Fate/Zero – 08 Review

Episode 08 – Magus Killer

Kirei appears as tension is running high.

Although the pacing of the episode was done pretty well, the execution of the display of the fights was not something that I had loved too much.

Review

The Issues

With 3 different battles taking place simultaneously, the episode had segmented itself in order to cover each scene. Segmentation is fine with me and it is not the issue, the issue is the constant jumping back and forth between the 3 fights as I find it really hard to have to constantly switch between the different moods in each scene.

The atmosphere of the fight is constantly ruined with the scenes cutting back and forth to the other 2 fights the minute the battle gets to a good “cliffhanger” moment. This whole thing definitely frustrated me as it takes time for me to get back into the groove of the new battle shown on screen. As I had mentioned, the pacing was fine since we had managed to wrap up the battles in the forest with this episode, but the show suffers from the same problems as before with too much dialogue and little overall plot progression. Thankfully, the well created background soundtrack prevents the show from becoming dull and dry during those heavy dialogue moments.

When I had said little progression, I was referring to the progression of the War itself, Kirei essentially appeared and disappeared without doing too much and the whole episode had basically added up to being a character development episode. The only real development with regard to the war is that Kayneth may or may not be totally out of commission due to Kiri’s bullet and that Caster might no longer have his Noble Phantasm.

Another issue, along with the execution issues was the “realism” of some things. I don’t know much about guns, but honestly, how many bullets does the gun that Kiri and Maiya were using have?! Kiri and Maiya kept shooting non-stop and the bullets never seem to run out. Whilst at first, I had wondered about Kirei’s unlimited swords stashed within his body, the last scene with Kirei walking away had shown us that the swords were magical, so that explained that fact. But, the bullets on the other hand, seem to be real ammo not magical.

Once again, Maiya and Irisviel both believe that Kirei is the biggest threat to Kiri without actually having given us a solid reason. The only thing I can conclude from the situation is that his cold blooded nature plus his “mage killer” title is the reason behind their fears.

Then we have the flaws with the fight between Kirei and Irisviel. Although we were shown that Kirei could block bullets with his arms (god knows why), I am assuming that the power is limited to his arms. When Irisviel had gained the upper hand and had asked Maiya to essentially do something about Kirei, I was really disappointed that the two of them did the stupid thing by simply standing around frozen in their spot due to Kirei’s show of power by attempting to break out of the tree. Seriously, they just stood there. Doing nothing. And stared. It kinda reminds you of those melo-dramatic moments where people stand in front of an oncoming truck and just stare, too shock to move from their spot despite them having ample time to walk away unscathed. At the very least, they could have tried to shoot Kirei with the gun again, doing something is bound to be better than nothing.

The Characters

The growing bonds between the characters were definitely interesting to watch. We have Saber and Lancer sharing a similar knight code thus helping one another out with regards to their masters. I was wondering if Saber’s real reason for allowing Lancer to leave was so as to stop Kiri from completing his plan. We all know that Saber hates Kiri’s cowardly manner. Perhaps this was her way of forcing Kiri to stop being a coward and hopefully destroy his well-made plans at the same time. Interestingly enough, Saber had pretty much banked on Lancer’s code of honor to not kill Kiri when she had let Lancer go to his Master’s rescue without really showing any worry for Kiri’s safety. I could definitely feel the animosity in the air.

What I had liked was how Kiri had appeared somewhat selfless through allowing Irisvirl to have Saber’s Scabbard. Sure, it was Kiri’s meticulous mind at work calculating everything, but I had felt that this “generosity” had showed more of his human and emotional side as compared to the previous episode’s emotional breakdown.

Of course we also have that weird flashback of the woman who had provided Kiri with those magical bullets made from bone dust from his ribs. o_O! I wonder if that woman is Kiri’s master. That location did look like some weird underground drain, so that might be an odd place to be doing medical procedures. =P Perhaps that is what caused Kiri to have that damn blank look in his eyes. An infection of sorts. =P

Then we have Kirei. I love the way Kirei psychologically struggles with being a heartless person by denying the fact that Kiritsugu might have been not as cold blooded as he had thought. It is interesting how Kirei is constantly trying to make Kiri out to be as coldblooded and “ruthless” as he is. I wonder whether we will be given a glimpse into Kirei’s backstory as it would be interesting to see what the reason behind Kirei’s cold attitude is.

