Fate/Zero – 20

[Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_08.33_[2012.05.19_19.29.22] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_20.21_[2012.05.19_19.33.40] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_20.56_[2012.05.19_19.33.46]

I’m beginning to wonder if my luck with Fate/Zero is starting to run out.

I knew going in that I was in the minority with this series in having never read the LNs, and not having managed to stay with through F/SN to the finish.  But for a season and a half, that didn’t seem to matter so much – Urobuchi was spinning a fascinating tale and the production values from ufotable were outstanding, making this a sort of impeccable example of anime royalty – even if it didn’t always emotionally connect, the show as a complete whole was unassailably outstanding.  And to be honest, connecting emotionally has never been one of Urobuchi’s strengths as a writer, though I know others will disagree – he rarely fails to fascinate me, but doesn’t move me too often.

Now, though, we’re at the point in the series where emotional buy-in is going to be critical to make the finale satisfying, and this is where those factors really start to work against me.  I’m increasingly thinking that either it was a major error in planning the story to leave so many of the characters as ciphers for so long, or else there was never really any thought given to the new viewer in the first place, and that everything else was so good it kind of glossed over that fact.  I can’t speak to the latter because I don’t know what Urobuchi and director Ei Oaki intended, and I can only discuss the show from the perspective I bring to it – that of someone who brings relatively little Type-Moon background generally and “Fate” specifically to the table.  And the last few episodes have exposed some cracks in F/Z’s seemingly unblemished façade.

I don’t think I need to re-hash my issues with the two-part flashback sequence we just finished, because I’ve wasted enough electronic ink on that already – it was a mistake from a narrative standpoint to diverge from the main plot for so long so late in my view, plain and simple.  But this episode – perhaps in part because of that long diversion – failed to deliver much of an emotional punch for me.  The dialogue at the kura – Iris, Saber, Miaya, Kiritsugu – seemed very overwrought and ill-suited to the tone of the series so far.  It was, to be blunt, sappy – and the omnipresent and intrusive BGM that was practically begging for tears didn’t help.  It just felt off, somehow, like it was from a different show.  Is that an issue with the writing, or simply a matter of not having the context to understand why that was supposed to be so powerful?  I can’t completely discount the latter, but objectively speaking I do think that dialogue was very broad and not up to Urobuchi’s usual standard.

Now it must be said, Urobuchi sometimes gets in trouble when he tries to go for the heartstrings – his default style is intellectual and ruthless, and when he goes for the poignant he has a tendency to be a little over-the-top and throw subtlety out the window (Madoka Magica had some issues with this, too, as one example).  I don’t know how much of this ep’s screenplay is transcribed exactly from the LNs – perhaps there was some unwise changes to the dialogue. I also know that in the LNs we’re given much more insight into the minds and hearts of characters like Kiritsugu, Kirei and even Kariya (or so I’ve been told).  But the problem is, in the anime these characters (with Kariya general lack of screen time as something besides a karmic punching bag) is as much as issue) are almost totally interior people – there’s been very little emotional connection drawn with them so far and flashback eps this late in the story are really closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.  It’s no wonder that characters like Rider (especially), Saber, Lancer and Iris – hell, even Waver – come off as richer and more sympathetic in the anime, because they express much of what they’re feeling openly.  I can only say that, based on where things stand now, the anime hasn’t done an especially good job of portraying Kirei, Kariya and especially Kiritsugu – who is, after all, the main character but wasn’t remotely treated as such for 17 episodes.

So where does that leave this episode, and the rest of the series?  If you’re a LN reader, probably someplace quite different than if you’re a new viewer.  I find it pretty hard to root against Rider and Waver, to be honest, because they actually say what they’re thinking once in a while and have a recognizably human relationship with each other.  Iris’ death has been openly telegraphed since the premiere so that doesn’t pack much punch, and as for Maiya’s death (interesting that we never saw Rider’s face there), well – she’s a killer, so she can have no cause for complaint at having the tables turned on her.  I was especially interested in her statement earlier in the episode where she stated that she was “dead inside, only going through the motions of a human being”.  That was the best dialogue of the ep, and it made me think that this is exactly what Kiritsugu is, too – and he’s done it to himself, convincing himself that this (like all the other things he’s done) is a necessary evil for a greater good, because he would never be able to do those things if he’d allowed himself to be human.

