Fate/Zero 24: Drumrolls Please

Countdown to the final curtain fall. Keep a close lookout for surviving bishies.

Hello folks! Only one more episode is left and the tension is high as tightened wires. The feeling on our IRC channel this Saturday was almost palpable with everyone going over themselves to load NND channel in time and not miss a single second of our live viewing. And I hope you are enjoying the Fate/Zero banners on Metanorn, my ode to this amazing series. Like before, let me get you up to speed with what ufotable missed in adaptation by tying loose ends of important plot pointers.

Exemplary Knight’s Heavy Burden

A lot was cut from this section and I can’t get too bitchy about it because adaptations are not perfect. Not to mention, this is almost touching its boundary with the budget spent to produce eyegasmic results. Still, I was disappointed with skipping Lancelot’s story, which needed screen time like all other servants. Not to mention, a genderbent Arturia has more complicacy of explaining her relationship with Guinevere, which was not yuritastic, you hentais!

What was not made clear is the fact that it was not Saber’s drive to get the Grail that made her finish Lancelot rather his battery ran out (Goodbye, Kariya ;–;). With his full reveal of real-self and going completely Berserk, Kariya’s Crest Worms finally gave up squirming inside his body; even the measly mana storage ran out, stopping him in his tracks. That is when Saber woke up from her own despair of seeing her most loyal Knight in such a state for the final blow, remembering her resolve of changing fate.

You can read the excerpt below for a very lucid Lancelot but in short the reason he was called under the Berserker class (he can be called under Saber, Archer, Lancer and Rider classes too), was his own despair and conflict for falling in love with Guinevere along with remaining loyal to his King. Of course, a third-party was involved in revealing their secret, which led Arturia to punish Lancelot on face-value like a righteous king, even when she didn’t want to. Okiya Ryotaro was a very good choice for Lancelot but it’s a pity that we didn’t hear him deliver the following lines. Stuff for BD Specials? I hope so.

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Welcome to the Batcave 

It’s been a fateful journey this season and it has remained on top for a reason. The palpable tension, the dramatics of every plot twist and deaths have led to the crescendo that we are witnessing. So what if they took a leaf out of the Dark Knight? I almost waited with bated breath to possibly see a glimpse of bat-suit or bat-mobile any frame. But references aside, for those of you who missed out my previous editorial, the area where Kiritsugu and Kirei met and fought for the first and last time was a warehouse under the recently built and soon to be destroyed Community Hall (the fourth leyline of Fuyuki city).

The fight between Kiritsugu and Kirei has been due for a long time and like I wrote before, this is the first time they meet face to face and it was fabulous. Of course, everyone wished for a longer fight but Grail-kun had to butt-in to cut this bromance short. There’s a technical mistake of actually showing Kiritsugu’s origin bullet hit Kirei because there’s no such mention in the novel. And even if Kirei was powered by the many extra command seals, the uniqueness of Kiritsugu’s origin bullet should have rendered most of them along with his own magic useless. This was one thing that was not needed at all but I forgive for some Kirei blood-spill.

Angra Mainyu

I’m sure a lot of you would dig this dark-Iri but this is not her at all. As I hinted previously and even forewarned by Zouken, tracing back in timeline, something went wrong in the third holy grail war. A dark spirit Avenger, an anti-hero if you will, was summoned under the Berserker class. He was defeated early and in revenge cursed the wish-granting grail along with leaving its trace of corruption behind. As Einzberns specialize in providing grail hosts and clone from the same mould, the traces were transferred to the fourth war as well. So, there’s definitely something wrong with the current grail, which has turned into the personification of Avenger also known as Angra Mainyu, who wanted to cause nothing but corruption and wreak havoc.

Kiritsugu’s Endless Lament

So, you can’t really blame Kiritsugu for refusing its offer because it cost so much more than what it showed. Whatever we have found out about Kiritsugu till now, his life has been a tough decision after another. But he has always taken care of the majority numbers; that is, greater good versus lesser evil. The event that was skipped was the fact that from 200 survivors, the numbers came down gradually to a mountain of corpses tapering off at the five we saw (Noritaka, Natalia, Maiya, Illya and Iri).

