My Favorite Things (April 2020): Fate Series Gender Bending

Today’s article is the first in a new series I would like to try out. “My Favorite Things” is my attempt at listicles. I normally don’t like listicles for a number of reasons but I promise to do my best to reduce/eliminate those issues. Each entry will be an unranked list of five things in a category of my choice. Anyways, let’s move on to the article.

The Fate Series is a popular franchise from Japan by a video game company called TYPE-MOON. Fate is made up of a very large collection of works that I will list in the following run-on sentence. The Fate series has 13 anime series, 7 anime films, 4 anime shorts, 3 anime specials, 1 ONA series, 11 mangas, 7 light novels, 3 sound dramas, 2 visual novels, 1 arcade game, 1 mobile game, 6 other video games, and 1 April Fools story. I will admit that I have not consumed every piece of Fate media. I watched the 4 Fate series available on Netflix then referred to typemoon.fandom.com for the remainder of my research. 

The Fate series is about a series of events called Grail Wars. Most stories usually (but not always) revolve around a Grail War where usually (but not always) seven mages choose to participate by summoning servants (the spirit of a historical figure) to fight their battles for them (kind of like a Pokemon, Stand, or Persona). They usually (but not always) fall into one of seven classes (sabre, lancer, archer, rider, caster, berserker, and assassin) that determines their fighting style, and what weapons they use. Each servant also has a unique noble phantasm, which is a special weapon or ability. Each Heroic spirit also has a unique They called them heroes from history but the spirits they summon also often come from mythology, folklore, classic literature, and other sources. These spirits are rarely historically accurate representations. In fact, The Fate series is probably most famous for taking famous men throughout history, folklore, literature, etc, and turning them into cute anime girls. 

In today’s article I’m going to list five men throughout history that I would like to see the Fate series turn into cute anime girls. To help me with this, I have commissioned my good friend, Alder Hood, to create some concept art to show what these people might look like as anime girls and I think their art turned out great! If you like what you see, I’ll list their social media just below the article but just above the works cited. And, now, it’s finally time for the list.

  1. Zhao Yun

I’m starting this list off with someone who is no stranger to being depicted in over-the-top, historically inaccurate ways. Zhao Yun was a famous military leader during the Three Kingdoms period of China (circa 200 AD). The Three Kingdoms period is a heavily romanticized time in Chinese history where three warring factions (Shu, Wu, and Wei) fought for control and the unification of all of China. He was one of the Five Tiger Generals of the Shu Kingdom so he was already regarded as very good at his job.

During the 14th century a very famous book entitled “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” was written. It is regarded as one of the Four Great Classic Novels of Chinese Literature and is about 800,000 words long, spread out over 120 chapters (about 6,667 words per chapter). This novel is a greatly exaggerated (and not entirely accurate) retelling of the Three Kingdoms War. In one story, placed during the battle of Changban, the wife and son of Liu Bei (Zhao Yun’s boss) get separated from the Shu army and end up deep in enemy territory. Zhao Yun fights through hundreds of enemy soldiers, including a famed general named Xiahou En, until he finds them next to a well. Liu Bei’s wife, Lady Mi, entrusts the baby to Zhao Yun then commits suicide by throwing herself down the well. Zhao Yun straps the baby, Liu Shan, to himself and fights through hundreds more enemy soldiers to escape. He eventually crosses the Changban bridge, where he meets another Shu general named Zhang Fei. Zhang Fei yells very loudly. This causes an enemy general, Xiahou Jie, to suddenly die of shock and the rest run away because the yell is so scary. When Zhao Yun returns the baby to Liu Bei, Liu Bei is all like, “Fuck you, baby! I almost lost one of my best warriors because of you,” and throws the baby to the ground. Zhao Yun catches the baby and reaffirms his loyalty to Liu Bei.

Zhao Yun’s depiction in the Dynasty Warriors is, somehow, more ridiculous than that story. Dynasty Warriors is a long-running series of hack and slash video games based on “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. You can pick your favorite obnoxious anime rendition of a famous historical figure and run around killing thousands of enemy soldiers with little to no effort. Zhao Yun is the poster boy of these games, having been on the box art of 11 different entries in the franchise.

He also makes appearances in many other video games, films, and television shows. He is almost never depicted in a down to Earth manner so what’s one more ridiculous interpretation? The Fate Series version of Zhao Yun would be a lancer class servant who’s noble phantasm would be an ability called “Five Tiger Generals”. With this ability, she would be able to summon the other four Tiger Generals of the Shu Kingdom, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Ma Chao, and Guong Zhang. Of course, they would all be cute anime girls, as well.

2. Sir Edmund Hillary

Servants can be and have been people from many different eras, cultures, backgrounds, and occupations. We’ve seen warriors, rulers, politicians, writers, poets, scientists, and so on. It surprises me, however, that we haven’t seen a lot of explorers. This concerns me as explorers are responsible for many of the greatest accomplishments throughout history. This entry would go a long way towards correcting this issue.