That alone in this episode achieved something of the profundity and subtlety I’ve come to expect of Fate/Zero, because it was emotionally honest and loaded with subtext.  The irony runs deep, here – this was exactly the element in Kiritsugu’s nature that Natasha feared and warned him about.  Further irony rests in Maiya telling him earlier in the day that he was finally looking “like himself” – the self he’s forced himself to become – and in the end, Kiritsugu shedding tears over her death and revealing that no matter how he tries, he cannot turn off the human being inside him completely.  There’s no denying that the world Urobuchi Gen sees is a dark, cruel place where justice doesn’t exist and honor holds no meaning – we’ve seen the theme over and over in his work.  In his way, perhaps Kiritsugu represents a sort of personification of the Urobuchi ideal – that only by completely embracing this nihilistic view can one hope to actually do good.  One way or another, this writer’s mind isn’t a terribly pleasant place to me – and I expect the final six episodes to be a very dark ride.

[Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_07.58_[2012.05.19_19.29.18] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_10.24_[2012.05.19_19.29.35] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_11.12_[2012.05.19_19.29.43]
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[Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_17.52_[2012.05.19_19.32.50] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_18.45_[2012.05.19_19.33.08] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_18.53_[2012.05.19_19.33.15]
[Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_18.56_[2012.05.19_19.33.19] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_19.12_[2012.05.19_19.33.22] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_19.59_[2012.05.19_19.33.33]
[Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_20.12_[2012.05.19_19.35.00] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_21.06_[2012.05.19_19.33.56] [Raws-4U] Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン 第07話 「第二十話 暗殺者の帰還」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_21.54_[2012.05.19_19.34.44]
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38 comments

  1. I

    I have never in my life seen a match in which one side won by a hair thanks to so much luck. Just wanted to say that.

    I wonder if Berserker or Archer can change form as I don't see kidnap as an option that Rider would take.

    Maiya, predictably, was the next death and I expect Rider to be the next one, although I doubt anyone would go through the process of killing Waver. Irisviel could also die, but it's still too early.

  2. That's certainly possible – that's why I found the absence of Rider's face interesting. Not his usual style.

    Chelsea is the luckiest side in football history. Poor Tottenham. And interesting that Robben never got a turn in the PKs – controversial choice.

  3. Wow:

    Some Bayern Munich players including Arjen Robben refused to take penalties in their shoot-out defeat by Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday, forcing coach Jupp Heynckes to nominate keeper Manuel Neuer, Heynckes told reporters.

    "Some of my players did not feel sure enough or confident enough to take penalties," Heynckes said. "They were tired after 120 minutes of play. You cannot force anyone to take a penalty."

    Heynckes said among those was Robben, who takes all of Bayern's penalties but missed one in the first half of extra time.

    "He did not feel confident to be nominated," said Heynckes. "So that is why Neuer took a penalty.

  4. f

    Bayern Munich? Is it a famous club? Never heard of it before. Chelsea, sure, since it's known among earthlings how it is possible to be utterly obsessive about a certain activity and mightily suck at it. Yes "English", I'm looking at ya. Never mind Scotland an Ireland as they don't seem to be as obsessed.

    So… Lemme get this straight. They get paid ridiculous amount of money (compare that to how much those 98% of athletics competing at Olympics in every 4 years!) and chicken out from line of duty? It's not they are supposed to win against Chelsea in the first place, given how I never heard of Bayern Munich being a elite soccer team. It must have been a home game for those Germans. Those hooligans sure get vicious. Even the foulest rednecks in NFL seem like perfect gentlemen against those folks there.

    BTW, didn't know you're a soccer fan, Enzo. Non-soccer fans would just go, meh!, when confronted by a moderately silly soccer article like this one. A north Californian being a soccer fan? Now that's something, ha!

