It is finally time to get some ANSWERS! Not all of them mind you but some of them. Up until this point, they have teased a good deal of information about Miyu and the unusual nature of this card based Holy Grail War. All the reveals about either mystery have been the type of answers that just lead to bigger questions. This episode gives some facts that lead to satisfying answers. Some new avenues of inquiry have opened up thanks to characters like Tanaka and the dolls but the most important mysteries have a final denouement within reach.
Beatrice Flowerchild is very determined to crush Illya and Tanaka into a fine paste until she is recalled by an unknown Master. But even after the immediate physical danger has passed an even more deadly threat rears its head: Hunger. At first, the two girls seem to find a bit of good fortune when a kindly ramen chef gives them shelter. Unfortunately, that humble cook is Kirei Kotomine. They are only saved from his extortion techniques by the King of Heroes. With the further assistance of Gil, the group infiltrates the stronghold of the Ainsworths. While they do not find Miyu they do find where her older brother who is also being kept in the castle. Before they can free him they are discovered by Angelica in a familiar set of golden armor.
If it was not already apparent than Beatrice makes sure that her sadistic personality is on full display. She is far more interested in putting the fear of Alaya in the two before she flattens them. Like a cat playing with its prey, she is thrilled when they run.
The running gag is no matter what Beatrice does Tanaka continually runs at her asking Beatrice if she has any information about her forgotten identity. Eventually, this leads to Beatrice introducing herself as a doll of the Ainsworth family. While she does not elaborate what that means it seems that she is some sort of mixture of the puppets of Touko Aozaki and the homunculi of the Einzbern.
This revelation flips a switch in Tanaka who goes into a serious business mode as she prepares to smash any representation of the Ainsworth family that dares cross her path. But before Tanaka can unleash her full power it seems that someone calls her back to headquarters.
The funniest part of that whole scene is that Beatrice communicating magically looks more like her pretending to answer a cell phone call as part of a sarcastic gag.
It does not matter what his job Kirei Kotomine has because he is always a monster. A monster that loves his spicy mapo tofu. His ramen is merely the Super Spicy Mapo Tofu That No One Dares Order poured over the noodles as if they were nothing more than an unwanted garnish.
Also, it is clear that Tanaka despite her memory loss is in fact, is a fan of ramen but blank slate Tanaka only knows that she loves herself some wheat flour, salt, water, and kansui pounded into noodles. This lets her eat the HP22B nightmare in all of its 2.2 million SHU glory without blinking.
The clearest difference between Fate/Stay Night Illya and this Illya is how they eat the Mapo Tofu ramen. Prisma Illya gets bullied into eating all of her meal. Fate/Stay Night Illya would have just eaten the whole thing to throw it in the face of Kotomine.
While they eat Illya and Kotomine converse about the town. Apparently, the official story about the crater in town is that it is the result of a gas main explosion. It seems that officials in Fuyuki City really like to blame natural gas for any supernatural event in the city. Because of that after whatever actually caused the catastrophe the town was evacuated and now no one really lives in the city proper other than some people at the edge of town.
Also, it seems that Kirei seems utterly unfazed by snow in the middle of summer. Whatever happened to this version of Fuyuki City they no longer are surprised by the unseasonal weather as it has just become the way things are. It seems to be something that probably has been going on even before the explosion.
While there is nothing in the text that implicitly states Kotomine knows more than he is letting on only a fool would assume this fake priest is just a humble chef. Caren Kotomine clearly shows that church operatives will take whatever job it takes to monitor their target. They usually just pick one related to their outside interests.
Anyone who has experienced the main Fate series will know that no experience with Kotomine can go smoothly. While it was clearly implied that Kotomine was treating two unfortunate girls to a meal he instead wants some Yakuza level highway robbery prices for his meal. Also, they are not going to get out of paying by being moved to tears by some Russian Ramen.
Before Kotomine could whip out his Meat Cleaver Bajiquan the girls are saved by some money from the treasury held within the Gate of Babylon.
It seems that it was not only Illya’s team that was brought over to this snowy wasteland. Gilgamesh survived his encounter with her Zwei Form and is just killing time. Well, he also wants back his Class Card. He has lost half of his treasures due to the fact that he now has to share his Gate of Babylon. This lets Illya talk him into making a raid on the Ainsworth castle.
Well, before that Illya is terrified of Gil but this is Child-Gil and not the full-grown King of Heroes. Child-Gil is willing to turn on the charm and actually work with others unlike the arrogant and entitled brat he grows up to be.
It also seems that Illya is very weak to a pretty face. Miyu should be a little worried about that.
Since Gilgamesh is a Servant he has been given a general run down of basic information about the world he has been summoned to by the Holy Grail. This means he knows quite a bit about the family they are trying to confront as well as where they are in the city. The castle is at the center of the crater and seems to be in a hidden pocket dimension where the world is far less crummy.
As it stands Illya has no power without Magical Ruby, Child-Gil is only at half power at best, and Tanaka’s powers are utterly unknown and clearly something only a fool would rely on. That means that a full on frontal attack is strictly out of the question. They instead sneak in using Hades’s Cap of Invisibility. Originally Gilgamesh just wants to smash into the complex with Vimana but it is currently held by Angelica. Then again even if they had Vimana a stealthy approach is probably the best bet.
The major problem is that Cap, or more accurately sash that can also be a hat, of Invisibility has some important limitations. It allows anyone protected by it to be invisible to sight and any form of scrying. That is insanely powerful but it does not seem to block any of the other senses. Normally this would not be a problem but Illya is full of HOE!S and Tanaka is Tanaka.
As it turns out that it is not all the talking that nearly gets them killed. It is the smell of super spicy tofu that becomes their Achilles’ heel. Apparently, Illya has become a public nuisance like the Sriracha plant in California and Angela has a wolf’s sense of smell. Kotomine can make problems even when he is not around.
After the near miss with Angelica on patrol, they find the dungeon in the basement of the castle. At first, they hope that one of the cells has Miyu but instead they find a male prisoner. He apparently was the one who helped Miyu escape the grasp of the Ainsworth family and run to Illya’s world. Unfortunately, he got captured in the process. At first, he seems to be in utter despair but Illya’s words fill him with the hope that they might be able to free his little sister despite the fact that she has been recaptured. Even more important it is clear to him that she had found some form of happiness while she was free.
Miyu’s Brother has to be chained to the wall in his cell because if he was able to come up to the light then Illya would instantly recognize him as this world’s Shiro. While the show does not completely reveal him it should be obvious to anyone watching who she is talking to. The suspense is more waiting to see when Illya will realize what we already know.
While the group barely escaped detection before their extended conversation with the prisoner has drawn the attention of Angela. This means that Gilgamesh will have to reclaim his full arsenal on his own since his two companions are not fit for battle at the moment. There are no Fakers here. It will be a battle between originals.
The first real fight of the season is about to go down. The initial meeting of Beatrice and Angela was more of an introduction to the characters than a real battle. It will be fun to see which weapons get drawn as both combatants have to choose from the same pool of treasures.
My reviews of previous episodes: