Fate / Zero 19 — Happy Mother’s Day, Kiritsugu

So as commenters pointed out last week, Kiritsugu has this unique ability to stow away his emotions when he pulls the trigger. It was this ability that allowed him to kill his father, and now his mother, without remorse. 

I  think that there’s a bit more to it though. Kiritsugu is a born pessimist and a bit of a coward. Would his father have actually killed more people? Perhaps. But if Kiritsugu had stayed with him, he could have enforced tighter security with the medicine cabinet.

Would the plane with the bees have killed half of New York if it landed? Maybe. But Kiritsugu could have done something else to prevent it. Why didn’t he have the plane land in the ocean? Then he could have gone in with his boat, knocked the wall off the cockpit, taken Natalia out, and then blown the plane to kingdom come.

Kiritsugu always assumes the worst possibility will come to pass. His mother says that he always does what he “should” do and not what he wants to do, which makes him inhuman.

I disagree. What makes Kiritsugu inhuman isn’t that he acts rationally rather than emotionally. It’s that he lacks hope. He always takes the path of least risk. How he killed Archibald and his wife, the way he hasn’t even revealed that he’s a master, everything he does is cautious and downright paranoid. He always assumes the worst will happen, and eliminates any possible risk along the way.

Eliminating every risk isn’t always the most rational strategy, either. Higher risk actions can have higher rewards, and sometimes the risk is worth taking. Compare Kiritsugu’s fighting style to Shirou’s in F/SN, for example. Shirou doesn’t kill his enemies after they’re defeated. (heck, he doesn’t even really want to defeat them) But by letting them live, they decide to help him, and that’s what makes him able to win the war. It’s risky, but the payoff is huge. Shirou charges head on into the thick of the fight, while Kiritsugu snipes people from the sideline. I’m torn on whether Kiritsugu always chooses the path of least risk because he lacks any hope whatsoever, or simply because he’s a coward.

Natalia’s plan was pretty dumb though. Why would you trust the airport security to catch bees? Why would they even care about bees? And can’t he just have them fly past the checkpoint and meet him on the other side?

19 thoughts on “Fate / Zero 19 — Happy Mother’s Day, Kiritsugu

  1. I’m going to have to disagree with you on Kiritsugu’s father and Natalia. It seemed alluded to that his father was going to infect the villagers anyway even if Shirley hadn’t broken into his storehouse. As for Natalia, I don’t think she would’ve had the skill to land on water without killing herself since that’s a manouver that even experienced pilots are afraid to attempt, and she would’ve done what it took to stay alive (ie: landing on a runway).

    1. Perhaps. But it’s just alluded to. Kiritsugu doesn’t know for sure. He doesn’t even try to stop his father, he just takes the easy way out.

      I didn’t know landing on the water was so hard. Kiritsugu just could have told her to do it or he’d blow her up though. Or he could have gotten her to land on the runway, jacked her out of the cockpit, and then killed everyone inside. I guess that would have required some cooperation with the airport authorities, but he’s a mage. The point is he didn’t even seem to try.

  2. Would the plane with the bees have killed half of New York if it landed? Maybe. But Kiritsugu could have done something else to prevent it. Why didn’t he have the plane land in the ocean? Then he could have gone in with his boat, knocked the wall off the cockpit, taken Natalia out, and then blown the plane to kingdom come.

    I was actually thinking the same thing. She could’ve considered skydiving equipment like she remarked in the episode. Who in their sane minds would go on a mission not thinking that there’s a possibility that the pilots (and in turn, the plane itself) can be compromised?

    1. Yeah. She brought the communications array, I’d think skydiving equipment would be a much higher priority.

  3. As to your thoughts about the Natalia situation; the novel runs us through all the possibility’s before Kiritsugu shoots the plane, and shows why natalia cannot be saved. Any scenario where Natalia survives, has a huge risk that ghouls will spread, either by biting people or through the bees. Especially since Natalia was planning to save herself; she would have let the bees and ghouls escape just to save herself. As to a sea landing, all i can say is that Hollywood has really tricked people with their action movies; its nearly impossible to pull off a landing on sea unless you have the best possible sea and air conditions, and an expert pilot. Natalia is not a skilled pilot, she cannot possibly pull it off. All trying to land in the ocean would have achieved is smashing the plane into pieces, killing Natalia, and releasing the bees.

