「聖杯の招き」 (Seihai no Maneki)
“The Holy Grail’s Invitation”

This week’s episode may not have exuded the same “epicness” as the last one, but the dialogue between Kirei and Archer was just as good as the three kings’ debate. It was a lot less ambiguous with the foreshadowing, not only with the Holy Grail’s invitation but with Archer’s not-so-subtle proposition as well. With Assassin confirmed to be dead — noted by the lack of Command Seals on Kirei’s right hand — I don’t know if this episode could have been any more obvious about the direction things were headed. Archer took a very systematic approach to try and make Kirei realize his inner “sinful” desires, but while his choice of words and proposed scenarios were confusing to the now Servant-less Master, his manipulation of the chess pieces was much less so to us as the viewer.

Archer starts off by showing that he has a new-found interest in Saber and her righteous ideals, and then after the lengthy explanation of how a Servant can form a contract with another Master upon losing theirs — and likely with a Master who’s lost their Servant — he takes away the Assassin piece and knocks over the Master piece in front of the Archer one. Once he succeeds in getting under Kirei’s skin and resurfacing the remnants of this Seal, the scene switches back to the shot of those chess pieces with Kirei taking notice. Coincidence? I think not, especially for those who have seen Fate/stay night where both Kirei and Gilgamesh participate in the Fifth War. Archer looked like he was only a second away from actually proposing that Kirei dispose of a “boring man” like Tokiomi and form a contract with him.

While this by no means guarantees that Kirei will go after Tokiomi himself, I wouldn’t put some other form of betrayal past him such as conveniently overlooking a trap that’s been set up for Archer’s Master or simply not coming to his aid. It’s pretty clear that Kirei and Archer have an unspoken understanding, despite how much the former is shocked about actually considering it, so I’d wager it’s all but guaranteed that they’d instantly team up if something were to happen to Tokiomi. That’ll definitely be something to keep in mind as the war progresses, but for now, I find it rather interesting how Kirei’s obsession with Kiritsugu has taken a backseat to his self-realization of sorts. Archer himself suggested that it was nothing more than an obsession, so it’s almost as if the tables have turned with Kiritsugu more concerned about Kirei. As far as Kiritsugu’s concerned, I almost see this as his downfall — to be so emotionally fixated on one individual — so with Kirei getting more absorbed in personal desires, plus the prospect of making Archer his new Servant, I get the feeling that Kiritsugu’s already losing the nemesis-like rivalry that’s barely gotten off the ground. It doesn’t bode well for the Einzbern savior either when he’s in constant disagreement with Saber and Iri isn’t holding up too well as a homunculus.

In light of all this build-up, the only downside is that we’ll unlikely see any sort of resolution to any of it in the mid-series finale next time. The preview suggests we’ll see more of Rider and Caster, leaving the follow-up to what we saw here for the latter half in spring 2012.




  1. Damn I didnt know there was a break till spring. Even though I watched FSN and know the outcome I still love watching Kirei and Gilgamesh conversate. Favorite quote of the episode “so to feel joy is to sin?”.

      1. I wouldn’t call this a spoiler, it happens very early in Fate/Stay Night. If you’re the type of person who is very sensitive with spoilers, even something as minor as this, then I suggest you avoid all blog/forum discussions altogether, otherwise expect to see many more “spoilers”.

  2. Haha, it will be interesting to see the point where Kirei starts taking initiative. Although it looks like they aren’t going to show the awesome fights near the end of the 3rd book, but rather just lead up into them. Damit, I really wanted to see Berserker kick ass. Ah well.

  3. Fate/Zero’s sub-title ought to be “Kirei – Birth of the Elegantly Creepy Psychopath”

    Before, Kirei was empty, wishing for some sort of meaning in his life, though at Gilgamesh’s goading, he’s slowly starting to feel that this can only be achieved through committing evil.

    This is in contrast to Shiro, feeling empty due to survivor’s guilt, wishing for some sort of meaning in his life, he often goes all out to help as many people as possible in order to seek some sort of salvation.

    Kinny Riddle
      1. But Kirei was evil by nature already, like his dead wife we know in episode 1 and his Show Spoiler ▼

        will show that he was actually evil by nature but just forced to do good because of common sense and morals.

        I guess the same type attract together, seeing Gilgemesh likes Kirei to a certain extent and all.

  4. Gotta like how decrepid Shiro’s future home once looked.

    An opposite angle of this screenshot gives me the goosebumps, for it is exactly that spot where Saber was summoned by Shiro.

    Could the Magic Circle that Saber drew for Irisviel for her recovery in the warehouse be the same Magic Circle that Shiro accidentally uses to summon Saber with 10 years later?

