Fate/Zero 05: Rider pwns all…
Week after week Fate/Zero thoroughly astounds me with its sheer quality and this week is just the same with an action packed episode with some laughs added in courtesy of everyones’ favourite Master/Servant combo.
The episode picks off from the previous on, with Rider continuing on after his abrupt and shocking interference in the battle between Saber and Lancer.
After giving up his True Name seconds after his appearance, Rider’s audacity does not diminish as he offers both Saber and Lancer an Ultimatum which is to submit to him, The King of Conquerers, and join in his conquest for the Grail and the World.
To his dismay, both the other two servants reject him instantly without batting an eyelid due to very obvious reasons with Lancer’s reason being that he is already content with serving his current master and Saber,being the King of Britain and Kings of Knights, feels that it is beneath her to submit to someone.
Trying to salvage the situation, Rider offers to give terms to the other servants but is rejected again.
As the stalemate continues, even Kiritsugu and Maiya are flabbergasted at the behavior of Rider.
Then as Waver tries to stop Rider, Kayneth makes his presence known again by commenting on his apprentice’s actions. Waver, still with his inferiority complex and fear of his teacher, cowers in fear at the sound of Kayneths admonitions.
As he cowers in his own despair in the chariot, Waver suddenly feels the warmth and reassuring grip of a hand on his head, to his surprise it is Rider comforting him and giving him some reassurance. Rider then goes on and defends his Master, stating that he is blessed to have Waver as his Master as he respects his Master’s bravery in following his into the battlefield, rather than hiding in the shadows.
Continuing his speech, Rider then goes to taunt and call out to all the other Masters/Servants who are watching the current fiasco in the docks. He proceeds to praise both Saber and Lancer of their battle and battle prowess and stating the obvious fact that their fight would have definitely drawn other participants of the War to their surroundings.
After that, he continues his taunting of those who are watching in a shadows, spouting a line which would definitely piss off one of the servants who has not appeared yet.(lol you all know who….haha)
To Tokiomi and Kirei who were observing, this line causes them to react with despair as they know that their servant Gilgamesh/Archer would not be silent to this challange.
Rider then proceeds to have a short debate with Gilgamesh with is futile as due to his sheer arrogance and it just results in making Gilgamesh angrier.
Another stalemate begins but it seems that the Matou representative, Matou Kariya, is also observing them from somewhere near the docks. As he sees Tokiomi’s servant, Gilgamesh, appearance, he proceeds to order Berserker start his attack. Berserker then appears in the midst of the stalemate in a torrent of black smoke.
Seeing the appearance of another servant, Rider proceeds to ask his Master to analyze Berserker’s parameters so that they would know what they are up against. This is the ability bestowed on all Masters who are participating in the Grail War which allows then to see another servants statistics just by focusing on them but it does not allow them to see the servant’s true identity. Waver tries his best but is unable to see his stats, as it seems that this Berserker has the ability to hide his stats and his overall appearance, much to the dismay of all who are around him.
Berserker proceeds to piss Gilgamesh off just by staring at him as the arrogant servant feels insulted just by the stare and proceed to attack him with his Gate of Babylon.
To everyone’s surprise, Berserker escapes from that attack unhurt and is even holding one of the weapons that was launched at him, further aggravating Gilgamesh’s anger. Rider explains what had happened, it seems that in that split second of the attack, Berserker managed to grab one of the weapons that was shot at him and used it to deflect/destroy the other one, showing that he possess a very high degree of skill. Even Lancer is amazed at Berserker’s feat.
Gilgamesh, raging at this act of desecration of his precious treasure, opens up his Gate of Babylon even more, releasing 16 more weapons to be launched at Berserker.
But to his displeasure, Berserker escapes unscathed, showing again a sheer amount of skill in the process, and proceeding to attack Gilgamesh with his own weapons but he dodges it easily.
And to make matters worse, as Gilgamesh now is standing on the ground after dodging the attack, the fact that he is standing on the same level as Berserker further fuels his rage, causing him to summon even more weapons.
Seeing this may lead to Gilgamesh revealing his identity and compromising his plan, Tokiomi uses his last resort and orders him to stop using his Command Seals, much to the annoyance of Gilgamesh himself who leaves the area in a mist of gold and anger.
To the other’s despair, instead of ending the fight with Gilgamesh’s departure, Berserker goes in to a fit of magically enhanced rage at the slight glance of Saber, proceeding to grab a lamp post to attack her.
