Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fate/Zero 11-13

Because of the holidays i've havent had the time to post 11-12. i didnt realize i missed the post until i started watching 13. Since there is little point in writing what i know, im just going to add it to this review. This might also be a fitting end as i think the series will take a hiatus and resume next year.

episode 11 summary:
The aftermath of the fight with caster has left the Einzbern castle in ruins. The quiet is soon disturbed by Rider carrying a barrel of wine. At first Saber assumes he is here to fight, but Rider assures him that we only wishes to talk over drinks. Rider asks to have a talk about what it means to be a king over the wine and they go to the courtyard to begin drinking. They are soon joined by archer, who is a king as well and was invited by Rider, and he rejects the wine Rider could find in town. He instead retrieves wine from the gate of Babylon, His personal stash. during their talk, Rider reveals his wish from the grail is to be able to live again, and to enjoy the journey and excitement of conquering. Interestingly, Archer has no specific wish from the grail and only seems to want to retrieve what he sees as his. In his time, he believes he owns all the worlds treasures, those he knows and doesn't know about. Therefore he sees anything that could be of value as something he already owns. Saber tells them about her goal to undo her selection as king of Britain and so a more suitable ruler can be found. Both archer and rider are disgusted by her views as both a leader and a king. Rider is in the mindset that you must take pride in your actions. that rise and even fall are both eventual. To wish to undo that would be insulting to those who stood and supported you throughout. They both view kingship as a privilege and something to be enjoyed and coveted, unlike Saber who views kingship as a duty and a burden. Rider truly hits home when he tells saber that she saved her subjects, but never lead and ruled them. This hits saber as she had heard rumors during her life that she was an unapproachable king. Their meeting is interrupted by Assassins. Rider uses his noble phantasm, which revives all his former followers, each a heroic spirit and the thousands of soldiers rush the 12 assassins and easily finish them.

Episode 12 summary:
A rather short and uneventful episode. Kiritsugu is once again worried about what kind of man Kirei is. Meanwhile Archer is just giving a total mind rape to Kirei and undermining everything he has been believing to now. Its pretty obvious by this point archer is pulling all the strings, and setting up the events of Fate/Stay Night, and not Kirei. Meanwhile Iri and saber move into a new building, and we find out that Iri is losing her strength.

Episode 13 summary:
We start with Waver and Rider heading into town after Waver sees Rider's dream. He at first tries to find out more about Rider, and starts to show his insecurity as he feels Rider is strong enough to win the war on his own, and he isn't contributing anything towards that.
Meanwhile Caster and Ryuunosuke return to find their base in shambles. We learn Caster doesn't believe in god's power as his blasphemies have always gone unpunished, and it was only humans looking for personal gain in his death that finally got to him. Ryuunosuke on the other hand believes god does exist, but is as sick and twisted as they are and enjoys pain and misery. Together they decide to continue on with their "show". Caster summons his biggest monster in the river, and Rider, Lancer and Saber make a pact to stop him. the plan is for Rider and saber to open the monster where lancer can strike it with his spear and finish him before he reaches the shore where he can feed off the people and will remain indefinitely. Interestingly we find out that Saber has the blessing of the lady of the lake and therefore can walk on water. Rider and Saber rush the monster and that ends the season.


there wasnt much in episode 12, so i'll go through that first. We know Iri is getting weaker, maybe because of her being a vessel for the grail and having a servant die weakens her. We also just see what a manipulative bastard Archer is, just playing with Kirei and setting up the betrayal that will take place at the end of this season.

Episode 11:
We finally get a lot of insight into Rider and Archer and Saber regarding their views. Rider and Archer hold what i would call to be the older view of a king. Someone who rules and has supreme power. a position to be coveted, one where everyone respects you if not fears you. Saber holds a much more, modern-ish view of kingship. She feels it as a duty to protect her people and to lead them. To serve as if a position of government. only if such a king succeed do they get praised. Its funny how we see both types in literature, and neither is better or worse that the other and either can be portrayed as a good king. The former when evil, is a tyrant. one who hold complete control and only seeks his own self enjoyment. When good, they are seen as the supreme authority. they have the power to make or break people's lives and dreams, but are fair and just. The second view when evil, is usually a manipulative king. One who puts on an act to keep his power. a weaker type of king who can be overthrown at any time. When good, its the typical king Arthur, a ordinary man powered and in return protects their people. We also see Archer's unique interpretation of the grail as he feels he owns the world and all the treasure it contains. Therefore anything of value, weather he has seen it or not, is his.

Episode 13:
We get to see that Waver is actually quite insecure about his position and ability compared to both rider, and other masters. He views himself as a burden and that Rider will be successful with or without him. This means his whole goal of proving his worth is meaningless if Rider is the one doing all the work, as well that Rider shouldnt have to put up with him. We see the twisted mind of Ryuunosuke and Caster, but they arent very interesting characters. Now that he's whipped out his biggest monster, i expect him to fall in the first or second episode of the next season.

Overall for Fate/Zero season 1:

This was a hell of a ride they took us on. The story was great, the action was great, and the art was great, the characters were great. This is what Fate Stay Night should have been if everyone wasnt a whiny idiot.

But is it perfect? no. The beginning of this year was busy for me and i just hit a string of interesting show ideas that panned out to be much more boring than i expected. So the beginning of Fate Zero really made it look like a diamond in the rough. A perfect show without flaws. However as the show went on, it really started to feel dragged. And i don't mean that every episode is bad or that the show overall is bad, but its far from perfect. Without the action scenes or the very well done exposition scenes, i really didn't feel for some of these characters or care to see what happens to them. For instance, ya it was nice to see Kirei get mind raped by Archer, but the episode wasn't memorable compared to the courtyard drinking episode. Both were simply talking exposition, but one felt well done and the other a forgettable bore. Another instance is the Rin episode. while i don't hate her, I'm not a big fan of her and to see her running around at 6 years old didn't make me a fan. It felt like it was either a waste of time for padding, or pandering to the Rin fans, or some mix of both that simply didn't work out.

Overall this was a good show. It gets a little help riding a year of mediocre releases, but its still overall going to be at the top of a few of my lists.

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