「聖杯問答」 (Seihai Mondou)
“Holy Grail Dialogue”

For the better part of half of this episode, I was pretty set on how my impressions in this post would go — that Urobuchi Gen writes some exquisite dialogue that’s truly worthy of kings — but then the second half rolled around after Rider lectured Saber on what it means to be a king and I just had to tackle it from a different angle — Fate/Zero is too epic for words.

There’s really nothing I can say to describe just how awesome it was to see Rider unleash his greatest Noble Phantasm, Ionian Hetairoi, on all the Assassins who crashed his banquet, so it’s really something you have to see for yourself. What I will say is that it was absolutely priceless to see the arrogant look on their faces wiped away and replaced with fear, especially when it was apparent through their masks. The battle (if you can even call it one) was over before it even started, but I love how the screenplay drove that point home with the lead female Assassin resigning to her fate and letting Rider decapitate her. It was one heck of a statement about the power of Rider’s charisma that has an army following him even in death, much like the sight of Saber in awe over how a “true king” leads. It looked like Archer was a little taken back by the Reality Marble spectacle before him too, seeing as Rider declared that his faithful followers are his greatest treasure.

This episode packed a lot of punch that will surely have viewers raving about Fate/Zero, but what I was planning to talk about is how the exposition in this series continues to impress. The talk between Saber, Rider, and Archer played out like an extremely captivating novel — so much so that I would’ve enjoyed this episode just as much even without Rider’s epic display at the end. After Rider arrived with a barrel of wine and asked Saber to drink with him, I found myself completely absorbed by the unconventional progression of the Fourth Holy Grail War — especially compared to the Fifth War in Fate/stay night — and how it provided further characterization of the Servants. I particularly like how none of the Masters even made an appearance this episode, save for Waver who wasn’t allowed to interrupt anyway, as it allowed the three kings to speak their minds. Their discussion on what they hope to obtain with the Holy Grail was interesting in its own right, but Rider’s view on what it means to be a king was far more so.

More specifically, Rider makes a convincing argument with how a king has to exhibit the extremes of both good and bad, and how the people are expected to devote themselves to their king and not the other way around, because he serves as proof that not all “tyrants” are heartless and cruel. The most intriguing part is that it’s a stark contrast to Saber’s noble yet martyr-like view, something that I always figured was the “right” way to rule. It was an eyeopening argument to say the least, as it reminded Saber of how another knight at the Round Table once claimed she doesn’t know how other people feel and made her start doubting her ideals. It also hinted at a weakness in Saber’s resolve that will likely affect her in this war, and foreshadowed something else for those like myself who know a little too much. (Hint for those who don’t mind a bit of a spoiler.)

The one thing that I would’ve liked to hear is Archer’s take on what it means to be a king. It’s clearly more in line with Rider’s ideals, seeing as he laughed at Saber and had him explain it to her, but he also seems infatuated with Saber’s to a certain degree and wants to see where her beliefs take her. As such, I’m looking forward to subsequent dialogue between Archer and Saber, especially since they meet again in the Fifth War. I have a whole new opinion of Archer after getting a better portrayal of his character, so I get the feeling that Fate/Zero will continue to alter my understanding of Fate/stay night.

* Perhaps someone should tell Saber that Britain is doing fine in present day.
* Not only was the opening sequence skipped in favor of more time, the ending sequence featured scrolling credits in movie-like fashion.




    1. Kinda riding off the first comment but, in the novel, Gilgamesh refers to Saber;
      “It is like a virgin on which flowers are being scattered, lying on the bed. I like it.”


      “Continue on your path of righteousness, Saber, and clown along the way. I like it. Saber, make me happy, and maybe I’ll reward you with the Holy Grail?”

      Suppa Tenko
  1. Epic doesn’t even begin to describe this episode.

    This is the amazing thing about Fate/Zero, expositions and character development are never boring and transitions are done flawlessly.

    I can bet that new anime in the next few years will not be able to reach this level of quality, especially this episode. (unless its by Ufotable of course)

      1. I like Iskander’s personality (relaxed confident cheerful manner, charisma etc.) quite a bit and his special/strong tie/togetherness with his soldiers but I did not get too good impression from the eyes of Ionian Hetairoi soldiers. Their eyes look rather cloudy, soulless and dead. Their behaviors look robotic. All these subtle traits of these soldiers were somewhat eerie and alarming to me. That.. reminded me of mass hysteria, fanatic following to a charismatic figure, which sometimes led to massacre/war in human history..
        I must say Saber’s way is too stiff/suffocating/inhuman and is too hard on her and it is wrong to cut herself off her people and being alone. But her selfless devotion is undeniable. So, I am supporting/praising Saber on this part even though I admit that Rider has been developing to be a very likable character in this series.

      2. I think it would be pretty cool if it was the case – it’d really be a ultimate expression of how far Lord El-Melloi II has gone and the strength of his relationship with Iskander.

        (I know there’s nothing in the novels or Fate/hollow-ataraxia or the side materials that say anything like that, but it’s still a pretty cool idea to consider…)

      3. Show Spoiler ▼

      4. @Neko-tail: Their personalities are far from robotic. They are all unique Heroic Spirits.

        Saber was jelly that Iskander accomplished what she couldn’t do: strong bonds with her followers. If they were robotic people, she wouldn’t be so crushed (she was so devastated in the novels).

      5. @Moriae, yes, good clarification. The novel will probably reveal more precise details about them (haven’t read it yet). What you say makes sense (i.e. If they were robotic people, saber wouldn’t be so crushed.). My impression was based on how these soldiers looked in this episode. It just that their eyes looked gray/dull and in some scenes they even looked mad/fanatic in a way.
        Whatever the case, I still smell some kind of danger in intensive loyalty/worship to a charismatic figure though I cannot help saying Iskander is my favorite character in this series so far.

  2. My summary of the entire episode:
    …lol…huh? wtf!…omg!…lol wtf!…~silence…silence+goosebumps…
    jaw drops…OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK!!!…

    Thank God I haven’t read the novel yet.

    1. Rider is a shallow, egoistical man. He understands nothing more than thrill of conquest and his own selfish vision. He could lead people, inspire them, but to what end? Only to the fulfillment of his own personal desires. In the end, he’s just a selfish tyrant. And his Noble Phantasm reflects that – a crystallized memory of people fighting FOR him.

