「コルキスの王女」 (Korukisu no Oujo)
“Princess of Colchis”

Exciting episode this week, because much of its contents did not exist in the original visual novel. There were broad outlines and some implications, but the details as seen here are anime original. They fill in some holes here and there, but also tie Unlimited Blade Works more closely to the greater Fate franchise, which has ballooned since its 2004 debut. References to Fate/Zero! References to hollow ataraxia! Retcons? Maybe. But new fans will appreciate the greater detail, and old fans will take pride in recognising how all the Fate universe is being tied together. It should be a win/win.

The only downside is that the plot does not advance far this week (though Saber has been allowed to sit down, at least). We’re taking a detour from your regularly scheduled programming to provide some back-story for Caster. She’s been a bit of an evil witch so far (yes, I know she doesn’t like being called that), so some insight into her past and her motivations is probably required to elevate her from just a 2D villain. She’s still a Bad Guy who does Bad Things, but her evil has to be understandable.

Hell hath no fury

For those of you who don’t recognise Medea just from her name being casually dropped in an anime, allow me to give a heavily abridged version. Her story varies greatly by the telling, much like all Greek myth, but she is generally associated with Jason, of Argonauts fame. Medea was the niece of Circe, whom you may remember as that one woman who turned men into swine in the Odyssey. Her father, the King of Colchis, sets Jason on a series of tasks before he would give him the Golden Fleece. Medea aids Jason on the promise that he would take her with him and marry her. It all goes well, Jason and Medea are happily married for some years, but eventually Jason runs off with some princess of Corinth, setting Medea on a campaign of revenge during which she did nasty things like poisoning her rival and murdering her own children. Great stuff. Very Greek.

In the Fate universe the legend of Medea differs somewhat—I don’t think she teleported around and shot laserbeams in the original Greek, for starters—but the general theme is: Medea has poor luck with men and ends up killing a lot of people. In the Holy Grail War, Caster’s first master was apparently some pimp who manages to be even more pathetic than his Fourth Grail War predecessor. He goes out of his way to make himself very unlikeable, doing the virgin sacrifices thing, doing the Fullmetal Alchemist thing (spoilers, spoilers), and getting all insecure when Caster’s was bigger than his (as men often do). So Caster kills him with fire, and we don’t feel too bad about it because he was a jerk for every second of his limited screen-time, but one must remember that Caster is still doing basically what he’s doing except more efficiently. The entire murderous spat was essentially over magus pride. Well, at least we know that at least one of the people Caster has killed was not a nice person. Hurray, sympathetic villain!

(Minor nitpick: how did Caster sever her contract with El-Melloi Junior without him noticing? When she stabbed Archer last week, Rin’s hand erupted in painful fireworks.)

Gilgamesh is the reason why we can’t have nice things

Meanwhile, back in the present, Rin and Shirou have a plan (or at least a map to stare at in lieu of a plan) and Illya seems to be feeling less homicidal today because she misses Fate/Zero, so it looks like our heroes may have a chance to get their Servants back with the help of a powerful ally. But guess who literally drops out of the sky? If there’s any indication that one is not going to have a good day in the Fate universe, it would be the appearance of Gilgamesh, the other rich blonde jackass who solves all his problems with money. For those of you wondering about the maids he pincushioned, they’re more or less a creation of Fate/hollow ataraxia, though if you watch the magical girl spinoff you’ll see them there too. I was hoping they’d get to be badass before they go (they’re anime maids! They’re all elite warror-assassins!) but, alas, Gilgamesh and his automatic sword dispenser is no less hax after 10 years of downtime. One small victory: they managed to get some of their litres of artistically-pooling homunculus blood on Gil’s shoes. Now he’ll need new shoes. Ha, take that!

Looking ahead

It’s seems like we’re going to have that big fight between Gilgamesh and Heracles shown off in the OP already. At least, Illya is now mad, Berserker is always mad, and a fight looks ready to go. It should be a good one next episode, because while Gilgamesh is stupid broken, Heracles was still nominally the first big boss of the Unlimited Blade Works route and the previous, and he’s bloody Heracles. Don’t worry about the preview. I’m sure those don’t hurt as bad as they look.

