Fate/Zero – 11 Review
Episode 11 – The Grail Dialogue
You know that an episode is going to be pretty heavy-handed on the dialogue when the episode title essentially sums everything up by stating it. Thankfully, the animators had decided to throw in a nice short action moment towards the end to make things exciting.
One can’t help but be moved by Rider’s pep talk about kings in this episode. With his epic roar, I too felt like shouting out my enthusiasm. But as much as I had loved seeing Rider taking on a main role in this episode, it was still sad that the episode had essentially amount to nothing.
Although I had really enjoyed this episode quite a bit, the episode had a few fundamental problems.
The first is the suddenness of the setting. When was this meeting meant to have taken place? From what I had gathered, this had taken place between the time of Lancer having ran away from Kirisugu after the battle in the castle. Which brings up another problem and that is, when did the chase (carried out by Rider and Waver) after Caster occur? I had originally thought that it was after the castle incident but it seems like it was probably before the castle incident and right after Caster had left his lair to find Saber at the castle. Either way, the episode had started off without any warning of when the scene had happened and it had essentially messed up my concept of time in this series.
Then we have the next problem. Nothing had happened in this episode. As I have mentioned above, I did enjoy the whole chit-chat about Kings but it is starting to look like we won’t be getting anything much out of the series until the next season of Fate/Zero. Apart from the chase after Caster, everything else seems to be some sort of filler-like episode or an episode that simply builds up the characters as oppose to pushing the plot of the War forward.
Now moving onto the more positive side of things….
Although the episode was a dialogue heavy one, the execution (mostly due to the music) and superb voice acting on the part of Rider’s VA had definitely created a nice atmosphere that had slowly built itself up towards the revelation of Rider’s Noble Phantasm.
It was hilarious to watch the “banquet” happen in the middle of the debris of the aftermath of a battle, since only a character such as Rider, who is so confident and absolute in his beliefs, would allow such a situation to happen without any care for what had just happened at that location. I definitely hadn’t mind the way the writers had used Rider as an excuse to allow us to learn more about the individual character’s personalities and their reasons behind the drive for the grail.
The contrast between the 4 present parties were definitely an interesting sight to behold. On one hand we have Rider who presents us with this image of a King that is confident in his decisions and his ability to lead. He essentially is the picture of what a cliche image of what a powerful, strong, untouchable leader should be. In contrast to Rider, we have Saber who is this “weak little girl” that is overly sentimental without any leadership skills and is filled with the righteous beliefs of saving everyone. Sitting on the side is Archer who is manipulative and is a mixture of the other 2 characters – he is the image of a lone ruler filled with the confidence and dictatorial attitude of Rider. Naturally, the 4th party would be the always elusive Assassins who honestly is the most “un-king” like in the situation. It was no surprise that they were not willing to join the party.
I had really love the way they had used the sharing of the wine as a device to portray the individual personalities of the involved parties. Saber’s acceptance of the wine had showed her “kind” and “trusting” nature. Archer’s attitude of bringing out his own wine was definitely funny to watch since his self-centered-mightier-than-thou attitude always cracks me up. Assassin’s actions and Rider’s open-mindedness is self explanatory through their attitudes and treatment of the symbolism of sharing a drink.
The True Kings are…
The whole episode was pretty much a breakdown of the individual character’s ideals and a discussion on what makes a true king.
Perhaps it was the manner in which Rider had exclaimed everything, but by the end of his talk, I was yelling “Yeah!” to everything had said. =P For all I know, he could have screamed “We will rule the world wearing no pants!” and I would have screamed “Yeah!” as well. =_=” His enthusiasm and “natural” leadership qualities makes it easy to see how he was able to lead an army to victory. After all, his noble phantasm is proof that he must have done something right to have garnered such a following.
Speaking of noble phantasms, it had sounded like he was mumbling gibberish as he was saying the name. Lol! I had to do a double take when the words “Ionian Hetairoi” had appeared as what I heard hadn’t sound like that at all.
