Fate/stay night – 03

フェイト/ステイナイト Ep 03
Fate/stay night episode 03

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Fate/stay night - 03Having been summoned, Servant Saber pledges her loyalty to her new master, Shirou. She then goes to battle Lancer outside. He uses his Gae Bulga attack which is supposed to kill, but while it strikes Saber, it does not kill her. Saber recognizes the attack and that Lancer is originally from Ireland and known as the Hound of Culann. Lancer is not happy that his attack has been read and that his identity known.

Fate/stay night - 03However, his master is recalling him so he is forced to retreat rather than duke it out with Saber. Saber senses Archer and Rin nearby and attacks. Rin sends Archer away but is unable to defend against Saber’s attack. Before Saber can kill Rin, Shirou stops her, which puzzles her and somewhat bothers her. Rin and Shirou talk and Rin is amazed that someone with as little magical ability as Shirou was able to summon Saber.

Fate/stay night - 03Rin talks of the Holy Grail War and the seven people selected to fight this war from time to time with their chosen Servants — warriors from the past chosen to fill a fighting role (Lancer, Archer, Saber, etc.). Because Shirou is unable to heal or even send Saber back, she’s given a robe to cover her armor and Rin leads Shirou to the supervisor of the Holy Grail War — a priest of the Kotomine Church named KOTOMINE Kirei (Rin’s legal guardian).

Fate/stay night - 03At the church, Shirou learns the rules of the war and while he does not want to fight, he soon realizes that he’s going to have to, especially when he comes to understand that the incident that left him orphaned was part of the Holy Grail War.

After leaving the church, Rin says she’s done her obligation but before they can go further, Saber shouts out a warning to Shirou. The young girl who’d warned Shirou earlier arrives with a giant warrior, greeting “oniichan.”

Fate/stay night - 03

Thoughts/Review:

Fate/stay night - 03So, we had a lot of exposition in this episode in order to lay out what the Holy Grail War is, who fights it, what the prize is, and the rules along the way. The “reluctant hero” bit is not a new one when it comes to story telling. However, what I liked here is how the writers logically put aside Shirou’s reasons to not fight and even to not kill. Of course that wasn’t enough to convince him but the subtle way that he was reminded of the incident that left everyone dead but him worked for me. No telling him directly about this — let him come to it on his own and realize what’s at stake here. I like this kind of approach to the reluctant hero bit so kudos to the writers for it.

Fate/stay night - 03What I wonder is why didn’t Shirou’s adoptive father teach him more than just magic to strengthen or repair things. Clearly someone taught Rin to be a spellcaster of some sort (though her magic seems based on getting power from gems) in anticipation of the next round of the Holy Grail War. I’m betting that Shirou’s adoptive father was part of that round 10 years earlier but even if not, for him to be a mage at all would seem to be that he’d want to impart more knowledge on Shirou. Then again, maybe his adoptive father hoped to give Shirou enough magical ability to have an advantage but not enough to be selected as a master. If that’s the case, the man obviously failed.

Fate/stay night - 03Still, how was Shirou able to summon Saber when he has no great magical ability while Rin, who’s trained in magic, failed to summon Saber but instead scored Archer?

I didn’t detect Rin giving anything away when Shirou saved her life. In effect, they are now even. Still, I wonder what Shirou is to Rin. If it is as a possible romantic interest, she’s playing it cool for now.

Fate/stay night - 03With the arrival of the little girl, it seems an obvious battle is going to happen. Though all contestants are supposed to duke it out for the Holy Grail, I can see how this might have Rin and Shirou form an alliance. Considering all the promo images showing Rin and Saber together, it would be strange to me if they weren’t allies.

On a completely different note, I had to laugh when the anime Fate/stay night - 03made use of split screen. Why? Well, in episode 3 of the new Fullmetal Alchemist series, I remarked that other than to show surprised reactions for multiple people, I didn’t remember the Japanese using split screen for a scene, especially when one character is talking and we can also observe the reactions of the 2nd party. I said that it may have happened before but I just was unaware of it. Here, we have an episode using split screen (horizontally rather than vertically though) for just such a moment that I talked about. *lol* So the Japanese do use split screens in some series and clearly I was just unaware of how much.