Full-length images: 04, 35.



    1. Actually, Caster’s Master reminds me a lot of the people I’ve seen in the Middle East, in particular some of the Saudi Royals parading through Bahrain. Quite an entourage, but you never wanted to look at the wives, because if any of them were untrained enough to accidentally meet your eye contact, they would be publicly beaten or worse. Wives, daughters and concubines are a matter of property in this part of the world.

      1. Middle East, a place mostly famous for how women are seen as livestock where wife beating is common. On the side note, damn, how very nice for Caster to free those children and kill that eyesore of a master. I personally like Caster very much due to see how she was the first servant to show the most Heroic act as compared to the other servants.

        And I shall always relish seeing the face of “bastards who must DIE” as their lives end in a rather fitting manner that reflects how truly pathetic they are.

  1. Knowing where things are heading I can say I am reasonably hyped. Now that being said, this episode was indeed slightly slower but that’s okay because as far as I remember we never really got any indication of who Caster’s original master was. So getting these fine details is definitely a welcome edition for me. I feel bad about Sella and Leysritt, they couldn’t even get off some badass swings in there. Gill bro, I know you think you’re hot shit but come on, give your opponents a fighting chance, otherwise you really will keep staying bored forever. If next week is going to adapt what I think it will…it’s really going to pull at my heartstrings.

    1. Lets put it this way. At the advance screening, a good amount of people already knew what was going to happen and yet by the end of next week’s episode, it was more or less a stunned silence. Everyone knew they had to applaud because we just finished the screening and compliments to Aniplex, yet after watching that episode, applause was the last thing you wanted to do. So yes, its going to pull at your heartstrings. Its going to tug on them raw.

  2. I’m satisfied for the new content. But i think it was a mistake for Caster’s master story. A mage sent from the magic association that takes (too many)kids for raw material are normally persecuted by the church or the magic associaton executors( like Kirei, Bazett or kiritsugu) and would never be chosen to represent the magic association. ( from my memory from the VN i can only recall that caster’s master was very insecure for having a servant more powerful in magic than him).

    How delighful for Leisritt and Sena appearing (carnival phantasm and kaleid doesnt count) making a skit with ilya. So sad we couldn’t see Liz fighting skill shine as the homunculus specially made for fighting. (That’s why she can’t talk properly.) Sella doesn’t have battle skills. I’ll be waiting for their reappearence,Liz and shirou trolling Sena skit

    1. It depends how the kids are taken, though. Parading around the city with a magical flute and collecting all the children? That’s way too flashy to be ignored.

      Buying them from various means, probably from human traffickers? That doesn’t make you big profile, so the FS/N church is going to be fine with it.

      Remember, the church’s primary concern is keeping the lid on this whole matter.

  3. Great episode, as reader of the VN I really enjoyed or all those anime original parts, though I don’t remember how much of Caster’s backstory was at least implied in the game. Is there any source for the origin and Alchemist parts of her previous master or is that really the idea of the writer of the anime adaptation? I remember there also existing a pretty good doujin depicting her previous master thoug that one looked differently and seemed more like a loser IIRC.

  4. Rin always entertains as usual, but I like how they went deeper into Caster’s character and cast her (no pun intended) in a different light instead of being a full-out villain that is pure evil and deserves no sympathy.

    I can’t say I’ve grown considerably more sympathetic to her, but there is a greater understanding of her character through a relatively tame episode which also actually anaged to progress the plot at the same time. Kudos to her for killing off Gold-haired bastard. Not sure if he was the final piece to finally break Medea’s will not to stoop too low just to achieve her objectives though, since it was implied that she could make use of innocent lives to justify her ends, as she seemed very much against the needless taking of lives. What I do know is that she’s now a more complex character.

