A cliffhanger ending, you gotta be shittin’ me!
|Aaah, it’s over… Before I lament the loss of regular updates of this brilliant series, let me thank Jrow in helping me with the finale of this season because I had very less time to finish this with my current moving schedule to a new place. And of course, more the merrier is always good!|
|Well hi there! Kyo, hope everything with your move is going fine, and it certainly is great to join you for the conclusion of this part of F/Z! This show has really been sensational, and I’ll have to just be patient thru the cold of winter until this comes back in April. So what went down?|
The B “master”/servant story followed this episode was Irisviel and Saber. Kiritsugu makes an assessment on the current situation in the War, and he and Maiya are preparing a new base of operations for Iri and Saber. Instead of some crazy maniac driving, Saber gets behind the wheel, a first of many things that Iri has Saber do for her, including taking the mansion keys and preparing the magic circle at a different area of the mansion. With Saber getting concerned, Iri admits that she isn’t feeling well, so she shut down her sense of touch to surpress her spirtuality. She reminds Saber that she is a homunculus and ponders if defects in her structure is causing the illness.
When she goes back to her own timeline, Saber is totally inventing the car!
In the A master/servant story of Kirei and Gilgamesh, after Assassin saw the power of Rider’s Noble Phantasm, Kirei claims its power is on par with Archer’s (Gilgamesh) Gates of Babylon. After the epic King’s Banquet from last episode, most of episode 12 was a conversation between Kirei & Gilgamesh about why Kirei would want to obtain the holy grail. With Kirei now apparently out of the Holy Grail War by evidence of his lost command spells, he explains to Gilgamesh what would happen if a master was killed and where any unused command spells would go. If the servant dies, the spells return (in theory) to the Holy Grail, but if the master dies, command spells can be given to a new master deemed fit to fight in the War, or possible could be given to an ex-master. In the episode’s second half, Gilgamesh prods Kirei to see what makes him tick, what “interests” him, what he finds as “pleasure” or “entertainment”. Kirei, trying to stay in boss mode, gets tripped up once Gilgamesh asks him what would happen if him and Kariya were the last two masters left. As the conversation continues, the command spells start to form on Kirei’s hand, returning him to the battle after a brief time off.
Two more master/servant pairings get the bulk of focus, and I’ll start with Waver & Rider. After Waver sees a vision of Rider approaching Okeanos, the two head to Barnes & Noble. Waver finds an Alexander the Great book, and picks it up wanting to learn more about his servant. Rider finds him and shows off the new Admiral War Tactics game he purchased at GameStop. For one, how does Rider know video games? And how/why would Waver give him money to be able to pay for the system. After Rider sees the book about himself, Waver asks “y u no short?”
Does this book speak the truth? And why are we in a real-life library?
Walking home, Waver feels like having Rider is a sure win, but he finds little reward in winning with him and wished he contracted with Assassin. Basically the same reasoning for someone dumping their boyfriend/girlfriend because they are too “perfect”, but then again, Waver would like to use the Holy Grail to gain a few extra inches. Imagine if someone’s main wish in Fate/Zero was just to get bigger… er, anyways, Rider hugs Waver only to reach into his backpack and pull out a map so as to give him perspective of just how much a part of the world they are. Okeanos is Rider’s goal, which he actually has not seen yet.
The more significant master/servant pairing this episode was Ryuunosuke and Caster. They come to find their secret lair was void of all the dead bodies they had used to decorate it. Caster tries to cheer him up, and Ryuu wonders if god was punishing him, making Caster’s scary-as-hell eyes bulge. In his warped mind, God never punishes humans, but in Ryuu’s mind, God does exist and loves human and sort of controls them like puppeteers, even going so far as to suggesting that intestines have color because of him. While the lot of us might facepalm in light of Ryuu’s faith (I dunno about a couple of you commenters…), Caster is in nothing short of admiration for his master. How Ryuunosuke justifies being a villain really is sensational.
Caster summons a gigantic monster from the river that absorbs him in. Saber arrives, and Rider and also Lancer come a little bit later. The group form a brief alliance in hopes of stopping Caster from reaching land. The plan is to expose Caster’s Noble Phantasm so that Lancer can use his Gae Dearg to destroy the spell while Rider and Saber take vanguard and attack head on. The two charge, and then… episode 13 ends.
RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!
One does not simply walk into Mordor
I’m pretty sure that bed is not fit for a king.
The awesomeness is over, leaving us on such a cliffhanger. Though I know what happens but it left us at such a delicious point that I almost screamed when the ending sequence played. Oh, ufotable, you troll! But these two episodes… They were glorious in every way (animation, BGM, development, VA cast awesomeness and the works), but I have one bone to pick with ufotable here. They could have shortened the meanderings in episode twelve and actually showed some more action surrounding Caster and his abomination creation to create a new religion on behest of Ryuunosuke. I know they want to open with a bang for season two but c’mon! After all that quality and amazing awesomeness of this Type-Moon franchise, the last episode literally seemed like a miser’s take on this series. Yes, I’ve read the novels and I know how some details or even explanation is necessary but there’s a limit to ‘adapt’ it. For me, this was the first failure of ufotable and though I know these come far and between, it was still a turn off.
