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fanmix: Our Unholy War (Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works the series)

Hah! Just made it! Entry for waywardmixes Round #30: magic

Both covers are taken from artwork for the show, just with text added... because when you've got pix this gorgeous, why not use them? This is also the quickest set of covers I've made in ages... maybe it's the artwork, but these are both my first draft - I was just really happy with the font and colours and blocking I chose first try!


as always, zip on mediafire


Fandom: Fate Stay/Night: Unlimited Blade Works (anime tv series)
Subject: The Fifth Holy Grail War, and some of the Servants and Magus who fight in it.
Title: Our Unholy War.
Warnings/Notes: mentions of violence, and some truly sickening child abuse. Major spoilers for the show!





Characters shown: Centre are Shirou and Archer, back to back. Clockwise are: Illyia, Beserker, Lancer, Saber, Rin, Gilgamesh, Assassin (though you have to squint) and Caster.

Mashino Ayano - Ideal White
30 Seconds to Mars – Conquistador
celldweller - It makes no difference
Queen - Gimme the Prize
Marionette - Yes, Prisoner
Avril Lavigne - Nobody's Home
O Fortuna
Fireflight – Unbreakable
celldweller - blackstar
Paper route - Glass Heart Hymn
Aimer – Brave shine

About the fandom:

Fate/stay night is a Japanese visual novel with three different storylines, or ‘paths’; ‘Fate’, ‘Unlimited Blade Works’ and ‘Heaven’s Feel’. Each path has a different plot, reveals different details about the characters, the main cast tend to have different fates, and the protagonist ends up with a different girl in each path. A few years ago, FSN was made into an anime, based mostly on the ‘Fate’ path, with a few details from the other two. In 2010, a full-length movie based on UBW was released; it did so well that a TV series adaption of FSN: Unlimited Bladeworks was screened in 2014 & 2015. The original anime and the UBW movie are both out on DVD; UBW the series is barely available on blu-ray, but it's a special edition and extremely expensive - I recommend the streaming services (crunchyroll) right now. A movie version of Heaven’s Feel has been greenlit, but I don’t know whether it’s in production or not.
There’s also a prequel light novel, which has also been adapted to anime (available on DVD and Blu-ray), called Fate/Zero, which details the events of the Fourth War, ten years previously. It was actually commissioned by the game company just because so many fans wanted to know more about it.
All three paths start with the same premise; Shirou Emiya, a high school student and amateur magus living in Fuyuki City, Japan, is dragged into the Fifth Holy Grail War, a secret magical tournament. In it, seven participants, known as Masters, and their Servants, reincarnated personifications of legendary heroes of history, fight in a battle royale for the Holy Grail, an omnipotent magical chalice that can fulfill any wish or desire for its victor. Shirou and his Servant, Saber, quickly make an alliance with his high school classmate Rin Tohsaka and her Servant, Archer.
Shirou has a Hero Complex – literally. Idealistic to the point of dangerously naïve, he genuinely wants to be a Hero and Save the World. This complex is due to being the only survivor of a mysterious natural disaster ten years before, which killed thousands and left him with no memory of his family or who he was before. Waking up in hospital, he meets Kiritsugu Emiya, the man who saved his life, and is adopted by him.
His ally and opponent, Rin Tohsaka, is as complicated as he is straightforward. Rin lost her father in the Fourth War, and her sister before that to the machinations of another Magus family, the Matou (they also have a Master in the War). She’s literally spent her entire life preparing for this battle, and her Servant despises Shirou with a strange intensity.
But despite Shirou’s desire to end the Fifth War with as little bloodshed as possible, it’s likely to end up even messier than the Fourth. That’s because both the Servants whose last battle became that same mysterious disaster have been Summoned again. One of them is Saber, who serves Shirou as she served Kiritsugu in the Fourth War.
That’s not the only connection, either – almost every Master is connected to another somehow, and nearly all of them have a connection back to the Fourth War, as well – and half the time they don’t even know it! It’s not just because most of the available slots in the Holy Grail Wars are passed down through the Magus Families, either. Fate isn’t just a word in the title, not in any variation of this story.
For that reason, I really recommend you watch Fate/Zero first, if you have the patience, because it gives you a lot of backstory that will enrich any of the FSN shows – especially in regards to Rin and Sakura, and Shirou, his father and their respective relationships with Saber.

Also worth noting is that in both this and Fate/Zero, if you know the historical or mythological stories behind each of the Servants, they seem to be oddly well-matched.
FYI: the classes are Archer, Lancer, Beserker, Rider, Caster, Assassin, and Saber/Knight (there's something of an argument about this. But the character has always been called Saber.)





