Thursday, December 22, 2011

:anime: First Impression:: Fate/Zero Ep. 8

<--To Fate/Zero, Ep. 7

Not Amused

Fate/Zero, Ep. 8 - "Mage-Killer"
[Nico Nico Douga] [Crunchyroll]

Irisviel and Maiya have a fateful encounter with Kirei in this continuation of Ep. 7's intense battle. After learning of Maiya's apparent romantic dalliances with Kiritsugu a few episodes ago, I was not too keen of her being left alone with Irisviel, considering the potential for jealousy. Surprisingly, that sentiment subsided with Irisviel's knowledge of the "affair" and with the lack of any real tension between the two. Turns out, they both had the poker-faced priest to watch out for.

Both women form an interesting duo, whose common goal is to keep their man safe and prevent Kirei from getting to him--made more amazing considering that Irisviel is the one who initiates the alliance. I wasn't expecting Maiya to be her willing bodyguard, either, but considering Kiritsugu's genuine feelings for Irisviel, I don't think he would ever quite forgive her if she did anything treacherous. But maybe such a fate would have been more palatable compared to getting brutalized by Kirei. He looked like The Terminator in spite of the strong effort both put on in the way he thwarted their attacks and dispatched them. Even sweet ol' Irisviel couldn't escape getting a few blades thrust through her chest (and that was virtually a "parting gift"!). I knew Kirei didn't play, but I guess being a female doesn't mean he'll treat you any easier. It was effective in showing just how little emotion, or any real sense of ambition or will, he has. And whatever amount he does have, he has trouble making sense it--much less of himself--as observed in the way he sees free will and compares himself (erroneously) to Kiritsugu. Despite the careless violence he showed towards the girls, his reflection afterwards actually gave him a more sympathetic, yet believable, tilt.

While his ladies were risking their lives for his sake, Kiritsugu was still contending with Kayneth and his Mercury Ball of Doom's impenetrable defense.  However, the gun he used at Ep. 7's conclusion used a very peculiar type of bullet, one devestating enough to pierce through it and hit Kayneth in the shoulder. As he wallows through the hallways after him, seething with rage and big threats of doom-and-gloom, it is revealed in flashback that the bullets were made from part of Kiritsugu's own ribs, whose effects are so powerful, they can essentially ruin a person's ability to use any magic, not to mention their own body. Kayneth finds out the hard way when a second shot manages to only hit his shield, but is enough to create a violent and bloody chain reaction in his person as his Magic Circuits are severed and entangled. Naturally, this development captures Lancer's attention, who, along with Saber, manages to chase off the deranged Caster after dealing damage to his book-form Noble Phantasm. Being the good Servant that she is, she tells Lancer to go rescue his Master from her Master, which he just barely manages to do, though he spares Kiritsugu's life in the process due to Saber's "honor".

While "Mage-Killer" was referring to Kirei's title, I went into it thinking it was referring to Kiritsugu, whose skill set seemed to fit that description pretty well, especially after what transpired in this episode. He is formidable, but it was easy to see why he (after his OOC emo-spat last time) and the girls feared Kirei so much, and after having his way with the latter and an unfortunate tree, I could definitely see him having enough ability to even take down a Servant, if that is even possible (Kiritsugu, too). On the other side, while Irisviel and Maiya barely survived their fight against Kirei, I doubt this will be the last time they mix it up (and I'd have to imagine Maiya's luck will have ran out against him by then…).

P.S.: Additional screenshots for your amusement, including one of the more unintentionally-funniest moments in the series…:

"Quick, somebody get that man a Scooby Snack!"

It's OK to run, Irisviel, no one would blame you…

-"Well, that was fun!"
-After taking two women down with ease, Kirei goes out for an evening stroll…

-The baddest Mage-Killer on the planet runs worse than half the girls in all of anime?

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