Fate / Zero 15 — The Path of Chivalry

Well, chivalry is finally good for something.

As everyone knows by now, Saber and Lancer’s chivalry circlejerk has been pissing me off for a while now. Finally something interesting comes of it, instigated by Kiritsugu.

I kind of wonder if this show is focusing on the wrong characters. Saber, Irasviel, Lancer and Gilgamesh are not all that interesting to me. And yet these four seem to be getting the most screentime out of anyone. Gilgamesh can be interesting, but I feel like I already know all about him from the original Fate / Stay Night. Saber, Irasviel and Lancer just make me roll my eyes in exasperation.

The archmage and his wife were cool, whatever happened to them? Kotomine and Kiritsugu are probably the most interesting characters, but they hardly seem to get any time lately. Rider and Waver have gotten their fair share, fortunately. And the brief segments with Kariya and Kiritsugu were the best part of this episode. Caster and his master, unfortunately, are dead.

Saber, the Girl of Tragic Destiny

…and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. — John 12:32

Ugh. Even Rider is getting caught up in Saber’s Jesus complex.

Same with Gilgamesh, but he’s a sadist.

I couldn’t really follow this conversation. What were they fighting over? Just that Gilgamesh thinks Saber’s suffering is beautiful and Rider feels sorry for her? I’m not sure I see this as a very significant conflict…

A Priest and a Worm

Kotomine’s actions towards Kariya were quite fascinating. Could this be the roots of his betrayal? I’m guessing that Kotomine healed Kariya, but who knows, he could have done something else as well…

Anyway, Kotomine seems to agree with me that Kariya is a much more interesting man than Tohsaka.

29 thoughts on “Fate / Zero 15 — The Path of Chivalry

  1. It does look like Kirei is saving Kariya, after hesitating to finish him off. I see a few possibilities for the motivation. One is that Kirei does indeed want to keep observing Kariya’s torment (as Archer suggested). But perhaps Kirei simply wants to see whether or not Kariya can make anything good come out of his self-sacrifice. Also, there is the possibility that Kariya will be helpful in killing Tokiomi, if Kirei does decide he’d like to have Archer as a servant. Kariya is severely outclassed by Tokiomi (the vast difference in experience makes things difficult–plus it never helps when your magic system is severely painful), but Berserker is definitely a threat to be reckoned with, at the very least. I’m very curious to see what Kirei has planned–I wouldn’t be surprised if he will be setting the next stage of the plot in motion next episode.

    1. I lean towards the idea Kirei wants to see what Kariya will do, although the others are possibilities as well. I don’t think that Kirei is actively plotting a betrayal at the moment, although it’s possible. I’m curious about Berserker’s true identity, I hope we get to learn more about him before this is through.

      1. I think the hints or clues are already there to draw conclusions from:

        Berserker’s actions in two appearances: he breaks off directed attacks on Gilgamesh to attack Saber twice.

        Also, once Saber unveiled her Noble Phantasm, Berserker identified her immediately. That tells me they had some history prior to the Holy Grail war.

        1. Maybe he’s Mordred? Can’t really think of anyone else who has a big grudge on King Arthur. Or perhaps Lancelot, and he only attacks Arthur because he’s berserk? I’m not sure where his power over weapons comes from either way though.

  2. Watch the bluray release to see what happened with Sola(episode 13). Basically, she saw Caster too and ordered Lancer to engage him. She wanted to come along, but Lancer insisted on Sola to keep her out of danger, since she is not as skilled as Kayneth. We will probably see both her and Kayneth next episode.

    >I’m guessing that Kotomine healed Kariya[…].

    Exactly. Kirei is ironically skilled in healing magic. He is just following Archer’s advice, that Kariya’s fate may give him the answers he needs, though this is probably the first time we see him honestly smile(I don’t count episode 6).

    Rider wants to save Saber from her idealistic dream, Gilgamesh wants her to pursue her dream(though not for good reasons). See bluray episode 11 and 12, where he gets a lot more lines, which stress out his interest in Saber.

    Btw, nice “Sword of Promised Victory” Kajiura arrange and Jeanne Fate/Apocrypha version. Good shit.

