「この世全ての悪」 (Konoyo Subete no Aku)
“All Evil in this World”

There’s never a dull episode in Fate/Zero, even when most of it revolves around character interactions on the eve of the final battle. Just as I enjoy watching every swing of the sword, every parry and every riposte, dissecting the dialogue of this series phrase by phrase and word by word gives me the same enjoyment, if not more. With such a large swath of the moral spectrum represented in this series’ ensemble cast, the dynamics between the characters are even more complex than the already superbly choreographed action sequences, and that’s what makes this series unique, and it’s why I savor every second, hoping each episode will never end. Unfortunately, the countdown at the end of each episode stands as a vivid reminder that like all good things, this too must come to an end.

Thankfully, each episode is packed to the brim with enough material for two episodes of most other shows, but in some cases this can be more of a curse as well. This particular episode proved to be a bit of a challenge to write about primarily because there isn’t a central theme I could focus on. So instead, I’m going with mini-essays in order to cover everything I want to. I do apologize for the lack of flow and cohesion that I usually strive for in my posts.


The first theme I noticed was that a good portion of this episode was dedicated to showing the differences in relationships that each pair of Master and Servant had. The first duo shown, Kiritsugu and Saber, have little relationship to speak of, much less friendship. Each has recently lost the person that they are most used to working with, but instead of turning to one another for support, they continue on working alone. Kiritsugu even forgets about Saber, and when she comes to deliver her report, he doesn’t even say a word to her. Neither Master nor Servant show any signs that their relationship is anything more than a business one, as exemplified by their attire.

Whatever their relationship might be, the two are actually more alike than they realize, like we’ve seen several times before. Both have spent much of their lives alone, a sacrifice they have made in order to achieve their goals. In Kiritsugu’s case, we’ve already seen in his backstory episodes why he’s so used to being alone, but as for Saber, we only learn of her emotional detachment in her life as Arturia from Rider referencing it during their dialogue in episode 11. For both individuals, even if it wasn’t by choice, they are all too familiar with a life of solitude as was necessitated by the pursuit of their ideals.

At the other end of the scale is the bromance between Waver and Rider. The two of them are some of my favorites characters of this series, and each week I look forward to their banter almost as much as anything else in the show. To me, Waver is the closest thing to an everyday person in the Fourth Holy Grail War. He’s perhaps the most relatable of all the characters and watching him develop has been very rewarding. As Waver is basically an outsider, he doesn’t have a wish for the Grail like most of the others do, which is why he was so easy to convince that it wasn’t worth dying for. Two weeks ago, we saw that Rider didn’t want Waver risking his life for a Grail whose location might not even be certain, and this week, it was his “grandfather” who finally managed to convince him that there is nothing really worth dying for. And yet in the end, there did exist a reason for Waver to put his life on the line: his friendship with Rider. The pair no longer consists of a Master and a Servant, but of equals. It may be a little clichéd, but there is just as much honor in fighting for your brothers as in fighting for your ideals, an idea that I hope Kiritsugu and Saber will come to understand.


The dialogue between Kirei and Irisviel sheds a lot of light on not only their respective personalities, but also Kiritsugu’s as well. I felt that my support and empathy for Kiritsugu as a character was finally vindicated this week with Iri’s two-fold revelation into her husband’s character. His prayer for “humanity’s salvation, the elimination of war and bloodshed” is as just as any cause worth fighting for – there is no moral relativism to be found here. Unless your moral compass points the direction Kirei’s does, I think it’s probably safe to say that most people would agree that a few deaths would be acceptable if eternal world peace was the eventual outcome. Along with Iri’s explanation that Kiritsugu can’t help but love others, it shows that the assassin’s heart is not empty like the Executor’s is. Kirei is the one who you should hate, not Kiritsugu, for he is a man whose heart only knows conflict and the pleasure he derives from it – nothing more, nothing less. A man who has no prayer to ask of the Grail, other than to illuminate the darkness hidden inside him. A man who takes lives merely because he cannot find a reason for them to live.


The loss of Irisviel weighs heavily on my mind, as I’m sure it does for both Saber and Kiritsugu. Early on in the series, we heard his grim prediction about him eventually causing her death, and in this episode, his prescient words became an unfortunate reality – although it was probably not in the manner he would have liked which was for him to win the Grail and for her to serve as its vessel. Yet because Kirei was so obsessed with Kiritsugu because of his actions as an assassin, in a way, it could be argued that he still indirectly led to her death. If Kiritsugu had not killed other the way he did in the pursuit of the Grail, would Kirei still have taken an interest in him, and end up killing Irisviel? My guess is probably not… making the mage killer’s story yet even more tragic.