      Saber’s ideals are something far greater. She represents what it is to stand for something beyond yourself – something GREATER than yourself. Rather than selfishly working for her own desires, she took it upon herself to, at the expense of her own humanity, become a means to save her people. She carried the burden of that entire country, because to her that’s what it meant to be King.

      THIS is what is meant by the nature of Excalibur – the crystallization of the desire of every warrior, the hopes, dreams and exaltation of everyone to ever pick up a sword in defense or pursuit of a greater idea. She carries those dreams with her, and THAT is what makes her great. That is what makes Rider realize his mistake and acknowledge her as a true King. – anonymous

      1. 1. Did you hear a word Rider said in his speech this episode? His noble phantasm is not a memory, it is a world that is created by the bond between him and his men. You think Rider, who has never learned any magic could perform a Reality marble? The only reason Ionian Hetaroi can exist is because the soldiers of his army and Rider all work together to form it. Certainly Rider is incredibly confident to the point of arrogence, but to call him selfish shows how little you understand his character.

        2. Rider will never acknowledge Saber as a true king. As you said, “she took it upon herself to, at the expense of her own humanity, become a means to save her people.” She became something inhuman in order to SAVE her people, not LEAD them. Saber had a pure desire to save her people yes, but she was not suited to be a leader. In the end all her pretty ideals could not stop her people from distrusting her. She spent her entire rule being emotionless and “perfect” at all times causing people to say she had no heart and could not understand human feelings. Rider wont acknowledge her as a king because she isn’t one, she is just a girl who wanted to save people, a martyr. I can see why Caster confused her with Joan of Arc, they have more in common then we thought.

      2. @fencedude
        your right about that. no “ideal” is actually wrong.
        however, as a king, saber doesnt fit as one. she can indeed save her people but can she lead them to a future, good or bad? that is the problem with her being a king, which is why even some of her knights rebelled against her whilst rider’s army are so loyal that they stick with him and they enjoy their time with him.

      3. Saber is a righteous, idealistic woman. She understands proper justice and makes the “best” choices for her kingdom no matter how heartless they seemed. She has a noble and lawful vision, but what else? With only laws, justice, and a beautiful vision, she could never be a real human. In the end her people abandoned her, unable to understand her, unable to emphasize with a machine that dispenses unilateral justice. Her Noble Phantasm reflects that – a crystallization of a beautiful concept, one that is impossible to achieve.

        Rider doesn’t self righteously put himself above mankind and expect everyone else to do the same. He represents something far more HUMAN. Rather than cast aside his emotions and not attempt to understand his subjects, he exemplifies the potential in us all. He did not just lead the people and inspire them, he gave them hopes, dreams, and a vision of eternal greatness! He taught his people how to attain their goals, carried their wills on his back, and lived to his fullest in a way that all mankind could aspire to! Not a god, or a solitary saint, not an ethereal vision only intellectually acknowledged as “right” and “noble”, but a person you would be proud to stand besides. He is someone who knows the people’s feelings, who knows the human heart. He is a King!

        THAT is what the Ionioi Hetairoi truly symbolizes. A crystallization of the bonds of humanity, of the desires of man! The hopes of dreams of all warriors who believed in a worthy cause and who shared joys with comrades in arms that they can NEVER forget. The soldiers of Greece, their hearts are as one. Together they dreamed of greatness, together they found true companions, and together they LIVED LIFE. The one who united them all is non other than Iskander the Great. Not one of them could forget the awe inspiring man that shouldered all of their burdens. So great was he, that they swore an oath of eternal loyalty. They would not just fight FOR him, but with him, as one will! That is what makes him “The Great”. That is what makes Saber question her king-hood as she remembers a bloodstained battlefield where her subjects slaughtered each other and formed a hill of bodies.

      4. Both Saber and Rider make a good point, and both of their ideas of what a King embodies is partially flawed. The ideal King would probably have Saber’s goals with Rider’s personal qualities (like his charisma and cheeriness, for starters).

        Though the part where Saber said a King must always be alone made me facepalm. Seriously, Saber? No wonder your subjects didn’t follow you, if you’ve resigned yourself to dieing alone. So although I more or less agree with Saber’s ideals, I don’t agree with Saber. Rider’s right in that she’s not a true King.

      5. The off thing I find in Rider’s super-philosophy is that – unless someone of EQUAL “greatness” succeeds him (which is very unlikely, and we all know did not happen) – his empire is lost along with his existence on the Earth.

        What I find to be Saber’s mistake is to wallow in regret and loneliness. That is why she lost this battle. If she learns from this, I wonder how much greater a leader she could be.

  3. The animation quality in this episode really angered me. They made Rin’s anime original filler episode last week super pretty, but when we get to the Mad Feast of Kings that so many people like me have been waiting for they cut the budget and give us really weird faces!? At least Rider’s Ionian Hetarioi looked good. What makes Rider’s trump card so powerful, is that its not just an army of mook soldiers, the entire army are all heroic spirits like Saber, Rider and Archer. Its a literal army of heroic spirits, with each soldier being a low level heroic spirit that doesn’t need a master, which is pretty damn badass. Ionian Hataroi, the summoning of multiple independent servants. So awesome!!!

    I was really, really looking forward to this episode. This was the scene in the novel that completely changed my opinion of Rider. Up till this point i had thought he was kind of cool, and hilariously funny, but it was only here that i realized how awesome he was and became a real fan of his character. His calling out of Saber, bluntly spelling out everything that is wrong with her kingship and her wish to the grail was amazing to me. He basically says everything Shiro says to her in the Fate route of FSN(the FSN anime for those who dont know the VN), and he does it in a single scene!

    Then his army really proves her wrong about being alone. Unlike Saber, who could never connect with her people, and ruled as a solitary emotionless king, Rider’s men were so devoted to him that they return to him even after death! Its not only devotion from them to Rider either. Its stated that the only way that Rider who is not a mage can make the reality marble is because he values his soldiers as much as they value him, and the combined mental strength of Rider and all his men create Ionian Hetaroi. Rider is truly never alone, because anytime he needs them, his people will be there, answering his call. That was really awe inspiring to me.

