Fate/Zero 25: A Difficult Goodbye [END]

Hopefully, not my last goodbye to the fate franchise.

With a heavy heart, I’ve prepared myself to say goodbye to this brilliant franchise that has kept me on my toes and delighted till the end. I have double excuse for the late thoughts: Tourney II had me busy like a bee but in truth, I just didn’t want to say goodbye. There have been multiple times that I sat across my laptop but I just couldn’t go on. This was that brilliant of a story that kept me hooked throughout and with a satisfactory adaptation, it’s really like saying goodbye to a dear friend. If I was Will, I would be swigging my gin bottle and spewing these words in a less-accenty voice than usual but as it’s me, just read this soliloquy:

From -285:42:56 to 00:00:00

From the beginning this was a story about a tragedy. Even if you have not seen or played Fate/stay night, the way Kiritsugu kept on sacrificing everything was an early omen of the end. After knowing what made the Magus Killer, it was easy to discern that he was ready to sacrifice everything including his self (pride, love, sense, family, health, etc.) to destroy the Grail that was corrupted by Angra Mainyu. Of course, Saber didn’t understand neither did Kirei, what made him take that decision. But it was because the cost was much, much more than the prize, which is not as simple as rubbing magic lamp and getting your wish. It’s even more twisted than the equivalent exchange defined by Truth in FMA. Kiritsugu and the last remnant of Iri saw the real face of Evil of Angra Mainyu.

But even with Excalibur’s power, Angra Mainyu was not fully destroyed (Excalibur is not the Ultimate Weapon after all). Well, most of it was destroyed but some of it escaped (remember the flowing liquid form?), and whatever was left touched the runners-up Kirei. It gave him a new black heart (replacing the one Kiritsugu destroyed), and showed him his true wish which was more compatible to Angra’s wish of utter destruction. Kirei’s repair also affected Gilgamesh as they shared master/servant mana and he got revived with a new human body as well. This was why he could stay in the world because by rule, heroic spirits vanish after the Grail descends. So, this loophole of his surviving was a gift by the corrupted Grail to bring them back but not as before. It’s like, if you wish for a burger, you might get a bite-sized wonton.

Though it perfectly worked for DAT POSE of ~I am sexy and I know it~

You can ask, why Kirei was not selected but Kiritsugu by Angra Mainyu first? Well, in short, Kiritsugu was more interesting than Kirei, who was just nothingness (coming from his purposelessness). Making Kiritsugu go through his life choices with different scenarios to bring down the number to his family showed Angra’s pure evil and twistedness. But on rejection and cursing him, it went to Kirei whose empty shell had one interesting factor, entertainment from destruction, which it latched on destroying a sizeable portion of Fuyuki. That laugh by Kirei was worth every dime. I mean, he was nothing but a pile of insecurity before but after seeing thousands of people die, he finally realized, other people’s death and destruction was undiluted entertainment for him… You can say, Kariya was a small time experiment and Grail destruction was big leagues for him.

After all he did. He still ended up being the Guardian of Rin as appointed by Tokiomi. It’s almost saddening that Rin never finds out what he actually did: getting satisfaction from the pleasure of violating a pure heart. Of course, Rin never warms up to Kirei but damn, he’s such a two-faced bastard to gift her the same Azoth dagger, which he used to kill her father (this dagger has significance in FSN and I hope you play the VN to find out). Also, Aoi survived and wasn’t choked to death by Kariya. Rather she fainted but I feel nothing but pity for him and Aoi; both children of magi families, whose sanity was sacrificed due to magic. Compare this to any current political or royal family and you’ll understand what the hell happened. Your own life not being yours and many saddening factors leading up to it. I heard some people were saying that scene with Sakura was not in novels but it was. This is the Kariya whose body was dying with every step he took because the Crest Worms had already stopped working. He just came to see her or even take her out of the Matou mansion but failed miserably in the hands of death. It’s also sad that Sakura takes his death as a lesson from Grandfather: this is what happens to people who disobey grandfather… OTL.

A King can only be lonely and proud

Fate/Zero is not Saber’s best fate story. Though, just because her character has been popular since Fate/stay night days, she will sell anything and the reason she has a prominent place being Kiritsugu’s servant. I’ve said this before but her leadership values are faulty and how could she lead her knights when she didn’t even know how they felt or thought? It was the gap of self-righteousness to practicality that makes her return from where she started: a battlefield of corpses of her men, who sacrificed themselves in the name of her morals, trying to uphold her honour but couldn’t. There’s nothing but tears from her in end, which would make her even colder and untrustworthy towards most in the next war (FSN timeline).

