|“||I will break this endless cycle. The Grail will make that possible. I'll ensure the blood I spill in Fuyuki will be the last that humanity will ever shed. If that means I must stain my hands with every evil in the world, I don't care. If that will save the world, I will do it gladly.||„|
|~ Kiritsugu Emiya's goals.|
|“||And there you go. You heard her, Iri. Our Heroic Spirit over there considers a battlefield to be better than Hell. What a joke! A battlefield is Hell itself! There's no hope to be had on one. There's nothing but unspeakable despair! Just the soulless crime we call victory, paid for by the pain of the defeated. But humanity has never recognized this truth. And the reason is that in every era, a dazzling hero has blinded people with their legends and kept them from seeing the evil of bloodshed they bring. True human nature has not advanced a step beyond the Stone Age!||„|
|~ Kiritsugu Emiya, revealing his views on war.|
Kiritsugu Emiya is a major character in the Fatefranchise, serving as a minor character in Fate/stay night and the main protagonist of the novel prequel Fate/Zero (although as the story is told from seven different perspectives, this status is fairly debatable). He is the biological father of Illyasviel von Einzbern and the adopted father of Shirou Emiya. Before that, he was a freelancing mercenary and assassin of heretical magi, which made him infamously known as the Magus Killer.
Although the main protagonist, he's mainly and anti-hero/anti-villain, as he has several personality traits commonly found in villains, such as ruthlessness and having a belief that there are no rules in battle beyond doing whatever is necessary to win. However, he is very tragic and not particularly proud of his methods, merely seeing them as a means to an end.
He is voiced by Rikiya Koyama in the Japanese version of the anime and Matthew Mercer in the English version, the former of whom also voices Azazel.
Born November 11, 1965 in Fuyuki City, Kiritsugu was raised on Alimango Island, where he lived with his father Emiya Noritaka, fourth family head of the Emiya family and a magus who received a Sealing Designation. He became friends with - and had a crush on - Noritaka's assistant, a local girl called Shirley who was four years older than him. However, disaster struck when Shirley became a vampire after she drank a potion, intending for it to prove that Noritaka's research would save the world, and pled for Kiritsugu to kill her but he refused and fled. Their village is overrun by Executors from the Church and Enforcers from the Association, both groups having arrived when they heard rumors of a magus researching into vampirism. Kiritsugu was the only survivor of the 'cleansing', saved by Natalia Kaminski, a freelancer and part-time Enforcer who wanted information on the magus responsible.
Returning to the hidden Emiya residence, Kiritsugu confronted his father on his research and Shirley's death. Noritaka explained that he wanted to become a Dead Apostle to continue with his research on Magecraft longer. In the Fate/Zero novel version, just as Noritaka was planning their escape, Kiritsugu shot him in the back with a pistol, but in the animated version Noritaka was first stabbed by the dagger Kiritsugu received from Shirley and then shot to death with a pistol Kiritsugu found in Noritaka's drawer. To this end, Natalia figured that the only person who could prevent Noritaka from escaping and ensure his death was his own son and she wound up taking Kiritsugu with her.
Realizing that the tragedies he saw in his childhood were common occurrences in the world, the teenage Kiritsugu became a freelancer like Natalia to hunt down heretical magi around the world. Natalia trained him not only in Magecraft, but in tracking, assassination, and all types of weaponry.
One of the mission they went was to hunt down the last Zepter head Heinrich Zepter. Heinrich Zepter was a magus who mastered in the revival of dead flesh. They've tracked Heinrich Zepter down in America, in a village called "Present Mountain" with two thousand people in the community. Kiritsugu and Natalia found out that that the whole community were part of Heinrich Zepter body and they destroyed him with a hand grenade by destroying his core.
During one mission on an Airbus A300 jumbo jet, they were following a magus known as the “Demonic Bee User”, Od Volsack. Natalia was in the plane during the flight while Kiritsugu waited at the destination. It was said that this magus successfully created Dead Apostles and could manipulate the Demonic Ghoul Bees under his control to use poisonous stings to increase the amount of Ghouls under his power. And those Bees caused a fatal disturbance in the plane after the death of Volsack. The Ghoul Bees raided towards the passengers one by one, and as every single passenger had become a Ghoul, were the situation deemed too risky and Kiritsugu shot the plane down before it could land, sacrificing Natalia in the process. In their last conversation via radio, he admitted that she was like a mother to him.
