Fate/Zero – 19

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It can’t be easy, believing you’re God.

It’s a given that anything written by Urobuchi Gen and animated by ufotable is going to be good, at the very least, and interesting too.  Add voice talent like Rikiya Kamiya, Miyu Irino and Watanabe Akeno and you’re obviously going to get authentic and emotionally complex performances.  So there was never any doubt, really, that this two-part flashback was going to be slick, well-made and altogether admirable.  My question, though, is whether it can be termed successful as a component in the series.  And I guess the answer depends on what you think its purpose was.

We’ll get back to that question, but I think I need to begin by saying that whatever you think the answer is, and whatever you think of the character, putting Kiritsugu’s backstory as a two-parter at this point in the series feels like a misstep.  There are a couple of reasons for that, the most obvious – though no less significant for that – being that it disrupts the narrative flow of the story for an extended period at an extremely crucial time.  We’ve been building a typically elaborate yet elegantly logical Urobuchi plot for a season-and-a-half, and if I’m going to be torn away from it for two full episodes it should be something that fundamentally changes the dynamic of the story.  And even then, I’m not so sure I’d want to see 15% of the season dedicated to what’s effectively a side-story.

And there’s the second reason I see this as a problem, and it’s inseparable from the question of whether this diversion was a success.  I don’t really see this as changing Kiritsugu’s role in the story in any way, and I don’t see it changing our perspective on him as a character in any way, either.  Certainly it’s interesting (in a vacuum) to find out how Kiritsugu got to be the way he is – he’s obviously a complex and tormented soul.  But we pretty know how he is – we know his underlying principles and goals, and the way he views every situation in life.  Did we see anything in the wayback machine that changes that perception?  Not for me, at least.  I have a better idea of why Kiritusgu is broken – but I already knew he was broken, so no matter how interesting that is, I don’t feel as if it was worth the extended detour it commanded.  Not this far down the road, anyway.  If this had occurred in the first season – or even as an OVA between seasons – it might have come early enough to cast Kiritsugu’s S2 persona in a subtly different light, and it wouldn’t have been as disruptive.

Of course any episode of any series needs to be viewed as a self-contained entity as well as for its place in the larger whole.  In that respect, the second half of this story was definitely stronger than the first, for me.  Ei Aoki has proved himself a wonderful director – to be so successful with series as different as F/Z and Hourou Musuko proves he’s a major talent – but I felt last week’s episode wasn’t his best work.  Part of the problem was that it felt half-heartedly written by Urobuchi’s high standard, but the pacing was also off, and the moments that should have greatest impact felt oddly flat.  This episode felt much more like Fate/Zero to me – Even if there was still a little “monster of the week” quality to Odd Varzak and his bees.  The dialogue was layered and full of subtext, and there were several camera shots during the episode that absolutely blew me away.  It was Urobuchi and Ei-sensei back on form, which is an impressive thing to see.

Of course the episode is centered around its ending, with everything leading up to it designed to give it greater impact.  I imagine that even among the anime-only viewers, I’m probably not lonely in having figured out the ending as soon as the situation on the plane became clear.  There was a moment where I thought, “he wouldn’t” – and then I saw Kiritsugu get into the boat and heard him say he had a solution, and I remembered this was Urobuchi-sensei we were talking about – and the die was cast.  That’s fine, because a Greek tragedy is still a tragedy, even if there’s no surprise in the ending.  Natalia probably suspected it herself, on some level – she knew the boy she’d raised better than anyone.  This was the key exchange of the episode for me:

N: “You had too much potential.  Far too much…”
K: “What does that mean?
N: “The ability to cast aside your feelings and pull the trigger is a skill most killers take years to develop.  You’ve had it from the start.  It’s a hell of a gift…  If you think only of what you should do, and neglect what you want to do, you’re merely a machine – a force of nature.  That isn’t how a human being should live.”

A very telling exchange, there – and fascinating that a cold-blooded assassin like Natalia could see that Kiritsugu fundamentally lacked something – a filter, a restrictor plate, whatever you call it – but she knew.  She knew that someone who blindly follows an ideal in any situation, thoughtless of anything else, wasn’t a complete human being.  She feared it because of what someone like that might do, but even more so because she knew that someone she loved could only be miserable in the end if he chose to live his life by that model.  The final conversation between Natalia and Kiritsugu was typical Urobuchi brilliance – sad and powerful – but as it relates to to Fate/Zero as a story, that exchange was the part that really mattered.

So again, in the end, we always get back to this – did these episodes change the way we view Kiritsugu, and was it worth it if they didn’t?  Speaking only for myself, my opinion of Kiritsugu hasn’t changed.  I don’t hate him more for what he did to Natalia – it’s exactly what I would have expected him to do – but neither do I feel the remotest increase in sympathy for his position.  I certainly pity him for the misery of his existence, but I already did to some extent – and I only feel more strongly now that he’s the most dangerous person in the  Grail War, because he’s made himself a God.  His entire philosophy is built around the notion that only he knows what’s best for humanity, and that he can never be wrong.  Kiritsugu learned a lesson from the trauma of his youth, but it was the wrong lesson – and he’s spent the rest of his life punishing himself for the very human mistake he made as a child.  He’s a tragic, forlorn figure worthy of pity – but he’s no closer to being wise (and no less terrifying) than he was before this window into his past was opened.

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68 comments

  1. t

    I liked these episodes, but they felt more like bonus episodes to supplement the series, not interrupt it like this.

    The developments in this story drove me slightly mad though. Seeing it for the first time was I really the only one who could forsee bees being kept in they guy's body? These are pros ignoring the obvious.

    And why couldn't she attempt a splashdown landing in the sea, have Kiritsugu crack the cockpit window and then blow up the plane?

    Feels like plot conveniences, something I really don't expect from an Urobuchi Gen story!

  2. A

    Actually, that's a really astute question. It's answered in the novel, but since it was all interior monologue, when he was floating in the middle of the ocean, there wasn't much way to answer it. He did think about the likelihood of various plans to end the situation, while keeping her alive. And he concluded that her drive to survive would always endanger the ultimate goal of the mission (i.e., destroying all the ghouls).

    I guess it boils down to GE's point, though, that like someone with a god complex, Kiritsugu essentially doesn't trust that any solution that isn't his will work reliably. He *wants* to believe she can do it, but *ultimately* he cannot.

  3. A

    I don't get this notion that these two are somehow "bonus" episodes. Since when going back to back-story of a main character in the middle is like sticking "bonus" episodes unnaturally and thus misstep?

