「栄誉の果て」 (Eiyo no Hate)
“The End of Honor”

One of the most emotional episodes up to date, this sixteenth episode was also one of the most thought-provoking as well. Week after week, Fate/Zero not only delivers exceptionally animated fight sequences but also wonderful and intellectually-stimulating dialogue, and that’s what makes this series so special. In most other shows, Lancer and Saber’s epic final duel would be the main attraction that gets everyone talking, but here, the conversation that followed it can lead to just as much discussion, if not more.

Saber and Kiritsugu’s verbal exchange at the end of the episode brought up many valid points that are ripe for analysis, but it would be wise to focus on the recurring theme of honor. On the battlefield that is the Holy Grail War, there is a dichotomy of combatants that has become clear. There are those who believe strongly in honor and glory in battle, while there are others who hold no such ideals and are willing to attain victory by any means possible. Nowhere is this gulf between philosophies more evident than in their discussion – one which spawns more questions than it answers.

Much of their disparate philosophies can be simplified to how they determine the morality of their action’s consequence – or in other words, whether or not the ends justify the means. Consequentialists believe that if the end outcome is morally good, then the actions that led to it are considered morally right, while deontologicalists believe that the morality of an outcome is based on how well the actions that led to it adhere to rules of morality.

Saber falls into the latter camp as one who argues that bloodshed, fighting, and the taking of a life can be considered good and honorable if the actions and methods that led to them adhered to rules and ideals like honor and chivalry. For her, one who does evil in order to stop it will only bring about its continuation; the cycle never ends because a new conflict arises from the still smoldering ashes of rage and hate. Saber believes the morality of the eventual goal, such as the usage of the Holy Grail and the end of evil, can only be considered good and just if the path taken was good and just also. This is why Saber is a legendary Heroic Spirit who acts with such honor and chivalry in everything that she does, even if it means that it hampers her chances of attaining the Grail. Before witnessing Kiritsugu’s methods, she relied on her faith in Irisviel’s words that his character was a good one who shared her wish to use the Grail to save the world – but now that she has seen his lack of honor and chivalry, it is hard for her to see that any outcome from his actions can be considered morally good and right.

In contrast, although Kiritsugu might not be a strict consequentialist, he does believe that the morality of his own actions’ consequences isn’t dependent on what he does in order to achieve that outcome. He makes no distinction between methods of fighting being considered good or not, because to him, all battlefields are hell on earth, no matter how much it may adhere to rules like honor and chivalry – the true mindset of an assassin. Yet at the same time, Kiritsugu considers certain forms of victory to be a crime because they were paid for by the pain and loss of those who were defeated – an example of the means affecting the moral judgment of the ends. For him, knights cannot save the world because they are too bound to ideals of honor, chivalry, and righteousness that limited their possible actions and may even hinder their chances of success, like Saber does when she chooses to not use her left arm in her fight against Lancer. In the end, Kiritsugu wishes to use the Grail for the world’s salvation just as Saber does, but to him, it doesn’t matter how many evil deeds he commits or how much blood he spills in getting there, as it does not tarnish the morality of his eventual goal – and more importantly, he believes no new conflict will arise because of the finality of his actions.

Like many questions of this nature, there is no right answer – for each person has their own sense of morality that they adhere to which affects their judgment. Some may side with Kiritsugu. They believe that honor is merely an illusion, woven from the idealism of noble knights who believed there are methods of fighting that are honorable, and methods that are evil. The morality of the end result, such as the salvation of the world, does not depend on the morality of the methods used in achieving it. Others will find themselves agreeing with Saber, and feel that in order to prevent chaos and hell on earth, there is a need for ideals like honor, valor, and glory in both bloodshed and the human act of taking a life. That these ideals are what elevates humans from animals when it comes to violence, and that one of the things that makes us human is lost without them. They believe the morality of the Grail’s usage depends on whether or not moral rules and ideals were adhered to when attaining the Grail.

In this extremely specific case, Kiritsugu’s views match my own. I believe that this is a situation where the ends do justify the means, but only because the outcome, the usage of the Holy Grail to save the world, is such a special and unique case. It is one that is almost universally accepted to be good and right, and therefore, I believe it allows for greater leeway with the means used to attain it. We’re talking about saving the world here – why limit yourself if the end result guarantees that the cycle of bloodshed and evil will finally end? On the other point of contention, I also agree with Kiritsugu’s belief that when it comes to the taking of lives as the means to an end, ideals like honor are an illusion. No matter how you slice it, when a life is lost, it is lost. That said, I do understand Saber’s views, and I do believe there is a value in the ideals of honor, glory, and valor; after all, it can be argued that it is what separates us from mere animals when it comes to violence. However, on the battlefield, I think these ideals only serve to assuage the guilt of the victorious. With every victory comes a price, paid for in blood and tears. If we can minimize the blood spilled and lives lost by leaving behind our ideals on the battlefield, isn’t that path worth pursuing?

Despite their differences in philosophies, the Master and Servant are also more alike than they realize. Both individuals have taken on a heavy burden for the cause of a greater good and both remain committed to the same honorable goal: saving the world. I don’t think I can guarantee whatever happens henceforth in Fate/Zero will provide an answer to whose philosophy is the more correct one, but I do think that whatever transpires between Saber and Kiritsugu from now on will be just as thought-provoking as whatever transpires between the Masters. And this is one of the many reasons I love this series – behind the “brawn” of superbly animated and choreographed action scenes exists a “brain” of complex characters and intellectually-stimulating dialogue. So in the case of Fate/Zero, the consistently high quality episodes we’ve seen so far have made the three month break worth every second and every penny. Or in other words, the ends justify the means.

TL;DR – @verdantRC: Three episodes in, three Masters down. Who do you side with: Saber’s heroic idealism or Kiritsugu’s assassin mentality? #fatezero

 

 

Preview

237 Comments

    1. Agreed, and with such excellent fight scenes, that is saying something. No pun intended.

      The conversations here are usually philosophical, with no true “correct” answer. And even when the speeches are monologues, like with Rider, it still ends up being condensed awesome.

      MasterDragonKnight
  1. Man this episode left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. Kayneth wasn’t a likeable character to begin with and after him assassinating the overseer he was just asking to be killed.

    And yet when he was murdered by coercion and lies I couldn’t help but to sympathize with him at the same time, and even more so towards Lancer.

    At the same time I cant even hate Kiritsugu for it because despite his methods, he is still right to a degree. Leaving someone like Kayneth alive can come biting you back later, so I can understand why he still killed him despite the magic contract. And I also know its inevitable that most of these characters we like will be killed later. Guess I just have to bear with it.

    YanDaMan
    1. There are three types of killers in the world.

      1. Those who do not feel morally wrong about killing. Caster is an example of this.
      2. Those who justify the kill with a higher cause, like justice or honor. Saber and Lancer fall into this category.
      3. Those who feel that when you take a life, it makes no difference the reason. Kiritsugu is this type.

      Obviously the first type is always wrong, but the second and third are not so easy to judge. Kiritsugu knows the horror of what he does, and he knows that eventually he will pay for it. But he believes that the end justifies the means, and the means does not matter if the end result is still the taking of a human life.

      Saber is also correct in that some forms of killing are inherently evil, like those that Caster do. But she is also belittling the kills that take place on the battlefield. Those are still people being killed, and no amount of justice can bring them back. There is no “good” kill, only what is less evil.

      MasterDragonKnight
      1. Never played Fate/Zero but in case I’m right about anything:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Byakusei
      2. @Da5id: Although I agree with you that categorizing killers into three categories alone wont really explain all of their motives, ideals, etc., but I somewhat do agree with MasterDragonKnight as well, in your question about self-defence, then I would think that it would fall into the 2nd category, the higher cause being to protect yourself/others for it, but if one accidentally kills someone, then that wont really fall into any of the 3 categories that MasterDragonKnight mentioned then. Nonetheless it gives a good way of summing up the kind of killers we see in F0 or FSN.

        Ryner
    1. Think about it this way. If it were not for the sympathetic Lancer being killed here, your views of this would probably be different.

      If it were the smug Tokiomi and arrogant Gilgamesh being manipulated here, people would be cheering for Kiritsugu.

      Conversely, if it had been Waver and Rider, there would be an enormous outcry.

      But at the end of the day, Kiritsugu believes that a kill is a kill. You are still taking a human life, no matter what the reason.

      MasterDragonKnight
    2. @Masterdragonknight

      Let’s not try to bring reality into this. It’s easy to talk when one is just an observer. If Kiritsuga is murdering your closest brother or wife, using the same tactics, you won’t be feeling so sympathetic, and talking things like a life is just a life. When’s it YOUR precious life or someone you care about, it’s always a different story.

      That said, let things fall into flames!

      Crashpile
      1. F/SN Lancer dies near the end in the Fate and UBW route, but his role was less prominent and didnt get much screen time.

        HF route was complete BS where practically every single servants gets the shaft. Lancer practically dies right when the story picks up, which sucked.

        YanDaMan
  2. Wow, once again Gen Urobuchi showed his skill to show his sense of betrayal after Madoka Magica with this episode.
    Kudos to Yamazaki Takumi (Kayneth VA) while Kayneth begged Kiritsugu to end his life.

  3. ‘Lancer Died!’
    ‘You aren’t human!’

    Lancer death was sad, dark and horrible. His scream sends chills down my spine. Knowing his history, I already somewhat foresee that he will die in his master’s hand, but what I didn’t expect was Kiritsugu’s intervention in all of it.
    Major props to Urobochi Gen for creating an awesome set of characters. This feeling of empathy and understanding where the characters are coming from, is just too well made. To the point that I feel very sad about Kayneth and Sola’s demise, heartbroken to Lancer and Saber’s honor being crumpled and tossed aside, but without feeling so bad and disgust to the actions Kiritsugu has done.
    And to think that the first episode is already awesome, but they top it up with a much more epic second episode, then this episode is so………. Damn! How can you top an already high tier episode, F/Z how the hell do you do it!

    1. Just to clarify something: 99% of everything you are reading is based on Nasu. Butch basically wrote everything under Nasu’s guidance. The only original idea Butch was allowed to bring in was Maiya’s name.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Basically, neither Saber nor Kiritsugu are right. Notice, that Saber realized how Kiritsugu essentially resembles her. Saber on the one hand is too idealistic. Kiritsugu on the other hand is too pragmatic. If he has to choose between saving 100 people and 80 people, then he would without any hesitation choose the 100 people. He has become a fanatic and turned himself into a machine, although he once wanted to become a hero and pursued justice, but saw reality’s cruelty. That is exactly why Saber’s voice didn’t sound angry anymore after she heard him lamenting about reality. She was actually pitying him and now finally understands why he is fighting for the Holy Grail.

      To understand why he is thinking like that, I suggest you wait until episode 18 because volume 4 will begin then
      Show Spoiler ▼

      dolor
      1. Where is this nonsense from?

        Nasu is completely incapable of creating this kind of logical coherence. He’s great when it comes to creating colorful characters, but not when it comes to working out philosophical differences, and spelling them out in an understandable, compelling way. The term “Nasubabble” is well-known, just look what he did in KnK.

        No, the scenario was written by Urobuchi Gen, and it merely took input from Nasu (setting, characters, background). But the aspect of storyline creation is entirely Urobuchi Gen. Which, by the way, is why it rocks.

