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.

Review

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. =))

The Players

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. =)

Overall

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.

-ra

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

About Saranaufogus

An Anime fan who can't seem to keep her thoughts to herself. Find me on: Instagram | Twitter

Posted on November 13, 2011, in Anime, Fate/Zero, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. I’d choose the Heracles archetype as the Servant. I am not sure if he was already one in other Grail wars, but as the greatest hero of all mythology, he would be the strongest adversary. It probably will make a difference in which class he is summoned under, and the cross-bow was one of his main weapons. So logically the archer Heracles is the most powerful of them all. Heracles is often depicted with a club but that’s more due to the aesthetically pleasing statutes of a powerfully built man with an imposing club as opposed to the actual stories themselves.

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    • but if you had to choose from the 7 given ones in this show, which would it be?

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      • Eh. Iskander. Rider. Since his class makes him the fastest of them all, and his jocular attitude is endlessly entertaining.

        I’d go with Gilgamesh (Archer) but his attitude would cause me to burn through several command seals in no time.

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      • “I’d go with Gilgamesh (Archer) but his attitude would cause me to burn through several command seals in no time.”

        Lol, =D That would definitely be the case with Archer.

        “Eh. Iskander. Rider. Since his class makes him the fastest of them all, and his jocular attitude is endlessly entertaining.”

        haha, it makes me wonder what he had used to order that shirt though. He doesnt have any credit cards. Just make sure that if you have Rider you will keep all your pants tucked away safely along w your cash. heh

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  2. “This episode is definitely a game changing episode”

    Could not agree more with this statement, since their actually some viable action happening among other things. I was also sort of taken back by Kiritsugu’s emotional release…I was not expecting that all. In short, they need to waste Caster already, lol.

    Question: Tough one. Let me get back to you on that, lol 😄

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    • “Question: Tough one. Let me get back to you on that, lol XD”

      Take your time. =P

      “I was also sort of taken back by Kiritsugu’s emotional release…I was not expecting that all. In short, they need to waste Caster already, lol. ”

      Same here, i was also pretty shocked by that whole situation. Couldn’t believe that he had broken down so soon. His fear of Kirei does make it feel slightly unnerving and puts Kirei as the most “dangerous one” to look out for.

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  3. lemme help you out:
    Mato x Berserker – NUTS

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  4. I’m glad I’m not the only one who notices Kiritsugu’s paradoxical, hypocritical personality and jarring mood swings. You already mentioned how his pragmatic way of thinking clashes with his goal to save the world so I won’t delve into that. His “Run away with me, Irisveil!” sobbing certainly came out of no where… I also thought it was strange just how terrified he is of Kirei just because he attacked Maiya. All he knows about Kirei is that he doesn’t have any passions in life which makes him Death personified I guess. Saber called him out for his sneaky behavior but he really does sound like a coward despite his cool and calm personality. The final thing concerning Kiritsugu that I was wondering about is how he knows Assassin is hiding out at the church (Assassin is really easy to find apparently) and what made him jump to the conclusion that he’s working with Tohsaka? Nothing suggests that besides Assassin allegedly getting killed by Archer, but for all Kiritsugu knows, the wool was put over Tohsaka’s eyes too.

    I like how Kayneth forced Kiritsugu to get serious and stop skulking in the shadows. I think Kiritsugu blew his cover because 1. Kayneth has eyes so he only needs to look right to find him 😛 and 2. I suspect he used up his machine gun amo on purpose to lure Kayneth into a false sense of security. At the end of the episode he smiles and is holding the special gun that was foreshadowed. Also, finally magic in this war against mages!