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According to Angra Mainyu, he should embrace his resurrected wife and leave his noble cause of saving the humanity. That is when Kiritsugu realized that the miracle he had been seeking was all lies; a disease that eats its host from inside out and wants nothing but destruction.  Think yourself, should he have just gone with the flow? Of course, not! When he decided to participate in grail war, he had already decided to throw away everything like many times before. A lone wolf against an unknown enemy? You got that right.

This brings me to Kiriei’s point of view, which is not hard to understand because someone who has been purposeless all his life, getting a proper direction (at least, according to him), is something that he has always sought after. Kiritsugu dismissing it and even killing such an ideal life is something unforgivable for Kirei. Though, even if Kiritsugu tried, he could never make Kirei understand his own thinking because their aims and ends were always starkly different. Fourth Grail’s promise of his own ideals sure hit home but I seriously don’t want to learn what he would’ve thought of if he was the chosen one.

Gilgamesh’s Proposal

I’ve become a fan of Gilgamesh quotes. Seriously, some of the lines he has delivered in the course of this series are priceless. A few examples for this episode that ufotable missed are just too gold not to share:

  • Saber… this sight of you crouched on the ground, fallen into this presumptuous obsession, makes you even more beautiful…”
  • “I don’t know why you are so obsessed with some wish-granting Grail. Saber… the fact that a woman like you exists, can already be considered a rare miracle, no?”
  • “Throw away your sword, and be my wife.”
  • “Even if you don’t understand, don’t you feel happy to hear such words? It is not anyone else, but I, who have admitted your worth.”
  • “Abandon these pointless ideals and vows. These things will only restrict you and bring you misfortune. In future you need only desire me and live under my protection. In that case I vow, on my honor as King of everything, that I will grant you all the happiness in the world.”
  • “You can’t say it because you are too shy? It’s all right; I’ll forgive you no matter how many times you get it wrong. First you must learn suffering, and then you will be able to experience the joy I give you.”

Last Command Seal

In the peals of laughter, let’s not forget what Kiritsugu commanded of Saber: to destroy the faulty grail. Gilgamesh’s plan was foiled and so was Saber’s, who has been more than idealistic in not only her leadership but her participation in this war. She was all for changing fate, the center-point of this franchise but she was completely betrayed by her master. When she wanted to depend on him to make a decision for next step (while Gilgamesh’s swords poked her; pun intended), he ordered her to destroy the very thing she had worked so hard for (shafting her knight was the most painful). Let me clarify that she was successfully able to resist the first command seal (being Saber class and possessing a powerhouse of magic has its plus points). It was barely though and when Kiritsugu used his last command seal… Well, you know what happened or rather will know what will transpire after this in the LAST EPISODE.

Goddamn, it’s so near over. From my recent reviews, I must sound like a broken record but each and every new episode has topped the previous like a boss on weekly basis. Though, on critical sense, the way ufotable was acutely anal in the first-cour in following novel facts (except for that Rin episode), they have somehow let loose in second-cour skipping details, which may piss off some hardcore fans. Still, they have adapted at least 85% of it correctly; not to mention with awesome movie-quality animation. I’m a happy camper and salute ufotable for a job well done. If you were expecting some character trait critic, look another way; I like tortured/tormented souls and deep plotlines. And when you add Type-Moon in the mix, I’m willing to watch almost anything.

So, do you hear the distant horns and awesome BGM?! The climax is almost here; you better be ready for an Emiya Shirou Epilogue as the preview suggested. Before I close though, thank you for dropping such amazing comments last week (I’ll be replying to them shortly). And if anyone’s interested to join our live watch on Saturday, tweet me @KyokaiTM. See you next week! Ja ne~

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24 Responses to “Fate/Zero 24: Drumrolls Please”

  1. Rakkyo says:

    Amazing write-up here. Covers pretty much all of the discussion points.