  5. I

    *face palm* just *face palm*

  6. Not to drag us too far off topic, but NorCal is about as close to a soccer mecca as anywhere in the US. Stanford and Santa Clara are both NCAA powerhouses and the Earthquakes draw excellent crowds. California loves soccer in general more than almost anywhere in the US. Not like Europe or SA or even Japan or Korea, but quite a bit.

    And yes, Bayern is one of the most well-known clubs in the world. They've won the Champions League 4 times and the German Bundisliga 22 times…

  7. y

    I don't think that you are not supposed to root for Waver and Rider, they were (when the novel came out) and always will be the most loved characters in Fate/Zero.

  8. You wouldn't know it by the comments here!

  9. y

    First, I'm a novel reader and I was when Fate/Zero came out in 2006-2007 and I think you're just misunderstanding something Enzo.

    Kiritsugu is not a likeable character, not here not in the novel (yes, the novel gives him more insight, but he's still the same character), in his camp you have mainly to care about Iri and about how tragic is Kiritsugu way of life. Summary, Kiritsugu is a character with an interesting premise, not a lovable one.

    Kotomine comes as the same. We will see his transformation into his evil self from now on and how he clashes with Kiritsugu personality. Kotomine meat of character (and he's really a well-thought one and fan-favorite villain) was never here, is in Fate/stay night Sakura route (also called Heaven's Feel). This is only a prequel that shows the awakening of his true nature, so here nor ufotable nor Gen have nothing more to do that set that point forward.

    Kariya… you will get the point of him in the next episodes, but it's truly and viciously Urobuchi-like. Even so, Kariya is not really a interior character as only was needed one episode (the first one) to most of the viewers empathize with him (and it seems that they still do).

  10. Yuokushi, I take your point, but I think you're misreading mine a little. It's not about liking those characters so much, but you have to have a certain level of understanding of them in order to feel something one way or the other. With so little insight into who they are, it'a hard to care about them much as characters – love, hate or conflicted. That's what frustrates me about the way Kiritsugu and Kirei are presented in the anime.

    As for Kariya, heh, Uorbuchi definitely has a tendency to abuse certain characters beyond belief. I confess it's a bit monotonous seeing fate spit on him continuously and unremittingly.

  11. y

    I don't think that the anime really changed them that much, really.

    Most of their personality and developement was subtle, but Kiritsugu flashbacks were enough to give him a really strong ground, I think (hate it or like it) and Kotomine talks with Gilgamesh were truly a delicious exchange of words and understanding second only to the Grail Dialogue. At the end, even if the novel spelled you what's their point all the time, the anime also did it but in a more graphical way, as it's supposed to be in a visual medium. I think that your problem with them is that they are… gloomy.

    Well, Kotomine "gloominess" is over, so as he would say, "Rejoice".

  12. Well, those conversations were indeed fascinating – they I'd argue they were more revealing about Gil than they were about Kirei.

  13. y

    In the end, those conversations were about Kotomine. Gil pretty much remarks Kirei's true nature, his conflicted way of life and the reason of his depressing stance.

  14. y

    Oh, and before I forget, I think you are just exaggerating a bit about them being "hard to care about" as anime viewer.

    As far I see, anime viewers really felt Kiritsugu in last two episodes and were really interested at Kotomine ploy (well, Kotomine was always more popular than Kerry). You have enough reasons set to be interested or to care (at least a bit) about what will happen or what they do for now on (Kiritsugu sacrificing his wife and facing the man who he most fears and Kotomine unleashed with Gilgamesh trolling people is far more than enough to actually make them interesting at this point, I think).

  15. f

    I'd agree that Maiya's death feel very cheap and convenient at best. As such, those mumbo-jumbo classic tear-jerk words didn't do anything. BTW, What was the point of carrying the healing shield if you're not going to use it? They did use it the last time Maiya was near-death, didn't they? Lack of consistency in plot always bring out cynicism in me. And Iris-Kiritsugu conversation was pure comedy. If its intention was to make me laugh with its cheesiness, it definitely succeeded.

