[Anime] Fate/Zero: Terminus of Honor (S2E3)


Lonely At The Top

This post has spoilers for Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero (up to episode 16). If you do not wish for certain information regarding plot points from this series or other related series to be revealed to you, you might want to consider not reading any further.

Sweet Mother of God, what a fucking episode.

This is an episode filled with conflict and confrontations, not just in terms of the physical clashes and assassinations but also in terms of the age old battle between idealism and practicality. We get the long-awaited conclusion to the battle between Kiritsugu and Kayneth, as well as final fight between Saber and Lancer, but beyond that, we finally see the deep rooted ideological conflict between Kiritsugu and Saber addressed in the open, in one of the most powerful scenes of the series so far. This episode was the very definition of a WHAM episode, with multiple characters meeting their respective makers, but it was also a very thought-provoking one. I’ve had mixed feelings about a bunch of the pivotal characters involved in this episode for a while now and this episode has only made that worse. That’s not criticism either; within this episode I went from detesting Kayneth to kind of feeling bad for him to being just plain horror-struck at what had happened to him and that’s a testament to the way these characters have been developed. Today’s post will be a little longer than usual because I just have so much to say about the events of this chapter but I’ll try to keep my thoughts are organized as I possibly can.

This episode stacked up a really impressive body count and I think it’s only fitting that we open today’s discussion by remembering those who are no longer with us. First up: Kotomine Risei, the corrupt priest in charge of overseeing this whole affair. Each death in this episode was surprising in its own way, but none more so than Risei’s because I never considered him to even be in danger. Perhaps after being exposed to so much of the Fate universe (I just picked up Fate/Strange Fake  (manga) earlier this week, solid recommendation, I can’t wait to finish Fate/Zero so I can dive into it fully), I should know better, but for some reason, I just didn’t think that Kayneth, of all people, would just straight up shoot the judge. Kayneth seemed a little like Tokiomi in that he was very much a representative of the ‘establishment’ – he was a teacher at the Clock Tower and from what I could gather, a fairly prominent member of the Mage’s Association. His assassination of Risei then was more a sign of how desperate he was and of how low he had fallen; he was painfully aware (perhaps even more so than most of his opponents) of how precarious his position was and it seems his determination to level the playing field overpowered his better judgement. It wasn’t enough to Kayneth that he win (i.e. obtain the Command Seal) but also that his opponents lose (be unable to receive theirs), which is the kind of cold rationality that I’m more accustomed to seeing from Kiritsugu really, especially after this episode. It’s unlikely that there will be any major fallout from Risei’s assassination since Kayneth himself is dead and Risei is a secondary character at best. It will be very interesting, however, to see what Kirei’s response to this will be, given his own crisis of faith.

Next, we have Lancer. I know that Diarmuid doesn’t have a particularly large fan-base and understandably so since he is just so bland compared to Cu Chulainn but it seems that being summoned into the Lancer class just never ends well. Diarmuid is the second Lancer (well, first chronologically, I guess) to not only be bound to a shitty Master who doesn’t appreciate him at all but also to die by forced suicide. My feelings about Diarmuid are a mix of sympathy and frustration. I’ve mentioned in the past that I find Lancer and Saber’s obsession with chivalry really frustrating but at the same time, on some level, I respect their commitment to it. All Lancer wanted was a good Master to serve and an honourable way to die. With Kayneth in the picture, the former was never an option – and the scene just prior to Saber’s arrival made that abundantly clear – but even the latter was cruelly denied to him thanks to Kiritsugu’s intervention. Lancer and Kayneth never had the strongest relationship but when Sola-Ui was kidnapped, it hit an absolute rock bottom. Kayneth tore into Lancer, attacking him from every angle – his past, his chivalry and his ineffectualness. Lancer takes the verbal beating bravely enough but he just cuts a really sorry figure. Their interaction resembled nothing so much as an abusive couple – Kayneth being the asshole boyfriend who was permanently ungrateful and passing the blame and Lancer being the worn down, burnt out girlfriend who was struggling to make the relationship work. You could see Lancer’s hopes for a good Master fade when Kayneth accused him of seducing Sola-Ui and conspiring against his Master and he just looked so dejected and forlorn. For a while though, it did seem like Lancer would get his second wish when Saber appeared to settle the score. The whole ceremony surrounding their duel gave me a moment’s hope that Lancer’s nobility and selflessness would be rewarded as he and Saber faced off in a pure duel but the Fate/Zero universe is not a particularly forgiving one and Lancer is left cursing his Masters and the human nature. Lancer’s curse has some obvious foreshadowing since the Grail is cursed, as is literally everyone present at the scene, and I couldn’t help but wonder whether Lancer’s curse wouldn’t be a simpler explanation for the whole Angra Mainyu effect which so far no one seems to know of. Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that Lancer tainted the Grail, but rather that if Fate/Zero is aiming to be a self-contained show, his curse would make for a more elegant explanation than Angra Mainyu which adds a new level of complexity to the Grail’s already complicated mechanics. Going back to Lancer though, his death was a powerful one I think because his final words are pure rage at a world that has no shred of decency in it, whether in his own time or now. It really shows the audience of just how low these characters have sunk to obtain their heart’s desire and ties in very elegantly with Kiritsugu’s point that the battlefield is a hellish, nightmarish place.