Kiritsugu’s Bright Salvation

In the end, from all the destruction, only one good thing came about: the bond between Shirou and Kiritsugu. Both of them lost everything in that fire but found solace in each other by being father and son yet again. You can say, but Kiritsugu had Ilyasviel; technically, he didn’t because the Einzberns totally shut him off after the failure of fourth war and his role in it. Due to the curse by Angra Mainyu, he was unable to perform magic with his body deteriorating faster than triple accel. So, even when he tried to enter their palace, he couldn’t.

My most favorite moment of the last episode however is one of my favorite scenes from the FSN VN, which was made part of the actual novel for a reason. It was a heartwarming show of Shirou to take his father’s wish because he’s an oldman. What breaks my heart though is the fact that after this moment Kiritsugu passed on. He simply closed his eyes and life left him. It was as if his spirit was battling the curse just for this moment when his heir would take up his ultimate wish and make it his own.

Don’t we all have a certain special wish that we swear to fulfill when we grow up? Sometimes fulfilling that dream becomes the highest point of our life. Seeing this, made me remember those innocent days when I knew I could do anything if I just pushed/worked harder. I’m halfway there and hopefully, after many years down the line I’ll achieve it. See? Out of all the sadness and tragedies, Fate/Zero still managed to give us hope in the end. At least I felt connected even when it might be hard to relate for some people. From the survivors, Waver grows up to be a bishie and the second Lord El-Melloi for good measure.

Overall, this was a wonderful trip that I highly enjoyed reviewing. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea because it’s not your happily ever after rather filled with lots of blood and tears. Maybe the reason I like most of Nasu stories so much because he shows the ugliest faces of people but everything has a reason and in some cases redeemable qualities make all the difference; not to mention small amount of hope escalates to something wonderful in long-term. Though this was written by Urobuchi, the sadistic writer, who can literally breathe life into pre-history, which makes it all seem plausible. No wonder, Nasu praised him in the end notes.

I had a ball reviewing this series. I’m not sure if any title this season can replace the excitement I felt for this but there is some good news in the horizon with Mirai Fukuin (the true Epilogue of Kara no Kyoukai) adaptation and Tsukihime VN remake lightening my heart. My suggestion for a continuation is playing the Fate/stay night VN, which has been fully translated by mirrormoon. It’s amazing compared to DEEN’s adaptation so just leave that and enjoy the VN. For this season, I will be reviewing Natsuyuki and hope to channel my endearing side rather than constantly talking about hahahaa-he died. Seriously, I’m not that much of an S! ;) Till next time, ja ne~

So, what did you think about the end; satisfied or feeling jilted? Which series will you be replacing this with?

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26 Responses to “Fate/Zero 25: A Difficult Goodbye [END]”

  1. KleenexGhost says:

    Been waiting for this review. I truly enjoyed this series from start to finish. Hopefully Ufoatable comes back to the Fate series and gives Fate/Stay Night the adaptation it deserves from Fate to Heaven’s Feel. Best anime of the season to me.

    • Kyokai says:

      This was definitely the best of the season or even year for me. I can’t wait for some fate-related news from ufotable as they are pretty enthusiastic about Type-Moon titles.

      Also, thank you for delurking! xD

  2. Rakkyo says:

    Being a TM fan I can only say I greatly enjoyed this series and it tops the list on both Fall and Spring seasons it aired in.
    The anime was satisfying from start to end even though some scenes were cut out from the novels. Looking back, those scenes were kinda difficult to animate and would break continuity so I guess ufotable knows what they’re doing.

    All in all, FZ has been an exciting and emotional ride and I look forward to more TM works by ufotable, most notably Mirai Fukuin and Girls’ Work.

    • Kyokai says:

      Don’t forget the live watches. I’m definitely going to miss those and of course to shit about my bad net. Fate/Zero has definitely been my highlight of this year and I’m looking forward to more ufotable goodness.

      What would we, TM fans, do without this studio, huh?!

  3. kitty says:

    That translation screen cap? Was that the game!!! Is there a way for me to play that!!!

