I was laughing, a wheezing, hateful laughter that bruised my chest, shaking my head at the insanity of it all. Ryuudoji's gate had stood a thousand years- It'd survived flood, fire, storms, and five Grail Wars. It had not survived Assassin.
It hadn't survived me.
Thirty years after the end of Fate/stay night
, the Sixth War has begun. Once more, seven Masters have been drawn to Fuyuki city, to do battle for the Holy Grail. But for Ichiro Tanaka, the protege and adopted son of Emiya Shirou, the Heaven's Feel is more - much more - than the chance to claim the Third Magic for the Association: It's his only chance to save his soul. Scarred by the world-changing disaster of 'the Incursion', haunted by visions of his bloody past, Ichiro must battle to victory or death for a single chance at redemption.
With the legendary Phantom of Inferno by his side, Ichiro will confront his greatest challenge: A War more savage than anything that's come before. The Grail brings forth not salvation, but conflict...As the tragedy of the Heaven's Feel unfolds, will anyone survive?Can a man defy his past, or must he be destroyed by it?
And thus begins Phantoms
, the sequel
to Fate/stay night.
Imagine Fate as film-noir, with all of the violence, ruthlessness and treachery that comes with the genre. Mix with apocalyptic murmurings that echo Fate/hollow ataraxia
, and you have the darkly compelling tale that is Phantoms.
A pseudo-crossover with Phantom of Inferno, Fate/Phantoms
picks up where the True End of Unlimited Blade Works
left off, drawing on elements from both the Nasuverse and Nitro+'s works for a world not quite
as you know it.
Notable for its especially gritty
take on the setting.
Fate/Phantoms contains examples of...
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Tyrfing's entire purpose is to be one. As in the legend, it cuts through armor, flesh, and other enchanted weapons more-or-less effortlessly.
- Affably Evil: Abraham Van Einzbern, and Schneider Viktorov. Both are unfailingly polite, even cheerful, at all times.
- Always Night: Justified - The War's mostly fought at night.
- Alien Geometries: The 'paths' under Fuyuki City. They give way to Cosmic Horror Story when they begin to collapse.
- Ambiguously Evil: Oh, boy. Everyone. Arisa Ortensia is a friendly but vaguely sinister manipulator. Schneider is a handsome, charismatic swordsman who has no qualms about shooting a helpless girl in the back. Abraham van Einzbern seems to enjoy the War a little too much...And it's still not clear whether Ichiro is hero or villain.
- Animal Motifs: Predatory animals, and vermin. Berserker and Rider are explicitly compared to vicious, uncontrollable animals, in light of their unique circumstances. Insects also seem to be a recurring theme.
- Anti-Hero: Ichiro appears to be a particularly vicious Type IV.
- Artificial Human: Lucca, an Automata maid, appears to be some form of gynoid.
- Audible Sharpness: On a Vibroweapon, no less!
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Lancer and Assassin do this, while defending Ryuudoji. Then the Shadow turns up...
- Bad Dreams: Ichiro is plagued by hell-spawned nightmares, whenever he sleeps. Assassin seems to suffer from these, too.
- Badass Grandpa: Abraham van Einzbern. The oldest member of the cast revealed, thus far...And quite possibly the most powerful Einzbern Master ever.
- Badass Longcoat: The Cloth of Matthew, Archer's Coat. It's red and everything, too!
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: Subverted. Attempting to engage Schneider in single combat is a terrible idea. Lampshaded by Ichiro, who wonders aloud what the hell he was thinking.
- Beware the Nice Ones: For a self-declared coward, Kazuya can kick serious ass when he's angry.
- BFG: It doesn't get any bigger than Assassin's grenade launcher, or his anti-material sniper rifle.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Ryuudo Temple is attacked, Reiji and Ichiro try to be this. Horribly subverted when they fail miserably.
- Big Fancy House: The Association's manor and the Matou estate are both this - The Einzbern castle is technically a Big Fancy Castle.
- Blade Lock: In their duel, Schneider and Ichiro briefly lock blades in a three-way clash...Until Tyrfing begins to eat through Schneider's Azoth knives.
- Blood Magic: The Servant-summoning ritual requires blood - Ichiro draws the runes in his own, to call Assassin.
- Boom, Headshot: A particularly messy example happens to Lancer. It doesn't even slow him down.
- Continuity Nod: Matou Shinji has heart trouble, thanks to the fake 'heart' forced upon him in Unlimited Blade Works.
- Cool Sword: Several. Tyrfing is the first one we see, but there's Kanshou & Bakuya, not to mention Durandal
- Combat Tentacles: The Shadow, of course.
- Cryptic Conversation: Plenty. Caster is especially fond of dropping these.
- Darkerand Edgier: In spades.
- Death Equals Redemption: Averted with Lancer. He tried, but it's more Death Equals Damnation for him.
- Disappeared Dad: Emiya Shirou. It's strongly implied that he's dead.
- Diving Save: Done twice, so far. Once, by Assassin, and once by Ichiro.
- Doppelgänger Attack: Like Hassan before him, Reiji has exactly seven extra bodies he can control simultaneously. They're named after the other Phantoms created by Doctor Scythe.
- Dual Wielding: With Kanshou and Bakuya, no less!
- Familiar: Crows, for Ichiro, which he uses as spies and scouts.
- Family-Unfriendly Death:
- Nami effectively explodes, after Schneider shoots her in the back.
- Elise was impaled on a gate, and implied to have been partially EATEN.
