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Mischief Maker

Fate/Stay Night, or: Fortnite: The Anime


Fate's what happen when you become a big name studio after being a garage studio and decide to go as hard on the anime as possible. Like a drug, almost. It's also the reason why, when you're googling historical figures, and among the pictures of statues and books, you see big tiddy anime girl, ridiculously handsome men, or shitposts like this:

The demonic archer Oda Nobunaga, shown having ideas other than unifying Japan.

Functionally, Fate is by now a media empire, spanning several games, TV series, manga, anime, it's a whole entire shebang. This post will be, let's call it, "entry level" into the Fate franchise. As the story is one of the most anime to the extreme types, I'm going to start by explaining some basic terms, then the basic caveat of one universe, then another universe, and then give brief summaries of the individual pieces of media.

Strap the fuck in, it's time for Anime. And there will be spoilers, I will put them behind spoiler bars.


I'm going to try to approach this organically. You turn on the first episode of Fate/Stay Night, you watch it, and you want to know more before you start watching. Things that aren't immediately useful to the core Fate/Stay Night experience will be added towards the end of this, as they're still important in a peripheral sense.

The Holy Grail War

The Holy Grail War is, usually, a battle royale between 7 teams, each for the prize of a Wish on the Holy Grail. Most Fate stories revolve around this war, and how the standard thing of "7 teams fight" goes horribly wrong, because with what's at stake - the wish - is so desired and so powerful, that every team pulls out all the stops to do it. In Fate/Stay Night's universe, there have been five holy grail wars. So, let's talk about why this is so powerful and so amazing.

Servants & Masters & The Specifics of The Grail War

A Grail War is a war fought with normally 7 Masters, each with an individual Servant, for the honor to use The Holy Grail to grant a wish for both the Master and Servant that wins the war.

A Master is the individual participating in the War. They supply Mana to their Servant, who is the frontline fighter and generally the one doing most of the action.

A Servant is the person a Master summons to fight for them. When you summon a servant, you ask the Grail System to grant you, "A hero from history" as recorded in, well, the center of the universe. The system looks at how you're summoning, such as if you're using anything to influence who it picks, and then it takes that person from history, copies them, stuffs them into a rough framework called a Class, and then puts that copy in front of you, who in theory, should obey you. Servants aren't robots, and there's thousands of asides where a Servant & a Master had a disagreement and it ended in death. A Servant can only be summoned as long as there's a master, but while they're disinclined to not listen to them, they don't 'die for real' - it's more they get kicked back into the system. That said, Grail Wars are (in universe) a rare enough event that they'd prefer to stick around as long as they can, to get a shot at their wish.

Servants, when summoned, are granted basic knowledge to function in society, to shortcut a master needing to explain several hundred to several thousand years of technological advancements, and to streamline things. They're aware of basic laws and social norms to the society they exist in. Weither they follow them is another matter entirely, as they retain their personality and memories of their life. King Alexander, for example, when he is summoned late at night, asks where the Library is, because he wants to look at an atlas, to see how big the world is now, compared to when he lived. When he's told where, but because it's closed, he simply tears the gate off and walks in - because, "I'm the King, nothing is closed to me!" Heroes maintain their memories of life, up to and including their death - indeed, to them, being summoned is basically a second chance at life, and they can, and do, comment on misinterpretations they held, react to how people see them.

When you summon a servant, for the most part, you do not summon the actual full person, from history. You summon what is functionally, "The collective consciousness of humanity and how they think of them," combined with both the desires of the hero themselves, and any back-end trickery that usually goes on in complex anime systems like this. You summon the Legend, the Larger-Than-Life mythos. Alexander the Great becomes a hulking beast, seven feet tall and a giant slab of meat. Creatures and people thought of as demons and monsters can actually turn into those when summoned. If there's a large enough disconnect between the actual person and what people thought of them as, said servant will even remark on it and complain about it. Hans Christian Anderson, for example, becomes summoned as a child, because people thought someone who wrote such fairy tales must be an eternal youth. His actual personality is that of a bitter, angry old man, upset that people ignored the suffering he drew from that and his shitty life.

Several heroes are genderswapped, and the external version of this is the writers going "if we just do normal history we're gonna have a lot of men and not a lot of women well known, so we're going to make some of them women." In-universe, the line is "People thought they were Male, but are actually Female/Nonbinary, and the hero themselves keeps this form due to their desire when summoned."

