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Characters / Fate/stay night: Humans

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This is a page about the human characters appearing in the Visual Novel turned Anime Fate/stay night. Contains a LOT of spoilers.

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Main Characters

    Shirou Emiya 

    Rin Tohsaka 

Voiced by: Kana Ueda (JP), Mela Lee (EN)

"The world is just another word for the things you value around you, right? That's something I've had since I was born. If you tell me to rule such a world, I already rule it."

Tohsaka is one of the main Magi of the series. She is known in the fandom for her Tsundere traits and helping popularize the twin tail tsundere with Zettai Ryouiki look. Rin is an honor student in Shirou's school, and the talented heir of the prestigious Tohsaka magus family, one of the founders of the Holy Grail Wars. She enters the Fifth Holy Grail Wars out of a sense of responsibility as the Tohaska heir and her own competitive desire to win. She tries to summon a Saber-class Servant, which is widely considered to be the best Servant class. Thus, it is a point of much irritation when she summons Archer instead. Eventually she grows accustomed to him, and they are partners in every route of the game.

Rin is a complex person, using a honor student facade to hide her fairly abrasive nature, but this is also a disguise for her rather good nature and the strong morals she tries to ignore. More than anything, Rin seems driven by her sense of duty to the Tohsaka lineage, though her moral values save her from being the cruel, emotionless magus her brain tells her she's supposed to be.

While she is mostly an adviser to Shirou in Fate, she becomes the main heroine in Unlimited Blade Works and plays a major role in Heaven's Feel.

  • Academic Alpha Bitch: The highest ranked honor student of her year and the School Idol of Homurahara Academy. She deliberately plays up the trope to keep people from getting too close to notice the supernatural aspects of her life.
  • Action Girl: She has a take-charge attitude by nature, and is extremely competent with her magic.
  • A-Cup Angst: Luvia often pokes fun of her smaller chest size much to her anger.
  • Aggressive Submissive: She's usually a Brainy Brunette and an assertive Tsundere and The Tease, but in her sex scene she becomes uncharacteristically shy. An explanation for this is given in Fate/EXTRA CCC, and while that Rin is from an alternate universe and has a somewhat different backstory, their personalities and core conditions of personality-formation are still similar enough that it might very well apply to the original too. Basically, precisely because she grew up with no other choice than to be very independent and hard-working, and because she is normally The Perfectionist, she secretly craves being able to just relinquish power and control and not having to be the one worrying about whether or not things will be alright for just a little bit when with a partner.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Rin does not make it very obvious she cares for Sakura, and will retreat to her "we're just strangers" mask when around her. It turns out that Rin had hoped that Sakura, who'd been given up to the Matou family while both were young, was living a peaceful and easy life that Rin couldn't have as a magus, and this admission, combined with Rin nearly dying rather than kill Sakura, helps the sisters reconcile.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Dark haired, smart, beautiful, and in a bit of an aversion for the trope, rather standoffish instead of cold and distant.
  • Always Someone Better: She's this to her younger sister, Sakura, being the peerless and gifted beauty she feels she can never hope to catch up to.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Rin is the POV character in the game's prologue before it switches over to Shirou once the game proper begins. She also gets the POV at several times during Unlimited Blade Works, and at the True End of Heaven's Feel.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Happens multiple times in Unlimited Blade Works due to Shirou being well Shirou as she gains feelings for him over the course of the route.
  • Badass Adorable: More relaxed than the stern and stoic Saber, but still more beautiful than cute.
  • Badass Family: Her father was a Badass Bookworm who almost won the 4th War, and she's very distantly related to Zelretch, who is a Physical God.
  • Badass in Distress: Her Servant Archer kidnaps her in order to force Shirou into a duel in Unlimited Blade Works.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Kotomine taught her Bajiquan, and she makes the most of those teachings.
  • Batman Gambit: During a battle against Servant Caster in Unlimited Blade Works, Rin is hopelessly outmatched in sorcery, but it turns out that in case her original plan to Beam Spam Caster fails, she was fully prepared. She lulls Caster into thinking that she's given up, waits for Caster to get in range... and then shows that she knows Chinese martial arts, to the shock of everyone.
  • Beneath the Mask: Two different levels, and she's only aware of the first. Beneath her perfect student facade, she's grouchy, a tsundere and a troll. But only halfway acknowledged beneath that is that she's actually pretty kind and strongly values both lives and fair play.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call or even imply that she's fat. Shirou learned this the hard way.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Material books say her birthday is on February 3. Being that the fourth day of the Holy Grail War where she almost gets killed by Saber and then Berserker before sunrise in every route, it's unsurprising for this to go unmentioned.
  • Big Sister Instinct: All those times in the Prologue and the Unlimited Blade Works route where she's suspiciously seen watching over Sakura on separate occasions for seemingly no reason other than a whim? Turns out, those moments have been foreshadowing her true relationship with her while hinting that Rin still loves her all this time before it's eventually revealed in Heaven's Feel.
  • Blood Magic: Uses blood runes for summoning. It's later shown that she gradually enhances her magic arsenal by drawing her own blood and applying it to gems.
  • Born Winner: She was born with a rare Elemental Affinity that lets her master all five Great Elements, and a large number of high quality Magic Circuits. While she isn't at ridiculously gifted as Ciel, she's still has enough potential to become one of the greatest mages in the Mage's Association. This feeds into Sakura's low self-esteem, as she feels she cannot match her elder sister who is beautiful, intelligent and powerful.
  • Brainy Brunette: She's very intelligent, an honor student to boot despite school being a secondary concern for her at best, and has dark brown hair.
  • Broken Ace: Rin believes she has to be perfect at everything, both in school and in magic thanks to her Father's words and the pressure she feels from her duty to the Tohsaka line. She certainly does it very well though, being smart, gifted in magic, and good looking. It's when she is away from school that her true colors are shown.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The last third of Heaven's Feel after Sakura has a Face–Heel Turn can be summed up as Rin doing everything in her power to piss off her superpowered and pissed off sister despite the vast power difference, which doesn't do anything but make everyone's lives so much harder.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Perfected this to an art form. If she's smiling at you, something bad is going to happen, to the point one of the Track Girls treat it like a Slasher Smile.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She will grow into one if in a sufficiently long relationship with Shirou. In the True End epilogue of Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], she does not take Luvia being a bit too friendly with him pretty well. Or at all. It ends with both girls in an over-the-top sparing match.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: She plays this role to Shirou, calling him out when he is about to do something reckless because of his ideals. Likewise, Shirou is Rin's own Morality Chain, hearing him out when she is about to do something unethical, this dynamic between the two gets to the point that even Lancer teases them about their feelings for each other. Even Nasu says that when it comes to the relationship between Shirou and Rin, they spend just as much time fighting each other as working together.
  • Combat Pragmatist: She'll use any dirty trick to win. Even shooting someone in the back. Though it's only for evil characters.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: One is displayed on her shirt when she's in her casual attire. More Justified than the usual because the Tohsakas are actually a Japanese Christian family.
  • Cry Cute:
    • A great example happens during the scene where Shirou comforts Tohsaka after Archer betrays her.
      Rin: ... I can't believe it. A guy made me cry.
    • She gets another good one in the Unlimited Blade Works movie when Shirou tells her the story of how Kiritsugu saved him right after Gilgamesh rips Illya's heart out. It's not even the story that does it, it's the fact that it twisted him so much.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Using the Jeweled Sword Zelretch in Heaven's Feel she dishes out one to Dark Sakura. Rin deliberately drags out the fight in hopes of Shirou showing up and avoids going for any quick kills, but even then Dark Sakura is still no match for her.
  • Daddy's Girl: She was close to her father as a child when he was still alive and it's very clear that she loved him dearly. Her admiration of him has her striving to follow in his footsteps as the ideal magus.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: She wears a miniskirt in her casual attire, but not as part of her school uniform. This is lampshaded in Shirou's victory quote over Rin in Fate/unlimited codes.
    Shirou: Isn't that mini-skirt a bit too... mini?
  • Decoy Protagonist: Subverted. You play the prologue as Rin, and it seems like Saber kills her at the end. If you play the main story, it's as Shirou, and he saves Rin at the last second. Rin is still an example of Decoy Protagonist, just not a lethal one.
  • Deuteragonist: The closest thing the story has to one; she is the character with the most screentime next to Shirou, narrates both the common prologue of all the visual novel's routes, and the epilogue of the Heaven's Feel True End, has the most scenes from her point of view in first person next to him, and is the only one of the heroines who has a major role in every route, even in Fate, where it's the smallest. She is a counterpart and Foil to Shirou and while he is the central focus and most of the story is his, many parts of it are also about Rin.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • In Unlimited Blade Works, she actually manages to defeat Caster, first by engaging her with magic long enough to get Caster to let her guard down, and beats her in hand to hand combat. Caster was physically the weakest Servant, but a human beating a Servant is said to be impossible. Sadly she failed to capitalize on this because of Shirou being defeated by Souichirou, and they both would have died without Archer's intervention.
    • In Heaven's Feel, she defeats everything Dark Sakura threw at her using the Jeweled Sword Zelretch while Rider and Shirou kept Saber Alter busy.
  • Dude Magnet: It's not given too much attention to like Shirou, but she has a ton of male admirers in school, with Shirou and Shinji being the only named ones and Lancer also playfully flirts with her in Unlimited Blade Works.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Supposedly a strong advocate of this, but it's a very poor cover for the good natured aid she gives at almost any opportunity.
  • Expy:
    • It's very hard not to see similarities between Rin and Akiha. They're both the young female heads of prestigious families involved in the occult with long black hair, blue eyes and essentially the same face. They even have the same Tsundere "humph!" pose, except that Akiha's lacks the flying hair that Rin has whenever she does it. Both characters are in turn partly based on Azaka — young Rin and young Azaka look exactly alike. Of course, all of them are based on Aoko.
    • Nasu said that she is also that she's a composite expy of Misaya Reiroukan from Fate/Prototype, the original concept for Fate/stay night, with some elements from Ayaka Saijou thrown in.
  • Facepalm: She has several dedicated sprites for this, often because of Shirou.
  • Face Realization: She tries to behave like a typical magus, but in each route she realizes she's no good at it. Most prominent in Heaven's Feel when she can't bring herself to kill Sakura, and admits she no longer has any right to berate Shirou for his Stupid Good tendencies.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her insistence on acting like a stereotypical mage which leads to dishonesty with others and especially herself. A lot of drama in Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel could have been avoided if Rin was honest with herself about her feelings and admitted she isn't the hardass she tries so hard to pretend she is. When she finally stops antagonizing Shirou and Sakura and admits out loud how she really feels about them, the situation becomes much easier to solve.
  • Finger Gun: The Gandr spell is fired from the index finger. It should be a curse, but Rin's variant fires actual energy bullets, and at an high rate. In the 2014 anime, she uses the entire hand to fire. She reverts to the index finger in Episode 8 though, possibly for a less powerful attack (In particular, she was using it to intimidate a recently defeated Shinji into telling her the identiy of the Servant who killed Rider).
  • First Love: Shirou has a crush on her at the start of every route, though he only follows up on his feelings towards her in Unlimited Blade Works.
  • First-Name Basis: At first, she addresses Shirou primarily as "Emiya-kun", but at some point in every route, she switches to his first name when they get to know each other better. She still occasionally uses his last name; according to Shirou, it's either when she is about to mock him or to say something important.
  • Foil: To Shirou. Being a genius magus to Shirou's unorthodox and mediocre practices. She is also a much more balanced person when compared to Shirou's distorted self. They still have similarities, such as being hopelessly obsessed with their goals and being basically the most ethical characters in the series. (Although Rin sees her good side as a weakness) After knowing each other better, while he always admired Rin from afar, Shirou starts liking her a lot more when he notices her caring side and they have enough respect and admiration for each others similarities and differences like to work together and stop each other when the other one goes out of their way with their goals.
  • The Gadfly: Mixed with The Tease. Tohsaka doesn't limit herself when it comes to equal opportunity harassment.
  • Gemstone Assault: A practitioner of Jewel Magic. Usually, the jewels are just charged up with a bit of magic everyday to supply greater amount of energy when needed, but they also make good explosives.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Part of her popular Tsundere image. In Heaven's Feel's True End, she has abandoned the tails, making her look somewhat more adult.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Rin's ambition and drive is very evident, although she still remains a fundamentally decent person underneath.
  • Gratuitous German: Her family's magic was largely stolen from the Finnish Edelfelts, so the German isn't coming from there. It's likely due to being from one of Zelretch's apprentice lines.
  • Gravity Master: She can use her magic to do this to an extent, and in the prologue she uses this to run more than 100 meters in less than seven seconds.
  • Harmless Electrocution: She seems to be the character at who this happened the most in the whole Fate franchise.
    • In the Unlimited Blade Works route, she gets electrocuted by Illya at the enter of her castle. While Shirou did just get a little shock, Rin gets a powerful electrical bolt that knocked her out.
    • In the first episode of Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, she gets again electrocuted by Illya and Ruby's laser, after she called her a moron. This results to Rin being grilled like a barbecue.
    • It is possible to count Ishtar, her Servant counterpart in Fate/Grand Order, who gets electrocuted by Ereshkigal and gets shrunk after this in the Babylonia singularity.
    • Coincidentally, two of the times she got electrocuted was caused by Illya.
  • Hartman Hips: She has a rather big bottom, which is most blatantly seen in episode 2.
  • Hate at First Sight: Even as a child, she made her dislike of Kirei pretty clear since day 1.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Her "uncaring magus" persona which is how she believes a magus is supposed to behave. It tends to work against her more often than not.
    • In Heaven's Feel Her constant assertions that she's willing to kill Sakura if no other solution can be found, made it a lot easier for Sakura to succumb to the corrupting influence of Aŋra Mainiiu.
    • The above gets a lot worse in the last and possibly the most horrifying Bad End of them all. Rin genuinely cares for Sakura but for a variety of reasons she acts exceptionally cold towards her and always retreats to her mask around her. It works too well in Heaven's Feel where Sakura becomes so convinced that her older sister sees her as an enemy and doesn't care for her, which is one of the things that push Sakura towards her Roaring Rampage of Revenge. This culminates in Dark Sakura subjecting her to an Ironic Hell/Lotus-Eater Machine where Rin is forced to experience Sakura's horrible life with the Matou in the first person. Rin completely breaks down after the first day of that.
    • Also in Heaven's Feel, an interlude has Rin raiding the Matou mansion, where she runs into Shinji and tries to verbally bully him into leaving the city. It almost works, but she makes the stupid mistake of twisting the metaphorical knife in the wound by praising Shirou for his exceptional "quality of a magus" despite lacking the skill, which prompts Shinji to actions to one-up the guy that turned the route From Bad to Worse in a big way. Twice.
  • Hopeless with Tech: As a mage, she doesn't get technology at all. The sad thing is that she's actually better than most. Rin barely knows what a VCR is, let alone DVD or Blu-Ray. She hates technology with a passion since she can't understand it, although she is learning from Shirou. In the Type-Moon April's Fool's joke with various Nasuverse characters setting up their own Twitter accounts, Rin has Archer set up her account, and starts using that as her secret diary. Hilarity ensues.
  • Image Song: "Kirari" (Sparkling).
  • In Another Man's Shoes: Rin has this forcibly inflicted on her by Dark Sakura in the Heaven's Feel bad ending Femme Fatalle. Rin carelessly dismisses everything Sakura suffered as part of her cold mage mask; this absolutely pisses off Dark Sakura, who summons Saber Alter to restrain Rin and then puts her in a simulation of her past to get a first hand experience of the pain she invalidated. Rin only lasts one day in Sakura's shoes before she's reduced to mindlessly begging for mercy, showing the difference in their mental strength.
  • Infinite Supplies: Averted. She stores her mana into gemstones in order to use it for her big spells, but since jewelry is expensive, she only has so many shots. However, she gains an Infinity +1 Sword in Heaven's Feel, which gives her the ability to pull in Mana from alternate realities, theoretically giving her an infinite supply.
  • In the Back: Tried on Illya during the 2014 anime. Didn't work.
  • Ironic Hell: In "Femme Fatale", which is widely considered to be the most twisted and horrific of all the Bad Ends, Rin shoots her mouth off to Dark Sakura about how she doesn't care about the abuse her sister went through. Sakura promptly summons Saber Alter if Shirou hesitates killing the latter for too long, and the two subdue Rin and force her to experience Sakura's memories of her Rape as Backstory through Sakura's eyes. When Shirou dies, he can hear Rin screaming that she's sorry over and over.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Her plan against Caster involved pretending to surrender.
  • I "Uh" You, Too: Rin never admits to loving Shirou despite it being very obvious in UBW and Heaven's Feel. In UBW, she declares that her life's goal is to make him thoroughly happy, which is close enough. In Fate/Hollow Ataraxia in a scenario that takes place post-UBW she actually manages to tell Shirou she loves him repeatedly while they're in the throes of passion.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In Heaven's Feel, she gives up on Shirou to let him be with Sakura. The epilogue hints this is easier said than done.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rin can be grouchy and acerbic, but she's a good person who cares for her friends.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: She was taught some basics of Baji Quan by Kirei which turns out to be a powerful trump card when combined with strengthening magic.
  • Lack of Empathy: Describes herself as this when Sakura gives Rin her speech about how much her life had sucked. Rin tells Sakura that she never really cared about her situation and doesn't think that Sakura becoming a monster is a bad thing, sending Sakura nuts. However, Rin realizes that she is wrong when she finally realizes that she can't bring herself to kill her sister after all.
  • Last-Name Basis: Shirou addresses her by her family name even when they become close friends and later love couples in the UBW route. The only person besides Shirou who even calls her that is also his future self and her servant, Archer EMIYA who calls her by her first name to hide his identity and later says her last name as a sign of old affection for her as he becomes his past self before vanishing at the end of the route.
  • Leitmotif: "Gentle Everyday", which often plays during light-hearted moments.
  • LGBT Awakening: Rin realizes she is bisexual in the uncensored version of the Fate route when taking part in a mana transfer ritual with Saber and Shirou. Besides this, Rin is very affectionate towards Saber both in the visual novel and official artwork. However, it should be noted that this applies only to the original hentai version of the visual novel's Fate route, not Unlimited Blade Works or Heaven's Feel. It is also absent from most adaptations, which are derived from the censored version of the visual novel.
    Rin: I didn't know I was into girls...
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The dark to Sakura's light. Except when Sakura's possessed, in which case it's inverted.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Sakura, her emotionally and sexually abused sister.
  • Love Interest: To Shirou in the Unlimited Blade Works route.
  • Lust Object: She is this to Shinji, although Rin has no interest in him. He doesn't take this well, to the point of trying to rape her in the Unlimited Blade Works route.
  • Magic Skirt: Despite that S-rank Zettai Ryouiki and micro-mini skirt, she only loses the magic once, very slightly, in exactly one scene in the entire franchise.
  • Meganekko: Only part-time. She states that she only wears glasses when doing work that requires extra concentration.
  • Mercy Kill: In Unlimited Blade Works, if you accept Caster's proposal Shirou; ends up as a limbless body in a jar, but still totally conscious. Rin comes to kill him, saying that "the bad dream ends here".
  • Ms. Exposition: Whenever something that the reader is potentially unfamiliar with is brought up and Illya isn't explaining it, it's usually Rin's job to explain it, especially in the Fate and Heaven's Feel routes.
  • Not a Morning Person: Rin tends to be decidedly grumpy in the mornings. It clashes with her perfect schoolgirl image so badly that even after knowing her for awhile, people are outright shocked to see her dragging about in the morning, completely at a loss for words and unsure if what they've just seen was real. And then they choose to forget about it.
  • Ojou: Complete with a Big Fancy House. Despite this, she's mocked as a bumpkin by Luviagelita, since she's from a country the Magic Association considers backwater. As it turns out, she actually isn't very rich. Jewel sorcery is expensive and Kotomine managed to lose a majority of the Tohsaka estate's money due to not being very good with it.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Considering all the super-powered entities at play it's easy to forget just how much Rin accomplishes on her own. With little more than a distraction from Saber she manages to kill Berserker, though it doesn't stick and she was even winning against Caster until Shirou's failure allowed another enemy to join the fray. It makes you wonder how the war would have gone had she not used her amulet, containing enough mana to win the war, to revive Shirou in the prologue.
  • Panty Shot: Shirou almost gets one of these in the anime, which distracts Rin enough to make her lose her concentration.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her father died in the previous Grail War. Her mother apparently died sometime before the Fifth War due to illness, but was presumably in a mental home before that.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Let's be serious, most Magi in the Nasuverse are sociopaths in the name of Magic. So long as you don't draw too much attention to yourself from the mundanes, it's fine. However, Rin doesn't really want to wish for anything with the Holy Grail and she's very against the idea of innocent people being killed no matter what she says to the contrary. She's also a great believer in fair play.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Curiously combined with Girlish Pigtails.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hotheaded Rin is the Red Oni to the more stoic Saber's Blue Oni.
  • School Idol: She is the most popular girl in school.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Rin seems to exhibit this in regards to Sakura. For someone who is usually very intelligent and observant, she is remarkably poor at noticing all of the things that have changed about her sister, including even her hair color. When she goes into the Matou house for the first time, she immediately realizes what being the Matou heir means, and yet despite knowing that Shinji has no potential as a magus, and that her sister was adopted into that family because her father couldn't train both of them, she fails to make the obvious logical jump to figuring out Rider's true Master or her sister's situation until it is explicitly pointed out to her. Of course, since working it out would have meant either hand-waving the fact that her sister is suffering horrific torture, or breaking from her duty as guardian of Fuyuki in an effort to save her, it's perhaps understandable that she decided not to think too hard about it.
  • She's Got Legs: Her long legs are further accentuated by her Grade S Zettai Ryouiki.
  • Shipper on Deck: She's this to an extent for Shirou and Saber, near the end of Fate and it's implied that she's also one for Shirou and Sakura since way back in the Prologue since her saving Shirou in the beginning was partly for Sakura's sake.
  • Shoot the Dog:
    • She attempts this twice with Sakura in Heaven's Feel. The first time, Shirou calls her out on it, then prevents it. The second, Rin herself stops short because she can't go through with it. This is consistent with her advocating this mentality but not being able to reconcile it with her morals.
    • An earlier instance of this occurs in Unlimited Blade Works, as when she attacks Shirou at school, making the wrong choice or entering the route prematurely results in Shirou getting decimated by her spell and left completely defenseless. Rin then coldly apologizes to him, claiming that what she's about to do next is akin to taking his very life. What does she do? Erase his memories of the war and return him to his normal life.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Sakura.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: While she's annoyed by his martyr complex, Rin admits she finds Shirou's noble ideals and kind-hearted nature charming. According to the Unlimited Blade Works anime, she became attracted to him because of his determination and strong will.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: With three people: Issei, Luvia, and in her lighter moments, Illya.
  • Situational Sexuality: In the uncensored versions, when fleeing from Illya and Berserker, Rin has sex with Saber in order to arouse her enough to do the deed with Shirou, thus replenishing her prana supply, realizing she's bisexual in the process.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Her Super-Deformed version which appears in the Tiger Dojos. Illya worships her, probably because her father is a prime example of this trope himself.
  • So Proud of You: Zelretch tells her this as he saves her from the wrath of the Mage's Association in her hearing, during the True End of the Heaven's Feel route.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Sort of. Different Romanizations have spelled her surname Tohsaka, Tousaka, Tosaka, Toosaka, Tôsaka, or Tōsaka. The first three seem the most popular in that order, but it still hasn't really been standardized in any way yet.
  • Spirited Competitor: She is very competitive in everything including cooking.
  • Squishy Wizard: Gloriously averted. To Caster's horror.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: She suddenly pulls out excellent martial arts ability against Caster with the only foreshadowing at all her confidence before going into the fight. Considering her teacher, Kirei, is an expert it's not so surprosing in retrospect, but at the time, Caster is understandably shocked.
  • Superior Successor: She outclasses her father as a mage in every aspect. It was to be expected, as that is exactly what her mother's trait was supposed to do.
  • Supreme Chef: She specializes in Chinese cooking, much to the surprise of Shirou, who doesn't feel confident in his own skills with it. On the other hand, she can't even make miso soup, once again to Shirou's surprise.
  • Super Speed: Can use her magic to do this to an extent, running more than 100 meters in less than seven seconds in the prologue.
  • Sweater Girl: Part of Rin's Iconic Outfit is her red turtleneck that clings to her curves and pairs well with her Zettai Ryouiki.
  • The Tease: She repeatedly teases Shirou in an overly flirtatious manner after finding out that he is easily embarrassed. It's turned back on her in her route when she starts becoming embarrassed when they're about to have sex.
  • Teen Genius: Considering that her family has been known as backwater bumpkins and incredibly mediocre magi compared to the "Lord" Families of the Clock Tower, Rin is basically a prodigy in comparison to her ancestors.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: While Rin is rather fiery-tempered, she is actually very feminine. The tomboy here would be Saber, who refuses to view herself as a woman.
  • Town Girls: The Neither to Sakura's Femme and Saber's Butch.
  • Tron Lines: Her mana circuits form glowing blue-green circuitry-like markings when activated.
  • Tsundere: A textbook case and wildly considered the most famous example (she's also pictured in the trope page). She is even tsundere in bed. However, her major tsundere traits are mostly reserved for her route and Sakura. She even popularized the Zettai Ryouiki and twin-tails look for tsunderes.
  • Tsurime Eyes: As befitting her rather teasing nature she has matching narrow eyes.
  • Waif-Fu: She's fairly short and has quite the thin build, but she's surprisingly strong and quite good in hand to hand combat.
  • Wave Motion Sword: Her personal use of the Jeweled Sword of Zelretch.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In contrast to Illya and Sakura, who both have massive reserves of magic, Rin has much more basic skills, and magic abilities with a good reserve of mana compared to the normal Magus, but still not as potent in raw power as someone like Illya. However her natural ability to manipulate her own mana so well gives her flexibility that no other Magus in the story has. Her finesse can be seen in how well she applies her magic to various combat strategies, from using Reinforcement Magic on her legs to allow her to move faster, being able to use all of the main elemental forms of magic in the form of her strong gems, and her knowledge of other forms of magic, like Gandr, makes her more useful than most other mages. That's not including her knowing martial arts.
  • Worthy Opponent: Caster is genuinely impressed with Rin and her tenacity when she fights her in Unlimited Blade Works, and even mentions that she would've liked to take her in as an apprentice had she been a little more talented. Or if, you know, they weren't enemies at all.
  • You Killed My Father: In Unlimited Blade Works, Rin finds out that Kotomine Kirei killed her father. She doesn't take it very well.
  • Your Head Asplode: One of the Bad Ends in Unlimited Blade Works has her die this way against Kuzuki.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: The original Grade "S". She helped popularize the combination of twin tails, tsundere and zettai ryouiki.

