Kirei wears simple vestments and a golden cross around his neck during the Fourth Holy Grail War, and he wears a cassock as of the Fifth Holy Grail War. He is noted to be rather tall, standing at 185 cm in his mid twenties, and experiencing an unnatural eight centimeter growth spurt to 193 cm after the Fourth Holy Grail War for an unknown reason.
Unknown to all those around him, Kirei was born defective, possessing a warped mind since birth. He is an evil person, but not a villain. He is deviant, but not inhuman. He is not sane, but neither is he insane. Despite his personal accomplishments, he never felt satisfaction. Despite his best efforts he could not enjoy what other people found happiness in, and instead found himself drawn to negative emotions like the pain of others. He is able to act like a normal person, even bringing pride to his father, but he intrinsically cannot understand others or things they see as "beautiful."
He is very similar to Shirou in that he is a void human being without a clear sense of self, and can be called the opposite extreme of Shirou. If Archer is a light embossing of Shirou's defects, then Kotomine could be said to be the wall exposing those defects by darkness. He also pursued Kiritsugu fervently, believing that Kiritsugu possessed the same hollowness.
Fourth Holy Grail WarEdit
After first learning of his defect as a child, he attempted to correct it through various methods because he believed that it was not in accordance with the world. He had nothing that could be called a "sense of purpose" like his father or teacher, so he was unable to consider an idea noble, find comfort in any quest, or find solace in pleasure. Though he still believed in God, he lacked the maturity to perceive it, and he only felt that there was a supreme existence, still clinging onto the small hope that the word of God would lead him to supreme truth and save him.
He already knew within himself that salvation would no longer come from the love of God for one such as himself, removed far from the sense of values held by the ordinary world. Unable to figure out a passion in which to throw himself, he was driven into masochism in his despair, forging his body under tortures and becoming Risei's pride for his perceived devotion and piety. He was ashamed by Risei's misunderstanding, which not even a lifetime's worth of shame could amend.
After over twenty years and various methods including an attempt at a family, he came to realize that it was his unchanging nature. Not even his wife could understand how much he lacked, and though he was planning suicide before his wife's death, he simply decided to devote his time to single-mindedly following the orders of the Church while ignoring his inclinations. Always calm and serious, he came to believe that joy itself was actually a sin, and, believing that finding joy in and from the pain of others is monstrous and inhuman, condemned the same atrocities that he would later perform.
He was confused as to why he was chosen by the Holy Grail as a Master, he who lacked sense of purpose, ideals, or aspiration. There should have been many other capable people to support Tokiomi, so he believed that explanation to be false. It chose him, which was a worrying inconsistency in that someone such as him had no reason to need an "almighty wish machine."
After acquainting himself with Gilgamesh, he fully accepts the joy he obtains from the misery of others.
Fifth Holy Grail WarEdit
He has found the most enjoyable part of the year to be his all night mass on December 31. The event allows him to ruin both the past year and the coming year at the same time in the span of half a day. It is strange that the assembled people, while reduced to a state of "I'm sorry for even being born" by him, are all thankful to Father Kotomine afterward. While his words may make people depressed, he will give beneficial advice.
While knowing of the true nature of the Holy Grail, that he could always be the first to have access to a wish, he cares little for it himself. He is more interested in the results of wishes made upon a tainted artifact, especially with individuals who possess pure souls or good intentions.
He holds mixed feelings over the death of his wife. While he can no longer remember her voice or her face, he sometimes thinks "I wanted to kill her", but he doesn't know if it is a thought for his pleasure or grief for wanting to kill the one he loved with his own hands. He holds it as something that should be hidden forever, as her death was meaningless. Her devotion could not change him, but he doesn't want to consider her death to be worthless. He stopped searching for answers after that point. He warns Shirou not to kill a person he saved if she is a woman because "having her die in front of you hits you pretty hard."Kirei never had clear desires, but was still tormented by physiological needs, the formost being food. He recognizes eating as a desire, but only as a necessity for survival. The act of eating is simply a procedure of placing food into the stomach to prevent it from becoming empty. During his various international missions, he had tried various dishes from both the East and West, and while he once anticipated that one of them could truly fill the emptiness in his heart, he found it to be a futile effort. While they could be called delicious and filling, they never brought any sense of fulfillment to his heart. Acting mechanically, he could only put the dishes served into his mouth to fill his stomach and leave his seat without any emotion.
He had no expectations for the taste of food until unintentionally tasting the mapo tofu of Fuyuki's Hongzhou Feast Hall: Taishan. That specific mapo tofu is the only food capable of touching his heart and the only delicacy he recognizes. While it looks like a mere disarrayed dish with chili peppers piled on top, he is enamored by the dish's spiciness and the stimulating scorch on his tongue that brings an indescribable taste. He believes that spiciness must be the ultimate experience of the sense of taste. He places several orders of it beforehand, eats it fervently enough that he begins to sweat, and he eats it at fast pace where he does not even pause once to drink.
