|Appears in:|| Fate/Apocrypha|
|Japanese VA:||Kōki Uchiyama|
|Character type:|| Master|
Servant (Master: None)
|Place of Origin:||Japan|
|Dislikes:||Humans who take in charge|
|Natural enemy:||Joan of Arc, Sieg|
Shirou Kotomine (シロウ・コトミネ, Shirō Kotomine?) is the Master of Assassin of Red in the Great Holy Grail War of Fate/Apocrypha and the Ruler-class Servant of the Einzbern Master in the Third Holy Grail War. He later contracts with Caster of Red, Archer of Red, Lancer of Red, Rider of Red, and Caster of Black. He is one of the Servants able to be summoned by the Protagonist in the Grand Orders of Fate/Grand Order.
Shirou's True Name is Amakusa Shirou Tokisada (天草 四郎 時貞, Amakusa Shirō Tokisada?), the teenage leader of the Shimabara Rebellion. Born in the Edo period, he was a boy of miracles who could nearly be called a saint. However, how exactly he was discovered; a good half of his lifetime is wrapped in mystery. He, who concentrated on his studies since childhood, began to perform many miracles at the frontier for a time. Having healed wounds and walked on water, he eventually began to be enthusiastically worshiped as son of God by the peasants that believed in a prohibited religion.
The Shimabara RebellionEdit
The rulers of the land, the Matsukura clan had drastically raised the taxes causing famine and overtaxation to the people. This action forced the weak to fall in despair as they were unable to even resist. As they continued to be exploited, the people found salvation in Christianity, the words filled with love that couldn’t be defeated by starvation, poverty or despair. However the Matsukura clan tried to take even that from them. For them it was no longer exploitation but it was murder. The people were provoked and they rose up and revolted. They feared of having their right to live taken away overcame their fear of dying in battle.
Amongst them was Shirou, a young boy at the time. Nobody knew whether his presence there was a coincidence or the will of God, but before anyone realized it, Shirou was leading them, though under the instruction of several Rōnin. Before long, former-vassals of Konishi Yukinaga had him as leader established a rebel army against the Edo Shogunate. Together with the peasants of Shimabara, who were suffering with the harsh environment of the times, they raised a large-scale insurrection. Their battle should have no defeat and no victory either. Because by rising up, they were both losers and victors at the same time. All they had left was the power to rise up, however the act of rising up itself was a necessary act. They rose up for the sake of what they believed in—that in itself was important and what they wished for. They believed the sacrifices would be kept to a minimum, and even if several people including themselves became sacrifices, the world wouldn’t die, but would instead be reborn.
Shirou brought forth a miracle, the possibility of victory that should have been impossible. In his own words, he was granted miraculous power granted by God because God will occasionally exercise malice due to good will. Unfortunately, Shirou attained victory. Everyone went wild and became excited over the victory. They clung to Shirou, who had won a battle where victory should have been impossible, as a child of miracles. That foolish purity of theirs troubled the boy. Shirou believed they shouldn’t have won. Winning was not an option. He had been caught up in saving lives in the near future and averted his eyes from the bigger picture. They may bite a cornered cat—but after being bitten, the enraged cat would retaliate by slaughtering them.
Despite taking the uprising lightly at first, the Edo Shogunate got serious due to its punitive forces being defeated and sent out Elder Matsudaira Nobutsuna as the supreme commander. Shirou led the defense of Hara Castle, and defeated the strongest of the Shogunate attackers in a series of coordinated defensive surges. Matsudaira Nobutsuna brought on starvation tactics to the revolting army that had shut themselves in Hara Castle, and estimated the time when they were running out of food and ammunition to start his general offensive. It has been told that 37,000 people, including Shirou were massacred by the shogunate forces, with the exception of a single betrayer (there are various theories about this).
