Kirei Kotomine

Kirei Kotomine is a anime/manga character in the Fate/Stay Night franchise
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A character from Fate/stay night. His servants are Gilgamesh and Lancer.

Origins

Kirei was born to his father Risei on December 28, 1968 during a pilgrimage. In recognition of the occasion, Risei gave his son his name as a word of prayer meant to make him pure and beautiful. Kirei was trained to become a Church Executor from a young age and would meet his father's expectations to follow the faith and demonstrate good morals, being nominated to become an Executor by the age of ten.

Despite his upbringing, Kirei internally struggled with understanding his father's mentality and found the life he was raised to follow to be an empty one, as he desired misfortune, immorality and other thoughts considered sinful to the Church. He tried to correct this mentality as he grew up by trying to trigger an epiphany by subjecting himself to mental pain and strongly devoting himself to religion. However, he came to realize that subjecting himself to such things still left him feeling empty, as he further questioned why a sinful person like himself was born to the world if it hated evil so much.

Becoming a full Executor at age 22, Kirei desired to have a family so he can gain a normal sense of self. He would meet and marry a young woman named Claudia Hortensia while performing his duties to judge heretics. He then left the Church and his duties as an official priest to devote time to Claudia. However, this path was a tragic one for Kirei as Claudia suffered from terminal illness that would take her life in a few years time. While struggling to accept loving her, Kirei would consummate with Claudia and the woman would give birth to a daughter named Caren.

While together for two years, the relationship never changed Kirei as the happiness he gained from Claudia was from witnessing the suffering she underwent than any genuine love he had for her. When Claudia became bedridden from her disease, Kirei would finally acknowledge to her that he had no love for her. Wanting Kirei to realize that he did have love for her and deserved to live, she killed herself with the intent to see her husband cry as she died. But rather than Kirei's tears being from sadness as she died, the tears came from regret for not taking his wife's life himself and relishing in the act. These events finally led Kirei to give up on seeking redemption and he returned to committing to his training as an Executor.

Days later, Kirei would come to discover a Command Spell on his wrist, being chosen to participate in the 4th Holy Grail War three years from now. Upon revealing this to his father, Kirei was instructed to be taken under the wing of Tokiomi Tohsaka to be trained for the Grail War and temporarily become part of the Mage's Association. Despite not knowing why he was selected for the Grail War since he lacked purpose for participating in it, Kirei went through the motions of following his father's direction and learning more about the Tohsaka family and being hated by Tokiomi's daughter, Rin.

Creation

Kirei was created by Kinoko Nasu for the visual novel game, Fate/ Stay Night, in its original release on January 28, 2004 in Japan. He was made a prominent character in all three arcs of the game and also made appearances for anime and manga adaptations of Fate/ Stay Night with the 2006 TV anime, a manga series that was published from 2006 to 2012 and the 2010 film adaptation of the Unlimited Blade Works route from the game. His character also appeared in the novel prequel to the game called Fate/ Zero, which also had anime adaptations made in 2011 and 2012 by Ufotable.

During development of the Fate/ Zero novel, creator Gen Urobuchi was having difficulty determining an effective highlight for the climatic battle between Kirei and Kiritsugu as Kirei only had Black Keys on him in the early design stages of the novel compared to Kiritsugu's firearms and magic, such as Avalon and Innate Time Control. Wanting to implement the martial art Bajiquan for Kirei's character, Urobuchi consulted reference materials to get a feel for how he would use it in his work. While the result is a form of "random Bajiquan" that shouldn't be compared to the actual martial art, its use helped to add more dimension in Kirei's battle scenes, such as his fight with Maiya and Irisviel in the second volume of the novel series.

Evolution

Appearance

Kotomine in Fate/Stay Night
Kotomine in Fate/Stay Night
Kotomine in Fate/Zero
Kotomine in Fate/Zero

During the 4th Holy Grail War, Kirei was in his mid-20s at 185 cm tall (roughly '6'1") and gained an unnatural growth spurt up to 193 cm (roughly '6'4") tall for the 5th Grail War. Having brown hair and brown eyes, Kirei is normally seen in religious attire for both Grail Wars, with vestments and a golden cross around his neck for the 4th Grail War and a cassock for the 5th Grail War.

