Fate/Zero TV #007: Quicksilver is an Alchemist’s Best Friend

Everyone who though that Kayneth was dead should be ashamed of themselves. One of the top ten rules of any action or fantasy story is no one is dead until you see the body. And even then be a little doubtful. It is still a bit too early in Fate/Zero for someone to die. We still have 5 episode in this season and a whole second season to go. I am going to assume that the first master and/or servant can’t die until at least episode 11 of this season. I assume the Caster’s death will be what ends this season to usher in the bloodbath that will be the second season. Until then it is anyone’s game. And Saber has shown that just because you survive a battle not mean you will not be at a disadvantage after getting away.

The call has been put out. All Masters are to stop their fighting and prioritize defeating the rogue Servant Caster. The Master who slays Caster  receive an additional command seal which is an amazing advantage over his opponents. So all the masters and servants are positioning themselves for the maximum advantage. Some are going after Caster, some are trying to pick off anyone going to kill Caster, and other are letting everyone tire themselves out.

Quicksilver, otherwise know as mercury, has always been a favored element by western alchemists for their formula as it had both the properties of both a solid and a liquid. Even Chinese alchemists favored cinnabar in their creations as it is one of the primary sources of mercury. Being a master of wind and water spells it seems that Kayneth has all matter of tricks involving mercury including being able to make a little escape pod of mercury to survive the collapse of the hotel. But as the episode show he can do more with mercury than just survive a deadly fall.

Risei officially announces the hunt for Caster after the homicidal sorcerer has blatantly ignored the secrecy that is supposed to surround the Holy Grail War. It is bad enough with a hotel blowing up and what seems like a natural disaster on the docks but Caster’s kidnapping and murder spree is just vulgar. So whoever takes out this menace will receive and additional command seal. If it were not already obvious these are super valuable. First of all a Master that runs out of command seals loses the ability to control his servant. In Fate/Stay Night Medea’s master quickly learns that can be a very deadly mistake to make. While in Fate/Zero commands seals have only been used to force a servant to obey a command they can also be used to get your servant to do amazing things like teleporting to your side or healing a fatal wound. They can even be used to a simple amplification of power and ability in a fight. But Risei and Tokiomi are already conspiring to make sure that they will not only offer the prize but be the ones to win it. Tokiomi also discovers that Kayneth is still alive and Tokiomi is putting plans into motion to make sure that it is not a permanent condition.

One episode out of the spotlight and I think I heard more people complaining about the lack of Rider and Waver than discussing anything else about last week’s episode. We mainly learn that Iskandar can order things from the Home Shopping Network, wants to go outside, and is not a huge fans of pants. But Rider now has a goal worth fighting for that is just as important as world conquest. If he defeats another servant he can have some stylish pants to go out on the town like Saber in her wonderfully delicious suit. Also I finally got to see the shirt that I always see in Rider fan art. Pivix loved that shirt even before the anime.

What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. Most of the scene is Saber and Kiritsugu talking past each other. Saber wants to go out and stop Caster’s madness before anyone else gets hurt but Kiritsugu just wants to use the lure of the prize for killing Caster as a convenient attempt to set up a shooting gallery. In Fate/Stay Night Saber mentions that Kiritsugu only ever talked to her three times during the Holy Grail War. Gen Urobuchi seems to be cheating a bit by interpreting than line as “talked directly to me” three times and not counting anytime he talks to her though Irisviel. Even if the talks to her through Irisviel when they are in the same room. The problem is that Kiritsugu is playing to win at all costs and Saber wants to be noble at all costs. It is interesting how despite how much it annoys her here when she is in the fifth holy grail war she will often be in the opposite side of the table with Shiro. I suppose some Kiritsugu rubbed off on her. I will also mention that Kiritsugu’s has the Yang Wenli ability to read the script and discern alliances and plots at all times.

But for all his stoic act we learn that Kiritsugu is not as heartless or as emotionless as he pretends to be. Part of him wishes to run away with his wife and child and be done with this insanity. At the same time he uses his Yang Wenli sense to know that he is being targeted by Kotomine Kirei, the most dangerous master in the conflict. But Irisviel knows they are in too deep. His thought of running away is nothing more than self-pity. All they can do is comfort each other and fight on. But Ilya being in the bounded field protected main castle of the Einzbern family is a clue to tragedy that is to come.

But there is no time for Kiritsugu to feel sorry for himself because Caster has already arrived with a small army of children as hostages. He starts killing the children one by one to draw out Saber. Like in the last episode there are a few scenes of brutal child murder that seem censored for the TV broadcast in a way that makes me think that the Blu-ray will have a bit more of the gory details. But unsurprisingly it turns out to be trap with all the children being Cthulhu spawn filled tykeboms. (As we learned in the interview I helped with for ANN Gen Urobuchi loves Call of Cthulhu if his work on Saya no Uta was not proof enough.) While his summoned beasts are easily killed individually they are legion and constantly regenerate.

Saber soon realizes that she can not just kill enough of the monsters in attempt to run out Caster’s reserve of magical energy as he is not directly casting the spell to summon these horrors. Caster’s Noble Phantasm is the grimoire in his hand, Prelati’s Spellbook, and therefore there will be no end to these abominations. Just when all seems lost a very unexpected ally jumps into the fray. Lancer apparently was given one command: defeat Caster. So he is free to call a truce with Saber which leads to some awesome back to back fighting. As always Lancer is the cool guy who can never be as cool as he wants thanks to his Master. By the way for all the history buffs the Prelati mentioned is the Francesco Prelati and the Siege of Compiègne is where the English captured Joan of Arc if you were curious to do some research on your own.

At the same time there is another uninvited guest to the castle grounds. Kayneth is back for revenge and this time he is going after Saber’s master instead of Saber. We see a good deal of Kayneth’s advanced alchemy as he uses his little companion sphere of magical quicksilver as his Swiss army knife of magical combat. It can be used as a shield, a weapon, a tool, a trap, and a sensor. It also probably makes Julienne fries and helps with your taxes. But his soon learns that Irisviel and Maiya have escaped with Kiritsugu staying behind to give them time to escape.

At first it seems that bringing a gun to a magic fight is the equivalent of bringing a knife to a gun fight. Bullets mainly seem to stop a mage from killing you instantly as he has to use his mercury shielding for a few seconds. But Kiritsugu proves to have one majorly powerful combat spell. A reality marble that lets him control time around himself. After some careful dodging and strategic use of time control Kiritsugu gets the drop on Kayneth. You know that Kayneth in for a world of hurt because Kiritsugu switched from the modern automatic weapons to ye olde pistol. And anytime you whip out a piece of antiquated technology like that you know it is special.

This episode looks to me to be setting up most of the fights that will end the first half of Fate/Zero. Caster and his army of eldritch abominations are probably going to take more than just Saber and Lancer to take out. The question is which servants are going to enter the fight and which are going to wait this one out. Also Kiritsugu and Kayneth’s fight is just warming up. Unless of course Kayneth’s head decides to decorate the castle walls and Sola-Ui  has to take over as Lancer’s master. We are in for some great stuff ahead. As I was writing this article I looked up how many episodes were left. The I went,” Why the hey nonny nonny is episode 10 being titled Rin’s Adventure? ” Is little Rin going to go on magical journey of fun and adventure in the middle of all this bloodshed as brief aside or is the mistress of zettai ryouiki going to get dragged into this violence?

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