We’ll get to Kiritsugu and his deeply cynical view of the world shortly, but before that, let’s say our good byes to Kayneth and Sola-Ui. When it comes down to it, I hate every aspect of Kayneth’s character except the one thing that really humanizes him; his love for his wife. Apart from the genuine love he has for Sola-Ui though, Kayneth really is a terrible human being. He has no real sense of honour or morality (but then again, in this universe that might be a good thing), he is full of envy and mistrust, he is an awful Master; he is a nasty piece of work all around, really. Yet, he’s taken his fair share of beatings – emotionally, when he sees Sola-Ui’s open crush on Lancer and physically, when Kiritsugu breaks like Bane did Batman. Both of those events are enough to get a twinge of sympathy from me, but nevertheless, I was hoping he would get his sooner rather than later. What Kiritsugu did to him however, was beyond brutal – it was an utter annihilation of Kayneth in every way. I have to wonder why Kayneth still loves his wife though; not that long ago, she broke his fingers to torture him into giving her his Command Seals (that worked out well!) and has generally been mean and condescending towards him. It might just a Stockholm syndrome kind of thing, where he has managed to convince himself that Sola-Ui would never have done any of that if it weren’t for Lancer seducing her. It wouldn’t be the strangest thing and it was a little heart-breaking seeing him cradle his disfigured wife in his arms before being mercilessly gunned down and then killed by Saber. Kayneth died a broken, shattered man; he had pretty much offered no resistance at all throughout the episode and it’s hard not to pity him but let’s not forget that this guy shot a priest earlier in the evening. Also, if he was smart enough to think of a plan like Kiritsugu’s, he would totally have gone through with it so I won’t be shedding too many tears for him. I want to talk about Sola-Ui but I can’t find it in me to say more than this: she was a total bitch and good fucking riddance.

While a lot happened in this episode, to put it mildly, my real take-away from the episode was just how different the characters. You have the whole range of the cynicism spectrum in this episode – with Saber’s idealism glowing brightly on one side and Kiritsugu’s deep bitterness on the other. Let’s start with Saber. Her entire world view has come under some serious fire in this series – first from Rider who attacked her leadership and then from Kiritsugu who tearing her morals apart. The thing with Saber is that she has lived her life by a strict moral code; the code of knightly chivalry. She is the epitome of what that code produces – a good, dutiful king; righteous, courageous and loyal. Yet, in a sense, she has to stick to that code because the cost of not sticking to it would be catastrophic. I don’t just mean that in a practical sense (Excalibur’s power comes from the strength of her beliefs, as she informs us this episode) but also on a psychological level. If she accepts Kiritsugu’s philosophy that there is no good killing and that her notion of chivalrous fights is little more than glorified murder, then she will have to accept that her life (which features a good many battles) is nothing but a string of atrocities and that is just not going to sit well with her notion of herself as a good knight.

Does that mean that Kiritsugu has the right of it? That there is no point to having laws and ideals when it comes to violence? A part of me rejects that notion – after all, there is such a thing as a clean death and just because violence is a part of human nature does not mean that we have to cater to that lowest common denominator. Saber’s stance, the stance of the Geneva Convention, and the stance of human decency all tell us that while sometimes violence is inevitable, there are some standards that have to maintained and that the necessity of violence doesn’t provide give us the right to just do whatever we want. Yet, Kiritsugu’s position seems to be one that someone who’s actually been through battle and has seen it close up would adopt – the notion that there is something noble and glorious about battle is a dangerous one. Once you’re out on the front lines getting shot at and shooting people, you realize that honour and glory aren’t worth a thing. Saber has been in enough battles to know this but I suspect that those same notions of honour and glory are so deeply embedded in her that she simply cannot see what is right in front of her eyes, and like I said, if she accepts that honour and glory are meaningless, then suddenly, she has to question what she has fought all those battles for, what she has sacrificed so many of her fellow soldiers for. Coming back to Kiritsugu though, I know that we tend to be fairly forgiving of Kiritsugu because of his role as protagonist and because we know what he’s really fighting for but there is also no denying the fact that anyone who can carry out a plan as cruel as his is almost certainly a psychopath. He clearly carries a deep bitterness in him, and yet, one gets the sense that he is one bad day away from a total mental breakdown. I know that breakdown is coming; something is going to change him from the man he is now to the man Shirou loves so much but for now, he is taking his ‘ends justify the means’ approach all the way to its logical conclusion.

What really struck me was that Kiritsugu was very much aware of the cyclical nature of violence and how violence tends to beget more violence. History has shown us this on countless occasions but in the Holy Grail, Kiritsugu has a way of breaking that eternal cycle. He doesn’t need to know how to end it himself; he will let the omnipotent cup decide and implement this magical solution. In that sense, the ends really do justify the means because the violence that he uses to get the job done will be the last time violence will ever be needed – or so Kiritsugu believes. It’s a strange position for us as an audience because on one hand, you can sort of see the logic but you also know that the whole endeavour is a fool’s errand to begin with. It’s difficult, sometimes, to see Kiritsugu carry this enormous burden on his own soul while knowing all the while that it’s for nothing. To some degree, that’s a feeling that runs through all of Fate/Zero and it’s inevitable to some extent because it is a prequel and some things are set in stone because we know what comes next but that doesn’t make those moments any easier to watch. Before I wrap this up, I also want to talk about Iri. She hasn’t done much of note in the last few episodes but she really made an impression on me in the final scene. She has often been a passive partner to Kiritsugu but in this episode, she was really firm in getting Kiritsugu to explain himself to her and Saber. It was the first time I’ve seen her really get stern and it’s a nice change from her usual more light-hearted personality.

