Finally, Fate/Zero comes back in all of its breathtaking glory, and already we have a master who is killed (pretty obvious who). Like everyone else, I’ve been anticipating this show’s return for quite some time and this episode threw us straight into the big fight with Caster. Of course things can’t be simple when we’re talking about Fate/Zero, when Kariya confronts Tokiomi I got a huge chill at seeing Tokiomi’s heartless attitude towards Sakura and pity towards Kariya because it’s obvious he’s not going to win the war. A prequel is never a good thing because you already know how it ends, but Fate/Zero has been a marvelous show to watch because of the maturity that Fate/stay night lacked, the animation which more than shames its successor, the music that does more than provide ‘background’ music and storytelling that elevates itself from the vast majority of other animes. Welcome back, Fate/Zero.
Immediately, it’s quite noticeable the amount of CG in this episode. From Caster’s tentacle monster, the F-15 jets and Gilgamesh’s ship, there was alot of CG that has certainly divided the fanbase, as a vast majority of anime fans look down on CG in anime. For me, I thought it was incorporated quite well and of course it sticks out like a sore thumb, but combined with ufotable’s amazing animation effort it looked like I was watching a Hollywood feature film. Some anime films do come close to looking like Grade-A Hollywood films (Redline), but an actual TV series looking like that? Just marvel at the impressive visuals that ufotable has provided us and for a show that focuses on a grand-scale war, this is just amazing.
The episode in a nutshell is Saber and Co. trying desperately to finish off Caster, while the other masters are using this opportunity to try to pick off the remaining opponents and at long last the crazy psychopath Ryunosuke is finally killed by a gunshot to the head by Kiritsugu. Among other things, Gilgamesh is reluctant to help out the rest of the servants finish off Caster, stating that such a monster is unworthy of his powers. Tokiomi is stuck trying to follow through on the priest’s plan to retrieve his lost command spell, but of course trying to work with an egomaniac is a nigh impossible thing to accomplish. Feeling slighted, Tokiomi goes off and faces Berserker’s master Kariya while Berserker is eager to challenge Gilgamesh.
The big mystery once again is Kiritsugu, it’s hard to pinpoint what he’ll do next and his relationship with Saber has grown only more distant. The preview suggests that she’ll be working closely with Lancer to finish off Caster, but what about Kiritsugu? Is he going to watch from the sidelines or is he going to be taking out another master? He remains fascinating but frustrating to watch. But Fate/Zero as a whole remains one of the best light novel adaptations out there, and Gen Urobuchi’s work ought to be commended. How one person can write such gruesome and dark content like he’s done with Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is beyond me. But I’m glad that he’s behind Fate/Zero, because this is the kind of stuff I wanted to see in Fate/stay night (never go with DEEN, ever.), but mismanagement and shoddy animation sank any possibility that it would happen. Always hold out that either the sequel gets a remake, or Heaven’s Arc (the last storyling in the VN that never got animated) gets animated by the fine folks at ufotable. This was an amazing episode to come back from the wait, and with more masters and servants to go, It’ll be one hell of a bloodbath.
OP: To the Beginning by Kalafina (Oh my god, I want the full version..)
ED: Sora wa Tatakau Kaze wa Utau by Luna Haruna (Nice song, usually still images are a negative but for the awesome animation this show has, I’ll forgive this slideshow.)
Status: Do I have to spell it out?