    Rider was endlessly funny this episode but I suppose that is to be expected. I liked that Caster isn’t wasting any time to meet “Jean” but the censorship in the fight bugged me too.They could at least had a scream or some sound to signify that he killed the first kid. When Saber caught up with him, was she surrounded by corpses? Did all the kids die? Were they all killed by Caster or were they just ticking-bombs containing monsters before they even arrived? These details may sound trivial but it pulls you out of the scene to have to speculate just what Saber saw or Caster did. I wonder what Uryuu is up to…

    In regards to Command Spells, I don’t think they are supposed to be used to control disobedient servants. Tohsaka and Kayneth certainly thought of their command spells as wasted. I suppose it was the mistake of the summoners to get servants they wouldn’t get along with. 😛

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    • “His “Run away with me, Irisveil!” sobbing certainly came out of no where… I also thought it was strange just how terrified he is of Kirei just because he attacked Maiya. ”

      I was thinking about that too but I just felt that perhaps he had felt that way due to the fact that Kirei might be one step ahead of him in the game. And since Kiri is mostly banking on his intelligence and stealth to get things done, he is pretty much vulnerable if Kirei is able to predict his next move. Kinda like a game of chess I would say…

      “The final thing concerning Kiritsugu that I was wondering about is how he knows Assassin is hiding out at the church (Assassin is really easy to find apparently) and what made him jump to the conclusion that he’s working with Tohsaka? ”

      Hmm, you are right about that one. Well, I would say that he had tracked Kirei entering the chruch and seeking sanctuary for not having a servant any longer. But as the judge, he would know that Kirei stil has his servant and thus wouldn’t need the protection? =/ As for Tohsaka, well, I can’t answer that question. Anyone care to help? M0rg0th? =P

      “At the end of the episode he smiles and is holding the special gun that was foreshadowed. Also, finally magic in this war against mages!”

      Definitely a special gun, but I still think he could have shot the guy in the back way easier since he had his guard down. =P And yes, a war against mages! Yay!

      “I wonder what Uryuu is up to…”

      I was also wondering about that but I had decided that perhaps he is simply at some random location chasing after more kids. I have this vague impression that in the previous episode, he had mentioned that he was going to go somewhere. But I can’t really remember, would have to rewatch that scene.

      “Tohsaka and Kayneth certainly thought of their command spells as wasted. I suppose it was the mistake of the summoners to get servants they wouldn’t get along with. :P”

      I think that the command spells are for just that, commanding the servants to do stuff. But then it would also make sense if that was not all there is to it. =/ I guess we would have to wait and see.

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      • Well, if you rewatch the beginning of the first episode (the birth of ilya) or near the end of the third one (when he starts to think about his daughter after checking his weapons: he nearly starts to cry), you can see the same emotional display from Kiritsugu. Kiritsugu’s nature is a very emotive; he FORCES himself to be cold and machine-like.

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      • Also, about Assassin: defeated Masters have the right to ask protection from the church, and he knows (Maiya told him in the third episode) that Kirei used this right. But Assassin is still alive; the priest is Kirei’s father, so he probably knows this.
        Also, still in the third episode, he and Maiya watching the “battle” between Assassin and Archer noted that the timing is wrong: Archer came out too early. Also, Tohsaka ha teached magic to Kirei before the war.
        All this things are very strong suggestion that the priest, Kirei and Tohsaka are working together.

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      • “Also, still in the third episode, he and Maiya watching the “battle” between Assassin and Archer noted that the timing is wrong: Archer came out too early. Also, Tohsaka ha teached magic to Kirei before the war.”

        Totally forgot about that part. Thanks for reminding me 😉

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  5. If I were a master I’d choose Rider because he’s such a bro and we’d have a lot of fun together.

    My favorite servant would be Lancer, though.

    Nice review, if only a bit harsh. You have a good point regarding the killings of the children. However, I have a weak stomach for these things so I guess I appreciated the absence of the gore.

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    • “If I were a master I’d choose Rider because he’s such a bro and we’d have a lot of fun together.”

      Lol, well, he will max out your credit card thats for sure! 😉

      “My favorite servant would be Lancer, though.”

      So why not choose Lancer instead? =P

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  6. Kiritsugu’s outbreak was a surprise? Natural, if you can’t read his inner thoughts, which was the case in the LN. He already had these conflicts since episode 1, you know. ufotable even changed some parts(he actually “cried” and hugged Iri tightly) or else it would’ve been even more awkward. Yeah, well… saving the world… now, that he has people he actually cares for, he’s having doubts. Why should he sacrifice his family to save people he doesn’t even know?