    Sakura Matou 

Voiced by: Noriko Shitaya (JP), Sherry Lynn (EN 2006 Anime), Cristina Vee (EN, 2015 Anime, 2018 Movie)

"No, you are strong, Senpai. It's not because of your Magic Circuit or your talent, but because your mind is pure... I knew that from the first time I met you. I knew you would never betray anyone."

Sakura is Shirou's timid underclassman and the third and final heroine of the story. She has been friends with him since the previous summer when he was injured in an accident and she began visiting him with the excuse of taking care of him while he couldn't care for himself. Even after he recovered, she continued to visit him and attempts to do all the chores at his house due to her massive crush on him, which he attempts to ignore. Despite coming from the Matou family, Shinji claims she has been kept in the dark regarding magic as in a traditional magus household only the successor will be taught any magecraft. Though she is respectful of her brother and defends his misconduct, he is in turn an abusive ass towards her. Further, despite her upbeat attitude with Shirou, she is actually nearly silent and much gloomier when away from the Emiya household or Taiga and has no real friends apart from those two.

In Heaven's Feel, Sakura becomes the love interest of the story and secrets about her life and the Matou family are slowly revealed.

  • Adaptational Heroism: In the second Heaven's Feel movie. Originally, Sakura's transformation into Dark Sakura begins when she accidentally kills Shinji and realizes she feels nothing about it because Aŋra Mainiiu has worn away at her mind, causing her to embrace her dark side now that her inhibitions are gone. In the movie, Sakura's morality is still intact so she's horrified by what she did, and she has to be forcibly taken over by Aŋra Mainiiu to complete her transformation.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In Carnival Phantasm, the jokes made about Sakura are either mean-spirited or even larger flanderizations than normal. The result is Sakura's characterization changing from a Shrinking Violet who struggles to suppress her dark desires to a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing with heavy Yandere undertones.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Her body has been modified to be a fake Grail and absorb the souls of Servants.
  • Beneath the Mask: Portions of Heaven's Feel are taken from her perspective and provide an alternate look at her personality. For a relatively spoiler free example, she invokes the Yamato Nadeshiko image as a way of appealing to Shirou.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sakura is very calm and gentle, but as Heaven's Feel shows, years of abuse make her snap, making her very powerful and dangerous.
  • Big Eater: Shirou notices that she eats quite a lot although she tries to restrain herself out of fear of looking unladylike.
  • Big "NO!": She has two of these after she accidentally stabs Shirou with a spell she, in a bout of crazy caused by Shinji, shot at Rin. She feels extremely guilty about it for the rest of the route.
  • Born Winner: She's just as talented as her sister Rin since she was born with the same amount of Magic Circuits, as well as an extremely rare Elemental Affinity. This comes back to bite her because mage families can train only one successor, so her father gave her to the Matou family as not to waste her potential.
  • Break the Cutie: First, she's taken from her parents and sister and dumped into an unfamiliar but supposedly allied household, the Matou family. Her parents die soon after as well as the one decent Matou, leaving her with no advocate. She is then 'trained' in Matou magic, which involves infesting her body with man-eating worms and having her brother rape her because he's envious of her status as the Matou heir. Things are looking up when Shirou enters the picture and inspires her to keep trying and gives her a resolve that Zouken cannot break, but then Heaven's Feel happens and things just keep getting worse until she finally breaks down.
  • Broken Bird: She has next to no friends or decent family and in front of people not named Taiga and Shirou, she tends to be nearly silent and very submissive.
  • Cain and Abel: Shinji resents her for being the true Matou heir.
  • Casting a Shadow: Her Hollow Element allows her to summon Living Shadows.
  • Cherry Blossom Girl: Named Sakura, has a flower themed ending, is the final love interest and is working hard at being a Yamato Nadeshiko. However, things aren't as pleasant as they seem.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She does NOT like the idea of Saber living in Shirou's house even outside of Heaven's Feel at first, doesn't like having Tohsaka around because Shirou admires her and is generally very possesive of Shirou (including when Rider is with them). lost butterfly helps to illustrate this in two instances. First, realizing that Rin shares same memories as her of seeing Shirou the first time (i.e. his attempt at the hurdle) is enough to drive her catatonically afraid she's "taking" him from her. Second, Zouken weaponizes this and her genuine love for both Shirou and her brother to eventually cause her to snap by putting too much pressure on her.
  • Club President: In the True End of Heaven's Feel it's revealed that she became the head of the archery club along with the fact that she became the supervisor for Fuyuki in Rin's abscence.
  • The Corruptible: Throughout Heaven's Feel, there's a constant fear of Sakura succumbing to the corruption. She resists more than seems humanly possible, but eventually she does.
  • Covert Pervert: A very rare instance of the trope Played for Drama. Because of the crest worm she gets sexually aroused very easily, and hates herself for that.
  • Cry Cute: When Shiro and Rin learn the truth about her, Shiro finds her crying in the rain alone, in a really heartwrenching moment.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Sakura has unusual, purple-colored eyes and hair. This is revealed to be because of the "conditioning" imposed upon her by Zouken in order to make her into the successor of the Matou brand of magecraft.
  • Damsel in Distress: In the DEEN anime, Sakura is kidnapped by Caster as part of her plans, baiting Shirou, Saber, and Rin into her trap. This is how the anime reveals Sakura's relationship with Rin.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She had by far the worst life out of the three heroines, but the extent of bad things that have happened to her is only revealed in her route. Her biological family, the Tohsakas, gave her away to the Matou family who abused her emotionally, physically and sexually for eleven years.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: After treating Shirou's wounds caused by True Assassin, Sakura masturbates thinking about Shirou's rather muscular chest and back. However the circumstances at the time make her feel particularly horrible about it.
  • D-Cup Distress: She's quite embarrassed about her bust size (which Taiga takes great delight in revealing to Shirou).
  • Deal with the Devil: Rather involuntarily, Sakura becomes outrageously powerful by virtue of drawing on the power of Aŋra Mainiiu due to Zouken having her make a contract with it.
  • Defiled Forever: Thinks of herself as a woman unworthy of Shirou due to have been repeatedly raped and violated through her life. Essentially she internalized the Madonna–Whore Complex.
  • Defusing the Tyke Bomb: The objective of Heaven's Feel is to stop the Crest Worm from going haywire and subsequently, the destruction of Aŋra Mainiiu without killing Sakura.
  • Demoted to Extra: Because Sakura's significance is only brought forth in her route, she stays a minor character in the adaptations for Fate and Unlimited Blade Works. This is finally averted in the film adaptation for Heaven's Feel.
  • Despair Event Horizon: An implied offscreen one. In the main route, Sakura flees the church while Rin and Shirou debate whether they should kill her. But in the Superhero ending, Rin apparently kills Sakura without difficulty after Shirou agrees with her that Sakura should die, the implication being that hearing Shirou wants her dead kept Sakura from resisting.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Her Superpowered Evil Side, once fully established, decides that it's not going to put up with her grandfather's abuse anymore...
  • Dogged Nice Girl: Unlike the rest of Shirou's love interests, Sakura has been on close terms with Shirou since middle school and spends as much time together with him as she can. She has always loved Shirou, but is too shy to make an overt advance at him. They only get together in her route where Shirou reciprocates her feelings early on.
  • Driven to Suicide: She never kills herself, but she does consider it. On Day 9 of Heaven's Feel she mentions several previous attempts at suicide, though she never went through with it. After her My God, What Have I Done? moment, she attempts to kill herself out of remorse, only to be prevented by Aŋra Mainiiu long enough for Shirou to free her with Rule Breaker.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: At one point when she has to help treat Shirou's wounds, she sits there for a good 3 minutes blushing and staring at his muscular chest.
  • The Eeyore: She's real gloomy and pessimistic about the future. She hides well on a surface level, but it doesn't take much prodding before the mask begins to crack.
  • Empty Eyes: The first hint that she's not quite happy as she appears. They were even worse two years ago when she first met Shirou.
  • Empty Shell: How she was before she met Shirou. Leave her alone, and she'll revert quickly back to this state.
  • Everyone Can See It: It's obvious to everyone that she loves Shirou.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Downplayed. In the first Heaven's Feel movie, she goes to talk to Shirou in the shed wearing a short-sleeved dress that should be too cold for a chilly February night, with the implication that she did it just to look good for him. Word of God elaborates on this in the Animation Material booklet:
    Takeuchi: Yup, that concept is an upgrade from miniskirts in the middle of winter. Was she not cold? Of course, she was cold!
    Nasu: A scary thing is... that level of cold, compared to the torture she routinely goes through, is merely "cold" for Sakura. It probably isn't "hard" for her.
    Takeuchi: SAKURA!
  • Expy: She is similar in appearance and personality and shares some aspects of her back-story, with Fujino Asagami from the earlier Nasu work Kara no Kyoukai.
  • Extreme Doormat: Before she fell in love with Shirou, she felt empty and was resigned to her fate. Meeting Shiro made her feel alive again. She's still pretty doormat when she isn't around Shirou.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: A few years back, she was even quieter and more withdrawn, but after noticing Shirou she resolved to make herself more girly and appealing and thus learned to cook from Shirou and kept practicing to the point where she's roughly as good at it as he is.
  • Freak Out: After killing Shinji, she finally succumbs to the corruption and willingly enters the villain camp out of despair and resentment. It takes a lot of work for the good guys to get through to her again thanks in no small part to Tohsaka's distant attitude.
  • Friendless Background: Shirou notes early in the Heaven's Feel route that she doesn't really have any friends at school and didn't really hang out with anyone but Shirou in the past. Nasu in Presage Flower's Animation Material booklet confirms that "Sakura is very gloomy in the classroom, so no matter how pretty and how dangerous a body she has, she is alienated from the boys and slightly avoided by the girls."
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: After her breakdown, she becomes a threat to the world itself because she contains All Evils Of This World, which can either enter the world as six billion curses or, at the end of the route, can instead come out as an evil god. She doesn't seem to mind too much - or at least not until Rin snaps her out of her self-depreciation. Good thing for her, too, because even the material books, never mind some of the sequels and whatnot, make it clear that she was otherwise on the verge of becoming a threat of such scope that the Earth's world-spirit and its Counter Force was going to intervene against her, which would have made the Fuyuki Fire look like a firecracker in comparison.
  • Girl Next Door: She plays the role of the "cute and homey girl" for Shirou. She has been his close friend for years, goes to his house every day, is almost like family to him, a good cook, and much easier to talk to than his other love interests. However, her route subverts pretty much all which seemed wholesome about her character.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: In the 2006 anime, Caster puts Sakura in black leather after she captures her.
  • Gratuitous German: Heaven's Feel only.
  • Grew a Spine: The epilogue of Unlimited Blade Work implies she becomes the dominant one in the Matou household, having successfully browbeaten Shinji into letting her take care of him.
  • Hates Being Alone: Reveals in her confrontation with Rin that the thing she'd resented the most was how her birth family left her alone to the Matou. Even her time with Shirou is less about her crush (which she believes is unattainable) and simply about being in his presence.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: To say Sakura resents herself is an understatement; she sees herself as a disgusting abomination who doesn't deserve love from anyone, yet paradoxically cannot help but feel resentment at people not showing her any affection - which in turn makes her resent herself even more for said selfish feelings, creating a literal feedback loop of self-depreciation. She even flat-out confesses that the only reason she hasn't killed herself is because she's too scared of death to go through with it.
  • Heroic Willpower: Despite her gentle demeanor, she has an insane amount of mental resilience, rivaled by only Shirou himself. Lesser Grails such as Illya and Sakura are designed to prioritized keeping collected Servants inside them over functioning as a human being, hence why their bodies begin breaking down as Servant casualties begin racking up. Illya claims that she would be able to only four Servants before she ceases to exist as a human and turns into the Lesser Grail full time. By the time she tells Sakura this, Sakura has already taken in a full seven Servants thanks to Gilgamesh's abnormally large soul, yet Sakura is still alive and somewhat lucid, and this is on top of Aŋra Mainiiu constantly bombarding her with his hatred and trying to corrupt her mind over the course of the Grail War. This trope is also the only reason why she's able to function on a day-to-day basis despite her horrible past; when Dark Sakura puts Rin through a simulation of what she endured, the latter manages to take only a single day in Sakura's life before she breaks from the pain.
  • Hidden Buxom: Taiga says she's actually an E-cupnote , though her rather large bust isn't visible when she's not wearing her casual clothes or in the H-scenes. Art Evolution and later animated adaptations make her bust more visible.
  • Hope Is Scary: Sakura's capacity to repress her trauma hinges on convincing herself that her pain doesn't matter, that she has no right to expect anything better, that she can't do anything about it anyway, etc. Once she is given hope of being freed, her emotions become less easy to control and she knows it.
  • Horror Hunger: It turns out that sex with Shirou just isn't enough to supply the mana to power TWO servants at the same time, therefore The Holy Grail within Sakura compels her to go on a cannibalistic rampage across Fuyuki, ripping human beings apart and feasting upon their corpses.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Pretty much her reaction to Shirou falling for her in Heaven's Feel, having long resigned herself to being the silent admirer. When he decides to protect her over the world, she's initially in disbelief and tries to drive him off from starting a doomed love. When Shirou persists in liking her even after learning about her "condition", she's left at a complete loss on whether she's happy to be with him, terrified of losing him or angry that he'll probably get himself killed because of her. Later on when Gilgamesh tries to kill her, she even comments that the surreality of having Shirou finally notice her feelings makes her even more scared to die, which in turn contributes further to her eventual breakdown.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Unlike Rin and Saber, she has no grand wish to seek, nor any sort of magus pride and traditions to uphold. She only wants to have friends and family to love her, and would rather leave the world of magic and its inhumanity behind her forever. She confesses to Shirou that even though she feels guilty for lying about her true status as a mage, she couldn't end the lie because she enjoyed her time with him and Taiga too much.
  • Ill Girl: Due to the stress of the Matou family's crest worms becoming more active she's bedridden for a large portion of the route.
  • Image Song: "Egao Hitotsu de" ("With One Smile").
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In the Heaven's Feel route, she rips people apart and eats them under the influence of Aŋra Mainiiu, even before transforming into Dark Sakura.
  • Incompletely Trained: She was pawned off by her father because he could train only one child and he felt it was a waste if she never reached her full magical potential, so he gave her to the Matou family who lacked an heir with working Magic Circuits. Unfortunately, Zouken isn't interested in training her at all, and spends more time torturing her as part of his schemes.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Due to her severe self-esteem issues, she's constantly scared that Shirou will fall for some other, "better" girl and leave her alone.
  • I Will Wait for You: In the Normal End of Heaven's Feel. Sakura promises to wait for Shirou after his Heroic Sacrifice, though it eventually becomes clear that he never returns to her and she eventually dies of old age.
  • Keigo: In the Japanese dub of the VN or anime, she speaks in a formal language to everyone, even to her close friends, as she's raised in a rich family which turns out to be the Big, Screwed-Up Family and she's actually adopted by them during her childhood for a horrific reason.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Her ruthless treatment of Zouken and Shinji. She herself is rather stunned at what she did to Shinji, however, since she did care about him.
  • Laughing Mad: When she first becomes Dark Sakura, she laughs hysterically.
  • Leitmotif: "All the Evils in this World", a remix of Kirei's "The Church on the Hill".
  • Lighter and Softer: In the Fate manga, many of the horrible things from her backstory seem not to have occurred or, at least, are not mentioned.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The light to Rin's dark.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Shirou (and Rin, to a lesser degree). If he goes, so does her sanity, so she does terrible things (to herself and to others) to protect him.
  • Living Shadow: Due to Zouken tampering with her, she can morph into the Shadow, a premature form of Aŋra Mainiiu, but she initially has no control over it.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Sakura's purple eyes and hair are the result of the parasitic worms Zouken implanted in her body, that feed on her mana and carnal impulses, greatly boosting her magical power and sexual aggression.
  • Love Interest: To Shirou in the Heaven's Feel route.
  • Meaningful Name: In the myth of the cherry blossom tree, Sakura, it used to have pure petals, but they were stained pink from the blood of the soldier who died at its roots (short version of the myth). It is used as both a metaphor for life, and for death. Sakura made her transformation after killing Shinji, and ate people, similarly to how the tree roots drank blood.
  • Mood-Swinger: She instantly switches from happy to depressed and vice versa several times through her route. It gets ever worse when she becomes Dark Sakura, whose emotions and personality are highly unstable.
  • The Mourning After: Through the rest of her life in the Normal End of the Heaven's Feel, Sakura stays in Shirou's home constantly waiting for Shirou to come home after his Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the Grail War.
  • My Girl Back Home: Serves as Shirou's during the first two routes, representing his connection to the ordinary world, or so she would have him believe.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Subverted when she kills Shinji in Heaven's Feel. She thought she would feel bad, but Aŋra Mainiiu's influence means she's temporarily lost the ability to do so. This starts her transformation into Dark Sakura since she thinks if she can't feel remorse anymore, then there's no reason why she shouldn't lash out at others. In the movie, it's played straight in a case of Adaptational Heroism.
  • Necessarily Evil: While gradually progressing through much of the Heaven's Feel route with increasing despair, Sakura kills Shinji and Zouken, the former was her brother who raped the girl to maintain her dark side, and the latter was her grandfather whose treatment of her led to her corruption. Both incidents actually contributed to her post-Fifth Holy Grail War self being happier, otherwise she would die as a result of her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Nice Girl: Subverted. While far from a bad person, she's only really friendly and bright around Shirou, while at school, she's moody and silent. Thanks to Zouken, her mind is heavily fractured, and her mental and emotional instability caused by everything that had happened to her causes her to occasionally behave badly towards the people she cares about, like Rin and Rider, despite her best efforts.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: In Heaven's Feel's true ending, she retains her connection to the Holy Grail and possesses a limitless supply of Prana, allowing Rider to remain after the end of the Holy Grail War.
  • Not So Weak: A plot point. Zouken Matou can't break her by himself, and she won't fight back. At all. It takes a great deal of manipulation of outside factors and a good deal of stupidity from the heroes to actually make her snap. Until then, she was far more resilient than you'd expect for someone that's essentially broken inside. Still mostly sane after being raped constantly by Shinji at least, plus violated by worms, plus worms living inside her, plus excruciating pain and who knows what the hell else. But the crack that breaks her is how she tries to settle things herself to keep Shirou safe. And even after she is corrupted, she still doesn't obey Zouken so much as work alongside him and ultimately leaves him fatally wounded out of spite and whimsy.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Being a Master herself, Sakura knew from the start what Saber really was and why she suddenly disappeared in Heaven's Feel, but acted like she didn't for the sake of Shirou's sanity.
  • Out of Focus: Compared to Saber and Rin who are both prominent in all the routes, Sakura doesn't have a significant role in the visual novel aside of her own route despite being one of the three main heroines. In the first two routes, Sakura seems like a side character who represents Shirou's ordinary life similar to Taiga. This is why her very dark backstory and massive importance in Heaven's Feel come off as a big shock.
  • Property of Love: In her Image Song, she refers to someonenote  as her "treasure" who gave her hope.
  • Protectorate: In Heaven's Feel, Shirou and her Servant Rider want to keep Sakura alive and safe no matter the cost, even though they know Sakura's existence is a danger to the entire world.
  • The Quiet One: Sakura only really talks when she's with Shirou. Around everyone else, she's very much the silent type.
  • Raised as a Host: The whole reason Sakura was adopted was so she could host Zouken's own spirit. Following the Fourth Grail War, Zouken inserted Crest Worms imbued with Aŋra Mainiiu's cursed black mud into her, enabling her to become its avatar in Heaven's Feel.
  • Rape and Revenge: In Heaven's Feel, the moment where Sakura snaps completely is when Shinji boasts about how he will tell Shirou everything about the horrible fact that he has been raping Sakura repeatedly for years. Sakura's shadow slices the despicable bastard's throat. However, Sakura only ends up horrified at seeing she just killed her foster brother.
  • Rape as Backstory: Over the past eleven years, she has been raped on a near daily basis by Zouken's worms and Shinji. And maybe by her adoptive father Byakuya, but this is never made clear.
  • Rapunzel Hair: In the Heaven's Feel True End, she has let her hair grow down to her hips.
  • The Resenter: While she does love her sister Rin, she also resents how Rin has seemingly had a much happier life and never even really bothered to find out her situation. It isn't until the very end that Sakura learns of Rin's own scars note  that she realizes how unfairly she'd judged Rin.
  • Sempai/Kohai: She is Shirou's kohai. It's notable the fact that she always refers to Shirou as "Sempai" even when in the presence of other people who are also her sempais, like Rin. In the Heaven's Feel True epilogue, she still calls him "Sempai" even though they've been in a relationship for several years and he's no longer even her Sempai.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Shirou begins noticing in the intro of the story that the girl he befriended years ago is now blossoming into a beautiful young woman, which makes him uncomfortable since he wants to keep thinking of her as just his kouhai he needs to take care of and a friend's little sister. In the first two routes he's successful at suppressing his attraction to her; in Heaven's Feel he gives in, kickstarting the events of that route.
  • Shrinking Violet: She's rather hesitant and shy, though not particularly subtle with how she feels.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Shinji and Rin. She's overtly sweet and helpful to Shirou, while Shinji's a jerkass who pawns off his responsibility of cleaning the dojo onto him and Rin, of course, is tsundere. Plus, obviously, they don't look much alike, due to Sakura not actually being a Matou by birth, and gaining purple hair thanks to Zouken messing with her biology—she's a natural brunette.
  • Signature Headgear: Always wears a ribbon in the left side of her hair. It is a Memento MacGuffin since it was the first ribbon Rin ever made, and one of the few signs of their true feelings for each other.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She loves Shirou because he's honest and hardworking.
  • Space Master: She was born with the extremely rare Elemental Affinity called Hollow or Imaginary Numbers, which allows her to access Imaginary Number Space, which is very dangerous and near impossible to do so normally. She can potentially use this ability to store objects or redirect attacks but unfortunately she was never trained to do so at all. When the Shadow possesses her, it uses this ability to deflect Caster's fireball and store the Blackened Saber Alter and Berserker.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Matou, Matô or Matō depending on the source/transliteration paradigm used.
  • Split Personality: As she becomes more aware of the Shadow, she begins showing signs of this before eventually succumbing to it. One notable example is a scene that occurs should you choose to care for Sakura after Archer transplants his arm onto Shirou; she matter-of-factly points out the inadequacies of Rin's protection magic, and as Shirou leaves the room, she flat-out states that he should remain on guard against her, as if the Shadow's taken over and is warning him about their next meeting. Kotomine later clarifies that it's really a case of This Is Your Brain on Evil, explained in Dark Sakura's section below.
  • Stepford Smiler: Played with. At school, Sakura is more or less her "true self"; quiet, stoic and never smiles in front of people. Around Shirou, she's cheerful, happy, lively and always has a smile on her face. The latter is usually not an act, but this trope still applies to some extent because of everything she's hiding under that smile, and her efforts to downplay her problems early on in Heaven's Feel. The only other times she smiles for any other emotion, as is shown in Heaven's Feel II: lost butterfly, it's her negative possessive and jealous traits leaking out in private, a sign of her mental state struggling with the creeping influence of The Shadow/Aŋra Mainiiu.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: When Sakura accepts her bond with Aŋra Mainiiu, she transforms into Dark Sakura. Unlike the normal Sakura, she has control over the vast mana reserves inside the Grail or at least the inclination to use them. This is more than she could ever possibly use as well as the ability to do such actions as self healing or summoning of massive shadow familiars. Her personality, on the other hand, is highly unstable and switches between near catatonia and violently lashing out at her loved ones.
  • Super-Power Meltdown: Sakura loses the ability to control the Grail's energy, nearly resulting in the rebirth of Aŋra Mainiiu, a potentially world destroying monster. Resolving this first requires the use of Rule Breaker to separate Sakura from the Grail and then either Shirou or Illya's Heroic Sacrifice to keep from getting worse.
  • Supreme Chef: Taught by Shirou, which makes him uncomfortable when he notices that she may be becoming better than him (and he flat out considers her to be better than him at Western food).
  • Tareme Eyes: To emphasize her (usually) soft and kindly personality.
  • Through His Stomach: She decided that if she wanted Shirou to like her she had to be more appealing, so she started reforming her personality into that of a Yamato Nadeshiko. She's especially determined to outdo him at cooking.
  • Town Girls: The Femme to Rin's Neither and Saber's Butch.
  • Tyke-Bomb: For eleven years, Sakura has been forced to act as a host for magical worms that allow Zouken to control her at will.
  • The Un-Favourite: Considers herself as such in regards to Rin.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Big time in Heaven's Feel. Zouken implanted the remnants of the last Holy Grail into her body, enabling her to unknowingly summon a Shadow that kills and maims hundreds of people in the city. Even as she grows increasingly aware of the Shadow's presence, and the fact that it's being fueled by her darker desires, she desperately tries to deny all responsibility right up until Shirou fully commits to protecting her even at the cost of all his prior ideals. After that, her Guilt Complex causes her to sneak away to the Matou household in a desperate bid to resolve the issue herself, and as a result, she plays right into Zouken's hands and fully succumbs to the Shadow's influence.
  • Walking Spoiler: While Fate/Zero blowing the twist "early" has made this somewhat less of an issue, the way Sakura's handled in the first two routes of the visual novel means that she is very very difficult to talk about without getting into spoilers for Heaven's Feel.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: In this case, "Well Done, Sis" Girl. The only thing Sakura always expected from Rin was for her to show some sororal love.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: After her breakdown she basically decides "Eh, screw it. If I'm screwed anyway the world going with me is okay." Realizing that everyone she abandoned not only had always cared for her but were still trying to the very end to save her is what ultimately helps her come to her senses and resist the Shadow's influence.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Invoked. When she grew interested in Shirou, she resolved to reform herself to be more appealing.
  • You Are What You Hate: One reason she's so vehement that nobody take advantage of Shirou's good nature is that she fears she's doing the same thing herself.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She used to have black hair like her biological sister Rin Tohsaka. The purple coloration is a result of receiving the Crest Worm.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: She allowed Shinji to take her place as a Master on the condition that he wouldn't hurt Shirou. This condition is broken on the ninth day.


