U MAD YET?! (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻
|My weekends are filled to the brim and every week, this series becomes the highlight, every episode of which sends me to a nonstop frenzy of typing and light novel skimming. So, keeping up with the previous week’s tradition of no summary but highlights, welcome to another review of Fate/Zero and let’s see how the adaptation matched with the original source. PS: We have an IRC channel now (Web Client), so join in whenever! And yeah, this post delayed a few hours BECAUSE of it. Divine was right. >.>|
There’s a new Holy Grail War Supervisor in town and his name is Moe-Moe Kotomine. Just kidding! He’s the srs bsns clergyman, who doubles as Church’s Executioner. If you wondered how he got those awesome tats, it was his father’s doing in completely trusting him. By rule, the command seals are protected by the Supervisor with holy scripture rather than spells and this is the reason, no ordinary Magus could steal them even after the supervisor’s death. However, Risei’s blind faith gave Kirei more than an advantage in this war with the extra command seals gained (power wise, they can compared with magical crests of old families so if I say SUPAH POWUH, I am not exaggerating). You can bet your life that Risei never found out that Kirei received a new set of command seals after the Assassins died. I’m sure he was also unaware of him working against Tokiomi and the many secret meetings between Gilgamesh and his son.
There was another skip in adaptation though. Kirei actually cried seeing his father’s dead body but it was more from the realization of his path than affection. He remembered his wife who died three years ago and the suppressed feelings of love that he labeled sin came crashing onto him. And I quote:
When was the last time he had shed tears? Now he still clearly remembered that it had been three years ago. Using a hand to scoop up the falling tears, that woman had once said this: “You love me.”
The intrinsic ability in his heart to conceal oneself was staunchly blocking recollection.
He cannot turn back. He cannot reflect. The tears shed that day, the feelings held that time, needed to be tossed into the abyss of forgetting.
The answer he had once understood.
The truth he had painstakingly come to realize.
If it was because he had not faced this with an open heart and had thus adopted the method of avoidance that allowed him to maintain his current condition —
He could not comprehend the tears that flowed once more at all. The same feelings as at that time were crying out to the sentiments that had been sealed away and sought for understanding.
But heedless of these rational warnings, memories seeped continuously forth from the gaps between the seals.
This time was very far from the ending he had expected — he had thought thus then.
At the bedside of the frail, dying woman, had Kirei not come to realize the thing which his consciousness desired?
Wanting to ■ ■ ■ ■ this woman——
Wanting to see this woman even more ■ ■ ■ ■ ——
In deeply loving Kotomine Kirei and trusting him——in this aspect, his father, and this woman, did have something in common.
They are also the same in absolutely misunderstanding the nature of the person that is Kirei.
Precisely because of this, three years ago Kirei had constantly prayed like this in his heart…
In the moments before his father’s death, let him sample once again the joy of the greatest ■■ ■ ■ of the mortal world—
“Just like those beasts who chase the scent of blood—— The soul pursues pleasure——”
As if the ruby-like eyes that had been latent in the bottom of his heart, accompanied by that sinister laugh, were quietly whispering.
Only pleasure is the form of the soul-did he not speak thus? The nature of Kotomine Kirei is also like this——
“…O Lord… hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on heaven as it is done on earth.” The familiar prayer he had to recite every day instantly spewed forth from his mouth; this might have been an instinct of self-preservation. In this way he returned to his role as a clergyman, tightly binding a soul that was close to falling to pieces. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us… and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil… Amen.”
He sealed the cursed truth of the tears falling uninterrupted from his face to forgetfulness’s other shore. Kirei prayed for his father’s fortunes in the next life, and made the sign of the cross on his chest.
I understand why this was not adapted. For the same reason as Enkidu was discarded; so that the audience doesn’t feel sympathy for the bad guys. But do you think that gels well with the story? I like such stories, where I get to find out what influenced the bad guys to come to such life-changing decision. And even if it was skipped in anime, I wanted my readers to not miss this because it makes you understand yet another character facet and the more complex they are, the more delicious the whole experience becomes.
