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Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


I really like the one time in the UTW anime where he sees Ilya + Berserker fighting Gil and he completely loses his poo poo. It really sold me on "this character is not aware of some of the forces that drive him"

Some of the slower everyday-life things in the earlier episodes of the adaptation are really nice too. I can't help but think that I want to like Shirou a lot more than I actually do.

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Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


I think one of the things that made the Fate route interesting, but that doesn't age well, is the mysterious feeling surrounding everything. You don't know who the masters are, and you don't know the true identities of the servants, who tend to work hard to keep their identities as a trump card. And then there are shake-ups like fake assassin and a second archer being around. Part of what made Archer's identity cool was that he used all of these different legendary weapons from disparate locations and time periods so it was like "who the heck could he be," and that feeling of being suspended in the unknown is pretty neat the first time you experience it.

That's one of the things that I think F/SN did better than the other stories like Zero and Apocrypha, is that the narration was surrounded by a thick fog of war.

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Amakusa Shirou is beautiful you ingrate



pictured above: a good catholic boy

Cephas
May 11, 2009

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W.T. Fits posted:

even the weakest Servant still has superhuman physical abilities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DYxdrVMZ6Y#t=33s

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me



Type-Moon Megathread: Second in Worst Writing and Most Heinous Misogyny

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Rin being confirmed bisexual, even if it's through horndog sex scenes, is cool though. Rin is cool.

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Endorph posted:

utena was a formative work for nasu so that isnt really surprising

oh is that for real? that would actually make a lot of sense. Like hey let's set up a war game and channel the power of an old mythical hero.

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


taser rates posted:

Yea, there's a great interview from last year where he talks about how much of an impact shoujo manga and Ikuhara had on him.

https://wakameparadise.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/nasu-ikuhara/

This is excellent and I'm glad to know that Nasu has good taste

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Space Flower posted:

Oh Iíve read it but god gave us img tags for an important reason

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Shiki Ryougi is a mystical super powerful girl with vague gender identity issues, and her mild-mannered boyfriend is always cheering her on and reassuring her "i'd still totally love you if you were a guy hth"

Step up your game Shirou jeez

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


The only hero in Iskander's army that Gil would respect as much as Iskander himself is obviously Bucephalus

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


I think Nasu just really likes bold, dashing heroines who have mild-mannered stay-at-home husbands.

a cute and good aesthetic

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Stairmaster posted:

You know emiya would be in his thirties these days

makes you think

how long until we get a josei domestic romcom anime about an older, salaryman Shirou who keeps getting set up for dates by Rin and Taiga and Lancer, until the fateful evening he meets a blond-haired British girl with an ahoge who is mysteriously short for her age and really good at baseball

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Stairmaster posted:

You mean cricket



okay maybe really good bad at baseball

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Wow heavens feel is totally my jam. the spookiness of it, the way how weird stuff that shouldn't be happening keeps happening, and the way it really emphasizes how all the characters are not-so-secretly traumatized, even shitlord-in-chief Shinji. there's just like an intensity and darkness to this route that I'm really into that I think didn't come across as much in unlimited blade works.

I was thinking about it and I realized how horrible everyone's family lives are in this show.

Shirou - entire family dead because of Kotomine and Kiritsugu, seems to have completely repressed any memories he has of them
Rin - sister fostered off to abusive family, father murdered by Kotomine, mother comatose because of a murder attempt by a Matou and orchestrated by Kotomine
Shinji & Sakura - uncle set on fire by Rin's dad, father killed in cold blood by Shirou's dad, mother dead because of reasons?? living with insectophile nosferatu grandpa
Ilya - abandoned by her father for a new family life that she can literally look down from her house and see, mother turned into an evil cup

every character is an orphan because some other character's dad killed their parents! it makes the great house families in game of thrones look tame by comparison.

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


I thought all of the plot beats to zero were set out by nasu

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


The early part of Heaven's Feel, and the first couple episodes of UBW, are really cool for how slowly and quietly they approach Shirou's daily life. I always thought he was kind of a bland shounen protagonist, but when the story frames him as an overly-helpful and uncomplaining boy who bears his loss and loneliness with quiet dignity, it really connects with me. I thought the movie did a really good job of showing why Sakura would admire and look up to him.

Shirou is a good boy.

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Ccs posted:

I finished my rewatch of Fate Zero and Rider and Waver's arc was great and redeemed the series for me cause I really didn't like a lot of the finale.
First off, all the strangling. Like c'mon Urobuchi why all the strangling.