After his rebellion ultimately failed, Shirou was sentenced to execution by decapitation. Before his death, Shirou felt he was naïve and he witnessed a scene like hell as his comrades were slowly killed off. The decapitated heads of the elderly, men butchered up like experimental animals, babies pierced by spears, girls raped in the pursuit of lust and then thrown away afterwards. He was convinced that the countless lives gathered were not taken away by the enemy but by himself. Shirou without once changing expression, accepted this result with a will of steel and it made him impossible to yield and give up. He merely gazed at this scene of ruin. He revealed no resignation or sorrow and even overcame the pain of his dismembered arms. He accepted that he had lost, the responsibility for his comrades death and his inevitable death. But the one thing he could not accept was that everything would fall to ruins after this. He couldn’t accept it. After having wasted so many lives, he absolutely could not accept that nothing would be gained as a result.
"So, God. Give me another chance. Next time, I won’t lose sight of the bigger picture. I will eliminate all obstacles, enemies and hardships in my way. Next time, I will obtain all the good in the world. A world where everyone is happy, everyone is good, and everyone is perfect. I will exterminate all evil and create a new, pure world."
—Shirou Tokisada Amakusa's last prayer
Shirou appears to be a tanned-skinned youth with white hair like silver and with dark ageless eyes. His hair became white as compensation for when he forcefully incarnated and after that his skin changed color because he spent twenty years in the middle-east. He wears the vestments of a priest and a golden cross around his neck. His vestment is a type of a red holy shroud and he wore a red stole over his cassock. He has an innocent, boyish face showing that he has yet to have aged past twenty years of age. Though incarnated decades ago, Left Hand - Xanadu Matrix has granted him his still youthful appearance. He is eternally seventeen years old despite he is over seventy years old. He hasn’t emotionally matured regardless of how much knowledge and experience he has gained. His body is covered in scars and he has two Command Spells on his chest, the seals are very similar to Kirei Kotomine.
In his Servant form, he has long hair tied into a ponytail. His clothing is a mixture of traditional samurai outfit with European influence. He wears a jinbaori style haori with Christianity crosses decorated on them. He wears a tradition umanori hakama with Shin guards which had cloth straps that were used to tie the Shin guards to the lower leg. He wears a collar shirt underneath his Kimono and a Cravat tied around his collar.
In his lifetime, Shirou walked the path of suffering and despair. He and his comrades fought for their faith and beliefs, and in return, they failed and died. He once hated everything, from God to humans. He claims that he hated humans, not because they had killed him or his comrades, but how humanity easily accepted it as a repeating system in history where life is priceless yet has no value. He finds humanity to be just like Ouroboros, eating themselves in order to grow. Shirou admitted to his failure, his mortality and his guilt. So, he forsook his heart filled with hatred, for the sake of humankind's salvation. He claims he does not hate humanity anymore, and that he will save the current six billion people and the people from past and future. He desires to make use of the Holy Grail to fulfill his own ambition. He simply wished the happiness of all mankind, for innate goodness to be found in the heart of all humanity and the annihilation of Angra Mainyu: All the Evils of the World.
Shirou appears to be a benign man with an innocent smile; he is in actuality a manipulator who would destroy his adversary with no hesitation in order to fulfill his own ambition. He is essentially a character who looks light on the outside and has a darker personality inside. Kairi sees him as being overly judicious given his supposed age.
Third Holy Grail WarEdit
Differing from the timeline of Fate/stay night's Third Holy Grail War where the Einzbern family summoned the Avenger-class Angra Mainyu, they abuse one of the systems installed in the Greater Grail and brought forth Shirou as a Ruler-class Servant who was meant to be an impartial authority whom regulated the progress of the War. The Einzberns wished to call forth a proper Heroic Spirit befitting of the Ruler class rather than some nameless Eastern hero. However the act of summoning a Ruler was already a severe interference in the normal operating format of the Holy Grail War so he was a compromise with the advantage of his Command Spells.
