Fate/Zero Episodes 20 & 21

Oh, God, too much stuff happened.  This probably wasn’t a very good time to miss two episodes, considering how they both had a lot going on in them.  However, even though a lot of new things developed, there isn’t really a whole lot to say about it, or at least not in episode 20.

And look at that, Kariya finally gets some more screen time.  These two episodes combined probably account for about ninety percent of his appearances in the entire series.  I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it seems odd how much the show shits on Kariya, considering that he has one of the more noble goals in the entire show.  Sure Kiritsugu is trying to end all conflict or whatever, but Kariya is risking his life not simply for his ideals, but for a child.  I mean, he’s had bugs infest his body, been mutilated, burned alive, and has been made to eat the thing that took the purity from the very person he’s trying to save.  Speaking of that thing, it seemed like it was censored to me because of how quickly it was shown; but why would they go out of their way to not show too much of it, but show it crawling into his mouth?  Surely the show has to give him some kind of victory in all of this, otherwise he would have pretty much been the punching bag for everyone else the entire time.  Oh yeah, and he strangled the woman he loved after she thought she saw him kill her husband.  That kind of sucks too I guess.  Everything that’s happened to him has made him out to be some kind of weak, pathetic douche bag, which seems kind of an unfair thing to do to a noble character.  But I guess I shouldn’t be complaining that the show isn’t taking the normal road and putting the obvious good guy up on a pedestal; after all Kirei is much more interesting.

The on thing that was kind of pointless in these episodes was Saber and Rider’s fight.  Regardless of how strong Saber is, surely just listlessly using her huge-ass laser-sword-beam whenever she wants can’t be too kind to her mana.  That stupid motorcycle transformation probably didn’t help matters too much either; I don’t know the mana exchange rate on things like that, but I would be willing to bet that making a normal motorcycle go faster that it’s possible for it to move and then transforming it to something out of Akira doesn’t come cheap.  Also she didn’t even stick around to make sure she didn’t waste such a huge move for nothing.  So she just wasted time and energy chasing after Rider and now she’s going to fight Berserker right after she’s used her 1000 MP attack.  In my opinion it probably isn’t the best plan of action.

But Goddamn the best thing about all of this has got to be Kirei.  Although, I do find it kind of odd how quickly he’s changed from a cold and silent servant to a completely ruthless, almost clone of Kiritsugu.  Although Kirei doesn’t’ have any real motivation behind what he’s doing, other than to find out more about himself, I think that’s what makes him interesting.  He doesn’t have some secret agenda, he doesn’t have some ultimate goal, he just wants to do what he wants.  And if the choice ends up coming down to him and Kiritsugu, I many actually find myself rooting for Kirei instead.

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Posted on June 1, 2012, in Episodic, Fate/Zero. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. There’s nothing odd about how the show (read: Gen Urobuchi) shits on Kariya, because that’s pretty much Urobuchi’s M.O. regarding idealists. He paints a Schopenhauerian picture of reality where all things, particularly ideals like happiness, are transient, and by doing so he sets up idealists high enough so we can watch them fall headlong to their demise. Hence the Kariya abuse.

    Fate/Zero is a modern tragedy, if you will suffer the term.

    • Well, I say odd in the sense that it’s not the norm. But as I said, I find it enjoyable that the show doesn’t stick to the standard form when it comes to which characters are place above others in terms of how much more noble one’s cause is than another’s.

    • I’ve been anywhere and everywhere. I’ve been working a job so I can have spending money for college next year, and I’m in one of those “Early-Start-Smart-Kid” summer programs at my college, so I have school work as well. Simply put, I don’t have enough time to do the weekly reviews like I like, and am planning on doing a big-ass review of the whole Fate/Zero series soon after it finishes.

  2. Well, the motocycle transformation was just putting her armour on it to keep it together and use Invisible Air to reduce attrite, It was not reallyt so expensive. Excalibur was very mana consuming, yes, but she found that Iri was not on RIder chariot only when she reached him, and I doubt that Rider would have let her go.

