Posted by psgels on 29 April 2012 with categories: Fate/Zero

So now that Caster and Lancer are gone, this series immediately moves on to another thing that it has been promising for ages now: Kotomine Kirei. The entire episode was dedicated to just building up to the moment where Kirei would betray his master. The moment itself wasn’t really unexpected, as right when Irisviel requested him to pull back from the Grail war it was obvious that he wouldn’t just let that happen, and afterward he was handed a knife of all things, but the scene itself was very satisfying. Also helped by a lot of budget being poured into that one scene.

Now, let’s see what he can do in this series now that he has some power again, and can act independently. With four episodes this series killed off a huge amount of characters, compared to how relatively few important characters died in the first 10 episodes. It definitely made good use of the build-up.

The one thing I don’t really get as someone unfamiliar with the Fate franchise is the squiggly lines on the priest’s arm that Kirei took over somehow. How does that work anyway? What power does this guy have, and why does he have it? Why did the grail find it good idea to have a guy like this, especially when he’s allied to some of the masters and could have just refueled Tohsaka’s command spells on a whim? Also, if one needs to defeat all seven servants in order to get to the holy grail, then what about Rider’s wish to become human? And does his master know about this? So what’s in it for the servants to win the holy grail war anyway?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

14 Responses

  1. IronZeta says:

    To answer some of your questions.

    Q: squiggly lines
    A: If you remember from back in the first season, they were offering an extra Command Spell to any Master who would help defeat Caster. Those lines on his arm were all the Command Spells left over from the previous, incomplete Grail Wars, from which the extra Command Spells would have been drawn. Before his death Kirei’s father set it up so that the Command Spells he had could be passed on to Kirei for safekeeping (since Kirei didn’t have a Servant anymore, Risei wanted him to take up the position of War Overseer if he died)

    Q: Also, if one needs to defeat all seven servants in order to get to the holy grail, then what about Rider’s wish to become human?
    The way the Grail works is that defeated Servant spirits are captured by the Grail vessel and converted to pure mana, which is used for the Grail’s function. Six Servants worth of mana is enough to grant a wish within the bounds of the physical world, such as Rider becoming human, Kiritsugu ending all human suffering, Saber overwriting history. However, to reach the Spiral of Origin, which lies outside of the world, seven Servants worth of mana is needed. The Servants, as well as the Masters who are not from the Tohsakas, Einzberns and Matous don’t know about this, as far as they believe if they win the War they get a wish, whereas the three families’ original intentions for the war were to have all seven Servants die.

    • Raggers says:

      You finished your post before me! Some nice extra detail here though.

      About the spiral of origin: it’s why Mages are Magii and not Magicians. True Magic is from the Spiral of Origin. There are ~5 (iirc) true magics in the FSN world. I won’t detail which ones they are here (might be a spoiler), but know that the magic the Magii use (magecraft) doesn’t begin to touch the power of the true magics. If you want more information, look on the FSN wiki: http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/Magic

      As IronZeta said, magecraft has results which are possible in this world, magic has effects which are miraculous ie. absolutely impossible.

  2. Raggers says:

    From what I understood:

    The “squiggly lines” are all leftover command spells from the previous Grail Wars (this is the fourth, so there are 3 before it). He has them because, as part of the Holy Church, he is the one who supervises the Wars.

    After being killed, the priest wrote down the spell/key to transfer the command spells so that Kirei (his son) could have them.

    The Grail itself was created by the 3 founding families – it has no will of its own. The Holy Church was used by the families (Matou, Tohsaka and Einzbern) to supervise the Wars, deal with cleanups (the general population cannot be allowed to learn about magic)

    As for the alliance between the Church and Tohsaka, I don’t think it happened in previous Wars. Perhaps Kirei being the priest’s son and Tohsaka’s student was a catalyst for the alliance. The priest probably avoided refilling the commands because it would be obvious Tohsaka had more than he should, and they were trying to keep the alliance secret.

    Judging by Gilgamesh, none of the servants know all 7 of them need to die. It’s why the Masters try to keep the command spells – so they can order their servant to commit suicide after defeating everyone else.