The Action

At the end, it is looking like every player in the game is a coward except for Rider, Saber, Irisviel. I mean, they even called Caster a coward. T^T I was really feeling heartbroken when Caster’s book had gotten slashed. Poor Caster. I am quite disturbed at myself since I had actually feel sympathetic for such a sadistic and evil character.

Since I should be talking about the action scenes in this section and not Caster, I must say that the best moment of the episode was the short lived fight between Kirei and Maiya. Boy is Kirei powerful. The dynamic way in which the battle was done was really entertaining to watch, especially when it didn’t go by in just a big mass of blurred colours, but was instead intricate enough for us to make out the different moves that are being done. Most action scenes in shows usually end up being a mesh of twirling and spinning characters and explosions, but it is rare to find fluid and well animated scenes that capture the movement of the characters.

Another good thing about the episode was the fact that we got to see more magical fights between Mages with Irisviel using her stringy animal creations and Kirei using his magical swords and magically enhanced physical strength.

Overall

There is a conclusion to the arc in the forest and now each team is dispersing to “rest up”. Hopefully the next episode would still continue on with Caster being chased with the rest of the cast (mainly Rider and Berserker) catching up to him. I am doubtful if we will see much of Berserker in this series since we have seen so little of him thus far, but I am hoping that next episode would be filled with more battles and does not revert back to being a dialogue/plot-building episode.

Episode Rating: 7.5/10 –  Each scene was still good despite the jittery manner of the transition between the different battles.

– ra is sleepy and feeling the laziness of a Sunday afternoon settling in.

Fate/Zero Question of the Week:

So you guys had picked who you would like as your Servant last week (and we got some pretty intersting answers, although I feel like Archer is lacking the love =P).
This week, my question is what would you do if you had won the Holy Grail War.

(And don’t give me any of the Miss Universe crap like “World Peace” or asking for a miracle of having more miracles. =P)

Going by my friend’s logic that everyone feels relief and “blissful” when they crap, I shall follow her wish of giving everyone constipation and having everyone crap at the same time so that the whole world would feel happy for that short moment. Isn’t this a nice and simple wish? I don’t think I am asking for too much… right? =P Killing people so that the whole world can feel happy for a second. I must say that I am pretty selfless. 😄 Just kidding. =P

About Saranaufogus

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

Posted on November 20, 2011, in Anime, Fate/Zero, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. They were using Calico M960 with a helical magazine which can contain up to 100 rounds. Also, you can put two and two together that Emiya was reloading off screen. Kirei’s clothes are made of Kevlar and strengthen with magic from the church (its standard executioner equipment). Also the reason they fear Kirei is that he does not think, act, or fight like a normal magus meaning Emiya’s old tricks aren’t gonna get the job done and as we saw this episode, Kirei is very powerful for a human (not at Ciel’s level though)

    Like

    • “They were using Calico M960 with a helical magazine which can contain up to 100 rounds. ”

      Well, since it is 100 rounds, I guess I don’t have a problem with that since like you have say, he does reload off screen. (which was not really a issue with me, I was just wondering how many bullets there were because in one scene he had gone on a rampage)

      “Also the reason they fear Kirei is that he does not think, act, or fight like a normal magus meaning Emiya’s old tricks aren’t gonna get the job done and as we saw this episode, ”

      True, that makes sense. I was just wondering if that was all there was to it. Is Kiri really all about simply outwitting the opponent? He does seem to have other “abilities” as well.But it is nice to see this battle of wits amongst these two characters.

      Like

  2. That woman was probably Natalia, Kiritsugu’s master who adopted and trained him. Resembles Aozaki Touko a lot, but Touko should be as old as Kiritsugu, so it can’t be her.

