There’s some fighting in this episode. Amazing, I know.
The anime looks great for the most part. There’s no doubt about that. What really puts it over the top are the goofy-looking characters. The juxtaposition is just fascinating. You have relatively smooth animation and gorgeous backgrounds… then Lancer’s hilarious come-hither stare.
Elsewhere, we get a very brief glimpse into Kuzuki’s past. Like very brief. It’s so brief, it makes you even wonder why the story bothered. Well, if the loli’s fate was any indication, then it just means that the guy is about to die. And that’s just hilarious for reasons that I’ll get into later.
He must do something which I know nothing about, but it’s okay, ’cause he’s going to die anyway. Plus, I would totally understand what he’s talking about if I bothered to consume all of the other Fate Something or Other material, because that’s obviously what makes a great story…
Random Saber sexiness just to remind you that she’s still somewhere around here…
And so we trash talk…
…and we trash talk some more. ‘Cause, y’know, they’re just trying to buy time. The execution, however, is just lacking. Trash-talking should have some passion behind it, but I couldn’t care less about either character. Caster is pretty one-dimensionally evil, and Rin just hasn’t really emerged as an emotionally complex character. Honestly, none of them have. There’s no one here I feel compelled to root for. I wouldn’t feel anything if any of them died. First, they each lack a compelling purpose in this all-important war, but we’ve been over this. Shirou arguably has the strongest story, but it’s also the most cliche one: he’s a generic do-gooder with some tacked on nonsense about how he has a mentally disturbed propensity for altruism. Uh-huh. Sure.
Anyway, everyone else just falls flat. Rin doesn’t really have a wish per se, Kuzuki doesn’t really care for the grail either, so on and so forth. Yeah, Caster is sacrificing everything for Kuzuki, but just look at him… he’s so boring! So by extension, her love for him is boring. It’s like a love story about a slab of granite. You can go all Titanic on a slab of granite if you want, it still wouldn’t jerk a single tear.
More talking, but this time, it’s Shirou talking to himself. Can you just feel the tension rising in this moment? Can you?!
Good thing we have Lancer and Archer to give us some action… er, well…
The show kinda has that DBZ problem…
…where the attacks go all nuclear and shit, but it’s okay, because they always find these barren, empty places to do battle. And there will be no mention of this shit in the news either. A giant, fuck-off explosion goes off in the middle of the night, and it’s like nothing happened. So how impressive is this really? It’s like that age-old paradox: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound?” Or put it another way, why do most disaster movies often feature the destruction of some major city? Because that shit has to mean something. These scenes often have just a bunch of nobodies running and screaming too. Nobodies that we would know absolutely nothing about. But that’s the point; actions have consequences.
A meteor crashing into the planet means something when our homes are destroyed, our fellow citizens are dead, etc. Here, however, the explosion is like a microcosm of the entire holy grail bullshit. An artifact that will grant you any wish… but only a small handful of people, literally a infinitesimal percentage of the world’s population, will have any say in the matter. Caster is oh so evil… but I hardly see the results of her evilness. There’s like some mention of it… and maybe a building full of unconscious people. That’s about it. And now, we have this giant fucking explosion that will look cool in the moment, but what actual impact will it have on the world of Fate Something or Other? Now, DBZ is really just a dumb shounen, so it can handwave a lot of this shit off… but what’s Fate Something or Other’s excuse?
Anyway, lo and behold, Archer isn’t really siding with Caster!!! Naw, really?!
We cut back to Rin and Shirou, and the latter isn’t doing so well against Kuzuki. He kinda sucks. But as you can see, Rin totally surprises Caster by getting physical. I guess, uh, Caster finds it a bit uncouth.
Kuzuki predictably comes to Caster’s aid. But we also know that Archer is now free to do whatever he wants, so it’s not like you can’t see what’ll happen next…
And maybe I’m supposed to pity Caster’s character or something, but again, she’s in love with a slab of granite.
And as she fades away, he can only look forward with that granitey face of his. Truly a love story for the ages. Another characters bite the dust, and it doesn’t emotionally matter one bit. But wait, there’s more!
Kuzuki doesn’t want the grail, but he’s going to see this through. I really identify with his character and its 20 minutes of total screentime, which he spent a good majority of it throwing punches.
Aaaaand he goes down in two strokes. There we go. Another characters goes down… and it doesn’t emotionally matter.
Let’s make this 4 for 4! Let’s see Archer kill Shirou too! See, I’d fight for the grail just to make that wish come true.