Posted by psgels on 10 June 2012 with categories: Fate/Zero

If I had to give Fate/Zero’s second season one criticism, then it’s the convenience of some of the noble phantasms. I don’t mean all of them; Rider’s noble phantasm was great and Assassin’s and Berserker’s were also well used. But for some of the others: first there was Lancer, whose noble phantasm conveniently nullifies Saber’s powers. Things then got worse when Caster needed to be taken care of and Saber’s noble phantasm just so happened to be perfect for that. And now Archer reveals this giant delete button of his which conveniently ends up being the perfect thing to take away Rider’s trump card. My memory isn’t perfect, so it could be that they built up to this and I just don’t remember it, but if they didn’t: pulling this thing three times is a bit much, guys.

In any case though: there was one thing for which this episode was really clearly building up to. With this episode, it became really apparent, but the entire second season has carefully been leading up to this moment: Rider’s fall. It started with him wasting too much of his energy on taking care of Caster, and ever since he lost that air of invincibility around him. That moment in which Rider charges Archer by himself is where all of this came together.

Also, I am not sure who was behind the visuals of Rider’s noble phantasm, but once again the scenes that took place in there looked gorgeous. Especially the point where it all started to fall apart had a lot of visual talent behind it.

Also, Berserker… I now understand why they kept his identity hidden for so long.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

25 Responses

  1. bob says:

    Excalibur and Ea has been part of the franchise long before F/Z was written. It’s more the writer making use of an established character’s abilities not an asspull. Also, Ea isn’t something that conveniently cancels Rider’s trump card. It is something that conveniently destroys EVERYTHING. It is the Star of Creation that teared apart the Heavens and the Earth.

    • Gavrilo says:

      As a matter of fact, it’s even said during Fate (novel, at least) that Saber used Excalibur against an enemy in that location; Zero simply assigned Caster as her opponent.

      • Synkronized says:

        These two posts sum up the answer to the question. Fate/Stay Night already established the magnitude of abilities, powers and when they got used in some cases.

        I’m all for calling “BS” when it comes to anime/manga having too convenient little twists. But one shouldn’t call it that when they haven’t seen the main series proper.

  2. Ransom says:

    As Bob said. Ea and Excalibur have been part of Fate Stay Night before Fate Zero was written. Archer just happens to be such a broken character… The times he lost were due to his fatal flaw… His incredible ego.

    • Fadeway says:

      It’s not that Archer is that broken, even. Abilities that literally destroy Creation have been part of the Nasuverse from the very beginning. Vampires who can bring the moon down, eyes capable of uncreating, archmages who travel between parallel universes and have various quirks that make them invulnerable..TM powerlevel threads usually devolve in the fans arguing whose world-destroyer is stronger. Older fans are well-aware that no hero can kill Archer..except maybe (the other) Archer.

      Excalibur may be what amounts to a beam attack capable of vaporizing giant monsters, but considering it can only be used once or twice per battle and drains a significant amount of mana, it’s pretty underpowered. And being poor Lancer is again suffering, not having any gamebreaker of his own.

  3. Thomas says:

    Aparently i liked last words of ‘Archer’ in FSN: ‘Maybe the most precious things, are those which you cant possess’

  4. Raggers says:

    On “convenience”:
    Noble Phantasms are supposed to be ridiculously strong. Each one is specialised to the wielder, and their powers are (somewhat) drawn from legend. Each NP has strengths and weaknesses – for example, Lancer’s was small but could be used often, whereas Excalibur is massive and cannot.

    I agree that they are convenient in places, but that is the nature of strengths and weaknesses – think of rock paper scissors, similarly some servants have NP that are better against others, and ineffective against others.

    That said, Gilgamesh is massively overpowered (as he should be) so is next to impossible to defeat. He could’ve ended the war in a few days, but his Arrogance rank SSS meant he didn’t really care. Ea is his strongest NP (mentioned in the fight against Caster) and actually Anti-World – pretty much the strongest weapon in the Fate world.

    tl;dr: NPs are like rock paper scissors. The Gate of Babylon lets Gilgamesh use all three at the same time, so he always wins. All the Servants are making best use of whatever they have.

