Fate/Zero II – 04 (17) Review

Episode 04 (17) – The Eighth Contract
Death is in the air

Here’s a late review of episode 04(17) of the second season of Fate/Zero. (I haven’t seen episode 05(18) yet)

The fourth episode was definitely a lot more than what I had expected. Through crazy (though expected) blindsides, the tables have flipped and it is now a war between Kirei and Kiri. It had felt like an episode of foreboding doom as characters took measures in their anticipation of their death in the War.

Review

Me: Aww, it’s been awhile since we had any fun Rider and Waver moments.

Despite the lack in action and the missing appearance of teams such as Rider and Berserker , this episode was definitely not lacking in anything.

The story has managed to progress by leaps and bounds in this one short episode and the pacing of series is definitely picking up. It is not hard for one to smell the climax approaching as the series gets closer to mid-season.

Power VS Strategy

Through a simple yet important blindside, Kirei has managed to removed one of the most prominent masters from the game and is now looking to be in line to win the war.

One of the major things that this episode had accomplished was in establishing that Rider and the other masters held lesser importance when it comes to being the “biggest” threat in the war.

As oppose to it being a war waged on which servant is the strongest, the series had all along been about proving that the masters were the key to winning the war. Tactics and strategy has definitely proven to be a dominant role in culling the opponents in this war, whereas power and might had taken a backseat.

Back to being a vampire Kiri?

K & K

Both Kirei and Kiritsugu are finally being pushed to the forefront of the war. With Kiri having appeared during the battle against Caster, it is only a short matter of time before Kirei makes his appearance (or perhaps he has already appeared in ep 5?) and throws everything into chaos.

What I had liked about the scene with Kiri’s team was the chat between Maiya and Irisviel. The whole discussion had defied common logic and an emotional topic about death had appear as more of a business discussion instead. It’s the situations like this in Fate/Zero that just leaves me loving the show all that more. The psychological aspect brought a depth to the show that I appreciated and whilst the way in which Maiya had asked Irisiviel to die for Kiri’s dreams may have seemed cold-hearted, it had also solidify our impression of the team’s treatment of death and their belief  in Kiri’s actions and dreams. Through this, we were also able to see the approach that each member (apart from Saber) had taken in working towards that goal.

As for Kirei, well, the partnership between Archer and him is quite obviously going to be an interesting one to watch. On one hand, we have the king of heroes who sits upon his throne looking to observe others and toy with them, whilst on the other, we have an emotionless (or perhaps I should say emotionally challenged) shell that is working hard at finding his path in life.

It makes one wonder if Archer’s attempts at manipulating Kirei was effective or if Archer’s the one who’s being used in the end.

Just look at Kirei’s sick and twisted smile, I’m getting goosebumps.

After all, shouldn’t it be a worry for a Servant when their Master has a crazy amount of Command Seals which in effect would allow them to force their Servant to do things against their will?

Well, I guess that’s where the fun lies in their partnership – Kirei being the puppet until he finds his answers, and Archer being gambling on Kirei providing enough attention to make the risk worthwhile. Both making use of one another to get what they need.

Kirei was definitely the star of the episode and it is easy to see why. From losing his father to killing his sensei who was like a substitute father to him, he has definitely broken out of his shell and as he had warned us, the new Kirei is certainly a disturbing different image from the old.

Tokiomi and Kirei Graduation Chat Over Coffe

The scene between Kirei and Tokiomi was especially nicely done. Where I may usually complain about how I dislike the framing of the scene to have Tokiomi appear as he were speaking to us, that execution was very effective in portraying difference between Kirei and Tokiomi’s affections during that point in the show.

Tokiomi’s shots towards the end of the discussion had started to appear from cropped in and the angle had changed from being a side view observational shot to being a frontal shot of having Tokiomi speak with us. A full frontal shot of a character speaking to the camera usually gives off an open and honest feeling. That, coupled with the speech that Tokiomi was giving, had effectively conveyed the emotions Tokiomi was feeling at that point.

On the other hand, we have Kirei who was looking to backstab Tokiomi during the whole conversation ever since he had seen the knife. His shots were mostly from far away angles and his eyes were never on the camera (except for when he had thanked Tokiomi for the knife which he had used to kill Tokiomi with), giving hint to his upcoming actions of stabbing Tokiomi in the back.

Although we may never know if Kirei had gone into the meeting prepared to kill his sensei that very night, he had certainly rest upon the decision the moment he had laid eyes on the weapon.

Overall,

  • What one has learned from this episode is that the show just gets better and better, and that whilst Rider and Berserker are the obvious threats in the war, the real threats in this series lies within the shadows that is Kirei and Kiritsugu and that’s what the War is essentially boiling down towards.
  • Irisviel is dying and her death will end up as a sacrifice for Kiri’s dream of peace.

Episode Rating: 8.5/10 – Even though this wasn’t what I would call a “captivating” nor an “OMG!” episode, it was definitely an intriguing and important one that was nicely executed.

-ra

P.S: The OP song has definitely grown on me but I still preferred the first season’s OP.

(No question this week since this episode review is a week behind)

About Saranaufogus

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

Posted on May 7, 2012, in Anime, Fate/Zero II and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Kotomine is undoubtedly a fascinating character due to his indoctrination that prevented him from identifying what drives him at bottom earlier. He could not express joy due to the church’s dogma of joy as sin, which left him as a near-apathetic, selfless character with no ideals or personal goals. That is why he found Kariya the most intriguing and Kuritsugu the most confusing.

    Once Gilgamesh prodded Kotomine to uncover his deep seated, true fascinations, learn more about himself, he found his path.

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    • “Kotomine is undoubtedly a fascinating character due to his indoctrination that prevented him from identifying what drives him at bottom earlier. ”

      I can’t argue with you on that. The character development for Kirei has got to be one of the better ones we’ve seen in a long time. A brilliantly executed “road to discovering one’s self (in a dark and crazy manner)” theme. =P

      Like

  2. About the command spells: yes, they could be used to command Gil, but they could be also used to “strengthen” his actions.

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    • “but they could be also used to “strengthen” his actions.”

      Hmm.. that’s what I thought but I couldn’t really see how that happens… (as in the mechanics behind how the seal is able to do that…)

      Any clue?

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      • Well, there is an example in fate/hollow ataraxia. Shirou ordered to saber to “jump” toward the top of a palace, and saber made a jump reaching mach 14. the point is that the mana in the Command spells is so great that the enable the servant to do things which are impossible even for them,

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  3. (I have no clue how to reply to messages)

    Command spells are basically sealed mana used to force servants to do things. If the servant doesn’t oppose the order, though, the mana goes toward strengthening the action since there’s no need to force the servant to do anything. On a side note, command spells canactually be used for things completely unrelated to servants, though that isn’t down in Fate/Zero.

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