Kirei summons Assassin while Tokiomi Tohsaka, his mentor, summons the Archer-class Servant. Gilgamesh 'kills' one of the Assassins in full view of the other Masters. This is in fact a ploy to fool the other masters into thinking that Assassin has been eliminated from the Holy Grail War. The Assassins initially acted as reconnaissance agents for Tokiomi and Kirei.
Kiritsugu recognized Kotomine as the most dangerous of the other Masters from the start and Kotomine knew about Kiritsugu Emiya well enough to be interested in him. During the first days of the war, Kirei followed Tokiomi's instructions and stayed in the church as a "defeated Master", but his growing interest in Kiritsugu lead him to search for him, engaging in some confrontations against Kiritsugu's assistant Maiya Hisau and his spouse Irisviel von Einzbern. Kirei won against them while Kiritsugu was fighting Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi, but seeing that Kiritsugu was a being that could be comprehended by others and not an empty man with the answers he sought, disappointment grew in Kirei, and he retreated.
Intrigued by Kirei's participation in the war, Gilgamesh suggests that to overcome his emptiness Kirei should determine the backgrounds and motivations of the other Masters and Servants as to why they wish to obtain the Holy Grail. Then, he decides that he should observe Kariya Matou’s fate too.
After Caster's defeat at the Mion river, Kirei brings Kariya to the Matou underground worm chamber and leaves, only to find the dead body of his father back at the Church. Kirei finds a dying message from him; a secret password that gives Kirei all the remaining extra Command Spells. Kirei sheds tears after seeing that his father cared about him until the end, but feels the exact opposite affection that a normal human being should. He wanted to see him die, just like when his wife died.Kirei goes back to his room and has a conversation with Gilgamesh, but this time, Kirei is the devil tempting Gilgamesh. Kirei explains how Tokiomi will use his last Command Spell to kill his own Servant to open the gate. Hearing this, Gilgamesh accepts Kirei's plan to assassinate Tokiomi and take his position as Archer's Master. Tokiomi invites Kirei to his house one last time before Kirei heads back to the Church headquarters. Tokiomi wholeheartedly thought that he was a loyal apprentice and gave him an Azoth Sword as a parting gift. However, Kirei betrays and murders him with that knife as Tokiomi exits the room.
Kirei had made a deal with Kariya that if he helped him, Kirei will arrange a meeting with him and Tokiomi. Also, in return for kidnapping Irisviel using Berserker in the guise of Rider, he is promised victory and the Holy Grail. Zouken Matou appears in front of Kirei and says he must be plotting something interesting. Sensing Zouken as a dangerous threat, he attempts to kill him on the spot but Zouken cannot be killed by just being pierced by Black Keys. As he leaves, Zouken chuckles saying he senses in Kirei the same kind of broken personality he himself has. Kirei determines he is one of the enemies that he needs to kill one day. As Zouken noted, the "meeting" of Kariya and Tokiomi was an event arranged only for Kirei's amusement, and as Kariya finds Tokiomi already dead and Aoi walks in on him, she misinterprets the situation and blames Kariya for her husband's death. Kariya strangles her in desperate rage as Kirei and Gilgamesh enjoy the scene.
Kirei transfers his hideout to the underground sewers where Caster used to be, setting Irisviel as the vessel to the Grail, and orders Gilgamesh to go out and intercept the enemies that are coming this way and Kariya's Berserker to fight Saber.
Kiritsugu and Kirei finally have their fateful battle at the center hall. They have nothing to say to each other. Kirei performs fatal Ba Ji Quan blows on Kiritsugu, but Avalon quickly heals his body and the Magus Killer makes a comeback with his Innate Time Control. Kirei tosses all his remaining Black Keys in a spin, so that they will be right over Kiritsugu just as Kirei gets to him - Kiritsugu can either try to dodge sideways or backwards and get punched anyway, or jump away and get slashed by the Keys. Instead, he just stands there, reloads, and shoots Kirei just as Kirei's fist connects and crushes his skull. With the battle in stalemate, the black mud gushing out from the Holy Grail in the room above engulfs them both.
After Kiritsugu's Grail induced dream, which Kirei had also witnessed, Kirei wakes up to Kiritsugu pointing his gun at Kirei from behind. Kirei is surprised that Kiritsugu didn't accept the offer of the Holy Grail. Kiritsugu's answer is that it sacrifices too many things for what it gives. Kirei says that he wanted it even so and Kiritsugu shoots him in the heart saying that he does not understand Kirei.In his last moments, the Holy Grail appeared to Kirei; filled with hatred and envy for Kiritsugu, he reached out and touched the cursed artifact. Kirei prayed for an end to humanity; his wish was granted in the form of fire. Amidst the roaring flames, Kiritsugu's Saber obliterates the Holy Grail, allowing its tainted water to soak Kirei's lifeless body, resurrecting him with an artificial, black heart. Kirei wakes up and finds Gilgamesh near him. He seems to have gained a flesh body from something that flowed to his body through the Master and Servant connection. After looking at the burning town, Kirei laughs out in pleasure. He finally realizes what brings happiness to him in this world. Half a year later, coming up with a plan to entertain himself, he gives Rin the Azoth Sword that killed her father as a gift, saying he received it from her father upon completing training. The rights to the Tohsaka lands are inherited by Aoi after Tokiomi's death, and subsequently inherited by Rin after Aoi's death. Kirei manages them as Rin's guardian, and because of his foolhardy and coarse management, the majority of profitable properties end up in the hands of others. It is possible that he believed the wealth was bad for her upbringing due to following the principle of humbleness and poverty.