    I’m not too sure what to make of the humor inserted either, especially with Shinji. Perhaps the one saving grace he has was to be a gag character of sorts and the scene masks the severity of what happens next when the jester comes before the king.

    Oh the other hand, Rin and Shirou never seem to get a break. The talisman they were hoping to gain against Medea will soon be locked in battle with the King of Heroes, and even without prior knowledge of UBW this will not end well for Ilya and Heracles, as the – and I quote – ‘other rich blonde jackass’ has set the stage with him as the champion and Heracles the challenger. I do hope to see an epic battle that lives up to the next episode’s name though, at least before the shit hits the fan once more.

    Is it me, or does Lancer look particularly unwilling to carry out the orders from his master to kill Caster off? Knowing him to be the honorable side-character, it feels like he has a bigger part to play yet in this eddy of glorious madness.

    Excellent episode, and good work on the review Passerby.

    1. It is best stated that compelling stories require relatable characters.

      Caster’s backstory and motivations provide something for the spectator to relate to, whether that spectator agrees or sympathizes with it or not.

      A vicious beast that simply tears apart child for no reason is simply an animate force – an object – and an uninteresting one at that.

      A vicious beast that tears apart a child because the child has a history of kicking and torturing him is relatable, and merits more backstory – and interest.

    1. Well he did kind off kill Rider off, so I guess… True?

      But in all seriousness, no one takes Shinji seriously, Gil doesnt really give a F**K, the maids did not recognise him as a master and played around with him and Kirei treats him as sport. Guess we will hvae to wait till FSN:HF for something dramatic to occur to him (Please no spoilers ppl).

  5. Illya’s maids, Sella and Leysritt, actually do have a few scenes in FSN. Most, if not all, are optional though, so I believe there is a chance the player will never see them. They do have more scenes in Fate/hollow ataraxia though.

      1. @Ryan Ashfyre

        It’s like the 5 second rule when you drop your donut on the ground except in this situation the donut hole belong to maids that have been dead for 5 minutes and you still want to get your dunk on.

  6. I like the (minor) detail that Gil treat the homunculi with respect – an attitude he never show to anyone else, not even broskander.

    Because his one and only friend Enkidu is a homunculus (well not really a homunculus per se, but close enough).

    1. Gilgamesh did respect Iskander. a ton. he even welcomed him back for another battle and admired his loyal army. Gil’s just “I’m the one and only true king”. he also respected Waver’s loyalty. even if he has respect though, he’s still an ass to everyone

      1. No, Gil called Broskander various variation of ‘trash’ and ‘bastard’. He respect him more than, say, Lancelot, Saber and Assassin(s), but that’s not saying much.

        Here Gil started the conversation with praise, and getting all sentimental after killing the homunculi, this is miles better than he treat anyone in Fate/Zero.

      2. I wouldn’t say “sentimental” but ending her life by cutting her head off with a sword is better than most people get from Gil. Fun fact, in medieval europe, only the nobility got offed with a sword. the peasantry got the axe. I don’t know about the customs in babylon, but I still feel the implication is there

      3. Gil respected Iskandar, that was the whole point of their final battle and why he used Enkidu and Ea. He only called him mongrel at first, but when Gil got what Iskandar was really about he began to treat him like a king too. Their whole fight is Gilgamesh being serious for a while.

    1. Eh, not really. He doesn’t really plan things in any great detail from what we’ve seen. That’s more Kotomine’s style.

      Gilgamesh just goes in and fucks shit up because he’s just that hax.

  7. Seems you know your Greek stuff Passerby. As a Greek myself, I am more than pleased with your quick roundup of Medea’s myth! I actually laughed out hard at this:

    “…setting Medea on a campaign of revenge during which she did nasty things like poisoning her rival and murdering her own children. Great stuff. Very Greek.”