Full tracklisting - beware spoilers

Mashino Ayano - Ideal White (OP #1)
Maybe it’s cheating, (it’s the opening theme to the show’s first season) but I like this song; and these lyrics actually apply pretty well to Rin’s past and her connection to Shirou, both present and future.

(translated from Japanese)

Fate now connects
The meaning of my birth
And the reason that we met

This bright, bright white future
Is our one and only hope
Someday I'll grant both our wishes with my own hands

I leave my footprints in the white, white ideals
Piled up like snow again today
Right now I don't have anything but these reckless feelings
But there's not just one right answer
I'm always searching for a tomorrow that's just for me


30 Seconds to Mars – Conquistador
I actually discovered this through an AMV at my local anime convention, AVcon, earlier this year. I’ve had it on high rotation ever since. It fits the theme of the Holy Grail Wars so well I keep wanting to ask Jared Leto if he saw the first anime before he wrote this!

This is a fight to the death,
Our holy war,
A new romance, a trojan whore

(We will, we will, we will rise again)

This is a fight for the day, night,
Black and white
A victory dance, a burning riot

(We will, we will, we will rise again)

“I am the, I am the best!” she claimed
“And more, a battle scarred conquistador.”

(We will, we will, we will rise again)

This is a fight for love, lust, hate, desire
We are the children of the great empire

(We will, we will, we will rise again)

This is a fight to the DEATH!


celldweller - It makes no difference
The magus' and their heroes about the Holy Grail and the heights they will rise to – or the depths they will sink to – in order to claim their wish.

We are all here waiting
We're anticipating
While they are orchestrating
To grant the wishes we are making

It makes no difference who we are
It makes no difference who we are

No price too great, no distance too far
If we could wish upon a Blackstar
It makes no difference who we are
When we have wished upon a Blackstar
When we have wished upon a Blackstar
They'll grant our wish upon a Blackstar


Queen - Gimme the Prize
Theme for Gilgamesh, supposedly the most powerful of all the Servants, and one of the Servants returning from the Fourth War. Outside their catastrophic battle in the Fourth War, Gilgamesh has an odd relationship with Saber, albeit one-sided. I’m not sure whether he has a major crush on her, or just sees her as the only one powerful enough to give him a worthy fight. Possibly both.

Here I am, I'm the master of your destiny,
I am the one the only one, I am the god of kingdom come,
Gimme the prize, just gimme the prize,

Give me your kings, let me squeeze them in my hands,
Your puny princes,
Your so-called leaders of your land,
I'll eat them whole before I'm done,
The battle's fought and the game is won,
I am the one, the only one,
I am the god of kingdom come

So gimme the prize!


Marionette - Yes, Prisoner
Theme for the Master Magus Illyia (or Illyasaviel) von Einzbern. A white-haired snow fairy of a little girl (she’s 13, at most), who gets paired with the Beserker, Hercules. She’s also equal parts tragic and ruthless – she’s usually responsible for the death of at least one of the other Masters. Unknown to either of them, she’s also Shirou’s sister – Kiritsugu was married into the von Einzbern family so he could be their representative in the Fourth War.
I picked this more for the music than anything – the hard rock riffs in the opening, giving way to the ethereal main piece, reflecting on Illyia’s personality and appearance

(translation from Japanese)
Which shineth as a flame in the midst of your palace
and reigneth amongst you as the balance of righteousness and truth.

Move therefore and show yourselves.
Open the mysteries of your creation.

Be friendly unto me,
for I am the servant of the same God [whom you also worship],
the true worshiper of the Highest.


Avril Lavigne - Nobody's Home
Theme for Sakura Matou, the original Master of the Servant Rider, but who gives her place to her brother Shinji. She’s also Rin’s younger sister, who was given to the Matou family by her parents as a toddler because the power in the Matou bloodline was growing thin. Remember what I said about Servant's backstories reflecting their Master's? Rider is Medusa – the original version who was raped and then doomed to kill pretty much everyone who ever approached her, which led to her becoming utterly insane.
Which is almost as bad as what happens to poor Sakura. From toddlerhood, she’s abused physically, emotionally and magically by her adopted grandfather, who brings new meaning to the term ‘monster’. Honestly, going into any actual detail would make me feel sick. (trigger warning if you have an issue with maggots) Shinji later joins in, only he adds sexual abuse to her life as well. It's really no wonder that in the 'Heaven's Feel' route, she snaps and goes gloriously, murderously beserk.

