|“||I'm not annoyed at you, I'm annoyed at myself for not achieving what I wanted.||„|
|~ Rin Tohsaka|
Rin Tohsaka is one of the three main heroines of the visual novel and anime series Fate/stay night. She is the next head of the prestigious Tohsaka family who acts as the Master of Archer in the Fifth Holy Grail War. She acts as the main heroine of the Unlimited Blade Works route as well as Shirou's love interest during that route.
She is voiced by Kana Ueda in the Japanese version of the anime and Mela Lee in the English version, both of whom also voice Rachel Alucard.
BackgroundTwo centuries ago, the Tohsaka House, in collaboration with the estates of Makiri and von Einzbern, helped found the Fuyuki Holy Grail Wars. The land of Fuyuki City, which possessed the second greatest spiritual power in all Japan, was owned by Rin's ancestor, Nagato Tohsaka; at the behest of the von Einzberns, he provided his property as battleground for present and future wars. Nagato was a kirishitan, as well as a pupil of Zelretch; these titles gave him considerable influence on both the Mage's Association and the Church, allowing the Tohsaka to participate in the Holy Grail Wars, free from harassment by either organisation.
Rin was brought up as the successor to her family's magecraft, and was instructed by her father to prioritize sorcery over her own interests. Ten years ago, Tokiomi Tohsaka was selected as a Master in the 4th Holy Grail War, and Rin was entrusted to take care of the Tohsaka estate until his return. Her mother, Aoi Tohsaka, was left in a debilitated state from the war, so her care was left to her guardian, Kirei Kotomine. After her father was killed, Rin continued to improve her sorcery, with some guidance from Kirei Kotomine. To divert attention from her private life, Rin has diligently strived to earn the admiration of her peers, even though she is secretly stingy, tomboyish, and a slacker. The rights to the Tohsaka lands were inherited by Aoi after Tokiomi's death, and subsequently inherited by Rin after Aoi's death. Kirei managed them as Rin's guardian, and because of his foolhardy and coarse management, the majority of profitable properties ended up in the hands of others. It is possible that he believed the wealth was bad for her upbringing due to following the principle of humbleness and poverty.
Although Rin resents the sacrifices she has endured for the sake of tradition, she is fiercely competitive and eager to prove herself as a skilled and capable sorcerer. She was immensely disappointed at summoning Archer and ended up in a quarrel with him; however, the duo soon reconciled and set aside their differences and quickly got along.
Rin is a perceptive, serious, resourceful and very competitive person. Though she is widely-admired at school as a prim and proper honour student, it is a front she puts up in order to prevent others from prying into her life. In private, she is shrewd, stingy, bossy and irritable but usually means well for those she cares about. She is known as a model student and idol of her school. Her manner of speech is often hostile and dismissive of other people, but deep down she has a caring, big-sisterly disposition. Her tendency of making trivial mistakes at the worst possible moment is a hereditary curse. Though she really is a lot nicer than she seems, she claims to always make her decisions based on cold, rational logic in the end. In her own words, it's "not a very cute personality". In fact, her choice in personal clothes is probably an overreaction to that.
Despite claiming that she is willing to do anything in order to win the Holy Grail War, no matter how underhanded, Rin has a deeply rooted sense of honour, which is shown by her refusing to dispose of Shirou despite numerous easy chances of doing so and no matter how much Archer pesters her about it, simply because she owes him and deems disposing of him without clearing her debts to be cheap. Indeed, contrary to the typical reputation of magi, Rin is far from a sociopath and in fact displays strong moral standards multiple times; she is disgusted by the idea of Servants absorbing the mind and soul of humans just to increase their own mana, especially since the mana they get from their Masters should be more than sufficient, and considers such a thing too horrible to even think about. She also despises the rule that magi must eliminate any witnesses of the Holy Grail War, which is why she is always careful to make sure that there are no witnesses, and believes in never attacking an opponent while they have their guard down; while she made an exception for Shirou once, it was a bluff to get him to take his situation more seriously, since she knows that not everyone has the same standards as she does. For the sake of her deceased father and her family's name, Rin seeks to obtain the Holy Grail, though she has little personal desire for it, making her seemingly the perfect Master for Archer, who also has no desire for it.
During her childhood, she understood the Fourth Holy Grail War about as much as Shirou understands the Fifth, seemingly understanding while not actually comprehending it. She saw her father as a great magus who must be respected and loved, but failed to understand the negative aspect of his personality, the cold-heartedness that accompanied such an ideal. If he had lived until Rin could actually understand his personality, it is likely that it would have greatly affected the development of her own personality. It is unknown if she would have opposed such inhumanity and left the path of a magus, or if she would have become a “perfect and cold-hearted” magus like her father. Either fate for Rin would have been one far away from happiness. Due to Tokiomi's early and untimely death, she wasn't aware of the original goal of the Holy Grail War to open a “hole” beyond the World.
