On-going Thoughts: Fate/Zero 17/25


Subtle hints to future developments done right.

Kirei discovers the body of his father, Risei, the mediator of the fourth Holy Grail War. Kirei relays Risei’s death to Tokiomi. Tokiomi, having received the shitty news, is infuriated. Risei acted with accordance to Tokiomi’s interests, so, a loss of an asset would be detrimental to his chances of winning. Gilgamesh maintains his “I don’t give a fuck” persona, and Kirei leaves the room. Gilgamesh follows him out, and tantalizes him on the subject of Risei’s death. Gilgamesh ensues the mind games, questioning Kirei’s actual feelings towards the death. So to speak, the “old” Kirei would be infuriated, and probably consumed by the need for retribution; his honor would remain with the Church, and ultimately, with his father. However, the “new” Kirei would view the situation differently, seeing it as progress, and as “good” rather than as bad. Gilgamesh questions the complexity of Kirei’s irritation; is he irritated because his father was murdered, or is he irritated that he was not the killer.

At the end of episode sixteen, Irisviel collapsed; Saber, in this episode, heals her. She presumably recovers, then she senses Maiya’s presence. Maiya’s acting as a messenger; Tokiomi’s requesting an alliance. Morally, and honorably speaking, Saber teaming up with Gilgamesh against Berserker and Rider is a bit of a shit scenario. Rider and Saber essentially fought side by side, and Berserker’s following the orders of a man with seemingly “moral” reasons [to save Sakura]. Gilgamesh on the other hand couldn’t give less of a fuck, and Tokiomi just wants to win. Maiya informs them that this decision was probably due to Tokiomi’s inevitable trepidation revolving around combating both Rider and Berserker; an alliance was sought towards Irisviel and Saber because he believed them to be the weakest of the combatants. Maiya asserts the strategic bounty in this offer; Tokiomi himself is a noteworthy master, however, he also has in his apparent control, Kirei. Irisviel accepts the invitation.

Rin speaks with her father, Tokiomi.

“Rin. As you grow up, keep the Church Mage’s Association in your debt. Beyond that, I’ll leave the rest to your judgment. You’ll be fine on your own. One day, the Holy Grail will appear. It is the responsibility of the Tohsaka family to attain it. Above all… If you wish to become a Mage, that is the path you must follow. Rin, take this. Well, I’ll be going now. You know what to do from know on, right?”

Quite the ominous speech. If my shitty memory poses to be somewhat accurate, I believe that he hands her the tome of spells that she attempted to use during the first season. If I remember, that she wasn’t ready to use the tome yet, but, he hands it to her now, signifying that she is. I also can’t help but presume that this scene, these essential words, influenced Rin’s entire philosophy during Fate/stay night. It’s also a seemingly ironic speech; the soundtrack playing exemplifies this as being a heartwarming exchange between father and daughter, but, it’s also laced with a subtle somberness. It could be said that Tokiomi doesn’t expect to live, but it could also be assumed that he knows the consequences of the Holy Grail. Nevertheless, he essentially tells Rin to participate in the Holy Grail War regardless of what happens. And she complies with that during Fate/stay night.

The meeting ensues, Tokiomi begins with the obligatory formalities. However, he states that the union between Kirei and him is a new one, formed only after Kirei surrendered his rights as a master. Now, my memory of the first season is relatively shitty, but, I don’t remember him dropping out; this, along with the fact that Gilgamesh gives him shitty pep talks every other encounter makes me assume that it’s a bullshit lie. The sudden pan to Kirei’s watch is also a bit suspicious; I’m assuming his command spells are hidden under it. Irisviel accepted the invitation to the meeting, however, she did not comply with an alliance. She asserts that an alliance would be out of the question, and for probable good reason too; Kiritsugu probably said that it was a shitty idea, and there’s always the underlining moral, and strategic shit underneath it. She is however, open to discussion on the order of eliminating the targets [Previously, it was basically obligatory to kill Caster first; the free command spells, and the fact that he shitted on everybody’s plans]. Iriviel proposes a ceasefire between the two of them; Tokiomi offers her his ears. She presents two conditions: first, she wants any information concerning Rider and Waver; second, she wants him to actually remove Kirei from the Holy Grail War. Morally speaking, Rider’s cool, fuck off; strategically speaking, it’s reasonable to want information on an inevitable, superlative opponent. Given her second condition, she discerned the prominent bullshit in Tokiomi’s introduction.