    I hate to bring Rurouni Kenshin comparison, but I recall that show (the manga) also brought Kenshin's battousai back-story, about 3/4 in all of sudden. No one cried foul over that and how that felt "bonus" episodes hijacking into the middle?

    The way I see it, it's pure and simple. Some of you just don't like nor care for Kiritsugu and have no patience on the story being driven all about him all of sudden and just want to get on with Saber and her series of absolutely no-skin shown wardrobes (with Kenshin, you had no issues what so ever as you liked the character very much).

  4. A

    I don't think that's wholly fair. Whether I like the character or not, the pacing feel a little off in the anime, in a way that it did not for the novels, where it benefitted from the break between volumes 3 and 4 (this interlude starts volume 4).

    I do think having the artificial break (and probable time difference between novels) helped in the reading experience, in a way that you can't get around in the anime.

    I also think that while there is more than sufficient time to cover all the material in volume 4, a disproportionate amount of time was spent on this section, which only covered around 30 pages or so in the 4th novel (so a couple hundred pages).

    The comparison with Kenshin isn't really all that apt… His backstory as the battousai was covered very early on. And his backstory with uh, whatshername… uh, Tomoe (?) was covered at the end, but it was its own arc, and comprised the full last third or quarter of the manga. That said, I'd argue that it, too, came out of nowhere, and despite fans' intense love for it (probably as compared to the sad ending the original anime limped off to), I never particularly cared for it, either. I might also say that the story behind his scar was also an open mystery for the entire series, so settling down to explain it didn't really come from nowhere.

    It's all kind of irrelevant. I don't know who would have expected them to deviate from the novels they've followed so lovingly up to this point. So if it's a flaw, it's a problem in the source material, and there's not much they could've done beyond mitigating it by shortening this to a single episode (or maybe 1.5–I kind of thought we might be able to squeeze in a brief interlude with someone else at the end of this one).

  5. t

    The reason it feels like a bonus rather than an organic part of the story is that there is no story related reason to see this flashback NOW. It breaks the flow of the war.

    Regardless of how the VN reads, the anime hasn't really treated Kiritsugu as the main character, rather spending the majority of its time as an ensemble piece whose focus has been on the war. If there was an MC the show would point much more towards Saber who spends much of the show with Iri rather than Kiritsugu.

    The comparison to Kenshin is unfair – he is clearly the MC, the series is named for him, he has a hell of a lot of screen time, the biggest fights and so on. F/Z is initially presented as an ensemble piece about the war for the grail that focuses more on Kiritsugu now because he has survived this far.

  6. Regardless of how the VN reads, the anime hasn't really treated Kiritsugu as the main character, rather spending the majority of its time as an ensemble piece whose focus has been on the war. If there was an MC the show would point much more towards Saber who spends much of the show with Iri rather than Kiritsugu.

    QFT.

    If the anime intended Kiritsugu to be perceived as a traditional MC, then this story should have appeared as an OVA between seasons – or better yet, in the first half of the first season. Placed where it is, it makes the narrative flow of the series feel oddly disjointed.

    And the RK comparison is so far off base I don't think it needs any further comment from me. It's been thoroughly addressed by other commenters already.

  7. A

    Very interesting review. Do you think Kiritsugu's basically a decent person, or an evil person that deserves retribution and death?

  8. Very interesting question. I think Kiritsugu was once a decent person and deserves pity more than anything, but that doesn't make him any less dangerous. I don't think retribution enters into it, but I do think he needs to be stopped from continuing the course he's on.

  9. A

    That is an interesting interpretation for these episodes, even if I don't completely agree. I think they do, in fact, change the way I see Kiritsugu–not so much in what he will do, but in his absolute desperation to do it. Keeping in mind what he's done now, if he cannot fulfill his ideal, then everything he's sacrificed would have been (by his admittedly warped logic) for nothing.

    I mean, look, I don't really like him a lot more than I did before, either. But I won't say that these episodes–as formulaic as they are–didn't change my perception of him at least a little. It's a little harder for me, though, to say they even could have changed my perception of what he'll do, since I already know the end of FZ both via novel and FSN.

    All that said, I think they might have been more usefully adapted in a single episode. But then, this episode would have almost certainly dropped in impact, emotionally speaking.

    Either way, I think given their rate of adaptation (and all this material comes from the start of volume 4), we'll have plenty of room for the final events of the novels. You may be right about their placement, but you needn't worry in terms of the adaptation. As opposed to the Rin episode, this was all source material, and shouldn't detract from time spent on the parts you (and probably most viewers) find more compelling.

  10. J

    I think Natalia sneaked in a smile before she died, which was a little sad in itself. Don't really know why though.

  11. A

    yes, she did smile, albeit faintly, just before she was blown off. However Enzo's screenshot capture is about 2 frame too early. You can't tell that she is from that screenshot.

    Also I think when Natalia talked about retiring, it's understood between the two (she and Kiritsugu) that she's prepared to die and gave him the O.K. sign or you will. What else there is to do when you're trapped into a cockpit from 300 ghouls AND swam of bees that could turn you into one in a heartbeat. In fact, I find it hard to believe that she could get herself into that cockpit so easily. Natalia had no mean of jumping off the plane and you can't land that into some island as there is none from Paris to NY flight path, so she's basically doomed if she doesn't want to any more innocent people to die.

    Perhaps she didn't anticipate that Kiritsugu would blow off the plane or perhaps she did. But she knew that Kiritsugu would do what she would do herself and was content in her last moment.

  12. A

    And to think this ep was on mother's day too…

  13. A

    Hahaha. I like that.

    This episode didn't change my perception with Kiritsugu, but it added a bit more with Shiro on F/SN.
    "I know I can't save them all. I'll just have to save as many as I can."

  14. A

    "…because he’s made himself a God. His entire philosophy is built around the notion that only he knows what’s best for humanity, and that he can never be wrong."

    What a load of nonsense you write, Enzo. It's your blog and you're free to write your opinion however looney it is, just as I, a reader, am to free to call it BS. You're one stubborn man: I've followed your FZ blog and once you form this notion, you've never wavered. I'll give you that.

    I find it very amusing that how polarizing your view is. It's a polar opposite like "religious nut vs. agnostic" when I think of you bearing down on your opinion on Kiritsugu the character and going on and on about it for quite some time now on almost every FZ blog lately. I have to say that I much prefer Verdant's FZ blog at Random Curiosity as his is more level-headed and less polarizing.