Personality

Despite how others perceive him, Kirei was born with a warped mind that delights in the depraved elements of humanity. Despite his best efforts in his youth, he could never understand how others found happiness as he could only feel happiness in negative emotions, such as the suffering of others.

Fate/ Zero

Kirei would summon the Servant, Assassin, for his participation in the 4th Holy Grail War. His role in the Grail War was to ensure Tokiomi's victory in it by using the Assassins as reconnaissance to observe the other participants and would devise a ploy to fool them by having one of the Assassins be killed by Tokiomi's Servant, Gilgamesh. He developed a fascination with Kiritsugu Emiya throughout the course of the Grail War, believing both to be kindred spirits in having an empty existence and enjoying the suffering of others. Yet upon learning that Kiritsugu was understood by others from his battle with Maiya and Irisviel, he became disappointed in what he learned. Kiritsugu, on the other hand, would come to acknowledge Kirei as the biggest threat to him in the Grail War.

Kirei killing Tokiomi
Kirei killing Tokiomi

As the Grail War pressed on, Kirei would engage in interactions with Gilgamesh. Intrigued by the man's participation in the battle, Gilgamesh implored Kirei to indulge in his true desires instead of living an empty existence. At first, Kirei would continue to observe the other Servants in the Grail War. But later on following the loss of the Assassins to Iskander, he would persuade Gilgamesh into an alliance with one another when he discovers that Tokiomi intended to have Gilgamesh kill himself when he won the Grail War. Kirei would proceed to later kill Tokiomi using an Azoth dagger that the man gave Kirei as a parting gift for his loyalty as an apprentice.

In addition to this, Kirei would come to discover his father's corpse, who was killed earlier on by Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi. Risei would leave with Kirei his large supply of Command Spells in a dying message left by the man. While shedding tears knowing that his father cared for him in the end, the tears were more disappointment from not having the opportunity to see him die like his wife from years earlier.

With his father's Command Spells and Gilgamesh as his Servant, Kirei proceeded with a plan to ensure his victory in the Grail War. He manipulated Kariya Matou into an alliance and used him to abduct Irisviel, who was to serve as the vassal for the Holy Grail. In return for his services, Kirei promised to ensure victory for Kariya in the Grail War, Command Spells to replace the ones used to have Berserker abduct Irisviel and the opportunity to act upon his revenge on Tokiomi. However, Kariya was unaware of Tokiomi being killed, with Kirei also manipulating Tokiomi's wife Aoi to walk in on the scene and assume Kariya was her husband's killer. This act was more Kirei and Gilgamesh seeking enjoyment out of the suffering that the two faced in that moment. Kirei and Gilgamesh would make use of Caster's hideout in the sewers as their lair, setting up Irisviel in her position to become the Holy Grail and ordering Gilgamesh to finish off the remaining Servants.

During the early points of his plan, Kirei would also have an encounter with Zouken Matou. The twisted head of the Matou family would acknowledge that Kirei shares the same twisted nature as he does and must be planning something interesting. Sensing Zouken as a threat, Kirei attempted to kill him using Black Keys. But due to the nature of Zouken's body, piercing weapons wouldn't harm him and the old man laughs at Kirei as he leaves the scene. Kirei would come to acknowledge Zouken as a major threat in his plans to come.

Kirei would engage in a brutal final battle with Kiritsugu, making use of his Command Spells and martial arts against his foe's Innate Time Control and use of Avalon. The battle would end in a stalemate when both become engulfed in the black mud of the corrupted Holy Grail. As Kirei awakens from his dream of the Grail, he discovers himself to being held at gunpoint by Kiritsugu. He is surprised by his foe refusing the Holy Grail's offer with Kiritsugu acknowledging that it sacrifices too much to make its wishes come true. Despite this, Kirei still desired it. This results in Kiritsugu shooting Kirei through the chest.