In order to provide energy for Gilgamesh, he takes in children left orphaned by the conflagration under the guide of an orphanage to become a source of energy. Though he does not truly require it, Gilgamesh receives the energy and takes on his child form to be able to live adequately in the city. While continuing to act as Rin's guardian, he continues his work with the Church, and he is eventually assigned the Supervisor of the premature Fifth Holy Grail War after ten years.
Kotomine is the biggest enemy in Fate, and the initial concept behind his creation was "the guy you just knew the first time you saw him to be the one pulling all the strings". While he is an antagonist in all three scenarios, he is only the main antagonist in the Fate route. He has a much lesser role in the Unlimited Blade Works route, and acts as both an ally and enemy in the Heaven's Feel route.
He contacts the magus sent from the Mage's Association, Bazett Fraga McRemitz before the start of the Holy Grail War due to having been associated during past missions involving both the Church and Association. He quickly betrays her, fatally wounding her and severing the arm holding her Command Spells. He forms a contract with Lancer afterward, forcing him to become a scout for him to collect intelligence on participants of the war.
FateEditIn Fate, he apparently remains out of the plot until nearly the end. Shirou Emiya goes to Kotomine's place again hoping to get advice but he finds out he was the Master of not only Lancer, but Gilgamesh as well. He reveals that he has been keeping Gilgamesh from the previous war. Since then, he's been using orphans from the fire incident to supply Gilgamesh with Mana. He uses the Grail as bait to tempt Saber and Shirou into using it, but they refuse.
In the final day of the war, Kirei and Shirou fight in a cataclysmic final battle, same as Kirei and Kiritsugu had done ten years ago. Shirou and Saber (fighting Gilgamesh) use Avalon at the same time and defeat their enemies. Ironically, the knife that kills Kirei is the same Azoth Sword that he gave to Rin and used to murder her father, Tokiomi, many years ago.
Unlimited Blade WorksEdit
During the war, he is assumed deceased by the hands of Caster when she raids the church to acquire the Holy Grail vessel and obtain a new hideout, but Rin taunts the witch saying that if she was not able to find the corpse, that means that Kirei is still alive.
He reappears at Einzbern Castle alongside Shinji Matou, reveals to a kidnapped Rin that he was the one who murdered her father ten years ago and orders Lancer to rip out her heart and replace it with the Grail vessel. As Lancer just outright disobeys his order, Kotomine uses a Command Spell to order the Servant to kill himself, but as he was proceeding to finish the job, he is killed by a still alive Lancer.
In the Heaven's Feel route, he finds in Sakura Matou a way to find the answer to what he was looking for all his life. The "training" that Zouken Matou did to her in the years between wars turned her into a Lesser Grail, the Black Grail of the Makiri. With her innate connection to the dark being that sleeps within the Grail since the Third War, he plans to see the Holy Grail's completion and the birth of Angra Mainyu, thanks to the Third Magic.He exploits Shirou's love for Sakura to ensure her safety, and when Sakura is tainted by the shadow inside her, Kirei cooperates with Shirou in a raid against her and Zouken to rescue Ilya, the White Grail of the Einzberns. They manage to rescue Ilya, but are confronted with both True Assassin and Berserker Alter. Kirei has an old vendetta to settle with Zouken, and so he engages True Assassin and pins him to a tree using the information he received by observing Lancer's last battle, and then proceeds to exorcise Zouken. Afterwards, however, Dark Sakura arrives and stops his black heart, giving him only a few hours to live but he is able to escape before she can finish killing him.
Near the end of the scenario, Kirei suddenly appears, intending to stop Shirou from destroying something he has desired to witness. He wonders about the behavior and stability of an entity born of malice. After he gave up on salvation and happiness, he questioned the meaning of his own existence. Namely, he questioned how a being like himself was allowed to be born. Kirei sought to find the answer by completing the tainted Grail as he figured that the tainted Grail was a larger version of himself and by watching its birth, he would be able to find the answer to his lifelong question. Contrary to Kiritsugu, Shirou is, like Kirei, an empty human being pursuing happiness. The only difference is that Kirei was unable to find happiness outside evil, so this battle is also a way to release his frustration and envy towards normal people. Finally, Shirou notices that he likes Kirei Kotomine, and the two proceed to engage in a fateful battle like the one ten years ago. With their bodies half-dead, the only action they are able to perform is hand-to-hand combat.
As Kirei's heart was stopped in the forest, he is defeated by Shirou as his body gives out first. With his last words, Kirei declares Shirou Emiya the victor of the Fifth Holy Grail War and the last Master, after which his body crumbles lifeless.
