Well, that was quick. Ufotable made sure that this version of Fate/stay night is already better than the last.
The extra-long prologue of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works introduces us to Rin Tosaka, the intelligent and headstrong young mage, and her servant, Archer. Episode zero provides background information about how the magic in this world works, some context regarding the Holy Grail War, and introductions into a few of the major characters. It also concludes with a terrific fight scene and the appearance of everyone’s favorite servant (well, certainly mine).
Although I was a huge fan of Fate/zero, I have no experience with the Fate/stay night visual novel and barely remember (or is it that I’ve tried to forget?) the original anime. So although much of the prologue reminds me of that series, it’s still largely new to me. I’ve forgotten much of where this show is going.
For instance, I don’t really remember the interactions between Rin and Archer. They certainly have a fun dynamic, one that’s further layered by their defined relationship as master and servant. Although it’s a stretch to compare that relationship to the one between God and His children, as the Bible does, I still see some similar aspects:
- Servanthood is Chosen. Although Archer must serve Rin, he makes it clear in their first meeting that he will only do as he must; she has his allegiance only as far as he is obligated to. It isn’t until he learns more about her that he gives a further allegiance to Rin, moving to a true subservient position because he finds her worthy. A Christian’s relationship with God similarly must be chosen – it’s a response that occurs when we realize who God really is, what he has done, and how we measure up to His standard.
- We Find Our Fulfillment in the Master. The battle between Archer and Lancer is a fight between two legendary warriors. Brought back by magical means, they can once again do what they do best and, when empowered and instructed by good masters, they can do even more. Humanity without God is ultimately only able to say this about life – it is without real meaning. But in God, purpose exists. The servants also find their purpose in their masters and fulfilling them gives their new lives some meaning, as does a life that’s lived for God.
The analogy breaks down in multiple other ways, but the above points ring true, and they’re important aspects that show what it means to be a Christian. We are meant to serve Christ, but as Fate/stay night shows, servanthood can be powerful and fulfilling. And after all, it must be – for ultimately, being a servant is what the Master also chose to be.