Servants can fall into one of many classes. Originally 7, this has since been expanded to a whole fucking lot. I'll cover the basic 7 in depth, and then give a brief primer of the Extra Classes. Note that the entire class system, and its powers, are heavily based on tabletop RPGs, so when I mention attributes, ranks, and capitalized skills, these are quantifiable numbers in the Fate universe. There's even in universe character sheets.

Saber's character sheet, as seen by her Master.

Two important notes about classes

First, a hero can, and very frequently does, qualify for multiple classes. What a hero qualifies for is based off of their deeds in life. And most heroes have such a wide array of deeds, that they can be multiple classes. Cu Chulain, Irish myth hero, qualifies as four classes - Lancer, Caster, Rider, and Berserker - due to the nature of his myth and the deeds described in them.

This leads into the second note, in that when you summon a hero into a class, they get only those "abilities." To use Cu Chulain as an example, when you summon him as a Lancer, he gains speed, proficiency with Gae Bolg, but he does not get his Rune Magic or his riastrad, his battle frenzy. Servants are aware that they COULD possess those abilties, and sometimes heroes possess minor versions of those in other classes, but by and large, when you summon a Lancer, you get a Lancer, and not a Lancer-Mage.

Saber - The Knight. A sword user, the honorable Medival Knight. Sabers are considered the most powerful class, and most Masters, if they can, will go for a Saber for this reason. Having exceptionally high ranks in most every skill but Magecraft, Sabers are considered superb All Rounders, able to do most anything - if not to the level of the specialized classes, well enough to get by. They prefer to attack head on, lacking most stealth or roundabout ways of attacking, which ends up being their weakness. But most Sabers can weather sneak attacks. Mostly.
Example Sabers: King Arthur, Richard the Lionheart, Charlemange

- The Hit and Run. Spear users almost exclusively, Lancers are for quick hit & run tactics. They lack the flash of other classes, and the additional benefits of a Saber class, but Lancers are considered The Reliable Class. Their only true extra ability is Magic Resistance, and most fall back on their speed, and mastery of long distance melee weapons, to win a fight.
Example Lancers: Karna, Vlad III the Impaler, Cu Chulain

- The ranged user. Archers use "ranged weapons", and as technology moves past bows, gun users and cannon users get lumped into here. Archers strike from afar if they can, have superb magic resistance, and have the greatest ability to act without their master needing to give them power or even be near them. This makes Archers excellent scouts, as most heroes who qualify for Archer were known for being able to suss out threats before the enemy ever saw them or heard them. Archers have little extra attributes beyond what's listed, but they are VERY powerful in those fields.
Example Archers: David (of David & Goliath), Robin Hood, Orion

- The Mounted Knight. Riders are generally, well, known for riding steeds and machines. The Calvary Knight, the Ace Pilot, the skilled Horseback Rider. All fall into the Rider class. Riders generally have lower attributes than the other classes, but this is balanced by their mount granting them powerful abilties or techniques. A skilled Chariot-user, for example, would by themselves be weak, but on their Chariot, they're more deadly than other classes. This is also their weakness, however, as generally these special abilities cost severe amounts of Mana, or have limited uses. Dodge or otherwise nullify it, and Riders are easy pickings without some kind of backup ability.
Example Riders: Sir Francis Drake, Ivan the Terrible, Alexander the Great

- The Mad Warrior, Berserkers are the rage beast, a hero who has gone mad with anger and just rampaged in their life. When a master summons a berserker, they have the option to place a unique skill called Mad Enhancement on the servant. Depending on how high a rank the master does, this enhances the physical attributes of the berseker, at the cost of their mental attributes. At the highest rank, a Berseker can speak in little more than grunts and screams, and do little more than charge the enemy head on - but rarely do berserkers need to do more than that, as their inhuman toughness and strength let them simply weather all but the most powerful of godkilling blows, and cleave the countryside in half with one swing. The other drawback is that this insane power comes at a price - Berserkers have the highest mana cost to a master of all servants, and this can kill a weak master, and even stronger ones generally hesitate, as Berserkers rarely consider their master when rampaging - all they see is to kill and crush.
Example Berserkers: Lu Bu, Leonidas, Beowulf

