Killing a “mother” on Mother’s Day?
Snakes Bees on a plane? Damn, I see what you did there. By the way this shot reminds me of those extremely contorted Yu-Gi-Oh faces.
A neat animation technique that I have observed is the use of camera focusing in several scenes. The neater thing the writing for Fate Zero can be fascinating and thought-provoking. There is no one way to go about looking at it, everyone will have a slightly different take, a slightly different perception to the events that happen in each episode. And everyone thought that Lancer’s death in episode 16 was the most emotional thus far, this episode I feel, tops that. My reasoning for that is that the culmination of Kiritsugu’s past is slowly built up over the course of two full episodes solely dedicated to him.
The ending in particular, was slightly disturbing, not because it was creepy to watch, but because when you see a fully grown man break into tears and yell hysterically like that, it signifies how upset and broken he is at that moment. Especially for someone as emotionless and cold-hearted like Kiritsugu, that tiny glimpse of vulnerability he showed was all the pain and suffering that he built up inside after all these years, having to live with the guilt of not killing Shirley, and having to kill his father, and now his “mother”. As the saying goes – “That which does not kill you makes you stronger.” That brief moment of anguish ended up strengthening Kiritsugu’s resolve, because he had just lost the three people that he cared about the most. The irony is strong with Shirley’s words – “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m certain that she nor Kiritsugu will ever have known that this was the bleak future that awaited them when she said those words. Beautifully executed.
Now some the viewers may or may not remember it, but the opening scene about the Origin Bullets and the meaning behind Kiritsugu’s name was shown before in S1 episode 8 (I remember seeing that before, but I had to check which episode it appeared in). The first appearance of the scene was a fairly censored version of the current one. It was interesting to see the same scene appear twice but yet in a different angle at the same time. Talk about deja vu. 66 bullets made of his ribs sounds really painful though.
This episode along with the previous one answered the mystery behind Kiritsugu’s past as well as where in the world did he pick up his smoking habits from. It is common knowledge that a person’s character and personality adapts according to the environment that they were raised in, so seeing Kiritsugu follow in the footsteps of his mentor Natalia wasn’t too surprising. The more surprising part was actually the revelation by Natalia that she felt bad about denying Kiritsugu the chance of experiencing life with his father after what happened on the island. Another unexpected confession by Natalia was how she hesitated to let Kiritsugu help out with her work, not because he had little promise but rather showed too much potential.
I don’t really know too much about this, but I would think that no master would really relish the idea of having their students outshine them, especially when it means being involved in Natalia’s line of work, being a mercenary or to a certain extent, an assassin. There is a reason why people like these often work alone, and distancing themselves from everyone else. In a way, Natalia’s mistake, albeit a fatal one, was to have Kiritsugu become her assistant. The price to pay for breaking the golden rule is a hefty one.
In addition to Kiritsugu having a debatable morale standpoint, another point of discussion is whether or not Natalia actually foresaw her own demise during her exchange with Kiritsugu. While watching the episode unfold halfway, it dawned on me that it was going to happen with all the foreshadowing going on. Personally I would say no, going by the contents of her speech and her top priority of staying alive above all else. While she didn’t really expect to die, I would say that she is somewhat resigned to fate because when you are stuck on an airplane with
snakes ghouls on-board and having no other means of escaping, there is little one can do but pray. In her final moments, she actually smiled (I didn’t notice that the first time I watched it). This is actually a pretty huge symbolism, it being that she realized the irony behind her words on retiring; on Kiritsugu having too much potential. After having your hands stained in blood and countless of lives, it is foolhardy to expect to retire in peace after all.
For the broken record, this is my personal take on this episode, which I felt was impactful, simply because I can understand where Kiritsugu is coming from. As mentioned at the start of the episode, what makes Fate Zero so good is not just the animation; not just the storyline; but also the writing in such a manner that it is subjected to interpretation and less favourably, controversy. Having said all that, I know that I omitted the whole part about
snakes ghouls on a plane. All I can say is: “Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherf***ing ghouls on this motherf***ing plane!”
I jest. The line that struck me hard is actually: “If you only act on what you should do, without heed for what you want to do, you’re nothing more than a machine, a phenomenon.” People know this deep down inside and yet why are they repeating the same mistake over and over again?
- Assembling guns can be a fun challenge, speaking from experience.
- Advisory: Smoking is bad for health. Please do not be misled.
- I’m curious to know why no one witnessed Vorak being murdered in plain sight and how on Earth can you even smuggle weapons past the customs?
- Knock knock, who’s there?