It’s funny how one of my blog posts is titled ‘it ends in fire’.. because it’s how this series actually ends ultimately. Even without watching Fate/Stay Night ( the sequel ), I kind of guessed it correctly.
The Holy Grail War culminates in a nerve-wrecking decision by Emiya Kiritsugu to destroy the Holy Grail by using Saber’s Excalibur. However, ‘destroying’ the Holy Grail was not as simple as it sounds. Moments later, an ominous, albeit familiar- looking red liquid materializes above him, rupturing the very sky and drowned the landscape in a blazing deluge – the huge central part of Fuyuki city is scathed almost entirely in that moment. Kiritsugu could only stare in horror as he fled into safety. The fates of Kotomine Kirei and Gilgamesh were unknown.
After the ensuing chaos abates, Kirei wakes up to a ravaged land filled with nothing but debris, death and flames. Seated on a pile of debris is a naked Gilgamesh in human form, staring down at his former Master. Kirei figures that it would be Gilgamesh who had kept him alive through the disaster, as the wishes of the King of Kings himself was somehow granted – thus explaining his mortal incarnation in flesh. Kirei laughs off this incident and sought to ‘seek deeper meaning’ behind this destruction that had so long been the answer to his life’s questions; hinting the awakening of the evil entity ‘Angra Mainyu’.
Elsewhere, the daughter of the Homunculus wakes up from a nightmare where she saw Kiritsugu running in distress from a world engulfed in fire. The spirit of Irisviel comforts her, assuring his safety and return. Realistically, he can never return, of course.
The daughters of the Tohsaka family reunite after their long seperation. They have Kariya to be grateful to– or so Kariya himself thinks. In his version of reality, Aoi-san was back to life and Sakura was brought back together to be with Rin. His fate was actually to be the food of the creatures that have once given him the power in the War, by the hands of the obedient [ to Zaken Matou ] Sakura.
At the very least, Waver is alive and well and seeks new frontiers following the end of this Holy Grail War. He fondly remembers of Iskandar ( Rider ) and seemingly underwent a change in behaviour.
Relatives of Tokiomi Tohsaka gather in a fateful afternoon to mourn his death. With no capable immediate family members to become the head, Rin has the responsibility upon herself to carry on the will of the Tohsaka forward.
All hope’s not lost for Kiritsugu, as he finds a single juvenile soul alive beneath the smouldering surroundings. Unhesitatingly, he adopts him and builds a residence – all that – from what provisions he has left, for the boy who survived the great fire.
His name is Shiro
p.s Commentary will be added later
A sneaky little figure laid bits of crystals onto a magical papyrus. She focused her mana into the pile of crystals, hoping to form something of value. To no avail, she fretted – and Tokiomi arrived at the basement.
In elementary school, Rin was quite the prodigy- she was righteous, smart and bold. She was particularly fond of Kotone, a classmate of hers.
In between her daily life, Tokiomi would show Rin intriguing things that mana can turn the crystal into. She could only be dazzled at the pretty sight.
In light of the dangers of the Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City, Tokiomi decided to send Rin to live under the refuge of Zenjo (where Sakura was sent to). He also claimed to want to battle in ‘perfect conditions’ thus further stressing the importance of getting rid of hindrances.
Pouting her lips and complaining inside her head, Rin put it on herself to be useful before the war starts.
Nighttime came and Rin sneaked into the basement by herself to read up on magic textbooks. She couldn’t fathom even a single word written in the books.
One grimoire in particular came to life by itself and violently attempted to drag Rin into the abyss. Hearing her desperate screech, Tokiomi rushed to the basement to neutralize the magic.
He explained that some objects in the world have their own magic, and thus she has to be aware of her surroundings all the time. As an early birthday present, Rin received a mana compass; a compass that always points to the largest source of mana in the vicinity.
Should the amount of mana be beyond Rin’s league, the compass will fixate itself on one point and emanate brightly on its tip.
Concurrently, the kidnapping of children by Ryuunosuke had still been going on. Kotone, in particular, had gone missing and Rin became worried sick over her.