    Anyway since you sort of gingerly said that you could feel sympathy/pity for Kiritsugu -but not really, so-, I will give him the proper one. I can only give my pity to Kiritsugu the character when i see him broken on that boat. I'm not not so biased that I don't see the sadness of his life. You only get one life and his is pure tragic and mistakes he makes and all the suffering he goes through all makes him the most human in FZ world so far. I can only wish that he can find some peace, but it appears that he only gets brief instances of happiness in his life like, with Shirley in that island, with Natalia (ironically probably the longest as he pumped his rib powdered bullets into mages), with his daughter, and with Shirō in FSN. All too brief for a man and more reason to live in the present.

    He may or may not look misguided, but in the end, it doesn't matter much as he's still playing it within the game called "capture the tholy grail" and kills/sets traps other willing participants; he is not some random terrorist who kills innocent people while spewing out nonsense like "in the name of god" or what not.

  15. A

    Enzo probably means Kuritsugu has turned his ideal into an idee fixe, a fundamentalist belief that transforms everything else, and filters everything into that lens.

    It's not so much that Kuritsugu believes himself to be omniscient and omnipotent like the theistic God, but that he has sacrificed everything to the idea of "saving as many people as possible," including the ones he loves the most.

  16. A

    "Enzo probably means Kuritsugu has turned his ideal into an idee fixe, a fundamentalist belief that transforms everything else, and filters everything into that lens."

    Awet M, you mean "'Enzo' has turned his ideal into an idee fixe, a belief that transforms everything else, and filters everything 'about Kuritsugu' into that lens"? Yep, that sounds about right.

  17. Awet is more or less correct, though it goes a little deeper than that IMHO.

  18. A

    How so?

    I think you're playing fast and loose with your use of terms in your interpretation of Kuritsugu, especially in your reading of morality (in a previous episode to be precise).

  19. A

    Even though I, as a novel reader and lover (yes, this post will be spoiler free), really enjoyed the episode, I can see where your frustration is coming from, Enzo. Compared to the novel the flashbacks were considerably fleshed out (Urobuchi has talked about additions he's excited about in interviews before, so it was predictable). In the novel they were quite sudden as well, but of course the novel is a completely different medium and we had a lot of Kiritsugu insight via internal dialogue and paragraphs of omniscient narration that were entirely dedicated to his existence. Quoting the very beginning of the novel:

    "This was the tale of a man who, more than anyone else, believed in his ideals, and was driven to despair by them."

    Essentially, while the novel had a lot of excellent sub-plots and raised a lot of other issues, it was a story about Kiritsugu, and Urobuchi has put the most effort into establishing him and his situation in the lines he wrote. In the first season I was seriously worried they totally neglected this (the outbreak seemed pathetic while it was already his second time crying in the novel) but with this they regained focus a bit. They did not need this focus and could concentrate on the other characters – well yes, they can, there is a lot of awesome everywhere in the cast, but there would be a problem a little later.

    I can assure you this build-up will most likely end with a good pay-off later, as the story will reveal the resolution of a certain theme which is present throughout the novel at its climax (it will be evident once it appears). The way they inserted this Kiritsugu build-up and episodes could have been better, yes, but they had to make sure everyone is aware of his situation and that the viewers have been following him more intense than they allowed them to in the first season.

    If anything is unclear or not really well understandable (English is unfortunately not my first language)feel free to ask.

  20. S

    Sidestory? Really? Kiritsugu is the main character of Fate/Zero – how is a flashback on the past of the protagonist a side story? Then would you say, just to make an example, that the flashback to Kenshin's past as an assassin in Rurouni Kenshin is a side story? I understand that you just don't like Kiritsugu, but…

    The main problem, really, is that you are trying to look at the story through the lens of moral relativism – but that is not what this is about. Kiritsugu is not trying to be God. His fault is not pretending to know what is good and what is bad. What Kiritsugu is trying to achieve is good; there is no discussion about it. "Sacrificing the few to save the many" is the truth of the world in the Nasuverse, in the literal sense of the term (there are metaphysical forces that work along this line).

    The problem is how he goes around doing it – the fact that he is willing to sacrifice himself and the people close to him to save the many. This is what Natalia is really saying here, that Kiritsugu does not care about himself. The lesson being, you can't save the world if you can't first save yourself and those dear to you – this is in fact what Shirou learns in the last route of Fate/Stay Night, where he decides to save Sakura at the price of many innocents' lives – the exact reverse of what Kiritsugu did this week.

    At the end of the day Fate/Zero is a prequel, and Kiritsugu is essentially built as a mirror to the Shirou/Archer story in Fate/Stay Night – I think it is very hard to correctly judge the character without knowing the continuity (in particular the second and third routes of the VN).

  21. A

    Steelman, it's no use trying to convince a blogger on his own blog about an issue he believes to the absolute: it's a battle you can't win.

    He is thoroughly convinced that Kiritsugu represents "moral relativism" and that he's trying to be God or what not that and even compared him to Hitler a few episodes back. So let him have his belief.

    I find it ironic, though, that for a person who believes that Kiritsugu thinks "absolute" terms, Enzo's view on him very much "absolute" and rigid.

  22. A

    "Sacrificing the few to save the many" may be supported by a supernatural force in the Nasuverse, but it is not wrong for people to find that unacceptable and, in fact, challenge it. This is one of the points of the UBW arc, that despite being… well, I'm not sure how spoilery these comments should be, but the answer that a certain character was searching for was that it is possible to attempt moderation and even idealism despite this system. One of Shirou's stated flaws in FSN is that he tries to inflict his idea of salvation on people whether they agree with him or not, and it is in HF that he finally lets that go to focus on those who actually want his help. The audience is certainly not obliged to agree with Kiritsugu or, in fact, the World. Finding Kiritsugu unsympathetic because of those views is not "wrong", only a matter of personal opinion.

    Knowing the background of FSN is not necessarily inducive to being sympathetic towards Kiritsugu; given the history of a certain character and the implications of a particular bad ending in FSN, I was more skeptical of Kiritsugu's proposed ideals going into FZ than I would have been without that knowledge.

    Also, I'm not sure it's the responsibility of Enzo as an anime viewer to read up on all the background material if it has not been integrated into the anime itself. Since he's just blogging about Fate/Zero the anime, to say that "well you're missing the point because of this and that in the background" seems to suggest that people who are not already familiar with the 'verse might see things differently than a dedicated Type-Moon fan, which is certainly a valid perspective.

