Fate/Zero 14

After just over three months the show kicks off again as two fighter pilots move in to investigate the mysterious shape that has appeared on the river along Fuyuki. However as one attempts to move in closer it’s plucked from the sky and just as the other moves in to avenge his fallen comrade, a black figure lands upon his F-15’s back.

Opening Theme:

“To the beginning” by Kalafina.

On the Servant’s side of things the situation isn’t so bright as well, as no matter how much Saber and Rider attack Caster’s monster it regenerates in an instant, leaving Lancer without a window to strike Caster with Gae Dearg. For Risei it couldn’t be any worse either, with the Holy Grail War itself now at risk of being cancelled as he dispatches Kirei to aid Tokiomi. Who at this point looks on above from one of the pieces from Archer’s treasury, a Vimana, yet while he pleads with his Servant to destroy the monster, Archer refuses to dirty his hands with and soil his greatest treasure, Ea on such.

At which point Berserker arrives with the commandeered F-15 in tow, and so while Archer prepares to face off with the mad dog once more, Tokiomi drops down to meet his Master. Leading to a high speed dogfight as the two Servants clash, Berserker with the augmented armaments of the F-15, and Archer with the weapons inside the Gate of Babylon. And down below Kariya demands to know why Tokiomi handed Sakura over to the Matou family, his reasoning however is quite simple, as a Magus he felt conflicted by having two daughters with such great potential and sought away in which they could both fulfill such, Kariya leaving the Matou family providing the best opportunity for that, and the best chances to reach Akasha.However as he continues to state that as a Magus he despises him and considers his actions unforgivable, Kariya’s condition worsens as Berserker rages, and to such he readies his trump card.

Elsewhere however, as Ryuunosuke cheers on the monster before him something takes him in the chest and as he lifts his hand he’s met with what he considers to be the most beautiful shade of red, dying with a smile on his face as the second bullet strikes him in the forehead. So knowing that his Master is no longer in this world, Caster readies a farewell gift for him, and as the episode draws to a close Kiritsugu and Maiya discuss the current situation. That Caster’s monster will be impossible to stop once it finds a food source and that the only way to stop it is to destroy it with an Anti-Army Noble Phantasm before it reaches the shore, and as it would so happen Saber possesses one such. However Gae Buidhe’s curse leaves her unable to use it.

Ending Theme:

“Sora wa Takaku Kaze wa Utau” by Luna Haruna.

Thoughts:

A splendid return, personally I was hoping that we’d get another double episode to wrap this matter up entirely but what we got was great none the less. Some awesome action scenes, much waited for answers, and the first proper elimination from the war. I’ll try to keep this post short and sweet.

First of I liked Akira Ishida‘s performance, Ryuunosuke’s death had been a long time coming and to be honest I couldn’t exactly the story moving anywhere until he was picked off, but he pulled it off nicely with every weakened gasp. There may have been something corny about the thing he was looking for all along being the colour of his blood in his last moments but it was a worthy send off for him, somewhat ironically he died happily with a smile on his face. None the less though, with Ryuunosuke, and soon to be as well Caster, out of the way the story finally feels as if it can progress soon.

Before that however the confrontation between Kariya and Tokiomi was probably even more long awaited, right from the start they were set up to go against each other and the results were just bound to be interesting. When Kariya came to him it was with a demand to know why Tokiomi would willingly hand his own daughter to the Matou family, knowing all too well what it would entail, and Tokiomi held the answer. An answer that as heartless as it would seem, strongly illustrates the views of a Magus, where given the potential that both his daughters had, it offered the best chance of achieving their goal. Let alone it also removed the possibility of a succession crisis similar to a certain other pair of sisters.

Above all the action scenes were amazing as well, honestly I was slightly disappointed by how Archer and Berserker’s over the top awesome dogfight turned out but I guess my expectations were set a little too high,but just as Kiritsugu and Kayneth’s duel it turned out nicely none the less. Once again my real only complaint was that it was a little too slow for my liking, even with Berserker launching missiles turned Noble Phantasms. While they were also fairly pointless other than an excuse to give Saber screentime (like she doesn’t get enough already), the quick glimpses at Saber and Rider‘s fight with Caster’s monster were great as well, illustrating just what they were up against and how futile their plight was.

Considering that there’s a new opening and ending theme I may as well throw in a paragraph for such as well, and having a good idea of what lies ahead in this series I must say that they’re kind of depressing. The opening theme is great, Kalafina is always a joy to hear and it has a nice uplifting feeling to it, perhaps lacking a few flashes to what lies ahead for everyone but Kiritsugu (which despite how tempted I am, I’ll refrain from detailing), but knowing just what the various shots of him and Irisviel represent is tragic to say the least. More so the ending theme, it tells a nice story of how they met and how Irisviel changed from being just a doll but you only have to take a look at Fate/Stay Night’s setting to know that their story together won’t end as sweetly.

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