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:

      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.

Leave a Reply


Mail will not be published
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:51 PM)
    Hype kills anything. In regards to the kind of emotional manipulation Clannad and maybe Undertale uses, it’s like a drug. The more you are subjected to it, the less of an effect it has.
    Still there are examples of something which comes close to expectation. People say Muv Luv Alternative gives you PTSD and in a kinda does. Though it’s helped by the connection you build with the characters though the first two games.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:47 PM)
    @Kaiser,I haven’t updated the old entries of my MAL in quite a while. Pretty sure Code Geass is sitting at a 10 on it and I am sure if I give that a rewatch that rating is going to fall harshly.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:59 AM)
    I say this because people often like to hype up the genre or those elements. I bring this up/think about it now because I played a game called undertale lately on my brothers recommendation and he was all like it emotionally destroyed him but I never ended up crying, I mean don’t get me wrong its a good game, there were laughs to be had and there was sentiment but it wasn’t THAT sad/funny.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:44 AM)
    Given how many people cry at some drama, clannad included.
    That reminds me…
    I can’t actually remember the last time in my life where I cried, I draw a blank.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

One Punch Man – 08

I wish I knew just what that girl at the beginning was parodying as she’s clearly been overdrawn in a completely different style. My closest guess would be the poster girls of creature features in the 60s and 70s as she wouldn’t look out of place if pasted into a movie poster. I don’t think […]

Young BlackJack – 08

While I find the level of risk in this two part arc to be inconsequential, I must admit that I like how it all turned out. For this is the first time in this series that Blackjack failed. While he was able to discern the cause of Johnny’s lack of pain, he was unable to […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 07

Oh those poor seiyūs that had to act in today’s episode. I can only imagine the horror when a Japanese speaking seiyū is told they need to have an entire conversation in English in a fairly dialogue heavy show. Japanese and English happen to be two of the hardest languages to learn so if they […]

One Punch Man – 07

This episode mainly focused on a giant Meteor about to annihilate the city and the introduction if S class heroes, Metal Knight and Bang. Bang makes it a point to say how the top class heroes are hardly very heroic with most not showing up at all to stop a city’s total destruction. Even one […]

Young BlackJack – 07

Racism is always a thorny topic to deal with. Regardless of intent there are just so many ways of messing it up, be it by using strawmen or one dimensional caricatures. It’s a topic that requires a delicate hand to prevent pushing it to its extreme all to make an obvious point of Racism being […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 06

I can’t say I enjoyed this episode of Subete too much, mainly because there was less investigating and more character building. That wouldn’t be a problem if the character building wasn’t so focused on our main leads. The leads are fine, what we need is to expand on the other characters present on the island […]

One Punch Man – 06

It is interesting that the challenges that Saitama faces that get him worried that truly the most mundane and ordinary. Saitama can punch a monster into oblivion but when it comes to essays or going to sales he’s powerless. Here we have him about to be kicked out of the hero association if he doesn’t […]

Young BlackJack – 06

There are times when Blackjacks over the top nature can be entertaining presentation wise and others when it can remove any sense of surprise. While I do like the things Blackjack explores, it is very clear cut on how it shows it. In this episode the man that Blackjack and the army Medic have been […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 05

The more I hear about Magata’s DID, the more suspect it becomes. According to this episode, Magata didn’t conceive DID out of trauma or accident but instead intentionally crafted alternate personalities so well to the point that it became DID. I personally find the mechanics of this rather fantastical as I don’t think anyone can […]

Latest Reviews

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]


Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]


Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]


Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]


Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]