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Fate/Zero – “The Land of Fuyuki” – Episode 3 Recap

by on October 16, 2011

I mentioned in my last recap that I was hoping episode three of Fate/Zero would amp up the action and feature a fight between two or
more servants. Unfortunately, “The Land of Fuyuki” continues the
set-up trend that the previous two episodes had, and only teases a fight
between Lancer and Saber at the very end. It was disappointing on that
note, but not a bad episode by any means. Instead, we get a bit of
insight on Kirei’s plans and some cute downtime with Irisviel and Saber
as they travel around the city for the first time.

In the
beginning of the episode we learn that the “death” of Assassin is now
known by all but one of the master/servant teams. Apparently individuals
were watching from afar as Assassin tried to break into the Tohsaka
estate. I find this method of gathering information too convenient, but I
can overlook this annoyance since it allows the story to progress. As
it turns out, Assassin isn’t dead. This particular fact wasn’t
surprising, since he was taken out too easily and none of his abilities
had been shown. What was surprising was that Assassin has several
different incarnations that Kirei has access to. That particular
Assassin may be dead, but there are a lot more to take his place. Kirei,
and Tohsaka I imagine, wanted everyone to think that Assassin had been
eliminated. It’s a smart plan, as it allows Assassin to do what he does
best: take out enemies from the shadows. Kirei is also cheating the system, as he is allowed to take refuge in the church – a neutral zone.

Kirei isn’t the only master plotting, as Kiritsugu plans to
throw his enemies off by making it seem like Irisviel is Saber’s master.
While Kiritsugu meets up with his assistant to gather guns and other
supplies, Irisviel and Saber venture out into the city. Naturally Saber
is against the idea at first, but when Irisviel explains she has never
left the castle Saber concedes and acts as her escort. I have to say
that I am pleasantly surprised that Irisviel has taken an active role in Fate/Zero. I expected her to be left behind, but she acts as a friend to
Saber and a mediator between her and Kiritsugu. Irisviel’s character
design is adorable, and watching her play in the ocean provided a nice
calm-before-the-storm moment. Of course, this also allows for Saber to be
more open and for the viewer to gain insight on her character as well. An
interesting tidbit of information was that servants learn about the time period they
have been summoned to when they are summoned. Saber explains that if she
had to, she could pilot a plane. Also, I was a huge fan of Saber’s
all-black outfit. It was a style you wouldn’t expect on her, and the sleek look provides a nice change from her usual decked-out
knight armor.


Saber and Irisviel’s fun is ended when the
presence of another servant is detected. Taking the bait, they find
themselves confronting Lancer. Meanwhile, Rider and Waver sit atop a
bridge watching as Saber and Lancer prepare to fight. At the beginning
of the episode Waver is the one that first mentions Assassin is dead,
saying that it is a good thing since Rider likes to face his enemies
head on. Rider however brushes the information off as he eats chips and
watches television, explaining that nobody is worried about Assassin.
Waver and Rider’s pairing continues to please me, as Rider is just
awesome. He is loud, funny and upfront, and you can tell that when things get serious he will get the job done. Waver may not be able to
see it, but in due time he will see that Rider is the perfect servant
for him.

While I think too much exposition could become a
problem for Fate/Zero, for now it has proven to be enjoyable. There
isn’t any action in this episode, but none of it felt dull. I like how
all of the characters are taking their time and planning before
confronting their enemies. Everyone is a schemer of some sorts, and in
general it makes the writing for the series better. “The Land of Fuyuki”
has set the stage for Saber versus Lancer, and I can’t wait to see the
gorgeous animation in Fate/Zero utilized for battle.

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