Kotomine is not present in Fate/hollow ataraxia, his role as the overseer of the Holy Grail War was given to Caren Hortensia (who is later revealed to be his daughter). However, he is mentioned during several scenes (most notably during flashbacks by Bazett, as he is the one who betrayed her).
Kirei's life in the world of Fate/Apocrypha is briefly mentioned. Differing from the world of Fate/stay night, he has a foster brother, Shirou Kotomine, and he never gets the chance to participate in the Fourth Holy Grail War due to the Greater Grail being stolen from Fuyuki during the Third Holy Grail War. Risei dies at some point in time, and Kirei sets out on a spiritual journey looking for "something not yet known to him."
Kotomine makes a number of appearances during Carnival Phantasm, mostly as a commentator of the Holy Grail War. He constantly complains about the Church not having enough funds to repair the damage caused by the participants of the War.
Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma IllyaEdit
Kirei has the qualifications of a Church Executor and specializes in healing by spiritual mediation. Gaining such a title classifies him as a first-rate murderer, signifying that he has passed brutal and pious training to become mankind's weapon. He is a first class Executor, but he still cannot match the seventh of the Burial Agency on normal terms. He has not gotten stronger as he has aged, as he is weaker in terms of pure strength without weapons or magecraft than Bazett Fraga McRemitz as of the Fifth War. His peak of ten years before, the "brightest moment of his life", is stronger than Bazett overall under such conditions.
His combat ability in at his peak is extremely strong when counting his abnormally large number of Command Spells, utilizing one or two at a time putting his physical ability equal to that of a Dead Apostle, and tenacity towards Kiritsugu, so he could even win against Ciel at that time. The state could also allow him to defeat a Servant under limited conditions. The only ones he could readily defeat would be those who lack physical power like an Assassin after having been revealed or a Caster in close combat. Defeating those that specialize in hand-to-hand combat would require a special condition in his favor like surprise or suitability against the opponent.
Kirei is a skilled Executor, who has become a combat expert with over ten years of experiences in killing magi. He has experience hunting many strange magi and has fought countless numbers to the death, so he is used to facing enemies beyond common sense. Even though Rin is stronger, he would counter her talents in battle because of his experience. As he knows her, he would win against her eighty percent of the time due to having knowledge of her past traumatic experiences. He excels at opening up the trauma of the enemy, and as it is not easy for humans to conquer trauma printed into them, having such experiences probed would make her unable to take advantage of her true potential.
He is extremely strong, allowing him to gather all his strength to jump ten meters up and grab a person out of a tree by the head before they can react, all in an instant. Due to his strength, his muscles are trained to the point where they go far beyond what would overpower a normal person in theory. He can easily fall twenty meters while carrying a small girl and land without any issue. He can run fifty kilometers per hour in a forest with uneven terrain while carrying a small girl without reinforcing himself with magecraft, and he does not display any tiredness at all, compared to Shirou being barely able to keep up even when reinforced by Archer's arm to a large degree. He is skilled at free climbing, comparing climbing four stories of a building as easy as walking down the street compared to something like a wall of ice.
He is used to facing firearms and skilled enough to judge the type of bullets by the sound of gunfire. Even veterans of many battles can lose morale and judgment capabilities when surprised by a machine gun, but he is able to analyze the situation calmly because such events are mere exceptions to Executors. He can quickly make judgements on his battle strategy depending on if he is facing a type of gun he can handle or something more dangerous to him like a sniper rifle, and he can sense killing intent to identify targets. He is ruthless and determined even when cornered, and with his hands bound, he simply rushes forward to utilize a kick to decide the battle.
He is not like Dead Apostles who are able to dodge a bullet after it has been fired, so he has to predict the shooter's thoughts, killing intent, and preparatory actions and act beforehand. With extremely quick evasive actions, he moves at the moment the enemy fires to effectively dodge the bullets. He utilizes his bulletproof frock, made from thick Kevlar filaments and covered seamlessly with the Church’s special protection spells, to deal with smaller firearms. 9mm caliber pistol rounds cannot pierce it even at close range, but powerful weapons like the Thompson Contender will pierce it easily. He is free to charge at someone openly firing by covering his head with his arms and not bother with dodging. Bullets still have an extremely powerful impact, but his well-trained musculature acts like a sort of armor that protects his organs and bones and keeps him from staggering against a hail of bullets. Kevlar protects against gunshots, but he is forced to protect himself against knives because kevlar is vulnerable to being cut by a sharp blade.
Kotomine fights against Assassin in the Heaven's Feel route, but it is not a true battle. While ten Black Keys and one of his Command Spells left over after removing most of the Crest Worms from Sakura would be more than enough for a low ranking spirit, he couldn't kill a Servant even if he managed to make successful strikes with all of them. He does believe that having a weapon on the Scripture scale could potentially allow him to defeat a Heroic Spirit. Though Assassin's dirks are only meant to judge an opponent's skill until he can make use of Zabaniya to land a fatal strike, all twenty-three are still thrown with the intent to kill, so Assassin sees Kotomine's skill in being able to block and avoid them for such a long period as admirable.
