"I'm broken," she whispered, not even bothering to glance at me, "a failure."
With the initiation of the Sekirei Plan and his sudden affiliation with a group of mysterious alien girls, Shirou is irrevocably embedded in another twisted tournament.This story is guilty of Harem Antics, Badass Fight Scenes, and Hilarious Escapades.Like The Hill Of Swords, this fic has a particularly active Fandom, who is in awe of its awesomeness, and Hatedom, which goes to great lengths explaining why it doesn't like the story. It is recommended to recite the MST3K Mantra before reading.One of the few Fan Fics to spawn multiple instances of Recursive Fanfiction; probably the most (in)famous example being The Emiya Clan.
Action Girl: Pretty much all of the female Sekirei, with the exception of Matsu, who fills the Smart Chick role.
Adaptational Badass: Shiina handles Yukari's kidnapping much better than he does in Sekirei canon. Somewhat justified as his accommodating personality and respect for Shirou probably influenced him to at least try to match Shirou's readiness under dangerous situations.
Alas, Poor Villain: Yomi, #43 - sort of, anyway. Although she killed the MBI soldiers in her path and threatened Kusano, she was pretty much forced to realise, in terror, just what it meant to fight Shirou, and her defeat is followed by weakly calling out for her Ashikabi. She presumably didn't even realise the severity of her actions, being a Sekirei and all. Shirou is quite annoyed that this trope is in play (given that he doesn't want to pity her after she scared Kuu) but of course Shirou can never stop being Shirou.
I would have to start analyzing the information Matsu had gathered, reevaluate my plans on how to go about fighting this war, deal with the fact that I had accidentally started a relationship with multiple partners, try to unravel whatever plot or conspiracy MBI was initiating, attempt to convince a potentially homicidal alien that she really didn't want to kill me and instead wanted to allow me to wing her, and find a kitty.
It must be noted that, for Shirou, this is inverted. In his own words:
Strangely enough, it was the kitty that really worried me. I was experienced with all the other tasks, but I'd never had a pet before.
Art-Style Dissonance: Kusano's doodles of herself and Shirou would be perfectly typical of her apparent age if not for the swords.
Awesomeness by Analysis: Shirou is beginning to show some shades of this trope. When he uses Matsu's information gathering ability to make his point and to esteem the current situation of the Plan, even through Word Of God stated that Minaka would surely let runaway participants get away, he managed to really impress all the people present.
Berserk Button: Don't treat the Sekirei as subhuman; Shirou really doesn't like that. This also applies if you're another Sekirei and make a disparaging comment about a scrapped number like Akitsu, as Tsukiumi discovered in Chapter 13.
Do not attempt to hurt Shirou, or Akitsu will make you regret it. In Chapter 17 she finally got to follow through on her protective instincts, literally reducing a magi who was trying to kill Shirou to a pile of shredded meat.
Homura really doesn't like Shirou putting himself in danger. Unfortunately for him/her, Shirou has a serious Hero Complex and the skills to back it up, and if Homura doesn't get used to it quick she's going to give himself/herself an ulcer.
Beware the Nice Ones: Sure, Shirou is a peaceful and easygoing fellow who will never turn away from people that need help and will go out of his way to be nice to others, but DON'T, under ANY circumstances piss him off. He is a badass veteran of an ultra-brutal war who has no qualms about ending his opponents in a quick and violent manner. Now then — what would you like for dinner?
Big Bad Wannabe: Izumi Higa. While his unscrupulous tactics and having a Brain-type Sekirei at his disposal make him a legitimate threat to a degree, he is ultimately no match for Shirou, who has much more experience dealing with people of even greater ruthlessness than Higa. The moment Higa decides to move against Shirou directly, the latter puts him through a Humiliation Conga (mentioned below) that ends with Higa's death and the complete and utter destruction of his company.
When Yukari calls him in chapter 13, claiming that there is a boy in her room, Shirou instantly assumes that it's some kind of pervert and starts to draw up plans of what he'll do to him if he hurts his sister.
And if Yukari's habitual groping of Shirou's Sekirei in one place is any indication, she's bisexual as well!
Musubi also likes groping Akitsu, and Akitsu likes being groped by her.
Blank Slate: Another part of Shirou's distortion in the aftermath of the fire.
Blatant Lies: "Legacy of a misspent youth" is used to explain more or less any abnormality relating to Shirou's backstory that comes up, which, being who he is, there are a lot of, even though thinking about it does make sense. Not much so when he uses it as the entirety of his explanation when he comes home in bloodstained pants.
Blood Knight: Karasuba, to the point that it reminds Shirou of Lancer. See also Toyotama and Ichiya — they not only like violence but got extremely excited and aroused when Shirou proved to be much more capable than they thought. Musubi also has shades of this.
Broken Bird: Akitsu, due to being a scrapped number, and Musubi, of all people, has a similar distortion to Shirou's own born from the events of her kidnapping and subsequent rescue. It's only in chapter 26, with her reaction to a superpowered enemy nearly killing Shirou, that you realize just how bad the damage really is. There is something seriously wrong with that girl.
In chapter 23, Shirou has fixed Akitsu's condition.
Brown Note: The Jinki for Shirou. He nearly loses his mind when he instinctively analyzes it with his magic. This concerns him deeply, as the only other thing he couldn't analyze was Gilgamesh's sword Ea, a Noble Phantasm created from a fallen star capable of destroying the entire planet. His concerns about the Jinki's power are well-founded: his Sekirei tell him that they can cause mass genocide.
Catch Phrase: Shirou has "legacy of a misspent youth", his catch-all explanation for all backstory and magic-related issues though as of late not so much anymore.
Kusano has "Onii-chan has swords!" for whenever someone brings up Shirou's fighting skills.
Shirou notices that as of the Twenty-Seventh Wing, this phrase looks set to be modified since he revealed the nature of his magic - now she says, "Onii-chan has magic swords!" Now that it is revealed that Shirou's body is literally made of swords, he is worried that the her catchphrase would become "Onii-chan is made of swords!"
