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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 and manga Fate/stay night. Contains a LOT of spoilers.

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Main Characters

    Shirou Emiya 

Voiced by: Noriaki Sugiyama (JP), Junko Noda (JP, young), Sam Riegel (EN, 2006 Anime, 2010 Movie), Bryce Papenbrook (EN, 2015 Anime, 2018 Movie)
"If you walk down the path that you believe is right, you cannot be wrong."

"I don't want to regret anything. I want to make all the tragedies that happened into meaningful things by believing that my path is right."

The protagonist of the series, Shirou is a rather untalented Magus whose only skill is basic Tracing and Reinforcement magic, which allows him to analyze the physical make-up of an object and then strengthen it. His dream is to become a "Hero of Justice", someone who can selflessly protect the lives of everyone from disaster. He inherited this dream from his adoptive father Kiritsugu Emiya, who had given up on it. He is not really sure what it takes to reach that ideal.

At the beginning of the story, he possesses a Healing Factor that makes him practically immortal, though the source of this is unknown and he did not have it before. Shirou is also an accomplished archer as a side effect of his mage training and, following some training from Saber, is mildly proficient in swordplay.

He is Saber's Master.

See his page for tropes relating to Shirou.

    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."

Rin 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 Tohsaka 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.

See her page for tropes relating to Rin.

    Sakura Matou 

Voiced by: Noriko Shitaya (JP), Sherry Lynn (EN 2006 Anime), Cristina Valenzuela (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.

See her page for tropes relating to Sakura.


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.

