Fate/Zero II – 06 (19) Review

Episode 06 (19)

I was tossing up between reviewing Fate/Zero or reviewing Hyouka and have decided on this. It was honestly a hard choice deciding between something that’s idiotic but easy to review, or something that’s entertaining but sure to screw with your mind. (Hopefully you know which is which that I’m referring to)

The last couple of episodes had taken a break from the main story of the Holy Grail War to focus on the character development of Kiritsugu, and whilst Episode 05 had left me with nothing much to say about it, this episode has definitely left made me wondering about the sanity of Kiri and his motives.

Review

One thing’s for sure, Kiri’s back-story had came at a nicely timed moment – right after the game changing move made by Kirei.

Although I hadn’t expected a back-story/character development arc, it is nice to see that the plot has narrowed it’s focus down to Kiri and Kirei.

Seeing as to how we have had a focus on Kiritsugu’s past in the last two episodes, it would be nice if the next episode were to shed some light on Kirei’s past as well.

Kiritsugu’s Past

So from this arc, we were able to see that Kiri had a pretty alright childhood up till the point where the writer had looked towards Blood-C for inspiration and  had decided that introducing the undead would be a great move.

Although there could have been endless possibilities as to how his mad-scientist father could have screwed up Kiri’s personality, the story diverts from the atypical route and uses his father as a catalyst to bring upon the start of Kiri’s twisted path towards justice.

The first half of the episode had played out to be pretty much a big time skip showing us how Kiri had gotten together with Natalia, how he and Natalia had worked together, and how Kiri had benefited from Natalia’s actions.

The key thing at the start of the episode that I had liked was the introduction of the bullets. Although the bullets didn’t actually tie into how this episode had turned out (some irony would have be nice if say Kiri was forced to kill Natalia using the bullets she had made for him), it definitely tied back to the showdown between Archibald and Kiri at the Castle in the forest.

However, the whole explanation of Kiri’s powers being more of a ‘cut and tie’ style as oppose to a destructive and reconstructive style was an interesting thing to note but I wasn’t sure how important this difference is meant to be. Perhaps someone could shed some light on it for me (without any spoilers).

As for execution of the episode…

The first half was entertaining enough to keep one watching on but it was nothing special.

The choice in background music for the timeskip section was rather typical with it’s repetitive beats and synthesized notes but it did it’s job of alerting the audience as to what sort of scene was happening. It was also nice to see that the lack of character dialogue was supported by decent animation that had managed to convey the message clearly through the expressions and behaviour of the characters with the aid of on-and-off narratives during that period.

Of course, the action and drama of everything falls into place in the second half when Kiri finally pulls the trigger and kills Natalia along with all the undeads.

Although I know it was something to be expected, it had still screwed with my mind…

Anti-hero or plain mad?

I was honestly closed to tears at the end of the show and yet I couldn’t actually decide if I should cry.

On one hand, Kiritsugu can be seen as an anti-hero that’s sacrificing everything to help mankind (I’m being dramatic) and who’s able to see the bigger picture without allowing his emotions to distract him from his decision.

But on the other hand, it didn’t look like Kiri had bothered to even search for an alternative solution and had simply seek the simplest way out. It seemed that having been tormented by his past hesitation of killing Shirley had left him going down this twisted path where death’s the first solution that comes to his mind. And his trauma had leads him to choosing that option without any second thought given to considering an alternative (or so it seemed).

Either way, it was definitely a breath of fresh air from the typical “Let’s-Save-Everyone-Naruto-Personality”-type hero characters.

Kiri’s monologue and breakdown after having killed Natalia had shown us that Kiri is actually a very emotional person who’s merely blocking his emotions out. This had evoked some sort of sympathy towards his character, but at the same time, his outburst of psychotic-vibe would had me weary of his sanity and his ability to actually function normally.

Why does it that matter?

Well, it matters to me since I had started to question my own insanity.

At the beginning of the scene, I had actually tried to seek the reasoning behind his actions and had actually found it to be very logical. The whole concept of “for the greater good” had came to mind and I had accepted that Kiri’s “sacrificial” actions were rather admirable. But then when you realise that your logic is similar to that of a person who is suffering from a mental breakdown, it definitely throws you off balance and I had felt as crazy and as confused as ever.

In short, I found that the way in which the writer had tied Kiri’s past into his present actions to be very entertaining, and that the depth of this character development was nicely done and I had really appreciated it. Unlike the usual “recalling of events/flashback” execution style, the development had a lot of depth and had done more than just told us a simple story of the past – it had told us a story of a past situation that’s still repeating itself in the present storyline.

Episode Rating: 8/10

Arc Rating: 7.5/10

-ra

Question of the Week:

What is your impression of Kiri after having seen his reasons behind his behaviour? Did you find yourself closer to understanding Kiri’s actions? Or has this left you with a different feeling towards him?

I am still feeling confused as to whether I can fully support Kiri’s way of winning the war even though he would be using the grail to obliterate all evil (I assume that’s what he is going to use the Grail for since there’s got to be a reason behind why Natalia had said that killing one person is pointless and that it only matters when every last one was dead).

His character is such an oxymoron that I have no idea what to think of it.

He can be considered stable and predictable in how he strategies, but at the same time, it feels like Kiri might snap and go berserk at any moment… One could also say that he is genuinely trying to rid the world of evil, but then again, working for money is quite obviously no what one would expect of a typical hero but more of an emotionless hit man etc etc.

Oh well.. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how things turn out with him.

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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 May 16, 2012, in Anime, Fate/Zero II and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. The ‘cut and tie’ flashback explanation was used (in a much shorter form) in the 8 episode of the first season. They simply showed when and where it happened

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  2. I think “Cut and Tie” is some kind of his born affinity. Such as how Emiya Shirou speciality is “imaging”.
    🙂
    Taking the easy way out. I think it’s a pretty good summary of what kind of person he is.
    He could have waited until the plane is about to land, before shooting at it,
    Telling Natalia to be ready to jump out.
    I think a mage can jump from 4-5 storeys high without a problem?
    Heck, Tokiomi can even jump off from Archer’s UFO and land elegantly, but that’s because he specialize in elemental magic. (fire, ice, wind, etc)

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  3. Yeah, the ‘cut and tie’ is Kiri’s origin and is a good reflection of what his personality is like. In terms of being a killer, the ‘cut’ part would be being able to not get emotional and able to carry out the plan no matter what. The ‘tie’ part would come after that and cause him to have unstable emotions like the outbreak we saw at the end.
    As to how this compares to destructive/reconstructive, I think that destructive/reconstructive would lead to a more stable personality because for example, if you cut a string and tie it up again it will never be the same and much more prone to breaking as opposed to if you destroyed the string and then made another one.

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  4. “Cut and tie” is the literal meaning of his name. Kiri= cut, tsugu = tie. It’s the same as destruction and recontruction, just more abstract.

    I liked the episode because it did a good job of showing how Kiritsugu developed his philosophy as well as where he got his magic bullets. Utilitarianism sounds like a noble goal but when there is so much evil in the world, the methods to achieve that goal are pretty dire. The irony of Kiritsugu’s wish is that in order to save lives, he has to spend the rest of his life taking them, including those most dear to him. It’s not hard to see why killing both of his parents, never being rewarded for his efforts and knowing that his dream will never come true would make him go crazy.

    I think Kiritsugu is equal parts coldly rational and crazy. Just like how he justified killing off Team Lancer even after they surrendered, by the almost imossible chance that they might be a threat, killing off Natalia because of the slim chance a zombee (punny!) might escape was probably unwarranted. They could have at least attempted a sea landing and blow up the plane after that. Natalia always told him that keeping himself alive was the highest priority because you can’t save anyone if you’re dead, so I think he should have tried to save Natalia for the same reason.

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    • He uses the excuse that’s free Master or Servant can form another contract,
      Kayneth has totally lost the will to fight, because of his fear of Kiritsugu,
      and I doubt a free Servant would want to form contract with a disabled person who can no longer uses magic. Cruel.
      ;-(

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      • Kayneth could not use magic, he was crippled, neither he nor Sola had command spells and Sola was literally disarmed. Stop being so mean to handicapped people, Kiritsugu!

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    • The plane was too big. the chance for a sea landing without destroying it and killing Natalia was zero.

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      • Unless this option was discussed in the novel, you can’t say the chance was zero. No matter how small the chance, it’s still a better chance to survive than shooting a surface to air missile at the plane. I suspect that they had Kiritsugu shoot the plane down instead of trying any other option because it would be more dramatic to have him do the killing blow instead of her dying from a failed landing. It’s like Urobuchi and Kiritsugu follow the mantra of “Don’t even think of having a happy ending!”

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    • The Economist: “In the history of aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings on water is zero.”

      Aviation Consumer Action Project: A wide-bodied jet would “shatter like a raw egg dropped on pavement, killing most if not all passengers on impact, even in calm seas with well-trained pilots and good landing trajectories.”

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      • 1. This is fiction so real world statistic don’t apply. 2. Even if they did, it’s not like Kiritsugu or Natalia were aviation history experts so even if she was doomed, they had no reason to not attempt it.

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  5. “The Economist: “In the history of aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings on water is zero.””

    Lol.. what?! Seriously? Damn.. I already have a fear of flying and now I am going to be even more afraid.

    Why would it shatter though? I know that if all the engines on the plane were to fail, the plane could still glide in the air for an hour or so…. How fast would the plane have to be moving for it to shatter the minute it hit the surface of the ocean? And… what about land? What’s so different about it?

    (Sorry for the kinda-off topicness… But hey, to tie it back into the show… I wonder if Kiri would have still blown the plane up if it were to land in the ocean and knew of the stats.)

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  6. Lol kiritsugu is just an idiot who do the easy thing instead of the right thing. Fyi, it is better to passively not save people than to actively kill them. Resorting to violence is stop violence is never acceptable, there will always be violence. Its like saying wanting to rid the world of “gardening” (evil) by killing all the gardeners (bad guys) but there will always be new gardeners anyway until there are no more plants (human life). So instead of just starting off more violence, he should just follow Gandhi and do the peaceful approach.

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    • I don’t think Gandhi lived in a world with morally bankrupt mages or magic fanatical church militants, nor did he have to contend with the occasional zombie apocalypse.

      Also, gardening does not work that way! Good night!

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  7. Awesome anime blog… I’m a huge fan. Fatezero 2 was very awesome compared to fatestay by night. Fatestay by night was kinda corny with kids fighting such an epic battle for the holy grail.

    Like

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