Akitsu has "I like it." Often as not in response to something kinky, sometimes head-tiltingly so.
Don't forget about her habit of forgetting things. "Ah, I forgot."
Character Development: Loads of it, and not just the main cast - Gabriel Blessing goes out of his way to make even one-off characters from Sekirei have some semblance of complexity, mostly by taking what's already there and expanding on it. It mostly works.
Chekhov's Gun: The fact that Shirou is Karasuba's reacted Ashikabi becomes very important in the Forty-Third Wing.
Chekhov's Hobby: Shirou's skill at 'mana transfer rituals', developed with Rin and Saber, which comes in real handy when he wings Akitsu.
As this skill helped him in winging Akitsu it also helps him wing Yume.
Chef of Iron: Shirou is a marvellous cook — if Homura and Uzume's reactions are anything to go by, he even surpasses Miya — and can kick ass so hard, he leaves people speechless.
Shirou: "What was so special about me? Was it some kind of gland or something? Did I unconsciously produce pheromones that caused all the Sekirei nearby to automatically want to jump me?"
The Clan: Fanon and Omake found on forums and connected stories holds that, years down the line, the absurdly large number of wives and children Shirou will inevitably up havingnote plus Honorary Uncle Gilgamesh rapidly becomes this within a single generation.
Cliff Hanger: Since Gabriel discovered the power of cliff hangers, he uses and abuses this trope!
Cloudcuckoolander: Musubi is just as much a ditz as she was in the source material, but it becomes apparent that this is more due to a lack of knowledge about human social norms and her innocent personality, rather than a lack of intelligence. Considering that she was raised by scientists in an isolated laboratory, it is no longer all that surprising.
Combat Pragmatist: Shirou seems to be willing to use anything he can to gain an advantage against his opponents. During his fight with Toyotama and Ichiya, he made it a point to pretend to be retreating to high ground. He then proceeded to take advantage of their past experience with him by completely changing his method of fighting from one that was suicidal to one that put his opponent on guard at all times. Of course he took advantage of Kanshou and Bakuya when he stabbed Toyotama in the heart... but Ichiya? Ichiya wraps around Shirou in some improvised half nelson and proceeds to choke him. He goes up to a wall and you'd THINK he'd aim to beat her with the flat surface until she fell off. Instead he impales her with the spear that was left behind. Then, once she's dead, he snaps the thing in half and gets ready for a confrontation with Karasuba. Yeah.
You forgot to mention that he impaled her with the spear by having it go through his own body as a method of catching her by surprise. Which, by the way, makes the scene of him snapping it in half all the more 'pragmatic'.
In Chapter 27, Miya bans Shirou from the kitchen so that he can clean up "the mess he made" during his fight with the Fraga magus. Given that Shirou is now more or less immune to her Hannya Mask (on account of having his own), he wonders if this might be her new method of punishing him.
He's not immune so much as he's built up a resistance to it. That, plus the fact that Shirou outright states that Miya's full wrath is even scarier than her mask.
Completely Missing the Point: After Musubi mentions that Shirou defeated a Sekirei all by himself, Uzume calls her out on allowing her Ashikabi to risk his life. Musubi's reaction?
"I must get as strong as Shirou-san so I can fight beside him next time!"
Also to a lesser extent, Shirou's fighting style. It consists of deliberately leaving holes open in your stance for your opponent to notice and attack, thereby controlling when and where said attack will come from, and reacting accordingly.
Cry Cute: Takami, when she tries to hug Shirou and he shakes her off on pure reflex.
Shirou: "Even after so short a period I felt it in my bones that a crying Takami was just somehow an affront to reality as a whole."
And again later during Chapter 26 (though subverted), when Kuu-chan is about to cry because Shirou being able to do magic doesn't neccessarily mean he can pull a bunny out of a hat.
"I sighed. I knew it wouldn't help my cause, but when confronted with so much cuteness it was either perform or be sentenced to the special hell that only people who made adorable children cry could be condemned to."
However, in that same chapter, it is played straight with Matsu:
"If my limbs weren't so securely held at the moment I probably would have wrapped my arms around her to try and comfort her. As it was, the only thing I could do was crane my head and neck so that I could keep her in view. Even though I had been mad at her for the last few days, I still couldn't repress the biological male urge to comfort a crying female."
Cuckold: An inverted version. Shirou is "stolen" from Rin and Saber by the Sekirei.
How everyone sees Karasuba after she winged herself to Shirou, once he broke her contract using Rule Breaker. Given that these are Sekirei, just about every one of them ran. The ironic thing is that Karasuba was reacting to Shirou before she was winged.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Very one-sided between Shirou and Yomi. On the one hand, he is an Ashikabi who survived the Holy Grail war, has swordsmanship skills as good as Miya's, and came across Yomi in a similar situation to his greatest failure when directly meeting Kusano for the first time. On the other, she is a Sekirei, who in Shirou's words is not a true warrior and just follows her Ashikabi's orders. Who do YOU think won?
How about the other part of that battle? Hikari and Hibiki vs. Akitsu and Musubi. We didn't get to see it but if Seo's opinion that they are alive only because Shirou didn't order Akitsu to kill them is anything to go by, the ice lady curbstomped them. Actually, so far every battle Akitsu fought was a Curb-Stomp Battle on her part. And then came The Seventeenth Wing.
Not as much of a shock when you take into account the salient points: A) Miya's opponent was a Fraga magus using Fragarach; B) Fragarach, due to GB having trouble finding research material on it when writing the scene, writes up the weapon as being a absorb/return-type counter, as opposed to the cancellation-type counter that it really is, (thus using Miya's own force against her,) C) she was not expecting the attack at all, and had been distracted by Shirou an instant before it lands, which while it probably saved her life, it also probably caused her to take the hit right in the face.
Defeat Means Friendship: Beautifully deconstructed by Shirou in regards to Tsukiumi and later Karasuba. When Musubi offers to convince Tsukiumi with fists that she should join Shirou's harem, he points out that what they would be doing would be like rape.