As the third war drew to a close, the Einzberns clearly stood closer than any other to the Greater Grail. Shirou had fought to the death against the Servant Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia had summoned. While his Master was killed in action, Shirou remained materialized due to Shirou having come into contact with the Greater Grail and managing to receive flesh. As Risei Kotomine rescued the Master of the Tohsaka, Shirou helped him with his rescue work. As Darnic successfully stolen the Greater Grail, the survivors were Shirou and Risei. Risei questions about Shirou's future plans, Shirou lied to Risei about giving up on the Greater Grail but he plans to travel around the world.
Risei prepared a family register, registering him as his son "Shirou Kotomine" (言峰 天草, Kotomine Shirō?). He had joined with the Church thanks to Risei's connections. He entered the Assembly of the Eighth Sacrament as Kotomine Shirou, but naturally Risei could not acknowledge him as his son there and approached him honestly as a friend. Around the time when Risei's son was born, Shirou had deliberately diminished his contact with Risei. Shirou remained distant from Risei's own son. Shirou consciously avoids Kirei Kotomine because Shirou noticed the "distortion" within his stepbrother. Of course, he would very much like to free Kirei from his anguish, but no matter how he thought about it, it wouldn't end well. Additionally, if the one-in-a-million chance occurred where an event caused him to affirm his own distortion, Shirou was greatly worried that the first person Kirei would target would be him. Thus, Shirou kept his distance from Kirei as much as possible from the beginning to end of their relationship. Risei's funeral was the last time that his son Kirei and Shirou met. He sometimes served as the mediator in some of the subspecies Holy Grail Wars. Taking up a position in the Assembly of the Eighth Sacrament, there was little information left to be gleamed about him from those who would search for it. He had almost no interaction with the other members of the Assembly, and was viewed as a curiosity by his compatriots who wondered, "How long has this guy been here?". He concealed himself in the Middle East for nearly twenty years in order to search for catalysts for Semiramis.
As the Mage's Association decided to seek one Master from the Church in order to have their involvement prove the legitimacy of their cause. Having already hypothesized the possibility of a Great Holy Grail War—a situation with seven Servants versus seven Servants occurring instead of a normal Holy Grail War. In such an abnormal situation with seven Servants versus seven Servants and where even the previous Ruler had summoned his own Servant, the Greater Grail automatically summoned the Ruler for this war, Jeanne d'Arc, but Shirou had included even that into his calculations as an event within his expectations. Shirou promptly joined the Red faction as the dual mediator and Master sent by the Holy Church. He received a catalyst for Semiramis from the Sophia-Ri family the moment it was decided that he would participate in the Great Holy Grail War, but it seems he secured three other catalysts on his own after searching for nearly twenty years as a precaution. He quickly summoned Semiramis without delay. He summoned Assassin of Red as his Servant, and she asked him, "Not for naught am I known as the world's oldest poisoner... Are you truly certain that you can wield Queen Semiramis?" He replied to her with, "O Queen of Assyria - in this Great Holy Grail War, I aim not for victory or defeat but for another goal. Will you aid me?" Although initially worried over his strange nature, she eventually came to greatly respect him and decided to aid him without hesitation. He gathered with five of the other Masters of the Red Faction, and Assassin managed to manipulate them into allowing him to control their Servants.
Great Holy Grail WarEdit
Shirou is sent by the Church to observe the Holy Grail War as the overseer and to participate as one of the Masters of the Red Faction. He takes control of the five puppet Masters, and he and Assassin are the ones present for the summonings of Archer of Red and Rider of Red. Pretending to provisionally act as the mediator for the other Servants, Rider and Archer are wary of their Masters not showing themselves and of his presence. Caster of Red has oppositely taken to calling him Master. Upon the arrival of Kairi Sisigou and the summoning of Saber of Red, he uses one of Assassin's dove familiars to deliver a message requesting a meeting. He calmly introduces himself upon their arrival, but both are not trusting of him. He requests that Saber be materialized, and he is surprised when he cannot tell of her identity with his ability as Ruler.
