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small image Fate/Zero’s Epic Return!

April 18, 2012 3:41 pm by small image

Have you caught up with the latest episodes of Fate/Zero? I hope so, because the second half of the series is off to a great start! Episodes 14 and 15 of Fate/Zero bring a spectacular conclusion to Caster’s attack on the city, begun with the cliffhanger that ended the fall anime season. Here’s a list of six of my favorite things about the latest two episodes.

6) Amazing New OP by Kalafina

The first OP for Fate/Zero was nice, but this new one is especially good in my opinion. Kalafina’s songs are generally quite epic and dramatic-sounding, and “To the Beginning” has a bit of a somber and resolute feel to it that fits perfectly with the tone of this series. The visuals fit nicely with the song as well, and make me wonder about all the thoughts and emotions going through Kiritsugu, while engaged in this deadly Holy Grail War.

5) Archer Flies Around in a Floating Chariot Throne

Did I expect this? Of course not. But it seems that there were flying chariots in ancient tales from Babylon–namely the Vimana, which apparently played a role in some tales from India as well. Perhaps more amazing than Archer’s gift of flight is his ability to stay seated in the throne with seemingly no effort–even while performing some impressive aerial acrobats (eg A BARREL ROLL). Also, he must be using some pretty amazing hair gel! Perhaps he fixes his hair shortly before each scene he appears in. At any rate, it’s easy to hate this guy, but that plane of his is still very cool-looking.

4) Berserker Takes Over a Fighter Jet

So yes, we have a mad knight riding atop a jet plane, and somehow managing to take over the controls and launch missiles at his targets. The Rule of Cool has been cranked up all the way at this point, and I got to say, this was indeed quite the thrill ride. Throwing in an aerial dogfight like this was a clever way to add some variety to the fights in this show, and since it was well established that Berserker can make anything into his own weapon, it surprisingly doesn’t feel like much of a stretch for him to start piloting this fighter jet. As Caster would say… “COOL!!!”

3) Kariya’s Epic Determination! Tokiomi’s Retort: “Get Outta My House”

In many anime, you generally just need to have a lot of determination to win your fights. After all, the message of working hard and having noble goals to back up your will-power is a good one, right? Indeed, it’s certainly a big help to be trying you very best in your endeavors, but unfortunately that’s sometimes not enough to get by in reality. Especially when you’ve only had a few years’ practice with magic, and your opponent is a master of the craft and head of a top-tier noble house. And especially when your form of magic inflicts excruciating pain on yourself. I’m definitely rooting for Kariya, and find his cause even more sympathetic than before at this point–but it was intelligent of the Fate/Zero author to have him face brutal defeat at this time. If there is a next time, perhaps Kariya will be able to form a better plan of action–but it looks like Kirei may have plans of his own for him now…

2) Kiritsugu Don’t Give a Crap. Giant Sea Monster? Shut Up and Slam

I just loved how Kiritsugu handles this whole situation so calmly. He’s practically nonchalant about it all, though it’s made clear that he recognizes just how serious of a threat this enormous creature is. It shows how he’s had to deal with a ton of life-threatening situations in the past, and how he’s reached the point that even something this dramatic just doesn’t faze him. Or perhaps it does–but he still knows how to keep calm and formulate a plan with all the elements at his disposal on the playing field. He has been shown to have feelings in past episodes, so it’s not that his emotions have been completely deadened. He’s simply a man who knows what he’s doing. I’m very curious to see what his next plan of action will be at this point.

1) EKUSU…KARIBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Teamwork and Chivalry FTW

Kiritsugu may not think much of chivalry, but as he hoped in episode 14, Lancer’s self-sacrifice for the greater good ended up being a vital part of Kiritsugu’s plan to take down Caster. (I was worried that Lancer would have to die for Saber to be healed, but it turns out just his poisoning weapon needed to be eliminated.) And while it often comes off as a bit cheesy, I rather liked how our cast of characters managed to employ some effective teamwork in order to defeat the beast. Rider was able to stall for time, Lancer (and Archer I suppose) kept Berserker at bay, and Saber pulled through with the finishing move. What great music and animation for all this, by the way! A truly epic series of events, and from a writing standpoint it felt important for Saber to pull through with a clear, definitive victory at this point.

I’m definitely intrigued by what’s in store for us next! With five servants, their masters, and a couple wild cards still at play, I see quite a few exciting possibilities.