"Use fists?" I echoed, my lips twisting into a distasteful sneer. "How? Should I have you two beat her until she can't resist, and then take her by force? Is that what you're proposing?"
In one of GB's omakes, Yukari uses manga as inspiration to befriend Haruka after their departure from Izumo Inn.
"You can't seriously be considering using a manga as a reference book for... ...Wait, is that what I think it is?"
Demon Head: Shirou is pretty much inured to Miya's version thanks to surviving some equally scary shit and his complete lack of self-preservation instincts. Worse, he's managed to replicate it, much to the horror of Izumo Inn's other residents.
Well, Shirou isn't fully immune. Getting hit with it full force still rattles him.
And for Shirou, the trope's name is even more accurate since his Demon Head is that of an Asura!
Determinator: Shirou, especially during his battle with Rin and Saber. Despite having an arm cut off, and rendered so sick from three consecutive Gandr shots that he can't even see straight or talk through the vomiting, he still manages to get up again to pull off a complete victory.
Do Not Call Me Minato: Shirou refuses to go back to using his birth name of Minato Sahashi. The one fight he had with his mother over the subject nearly destroyed any chance of them having a relationship, and he even goes so far as to attack Karasuba when she uses it one too many times.
Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Midway through chapter 35, Takami threatens to give Shirou a spanking if he doesn't get his self-inflicted injuries checked out at an MBI hospital. He is so terrified he very nearly complies.
The Dreaded: The reputation Shirou tries to attain for himself and is doing quite well. Opponents who have faced him so far definitely won't be enthusiastic about repeating the experience. He is SO DREADED, in fact, that Seo WARNS Sanada, the Ashikabi of the West, never to cross paths with Shirou, the Asura Ashikabi of the North, when Sanada is starting to admit wanting to hit on his sister Yukari. ALL ON CAMERA!!!
Shirou even recognizes he's made himself the Caster of the Sekirei Plan.
Drives Like Crazy: Seo exhibits a worrying disregard for speed limits, safe distances between the cars, and street lights. Not as bad as some other examples of this trope, though.
Dual Wielding: The bread and butter of Shirou's fighting style. And it is Awesome.
Dumbass Has a Point: Although rare, Musubi does have some moments of insight. While everyone (including Matsu, Homura, and possibly Miya) else was concentrating on the JUICY details, Musubi is the one who FIRST noticed Akitsu's condition; the REASON for the Tantric Ritual.
Dying Alone: Shirou's original belief that he would eventually end up doing this (on a hill of swords) is the worst fear of ALL of his Sekirei.
Dynamic Entry: Courtesy of a member of the Fraga clan, whose (literally) explosive entrance is stopped only by a timely (and desperate) application of Rho Aias.
Thirty-Fourth Wing: Karasuba has just entered the game. Right after Shirou defeats Ichiya and Toyotama
I suppose I had an excuse, for not being ready for what came next. After all, as drenched as I was with fluid there was no way that I could have noticed the scent of blood as it grew even stronger. But that didn't change the fact that I was unprepared when with the noise like a stained glass window being shattered, a dark blur appeared above me at the edge of Akitsu's territory, scattering ice and frost in its wake as Karasuba, with eyes wide with glee launched herself at me, a cry of, "Sahashi!" being howled as the Black Sekirei bared her steel and her teeth at me. Oh crap.
Entertainingly Wrong: The Thirty-Sixth Wing reveals that Higa, Ashikabi of the East, made several assumptions and educated guesses about Shirou that, according to the man himself, are a lot more believable than the truth: First, due to the existence of physical records of the birth of "Minato Sahashi", Higa assumed that "Shirou Emiya" is a forged identity put into place to hide Shirou's connection to his sister Yukari (a potential weakness) and his mother Takami, a high-ranking member of the MBI and scientist in charge of the Sekirei. The latter also would explain why so many Single Numbers were winged by Shirou: being Takami's son probably implied an early and prolonged contact with Sekirei, allowing him to form acquaintances that eventually would pay out after the start of the Sekirei Plan, and access to privileged information that would help him to wing a Scrapped Number, who are notorious as overpowered and dangerous.
Extreme Doormat: Akitsu is extremely devoted to Shirou, to the point that she will obey him without question or hesitation. Her Freudian Excuse is that since she's a scrapped number, and thus can't be winged normally, she demonstrates her loyalty to Shirou by being perfectly obedient.
Failure Is the Only Option: It is bad enough that Shirou is discovered by the Clock Tower, but now the Second Stage of the Sekirei Plan has begun and he cannot leave Shin Tokyo without MBI going after him. Shirou sums up this very nicely in one word:
Fantastic Arousal: Any Sekirei that reacts to Shirou, with the exception of Homura. Tsukiumi's reaction was so extreme that one reviewer wondered if she spontaneously orgasmed!
Face Fault: Not only do Homura and Tsukiumi pull this off when Shirou proclaims that instead of fighting Tsukiumi they'll leave, but Shirou also provides a believable explanation for why the two Sekirei fell face-first on the ground.
Food As Bribe: What Shirou does to unleash Karasuba, of all people, on a bloody rampage at Higa's home base.
Forgets to Eat: Akitsu was so obedient to Shirou at first that she didn't even eat without his permission.
I asked her something that I was suspicious about from the night before. "Last night, was the reason you didn't tell me you were still hungry because I didn't ask?" Was she so determined to obey me that she was willing to even let her body suffer for it?
"Ah," Akitsu murmured, and from the corner of my eye I caught her blushing. "I forgot," she admitted in a tone that I was beginning to suspect was Akitsu-speak for sheepish.
For Science!: Shirou and especially Rin both show shades of this trope sometimes.
The moment Shirou saw Miya's Hannya technique he decided to make it his own. For Science!. No matter if he died in the process! And out of his research, he created his Asura mask!
In the 20th chapter, he went and literally kissed the hell out of Akitsu to research her apparent inability to be winged. Akitsu didn'tmind.