She states the reasons to her second request: first, there’s plenty of bad blood between the Einzbern camp and the Executor; if the Tohsakas continue to accept Kirei, an executor, an inherent distrust is already prominent. The Executors are basically inquisitors under the Church, who target heretics; using actual history as a reference point, I’m assuming that the executors basically deemed anyone that went against them as heretic, in this case, the Einzbergs. It’s basically a dog trying to team up with a mouse, but the dog is already allied with a cat; given this, the mouse requests for the cat to fuck off. Why would the dog need the aid of the mouse? Fuckin’ elephants, that’s why. Tokiomi questions Kirei on the matter, then the scene shifts.

Kiritsugu bought Saber a motorcycle. Saber presumably goes “Well, since he bought me a motorcycle, his being an apathetic murder is negligible.” She rides off, “securing the route”; leaving Irisviel to scout ahead is as effective as the role of the royal culinary assayer. Iris rides with Maiya instead; she collapses onto her shoulder. Rather then yuri fan service, she’s actually on the verge of collapsing; she tells Maiya to go, Tokiomi will sense something amiss. Iris states her condition as being inevitable, hell, it’s a miracle that she’s still alive. Her role was to serve as the vessel of the Holy Grail; her daughter, Ilya, serves as the vessel during the next Holy Grail War. Given this, she’ll eventually revert into being just a container. She was aptly named Irisviel as a play on words, she’s serves as a veil, disguising the vessel. Given this, she’ll continue to deteriorate; she’ll probably lack the energy to talk next time. She was given Avalon for this very reason, to halt her inevitable demise. The relationship between Iris and Kiritsugu is ambiguous as of right now; I’m assuming it’s love, rather than apathetic strategy, but, it’ll probably get developed eventually. Although ambivalent in the course of action; both Iris and Maiya have one central goal, to make the dream of Kiritsugu materialize.

This is probably the branching point for Kirei; but, it is written by Gen, so Kirei could essentially go “Fuck it, I’ll try in the next war.” Kirei’s presumably packing, he glances at a picture of Kiritsugu, he ponders as to who the fuck he actually is. Gilgamesh appears reaffirming the innate desire within Kirei to actually win the war. Kirei asserts a lifelong goal, he’s aspired for it, and endured much pain, but, it still came to a failure. But, at the current moment, he feels closer to the goal than ever before. Gilgamesh questions him on his hesitation, it would be common sense to go for it. Kirei acknowledges the statement, but, he’s worried that the answer he seeks will destroy himself. Kirei receives a phonecall; he has learned of the location of the Einzbern hideout. Gilgamesh breaks into laughter; he himself was worried that Kirei hesitated. Kirei confirms that he did hesitate, but, in the end, he realized the validity of the words spoken by Gilgamesh. A flashback ensues.

This is how you tell a fucking story. You give out a subtle indicator to a future event, without mentioning it, or making it too obvious. In the previous episode, Maiya obliterated Sola-Ui’s severed hand to destroy the command spells, Kayneth on the other hand, merely shot Risei. Given that event, Kirei received the command spells from his father’s corpse. Now, Gilgamesh’s intentions are ridiculously ill-natured; he’s a king consumed by vanity, he would not let Kirei win. He did the preceding to fuck with him for his enjoyment, Kirei has never been presumed as worthy a combatant to him. Kirei explains the nature of the Holy Grail War, as a retort to a playful comment threatening his life. The grail activates upon the death of all the servants; given this, masters [from the Tohsaka family] save a command spell, to force suicide upon their servants [It requires the death of all the servants to reach Akasha, otherwise, only six is necessary. Only the Tohsaka family is interested in reaching Akasha; Akasha is a place “existing outside of time, it stores and archives information of all possibilities and events, past, present, and future, of the world. It is the place from where all souls, including those of Heroic Spirits recorded on the Throne of Heroes, originate from and to where they return after death.”.] For once, Kirei gets to fuck with Gilgamesh; it’s usually the other way around. He questions Gilgamesh’s motives now; will he kill the traitor? Gilgamesh implies that he is not an idiot, killing his master would sever his mana. But, there is a master out there with a plethora of command spells, in need of a servant. I realize the discourse was meant to be comedic in a way, “Hey, let’s team up and kill Tokiomi, he’s a lying asshole.” But, there still isn’t a point in killing Tokiomi and reforming a new allegiance with a lesser asshole master. You still have to commit seppuku at the end; you can’t exactly win. Given the omission of a necessary seventh servant death [Kirei isn’t after Akasha], Gilgamesh would live.