Major Characters

    Illyasviel "Illya" von Einzbern 

Voiced by: Mai Kadowaki (JP), Stephanie Sheh (EN)

"I don't intend to kill you, Shirou. You're mine. I'll kill the other Masters, but you're special. That's why I locked you up here, so there won't be any interruptions... "

The little noble girl Illyasviel, usually called Illya for short, was sent by the Einzbern Clan to be their champion the Holy Grail War. She is in fact a homunculus and the Master of Berserker. Due to being a homunculus, her great affinity for magic allows her to effortlessly control the otherwise rampaging Berserker class with ease. She lives in a mansion in the middle of a forest with her Servant and two maids.

Though she is indeed very innocent, this is not necessarily a good thing. She's cruel and occasionally vindictive in her naivety and has an odd obsession and attachment to Shirou.

She's also one half of the comedic duo of the Tiger Dojo alongside Fujimura Taiga, and usually plays the Boke in their Boke and Tsukkomi Routine.

  • Abusive Parent: Her "grandfather" Jubstacheit stranded her in the woods to create the bond between her and Berserker, among other things. He also lied to her about Kiritsugu abandoning her in order to motivate her to fight in the Holy Grail War as well as to spite Kiritsugu for losing the previous war, when in truth, Kiritsugu tried his hardest to get Illya back only to fail to get past the Einzbern's defenses as well as his declining health making it difficult for him to do so.
  • Adaptational Badass: While she was always considered the most powerful master, that was because of her control of Berserker. In the 2014 anime, she also shows off a more advanced version of her mother's magic, making her dangerous by herself. Even Rin couldn't take her.
  • All There in the Manual: Several notable things, for instance we only find out that she dies a year after the Holy Grail war in Archer's back-story via supplementary materials, and apparently the Dress of Heaven she wears at the end of Heaven's Feel will turn any human who touches it into gold!
  • Arc Villain: In all the routes, she's the first opponent Shirou faces after formally entering the Holy Grail War, since she intercepts him on his way back from the church. In Fate, it goes on for even longer, as she entraps him after Rider's defeat and abducts him, resulting in Saber, Rin and Archer mounting a rescue effort that results in Archer's death.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Par for the Nasuverse. Sure, "Ilya" is a real (boy's) name and -iel is a real (boy's) name ending, but the way they're combined is gibberish. Her fellow von Einzbern homunculi Sella, Leysritt and Justeaze Lizrich also count.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: In Unlimited Blade Works, Gilgamesh tears her heart out after slashing her eyes in half so that he can use it to create an incomplete Grail with which he can unleash Aŋra Mainiiu upon the world.
  • Berserk Button: If you do not stand up when fighting Gilgamesh and get killed for it, Illya will let you have it, unleashing a 230-hit Megaton Punch on you in the Tiger Dojo before calling you a "fucking chicken grill" and demanding that you get back over there and take Gilgamesh out to protect Saber.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: In all the routes she starts out as the physically most-imposing threat with Berserker at her side, but only in Fate do they actually get a proper confrontation with Shirou after that first battle. In Unlimited Blade Works, she gets to helplessly watch Berserker be torn to shreds by Gilgamesh before being killed by him for her heart, while in Heaven's Feel she gets to watch Berserker be overwhelmed by Saber Alter before losing him to the Shadow, forcing her to rely on Shirou's kindness for survival.
  • Big Brother Attraction: Played pretty darkly, especially since Shirou has no clue why she's calling him onii-chan until Heaven's Feel.
  • Big Sister Instinct: "You said an older brother protects his younger sister, right?... Yeah. I'm the older sister. So I have to protect my younger brother."
  • Breakout Character: She becomes the protagonist of her own Alternate Universe Spin-Off series, Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Illya's biological father is a Japanese assassin named Kiritsugu Emiya and her mother is a German homunculus. In terms of appearance, she takes almost completely after her mother.
  • Cheerful Child: She tends to act like this when she isn't acting like a Creepy Child. This behaviour isn't contradictory. However, despite her appearance, she's not actually a child.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She wants Shirou to herself, is willing to kidnap him and using magic to control his mind.
  • Clone Degeneration: Even if she survives the war, she still has less than a year to live.
  • Cool Crown: Seen donning one along with the Dress of Heaven in Heaven's Feel.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: In the 2014 anime, flashbacks show her transition from the cheerful child seen in Fate/Zero to the cold antagonist seen in Fate/stay night.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: The cuffs of her shirt prominently display a row of them.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: When she is sacrificed to summon the Holy Grail.
  • Cute and Psycho: In all three routes she starts out as an adorable but incredibly sadistic (seemingly) ten year-old girl who wants to enslave, torture, and/or kill Shirou; but eventually undergoes a Heel–Face Turn in the Fate and Heaven's Feel routes and was willing to form an Enemy Mine with Shirou and Rin in Unlimited Blade Works.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After losing in Fate, she's spared by Shirou and taken into the Emiya household. The epilogue shows her still living there and helping with the chores.
  • Double Meaning: Onii-chan is the equivalent of calling a stranger who is a young man, "mister", but it also means "older brother"...
  • Enfante Terrible: She's actually one of the oldest non-Servant main characters, but she looks and frequently acts like an insanely sadistic pre-adolescent, and her Berserker makes her one of the most dangerous foes.
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Her preferred form of greeting is a cute little curtsy because she is a daughter of nobility.
  • Expy: Of SHIKI Tohno from Tsukihime. The two are sadistic albinos who were isolated from the outside world and have an obsession with a sibling. Illya also feels attached but resents the protagonist. They also become more Affably Evil in each route.
  • Eye Scream: Suffers a brutal version of this in Unlimited Blade Works when Gilgamesh cuts her across the face in a manner that leaves anything but her now-cut-on-the-middle eyes unharmed. Before he tears her heart out with his bare hands..
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Illya is actually in a rather similar situation to Assassin, in that both are literally incapable of actually winning the Holy Grail war. As the vessel for the Grail itself, her mind is destroyed when it finishes forming, leaving her unable to claim the prize even if her Servant is the last one standing.
  • The Fake Cutie: She's genuinely quite innocent and naive, but in contrast to that she's probably the most brutal character in the story. Heaven's Feel makes it pretty clear that her little girl act is just an act. She's actually quite emotionally conflicted about what she should be doing and almost entirely lacks any hope for the future, as she's in fact a young adult who knows she'll die within the next twelve months regardless of what she does.
  • Fiction 500: A throwaway line in the Visual Novel that was poorly translated reveals the Einzberns are so absurdly wealthy, despite being hermits in the mountains for over a millenium; They found the Rheingold in the distant past. Readers with knowledge of Germanic myths will recognize this as Fafnir's Dragon Hoard.
  • Fille Fatale: Exactly what she plans to do with Shirou once she gets him varies from route to route, but in Fate at least she made it pretty clear just what she was planning to do with her new "toy." You can't get much more explicit than straddling a tied-up boy and asking him if he'd like to be your slave! Tiger Dojo confirms there was originally a hentai scene here if you picked the wrong option. On the other hand, she's actually older than he is.
  • First-Name Basis: She generally prefers being called by her nickname of "Illya".
  • Freudian Excuse: Parental Abandonment? Check. Isolated from the outside world and basically raised to be a sociopath by her mother's family? Check. Put through agonizing Training from Hell by said family so she could control Berserker and be their representative in the Grail War, despite the fact that she was mentally still a child? Check and check.
  • Godiva Hair: In the 2014 Unlimited Blade Works anime, when taking a bath after her first battle against Saber and Archer her forelocks are just long enough to cover her chest.
  • Go Out with a Smile: In Heaven's Feel True End.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She primarily dresses in purple and is a member of a noble family.
  • Hallucinations: In the 2014 Unlimited Blade Works anime, she has visions of Aŋra Mainiiu impersonating her mother, which is part of what twists her into the villain she debuted as.
  • Happily Adopted: The ending to Fate features her more or less adopted by Taiga. The two get along more like sisters than parent and child (which makes sense, given that they're only about six years apart in age), but it's hard to dispute that Illya's having a much better time with the Fujimura than the Einzbern family.
  • Hates Their Parent: She once resented her father, Kiritsugu Emiya, because he seemingly abandoned her and took it out on Shirou Emiya. Once she learn the truth, that being Kiritsugu didn't know she was alive and that her caretakers kept him from seeing her, Illya softens up and becomes more amicable.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • In Fate, after Shirou and Saber defeat Berserker.
    • She would have had one in Unlimited Blade Works, where she was going to take up Shirou and Rin's offer of an alliance... only to be killed by Gilgamesh.
    • In Heaven's Feel, she makes one after Shirou loses Saber.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": This gem:
    Illya: Master, then what's the trump card this time?
    Taiga: An ally.
    Illya: Anally? That sounds really funny, master!
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the True End of Heaven's Feel she sacrifices herself to shut down the Artifact of Doom behind the Holy Grail War.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: She cheerfully announces her intent to do this in Heaven's Feel during a Tiger Dojo segment in Unlimited Blade Works. When it doesn't work out that way, she tries to take over the Dojo instead with a tank.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: She just barely reaches her Servant's knee.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Uses these on Shirou before abducting him in Fate.
  • Image Song: "Tsuki no Namida"; also shares a more "fun" version with Taiga.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: When dying in Unlimited Blade Works, she mentions that it's a little cold but things will surely be okay again soon so long as Berserker is there to protect her. He's already dead.
  • In-Series Nickname: In the Tiger Dojo, SD-Rin calls her "buruma", since she wears a gym uniform with bloomers in that section.
  • Join or Die: The first Bad End in the Fate route basically exists to tell you that whether or not Shirou participates or even knows about the Holy Grail War or not, Illya will still go after him and turn him into her personal torture dummy, so his chances are better off joining the war since he'd at least have Saber to protect him and Rin to help him. This is because she wants revenge for Kiritsugu supposedly abandoning her and replacing her with Shirou.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: In Fate, she's living with Shirou, he doesn't seem to care about what she did in the past if she doesn't hurt anybody. The only retribution she receives for her actions is losing Berserker, a consequence she accepts gracefully after Shirou brings her under his protection. However... she's still going to die in less than a year and side materials have made clear that nothing in this ending can prevent that.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Her ruthless murder of Shinji in Fate is supposed to indicate that she's a little psycho... but honestly, it's Shinji. Who cares?
  • Kid with the Leash: The youngest Master commands the absolute loyalty of a deranged giant. Except she's not a kid, she's actually older than half the other Masters.
  • Large Ham: In the Tiger Dojo segments, she is more upbeat and expressive than the main story.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: There is one aspect of her character that the game tries to treat as a big reveal, but these days is going to be spoiled by anyone capable of doing math if they've seen certain other works. Illya is eight when Kerry & Iri leave for the events of Fate/Zero. So, logically, Illya must be 18 during F/sn.
  • Leitmotif: "Die Lorelei" by Phillipp Friedrich Silcher. It's a real German folk song.
  • Loophole Abuse: Her excuse for becoming Shirou's ally in Heaven's Feel, despite earlier stating she would kill him if they ever met at night. Illya points out that Shirou isn't a Master anymore so she has no reason to fight him.
  • Meta Gal: She becomes this during the Tiger Dojo segments accompanying each of the game's 40 Bad Ends.
  • Ms. Exposition: She fills this role pretty often, especially in Heaven's Feel.
  • Mystical White Hair: She's a homunculus created to be the avatar of the Holy Grail, and has an albino appearance.
  • Nom de Mom: She uses her mother's surname instead of her father's. Needless to say, Shirou probably would have treated her a lot different from the outset if she introduced herself as "Illyasviel Emiya-Einzbern" or similar.
  • Not Blood Siblings: She's attracted to Shirou, whom she also acknowledges as her long-lost brother. This is mostly one-sided from Illya in all routes except "Heaven's Feel", where Shirou gets much closer to her (platonically) and discovers that she is Kiritsugu's biological daughter (Shirou would've reciprocated her romantic feelings in the Illya route). Before her Heel–Face Turn, however, it's mostly disturbing in that she's physically a young child, she's crazy, and she'll turn Shirou into her tortured sex slave if he ever gets caught vulnerable by her (and there was almost a sex scene where she raped Shirou).
  • Older Than She Looks: She looks around ten years old, but, hilariously, is in fact the only one of the "teenage" Masters to be of the age of majority in most of the world, being 18 years old. Homunculi have strange growth patterns, but hers is nonexistent as the Einzberns never intended her to be able to live as a human, despite having a normal human as a father.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Not her within the main story, but her normally upbeat Tiger Dojo persona is subjected to that after the infamous "Mind of Steel" ending. Unlike other Dojo segments, she makes no jokes or puns at all. She will just sadly call Shirou "Baka".
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: She was naturally conceived, but she's still a homunculus, since homunculi in this setting resemble Designer Babies mixed with Cloning Blues.
  • Parental Abandonment: After the previous Grail War, the Einzberns wouldn't even allow Illya and Kiritsugu to meet, and as her mother is already dead, Illya feels she has been abandoned. This distresses her so much that it is implied that the reason she keeps Berserker in an "always semi-berserk" state is to deprive the only real father figure she's ever known of even the opportunity of leaving her.
  • Power Tattoo: Her Magic Circuits and Command Seals are one and the same, and comprise 70% of her body. Because of this, whenever she generates mana her body becomes covered in intricate red Tron Lines.
  • Proper Lady: She likes to act like one; curtsying when thanking someone or saying something like "the lady of the mansion has to entertain her guests". She knows perfectly well how to be one, being eighteen, and it actually would be her social role in most normal situations. She abandons the concept in "Fate" and "Heaven's Feel", though.
  • Protectorate: Berserker is incredibly protective of her and will not hesitate to sacrifice himself to protect her as the Unlimited Blade Works route shows. Later works in franchise shows this become something of a universal truth that somehow Heracles still remembers and protects Illya.
  • Raised as a Host: Illya's entire purpose in the War is to eventually host the Grail in her own body, meaning that even if she was the last master standing she still wouldn't technically win since she can't wish on it. Her victory would still return the Third Magic to Einzbern control, though... or so they think.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Some of the time, anyway. Generally, if the narration starts focusing on her eyes, bad things are about to happen.
  • The Resenter: She's got a major grudge against Shirou for being Kiritsugu's adopted son, but for all the wrong reasons. The fact that Kiritsugu told her he would be back and then never returned for no obvious reason is understandably upsetting for her. However, she was never allowed to know he tried to return for her, but was stopped. Making it worse is that the Einzberns almost certainly made it sound as bad as they possibly could, too, because it gives her more of a reason to fight. She doesn't seem to buy the cover story entirely, but it doesn't get rid of her resentment.
  • Sadist: As a villain, Illya is very sadistic, and the Bad Ends at her hands (especially the first one if you happen to refuse to become a Master) are horrifying.
  • School Sport Uniform: Illya wears this in her No Fourth Wall appearances in the Tiger Dojo.
  • Shame If Something Happened: In Fate, when Shirou runs into Illya at the shopping district, he is initially very apprehensive about her offer to hang out with him, and tries to talk his way out of it. Illya then loses her patience and says "So you don't like me then, Onii-chan?" with an unsettling smirk. Shirou interprets her reaction as this trope and promptly acquiesces as a result.
  • The Sociopath: Until she turns and her more sadistic tendencies seem to be put to rest, she intended to enslave or kill Shirou, and in the first Heaven's Feel movie, she gleefully orders Berserker to kill and rape Saber.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The arrangement of her leitmotif Die Lorelei in this game sounds like a lullaby played by a music box. The first time you hear it in the very first Bad End, Berserker is chopping your limbs off, leaving your head kept alive as a toy for Ilya. The leitmotif changes to a depressing theme on subsequent appearances, but still keeps the dissonance.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Even the official manga translation can't seem to decide if it's "Ilyasviel" or "Illyasviel". To make matters worse, Type Moon's official website uses "Ilya", while nearly all Type Moon merchandise uses "Illya". So it seems both spellings are canon. This does help fans, however, in that many refer to this one as "Ilya", while the alternate self from Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA is obviously "Illya".
  • Stepford Smiler: She's a lot less carefree than she looks since she knows that she'll probably be dead by the end of the Grail War even if she wins, a year after that if she doesn't and the one thing she actually wants is something she feels she can't get. That one thing is for Shirou to actually care about her.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She's the spitting image of her mother Irisviel, to the point that despite not recognizing her Saber is taken aback when she first sees Illya in the 2014 anime.
  • Token Mini-Moe: She is the shortest and youngest-looking of the Masters, despite being the third-oldest of them. Lampshaded and providing the page quote.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Illya starts out as a Creepy Child with a massive grudge against Shirou for stealing her father from her, but after Berserker's death in the Fate and Heaven's Feel routes, she mellows out considerably, as she begins to realize all her assumptions about Shirou and even Kerry were wrong. And in Heaven's Feel, she begins to realize that the Avenger from the Third Heaven's Feel went much more wrong than the Einzberns ever realized.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: While there are instances where she does act her apparent age, Illya is introduced trying to enslave and/or kill Shirou, and in the Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower movie tells Berserker to rape and kill Saber... not necessarily in that order. This is less surprising once it becomes clear she's just flat-out a (young) adult with a messed-up sense of right and wrong.
  • Tyke-Bomb: She was raised by the Einzbern family to be the ultimate Master and not to place a great value on human life.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Subverted. One of the Tiger Dojos reveals that the dev team considered giving Illya a different outfit in each of the 40 Tiger Dojos before scrapping the idea as impractical. She ended up wearing a School Sport Uniform instead, hence her In-Series Nickname "buruma" (bloomers).
  • The Von Trope Family: Due to the Einzberns being German nobility, Illya's name has a "von" between her first and last names.
  • Winter Royal Lady: Not literally, but certainly she is characterized both by her princess-like looks and character and her affinity with winter.
  • Yandere: Non-romantic despite her clinginess. She really seems to be dead set on having Shirou be her servant; or worse, her doll. Heck, she'll settle for his still living head. She just wants to be properly acknowledged and secretly believes that Shirou will reject her, like she thinks Kiritsugu did.
  • You Are Number 6: Her name is "Pupil Number One" in the Tiger Dojo.
  • You Lose at Zero Trust: From early on in Heaven's Feel Shirou is getting along with her much better than in the previous two routes. However, thanks to Zouken dicking around, she feels she has to ignore her emotions towards him, and opts for pragmatism and kills Saber while away from Shirou (Illya knew for a fact he could try to protect his Servant with his life) and rather regretfully destroys his body if you don't have a high enough affection score with her by the afternoon of Day 8. The wording is intentional. She doesn't kill Shirou right away and instead keeps his mind "alive" in a puppet because she needs him as a "trump card against that person".
  • Your Size May Vary: Reversed from the normal presentation. The artwork actually exaggerates the size difference between her and Berserker. He's eight feet and three inches tall while she's four feet and three inches, but she doesn't reach much past his knee if the artwork is anything to go by.