    Finally, those who watched F/SN (not very good) or read the Visual Novel (which was unquestionably amazing) will know the brilliant irony of the Azoth knife Kirei used to kill Tohsaka.

    Hope that answered all your questions psgels.

    • meow says:

      One thing I thought was missing from this episode: At the scene where Tokiomi says goodbye to his family, I thought he would hand over a necklace with a big red crystal of stored mana to Rin.

      • Civlov says:

        That never happened. Rin found the pendant and information about the Grail somewhere else in her house. It’s a memento of her father, yes, but I don’t know where people got that Tokiomi gave it to her.

        Btw, Tokiomi’s only shininh sympathetic moment when he visited Rin was ruined because he never elaborated his decision to give Sakura away(in his mind, not when he talked with Kariya), which he does in the novel.

      • Civlov says:

        ALright, someone just told me it was in the UBW movie(which I’ve never watched to be honest…). DEEN fucked that up. Rin found the pendant, Tokiomi never gave it to her directly.

  3. takashid says:

    The only time that all 7 Servants need to die is if your goal is to reach the Root like Tokiomi. If not, 6 dead servants are enough. Kiritsugu, Waver, and Kariya have no plans to kill their own servants.

    • Whew, after last week’s episode I wasn’t going to put it past Kiritsugu to be planning to kill Saber as well, glad that won’t be happening. But question, since we have some knowledgeable people here, will the mana of six servants be enough to fulfill the wishes of a Master and a Servant? If not, whose wish will it fulfill, the Master or the Servant?

      • takashid says:

        As i understand it, the deal offered is that it will grant the wish of the master and servant, the winning team. Both of them should get a wish, that is part of the deal being offered to the servants, that they get to have a wish as well if they win.

        And 6 servants is more then enough power to change anything “inside” our world/universe. The Root that Tokiomi sought is “outside” our universe, which is why he needed to kill all 7.

  4. Juno says:

    I have to admit… Reading the first two novels after having watched the first half of this anime REALLY put everything into perspective for me with the characters. Kiritsugu’s intents were (and are still being) slowly revealed in the anime while they are nicely introduced from the beginning and well-reinforced in the novels. And I swear, I would not have had as much of a reaction toward Lancer’s death had I not read the much more detailed dream (from episode 9) in the novels. It put his character’s entire motive and purpose into perspective, making his death that much more extreme…
    I recommend that everyone who likes the anime read the novels at some point. =)

    • altux says:

      well, if tou don’t want any spoilers, let the anime slide first, because usually, you’ll get dissapointed if you watch the anime AFTER you read the NOvel’s

  5. AidanAK47 says:

    People have already answered most of your questions but let me add a little more detail to one of them.

    In the first and second holy grail wars there was no priest to supervise the war. At that time they were still working out the kinks in the system. The supervisors only came in on the third holy grail war.(I think)Now the relationship between the church and magi is pretty hostile. In the eyes of the church mages are heretics. So the idea of the church siding with one is fairly laughable. Hence the reason why they were chosen to supervise. This war was a special exception. It mostly had to due with the supervisors son being chosen as a master I believe. This alliance between Tohsaka mostly came about out of pure luck.

    There are extra details about the war in the three 15 minute Dvd Specials. Please! Einzbern Consultation Room explains about the origin of the war, reasons for certain tactics and even Assassins identity and wish. If you have the time they such fill you in on some things.

  6. nymbryxion says:

    To answer why the Grail chose Kirei would be answered on the true nature of the grail…

  7. Moriae says:

    The Servants don’t know that they are used as sacrifices to fill the Grail in any case. They just think they have to battle to obtain the Grail (in Rider’s case, he thinks he can stop the violence and shared it). The whole ritual is really called “Heaven’s Feel”, the “Holy Grail War” is an elaborated scam by the three families to complete it (they needed to lure Servants and foreign Masters so they created false publicity). More of this information can be found in the light and visual novels. Kotomine’s explanation to Gilgamesh got cut.

    It does grant wishes, though.

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