She wandered alone into Fuyuki city’s streets at night, only with her compass in hand to find her.
Solely trusting her compass, she ran after wherever the needle pointed.
Rin eventually stumbled into an aisle, and saw Ryuunosuke walking hand-in-hand with a seemingly brain-dead child. Rin continued tailing him, only to find two more to add to form a mindless throng.
Near breathless, she finally reached Ryuunosuke’s cramped hideout. There she found Kotone and many other children lying unconscious.
Her perceptive eyes have deduced that the purple armband was what hypnotized the children, and she quickly got on higher ground to come into contact with the armband.
Remembering her ‘mana overload’ incident on her crystals, she repeated the same action on the armband – it was destroyed in a burst of mana and unbounded the children from their mental shackles.
In a mad daze, all of them fled the building and left Ryuunosuke to eat the dust.
Avoiding the police, Rin stood inside the alley—her compass indicated a powerful magic present and soon enough, one of Caster’s abominations dropped from above. Rin was petrified, though, was saved by Kariya’s magic insect swarm.
After seeing Rin pass out, Kariya placed her on the bench [from episode 1] on the symbolic park, conveniently within the sight of Rin’s mother. Kariya then affirmed that he would win the Holy Grail for only that would ensure Sakura’s freedom.
I Haven’t laughed this hard at my own captions.. self-appraisal. Perhaps the whole premise of Rin’s actions in this episode drove me to act that way. I felt that it was way too coincidental and unrealistic for Rin to have found Ryuunosuke wandering around Fuyuki City at night, and with children being dragged around even after his hideout has been desecrated ( his reaction to that wasn’t even shown, perhaps he did not care ?). Given, she knows when the kidnapping occurs, but chances of her knowing the kidnapping involved occult means ( the mana compass finding the purple hypnotic bangle ) was just happy-go-lucky, really. Beginners luck, I suppose ? Don’t get me wrong though, I never doubted Tohsaka’s prowess in magic, it’s just the scenario that I had a contention with. That aside, we see more intentions being revealed – Kariya fights for a noble cause in this Holy Grail War, even though he does not even desire it for himself. This selfless guy needs more screen time.
The episode starts out with Archibald having a dream about Lancer’s life – when he was a Knight of Fianna . Diarmuid O’ Dyna – Lancer’s real name – charmed the princess of his kingdom during an engagement ceremony and got into a royal trouble.
Labeled as traitor, he fought for his life until his relationship with Grainne was acknowledged. It only ended with a bloodied Diarmuid facing the sky.
Sola-Ui tends to the severe wounds of Archibald, and explains that only restorative magic has been keeping his vital organs alive. His magic circuits, the essence of spellcasting abilities, have been broken by Kiritsugu’s special bullets and he will never be able to use magic anymore.
She then demanded for control over Lancer and shifted from pleasant to ruthless in her mannerism. There was no other choice to but to cut off his right arm to seize the command spells.
Back in Eizbern castle, Saber and Irisviel tended to her injuries and watch over Maiya, hoping for her swift recovery.
Saber suggested that Caster should be chased after first, but Kiritsugu insisted otherwise and went off to finish Archibald himself. Saving a few children is obviously not Kiritsugu’s goal in this war. Iri and Saber stayed back in waiting.
Lancer stoods outside the decrepit building. Sola-ui approached and declared herself to be Lancer’s new master, for Lord El-Melloi has abandoned the War.
Lancer remained resolute and proclaimed that he can only serve one lord, and thus he has lost any purpose to further involve himself in the war. Sola-ui reasoned with him by saying that only a miracle can heal Archibald and that is her only intention behind continuing the war with Lancer. Lancer finally acknowledged her mastership.
At Waver’s Residence, Rider laughed heartily while rejoicing to an extra-large beer on the house.
Hauling materials into his room, Waver set up a chemical test using the samples of water collected from the city’s river. There was but one spot along the stretch which did not contain traces of magic remnants in the water. Without delay, Rider and Waver rode into the sewers to check the anomaly.
