「正義の在処」 (Seigi no Arika)
“Where Justice is Found”


“[…] choosing your calling based solely on your talents won’t always guarantee you happiness.” – Natalia Kaminski

Truer words were never spoken. Natalia was spot on with these prescient words, and with her assessment of Kiritsugu; his ability to leave behind his emotions while squeezing the trigger meant that he had great potential to become an efficient assassin, a potential which he eventually realized. However, this talent also ended up becoming a curse, because separating emotions as while pulling the trigger is only one half of the story. There are still the emotions that come after the mark is dead, emotions which were anything but happy.

From the start, I’ve always considered Kiritsugu one of my favorite characters of Fate/Zero, and this episode only served to reinforce my opinion. You can call him many names and ascribe to him a myriad of philosophies (some apt and warranted, while others are not), but what you cannot say is that he is a killer without a conscience. I do not find him reprehensible as others do because of this conscience – his whole raison d’être for being an assassin is to save as many people as he possibly can, all the while disregarding his own feelings, both during and after taking action. In this regard, Kiritsugu is the antithesis to Natalia, who holds no allegiances save for money and to her own life. The most notable distinction between the two is that she believes killing one person won’t change anything, while he remains unconvinced and can later even unfortunately vouch for the veracity of that ideology, having done so by his own hand. So if you dislike Kiritsugu, I would hope that you dislike Natalia even more so. They’re both just assassins-for-hire, pawns really, in the conflict between the Mage’s Association and the Holy Church – but while her gun fires for a paycheck, his bullets are destined for a higher cause.

For me, I still like Natalia regardless of what she does and why she does it. I really enjoyed watching her as an unorthodox mother/mentor figure to Kiritsugu, and seeing the harsh face of a killer melt into the soft smile of a mother is something I could watch an entire movie or even a whole series about. The care and affection she had for him was never outright stated until it was too late, but it was evident throughout in the little things she did for him: a simple pour of coffee, adjusting his aim, or preventing him from firing more than was necessary. What really made her death a hard pill to swallow was their long, honest, and heartfelt final conversation, one which tugged at my heartstrings even more considering it came so close to Mother’s Day. Everything in the story just built up my emotional attachment with her, and this attachment was played to devastating effect – a death that for me will resonate more strongly than most others in Fate/Zero, save Lancer’s.

Kiritsugu believed for a while that by becoming an assassin, he would prevent the deaths of many by killing a select few. However, it was never clear if he was happy while doing this, even though he was obviously talented at it. At the very least, it felt like Kiritsugu was trying to atone for what he wasn’t able to do with Shirley and to also justify murdering his father, but I don’t know if doing these two things made him happy – which leads back to Natalia’s quote. In the end, it’s the cruel intersection between his aptitude for assassination and his moral bearings that causes him to kill his adopted mother, to murder his loved one. No one should have to experience this pain even once, much less twice. He’s seen the consequences of both inaction and action, and for him, any personal cost to his belief of “kill one, save many” couldn’t be worse than what he’s already gone through. This is the burden Kiritsugu keeps inside, and exactly why he is trying to win the Holy Grail war on his own terms, using his own methods. His talent may not grant him happiness, but he remains committed to the path of a hunter in hopes that it will grant others happiness, one which, like many of his loved ones, has left him behind.

  • This episode reminded me a bit of the 1994 French thriller Léon: The Professional, a movie that I highly recommend.


Forsake a few for the lives of many. A philosophy that sounds grand and even romantic in imagination. In reality, however, it is never that easy. Before I delve into the intricacies of that philosophy and how it applies to Kiritsugu, a couple comments I had about this episode, and this flashback arc as a whole.

Ufotable has done a commendable job with the series – production values are off the charts, actions scenes are gold, etc, etc. I haven’t read the light novels myself, but I do know that the material for the last two episodes does come from the books. And on the whole, production-wise, this mini-arc was exceptional. But the problem lies in the fact they feel too detached from the rest of the series… It feels like I’m watching something that should’ve been a prologue or an OVA and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to reconcile the tonal change.

Another problem lies in the fact that I’m not sure what the purpose of this arc is. Now, I’ve always liked Kiritsugu’s character, despite his… questionable moral standing. I never felt like I needed any additional convincing regarding his motives nor did I feel that his thought process and personality was under-explained. Some material from the light novels might have been omitted, but I don’t feel that it deterred me from empathizing with Kiritsugu’s character in any way even when I didn’t have the extra information in the back of my mind as I watched. I’m not sure what ufotable’s purpose was when animating this arc, but it is not one that made Kiritsugu’s character sympathetic to me. If the studio’s goal was to “salvage” his character from the wrath of discontented viewers, they chose the wrong arc to do so. An expansion on the ED scenes with Irisviel would have made for a more favorable arc, and frankly, that might have been the one arc that could have fully redeemed him within the context of the series, both atmospherically and tonally. It still would have been out of place, but the contrast wouldn’t have been as jarring when the series makes its transition back to the present next week. And given the ominous foreshadowing the OP has for Iri, a flashback of Kiritsugu and her would have been an excellent way to tie everything together and paint Kiritsugu out to be the sad, tragic hero.

After watching last week’s episode, it’s not hard to guess where Kiritsugu’s fatalistic view on life comes from. Psychologically, he’s broken at best, and the trauma of killing his father birthed a philosophy that keeps him firmly tethered to the past, to that one fateful event. That moment is where it all started, and that moment is what Kiritsugu keeps coming back to, after every kill in his life. Everything he’s done – shooting down his “mother”, sacrificing Iri, leaving Ilya behind, and dishonoring Saber – is to find justification for that moment, when he had to spill his father’s blood because he couldn’t kill the girl he loved.