With that, I’ll wrap up this week’s post with a few pointers about things to come. I am very much looking forward to seeing how Kirei will handle his burgeoning bad-guy-boner and how he will deal with his father’s passing. It’s clear to anyone paying attention that Kirei’s on the brink of turning fully evil and I can’t help but think that his father’s passing will let Kirei cut his ties with God once and for all. This episode will also have some long term implications on Kiritsugu’s relationship with Saber. It was never a strong one, true, but after this point, you have to assume that it’s totally broken down. With Irisviel’s fate up in the air, it seems unlikely that she can continue acting as a medium between the two sides for much longer.

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34 thoughts on “[Anime] Fate/Zero: Terminus of Honor (S2E3)

  1. Saber and Kiritsugu confrontation is one of my favorite ideological debates in Anime. It contains nearly every recurring themes of Gen Urobutchi’s works: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Ethics, the oppressive nature of reality and the unfathomable Faith for a better tomorrow.

    Glad that you started Fate/Strange Fake! Maybe it’s too early to state this, but – from what I read so far – that series has the potential to reach Fate/Zero’s level of quality as a spin-off. This franchise can shine in so many different ways when other authors put their hands on it.

    A small news: Ufotable animated a short commercial for an in-game event of Fate/Grand Order starring Kara no Kyoukai’s characters. It’s not a trailer for a new cross-over anime, but it features some gorgeous animation (plus best girl Shiki Ryougi): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92YMDisG1OU

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  2. I think the whole thing with Team Lancer was always planned to mirror the story of Diarmuid and Gráinne to some degree. At the very least the story of Diarmuid’s ‘love spot’ (insert dirty joke here) and how it made every woman who saw him fall in love with him was really brought into play in Fate/Zero.

    I think you’re being a bit hard on Sola-Ui. Kayneth himself isn’t a very good person so I never expected that Sola-Ui would be particularly virtuous or kind either. She’s probably as power hungry as Kayneth himself when you get right down to it. So even though what she did to him was cruel and all kinds of messed up, I think Lancer’s spot did seduce her and drive her to it. Kayneth is understandably pissed about it since it’s Lancer’s fault to some degree and this leaves Lancer caught in the middle of the whole thing since he has no control over his spot’s power and is just trying to follow his own code of honor and serve his master.

    In a way bringing his wife along doomed Kayneth’s chances from the start. The two of them would never have seen eye to eye, but there wouldn’t have been an insane romance/power struggle involved and he never would have ended up in the situation he found himself backed into such a corner when Kiritsugu took him out.

    Being charmed by Diarmuid doesn’t make Sola-Ui less of a villain, but I think you could make the argument that if Lancer had just been handsome and not been cursed by the spot she would have never turned against her husband. It’s quite an oversight from Kayneth considering who he was summoning. You’d think he’d want to keep his wife away from someone with the power to make any woman love him just by looking at him. Just saying.

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    • I don’t remember how it was exactly phrased, but in the light novel it is stated that Sola-Ui has a resistance to the love spot because she is a mage. She just choose to not to resist the love spot effect, because she was not happy with her current living situation or something.

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      • Some people are so starved for affection of any kind, that it can lead them to acting or doing things that that many people would never do. Sola’s in many ways fit’s that status. I think overall even if Kayneth hadn’t brought her, he would have suffered regardless simply due to his overconfidence in his mage abilities and the fact he and Lancer simply could not work together.

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      • Saber’s magical resistance made her immune to it so it’s also possible that if Sola-Ui was talented enough as a mage to defend against that kind of thing she could resist it as well. It’s not like it was one of his noble phantasms or something.

        Maybe she is just super evil, Kayneth is a giant ass so I could see how you might want to stab him in the back. It just seemed like, in the show, she really wanted to be Lancer’s master and get in his pants. Maybe I was reading into it too much. It’s been a while since I last watched the series.

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        • Though if she willingly submitted to it, then Diarmuid’s spot basically doomed them all and Sola-Ui was just being crazy because of the spot’s power.

          Still seems like leaving her behind would have avoided all of this. Maybe Kayneth wanted her to come along and see him win the Grail or something and the decision led up to his ultimate downfall.

          Whatever the reason, I think it’s safe to say Kayneth’s arrogance played a big part in his downfall.

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    • Ok fair enough, I was being harsh on Sola-Ui. To be fair, we haven’t really gotten her perspective either so I shouldn’t have been that judgemental.

      Did Kayneth really know who he was summoning though? I got the impression that once he lost Rider’s artifact, he just settled for whichever remaining Servant. If he did know, then he pretty walked right into this clusterfuck

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      • That’s actually a good point. Makes me wonder if he had Diarmuid as his backup but was looking for something more suitable because he was worried about..well, exactly what happened happening.

        It would explain how he got another artifact so quickly after his was stolen by Waver. Though you could probably also write that off as him having connections and influence enough to get such a thing done.

        Still, interesting to think about.

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  3. I had the feeling you would have much to comment on this episode due to what happens in it.

    Start off with Kayneth, pity is the word to use for him by the time he is dead. Even though he was a snobbish guy with very little scruples, not to mention a hypocrite for using a gun, though I suspected he would use one if he had to due to unlike Rin’s dad. Willing to use whatever means in order to win.

    His love for Sola’s makes me wonder what exactly he uses in her to fell about her that way, is it her beauty? His commitment by marriage to her? Or something else entirely? Either way I do think his love for her is genuine and is his only redeeming trait.