- The Magic User. Casters are, well, users of powerful magecraft. While not quite able to use True Magic, Casters nevertheless have a very wide ability of spells and techniques, straight out of your Sorcerer's Spell List. Flinging large icicles, calling thunderbolts, or granting themselves inhuman speed, Casters are the Physically Weak, Mentally Strong archetype. Writers, Inventors, and charismatic leaders generally get placed into Caster, and it's becoming the "If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it goes here" Class in Fate. Shakespeare and Hans Christian Anderson, for example, qualify into Caster, for being able "To inspire and write as if magic."
Example Casters: Archimedes, Merlin, Solomon

- The Assassin. Assassins are physiologically and mentally the weakest class, but make up for it in stealth. Generally, you don't send an Assassin into a servant fight. You send it after the Master. Having the ability to hide themselves utterly, wield poisons like nothing else, and kill quickly and efficently, Assassins are what you summon when every other class has been taken, or you're positive you can figure out who the Master is.
Example Assassins: Hassan-i-Sabbah, Dr Jekyll, Mata-Hari
Special Note: For the first few years of Fate's lifespan, Assassin had a unique restriction on it - namely, that to be summoned by the grail, your legend and deeds need to be well known. But a great assassin wouldn't be well known, since part of being an assassin is not being caught. The restriction was that only the founder of Hashashiyan, the first known capital-A-Assassins in history, could be an Assassin - Hassan-i-Sabbah. Indeed, different 'versions' of Hassan show up at least seven distinct times, in seven distinct servants. However, they realized how limiting this was, and said rule no longer applies, Assassin now allowing anyone who was thought to be good at killing quickly and decisively.

Extra Classes
As time marches on, more and more Extra Classes got added, nontraditional classes that are summoned in odd circumstances. These are rarely summoned in proper wars, instead coming about when weird things happen

Avenger - a spirit of vengeance, a hero qualifies for Avenger class when their primary motivation is revenge - to the point of overriding absolutely everything else in their life. Edmond Dantes, the Zoroastrian god Angra Mainyu, and Oda Nobunaga are all Avengers

Ruler - A class that's in charge of watching over a grail war, when a grail war goes horribly badly, the grail will call up a Ruler to personally intervene and deal with problems. Rulers are heroes who have no desire to have a wish granted on the holy grail and have no real desire for one side to win over the other - complete and total impartiality. Currently the most well-known ruler is Joan of Arc

Foreigner - A class of heroes, "foreign to humanity" - basically far realms shit. Fate uses this to explain heroes whose great feats and skills in life were the result of contracting Cthulhu or similar extra-dimensional beings. In some cases, said hero is directly an avatar or conduit for said farbeast.

Fate's way of canon - "Everything is canon, even jokes" - means there's dozens more classes, some jokes, some aren't, but for an entry level, we don't need to go into them.

The core crux of all of Fate's universes, is that at the center of the universe, outside of space & time, is the "Swirl of the Root". What it IS, specifically, and how it interacts with the world, varies depending on the universe. In some universes, it's called the Holy Grail, or the Greater Grail. In others, its the Akasha, or Akashaic Records. Regardless of the name, it is the center of everything, where everything that ever happened, will happen, and is happening is recorded. Interacting with this Root, as its sometimes shortened to, is the underlying goal of most of Fate's franchises. It's said those who touch it get the ultimate power. So, everyone wants to do it. The Holy Grail in Fate/STay Night grants its wish by connecting with this, and functionally rewriting reality to coincide with what you want.

Magic exists in Fate's universe, split into two categories - "True Magic" and "Magecraft."
Magecraft is boiling it down to math and numbers. Characters can, and frequently do, go to magic school and study the numbers until they can do magecraft. Some of them utilize gems. Others use it to enhance their kung fu powers. It's extremely versatile, but highly dependent on what you like doing, how you interpret it, and an innate 'second nervous system' inside you called Magic Circuits. Most people have very low numbers of low quality magic circuits. Mage families frequently have many, high quality, or both. Entry level magecraft is understanding these, seeing what you can do, and working within your limits.

The limits of magecraft are, "What mankind is capable of." Imagine if someone took very, very literally, the phrase, "Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", and applied it to their setting. Magecraft can let someone run super fast, can let someone see over great distances, or form barriers around themselves - things able to be replicated by technological means, more or less.