    So while i liked this episode, it wasn’t perfect unfortunately. The first half felt a bit awkward on the transitions, and most of all, the animation quality drop was really noticeable, when this was a scene(the end/climax of volume 2 of the novel for gods sake!) that should have been perfect in every aspect.

      1. They would have to fix the whole episode, so I doubt that they blu-ray episode will look any different.
        So yeah, I have to agree with takashid. The characters looked horribly off. I didn’t expect that from ufotable, so that was disappointing. Don’t get me wrong though. It was a great episode nevertheless.

      2. ufotable confirmed that they will re-draw and extend the episode for the BD release. A lot was cut, including some lines that were in the preview (Toikomi’s lines and Gil’s “I’ll have to kill you myself”)

    1. Yes, I agree that the first half felt a bit boring especially the part where there are no music at all and also there is a noticeable drop of quality but I still thinks it’s a completely necessary exposition for those who haven’t played or watched FSN before. So, yes while this is not a perfect episode, it’s still a good one

    2. The animation wasn’t that bad, its certainly nowhere near the dips in quality that Persona 4 or iM@S have. Besides the entire scenes was just talking, there really wasn’t much to do there, unless you wanted to see Iri and Waver walk circles around the servants while they exposit.

      1. i just wish they hadnt looked so OFF. Until Rider started calling Saber out, i could not get into any of the scenes, because everytime i did id notice how damn weird sabers nose looks, or how strange everyones eyes looked, etc. it was distracting, and it feels like a slap to the face that the animated a filler episode beautifully and then handed this very important scene over to the low budget animators.

      2. I think that provides for less work if it’s just talking, leaving that excuse defunct, not to be naggy or anything. I was also to a decent extent disappointed that the drop happened for such a spectacular episode

  4. This episode was nothing short of ~@&89@V8fhcb9\.

    Yes, this episode was so great, it can’t be said in an understandable word. In fact, it takes the very limits of self-control to not type in all caps.

    Fate/Zero is just maddening. I had low expectations of last episode and it was much better than them, I had supreme astronomical expectations of this episode and it still exceeded them so much it almost brought tears to my eyes.

    1. The dialogue of kings, especially the Rider’s part, gave me a Romance of Three Kingdom vibe to it.

      寧教我負天下人,休教天下人負我 (I’d rather let the world down than to allow the world to let me down.)

      I actually agree with Rider. Saber’s ideals are… well, weird. This greatly reminded me of Shirou in Fate (although in Fate, it’s Saber who kept telling Shirou that his ideals have problems). On the other hand, Shirou in Fate also believed in following one’s ideal to the end; that put him in line to this Rider, too. So overall, it felt to me that Shirou in Fate is kind of like a combination of this Rider and Saber in F/Z.

      I wonder how effective Rider’s Noble Phantasm really is. Surely, against the Assassins it seems to have a real edge. It probably will pwn Caster easily, too. But against Gilgamesh’s Gate of Babylon??? It feels that he would just send his men to the slaughter. Ultimately, it feels like a different variation of Unlimited Blade Works, but Emiya‘s swords do not have emotions, people in an army do – so in my mind it feels like Ionian Hetairoi is far inferior to Unlimited Blade Works.

      I also wonder when is Kirei is going to run out of Assassins. Is there a limit to their number? If there is, I am sure he is going to run out pretty soon.

      On a different note, Tokiomi is probably raging right now. 5 Episodes before he had to use a Command Spell to make sure Gilgamesh does NOT attack. Now he cannot make Gilgamesh attack. Oh the irony.

      1. IIRC…

        Show Spoiler ▼

        …and as for the Assassins, I think there’s supposed to be 100 of them or something?

  5. Great episode comes with great cost huh
    The animation quality in this episode is dropped significantly, I wonder if ufotable choose to let other studio to handle the animation
    This is better be the last time, if they keep this kind of animation for the rest of episode…….

      1. Don’t know about that. Ufotable has been known to fix up some of their animation when you consider the touch-ups they did on Kara no Kyoukai for the Blu-ray releases. Not saying anything is for sure here, but it’s still a possibility.

    1. I guess even Ufotable needs to preserve cash from time to time. Having that said, Rider’s Ionian Hetairoi more than make up for the sudden drop in the production quality. It was EPIC!!!

      Seishun Otoko
  6. I always loved how Rider called Saber out on her ideals. My biggest problem with Saber was how unconvincing she was as a character in F/SN. She’s supposed to have a decades long rule as king, but everything she does felt like a flailing 15-yr old girl. It didn’t help that her character was poorly fleshed out thanks to her cheesy romance with Shiro. But Gen was able to flesh her character much better. And who better to contrast Saber but with the loud boisterous ham like Rider?

    And yes, seeing Ionian Hetaroi was awesome. Its one of those things that an LN reader can’t wait to see. I was not disappointed. The Assasins just pretty much crapped their pants. Its funny how all Assassins are created just to be jobbers. (Except for the one in Fate/Extra he was awesome)

    1. There are a few very good reasons for her behaviour.
      One, she’s closer to the 15-year old girl, Arturia, whom she discared to become King, and Shirou treating her as such as opposed to a tool or servant only makes that worse (better?). On her deathbed “Arthur” was content with all “he” had done for the country while Arturia, who had been repressed for so long, railed against her supposed failure, hence the deal with the Holy Grail.
      Two, Shirou took Saber’s “selflessness” (you can discuss how selfless it was) to an extreme even she found rediculous, though that might of been because it hurt her image of self more than any actual qualms she had with it.

      Bio D
    1. “Umu!”

      I’m more interested what would happen if Saber Extra and Gilgamesh met. They have such similar personalities, but with completely different ideals. They would have the ultimate pissing contest.

      1. @Cybersteel

        The drinking constest will turn into a bloodshed if that happens.

        And to answer the second question, Arc can possibly be summoned under the Caster class due to Millennium Castle.

  7. rider is right. saber saved his people, but did she lead them?

    rider definitely showed the point when his people followed him til death while in saber’s history a fraction of her knights fought against her rule. which makes rider > saber. and I agree that saber is not a king, more like a soldier.

