Kiritsugu gets developed.
Kayneth meets with Risei regarding the reward of Caster’s defeat. Risei informs Kayneth about the current on-goings; the Church is seeking aid from third-parties. Kayneth pushes the matter aside, but instead, inquires about his request, the reward for the defeat of Caster.
I haven’t watched the first season in four months, but if my shitty memory serves to be somewhat accurate, he’s after command spells.
This scene was a bit abrupt; after the opening, it cuts to Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri [Let’s just call her Sola], Kayneth’s fiance. Now, from what I remember, last season, she screwed Kaynth over. Let’s move on to the history between those two; generally, marriages are often communed due to love; but in their case, it was arranged. Kayneth is essentially the “strongest” master in this Holy Grail War; he’s also in love with Sola. Sola on the other hand, detests Kayneth, primarily due to his cowardice; he prefers a clandestine approach, rather than a direct one. Let’s move onto Sola’s history. From what I remember, the mechanics of “magics” in Fate are derived from Thaumaturgical Crests, but we’ll call them Family Crests. As each generation of Magi expands, the magic of the family expands; in a sense, the older the family, the more powerful [Kayneth is from a relatively old family, hence his power; during the first episode of the first season, Waver argued with Kayneth; Kayneth refuted Waver’s claims that age, or a family’s history isn’t everything, this resulted in Waver going “Fuck you”, and summoning Rider.] Anyhow, Sola’s Family Crest wasn’t passed down to her, but rather, to her older brother; since her older brother was a shitty magician, their family is now essentially shit. This resulted in her parents going “What the fuck, let’s arrange a marriage.”; so, she was to married to a strong and powerful magician from an old family, Kayneth, to ultimately alleviate the shit that her brother caused. So basically, Kayneth is in love with Sola, Sola is in love with Lancer, and Lancer thinks that they should just leave him the fuck alone. /endhistorylesson
Anyways, Maiya is essentially a fucking ninja; she sliced Sola’s hand off instantly; it wasn’t even animated. Maiya reports to Kiritsugu; he commends her, and tells her to escape, Lancer is on his way back. She obeys, but before leaving, she destroys Maiya’s severed hand. I’ll avoid my dissertation on the relationship between Maiya and Kiritisugu until she gets developed.
The scene shifts to Kirei, he realizes that he’s saved Kariya as a blatant act of rebellion; Kariya poses a threat. My memory of Fate/stay night is even shittier than my memory of Fate/zero; I watched the anime with shitty subtitles, and I didn’t play the visual novel. But from what I’ve seen, Kirei is essentially being used as a pawn. His character does seem to a “discrepancy” in ways; most of the characters in Fate/zero are driven by something; so, being driven by simple compliance is a contradiction on itself. But, he’s beginning to think for himself; from what I know, he wasn’t informed of the possibility of him winning the Holy Grail War; he was just told to obey, and to aid Tokiomi, as a mission given by the Church. But hey, this type of development is usually given to teenage shounen leads, not grown-ass men, so let’s see how it develops.
Since Lancer was “crucial” in bringing down Caster, he believes that a command spell should be given to the master. Risei retorts by questioning Kayneth’s actual position as a master. Risei affirms that Lancer is bound to both him and Sola. Kayneth posits that Sola is the one providing mana, and the one in possession of the command spells, and thus, the actual master. He affirms the facts, but he insists that they’re merely temporarily; the rights of the contract lie with him. Risei complies, he recognizes Kayneth’s right to a reward. As Risei leaves, Kayneth shoots him, presumably killing him. He did this so the other masters could not reap the rewards of Caster’s defeat, he leaves immediately afterwords. Now, I’m hoping that this development stays consistent. Earlier, Maiya desecrated the hand of Sola in order to fully destroy the command spells, Kayneth on the other hand, merely killed Risei. Meaning, according to presumed logic, the other masters should be able to attain the command spells from Risei’s corpse.
