I know I have had problems with Fate/Zero in the not-so-distant past but that doesn’t mean I dislike the show. In fact, this along with Un-Go and Hunter x Hunter are the three shows I really care about this fall. The rest are there just so they can fill in the gaps in between.
This episode is a prime example of why I like Fate/Zero, everyone plays an important role and each one is capable of pushing the plot forward with their actions. While I do admit that the exposition tends to get tedious, nothing that happens in this show is entirely pointless. This is an intelligent cast and you don’t need some random character to point that out for you. Each team has a very specific game plan, with the exception of Rider/Waver and Caster/Ryuunosuke. I just don’t watch Fate/Zero for the action alone, because if that were the case I could’ve easily enjoyed Guilty Crown and I haven’t enjoyed it at all.
My favorite strategies are the ones applied by the Saber Team and the Archer-Assassin Team. Kariya’s intention appears to be staying incognito as much as possible while having Berserker crash the party. There could be something more to the strategy, but I’m under the impression that the Matou family doesn’t necessarily have such resources. For example, if Berserker requires a lot of mana, is it possible to have someone else provide it instead of Kariya?
Kayneth has someone else provide the mana for Lancer and like Kariya, keep a safe distance or stay in the shadows. Unfortunately, his identity has been exposed and Emiya targets him directly by blowing up the hotel he, Sola-Ui and Lancer are residing in. Chances are that Kayneth is still alive but his personality would probably choose to hide in fear of being attacked again.
Aside from power, things like strategy, personality and information gathering all matter in Fate/Zero. I appreciate this a lot. This isn’t Mirai Nikki levels of hurrdurr strategy but you know, actual– somewhat believable planning.
It’s also interesting to see how interpersonal relationships come into play in Fate/Zero. Let’s see, it seems Lancer has somewhat attracted Sola-Ui with his charm spell while Gilgamesh actively pursues Kirei’s…uh, services as a means to keep himself entertained. Saber’s relationship with Irisviel grows steadily and the Rider-Waver combo have begun an unorthodox student-mentor relationship.
Yes, the series’ characters aren’t exactly a friendly bunch. But I believe this comes with the importance of exuding professionalism. The characters aren’t frail, emotional teenagers. Not everyone in this series is willing to expose their true selves. As such, each character maintains an appropriate distance with other cast members and with the audience itself. This is probably why Rider and Waver are an instant hit among people, both have been intimate with the audience. We’ve seen what they do in their free time and how openly they discuss things with one another. The same could be said about Caster and Ryuunosuke but those two are insane child murderers, it’s truly hard to sympathize with such characters but they are entertaining and are always a joy to have on screen. Of course, the more we see of characters like Archibald, Kirei and Emiya we slowly become more and more familiar with them.
Irisviel’s driving skills are insane! Saber’s uncomfortable expression during the whole thing was priceless. I’m actually amused by the fact that Emiya has been purchasing ‘toys’ for Irisviel. Despite her being his wife, I do think he treats her more like a child than a woman. Except that would be creepy because– you know– they sexed. OR DID THEY? Dundundun!
In closing, a great episode with hefty deal of character development and look into the inner workings of certain teams. This wasn’t an easy task given how awesome the fifth episode was but this episode managed to get past that and work well enough, avoiding a lot of the problems I previously had with other dialogue heavy episodes we had before.