In that vein, it’s not hard to understand why he shot down that plane – he’s effectively trapped himself in that deceptively idealistic philosophy… so much so that he cannot consider other possible outcomes. To Emiya Kiritsugu, the only perspective he sees is the pessimist’s perspective. He firmly believes that bringing down the entire jet was the only way to “save” the greater number of people. Whether that is true or not, we may never know. What matters is that to Kiritsugu, it was the only way. It’s sad that the guilt he feels has driven him to take on such heavy burdens, but at the same time, you have to lie in the bed you made. Thankfully Kiritsugu is not so righteous as to deny the wrongness of his actions. This unfortunately, is not as clear in this episode, and hence feels like a step backwards for his character… and for a character like Kiritsugu, the only way is to go forward (in the sense of “going further down the rabbit hole”, not “let’s work towards a new day!” forward). It’s why I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind putting these episodes smack dab in the middle of the most intense part of the series. The flow of the episodes are fine and I don’t question Kiritsugu’s thought process and I don’t have a problem with his emotional outburst at the end, either. The problem is that it doesn’t fit the context of the Kiritsugu from the last 18 episodes.

At least Kiritsugu found one person who could understand him though, as Natalia obviously seemed to think that bringing down the jet was the only option, judging by her bittersweet smile at the end. It’s a melancholy moment, as a mother always knows what her children are thinking. Happy Mother’s Day.


ED4.5 Sequence

ED4: 「満天」 (Manten) by Kalafina



  1. Kiritsugu is the perfect utilitarian. He’d easily give up several lives for the sake of thousands. Although he has touches of humanity within him, most likely manifested through his meeting with Irisviel based on the ED, he’s just as Natalia described him: a machine. If Kiritsugu didn’t have his human nuances, that sociopathic, emotionless desire to kill to save lives would make him a lot like… Kyubei.

    1. He’s always had the humanity inside of him, contrary to what some people believe he is not a bad person. I personally believe him to be very human. His wish is to save everybody, or at least as many people as he can. Is that something a machine would have? He merely becomes a machine to accomplish his goals.

  2. Happy Mothers Day and R.I.P., Natalia Kaminski. You will be missed. *Manly Tears*

    Me: Hey Emiya, what did you get your mother on Mothers Day, Mr. Big Spender?

    Kiritsugu: a FIM-92 Stinger Missile from the States. Cost me a lot too.

    Me: Did she like it?

    Kiritsugu: Yeah, she had a smile on her face when I gave it to her.

    Natalia takes down a mage who uses bees to convert people into ghouls. Kiritsugu indirectly kills her via a “Stinger” Missile. Bees and “Stingers”; isn’t that ironic?

    Next week, back to the Holy Grail War.

  3. I think we had a major quote here:

    Natalia: “Killing one man accomplishes nothing. You won’t change the world until you kill every such man.”

    Kiritsugu stands up and looks very serious.

    Fast forward couple of years. Kiritsugu participates in the grail war and has a wish he needs granted…

    I think this man is emotionally scared. He can’t let Shery go. Every life he takes urges him forward to the goal of killing every single “evil” man in the world. And he would feel his ideals crumble if he didn’t achieve that. Because he doesn’t seek retribution or vengeance. He seeks peace. He seeks to prevent any tragedies from happening ever again. And until he achieves that he feels his killings unjustified.

    Like him or not, this man needs to be corrected in his was. Show Spoiler ▼

    1. And of course, with the quotation marks, that’s exactly why his philosophy (and others) is also flawed; things like “good” and “evil” are all based on one’s point of view. What one person sees as “good” can easily be seen as “evil” to another and vice versa.

      I mean, even if it may seem “obvious”, it’s not always like that. To tons of people, what Caster and Ryuunosuke were doing was “evil”, but they themselves clearly and honestly did not think of it as “evil” themselves. On the flip side, you got a lot of people who dislike Kiritsugu because of his philosophies and even see him as “evil” with his methods when others are a lot more understanding and at least try to see the “good” behind his actions.

      It’s a sad thing when it comes to wars with most sides seeing the other(s) as the “evil” side and themselves as the “good” side and history is written by the victor.

    2. You are correct that it might not be realistic to wish for every evil person to die,

      but Kiritsugu is an assassin of mages. It wouldn’t be that far of a stretch for him to want to wish that all mages cease to exist.

  4. The back stories for all (except a couple) of the major cast members have been set in place. Kiritsugi, Kirei, Kariya, Iri, Waver, Saber, Archer, and Rider have all been fleshed out. Only Maiya and Berserker haven’t had a real fleshing out yet but Berserker has been kept a secret on purpose but the hints are there and I’ve made my guess at to who he is and thus his back story.

    The stage is set, let the final act commence.

  5. As a novel reader, let me say something here. I knew exactly what is going to happen and some of the dialogue lines. Yet, it feels like I have never read the novel at all. The build-up, the tension and the execution were amazing, nearly flawless in fact. I dare say this episode actually beats the novel version of this scene.

    I shed manly tears from this scene onwards. The 2 episodes spent for Kiritsugu’s past is well worth it for this scene alone.

    It’s why I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind putting these episodes smack dab in the middle of the most intense part of the series.
    Believe me, this is the best time they could put in Kiritsugu’s past. His “Kill the few to save the many” philosophy will be tested in the later episodes, for better or worse.

    Props to those who can recognize dem cigs.

    1. Given the similarities between Touko and Natalia, it was a nice little easter egg. But didn’t Touko say there were only a few cartons of that brand left and she had all of them? (or something of the sort)

      1. Kara no kyoukai is set between 1995 – 1998.
        Fate Zero is supposed to be in 1994 and this are flashbacks (add 20 more years to that making it 1974 aprox) so it makes sense for Natalia to have that brand of cigarettes.

  6. Great post the both of you!

    Kiritsugu is an awesome character in my heart, admittedly not very well-liked by the masses due to his ideology, but when you can personally empathize with him after all that he has been through, especially after this episode, it is not hard to see what drove him to become the person that he is today. Excellent take on his character.

    I agree that this mini-arc of sorts felt a little out-of-place and belongs more to an ova since it kinda broke the flow of what has been happening so far.

    The purpose of this arc, for me, is to simply flesh out Kiritsugu’s background. After all he is the main protagonist. There has to be a deep underlying reason why Kiritsugu has this kind of believes after that exchange with Saber in episode 16.