        Mentar
      2. Nasu Kinoko is not that difficult to grasp if you actually pay attention or know a bit of the stuff he’s referencing. Yeah, he’s more a world builder than a writer, but all the thematic in Fate/Zero is basically the same you get in HF route.

        That’s why the story comes in a full circle at the end.

        yokushi
      3. “99% of everything you are reading is based on Nasu. ”

        That was about the character set, not the scenario, that’s why I mentioned Maiya’s name.

        I don’t want to say Gen Urobuchi is bad, it’s the opposite, but saying stuff like “Nasu is completely incapable of creating this kind of logical coherence.” is a bit ignorant, don’t you think? As the one above me mentioned, FZ resembles HF the most and that was intended. I don’t mean to belittle Gen Urobuchi’s work or anything, he did a great job, but the character set was not made by him, as he got praised for it right above me. I wasn’t talking about the scenario, it was about the characters. If it’s about the scenario, then I already made a remark about this. It’s never easy for another author to make his story resemble another author’s story, though fortunately HF fitted Urobuchi’s style in general.

        Btw, Kara no Kyoukai is a few years older than Fate. If I compare KnK with Fate/Extra, I can say that Extra sounds less complicated, so Nasu definitely improved over time.

        dolor
      4. Wrong use of words in my part I guess. The thing that really impresses me is, how Gen manage to make every character very easy to understand and you can actually feel where they are coming from. Why the characters act that way, the way they think, why do such things, beliefs, desires etc., is very easy for me to care and understand. Empathy for the characters in F/SN LN is nowhere near the level in F/Z. You can create a nice set of character, settings, an awesome idea for a plot but if you cannot tell a proper story, then it’s all useless.
        I never do like comparing, and you can say, this is just me talking out of my ass. Because the only thing that I have read of Nasu’s work is Tsukihime, F/SN LN and have watched KnK as for Gen its Saya no Uta and Madoka, And I’m forcing myself not to read the F/Z LN until I finish the Anime series.
        You can just say, that I’m a fan on how Gen grabs all the things I like about Nasu’s work and turn it into something I love, and Ufotable for turning it into a goddamn masterpiece.

        @Azuru yes it’s me, Lancer’s (Hikaru Midorikawa) cursed screamed captures me.

  4. Well, I’m siding with Saber on this one. I don’t care about making the world a better place, I don’t even think the grail could grant this wish if Kiritsugu asked, the only thing I know is Lancer deserved a fair fight with Saber after all the shit that went down on him.

    Styxounette
    1. Y’know, even if the Grail could grant Kiritsugu’s wish – and that’s a BIG if – I don’t understand it. In all honesty and sincerity, what does it mean to save the world?

      Making sure that no one ever kills anyone ever again? Eliminating all pain and suffering in the world? See to it that everyone is always treated equally and without prejudice or discrimination? All of the above?

      For every argument that one could put forth, I near guarantee you there’s a contradiction in the human experience that makes one sound like a damn idiot.

      Saving the world is a dream to fight for, as Archer’s eternal existence as a Guardian personifies beautifully.

      When all’s said and done, that Kiritsugu honestly believes he can have his wish granted is proof, more than anything else, of just how consumed with despair he is.

      Ryan Ashlight
      1. Seeing as how Kiritsugu thinks that war is hell on earth, I believe saving the world to him means no more wars in the world. But when you think about it a world without war is as terrifying as a world with war, if not more so. Sure a world without wars fought for trivial motives (money, territory, etc) would be more than fine to live in, but that also means that the people who are either under dictatorship, harsh treatments from neighboring countries, discriminated against, or simply have views that differs from their rulers, will never ever be able to fight for what they believe and improve their living conditions as they see fit. One line in Code Geass is particularly accurate to describe this world, that is : a world locked into the present. That, in my eyes, is true despair, because it is a world where all hope and room for progress is lost. (Now that I think about Schneizel in Code Geass isn’t the only one, in TTGL also we have the spirals who try to enforce ZETTAI ZETSUBOOO on the heroes in order to keep the world in its current state)
        Kiritsugu definetly doesn’t believe in progress, or that the future will be better, that is why he’s despairing and wish for such a world.

        Styxounette
  5. I had been to distracted by the cool action the last two episodes that I seem to have forgotten who was writing this. It wasn’t fair to see Lancer curse Saber for something she didn’t do, Kiritsugu chose the most brutal way to get rid of Lancer and his master.

    xephx
    1. I agree with you. Verdant seems to like to write a lot alongside the episode,but never really gives his impression on what actually happened. He did the same with the episode 15, it’s not too much philosical to my taste, but that’s almost all there is to read.

      Peaceful Scout
    2. Yeah, sorry, I just figured I had so much to say about Saber and Kiritsugu’s conversation that it wouldn’t really leave room to talk about the other happenings in the episode, and I didn’t want my posts to be always a plot point by plot point episodic post either.

      That said, Lancer is one of my favorite characters, so seeing his demise come in the most dishonorable of ways was pretty emotional to watch, especially considering it closely paralleled his own past so much (Lancer was again betrayed by the husband of the woman who fell for him). He’s probably the character who understands Saber the most and one of the few who is able to make her smile, so his presence will be definitely be missed in more ways than just as a Servant.

      1. Kirei and Kariya’s scene was very brief, and in terms of character development, is more or less almost identical to what happened in the previous episode. Krei rebels against his master by healing Kariya and discovers that he feels something like excitement. Instead of merely smiling like he did last time, he actually admits it now. Other than that minor development, mot much else happened that would be worthy of mentioning, and as a whole, I didn’t find it notable enough to merit interrupting the flow of my post.

        Feel free to ask what I think about things in the comments and on Twitter though, I like hearing from and interacting with you all, haha!

  6. Kiritsugu was damn quick and efficient with his tactics and maneuvers ~ I was impressed. While I’m enjoying the story, I have some mixed feelings about the lancer party (bit sad, but it was their fault for being incompetent – can’t just blame Kiritsugu for being cruel).

    P.S. it is just me or were Saber and Lancer too obsessed with trying to enjoy the aesthetics of fighting, and try to fight in ways they want to? Not quite realistic to me – it’s a war after all – so I guess Kiritsugu has a point.

    Unajuuphile
  7. This episode broke my heart. Lancer was my favorite and for him to be betrayed like that was just heart wrenching. Course I never cared for Archibald, he was such a jerk to Lancer. This episode has by far been the most emotional so far. Poor Lancer prided himself on loyalty and his pride, and in the end it just got him killed. Guess it fits in with the theme of this episode.

    Nicole
    1. No question that pride and loyalty are the foundations of Lancer’s strength, though I argue that his one fatal flaw is that he depended far too much on others in order to justify those beliefs rather than his own strength.

      I believe one should always, without question or hesitation, realize their own self as the fundamental basis for whatever honor or pride they may hold. Anything else, such as Lancer’s undue loyalty to those unfit for such, should be a mere extension of that.

      Now I’m not mitigating the extent to which Lancer got screwed over at virtually every turn, but one can’t help but feel he played more than just a small roll in his undue demise. If he had stood up for himself more and decided on his own course of action – as a certain arrogant King of Heroes obviously is – his outcome might have been quite a bit different.

      Ryan Ashlight
  8. Great post, as always Verdant. But one question, what the heck is a “dentologicalists”. 0_o
    I don’t deem myself all-knowing when it comes to the english language, but I’ve never heard or seen that word before.

    Aerione
  9. Man gotta hand it to Kiritsugu to come up with the best course of action, Hassan would be proud. So I wonder if we’ll ever get Kiritsugu’s childhood animated when shit went down on the island or if we could get an OVA, I mean they did go out of their way to show the island in the op and they showed Natalia in a flash back.

    Reaper201
      1. Dat pic.. Holy crap, dat pic..

        Personally, I’ve read the novels way before they announced the anime, but the way they portrayed it here exceeds all expectations I had for this episode. Also, any kind of battlefield is hell, so isn’t the best way to end it the fastest way? It might be painful, but it’s better than letting the actual war drag on. Just like cutting off a cancerous cell.

        Another thing, iirc Urobuchi was given leeway with the story, Nasu more or less gave him the outline of what is going to happen and how, but the rest of the stage was his. Prolly given him a timeline and events, but details were his to make. Pretty obvious, considering the outcome was already set in stone.

        For those of you interested, here’s Urobuchi’s postface to the first volume~
        http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=Fate/Zero:Volume_1_Postface

        ImpetusZwei
  10. To be honest, Kayneth was pretty much broken and lost the will to fight on when he signed that contract forfeiting his honor. His magic circuits were completely messed up that he can’t even be a magus, less alone a Master. At most Sora-Ui may be possible as a magus, but she’s lost her arm and all command spell gone. I don’t see the reason for Kiritsugu to kill those two to be honest.

    Then said, Kiritsugu vs Saber’s ideal, I’m against both of it. More than anything, I’m either for Emiya Shirou (Younger) or Kotomine Kirei’s ideals.

    Kiritsugu and Saber both took on a ridiculously heavy burden for the sake of the world and living single-mindedly towards that goal. I know Shirou’s ideals are often brushed aside as childish, just as Hero Emiya has, but I believe Shirou’s ideals (agreed by Saber) is a far greater burden than anyone else, to end war and live justly by protecting everything. Kiritsugu wants to give peace to the world, but Shirou accepts that there will be violence and he fights the eternal battle of protecting the weak, being the shield and sword of those in need.

    Of course in the end, after an eternity of fighting, Shirou turns bitter just like Kiritsugu did and became Hero Emiya. But even then, Hero Emiya still held onto many of the ideals Shirou held onto, just much more disillusioned and more Kiritsugu-like, but nevertheless still compassionate to both friends and opponent with a fighter’s honor rather than a knight’s honor.

    Kirei, well, he’s a special case. Though idealistically I believe Shirou’s is the best, but Kirei is probably the one that could be related to the most out of four heroes. He is definitely evil and the antagonist of the Fate series, but he is not a villain to say the least. I believe his ideals are actually surprisingly very much identical to modern day Japanese otaku if anything. “Live for the moment.”

    After playing Heaven’s Feel, I felt compassion and understanding for Kotomine Kirei far more than any character. He isn’t a villain in the sense he has some grand evil scheme or goal to destroy the world or gather all the riches or any of the typical villainous goals. He simply wants to follow one’s desire and live for the moment without being judged by the world, just as how otaku chooses to live the lifestyle of an otaku and not wanting the negative connotations stuck on by society. He is definitely evil, but he touched me when he wanted to see the birth of Angra Manyuu and is willing to protect it with his life, not because he wants to destroy the world, but because he wants to protect the “freedom” of being who you are. He didn’t want to deny Angra’s existence as the world did, he wants to know what a denied existence sees the world, and it comes from his lack of existence, lack of self-goal, as seen in Fate/Zero.

    That was kinda long, but in conclusion, I believe Shirou has the better ideal than Saber or Kiritsugu. However, Kirei is more believable and realistic as a character to modern humans.

    thenewhorde
    1. Exactly. That is why Shiro is a true hero. I really wish more people loved his character, because even though he can be annoying, Shiro’s heart is in the right place. Really, going through Fate Zero just makes me love Shiro more, because we see how bad the war can get without someone like Shiro in it, and we see so many horrible things that we know Shiro will make right or at least better in FSN.

      basically Shiro FTW!!!

      takashid
      1. Nice to see that someone else finds Shirou as interesting as I do. For me, he’s one of the best parts of F/SN. Too many people only see him in the TV anime and dislike him, seeing only the “stay in the kitchen” line, when other routes make it clear that his behavior toward Saber is shown to be more in line with his character than first appears–ie, he’s seeing her as more important than himself and in need of protection since she got her ass handed to her by Berserker. His world view is so simple that it becomes complex.

