is a setting filled with an immense amount of backstory, an extremely complicated set of rules for its Functional Magic
, and protagonists who sometimes have to ask hard questions about themselves and the people around them. In any given work, death, deceit, and betrayal abounds.
So, let's ignore all of that
and focus on the characters involved having fun!
Based on the official Type-Moon gag manga Take Moon
by Eri Takenashi
, Carnival Phantasm
takes the casts of Tsukihime
and Fate/stay night
and places them in a series of wacky situations, such as the Fifth Grail War
being reduced to a game show or grand prix.
There are 3 'Seasons', with the first released mid-August 2011, the second released at the end of October 2011, and the third getting its day at the very end of 2011. Included on the final disc release was the OVA "Fate/Prototype", a short animation showing off concepts and designs meant for the original incarnation of Fate/stay night
During the Type-Moon Fes. 10th Anniversary Event of 2013, they displayed a new Carnival Phantasm episode.
As this is essentially a spinoff of both Tsukihime
and Fate/stay night
, many of the tropes used on their respective pages would also apply here. Please limit the tropes used to examples specifically pertaining to Carnival Phantasm
- A-Cup Angst: DON'T mention Akiha's "not developed part". Don't mention Tohsaka's, either.
- Actor Allusion: Shinji being an internet Troll probably has 'touches' on Hiroshi Kamiya doing Izaya Orihara, who is an in-universe Troll.
- Adorable Abomination: Grail-kun, a Super-Deformed version of the Angra Mainyu-tainted Great Holy Grail, whose cheerful solution to each and every problem is a kitchen knife.
- And That's Terrible: The reaction to Gilgamesh's Game Breaker episode mentioned below.
Saber: Lancer died!
Shiro: [to Gilgamesh] You're not human!
- Repeated multiple times in the Ilya's Castle special. Furthermore, the exchange of those lines is actually a parody of South Park. It's what the Japanese dubbed version of South Park says when Kenny dies.
- Animal Motifs:
- Lancer is frequently compared to a dog. After all, he is Cu Chulainn.
- Saber is compared to a lion multiple times, including getting a lion-themed kiddy-ride as a race car.
- Arc Words: "Death is always close by." This is only in Final Dead Lancer, but it still fits the trope.
- Ascended Extra: Hibiki and Chikagi going from website-only characters to getting a special episode dedicated to them, complete with Promotion to Opening Titles.
- Awesome but Impractical:
- Back from the Dead: Aside from Episode 11's Sequel Hook, Lancer mysteriously comes back to life in the 2013 episode after being killed by Black Keys and a 'Servant Strengthening Device' (see Brick Joke).
- Also, the talking cell phone constantly annoys Chikagi, gets snapped in half by her...and returns a few seconds later to annoy her some more.
- Badass: All seven servants during the montage that talks about the Holy Grail War in Episode 1—perhaps the only serious moment in the whole series.
- Badass Adorable:
- The Saber Lion, a ferocious man-eating animal that happens to look like Saber in a cute lion suit.
- Admit it, Caster is super-moe here, especially since she's rarely seen with her hooded cloak.
- Badass Boast:
- "I am an elegant gothic lolita waitress, sir!" Even better is that Saber Alter uses it to take down Gilgamesh.
- After Shirou tells Shiki it's impossible to be in two places at once, Shiki retorts with, "I'll make it happen!" (Otherwise he'll be killed.)
- "My Riding skill is A+. I can ride even granny bikes to speed!" Even better is that Rider is clearly having fun!
- Badass Unintentional: Berserker. Without making any deliberate effort on his part, the time he was sent to do an errand for Ilya was also the same day he won the 5th Holy Grail War by himself.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Hilariously subverted. Shiki and Shirou do wind up literally back to back at one point, both facing the same lethal threat. Unfortunately, said lethal threat is Saber and Arc, who are extremely pissed that each respective guy tried to be a player all day to their universe's respective love interests. Needless to say, the end results involve a lot of unmanly screaming from each guy as Saber and Arc kick their asses. It is the fact that they stick together against the odds that allows them to pull an off-screen maneuver in order to escape most of the wrath of a force that could magic-nuke a forest and safely retreat thanks to Shiki's prior actions.
