Fate/Zero Episode 21

Knight on Two Wheels

(Before you start reading, please pretend that this post is filled with Saber vs. Rider screenshots, as that is what I would have done, would my conscience and sense of duty not dictate otherwise.)

Anyway, if I had to use only one word to classify this episode, I’d be troubled to choose between two terms. Unfortunately, those are usually not employed together. Whether this episode was “awesome” or “rushed”, is something still unclear in my mind, but it certainly had a bit of both.

It was definitely “awesome”, largely due to how amazing this part of the original source is. The battle between Saber and Rider, as well as the confrontation between Kariya and Aoi were two of my most anticipated moments in this second half. On the other hand, I can’t help but notice how some important details were missing. But as a novel reader, that’s highly subjective, for I could probably have enjoyed better if I hadn’t read the source material.

The battle between Saber and Rider is my favorite one in Fate/Zero, and as far as visuals go, its animated version couldn’t have been better. It was just as awesome (if not more) as I had imagined. However, it was too short. The part where Rider starts destroying the wall of concrete and the trees should have been longer, as I’d love to have seen more of Saber dodging it. Also, the scene where she jumps using that ramp… One could hardly discern what was happening as it seemed to have come out of nowhere, flashing only once in the screen. But, despite my harsh words I was satisfied with how gorgeous everything looked, and I still loved that scene to bits ❤

As for the other highlight of the episode, that’s what I was sorely disappointed with. I’m referring to what happened in the church. The scene was good, the direction was great (even if I think that they exaggerated a bit on the flashbacks featuring Tokiomi) and the voice acting could hardly have been any better. However, it lacked the some of the impact it had in the light novel, especially due to the lack of exposition about Kariya and Aoi’s backstory, and it was also misleading regarding (minor LN spoilers ahead – highlight to view) the motive he chocked Aoi and the fact that she isn’t dead, which is why I’m afraid they’re actually making some changes. Either way, seeing Kariya finally giving in to madness was still heartbreaking, albeit expected.

The episode was also an important point of development for Kirei. His trade of words with Zoken was quite the interesting dialog, as the later completely saw through Kirei’s sadistic nature, which he has always tried to deny, up until this very scene. It is not until later in this episode that he finally embraces his source of pleasure, being even surprised with how he felt after engendering that “real-life play”, as Gilgamesh calls it. On another note, this is also the point where I started to truly hate him xD Using Kariya is fine – it’s not something one would deem morally correct, of course, but it’s a means to an end, and thus is understandable. But he had no need to make him suffer like that. He did so for his own enjoyment and I just couldn’t stand that.

And with this episode, we’re reaching the halfway mark of the last book. As it wasn’t Rider who kidnapped Irisviel, (though I guess that was obvious enough, even for people who hadn’t read the novel) Saber has now no clue regarding her whereabouts. On the other hand, Kiritsugu has just gotten some valuable info from Byakuya (slight change of events but a good choice this time around, imo) and things will now get into the final stage.

In a final balance, I definitely had some qualms with this episode, mainly with the pacing. Some parts felt so rushed that I almost want to (once again) take back my words of two weeks ago regarding the decision of splitting the flashback into two episodes. The motorbike chase was somewhat rushed, they changed some things in the Kariya and Aoi scene and there was a cut in really important foreshadowing during the conversation between Kirei and Zoken. That said, the positives still largely outweigh the negatives, and I’m pretty happy with Fate/Zero’s adaptation so far. There’s also the chance that the missing details will be included in the BDs, as were some important scenes from the first half, so it’s too early to rage (though I wouldn’t just for this, either way). Next episode will have another good battle and another one of my favorite scenes (or two), so I’m as eager for next week as always.

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16 thoughts on “Fate/Zero Episode 21

  1. The only part that left me WTF was Rider’s motorcycle transforming into some kind of futuristic stuff. Saber shouldn’t have big magecraft power, how is that even possible? 😛

    • Rider’s motorcycle? xD
      Anyway, they explained that in the light novel. Saber didn’t use anything unusual at all. Remember how her armor is made of prana? The only thing she did was envelop the motor bike in her armor to reinforce the vehicle’s structure which she was bringing to the limit. Then she used Invisible Air to do the same trick she did with Lance: impulsing her further and creating vacuum ahead of her, to diminish air resistance. That’s all^^ All she’s done is fully within the capabilities we’re already familiar with.

      • Oh sorry, I thought Saber and wrote Rider for some unknown reason. Maybe I want to see Rider using that motorcycle as well. 😛

        Quite a smart thought, I wonder how easily would’ve Saber won the fifth war with an great source of mana (like she has now)…

        • Well, Rider would love that too, judging by his admiration for it xD

          Perhaps pretty easily if you ask me. But mana source aside, she so unlucky with the Masters she gets… Shirou couldn’t provide her with enough mana and, in the Fate route, was totally overprotective on top of that (seriously annoying). Here, in Fate/Zero, Kiritsugu doesn’t work with her, ignores her, and uses her values for his own schemes (though I love him, unlike Shirou xD). If only she’d get a better master overall…

    • Yeah, it’s that mindset I hate about him xD

      Totally agree. We did get a taste of that in UTW, though really not under the best circumstances.

