Posted by psgels on 16 June 2012 with categories: Fate/Zero

After nearly finishing this series, one thing that surprised me is that Kotomine Kirei didn’t really turn into such a psychotic villain. In fact for me he’s one of the most interesting characters in this second season in the way he’s searching for something to fill his doubts with. I’d much rather label Kiritsugu as the psychopath, especially after what happened in this episode.

But that definitely was a great cliff-hanger at the end of this episode. Although that does leave me to wonder: Tohsaka Tokiomi wanted a wish that would require to rewrite the laws of reality right? If such a wish is possible, then why can’t Kiritsugu’s wish of wanting to save everyone come true? To take the boats example: why not use magic to fix both holes? I get what this episode was going for in that Kiritsugu’s wish was way too naive, but if you’ve already gone over nine thousand multiple times, then this seems a pretty strange place to stop. Also, why did the grail appear, even though there were still some people fighting over it?

In any case, the action scenes were all great here, although the fight between Saber and Berserker felt a bit underwhelming, considering most of happened off-screen, and we still don’t really know why he became Berserker. Kiritsugu vs Kotomine was very well directed though, and I liked a lot how professional both were.
Rating: *+ (Great)

32 Responses

  1. Anca says:

    I assume it can’t come true because of that thing someone said earlier that someone else said was a spoiler (although I’m not sure how): that the grail is tainted because of that dude in that village who was tortured to death, so it always interprets wishes in the worst way possible..

    That said, it was explained better and I haven’t read the VN myself.

  2. tsao says:

    Yea if I remember correctly because I read this novel way way back a long time ago so my memory is a bit hazy, the grail was tainted by angra mainyu and it basically became corrupt in a way where its wishes were basically all hell. And Mainyu basically hated the world and represented all the evils in it so basically the “holy grail” during the fourth war was basically not meant to really grant the wishes, but create suffering. So basically I think that if Tohsaka or anyone else had gotten the grail the same thing would have happened to them since the grail in the first place at the beginning of the story was no longer its “omnipotent wishing device”. I can’t really call Kiritsugu a psychopath since he knows that if he chose his wife and daughter, he would basically kill everyone else in the world and there’s no way he could agree to that considering the manner of thinking he’s always had. He’s sadly the tragic hero in this story and you can’t help but feel bad for everything that has happened to him considering he really wanted to save the world.

  3. IronZeta says:

    There was a dude that was sacrificed because his village believed he was the personification of all the world’s evil Angra Mainyu, and he was summoned as Servant Avenger in the third war. He was killed and his soul was added to the Grail like all Servants, but because he was the personification of the wish for all the world’s evil to be personified in one person, the Grail interpreted his soul as a wish and granted it, so now Angra Mainyu (All the World’s Evil) is in the Grail and is twisting it to interpret all wishes in the worst way possible.

  4. anonymous says:

    Repost from 4chan

    the boat explaination works best
    in his wish he’ll kill half the world to save half the world
    kill half of them to save half
    kill half of them to save half
    in the end it’ll be just him alive and the world will know peace

    He had always been willing to sacrifice the minority for the majority because he believed the end justifies the means. But the Grail/Angry Manjew demonstrated that there would be no “end.”

  5. Cholisose says:

    While I was absolutely blown away by this episode (HOLY CRAP that Kiritsugu vs Kirei fight… and DAT CLIFFHANGER), I will agree that there were a few things that have left me rather confused.
    I’m hoping there will somehow be a little more revealed for Lancelot? I mean, I think that in the real legend there was that falling away between Arthur and Lancelot (the whole affair with Guinevere ordeal), but Saber being a woman in this story makes me wonder if things played out the same way. I’m not even sure if Lancelot is supposed to be insane, since Kariya had summoned Berserker with an insanity add-on for his magic spell in episode one (IIRC).
    I’m also a bit confused about the Holy Grail in general. The series had made it sound like a master would receive the grail once all his opponents’ servants were killed. And was it always planned from the start that Irisviel would turn into the Grail? If so, doesn’t that kind of mean Kiritsugu would win no matter what, as long as he had kept her with him? Though now Grail-Irisviel seems to just be trolling him with philosophical questions, rather than actually letting him make a wish (though again, there’s still Archer left to kill [and presumably Saber too, if Kirei’s words about all the servants needing to be sacrificed is to be believed]). I guess I’ll have to hope next episode will answer all these questions, because I’m not getting how this system works.
    Regarding Kirei, I have to say I do feel a little bad for him dying without finding any of those answers he was looking for. I mean, he was a terrible guy, but Kiritsugu’s no saint either. It’s a bit complicated, Fate/Zero’s sliding scale of morality. x_x

    • Moriae says:

      Lancelot had a detailed chapter flashback and a lot more revealed in the novels. They cut the scenes for this episode to focus on Kirei vs Kiritsugu. Let’s pray for them to include them in the bluray as they usually do.

