A few months ago I sat down and watched the final installment of the Heaven’s Feel movie trilogy. Yesterday I sat down and watched it again. I knew that this movie would require a second viewing, and I wanted to see if my thoughts had changed. If you recall, I considered the final film to be ‘good, not great,’ with tons of great moments, but also suffering a bit from plotting decisions done in the first two movies. Has that changed now that I’ve watched again with lowered expectations?
Yes, and no. Much of my feelings are the same, which is why I’m doing this as a ‘quick thoughts’ instead of a full on post, there isn’t much to say that I haven’t already said. However those feelings have improved considerably. So let’s check them out after the cut.
- This movie, like the entire of the Heaven’s Feel franchise, is not for casual Fate fans. If you do have not watched Fate/Zero or Unlimited Blade Works, then you are going to completely lost. While I love the attention paid to hardcore fans, a casual view would be completely lost.
- Illya’s final moments, which a bit confusing (again, this movie almost expects you to be a hardcore lore nerd) is a great way to wrap up both her character and Fate/Zero’s story arc with Irisviel. My bestest best girl found her peace!
- This is especially true with the final few minutes, where Shirou’s fate is revealed. There are some cameos and scenes (Zeltrech, and Touko) that don’t make sense unless you are waist-deep in the Nasuverse. A good reward for hardcore fans? Absolutely, but other people will need a wikipedia page open.
- I said last time that spring song is the movie that suffers from the decision (and it still the correct one) to focus films one and two more on Sakura’s story. Watching it a second time that still remains the case. There is just a lot of make up in regards to Illya and Kirei that was shunted in favor of Sakura.
- That being said, if you come into this movie right off the heels of Presage Flower and Lost Butterfly, then everything flows together far far better. I’ve been re-watching the Fate series this last month and half, and with everything still so fresh in my mind, I enjoyed what was on screen far better.
- Rin’s feelings towards Sakura is begging for more attention. We get only snippets of Rin’s true feelings, and it is clear that she’s putting on a merciless act, I wish there had been more of what she really thinks. A lot of it is left implied. But damn if her conversation with Sakura near the end of the movie isn’t touching.
- Aside from that though, Rin is a stone-cold bitch in this final movie. Much of it is a mask yes, but she isn’t the sweet tsundere we see in Blade Works, she’s the daughter of the mage and like her father, is all about the greater good.
- Seeing Shirou’s Nine Live Blade Works was better the second time than it was the first. The first I probably had too high expectations, the second time was good enough.
- Unlike the Rider vs Saber fight, which still remains fucking incredible, and man, thank god Rider finally got to do something.
However, I am also praying and hoping beyond hope that Ufotable ends up adapting the original Fate route. Nasu has been on record saying that if it comes, there would be massive rewrites, but I honestly don’t care. Having watched all of the Ufotable installments, Saber remains the one character who feels most cheated. That’s not her fault, because her route hasn’t been done yet. There will always been that piece missing, and I do hope Ufotable ends up deciding to pull the trigger.
I’m a die-hard, true blue 100% Fate/Stay Night fan, and watching this film again after my expectations have been put in check. I really loved this movie. I loved the conclusion it gives not only for Sakura, but Shirou, Rin, and everyone else. There is a good sense of finality with this movie, and if this is all we get from the mainline Fate world, I would be satisfied. Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel III. spring song is like I said before. A good, but not great finale that wraps everything up in probably the best way it could. I enjoyed it far more on my second viewing, but everything I thought before was still there (hence this smaller post).
There will be one more final post on this movie series where I talk about all three films together as a singular piece. Make sure to check it out!