Fate/Zero: End of Season Thoughts

Good day everyone. Sorry, this post is a bit late. By a bit late I mean several weeks after the last episode was released. I also apologize for not having any other (meaningful) posts up lately. I was out camping last, last weekend and lazy this previous one, so, yeah!

Moving on, while I have covered Fate/Zero extensively (namely two WHOLE POSTS), I feel the need to write a concluding post for this great anime.

My face when I finished this anime.

For those of you who have not been following F/Z, F/Z is an anime based on a novel that is a prequel to a visual novel that has an anime of its own. F/Z is basically about a bunch of conceited, arrogant people. I say conceited and arrogant because all of them feel that their dreams and goals are more important than the dreams of everyone else.

tl:dr: Asshats get power, asshats want more.

This show seems interesting, why don’t you tell us more about these fascinating characters, Lord-Reiseng?

Why, I thought you’d never ask!

ASSHATS in FATE/ZERO:

Masters

Emiya Kiritsugu

They say that we learn from our mistakes and grow wiser with each mistake. Well, Emiya is living (or well animated) proof of this. See, back when Emiya was a wee lad, he made one little mistake. That mistake got a few heads rolling and a bunch of zombies walking. All of this rolling and walking made the gears in Emiya’s head turn.

Kiritsugu figured that killing a small number of people to help a larger number is always a good thing. He also realized that he must not make any more mistakes. Unfortunately, Kiritsugu made two mistakes. The first was the mindset that he could not make mistakes. The second was the notion that his way was right and not a mistake.

Thanks to these two mistakes, many people died. Some were killed by Emiya, but many more died in that fire thing. See, this is what happens when you try to be a good person.

Lesson learnt: If you are going to make mistakes, make small ones and don’t bother learning from them. Only nerds try to learn stuff. You don’t want to be a nerd, do you?

Kirei Kotomine

Kirei started of as a dedicated servant of the Lord. No, not me you goofs, I mean the Lord in the sky. Kirei did everything the Lord asked him and killed anyone the Lord did not like. Everything was fine and dandy until Gilgamesh popped along and using nothing but his beautiful body and alluring voice, Gilgamesh brought Kirei over to the dark side and Kirei then began to kill people with purpose. That was not the Lord’s intention whatsover.

Tokiomi Tōsaka

As a child, Tosaka was well trained in many things. Magic, elegance, tea serving, cane holding, you name it, he knew it! Heck, he even took a crash course on “selling one’s daughter”. One of the key-points taught in that course was tactics used to convince others that your decision to sell your daughter for a bag of cocaine was a good one. Unfortunately for him, he only got a D in this course and therefore, he was unable to convince Kariya that his reasoning was correct. (The fact that his wife bought his reason shows just how much of an idiot she really is.)

Source

Ryūnosuke Uryū

He was a true artist.

This guy liked guts. And, when I say guts, I mean that in the literal sense. His love of guts lead him to killing people. I think all artists should strive to show that kind of passion for their art.

Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald

This man was boring. I have nothing to say about him. I liked seeing him suffer. I guess I should feel sorry for him. Oh well. No one deserves to be killed. Except he does…maybe…sort of…I don’t know….I don’t care.

Kariya Matō

Poor, poor Kariya. His fantasies never did come true. 😦

He fell in love with his childhood friend, but she rejected him and went for the better package that is Tokiomi. Kariya did not give up home though. Up until the very end, he dreamed of banging Aoi Tōsaka and adopting her daughters. Heck, he loved her so much, he attempted to “save” her by choking the Tokiomi love out of her. Unfortunately, he could not even accomplish this simple deed. In his failure, he broke her head and now, a love for Tokiomi became fixed in Aoi’s head. So great was her new found love that even Tokiomi’s death did not register with her.