He has Assassin reveal herself and begins to discuss the situation of the war. Showing the collected parameters of the Black Faction's Servants, he gives his speculation on the likelihood of Lancer of Black being Vlad III. He confirms that Lancer of Red and Rider have the strength to oppose Black Lancer. Though he tries to get Kairi to reveal the name of Saber, Kairi declines and decides to act alone instead of with the group. Though somewhat troubled by the situation, he agrees to provide Kairi with information on the proceedings of the war as the two leave. Disappointed that they felt suspicious and of being unable to see through Secret of Pedigree, Shirou rejects Assassin's idea of sending an agent after them. Dealing with them as allies until the Black Faction's defeat is in their best interest, so he instead moves onto the topic of the completion of Hanging Gardens of Babylon in three days' time.
They are interrupted moments later by the arrival of Caster, chanting a line from Richard III. When Shirou is unable to identify the line, Caster exaggeratedly laments that he cannot believe Shirou has not read one of his greatest works, giving him "The Works of William Shakespeare." As discussion with Assassin brings him back to seriousness, he reveals that Berserker of Red has begun a march on the enemy. Shirou is relatively clam compared to Assassin's shock, and immediately has Assassin send orders for Archer to pursue him in an attempt to stop him, though very unlikely. He thinks that trying to stop Berserker with Command Spells would only delay the inevitable now that he has found his target, so he has Archer back him up instead.
Shirou must work as the overseer in keeping the supernatural away from the public eye, so he must follow Berserker's path to deal with onlookers. Berserker does not dematerialize, so he will be kept busy for the two day march. Telling Caster to stay out of trouble, he tries to encourage him by telling him that the coming war will satisfy his love of stories. As Berserker reaches the stronghold, he returns to the other Master and feeds them false information about the nature of the war. Telling them that the Red Faction has only two Servants left and that the escaped Masters have been caught, he urges them to relinquish full control of the Servants to him due to it being no longer necessary for them. They are still unable to accept his proposal, believing it to be too dangerous, so he takes his leave of them. He returns to Assassin, having bet a bottle of wine over an acceptable outcome, so he plans to set other things into motion.
He asks if the wine, a bottle obtained from an elder of the Eighth Sacrament, is an acceptable prize, but she simply wants it for the "taste of wealth." They muse over the nature of kings, causing Shirou to become amused as it appears to him that it would be more suitable for him to have been the Servant and she the Master. As she jokingly asks if he would like to switch places, he declines while noting her nature as a despot in life, and they repeat their words from her summoning. She mentions that his words at the time were strange enough to want her to search out a person to become her Master instead, but later became greatly interested. They receive notice that Berserker has almost arrived, noting that Rider has also joined them. They also receive notice of Ruler's arrival, of whom Shirou is most cautious. While not hating her, he feels she is one who's existence must be crushed, so he dispatches Lancer of Red to kill her after deciding that Rider would not willingly accept the task.
The instant when he saw the rising sun as he lay on Semiramis’ lap was a moment of supreme bliss for Shirou.
In Fate/strange fake, he is mentioned in the opening of Rider's narration. It is said that if the Holy Grail War had existed when Shirou lived, he may have even been able to summon his more powerful future self, an icon of heroism.
Shirou Tokisada Amakusa was summoned as a Ruler-class, he was a figure whom had been as close to a "Saint" as you could possibly find in the Far East, the sainthood of this tragic youth had never been recognized. As a Servant, he would be third-rate if he weren't Ruler. He possesses two Noble Phantasm, Left Hand - Xanadu Matrix and Right Hand - Evil Eater. Due to the unique nature of his Noble Phantasm, his arms are connected to the Thaumaturgy foundation (魔術基盤, Majutsu kiban?) which allows him to effectively use any sort of Magecraft with its Almighty Key (万能鍵, Ban'nō Kagi?). Shirou was neither outstanding in combat nor proficient in Magecraft to the level of a Caster-class Servant, but he continued to win, and survive, in the Third Holy Grail War. He was ever heedful and never gambled, fulfilling his duties even as he thoroughly cemented his defenses. His speed was beyond abnormal, he can easily exceed sixty kilometers per hour as he ran.
