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Fate/Zero – “Rin’s Adventure” Episode 10 Recap

by on December 7, 2011

Episode ten of Fate/Zero takes a break from the main characters of the
fourth Holy Grail War to explore a side story involving the young Rin
Tohsaka, a leading character in the prior Fate/Stay Night series that takes place later. Young Rin is an aspiring mage who is just starting to learn how
to control and manipulate her mana. When the war starts her father has
her removed from the area to prevent her from being harmed, despite
Rin’s eagerness to help him. When Rin’s friend Kotone goes missing from
school for several days she takes it upon herself to rescue her,
disobeying her father’s orders and entering the city. She soon finds
herself face to face with serial killer Ryunosuke and must find it
within herself to save her friend.

While there were a few
developments in this episode, for the most part it acted as fun filler.
Any other time I may have been more accepting of the story, but after
last week’s slow episode Fate/Zero really needed more plot progression. I
think I would have been more accepting of it had it been an OVA or one
of those ‘.5’ episodes that get released as an extra with the DVD.
Granted, this is a prequel to Fate/stay night so giving one of the main
characters of that series some spotlight isn’t a bad idea. She is cute
and spunky, always trying to better her magic and works hard at
everything she does. It gives us an idea of how Rin came to be who she
is, and why she becomes involved with the fifth Holy Grail War.

The episode starts off with Rin practicing magic in her room. She is
trying to transform a crystal but without any luck as the crystal
shatters into pieces. Her father enters the scene and gives her advice,
explaining how mana control works and giving the viewer a pleasing
visual display of magic as he creates a crystal horse from the shattered
pieces. It provided a nice look into Tokiomi’s character, as he cares
for his wife and child. Instead of scolding Rin for failing, he teaches
and guides her. Later on in the episode he saves Rin from being hurt by a spell book beyond her abilities. He recognizes her eagerness to
learn and help him, and gives her a compass that can detect mana. It’s a
sweet, innocent moment between father and daughter. All of this makes
me wonder how he feels about Sakura, seeing as he was forced to give her
up to another family. Fate/Zero has made it very clear that the world
of mages is harsh and unforgiving, so perhaps this is a fate he had
accepted from the beginning.

The involvement of Ryunosuke made
the story very suspenseful. As much as I hate the guy, we were kept on the edge of our seats as Rin explored and eventually got into a situation way over her head. We also get to see more of how the general
public is reacting to the string of child kidnappings. Rin’s school is
directly affected, with one child being found dead and Rin attending a
funeral for him. When Kotone goes missing we all know what has happened, and when Rin goes to rescue her it becomes a situation where you are
constantly waiting for her to be captured.

With the use of the
compass, Rin does find Ryunosuke kidnapping children. She follows him
back to a hideout of some sorts, where she finds Kotone.
Ryunosuke noticed Rin and tries to capture her like he did the other children, using a magical bracelet given to him by Caster. Rin
notices this and grabs the bracelet, and by using what her father taught her she is able to destroy the bracelet. With its spell broken, the kids all make a run for it in a refreshing change from the successful murders committed by Ryunosuke and Caster. Rin’s not safe just yet though, with one of Caster’s
monsters appearing before her. Luckily she has a guardian angel
of sorts, as Kariya appears to save her at the last minute and remains near until Aoi Tohsaka comes looking for her daughter. Despite having less than a
month to live, Kariya informs his childhood friend that he will win the grail and save Sakura from the Matou family. Aoi looks visibly
distressed when she notices Kariya’s health though, perhaps out of guilt for the part she played in giving up Sakura. 

Really, my only
grievance with this episode is its poor placement. It has come at a time
where the story for the actual war should be progressing. With only
three episodes left until its season break, it seems to be about time for Fate/Zero
to start preparing for a big climax of sorts. Everything else about the
episode was thoroughly enjoyable though, and young Rin is cute. It takes a lot
of courage to enter a dangerous city at night and then rescue your
friend from a serial killer. Is it reckless? Yes, but Rin has always
been the type to do what her heart desires. In this case it was saving
her friend.

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