    Kirei as an Executor is similar to Kiritsugu. Both are heretic hunters, both don’t rely too much on magic, both think in a similar way. Also, Kirei saw through Kiritsugu’s plans, it’s natural to fear him most. And goddamn, he is physically way too strong, using his martial arts(not only his arms, his back, his legs; short: his stance – he used some kind of one-inch punches to destroy that tree O.O) to knock Maiya and Iri so quickly down. :S

    And if I had seen it right, Prelati’s book was damaged, but repaired itself shortly after, otherwise Saber would have striked him already, I guess. Also, it would be too boring if Caster would lose his Noble Phantasm so easily.

    If I had won the Holy Grail, I would do… nothing. Maybe(or probably) destroy it and gain some prestige. Since I know what the power of the Grail is, I cannot think of a wish it can grant me.

    Like

    • “And goddamn, he is physically way too strong, using his martial arts(not only his arms, his back, his legs; short: his stance – he used some kind of one-inch punches to destroy that tree O.O) to knock Maiya and Iri so quickly down. :S”

      I know! He is crazy strong. Was it really just physical strength though? I think it is his body reinforced with magic right?

      “And if I had seen it right, Prelati’s book was damaged, but repaired itself shortly after,”

      Well, do let me know if you do go back and rewatch the scene. =)

      “If I had won the Holy Grail, I would do… nothing. Maybe(or probably) destroy it and gain some prestige. Since I know what the power of the Grail is, I cannot think of a wish it can grant me.”

      Awww, nothing? Then why would you participate in the war? =)

      Like

      • Nope, pure physical strength it was. Crazy overpowered shit, but I’m not the author or Nasu.

        Oh, and I said it already, I will destroy such an evil treasure like the Holy Grail. That would be the only reason to participate in the war. Also, you could ask this question Rin again. Why did she participate in the 5th war? Because she just wants to win, she and Archer have no real goal like her father. :> This Grail can’t fulfill any of my wishes, I’m not such a wicked person to wish anything from it.

        If I have the power to fight in the war, I would do it. And the fame and prestige I’ll get for winning this war would be more than satisfactory for me.

        Like

  3. Lol. Picture at top is my life next week. Thank goodness for a break.

    I would not worry much about things jiving together perfectly, since Fate/Zero has a second course in store (more like 12 episodes), so probably most of the real action will happen then. Execution for the fights in this episode were meant for building excitement and anticipation, but somehow was annoyance for me as well. The dialogue is sort of getting trite too, but I learned to live with that. Well, at least Kirei is speaking his mind through most of it, so I don’t mind. Hope to see action from Berserker and Rider in the next episode ^^

    Answer To Question: Still in limbo from last week, but for this week I would say: Make it so stupidity never exist, but good luck with getting that to happen, lol. In a more honest opinion, I would probably do the shallow and selfish thing and wish for ultimate wealth or something. Although, being a skillful mage you could probably do that yourself. In that case: not a clue 😄

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    • “Lol. Picture at top is my life next week. Thank goodness for a break.”

      If you are bleeding out in that manner, I really worry for the kind of lifestyle you are living. =P You might want to remember to relax. Lol! 😉

      “Well, at least Kirei is speaking his mind through most of it, so I don’t mind. Hope to see action from Berserker and Rider in the next episode ^^ ”

      Well, it is nice to see Kirei’s mind at work. And I second the Berserker and Rider statement.

      “Make it so stupidity never exist, but good luck with getting that to happen, lol.”

      Good Wish! ^-^b I support!

      “I would probably do the shallow and selfish thing and wish for ultimate wealth or something. ”

      Then my question to you is… would you rather Wealth or Health?

      Like

  4. About Kirei’s swords: as you saw at the end of the episode, the blades are made of magical energy. Kirei carries only the hilts, and creates the blades when he draws them.

