An Anime Holy Grail War – the mention should send shivers of excitement and anticipation down your spine, anime fans!
For those that aren’t familiar, the Fate universe revolves around an event known as the Holy Grail War. Seven servants are summoned as familiars for seven masters to engage in combat with the winner (the last master alive) being granted their wish by the Holy Grail. The servants are summoned from across time and sorted into the seven classes. The classes are Saber, Lancer, Archer, Caster, Rider, Berserker, and Assassin. Each of these heroes possess powers from their lives with the most powerful ability being a Noble Phantasm (the crystallized form of their legend).
In the story of Fate/Apocrypha, the basic setup is changed from a free-for-all to two teams of seven in competition. In the team format, some thought has to be given to composition and how each servant would work with the others. (Honestly I feel like I’m talking about an Overwatch match!) It is this format I’d like to use. I want to talk you through a few possibilities that I considered for each class and then share my pick for my hypothetical team. I’ll also assign each a special ability and Noble Phantasm based on their power from their stories.
I want to credit Madman272 for posting this idea on Reddit some months back. I want to bring it to a Wizard World show soon as a panel. This could work as a “who would win” type of participation panel, pitting the panelists against the audience. But the idea is too fun to sit on for another 8 months.
This will be the first in a once-a-month series to create my team for an Anime Holy Grail War. So I’ll begin with the Saber class. Sabers possess great agility and power but are primarily known for their prowess with the sword. They are considered to be the strongest servant class. However their weakness is exposed when parted from their weapon or unable to engage in close range combat.
Spoiler: There will be a number of spoilers present. But it is my hope that they will motivate you to take a chance on the animes they come from.
Anime Holy Grail War – Ikki Kurogane, the Worst One
Ikki is a remarkably hard working young knight. He was not born with an abundance of talent and must work to improve his skills. Ikki has trained relentlessly with his “Device”; he wields a katana shaped blade called Intetsu.
Special Ability: Blade Steal – Through concentration and clashing of swords, Ikki is able to analyze and steal his opponent’s technique. This knowledge allows him to develop strategies on the fly and employ counterattacks.
Noble Phantasm: Ittou Shura – By deliberately ignoring his survival instincts, Ikki can magnify his physical strength several dozen times over. He can only maintain the power for a minute and can only use it once every 24 hours.
Why I can’t pick him: While Ikki can be incredibly strong through the use of Ittou Shura, I feel like his “normal” condition would put him at a disadvantage against the other potential Saber choices. His other measureable statistics are F rank and I’d worry that he wouldn’t live long enough to fully analyze his opponents with Blade Steal.
Anime Holy Grail War – Akame of the Demon Sword Murasame
Akame is a highly trained swordswoman. First educated by the Empire, she switches allegiance to the Revolutionary Army and becomes *the* trump card of the special assassination unit Night Raid. She possesses the sword Murasame, known as the one-cut killer. Her precision with the blade and her battle field prowess earn her praise from virtually every opponent she cuts down.
Special Ability: Enhanced training – Through the training provided by the Empire and enhanced by the other assassins in Night Raid, Akame sharpened all her skills to the pinnacle of human capabilities. Akame has tremendous speed, agility, and reflexes. She additionally gives off no killing intent, which allows her to get close to her target.
Noble Phantasm: Murasame’s Curse – By taking in the poison and killing intent of Murasame, Akame can greatly enhance her physical powers. This means the user has to accept responsibility for all the lives taken by the blade. Afterwards, however, the user is greatly burdened by the weight.
Why I can’t pick her: Akame has all the physical abilities to make her a perfect Saber, but she may be closer to an Assassin. Her Noble Phantasm would be a great boost, but, just like in the anime, she’d have to wait to use it till the absolute end.
Anime Holy Grail War – Ais Wallenstien, Sword Princess
Ais is a First Class adventurer in the Loki Familia. She is a bit of an anomaly as a swordswoman in that she has magic. Ais once held the record for quickest growth from level 1 to level 2, making the leap in just a year of exploring the Dungeon. She is now a level 6 adventurer and considered to be one of the strongest adventurers in the world.