    As for Solas herself, yeah a screwed up icy person. Of course being engaged to someone you don’t like at all is never going to make someone nice. I think it was her family that arranged it all, of course it’s clear that her… thing for lancer has left her a little touched in the head, considering she’s more concerned about the command seal than losing her arm and dying from it. Boy you think losing your arm and seeing blood coming out would be your main priority.

    Kirei’s dad being dead will definitely lead to some interesting stuff.

    Now for Lancer, he never stood a chance really as a character, he simply wasn’t going to match Cu in any real way. But overall I like you found him dull for a few reasons like you did. The big one is how I feel he is actually quite selfish in his use of chivalry, namely in that he is expecting the world and people to recognize him for keeping to the chivalry code, to award him for it and to basically expect his lord to rely on him. This sense of entitlement overall leaves him to me unsympathetic for the most part, only did Kiru’s cruel way of making his master kill himself did I feel for him.

    I mean look at his past, he fought for a king, then for his own reasons decided to get involved with the king’s fiancée and somehow expected it to all work out. Which he blames her falling on her curse, does that really sound like a honourable and chivalry person.

    While Kayneth certainty hurls abuse at Lancer, Lancer just taking it so meekly makes him look pathetic overall really,

    But even then he messes it up a bit by cursing all those around him just because they didn’t play by his views and code. Lancer the world doesn’t owe you for acting honourable.

    Overall lancer is like one of those king guards in the mad kings rule that proclaims they are honourable and all that, but actually never truly stand up to evil or actually try to get their ruler to change their behaviour. It’s a big case of wanting your cake and eating it.

    I think someone said it perfectly when they said Kayneth and Lancer are like a darker twisted take on Shirou and Saber’s partnership.

    Saber is honourable but she never expects anything in return, she does what she does because believes in doing the right thing. No matter what happens or what she suffers to go though, though granted we know that her way has it’s own flaws and led to her ruin. but because she has much regrets and also is selfless to the point it becomes unhealthy is why she ends up being more sympathetic and also worthier as a person.

    Kiritsugu in this episode showed how petty he can be in the way he killed off the characters, it was like he was doing it to spite Saber and her whole world view after recent events. Like he wanted on his own masochistic way to bring her down to his level, to show her what this world he lives in is like, that all her glory, honour etc. are just bullshit to make herself feel better or that they led to this world he see’s as hell.

    This I think does a great job of showing the assassin side of Kiritsugu in a way that even the most cynical will have to admit is more cruel than pragmatic. That he isn’t above stooping to measures like that, all because he thinks he is saving many more from dying if he kills a few people.

    Hell the scene between Saber and Kiritsugu. Is like if Tywin Lannister gave his whole better to kill a dozen at dinner than on the battlefield lecture to Ned Stark himself. Instead of someone like Tyrion who even though he wasn’t taken with the red wedding, didn’t really object to it in the way Ned would object to it, like how Saber objects to Kiritsugu in this episode.

    As much as I do not want to agree with Kiritsugu on his very cynical and morid views, considering Fate’s world and the type of people and demons in it, he does make a point or two, Of course Saber’s words to him at the end have their merits as well. Though suffering begets to more suffering is very disputable when you remember the fight doesn’t stop when the swords or guns are put away. It gets much harder as Iraq, Libya etc. have shown us in the last decade. Hell ask Genghis Khan on dismounting and governing are the much harder fights.

    As the pen, paper and words will only work if the people behind them actually want it and are willing to fight for what is written on the paper and what is said.

    As for clean deaths, hmm… there is such a thing I think as well. But whether there is one in war is very debateable, is chopping off a head or shooting someone in the heart on a battlefield more cleaner than just shooting them in the back or slicing a neck of one in bed. Is the former cleaner to the deceased loved ones? No matter what we tell ourselves or what the deceased believed?

    We do need standards in everything, otherwise the human race would go extinct and because humanity is more than capable of rising to them. Though what do you do when those standards fail or get exploited? Or when those standards are taken to the point that they are simply unworkable and lead to many people falling. Thin line between many things like honourable and impotence, or justice and vengeance. Or mercy and letting evil continue to run amok. Saber and Kiri are both reflections I think of what can happen when you stick rigidly to having standard and not having much standard.

    Saber and Kiritsugu whole thing in this episode finally broke the straw of the camels back that had been there from day one. The pair are so devoted to their worldview and scarred by their experiences that they are simply will not even comprehend the hole they know are there.

    As you said above, to even think of them will lead them having to acknowledge those holes, and it’s partly why they end up where they are by F/N ending.

    This is something that will really come up for Kiritsugu very soon in a number of ways.

    The pair to me have been fighting their whole life, they simply do not know anything else or if your more negative on them. Don’t want to know any other way like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s characters in Heat pretty much admit.

    I liked how Iri tried to put Kiritsugu on the spot here, though in the end it seemed to simply him and Saber being permanently strained. Iri here you can tell is having to deal with the side of her husband that she knows is walking towards the path he has been walking for all his life. I think she knows that she can’t talk either one out of their mind-sets. Because she knows that for them to ever achieve their goals, she will have to die.

    Which at the end of the episode is approaching more and more now that another master and servant are gone.

    This along with Kirei approaching ever more to being the man we all love, Tokiomi now having to alter things with his main partner in crime gone. Gilgamesh ever shining in his wine and pleasure. Rider and Waver hanging out. Along with bug boy and berserker being in pain, are all leading to the climax of F/N and many lives being broken, killed or something else.