    I have officially went to the broskander boat! my interest in saber waned throughout the years and this ep showed me why it was disappearing.
    too bad though, I heard they cut out some special scenes like gil and iskander team up and gil providing his thoughts on kingship.

    1. saber is more of a martyr role, not a king role. she can slash a hole in the heavens, but will need others help to lead people thru it.

      heard that blu-ray will contain more dialogue that they couldn’t fit into the show

      1. Saber’s charisma is rank B. That’s enough to lead a country.
        Though Rider’s is rank A(highest attainable by people) and Gil’s is A+(so much that Gil’s is more of a curse now).

      2. I can’t really imagine too many of Gilgamesh’s followers respecting him like Iskander’s did. Raping virgins before they get married doesn’t really sit well with your followers. I guess he did have Enkidu, but watching your friend die and rot in your hands isn’t exactly the last image you want to see of your only friend.

        I never watched FSN so all that was from the actually Gilgamesh story. Don’t know if they changed some of the stuff in the FSN adaptation, so don’t blame me if I got something wrong xD

    2. The VN didn’t go into that much detail about Gilgamesh. The anime is okay (it exists unlike the Tsukihime anime), but read the VN instead.

      But really, the only thing it goes on is how he “owns” everything, how he bosses the other servants/masters (except Saber and Shirou), and how he has an unhealthy obsession with Saber.

  8. The thing most people don’t understand about Fate/Stay Night is that Saber’s characterization being different from a king actually makes sense. Show Spoiler ▼

  9. I hear from somewhere else that ufotable has omitted up to 6 minutes for this episode as they could not fit everything into the limited time slot of the TV broadcast, and will be added back in the Blu-Ray release.

    The omitted scenes seem to concern Tokiomi and Kirei’s reaction to Show Spoiler ▼

    Of course, I could be wrong and that scene could appear in the next episode.

    Oh and did I mention that this episode was epic? Let us have a moment of silence for the fallen Assassins. I have sort of taken a liking to them (probably due to the popularity of the Assassin’s Creed video games), but they ended up being puppets in Tokiomi’s grand scheme.

    Kinny Riddle
  10. One down, six to go.

    Officially and now de-facto, Kirei has become the first Master to lose his Servant. So he was not exactly lying to Shirou when he said he was out of the Holy Grail War early on 10 years later (FSN episode 3).

    But of course…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Kinny Riddle
    1. I don’t know much about history so correct me if I’m wrong, but was Gil really a king in war times? I had the impression that Arturia ruled in war but more with defending(all those raids and internal wars), Iskander also in war but more in attacking(conquered almost all the known world), and Gil ruled in a more peaceful time, having his own adventures(with his buddy Enkido and quest for immortality).
      Despite the difference in the situations they ruled, I still think Arturia’s rule sucked. Its like changing their situation to that of a group work in school. Arturia would be the model student grouped with the lazy/incapable underdogs of the class. They would all be like “you do it!” and “no, you!” and the rest of the class would make fun of them. She would then come in, say she’ll take care of it all and proceeds to do so. But by the end of it, her groupmates didn’t learn anything and didn’t get any better. She got dumped with the dirty work her groupmates didn’t want to do, and even collapsed from the pressure. On the other hand, if Iskander got assigned to the same group, he’ll be all awesome and his groupmates will then become awesome, and in the end, they’ll all be #1 in class! That’s just the way he rolls! XD Lastly, if it was Gil, he’d be the friggin teacher and would tell the group he’ll fail they’re asses if they didn’t do anything >:D

  11. I have a somewhat unrelated question.

    Was Illyasviel von Einzbern in Fate/Stay Night aware that Shirou was her biological father’s adopted son? Or was that part contrived only in F/Z? Was Saber aware of their relationship? Surely she has seen Illya before through the balcony on episode 2.

    I was rewatching part of FSN and I realized that for many parts Illya was taking easy on Shirou. But on the other hand Saber wasn’t too aware of it. So vexing…

    1. The fate stay night anime is not that reliable for such things. In the original Visual novel, we get the answers you want. Yes, she knew shiro was kiritsugu’s adopted son, and she hated him and kiritsugu for abandoning her (which isnt entirely true, but that’s what the Einzberns told her) at the start of the story. However, once she saw him sacrifice himself to protect Saber when they first fought Berserker she was surprised to see he wasn’t the evil person she was led to believe and got interested in him. In the Heavens Feel route of the VN, Shiro himself deduces that she is Kiritsugu’s kid, and for awhile they have a brother sister kind of dynamic. As for saber, i believe she knew it, but didn’t feel it worth mentioning since she was now fighting for Saber, not the Einzberns. There is a scene in the Fate route after Illya joins them when she is unexpectedly nice to Illya, which could be her remembering Iri.

      1. Many thanks for the detailed explanation.

        So it’s pretty much like what I thought, except the part that Saber is almost completely oblivious to this fact. I am fairly sure that Saber kind of likes Irisviel’s company (since she is not Kiritsugu…), so it feels awfully weird that she wouldn’t say *ANYTHING* to Illya.

  12. “Someone should tell her that Britain is doing fine.”

    Hmm , not Romano Britain unfortunately , but the descendants of your enemies )=

    Still , considering that English is the world’s lingua franca , and you are a legend of a Global language , I dare say you did better than Gil or Alexander , Arthuria….

    Where , after all is Uruk (today , in Iraq, occupied by a former colony of the very Kingdom that Saber once ruled to boot!)? Where after all is Macedonia now ( a small , poor non-Greek speaking country that shares little cultural continuity with your kingdom)?

    Ultimately , in the Fate-verse time-line , one could argue that the effects and ideology behind Saber’s way of rule eventually led to a Global Spanning Empire whose tongue and cultural became and influenced that of the world ! Chew on that you other two kings….

    1. Well no, its not Saber’s ideological because King Arthur never invaded any country in the context of his legend. You must also remember that Gilgamesh and Arthur are not real figures, but Alexander the Great is.

      Suppa Tenko
      1. Sorry, the gilgamesh part slipped out because I was thinking epic of gilgamesh. That aside, Arthur is not real and most of the kings in Britain following Canute pretty much all took on Iskander’s idea of conquest.