        It becomes even more interesting when contrasted with Kiritsugu, who started out with a similar view, but was beaten down by reality and gave up on his impossible dream. The three routes of F/SN are fascinating in showing the paths Shirou can take.

        Overall it makes the Mind of Steel bad end, Show Spoiler ▼

        all the more tragic.

        Moespeaker
  11. Very nicely put Verdant. That’s precisely how I feel about this episode as well. Neither is correct, but just looking at this particular story, if I’ve made the choice to take part in a battle royale, fighting till death for a legendary Grail that can grant any wish, I really don’t think playing by the knightly code of honors is the best way to achieve that and certainly, I wouldn’t assume my competitors to be as naive.
    We’ve known from day one Kiritsugu is no saint but I think Saber and Lancer are certainly as egotistical as their masters or even worse. The knightly code of honor is not a luxury everyone can have, especially when you’re fighting to survive. Saber and Lancer try to force their values upon others and condemn those who don’t have their idealism, that to me is the ultimate form of selfishness.
    Lancers bitterness when he was betrayed by Kayneth is to put it bluntly, exactly how a sore loser looks like. His assertion “Do you want to win so desperately that you’ve crushed my remaining wish?” is laughable and preposterous. Kayneth made a good point on how Lancer was silly enough to accept Saber’s challenge when that’s clearly not the urgent matter at hand. Lancer was so fixated on having his own “honorable” duel that he failed to even prioritize Sola-Ui’s rescue. Mind you, he knew very well she was barely alive, with her hand chopped off to say the least.
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone Kiritsugu’s crooked methods and the world (fictional or not) could certainly use more justice and decency. It’s just an unfortunate truth that you almost never win when you fight fairly and the nice guys almost always finish last. The Grail War is a dog eat dog battle royale, you fight to survive and that’s exactly what Kiritsugu is doing, nothing more, nothing less. Saber and Lancer knew what they were getting into when they sign up and no matter how you slice it, the Grail War is certainly not a spar among knights or nobles. I understand that’s how Saber and people of her generation are wired, but she as Rider put it very well, acts like an idealistic little girl, full of hypocrisy and naivety. That to me shows how disconnected from reality they are.

    Seishun Otoko
  12. While I’ll agree that honor should take a backstage if it meant reducing the victims I disagree that it only exists to make the winner feels good about himself. You said that it’s what differentiate us from animal but more importantly, it’s what separated soldiers from raiders, bandits, slavers and all other kind of men that did not give a man about human life. Honor goes hand in hand with morality and civilization, it was born -not created, but born- to keep what was a necessary evil (and you can’t argue that it was necessary when the other guy wouldn’t bat an eye before killing you and your family) from being unspeakably worse. It saves lives even today, even if it isn’t called “chivalry” and “honor” anymore.

    I don’t disagree with Kiritsugu’s method on this one, but his dismissal of Saber’s beliefs is mistaken in my opinion.

    Lambda
  13. Despite Kiritsugu’s cruelty, I can’t help but feel that the guy is just doing what he does best: Take down the obstacle with great efficiency.

    In a case like the Holy Grail War, there’s only what a man can do, and what a man cannot do. Of course, keeping your head at the end if you truly wish to maintain your ideals is fine, unless one was to change their goals and intentions later anyway.

    Of course in Fate/Zero’s case…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    ronri
  14. The beginning of this episode was done poorly, the way the chick gets her arm cut off suddenly really made me think that my player had skipped further into the episode. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it felt out of place. Other than that though it was really good.

    This was also one of the few times I found myself actually agreeing with what was coming out sabers mouth rather than facepalming myself when she started arguing. However I also agree with Kiritsugu that killing is screwed up no matter what the case and no one should find killing somehow good or fun.

    Nexus
  15. Watching Lancer kill himself was really… hard to watch. For him, this was a chance at redemption for his past life, and watching his master betray him once more was awful. Lancer was one of the more sympathetic characters in Fate/Zero and also one of the most likable, so his death really made me feel for him.

    On the other hand, what Kiritsugu said to Saber is ultimately right. Kiritsugu’s words really made me think about The Seven Samurai, the movie. In the end, only nations win. The soldiers who fight for them always lose. In the end though, I’m undecided on whether the ends justify such violent means. It’s an impossible moral decision which can’t really be decided.

    This probably ranks among the best Fate/Zero episodes so far, and that’s saying a lot. Previous teens in FSN would have hesitated or blown off killing other masters, but here they go through with it. Because that’s what the Holy Grail War is. A violent death match.

    Click
    1. Personally I think the ends justify the means only if your ideals and beliefs dictate as such. If you wish to truly uphold your moral code and ideals then obviously it’s better for your actions to reflect that too. Basically it goes both ways really, if the means completely (keyword) contradict the intention and idea of the end result thereby completely overriding it, then it destroys whatever integrity you had to begin with. Of course this is just my opinion.

      ronri
  16. got chills this episode…

    seeing one of the more honorable servants go just like that; felt bad for Kayneth and Sola-Ui in the end but shit happens. looking forward towards berserker’s arc

    lancer’s team really got the short end of the stick haha…

    bullrogg
  17. Kiritsugu IS THE MAN!!! He ain’t no evil!

    He only killed 3 people, very evil villains, and a ghost. First, that psycho killer, he sniped. No one feels sorry for that.

    Next, Kayneth and his equally cruel fiancé. Suddenly all is forgiven for these two since they are brutally executed? Gimme a break. They are still pure evil. This episode plays some of the viewers like suckers by making them sorry for these two pure evil villains.

    Next is the ghost, the Lancer. First he’s not even a human. The real Lancer was killed centuries ago. The ghost Lancer doesn’t care for people nor their cruel fate (some do like this fate, though) for having to kill each other every 12 years. All he cares for his silly little honor battle against another ghost, Saber for his supposed honor. That’s fine, but preventing him getting that little wish suddenly makes Kiritsugu pure evil as well? NO! Guaranteed, he’s no saint, but he ain’t no evil. Just a very cynical bastard who will do what is necessary -but does not stoop down to killing innocent people mercilessly i.e. the people at the hotel- to bring peace and has no patience on ghosts’ silly games. Sure he could’ve been a little nicer to blondie ghost Saber, but hey, he’s already happily unofficially married to that white hair woman with a child. Maybe he isn’t a player.

    As long as Kiritsugu doesn’t kill innocent bystanders, I don’t see the problem here unlike Kiritsugu haters who is fuming over his attitude and all. The way I see is, the way good guys left in the game is the bug man and Waver. Kiritsugu can kill all the ghosts for all I care. I have a feeling that the bug man will die on his own eventually or someone else will kill him, so all Kiritsugu has to is avoid killing Waver and then he won’t be this vile evil Kiritsugu haters claim him to be!!!!!!

    some guy
    1. You do remember that Kiritsugu thought he was going soft because he didn’t kill an entire hotel worth of “innocent bystanders” to get to Kayneth? Kiritsugu crossed your line a looooooooong time ago.

      Lambda
      1. and you’re beef is that Kiritsugu thought about blowing people off? And that makes him crossing the ling a long ago? What a weak argument. This is a Minority Report stuff here. You should judge people with facts. And we’re dealing with facts within FZ. Not what might have happend before since nobody really knows what is truth and what is rumors. So stick with facts within FZ. Heck, anybody can think about something, whether awful or virgin mary or what not, but at the end of the day, the fact for FZ 1-16 is this: he killed 3 evil villains and a ghost.

        All other stuff you and other Kiritsugu haters are accusing him being this vile evil bastard is just baseless accusations and fantasies. I think your Kiritsugu hatred is clouding your judgement, my friend. Now you or anybody says “I hate this Kiritsugu bastard, he’s a old, cold, calculating, self-righteous bastard, treating my Saber like dirt, I hate him, I hate him!! And you can suck it!” I wil say, “well played, sir/ma’am”. But calling him crossing lines, a vile evil just making you look silly. He has not done anything to deserve that. Now that may change, but for now, that argument is silly, my friends.

        some guy
    2. lol, you are totally missing the point, “some guy”. Kiritsugu himself admits what he is doing is evil. He just gladly accepts it, if he as the greater evil can kill all the smaller evils. He WILL kill all the people in Fuyuki if he must to win the Grail. Because if it only takes a few thousand people to win the Grail and save the world, he will do it, since that is his definition of minimizing damge. Take off your rose-tinted glasses.

      And btw, what exactly was “pure evil” about Kayneth? I don’t mean to say that you are supposed to sympathize with him, but I don’t see him doing something pure evil. Killing the priest was strategically not that wrong, Kiritsugu probably would have done the same. And if you’re saying he treated Lancer like dirt because of his jealousy – by your logic, Lancer is only a ghost, so who cares?

      dolor
      1. “He WILL kill all the people in Fuyuki”

        OK, ok. That’s what you think, based on your opinion along. The fact is stil this: he hasn’t done that or any vile evil acts…yet. I stress “yet”. THe moment he does this, I will happily join you and start calling Kiritsugu “you evil dog, you lost it man”. But again, as of FZ 16, Kiritsugu is not a vile evil. I still don’t how all these people made their mind and so sure to condemn Kiritsugu as this vile evil creature. Yes he did say he will do what is necessary to achieve the permanent stop on this holy grail game and bring peace and considers his actions evil. Why don’t YOU take off Take off your judgmental glasses. You’ve already made up your mind Kiritsugu and I don’t intend to convince anyone; but I will defend Kiritsugu as long as he keeps on killing villains, however cheap shot method, and other ghosts (not humans), but not innocent bystanders in FZ. So that means stay off innocent people and Waver, Kiritsugu!!

        some guy
      2. This is not my opinion, this is outright stated. It’s not just the narrator or any other person, it’s Kiritsugu who says so. Heck, he lived all his life that way and has done that numerous times to immediately kill off the people he possibly cannot save to minimize the damage. I don’t hate him, but similar to Saber he has to change his ways or the only thing he will get is regret. A typical anti-hero. What you are doing is basically ignoring what he has done before the 4th war.

        Even until now, he thought it was right to ignore Caster first and sacrifice the few dozens of children that were mutilated by Uryu and Caster. He has already shown that he can ignore some hundred or thousand people, since it will reduce the damage in his opinion. And I judge Kiritsugu as evil because he himself is doing evil things to achieve his goal. As he wishes and accepts it, he will become all the evils of this world. So what exactly is wrong calling him evil? Should I just ignore everything he has done and everyone he killed before he arrived in Fuyuki?

        Show Spoiler ▼

        dolor
      3. dolor, I’m only defending Kiritsugu FZ 1-16, nothing more. Yes, he’s no saint and you’re right that he’s an anti-hero. You’re free to judge based on the character’s entire history and I won’t defend that Kiritsugu if you do so as he’s a screw up. My point was that Kiritsugu at this point of the story at FZ doesn’t deserve a lynching mob. I sense that most of Kiritsugu haters are just fuming because he made ghost Lancer to kill himself cheaply and continue to treat ghost Saber like dirt and nothing more, not because what he will do in near future.

        and for your comfort,
        Show Spoiler ▼

        some guy
      4. Did you forget the part where Kiritsugu had an entire building evacuated before he blew it up? Kiritsugu himself admitted he wouldn’t do that normally but he did. Its quite clear he tries to not involve noncombatants when possible.