    Shinji Matou 

Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya (JP), Doug Erholtz (EN 2006 Anime, 2010 Movie), Kyle McCarley (EN 2015 Anime, 2018 Movie)

"If you want me to drop the barrier, you'll have to get on your knees and beg."

Sakura's brother and Shirou's friend from middle school, Shinji is abrasive, smug and sarcastic. While he comes from a family of magi, due to the land of Fuyuki "rejecting" the Matou family, they had lost their magical potential by the time that Shinji was born. Thus, Shinji lacks a Magic Circuit and thus, has no magical potential whatsoever. Questioning his ability is an easy way to get on his bad side and in general he seems largely unstable. At school, he's a popular ladies' man, but it's not quite clear why: He's rude, arrogant and ineptly manipulates the few friends he has.

Shinji is shown early on to be the Master of the mysterious Servant Rider, whom he controls using an artifact created from Rider's Command Spells called the Book of the False Attendant, and takes up a fairly prominent role in all three routes.

  • Adaptational Badass: A very minor example, but in the manga he is a lot less pathetic and cowardly and does get a somewhat proper fight against Shirou, even managing to inflict an injury on him. Still doesn't stop Shirou from kicking the crap out of him, but it's a lot better than what happens in the same scene in the anime and the Fate route.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: He does not rape Sakura in the manga. Also, after Sakura has Rider save his life and he sees no one hates him for his misdeeds during the Grail War, Shinji genuinely regrets how much of a scumbag he has been and it's implied his personality is back to his more tolerable former self.
  • All There in the Manual: In the Character Material, Nasu explains lots of his current attitudes, like his jerkass attitude and his feelings for Sakura and Shirou across the years.
  • Always Second Best: A lot of Shinji's anger issues and hostility boils down to his inferior complex when compared to both Shirou and Sakura.
    • Sakura was adopted into the Matou family explicitly because of Shinji's terrible potential as a Magus. Shinji was initially kind to Sakura when he first met her as a child but once the realization of excatly why she was adopted kicked in, he started treating her vilely.
    • Despite his similar lack of talent as a magus, Shirou is actually held in high regard by the other masters, particularly Rin Tohsaka. The fact that Shirou was also better archer than Shinji and also gained the affection of both Sakura and Rin led Shinji to become especially spiteful towards Shirou. Each route even has Shinji and Rider ambushing Shirou and Saber at their school because of this.
  • And I Must Scream: In Unlimited Blade Works, he angrily lashes out at Gilgamesh for not protecting him from Lancer's attacks, and Gilgamesh responds by implanting Illyasviel's heart inside him and transforming him into the vessel for the Holy Grail. Given how this transforms him into an unstable, grotesque pile of flesh until he's rescued, the experience must have been rather unpleasant.
  • Asshole Victim: In Fate he tries to escape the aftermath of Saber's battle with Rider, only to run into Illya and Berserker on the way down the skyscraper. In Unlimited Blade Works Lancer stabs him and Gilgamesh turns him into Aŋra Mainiiu's host by stuffing Illya's heart into his chest, this being after he tried to rape Rin. In Heavens Feel Sakura decapitates him during his latest attempt to rape her when he threatens to tell Shirou about all of it. All three times it's hard to feel any sympathy for the little bastard.
  • Attempted Rape: One attempt on Tohsaka, something that isn't really gone into with Ayako, him mentioning that Rider was "only useful as a woman", and many successful attempts on Sakura in the past. That last one really comes back to bite him in the ass, as she ends up slicing his head off in Heaven's Feel.
  • Ax-Crazy: While he shows shades of this in all three routes, particularly when he's trying to melt the entire student body into magic koolaid, it gets a lot worse near the end of Heaven's Feel, where he's giggling while trying to rape Sakura.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Inverted in Unlimited Blade Works where it's implied the suffering he went through caused him to mellow out.
  • Beneath the Mask: Character Material reveals that he is much less of a jerk if you aren't Sakura, though the only male he could actually get along with was Shirou, before their estrangement.
  • Berserk Button:
    • What really sets him off is the implication that he is useless.
    • According to supplemental material, when they were still friends, he would socially murder anyone who took advantage of Shirou.
    • In the manga, what triggers him is the fact everyone is trying to hide facts from him and making a fool of him. This makes more sense after his past is revealed (with Sakura and his father trying to hide the truth about Sakura from him for years).
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He seems aware that he's pathetic and resents the hell out of it and tries to be more intimidating than he really is. Unfortunately for him, in all three routes he's upstaged by far more powerful and threatening individuals. It's most blatant in Unlimited Blade Works when Gilgamesh is pretending to be Shinji's Servant because Gilgamesh is clearly calling the shots between the two of them, Shinji is just too arrogant to realize it.
  • Big Brother Bully: His friendship with Shirou largely fell apart after the latter figured out he was abusing his little sister.
  • Big Brother Mentor: He tried to be this in the manga backstory, after he met Sakura for the first time. Or at least he did until he found out why Sakura was adopted into the Matou family.
  • Bishōnen: He's pretty good-looking, though he has a tendency to make incredibly unflattering faces.
  • Body Horror: In Unlimited Blade Works, Gilgamesh turns Shinji into a new vessel for the Holy Grail, which results in him being forced to endure a lake-sized mass of flesh growing from his body. The resulting Transformation Trauma eventually scared him straight.
  • Boisterous Weakling: Has some trouble getting that without Rider to protect him, he's just cannon fodder. Mostly due to his Inferiority Superiority Complex.
  • Break the Haughty: In all routes he's subjected to this. Heaven's Feel revealed he was subjected to one before the series even began, thinking he was special thanks to being born into a family of magi, even if he couldn't use magic. Then he found out that Sakura was the one who would become the family's heir since she actually could become a magus. He didn't take it well.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Suprisingly Shinji is quite gifted for a normal human, unfortunately he grew up in a house where magic was the only thing that mattered. As a result he focused his efforts on a field he could never win in, and wasted his intellect on a hopeless goal.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Constantly mocks and berates Rider even though she is infinitely more powerful than him. In Unlimited Blade Works, he even badmouths Gilgamesh, and it's amazing he didn't get killed on the spot.
  • Cain and Abel: He's the Cain to Sakura's Abel.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Zig-Zagged. He's pretty popular with the opposite sex, but never with a named character, especially with Tohsaka who's the one he's most interested in. He never gets anywhere with her, but his ego doesn't seem to allow him to compute the fact that she isn't interested. This causes more conflict than you would think.
  • The Chew Toy: Shinji is introduced as an extremely ineffectual little slime ball. He is smacked around in confrontations with Shirou and other Servants, cannot get Rin's attention at all, is bloodily killed in two of the routes, and the sole remaining route spends a good deal of time convincing him that yes, Shinji, it really is not all fun and games being a magus/Master/the Holy Grail. Considering that he is a conceited little git at best and a sociopathic rapist at worst, he doesn't get too much sympathy about this.
  • Chick Magnet: The main cast of girls don't like Shinji much, but he's very popular with girls at school. However, character material reveals that the girls from the school only like him because he has the looks and the money.
  • Continuity Nod: Has a very small but notable one in the OVA Fate/Grand Order: First Order, verging on an Ironic Echo. Whilst Medusa (this time as a Lancer, rather than a Rider) is walking through the crowd of people she has petrified, she starts stroking the cheek of the nearest one, who looks an awful lot like Shinji. She then rips his head off.
  • Control Freak: As noted by Rin, his biggest weakness is that he can't handle not being in control of everything, especially when it comes to Sakura. In Heaven's Feel, when Sakura is not around for him to control and with Zouken triggering his Berserk Button, he loses it and enters his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The closest thing to a fight he has is in the Fate route when Shirou finally has enough of him, but it's more Shirou beating the crap out of Shinji, who is too much of coward to fight back, not that it would have done him much good even how Shirou easily broke his arm.
  • Curtains Match the Window: His eyes and hair are blue.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The Heaven's Feel route hints at it, but the manga and the Character Material come right out and openly state that Shinji's came when he discovered the Matou were a clan of magi and began putting all of his heart and effort into becoming one himself... only to later find they were a fallen clan who no longer had magical power, and that if anyone in his family was going to end up fulfilling his lifelong dream, it was going to be Sakura whether she liked it or not. Basically, he Jumped at the Call only to discover that there was no call - or, specifically, it is one he physically cannot answer and there is nothing he can do about it - and upon learning this reacted... poorly. The final nail in the coffin was Sakura's pity.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Is obviously a villain even before we learn about what he has done, but Shirou fails to suspect anything. Rin does see his true colors, but doesn't think he could actually be dangerous.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • When Shirou gets his hands on him after being cut repeatedly and kicked out of a 3rd floor window by Rider, he is understandably nearly pissing himself in fear. As soon as a situation is no longer in his favor, he will beg, flee and backstab to ensure his own safety.
    • If he doesn't have a Servant around, Rin or Shirou so much as putting their foot down against him is enough to make him quake.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the manga, he bullies an archery student over minor and imagined infractions, prompting Ayako to warn him that he's on the verge of being expelled from the club. In response, he orders Rider to attack her, putting her in the hospital.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Shinji's attitude makes it impossible for him to believe that Shirou and Sakura are the only ones that actually care about him and he mistakes it for pity, though Sakura does pity him somewhat. And he hates being pitied enough to turn him into the jerk he is.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Most adaptations remove his backstory of raping Sakura, although in Unlimited Blade Works he did strangle and threaten to kill Rin if she did not submit to him sexually. Even Fate/hollow ataraxia, which is a sequel of dubious continuity to Fate/stay night, downplays any sexual abuse Sakura suffered at his hands.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Rin still manages to find it within herself to save his life in Unlimited Blade Works in spite of the fact he tried to rape her while she was bound to a chair and completely helpless. This is probably in part because it would make Shirou happy and because he's Sakura's brother and Sakura does care about him.
    • In the manga, he gets this from Ayako, whom he had Rider attack; and Sakura, who saved his life. It should be noted that he does not rape Sakura in the manga, and this allows him to undergo a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Entitled to Have You: Shinji expresses this attitude towards Rin and becomes increasingly indignant when she rejects him to the extent that he is outraged when she picks Shirou in Unlimited Blade Works and tries to rape her.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Shinji faces off against other villains in every path; Illyasviel in Fate, Gilgamesh in Unlimited Blade Works, and Dark Sakura in Heaven's Feel. Too bad for him that he's the "Thou" part of the trope all three times.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: In Unlimited Blade Works, after Rider dies, Gilgamesh volunteers to become his new Servant for shits and giggles, and so that he'd be in the perfect position to turn Shinji into the substitute Grail if his initial plan failed. Shinji actually thinks he's in charge, and is oblivious to the fact he has no actual control over Gilgamesh until it is too late.
  • Freudian Excuse: Believing Sakura pitied and looked down on him due to her being the heir instead of him, combined with his father becoming distant to him (and later dying) after failing to hide the truths of the family to him combined with a manipulative, emotionally abusive grandfather who did encourage him to be a complete Jerkass so he'd be more useful to him that way.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: His personality took a sharp turn for the worse once he really grasped how his family worked.
  • Handsome Lech: Supposedly, most female schoolmates consider him quite attractive. But he treats the named female characters he interacts with like trash; Rin wants nothing to do with him and Rider only puts up with him because Sakura ordered her to.
  • Harmless Villain: He is dubbed a "harmless gnat" by Rin in UBW because only Rider makes him in any way dangerous. Illya echoes this statement.
  • Hate Sink: Only gets positive character traits in spin-off media. Pretty much exists to have someone that Shirou can feel perfectly okay beating up.
  • Hopeless Suitor: He has a thing for Tohsaka. You can tell how that one is going for him.
    • In Unlimited Blade Works, Her rejection caused him to attempt to rape her during her capture, but he is scared off by Lancer.
    • On Day 8 of the Heaven's Feel route, Tohsaka gives him an ultimatum when she goes to investigate the Matou mansion, warning him in no uncertain terms to get out of the War or else. Shinji was more scared than anything else by this, but then Rin makes the mistake of mentioning Shirou's name. Hearing her of all people praising Shirou for his exceptional "quality of a magus" despite lacking the skill makes Shinji truly snap in Tranquil Fury. The next day, he kidnaps Sakura in order to force Shirou to take a beatdown from Rider, his actions ultimately triggering a series of important revelations that turns the route From Bad to Worse.
  • Humiliation Conga: In Unlimited Blade Works, he goes from having the strongest Servant to getting his ass kicked by a dying Lancer and becoming the substitute Grail for Gilgamesh. The entire scene makes him look completely pathetic.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: In the manga, he still hits and generally mistreats Sakura, but defended her against last year's archery club captain's bullying (and blackmailed a couple other students into defending her too, because just doing the right thing for once is no reason for him to stop being himself).
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The whole reason why he is the way he is, and he would likely use the Holy Grail to wish for magical power.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: It's painfully clear that Shinji is the single weakest Master in the entire Grail war, and he knows it. Despite this he acts as if he's better than everyone in hopes of winning people over. The fact that Sakura is way stronger than him infuriates him even more. He is legitimately talented for a normal person, but growing up A Muggle Born Of Mages meant that he was always second best to Sakura, which warped him into obsessing over magic. His attitude extends to school where he lords it over anyone he sees as inferior.
  • Informed Ability: We're told early on that he gets good grades, is popular with female schoolmates, and is vice-captain of the archery club. He comes across as foolish, none of the named female characters like him, and he doesn't even try to use a bow in the Grail War.
  • Jerkass: If Shirou and Sakura are to be believed, Shinji wasn't always so bad, though he's never been good at getting along with other guys.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Apparently he was this as a child, according to the Character Material and the manga backstory, overlapping with some Hidden Heart of Gold. And well... things went to hell and he became a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk. He retains a bit of deep-buried decency in the manga.
  • Karmic Death: In Heaven's Feel he's killed by the girl he's been raping for three years straight after trying to assault her yet again.
  • Karma Houdini: Downplayed Trope. In Unlimited Blade Works, he tries to harvest an entire school of people to power up his Servant, attempts to have Shirou killed numerous times mostly out of jealousy and spite, and tries to rape Rin. But everyone who knows about these things doesn't seem to care that much. He was transformed into a blob of flesh for a while, but Rin saved him from that, albeit mainly for Sakura's sake.
  • Karmic Transformation: In Unimited Blade Works Gilgamesh implants Illya's heart into his body which horrifically transforms him into an incomplete Holy Grail made up of flesh. Gilgamesh even lampshades this telling Shinji that if he wanted the Grail so badly then he should keep it close with him at all times.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Implied in Unlimited Blade Works, he might have asked Gilgamesh to kill Zouken before they attacked the Einzbern mansion.
  • Laughing Mad: Pretty often in the later parts of Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel.
  • Loser Son of Loser Dad: He bears a strong physical resemblance to his father, Byakuya. Not to mention that Byakuya was a raging alcoholic who blamed his problems on others, abused Sakura, didn't have magic circuits and was a general loser.
  • Metaphorically True: In all three paths he calls Rider a "weak Servant" and basically she's useless. What's ironic is that Shinji is right, she is a weak Servant. The problem? That's because he's a piss-poor Master.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: In Unlimited Blade Works Lancer attacks Shinji when the latter tries to rape Rin, leaving him with a cut on his arm. Despite being a pretty minor wound as far as Grail Wars are concerned, he still runs away screaming after that.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: While the Matou family is very old and used to be powerful, they've run out of magic-users, a fact Shinji was not very happy to learn. The only magecraft he can actually use is only possible with the Book of the False Attendant, which lets him fire blasts of mana within the book at a target. Rin isn't impressed.
  • Narcissist: Shinji is extremely arrogant and egotistical, condescending towards everyone else despite being the weakest Master, and believes he's entitled to have Rin all to himself even if it means raping her. However, as revealed in Heaven's Feel, Shinji's arrogance is largely a coping mechanism to cover up his shame over being born to a powerful Magus bloodline without magic circuits.
  • Never My Fault: Because of his arrogance and sense of entitlement, Shinji believes he could never do anything wrong and blames his failures on others.
  • Non-Action Guy: Don't think his complete lack of any magical ability is made up for with any fighting skills, as he's just as worthless at that as he is at magic. Shirou made him run away when he came out at him with a broom!
  • Not So Different: Tries to pull this on Tohsaka in the manga, a comparison that falls flat when you consider that she never tried to harvest souls from random people. She just punches him in the face and calls him disgusting.
  • Obviously Evil: Not from his design, but his behavior and mannerisms quickly give away to the audience he's a villain, though Fate does play with this trope in the sense that he initially tries to avoid conflict with Shirou and promises to protect Sakura from the war.
  • Off with His Head!: Sakura decapitates him when he attempts to rape her in Heaven's Feel.
  • Once an Episode: Each route follows the pattern of Shinji and Rider being the first major antagonist for Shirou and Saber to defeat, ambushing them at the School. In the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works routes, Rider is defeated and removed from the Holy Grail War. In Heaven's Feel Shinji attempts to use Sakura as a hostage and a meatshield, but this callousness only proves turn Rider against him as Sakura is her true master.
  • Parental Abandonment: After Shinji finds the truth about Sakura, Byakuya, who Does Not Like Magic and did not want his son to get involved as well, becomes distant with his son and dies shortly after. Shinji claims that he hates his father for not choosing him to be the heir and because he believes he won't end up being a failure like him. However, it is implied in Heaven's Feel that they had a good relationship until Shinji found the Awful Truth about Sakura. His mother is gone and implied to have been thrown into the worm pit beneath the Matou household.
  • Parental Neglect: Zouken considers Shinji to be a disgrace of a sorcerer and often neglects him when not subjecting him to withering contempt. In Heaven's Feel it is revealed that even Byakuya, after years of trying to hide the family's secrets from him and later failing, started ignoring his son.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He seems to view the idea of consent as a quaint idea. He's been raping Sakura for three years, is implied to have raped Rider, and later tried to rape Tohsaka, though he just got stabbed for it that time.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Receives lots of these in Heaven's Feel, even a "The Reason You And Your Father Suck Speech" from Zouken.
    Zouken: Fool. I didn't expect victory from a failure like you. What I expected was enough pride to challenge others in spite of your powerlessness... But you failed miserably. You disgraced the name of the Makiri. Hmph... you and your father are both disgraces to our family.
  • The Resenter: Towards Sakura, after she's named the successor of the family.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Sakura. However, she isn't actually his sister.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Shinji is legtimately talented with the Character material actually comparing him to Sherlock Holmes. However his screwed up upbringing meant he never received any encouragement for what he was good at, and instead became fixiated on what he wasn't. Nasu notes that if Shinji hadn't been quite as gifted he would have turned out better
  • Smug Snake: Much like Zouken, Shinji is arrogant and extremely contemptuous towards his adversaries. However, due to lacking his grandfather's magical talent and shrewdness, these qualities combined with his sheer pettiness and low impulse control result in him being quickly overshadowed by the story's other antagonists.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the Fate-based manga, Sakura has Rider save his life with her last Command Spell. This act is enough to finally have him pull a Heel–Face Turn and abandon the Grail War.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the backstory, he was always kind of abrasive, but didn't turn into a real jerk until a few years ago after finding out that Sakura was the real family heir. Then in the Heaven's Feel route, after Zouken tells him that he is more worthless than Byakuya, it triggers his Berserk Button and he becomes twice as haughty and displeasing, which is saying a lot.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the aftermath of Unlimited Blade Works, his experience as a failed Grail made him less abrasive than before.
  • Troubled Abuser: His behavior is largely due to being a Muggle Born of Mages and Zouken making him feel worthless because of it. Sakura gets most of his abuse partly because she's the only one he can delude himself into thinking he has control over.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: According to Zouken, in Heaven's Feel.
  • The Unfavorite: Besides Sakura and Shirou, no one likes him. Not even his family.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • Acts as one to Gilgamesh and Kotomine in Unlimited Blade Works, believing that Gilgamesh is his Servant. Really the two of them are keeping him around as a back up Holy Grail Vessel. Shinji is so blinded by his arrogance he can't even realize that for practical purposes, Gilgamesh is the one giving him orders.
    • Everything he does in Heaven's Feel is orchestrated by Zouken in order to further his plans for Sakura, culminating in his death, which results in Sakura's Freak Out.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Shinji's state of mind gets particularly bad in the Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel routes. Eventually, he gets scared straight in the former and absolutely snaps in the latter.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Kinda like a certain other Shinji. He just wants approval from Zouken.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He had no qualms hitting a few of his female classmates, something Shirou despises about him. He even sics Rider on one for really no reason. That's not counting him raping Sakura and potentially a few other female students.
  • Yandere: In Unlimited Blade Works, his arrogance and self-entitlement extends to his attitude towards his crush, Rin, and he makes it clear he won't take no for an answer. When she repeatedly refuses him, he's disgusted and offended that she would pick Shirou over him, and his obsession with her grows until he tries to rape her.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has intense blue hair inherited from his father and grandfather (though the latter has long since gone spear bald).

