The first real fight has started. It is of course interrupted by periods of characters on the side lines discussing the fight, characters in the fight discussing their techniques, characters in the fight analyzing their opponent’s style, and people discussing what everything means all around. But such is any Type-Moon property. Even the mute True Assassin goes into long monologues in his head in the original Fate/Stay Night so character who can talk are going to be pretty darn chatty. Even when Nasu does not write something his love of characters chatting about things bleeds though into everything in the Fate universe. Heck even Fate/Tiger Coliseum is pretty chatty when you get right down to it.
Lancer and Saber finally throw down as they are slowly trying to figure of the identity and powers of their opponent. At the same time various people watch from the shadows trying to see when the best time to strike is. Everyone in the audience is waiting for the perfect time to strike as they two main actors play their role on the stage front that is the docks.
Well if nothing else you have to admit when they are fighting the anime looks wonderful. Lancer dual wielding his spears and Saber with the invisible air around Excalibur is quite impressive. There is also some nice battle damage to the area throughout the episode. Lancer constantly cuts up the concrete around him with spears and both combatants wreck the shipping containers around them. There are some nice acrobatic moves on Saber’s part and just a good amount of standard melee as opposed to special attacks just being thrown around. Also a nice amount of drawn blood so the fighting has weight to the danger involved. And all of it is done is a beautiful fluid style. If you were waiting for some action to finally break out then this delivered in spades.
I am sure that the second anyone heard that one person can only have one noble phantasm you knew that there are to be some technicality that everyone used to get around that. And clearly Lancer’s is that his spears count as a match set so they are both his single noble phantasms. Gae Dearg and Gae Buidhe are an effective pair in this episode. When Lancer whips out their true powers he uses the anti-magic properties of Gae Dearg to learn the length of Saber’ sword, the identity of her sword, her identity, and gets her to lower her armor. While lowering her armor to increase her speed helped her defeat Gilgamesh in the Fate route of Fate/Stay Night here it only gets her a nasty injury from Gae Buidhe that cannot be healed. All in all things look pretty bad for the King of Knights.
On the side lines various people are waiting to see who wins so they can make their plans to defeat any survivors. Kiritsugu is playing his cards close to his chest and making sure that he only attacks when he has a clear shot. And while he could attempt to take a shot at Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi he knows better than to attack when Assassin is around. He and Maiya are good but not good enough to take out a Servant. So they sit and wait and hope that Saber can take care of herself.
At the same time we get a clear confirmation that El-Melloi is the jerk we thought he was due to his actions in the first episode. He has a clear disregard for both this opponents and his servant. I guess it is the eternal curse for Lancers to wind up taking orders from people they don’t deal well with. As a side note I have to say that the magical Victrolas that Kirei and Tokiomi are an interesting mixture of cool and goofy like all of Tokiomi’s magical devices.
Rider and Waver are also watching this battle. Waver just wants to sit things out but Rider being a man’s man wants to get into the thick of it. Iskandar is clearly a man who takes what he wants and what he wants is to battle these two heroes. If nothing else it is sort of amazing to see Rider just drop down in the thick of things and state who he is point-blank like he just does not care. The puzzled looks from Lancer and Saber was priceless. (Waver looking like that does not count because that is pretty much his default state.)
Well this being a fight episode there is a little else for me to comment on. I will mostly just let the fight speak for itself. While it does have quite a bit of Saber and Lancer conversing, tipping their hats to each other, and sizing up their opponent’s power when the spark fly they fly in a beautiful manner. Now that Rider has entered the mix things are going to get really interesting although it is very clear that this will end with a draw and everyone going home to lick their wounds. And then more talking.