    Lastly, I disagree that Natalia felt that shooting down the plane was the only option. Her stance has always been that surviving is the no.1 priority. Even her speech indicated that she wanted to live through the ordeal. However, the bittersweet smile was more of an indication that the words that she said was an irony in the end, all that talk about retiring and Kiritsugu having potential. ie She wanted to live but having the plane being shot down midflight did not come as a total surprise, therefore she would never let Kiritsugu fire that missile if she could.

      1. since takashid mentioned, I always preferred Verdant’s coverage of FZ than Guardian Enzo’s as the latter tries to too hard to fit his narrative to write about Kiritsugu the character. It’s very ironic that Guardian Enzo to accuse Kiritsugu doing and thinking in absolute terms and disregarding everything else, he himself was doing the exactly the same when writing about him, such that he gets increasingly pigeonholed into one tunnel-vision. I also think as more posters in his blog voiced their displeasures, it only hardened his writing and position.

        I find it interesting that BakaMochi here writes many of the exactly same points Guardian Enzo raised in his blogs, but more effectively as he/she is not lost in that tunnel-vision mind set hijacking his/her blog. I think it’d be slightly unfair to dismissively chastise Guardian Enzo on his blogs as quite a few do share similar views to his on many fronts, however he could’ve delivered them a little better and not so abrasive that it turned off many readers even before his messages got across.

        RC reader56
      2. I’m happy you thought my points were well thought-out 😀

        I really do like Kiritsugu, as he is one of my favorite characters (after Iri!). So hopefully I didn’t come off overly critical! I guess I was just trying to rationalize his actions and explain at the same time why people can think these episodes felt a little out of place (not sure if I was clear enough on “why”) x___x Glad to see I succeeded somewhat! XP

      1. I had to laugh at your hijacking his blog, and my post (as Awet M) but Enzo’s bone with Kuritsugu says more about the reviewer than it does the character.

        Kuritsugu represents a series of Machiavellian methods in the service of some elusive ideal. People who think there are appropriate ways to achieve such ideals cannot countenance a person like Malcom X, and would rather elevate the martyr in his stead.

        Since martyrs and pacifists are successful only when they apply their strategy judiciously then we are all Machiavellians.

        Kuritsugu is the mirror that shows us our warts and scars and not everyone can stare at their reflection for too long.

      2. sure, “Anonymous”, that crying his eyes out and wailing on that boat was not human at all. So as him being scared sh!tless whenever he thinks of Kirei. Not human at all. Just some robot malfunctioning.

        And “Zammael”, I think there were more than one “Anonymous” at Enzo’s blog as how it appears that it was a default mode. LOL.

        some guy
      3. Crap. I replied to the wrong person. Meant to reply to Takashid, and saw “anonymous” and got them mixed up.

        You’re right, obviously, there may be more than one user typing as “anonymous.”

        While I did post at lost in anime, the flood of “anonymous” comments is rather off-putting.

    1. Yeesshh!!…I’m onezz stepzz closer from transcending my humanityzz…
      Actually when Kiritsugu was on the boat and I caught on his plan to shoot the plane my thoughts were how the hell was he planning to blow up a damn plane with a sniper rifle then he had a stinger (would have called it a big ass bazooka if Koko didn’t teach me XD) and it made sense.

  7. “If Kiritsugu’s actions and intentions were known by others, would they thank Kiritsugu? Would the passengers at the airport who were spared of death under the threat of the Ghouls praise Kiritsugu as a hero?[…] He didn’t want prestige or gratitude. He just wanted to see Natalia’s face once again. He just wanted to call her “Mom” face to face.
    This isn’t the conclusion he wanted.”
    Fate Zero Volume 4

    Thus, Kiritsugu saves the lives of everyone in New York City by killing his mother. Its such a painful thing, and i loved how Kiritsugu’s emotional moment was done in the end. I feel like the anime has finally done his character some justice. I do wish they had released this ep and the last one as a hour special all at once though, the way they did episode 1. It would have made the flashback less annoying to the haters, and had a better effect if we saw it all at once.

  8. I think the timing of these flashbacks are just fine. We’re entering the final phase of the war with 4 Masters/Servants remaining. It’s an interlude in the novels(vol4) and it took place before Tokiomi got killed.
    Besides we got a fast paced 4 episodes where Masters and Servants were battling and dropping dead this season. A break was needed. And the final stretch will be all about Kerry’s crusade for the Grail so more insight about him is necessarry.
    Take these episodes how you will but it served its purpose for me.

    Great collab post. Hope to see more of these in the future. It’s a good trend.

    1. Well, I do think people will understand the importance the timing of these episodes has after what will happen in the Fuyuki Hall. But I actually think the it would have been better placed one episode earlier, not because that’s how it was in the novel (since I’m not against changes as long as they work), but because this would have fit better as a follow-up to Saber and Kiritsugu’s pseudo-conversation.
      I still thought the execution in this one was nearly perfect, perhaps even surpassing the source-material in terms of emotional impact.

  9. Natalia, you’d be missed. I was feeling sick in my stomach during the entire ep… Hoping that she won’t be killed. I had my suspicion when he got that suitcase… Had a feeling that it was a stinger

  10. This episode honestly felt like an assassination of Kiritsugu’s character. I can’t fathom how he could kill his only “relative” like this, when alternative strategies have not been exhausted. I feel that Natalia was still piloting the plane, trying to land – because she knew she would survive. After that she could get out easily herself, then the airplane itself can be destroyed as it perfectly sealed all of the inserts inside.

    I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a plothole, but it felt to me that Kiritsugu resorted in a bad strategy without trying out alternatives.

    1. There were no alternatives at all. As far as Kiritsugu saw it if the plane landed the entire city would be at risk. Kiritsugu would not risk even a small chance the bees and ghouls would run amok since the last time he did that his entire village died. That’s how jaded Kiritugu is.

    2. Many people have discussed this, I’ll just write a brief listing of available options.
      (All of the other alternatives are risky. Remember that Natalia had only operates a Cesna once, and this is a commercial airplane)

      Jumping midair with no parachute = impossible.

