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Unlimited Highlight Works,
This review is from: Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works [DVD] (DVD)
The Holy Grail War is a violent contest that sees seven Magi summon a Servant, a powerful figure from myth and history, to fight against each other in order to win the wish granting Holy Grail. Shiro Emiya is an amateur Magus who stumbles upon the Holy Grail War, summons the Servant Saber and alongside fellow Magus Rin Tosaka and her servant Archer fights to win the Grail and protect as many people as he can.
In the original 'Fate/stay night' Visual Novel there are three routes to go down: 'Fate', 'Unlimited Blade Works' and 'Heaven's Feel'. The previous anime mostly followed the 'Fate' route with a few additions from the others whereas this movie, as the name suggests, follows the 'Unlimited Blade Works' route that puts more focus on the Servant Archer and his master Rin. I havenft played the original Light Novel so I cannot say how closely it follows the route but what I can say is that due to the focus on the fights and the length of the movie (less than two hours) the storyline does feel a little rushed and lacks somewhat in exposition in places meaning that it is helpful to have a little knowledge of the franchise before watching the film. This also means that some characters get a little short changed but that is only to be expected.
The English dub sees the majority of the cast from the previous anime return and give good performances that are probably slightly better than before. The only major change to the cast is that Michelle Ruff replaces Kate Higgins as the voice of Saber and although she does a relatively good job it I did find it a little weird. The soundtrack for the film is very good and includes a version of the famous track 'Emiya'. As for the animation and the choreography of the fight scenes, I found it to be relatively good, definitely better than the previous series, although nowhere near as good as the more recent prequel series 'Fate/Zero'.
Overall, while this film is incredibly entertaining and very good to watch, it does feel more like the animated highlights of the 'Ultimate Blade Works' route rather than a full story and so I would give it a low four stars. Having watched this film I am reminded of how much I enjoy the franchise and I cannot wait for the prequel series 'Fate/Zero' (probably the best part of the Fate franchise I have seen) and the light comedy alternate continuity series 'Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA' to be released.