Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fate/Zero - 05

[Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 05 [D49DC44D].mkv_snapshot_00.38_[2011.10.29_14.04.31] [Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 05 [D49DC44D].mkv_snapshot_04.08_[2011.10.29_14.07.16] [Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 05 [D49DC44D].mkv_snapshot_04.16_[2011.10.29_14.07.24]

I’m sure a bigger Type-Moonie would find it painfully obvious from the start, but for me it’s really becoming apparent that the servants in this drama are much more interesting than the masters.

It says something about the pacing and direction of Fate/Zero that every episode feels as if lasts about five minutes.  About the time I’m ready for the first eyecatch the preview is rolling.  There’s an awful lot going on here, no doubt about it – but when handled badly over-busy anime episodes can seem to last for hours and leave you nothing but confused and bored.  Here, the avalanche of information and action is always coherent and enlightening.

What was already apparent through process of elimination became official this week, as the last of the master-servant connections where established.  The most interesting new addition to the brewing mêlée is Berserker (Okiayu Ryotaro).  As expected he’s paired with Kariya, absent since the premiere.  I’m not crazy about the look of the scenes with Berserker as he’s represented entirely in CGI, and these scenes look less fluid and natural than the rest of the series.  Nevertheless he’s an interesting character and seemingly a good fit for Kariya under the circumstances.  His noble phantasm is apparently the ability to use anyone else’s weapon as a noble phantasm, a useful skill that would appear to neutralize Gilgamesh almost entirely.  By appearance I’m guessing he’s the mythical Black Knight, which would make him quite a familiar foe for Saber if true.  She doesn’t seem to recognize him though, so I can’t be sure.

I’m still tempted by the notion of two separate camps among the servants, divided on the question of chivalry.  Saber, Lancer, and Rider definitely have it, and Caster, Berserker and Assassin certainly do not.  Indeed, we saw evidence of that as Rider specifically intervened to prevent Lancer from being forced by Kayneth to join forced with Berserker to kill Saber (too many pronouns).  Of course the wild card in that scenario is Archer/Gilgamesh, working for Tokiomi.  I’m not sure whether he has any chivalry in his nature or not, as he seems primarily driven by ego.  It was that ego that forced Tokiomi to use his command seal to order him off before he showed the others all his cards.  As I understand it the masters have only three of those to use as trump cards, though how hard and fast that rule is I don’t know.  Kayneth has already used one of his up on Lancer, as well.

If I’m to quibble, I do wish that ufotable hadn’t chosen Hayami Sho and Nakata Jouji to voice Tokiomi and Kirei, respectively.  Those two sound enough alike that I’ve often confused them, and they’re playing masters who are allies and even look a bit alike.  That and Berserker’s CG aside, I don’t have a lot of issues - this continues to be an interesting and superbly produced series.  I’ll be very interested in seeing what becomes of Caster’s obsession with Saber.  I’m not sure I understand how that fits historically, unless he’s somehow convinced himself that she’s Jeanne d’Arc, whom he fought alongside – there’s no connection between Gilles de Rais and Arthur that I know of, and it can’t be sexual, as Bluebeard was interested in women only to keep up appearances and preferred to focus his desires in an altogether different direction.

Seems to me that Kiritsugu and Tokiomi are the cleverest of the masters and have the closest thing to an upper hand at this point.  Their identity as participants in the grail was has still not been uncovered, and their information about their competitors is more complete than anyone else’s.  Given that the servants themselves seem relatively evenly matched in terms of pure ability, it’ll likely be strategy that determines the eventual winner in this game.  One interesting variable is the matter of who was using a familiar to spy on the sanctuary church where Kirei is hiding.  Which master do they work for, and does this mean that the nature of Tokiomi and Kirei’s subterfuge has already been uncovered?  Given that Kiritsugu seems to have the best strategic sense and the most deceitful nature among the other masters, he seems like the most likely culprit.

[Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 05 [D49DC44D].mkv_snapshot_12.18_[2011.10.29_14.15.47] [Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 05 [D49DC44D].mkv_snapshot_13.34_[2011.10.29_14.17.03] [Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 05 [D49DC44D].mkv_snapshot_14.25_[2011.10.29_15.07.31]
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[Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 05 [D49DC44D].mkv_snapshot_19.38_[2011.10.29_14.23.07] [Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 05 [D49DC44D].mkv_snapshot_21.02_[2011.10.29_14.24.31] [Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 05 [D49DC44D].mkv_snapshot_21.47_[2011.10.29_14.25.16]


26 comments:

  1. Awesome ep and I don't have problems with the CG because how berserker is described in the novel:
    "Just like an off-focus photograph, the outlines of the black armor were always shifting, like a mist, and you would sometime see it double or triple. Somehow, the material seemed to be made out of a hallucination."

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  2. I'm glad they were faithful, and it's not a major complaint, Grim. I just don't happen to think he looks as natural as the traditionally animated characters, but I suppose even that could be argued to be intentional.

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  3. I think it was Kiritsugu who was spying on the church, I thought he ordered to have familiars spy on the church back in episode three anyway. And I thought that Caster mistook Saber for Joan D'Arc as well, even tvtropes has noted that she looks a lot like how the Joan of Arc character archtype is usually portrayed.

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  4. It was Kiritsugu who sent that familiar. He tells Maiya to do it in episode 3

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  5. Was that in episode 3? I'd forgotten.

