Where Justice is Found
Continuing with the flashback from last week, this episode advances one step further into getting us to understand Kiritsugu’s views and beliefs. His breakdown after killing Natalia was really hard to watch, but now we can see behind the cold mask he flawlessly wears.
While regarded as a cold-blooded killer by most so far, he’s kinder than many, as he’s able to give up everything dear to him for the noble goal of saving as many people as possible. But when all is said and done, it that a worthy way of life? It seemed to me as if he was just lost after killing his father, and Natalia’s words, which she spoke in jest, knowing of its unreachability, gave him a new reason to live, a goal he took upon himself to achieve no matter what. But even as a kid, Kiritsugu was aware of the impossibility of his goal, yet he still kept reaching towards it, sacrificing any happiness he might have found in the process.
Too bad the good advices didn’t reach him as easily.
He’s living based on rationality alone, setting a goal and choosing the most proper course of action regardless of his feelings. This sets him apart from other hero aspiring characters (Kouga from Zetman being a good example this season), as he won’t hesitate in sacrificing the life he holds dearest than anything else over a bigger amount of lives, as he did this episode, killing Natalia to prevent a Ghoul outbreak in New York. Nonetheless, while he has the impressive skill of being able to pull the trigger regardless of his emotions, he is not a machine – he is still human, and thus his humanity will cause him the greatest suffering. This is the reason he wants the Holy Grail so much. He himself realizes his actions are futile in the bigger scheme of things, as evil can never be totally eradicated. But an omnipotent wish-granting device would be able to do that, right? It’s more than just wanting to save everyone, I think. He knows the path he took is a hopeless one, and the struggle for justice is the only thing he has left. Besides fighting for it, he has no other reason to live, nor can he go back after staining his hands with the blood of so many. The Grail will save him. That’s why he’ll do everything it takes, as despicable as it may seem. Any amount of lives he takes to reach it is insignificant when compared to the entire world.
Last week, I wasn’t happy about having the flashback cut into two episodes, as it felt like dragging it on too much. Now, despite there being many unneeded scenes this episode (even if I do think it was important to show a bit of Kiritsugu and Natalia’s developing relationship), I’m pretty sure 25 minutes wouldn’t have been enough for everything. The optimal length would have been somewhere in between but I think ufotable made the right decision in splitting it. Too bad the anime format won’t allow more freedom regarding episode duration.
I feel like I must also comment a bit on the sound on this episode. I simply loved the background music that played during the last scene, which, if I may add, was extraordinarily beautiful visually, especially with all those seagulls flying around as Kiritsugu launched the missile. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the Vol.2 of the OST. The use of “Manten” as the ED song was once again a great (albeit obvious, since this is the continuation of the flashback) choice. My only qualm with this episode is actually sound related too – Kiritsugu’s sudden voice actor change. It makes sense for him to have a different voice at the time, but the sudden change to a voice we’re already familiar with felt unnatural to me. I think the voice actor should have either made a slightly different voice, or they should have chosen a third person to voice the teenage Kiritsugu.
Ah, I turned a supposedly episodic post into somewhat of a character analysis It’s just that I can’t help but love characters who fight for hopeless and unreachable ideals xD From now on, Kiritsugu’s status as a main character will finally start to make sense, as the focus shifts more towards him and Kirei (though the later has gotten plenty of development so far) and this flashback was mandatory to get a better grasp of his mindset. And once again… I simply can’t wait for next Sunday to come!