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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT FATE (Content Warning)

Yaara

the member formerly known as Alpha Werewolf
(She/Her)
I think if you bounced from Zero you really don't need to try FSN itself, Zero is far more successful at like, everything imo.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
Honestly i just sort of always assumed fate was just one of those cell phone games that consists Entirely of ladies in fetish outfits having conversations about nothing where the goal is get new ladies in fetish outfits by spending real money on a digital capsule toy machine.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
The ones that always get "hilarious" screencaps posted to twitter but it's just two people you don't know being mildly sarcastic towards eachother.
 

Lyrai

Mischief Maker
(she/her)
Fate is not for everyone. And that's fine. I'm not gonna call you a bad person for not liking fate. Everyone has their own thing.

As for Fate/Zero, it was written by Gen Urobuchi the guy behind Madoka and generally known for, uh. That sort of thing.

ufotable is VERY good at fights and has kind of made it their thing to do beautiful animation. But yeah the plot can be hard to get into.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I recently found out that Fate/stay night had a 2008 arcade/PS2/PSP fighting game spin-off in Fate/unlimited codes, which in itself is noteworthy and exciting, but the creative pedigree involved folks like Cavia in one of their later projects before the impending studio closure, as well as Eighting as the primary developer, who of course were no strangers to fast-paced 3D fighting with the Bloody Roar series behind them, and having spent most of the decade working with various licensed anime properties in the genre. The confidence in it being good is there, and as even mere promotional footage may attest to, it is. It's very good, and a gorgeous late-era game for the PS2 in its most-played port. But is its mere existence the only reason I'm bringing it up? Nope. It happened that when viewing the game, a particular character caught my eye. This lady:


Behold Luviagelita Edelfelt. What's even cool about her? Here are a couple of things:

  • she is Finnish as hell. To contextualize the significance here: I'm Finnish! It's about that simple, but of course there's more to say. I usually have no national or cultural pride to speak of, but for whatever reason I get pumped as hell when I see my country and culture represented in media, especially in works created by people not from here. Maybe it's some kind of external validation response, I don't know--but it always happens, and because of Finnish culture's relative insignificance/conflation with other Northern European cultures on a global scale it's all the more appealing in its rarity when it's made explicit. I've interacted with many a terrible media work propelled solely by the knowledge that somewhere in it, a Finn would be present for all of five seconds. I can't in good conscience bring it up as an example of important representation needing to be met in the language these kinds of things are usually discussed, because white Europeans aren't underserved on that front, but as a personal catnip? It's there, and I can't deny it.​
What ties Luviagelita to that cultural identity? On first blush, it's her name. "Luviagelita" is kind of a horrific word salad, but as its component and her prime contracted moniker, "Luvia" is a valid if uncommon word in the language, and morphologically and phonetically sound--"gelita" is harder to explicate. "Edelfelt" is what's eyecatching here, for likely being sourced from well-known Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt. That is in its way a point of specific minority representation, as the name and Edelfelt's own context root it in the Swedish-speaking Finn cultural context that is extant to this day and a heritage and identity that applies to many. The historical Edelfelt was nobility and on good terms with royalty, and that too connects to Luviagelita's portrayal, as she lives the better-than-you rich young lady archetype to a tee, and is particularly suited for Fate's broad-strokes historical stylings.​
Of course, she's visually coded to be Finnish as well. Most strikingly that comes across in her attire being coloured in the blue and white of the national flag, but the common semiotics of "foreign white person" are in play here as strongly as they are for Americans, generally--almost all Finnish people in Japanese media are blonde, and that stands in her case too. It does not reflect reality, even for as homogeneous a population as Finland is, but it's what the stereotype remains.​
  • when you see this character design, what do you expect from her, combat-wise, as while she is from a visual novel one of her early big breaks in prominence was this fighting game spin-off? Probably something light on her feet and quick-hitting, maybe lots of fancy twirls to accentuate the dress and princess curls' movement? Nope, it's pro wrestling, and they even go as far as to specify it as Lancashire-style catch wrestling. Luvia loves wrestling so much that her monikers derive from it, as the "Forklift Lady" and "Hunting Dog of the Ring." This matters to me because while I don't often speak of it at least in the context of this forum, I love pro wrestling and have since childhood, and as a woman or queer person feeling that way is a mixed, conflicted field to navigate at the best of times. In Luvia's particular case the concept is so strong to me because here is a prim and proper Lady with a capital L who presents so femme, and is ready and exhilarated to throw down with vicious combat sports at a moment's notice, mixing it in effortlessly and seamlessly with her magically-endowed abilities as the setting demands. It's a really unique and potent mix, and a rare juxtaposition of archetypal elements where their combination is the entire point and crux of the character, and fist-pumping to behold as she unleashes her ridiculous enzuigiri-to-giant swing-to-German suplex combinations. Fighting games need more characters like her.

