Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-6d856f89d9-gndc8 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-16T07:02:15.040Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Artoria Pendragon: Anachronism, Gender, and Self-Acceptance in the Fate Anime Series of Kinoko Nasu and Takashi Takeuchi

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 May 2024

Get access

Summary

In 2004, writer Kinoko Nasu and art director Takashi Takeuchi, founders of video-game developer Type-Moon, released the eroge (adult visual novel) Fate/stay night, which also operates as a bishoujo game, or “pretty girl” game, in which the narrative progresses similar to a “choose your own adventure” story. In its entirety, Fate/stay night consists of three storylines and takes more than 100 hours of combined reading and game play to complete. Along with the narrative, consumers also experience rich illustrations, an original soundtrack, and professional voice-overs. Since its release, Fate/stay night has spawned an entire Fate universe, known by fans as the Nasu-verse, which includes video games, manga, and anime.2 These properties envision a modern-day world in which an underground society of mages compete for control of the Holy Grail by summoning heroes from world history to battle each other, with the last hero standing winning the Grail for his or her mage.3 Figures as varied as Shaka Zulu, Cucullain, and Billy the Kid appear in the Fate properties. Based upon the anachronism of bringing past figures into the modern world, Fate provides the opportunity to examine and update the relevance of classic stories for a contemporary audience. As the Fate name implies, overall the series is concerned with questions of destiny and the desire to change past mistakes, while also posing the question, “What does it mean to be a hero?,” often working to undermine traditional heroic archetypes and historical memory.

One of the main characters across all Fate platforms is Artoria Pendragon, a cis-gendered female who willingly chose to live as the male King Arthur in order to fulfill her duty to rule Britain. Wracked with guilt over the end of her reign, she fights in the Holy Grail Wars to change the past and save Britain, but in the anime series thus far, no one actually ever wins a Holy Grail War, owing to various complications that prevent any resolution. The characters who receive much of the narrative attention in Fate seek the Grail either to impose some ideal vision upon the world or, like Artoria, to correct some past mistake. The inability of anyone to win the Grail and, therefore, fulfill these wishes illustrates the impossibility of imposing one's own vision upon humanity or of altering one's past.

Type
Chapter
Information
Studies in Medievalism
(En)gendering Medievalism
, pp. 83 - 96
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2024

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×