It’s worth noting that as an eroge/visual novel, Fate/Stay Night contained many female characters, some of whom were particularly strong and independent. (Disclosure: I have not played the game, only watched the anime.) However, Fate/Zero is for the most part dominated by male Masters and male Servants, save for the pair of Irisviel and Saber. Now after Iri’s death, only Saber is left holding the banner of the heroine. Irisviel, you will be sorely missed – it’s been a long time since there was a yamato nadeshiko as beautiful and as tragic as you.


The final sequence of the episode, where Irisviel finds herself presumably inside the Holy Grail after dreaming about being at home in the Einzbern Castle with Ilya, came completely out of left field and added yet another twist to the epic saga that Fate/Zero is knitting together. There was a lot of imagery and symbolism here that I’m not sure what to make of yet, other than her realization that she is one of a long line of homunculi created to serve as the vessel for the Grail. As for the spreading dark stains and ooze, and the twisted evil smiles worn by one of the of the homunculi and then by Irisivel herself, I’m not quite sure what their meaning is yet, other than the possibility that the Grail is something actually corrupt and not as good and pure as everyone has made it out to be. The same meaning can probably be ascribed to the black and red dress Irisviel wears after being pulled into to the other side of the black goo, which was a stark reversal of the white and gold gown she wore in her idyllic dream. I originally thought that the episode’s title, “All Evil in this World” referred to Kiritsugu’s wish from the Holy Grail, but perhaps it refers to something inside the Grail itself? In any case, I expect the answer will be as well written as everything in this series so far.

  • Sorry for the late post, was busy with the podcast and another term paper, and then I was feeling under the weather as well… Mouretsu Pirates will be coming soon though, and hopefully the Berserk movie as well!
  • Full-length images: 05, 06, 07, 18, 21, 22, 32, 33.




  1. Rider inviting Waver to join him not as a Master, but as friend was incredibly genuine and touching. You’d be hard pressed trying to find a better set up episode than this.

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

        In Japan, fan consensus is that he’s Eumenes, a secretary of Alexander that became a kickass general after his death. He’s the start of his own manga series in Japan and thus has some name recognition there.

    1. I totally agree with you. Incredibly genuine and touching.. one of the best episodes in the series. Rider.. such a great character:masculine, hearty, confident, friendly, communicative, reliable, honorable, sound, unwavering. A rare breed in animedom (too many flimsy cutsie wootsie design/characters these days?). A good male model that might be rather difficult find.

  2. I’m definitely getting FMA:B vibes from this picture. It seems kinda fitting, since (coincidentally) Irisviel is a homunculus and a product of human alchemy?

    Also, I believe that the majority of F/Z viewers have already seen F/SN. So we basically know what the eventual outcome is going to be — but I can’t help but think that Iri revealing Kiritsugu’s wish for the grail is somehow going to be used against him in the coming few episodes…

    One more random thought: Saber’s ahoge is really cute..

    1. I’m always glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed that. Well, the original anime did not perclude other worlds, so perhaps Fate/zero is but another side of the die.

      Bio D
  3. Next week’s episode will air on June 10. In history, that is the day that Alexander the Great died, in 323 BC.

    Is this planned from the started? A mere coincidence? Or a twist of fate?

    1. I’m gonna prepare buckets for my tears in the next ep. since we know who will not last due to the preview. T_T I knew people will die when go to battle, still, but STILL!! I’ll cry!! and A LOT too!! Rider is my favored as well, and such a Bro too….T_T. I really do not want to see him gone…..

      Waver!!!!! I do not know you are stupid or just kind. Kiritsugu could definitely faceplamed for your wast of those Command Seals! Then again, Waver, that was very sweet/tsun of you.

      I heard that they will make PRISMA☆ILLYA soon, but I really want to see Heaven Feel. If they got the time/$$ to make that then I think they should pour more $$/tech. into the Heaven Feel, and make the R-18 scenes acceptable for most viewers if not all. I sooooo want to see that one animated, and by Ufotable + awesome soundtrack no less.

      Also, the “Irisviel” in the 3rd paragh is not the right picture.

  4. Without giving myself too much into spoilers, I don’t know how they will explain “All the evil of this world”, as is only fully explained in Fate/stay night Sakura route.

    In Fate/Zero novel, Urobuchi just assumes that you know what is this about.