    I’ll end here, really rambled on this time, but this episode has always led to much thinking in myself and the world that we live in.

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  4. I had the feeling you would have much to comment on this episode due to what happens in it.

    Start off with Kayneth, pity is the word to use for him by the time he is dead. Even though he was a snobbish guy with very little scruples, not to mention a hypocrite for using a gun, though I suspected he would use one if he had to due to unlike Rin’s dad. Willing to use whatever means in order to win.

    His love for Sola’s makes me wonder what exactly he uses in her to fell about her that way, is it her beauty? His commitment by marriage to her? Or something else entirely? Either way I do think his love for her is genuine and is his only redeeming trait.

    As for Solas herself, yeah a screwed up icy person. Of course being engaged to someone you don’t like at all is never going to make someone nice. I think it was her family that arranged it all, of course it’s clear that her… thing for lancer has left her a little touched in the head, considering she’s more concerned about the command seal than losing her arm and dying from it. Boy you think losing your arm and seeing blood coming out would be your main priority.

    Kirei’s dad being dead will definitely lead to some interesting stuff.

    Now for Lancer, he never stood a chance really as a character, he simply wasn’t going to match Cu in any real way. But overall I like you found him dull for a few reasons like you did. The big one is how I feel he is actually quite selfish in his use of chivalry, namely in that he is expecting the world and people to recognize him for keeping to the chivalry code, to award him for it and to basically expect his lord to rely on him. This sense of entitlement overall leaves him to me unsympathetic for the most part, only did Kiru’s cruel way of making his master kill himself did I feel for him.

    I mean look at his past, he fought for a king, then for his own reasons decided to get involved with the king’s fiancée and somehow expected it to all work out. Which he blames her falling on her curse, does that really sound like a honourable and chivalry person.

    While Kayneth certainty hurls abuse at Lancer, Lancer just taking it so meekly makes him look pathetic overall really,

    But even then he messes it up a bit by cursing all those around him just because they didn’t play by his views and code. Lancer the world doesn’t owe you for acting honourable.

    Overall lancer is like one of those king guards in the mad kings rule that proclaims they are honourable and all that, but actually never truly stand up to evil or actually try to get their ruler to change their behaviour. It’s a big case of wanting your cake and eating it.

    I think someone said it perfectly when they said Kayneth and Lancer are like a darker twisted take on Shirou and Saber’s partnership.

    Saber is honourable but she never expects anything in return, she does what she does because believes in doing the right thing. No matter what happens or what she suffers to go though, though granted we know that her way has it’s own flaws and led to her ruin. but because she has much regrets and also is selfless to the point it becomes unhealthy is why she ends up being more sympathetic and also worthier as a person.

    Kiritsugu in this episode showed how petty he can be in the way he killed off the characters, it was like he was doing it to spite Saber and her whole world view after recent events. Like he wanted on his own masochistic way to bring her down to his level, to show her what this world he lives in is like, that all her glory, honour etc. are just bullshit to make herself feel better or that they led to this world he see’s as hell.

    This I think does a great job of showing the assassin side of Kiritsugu in a way that even the most cynical will have to admit is more cruel than pragmatic. That he isn’t above stooping to measures like that, all because he thinks he is saving many more from dying if he kills a few people.

    Hell the scene between Saber and Kiritsugu. Is like if Tywin Lannister gave his whole better to kill a dozen at dinner than on the battlefield lecture to Ned Stark himself. Instead of someone like Tyrion who even though he wasn’t taken with the red wedding, didn’t really object to it in the way Ned would object to it, like how Saber objects to Kiritsugu in this episode.

    As much as I do not want to agree with Kiritsugu on his very cynical and morid views, considering Fate’s world and the type of people and demons in it, he does make a point or two, Of course Saber’s words to him at the end have their merits as well. Though suffering begets to more suffering is very disputable when you remember the fight doesn’t stop when the swords or guns are put away. It gets much harder as Iraq, Libya etc. have shown us in the last decade. Hell ask Genghis Khan on dismounting and governing are the much harder fights.

    As the pen, paper and words will only work if the people behind them actually want it and are willing to fight for what is written on the paper and what is said.

    As for clean deaths, hmm… there is such a thing I think as well. But whether there is one in war is very debateable, is chopping off a head or shooting someone in the heart on a battlefield more cleaner than just shooting them in the back or slicing a neck of one in bed. Is the former cleaner to the deceased loved ones? No matter what we tell ourselves or what the deceased believed?

    We do need standards in everything, otherwise the human race would go extinct and because humanity is more than capable of rising to them. Though what do you do when those standards fail or get exploited? Or when those standards are taken to the point that they are simply unworkable and lead to many people falling. Thin line between many things like honourable and impotence, or justice and vengeance. Or mercy and letting evil continue to run amok. Saber and Kiri are both reflections I think of what can happen when you stick rigidly to having standard and not having much standard.

    Saber and Kiritsugu whole thing in this episode finally broke the straw of the camels back that had been there from day one. The pair are so devoted to their worldview and scarred by their experiences that they are simply will not even comprehend the hole they know are there.

    As you said above, to even think of them will lead them having to acknowledge those holes, and it’s partly why they end up where they are by F/N ending.

    This is something that will really come up for Kiritsugu very soon in a number of ways.