    Very Greek indeed! Greek mythology is full of such dramatic and brutal stories; I wonder why…

    Too bad that’s only as much as we will see of Sella and Leysritt in UBW. Best maidos ever. Also, you might want to fix the typo on your “hollow araxtaria” mentions 😉

      1. I guess for non native Greek speakers, it is sort of a “mess-of-letters” word. For reference, ataraxia (ἀταραξία) means tranquility; although there is a good chance you already know the etymology of the word. 😉

  8. Those poor maids! I thought the movie version was painful enough, and they make it so that even maids feel the pain….
    Type Moon, please fix the movie version. Add two more grave stones into the castle’s backyard!!!

  9. Well at least he finished off the last maid personally instead of just spamming swords again or letting her die from bloodloss. Pretty much the closest he gets to showing respect to someone is when he dirties his own hands, or in this case his shoes.

  10. Just a mention but Caster hasn’t killed a single person in the city through sucking mana, only put them unconcious. She’s definitely not ‘good’ but she’s not evil either; she’s only doing what she needs to do to accomplish her goals.

      1. actually she COULD eat the WHOLE soul.. effectively killing the person (IIRC Shinji forces RIDER to do this, even to some schoolmates).

        Caster is not “pure evil”… but her morals are so twisted that they are pretty close … IIRC she is classes as “Neutral Evil” in the fate wiki .. that means she basically just looks after herself and will do ANYTHING she could get away with in order to help herself (be it evil or good deeds) .. she IS committed to 1 thing tho (her master Souichirou)

        not saying she doesnt have a reason to be that way.. in the fate cannon she got betrayed at every turn and was basically a plaything for the gods (IIRC the only one to show affection to her is Souichirou and that is why she is loyal to him)

        meh i always thought that both Rider and Medea were underused in the past anime… good to see some more scenes with Medea (pity Rider’s scenes were so short tho)

      2. HEADS UP: I love Kerry but bear with me here.

        Compare Caster to the fan-favourite Magus Killer, Emiya Kiritsugu.
        In the end who has killed more?

        Medea is a saint compared to Kiritsugu but nope, she gets the witch treatment while fans allow Kerry to play the tragic card to his heart’s content.

    1. In Matrix they did not kill the Human Heatpower Batteries, so caster here did not kill them because a Dead Human do not give any Mana anymore. Its like reap the Fruits of the Tree and not kill it, to fill your Stomach tomorrow

      1. I think you’re being a bit harsh on Caster. Look at her track record, what really EVIL things has she done?

        First, she set those 50 little girls free, despite having no reason to. They were all unconscious and etc. She could have easily pulled a Kotomine and “used” them for her own ends. Lancer showed up later yes, but before that she could have shipped them away with her magic into her own factory or something.

        Second, she drains the city of magic yes, but takes care not to kill anyone. Of course you can interpret it as “lol why throw away rechargeable batteries?” But think about it another way, why take care to save rechargeable batteries when you have tons of them lying around ready to use? There are so many humans in Fuyuki that Caster could easily drain them to death willy nilly and still be set for the duration of the war. Heck that was Shinji’s plan with Rider. One school’s worth of kids would have powered her up significantly. The last war’s Caster too. now HE was a villain without scruples. Of course you can argue that Caster’s just trying to lay low and not be too noticeable, but I look at her past actions (Her freeing the kids, her not wanting to be known as an evil “Witch”) and it looks more to me as she has her own set of morals.

        She doesn’t hesitate use things to her advantage. I mean she DID take Fuji-nee hostage, but look at what she did after wards. Instead of just keeping her for the lulz, or using her as a shield against Shirou for later, she kept her word and let her go. How many truly evil villains would do something like that? Plus Shirou and co were kind of her enemies in a death match for the Holy Grail.

        From my point of view, Caster is just another participant in the war. She doesn’t go easy on her enemies (Saber, Shirou, Rin, Archer) etc but she doesn’t go out of her way to be evil. No slaughtering of children and turning them into screaming living pipe organs for this Caster.

        The only thing I really don’t like about her is the way she treats Assassin.