Too many, too many problems.
Don't know where she belongs, where she belongs.
She wants to go home, but nobody's home.
It's where she lies, broken inside.
With no place to go, no place to go to dry her eyes.
Broken inside.

Her feelings she hides.
Her dreams she can't find.
She's losing her mind.


O Fortuna (artist unknown)
Theme for Shirou’s Servant Saber, arguably the most popular Servant (although nearly every character in the fandom has a following), and his initial love interest. Most of the other Servants are more or less true to their origins, but Saber has one twist – a big one. She’s King Arthur – or rather, She-King Arturia, who had to disguise her gender (including marrying Guinevere) in order to be taken seriously and rule.
The theme of Servants mirroring their Master continues, here – they both are highly noble-minded and idealistic, with a burning ambition to make the world a better place. But in Saber’s case, she saw her dream turn to ash because no one else could live up to her example, and it drove her to despair. She was profoundly affected by the Fourth War – her wish then was to get a re-do to get it right, but now she wants to alter history so she never pulls the Sword from the Stone at all, because she thinks it was her rule that destroyed Britain.

(instrumental, mostly. There’s some Latin chanting. This song and Arthurian legend have been absolutely entwined for me, ever since I saw the 1980 movie Excalibur, which used this song to great effect.)


Fireflight – Unbreakable
Rin Tohsaka, and her eventual relationship with Shirou. Fiery, sarcastic, highly intelligent and immensely skilled as a Magus, Rin hides a depthless pain and loneliness. She’s lost her entire family, but the Fifth War gives her a new one; Shirou, his older sister figure Taiga, Archer and Saber (for a time) and even returns Sakura to her.
Rin is just plain awesome. One of the reasons UBW is generally considered the best of the paths is that she’s featured so heavily.

Sometimes it's hard to just keep going
But faith is moving without knowing
Can I trust what I can't see?
To reach my destiny
I want to take control but I know better

Forget the fear it's just a crutch
That tries to hold you back
And turn your dreams to dust
All you need to do is just trust

God, I want to dream again
Take me where I've never been
I want to go there
This time I'm not scared
Now I am unbreakable, it's unmistakable
No one can touch me
Nothing can stop me


celldweller - blackstar
Theme for Archer, Rin’s Servant. This is where we get into the best twist: Archer is actually the future Shirou Emiya! In the ‘original’ version of history, Shirou’s quest, and the guilt of the many he killed to save many, many, more, left him bitter and despairing. (Remind you of anyone – like Saber?) Archer’s wish is to confront his younger self, and either kill him or persuade him to leave behind his ideals.

They move without a sound
And their eyes will paralyze who gaze into
They’ll leave you gagged and bound
To the whip of the wish they’ve granted you

They’ll let you try
To reverse everything
Don’t waste your time
Sing Hallelujah because you can’t change anything


Paper route - Glass Heart Hymn
Shirou and Archer Emiya, and their conflict over Shirou’s ideals versus Archer’s bitter experience.

Cut like diamonds
Set aside like an ocean’s island
Or a child in a field
With nowhere to go

Memories
As heavy as a stone

There’s a ghost in the mirror
I’m afraid more than ever
My feet have led me straight into my grave

I am empty
In my end you are my beginning


Aimer - Brave Shine (OP #2)

Again, stealing from the show – but again, I feel this really applies to Rin and Shirou and how they fight through and stand together, not only during the Fifth War but in their lives afterward.
Whether or not Archer succeeded in the end is a matter of interpretation; in the Fifth War’s aftermath, Shirou is still determined to save the world, but he’s forearmed with Archer’s memories - and with Rin, who promises to stay by his side and help keep him from becoming what Archer was. Archer himself makes peace with his past life and finds closure in the end, leaving his regrets behind him.


(translated from Japanese)

Our crimson paths crossed, like an ignorant child
I wandered through the unbreaking night

The weakness to lose what can't be lost
The fragility to lose faith in everything
Even if I can't stand anymore, destiny presses on

Break down, the crumbling constellations fight through the night
You're breaking dawn, in the midst of our promises
I draw closer to the sole dream that held me up

If I can protect what's dear to me
I'll take on everything and search for tomorrow

I'll light the dawn

If I reach my hand towards the brave shine
We can still make it through the night, covered in scars
You save my life, I've found the light at the end of my tears

Tags: anime/manga, fanmix, waywardmixes
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