        Kayneth and Sola are NOT noncombatants. They joined a death match willingly and knowingly and are thus marked for death by Kiritsugu. In his eyes what he did here really isn’t any different if he just shot them dead.

        fragb85
      5. To fragb: Sure, Kayneth should have been prepared to die. However, he certainly didn’t expect to suffer the equivalent of all his nerves being put on fire, stripped of everything he took pride in, and then be shot several times but not killed, so that he could be tortured like an insect being pulled of all its legs on the ground.

        I’m not sure what you’re arguing against, but the morality issue here isn’t whether or not to kill Kayneth, but the manner of doing so. While it’s not my personal belief, one could call Kiritsugu evil just for his method, even if you think killing Kayneth is justified.

        machan
    3. Lol, Kiritsugu has killed far more than 3 people. True he doesn’t kill innocent bystanders, but he’s still haunted by him killing his father, adopted mother, best friend, etc.

      Suppa Tenko
      1. ok, that may be true, especially if one wikipedia on him (about his alleged activities before FZ), but I think we are talking about the actions on FZ exclusively.

        Also in that vein, you’d know what would happen with Kiritsugu at the end of FZ and beginning of FSN. So I won’t say anything spoiler, but on that note, I still say he is so no vile evil and doesn’t deserve all this hatred at this point of the story. Poor dude. This is what happens if you treats the crowd favorite ghost Saber like a cheap doormat. Crowd turns to a lynching mob and any negative defects becomes so overblown that no wonder he being this vile creature before their eyes.

        some guy
    4. Despite being a ghost, Lancer retains all the feelings he had as a human being. He just wanted to be faithful to his master, because a spell in the previous life bounded him to betrayal, and to be betrayed. And once again, the story repeats. And it’s no he didn’t care about Kayneth or Sola-Ui. Concerning the latter, he clearly explained why he didn’t manage to protect her. I won’t say anything about Kiritsugu, to him Lancer or another doesn’t make the difference in his path, like the deaths of Kayneth and Sola-Ui perfectly represents. But I think Lancer deserves a little emphathy, and not to be marked as “just a ghost who don’t give a damn about anything that isn’t is little dream”.

      Akira
      1. Ok, maybe the ghost Lancer deserves a little empathy, just as Kiritsugu doesn’t deserve all these crossing line, being a vile evil treatments. After all the ghost Lancer wasn’t a bad ghost, despite of being detached from the harsh real world. But hey he’s a ghost! Why should he or any other ghost be a realist? I get that. I don’t want to fight blind prejudice with blind prejudice after all (but what’s been written is already done).

        some guy
      2. To some guy: I don’t think anyone here is totally bashing Kiritsugu. Most people admit he has reason, though some think he’s taken it too far.

        And it’s okay to abuse Lancer because he’s just a ghost, you say? Why, because he’s not a living being? So if your mother were to die, and I hosted a party over and danced on her grave, then used her skeleton as drumsticks…it doesn’t matter because she’s actually dead, right?

        machan
    5. there’s so many things wrong with what he’s saying I don’t even want to bother to answer at this point, other people already pointed out. He obviously missed a lot of story or never paid attention to the episodes.

      Only thing I want to point out that’s irrelevant to Kiritsugu is the fact he kept calling Saber a ghost. Since he makes it sounds like he knows the story, my only question is, why keep calling Saber a ghost when she Show Spoiler ▼

      thenewhorde
  18. Lancer always have Luck = E … that is a truth to be told
    Saber is honorable, but Kiritsugu is probably right… there is no justice if there is no evil… and just like how fire fighters sometimes have to start small fire to end big ones (wild fires), sometimes evil act is necessary to end other evil…
    nice post, verdant!

    jrj
  19. Wow!! I almost cried when lancer made his last vengeful speech. I was like woah poor lancer still being betrayed by his “master”. Bad ass Kiritsugu he was cool though…

    Richien
  20. I never really liked Kayneth, but in this episode I quite hated him for blaming Lancer for his fianchè’s will to letting herself being seduced by him.. Because she could resist his love charm, if she wanted to. But considering her past, maybe it’s understandable she wanted to be loved by someone she liked too.. And Lancer has been cursed by his charm in his life and also as a servant, even if he was a honorable and fine man.. But I admit I pitied Kayneth in the end, because he really did love Sola-Ui honestly. The novel foreshadow better these three characters, the reader can emphatize better, but I think the anime made a good job anyway.

    Wanted to spend some words for them, since I was surprised your post speaks only about the final dialogue.. fundamental, I agree, but the episode is a lot more than that, in my opinion! But maybe I’m just biased because Lancer was my favourite servant and I find his character so painfully tragic, surely worthy of more words spent for him.

    Akira
  21. Some nitpicking here and there:

    First, as lover of the original novel, i feel like my bias is showing here, but i didnt like how they handled some of the shicking events in this episode. Maiya’s takedown of Sola, kayneth shooting Risei, and Maiya gunning down Kayneth and Sola all felt off to me. With Maiya’s scene, i was puzzeled at why they did not stick to the novels and show her ambush sola and knock her to the ground, then cut the arm. i guess they were censoring the gore, but it made the scene fel really random and weird, instead of badass for Maiya.

    Then with the Risei scene, i was just annoyed. instead of having the sound of a gun and showing Risei fall down, how about you stick to the novels and show Kayneth draw the gun and point it at Risei’s back? again, the change made the scene feel random, and hard to understand until we see the gun in Kayneth’s lap. Lastly, this is a really minor nitpick, but why was Miaya shooting so carefully when she killed the Archibald couple? in the novel it is described as automatic Machine gun fire, a “rain of death” that riddles the two mages with holes. The cold clinically calculated shooting in the anime really seemed to drain some of the shockingly violent power that scene had in the novels. IDK, as i said, maybe im just biased. What did those of you havent read the novels think? Did you feel any of the things i described about those scenes, or is it just me?

    continued
    …Ok, now that i have gotten my small problems out of the way, i can say that this episode was awesome!!! This episode covered another really great moment in the novels for me, and i have a lot of feelings about it. Similar to Riders argument with Saber about King’s at first i was firmly on Sabers side, but as the discussion continued i found myself agreeing more and more with Kiritsugu/Rider.

    takashid
    1. I suppose when the blu ray episodes get released we will see some of the stuff you are mentioning. Remember, Ufotable has to deal with time constraints and also the censoring of the TV so don’t expect an anime adaptation to be completely faithful to their original source.

      Linkark
    2. Agreed. I considered this episode quite weak when compared to the novels; glad to know I wasn’t the only one. The scenes involving Maya and Kiri lacked the mechanical, minimalistic precision that was evident in their moves in the novel; Lancer’s death just lacked impact (the whole red-eyes thing was forced – surely there are other ways to portrait anguish and anger, no?).

      The debate afterwards was just… weird. That scene should have comunicated a lot of emotions, but it just felt random.

      To be expected, I guess – when reading such an awesome novel like Fate/Zero, our imagination runs wild and lets us “see” things in the way that is more impressive to us. Even if the points you and I mentioned can be really be considered “mistakes” in storytelling (instead of nit-picking) , ultimately it’s just a characteristic of this type of media – while the anime follows a single viewpoint and execution, we fill the interpretation gaps in the novel as we see fit.

      Rikku
  22. Wow, I never knew Kiritsugu was such an ass. Poor Keyneth and Lancer. But was it really necessary to finish off Keyneth? His Command Spells are gone and his servants is as well. He can’t recontract with another servant, and he’s no longer a threat in any way because he can’t use magic anymore. Really seems like there was no reason for him to die.

    Also, a question:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Moeronic
    1. Well, his job is to kill all the other servants and master afther all, and he had to make sure even if the chances of a Kynet/Sola comeback were slim.

      About the question
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Kob264
  23. Maiya and Kayneth were the real killers this week. Maiya who shot two people to death and Kayneth who shot one person to death and made Lancer commit suicide.

    I love Maiya and I liked it to see her again, I missed her the last two episodes even though her voice was in the first ep of season 2. She did a great job this episode with killing kayneth and Sola-ui.

    I wonder how Kirei will react when he notice his father is dead. He finally did something good with saving Kariya and then his father gets killed, I feel bad for him, he almost has nothing anymore. He doesn’t have a servant and now his father is gone as well, I wonder how he is going to move on from now on because he can’t stay friends with Archer the whole time for as far they are friends.

    1. i don’t know, maybe like go home and take care of his daughter instead of sticking in this bloody war that he should have no part in anymore? even his master Tokiomi said he could leave, so the fact he still stays is his responsibility to bare.

      thenewhorde
  24. “In the battlefield, there is no place for hope. What lies there is only cold despair and a sin called victory, built on the pain of the defeated.” – Emiya Kiritsugu. Best statement I’ve heard all week.

    Needless to say, I’d siding with Emiya Kiritsugu here. War is hell. Partially, that’s why society (and eventually, sports) was invented – to cater to notions of honor, chivalry and fair play that characters like Saber and Lancer breath and live.

    I never really liked Kayneth el-Melloi as a character since Episode 1, since a professor (even a professor of magic) doesn’t have the right to humiliate his student and said student’s thesis in front of the entire class.

    So when Kayneth tried to frame the Magus Killer by using a gun to kill Risei – and lost his chance at the holy grail, his life, Sola’s life, and his servant Lancer a few moments later in the episode; I sat satisfied with a smile on my face. Payback time.

    To Waver Velvet-kun, your disgrace at the Mage’s Association has been avenged, partially.

    To Kotomine Kirei, you bad, bad priest-boy. You get the thrills when you betray your mentor Tokiomi when he’s not looking? XD

    R.I.P. Lancer. May you have a better fate in Fate/Zero doujinshi.

    The_Magus_Killer
  25. #Oh-My-God-I’m-blown-away. KUURU INDEED.

    I’ll be honest: Up to now, I never thought of F/Z as high of a show as I see many people calling it. It was just a series with a few (very) good scenes. Waver and Rider were by far the most entertaining duo. And every episode had some moments where character began their monologues and, in my opinion, completely broke the pace.

    But not this time. Boy oh boy was this shocking for an anime. In a good way. Since the very first minutes, I was glued to my seat: it was unexpected deaths one after the other. Damn!
    It had the perfect amount of action and dialogue, warm and dark moments alike. Not to mention the Servants’ fight was wicked cool too (while it lasted). Never had I thought Lancer would have such a dark end. Haha, I still can’t sink it in…Ufotable did a terrific job with this whole episode.

    And we finally see more of Kiritsugu. Some episodes ago I said I wished Saber would obliterate someone for once, and while it didn’t go quite like that, her Noble Phantasm last week, and Kiritsugu’s schemes here definetly made my much needed fix. Adding some classic, well-`ñaced philosophical debates sealed the deal.

    Jesus…If only every F/Z episode had been as entertaining as this, and also the ones to come (but please don’t have so many deaths each time, or else we won’t have any characters alive by the next 3~ episodes!)

    Just…Bravo Ufotable, bravo. You and Urobochi have earned my blind-belief in your works..

    1. Hope it comes with his entire weapon arsenal, and allows interchangeability with the Figma from another (by no coincidence) purposeful, cold, time-hacking, weapon-wielding badass – Homura.

