Posted on 12 May 2012 with categories: Fate/Zero

A message to the commenters who have already read the Fate/Zero light novels: please do care to avoid spoilers here. This is not a blog about the Fate franchise, but rather this a place to discuss the Fate/Zero anime. If you’re going to spoil that Natalia dies it rather diminishes the impact of that twist, especially since that was the entire thing that this episode was leading up to. This is the one thing I dislike about adaptations of very popular works: it’s really hard not to get spoiled about things.

In any case though, the way in which Natalia did die… was pretty creative. It also tied in very much with Kiritsugu killing a few in order to save a lot, and the plane being taken over by an extreme version of killer bees: it showed another layer of what can be done with the magic in this series. It’s also interesting how professional the characters operated. It’s not often that you see professionalism to such a degree in anime. Although I do wonder who Natalia was able to smuggle guns on a plane. Is that something that magic can do as well?

Overall, I’m surprised that we get two whole episodes of Kiritsugu’s background so relatively late in the series. With this though we can understand his actions in trying to eliminate Lancer, and how his views are the total opposite of Saber’s Chivalry. And I guess that some sort of intermission was needed before the showdown between the four remaining pairs.
Rating: *+ (Great)

23 Responses

  1. Gabriel says:

    I found it pretty nice to see those events, like this airplane, and the building that he collapsed. Since in Fate/Stay Night they tell that Kiritsugu did those things, it’s really nice that they actually showed why they happened!

  2. someloser says:

    Well, Happy Mother’s Day, Kiritsugu!!!

  3. Random_Passerby_Number_612 says:

    Any decent magus can do jedi tricks. No, really. Mental interference (suggestion, memory manipulation, etc.) is among the most basic magecraft that any magus must learn. Oh, but of course, mental interference is pretty much useless against people with running magic circuits. But as long as it’s a normal person, no strong will can protect them.

    • Random_Passerby_Number_612 says:

      Oh, and that was a reply to how Natalia manages to smuggle firearms onto a plane.

      • meow says:

        I wonder if the Mage Association could have arranged for Natalia to get on board with weapons. It looks like they have enough influence to cover up events like this.

  4. meow says:

    ……frak. WTH. Ok, this is a bit much. Natalia intended to land the plane but to keep the infected trapped and somehow find a way to wipe them out. She was working for the Mage Association. Couldn’t Kiri have called on them for help? Maybe arrange an isolated landing site surrounded by a small army of mages and spells to deal with the plane? Or how about flying low enough for her to squeeze out the cockpit window and then blow the plane. I mean, she managed to get from the cargo hold through infected territory to the cockpit without getting infected herself. A miracle if you ask me. She probably has some tricks up her sleeve. It looks like this kind of thing happens quite a lot so the Mage Association or even the Church may have thought up some contingencies. Especially since the Dead Apostle himself had been dealt with. Why blow the plane without so much as a discussion of options? I mean, it looks like she accepted Kiri’s decision in the end but….damn. He intended to kill her regardless of what she thought, with or without her permission. Natalia was the more experienced hunter and probably knew a lot more about the potential uses of magecraft than Kiri. She might have had some ideas on how to deal with the outbreak that could have saved her skin too. It wasn’t the same as Shirley. Shirley asked Kiri to kill her. This is messed up.

    Saber may be right. I’ve got a hard time thinking what kind of wish Kiri would make on the Grail, assuming he gets his hands on it.

    If you’re going to spoil that Natalia dies

    It was an avoidable slip but I’m not sure if it would be considered a major spoiler. The when and the how weren’t mentioned or even whether it would be an important plot point or just something mentioned in passing. I don’t think what was posted would have been enough for anyone to predict what would happen this episode, unless it prompted someone to go look for spoilers. If anything, the follow up protest may have been a bigger spoiler, putting a really big highlight that Natalia’s death would be a major event.

    Here’s me asking for a FZ novel spoiler. Did Kiri in the novel blow up the hotel with Team Lancer in it without evacuating the hotel? Was it changed for the anime?

    • Kuroichi says:

      Going into semantics of what constitutes a major spoiler is only asking for trouble – You’ll end up with a whole bunch of clowns posting spoilers, then defending it by saying “well, it wasn’t THAT big of a spoiler”, or “You should have been able to guess that would happen”. Just keep it to the basics: a spoiler is discussing something that has not happened yet.

      Saying people should not protest spoilers because the “protest may have been a bigger spoiler” makes absolutely no sense. So if I tell you how shows you are watching end, its all good because I didn’t tell you HOW they got to that end?

      It shouldn’t be a superhuman feat to restrain yourself from posting things that haven’t happened yet in the medium these posts are about (in this case, the anime).

      • meow says:

        You have a point but I wanted to argue that some spoilers may happen inadvertently when discussing a particularly complex point in a story. I personally would have preferred that Natalia’s death wasn’t mentioned in last episode’s post, especially when it would be reasonable to assume the event would happen in the following episode but avoiding all spoilers would hamper any kind of useful discussion on this topic, which to me would be a shame. I could use some serious clarity trying to figure out what the heck to make of some of these characters and their current actions. Still, you do have a reasonable point. Maybe I need to look for another place to discuss F/Z too.

