Accidental Innuendo: Lancer declaring to Saber that she's "as good as naked before [his] spear" is supposed to be a straightforward reference to his spear's Armor-Piercing Attack, but that didn't keep it from getting its share of fanart making his line more literal.
Adaptation Displacement: Unlike its predecessor Fate/stay night, where its original status as a visual novel is very well-known and frequently considered to be superior to any of its anime adaptations, a lot of people are unaware that Fate/Zero originated as a 4-volume light novel series. Comparisons between the F/Z LN volumes and the anime adaptation are almost non-existent in most discussions of the storyline, in stark contrast to how fans constantly compare the F/SN visual novel to its adaptations.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Kirei provides an interesting case. We already know he enjoys the suffering of others, but it is unclear whether or not that is his greatest wish. While Angra Mainyu creates slaughter for him and he believes this to be his realization, one should not forget that the Grail interprets any wish in the most murderous way possible. Kirei's subconscious desire might have been something else entirely.
Kiritsugu is quite a controversial character among the fandom. He has quite a few fans who like him for being a badass Anti-Hero who's willing to do anything it takes achieve his goals of peace. On the other hand, some of the things he's done, including denying Lancer his wish of having an honorable fight with Saber and having him killed off in a degrading manner, as well as blowing up a zombie-infested plane with his mentor/mother figure on board have made quite a bit of people hate Kiritsugu's guts and feel that he got what he deserved in the end when his wife is killed, he's not able to see his daughter ever again, and he's finally cursed by the Grail.
Tokiomi Tohsaka. His perceived blandness (actually referenced in-universe as the reason Gilgamesh hates him!) and the wild popularity of his Arch-Enemy Kariya might have something to do with it. Not to mention the controversy regarding Tokiomi's decision to give Sakura to the Matou family, causing the girl years of physical torment. But it seems that he didn't know what would happen to Sakura and truly thought it'd keep her from losing her magical potential due to family rules, had quite a few Pet the Dog moments with his family and genuinely trusted his disciple Kotomine, only to be literally backstabbed by him. Part of this can be attributed to the fact that a lot of his reasons are adapted out of the anime, resulting in him being unable to project his thoughts more effectively.
Saber herself, especially compared to her portrayal in Fate/stay night. Some fans didn't take too kindly to her Honor Before Reason worldview for feeling that it clashes with the series' darker tone, and feel that her initial weakness represents her poorly. Others argue that she's still a badass Action Girl and feel that having an idealistic character among a cast of flawed and conflicted characters helps to alleviate some of the darkness. Fans who came to the Nasuverse through Fate/Zero tend to have a lower opinion of her, while fans who played/watched the Fate/stay night visual novel/anime first are more forgiving.
Better on DVD: The pacing is much better when you can watch the episodes back-to-back.
Episode 24 of the anime, for cutting out important aspects of Berserker's behavior and his fight with Saber, as well as altering Kariya's final scene in a way which made Sakura seem considerably more insensitive to him. Mainly splits along your opinion of his overall importance to the plot and Saber's character.
Complete Monster: Ryuunosuke Uryuu is the master of the equally sadistic and twisted Caster, Gilles de Rais, but lacks the latter's care for Jeanne d'Arc, making him worse by comparison. He introduces himself by sacrificing a child to summon a demon and becomes ecstatic when he watches Caster kill said child. It is soon revealed that Ryuunosuke is a Serial Killer of women, children and whole families, whose MO involves luring his victims to Caster, which then proceeds to torture and mutilate them before slowly killing them. When their hideout was discovered and destroyed by Weaver and Rider, Ryuunosuke convinces Caster to summon a demon in Fuyuki City River in an attempt to kill even more innocents. Despite forming a bond with Caster, this is simply a reflection of Ryuunosuke's own murderous traits rather than any genuine care, which he loudly states on using it to cause death on a grand scale, while he won't have to worry about dirtying his own hand. Taking joy in murder, suffering and death, Ryuunosuke is one of the most depraved masters in the history of the Holy Grail Wars.
Rider, who uses his Noble Phantasm to pop over to Saber's place for a drink. When they are surrounded by Assassins, he calmly invites them to sit down and drink with them, then utterly annihilates them all when they respond by attacking him.
Berserker fits the variety that is actually completely batshit. The first time we see him he's playing baseball with the weapons from the Gate of Babylon, and almost kills Saber with a lamppost. The second time, however, he turns this trope Up to Eleven when he hijacks a jet fighter to dogfight Gilgamesh and his Vimana.