It was then that he became disillusioned with his ideal of becoming a 'hero of justice', as it was impossible to save one person without losing another. However, he continued to fight for this dream, to ensure that everything he had given up would not be in vain. He was eventually branded as the Magus Killer by the Association.
Before Fourth Grail War
Around eleven years before the fourth Holy Grail War, he took on a younger soldier as his apprentice, who he eventually named Maiya Hisau, training her in much the same way Natalia trained him. She became his assistant in the field and also his 'lover', in a purely sexual context.
Two years later, Kiritsugu was hired by the Einzbern family to be their representative in the coming conflict. He entrusted all his equipments including his Thompson Contender to Maiya before leaving. Believing that the Holy Grail could grant his wish for world peace, he left behind his work as a 'hero of justice'.
He first met Irisviel von Einzbern in a tank when Justacheit von Einzbern made her. The Drama CD expands on how they met and their intial reaction. Kiritsugu questioned Acht as Kiritsugu viewed Irisviel useless with no survival skills or defense skills.
Acht took this personally and threw away Irisviel in the disposal yard during in the blizzard to test her durability. Kiritsugu disgusted, rushed to save Irisviel and took her back to the old von Einzbern castle. When she recovered, Kiritsugu decided to educate Irisviel about the current world with movies, pictures and music. Gradually Irisviel became more eloquent and expressive, and she became interested in Kiritsugu himself. Despite Kiritsugu's initial hesitation, they eventually fell in love. However, Kiritsugu knew that a love between the two would be fruitless, as he was aware that he would sacrifice her for the Holy Grail. For Kiritsugu's sake, Irisviel wanted to conceive a child so he would have hope after the Fourth Grail War. Using his sperm, Irisviel artificially conceived a child, named Ilyasviel, who was born one year later.
Kiritsugu wishes to be a "hero of justice" that protects the weak. Kiritsugu's goal was initially to make his actions on the day of killing his father by his own hands meaningful and worthy. Only by hunting and assassinating all heretic magi like his father could he truly prevent such tragedies from occurring again. He lost all traces of youthful innocence after having spent his life going through countless battles while trying to obtain a utopia that could never be fulfilled. After finding out about the existence of the Grail, he wishes to use it to obtain that utopia. He feels no emotion from personal victories over his targets, seeing them as nothing more than successful taunts with calculated conclusions.
He tries to hold to the belief that there is no differentiation in sacrifice, that all life is equal and choosing the path leading to a smaller sacrifice is for the best. With a target that must be eliminated in order to save the world by obtaining the Grail, killing one thousand people to save at least five billion more should be easy for him. He finds himself unable to do so when planning to destroy the Hyatt hotel. He hates the idea of fatal romanticism like the hope that the innocent tenants will be able to escape the hotel in time impeding his abilities. Such ideas and sentiment would kill him on the battlefield, so he feels that he must rid him self of them as much as possible.
He has a close connection to Maiya that is older than than the one with Irisviel, sharing a blood-stained existence not even his wife has ever seen. She acts to help balance his emotions, as she is often even more emotionless than him. Despite being close and having had a sexual relationship for a long duration of time, he shares no romantic feelings for her and attempts to simply regard her as a tool that will eventually die to serve her purpose. Because allowing his wife to sacrifice herself to complete the Grail is a betrayal towards her love, no matter what others say, it is necessary that he does not hesitate in this betrayal. Kiritsugu sees his sexual relationship with Maiya as a rehearsal before this betrayal, a form of self-abuse to steel his nerves while walking down this path. It is probably the sorriest excuse to have an affair, and it is essentially a negative spiral downward without an end.
During the last moments of Maiya's life, he attempts to calmly tell her that she has nothing to worry about because her tasks are complete, and simply state "you will die here." He finds himself unable to speak, and instead he almost finds himself crying for her. She eventually reminds him of his purpose and tells him to save his tears for Irisviel, allowing him to say "Maiya, your task is complete."