For development, the whole Gilgamesh prodding Kirei was pretty entertaining. In case of Nasuism, he always has a character in his story that is purposeless and always in search of finding it. In Fate/Zero it’s Kirei, who’s clueless to his own interests and to him pleasure is simply a sin. He doesn’t understand how a person can be happy seeing others suffer but in contrasts, he’s doing the same thing with Kariya’s observation and his motivation. It’s interesting how every other character is bonding with another, knowingly and unknowingly laying bare their secrets. Gilgamesh had to pull all punches to make Kirei realize his own motivation on taking an extra interest in Kariya and he was spot-on with the reappearance of the command seals. It was almost as if the Grail could hear their conversation and decided to grant Kirie’s wish to find out his own purpose in continuing the quest of Grail and getting a brand new servant. Want to bet on who will be his brand new servant? :3
In the end, the master-servant relationship is not always ironed out in one way. For Kiritsugu’s case, he’s literally delegated all communication to Iri, who’s more of a comrade to Saber; Gilgamesh is too overbearing on Tokiomi, thinks of him less than a mongrel and totally boring; Rider’s too overpowering but he still respects Waver; Lancer is an ideal servant almost supplicating to his master; Assassin was ideal in following orders as well; Berserker is uncontrollable just because of his class, he’s more than a handful for Kariya without any sane thought; and finally Caster and Ryuunosuke are a match made in hell in terms of understanding.
Throughout the first season, we have seen these characters flesh out and find different motivations to participate in the quest of Grail. Some have larger than life reason, while others almost individualistic and for some it’s just means to an end. What changes them is their interaction with each other: Kirei’s obsession with Kiritsugu, Rider and Gilgamesh’s bullying of Saber, Caster’s reverence of Saber, Gilgamesh’s high-handedness with everyone, Kariya’s hatred towards Tokiomi and Rider’s happy-go-lucky ‘human’ attitude. Their individual purposes is what drives them and the reason Kirei sticks out as a sore thumb because his purpose is still unclear. However, as Gilgamesh has surmised, it’s all about pleasure and the seeking of entertainment; we’ll soon find out his drive for the same purpose.
What became clear is that Iri is in fact a homunculus (revealed previously by Tokiomi to Kirei) and she’s definitely hiding a secret from Saber. I felt pity on her life because her purpose was always being the Grail’s vessel and her life doesn’t seem prolonged with Kiritsugu already lamenting her death when their daughter was born. He’s the only magus having assassin-good intel on all other masters, a similarity that he shares with Kirei. I can bet this is the first time in his life that he feels hunted because he has always been a hunter himself. His exasperation and even fear is understandable because Kirei is quite hard to read. This bromance would go a long way, and yeah, all good shows need their own brand of bromance. :3
I rather liked how Iri has bonded with Saber, even if she’s hiding stuff from her like the Avalon! Similarly, Waver reading about Alexander and him accepting his master is a big step towards mutual understanding that is more than a plus when you are knee-deep in such detailed strategical war. In contrast, Kariya seems to be the odd man out in terms of understanding because his servant is not even sane. Though, he’s doing this all to save a girl, who’s not even related to him. His noble cause of saving the daughter of the girl he had a crush on since childhood is almost sweet. Maybe Kirei’s interest borders on sympathy at some point? Anyways, I can go on and on about this but I have to end somewhere and on a note that the next season would definitely be more happening because the fights will be legendary and the last man standing will win all glory! Can you even wait?! Damn, I can’t!
As ufotable literally trolled us with that cliffhanger, I’ll go out with a bomb of some seizon senryaku crossover as well. Happy holidays, everyone and I hope to return soon. Show ▼
Episode 12: I saw a lot of negative buzz on Twitter about how this episode was in dialogue hell and how they found it very boring. For me, I mean it’s not Fate/Zero’s greatest moment, but like Kyo, I very much was “entertained” by Gilgamesh’s prodding/investigation of Kirei. It does take a scenic route into the theory of why Kirei (and also Kiritsugu) is in the Holy Grail War, and Tokiomi better watch his back because I don’t know how much longer Kirei will be watching it for him. The Iri/Saber scene didn’t really leave any impact on me except for driving home the idea that Irisviel’s days are numbered and that she could be the first between she and Maiya to die.
Episode 13: Uh… was that some shoujou in my Fate/Zero? The rhythm of the Waver/Rider scenes this week kind of felt like it, but I’m only half-joking about that. They were very popular in season 1 and got a lot of screen time, so I feel like what more is there to know about them? The Ryuunosuke/Caster scene was weirdly kind of funny. Those two are clearly tied at #1 for the most insane people on earth ever, and Kyo mentioned that they are the most suited for each other; Fate/Zero’s OTP, if you will. Everybody’s allowed their belief in a greater being, but I don’t think you can rationalize serial killing. 😐
Fate/Zero in the Fall 11 season: I have really enjoyed this first part of Fate/Zero. Of the animes that premiered in Fall, this one was without doubt my favorite show to watch. The visuals were simply the best you’ll find this year as there were plenty of moments like in the Rin’s Adventure episode where I was amazed that this was a TV show I was watching. ufotable has done a lot of great things so far, and I’m hopeful for greater things in the Spring running of the rest of the series. Definitely no need to award this anything for 2011 since there’s still 12 more eps to go.
Writer Gen Urobochi will probably opt for a bunches of more dialogue, which I was fine with in season 1; a lot of it is very important for the full understandings of the servant’s pasts and also the relationships they’ve established with their master and also toward both the actions they take in battle. In a couple cases, it sets up events leading up to what just happens to be Fate/Stay Night. I haven’t read the light novels (whatever much of it has been translated), so I’m pretty hopeful that the Spring run can bring us some great action sequences and some beautiful/glorious/gory deaths.
Shit has hit the fan with Caster’s monstrosity unleashed over Fuyuki. Would our heroes temporary alliance save them? Seems like we’ll have more to the party because Berserker and Kariya are joining the party as well. As Date Masamune would say, party o ware ne~