Kotomine in glee over the suffering of Fuyuki.
Kotomine in glee over the suffering of Fuyuki.

Fatally wounded, the Holy Grail would appear to Kirei with hatred and rage for Kiritsugu due to its destruction. The Grail would give Kirei an artificial black heart to save his life and give Gilgamesh a full flesh-and-blood body. Awakening to discover the devastation that the Grail inflicted upon Fuyuki Town, Kirei delighted in the suffering and laughed out in pleasure as he realized what purpose he had for himself in the world.

Kirei would become Rin's guardian following the Grail War and gave her Tokiomi's Azoth dagger, claiming to have received it from him upon completing his father's training yet giving it to her more as a means to induce pleasure from her suffering. While he would control the vast Tohsaka lands in Rin's place, his mismanagement on the finances for them would lead much of the property to be inherited by others.

Kirei would use the life force of children orphaned from the Grail War to supply Gilgamesh with mana under the guise of creating an orphanage for them to live in. While no longer needing mana to sustain himself, Gilgamesh would take it anyway and would take on the form of a child to be able to blend in with the human populace in Fuyuki.

Fate/ Stay Night

Kirei serves as the supposedly unbiased mediator of the 5th Holy Grail War. In reality, he desires to use the wish of the winner of the Grail War to inflict destruction upon the populace of Fuyuki City to experience the feelings of happiness he had from the events of the 4th Grail War's climax. He would force Lancer into becoming his Servant after killing his Master, Bazett Fraga McRemitz, and continues his alliance with Gilgamesh from the prior Grail War.

Fate Route (TV anime)

Kirei killed by Shiro.
Kirei killed by Shiro.

Kirei serves as the major enemy of this route. He mostly remains in the background until the final days of the Grail War when Shiro comes to discover his alliance to Gilgamesh and Lancer, as well as the corpses of children from Kirei supplying Gilgamesh their life force. The priest attempts to persuade Saber and Shiro to make their wish upon the Grail, but both refuse upon learning of its corruption. Shiro would engage in a final battle with Kirei, who attempts to kill the boy using the Grail's curse. However, Shiro overcomes the curse through use of Avalon and succeeds in killing Kirei by using the same Azoth dagger that the priest used to kill Tokiomi years earlier.

Unlimited Blade Works Route

Kirei killed by Lancer.
Kirei killed by Lancer.

While Kirei's intentions are still the same here, his role is lessened. He lends Gilgamesh to Shinji Matou as a Servant as part of his plans and was assumed dead following Caster's attack on the Church. Kirei is revealed to be alive later on when Rin was kidnapped, revealing his responsibility for her father's murder. He orders Lancer to kill Rin and implant the Grail vessel in place of her heart. Having become fond of the girl during their time together though, Lancer refuses to follow his command. Kirei then makes use of a Command Spell to force Lancer into killing himself. However, Lancer remains alive long enough to kill Kirei with Gae Bolg before the priest could kill her.

Heaven's Feel Route

Note: The details covered in this section are shown only in the game version of Fate/ Stay Night.

Here, Kirei desired to use Sakura Matou's connection to the Holy Grail created by Zouken as his means of completing it and reviving the manifestation of the world's evils, Angra Mainyu, upon the world. He exploited Shiro's love for Sakura to ensure her safety and to rescue the other vassal of the Grail, Ilya, from the clutches of Zouken. While they succeed in rescuing Ilya, the two are attacked by True Assassin and Dark Berserker. Having a score to settle with Zouken from the prior Grail War, Kirei engages in battle with True Assassin where he manages to use Black Keys to restrain the Servant using information he obtained earlier from Lancer. While he succeeds in exorcizing Zouken, Dark Sakura arrives on the scene and stops his black heart, giving him only hours to live. He manages to flee from her before being killed.

Kirei's final battle with Shiro.
Kirei's final battle with Shiro.