        Suppa Tenko
  13. I agree with Rider more. Saber was a noble figure for sure, he didn’t deny that. But a King she was not; a King is there to lead; not follow…even if what they follow is supposedly greater than themselves. Kings give their people dreams and those who wish to follow them are free to do so by simply standing behind them…or better yet walking alongside them. Rider was a King-he didn’t deny he was greedy; he didn’t deny that in the end his empire crumbled in direct reaction to the decisions he’s made. But to regret them would make a mockery of the men who followed his dreams-to invalidate their existences…something Saber did by taking everything upon herself to the point that she left her people in the dust. She saved them, yes; but did she “lead” them? Saber’s NP might have stood for those great ideals that burden only those with the strength to willingly take them on in pursuit of a noble goal; Rider’s NP stood for something simpler: it was proof that he and those who rode with him in pursuit of his dream which they have willingly taken as their own had truly lived. It was his soldier’s affection for their leader than gave him his Noble Phantasm. And for Rider that is his greatest treasure.

  14. Divine, Britain is not ok. Saber’s Britain disappeared when it was conquered by wave after wave of germans and scandinavians. The only British people left that Saber would recognize are the Welsh, and they’re marginalized at best, moribund at worst.

  15. I just want to say that Saber is more like a Knight to her people than a “king”…

    And now, I know why people keep calling that this episode will be a “Saber bullying” episode

  16. Awesome. I even had a little bit of tears in the corner of my eyes while watching the debate between the Rider and Saber. This is the first time I got so excited over debates in anime!!
    I think Saber and Rider are both right and wrong. I love Saber’s idealism about how a king must serve his/her people, but in the end, Rider’s example of himself won me over. Although to be honest, Rider’s logic might only work for him, because he is that… epic. A tyrant who considers the bond with his people to be his best treasure? That is a wow.
    Moreover I find Rider’s wish for reincarnation is the most sound of them all. He totally needs to get reincarnated and becomes a president or a king. No, seriously. He would be so awesome!
    And wtf with the noble phantasm!? so fucking cool. I have a hunch that black-long haired guy might be Waver in the past, and hell, he could be Hephaestion!
    but with him already revealing his noble phantasm, I become seriously afraid he would be among the first to die. I dread the next time he fights will be his last fight :/
    Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Talking of panties, when i hear rider said ionian heitaroi i instantly thought it would a fitting name for some kind of low budget soft porn harem anime. Weird huh! But the np is of course, so much of a boss. I also want to salute rider’s voice actor. He sounds hella badass. Is he a famous VA? And yes, i am running out of fitting adjectives to describe rider!

  17. This is a fascinating episode. The long dialogue was intriguing. However both Iskander and Saber are wrong in different ways.

    The basis of a nation is the people and the king needs the people and in a way serves them. This is where Saber is right.

    You must motivate people to be better rather than coddle them as children. This is where Iskander is right.

    This motivation should never not come from base desires or it will rot the cohesion of the nation. This is where Iskander is wrong.

    As a king you are not alone and must not be alone for to be alone is to reject the views and differing advice of others. This is where Saber is wrong.

    Both Saber and Iskander’s views will inevitably lead to the destruction of their nations. Saber from external threats when she is gone, and Iskander’s from infighting. Saber rightly calls Iskander out on his thinking as that of a despot yet she cleaves to the other extreme not understanding the middle path is the correct path. Iskander’s way is undoubtedly very manly but simply being manly is not being kingly.

    As for Gilgamesh, his reason is stupid. Saber should have used a simple example to call him out on it. By his reasoning, Japan’s Three Sacred Treasures, China’s He Shi Bi, England’s Crown jewels, the Mona Lisa, etc should be his, which would expose the foundation of his logic as empty.

    The animation for Saber is also wonky for this episode, the most noticable being when Saber and Irisvel looked at each other after Iskander complained about the condition of the fortress

    Zaku Fan
    1. Oh and the part where Saber struggled to stand on that hill of bodies, was really well done, adding to the image of her as a forlorn figure while Iskander was berating/deriding her.

      Zaku Fan
    2. Gilgamesh’s reasoning is really arrogant, but if you consider what the Nasuverse makes him out to be, by definition, every famous, mythical object in history would “technically” belong to him Show Spoiler ▼

      Thus, he predates the ownership of all treasures.

      Of course, this episode just shows Gilgamesh being Gilgamesh Show Spoiler ▼

      1. The key of the failure of his reasoning is in time. The Mona Lisa was only painted in 150X. Gilgamesh (2500BC) was dead long before that thus consider the silliness of an ownership claim by a dead person before the object was created.

        If his reasoning is that he is the king of kings then that is his own non factual claim. Add to the historical weight that before him there were already kings in both Egypt and China, his king of kings idea falls down.

        Zaku Fan
      2. Zaku Fan, it’s not exactly like that. Show Spoiler ▼

    1. some have 2 or more, example being Lancer with his 2 spears…
      but Archer really steals the spot with his whole friggin’ treasury of noble phantasms…
      and Rider is SO right about the link between the king and his men…
      look to the history – you will find its echo in Noapoleonic “Per l’Empereur!”, in Soviet’s infantryman “Za Rodinu! Za Stalina”, in Japanese “Tenno heika Banzai!”

      1. Well, a Noble Phantasm is the embodiment of the mystery surrounding the Heroic Spirit, technically it’s “something the Heroic Spirit is famous for”, and that isn’t really limited to one (in fact I can’t think of anyone who has only one). Also, a Noble Phantasm doesn’t have to be a weapon, it can be something conceptual as well, like Berserker’s Knight of Honor: A Knight Does Not Die With Empty Hands (his ability to turn anything that remotely resembles a weapon into a Noble Phantasm for himself, as seen in Ep.5).

  18. berserker didnt appear in this episode at all… but since last episode, i’ve been wondering why cant kariya just order berserker to kill zouken? then the whole sakura thing would be over, and he could even forfeit O_o… if that’s the only reason he wanted the grail.

    as for this episode, seeing rider’s army supporting him just makes him that much more likeable 😀

  19. I really can’t help but be shocked in how WEAK Assassin is. Most people’s impression is that he is some super ninja, but…..well the only thing the guy is good at is just survive from powerful masters like Keyneth and Emiya. I at least wanted to see a good fight in what that guy from India, in Rider’s army, was capable of doing to one of those Assassins.