True Magic is, conversely, what's beyond that. As time marched on, Magic fell into Magecraft as we learned more and more. Currently in Fate's universe, there exist five known True Magics, things that mankind cannot replicate yet. These are big, powerful deals, each being wielded by one person at a time. These are extraneous to the base entry level Fate experience, and I can explain them later, but right now, all that's important is that these are big deals that few people in Fate know about, and even fewer have even seen. One of them, the Third Magic, Heaven's Feel, is a huge big deal to one of the storylines of Fate/Stay Night.


The Moon Cell Supercomputer, as it appears in this universe.

So after several years of writing for the main story, the writers of the company decided to do another universe, with SLIGHTLY different rules. Thus, the "Moon Cell" universe was born, with a PSP game that nobody should ever play. As it is now, the Moon Cell is one of the writers' favorite universe to write stories for, so it's had more and more lore attached to it, and as of this post, a remake of the first PSP game that launched the Moon Cell is getting a full HD remake on next gen consoles. So what's different?

In the Moon Cell universe, the Earth's moon is secretly a supercomputer that functions as the center of the all known universe. It has recorded and observed everything since the beginning of time, and rough dating places it at before the existence of the universe. It functions as this setting's holy grail - the Moon Cell. Intelligent and basically omnipotent, the Moon Cell has everything take place in functionally Mega-Virtual Reality. The grail war, the masters, the servants, the battlefields, it's all digital landscapes. Everything else is, roughly, the same - the classes, getting a wish on the Grail, the works.


So, you have a primer of the setting, and what's going on. So what's the order you consume this in? Well, that's complicated.

Fate/Stay Night: The original Visual Novel, it covers the Fifth Holy Grail War. Had 3 "Routes" - separate story lines that you can go down, called "Fate" , "Unlimited Blade Works" and "Heaven's Feel" - and around 40 or so bad endings. Has pornographic content, sold an insane amount of copies. A PS2 version, called "Fate/Stay Night: Realta Nua" was later release with the porn removed and scenes rewritten to not need the porn. Outsold the pornographic version, more or less established that the porn might not actually be needed anymore.

Fate/Stay Night has been adapted into multiple anime:
Fate/Stay Night (2006 Series) - The first anime adaptation by Studio DEEN Ran for 26 episodes, wasn't very good.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (2010 film) - A quick two hour adaptation of the second route, "Unlimited Blade Works," it was okay. Skippable
Fate/Zero: (2011 Series) - Prequel to the events of Fate/Stay Night, by ufotable. Massively successful, worth a watch.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (2014 Series) - Adaptation of the second route, "Unlimited Blade Works," by ufotable. On Netflix, can be the first thing you watch to see if you like this series and want more.*
Fate/Stay Night: Heaven's Feel: (2018-Present Movie Trilogy) - Three-Part movie trilogy covering the final route, "Heaven's Feel" by ufotable. Gorgeous, but much darker than the other two routes.

Fate/Extra: A PSP game released in 2011 that launched the Moon Cell universe, it introduced a huge roster of new servants and a somewhat new setting to play around in. Despite the game being atrocious to play - imagine Rock Paper Scissors and you have no way to tell or influence what the computer will do - the setting proved well liked enough that they expanded and iterated on it more. A sequel PSP game called Extra CCC,, a pair of Musou games called Extella and Extella Link, and several novel spinoffs and additional stories drew the setting out quite a bit, and a lot of people do enjoy the futuretech the series presses over the dark fantasy motif the original series has.
Fate/Extra has had one anime adaptation: Fate/Extra Last Encore. A bit of a weird storyline, it talks about what if you failed in what you did in the game? It explores a "bad end" scenario. Borderline impenetrable if you do not have a heavy understanding of Fate, Moon Cell, and at least understand what happens in the PSP game.

Fate/Grand Order: A 2015 Phone game that's still running, it's briefly mentioned here because it's now making Type-Moon all the money in Japan. Acting as sort of a big smash bros-esque "Everyone is here", you summon servants through The Gacha and have them fight for you. Hundreds of servants are avaiable.


Content Warning: Past this line and to the end of this post, potentially triggering subjects are discussed.

It would be insulting at best to not discuss the problematic and potentially triggering content present in the series. Some of it is growing pains. Some of it is just what happens when targeting toxic demographics. Some of it is just, any media made outside of a certain sphere is going to have contents. However, the size and length of Fate means that by volume, it has a lot, and it would be very wrong of me to not at least address, discuss, and warn about it.
Content Warning: Sexual Assault, Violence.