    Kirei Kotomine 

Voiced by: Joji Nakata (JP), Jamieson Price (EN 2006 Anime), Crispin Freeman (EN 2015 Anime, 2018 Movie)

"People cannot change the past. All we can do, is accept our own actions. If you still wish to be burdened by your sins, let it show in your future actions. It is your choice how to perceive something that has already happened."

Kotomine Kirei is the overseer of the Holy Grail War and resides at the church on top of the hill. He is callous and sarcastic, but also quite knowledgeable. As the supervisor of the Grail War, it is his duty to uphold the rules of the Holy Grail War, cover up any incidents that might expose the War to the public, and give sanctuary to any Masters who drop out. Both Rin and Shirou appear to detest him, though in truth they don't seem to dislike him too much. Despite the enmity between the Mage's Association and the Church, Kotomine is a member of both organizations, which is presumably the reason he was chosen to be be the overseer.

Kotomine plays an important role in the unfolding events in all three routes, but the route that features him most heavily is the final one, Heaven's Feel where he takes an active role early on.

  • Affably Evil: He's gracious and well mannered in his own way, though sarcastic. He even seems to genuinely like Rin and Shirou. Doesn't stop him from sacrificing orphans to feed his Servant, trying to rip out Tohsaka's heart or any number of other charming things.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Has a habit of dropping these that completely flabbergast the person who's asked. "Is killing someone always a sin, no matter what?" being the prime example, at the end of Heaven's Feel.
  • Back from the Dead: It can appear that way - at the climax of Zero, he should have died from being shot through the heart by Kiritsugu. However, the Grail (or specifically, Aŋra Mainiiu) used its power to prevent him from dying by keeping his body alive - although this means he still doesn't actually have a functioning heart. Kotomine himself rather thinks the trope applies. It is worth noting, though, that he was not truly resurrected from the dead; there are very, very specific and special rules about how such a thing can happen in the Nasuverse, and this isn't a case of it. The Grail simply prevented him from dying due to him getting drenched in Grail mud just in time.
  • Badass Baritone: Joji Nakata, Jamieson Price, and Crispin Freeman all give him a deep, booming voice.
  • Badass Longcoat: His priest garments are like a combo between this and Badass Longrobe. They are also bulletproof to boot.
  • Badass Preacher: He's a member of the Catholic Church's Executor Squad and overseer of the Grail Wars.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: In Fate, after his true colors as a murderous Manipulative Bastard are revealed, he's shown to be quite proficient in manipulating the flow of the Holy Grail's curse during the final battle. He even goes as far as to directly implant the curse of Aŋra Mainiiu into Shirou which temporarily leaves him severely incapacitated. Heaven's Feel explains that his affinity for the Grail stems from the fact that his very life was saved by it, giving him a cursed body in return.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Primarily utilizes various Chinese martial arts, particularly Baji Quan. It's noted that unlike his father who practiced it for meditative purposes, he has no actual interest in the philosophy behind it or the spiritual side of things and that he just uses them because they're great tools for combat.
  • Batman Gambit: He pulls off several of these in Heaven's Feel.
  • Being Good Sucks: He explains in Fate that he's the villain because doing 'good' doesn't make him happy. Only the suffering of others does that. However, Being Evil Sucks too: He has a strong moral compass BECAUSE of what he was taught before his Start of Darkness. He's stuck in the middle, between 'wanting to be a good person' and 'being inclined towards being a terrible one' and frustrated that there's no place for him and no one that understands.
  • Big Bad: In all 3 routes to varying degrees given that he is most responsible for organizing the current Holy Grail War to supply Aŋra Mainiiu with enough energy to destroy humanity.
  • '80s Hair: His Magic Mullet is often joked about to be an aftereffect of his hereditary Sorcery Trait, as his late father shared the same kind of hair.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With his servant, Gilgamesh, in Fate. While Kotomine handles the plotting, Gilgamesh works on fighting their opponents.
  • Character Filibuster: He is physically incapable of entering and exiting a scene without at least a few dozen pages' worth of exposition, philosophical contemplation or cruel mind games in between. Usually, all three at the same time, or at least two out of them at the same time, depending on the length of the scene.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower:
    • Due to immense training as an Executor and his mastery of Baji Quan, Kotomine is able to stand up to True Assassin and a body-transmuted-into-swords Shirou in Heaven's Feel.
    • He can even run at fifty kilometers per hour while carrying someone, and jump out of a building 80 feet high without having to break his fall. For reference, world-class runners can barely maintain 37 km/h for a 100 meter sprint.
  • Chewing the Scenery: He can sometimes drift into this territory, although this is partly just how Joji Nakata acts. He's generally fairly calm.
  • Child Prodigy: Started his training as an Executor at age 10.
  • Church Militant: A former Executor and member of the Assembly of the Eight Sacrament, and now a semi-retired priest.
  • Classic Villain: In Heaven's Feel Kotomine's parallels to Shirou become quite obvious with the classic climactic conclusion being resolved by Kotomine's lack of purpose outside the emptiness that is at both Shirou's and his own core. Shirou's nature lies in defining himself through others, which is the same as Kotomine. The reason it is a virtue for Shirou and a vice for Kotomine is that Shirou's self definition lies in aiding others while Kotomine's is in harming them.
  • The Coats Are Off: At the end of Heaven's Feel.
  • The Corrupter: Ultimately serves as this towards Sakura Matou in Heaven's Feel (See Batman Gambit above).
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: Given his evil personality and his clerical vocation, crosses met at a cross section.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivers the greatest human-to-human curbstomp in the entire game when he fights Shirou at the end of Heaven's Feel. Shirou gets to land a few token but utterly ineffectual hits, otherwise spending the entire fight getting completely and totally pummeled by Kirei, who is both far stronger and more skilled than he is. He only makes it out on top by Kirei finally giving in to having lost his heart hours before.
  • David vs. Goliath: Against True Assassin in Heaven's Feel. While True Assassin was Overshadowed by Awesome with regards to the other Servants, he was still far more powerful than Kotomine and had him on the ropes for most of the fight, until he tried to kill Kotomine with his Noble Phantasm, which Kotomine was immune to, and it gave Kotomine the chance to pin the Servant to a tree before using an Exorcism on Zouken. True Assassin could have still killed Kotomine after the fight, but with his Master destroyed, there was no point in continuing.
  • Death by Irony: In all three routes no less.
    • In Fate, Shirou kills Kotomine with the Azoth dagger that he gave to Rin Tohsaka, and it becomes even more ironic when he used that very dagger to quite literally backstab and kill the person who gave it to him in Fate/Zero, Rin's father Tokiomi Tohsaka. In fact, the very reason he stabbed him using that dagger is the irony of it.
    • In Unlimited Blade Works, dispatched by Lancer, the original Servant of Bazett whose Command Seals he stole to obtain him, in a successful attempt to kill him off as well.
    • In Heaven's Feel, he dies not because Shirou overpowers him, but because hours ago his black heart was stopped by Sakura, who was overtaken by Aŋra Mainiiu. It was the corrupted Grail which saved him in Fate/Zero by giving him a new heart.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Played with in Heaven's Feel. He comes to mutual understanding over their afflictions with Shirou, and dies with little regret, admitting that Shirou was the one who was the most determined.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: When he was younger: Mage? Not fulfilling. Church? Ditto. Devoted husband? Empty. Evil? Bingo! And he's still not happy with that specifically because it makes him happy.
  • Determinator: In Heaven's Feel, he survives for about a day without his artificial heart of curses after Sakura destroys it, yet he still has the energy to maul Shirou.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Kotomine is the only human in the entire game who, without the use of ridiculously powerful magic or other incredible magic weaponry gets the better of a Servant, despite being severely outclassed. True Assassin wasn't beaten, but Kotomine did manage to pin him long enough to get a hit on Zouken, after which True Assassin found there to be no reason to continue fighting.
  • Died Standing Up: In Heaven's Feel. It takes him a good thirty seconds before he finally topples over.
  • Dirty Old Man: In the 2014 Unlimited Blade Works anime, he runs his fingers between Rin's breasts when about to tear out her heart. His doing so - coupled with his smug attitude - makes her even more pissed-off than she already was.
  • Disappeared Dad: He's Caren's father, but he left her with his in-laws due to having no interest in caring for a child, especially after Claudia's suicide.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In the Fate route, during the scene where Shirou discovers the little secret Kotomine keeps underneath the church and Kotomine more or less psychologically tortures him about it while they stand there surrounded by living corpses undergoing Body Horror, he is described in the narration as speaking in his most genuinely cheerful tone of voice possible, smiling pleasantly, and generally treating him as a friend who came over for dinner. In the voiced version he even chuckles in between speaking as though at some kind of exceptionally funny joke he's listening to.
  • Driving Question: Kirei has been motivated for the past ten years to answering this one question: Is it alright to live true to one's nature, even if they were born evil?
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: His epic showdown with Shirou at the end of Heaven's Feel.
  • Empty Eyes: Just like Sakura, the first sign that he's more than he appears to be.
  • Enemy Mine: In Heaven's Feel, Kirei teams up with Shirou once Zouken and Sakura kill off Lancer and Gilgamesh which allows him to be the final villain standing at the end.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Maybe? It's... complicated.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Whatever else might be said about Kirei, he holds Zouken Matou in utter contempt.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Averted with a vengeance.
    Kotomine: I knew it was a possibility, but at last I realize it. I envy you people.
  • Evil Duo: With Gilgamesh, who he formed a contract with during the Fourth Grail War.
  • Evil Feels Good: Kirei's entire raison d'être. He's lived his entire life being unable to find joy in anything other than the suffering of other people and what was the opposite of 'good'. Believing something to be wrong with himself, he tried out several vocations, including studying under the magic association, turning around and switching to the Church, an organization that loosely opposes the Association and even loving an Ill Girl who eventually bore him a child. When said Ill Girl died, the fact that he felt sorrow only for being unable to kill her himself caused his true Start of Darkness, which in turn causes him to attempt to release the Artifact of Doom behind the Grail War upon the world out of a mixture of entertaining himself, wanting answers from God, a defense of his being and sheer frustration.
    • If anything, he's actually a deconstruction of this trope, since while evil does feel very, very good to him, he still has a moral compass that tells him what he's doing is wrong. Ultimately Kirei can't be truly happy doing anything, which drives him mad.
  • Fallen Hero: He once dedicated his life to defending humanity from various supernatural evils as an Executioner. He didn't find it fulfilling, but he did it. In the modern day he's fallen pretty hard and become a supernatural evil.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The main source of his dilemma. He is only capable of feeling happy when he does evil things. However, he has enough of a moral compass to know that being evil is wrong. No matter what he does, he'll still feel unfulfilled.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Technically, he is a magus, but all he seems capable of doing in regards to magecraft is healing others and some holy powers derived from the Church. Instead, he fights using the superhuman strength and speed he earned from being an Executor.
  • Final Speech: At the end of Heaven's Feel, Kirei gives a speech that even Shirou has to accept as right, asking such questions as whether or not killing is always a sin and how everything deserves to be born into the world, regardless of their actions before and after.
  • Foil: Is portrayed as quite an explicit one to Kiritsugu Emiya, Shirou's father. Whereas Kiritsugu is a just, moral man who makes of himself a monster to protect the innocent from supernatural evil and to preserve the world, Kirei is a sociopath who was raised to be selfless and to serve goodness, but finds no pleasure in anything except doing evil, and wants to destroy the world which created him. Shirou finds himself also as a foil to Kirei, once his motivations are revealed.
  • Foreshadowing: In Heaven's Feel, he mentions while explaining his Healing Magic that he's seen someone die in front of him before. He then later warns Shirou during Illya's retrieval that if he loves a woman, he should save her and not let her die as he knows this personal experience, with Shirou noting that he sounds like he's self-deprecating himself for something. We later learn that he had a wife who killed herself for him.
  • For the Evulz: After a long life filled with various experiences, he has reached the conclusion that only the suffering of others makes him happy. Which kind of pisses him off because he has a perfectly functional moral compass. His true objective is to know just why he was born to only enjoy evil, yet was also born with a normal conscience, which is why he seeks the Grail.
  • Friendly Enemy: The only way to describe his relationship with Shirou in the Heaven's Feel route.
    Shirou: I see. I'm sorry I troubled you... um, I'm glad you were awake.
    Kirei: You're thanking me? Are you sick? I will listen if something is worrying you.
    Shirou: ...I am worried about many things, and you are the cause of most of them. I'll pass on another long talk with you.
    • Is one to True Assassin in the same route.
  • Genius Bruiser: While not excelling at magic, he's very savvy on the subject and many others. He's also stronger and faster than Kuzuki to boot.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: What is his skill set? Magical surgery and performing exorcisms on evil spirits. That's it. He still nearly destroys the world.
  • Good Shepherd: A truly weird case. He's a priest with genuine faith in God whose specialty is magical surgery and exorcism. He's supposed to keep the peace in the war and provide shelter to masters. He even claims that no one loves humanity more than him. As for morality he's a card carrying evil bastard.
  • Graceful Loser: In Heaven's Feel, as he finally runs out of juice, he gives a short admittance of defeat and accepts Shirou as the superior man, before he falls over a good 30 seconds after he finally bites the bullet.
  • Hidden Depths: You don't really get to know Kotomine until the Heaven's Feel route. He's not as simple as he looks.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Turns out Rin is wrong to call him a "Fake Priest", as he baptizes Zouken to death with prayers, reducing him into a tiny worm.
  • I Am a Monster: He's envious that he can't be a good person like normal people and hates that he feels good when killing people, especially people he loves.
  • Inept Mage: Not obvious at first because anyone looks magically talented in comparison to Shirou, but the only reason Kotomine doesn't mess up his magecraft at any point in the story is because he is using the ten Command Spells he inherited from his dear old dad in the last war as a power source. When you have ten things that are explicitly compared to "a miracle" to power your spells, it's hard to mess up.
  • Interrupted Suicide: After concluding that his existence was a mistake, Kirei went to say goodbye to his wife. However, she took her own life to prove that Kirei loved her. She was mistaken, but Kirei didn't want her death to be a worthless one, so he kept on living. Arguably, he is still self-destructive considering that he wants to set Aŋra Mainiiu free.
  • Ironic Name: While his father meant it to be a Meaningful Name, Kirei means pure, and he is anything but. Also a reference to "Kyrie Eleison."
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Averted. His magical prowess is actually pretty subpar besides healing, spiritual surgery and holy magic. The kung fu part sticks however because he is badass enough to beat the shit out of someone whose body is literally made of swords with his bare hands while he is dying and without magic.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Unlimited Blade Works he uses a Command Spell on Lancer to make him kill himself after he refuses to kill Rin. Lancer turned out to be tougher than he expected and Kirei gets a spear through his heart for his trouble.
  • Leitmotif: "The Church on the Hill".
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: In Heaven's Feel, Kotomine comes off as WAY better than Zouken, despite being technically worse for the world. Unlike Zouken, he stays true and consequent to his motives and beliefs and helps the heroes out in an Enemy Mine.
    • Is also one to Gilgamesh. Both want to unleash Aŋra Mainiiu, but whereas Kirei, for all the horrible things he does, has the sympathetic desire to want to know why he was born evil with a moral compass, Gilgamesh simply feels most of humanity deserves to die and wants to rule over the survivors, and if there aren't any he feels that all of them deserved to die.
  • Light Is Not Good: He's a priest, an Executor and wields genuine holy powers. He's also quite obviously up to no good.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's very fast, stupidly strong and tough as nails. In their final battle in Heaven's Feel Shirou doesn't even try using Projection against him because Kirei would kill him faster than he'd be able to finish. The ensuing battle could be called a fistfight, but that would imply that it was actually a fight and not Kirei one-sidedly smashing Shirou to a pulp, even with his swords-reinforced body significantly upping his toughness.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Viewers may notice that besides the sassy longcoat, Kirei wears the exact same outfit as he did in Fate/Zero. After a ten-year timeskip, during which he grew 8 centimeters. Justified in that it's the apparently the garments of the Church.
  • Loose Lips: His plans come apart in Heaven's Feel because he explained to Shirou the exact nature of the relationship between Sakura and "what's inside of the Grail" while they were on their way to the Einzbern Castle in the next-to-last day of the route. Kinda Justified because Kirei knew that Shirou wasn't going to give up on her no matter what, and because the priest had no way to know Shirou had the means (namely Rule Breaker) to sever Dark Sakura's connection to Aŋra Mainiiu without killing her. Ultimately this aligns with Kirei's Fatal Flaw: he just couldn't help but twist the knife a little bit more and tell Shirou exactly why it was impossible to save Sakura after she yielded to All The World's Evil.
  • Love Makes You Evil: In a weird, twisted way. Kirei married a terminally ill woman by the name of Claudia Hortensia. He wanted to be able to love someone and to an extent he succeeded, but this only made him more upset because it didn't make him happy. On her deathbed he told her that he couldn't truly love her. She then killed herself on the spot to reignite the compassion in his heart, smiling even in death with her last words being "No, you do love me". Yet all he felt was that he would have liked to have killed her himself, which horrifies him.
  • Made of Iron: Whatever Caster did to him in Unlimited Blade Works was apparently very painful and involved a lot of blood, yet he's back and kicking not even 3 days later. In ''Heaven's Feel'' he survives without a heart for 24 hours, seemingly held together by his sheer badassery.
  • Manipulative Bastard: It becomes obvious pretty quickly that he's more than just an overseer for the war.
