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View Poll Results: Fate/Zero - Episode 23 Rating
Perfect 10 95 67.38%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 33 23.40%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 8 5.67%
7 out of 10 : Good 3 2.13%
6 out of 10 : Average 1 0.71%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 1 0.71%
Voters: 141. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-06-10, 08:20   Link #81
GDB
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Originally Posted by Swithin View Post
I can't believe no-one's brought this up yet, but the landscape has changed (pun intended):

We're all gar for Rider now.
We've been GAR for Rider since episode 11. Where have you been?
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Old 2012-06-10, 08:50   Link #82
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Hm. Let's see... On the action side, this episode was fairly predictable, as is any match-up that is preceded by "Gilgamesh vs.". Against a guy who literally owns everything in the world, Rider never stood a chance.

On the other hand, what I loved in this episode, as usual, is in the superb characterization, this time of Gilgamesh, the King of Heroes. Specifically, it's the portrayal of the unique dynamic between him and Alexander that kept me glued to this episode. After this, it's pretty clear that despite being the stuck-up hedonistic asshat that he is, he is quite far from being a simple, boring character.
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Old 2012-06-10, 08:55   Link #83
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
They didn't displace it, Gil made that comment at this point in the novel too. What they cut out earlier (it took place right after Caster's demise) was his flashback to Enkidu's death, which I wish they had kept in since that short scene did wonders for Gil's character.
Indeed. I haven't read the novel, but I checked out that scene once it was pointed out to me and its absence is indeed felt. Someone who's only watching the anime and hasn't read up on his backstory anywhere else certainly won't feel much when Gil says stuff like "There is only one friend I've had and will ever have" or, to a lesser extent, when he takes it upon himself to personally awake Rider from his dream. It might superficially come off as a simple desire to be the bearer of the harsh truth, but it's probably more about reliving his time with Enkidu by watching those who live like he did, wanting to renounce and surpass their humanity by harboring ambitions far too grand for mere humans. Sure, his tastes can be considered perverse in the sense that he actually derives pleasure from watching them being faced with the inevitable end to their dreams, but I'd say the fact that he still went out of his way to provide Rider with some respite amidst defeat says a lot about him.

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You'd better savor it, I doubt that will happen again anytime soon

There are only a handful of people worthy of the King of Heroes' respect.
Yep, and well, Gil has been showing Kirei respect all along. He even tolerated it when Kirei called him a "mere Servant" early on in the show. If it had been Tokiomi who had told him that, it would've been Gil that would've killed him rather than Kirei. So yeah, he can be compassionate towards those he deems worthy of such a treatment. There just aren't that many of them because a man who's challenged and defeated the heavens is naturally somewhat demanding.
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Old 2012-06-10, 08:59   Link #84
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That look in Gil's eyes when he confronted Waver. Was it respect ? There wasn't really a trace of malice in them...
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Old 2012-06-10, 09:05   Link #85
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On the topic of Gilgamesh being overpowered... I agree, he is, but this isn't really a problem here or in Fate/Stay Night, imo (I won't get into why I didn't find it a problem in Fate/Stay Night because that would be spoilerrific).

Normally predictable fights or conflicts bother me a lot, but there is at least one form of narrative that I make an exception for here: Prequels.

Predictability is an inherent and largely unavoidable weakness of Prequels, which is both why I tend to not like Prequels (Fate/Zero is quite the exception to that) but also why I don't see much point in faulting a Prequel for predictability if you're otherwise enjoying it.

With Prequels, the keys are emotion and spectacle - A lot of the viewers know what is going to happen, so the key is to make it look and feel as impressive and compelling as possible, so that the predictable aspect of it is less important. And in this vein, ufotable did a highly commendable job.


Now, if I was watching Fate/Zero without knowing how things played out in Fate/Stay Night, I would have found Gilgamesh vs. Iskander rather anti-climatic. But since I wasn't focusing on who would win, it was easier to get caught up in the sheer spectacle and emotions of the conflict, and those were simply superb.

And all of this ties into a bit of advice I'd give anybody discovering the Fate/Series franchise for the first time - Watch Fate/Stay Night first. I definitely think that's the better approach to take, especially now.
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Old 2012-06-10, 09:25   Link #86
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So the connection between Saber and Berserker was that the latter is actually Lancelot, one of her knights. His Arondight is very cool.