2nd Law of Gender Bending: Not enjoying per se, but Homura is - as Shirou observed - subconsciously changing mentally, first seen in his altering fashion sense. He's not pleased about this so far.
3rd Law of Gender Bending: Subverted so far: neither Homura nor Shirou are very happy about the process, and Shirou is sparing Homura as much de-sexing as he can (which isn't much, admittedly, but still).
The Ghost: How often do Rin and Saber get name-dropped in this fic? In fairness, the plot has provided us with a very good excuse for their absence, one which neither rules out nor guarantees a future appearance.
Gabriel Blessing himself has confirmed that Rin and Saber will in fact show up in the future. They appear at the end of Chapter 38.
Minaka in Chapter 42. It's his trigger as a magus.
The Glomp: Yukari to Shirou in Chapter Three. According to her, he was supposed to fall down, but his height and strength put paid to that. She tries again in Chapter 15 with the same results, despite a running start.
Musubi also does this to him after his sparring session with Miya, inadvertently subjecting him to Marshmallow Hell.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Shirou has a starburst shaped scar on his chest and back, showing the entry and exit wounds he received from Lancer before he joined the Holy Grail War proper.
Graceful Loser: Minaka takes his defeat rather well, having seen the Shirou's Reality Marble.
Grievous Harm with a Body: Well, not exactly "harm" but… when confronted by Karasuba after his battle with Rin and Saber, Shirou throws his own severed arm at her. Karasuba is apparently so surprised by this that it actually hits her.
Guile Hero: Shiro gets a lot of use out of Matsu's information-gathering abilities and deliberately establishes a reputation as The Dreaded to discourage other Ashikabi from attacking him. Ironically enough, it is because of this trope he felt like he became the Caster of the Sekirei Plan.
Shiro created three possible endgames of the Sekirei Plan; a Saber plan (Go by the rules of the Sekirei Plan. Cons: Although normally planned to have the LEAST casualties in comparison to the other plans, not every Ashikabi, *cough* Higa *cough*, would follow its rules and even then there is the possibility that even the True Companions would fight each other to the DEATH), a Kiritsugu plan (Using guerrilla warfare and assassination to become the last Ashikabi standing and the winner by process of elimination. Cons: Results in the most death and possibly a Kill 'em All ending), and an Archer plan (Destroy MBI in order to free the Sekirei. Cons: Although it would cause fewer Sekirei casualties than the Kiritsugu plan, it would kill a larger number of humans, and with the destruction of MBI, the Sekirei may get in danger with the Magus Association).
With the introduction of the Jinki, Shirou finally has a bridge for ending the Sekirei Plan. By gathering at best case five Jinki or at least three Jinki during Phase 3 of the Sekirei Plan, when all Eight Jinki are at one location Shirou can destroy it or at least hide it all so the MBI CANNOT continue the plan.
If you are able to strike a deal with Karasuba of all people, or in this case Sekirei, you are THIS.
In the case of Yukari's Kidnapping with Higa, he shows both his anger all the while planning on how to take him down, by using Yukari as bait and adding the possibility of her death. Shirou really hates himself for this.
After Higa's assassination, the complete destruction of his company and Yukari's rescue in a mere 30 minutes, Shirou blackmails MIB and talks his way out of being taken to the hospital by his mother, who is impressed by this achievement.
Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Akitsu's reaction to one of the videos Matsu was showing Shirou in Chapter 16. If his description was anything to go by, this isn't that surprising.
I wasn't quite sure what was happening to the female lead in this one and I had trouble believing that anyone could really enjoy what was being done to her, but from the expression on her face either she was an incredible actress or as depraved as they come.
"So that's what that was for," I muttered, feeling my own case of shock setting in as I recognized one of the contraptions that Yukari had gotten for me nearly a month ago being put to use, feeling lightheaded when I discovered precisely what the toy was meant for.
Heel-Face Turn: After Shirou uses Rule Breaker on Karasuba in the hopes of terminating her, she pounces on him and wings herself to him, meaning that all the knife did was unwing her.
Hero Killer: Although no one dies by her hands the Fraga magus is established as one by dispatchingMiyaeasily. The Fragarach attack she received would have normally terminate a Sekirei contract, had anyone else been hit, and if Shirou hadn't interfered at the last second Miya would have been killed. Hell, Shirou himself admits that in skill she greatly exceeds him and is well prepared for her attack; Shirou only won because she had no clue about his Sealing Designation and thus underestimates his abilities.
Hero-Worshipper: Kusano cherishes the very ground Shirou walks on since he saved her from Yomi, and now she wants him to train her in swordplay.
Hopeless With Tech: Shirou, so very much. You know you've got a problem when Musubi knows more about computers than you do!
And yet he's actually much better about technology than most magi. Which is... kind of sad, in and of itself. Rin Tohsaka has no clue what a cellphone or a computer is which makes her even worse off than Shirou.
Humiliation Conga: Shirou so far is building one for Higa. He first denies Higa of Tsukiumi in his own territory, backfired his bounty attempt so badly that it WORSENED Shirou's status as The Dreaded, sent Karasuba over to cause chaos at his home base, rescued Chiho from his hospital and even gave a warning to NEVER enter the North to one of his Sekirei. This may not even be the LAST of it.
It's not. In the Third Match, Shirou takes on Ichiya and Toyotama again, this time dealing a Level Five Termination. This is after turning up with (apparently) only a single Sekirei to a match that allows up to three.
Shirou fully intends to make Higa into an example of what NOT to do when trying to intimidate and blackmail someone.
It finally ends with his assassination, storming his headquarters, killing his secretary, recovering the Jinki and Yukari, etc. All in 30 minutes. Higa himself gets killed by an exploding sword, fired by Shirou from a mile away, without even having a clue what was coming.
Idiot Savant: Noted by the author. Shirou is extremely skilled at combat and his areas of magical expertise, but is comically inept when it comes to social situations, or pretty much anything besides combat, tactics, and magic. Andcooking.
To be fair, he's quite the mechanic as well.
Not to mention lover. Akitsu couldn't walk properly afterwards. Not that this dampened her mood any.