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (20 July 1919 – 11 January 2008) was a famous explorer from New Zealand. He served as a navigator for the New Zealand Royal Air Force in WWII which is pretty cool but his greatest accomplishments all came after his military service. In 1953, Sir Hillary became the person ever confirmed to reach the peak of Mount Everest. If that was the only thing he had ever done, it alone would probably be enough to make this list. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! In 1958, he was part of a successful expedition to the South Pole. He wasn’t the 1st one but have you ever been to the South Pole? I didn’t think so. He also went on a plane ride to the North Pole 1985. This isn’t as exciting as the other 2 places mentioned so far since plane rides are relatively easy and he wasn’t the first person to come to this place, either, but it did make him the first human to ever step foot on the North Pole, the South Pole and The peak of Mount Everest. In 1960, Sir Edmund was part of an expedition where they searched for a Yeti. They never found a Yeti but knowing this has made my life better and I think it might improve your life, as well.

The Fate Series anime girl version of Sir Edmund Hillary would be a rider class servant. Her weapon would be a giant ice pick that she wields like a scythe. Since rider class servants require a ride, I would give her a winged mountain goat. The goat would be there because Everest and it would have wings because Airforce. Since Ms Hillary goes where she wants when she wants, her noble phantasm would be the ability to phase through solid objects for a limited time (15 seconds to a minute maybe?) and it would be called the “Three Poles Expedition” since she is the person who inspired the Three poles Challenge, something people still attempt to this day.

3. Tarrare

Tarrare (1772-1798) is an obscure historical figure but one worthy of this list, nonetheless. You see Tarrare has the honor of being the hungriest man to ever live. He was a French man who made a name for himself as a street performer who would eat anything and everything. It’s said that he would eat a quarter of a cow on a daily basis just to survive. He eventually found his way to a hospital where regular experiments were conducted on him. Things he ate in these experiments included a meal for a family of 18, a live cat, and he apparently swallowed an eel whole. Tarrare didn’t gain any weight from this. He was only about 100 pounds. He reportedly didn’t suffer from mental illness, either. His only mentioned sign was above average apathy. Of course, his lack of mental illness didn’t stop him from eating a 14 month old baby. Tarrare wasn’t allowed in the hospital after that. Honestly, my description can’t do this black hole of a human justice so I’m gonna share a video by a popular YouTuber named Sam O’ Nella who does a much better job of explaining Tarrare than I ever could.

A Fate version of Tarrare would be a berserker class servant. She must feed at all times and will destroy anything or anyone that gets between her and her only goal. She would wield a giant butcher’s knife. She doesn’t need it to carve up her prey since she can unhinge her jaw like a snake and swallow anything whole but it is nice to have something that can remove her food’s legs so her food can’t run away. Also, is it really an anime if there isn’t at least one character who uses a weapon that’s as big as they are? Her noble phantasm would be an ability where her gaping mouth becomes a black hole that sucks up everything within a 100 yard radius (except Tarrare of course). She would call this ability, “Le Dévoreur de Tous,” which is French for, “The Devourer of All”. Anyways…

4. Sundiata Keita

Sundiata Keita a.k.a. The Lion King of Mali was the founder of one of the most successful empires in history. He was born in one of several minor fiefdoms that had once been a part of the Ghana Empire. He was a son of a local king but was born with screwed up legs. As a result, Sundiata didn’t learn to walk until he was 11. He was forced to flee with his family when his father died. They found asylum in a neighboring fiefdom and he found enough favor there to be named viceroy. Around this time, tensions were rising in the region and a man named Soumaoro Kante was seizing control. Soumaoro started by seizing the former capital of the Ghana Empire and moving outward from there. He was said to be as cruel as he was ambitious. Some popular rumors were that he was an evil sorcerer, he kept the heads of the nine kings he defeated as trophies, and that he wore sandals made of human flesh. Sundiata responded by forming a coalition of local fiefdoms to fight back. In the final battle, it was the soon to be Lion King who would defeat Soumaoro Kante. He did so by firing an arrow tipped with a rooster’s spur as that was believed to be the only way to pierce through Soumaoro’s dark magic. This battle would result in a new Empire, led by Sundiata, himself.

This new Mali Empire was run somewhat like a federation. It was separated into 12 regions and King Keita had a representative from each reason living at the capital with him so that they could advise him on his decisions. The Mali Empire would last from 1235 to 1670 AD. With three massive gold mines to the south and many salt deposits to the north, this empire had a flouring trade economy. Their main exports were gold, salt, and slaves (I hate to just mention the slavery thing and move one but that’s a whole other article on it’s own and I don’t have the space in this article. Please don’t think I’m okay with slavery because I’m not). The majority of their income came from heavy taxes on foreign merchants. Sundiata Keita is worthy of this list because he founded one of the largest, wealthiest, and longest lasting empires ever. Also, here’s a fun fact. The famed Mansa Musa was Sundiata Keita’s great nephew.