Creepy Awesome: Ryuunosuke and Caster. Also serves a rare in-universe example where they see themselves this way.
Gilgamesh, unsurprising since this also applies to his original incarnation. Perhaps Justified as Gen Urobuchi has stated in an interview that his favorite characters are Gilgamesh and Kirei.
Disturbingly Caster and Uryuu also get some of this, with some labeling them Yanderes. Caster at least show a bit of a human side while talking about his old companion Jeanne D'arc, but Uryuu has no such soft spots, and the closest he gets to a dere side is with Caster, who he appreciates mostly because they're equally depraved.
Lancer Diarmuid was a massive hit with fans upon the novel's original release, to the point that he was included as a bonus character in Fate/unlimited codes.
Kayneth has also received an unexpectedly large fandom from /a/, Pixiv, and Nico Nico Douga due to being a Fountain of Memes. Even his Volumen Hydrargyrum ended up being extremely popular for a nonsentient mercury blob due to its connections to him as well as being considered Moe (which is probably why it got upgraded into a Meido in later series).
Kariya is absolutely adored by fans, especially in Japan, to the point that the creators were surprised by his popularity. He's the White Sheep of the biological Matou Family, and a very well done Tragic Hero. Many applaud him for putting himself through so much pain to try and rescue Sakura, and appreciate that he still has his flaws, namely his jealousy over Tokiomi having Aoi, Rin, and Sakura. His fall from grace and eventual death made him a very sympathetic and compelling Hero Antagonist, especially when compared to some of the other more morally grey or black masters in the War.
Despite being the least important Servant in the show and having no character development or storyline, the Assassins, especially the one female Hassan, are surprisingly popular with fans, and have a lot of fan art online. This female Hassan is eventually granted at least a 'nickname', Asako, and became the main face of Hassan of the Hundred Personas when this group of Assassins became summonable in Fate/Grand Order.
Ryuunosuke is impressively popular for a homicidal sadist and Disc-One Final Boss. Apparently, he is loved by the female staff members of ufotable.
Although Waver's plot relevance is middling down to minimal by the second half, and most of his presence as Lord El-Melloi II up to that point amounted to vague background fluff, after the anime he became such a huge hit with fans that eventually he got his own spinoff series, cameos in other series where he didn't originally appear, and consistently ranks highly on TYPE-MOON's character polls.
Probably the best example of this, however, would be Kirei's wife Claudia Hortensia, whose actual appearance in stay night lasts less then a minute; the only reason we know what she looks like is a minuscule appearance in the Character Materials, and so little is known about her that for a long time she didn't even have a name. With the airing of the anime, Kirei's new fanbase on Pixiv has taken quite a liking to Claudia; fanart of her with Kirei is common and they have become a mildly popular ship, but she also gets surprising amounts of fanart depicting her alone, though her design probably helped with the latter.
Epileptic Trees: When Rider activates Ionioi Hetairoi one of the more prominent figures is a man with long black hair. Many fans have speculated whether this is an aged-up Waver himself given that the NP pulls in Rider's supporters throughout all of time and Waver declares his loyalty to Rider toward the end. Previously released character materials also gave Lord El-Melloi II a vaguely similar hairstyle. Eventually it was Jossed by Lord El-Melloi II Case Files and Fate/Grand Order, which confirmed that the man is Eumenes and acknowledge his similarities to Waver.
Estrogen Brigade: Although many of the people involved in this series were originally more known for their work on eroge, the series is very popular among female fans due to the dark and dramatic plot and the cast consisting largely of attractive males of varying personality and body types, several attractive women who appeal to lesbians and bisexual women, each of them having oodles of Ho Yay, Les Yay, or some other simmering romantic tension with a good chunk of the rest of the cast. Even the characters who are not conventionally attractive have quite a large fangirl following.
Kayneth's goofy hairstyle is considered Ugly Cute by his fans, who also find his Memetic Loser aspects Adorkable, his sincere devotion to Sola-Ui endearing, and his crueler aspects, while bad, still forgivably mild by the standards of the other antagonists in this series and magus culture as a whole.
Caster also nets a surprising amount of fangirls and even erotic doujinshi despite being a Gonk, due to his extremely Ho Yay-tastic relationship with Ryunosuke and his earnest For the Evulz attitude making him Love to Hate with a heavier emphasis on the Love part.
Evil Is Cool: Gilgamesh and Kirei are some of the most popular characters in the entire franchise, because of rather than in spite of all the villainy they're responsible for.
