Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel: Lost Butterfly [Anime Review]

Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment

Title: Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel: Lost Butterfly
Anime Studio: ufotable
Publisher: MVM Entertainment
Genre: Action / Fantasy
Released: July 13th 2020
Classification: 15
Language: Japanese/English
Length: 120 minutes
Extras: Promo Video Collection, Japanese Teaser, Japanese Trailers

The girl’s hopes silently fester and fade away…
The boy made a decision to keep fighting, and to protect the girl. The Holy Grail War, where Masters and Servants fight to claim the Holy Grail. A new war has started again in Fuyuki City, 10 years after the previous Grail War. However, due to the participation of Zouken Matou, the patriarch of one of the Founding Three Families in the Holy Grail War, things begin distorting, twisting, and growing worse. Zouken summons the Servant, True Assassin. An unknown shadow covers the city, killing Masters and Servants one by one. Shirou Emiya, who has been fighting as a Master in the war, gets injured, losing his Servant, Saber. With his firm decision to protect Sakura Matou, Shirou refuses to leave the battle. While Sakura worries about Shirou, she also gets entangled in her own fate as a mage. “”I promise. I’ll…”” He decided he wouldn’t betray her. However, their fervent wishes are about to be crushed by the black shadow soon…

When reviewing Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel: Presage Flower, I said that not being familiar with the source material and the original series left me at a disadvantage. In essence, not knowing the lore too well, the plot felt a little rushed and confusing at times. With Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel: Lost Butterfly, we have a similar issue.

It picks up right where the first movie ended with no recap in place, so I do recommend reminding yourself of the events of that movie first. Knowing that it – much like the first movie – won’t wrap everything up because there’s a final part to come means you can wholly expect it to leave things open.

That being said, don’t let it put you off. I loved the visual aesthetics of part one, but this one surpasses it for me. This had a lot of the same visual flare, but everything is ramped up. That incudes the blood which felt more overblown in this entry, but in a way that fits with the overall tone of the film.

If you hadn’t guessed from that, it’s a dark movie. The violence is vicious, but stylishly so. For example, there’s a scene towards the end that switches quickly from a child-like creepiness to full on limb tearing without making it feel jarring. On top of that, we end up with an attempted rape late in the movie that is graphic enough to leave you with a clear, and entirely uncomfortable image in your head.

On the flip side, I felt that Lost Butterfly did a better job with making the more ‘normal’ scenes feel right than Presage Flower did. Here, they hold the attention easier, and they feel equally as important as the action scenes. The more sexual scenes outside the rape are not horrifically handled either, and come across as important rather than simply being there to titillate.

Yuki Kajiura scored the film and does a fantastic job again with the soundtrack. It feels as big time as part one did and fits everything perfectly. That, I was glad to see, as the soundtrack was the one thing I didn’t think needed improving for this second outing. On top of that, MVM have once again supplied some nice bonuses in the form of an art book and animation material book.

So, this is a definite improvement over Presage Flower in some key areas. It’s not perfect by any means. The low accessibility is still an issue, and the rape scene was really unnecessary. But, it still serves as a strong, stylish middle section for the trilogy. I give this one a solid 4.25 out of 5.

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