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Gilgamesh eliminates Berserker and claims the grail vessel from Illya’s corpse. Their first choice gone, Rin and Shirou team up with Lancer to storm Caster’s stronghold.
We’re reaching the stretch of Unlimited Blade Works route where it devolves into a string of crazy fights, and I’m totally okay with that. Anyone who was excited for the idea of a big-budget UBW adaptation was thinking of the next episodes, and I definitely hope that the coming battles are given their dues, especially considering DEEN’s atrocious 2010 film. Unfortunately, the Gilgamesh/Berserker battle doesn’t get much embellishment, although it wasn’t that exciting of a fight to begin with seeing as how Gil’s chief method of fighting is standing still and shooting a million swords. Hopefully stuff closer to the end of the show will be more interesting.
The bulk of Illya’s flashback isn’t new material for the anime, but they did add all the bits involving creepy evil Irisviel (which were quite effective), putting a new spin on Illya’s motivations. I’m not sure if UFOtable was going for this or not, but they made it seem like Illya was in some way corrupted by the Grail’s influence instead of just raised to be the Einzberns’ vengeful tool. Not that any of it matters, since Gil steals her heart right afterwards. This once again shows the issues with only adapting a single route of the story: the flashback was supposed to build upon Illya’s characterization from the Fate route and lay some more groundwork for Heaven’s Feel, but in an anime following only Unlimited Blade Works her screentime feels like a waste. Similarly, Rin and Shirou puzzling out Gil’s Noble Phantasm is a hilarious leap of logic in-context, but any further waffling would be pointless for an audience who has presumably read Fate route (or watched 2012’s Fate/Zero).
The other anime-original bit in these two episodes was Archer’s conversation with Kuzuki, which was half a nod to those who went further into Kuzuki’s character via Fate/Hollow Ataraxia and half groan-worthy, on-the-nose dialogue pertaining to the main emotional conflict of the route. I appreciate that UFOtable is at least making a token effort to draw upon characterization from other works in the series, and given Archer’s character, it’s interesting that he would care about Kuzuki’s opinion at all.