  • 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.
  • Gender-Blender Name: As mentioned above, "Illya" is a boy's name in Russia.
  • 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.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She primarily dresses in purple and is a member of a noble family.
  • Gruesome Grandparent: 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.
  • 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 Guy: 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.
  • Together in Death: At the end of the final Heaven's Feel movie, as she seals away the Holy Grail, she sees Irisviel again and runs into her arms as they both fade away.
  • 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 annoying. 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 Fate 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 Fate 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.
  • 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.
    • In the Fate manga, he also hates secrets and being locked out of the loop, due to Byakuya and Sakura hiding the truths about the family from him in the past.
  • 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: The manga adaptations and the Lost Butterfly drama CD show that he was this towards Sakura in their childhood, mocking her for her low grades or rubbing in her face that he was going to be the Matou heir. However after he finds out why Sakura was adopted in the family, his playful teasing escalates into abuse.
  • 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: Borderlands on him being a Karmic Butt-Monkey as 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 Fate 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!: He rejects Sakura's attempts to apologize to him after he finds out she's the true Matou heir. He's also convinced that the only reason Sakura cares about him in the first place was because she felt sorry for him, which has made him extremely bitter.
  • 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 Bastard: As revealed in the Lost Butterfly drama CD; Shinji admits that he feels entitled to things that he believes both the world and his family denied him, and will do anything to get recompensated.
    "That’s not how things should be, right? It’s wrong. If Sakura’s more suited to be the heir than me — me, the one who’s blood related, the one who studied the Matou magecraft this hard — then I should get some sort of compensation too! Which means — I should be able to do whatever I want with her, right? That’s why Sakura apologizes to me, right?!"
  • 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. As the Lost Butterfly drama CD shows, his ego is so inflated that he totally thinks Rin loves him back, she's just playing hard to get.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Shinji's arrogance makes 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.
    • He's also unable to understand why would Byakuya hide the awful truths of the family from him.
    • When Sakura uses her last Command Spell to save his life in the Fate manga, he refuses to accept she still cares for him and believes she did it for Shirou's sake.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Expy: According to Word of God, he's one of Kyouichi Saionji of Revolutionary Girl Utena. Both are arrogant jerks that are insecure on the inside, have an inferiority complex with his best friend, are abusive to girls and becomes a Butt-Monkey after they've been defeated. They also have seaweed-like hair.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Lost Butterfly drama CD reveals that his soul was absorbed by Dark Sakura after his death. He lost his mind completely, is tormented by his worst memories and fears forever and is deluding himself into thinking he won the war to cope.
  • 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: Bullying and raping Sakura, being a smug and cowardly braggart, lusting after Rin, mistreating Rider, being a sexist pig, and overall being a loser who always gets outwitted... it says something that, in nearly two decades of vile villains in the Nasuverse, Shinji, a mere high school kid, still manages to be the most near-unanimously hated character In-Universe and out. In Carnival Phantasm, Sakura comes right out and says that the only thing positive about Shinji is that he makes everyone around him look better by comparison.
  • 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 Fate 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: Can easily be seen as the most unsympathetic of the characters, sans Zouken, not because his deed is the worst, but because he doesn't have a single redeeming quality. While all of the others have some kind of Freudian Excuse, Pet the Dog moments, and/or show some remorse over what they've done, Shinji is a dick all the way and refuses to even acknowledge it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: 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 people. According to the Character Material and the manga backstory, he was an arrogant yet decent kid until things went to hell and he became a sadistic Jerk with a Heart of Jerk. He retains a bit of deep-buried decency in the Fate 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. He technically has Magic Circuits but they're completely vestigial, akin to a dried-up canal. 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" Remark: 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 turns Rider against him, as Sakura is her true Master and the one she feels loyalty to.
  • Parental Abandonment: Heaven's Feel and its manga adaptation reveal that he had a good relationship with his father Byakuya, but they clashed due to Shinji's obsession with becoming a magus and Byakuya's own insistence for him to have a normal life. However, after Shinji finds the truth about Sakura and the basement, he started ignoring him and died shortly after. Meanwhile, 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 Byakuya starting neglecting him after failing to hide the family's secrets from him.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite looking down on Shirou, deep down he considers him a friend, at least before their estrangement. And according to supplemental material, he would socially murder anyone who took advantage of Shirou.
  • Post-Rape Taunt: He plans on pulling this in Heaven's Feel by raping Sakura and then bragging about it and all the other times to her now boyfriend Shirou. Sakura is so terrified of her last secret being revealed that she accidentally kills him in a panic.
  • Precision F-Strike: Present only in the English dub of the Lost Butterfly chapter of the Heaven's Feel movies.
    Shinji: Yeah... I have to tell Emiya about this. About how you begged and pleaded with me over and over! I'll tell him about everything! About every single time we fucked!!
  • 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, for being everything he wishes to be but can't.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Sakura. However, she isn't actually his sister.
  • Slasher Smile: Tends to give a lot of these - he easily has the most deranged expressions when he gets pissed off.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Shinji is supposed to be legtimately talented at various non-magic things, 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 fixated 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 incredibly selfish, 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.
  • Straw Misogynist: He has some disgusting beliefs on women and sees them as nothing more than walking vaginas who should lift their skirts for him on his command rather than actual human beings. He makes this explicit when he outright calls Sakura his sex doll right before trying to rape her again. When she resists him for the first time, Shinji tells her that she's nothing more than a dirty whore and that she has no choice in the matter. In the movie version, he assumes she's resisting not because she doesn't want to be raped, but because Shirou "tamed" her to be loyal to him.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the backstory, he was always arrogant and 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 timelines in which he survives the Holy Grail War, such as Unlimited Blade Works, the Fate manga and Today's Menu for Emiya Family. All in all, it looks like competing for the Holy Grail brought out the worst in him, and with it gone, he's back to his arrogant yet tolerable old self.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As the Heaven's Feel manga shows.
  • 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)
"There is nothing that brings me happiness. It does not matter, let it be believing in people or having people believe in me. What other people called happiness did not bring me any joy."

