For twenty-four episodes, this series tried to act extremely dense and show us how clever Type-Moon is (they aren’t). For twenty-four episodes, this series tried to question the “noble hero” route. For twenty-four episodes, we had to sit through WAY TOO MUCH exposition and general time-wasting while waiting for the payoffs. And the result, for the finale, is……
With Sakura saved, there is only one master remaining and his servant is King Gilgamesh, the servant who defeated Saber in the last Grail War. And his master is planning to use Illya as the sacrifice to fully summon the Grail.
Where this finale succeeds is in the action scenes, especially in the last two episodes. It also succeeds in showing and developing the final stages in Saber and Shiro’s romance. Where it fails, however, is in the same way that the rest of the series does: TOO MUCH EXPOSITION! Certain exposition bits I understand (the Big Bad in the last Grail War), but I don’t need to see ALL ELEMENTS OF THIS WORLD ON SCREEN!!! In short, I’m not the person who watches Star Trek with the starship manuals and complaining that the show isn’t following the rules.
I wish this series was better. When the show just did the plot without the needless trappings of ALL OF THE DETAILS, it was an extremely strong series with a smart brain. However, it’s bogged down by unnecessary exposition, padding, and ridiculous outfits (specifically Rider’s fetish-tastic outfit and Sakura’s half-dominatrix/half-sex-slave/really-what-is-the-point-of-this-specific-outfit outfit). When all is said and done, however, all that remains is just wondering how this would’ve turned out if the extraneous bits removed.