Lancer gets lectured. In Lancer’s stead, I’d probably kill Kayneth. I can’t exactly win since I’m missing one of my Noble Phantasms, and he’s an asshole. If he uses the command spell to kill me, then fuck it, he loses since he doesn’t have me to aid him. But then again, I’d also be driven by this shitty thing called honor, which would deter me from doing so. Anyhow, the argument revolves around Kayneth strutting his authority, and Lancer politely accepting the blame. Sola being handless isn’t entirely Lancer’s fault; it’s partially Kayneth’s, Lancer and her never had an actual bond, he would not know if she was in danger. Kayneth then accuses Lancer of seducing Sola, he denies it. Kayneth, being the outstanding guy that he is, brings up shit from the past, the origins of Lancer. Lancer asks for Kayneth to retract the words. Lancer insists on wanting to aid Kayneth in any way possible, to fight alongside him. Kayneth retorts by emphasizing “Servant”, establishing an inherent dissonance; Kayneth commands Lancer to learn his place. This scene is reminiscent of Pokemon in a way, there’s always the trainer that treats his Pokemon with compassion, much like Ash and Pikachu, or in Fate terms, [Waver/Rider, Caster/Ryuunosuke, “Saber/Iri”, and to an extent, Tokiomi/Archer]; but, there’s always the asshole trainers, like Kayneth/Lancer [Not sure about Kariya/Berserker; they’re not developed]. Lancer informs Kayneth that someone is approaching.
Saber and Iri encounter Lancer. It’s apparent that a fight may ensue; it’s a shitty reality. Joining forces initially to fight against a blatant, black-and-white evil, then colliding for skewed, ambiguous beliefs and obligations. Lancer questions Saber on Sola’s location; Saber asks Iri, Iri shows that she does not; Saber tells Lancer that she does not. Saber asks as to why he proposed the question; Lancer tells Saber to forget it. He questions Saber on whether she’s ready; she’s probably not here to talk, and she’s exhausted from the previous battle with Caster. Saber replies by claiming this as a golden opportunity to battle between them, without any interruptions from the other servants; to a more subtle extent, I believe this is her way of leveling the playing field, she expended the most energy in the fight against Caster, and Lancer destroyed one of his Noble Phantasms in order for Saber to cede victory. Lancer notes his admiration for Saber’s pure fighting spirit; I hope it’s a long battle with minimal developments. I’m ten minutes in, an hour into writing, and eight paragraphs down.
Lancer notes that Saber’s attacks lack strength; he realizes the handicap she allocated for herself in not using her left hand. Saber insists on Lancer to not get offended; she’s not doing this because she wants to, if she doesn’t, she’d lack the strength to fight due to the surmounting shame in not doing so. He notes that pride lies on the blade of chivalry; he openly declares that he is glad as to have met Saber.
Elsewhere, Kayneth expresses his disgust with Lancer’s shitty abilities. Suddenly, Kiritsugu appears, with Sola appearing as hostage. Kiritsugu throws Kayneth a scroll, a Self-Geas Scroll: a magical item used by Magi to form an unbreakable contract. The contents of the contract are as noted:
1. Kiritsugu will not harm either Kayneth or Sola.
2. Kayneth has to presumably surrender the Holy Grail War, and along with it, the pride of the Archbald family. In theory, that would also include Sola, her obligation in marrying Kayneth was to bask in his glory, but, if Kayneth’s reputation is no more, then there is no reason.
Kayneth has a panic attack, contemplating as to what to do. Kiritsugu is a stand-up guy, and cocks the gun. Kayneth begins to cry.
The second condition was to command Lancer to commit suicide. He complies.
“Do all of you really want… to win that badly? You all want the Grail that desperately?! You’d crush the only wish I hold in my heart… Do none of you feel any shame at all?! I won’t forgive you. I won’t forgive any of you for this. All of you monsters who’d disregard a knight’s honor for personal gain… Let my blood taint your dreams! Let the Grail be cursed! Let the wish it grants bring disaster! And when you fall into the pits of hell… Remember the rage of Diarmuid!”
A bit surprised by his dying speech, but it is somewhat logical. He’s been through a shitton of bullshit, from his master, and from the situations at hand. To preserve his honor, he was crippled; to sate his master’s demands, he complied; for what? In this case, nothing. I don’t know enough about the mechanics of the Holy Grail’s reward to speculate, but I would presume that his wish, if he had the opportunity to do so, would be to either restore a lost love, or to restore a lost honor. Lancer asserts honor, to the point of allowing it to drive him; I’m not sure as to whether that’s a result of him losing it, or the result of him pleading to have never lost it. Nevertheless, a shitty end for a person who did not deserve it.