=[ Rin’s going to missing a father in her life. Tokiomi basically thanks Kirei for his services, getting sentimental as to how proud he is to have served as the master to such a trustworthy pupil. He wants Kirei to remain close to the Tohsaka family as Kirei’s father, Risei did. He even requests for Kirei to serve as Rin’s senior apprentice after the war is over. Well, at least the latter comes true in Fate/stay night. I’ll assume it was done by an innate obligation; I don’t think that Kirei truly hates Tokiomi. He’s just putting himself above him. Kirei hands him a will, to prepare for the worst possible scenario. Ironically, that worst possible scenario is seemingly imminent. I can’t tell as to whether Tokiomi is expecting his death or not, he has the passive “Don’t give a fuck” face. Anyways, Kirei accepts. Tokiomi hands Kirei a box, a gift from him. It’s an Azoth dagger. It symbolizes the mastery of the Tohsaka family magics, and marks the end of his apprenticeship. This scene is so damn unique. I sense this underlining tension between them, but that’s partially due to the imminent betrayal; but there’s also compassion shown by Tokiomi. Tokiomi really hasn’t shown a sentimental side like this, at least not very often.

Fate/Zero is really good at building a storyline, and maintaining intelligent discourse; but for fuck’s sake, most of the deaths are melodramatic. Not the deaths themselves, but the god damn animation of it. Caster’s death was fine, that was done really well in my opinion, along with Ryuunosuke’s. But Lancer’s death was ridiculously melodramatic. But hey, fuck foreshadowing and characterization, cool death animations makes the show.

Nobody understands me, so I lash out in immature ways.
-Suburban Emo Kid

Bleh, it’s a logical development, just not the way I envisioned it I suppose. It’s logical if the partial ambiguity in the developments are curved to supporting it, but bleh, just seems to be a bit of a “Gilgamesh convinced me to change because he’s a good person.” type of development. That was a joke, I doubt he thinks that Gilgamesh is a good person. Gilgamesh’s lust of being amused is also a bit bleh in ways. Gilgamesh praises Kirei’s developments, and they form a bond.

On-going Thoughts: Concluding Thoughts

Good I suppose. The thing with long-ass entries like this is, I really don’t have much to say in the Concluding Thoughts. I already say everything in mind during the entry.

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7 Responses to On-going Thoughts: Fate/Zero 17/25

  1. Lorhand says:

    “Rin. As you grow up, keep the Church in your debt. ”

    He meant the Magic Association, not the Church. They are homonyms, since kyoukai can also be the short form of majutsukyoukai – Magic Association.

    “I’m assuming that the executors basically deemed anyone that went against them as heretic, in this case, the Einzberns.”

    Anyone who is using magic would be considered a heretic by the Church, actually including Tohsaka and Kotomine… Getting rid of Kirei isn’t that stupid, considering he already attacked Team Saber twice. And Kiritsugu already figured out that Kirei is only doing that because he’s interested in Kiritsugu…

    “‘Well, since he bought me a motorcycle, his being an apathetic murderer is negligible.'”

    Eh, her having a higher opinion of Kiritsugu already happened last episode. Similar goal, different methods. The similar goal part is enough for her to cooperate for now.

    “The grail activates upon the death of all the servants; given this, masters save a command spell, to force suicide upon their servants.”

    That is only the case for those who want to reach Akasha. 6 Servants are enough to fulfill any wish in this world. The only one who wants to reach Akasha is Tokiomi in this war. The Einzberns’ goal is only to complete the Grail to get back the Third Magic. They don’t care what exactly Kiritsugu will do with his wish.

