I’m back to select an Anime Holy Grail War Archer. If you need a reminder about this Anime Holy Grail War scenario, I invite you to take a look back at my introduction and then the second article. Captain Levi (Saber) and Pyrrha Nikos (Lancer) make up the first two parts of our team. It is time to pick an Archer and finish up the Knight class servants.
As the class name implies, the Archer servant is renowned for a proficiency in projectile weapons. This includes not only bows and arrows but also modern-day firearms. In our team-based scenario here, the Archer is the primary damage dealer from range. They use the space as their defense because they do not possess an overwhelming defensive power. Additionally, because they can function away from the team, Archers also make skillful scouts. They enjoy not only keen eyesight but also a discerning intellect for strategy.
Just like the Saber (leadership) and Lancer (tragic backstory) before them, I wish to attribute an additional descriptor that I feel makes the Archer class special. Archers operate with an independence that other servants don’t enjoy. They are often unrestrained because their combat style requires space. This freedom opens the Archer class up to improvise and “make plays” (as it were) in the combat arena. This mix of battlefield intelligence and improvisational skills means the Archer has opportunities for clutch saves and impactful moments.
Spoiler: There will be a number of spoilers present. However, it is ever my hope that their presence won’t ruin your experience. Please take them as a small bit of enthusiasm on the part of this author to encourage you to watch these animes!
Anime Holy Grail War Archer – Yukio Okumura
Yukio Okumura is the youngest Exorcist in the True Cross Order. He is something of a prodigy in exorcism. Young Yukio is not only proficient with a myriad of firearms but also is a gifted doctor and healer. His calm and even disposition empowers his decision-making skills while in the heat of combat. Despite his youthful age, Yukio is constantly challenging himself to adapt to the situation of every mission.
Special Ability: Gunslinger – Yukio’s training as a Dragoon exposes him to a large variety of guns. He most often uses a pair of semi-automatic handguns. However, Yukio is capable of using shotguns and sniper rifles. He is knowledgeable in his preparation as well making sure to take ammunition applicable to the missions he undertakes.
Noble Phantasm: Another Meister – In addition to being a Dragoon, Yukio is also Doctor. He is able to treat not only battlefield wounds but also the illnesses inflicted by demons. While not directly able to empower his Archer abilities, this ability to heal would be vital to the team set-up. Yukio could move freely around to help his allies.
Why I can’t pick him: My two biggest sticking points with Yukio are: 1) that he lacks the elite mobility that Archers need to create space and 2) his Doctor ability doesn’t increase his fighting power. A Noble Phantasm needs to be a game changing ability. Over the long run of the War having a Doctor would be an advantage, but it wouldn’t turn the tide in a single battle.
Anime Holy Grail War Archer – Uryu Ishida
Uryu Ishida is a Quincy (a spiritually aware human with the ability to manipulate spiritual energy). As a Quincy, Uryu focuses his combat prowess on his spiritual bow. Uryu employs a number of spiritual spells to increase his offense and defensive abilities. He is a chief rival/friend to Ichigo often challenging him to contests of who can slay the most Hollows (surely there is a parallel to Gimli and Legolas here). His genius level intellect gives him a leg up in impromptu strategies and adjustments.
Special Ability: Reishi Manipulation – Reishi is the name given to spiritual energy in the Bleach world. Uryu manipulates Reishi energy to form his bow and arrows as well as increase his mobility and speed. Even if paralyzed, Uryu has the capability to use Reishi to move his body and continue attacking. As long as there is sufficient energy, Uryu would never be without weapon or ammunition.
Noble Phantasm: Master Archer – As Uryu gains experience so does he gain power and aptitude for new techniques. His accuracy is unmatched, and he is able to slay Hollows with a single arrow. His control extends to turning his arrows into veritable target seeking missiles unable to miss in spite of cover. Or he can put up an impenetrable defense by shooting down attacks before they hit his person.
Why I can’t pick him: Uryu has all the traits to be the perfect Archer pick. He is able to work independently and make choices during a fight that won’t hurt his team. Yet it boils down to one major unknown for me: what if he was in an atmosphere with low (or no) Reishi? How would Uryu adapt there?