      Landing the plane and then blow the airplane = very risky (fail landing = auto failure, random crew may open the plane, no explosive in airplane, no way to bring and shoot rocket launcher/put new explosive in public = very high risk of bee escaping = doomed)

      Landing the airplane in sea = impossible for newbie pilot. It’s even almost impossible for trained pilot.

      Landing the airplane in other secluded area = impossible for newbie pilot, also risky.

      The only solution that seems possible for me is eliminating the entire bees and ghouls midair. But Natalia can’t do autopilot, eliminating the entire ghouls and bees are far from easy, and there’s no guarantee of total elimination. It’s not feasible.

      If you have a possible solution in mind that’s risk free, bring it to the table. With Kiritsugu’s ideals, he can’t do any solution that had a risk of killing many people.

    3. It’s better to just think of Kiritsugu and how he reacts to situations like this: kill the few to save the many.
      He can’t think of anything else.

      Trust me, it’ll save you a headache.

  11. So let the battle debate between the fanboys and the haters, commence!! Reading this will be fun…………. nah, just kidding! XD

    As for me, a person who has read the F/SN novel & Anime, but not yet touch the F/Z novel. This last 2 so called “filler episodes” served its purpose, because I’m very much intrigue to the character of Kiritsugu, when I was reading the F/SN novel. And knowing the backstory of Shirou’s father and how his way of thinking actually influenced Shirou as a child, becoming his role model. Just simply knowing how the story in F/SN and F/Z fit perfectly together was really awesome. They also even add a lot of KnK cameo, which is great. Dat cigarette box! ><

    1. The answer is simple, just as Kiritsugu couldn’t take any chance for the plane to touch down at the airport, save Natalia, then burn the plane, Natalia wouldn’t take any chance to try to land the plane at sea because the percentage of her surviving will be reduced. It’s a hole in their characters more than anything.

    2. Landing a plane in water is very dangerous and and would crush the plane if done wrong. Trained pilots have specific procedures to do this during emergencies. Natalia isn’t a trained pilot and would likely not take that option since she prioritizes her own survival.

  12. Interestingly, the words that Kiritsugu spoke and that tragic ideology kinda mirrored the fate of Shirou if we look at the Unlimited Blade Works storyline in Fate/Stay Night.

    The difference being that…
    Show Spoiler ▼

  13. I don’t personally like how they incorporated this filler-like episodes, I would have been ok with the last one, but nope they extended it to two episodes, it’s like how they spend a full episode for the young Rin only. Kiritsugu is not even a character I really like, I would have been happier if they spend this episode for Kirei ~ by far the most interesting character among the bunch instead of having two episodes for Kiritsugu.

    For a two cour series, 3 episodes of fillers is really wasteful, well unless the reason for this fillers is that they are simply running out of ideas on how to extend the series to make it up to 24/25 episodes.

    1. Well, he’s the main character whether you like it or not therefore a background story was pretty much a mandatory in any decent anime or any story-telling media in fact. Just because Kiritsugu wasn’t a character you really like, and thus you didn’t enjoy it, doesn’t mean that other won’t enjoy it.

    2. Some people just seems to forget that Kiritsugu IS the main character.

      Thus, comparing him and Rin is a very unbalanced comparison. Rin is even less than a side character. For God’s sake, she’s just a side character of a side character.

      1. That’s irrelevant with the topic. I don’t want to repeat the entire fuss about that Rin episode, I just mention Rin because you used it first as a supporting argument.

        My statement is : “You can’t use Rin’s Adventure as a basis to tell that these two episodes about Kiritsugu are filler-materials, since Rin and Kiritsugu are totally different in scale of priority. Rin is a side character of side character, while Kiritsugu is THE main character”. Why an episode that develops the main character should be called a filler?

        I would also love an episode that give focus to Kirei (since he’s the closest thing that can be regarded as the main villain), but I don’t know if the original material will have it or not. This two episodes are adapted from the Novel, so once again I can’t see why people are regarding this episode as a “filler”.

        I won’t complain if your post is totally “In my opinion”, but your second paragraph have already strayed from ‘opinion’, it’s a statement.

      2. About Rin, I’m guessing they dedicated an entier episode to her because of her importance in Stay night. And on top of that she really popular so it was most likely to please her fans.

        I have no clue why you think the Kiritsugu episodes were filler. I haven’t read the LN but it didn’t feel like filler to me.

  14. His adopted son, Shirou believes in the 1% miracle chance of being able to save everyone and be a hero, by sacrificing himself.

    Kiritsugu believes in the other 99% for the guaranteed outcome of killing the few to save everyone, and only sacrificing himself..

  15. Damn, Kiritsugu is acting more like Fiamma of the Right from Index, both of them thought that their way was the ONLY way to “save” the world. At least Fiamma didn’t have such a sad past.

    1. Well, when Kiritsugu Show Spoiler ▼

      , his “illusion was broken.” Haha.

      To think he had the same hairdo as Kamijou Touma.

  16. I’m amazed Nathalia didn’t get bitten(or did she?) with all those zombie and bees on her way to the cockpit.
    These past 2 episodes were entertaining on its own but I wish we’d continue to the Grail War next episode.

    1. Oh forgot to mention Léon: The Professional. One of my favorites, a truly remarkable film.

      Now that I think of it, they should make a movie starring Kiritsugu.
      “Kerry: The Professional” sounds like it would be a hit.

  17. To purposely time this episode – about a person shooting his adopted mother to smithereens with a rocket launcher – to air right on midnight Japan time on Mother’s Day, you’re a genius Urobuchi Gen, you’re an absolute genius. (Sarcasm intended)

    Sometimes I do wonder if Urobuchi is bending the rules a bit just to create a tragic scene for tragedy’s sake.

    For example, Natalia could have landed the plane somewhere else barren and less populated. If the plane were still in the middle of the Atlantic when the zombie outbreak occurred, she would still have enough time to either turn southeast to somewhere in the Sahara, or southwest to the Mexican desert, where she could take out the zombies and bees one by one while keeping collateral damage to innocent outsiders to a minimal, no? And she would still have time to recover Vorak’s body and his Magic Seal bounty.

