Fate/Zero – 07 Review
Episode 07 – The Evil Forest
This episode is definitely a game changing episode.
Things that we had thought we had known of the characters have started to change and the rules of the game have also been altered due to Caster’s actions. It is now an all out hunt to gain the upper hand in this War.
I really love the OP song of this series. It is one of the few OPs that has me wishing that they had used the whole song instead of a partial clip of it. It does not hurt that the OP clip is also nicely animated.
Here is a full version of the OP song. =) You can listen to it whilst reading the review. =P
Now onto the episode…
The Game Changers
The show had kicked off with the Judge having declared that all attacks on each other have been placed on hold and that everyone should go after Caster. The Reward? Command Seals. This change in the game was hinted at in the last episode, but it is really nice to see a twist in the structure and this gives the show a more developed focus. We can now conclude that everyone is going to be going after Caster with the exception of Kayneth wanting to finish off Kiritsugu before heading after Caster.
To add this this twist is the fact that we now know how Kayneth had survived. The man has an awesome mercury blob that basically does everything a blob would do. What I hate about the blob is that the animated texture really clashes with the rest of the animation style and it annoys the hell out of me. It comes across as being obviously CGI and I have a distaste for things CGI things that are that obvious. It was clear that the show has been throwing CGI stuff into the mix, but so far it has not been that much of a eye sore. Kayneth also sort of reminds me of Magneto from X-Men with that blob of metal trailing behind him and shifting into different shapes. The only difference is that this blob of Kayneth’s also acts as automated searches. I was definitely screaming “finally” since this is the first time a Magi Master is finally using Magic to attack. It has been too long a wait and things are now shaping up to be like a proper Holy Grail War with magic coming into play, especially with the new knowledge on Kiritsugu’s abilities – Kiritsugu is actually able to use Magic.
I was definitely happy to see this new side of Kiritsugu’s abilities and it is understandable that since his abilities take such a huge toll on him, he refrains from using them unnecessarily. However, I find it hard to believe that that is the extent of his powers and I am still annoyed about his over-dependence on machinery. It would be nice to know why he hunted down Magus when he himself was a user.
I know some are complaining about the dark lighting in this series. Honestly, I like the dark atmosphere as it adds to the mood and the “realism” of the locations.
(If you were to turn off the light whilst watching, and have a decently lit screen that can portray all the colours, it doesn’t become an issue. =))
I shall start off with Kiritsugu since he is the one that I have the most to talk about.
Kiritsugu’s scene with Irisveil did not really sit too well with me. We definitely got to see the “real” Kiritusugu, but I am not sure if we are meant to emphatise with the man or if we are to feel frustrated with him. Personally, I am leaning towards frustration.
Even Saber had resorted to calling Kiritsugu a coward for his actions and it that scene on the balcony showed us that Kiritsugu is definitely the most cowardly of them all, as even with a character like Waver who comes across as whiny and undependable, he is more proactive and open in his actions as compared to Kiritusgu who hides in the dark and calculates sneak attacks on people.
The scene with Iri and Kiri (too lazy to continuously type Kiritsugu’s name) had essentially established that Kiri has plenty of insecurities and is very self-centered in the sense that he only protects and care for those whom he thinks are worthy. He is also willing to forsake everything that he does not matter to him, which is a dilemma and somewhat contradictory since he wishes to save the world – which by right would require a selfless personality. This struggle between love and objective can turn out to be interesting, only if the backstory to Kiri’s actions is developed. I am also really curious as to what the relationship between Kiri x Iri x Maiya is, as it is turning into this weird threesome scenerio.(=_=”) One thing that we know for sure is that Kiritsugu is intelligent and it is shown through his wariness of the Judge in this H.G War.
Then we have the scene between Kiri and Kayneth. What was the deal with Kiri going through the trouble of hiding his presence, and then turns around and announces himself to Kayneth instead of doing a sneak attack by shooting him in the back. That had seemed like a pretty dumb thing to do.
Now onto Rider and Waver, damn I love Rider. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when he had ordered his package and needed pants. It was hilarious! Although much of the scene was random fluff with them arguing back and forth, I do believe that this is a classic example of how arguments can bring people closer. By the end of the scene, I was convinced that these two had gotten a rather good bonding session out of this episode. Unlike the need for threats or commands, Waver and Rider simply compromise and resorted to a somewhat barter trading system, with the deal of Rider getting the pants that he wants at the cost of defeating one servant. Honestly, who needs command seals when pants simply do the trick? =P Oh, how sweet it is to use the temptation of the unknown world as blackmail. \(^-^)/
Then we have Caster. I would touch on his scene a bit more at the bottom part of the review but I just wanted to say that this scene had definitely given us a small snippet of the reasons behind Caster’s actions and twisted views.
