I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Kotomine discover the evil within him in Fate/Zero. Having read F/SN beforehand, I knew what kind of a person he was capable of being, and was honestly a little thrown off guard when he seemed so… normal at the beginning of F/Z. Seeing him slowly discover his love for the pain and despair of others, and seeing even Gilgamesh being captivated and interested in a mere Human, was enough to make me enjoy it all the more.
And agreed, F/Z has much more going for it in terms of pure potential. You have highly trained and lethal individuals with the Servants they specifically sought after vying for the Grail. You also had the contrasting hidden reasons, be it the end of war, total despair, recognition, etc.
This is one where I’d honestly have to choose based on the situation and layout of the battle. In an instance such as F/SN, where a key leyline is readily available, Caster isn’t a terrible choice. However, for all around versatility, Saber/Archer would likely be my personal preferences. You just have to be sure to make the best use of what you have. And, of course, if pride and honor aren’t your thing, have a small arsenal available to do some dirty work yourself on unsuspecting Masters.
As much as I hated the arrogant bastard after reading F/SN, I have to completely agree with everything you’ve said here. Gilgamesh is a man who knows precisely what he wants, and will do whatever he feels necessary to accomplish his goals. If I had to point out one flaw in Gilgamesh’s character, it would be his superiority complex toward EMIYA/Shirou for being a “fake” for the obvious reasons. I can say with certainty that it was Fate/Zero that changed my attitude toward him. His interactions with Tohsaka, and subsequently Kotomine, were absolutely fantastic to see.
I knew after reading F/SN that Kiritsugu had to have had one hell of a childhood, but damn… I was totally not ready to see exactly how screwed up his past had been. All of your points above are mirrored in my thoughts, but I’ll go one step farther and toss in his complete ability to disregard even family when the need to pull the trigger arises. The deep-seated anguish set in his heart from his inability to kill Shirley before she turned the entire island into Dead Apostles led him to never hesitate again. Be it his father, his adopted mother, or even his daughter, he never once hesitated to pull the trigger after that moment. We see glimpses of the pain he feels with each instance, but I think the ultimate display is the listless and dead way he digs through the rubble in the aftermath of the Grail seeking anyone, anything to justify his actions. Because in his mind’s eye, he’d sacrificed so much, so many times, and for what? His goal was shattered, and even his attempt to end the Grail War in a single strike had led to hundreds and thousands of deaths of totally innocent people.
Yeah… I can’t add much here, except screw this guy in particular.