As a Ruler class, he gains True Name Discernment (真名看破, Shinmei Kanpa?) class skill. Status information such as the true identity, Skill and Parameters is automatically revealed when he directly encounters Servant. There are certain limits, Servants with hiding capacity such as Saber of Red's Noble Phantasm Secret of Pedigree can mask out her identity, however it depends on his luck level to bypass this. As he was dispatched by the Church with the duty of being the overseer of this Great Holy Grail War, he possessed the Spirit Board (霊器盤, Reiki Ban?) that was given to the overseer and could perfectly grasp the state of all fourteen Servants. As his "True Name Discernment" skill makes him need to directly encounter Servants to see their status, Shirou must rely on Spirit Board to track down any Servants and learn their identity. It was particular useful when Saber of Black had committed suicide and Shirou suspected something was odd since his name was not entirely gone from the board.
God's resolution (神明議決, Shinmei Giketsu?) is the highest privilege for the Ruler class skill. Normally Ruler-class would possess two Command Spells for each Servants that participated in the Holy Grail War. However, as Shirou is not a participant of the Greater Grail War, this skill has been lost. As he participated as a Master, he only has three command spells for Assassin of Red. While he leads the Red Faction, he made sure that the Red Faction Servants do not interact or meet with their respective Master. While he could steal the command spells by cutting their arm but Shirou decided to avoid this method. The reason is that he wants to avoid lying to Lancer of Red who excels at perceiving deceptions. This is the main reason why he'd manipulated the Red Faction Masters into his puppet, so they could peacefully hand over the three command spells of their Servants and provide enough Magical Energy until his connection to the Greater Grail. Eventually he obtained their Command Spells, his arm was engraved with eighteen Command Spells of Archer, Lancer, Rider, Berserker, Caster and Assassin.
Revelation (啓示, Keiji?) is a personal skill equivalent to "Instinct". Instinct is a sixth sense regarding battles, but "Revelation" accommodates all matters related to the achievement of a goal (for instance, choosing the most suitable path while traveling). Because there is no basis (so he thinks), it cannot be explained well to others.
Charisma (カリスマ, Karisuma?) is the natural talent to command an army. Although he cannot run a nation, he can share those with his like-minded and strong ties comrades to death. Thanks to his charisma, it is possible to make others believe in the contents of the "Revelations" skills without basis.
Baptism Rite (洗礼咏唱, Senrei Eishō?) is a type of magecraft that changed style into a church form. It is effective on a spiritual body. By linking his two Noble Phantasm, it is even possible to make a Servant go through a sublimation process. His Baptism Rite was extraordinarily powerful that it wasn’t possible for a human. He used this chant on the nameless monster, who had once been Lancer of Black and Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia. The nameless monster very existence was melting away as he began to emit white smoke, the vampire evaporated away right down to the final fragment of himself.
As part of the Church's Assembly of the Eighth Sacrament, Shirou is skilled at using Black Keys (黒鍵, Kuro Kagi?). These were the thrown-type Conceptual Weapons favored by agents of the Church and they were strong enough to purify Dead Apostles but the power of his Black Keys was far too extraordinary and abnormal. The Black Keys were particular useful against the Nameless vampire. He is seen capable of running and throwing four Black Keys without even looking back when he used it to slow down Berserker of Black.
He is an adept swordsman and he wields the enchanted Miike Tenta Mitsuyo when Black Keys are not effective against his opponents. Shirou’s sword technique is average, but he manages to fight extremely well due to his Noble Phantasms.
