「冬木の地」 (Fuyuki no Chi)
“The Land of Fuyuki”
Well, I hope I didn’t ruin the enjoyment of too many viewers out there about something that was revealed in just nine minutes of this third episode. Personally, I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Just so there isn’t any confusion, I don’t know too much about Fate/Zero outside of what I know from Fate/stay night and what I learned during the research for the season preview. I don’t know where things are headed and even less about how things will end, and of all the spoilerish tidbits that I did come across, the true identity of the “Assassins” served as a big teaser to me than a spoiler. Knowing about that felt like a preview for this third episode, which actually gave me something to look forward to, hence why I passed it along.
One of the key differences seen in this prequel is the perceptiveness of the Masters. There’s a lot more scheming and underhanded strategizing going on compared to the Fifth War in Fate/stay night, and Kiritsugu himself is no different with the way he’s trying to trick the other Masters into thinking that Saber is contracted to Iri (which may explain why he feels he’s going to cause her death). In Tokiomi and Kirei’s case, it’s only natural for us as the viewer to suspect that something was up, especially when we have an inside look at what’s going on with all the Masters and their Servants, so I can’t imagine anyone wasn’t the least bit suspicious about the supposed betrayal out of the blue. If you were, then we’re likely watching different shows and there’s little to no reason for you to be reading my impressions anyway.
Clearly, I have to draw the line somewhere about what I can talk about after confirming the details and what’s considered a “major” spoiler, so short of putting my entire post in spoiler tags, I’ll start by saying that I don’t consider telling you that Hiasu Maiya (Tsunematsu Aymi) is Kiritsugu’s coldhearted professional assistant a spoiler, or even how her weapon of choice is a Steyr AUG, as seen in the opening sequence. If you feel that’s already divulging too much, then I’m afraid I’ll have to say that this blogger/reader relationship just isn’t going to work out and we should break ties here. Just close your browser tab now. If you’re okay with knowing that much and wondering about the kiss between them — which I really don’t know the exact reasons for — then it may be worth paying attention to Iri’s conversation with Saber a bit more. If you’re okay with a little more deduction on on my part, then take note of how Show Spoiler ▼
As for some surface-level impressions from the lengthy exposition that isn’t the least bit dull (To Aru Majutsu no Index should take some notes here), it’s interesting to see how Tokiomi will bow his head to Gilgamesh to get him to cooperate (very manipulative), how Waver and Rider get along a lot better than it seems, how Kirei still feels unfulfilled, how convenient it is for Servants to instantly gain some knowledge of the era they’ve been summoned into, and how Saber is truly unlike all the other Servants. Lancer (Midorikawa Hikaru) makes his honorable appearance (no I won’t mention his true identity) and sets the stage for a battle with Saber next time. I’ll even refrain from mentioning why Saber’s weapon is invisible and exactly what Gilgamesh’s Noble Phantasm is, even though both have been explained in Fate/stay night. It’s probably worth mentioning that Saber’s probably dressed up in a black suit to help mask her true identity/gender, though I’m not really sure helps in any way when she transforms back to her armored outfit in battle. Whatever the case, she, Iri, and Kiritsugu have arrived in Fuyuki and the war will probably pick up from hereon in.