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.
A wild ball of mercury-like substance appeared in the site of destruction (proudly caused by Kiritsugu in the previous episode), seemingly unscathed by the destruction that had ravaged the vicinity earlier on. A throng of construction workers approached it and got their minds taken over by Archibald – earning him a free ride to another place to seek refuge. Obviously, a ton of explosives were not enough to take down the Archmage and his companions.
Back at the church, Risei briefed the masters on the emergency change of rules: take Caster down or the war cannot be resumed. He further incentivized this plan by giving the first Master to defeat Caster an additional Command Spell. With Archibald short of a command spell, he would be sure to chase after Caster more urgently than the other Masters.
Back at Waver’s residence, we see Rider goofing around like any normal human in his freshly made custom shirt. Unable to go out into public without pants, Waver promised Rider long pants if he defeats another Servant in the upcoming battles.
In Fort Eizbern (colloquial, I know ), Kiritsugu discussed plans of taking down Caster without needing the help of Saber – instead, having her away from the heat of battle while others chase after Caster. In dismay, Saber questioned Kiritsugu’s reasoning and his trust in her prowess as his Servant.
Kiritsugu walked up the fortress and stared blankly from atop the towers. He lamented about the War and yearned to get away from all this fighting.
The impending lovey-dovey moment between Irisviel and Kiritsugu was quickly ruined when Caster breached Irisviel’s magic barriers; it was none other than Caster.
Back inside the fort, Kiritsugu told Irisviel and Maiya to flee the opposite direction where Saber is engaging caster.
“I would be prepared the next I come” or so Caster said in the first meeting with Saber. And so, he brought along a group of children with him to play a grotesque game of tag – where one actually dies when they get caught. Responding to the call, Saber charged into the woods to stop the ensuing madness.
She could only watch in horror as Caster transformed the children into plant-like abominations that bid his doing.
Quickly getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of abominations that swarmed her, Saber could see no way out of the mess—until Lancer came.
Saber was somewhat relieved to see Lancer, but priorities had to be set straight- Caster must be taken down first before they can settle their own matters.
Breaking into the estate head-on, Archibald utilized the power of his magic as he hunted down Kiritsugu like a rat through his own vicinity.
His mercury-like blob protected him from any physical damage and Kiritsugu could only flee while he prepared means of attack. He was also shown to possess a slight degree of proficiency in time magic as he slowed down time and hastened himself when he fled from Archibald.
Running down an alley, he ambushed Archibald and confidently whipped out his trusty Walther P.22.
Lancer suddenly popping in to save Saber nearly made me go ‘not this last-minute stuff again!’, but it made sense due to Archibald’s dire need for an additional Command Spell. Contrary to my initial thoughts, Kiritsugu is not fully a hitman sort of person, as he can actually manipulate time using his slight proficiency in magic. Future battles will only get more interesting as more masters reveal their tricks from their sleeves.
*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.
*Pictures will be added later,
After finishing off Assassin in an ambush, archer, revealed to be Gilgamesh, reaffirms his position as the King of Kings with Tokiomi. Gilgamesh then blatantly declares that this age is not worth of time, much less the Holy Grail. Tokiomi, putting up a false front, assures him that it is well-worth the time and effort, and will inform Archer on details of its procurement when the time comes. Moments later, Tokiomi groaned, bemoaning the fact that Archer has Independent Action as one of his skills- explaining his pompous demeanor.
Having heard of Assassin’s downfall, Waver urged him to make a move, as only six Servants are left in the Holy Grail War. Rider then casually explains that Assassin is not a threat to him at all, as he only skulks in the shadows, nothing more. ‘Waiting is a part of war’, he bravely declared. And so, he went on with watching the television and told Waver of his life ideals. Only minutes later did he decide on ‘going out to the city’.Then, we see Waver-san complaining about Rider’s idleness [consisting of watching military or politically-related videos and eating crackers all day].
Kirei, knowing his Servant has been killed, escaped to the church to receive protection. Once inside, they
Spoke of their plans for the war and how successful the attack on the Tohsaka estate was as a decoy, as most masters would have let their guard down knowing Assassin is out of the fray.
The whole assassin order was then summoned inside the church – this act was a gross violation of the rules of the Holy Grail War. Nevertheless, their schemes went on accordingly.
Saber and Irisviel landed safely in Japan to catch up with Kiritsugu. Saber was not new to air travel as it was revealed that she can take control of any beast or vehicle as if she was a master of it – due to the Riding skill knights possess. Saber then proceeds to the city area with Irisviel in a car. Irisviel casually told Saber of her life experiences – how much she longed to see the outside world – [surprisingly remaining optimistic and positive] and her fate. Realising this, like a true knight, Saber escorts Irisviel through the city to enliven her up.
Not very far away, Kiritsugu sneakily enters a hotel room. He met up with Maiya, supposedly his real partner, to procure his equipment and review the intel received from assassin’s attack on the estate. Skeptical about the death of Assassin and the nature of the fight, Maiya warned him to remain on guard. Kiritsugu heeds the warning, and proceeded to size up his weapons.
In the night, Saber and Irisviel stood by the coastlines after a day of touring the city. They exchanged thoughts on their life experiences once again, but Saber quickly sensed another Servant’s challenge to a battle nearby – abruptly ending their pep talk.
The challenger was Lancer, who appeared in the open to fight any Servant who responds to the call.
With his Motives unclear, Saber exercised caution and accepted his challenge nevertheless.
Another episode elaborating on the relationship between the Masters and their servants. Some light was shed on the Servants’ uncanny abilities and personality. However, we still do not see the full roster joining the fray ? Saving the best for last perhaps ? The pacing of the episode was roughly the same as the previous one. I’d also like to note that the script has been well-written… so far. Four episodes and we finally see a full-fledged battle – expect things to heat up.