If ever the Third Holy Grail War were made into a Visual Novel, the ending would greatly differ depending on the choice of the Einzberns. Just as said until now, if they chose Avenger, events would follow the official history—that is, the "Fate/stay night" route, but if they chose Ruler, the story would follow this "Apocrypha" route.
Creation and ConceptionEdit
Yuuichirou Higashide mentions that in the process of choosing the mastermind in Fate/Apocrypha, all the characters in "Fate/complete material IV" along with the original setting were deemed to have too weak of an impact as a mastermind. The idea of "doing something that would have been impossible in the original game setting" was one of the concepts of "Apocrypha". "Makai Tensho" served as an even further impetus that made Higashide think, "How about bringing out Amakusa Shirou?" (Shirou Tokisada Amakusa was the major antagonist who commands the historic figures from around Japan in Makai Tensho), from which everything started. He was planned to be a complete contrast to Jeanne d'Arc as one was a young boy and a young girl. Both of their battles were heavily connected to flags. One who never became a saint, and one who did. Their points of commonality and difference were so clear and contrastive that Higashide selected him as the last boss. At that point, Nasu approached Higashide and whispered "...Speaking of which, the name of the protagonist of the original Visual Novel is... and their age is almost the same too...", and thus Shirou Kotomine was born. Before Nasu wrote Fate/stay night, he claims he was a big fan of "Makai Tensho".
Ototsugu Konoe explains that he had troubled over designing Shirou in terms of balancing him in various ways but he believes he succeeded well with the final design. He further claims that he is interested in Kotomine's family home life like in this universe.
Higashide said that not only readers, but even his friends retorted, "Really?", when they discovered his true identity. Higashide apologizes and calls this coincidence to be like destiny.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28
 Fate/Apocrypha material - STATUS: Ruler, p.016-017
True name: Shirou Amakusa Tokisada
Alignment: Lawful Good
Noble Phantasm: D
■ Magic Resistance: A
■ True Name Discernment: B
■ God's resolution: -
■ Revelation: A
■ Charisma : C-
■ Baptism Sacrament: B+
■ Right Hand - Evil Eater: Right Arm - Wickedness Predation
Left Hand - Xanadu Matrix: Left Arm - Foundation of Heaven's Blessing
Type: Anti-Unit Noble Phantasm
Range: 1 Person
Maximum number of targets: 1 Person
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 Fate/Grand Order - Amakusa Shirou, Translation by Master of Chaos
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8
 Fate/Apocrypha material - CHARACTER Profile: Shirou Kotomine, p.050-053 [T]
Shirou Kotomine - Real name: Shirou Tokisada Amakusa
- Height: 169cm
- Weight: 59kg
- Blood type: Unknown
- Birthday: Unknown
- Talents: Baptism Rite
- Likes: Humanity
- Dislike: Uncontrollable People
- Image colour: Silver-grey
- Enemy: Jeanne d'Arc, Sieg
Comment from Yuichiro Higashide & Ototsugu Konoe
シロウ・コトミネ - 真名：天草四郎時貞
Comment from Yuichiro Higashide & Ototsugu Konoe
- Height: 169cm
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9
 Fate/Apocrypha material - Encyclopedia: Shirou Kotomine [Servant], p.171-172 [T]
Shirou Kotomine [Servant]
The Servant summoned by the Einzberns in the Third Holy Grail War. His class is Ruler. His true name is Amakusa Shirou Tokisada. He is one of the masterminds in the story, and the true Last Boss. If ever the Third Holy Grail War were made into a Visual Novel, the ending would greatly differ depending on the choice of the Einzberns. Just as said until now, if they chose Avenger, events would follow the official history—that is, the “Fate/stay night” route, but if they chose Ruler, the story would follow this “Apocrypha” route.
After incarnating into a physical body in the Third Holy Grail War, he spent the next sixty years investigating all feasible documents and ley lines available and waiting for the day when the next Fuyuki Holy Grail War—that is, the “Fourth” Holy Grail war would occur.
