Kiritsugu finds his justice in Fate/Zero’s appropriately titled 19th episode, “Where Justice Is Found” – unfortunately however, his “justice” is hypocritical, and brings about his own desolation to much dismay for all.
Watching this episode, Kiritsugu’s beliefs become understandable – they do make sense, he does wish to live righteously, and his intentions are nothing but the best. Yet in spite of this – it amounts to nothing. Intention does come before words and action – yet if one repeats their the same action intentionally and continually to no avail, who has benefited from their intention? No one, not even them.
Such is the case for Kiritsugu – he selects his path within this episode, and while logical indeed it seems, where exactly did it take him many years later to the last real-time point we’ve seen?
Not very far honestly.
We were shown the start of Kiritsugu’s eventful days last episode, and here they carry on – or rather, truly kick off. The dice are rolled at this point, and the outcome gradually approaches – this chapter follows along with Kiritsugu’s life as he matures post-tragedy.
Scenes shuffle between various points of his life to contribute multiple lines to the same story – first, it is seen that part of Kiritsugu’s ribs are crushed down to make a set of 66 bullets. These, as his new guardian Natalia tells him, can stop any mage – interestingly, the projectiles respond in accordance with Kiritsugu’s name. To “sever” and “tie” – the alphabet for that pair of words is combined to make “Kiritsugu” in kanji, and incidentally, the bullets do the same.
They cut a mage’s arcane circuits and tie them together once more – albeit intentionally misaligned. Essentially, they ruin any given magus for life without exception.
Diminutive chunks of the philosophy which Kiritsugu of modern time believes are thrown at us – or in other words, the assorted points in his past which make up the man we know are exhibited all throughout, gradually being assembled into the Kiritsugu we recognize. His hands progressively stain further with blood as he aides Natalia over the years – however he hasn’t been doing it robotically without any thought.
A prominent facet to take notice of, we see where he picks up his lethal ideology – during a harsh moment on the field, a usual occurrence of death takes place before him. Kiritsugu is frustrated – he murdered his father believing that he was ending something, he assumed that by eliminating his demented progenitor, it was a means to prevent the creations of that parent of his from ravaging through the villages of others as it had his own home.
It did not of course – and Natalia tells Kiritsugu why, to actually bring a halt to iniquity around the world, one would have to slaughter not a single, but every like-minded person in that respect. While that may be true, it is impractical – she was saying it in jest, yet Kiritsugu wasn’t laughing and slapping at his knee. Right there, it goes unsaid, however it is clear – Kiritsugu’s mind transforms a bit. His thoughts aren’t explictly expressed – yet he’s been pondering this entire time, and now he has his answer.
This statement Natalia made ends up revolutionizing his very being – Kiritsugu takes it as truth, even though he says nothing of it aloud. Thoughts are kept very subtle – thus it is difficult to ascertain if anything else spirals up, yet one has to be curious if Natalia also realized something here, perhaps becoming expecting of fate.
In any case, the episode’s relatively easy movement forward jolts when it meets its main event – such an affair was anticipated to come, and nearer the end, one will already be aware of what is to occur. An inner-intensity will erupt as patience turns to anxiety by the second.
Natalia has Kiritsugu take part in her hunt for an infamous mage. With magi on a plane – all goes well, Natalia takes care of the target with relative ease, or so it initially seems. The issue comes after the target’s death – and Kiritsugu pivots over to his scheme immediately thereafter. Surely he must have plotted this prior, as when Natalia’s departure to the skies goes wrong – Kiritsugu set out to acquire a certain weapon.
An issue for Natalia arises when the magus she retired ends up having a swarm of bees escape from his body – and ultimately, infect everyone on board the flight. She starts struggling to ensure she can make a safe landing – meanwhile, Kiritsugu is in vicinity of her intended landing point, a place in New York. Over their personal line of communication, the two seem to get sentimental in reminiscence over time together – and one can feel the atmosphere get heavy.
While most of Natalia’s chatter regards Kiritsugu being family and whatnot – she mentions that he had a “special gift” of being able to pull the trigger regardless of his emotions felt. The irony here hurts worse than being engulfed in a blazing fire – as she says this, and continues to speak, we see Kiritsugu prep himself in a spot out to sea. He very carefully readies his weapon – visibly having much weighing in on his mind, and his actions are slowed by the mass of emotion crushing him, but he hesitates not.
Coming into view is Natalia’s plane – she’s having a heartwarming conversation with Kiritsugu, even saying she wishes to retire after this, though it looks that Kiritsugu takes care of that for her instead. He hoists a heat seeking, rocket propelling device over his shoulders, and with the plane getting closer, he obliterates it.
A faint smile escapes Natalia as she’s eaten alive by incineration – and subsequently, Kiritsugu breaks down into a moment of insanity. Yelling hysterically and thinking to himself of how he’s supposedly protected many from death – feeling broken for a second, but regaining himself and seemingly feeling assured in his path as the episode concludes.
Who did he actually save?
Kiritsugu’s realizes he’s doing wrong, he accepts it, and he continues with it under hopes that eventually, he will bring salvation to the world. He’s basing his life on a hypothetical ideal that he’s saving someone – although it’s unclear who he’s managed to rescue, as obviously, it wasn’t himself, nor Natalia. Everyone can’t be saved, Kiritsugu admits this himself – however it seems no matter this, he’s attempting to exceed limitations impossible, not that he’s striving to achieve something great, rather, he’s chasing after the impractical.
No matter what he does, it will never work as he’s not physically, mentally, or otherwise capable of saving everyone – and atop of that, he’s merely contributing hypocritically to what he’s trying to fight.
By being perceptive of this hypocrisy himself, that does not make it acceptable. Kiritsugu’s actions are futile – he could endlessly spend his days fighting evil like a slave working on a coal mine, yet not even a dent will he make. Even by Kiritsugu dedicating his life to fighting evil through evil – he remains incapable of such a feat, and the element in question will always be present. Its abundance is too great – but not only this, it will rain, more evil will sprout, and those locked in cells can escape.
The world will replenish what is lost – crime is a renewable resource, and Kiritsugu can’t eradicate it. Imagine the world is filled with others like himself – they’re merely snuffing out one another in that case. There’s just nothing to prosper with this regardless of how it is viewed – and with that, we await to see how this series will transpire from here. All that remains is a final conclusion to be seen.