And about Archer vs Rider, it was neat albeit short-lived. Gilgamesh is a monster and his Enuma Elish is a beast. Though I did like that he let Waver live at the end (what is the point in squashing a fly, anyway?)
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Old 2012-06-10, 09:33   Link #87
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Forgot to talk about Kariya. If anyone still had doubts about his brain function being severely impaired and that he wasn't really himself when he strangled Aoi, such doubts should have been dispelled here IMO. I mean, he still believes in and is following Kirei, even after that ridiculously obvious setup in the church. That definitely shows just how out of it the poor guy is (they still seem to be going soft on his appearance and the effects of Berserker's strain on him). And now he's hallucinating about Sakura and a spiteful Aoi, probably being plagued further by subconscious guilty. That dying in a blaze of glory end some people were predicting before becomes more unlikely by the minute.
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Old 2012-06-10, 09:33   Link #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Predictability is an inherent and largely unavoidable weakness of Prequels, which is both why I tend to not like Prequels (Fate/Zero is quite the exception to that) but also why I don't see much point in faulting a Prequel for predictability if you're otherwise enjoying it.

With Prequels, the keys are emotion and spectacle - A lot of the viewers know what is going to happen, so the key is to make it look and feel as impressive and compelling as possible, so that the predictable aspect of it is less important. And in this vein, ufotable did a highly commendable job.

Now, if I was watching Fate/Zero without knowing how things played out in Fate/Stay Night, I would have found Gilgamesh vs. Iskander rather anti-climatic. But since I wasn't focusing on who would win, it was easier to get caught up in the sheer spectacle and emotions of the conflict, and those were simply superb.

And all of this ties into a bit of advice I'd give anybody discovering the Fate/Series franchise for the first time - Watch Fate/Stay Night first. I definitely think that's the better approach to take, especially now.
For me, it wasn't the conclusion itself that was predictable, but rather how the conclusion came about. Maybe I expected something less one-sided or a bit more exciting. But quite frankly, it's not a big deal.

As a viewer who watches FZ for the characterization rather than the action, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. If we interpret the battle as a device to fully illustrate the extent of the relationship between the two kings, then it definitely surpassed my expectations.

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Originally Posted by Endless Twilight View Post
Forgot to talk about Kariya. If anyone still had doubts about his brain function being severely impaired and that he wasn't really himself when he strangled Aoi, such doubts should have been dispelled here IMO. I mean, he still believes in and is following Kirei, even after that ridiculously obvious setup in the church. That definitely shows just how out of it the poor guy is (they still seem to be going soft on his appearance and the effects of Berserker's strain on him). And now he's hallucinating about Sakura and a spiteful Aoi, probably being plagued further by subconscious guilty. That dying in a blaze of glory end some people were predicting becomes more and more unlikely by the minute.
I still stand by my view that it was his own feelings and weaknesses (with some help from Zouken) that led him to his own ruin and insanity, but yes, his state is truly pitiful. It's only a matter of time 'til he kicks the bucket.
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Old 2012-06-10, 09:57   Link #89
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
For me, it wasn't the conclusion itself that was predictable, but rather how the conclusion came about. Maybe I expected something less one-sided or a bit more exciting. But quite frankly, it's not a big deal.
I know what you mean. I'll admit that I myself expected Rider vs. Gilgamesh to look like a army of men vs. an army of weapons all controlled (telekinetic-style) by one impressively powerful King. I have to admit that, in some ways, that would have been "cooler" than what we were given.

But by showing Gilgamesh as so vastly more powerful than Iskander it puts a different light on Iskander's final charge against Gilgamesh. Basically, after seeing his Reality Marble get so quickly obliterated, Iskander is smart enough to know that, when it came to sheer power and fighting capabilities, he's hopelessly outclassed by Gilgamesh.

So that helped to make Iskander's final charge at Gilgamesh so emotionally gripping, intense, and in a way, impressive. It was such pure valor. It showed the flawless courage and pride of Iskander that he would not go down without using every inch of strength and stamina that he had left, even if his cause was hopeless.

Admittedly, in real life, this sort of thing is probably pretty insane. But in a fictional context, I find it very stirring and inspirational.


You know, for all the reputation that Gen Urobuchi has for being a dark-themed writer who loves his despair and misery, the man can be impeccably inspirational when he wants to. With this in mind, Fate/Zero has greatly impacted how I view Madoka Magica. I now see where Madoka Magica is more inspirational than I had first noticed, largely because I became so caught up in all of "Gen's meat-grinder of despair!" fandom talk that I think I missed some of the inspirational charm of certain key scenes in Madoka Magica.

In fact, I'm going to draw a comparison between two pairs of characters (one pair from Fate/Zero and another pair from Madoka Magica). This comparison might blow some people's minds, but after thinking on it, I really think that Gen might have been thinking back to Rider/Waver when he was writing the scenes of a certain pair of characters in Madoka Magica (given that he wrote Fate/Zero before writing Madoka Magica).