If you read the last bit of the above excerpt, you can clearly see that if it were not for Gilgamesh’s prodding; Kirei might have remained clueless for a longer time, almost like a cart horse, whose eyes are covered from the sides so that it can only see in one direction. It was literally Gilgamesh, who took away that cover and showed him the world of entertainment and pleasure. He killed all his concepts of pleasure being sinful, rather making it something voyeuristically fantastic—spying on and then saving Kariya, obsessing over Kiritsugu, to name a few. You can ask why the hell he’s playing all these mind games? Well, it’s a form of entertainment for him (almost similar to Izaya’s declaration, “I love humans!”), and there are some new elements that have piqued his interest more than ever (Tokiomi, Kirei and Saber).
I’m sure there are a lot of people, who get pissed off with the high and mighty attitude of the King of Heroes, but that’s how he is. You can say, he’s a character that everyone loves to hate. Personally, I like his delicious brand of manipulation. But here’s the catch, Kirei is NOT like Tokiomi, who would just follow a set of rules like a blind man. Of course, he has done the same thing in terms of church and his father’s teaching for a while but he has never been satisfied with his life and had been purposeless until the first set of command seal appeared on his hand. You can compare him to Araya Souren of Kara no Kyoukai and like him, he has been in search of his purpose throughout his life and is at the cusp of discovery.
The whole conversation that spiraled towards let me be your master and servant lullaby was wordy but had enough pizzazz to keep me glued to the screen while grinning to myself. Yes, they were that amusing to watch and it was a perfect example of bromance, even when I think the OTP of bromance is Kirei/Kiritsugu. On situational sense, Gilgamesh and Kirei are perfect partners because they complement each other’s goals. If Kirei is still in the ‘find-mode’, Gilgamesh is in ‘enjoy-mode’ because he has already found it. From the beginning, they were literally circling each other just like Risei and Tokiomi did to Kirei in the first episode. They will wreck quite havoc but that is what makes all of this interesting!
Elitist’s Proposal of Alliance
Risei’s death put a cincher on Tokiomi’s plan and thus, he strategized a proposal of alliance wrought with prissy advantage. According to him, only the three ancient families should participate in the run for Grail rather than an outsider like Waver. Iri recognized this attempt as calling them the weakest opponent but I’m sure, Tokiomi just wanted to use Saber to finish off his other opponents. Anyways, the standoffish scenario for a ceasefire could have worked with Kirei gone but all of us knew that would never happen. Though, I loved it how Iri ruled over the discussion and made her voice heard rather than being belittled. The discussion she had with Maiya originally took place in the new residence of Emiya (Shirou’s future home) than in the car, while Saber checked out her new wheels.
From episode twelve, you are privy to the ever weakening Irisviel. She has literally been under the life support of Avalon (Saber’s Noble Phantasm) and is unable to even move sometimes. I can finally reveal it to you that she’s the vessel for Holy Grail. This has already been heavily hinted by the OP and ED both and ufotable could have put a damper on this but still, it’s about time to know this, just like Maiya. I have a lot to say about her because she’s one of those strong Type-Moon females that I’ve come to like. My first reaction to her was hatred because she was getting in Kiritsugu’s business but reading the novels gave me knowledge about her and there is nothing but platonic relationship between Kiritsugu and her. He is her god in a way because if it weren’t for him, she would have been a lost and dead child. She doubles as the left hand of Kiritsugu (his right one is his guns and sadly Saber does not come into picture unless very necessary), and part-time protector of his wife.
Like Iri, Maiya knows the aim of her master and that is what makes them share such a deep bond in a short time because both understand him almost 90% and are ready to give their life for him. For different reasons but both had been rescued by him from a doll-like state and actually feel alive. It was very touching to see Iri share her fears with Maiya because she can’t with Saber as that would even further trouble her in the upcoming battles. Everyone needs a confidante, right?