  23. A

    Enzo, please refrain from mentioning Kiritsugu for next episode's blog. One is all I ask! Geez! I know you're obsessed with the character -why else would you write so much on the character you dislike for so long-, but People are getting sick and tired of you pigeonholing this issue. IF you can manage to write a Kiritsugu-free FZ episode blog for 1 measly episode, it would be at least a start. Interesting and brain-stimulating it may be to you, no one character should be bigger than the story itself, you know.

  24. S

    Personally, I find Enzo's posts all the more interesting to read because of his contrasting views on Kiritsugu 😉

  25. Yes, blog an episode 100% about Kiritsugu without mentioning him. That's some brilliant insight there, "Anonymous".

  26. T

    I may the biggest Emiya Kiritsugu fan on our country this side of the International Date Line, but I can see where Enzo is coming from, and thus I will refrain from commenting on his alleged dislike of Kiritsugu because I respect, understand and tolerate Enzo's views on the magus killer. Freedom of Speech and all that.

    Now that we have that out of the way:

    1. Around 02:37-02:39 minutes into the episode, Kiritsugu kills a man who looks like a fatter and washed up version of Araya Souren from Kara no Kyoukai?

    2. Emiya Kiritsugu destroys the jetliner with what looks like a FIM-92 "Stinger" missile. Natalia had just killed a magus who used bees to turn his victims into ghouls. Bees and "Stinger" missiles. Isn't it ironic? Don't tell me it's not symbolic?

    3. Gen Urobuchi and Studio ufotable were probably being Magnificent Bastards when they aired this episode on Mothers Day (at least it our hemisphere) for maximum emotional effect, just like what they did with the last episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica – which aired on Good Friday, no less.

  27. S

    Powerful powerful episode indeed and definitely one of the best F/Z has to so far. While I didn't expect Natalia to survive pass this episode, it still hit me hard when it happened. The conversation between Natalia and Kiritsugu was as you said, Urobuchi’s brilliance and certainly one that I would remember for a very long time. Kiritsugu’s monologue at the end was just gut-wrenching and it’s probably the first time we’ve seen the usually impassive Kiritsugu had such an emotional outburst. Personally, I think this is the best time for a flashback. So much has happened over the last few episodes and the flashback not only serves to provide a breather, it also highlights the contrast between Kiritsugu and Kirei who seem quite similar on the surface yet so different fundamentally. Natalia would be greatly missed and I wouldn’t mind watching a whole series with Natalia and Kiritsugu as the leads going on assassination missions 😉

  28. A

    Well, if you haven't already, feel free to check out the translations on line of Heart of Freaks. It won't be everything you're asking for, but you will get some more Natalia/Kiritsugu material. I'm not a huge Kiritsugu fan, myself, but I love Natalia… :)

  29. x

    >His entire philosophy is built around the notion that only he knows what’s best for humanity, and that he can never be wrong

    Then why such a man would hate and pity himself so much? "I have no right to hold that child".

    That's Kerry's second line in this show and it made me instantly interested about him. Just why would a man not allow himself to experience that "once in a lifetime" happiness?.

    Kiri's first line in Fate/Zero is this: "Iri, I will cause your death".

    How heavy are those words now that we learned that he killed the only real family he had in the past with his own hands. Twice. For humanity's sake.

    I'm not that good with words but at leas I'm pretty sure that these two episodes where not a side-story.

    Watch F/Z's EP10, that's a side-story.

  30. A

    '' Ei Aoki has proved himself a wonderful director''

    We should have a Girl's Bravo rewatch to see how much he had improved!

    Seriously though, the finale for that series was pretty good.

    On more awkwardly funny note, this is from an interview Aoki-san gave about the second season:

    ''Thanks everyone for once again making me feel the enormous influence of the "Fate" franchise. What surprised me was that even my mother was watching Fate/Zero (Laughs). She seems to enjoy it, even the re-runs, I was really surprised.''

    Boy, that is going to be some phone call …

    http://www.tsukikan.com/misc/fate-zero-director-aoki-ei-one-on-one-interview.html

  31. Sorry, but it's been my practice to delete any F/SN spoilers.

    The rest of Flamestrike's comment:

    You say Kiritsugu thinks he's never wrong, he's god, etc, but he's always questioning his actions (Granted, this isn't shown in the anime). He thinks what he's doing is right only because of his personal experiences, just like any other person would.

    In fact, he wants to believe that everyone can be saved. If some real super hero like Kamen Rider showed up in front of him, or if God came and magically saved a bunch of people, I'm sure Kiritsugu would be the first one to change his ideology. He's not at all like Hitler who randomly decided Jews were bad based off of some random though and can't be convinced otherwise no matter what.

    I think a lot of the way you react towards Kiritsugu might be due to how he treated Lancer and how he acts towards Saber. In the case of Lancer, I think his ruthless tactics were justified. He had no reason to trust in Saber to win the fight, especially considering her past actions. I do admit he was brutal, but that's war for you. As for Saber, I believe his emotions way be getting in the way of the big picture there. But he doesn't ignore Saber because he hates her. It's more like he pities her and curses the world for forcing what was once a little girl to bear such burdens as she did (Which ironically, is another thing that affirms his beliefs). Also the way Kiritsugu denied Saber's ideas of Chivalry does not indicate that he thinks he's ALWAYS RIGHT and WILL NEVER CHANGE HIS MIND. Of course, Saber probably wouldn't ever be able to change his mind, but that's another issue haha.

    My response is, I can't go by what's in the LNs – I'm blogging the anime. Anything that Aoki wants factored into the way Kiritsugu's character is perceived, he should include it. If it's not in the anime, it's nor relevant.

    In terms of him being "just like anyone else" I'd just point out that the average person doesn't go around killing people at an alarming rate because they believe it's for the greater good. I decide who to vote for based on what I think is right, from my personal experiences. Kiritsugu kills people for the same reasons. I think there's a qualitative difference.

    And if you go back and read my posts over 1.5 seasons, I don't think you'll see much change in my view of Kiritsugu – quite the opposite. What he did to Lancer was egregious (and as unsympathetic as they were, what he did to Kayneth and Sola was pretty ugly, too) but it was very much in line with what I would have expected from his character based on events leading up to that.

