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The Grail's Dialogue (Fate/Zero)

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The Grail Dialogue is the 11th episode of the action, adventure, drama, tragedy, comedy, dark comedy, fantasy, dark fantasy, battle royale, Japanese anime series Fate/Zero.  

Plot

Saber is surprised by the sudden arrival of Waver and Rider at Castle Einzbern. Rider declares his intention to have a peaceful discussion with her and Archer on the subject of kingship and the wishes they want the Grail to grant. Archer wants it merely so that people can't "steal" it from him, while Rider wants it to be reincarnated and get his dream of world conquest. Saber argues that a king should serve his people selflessly and wishes to use the Grail's power to save Britain. Rider criticizes her, saying that Saber's emotional distance from her subjects led to their dissatisfaction and proposes his own ideal, namely that people should serve the king, whose extravagant ambitions inspire them in turn. Their talk is interrupted by the arrival of the Assassins. When they rebuff Rider's offer to join the feast, Rider summons his Noble Phantasm called Ionian Hetairoi, composed of the vast number of loyal soldiers who also became Servants after their deaths. Rider and his army easily decimate every single Assassin. With their meeting over, Rider tells Saber that he no longer recognizes her as a king and departs. A conflicted Saber reveals to Iri that one of her knights (Mordred) left Camelot because he was dissatisfied with her rule.   

Why It Rocks

  1. Incredible animation.  
  2. This is arguably the most important episode for the entire series, as it's the first to truly delve into the ideologies of two of the fan favorite characters, Saber and Rider, and kickstart the character arc of Saber which she'll go through throughout the rest of this series and all of Fate/stay night.  
  3. This is the first episode where we get to see Rider's Noble Phantasm, a Reality Marble known as Ionioi Hetairoi.  
  4. Impressive lighting effects.  
  5. The drama is elevated to incredible levels in this episode, especially if you're a huge fan of the character Saber, who gets her ideology tragically torn apart.  
  6. Excellent soundtrack.  
  7. The episode does have some good comedy early on, which only helps to make the later drama evem more heavy.  
  8. Amazing fights.  
  9. Rider is epically cool.  Even people who love Saber and hate Rider's beliefs seem to agree that when he uses his Noble Phantasm he's unbelievably cool and badass.  
  10. Outstanding voice acting in both sub and dub.  
  11. Aside from the clashes of ideology and the drama, it was just cool to see three famous Kings from history or mythology, those being King Arthur (Saber), Alexander the Great (Rider), and Gilgamesh (Archer), talking and drinking with each other in the same time period.  

Bad Qualities

  1. It's kind of unfortunate that when Rider uses Ionioi Hetairoi he uses it on Assassin, the physically weakest of all of the Servants.  It would've been more interesting if he used it against Saber or Gilgamesh, (the latter of which who was also at their conversation), or, hell, pretty much any of the other Servants.