Kayneth appeared to be visibly shocked at the death of Lancer; but he affirms that Kiritsugu can not harm either him or Sola. Kiritsugu confirms the agreement; Maiya shoots Kayneth and Sola; presumably critically injuring Kayneth, and killing Sola. Kayneth, still alive, crawls to Kiritsugu, begging for death.
“Sorry. The contract forbids me to do so.”
I’m not sure as to argue for ruthless apathy, or badass justice. I’ll go with both. Saber approaches, and kills Kayneth.
Saber:”Emiya Kiritsugu, I finally realize what a fiend you are. I was a fool to believe that although our paths differed, our goal was mutual. Up until now, I had faith in Irisviel’s words, and thus I did not doubt your character. But now, I simply cannot believe that a man like you would use the Grail to save the world. Answer me, Kiritsugu! What do you truly want the Grail for? Even if it is my sword that wins the Grail… If it means that I must yield it to you, I…!
Irisviel: “Answer her Kiritsugu. This time, you owe her an explanation.”
Kiritsugu: Come to think of it, this is the first time you’ve seen me do my killing, Iri. If all you do is kill a Master, his servant might make a contract with another Master. That’s why I had to eliminate both Master and Servant simultaneously.”
Irisviel asks Kiritsugu to speak with Saber, not her. From what I remember, Kiritsugu used Irisviel as the medium of communication.
“No. Honor and glory… There’s no point in speaking to a killer who takes pride in such things.”
Quite the curious statement. Saber justifies her killing by using words such as “Honor”, or concepts such as “For the greater good”; but, she inevitably causes the same result. A serial killer that stalks and kills children, is objectively the same as the driver who accidentally runs a kid over. It ultimately results in a dead kid; it doesn’t matter how the means are orchestrated, but ends to them remain inherently the same. Kiritsugu brutally killing Kayneth, and Saber killing Kayneth “mercifully” results in a dead Kayneth; there isn’t a way to sugarcoat it. I’m liking his character more. I agree with his reasoning far more than Saber’s naive “We’re doing it because it’s “good” for you” reasoning.
“What a joke. It’s hell itself. There’s no hope on the battlefield. It has nothing but unspeakable despair. Just a crime we call victory, paid for by the pain of the defeated. Yet, humanity has never realized this truth. And the reason for that is, in every era, a dazzling hero has blinded people with their legends and prevented them from seeing the evil of bloodshed. The true nature of humanity has not advanced a step beyond the Stone Age.”
I am still inclined to believe with his reasoning. War is told later as an atrocity committed because it had to be. But when it’s on-going, it’s glamorized to bolster support for the war. Whether it’s Saber’s reign as a beloved King, or Rider’s ambition, it resulted in the lives of numerous soldiers. The stories of the heroes are remembered, and they’re passed down. The unspoken heroes are the ones who suffer through it.[The women and children hiding during a siege, the son who lost a father, the mother who lost a son, etc.]
Kiritsugu reaffirms to Iri that he does intend on saving the world with the Holy Grail.
Saber retorts by lecture. I’m a bit too half-awake to quote her speech, but she’s remaining too sentimental in an objective argument. It doesn’t matter whether you kill a guy in rage, or in righteousness, you still kill the guy. Killing someone due to hatred breeds hatred just as effectively as killing someone due to righteous “good”. “Good” and “Bad” are such ambiguous concepts that do not have a set definition, they’re given by whoever. Your allies and you fight for what you deem to be “good”, and your enemies fight for what they deem to be “good”; it just results in an ambivalent struggle as to figure out who’s actually correct. But, rather than reasoning and discourse, the easiest, and simplest way, would be through brute force. If my army defeats your army, then I’m right and you’re wrong.
Kiritsugu stays with his intents, he will save the world; if it results in him being the medium, the sole recipient of mass atrocity, he’s willing to gladly accept the role of a martyr. Irisviel collpases after Kiritusgu leaves.
On-going Thoughts: Concluding Thoughts
Long entries, I swear. The motto for this blog should be “impressing my thoughts onto you ceaselessly without any regard or care for your opinion”. Anyways, really liked the episode, as I did the others.