- Made even better by a previous sly little shot shown between Shiki and Shirou running about trying to please everyone: the shot shows Shiki confidently taking off his glasses to combat a wild bear he meets in the woods on his way to seeing one of the girls. The man can take on a bear with nothing but his magical eyes and his knife, but still trembles in fear of his girlfriend. Of course, the bear would have simply killed him; Arcueid can do much worse. He even points this out in episode 4.
- Bait and Switch: Done with the Holy Grail War in the first episode. The intro montage introduces it as usual, as a battle to the death between the seven Servants, until Ilya makes the sudden announcement that the rules have changed.
- Wow! You mean Lancer actually survived the final battle in the Ilya Castle special? Oh, wait ...
- Wow! You mean Lancer actually survived every death in the series? Oh, wait ...
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: Done by the Tempest: Ilya's Castle game.
- Ban on Magic: In the first episode, the characters aren't allowed to use their Noble Phantasms in order to minimize the damage caused by this Holy Grail War.
- Batman Gambit: Somehow, someway, Sakura already knew Shirou's plan in Episode 12, given her sneaky way of following Shiro around all his other dates, and subtly brings his plan crashing and burning down. Why else would she be the only one smiling as the rest of the girls are having a tense staredown with Shiro and Shiki?
- Beach Episode: Episode 2, centered around the Tsukihime cast enjoying themselves at the beach.
- Berserk Button: Lancer still doesn't like the word 'dog', which distracts him during a card game with Archer.
- Big Bad: Possibly Shirou of all people in the 2nd season of Phantasmoon, based on his ominous presence behind the three new enemies in the preview.
- Big Ball of Violence: Standard interaction between Arcueid and Ciel. Apparently, they're actually friends.
- Big Damn Movie: Phantasmoon: the Movie premiered in Extra.
- Bishie Sparkle: Shiki sees all the girls accompanying him to the beach with those, even Len and Miyako. All except Akiha.
Shiki: What a sight for sore eyes.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sakura in episode 6 and again in episode 12. Most of her internal monologue the first time ends with how awesome she is. Entirely Played for Laughs in both cases with her actions in episode 6 being a part of the drama spoof and in 12 it's part of her role as Foil to the Zany Scheme. She also is disappointed that Shinji is turned into a good guy. See Demoted to Extra below as to why.
- Bland-Name Product:
- The sponsors littering episode 9. Also, Ilya's consoles and Japanese games in episode 5. On the other hand, though they are obscured, the covers for Battlestations: Pacific and Dead Space are ones from the real world and have not been modified.
- There's a box from Amezon in Kohaku's room at the beginning of the Koha-Ace anime.
- From the Special episode, Riesbyfe uses the "Mutter" social media app.
- Blatant Lies: "I gotta act fast to make Sakura happy!" You're only trying to delude yourself with that one, Shirou. You've got to act fast to save your own skin.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: This is the standard format for Back Alley Alliance.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: All the freaking time.
Sakura: [to Rider] You got more votes than me in the popularity polls anyway!
- Brick Joke: The last "Grail-kun" segment is about Kotomine agreeing to kill Lancer with the "Servant Strengthening Device," a.k.a. kitchen knife. In the Hibichika special, Lancer suddenly dies from being stabbed with tons of Black Keys, obviously by Kirei. Any more doubt you had that Kirei was implementing Grail-kun's idea is dispelled with the fact there's one kitchen knife amongst the Black Keys.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Not appearing on-screen, and neither is actually related to their "sibling", but:
- Shinji attempts this in Episode 6, but Rider gives Sakura Caster's Rule Breaker to stop him.
- In Episode 10, Brainwashing Detective Hisui-chan investigates several murders; one victim is Tohno SHIKI, and the word "siscon" is written in marker on his chest.
- The Bully: Fits Gilgamesh to a T. To quote Caster:
Gilgamesh: [Evil laugh] Rule breaker!
Caster: HEY! That's my line!
Gilgamesh: Your things are my things!