  32. V

    If Madoka is a deconstruction of Magical Girls, then Fate/Zero (and Fate universe in general) is a deconstruction of Heroes and Heroism. You cannot save everyone, so who are you going to save? Isn't it a hero's job to save as many as he can? But if the one that cannot be saved is someone he loved, what will he do?

    Kiritsugu represents one side of the question, discard his feeling and save as many people as he can. He does not go on a crusade, he just tried his best to save people. But at the same time, he realized it's impossible so at best, he tried to use the most efficient method to save as many and sacrifice as few as he can, no matter how close the sacrificed is to him.

    But he's still too human. Too too human. Let me present you the first paragraph of Fate/Zero novel:

    "This was the tale of a man who, more than anyone else, believed in his ideals, and was driven to despair by them.
    The dream of that man was pure.
    His wish was for everyone in this world to be happy; that was all that he asked for.
    It is a childish ideal that all young boys grow attached to at least once, one that they abandon once they grow accustomed to the mercilessness of reality.
    Any happiness requires a sacrifice, something all children learn when they become adults.
    But, that man was different.
    Maybe he was just the most foolish of all. Maybe he was broken somewhere. Or maybe, he might have been of the kind we call 'Saints', entrusted with God's will. One that common people cannot understand.
    He knew that for any existence in this world, the only two alternatives are sacrifice, or salvation…
    After understanding that, he would never be able to empty the scale plates…
    From that day on, he set his mind to work on being the one to tip the scale.
    To abate the grief in this world, there was no other, more efficient way.
    To save even one life on one side, he had to forsake one life on the other side.
    That is, to let the majority of people survive, he had to kill a minority of people.
    Therefore, rather than saving people for the sake of saving them, he excelled at the art of killing people.
    Again and again, he kept painting his hands the color of blood, but the man never flinched.
    Never questioning the righteousness of his acts, nor ever doubting his goal, he forced himself to only faultlessly tip the scale.
    Never ever misjudging the value of a life.
    With no regard to the humility of one's existence, and with no regard to its age, all lives were weighed evenly.
    With no discrimination, the man saved lives, and, with no discrimination, he killed.
    But unfortunately, he realized that too late.
    To value everything in equal fairness, that would be the same as not loving anyone uniquely.
    Had he carved that inviolable rule into his spirit sooner, he would have attained salvation.
    Freezing his young heart into necrosis, achieving his self as a measuring machine with neither blood nor tears, he kept on leading a life of sorting those that were to die, and those that were to live. There probably wasn't any suffering for him.
    But that man was wrong.
    Anyone's delighted smile would fill his chest with pride, and anyone's wailing voice would shake his heart.
    Anger was added to his resentment, and he became full of regrets as his tears of loneliness longed for hands reaching out to him.
    Even though he was pursuing an ideal beyond reason of the world of men — he too, was human.
    How many times was the man punished for that contradiction?
    He did know friendship. He did know love.
    Even when putting that one beloved life, and the countless number of perfect strangers, on the left and right of the scale—
    He definitely never made a mistake.
    More than loving someone, to judge that life equally to that of the others, he had to value it impartially, and impartially forfeit it.
    Even when he was with someone precious to him, he would always seem to be mourning.
    And now, the man is being inflicted with the greatest punishment. "

  33. A

    This is what the anime failed to portray, instead of portraying kiritsugus's character early on, they used the interlude to show it

  34. And I'm blogging the anime, not the LN. I have to assume everything in the anime is the way it is intentionally, and cover it on that basis. Sorry, but anything else is ultimately beside the point.

  35. b

    Quoting parts from the novel does not win an argument.
    Try again with your own words.

  36. V

    Nah, I don't think I need to win an argument. Everyone has his opinion. I don't agree with him, but I understand where he's coming from. As a novel and F/SN VN reader, I already have my perspective set before an anime, so I don't think I can make a good argument based on the anime only.

    But one thing I could say is that the anime subtly told us about his character. It's easier to see if you read the novel beforehand but I think it's still possible to see it.

  37. F

    Oh, sorry about the spoilers and the accidental double post. It was a super tiny minor spoiler, but I guess for people who have never seen F/sn it could influence their view on the end of F/z.

    Fair enough on not being able to judge based on the LN. The anime is based on the LN, but they're not equivalent. Although I personally think information on the LN is relevant because the character represented by both media are intended to be the same. If the LN has additional insights on a character, I think it's safe to apply those insights in an analysis of the same character in an anime (Unless the anime has changed them completely, but that's something else).

    I'm a bit puzzled by what you mean when you say Kiritsugu is "killing people at an alarming rate". If you're referring to what has been seen in the 4th Grail War, he's killed 3 people so far, all of whom were combatants. If you're referring to the flashbacks, yes he's been shown to have killed a bunch of people, but all of them are depicted as criminals or evil magi who may cause the deaths of more people (Or already killed people). There's that report the Tohsaka's received that said he blew up an airplane and other such ruthless tactics, but we don't really know how much innocent blood is on his hands. For all we know they could have been referring to the air-plane full of ghouls, so that's not a good reference to draw from.

    Sure he's willing to kill innocents if that they are a direct threat to large numbers of people (Heck he killed his own mom), but he's not traveling the world slaughtering innocent people with infectious diseases. He is taking on sealing designations for dangerous magi who have been proven to be a threat to others. Kiritsugu wouldn't kill someone without doing his homework.

    If you really think about it, most soldiers kill because they believe it's for the greater good. You don't have many people who join the army thinking they're joining an organization of evil. How is Kiritsugu different in that sense? You make it sound like Kiritsugu just gets up and shoots random people then brushes it off as "for the greater good".

    Well, to summarize my two main points are:
    1. You seem to give Kiritsugu a lot of flak for killing dangerous people because he believes it's right. However even Saber killed the invading armies and consigned innocent villagers to death because she believed it was for the good of Britan. Few soldiers don't believe that the horrible death they cause isn't for a greater good.
    2. You claim Kiritsugu is a moral relativist who won't change his mind no matter what. What evidence is there that if Kiritsugu was shown that his ideal was wrong, he wouldn't change his mind? So far in Fate/Zero no one has given him any reason to believe he's wrong. Saber has only said "NO, YOU ARE WRONG!" and that's it.

  38. E

    Heh. So many colliding thoughts here.
    But I side with Enzo. I think his opinion is the correct one.
    I also think that people shouldn't have quoted light novel or manga when this is an anime blog and we have to assume it as the only material.
    I can't stress this enough. This happened last season too, when people often brought in Mirai Nikki manga when we are talking about Mirai Nikki anime.