    Just some of my thoughts:
    I was disappointed too that they cut Lancelot’s backstory. He gets way too little screentime if you ask me. But that Kiritsugu vs. Kirei battle is sooo amazing. Alexander’s charge is still the best scene for me, but this came pretty damn close.

    Just a little nitpicking. The scene with Angra Mainyu and Kiritsugu has less impact for me than the novels. Kiritsugu was supposed to be shown killing everyone by himself while being controlled by the grail. Again, this is just me nitpicking and the scene is still very emotional.

    Gilgamesh may not be my favorite character but he is one BAMF. 3rd quote is the best btw. Such arrogance can only be pulled off by Gil.

    PS.
    Saber took an arrow(Gilgamesh-style) to the knee. (sorry cant resist XD)

    • Kyokai says:

      Thanks you very much!

      About Kiritsugu and Avernger conversation. They definitely cut the meat of the conversation and for new watchers, I’m sure it was very confusing. I think they played the whole ship thing due to Dark Knight movie and reference in the warehouse too. I guess, the director or even key animation guy loved that movie to bits?

      I don’t know how people hate him. His arrogance is amusing and these quotes are gold. And Saber sure did (I was kinda enjoyed her suffering too ><).

      *first comment cookie*

  2. HC Yeap says:

    Fantabulous article!
    The Type-moon force is very strong with this one!

  3. The_Magus_Killer says:

    Everyone, please give Kiritsugu and Kotimine a hug and round of applause. Those two dads need it.

    Now I shall wait for Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya where Kiritsugu is a happy papa.

    • Kyokai says:

      Happy Father’s day indeed! :3

      Btw, I have mixed feelings about Kaleed and not sure if I would like the happy go lucky stuff. We shall see!

  4. Kyokai says:

    While I respond to previous comments and get on with this post, a crossover cookie from me:
    http://metanorn.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/28019501.jpg

    Yes, it has to be glorious because it’s Fate/Zero mixed with Nazo no Kanojo X! :3

    • The_Magus_Killer says:

      Mysterious Holy Grail War IV? I can imagine the voice actor of Kiritsugu singing the opening theme song. XD

    • Kyokai says:

      It would be so glorious! :3

      • The_Magus_Killer says:

        Irisviel: here Emiya-kun, your dose *brings out drool covered finger to Kiritsugu’s open mouth.

        *Now let us all imagine Irisviel’s voice actress (Sayaka Ohara) saying that* HNNNNNGGGGG!!! XD

      • Kyokai says:

        OMG, cannot unsee! THEY LOOK SO CUUUUUUUUUUUUTE!!! >3<

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Amazing!! Simply brilliant!!! Good job making this post, Kyo. You don’t sound like a broken record. You’re just lamenting that it’s almost over. This was best episode yet!! Type Moon does save the best things for last.

    The fight between Kiritsugu and Kirei was well directed and each one was absolutely skilled. Kiritsugu and Kirei were basically opposites with their beliefs, making it more sense they’d confront each other.

    Saber and Lancelot’s bout certainly put a dent in her ideals. There needs to be more focus on her though. The way that Saber was able to suddenly realise that her ideals were at fault seemed just a bit too rushed. No one ever gives up on their beliefs so easily, not because they don’t want to but because they don’t doubt themselves although given that she saw Lancelot the way he was may have inflicted enough doubt upon her. There isn’t really a connection to be drawn between Saber’s rule and how Lancelot became the way he was.

    I feel sorry things didn’t go well for Kiritsugu throughout his life. The Grail is a lie. The pain of learning the truth had to be indiscribable. Working so hard, basically turning yourself into a monster, sacrificing the people you care about to get to a goal you ultimately find was not worth the price. That’s nothing short of insult to injury and on a grand scale.

    The way the grail presented the dilemma of the two ships to Kiritsugu where his actions would decide who lives and dies coincidently resemble undeniable similarities of what the Joker was doing to the ferries in The Dark Knight. Kiritsugu’s tragedies practically makes him the Batman of Fate/Zero. The similarities between The Dark Knight and this episode are daunting. The boats, the themes, even the moral compasses and roles for the characters masks. It’s truly an unique coincidence.