    Kinny Riddle
  5. Wow, was Gilgamesh always this smart? I always thought Kotomine was pure evil genius in Fate with how effortlessly he manipulated the emotions of people like Shirou and Rin; it’s really weird realizing that that was from Gilgamesh rubbing off on him.

    Ha ha, “rubbing off”. Because, you know, homolust. I never noticed before just how much implying you want a guy to whack your boss can sound like flirting. Then again, considering who’s involved, I guess that’s literally foreplay in this situation.

  6. I’ve always enjoyed this series knack of making exposition interesting. And boy was the exposition fairy strong in this episode and she wields a giant FORESHADOWING stick to beat the heads of the F/SN fans. There’s even a big chessboard of SYMBOLISM.

    Gil certainly was smooth when he provoked reactions on Kirei. I alos laughed at both Kirei and Kotomine dismiss Kariya as a non-threat. Mostly, because its true on how inept he is as a master.

  7. The conversation between Archer and Kirei was incredibly interesting but it revealed a really sinester side of the human nature. The joy archer speaks it not what anyone could see as true joy, only the mind of a monster, what we call a psychopat could ever find happiness in Kariya´s situation. Kirei fits the profile perfectly as he feeds of the the despair of those around him; it truly scares the hell out of me what kind of wish a person like could have.

      1. All psychopaths have a sadist component in their personality, it´s the only way they feel sexual pleasure and have no regard for anything else at all. Fits the guy perfectly; in case you are wondering, you can be masochist without been a psychopath but sadism comes with psycopathy every time, it´s a disorder of the personality and can´t be cured, people like that are basicly monsters.

    1. By the time Shirou and Rin entered the Fith Holy Grail War the system soporting the grail was so badly damaged that many saw as too risky to interfire with the development of the war, that´s why the Magic Asosiation and the Holy Romanic Church din´t take a more active role in the tournament. Bazett Fraga McRemitz was the only magus sent by the Magic Asosiation, the rest of the masters were chosen out of stange circunstances or malfuntion of the Grail. Besides, this story is a lot darker, you think you know this is going to end for what you saw in fate/stay night but belive me it´s going to be much more worse.

  8. Did anyone notice that the safe house is the same house fro Fate/Stay Night, and that the other building where Saber and Iri went to is where Shiro used to always hang out?

    Also, I believe next episode Saber will be helping Iri draw magic circles where Saber gets summoned from in Fate/Stay Night for the 5th Holy War :o!

    I got excited, but I can also be wrong.

  9. So my understanding of this Kirei character now is that he followed his father’s steps and sought to be a man of virtue, but he could not bring himself to enjoy this; then he tried many different things hoping to find passion in life, but he still could not understand his true desire.

    This almost reminded me of Schneizel el Britannia. Emotionless and without passion, sympathy, or mercy, a perfect antagonist.

  10. Tokiomi, on the other hand, is a “nerd”. He seems to be a powerful magi and a master of his craft (probably the craft of embedding prana into jewels, like what Rin does in FSN). But he doesn’t understand human emotions.

    What I do not understand, however, is why Gilgamesh hates Tokiomi so much. Tokiomi wants to achieve True Magic from the Grail, while Gilgamesh wants the Grail for his personal collection; I see no conflicts in their goals. They also have skills that can compliment each other. The only conflict I see is that back in Episode 5 Tokiomi tried to restrain Gilgamesh, presumably because Tokiomi is cautious. That being said, from Gilgamesh’s perspective, he should at least try to consider that his victory at this war will at least partially depend on his master. Then why does Gilgamesh want to see Tokiomidead?

    Maybe the novel described Gilgamesh in more detail. I honestly do not understand him at all.

    1. Gilgamesh is a hedonist and likes to seek pleasure in this world. He has no interest in things beyond his ‘kingdom’. Tokiomi furthermore has angered him twice: he summoned him away from battlefield and he disgraced him in the banquet of kings (because that was his idea, not Kirei’s).

      The only reason he tolerates him was because he saw him as a subject, who followed him, the king and offered prana as tribute (that was cut from the episode).

      Show Spoiler ▼

  11. It was pretty clever of archer to suggest using the grail as a way for Kirie to discern his own unknown wish. Perfect last push for a man who’s dying to know what he’s fighting for.

    Always nice to see Shiro’s house again, but when Iri goes on about how bad a location it is for a mage its hard not to have a good laugh at Shiro/Illya/Rin/Sakura/Saber who stayed there anyway.

  12. wow. I never thought it was gilgamesh who pushed Kirei to the dark side at the first place. This is the first time I find gilgamesh really, really creepy and manipulative too.
    Iri has death flags all over her this episode 🙁
    more rider next episode!! Yeay!! Seriously hope for caster to die already next week, preferably a slow and painful death. Same for the his master too.

