Anime Vice News

FATE/STAY NIGHT: UNLIMITED BLADE WORKS #7 -- Special Review

The only thing that should’ve been fired this episode was Archer!

What can I say about Unlimited Blade Works episode 7? Hoooo-boy. I suppose in the name of being diplomatic, I should probably start with something positive.

The good: This episode had a lot of things that I loved. I loved that it centered around Saber and Archer battling their way into a magic Shrine as part of a daring moonlight rescue mission to try and save Shirou from the clutches of an evil kidnapper. I loved Saber locking blades in a devastating do-or-die supernatural swordfight with the mystical servant Assassin. And I loved Archer facing off in a truly dazzling duel with Caster (who I respect as a villain and who, as far as I can tell may be the most diabolically clever antagonist the series has produced thus far).

The bad: DESPITE the fact that this episode had a lot of things that I loved, it still PISSED ME OFF and had me gnashing my teeth an apoplectic fury by the time the end credits began to roll. Why? Because the characters spent more or less the entire length of this episode doing something that characters in a supernatural story SHOULD NEVER DO. Something that INFURIATES me whenever I see it: They broke the show’s own rules. Again. And again. And again.

What do I mean when I say this? Allow me to list just two examples of what I’m talking about. In the past, Archer has specifically stated that mystical servants are irrevocably bound to the will of their masters, and they CANNOT disobey an order given by their masters, and they CANNOT engage in independent actions without their master’s consent. (In fact, JUST LAST EPISODE, Archer mentioned that this was the precise reason why he cannot kill Shirou, even though Archer might personally wish to. Archer may despise Shirou and view Shirou’s honorable and idealistic style of combat as suicidally naïve, but as long as Archer’s master, Rin, has ordered that there be a truce and an alliance between herself and Shirou, Archer CANNOT violate that standing order, and CANNOT cause Shirou direct physical harm, no matter what Archer’s personal feelings toward Shirou may be.)

So of course, with all that in mind, it makes perfect sense that when Shirou has a disagreement with Archer in this episode, and refuses go along with Archer’s strategy for dealing with Caster (which is essentially to leave the Shrine and LET CASTER FREELY CONTINUE her evil scheme of attacking innocent civilians all over the city and draining their life energy in the hope that doing so will eventually allow Caster to become so powerful that she’ll be able to kill the strongest servant in the Holy Grail War, BERSERKER, and…save Archer the trouble of having to kill Berserker himself) Archer settles the dispute by letting Shirou walk away. AND THEN STABBING SHIROU IN THE BACK!! WITH A REALLY BIG BLADE THAT CAUSES TREMENDOUS BLOOD LOSS!! EVEN THOUGH ARCHER IS STILL UNDER STRICT ORDERS FROM RIN NOT TO HURT SHIROU! Orders which, ACCORDING TO THE SHOW’S OWN ESTABLISHED MYTHOLOGY, Archer SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO DISOBEY!!

What really took the cake for me though was what happened next. When Saber (who has been established as the most honorable character in this series, and who has been shown to be extremely protective of Shirou, both because protecting her master is part of her mystical servant’s oath and because she cares for Shirou personally) discovers that Archer has broken the terms of their alliance, and as a result Shirou is now BLEEDING TO DEATH, her response is to…basically let Archer get away with it.

At first I thought Saber was choosing not to kill Archer right then and there because she saw that Shirou was DYING and decided that rescuing Shirou from the shrine and getting him medical attention was more important that getting revenge. But then, back at Shirou’s home, when she’s bandaging his wounds, they have a discussion which ultimately boils down to: “Oh, that wacky Archer. Stabbing people and what not. Whaddaya gonna do? Oh well. Even though he betrayed us this time, I’m sure he and Rin are still mostly trustworthy allies. So let’s just try and sleep off these knife wounds and try our best not to get killed tomorrow.”

Don’t believe me? Think I’m oversimplifying things? Watch the episode and draw your own conclusions.

