Its been awhile since mirror moon released their completed translation of the Heaven’s Feel route for Fate/stay night. I just finished it recently and although I sorta knew about what happened in the end already, nothing could have prepared me for actually reading the ending. It has completely changed the way I think about the routes and about Emiya Shirou in general, and has catapaulted Heaven’s Feel to the top of my rankings, followed by Unlimited Blade Works and then Fate. It was a tough decision at first but then there were many reasons why I prefer Heaven’s Feel.
First, it has cooler characters with much more interesting personalities. Rider gets heavy doses of character development where before she was a pitiful servant at best and Saber is more awesome as an enemy than she ever was as a heroine. Sakura is quite an interesting character as well and one of the few characters I have read in literature these days that I can legitimately say I feel really bad for. She had a genuinely hard life and we can’t really fault her for not having developed properly as a person. Everyone’s favorite loli Ilya gets made much more interesting as well (Ilya-chan…<3), and Shirou himself doesn’t take his idealism to absurd levels in the way he does for Fate and Unlimited Blade Works. I only ever really got told about the Normal Ending for Heaven’s Feel at first and the True Ending seemed like poor compensation when you consider how dark and desperate the whole route is, so Unlimited Blade Works was my favorite route. It still managed to remain optimistic without being nauseatingly so like it was in Fate (and had Rin being her lovely tsundere self) but at the end of the day I don’t feel that Shirou really learned anything in the same way he did for Heaven’s Feel. The fact that they still manage to end the story on such a positive note is really awesome. I was left feeling a definite sense of satisfaction having put up with all of the garbage and all of the despair just to get the True Ending. It was well worth it in the end.
Don’t get me wrong though, I like all three routes for different reasons. I even liked the Fate/stay night anime and that was based mainly on the Fate route, and even if Saber is a pretty static character she gets some pretty awesome moments (as does Kirei for that matter). It’s just that Heaven’s Feel is officially the best route. tl;dr it’s because of Rider, Sakura, True Asssassin, Saber and, last but not least, Shirou himself. He actually grows as a person.
So, to inform anyone who actually cares (insert self-deprecating laughter here) and to write it down somewhere so that I remember myself, my current project target(s) and/or milestones:
Dead Space: Currently on Chapter 3 (Not yet completed)
Sacred 2: Just left the starting zone and ventured into human lands (Not yet completed)
Touhou: Imperishable Night Extra Stage, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil Extra Stage, unlock Mountain of Faith + Subterranean Animism Extra Stages
Immaterial and Missing Power: Yuyuko training
Melty Blood Act Cadenza: Suck less