Unbeknownst to her sister Sakura, Rin feels guilty and believes that she had abandoned Sakura after she was adopted into the Matou household, as well as the fact that she never came to rescue her. This guilt is precisely what drives her to revive Shirou, Sakura's target of affection, at the brink of death. While Rin eventually admits that she has always watched Sakura from afar, she never realised how much Sakura suffered under the Matou and fooled herself into thinking Sakura was happy to alleviate her own guilt.
All in all, Rin spends just as much time quarrelling with Shirou as she did cooperating with him. She's a mischievous girl at heart, so she loves teasing serious people such as Shirou. However Rin did wanted to kill him when she saw his shed when she saw his Gradation Air thinking that he lied to her. Although she claimed to be not interested in anyone, the Heaven's Feel scenario revealed that Rin has been attracted to Shirou after witnessing his stubborn attempts to finish a high jump that he had no chance of finishing when they were younger. Rin was very supportive of Shirou's relationship with Saber in the Fate route. In Unlimited Blade Works, they became aware of their mutual crush and attraction which developed to love. In Heaven's Feel, Rin reveals her attraction to Shirou while giving advice for Sakura and their closeness makes Sakura jealous and resentful of Rin.
Her hobbies include admiring jewels. Although wealthy from her family's magical patents, she feels somewhat ashamed of having to rely on the work of previous generations.
Fate/zeroRin appears as a minor character in Fate/Zero. She first appeared when Kariya Matou visited her and her mother Aoi. During Kariya and Aoi's conversation it revealed that Sakura was sent to the Matou family, an incident which deeply upset Rin and she avoids speaking of it. Shortly before the war begins, Rin's father Tokiomi acquires Kirei Kotomine as a student. Despite her father's confidence in his abilities, Rin is wary of Kotomine, going so far as questioning him to determine if she can trust him to protect her father. Ironically it was Kirei who murdered her father.
Throughout the Fourth Grail War, Rin and Aoi reside with Rin's maternal grandparents outside of the Fuyuki City area for their own personal safety. When children begin disappearing from Fuyuki City as a result of Ryuunosuke Uryuu and Caster kidnapping them, Rin sets out on her own to find one of the missing children, a girl named Kotone whom Rin was friends with. Using her elementary magic skills and a magical compass from her father, Rin's attempt goes awry and she winds up lost and in danger of being attacked by Caster's monsters. Her mother finds her shortly after Rin is saved by Kariya, though Rin fainted soon after seeing the terrible changes to Kariya's face. The anime expands Rin's short adventure, resulting in her meeting Ryuunosuke Uryuu in person and freeing the children he kidnapped. While escaping she is attacked by Caster's Horror, though she is saved by Kariya. The incident concludes as it did in the novel, where Rin faints and Kariya brings her to a park where Aoi finds them.
When Tokiomi visits his wife and daughter one last time before the conclusion of the war, he presents Rin with his necklace (the same one that Rin would use to summon Archer) and some books, as well as his reasons for allowing Sakura to be adopted into the Matou family and words encouraging Rin to become a powerful magus. The meeting would be the last time Rin ever saw her father before his death. In the likelihood of his own death, Tokiomi arranges for Kotomine Kirei to become her guardian and teacher until she comes of age.
Rin's final appearance occurs in the epilogue of the series, during the funeral of her father. Thanks to Tokiomi's careful preparations, she has already obtained most of her family's crest and has become the next head of the Tohsaka family despite her young age. Rin shows no visible distress at her father's death, even as she is forced to care for her mother, who suffers from brain damage and still believes that Sakura and Tokiomi are with her, leaving Rin to feel lonely within her own home. Kirei, in hopes of eliciting an unhappy reaction from Rin, gives her the Azoth Knife, telling her that Tokiomi had given it to him but omitting that he had used it to kill Tokiomi; to Kotomine's secret delight, Rin is overcome with emotion and weeps.
Fate/stay nightRin narrates the prologue of Fate/stay night, detailing her first three days involved in the 5th Holy Grail War. In her dialogues, she reveals to her Servant Archer that she is only participating in the war out of her own competitive desire to become the winner. She also expresses dissatisfaction with Archer, for she was attempting to summon a Saber-class Servant, though she quickly grows accustomed to him.
After scouting out Fuyuki City, Rin is caught off-guard at Homurahara Gakuen by Lancer, who then engages in battle with Archer. This fight is interrupted, however, when Shirou Emiya is discovered and fatally wounded by Lancer; Rin, who has sympathy for Shirou, uses her family's treasured pendant, which possessed a strong concentration of Mana, to repair his heart. After she returns home, she realizes Lancer will continue to hunt Shirou when he realizes Shirou is not dead, prompting her to sprint toward Shirou's neighborhood. It is here that she first encounters Saber, and the three Fate/stay night scenarios branch off.