    Btw, my reply on your last comment in your last review:

    >He doesn’t know about Shinji because it hasn’t happened yet. Right?

    Well… I don’t remember it well anymore, but it could have already happened. After all, Matou magecraft is not based on teaching the mind but the body. Also, Crest Worms inside female hosts will cause sexual frustration which in layman’s terms will melt her brain away if she doesn’t get a “treatment”, so I can imagine that the rape already happened, though I’m not too sure.

    >Still, the show sure could have explained this better…

    There is still a chance, when the scene from FSN prologue happens (Rin meeting her father for the last time). Depends on how ufotable will try to explain this. Natalia’s explanation of Kiritsugu’s Origin Bullets wasn’t done very well, either.

    Well, about Kariya and Tokiomi again. We really can’t see Tokiomi’s inner thoughts(not even the LN readers, we get more info about Kariya, Kirei and Kiritsugu in the LN), so I don’t really know if he really misses Sakura. And I don’t deny that overall he is a bastard and sucked hard, as he failed as both a human and a father. I don’t think he even knows that Rin and Aoi(though this is her own damn fault) are still very sad and shocked that Sakura is gone and we don’t even need to talk about Sakura herself. That’s also the problem with Kariya. Certainly, Kariya is a disgrace as a magus, but Tokiomi didn’t even realize that Kariya is participating for Aoi, Rin and of course Sakura’s sake.

    Though this noble reason is slowly disappearing. Up to this episode, Kariya irrationally attacked Tokiomi/Archer already twice, even though other Servants were present and he needs to save what little mana reserves and health he has left. Until now, he was just trying to fulfill his vendetta against Tokiomi and not his mission to save Sakura.

    In his defense, it’s also partially Zouken’s fault. Not only the worms are torturing Kariya mentally and physically, no, he purposely told Kariya to summon his Servant as a Berserker, even though he knows the Spirit’s power(since he gave Kariya the catalyst) and the fact that Berserkers are extremely difficult to control and need lots of mana, even for experienced magi, let alone an amateur like Kariya. And we all know that the more mana Kariya needs, the more the worms will feed on him.

    Tokiomi trying to end it quickly could be more like a blessing for him, since he is the most suffering Master in this war(I’m looking at you, Gen Urobuchi).

    1. Good to know about Sola, I’d kind of forgotten why Lancer was even there in the first place. Hope to see more of her.

      That was Kirei’s smile?!!! Oh man… that totally looked like an evil grin to me. Guess he doesn’t get much practice.

      For Shinji, isn’t he just a kid now? I guess it’s possible, but it seems kind of crazy… I guess worms make people do crazy shit though.

      And I think we can agree that it’s partially (actually, mostly) Zouken’s fault.

      1. Smile, grin… there is no real difference for Kirei, is there(yeah, it was just a poor choice of words from my side ^_^)? A man who never found any pleasure and was tortured by his own twisted mind might only get entertainment by trolling… Oh, and I know a lot of people who look very evil when they are actually trying to smile. :>

        Personally, I say since Kirei doesn’t understand his true nature yet(or at least he doesn’t wanna admit it yet), he is just doing what Archer suggested him to do. Though it’s apparent that he is no longer just Tokiomi’s pawn and insurance to win the war. He disobeyed the order to not leave the church and engage any other Master two times already(ep6 and 7). Now healing his teacher’s enemy is probably the crucial turning point.

        Fun fact: Kirei’s daughter Caren and Rin resemble him sometimes, as they often corner people bluntly with cruel logic and facts, while sounding very arrogant.

        1. I’d definitely agree that Kirei doesn’t know what he wants to do yet.

          And wait, what?!!! Kirei has a daughter? What does she show up in? I may need have some reading to do…

          1. Yeah, Kirei had a wife, remember?:>
            She died 3 days before he and his father met Tokiomi in episode 1(as far as I remember it was suicide). His Command Spells probably appeared right after her death. That’s also the time when he started healing magic btw.