    • Carbine Gammaximon says:

      that’s def got a gangster vibe on it. one would have thought the first priority to Gilgamesh’s summoning items before the war began in the first place. Oops, forgot about his independent will. could it have been possible to summon him under another class?

      Can’t wait for the next episode.

      • Daedes says:

        Yes Heroic spirits can be summoned in diffrent classes. For example Lancelot could also be summoned as saber. Or Arthur as rider. Gilgamesh could be summoned as any class other than maybe berserker and caster?

        • rawr says:

          seeing as how Gilgamesh went mad with grief after he lost Enkidu, I think he might be able to be summoned under the Berserker class, though it is a stretch.

        • wicked says:

          They may have skills of other classes, but their class designation are set by their history and greatest skills.

          Gilgamesh is an archer because he doesnt directly uses his weapon, instead projects and throws them most. It also fits since Archers usually have a strong sense of self because they have the ability of independent action. Shirou is the same reason, even though he prefer using melee weapons to combat.

          Lancelot and Heracles have gone mad in their lifetime and died with certain unfulfilled anger, therefore designated as Berserker. As far as, I know Gilgamesh did not go mad in his lifetime, he just got bored with the world

  5. JaK says:

    Yup same as the above peeps said Ea is supposed to be strong :) its a anti-world noble phantasm and no defense would work again t it except avalon but i guess ur confusion is granted since u don’t follow the Fate Franchise

  6. commenter says:

    I like the touch that Gilgamesh makes a reference to his own myth. His best and only friend Enkidu!

    Anyway, Ea in babylonian myth is a god of some elements, but more specifically he’s linked to the babylonian genesis story. I guess that makes this something used in the creation of the world supposedly. If it is anything like the other contemporary myths then it probably divided sky and earth.

    From what I’ve seen in the FSN franchise Gilgamesh has only 3 weapons. His summon infinite swords spam attack, this ridiculous sword and finally those binding chains. Oh, and whatever is in his vault. He’s also the hero amongst heroes, the original hero. It was very clear in FSN and this show as well that he can easily beat everyone, but won’t let others bring him to using all of his powers. Since you know, that would mean that they are equal to him, which cannot be possible to our arrogant hero.

    About the countering nature of noble phantasms: this is a battle of magic. Surely anti-magic weaponry are the most important! Also, every caster ever goes for a “I will overpower everyone by taking some time and summoning something that requires incredible amounts of mana!”.

  7. Sinisgood says:

    F/SN’s Caster was even more OP. Dat Noble Phantasm man. Also their master was a confirmed badass.

  8. Bradley says:

    [quote]Also, I am not sure who was behind the visuals of Rider’s noble phantasm, but once again the scenes that took place in there looked gorgeous. Especially the point where it all started to fall apart had a lot of visual talent behind it.[/quote]
    Agreed. The same animation ufotable used in animating Black Rock Shooter’s intro game in the PSP. ufotable is just godly when in terms of CGI.

    They changed Rider’s charging scene though. In the LN, Rider’s running charge was more bloody as he didn’t blocked any of GOB’s weapon. He was literally skewered every part of his body, the time he reached Gilgamesh. Maybe because of TV censorship, they will probably add it on the BD.

  9. rawr says:

    I find it surprising that no one mentioned the part where Berserker went from CGI to normal.

  10. AidanAK47 says:

    Here is a very interesting piece of trivia.

    The date this episode was aired, June 10, is the anniversary of Alexander the greats death.

  11. Psigo says:

    Ea is just hax. (Gilgamesh card trump)

    Is not does counter Ionioi Hetairoi (Rider´s noble phantasm)

    It just counter every NP in the Fate Universe. With the exception of a well played, AVALON ALL DISTANT DISTOPIA + EXCALIBUR.

    Saber can potentially over power Gilgamesh, but do not change the fact that Gil is stronger.

