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December 19, 2012 / Bradley

12 Days of Anime: Fate/Zero: Saberonamotorcycle Saberonamotorcycle Saberonagoddamnmotorcycle

12 Days of Anime is a project about anime in 2012 from bloggers that’s supposed to reflect on one’s favorite “anime moments” in 2012. In practice, it’s just me trying to write a short post everyday for twelve days, but today I’m going to actually do this properly. And as far as I’m concerned, there’s really only one “moment” that needs discussing.

I knew it was coming long before it happened, and knowing didn’t spoil it for me; it only built the anticipation higher. I knew of it because Mr. Hisui Reverse-Thief had made oblique references to it happening on his episodic blog of Fate/Zero, and because that sweet piece of plastic made my heart stop when I saw it. I could not wait to see Saber on a motorcycle in the anime itself, but I had to. I had to wait twenty-plus episodes before it finally happened, and even as much as I had hyped it up in my mind about how awesome it was going to be, it was somehow better than that.

Now, I don’t want to put you off, but this is going to be a 100% fanboy post. Don’t know if you caught that.

Near as I can remember, the actual events leading up to Saberonamotorcycle is a bum chase for a red herring that didn’t much to advance the plot. Or maybe it was completely crucial, I don’t know, and my memories are so closely tied to my emotions that my first instinct for this post was to write about Saberonamotorcycle was even more awesome because it was underpinned by a some crucial plot element as the story wrapped up at warp speed. But I can’t remember. There are other parts of that ending I swell with emotions remembering- a couple key character deaths, some memorable confrontations- but nothing excites me quite like Saberonagoddamnmotorcycle. And I really don’t know why. I’m tempted to write it off as Just One of Those Things, because it reduces me to a pile of fanboy gibberish. Some of it has to be the absurdity of a race between a chariot and a motorcycle.  It also involves several of my favorite characters in a scene at their very best- their most determined, their most creative, their most powerful. It has swelling music that’s epic and stirring without being reduced to a pile of bullshit Gregorian chants. The dialog and action is punchy and impactful, with a huge assist from ufotable’s sky-high (for a TV series) production values. Some of it was that this was the great climax to Saber and Rider’s contentious relationship; Saber matured because of Rider, and Rider seemed to respect her after Saberonamotorcycle. Some of it is just fucking magic, to use the technical term.

Okay, so maybe I have some ideas. This year was a good one for bang-up action scenes if you knew where to look, or perhaps it was only as good as every other year, I don’t track these things closely. Just know that seeing this was my favorite three minutes of anime this year. There are others that come close, but let’s not kid ourselves: Saberonamotorcycle stands alone.

12 Days of Music Day 5:

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  1. Katherine Hanson (@yuriboke) / Dec 19 2012 4:35 am

    Saberonamotorcycle was indeed magical. So worth the wait, and it made that episode feel like Christmas and made me share it with the friend I Skyped with right after watching it even though she wasn’t watching Fate/Zero. (Not knowing its context, she still thought it was a cool scene.)

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