      2. @Flamestrike

        Surely, one can do evil on another without killing them. I mean, she’s torturing Saber as we speak. Morality cannot be that binary. She’s not the worst of those who fight the Holy Grail War, to be sure, but that says more about the states of depravity this conflict falls to.

        I do admit, though, that the UBW anime portrayal of her is by far the most positive one she’s had to date.

      3. Well, the writers clearly are intending the viewers to go with that perspective. All the snide comments from other Servants about her lack of fortitude towards killing, her interactions with Shirou and almost fear when he almost essentially called her bluff about killing what’s her face, etc.

        I agree that while Caster may not be a “good” person, she’s not nearly as “hard” as pretty much every other Servant we’ve seen, and I think viewers who seem to think she’s some evil witch-relative to what all the other Servants are capable of, is kind of amusing in that it feeds the narrative the writer(s) obviously have going for her, as being overly persecuted for the level of her actual (mis)deeds.

        Poor woman. Can’t catch any breaks at all. Meanwhile, the only other female Servant with more than 5 minutes of screen time is a fan favorite, in her toe-the-line servitude, demeanor, and poise. Ah, how Caster must rage at the social injustices, both in the fictional world, and that found through its fourth wall.


      4. @Flamestrike

        Now you mention it, Caster’s action actually sounds better than Kiritsugu…what with taking hostage to force Kayneth to kill Lancer (and then kill the hostage anyway).

    2. She’s not THAT good. She’s not as bad as Gilgamesh (he’s ranked as “Chaotic Good” but that’s probably just his weird existence affecting the basic definitions of good and evil. He’s pretty awful pretty much all the time in practice), but she’s not principled or anything. Kiritsugu’s methods were just as dirty, but they were always done for some ideal good. Caster’s motivation is purely selfish. That she doesn’t kill that many people doesn’t change the fact that she does hurt lots of them, for her own benefit alone.

      Axe Armor
  11. See you next season, Sella and Leysritt! In a slightly more kinder world, in the Magical girl spinoff that Nasu himself recognizes as the Illya route. The next we’d see you, you’d all be on the beach celebrating the summer!

  12. Food
  13. Well, I guess I’m of the minority when I say I’m damn excited when I see the shower of swords. I’ve waited 14 episodes for his gates and finally got the flying swords. Everyone hates jesus-type characters, but Gilgamesh is just charismatically dazzling. To my knowledge, I’m a sane, logical, and nice person, but I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Gilgamesh flaunting all sorts of insults with his pride and arrogance.

    He’s the 1 OP character that I never managed to hate.

  14. Quite amazed that Lancer’s Master actually bothered to read the letter from Caster’s Master and sent Lancer to try and finish off Caster early on.

    Even more amusing that Caster’s Master appointed Kirei as the messenger, if you know what I mean.

    RIP Sela and Liz, we shall meet again for less gore more fun in 3 months time in Prisma Illya zwei herz. Unfair Haxx0r Blondie can go fuck himself.

    1. It’s sort of interesting. Joffrey’s really more like Shinji, in that everyone despises them unanimously, whereas Gilgs actually has fans, and in spite of the fact that all three behave with much the same petty snobbery and often self-destructive arrogance.

      I think the main difference comes down to agency. Joffrey and Shinji do nasty things, but they always take it a bit too far, like it’s acting out, and it’s the inferiority complex calling the shots. They boss people around, but are easily taken in and manipulated by flatterers. And they’re physically unimpressive, and are ignobly beaten up with some frequency. Gilgamesh is not always dignified (see: Carnival Phantasm; “WOMEN AND CHILDREN LOLOLOLOL”), but he has flashes of competence, like his unexpectedly methodical handling of Kirei in Fate/Zero. He’s hard to control not because he’s mentally unstable, but because he’s difficult to please. And, of course, he has absurd physical powers such that being roughed up by a disapproving family member is never really a possibility. It’s easy to dislike him, but it’s very hard not to want to be him. He’s an asshole, but he’s only exactly as much of an asshole as he feels like being, and he doesn’t have to prove it to anybody.