    Kirei is naturally born evil. Huh, took him long to realize this(I assume when he was a teenager) and took him even longer to accept it. The Azoth dagger is probably the biggest irony I’ve seen so far in Fate…

    • mdz says:

      Ahh, thanks for the clarifications.

      UTW’s translations said Church, and it seemed a bit appropriate given the setting. Actually, it seems a lot more appropriate than the Mage’s Association honestly, but I suppose it makes sense too.

      I didn’t read the novel or, the visual novel for FSN. So these corrections and bonus information are seriously appreciated.

      • Lorhand says:

        Directly, before Tokiomi talks with Rin, he was thinking about his decision to give Sakura away(cut out). The real reason for that is that he feared the Magic Association and other researching magi to kidnap and experiment on her(because she and Rin were born with really rare talents and magic traits, but only one of them could be protected by the Tohsaka family), that’s why he told Rin to put them in her debt, so if there ever comes the moment where she opposes them, they’ll have to back off. This is probably Tokiomi’s one and only sympathetic moment and it was cut out…

        And btw, UTW’s translator Raze already admitted, he made a mistake. The Church is already in good terms with the Tohsaka family, since they are originally Christians who piqued an interest in magic about 200 years ago.

  2. mdz says:

    Ahh, that makes much more sense. Hopefully it shows up in the bluray release.

    • Lorhand says:

      Well, hopefully…

      Btw, Tokiomi’s speech has another important meaning. We see in this scene(or not – that was cut out, too…) a flashback of Tokiomi and his father letting Tokiomi decide whether he wants to take on the responsibility as a magus and the family head.

      Tokiomi is sad, since he wasn’t able to give Sakura and Rin this choice because they were blessed(better: cursed) with so much talent that they had to take the path of the magus to protect themselves against the greedy and brutal world of magic(a look at the next episode, Kiritsugu’s flashback might give you a better idea of the magic world – depends on how much ufotable will have to cut out).

      The flashback reminds him of the conviction and willpower it gave him to decide his own path and he wanted to give Rin a similar feeling. And we all know how ambitious and proud Rin is in FSN…

      The irony of all of this is that Sakura was adopted by one of those Tokiomi wanted to avoid and that he trusted Kirei. Well, he had good intentions, but how he handled the situation was his downfall.

      If Tokiomi only explained that to Kariya(in a way he could understand it. Yes, if one has the background knowledge, one can understand what Tokiomi was trying to tell Kariya, but Kariya or the general audience are not magi -_-)… well, Kariya probably assumed Tokiomi knew how horrible and cruel Matou Zouken is.

      Wrong guess, though Kariya is also partially at fault. If he really only fought to save Sakura, we would have never attacked Tokiomi first(twice!). It is Kariya’s own vendetta and jealousy that drives him. The worms and Berserker must have already screwed his mind badly.

      • mdz says:

        I think the faults are given to both; they both seem to have this underlining resent between each other. The discourse in which they both took in during a prior episode revolved around Tokiomi essentially lacing his words with ambiguity and spite; which resulted in Kariya being even more blinded by passion.

        Although not practical, I suppose the most logical, intelligent thing that Tokiomi could have done would have been an honest sympathy, rather than the inciting of further conflict. I guess assumptions and a shitty past revolves in irreparable conflict.

      • Lorhand says:

        Of course, I’ve never said it was only Kariya’s fault, but he also played an important role in this mess.

        I had an interesting discussion about who is at fault here http://www.anime-evo.net/2012/04/09/fatezero-14/, my nick is Arandur.

        Tokiomi was not good being human. He never found a good way to show his affection towards the ones he loves and respects and he never understood them too well. He didn’t even realize that Kariya participated because of his love for Aoi and her children.

        In Tokiomi’s defense about Kirei, not even Kirei knew what he really is(or at least didn’t want to accept it, otherwise there would have been no good reason to marry a woman who loves him and get a child and STILL being unhappy). Now that reminds me of another scene that was cut out. Kirei was crying when he held his father’s bloody corpse in his arms. It was a nod to this scene here from FSN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF3b4WWMLvg&t=4m30s, when his wife committed suicide. Three days after her death, he met Tokiomi from FZ episode 1.

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