Fate on the whole is a series that with one hand, will show a strong female lead with agency, going so far as to have a male stand in spouting old talking points get annihilated, and then with the other hand will dive into the hardest of the moe moe stereotypes. This is what makes the problematic aspects most troublesome to me - they do, in fact, know better. They HAVE done better. The above thing I mentioned happens very early on, in the very first game. Our (male) protagonist summons a (female) hero to fight in this war, and he tries to prop up the common complaint of "Women shouldn't fight! Men need to protect them!" Almost immediately he's met with "She has LITERALLY TRAINED FOR THIS. She WANTS to do this" - it is pointed out, directly, that she can, and has, trained to fight. But our male protagonist insists, tries to take a blow for her, and gets his spine severed. A single sword swing all but pulps our hero, and only through the grace of magic bullshit is he even alive. The message is clear - there is no such room for "Only men can fight."

So then in the same series, when one of the heroines falls prey to the common refrain of sexual assault as a plot device, how are we to take the writers' views on women? When an evil woman appears whose magic curse lines strongly resemble blood flowing down the legs, complete with other things suggesting that sex makes you impure, what's the message here? That a woman can fight, but can't have sex? The core crux of "femininity" seems to keep coming up. In a side story, a woman makes a bargain with a spirit, and in exchange for power, she has to, "give up being feminine" - and this translates to chopping off her long hair. That's kind of a real gross message, tying gender expression to an outside appearance, and then saying that you're no longer feminine because of it.

It comes off as, first and foremost, multiple writers having clashing ideas. But second, it comes off as malnourished ideas on sex. The idea that a woman can fight, but sex is still this mystical thing that renders a woman impure - it speaks to treating sex as some life-defining moment, and hearkens back to the whore/madonna complex. It also speaks volumes as to the societal divide in sex and violence. Fate has a lot of gratuitous, bloody violence. Large wounds blown in people, graphic dismemberment and impalement. Fate likes to revel in its "dark fantasy" and one of the ways it does this is showing bloody, bloody fights. And this is okay to show for all genders, across the board - violence is okay. It's just how things be. But sex is inherently impure? It somehow changes the person, inherently for the worse?

There have been late-game strides in this - the phone game, Fate/Grand Order, has given us female heroes with their own sexual agency, as well as not treating sex as some horrible awful thing. Queen Medb ends up being less horny in the game than she was in real life, and this includes the below screenshot of her. Remember, this is less horny than she was in real life, where legends say it took 30 men to satisfy her.

On the topic of gender, the game has started to introduce nonbinary heroes, and is poking at heroes whom gender swapping was part of their story and mythos. Are they succeeding? I'm not someone who can say that. But I think an attempt should be noted. The game renders this mechanically, as well - Le Chevalier D'Eon's gender is simply nonexistent, and any spell or technique that would affect only one gender, do not apply to them. They just ignore it. Astolfo, pictured below, is not thought of as weird. Someone brings up how he looks, and the response is just a matter of fact, "he likes what he likes. We have a war to win." "Fair enough." This is good. But it could be better.

Fate has an early problem of seeing women as, ultimately, needing to be protected from sex, and this has only recently been attempted to be shed from it. I genuinely hope they do shed it, because Fate is at its best, in my opinion, when it expounds on and details heroes in the modern day, being given a second chance at life, and pulling deep from their legends to create giant, lovable characters.
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earthquake ace
I'm glad we have a valve for Lyrai to let out the Fate knowledge that would otherwise overflow into respectable places~


Mischief Maker
I will be more than happy to discuss Fate series or any Type-Moon series in here - they all kind of intersect anyway. As well as gush about the latest Fate news. If you have any questions about fate feel free to ask and I will answer to the best of my abiltiy!


does the Underpants Dance
So has there not been another anime series that covers the same arc as the 2006 show? That's literally the only Fate anime I've substantially watched. Or does Unlimited Blade Works count? Or... what.


Mischief Maker
So has there not been another anime series that covers the same arc as the 2006 show? That's literally the only Fate anime I've substantially watched. Or does Unlimited Blade Works count? Or... what.
Correct. The 2006 show covered the first arc, "Fate", but also tried to mesh the other two arcs, into it. It did not go well, from a standpoint of cohesiveness. The 2014 series is ENTIRELY the second route, and the movie trilogy is ENTIRELY the third route.