    Kiritsugu IS a dangerous person, because he wouldn't hesitate to pull a trigger; and took lives; because he believed that it's the best course of action, that it will serve for the greater purpose.

    THIS IS how terrorists work, guys. Why did those young men perform suicide bombing? Hit WTC with aeroplanes? Because they think it's the best course of action, that it serve for the greater purpose, that it will warn USA not to 'bully' the middle east countries; that it will please their God. It have never crossed those people mind that they have done something wrong. See…?

  39. A

    Yet those terrorist wouldn't regret their actions but Kiritsugu did as shown in this ep, and he realized his deed was wrong but had to be done to prevent 300 ghouls running amok in NY and caused innumerable causalities.

  40. b

    >opinion
    >correct
    And here lies the problem for each and every one posting in forums and such. It's no wonder things go out of control every once in a while.

  41. a

    "THIS IS how terrorists work, guys. Why did those young men perform suicide bombing? Hit WTC with aeroplanes? Because they think it's the best course of action, that it serve for the greater purpose, that it will warn USA not to 'bully' the middle east countries; that it will please their God."

    What a full of horse manure you spewing out, Eternia. Don't need to try combat this nonsense with Kiritsugu capable of feeling regret, Anonymous! It's a weak counter to begin with and what can you say to this BS? Sure, just make up things if it fits your narrative. How many times it's corrected that Kiritsugu has never killed random group of civilians for his "god"? Gosh, the stupidity of some people truly baffles me. But truth doesn't really matter now, does it? Keep on believing that Kiritsugu is Hitler+Bin Laden+Stalin+suicide bombers+fill in the most hated mass murderer in human kind history. If that helps you to keep things nice and simple for brain to process and help your heads hurt less, by all means! LOL! It's like Bill O'reilly's argument on god's existence of "sun goes up, sun goes down; tide comes in, tide goes out; therefore god exists". I dislike putting down a fellow, but sometimes it can't be helped as it's spectacularly stupid: stupidity is your virtue, my friend.

  42. F

    As I've said in my above posts, the whole argument about moral relativism and how Kiritsugu thinks he's god falls apart on two accounts.

    1. It's mainly about "how far" Kiritsugu is willing to take things. Almost everyone does what they think is right, it's what they do that makes them a lunatic or a saint. In Kiritsugu's case he kills known dangerous magi with ruthless tactics, not random civilians. His dangerous tactics are implied but not shown to have caused civilian casualties, but even if they did that's not much different from the US smart bombing smart bombing terrorist hideouts and accidentally getting civilians caught in the crossfire (Yes this HAS happened). Does the US military think their god? Are they moral relativists too? Probably not (Although that too is up for debate haha). If Kiritsugu ever takes it too far, and ends up killing too many civilians or innocents, then I too would not support him at all. So far Kiritusgu has caused much less civilian (and military too) death then say, Lelouch.

    2. Kiritsugu is not doing these things with a "LOL I AM RIGHT, MY CHOICES ARE GOD" attitude. He knows that killing is wrong and regrets it every time he kills a civilian (Which for all we know, is not that often). Additionally, he wants more than anyone to see a world where people can be saved without death and killing, hence his desire for the grail. If he was shown that insane crazy magi who turn entire villages into ghoul ridden hell-holes would reform their ways by a good persuasive argument, he'd become an orator. Good luck attempting that though.

  43. A

    This episode felt like a filler. It was similiar to the episode before where Kiritsugu kills another parent figure again (first his father and then Natalia who is like a mother to him.) Now Natalia says something very interesting here:
    "The ability to cast aside your feelings and pull the trigger is a skill most killers take years to develop. You’ve had it from the start. It’s a hell of a gift… If you think only of what you should do, and neglect what you want to do, you’re merely a machine – a force of nature. That isn’t how a human being should live."
    I get the impression that Kiritsugu is almost like a serial killer, killing without hesitation or second thoughts (it was even worse last week where little kid Kiritsugu killed his father. That just shows how messed up his character really is.) And I was really surprised when Kiritsugu took down that airplane. There was this one scene where he wanted to save that father and his child. There we got a glimpse of Kiritsugu's secret wish to be the hero (which is kinda interesting because this wish plays a role how Kiritsugu educates Shirou in FSN). So I had a small hope he would try to rescue Natalia but I guess I should've known better. Regarding these two flashback episodes as a whole I still don't feel any sympathy for Kiritsugu, that guy is just a cold-blooded killer (and he kinda reminds me of Johan from the anime Monster here.)Btw.: could it be that Natalia and Maiya are related? The character design of their faces looks very similiar to me.

  44. F

    O.o were we watching the same episode? The whole point was to show that even though Kiritsugu is willing to kill without hesitation, he does it full of regret and second thoughts. If you couldn't see the utter anguish Kiritusug was in after fireing that shot, you must be unable to detect emotions or a troll.

    I've said this before, but the targets he chooses are magi with sealing designations who have a track record of mass murder. That's completely different from going around killing random people and saying it was for god or the greater good. The situation he is in and the basis for his actions are all important when looking at who and how he kills.

  45. A

    First, yeah, we were watching the same episode but it seems I've seen it in another way than you. I saw Kiritsugu's emotional outburst in the end and to me he looked kinda mad with his eyes wide open like Caster. And it felt he wanted to justify his actions by mentioning Shirley and how he did it better this time and all that. And second you're wrong. Kiritsugu IS willing to kill random, innocent people. Think about the episode where he blew up a whole skyscraper to kill Kayneth. Yes, that Skyscraper had been evacuated moments before but still, people could've been killed in that explosion and Kiritsugu didn't seem to care.

  46. A

    "Think about the episode where he blew up a whole skyscraper to kill Kayneth. Yes, that Skyscraper had been evacuated moments before but still, people could've been killed in that explosion and Kiritsugu didn't seem to care."

    Wrong…if he didn't care, he wouldn't have everyone evac-ed and moved to a safe distance first.

  47. A

    You know, sometimes I think that Enzo is intentionally putting down this Kiritsugu trashing, just to see his posts balloon up 2-5 times than usual. Normally it struggles with all might to go barely past even 10 posts on his blogs, but put down some "moral relativism" there, mix in with some "god" there, voila! 40 posts. 50 posts. Done and done! Put down some fake controversies and people go banana and jump into the fire. In this day and age, there is no such thing as bad publicity. If it increases your profile among the masses, by all means. Well played, sir!