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  6. I have this weird dissonance going on with Gilles de Rais thanks to Jeanne d'Arc (the video game). He's such a nice, decent, noble chap in there that this version is even more jarring.

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  7. Yeap, Kiritsugu asked Maiya to send a familiar to keep an eye on the church before they started making out ;D
    Rider's such an interesting character. You would think he's the all brawn but no brain type of character, but his careful analysis of Archer's and Berserker's abilities shows that he's a conqueror for a reason. Kayneth's not a very good strategist, is he? He shouldn't have wasted one of his commannd seal to get rid of the already wounded Saber. Berserker seems like the more dangerous foe at hand so I would think it would make more sense to work with Saber to fend off that threat first.

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  8. Never mind this version, Pandora, the RL version was bad enough!

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  9. @Guardian Enzo: Actually, there is actual no consensus about the RL version of Gilles de Rais, the legends of Blubeard, was his possible real depravity amplified to take over his lands and titles with the participation of the Church?

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  10. I'd say its almost certain that Bluebeard things Saber is Jeanne, which is not unsurprising, if asked for a historical female hero who wielded a sword and wore armor, wouldn't she be your first guess?

    And dammit, Kayneth's voice. I can't unhear the Archibald from Super Robot Wars. I can't believe that Yamazaki Takumi has actually been cast as TWO different evil British aristocrats named "Archibald". Though Archibald Grimms is more hilariously over the top evil than Kayneth has been thus far.

    Also, ufotable was stuck with the casting of Kotomine, though I agree that Hayami Shou probably should not have played Tokiomi.

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  11. I'd have to agree with Fence. Pretty sure that Jeanne had short hair, plus she was reputed (much to the disgust and bewilderment of her contemporary males) to have worn men's clothing (again, allegedly to stop them from raping her).

    But what does he want to do to her...? D:

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  12. Plus everyone has thought thru history that Arthur was a male king. Jeanne was one of the few historically female warrior types in history (not including mythological goddesses).

    I loved Fate/Stay and knowing ahead of time who are the winner and 1st runnerup in this series still does not ruin this series as the journey to get to the end of Fate/Zero is still very exciting.

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  13. There are now 3 certainties in the world:
    1.Waver is moe
    2.Iskander is a bro
    3.Fate/Zero is awesome

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  14. Looks like Saber cant use her left arm untill Lancer is killed. Got to say I lile Zeros Berserker better then Stay the night Berserker. For that matter Fate/Zero just shows how bad FSTN really was.

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  15. @malbonheur

    There is that contrary theory, but I put it about on the level of theories that Shakespeare wasn't really Shakespeare. Not totally impossible, but the weight of historical evidence doesn't support it.

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  16. I've got a question. Did not the servants only be "good"/"righteous" people? Caster is twisted.

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  17. @Guardian Enzo

    Bluebeard was convicted by a court in the same way Joan of Arc was and any other Witch burned at the stake. I wouldn't consider that conclusive proof of his actual guilt. It's of course possible that he was actually guilty, but I would put it at even odds at best.

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  18. @guardian enzo are you going to do a review for episode 5 of c3 since it the climax battle against the blond women soon?

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  19. >Type-Moonie
    I lol'd. There's one here and I say both the Masters and Servants are interesting. The Masters haven't had their time to shine yet. You'll see :D

    @deafvader
    That's a good question you know. Makes you wonder why the Holy Grail summoned Caster(who's identity you all know now) when he is more of a "vengeful spirit" than a heroic one. Just keep this in mind for later ;)

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  20. I disagree about Fate/Stay being a bad series. I loved it. Many others did as well. Production values are far superior now to what they were when the original series aired (2006).

    The makers have also had time to sit back and go over what went well with FS and what could be better in FZ.

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  21. @deafvader
    Servants do not have to be "good". As long as their actions save people, they will become a "hero" by other peoples' eyes, or the "worlds" view. On the contrary, even if they performed bad things, if many people viewed them as a Hero, then they can become a hero.

    In other words, Hitler can become a hero because he rallied masses of people and conquered many nations.

    This idea of a "hero" is actually called an "Anti-Hero". There are two of them in Fate/stay night. In Fate/Zero, Caster is one.

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  22. @gurdian enzo things are picking up in episode 5 of c3 and evrything become clear and explained so please do a review about the episode you wont regret

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  23. Elior, at some point I'll watch C3 and probably do a digest review of episode 5.

    Karma, who said F/SN was "bad"? I didn't like it much, but that doesn't make it bad - just means it didn't float my boat.

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  24. I was actually kind of shocked that Berserker was able to beat Gilgamesh, since Gilgamesh has arguably the most broken Noble Phantasm in the entire Holy Grail War (so long as it is used against Servants, of course.) I guess that since Shirou was Gilgamesh's counter in Fate/Stay Night, he would also need someone here who would be able to stand up to him without any trouble. But the fact that it's Kariya's servant makes the situation even better!

    On that note, knowing what happens to Sakura in Heaven's Feel at the end of Fate/Stay Night made watching Kariya calling her name as he stumbled away pretty damn painful. This is only going to get worse...

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  25. I was responding to the anon poster above that said:

    "For that matter Fate/Zero just shows how bad FSTN really was".

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  26. Ah, sorry.

    Maybe it is bad by comparison? Like anything else, it's all up to personal opinion.

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