Fate/Zero – 12 Review

Episode 12 – The Grail’s Invitation

More character development and recaps on the current state of things as well as more dialogue with no action anywhere in sight.

I don’t want to sound like an idiot that is only able to enjoy a show when there is action in it, but the fact that all we have been seeing thus far leans more towards character development instead of plot development does make me feel a tad upset.

Review

It seems like no matter what has happened thus far, we can’t seem to rid ourselves of any of the masters nor servants. Sure, the assassins are finally out of the picture, but when you think about it, how important were their characters in the first place? Like the episode had stated, everything was neatly planned by Tohsaka and they were merely tools.

Then we have the problem of the masters, I can see that keeping Kirei in the game would make things interesting, but it is starting to feel like the show is unable to let go of any of it’s characters. After 12 episodes, it feels like all we did was to go around in circles with nothing having happened apart from the change in Lancer’s master and the death of the Assassins. From the way things are standing, I am going to assume that in order to hype up the second season of Fate/Zero, the next episode would end on some big cliff hanger that might give us hope for a more entertaining second season.

The Saber Gang

Through using Kiritsugu’s character as a way to provide us with a insightful “catch-up” to the current standing of things, we are shown what his perception is of the different players in this war. As usual, Kiri can’t help but obsesses over Kirei’s actions and vice versa. Their mutual “attraction/curiously” over each other is another thing that seem to have been over reiterated through the course of the series, I am honestly hoping to see some big confrontation eventuate from this, because if that doesn’t happen, I am going to be pretty disappointed.

Then we have Saber’s new base which may seem familiar to those who have already seen Fate Stay Night. If I am not mistaken (and if my memory doesn’t fail me), that is the place where Shirou from FSN lives in. But moving back onto the actual events in the episode, we are told that Irisviel is ill and might be dying. I wonder if Kiritsugu knows of this and what his reaction to everything is. After all, it has been awhile since we saw that “family-oriented” side of his personality.

Archer The Manipulator

It is funny how someone as thoughtful in planning as Tokiomi would have chosen a servant that was as uncontrollable as Archer. Wouldn’t history have told him of what Archer’s personality was like? It is quite obvious that the only known unreliable factor in Tokiomi’s plans is his servant – Archer. I would love to be proven wrong by being shown that Tokiomi had in fact depended on Archer’s unstable loner personality in order for his plans to succeed, but I doubt that would happen.

One of the reasons why the episode had turned out to be so dreary for me was the way in which the conversation between Archer and Kirei was executed. Panning frames, coupled with heavy dialogue and uninteresting animation makes for a big yawn. Thankfully, Archer’s personality is not as monotonous as Kirei’s and he provides the much needed lift in the scene. Of course, his way of twisting Kirei’s words in order to change Kirei’s perception of things was fun to watch as well. If the last episode had proven anything, Archer is one character that is too bored with his existence and relies on manipulating others in order to provide himself with some much needed entertainment. Someone should really just smack that boy around. =P

I have already touched on the idea of Kirei returning as a Master so I shall not repeat myself here.

Overall

This is not an episode that would break you out of your lazy Sunday afternoon mood. If anything, it might make you feel even more tired due to how dry the episode comes across as being at times. The biggest problem that I can see from this is that as we all know that there will be a second season. As such, nothing much might happen in the next episode. Hopefully I am wrong and the show does achieve something by next week. But if all they plan on doing is killing Caster off by the end of the season, I have a feeling that such a quick death will leave me unsatisfied.

Episode Rating: 7/10 – The dialogue in this episode makes it feel like an animated novel at times as oppose to it being an animation adaption. Perhaps a good does of a more playful/artistic execution would have made the episode a whole lot more interesting to watch.

-ra

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About Saranaufogus

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

Posted on December 18, 2011, in Anime, Fate/Zero, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. This… is one of the most interesting episodes in this cours, at least for me. It’s funny how much this episode foreshadows events in both FZ and FSN. Not only the Emiya mansion, the atelier Iri was given, the magic circle Saber is supposed to draw or Iri’s “illness”, things start to make perfect sense.

