12 Days of Waifus – Day 11: Tohsaka Rin (Fate/Stay Night)
Rin is one of those characters where I just can’t seem to have an opportunity to spend any money on, which is baffling even to this day. I have a lot of Saber figures and posters, probably because they are just more accessible, but not a single one for Rin. I assume Saber is just more easier merchandised, considering how many versions of Saber there are and how aesthetically good all of them are. Despite this, and I would like to point this out clearly-my true absolute waifu in the Fate/Stay Night universe is Rin.
One thing which strikes me fancy in Rin is that she is her own person, and moves forward in her own way. Sure enough, her lifestyle definitely has it’s fair share of problems, but she is comfortable with it-and is studying magic not out of obligation, but of pure love for it. She is comfortable about herself being a hedonist, and her presence just brings comfort, optimism and empowerment all in one go, despite Fate/Stay Night’s generally bleak settings.
This is a stark contrast to Shirou’s altruism-his whole lifestyle basically just screams OBLIGATION. I appreciate Shirou’s characterization (not to say I like him as a character), but put both of them together, the contrast between their characterizations highlight why Rin is just such a great character. Out of all the three heroines: Saber, Rin and Sakura-Rin is the only one who is the perfect foil to Shirou. And while foil characters are usually used to utilize the main protagonist’s characterization, in this case, ironically, it worked the other way around.
There was one scene in the first cour of the UBW TV series which highlights these particular aspects of their characterizations extremely well. As expected, Shirou’s troublesome lifestyle made Rin went mad.
Other than that, she’s a very dependable person and is a character who follows through her promises-one of the reason why she never stab Shirou in the back despite such acts possible and even recommended at times for easy victories in the Holy Grail Wars. To that end, Rin is just a very good human being with her own sets of morals and ideals to uphold, which of course, aren’t close to Shirou’s ambitions, and shouldn’t be. Throughout Fate/Stay Night, I had always seen Rin as a character who’s trying to be a cold, calculating mage just like how veteran mages should be (just like pretty much almost all of Fate/Zero’s masters-the adult ones, at least), but couldn’t due to her own naivety.
Indeed, she may be harsh on the outside, but she’s a very nice, sympathetic girl on the inside-a clear element of tsundere, but in Rin’s case, the archetype fits in almost naturally. We had seen cases of this, like how Rin grew so hysterical after Shirou got stabbed by Lancer and was close to death, and also with the way Rin treated Sakura in Heaven’s Feel. Within the context, Rin was always being misunderstood as that cold, calculating girl but almost nobody had realized her soft side.
I also like how expressive she is. I’m just not talking about her contrasting tsundere traits here, but rather just with the ability to be expressive, which in Fate/Stay Night’s settings, seems like a rare trait, as you can see from characters with dead-fish expressions like Sakura, Kiritsugu and even Kirei who certainly had their fair share of troubles expressing their emotions. I guess to make it simple, I just like how honest and straightforward she is, and doesn’t hide her feelings at all. She’s happy when she’s happy, shocked when she’s shocked, angry when she’s angry-what we see of Rin is what it is, there are no hidden agenda… at least if you managed to get around her “honor student” facade at school.
Of course, while she may possess a thousand faces, unknown to death, nor known to life; she can still rock out the classic tsundere look, and still does a better job at it than most typical tsunderes.
To that end, it’s a little bit difficult to describe my fascination with Rin, since she is a combination of different kinds of positive traits. She is witty, snarky, intelligent, and also happens to be a tsundere, which is one of my favorite archetypes. She’s honest and straightforward, she’s comfortable with being herself and she’s also prideful and competitive.
Rin is also shown to have proficiency in the art of yuri, Fate/Extra proves this, and this scores even more points for Rin as far as I’m concerned.
Last but not least, I would like to mention that although the anime adaption of UBW had been pretty polarizing-I’m perhaps one of the very few guys who still like it anyway, and my love for Rin remained strong nonetheless. After all, Tsundere + Twintails + Zettai Ryouiki is an instant win.