So now the table is set with the exposition and now we move to the next battle. I look forward to seeing more as well as reading your comments. ^_^

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15 Responses to “Fate/stay night – 03”

  1. meganekko =@-@= says:

    I believe the possible reasons/mechanics as to which servant a certain master summons is expounded (or at least touched upon briefly) in the coming episodes, so it’d be best to just wait for it when it comes, though it’s not exactly a complete explanation, more of a hunch at best.

  2. Hugh Roe says:

    Saber actually wounds Archer pretty bad in that short fight. A bit different Gae Bolg than what I learned a wee lad, more like Lugh’s Spear from Gorias, only I didn’t hear it cry for the blood of enemies and traitors….Relationships, villians, heros…spent a bit of time and ended up watching through episode 16, now I wonder why I stopped after the first two episodes about half a year ago.

  3. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Meganekko — Sounds like something to look forward to. ^_^

    @Hugh — If I understand you, you have marathoned this series through episode 16 now?

  4. Hugh Roe says:

    “@Hugh — If I understand you, you have marathoned this series through episode 16 now?”

    Correct, it’s a little heavy for this shell-shocked old man, but it contains enough humour to keep me going without getting depressed (such as NGE got me.)

  5. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I’m up through episode 7 so I’m still pretty far behind ya. ^_^;

  6. Garik says:

    Shirou’s father didn’t want to teach Shirou any magic at all. Kiritsugu intended his line to end with him, but Shirou insisted. Kiritsugu didn’t think Shirou would ever be a Master. After all, this Holy Grail War is about 50 years earlier than it should be.

    He didn’t teach Shirou anything more complex because Shirou has no talent. All he could do well was Tracing– the analysis of an object to totally understand it, you see him doing this in episode 1, I think, with the heater. However, Kiritsugu, as any magus would, said this skill was totally useless, so he concentrated on teaching him strengthening, which has more practical applications. And Shirou’s really not that good at that either– reinforcing the poster to help him against Lancer was the first time he’d succeeded in any magic in months. Really, Shirou has almost no talent as a magus.

    This is a completely alien world for Rin who is something of a prodigy (the anime barely touches on how skilled she is).
    Rin had a good foundation. Her family has a long tradition, and her father started her training at a young age. She also learned from her father’s first student, Kotomine (the priest), even though they don’t really get along. Rin has immense natural talent and that makes it hard for her to relate to Shirou sometimes. She can’t really see things from his level. Her biggest flaws, however, are her inability to accept second place, her inability to attempt to do something she knows she can’t (she doesn’t take unnecessary risks), and her talent for screwing up royally at the last minute on the most important things (she was supposed to Summon her Servant at a specific hour, but she forgot that the clocks in her house were an hour ahead, causing an error in Archer’s summoning and his present amnesia).

    Sorry to write so much, but I eat, sleep, and breathe F/SN. ;P

    @meganekko- Actually, the mechanism for summoning specific heroic spirits isn’t really expounded upon in the anime. I don’t really think it’s too much of a spoiler, but I’ll warn you anyway…











    To summon a specific holy spirit, one needs a specific catalyst, an artifact or symbol associated with that hero. For Lancer, it was his earrings. Shirou has a symbol connected to Saber, but neither of them know it.

  7. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Garik — if this is a spoiler, don’t answer but the reason Shirou doesn’t have any magical power is due to him not being born of a mage family like Rin — is that correct?

  8. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Oh, and Garik — no problem on writing so much. Often, people with a passion for a series have written a ton in comments which have helped me learn things I didn’t know. Frankly, I like learning things. ^_^

  9. Ultimaniac says:

    >_< I thought Garik was about to spoil something. Anyway Astro, after you're done with the anime you should consider reading Fate/Zero and possibly get ahold of the F/SN eroge, (if you don't mind ecchi scenes ^_^) There's just so much you don't see in the anime.