Spoiler for Massive Madoka Magica spoilers, you have been warned!:
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Old 2012-06-10, 10:43   Link #90
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Another fantastic episode. What an amazing display of raw power by Gilgamesh. Also the BGM that was playing when he was pulling out Ea... you just know that Gil isn't fooling around and will show why he is the strongest servant and one of the strongest beings in the whole Nasuverse.

My friend was hyping this scene a few months back telling me how Gil considered rider a worthy foe and man I'm glad they did a superb job adapting this.
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Old 2012-06-10, 10:52   Link #91
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But by showing Gilgamesh as so vastly more powerful than Iskander it puts a different light on Iskander's final charge against Gilgamesh. Basically, after seeing his Reality Marble get so quickly obliterated, Iskander is smart enough to know that, when it came to sheer power and fighting capabilities, he's hopelessly outclassed by Gilgamesh.

So that helped to make Iskander's final charge at Gilgamesh so emotionally gripping, intense, and in a way, impressive. It was such pure valor. It showed the flawless courage and pride of Iskander that he would not go down without using every inch of strength and stamina that he had left, even if his cause was hopeless.
This is exactly why I enjoyed the scene so much. It served to place the rivalry between Rider and Alexander in perspective. Heck, the battle itself was a metaphorical clash of ideals, and that's what made it so glorious to behold.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You know, for all the reputation that Gen Urobuchi has for being a dark-themed writer who loves his despair and misery, the man can be impeccably inspirational when he wants to. With this in mind, Fate/Zero has greatly impacted how I view Madoka Magica. I now see where Madoka Magica is more inspirational than I had first noticed, largely because I became so caught up in all of "Gen's meat-grinder of despair!" fandom talk that I think I missed some of the inspirational charm of certain key scenes in Madoka Magica.
This is something that often bothers me when people look at Urobuchi's work.

I mean, he gets a lot of attention for his attachment to despair and his cruelty towards his characters, but it strikes me as an oversimplification. The way I see it, he never does anything purely for the sake of evoking an emotional response from the audience. Instead, what captivates me about his work is how he represents the different aspects of human nature in full gritty detail. He isn't afraid to pick apart the motivations and psyche of his characters to expose what lies underneath.

As such, I'd say that he cares a lot more about his characters than many writers these days do (albeit in his own twisted way ).
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Old 2012-06-10, 10:59   Link #92
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Given the lines present in the preview, I'm afraid the next episode is going to be extremely rushed. I hope they'll choose to focus on the right battle.
Staff list for episodes 24 and 25:
#24 *
Episode Director: Ei Aoki, Kei Tsunematsu
Storyboard: Ei Aoki
Animation Director: Atsushi Ikariya, Tomonori Sudo, Keita Shimizu, Shunya Kikuchi

#25 * Final
Storyboard - Ei Aoki
Episode Director/Storyboard: Ei Aoki
Animation Director: Tomonori Sudo


Four animation directors for episode 24. With any luck that indicates a double episode.

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On the topic of Gilgamesh being overpowered... I agree, he is, but this isn't really a problem here or in Fate/Stay Night, imo (I won't get into why I didn't find it a problem in Fate/Stay Night because that would be spoilerrific).
Even outside of prequels, I honestly don't see the flaw in having an overpowered antagonist, since a great deal of the drama is created by having the protagonists struggle against them. It's having an overpowered protagonist that becomes an issue, and Fate/Zero really doesn't have that.
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Old 2012-06-10, 11:20   Link #93
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Even outside of prequels, I honestly don't see the flaw in having an overpowered antagonist, since a great deal of the drama is created by having the protagonists struggle against them. It's having an overpowered protagonist that becomes an issue, and Fate/Zero really doesn't have that.
Yeah, in general, I agree with you. I do think that overpowered antagonist tends to work better than overpowered protagonist.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of many fictional villains that were too overpowered for their own good, and I can think of many instances of where fictional villains were much more powerful than their enemy protagonists and it worked great (Marvel Comics' Dr. Doom and Magneto being two good examples of this, imo).
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Old 2012-06-10, 12:32   Link #94
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Originally Posted by Vincenal View Post
Rider says "my heart danced..", does that mean he was afraid during the fight?
Based off the original translation:
Spoiler for Rider's Charge:


In life, Alexander died in a sickbed; here, he charged towards death, challenging one of the most powerful beings in the world.
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Old 2012-06-10, 12:54   Link #95
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well, i hope the Saber/Berserker fight lives up to the hype... and i hope the animation is as good as the first fight Saber and Lancer had.
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Old 2012-06-10, 13:43   Link #96
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Holy crap, that was probably my favorite episode of the whole show up to this point, and that's saying a lot.