  • Meaningful Echo: In Fate, he tells Shirou that, to have a chance of winning against him, he has to put his life on the line. He applies what he said on himself in Heaven's Feel upon finding his knuckles pulverized by punching Shirou's body which had been turning to swords.
  • Moral Sociopathy: He genuinely likes Rin and Shirou, but wouldn't hesitate a second to kill them. Quite the opposite: While even he thinks it's twisted, he regrets it when he can't kill people he likes. He also believes in conventional morality, but it doesn't temper his actions. He gave up on that a decade ago.
  • Mr. Exposition: Primarily in Fate, he explains the rules of the war, and later narrates the story behind the three families that started the ritual.
  • Nerves of Steel: Even while fighting off True Assassin and insulting Dark Sakura to her face, he never loses his cool. The only times he loses the magic are when Shirou deflects the Grail's attacks by projecting Saber's sheath in Fate, when Shirou kills him in Fate, when Lancer kills him in Unlimited Blade Works and during his final showdown with Shirou in Heaven's Feel, though he still faces death with dignity in the latter.
  • Noble Demon: In Heaven's Feel, Kotomine saves Rin, Shirou and Sakura several times, helps Shirou save Ilya and puts not one, but two antagonists (True Assassin and Zouken) in positions where they cannot possibly be a threat anymore.
  • No Cure for Evil: Inverted. The only kind of magic he shows any aptitude for is magical surgery, at which he is quite adept. The irony is not lost on him.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: His final showdown with Shirou in Heaven's Feel boils down to this, largely because both of them have no Prana to use, and because their bodies are completely broken. Kirei loses only because he died of the classic 'not having a heart for several days' disease slightly before he could land the last few blows.
  • Not So Different: By the end of Heaven's Feel, when the two meet for the final battle of the entire visual novel, Shirou is finally able to admit to himself that not only is he similar to Kotomine, but he actually likes the guy.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • A subdued one in the Fate route, where Shirou informs him that an eighth Servant has appeared, so Kirei is a bit pissed that Gilgamesh has blown his cover.
    • Also in the same scene, when he learns who Shirou's servant is, because they both participated in the Fourth Holy Grail War and Saber apparently still remembers it.
    • In Unlimited Blade Works, when he realizes that Lancer has stood up from his command spell enforced suicide order. It last just barely lasts a second or two before Gae Bolg has run his heart through and he's pinned against the wall.
  • Once an Episode: Kirei dies from having his heart destroyed in all 3 routes.
  • Power Tattoo: That Magic Crest he's talking about sometimes? It's actually the Command Spells from the last war, which he inherited from his father. He has eight left and uses the magic from them to heal Sakura in Heaven's Feel.
  • Psychotic Smirk: In his final showdown with Shirou .
  • Rated M for Manly: His reputation for being a super-ripped Church Militant who uses shortswords as Wolverine Claws and has a habit of not giving a fuck even when he has every reason to makes fans deem him as this, with nicknames like "Kotomanly" to boot.
    Commenter on a Type-Moon Forum: Kotomine's end in both Fate and Unlimited Blade Works are great because they create an atmosphere where you begin to underestimate him. Then Heaven's Feel happens and how amazing he is creates a state of perpetual arousal whenever he is on screen.
  • Reluctant Psycho: To some degree.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: After the deaths of her parents, Kirei Kotomine, as Rin's legal guardian, became the caretaker of their vast family fortune. By the time of the game, he's managed to piss it all away with naive honesty and crude management. Then he tried to spin it to her as Misery Builds Character. You have to wonder if this is in character or a foolish side to him.
  • Sadist: One of the few things Kirei gets a kick out of is other people's suffering and misfortune, deliberately pushing people into despair for his own personal enjoyment.
  • Say My Name: Shirou and Kirei seem especially fond of calling each other by full names, especially when yelling.
  • Self-Deprecation: When describing the Fourth Grail War's outcome to Shirou, Kirei says that an unworthy Master used the Grail to start the Great Fuyuki Fire. That unworthy Master was him.
  • Shadow Archetype: As Shirou comes to realize in Heaven's Feel, Kotomine and he are Not So Different — both have essentially no sense of self and can only find purpose through their fellow humans: The only difference is that for Shirou it is helping people, and for Kotomine it is to cause them pain.
  • Shadow Pin: Through the use of Black Keys, which freeze the movement of any person who's shadow they land in.
  • Sinister Minister: In a way. However, it's more that he is unspeakably evil and also a priest. He possesses genuine faith in God and would like to know why He created someone like him.
  • Smug Smiler: See that smirk on his face? That's his default expression.
  • The Sociopath: Subversion and deconstructed. He's a born sadist and enjoys pain...but he also has a moral compass and genuinely despises the fact that he enjoys evil, meaning that while he is lacking in empathy, he has a great deal of remorse over that fact.
  • Spellblade: His Black Keys can be made to do this, applying various afflictions unto anyone hit by them up to and including petrification, extreme dehydration, setting the target ablaze or getting devoured by a swarm of crows. Kirei is unable to use this because he is an inadequate magus.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: He lectures and insults Dark Sakura to her face, calling her attempts at For the Evulz laughable before escaping.
  • The Stoic: Outside of a a small handful of scenes, you will never see Kirei with anything other than a sarcastic smile or a smirk on his lips.
  • Super Empowering: He uses the eight spare Command Spells from the last war to temporarily boost himself to the level of a Servant. The one time he actually needs this ability, however, he has already used seven of them saving Sakura.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: In the Nasuverse, "Sorcery Traits" are special genes developed throughout time in a Magus family. Kirei inherited a nameless Sorcery Trait from his father used for opening wounds that makes him fit for spiritual surgery.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Stands a full 193 centimeters tall, and is arguably the snarkiest character besides Rin and Shirou.
  • Teen Genius: Graduated Valedictorian from the Theological College of Manresa St. Ignacio at Age 14, where he was Student Council President. As his ridiculously long expositions should prove, Kirei has lost none of his genius.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Due to his time spent as an Executor, Kirei has a supply of "Black Keys", basically throwing swords that are the same as the ones used by Ciel. They can also nail people to the ground if they land in their shadow.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He seems to love intensely hot mapo tofu, a character quirk that carries over into several other installments like Fate/EXTRA.
    Kirei: ... you want some?
    Shirou: I'd rather die!
  • Tragic Villain: Once his motives are expanded upon in Heaven's Feel, he becomes far more sympathetic.
  • Treacherous Advisor: He technically fulfills this role for Shirou and Rin, but neither of them trust him very much. This is the guy who taught Rin everything she knows in terms of magecraft and combating it. And, to his credit, despite being outright evil, he still taught Rin properly in his role as a man of the cloth and as her caretaker, including morally. He also taught her to not be as foolish as her father was.
  • Troll: His only pleasure literally comes from the suffering of others, so he enjoys telling people things that will hurt them. Generally things that are true or might even sound good. According to a humorous little side-story in the manga adaptation, this includes giving Rin clothes she absolutely hates every year.
  • The Unfettered: Kirei is so desperate to find the answer to his question that there's nothing he won't stoop down to. His one time use Command Spells, his life, even all of humanity itself is disposable to him if it means taking one step closer to finding his answer.
  • Unaffected by Spice: He likes his mapo tofu hellishly hot. Since he can only feel joy in the suffering of others, he needs a food that causes lesser men to weep just by watching him eat.
  • Villainous Breakdown: At the end of Heaven's Feel, where both he and Shirou are basically dead on their feet. Despite his 6 or so hours of raw dialogue, this is the only part of the game where Kirei enters Large Ham territory.
    Kotomine: I am going to release my pent-up emotions here.
  • Villainous Valor: He's pretty confident given his main opposition are teenagers and he has two Servants. Even without that he's still brave enough to keep fighting even when faced with a Servant himself.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Shirou enters a restaurant and finds Kirei eating infamously hot mapo tofu at a Chinese restaurant. He asks Shirou if he wants any.
  • What Is Evil?: He loves going on spiels about the nature and definitions of heroism and villainy, which naturally makes Shirou rather uncomfortable. It takes a whole new meaning once it's revealed Kotomine has been asking himself if he can be truly evil if he was born that way.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The main topic of his attempted Breaking Speeches to Shirou in Heaven's Feel, where he argues that Shirou has no right to stop the monster about to use Sakura to let itself loose on the world because, despite the fact that it has killed scores of people in its embryonic state, all creatures deserve to be born into the world. It is not difficult to read this as being about himself more than the monster.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: For shits and giggles. It's much more fun to trick people without lying. He does occasionally lie or at least only tell a half-truth.
  • Wolverine Claws: His Black Keys, but that's not just all they can do.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: What could be worse than being born naturally evil, only able to take pleasure in the suffering of others, but still born with a conscience? This shows up in Heaven's Feel; the other two routes don't go into his back-story enough to show him as anything but in it For the Evulz.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Is willing to use Illya (Fate and Unlimited Blade Works)/Sakura (Heaven's Feel) as vessels for the Holy Grail in spite of the fact that this will kill them (and even has Gilgamesh kill Illya in Unlimited Blade Works to do it) and has no problem trying to hurt and kill Shirou and his goddaughter Rin. He also supplied Gilgamesh with children orphaned by the Great Fuyuki Fire to keep him materialized since the end of the Fourth Holy Grail War. And of course, it goes without saying that causing mass destruction will obviously kill a bunch of people including children.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Kirei will honestly applaud you for picking the choice that leads to Bad End #30, AKA, the infamous "Superhero"/"Mind of Steel" Bad End.

    Souichirou Kuzuki 

Voiced by: Kazuhiro Nakata, Masaki Terasoma (2014 anime series) (JP), Patrick Seitz (EN 2006 Anime, 2010 Movie), Lex Lang (EN 2015 Anime, 2018 Movie)

"It is fine to assume that the Master's role is to support the battle from the back. But there are always exceptions. There are Masters who can only fight head on."

Souichirou Kuzuki is Tohsaka's homeroom teacher and one of only two apparent teachers that we even see. He lives in the Ryuudouji Temple and is Issei's older-brother figure. A tall, stern man who rarely expresses any emotion at all, he appears physically intimidating, but is really a gentle soul who does his best to give each student a fair and proper education.

Kuzuki takes up a supporting role in the second route, Unlimited Blade Works.

  • Anti-Villain: He really just wants to be left alone with Caster and has no real evil intent of his own, but because he also wants to help Caster end the War so they can go back to living a normal life, he ends up as the primary antagonist alongside her for the first half of Unlimited Blade Works
  • Ass Kicking Pose: His has him lowering his leftmost shoulder slightly, clutching his left fist towards his back along his abdomen and holding his right arm at a sharp angle.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He's never shown to wear anything except a decent-looking but slightly scrunched up dark green suit with a black tie.
  • Badass Normal: He actually manages to defeat Saber during their first encounter with only magical enhancements from Caster toughening up his hands and his own unconventional martial arts style. It's stated that had they figured out his assassin-like fighting style, any Servant could easily beat him, but that kind of invalidates the point of an assassin like technique.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: The very first demonstration of his Badass Normal status came when he caught Saber's invisible sword between his elbow and knee.
  • Battle Couple: With Caster.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: As he explains it himself to Archer in the anime adaptation of ''UBW''.
    Archer: I forgot to ask something. What is it that you consider right and proper?
    Kuzuki: Let me think... it is something that one does not regret, even if one has chosen wrongly. I view good and evil as having equal value, so that is the only evidence of humanity in me that I see as worthwhile.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: He's got very strong Reinforcement on his fists, sure, but the speed and technique with which he defeats Saber are the product of years of training as a martial artist. Compare to fellow teacher Fujimura Taiga, a 5th Dan in Kendo, who couldn't touch a single hair on Saber's head during their "fight".
  • Confusion Fu: Kuzuki uses a self-made and fictional martial art called Snake (most likely based on, guessing from his stance and choices of moves, the real-life martial art Kunlunquan) which involves throwing an otherwise ordinary punch, but then twisting his forearm by the elbow so he can hit at the opponent's shoulders and neck. The reason the strikes are so absurdly effective is that through extreme training Kuzuki has learned to bend his arms mid-swing in ways that should be impossible, making it a lot easier to hit people from angles they don't see coming this way.
  • Crouching Scholar Hidden Badass: Literally the only hint we get of his supernatural prowess is that Saber observes that his breathing rhythm is unnaturally stable and composed. Then he starts kicking Servants around with a bit of help and the hidden part goes out the window.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: His death is quite literally the only fight scene he has in the game where he isn't issuing one of these to somebody... and even THAT was a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was raised by an organization to become a professional assassin.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: He felt nothing as an assassin, or as a teacher, not until he met Caster.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: His eyes never have light on them.
  • Emotionless Girl: He has about 3 facial sprites, and 2 of them look almost the same.
  • Evil Counterpart: His relationship to Caster is more or less the same as Shirou's relationship to Saber. He and Shirou are both Badass Normal men with mild magical abilities granted to them by their bonds with a servant. He's as loyal to Caster as Shirou is to Saber, and both men love their Servants dearly. The difference is Kuzuki does not care what Caster does to win the war, and doesn't care at all about any innocent people caught in the crossfire of the War.
  • Expy: Both his design and large parts of his backstory are lifted from Soujuurou Shizuki in an older Nasu work -Mahou Tsukai no Yoru but twisted to be an antagonist instead of protagonist. The similarity of their names is an obvious nod.
  • Extreme Doormat: While he's not a puppet, he is so incredibly passive that he's suspected to be under mind control at first. He's not, but he rather bluntly says that Caster can do anything she likes and he'll let her, and his only priority is his own life over hers. He lied. After she dies, he knowingly gets himself into a fight he has no chance of winning.
  • Face of a Thug: Most of his students are at least somewhat scared of him due to his piercing eyes and incredible stoicism. Issei, however, notes that he's actually a pretty nice guy.
  • The Glasses Come Off: He takes them off every time he's about to fuck someone's shit up, making his cold eyes appear much more menacing.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Inverted. Caster and Kuzuki have a good sex life, but they are definite antagonists, although not nearly as evil as Kotomine and Gilgamesh or Zouken.
  • Hitman with a Heart: He really is a nice guy, but pretty brutal.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: You'd think that someone who can outskill Servants would get some backstory beyond "Retired Assassin". You'd be wrong.
  • In Harmony with Nature: His training as an assassin included learning "Breathing and Walking", which essentially just means that through an extremely fine-tuned way of breathing, a human without any circuits can absorb a small amount of Mana from the nature around him in addition to the obvious benefits of having a perpetually steady breathing rhythm. Kuzuki's not a master at it or someone born with it, so it mostly just makes him inexhaustible in a fight rather than letting him do things like banishing evil spirits by simply clapping or Magecraft without circuits.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Justified. Caster is a magus from the Age of the Gods, and her extraordinary Reinforcement allows Kuzuki to punch even Noble Phantasms without consequences.
  • Logical Weakness: His martial art skills are incredibly deadly even without magic, but it is pointed out that because he was an assassin, his skill lies in killing the target as quickly as possible. Should someone survive, his moves become more predictable as a result. Shirou goes from being unable to fight him at all to being able to hold his own by adjusting to his strikes thanks to having prior experience fighting him. The minute Saber recovers during their first fight, he and Caster retreat because with Saber's battle skills, she easily would have learned and adjusted to his attacks.
  • One Head Taller: Than Caster.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Literally doesn't divert from it once in the entire game. Not even after Caster dies.
  • Power Fist: With a bit of help from Caster.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs:Hands these from time to time.
  • The Remnant: In Unlimited Blade Works, Kuzuki tries to fight Archer even after Caster is killed and his enhancements are gone, despite the heroes being willing to let him go. He gets to land one punch, which Archer doesn't even try to dodge or block, before being sliced in half.
  • Rescue Romance: With Caster, who he found hobbling through the woods around Ryuudou Temple half-dead and mana-deprived. When she requests for him to have sex with her to regain some semblance of her mana, he doesn't bat an eye and agrees.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: In the anime and manga adaptations.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: In the manga, he ends up Taking the Bullet for Caster and is fatally wounded. Caster is then overwhelmed with grief, and Archer finishes her off.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": As there are two long vowels in his name, there's quite a lot of possible permutations to it. It's usually spelled Souichirou, Soichirou or Sōichirō in Fate/stay night media.
  • Stern Teacher: He's contrasted with Taiga in the eyes of the students as the kind of teacher that grows more popular with time until the point of graduation.
  • The Stoic: Kuzuki never shows any emotions outwardly, sporting a perpetual frown.
  • Unholy Matrimony: He is in a relationship with Caster, who is in love with him.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Just like Shirou, he's a normal man with no knowledge of the supernatural world and no innate magical abilities whatsoever. Yet with an enchantment on his fists and his own unconventional martial arts style, he manages to temporarily overwhelm Saber, the best close-range fighter, and rips out Rider's throat during his most prominent route.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Even if you don't take Saber and Rider into account, he has no qualms about punching Rin. He even gets as far as to kill her if you pick the wrong choice.