      >if Kirei’s words about all the servants needing to be sacrificed is to be believed

      That is only for a wish to open a path to the Root (what Tokiomi wanted). Other wishes need less sacrifices. That’s why Gilgamesh agreed to give the grail to Kirei.

  6. Dr. Pest says:

    Problem with this series is that it is too special to make it really fit the 20 minute episode scheme. So many things you will only see when the blue rays got released. They added around 40 minutes of new footage to the last season which really improved especially the king’s drinking episode (with Saber, Rider and Gilgamesh) and the part where Gil was analyzing Kotomine which felt in which his guessings about Kotomine’s interest in Kariya felt awkward in the TV version.

    The whole Berserker thing will be explained as well in the upcoming BDs. So if you have enough time and liked the series you should give it a watch when the BD versions will be out in September.

  7. Sacchi says:

    When Irisviel von Einzbern gradually merges with the Holy Grail, Avenger possesses her and controls her.

    During in the final battle between Emiya Kiritsugu and Kotomine Kirei, the Grail gushes out black mud which engulfed both of them. Though both of them entered in a dream like state, the Grail recognize Kiritsugu as the victor. Avenger uses Irisviel to confront Kiritsugu in his mind and asks his wish, however it comes with a heavy price. In his mind, he was forced to confront the fact that his methods will eventually lead to him becoming the ultimate enemy of humanity, equal to Angra Mainyu itself – and, ‘Irisviel’ proclaimed, this path is correct.

    Kiritsugu, now realizing that the Grail is corrupted, he shoots down all his love ones including the illusions of his wife and daughter. As he rejected ‘Irisviel’, Avenger placed a curse on him – to never be free of regret until his painful death.

    Kirei, having went through the same experience, asked Kiritsugu why he rejected the Grail; Kiritsugu’s answer was that it sacrifices too many things for what it gives. Kirei says that he wanted it even so and Kiritsugu, admitting that he didn’t understand Kirei, shot him in the heart.

    From a wikia. Honestly, this episode was great, but all this stuff was left in the dark. The only thing in favor of Fate Zero is Rider asking if the Grail is what Weaver truly believes it is. That’s the only foreshadowing that I can remember.

  8. Spider says:

    Awesome episode. It needed more Berserker/Grail explanations, but it can come with next episode or BDs.
    And… Only great+ for this episode? C’mon. Some episodes of Moretsu Pirates, Kanojo X and others are so much worse and you gave a better rating.

  9. AidanAK47 says:

    Now it’s time to play the “Lets fill in the holes for people who didn’t read the novel” game. Time and time again I heard people saying that the grail business would be explained at the end of the show but from what I remember from the novel it was never quite explained in fate/zero. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure. Anyway…

    In the third holy grail war the Einzbern family cheated and tried to summon the Persian god of darkness, Angra Mainyu in the “Avenger” class thinking he would be amazingly powerful. However turns out that Angra Mainyu was just some man who was living in a town that wanted to be a pure good utopia. However they realised that evil was necessary. So they took some random guy and labelled him all the evils in the world. So whenever something bad happened then it was all his fault. Bad harvest? His fault. Son got sick? His fault. As a result he was a crappy servant and died fairly quickly. His soul entered the grail and the grail misinterpreted as a wish “Form someone to embody all the evils of the world” and it begin creating this individual who tainted the grail into a hell spawning device. This thing is currently inside the grail and wishes to be born into the world.

    As for Kiritsugu’s wish of saving everyone the Grail/Angra Mainyu made it clear. Kiritsugu’s wish is to save the world but he doesn’t know how this could be accomplished. The grail can’t grant a wish if Kiritsugu himself doesn’t even know how. So it saves people in the only way Kiritsugu knows how, picking the majority over the minority. Plus as said before, it will now only grant wishes in the worst way possible.

    Five servants is enough to grant a wish. But if you wish to reach the origin of magic then you need all seven. Of course most participants don’t know this.

    And there was a lot cut out from this episode. Berserker’s battle and back-story were just gone. That’s for the blu-rays I guess. Of course if you don’t want to re-watch the blu-rays then just look of Lancelot on Wikipedia. It’s pretty easy to see why he would be pissed at Arthur.

