Moral of the story: Life’s a bitch, deal with it!
|The recent Fate/Zero Kiritsugu’s arc gave me quite a challenge. If you have been keeping up, I’ve been experimenting with my episodics and having the Type-Moon knowledge, I just thought to make this a special post on Kerrytugu. Like before, I won’t be recapping anything rather throwing explanation wherever necessary. This episode is also Shiki approved because we get not just one, but technically three Kara no Kyoukai reference.|
Now that the panther’s out of the bag, rather than wasting my time on reviewing what happened, I’ll divulge myself into the character that is Emiya Kiritsugu. Love him, pity him, hate him, despise him; do whatever you want with him. Because he won’t even glance back at you (unless you are a carbon copy of Shirley or Iri), being oblivious to everything except his ultimate goal of saving humanity. Tall declaration for anyone but at least he’s 200% sure about it and doing everything in his power to achieve it. You have to give him props for that.
The feature that ruled his life is misfortune and loss of every single person that he came to care about (father, first love, and mother, while his right arm and wife are in danger zone as well). There is no explanation of what happened to his biological mother except for the fact that he had been with his father since he opened his eyes. It’s said that he was born in Arimango island but anime wasn’t clear about this except for Shirley making fun of his name, which was not in novel. Most probably his mother was a local that Noritaka married after exiling himself to the island. Who could have passed on due to some labour complication soon after his birth? Not sure about this but Kiritsugu had been the resident of the island most of his childhood years if not all.
Noritaka caused the biggest event in his life, making his normal life go up in flames. People can contest that it was Shirley who stole the potion but who do you think influenced her to do so? Who kept on saying with a serious face that this is all I can do; grow numerous beautiful flowers, which would never bloom to their full glory as their life span was controlled by his experiment? Of course, to Shirley he was the god, who wanted to cure cancer and the reason she gave her own body to show the experiment as success. We know the results but it still breaks my heart thinking about how Kiritsugu decided to kill his own father, only to stop him from making more failed dead apostles (vampires), like Shirley. His childhood was over in the instant he fired that gun (FYI, there was no dagger play in the novel, the gun was the only weapon supplied by Natalia, which she regretted forever later).
A gaping question remains, why was his father so important that Association and Church both came after him? Well, he was special, being given the title of Sealing Designation. These are the special magi, who have inborn special abilities that Association vie to acquire their live sample/study/family crest, while Church wants to eradicate them if they go rogue (complete termination). Given this title means that the magus will either live a life of hermit (self-exile and only in few cases, teaching their magic to selected disciples; like Aozaki Touko), or Philosopher (who do whatever to reach their magical goals and experiment nonstop; like Araya Souren). Noritaka was a mix of both and as soon as the organizations got wind of his research, they came after him.
Following Mother’s Footsteps
The decision to keep Kiritsugu came naturally after. As Natalia worked with the Association for Noritaka’s capture; with her connections, she got around half of Emiya family’s magical crest transferred to Kiritsugu’s body later so that he could use it to hone his killing skills. Of course, Association made sure that he won’t use the crest powers to walk down his father’s footsteps (like hell, he would). And the concept of origin bullets via the Contender was just another weapon that Natalia added in his arsenal along with the innate skills of Time Manipulation (as shown in his combat against Kayneth).
Backpacking with Natalia in war zones, which were sometimes influenced by the then ongoing war between Magus Association and Church, even his teenage years didn’t last too long. Seeing death over and over again made him mature for his age so that depth of his voice even in teenage years makes sense. Without Natalia even realizing, she forgot that she always worked alone and Kiritsugu just fit right in. Till her last moment, she agreed to the fact that Kiritsugu has too much potential because he never got cold feet of a killer except once in his life (against Shirley). This was the same instinct that she trusted him with to make a decision to submerge her plane with 300 ghouls because that was the only way to quarantine it, rather than starting Resident Evil all over again. Their conversation was touching and almost waltz-like, saying everything they wanted to say, while knowing full well what the other was expecting. After ending his own mother’s life to save the many faceless New York citizens, he ended his teenage years with gory screams of frustration and anguish. Yes, he’s not so emotionless after all but such moments come rarely.
Walking on the Thorny Path of a Killer
Even when Natalia was around, they often took missions from the Sealing Designation Enforcers (Association taskforce specifically made to retrieve all Sealing Designation research), and same happened after she passed on. During his death mongering to save humanity (as per his own definition), he came across Maiya, a warzone soldier. She was rescued by him and from then on, she became his weapon, considering him her god. She did whatever he said, silently and without hesitation. An interesting fact, half of her tongue was cut during her warring days, which is the reason of her slight lisp.
After some time, Kiritsugu was hired by the Einzbern to kill all magi in their path to acquire the Holy Grail and that is when he met the vessel, Iri. He never thought, he would find love again but he did and the ten years he spent there were one of the best of his life because there was no killing (he also left smoking, just because his brand wasn’t available there). Though, he was powerless in stopping the oldman Acht in magically experimenting on Iri for her to give birth to Ilyasviel, his precious daughter. You should remember his lament from the first episode that aired.
He went through all of that because he wants to acquire the grail and literally eradicate every man like his father off the face of this earth. And he has almost readied himself to see his wife sacrifice herself too (though this was not by choice but destined since her inception). He has nothing to lose; he’s a lone wolf, walking towards his ultimate goal, which is not flawless but riddled with blood.
Graveyard of Loss
Such, a heart-wrenching story… I remember reading this and literally stopping for a while just to take everything in. There were some additions by ufotable to the story that really made the kid Kiritsugu seem more human. That high jump off a cliff to almost aloofness towards Shirley and slowly realizing his feelings, were all little crumbs that led to gather strength to fire that shot. Like any other boy, he wanted to be a super hero of justice, who can save the planet from all kinds of morbidity. Though, only very few take it so seriously and make it their lifelong goal. The past events sure escalated everything but this is not the end and you can already guess more suffering looming on the horizon. I have no positive words to say except for the fact that enjoy this story because you rarely see such adaptation and to such detail. There’s no good end, kids, but even with a bad end, some hope would still be left.
Let me leave you with some positivity though, because it’s Type-Moon Trivia Time!
During our live stream of this episode watch on Saturday, we got a question from Magus _Killer that if the first baddie Kiritsugu killed during the chase scene that opened the recent episode was Araya Souren or not. Well, no way, because he was uglier than Araya and a magus of his caliber won’t run like a sissy. Though, most of you did miss some wondrous Kara no Kyoukai references. Let me put you up to speed:
- So, who did a cameo appearance in previous episode? None other than Cornelius Alba, whose pyro skills we missed in the movie, but damn, at least he looked more sane this time.
- Technically a reference: Natalia’s character design is very close to Aozaki Touko’s original designs from KnK novel minus the megane (she had short light-purple hair unlike the red pony-tailed siren we saw in the movies).
- That cigarette packet that Natalia passed on to Kiritsugu is identical to the ones Touko used in Kara no Kyoukai: Paradox Spiral as the brand she liked.
Preview: Back to the Holy Grail war; see what the Broskander is cooking! Also, Kariya’s still alive and more than kicking. Till next time, ja ne~