    Zouken Matou 

Voiced by: Masane Tsukayama (JP), Michael Donovan (EN)

The head of the Matou family and grandfather to Shinji and Sakura, he is the source of a great deal of misery for many characters. His presence is indirectly felt in Fate and Unlimited Blade Works, but in Heaven's Feel the true extent of his evil comes to light. He is seeking immortality and has already lived for several centuries by the start of the story. He is not, in fact, the kindly old grandfather he claims to be to Shirou. What a surprise.

Zouken is the Master of True Assassin, a character introduced in Heaven's Feel.

  • Badass Bookworm: He not only found a way to survive for 500 years but also invented the Command Spells. This only got elevated with time as a Q&A after Presage Flower reveals that, in his prime, he could combat Servants and, under the right conditions, win a fight with one. This is a feat which few Humans in the entire Nasuverse can claim to be able to achieve.
  • Bald of Evil: He's a despicable creature, and naturally lacks a single hair on his head.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: In Heaven's Feel, he and Kirei Kotomine vie for the role of Big Bad throughout the story due to their utter hatred and contempt for each other. Early on in the Grail War, he succeeds in dominating the other Masters and all but completely overshadowing Kirei as the story's main antagonist. Ultimately, however, all his meticulous scheming comes to nothing after he gravely underestimates Kirei's resourcefulness and Sakura's strength of will (oversights that lead to him literally being crushed like a bug), with Kirei taking the role of the Final Boss.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: He has black sclera and white pupil-less irises.
  • Blatant Lies: By the time he tells Shirou; that "Sakura knows nothing of the Holy Grail War", the contrary is already pretty obvious. He reoffends when he says later to the same Shirou; that he cannot get close to Sakura and has no longer any control on her.
  • But Not Too Foreign: By birth, he's actually a Russian named Makiri Zolgen, but he changed his name long ago and his preferred mode of dress suggests that he's passing as Japanese. (One presumes that he's too withered for his ethnicity to be outwardly visible).
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: His original motive for attaining the Grail was to honor the life of a colleague who had sacrificed herself to create the original Holy Grail (in order to create the Gate of All Things, which would lead to the root of the universe itself). Over time, frustration, age and his deteriorating body caused him to forget his original goal, leaving only an unnatural obsession with immortality.
  • Death by Adaptation: Implied to be his fate in the Unlimited Blade Works anime (and possibly the eponymous route) after Shinji becomes the Master of Gilgamesh and allows him to enter the Matou Mansion; considering how much Kirei hated Zouken, Shinji's own frustrations and Gilgamesh's personality, it is likely that Zouken died before they went for Ilya.
  • Determinator: Still alive after being exorcised by Kotomine and having the worm carrying his soul crushed by Dark Sakura by jumping into a bunch of hastily created worms all the while enduring agonizing pain for the sake of not dying — until he was convinced to finally let go by Ilya.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Killed by Dark Sakura when at his most vulnerable after years of mistreatment.
    • In UBW, it's implied that Shinji allowed - or even asked - Gilgamesh to kill him after being treated like crap by him.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: His plan for obtaining the Grail involves corrupting Sakura, who he has been torturing for over a decade, with an entity representing all the evils of the world, which also happens to give her almost godlike power and super-regeneration abilities, and then expecting her to follow his orders until she breaks down entirely, at which point he will possess her body. All this whilst the main worm containing his soul is buried within her heart. Three guesses at what happens...
  • Evil Old Folks: He's centuries old and looks his age, but is willing to commit atrocities to fulfill his goal.
  • Expy: Of Michael Roa Valdamjong from Tsukihime. Both are Big Bads who perform Grand Theft Me and have an obsession with immortality — the reason for which (falling in love — with Arcueid in Roa's case, with Justizia in Zouken's) they both have forgotten over the centuries.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The very first time Shirou encounters him, Zouken just looks like a well-mannered grandfather to Sakura and Shinji. He invites Shirou to stay for dinner and asks him to be a good friend to his grandchildren. He even threatens to call the police or to "hurt [Shirou] a bit" when he first mistakes him for a stalker following Sakura. Then we learn how he himself treats Sakura. Feel free to think about what he might have meant by that "hurting a bit" thing.
  • Grand Theft Me: In order to keep himself alive, he has to obtain a new body every few months or when the old one is damaged beyond repair.
  • Gruesome Grandparent: He's a pretty big reason why Shinji's quite the asshole. He also subjected his adopted granddaughter to years of "training", which was basically torture.
  • Hate Sink: Between the horrible abuse he inflicts on Sakura and his being responsible for Shinji's personality, it's really hard not to hate this guy.
  • The Heavy: In Heaven's Feel, he poses the most pressing threat to the series' protagonists throughout most of the story.
  • Heel Realization: When he's seconds from dying near the end of Heaven's Feel, Zouken realizes how far he has fallen from the noble man he once was. This causes him to accept death instead of trying to live on in constant suffering, now looking at death as a chance to start over.
  • Immortality Immorality: To sustain himself, Zouken has to obtain a new body every few months, although that time window is slowly decreasing. This is due to the fact that Zouken is a human that has lived for many times what a human should, meaning his soul is rotting.
  • Immortality Seeker: He wants the Holy Grail to become truly immortal, as his current method of possessing bodies is making his soul rot.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Zouken was far from ugly in his youth.
  • Karma Houdini: He doesn't show up outside of Heaven's Feel, though his schemes fail even more utterly in Fate and UBW. The only difference in those routes is that he isn't shown to have died, and even then, he always considered his chances of succeeding to be very slim and was prepared to just sit back and observe the war.
    • It might have been averted in UBW, as a scene in the Matou Mansion implies that Gilgamesh killed him prior to executing his and Kirei's plan.
    • Karma Houdini Warranty: Gilgamesh kills him in the first two routes, and the end of Heaven's Feel has his core worm crushed by Dark Sakura before he dies.
  • Karmic Death: After seeming to succeed in finally breaking Sakura and destroying her mind, she rather nonchalantly rips him out of her chest and crushes him, giving him a mortal wound.
  • Knight of Cerebus: His existence isn't revealed until Heaven's Feel, and his machinations are what make that the darkest route of the three.
  • Leitmotif: "Wandering Shadow" plays almost every time Zouken appears onscreen.
  • Living Distant Ancestor: He is the founding patriarch of the Matou (or rather, the Makiri) family and was one of the three key figures who formulated the Holy Grail War. Through immortality, he was considered grandfather by Shinji and Sakura, and father by Byakuya and Kariya.
  • Love Makes You Evil: His original and long-forgotten motivation for getting the Grail was to honor the sacrifice of the woman he loved, Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He certainly attempts this with all his manipulation of the main characters.
  • Narcissist: A malignant example (one with prominent traits commonly associated with psychopathy). In all his appearances in Fate/Stay Night, Zouken is consistently portrayed as an egomaniacal and unrepentantly cruel magus who has no qualms murdering countless innocents to prolong his existence despite already living for several centuries. He arrogantly views all maguses who set moral boundaries on their ambition and pursuit of knowledge as fools lacking the vision and resolve to achieve true greatness. He is also shown to be an extremely twisted sadist who finds physical and psychological torture to be very entertaining. At the end of Heaven's Feel, it is revealed that the reason behind his obsession with obtaining immortality is his deep-rooted fear of disappearing without leaving any traces behind of his existence. However, before dying, he remembers that he originally sought the Grail to reach an ideal utopia free of hatred and suffering where all knowledge was attainable. Upon being forced to accept defeat, he ultimately resigns himself to his fate after realizing he has forever secured his place in history by charting a path for future maguses to follow in his footsteps and make his vision a reality.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Completely impervious to physical attacks and magic due to the composition of his body, although he's vulnerable to Kirei's exorcism.
  • Obviously Evil: Let's see... wrinkled and decrepit, his eyes are solid black with white pupils, and even during his first appearance wherein he isn't particularly hostile and tries to play nice, Shirou notices that bugs always seem to be humming when he's around... yeah, it was pretty apparent that he wasn't going to be a good guy.
  • Possession Burnout: This is why he wants the Holy Grail. His method of prolonging life is by possessing and molding other bodies by filling them with worms, but each body lasts less than the previous one, and by the time the game starts, he can only remain in a body for a few months at most.
  • Really 700 Years Old: 500 years old at the time of the Fifth Holy Grail Warnote . He even knew Paracelsus when the latter was still alive.
  • Shadow Archetype: His original motivation as a magus, revealed upon his death, was the betterment of the human condition, even if his life and efforts aren't rewarded at all. In the last portion he was exactly what Shirou is.
  • Smug Snake: While FAR more powerful an adversary than his grandson, Shinji, could ever hope to be, Zouken's meticulous plans are similarly undermined by his own overconfidence and self-absorption. Despite becoming dangerously close to taking over Sakura's body and ultimately seizing control over Aŋra Mainiiu, he overlooks the fact that his entire plan depends on Sakura remaining an Extreme Doormat right up until her mind breaks down. Ultimately, this flaw leads to Zouken's demise after Sakura becomes corrupted by her power and rebels against him in retaliation for years of torture and sexual abuse.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Depending on the transliteration convention used, usually either Zouken Matou or Zōken Matō.
  • The Worm That Walks: His "body" is really just a bunch of worms somehow shaped into a facsimile of himself. He can't even take a less decrepit form because his soul is so rotten that it recognizes that this is the only way he can look after cheating death for five centuries.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Well, back when he had any hair. See I Was Quite a Looker, above.
  • You're Insane!: Illya calls him this. He doesn't deny it.

    Dark Sakura (SPOILERS)

Sakura's corrupted form, the result of her accepting and embracing her bond to Aŋra Mainiiu and becoming its avatar. She possesses effectively limitless mana and seeks to spread destruction and despair by completing her transformation into the Holy Grail and giving birth to Aŋra Mainiiu.

While her Servant contract is with Avenger, through it she has control over Saber Alter and Dark Berserker.

  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Her only strategy in battle is using her absurd mana reserves to conjure as many Shadow Giants as she can before throwing them at her enemy. Once Rin manages to close the gap in power by using the Jeweled Sword of Zelretch, Dark Sakura can't think of any other way to win other than throwing even more Shadow Giants at Rin, which naturally fails.
  • Ax-Crazy: Dark Sakura is the blackened version of Sakura, being extremely unstable and violent.
  • Battle Aura: She emits wisps of black and red mana.
  • Breakout Villain: Like Saber Alter, she's popular enough to be a playable character in spinoffs like Fate/unlimited codes and Fate/tiger colosseum.
  • Casting a Shadow: Her Hollow Element has been greatly augmented, allowing her to summon massive Shadow Giants.
  • Combat Tentacles: She can extend the hem of her sleeves and dress into tentacles to attack enemies.
  • The Corruption: She can use Aŋra Mainiiu's black mud to corrupt Servants, and can control the corrupted Servants as her own.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: In her arcade mode in Fate/unlimited codes she undergoes Sanity Slippage and completely forgets about Shirou as Aŋra Mainiiu begins to destroy her consciousness. A similar situation happens in Bad End #40, where Saber Alter's intervention allows Sakura to defeat Rin and subject her to a brutal Mind Rape. When Shirou arrives on the scene, she coolly informs him of what she's done before absorbing him as well.
  • Darth Vader Clone: She's a formerly good but corruptible person driven to evil thanks to the manipulations of a very unsympathetic and manipulative mastermind. She wears a very dark and eerie dress born out of her Shadow once she's been corrupted. She has a very personal connection to the heroes, and serves as their most active threat and enemy. She's even redeemed at the end by Shirou, though in her case, it's Redemption Earns Life rather than the other way around.
  • Deal with the Devil: She is technically still a Master, with her Servant being Avenger, Aŋra Mainiiu.
  • Demonic Possession: She is the result of Sakura accepting her bond with Aŋra Mainiiu and becoming its avatar.
  • Dragon Ascendant: She kills Zouken and becomes The Heavy for Aŋra Mainiiu.
  • Evil Counterpart: As an avatar of the Holy Grail, she is Illyasviel's evil counterpart, which is what Zouken intended her to be.
  • Evil Laugh: She's prone to letting out maniacal cackles.
  • Evil Makeover: Her magic and her outfit turn black and red while her hair turns white.
  • Fusion Dance: With the Shadow. Sakura wears it as her outfit, and can use its powers.
  • Gainaxing: In Fate/unlimited codes, her breasts jiggle conspicuously as she moves.
  • Healing Factor: The power of Aŋra Mainiiu gives her regeneration even more powerful than that of Avalon. Showcased when she pulls the Crest Worm attached to a third of her nerves out of her heart and crushes it without suffering any damage, and when Gilgamesh impales her with several weapons but does no lasting damage.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Dark Sakura is essentially the avatar of Aŋra Mainiiu, and if left unchecked would become so great a threat that the Counter Force would have to intervene. Later spin-offs, such as Fate/Grand Order, would begin to insinuate that there's even more going on here than F/SN itself lets on.
  • I Hate Past Me: The person Dark Sakura hates the most is herself, which is why she eagerly looks forward to her Mirror Match in Fate/unlimited codes.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • In order to break Zouken's hold on her, she rips the Crest Worm out of her own heart and crushes it.
    • Gilgamesh impales her with several weapons, to the point of cutting her in half, but she regenerates.
  • Marked Change: Red marks appear on her face.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: As the vessel of the Holy Grail, her purpose is to "give birth" to Aŋra Mainiiu.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Rin (seemingly) dies at her hands in the Heaven's Feel route, Sakura realizes that not only had she always had people who still loved her, but that she'd destroyed them all with her own hands out of misguided despair.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In a funny ol' way. As the vessel for The Shadow, Sakura was actually more or less unstoppable and could even defeat the likes of Gilgamesh. She wasn't fully aware of her actions, but this actually worked to her advantage, because it helped make the Shadow so alien it was basically undefeatable. Embracing her connection with Aŋra Mainiiu and forging a true contract with it means Sakura can now engage in more outward displays of power, and gets the satisfaction of rubbing it in the faces of the people she (thinks) she's come to hate, but it means she can't be The Shadow anymore and can actually be communicated with - which ultimately proves to be Aŋra Mainiiu's downfall.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: She desires nothing less than the total annihilation of everyone who stands in her way.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Her direct connection to Aŋra Mainiiu and the Grail gives her more mana than she could use in a thousand lifetimes, which she uses to summon building-sized shadows that melt and absorb anything they come into contact with, and to fuel her blackened Servant, Saber Alter.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Sakura's purple hair turns white as Dark Sakura.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Dark Sakura wears a long dress made of black ribbons that are trimmed in red - or which glow at the edges with such. In the game's art, it isn't too clear.
  • Red Baron: She is referred to as Makiri's Black Holy Grail.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Dark Sakura's eyes are a dull, bloody red.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Zigzagged. Sakura as the Shadow was much deadlier because of how unpredictable it was. Dark Sakura possesses the same powers as the Shadow but is not nearly as dangerous because her lack of proper training makes her a very poor and predictable combatant. On the other hand, Dark Sakura is more efficient and goal focused, unlike the Shadow which was driven by hunger and near uncontrollable.
  • Slasher Smile: She is frequently shown with an unsettling grin halfway between this and a Psychotic Smirk.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: She is the result of Sakura fully succumbing to Aŋra Mainiiu's corruption. She claims at first that she's actually a split personality from the normal Sakura formed from her trauma, but Kotomine quickly disabuses the notion and clarifies she's just trying to cope with her actions and dodge responsibility.
  • Tainted Veins: Her legs are covered in crimson veins and tendrils, which also creep up her neck. Some unlimited codes art insinuates that her otherwise-unseen torso is entirely covered in these.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: She is the result of Sakura's suppressed inner resentment boiling over and amplified by Aŋra Mainiiu's hatred. In essence, she's throwing a massive temper tantrum and is stuck in a constant state of rage, blinding her to the good feelings of others that she would normally notice.
  • Transhuman Treachery: After accepting Aŋra Mainiiu's rage and hatred, Dark Sakura expresses utter contempt towards humans.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Her direct access to the Grail means she has more raw mana then Illya, Rin, and Shirou combined, making her one of the strongest foes in the story as a whole. However, she lacks formal training with Magecraft, which means that while she is incredibly powerful and can easily kill most Servants and humans, she isn't outright stronger than most Servants without her regeneration and ability to devour Servants, and its noted that someone like Gilgamesh could have killed her if she had not devoured him quick enough. Her lack of skill also means when she encounters Rin armed with the Jeweled sword of Zelretch, which gives Rin enough of an edge to even the playing field, she has no way of defending herself beyond merely throwing her raw power at her. It's thanks to her raw mana though that both Rider and Saber Alter become so powerful and dangerous as well.
  • Villainous Breakdown: She's effectively dancing on the strings of her negative emotions, which have completely overridden her personality by thinking all the power it's given her will prevent her from ever being scorned or scarred again and let her punish anyone who does. But then Rin proceeds to cut down everything Dark Sakura sends at her and shatter this sense of superiority, while Rider and Shirou's killing Saber Alter leaves her bereft of her trump card. This sends Dark Sakura into a resentful tantrum at how nothing she did could ever leave an impact on her sister and that everything would get either taken by her or be casually trampled by her. However, the worst of it comes when Rin takes a panicked attack from Sakura and reveals that not only could she not bring herself to kill her sister, but that she'd kept herself so aloof because she thought Sakura was better off without her and convinced herself she was doing fine to assuage her own guilt over that. Learning that Rin had suffered all her life as well, combined with the realization that she too had blinded herself to the feelings of those around her and ruined their lives because of what had basically been a despair-induced tantrum, utterly breaks Dark Sakura as her sanity comes back with a vengeance, rejecting her connection to Aŋra Mainiiu and causing the cave to start collapsing from the unstable energy. Sakura's self-conflict manages to let her fight the corruption long enough for Shirou to arrive and free her from Aŋra Mainiiu - which in turn destroys both the Shadow and the Dark Sakura persona.
  • Walking Spoiler: She is the the corrupted and malevolent form of Sakura who takes center-stage as one of the final major villains in Heaven's Feel.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Dark Sakura's hair turns white to show her great magic power.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: In the "Femme Fatale" Bad End, Sakura informs Shirou that she's defeated and absorbed Rin and is slowly torturing her to death. And she goes into plenty of detail.

Minor Characters

    Taiga Fujimura 

Voiced by: Miki Ito (JP), Julie Ann Taylor (EN)

"... wow, that was so stupid that I don't have anything to say."

Shirou's English teacher and older sister figure. Her grandfather is a Yakuza boss who Kiritsugu was acquainted with. Thus, she and Shirou have known each other since he was a child. Although she's ostensibly his caretaker, she has no domestic skills, relying on Shirou to cook for her. Taiga was the star of the kendo club when she was in school, and might have become famous across Japan were she not disqualified from official tournaments.

Although having a small role in the actual storyline, Taiga is the star of "Tiger Dojo", a Have a Nice Death hint corner which appears whenever the player receives a "Bad End". In this segment, Taiga and Ilya often admonish Shirou for making the poor choices which lead to his demise while dropping hints to help the player complete the game properly.