  48. I'm not sure why I bother responding to trolls who don't have enough sack to even sign their name, but that's a load of crap. My feelings about Kiritsugu are what they are – people can react however they want.

    I don't see this is a "controversy" at all, in any case, because the innate wrongness of Kiritsugu's world view seems so clear. I know it appeals to the naive and to unrepentant Nihilists like Urobuchi, but that's not my problem. I'm just stating my opinion – most posters who disagree do so with a reasoned argument to the contrary. Others just get their panties in a huff and start with the name calling but being as I try to keep this an open forum, anonymous trolls are the price I pay for not restricting the comments.

  49. A

    Why are Enzo's blog readers such assholes? >_> I mean seriously, about half the posts on this page are berating Enzo. You guys are a rather abrasive crowd.

  50. A

    Haha, a troll.. Maybe I'll put a name next time. So that I won't have the same name as that troll.

  51. Please do. TBH, I'm seriously considering requiring people to sign-in to comment anyway – RC and just about every other anime blog I follow does already. The F/Z posts are really causing them to crawl out from under their bridges…

  52. A

    Back in like episode 1 or 2, they already mentioned Kiritsugu destroying an entire plane just to assassinate one magi. So this is how it went.

  53. C

    This episode is dedicated to all mothers out there. Happy Mothers Day.

  54. Again, please – no F/SN spoilers. The rest of Cosmos' comment:

    Enzo, I think it may be slightly disingenuous to say "I'm only writing based on the anime and not its original source, be it manga or LN" since I am sure among hundreds or thousands (maybe?) of projects you've reviewed so far, there must have been at least some you did review a character or story with the source material in mind. It'd be impossible to not get influenced by the source material just a little, especially among more famous adaptations. But having said that, it's your choice to do it this way for this and it's no big deal really.

    Some stuff happens to Kiritsugu (and much more so to Saber) in FSN and even if you still don't intent to watch FSN after this, it should still bring up some new insight. You may still feel that it's irrelevant when talking about the characters in FZ, but I'm asking whether you'd be willing to review the characters as a whole.

    Given all the controversies surrounding this, while in your mind, no matter what these two characters do in FSN change your views on them entirely, perhaps it'd be worth a while to revisit them as they both are very different animals in FSN than they were in FZ. Most people change as they go through their lives for better or worse and it'd be unfair to judge them wholly on one aspect of their lives (baring they committed unforgivable act, which I don't think would apply to neither of these two characters). And I think you could review them as a whole without necessarily watching FSN all the way through -I won't ask you to watch FSN through, though… it's a torture, I tell ya!

    I was very clear in the beginning when I picked up F/Z – I hadn't read the novels and didn't like F/SN enough to finish it. I was covering F/Z the anime, period.

    Of the series I've covered, there are a handful where I've read the manga, yes. But while I can't "un-know" what I know, I tried to always cover the anime on its own merits, and to avoid spoiling the new viewers with manga info. How is it in any way disingenuous to cover a series where I haven't read the source material on its own merits, too? Are you saying my perspective is invalid because I haven't read the novels?

    I may just give F/SN another try to see how it plays after watching F/Z, when time permits.

  55. C

    "Are you saying my perspective is invalid because I haven't read the novels?"

    Enzo, no one wrote that your perspective is invalid and I certainly didn't. And when I wrote that "it'd be unfair to judge them wholly on one aspect of their lives", I was referring in term of "if and when you were to" review these characters as a whole because that's what I asked you to consider doing after FZ is over. But I can understand that how it could be interpreted that way.

    In any case, my request still stands: that you consider revisiting Kiritsugu the character (and maybe Saber the character) as a whole after incorporating the storyline and character developments through FSN at some point in near future after "Fate Zero" is over. Again I think it could be done without having to sit through the entire run of FSN, especially in Kiritsugu's case as he is only a minor character there. It could be worthwhile. Or maybe not.

  56. f

    Well Enzo doesn't reall have to watch fsn, if this fate zero is adapted correctly and faithfully because one of the main themes of fate zero, that is represented by Kiritsugu, will be apparent in the end. Therefore he doesn't really need fsn to revisit Kiritsugu's character. And it is up to Enzo whether he will change his mind about Kiritsugu by then, but if he's not then tough luck. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it can only mean that fate zero has failed to portray his character the same way the novel has portrayed him to the novel reader, because as I see it, in here, anime-viewer only dislike Kiri's callousness and principal and the novel-reader symphatize with him and defend him.

  57. r

    lool gotta agree with GE-sama here ><!! felt like gen urobuchi was pulling a tragic flashback formula here for the sake of bringing out 'feelings' of viewers cause it worked with PMMM where Homura's past was revealed

    but this is where i especially agree with GE: our perspective on Kiritsugu hasnt changed; but it did with Homuhomu. its like urobuchi forgot what flashbacks are for in tragic stories…

    ps love how one of the tags in FZ19 on niconico is Happy Mother's Day T-T

  58. A

    I would argue that, as FZ is intended to be an adaptation of the Light Novel, knowledge of the LN should not be a prerequisite to understanding the anime. If it -is-, then the anime is a poor adaptation, pure and simple.

    FSN, however, is a different matter, because FZ – both versions – was intended to function as a prequel, being written for fans of the later series. It is, to Fate/ Stay Night, what the Phantom Menace is to Star Wars. You're supposed to know that Anakin is going to become Vader. You're supposed to know how Kiritsugu is going to develop and enter Shirou's life.

    With that said, I find the attempts at drawing parallels between Kiritsugu and real life figures – good or bad – faintly ridiculous simply because of the objective Kiritsugu is attempting to reach. There is simply no historical equivalent of the Holy Grail, and hence no historical figure who has been able to boast what Kiritsugu can – that he was fighting for an objective that would guarantee everlasting peace. Kiritsugu's methods are informed by his faith in the power of the Grail to grant -any- wish. If you accept that the power of the Grail is real, and that Kiritsugu actually has the ability to end -all- conflict eternally by winning the Grail war, I can't really see where the objection to his methods lies.

  59. t

    Hey Enzo, not wanting to be a troll, just wondering if you could explain what you mean by this "god" thing. I think its pretty clear that Kiritsugu is not Light Yagami; he doesnt consider himself a omnipotent being. He himself says that his actions are evil and he knows it in episode 16. So i don't understand where your getting this "god" and even "hitler" stuff.

