Posted by psgels on 23 June 2012 with categories: Fate/Zero

There was only one thing I didn’t understand in this episode: the entire series has been stressing that people die when they’re killed. And here this episode suddenly pulls back Kotomine Kirei back from the dead and turns him into a zombie. How? Did the grail turn him into this weird kind of servant or something? It just doesn’t fit in with the dark and gloomy themes of the rest of this series.

Setting that aside though, this was a very solid ending with a very solid aftermath. It”s very rare to see an ending so gloomy, especially Kiritsugu really worked in this episode. The guy is one of the few to have completely survived the drama, yet his will and resolve were completely broken (which again makes it all the more weird why Kirei pulled that zombie-card). I was also really glad that there was also a minute pulled out for Berserker. that really made the ending work for Saber. Combined, it was all so gloomy and depressing, and this was in a very good way.

Overall, out of all of Gen Urobuchi’s adaptations and series, I’d rank Fate/Zero on the third place, with Phantom still on number one and Madoka Magica on number 2. I’d say that it had two things going against it: the first is the way in which it required knowledge of the rest of the Fate franchise at key moments, and the second is that its emotions felt a bit empty. This final episode was an exception for the latter of those by the way. Emiya showed more emotion than what he showed through the entire series here and I liked that a lot.

Still, Fate/Zero was an excellent series that was really well made with a rare focus on adult characters and struggles and for that I really appreciate Ufo-Table for going with it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

18 Responses

  1. Anca says:

    I’ll disagree on the emotions being empty; after reading your blog for so long, I think I can add a second extremely subjective aspect equal to preference in humour that I did not realize before: portrayal of emotions. Of course, now it’s obvious, everyone feels them differently…

    I did not have your background problems, even though I saw FSN just after it aired many years ago and barely remembered anything, but what I did remember helped – in particular, the facts that Ilya and Kirei were around, and that Rin was bitchy. I’m sure there were more important things there, but this is really all I remember relevant to F/Z. I also knew about Reality Marbles and Noble Phantasms from somewhere else, and someone here thankfully explained Angry Manjew in the comments before the episode he was mentioned in aired (see, some spoilers are good!).

    I didn’t realize Urobuchi Gen wrote Phantom too, heh. I like F/Z the most out of his works though – the dialogue was just something else. Every character had his own unique convictions in line with his historical counterpart, and it was nothing short of fascinating following the dialogue.

  2. starry says:

    I don’t think required knowledge of F/SN is really a flaw, since you’re suppose to read the VN first. I haven’t seen Phantom, but I found this series to be better then Madoka, it had more compelling characters and themes for me.

  3. kovaleski says:

    they said they would do a announcement about a new project , do you know something about that

  4. DmonHiro says:

    Yes, the Grail did bring him back as a zombie.

  5. Son Gohan says:

    Concerning Kirei’s “resurrection”, Urobuchi had to do it lie that because it was stated by Kirei in the Heaven’s Feel route of the VN that Kiritsugu shot him through the heart and the Grail revived him.

    • Gavrilo says:

      Yep, once again, that was already established from Fate/stay night. I do believe it’s explained a bit better in Heaven’s Feel, though.

      • Juno says:

        From what I remember, the Grail showered Gilgamesh in its contents to keep him materialized after the destruction of the grail so that it could appear again and take him with it, and it creeped into Kirei’s broken heart before his soul disappeared for good to bind it back to a false heart, created for him by the grail. I forgot the exact reason it did so, but it had to do with the Avenger knowing Kirei approved of his birth, I believe.

    • Kai says:

      Funny, I read the VN (around 4 years ago though) and completely forgot about it. But at least this mystery was solved, last episode, Kirei was killed and I was wondering just how did he survived in F/SN.

  6. John says:

    Hey, your summaries are great, I don’t need mean any disrespect. I just want to say that the “emotions are a bit empty” part was completely out of scope.

    This was a battle filled to the brim with obvious nods to Shakespearean tragedy and Greek epics. You’d expect such a combination of ‘outdated’ styles to be a complete mess, but the fact that Ufotable is able to pull it off with a 300 spartans-style Rider charging to his certain doom in 2D, King Arthur crying horrendously to the death of Britain as a shockingly young girl (seriously, she looks like she’s 16. how do you expect an adult audience to properly react to this interpretation of King Arthur?), Kirei almost about to snicker in the face of cuckoo Aoi and her crying daughter that has the dagger he stabbed the father with (don’t tell me you missed the face), and so much more EMOTIONALLY CRIPPLING scenes that I can’t even begin to describe, is a damn miracle. and before anyone is to disagree with that, know that you’re not the one stuck inventing these impossible solutions for screenplay.