  3. I like Kariya’s character a lot because someone sacrificing everything to save someone they love (especially if they try their hardest and still fail) is a moving story. Urobuchi is kind of notorious for preventing anyone from having a happy ending. Since Fate/Zero is a prequel that is supposed to have a Bad End,it’s fair enough for Urobuchi to write it but the treatment of Kariya is almost sadistic. One thing that came to mind in terms of Kariya is that he exists largely to reflect on other characters who appeared in FSN. All of the suffering he endures is basically to define other characters. For example, Kariya is tortured and psychologically abused by Zoken just to make a point of how evil Zoken is. He is forced to “kill” the woman he loves just to explain where Rin’s mother went and to make a point about how evil Gilgamesh and Kotomine are. Kariya, who is the most selfless character (tied with Kiritsugu who’s selflessness is on a grander scale rather than personal scale like Kariya) is a foil to all the other dickish characters, Gilgamesh, Kotomine, Zoken and Tokiomi. He is still a developed character but his lack of screen time points to him being an accessory of the plot.

    Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought Saber’s magic motorcycle was ridiculous. The Fate series likes to take it’s… creative liberties on what mythological figures were like but if someone were to describe “A young girl with a magic invisible sword that shoot laser beams, and owns a Tron motorcycle” I don’t think King Arthur would be my first guess. Kind of like how Gilgamesh owns all weapons in the world before they were even created as well as a spaceship. It breaks my willing suspension of disbelief.

    You may notice that Saber has never finished one of her battles unless her master specifically ordered it. She let’s Lancer go after chasing off Caster, she doesn’t finish off Caster and Cthulu until Kiritsugu embarrasses her into fighting seriously, and here she doesn’t try to finish off Rider even though she was in a position to press her advantage. Saber is mindbogglingly stupid in Fate/Zero, a torch she passes on to Shiro in FSN.

    • It’d have been pretty stupid to force Rider to use Ionai Hetairo… It’d have been the end of the war for both the winner and the loser. Same reason why Rider didn’t use Ionai Hetairo from the beginning instead of trying to win only with the chariot.

  4. Oops, sorry for double posting but another topic comes to mind. Did it seem out of character for Kiritsugu to fight so recklessly? He tries to assassinate Tokiomi even though if he were spotted nothing would stop Gilgamesh from making meat paste out of him. Worse, even though Maya can’t do anything against servants, he sends Saber off to find Rider and leaves Irisveil completely undefended for all practical purposes. Kiritsugu massacring Team Lancer was to point out he takes zero chances in his battle planning. Why now does he plot so recklessly? Does he want to finish the war before lunch?

    • I suppose plotting seems more reckless now that Iri can’t move. Kiritsugu always needed Saber to go and fight a servant while he kills the Master, that was the plan from the very beginning and he did pretty much that when he killed Kayneth and Uryu. Same plan was used in this episode. Saber fights Rider, Archer appears… bam kill Tokiomi, the only difference is that Iri can’t go follow Saber this time. To be honest, best plan would have been send Saber to fight servants and go with Maya for Tokiomi and leave Iri alone since she was gonna be useless anyways till the end of the war. The only reason she left Maya there was because he cares about Iri, and you cannot just send Maya to replace Saber there…so not much of a choice. As for the chance of being spotted, you know there has always been a chance of being spotted. First fight, Assassin could have spotted him, that time with Cthulhu lots of servants were there.. let’s just say that he is always careful and the chance of being spotted is never particularly zero; therefore, this situation wasn’t any different than others.

      • I think in all the situations you mentioned he was in a much safer position to act on his own. Killing Uryu and Kayneth was like shooting fish in a barrel because neither could use magic and both of their servants were preoccupied at the time. In the Cthulhu battle and the battle at the shipping crate area, there were so many servant’s involved that they were too focused on each other to notice him. He was going to kill both Waver and Kayneth (first battle) but decided it was too risky (he probably only expected Lancer and his master). With that in mind, Kiritsugu has always been very cautious up until this point. The major flaw with his strategy here was that he sent Saber off to find Rider when he should have used Saber to distract Archer while he assassinates Tokiomi. Archer already massacred one assassin who tried to kill Tokiomi so what makes Kiritsugu think Archer wouldn’t be there?

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