            His daughter’s name is Caren Ortensia and she lived with her mother’s relatives after her mother’s death. She appears in Fate/Hollow Ataraxia and other Fate-related media like Carnival Phantasm (though only 2 episodes), Prisma Ilya etc.

            You can actually see her connection to her father, as both are part of the church, as well as their names Karen and Kirei are synonyms for the word “beautiful” in Japanese.

            Btw, about Shinji. He absolutely hates Sakura, as he thinks she stole his right to become the heir(even though he doesn’t even possess Magic Circuits -_-). Also, Sakura is tortured by the Crest Worm for at least a year already, so him raping her, even as kids, is possible(like I said, brain melting otherwise). But as I’ve said, I don’t remember that part about Heaven’s Feel quite well.

          2. Ah, I forgot all about his wife. I am tempted to read Fate / Hollow Atraxia now…

            Thanks for all the fascinating details! You really are an expert on this!

            And I really hope Heaven’s Feel gets an adaptation soon, I actually have played the game and that final arc just blew the rest out of the water for me.

  3. Cholisose said it. Kotomine has finally decided to break free from his servile role under Tohsaka and become self-directed. Seems like the best way is to turn Mato into a pawn of his own, against his former ally. Kotomine can keep Mato as a wild card in his pocket until the time is right and then seize Archer Away.

    And I agree with the blogger: Mato as a tragic character is more interesting than the elitist Tohsaka who doesn’t seem as deep or conflicted as the rest of them (Waver or Emiya). Perhaps this is why Archer couldn’t stand Tohsaka’s predictable, one dimensional nature, and found the blank slate yet potentially limitless unrealized potential of Kotomine more intriguing.

    1. That’s certainly possible. I’m leaning towards the theory that Kirei has a genuine interest in Mato and isn’t simply using him as a pawn, but you could be right.

      And I totally agree with Gilgamesh, Tohsaka is boring.

  4. “I kind of wonder if this show is focusing on the wrong characters.” Yes. More loli Rin episodes, please!

    I like the discussions between Rider and Archer, though. These characters are just so much larger than life. And I agree that Kotomine and Kiritsugu and their schemings are much more interesting than Irisviel etc.

    In any case, I’m rooting for Karya (Rider being second). Karya seems to be the only participant who isn’t doing this just for fun. And given how resilient everyone is I would be surprised if he is out already.

    I’m wondering where this show is heading. We’re in the second season already and if I see it correctly only assassin and Caster and his master have been defeated for good. Will they continue this slow pace and have Saber go berserk (pun intended) and slaughter everyone else in ep. 25?

    1. And Kiritsugu, Kirei or Tokiomi are participating for fun…? Besides, right now Kirei doesn’t even understand what “fun” is.

      Well, it’s apparent that Tokiomi is doing what he does because he is the typical magus, who wants to find the Root. That’s 200 years of Tohsaka tradition to take part in this ritual and he is the supervisor of Fuyuki after all.

      Kiritsugu on the other hand is just as pure and selfless as Saber. He is not doing it for money. oO

      Fate/Zero is as we all know Fate/stay night’s prequel. Its end will be FSN’s beginning(*cough*OP*cough*) and the story ended after four novels. Actually, you should wonder whether everyone will die with THAT fast pace, since no one except for Assassin died in the first half and FZ will only get this one season. And btw, we are in the middle of novel 3 right now.

    2. Ahaha, good point, we need more Rin!

      (spoilers if you’ve seen / read the original Fate / Stay night)

      From what I remember, it has to boil down Saber and another hero (presumably Gilgamesh) at the end, where Shinji is caught in the fire. I personally hope the rest die off as close to the end as possible (aside from Lancer, he can die as soon as possible) since I don’t think Saber and Lancer alone will be able to carry this. Although if it shifts the focus to their masters instead the ending should definitely be interesting.

  5. I think your reactions to character screen time is kind of exaggerated. If ufotable plans to animate the Fourth Grail War’s Servants’ deaths in the most memorable way possible, then I think it’s better that we give it a few more episodes. I mean, we’ve seen Caster’s, and I hope not to spoil, Lancer’s isn’t far off.

