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 Grail War has begun. Once more, seven Masters are 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 Fifth 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.But even with the legendary Phantom of Inferno by his side, Ichiro must confront the greatest challenge of his life: 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 Fate/Phantoms, the grim sequel to Fate/Stay Night. Imagine Fate as film-noir, with all of the grit, 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 psuedo-crossover with Phantomof Inferno, Fate/Phantoms is a direct continuation to the True End of Unlimited Blade Works. Drawing elements from both the Nasuverse and the works of Nitroplus, it is quite possibly the best Sixth War fic ever told, in a world not quite as you know it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meet Cute: In the prequel, Ichiro and Elise first meet when Elise almost shoots him.
It's much less cute when she tries to kill him, years later.
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, and loved the same woman.
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.
"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.
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.