And we enter into the second part of Kiritsugu‘s back story. He clearly already started down the road towards being a complete unfeeling killing machine when he killed his father. But a gentle hand could have easily pulled him away from his monstrous path if he were placed in an environment where he was immersed in the positive things in life. But this is a Gen Urobuchi novel. That is not going to happen. By they way, It seems like Gen Urobuchi has a fetish for murdering children. I know that infant immortality is sometimes a strong trend in fiction and people like to play with it for shock value. But this goes a little above and beyond. With Caster is was a little creepy but made sense for the historical character involved. After this episode I think it might have passed into the minor fetish category.
After surviving the fiery slaughter on Arimago Island a young Kiritsugu finds himself under the apprenticeship of Natalia Kaminski. As Kiritsugu walka further and further along the path of a mercenary so does he abandon a bit more of his humanity with every step. But a routine assassination of a sorcerer involved with some dark research quickly becomes a stage for another tragedy. One that will seal the destiny of the future Magus Killer.
We start with an expanded scene from the first season. In season one we saw the scene were Natalia Kaminski presented Kiritsugu with his origin bullets. She was present there without any explanation to give a quick run down of what the unusual ammo did. But now that we know who she is the scene goes into a bit more detail now that we have more context of what was going on. We learn that Kiritsugu was getting his magic circuits implanted the same time she took one of his ribs to make his bullets. I do have to say that people are really obsessed with the fact that Natalia and Gilgamesh have similar facial structure. Boy that is going to lead to some really odd doujinshi.
Since we are still in flashback mode we get another episode without an opening. During the initial credit crawl we see a simple assignment where Natalia and Kiritsugu are working together. They have clearly built an effortless working relationship. You see how they very easily slowly entrap their target and then mercilessly move in for the kill. There is a mechanical nature to their assassination. Kiritsugu finishes of his target even though the man is unarmed and pleading for his life. There is no noble hero seemingly left in the young man. This man kills as effortlessly as he would brush his own teeth. Assassination has become a job and a way of life.
We flash back a bit farther. At first Kiritsugu clearly did not having the training to go out with his new mentor. While he had the determination and cold-blooded potential he did not have the technical skills. And so he trains in the artd of murder. We see quite a bit of emotion from Kaminski even if she mostly plays her cards close to her chest. She seems a little put upon to teach this punk kid her trade and at the same time a little happy to be able to pass along her skills. I think there is also a lingering bit of regret as he obviously take so well to such a horrible profession.
And we see how the year strip away any hesitation in Kiritsugu. Like a young Shiro it seems that he had aspirations of being a hero. But the more he guns down people in cold blood for a supposedly greater good the less it seems that any hard choice phases him. When a random boy and his guardian get gunned down so very casually in a war zone Kiritsugu seems to have a realization that surviving is a noble fight. Or at least a more practical one. We see him develop his moral calculus that allows him to make the sacrifices required so that the good of the one can foster the good of the many.
And his next mission clearly puts his training to the test. It seems like a difficult but mundane mission. Od Volsack was creating bees whose poison turned people into ghouls. So the Mage’s Association wanted him understandably removed from this earth. Kiritsugu will take out Od’s associates that have access to his research while Natalia will kill Od when he has his guard down on the plane. The theory is attacking him anywhere else will give him a chance to unleash his unholy bees. It seems like a simple enough plan. But like anything else with Kiritsugu and vampires it quickly turns sour. (Good things he never interacted with Arcueid. The result would have been devastating.) While Natalia is able to kill Od and destroy his bees in the cargo hold almost effortlessly she makes a fatal oversight. It seems that Od had a hidden cache of the bees inside his body that were released when he died. Soon Natalia is trapped on a plane filled with an undead plague.
Kiritsugu and Natalia’s conversation is slightly heartbreaking. On the surface they talk about how they are going to rescue Natalia. But they both know that there is only one actual solution. The plane has to be destroyed. So they make pleasant small talk and pretend like everything is going to be OK. They are both too stoic to have a teary goodbye but it is also clear that they would not normally talk about their relationship with each other outside of a situation like this. In a way this is the only way they know how to say goodbye. And so a surface to air missile ends their working relationship. Only at the end were they able to admit they had become a family.
And the normally stoic Kiritsugu snaps as if all the emotions he had been repressing over the years finally bubbled to the surface. We watch as he expels his pain and then hardens his heart. The full on stoic killing machine that is Kiritsugu has been born. With everyone he loves dead he can only move forward with cynical world view. As long as he can convince himself his actions are for a greater good than he can talk himself into any act. If he was willing to kill the people he loved for the greater good than the dead of a few strangers is child’s play.
I was a little surprised we never got so see Maiya Hisau but I suppose her connection to Kiritsugu will come in another episode. For now it is time to catch up to the present. If for no other reason I think the Rider and Waver fans are beginning to try a warp time space to get their favorite duo back on-screen. Also the next episode title strong implies that Kirei will be on the move which is never a good sign. With only a few pieces left on the board things are only going to get uglier and with Kirei‘s dark side fully unleashed it is going to get very horrific very soon.