A thoughtful response to current anime.

Fate/Zero – Episode 12

Last episode on Fate/Zero, the three kings (or two kings and one scared little girl depending who you ask) met for a drink and a parley.  It’s a classy thing to do right before a great battle.  It shows that there are no hard feelings; no matter who kills you, you won’t hold a grudge afterwards.  So then the Assassins showing up to try to kill the parleyers was an extremely classless move.  Archer Gold blamed Tohsaka, but Tohsaka is the epitome of class.  It was probably Kotomine acting on his own initiative, possibly specifically trying to cause trouble between Tohsaka and Archer Gold.  Let’s see if Kotomine finally makes his move in episode 12 of Fate/Zero.

…thirty minutes pass…

I guess the metric system is one of those newfangled inventions mages eschew.

For the love of god, people!  Start killing each other!  There is only so long you can claim that it is the “calm before the storm” before you lose hope.  Is this going to be like Madoka, SPOILER WARNING  where I grew more and more frustrated that the titular Madoka still had not become a magical girl, until I realized that it wasn’t that kind of show?  Maybe in the original version of this Holy Grail War, Waver was the winner, but then he got all weepy about the destruction caused along the way and his only wish was to turn back time and maybe not kill quite so many people this time.  Maybe he specified not killing so many “men and women” and that’s why the child death toll has been so high relative to the adult death toll.  END SPOILER WARNING. You gotta be careful with how you word things around genies!

Or you can just pull Kotomine’s trick and say “I wish for what I want to wish for”, and let the genie do the hard work of figuring out what that is specifically.  The only trouble comes when you don’t want to want what you want.  In particular, Kotomine is a bad person, and wants to watch people cry out in agony and torment.  But he has had a proper upbringing and knows that you are not supposed to torture people for fun!  So this works out pretty well, until he does an end-run around his moral code by hooking up his desires directly to a genie.  I’d like to think that if he knew what getting what he wanted entailed, he would reject it, and reject the Grail.  That he could be a martyr, like Saber.  But so long as he deludes himself about what he really wants, he doesn’t realize how dangerous it is to play with genies.  “Give me what I want” seems like a safe request on the surface, but nothing is ever safe around a genie.

On a lighter note, I was pleased to see the Emiya residence show up.  There was a jolt of recognition when it appeared on-screen, an immediate sense of “hey, I’ve been there!” I had to stop and remind myself that I had never been there, and in fact it wasn’t a real place, it just featured in a videogame I played.  I’ve had the same thing happen to me with the Shibuya shopping district after playing The World Ends With You, but at least Shibuya actually exists.

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