    Let’s face it, zombie outbreak in the middle of nowhere is more preferable than zombie outbreak in New York?

    Instead, she had to fly to mega-populated New York and give Kiritsugu the painful choice of killing her off, which she no doubt realized herself, hence the Death Flag relaxed conversation at the end.

    If she really adhered to her “living at all costs” mantra, she ought to have taken Kiritsugu’s natural born ruthlessness into consideration as well.

    Anyway, this is mere speculation from mine. I’m sure Urobuchi will find ways to say “This is absolutely impossible. The situation is hopeless since I started writing.” 🙂

    Kinny Riddle
    1. There is one hurdle to your alternatives: All of them would have to count on Natalia knowing how to pilot a large jumbo jet and use its navigation and landing procedures. Which as she clearly stated this episode, she doesn’t.

    2. Consider that each plane carries the minimum fuel needed + a % of reserved fuel, it is not possible to go all the way to Sahara or Mexican desert. Anywhere near NYC is still populated with people. I don’t think there is any other alternatives that guarantee safety like this one.

  18. RIP Natalia. You will be missed.

    On a related note, I remember in the 1st episode in F/Z where Kirei read Kiritsugu’s profile. The profile mention of how Kiritsugu “blows up an entire plane” because his target was in it. So it seems that this episode was a reference to that remark from Kirei.

  19. It’s not about liking Kiritsugu, it’s about understanding him and his circumstances. I do believe Kiritsugu and Kirei are going to be the main focus of the show from now on, so it would be strange not to flesh them out right here and right now. I remember reading somewhere (maybe here) that “without this, we would be like Kirei, wondering about why Kiritsugu does what he does and why Irisviel and Maiya want to protect him”. Also, I’m pretty sure the ending won’t be very effective unless we know what motivates Kiritsugu (not a novel reader, but I know what happens from Fate/stay night).

  20. Crazy story, crazy characters, excellent show….just magnificent! It is crazily good. To be frank, I do not have a single favorite character, but I just love the show as a whole. Everything in this blends in and with each other so well that I cannot simply a pick a favorite.

  21. Crazy episode! 🙁
    I have that dreaded feeling when I see the plane flying over Kiritsugu. I was like WTF are you doing when I see him bring that stinger up. Too SAD! 🙁

    Why can he not blow up the aircraft once it lands and Natalia jumps out of the cockpit window really?

    1. Remember that Natalia has already alerted the control tower in NY about the situation of the plane. The plane will naturally be surrounded by the rescue team and the police once it lands. Do you think there will be enough time for Natalia to escape and clear the blast area for Kerry to blow up the plane before any of the rescue crew can open the hatch and unleash zombie apocalypse? That’s assuming Kerry will know where in the airport the plane will be landing and find a good vantage point to shoot the missile.

      1. There has got to be ways around it. He is giving up way to soon. They just need to notify the right people to get the right people prepared for what’s to come from inside the cabin. Not just sending the regular rescue crew/police whatever in.

        After all, they talked about you won’t be achieving anything if you die saving 1 person in the process. I’m sure saving Natalia would help the “team” save a lot of others.

      2. Natalia is a freelancer, she said so herself. She did not belong to the Association or the Church at the Alimango Island incident. She doesn’t have much contacts to help her. The two factions being present in that incident is just coincidence and she just went there in the hopes to get to Noritaka first to get his research and sell it. She’s already had second thoughts about taking up Kerry as a partner/subordinate.
        And how is she able to explain to the Muggles that there are zombies and bees(zombees?) inside the cabin and not to open it when she is suspicious herself for landing the plane.
        And Natalia’s policy is to ensure her own survival. If there was any chance of survival she would have taken it already. As you can see there isn’t. Everyone else has pointed out all the options above, from jumping from the plane to crashing it to the sea.
        And time was of the essence so Kerry stuck to his own way to save as many as possible by killing one person.
        He even said it himself, he will never do the same mistake as Shirley’s case to not kill a person and cause lots of lives to be lost. He will pull the trigger, even if it costs him the life of his loved one. That’s how broken his ideal is.

    2. As said above, Kiritsugu is just not the type to hatch a crazy plan and believing that he’ll wing it just fine – you know, what every Shounen main character would think. Kiritsugu is absolutely, completely committed to his ideal of saving as many as possible. If there is any chance that saving the life of one person could endanger the lives of many, he will kill that one person without hesitation, not matter who it is. For him, the life of a single person just doesn’t compare to what most of us think of as the faceless masses.

      1. You also have to take Kiritsugu’s psychological state into account – he firmly believes this was the only option. It’s not him trying to play God or giving up, but he’s carrying out what makes sense in his head and what he believes will result in the greater good.

        What’s tragic here is that he cuts right to the chase and decides shooting down the plane will the best thing… no teary, dramatic fanfares of how there may be other options, etc, etc. He just arrives at the conclusion, aims, and pulls the trigger. That, personally, brought out the most emotional impact for me, since it really showcases how broken Kiritsugu is emotionally. I’m sure he’s thought about other possibilities, but he’s abandoned them for the sake of this one, one he knows for sure will work.

        I hope this made sufficient sense! >__<

  22. I don’t see what’s wrong with disliking Kirtsugu and liking Natalia. To me Kiritsugu is, as Natalia so accurately put it, a character with a mind closer to one of a machine than one of a human being so I can’t say I hate him, I just find him uninteresting, predictable, and thus very boring. If his emotions never impact the way he acts, how is he even human ? How can he be interesting as a character ? I’ll only revise my judgement if he ever act on a whim. Also I don’t like people who play heroes in a realistical setting, it’s unsettling, also the idea often ends up justifying more crimes than the ones they were meant to prevent.
    So Natalia may not be that good a person, but I can’t picture her killing Kiritsugu to save a bunch of people she didn’t even know. Sure she killed for money, but to me she was much more relatable and human than Kiritsugu.

  23. What a tragic episode, there is really no other way to do this. The reality of the situation is really pushing its way to kill off Natalia. If the military knows whats going on in that plane, they will blow up the plane with missile just like what Kirisugu did.