    It was also interesting to see how some of those Assassins just ran away like that. Kirei used a command seal on them, which can’t be disobeyed. Yet some of them tried to run, I guess the command seal really isn’t that effective.

    For those of you who still somewhat don’t get it why Assassin is so many people, here is why.

    This was copied and paste
    The Old Man of the Mountain” – among the people who succeeded the name of Hassan-i Sabbāh, only one had the power to switch bodies.

    Differing from other Hassans, he did not need to modify his body in any way. Or, it could be said that there was no purpose in doing so, though he was typical in terms of strength, his mind was able to change his body freely.

    He could use impressive planning and tactics, understand languages of other countries, identify poisons or set traps. All in all, he was a master assassin – able to do everything, and switching in different abilities based on the requirements of his assignments. It was said that on occasions he is able to utilize strange strength and agility to use illusionary fighting styles that had been long forgotten.

    He could disguise as man or woman, youth or elder – anything! He could stand quite naturally next to you. Sometimes, he could even change personality based on situation so no one can guess at his real identity.

    Nobody knew the truth. Hassan may have had a unique body, but he had many different souls.

    The knowledge at the time could not think of multiple personality disorder as an illness.

    With said definition in modern medical sciences, it was a source of arcane “power” to Hassan the assassin. He could use the multiple personalities within him to use all kinds of different skills and draw upon their knowledge, confusing their opponents or weaving a web of defense, and kill their opponents with unexpected methods that no one could predict.

    This is the assassin that Kirei had summoned – “The Hundred-Faced Hassan”.

    He is a Servant that had one physical body, but at the same time possessed a thousand different souls. Analyzing from this basis, “they” were initially different souls in the first place, and since they are now no longer limited by the physical body, “they” can now all materialize simultaneously into different shapes.

    1. Assassin’s specialty is stealth, and in the wide expanse of the desert they had absolutely nowhere to hide.

      I don’t remember Kirei using a command seal on them, but there really was no point in any of them fighting. They had like 20 or so assassins against an army of hundred. Sure they probably could have killed off a few if they tried, but Iskander’s army are composed of Servants who had already died so killing them would do nothing.

    2. Remember, Asssassins were literally brought into worst possible place for them to fight – sunlight desert without a shadow or cover, where they were reduced to bunch of light infantry versus Macedonian Phalanx. It is an ultimate type of ambushers being ambushed. You dont get a title of King of Conquerors without some great tactics 😛

  20. Perhaps someone should tell Saber that Britain is doing fine in present day.

    I was under the impression that Heroic Spirits are given the knowledge of the current era, and the language, when summoned. Surely Saber knows that Britain is fine?

    And is it just me, or is everything after suff’s post all in italics? o.o

    1. That’s like Summoning Crazy Horse Heroic Spirit and tell him that his territory still remains to this day… Totally a good idea.

      Arthur’s Britain was invaded by the saxons and most of the people were slaughtered. The survivors are in Welsh, by the way. Do you think she wants to know about how the country usurped from her people fares?

  21. After watching this episode, I found that Rider was very similar to another anime character Nurarihon of Nurarihon no Mago. The way he leads his demon followers are exactly the same. Totally a ‘my pace’ type of guy who has the charisma to just say what is on him mind and not care what others think has the humanity that make people want to gravitate and fight for him.

    1. he and Kotomine Kirei extracted the survivors (except Shirou, who was adopted) soul slowly over the course of years, keeping them alive. basically the mana used for Gilgamesh’s existence is innocent civilian that are bound and can’t move and rotting for decade while still being alive and tortured to the point it was like a room of corpses under the church but are actually still alive.

      That and Gilgamesh drank the content of the grail, that has Angra Manyu’s curse within it from the 3rd War. Grail was pure until Avenger was summoned in the third war and corrupted it, which is seen in the 5th war when Kotomine tossed the grail content (pure curse) onto Shirou.

    1. seriously. Alright! Who forgot to close their italics tag .. *Adds a close tag forthehell of it. (but why it no help T^T?)* Brilliant ep. Very fun to listen for Kajiura Yuki’s music to subtly enhance the scene.

      1. I snooped around a bit. It looks like suff was typing shinso and tried an end tag [i /] (replace square brackets with angle brackets) which caused everything afterwards to be italicized. I wonder if this will enable someone to wreak havoc on the comments section, though normally an incomplete tag should end within the comment, shouldn’t it?

  22. I didn’t even know the credits changed this episode; glad I found out in RC.
    This episode was very inspiring and was an eye-opener to the heroes take in perspective. Hopefully, Saber’s resolve is not too shaken up from Rider’s words. I wonder if she’s going to change her wish now.

  23. I think Saber was railroaded by the author in this episode.Rider’s speech was very manly but nothing that King Arthur had not heard before many times from different Knights and Barons.I do not know how much Saber differs ,apart from the sex-change, from the Arthur legend but Arthur saw the end of his kingdom as the result of his failure to live up to his ideals not as the result of his ideals.Arthur was an inspiration from his first stories until the present day.Alexander was an overreaching,cruel blowhard that gets mentioned in history class and main legacy is the mess he left behind after his death.

    1. while that may be true for are history a non fiction anime were king Arthur a girl not a man it not hard beleave that she be weaker in her resolve also how many times can someone tell you your ideals are wrong before you start too question am i really right? not everyone is unbreakable

    2. Alexander created one of the largest empires the world has ever known. He conquered the strongest empire of the ancient world, Persia, and he helped spread Greek civilization throughout the world. He was undefeated in battle, and he was respected by both his followers and his enemies. He was one of the few conquerors who was kind to his defeated enemies and welcomed them into his ranks as kings and allowed them to continue to rule his lands. To say he was cruel shows you have absolutely no grasp of history.

      Aeolia Shcenberg.
    3. Protip: Nasuverse =/= History.