By the conclusion of the prologue, Rin would have used two Command Seals on Archer; the first is to force him into submission after he acts insubordinate to her briefly after he is summoned. The second is to force him into ethereal form before he is killed by Saber, except for Unlimited Blade Works path where Shirou uses command spell to stop Saber's attack instead. In all scenarios, her position as narrator is replaced by Shirou. Rin acts as an advisor to Shirou, dutifully attempting to school him in traditional sorcery in light of his powerful Servant, Saber. Although Shirou's recklessness results in the death of Archer, she bears Shirou no ill-will, though she hides bitterness at her loss of both her Servant and her chance at winning the war. Rin is later stabbed by Kotomine in Shirou's home, though she survives and ultimately leaves for London at the war's end to become a true magus.
Unlimited Blade WorksThe next day, when all other students and teachers leave the school, Rin starts her assault on Shirou, relentlessly pursuing him with the intent to kill him unless he surrenders Saber's Command Spells. She is interrupted at the last moment by the sudden appearance of Rider, who attacks a student. Shirou and Rin promptly team up to drive Rider away. Shirou and Rin form a truce and begin searching for possible candidates for Rider's Master. While Shirou goes to the Ryuudou Temple, Rin through the magic of Caster, who also wishes to take away his Command Spell. Archer interrupts and saves Shirou while Saber confronts Assassin. It is at this moment that Shirou starts to get even more irritated by Archer, who has looked down on his ideals. Archer then attacks Shirou, but is stopped by Saber and Assassin. Shirou and Rin form a truce and begin searching for possible candidates for Rider's Master. While Shirou goes to the Ryuudou Temple, Rin begins to have dreams about Archer and his past as a hero who was betrayed by his ideals. After she finds out about Archer going to the temple to save Shirou, Rin apologizes to Shirou for Archer's actions and tells him that she used a Command Spell to order Archer to never attack Shirou. In order to make it easier to plan and strategize, Rin comes to stay at Shirou's house.
The next day, Rin takes Shirou on a date, bringing Saber along. On returning home, they find Caster holding Taiga as hostage. When Shirou tries to follow her demands, Caster releases Taiga and strikes Saber with the Rule Breaker, transferring Shirou's Command Spells to her. At Saber's urging, Shirou and Rin leave. With his Command Spells gone, Rin declares that she will fight Kuzuki and Caster with only Archer, despite Shirou's protests.Shirou follows Rin and witnesses her confronting Kuzuki and Caster in the Kotomine Church, their new base of operation. To her shock, Archer suddenly betrays Rin and attacks her. Shirou saves her, and although she is reluctant, she eventually thanks him and accepts his help again. With Archer gone, both decide to ask Illya and Berserker for their help. Unfortunately, they arrive too late and find Shinji and Gilgamesh have already killed them.
They return to the Kotomine Church, where Lancer fights Archer again. Archer admits defeat and retreats into the church. Meanwhile, Shirou and Rin team up to fight Kuzuki and Caster, ending in a stalemate. Caster tries to turn the tables and use a spell to completely dominate Saber and send her against Shirou and Rin. But before she can, Archer arrives and attacks Kuzuki, revealing his true motives about killing Shirou in the process. Rin makes a new contract with Saber, thereby making her Saber's master. Archer then kidnaps Rin and takes her hostage to the Einzbern Castle. There, Shinji tries to rape her, despite her warnings that he is just being manipulated. She is ultimately rescued by Lancer, who also kills Kirei.Shirou, Rin and Saber reach Gilgamesh's new hideout, the Ryuudou Temple. Rin saves Shinji as Shirou successfully defeats Gilgamesh. However, Gilgamesh revives one last time to try and make him the new incarnation of the Holy Grail. Fortunately, Archer, who also appeared to help Rin at the same time, comes to Shirou's aid. Rin bids her Servant goodbye, as Archer tells her to take care of his younger self, hoping that her care of Shirou will change the future and grant his wish to save Shirou from his ideals. In the end, Rin finally sees Archer with a geniune smile, the same one as Shirou's.
In Rin's True Ending, she heads off to the Mages' Association after she graduates, and asks Shirou if he would be willing to travel with her to London as her apprentice so they can stay together and she can watch over him, though they both know he would say yes.
In Rin's Good Ending, she keeps Saber as her Servant, and Rin and Shirou live a normal happy live.
Heaven's FeelIn "Heaven's Feel" scenario, she reveals to Shirou that Sakura is actually her biological sister who was adopted into the Matou family. Despite her cold words that Sakura must be killed to prevent the Shadow inside her from killing more people, Rin is actually reluctant to kill her sister. In the climax of the route, Rin uses the Jeweled Sword Zelretch to fight Sakura; during the fight, the sisters are finally able to admit how they truly feel towards one another. Though Rin is stabbed, Sakura realizes her sister's love for her and manages to regain control of herself long enough for Shirou to trace Rule Breaker and free her from the Shadow's control. The sisters reconcile their relationship in both the Normal and True Ending for the route.