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  5. I think your review sums up my thoughts exactly, minus the mood whiplash that I didn’t really feel. As badass as Kirei is, he is stepping into Marry Sue territory with how ridiculous his fighting style is. He can apparently move faster than bullets, is a martial arts master, can deflect bullets with his arms and punch trees down while his hands are bound to a tree…. I was a little disappointed with Irisveil and Maiya. Kiritsugu handled Kayneth fairly easily but two women, one armed with an automatic weapon and the other with magic had their asses handed to them by a non mage only using swords. Very… progressive. Irisveil had a few seconds of awesome which she then blew by not attacking when she had an opening. And finally, at the end of the episode she says “Next time we’ll definitely win”. Funny, you said that the first time you fought Kirei too.

    The end of the Team Kiritsugu vs Team Kayneth battle was simply absurd. Saber acts like Kiritsugu was being a sneaky bastard once again when it was Kayneth who attacked first. It not against the rules for a master to kill another master, least of all when it’s in self defense. Lancer says to Kiritsugu “The only reason you are alive is because of Saber’s honor”, um… actually the only reason LANCER is alive is Saber let him go and prevented Kiritsugu from finishing the job. Do you want to win Saber or just whisper sweet nothings into Lancer’s ear about how honorable he is?

    I was satisfied with the battles and the music was well integrated but how is it that we had 3 more battles and no one was killed yet? It’s too soon to kill caster considering we’ve barely even touched Ryuunosuke but everyone always presents some contrived reason for why they can’t finish a battle.

    Questions for this week’s battles
    1.How come Kiritsugu’s first Origin Bullet didn’t completely wreck Kayneth?
    2. If Lancer was able to get to Caster, how come be didn’t kill Caster instead of just scraping his noble phantasm? Also, did he attack the Noble Phastasm with his anti-magic lance or anti-healing lance? Neither of which would likely cause permanent damage and it looks like the book recovered anyway…

    My favorite bits were Maiya’s “Oh fuck” face when Irisveil told her Kirei was coming and as Saranofogus mentioned, the part where Kiritsugu gave Irisveil Avalon. To me this was a much more genuine display of human emotion and affection than his previous “Emotionless, Emotionless, Emotionless, Smoke Break, WAAAAAAH MY FAMILY!!!!” moments.

    Like

    • Well, Lancer helped Saber, so I suppose that Saber was in debt with him, that’s why she left him go.
      Kotomine is just the most powerful non-Servant character in the show, period. And Iri is not a fighter. That was the only offensive spell that she knows (and if you check, she has to keep her arms still to keep Kotomine trapped. She couldn’t attack in other ways, nor heal Maiya).

      Answers:
      1) The first was not an Origin bullet, just an ordinary bullet. The Contender is a very powerful gun, with a enormous piercing power: without the mercury wall probably the bullet would have blew off Kayneth’s arm. He did it on purpose: Kayneth used all his magical circuits to stop the second bullet…

      2) He couldn’t even destroy Caster’s NP, probably hitting Caster with a killing strike “riding the wind” was very difficult, or just impossible. Insted, he needed only to touch the book to dispell the monsters, so it was safer first to destroy all the monsters and then to kill Caster.

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      • You are correct about her not being able to move her arms but Maiya was shown to have been able to pull a gun out… had she not simply been watching.

        For the answers:
        1. If the first bullet was just a regular one then I’m not sure why Kiritsugu was so confident that it would most definitely hit Kayneth when all his other shots failed. Unless he just intuitively knew the defense value of Kayneth’s shield and that his gun had a higher piercing value (is this game logic or what) it could have just bounced off.

        2. Watch the scene closely and you’ll see that Lancer kills two of those starfish monsters mid-flight so I’m not sold on your argument as to why he couldn’t just impale or behead Caster right there. To wound your opponent and take the time to taunt him when he has already shown the ability to teleport… well, you could be a bit more genre savvy.

        The way Lancer, Saber and Rider act it seems they are more interested in having a good fight than winning the war. Where Kiritsugu is ruthlessly pragmatic, Saber is stupidly idealistic. (I’ll say again that she was nothing like this in FSN, where she is the pragmatic one and Shiro is the stupidly idealistic)

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      • 1) He risked. But he was right.
        2) I Checked the novel. It’s like i said: Lancer was moving pushed from the wind. He could cut down the monster because they went toward him, but Caster was too distant from his trajectory for a letal blow.