    The pair to me have been fighting their whole life, they simply do not know anything else or if your more negative on them. Don’t want to know any other way like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s characters in Heat pretty much admit.

    I liked how Iri tried to put Kiritsugu on the spot here, though in the end it seemed to simply him and Saber being permanently strained. Iri here you can tell is having to deal with the side of her husband that she knows is walking towards the path he has been walking for all his life. I think she knows that she can’t talk either one out of their mind-sets. Because she knows that for them to ever achieve their goals, she will have to die.

    Which at the end of the episode is approaching more and more now that another master and servant are gone.

    This along with Kirei approaching ever more to being the man we all love, Tokiomi now having to alter things with his main partner in crime gone. Gilgamesh ever shining in his wine and pleasure. Rider and Waver hanging out. Along with bug boy and berserker being in pain, are all leading to the climax of F/N and many lives being broken, killed or something else.

    I’ll end here, really rambled on this time, but this episode has always led to much thinking in myself and the world that we live in.

    Like

  5. This is my long post that for some reason my wordpress account isn’t allowing to be submitted. Not sure if it’s wordpress or because there is a word limit for replies for this site from wordpress as smaller reply posts have worked fine. But let’s see if this works.

    I had the feeling you would have much to comment on this episode due to what happens in it.

    Start off with Kayneth, pity is the word to use for him by the time he is dead. Even though he was a snobbish guy with very little scruples, not to mention a hypocrite for using a gun, though I suspected he would use one if he had to due to unlike Rin’s dad. Willing to use whatever means in order to win.

    His love for Sola’s makes me wonder what exactly he uses in her to fell about her that way, is it her beauty? His commitment by marriage to her? Or something else entirely? Either way I do think his love for her is genuine and is his only redeeming trait.

    As for Solas herself, yeah a screwed up icy person. Of course being engaged to someone you don’t like at all is never going to make someone nice. I think it was her family that arranged it all, of course it’s clear that her… thing for lancer has left her a little touched in the head, considering she’s more concerned about the command seal than losing her arm and dying from it. Boy you think losing your arm and seeing blood coming out would be your main priority.

    Kirei’s dad being dead will definitely lead to some interesting stuff.

    Now for Lancer, he never stood a chance really as a character, he simply wasn’t going to match Cu in any real way. But overall I like you found him dull for a few reasons like you did. The big one is how I feel he is actually quite selfish in his use of chivalry, namely in that he is expecting the world and people to recognize him for keeping to the chivalry code, to award him for it and to basically expect his lord to rely on him. This sense of entitlement overall leaves him to me unsympathetic for the most part, only did Kiru’s cruel way of making his master kill himself did I feel for him.

    I mean look at his past, he fought for a king, then for his own reasons decided to get involved with the king’s fiancée and somehow expected it to all work out. Which he blames her falling on her curse, does that really sound like a honourable and chivalry person.

    While Kayneth certainty hurls abuse at Lancer, Lancer just taking it so meekly makes him look pathetic overall really,

    But even then he messes it up a bit by cursing all those around him just because they didn’t play by his views and code. Lancer the world doesn’t owe you for acting honourable.

    Overall lancer is like one of those king guards in the mad kings rule that proclaims they are honourable and all that, but actually never truly stand up to evil or actually try to get their ruler to change their behaviour. It’s a big case of wanting your cake and eating it.

    I think someone said it perfectly when they said Kayneth and Lancer are like a darker twisted take on Shirou and Saber’s partnership.

    Saber is honourable but she never expects anything in return, she does what she does because believes in doing the right thing. No matter what happens or what she suffers to go though, though granted we know that her way has it’s own flaws and led to her ruin. but because she has much regrets and also is selfless to the point it becomes unhealthy is why she ends up being more sympathetic and also worthier as a person.

    Kiritsugu in this episode showed how petty he can be in the way he killed off the characters, it was like he was doing it to spite Saber and her whole world view after recent events. Like he wanted on his own masochistic way to bring her down to his level, to show her what this world he lives in is like, that all her glory, honour etc. are just bullshit to make herself feel better or that they led to this world he see’s as hell.

    This I think does a great job of showing the assassin side of Kiritsugu in a way that even the most cynical will have to admit is more cruel than pragmatic. That he isn’t above stooping to measures like that, all because he thinks he is saving many more from dying if he kills a few people.

    Hell the scene between Saber and Kiritsugu. Is like if Tywin Lannister gave his whole better to kill a dozen at dinner than on the battlefield lecture to Ned Stark himself. Instead of someone like Tyrion who even though he wasn’t taken with the red wedding, didn’t really object to it in the way Ned would object to it, like how Saber objects to Kiritsugu in this episode.

    As much as I do not want to agree with Kiritsugu on his very cynical and morid views, considering Fate’s world and the type of people and demons in it, he does make a point or two, Of course Saber’s words to him at the end have their merits as well. Though suffering begets to more suffering is very disputable when you remember the fight doesn’t stop when the swords or guns are put away. It gets much harder as Iraq, Libya etc. have shown us in the last decade. Hell ask Genghis Khan on dismounting and governing are the much harder fights.

    As the pen, paper and words will only work if the people behind them actually want it and are willing to fight for what is written on the paper and what is said.

    As for clean deaths, hmm… there is such a thing I think as well. But whether there is one in war is very debateable, is chopping off a head or shooting someone in the heart on a battlefield more cleaner than just shooting them in the back or slicing a neck of one in bed. Is the former cleaner to the deceased loved ones? No matter what we tell ourselves or what the deceased believed?

