Fate Zero 4 and 5 – An amalgam of things
*Can’t upload pictures at the moment, technical difficulties
And so we finally see some full-fledged fighting in the series, and like any good fight in anime, it needs some time to escalate and reach its climax, thus, with no compromise, I have compressed the review for episode 5 into this one as well.
Swords clash with spears (in Lancer’s case) in a battle between the knights. Lancer starts out with a furious flurry of swipes with his two spears. Nevertheless, Saber was more agile than she seemed, despite donning bulky knight armor and being on the defensive. She deftly parried every blow from Lancer and was able to scathe him slightly without him even knowing it. In spite of direct commands from his master to slay Saber, Lancer manages to compliment her commendable swordplay and Saber, likewise, thought the same of Lancer.
In the shadows, Maiya and Kiritsugu initiate their reconnaissance-cum-assassination plan as they took up their vantage points in the shipyard. While the swordfight raged on, they scouted for Lancer’s master and other possible tangos through their scope.
Taking it up a notch, Lancer decided to use his Noble Phantasm, a class-exclusive skill of servants. He tossed aside his shorter spear and revealed the crimson gleam of his longer spear. Saber needed to be more cautious as the effects of his Noble Phantasm are unknown. Lancer attacked more furiously, splitting the earth and slicing cargoes in half. There was little room for Saber to breathe as she meticulously blocked every beefed up blow from the spear. Saber’s blade, Excalibur, was uncloaked with each blow from Lancer’s Noble Phantasm and Lancer figured why he could get struck without even knowing it.
Amidst the growing tension, Kiritsugu was in for a rude shock as he found assassin perched atop a railing. Maiya advised taking him out from range, but Kiritsugu advised against it as they are not equipped properly to deal with the uncalled situation. Likewise, through the eyes of the assassin, Kirei notices a ‘Caucasian’ woman behind Saber. Tokiomi quickly deduced that it was a trick – for a Master would not be so wise to expose his or herself in the open without any form of defense.
Regaining their breaths, Saber contemplated of a one-hit tactic to end the fight quickly. Lancer can counter her attacks easily just by knowing the length of her blade; thus no point in extending the fight. Saber imagined Lancer doing a forward lunge that would barely scratch her armor, while she lands a quick across his chest. She hoped, at least. In reality, his Noble Phantasm sliced through her sides and caused her to bleed heavily. She skidded across, with a trail of blood dripping from her waist. It came to her realization that Lancer’s Noble Phantasm was one that nullified mana, rendering her armor useless – thus explaining her blade revealing itself during the fight.
Valiantly, Saber emptied the mana supply to her armor, and gained more mobility as a result. In a desperate move, Saber charged forward once more to damage end the fight. However, she forgot that his shorter spear was grounded just beneath his feet. Deftly, Lancer tossed the spear up to his chest and attempted to behead Saber. At an incredible speed, Saber dodged the slash and ended severing both of their wrists’ arteries by the end of their blades.
The other spear being a cursed one, Irisviel was unable to tend to Saber’s wounds and Lancer was more than able to finish her—until Rider came down crashing in a dazzling thunderbolt, effectively ending the fight.
Well aware of what has been going, he blatantly proposed for the two knights to be his companion in the conquest for the Holy Grail.
And so Saber and Lancer blatantly refused, as expected.
The blatancy in the episode climaxed when the pompous Archer makes a public appearance in front of the three Servants, effectively increasing the number of party poopers to two. As soon as Archer finished his grandiose and derogatory speech (as usual), a wild berserker appears.
Just when the fight could not have gone any messier.. Nevertheless, Archer’s despicable attitude has landed him an opportunity to be berserker’s first opponent in this segment of the fight. In an ever-dwindling array of magical swords, archer attempted to wipe out berserker in a single attack. In a rage (excuse the pun), berserker swiftly destroyed all the projectiles he has hurled onto him. Archer, becoming rash, decided to use his Noble Phantasm- for all to see- after a few rounds of futile attacks on Berserker. Tokiomi knew better and pulled the proud servant out of battle. Furiously (again, another pun), berserker reached for the nearest pole and channeled his power into it, breaking into a mad rush towards Saber. Despite her severed wrist, Saber was able to fend off his attacks—until Berserker wore her down, allowing him to do a temperament (stop it with these puns) sweep to end her life. Reflecting a knight’s pride, Lancer moved in to slice Berserker’s weapon, saving Saber from imminent downfall. His master was not one to care about a knight’s code and instead proceeded to evoke his Command Spell, forcing him to pair up with Berserker to finish off Saber.
In the far distance, Kiritsugu readied his assassination of Archibald as plan B, after seeing the tides of battle unfold this way,
Showing great restrain, Lancer apologized to Saber before joining berserker in the finishing move. Saber could only stand ready as she faced her seemingly inevitable end. Once again, Saber is saved when Rider intercepts their movement, crushing the less mobile berserker under the weight of the chariot in the process. Heavily wounded, berserker fled and so did Lancer. Saber expressed her gratitude to Rider, and questioned his motives for being here in the first place. As usual displaying lack of reasoning ( in a technical way ), he commented that he only wanted to see Saber and Lancer settle their matters first, before facing off with the victor between them.
And so the first great battle ended hanging..
In the dark recesses of the city, Caster looked through his orb and set his sights on Saber, probably mistaking her for someone else.
You could probably deduce my thoughts on these two episodes just from the title alone. It was indeed an amalgam of stuff –if you’d excuse me using the term ‘clusterfuck’, which would be an appropriate term to describe the events that have unfolded in the battle. All of a sudden, you have a grand total of three party poopers jumping into fray. Way to stir things up. Who doesn’t like full-blown action anyway ? The way the scenes transitioned from one to the next was rather cliche and over-the-top, which was my only point of contention with this battle ( not that I wanted dear Saber to finished off so quickly ). Personally, after watching the series so far, Rider is one servant worthy of note. It is perplexing that his actions are wise, but done rashly most of the time. Great episodes.