The Caretaker of Fuyuki City Fueled by the Elements
Rin is a mage of naturally exceptional aptitude who was born and raised to be the successor of the Tohsaka household, the family responsible for the city of Fuyuki. Rin is in her second year at the same school that Shirou attends, and maintains a solid facade of the perfect honor roll student. She fatefully summoned Emiya, a Heroic Spirit of the future, in the form of Archer and participated in the Fifth Holy Grail War as a Master.
Rin is a special case that is known as an "Average One", which means she is capable of manipulating all five of the great Elements. Also proficient in the Tohsaka household's special Conversion ability, Rin is able to store her prana in gemstones and later tap into that prana at any time. The only drawback of this valuable skill is that the gemstone containing the prana is destroyed when Rin releases the stored prana. Being thrifty by nature, Rin naturally prefers not to use her Conversion ability very often. In terms of offensive magic, Rin is particularly gifted in the curse spell Gandr. At her elder apprentice Kirei's recommendation, Rin takes her physical training as seriously as her magical training, and has taken to learning Bajiquan under Kirei's tutelage.
Rin's efficient and seemingly unfeeling ways have earned her the nickname "Red Devil".
While she may appear to push people away, Rin has the strength of character that few come to know or understand. It was this inner strength that allowed her to save Shirou, Archer, and Sakura. Indeed, Rin Tohsaka may just the the best example of a truly strong individual.
Character Data 002
|Affiliation||Homurahara Academy Class 2-A|
|TALENTS:||Accomplishing everything with ease, only to fail when it really counts|
|LIKES:||Polishing gemstones, teasing Shirou|
|DISLIKES:||All electronics, the unexpected|
Rin's interpersonal relationships can be divided into two categories: those within the Tohsaka household and those outside of it. Her father Tokiomi was a talented mage who participated in the Fourth Holy Grail War. Though not a mage like Tokiomi, Rin's mother had a very rare kind of blood, and it was the mixed heritage of mage's blood and this special blood that granted Rin her unusually exceptional magical abilities,. The Matou household sought to bring this blood into their household as well and adopted Rin's younger sister, resulting in the two sisters growing up in different homes.
Kirei was Tokiomi's apprentice and can therefore be considered Rin's brother-apprentice. After Tokiomi died, Kirei became Rin's guardian and instructed her in both the magical and martial arts. Rin once saw Shirou when they were attending different middle schools, and has been fascinated with him ever since.
Character Discussion with Kinoko Nasu & Takashi Takeuchi
THE CATALYST FOR RIN'S BIRTH
TAKEUCHI: I wanted to design a character with really sharp-angled eyes, so I focused on that when I was doing up the rough sketches, but as the design came along, her eyes got rounder and rounder. Drawing a character with two ponytails was also something I wanted to do. By the way, there was another character that filled a role similar to Rin's, wasn't there?
NASU: Yes, the heroine with glasses from old "Fate" named Ayaka Sajyou had a rival character who was a total rich-kid, spoiled heiress type. She would look down on you and laugh at you, like Luvia. Her servant was the Lancer. You could say she was the basis for Rin's character. When Shirou snagged the main character position for "stay night", it was this character who transformed into Rin to fill the rival role. We wanted Shirou's rival to be more likeable than the snobby heiress, though, so we took inspiration from Aoko Aozaki, a character Takeuchi and I both like. Azaka, Akiha, and Rin are all Aoko-type characters, but I'd say Rin is the most like Aoko. I really didn't feel like making "Witch on the Holy Night" when we were working on "stay night", so I made the executive decision to create a feminine Aoko. Though I suppose she turned out to be more of a clumsy Aoko than a feminine Aoko... Takeuchi seemed to intuitively understand what I was going for, and his "Fate version Aoko" meshed well with my vision for Rin.
TAKEUCHI: I guess we both wanted the same thing for that character.
NASU: I was recently chatting with Aruko Wada, an artist for "Fate/Extra", and I asked her what it was like to draw Rin. The instant response I got was that Rin's design was so complete and well put together that there was little to no room for adjustments. Apparently, this made drawing Rin a much more straightforward affair than drawing Saber. Aruko also mentioned that attempting to add things or otherwise alter Rin's look proved quite difficult.
TAKEUCHI: I guess we did so well with keeping Rin simple yet infusing her with strong trademark qualities that it's hard to make changes without eliminating that "Rin factor". While designing Rin, I was aiming for a sort of perfection, something that would make her seem unapproachable. I knew the stronger she seemed on the outside, the more of a contrast it would provide for the vulnerabilities she hid inside, and that would make her all the more appealing as a character.
