The only thing more inevitable in its return than a Waifu Wednesday is the immortality of the Fate franchise and its ability to always have something going on. Whether it be a game, anime series, or multi-part film, there is always some Fate content out there that even the dedicated fan hasn’t seen yet.
There are many waifus within Type-Moon’s Fate world, but for me personally, there stands a single figure at the very pinnacle of the series’ mountain of amazing character designs and over-the-top proportions (I love you Scheherazade, but it’s the truth). That figure is none other than Rin Tohsaka.
Who is Rin Tohsaka?
Rin is a member of the Tohsaka family, one of the main families responsible for founding the Holy Grail Wars — an ever-repeating battle in which people who are proficient in the ways of magic summon Servants, or heroic spirits, and compete in a fierce battle royale in order to determine who shall claim the Holy Grail.
The Tohsaka family is known for their prowess in a specific form of magic known as Jewel Magecraft. The jewels have different affinities — for example Topaz may have an affinity to the wind element — which Rin can then use. The Tohsaka family line was always proficient in “Flow Transferral Magic”, allowing Rin to transfer her magic into the jewels, which in turn gives her access to powers they possess.
With regards to her personality, Rin is extremely clever — even described as being a genius. She is serious, resourceful, and very competitive. While she does maintain something of a prim and proper façade at school, her private life displays more of her true personality; someone much more loud and demanding.
Why we love her
Now I’m not the biggest lover of the tsundere archetype when it comes to my waifus; I’m much more a fan of the older woman or at the very least the ara ara~ onee-san types. However, there is definitely something about Rin that I really like and it has to do with the way that, while having her tsundere moments, she never had moments where I felt the tsundere parts were being overly exaggerated.
Despite tsundere characters not being my favorite, I can certainly understand the appeal when what was once a rather cold-hearted character begins to show their warmer, softer side. Even though Rin is very competitive and tells herself that she will do whatever is necessary in order to come out victorious in the Holy Grail War, she cannot shake off her sense of honour.
Throughout the run of Unlimited Blade Works — the series which adapts Rin’s route from the original visual novel — Rin had numerous chances to take out protagonist Emiya Shirou. He knew almost nothing about Servants or the Holy Grail War, so dispatching him and lessening the competition would have been simple for Rin — but she never does.
Finally, Rin just keeps on getting better and better! I knew it was love after that time skip towards the end of Unlimited Blade Works. We get to see a 19-year-old Rin and Shirou studying together and just being extremely cute with one another. All topped off with her asking him to travel to England with her in order for them to remain together.
Why you’ll love her
If like me, you aren’t the biggest fan of the tsundere girls, then you might be just as surprised as I was when I first sat down to watch Unlimited Blade Works. The trope archetype of a tsundere follows the meaning of “running hot and cold” and this certainly is the case for Rin — but as I mentioned it’s never to the point of it being overbearing or annoying as a viewer.
If you’ve seen Fate, then you already know what kind of character Shirou is and how unique his sense of values is due to his traumatic past. Rin brings a level of sanity to the story that I feel would be sorely missing if she wasn’t present.
Rin is clever, cool, extremely talented with magic, she is a badass who can easily look after herself, and she’s cute as a button when she’s embarrassed. (Insert joke about her anus here, plus obligatory “play the visual novel” comment – Ed.) As time progresses she only gets better, and her relationship with Shirou through Unlimited Blade Works is my personal favourite route.
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