Back to the talk about kings. I was really glad that Rider had picked out Saber’s attitude as being like little girl and had criticized her behaviour. Although I wouldn’t say that I fully agree with Rider’s idea that a king should never regret their decisions, I definitely find Saber’s attitude to be much more unappealing. Rider ideal of a tyranny has it’s unappealing aspects but he is right in saying that a leader shouldn’t dismiss those who have sacrificed their lives by regretting their decisions. Sabers attitude really annoyed me when she had said that she had wanted to turn back time to save her country despite the consequences that would have resulted from her actions. I can’t fault her for wanting to protect the country under her ruling, but I hate how her sentimental ideals come across as being all nice and pure when she is sacrificing a mountain of lives through her actions.
As for Rider. I am definitely loving the man’s attitude! (“Go Rider!”) =D
I liked the fact that Rider’s real wish was for something more simple and down to earth – all he had wanted was to be reincarnated. It was really suiting for his character and it does explain how his fascination with the real world ties into everything. The fact that he wishes to use his body to conquer the world is very Rider-ish in manner and after this episode, I feel like he might stand a chance running for presidency with the way he gives his speeches. =P
Of course I can’t leave out Archer. The end of the episode had once again proven to us that Archer is a manipulative character. He had assured Saber that her beliefs were not utterly wrong, as though he was trying to set her down the path towards destruction. It was especially two faced of him since he was the one who had first laughed at Saber’s wish. I am seriously hoping that Saber doesn’t form some sort of attachment to Archer simply because he had implied to have backed her up on her idealistic thoughts. I would like to think that she is not a naive character since she doesn’t come across as being that way.
Here’s a few random points that I had noted on the episode:
- When Rider had smashed in the barrel of wine and had drank out of it, the first thing that came to mind was the fact that he might be drinking wood splinters. =D
- The animation of the characters were a tad odd as the characters faces’ had looked slightly distorted when they were having the banquet on the ground. The faces had appeared either too sharp or too squished and the angles hadn’t come across well.
- The contrasting views on what a King should be like had me questioning which servant’s idea was right – Saber sees a King as a person that needs to sacrifice themselves, but Rider sees it as being the opposite. Rider believes that Heroes are Heroes because they are tyrants. Saber also believes that a King should be alone, where as Rider is the opposite and believes that a King is never alone. Hmmm…
- When Rider had started to criticize Saber’s behaviour as one that was unlike a leader, Saber’s face is overcast with a shadow from the clouds in the sky. Despite the “convenient” timing of the shadow, it was still a nice moment to have the shadow reflect Saber’s internal turmoil at that moment.
- I definitely love the epic-ness and extravagant feel of Rider’s Noble Phantasm. I can’t believe that he is able to conjure up a Reality Marble.
- It was funny that the fight between Rider and Assassin had turned out to be something so basic with horses, swords/arrows, and a bunch of war cries. =D (But it was still fun to watch.)
- How is one meant to kill Assassin?
Overall, despite the fact that nothing had happened in this episode (and when I say nothing, I mean that nothing that would progress the main plot further had happened in this episode), the episode had provided us with an insightful view on the highly contrasting beliefs between Saber and Rider and had also cement the fact that Rider has no respect for Saber and that this means that he no longer see her as a worthy opponent for the Grail thus she is now a full fledged “enemy” in Rider’s mind. Hopefully, next week would bring us back into the present following Caster instead of leaving us trapped in the past.
Episode Rating: 7.5/10 – Go Rider!
Ra’s Fate/Zero Question of the Week:
Being given the chance of having Saber or Rider as your King to rule over you, which one would you choose?
(If you had to choose one)
Personally, I think that I would agree more with Rider’s beliefs. Sure, Saber might be more peace loving, but I think that people need to be govern (and Rider does seem to treasure his people to an extent).