Anime Holy Grail War Archer – Ruby Rose
Ruby Rose is a huntress in training. Though after the fall of Beacon Academy it may be more correct to call her a huntress proper. Despite being a bit of klutz (and earning the nickname “Crater Face”), Ruby is savant in a fight. She is a capable team leader and very adept at coming up with unique strategies for her teammates. Ruby has a knack for showing up at just the right moment to make an impact.
Special Ability: Semblance (Speed) – It is easy to miss Ruby’s most consistent ability. She can move at an imperceptible speed. Often Ruby seemingly dematerializes into rose petals only to appear in a new location. She moves like a hurricane in a straight line. Ruby uses everything in her power to harness more speed and momentum to stay clear of opponents’ attacks.
Noble Phantasm: Crescent Rose – This high-caliber sniper rifle-scythe is Ruby’s primary weapon. Crescent Rose produces a large amount of recoil when fired which helps Ruby achieve her goal of moving faster than the eye can perceive. She uses this speed from the rifle’s recoil to crank up the destructive damage of the scythe blade.
Why I can’t pick her: Ruby is so dependent on her Crescent Rose. I feel like if you separate her from her weapon that you take away nearly all her fighting power. Additionally, she is on the young side and hasn’t developed tactics to help her without her weapon.
Anime Holy Grail War Archer – Gieve
Gieve is a womanizing bard in the service of the camp of Arslan. Initially he has little interest in helping the banished prince. Rather he latches onto the beautiful priestess (Farangis, who was one of my last cuts from the possibilities for Archer) as his reason for joining. However, Gieve constantly proves himself an asset to Arslan and his compatriots. Most often he does this through skillful talent with the bow.
Special Ability: Totally unknown – As a traveling musician, Gieve has artfully acquired many skills to make himself useful. He has the ability to blend in and play any role necessary. It makes him an effective and able spy. He simply doesn’t stand out.
Noble Phantasm: The Bard – You’ve heard the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” haven’t you? That describes Gieve perfectly. He is highly skilled in many aspects, but it distracts him from being the *best* at any one thing. (This is a drawback as much as it is a plus. We only need look at Fate’s own Gilgamesh to see how this ability plays out against a specialist.)
Why I can’t pick him: Notice how I didn’t really speak to his prowess with the bow? Yeah…when we’re thinking about Archers that is kind of a big deal. Gieve is a good archer but he isn’t a master level Archer. He’d be a perfect spy if that was a servant class.
Anime Holy Grail War Archer – Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye is a lieutenant in the State Military as well as being the bodyguard for Colonel Mustang. Mustang is fond of giving his subordinates codenames inspired by chess pieces with Hawkeye being his Queen piece. Riza lives up to that expectation in her ability to perform a wide range of roles for the Colonel. She does not let being a soldier (or subordinate) stop her from acting in the best interests of those she protects.
Special Ability: Honed instincts – After serving as a soldier in the Ishval Civil War, Riza has finely tuned intuition for danger and opportunity. Each is necessary in its own respect for a sniper to find success. Picking out the right location necessitates being close enough to hit the target while keeping yourself out of sight.
Noble Phantasm: The Hawk’s Eye – True to her name, Riza’s aim is immaculate. When she levels her gun at a target, you can be sure she’ll hit it. This ability not only makes her effective but also efficient. She doesn’t needlessly waste ammunition or opportunities.
Why I picked her: Riza is the ultimate blend of Archer attributes. Her experience as a sniper makes her the perfect choice to play in that wide-open space. Riza can scout and observe. She has the practical knowledge to stay hidden and wait for the perfect opportunity to take her shot.
Anime Holy Grail War Archer – Conclusion
We can now check off three of the seven classes in this Anime Holy Grail War. There were plenty of other Archers I was seriously considering. I thought about Sinon from Sword Art Online, Yoko from Gurren Laggan, Death the Kid from Soul Eater, and about 10 others. It was a hard decision. Who would be your pick for the Archer class? How do you feel about this series? Connect with me on social media (Twitter – Instagram) and let’s discuss it!
Featured image: Ufotable