Special Ability: Desperate – Desperate is Ais’ trusty blade. It possesses a special quality which makes it unbreakable. A necessary quality with how hard and frequent the blade strikes in Ais’ hands.
Noble Phantasm: Ariel – Ais’ wind element enchant magic is something she can sustain over the course of long battles. Ais can infuse her sword to do more damage or imbue her body with great quickness or even create shields of flowing air with Ariel. While it would be taxing on another, Ais has plenty of spare magic power to use this ability near constantly.
Why I can’t pick her: I would love to pick Ais as my Saber but she falls short in the personality and working with others category. I’m thinking to the team as a whole with her. She is a brilliant swordswoman and deserving of the title Sword Princess, however I feel like she’s stronger on her own and would detract from the team setting.
Anime Holy Grail War – Erza Scarlet, Titania Queen of the Fairies
Erza is an S-Class Mage in the Fairy Tail guild. Wait – a mage!?!?! Yes, but Erza practices a special kind of magic called Requip: The Knight. Erza is flexible and adaptable when it comes to combat using her Requip magic to don the appropriate gear to the situation. Erza possesses enhanced strength, immense endurance, increased durability, and overwhelming magic power.
Special Ability: Requip: The Knight – Erza is the only known mage to be able to Requip in combat. This allows her to adapt to the changing flow of the battle field. She possesses over 100 different types of armor and over 200 different types of weapons. Her ability to change quickly lets her use her keen intellect to outthink opponents while in a fight.
Noble Phantasm: Heaven’s Wheel Armor – This Requip allows Erza to fly for short distances as well as summon a large number (over 200) of floating swords. She can use her enhanced mobility to cut, slash, and pierce large numbers of enemies. Being able to command so many swords greatly increases her destructive powers.
Why I can’t pick her: Erza’s real power is unlocked when her friends are in great need. Sadly I don’t see being able to have her guild mates attend this Anime Holy Grail War. If I did pick another Fairy Tail wizard to fill a different slot on my team, I’d definitely make Erza my selection because she is a leader with the ability to protect those she cares about to her dying breath.
Anime Holy Grail War – Captain Levi of the Survey Corps
Levi is the Captain of the Special Operations Squad and known as humanity’s strongest soldier. He is a veteran of the front line fight against the Titans. His solo kill count of Titans ranks him #1 in his hellish world. He possesses an extraordinary battle skill and an intelligent cunning that borders on precognition. If you’ve wondered what a kinesthetic genius might be capable of doing, then you just need to watch Levi on the battlefield.
Special Ability: Omni-directional mobility gear – This standard issued piece of equipment used by the soldiers in Attack on Titan becomes near magic when used by Captain Levi. The ODM gear lets Levi move at imperceptible speeds to get to his target. No one is more competent with the technology and his mastery of the ODM gear puts him in the right place at the right time consistently.
Noble Phantasm: What needs to be done – Levi is “just a human”. Yet consider that the only way to kill a Titan is to carve off a piece of flesh one meter long and ten centimeters wide on the nape of their neck. Levi is a swordsman with the speed and precision and power to excise that weak point over and over. His ability to conserve his endurance and do exactly the right thing at the right moment borders on precognition while in combat.
Why I picked him: Captain Levi is a more than capable soldier and leader. He makes quick decisions. His skill is not to be underestimated. I know he’d be an asset in the planning of this Anime Holy Grail War and on the battle field.
Well with six more servants to go, I feel like this is a good start. If I do 4 possibilities and a selection, that is 30 more characters to introduce you to! I hope you’re ready for that. Levi is my pick for the Saber class, but who would you select? Did I overlook a particularly powerful sword user? Leave a comment here or touch base with me on social media (Twitter – Instagram). I’d also love some suggestions for the remaining classes! Give me something new to research. Also if you think this would be a cool panel that you’d enjoy attending suggest it to your local convention with my Twitter attached. I’d love to present this in person!
Featured Image: Amino Apps