An elemental workshop.

Fate/Zero – Beautiful Bloody Brutality

Nov 19, 2011 @ 18:08 CDT


An unexpected guest arrives within this eighth showing of Fate/Zero – singlehandedly does he put on a performance of beautiful bloody brutality, true to his magus rank of Executor, unforgiving in every motion.

Kiritsugu’s cowardly tricks are shameful, and as such, we of course don’t like him in the least – in turn, we can neither respect any who take his side at the expense of their own life. Focusing first mainly on the battle to ensue within the forest elsewhere, far out and away from that of Saber and Kiritsugu – Maiya and Irisviel are escaping as per instruction of their love, Kiritsugu. Maiya’s assignment was to protect Irisviel – both however are readily willing to risk their lives in favor of assisting their worthless idol.

With an entity rapidly approaching, they agree on staying put in order to stop this uninvited arrival from harming their beloved – however, we find that to be rather amusing a point of view as this incoming individual is the most dangerous of all entries into the Holy Grail War, Kirei.

Even the over-confident disposition of Kiritsugu is quick to turn pathetic at the mere mentioning of his name, Kotomine Kirei.

Earlier did Kiritsugu do his utmost best to avoid facing off against this emotionless master of magic and servant – yet now Kiritsugu’s wife and underling step forth to square off against this frightening fellow, exhibiting far more courage than he’s ever had.

Rushing forward from the thicket of flora without fear, Kirei comes running in a manner which resonates of expertise – bullet fire from many an angle target him, yet he deflects them as if they were no more than mere mosquitoes. Several of those bullet streams seemed to be illusions however – and as Kirei is looking away, Maiya fires a full automatic array of death in his way.

Foolishly does she think she actually had him defeated as he plays dead – approaching Kirei, he quickly beats her to a blood oozing defeat within only a matter of milliseconds, and without so much as breaking a sweat. With one nuisance out of the game, he respectfully announces in a manner truly resonating of class, his intention is not to attack Irisviel or her friend – Irisviel however asserts she realized this beforehand and begins distastefully attacking this courteous gentleman of a character.

Maiya yells out from her sorry state on the floor that Irisviel’s magic will have no effect on our honorable Executor – yet Irisviel appears to have learned much more than how to drive from Kiritsugu, she’s attained the ability to think far too highly of herself whilst obnoxiously assaulting others. Kirei finds this rude response to his chivalry unamusing – and as Irisviel uses her silly tricks to pin him to a tree, he merely snaps it in half like a toothpick.

Her insolence has left him with little choice but to interrogate her – yet she refuses to respond. As Assassin materializes for a moment to inform Kirei of Saber drawing near – Kirei decides to head off before this matter erupts to an even more unfair affair of three-on-one. Perhaps Kirei could even hold his own against Saber if he so desired as one can insinuate from his display of strength.

However he heeds Assassin’s warning – taking his leave, but not before Kirei stomping the head of Maiya once more to ensure she won’t be awake for a while, then directly sending three blades straight through the stomach of Irisviel. Although he held her mouth shut to keep her screams muffled whilst dissecting her, that did not prevent a sanguine fluid gushing out her aperture like a geyser. He then heads out, leaving her as nothing more than a grotesque pulp of flesh on the forest floor – only of interest for necrophiliacs now.

Sadly, Saber ultimately arrives since her soporific fight was cut short – then we’re shown a flashback of yet another manipulative trick played by Kiritsugu some time before the beginning of the war, one which makes Irisviel autonomously heal when in contact with Saber.

All the while as this went down, Kiritsugu was using every dishonorable gimmick at his disposal in an attempt to defeat Melloi’s mastery of magic. Though whilst nearing his end, Melloi’s servant Lancer retrieves him – mentioning he only refrains from massacring Kiritsugu thanks to his servant Saber.

Melloi is clearly a very powerful character – having sustained much suffering from Kiritsugu’s arsenal of what one could best describe as “bullshittery”, he remained amongst the living, even if only slightly so. Just as Melloi had stated himself, he didn’t enter the Holy Grail War to partake in such a cheap fight, nor is that why we decided to watch it – yet we must admit, without these despicable actions, there wouldn’t be much a context for certain characters.

And so as we await anxious and enraged for the next episode entitled “Master & Servant” – curious indeed we are as to what will come of Melloi considering he’s been inflicted immobile by a bullet which supposedly boasts side-effects which won’t heal. One must also keep conscious of the “other master”, the red-headed woman who we once saw within a building an episode or so back.

Consider also, the Einzbern mansion which Kiritsugu and his subordinates stayed is now nothing but rubbish – not to mention, its location has been compromised to many other masters likely in watch, not to mention Kiritsugu and Melloi.

Above all, one should not forget that Caster is still alive – thus, the decree of the church in which all masters must work to eliminate him remains in effect.

Many possibilities are open here, and there’s a sizable cast of character as well who haven’t had screentime in a while – as so we’re left with the challenge of sitting still until we see what happens next.

14 Comments

  • Hawkward says:

    This was probably one of my favourite episodes thus far, and it hardly feels like SEASON 1 (well, technically it’s being split >8/). One absent detail however, was just as Melloi got dealt the crumpling shot. You go to see Kiritsugu get briefed on the effects of the bullets.

    However, it was more of an interrogation scene… So I’m hoping to find out more about his past, and how Type-Moon will try and make up empathise for this gun-nut.

    Solid review, and umm… love the Irisviel coughing up blood shot!
    *totally not a guilty pleasure or anything*

  • My goodness, quite a bit of Kiritsugu hate in this review, wasn’t there?

    Certainly, we can’t deny that Shirou’s aspiration is quite a bit cowardly in his tactics and in his way of fighting, but then again he isn’t named the Magus Killer for nothing, you know? It’s precisely why he’s never once exhibited even the slightest hint of pride nor honor in what he does; and Kiritsugu himself is more aware of that than anyone.

    Yet still he strives forward in his blood-stained path in order to attain his ideal. If only for that, you have to respect him if just a little bit.

    • Seven says:

      No I don’t respect at all, not at the moment at least – if you like him, that’s certainly fine.

      I have little reason to like or respect him – he’s yet to prove himself anything in my book save for a coward, and I’ve yet to find any personal interest or care for his character.

      That’s not to say things have no chance of changing later on, though for the time being – this is my stance.

      • It sounds as though you’re taken with Saber’s opinion of Kiritsugu at the moment.

        I find this quite a bit interesting as, in Fate/Zero’s first episode, the Magus Killer himself was considering how at odds he would be with the King of Knights. Bearing this in mind however, I’m anxious to see how time with come to develop Kiritsugu’s status as a character; much in the same way that it developed his relationship with Iris.

        Now as a fighter, I don’t respect Kiritsugu at all. As a fellow human however, being one who fights for their respective goal and is willing to follow through with the resolve to sacrifice even what’s most important to one’s self… it’s a strange sort of pride that sustains you; even when drenched in others’ blood and when seemingly all other manner of morals or honor seem beyond you. A Dark Hero you might say.

        Truthfully I neither like nor dislike Kiritsugu at the moment. While I do believe I understand his mentality and resolve to a degree, I need to observe him for a while longer to begin to feel anything significant.

        • Seven says:

          I’d say you are correct, I personally prefer a sense of honor over success, even if it means failure.

          Interestingly, I’ve not come to like Saber – Fate/Zero’s yet to exhibit anything truly worth thinking highly of her for, and had I not watched Fate/Stay, I’d not care for her much.

          Although Kirei likes to think he is similar to Kiritsugu, I think the main difference is Kiritsugu at least hates himself over it to an extent, Kirei however is indifferent to the end, at least on the outside. Yet within himself he’s simply trying to find a purpose in life.

          I can understand why Kirei had a point in asking Irisviel over why she defends Kiritsugu in that I don’t comprehend it either.

          Of course she loves him as we know, yet where along the lines before the timeline of Fate/Zero started did she become willing to risk herself for this man who in episode one was described as a horrible being all around. Surely he must have some charm.