      Arthur in Nasuverse became the ideal king people wanted and they hated her for this. Except for a couple of knights (Bedivere in particular). She was betrayed by her people who didn’t think of her human. She was defeated by Iskandar because his NP is exactly what she was looking to forge with her people and she failed to do. She was crushed not only by words but by that…

      Alexander the Great = King of Bros in Nasuverse. Well-loved by his people and fellow heroes enough to follow him after death, transcending time and space.

      Alexander’s empire crumbled AFTER his death.

      Arthur’s country crumbled BEFORE her death.

    4. I agree. I feel like the author (while talented) doesn’t have a good grasp of western concepts and legends like King Arthur. King Arthur’s entire concept of leadership was to unite the people and he was well loved by all his people. His rule was about rooting out tyranny uniting the people under fair rule. The Knights of Round Table were supposed to be the lords of land, all equal under the king. Arthur’s main character flaw was that he became infatuated with Guinevere despite Merlin’s warnings. She betrayed him by leaving him for Lancelot which set in motion the war that would end up killing him. In the end, even Lancelot who slept with Arthur’s wife came back to Arthur’s side near his death. The legend is that he died not of wounds in battle but of a broken heart.

      The Arthur of legend had the loyalty and love of his people. Maybe this “Saber” doesn’t, but it still makes me feel like Arthur was definitely short-changed in this story.

      Another point — Arthur was the only one of the servants who sought the Holy Grail in life. If any of the servants have a good reason to look for the Grail it would be Saber, considering it was always her goal to find it. I don’t understand why this is never mentioned in either of the “Fate”s. Of course, she looked for the real Holy Grail which is different than this one.

      1. this holy grail =/= their holy grail.
        the holy grail saber was looking for isnt the one that is here.

        the author has and gives a diff point of view. its also a pretty good reason for why saber ended up like that: its cause she was a girl.
        you should all know that, especially in that era, that a girl as a king wouldnt sit well with the people. which is why merlin created an illusion on saber so that she would look like man. the problem is that it was a too perfect disguise and resulted in the people believing arturia was a stone-face and cold-hearted person.

        there is, however, saber lily to showcase what would happen if saber admitted her identity:
        “That first feast after the long years of war marked a turning point in the history of the isle. Some would say later that it was this moment that doomed the kingdom of Briton, the kingdom’s fate sealed as its king abandoned perfection for human weakness. Indeed, there were many troubles for the land as Arthur began to regain his humanity. Not least of all the chaos that came about when Arthur gave up his mask to reveal her true self as Arturia. The fragile peace was shattered by this revelation as discontent nobles and vengeful enemies used her deception as an excuse for rebellion and war.

        Through it all however, Arturia was happy. It was not to say that she didn’t look back on her choices sometimes to wonder what might have happened had she kept going as she had. She had regrets, just like any other human, but she no longer had to shoulder such burdens alone. True friends and followers now stood at her side. A few of her knights had left after her divulgance, but most had stayed to swear fealty anew upon the banner of the lily she had adopted as a symbol of her new resolve. The only thing that she was remorseful about was the unnecessary pain that her subjects suffered due to her decision, but the people supported her, charmed by her looks and warmth.”

        so yeah, saber(this one) was too uptight and gave herself in to the matyr role. but she didnt inspire others to do the same, that is the reason she failed. as rider said, saber was too much alone in that. and the fact she was pretending all the while in there.

  24. Really makes you think how is it really to be a king, nice speech Rider.

    A king should put the safety of their kingdoms first. But a real king should be able to draw respect and obedience from those same people as well.

    Fuck, Rider’s Charisma breaks the 4th wall and is affecting everyone. What level is it anyway?

    The Moondoggie
      1. @The Moondoggie

        All except for Medea aren’t really interested in Arthuria for Arthuria…

        Show Spoiler ▼

  25. This episode was epic beyond words! Man where do I start.

    Saber got owned. Enough said. I wasn’t a big fan of her idealistic idea of a ruler, so I’m very glad Rider told her as bluntly as he could after Gilgamesh just flat out laughed at her.

    And Rider’s noble phantasm is the undeniable proof. He’s no mage, yet with the bond of all his men whom they share mutual respects with, he can create a reality marble of such caliber putting F/SN Archer to shame. I mean hell, I’m usually not one to show much reactions when watching films/anime but after seeing Rider’s army my jaws literally dropped until the end of Assassin getting destroyed so one sidedly.

    Other fun moments of this episode includes Gilgamesh actually joining the “banquet” and was even kind enough to show off his own treasured wine that even Saber couldnt help but react to after a sip. That was great. It was surprising to see Gilgamesh actually being civil. I would never have believed it from his F/SN self.

    Waver getting smacked around again, lol. Well after seeing Rider’s hax powers this episode, I dont think he’d ever have another complain about whether Rider can get the job done.

    Hell I have a hard time believing how Rider can even lose to anybody at this point with a skill like that. I’ve already been spoiled by a lot of these comments sadly, so I know who ends up defeating him, so I hope he’ll go out with a bang.

      1. “that was great. It was surprising to see Gilgamesh actually being civil. I would never have believed it from his F/SN self.”

        Because there was no servant cool and bro like Rider in FSN.

    1. Gilgamesh is quite agreeable as a young child in Hollow Ataraxia, he’s also a “good” guy in Strange Fake (since he’s the Servant of the heroine and Enkidu!!1! is around), plus he’s always been gracious to people he likes: like Kirei.

  26. Show Spoiler ▼

  27. Show Spoiler ▼

    1. that and saber went too far that she became “inhuman”. protecting your country is nice and all but if you cant enjoy the other things in life your essentially not a person. she let herself be a slave to her ideal rather than the other way around.

    2. Yeah.

      Show Spoiler ▼

  28. Gilgamesh is quite agreeable as a young child in Hollow Ataraxia, he’s also a “good” guy in Strange Fake (since he’s the Servant of the heroine and Enkidu!!1! is around), plus he’s always been gracious to people he likes: like Kirei.

  29. @alde and Yukipon, thanks for the info. With that in-universe spin, he probably could claim ownership of all items though it would seem ridiculous for him to have a bluray player or mecha in his time.