And I can't believe I'm saying this, but...well, after I saw the FSN anime and first started FZ last year, I posted here how much I disliked Gilgamesh as he was in that first series. Someone said I'd eventually be won over to liking him, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I finally, actually like Gilgamesh. I'm shocked. The noble compassion he shows to the loyal Waver, the respect he shows for Alexander and his dream, it makes the Gilgamesh of FSN seem like a completely different character.

Of course, the last charge of Alexander was glorious in every way; I was also among the ones who thought Gilgamesh was going to use Gate of Babylon against all the IH, but the sheer power displayed by Enuma Elish was frightening in its world-encompassing destruction. Now Waver must spread the word of his king's last battle around the globe (assuming he doesn't die in the next 2 episodes).

On to Saber/Berserker, I guess I wasn't the only one who was spoiled months ago on his identity, huh? Anyway, I'm a bit confused. It seems everyone here already knows what Lancelot's grudge against Saber is here, but I'm still in the dark. Unlike with Gilgamesh, (who when he referenced his "one comrade," I understood what he meant and it even served as another look at his character, as I'm familiar with that epic, despite it never being part of the anime), my knowledge of the Arthur legend is much spottier, so if the origin of Lancelot's grievance in F/Z is there, I would be unaware of it. And I suspect the fact that I don't know that origin is also the reason I didn't understand Saber's reflections on Alexander's words and her ideals and kingship as she fought Lance. Has it already been revealed how Saber's ideals and rule are responsible for Lancelot's state? Because everyone seems to have understood it. Was it something that was hinted at during the kings' symposium episode, which I admittedly don't remember perfectly?
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Old 2012-06-10, 13:50   Link #97
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Has it already been revealed how Saber's ideals and rule are responsible for Lancelot's state? Because everyone seems to have understood it.
Well, in the BD version of ep11 (maybe the TV too, I forget), Saber said:

"I remember. There was once a knight who left Camelot, claiming that King Arthur didn't understand how others felt. Maybe... those sentiments were shared by everyone at the Round Table."

She's been doubting herself ever since seeing Ionian Hettaroi, unsure if her path of kingship was correct. Seeing not only one of her former knights, but the first Knight of the Round Table, fall to the status of "Berserker" exacerbated those feelings of doubt.

Also, yes there are one or two instances in Lancelot's lore that could prove as the basis for being a Berserker.
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Old 2012-06-10, 14:05   Link #98
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Well, in the BD version of ep11 (maybe the TV too, I forget), Saber said:

"I remember. There was once a knight who left Camelot, claiming that King Arthur didn't understand how others felt. Maybe... those sentiments were shared by everyone at the Round Table."

She's been doubting herself ever since seeing Ionian Hettaroi, unsure if her path of kingship was correct. Seeing not only one of her former knights, but the first Knight of the Round Table, fall to the status of "Berserker" exacerbated those feelings of doubt.

Also, yes there are one or two instances in Lancelot's lore that could prove as the basis for being a Berserker.
Oh right, I remember that line now! Damn, guess I did forget

That makes more sense, then. But still, Saber herself doesn't yet know the exact specifics of what caused Berserker's current state, right?
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Old 2012-06-10, 14:24   Link #99
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Right, but she's been doubting herself ever since Ionian Hettaroi, so this is basically cementing her doubt as fact, regardless of what may have caused it.
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Old 2012-06-10, 17:24   Link #100
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You know, for all the reputation that Gen Urobuchi has for being a dark-themed writer who loves his despair and misery, the man can be impeccably inspirational when he wants to.
That just goes to show the man's sheer talent and skill as a writer, in that even when writing something that probably goes against his beliefs and general preferences, he can still make it into a perfectly emotionally resonant story that everyone can enjoy and be inspired by.

And regardless, I think tragedies can still be inspiring in their own way. Namely, in a "the world isn't beautiful, therefore it is" sort of way. And Fate/Zero seemed to convey that pretty well to me in this episode, as demonstrated by moments like Rider claiming he was more than perfect precisely because he was less than perfect (after having lost his chariot), or like Gilgamesh finding beauty in hopeless dreams precisely because the dreamers will eventually be forced to awake.