"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.
  • Attack on the Heart: In every single route, Kirei dies via the destruction of his heart, though it takes a bit longer in Heaven's Feel. Which makes sense, since it's actually a curse-filled replacement created from Grail mud and it's the thing that's been keeping him alive ever since the last Grail War.
  • 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.
  • 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: Ambition and Wrath. 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.
  • Cold Ham: He never raises his voice, yet most of his long-winded speeches are delivered with such gravitas that it effortlessly dominates every scene he's in.
  • Combat Referee: His job during the Fifth War is to be the overseer and to make sure that the rules are maintained and that no muggles are aware of the conflict. Of course, he's anything BUT neutral given his role as a Big Bad.
  • The Corrupter: Ultimately serves as this towards Sakura Matou in Heaven's Feel (See Batman Gambit above).
  • Create Your Own Hero: Both his and Gilgamesh's role in the fire that killed Shirou's parents and his desire to relive his battle against his former archenemy results in him both provoking and inspiring the young man to become their most persistent enemy in the franchise.
  • 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.
  • Expy: He's based on Souren Araya from The Garden of Sinners. They share similar looks, personalities, fighting abilities, and even having the same voice actor. The only thing missing is Araya's immortality, which is transferred into Zouken Matou instead.
  • 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 to 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.
  • Generation Xerox: He shares the same hairstyle as his father, Risei Kotomine, and his instructor Tokimoi Tohsaka.
  • 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 hours' disease slightly before he could land the last few blows.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: 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.
  • Parental Substitute: He's Rin's legal guardian after Tokiomi, and later, Aoi, died in the aftermath of the 4th Holy Grail War (both events of which he secretly had a hand in, albeit indirectly in her mother Aoi's case), much to her displeasure. That saying, while he did teach Rin how to fight and looked after her from time to time, he was mostly hands-off with her as he was away for the most part as she grew up before the start of the 5th War.
  • 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: He's incapable of deriving pleasure from doing good, and he can only be happy from doing evil. And he hates it, because he still knows that what he's doing is wrong.
  • 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 squander it all through naive honesty and crude management. In light of what's revealed about his character later on in the story (as well as in Fate/Zero), it's strongly implied such mismanagement was actually a deliberate act of sadism on his part designed to make Rin's life miserable. Ultimately, however, it's never confirmed whether such actions are merely another example of him deriving gratification from Rin's misfortune or in fact reflect a rarely seen 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 aren't 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 in Distress: True Assassin in Heaven's Feel holds him hostage so Caster will release him from her control. Kuzuki is promptly disposed of once Caster does what True Assassin wants.
  • 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.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: He went from a man who wanted to eliminate all the world's evils, to a selfish bastard who sought to control the entity who embodied the very thing he wanted to elimnate.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: He and Kirei Kotomine vie for the role of Big Bad throughout Heaven's Feel. As the mastermind behind the Shadow's appearance and the only one with any control over its behavior, he succeeds in defeating the other Masters and overshadows Kirei as the main antagonist for most of the plot. Ultimately, however, all his meticulous scheming comes to nothing after he gravely underestimates Kirei's resourcefulness and Sakura's strength of will. Such fatal oversights literally lead to him being crushed like a bug, thereby enabling Kirei to assume 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 Zouken after he treated Shinji like crap for so long.
  • 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.
  • Fallen Hero: He was once a noble man who sought to eliminate all the world's evils, and came to the Einzberns and their Third Magic as a last resort. This is quite notable since most mages in the setting are self-centered and don't care one bit for others by nature.
  • 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 by offering only contempt and insults in place of love and encouragement for being a Muggle Born of Mages, something that wasn't his fault. 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.
  • 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.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: 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 legacy behind. When accepting his defeat at the end of Heaven's Feel, he resigns himself to his fate after realizing he has forever secured his place in history by charting a path for future magi to follow in his footsteps and make his vision a reality
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Zouken was far from ugly in his youth. This more dashing form appears in Heaven's Feel III spring song and Fate/Grand Order.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 and Leonardo Da Vinci when they were still alive.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His natural eye color is red, but it's faded away in his old age and he wasn't evil during his younger years.
  • 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 formidable an adversary than Shinji Matou, he in many ways comes across as a highly competent version of his magically inept grandson seeing how both their plans are undermined by their own overconfidence and pettiness. 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. Consequently, he never bothers to consider that plotting to give his "granddaughter" a glimpse of a better life only to tear it away might backfire and goes out of his way to make her long-sought romance with Shirou a living nightmare for his own twisted amusement. The extent of his hubris becomes most glaringly apparent when he not only cackles sadistically at Sakura as she writhes in pain while becoming one with All the World's Evil but [[EvilGloating gloats how he "trained" her and worked behind the scenes to destroy her sanity). Ultimately, after becoming corrupted by Aŋra Mainiiu's power, Sakura finally rebels against him in retaliation for all the suffering he caused her.
  • The Sociopath: 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 very entertaining. Subverted in part at the end of Heaven's Feel when the story reveals that he was once a relatively noble magus who originally sought the Grail to reach a utopia free of hatred and suffering in honor of his lost love, Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern.
  • Soul Jar: He has one last emergency backup Crest Worm wrapped around Sakura's heart, but his soul and consciousness will transfer in there only if he has no other option.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Depending on the transliteration convention used, usually either Zouken Matou or Zōken Matō.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Images of him during his prime show where Byakuya and Shinji got their looks and hair color from. Shirou even mistakes him as Shinji for a moment.
  • 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.