If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Skewered. Shirou tries to do this to Homura when he thinks he and Takami may have been getting it on, only for it to fall flat due to nothing having actually happened; this prompts Takami to try doing this to Shirou, only for that to fall flat due to the fact that his two real girlfriends from his original series were already at least nominally broken up with him before he even met her, and Takami knows his current harem better than he does. Shirou then tries to do it for his sister's Sekirei, only for that to fall flat when he realizes the Sekirei in question is too damn perfect for him to criticize.
Ill Girl: Chiho. Her condition isn't really described in Sekirei canon beyond generic "terminal moe", but for the purposes of In Flight, it's Lupus.
This is how Ichiya met her end, with Toyotama's spear being impaled through him.
In Love with Your Carnage: In a way, it might be why Karasuba started reacting to Shirou. He is probably the only human outside of MBI to not only stand up to her and not be afraid of her but also seems to have the abilities to back up his confidence. Being a Blood Knight, she would be captivated by something like this, who knows what will happen if she ever sees him fighting.
as of chapter 34, She Has. Shirou's reaction is quite appropriate.
And in the chapter after that, after managing to block her attack AND give Karasuba her first wound, Karasuba is even more eager, and when Karasuba realizes she's been wounded for the very first time by Shirou, she almost attacks him again, only to be stopped when she's ordered to stand down by her superior.
Insistent Terminology: Shirou is not a 'sorceror', nor is he a 'wizard' or a 'magician'; he is a 'magus'.
Matsu takes offense to this. Her decision to then use a rather inventive collection of porn as part of Shirou's computer training somewhat undermined her attempts to disprove this.
It's Not You, It's My Enemies: The reason Shirou left Saber and Rin behind. Exacerbated to even higher levels than usual for the trope by the fact that the enemy in question is, technically, an organization they kinda rely on heavily and belong to.
Knight Templar Big Brother: Sure, nothing's happened yet, but if his thoughts and actions regarding Yukari and Shiina as well as Takami and Homura are anything to go by, if anyone ever hurts his sister, Shirou will come down on said someone like the wrath of a whole pantheon of Ax-Crazy gods. Going by the manga storyline, woe be to Higa if he dares to try to get to Shirou through Yukari.
Shirou fully plans to kill Higa now, and he's prepared to have his sister die. He hates himself for it, but if the loss of his sister ends up saving the rest of the Sekirei and the Ashikabi, he'll do it.
Thankfully, Shiina is there to protect Yukari as Shirou and his flock, in a mere 30 minutes, assassinates Higa, completely dismantles his company, kills his secretary, and finally rescues Yukari before blackmailing MIB in the aftermath.
Lady of War: Miya, especially when she fights seriously.
Love Epiphany: Of a sort. Matsu's sheer rage and passion as she calls Shirou out on his self-destructive attitude clearly strike a chord in Shirou's heart.
Her eyes were bloodshot, shiny with unshed tears and surrounded by dark bags formed from lack of sleep. One of her usual braids had come loose and was unwinding even as she continued to yell at me. Splattered across her dress and exposed skin were bits of food and ash, and a few spots of blood courtesy of getting too close to Miya earlier.
And staring up at her, her face alive with the passion of her anger as she tore into me, I realized just as I had twice before just how truly beautiful my Sekirei actually was.
Love Freak: Musubi, possibly even more so than in canon. Yes, she is simultaneously a Love Freak and a Blood Knight. No, she does not understand the contradiction there. Yume too.
Meaningful Echo / Call Back: "It's fine, I trust you." First said from Shirou to Miya when revealing an edited version of how Rin, Saber, and himself got together and then later broke up. Miya then turns it around on him when revealing the Sekirei's past.
In Chapter 14, as Kakizaki is retreating from his battle with Shirou, he spouts the old clichéd villain line: "Shirou Emiya. I'll remember this." Then in Chapter 37, just before Shirou kills him, he remarks:
Shirou: "And my name is Shirou Emiya. You should have remembered that."
Mistaken for Gay: Yasaka's idolization of "Kagari" (aka Homura) leads to both Shirou and Homura wondering if he's gay.
Which may or may not be true, how about Homura and Shirou having to deny "being like that" all the time? Which won't matter anymore.
Mook Chivalry: Invoked by Shirou for his duel with Rin and Saber knowing full well he cannot win if he faces both at the same time so he officially challenges Saber first knowing she has to comply with her honor as a knight.
Moral Myopia: A minor version. When Shirou gives a (very watered-down) explanation of what prompted him to leave London in the first place:
For a moment I could see them making the connection. Me: capable of fighting against Miya for a prolonged period of time. Them: privileged rich kid bullies. Result:…
"Oh my," Miya sighed. "I hope you didn't kill any of them." Uzume nodded her head in agreement, smirking as she did so.
Mundane Utility: Shirou decides to use his magecraft to build a magic washing machine.
Homura using his powers to dry his clothes and to light Takami's cigarette.
Matsu: "Shirou Emiya," she interrupted me, still staring at me. "True age: unknown, speculated at twenty. Birthday: unknown. True family: unknown, presumed dead. Adoptive father: Kiritsugu Emiya. Status: dead. Grades from elementary school to high school: average. Observed personality during that time: altruistic, extremely accommodating. Upon graduation from high school departed for England." During this rapid summation of my life the newcomer had began marching towards me, her hands swinging wide as she tromped audibly to where the rest of us were gathered. I grimaced, nonplussed by the sudden and rather blunt summation of my life by a complete stranger. "Activities during England: unknown. Returned to Japan five months ago and began living in Shin Tokyo and immediately enrolled in preparatory school for Shin Tokyo University. First attempt: failure. Second registry already filed for future attempts."
In Chapter 3 when Yukari visits Shirou and almost breaks his back with a flying tackle, Akitsu seems prepared to attack Yukari thinking that Shirou, her Master, is being attacked but relaxes when she realizes it's only his sister. A similar scene happened in The Hill Of Swords when Eleanor, Louise's sister, attacked her in her room and the only thing that stopped Shirou from painting the wall with the blond's blood was the realization that it was Louise's sister.