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      • “Well, Lancer helped Saber, so I suppose that Saber was in debt with him, that’s why she left him go.”

        there are more reason to this, even she want to follow Lancer, she can’t.
        unlike other servant, Saber is the only one who can’t dematerialize (turn back to spirit form)
        who watch F/SN may notice it too. reason will be in the show later on (hope they won’t cut explanation bit off)

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    • “As badass as Kirei is, he is stepping into Marry Sue territory with how ridiculous his fighting style is. He can apparently move faster than bullets, is a martial arts master, can deflect bullets with his arms and punch trees down while his hands are bound to a tree…. I was a little disappointed with Irisveil and Maiya. Kiritsugu handled Kayneth fairly easily but two women, one armed with an automatic weapon and the other with magic had their asses handed to them by a non mage only using swords. Very… progressive. Irisveil had a few seconds of awesome which she then blew by not attacking when she had an opening. And finally, at the end of the episode she says “Next time we’ll definitely win”. Funny, you said that the first time you fought Kirei too.”

      1st: Kirei cannot deflect bullets with his body, he is human. if you put a bullet in his head it will kill him. he is not faster then bullets either. The reason he could take Maiya’s shots this episode was because his Priest uniform(which is the standard uniform for all executors) is lined with Kevlar and covered in protection spells that makes it bulletproof. The anime just didn’t mention that, probably cause it would slow dpwn the action.

      2nd: Kirei is not a “non mage with only swords”, as he has been trained in magic by Tokiomi over the last 3 years. Thats how he became Assassin’s master. Also, he is an executor who hunts mages, very similar to Kiritsugu’s job. It should not be a surprise that he knows martial arts.

      Like

      • “The reason he could take Maiya’s shots this episode was because his Priest uniform(which is the standard uniform for all executors) is lined with Kevlar and covered in protection spells that makes it bulletproof. The anime just didn’t mention that, probably cause it would slow dpwn the action.”

        It is quite odd that the anime left out such a crucial element about his coat. Hopefully they would mention it in the next episode. =/

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1. I made a long post on LittleLucette about how even with the lore explanation it breaks the wiling suspension of disbelief. The church could give Kirei bullet proof sun screen so he could deflect bullets with his nose but that wouldn’t be very believable. I’m told that be busted that tree using pure physical strength, no magic. That’s impossible no matter how you try to justify it.

        2. According to people who read the novel he doesn’t use any magic in that fight so if he is in fact capable of using magic then he mopped the floor with Iris and Maiya without even trying. That’s marry sue to me.

        Try laying down on the ground, face down and try to get the jump on someone slowly walking up behind you with an automatic weapon as they watch you the whole time. I won’t wait for you to come back 😛

        Like

      • “The church could give Kirei bullet proof sun screen so he could deflect bullets with his nose but that wouldn’t be very believable. ”

        Lol

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    • “I was satisfied with the battles and the music was well integrated but how is it that we had 3 more battles and no one was killed yet? ”

      Well, I love the battles so I want to see more but I do agree that after 3 battles it is annoying how everyone has a reason not to kill. It seems that the show is taking the philosophical road of “shit gets in the way of life” =P

      ““Emotionless, Emotionless, Emotionless, Smoke Break, WAAAAAAH MY FAMILY!!!!” moments.”

      LOL!

      Like

    • Yup, the 1st shot from the contender was a normal shot intended to trick Kayneth into using a lot of his magic for next time. The bullet was able to went through Mercury wall because Kiritsugu shot at the exact spot where his submachine gun hit just miliseconds before.
      Anyway, Lancer is really foolish when it comes to woman. He could just watch and let Saber die. Help his master as he detected the danger of his life. Kill Kiritsugu. And all would end well for his team. They should add “Stupidty : A+” to his status page.