  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Most of the Tiger Dojos are manzais where Taiga plays the tsukkomi to Ilya's (and the player's) boke, though sometimes the two switch roles, particularly when Taiga gets slow on the uptake (like when Ilya sasses her).
  • Born Lucky: She has EX ranked luck. Her actions during the 4th Holy Grail War in the Outsider's Performance stopped three different disasters including an earthquake and an asteroid crashing into Earth.
  • Cat Smile: Being the biggest goofball in the cast, she does this frequently.
  • Cool Big Sis: She's in her mid 20s and she's a very fun-loving and friendly big sister figure to everyone.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: She usually hits it off with Saber after they go beat on each other.
  • Establishing Character Moment: You can basically tell exactly who Taiga is from an early scene. During breakfast, a completely stoic Taiga is silent until Shirou asks her to pass the soy sauce and puts it in his soup, only to find that it's actually oyster sauce: She wanted petty revenge for him teasing her the day before. Laughing loudly at his expense, she then goes off to do her actual job and grade exams.
  • Fridge Logic: A repeated offender in-universe; she actually has a literal case in Unlimited Blade Works, when she greets Rin casually, goes to take food from the fridge, and remembers that she is supposed to be surprised.
  • Genki Girl: She has a tendency to break into loud, energetic hamminess despite being a 24-year-old schoolteacher.
  • Girl Next Door: Was something of a Tomboy in her younger years, but now is slightly more ladylike. Slightly.
  • Guilty Pleasure: She admits in a special video you get after achieving all Routes and Bad Ends in the VN that although she hates being called "Tiger" she actually loves tigers, and to quote her, has "a love-hate relationship with them because of that".
  • Hidden Depths: Taiga is very good at Japanese chess. On the fifth day of the Heaven's Feel route, Shirou suggests Sakura in an optional scene to go and play shogi with her to cheer her up after she loses her (off-screen) sparring match with Saber. Sakura then comments that "Fujimura-sensei is the master at that" and that she beats even with a handicap.
  • Image Song: Shared with Ilya "We Are Tora Buru". Fun Personified indeed!
  • Large Ham: Very much in the story, and taken Up to Eleven (if possible) in the Tiger Dojo, which she usually opens with a ridiculous description of the section.
  • Lethal Chef: She relies entirely on Shirou to cook for her. When he lets her cook, Saber is so angry at the result that she beats the living daylights out of Shirou during "training" that night.
  • Master Swordsman: She's a five dan who should've progressed much higher if she wasn't banned from so many tournaments because of her tiger strap. Not that this has any impact on the story. Nasu states that her mastery of kenjutsu (Japanese swordsmanship) is equal to that of Ryougi Shiki, the most fearsome warrior of Kara no Kyoukai.
  • Muggle Best Friend: Along with Sakura, she may well be the character who's closest to Shirou when the story opens, and there's absolutely nothing (outside of the Tiger Dojo's gag setting) to indicate that she knows about magecraft or the Grail War. It lands her in trouble during UBW.
  • Nice Girl: How she can be so upbeat and good natured with a crime boss grandfather is anybody's guess.
  • One of the Kids: Even more so in the anime adaptation, if at all possible. It doesn't help that we never see her interact with anyone her age.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Not her within the main story, but her normally upbeat Tiger Dojo persona is subjected to this after the infamous "Mind of Steel" ending. Unlike other Dojo segments, she makes no jokes or puns at all. She will just politely say, "I can't say much this time. This is one result. Dojo is cancelled."
  • Precocious Crush: Had a crush on Kiritsugu when she was younger. The time frame indicates this probably started around middle school at the latest. The 2014 Unlimited Blade Works anime suggests that it's still there, considering she calls visiting Kiritsugu's grave a "date".
  • Punny Name: Like Taiga Aisaka from Toradora! (whose given name is written the same way as this Taiga's), her name actually means "great river", but it sounds a lot like the English word "tiger" and she's associated with tigers as a result.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Of sorts, to Kiritsugu; she reminded him of his deceased childhood friend, Shirley.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Taiga is slow on the uptake when it comes to Illya sassing her.
    Illya: I see. You are really a teacher after all, even if a bad one.
    Taiga: Oh ho ho ho! Praise me, praise me!
  • Sensei-chan: Played with; while she acts very much like One of the Kids when she's not working, she's noted to be a responsible person when it comes to being a teacher.
  • Shipper on Deck: Taiga seems to be actively trying to hook Shirou up with Sakura, which may explain her immediate disapproval of allowing other females into the Kiritsugu household even when she has no problem with Sakura staying the night.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: You can tell that a route is about to become extremely serious whenever it's mentioned that Taiga won't be able to come over to Shirou's house for a while.
  • Team Mom: Of a sort for the Emiya household. While she may not be the most responsible member of the Family of Choice, she's the closest thing to an actual mother Sakura or Shirou have ever had, and as goofy as she may be she clearly cares deeply about both of them.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: She wore her hair like this when she was young.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: What's the key event that triggers the Heaven's Feel route instead of Fate or Unlimited Blade Works? Taiga doesn't volunteer to take Shirou's place this time around when he proposes to escort Sakura home on the first in-game day. Shirou is worried about Sakura's safety after learning of the recent robbery-turned-murder that happened nearby the road she takes home every night, but he'll back down if Taiga says she'll accompany her. If Shirou is the one that walks Sakura home instead, she will tell him about the "unknown foreigner" wandering her neighborhood, leaving Shirou concerned enough to take a look on his own the next day. This results in Shirou's chance encounter with Zouken, which leads to two important divergences. One, this gives Zouken the psychological leverage on Sakura that he was lacking in the other two routes. Two, Zouken lets slip that there's a connection between Emiya and the Einzbern family, something that will alter Shirou's decisions after surviving Illya's attack.
  • Weapon of Choice: A shinai with a cutesy tiger trinket strapped to it. She calls it "Tora-Shinai". It's rumored to be cursed and it will never stop until it draws blood.
  • White Sheep: Taiga lives a normal life as an English high school teacher despite the fact she's technically a Yakuza Princess to "one of the richest households around here".
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Believes she's a supporting character in a romantic comedy where Shirou ends with Rin. She is dead wrong.
  • Yakuza Princess: Her grandfather runs the local yakuza and her "family" is one of the richest households around town. Subverted in that she doesn't have much to do with the family business, though, and her grandfather never even enters the story because he's partially clued-in about the supernatural and knows better than getting in the way of anyone named Einzbern, Tohsaka, or Matou. Shirou himself says he tends to forget about it because Taiga isn't one to dress up except for New Years.

    Issei Ryuudou 

Voiced by: Mitsuaki Madono (JP), Lex Lang (EN 2006 Anime, EN 2010 Movie), Robbie Daymond (EN 2015 Anime, 2018 Movie)

"What's so good...? What's with you doing all this for nothing?!"

The Student Council President, and one of Shirou's classmates. Issei is often asking Shirou to help out the student council by fixing broken equipment, and they have lunch together in the student council room. Due to the fact that they went to middle school together and frequently clashed, Issei hates Rin and is convinced that she's pure evil. In fact, he isn't very fond of most women due to his celibate nature, which stems from his upbringing as a Buddhist monk-in-training. However, he does obliquely indicate to Shirou during Unlimited Blade Works that he has something of a crush on the fiancée of one of the teachers at their school.

He gets the dubious honor of being the most minor character to kill Shirou. And the honor of being the only male character with blushing sprites. Oh, does he blush.

  • Ambiguously Gay: He's noted as not liking girls much, tends to blush around Shirou, is rather possessive of him, somewhat jealous of Rin and may be thought of as part of Shirou's harem by the school. However, with Issei's character it's entirely possible that this means nothing.
  • Best Friend: To Shirou. Considering Shirou grew out of being friends with Shinji and the fact that Shirou isn't really seen hanging out with any other guy friends, Issei may as well count as being the closest non-romantic friend Shirou has.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Both his eyes and hair are dark blue.
  • Gut Feeling: He distrusts girls in general, but approves of Saber immediately. To paraphrase: "Even an amateur monk can tell when a Buddha is standing next to him".
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Issei dislikes women in a general way, and especially can't stand Rin. Saber is an exception for the reason mentioned above. Caster is another—possibly because he likes her, or possibly something to do with the spell she put on the temple residents.
  • Manchurian Agent: Along with everyone else in the Ryuudou Temple, according to Dead End 18 where he's possessed and driven to kill Shirou and himself.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Gets these when Caster is possessing him. She has put a spell on him that forces him to kill anyone who inquires about her.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In the Versus Valentine story in Type-Moon Ace Vol. 2, Issei tries to give Shirou Valentine's Day chocolates. After telling Issei he's straight and hearing "it'll bother me if you don't accept these!" in reply, Shirou freaks out and runs away. Later it turns out that Issei was just delivering the chocolates on behalf of Ilya... and then Issei gives him actual Valentine's Day chocolates and tells him that they're from him.
  • Mood Whiplash: Dead End 18, where he goes from rambling about his embarrassment after Shirou inquires about the strange woman at the Ryuudou temple, to killing Shirou and himself after he gets possessed.
  • Red Herring: Many hints in the VN lead the reader to believe Issei is the Master of Caster, such as his position as a relatively prominent student, his residing in Ryudou temple where Caster sets up her base, and him being unharmed from Rider's Bloodfort Andromeda. Turns out the real master is Soichirou Kuzuki, his teacher living in the temple.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Issei is fairly standard, but Ryuudou can and has also be transliterated as Ryuudou, Ryudou, Ryūdō, or Ryûdô depending on source.
  • Student Council President: He's a staid and unremarkable example, and his council president status doesn't play much of a role in the plot, but it still counts.
  • Unknown Rival: Rin remains something of a walking Berserk Button to Issei after they were on the student council together in previous years, but she herself just ignores or, at the most, teases him.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His hair is a dark, dull blue that could almost be mistaken for black.

    Ayako Mitsuzuri 

Voiced by: Fumie Mizusawa (JP), Jennie Kwan note  (EN 2006 Anime, EN 2010 Movie), Brina Palencia (EN 2015 Anime, 2018 Movie)

Ayako is the captain of the archery club during Fate/stay night. She's a friend of both Shirou and Tohsaka, though there's also a feeling of rivalry in both relationships.

  • Club President: Head of the archery club. She has difficulty controlling Shinji since she can't be everywhere at once.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Hints at having a thing for Shirou, but he has no clue. Fate/complete material III states that in college she'll fall in love with Mikiya Kokutou from Kara no Kyoukai, but will get shot down.
  • Likes Older Men: In Fate/side materials it's stated that Ayako has a thing for older men but isn't interested in romance.
  • Unknown Rival: To Shirou in regards to archery. She's quite good but Shirou was apparently so good that he had to intentionally miss to not hit the bullseye.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Rin Tohsaka, who she has a competition with to see who can get a boyfriend first. When she and Shirou are discussing her at one point, Shirou briefly wonders if Ayako might be one of the girls that hates her.

    Kiritsugu Emiya 

Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (JP), Kirk Thornton (EN 2006 Anime), Matthew Mercer (EN 2015 Anime, 2018 Movie)
Kiritsugu is Shirou's adoptive father. During the Fuyuki fire in which Shirou's old life was destroyed, Kiritsugu found a dying Shirou and managed to save his life. When Shirou awoke in the hospital, he found a middle-aged man who introduced himself as a sorcerer and offered to adopt him. Having nowhere better to go, Shirou agreed. Though Kiritsugu did not wish to teach him, Shirou pestered Kiritsugu until he showed him the most basic of fundamentals. Five years before the story began, he died after passing his ideal along to his son.

He has a much larger role in Fate/Zero, the series' prequel.
  • Anti-Hero: Saber calls him a ruthless man who would treat himself and those around him as tools while tearing a bloody path to victory to preserve his ideals.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Kiritsugu visits Shirou in the hospital, he offers him a choice- be adopted by a man he's just met or go to an orphanage. Shirou chooses the former.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: He never meant to abandon Ilya with the Einzberns. He spent five years prior to his death trying to come back, but the Einzberns wouldn't let him see her. Sadly, Ilya never got to know this.
  • Disappeared Dad: He's been dead for quite some time as the story begins, but Shirou mentions that he would sometimes leave the house for months on end while he was still alive. He's a more literal example to his actual biological daughter, Ilya.
  • Generation Xerox: Archer's path through life mirrored Kiritsugu's own, though Archer had no way of knowing this.
  • Manchild: According to Shirou's descriptions of him.
  • Passing the Torch: Inadvertently gives Shirou the desire to become a hero of justice.
  • Posthumous Character: He died before the beginning of Fate/stay night.
  • That Man Is Dead: The Magus Killer died the night he saved Shirou. Kiritsugu never harmed another person after the last battle of the previous Grail War. Saber couldn't believe how different he was in Shirou's memories from her own memories of him from Fate/Zero.

    Luviagelita Edelfelt 

Voiced by: Yukari Tamura (JP, Realta Nua), Shizuka Ito (JP, Unlimited Codes and 2015 anime), Lauren Landa (EN, 2015 anime)

Luvia is the head of the Finnish Edelfelt family and in good standing in the Clock Tower Academy. She's currently in the running for Student Council President. Although we almost always see her acting like a Rich Bitch since she's usually around Rin, she's actually a very proper, generous person. Rin just sets off her Berserk Button as a rival partly since her family was defeated in the Third War in Tohsaka territory, and she's looking to avenge the loss. Besides knowing almost exactly the same kind of magic Rin does, she's also a celebrated pro-wrestler.

  • Ascended Extra: She goes from a very brief mention at the end of one route of Fate/stay night, to a minor character in hollow ataraxia, to a featured character in Unlimited Codes (after an April Fool's hoax about a Fate wrestling game) and a main character in Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA and in Lord El-Melloi II Case Files. She certainly seems to get more popular with time.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Luviagelita? Really?
  • Boobs of Steel: Luvia has a thicker body frame than Rin and happens to favor a brawler fighting style.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In her Fate/Unlimited Codes ending. It has her and Rin beat the crap out of each other. Afterwards the two bicker briefly, then share a good laugh together while they're still both flat on their backs catching their breaths.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: Whether she's actually meant to be a relative of Albert Edelfelt is anyone's guess.
  • Fiction 500: You know how Rin tries really hard to conserve her jewels to save money? Luvia doesn't have that problem, tossing out dozens of jewels as powerful one-shot bombs like they were confetti rather than magical reagents worth thousands of dollars.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: She has the looks and bearing of your typical Ojou, complete with ringlets, but she favors a fighting style that's essentially pro wrestling.
  • Last Episode, New Character: She shows up literally in the epilogue of Fate/stay night.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: She's rich, popular, and talented and she knows it, rubbing her wealth and status in Rin's face every chance she gets. But she can be genuinely sweet to those she likes, being affectionate to Shirou after they bumped into each other while lost in London.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Mostly in Unlimited Codes.
  • The Ojou: Her exterior demeanor is that of a proper lady.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Massive ones. And as you might expect, they fit quite well.
  • Professional Wrestling: I bet you didn't see that coming with her character type, but then, neither did Rin. Technically the "Lancashire-style of martial combat", but just play Unlimited Codes and you'll see the truth.
  • The Rival: To Rin, oh so very much.
  • Shown Their Work: Lancashire wrestling, otherwise known as Catch Wrestling, is one of the ancestors of modern Professional Wrestling.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Some people call her Luvia Zeritta instead of Luviagelita.
  • Student Council President: Running for this position at the Clock Tower, anyway.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Rin as time goes on.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Luvia's specialty when it comes to combat.

    Sella and Leysritt 

Sella voiced by: Haruhi Nanao (JP), Rachael Lillis (EN 2015 anime), Julia McIlvaine (2018 movie)
Leysritt voiced by: Miho Miyagawa (JP), Brianna Knickerbocker (EN)

Ilya's maids, both of whom combined have about five minutes of total screen time. They both wear nurse uniforms, which Shirou refers to as Florence Nightingale outfits, that make them look almost identical. When they're not wearing the hats, however, they're pretty distinctive.

Despite both looking like they are in their twenties, they are in fact homunculi that Ilya made about two years ago. She considers them to be failures. Despite this, however, they're still homunculi and are considered strong enough to threaten Magic Association enforcers in one-on-one combat.

  • Boobs of Steel: Leysritt, to go with her Super Strength.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Leysritt. Can't be more "deadpan" than that.
  • Death by Adaptation: The VN doesn't show their ultimate fate, though supplementary material indicates that Leysritt's life is tied to Ilya's, so she must have died during Unlimited Blade Works and post-Fate if not earlier. Sella's doom is uncertain in all routes. The UBW TV series chucks the ambiguity and shows both maids dying at Gilgamesh's hands before he attacks Ilya.
  • Emotionless Girl: They really aren't, despite both sharing the one facial expression. Observe Leysritt making fun of Sella in their five minutes of screen time.
  • Mystical White Hair: They have white-blonde hair, like all the von Einzbern homunculi.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: Von Einzbern homunculi are all pseudo-albinos. They're usually built to have high magic potential, Sella (and other "base models," so to speak) is immortal unless killed by violence, while Leysritt is almost an extension of Ilya and will die when Ilya does (which is again different; Ilya, like Irisviel, has a limited lifespan due to containing the Lesser Grail). Leysritt can also transmute into the Dress of Heaven that Ilya wears while performing soul magecraft.
  • Super Strength: Leysritt has physical strength that is on par with Servants.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: In the Unlimited Blade Works anime, they are slaughtered by Gilgamesh before they show any personality. Not that they show any more in the VN's routes.
  • Younger Than They Look: Very mature looking for two-year-olds, but being homunculi, they were presumably created as adults from the start.

    Atrum Galliasta 

Voiced by: Jun Fukushima (JP), Robbie Daymond (EN)

The original Master of Caster, a member of the Mage's Association who entered the 5th Holy Grail War in an attempt to win prestige. Caster turned on him and murdered him before the events of the story, leading to her making a contract with her current Master.

He is essentially an anime-original character; in the VN Caster's first Master is given neither a name nor a face, and his personality doesn't sound quite the same either.

  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original visual novel, Caster killed her Master because she considered him a fool and a coward. In the Unlimited Blade Works anime he is still those things, but he's also an arrogant bastard who abuses everyone who works for him (including his highly dangerous Servant) and kills innocent captives to make mana crystals in a process that is both evil and inefficient. Caster kills him largely out of disgust.
  • Ax-Crazy: The fact that he continues with his highly inefficient plan of killing young girls to make crystals despite Caster showing him much more fruitful and bloodless methods of doing so shows him as little more than a violent psycho killing for the sheer hell of it.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Unlimited Blade Works anime actually gives him an appearance; he was a total background character in the original visual novel and never even appeared on camera.
  • Ascended Extra: He has a larger role in Lord El-Melloi II Case Files, appearing in volumes 2 and 3 which are set before the war, and helping from beyond the grave in the semifinal volume.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Even if his country of origin is unspecified, his name just sounds made-up.
  • Asshole Victim: Every bit of characterization he gets only serve to make it easier to cheer for his demise.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Despite knowing Caster was more powerful than him, he regularly bad-mouthed and abused her, relying on only a Command Spell to prevent her from attacking him, which she easily got around with Rule Breaker.
  • Canon Immigrant: He was created for the anime adaptation of Unlimited Blade Works, but his inclusion in Case Files makes him now canon to the original visual novel, as per Nasu Case Files is in the exact same world as stay night instead of being an alternate timeline.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Explained by him being part-European and part-Middle Eastern (specific ethnicities unknown).
  • Dirty Coward: He did not want to participate in battles and wanted to just hole up in his penthouse suite and wait for the other participants to kill each other.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Somehow thought it was a good idea to treat one of the greatest legendary magic-users from the Age of Gods like crap. Someone who had the epithet of the Witch of Betrayal. It predictably got him killed.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He hated Caster after she demonstrated she was a superior magic user to him.
  • Human Resources: Was quite proud of his workshop that allowed him to create mana crystals in seconds... by turning half a dozen young girls into the material component. His system was copied and refined by Bazdilot Cordelion for use in the Snowfield Holy Grail War.
  • Identical Stranger: Retroactively, the reveal of Jason of the Argonauts' appearance in Fate/Grand Order suggests they share a whole lot of physical features (not to mention aesthetic). Guy's probably doomed from the moment he summoned the older, more bitter Caster.
  • Kill It with Fire: In the Unlimited Blade Works anime, Caster tormented him with an illusion before setting him on fire. In the original visual novel, she simply stabbed her Master with Rule Breaker.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: On the receiving end of this from Caster.
  • Posthumous Character: Caster killed him a few weeks before Fate/stay night started and he only appears in flashbacks in the Unlimited Blade Works anime.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He was incredibly rich oil magnate and believed this made him better than the other participants in the war, as he could buy the best magical tools and ingredients.
  • Smug Snake: He was nowhere near as smart or powerful as his arrogance led him to believe.
  • Straw Misogynist: He actually had a harem of beautiful young women (even dressed in stereotypical harem clothes) who literally obeyed him at the snap of his fingers, the sacrifices he used to create mana crystals all seem to be young girls, and the way he treated Caster was highly reminiscent of a domestic abuser. Also, in a Freeze-Frame Bonus, his masked magecraft maids all wore metal collars with a chain that dangles down their front.
  • Stupid Evil: He showed off to Caster his workshop where he sacrificed kidnapped girls to create magical crystals. Disgusted, Caster demonstrated that she could create superior crystals at will, said his workshop was nothing but a waste of resources, and asked that he shut it down for moral and pragmatic reasons. He stubbornly beat her up (wasting a Command Seal to do so) and wanted to stick with his method.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: He thought a simple Command Seal was enough to restrain the much smarter and more creative Caster, and was easily tricked into wasting the other two in frivolities. Caster easily dispatched him after that.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Was actually surprised that Caster—who was an infamous betrayer, who had easily proven herself the superior mage in both power and understanding, and whom he knew wielded Rule Breaker and what it did—turned the tables on him.

    Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern (SPOILERS) 

Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (JP), Laura Post (EN, Fate/Apocrypha)

The first Einzbern homunculus who forms the true core of the Holy Grail system. Together with Zolgen Makiri, Nagato Tohsaka, and Kishua Zelretch Schweinorg, she desired to see the ascension of humanity and thus sacrificed herself to become the Greater Grail's core. All other Einzbern homunculi are made in her image, and possess her memories.

  • Armor-Piercing Question: "Why do you not want to die?", asked to Zouken Matou at the end of the "Heaven's Feel" route.
  • Artificial Human: She was the first and one of the most powerful Einzbern homunculi, and the others are effectively her reincarnations.
  • Human Resources: She is for all intents and purposes the Greater Grail that was hijacked by Aŋra Mainiiu, and the magic circuits lining the cavern under Ryuudou Temple are hers.
  • Ice Queen: For the brief time she manifests through Illya, Justeaze seems to have been cold and aloof.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When channelled by Illya, she coldly berates Zouken for how he lost his way.
  • Red Baron: She became known as "Master of Northern Alchemy" and "Primeval Justeaze".
  • Sealed Good in a Can: As the true core of the Holy Grail, she sought to eliminate all hatred and suffering. Ironically, she was effectively impregnated with an entity desiring to perpetuate those very things.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Justeaze Lizrich or Justica Lizleihi, depend on who you ask.
  • Super Prototype: She was the first Einzbern homunculus, and was skilled enough as a magus to design the Holy Grail ritual.
  • Utopia: Her desire, and that of Zolgen before he lost his way, was to use the Third Magic of the Holy Grail to create an idyllic world with no suffering.

Alternative Title(s): Fate Stay Night Masters, Fate Stay Night Other


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