Shirou: "Considering that I had ended up with two girlfriends at one point and was now surrounded by a bevy of well developed alien fighting machines I suppose I might even qualify for an eroge if someone were to take my life out of context." Now what type of game wasFate/stay nightagain?
In the same vein, only this time considering Sekirei itself:
If this was some kind of anime or story of some sort, I was absolutely positive that I would have done something as clichéd as face-faulting at the snow woman's response. Since this was reality, I settled for palming my face and sighing.
Shirou concerning Yukari: "There has got to be something wrong with that girl, Takami must have dropped her on her head a few times when she was a baby." This is one of the few funny parts of the Wham Episode.
And again from The Hill Of Swords, three lines that never fail to invoke a shiver in we readers:
They became fragile. They became dangerous. They became broken.
The Thirty-Third Wing has a reference to the original game. Shirou's use of Unlimited Blade Works causes swords to burst out of his left arm... the same arm that was replaced with Archer's arm in Heaven's Feel, and was causing Shirou's body to turn into steel.
While discussing "True Magic" with his flock, Shirou mentions Zelretch and Aoko Aozaki, two users of said magic, though the latter is not actually named in-story. The funny thing is, Shirou is actually wrong about what Aoko's "Magic Blue" is. It's related to Time Travel, but nobody can really blame him for coming to the conclusion that it's cold fusion instead, because Aoko is very good at blowing things up.
Naked Apron: Kazehana in chapter 27. Miya is predictably Not Amused.
Fridge Brilliance: If Matsu hadn't made them leave the Izumo Inn from hearing Shirou's past, they would have known much, much more, thanks to the events of chapter 25. Which would leave them in an higher chance of being killed by Mage's Association. While it is bad on the short term, in fact, this helped Higa with kidnapping Yukari, it saved their lives in the long term.
Nightmare Fuel: In-universe, Shirou's detailed explanation on how he got injured so many times nearly drives most of his Sekirei into having a heart attack in Chapter 28.
"No. Just... No" Reaction: Shirou has two of these in Chapter Three, both courtesy of Yukari. The first is when she tells him that she got into college, then asks if he'll "make her a woman now". Shirou is squicked.
"No!" I snapped, trying not to blush. "That one is completely inappropriate! Absolutely not!" I ordered her immediately.
Later, at the end of the chapter, she reveals that she took Akitsu clothes shopping at a sex store. She thinks that Shirou and Akitsu are in an S&M relationship and got him "everything a beginner needs".
With numb hands I took the offered bag and looked in. "Agh!" I shrieked in a manly fashion, and threw the bag to the corner of the room, determined not to look in it. "No more! Absolutely not! Completely inappropriate! Sisters do not buy sex toys for their brothers!"
Noodle Implements: The contents of the aforementioned bag. Aside from candles, rope, and a couple outfits, we never find out exactly what Yukari got for Shirou, though he does state that some of them looked more like torture implements than sex toys.
Some more in Chapter 19 where Shirou sees a video clip displaying just how many ways a couple could use three boxes of saran wrap, two cucumbers, and a feather duster. Then another one involving chopsticks, ice, and two rubber bands. Then a third one involving fly swatters, clothes pins, and fur lined parkas. And yet another involving shibari, candlesticks, and a full body costume of a bear. All courtesy of Matsu.
Shirou's "most awkward day ever". So far (as of chapter 38), no matter how embarrassing, uncomfortable or plain ridiculous the circumstances surrounding Shirou may get (and seriously there had been one too many examples where to choose from), he can still reassure himself they have not been that bad in comparison.
No Sell: Shirou mainly No Sellsa gunshot wound on his forearm because at that time his body is made of swords.
Not So Different/Like Father, Like Son: Though not acknowledged by Shirou, he considers Kiritsugu to have been a monster before they first met. However, Shirou has been more than willing to consider options that his father would take, and also actively goes with his father's "path of the Shura", meaning destroying the few to save the many, though he hasn't quite gotten the chance to act upon it until Yukari is kidnapped and he's forced to potentially sacrifice her.. And quite a bit like Archer, too.
The Nose Knows: In addition to Seo's canon ability, Shirou is able to sense magical phenomena, which his brain interprets as smells. This allows him to sense any nearby Sekirei, how many there are, and get a general idea of what their abilities are.
Tastes Like Purple: He describes Miya's aura as smelling like regret. And Benitsubasa's as obsession.
The Not So Harmless Punishment: Matsu's punishment of being written off the whiteboard. It doesn't look that bad, until you think about the fact that Sekirei live for their Ashikabi, and you realize it's actually quite a cruel one.
"Oh," a new voice interrupted, and I realized that at some point the figure of Miya in the courtyard had disappeared. Musubi was still in the courtyard, hand poised to block an attack that would never come and blinking in surprise as where her sparring partner had apparently vanished mid strike. "God isn't here right now," Miya continued from where I assumed she was standing directly behind Kazehana and I, her voice deceptively cheerful as she did so.
Though the first time she does this is in the end of Chapter 15, when Yukari attempts to start a Sekirei duel inside Izumo Inn.
The only warning the three would be combatants received was a 'whooshing' noise, the sound of air rustling some kind of loose clothes, and then I was greeted by three nearly simultaneous 'thump' noises and three startled cries of 'ow', 'oof', and 'ugh'. When I pulled my head from my hands the scene before me had changed as though by magic. Yukari, Tsukiumi, and Musubi were all clutching the backs of their heads, looking absolutely flabbergasted at the sudden and unexpected assault. Miya had somehow managed to transport herself from her original seated position to the other end of the room, and was clutching a surprisingly clean ladle that had originally been intended to be used for serving the soup in her hand like it was a weapon.
Oh Crap: Shirou has had a few, most notably when realizing the Fragarach was about to attack Izumo directly, Karasuba's Dynamic Entry right after defeating Toyotama and Ichiya, and realizing Saber and Rin have met his flock.