    I guess it’s disappointing for those who haven’t seen Kirei interacting much in FSN, especially since the third route was never animated. All his conversations with Gilgamesh slowly show how much he changes and Gil being the one who is responsible for this is great. However, most of the people don’t see him as one of the main characters, even though it’s actually him who gets the most character development. I’ll give this episode 8 or 9 points out of 10.

    Btw, we already started with volume 3, the shortest one. Things will start going badshit insane from now on and since we all know that this war didn’t have too many survivors, the characters will start dying like flies. It’s very unlikely for Caster to die next episode, so I guess, they’ll end this cours with a huge cliffhanger before the big fight.

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  2. It’s like an avalanche. This is the last push. from the next episode everthing will collapse.

    About Gilgamesh and Tokiomi’s planning, the problem is the Archer class. The Archer class has a special ability (“independent Action”) that makes Archers more free than the other Servants (the positive side should be that in this way the Servant can act to help his Master even if the link between them is broken for some reason). And Gilgamesh has a rank A in Independent Action.
    If you rmember the third episode, Tokiomi was compaining that he didn’t expected to summon Gil in the Archer class.

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  3. I agree with your sentiment that the episode was dreary and felt more like an animated novel than a anime adaption. So what did happen this episode? Kiritsugu went over information we already know, Irisviel is foreshadowed to be of declining constitution and Kirei and Gilgamesh have a long-winded but necessary conversation. Gilgamesh’s habit of speaking cryptically and answering questions with more questions left me and understandably Kirei tired and frustrated. As with his last dialogue exchange, I felt the conversation could have been said in fewer words for the same impact. The scene was so dry as if it were ripped right from the pages of the book.

    The curious thing about this anime is that it has episodes where its better if you don’t know about the Fate universe (the first episode was heavy on exposition, particularly of things already discussed in FSN) but also episodes where its better that you do; this episode being such an example. Coming to the Emiya mansion was an easter-egg for people who played FSN and otherwise the scene was mostly unremarkable. If I, who played FSN and understand the importance of the characterization they are giving Kirei found the scene to be overly dry, I can’t imagine what someone who didn’t play the game would take from that conversation. Most likely they would take up arms with Kirei and shake their fists at Gilgamesh “Stop speaking in riddles you cat-eyed, blonde haired pretty boy!” 😛

    I agree with you in that the show doesn’t want to give up any of it’s characters. The only battle that was fought to its conclusion was the pointless sacrifice of a pointless character. Kirei being given back his command spells was especially strange because I don’t remember that clause ever coming up in FSN and there were many opportunities for it. Stranger still that the EXACT same spells went back to the EXACT same person even though there are no other servants available. The grail must really like Kirei.

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    • The dialogue was twice as long in the novels. A lot was cut and replaced by visual quotes: Gil’s holding Saber’s piece rather than talking about her, Gil knocking down Tokiomi’s piece rather than speaking about him and their relationship, etc. All was shortened (novel wise, Kirei gives a long long review of each Master, his longest one was about Kariya, that’s why Gilgamesh brings up he has find him entertaining).

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  4. I have actually enjoyed myself because my mind was busy forming theories.

    I kept on thinking of the possibility of Kirei betraying Tokiomi (with the complicity of Gilgamesh, who’s growing on me more every episode, love that kind of fabulous bastards), maybe even by taking Gilgamesh away from him (I don’t know if it’s possible but I’d love it and Gilgamesh sure wouldn’t mind)

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  5. The thing is the focus is Kotomine’s start of darkness in F/Z.

    …Kirei’s FAR from boring and dull character, he’s just in self-denial due to his righteous upbringing and unrewarded pursued of virtue during his life (and none of this give him pleasure and diminished his emptiness).Gilgamesh sees through his layers of how fucked up he is. He’s not merely manipulating him, he honestly likes Kirei and finds him interesting to spend his time with. Those who know Japanese, realize that Gilgamesh’s dialogue with him is informal but not rude like with other people. That’s indicator of how much regard he gives to him.

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    • I noticed also that Kirei seemed to respect Gilgamesh more, talking with him at length and referring to him as the King of Hero’s instead of thinking of him as a disrespectful servant.

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