Waver Velvet

Back when he was in school, Waver was often called Moe-Waver. Waver did not like being associated with Moe, and so, he entered the tourney and did his best to toughen up. By the end, he was still associated with Moe, but the tough lessons thought to him by Rider had taught him that being associated with Moe is not something Waver can help. Rider helped Waver understand that he should just accept the reality that Waver and Moe will forever be associated to one another. Fans presume that sometime after the series ended, Waver paid Moe a visit and the two made up.

Waver’s uncle, Moe

Source:Wiki

Servants

Saber

Shortly after Saber pulled out Excalibur, she was forced into the role of a king. Back then, kings were expected to be guys, so, she was forced to act guy like. She had to wear male clothing, act like a knight and flirt with other peoples wives. It is said that Merlin himself thought her how to ride a motorcycle. (Yes, bikes existed back then but cars did not.) At first, Saber was slightly uncomfortable with this, but for the most part, she was just sad that she was more manly that the rest of her knights. When she got summoned by the grail, Saber accepted her masculinity for who she was and went full ‘gar’. The only exception to her manly persona is her battle skirt. That skirt to is worn to give Saber a handicap. I mean, skirts don’t have any battle advantage and there is no way whatsoever that the original creators simply wanted to show the audience that Saber was in fact and indeed a girl.

Assassin

A bunch of people that go to raves together.

Archer

Having gotten every possible treasure in the world, Archer had started to grow bored with his life. So, he accepted the grail’s summons in the hope of marrying some nice village girl, marrying and leading a nice, simple, plain life. Unfortunately, Tokiomi insisted otherwise. Fed up with Tokiomi’s interference, Archer convinced Kirei to kill Tokiomi and to join him in his escapade to get rid of people that just don’t understand a peasants pleasures.

Caster

When he was young, Caster used to get bullied a lot because of his hair color. One day, in broad daylight, he promised that he would fine some monster and have the monster eat his 10 year old classmates. Caster was unable to fulfill this promise during his lifetime, but he fulfilled it during his post grail life. The fact that the children killed were different than the ones who bullied him was irrelevant.

Lancer

Sorry, I seem to have forgotten.

During his life, Lancer got into trouble because he used his Irish charm to have an affair with his master’s partner. This irked the master quite a bit, because he knew that his spear was no where near as long as Lancer’s. So, Lancer was put to the death. When he was resurrected, his master very quickly got angry with Lancer. It wasn’t so much that Lancer had a long spear, but that he wasn’t using it on Saber that really irked Kayneth. So, Lancer was forced to commit suicide.

Berserker

In the distant past, Lancelot had a fun night with both Saber and Guinevere. Much to Saber’s dismay however, Lancelot hogged Guinevere for himself and he didn’t really let Saber play with her. Saber was naturally upset in the morning and Lancelot being the softy that he was spent the rest of his life (and after life) lamenting his inability to resolve simple relationship problems. (Saber probably should have taken a crash course in relationship maintenance as well.)

Rider

I will forever remember you, bro.

Broskander, as he is now known, was a valiant warrior. He thought Waver what it means to be a man and helped the boy come out of his shell. He was funny, exciting and all around awesome. His death was heroic and worthy of the KING OF CONQUERORS. He shall be sorely missed and forever remembered by this simple blogger.

Other Characters

Irisviel

I am no expert on literature, but I believe a commonly studied part of feminist studies is the notion that women are symbolically represented by vessels, cups, gauntlets or other containers.

I think the writer of Fate/Zero (Gen Urobuchi) must have taken a course in feminist theory back in college and ended up hating it very much.

You see, he didn’t make symbolically represent Irisviel as a cup, he literally made her one! I bet his actions have brought nightmares to the nights of many literature teachers.

The other characters don’t matter. They were either boring, uninteresting or just downright stupid. I will however mention that Rin was a cuty, the old grandpa (Waver’s grandpa) was cool and Kariya’s grandfather was downright evil.

Fate/Zero’s Plot

Fate/Zero is written by some smartass, well loved writer, so naturally we should talk about its plot.