      Rikku
  26. Gah, i posted before i was done with my comment. anyway…

    As i said, i found myself agreeing more and more with Kiritsugu in his speech, and the things he said made sense. No matter what, killing someone is horrible. Taking another persons life is bloody and nasty, and dressing it up in fancy ideas and pretty words doesnt change that. As Georege Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire(Game of thrones for tv watchers) series has said, “A knight’s a sword with a horse. The rest, the vows and the sacred oils and the lady’s favors, they’re silk ribbons tied round the sword. Maybe the sword’s prettier with ribbons hanging off it, but it will kill you just as dead.”

    I respect Saber’s ideals and admire her dedication to them, but they far too often Saber and Diarmund’s “honor” starts to look like foolishness and justification. Last episode Saber was willing to keep her Excalibur sealed for the sake of an honorable duel with lancer, even though that would have guaranteed that Caster’s monster ate the city and became unstoppable. This week Lancer decided to have a duel with Saber to appease his honor rather then focusing on saving his masters wife who he knew was kidnapped and hurt (which kayneth points out). Even earlier then this, in episode 8 Saber risked her Master’s life (and consequently her chance at the grail) simply for the sake of her honor. Countless times these two have ignored the greater or more pressing need of their allies and those around them simply for honor.

    Also, as much as i love (as in LOVE) Lancer’s “a plague on both your houses!” moment in his death, i have to admit that he sounds like a whiny sore loser. With lines like “do you want to win so badly that you would trample on MY ONLY WISH!?” …um Lancer baby, you do realize that this is a battle royale to the DEATH right!? This isnt a kids game or an honorable tournament, this is a no holds barred, last man standing, kill or be killed WAR!! If he has to kill you, then OF COURSE he is going to trample your wish along with your life, hell, if you had gotten your wish, and won the War with your master you would have trampled on his wish and Sabers and Kriya’s and Tokiomi’s, etc, etc!!! Only you would have called it honor, which makes it all ok right!?

    Just, come on Diarmund, you knew what you were getting into and you knew what was at stake and you joined willingly. In order to fufill a wish, any participant in the war has to crush the wishes of the other contenders. its stated right there in the rulebook, in episode 1.

    takashid
    1. Also, as much as i love (as in LOVE) Lancer’s “a plague on both your houses!” moment in his death, i have to admit that he sounds like a whiny sore loser. With lines like “do you want to win so badly that you would trample on MY ONLY WISH!?” …um Lancer baby, you do realize that this is a battle royale to the DEATH right!? This isnt a kids game or an honorable tournament, this is a no holds barred, last man standing, kill or be killed WAR!! If he has to kill you, then OF COURSE he is going to trample your wish along with your life, hell, if you had gotten your wish, and won the War with your master you would have trampled on his wish and Sabers and Kriya’s and Tokiomi’s, etc, etc!!! Only you would have called it honor, which makes it all ok right!?

      Just, come on Diarmund, you knew what you were getting into and you knew what was at stake and you joined willingly. In order to fufill a wish, any participant in the war has to crush the wishes of the other contenders. its stated right there in the rulebook, in episode 1.

      If I may, I think you are missing something in your analyze about Lancer. The matter wasn’t his wish taken away from him because of his dead, he did know well it could happen. He would have gladly died by the hands of Saber and Rider, maybe also Gilgamesh. The matter is the way in which Kirigitsugu crushed hiw wish, in a total unfair way. Yeah, in love and war all is allowed, but it’s quite obvious that a proud knight like Lancer was, would have been upset by Kirigitsugu’s way to win. I don’t think he was complaining about his wish not being granted, and not the wish to have the Grail, after all, but the one to be faithful to his master by fightinh with honour till the very end, being the victory or the defeat by the hands of another servant. You cannot de-context the words from the person who is speaking. Plus, if someone had just made you commit suicide with your own spear, would you perhaps say “Oh, great strategy, my compliments”? I think Lancer’s reaction is totally understandable.

      Akira
  27. Being Lancer is suffering…. T_T
    Poor Lancer …sob, sob.
    I guess when Rider’s gone in the future I will be crying a river then……T^T
    It is really sad to see those Servant gone, except Caster, I still think he should not have a happy death for all the things he did…
    Iri, time to turn into a grail…….I will miss her……..sob, sob.

    zleihsh
  28. Lancer’s voice actor was amazing here. He really nailed the curse scene just dripping with so much spite and bile.

    Although I’m quite surprised by the outrage the resulted from Kiritsugu’s actions. Its already been established that he’s a manipulative asshole. Hell most of the masters are manipulative assholes. Just this episode alone, Kayneth MURDERED Risei with a gun just to gain a small advantage and (according to the novel) frame Kiritsugu. So Kayneth tries to be a manipulative asshole, fails and dies horribly people feel sorry for him. And yet Kiritsugu succeeds in being being a manipulative asshole and kills his opponent and now people think he’s wrong? I just don’t see how Kiritsugu is an exception when others are just as bad as he is.

    fragb85
  29. Well then, let me quote the novel here.

    “In the battleground there is no place for hope.
    What lies there is just cold despair and a sin called victory, built on the pain of the defeated.
    The world as is, the human nature as always, it is impossible to eliminate the battles.
    In the end, killing is necessary evil – and if so, it is best to end them in the best efficiency and at the least cost, least time.
    Call it not foul nor nasty. Justice cannot save the world. It is useless.”

    While it may not be morally right, this is the cold hard truth.

    This scene is one of the most emotionally powerful in the novels and marks the beginning of the tragedy and betrayals yet to come.

    Rakkyo
    1. Archer was just spectating really, to see what the commoners who make claim to something he assumes to own. This is due to the fact he believes all treasure in the world was originally his, and that the Grail was actually part of his possession when he was alive.

      Saber believes that a King should rule through democracy, that a king has to sacrifice himself for the people, and should have a clear distinction between ruling and being ruled, to allow for the King to make the decisions that need to be done, at times, heartlessly.
      In Fate/Zero, she is described as being alien to the people she ruled, as her ideals made her into something noone could relate to. The collateral damage of this lack of understanding caused her kingdom to fall.

      Rider on the other hand, believes in ruling with and alongside his people, by taking charge of them, and leading them. He gives rewards to those who obeys his orders and follows him, and therefore the people loved him. This made him more “human” in nature, and allowed for people to find themselves and their purpose in life by following in his conquest. The flip side of this is the idealogy that the people serve their king. The flipside of the above.

      Emiya Shirou
    2. You can see the style of kingship by their noble phantasms, they are called their path of kingship.

      Gilgamesh is a divine king (he is only 1/3 human). Sublime and absolute, so he expects to rule above others. He does care about his followers (who he treats kindly) and prizes ideals, but his focus is on treasures and his power.

      Iskandar is a ‘human’ king. He lives like a man the fullest and thinks the followers should ‘sacrifice’ themselves for the king, but not in a way Gilgamesh does. To him, follower and king have a symbiosis. A king is the sum of the followers wishes and aspirations, they must become a figure for them to admire to be easy to relate. While ideals and possessions are nice, what he treasures the most is his unbreakable bond with his people.

      Arturia is an ‘ideal’ king. She has stripped herself of human desires to be fair in her judgment. She believes the king must sacrifice themselves for the followers. She has transcended human nature to become a timeless ideal. While she cares about possessions and specially her people, her road is built on those transcending ideals and aesthetics of virtue.

      Moriae
  30. I also have to agree more with Kiritsugu’s side of the debate. War is hell and no amount of talk or thought on nobility, honor, chivalry, etc will ever change that. It may help make soldiers feel better about taking lives, but it’s taking a life regardless, and that will stay with you.

    @Rakkyo

    The use of the atomic bomb in WWII pretty much summarizes Kiritsugu’s words.

    We had a choice of either using it and killing tens of thousands of people in hopes of bringing a faster end to the war or having our soldiers invade the Japanese homeland into a battle that would most likely last longer than any other before it, and most likely end up with the destruction of all but a handful of the Japanese people (given the doctrine of fighting to death, committing suicide, and so on, even to the civilians) at the cost of an estimated 250,000+ of our own soldiers before we could secure it. (Basically, several million deaths probably.)

    We chose the atomic bomb and, not trying to sugarcoat it or anything, but it saved countless lives in the longrun at the sacrifice of the deaths because of their use. We chose the lesser of two evils that ended up costing the fewest lives compared to the alternatives.

    It doesn’t make the large taking of life any less miserable and it will always be a blot on US history, but it was done for the greater good of not only the US, but also in consideration for Japan’s population as well.

    HalfDemonInuyasha
    1. I could also go on and say that, on the other side, at the time, Japan was willing to have all of its people sacrifice their lives, even in suicide, for their country for the sole purpose of preserving their honor. Taking honor so far that it could lead to the total destruction of your own people is probably one similar thing as Kiritsugu brought up.

      HalfDemonInuyasha
      1. I think it’s also worth adding on the idea of the masters and servants joining the Holy Grail War compared to soldiers fighting in wars in general, both acknowledging that risk of death, which is ever so likely. At the same time, we have civilians who may or may not be personally willing to sacrifice their lives at the expense of a nation, team, party, etc. for whatever reasons. (I guess the most applicable and relevant one would either be because of said party using lives as an expense or because of said party not properly representing the population’s ideals.) So dropping an atomic bomb on an area of civilian population as opposed to soldiers continually fighting in a war does bring about a deeper scope of morality and chivalry in my opinion. Additionally, I think this relates to Click’s earlier post where he relates this all to the film Seven Samurai, in which a burning theme is how the nations are the parties that win the battles. The soldiers lose no matter what.

    2. The United States used Japan as testing ground for their new toy of genocide, saving lifes was never the issue for the goverment, they could have sign the peace after the fall of Berlin but refused to let Japan go without some sick punishment. The creator of the nuclear bomb spended the rest of his days gitl ritten because he helped in the massacre of thousands; you can´t buy life using the life of others.

      haseo0408
      1. If only it were that simple. The hardline command of Japan wanted to fight to the last man, women and child. If the US didn’t display a show of force both sides would have ended up far worse.

        Also you might want to look up the word genocide. Because that’s not what happened. And for that matter look up the term nuclear deterrents. WMD’s are actually effective in keeping the peace and saving lots of lives. Nothing is ever simple in war.

        fragb85
      2. Only if you tell the hundreds of battle-worn soldiers on both sides who have seen horrific death that the war would keep going for several more years. I’m sure they’ll take that well.

        You seriously can’t be this naive. There have always been two sides to a coin.

        fragb85
      3. I think none of us have the correct answer, ppeople has debate over this for decades without reaching a winner, lets leave it at that. By the way I´m not been naive, I´m just human.

        haseo0408
      4. Motive(s) does not matter.

        In the end fewer people dies, so dropping the bomb is a better choice than escalating the war.

        That will be Kiritsugu’s and Utilitarianism ethic’s reasoning.

        Silent Minstrel
  31. Anyone like how Kayneth seemed to really care for Sola despite her being a really nasty individual? Sola being placed in Kayneth’s lap before they die was a nice touch that humanizes creates more sympathy for both of them imo.