As Saber defends herself, one of Berserker’s many abilities is revealed. Normal material objects cannot stand against the Noble Phantasms’s of the heroes who use them but it seems that the lamp post was able to withstand it. Rider, from his observation, realized that Berserker possesses a Noble Phantasm that allows his to turn anything that he holds and coats with that black mist of prana into his Noble Phantasm. This explains the previous fight with Gilgamesh as normally each Heroic spirit is only able to use his or he own Noble Phantasm and is unable to use any other Heroes weaponry but this thus does not apply to Berserker. So technically this Berserker is the perfect anathema to Gilgamesh with his Noble Phantasm combining with his skill with all sorts of weaponry.
Saber frantically tries to defend herself but is unable to perform at her peak due to the injury sustained in the battle with Lancer.But before Berserker can do anymore damage, Lancer jumps to Saber’s defense and counters his attack showing a degree of nobility as only he has the right to exploit the injury that he has given her.
But before the fight can resume, Kayneth does the most despicable thing and orders Lancer to finish off Saber. Lancer rebukes his Master, stating that he wished to continue his battle with Saber after the hindrance is removed but Kayneth ignores his plea. And to make matters worse he uses a Command Seal to order Lancer to assist Berserker in killing Saber.
Saber seeing that she is outnumbered, pleads to Irisviel to escape in an act of self sacrifice but Irisviel, in a huge sign of faith, does not want to leave as she believes that Kiritsugu would have a plan to save them. And true to her belief, Kiritsugu is in fact frantically trying to save them, him trying to take a shot at Kayneth while Maiya would suppress the observing Assassin. As Lancer and Berserker get closer and Kiritsugu’s countdown reaches zero, the unexpected occurs just at the last moment with a huge tempest. It seems that Rider has rode to Saber’s aid, using his Gordius Wheel to attack.
Lancer dodges the attack easily but Berserker, due to him being blinded by rage, is unable to dodge and is trampled by the bulls of Rider’s Noble Phantasm. Seeing that he has taken too much damage, Berserker proceeds to dematerialize to escape.
Rider then proceeds to order Lancer’s Master to call of his attack with the prospect of Lancer having to fight both him and Saber if he does not retreat. Kayneth, seeing that Lancer is outnumbered and outmatched, orders Lancer to retreat. Hearing that order, Lancer sags in relief and lowers his weapons which expressing his thanks to the Kings of Conquerers. He then, before dematerialziing, proceeds to nod towards Saber who reciprocates the act as they confirm a silent oath between the two knights that this battle would be finished at another time.
Rider then proceeds to have a few words with Saber. And before he departs, he asks his Master if he had any parting words to be said but is shocked at what had happened as it seems that Waver had been stunned unconscious by his previous attack and is incapacitated .(haha)
It then jumps to Kariya who is ecstatic after seeing Berserkers power, but this power comes at a terrible price as due to Berserker expending so much prana in the fights, Kariya had suffered severe internal damage due to the Crest Worms activity which was increased due to the prana use. He then staggers away to rest with the goal of saving Sakura the only thought in his mind.
The last scene jumps to the Ryuunosuke/Caster duo who were also observing the fight. Ryuunosuke is extremely delighted with what he had observed and proceeds to bombard Caster with questions. Caster did not respond but instead stared at the crystal ball passionately and as he looked up, he showed a face that was stained with tears of elation.
It seems that he had been observing Saber intently and that to him, she was someone very precious and that it gave him great joy to discover that she had been resurrected. This may seem confusing to some but it would be explained further in the latter episodes and judging from the preview it should be the next one.
Overall this episode is one of the best yet with the action really animated superbly. I have really got to hand it to ufotable for doing something as unorthodox as using pure CGI to animated Berserker and blending the normal animation with it in the fight scenes perfectly. As you have already observed, the pace has slowly increased which is a good fact as some people may have been turned off by the previous episodes slow pace. Rider and Waver are really the best pair in the whole show with everyone of their appearances giving out a bit of comic relief to, on a whole, a quite serious show. To make matters worse, Waver is also the only character in the whole anime that is able to give a comical face, further cementing his role as a mild comic relief character. But do not write him off as just that, as I can safely assure you that at the end of this series, you would find that the little ‘bro-mance’ between him and Rider being one of the best parts if this series, and you may even shed some tears because of it. More action and shockers next week, sadly it is reaching the halfway point><.
P.S Type-moon just announced the Blue-Ray Box Set for this season of Fate/Zero and it is freakin’ awesome. Drama Cd, OST, uncut scenes, animation material and a special story written by Nasu himself…..dammit this is a must buy next year…. at ￥39,900 sadly I have to break the bank to get it but who cares…oh and not to forget it has ENGLISH SUBS TOO…just like my Kara no Kyoukai Blue-Ray Box….lurve u guys at Aniplex…..