    Zaku Fan
  30. Iskander wins the Holy Grail > is revived > takes place of Shiro in the fifth War and we’d all be happy. Same story, less time being pissed of at “certain” groups of protagonists + SaberXIskander romance. HELL YEAH ;D

  31. This episode was incredibly stupid compared to the rest of the series.

    The animation was terribly off, and I just can’t understand why they made the Assassins so useless, what a waste of characters, if they could at least try or pose some sort of challenge, or at least not being stupid… but I guess power-mongering is more important in shonen anime, a pity, since Kiritsugu’s actions were looking like something fresh for once… now its all the usual anime cliché.

    Oh yeah, and why would 3 western kings sit on the floor like japs?

  32. I felt it necessary to put Iskanders speach in perspective. While this is the Nasuverse the sources for Saber and Rider are pretty much these two.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Now obviously we have some gender related issues with the story but we know for a fact that Saber died abandoned by all her knights. So basically Riders last argument against Saber is his noble phantasm. Even in death a whole army servers him, while Saber lost hers during her lifetime. A pretty heavy blow I think. I was half expecting Iriasviel to comfort her.

    Its also interesting to note that her wish is not the one presented in Fate Stay night… this conversation and perhaps the later events changed how she viewed her own reign. Rider also has a line that ties in to FSN nicely:
    “But who on earth admires the martyr’s thorny path?”
    I know of one man…

    1. Saber’s wish might have changed precissely because of Rider’s speech. She probably realized she wasn’t a good “king” so instead of saving Britain, she decided to find a suitable heir instead to lead. (I think that was her F/SN wish, correct me if im wrong)

  33. “Perhaps someone should tell Saber that Britain is doing fine in present day.”

    Saber’s Britain was known as Roman Britain and was destroyed by multiple invasions of the Anglo-Saxons, after the Romans fled the island. Saber’s Britain was made up of both Roman Britons and conquered Celts, which exist somewhat in Wales today.

    As someone brought up the English language earlier – no, this is the language of the Anglo-Saxons; it is not Britain’s. The Britons would have spoke Latin.

    The interesting that I have wanted to know about Saber since Fate/Stay Night, was her stance on her country since her death. I wanted to see what she felt about the Anglo-Saxons who now own her land and killed her people. I was curious to see if she felt that these people had now become her people.

      1. Actually, while most of the vocabulary may be of Romantic origin, the majority of the estimated 1,000 most commonly used English words are Germanic in origin; this includes almost all of words that form the basis of English syntax and grammar.

        Also, I’d honestly say that Western Europe as a whole, not just England, still carries on the Greco-Roman legacy.

  34. Can someone clarify for me if this is right?
    (Don’t know if this is spoilers or not)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Indeed, Show Spoiler ▼

  35. Every human has selfish desires, it´s part of our nature and what makes us go foward in life, what gives meaning to our life it´s our wishes and those come from our own selfishness. It´s not bad at all, every person finds a way to control their selfishness and avoid hurting others. Arturia did the opossite, she abandonned everything that make he human in order to become a savior, but who could ever live carrying that weight? who could ever bring happiness to a nation when they even know true happiness? A true ruler depends of his citizens, that´s why Arturia succeeded as hero and failded as king.

    Iskander was right in comething else, what it´s done it´s done, try to undone the past is an insult to all those who gave their lifes for what they belive in. Arturia should realize that she is right about justice but she also needed the gradeed that make all the kings as graet as they were. Iskander might have acted out of ambition but his action gace so much more the acient world uniting two cultures that have been enemys for centuries. He truly is a fine representation of the good and kind a human could ever be, he´s becoming my fvorite character of the adaptation.

  36. Saber feels that she has to serve her people… she has to protect and be a martyr for her people. As such, her own people have no desire to be like her. Who wants to be the punching bag… the sacrificial lamb of your nation? The other kings feel that Saber is like a slave rather than a king.

    Saber also does not have enough faith in her people to believe that they can save themselves. As such, even though she had her Knights of the Round Table, they worked FOR her… rather than working WITH her.

    Rider is someone that everyone admires and wishes they could be. He is impulsive and boisterous, but he is also very charismatic and caring. Rider is not a slave of his people, but rather he both leads them and works together with them. Rider may be someone who has a lot of lust and greed, but when he parties, he makes sure that his people are partying and having a good time too.

    Junko Tamiya
  37. This year’s Anime of the Year will probably be a showdown between Majica and Fate/Zero. So far Fate/Zero as a sequel is even better than the original. But I doubt whether it will be enough to beat Majica.

      1. Well, I couldn’t even finish the first episode of Steins Gate. I guess you can say I’m not qualified to pass judgment on the series. But I still doubt whether Steins Gate is anime-of-the-year material. Tiger and Bunny has also caused quite a stir in Japan. But I bet it won’t win on this forum, which seems to be dominated by U.S. viewers/readers.

        Of course, my predictions are not always accurate. And, as always, a series doesn’t have to win any popular vote in order to be memorable.

  38. Absolutely loved this episode, for all the reasons you so skillfully describbed.

    I strongly disagreed with some of Rider’s ideals, but also saw the faults in Saber’s, and I think that’s what makes me so invested and enthralled by the Fate series; it has epic battles and eye-popping designs, but at its core perhaps its strongest element is its complex characters and layer-upon-layer philosophical views and discussions.

    I never finished Fate/Stay Night – largely because I grew so sick of Shirou’s overprotectiveness, but in light of Zero’s portrayals and explanations, I’m inclined to revisit and complete it once I finish up this mind-blowing prequel. My only concern is that it won’t be as potent in comparison.

    1. The problem with the anime is that they omitted the conversation between Saber and Rider in episode 5. In the LN, Saber was being a HUGE BITCH looking down Rider for his ‘way of thinking’ because she’s oh so pure and chaste, after saving her ass from Berserker and Lancer.

      While Rider was “Lol, not everything is black and white, Seiba. Stop being so narrow-minded. Your way isn’t my way, but both are king ways. Like fire and ice, they are both truth.”

      She didn’t even thank him or anything. He was very pleasant.

      He went MAD when he heard her wish was rewriting history because she’s stomping on the struggle of those people who followed her and displaying she had zero pride as a king.

      It wasn’t the ideals who got him, but her retarded wish (which we know is presented as wrong anyway, Fate route was to make her finally accept she can’t change her past).


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