Ummmm I don’t really have anything to say as way of intro, except for, phew! We got some more Saber into our diets finally! I was pretty sure we were going to perish from malnutrition here.
Lily’s up first:
I love Iskander, but he irritates me. That’s the thought that consumed me in this episode.
I was absolutely mesmerized by the quality of the animation this week, exceptional during the display of awesome that was Saber on her motorbike. What happened to Kariya was sad, but Saber’s chase after Rider was the highlight of the episode. Biased, me? I have no idea what you’re talking about. She used Excalibur, which means I never stood a chance. Saber is strong and she shines, and the way Iskander keeps minimizing her annoys me to no end. I won’t say Waver was wrong when he said Iskander recognizes the true potential of warriors given, as the King of Conquerors, he wants only the best in his army. But he thinks himself too big, he has far too great standards. He’s unable to see Saber as a King, so he won’t go all out against her, he won’t take the fight seriously. He wants to dominate her, without recognizing the possibility of being beaten. If she’s not a King, she cannot defeat a King. And because of that line of thought, he lost a battle.
Maybe now Iskander will give Saber, and her Noble Phantasm, the consideration she deserves. Maybe now he will allow his pride to take that blow, because were Saber not focused on saving Irisviel, I believe this could have been his end. At least someone needs to have their priorities right.
And Kirei… Is it bad I think so little of Kirei? It’s not that he’s not dangerous, playing the war combatants like pieces on a board and learning tricks of deceit with Gilgamesh, but at the same time, I do not feel he’s the mastermind a show of this caliber deserved. Perhaps the faceoff between Kiritsugu and Kirei will be outstanding, but right now, he’s bland, with bland cards up his sleeve. It’s almost like watching a soap opera villain. If anything, Gilgamesh’s manipulation is interesting, but not Kirei himself.
Since Berserker was the actual kidnapper of Irisviel, does this mean Saber will target him now? I’ve been expecting Berserker to be the second to last servant to go – since, through Fate/Stay Night spoilers, we know who the last one is –, so I hope the focus will be on Rider, because despite his charisma, I’m tired of his arrogance. And Berserker is much more interesting.
Well, and let’s see what Katherine has to say for this week:
This episode was like Christmas.
My main impression of it is, “SABER ON A MOTORCYCLE, OMG SABER ON A MOTORCYCLE OMGOMGOMGOMGOGMOGMOGMGOYGHYTFU. *brain explodes*”
The chase sequence was like a drink of water after the dry, sandy Kiritsugu desert that I’ve had to crawl through these past few episodes. I’m even glad Rider cheated to “win,” because Saber’s reaction to it made her look even more awesome. I mean, she clashed swords with Rider while flying through the air on a motorcycle after dodging hurtling chunks of cement and rock to save Irisviel. Mana-shmana, it was the power of love. 😉
Alas, Rider did not actually have Irisviel. Saber did kick his ass, even if she didn’t go all the way and knock him out of the war. She obviously had better things to do once he wasn’t an immediate threat anymore-like save her beloved.
Even though my opinion of Kariya took a hit when a) he let Berserker drop Irisviel on the ground and b) he discussed Irisviel with Kirei as if she were an object (no better than the Einzberns in that respect), I still felt bad for him because of all he went through to save Sakura…until he killed Aoi.
What Aoi said to him was horrible, but I have no sympathy for a man who attacks the woman he loves for not noticing his feelings. Especially since it seems like he was always too much of a wimp to do anything when he had the chance. Kind of Nice Guy-ish, when you think about it. Sorry Kariya, unrequited love sucks, but it’s not her fault that she didn’t read your mind. Her choice of a husband wasn’t exactly stellar, but at least Tokiomi (I’m assuming) had the cojones to make his feelings known. Anyway…
More Saber on a motorcycle next week, please~ XD
So it seems the consensus is that Saber on her motorcycle was exactly the direction the show needed this week, and I will have to concur. I do love Katherine’s description of the Kiritsugu backstory as a desert. But do I have much crossover on everything else with my fellow Fate/Zero bloggers?
First, the animation for this week was truly ungodly. And I almost turned into a puddle of goo over Saber. Good lord was she cool. And that she trounced Rider just added to the utter awesomeness of the episode.
What happened with Kariya bummed me out, but I wasn’t hyper-shocked by it. He’s totally lost his humanity by now; we’ve known for a while that he’s off his rocker, but this was the final straw. There, of course, was really no other option for an outcome here, but its really sad to see, nevertheless. I did like Kariya, and I do feel sympathy for him because he never stood a chance, but his murder of Aoi places him firmly in the bad guy column here.
I was, by the way, completely blindsided by the revelation that Beserker was the one to kidnap Irisviel. I didn’t see that one coming at all.