- Butt Monkey:
- Lancer is abused constantly and dies nearly every episode with the cameo in the Phantasm Moon skit being one of the Butt Monkey-est moments in the whole show. He even gets dragged into completely unrelated scenes just to be abused throughout the series, especially in the second season. It may be a reference to Lancer's E-grade Luck from his Fate/stay night Servant Status page.
- Whereas Lancer is the definite buttmonkey for the show in general, especially in the Fate sections, Ciel takes most of the abuse in the Tsukihime ones. Maybe it's the blue hair?
- Shinji is one to a lesser extent, as he very rarely appears without getting defeated or kicked around. Lancer simply one-ups him in that he appears more often. Once again, blue hair.
- Waver Velvet gets to share a moment of this with Lancer in the season three finale as they are both lifted up by Berserker with Saber Lion biting on Lancer's arm.
- Bystander Syndrome:
- In the Phantasmoon segiment.
- Also, in episode 8, while Berserker is trying to smash the cafe, nobody inside does anything about it, the people inside being Arcueid, Gilgamesh, Nrvnqsr Chaos, and Saber, all of whom should be able to beat Berserker in a straight fight. Only Saber does anything, which is to kindly ask him to calm down.
- The Cameo:
- Aoko Aozaki in her Mahou Tsukai no Yoru form shows up briefly in an advertisment on the back of a book Arcueid is reading.
- The opening also showcases a whole bunch of Type-Moon characters that never made it into the episodes proper; e.g., Caren Ortensia.
- Kara no Kyoukai fans may spot a familiar blue kimono/red jacket combo in the audience in the first episode.
- If you look very closely to the right side of the first time we see the audience in the first episode, you can spot Saegusa Yukika, Makidera Kaede and Himuro Kane. They can also be seen as bystanders in Episode 10.
- Arcueid herself constantly pops up in Fate sections, usually completely unruffled by the chaos occurring around her. Some are easier to spot than others, such as being a customer at the cafe in episode 8.
- The finale of season two also has Red Saber popping up during the Tiger Dojo.
- Season three's finale has brief glimpses of cast members from essentially every Nasuverse continuity, even ones that debatably aren't part of it or definitely aren't.
- Episode 6's mushroom monster that Marvel Phantas-moon (Arcueid) fights against is Kinoko Nasu's avatar.
- The 2013 episode shows many characters from the Nasuverse, notably from Fate/Zero and Fate/EXTRA, in a massive rush of Super-Deformed characters. Also, Hibiki Hibino and Chikagi Katsuragi, two characters appearing only on the Type Moon website, appear prominently during the first part of the episode.
- Cargo Ship: Invoked. Assassin is very, very "attached" to his gate. It's even gotten to the point that he talks to it, and apparently hears it talk back. Not to mention the nature of these "conversations"...
- Catch Phrase: "This is all within my calculations." by Sion, minor variations of which are used to end the Back Street Alliance gags at the end of the second through fourth episodes as well.
- Cat Smile: Done by the male protagonists of all people. It's also the Neko Arcs' default expression.
- Chastity Dagger: In Episode 6, Rider throws Sakura Caster's Rule Breaker to use for this purpose, which also purges the evil from Shinji's heart.
- Chewing the Scenery: Comes as no surprise that Gilgamesh would be an expert at this, though Assassin and Lancer have more than their share as well.
- The Chew Toy: Lancer. If an episode isn't providing physical humor where he's grievously abused, it's because it has no Fate segment. Even then, he'll probably be abused.
- Chick Magnet: True to their source material, both Shiki and Shirou have several hot girls vying for their attention all at the same time. Trying to figure out a way to accommodate all of them is the subject of at least two of the shorts.
- Christmas Cake: Caster. Fortunately, things are looking well for her.
- Close-Call Haircut:
- Berserker pulls this off on Caster while using a tennis ball.
- Done again in episode 2 by Miyako on Ciel during the volleyball match, cracking Ciel's glasses.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Being a gag series, every character is subject to Character Exaggeration and Flanderization... except Arcueid, who, simply by being herself, is right at home with all the insanity occurring around her.
- Colony Drop: Red Arcueid uses "Blut die Schwester" from Melty Blood and Fate/Extra to win a beach volleyball match.
- Comically Serious: Kotomine.
- Cool Car:
- Rin gets one near the end of the Ilya Castle special, and she doesn't care who or what gets in her way. Poor Sakura.
- BerSer-CAR also counts.
- Everyone gets one in the 9th episode.
- Correlation Causation Gag: Done in episode 12 when Hisui's hammer strikes a nail at the same time a Magic Nuke goes off across town. She simply takes a quizzical look at the hammer and keeps pounding.
- Covert Pervert: Aoko is one of these to Shiki.
- Assassin, with an emphasis on Crazy. In order to compete in the 5th Holy Grail War race he brings the Ryudou Shrine gate with him on a semi-truck, then has one of Caster's Protection Charms to ensure that he does not have an accident while driving. It's only because of Ilya and BerSer-CAR that he loses. Also overlaps with invoked Crazy Awesome; both Rin and Archer think what he did was both impressive and completely insane.
- Shirou and Shiki TRY to do this for their insane date plans. It... fails.
- Cry Cute:
- Poor Tohsaka Rin, driven to a rolling bundle of tears by the difficulty of operating a Blu-Ray recorder. Aww...
- Also, when Caster cries in joy like a little-girl when Souichirou not only continues to love her in spite of her Saber-stalking hobbies, but asks for her hand in marriage and a honeymoon together in Hawaii. Double Aww...
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Season 2 Episode 1: Berserker vs. the other Servants. Most of it inadvertently. Made even funnier by the fact that Berserker fails to even notice most of them.
- Dancing Theme: The opening, Super Affection, with all the main heroines dancing along to the tune. That it is extremely derivative makes it no less awesome.
- Day in the Limelight: The second season seems to have a lot of these;
- Episode 5 follows Berserker as he attempts to get batteries for Ilya. In the process he singlehandedly wins the 5th Holy Grail War as well.
- Episode 6 gives us the previously ignored Sakura and to a lesser extent Rider going into some... darker, but not too dark places.
- Episode 7 partially focuses on Caster, Soichirou, and Assassin finally appearing instead of the cardboard cutout.
- Episode 8 is about Saber. All of them.... except Lilly.
- In the third season, Lancer finally gets to try and avert his destiny of always dying. And ultimately succeeds.
- The first half of the Hibichika Special is basically this for the titular characters, who were created for Type-Moon's mobile site.
- The Day The Music Lied:
- Played for laughs in episode 4 when Shirou & Shiki are making plans for their dates which all overlap with other girls. They are accompanied by a rocky BGM just for it to stop when they realize that the plans they made are all impossible.
- Same in episode 1: When Shirou decides to destroy the Grail and end the war, the music sweeps up until the Grail is broken and its contents revealed... to be Neco Arc.
- Delayed Reaction: It takes Lancer a full 3 seconds to realize that the pretty girl he was accosting is actually Bazette. Their reaction to said realization is priceless.
- Demoted to Extra
- Not Satsuki Yumizuka, who in fact gets a decent chunk of screentime considering her low overall importance. She has a dedicated slot concerning her and the Back Alley Alliance at the end of the episodes during Episodes 2 through Episode 4. Rather, the person who got hit with this trope the hardest is Sakura. One of the three main heroines of Fate/stay night, and she doesn't even get a speaking role for the entirety of season one! Isn't it sad, Sakura? When she finally gets an episode devoted to her, it focuses more on Rider with the joke being that all Sakura has going for her is putting up with Shinji. And Sakura is really not portrayed as sympathetic, even in an episode about her abuse....
- Assassin is STILL at the Temple Gates being forgotten about as the opening points out. He is represented by a cardboard cutout everywhere that's not the Temple Gates (including the beginning -and- ending credits). He's unable to leave the shrine gates, so he can't appear much in the series. Until later he participates in the race... with the gates riding on his racecar.
- Bazette has been in the opening and closing the whole time before she finally shows up in Extra in a moment which clearly defines that being Lancer's Master affords her the same status as her Servant.