      • We were referring to his overprotecting habits and how he thinks that women should fight (they’re only good to stay at home, so to speak), not to literal cooking^^
        (Though if that was supposed to be an ironic joke, then you have succeeded.)

  2. My thoughts, since Fate/Zero’s turning into an epic that I might have to rewatch when it’s all over

    Whilst it was amazing, it was over too quickly. I’m not a fan of drawn out battles or anything, but Saber and Rider didn’t really have a conflict…Saber chased him and Rider ran away, they glared at each other and Rider underestimated how quickly her sword worked, glared at each other more and Saber walked off.

    Kariya and Aoi didn’t feel quite right, either. I try my best to pay attention, and I cannot for the life of me remember what connection Aoi and Tohsaka had with each other. It wasn’t until I checked on MAL that I found out that they were a married couple; and then all of a sudden Kariya kills her. I…just don’t get that scene.

    • Yep, I also thought it was shorter than it should have been. The chase was a bit longer in the books, and I’d love for them to have made the same here. And well, Saber walked off in the end because Irisviel wasn’t with them and if she still wanted to save her, she’d have no time to waste.

      Really? Well, in the first episode it’s talked about a lot, then you see her speaking to Tokiomi in the episode before he gets killed (or is it the episode he gets killed?) and calls Rin because he wants to talk to her.
      But I give you that, the scene wasn’t really understandable since while I think the fact that she and Tokiomi were married isn’t something you’d forget like that (sorry, I’m not criticizing you or anything, it’s just that it’s mentioned or conveyed quite a few times during the series), Aoi’s relationship with Kariya isn’t fully explored. In short, they’re childhood friends, he always loved her but she chose Tokiomi. He disliked Tokiomi for that, but of course never imposed himself, even agreeing and encouraging Aoi’s marriage. He kept himself a friend of the family over the years. And you know the rest – Tokiomi gives Sakura to the Matous, which angers him since he knew what would happen. He takes upon himself to save Sakura and run with Aoi, Sakura and Rin to some place far away. He convinced himself they’d be happy if Tokiomi was gone and all would be alright. At this point in time, though, he’s already sure of the impossibility of such dream but he still clings to it or he’ll lose his senses.
      He tries to kill Tokiomi but Tokiomi is already dead. Aoi comes in and thinks he killed him, which furthers his confusion (as if finding him dead wasn’t confusing enough). He doesn’t even think of the possibility of a set up, as he’s not in the condition to do so, thus he simply denies any blame.
      Aoi, however, is convinced it was him, and is also despairing due to her husband being dead (of course). Her words attack Kairya in the worst possible point, accusing him exactly of destroying what he giving his life to protect. He enters into denial and starts questioning himself who could that woman that looks so much like Aoi be. He starts thinking frenetically (some of it is actually in the episode) to himself, not only the things you heard but also stuff like “you’re lying, you’re lying, you’re lying” and “If I don’t shut her up everything will end. Everything I’ve done so far will be meaningless. There’s no way I can allow that to happen.” In sum, he completely snaps. It’s not only until he finally lets go of her neck that he realizes what he didn’t want to see – that the woman “with a face just like Aoi’s; with a voice just like Aoi’s” was actually Aoi herself, the woman he loved and for whose sake he was sacrificing himself.

  3. On top of that, i’m really starting to wonder about Archer. He doesn’t seem interested in fighting, and in my searching for the novel edition of F/S Night, he reappears in there. Whilst Saber does the same, I wonder if that means that they don’t die at all or something.

    • It’s not that he’s not interested in fighting. It’s just that he has no interest in the Grail, so he obviously doesn’t have any need to fight for it like the others. He’s also seriously overpowered (as you’ll see next episode) and thus, most of the fighting is boring to him. His hobby is manipulating people and watching them struggle, which is way more interesting than fighting (in his eyes, at least).

      He does reappear in F/SN but his circumstances and Saber’s are totally different, though you’ll understand both of them well by the last few episodes of F/Z. Also, F/SN is a good visual novel if you’re thinking about reading it, though it’s really, really long^^ (And I find F/Z, despite the different format – LN, as you know – to be better.)

      P.S.: I tried not to put any spoilers in any of my answers, though if that was what you were expecting just say so^^

    • If you don’t hate him now, then you surely won’t any time soon, as this is the worst of him you’ll see in F/Z. (Oh no, wait, perhaps in the epilogue. I can’t exactly deem it worse but…)

      • *wants you to come on Skype mooore* D: And since I’m returning to blogging this week, I’ll be taking one show back from you and Doofus. Honestly, I think Fate/zero should belong to you, unless you prefer to have Kuroko. xD

        • Well, it should be obvious what I prefer^^ I’d really like it if you let me have Fate/Zero. As for going to Skype some more, I’ll sure be doing that. Starting this Tuesday, that is, since I’ve been buried with school work lately. Although I’m the one at fault for leaving all projects alone until this close to the deadlines 😦 Anyway, I have a programming project to deliver this Monday and a physics essay for Tuesday and after that I’ll be totally free (until the college entrance exams, that is).

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