Winter Days, a Fateful Night
I hope all the episodes are 47 minutes. Anyway, Emiya Shirou. A ginger haired boy who tinkers with machines during his spare time, and sleeps in warehouses. However, he appears to be a mage, and he’s also the main character of Fate/Stay.
He lives in an old fashioned Japanese house, with a teacher named Fujimara turning up every day for breakfast, along with a purple haired girl named Sakura. He works here and there to help out, and his magic appears to be why he’s so capable of fixing machine, as it’s scanning magic. He scans machines to find out where they’re broken, and then fixes them. Emiya’s life appears to be even more chaotic than Rin’s life, being the school council presidents errand boy, living with his teacher and having strange friends. On his way home, his life gets even weirder, as a white clad girl says that if he won’t summon his soon, he’ll die.
We also see him practicing his magic, which does appear to be a very interesting aspect of the magic, how he can trace a structure and analyze it, and all that stuff. He’s a scanner, or so one would assume. That said, he really does have a weird social life and knows a lot of weird people.
His charming social life is falling apart, or at least, those are the hints. What with gas leaks popping up in the city, and a grim murder occurring near the school, but the reason for his weirdness is pretty easy to guess. He’s an orphan who was adopted by a survivor of the previous Holy Grail War. He was found in burning wreckage and rubble ten years ago, but for the cause of that, go watch Fate/Zero. You also get the full story of Kiritsugu Emiya, Shirou’s adopted father.
Kiritsugu, scarred and worn down from the Holy Grail War, raised Shirou to be a hero, yet was sure to grind the grim reality of being a hero into his mind. This is probably why Shirou goes out of his way to help everyone, even if it means staying at school until the ridiculous hours of the night…which brings us to where Emiya sees Lancer and Archer fighting. As we already know, he gets stabbed by Lancer, and then revived by the magic stored in Rin’s pendant. He manages to stumble home despite his injury, however, he then gets ambushed by Lancer at his house.
This is where we get to see the true power of his magic, where he strengthens a roll of paper to become a weapon, despite the fact that he’s got no style or skill with fighting. However, as he stumbles into his workshop, Lancer realizes that Shirou’s meant to be the seventh Master to join in, and the summoning circle which has been left in his workshop by Kiritsugu activates…calling the blond haired woman we know as Saber. With her sword of wind, Saber rushes to Shirou’s side to engage Lancer in yet another stunning battle. Unfortunately, Lancer reveals his identity, mostly due to the fact that he uses the Gae Bolg. With the fight resolved, Saber says that there are two more enemies outside, which takes us to where she undergoes a fight with Archer. Shirou uses one of his command seals to stop Saber from fighting the two, and in return for this, Rin reveals herself before Emiya.
What an episode. It covers everything you need to know before the war actually starts, and this is significantly better than the original Fate/Stay already. Here’s where the story diverges, too. In the original Saber wounded Archer in the fight, meaning that Archer was unable to fight, and as such, him and Rin stayed out of most of the war. In Unlimited Blade Works, this route, Shirou stopped Saber before Archer could be heavily wounded. I’m also really impressed at how much work they’ve put into linking Fate Zero with this story, with the backstory and the links coming out quickly, even during the summon sequence with Saber. I personally thought her “Great, not this again” reaction was pretty charming and really helped to fill the gap between series.