Not that long after being summoned, Rider breaks into the local library to pick up some supplies for the upcoming war, making the distinction to Waver that what he’s doing isn’t stealing but rather leaving with his spoils. Among which is an atlas and a copy of the Homer’s Odyssey.
So after they’ve put some distance between themselves and the library and Waver has berated Rider for his actions, he appears again and starts looking through the Atlas, wanting to know what’s became of his kingdom of Macedonia and just how big the world really is. Planning to make a glorious return by conqueroring everything to the west until they get there, aside from that he considers Waver’s need for recognition as his reason for wanting the Holy Grail to be pathetic and thinks he should use it to grow taller instead. And so sick of his insolence, Waver is tempted to use one of his three Command Seals but instead demands to see an example of Rider’s power, so he calls forth his chariot, Via Expugnatio, the Gordius Wheel.
Around this point back in Germany at the Einzbern Castle, Kiritsugu is outside with his daughter Ilya playing a game where they try to spot more walnut buds than the other, however Kiritsugu is cheating and she makes him promise to stop. And up in the castle above, Saber is surprised that her master isn’t as cold as she thought from seeing this, affirming that she had accepted her fate from the moment she drew the sword from the stone when Irisviel explains why Kiritsugu was shocked. However even when Saber feels that they’re bound by a common goal for seeking the grail, Irisviel feels that both Master and Servant will never see eye to eye.
Back in Japan at this time the serial killer, Uryuu Ryuunosuke admires his work on the news while he works away at his latest victims, experimenting with pentagrams and such expecting to summon a demon, and as it would be a command seal appears on his hand as the seventh Servant is summoned, Caster. Who after some quick introductions is offered the kid he was going to sacrifice if a demon really did appear, however instead of simply killing him Caster unties him and lets him go. But as soon as he steps out the door he finds a monster he had summoned lying in wait, for which Caster explains that fear is something dynamic, and upon seeing Ryuunosuke is convinced to become his follower.
And now with all seven Servants summoned the Holy Grail War can truly begin, with Kirei kicking things off by sending Assassin in to assassinate Tokiomi, assuring him that Archer won’t be an issue. However just as he manouvers through the Bounded Fields guarding the Tohsaka household, a spear pierces through his hand followed by a barrage of weapons as Archer attacks with his Gate of Babylon, announcing that a worm unworthy of looking at him should die face down in the ground, and only now does Assassin realise that Kirei lied.
“MEMORIA” by Aoi Eir.
While some things were in no doubt still pretty fucked up to say the least, this was another great episode, the show started off well in the last one and this one didn’t let up. Setting about manouvering the pieces and placing the missing ones onto the board before the battle to come.
Not to mention actually kicking off the start of the war itself by having Kirei attempt to have Assassin infiltrate the Tohsaka household, only to be thwarted and eliminated by Archer, voiced once again by Tomokazu Seki. And considering just how early it is into the show I think it’s fairly safe to say without spoiling anyone that Kirei’s intentions were far from this, if anything this was just part of their plan. Though I still felt sorry for Assassin the moment he realised that even his Master had betrayed him even if it was just part of their plan, and Assassin isn’t exactly out of the war yet. But most of all it was just interesting to get an idea of Archer’s character. Who compared to when we see him in Stay Night is untainted, so far we know he must be kind of pissed about being dragged into this and that his usual arrogance is still there, but there’s bound to be some small differences here and there.
Before that however, as disturbing and shocking as their introductions were, I also think that the choice of having someone like Ryuunosuke (voiced by Akira Ishida) as a Master, especially with someone like Caster. Is pretty interesting as well. Undeniably their actions and views are still fairly fucked up, yet at the same time it answers the question of just what would happen if someone like him was pulled into the war, someone who isn’t exactly squeaky clean, and if anything could easily bring about a disaster if they actually were able to somehow able to win the war. So while the idea of having a serial killer as a Master with an equally sadistic Servant may result in some disturbing stuff, at least it’s something fresh at the same time.
On a much more positive note though, it was fairly nice to get to see some heartwarming moments between Kiritsugu and his daughter Ilya, who was voiced once more by Mai Kadowaki and was absolutely adorable, also serving to show the softer side that Kiritsugu will be covering up. Along with Rider being awesome and dragging Waver along as he goes. As you have to admit that after being summoned over two thousand years into the future, breaking into a library and simply walking out with a few books is fairly badass, let alone taking a copy of Homer’s Odyssey in case he felt like quoting a line in the middle of a battle, and an atlas to plan out how he’s going to conquer the world again. Aside from that the exchange between Saber and Irisviel was interesting as well, establishing that while they’ll never see eye to eye Saber still believes that they’re working towards a common goal at this point.
Finally what we saw in the ending theme was great as well, having listened to the song a few times in the PV and since the full version came out a while ago it wasn’t anything new. However the visuals were, and the idea of using the ending theme as a way of showing the Servants as they were in life, at the same time effectively outright stating their true identities, was a good one. Presenting Rider as Alexander the Great, Archer as the ancient Sumerian king Gilgamesh (though his shot felt like it was missing Enkidu), along with the likes of Lancer before he was bound by a geis to run off with the girl shown with him, Caster being dragged to the gallows, and even Assassin looking over Masyaf. But most of all how it references how King Arthur slew Mordred in the Battle of Camlann. In all the only real problem that I have with it is that it pretty much spoils Berserker’s true identity, as nice as it is strong hints like this would have been better suited for the second half and his is the only one that really needs to remain a secret.