More people bite the dust, three of them to be precise. On the surface, this would make Fate/Zero look like a bloodbath but what makes this different than any similar series is that there’s a ton of philosophical debate in this show. Kiritsugu finally gets an episode in the spotlight, and while he shares the same ideals as Saber – it’s how to get there that the two vigorously differ opinions on and it’s fascinating to see these two different paths in action.
*******Some references to F/SN visual novel in this post, it is in white text so highlight the text to read it.
Immediately, we see Kayneth trying to get a command spell from the priest overseeing the Holy Grail War. While the priest has his doubts about Kayneth and his fiancee Sola, he nonetheless gives him the command spell. So what does Kayneth do? Shoots him (presumably dead) with a gun, something magus look down upon, so that the other masters won’t get any command spells for defeating Caster. Man, I never liked this guy and that’s just the beginning because there’s more of him to come.
After getting the command spell, Kayneth verbally assaults Lancer for failing to protect Sola and accuses him of seducing her (his mole charms any women who sees it, not really his fault..). Suddenly, Lancer senses a presence emerging nearby. Saber, with Irisviel, comes to where Lancer is and wants to finish their battle in chivalrous fashion. Lancer is glad to have met Saber and the two finally charge at one another to finish their fight. Of course things don’t stay this way…
Kiritsugu shows up with a gun pointed at Sola. He throws a piece of paper to Kayneth: a self-geas scroll, a item used by mages to form an unbreakable contract. What is this contract? Basically, Kiritsugu will no longer harm Kayneth or Sola in exchange for Kayneth using his command spells and forcing Lancer to commit suicide. Basically, it’s game over for Kayneth no matter what he decides to do. So he decides to use his command spells and Lancer impales himself with his Gae Dearg.
Lancer is stunned to see Kiritsugu stoop so low in his quest to obtain the grail and crushed his only dream. He remarks if he even feels ashamed for doing this. He tells everyone that his blood will haunt everyone’s dreams, he will curse the holy grail, the wish for the grail will bring disaster and to remember the rage of Diarmuid. Kiritsugu remarks that the geas is complete and he no longer can harm either Kayneth or Sola, but then…
Pictures Tell A Thousand Words
Trolling 101 – Instructor: Emiya, Kiritsugu (4 credits) (non-transferable)
So basically Kiritsugu called out Maiya to kill the two as he was bound by the contract to not kill them. (I assume) Kiritsugu uses a command spell and has Saber execute Kayneth. She is finally fed up with him, wanting to know why he wants to obtain the grail. Irisviel also agrees, but he tries and dodges the question until finally he remarks that
‘A knight cannot save the world. Knights call certain methods of fighting good and others evil, acting if there were any sentiment of nobility on the battlefield. Such fabrications, created by heroes throughout history, have led countless young men to their bloody deaths, all for the sake of glory and honor. There is no hope on a battlefield for it is hell itself. There is nothing but unspeakable despair. Just a crime we call victory, paid for by the pain of the defeated. But humanity has never recognized the truth. The reason is that in every era, a dazzling hero has blinded the people with their legends, and kept them from seeing the evil of bloodshed. True human nature has not advanced beyond a single step from the Stone Age. I will win the Holy Grail war and save the world. I will wage that war with the most appropriate weapons at my disposal. Justice and righteousness cannot save the world, I have no interest in such frivolous things.
It’s a very intense speech, but I find myself in agreement with Kiritsugu on all points. Heroes have a standard to live up to, they are what everyone aspires to be. They know the reality of war, but refuse to openly share their feelings with the public and war is inevitable at some point. Once these people know of the reality, they are either killed on the battlefield or they aren’t able to (such as post-traumatic stress disorder). Saber’s view is indeed very noble, but it is also unrealistic to achieve. You have to assume that everyone in the world has noble intentions and that clearly will never happen (as Lancer found out the hard way a few minutes before this). Now is her way of thinking wrong? No, but it relies too much on a hypothesis and not on a factual basis. Personally I always favor facts over fictions and thus find myself much more supportive of Kiritsugu’s viewpoint. It’s sad to see such bloodshed, but it’s inevitable and there’s only ways to reduce the bloodshed and war, it is impossible to end any war or conflict (utopias are never a good thing).
I’ve read Fate/stay night and Saber does make references to Kiritsugu to Shirou. It’s hard to tell whether anything major happened between them after this conversation and the end of the previous grail war.Honestly I’ve forgotten what exactly she said to Shirou about his father, but there definitely seemed to be more acceptance of him that what we’ve seen of her so far.
I’m very glad that Fate/Zero has been adapted. This show is very special compared to its sequel and while Fate/stay night had a lot of great moments (anything from Unlimited Blade Works), I feel that because this show’s main characters are all adults there’s much more serious time for debates such as Kiritsugu’s and Saber and a lot less handholding towards viewers. This was one of the best episodes of Fate/Zero because it posed a lot of questions and I honestly could agree with either side, and it was a simple back and forth debate rather than over the top *fight for 10 seconds, talk, fight for 30 seconds, talk for 2 minutes* standard that Shounen series love to do.