A thoughtful response to current anime.

Fate/Zero – Episode 3

Last episode on Fate/Zero, there were a lot of different people doing a lot of different things.  I appreciate having a bunch of perspectives to help keep things fresh, but there are seven different factions we have to keep track of!  Ok, we haven’t really heard much from the lecturer guy, so it’s really more like six.  It looked like Tohsaka and Kotomine would be working together and we could get by with as few as five colors on our gameboard, but now I guess Kotomine is trying to kill Tohsaka?  Or maybe not, but if he’s not trying to kill Tohsaka, he’s trying to kill Assassin Black, which means Assassin Black is a faction all his own.  Let’s see if whichever person was betrayed can survive the betrayal in episode 3 of Fate/Zero.

…thirty minutes pass…

Assassin is the most tragic of all the heroes.

OK, so it was a ruse. Assassin Black came as part of a set, and so they make a show of killing off one element of the set so that all the other masters think “phew, Assassin is dead, time to go walking down a dark alley in the middle of the night”. I can sort of see the sense in that, but: since when is Assassin Black a combo pack? It’s been a few years since I played Fate/Stay Night, but I only remember one of him. Also: why not send him to kill some other master, one you aren’t actually allied with? That way, if by some miraculous chance Assassin Black actually completes his mission, you wind up with a dead enemy, instead of a dead ally. The rule of thumb is, don’t point an Assassin at anything you don’t want dead. Plus, even if he fails, you’ll get a glimpse of somebody else’s servant, instead of somebody else getting a glimpse of yours. Maybe that would defeat the purpose – maybe the point of this exercise was to say “hey everybody, my servant is Gilgamesh the king of kings, you might want to pick on somebody else to start with”.

Kiritsugu was ice fucking cold this episode. I mean, that’s the point of his character, but he’s taking things so far even I can’t find it endearing. It’s one thing for him to use Irisviel as bait – she’s gonna die at the end of the Holy Grail War when her flesh transforms into the grail anyway, so if she can take an Assassin attack that would otherwise hit Kiritsugu, or use her stomach to block one of Berserker’s attacks against Saber, that’s just making good use of resources. But while his wife is out there drawing fire for him, he’s making out with his subordinates? How is that necessary to realize his dream of saving the world? You could argue that maintaining the morale of your underlings is important, but he doesn’t seem at all concerned with Saber’s morale. He doesn’t have to go quite as far as Shirou did, but he could at least, like, talk to her.

From the bit at the end, it looks like the lecturer is gearing up to be the first one eliminated. I would have guessed it would be Caster. Well, it will be nice to see a real fight for once. It’s been three episodes, one of which was double-long, and the most we’ve had was a staged massacre of Assassin Black. I’m starting to get antsy!


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