right from the very beginning when Rin, in a surprise move, after 11 episodes of back-and-forth Tsundere Tshenanigans, finally decides to stop pussy-footing around, get over herself, bite the bullet, man-up, and ask Shirou out on a date. (Or actually, now that I think about it, I suppose she actually just sort of announced that she and Shirou would be going on a date in a sort of dictatorial decree. But the way Rin did it, it somehow managed to be cute.)
The date goes well. Until Rin and Shirou get ambushed by Caster. (Pro-tip, when the city bus that’s supposed to take you to your next romantic destination rolls up to the bus stop, check to make sure the bus has other passengers. And a driver. If the bus does not have a driver you should probably not get on the bus. It’s probably one of Caster’s traps.)
Naturally, Rin and Shirou try to fight back against Caster’s attack, but Caster (who continues to impress me with her surprisingly high levels of competence and pragmatism) has an unpleasant surprise in store for our heroes. Caster has kidnapped one of Shirou’s closest friends, his teacher Fujimura-sensei, and is holding Fujimura as a hostage, threatening to kill her unless Shirou agrees to grant Caster control over Saber.
Our heroes do their best to triumph over Caster in these extremely difficult circumstances, but in the end, they are no match for her diabolical cleverness, and in the course of the chaotic battle which our desperate heroes wage against her, Caster manages to STEAL THE COMMAND SEALS from Shirou’s hand! (Thus stripping him of most of his magical power and gaining the power to control Saber, all in one fell swoop!)
Caster wastes no time in ordering Saber to attack our heroes (Saber does her best to resist Caster’s control, but in the end, she winds up impaling Shirou so brutally that Shirou goes into a temporary coma).
How could things get any worse? Simple. With Saber now firmly under her control, Caster heads off to find Kotomine Kirei, the overseer of the Holy Grail War, ordering him to give Caster the Holy Grail, not once the war is finished, but right now otherwise Caster will have her newfound servant, Saber, kill Kirei.
As Kirei fights for his life, doing everything in his power not to die from Caster’s onslaught, Shirou wakes from his coma and tells Rin he wants to do everything in his power to help defeat Caster and get Saber back. That’s when Shirou is dealt the cruelest blow of all. Rin tells Shirou that it may be nice that he’s willing to do everything in his power to help, but that’s precisely the problem. Now that Caster has taken Shirou’s magical command seals away from him, Shirou doesn’t have any power. He can’t be of any help. He’s no longer worthy of participating in the Holy Grail War. Therefore, Rin has no further use for him. Rin and Archer turn their backs on Shirou and head off to handle the situation by themselves. As Rin goes, she tells Shirou that if he tries to fight in the Holy Grail War beyond this point, he’ll be killed.
(Killed by Rin’s own hand? Killed by the other fighters in the war? Is Rin trying to force Shirou to stay out of the competition for Shirou’s own safety? Or does she really no longer care about him, now that he’s outlived his usefulness? It’s not clear. One thing that is clear though. This has got to be the worst. First date. Ever.)
Kaita Mpambara works every day to try and create shows, stories, and characters that are as exciting, energizing, and entertaining as the very best works that have been given to the world by both the western and eastern animation industries. Keep up with his musings on life, the universe and everything by following him on Facebook.