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Kiritsugu Emiya is a character from the Fate franchise created by Type Moon, who is one of the central characters in Fate/Zero, and is referenced in Fate/stay night and Fate/kaleid liner prisma Illya.  He's the master of the Saber Class Servant in the Fourth Holy Grail War in Fate/Zero, the husband of Irisaviel von Einzbern, the business partner and occsional lover of Maiya Hiasu, the father of Illyasviel von Einzbern, and the adoptive father Shirou Emiya, the protagonist of Fate/stay night.  

Why He Rocks

  • Incredibly sleak and appealing character design, from his long, flowing, black cloak, to his spiky black hair, to the fact that he smokes all the time, which effortlessly brings to live the brooding and tragic nature of his character.  
  • He's one of the most effecient characters in all of Fate/Zero, as he makes so many kills, even though he's hardly ever seen by his enemies.  
  • Outstanding voice acting in both sub and dub.  
  • He has interesting relationships with many other characters in the series.  
    • He doesnt' get along with Saber because of their differing ideologies; Saber believes that the battlefield is a glorious place, which is a belief that has kept her going despite all the bloodshed, while Kiritsugu believes that it's nothing more than hell, which is one of the biggest reasons for his entire quest in the Holy Grail War.  
    • He has a mostly professional relationship wtih his assisant, Maiya Hiasu, whom he saved from the battlefield some time before the Fourth Holy Grail War, and taught him his way of life and how to defend herself and use weapons.  However, they will occasionally have sex, as being a mercenary he spends a lot of time away from his wife.  
    • He and his wife, Irisaviel von Einzbern, have a loving relationship.  She loves her dearly, and despite also loving him back, she accepts the love that Maiya will occasionally give to him, considering how much the two have to spend apart.  
    • He also loves his daughter, Illyasviel von Einzbern, dearly, but was willing to give her up for the sake of his noble aspirations.  
    • He saved Shirou from the burning reckage caused by the end of the Fourth Holy Grail War; he saw Shirou as a beacon of hope that he hadn't sacrificed everything for nothing, and as such continues to live, adopting Shirou.  Kiritsugu is where Shirou got his desire to become a Hero of Justice.  
    • Kiritsugu saw Kirei Kotomine as his greatest rival during the Fourth Holy Grail War, Kirei returning Kiritsugu's feelings, and the two have several fights in the series.  
    • While they have no actual encounter in the series, it's easy to analyze that if Kiritsugu had met Rider, they wouldn't have gotten along, as Rider clearly believed that the battlefield was a glorious place, similar to Saber, whereas Kiritsugu's beliefs were the exact opposite.  
  • Despite not liking Saber, he's stated by Irisaviel to not be descrimatory, as supposedly he never looked down on her for the fact that she's a woman instead of a man, like the King Arthur legend stated.  
  • He's a sympathetic character, who desires the Holy Grail so he can wish for all conflict in the world to end, which he acquired due to his bloodstained, tragic past.  

The ONLY Bad Quality

  • Some viewers might find Kiritsugu to be rather unlikable because of how cold, emotionless, and cruel he tends to be, even though his pesonality is well explained in his backstory, particularly during episodes 18 and 19.  

Trivia

  • Takashi Takeuchi feels that the young Kiritsugu looks like the protagonist of a shonen manga. While he was the protagonist of Fate/Zero, he is lacking in artwork compared to other characters, as he only appeared on the cover twice. One shot was from the back, while the other was only a silhouette. Gen Urobuchi felt that, because he abstains from the flashiness of Heroic Spirits, the best solution was to make him unnoticeable, as a "character who spreads justice should speak with their back.
  • Despite his shadiness, he still uses boku (僕?), a first person pronoun most generally used by young boys. It was part of Nasu's design of the character, as Urobuchi felt he could never come up with it.
  • Tomonori Sudo was in charge of Kiritsugu's character design for the anime version. He first thought Kiritsugu was a character who was not capable of expressing much emotion. Since he's a character with the strength to blot that out, it was a difficult thing to bring out the side of him that's rather frail and weak in comparison to his hard exterior.
  • When Rikiya Koyama first played Kiritsugu in Studio Deen anime adaptation of Fate/stay night, he got one dialogue where Kiritsugu looked at the night sky and said "the moon is beautiful tonight" and then died with a sad laugh. However the staff were so touched that they made him do take after take of the line. Koyama was glad to do it, but he wondered why they were so concerned about one line in a huge production. Later on he found out the line was a key point that started the entire story of Fate. He was very surprised when he heard that. Because he had been in that, he was able to play the part of Kiritsugu again in Fate/Zero. He had never thought that tiny part would lead to a development like this.
  • Kiritsugu is one of the most popular characters in the entire franchise.
    • In the first Popularity polls of Fate/stay night in 2004, Kirtsugu was ranked 20th.
    • In the second Popularity polls of Fate/stay night in 2006, Kirtsugu was ranked 32nd.
    • In the Type-Moon's 10th Anniversary Character Poll, Kiritsugu from Fate/Zero was ranked 11th, the fourth most popular male character. Kiritsugu from Fate/stay night was ranked 206th.
  • In  Japanese, Kiritsugu is voiced by Rikiya Koyoma as an adult and Miyu Irino as a child, in all versions.  In English, he's voiced by Kirk Thornton as an adult in Fate/stay night 2006 and Fate/stay night:  Unlimited Blade Works Movie, Matthew Mercer in Fate/Zero, Fate/stay night:  Unlimited Blade Works TV, and Fate/stay night:  Heaven's Feel Movies as an adult, and Marianne Miller as a child, (in Fate/Zero).  

Quotes

  • I was reckless when I was young. I educated myself by cursing the heartlessness of the world. The world was cruel – so I made myself more heartless and used that as a weapon, trying to follow through on my ideals.
  • If I can, I'd prefer that nobody be sad.
  • Unfortunately… being a hero is a limited-time thing. When you grow up, it becomes harder to call yourself one. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to realize that.
  • I don't think it's possible to save everyone. I just want to save as many as I can.
  • Righteousness can't save the world.
  • The world as it is, the human nature as always, it is impossible to eliminate battles. In the end, killing is necessarily evil. If so, it is best to end them in the maximum efficiency and at the least cost, least time. If you want to slander that as foul and demean that as nasty, then do as you wish. Justice can not save the world. I have no interest with things like that.
  • On the battlefield, there is no place for hope. What lies there is only cold despair and a sin called victory, built on the pain of the defeated. All those people who met there have wholeheartedly admitted the evil and foolishness of this act called war. As long as people don’t repent and don’t regard it as the most evil taboo, then hell will endlessly reappear in the world.
  • Justice cannot save the world. It is useless.
  • Saving one person means not to save another.
  • I will end that cycle. Even if I am to carry all the evils of this world, it won’t matter. If that can save the world, then I’d gladly accept it.
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