Unlimited Blade Work’s first season comes to a close, with more playful “Shiro = Archer” references than you are probably comfortable with.
So what happens? For the first time in the show, Shiro does something truly stupid and ends up losing Saber as a direct result of being really, really dumb. During a close confrontation with Caster, he orders Saber via use of a command seal to “Stop”, which allows her to be vulnerable long enough for caster to strike her directly with her noble phantasm, Rule Breaker, which makes Saber her servant. To make matters worse, he is forced to come to terms with his own mortality after being stabbed by Saber and realizing that her mana helped him recover stupid fast from the injuries he received.
Kotomine, as much of a seething, mendacious bastard that he is, is attacked by Caster who obviously has little regard for the neutral zone that the church is supposed to be, shortly after speaking about the Grail and the “Lesser Grail”. Unfortunately for her, Kotomine is extremely capable and isn’t to be taken down easy. Why has he ordered Lancer to stand down and watch, though? No matter how it is cut, that doesn’t appear to be wise, although I doubt Kotomine would make such a clear move not in his favor.
Archer and Rin go to do battle with Caster in the hopes that defeating her is the best way to put an end to the curses she lay on Taiga. Shiro is advised, as anyone would expect by Rin, to stay out of the battle now that he is no longer a master. Shiro, while powerless, is intent not to let Saber lay at the hands of Caster. Shiro sees Saber as a person while I get the expectation that Rin and Archer see her as no more than a chess piece. This may be the key to understanding the way communications often break down between Shiro, being the most emotional, Archer, being the most pragmatic, and Rin, a combination of both elements.
The remixed version of the original Fate / Stay Night VN opening as Rin jumped off to confront Caster was really sweet.
Unfortunately, we have to wait until April to see the second half of Unlimited Budget Works. Until then, gentlemen.