    Whats very touching in this episode the conversation between Kiritsugu and Natalia. I dont know if others realize this, but Natalia is very well informed that Kiritsugu is going to blast the plane and kill her in the process, thats why she spouting her death flag to Kiritsugu like there’s no tomorrow. She know Kiritsugu too well that he’s not gonna let her land on the airport and survive. Even so, Natalia is proud of Kiritsugu decision, otherwise would make her failed to train him as an assassin.

  24. The drama CD details the second ED. It’s about Kiritsugu meeting Iri for the first time and how they affected each other. Also, this episode does tie into Iri because Kiritsugu called her family when he fired, not mother. Go back to the first episode with Kiritsugu talking about killing Iri and you have him literally killing his family, save for Illya. That’s heavy.

    I do agree, this felt a little disjointed but I think we should watch the rest of the episodes to make that final decision. Having this fresh in our minds may be what was intended.

    1. Oh yes! I have heard the drama CD before, which was why I was so excited when I saw the second ED. I was just trying to rationalize some of the complaints I saw floating around about this arc (mainly the one where the arc doesn’t “save” Kerry’s character at all). I would personally love to see some animated form of the drama CD though, which is why I brought it up in the post as an alternative arc to animate.

  25. The powerful emotions aside. Didn’t anyone find it way too easy to kill that Mage by drawing a magical symbol on the backrest of his seat? You would have thought that he’d at least be on guard like he was when he was waiting to board the flight(looking back noticing someone was gazing at him). Shouldn’t he have put on some kind of defensive spells?

  26. I find it amusing that many here commented that how they were tossing and turning during this ep in hope that Natalia wouldn’t die. What, you forgot already how a few episodes back Kiritsugu mentioned he betrayed and killed his mentor, with like a 0.5 second of flashback scene of Natalia’s face?

    As for Kirtsugu, you sad little man. I give you my pity. It appears that you only get brief instances of happiness in your life; with Shirley in that island; with Natalia (ironically probably the longest as you pumped your rib powdered bullets into a bunch of mages under her), with your daughter before the holy war, and with Shirō in FSN. All too brief for a man.

  27. Powerful powerful episode indeed and definitely one of the best F/Z has to offer so far. While I didn’t expect Natalia to survive past this episode, it still hit me hard when it happened. The conversation between Natalia and Kiritsugu was Urobuchi’s brilliance at work and certainly one that I would remember for a very long time. Kiritsugu’s monologue at the end was just gut-wrenching and it’s probably the first time we’ve seen the usually impassive Kiritsugu had such an emotional outburst.
    Personally, I think this is the best time for a flashback. So much has happened over the last few episodes and the flashback not only serves to provide a breather, it also highlights the contrast between Kiritsugu and Kirei who seem quite similar on paper yet so different fundamentally. Importantly, his back story shed some light on Kiritsugu’s and Iri’s conversation from episode one. We now know it wouldn’t be the first time Kiritsugu has killed a loved one so would it be different when it comes to Iri’s fate?
    RIP Natalia (and your sexy midriff), you will be greatly missed and I certainly wouldn’t mind watching a whole series with Natalia and Kiritsugu as the leads going on assassination missions 😉

    Seishun Otoko @ Seishunmaru
  28. This is why a diverse skill set is a good thing to have…Natalia can easily kill a dead apostle by writing a rune thingy behind him and charge her way through a group of ghouls but if she listened to Alteration class more at mage school she could have created a parachute or maybe even reinforce her whole body, there might be levitation magic somewhere and those skills sound useful in the battlefield as well. I guess Mage/Hitman hybrids have firearms skill and knowledge replacing other spells they could have learned. Probably doesn’t matter anyway since if Natalia was more competent as a magus Urobucho Gen would have just created a more sinister event to make the same thing happen.

    1. Well, no, in the nasuverse one can only learn some skills and it is up to each mage and his/her bloodline and personal potential one mage can´t learn all the diferent types of magic even whit all the time of his life. Natalia and kiritsugu use the magic they can use + weapons to have an unexpected advantage against normal mages, Natalia with her seals and kerry whit his time magic and origin bullets.

  29. I don’t think these episodes are that jarring. They’re establishing Kiritsugu’s backstory, after all he is the main character not to mention this serves more as a build-up to his actions in the finale. I see this more as the “calm before the storm”.

  30. Ok this is BS.

    I have always agreed with Kiritsugu’s philosophy up to this point, but this episode just completely destroyed it. Yes killing the ghouls in the plane was the correct choice. Doing it while your MENTOR/MOTHER was still alive inside was not.

    This wasnt the same case with Shirley, where she was already turned into a vampire and became a hopeless cause. No, Natalia could still have survived. But Kiritsugu didnt even bother to take that into consideration and simply fired the missile as if it was the only choice he had.

    Look, they were communicating for gods sake. He could’ve told her to jump out, and he could’ve picked her up from the water since he was on a boat there anyway. He also could’ve told her to descend the plane into the water, escape through the front window, then shot the missile at the plane afterwards. So many obvious options that could’ve resulted in Natalia’s survival, ignored due to his obsessive ideal that he has to “save people”.

    So now instead of his ideals being viewed as a necessary dark “justice”, I see it as nothing more than an obsessive lunatic who can only take the worst, most pessimistic option when better options are right in front of you without even considering the fact the he has options. Unlike most other people, this episode completely destroyed my opinion of Kiritsugu. I use to agree with him, but no wit turns out he’s just a fanatic like Shirou was with his “must save everyone” ideal bullcrap.

    Yes this episode made me pretty angry.

    1. Well, it’s pretty much been explained several times already why most of the other options wouldn’t really have worked anyway, even without taking their mindsets into account.

      As said, landing a commercial airliner in the ocean is not as simple as just slowly lowering it down and sliding the belly across the surface while slowing down your speed. It’s a very complex and tricky procedure that even experienced pilots would need to do extremely carefully in order to pull it off and survive and, as mentioned, Natalia only flew just a Cessna once which is a heck of a lot different than a big jet like that. Just a small misstep and the plane crunches up, breaks apart, etc, killing Natalia and releasing bees and Ghouls. Even just trying to land the plane on land is something a person can’t exactly do safely, much less successfully, without aid from a control tower.