Omake: GB has written a few and they are almost all canon. The fans have written hundreds of omakes of varying length and quality.
Word of God says that: "For any references on what she looked like after Shirou was done accidentally making out with her, please refer to Mahou Sensei Negima!, the scene where Chachamaru finally gets her pactio. Or whenever the cute little android girl is getting 'screwed', pun intended."
The Power of Love: Musubi, Yume, and Kazehana are the ones who are most vocal about it, but all Sekirei are technically powered by love.
A very subtle, yet poignant example occurs in Chapter 28. Uzume has always backed down from whatever she was doing when Miya even starts to conjure up her Hannya Mask. It's probably one of the most terrifying things in the world for her. When she's questioning Shirou about how powerful Avalon is, she mentions that it didn't heal the scar Miya received from Fragarach, something the landlady is a bit touchy about. Miya remarks that Uzume should probably pick her words more carefully and begins to summon the mask. Uzume just brushes her off like it's nothing!Her Ashikabi is hospitalized with a terminal, incurable disease, and she wants to know if Avalon could succeed where medicine couldn't. Considering that Saber was likely immortal when she carried it, this might actually work.
Precision F-Strike: Shirou has not one but two "F_ck"s in chapter 17, after the Clock Tower finds him and Minaka announces the second phase of the Sekirei Plan, meaning that Shirou can no longer freely leave the city.
Pride: Shirou has reunited with Saber and Rin, who have a method of keeping the Clock Tower from experimenting on Shirou by having them stay with him. You'd think this would be just the thing to lead to a happy ending for him, right? Wrong. The only problem is that Rin's pride as a magus and human would never allow her to be reduced to the level of his Alien Harem and she would rather go into exile than share him. Note that she staked her future on bringing him in and being with the Sekirei would allow her to keep her magic and be with her lover.
Shirou: I was not having a conversation about partner swapping from my harem with a lesbian alien. And that might just have been the first time that particular sentence had ever been used in the history of language. And also oh god, I've even started calling my flock a 'harem' in my head.
Shirou is incredibly embarassed when his foreplay with Tsukiumi is interrupted by Kazehana masturbating while watching them. He note the only reason he didn't immediately trace a sword to kill somebody (either Kazehana or himself) was that the whole thing was simply too ridiculous.
Shirou will always find something that would give Homuraa migraine, no exceptions.
Every time Shirou encounters Karasuba it ends with him throwing something sharp at her. It gets to the point where she starts harassing him if he doesn't.
Scars Are Forever: Shirou's scar from where Lancer got him at the Grail War's start. That this trope is played very straight upsets Miya, who gets a scar of her own from the Fraga magus and it will always be a reminder of her first true defeat.
Serious Business: Meta-example. See Counter Attack. After chapter 25, many readers were annoyed after the Tennis Battle using Fragarach. Some others were more helpful and took time to explain where Gabriel Blessing was wrong.
The Smart Guy: Homura is well versed in Mythology, he identified Saber's true identity and legends with ease, serving as the one who explains things to Sekirei when Shirou loses them.
Smug Snake: Higa and his secretary Kakizaki. Both use dirty tactics in the Sekirei Plan without giving a damn about the rules, and yet both are foolish and arrogant enough to believe that no one would try similar tactics against them. Shirou is so astonished by this that he has to resist the urge to laugh. Both retain a stance of supreme arrogance and derision when they think they have the upper hand in a situation, but that stance gives way to sheer terror in Kakizaki's case and seething anger in Higa's when each finds himself in danger. They also completely underestimate Shirou at every turn, and both ultimately pay for this mistake with their lives.
Soap Opera Disease: Chiho, or as the author calls it: "Terminal Moe". Somewhat subverted in later chapters as it's revealed to be Lupus, a real but rare autoimmune disease.
Spanner in the Works: The main idea behind the Counter Force. In Shirou's example, Joan of Arc is considered one, and he is also considered one for the Sekirei Plan.
An example of one against Shirou is Yukari being kidnapped by Higa. Shirou was planing to leave Shin Tokyo and while he would run into a few conflicts with MBI things were very smooth, until this happened. Don't get started with Rin and Saber making an appearance.
Spared by the Adaptation: Mitsuha (Sekirei number 38), canonically terminated early in the game by Karasuba while she and Akitsu were hunting unwinged Sekirei for her Ashikabi Hayato Mikogami, ends participating in the first match of the Third Stage.
Uzume herself is a maybe.
Squee: Musubi's reaction to watching Shirou and Miya spar when Shirou shows just how good he is.
Stalker with a Test Tube: Matsu has openly proclaimed that she wants to have Shirou's babies, and is disappointed that Shirou won't give her a "wedding night" after he learns that winging is a mating ritual.
The Stations of the Canon: Averted. Shirou moves into Izumo House and gets Minato's harem, but he also gets Akitsu, the circumstances of several of the wingings are vastly different, Yukari's relationship with her brother is quite different and elements of the Nasuverse intervene.
Stay in the Kitchen: Shirou is frequently told by his Sekirei, mainly Homura, to stay off the battlefield. Naturally, he never listens.
Sugar and Ice Personality: Akitsu could be considered as one. For the majority of the story, she is very stoic and apparently emotionless, though Shirou grows capable of recognizing her feelings from the small signs she shows. After Shirou wings her, while she doesn't change all that much, she does still become much more open with her emotions, most notably that she has yet to stop smiling.
Superpowerful Genetics: Called. In the Twenty-Sixth Wing, Miya suggested that Shirou's abilities are in reality Sekirei powers, making him a Sekirei descendant. Shirou decides at that point that he may as well reveal the whole truth about Nasuverse magic.
Word of God has revealed that Shirou is in fact a Sekirei descendant, but that his powers are all from the Nasuverse.
Although, the Archibald canonically don't have any remaining heirs other than a young girl, and the Fraga clan don't interact with the Association – Bazett being a singular oddity among them, so technically neither of these characters could have existed in canon Nasuverse.