      Like

      • “Anyway, Lancer is really foolish when it comes to woman. He could just watch and let Saber die. Help his master as he detected the danger of his life. Kill Kiritsugu. And all would end well for his team. They should add “Stupidty : A+” to his status page.”

        Awwww… T^T I like Lancer… What you calls stupidity is true but I would like to see it as being…. compassionate? =P

        It would be worse if the Servants had chosen to participate in the war willingly as oppose to being summoned and forced to do so. Are they forced or are they doing it willingly? =/ I mean, they are summoned so I assume they are forced into that position.

        Maybe being dead for so long has caused Lancer to turn into a peace loving tree hugging hippie? =P

        Like

      • Lancer wants to be the one that defeats Saber, in a proper honorable way. And Saber wants to be the one that defeats Lancer, in a proper honorable way. That’s all. Lancer helped Saber, Saber helped Lancer, Lancer helped Saber. All for the sake of their rivalry.
        Probably if Kayneth and Kiritsugu wouldn’ have been fighting, both Saber and Lancer would have restarted their duel. after Caster’s defeat.

        Like

      • Lancer was just doing what he was told (presumably) to kill Caster, as per the new rules of the war. I give the “Stupidity: A+ Divine Level” to Saber for actively working against her master by letting Lancer stop him from killing Kayneth

        Like

  6. If I got the holy grail, I will wish to rid the world of religion, any superstitions, and national or cultural segregation. Humanity will then do the rest.

    I thought this episode was very memorable. Fate/Zero is proving to be a strong show to me, definitely of FMA: Brotherhood’s calibur, if not better.

    So I kinda think you should take it easy and not be so harsh 😄

    Like

    • “If I got the holy grail, I will wish to rid the world of religion, any superstitions, and national or cultural segregation. Humanity will then do the rest.”

      I think Humanity would put it back in place. I mean, Humans are weak and insecure… which leads to us turning to supernatural possibilities… it is a form of hope.

      “I thought this episode was very memorable. Fate/Zero is proving to be a strong show to me, definitely of FMA: Brotherhood’s calibur, if not better.”

      Well, I think that both shows have a very different attitude but Fate/Zero is a pretty solid action drama series. =D Hopefully this remains consistent through until the end of the series.

      Like

  7. This episode just reminds us that Kirei is damn strong.
    In Heaven Feel’s route, he alone outwits Assassin and Matou Zouken.
    So there’s nothing wrong with Kiri crying “Mommy, I am scared” lol.

    Umm, if I am a mage strong enough to defeat all six competitors, I would probably have no more wish. 😛

    Like

    • “Umm, if I am a mage strong enough to defeat all six competitors, I would probably have no more wish. :-P”

      I have no clue if I should be scared that you are simply satisfied with being “the strongest” like Rider. 😄

      Like

  8. Kiri pierced Kayneth’s defense with the first bullet because of his understanding of the physical properties and the fluid mechanics of mercury –

    The mercury in the shape of a blob can be expanded into other shape ( Kayneth’s automated defense) easily due to surface tension, but it is difficult (thus slower) for mercury in membrane shape to switch into other shape because the surface tension is lowered.

    Kayneth’s automatic defense expand the mercury into a membrane to optimize the defense against calico’s 9mm bullets, so when Kiri shoot it with a MUCH stronger weapon, the mercury cannot adjust its defense in time.

    So Kiritsugu was not exactly risking anything. He KNEW the contender can pierce Kayneth’s defense. He is JUST THAT GOOD.

    However due to the mercury membrane blocking his sight, Kiritsugu can’t really aim properly, so he cannot rely on the first bullet for the kill.

    (It is all in the novel. But things like surface tension or fluid mechanics are hard to translate into an anime, so we can’t really blame the studio.)

    Like

    • “(It is all in the novel. But things like surface tension or fluid mechanics are hard to translate into an anime, so we can’t really blame the studio.)”

      Lol. You are right about that but I think that the episode did pretty well in getting the gist of the situation across to the viewer without going into the technicalities of the situation. =)

      Like

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