  10. AstroNerdBoy says:

    *lol* OK. I may just have to do that. ^_^;

  11. Garik says:

    @AstroNerdBoy- Yes, Shirou was born without any Magic Circuits– a kind of nerve connected to the soul that allows a magus to perform mage-craft– because he was born into an ordinary family. To perform any thaumaturgy, he does what Kiritsugu taught him: create a new one by converting some of his actual nerves each time. Shirou rarely succeeds at this, but it is amazingly dangerous and potentially fatal every single time. This is actually the incorrect way to go about it. It is especially unheard of that Shirou now has 27 magic circuits from this process when your average magus has around 20. Magic Circuits are supposed to be increased slowly over generations of breeding. And if anyone is curious, Rin has around 40 she was born with in addition to her family’s magical crest which is the equivalent of 60.

    Please know that Fate/Zero assumes the reader is familiar with everything from the F/SN visual novel and makes no pretension to keep things hidden. Secrets revealed very late in Heavens Feel, the final scenario and Sakura’s Route, are stated outright as if they were no big deal. Be warned.

    @Ultimaniac- Better safe than sorry. ^_^ Anyway, what I said can be used previous episodes to extrapolate some spoiler-esque info.

    I’ll be watching the reviews of this show with great interest. I wasn’t following any blogs when it was first shown, so this is fun.

  12. Garik says:

    Oh, I forgot to comment on Rin and Shirou’s relationship. For Shirou, it’s quite simple: Rin is the most popular girl in school, the idol of their entire year. In a scene from near the beginning of the VN, he is surprised to find out that she knows his name. Keep in mind that he doesn’t know who saved his life after Lancer stabbed him.

    For Rin it’s much more complicated. They don’t explain it at all in the anime, but she’s been watching him since middle school. The sacrifice she made to save his life was enormous. That jewel had a huge stockpile of magical energy and was the final gift her father had passed to her. It was her trump card and she had used it as a substitute for a catalyst for her summoning (since she had nothing connected to a heroic spirit). She had been prepared to accept that there would be victims in the war, but that flew out the window when she saw who it was that Lancer had stabbed. In the VN prologue, which is done through her PoV, she thinks of how his death would make someone important to her cry. So, in short, Shirou means more to her than a normal person would.

    Let’s not forget that she also feels she owes him for preventing Saber from killing her (at least that’s the only reason she’s willing to admit). She’s also bitter that an amateur like Shirou pulled the Saber card when she could not. Remember that she hates second place.

    One more tidbit: Archer was very badly wounded by Saber. Archer has seen countless battles and he should have been able to defend from an attack even from Saber. So, why did he get hurt so badly? Why could Saber smash through his otherwise amazing defensive capabilities (it isn’t shown to well in the anime, but both Rin and Lancer are amazed at Archer’s fighting prowess, especially since he’s supposed to be a bowman)? Later conversations from the VN that aren’t in the anime suggest that he was shocked with Saber’s sudden appearance. So why did this affect him to the point where he didn’t even defend himself?

  13. Hugh Roe says:

    @ Garik:

    Having gone through episode 16, I know why.

    “So why did this affect him to the point where he didn’t even defend himself?

    Interesting twist there.

  14. meganekko =@-@= says:

    well when I mentioned about reasons on why a certain servant type/identity is summoned by a certain master, I meant that thought Rin had as to why she summoned Archer and Shirou summoned Saber, and her noticing that they as masters and servants seem to have similar beliefs/ideologies wit each other, and possibly why masters with similar ideologies/beliefs would be able to summon a servant with compatible ideologies/beliefs

    PS: I’m not sure if it was Rin or Saber though…but I’m quite sure this was in the anime somewhere

  15. Garik says:

    @meganekko- That’s somewhat true. In cases where a master doesn’t have a proper catalyst connected with a Heroic Spirit, then the Servant summoned will be compatible with the Master. However, this is trumped by the artifact. Fate/Zero demonstrates this quite well: Caster and Berserker are similar to their masters, while Archer, Lancer and Saber are quite different from theirs.

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