Ever since its initial airing in October last year, ufotable’s anime TV series Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works has remained as one of the most popular and highest rated series of all time, having found critical and commercial success in both Japan and elsewhere.
Somewhat amusingly, however, is the fact that much of the western anime community’s attention is not on the more traditional aspects of the show. Most praises are centered on the series’ jaw-dropping and breathtaking visuals.
This is not surprising, for here’s where anime greatly differs from live-action movies and TV shows: where we have witnessed many low-budget films that have achieved a beautiful look that’s virtually indistinguishable from blockbusters, an anime’s visual production value is directly proportional to its budget. After all, it’s simply that the more money you have, the more you can draw.
Considering this, you can imagine the audience’s delightful shock when they come across a TV series whose visuals are on par with, if not better than, theatrical films. Hence the anime community has given it a new name – “Unlimited Budget Works”.
The informant has just finished his undergraduate studies. He would consider himself to have been an avid fan of Japanese anime, manga, and games for 6 years. More than simply watching and consuming, he also actively contributes to the community, in the form of reviews, articles, discussions, and translation works. He told me of this folk nickname as a part of his collection of interesting facts/tales from the anime community.
When asked why he decided to select this piece of folklore, he replied simply that it was one of the most popular and enduring jokes/nicknames in the western anime community
This folklore serves as an interesting demonstration of the marketing value of nicknames. There’s no doubt that the original series is popular, but it is this nickname that propelled its popularity to a new level. Many audience members, including myself, have not previously heard of the show itself save for this nickname.