    1. the ending to the novel really does get into the “All the Evil in the World” which led to the end of the 4th War and the reason for the quick turnaround to the Start of the 5th War.

  5. Kirei’s scene with Iri was powerful, but i feel like they havent done a good job explaining Kirei’s character. i have seen a lot of people saying that it feels Random that Kirei’s goal is now to crush Kiritsugu’s wish when really it makes perfect sense in the novels. Kirei is an empty man who has never been able to love people or experience happiness (except in making others suffer). Then he finds out that Kiritsugu is not naturally empty like him, but has simply made himself empty by throwing away the people he loves for his ideals:

    “In retrospect, Kirei had been wrong since the start– his question was answered, but his anticipation became disappointment.

    Emiya Kiritsugu was not looking for the truth amongst meaningless repetition.

    That man had simply consigned all meaningful things into nothingness.

    It wasn’t that he had no wishes, but that he had such a ridiculous wish that he fell into a cycle of nothingness. His futile efforts and what he had wasted was so foolish that it was unsalvageable.

    Perhaps Kiritsugu could see through Kotomine Kirei’s empty heart, and perhaps he would fear that emptiness and be alarmed. However, he would never be able to imagine the meaning of having such an emptiness. He could never hope to understand the fervent desire that Kirei harbored.

    Emiya Kiritsugu’s life could be concluded as having repeatedly discarded everything.

    The joy and happiness that man had discarded – even its fragments were important enough in Kirei’s eyes for him to protect with his life or even die for.

    For a man like Kirei who continued to be lost and could not find a single piece of such joy and happiness, Kiritsugu’s life only existed in his dreams and his admiration.

    His insatiable thirst and unrecoverable loss had been belittled and mocked in such a way – how could he endure this? How could he not hate this?

    The dark feelings swelling up in his heart twisted Kirei’s smile.”
    -Fate/Zero volume 4

    To Kirei, who would have given anything to be able to love his wife like Kiritsugu does Iri or to have a comrade like Maiya, to be able to love his father, Kiritsugu’s lifestyle is the ultimate mockery, an insult to him. That’s why he wants to destroy Kiritsugu and his ideals completely.

    1. This is why I can’t hate Kirei, because he’s born like that and attempted to overcome it without being able to. I hate Kiritsugu, because he would choose to throw away Irisviel like trash and this is what enraged Kotomine.

      Who would you hate? A man who makes evil deeds for the sake of a ‘greater good’ of his choice or a man simply born evil and (after attempting everything to fix himself) embraces it?

      The first man has a choice.

  6. That essay is well-written, but the picture for Irisviel is Rider? I agree with all the main points. The relationship between the Master and Servant is the key to winning the war.
    Can anyone explain what that magic circle under Irisviel was for? I thought it was to keep her alive, but then the tradegy happens instead.
    It really has come down to the final battle for the last four episodes left. And the preview suggests its Riders’ fight with Archer first. It should be a good one.

    random viewer
    1. It was indeed to keep her alive. In fact, more specifically, it was to keep her in her human form so Kirei could ask her about Kiritsugu, the man he wanted to understand in order to find a purpose to his own life. The information was a disappointment though, and on top of that, Irisviel’s words even made him angry. He didn’t need her anymore, thus he killed her.

  7. Show Spoiler ▼

    The black mud is the same substance that Kotomine throws at Shirou in the last episodes of the F/SN anime. It is effectively the premise for Fate/Hollow Ataraxia where the grail system is ultimately dismantled.

  8. btw anyone care to guess how Kariya will die?

    1. in a Blaze of Glory as he give all he can in a fight to the death.

    2. like a dog in a ditch/sewer un-notice and un-mourn while his last breath is taking by Berserker.

    3. in a patheically delusion state thinking he had/will save Sakura.

    1. That moment when she dreamed about her daughter broke my heart ;-; She got this far in hopes of saving her and Kerry.

      Waver using all his commands while Rider just calmly watches him was enough to get me tearing since we all know what’s going to happened later ;-;

  9. Not much to say this episode, since its mostly a setup for the finale.

    Everybody loves Waver and Broskander, so whatever happens next will be a truly glorius moment. And Iri’s passing was to be expected though to die in such a cruel manner is pretty heartbreaking.

  10. Now I’m wondering how Iri and Kiritsugu met and how did they fell in love with each other cause their personalities are basically opposite.. And did Kiritsugu truly loved Iri or is it his dillusions that made him “think” that he loves Iri cause remember he is very lonely :/

    1. There are drama CD’s that explain the events in the ED outlining their meeting. They actually do a pretty darn good job explaining how such a pair occurred. It was interesting to see how when Kiritsugu first met Iri he was almost hostile to her, and in the end he totally changed his opinion. From what I know his love seemed pretty genuine, atleast to me.

