Fate / Zero – 03

“Oh sorry, did YOU want wine?” | “What channel is He-Man on?”
As Tokiomi apologizes to his Servant Archer (AKA Gilgamesh) and begs him to be patient as the plan unfolds, Waiver celebrates the death of Assassin, but his Servant Rider (AKA Iskandar) doesn’t really care, and is far more concerned with acquiring B-2 Stealth Bombers and other weaponry with which to defeat…Bill Clinton.

I enjoyed the contrast between these two Servant-Master pairs, with Tokiomi exercising the utmost deference to Archer, who abides by his wishes while Rider is more of a constant nuisance to Waiver, who can’t even get him to enter spirit mode. I can’t blame Rider; Waiver may have shown guts in stealing the relic with which to summon him, but he hasn’t done anything to inspire confidence since then.

They’ve already won the Holy Fashion War.
Rider’s not caring about Assassin’s death is just as well, since Assassin isn’t actually dead; he can take the form of many different people. What is dead are Kirei’s chances of winning the War, so he withdraws and is granted asylum in the Church by the observer, his dad Risei, and plans to use his Assassins to spy on all of the remaining Servants for Tokiomi.

Meanwhile, with Saber summoned and ready to go, she accompanies Irisviel to Fuyuki City, her love’s hometown, and the first place she’s ever left Einzbern Castle to visit. While Iri sightsees, Saber is her knight and bodyguard, wearing a stylish, practical black suit that contrasts nicely with Iri’s snow-white garb. They make a stunning pair…even though Iri isn’t Saber’s real Master.

“I sense my man kissing someone…”
That guy, Kiritsugu, arrived in Fuyuki a bit earlier, and enters a hotel room to find his assistant Maiya and a cache of weapons with which he’ll fight the War. When his thoughts turn to his frail daughter and he momentarily despairs, Maiya re-centers him by taking him in her arms and kissing him.

Whatever history those two have, I doubt it’s a threat to the union Kiritsugu and Irisviel, an unexpected pairing, but both a necessary and intriguing one. Their love for and trust for one another is above reproach. Irisviel, meanwhile, enjoys a walk on the beach with her night in black tailored suit, until Saber detects trouble nearby.

“Okay…let’s see what you got.”
The women head to the harbor, where the Servant Lancer is waiting for them, but with no Master in sight. Far from being concerned by a potential attacker in the night, it would seem Irisviel was acting as a faux Master of Saber in order to accomplish what came to pass: luring out the last Servant unaccounted for.

As for who commands Lancy, I’m not ruling out Archibald, who has been curiously absent despite Waiver having stolen his relic for Rider. And as for who will win this duel, I suspect neither party will end up dying, since we’re only three episodes in. A draw, perhaps? Either way, I can’t wait to see it.

Zero continues to excel where often UBW fell down, managing to make virtually every patch of dialogue (or monologue) compelling, integrating just enough comedy to avoid being too stodgy or serious, and most important, making every participant either eminently rootable, deliciously loathable, or a lovely synthesis of the two.

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Coppelion – 03

copp3

Taeko’s tamed wolf finds a set of car keys that leads Coppelion to a prison, where they find the owners of the keys, two men in hazmat suits. One is Shiba Denjiro, a brilliant scientist who built the power plant that caused the accident that destroyed Tokyo. He now spends his days delivering supplies to the survivors, which include an elderly woman, one of many left behind when her family evacuated. Ibara has to wrench the woman out of the arms of mysterious men who landed in a B-2 Stealth Bomber. With the woman safe, Coppelion goes after the bomber.

Now that they’re aware that not everyone in the Old Capital will welcome their presence with open arms, Coppelion is a lot more cautious in approaching people. They end up hitting the jackpot, stumbling across the architect of the catastrophe that not only ruined millions of lives, but led to the creation of three: the three Coppelion girls. A continuing theme of the series is their unique perspective on the calamity: they’re only on this earth because it happened, so to wish for it to not have happened is a wish to have never existed.

Similarly, Miku was born after the accident; it’s even possible she wouldn’t have been born either had her parents not escaped from prison thanks to the meltdown. This is all very interesting, but it doesn’t change the fact the lead girls aren’t that compelling so far. Ibara is shouldering the guilt of losing two survivors last week, but that’s the extent of her development. Taeko is capable and full of useful skills, but there’s not much else to her, to say nothing of Aoi, who doesn’t seem to have a special power (though it’s possible she’ll reveal it later).


Rating: 6 (Good)

Stray Observation:

We had some problems with the Stealth Bomber. It’s strange how it’s first referred to as a “monster crow” when it’s clearly a jet-powered man-made object; and it also takes off way too quickly and in way too short a distance. And what’s this about shooting it down (to “talk” to them) with a bazooka when it’s already long gone? It felt like it was just thrown into the episode because they had a cool B-2 CGI model and wanted to use it.