Kiritsugu and Kotomine. Kotomine's obsessive interest in Kiritsugu is akin to a Stalker with a Crush.
Saber and Lancer. The two are formally enemies but their relationship is akin to a Friendly Rivalry with UST, and one of the Einzbern Consultation Room parody shorts has him expressing a crush on Saber.
Fountain of Memes: Kayneth. Pretty much everything he says, does, or has happen to him becomes memeworthy.
Careful observation in the anime will reveal some easy-to-overlook but brilliant details for lovers of Cool Planes: The F-15 that Berserker turns into a Noble Phantasm is shown activating the afterburners, thrust vectoring (which the actual plane, or at least that particular model of the F-15, simply can't do but thanks to Berserker's ability actively changing and enhancing the jet can), and crippling the Vimana using the jet's ECM package. For bonus points, several of the maneuvers Berserker pulls are actual dogfighting maneuvers.
Gilgamesh's airship may seem like an Ass Pull at first, but no, that too is grounded in real-world mythology. The ship he's using is a Vimana, a Hindu "Chariot of the Gods" that was said to fly through the air. It even looks like actual drawings of Vimana from real-world texts (particularly the Vaimānika Shāstra), albeit edited to be more aerodynamic. Since Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon contains all treasures in the world, not just weapons, it makes sense that he would have one.
The attack Gilgamesh unleashes from Ea, Enuma Elish, is shown to possibly have the ability to destroy an entire world, seeing that it destroyed a Reality Marble, which is infinitely large. Turns out that it shares its name with the Babylonian story of creation.
Kiritsugu's line, "Even if I am to carry all the evils of this world—it wont matter. If that can save the world, then Id gladly accept it." Fate/stay night has already revealed (and Fate/Zero closes out on) that, having been immersed in the mud of Angra Mainyu, he bore, and after five years died from, the curse of All the Evils of This World.
On a similar note, the narration for Kiritsugu's death, seen from Shirou's point of view in the sequel, reveals that Kiritsugu allowed Shirou to take on his dream because he died fully believing that he won't turn out the same as him, and that's why he was able to die peacefully. Not only is Archer more or less Kiritsugu with swords and bows instead of guns, Shirou quite explicitly becomes Kiritsugu in one of the Bad Ends of Heaven's Feel.
Also, the episode where Kiritsugu was forced to kill Natalia, whom he considered a surrogate mother, aired on Mother's Day.
Somehow manages to happen again when Kiritsugu kills Iri and Ilya (or rather the Grail's illusions of them). That episode aired on Father's Day.
Kiritsugu and Irisviel's final meeting manages to do this thrice in rapid succession. Irisviel wishes for Ilya to come see Japan someday (she does... as another Einzbern tool of war doomed to die), for her to see the cherry blossoms (which can be seen as a reference to the Tragic Dream in Heaven's Feel route) and the summer clouds (Shirou staring at the summer clouds while thinking about his loss and about how his life changed is a scene people might remember from the epilogue of the Fate route).
Even worse, later on, when Irisviel talks with Maiya, she hopes for the Fourth War to be the final one... so that Ilya won't have to take her place in the next one should they fail. Her asking Kiritsugu to bring Ilya to Japan is doubly effective because after the end of the war, Kiritsugu spends several of the last years of his life trying to do that and failed because the Einzberns won't let him, and due to the curse he was too weak to break through their defenses.
Lord El-Melloi II Case Files goes into detail about the trauma and PTSD that the events of Zero caused Waver even a decade later. In addition all of the scenes of Waver and Rider bonding become a lot more sad due to the immense guilt Waver feels over Rider's death and how much he misses him, to the point that he attempts to participate in the Fifth Grail War despite these traumas for the chance to see him again. In addition it's implied that Rider's death is the main reason for Waver's refusal to enter any romantic relationships later in life.
Likewise, if you know the backstory of Gray in Case Files, then you know that Saber's appearance has tragic consequences for them.
Heartwarming in Hindsight: Although it was long well known in character materials and later series portrayals that the man who becomes Lord El-Melloi II is a rather jaded man, Waver's experiences in Zero inspired him to take a path that he found fulfilling. And for all the enmity he bore towards Kayneth he ultimately valued and respected him greatly as a teacher, and did what he could to restore his research and family name to atone.
Ironically, despite being the prequel to an Eroge from a Bishoujo Series company, this series probably has had about as much Yaoi made of it during the airing of the anime as all the hentai and yuri that has been done for Stay Night over the years since it was released.
