It’s a flashback episode about Kiritsugu. This should be pretty damn insightful for his characterization; not much is known about him.
His father appears to be a scientist; his research seems auspiciously similar to the Einzbern’s homunculi technology. Contrary to the Einzbern, his father’s experiments seems to be share more similarities with researching immortality rather than vessels. Anyways, Kiritsugu lives with his father on the top of a hill clouded with local legends; Shirley, a friend of Kiritsugu’s, appears to serve as an apprentice to his father. Kiritsugu wants to do what Shirley does, but, his father essentially tells him that he’s too young.
Needless to say, since they’re foreigners, people tend to be xenophobic. Shirley’s a western name; Kiritsugu’s a Japanese name; from the complexion of Shirley’s skin and the Church, it’s probably somewhere in the West. I really hope Shirley doesn’t screw Kiritsugu’s father; it’s just awkward shit. Shirley does inform Kiritsugu that his father’s capable of much more than botany; he possesses the ability to impress immortality. She contemplates that she isn’t his father’s apprentice; she’s not capable of such things, at best, she’s an assistant; she notes that Kiritsugu, on the other hand, possesses the potence that she herself lacks. She assures him that his father does intend on passing down his research to him; it just isn’t time yet. I don’t sense a good end for Shirley.
She takes Kiritsugu to a lake; she reasserts his potential for greatness.
Well shit, this can’t be good. I suppose a happy, heartwarming episode doesn’t fit Fate/Zero. Needless to say, he goes to town. Well fuck.
Well, at least she’s not dead. And at least she’s not screwing his Dad. I’m glad that Fate/Zero didn’t go for a cliche scare, much like Another would have done. She pleads with him to kill her; she tried to prove Kiritsugu’s father’s research as viable, but, shit didn’t go as planned. It seems that an obligatory shitty past is needed. She begins to mutilate herself. Well fuck. He ends up at the Church, and talks to the reverend. The reverend tells him to stay put, and heads off to warn the village. Needless to shit, an obligatory zombie invasion is mandated.
Magi arrive to cleanse the village. It really is, quite bluntly, a zombie invasion, the mechanics are inherently similar to that of one.
It’s like Maiya, but with white hair. She seems to be with the Magi, probably from the Church too; give her eye color, a Westerner. We learn that these villagers aren’t zombies, but
vampires Dead Apostles. They work similar to vampires; they drink blood to survive and reproduce. The cleansing was done by two prominent parties: the Church, with the executors, and the Mage’s Association. The Church killed the Dead Apostles; the Mage’s Assocation burned down the village. The Executors are preoccupied and concerned with vehemently upholding God’s will, while the Mage’s Association prefers to keep the concept of the Dead Apostles esoteric. Two similar, yet very different groups. Her on the other hand, she’s more so a mercenary for the Mage’s Association. Basically, they’re looking for his father.
His father was not in Fate/Zero, therefore he’s going to die. He informs his father of Shirley’s demise; he seems to be more objective then empathetic; although not bluntly cold, he views it as the past, and unalterable. He questions his father on whether he’s going to meet the same fate as her. He considers the question asinine. He questions his father on their escape; his father mentions an escape boat.
I suppose a ruthless apathy is understandable after you essentially kill your own father, and presumably your first romantic interest. The mercenary notes the shitty reason for patricide; she offers to take him off the island, what he does after that, is up to him. Essentially the inception of his future.
On-going Thoughts: Concluding Thoughts
Well, that was a fairly enjoyable episode of
Higurashi Fate/Zero. I realize the lack of constructive commentary in this episode; there just wasn’t a lot to mention, allude to, or build on. My knowledge is fairly linear, and given the circumstances, this flashback is essentially all new to me. I can however, give my thoughts on it. For one, that ending theme is fucking awesome. For two, Fate/Zero manages to instill fear without resorting to cheap scares. It’s not only eminent here, but also during most of Caster’s murderous scenes during the first season. In this episode, there was a blood trail, if this was Another, Shirley would emerge from the fucking floor with red eyes screaming profanities while on fire.
One of the lesser greats of the episode was Shirley’s character; the development was rushed. It’s not too difficult to sympathize with a character, or in this case, Shirley; and they succeeded in doing that. Nevertheless, it seemed a bit rushed; the sudden discourse about Kiritsugu changing the world was a blatant “I’m going to die, here’s a heartwarming, sentimental scene that will result in you mourning, and avenging me.”, and he did just that. He killed his own father on impulse, apathetically. Understandable if it was the current Kiritsugu, but the scared-shitless, kid Kiritsugu, it just seems too forced.
I suppose I just expected different from Kiritsugu’s character. He’s always been the tactical, apathetic type, but when he’s juxtaposed with so linear a character, it just seems a bit off. It is understandable though, he is a kid; but still, I expected his character to be much more complex and driven by other means. This episode was pompous in the way that it characterized his entire persona by going “He was scarred as a kid, so, he’s now an apathetic, ruthless killer set to save the world due to a childhood promise with a girl that was developed within the time span of fifteen minutes.” Jaded? Probably, but hey, just an opinion I suppose.
But, by no means am I calling the episode bad. I actually really liked it; I got to write a lot less then I usually do, and it had pretty action scenes. It wasn’t a “Rin” episode like there was during the first season; this actually had meaningful development. [Contrary to popular belief, Rin looking adorable as fuck doing cute shit is ridiculously cool, but not a worthwhile development]. I really was surprised at the new ending though; it’s fairly obvious that it’s by Kalafina given their distinct voices; but still, came as a surprise. So yeah, that essentially summarizes my thoughts on the episode. Today was essentially a shitty day. For those who don’t know, I took the SAT today. First time taking it, and given the circumstances, I probably did shit. I know I got a perfect score on the essay [Probably going to regret saying that], but I was a bit sketchy on the writing sections, along with the critical reading and math. I missed a lot of simple shit, so I probably got a mediocre score. Taking the next one in June though.
Anyhow, an obligatory lesson taught by Fate/Zero.