  10. Souther says:

    I don’t really think it’s necessary to read all the previous replies, full of information that isn’t even in the Fate/Zero novel, when it is pretty clear that the Grail isn’t exactly an instrument for good, just going by what is in the content of the anime itself.

    The rest are just background details for the curious, but I don’t see the point of reading too much about that right now.

  11. Saigo says:

    Angra Mainyu tainted the grail in the third war. The grail usually summon “good” heroes, but some day it summoned a anti hero of the class AVENGER, the servant was weak and was killed, but the grail gets corrupted forever.

    The problem of Type Moon series, is that not all info is in the main series.

    The grail was a “good and pure” artifact-. Now is possesed by Angra Mainyu/ Avenger.

    And it can summon bad heroic spirits like Gille de Rais (caster).

    The actual grial is a being of pure evil-

  12. wicked says:

    You might have misread the Kiritsugu moment. Irisviel was dead the moment she merged with the grail, what’s left was only an image controlled by the corrupted grail.(the black ooze and the evil smiling Irisveil from previous episode). What Kiristugu realized is that the if he had wished for what he originally meant to wish for, the world would very literally die, and his true wish is revealed that the only people that really mattered to him were Iris and Ilya, but it would truly be psychopathic of him to have gone through with his wish knowing the everyone else would die and the grail will only grant his wish through destruction. His killing of his family illusion were gestures symbolic of him rejecting the grail.

    Kirei while may not act psychotic, is truly psychopathic, he doesnt fight for something, rather he does so because his lack of something. Fate/Zero is basically the beginning of his madness, but the sickness was there the entire time, maybe the ending will be more clear of why I said that

    Tohsaka had the only true pure wish, in that his was not truly a wish for an end but rather the act of truly completing the grail itself and connect to the origin. He had no wish for the Grail to achieve, rather all that energy would be used to open the gateway to the Origin, so think of it as an alternate function of the cup rather than wish granting aspect of it.

  13. yokushi says:

    Angra Mainyu and the grail tainting is never explained here.

    That’s the problem with Fate/Zero being a prequel, some things are explained in Fate/stay night novel.

  14. Juno says:

    To add on to what others are saying, more from Fate/Stay Night that was never explained in Fate/Zero about the grail:

    Aside from this 8th Avenger class, another secret had been held from the participants: that the grail was a search for the great sorcery, the origin, and that in actuality, all Masters and Servants were tools to summon it. Masters killing other masters was a rule added on to allow them to be disposed of easier, and leaving the grail to the last master was fine, since the true purpose of the grail didn’t end at the granting of the wish, and more miracles could happen. The grail was made as it was to allow both with the new sorcery… but after the Avenger/Angra Mainyu incident, the grail had already granted a wish, and it was simply using its own power to reawaken and get born in the world as the true evil.

    And while Kirei was definitely characterized very well, I realized from Fate/Stay Night that he wishes the thing to be born into the world because he, himself, feels only pleasure and happiness at pain, as someone who knows only sin and evil might be. His only regret was not killing his fiancee/wife by his own hands, and because he is open to this evil, and yet still believes in his principles of blessings, he feels his only role is blessing anything that wishes to be born into the world, good or evil, like himself. As an answer to justify his own existence in the world, despite being a sinful person. Like the grail. It has every right to exist if God, or whatever the will of the world is, allows it to exist. It is not good or evil. It can only be judged upon having been born, even if it is inevitably born to bore evil. Thus, allow it to be born. Everything after that is up to the judgement of others alive and whether or not it can survive.

    • wicked says:

      It is most certainly an self affirmation the Kirei wanted to see the grail complete in Staynight, though if I remember correctly, you would only know this in the Heaven Feel route. It’s not that he does not know good and evil as he’s raised a member of the church with strict teaching of right and wrong, it’s that his very existence is at odds with the teachings since he can only take pleasure in what is evil. He questions how an evil like him can even be allow to come to pass in the first place, so he wants to see true evil take form

      • Juno says:

        You said it better than I did. Thank you. =)
        Heaven’s Feel is stuck in my mind. I wasn’t expecting it to clear up all the plot holes from the first two routes. I’m so glad I kept reading, even though it took forever to get to that point…
        And I’m glad I finished it before reaching this episode. I would have been confused as all heck. Especially about Kirei’s “death.”

