So do you guys like episodes dedicated to talking after coming down from a huge fight? Because that’s this episode in a nutshell. It’s the calm in between the storms. Also, shipping, lots and lots of shipping. You ship Rin/Shirou yet? Well if you don’t, we’re going to litter this episode with him blushing at her. Her flirting with him, them talking and getting to know each other. DO YOU SHIP IT YET?
So what happens in this episode, uh….well. Taiga’s cute in it and uh, Rin stays over at Shirou’s house and uh…he drops some plates as a result of his arm being numb. Seriously, this is the episode of, characters talk to each other at Shirou’s house. The only characters even involved in the episode are Shirou, Rin, Saber, Taiga and Archer. No Shinji, no Kirei, no Sakura, no other Servant or Master.
It’s, Shirou goes to school, Shirou notices there’s something wrong with his arm, Shirou forgets to go to meeting with Rin. Rin comes over, Shirou gets awkward because she has boobs. Shirou and Rin talk, Shirou and Saber talk, Shirou and Archer talk and Archer heals his arm. Most of what’s talked about isn’t even really all that interesting.
I suppose the dialogue between Shirou and Rin could have a lot of things read between the lines of it. She was honestly hoping that he was a lot different then he really was. I think the thing that is most interesting to note in their conversation is the lack of joy Shirou seems to have at using magic. How he’s never seemed to enjoy it, despite the fact he goes out and practices with it every night. Which later, he tells Saber is something he learned from Kiritsugu.
Then there is this part. the conversation with Shirou and Archer. This scene spoke volumes to me, not just to Shirou’s character but how we function as people.We’ve known for a while now that Shirou and Archer have differing ideals. This scene questions if Shirou’s ideal is truly his own, and I think that’s a question we can pose to ourselves as well. Are our ideals our own, are they for other people? In Shirou’s case it’s implying that the only ideals he has are the ones he’s carrying out for Kiritsugu.
“But salvation at the hands of another is not salvation. Such salvation is like money. When used, it passes into another’s hands. It’s true that you can probably achieve your wish to save others. But there is no hope of saving yourself while doing so. You will repeat the cycle until you die, still clinging to ideals that aren’t your own. That is why your ideals are meaningless. Nothing comes of helping others. In the end, you can save neither others nor yourself. A lie of a life.” ~Archer
This dialogue, coupled with the images of Shirou being saved by Kiritsugu as a child is just so incredibly powerful. I would love to go into more about the deeper meanings to both Shirou and Kiritsugu’s characters but i’m not sure how much I could say without having to slap a huge Fate/Zero spoilers label on this post. What I can say though is that it’s really obvious this time around the extreme influence that Kiritsugu had on Shirou’s life and how it shaped him as a person.
It makes you wonder, what was he like when he was young. Before the incident, before Kiritsugu. How would he of changed if he’d been found and raised by someone else? With his original parents. It’s a lot of questions to ask that we’ll never get answers too but it’s just something fun to consider after you see how much Kiritsugu shaped the person he is today.
I can’t really think about much more to say about this episode without giving details about everything they talked about and if I did that there would just be no need to watch the episode or read this review because you’d know it all already. The good thing is, despite this being as heavy on the talking as it was I never once felt bored by it. Ufotable remains top notch at using it’s animation to bring subtle meanings out of conversations that would be boring otherwise.