Fate/Zero Episode 25

Fate/Zero

It’s over. The one thing that has lighted up my Sundays for the last few months finally came to an end. And overall, I can say it was a great ride. I had my qualms with it, but perfect adaptations from text-heavy media are no more than a distant and unreachable ideal, and despite every little detail I’ve complained about, ufotable managed to capture the essence of this masterpiece, resulting in a great show. But well, the review comes next and now I’m only here to talk about the 25th and last episode of this show.

It wasn’t as conclusive as one would expect of an ending, since this is, after all, a prequel, leading up to Fate/Stay Night, in which things will reach they’re proper (and less depressing) conclusion. On that note, I found it an interesting detail to end the show with a song called “To the Beginning”^^ Despite that, all the plot points directly related to the 4th Holy Grail War got resolved (or so they should have, as the anime didn’t make it much clear what Angra Mainyu is, what exactly happened as Saber fired Excalibur and how Gilgamesh appeared magically naked and Kirei came back from the dead) and in such a nice lively way at that… for Kirei, that is.

Apart from our very interesting villainous pair, who had the luck of being given further time to live in this world and just arrogantly laughed off at how ironic the outcome of the Grail War ended up being, everyone else has  got a messed up fate in front of them.

Well, Waver is an exception to that, since the Holy Grail War was more of a learning experience for him, who had the luck (and merit) of coming out unscathed, having finally built up the resolve to try new things in his life and strive to be worthy of the trust, praise and responsibility Rider left upon him.

As for everyone else, we only see wishes and ideals backfiring.

Kiritsugu’s brought him exactly the opposite of what he wished for in all the destruction and death he ended up causing. Having lost everything, he was simply a dead man in a living body, searching for either his destruction or a reason to live. Fortunately, the later came up in Shirou, a boy he found in the rubble and rescued from eminent death and also the protagonist of Fate/Stay Night, who ended up trying to realize his foster father’s ideals. So, despite losing his wife, being physically weakened by the Grail’s curse (why wasn’t that mentioned?!), and forbidden to ever see his daughter again, Kiritsugu never lost anything else in his live from then on and actually died in peace, knowing that because of that little boy, not everything had been in vain.

Saber ended up getting back to the hill of Camlann, where time is frozen for her and where she will continuing resenting her failure as a king and as a person until she can fight again for the Holy Grail. She was broken already, but after this 4th Grail war, she just doesn’t want to avert the fate of her country – she ends up believing that all of it is her fault, for she should have never become a king. I love how ufotable always gets facial expressions right, and this scene with Saber was perhaps the best example yet, as her despair and angst are perfectly represented.

 On with the misfortune which stroke pretty much everyone in the series, Kariya’s case is yet another extreme one. His efforts towards what I first considered a kind and noble goal, but was later revealed as rather selfish in nature yet still “morally correct” and worth accomplishing, brought him the worst results possible (though that surely doesn’t come off as surprising in this series). It’s also true that, despite his good intentions, he did mistake after mistake throughout the entire span of the conflict. Considering that, but not forgetting everything he went through, I’m not sure if I’m relieved or indignant that he died believing he achieve what he was set out to do, inside his delusional scene of the happy family he has always desired. Speaking of which, I think I somewhat disliked that scene. First of all, it was, once again, shortened. Kariya doesn’t only have a crappy luck when it comes to his damned life, but a lot of his scenes have been taken out of the anime. I know he’s not the focus, but I still wish he hadn’t pushed this far into the backstage. And then, there’s the Sakura scene, which rubbed me off the wrong way. She was supposed to seem emotionless, of course. And they captured that rather well. But at the same time, I got a slight impression of maliciousness from the way her words were spoken…

Aoi got just as “good” a fate as Kariya (I’m not exactly being ironic – I find it ambiguous as to whether the way Kariya died and the state in which Aoi ended up are good or bad for them, since it was, after all, the happy rest to the turbulences they’d been through), as the brain damage she suffered got her into an everlasting delusional state, stuck in the past when she had her husband and both of her daughter’s beside her, her too stuck in the dream of the happy family she wished for. Of course that’s anything but good for Rin, who despite everything demonstrates a great strength, and her disgust for Kirei, despite not yet knowing the truth about her father’s death is completely noticeable. Not to mention that… This scene was just awful. I mean, Kirei’s action of giving her the Azoth dagger as a memento of her father was simply despicable, though I won’t deny I was really looking for his creepy smile while seeing Rin showing weakness in front of him for the first time. Well, guess I’ll have to be content with the subtle one that was shown.

To top it off, there were two scenes I didn’t expect at all in this episode. Illya’s scene was unexpected because… well, I had forgotten about it. But I was rather happy at how they pulled that off, since I thought it was really good time management skills right there. The other one was Berserker’s “death”. I didn’t expect them to add it in flashback style to Saber’s mourning in the hill, and thus I found it rather weird. But it worked, so I can’t complain.

So, now Kiritsugu passed over his will, having passed his last five years of life peacefully, Kirei is set to discover the solving process of his doubts, since the answer was just given to him without any reasoning and the stage is set for what we know that comes to happen ten years later. That said, and while this kind of ending was unavoidable due to the prequel nature of this show, Fate/Zero was still able to shine on its own, and the ending was conclusive enough while still leading into Fate/Stay Night.

Ahhh, why must all good things come to an end…

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Fate/Zero Episode 25

  1. Just a few things I wanna say, being someone who hasn’t read the F/Z novel but fully read F/S. This is my longest comment, so brace yourself!

    “as the anime didn’t make it much clear what Angra Mainyu is, what exactly happened as Saber fired Excalibur and how Gilgamesh appeared magically naked and Kirei came back from the dead) and in such a nice lively way at that… for Kirei, that is.”

    I don’t know if the novel made it clear what Angra Mainyu is, but I don’t think it was meant to be clear what it is. I know what and who it is, and I don’t think it should have been mentioned at all…Kirei should have referenced it and left it at that.

    Kirei was saved because Gilgamesh wished it, wanting to stay in this world a little longer. And Gilgamesh was saved because…well, here’s my reasoning. Kiritsugu was first to touch the greil, but he rejected it. Kirei was second, but he didn’t understand it and didn’t make a wish. Goldie was third, and his wish was obvious to the greil, so it granted it. Either that, or that Angra Mainyu was already full/can’t eat anymore after being ‘completed’, so had no need or interest in him.

    “being physically weakened by the Grail’s curse (why wasn’t that mentioned?!)”

    In Fate/Stay, Kiritsugu himself didn’t know he’d been affected by the curse, and he just thought that his body was tired and fed up of living now that he failed everyone. You only know he was affected by the curse because Kirei, having connected to Angra Mainyu, hears about it from it.Mentioning it would give too much away, I think.

    “Kirei’s action of giving her the Azoth dagger as a memento of her father was simply despicable, though I won’t deny I was really looking for his creepy smile while seeing Rin showing weakness in front of him for the first time. Well, guess I’ll have to be content with the subtle one that was shown.”

    That’s why he did it. xD He handed the sword over for the sole purpose of disgusting her once she’d find out what he did, and that makes things kind of ironic how they end up with that sword. xD I was perfectly satsified with his subtle smirk, anything more would be out of character for the man discovering his evil.

    “The other one was Berserker’s “death”. I didn’t expect them to add it in flashback style to Saber’s mourning in the hill, and thus I found it rather weird. ”

    Again, not knowing where it’s meant to have been, I thought that the placement of it going there was perfect, having Saber fail and go back to the hill where she slaughtered her friends and countrymen, to remember Lancelot’s dying words as she killed him herself, filled with doubt and worry over what Alexander had to say to her at the banquet of kings. Lancelot’s words would be pretty venomous if he’d known what was said to Saber, hah.

    • Good, good, you know I love big comments. (And it’d be pretty hypocritical not to, by the way, since I’m the one who always writes excessively). I guess I’ll divide this answer in points like you did, or it’ll be all to convoluted.

      – Angra Mainyu and naked Gilgamesh –
      The novel doesn’t make it exactly clear, but you get a bit more insight into what it is. That’s pretty much all.
      As for Gilgamesh, you’re totally wrong. About the reason he stayed in the worl, I mean. He didn’t even wish for incarnation. It was just that he, such as everything, should have become one with the black mud, essentially ceasing to exist. But not even that could tarnish his ego in that he was an absolute existence above everything. And they skipped that scene entirely, so people who have only watched the anime can only speculate (like you did) what really happened. (Go to Baka Tsuki and Ctrl+F to -03:11:56 in the last volume if you wanna check it out yourself. It’s a small scene.)

      -Kiritsugu and the Grail’s curse –
      Well, that’s a bit of a contradiction then, so I believe that might have been why they left it out. Because the novel clearly states it was the work of the curse, though reading through it again, it doesn’t exactly imply Kiritsugu himself knew about it (that’s the issue with narratives that constantly switches from internal to omniscient focus), but I actually got the impression that he did.

      -Azoth dagger and Rin-
      Hum… I know that’s why he did it! If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t call it despicable anyway. Was my point that ambiguous? I even said I wanted to see his creepy smile xD

      -Berserker’s death-
      Yeah, the placement there worked quite well, I agree. But I still found it weird since… well, you know. When you have something imagined in your head, it just feels strange to see otherwise, which is why most people always bash on adaptations, even if they’re not that bad (not my case, thankfully, I actually thought some scenes in Fate/Zero were a change for the better; this one was pretty much indifferent to me though).

  2. Be cheerful Dusk! We’ll start talking about Sword Art Online now that Fate Zero ended its run. I know it can’t be the same, but let’s try to survive with it. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s