Secondly Kiritsugu got totally punked by the grail. He knew his philosophy was flawed, that's why he went to the lengths of seeking out a magic objects to solve a problem that he knew there was no other solution to. So when the grail drops that rule about him not being able to figure out a way to achieve world peace, it feels so cheap. He calls it out as not being a real wish granter, and he's right. But it makes the whole thing seem like more of a violent farce than a tragedy because it's not his flaws that doom him, it's the flaw in the cup. (and of course the solution to the BS choice it gives him about the ships is to have a world where the metaphorical ships would never spring a metaphorical leak. The cup should do that on the scale of all human interaction to create world peace.)

Now I gotta finish UBW to see if Shirou succeeds where Kiritsugu failed. Or if being a hero to him means something much different than creating world peace.

idk, I think it's totally Kiritsugu's flaw that dooms him. He says to himself that nothing could ever make his desire come true outside of a miracle, and he's willing to completely debase himself to get a chance at that miracle. He loses his wife and daughter, kills his partner, and murders a handful of people in cold blood because he can't accept that the world is an imperfect place, and he places his bets that an uncertain prize will somehow be able to miraculously make everything right

like i think it's supposed to be a bit of a red flag that it's called the "holy grail" in the first place, because historically nothing good has ever come from trying to obtain the holy grail.

for what it's worth, Madoka is Urobuchi's story of "what if you could actually have your wish granted wholesale" so you might be interested in that, if you haven't seen it yet.

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Endorph posted:

yeah ill never forget the scene in the show where everyone goes 'boy jack it sure was great when you murdered those hookers' and then everyone put her on their shoulders going 'jack! jack! jack!'

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


Lost Butterfly was a legit good movie, and was surprisingly and startlingly dark. I knew most of the plot beats going in, and I've read Tsukihime and Kara no Kyoukai before so I've seen some of Nasu's darker stories, but I wasn't expecting it to basically be an anime version of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

I had a total moment when I realized that the Shadow monster attacking people with its "hair" and Shirou having a dream about cutting off Sakura's head are meant to set her up as a parallel Medusa figure. So in part 3 Shirou's going to team up with Medusa to save another vilified monster girl who's been treated like garbage her entire life. Which is a seriously awesome idea.

that credits music kicks.

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Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


I just watched Heaven's Feel III. I think I read the VN fate route back in like... I don't know, maybe 2009 or something? So it's been over a decade for me to finally see the FSN story to its conclusion. I honestly think the basic conceit of "wizards summon the phantoms of dead legendary heroes to fight in a battle royale for the holy grail" is a rad concept, and it's led to some real fun things like sir lancelot stealing a jet fighter to shoot at girl king arthur as she runs on water to defeat bluebeard's cthulhu monster (also astolfo). But the thing that's really stood out to me over the years is the slow realization that Fate/Stay Night is actually a really ambitiously heartfelt story.

some thoughts:
1. when I read the Fate route as a teenager I didn't really understand what PTSD was or how it affects your sense of self, and I thought Shirou was a pretty bland character. but my affection for him has grown so much over the years, to the point that i think he's one of my favorite characters. in a lot of ways he's not a very 'pop' character--Rin and Saber are a thousand times cooler and more dashing and iconic than he is, so I don't really mean "favorite character" in that sense. But the story spends so much time just connecting to him, following him as he cooks and cleans and interacts with classmates and trains. i've come to appreciate that the core of his character is actually kind of subtle and wonderful. I think the ufotable adaptations have done a really good job showing the quiet moments that make up his life.

as a person, he's basically intensely traumatized, and lost a chunk of his childhood and his family to a disaster, and has survivor's guilt, and that informs everything about him. even though he's good natured and gets along well with a lot of the people around him, there's a core part of him that feels disconnected from others. it's something like, "I was supposed to die, so my life has inherently less value than the lives of others." It leads to him being willing to do things like clean up the entire kyuudo dojo just because Shinji asked him to. And obviously he is almost enthusiastic about looking for chances to martyr himself in combat, because the idea of himself once again living when someone around him dies is sickening to him.

i think the balance the story has of shirou's PTSD warping his thoughts with the positive qualities about him as a person are really cool, though. he's very tidy and responsible and humble, he takes care of people, and he's really personally disciplined.

I think having Sakura (also a PTSD survivor) spend so much time with him and admire him so much is a really cool storytelling idea. Because Shirou's fixated on this idea of becoming a hero, but his most heroic qualities are his mundane ones--he's able to keep his daily life together so well despite all the poo poo he's been through. I think in the first Heaven's Feel movie, Sakura realizes how well kept-together he is, and she finds it really inspiring. To her, his emotional resilience and goodwill are super powers.