    Thank you *bows* Thank you for explaining how Gilgamesh and Kirei survived I was so very confused. I’m very sad to see this end… I can only pray 1000x that they remake Fate / Stay Night with the same awesomeness~~~ I think I speak for most when I say ‘I WANT IT’ ;_;

    • Kyokai says:

      Yes, it’s the Fate/stay night VN. :) Go download the Japanese version from BakaBT and then English translation patch from mirrormoon. You’ll be set to play this awesome and giant VN from Type-Moon. Though, a warning for hentai as they are long. >>;

      And no troubles. I felt it as my duty to say my goodbyes and of course last few explanations. xD Along with you, I’m definitely waiting for more fate news but yeah, at least there’s Mirai Fukuin and Fate/Apocrypha grene-lit news.

      • D-LaN says:

        Apocrypha got green litted!??? Woohoo!!! Where did you get tht tip???

        Um….. Is there are patch 4 Realta Nua which is safe ver IIRC?

      • Kyokai says:

        This was from the Type-Moon Fes that was recently held. And naah, no patch for Realta Nua still. I heard some people were working on it but see hurrrr, nothing still. ><

  4. The_Magus_Killer says:

    I was actually watching the moon outside my window after the episode aired. Haha.

    So, what did you think about the end; satisfied or feeling jilted? Which series will you be replacing this with?

    I don’t think any show can replace Fate/Zero for me. I was so invested emotionally that I *almost* felt the exact same feelings Kiritsugu was feeling when he told Shirou about his dreams of being a hero.

    The after-effects of Fate/Zero on my life:

    1. When I’m running late for class, I recite in my head: “Time Alter – Double Accel!” – which makes me believe I am actually running twice as fast. LOL.

    2. I tend to look at the priests who look near my age as “Kotomine Kirei”-types and tense when one walks a little too close to me. XD

    3. I am now saving up to buy a real-life Thompson Contender G2 pistol – the modern day version of Emiya Kiritsugu’s mystic code. I won’t powder two of my ribs just to create Origin Bullets, though. Haha.

    *I will need a steady paying job if I am to afford said pistol in ten years* XD

    • Kyokai says:

      I would agree with you, ‘nothing can replace Fate/Zero for me’. I think the best thing right now is a rewatch because we can finally marathon this rather than waiting for episodes every week.

      Your observations are hilarious! You sure are on your way to be a Magus Killer but questions is, how will you find the Association? Not to mention, make some early prep to save yourself from stalkers like Kirei. xD

  5. D-LaN says:

    Kariya- Biggest EPIC FAIL charac of this year. He can’t even kill a b*tch lol. And Aoi had it coming. (Yeah I know the detail BUT STILL)

    This quote frm SS! is GOLDEN :

    Tht regifting bastard!!!

    Heck the SS post is GOLDEN in all ways. IrisGrail, Kiritsugu mathematic skill and how he conned Taiga to do free babysitting……
    And no mention to Waver? He the only one who got away light compare to others….

    Just ‘cuz I miss the chance to post this in RC IIRC (and to lighten the mood/derail the discussion)

  6. Reaper says:

    There’s only one paragraph I can think that could fit Kiritsugu’s end:

    “It’s not the end he wanted, but the end he needed.”

    Though, I suppose none of us really wanted to see this awesome show end…Just thought I’d put it out there that Kiritsugu’s the most BAMF of all time. OF ALL TIME :D From his character’s conviction to the dark twist at the end of the Grail’s destruction, he now stands on a mantle pretty close to Hei in my opinion, just he got a bad end flag whilst Hei got the good (?) end flag. :P Hm, favourite characters are both assassins. Should I be worried? NAH!

    I loved how the small bits and pieces in the end, like Aoi’s condition, Sakura’s condescending dismissal of Kariya’s actions and Kotomine (oh you bastard! You’ll get yours soon enough :D ) left an end that fitted Fate/Zero; in my opinion, it never was a story of happiness and rainbows, but the dark side of the Holy Grail War, and the dark tones in the ending fitted Fate/Zero so well. Also, the amount of times I saw ‘NAKED GIL’ when I watched the broadcast on Nico Nico was…homoerotic (?).

    Now, it would be a dream if ufotable decided to redo F/SN to current anime standards (which isn’t Studio Deen’s fault since the critical word is ‘PROFIT’), but I doubt it. Maybe Heaven’s Feel but HF could take up a season by itself for the full fleshing out (especially since I heard it’s the canon ending for F/SN somewhere…?)