Upon arriving, the welcoming horde of abominations and mutilated body parts all-round gave away Caster’s hideout. Waver quickly got nauseous and teary eyed; for a moment he was crying over his pride. He nearly injured by a nearby Assassin who waited in the darkness. Rider fended them off and even with two remaining; they retreated back into the shadows. They made desecrated the hideout as they made a fiery exit.
Back in the church, Kirei and Tokiomi’s conversation revealed that the ambush was merely to discern Rider’s trump card.
Most people can’t get enough of Rider’s hilarity – and I am one of them. He lightens the mood to every skirmish in the series, while maintaining the fervour that has to be present in a battle with his vivacious personality. That aside, the pre-opening clip shed some light on Lancer’s background ; it was enough information for me to discern his story, but I felt that a bit more details put into the story.. Just to do him the respect. The Assassins have yet to demonstrate their real mettle, or in a more casual way of putting it – I think they suck in battle, so hurry up and show me your worth other than reconnaissance and stalking. No offence intended. If you don’t see Episode 10’s review, I probably got assassinated.
As Maiya and Irisviel made their escape, Irisviel’s senses detect another intruder breaching the vicinity’s barriers. It was Kotomine Kirei, and they knew very well that they had to stop him from reaching Kiritsugu at all costs.
Kiritsugu continues to pelt Archibald with his sub-machinegun fire, while readying his Walther in the other hand. The bullet of the Walther penetrated right through Archibald’s defenses, and severing his left shoulder.
Left bewildered, Archibald cursed as Kiritsugu flees to find another strategic spot for the next [fatal] ambush.
Kotomine Kirei arrived at the scene, and was greeted by a barrage of machinegun fire from Maiya. Feigning injuries, Kirei quickly subdued Maiya in highly deadly close combat as he deflected all incoming projectiles.
Irisviel knew of Kirei’s motive behind coming here- this startled Kirei for a bit. In an attempt to distract him, she conjured a magical bird-like familiar that entangled Kirei onto a nearby tree. Kirei was disarmed for the time being, or so they thought.
The ladies could only watch in horror as he literally halved a tree by using his own body’s strength. The entanglement was effectively broken after that. The ruthless Executor (his real title) proceeded with passing execution onto the desperate females.
Not very far away, the swarm of Caster’s abominations corners Lancer and Saber. They quickly deduced that his Noble Phantasm – the spellbook he held dearly in his hand, powers Caster’s source of never-ending minions.
Quickly weaving a battle plan, Saber utilized Excalibur’s brimming energy and propelled Lancer forward in a tunnel of whirlwinds. This allowed Lancer to get a clean strike on Caster’s Grimoire.
With that, the army of fiends disintegrated and Caster escaped in a blood-lusted rage.
Jumping into a flashback, a young-looking Kiritsugu stared in awe at a bullet put against the ceiling’s light, held up by a shady-looking woman who resembled Maiya.
It was revealed that the bullets originated from Kiritsugu’s ribs, and that it was able to cripple a mage’s magic circuits (magical flow of energy in the body ) – though there were a limited number of bullets.
Kiritsugu crept into the dark corner of one corridor and awaited Archibald’s arrival. Archibald remarked that Kiritsugu was merely lucky in landing a single shot – it will not happen again.
Regardless of the form of defense, Kiritsugu’s time manipulation abilities, alongside with his enhanced bullets, penetrated Archibald’s defenses and severed his vitals. Near-death, he fell flat and bathed in blood.
Sensing his Master’s imminent demise, he hesitated to move, but was given the green light by Saber to proceed. If not for Saber’s knightly code, the two masters could have ended up dead, as Lancer arrived in time to shield Archibald from the touch of death – he was more than able to impale Kiritsugu in a second.
Kirei proceeded to question the motives of the two women; if not Kiritsugu’s, whose wishes or motivation did they act upon?
As if the answer mattered, the Executor stabbed Irisviel in the torso and left them dying upon knowing of Saber’s arrival.
If not for the relic, Avalon, that rightfully belongs to Saber, Irisviel would have died from injuries. Only Saber being closeby could supply her mana to harness the Avalon’s restorative powers.