    We do need standards in everything, otherwise the human race would go extinct and because humanity is more than capable of rising to them. Though what do you do when those standards fail or get exploited? Or when those standards are taken to the point that they are simply unworkable and lead to many people falling. Thin line between many things like honourable and impotence, or justice and vengeance. Or mercy and letting evil continue to run amok. Saber and Kiri are both reflections I think of what can happen when you stick rigidly to having standard and not having much standard.

    Saber and Kiritsugu whole thing in this episode finally broke the straw of the camels back that had been there from day one. The pair are so devoted to their worldview and scarred by their experiences that they are simply will not even comprehend the hole they know are there.

    As you said above, to even think of them will lead them having to acknowledge those holes, and it’s partly why they end up where they are by F/N ending.

    This is something that will really come up for Kiritsugu very soon in a number of ways.

    The pair to me have been fighting their whole life, they simply do not know anything else or if your more negative on them. Don’t want to know any other way like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s characters in Heat pretty much admit.

    I liked how Iri tried to put Kiritsugu on the spot here, though in the end it seemed to simply him and Saber being permanently strained. Iri here you can tell is having to deal with the side of her husband that she knows is walking towards the path he has been walking for all his life. I think she knows that she can’t talk either one out of their mind-sets. Because she knows that for them to ever achieve their goals, she will have to die.

    Which at the end of the episode is approaching more and more now that another master and servant are gone.

    This along with Kirei approaching ever more to being the man we all love, Tokiomi now having to alter things with his main partner in crime gone. Gilgamesh ever shining in his wine and pleasure. Rider and Waver hanging out. Along with bug boy and berserker being in pain, are all leading to the climax of F/N and many lives being broken, killed or something else.

    I’ll end here, really rambled on this time, but this episode has always led to much thinking in myself and the world that we live in.

    Like

  6. I believe that what makes Kayneth’s death so disturbing is that it comes across as the direct consequence of his first selfless act in the series. It’s a very disturbing message : “you want to try to act decent for once? Here’s your just desert.” The fact that he is very much NOT a threat for a foreseeable future, and that Kiritsugu decided to be thorough anyway is also quite uncomfortable when it comes from our supposed protagonist. Kayneth was not a nice person by any mean, but in this episode, you’re forced to wonder if Kiritsugu isn’t worse.

    Also, being Lancer is suffering.

    Like

    • Being most of these characters is suffering tbh. But yeah Lancer class gets shafted bad.

      I really like your point about how no good deed goes unpunished in this series. It feels like that’s a Fate/Zero characteristic though – in FSN, the universe isn’t so depressingly dark. For eg, Lancer helps the good guys in almost every route for no reason other than the goodness of his heart

      Like

  7. You’re probably beginning to see why a lot of people who liked Fate/Zero didn’t like the F/SN UBW anime. Aside from the obvious stuff, like being less edgy, the focus on fewer characters, and the majority of the cast being women and children, their favorite characters from Zero getting shafted, etc. most of the more philosophical and thematic stuff is more… straightforward? Easier to explain? Was adapted better? I’m having trouble putting this into words, to be honest, but I suspect you’ll understand what I’m trying to say.

    Unless you seriously pay attention to the F/SN anime, it’s all too easy to pass it off as a generic action shonen anime, especially if you arn’t already familiar with it. With F/Z you kind of… can’t.

    Like

  8. Putting comments for this in various posts as there seems to be issue with the comments box with long posts, and even posts not that long.

    I had the feeling you would have much to comment on this episode due to what happens in it.

    Start off with Kayneth, pity is the word to use for him by the time he is dead. Even though he was a snobbish guy with very little scruples, not to mention a hypocrite for using a gun, though I suspected he would use one if he had to due to unlike Rin’s dad. Willing to use whatever means in order to win.
    His love for Sola’s makes me wonder what exactly he sees in her to feel about her that way, is it her beauty? His commitment by marriage to her? Or something else entirely? Either way I do think his love for her is genuine and is his only redeeming trait.

    As for Solas herself, yeah a screwed up icy person. Of course being engaged to someone you don’t like at all is never going to make someone nice. I think it was her family that arranged it all, of course it’s clear that her… thing for lancer has left her a little touched in the head, considering she’s more concerned about the command seal than losing her arm and dying from it. Boy you think losing your arm and seeing blood coming out would be your main priority.

    Kirei’s dad being dead will definitely lead to some interesting stuff.

    Like

    • I’ll reply to your comment in bits too since it’s easier’ to address each point.

      I never thought about how Sola’s first thought went to her hand but now that you mention it, she was lamenting how her connection to Lancer would be lost.

      Like

  9. Now for Lancer, he never stood a chance really as a character; he simply wasn’t going to match Cu in any real way. But overall I like you found him dull for a few reasons like you did. The big one is how I feel he is actually quite selfish in his use of chivalry, namely in that he is expecting the world and people to recognize him for keeping to the chivalry code, to award him for it and to basically expect his lord to rely on him. This sense of entitlement overall leaves him to me unsympathetic for the most part, only did
    Kiru’s cruel way of making his master kill himself did I feel for him.

    I mean look at his past, he fought for a king, then for his own reasons decided to get involved with the king’s fiancée and somehow expected it to all work out. Which he blames her falling on her curse, does that really sound like an honourable and chivalry person.