    • Civlov says:

      He did evacuate the hotel in the novel, too. He was blaming himself for becoming soft. You might also notice that he sees a mother with her crying daughter afterwards. They basically look like Ilya and Iri, cept for a color swap. And this isn’t really a spoiler, you know? :p

      The thing about Kiritsugu is that he is mentally ill. Rationality comes before personal feelings and it hurts him so much afterwards. He basically killed both his parents whom he loved for his ideal and people he doesn’t know.

      He never wants to take any risk of failing, even if the risk is minimal like Kayneth still getting in his way. Blowing the plane up was in his opinion the best option because it’s a guaranteed kill with only one casualty.

      I hope that clears up the rumor that Kiritsugu mercilessly blowed up a plane because his target was inside(though tbh, in general he would really do it). Everyone except for Natalia was already beyond saving.

      • meow says:

        That’s the part that gets to me. His target was already dead. The rest were just drones. They still posed a danger but there should have been options. Usually you want to hope for the best but prepare for the worst but in Kiri’s case, he seems to be always acting on a worst-case-scenario. I would have thought that Natalia would have been like a senior partner to Kiri too, meaning that they would collaborate on what would be the best course of action. If it meant blowing up the plane with Natalia in it, I thought the two of them should come to a consensus on it. If anything, if this were to parallel Shirley’s situation, it would be Natalia ordering Kiri to blow the plane. Didn’t happen. In fact, Kiri actually assured Natalia that he had a backup plan to deal with the infected, as if Natalia was clear to land the plane without having to worry about it. Little did she know that he was planning to take her out along with them. Was there so little trust between them? Were their objectives so out of alignment? Would Natalia have chosen to risk a Ghoul infection in a major city just to save herself?

        I don’t know how Kiri can even tell the difference between friend and enemy at this point. Who does he protect? Who does he save? Who does he sacrifice?

        • Mike says:

          Eh, you realize that both of them knew exactly what was going to happen right? That’s why lil’ Kerry and Natalia had those sentimental conversations, they both knew that he had to bring the plane down and that there’s no way for her to make it out alive.

          • meow says:

            A part of me kept telling myself that in the back of my mind but I just can’t buy it. The sentimental convo felt like a contingency should the worst happen but there’s nothing in Natalia’s behavior that indicates that she was aware of Kiri’s intentions until the very last second. Why have a fake convo with every indication that Natalia is going to walk out alive then? Why does Kiri, after the deed is done, wind up openly declaring that he’d killed his mother just like he killed his father? If anything, I’d like to believe that Natalia, in her last moments, would have wanted to express approval or at least acceptance of Kiri’s choice, if only to soothe his conscience. Instead, the only people who see a hint of her final expression is us, the audience.

          • Mike says:

            Natalia being how she is will always try to find a way to survive at all cost, even if it means letting the ghouls and bees escape, both her and Kiritsugu knows that. Kiritsugu being how he is will always try to save the most people possible, and both of them know that as well.

            It’s not like they just met each other yesterday you know.

      • wicked says:

        The author of Fate/Zero(who created works like Phantom of Inferno, Madoka Magica) has a thing for tragic endings and tragic heroes to almost a pathological level, to the point that he almost quit writing because he cannot bring himself to write happy/good endings. Fate/Zero’s saving grace for him is that Fate/Stay night has a happy ending, therefore the tragedies he gets to create will eventually lead to the happy ending of Fate/stay night.

        Kiritsugu is a rather typical archetype in his character designs, capable character with inflexible fixation on their ideal or goal, even if they waver along the way, they return to their original fixation in the end.

        Sacrifice is part of his act of saving. To him, it’s pure naivety hesitate for a high risk plan without sacrifice when there is a foolproof plan with sacrifice. He chose to let that naivety go the moment he found out not killing his first love led to an entire village being burned down. His travels with Natalia only reaffirm his belief that there is no such thing saving everyone without a cause. There is no best case scenario because Kiritsugu has no such faith in the world.

        • meow says:

          I see. Same author as Inferno. That figures. XD

          I generally try to avoid tragic shows, especially if it’s got gut shots like this. I felt a little bit more prepared to handle this one because I had read up a little about the backstory, way back before they decided to animate it. But this nuance wasn’t included. I guess it’s good drama and certainly not run-of-the-mill but I wouldn’t watch it more than once unless it was to research for discussion.

          I never watched Madoka. Yeah, little magical girls getting their heads bitten off. No, thanks.

          I wonder if the upcoming Total Eclipse will get this grim. I know Alternative was.

          • wicked says:

            Madoka actually has an end that you could mostly interpret as happy, though the path to it was convoluted and painful, and the two main characters really arent the happy ones.