So, what happens in Fate/Zero? Well, the aforementioned asshats are brought together by a self-aware gauntlet and told to fight it out. They fight, die and do silly things. The gauntlet laughs, but then it to bleeds in the end.

Lesson learnt: Don’t fill a gauntlet with tomato juice.

Serious thoughts:

Fate/Zero is shiny.

I really enjoyed Fate/Zero and most people liked it a lot as well. At the very least, most folk felt that it was significantly better than Fate/Stay Night (which I need to play, not watch as the anime supposedly sucks).

The most common complaints about Fate/Zero are either that there was too much talking and not enough fighting or that a significant portion of the cast was downright boring.

The first complaint didn’t really affect me because well, I guess I just don’t really care about that.

The second complain is valid, but to be honest, I enjoyed most of the cast. I think most people had an issue with Kirei and Kiritsugu. While other cast members might have been just as boring, these two were always in the spotlight, so, they irked people now and then. On top of that, both of these guys were supposed to have the most character development and well, their development was likely not as smooth as it could have been.

Back when the Kiritsugu flashback aired, everyone was like “WTF, why is this airing now, them shitheads should have aired this weeks ago and not during this super intense period. How am I supposed to fap to Gilgamesh Saber if all they are showing is Emiya?”.

Looking back on it, yeah, the flashback wasn’t that well timed and more importantly, not well executed. It felt slightly forced, like they were saying: “Oh, some super sad stuff happened, so, MAGIC!, you now have Emiya Kiritsugu”. Character development that is done almost solely by flashback is most likely the worst kind of character development. I will however note that Natalia’s death was kinda sad and it touched me a little. On that note, Maiya’s death was a bit saddening to, but that didn’t happen in the flashback.

In terms of development, Kirei was even worse than Emiya’s. He didn’t even have proper character development and yet we were expected to believe that he did. I mean, I understand where the creators were coming from. They wanted to make his descent into evil-hood sudden, spontaneous and with only minor hints of foreshadowing, but it didn’t work so well. Yeah, he was heading in a “I need to do some self-discovery” direction all along, but nowhere along the line were we informed that his “self-discovery” was of the “I like being naughty” kind.

Having said that, Kirei`s super sexy voice actor made the character quite bearable. Man, that was such an awesome, deep voice.

A few other characters like Kayneth, his fiance, lady Tohsaka and some others were not that exciting either, but other than that, I felt the show was solid.

I enjoyed the fight scenes, the conversations (in particular between Rider and Waver) and even the few scenes that had characters goofing around were quite enjoyable.

Interestingly enough, I did not like the second season as much as the first. I know the second season is when all the important stuff happened, but to me it felt less tight than the first.

In the first season, we knew almost nothing about the Fate universe (or at least I didn’t). I watched Fate back then because I wanted to know more about the world and I enjoyed seeing the characters interact with one another.

The second was more along the lines of “hey, we are going to take the asshats introduced in the first season and kill them. Try your best to cry please”. There was no mystery left. The characters had been laid bare and now it was time to knock them down one by one.

He is dead. We should all cry now.

Also, maybe it was just the fact that I got a new, higher resolution monitor, but it felt like the second season had worse animation than the first. Some of the battle scenes in particular (like Rider’s last charge) looked worn out. It was like the animators had had enough and just wanted it to be over.

Don’t get me wrong, I still liked season two, but just not as much as season one.

Now, let us move on the ending.

The final episode was not presented as well as it could have been and I guess for some it might have been a bit draggy to. Having said that, I skimmed through the last episode while I was writing this post, and well, I realized just how much I loved this show. The fact that I had such a realization is either a testament to the ending itself or to the overall quality of the anime as a whole. Perhaps, it is a testament to both.

I liked how they tied in the ending of F/Z with F/Stay Night. I am now really curious to know what happens in Stay Night. Does Emiya meet Saber again (I know she is his sons servant)? Do Emiya and Kirei fight again? Does Emiya meet Ilya again? Yeah, I know that their relationship was never mentioned in Stay Night. I was wondering how it would be possible for both his son and daughter to fight each other and for him to not know about it, but the ending of F/Z cleared that up for me (they were just not allowed to meet…). My favorite part of the ending though were the monologues given by Saber and Berserker.