And, for a moment of spoilers LOOK AWAY IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED, an intriguing thing to consider – Guinevere has been depicted as looking similar to Irisviel in the Fate canon. So, its a bit fitting that Beserker would be the one to cart her off, huh? Maybe we can draw a comparison here, by the way, between Kariya and Beserker in that the women they loved married other men (granted, that didn’t stop Lancelot and Guinevere from carrying on together, anyway, although that did destroy Camelot). Beserker’s ill-treatment of Irisviel, the Guinevere lookalike, would parallel with Kariya’s murder of Aoi, in that both are harming the women they loved but couldn’t “have”.
Switching gears, Kirei remains fairly dull, so its a damn good thing he’s got Gilgamesh around. As I’ve said before, I loathe Gilgamesh when he’s in battle and making obnoxious speeches, but around Kirei I can’t help but be delighted by their interplay. Where are the BL doujin, folks? Come on, don’t leave me hanging.
I don’t really have much else to say about the episode, since most of what I could say is pure incoherence as I burble away about how utterly cool Saber is. Did I mention how cool she is? Hnnnnngh Saberrrr.
“What Aoi said to him was horrible, but I have no sympathy for a man who attacks the woman he loves for not noticing his feelings.”
That’s really what you took away from that scene? That’s just sad.
Kariya is far into insanity territory. He’s actually able to converse with Berserker now (who, you’ll remember, was summoned with the special trait of ‘madness’). He has literally sacrificed his life for a shred of a chance of saving Sakura, enduring a year+ of near-crippling pain. He is actually aware of just what was done to Sakura (and force-fed one of the bugs that had fed on her), unlike Aoi (and possibly Tokiomi, though that’s debatable), who were willing to sacrifice their daughter to that atrocity. He had Tokiomi explain to him just how much of an ‘object’ he considered his own daughters, for the sake of the Grail (a far worse attitude, I think, than Berserker dropping an enemy combatant on the ground). He’s just been framed for murdering Tokiomi — sure, he wanted to defeat the guy, and probably had a strong desire to kill him (whether he could have carried through on that is unknown), but he hasn’t actually done so. And then the woman he loved comes up and says all that to him.
Now, Kariya said some stupid s**t. He panicked, and basically fell back to a 13-year-old’s blame game. He -could- have talked his way through it (maybe; undoubtedly Kirei and Gilgy would have interfered if it looked like he wasn’t going to complete his fall) if he was sane and rational. But he’d just been broken, completely and utterly. For all that he had endured for her and her daughters’ sakes, for all that he could have died without her ever knowing how much he’d gone through for their sakes, she just ripped that last tiny refuge away from him. *Caster* has a better and healthier grasp on reality than Kariya does now.
Also, regarding the dismissive ‘nice guy’ comments, I highly suspect that Aoi and Tokiomi’s marriage was arranged by their respective families. (note: I haven’t read the novels, so I have no idea if this is addressed in there.) Kariya’s split with his family and refusal to be trained as a mage would put his own social standing quite low. In addition, given the weight family lineage has on general prestige (see Archibald’s speech to the students way back in episode 1), for Aoi’s marriage to Tokiomi to be accepted, she likely has to also come from a respectable family line. Put that all together, along with the prospects of what his own children with Aoi would likely have to suffer if they were to marry (see: Sakura, Zouken), and he never stood a chance in the first place. Likewise, Tokiomi has never struck me as the type of person who would pursue romance; marriage is just another obligation for the ultimate goal of the Tohsaka family eventually acquiring access to the Root. He performs the requisite duties, and even cares for his family, but they are a distant second to his magical pursuits.
Final aside: I agree with everything everyone said about Saber. Saber rocks. Only slight disappointment was that she didn’t actually ask Rider about Irisviel. I can understand why she might not (there’s still the vague ploy about Iri being Saber’s master), but I don’t doubt that that lack of knowledge is going to hurt them in the near future.
“the prospects of what his own children with Aoi would likely have to suffer if they were to marry (see: Sakura, Zouken), and he never stood a chance in the first place.”
Not really. The worms were only necessary because the Matou needed to get someone ready to represent them in the war in a short amount of time. If Kariya had stayed and trained with the Matou (not that I blame him for leaving them), it wouldn’t have been necessary for Sakura. (Or presumably, any kids he might have had with Aoi.) Your theory about Aoi and Tokiomi’s marriage could very well be true- I didn’t rule out romantic feelings on Tokiomi’s part because, heck, Kayneth (with all of his similarities to Tokiomi) had them for Sola.
I was a little too damning of Kariya in my initial reaction. It is true that he wasn’t right in the head by this episode, which makes his actions more understandable, if not excusable. (Fyi, when someone unhinged kills someone in real life, it’s hard for me- if not impossible- to find sympathy for them either. Callous on my part? Maybe.)
At least we can all agree that Saber rocks.