      Axe Armor
  15. Just to say, last ep had about 2-3 minutes of Caster trashing the place and taking out her frustration on poor Saber cut because of TV restrictions
    Then on this ep, there’s 7 minutes cut because~ TV restrictions!

    And the dress last ep was a reference to Medea: the play in which Medea uses a poisoned dress on Jason’s new wife to have a powerplay over him. Personally, I don’t see that as fanservice but rather utilizing of the original legends/tales/plays to a good degree.
    People have to try and get their minds out the gutter sometimes~

      1. There’s a difference between trashy fanservice and demeaning a character’s psych by humiliating them while trying to gain control over their mentality with a Command Seal.
        It may be fanservice to people, but I see it as a callout and utilizing of Medea’s backstory to a good degree in-story.

        And the episode length plus cut scenes would be 26 minutes which is pushing the TV time restrictions hence the need to cut it into 23 minutes.

      2. I’m sorry but most people don’t want to see Sabre being sexually abused by Caster. That can be kept for the hentai freaks. It’s clearly implied what was going on and that was enough. Any more is just crass fanservice.

      3. Umm Where was the sexual stuff?
        Caster was basically just putting Saber in an embarrassing position which attacks her psych while having a Command Seal that forces Saber to submit to her. The only thing that adds the sexuality here is Saber being in a precarious position and whatever viewers think.
        Also, the “any more” is what I said. Caster trashing the place looking for the Grail vessel, failing to do so, lightly touches Saber, and that’s it.
        And none of that is fanservice but to you people. If there are questionable scenes which is explained with logical reasoning of the characters involved as well as giving more insight to their psychs, then I do not call them “trash fanservice” but rather simply “questionable scenes”.

    1. “most people don’t want to see Sabre being sexually abused by Caster”
      You’d be surprised.

      You guys need to understand that fanservice/plot is not mutually exclusive. Saber is a strong, independent woman (I’m saying this unironically) to the point that she does not even consider herself a woman; a detail that is emphasized greatly in the Fate route. For Caster to put her in a wedding dress, of all things, in SUCH a position, it truly is meant to deal psychological damage to her. However, you can’t deny it’s not fanservice either.

      Would it have been better if it was excluded? Who knows. Fate wasn’t too popular when it started, it needed scenes like this (+ H scenes) to attract Otaku in Japan– the prime audience for Visual Novels. Plus if Ufotable had skipped this scene, you BET people would have been pissed.

  16. Euripides was required reading for this episode, wouldn’t you say?

    Also, Medea is indeed sucking people’s energy but it’s still not quite near the pogrom this guy was doing.

  17. random viewer
    1. If the Show will not have an 3rd Master without Servant, then both will perhaps attack Gilgamesh’s Master to force him to retreat or Defend his Master. Remember killing the Master or hurt him, is not good for the Servant either.

      I think that will end this battle. Both will attack his Master, and he must retreat. Berserker well.. he surly will not have an easy battle.

      But let’s see

  18. What was up with Lancer showing up in that scene?

    And what was Kotomine talking about right after Caster’s douchebag master left the church? Something about Lancer’s master, I think…

    All the Lancer stuff confused me in Caster’s flashback. Do we even know who his master is yet?

    1. Can’t exactly remember but Gilgamesh has a reason why he is fighting…
      If I remember correctly it’s along these lines…
      “I’m the king, and the world is mine,
      what’s wrong with getting something
      (the grail) that should be mine???”
      or something like that…

  19. Anyone else here who would like to basically spoil what happens in the next episode by implying? Really subtle…NOT.
    Thankfully, most ppl commenting here probably already knew anyways. But there are always newbies.

    Lancer vs Caster: Guess this is where the scene from the OP comes into play.

  20. Ep 15:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    I am unable to give this Episode an Rating, for several reasons (No spoiler mina-san)

    1. What the hell?
      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Show Spoiler ▼


Leave a Reply

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