Kotomine, having seen Assassin fight Lancer, knows of this strategy and uses it against Assassin. Due to the unique nature of his heart, Zabaniya is unable to kill him, and Assassin is instead bound to a tree by the Black Keys. It is the equivalent of a scratch to him, but the holy nails keep him from saving Zouken. While he cannot directly fight against Servants, he claims that he can harm Servants without Masters with his Baptism Rite, so Assassin backs off afterwards.
BajiquanEditKirei is a practitioner of a type of Bajiquan that Gen Urobuchi calls Super Bajiquan (スーパー八極拳, ?). It is an ultimate technique born from the miraculous fusion of Bajiquan and magecraft, having become an Internal Art that transcends the External Art. It is a reckless attack belonging solely to Kirei, whose self-destructive fighting style against Kiritsugu even enables him to sacrifice an arm. Kirei only had Black Keys for their battle in the design stage of Fate/Zero, while Kiritsugu had firearms, magecraft such as Innate Time Control, and Avalon, so Urobuchi needed something to even their arsenals. There was only Bajiquan, so he studied a number of reference materials to reach the realm of "amazing kungfu, truly amazing kungfu." The end result was a form of somewhat random Bajiquan, so it cannot be compared to real Bajiquan.
It is a style that takes the shortest route without any initial movement to damage the inside instead of the outside. He is an expert capable of defeating a normal person with a single hit, but claims that it is a mimicry of taolu without much behind it. Even against Shirou's body of swords, it damages him inside rather than outside, allowing the impacts to pierce through him. One combination, “Six grand opening - elbow upthrust”, involves grabbing the opponent's arm from below, carrying it up while also pressing his side close to the opponent's waist, and simultaneously delivering a blow to the heart with his left elbow and a strike from his left foot to the supporting leg, all in an instant to combine offense and defense.
He is able to break apart a tree without utilizing his arms because his strength as a martial arts master is not only produced from the wrist. It would seem that his hands are his main weapon, but the level of Kirei's training makes his entire body a weapon. Being bound does not leave him helpless as long as he can plant both feet on the ground. Everything to the strength of his feet on the ground, the turning of his back, and the twisting of his shoulders attributes to releasing an instantaneous burst of power into his fists. The strength of the arms is insignificant in comparison to the power of the whole body to someone experienced with the phenomenon. It is possible to press a fist next to the target and strike only with the force coming from outside of the arm. With this "explosive force" technique, just having the back of his hands against the tree trunk allows him to utilize the full power of his body to strike, and using his full power three times is enough to cause the thirty centimeter trunk to collapse.He relies on the "moving stance", a dangerous secret of Bajiquan, to advance towards the enemy by sneaking with a sight step, and without announcing its speed, shorten the distance. Moving a foot and hooking one of enemy’s legs from the inside is a move known as the "locking stance." The "Eight Grand Openings – The Standing Upward Cannon" is a heavy upper hook that would shatter the opponent’s skull. The "Eight Postures of the Buddha Guards" style allows for a punch to have the "power to reach infinity in all eight directions" after reaching Bajiquan's optimum distance. Slamming his foot to floor as he steps forward, he unleashes a heavy punch that sends a person flying back and kills the opponent after easily crushing their heart and lungs. Kiritsugu is only able to survive through the regeneration of Avalon.
He has mastered "hearing a move", a concept that a martial artist reaches a certain state where they no longer need eyesight to detect the enemy’s movement. He can predict the opponent’s next move purely on the brief moment when his arm blocks that of his opponent, meaning that having a blind spot or having an enemy too fast for the human eye to see is not a problem. Even with blood affecting his right eye, having use of only his left arm, and having Kiritsugu moving three times human speed, he is able to block all of Kiritsugu's strikes without issue. Humans would only see the lighting-like residual images Kiritsugu's dagger leaves in its wake, but his left arm can defend as if it can see every swing. His skills make him someone who will not be at a disadvantage even when put under the duress of speed.
Black KeysEditKirei is extremely skilled with Black Keys, thin blades resembling a rapier that are longer than a meter with a short hilt. They are used specifically by Executors as projectile weapons. They boast great power and a high difficulty to master, so Kirei is a strong and rare expert at utilizing them in battle. The blade is a semi-solid formed by prana, so it is only necessary to carry the small hilt. He holds a high number of them at one time under his frock, and nobody knows their exact number. It is a sacrament rather than magecraft that is utilized to fight spirits, so it can affect a Servant should one somehow hit them. They lack balance in close combat, making them unweildly to defend against a smaller weapon like a dagger, so he instead relies on his Bajiquan under such circumstances.
Four Black Keys in a single hand is his limit. He can complete a single throw and any necessary preparatory movements in 0.3 seconds, and he can perform four separate throws in 0.7 seconds. With his skill, he is able to simultaneously throw one while also avoiding an attack with extreme accuracy. He can also throw accurately from a face down position on the ground. He is able to maintain a one hundred percent striking accuracy even against unconfirmed targets. While it is hand-tossed, it boasts enough power to penetrate reinforced concrete and iron. They can also be used to trap an opponent for a Bajiquan strike by throwing four into the air to surround the opponent like a cage and seal the their movement by striking them wherever they could dodge.