  7. vivi says:

    Emotions a bit empty? Are we watching the same anime? o: Well nonetheless, I enjoyed following your summaries of fate zero. I’m glad ufo-table did a great job :)

  8. Cholisose says:

    Yeah, emotions feeling a bit empty is one of the last things I’d call Fate/Zero. Good heavens, that series was absolutely heart-wrenching. Lancer’s demise alone made Fate/Zero one of the most emotional anime I’ve seen. ;_; And Waver’s coming-of-age story with Rider was packed to the brim with quality character development. And then Kiritsugu’s back-story… Holy crap. That was painful. And then there’s Kariya… X_X And even the sheer depravity of Caster and Ryunosuke was surprisingly gripping, in just how twisted they were. From episode to episode, I found myself even coming to care about characters like Tokiomi and Kayneth, who in most any other anime I likely would have found to be little more than extra villains.

    That said, Fate/Zero certainly didn’t explain things as well as I would have liked at the end there. I get that it’s a prequel series and all, but I found things a bit too confusing, to the point where the Holy Grail–the goal of the whole series–just felt really random.

  9. dennis says:

    may i know what is the anime will replace fate/zero next week??

  10. AidanAK47 says:

    I loved the way Kirei was about to snigger in front of Rin and her mother. Great attention to detail there. And man, the irony of handing Rin that Dagger. And the line that would define Shiro Emiya’s life.

    Come on Psgels, rating Phantom and Madoka over this? For shame…true they were very good but Madoka hit it’s high point at episode ten and the ending was disappointing. And phantom suffered from a little too much angst and some flat characters.

    • Juno says:

      Can’t blame psgels. If you didn’t know Fate/Stay Night before this, you’d be confused, too. I already have a friend watching it and they have all the same complaints. I trust their judgement, too.

      Not to say I don’t agree with you at some points, but… “flaw” or not, the fact that it’s only going to feel complete to those who have read Fate/Stay Night in its completion is definitely a problem for those who haven’t. Sure, explanations for background help, but that first-hand experience is what connects you to the characters the best. Without it, some things just won’t appeal that much, or you won’t notice some of the touches that are there for the sake of empowering emotion in the audience.

  11. Gabriel says:

    And that part where Kariya comes to sakura and dies… Damn… Though the sentence sounded more creepy in the novel, it was pretty nice nevertheless.

  12. Moriae says:

    The Grail vs Gilgamesh was cut. The grail contents granted Gilgamesh a wish for resurrection, then that affected Kirei because of their master/servant contract. He has a black mud heart. Unlike Kiritsugu, he isn’t affected by the curse because he was born evil.

  13. wicked says:

    I thought Kirei resurrected made more sense than Gilgamesh gaining flesh and blood, although the two are supposedly connected.

    As best as I could remember, the explanation was that his ego was so big that he not only was not consumed by the grail, he pulled out of it with a reincarnated body

    • kero says:


      I thought that bit was hilarious. Nekkid Gilgamesh sitting atop a pile of destroyed buildings.

      I think I also have to disagree about the lack of emotions. There was a lot packed in, and I think it managed to provide a resolution to everything quite neatly, aside from the things that made you go ??? because you need to know other things outside the scope of the anime for it to make sense.

      It didn’t move me in the way that other endings have moved me, but it was still a pretty good ending.

      Heh I remember Shiro being annoying from F/S so his appearance irritated me.

      I can’t really remember F/S much at all, except that I didn’t enjoy it much. I think it was the whole harem thing.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 09:02 PM)
    One-Punch Man’s pilot was almost adapted flawlessly. It straight up uses the manga panels as it’s main storyboard, but added just enough new touches to improve the action instead of ruining it. Now let’s see how they animate the mosquitos and all the lasers for the next episode.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:57 PM)
    And that’s why Madhouse is one of the few respectable studios left. I thought that they will be seriously diminished after Masao Maruyama took some of its key members and funded MAPPA, but One-Punch Man showed that they are still one of the best in the business.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:51 PM)
    @Kaiser The anime industry isn’t advanced enough in CG to make it look good, is all it is.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:51 PM)
    @K-off: Your not wrong, it certainly looks poor but some of the old gonzo animated stuff was far more woeful looking. Stellvia, which was done by xebec was another example of old anime cgi which was quite ugly to look at. Just as I prefer traditional effects in film I also prefer traditional animation techniques to cg.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:42 PM)
    Lately, the use of badly integrated cgi have been making my eyes sore,from the obviously cgi background characters in Asterisk to the overly fluid mech movements in Aldnoah. I still remember the shitty cgi piano hands in Kimi no Uso.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:49 PM)
    I thought R&M had a pretty good finale. The episode achieved what was missing from most of season 2, and that was a balance of randomness and meaningful bits. What made Rick Potion #9 and the previous season’s finale and general tone great was a sense of humor that was combined with more sincere drama and character developments; a sort of sweet melancholy.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 09:51 PM)
    @K-off, not having too much trouble with the interface but I still cannot create categories.

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