Having already hypothesized the possibility of a Great Holy Grail War—a situation with seven Servants VS seven Servants occurring instead of a normal Holy Grail War, Shirou promptly joined the Red Camp as the dual mediator and Master sent by the Holy Church and quickly summoned Semiramis without delay. In such an abnormal situation with seven Servants VS seven Servants and where even the previous Ruler had summoned his own Servant, the Greater Grail automatically summoned the Ruler for this war, Jeanne d’Arc, but Shirou had included even that into his calculations as an event within his expectations.
There was only one thing that Shirou couldn’t predict. That was the event of a homunculus without even a name merely trying to fulfill his meager wish.
In truth, the facts concerning Amakusa Shirou Tokisada’s birth and life aren’t very clear. What’s certain is that he attained the position of being the person with the greatest responsibility and authority in the Shimabara Rebellion. Even if that is merely a palanquin—merely window dressing, this young boy was definitely the ringleader of the Shimabara Rebellion, the greatest uprising in the Edo Period.
In this work, he is the biggest and strongest problem child. The next one after him is Rider of Black. At first, Semiramis was the mastermind in the initial stages of the plot. However, all the characters including her who had already been released in “Complete Material” along with the original setting were deemed to have too weak of an impact as a mastermind. The idea of “doing something that would have been impossible in the original game setting” was one of the concepts of “Apocrypha” (I also came up with the idea of seven Servants VS seven Servants following that line of thought), and then “Makai Tenshou” (TL Note: Famous Japanese novel with several adaptations) served as an even further impetus that made me think, “How about bringing out Amakusa Shirou?”, from which everything started.
A young boy and a young girl. Both of their battles were heavily connected to flags. One who never became a saint, and one who did. Their points of commonality and difference were so clear and contrastive that I selected him as the last boss—it would have been fine if my thought process stopped there.
At that point, a demon whispered to me, “…Speaking of which, the name of the protagonist of the original Visual Novel is… and their age is almost the same too…”, and thus Shirou Kotomine was born. Not only readers, but even my friends often retorted, “Really?”, to me. Sorry, sorry. But this coincidence felt so much like destiny…!
His white hair and dark skin is compensation for his magecraft… or not. In truth, there were complex causes; his hair became white as compensation for when he forcefully incarnated and after that his skin changed color because he needed to conceal himself in the Middle East for nearly twenty years in order to search for catalysts for Semiramis. By the way, he received a catalyst for the empress from the Sophia-Ri family the moment it was decided that he would participate in the Great Holy Grail War, but it seems he secured three other catalysts on his own after searching for nearly twenty years as a precaution.
He hates humans, but he deeply loves humanity. In the Shimabara Rebellion, he witnessed just how strongly low, vulgar and cruel humans could become. They can become like this even towards those of the same race as them. If they encountered others who have a different skin color or different culture, just how much further would human cruelty increase?
These thoughts of Shirou hardened even further in the Third Holy Grail War and the Second World War which happened immediately after. In the end, he concluded that humanity could only be saved with the miracle of the Greater Grail—the Third Sorcery. He attached himself to the Assembly of the Eighth Sacrament and sometimes served as the mediator in some of the subspecies Holy Grail Wars. He had almost no interaction with the other members of the Assembly, and was viewed as a curiosity by his compatriots who wondered, “How long has this guy been here?”
As a Servant, he would be third-rate if he weren’t Ruler, just as he himself declares. It is actually quite novel for a Heroic Spirit and his Noble Phantasms to be of so little use, and he would have a very hard time winning a Holy Grail War. But on the other hand, as long as he is of the Ruler class, he can amass overwhelming advantages with the skills “True Name Discernment” and “Divine Judgement”.
He is the mastermind, but is a good and virtuous being. In the first place, it is a matter of argument whether or not Shirou’s actions are truly evil. Because you could say that he guided people through a slight shortcut to the place they would eventually reach someday. However, on the other hand, he is unmistakably evil. Because he tried to save not individual people, but only the human race itself.