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This is exactly why I enjoyed the scene so much. It served to place the rivalry between Rider and Alexander in perspective. Heck, the battle itself was a metaphorical clash of ideals, and that's what made it so glorious to behold.
Pretty much, and the first season alone made it obvious enough that Fate/Zero is rarely interested in cheap thrills, which is why most battles are really all about juxtaposing and developing the characters, even at the expense of the visual spectacle. Which obviously would've been greater had Gilgamesh used the Gate of Babylon rather than Enuma Elish, yet that would've gone against the themes of the battle and Gil's characterization, and thus it was not to be. Thought-provoking clashes of ideals and in-depth, consistent characterization always take precedence over flashy fighting for the sake of fighting in Fate/Zero. Hell, the only example of the latter I can even think of is probably the dogfight between Gil and Berserker.

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This is something that often bothers me when people look at Urobuchi's work.

I mean, he gets a lot of attention for his attachment to despair and his cruelty towards his characters, but it strikes me as an oversimplification. The way I see it, he never does anything purely for the sake of evoking an emotional response from the audience. Instead, what captivates me about his work is how he represents the different aspects of human nature in full gritty detail. He isn't afraid to pick apart the motivations and psyche of his characters to expose what lies underneath.

As such, I'd say that he cares a lot more about his characters than many writers these days do (albeit in his own twisted way ).
That too. In fact, when I hear people say Urobuchi must hate characters like Kariya due to the cruel fates he creates for them, I feel as if they're really misunderstanding the method to his madness. The way I see it, those characters are the ones he loves most (in an admittedly somewhat twisted way, of course), which is why he selects them as the biggest representatives of his skillful dissection of the human nature.

It's no wonder he likes Kirei so much as a character, since the latter possesses a similarly twisted love for humanity as well.

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Originally Posted by LunarMoon View Post
Four animation directors for episode 24. With any luck that indicates a double episode.
That would be awesome, but I doubt it. How often is the second to last episode the one to receive double length instead of the final one? Though here it would probably be quite appropriate since it would probably allow them to wrap up the final confrontations in the next episode and leave the last one for the aftermath of it all. And given how novel readers claim the preview for the next episode indicates a large amount of material will be covered, it really would be a godsend if it were a double episode. But wouldn't they have announced it by now if it were? So yeah, not gonna hold my breath for it.

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It seems everyone here already knows what Lancelot's grudge against Saber is here, but I'm still in the dark. Unlike with Gilgamesh, (who when he referenced his "one comrade," I understood what he meant and it even served as another look at his character, as I'm familiar with that epic, despite it never being part of the anime), my knowledge of the Arthur legend is much spottier, so if the origin of Lancelot's grievance in F/Z is there, I would be unaware of it. And I suspect the fact that I don't know that origin is also the reason I didn't understand Saber's reflections on Alexander's words and her ideals and kingship as she fought Lance. Has it already been revealed how Saber's ideals and rule are responsible for Lancelot's state? Because everyone seems to have understood it. Was it something that was hinted at during the kings' symposium episode, which I admittedly don't remember perfectly?
Yeah, that episode was definitely the biggest reason as to why it isn't hard to guess the nature of Lancelot's downfall. These words from Rider to Saber, in particular, should prove helpful:

Quote:
"The righteousness and ideals you bore may have saved your country once. However… I'm sure you know what happened to those who were constantly and only saved. You saved your subjects, but you never lead them. You never showed them what a king should be. You abandoned your men when they lost their way. Alone and untroubled, you simply followed your own pretty ideals."
Unlike Rider, who possesses the companionship and undying loyalty of his subjects, Saber never spared a thought to motivating and inspiring her own, believing that as long as she alone sacrificed herself and followed her ideals, everyone would be saved. But in the end that just caused her people to become distrustful of her for seemingly lacking humanity, and brought her reign to the tragic conclusion which she's desperately trying to undo now.

Thus, when she saw Rider's Ionian Hettaroi and the companionship between the king and his subjects it symbolized, she began doubting herself and realizing how the way she governed ended up alienating everyone around her. Cue Lancelot, her first knight and the one who should have been the most loyal to her until the end, but has now revealed himself to be the most alienated and resentful of them all. It essentially serves as the ultimate proof that everything Rider accused her of is true, which is why she now appears to have been understandably drained her of her spirit and will to fight (that and Lancelot with Arondight seems pretty damn skilled).

If I had to make a guess as to the exact nature of Berserker's begrudging madness, I would say it is the result of Lancelot having lived on after Arturia's downfall (isn't that usually how it goes in the Arthurian legend?) and having had to clean up after and deal with the consequences of Britain's tragic fate, thus being scorned by the same people who shunned Arturia, for being her first knight, until the end of his consequently miserable life. But we'll know for sure in the next episode, assuming they don't rush the explanation too much.
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