    Also, Natalia had already alerted the airport to her situation, to help her land the plane since she isn’t a pilot, so as soon as the plane landed it would have been surrounded by police and airport staff. Kiritsugu did not have the time to set up something that could blow up the plane at the airport, and if he tried, its almost guaranteed that some of the bees would have escaped and turned New York into Resident evil. So yes, Kiritsugu is a bit of a coward, but he does not give up on saving unless there is no other option.

    “and now his mother, without remorse.”
    Huh? Didn’t you see how he was sobbing after shooting the plane? He had lots of remorse, he had never wanted to kill her.

    1. Hm, ok. I guess the anime version just didn’t capture the possibilities too well.

      I don’t think it’s Hollywood that’s tricked people as much as the airline safety instructions! Every time I get on a plane they tell me what to do in the case of a sea landing. I assumed it was at least somewhat feasible…

      “and now his mother, without remorse.”

      Huh? Why did I say this? Perhaps what I meant is without doubts and hesitation.

  4. Not only was he crying when he killed Natalia, he actually also cried when he killed his father(at least in the novel). He knows he doesn’t want to klll them because he loves them and they love him(though in Natalia’s case it’s more than parental love, she felt more for Kiritsugu actually). But still, he killed them and all he felt afterwards is regret because he wanted to see them again. Remember, he didn’t want to hold Ilya because he thinks he doesn’t deserve it, since Iri will die for his wish.

    However, the Ally of Justice can’t save everyone, so he at least has to save the majority and as takashid said, Natalia had an unbreakable will to survive, so Kiritsugu had no other safe options left. Kiritsugu even notices how talkative Natalia is and even though the novel said Natalia likely didn’t expect Kiritsugu to kill her because she thought he is still at the hotel, I think she was already prepared to die. The addition in the anime, her smile before she died, emphasizes this further imo.

    But then again, they cut Kiritsugu telling Shirley what he wants to become hwn he matures. Perhaps it will leave a bigger impact if they show this at the end, when he tells Shirou of his unfulfilled dream.

    1. Wait, seriously, she felt more than parental love for Kiritsugu? She has to be at least twice his age…

      But I did like how Natalia smiled in the anime when she died. They definitely made it appear like she was expecting it. She knows him too well.

      1. Yeah, she was actually in love with Kiritsugu. This btw isn’t stated in the novel, but in the Fate/Zero material book. Natalia was half-succubus, but she held back her impulses and didn’t go for Kiri’s sperm(lol) because she really loved him. Though that doesn’t mean she occassionally didn’t tease and harass him sexually … :p

        Kiritsugu – like Shirou later – was a chick magnet too I guess. Natalia, Iri, Maiya and Taiga(he liked her a lot and entrusted Shirou to her care because her behavior and her looks were just like Shirley)… damn. >.>

        1. Lol there’s even a material book? Damn, the F/SN universe is way bigger than I though…

          And wow, Taiga is a lot like Shirley… Wow, I hadn’t even thought of that.

        1. Wow, the two I hate most. These people have terrible taste. And the next two are five year old girls. To be fair, though, this show doesn’t have many females.

  5. > I’m torn on whether Kiritsugu always chooses the path of least risk because he lacks any hope whatsoever, or simply because he’s a coward.

    You have an interesting profile on Kiritsugu, plausible explanations of his behaviors and you are probably correct. Maybe that piece was described in the novel. I am glad I don’t remember much of the novel reading so that I can still enjoy watching the show and pretend there got to be a better reason. 🙂

    I find it hard to like Kiritsugu, not to mention a protagonist he is. However, I can see couple different possibilities where all these characters and stories surrounding him are Type-Moon’s momentum build-ups to foreshadow some core values of him as a character. Possibly, all it is waiting just an opportunity that we may see in remaining episodes.

    1. I’m glad I haven’t read the novel myself. This way you can get excited about what’s going to happen. 🙂

      I can’t bring myself to like Kiritsugu either. But I don’t think he’s really a character who’s supposed to be liked. I’m looking forward to seeing where they take this as well.

  6. I think, though this is just my personal opinion that natalia knew deep down what kiritsugu was going to do hence that conversation sounded like it was really going be their last one because if you think about it, after she comes back alive she going to be a mommy, yeah right doesnt sound likely at all for a pro killer of her caliber. its kind of like she wanted to have a last talk with kiritsugu as a parent would with their child instead of
    trainer to student/ killer to killer kind of thing and knowing kiritsugu far better than anyone else, I’m sure she knew his reasoning plus course of action. She even smiled when the plane was blowing up, quite possibly hinting to us she was expecting that outcome. Personal opinion though

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *