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.
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.
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
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.