Don’t get me wrong. Even though there were a lot of things in this particular episode that made me very angry (again, these were just two examples of characters breaking the show’s established mythology, or acting wildly out of character. There were several others.) I DO still like the series as a whole. I fully intend to keep watching. And I’m still highly fascinated to see things play out. I’ll tell you one thing I DON’T like though: Archer. As of now, he is officially my least favorite character on the show. I shall now turn my back on him and walk away…actually, on second thought, considering what happens when people do that around him, maybe I’ll just stay facing him, and back away very slowly. Hopefully he’ll do something to redeem himself next week.

Watch "the Reward for the Fight to the Death" and decide for yourself, then read my thoughts on the previous episode.

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.

Fehafareon Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

Gonna try to not sound like an arrogant jerk about this... but if you were a bit more informed on the Fate series or the Nasuverse you'd know that Archer class Servants have an ability called Independent Action, which means they can act against their Master's will and do what they want. If their Master is killed they can even survive days without him.

Spoiler talk for Fate/Zero down here:

In Fate/Zero the Fourth Holy Grail War, Gilgamesh the Archer class of that War pretty much plotted against his Master and made another Master backstab him. He also wandered off on his own and fought multiple Servants thanks to his Independent Action skill.
zaldaron Dec. 4, 2014 at 9:50 p.m.

@Fehafare: Shouldn't THIS show mention that if true then? And shouldn't he not be able to say then that he can't disobey orders I mean he specifically says he can't do this. This kind of breaking of world building makes me stop watching a show.

Fehafareon Dec. 5, 2014 at 3:06 a.m.

@zaldar:

Well, gonna try to break this down.

1. This was established back in F/Z, a show you should watch before this one.

2. Honestly can't quite clearly remember Archer saying that (would be great if you could tell me what episode and around what time) but that can be explained by two things. First, a command seal. Archer can't resist an order given by a command seal, independent action or not. But the thing is, command seals don't work over a span of time. That is they don't last very long and work better on simple concrete orders which would mean that Archer couldn't have attacked Shirou at the moment it was used, but later on the whole order becomes moot. Second explanation is, he was simply lying. Archer's a scheming bastard and he'd do that to get closer to Shirou and get a shot at him with that.

Huh, just realized i didn't break it down enough and crammed everything in those two points. Very well so be it.

YggdrasilTMon Dec. 5, 2014 at 9:54 a.m.

I think that you both misanderstood what Archer said in the previous episode.

Archer said: "Heroic speirits have no free will. We are evocated without permission"

Shirou said: "That's not true, Saber has free will".

Archer replied: "Because when a heroic spirit receive the "servant" container, it regains its free will".

Heroic spirits and Servants are two different things.

  • Heroic spirits are a natual phenomenon that is indipendent from the Grail war. THEY are without free will
  • Servants are a manifestation of Heroic Spirits used in the Grail war. IThey are independent individuals, and they CAN choose, disobey and even betray their Masters at any time.

What a Servant can't disobey is a direct Command Spell (a very short order like "hit that guy. A lot." or a very specific long duration order, like "don't break this glass"). Long duration non specifica Command spells can be used but are not very effective. And Rin never told Archer "don't kill Shirou" using a Command Spell.

Command Spells are also the reason why Servants CHOOSE to boey the Master. The Master can just say "kill yourself" and the Servant is dead. In this sense, a Servant "can't disobey its Master" not because it's impossible, but because it's a very reckless thing to do.

Also, Archer usually prefers to obey Rin because the command spell of episode 0 is still affecting him, making him weaker if he goes against any kind of direct order.

But, again, we never saw Rin giving to Archer the specific order to not kill Shirou.

jj_jacksonon Dec. 5, 2014 at 10:17 a.m.

Right i think you misunderstood what archer was saying. like the guy above me said he can't disobey command seals. the only command seal rin has used so far was in episode 0 and it was to listen to whatever she said. she didnt specifically say don't kill shirou. In the next episode you should see what we are talking about.

Theorder14on Dec. 5, 2014 at 12:34 p.m.

U simply misunderstood & all the *bad* things u mentioned will all be answered later.

LHWKnighton Dec. 5, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

I believe that you need to rewatch the episode again because you are misunderstanding a lot here. also something that you don't know is that Archer class have an ability known as Independent action that allows them to act on their own.

