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Fate/Zero - "Night of Stratagems" - Episode 6 Recap

Out on a late night reckless drive, Saber and Irisviel unexpectedly find
themselves face to face with Caster. He kneels before Saber and claims
she is Jeanne d’Arc, his “beautiful maiden” that he wished to see
revived during the Holy Grail War. Saber tries to reason with him but
quickly realizes he is insane and gives him a warning blow from her
sword. Caster claims she has gone mad and that he will use drastic measures
to get her back, disappearing into the night. The scene shifts and
Caster is back with Ryunosuke, who is in the middle of torturing a
child. The two have been kidnapping children, intending to use them to
erect a Tower of Babel filled with sacrificial corpses to “save” Saber.
Through Assassin Kirei and the priest find out what Caster and Ryunosuke
are doing, and decide that a truce among the masters and servants must
be implemented in order to take the pair out. Meanwhile Kiritsugu has
staged an assault on Lancer’s master and Kirei finds himself having a
rather peculiar conversation with Archer.

Ryunosuke and Caster
are undeniably horrible people. Ryunosuke murders and tortures children for
the hell of it while Caster is insane and plans to sacrifice many, believing that Saber is rejecting him because God has cursed her
into forgetting who she is. And yet I find the two so compelling because
they are such huge variables in the war. They aren’t in it for the
grail, they don’t play by the rules and by the looks of it don’t have
any plans to engage in a fight with the other servants. When we first
met them I wanted the two out as soon as possible, but now I want them to
stick around since they make for appealing antagonists and bring
unexpected twists to the war. I also find it interesting that a truce
has now been called to deal with the two. Nothing like this was done in Fate/stay Night since the role of the church there was minimal, so suffice to say I am curious as to how this truce will
play out. I doubt the truce will last long; I can’t imagine Caster standing much of a chance against all
of the servants. Nevertheless, if it
makes for more time where multiple heroes come together (like last
episode) then I look forward to it.

In episode four Lancer
landed a devastating blow on Saber and inflicted a wound on her left arm
that won’t heal. Without the use of her left arm Saber is at a severe
disadvantage, so Kiritsugu makes it his priority to eliminate
Lancer from the game. During this plotting Lord Kayneth El-Melloi
Archibald (Lancer’s Master) has taken residence in a hotel and is
scolding Lancer for being unable to defeat Saber. We learn that Kayneth
has made an alteration to the typical master-servant deal, setting up his wife Sola-Ui acts as an additional master that supplies mana to Lancer. From what
we’ve seen of Kayneth he seems prideful and full of himself but Sola-Ui walks all over him, calling him pathetic and criticizing his use of
Lancer. I have this sneaking suspicion that Kayneth will be eliminated
from the game soon while Sola-Ui will play a bigger role later down the
road. If she wasn’t going to play a bigger role, why bother introducing
her?

Kiritsugu decides to take down Kayneth by
blowing up his entire hotel. He concludes that no magical barrier could
have protected Kayneth from the explosion, but with Lancer there we all
know Kayneth is alive. The odd part about all of this is Kirei’s random
appearance at the hotel. He comes out of nowhere, attacking Kiritsugu’s partner Maiya with
silly looking wolverine-like claws. I’m not sure about how he got there or what his purpose really was. I suppose it showed that Kirei is capable
at one on one combat, but the entire scene came off as pointless.
Nevertheless, it was neat to see Kiritsugu going to extreme lengths to
take down the enemy. He hasn’t been named the mage killer for nothing,
and at this point I do believe he could face a hero and hold his own.



The last part of the episode features a small chat between
Kirei and Archer as Archer enjoys a few glasses of wine. Archer has
taken an interest in Kirei and wishes to know his motivation in joining
the Holy Grail War. Kirei explains that he is unsure why he has been
chosen, and that he wants nothing. I find Archer’s arrogance and
demeanor oddly endearing, so any screen time devoted to developing him is
fine by me. He has a general curiosity for the world he has been
summoned to and stirs the usually cold Kirei. For Fate/stay Night fans
this conversation was particularly enlightening, due to what they know will
inevitably happen with Archer.

I am truly grateful that Fate/Zero is taking the time to develop all of the masters and servants.
It adds a higher level of complexity to the war and allows for the
viewer to enjoy several different views of it. Summoning past
heroes to the present is a fun premise to develop, and it works well when we see how the heroes adjust to and interact with those around
them. While there hasn’t been a ton of fighting so far, these developments
ultimately allow the viewer to become more invested in the characters
and for the eventual fights to have more of an impact. Fate/Zero
continues to hit the mark each and every episode, easily making it the
best of the season for me and a must watch for any anime fan.

Fate/Zero is currently streaming on NicoNico with each new episode available for a week after it airs. The channel can be found here.

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