    Anyway, Maiya was a bit part character, so I'll let it go. And I'd think that seeing how they're only 4 episodes left, some (although not very many characters left to kill) would die a cheap death.

  16. A

    Kiritsugu was late and Saber was not around anymore, so Avalon can't save Maiya.

    Oh, don't worry Maiya was the only one with a random death (well, she was very tertiary as a character).

  17. A

    This is not a proper mystery, so the solution is not fair, really.

  18. F

    Yeah, the answer pretty much is a spoiler and isn't a real mystery. You'll find out in due time though.

  19. How the hell would someone answer that without spoiling?

    oh yes. I forget that Saber has to be around as well. Ah shucks. BTW, you seem to know about things, do answer me without writing spoilers, Anonymous. I heard that the one killed Maiya wasn't Rider, but someone else in LN? If so, why didn't they change in the anime? It was clearly his foot that broke in the door and it was him carrying Iris. There wasn't time enough for someone else to come in and kill just Maiya and disappear before teleporting Saber who got there in like 30 sec at the most. Now this makes Rider look a little bad for killing Maiya as while she wasn't innocent bystander, she wasn't an evil, either.

    So to avoid writing a spoiler -as it'll be deleted by Enzo-,
    ~Deleted by Enzo~

  20. A

    Avalon only heals the user, not anybody else so Kiritsugu couldn't have used it on Maiya anyway.

    If you watch the first battle b/w Saber and Lancer (Ep 3? 4?), Iri mentions she can use healing magic, and I'm 99% sure her healing Maiya later on was done via that and not Avalon.

    I'm not sure how Maiya's death is "convenient" (the ensuing scene CAN look a little deliberate sure, but it's no stretch of logic) – she's going point blank against a Servant. It's not going to end well. Kirei beat her to a pulp in no time flat, so I don't think her dying after an altercation with a Servant can be considered all that random…

  21. f

    I guess it couldn't be done. ah ha ha ha. My maneuver totally failed. Sorry Enzo for making you do the work. Well I will just wait.

  22. Hey – I salvaged the rest of your post, at least!

  23. E

    I dont think it's cheap? Maiya was just an ordinary mercenary. She has little chance to survive to begin with, in this battle royal of monsters people.

  24. S

    Hmm… it kinda feels like we're watching two different shows but I totally get where you’re coming from. No matter how brilliant the script is, it’s always hard to watch a show when you don’t feel emotionally connected to the main characters. I’m having the same problem with Sakamichi no Apollon and Accel World this season. They’re both beautifully crafted but I can’t seem to empathize with the characters and that takes away a large chunk of the enjoyment.
    Death flags were all over the place this week but Maiya’s sudden death still hit me hard and it happened right after Natalia's demise last week! Maiya’ s a fascinating character, she’s an assassin with few emotions and words but when she speaks, it usually provides good insights into Kiritsugu, Iri and the miserable world that they live in. Her final conversation with Kiritsugu was simply heartbreaking. In many ways, she has become the confidante for both Iri and Kiritsugu and while her role is that of a supporting one, she has shaped them to be the persons who we know today.

  25. It's funny how differently people react, because I felt nothing at her death whatsoever – I felt more for Natasha (though it was obvious it was coming). I guess the problem for me is that there's no sense of injustice – with the life she chose to lead Maiya always had to know this was going to be her exit ticket – and the scene itself was so overplayed that it almost became self-parody. That dialogue, that music… It was just over the top for me.

    And yet, with Apollon, where it leaves you cold I find it quite involving and I totally empathize with the characters. I had friends who were military brats and I know how much fear of abandonment could effect them, and I've had crushes on girls who were into somebody else. For me, that show is very human and very authentic. Fate/Zero can be, too – I just didn't think it was this week.

  26. Sorry, removed the wrong post!

    Flamestrike:

    I don't think you really need to feel "injustice" at a characters death to be moved by it, you just need to be attached to said character. The over-the-top nature of the scene seemed to really resonate with me. I can see how it might look over blown to someone else though.

  27. I believe there's a spoiler in there so this is the edited version:

    Hmm I don't know about other people, but I was really feeling the emotions behind this episode. When Iri was talking about the future and happiness, I was touched instead of feeling it was cheesy. Then ~Redacted~

    Then when Maiya was dieing I almost teared up as well, although I do admit I super-imposed the LN lines I remembered into that scene so that probably affected me too haha.

    I can see that anime only veiwers might have some problems understanding Kiritsugu, which can lower the viewer's empathy for him and thus be unable to derive as much enjoyment out of certain scenes. However I really don't know how else it could be done. You really can just have some voice narrate into a scene and tell you the character's thoughts, that would turn it from an anime into an audio book. It's a dilemma indeed. Personally I still think the anime is great. But I'm also biased due to my burning love for the LN.

  28. F

    Gah, sorry about that. I swear I'm not doing it on purpose!

    Oh yeah, on the end there I meant to say can't not can on the narration stuff. Have you considered adding an edit function to posts? It might make it easier to change and remove spoilers etc. Although there might be some consistency issues if two people argue. XD

  29. A

    Fate/Zero has always been written with the knowledge that the readers already played the Fate/Stay Night VN, so if you know Ilya's fate in F/SN then you will feel sad at this episode when Iri talks about her.

    About Kariya, I don't think he's a character that quite hard to understand. He's just a simple man who cares about Sakura and then went crazy because of the worms. True, he has less screen time than other characters but that didn't stop other fans loving him. In Pixiv he's the master who get the most fanarts in Fate/Zero(Japan loves Kariya and Lancer very much).

  30. A

    Yeah, I think generally, that you're completely in the majority by rooting for the sole non-dysfunctional team, in Rider and Waver. The are also, as proven in this episode, the sole team that seems able to learn and grow in any discernible way. You see how Rider's knowledge of this era leads him to question his dedication to an ideal that may not have even existed (though I'd argue thematically that if it was his ideal, the it was real in the only sense that matters); and you see Waver's assumption of an adult responsibility for what he's taken part in. They are absolutely the only team that one can connect to easily on a human level, and I think that is completely deliberate.

    You're right that Urobuchi is an intellectual writer, and his characters tend to be as well. But it does seem that, as someone above pointed out, for many anime viewers, the interlude eps set up this one successfully on an emotional level.

    As for Maiya's death… Well, she didn't expect to survive the battle, and I doubt she'd be terribly upset it for her own sake. Iri and Maiya's conversation was quite a bit longer in the novel, and there is some awkward transitioning where parts were taken out. I expect a lot of that material will make its way back into the BD releases. Maiya's part gave a lot more of her history, but I don't think it's a big loss not having it.

    Iri's, though… I think it helped to explain more her reasons for needing to support Kiritsugu while not understanding him. Some of her dialogue felt vague to me, but it wasn't vague when fleshed out a little further. That said, it was already a long conversation, and cuts had to be made to it. I think that many of us in the audience are in the opposite position to Iri, though, in that I completely (more or less, ha ha) understand Kiritsugu, but I could never love him.

    I think essentially, he is a tragic character; in the end, he will always be fighting his own nature, and misunderstanding himself along the way. At least, that's how these episodes have set him up. Ironically, his inability to see his own nature clearly, in context against the larger world, stands in direct comparison to Saber. More than pretty much any others in the series, we've had more or less direct commentary that these two are notable for their real misunderstanding of their own essential natures and how those might fit into the world.

  31. L

    Also thought Maiya's death was a bit overdone since she is a tertiary character with little screentime, and could have used a bit more exposure earlier in the series. I guess it might work if you were sufficiently sympathetic to Kiritsugu, but that's not a given seeing how he's a bit of a polarizing character.

    Having not read the LNs and therefore only privy to the basics of her background, I admit to being a bit taken aback by Iris' explanation: if your husband is self-destructive and clearly shows internal conflict (the part way back in S1 when he asked if she'd come with him if he ran away), and you don't really understand his motivations anyway, wouldn't it be better to try to convince him to pull out of it instead of encouraging him in his self-destructiveness?

    I can't help but wonder what would have happened if she had agreed to run away with Ilya and live normal lives, not even in the middle of the war but during the years they had together. She said in the earlier situation that he wouldn't be happy if he had to give up his dreams of saving the world, but he certainly doesn't look all that happy now.

    +1 to rooting for Rider/Waver. Most of the pairs in FSN were well-matched, but in FZ seems to have a knack for picking the worst possible combinations.

  32. +1 to rooting for Rider/Waver. Most of the pairs in FSN were well-matched, but in FZ seems to have a knack for picking the worst possible combinations.

    It's Urobuchi – he simply doesn't want anyone to be happy.

  33. A

    I share your inability to really feel with e characters. I don't think Urobuchi's works are well laid out for anime in that aspect – while I was really emptionally involved in the LN F/Z and Saya no Uta, out of Urobuchi's anime adaptions only Phantom: Requiem for a Phantom could provoke a real attachment from me (but then, they have a lot less characters to properly cover, and in that anime there is internal dialogue all over the place)

  34. A

    I haven't read the LN's, just watched FSN but I don't think it's necessary to know FSN to understand FZ because it's a prequel and most characters in FSN are new characters we don't see in FZ. The only difference is that this episode (as an example) has more of an emotional impact to me when Irisviel is talking about her daughter. Since I haven't read the novels I'm really curious if Kiritsugu takes care of Ilya in the time between FZ and FSN. Oh yeah, my favourite Master/Servant team is Waver/Rider, I'm definetly rooting for these guys and I hope Waver doesn't die here. Also I wonder how Rider knew where to find Irisviel's hideout, i somehow had the impression it was Archer in disguise but is that possible? Also hey, it's the first episode where we hear Berserker speak. I thought he'd be a servant who never says a word so that was a surprise for me. All in all I liked the ep, it felt like the calm before the storm.

  35. If I could add an edit function (or spoiler tags) to comments trust me, I would. Blogger doesn't allow for it yet so until I migrate the site (which is going to be a while) it is what it is.

  36. A

    Everyone's talked about the major points already so I'll bring up a really minor point that I was thinking about when I watched this episode.

    When Kiritsugu finally made it to Maiya near the end, I kept waiting to see if maybe he knew any healing magic (everyone else seemed to know some). I guess not though.

  37. A

    Also, going to the "is that really Rider?" thought, I was wondering what might have happened. Saber didn't seem able to disappear into spirit form, but when Kiritsugu used his command seal she was able to "teleport" directly to the storehouse. I don't know too much about how things work in that world (I also haven't read the LN), but maybe the command seals could also have some kind of power to disguise Archer? Kirei was the only one I know of that knew the location of Kiritsugu's base (and he has plenty of command seals to waste).

    I suppose it's also possible that Waver might have forced Rider to do that? Although that seems to go against what we know of both of their personalities. Still, I've been waiting to see what kind of situation Waver would be willing to use a seal.

  38. b

    Yes Kiritsugu doesn't know any healing magic. Most of his magic are self taught and only useful for battle, like his Innate Time Control. Magecraft for him is also a tool and not a lifelong practice like the Tohsakas.
    And besides, Iri knows healing magic.
    And before anyone asks, Kerry can't use Avalon to heal because Saber's not around. Iri was able to heal because it is inside her body before and Saber was around.

    And Command Seals are very powerful spells bordering the True Magic but they're dispensable. It actually broke the laws of time and space with that instant teleportation. If a Servant agrees with the command or the command is very specific(like Kerry's command to go to a specific location), the effect will be amplified. The opposite is true, if the command goes against the Servant's will or it is very vague, the effect is weak.
    Still, it has its limitations like it cannot do what the Servant is unable to do, like attack or perform a skill he/she doesn't know. You can pretty much guess with that.
    Saber was able to perform the teleportation because it's a command she can do, which is travel/go to the storehouse. It was only done in a matter of milliseconds because of the Command Seals.

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