    MagnificientLamp
      1. Sola was not already dead, you can see here breathing when Kiritsugu is standing over her with the gun pointed at her. She was just unconscious, or maybe put in a magic sleep. She is killed instantly by Maiya’s shooting along with Kayneth (the novel points out that she was lucky because she died form the bullets instantly as opposed to Kayneth who lingered for a few moments in horrible pain, begging to be killed)

        takashid
  32. This is the reason why I hate Kiritsugu, the actully belives he is going to save the world using other people´s life as steping stone, just how many children died to the hands of Caster because he let the bastard free to do what he wanted just because it was esier that way. The guy´s hatred for heroes comes, in my opinion and the story of the original fate/stay night, of the fact it was not possible for him to become a hero and his life was one hell after another, the poor guy some serious karma coming to get him. Mark my words, Kiritsugu´s ideal are what makes the world a living to many, he´s the personification of everything that is wrong in a human being and he realize the monster he has become it´s going to hit him hard. Evil does not become good, doesn´t matter how many lifes you think you can safe.

    haseo0408
    1. Funny, last I checked it was Saber who spared Caster and let him walk and therefore condemned lots of children to die. Saber’s honor was just as bad as Kirei’s pragmatism.

      fragb85
      1. Kiritsugu is many things but a fool is not one of them, if he wanted to find Caster after that he cuold have done it without problmes but it was better to let anyone else deal with the problem and attack the survivor of the struggle when was most vulnerable and weak, too bad for him that Caster went nuts and summon a monster that will make H.P. Lovecraft proud first.

        haseo0408
      2. See now you’re grasping at straws. Nobody knew who Caster’s master was and had no way to find him. Only when Team Caster started acting more openly was everyone noticing.

        Its funny people conveniently forget that Kiritsugu has so far been the only person who deliberately avoids civilian casualties when he can.

        fragb85
    2. Are you conveniently forgetting that back in season one when Kiritsugu blew up the building, he took the time to evacuate all civilians and made sure the hotel collapsed in a way that it wouldn’t hurt anyone else? If he was really as evil as you say he was, why would he have done that? Kiritsugu always plans to kill in the most efficient way with the least number of senseless deaths. If you say he is “using other people´s life as steping stone”, then why are you ignoring that the entire point of the war is to kill everyone else involved in order to win?

      SuzushinaYuriko
  33. I don’t really see how one can disagree with Kiritsugu from a logic standpoint. From the standpoint of “you shouldn’t do that cause it’s unfair and killing is bad,” yes. But looking at it from a macro standpoint, Kiritsugu is not only 100% right, but also very heroic that he would sacrifice his own happiness for everyone else.

    Every second in the world, people are choosing life and death given limited resources. Take the govt for example, do you use money to fund defense or cancer research? Do you upgrade firefighter equipments or police equipments? Every decision means giving up some lives to save others. And in the end the best result would result in minimal losses, not no losses. Kiritsugu basically has a chance to irradicate all wars and loss of lives/livelihood from them. And to accomplish this, he only has to kill 6 people, most of whom would die regardless of him joining the Holy Grail War. That seems like an absolute freaking bargain of a price.

    baubo
    1. I think Kiritsugu’s logic is fine for human, but if he is making a wish, it might not be a good thing.
      Holy grail might just kill all human without anyone feel suffering, so no more war.
      For holy grail,killing 7 billion people might be more efficient way make such wish come true.

      Kurtid
  34. “A knight’s a sword with a horse. The rest, the vows and the sacred oils and the lady’s favors, they’re silk ribbons tied round the sword. Maybe the sword’s prettier with ribbons hanging off it, but it will kill you just as dead.”
    -George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones)

    takashid
  35. Poor lancer, his last speech of curses is very scary indeed. Still, Kiritsugu in every way is right. This is the Holy Grail WAR, and war is never good thing no matter how much chivalry and honor you put in it.
    As a King, Saber is too naive with her ideals just like what Iskandar said to her. Saber is cursed by her own ideals.

    Jonz
  36. https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20Zero/Fate%20Zero%20-%2016%20-%20Large%2035.jpg

    I see the difference between the novel and the anime. The animators must have think Lancer’s eyes are enough to make him look “Demon Like’
    http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=File:FZ_v03_207.png

    In any case, it is quite clear who Ilya takes after. Though physically Ilya takes after her mother, in terms of personality, Ilya takes after her father as both have no remorse when they go for the straight kill.

    L002
  37. All right, happy to see Kiritsugu has still many fans left defending him a little against the lynching mob! Nobody is condoning his view 100% here, but as you all see, many are understanding and agreeing some parts of his thought/actions. Wish he was a goody two shoes with perfect humanity, but hey we have to deal with what we’ve got. I was sure he was going to be condemned to hell to burn for eternity by many angry ghost fans, I mean cough cough, many angry Saber+Lancer fans, but it’s not too bad so far.

    And Now that Lancer is out of the way, the only way Kiritsugu to lose against Saber in this raging ideology contest would be avoid doing stupid thing like killing civilians after I rant over and over not to do so….. or if suddenly FZ throws a curve ball and they have a traditional beach episode with Saber wearing a two-piece. Then all hope is lost, game-over, adios, for Kiritsugu. So far Saber has not even show an inch of skin beyond face/neck. Not EVEN HER HANDS!! Seriously that character is like a freaking nun here. Her casual wardrobe with black suit with a tie. AND gloves. Zero skin exposure. So just imagine what would happen with all the horny male viewers, which like saying basically almost everyone who watches FZ or any anime if they see Saber with the two-piece. Kiritsugu would have zero chance to win sympathy contest. He is already in a massive disadvantage against Saber to begin with, as… well, he is a old-looking dude against a blode young female. ptsss, Let’s just say Kiritsugu is doomed.

    some guy
    1. Lol Saber shows plenty of skin in Fate/Stay Night. In fact in the Fate route she shows Shiro A LOT of skin if you know what i mean 😉

      Of course what your saying makes perfect sense! No wonder Kiritsugu got her to dress up in that suit! he knew he wouldnt have a chance against her otherwise and being the smart man he is used the most -efficient- method possible to win against the fanservice! 😛

      takashid
  38. Fate/Zero is officially the perfect anime. No doubts there.

    I really enjoyed the first 3 minutes and the whole geass thing. It made laugh like Mirai Nikki used to do. XD “Can’t kill you because of the geass, so I’m making someone else do it for me”.

    You know, I was actually looking forward to this part from the beginning. Or at least the part where Lancer curses everything. I really wanted to know how they would handle this and how it would sound. I repeat the first sentence here.

    But Iri’s fate is becoming painfully clear here and it makes me hate anime. It’s always the pure ones who has to suffer. (Shirley, Hare)

    There is but one thing that bothered me this episode and that’s the passing. It feels like the rushed this bit a little or at least rushed towards this bit. But it’s better to rush it a little (like Mirai Nikki showed), than to drag on.

    JHN
  39. OMG all this thinking about philosophy make my head hurts…. So I putting my though this way:

    Practical –> Kiritsugu
    Moral –> Saber

    Look like I may have to stock up some anti-depressant if this keep goes on.

    D-LaN
  40. Lacner (Diarmuid) really didnt deserve this kind of ending, that was soooo sad! I thought that Saber would defeat him and then Kiritsugu kills his master, that way it was the same result as Kiritsugu intended (both servant and master die simultaneously). But this kind of ending was just too cruel, why? Remember in Lancer’s flashback about his past, well he died because he was also betrayed by his lord (master) who’s fiancee was stolen by Lancer’s charm that attracts women. Obviously the lord was pissed of at him and betrayed him, so Lancer’s wish sadly enough wasnt really anything about the grail at all, but to be able to serve a master again and fight nobly with or for him. Instead, ironically, the same thing happened to him like his past, where even his own master betrayed him by making him commit suicide. I dont blame him for being pissed off even at Saber, cuz he thought that Saber was involved with Kiritsugu’s plan. I really think that he even though he will be defeated, that I thought he would go down more honorably, at least to the extent that he wanted, by being defeated in battle serving his master. Even Caster had a better death than him, cuz at least in the end, Caster realized how foolish he was as he saw the light from Excalibur engulfing him and him remembering about Jean (whom looked a lot like Saber btw) and finally realizing that Saber wasnt her.

    Ryner
    1. Even more sad is the fact that also in the past, Diarmud was forced to betray his master because Grainne had put a geis on him.. But then, he loved her back anyway. He hadn’t any resentment towards her, not even towards his previous lord who let him die, but in the end, in disappeared in anger…poor soul.

      Akira
  41. “Oh my god! They killed Lancer!”
    “You bastards!”
    – Running joke from Carnival Phantasm, which in turn was a parody of the Japanese dub of South Park. (UTW subs ought to have used this translation rather than the literal one)

    Though this joke referred to the 5th Lancer, I guess it now applies for the 4th Lancer as well here.

    Three down, Four to go. And all in the space of 5 episodes (starting with the Assassins’ back in episode 12). Of the Servants vanquished, only Kirei remains alive, and for good reason considering the title of the next episode…

    Kinny Riddle
    1. They did use it in the Final Dead Lancer episode, and don’t quote me on it, but I do believe they said in a post somewhere they were planning on fixing it. There were some dissonance among the viewers in the comments though, but I read all this a fair while ago and don’t remember what they decided on. I guess you’ll find out when the batch comes though? XP

      BakaMochi
  42. Poor Sola-Ui, she was merely entertaining the thought of cheating on her (boring and dickhead) fiance by allowing herself to be charmed by Lancer’s magic mole, despite having her own magical resistance.

    Yet getting her arm chopped off and then shot in cold blood while being unconscious was just overkill as a punishment for adultery.

    Kinny Riddle
  43. I apologize the triple posts in quick succession, but I fear things would be missed and get confusing for people to read if I put them all together.

    Interesting debate there, Verdant.

    It is indeed hard to define right or wrong between the “knight” killer that is Saber and “utilitarian” killer that is Kiritsugu.

    I agree with Kiritsugu about all war being a living hell, and any attempt to sugar-coat them is just hypocrisy, and the best way to minimize casualties is to end it as quickly as possible by any means possible. Yet at the same time, I do not disagree completely with Saber’s ideals that there needs to be some bottom line drawn in war to keep ourselves human, lest a vicious cycle be borne out of it.

    I think I’ll put myself as “on the fence leaning towards utilitarianism”.

    Kinny Riddle
  44. Also, I would just like to thank the randomc community for bringing this collective mindfuck of theories, summaries, clarifications, opinions, and more to my attention. It’s undoubtedly enjoyable reading all of these comments.
    One thing I would like to ask is for people to make use of the spoiler tags. Must’ve read up to 3 potentially story-ruining spoilers.
    Thanks again~

    Obligatory LANCERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!

  45. While the episode was amazing, Lancer’s death was kind of… lacking? While all the elements – the suddenness of it, the tragedy of a knight whose honor has been defiled, etc. – were there, the scene itself felt a little rushed and out-of-place to me.It felt like it could’ve been played out a little better; the beginning of Lancer’s soliloquy was too abrupt, and his death was a scene that should’ve gutted the viewer with some heavy emotional impact. But the transition from Lancer’s death to the Masters’ conversation was too quick and made his passing seem like a minor event. Kind of like how you’re driving and you spot a roadkill. You take a second to pity it, then go right back to the conversation at hand. Come on! Lancer deserves more than that! ;__;

    Rest of the stuff under spoiler tags because it’s too tl;dr
    Show Spoiler ▼

    BakaMochi
    1. You could say them moving on so swiftly actually makes Lancer’s death all the more sad.

      They really didn’t care for Lancer and his words barely reached them. Especially with Kayneth not even blinking and automatically asking if he is save now.

      JHN
    2. Regarding the non-spoiler part of your post, I agree. I knew something was wrong because I actually didn’t shed tears at something so tragic. Meanwhile, Shakespeare is sobbing his face off while he’s waiting in line to be resurrected as a Heroic Spirit because he couldn’t write a tragedy as emotional as Gen Urobuchi, xD.