      Jumping wasn’t really an option. No parachute from altitude (and not like she could look around for one given all the Ghouls infesting the plane) and very high chance of severe injury or death even at lower altitude, and even if Natalia made it out, the plane would still end up hitting the water, breaking up, and allowing bees and Ghouls to escape.

      Pretty much any scenario that had even a SMALL chance of Natalia surviving also had the very real risk of releasing the bees and Ghouls onto other people and that was something Kiritsugu couldn’t afford to do in his mind and I’m sure Natalia also knew this.

    2. yes, I’d have to agree with HalfDemonInuyasha that jumping off of a commercial plane is wishful thinking and ignorant on science. Human body is remarkably fragile. You can barely survive a jump from a helicopter, even if you land on water from that jump. More like 9 out of 10, you die instantly from massive internal damage. Maybe you watched too much hollywood flicks such as diehard.

      Now you may try to argue that maybe Natalie could bring down the plane low enough that she may have at least some chance to survive from the jump. Like really really low. Heck maybe she can even break the window of cockpit to jump off, so that she doesn’t have to go back to 300 ghouls and a swam of bees that will turn her into their instant ghoul friend (how she got into that cockpit so easily through them in the first place is for a mater of discussion of another time. For now, just turn up the suspense of disbelief way up and it should be easy with a lifelong training of religion, y’all). Could she have survived this way? Perhaps. If everything goes her way and then some. With 1 in a thousand or even a million chance. Hey this show is not a documentary to begin with. If the writer decided to let her live, she wouldn’t have died no matter how silly twisted logic and insult on science the method were. But the fact of the matter is, she was basically doomed for a plot purpose and had odd stack against her to begin with. Why else she didn’t prepare for a skydive in case something went wrong? But she brought a shotgun to blow off a horde of ghouls? What the hell?

      Lastly even if she did somehow managed to jump off after doing the way I described above, what are you going to do with the plane full of ghouls and more importantly the bees which can just fly off in every direction and start infecting stuff? Blow off the plane so close to water where Kiritsugu was standing and Natalie would jump to? They would all die from the shockwave and parts flying off. Do you suggest that Kiritsugu jump into the water right away after launching that bazooka and wish that water will shield them? Again very wishful thinking. What about bees? Unlike at that super-high altitude, would blowing off the plane at such low altitude ensure every single of those pesky little things would die, too? So let me stress again. Anything can be done, however illogical it is, like surviving after getting shot in the head or hit by bus and then fall off a cliff into deep murky water if it is in a fiction domain and if that is what the writer chooses to do so. But wishing that to happen is a wishful thinking at the end of the day, especially when all the science and logic says “hell, no!”.

      1. She could’ve just crashed into the ocean and let the plane sink, break the window in the cockpit where there are no bees and ghouls, the bees and ghouls would’ve died anyway from the pressure in the ocean floor. Of course theres no way she would have done that since she had no idea she was about to get shot by a Stinger.

        As I said this is different from Shirley’s case. Shirley was already infected, so he should’ve just killed her. It was already hopeless for her. It wasn’t hopeless for Natalia yet. I mean I get it, this is probably the most sure-way to ensure no one else dies, but I’m not satisfied with the way things ended up.

      2. Just curious, but wouldnt there be a chance that when the plane blew up, some bees might have flown out as it breaks apart? Its not like the entire plane just exploded and burned in every nook and crany right?

      3. Crashing something as massive and fast as a jumbo jet on water is like smashing it into concrete and it will crush the cockpit and break the plane apart. Trained pilots have procedures for water crashing and even then its a last resort since the chances of success are still low. Natlaia isn’t even a trained pilot and she would not take that option.

        Its really not hard to figure out, Natalia always prioritizes her own survival and would take the safest route. Kiritsugu knows this and any chance that the plane lands would risk an outbreak. Simply put there ARE NO OTHER alternatives that would prevent a risk of outbreak as so many others have stated.

    3. well, even if they land the aircraft, there’s no way Natalia could get out of the blast radius before a bee does and the plane is anything but totally sealed. The only thing prevents those bees going out was the difference in temperature/air pressure whilst the plane is mid air.

    4. YanDaMan, so jumping off has been agreed that not really feasible. I think it’s been pointed out that Natalia can’t really land that thing without a help from control tower as she never flew the thing before.

      “HalfDemonInuyasha” already pointed this out about the whole landing on ocean issue. Did you skip that? I will elaborate on it more. So Natalie had only flown a much smaller personal plane, so she was already barely flying that massive commercial flight on the course to the NY airport, which I assume had been more or less on automate-pilot. Baring a catastrophic event such the plane suddenly losing air pressure, all the pilot had to do is usually to monitor things to make sure nothing strange happens and kept the steering thingy steady, would drop below a certain altitude the plane would fly on the course. She mentioned to Kiritsugu that she would need help of NY airport’s control tower to land it. And you think she can land the commercial plane on the ocean on her own all of sudden? Again, it’s a wishful thinking.

      Had it been Bruce Willis, I am sure he would “somehow” land that thing on the ocean and save the day. But no. More likely would be that the plane would snap into two or three pieces, Natalie would be either dead or knocked out unconsciously from sheer force on impact on water (remember, it’s water, not jelly, so if you land on airplane speed from airplane height, you might as well think of it as ground), ghouls would be probably all dead or knocked cold, plane would quickly sink (usually within a minute or so), bees would fly out and into nearby land to start ghoul parties.

