There's a reason Nasu stated that Shirou as a character doesn't actually grow. He doesn't change nor does he learn, he simply comes to terms with things he already knows. Every "big reveal" he does about his own character is about things he is aware of already, but tries not to think about.
Anybody who thinks Kiritsugu is the most mature of the two completely missed the point of both characters. Shirou begins, right from the get-go fully aware of the impossibility of his ideal. The screenshot is from early Fate route. He's not just aware of the difficulty, he's aware of the inherent contradiction: a world where everyone is saved is, for the most part, logically impossible. Even with near omnipotent powers, you cannot preserve both the attacker and the victim just as they are, because success for one side implies failure for the other.
Kiritsugu was seriously going for the Grail to attain a perfect world. He lied to himself into not accepting the idiotic contradiction and thought such a thing could really exist. It's such a dumb idea that Rin points it out offhand to both Archer and Shirou early on, and neither does anything other than casually nod because it's not news to them either. Kiritsugu's obsessive with pragmatism to the point of needless cruelty was his idiotic overcompensation for the fact that he never managed to get rid of his childish nature or fully accept reality. He actually, up to the end, thought his dream was something that could exist in reality if he just got his hands on a big enough power.
Shirou never cared for any of that. He understood the contradiction right from the beginning. The worst Kiritsugu says here were something he only accepted at the very end of his life, but Shirou grasps them perfectly from the start. There's no naivety in Shirou.
>>137302756 Because the fire already taught him about the cruelty of life, how not everyone could be saved. The inherent logic was there from the start: The superhero that Shirou admired could only save one person from that fire. That person was Shirou. Shirou wanted to believe that Kiritsugu could save anyone and everyone, but he knew in his heart that this wasn't true. If that were the case, no one would have died that day.
Shirou's logic wasn't that he was naive or unable to comprehend reality. It was that his desires conflicted with his knowledge. A fool is someone who acts in ignorance. A madman is someone who acts while fully comprehending the futility of his actions. Shirou is the latter.
If he was only an idiot, then it wouldn't matter. There would be no conflict. He'd rush in, and he'd either die or eventually give up upon realizing how pointless it was. But Shirou knew the impossibility of his ideal. He knew that reality would not allow him to have his wish. And despite that, he still strove for it. What else would you call someone who tries to do something he absolutely knows to be impossible other than insane?
>>137303121 No. The fire taught him that fires kill people. Kiritsugu taught him everything else and Shirou used the fire as a proof of concept.
Honestly. Why do people let their fate/zero hate bullshit cloud their opinions? Shirou talking about Kiritsugu and how Kiritsugu taught him everything he believes in happens like every hour or so.
>"I wanted to be a superhero when I was a child." Suddenly. That man, himself a superhero in my child's eyes, said that as if yearning for it.
"What? What do you mean by 'wanted'? Did you give up?" I became angry and asked him. Kiritsugu laughed apologetically and looked up at the sky.
"Yes, unfortunately. Being a hero is a time-limited thing, and it becomes hard to call yourself that when you grow up. I wish I'd found that out earlier." I agreed with that. I didn't know why, but I thought it couldn't be wrong because Kiritsugu said so.
"I see. Then I guess it couldn't be helped." "Yeah. It really couldn't be helped." Kiritsugu answers. So of course, my response was determined. "Yeah, it can't be helped, so I'll take your place. It's impossible since you're an adult, but it should be all right for me. Let me take on your dream."
"I'll make it come true."
Before I could finish, my father laughed. He made a face like he didn't even need to hear the rest. After breathing in, Emiya Kiritsugu said… "Yeah I'm relieved." He quietly closed his eyes and his life ended.
>>137303801 He's literally Shirou, if Shirou hadn't met Kiritsugu. That's the point. They're interchangeable. Kiritsugu is a Shirou that grew up without having some weird old man tell him that saving everybody is impossible because the magi association are filthy liars so don't even attempt it.
>>137304110 From left to right: >Kidnapped by an evil witch and a victim of Rider's flesh consuming bounded field. >Loses the closest fatherly figure she has (Bahsaka), gets kidnapped by a psycho priest and experiments all the evils in the world, has her eyes slashed and her heart ripped from her chest, and commits sudoku to save her brother. >Dies dozens of times or has fates worse than death in all the bad ends (yes, they are also canon), experiences all the evils in the world first hand, fails to save everyone, has to kill his own servant, give up on his ideals and let a crapton of people die to save one girl, loses his sister, has to fight impossible battles against enemies leagues beyond him, and in the worst case scenario he becomes a twisted version of his ideals full of regret that lives an eternity of watching calamities and slaughtering people to clean up the messes of humanity. >Has to put her life on the line countless times to save and support her loved one, has to struggle with her obligation as magus to kill her own sister to save the town, and she dies in a couple bad endings and gets raped in one too. >Has her lifelong dream shattered before her eyes, has to wait an eternity to meet her loved one again, is mentally, physically and sexually abused and is forced to fight her master to the death on several occasions. >Where do I even start with her?
>>137304866 The VAST majority of different possible timelines are full of suffering for Shirou and Co. And not even one good or true ending is perfectly happy. You're the one cherrypicking happy endings.
>>137306360 The eclipse scene (they're outside the loop made by Avenger) shows the same thing if you view the scene where Bazett comes to live in the Emiya household, Saber, Rin, Sakura and Illya are all there.
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