  46. War is hell. – William T. Sherman, General, US Army , Civil War
    I must admit that I concur on that with Kiritsugu, but I differ on chivalry. Even in hell there is place for it, as some noble souls during the WW2 proved. And I can’t see even Grail ending all the wars, as it would need to remove from people their own free will.
    But killing Kayneth and Sola was, simply and unconditionally, useless waste of ammo. They were out of the fight, their will and bodies broken, their Servant dead. Even should another Servant make himself available to them, they were in no form to accept him. As Talleyrand would put it, it’s worse than a crime, it’s stupidity.
    So we’re down to the 3 kings and one berserker, so to say, and each of them is formidable fighter capable of going toe-to-toe with one another. Epic duels? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! (I hope!)

    ewok40k
    1. I don’t actually know if this is the case, but Jubstacheit von Einzbern did order Kiritsugu to “leave no one alive”. Broken will or not, Kayneth at least was still breathing >___>

      BakaMochi
    2. BakaMochi is correct, old man Acht did instruct Kiritsugu to leave no other competitor alive (after handing him Avalon) – be it Master or Servant.

      Killing Kayneth and Sola was justified because:

      1. The majority of mages are a proud and vindictive bunch, and they will hold grudges. Leaving Kayneth and Sola alive leaves a chance either will muster resources and manpower (Kayneth is the head of the El-Melloi family at the start of the Heaven’s Feel IV, and a high ranking magus at the Mage’s Association; Sola is daughter of the head of the Spiritual Evocation Division) to get revenge on Kiritsugu after the 4th Holy Grail War, even if they themselves do not involve themselves directly afterwards.

      2. Kayneth had faced – and barely survived the Magus Killer’s most effective weapon – the Origin Bullet fired via the Thompson Contender pistol. Kiritsugu would not like his secret weapon for killing mages leaked to the rest of the magi.

      From the mindset of “The Magus Killer”, killing Kayneth and Sola to cover his tracks is a no-brainer. Better safe than sorry.

      The_Magus_Killer
      1. That sorry kind of logic only tends to produce more vendettas amongst mage families. Killing defenceless people backfires, bad, as there is ALWAYS someone who will want to avenge them. And as Sun Tzu teaches, it is best to allow defeated enemy to leave in peace, for the 2 reasons: cornered enemy can fight desperatedly hard and make victory much costlier, and for the future it makes surrender a more viable option for other enemies. Even Genghis Khan and narco-cartels with their “silver or lead” understood this, and gave their enemies option of cooperation and painful option in case of resistance. By comparison Nazi Germany in the WW2 has dig its own grave by considering most of the conquered lands as sub-humans worthy only of extermination. And US being ruthless in the war, but generous in peace for its WW2 enemies, has created much more stable postwar order.

        ewok40k
      2. You realize none of that applies here right? This isn’t a war for rights or ideals, its a Battle Royale for a prize. Kayneth and Sola are dead. As far as anyone knows, they died in the Holy Grail War. End of story. There was no benefit to keep them alive at all.

        fragb85
      3. Counter-argument.

        Now consider your statement “there is ALWAYS someone who will want to avenge them.” Would there be someone among the El-Melloi and Sophia-Ri families and their allies who would want to avenge Kayneth and Sola against the Magus Killer if they didn’t know what happened to them (and didn’t know who killed them) in the first place? No, they’d be grasping straws and chasing shadows.

        Now, the magi who observed the outcome of Heaven’s Feel IV didn’t even know who won (if someone really won) or what wish was made (or not); the only concrete facts were that the heads of the Tohsaka and El-Melloi families died, Waver Velvet survived and came back to the Mage’s Association, and that a great fire consumed a part of Fuyuki City.

        He may have written “The Art of War”, but not all the maxims set down by Sun Tzu can be applied to any particular situation, much less in an unconventional setting like Heaven’s Feel IV.

        The_Magus_Killer
      4. Counter-counter argument: in THIS particular case, Mage Killer could have escaped the observation, but remember, the truth usually does come out even after much time and troubles. This is why “black” operations tend to backfire badly, too. Look at the 2 examples: In 1940 Stalin ordered all of the 20.000 Polish officers taken prisoners in 1939 shot. In 1953 CIA orchestrated coup d’etat in Iran. Both operations have made respective nations mortal enemies and backfired wildly in 1970s when charismatic religious leaders like John Paul II and Khomeini appeared to undermine the puppet regimes. And in today’s era of everymans video capture, things are even worse, it takes but a single ordinary person to catch, digitize and upload to the net the war crimes that will do the untold damage. Kiritsugu has made worse than crime, he has made strategic error. Especially with him further antagonizing Saber…

        ewok40k
      5. Counter Argument:

        You’re clearly getting out of context here. We’re discussing why the Magus Killer was justified in doing what what he did within the context of the 4th Holy Grail War in particular, and the Nasuverse in general, but then you go off tangent here (twice, in fact) with anecdotes from history. I agree with you though, that antagonizing Saber was a big mistake on Kiritsugu’s part.

        Please remember the context.

        The context in particular is the 4th Holy Grail War, a competition for the so-called wishing cup of heaven, where Master-Servant Pairs are practically required to eliminate other Master-Servant pairs so they can win the privilege to wish upon the grail. The mages (with the exception of Ryuunoske since he’s just a serial killer from town) who are participating know beforehand what they are getting into here – failure means death.

        Using examples that are outside of context such as Stalin’s war crimes against the Polish, and the CIA’s attempt against Iran are irrelevant since they’re out of context, and the comparison between those two and Kiritsugu’s actions is very inaccurate, because:

        1. The two examples you’ve mentioned are in the context of state-vs.-state, while the Holy Grail is all about individuals (Master + Servant) vs. individuals (Master + Servant), with the three founding families’ feud in the background (Tohsaka vs. Makiri/Matou vs. Einzbern) can be considered family vs. family.

        Yet so the so-called “vendettas-among-mage-families” you’re mentioning have only occurred during the Holy Grail war, because the three mage families have agreed to settle their differences (which means killing each other families’ representative and their Servant) for the duration of the Holy Grail War. Outside the Holy Grail War, they act towards each other as relatively normal families; the Tohsaka are nominally allied with the Makiri/Matou, for example.

        2. You’ve mentioned that “black operations” tend to fail too and that “in today’s era of everymans video capture, things are even worse, it takes but a single ordinary person to catch, digitize and upload to the net the war crimes that will do the untold damage.”

        Point taken, but again, out of context, especially for the “everymans-video-capture-part.” Any non-magus who would have witnessed the fights between contestants of Holy Grail War would have been silenced by the Church, or by the Magus Association. It is mentioned in the Fate/Zero novel that the doctors treating the surviving victims of Caster’s monster’s eldritch abomination were actually mages in disguise, instructed to cover up the truth.

        It wasn’t even the era of the internet was most people today know it; the 4th Holy Grail war happened within the Clinton Administration (Rider makes references to Clinton at least twice in the novel), and YouTube, the most likely place anyone would upload their videos wasn’t established until 2005, by which time the 4th Holy Grail was long finished. Nico Nico Douga, Japan’s local counterpart to YouTube wasn’t firmly established until 2007.

        The mages in disguise sent made sure any and every shred of evidence gathered would be erased and that people who’d witnessed the events had their memories altered. Ten years later in Fate/Stay Night, the public remembers Caster’s monster as “attributed to poisonous gases produced by chemical reactions caused by industrial waste”, and the devastation wrought by 4th Holy Grail at the end was “a fire that was caused by gas leaks.”

        What Kiritsugu did was neither was an example of a “war crime” nor a “black operation.” Because it seems immoral to your standards and your context, you cannot accept it. However, within the context (this so important I have to repeat this again and again) of the 4th Holy Grail War and Kiritsugu’s way of life, it was perfectly justified to kill off Kayneth and Sola. He was just maximizing his advantages, minimizing his risks, covering his tracks, and cutting off loose ends – things are permitted by the rules in Heaven’s Feel.

        If Kiritsugu could have talked to the people who feel what he did was wrong, he would have said: “Nothing personal. I am just doing my job.”

        The_Magus_Killer
      6. Going to have to agree with The_Magus_Killer on this whole-heatedly. It’s nice to have a database of reference to similar events, whether historical or fictional, but to properly correlate things is pretty essential. In reference to something recent, ewok40k, you’re kind of being the Satoshi Fukube database of Hyouka without the Houtarou Oreki analysis.

  47. To be honest I didn’t think Kayneth was really going to attempt to save Sola, didn’t she torture him to gain the command seals? Didn’t she obviously fall for Lancer? Idk but if my fiance was acting anywhere close to the way Sola was acting, I don’t know what I would have done! But im sure as hell know I wouldn’t have tried saving her!

    Sin1505
  48. Is it wrong that I actually sympathize with Kayneth? I do actually felt that my sympathy are somewhat misplaced considering that he is kind of a a-hole, but still. To see him being killed like that are some cruel to me. Though not as cruel as how Lancer died.

    I’m not trying to say that Kiritsugu is a bad guy here. He have his way of seeing thing, much like how Saber have hers. And like you said, there are no right or wrong point.

    P.S: Is it just me or Kiritsugu and Maiya suck at sniping? I mean, when he killed Ryunosuke, he aimed at his stomach first instead of his head. I first though that he missed ‘cos he was on a boat. But then there’s Maiya, who is in a perfect spot and position for a head-shot at Kayneth yet she went for his chest. Coincidence?

    Terrorhunt
    1. Sniping the head is actually not recommended for actual snipers. That’s another myth perpetuated by movies and video games. Its a much smaller profile and a higher chance to miss. Shooting the body is a much easier shot and something as powerful as a sniper rifle will incapacitate the target anyway if not kill him outright.

      fragb85
    2. Even if I don’t like him at all, I couldn’t help but symphatize with Kayneth too. No one deserves that end.. after all, he wasn’t a fine man, but he wasn’t cruel, evil and twisted as Ryuunosuke.

      Akira
  49. For me the hard part of this episode was Lancer’s death, the poor chap wanted to have a final duel against Saber but thanks to Kiritsugu’s meddling that couldn’t happen.

    But, if you think of it, his death was his own fault, his chivalry got the best of him. Back when he rescued Kayneth from Kiritsugu in the Einzbern mansion he could have killed Kiritsugu there but because of his chivalry he allowed him to live because he is Saber’s master.

    Yes, it is sad for everyone who liked Lancer but sadly if he had killed Kiritsugu then this wouldn’t have happened.

    And man, I never expected the Luck E was really an affecting stat. Being a Lancer is suffering.

    Linkark
  50. This episode actually shows that orthodox mages can be human. Kayneth, who came from a longer line of mages than Tokiomi, is actually willing to give up everything for a woman. Tokiomi on the other hand chose the Tohsaka family over his child. You would have thought it’s the other way around.

    Kiritsugu also brought up an interesting point about “young men getting killed for the honor.” So is he saying that chivalry, although can be seen as a restraint to keep knights in order, is actually promoting war since killing/dying can be seen as honor?

    anon
  51. That explains why Lancer’s personality changes in Fate/Stay Night.
    I think the end result is important but can it bring true satisfaction when the path that leads to a positive/negative consequence is in question? I mean I value ethics and such, but an individual must uphold one’s own beliefs and if denying them will get what you want, then I will wonder for all its worth. In this case, who will be satisfied in saving the world? The people who are saved or the people who are sacrificed? Whose to say what’s right or wrong when there’s always disagreement in the world? But the universal law of killing is wrong is no doubt the source of the problem. In war, there is no true justification in taking one’s life unless it is in defense. Saber is idealistic with her beliefs and that is what everyone would want in an ideal world. And an ideal world is not happening when there are people like Kiritsugu who disagree by being realistically. It’s hard to say and a lot to think about.

    random viewer
    1. Lancer’s personality doesn’t change.. Fate/Stay Night Lance is not Diarmund! Saber is the only one who get summoned once again, the other Servant are all different.