    Caster’s death sits in the middle of the drama affinity meter where the death of a misunderstanding and misunderstood Servant is considered neutrally appealing. But let’s just say that’s because of Jeanne D’Arc and be done with it. Berserker’s probably going to sit on the negatives, for reasons I won’t reveal because of spoilers. Rider’s will be on the positive affinity. And finally, Lancer’s will, unfortunately, sit together with Berserker on the negative.

    Lastly, Rider and Archer have conflicting views of Saber’s suffering despite both having enough admiration for the British king’s efforts. Rider silently commends Saber’s resolution to her goal even though he knows it’s a losing battle, which he does not approve. Gilgamesh, on the other hand, simply sees this as an effort to win his personal favor, which is clearly not the case. Then again, the very fact that there are three kings fighting for the Holy Grail is already questionable in itself.

    1. Lancer’s isn’t far off

      Yes!!! This is exactly the kind of spoiler I wanted to hear!

      I did really like how Caster’s death was done. He got a bit of redemption and reconciliation with god at the end, even though his master died in glorious unrepentant blasphemy.

      I’m still not entirely sure why Lancer and Rider are having a big argument about this. It seems like a relatively minor quibble to me. But I guess I’m not a king.

      1. Hm, speaking of Lancer: why does every Lancer have such bad luck? I mean, both FSN and FZ Lancers have Luck rank E. oO Lancers just always die. And they die an unworthy and frustrating death(even to the point where Typemoon is making fun of this and make Cu Chulainn die in every Carnival Phantasm episode…). Being Lancer IS suffering…

        Rider is good-natured, that’s why he wants Saber to stop chasing her cursed dream. She should just stop regretting whatever she has done that doomed her country. Probably based on his philosophy. Save them from themselves, then let them join your army or so. ;D

        Archer is basically a “do whatever you think is right”-guy, especially if following your own beliefs will cause pain, despair and sadness. Basically he’s a jerkass. Saber piquing his interest is a bonus for his own egoistic amusement. :>

        What I think is also interesting are the three Kings’ alignments(Nasu played too many RPGs…). Saber is obviously lawful good, Rider is neutral good and what I find most interesting is the fact that Gilgamesh is chaotic good. That’s… hopefully only his own opinion…

        1. I have no idea why, but being Lancer is definitely suffering.

          That’s an interesting note about their alignments. In my opinion (although not his) I would probably put Gilgamesh in the Neutral neutral or perhaps lawful neutral category rather than chaotic good. He does seem to have a sense of law when it relates to him being the king and everyone else obeying without question. And overall he doesn’t strike me as good so much as neutral, he isn’t particularly good but certainly not evil either.

          1. Yeah, true neutral or any other alignment with neutral would fit better imo. Chaotic good is probably only how Gilgamesh sees himself. Well, I can understand it in FSN. In UBW, he thinks getting rid of this ugly world and its inhabitants is the right thing to do.

            In the end, he is just following his own rules and judgment as the king. I would say he’s an absolute existence who stands above everyone else. After all, not even AM was able to corrupt him and the shadow did not even try to make a Dark Gilgamesh because it feared to get overwhelmed by his ridiculous ego.

          2. Actually, Gilgamesh IS under the Chaotic Good alignment. As for Lancer-class Servant alignments, I don’t Diarmuid necessarily falls under this case, since he can also be summoned under the Saber class.

          3. Huh, I didn’t know they actually had official alignments. Very interesting, although I would still personally disagree with their classification.

          4. Ah, sorry, I misread what you said then, didn’t realize they were actually official.

  6. > Gilgamesh thinks Saber’s suffering is beautiful and Rider feels sorry for her? I’m not sure I see this as a very significant conflict…

    You’ll see it easier, if this translation wasn’t so euphemistic. Gil generally uses the words in more direct ways (in Japanese) without hesitations of describing some of his provocative desires. In this case, the word he chose is more like ‘to lick’, instead of ‘to the taste’ as translated.

    “The tears of lamentation she shed during her final moments must have been quite sweet to the taste.”

    1. Ah, with a translation as “lick” it seems much more provocative and Rider’s reaction makes more sense. Thanks!

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