2. the idea of Archer being Shirou from the future is so freakin cool as a storytelling idea. Shirou is living this quiet, mundane life, not really realizing the positive influence he's having on the people around him, but deep inside he feels this inadequacy that compels him to think "I need to devote my life to rescuing others, even if it costs me my life." Little does he know that mystical superheroes are an actual thing in this world, and that in another future, he was able to become one. And that future self that's become the ideal of a hero incarnate has come back in time to tell him "jesus christ kid do not make that loving mistake, i'd kill you if it could end my miserable existence."

3. the reveal that Sakura's been victimized and brutalized the entire story is handled really well. The tenor shifts so significantly once it becomes her story.

I think one of the coolest things in the entire story, and a moment that made me think "oh... Nasu had some serious thematic ideas writing this story" was the scene where Sakura kills Gil. It's right around the time that we learn that she's being abused at home, and the stakes of the story suddenly become incredibly Real. Sakura's Shadow is able to just eat up the heroic spirits... In spite of all of their pathos and ego, they're just stories about heroes come to life, and the real trauma that Sakura has experienced operates on an entirely separate level from them.

4. having Sakura actually be responsible for her actions is so refreshing. This is the Nasuverse, so everyone is a little bit of a sociopath, so the fact that she's killed/metaphysically eaten a dozen people or so can be "forgiven" because it's operating on a kind of metaphorical or existential level. Kara no Kyoukai and Tsukihime were about heroic serial killers, after all.

The thing that I really appreciate is that Sakura's not just a victim. That is, she's not reduced to "a poor, innocent victim." She gets real agency and interiority. The things that have been done to her fill her with hatred and loathing. The things she's missed out on fill her with bitterness and jealousy. She wants to hurt people for the ways that she's been hurt. She doesn't see a reason to be merciful to a world that didn't care about the things that happened to her.

Those are all such real feelings. And I don't know many stories that explore those feelings the way Heaven's Feel does, which is with understanding and compassion. The story says, "You have all those feelings... I understand why you have them. I don't want to judge you. I just want you to be able to be free from them."

I think, because the story operates on a mythical and fantastical mode, it's able to visualize Sakura's feelings and trauma in ways that let you actually experience and explore them. Like, in a more realistic story, you'd have to say "...I get it, but sorry, that's definitely life in prison." She basically gets a pass because it's like "whoa, we were standing at the literal gate to transcendence, and a 300-year-old multi eyed being with very long arms that wanted to consume the world out of grief and hatred was moments from conception... i guess we don't need to talk about you murdering your rapist brother."

5. the sense that some of the servants are adults and want to protect the teenage masters in place of their own kids is really cool. It's always there with Hercules and Ilya, but it becomes a noticeable pattern in Heaven's Feel with Rider. idk I just think it's neat. A lot of the servants have their heads stuck up their asses, but Medea just wants to chill and have a family, and Medusa just really, really does not want Sakura to be dealt the same poo poo hand she was. Like, Medusa is low-key actually the most heroic of the heroic spirits?

A lot like Archer's deal with Shirou, having Medusa rescue a girl from becoming a monster is just a really cool place to take the otherwise pulpy idea of "what if we summoned mythical heroes to fight each other"

6. i love that no matter what route you end up in, somebody's ending up with a thousand year old demigod girlfriend/boyfriend/mom/stepsister who somehow ends up just hanging out with them from now on even when things go back to normal. it's such a fun and silly little detail to include in the ending.

7. kotomine is rad as hell. Connecting with the "some of the servants are adults and see the world differently from the teens" angle, I love that he's like "Shirou... come with me. Behind the church. Let me lift this gate... That's right, Shirou. I have a driver's license. I have a car. I can just drive us there."

I think the HF 3 movie had trouble expressing his character and its relationship to Shirou's, but I think the basic idea is interesting. I get the impression that Kotomine has a psychopathic personality, and he's not fond of that reality but he accepts it. So a lot like Shirou, he feels like the world and human civilization are inherently not meant for him. Shirou thinks that if he becomes a hero, he can justify his existence by saving people because he can't accept that people died when he got to live. Kotomine wants to see an Absolute being be born into the world, so he can justify his existence by seeing if some things really are born inherently evil.

8. tldr; Shirou saying "I want to live" is really moving, and despite all of the absolutely insane lore and nonsense that comes with Nasu's writing, I feel like FSN tackles the subjects of PTSD and abuse in a way that really deeply resonated with me, it really stands out to me as a meaningful story

Cephas fucked around with this message at 05:45 on Apr 20, 2021

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