Fate/Zero – 02 Review
Woah. This was a good episode of Fate/Zero, if this series keeps up this way, it is going to end up as my favorite series of the season.
Although we are still in the plot building phase of the episode, the heaviness of the dialogue has been cut back on and we finally get to see some action that was well worth the wait.
Things that the episode covered:
- Waver’s servant is Rider and we get to see the relationship between these two as well as Rider’s powers and interests.
- We get to see the softer side of Kiritsugu when he interacts with his child as well as Kiritsugu’s and Saber’s purpose for the Holy Grail – to save the world.
- The last of the Masters is a psychotic mass murderer called Ryunosuke and he manages to summon Caster during one of his kills. Ryunosuke then asks Caster to kill the boy but Caster toys with the boy by letting the boy think that he is free to go before brutally slaughtering him. It is shown that this pair are like two peas in a pod.
- Kotonomine send Assassin in to kill Tosaka but before Assassin manages to do that, he gets caught and killed by Tosaka’s servant, Archer.
Where last episode had many of the characters standing out talking and educating us on the Holy Grail War, this episode incorporates the “education of information” nicely into the scenes.
The episode starts off introducing us to Waver’s servant, Rider. They dynamic between these two kept me smiling as I honestly could not help but feel happy at Waver being treated like a little spoiled kid. The reversal in the expected natural status between the Servant and Master was really entertaining and they had used this opportunity to introduce the concept of the Master being able to use the Command Seal’s ability to compel his Servant’s obedience three times, and once they have used up all 3 times, they won’t be able to forcefully control them any longer. I liked how the scene ended with Rider showing Waver his power and essentially “commands” Waver to do a task for him, this particular moment summed up the hierarchy in their relationship.
The episode had adopted a segmented style of showing the current “progress” of each pair by flashing from one Master-Servant pair to the next.
The scene with Kiritsugu and his daughter had shown Kiritsugu’s compassionate side to the audience as well as Saber and it had basically created the type of person Kiriitusug is with his beliefs (from what his wife had said about being upset that Saber had to bear such a responsibility) and principals. By this point, it is obvious that Kiritsugu falls under the “good guy” category.
Then we have that freaky scene with the latest and last unknown Master-Servant pair, Caster and Ryunosuke. This scene was done really well. The atmosphere was nice and dark and high in tension (although the animation got a tad bit dark for me to make out what was happening at times). The psychotic mindset of Ryunosuke was further enhanced by his servant who freaked the hell out of me with his ‘good guy change to psychotic murderer’ act. I had expected Caster to be evil but when he had let the boy go free and had acted so nice, I had actually believed him and bought his nice guy act until he said “shhhh…” to Ryunosuke and then “Wham!” crazy slaughter of the boy.
That particular scene reminded me of Blood-C and had me drawing comparisons between the two with their method of execution. Where Blood-C took the approach of censoring things coupled with the crazy amounts of blood to create the “horror” mood of that series, this series took a very nice and subtle but impactful approach. Despite the fact that I had expected something bad to happen, I still flinched. (Then again, perhaps I am a mere coward) The build up was done so nicely with absolute silence (apart from the kid’s footsteps to the door), then the change in the focus from the main door to the happy look on the kid created that emotional connection with the audience before a loud sound is heard and a quick flash of monster tentacles popped out from behind to grab the boy. The rest was merely the kid screaming in the background while the characters acted like nothing mattered. Bravo, for the way that scene was done.
The last scene with Kotomine sending Assassin to kill Tokiomi Tosaka was the long awaited action scene and start of the Holy Grail War. That scene was amazing (okay, perhaps amazing might be too much of a praise but it was really entertaining). I really loved the scene where Assassin maneuvered his way around the garden, that scene may not have the most fluid animation around the industry but it was really entertaining to watch. Especially when the next scene following that was him getting slaughtered by Archer in such a cool shower of swords (which we are familiar with from Fate/Stay Night).
After this episode, I am excited to find out what happens with Assassin and to see the professor from the clock tower, Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi, summon his servant and for all of the servants to start their attack on one another.
Episode Rating: 8/10
Overall, it was a highly entertaining episode that has lived up to my hopes of the series. The execution was good and the story was told in an engaging manner. The best part of it all was that this episode has pushed this series up to the top of my Fall Season watch list, second to only Mawaru Penguindrum.