At the end of the route, Kirei appears before Shiro to prevent him from destroying the Grail. Despite their terminal conditions, the two engage in a brutal battle with one another as Shiro comes to understand that he and Kirei are similar in that both are empty beings seeking happiness in differing forms, with the priest using their battle as a means to release his anger and frustration towards normal people. Kirei's body is the first to give out in their battle, as he acknowledges Shiro's victory in the Grail War before his death.

Abilities

As a Church Executor, Kirei possesses formidable abilities in physical combat and the use of magecraft, as well as the ability to heal others via spiritual meditation. While not as strong as Ciel, he is still a fearsome foe to face as his abilities, combined with the Command Spells in his possession, make him a threat to human magi and supernatural creatures like Dead Apostles and Heroic Spirits.

Physical Prowess

In his training as an Executor, Kirei underwent rigorous physical conditioning that gave him attributes greatly surpassing those of a normal human. While carrying Ilya during the events of Heaven's Feel, Kirei fell twenty meters to the ground without injury nor use of Reinforcement magic and was capable of running roughly 31 MPH on uneven terrain in a forest for prolonged periods of time without any fatigue. His strength is impressive as such where he can easily jump up 20 meters into the air and grab a person by the head from a tree and level a tree while easily freeing himself from restraints. He also possesses a high level of endurance as he can endure large amounts of physical trauma to his body that would otherwise kill or incapacitate a normal person such as his arm being crippled from a Contender bullet fired by Kiritsugu and the loss of his artificial heart from Dark Sakura.

Kirei's use of Bajiquan (Click to see Animated GIF)
Kirei's use of Bajiquan (Click to see Animated GIF)

This physical prowess is a result of his training in a form of the martial art called Bajiquan that combines magic with the physical conditioning that Kirei underwent. With it, Kirei is capable of easily dispatching normal humans in a single blow and crippling those with superhuman attributes by inflicting internal damage to their bodies, as the martial art puts emphasis on dispatching foes through the shortest means possible.

Combat

Having many years of experience as an Executor, Kirei has killed many magi that specialize in differing forms of magecraft and is used to expecting unconventional methods from his foes. He is capable of exploiting physical and mental traumas that his foe suffers from due either to inflicted injuries or tragic experiences. While Rin surpasses Kirei in magic, Kirei is very likely to prevail in a battle with her due to his greater experience and ability to exploit the emotional trauma from her father's death to prevent her from fighting at her true potential.

He has experience dealing with firearms as he can discern the type of bullets being fired from the sound being given off by gunfire. While many would normally lose their composure from hearing the sound of gunfire, Kirei is able to remain composed and judge the best means of engaging his opponent depending on the type of firearm they use against him. He is capable of sensing hidden foes from their killing intent, allowing him to discern the locations of those attempting to fire upon him with sniper rifles.

While not capable of easily dodging bullets as Dead Apostles would be, Kirei is capable of aim-dodging his foe's fired shots by discerning his foe's intentions, the timing of when they would fire and improvising a means of counterattack. His frock is made out of bulletproof material and protection spells cast by the Church that are capable of easily withstanding 9mm caliber fired rounds. This, combined with his large musculature, allows Kirei to storm through a hail of bullets without worrying for any damage he can sustain to his skeleton or organs from the impact force of fired bullets. He would still have to act in defense against knives, as his armor is still vulnerable to being cut by bladed weapons.

Black Keys

Kirei with Black Keys.
Kirei with Black Keys.

Like Ciel, Kirei is a skilled user of the thin-bladed weapons that are used by the Church against supernatural threats. Being a conceptual weapon, Black Keys are capable of harming spirits and are strong enough to pierce concrete and iron when thrown. They aren't effective weapons in close combat, as the blades are unwieldy to use against small weapons like knives. Kirei is capable of wielding four Black Keys in each of his hands and can complete separate throws of all four of them in 0.7 seconds. His skill in their use is as such where he is extremely accurate with his thrown shots, even while evading attacks or dealing with unconfirmed foes. Kirei can also use them to put his foe in a vulnerable position by using them as a diversionary tactic to strike them with his Bajiquan blows while they are occupied with evading thrown Black Keys.

