Fate/Zero returns spectacular as usual within its 15th affair – not much transpires in the grander scheme, yet a path for further development is laid out, allowing the series quite an open route of options to the finale.
A total of three different battles are being fought concurrently, there’s the bout between Kariya and Tokiyomi, the chivalrous crew versus the squid, and Berserker against Gilgamesh. Starting with the contest of pseudo-magus and magus, the outcome is essentially as expected – Kariya’s creepy insects are no match for Tokiyomi. Kariya’s assault against Tokiyomi simply consisted of aiming a swarm of insects at him – yet Tokiyomi blocks this with as much effort as it would take to simply apply some insect repellent, and the effect is the same as well.
Yet even though Tokiyomi defends against Kariya’s attack as if it were a mere nuisance, Kariya looks to be exerting all he can – blood veins disturbingly rupturing all throughout his body as he concentrates every ounce of his being into sending out his weak army of easily crushed arachnids at Tokiyomi. Also in spite of Kariya’s barrage being pitiable at best, Tokiyomi remains unforgiving in his own onslaught – holding back nothing as he performs a trick which leaves Kariya in flames, watching as he yells in agony at the torturous experience.
Kariya dives over the edge of the bridge he was on, falling into a river – and later, it is seen that Kotomine Kirei arrives. Kirei first looks as if he were about to end Kariya’s life – yet Kirei then recalls a line from Gilgamesh in respect to how he’s notably taken a greater interest in Kariya than most other masters. With this in mind, Kirei instead begins applying some sort of magic spell to Kariya – the nature of this spell is unknown, yet it glows blue as if it were of healing, although Kariya was screaming as it affected him, thus it may not be so.
Unfortunately, whatever Kirei intends to do will remain a mystery till at least next episode.
Turning attention to the struggle between the maddened warrior Berserker and the arrogantly gilded Gilgamesh, the two continue back and forth in the skies till Berserker manages to somehow bring down Gilgamesh’s aerial vehicle – however of course, Gilgamesh does not simply accept this, thus Gilgamesh later sabotages Berserker’s own F-15 fighter jet in a sort of sneak attack whilst Berserker was occupied with Lancer.
Berserker is last seen falling into the river within this episode – yet obviously, a warrior of his caliber is not injured from a meager plummet. It’s expected that Berserker will receive more screen time later, anyone could ascertain this – however the question is “when?”, when exactly will Berserker finally be given the chance to go all out? Up till now, Berserker’s single most stunning moment was when he deflected Gilgamesh’s Noble Phantasm many episodes ago – and that occurred a minute or two after he was introduced, if not less.
Sadly, Berserker’s not had a chance to show his true capabilities just yet – however the positive in this is that it means that we still have something to look forward to within the episodes to come.
Now with the campaign against the squid being utterly hopeless, Rider assess they need to change their ineffective tactics to something which may actually work. He decides he will take the squid within his Noble Phantasm – entrapping it in a realm of vast desert climate where it will be squared in contention with his near-infinite army of men. However, that’s as far as his plan goes – he will hold the squid back for several minutes, as all the while, the “heroic spirits” Saber and Lancer must come up with some sort of stratagem to follow for their success.
With that, Rider entraps the squid within his reality marble and leaves the remaining servants, and their respective masters, worrying over what course of action to take next. Waver asks Irisviel if she has anything in mind, and Irisviel clearly does – yet she refrains from coming forward. However, a call interrupts that discussion which gives Waver the answer he sought. The ever-sly Kiritsugu calls Irisviel – yet as she doesn’t know how to use a phone, Waver took the device and spoke to the party on the other line instead.
That party is Kiritsugu, and he tells Waver to have Rider manifest the squid in a specific location once his reality marble runs out of energy – Waver agrees, and Kiritsugu also informs Waver of a message for Lancer, he tells him to relay the fact that Saber has an “anti-fortress Noble Phantasm” in her left hand. Hearing the message, Lancer more or less ends any chance at securing the grail he might have had by snapping the smaller of his two spears in half, thereby making it worthless dust, and relieving Saber of the curse on her hand.
Lancer’s actions are honorable and whatnot, yet one has to be sick of seeing Lancer be such an expendable character in every Fate series – his role is always either to lose or to die, and here he simply gives himself up. On another note, he’s been acting without much intervention from his incompetent masters at all throughout Fate/Zero – and this is just another example of such.
In any case, Saber can now make use of her full power – however, she immediately becomes the target of Berserker who is still flying around on his F-15 at mach speeds. After several minutes are wasted with Berserker chasing Saber, Lancer decides to go halt Berserker – and that is where Gilgamesh intrudes as well, taking out Berserker for the remainder of the episode.
Making for an extravagant finale, vivid lights, explosions, and all sorts of flashy effects erupt courtesy of Saber.
Kiritsugu shoots a flair to signal where Waver should have Rider drop the squid – Waver has said squid placed accordingly, and then Saber commences her overly dramatic yet well-animated attack upon the squid. Although she’s using a sword as her weapon of choice, when she proclaims “Excalibur!” in preparation of her strike, following an established standard for any self-respecting anime character by yelling out something while charging forward, her offensive is clearly nothing a normal blade is capable of.
Laser-like streams of light go bursting from her glowing sword straight at the squid under a solid speed of 299,792,458 metres per second – massacring it instantly, and causing all sorts of fanciful discharges to be seen.
Everyone in the distance saw this unmissable spectacle of course, yet Rider and Gilgamesh specifically took note of it from the same viewing place – they speak some of Saber and the path to be present from here out, and it seems here Gilgamesh basically states aloud his love for Saber, albeit for a reason rather demented.
As the more insignificant details are now taken care of, such as the squid, the series can now propel forward at full speed – and as there is simply two servants eliminated up to this point, assuming Assassin is indeed dead, that means Fate/Zero has hardly gotten started despite being a full 15 episodes in.