She then patched up Maiya, remaining as optimistic as ever.
I honestly find myself lacking words to express criticism over the series so far, because everything falls in place smoothly with the story. I would love to know how Kirei’s normal-looking priest robes could deflect bullets like flies flying into a wall – must be something up his or the church’s sleeve ( get it ? okay ). On a side note, I kind of enjoyed seeing Archibald thrash around in pain after Kiritsugu dealt the finishing blow. Anyone else had that pleasure ? Even in a visual depiction, we could feel the terminal pain [ or pleasure for sadists] of Archibald as his Magic Circuits are severed. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not starting a sadist cult here. The BGM for Kiritsugu’s battle was most befitting, it was upbeat and gave the fight a high-stakes kind of atmosphere it deserved.
Fate/Zero Episode 6 Review
The serenity of the mountains in the night was broken with the roaring engine of Irisviel’s new ride, supposedly a ‘toy’
bought by Kiritsugu for her. Saber expressed concerns, but it all just pep talk, seeing as how well she handled the vehicle, making difficult maneuvers around steep cliffs. Looking ahead, Saber noticed a haughty figure standing in the middle of the road – and immediately discerned that it was a servant.
She then assumed control of the car and made it scream to a standstill. There stood caster, wide open and illuminated, exposed by the headlights of the car. Being straightforward like no other, Caster proclaims that he has long missed Jeanne D’arc (historical link between a mage and Jeanne herself, go figure), who he has mistaken Saber for.
Upon revealing his name, Saber did likewise – instead, Caster went on to lament about how Jeanne’s memories have been erased and she herself maddened by the changing times, also blaming God for this process. Maddened for real, Saber donned her armor and ruptured the ground beside Caster using her blade. She reprimanded him for his inexcusable behaviour and warned that the next meeting will be his end.
Back in the ratways of the city, Ryuunosuke smiles at his grotesque ‘experiments’ and talked with the infuriated Caster about changing the ‘body count’ of their experiments.
In the highlife apartment of Archibald, Lancer had a serious ‘work review’ with his Master. Sophia, his daughter, popped in to comment on Archibald’s actions in the last fight – describing him as a cowardice and incompetent Master. Lancer interrupted the string of criticisms quickly, as he, as a knight, could not bear to see his master get shamed. Sophia, realizing that she had gone overboard, apologized and readied the plan for the night; they had set up a labyrinth of mystical energy to hinder the enemy’s progress.
And so the fire alarm rang and the residents of the apartment were quickly evacuated.They really thought that Kiritsugu would just charge straight up through the floors to fight him – in reality, he had a much more pragmatic way of doing things in mind.
Following the explosions, Kirei, who supposedly had tracked her all the way up the building, ambushed Maiya. Kirei was expecting Kiritsugu to be there, but found Maiya in his place. Attempting to extract information, Kirei attacked her, but Maiya swiftly escaped through the aid of a gas bomb.
Even in an all-out war for the Holy Grail, some protocols are to be observed. Back in the confines of the church, Kirei’s father, Risei, decided to mobilize all Masters to bring down Caster and Ryuunosuke after knowing their monstrous acts.
Archer, as nonchalant as ever, casually sipped Kirei’s wine in while idling in his room. However, he displayed substance in his speech when he asked Kirei about Tokiomi’s ambitions. Archer went on to lecture Kirei about the disconnect between pleasure and sin (as he was a king in his life ) – how to find one’s own desires without sinning and such.
Deep inside, Kirei only longs to find out Kiritsugu’s true ambitions, but that will have to wait till the day they meet face to face.
The action died down a bit (assuming blowing up an apartment into bits wasn’t enough for me) in this episode, but we can see it building up again just like how it did in the first few episodes. More servant-master development – especially the emphasis on the deviance of Archer’s character- and you’d be a fool to say that it is unnecessary. Something to say about the church ? They’re pretty ethical while remaining a shady organisation, I must say – not much is spared when an immense power is up for grabs in a war. Nothing much else to say, really, the show does all the job explaining the bits very well.