Angra Mainyu

Kirei touching the mud of the corrupted Grail.
Kirei touching the mud of the corrupted Grail.

Being linked to the Holy Grail, Kirei requires its prana to sustain his life since Angra Mainyu saved his life from the fatal gunshot wound he suffered against Kiritsugu by implanting an artificial heart in him. With this link, Kirei is immune to the effects of evil curses like True Assassin's Zabaniya: Delusional Heartbeat and can touch the mud pouring from the corrupted Grail without any ill effects, as it would otherwise curse its victims to death by melting down their bodies the longer they remain immersed in it. This connection does make him vulnerable to the influence of Dark Sakura, who became capable of controlling the amount of prana supplied to Kirei and removing the artificial heart that remained in his body thanks to completely succumbing herself to Angra Mainyu's influence.

Spiritual Doctor

Kirei possesses a high level of skill as a spiritual doctor, a magi with the ability to heal a person through a spiritual medium. In the case of humans, he heals through their soul instead of the flesh. Spiritual healing involves removing the infected part of a person's soul and is a type of magecraft that Kirei specializes in, as he is otherwise a novice in the many forms of magecraft that he was taught in. Through this ability, Kirei can extract Command Spells from a magi's body, such as the ones he removed from Lancer's original Master, Bazett, after killing her. He had also made use of this ability in Heaven's Feel to remove the poison within Sakura's body used to make her Crest Worms go out of control and to attach Archer's arm to Shiro.

Baptism Rite

Baptism Rite
Baptism Rite

This is a ten-verse exorcist spell that is highly powerful against spiritual bodies and the only magical miracle that can be taught within the Church. Kirei made use of the spell against Zouken as it completely disperses the Matou head's spiritual body due to being a spirit using worms to affect the world. The spell didn't actually kill Zouken as his true body rested in Sakura's heart in the form of a small worm, where the Baptism Rite couldn't affect him. However, the spell's effects were enough to halt Zouken's efforts lest he consume another body. The spell is also effective against Heroic Spirits who are not bound to a Master.

Incantation for the Baptism Rite:

"I will kill. I will let live. I will harm and heal. None will escape me. None will escape my sight.

Be crushed.

I welcome those who have grown old and those who have lost.

Devote yourself to me, learn from me, and obey me.

Rest. Do not forget song, do not forget prayer, and do not forget me.

I am light and relieve you of all your burdens.

Do not pretend. Retribution for forgiveness, betrayal for trust, despair for hope, darkness for light, dark death for the living.

Relief is in my hands. I will add oil to your sins and leave a mark.

Eternal life is given through death.

— Ask for forgiveness here. I, the incarnation, will swear.

— Kyrie eleison".

Command Spells

Kirei's Command Spells
Kirei's Command Spells

Kirei is in possession of a large number of Command Spells that he inherited from his father, Risei, during the 4th Holy Grail War and removed from Bazett. While he does use them to command Lancer, Kirei can also use them to augment his abilities as a magi. When using them as Reinforcement, Kirei can amplify his attributes to the level of a Servant for short periods of time and increase the length of his Black Keys. Because Command Spells are one-use magical crests, they are capable of countering the effects coming from Kiritsugu's Origin Bullets. Kirei also made use of the Command Spells to amplify his spiritual healing enough to remove all of the Crest Worms within Sakura's body.

Voiced by
Name Movies TV Shows
Jamieson Price
0
1
Jouji (George) Nakata
1
26
Rank Game #421 in Power Rank
General Information Edit
Name: Kirei Kotomine
Name: 言峰 綺礼
Romanji: Kotomine Kirei
Gender: Male
Birthday: 12/28/1968
1st manga book: Fate/stay night #1
1st anime episode: Fate/stay night #3
1st anime movie: Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
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Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

An alternate retelling of Fate/Stay Night based off of the original visual novel's scenario by the same name. It primarily focuses on Shirou, Archer, and ...

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