This was shown in Fate Zero with the other Archer class, A series you should have watched before this one, so you would not be drawing such conclusions.

Wraithon Dec. 5, 2014 at 3:49 p.m.

to repeat what other have been saing you are misunderstanding things. I believe that Archer mentioned in the prologue was you have to be really specific when you use a command seal. Rin never said not to kill Shirou. Things will most likely explained next episode

Fehafareon Dec. 6, 2014 at 8:31 a.m.

@YggdrasilTM said:

I think that you both misanderstood what Archer said in the previous episode.

Archer said: "Heroic speirits have no free will. We are evocated without permission"

Shirou said: "That's not true, Saber has free will".

Archer replied: "Because when a heroic spirit receive the "servant" container, it regains its free will".

Heroic spirits and Servants are two different things.

  • Heroic spirits are a natual phenomenon that is indipendent from the Grail war. THEY are without free will
  • Servants are a manifestation of Heroic Spirits used in the Grail war. IThey are independent individuals, and they CAN choose, disobey and even betray their Masters at any time.

What a Servant can't disobey is a direct Command Spell (a very short order like "hit that guy. A lot." or a very specific long duration order, like "don't break this glass"). Long duration non specifica Command spells can be used but are not very effective. And Rin never told Archer "don't kill Shirou" using a Command Spell.

Command Spells are also the reason why Servants CHOOSE to boey the Master. The Master can just say "kill yourself" and the Servant is dead. In this sense, a Servant "can't disobey its Master" not because it's impossible, but because it's a very reckless thing to do.

Also, Archer usually prefers to obey Rin because the command spell of episode 0 is still affecting him, making him weaker if he goes against any kind of direct order.

But, again, we never saw Rin giving to Archer the specific order to not kill Shirou.

Wait, that's the part he was referring to? Now wonder i couldn't remember it.

Yeah that has nothing to do with him not being able to kill Shirou or something. He simply started that Servants are used as tools and used some flowery language to describe it.

Also, the command spell used in episode 0 does not affect him. Don't remember how deep the anime went into it, but the VN makes it clear that it was a wasted command with no impact. The more general and broad your order through a command spell is the less of an effect it has. Something as vaguely general as "obey me" has no impact at all. Though you already stated that so think we're on the same page here.

takashichea moderator is online on Dec. 20, 2014 at 6:16 p.m.

I got confused about these details, but it's like lawyer language when applying Command Seals. You have to be very specific. It's just that Rin and Shirou are inexperienced with Command Seals and made mistakes or that Archer just really hates Shirou (which we will find out why soon).

Dig Deeper into Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Edit/View the Wiki
Hit the Forums (1 Post)
Add/View Images (453 Images)
Watch Some Videos
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion

First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.

Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53

Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.

Beginner's Guide to FLCL

Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.

Ballz Deep

Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!

Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs

Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!

HAYATE THE COMBAT BUTLER #1 -- Special Review

“God Bless Us, Every One”

HAYATE THE COMBAT BUTLER #2 -- Special Review

Wow... even the Narrator is taking pot-shots at him.

ONE PIECE Ch. 771 Review

What starts as disturbing has a surprisingly heartwarming outcome.

AH! MY GODDESS! #2 -- Retro Review

Love Hurts.

BLEACH Ch. 610 Review

Ichibe's fate is just about as brutal and obvious as Samuel Jackson's in DEEP BLUE SEA.

Anime Caption Contest -- 12/26/14

Last Caption Contest of the Year, New Year's Day Theme!

BLEACH Ch. 610 Review

Ichibe's fate is just about as brutal and obvious as Samuel Jackson's in DEEP BLUE SEA.

HAYATE THE COMBAT BUTLER #1 -- Special Review

“God Bless Us, Every One”

Anime Caption Contest -- 12/26/14

Last Caption Contest of the Year, New Year's Day Theme!

ONE PIECE Ch. 771 Review

What starts as disturbing has a surprisingly heartwarming outcome.

AH! MY GODDESS! #2 -- Retro Review

Love Hurts.

HAYATE THE COMBAT BUTLER #2 -- Special Review

Wow... even the Narrator is taking pot-shots at him.

Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

Save ChangesCancel