  60. I think I was very clear in the A.H. reference at the time I made it, that I meant it only in this specific way – he surely thought he was doing what was best for humanity as he defined it. The point being that this belief doesn't justify a series of actions in and of itself, as some seem to be claiming.

    As to the God thing, I think that's also been pretty well explained in my posts, but basically – Kiritsugu has decided he knows what's best for humanity and he's going to do it. Any sacrifice is justified, as long as it serves the greater goal as he defines it. And despite what others have suggested, I've seen no evidence that Kiritsugu has ever changed his mind about a decision – not in the anime anyway. If you can point one out, I'll certainly acknowledge it. But I can't recall a single moment that would suggest he's even capable of admitting one of his equations is incorrect.

  61. F

    Whoa, you don't recall a moment where he ever questioned his decisions? It seems you forgot the moment where he questioned his WHOLE PARTICIPATION IN THE GRAIL WAR, and contemplated running away with his family to live a normal life. Iri firmly discouraged that notion though. If she begged him to leave and abandon the war, I don't think he'd refuse her. Would he be happy in the end? I highly doubt it, but he was willing to change his mind. The LN goes into Kiritsugu's thoughts in more detail, but I'll try and stick to the anime only.

    It's not shown well in the anime, but Kiritsugu is always wishing for better alternatives. As I've said before, many people do what they think is best for humanity, Saber included.

    If you think Kiritsugu's problem is his "blind faith" and unwavering conviction to this, then I point to the above example to show you he DOES think about alternatives. There are more in the LN, as it has internal monologues and such, but you probably won't take that into account for the anime.

    If you think the problem with Kiritsugu is that he's "willing to take things too far" then I only need to ask, what has he done in the anime that's so reprehensible, more so than the other masters?

  62. Are we holding up the other Masters as models of moral and ethical behavior? Apart from Waver (and arguably Kariya, who at the very least initially joined out of compassion and could plead insanity) their hands are all dirty.

    Even then, as early in the story as that occurred, I never got the sense for one millisecond that Kiritsugu was seriously considering it – he was musing out loud. Having regrets is not the same as being open to alternative ideas.

    I think this whole argument is at a point of diminishing returns, because I see the same pattern repeating. Kiritsugu fans are willing to forgive pretty much anything he does, and there's constant referencing events in the LN to prove their point. This is an ouroboros of an argument at this point

  63. F

    I didn't intend to say the masters were righteous upholders of morality. What I meant was based on Kiritsugu's current actions, he has not shown to be any worse than the other masters, and has not committed any overly zealous crimes for the sake of his ideals. He may or may not be capable of them, but the point is he hasn't done anything wrong. I'm sure Homura would be capable of killing for Madoka, but she hasn't. There's no point on giving characters flak for things they might or might not do.

    Gah, now we run into an impasse. I know for sure that Kiritsugu was seriously considering abandoning the war because of external information (The LN), however if you do not take the LN into account, you can write off that scene as senseless muttering, at which point argument becomes impossible, because you can just change anything to suit your needs. If you don't accept my evidence that my interpretation has weight as evidence, and vice versa, then all that happens is we say things at each other.

    Don't get me wrong, I am NOT willing to forgive Kiritsugu for anything. If he actually bombed an entire hotel full of innocent people just in an attempt to take down Kayneth, then that would be horrible. If he started shooting random people on the street because of the off chance they could be masters, then that would be reprehensible (No the shooting of Ryunosuke doesn't count, he had sufficient evidence).

    As for referencing the LN, it's because of the point I mentioned above. There are some misconceptions about Kirisugu's character that can be cleared up by taking external evidence into account. Since we are debating about a specific character, and not the anime as a whole, then I believe it's fair to use outside information.

    Even so, I'm not sure you actually responded to any of my points? When I said he is willing to take account alternatives and pointed to evidence you pretty much just said "No your evidence is wrong, I won't look at your external evidence, so bugger off." When I asked what actions he has taken that are monstrous… well nothing I suppose? Well maybe you're right that this debate isn't getting anywhere, it was a fun though.

  64. FS, I respect that you're not a troll – and you definitely aren't. But setting aside the trolls (and we and they both know who they are even if they don't have the balls to sign their comments) I feel this argument is at an impasse. Why? Because much of your argument (and mine, in honesty) is based on interpreting Kiritsugu's actions. As well, it seems that even apart from trolls, it's very hard for Kiritsugu's fans to take emotion out of the discussion. I appreciate the passion, but it makes real debate impossible.

    Here's the bottom line. If we insist on oversimplifying Kiritsugu's character to its most basic form, I don't think even the most smitten fan could deny in their heart that his philosophy boils down to consequentialism. "The end justifies the means" – if we remove all the nuance and shading, that remains – it's the essence of his strategy, and the core of his belief system. You either agree with that or you don't. I believe real-world evidence tells us that consequentialism is always a self-defeating philosophy, and those who act on it are ultimately dangerous and should be opposed whenever possible. That's not to say we live in morally pure world where that never factors into the decision process – but only when unavoidable, and only when balanced against other factors. That, to say the least, is not Kiritsugu. Take all the emotion out of it, all the grandiose self-loathing, and that's what your left with.

    Taking all that into consideration, this argument is never going to end – so I'm going to focus on the show itself because that's the only course that makes sense. Nothing that happens in an anime is going to convince me that consequentialism is a desirable guiding principle for the world so debating it further only leads us in circles.

  65. F

    Yeah that makes sense. I do admit that my posts have been emotionally charged. I mis-interperated some of your comparisons and the point you were trying to make with them (The whole god and Hitler thing really blew my fuse haha). In my view our main point of debate lay in how far is too far on Kiritsugu's level of consequentialism. I'll lay off this topic now and continue with enjoying the show.

  66. Again, especially in light of some of the stuff posted here, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and restraint. I just think this is one of those situations where no amount of argument will serve any good purpose.

  67. h

    Argument, when hosted for argument's sake, is sufficiently good purpose in and of itself.

    Although my own values do not include harboring personally antagonistic sentiments regarding works of fiction, I do find the lively discussions — "abrasive" as they may, at times, seem — perhaps unduly amusing.

    I also appreciate GE's willingness to hold fast to his opinions and argue — with passionate intransigence, no less — in their favor, in keeping with the purpose of his rightly opinionated personal blog.

    I would be very much delighted to find your input posted in a collaborative manner on RandomC in the same vein as VerdaMoch.

  68. A

    I get the feeling Kotomine is much more of a dangerous person than Kiritsugu is.

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