Loves "Friendly Girls"
I didn't want to shitpost at Lyrai (too much) while helping her write this, so now I'm going to finally say that one of the best things I've learned from doing that work is that "Alter" and "Alter Ego" are actually separate things.

Foreigner - A class of heroes, "foreign to humanity" - basically far realms shit. Fate uses this to explain heroes whose great feats and skills in life were the result of contracting Cthulhu or similar extra-dimensional beings. In some cases, said hero is directly an avatar or conduit for said farbeast.
Or just, like, not actually a person, such as the Voyager probe. Which, let me tell you, is now my favourite thing in Fate, hands down. The Root has decided to make a Servant version of the Voyager probe and based it off Le Petit Prince? Hell yeah.



Red Mage
Staff member
Well, now having had a chance to actually read this my main takeaway is "wait, this isn't just porn!?"


Mischief Maker
Well, now having had a chance to actually read this my main takeaway is "wait, this isn't just porn!?"
Oh no, it hasn't been directly porn in a while. It still has The Horny, but when the non-porn version outsold the porn version, they went "hey wait a minute..."

Which is good because hoo boy the porn is badly written.


Mischief Maker

How serious does Fate/Grand Order take itself?
About the same as the rest of fate, just turned up to 11. When it's serious, it's very serious. When it's insanely stupid, it does not do it by half.


The Goggles Do Nothing
I will be more than happy to discuss Fate series or any Type-Moon series in here - they all kind of intersect anyway.

I have watched four seasons worth of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. I have absolutely no idea who that was made for, how the hell it happened, or why it drifted from a slice of life/reluctant magical girl story into something that involved trips to multiple dimensions.


Find Your Reason

How serious does Fate/Grand Order take itself?

Realtalk: I have nothing but love for awful multilingual puns that sound right if you hear them quickly or are not paying attention, but then you go, "Wait... what?"

I'm REALLY fond of "Chotto a minute", "Hontrue", and "Arigathanks," but "Konnichiwassup" is making googly eyes at me.


Mischief Maker
What the heck is a "Reality Marble"?

Without bogging you down in terminology, its imposing your will on the world. You generate enough magic power, with enough strength of will behind it, to carve out a part of the metaphysical world, and drag yourself and your enemies/allies into it.


Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
When you summon a servant, for the most part, you do not summon the actual full person, from history. You summon what is functionally, "The collective consciousness of humanity and how they think of them," combined with both the desires of the hero themselves, and any back-end trickery that usually goes on in complex anime systems like this. You summon the Legend, the Larger-Than-Life mythos.

. . .

I have Questions.


Mischief Maker
So, Paul Bunyan started out in a parody work - basically a manga series about how to play Fate/Grand Order that was heavy on the jokes, and then they put her into the game itself. Which is why she looks like that, because she started out as just a joke on "A lot of our heroes are females but were males in real life", and then just ran with it. Also she's still over ten feet tall in fate.




Mischief Maker
I have watched four seasons worth of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya.

prisma ilya is like, real bad though. I got through season 1 only on the promise of more action and the first few minutes of S2 made me burn the whole thing and never look back. For the love of King Arthur what kept you going?
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aggro table, shmaggro table
It's a real sasuga nippon moment when you realize that the move away from porn only made the series more horny, not less.


Find Your Reason
So, Paul Bunyan started out in a parody work - basically a manga series about how to play Fate/Grand Order that was heavy on the jokes, and then they put her into the game itself. Which is why she looks like that, because she started out as just a joke on "A lot of our heroes are females but were males in real life", and then just ran with it. Also she's still over ten feet tall in fate.

*clears throat*

When a parody of the thing becomes the thing itself.

Also finally watched the video Ixo posted, and... yep, I can definitely confirm that I tried to watch the original anime to see just what everyone was nuts about in the early 2000s, and bounced hard off of it because the protag was an uninteresting dweeb and the franchise was still mired in its H-game origins. Then I tried to watch the prequel series, assuming a prequel would, you know, start from zero (ha-ha) but I bounced even harder because the plot was inscrutable and there were even worse and far more problematic elements. Now I'm looking at the most recent anime and I'm convinced that, given my history with the franchise, I'll bounce ten times harder.

I... think it's a shame? Because I've seen a plethora of AMVs that make the series look good and interesting and they often showcase excellent fight animation, but I suppose that could be the quality of the AMV over the series itself.
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