Angra MainyuEditKirei, after having his heart shot by Kiritsugu, was revived by the black mud from the Grail that washed over Gilgamesh. While it hadn't been able to fully corrupt Gilgamesh, it instead followed the path of the prana supply that had linked him to his Master, arriving at Kirei's physical body. It healed the wound, leaving no visible scar from the bullet, and became a source of life-force supply that was able to substitute for a heart. Connected to the grail, he now relies on the prana of Angra Mainyu in order to live. Simply feeling Kirei grasp his head makes Shirou able to sense that Kirei has swallowed black corruption that reaches in from the outside world to bind him like a chain. He is surrounded by an unknown darkness that maintains his "corpse-like body."
Its nature does not make him any more resistant to being slain by others. Shirou is able to kill him with the Azoth Sword, and Lancer manages to land a fatal strike through the heart. He is also able to be tired out even with its unique nature. It is strong against evil curses that punish humans, as they cannot curse one of their own kind. He is able to completely resist Zabaniya: Delusional Heartbeat, the arm of Shayṭān, which only gives an empty response upon creating the fake heart.
Due to his corruption, he is able to interact with the mud with no negative consequences, and he is shown to be able to control it when a connection to the Grail has been established. The nature of the mud is a curse so strong that it is visible, so it can be called prana specialized for destroying people. It can not be used practically in any way, as it cannot be reshaped or anything of the sort. It stains anybody it touches with a strong curse and melts them as if they were being digested. The pain and fear felt before death remains as prana and becomes the next curse to seek out living people. It will kill anyone it touches unless they can remove it from their body before they are melted away.
Without any movement, he can extend a number of whip-like tentacles of mud capable of stretching without limit and clearly leave burning marks on the ground. It has a range greater than ten meters and reacts sensitively to living beings. It is slow enough that Shirou can react to the attacks fairly easily, and as it can only strike where it is aimed, it is easy to dodge. That only accounts for a single tentacle, so one can be easily overwhelmed by their numbers and those that attack from behind while he is dodging. The overwhelming attacks cause Shirou to slowly be covered in mud, which causes those areas to become numb and start to melt his body away. Areas that turn completely black can no longer move or feel any sensation, including pain. While he can force the mud out of his body or push prana into the limb to move the clotted blood, the effect upon moving the limb is the destruction of his muscles.Kirei can completely submerge someone in the curse by dousing his hand in the mud and unleashing a black darkness, a swarm of grain-sized curses, upon the target. It is a curse that paints space itself, surrounding them in darkness and imprinting hell upon their brain by showing them unseeable darkness, ugliness that can't be acknowledged, and all the crimes of the people in the world that make them want to run away from it all. Those trapped with the darkness will eat themselves to death from pain and hatred, and they will be swallowed by it like the painted space. Avoiding such a curse and the very concept of blocking it are nearly impossible. Escaping should be impossible, so Kirei is astonished that Shirou manages to do just that through only willpower. He is able to immediately trap Shirou once again, and if not for Avalon, he would have been completely swallowed. Before the curse can melt Shirou's mind, Avalon disperses both the darkness around and inside him. After Sakura Matou completely succumbs to the corruption of Angra Mainyu in the Heaven's Feel scenario, she is able to control the magical energy given to Kirei. Their connection allows her, as Angra Mainyu, to squash his organs and pull out his insides no matter how far he runs. She claims that his life is under her control no matter his location simply due to the overall miniscule amount of energy she is providing him to live. She can destroy his heart instantly without any movement, and just lightly grasping her fingers together causes his body to be crushed and squeezed like a rag. He is left alive from an interruption caused by Shirou's defeat of Berserker, but without his heart, it is a limited life with a set time limit.
He eventually appears before Shirou in order to stop him from destroying the Grail. They both only have minutes to live at this point, as both their bodies are quickly dying. He no longer has a heartbeat, and there is only a black stain where it had previously been. His death is inevitable even without any action, and he has no prana in his body. He's only left with the ability to use his fists in a brawl to the death without technique or strategy. When he is about to win, his body fails him, only due to a difference in time. He had become half-dead slightly before Shirou, so that difference cost him his victory.
Kirei was born with Magic Circuits despite having a non-magus lineage. Normal lineages rarely acquire Magic Circuits, and such cases of a normal person being born with them are sudden mutations. Kirei is not of this type, but instead his Circuits were a gift from the divine sacrament. They were a reward to his father's years of pious worship, thus Kirei was born with "the right to recreate the miracles in the divine sacrament", with the "right" being the Magic Circuits. Also unlike typical families that pass down Circuits in their genetics, Caren did not inherit them. While he is thought to love destruction, he is a "creator" type of magus like Shirou. His Magic Circuits are noted to have yet to develop properly as of the time of the Fourth War, so he instead makes use of Command Spells.
