After picking out a Saber, Lancer, Archer, and Caster, I’m here to bring you the fifth installment in this series and select an Anime Holy Grail War Rider. To give you a quick refresher, we are working our way through the seven Servant classes of the Fate universe. Rather than picking heroic spirits, we are making selections from all over the anime fandom. Additionally, instead of a last man standing brawl, this particular set up is a team format. So not only do our individual selections need to be strong, but they must work in harmony with the rest of the team.
Correspondingly our choice for the Anime Holy Grail War Rider slot must fit into the team as it is coming together so far. Taking the Saber class spot and de facto leader is Captain Levi. Providing both close and long-range flexibility of the Lancer class is Pyrrha Nikos. Employing the long-range specialization and independent action of the Archer class is Riza Hawkeye. Finally, last month Itachi Uchiha put all on comers under his genjutsu to take the Caster class.
It falls to this article to put forth an argument for our Rider class Servant selection. Obviously, Riders are known for using mounts (both beasts and constructs) to maneuver around the battlefield. However, you can also say that speed of any kind is the true forte of the Rider. In the immortal words of Ricky Bobby, these characters “wanna go fast”.
Spoiler: There will be a handful of spoilers present in these character vignettes. However, I continue to hope that their presence will not ruin your experience. Please take them as excess enthusiasm on the part of this author. Few things give me the pleasure that sharing my interests with others and getting them to try it out does!
Anime Holy Grail War Rider – Shoyo Hinata
Hinata is a first-year volleyball player at Karasuno High. He stands a modest 5’4’’, a tiny giant on the volleyball court. But boy can Hinata fly! His speed on the court is unmatched. Hinata’s true potential is unlocked by playing with teammates that know how to take advantage of his strengths. His goal is to use his speed to fly high over the walls that stand before him.
Noble Phantasm: Quick Attack – Hinata’s strength is definitely in his speed. It not only gives him a ridiculous jumping ability, but also provides him with the ability to recover if he makes a mistake. He can use his quickness to juke his opponents.
Why I can’t pick him: Sadly, I don’t believe that Hinata could get meaningful damage in this Anime Holy Grail War with a volleyball. It is fun to think about him zipping around though. I think in a footrace he’d give any of my picks a run for their money.
Anime Holy Grail War Rider – Kobayashi
Kobayashi is an ordinary computer programmer with a very extraordinary dragon maid. A rider need not possess speed themselves if they have a mount. This is the case for Kobayashi and Tohru. Even if riding Tohru causes her chronic back pain to flair up, having a dragon to ride into combat would be a true boon.
Noble Phantasm: Tohru, the Chaos Dragon of the Armageddon – Okay, let me play up Tohru’s ability a little bit here. By her own admission, Tohru is one of the strongest dragons. She possesses many types of magic (able to open portals, breath fire, and conceal her presence). She can fly at extreme speeds. Tohru is steadfastly loyal to (and in love with) Kobayashi and would do anything for her. That includes cursing her enemies to death or bringing about Armageddon.
Why I can’t pick her: Again, I have a tough time picturing Kobayashi as a serious combatant in this hypothetical scenario. Tohru would no doubt be a formidable tool, but Kobayashi might as well be useless on the battlefield. Between her bad back and her status as a completely average human being, she’d be picked off really quick.
Anime Holy Grail War Rider – Bell Cranel
Bell is an adventurer and speed specialist. This is actually his second appearance as a party candidate. I’ve previously selected him to be in my Anime DnD Party. Everything about Bell is FAST (except his ability to deal with girls). He specializes in quickness and evasion. Bell uses his extreme speed to get in close to his target, deal damage, and retreat to safety before he is subject to a counterattack.
Noble Phantasm: Argonaut – Bell is a hero that models himself after other heroes. He wants to have the power to stand up to any opponent in his way. In this way does he become the Argonaut. This gives him a huge increase in attack power for a single attack.
Why I can’t pick him: In terms of speed, Bell brings a boatload to the table. However, I worry about his limited Noble Phantasm. A one time use attack is not the kind of all-powerful trump card you want to bring to the table.
Anime Holy Grail War Rider – Celty Sturluson
Celty is a Dullahan from Irish lore. She has followed the theft of her head from Ireland all the way around the world to Japan. Celty definitely fits into the Rider class due to her job and nicknames. She is a transporter known as The Black Rider. Celty zips and shoots through the night streets of Ikebukuro. She takes her job seriously.
Noble Phantasm: Existence as a Dullahan – Celty enjoys the protection and power that comes with being a Dullahan. She has a familiar called a Coiste Bodhar which takes the form of her jet-black motorcycle. Celty can manipulate a shadow-like substance to trap and incapacitate her opponents. She has otherworldly strength.
Why I can’t pick her: Celty is one fierce female (in fact she was one of my last cuts to that particular article). She possesses the speed and supplements it with power and magic that most would not be able to stand up to. Yet, I fear that she would be misplaced in a team setting. I’d have little issue with her in the last man standing scenario as her skills would take her far.
Anime Holy Grail War Rider – Strelizia
Strelizia is a FRANXX mecha piloted by the parasite pair Zero Two and Hiro. When in operation by Zero Two alone Strelizia takes on a cat-like appearance with a prehensile tail capable of impaling targets like a spear. More often though, Strelizia is humanoid in appearance with a large lance powered by magma energy. Strelizia possesses elite speed and fighting ability. She is able to catch up to the other FRANXXs consistently even when left behind. And that is while leaving a trail of destruction in her wake.
Noble Phantasm: True Apus – Due to the high level of compatibility between Zero Two and Hiro, Strelizia is able to evolve beyond a regular FRANXX mecha. The custom mechas have the ability to mimic the emotions of their pistils but Apus Strelizia takes on the physical characteristics of Zero Two. Moreover, she is the only FRANXX capable of traversing the warp gate to battle the enemy.
Why I picked her: Strelizia brings a power that the other Rider possibilities just do not have. A machine capable of fighting in space, on her own, against overwhelming odds…how could I not put my Rider eggs in this basket? Hiro and Zero Two are the perfect pair to pilot this mecha. Even without the experience of other pairs, they pick up on each other’s wavelengths and are consistently a force. Additionally, the Apus state magnifies Strelizia’s power, defense, and scale in such a way that no other Rider can measure up.
Anime Holy Grail War Rider – Conclusion
The Rider class gave me plenty of options to pick from too! Boy do I regret limiting myself to just four possibilities! I could have included the Yellow Flash of the Leaf/4th Hokage Minato Namikaze or Tenya Iida, the man with literal engines in his legs, or a guy like Speed of Sound Sonic (who gives One Punch man a run for his money)! There was even consideration for Bishamon but she’s a real goddess of war and I didn’t know how to judge her against “mere mortals”.
Consequently, all these possibilities make it a tough decision. Maybe none of them should be easy decisions. I’d still value some back and forth in this series though. What Rider candidate might I have overlooked? Do you know of some speed specialist that could stand up against Strelizia? Feel free to reach out to me on my social media (Facebook – Instagram – Twitter) and engage with me. I’d love to know what you think!
Featured Image: Graphicsmith – Ufotable & Aniplex