    Gil also is too arrogant, that is his main weak point.

    Ea is ANTI WORLD.
    Ionioi Hetairoi is ANTI ARMY.

    ANTI WORLD > ANTI ARMY

  12. Kuroichi says:

    Not sure what kind of hints you were expecting, but they did allude to the fact that he had an ultra powerful noble phantasm that he didn’t want to use (at least on Caster). Watch the Caster battle again, and listen to the conversation b/w him and Tokiomi.

    As others were said, that weapon existed in F/SN as well, so it’s not something convenient that was just thought up for F/Z.

  13. IHaveAWang says:

    Saber’s and Gilgamesh’s Noble Phantasm’s powers were already established in Fate/Stay Night. So how would this be convienient? Psgels, you should do some research on things before you make a claim.

  14. Juno says:

    I don’t blame you, Psgels, for your minor accusation. The best way I can describe the way Noble Phantasms work is what Raggers said about Rock, Paper, Scissors. And everything about Ea (Gilgamesh’s Noble Phantasm) and Excalibur (Saber’s Noble Phantasm) were in Fate/Stay Night. Not to mention, MANY events from Fate/Zero have already been spoiled in Fate/Stay Night’s visual novel–especially in the final Heaven’s Feel route, which… I just finished tonight. I even know how it will end (vaguely), and possibly even why Kirei killed Irisviel without waiting for Kiritsugu to show up (he tells Shirou in F/SN that it’s better for one to never see the death of the one they love up close). Not to mention, what exactly Kirei is going to conclude about himself and what he plans to do next. I hated him in Fate/Zero and F/SN, but after finishing Heaven’s Feel, while he’s still a bad guy, I don’t really see him as all that “bad” of a guy. He has a legit, morally-complex wish, which the grail itself cannot grant, but that he can grant by pursuing it in both wars he participates in…

    • wicked says:

      eh, Kotomine is literally just a psychopath. I dont think it’s as much morally complex since in the end he’s just as selfish and twisted as any magician. He chose to do those evil thing for the sake of his happiness, and he chose to find his answer through any means necessary

    • Walaoa says:

      Saying kotomine having a legit , morally-complex wish is same as saying all the psychopath or serial killer that do those crazy thing they do is legit as well.

      It’s not that i don’t empathize him at all but the thing he do is definitely not legit or morally-complex. It is nothing short of selfishness and self satisfaction.

  15. Matt says:

    I would say the power of each hero is based on there historical significance. Meaning, Gilgamesh’s story is one of the oldest stories of a tragic hero. Many stories to follow are basically a copy of his story with variations. Its easy to see why he is the most powerful. I get the trouble with having his weapon negate Rider’s attack so perfectly, but since his story is one of the earliest known stories, i can see how his attack influences noble phantasm’s since they are just based off his story.

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  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 04:54 PM)
    Speculating is very hard with the current state of things
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 04:53 PM)
    I’m looking forward to how it’ll unravel.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 03:21 PM)
    @Bam, I was thinking of 8/10 too. The extra 0.5 is out of bias.
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 11:52 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: just look at Yukinon. She has major problems to get over before she can consider a relationship with anyone. In the end Haruno was right: she relies on Hachiman too heavily and it isn’t good. If anything they need space to let her disentangle her emotions and find solid ground to her life.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 10:42 AM)
    Now time to watch Fate/Zero and see what the fuss was all about.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 10:41 AM)
    I think that’s a great and fair review of UBW. I would’ve gave it 8/10, but hey, close nuff’.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 03:48 AM)
    How would that be toxic?
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:31 AM)
    From a critical perspective it was rock solid. Directing, writing, soundtrack – all were excellent. A great cliffhanger for this arc of the teenage condition.
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:27 AM)
    ratsgnoF: thanks, may skim through those later.
    Personal reaction to the finale: welp. Things are a complete mess, Yukino x 8man would be a toxic relationship and Yui x 8man would be far healthier, potentially even good.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:43 AM)

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