Master vs Servants
It was definitely interesting to see how “natural” it was for the Masters to be unable to control their own Servant thus requiring those command seals. When I think about all the pairings, I had originally thought that the most “fitting” pairing would be Kiritsugu and Saber due to Irisviel being the in-between man. Naturally, this episode proved otherwise.
What the scene between Rider and Waver had also proven was that this coupling will probably be the only one that I see as having a normal friendship without having to reduce each other to becoming less important than the other.
The “perfect” balance when it comes to the Master x Servant relationship thus far would have to be Kirei and the Assasssins. They do what he wants without any retort or complaints and his lack of motivation (at least right now) means that emotions won’t get in the way.
So here is my summary of the pairings so far:
- Kayneth x Lancer – Distrust is looking to be the downfall between theses two. I see these two as being the first ones to be eliminated from the War.
- Kiritsugu x Saber – Kiri obviously treats Saber as a tool and that is shown through his attitude of addressing situations related to Saber. Sure you can take it as him just stating the facts, but honestly, he hadn’t included Saber nor Maiya in his schemes to run away from the whole war and his lack of concern over Saber’s situation proves that he in fact doesn’t really care about them. Which makes you wonder what he means by saving the world.
- Caster x Ryunosuke – It is an odd reversed relationship with the Master being in awe of the Servant and the Servant doing whatever he wishes to do.
- Waver x Rider – Perhaps they could barter trade their way through everything without having to rely on command seals? At least a friendship/bond of sorts is definitely forming between these two.
- Kirei x Assassins – The perfect balance. The assassins do what they are told and due to Kirei’s lack of motivation, and he doesn’t really have to worry about emotions getting in the way and affecting his judgement at this point of the war. A cool head is always best.
- Tosaka x Archer – We all know that Tosaka is unable to control Archer since Archer is pretty much a “does whatever he wants to do” kind of guy. I think that out of everyone, Tosaka would be the one who would be in need of the seals the most.
- Mato x Berserker – ??
Battle Against Caster
This was a disappointing scene.
The first issue was that there were too much censorship going on. When Caster had killed the child, all we saw was the forest, absolute silence and the children screaming whilst running away. Honestly, it was a “leave it up to your imagination” scene. No sounds to help aid the lack of visuals, just merely… “you get the gist” sort of message. This was so disappointing when you compare it to the very first time we had seen Caster, the manipulation he had done to that boy and the way he had killed the boy did well in spooking me and creating that tense atmosphere. Every since that scene, none of the Caster slaughtering scenes have lived up to that moment and have fallen short by a huge mile. I honestly wonder if the production company had gotten a complain or warning and thus needed to up the censorship of the scenes.
Then we have the action. The animation of that scene was somewhat of a let down as well. It was a pretty straight forward run and slash moment and it is was short lived as well. Thank god Lancer had come to the rescue and that had made me happy. =) “Go Lancer!” Definitely the Knight in Shining Armor character of the series. 😉
What was shocking was the fact that the children had been “experimented on” and were turning into plant monsters. I hadn’t expected that. I merely thought that they were killed.
To summarize my issues with the scene: There was too much talking going on, not enough action and too many sanitized scenes.
The good? We get to see a more of Caster’s twisted personality and I actually felt sorry for how his character had suffered.Also, we did get to see Caster’s Noble Phantasm so that is a plus in my books. =)
The episode had pushed the plot forward with new twists and character development, but after 7 episodes, it is starting to feel like all we are getting is more character development and new changes in the plot direction as oppose to real accomplishments/milestones. Hopefully with everyone’s intentions now focused on poor Caster, the pack would start to dwindle in numbers.
The dialogue heavy style of this series might not appeal to most but the pacing is fine with me. I think that I have learned to appreciated the characters and the plot and as such am no longer too fixated on the action scenes. (Of course, that is not to say that I wouldn’t love to see more action packed moments)
Episode Rating: 7/10 – Kiri’s scene on the balcony was too whiny and too long. The guy has lost all his “cold and cool” aura with that scene. However, the upside is that he now appears more human and approachable.
Fate/Zero Question of the Week:
If you were a Master in the Holy Grail War, which Servant would you choose and why?
I would have to say Lancer, simply because he appears to be the most normal one around and looks to be easy to get along with. It would definitely pose to be a problem when it comes to eliminating opponents if Lancer’s attitude were to remain so soft. The other servants (apart from Rider) simply scare the hell out of me. =D