Fate/Zero: Episode 16

I think it is fairly safe to say that the main focus of this episode had to deal with the collision (or similarity) of morality and ideals between Saber and Kiritsugu . Their discussion about how they believe the world is done and how things are done gives up probably the first, if any, type of character development that Kiritsugu has. I think i have a better chance discussing this last for chronology sake, but I believe this episode did well in terms of execution of such works.

I think the first thing to discuss, no matter how subtle it is, is Kirei with the short screen time that he had. Although short, it provided a very meaning form of character development not seen as of late. Formerly, we have known of his discussion with Archer about what constitutes as joy and how one should find it. The saving of Kariya would serve as a crack to a once close-minded heart. We get to hear, from his point of view, what he had done and why he did such a thing. However, brief it was, his actions would most likely manifest into something more in the later episodes to come.

The second topic that I would like to discuss is Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald and Sola-Ui Nuaba-Re Sophia-Ri and their relationship with Lancer. Prior, we have seen Sola standing on the rooftop only to be mutilated but kept alive by Maiya. At about the same time, Kayneth would ask to receive a command seal for helping defeat Caster only to shoot and murder the priest who gave him the extra command seal behind his back. Kayneth would then go on to tell Lancer off for not being able to protect his fiance  properly, going as far as to state that he was only repeating what he was doing in his past life, being nothing more than a man who gave up his honor for lust. Of course, Lancer wishes that he take back his words, for all he ever wanted was to be loyal to his lord and fight for him. While Kayneth can only rely on his stories to make reasoning of his past actions, Lancer had his own problems to deal with not written in the legends, so it was natural for him to react in such a way with his pride and honor were tarnished by even his own lord. Lancer wanted none of that. He did not want this to be a repeat of his past, thus wanting to do whatever it takes to prove his worth.

Their conversation would be disrupted, however, when Saber and Irisviel enter their territory. While their fight was a graceful ballet, other than the CG of their movement of weapons, there was no actual collision between the two. Then again, both of them hold heavy forms of chivalry, Saber garnering this more so than Lancer. For Saber, it was because Lancer respectfully broke one of his noble phantasm so that Saber can go all out to defeat Caster. In a sense, both of them were respecting the other, and each would have no other way than to lose in such a glorious matter. However honorable or not, death is death and nothing more.

The circulation of death would alll be revealed in the mid-to-latter half of the episode. Kiritsugu, holding Sola hostage at gunpoint, would inform Kayneth, who was watching Lancer and Saber’s battle from afar. Here, Kiritsugu would give Kayneth a contract, stating that he will not touch and kill Kayneth or Sola if he signs the form. In return, he must use his command seal to force Lancer to commit suicide. Now, this will turn into a debate into what he wants more: the Holy Grail or his remaining time with his fiance. In the end, Kayneth would overthrow his pride so that he can life a peaceful life with his fiance. In Saber and Irisviel’s surprise, Lancer would kill himself. All three would be shocked, Saber in particular, when Kiritsugu, Kayneth, and Sola revealed themselves to them. Lancer was easily angered about this, believing that Saber had threw away her pride long ago just so that she can win the Grail. The hope that he found when he fought with Saber was all but a fraud. The duty that he wanted to serve and show his loyalty to his master was slapped in the face as he died without gaining anything. Not knowing that neither Saber nor Irisveil knew what was happening, Lancer would curse the Holy Grail and curse them, hoping that the grail does not do whatever she or her master wishes. Lancer dies, meaning that the contract would take place. Kiritsugi would not be able to touch either of them or kill them. However, the relief that this was all over for them was soon shattered as Maiya would kill and severely injure Sola and Kayneth respectively in front of Saber and Irisviel. Kayneth wished to die, to which Kiritsugu could not grant. Saber, instead, draws her blade and kill him herself, not wanting him to suffer anymore.

Here is where I believe the highlight of his episode is portrayed: the collision of ideals between Kiritsugu and Saber. To Kiritsugu there was no such thing as honor in a battlefield that heroes were known for at the time. It was all to blind those who believe in them that they had achieved “victory” despite slaying those who were able to give them that credit. Saber backfires, snaring him for throwing soil at her sense of chivalry. Saber believes that without such things like honor, a battlefield would be nothing more than a living tell. Kiritsugu retorts that it is hell, stating that heroes like her just do not see it that way and gloss it over with those ideals. He claims that the world is currently a mess of an unending cycle of slaying that no one has ever solved and that mankind has never fixed. That is why he wanted the Holy Grail. Using its power, he may be able to stop this ceaseless cycle of bloodshed, making sure that the deaths in Fuyuki city would be the last ones the world would ever see. Given these ideals, Saber claims that Kiritsugu was once wanting to be a hero. More than anything, he wanted to save the world by whatever means necessary. Kiritsugu claims that all he ever wanted was to end this foolishness. Even if he has to dirty his hands such that his dream will come true, he does not care. Rather he has lost all of it. To kill maters and servants such that the entire world would be saved is the ideal in his mind. What both to not know is that they truly are meant for each other, at least are very similar with each other in terms of their goals and beliefs. Both are taking different routes for it, but where they start and end, as well as their personal intake of this, is nearly exactly the same. If only both were to realize it, or at least say it in front of each other, maybe something could bear fruit in this whole servant and master regime. Then again, it may take a while for them to truly come in terms with each other.

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