Holy Grail’s Truth & Reveal
Out of all the masters, the only one who worked truly for the true Holy Grail aka Heaven’s Feel was Tokiomi. Like Kirei revealed, the main purpose of creation of the Holy Grail War by the three ancestor families, Einzbern, Tohsaka and Matou was to reach the Akashik records for the ultimate revelation with a Greater Grail. This would only be possible when all seven servants pass on and fill the Grail with so much mana that connection to Akasha is achievable. However, with the course of Grail wars, vessels failed; so Acht of Einzbern fashioned a homunculus, which would fend for herself and save the Grail till it was proper time of its release.
Thus, a shell to protect it is what Irisviel’s purpose. She wasn’t supposed to live like a human (pay attention to some ED scenes in which Kiritsugu is examining her, while she stares off as a doll), but with the arrival of Kiritsugu after being hired by the Einzbern for a winning streak in this war; they had their fateful meet up and came to love each other. Fully knowing that their journey is not forever, the eight years they spent, she cherished all of them. Now her only wish is to transfer the Grail in Kiritsugu and Saber’s hand but it’s not all up to her sadly.
A fact about Fate/Zero: except for the very minor characters, whenever you know someone is about to die, you feel pity for them. You have seen me raging at Tokiomi before being an awful father, who doesn’t deserve two talented daughters. But you know what? I actually felt pity for him because he never got to live his own life. He always followed the rules almost perfectly to the s as if even a small deviation would cause his demise or losing of points in the game of life that he lived by incorporating the ideal Magus ways. He was not a promising magus, not even 30% of what Rin would become in future but he still tried and if it took 50 times more effort to reach a 10% goal, he would slug it out just because he thought of it as his family’s creed and thus followed like it was a lifeline.
From marrying Aoi to giving up Sakura on adoption was all according to the magus’s creed and values that were passed on from his ancestors. Sadly, according to him, that is the sign of the best father and that is what he left for his daughter rather than any words of affection. Rather than the news of another Holy Grail War in the future, I love you, my daughter, would have sufficed, you douchebag oyaji! Even when, his values did not have any meaning, Rin grew up thinking of him as the most powerful magus of all time. Kids are sometimes delusional like their parents too.
This backstabbing was the meat of episode. So, delicious and amazing. The symbolism of dying at the hand of your student you trusted the most is more than pitiful. Imagine, the guy Tokiomi handed the guardianship of his daughter to, is the one responsible for his own murder… There are already too many memes out for this scene but that epic shocked face was priceless and Kirei doing it with the
ironic dagger that Tokiomi gifted him?! Justice for being a douchebag, you say? Of course, Tokiomi had it coming but the way he was dealt with dents his reputation even more. Imagine after so much strategizing and planning, your own student KO’s you out of the game? I pity his disposition but even more so, I’m sad about Aoi, who was doomed for an unhappy life and for Rin, who would never get a father’s real affection, who would actually hug her on impulse. Fact, that head patting was a first for Rin and this was the height of Tokiomi showing his emotions towards his daughter.
Overall, even after trying quite hard, I was unable to reduce the post length. I just have too much to say about this series. I love the fact that it has been sending the viewers reeling backwards in shock every week. I was pretty amused with some people going, “We HATE Kiritsugu /RAGE,” last week, and now I’m waiting for the same yells for Kirei. I highly enjoyed his turning over the dark side Darth Vader style; it was almost like a snake shedding its skin for a new and more interesting design. Before closing though, let’s do a head count of the remaining servants: Saber, Gilgamesh, Berserker and Rider. Waver is definitely being singled out and I expect Rider to knock on Saber’s door anytime because he promised to duel whoever wins Saber vs Lancer fight. Though, what I’m really looking forward to is Kiritsugu’s flashback and the devil-duo to wreck havoc in the coming weeks.
See this island? It’s where you will find an innocent boy named, Kiri. It’s time to learn a bit more about our BAMF Magus Killer. Hope you liked the new format. Feedback is welcome! Till next time, ja ne~