  15. James says:

    Concerning the queries about Lancelot’s grudge against Saber, in the light novel, it was depicted that Saber did not give Lancelot the “honourable” defeat he deserved, and for that he despised Saber so much so that the grudge he had towards Saber was enough to have him getting summoned as a Berserker class. For his ability to turn everything he touches into his own noble phantasm, this is due to his previous life achievement where he used a twig to defeat an enemy. Next, for his cloaking ability, it was said that he disguised himself as the black knight to compete in a chivalry competition and hence, his ability to conceal his identity. That’s as much info as possible regarding Lancelot/Berserker’s ability.

    But this episode was superb! I mean, Kiritsugu vs Kirei was one thing, but the whole psychological part was awesome in a twisted way. It was either to save the people he loved and sacrifice the rest or to sacrifice his wish and lose his loved ones. Man, that was good brain food.

    Last noteworthy thing: Gilgamesh is the most arrogant, conceited and narcissistic anime character yet! God, I like how he goes “I am the one king in this world. Whatever I dictate is justice and the law itself.”

  16. Loz says:

    Awesome show as usual. Not that ive read the VN, but I like how they portray some of the messages in this show. I think in terms of Kiritsugu’s wish, for peace to be obtained somethings got to give, so it would appear the only way you can gain true peace is if nothing is left. (So to gain peace you have to become a villain who destroys everything? Quite the paradox)

    I also really like the theme of Sacrifice.

    If you stop thinking bout the holy grail for a second and just think of the notion that you cant gain everything from nothing. So the grail is always going to be flawed. For example Fullmetal alchemist had the same theme with its equivalent exchange.

    You have to sacrifice something of equal/more value if you want to gain something of equal measure. In this case Kiritsugu obviously values his wife and child more than anything else in the world, but killing all the billions of people in the world isnt worth gaining his 2 family memders.

    I suppose now that I think about it you can make paradoxes out all the characters wishes/actions in this show. Well I cant think of one for Tokiomi Toshaka at the moment, but I sure someone more psychologically minded then myself could find a paradox for him in there.

  17. Hououin Kyouma says:

    Thanks so much for the info guys!! Now most questions about Lancelot and the background/nature of the grail are gone. Still…I find a bit awkward its relationship with Irisviel, indeed; Wasn’t Kiritsugu at advantage by having her with him and knowing the other masters ignore of many of this, before truly winning??

    And hell yeah!! What an awesome ep!! Best 20 mins used for that breath-taking fight depiction, mind-blowing FMA-like plot twist and that cliffhanger… OMG…I rank it waaay better than Kanojo X and Sakamichi no Apollon when respectively preparing for their great ends.

    And again…Archer’s personality managed to fascinate me one last time! That IS having self-esteem…

    • Juno says:

      Whether or not he knew that the Holy Grail would fill, no matter what, he was at an advantage. That was, until Irisviel was kidnapped before truly reaching the point where she would become the Holy Grail.

      Though I don’t think the ending was FMA-like. Kiritsugu wasn’t being given any equivalent exchange for his wish in the end. His wish was just being thoroughly destroyed by his own method of salvation he wished to overcome. The Grail probably COULD have saved humanity if the whole thing with the Avenger class never came to root in the Holy Grail because of the Third Sorcery or whatever it was beyond the gate that made it all-powerful.

  18. some loser says:

    Happy Father’s Day Illya!

  19. Blah says:

    WHAT THE HELL PEOPLE!!!

    STOP SPOILING EVERYTHING ABOUT THE VISUAL NOVEL!!!

    • AidanAK47 says:

      People who haven’t read the visual novel already have almost everything spoilt if they watched Fate/zero up to this point.
      Besides the only ones watching this are those who have read the visual novel or those that never intend to read it.

      • Kuroichi says:

        Mostly true, but you forget of those who had not heard of Fate before this and planned to read the VN once Zero is over…

        • wicked says:

          You know, I dont think the stuff that’s spoiled here really spoils anything for Staynight.

          You found out through Kiritsugu that the Grail’s ability to grant miracles is, more or less, a lie. The Grail is evil, that’s what’s been established here. Whether or not you knew it was Avenger that tainted the grail in the previous war, it matters not. If you were to play the VN after Fate /Zero you would have known the Grail is evil, it really doesnt spoil much of anything, because and people may disagree with me here, but granting wishes through grail is really not that big of a deal in Staynight, certain not to Shirou.

          and Kirei’s character. Yeah, that guy is not exactly chatty about himself through most of Staynight. In fact, if you only played the fate route, you’d be just as confused about his actions. While He’s an important part of Heaven’s feel, and you’ll know more about him, it wont impact the story itself one way or another to know that he has existential problems. Heaven’s Feel is a situation entirely on its own, he doesnt exactly have control in it

  20. Leica says:

    Wasn’t Tokiomi’s idea to sacrifice every single servant and get to Akasha that way?