There are three reasons why I liked the monologues:

  1. Saber`s misunderstanding.It`s really sad, isn’t it? Saber tried so hard to be a good king, only to end up thinking that she had failed while she actually hadn’t? I guess it is things like this that make this writer famous. He isn’t afraid of messing with his characters. Poor, poor Saber.
  2. Guilt should be punished, not only for the victim’s sake, but also for the criminal’s.This is an interesting point and one that hits home. I don’t deal well with guilt and tend to remember my mistakes/wrong doings for quite a while. So, I can totally sympathize with Lancelot. This is why if you want to make someone suffer, you act nice to them when they do something wrong. Your spouse cheated on you? Just smile and apologize for not being good enough and watch them suffer! (Sorry, that was sadistic of me.)Saber was told again and again that by being so nice, she was failing as a king. If only she had known all of this when she was younger, Lancelot would have never turned into this monster, but given her youth and inexperience, her actions are understandable.
  3. “King Arthur”.

I love tales of heroes, warriors, kings and awesome stuff like that. That is one of the main reasons why I love F/Z so much. Even though I am not very familiar with Arthurian legend, The Sword in The Stone is one of my all time favorite childhood movies and in general, I have always been fond of the idea of King Arthur. I mean, you have a king who has a table with knights, a wizard and together they go and do great things together. It is all very cool.

Knowing all of that, you can quite easily imagine how elated Lancelot’s final monologue made me. Right after he finishes bashing Saber for being nice to him, he begins the positive part of his monologue and he begins it with “King Arthur”. Oh man, that line makes me shiver. To hear such elegant words be said about a hero I adore was something very special to me. On top of that, Berserker’s voice actor was incredible to. I wish they hadn’t intertwined Saber and Bersker’s monologues though. Yeah, the combination significantly improved the contrast of their perspectives and opinions, but you know what…I like to hear characters (in this case King Arthur) get praised and I don’t like it when that praise is mingled with self-deprecating thoughts.

But this much I can say with certainty,
King Arthur…
You were the greatest among all kings…
All who served you…
believed thus.

Awesome, yes?

All in all, to drive the point through your garage door, I enjoyed Fate/Zero a lot. It really is one of my all time favorites now. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it and if you have seen it, then well…watch something else, I guess?

With that, we are done with this post, sorry for the junk stuff earlier, but yeah…Also, I apologize for not getting this out (or any other post sooner), but I have no excuse. So, sorry is all I can say!

Thanks for reading.

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  1. #1 by Eques on September 25, 2013 - 5:39 am

    Tokiomi clearly said being born with the blood of a mage entails certain responsibilities, and I fully agree with and respect his position. The world of liberalism is going too far these days.

    • #2 by Reiseng on September 27, 2013 - 1:28 am

      Woops, sorry for the late reply

      I don’t really disagree with you there. I do think that having the blood of a mage entails certain responsibilities.

      Since these mages are more powerful than an ordinary human, it would of course make sense that they hold more responsibility (the age old spiderman quote “With great power, comes great responsibility” comes to mind).

      That said, I do think Tokiomi was a bit too extreme. Even if you have responsibilities to the rest of humanity/mage-kind, you shouldn’t feel obliged to sell your own daughter or at the very least, not give her to a family that bad.

      I guess this is a fundamental difference between Tokiomi and Emiya. Emiya isn’t a great guy by any means, but if he had to chose between responsibility and his kid, he’d try and break the rules or change them somehow.

      As for the world of liberalism going too far, well I can’t really comment on that. Sometimes I feel that way, sometimes I feel it isn’t going far enough. 😛

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  1. 12 Days of Christmas #3: Fate/Zero « Toxic Muffin

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