- From Bad to Worse: All the god-damned time.
- Gun Porn: Played with. Assassin does this in one scene. Most likely a Shout-Out to the descriptions in Phantom of Inferno.
- Heroof Another Story: Makiri Kazuya is clearly this, bearing a striking similarity to Shirou's experiences in Fate/Stay Night. Schneider might technically be considered one, too.
- Hope Spot: Admit it. You thought Nami and Lancer were going to make it.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Ichiro is implied to have brutally murdered and partially cannibalized his fiancee. Given the setting, it's quite possibly a Cannibalism Superpower...Though it's not clear what, if anything, he gained from it.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Played with. Schneider is a master swordsman; Ichiro isn't quite nearly as skilled, but capable of great feats with Tyrfing.
- Invisibility Cloak: The Cloth of Martin appears to be this. Contrast with the Shroud of Matthew, which is strictly a protective garment.
- Kaleidoscope Eyes: The Manager of the Heaven's Feel, Arisa Ortensia, has these. They're a different color each time we see her. They indicate the last person she's spoken to.
- Knight Templar: Saber is a literal example, given that he may in fact be Orlando.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: The Shadow's abilities are described as these, now, including spike-tipped tentacles capable of violently demolishing a temple's pillars...And summoning hordes of horribly mutated creatures shaped from black slime.
- Magnetic Weapons: Schneider carries a vaguely-defined 'artifact' that's effectively a magical railgun.
- Meaningful Name: 'Ichiro' means 'first son'.
- Meet Cute: In the prequel, Ichiro and Elise first meet when Elise almost shoots him.
- It's significantly less cute when she tries to kill him, years later.
- Mirror Match: Schneider is briefly forced to fight three temporal doppelgängers. It takes him less than a minute to dispatch them all.
- Moral Myopia: Ichiro has absolutely no qualms about doing terrible, terrible things. He takes no joy in it, though; As a matter of fact, he doesn't seem to enjoy anything.
- Multishot: Archer pulls this off, in his brief fight with Assassin. Thanks to Improbable Aiming Skills, every shot hits.
- Mythology Gag: Lancer is the first Servant to die. Again.
- Neck Snap: An especially violent version. Pinned to the ground by a hellhound, Ichiro breaks its spine with his bare hands when he can't reach his knife.
- Nightmare Sequence: In spades. Ichiro's flashbacks are framed through recurring dreams of a 'burning city' overrun by monsters, usually involving scenes of horror, suffering and carnage.
- It turns out to be London.
- Not So Different: An odd example in Schneider and Ichiro. Both men despise each other, but both bear several artifacts associated with Shirou. Both come from the same background, favour swords as their weapons, and loved the same woman.
- Not So Stoic: An especially negative example. Ichiro is vicious, petty and downright spiteful when he loses his cool.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: After escaping from Ryuudo Temple, Ichiro is forced to escape the collapsing void...Up to and including crossing the last hundred metres 'on his hands and knees'. We don't get to see any of it.
- Older and Wiser: Shinji, of all people. It's heartrending.
- Original Character: The entire cast, barring cameos.
- Petthe Dog: Schneider gets to choose between killing Ichiro, or saving Lucca. He chooses to save Lucca.
- Razor Wind: Abraham van Einzbern can use dimensional vectors to slice his opponents to ribbons.
- Red Right Hand: Archer has a Red Left Arm.
- Revenge: Schneider lives to make Ichiro suffer. It seems that he'll happily settle for killing him.
- Run or Die: The Shadow is this.
- Scenery Gorn: London appears to have become this, during the Incursion. A constant element of Ichiro's nightmares.
- Squick: Lucca, Schneider's Automata maid, is identical to Elise von Strasberg. And Schneider appears to be in a relationship with her.
- Suck Sessor: A rare heroic variant. Ichiro, the protagonist, lives constantly in Shirou's shadow, and nurses what seems to be an obsessive crush on him.
- Sweet Tooth: Arisa loves sweet things. "A girl's body is made of sugar, so it's all right!"
- The Gunslinger: Assassin, of course. He's Type C and Type A.
- The Lancer: Horribly subverted. In the prequel, Schneider is Ichiro's best friend and sparring partner. By the time of the main story, they're actively trying to murder each other.
- The Stoic: It doesn't get any more stoic than Lancer, who has less than three paragraphs of onscreen dialogue.
- The Man They Couldn't Hang: Played with. Lancer is heavily scarred from his hanging, but technically didn't survive it. As a Heroic Spirit, however, he's up and around.
- Tsundere/Anime: In the prequel, Elise von Strasberg appears to be a particularly affectionate one...But not above physical harm to prove a point.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Assassin and Ichiro tend to do this. They generally don't go very well.
- Walking Armory: Assassin has a Hyperspace Arsenal of modern firearms and explosives. Justified, in that it's his Noble Phantasm.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Taken to horrible, horrible levels with Ichiro, who desperately craves Shirou's approval. Given that Shirou's dead, it doesn't look like he's going to get it anytime soon. Especially after Shirou abandons him during the Incursion.
- Wham Episode: The entirety of the Temple arc.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Kazuya Matou has some elements of this.
- Worthy Opponent: Subverted. Schneider is apparently Ichiro's rival, but he loathes and despises Ichiro.
- You Shall Not Pass: In the battle for Ryuudo Temple, Lancer does a particularly spectacular version of this. As expected, it ends terribly for him.