  21. Jack says:

    One of the best anime episodes I’ve seen in quite some time… Kiritsugu vs. Kirei was simply perfect, but I also liked how anticlimatic the end of Kariya/Berserker was: truly, this pair’s story was only sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    I also like how, deep down, the “King of Kings” is nothing but a thug… I mean, the way he’s acting with Saber, he’s basically a rapist.

  22. Stars says:

    Most incredible episode of FZ so far, this show is insanely epic.

  23. mnk says:

    i thought lancelot’s rage is a result of arturia’s clouded ideology of rulership; described by iskander

    • wicked says:

      It’s more detail reveal in the novel that Lancelot was warp by guilt and the circumstances that led to his downfall, which was a situation where all sides are righteous in their action, yet it only led to tragedy to all sides. Arturia cannot blame him from loving Guinevere because she herself cannot give Guinevere the same, Lancelot cannot blame Arturia for sacrificing Guinevere’s role and heart as a women, because she not only did the same, she did so for the country. He should hate her for ruining Guinevere’s life and forcing him to oppose his king, but he cannot because he know she only does so because the situation force her to, and in her heart she held not grudge, only sympathy and regret toward them. So he has all these rage for the injustice of it all, but no one to direct it to because of reason and his own ideals. He prayed to no longer be a righteous knight, if he was not selfless and understanding, he can direct this rage toward her, and she can do the same to him and truly punishes him. Only then he can find solace in that He was the one that was wrong in all of it, and finally forgives himself.

      Although, he did not get that satisfaction either

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  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 06:27 AM)
    Where’s Berserk 04 review btw?
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:33 AM)
    Also in regards to the bat scene. I just thought of Evangelion. I suppose that’s what the director was going on. Since you’re reviewing that, I’ll leave at that.
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:22 AM)
    I agree to a certain level the padding at the beginning. I suppose I didn’t mind since it at least was like a standard Batman episode (of the latter seasons). I think what bugs me is that the portrayal of Batman wasn’t very good, I think he’s emotionless for the most part. And like I’ve said, on the technical side it isn’t as striking as the novel. It’s like when Gyo was adapted (to be fair that’s also because like Berserk it had a lot of CGI).
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:20 AM)
    Basically just seeing the story put on screen I was grateful for.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:18 AM)
    I noticed something off about the animation and the dialogue was pretty piss poor at times but the latters kind of a given in these things and the prior was never distracting enough to take me out of the movie. I’m indifferent really to the Batgirl drama, don’t mind that its there, don’t care if it wasn’t.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:39 AM)
    This story required a level of care that frankly the creators didn’t want to give.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:38 AM)
    I think instead of trying to combat the whole women in refrigerator aspect of the story they instead should have focused on what inspired the characters to do this. What made batman rethink his relationship with the joker and attempt to find a common ground? What made the Joker suddenly want to prove a point? And sure you could add something to give batgirl a moment but not some crap villain no one cares about. Instead have her go up against a real batman villain.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:33 AM)
    @Vonter, Animation was one part of it. The other was the first thirty minutes being a tacked on Batgirl story and it really shows. I didn’t really have that much of a problem with it up until that scene which everyone likely knows. That annoyed me. I get what they were trying to do but it just made things worse.
    As for the actual killing Joke itself, I thought it was ok. Hamell brought his A game. Really for that it was just small details that made it lesser.
  • KaZuHiRo
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 01:46 AM)
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY PSGELS!! If you’re still lurking around that is…
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 12:48 AM)
    I’m kinda bummed that the Killing Joke adaptation is likely gonna be another feminist driven criticism. As for my opinion its just not as good as it could be because it seems 2D animation in general is having less commitment adapting complex artstyles. Not as distracting as Berserk, but the Bruce Timm artstyle doesn’t strike the tone of this particular Batman story.

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Kiznaiver Review – 60/100

Kiznaiver is a very different faire from Studio Triggers other works in that it takes a more serious tone and has a writer who tends to go more for the melodramatic. This is a tale about a group of very different people gathered together and have their pain linked to one another. In an effort […]

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Joker Game Review – 50/100

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on […]

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Mayoiga Review – 78/100

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years. On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life […]