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In Fate/Stay Night there's the famous scene in which Shirou speaks to Saber. The scene gained immense popularity across the web, and is usually accompanied by responses like O RLY? and You Don't Say!

The question is, does he actually say that? Is that line also written in the Visual Novel? Is this a translation error? Or is he just that stupid?

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    I've seen many people complain of bad or super literal translations giving people the wrong ideas about Fate/Stay Night, making Shirou seem more stupid than he actually is. Incidentally, I don't think there is a light novel of Fate/Stay Night; it started as a visual novel (sort of video game.) There are light novels in the franchise, but I think that's for Fate/Zero only.
    – Kai
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 16:37
  • @Kai Yeah, I always confuse the two. Corrected. Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 17:06
  • @Kai there's also Fate/Apocrypha and Fate/Strange Fake
    – Memor-X
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 21:07

2 Answers 2

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Context is needed for this. From the visual novel, the line is from Shiro, about surviving wounds that would otherwise be fatal if Avalon had not been inside of him. So when Avalon is removed Shiro remarks that things are the way the should be now (people dying, when you kill them.).

In this context, the phrase makes sense. When made out of context, it does seem silly.

Furthermore, following said phrase, Shiro says "それが当たり前なんだ", which more or less means, "that's only natural."

Official dub goes with something like: "when people are hurt badly enough, they die."

Furthermore in Japanese, there are two ways to describe death, one for body and one for soul. So you may kill one's body, but their spirit wouldn't may still persist. This is where the phrases like "he won't die, even if he is killed" probably originated from.

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  • It may be worth noting that the first part of the phrase is "人は殺されれば死ぬ". Transliterated, this would read "people die if they are killed." But as you said, in context, it doesn't read quite like that.
    – Cattua
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 0:43
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My understanding of the phrase is that he means:

People who are killed should remain dead.

This is in reference to servants - he doesn't like that servants are resurrected souls. They should remain dead.

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    @Oded is correct answer. To expand he's not stupid, without spoilers its to point out another difference between his state of mind and archer's.
    – Quikstryke
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 15:17
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    As a side note, the official dub goes with something along the lines of: "When people are hurt badly enough, they die."
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 17:10
  • I don't really agree with the middle part of the final line. Saber is shown putting Shirou's life above her own even saying at one point that it doesn't matter if she dies, all that it matters is that Shirou survives (quite sure she says this after the first encounter with Beserker where Shirou protects Saber). i think the meaning behind the line is Shirou saying that despite how well she heals she could still die and she should not waste her life like that. i think also the scene in question Saber is annoyed that Shirou (and Rin) didn't escape while she held off Beserker
    – Memor-X
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 21:39

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