  11. I would pick a quarrel with Kiritsugu. Conflict is so deeply rooted within human psyche, that the only way to eliminate it would be to eliminate humankind. We can strive to civilize it, put rivalization on other tracks – social, economic, intellectual – but conflict is and will remain probably one of the great driving forces of history.
    Anyway, Waver and Rider make best team in my opinion, truly partners!
    Unless you count Gilgamesh and Kirei who seem to be a dark mirror of their brotherhood in arms…
    And nothing illustrates discord between Saber and Kiritsugu better than the thing: Saber has nothing to say but that she will look for Iris and if Kiritsugu wants her he can use seal of command to summon her (as close to saying “screw you, I am here for Iris only” as polite King of Knights can be!)

    1. Hahaha, those are some pretty words that someone who hasn’t experienced true suffering can say. You can look at history and economic statistics then go “CONFLICT DRIVES PROGRESS!” but I think one’s opinion would change if they were brutally slaughtered in a battlefield or tortured to death for some irrational reason.

      Well, I say all that but I’m also just looking at it from an intellectual standpoint just like you, only at another angle. I too, have not experienced intense suffering caused from conflict, but I can’t write off the possibility that the world would be a better place without conflict. I can see what you mean though. Conflict drives competition, which encourages intense critical thinking. The free market/capitalism is based off of competition, a form of conflict. However if humans could set aside their differences and understand each other to a point where conflict is unnecessary, progress can still be derived from other motivations such as curiosity, or feelings of self improvement, altruism, and the desire to help others. Sure these things will not drive technological advancement nearly as fast as conflict will (This is pretty much a fact, just compare how fast military technology advances to the rate at which civilian technology improves) but is a new phone or internet or some minor convince to life really worth all the suffering conflict causes?

      1. Maybe no conflict would be better, maybe it wouldn’t, but it’s as much a part of us and the world we live in as oxygen is. Human nature need not be the end all, be all driving force of a human being, but it’s still there.

        Bio D
    2. This is exactly what Kiritsugu meant when he said that “Humanity has not evolved since the stone age”. All because its deeply rooted in the human psyche doesn’t mean it cannot be changed, that’s the whole concept of evolution.

  12. Waver using all 3 of his command spells on Rider for him to be free and win was really touching. Its a shame we all know Gilgamesh will not lose next week. Lets hope Rider puts up one hell of a show for us though.

  13. darn kirei! CURSE him for laying hands on iri!!!!!!!!! I really wished iri could at the very least pass away peacefully as grail but screw that kirei!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Die peacefully as a grail? He gave her a humane, quick death (morose in the novels where he simply knocks her unconscious and then kills her). Her fate was to break down and stop functioning completely in a horrible way when it was filled. She is no Illya.

  14. RIP Irisviel. With Maia and Iri gone, that leaves only Saber as the only heroine.

    There’s another close-up of Saber’s face, clearly showing how depressed she’s become at not being able to uphold her chivalric oath and save Iri. Her suffering in Fate Zero probably justifies Shiro’s love for her all the more.

    Though for me Iri’s expected end (she was more or less pronounced dead the moment Berserker took her anyway) was secondary to the awesome bromance of Rider and Waver, of course, this also meant the signalling of Rider’s death flag.

    Besides that and next week’s episode being the day Alexander the Great passed on back in 323BC, the preview showed Rider’s Command Seal being “pierced” through by Gilgamesh’s Command Seal, just to add on the symbolization of what next week would bring.

    Kinny Riddle
  15. Get ready for a huge dumping from my “emotional” truck….I am so gonna be a mess from this point and beyond the end of this series. Bit foreboding when this all ends.

  16. Fantastic post as usual! :]

    I will miss Iri so much! ;A;
    Watching Kirei snapping her neck/strangling her like that was a hard thing for me to do. How twisted can a man be? And he doesn’t even have a goal with this. It’s so sad. :/

    It’s a good thing we have Waver and Rider to bring some optimism into this show for now. I was so touched by their conversation. Rider is truly a remarkable character, and I’m so worried about him now that he is on his way towards the epic final battle…

  17. Wonder if Kiritsugu will ever treat Saber as equal or if he’ll consider her as a tool until the very end. Well, wrong Emiya for that, I guess.
    Seeing Shirou for more than only a few secs would be nice…


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