He is not very skilled as a magus, and he cannot reach the "first-rate" level no matter his efforts. He studied alchemy, spiritual evocation, summoning, divination, and spiritual healing under Tokiomi, but his tutelage of magecraft never progressed beyond the degree of a beginner. The only one he was skilled at was spiritual healing, being more skilled than even his master after three years of training. During battle, his most adept skill is physical enhancement to exert greater physical strength. While Rin is considered his student, he is vastly inferior to her. While he is not a genius, just a "normal man", he is able to achieve quick results through complete and total effort, putting in ten to twenty times the effort of other people. He stops short of the last step, throwing all previous labor out like trash.
While Kirei holds simultaneous contracts with both Lancer and Gilgamesh, he is not capable of supplying sufficient energy for both, nor was he able to provide energy for Gilgamesh during the ten year period between the Wars. He can still handle a single Servant with his own abilities, but Lancer's backup from his Master is lacking compared to others, and like other insufficient Masters, his contract with Gilgamesh lowers several of Gilgamesh's attributes. It is impossible for most Masters to sustain a Servant outside of the Holy Grail War because the support from the power of the Grail reduces much of the burden that supplying prana for the Servant would cause. Kirei had to make up for his lack of energy with knowledge, and Gilgamesh calls Kirei's innovation exceptional in that regard.
Kirei gathered the orphans left by the fire in the Church under the pretense of using it is an orphanage. Through unknown means, he managed to erase their existence and seal them within the basement of the Church. He attached them to coffins without their knowledge, and through an unknown process, the coffins began to leach away at both their nutrition, magical energy, and their very souls with enough force to keep them from living but slow enough to keep them from dying. Their energy was given to Gilgamesh, while their bodies slowly began to rot away despite the fact that they were still alive. While Gilgamesh accepted it, he did not actually require it, as his incarnation would have allowed him to sustain himself.Their bodies have been reduced to the state of living corpses that retain little of their human form. They no longer have their limbs, some of which have been cut off, some that have decomposed ends that leave only the bones, and those who have been ground down into the cracks or splattered on the wall. Their skin is peeled off, and their remaining flesh is rotting, leaving their faces to look like preserved specimens from a lab. They can no longer speak through their decayed throats, but still cry out with inaudible voices with all their might. While they no longer have their original appearances, Shirou is still able to identify them from the short time they spent together. As of the time of the Fifth Holy Grail War, he plans to close it up due to the fruition of their plans coming into effect. Due to the state of their bodies, he would no longer be able to extract the same amount of soul as when he first established the practice, and there is no longer need for more food after that point.
Kirei is a Spiritual doctor (霊媒医師, Reibai ishi?) that heals through a spiritual medium, as in healing through the soul rather than the flesh. It is a "curse" that can remove the infected part without using a single surgical knife on the body. While he has practiced many different types of magecraft, healing is the only one that fit him because his magical aptitude is specialized in "opening wounds." Kirei abilities in fixing spiritual and mental bodies is at bishop level, and Rin comments that people at his level in the Mage's Association are few and that there are also few people in the Church able to handle spirits at his level. It is known as a unusual practice only utilized in uncivilized areas, and it is especially uncommon for a man of the Church to utilize it.
He is able to use this knowledge to extract Command Spells from the nervous system through the spiritual body rather than physically. Taking Shirou's left arm, he gets the feeling that Kirei has ripped it off. He realizes it was an illusion, but then sees fingers entering his arm. They are Kirei's fingers, transparent like a ghost, moving through his flesh, and after intense pain, he is left without any wounds. This action removes two strokes of the Command Spell, leaving only the pain. Despite this, he still cuts off Bazett's arm to obtain her Command Spells.
He is able to purify the poison given to Sakura to make her Crest Worms go out of control. He is able to perform surgery to call back her lost magical energy and mind, but the chances of success are very low. Removing the worms requires a miracle or the Holy Grail due to the integration into her Magic Circuits. It requires the use of the majority of his Command Spells to remove them, and even that is not enough to completely purge her body. He can only remove those that have not metabolized with her nerves, as doing more would require removing her heart and killing her. It is only a temporary fix that will only last until the worms activate again.
While the technique is useful, the spirit is only contact treatment relying on the body, so it is nothing like a miracle that would allow connection with the soul, the proof of existence independent of the body. He attaches the arm of Archer to Shirou, but that is not something normally possible. Joining two separate spiritual bodies is close to the realm of resurrection and restoration of souls, which requires Magic to handle. It should only be possible to succeed in shape, only for the recipient to die of shock. The only reason it is a success is due to Shirou and Archer being the same person.
Baptism RiteEditThe Baptism Rite (洗礼詠唱, Senrei eishou?) is the the sole magical miracle that is permitted to be learned in the Church. The teachings of God are considered to be the greatest weapon against spirits within the systematic basis of their magecraft, so the chant is a key of providence that eliminates wondering souls with the holy words of the Bible. It is the purification and elevating of a wayward soul through the teachings of the Lord by sending a ghost to its "throne". It is a miracle that has healed the hearts of many, so that is most likely the reason that it is the theory of thaumaturgy with the most wide-spread theory.
