As Waver sleeps he dreams of Rider finally reaching the fabled Oceanus, so wanting to find out more about this instead of just asking his Servant, he decides to head to the local mall.
Around which time on what could be thought of as the opposite side of things, Caster and Ryuunosuke finally arrive back at their workshop only to find it in ashes. Causing Ryuunosuke to feel as if God himself has punished them by destroying their art, but Caster assures him otherwise, the reason being that God doesn’t punish such acts as when he was alive he committed atrocity after atrocity bur no divine punishment ever came, he was charged and executed only for his land and possessions. From which Ryuunosuke preaches that regardless God must still exist, that the world itself is a grand play written by him filled with everything he loves. Including what they’re doing, that the story needs a villain. And in agreement Caster praises his Master on this philosophy, gaining a better insight as to just why God can be cruel and setting about the next piece of entertainment for him.
After which Waver is shown to have gone to a bookstore to read up on his Servant, picking up a book on Alexander the Great and learning that he had conquered so much just to behold the Oceanus with his own eyes. But before he can read any further the man himself shows up to show off the new video game console he just picked up, which he even bought two controllers for so they could play together. And when Waver isn’t interested to picks up the book he had and tells him he could have just asked him instead, leading to him confirming and denying a few things, seeing being recorded in history as a form of immortality but not the sort he’d rather have. Following this though Waver feels uneasy about being the Master for a Servant like his Rider, feeling as if he deserves a better one. To which Rider takes out their atlas and points out that compared to the world they’re both insignificant, and if anything he doesn’t see a point in complaining about having a weak Master, if anything he’s excited about it. Trying to cheer him up by giving him a bit of advice and confirming that he was never able to see the Oceanus, something he still strives for to this day.
However at this point a strong ripple is felt by them, meaning one thing, Caster has made his move. For which Saber and Irisviel are the first to arrive on the scene as Caster continues to refer to her as Jeanne and summons a monster beyond which he has summoned before, allowing it to consume him as it rises from the sea as he declares to cast God down. It’s at this point that Rider and Waver finally arrive, having called in and offered a temporary alliances with all the other Servants, managing to get Lancer to join them. And so the three of them formulate their plan to take down Caster’s monster before it gains a food source, Rider and Saber will charge in, with Saber capable of running on the water thanks to the Lady of the Lake, and create an opening for Lancer to launch Gae Dearg at Caster and his Prelati’s Spellbook at full strength.
My fears about the cliffhanger ending may have proven to be true but putting that aside this was yet another nice episode. Where this time we saw some nice development between Waver and Rider as well as on the opposite side of the spectrum in the form of Ryuunosuke and Caster.
Essentially having them twist around the idea of God’s love to suit their needs, seeing themselves as the villains in his play and that he too does kind of enjoy their acts. The exact sort of thing that they needed to become an actual threat to the others, as while they may have been dangerous right from the start, that danger mainly came from how unpredictable they were. They may have been going around killing civilians right from the start, but their acts were still fairly small scale in comparison to what they’ve done now, summoning Cthulhu. Which given how unstable they are as well as their goals and motivations has kind of been an inevitability, it was only a matter of time before they stopped at their arguably small scale actions and moved up to something that makes them a major threat to the other Masters, not to mention the entire city of Fuyuki as a whole.
In contrast to that though the development between Waver and Rider was great as well, where after seeing the spectacle that is the Ionian Hetairoi I think it’s kind of obvious that Waver is starting to feel insignificant in comparison to his Servant. Or at least those feelings have at least grown quite a bit since being able to behold Rider’s trump card. Rider may be kind of fond and proud of having him as a Master, but almost from the start Waver has seemed to simply feel that he just doesn’t measure up in comparison to his incredibly powerful Servant. Though while this may mean that we could see a divide between them as the show progresses I still think it’s nice to see, due to it we should also see a growth in Waver as well as the friendship he has with Rider be put to the test.
However if there was anything that let this episode down, it was the cliffhanger we got as an ending. It’s not something necessarily bad given that Ufotable‘s reasons for it are to maintain quality instead of steadily losing it as they head towards the end, but the point that they chose to cut off on is going to make the wait until April a little painful. Everything had finally come together and the final battle with Caster, which has been built up to for quite a while now, was about to begin and then it just cut off on Saber’s charge to take him on. Let alone it really would have only taken one more episode to cover and resolve it. Even including the over the top awesome rematch that Archer and Berserker will have during it all.
End of Season Thoughts:
That said given how amazing the series has been so far I can hardly say that it’s a bad thing, it is for good reasons after all. And now that we’ve reached the end of the first half I must admit that I’ve been completely blown away by it, I was expecting great things the moment I heard that Ufotable and Aniplex had gained the rights to Fate/Zero, but now I’m kind of at the belief that they should be able to handle all of Type-Moon’s adaptations. Despite that being a popular opinion after Kara no Kyoukai I was still a little uncertain about it then, but without doubt they’ve put Studio Deen and their adaptations of the Fate franchise to shame. The action, intensity, and detail of the animation and art have been leagues better, and not only that they’ve been able to achieve the right sort of atmosphere while clearly conveying the characters emotions and motives. As an adaptation it’s near perfect, it goes without saying that I’ll be painstakingly awaiting the second half in April. It’s going to be a long wait but worth it.