    Hahaha, even towards the end, Gilgamesh’s arrogance knows no bounds. His idea of a marriage proposal and ceremony is pretty amazing. Did he really think Saber would let such words seduce her into being his wife? The only one I can think of right now who can match Gilgamesh’s nearly unparalled arrogance is DBZ’s Vegeta.

    • Kyokai says:

      Thanks, BB! I’m definitely going to miss this series after next week. ><

      The dual faces of Kirei and Kiritsugu really hit home this episode and I’m sure no doubt is left in watcher’s mind about who to support. I almost laughed at Kirei’s lamentation of ‘not hurting the grail’. Seriously, this guy. I’m sure if anybody would have had option, they would give the grail to Kiritsugu because he had a valid wish even if misconstrued by most.

      The only thing that pissed me off about this episode was less screen time to Saber and Berserker when there was a lot of history and almost relevance to her leadership. This is the event in her life, which shook her up to the extent of almost facing death because all hope was lost and she was ready to die too.

      You are right about the DK reference. I’m sure the whole ship scenario from novels gave them a hint to use the batcave as community hall’s warehouse! xD Gilgamesh is amusing to no end. I don’t know what he was thinking because at least for Saber, except for “….” she really didn’t have much of an answer to his over-confident drivel. Along with Vegeta, he also reminds me of one Yagami Light. xD

  6. Gecko says:

    I have to say that this last episode was fantastic. For the first season of Fate/Zero I was a little bored but this second season is wonderful.
    For sure, my favorite part of this episode was the Grail showing Kiritsugu what would happen to his wish if it really began. But killing his daughter.. ugh. Ugh. Yuck.
    Then of course, the fight scene was really well done. The acceleration of time with the orange figures showing themselves behind the full-color ones was extremely well done. I wasn’t crazy for the space they fought in, though, I kind of wish it had been a little bit more obstacle-ridden but oh well.
    I’ve decided, with this episode, that I really don’t like Gilgamesh. I just read Siddhartha by Hesse for English, and I’ve noticed the two men (Sid and Gil) have such huge egos and superiority complexes. Gil especially. Saber would never be seduced by his words like that. She has too much pride on the line, and plus, I doubt the two would really be that happy together. They’re not a good match- two headstrong, hubris-filled (I hope that’s the right Greek word for “pride”) people with different ruling ideals/strategies.

    • Kyokai says:

      Just for info, even without the presence of Angra Mainyu, Grail is a tricky wish-granting object. For similarity, think of FMA’s Truth with it’s rule of equivalent exchange. Though, in case of the grail, the cost is too high than whatever it returns. Kiritsugu understood this fact while going through the challenges that grail presented and resolved to do the hardest thing: reject grail’s offer. It was not really Illya or even Iri that he killed but a part of the corrupted grail.

      About Gilgamesh, don’t take him seriously. He’s that troll character whose jokes make you laugh because whatever he says and however much interest he shows for Saber, she would never accept him. I guess, I have a fascination for twisted/troll characters so the reason I am amused by him.

      Also, I think Saber’s pride is not as big as Gilgamesh but they do share one similarity: thinking their way of leadership as the ultimate.

      I loved the Kirei/Kiritsugu fight and this along with so many other things would make me miss Fate/Zero next week. T__T

  7. Martin says:

    I really enjoyed the way that the two battles ran parallel in this episode, and Kiritsugu’s ‘head trip’ segment was nicely done too (it wasn’t just me who got a Batman flashback with the ‘two ships’ dilemma then, huh? ;) ).

    The pacing is the only real criticism I have of this show, and it was particularly noticeable this time. I honestly got the feeling that the studio had been forced to condense certain sections at short notice, but the presentation (BGM especially) saved it. As rushed as it was, the Kirei/Kiritsugu duel had me grinning like an idiot.

    I think that this series really needs to be watched in larger chunks or in one sitting to really appreciate. I’ll make a point of reading the novel first, but yeah. Watching it piecemeal like this ruins the flow a bit.

