Fate/Zero – 09 Review
Poor Lancer. T^T
Episode 09 – Master and Servant
This was another good episode for Fate/Zero. Naturally, the show is starting to display a pattern.
After a huge important battle that hints at pushing the plot forward, the show takes a break from the action to evaluate all the other pairings and the outcome of that particular “group meeting” (For some reason, they always seem to appear as a group to battle rather than a simple one on one).
I am not sure if this is due to the huge amount of main characters, but whatever the reason is, it is starting to look like all the important battles that would push the plot progress of the Holy Grail War will be taking place in the second season whilst this first season merely sets up the stage, and hopefully finishes the chase after Caster.
This episode had it’s fair share of sentimental moments that had left me feeling moved (none like the balcony breakdown of Kiri a few episodes back). Instead of being shocked by the out-of-character sentimentality of things, the series has manage to develop the characters in such a way that we are able to appreciate all these new emotional facades. The way Lancer’s past weighs on him really did make me want to cry for the boy. To add to that, Rider’s brotherly nature to look out for Waver had left me feeling touched by such an unconventional, yet caring, relationship.
The Cursed Mole
(It seems like Kayneth’s fixation on the mole a few episodes back was due to his worry over his wife faithfulness to him, and this episode just proved that it was well justified )
The episode started off by diving straight into Lancer’s past. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t shocked by the suddenness of it all, but the follow-up had justified that scene well. It would have been a tad better if the episode had started off by having Kayneth trashing in the bed due to a bad dream before diving into Lancer’s past. I have no idea how he is even able to see Lancer’s past in his dream, but I shall write it off as some magical connection between Master and Servant. I seems like this series is having trouble transitioning between episodes, if you recall, back after the warehouse battle scene, the episode following that had Saber and Iri in a car driving like mad people for no apparent reason.
Anyway, back onto the cursed mole. It is definitely nice to be able to see some of Lancer’s history and motivation for the war. If I hadn’t liked his character previously, I definitely love him now. The newly formed dynamics with Sola taking over Kayneth’s role is definitely a signal that things are going to change and all the mind games are definitely fun to watch. I am looking forward to seeing how this situation plays out, with Lancer recognizing Sola’s hidden agenda and him agreeing to help her out for the sake of Kayneth (or perhaps himself) despite his knowledge.
Speaking of Sola, boy does that woman have issues. I have to get this off my chest but, I don’t understand how some characters believe that they can convince others to do what they want when they make themselves sound so suspicious while talking. It was probably the directors wanting to hint at her craziness before fully revealing it, but I really didn’t like how suspicious she had sounded. It had gave everything away. Naturally, what she did didn’t work on Kayneth and she had to resort to torture.
I know that Sola is probably under the influence of the mole, but what’s with all the crazy people in this season’s anime? We have so many psychotic characters this season (i.e. Yuno etc- Mirai Nikki, Caster etc. – Fate/Zero, Hisoka – Hunter x Hunter, and I am sure there are more).
Sola had definitely taken on the role of being the manipulative and “pyscho” master whilst Lancer has resigned himself to being manipulated in order to achieve his own means (not sure if it can be considered manipulation when the victim actively knows what is going on), meanwhile, Kayneth is bedridden and magic-less. With this new hidden change, would that mean that this team may have the upperhand in the game? I am sure that Kiritsugu for one would be shock to see that Lancer has a new master.
Kiri and the Gang
I had thought that they had escaped from the mansion and had gone to a different location, but the new backdrop designs makes it seem like they are back in the mansion once again. (=_=?)
I just can’t find it in myself to like Kiritsugu. He had once again showed us his cold-hearted nature by asking if when Maiya would be ready to be used. She is a person for heaven’s sake. I understand that Kiri believes that sacrifices are needed in order to save others, but this really does raise the question of whether what he is doing can still be considered the “right” thing to do (whatever “right” is meant to be). As I had said last week, Kiri treats everyone apart from his previous loved ones (Iri and his kid) like a tool. I am not sure what Maiya’s deal is for sticking with such a guy, but I am sure we would find out soon enough. I doubt it is out of love… or is it?
The relationship between Kiri and Saber is definitely strained with Saber not feeling like she is able to communicate with Kiri and thus relying on Iri to pass on her message. Where on the other hand we have Kiri who is feeling betrayed by Saber, as Saber’s trustworthy nature might have caused all of them the war if Lancer had not stayed true to being a knight (or if Kayneth was lucid enough to command Lancer to kill Kiri). I can’t blame Kiri for feeling that way since I too had felt the same way last week when she had let Lancer go after Kayneth.
It has also become quite clear that Kiri is having a hard time deciding between being human and being a killer. On one hand, we get to see Kiri’s vulnerable side when he was worried about Iri, but on the other hand, this episode had showed us that Kiri is back to being cold-hearted and goal-focused when he had dismissed the children as not being part of the bigger picture. I would really like to see how this plays out and await the day Kiri gets a emotional breakdown from it.
Another character that is having a mental breakdown is Kiritsugu’s rival, Kirei. The end of the episode had clearly showed us that the seeds of doubt planted by Archer is starting to grow in Kirei’s mind, hopefully this situation would play out to become something by the end of the season and not drag itself into the next. Perhaps this is the start of a backstabbing plot?
Isn’t Brotherly Love Fantastic?
Rider and Waver are back on our screens! Rejoice my friends!
It feels like it has been awhile since we had seen these two doing their comedy act together.
It is nice to see that Rider has finally gotten his pants =D It is so funny how something so trivial could make such a big man so happy.
This episode finally shows us Waver using his brains to help Rider search for Caster. Although Waver has said that his experiment was due to him being weak, it was still nice to see him actively participate in the war instead of simply being dragged along by Rider. This pair is definitely the surprising perfect pair of the series – with Rider being the Brawn and Waver being the Brains.
It is always great to see the constant development of the relationship between these two. Rider had played the big brother role and his affectionate behaviour towards Waver has definitely increased with this episode showing how he looks out for Waver in the sewage by warning Waver not to look. It had also showed us Rider’s understanding of Waver’s personality. Even though Waver had persisted, the fact remains that Rider had his back. This is very different from Saber and Kiri’s relationship- with their lack of communication and distrust for one another.
I wonder if this pair is the strongest simply because of their understanding of one another. If the command seals can determine the war, then would the lack of need for them represent a positive standing in the war? Of course, this is assuming that the seals only forces a servant to obey and nothing else.
This episode had it’s fair share of sentimental moments and shows us the start of a shift in the balance amongst the various pairs. Although we have little followup to Caster’s exit in the last episode and absolute silence from the Berserker pair, the episode was still entertaining to watch with more character development happening. I can’t wait for when the show finally gets back to the Holy Grail War. At the very least, the dialogue in this series refrains itself from becoming to dry through the use of good animation and nice background music (which is something all anime should have).
Episode Rating: 7.5/10 – I am sure many of us would love to see more action and less talking, but I am sure the show will get there sooner or later. For now, I am just going to enjoy this development in the relationships of the participants.
-ra is lazing around after having a filling lunch.
Fate/Zero Question of the Week:
With 4 episodes remaining in the series, what do you expect to have happened by the end of the season?
- A resolution to the Caster issue
- Have Kirei break away from his mommy – Tohsaka
At the rate the show is progressing, I wouldn’t hold my breath for too much more. =P