      Akira
  52. Coolness and righteousness and whatever morality and style aside, I think Saber and Lancer’s battle, where their joy and understanding is practically oozing out of the screen accompanied by an amazing soundtrack, is the most beautiful scene that fate/zero is going to give us.

    machan
    1. Oh yee of little faith… we have many more beautiful scenes coming up soon 🙂

      Though in terms of “CHIVALRY” yeah thats probably the nicest things are ever going to get in a fight to the death.

      takashid
  53. Show Spoiler ▼

    As for Sabers idealism. She says that she can’t trust Kiritsugus wish to be of pure goodwill. Anyone who can kill a wreck in a wheelchair and a tortured woman in cold blood is bound to have a corrupted wish. Maybe Kiritsugu really hopes to save the world with his wish. But if his methods are taken into consideration he might just think killing all humans will prevent any further bloodshed. He strikes me a lot like Kira Light. And not in a good way.

    raksasha
  54. As we all know in relation to Bioware’s RPG, Mass Effect 3 commander Shepard (renegade path mode whose goal as same to Kiritsugu)sought to save the entire sentient beings in a galaxy from the Reaper threat. Show Spoiler ▼

    . Overall, Kiritsugu reminded me as my femshep through renegade path. Am I right?

    N7spectreHuman
  55. As we all know in relation to Bioware’s RPG, Mass Effect 3 commander Shepard (renegade path mode whose goal as same to Kiritsugu)sought to save the entire sentient beings in a galaxy from the Reaper threat. Show Spoiler ▼

    Overall, Kiritsugu reminded me as my femshep through renegade path. Am I right?

    N7spectreHuman
  56. Sorry for the duplicated reply. again in summary, Kiritsugu and renegade Shepard are both cynical, cold-blooded, and ruthless assassins without any hindrance from the views of idealsm whose goal are for the greater good of humanity itself while in Shepard’s case for all the sentient beings in the galaxy.

    N7spectreHuman
  57. “We’re talking about saving the world here”

    this is a strictly meaningless phrase, anime is cool when it’s about oppai and manly fight scenes (and even the pseudo-philosophical dialogues that pop up about once an episode in fate/zero are really just preludes meant to hype up the viewer for future manly fight scenes), but any attempts to extract philosophical profundity from tournament cartoons will turn out fumbling and childish. can’t wait for “Fate/Zero and Philosophy” to turn up next to “Twilight and Philosophy” at my neighborhood Barnes and Nobles

    anime witches
      1. no, I wouldn’t say that it is impossible for a tournament anime to demonstrate some valuable insight into philosophy, but I will say that I have never seen a tournament anime, fate/zero included, that has. this goes across the board for most cartoons I’ve ever watched. the fact that people are, in total earnest, asking “does saving the world justify evil means” when “saving the world” is a meaningless phrase on all levels, as there is nothing to be saved — on the cosmic level, “the world” i.e. the universe, isn’t going anywhere regardless of the actions of humanity, and on the human level, wars, oppression, and general suffering will not and cannot disappear because they are a necessary component of the human race and the universe as a whole, are willed by the majority of human beings, and even act as a spur to individual achievement.

        I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy most of the dialogues in this show and that a few of the characters are entertaining on a psychological level, but watching fans dissect this shit with utmost seriousness makes me feel all hazukashii, this is basically an edgier yu yu hakusho/pokemon/G Gundam, weighty dialogues exist mostly make animated characters seem more important than they really are and get me hype to watch them kill each other.

        anime witches
      2. I wouldn’t say that all. Tournament seems to be a misnomer genre for Fate/Zero, and for any series to be honest. I mean yeah, the plot is driven by this fateful encounter of elimination, but it’s not like the series isn’t delving into other issues, e.g. the philosophies of kingship, chivalry, etc. What you say about the latest episode has merit, but it has been my belief that the inability for mankind to incur world peace has been forethought for this series. (And even if it hasn’t it doesn’t make sense to count it out now because you have no way of knowing.) The introduction of the Holy Grail as a transcendent wish-bearer is what emphasizes the necessity of Kiritsugu to attain it, because his wish is not something him or any person or all persons can materialize without “cheating” in a sense. If you can see the story in such lights, I’m sure you’d be able to watch this series and all series for much more than the entertainment value you are getting right now.
        From what I’ve read it seems like you’re watching this and all other shows just to write them off. There’s nothing wrong with fans watching this and taking it seriously and comparing it to aspects of everyday life. That’s how you enjoy something to an utmost level. People spend a good part of their lives working on stories like this, whether they’re fiction or not, and trust me; they didn’t intend for viewers to just overlook them. It’s something relatable to passion and inspiration.
        Lastly, if I was a philosophy major instead of the major I am right now, I’m sure I would be able to enjoy this series in a different sense by connecting to various lesson, especially from Broskander, (in this series) one and only apprentice of Aristotle himself.

    1. Your literalism doesn’t ‘lower’ the interest of the question, because the interest of the question about ends and means isn’t necessarily literal. That fate/zero is using the notion of saving the world isn’t a criticism of its thought, because many thoughtful stories and dialogues (including plato’s) use such metaphors to capture human idealism. Characters argue about saving the world or saving their souls, but what they really mean is deeper than storytelling, and resonates with people because we do have ideals and we often think of our goals and our dreams as encompassing such enormous grandiose lengths.

      Yes, it is possible to dismiss the idea by choosing to interpret it in the most literal, impractical and fantastical way, which you have done. That nobody else in the thread is choosing to interpret the notion in such a silly way is why everybody else in the thread is enamored with the discussion, while you, almost eagerly, stepped forward to explain why something thought-provoking didn’t make you think because you decided it was not thought-provoking.

      That’s fine, but it was your ‘decision’, and says nothing of the topic’s worthiness. Your inability to find meaning in something isn’t a criticism of that something. It’s just a demonstration of your inability.

      saywhat
  58. all the philosophy debates aside, for me, the only factory to prove whether Kiritsugu’s actions are justifiable or not is actually his wish to the Grail. What is the wish so great that he is convinced, when granted, it would save the world?
    I don’t really give a damn about kayneth and sola ui, but I feel extremely sorry for Lancer TT TT

    AX
  59. You know I am sick and tired of people trying to use this whole consequentialists vs. deontologicalists debate to force drama.

    Neither of those philosophies work because of one VERY simple factor.

    Both arguments implies that the party involved have PERFECT knowledge of all factors involved.

    Since no one can truthfully or honestly claim this omniscience pursuing either form is an simple exercise of ego, forcing yourself on the rest of us.

    Spiritual rape in a way.

    To me Kiritsugu is ultimately just a sad and pitiful man who is utterly miserable, who believes that everyone else is just as miserable and pathetic as he is, and is actively trying to enforce this idea.

    Zzz...
  60. l3reezer I dunno where you’re getting that I’m watching this just to write it off, I’m watching this because it’s ridiculously awesome and exciting, I think I said earlier that I find even the dialogues entertaining (if not insightful) and that it serves the purpose of building tension so that the fight scenes seem even more exciting than they really are. For example, the “the ends and means” question is not particularly interesting on a philosophical level and is not really a matter of contention in most important philosopher’s works during the last few centuries (John Stuart Mill, of course, not included in this group), it’s more of a narrative trope used in fictional works to create dramatic tension/conflict between/within characters. see Final Fantasy Tactics, Watchmen, John Le Carre, those awful Ender’s Game books etc… I guess I had forgotten that people take these fictional ethical debates seriously (in the same way that some otaku regarded the fictional virginity of Nagi with utmost seriousness, the two cases are actually surprisingly similar now that I think about it)

    saywhat, my “interpretation” of “saving the world” is not “fantastical;” I am just showing that the idea of saving the world is fantastical in any respect.

    also saywhat, art, anime included, does not exist for us to glean morsels of “meaning” out of it, it exists, mostly to distract us. The better the art the more distracting and engrossing it is; thus Strikes Witches S2 is infinitely more artistic than, say, Loveless or Lupin III. of course now that I’m thinking about it I’m not just at odds with anime bloggers but with most of the rest of the world so w/e

    anyway show is godly I just gotta stop reading shit people say about it lol

    anime witches
    1. I think you’re being somewhat presumptuous at this point, and perhaps since the beginning. The dialogue up to this point has indeed augmented the excitement that viewers have for the actual engagements of battle, but you’re viewing it in such a practical sense that it turns into mere melodrama. Since when in real life even have fights and battles occurred without reason and emotions flaring beforehand? Maybe you’re not watching the series just to write it off per se, but you’re definitely watching with that kind of attitude. I think if the whole dialogue between Lancer and Saber was meant to build tension so that their fight could be more exciting as you say, then they actually would have fought to the death, don’t you? But they didn’t and the reason is because the dialogue served just as much as a plot-driver than the fights did.

      Yeah, people do take these debates seriously, but as aforementioned, there’s really nothing wrong with that. Fictional is completely irrelevant as long as you can connect the themes and elements to yourself.

      I’m sorry but I have to disagree with your proposal of the meaning of art as well. Artists, myself included, do not create to distract. Artists create to express. Sure, maybe you’ll have the rare case of some, but in a general sense; I’m sure no artists hones his or her skill for such reasons. Even if you’re talking about art integrated into something like an anime series, the art is an element that augments the general atmosphere of the series. Art styles differ and express differently respectively.

      You may be at odds, but it’s a comment section, which for the most part champions freedom of thought and expression as well. It’s not wrong to indulge in others’ opinions.

  61. Phew. I’m sure glad I love the in-depth analysis you give for each episode, Verdant, otherwise I doubt my ADD would allow for such lengthy reading all in one go.

    I’m a little sad you made no mention of Lancer’s part in this “arc’s end” of sorts; while I think his feelings regarding honor mirror Saber’s to such an extent that mentioning them wouldn’t have added anything to the discussion, Show Spoiler ▼

    That said I suppose I’ve just contradicted myself, wanting more text when I’ve just swam through and disgested what was already provided.

    As much as I can understand and place respect in Saber’s views, I have to agree with you. In this instance, Kiritsugu’s methods (and the drive behind them) make far more sense to me than abiding by honor and chivalry in such an “uncontrollable” tournament as the Holy Grail War. Other Masters and Servants have proven themselves incapable of fighting “on the level” so adhering to Saber’s code would only hinder someone and very possibly get them killed, leaving the Grail’s wish for perhaps a much more horrible soul.

    Lastly, Show Spoiler ▼

    All in all, another incredibly thought-provoking episode (This time with a decisive punch-to-the-heart flavor).

  62. This serial is getting interesting with the passage of each episode. The dialogues are meaningful and worth while. The fight scenes are also awesome. The animated scenes look so realistic and the main success of the story lies in being able to deliver philosophical driven ideas to people through animated scenes. Kiritsugu is a man of valor and brains. He has to be definitely appreciated for his presence of mind and timely approach. In a nutshell, the serial is well montaged and the episodes are awesome. Keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *