What They Say:
Ten years prior to the events of FATE/STAY NIGHT, the War of the Holy Grail is a contest in which seven magi summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete to obtain the power of the “Holy Grail,” which grants a miracle. After three inconclusive wars for the elusive Holy Grail, the Fourth War commences.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The fallout from the previous episode continues to be felt with death abound and a certain sense of dread and oppression about it. While that does permeate things, it’sgood to see the resolve that Irisviel now seems to have as she’s now set more to do what needs to be done with Saber, especially now that she understands that the two of them are viewed as one of the weaker pairings out there. Which isn’t hard to believe when a good deal of a Servant’s strength comes from the force of will of their Masters. Irisviel certainly doesn’t seem to inspire a lot, but as Saber has come to know her, she understands the inner strength that’s there that she can draw on. Especially when there’s such a potential threat in the Tohsaka family ahead.
The manipulation side of things does come out a bit more here in good form as Tohsaka does what he does best when he confronts Irisviel and makes it clear that things are now down to the three main houses that are involved and the single outsider. Naturally, she’s not interested in any sort of alliance, but there are things to be gained through dialogue. And for Irisviel, her intent is clear that she’ll agree to certain terms if Tohsaka removes Kirie from his employ for the remainder of the Grail War, a key item that definitely makes sense considering their history. Irisviel continues to find a good path for herself and Saber as her confidence grows and we see the fruits of that here rather plainly.
This episode spends a lot of its time working around the remaining players, largely with Kirei and Tohsaka, as they work their positions and make their plans. Irisviel has a really tender moment that shows her time is short here while we also see how Rin interacts with her father, getting a gift from him and instructions that will forever put her life on a particular path. Some of the more intriguing moments do come from Kirei as he just has such a presence about him as he talks and reveals little tidbits that helps to further his own plans. Kirei is definitely an intriguing character as things change here with him and with the Tohsaka family itself, especially as Rin’s father puts into effect another little twist that will have a larger impact as it goes on.
There’s little action to speak of here when you get down to it, but the use of the episode to move the subplots forward and the various connections and plans in a meaningful way certainly keeps it intriguing. A lot of things are falling into place at this point and the turn to focusing more on Kirei here is definitely a big part of what makes it work. He’s been a captivating character since the start for many reasons and an episode like this only cements it all the more, particularly in those final minutes where he reveals even more of himself while dealing with Gilgamesh. There’s a lot to like here, but it’s not an episode that’s driven by the action and battles but rather by the players with power that prefer to operate carefully and quietly.
Streamed By: Nico Nico
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.