    I actually find Gilgamesh a little annoying and almost boring at times. His invincibility is the reason for that, but his irrepressible arrogance is still amusing. It’s a drawback, really, of the story’s ‘prequel’ status since it’s impossible to write him out or portray him being defeated/injured.

    Anyway, great post. The idea of there being no F/Z after next weekend makes me a little sad. I was really enjoying my little saturday night indulgence of beer-fuelled fanboying (yes, a beer called Holy Grail Ale exists. It’s good).

    • Kyokai says:

      The staff must be Batman crazy to put in DK preference. Though, I can vouch for the fact that Urobuchi did write in the ship dilemma, which maybe the cause of that warehouse looking like part-batcave.

      You are absolutely right about the rushed episode and though I am a bit pissed with the missing parts; they still didn’t bother me that much because whatever we did get was still top-notch and in some scenes, mind boggling. I swear I was screaming like a fangirl while they fought because it has been such A LONG TIME COMING! And definitely, Fate/Zero would be more glorious while marathoning.

      Seeing the later fate franchise, Gilgamesh becomes quite an important character and even with his arrogance and all, somehow he still amuses me. I just laugh at his caveman version of most of things. Btw, if I ever do drink sometime in my life, I would definitely check the holy grail ale for sure! :3

  8. Reaper says:

    Might be the second last episode but they haven’t let up on the quality, part from the bits they missed out. I was bummed out by the lack of Saber/Lancelot dialogue written in the novel, as well as some missing parts in Kiritsugu’s discussion with Angra Mainyu but it was still done pretty well; especially that BatCave :D Guess they were under a bit of time constraint but with what they’ve done in the end, I don’t blame them. I was punching the air out of the sheer awesomeness (Second F/Z soundtrack will be released in September…hopes dashed…)

    Funny how Angra Mainyu, summoned by Acht back in the Third Grail War, would come back to haunt the Einzberns with Kiritsugu ordering Saber to destroy it because of Angra. No one loves him at all I guess…and no, a Friend-Making Cleaver won’t solve things either Angra…

    Guess this is it…the last push episode of Fate/Zero is coming this Saturday…but bring it on! :D

    • Kyokai says:

      I was punching the air out of the sheer awesomeness

      ^ Ditto. Whatever the flaws of fast pacing, I still ended up enjoying the episode quite thoroughly.

      And I think even without Angra Mainyu, grail in itself is pretty twisted as I commented above. No wonder Kiritsugu tried his best to kill it for good.

      Ahhhh, I don’t want to accept but the final episode is here and things would never be the same again. ;w;

  9. when i saw Saber lying on Gilgamesh it reminds me this link. then again, i laugh when i was reminded about this link:http://static.zerochan.net/Fate.zero.full.882346.jpg
    Fate zero is awesome i wish i seen more new servants on the next grail war.

    • Kyokai says:

      Lol! Good additions to my collection of silly Fate/Zero pictures. :3

      You should play the Fate/stay night visual novel to see what happens next.

  10. The_Magus_Killer says:

    Just a little nitpick on the anime version of the Kiritsugu vs. Kirei part. Based on earlier episodes in Fate/Zero as well as the specs of the real-life Thompson Arms Contender I’ve been reading online: a 30.-cal bullet (which is the most likely candidate for the Contender bullets Kiritsugu had in this fight) hitting at that close range with that force should have destroyed Kirei’s hand when it entered.

    *The explanation on how Kirei managed to do what he did in this episode was that he had used “reinforcement” to keep his right hand intact*

    I’d pay good money to own one of these: http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/g2Contender.php

    • The_Magus_Killer says:

      However, had Kirei used reinforcment, he would have risked the Origin Bullet exploding his magic circuits, so I guess he used reinforcement with the command seals as the mana source, just like he did with his Black Keys?

    • Kyokai says:

      Yeah, that is what I meant of technical fault because there was no bullet fire in novels and however power Kirei used to stop the bullet, Kiritsugu’s origin bullet has the power to nullify and ‘break’ all type of magic. Though, shot through the heart was the reason he was dead temporarily, which was later repaired by Angra Mainyuu as a black heart.

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