Fate / Zero 20 — Be Careful What you Wish For

Now we’re getting to the part where everyone dies tragically. Whoo hoo!

Much like in Gen Urobochi’s other recent work, Madoka, a major theme seems to be the characters having the misfortune of receiving exactly what they wished for. In the future, Ilya will come to the country as Irisviel wishes. But it will be to fight in the war.

Kariya wished that he could fight so he could save Sakura. Now he’s fighting with Sakura’s stolen life force.

Then there’s Maiya. She wanted to fight for Kiritsugu, and thought the world would have no use for a soldier like her after Kiritsugu won the war. Her wish to fight for Kiritsugu and her expectation not to survive were both fulfilled.

An Empty Vessel

Irisviel’s wish is likewise self-defeating. She wants Kiritsugu to win mainly so that Ilya won’t have to fight, but also because Kiritsugu’s love makes her feel like more than a homunculus, not simply an empty vessel for the grail.

But it’s her very wish which makes her seem inhuman and empty. She doesn’t even understand what Kiritsugu is fighting for. She simply believes in what he says.


I have my doubts as to whether the person who came and kidnapped Irisviel was actually Rider. It seems completely the opposite of how he and Waver would operate. It seems more in Rider’s style to simply ride up in his chariot and challenge Saber to a battle. But kidnapping Irisviel, and killing Maiya? That doesn’t seem like something he (and much less Waver) would even consider. Particularly if he wants to show Saber the right path, this doesn’t seem to be the right way to go about it.

So I’m guessing this is being set up by Gilgamesh somehow. (no spoilers, please) Why would Rider be jumping around when he has his flying chariot, anyway? If it is Rider, I’m really curious to figure out what his thought process is.

14 thoughts on “Fate / Zero 20 — Be Careful What you Wish For

  1. That they hid Rider’s face and he spoke no lines during the kidnapping is highly suspicious too. The title of the episode, Return of the Assassin or something leads me to believe Kirei has something up his sleeve.

  2. Can’t really commentate on speculation and theories. :S

    Only thing I want to add is that Maiya has a son, which emphasizes the contrast between Maiya and Iri, but it also shows how similar they are partially.

    Both are mothers who left their child and love Kiritsugu. But while Maiya is a former human that turned into an emotionless machine, Iri is a former puppet that gained emotions. In their cores, they are both humans and yet machines. Quite similar to Kiritsugu and Kirei’s contrast, now that I think about it…

    1. Eh, she has a son?!! I can’t imagine her as a mother at all…

      And that is quite like Kiritsugu and Kirei. I wonder if it were due to anything other than circumstance that their differences made Maiya and Irisviel friends and the other two became enemies.

    2. Yep, Maiya got pregnant when soldiers raped her numerous times. I don’t know why, but I think she could have been a good mother.

      Kirei and Kiritsugu becoming friends? Perhaps. After all, Shirou realized at the end that he actually likes Kirei, although their ideals and dreams seem to be the complete opposite(I think that’s kinda funny because Shirou couldn’t stand Archer who shared his very same ideals).

      One mad man who cannot be happy unless everyone around him is happy and another mad man who cannot be happy unless everyone around him is unhappy.

      1. I see Shirou hating Archer more as a form of self-hatred than anything else. When it’s someone else Shirou understands them and is sympathetic.

  3. Re Rider: I’d believe, as well, that it wasn’t Rider. I assume Saber challenges and defeats Rider b/c she thinks it was him. Another tragic death. Then it turns out that it was Gilgamesh. Saber and Gilgamesh seem to be the strongest heroes and their masters are the opposites of each other, so I’d guess this will be the final battle. Still not sure what to make of Kariya/ Berserk. Maybe he decides not to care about the grail any more and to use Berserk in order to defeat Zouken an to rescue Sakura? As you see, I have no beforehand knowledge of the story or of FSN 😉

    I don’t quite understand why so many people are praising the animation in this show. Faces and backgrounds are drawn rather crudely imo and w/ abundant use of CGI. Everything looks overdramatic and like in a Hollywood B-movie (just take the use of colours in your middle three pics). But the plot and the dialogue are indeed captivating. Rarely has an anime kept up my interest just by plot and dialogue.

    1. I like kadian’s theory based on the next episode title that Assassin might be returning somehow. Gilgamesh doesn’t seem the type who’d be willing to disguise himself. 🙂

      I don’t claim to be an expert on art or any animation of any sort, but I don’t think this show’s animation is all that special either. This might be more that I prefer bright shows to dark shows in general. It’s really hard to take decent screenshots for this and Stein’s Gate, which both had a darker pallete that’s hard to see..

    1. Oh, that would also make sense. Just about to watch the next episode, this should be good…

      Any idea why all the character icons have square heads?

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