On-going Thoughts: Fate/Zero 21/25


There’s flashbacks in this episode


The first few minutes of the episode was a chase scene. It’s ridiculously pretty. Saber uses a combination of her advanced Riding ability, her Rank A Mana Burst, Invisible Air, and her ability to make armor out of Mana power-up the motorcycle; this allows her to accomplish the task of keeping up with Rider’s chariot. [Kiritsugu also modified the motorcycle.]

Saber manages to catch up, in fact, she’s set up perfectly for an ambush. However, since she does hold valor and honor dear, she gives Rider a fair warning before striking. Ending the chase, and ruining the ambush. Saber learns that Rider does not have Irisviel.

Elsewhere, Kiritsugu interrogates the actual heir of the Matou family, Byakukya. By deduction, he concludes that only they would be capable of kidnapping Irisviel. It’s somewhat ironic how his ability to interrogate is bolstered by his attributed objectivity, while he’s interrogating for an entirely subjective reason. Kiritsugu learns that Kirei has Irisviel.

Kariya used two of his command spells in the pursuit of kidnapping Irisviel; One to command Berserker to kidnap Irisviel, and to let Saber escape, and the other to transform. Normally, a command spell wouldn’t be needed, but, as Berserker, he lost his sanity. Kirei gives him two command spells to make up for the lost ones. They appear to be collaborating together; Kirei also seems to be much more assertive. The illusion was made possible by Berserker’s Noble Phantasm. Berserker’s true identity is Lancelot of the Lake; a person who was extremely close to King Arthur, as well as one of the few who knew of her true gender. The scene really exemplifies Kirei’s maleficent nature with his facial expression. Kariya is told to meet Kirei again at midnight, to receive his wish. Kariya leaves, and Kirei senses Zouken Matou in the vicinity.

Waver comments on Rider’s philosophy. He wasn’t the ruler that conquered for the sole sake of wealth, but rather, he sought to conquer their souls without degrading, or destroying them. Rider leads the charge and attacks; Saber counters with Excalibur.

Zouken converses with Kirei. Kirei questions him on his intentions; he proclaims his curiosity. Zouken’s undecided as to whether he’s more interested in winning, or tormenting Kariya. Kirei, a person who was fiercely loyal to the church, retaliates in anger. However, Zouken escapes “unharmed”. Zouken’s hatred towards Kariya could be a pure, blatant hatred, or it could be due to Kariya denouncing and “leaving” the family. But, his ending quote seems to hint towards the former, rather than the latter.

Saber’s Excalibur repelled Rider’s charge. He loses his chariot, so Waver requests for him to use his Ionian Hetaroi, one last time. But, Rider states his reluctance in doing so, ironic given his former speech. Saber, rather than continuing the battle, retreats. She’s more focused on finding Irisviel over eliminating an opponent. Essentially the opposite of an objective Kiritsugu.

To attain his wish, he shows up at the church at midnight. Kariya spots Tokiomi sitting in the front row, he approaches him. After a brief speech, he realizes that Tokiomi is dead. Awestruck and confused, he’s met with more flashbacks, until suddenly, Aoi appears. She approaches the body.

“Are you satisfied, Kariya-kun? Now the Matou are sure to win the Holy Grail…Why? Was taking Sakura from me not enough? Of all the things you could’ve done, you killed him in front of me? Why?”

Somewhat paralyzed by her loyal nature, and the situation at hand, she begins a tirade. What began as a cry of mourning turned into a volatile phrase that made Kariya’s loose hold on sanity collapse.

Clouded by her emotions, Aoi essentially declares that Kariya never loved anybody. It’s essentially the worst thing that she could have said, by saying that he never loved her, there would still be Sakura, by saying that he never loved Sakura, there would still be her. But by saying that he didn’t love anybody, it essentially drives him insane. In his mind, he put up with incessant shit for the sole reason of trying to “protect” Sakura. He was in love with Aoi, he would have done anything for her, but the shared feelings collapsed after Aoi married Tokiomi. He essentially kills her enraged, which subsequently results in him going mad afterwords.

This “bad play” of sorts was set up my Kirei. Previous to this, he hasn’t done anything to display his malignant nature. His feelings are compared to wine, he tried something new, he did what Rider would have done, he conquered the “enemy” without killing the enemy. In his case, Kariya is mentally unstable, his motivations appear to be somewhat destitute, he’s on the verge of killing himself. Kariya notes that he likes the new taste of the wine, or the initiation of actual sadistic acts.

On-going Thoughts: Concluding Thoughts

Fate/Zero does drama right, and inadvertently, horror. There’s often the discussion of the “correct” music to play during dramatic scenes, in Clannad’s case, it was with extremely memorable and effective songs, in Another’s case, it was with cliche, horror music. The former succeeded while the latter failed miserably; Fate on the other hand, embraced silence. There wasn’t a memorable OST playing, but rather, a dramatic, deafening silence that afflicted the viewer with trepidation as to what would occur next. It worked extremely well.

But as to the episode, I liked it. Not as much dialogue as I’d like, but still, really enjoyable.

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3 Responses to On-going Thoughts: Fate/Zero 21/25

  1. Lorhand says:

    Saber uses her advanced Riding ability to power-up the motorcycle; this allows her to accomplish the task of keeping up with Rider’s chariot.

    Saber is using a combination of her Riding skill, Mana Burst(Rank A), Invisible Air and her ability to make armor out of mana(and let’s not forget that Kiritsugu modified the V-MAX), very cool scene. The CG is unfortunate for me, but that was probably unavoidable, considering the budget.

    Saber actually realizes that Rider can’t be the perpetrator, since he was on his way to her castle(and Iri is obviously not in the chariot), meaning he doesn’t know Saber and Iri’s new hideout and (what we all thought) it would be ooc for Rider to kidnap Iri. However, unfortunately, it was too late to back off, Rider was in for a fight.

    I don’t really know what to say about her short “fight” against Rider. He was still lacking mana, so with full power Gordius Wheel could have defeated Saber before she could unleash Excalibur. Furthermore, Rider doesn’t want to kill Saber and he has to protect Waver. In the anime, it looks like a suicide ride as he seems to be clearly slower than Saber.

    Elsewhere, Kiritsugu interrogates a member of the Matou family.

    That’s the actual heir of the Matou family and Kariya’s brother, Byakuya, meaning Shinji is his son. I imagined it to be funnier, since Kiritsugu blew his hand off, while interrogating him in the novel. ^_^

    Kariya used two of his command spells to create the illusion of Rider kidnapping Saber; Kirei grants him two command spells to make up for the lost ones.

    One Spell to tell him to kidnap Iri and let Saber escape and the other one to do the transformation. It’s actually a wasted Noble Phantasm as Berserker, if you ask me. Normally, this Noble Phantasm could be used without a Command Spell, but as Berserker, he lost his sanity. The two Noble Phantasms of Berserker “For Someone’s Glory” and “Knight of Honor” we saw until now exist to hide Berserker’s true identity and Noble Phantasm. Basically, as Saber for example, he could have disguised himself for the rest of the war as someone else without any cost. That is quite overpowered.

    Zouken converses with Kirei.

    I’m pretty sure this scene will be extended in the bluray. Kirei is trying to make excuses why he would try to betray Tokiomi, while Zouken easily saw through this lie and knows that Tokiomi is already dead and that Kirei killed him.

    Zouken’s hatred towards Kariya could be a pure, blatant hatred, or it could be due to Kariya denouncing and “leaving” the family. But, his ending quote seems to hint towards the former, rather than the latter.

    Both, to be honest. Kariya is nothing but a piece of shit to him and he notes a betrayer like him deserves such an end. That’s actually exactly the reason why he gave Kariya Lancelot and wanted Kariya to summon him as a Berserker. Berserker’s NPs consume more mana than for example Lancer, whose NPs are more passive, while Berserker constantly has to consume mana. Not to forget, Berserkers in general need more mana, so you could control them.

    What also was left out is Zouken saying that if Kariya could have won, the other three wars would have been wasted. He is mocking Einzbern and Tohsaka for not noticing that something wrong is going on in this war because a spirit like Gilles de Rais never could have been summoned because he is not a Heroic Spirit and thus doesn’t fulfill the conditions of a Servant.

    Still, Kirei as an Executor and exorcist would probably be Zouken’s natural enemy.

    After a brief speech, he realizes that Tokiomi is dead.

    I’m surprised he didn’t notice the stabbing wound(unfortunately, Kirei was falsified the rigor mortis, making it impossible for someone to notice that Tokiomi died hours ago already), but I guess he already lost his ability to think clearly, so that can’t be helped.

    He was in love with Aoi, he would have done anything for her, but the shared feelings collapsed after Aoi married Tokiomi. He essentially kills her enraged, which subsequently results in him going mad afterwords.

    That’s essentially the thing. Kariya never realized (after Sakura became Matou’s heir) that Aoi still truly loved Tokiomi. And Aoi never realized that Kariya loved her(how stupid can one woman actually be?). It is a linkage of misunderstandings. Neither Aoi nor Tokiomi knew why Kariya left, nor did they care and they(okay, only Aoi) told him that it doesn’t concern him. Kariya didn’t know why Sakura was given away for adoption and including his old jealousy for Tokiomi and false pride, it led to an unfulfilled vendetta that made him willingly destroy his sanity and life over time.

    It is always interesting to see how much the Masters, although most of them used catalysts, resemble their Servants. Kariya becoming mad and only relying on instincts and impulses in the end greatly resembles Berserker’s path, as he also went mad for his love and now as Berserker can only rely on instincts(though that was his wish). Both of them can no longer think rationally and complicated. Oh and the “rape” innuendo, though really disgusting, was imo a great addition.

    Kirei is actually not satisfied with this scene because they were just like actors who followed his script. But it was definitely “fresh” and new to him, so the effort for amusement was, as far as I can see, not wasted. And of course, once he has tasted the true taste and flavor of the wine , he wants to taste more.

    Anyway, those who played the VN will probably understand to what next episode’s title refers to… I hope ufotable has enough time left and won’t cut too many scenes.

    • mdz says:

      Fixed most of it. Thanks.

      Do you think they’ll manage to finish the story well in four episodes?

    • Lorhand says:

      If it were the bluray release, I’d say: Maybe. Most likely they have the time.

      However, with the 23min limit I’ll say “no”. I’m afraid secondary characters’ scenes will be cut short, like Waver’s next scene or Berserker’s flashbacks.

      I think ufotable will probably focus on the fights(especially the final confrontation we were all waiting for between the two most dangerous Masters in the war) in the next two episodes. The second-to-last episode will be the episode in which the timer will reach “Zero Hour”(hence the name Fate/Zero) aka the war’s end, while the last episode will be an epilogue, opening the path for FSN.

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