Having no hobbies or anything he likes, he lived sixty years for the sake of humanity’s salvation. Even if his plans were overturned in the end, the instant when he saw the rising sun as he lay on Semiramis’ lap—was a moment of supreme bliss for Shirou.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 3: Prologue, p.007-013
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 2: Chapter 2, p.194-197
- ↑ 7.0 7.1
 Apocrypha material - Shirou Kotomine, p.018-019 [T]
Talk about Shirou Kotomine
Higashide: The greatest problem child in Apocrypha, Shirou Kotomine. Even though he looks like this, he’s over seventy years old, but in the first place, he hasn’t emotionally matured regardless of how much knowledge and experience he has gained, so he’s an eternal seventeen-year-old. He’ll appear in a special form in the fifth volume, so please look forward to it!
Konoe: I had to wrack my brain over how to properly balance him in terms of design in various ways, but I feel that I’ve mostly succeeded well with the design I ended up with. So, just what is the Kotominesan’s family home life like in this universe? I’m really interested in that!
Talk about Shirou Kotomine
- ↑ 8.0 8.1
 Fate/Apocrypha material - Encyclopedia: Kotomine Risei [Person's name], p.167 [T]
Risei Kotomine [Person's name]
The person that the Holy Church dispatched to the Holy Grail War during the Third War in Fuyuki. He was assigned as the moderator of the war. However, the Greater Grail was stolen during the Third War, and despite being the moderator he reluctantly intervened into the situation and rescued the Master of the Tohsaka, who he was friends with. In the midst of that, the Einzbern Servant, Amakusa Shirou Tokisada, helped him with his rescue work.
As thanks, Riser prepared a family register for him after he gained a flesh body, registering him as his son “Kotomine Shirou”.
He entered the Assembly of the Eighth Sacrament as Kotomine Shirou, but naturally Risei couldn’t acknowledge him as his son there and approached him honestly as a friend. Around the time when Risei’s son Kirei was born, Shirou had deliberately diminished his contact with Risei.
Since there was no fear of a Fourth Holy Grail War, Riser appeared to have been able to live somewhat longer here, but he has already died from disease before the start of the “Apocrypha” novels. His funeral was the last time that his son Risei and Shirou met.
 Fate/Apocrypha material - Encyclopedia: Kotomine Kirei [Person's name], p.166-167 [T]
Kirei Kotomine [Person's name]
Without needing to be introduced, he is the man who appears as the villain in “Fate/stay night” and “Fate/Zero” (though his mentality is quite complex). He doesn’t appear at all in these novels, but hints of his existence are shown here and there, so he has an entry here.
Kotomine Kirei is living as an extremely respectable priest in Fuyuki even now. The Fourth Holy Grail War didn’t occur here, so he didn’t shift his focus to his own nature. It might be a different story if he participated in one of the subspecies Holy Grail Wars, but he’ll never have such a chance as long as he is in Fuyuki.
In other words, he is still in anguish over the meaning and karma of his existence even now.
He heard about who his older brother Shirou is from his father Risei, but they have rarely interacted with each other. This is not done on Kirei’s part, but rather because Shirou consciously avoids him.
This is because Shirou noticed the “distortion” within his stepbrother Kirei. Of course, he would very much like to free Kirei from his anguish, but no matter how he thought about it, it wouldn’t end well… Additionally, if the one-in-a-million chance occurred where an event caused him to affirm his own distortion, Shirou was greatly worried that the first person Kirei would target would be him.
It would be like pouring gasoline on a volcano that’s on the verge of erupting even now. Thus, Shirou kept his distance from Kirei as much as possible from the beginning to end of their relationship.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Fate/strange fake - Volume 1 - Chapter 5: Rider, p.135-136
- ↑ TYPE-MOON History