            He’s just very good at putting his characters into very very dark situations. He almost uses the inverse of Deus Ex Machina, instead of having a miraculous cure that resolve an impossible problem, he throws an impossible problem to thwart a miraculous cure. I cant think of any of his work where his protagonist did not get force into despair then deeper despair(Madoka the possible exception). It’s also the genius of his work

          • meow says:

            I have to say it is compelling drama. So was Requiem for the Phantom for that matter. It’s just so damn sad. I just wish there was a more positive way to get under one’s skin.

    • Mike says:

      The Association is not a charity organization, they are not going to create a bigger mess harder for them to contain over a merc’s slip ups, and the Church would’ve happily done exactly done what Kiritsugu did.

      Also, there’s no “squeezing out the cockpit window” on a flying jetliner, nevermind the fact that she doesn’t have any parachute.

      • meow says:

        The Association is not a charity organization

        True, but I doubt if they would want to waste useful assets either. Do hunters as effective as Natalia grow on trees? At the very least, I would have liked one of them to have at least brought it up so it could be shot down.

        Also, there’s no “squeezing out the cockpit window” on a flying jetliner, nevermind the fact that she doesn’t have any parachute.

        She’s not an ordinary person. She managed to get through a galley full of infected Ghouls and bees without getting bitten – a rather miraculous feat, if you ask me. It seems really ridiculous to me that she made it that far only to get shot down. I thought she got infected too and that’s why Kiri had to take the shot – to save her before she turned completely in the way Shirley wanted Kiri to for her.

        He’s like a twisted James Bond, who keeps losing the women in his life.

        • Mike says:

          it’s a simple matter of value vs. liability, a merc is ultimately disposable, that’s why they use them.

          the world of nasuverse has magic, but it’s no dragonball z, laws of physics are not ignored in nasuverse. It’s one thing to crawl through a window, it’s another to crawl through a window with winds coming through at speeds of 2~300mph, which is matched only by the most powerful of tornadoes.

          and what exactly can she do even if she somehow got through? other than getting fling off the plane and plummet to her death? (assuming she doesn’t already die from hitting parts of the plane as she goes off flying.

        • Leica says:

          Note that Kiri wanted to incinerate the bees, the ghouls were not his main concern.

        • wicked says:

          It would probably give most people a peace of mind if Natalia was bitten, but that would lessen the power of his choice

          Natalia will self-preserve above all else, it’s the among the first things she taught Kiritsugu and probably hammer into his head. He had no doubt she was going to land the plane, if there was a way to leave the plane safely while in the air she would have done so already. If he had not assure her that he had way to eliminate the ghouls and get her out, she would’ve found a way to get out whether it meant releasing the ghouls or not. The fact that she didnt bring up the option to him herself meant that she probably had no way to do so(As you say, she was more senior, so if the mage association was an option, she would have told him long ago), and if Kiritsugu had asked her, she’d have lied.

          In the novel, he considered that Natalia safely comes back without releasing the ghouls or the demon bees a miracle, and the fact he cannot put faith into such miracle shows that he is as Natalia says, more of a a machine than a man. It’s also why when true miracle was an option as the Grail, he pursuits it mercilessly.

  5. Terry says:

    Reminds me of the flight TWA 800 that was shot down just outside of Long Island (New York City) in the mid 90s.

    Interesting times: you had hundreds of people who witnessed the shoot-down from all over the area…they didn’t know each other, came from disparate backgrounds but they all came away with the same story at he same time about a white light ascending into the air and hitting something, a fireball, and a “boom”. Meanwhile the Clinton Administration (in an election year no less) keeps squwaking “Move along, nothing to see here, just an accident”.

    If 9/11 happened under Clinton, he probably would have claimed it was an “accident”too. Maybe the NY Air Traffic controllers directed into the WTC, Pentagon and into the ground in Pennsylvania all at the same time.

    “Move along, nothing to see here, just an accident”.

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  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 03:23 AM)
    I like to discuss Dandy’s latest episode “An Other-dimensional Tale, Baby”, so let me know when/if you guys have watched it.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 03:05 AM)
    (I think that I missed a few more “always” in that run-on sentence lol)
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 02:53 AM)
    I was always a hooligan and not the best of kids, always causing trouble in the neighborhood, but we always stood up for the weak and would beat up the bullies (or get beaten up) because of it.
  • WyattX
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 12:33 AM)
    @Emma Well, going to bed, nice talking.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 12:28 AM)
    I like guns and roses actually. Paradise city, I like that song too.
  • WyattX
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 12:27 AM)
    Ooh, the transvestite I have utmost respect for is Eddie Izzard. Magnificent human, he is. Also, “half-gay….” letting that one sink in a bit.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 12:23 AM)
    I think one of the most lolworthy insults I got out of someone about bisexuality was “Aren’t your parents disappointed in you for being a halfgay”
  • WyattX
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 12:22 AM)
    @Emma HA! I like to think that I was simply letting my curiosity have full reign as a kid :)
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 12:18 AM)
    @Wyatt: I may have been slightly more innocent than you as a teenager, dancing between messed up and innocent =P But now I am a professionally mad adult and proud of it.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 15. 2014 12:16 AM)
    I prefer reading things in my hands where I can. Its easier concentrate that way.

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