  • speaking of characters like her, maybe you'll think of a couple of very conceptually similar women from other fighting games, because I certainly did; Karin Kanzuki of Street Fighter and Emilie "Lili" De Rochefort of Tekken are of similar creative basis as Luvia: rich, full of themselves, trained in martial arts, blonde and chuckle-prone, the works. This is an archetype that exists in nerd media to some prevalence, and for good or ill, it fuckin' always works, because as the two spiritual peers listed, Luvia has one more commonality to exemplify as they do: she's completely and utterly turbo gay. This, too, is a shared aspect, as narratively these women are always defined by their single-minded, obsessive rivalries with their partners--Karin has Sakura, Lili has Asuka, and Luvia has Rin. None of these works will ever come out and say it because they recognize the value of queerbaiting their audience for maintained interest, and likely have more than a little institutionalized queerphobia forbidding them from moving away from the safeties of plausible deniability, but these gals who are not quite pals sure read like intense and prolonged romantic courtship through their entire fictional existences even to eyes who aren't actively looking for the representation or wish-fulfillment. Whatever the exact nature of their relationship, Luvia and Rin are an inseparable unit, where the most significant interactions at least the former ever has with anyone are with the latter. You can deny intent and context, but the relationship itself cannot be erased.​

  • she does these ridiculous finger-gun motions when firing her magic curses (described as "Gandr", of Scandinavian origin) at people; the most powerful form of this magic is called a Finn Shot. What can I really add to that?​
  • you may notice that in some of the art she goes sleeveless. As Luvia usually fights in all her regular attire, the sleeves of her dress are detachable just for that reason. What a good design and character cue!​
  • ultimately what I think is most notable to me about Luviagelita as a design that's inherently valuable and recognizable to people outside of my personal specifics is that she's just a very good piece of visual design in general, and represents things that make me fond of the larger Type-Moon oeuvre, looking from the outside in. My personal context, now as before, have been the intersections with things like fighting games; Melty Blood was a notable game for me in my youth and I like it even more now because I think it best captures company co-founder Takashi Takeuchi's talent for clean-lined and almost anonymously clothed anime folk, communicated in the French Bread pixel art style of the era. It's an appreciation for a period in the medium that otherwise stylistically does not capture the sensibilities, of that 2000s malaise of sorts, but when the relative simplicity of approach of this dōjin studio and creator happened upon a seeming rarity in basically all media, where their featured women went mostly unsexualized in a rampantly sexualized genre, and even in spite of many of their origins in erotic visual novels. Before I even knew of that particular creative context, characters like Arcueid and Aoko stood out for their nondescript fashion, the sheer audacious mundanity that they represented juxtaposed with their supernatural fighting, and that's the expression that I'm drawn to, which really doesn't exist anymore, even from Takeuchi himself. The larger Fate franchise as it exists now is represented by the gacha hell dimension of Grand Order and the ode to pedophilia that is the kaleid liner Prisma Illya corner, so I have no real interest in familiarizing myself with the larger series--I will probably just continue to enjoy some of its past aesthetics, as they existed a decade and more ago, more as sets of evocative archetypes and suggestions of character than as written entities of their own. It's a relationship I'm pretty satisfied with, all considered.​



 

Lyrai

Mischief Maker
(she/her)
The recent mystery-focused anime Lord El-Melloi's Case Files brought her back, for the record. Her involvement is she suplexes robots.

They've kept her wrestling motif in every appearance she's made.
 

Lyrai

Mischief Maker
(she/her)
I can't find the El Melloi II Case Files clip (bunch of takedown notices, but rest assured, it's INCREDIBLE< complete with wrestling bell sounds), but here's a clip from the end of the Unlimited Blade Works anime where she torments Rin and then fights her:

 
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