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.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Shirou calls her "Fuji-nee", reflecting how he views her as an older sister figure.
  • Animal Motifs: Her given name sounds a lot like the word "tiger". Although she hates being called one, Taiga's mannerisms, style of dress (namely the yellow shirt with black stripes that she often wears), and penchant for (comedic) violence are all highly evocative of tigers.
  • Badass Normal: While she never gets to show it off but Taiga is actually good with a sword. The reason why she never progressed very far in an official capacity is because she has been banned from tournaments for the tiger strap on her shinai (which is considered rude in official tournaments).
  • Berserk Button: Do not call her "Tiger".
  • 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. Shirou even calls her "Fuji-nee", which he's done since childhood.
  • 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. Supplemental Material states that her mastery of kenjutsu (Japanese swordsmanship) is almost as good as Shiki Ryougi, the most fearsome warrior of The Garden of Sinners.
  • 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 until Fate/hollow ataraxia, where she talks to Neko Hotaruzuka, Shirou's boss at Copenhagen, and Reikan Ryuudou, Issei's older brother, both of whom were her friends in high school.
  • 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 (though unfortunately, the tiger trinket has gotten her banned from kendo tournaments). 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. Nasu was directly asked about this in Fate/complete material III and stated that "Issei's feelings [toward Shirou] are purely as male friends." That didn't stop other Type-Moon works from taking the ambiguity and running with it.
  • 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.
  • Bishounen: Shirou describes him as having "elegant features."
  • Chick Magnet: Supposedly. Shirou says that his aforementioned good looks get him a lot of admiration from female classmates, but this isn't shown onscreen.
  • 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. Rin herself even expresses confusion over why he's so hostile to her, but she just rolls with it regardless.
  • 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.
  • Mythology Gag: Her design was originally a prototype of Medusa's, the writers liked it so much that the design was kept for Ayako. Thus she's often either Medusa's victim or friend.
  • Reused Character Design: She's pretty much a brown-haired Ryougi Shiki in character design, especially when animated by Ufotable. So much so that Nasu forbids everyone from saying Ayako resembles Ryougi Shiki.
  • 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 hate 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 Itō (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 and Fate/Kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA.
  • 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 & 2018 movie, home release), Julia McIlvaine (2018 movie, theatrical release)
Leysritt voiced by: Miho Miyagawa (JP), Brianna Knickerbocker (EN)

Illya'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.

