Fate / Zero 18 — Shirley you Jest!

This is not how you should use a sacred talisman!

Kids, DO NOT try this at home! Always cut away from yourself with a knife!

The Pride of the Magi

I hadn’t realized that the Emiyas also had a long magical history. Kiritsugu’s dad actually starts out seeming like a pretty nice person. He lets Kiritsugu play in the village, and isn’t all wound up and straitlaced like Tohkiomi.

But here’s where things start to go wrong. Something bad is going to happen.

Oh crap. This will turn out poorly.

Kiritsugu’s father is searching for what all magicians seem to want: the fountain of youth, the philosopher’s stone, the elixir of life. He suffers from the sin of pride, believing that man should be like God.

His sin doesn’t stem from wanting to live eternally in and of itself, but from wanting to discover knowledge and reach the Root. This is the traditional source of pride as well: the Fall came about because Adam and Eve desired the knowledge of good and evil. In the story of the tower of Babel, pride has the same root: the desire to build a tower to reach heaven, becoming like god.

All these magicians miss the entire point, which the flower example illustrates perfectly: the flower is beautiful because it withers and dies. Proof? Nobody likes those artificial flowers.

The Mage Killer

After Shirley dies, Kiritsugu’s father is surprisingly unsympathetic. I’m not sure why he didn’t try to go and kill her himself when she ran into the town.

But I wasn’t quite expecting this. Kiritsugu’s father didn’t even do it intentionally. Kiritsugu just seems to be a born killer.

Now consider an alternative scenario: what if Kiritsugu’s killer instinct had taken over earlier, and he had killed Shirley instead of his father? Then the entire village would have been saved, the church and mage’s association may never have noticed anything, and Kiritsugu wouldn’t have needed to kill his father. Everythg is Kiritsugu’s fault. (note: I don’t necessarily believe this, but it is something to consider)

I agree with the exorcist. Kiritsugu didn’t need to kill his father. He chose to. Even seeing him as a kid, I still don’t feel much sympathy for him.

8 thoughts on “Fate / Zero 18 — Shirley you Jest!

  1. “Now consider an alternative scenario: what if Kiritsugu’s killer instinct had taken over earlier, and he had killed Shirley instead of his father? Then the entire village would have been saved, the church and mage’s association may never have noticed anything, and Kiritsugu wouldn’t have needed to kill his father. Everythg is Kiritsugu’s fault. (note: I don’t necessarily believe this, but it is something to consider)”

    Exactly!
    You may not believe it, but Kiritsugu does. he thinks about that all the time, and it becomes the backbone of his motivation. He totally blames himself for not killing Shirly when she asked him to, because he knows it would have prevented the tragedy. This is how his “kill one to save many” policy started. He constantly blames himself for not killing Shirly, and that’s also why he kills his father, because he was planning to run off to a new island and repeat the tragedy over and over again until his experiment succeeded. Thus, killing his father saved a lot of lives.

      1. It is in the novels, and is a key part of Kiritsugu’s character. I believe you will see more examples of it as the story goes on.

    1. Oh, cool. But wow, it’s pretty scary how fast Kiritsugu comes to this conclusion. Shirely died just an hour or so ago. It isn’t even entirely clear that it’s his father’s fault she died. And already he kills his own father without hesitation to save the people who would possibly die in the future. I guess we’ll see in the later episodes that Kiritsugu still wrestles with this.

      1. Well, Shirly’s death, plus the village destruction really traumatized him. He wasn’t really thinking too clearly after being so traumatized, and his dad’s reaction to Shirly and the villages death just being “eh, whatever, lets get going to a new island and do it again” really, really didn’t help :P So, it may have been a bit fast, but i chalk it up to the trauma.

        Also, Kiritsugu was born with a kind of innate “talent” for this kind of assassination work in that he can completely separate his emotions from his actions. He is sad about having to kill his dad, and he wavers over it to the very end, but even as he is struggling with it emotionally, his body is already carrying out the action that he has decided to do; killing his dad that he loves. Its something that makes him a great killer, and that he does still struggle with in the main story. He always follows through with the most “logical” course of action, even if it really hurts him to do so.

        1. True, that was definitely a traumatic evening. If he’s going to take any drastic action, this would be the time.

          And he’s definitely logical and skilled at killing. This is making me all the more curious to discover what made him the father that Shirou knew.

  2. Considering both father and son loved each other very much, it’s kinda sad that Kiritsugu was the one who killed Noritaka. Oh well, his head must have already hit the ground a few times. I bet Fate/UBW-Shirou would have tried the same and called for help instead of killing Shirley. You just can’t save everyone. But losing them like that isn’t that cool, either.

    Fuck the damn Association, I hate them. I don’t know for how long the Enforcers were already hunting Noritaka already, but it must have been for at least 20 years. They gave Noritaka a Sealing Designation for his groundbreaking research(remember, that guy is only the fourth generation, truly a genius!) and killed his wife after Kiritsugu was born, so Noritaka raised Kiritsugu alone. And reading how the narrator described Noritaka, he must have been a good father to Kiritsugu and cared a lot about him.

    I think it’s ironic to see that Noritaka, in order to reach the Root by watching the end of the world via time manipulation, needed time. Oh well, it must have been convenient for him to realize that he can use the Innate Time Control to copy the Dead Apostle’s Curse of Restoration and thus get the time to complete his research. Noritaka was pretty boss imo. Though I wonder if he would have become someone like Nrvnqsr or Roa…

    Shirley becoming by accident a Dead Apostle who can’t control her own impulses was just unfortunate. Such an intelligent girl to die like that… that is truly a waste and an unfunny joke.

    Btw, the Emiyas(or at least Noritaka) would have been forced to flee from the island a bit later anyway. The Enforcers arrived quite early, so they almost found Noritaka anyway. The Dead Apostle incident was bad timing – for both Noritaka and the Enforcers.

    1. Whoa, he was being hunted for twenty years already? Crap. I thought that he just became sealed that afternoon because of the vampire outbreak. I was kind of surprised that the Enforcers and the association managed to arrive so quickly, but if they were already on the island this makes more sense. You’d think once they found the island they would discover the hermit magician that nobody likes pretty quickly. I guess the timing was just one crazy coincidence.

      And his plan was to reach the root by experiencing the end of the world? Definitely boss. I think that if he had made himself a dead apostle the church and the association would not have had such an easy time of things…

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