Overall, while Kiritsugu is ruthless, calculating, stoic, emotionless, brooding, and cold-blooded who has committed some brutal acts in order to achieve his idealistic goal and mainly has good intentions which makes him an anti-hero.
Kiritsugu Emiya is an infamous mercenary known as the Mage Killer. Despite his brutal methods, he actually has the best intentions of mankind as a whole at heart and enters into conflicts with the intention of ending them as quickly as possible before they can escalate. He has an cynical worldview due to his belief that it is impossible for everyone in the world to be happy; in order to be a true hero, one must eliminate the destructive factors which would in turn threaten the survival of humanity as a whole. Killing one to save a hundred, dozens to save thousands.
Because he finds his normal methods insufficient due to the matter of scale, he chose to work for the Einzbern family, who allowed him to marry into the family. Ten years later, the Fourth Grail War begins and he and his wife Irisviel leave their daughter Illya behind in order to hopefully use the omnipotent wish granting abilities of the Grail to bring true peace. He is the Master of Saber, but the pair are so incompatible that they never speak to each other, leaving Saber to work with Irisviel instead while Kiritsugu operates behind the scenes.
Kiritsugu is only average as a magus, and instead specializes as a "Magus Killer." He has a number of specialties that would not make him very notable within the Mage's Association, but instead make him useful for higher-ups when they need an assassin to kill other heretical magi. Compared to someone like Rin Tohsaka, who would have a high numerical value as a magus, Kiritsugu would have a low value as a magus, but a much higher evaluation as a specialist. His relationship with the Association is much like how the Church treats its Executors. His abilities are great enough that even the Church considers him to be "an individual that requires surveillance." He is noted for many cases of missing persons and accidents believed to be magi he has killed, and many tragedies of the past reported as major acts of terrorism are in reality criminal acts committed for the sake of killing one magus. While there is no actual evidence, events such as planting a bomb in public and striking down an airplane with many passengers on board are believed to be caused by him.
After becoming cursed by Angra Mainyu, he is slowly killed over a number of years as his flesh keeps growing weaker, his limbs become atrophied, and he completely loses the ability to use magecraft. He becomes unable to even find the starting point of a Bounded Field the “Magus Killer” would be able to forcibly break through, and he is left to wander in a blizzard without any hope of finding it. Once he fully succumbs to the curse, he dies peacefully.
Kiritsugu is a very unconventional magus, known as a Spellcaster, that treats magecraft as a mere tool in which he has acquired knowledge rather than the object of his lifelong goals, and he freely supplements it with the use of modern technology to gain an advantage over enemies. Compared to someone like Tokiomi Tohsaka, who refuses to use phones and the like despite their convenience, he freely uses anything at his disposal in order to accomplish his goals. He learned most of his skills from studying Natalia's abilities while also refining his own as her assistant in his pursuit to become a "hunter" that stops other heretical magi like his father. Much of his ability comes from the fact that he can act cold and ruthless to complete his objectives. After having spent time in retirement with his wife and daughter, he believes he has degraded a great deal compared to the Emiya Kiritsugu from nine years before. He is no longer as willing or capable of being as ruthless as he once was due to his interactions with them, which he believes he needs to change. He wishes to restore his cold manner of judgement as fast as possible in order to be able to obtain the Grail.
He developed his skills working as a Sealing Designation Enforcer for a number of years, learning methods of tracking, assassination, the usage of various weapons, and other skills needed to be able to catch up to his prey under all situations and conditions and bring it down. He sought to have his body master the skill of "killing people" that humans have spent an endless amount of time and intelligence to research. He is very skilled with using numerous blasting techniques from the past to the present, and he feels a certain appreciation for the certain art of destruction. He uses C4 combined with a precision blasting demolition technique used primarily to demolish tall buildings, allowing him to destroy the Hyatt hotel with a minimum amount of explosives. With the blueprints and planning, it only takes him an hour execute the entire plan. Targeting the load-bearing walls and key support structures, it collapses downward and inward on its own weight without any debris spreading onto the surrounding streets.
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