Monty Python jokes about Saber and the Black Knight was inevitable. It was revealed that the servant Black Knight's true identity is Lancelot. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, John Cleese played both Lancelot and the Black Knight.
Caster mistaking Saber for Jeanne d'Arc is pretty funny for westerners since Saber's voice actress, Kari Wahlgren, actually voiced Jeanne.
Similarly, Jeanne's supposed resemblance to Artoria arguably made her the first Saberface in the series. Then the likes of Nero, Mordred, and (to a lesser extent) Okita came along, and compared to them, Jeanne looks nothing like Artoria.
All the memes and jokes about Kayneth in a wheelchair become doubly hilarious after Lord El-Melloi II Case Files, where the same happens to Lord El-Melloi II for one of the cases.
It's also revealed in Case Files that the many magical traps, furnaces, demons, and Mystic Codes Kayneth used to fortify his hotel were all embezzled from the Clock Tower, and responsible for a large portion of the El-Melloi family debt the second Lord has to pay off. Oops.
During the banquet, Rider tells Gilgamesh that "the Holy Grail is no mere drinking cup." Cut to the end of Fate/Grand Order - Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, where Caster Gilgamesh uses the Holy Grail...as a drinking cup before giving it to Ritsuka and Mash.
Kirei and Gilgamesh, Caster and Uryuu (Takeuchi even says that they "should get married already"), and Rider and Waver (who get an official 4koma implying they restored mana that way). Especially since both Rider and Caster are canonically bisexual, not to mention Gilgamesh's relationship with his friend Enkidu was brimming with homoeroticism in the original epic. And that Gilgamesh's image song is basically him mourning Enkidu. Berserker and Kariya also have a bit with the brief blood-sucking scene they get.
It helps that Gilgamesh has been officially out of the closet with his pansexuality since F/HA and that he's from an era and culture when there were very different views on sexual orientation than today. Not to mention that one of the Type-Moon running gags is having Waver Velvet (old or young) totally ignore women who make moves on him such as Stay Night's Rider in a Drama CD (who as of Fate/hollow ataraxia is quite firmly established as bisexual), only perking up once she starts quoting Iskander.
Uryuu refers to Caster as 旦那 (danna), which is a term used to refer to one's boss or superior, but is also a term for a wife to refer to her husband. The Double Entendre was not lost on the fans.
Considering what we know of Waver later in his life, it's easy in retrospect to view Rider and his relationship as a classic case of erastes and eromenos, especially with Rider himself being an ancient Greek bisexual.
I Knew It!: The fan theory that Berserker, the "Black Knight", is Lancelot.
Iron Woobie: Irisviel. The matter-of-fact, almost cheerful way in which she explains that her body has degraded too much for her to use magic alone, engage in her favourite hobbies, or even dress herself without considerable effort is downright heartbreaking.
Jerkass Woobie: Subverted by Kayneth. After his moment of Break the Haughty by Kiritsugu, he finds his body crippled and his spirit broken, desperately dreaming of still winning the War, while his Servant causes him trouble and his fiancee is obviously madly in love with said Servant and probably planning to run away with him. In that situation, it's not all that hard too feel kinda sorry for the guy, but he ruins it shortly thereafter by showing us that people apparently don't change that easily, since he kicks the dog by murdering Kotomine's father just to get at the extra Command Spell and stay in the Grail War.
Les Yay: Saber and Irisviel have a knight-and-lady relationship, and Irisviel treats Saber less like a tool and more like a human being, similar to Shirou's future attitude towards Saber. Irisviel was a little bit too enthusiastic when dressing Saber as a Bifauxnen. Also, Irisviel holds Avalon within her, which works strongest when Saber is in close proximity—after the fight with Kirei, where Irisviel lay mortally wounded, Saber's presence literally saved her life.
Love to Hate: Caster and his Master Ryuunosuke Uryuu. In fact, They even discuss how they are exactly this, being the villains in the great act that God writes. Then just to make their point, they summon a Cthulhu-esque Eldritch Abomination to spite God while "remaining aware" of their "role".