  • An Axe to Grind: Leysritt's Weapon of Choice is a long axe.
  • Boobs of Steel: Leysritt, to go with her Super Strength.
  • Color-Coded Characters: They can be told apart by the color of the dark parts of their uniforms. Sella's is dark blue (or dark purple), and Leysritt's is black.
  • Compressed Hair: Sella's has quite the long hair and she can easily stuff all of it under her hat.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Leysritt, who often snarks and in a monotone voice. 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 Illya'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 Illya.
  • 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.
  • In-Series Nickname: Leysritt's name is often shortened as "Liz" within the franchise.
  • 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 Illya and will die when Illya does (which is again different; Illya, 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.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sella is the red oni, who is strict, more emotional and can be loud. Leysritt's is the blue oni, who always keeps her calm demeanor and monotone voice.
  • Super Strength: Leysritt has physical strength that is on par with Servants.
  • Those Two Guys: Whether in Fate/stay night or in the spin-offs, they are largely characterized as a pair of two maids who rarely ever separate from each other and are always considered support or minor characters.
  • 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.
  • Hate Sink: He shows no positive qualities, and his appearance mainly serves to give the audience someone to side with Caster against and demonstrate that she has some decency.
  • 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.

    Byakuya Matou 

Voiced by: Katsumi Toriumi (Lost Butterfly Drama CD)
"That’s not something you should be saying to Sakura. You’re the only son of the Matou family. Understand?"

Shinji's father and Sakura's adoptive father. He apathetically helped Zouken do his bidding, by acclimating Sakura to the worms and training her to be worthy of becoming the next head of the Matou house. He also kept Shinji away of the truth of the family, to the point the boy was unaware of the secrets of the family's magecraft or why Sakura was adopted. Eventually Shinji learned the truth after accidentally finding the worm pit in the basement, causing Byakuya to become distant with him.

He died three years prior to the story and is only mentioned in flashbacks.

  • Abusive Parent: Towards Sakura.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: While he's certainly not a good person, in the Fate manga, he's the one who adopts Sakura instead of Zouken and instead of forcing her on the worm pit right away, he waited until she was much older.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Happens in the Fate manga, where he takes Zouken's stead as the third antagonist.
  • All for Nothing: Unlimited Blade Works reveals that Zouken told Shinji everything his father wanted to hide from him after his death.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Shinji accuses him of being this in Heaven's Feel, saying he pretended to care about him only to cut all ties with him after he found out the truths of the family. However, this is debatable, considering he also thinks Sakura looks down on him and that Zouken wants him to be the true Matou heir.
  • Broken Pedestal: To Shinji. Case in point, he goes from calling him from the formal "Otou-sama" (父様) to the more disrespectful "Oyaji" (父親 old man).
  • Does Not Like Magic: Due to Zouken's neglect, he despises magecraft and wants nothing to do with it. And didn't want his son to get involved either.
  • Dirty Coward: Did Zouken's bidding even until his pitiful end, to effectively try to live on easy street with the family riches.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: The Heaven's Feel manga shows that he thinks Shinji not having magic circuits is a good thing (due to his own hatred for magecraft) and he'd rather want him to have a normal life.
    "...You're lucky, Shinji. You are not required to use magic. Forget all about this book, go and live your life like normal people. Do you understand?"
  • Parental Abandonment: While he seemed to care about Shinji, he gave up on him completely when his son accidentally learned the truth of the Matou worm pit and Sakura.
  • Posthumous Character: Died three years prior to the events of the game.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The Heaven's Feel manga shows he became more sullen after losing his hand to Kiritsugu.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He has blue hair, like his son.

    Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern (SPOILERS) 

Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (JP, Fate/Apocrypha), Sayaka Ohara (JP, Heaven's Feel), Laura Post (EN, Fate/Apocrypha), Bridget Hoffman (EN, Heaven's Feel)

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 Justicia Lizleihi, depend on who you ask.
  • Squashed Flat: Her role in starting the Holy Grail Wars was letting herself be crushed by a magic pillar and letting her blood flow into the runes surrounding it.
  • 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.
  • Winter Royal Lady: She was the former head of the aristocratic Einzbern family, and her title was the Saint of Winter.

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