Now I’m Fate/stay night’d out.

More marathoning, but I didn’t keep track of how long it took me. Fate/stay night was far longer than I thought it would end up being. I don’t know exactly how long I spent reading it, but it had to be more days than I spent handling Tsukihime and all of its spin-offs together. It was probably 3 weeks given that I started reading it around the time Higurashi: Minagoroshi-hen came out. The in-game clock ended up being a little unreliable since it still counts when you’re sitting at the title screen or in the extras menus and I know I let the game sit there for an hour or two sometimes when I took breaks, but I’d estimate my final playtime at around 120-130 hours to finish all three routes, get all five endings, read Last Episode, get all bad endings, watch all three mini theaters, and read the unlockable bonus dojo scene. After that, I marthoned the entire anime in one day (having picked it up from Right Stuf on DVD). That’s unusual for me, since I usually don’t force myself to marathon a series longer than 12-14 episodes in a day.

Time for some quick impressions.

As far as the visual novel goes, it was excellent. One of the best I’ve read so far. I definitely see why people like it so much now. If I had to rate the three routes, Fate would be 8/10, Unlimited Blade Works would be 9/10, and Heaven’s Feel would be 10/10. I know some people might be asking why UBW isn’t a 10/10, but I kinda felt that of the three main enemies in that route, two of them were really boring and we’d already dealt with the third, so there wasn’t really a lot of interesting conflict. It just had some really awesome scenes. Also, a lot of dialogue tended to drag on moreso than in the other routes, like before the main fight in Ilya’s mansion near the end of the route. I got tired of hearing the same three or four lines rephrased a billion times over. It’s still a great route, though, don’t get me wrong guys. Anyway, despite those ratings averaging out to 9/10, I’d definitely rate the VN in general at a perfect 10. And just for fun, I’ll comment on the sex scenes: Fate had the best ones, but the second scene was still really out of character for Saber. UBW’s had some good CGs, but nothing exciting. Heaven’s Feel had the most (a sex dream, a uhh… self-intimacy scene, and three actual sex scenes). Anyway, highly recommended if you haven’t read it. Go for it. Like, nowish.

As for the anime, it was actually pretty solid. Despite the fact that DEEN can’t pace for crap and I feel like it might have moved too fast for someone who hadn’t read the VN, it was a pretty solid adaptation of the Fate route. They implemented a few scenes from UBW, namely in the Rider and Caster routes, which was fine, but they BSed way too much in the Caster arc to try and add in some Heaven’s Feel elements. It felt really out of place and they even completely ignored one character’s backstory for it. What I did appreciate in the anime, though, were scenes that were left out of the VN, like the separation of Rin and Sakura. My favorite part of the whole anime was Archer’s previously unseen fight against Berserker. They implemented a lot of UBW elements (as well as some elements from one of the bad endings in HF, which is considered to be a third route ending) that really made the fight great. It was easy to imagine how Archer put such a hurt on Berserker after reading the entire VN, but it’s just so great to see it animated. Plus, everyone loves the Unlimited Blade Works spell.

Anyway, exellent stuff. Type-Moon earns their reputation for sure. In related news, the UBW movie and Type-Moon’s next VN are both slated for release on September 30th, so looking forward to both of those (though there’s no telling how long it will be before the VN is translated). I’m hoping they try a Heaven’s Feel movie further down the line, since it was my favorite arc. I’m not sure that even a 2.5-3 hour movie could really do it justice, though.

Also, I should be getting the first four volumes of the Tsukihime manga in the mail today, giving me the entire English version by Dr Master. I’ve also ordered the Fate/stay night manga (which is based on the UBW route rather than the Fate route) from Right Stuf, but volume 3 was back-ordered. I’ll probably read both of them when volume 3 comes in and make an addendum post to this and the Tsukihime post to comment on my impressions of those.

The next post will probably be my impressions on the latest Higurashi arc, which I put off to read FSN, not realizing it would take so long. The Spring anime season ends for most shows next week, so I’ll be writing up series reviews shortly after that. After that, I’ll probably be writing up initial impressions of the Summer season. Dunno what I’ll have to say after that.

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