If this latest episode of Fate/Zero hasn’t already made it clear: this is a show where a person’s suffering is shown to the viewers in the most agonizing and painful of ways. You don’t have to like Kiritsugu’s character, but rather understand what kind of a person he is and this episode clearly showed the life of a man who has nothing except his dream of being a hero and who can lose everything so easily.
Kiritsugu has gotten his fair share of criticism due in part to his questionable ethics (then again, who really does have perfect ethics?) and by killing his only maternal figure (on mother’s day..), Kiritsugu shows that he’s truly incapable of doing things that he feels is right and his mindset on cleansing the world of evil has all but taken over him. Sure had he not blown up the plane, the situation would have been much worse but this mindset of “kill some, save many” eventually will lead him down a dark path. His conversation with Natalia right before the missile launch was very poignant: Natalia knew that she’d eventually die by her own pupil’s hands, but her dialogue in this scene suggests that she wasn’t quite sure if he would actually do the deed. But when the conversation started going south (when Kiritsugu suggested that he just does whatever he’s told or what’s right), Natalia said that Kiritsugu is more of a machine than a human being and his talent for guns at a young age more than implies his stoic and machine-like personality: He can’t choose for himself what he wants to do, he either does what is “right” or whatever his superiors tell him to do. Of course such a personality doesn’t sit well with most people and I understand why people aren’t warming up to the magus killer.
But these two episodes in my view were necessary to show the kind of person he is. Sure anyone else could have gotten two episodes of character development but Kiritsugu was always the enigma in the cast and these episodes really shown us a lot of his upbringing and his heartbreak. I do agree that these two episodes really broke the flow that season 2 started with and I feel that these episodes should have either aired last season or been released for the Blu-rays. But it’s done with, so now we can move on and next week looks like Waver (and thus Rider) will be back to kick some ass, hopefully. On a quick note, I really liked seiyuu Rikiya Koyama’s performance during the above picture. It was stunning to see such a stoic man breakdown so gutwrenchingly magnificent.