NASU: Giving her twin ponytails kind of takes the honor roll student edge off of her and gives her a touch of the rich heiress feel, which actually makes her a tad bit more approachable. Putting that hairstyle on a strict studybug-type character helps to give the impression that she has an extroverted personality.
TAKEUCHI: Well, the twin ponytails are there mostly because they are symbolic of the "tsundere" type of personality.
DESIGNING RIN'S OUTFITS
TAKEUCHI: Since Rin was taking the honor roll student role, we wanted the school uniform to suit her better than any of the other characters. For this reason, we used Rin as the base model when designing the school uniform, but she ended up appearing in the game wearing her casual clothes more than any other outfit. In the end, her casual outfit became the "default" outfit for Rin's character. I suppose we could blame that on Archer, too.
NASU: When did we decide on the color scheme for Rin's casual clothes?
TAKEUCHI: I'm pretty sure we settled on red as her theme color right from the start. As I recall, the choice came rather easily.
FINANCIAL STATUS OF THE TOHSAKA HOUSEHOLD
NASU: The Mage's Association in London (the Clock Tower) deals with patents associated with all things magical. Rin's father Tokiomi holds the patent for a special formula that simplifies magic, for which he receives a patent fee every month. The Tohsaka household was built entirely on this income. With Rin not doing anything in particular to earn an income herself and Tokiomi's formula slowly becoming obsolete over time, the Tohsaka household's financial situation is becoming more and more strenuous by the day. Sometimes I feel like telling Rin that she needs to get herself to London and figure something out quick!
TAKEUCHI: Especially because Rin can be quite an expensive girl. (laughs)
THE MESSAGE RIN CARRIES AS A CHARACTER
NASU: At the very beginning of her creation, I started with the concept of a girl who was able to be relentlessly hard on herself for any mistakes or failures. She was going to be someone who could go into a rage, but in a way that left you feeling good about it. To top it all off, she had to be pretty.
TAKEUCHI: Yeah, Rin's so manly.
NASU: I prefer using a word like "gallant"!
TAKEUCHI: Nah, Rin's super cute but she totally has a manly side.
NASU: Among the human characters, she's probably one of the most complete and well put-together specimens of mankind. That's why Shirou will never turn into Archer as long as he is living alongside Rin.
TAKEUCHI: I know it's kind of out of the blue, but I feel like I'm only now fully appreciating how amazing Rin really is.
NASU: That's right, you mentioned you're going through some kind of Rin phase lately...
TAKEUCHI: Yeah, I guess you could say that. (laughs)
NASU: I will say that Rin was my favorite character when I was writing the story. Rin is like Aoko in so many aspects that it felt good to write Rin's story. Of course Rider showed up shortly after that and everything went to hell. With regard to Saber, writing her story was always nerve-racking for me because I knew she was really important to Takeuchi. I had a similar experience writing for Hisui in "Tsukihime". Whenever an artist gets attached to a specific character, it's really stressful for me to write that character's portion of the overall story. I guess that added stress comes from the feeling that the character no longer belongs to just me, and that I must meet someone else's high expectations as I flesh them out. I noticed I was constantly pushing myself to do "better" while I was writing Saber's story. In contrast, I felt so much freedom when writing Rin's story, and maybe that's why it felt extra nice.
TAKEUCHI: I think Rin is a character who is all about potential. Maybe that's why I'm only truly appreciating her now. Saber felt so complete right from the start, and the poetic beauty of her pairing with Shirou only added to the perfection. In Rin's case, however, a lot of events and situations like that whole London deal kept bringing out new sides of her that we hadn't previously seen. She makes you think about what "potential" really means, in a variety of ways. For example, if we were to do a spin-off story for Saber that took place in the Knights of the Round Table era, we still wouldn't be able to disband or do without the pairing of Saber and Shirou. That combination is just so complete that it's hard to adapt it to totally different situations. Rin, on the other hand, is more of a free agent because her relationship with shirou doesn't pre-define her in any way. Of course we have the Archer/Rin pairing, but a Lancer/Rin pairing would work just as well and be just as good in its own way. We could even set up a story where Rin and Luvia are fighting over Shirou. In this way, I feel like Rin has earned her place as a face of the "Fate" series right alongside Saber.