Sundiata Keita would be an archer class servant since it was a bow with which she built the Mali Empire. I didn’t have a lot of notes here so I just let Alder do what they want with the design. I think it turned out great. Sundiata’s noble phantasm would be called, “The Lion’s Roar,” and it would be a special arrow that would disable the magical abilities of anyone it pierces (this includes noble phantasms). Also, no magical ability would be able to block or disrupt the arrow once it has been fired. Let’s move on to my final choice, who is someone I think most, if not all, of you will be a little more familiar with.

5. Mr Rogers

Fred Rogers is a man who needs no introduction. He’s best known for the popular children’s show, “Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood,” that aired on the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) for 33 years. He also had a bachelor’s degree in music and was an ordained Presbyterian minister but despite the popular urban legend, he was never a Marine Corps sniper. His weapon of choice was never a gun but rather his words. I can think of only a rare few people who can even approach Mr Roger’s ability to express kindness. He had a big impact on many people growing up and we all still look up to him. If I told someone, “fuck you, asshole!,” I doubt they would take my words to heart but if I said, “You’re not being the person Mr Rogers knew you could be, right now,” I can almost guarantee they would second-guess their actions. Anyways, I don’t think Mr Rogers needs much justification so I’m gonna move on to my description of his Fate version now.

Since Mr Rogers was never a Marine Corps Sniper, the archer class is off the table. I think she would work perfectly as a caster class servant, though. She would focus on protection and healing magic. For the design, the sweater obviously had to be there but Alder and I agreed that an off the shoulder sweater would look the best. The rest of the design concept was all Alder. Mr Rogers’ noble phantasm would be called, “Hello, Neighbor,” and it would create a magically enforced ceasefire within 50 meters of her where no one would be able to commit any violent actions. Anyone caught within the borders of this ability would also only be capable of speaking kind words. This ability would be great because we can all benefit by acting a little more like Mr Rogers.

So that’s it for this article. What do y’all think of the new format? Does it work? Would anyone like to see more articles like this? Also, how were my choices and if you were making this list, which historical figures would you choose? Why? Thank you for reading this article, if you liked it, please like, comment, subscribe, follow me on social media and share with your friends. I did pay Alder money for the art they made for this article. While I did pay what I feel was a fair price, it cost me more than the $0.62 of ad revenue this blog has generated in the past year. If I get enough readers, I might be able to find a better way to monetize my writing and that extra income would allow me to commission high quality art like this far more often so I would really appreciate it. Thanks, again, for reading.

Love, Lara

PS: Here’s a link to Alder’s cosplay page. https://m.facebook.com/HereToSomeday/

Works Cited

  1. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, December 28). Zhao Yun. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:53, April 7, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zhao_Yun&oldid=932796655
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, March 25). Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:55, April 7, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
  3. Luo, G., & Brewitt-Taylor, C. H. (1929). San kuo: Or, Romance of the three kingdoms. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh.
  4. CBS Interactive Inc. (2019). Zhao Yun on Every Cover… [Message board].
    Retrieved from https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/203126-dynasty-warriors-9/76562581?page=1
  5. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, March 3). Dynasty Warriors. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:03, April 7, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dynasty_Warriors&oldid=943662259
  6. Contributors, V. A. (n.d.). MOON Wiki. Retrieved April 7, 2020, from https://typemoon.fandom.com/wiki/TYPE-MOON_Wiki
  7. Miura, Takahiro (Director). (2014). Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works [Television Series]. Tokyo, Japan: Ufotable.
  8. Aoki, Ei (Director). (2011). Fate/Zero [Television Series]. Tokyo, Japan: Ufotable.
  9. Shinbo, Akiyuki (Director). (2018). Fate/Extra Last Encore [Television Series]. Tokyo, Japan: Shaft.
  10. Asai, Yoshiyuki (Director). (2017). Fate/Apocrypha [Television Series]. Tokyo, Japan: A-1 Pictures.
  11. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, April 3). Edmund Hillary. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:26, April 7, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Edmund_Hillary&oldid=948790190
  12. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, April 12). Tarrare. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:00, April 26, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tarrare&oldid=950444060
  13. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, April 21). Sundiata Keita. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:10, April 27, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sundiata_Keita&oldid=952266073
  14. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, April 24). Mali Empire. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:11, April 27, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mali_Empire&oldid=952800927
  15. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, April 12). Fred Rogers. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:26, April 27, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fred_Rogers&oldid=950469623
  16. Extra Credits. The Empire of Mali – The Twang of a Bow – Extra History – #1. YouTube. Extra Credits. 14 Apr 2018. 8:49. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkayShPilkw
  17. Sam O’ Nella. Tarrare, the Hungriest Man in History. YouTube. The Sam O’ Nella Academy. 2 Apr 2018. 7:48. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYHDj2sB-rc

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