      Remember, human gravity and force don’t apply to insects as those little buggers are so small and light. While such plane crash onto ocean would 100% kill humans from massive internal damage and powdered bones inside, bees and flies will be just fine and merrily go on as if nothing happened. The only way to ensure that those bees all die would be either

      a) the plane lands safely and Natalie escapes by the broken cockpit window and blow that sucker afterwards. Again I stress that this is very very unlikely for the reasons I just wrote. Even still without air pressure difference, bees can technically escape as the plane explodes. Many bees would burn instantly, but would all be dead? Perhaps so, perhaps not. Some would just flown off from force, but not burnt, therefore surviving. Remember the key words are “small and light”. So Natalia survives with a few bee friends… Might as well land the plane on the NY airport and escape from cockpit window. Why bother? DEAD END

      b) the plane landing on ocean fails miserably and it explodes instantly and turns into ashes. This could happen, but the chance for that is much less than the plane simply broken off and quickly sinking. So that’d be taking a huge chance. And again some bees could potentially survive the explosion for the similar reason for a). Moreover Natalia would be 100% dead, so what’s the point?

      Now, now, give up now. Natalia was doomed -as soon as the writer decided to do so, that is. No amount of logical thinking could’ve saved her. The writer apparently really trapped her into a situation where only miracle, ahem, I mean a fiction mumbo-jumbo could’ve saved her.

      1. correction:
        ” would drop below a certain altitude the plane would fly on the course.” -> “make sure it wouldn’t drop below a certain altitude, the plane…”

  31. Let’s say we’ve got a machine that has been programmed to deal with situations in the most efficient matter possible, because anything less than that doesn’t get any success.

    If there’s a choice that is 100%, but every other choice is less than that, wouldn’t it take the 100% every time? That is how its programmed. Unless there’s another choice on the table that’s 100%, it will never take a second option. Even if another option was present, the machine would likely still take the first option over the second option because that option has worked every other time. So there really then becomes no “second option”, as the results will show what has worked and everything else does not work.

    That’s not the best way to explain it, but that’s how Emiya’s mind works. Due to his mage upbringing and the loss of Sherry, that’s how it is. He’s going to continue to be like this until something comes along and proves that the original programming is flawed. And with as many successes as he’s been shown in his life that it does indeed work, it’ll take something big to do that.

    The funny thing is, Saber is the perfect servant for Emiya because of it. During Saber’s life, she honestly believed that she had to be the perfect king. There was not alternative options and from what I’ve read, she always took the 100% option like Emiya. Hell, isn’t that exactly why Saber lost her life? Her people rebelled because they didn’t think she was human anymore? It took the death of her being “King” to realize that perhaps the 100% option isn’t the “best” choice and why she wants to redo her life.

    Hell, if it wasn’t for Shirou, I’m quite sure Kiri would be the exact same. Hunting down something akin to the Grail (due to the truth) or maybe even the Grail itself (find a way to still use it) to fix his life.

    1. That metaphor about a machine is very apt Dorian, but i think it paints Kiritsugu as too inhuman. The Key conflict of Kiritsugu, and what makes him sympathetic and interesting is that despite being able to go into that machine-like mental state, he’s still human. He’s not Kyubee(Madoka Magica), he does have emotions. He just ignores them in order to carry out his “programing”. But all that killing isn’t what he wants, and it hurts him, as seen in his breakdown at the end of the episode. The main reason he is after the Grail is because he wants to stop having to take that 100% choice. He wants another option. If he was completely machine-like, like Kyubee, he would never have entered the Grail war.

  32. I just cant like Kiritsugu’s character anymore now that ive seen this. He could have made other decisions to save the people at the airport and natalia. But he just killed his mentor like it was taking out the trash. Why not have her crash land in the ocean and get her out the cockpit with gear? Nope just kill her because its easier!! What a jerk. Please someone needs to knock some reality into this guy!!

    1. Just land a jet in the ocean?

      As The Economist quotes: “In the history of aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings on water is zero.”

      Aviation Consumer Action Project: A wide-bodied jet would “shatter like a raw egg dropped on pavement, killing most if not all passengers on impact, even in calm seas with well-trained pilots and good landing trajectories.”

      …ffs people, this is not a Hollywood action movie. We still obey the laws of physics here. There is no way natalia could have landed the jet on water unless she was a really pro pilot, and even then it would likely have ended in her death. And Natalia isn’t a pro, she barely knows how to fly, and needed and escort from the airport. Kiritsugu shooting down the plane was the only option that guaranteed none of the ghouls or bees would escape and cause a zombie apocalypse.

    2. Gotta love how so many ignorant people think water is some magic falling cushion. Physics don’t work that way. Hollywood and Video Games has once again fooled so many people.

    1. I think he learned that pretty well as depicted by the choice he made with Natalia, but naturally he’d grief over losing the only person he was with and raised by after his childhood tragedy.

    2. My bad, read your comment wrong. I think he knows well he’d rather choose Natalia over a million lives, but from what I’m getting at he’s made it his purpose to prevent the tragedy that happened to him as a child (which was recalled after what happened with Natalia and he “speaking” to Shirley) happening to other people… like a million people, lol.

      1. In contrast to how people will be protective of their loved ones or the people closest to them, Kiritsugu judges everyone’s life equally. That’s a hard pill to swallow, obviously; thus the breakdown at the end of the episode.

  33. lets see….water and a chance to survive even if its one percent….hmmmm….or missile to the plane and no chance to survive by the jerk you raised up….i think id take the water!!! everyone is entitled to their opinion. The fact that he gave her no chance is what i think sucks the most.

    1. Its not opinion its fact.

      Natalia has ZERO chance of survival since she doesn’t know how to land a jumbo jet properly. Not to mention Natalia would not do it anyway since she would prioritize her own life(land it on the airport and risk an outbreak).

      Have you been paying attention to the characterization at all?

    2. She’s pretty much dead either way.

      More importantly, since there’s a chance – no matter how slim – that the bees may escape, Kiritsugu’s not going to have any of that. Sorry, but that’s how it is.

  34. so i guess sully landing his plane in the water from bird strikes was no chance too??just saying a chance is a chance. Id crash in water than take a missile any day.

    1. You either missed the point completely or are just grasping at straws. Natalia will NOT take that chance. She will prioritize the safest way to survive. People who bash Kiritsugu about not picking alternatives seem to ignore the fact that Natalia is more concerned about living. Kiritsugu had NO ALTERNATIVES. Period.


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