The latter, at least, has been given justification due to Shirou's theories – she's revealed to have been a freelancer rather than a regular associate of the magi in Britain, and may have also been hired by the Archibald magus.
At the same time, trying to come up with unique mages capable of challenging Shirou is difficult, since not enough about the Nasuverse and its forms of magic are known or understood. Perhaps GB can be forgiven his carbon-copying.
"Are you sure?" I hedged, not liking the sound of that. When Miya's eyes narrowed, I held up my hands in surrender. "I mean, I'm certain you can cook, but I wouldn't mind putting off the shed until later tonight." I winced slightly. There had been a body in the blaze I was about to root through and it would be a little awkward if I were to unearth some particularly incriminating piece of the corpse at an inappropriate moment. It might be best to wait for after dinner before I began the salvage operation. Seriously. That was my only reason. I was in no way nervous at the way Miya was trying to cut in on my kitchen time. Not nervous at all.
Also played with in Chapter 28:
After all, if Miya was going to take over my kitchen, it seemed fair that I take over discipline in return. And no, I wasn't going to abuse this new duty to the point where the rest of the house would start begging Miya to let me return to cooking in order to keep me too busy to do anything else. That would be unethical. And wrong. Even if it probably would be effective…
Meta example: When asked about whether Takami would show up or not, gabriel blessing replied, "It's not like I'm planning anything silly, or potentially traumatizing for Shirou. Not at all." He also said that in case anyone had wondered about what Yasaka was up to, "I'd completely forgotten about him, and no, he will most certainly not be making an appearance later on with humorous results."
Tempting Fate: Shirou does this mentally in chapter 3, regarding Yukari's habit of using manga for references on how little sisters should behave.
Shirou: "I just prayed to the gods that she never decided to start using eroge as a source of inspiration."
And then he learns that yes, she does.
Yukari: "Oh, I knew I should have brought my H collection," she wailed. "Now what am I supposed to do?"
Tennis Boss: The fight between Shirou and the Fraga magus. The "racket" is Fragarach.
That Man Is Dead: The main reason why Shirou threw away his Minato Sahashi name.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Akitsu in chapter 17. By the time she had finished with the magus that was attacking Shirou, the opponent's body looked like it had been 'put through a wood chipper.'
Shirou: "If nothing else, I had to give Akitsu this much: when she decided to kill someone she did so in a very thorough manner."
Invoked by Shirou in chapter 20. Defeating his opponent with one hit was enough, but nearly decapitating him (though he didn't get hurt) and using his mask on him was overkill. His "let's become this game's Berserker" tactic only works because people know him for being prone to overkill.
Third-Person Person: Matsu and Musubi frequently refer to themselves in the third person, and in chapter 27 Uzume and Miya get into it as well, though that was unintentional on their part.
Many people now consider Higa this after kidnapping Yukari and trying to control Shirou through her. It is one thing to unknowingly enter a demon's lair; it is another to willingly enter it, threatenit, and demand something from it without thinking about the potential consequences.
This, naturally, ends with Higa's assassination and the complete and total destruction of his company, all in the span of 30 minutes. Do not fuck with Shirou.
Lampshaded, even: "Why on earth does it always take me so damn long to get some genuine respect out of the people I deal with all the time? I swear, it's ridiculous how often I get underestimated and looked down on. Maybe it's the cooking. For some reason, people just have such a hard time taking a chef seriously. It must be the apron."
Unwanted Harem: With particular emphasis on "unwanted". Shirou, upon realizing that winging is a "mating ritual", has a panic attack and flees to have some time for a nervous breakdown. He gets better, but is still less than pleased with the situation. Eventually he gets over it and decides to make the best of the situation.
Hiroto Minaka: "It certainly took you long enough, Sealing Designee Emiya."
What Happened to the Mouse?: Shirou's MBI Card. Now that he has his own job, he seems to have forgotten he possesses a card that has virtually unlimited funds. Canonically, Miya doesn't honor the MBI money: she practiced the Work or Get Out policy in Izumo Inn. "In Flight" brings this up in chapter 18.
Mind you, Shirou is Dangerously Genre Savvy in this story. Odds are, he knew that the MBI could track him if he used the card.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: As far as Shirou is concerned, the Sekirei may not be human, but they're still people who deserve to be treated with dignity and kindness. Behaving otherwise is a sure way to piss him off. Matsu starts to point this out as a potential problem for Shirou.
What Might Have Been: Gabriel said in the forum that one idea for why Shirou was on the run was that he became an apostle. There were also plans of using apostle Shirou in a crossover with Rosario + Vampire. However this was dropped after he did some research.
"I was cruising through the wiki for facts about apostles and it turned out the idea would never have worked, not without the type-lunatics destroying me forever."
What the Hell, Hero?: During the attempt to convince Tsukiumi to join Shirou's harem he chews out Musubi and Homura for suggesting that he should force the unwilling Tsukiumi to join, describing the process as very close to rape. Which, in a way, it is.
Shirou himself has one in the Twenty-Sixth Wing. His Sekirei are tired of how Shirou keeps holding down his burdens all the while telling them it was all his responsibility, even if it means that he would die alone. They want to stand besides him in both the good moments and the serious moments. They want to help ease the burden and let him know that they are here for him. They want him to know that he is not alone.
Wild Card Excuse: Homura escaped from others by proclaiming that "he is tired" when it wasn't true. But to be fair, he couldn't say "I'm currently contemplating female underwear because I'm enduring the process of changing my gender."
Would Hit Girls and Sekirei: If you are on Shirou's opposing side, he will take you seriously. Shirou threatens Karasuba multiple times, curb-stomped Yomi, took on two Sekirei at the same time, successfully defeats the Fraga magus (who resembles Bazett), Level-fived the two earlier Sekirei, and don't even get started with his duel against Rin and Saber. He knows well that underestimating opponents because of gender is FATAL.
Yaoi Fangirl: Matsu breaks out in perverted giggling/panting when Miya asks if Homura's reaction to Shirou was as enthusiastic as the rest of the girls'. Shirou explicitly compares her laugh to that of a Dirty Old Man.