Fate/Zero 08

As Kiritsugu and Kayneth clash inside the Einzbern Castle and Saber and Lancer with Caster in the forest around it, Irisviel prepares to escape with Maiya when she notices one more person enter the Boundary Field, someone who should never be allowed to meet Kiritsugu, Kotomine Kirei.


So even though she knows that they should be getting away she pleads with Maiya to help her stop him, despite being his wife and she his former mistress, for Kiritsugu’s sake. And continuing from where the last episode left off, Kiritsug uses his Calico M960 to spread out the shield created by Kayneth’s Volumen Hydragyrum before smashing through it with his Thompson Contender pistol, and upon humiliating Kayneth by putting a bullet in his shoulder he makes a strategic retreat, loading an Origin Bullet into his Thompson Contender. By now Irisviel and Maiya have also managed to intercept Kirei, keeping him on guard as he counters with his Black Keys.

However as Maiya moves in to investigate he puts one through her leg and wastes little time in dispatching her, mentioning that he didn’t come to fight them, but knowing what he did come for Irisviel refuses to back down and as she declares how her husband taught her what it meant to live and how to survive. She uses alchemy to restrain Kirei by tying him to a nearby tree, yet even this isn’t enough to stop him, as by transferring the force from other parts of his body to his fists he manages to smash through the tree and free himself. Elsewhere in the forest at this point Saber and Lancer come to the conclusion that the only way to stop Caster’s endless onslaught of demons is to work together, using Saber’s Invisible Air to carve a path for Lancer to plunge Gae Dearg into Prelati’s Spellbook. Damaging it and vanquishing every demon he had summoned in a single strike. Back on Kiritsugu’s side of things, Kayneth is at his limit after dealing with all the traps and underhand attacks Kiritsugu had thrown at him, disgusted and infuriated, wanting to get back at him for this disgrace by dragging his death out as long as possible. But this time when Kiritsugu fired his Thompson Contender he was expecting Kayneth to block it with everything he had.

After which the workings of the Origin Bullet are explained by Kiritsugu’s former mentor and mother figure Natalia Kaminski, that she had removed some of his ribs to create 66 of them for him, explaining that the bullets would invoke his dual Origins of binding and severing within what they hit. Resulting in a Conceptual Weapon that would cause a Magi’s Magic Circuits to go haywire and burn out, removing their ability to perform Magecraft and if they were lucky, kill them as well. Leaving Kayneth in excruciating pain and without even a chance to scream as he’s torn apart from the inside, but before Kiritsugu can deliver the killing blow, Lancer arrives just in time to save what’s left of him, declaring that the only reason he doesn’t kill him now is because he believes his duel with Saber deserves better.

By now Kirei has managed to completely overpower Irisviel and Maiya but with things having turned out the way they have he doesn’t have time to completely interrogate them as to why they attacked him, delivering another brutal kick to Maiya and thrusting three Black Keys into Irisviel’s abdomen before leaving her for dead. However even after this Irisviel still manages to survive just as Saber arrives, revealing that Kiritsugu had decided to have her carry Avalon, granting her immense regenerative abilities. Leaving her relatively unscathed as she attempts to heal Maiya and reflects on how she isn’t the only one to protect Kiritsugu.

Thoughts:

Once again it feels as if we’ve reached the end of another arc, and what a great one it was. Sure none of the Servants were eliminated during it, but as far as the Masters and the other chracters went we saw Irisviel receive some nice development, a drastic change for Kayneth, something that’s sure to put another rift in the relationship he has with Lancer.

But above all we also saw that for a lack of a better way of putting it, Kirei is an absolute monster, capable of shrugging off gunfire (albeit with bulletproof/kevlar sleeves) and dispatching Black Keys with extreme accuracy, and yet the scariest thing is that he’s still human. That he doesn’t have any special abilities or powers and is simply someone who has spent their entire life mindlessly pushing his limits, pursuing one skill with absolute dedication only to abandon it for another when he’s nearly mastered it. So as a human, made of flesh and blood, he’s still damn scary even amongst those who do. Aside from that we’re also seeing him in his prime, during the events of Stay Night he managed to take on a Servant and come out on top, even if it was Assassin it’s still an amazing feat as it isn’t even possible for a normal human to even achieve an E rank. And that was ten years on from this, so the mere thought of what he’s capable of at this point is pretty scary in itself.

Next to that it was also fairly nice to see Irisviel to get some development, managing to put what ever lies between her and Maiya aside and come to an agreement on one thing, they both want to protect Kiritsugu. In doing so managing to step out a bit from the supportive role that you would expect her to play, and somewhat take the initiative by going on the attack, managing to stand up for his sake and do something that she truly wanted to do. In all it was all just nice to see her step out like this, but in truth it was kind of painful to see her have to go up against the monster that is Kirei to do it. As brave as her and Maiya’s actions were, he still managed to brutally crush them and the wimper that Irisviel made was incredibly painful to hear. They were lucky to even survive.

Most of all I’d also have to admit that the moment that I’ve been looking forward to seeing in this arc was the one where Kiritsugu shot Kayneth with an Origin Bullet from his Thompson Contender (those who have seen/read Kara no Kyoukai should know what is being meant by the Origin part). Being the culmination of all the things that he had done beforehand, whether it was testing the limits of Volumen Hydragyrum or continually taunting Kayneth and using traps to ridicule and humiliate him, they all played a role in creating the opening to use it. Showing just where his namesake as the Magus Killer comes from. And with that I also liked how the properties of his Origin Bullet were explained through a flashback, in which his mentor/mother figure Natalia Kaminski, who strangely looks a lot like Aozaki Touko sans glasses before the design change, explained it all to him. Aside from that it also probably resulted in the biggest thing to come from this arc, upon having his Magic Circuits fried Kayneth will be a cripple to say the least and will have to relinquish his Command Seals to Sola. In doing so further widening the rift between him and Lancer as Sola lets herself fall for him. That said as well, as much as I was looking forward to seeing it, it was also kind of painful to watch as well. Sure the key understanding in the Holy Grail War is that it’s kill or be killed, with mercy in short supply, but even an elitist asshole like Kayneth didn’t deserve what’s happened to him. Even if he does survive he’ll be rendered a paraplegic for the rest of his life, not to mention that as a renown Magus he’ll no longer be able to perform Magecraft, his life’s work will mean nothing and his House will be left in ruins.

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