A reminder: the Fate/Zero novel translation is more or less complete aside from the Epilogue, one side story, and general editing. Those of you who want the read the novels before the airing of the anime so you can then complain on /a/ and /fate/ about how they screwed it up can now consider doing so.
The last bastion, Shirabe, stands against Negi Party!!
Shirabe immediately summons Fidicula Lunatica and attacks. Nodoka manages to push Natsumi down in time, but Shirabe turns around and hits Anya who was coming from behind, breaking through Anya’ shields. Shirabe then targets Chiu, Konoka, Akira and Ako; Ku manages to tank the hit, but falls on one knee, barely holding herself up with the staff.
Before Shirabe could finish her off, Misora comes and steals away Fidicula Lunatica. However, Shirabe simply banishes her Artifact, though just as she is about to resummon it, Takane attacks with shadow spears. Shirabe manages to block them with tree roots, while also using them to transport Asuna back to the Altar. Mei and Collet chase after Asuna but are intercepted by more roots.
Shirabe gets hit hard in the side by Shinchintetsu Jikazon, and Takane shoots down more spears. Despite this, Shirabe continues moving Asuna, going into a flashback from her childhood, when Fate saved her from slavers. Finally, she manages to deliver Asuna to the Altar, locking her in a Dryad Bounded Field – a “victory of their willpower”.
Meanwhile, Fate and Negi are still standing on the space beneath the Altar, having apparently paused to watch Shirabe’s fight. Fate tells Negi that he should thank Shirabe; if the ritual had activated imperfectly without the Princess, the humans of the Magic World would have been thrown out onto Mars. Negi tells him that he will be stopping the ritual itself.
Fate charges Negi, breaking the Sword of Conviction with one hand and swinging his rock sword with the other, telling Negi that the only way to stop the ritual was to kill him. Negi breaks Fate’s sword with a punch and tries to talk, but Fate punches him right in the face.
Back at Mahora, the glowing of the World Tree has gotten strong enough that even the normal students can see it. Worse, there is an ‘image’ of the Gravekeeper’s Palace being transmitted in the air above the Tree. Eva and Zazie are watching as the two places are being connected, and Eva sees Negi…
Shirabe’s tooth and nail battle certainly made up for the rather disappointing fights of Homura, Koyomi and Tamaki. At the same time, it’s good to see major participation from the “backup” girls. Anya gets taken down rather quickly (and seems to disappear again) but at least she tried. Another point of overall awesomeness goes to Fate for, well, breaking Ensis Exsequens with one hand.
(See you all Saturday.)