Romance visual novels (often conflated with dating sims) tend to have a particular structure. In it, a white bread definitely-18 year-old boy is whisked away to a new setting because of some unusual circumstance; usually a high school of some description. Once there, he meets a harem of pretty girls—each emblematic of some archetypal trope—one or more of whom falls in love with him. He usually has few personality traits to maximise the reader’s ability to self-insert—although he is often sarcastic and prone to longwinded introspection. He is also bafflingly averse to the idea of a relationship (as if to say “we’re not just doing this so you can fuck the girls, we swear”) while invariably reducing the girls to their physical assets and the puzzle the reader must solve to get at them (as if to say “just kidding, we are”). Missing Stars is no different.
Fate/Stay Night is the title of a 2004 visual novel developed by Type-Moon. In the years since it has released, it has spawned a plethora of adaptations, spin-offs, and expansions. In this essay, I will discuss the aspects of the franchise that appeal to me. It should be noted that the aspects I will cover are those that exist regardless of the entry or medium therein; therefore, things such as animation or writing (on a technical level) will not be considered. In discussing these points, I will stress that they are inherently subjective points and therefore will not necessarily apply to anyone but myself. Furthermore, as an explanation of my personal opinion, it is not my intent to posit an argument as to why others should agree with my point of view; rather, this essay serves solely to illuminate one possible way of seeing the franchise.
When I come up with ideas for writing, sometimes I’m already seated in front of my laptop and I just start right then and there. Sometimes I might be slightly busy, so I open up a Word document and drop a quick summary in there for later. Sometimes I may be lying awake in bed at some stupid hour of the night, and I rue both my proximity to my laptop and my unwillingness to get out of bed and use it. But there are also times I’m not in a place to do any of those things, so I send myself a message on my phone with a quick summary so I don’t forget what it was.