Fate/stay night – 18
In a series of flashbacks, Caster remembers her past. She had collapsed and lay outside of Ryuudoji one night until Kuzuki took her in. After helping her recover, he had told her that it was ok for her to leave, but she elected to stay with him. The current Caster is nostalgic about that time, since it’s raining now much like it was then. At that time, Fuji-nee is watching over Ilya while Rin, Shirou, and Saber are approaching the temple. Rin is sure that Sakura is ok because Caster wouldn’t kill her sacrifice so easily. Saber is unsure why Caster targeted Sakura since she isn’t a mage, but Rin knows that it’s because Sakura has a magical circuit and is part of a family of mages. Rin then finds a secret passage to a different temple. While running through it, she smells blood and gets a vision of Sakura.
The three reach a small underground city, but are forced to fight hordes of summoned monsters. After burying most of them by destroying a nearby structure, they start climbing a long set of stairs to the temple area, but are then stopped by the appearance of Assassin. He only wants to fight Saber though, so he lets Rin and Shirou pass. The two of them reach the top of the stairs and find Sakura in the middle of a pit. As Rin starts running towards her, Shirou notices something to the side. He protects Rin, in the process bringing out Kanshou and Bakuya, from an attack from Kuzuki. While the two men start fighting, Rin approaches Sakura and calls for Caster to come out. The servant scares Rin by appearing right behind her. Caster seems to know all about Sakura and Rin after having taken a peek inside Sakura’s head.
Caster also thinks that Rin is misunderstood, and claims that she has no intention of fighting Rin. Rin can take Sakura away if she wants, but Caster doesn’t know if Sakura herself still wants to continue on living. She then proceeds to tell Sakura that the person she’s been waiting for has come. This triggers a memory and a painful reaction in Sakura. As a result, dark whip-like tentacles spring forth from beneath her and attack Rin. Shirou notices that Rin is in danger, but that distraction leaves him wide open to Kuzuki’s fists. After taking cover behind a pillar, Shirou asks Kuzuki why he became a master if he’s not a mage and has no interest in the Holy Grail. Kuzuki surmises that perhaps he’s the same as Shirou, since they both aren’t doing this for their own desires. Kuzuki then smashes through the pillar, but Shirou blocks his fist with both swords.
Below them, Rin’s attacks are having little effect on Sakura. She knows that the most important thing to mages is not their life, but rather it’s defending the dignity of the soul. And since Sakura is from a family of mages, she should be able to understand that. Rin decides to make use of her jewels in a final charge against Sakura. She remembers a scene from their youth where she confirmed that Sakura’s name was Matou Sakura. The current Sakura tries to attack her with a dagger, but Rin gets out of the way and lands her magic squarely on Sakura’s abdomen. She then remembers the two of them being separated, with the young Sakura in tears. Rin had also cried later when she was by herself, apologizing for leaving Sakura alone. Back in the present, everyone notices that the magic underneath Sakura’s feet has receded. Rin has Sakura in her arms, and there is a bloody dagger on the ground. The real Sakura manages to regain consciousness and Rin tells her something (we see mouth move, but no words). She asks Sakura to forget everything – the bad dream has ended – and then kisses her on the forehead. Sakura smiles and the two girls hug. Floating above the two, Caster laughs and says that the sacrifice only needs one mage with a magic circuit.
Ahhh, so that was Sakura in the preview last week. They don’t explicitly state it, but it’s heavily hinted that Sakura and Rin are related (i.e. sisters) who were separated when they were young. I assume that one scene from the past was of Rin telling Sakura that her new name is Matou Sakura. The two then get separated as Sakura is taken to the Matou household and Rin laments letting her sister go. It seems that Caster was manipulating whatever repressed grudge Sakura had against her sister, which is why Sakura attacked Rin.
Well, it’s fitting that the Sakura episode had a lot of Sakura fanservice. Not only did she get a topless shot, Sakura also wears that dominatrix outfit and her seiyuu (Shitaya Noriko) got to do some rather orgasmic-style screams.
I hate to sound wishy-washy, but I think FSN is now going a slightly too fast in terms of how fast the plot is moving. The first ten or so episodes moved at a snail’s pace, but now we appear to be covering entire arcs in 2-3 episodes. For example, Sakura and Rin have had their connection hinted at several times before, but they pretty much show what it is and resolve whatever conflict through this one episode. And although bits and pieces of Caster’s past were shown in the flashback, they don’t make much sense unless you know the story of Medea. Having said all that though, I would much rather watch it go by a little on the fast side than a lot on the slow side, so I can’t really complain.
Next week, the introduction of a new (kinda) character!
Note: Large versions of screencap 13 and screencap 26 are courtesy of 2chan’s FSN thread.