What does the present have that the past didn’t? Saber. Gosh, I missed you!
I thought I’d feel a bit disoriented returning to the here and now but it wasn’t all that bad. For one, it certainly helped that this was a “slow” episode, setting up the showdown between Rider and Saber. A lot of the conversations could have been anticipated since this would be the ideal time to share some sentiments and show some true loyalty. What I didn’t expect was for Rider to pull that kidnapping tactic to draw out Saber, which didn’t seem to fit his honorable ways. Call it a reactive statement but I’m a bit surprised by that and the killing of Maiya.
The biggest development had to involved Kariya. After laying low for so long, it is not the time to wonder what his and Berserker’s roles are in the rest of the Holy Grail War. Yes, they “must win it for Sakura,” but is that all? Restoration of family honor and glory? To preserve Sakura’s well being and potentially happy life? (Those who watched Fate/Stay-night know the answer to that.) When Kariya absorbed that worm that took Sakura’s purity, I remember her being just about ten years old and I believe I’m taking that the wrong way. (Please tell me I am, although the original concept was designed for more adult features.) In any case, I believe Kariya taking in that extra mana load means he’s going to be a vital player in this brawl more now than ever.
We can start counting down now. Five episodes to go and five episodes to coordinate the fights. The last thing we need is for the fights to be hurried and feel inconclusive. In good Fate/zero fashion, a mix of both chivalrous mocks and Noble Phantasm spams should do the trick. We know the who, what, where and why, but all that remains is the how.
If this is not a Mega Flare countdown, then I’m sure this will have to be the Excalibur one.
GO Rating: 3/5
Tears for Maiya, but hardly any for Irisviel. This man is a mystery still.