It is a simple ritual, a ten-count type, effective immediately after it has been spoken. Its physical interference is somewhat weak, but it has absolute power against spiritual bodies. His attack power against spiritual bodies is superb and, while twisted, represents the unshakingness of his faith. The exorcism instantly sublimates Zouken Matou and disperses his spiritual body due to being a specter that uses worms to tamper with the world. Damaging his body normally would do nothing unless it can be completely eliminated, so a direct attack to the spirit is extremely effective.
It does not actually kill him because the body destroyed is only a collection of worms. His actual body, a small worm next to Sakura Matou's heart, contains his soul, so even Kirei's words cannot kill him unless that main body is destroyed. It is enough to make him unable to act unless he were to go find another body to devour. It is not sufficient to send back or affect entities like Servants with a connection with a Master, but it is different once they no longer have an active source of prana. His holy words can affect such Servants because they can be considered no different than the wandering spirits of the Einzbern Forest.
During the Fourth Holy Grail War, Kirei is granted three Command Seals by the Grail, and though he loses them after Assassin is defeated, new seals are granted to him upon the Grail once again deeming him worthy of participation. It is unprecedented among the past participants of the previous Holy Grail Wars, as he is not a member of the Three Founding Families, and all six other Masters still live and all six other Servants still have their contracts. During the Fifth Holy Grail War, he steals Bazett Fraga McRemitz's Command Seals by cutting off her arm, allowing Lancer the chance to contract with him.
While he uses them to command Assassin and Lancer, he is opposed to using even a single Command Seal on Gilgamesh. It would only bring about the opposite result to force a man with such a huge ego to serve another's will, so he finds the best way to control him is to treat him as if he were an environmental condition rather than a pawn. The weather or direction of the wind cannot be controlled by a sailor, but he can dexterously control his boat using the sail. Differing from other magi who treat Servants like tools and familiars, he treats Gilgamesh like an accomplice with mutual interests. He does ask Gilgamesh for the right to summon him with a Command Spell to protect him from enemy Servants during the final battle of the Fourth War, to which Gilgamesh agrees.
In addition to his own Command Seals on his lower left arm, he also has Command Seals inherited from his father that cover his right arm from the elbow to the wrist. The supervisor of the Holy Grail War is entrusted with the Command Seals recollected from previous Holy Grail Wars, so he has access to a great number of them. Using them as the supervisor, he is able to transfer the Command Seals by taking the Master's hand, chanting a spell, and tracing the mark of the Command Seals with his own hand in order to renew them. He lies to Rin about their true nature by calling them a Magical Crest inherited from his father. He says that unlike her permanent Crest, his is a consumption type that fades away with use due to not actually being from a lineage of magi, instead calling it a "lower-rank Command Spell."
While normally only used to strengthen or restrain Servants, they can be used and forged into highly practical prana that has no alignments. He, as someone with no Magic Crest, can utilize them to perform magecraft upon paying the proper price. In a more efficient manner than trying to control Gilgamesh, he can use them to gain a high chance of victory even against an expert magus. Using them as mock Magic Crests, apart from the fact that they are limited and expendable, the magecraft utilized by him is enough to rival famous magecraft houses that have collected their Crests through generations. Due to their nature as one-use crests, they naturally counter Kiritsugu's Origin Bullets by disappearing instead of destroying Kirei's own Magic Circuits.
He mainly utilizes them to reinforce his own body and equipment to a great extent. He surges prana into six black keys, causing them to expand to twice their size. Due to the amount of prana being forced into them, it seems the forceful execution of the spell surpasses the limits of the blades themselves. While they are able to easily neutralize the force behind Kiritsugu's first Origin Bullet, they shatter under the heavy load of prana. He also utilizes his own body to deflect the second Origin Bullet in a movement that Kiritsugu feels would require extreme willpower. Turning his own body into a lethal weapon, he reinforces his physical abilities to match the bullet. He accelerates his reaction time, multiplies the maximum power output of his right flexor, radius muscle, and pronator teres, and shows the capability to reinforce his bulletproof frock, but lacks the time to accomplish it in that moment.He uses a defensive Baji Quan skill normally used to nullify an opponent's strike that, when used by his arm that has been transformed into a lethal magecraft Mystic Code, causes a spiral to form in the air. It becomes a spiral of force that roars like a tornado with the power of two Command Seals infused into it. The martial arts move, performed at divine speed, catches the bullet traveling at 2500 inches per second, but it is unable to completely deflect it. It still manages to tear at his Kevlar sleeve and hit his reinforced arm without being turned. As it is forced to bend to the power of the magecraft in his body, the supernatural phenomenon of the clash sounds like two mill stones impacting, the scattering sparks seem to distort the laws of physics, and the approximately 3000 pound-per-inch kinetic energy of the bullet is forced off at an angle. Due to his unskilled method, he used too much prana and overly strengthened his arm with the magecraft, so his right arm ended up greatly wounded.
While he only uses his remaining Command Spells to remove the Crest Worms from Sakura during Heaven's Feel, the original plan was to have him use ten of them in order to defeat Zoken and Assassin. Even a human can damage a Heroic Spirit by using that many, but the idea was dropped in favor of having Assassin get caught off guard after using Zabaniya.