Ten years after the end of 5th Holy Grail War (on the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works routes), Lord El-Melloi II arrived in Fuyuki and together with the head of the Tohsaka clan, Tohsaka Rin, set out to completely take apart the Great Grail. The Association was planning on bring back the Greater Grail, so the two sides were completely opposed. After the end of the great turmoil of the same magnitude as the Grail War, the Greater Grail was completely dismantled and The Grail Wars of Fuyuki came to a complete conclusion here.
Fate/hollow ataraxiaTwo months ago, before of events of Fate/hollow ataraxia, Rin was performing one of her experiments in Einzbern Castle in Fuyuki with Illyasviel, using one duplicate of Jewel Sword of Zelretch to transform it into a pendant to be able to use it as part of their experiment to travel to different parallel worlds. The result was that the experiment was a failure and now in Fuyuki City, all and any event is possible, that's why the Servants and Masters were killed in the 5th Holy Grail War were revived (except Kirei Kotomine), even though the Holy Grail was destroyed by Shirou and Saber (possibly these events occur after the Fate route, since this route is the only one where Illyasviel is still alive). So Rin was to start her studies at the Mage's Association again to avoid being punished for messing with the reality time-space in Fuyuki City, returning two months later. In Fate/hollow ataraxia, when she wields the Kaleidostick, another of Zeltretch's inventions, which when activated transfers knowledge from an alternate version of its user into its current wielder, in addition to providing an ample source of Mana. However, the Kaleidostick dislikes its creator, and frequently manipulates its user into humiliating situations. In Fate/hollow ataraxia, the Kaleidostick is responsible for transforming Rin into the magical girl Kaleido-Ruby. Also Rin's rival from Clock Tower, Luviagelita Edelfelt is introduced.
At the night of the final loop, Rin guards the Fuyuki bridge with her servant, Archer, from a horde of "monsters" to prevent them from chasing after Shiro/Avenger.
Carnival PhantasmShe makes small appearances in the first episodes, but she has a major appearance in Episode 4, in which Shirou asks her to record a T.V. show for him, but it turns out to be too much for her since she doesn't know anything about technology despite Shirou's instructions. She panics, not knowing what to do, until Archer (who was amusing himself by watching her) explains her how to record only for the embarrassed and angered Rin to kick him out of the house. In the end, Shirou tells Rin that she recorded the wrong show.
She seems to be quite obsessed with money.
In Episode 9, she and Archer compete at the Grail Prix, in which she uses a pink car called "Unit Get Money". In Episode 12, she is one of Shirou's dates, and he took her to the movies. She finally appears at the Ahnenerbe party, talking with Akiha, Caren and Azaka.
As the successor to the Tohsaka household, Rin excels in Flowing/Transferring of Power, which includes storage of Prana in objects, typically Jewels. Because the amount of energy a magus can release at one time is restricted by bodily limitations, Rin has been able to accumulate all of the Prana generated by her body during her lifetime through jewel crystallization. As with practicing of sorcery, charging these jewels has become a daily process for her. When Rin's stored power is needed, she can utilize the jewels for an instantaneous release of A-rank great magic capable of countering a spell from Caster's magecraft from the Age of Gods or taking one of Berserker's lives by using four jewels. Their speed of release is great enough that it can match Caster's High-Speed Divine Words. As of the beginning of Fate/stay night, her savings consist of twenty jewels containing the energy she has saved since she was much younger, each costing ten million yen, approximately one hundred thousand dollars, to create. She uses ten during Archer's summoning ritual, and uses the remaining ten during the battles of the three routes.
Her most common offensive spell is a Finnish technique known as Gandr, which concentrates Prana into Rin's forefinger, resulting in a hazy black orb subsequently fired like a bullet. Originally intended to be a curse, Rin's variation on Gandr takes on an unusual, corporeal form. Additionally, Rin has bypassed any need for a verbal component to initiate this spell, and she can fire many Gandr shots in an instant.
Rin is also proficient with reinforcement sorcery; although not her specialty, she begins Fate/stay night with far more skill than Shirou Emiya has in the discipline. This spell is employed only once, when Rin uses reinforcement on her legs in the Fate/stay night prologue in an attempt to give herself enough speed to distance herself from Lancer. This displays her talent in the field, as the application of reinforcement to enhance parts of a living being is considered the pinnacle of difficulty.
In accordance with the teachings of Tohsaka Nagato, Rin has also learnt a secret style of Chinese kenpo, which she uses to great effect against Caster during UBW, though her proficiency pales in comparison to the likes of Souichiro Kuzuki or other, more straightforward martial-arts types.