Emiya Shirou is a young magus who attends Homurahara Academy in Fuyuki City. One day after cleaning the Archery Dojo in his school, he catches a glimpse of a fight between superhuman beings, and he gets involved in the Holy Grail War, a ritual where magi called Masters fight each other with their Servants to win the Holy Grail. Shirou joins the battle to stop an evildoer from winning the Grail and to save innocent people, but everything goes wrong when a mysterious “Shadow” begins to indiscriminately kill people in Fuyuki…
It’s been a few days since I saw Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel and now I finally feel(not a pun) ready to write a review on it.
I’ll try and keep this review fairly spoiler free for those that either have later showings or those that didn’t have showings at all and are waiting for it to come on Netflix or DVD/Blu-ray.
So to say that Heaven’s Feel: Presage Flower was a good movie would be an insult to the movie. Fate/Stay Night[Heaven’s Feel]:Presage Flower was a cinematic experience.
The movie, in my experience and my personal views as a Fate fan, did everything right.
Presage Flower was a movie on a mission. That mission was to express Sakura Matou as a good and decent character worth loving. And I unfortunately, as a Rin Tohsaka fan, it succeed with flying colors.
Now the question is how? How did Presage Flower execute this plan so well?
The answer comes in how the movie was arranged, the focus, and the faults that were fixed.
The movie was arranged with basically being a movie in mind or basically getting from the important points to the next important point without much delay. It’s basically cutting out all of the fat of the Visual Novel.
The movie cut out the Rin narrated Prologue, most of the events of the first 3 days, and streamlined some of the battles or talks so they happen on the same night or the same day.
This allows for some of the boring parts to be cut out. It was teased and commented that Heaven’s Feel is half cooking and half action. Well they cut out most of the cooking…
Now to move to the focus.
The movie never forgets who the major character is which is Sakura. And commitment to that goal is something to be proud of. The Prologue,which is usually done by Rin, was replaced with a Sakura focused prologue which tells of how Sakura came to share a bond and fall in love with Shirou.
By the end of the Prologue where we reach the present date, we can clearly see that Shirou loves Sakura like family and Sakura loves Shirou.
In addition, like when they did Unlimited Blade Works, Ufotable added in additional scenes with Sakura in order to add more interactions with her. One that comes to mind is a small scene where Saber thanks Sakura for her cooking and absolutely gushes over how good of a cook she is. It’s simple but it adds more to Saber and Sakura’s relationship as well as Sakura herself.
Now to the flaws that were fixed.
As we all know, Fate/Stay Night started as a Visual Novel. Now that visual novel was an excellent for the time and certainly got better with the release of Realta Nua, it still had flaws.
The flaws were the fact that it was a visual novel. Simply put a visual novel are character spirites moving on a static background.
Granted you can express a lot of emotion through the spirites, the music, and the voice acting, but nothing makes intent and emotion better than an anime or a movie.
One such scene is a time after Shirou and Saber return home from a battle only to find Sakura outside waiting for them. Sakura rushes over to help Shirou, who was injured, and Saber apologizes. Sakura says she’s done enough and Saber just stops talking for the rest of the scene.
The rampifications of this scene are large scale to say the least. Sakura, in the most polite of ways, told Saber to shut up and carry him inside. She didn’t want to hear any excuses or reasons. Just focus on the moment.
Combined with Ufotable’s additional scenes, I think that Sakura has finally become what Nasu always wanted her to be: a Yamato Nadeshiko or an ideal Japanese beauty.
A Yamato Nadeshiko is quiet, respectful, polite but will put you in place if need be. However it will be quietly and subtly.
I had always argued that Sakura wasn’t a good character because she was very much like a doormat but seeing her assert herself but still do it in a “Sakura-like” way is beautiful for the character.
I did make a resolve to not bash the character but I do admit that Sakura is a little better in other works like Fate/Hollow Ataxaria, Fate/Kaleid Drei, and Fate/Extra CCC as well as her Psuedo Servant form, Parvati in Fate/Grand Order.
So to conclude, Fate/Stay Night[Heaven’s Feel]:Presage Flower is certainly both a storytelling as well as visual experience. It bodes well for the Fate franchise not only on television but also in theaters.
I’m definitely looking forward to the 2nd movie: Lost Butterfly in 2018. And knowing Ufotable, it’s going to be a quick turnaround. When Ufotable was making the Kara no Kyoukai movies, the longest time between the movies was 9 months and the shortest was about 5 months so expect Lost Butterfly either in the spring/summer or the fall next year.
So that’s all for me. If you have a showing of Presage Flower in your city, I urge you to watch it if you’re a Fate fan.
So until the next review,
Also check out my right hand man, SkyCorps on AnimeWithSky where I’m also a writer. We’ve got some good reviews from all the writers, Speculations, Light Novel Reviews, and Manga Chapters Reviews. What are you waiting for? Come and check us out! You won’t regret it!
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