Fate/Zero 04: Finally some action….
With the three previous slow paced narrative episodes, Fate/Zero finally redeems itself with some action at last and boy did ufotable give us a visual treat….animating the battle between Lancer and Saber superbly….(damn still can’t stop my nosebleed><)
Before I start i just want to say that screenshots will never be able to express this episodes’, and more episodes is the future, awesomeness.
But before they can begin, Saber realizes that Lancer is passively casting a spell on them. As Saber has quite high magical resistance, it does not affect her at all, same goes for Irisviel who only feels slightly uncomfortable. Lancer reveals that it is a curse bestowed upon him which affect all women who look at him and is happy that he need not fight a woman that has fallen in love with him. This curse is unique to this specific Heroic spirit of the Lance and is related to the mole on his face as he possesses a curse of the Mystic Face Variety.( More on this later in the story)
After getting a good vantage point to observe, Kiritsugu finally locates Lancer’s Master but to his dismay, Maiya is unable to get a good view of him. And to make matters worse, they discover that Assassin, who they thought dead, is observing the battle too which confirmed one of Kiritsugu’s hypotheses.
With the presence of Assassin, it is certain that both Kirei and Tokiomi are watching the battle which is confirmed in the next scene. As Kirei reports to Tokiomi regarding the battle and the servants involved, Tokiomi reveals the truth about Irisviel as they are discussing about her presence, that of her being a Homunculus. This fact would have larger implications on the story as it progresses.
Going back to the fight, just after Lancer and Saber had finished praising each others martial prowess in one of the rare pauses in the fight, Lancer’s Master, Kayneth(for those who have not noticed yet), makes his presences known and, in an omnipotent voice to prevent them from finding his location, orders Lancer to reveal his Nobel Phantasm.
Lancer obediently follows that order, removing the talismans that were covering one of his spears, which Saber thinks is his true Noble Phantasm.
The fight recommences but it takes a strange turn as with every strike from Lancer’s spear that she parries, the light of her sword from within the barrier of Invisible Air shines through as if it was being slowly uncovered. Saber’s Sword’s invisibility is mainly due to one of her Noble Phantasms, Invisible Air: Barrier of the Wind King, which compresses the air to such a small dimensionality that the sword underneath it is as if it was invisible.
Saber then formulates a strategy to counter Lancer which fails completely resulting in Lancer achieving the first body hit of the battle. Saber’s strategy backfires as instead of Lancer’s spear glancing past her armor, it went through as if it was not there. She then deduces the prana cutting/absorbing qualities of Lancer’s spear which is confirmed by Lancer himself. Saber’s armor did not give any protection mainly due to the fact that it was formed from prana itself.
Seeing that her armor is useless, Saber completely removes her armor.
This may seem a useless act but it actually benefitted Saber. Having removed her armor, Saber did not need to use her prana to maintain her armor which gave her a bigger prana pool in which to use for her ‘prana burst’ skill.
She uses that skill, combined with her releasing Invisible Air, in her attempt to ‘finish the fight in one hit’ but is superbly countered by Lancer who uses and reveals his second Noble Phantasm to deal the decisive blow to her, which she dodges just by a hair’s breath leaving with only a gash on her left arm.( Watch it to believe it, its impossible to just use screenshots)
As they are performing their usual hilarious antics, Rider reveals that he wishes to meet all the heroes summoned for the Grail War and his desire to fight them all before dragging poor Waver along as he jumps to join in the battle.
In the aftermath of the big clash,it seems like the blow dealt by Lancer is quite severe, with Saber revealing that he cut a tendon in her hand, rendering her thumb useless. And to make matters worse, it seems that even the healing magic that Irisviel is casting is unable to heal it. Lancer then reveals that it is one of the attributes of his spears as he thoroughly reveals the abilities of his Noble Phantasms.
The red spear, Gae Dearg: Crimson Rose of Exorcism
and the yellow spear Gae Buidhe: Golden Rose of Mortality
As Saber had discarded her armor, it prevented her from protecting herself from the attack of Gae Buidhe which had a conventional attack attribute which would have been easily deflected by her armor. But now, mainly due to Lancer’s clever plan, she has a wound that cannot heal till either the spear is destroyed or Lancer is killed.
With this revelation, Saber easily deduces the true identity of Lancer with is that of Diarmuid ua Duibhne, one of the knights of Fianna of Irish myth. Lancer does likewise, easily deducing Saber’s identity. As they are both knights, they understand each others ideals very well and this will come in to play later in the story too.
In the last scene of this episode, as Saber re-equips her armor and readies herself to recommence the battle with Lancer, they are interrupted by thunder and lightning, announcing the arrival of Rider in his chariot. To make matters worse, much to the dismay of poor Waver, Rider has the cheek of announcing his true name and class to all, stunning all the others who are present.
Overall this was a FANTASTIC episode, with ufotable setting the bar for action sequence animation yet again. The amount of detail that is going on in each scene in astounding with them not missing anything at all. This is just a short fight, so I really cannot wait for the other scenes to come, especially the next episode, and judging from the preview, I guess you all know that it will have more participants. I really cannot wait for next week as it will definitely be a blast. Oh and this episode signals the end of the slow pace so be prepared for an insane ride in the weeks to come.(lol what i have been predicting for each episode seems to be quite spot on><).