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Kanshou and Bakuya

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Kanshou and Bakuya: Gan Jiang and Mo Ye (干将かんしょう莫耶ばくや, Kanshō - Bakuya?) 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.[1] He kept the Yang sword, named "Ganjiang", and he only handed over the Yin Sword, "Moye", to the king when it came time to present them. The king was furious upon discovering the deception, and the king had him killed.[2]

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.[3] 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. Though the story of their creation has survived into the modern day, there is no mention of the kind of swords they were or their shape, and it is only an assumption that they were cast swords common to the time period. The only known description was that Kanshou had a black tortoise shell pattern and Bakuya had a white wave pattern.[4]

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, and their rank as both weapons and Noble Phantasms increases. 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.[5]

EMIYA also utilizes reinforcement to modify the swords into longswords, referred to as Kanshou and Bakuya Overedge (干将·莫耶オーバーエッジ, Kanshō-Bakuya Ōbāejji?).[4] It is unknown exactly what effects are provided through the reinforcement, but he did utilize them at some point during the battle with Berserker in the Fate route of the visual novel.[4]

Triple-Linked Crane WingsEdit

Triple-Linked Crane Wings (鶴翼三連かくよくさんれん, Kakuyoku Sanren?) is an "exquisite technique" utilized by EMIYA, the culmination of his usage of the swords and the "true meaning behind Kanshou and Bakuya."[6][7] It is said to be a "fatal attack" used to get him through his numerous battles, relying on the married swords' attraction to one another, consecutive projection, and keeping the basic technique, symbolized by the chanted poem.[7] The user projects three sets of Kanshou and Bakuya, executing an unavoidable combination through throwing and slashing maneuvers.[6] Each blade is lethal and the multiple attacks are meant to prohibit escape or defense.[8]

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 the heavens together.

 Shingi, muketsu ni shite banjaku
 Chikara, yama wo nuki
 Tsurugi, mizu wo wakatsu
 Seimei, rikyuu ni todoki
 Warera, tomo ni ten wo idakazu

鶴翼欠落不
心技泰山至
心技黄河渡
唯名別天納
両雄共命別

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)

「―――鶴翼(しんぎ)、欠落ヲ不ラズ(むけつにしてばんじゃく)」
「―――心技(ちから)、泰山ニ至リ(やまをぬき)」
「―――心技(つるぎ)、黄河ヲ渡ル(みずをわかつ)」
―――唯名(せいめい)、別天ニ納メ(りきゅうにとどき)。
―――両雄(われら)、共ニ命ヲ別ツ(ともにてんをいだかず)……!

ArcherEdit

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 into Overedge and he performs the final strike with them.

No Name's version begins with a pair of thrown swords that strike the enemy, followed by an overhead slash, and finished with a dashing slash double-slash.

ShirouEdit

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.

KuroEdit

English | Japanese

“I'll show you what I’ve been holding back!"
"Twin wings that overcome mountains, part seas, and never fall… 'Threefold Crane Wings'!”

Archer

Kuro's version begins with her throwing two pairs of Kanshou and Bakuya that encircle the enemy. She then makes use of her teleportation in conjunction with the technique, making her attack difficult to predict even with Mind's Eye.[6] During Grand Order and against Bazett, she teleports behind the enemy and slashes with a regular pair of swords, while she teleports under the platform Angelica is standing on and pierces through it with a pair of Overedge swords when using the technique in conjunction with Shirou's own Triple-Linked Crane Wings.[8][9] Bazett manages to take the slashes from the thrown swords head-on with minor injury, counterattacking against Kuro.[9] Angelica is caught off-guard and struck, allowing Shirou to defeat her.[8]

Shirou (Prisma Illya)Edit

Shirou's version begins with two thrown pairs that surround the opponent. He then creates an Overedge pair and performs an overhead downward slash. Upon combining the technique with Kuro against Angelica, all of their attacks are rendered useless by Flash Air, but Kuro manages to surprise her from below.[8]

First Lady (Black Bird Scissorhands)Edit

Black Bird Scissorhands: Fallen Triple-Linked Crane Wings (堕・鶴翼三連ブラックバード・シザーハンズ, Kakuyoku Sanren?) is the name of the variation utilized by First Lady when inside Chloe von Einzbern's body. It does not differ visibly from Chloe's normal version.

DevelopmentEdit

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.[10]


ReferencesEdit

  1. 4.0 4.1 4.2
  2. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Fate/Grand Order - Chloe von Einzbern
  3. 7.0 7.1 Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel - Sparks Liner High
  4. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei!! - Volume 6
  5. 9.0 9.1 Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei!! - Volume 3
  6. Character Material encyclopedia entry, page 53

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