          • With respect to Iris and Kiritsugu; you could say it’s a bit unfair, but let’s not forget that she spent but all of her life locked up in a castle. It’s quite possible the Magus Killer was the only man she ever spent much time around.

            Now that’s not to diminish her as a character, mind you. She seems quite smart and insightful in her own right. I don’t believe for a moment she would’ve developed the feelings for Kiritsugu that she has if she didn’t honestly love him.

            There might well be some elements to their relationship that we haven’t seen yet, but I still believe that when all’s said and done, it’s Kiritsugu’s unwavering desire to save the world that drew her to him. That he would push himself forward in spite of the suffering that plagues his heart and soul, yet still retain the profound love for his family that he does… a part of me can’t help but sympathize with Iris for falling in love with him.

            It might well sound strange and perhaps even a bit crazy to some, but I don’t see it that way. In truth, the complexity in their relationship is one that makes it a bit more appealing to me than some others.

            • Seven says:

              One must wonder however if he ironically will end up destroying the world in an attempt to save it.

              • Bit of irony there, there is. But in spite of the untold destruction that’s sure to come, Kiritsugu’s saving Shirou at the end of the Fourth Holy Grail War did, albeit unintentionally, save the world as we know it.

                As we know, Shirou will inevitably become the embodiment of everything that Kiritsugu had hoped, a Heroic Spirit that will have saved the world countless times over and will continue to do so as the focus of his existence.

                Still much looking forward to just how this upcoming portrait of hell will be brought down though…

              • Seven says:

                Thinking of it like that, it has almost an essence of artistic beauty. Looking forward to that myself indeed.

  • eirei07 says:

    Ah yes, the Magus Killer’s secret weapon, the bullet that only works on magic. It’s interesting how different the experience of reading it and watching it on screen. It made complete sense in the novel, though I expect an in depth explanation will follow alongside the story of Kiritsugu’s past.

    The thing about Kiritsugu is that he is an absolute believer of the phrase ‘the end justifies the means’ and he will do anything and sacrifice anyone to reach his ultimate goal. To save lives, he opts to take the path of the easiest method, the one requiring the least effort, the least time consuming, and the one with the least deaths. Lets face it; the path of the hero is anything but the above.

    By the way, first time poster here:).

    • Seven says:

      Welcome, I hope you post some more here – cause this first comment of yours is excellent.

      If one actually considers what Kiritsugu does, then you’re right – that’s not the heroic path of action at all. Though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it villainous either – it’s something else.

  • avatar himera says:

    Amusing style of writing :)
    But I do hope you were being sarcastic at some points.
    One – Kirei’s cassock is bulletproof, so no deflecting expertise here.
    Two – HOW exactly are traps in the castle different than the dungeon level traps that Kayneth prepared in a PUBLIC hotel ? So what, if Kiritsugu rang from the lobby “Hey, I wanna have honorable duel, get your ass down” Kayneth would’ve agreed ? Please don’t ,make me laugh. And still going after having a MASSIVE bleeding is a certain sign of stupidity. This is war – everything goes, hell, even the guys running the show are cheating bastards. Order, war is paused until Caster is dead, andddddd 2 masters seem to think it’s fine to target Kiritsugu despite that. SO MUCH HONOR.

    Sorry for the rant :) Kiritsugu is one of my fav characters (one with quite tragic backstory) – I like the idea of a wizard using muggle stuff. Efficient.

    • Seven says:

      Yeah, I like to go over points I find either obvious or silly with sarcasm – though I love how you went over them properly and in such a polite manner, and no I’m not being sarcastic here.

      For point number one, I assumed he was wearing some sort of bulletproof attire – though I noticed within the anime, it nearly appears as if Kirei was swatting bullets with the back of his hand, which I thought to be amusing.

      For number two, I concur with you entirely – you’re right. I was merely ridiculing the scenario – Kayneth, while I did find respect for his valiant outlook, should have known better.

      And finally, I actually wish more people would post such excellence comments as yours – disagreeing with something is not bad, yet not getting your own point of view across is.

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