On-going Thoughts: Fate/Zero 19/25

Fate/Zero can develop shit even when it’s not dialogue heavy.

Kiritsugu’s Crest Origin has the unique ability to sever and bind circuits; contrary to others, which destroys and regenerates [His Crest allows him to alter time]. In other words, it causes irreparable damage to the target; when the circuits rebind, they rebind differently; when a circuit is destroyed, it regenerates normally. A part of Kirtisugu’s ribs was powdered and put into bullets; he has sixty-six of them. He used the bullets in the past, most notably on Kayneth.

After leaving the island, Kiritsugu spends the next few years of his life with Natalia. Given her lifestyle, he had to adjust to it, and in the process of doing so, changed from a kid into a more able killer. In a way, he realized that the “tragedy” that he was confronted with was not unique to himself, but rather, occurring elsewhere too. He tries to be a hero, but he’s met with challenges; I’m assuming he’s after the Holy Grail to do what he couldn’t do as a kid.

They’re after a new target: Vorak. He’s eluded Natalia before, and the Mage’s Association has a huge bounty out on him. I’m assuming that he’s going to kill Natalia, then Kiritsugu is going to kill him, avenging Natalia. Kiritsugu is given the task of taking care of Vorak’s associate, while Natalia combats Vorak herself.

Well shit, that was unexpected. Probably shouldn’t predict for Fate/Zero to take the cliche route. So, I’m assuming the planes going to fall or something. Or she may killed a clone or something. Fuck, shit’s too simple. He cannot die that easily, he’s the central “antagonist” in this episode.

Well fuck you too Fate, predicting you is too god damn hard. Natalia’s faced with a dire predicament; she has to reach the cockpit, but, the plane’s overrun with ghouls. After a brief intermission, it appears that she’s successful in doing so. But, outside the cockpit are three-hundred ghouls; the only thing separating them is the door. Her situation isn’t favorable, there’s a sense of desperation in Kiritsugu’s voice.

That ghoul looks ridiculously similar to the zombie from Sankarea. Probably just coincidental.

Natalia and Kiritsugu breaks into discourse. She begins by stating his potential; she was in a predicament when he first apprenticed under her, he had far too much potential. Kiritsugu has this ability to commit to apathy when he pulls the trigger; that usually takes years to develop.

“But choosing your calling based on your talents won’t always guarantee you happiness. If you act on what you should do, without heed for what you want to do, you’re nothing more than a machine, a phenomenon. It’s not how a human being should live.”

Shit’s getting a bit more sentimental. She’s stating that regardless of his abilities, his gifts, they all lean towards killing. There isn’t a need to conform to what you’re good at for the sole reason of being good at it. Basically, don’t need to kill because you’re good at it; you’re not guaranteed to find happiness from it. Speech seems a bit out of character, but I’ll assume that she’s in realization of her imminent death; she’s using this opportunity to teach him his final lesson.

Normally, it’s the father’s job to train up a boy. Well, you know… In your case, I’m the one who deprived you of your chance for that. Well, anyway, I did feel pretty bad about it. This was the only way of life I could teach you.”

She basically served as his father mother figure. She essentially forced him to leave his old lifestyle after making him kill his own father; she raised him, but that involved turning him into a killer of sorts.

“I’ve spent a long time alone in this bloodstained business. So long that I even forgot that I was all alone. Well… it’s been pretty entertaining in its own way. Having something like a family, that is.”

She may have taken Kiritsugu under her wing with the intentions to turn him into a killer. But, as time progressed, she began to grow closer to him; she regained the feeling of companionship. Given that, she may be regretting her influences; she initially wanted Kiritsugu to kill, but, after he “softened” her, she wants him to live a life chosen for himself, not one she impressed onto him.

This type of dialogue makes shows at times; shifting from a serious, cathartic mood, into a practical, jovial one. Contrary to her words though, she’s probably going to die.

Well, quite the development. His fervor for being a hero supersedes his emotion; the very “talent” that Natalia recognized, kills her. I actually really liked this scene. Natalia essentially introduced two choices to him: to stop the charade of being a hero, or to conform to being one. She grins at the end, recognizing his decision. Kiritsugu alludes to Shirley’s death; if he had killed her, she wouldn’t have spread the pestilence, his island would not have been purged. He aspired to avoid that mistake this time. Yes, he killed Natalia; but, along with that, he killed around 300 ghouls too; saving an indeterminable amount of lives.

On-going Thoughts: Concluding Thoughts

Really liked the episode, much less dialogue heavy, but it only shows that Fate/Zero doesn’t need heavy dialogue to develop shit. Kiritsugu basically has the talent of being an objectively-driven killer regardless of the situation; but, he also takes the brunt of the emotional damage. At the end, he essentially goes temporarily insane, cursing himself. He’s a “hero” with the bane of having the confront the realities of his actions. Excuse the bullshit commentary from the first half, there was not much to comment on.

