|Kanshou and Bakuya|
|Title:||Gan Jiang and Mo Ye|
Kanshou and Bakuya: Gan Jiang and Mo Ye (干将・莫耶, ?) are "married" twin swords representing yin and yang encountered by Archer at some point during his lifetime and added to the numerous weapons recorded and stored in Unlimited Blade Works. They are his favored weapons to project, having become his symbols after wielding them all his life. He and Shirou Emiya find the craftsmanship of the blades, rather than what they represent, to be extremely captivating and beautiful, and the swords suit their natural style of fighting. Despite not having a wielder in the legends, they are still Noble Phantasms crafted by the blacksmith Gān Jiàng, Kanshou, of Wu during the Spring and Autumn Period of China. They were crafted more for the sake of crafting, as if questioning the meaning of the swordsmith, than for any real idea behind their creation. They were created without vanity, and lack a sense of purpose found in other swords. They contain no fighting spirit to defeat others or competitive spirit to beat other weapons, and they contain neither the desire to be famous nor the faith to accomplish great deeds.
Upon receiving orders from King of Wu to forge the imperial sword, Kanshou could not think of ways to forge swords that fit such orders. While he was extremely frustrated and desperate, his wife Mò Yé, Bakuya, upon seeing this situation, decided to gamble her own life. The sacrificing of human lives is absolutely necessary in order to forge items reaching the realm of Gods, so Bakuya hurled herself into the furnace in front of the husband she loved and used her own life to help the Essence of Five Mountains and the Metal of Six Heroes meld. Kanshou forged the two swords in grief. Their quality and ability as swords is high due to being made with the best materials and a human sacrifice, and they have shamanistic and ritual aspects as enchanted weapons. The quality of the grips is more important in the practical use of the swords than the ornamental value, and they are noted as being quite big and heavy.
They are identical in shape with the only difference being their color. Kanshou, the black Yang sword, is covered in a hexagonal pattern, and Bakuya, the white Yin sword, has less of the shine of a polished metal in its ore than it has the haze of a cloud. They are rather low ranking compared to other Noble Phantasms, but the dual-wielding style, their experience, and their tracing time make them very reliable. The main ability of the swords is their strong bond with each other, which not only allows them to attract each other, but it is also said they will return their owner even if events cause them to be lost. If one is thrown while the other is held, the thrown sword will return to the wielder much like a boomerang. This works well with projection, allowing an already projected sword to identify a new projection as its partner sword. When both are wielded, magic resistance and physical resistance improve. The original versions of the swords that reached the realm of the Gods due to human sacrifice, rather than the imperfect projected versions, also have a strong affinity against monsters, allowing them to easily cut down creatures like the Gorgon form of Medusa and the extradimensional evil god summoned by Caster in a single strike.
Spirit and technique, flawless and firm
Our strength rips the mountains
Our swords split the water
Our names reach the imperial villa
The two of us cannot hold heavens together
—Two great men, sharing a life.
Shingi, muketsu ni shite banjaku
Chikara, yama wo nuki
Tsurugi, mizu wo wakatsu
Seimei, rikyuu ni todoki
Warera, tomo ni ten wo idakazu
Crane wings (Spirit and technique), without opening (flawless and firm)
Spirit and technique (Strength), reaching the mountain (pierce the mountain)
Spirit and technique (Sword), crossing the Yellow River (split the water)
Name (Fame), ending in a different heaven (reaching the imperial villa)
Two rivals / Two great men (We), sharing a life (cannot embrace heavens together)
Words that seem like spells of warding carved onto the blades have been added by Archer, and it is unknown why he chose to carve them all over the swords. The true meaning behind the words has nothing to do with the ideology behind the creation of the swords, but rather the foundations of his swordsmanship. It also represents Crane Wing Three Realm (鶴翼三連, Kakuyoku Sanren?), a strategy that is the cumulation of Archer's use of the swords, the true meaning behind them, using three consecutive pairs traced ahead of time and the pair of swords' attraction to each other to deliver a fatal attack by projecting them when necessary. The main usage of the attacks is three consecutive X-shaped strikes as shown by Archer use of it in Fate/unlimited codes, though the version used by Shirou after obtaining information from Archer's arm in Heaven's Feel is different.
In Archer's version, the first pair is thrown at the enemy with the purpose of being deflected, while the second is prepared for close range combat. While the enemy is off guard, he slashes with the second pair, and the thrown pair returns and hits the enemy from behind. Finally, the third pair is modified through reinforcement, called Overedge, which makes them twice the size and covers the blade from the ridge to the edge with feather-like splinters, and he performs the final strike with them. The design for Overedge comes from the animated version of the fight between Archer and Berserker, and was created by the art director of the anime, Koyama Toshihisa. Nasu Kinoko fell in love with the dangerous look of the swords, and applied them to Archer's version of the attack in reference material.
Shirou's version used to defeat Saber Alter begins with a thrown pair aimed at the neck, coinciding with the first line of the chant, that is deflected by the enemy, and then closes in for close combat with a second pair. The thrown Bakuya returns from behind to attack the enemy and he immediately strikes with the Kanshou in his hand. Directly afterward, the thrown Kanshou returns and he uses the Bakuya in his hands to attack as well, coinciding with the second and third lines. Saber managed to block all four attacks, but the result left her defenses completely open. He then projects the final pair without any reinforcement to slash the enemy's open defense in a downward X-motion, coinciding with the final two lines. It is essentially a methodical strategy at rendering the opponent defenseless.
Fate/side material - Kansho and Byakuya [Noble Phantasms] English | Japanese
The Yin-Yang paired swords which Archer favoured.
The swords forged by the famed swords smith Kansho of Wu, during the Spring Autumn period of China.
Kansho received orders from the King of Wu to forge the imperial sword, however, he could not think of ways to forge swords that fit such orders. He was really frustrated and desperate.
Seeing this situation, his wife Byakuya decided to gamble her own life.
In order to forge items reaching the realm of Gods, sacrificing of human lives is absolutely necessary.
Thus Byakua hurled herself into the furnace in front of the husband she loved, using her own life to help the Essence of Five Mountains and the Metal of Six Heroes meld.
Kansho forged the two swords in grief.
These are Kansho and Byakuya, a pair of twin swords that reflect Yin and Yang.
Since they were forged with the best materials and human life, their abilities as swords are great. In addition, they also have aspects as magical weapons used in Witchcraft and Rituals.
It is unknown why Archer chose to carve what seems to be spells of warding all over the swords."
- ↑ Fate/Side Material p.83, "Their shape is absolutely identical. The black blade is (somehow) the Yang sword Kanshou, and the white is the Yin sword Bakuya. The ore of the white has less of the shine of a polished metal than it has the haze of a cloud. The black one is covered in a hexagonal pattern. As for the practical use, the quality of the grip is more important than the ornamental value. But it's quite big and heavy."
- ↑ Complete Material 3: Q: If the original Kansho and Bakuya take the stage in the Holy Grail War, as the twin swords reaching the realm of Gods due to the sacrifice of human lives, will they possess powers as Noble Phantasms? Or, since they did not have wielders in the legend, thus cannot become Noble Phantasms?
A: Absolutely without a doubt that they will be true Noble Phantasms. They will be extremely strong anti-monster Noble Phantasms. Rider's ultimate form--Gorgon Lv100, or the extra-dimensional evil god summoned by Gilles, will all be cut down in a single strike.
- ↑ the Character Material encyclopedia entry (p.53)