    While Kayneth certainty hurls abuse at Lancer, Lancer just taking it so meekly makes him look pathetic overall really,

    But even then he messes it up a bit by cursing all those around him just because they didn’t play by his views and code. Lancer the world doesn’t owe you for acting honourable.

    Like

    • If Lancer is guilty of expecting the world to play by his rules of chivalry, then isn’t Saber guilty of it too? In Lancer’s case, I’m willing to forgive him for his curse at the end because the poor guy really got shafted hard by both his incompetent Masters. It would be one thing if Kayneth played the game perfectly and Lancer let him down but Kayneth made plenty of his own mistakes so I don’t want to be too harsh on Lancer.

      Like

  10. Overall lancer is like one of those king guards in the mad kings rule that proclaims they are honourable and all that, but actually never truly stand up to evil or actually try to get their ruler to change their behaviour. It’s a big case of wanting your cake and eating it.

    I think someone said it perfectly when they said Kayneth and Lancer are like a darker twisted take on Shirou and Saber’s partnership.

    Saber is honourable but she never expects anything in return, she does what she does because believes in doing the right thing. No matter what happens or what she suffers to go though, though granted we know that her way has its own flaws and led to her ruin. But because she has much regrets and also is selfless to the point it becomes unhealthy is why she ends up being more sympathetic and also worthier as a person.

    Like

    • The main difference between Shirou/Saber and Kayneth/Lancer is that in Saber’s case, both Servant and Master are inherently good people. I don’t think Kayneth is a good man the way Shirou or even Kiritsugu is. Kayneth isn’t fighting for any higher purpose and loving your wife isn’t enough to make you a good person.

      Like

  11. Kiritsugu in this episode showed how petty he can be in the way he killed off the characters, it was like he was doing it to spite Saber and her whole world view after recent events. Like he wanted on his own masochistic way to bring her down to his level, to show her what this world he lives in is like, that all her glory, honour etc. are just bullshit to make herself feel better or that they led to this world he sees as hell.

    This I think does a great job of showing the assassin side of Kiritsugu in a way that even the most cynical will have to admit is more cruel than pragmatic. That he isn’t above stooping to measures like that, all because he thinks he is saving many more from dying if he kills a few people.

    Hell the scene between Saber and Kiritsugu. Is like if Tywin Lannister gave his whole better to kill a dozen at dinner than on the battlefield lecture to Ned Stark himself. Instead of someone like Tyrion who even though he wasn’t taken with the red wedding, didn’t really object to it in the way Ned would object to it, like how Saber objects to Kiritsugu in this episode.

    Like

  12. As much as I do not want to agree with Kiritsugu on his very cynical and morbid views, considering Fate’s world and the type of people and demons in it, he does make a point or two, Of course Saber’s words to him at the end have their merits as well. Though suffering begets to more suffering is very disputable when you remember the fight doesn’t stop when the swords or guns are put away. It gets much harder as Iraq, Libya etc. have shown us in the last decade. Hell ask Genghis Khan on dismounting and governing are the much harder fights.

    As the pen, paper and words will only work if the people behind them actually want it and are willing to fight for what is written on the paper and what is said.

    As for clean deaths, hmm… there is such a thing I think as well. But whether there is one in war is very debateable, is chopping off a head or shooting someone in the heart on a battlefield more cleaner than just shooting them in the back or slicing a neck of one in bed. Is the former cleaner to the deceased loved ones? No matter what we tell ourselves or what the deceased believed?

    Like

    • Yeah I think Saber knows a thing or two about the difficult of keeping a country united and maintaining peace after war. After all she was the ruler of a country in her story. Kiritsugu seems to have been really affected by his past and that’s turned him against every aspect of war. Saber still sees some beauty in it and that’s where the disagreement stems from I guess.

      Like

  13. We do need standards in everything, otherwise the human race would go extinct and because humanity is more than capable of rising to them. Though what do you do when those standards fail or get exploited? Or when those standards are taken to the point that they are simply unworkable and lead to many people falling. Thin line between many things like honourable and impotence, or justice and vengeance. Or mercy and letting evil continue to run amok. Saber and Kiri are both reflections I think of what can happen when you stick rigidly to having standard and not having much standard.

    Saber and Kiritsugu whole thing in this episode finally broke the straw of the camel’s back that had been there from day one. The pair are so devoted to their worldview and scarred by their experiences that they are simply will not even comprehend the hole they know are there.

    Like

  14. As you said above, to even think of them will lead them having to acknowledge those holes, and it’s partly why they end up where they are by F/N ending.

    This is something that will really come up for Kiritsugu very soon in a number of ways.

    The pair to me have been fighting their whole life, they simply do not know anything else or if you’re more negative on them. Don’t want to know any other way like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s characters in Heat pretty much admit.

    I liked how Iri tried to put Kiritsugu on the spot here, though in the end it seemed to simply him and Saber being permanently strained. Iri here you can tell is having to deal with the side of her husband that she knows is walking towards the path he has been walking for all his life. I think she knows that she can’t talk either one out of their mind-sets. Because she knows that for them to ever achieve their goals, she will have to die.

    Like

    • Iri’s death is almost a guarantee at this point isn’t it? Saber and Kiritsugu have been fighting for something their whole life, you’re right. If either of them stops and admits that they were wrong now, it would mean all their sacrifices in the past were meaningless.

      Like

  15. Which at the end of the episode is approaching more and more now that another master and servant are gone.

    I’ll end here, really rambled on this time, but this episode has always led to much thinking in myself and the world that we live in.

    Like

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