    Though if ufotable ever got the green light for Mahoyo…I think I found the next thing to topple Fate/Zero’s Crown Phantasm (Cookies for those in the know!)

    • Kyokai says:

      No worries, Reaper. Ryougi Shiki is my most favourite character and look at the havoc she has wreaked already. We are good peaceful people, just liking our potential badass aliases. ~__^

      I would miss the random live watches and NND comments (god those comments!). They ended things well with Epilogue stuff and with the hope of Shirou saving the day. An amazing prequel to a well deserving fate franchise for sure!

      I’m definitely going to miss this and can only wish for Heaven’s Feel (yes, you’ve heard that right – it is the true end of FSN), series properly adapted by ufotable. I think after this, I can finally move on and finish the FSN VN, which has been inviting me since forever lying around in my HD. I have just been procrastinating on it.

      That reminds me, Mahoyo translation WHERE? ;___;

  7. Moni Chan says:

    This shall not be the end. I will not take yes for an answer. Or is it no.

    • Kyokai says:

      This is not the end. There’s more coming for sure! At least if not ufotable, Type-Moon has a lot more in store for us.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Now officially a Type-Moon fan because of Fate/Zero and Shingetsutan Tsukihime, I hope there is more to come.

  8. BlackBriar says:

    A perfect end to an epic anime. This show was amazing…I give it 10/10. The ending was arguably the most beautiful. Be brave, Kyokai. I’m sure Type Moon has something else up its sleeves. Now I want to marathon through Fate/Stay Night. If only I could find a proper site to download the episodes.

    I find most of the characters and their servants were perfect in their performances, be they good or evil (Even the intolerable Ryuunosuke). The one that didn’t do much of anything was Kariya. He was pretty much dangling in the wind while being used time and time again as a puppet for someone else’s benefit and in the end, was cast aside like trash to a forgettable death. Like D-LaN said, he was an epic fail. An epic fail but one of the most tragic stories.

    My favorite servant was definitely Saber. Although this wasn’t the best end for her, she was one of the best there is. I loved her personality for being honorable and trying to protect everyone single handedly but she’s just one person. For once, I agree on Rider’s words about sometimes being selfish. If you keep giving out what you have to everyone, what will you have left for yourself?

    At least Kiritsugu was able to find sort of peace for all the hell he’s been through in his life, all the tragedy he endured for a goal that proved too costly. “Shirley: Kerry, what do you want to be when you grow up? Kiritsugu: I want to be a hero of justice.” Shirou wouldn’t have declared trying to achieve Kiritsugu’s dream so easily if he knew what he went through.

    I can’t believe Kirei still lives. Not only is he still alive but he’s Rin’s guardian, the very one who kill her father and giving her same dagger he used to kill him. What an underhanded bastard. (Not forgetting that Tokiomi was a bastard himself and had it coming). What kind of despicable person are you that you go to the funeral of the person you killed? I have no doubt Rin would try to kill him if she knew the truth. I admired Nakata Jouji’s attempt at engrish at Tokiomi’s funeral.

  9. anaaga says:

    It was such a great ending, but I was slightly disturbed with the lack of explanation in the last battle (such as why Kirei was still alive etc.). TM should link your post in one of their website for some clearance.

    With the exception of that, I was satisfied with the series. It was heart-wrenching and tragic, but it was…Great. I can’t wait for more of TM’s works (HEAVEN’S FEEL!!!!!!!!!)

  10. Gecko says:

    This is a late comment, but oh well.
    I was fine with how this ended, but I wasn’t satisfied with how the episode played out. I didn’t care about who won, who lost. Kirei being alive was super random. And then the whole “finding Shiro alive” thing was wacky. I felt like it should have been Kiritsugu finding him, with Shiro’s voice over it or something, not Shiro explaining beforehand. The entire episode felt really weird to me. This was a great show overall, with a great story and great characters. The animation was great, quite a bit of the music was nice. But this last episode kind of jilted me and made me feel like it could have been better.

  11. AOG says:

    “I heard some people were saying that scene with Sakura was not in novels but it was. This is the Kariya whose body was dying with every step he took because the Crest Worms had already stopped working.”

    That was in the novels, but the scene too a totally different direction than the anime. Namely that Sakura was naked and chained up in a cold basement, and her words weren’t condescending, but resignation. This was a really bad directing mistake they made to change that.

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