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4 Responses to On-going Thoughts: Fate/Zero 19/25

  1. Lorhand says:

    Kiritsugu’s Crest has the unique ability to sever and bind circuits; contrary to others, which destroys and regenerates.

    I think you mean his origin is Severing and Binding. His Crest allows him to use the Time Alter abilities, as it’s the Emiya family’s magecraft.

    Short remark: Vorak is a Dead Apostle. Man, these guys are only making trouble…

    About Natalia: Two things that I want to mention.

    First, she is possibly German. The fax she got was in German(not good German, but hey, recognizable). Seems like Kiritsugu has a good connection to Germans. First Natalia, then the von Einzberns…

    Second – and this is only in the Fate/Zero material book – Natalia was in love with Kiritsugu(yes, I found that weird, too). She is partially a succubus(as far as I have understood it) and occassionally harassed and teased Kiritsugu sexually. It is because of her loving him and Kiritsugu seeing her as a maternal figure that she supressed her impulses. Happy Mother’s Day, Natalia…

    Excellent work by ufotable imo. Lots of additions again, but for the better. Small details like Natalia’s smile at the end give the viewer a better chance for interpretations and Kiritsugu’s breakdown was well done.

    It would have been a nice contrast to Kirei if they had shown Kirei crying for his father, when he held his corpse because the reasons for their tears are the complete opposite. Kirei cried for his wife and father because he wanted to kill them, while Kiritsugu cried for his father(in the novel) and “mother” because he “had” to kill them. Though Kiritsugu in general is, as Saber already did, a person to take pity on. There could have been different ways to kill the targets, while saving Natalia. Fyi, Dead Apostles can’t swim. Regardless, Kiritsugu takes the “safest” option of not failing, just like when he killed Kayneth and Sola-Ui.

    Luckily, Kiritsugu never wanted Shirou to become like him, even reluctantly teaching him only Strengthening and Projection magic. However, I think he should have told Shirou about his past. Shirou might have given up to become an “ally of justice” like Kiritsugu.

    • mdz says:

      Ahh fixed it, and thanks for the extra clarifications.

      A bit foggy as to how the Heroic Spirit system works, but since Shirou’s projected as Archer, doesn’t that mean that he was ultimately successful in becoming a hero?

      Also, maybe they omitted that trait about Natalia to ultimately characterize her differently.

    • Lorhand says:

      Archer did become a hero. However that depends on how exactly you define “hero”. Heroic Spirits are in general a human phenomenon. If the humans worship their heroes, the world will give them the status of a Heroic Spirit and they will go to the Throne of Heroes. However, there are also those who make a contract with the world(like Saber did). After their wish has been fulfilled, they will become so-called Counter Guardians – nameless Heroic Spirits – to preserve humanity. They are the Counter Force of Alaya, humanity’s unconscious will to survive – literally speaking they are “slaves”.

      Archer did become the Ally of Justice Shirou wished to become – just like in his ideal. He fulfilled his dream and saved some people and the world many times. But that doesn’t mean he was in the end happy with all of this. Just like Saber, he regretted everything and he actually participates in the war to change history.

      Just like Kiritsugu and Saber, he had to realize that his ideal is just a fortunate dream and that he cannot save everyone. And just like them he killed many people to act on his ideal and protected it. Archer was as stubborn as Saber and never gave up hope that all the deaths and conflicts would end someday, that everyone would become happy.

      His true wish was to not to end all conflicts, but to not see the people around him cry. But since he cannot save everyone he had to sacrifice people. He always acted against his ideal because he had to save many more lives according to his ideal, that is the paradox and the contradiction in all of this.

      In the end he made a contract with the world to gain the power to save more lives. He would become a nameless hero that protects humanity and saves many more lives after his death whenever humanity was close to extinction. Archer died because just like in Saber’s case, no one understood him. Like Saber, he was betrayed by the people he protected. He was accused of being the root of a conflict he solved and in the end was executed for that.

      However, Guardians only clean up and kill, they don’t save lives. The ideal he wanted to protect betrayed him after death and that is why he can only feel regret. If there is one thing he absolutely hates, then it is to fight and kill and for the rest of his afterlife he is a slave that acts as a killing machine. You can basically say he is one step ahead of Saber. After Saber wins the Grail to change her past, she will become a Counter Guardian.

      Ultimately one could say Archer succeeded, but he wasn’t happy with the result and only felt regret. I recommend playing the novel to understand his view better. Though of course you can already get a good look at this after seeing Saber and Kiritsugu because Archer resembles them a lot.

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