Magnificent Bastard: Kiritsugu Emiya, the Magus Killer, suffered a childhood of trauma that drove him to wish to end all battle no matter the cost. Under the belief "kill one to save hundreds," Kiritsugu resorts to extreme tactics, such as bombings to get his target even if it means sacrificing others in the process. Contracted by the Einzbern family to participate in the 4th Holy Grail War, Kiritsugu remains in the background while his wife Irisviel acts in public as Saber's Master, so he can scope out all competition with his assistant Maiya. When assaulted at the Einzbern Castle by Kayneth Archibald, Kiritsugu conditions the magus with traps and gunfire until he fires an Origin Bullet that cripples his Magic Circuits. Later, Kiritsugu takes advantage of Kayneth's pride and love for his wife Sola to eliminate Lancer from the tournament by using a self-geas scroll that he loopholes out of by having Maiya snipe both of them. Even in the thick of battle, Kiritsugu keeps a cold, calculated demeanor as he studies his opponent, be they magus like Kayneth or powerhouses like Kirei Kotomine. When tragedy strikes at the end of the Grail War, Kiritsugu saves a young boy named Shirou and vows to abandon his ruthless ways, hoping to turn his new son into the "Hero of Justice" he couldn't be.
Kayneth. Despite being a genius-tier mage and one of the most powerful Masters in the war, his downfall from sheer hubris made him ripe for mockery as the show's biggest Butt-Monkey.
Diarmuid, thanks to the events surrounding his death. It doesn't help that he's unfavorably been compared to fellow Lancer Cu Chulainn, who not only is a fan favorite but also met a similar end in Unlimited Blade Works, with the key difference between his Diarmuid's death is that Cu manages to combine Defiant to the End with Dying Moment With Awesome, taking Kirei down with him, saving Rin, and burning down the Einzbern castle before kicking the bucket, as opposed to Diarmuid, who merely just proclaims a Dying Curse.
WAGA ARU G Explanation Lancer consistently refers to Kayneth with "waga aruji", or "milord".
Being Lancer is suffering.Explanation There is a perception in the fandom that Lancers tend to meet terrible ends. It didn't help that both Lancers have E-Rank Luck, making them each a Cosmic Plaything. The phrase "Being x is suffering" itself was borrowed from the Puella Magi Madoka Magica community.
Team NTRExplanation A Fan Nickname for team Kayneth, referring to how Sola-Ui falls in love with Lancer.
In the same vein, other Fan Nicknames for the teams include Team Cool/Team Crazy (Caster and Ryuunosuke) and Team Yuetsu (Kirei and Gilgamesh); see below for explanations.
KFC: Kayneth's Fried CircuitsExplanation Kiritsugu uses his Mystic Code—magic bullets—to fry Kayneth's magical circuits. Started by a thread on /a/ where Kayneth's face is photoshopped on the KFC logo.
Fast WheelsExplanation Related meme for Kayneth after the events of the above leave him wheelchairbound.
Army of Bros Explanation Fan Nickname for Iskandar's Ionioi Hetairoi.
Yuetsu! Explanation The Japanese word for "pleasure", alternatively translated as "joy" or "entertainment"; one of the plotlines involves Gilgamesh making Kirei realize what exactly the source of these things is for him. It's probably a result of the frequent use and the Ho Yay that comes with it that made it into a memetic word among the fandom.
REJOICE, insert character name here. Explanation Kirei Kotomine's line towards Shirou at the start of Fate/stay night has turned into a memetic Catchphrase for the priest.
(Insert violent sequence here): (IT'S) MORE FUN◊ IN THE PHILIPPINES!◊ Explanation It's a reference to both the Philippines' current tourism slogan, and the revelation that Alimango Island, where Kiritsugu's Start of Darkness took place, is an actual location from that country. Needless to say, a number of Filipinos couldn't resist.
Diarmuid's Dying Cursespoilers Moments before his death, Diarmuid launched an anguished, full of anger rant against everyone he knew of for being denied of his one wish. Said rant turns out to be ripe for snowcloning for any sorts of griefs.
There seems to be a lot of hate towards Aoi for letting Tokiomi give up Sakura to Zouken and the Matous and only complaining about it afterwards, even though Values Dissonance is in play and Aoi couldn't have known how badly Sakura would be treated by the Matous (which really falls on Tokiomi).
The cinematography of Kariyas death led to Sakura getting a great deal of undeserved hate from those who interpreted it as her rejecting Kariya and shoving him to his death. The original novel states clearly that Kariyas body was already rapidly expiring, and he died in front of her before falling in.
In-universe example: Saber confronts Kiritsugu about crossing it when he forces Kayneth to have his own Servant, whom Saber respected, commit suicide; Kiritsugu justifies it by invoking Necessarily Evil and War Is Hell. Also an out-of-universe example, for some.