    And him being a coward is something he’s aware of. He is a hunter who silently kills his prey, using everything necessary and Kirei and Kayneth, the two Masters he considered the most dangerous ones, are hunting HIM now. Especially Kirei is too dangerous, he already saw through most of Kiritsugu’s plans and that scares Kiritsugu.

    Hm, which Servant would I choose? I hate Lancer and Saber(strange, I liked her more in FSN), they are annoying, Caster is a psycho, Assassin seems to be too weak and unless I have my Command Seal on my entire body and have an unlimited supply of mana like Ilya, I can’t control Berserker… and Archer can’t be really controlled either, so… yeah, the only option left is Rider, even though my favorite Servants are Berserker and Archer. Wish Berserker would have been summoned as Saber… :-/

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    • It’s a problem with the anime if you need the VN to understand a characters behavior properly. We know that Kiritsugu is more than a cold blooded killer and he has doubts but we never actually see this until his emotional breakdowns. Except for his occasional sob fests over his family, he seems completely unfazed by… pretty much everything. If he has doubts about the best course of action, why doesn’t he confide in his servant (the person protecting him), instead of giving her the impression that he’s a cowardly, cold blooded assassin?

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    • “saving the world… now, that he has people he actually cares for, he’s having doubts. Why should he sacrifice his family to save people he doesn’t even know?”

      Well, he had chosen to go down the path in the first place instead of running away before having been such an active part in the war. I mean, his kid wasn’t really born yesterday. =/ I think it is more of his fear of actually not being invincible that is stopping him. He seemed pretty much alright until he idea of being outwitted by Kirei. =/

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  7. Uh… misunderstanding. You COULD read Kiritsugu’s mind in the Light Novel. The narrator was omniscient.

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  8. Don’t worry about censorship, ufotable already confirmed that BD edition will be full gore, is just that probably TV stations demanded them to put it.

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    • “Don’t worry about censorship, ufotable already confirmed that BD edition will be full gore”

      Awesome! =D It is a good marketing move for ufortable to cut the scenes out and leave the best for the merchandises. =P

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  9. Is that so?
    The BD is a must download then.
    🙂
    FSN’s Lancer is definitely better. Also Archer (Emiya’s heroic spirit).
    I am lost if I were to choose from this series.
    Caster & Berserker : nutcases that would kill me (probably) instead of serving me.
    Saber : talks too much crap about honor when this is a killing each other game.
    Rider : money leecher, stinking old man 😛 and drain my magical power for not turning into spirit or resting.
    Lancer : too soft on women.
    Assassin : too weak by himself (themselves). the chance of winning is too small.
    Archer : a guy with atiitude problem. a “I am holier than thou” bastard.

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    • “Caster & Berserker : nutcases that would kill me (probably) instead of serving me.”

      LOL! Probably true. =P

      So which would you choose if you have to? =P You seem to have issues with all of them, though I do agree with you on the points you had made. heh

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  10. To your question: I’m all Assassin. I’d like a horde of them around me – always making sure I have just one more stashed somewhere. Still haven’t watched F/S:N so don’t know what Assassin brings to the table in terms of a fight skill but I’d still want them. The more the merrier. Solid episode btw. I like Caster and hope they don’t waste him till the end.

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    • “I’d like a horde of them around me – always making sure I have just one more stashed somewhere.”

      LOL! Sneaky sneaky… =P

      “the more the merrier. Solid episode btw. I like Caster and hope they don’t waste him till the end.”

      haha, well, if they are all equally as strong as a normal servant than yeap, the more the merrier. =p And you can get them to serve you stuff, I am sure you are bound to find an assassin who is willing to play the role of a butler. And I agree that hopefully they don’t toss Caster’s character away.

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  11. I would choose Gilgamesh.
    He will be a valuable asset as long as you can pretend to be as crazy as him and to be in sync with him.
    🙂
    Of course, he will just sacrifice you if you are a worthless master~

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