      1. Ea is an anti-world/universe conceptual weapon. It can rend time/space/dimensions which technically is what Ionian Hetairoi does but only within its Reality Marble. So, I wouldn’t rank them completely equivalent.

        However, yes, the TYPEMOON Wikia assigns both Ionian Hetairoi and Ea as EX rank.

      2. Well, those two may be of the same rank but that is only because the highest rank that can be assigned is EX rank.

        If you look carefully at the details, Ionian Hetairoi is classified as “Anti-Army” while EA is classified as “Anti-World”. That alone should tell you the difference in power.

  13. I feel bad for Tokiomi. He’s pretty much been perfect as far as how a master should be in the holy grail war. Calculating, cautious, doing things right to ensure victory without actually being heinous like both F/SN and F/Z Casters did killing regular people. Basically he’s not idealistically naive and does what he must without crossing the line.

    The only mistake he did was chosing Gilgamesh as his servant (using a catalyst related to Gil to ensure he gets Gil as a servant). I feel like all his efforts been wasted if Gil is just gona betray him at the end without him realizing it.

    1. Tokiomi is an idiot who fancies himself a schemer. He trusts the wrong people and let his magus upbringing cloud his feelings as a human being (see his family). He made Kirei his apprentice without noticing he’s not quite right, his way to deal with Gilgamesh is dumb as heck, he sacrificed Assassin in a similar dumb way, he trusts Zouken Matou for cryin’ it aloud.

      Whatever happens to him, he has it long coming.

  14. Kirei is not ‘secretly evil’, nor does he ‘secretly enjoy the suffering of others’, regardless of what Archer might be trying to suggest.

    Kirei is one of the best assassins in the world, if making people suffer was enough to bring him fulfillment, he would have no need whatsoever for the grail. Let’s not sell him short.

    1. Kirei seems to be happiest (or rather, most entertained) when he’s trying to figure out people he can’t understand – particularly when he recognizes aspects of himself in them.

      Case in point: Kiritsugu, Kariya, Show Spoiler ▼

    2. …But the Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I thought that Sauron-like eyes was cheesy and not at all subtle.

      Gilgamesh is a legend from a pre-Judeo-Christian era. A great hero who learned how to treasure his mortality and accept immortality as a legend. Why reduce him to some caricature from the Garden of Eden?

      Great episode, otherwise.

      1. Gil in FZ is smooth and crafty, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a historically correct portrayal of him. In the novel, the text actually clearly alludes his image to that of the Snake of Eden (lol I’m not gonna quote it since I didn’t read it in English). If anyone’s to blame, it’s Gen Urobuchi… But hey, it’s his novel so he can do whatever he fancies.

        Sure, Gilgamesh is a majestic ancient figure, but what’s up with the words ‘reduce’ and ‘caricature’? Although I’m no Christian, I find your vocabulary choice slightly insensitive. However, it’s your right to draw whatever word out of your bank and you’re more than entitled to keep it. I hope we don’t go too deeply into this.

        K Hanabashi
      2. You’re right, Gen Urobuchi is responsible for that low hanging fruit.

        I chose the words “reduce” and “caricature” because the creator (& the anime creators) is clearly relying on the motifs of Judeo-Christian mythos in order to imply that an ancient legend is the snake in the garden during his talks with Kirei. Cheap, manipulative, and totally unfair.

        The entire dialogue was pretty clear, if not too overt, and was sufficient without this clumsy lurch into Lord of the Rings symbolism.

        If that is insensitive to you, then that is not my problem.

  15. I’m surprised no one talked about the ‘timing’ of this episode.

    Maybe Ufotable intended to divide this series from the very beginning, but maybe having Episode 12 as the beginning of part 2?

    It just seemed weird to me some of the contents of this episode:

    -Tokiomi declaring this as the ‘Beginning of Act 2′.
    -Emiya recapping every Masters & Servants’ info from his point of view…

    It all seemed a bit misplaced to me, given how we are nearing the end of Part 1, and all characters are actually beginning a new chapter. As a whole, I think I would believe it if someone told me this was the first episode of Part 2. Some of the introductions, like Saber and Iri’s new (and nostalgic) base, or how it seems this was the prelude to some action in the next episode, are all elements I could take it in for a first episode.

    Maybe Ufotable rearranged some scenes or added others in later stages of the series’ production? This would explain the different break and start of the two Parts,of course…

  16. damn, i actually forgot F/Z is gonna take a season break. DX I won’t be able to see Irisviel for a while then DX

    And yeah, I’m voting for Fate/Zero as Anime of the Year LOL. Maybe Madoka or S;G?? B-but I love the fact that F/Z’s characters were mature people unlike in FSN >_>


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