Ryuunosuke Uryuu's very first scene has him happily finishing up murdering a family. It's not even his first murder, just his first onscreen one.
Caster also crosses this line in record time, by killing a child after giving him a brief moment of hopeone minute after summoning.
Kirei is highly complex, and whether or when he crossed it in Fate/Zero can be debated, but his murder of Tokiomi (though some see him as an Asshole Victim) who deeply trusted him, could count... however, where he really seals the deal is when he uses Tokiomi's corpse to drive a wedge between Aoi and Kariya For the Evulz, which ends up in the latter strangling the former.
Moreover, their conversation about faith and God in the 13th episode are incredibly narmy, so it's hard not to think that when talking about "the god who writes this story," they mean Urobochi.
In Episode 8, the inexplicable zoom on Kotomine's behind as he uses bajiquan to destroy the tree he's tied to. Likewise, the jaunt he takes after defeating Irisviel and Maiya, which looks more like him taking a light evening jog than fleeing a battle.
Some of the more pained expressions can come off as looking bizarre and cross-eyed, such as Kiritsugu's despair after killing Natalia or Aoi screaming right into the camera.
Then there's the birth of Illyasviel. Irisviel says to Kiritsugu that "she has [his] eyes". Anyone who has played/seen Fate/stay night knows that Illyasviel is basically a clone of her mother, so she obviously doesn't.
Kiritsugu's huge eyes while he cries about killing Natalia. His Inelegant Blubbering, especially in the English dub ("SHUT YOUR FACE!") doesn't help.
Nausea Fuel: The animated version gives us a long, hard look at what Zouken did to Sakura in the first episode. Insects, bugs, worms, oh my. Yikes.
Slow-Paced Beginning: Some people dismiss the anime after watching the first episode, which consists of forty minutes of introductions and Info Dump. However, after that episode, things start to really pick up.
Special Effect Failure: The integration of the CG and hand-drawn animation can be... spotty sometimes. The opening minute of Episode 6 and Berserker in particular, although the Berserker case may be an intentional attempt to convey just how wrong he and his armor feel.
What Ryuunosuke does to those children. Words cannot describe the absolute horribleness of what is shown.
What Zouken has been doing to Sakura.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Maiya is largely underused in the story. Most of what's known about her is given through either her backstory or exposition, and her role in the story is largely to be Kiritsugu's partner and Morality Chain alongside Iri. Problem is, it leaves her a Satellite Love Interest to Kiritsugu, and unlike Iri who gets to interact with Saber, she gets little to no focus of her own. It's turned Up to Eleven when its revealed via Fate/strange fake that, due her backstory of having been raped by soldiers, she has a son, Sigma. While this is mentioned in the Light Novel of Fate/Zero, its only a minor detail quickly glossed over, when it could have been used to explore her character, about how she had to give up the child she gave birth to and how the experience affected her.
Berserker may also count, just based on the incredibly awesome shit he pulls off despite being supposedly too screwed up in the head to fucking think straight, never mind fighting tactically the way he does. The fact that he makes a weapon out of a jet alone despite his mental handicap practically makes him a shoe-in for this.
Kariya Matou. Severely contaminated with the same worms which permeate Sakura's body, constantly forced to undergo Body Horror to participate in the Grail War, and in the end, he was barely acknowledged as a participant of the war or as an opponent to Tokiomi. And Sakura, whose freedom was his reason for joining the war, stays in Zouken Matou's clutches, further demoralized by Kariya's failure.
Lancer and Saber both get the short end of the sticks as servants. All the two want to do is fight a honorable battle but they get their ideals trampled upon. Lancer dies cursing everyone for spitting on his ideals while Saber is forced to destroy the Holy Grail and live with the guilt that her martyrdom led to the destruction of her Kingdom.
Values Dissonance: Aoi's submission to Tokiomi, particularly in letting him give Sakura away to the Matou family and then mourning that choice, may seem like Aoi isan idiotfor letting Tokiomi do whatever he wants and only complaining about it after the fact, but this is likely a criticism towards the practice of Japanese housewives, where housewives are expected to be obedient to their husbands, otherwise they'd bring shame to both their families. This is even what Aoi was told to do by her family. In other places, it would be expected that husbands that try to do what Tokiomi did would get an earful from their wives before they'd get to the chance. A divorce/separation would not be surprising. which would also be very looked down on in Aoi's situation, once again due to Japanese values.