So, I just watched Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works for the first time.

Archer is basically Shirou in the future of an alternative universe, right?

In the anime, Shirou mentions multiple times that he loves Rin or that he has strong emotions for her, at least. So why does Archer seem to be so "cold" towards Rin?

I mean, shouldn't he be at least a tiny bit attached to her in some way? Or did he really change THAT much as a person, that he doesn't feel romantic emotions towards her? (Well in the end he DOES save her so he seems to care about her in some way. But, it still feels like there is too much distance between them throughout the whole series)

I mean, technically, should Archer have had emotions for the Rin in "his reality" or not? What happened to her?

Sorry for all the questions. I will look for more content of the "Fate" series, but my curiosity is killing me and I may have missed something since it was the first time, watching that anime, for me. :D

  • 11
    Archer is a tsundere.
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 1:46
  • Archer's past is mysterious and largely unexplored. We rarely get anything more than, say, a mention of pained regret upon seeing Illya. His war was notably different from any of those in the game; he's not summoned into his own war, for example, and we're not told who Rin summoned instead. So I'm not sure there's any way to give a well-sourced, canonical answer. I could give what I'd consider a plausible explanation, the short of which is that he's a jaded, angry, paradox-obsessed, practical warrior that finds such things to just be a distraction. Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 6:26
  • 8
    Just clarifying, since it's not clear whether you're aware of this: Fate consists of multiple alternate timelines ("routes", if you will). In the one that was animated recently (Unlimited Blade Works) Shirou falls in love with Rin, yes. But in other routes, he doesn't - sometimes he falls in love with Saber; sometimes with other people. It's very plausible that in Archer's own timeline, he didn't fall in love with Rin.
    – senshin
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 23:47
  • Piggybacking on what @senshin pointed out, this is pure speculation, but because of the path Archer took in his life, following his ideals to the point of self-destruction, I've always assumed his own war went more like the Fate route and he'd been in love with Saber.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 23:00
  • 1
    @senshin The VN does at various points make it clear that Shirou always had a crush on Rin, starting before the events of the VN took place. Crushes can come and go, but given that this is a VN and Archer is basically a servant because his life embodied the concept of refusing to let go of something when he clearly should, it remains plausible that these feelings might have been retained regardless. I believe Nasu has said Archer did not hook up with any of the three FSN girls. Of course, Archer's timeline may have diverged from those in the Fate VN long before the VN starts, as well... Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 16:17

3 Answers 3


I think there’s a lot of hints that Archer actually cares about Rin and they’re bound to one another but not as a lover or romantic kind of love. It’s more like loyalty. He respected her as a servant respecting his master. The most remarkable moment I’d say is that in Episode 9 of ss2. Archer after was convinced by his old self,Shirou. And was beated (not physically but mentally) he then said “If she(Rin) was more of a heartless person, I’d not turn back to be my old self (who believes in Hero of Justice)” Hence, Tohsaka Rin plays huge part in Shirou development as a person and also as a human being who believes in his ideal heroism.

Archer isn’t cold to Rin if you watch the anime carefully, he just has ‘Kill Emiya Shirou’ as his first priority. To do so, he can’t let Rin help Shirou gets Saber back and remains the alliance between them. After his betrayal, he still protected Rin for multiple times. Making conditions with Caster, Shinji and Gillgamesh to postpone Rin executions.

Though, if I were to say, it’s not like there’s completely non-romantic moments of them. Sometimes Archer seems to attract Rin passionately by his sly personality and his looks as well. In fact, the reason why Archer doesn’t show any fascination towards Rin that much because 1. She’s 16-17 years old Tohsaka Rin, it was mentioned in both VN and Anime that Archer sees Rin as a child/ girl only. Not as a lady. 2. She already has the Shirou that is his present version beside her. It’s kinda weird to start Romance with your young master when your old self is already in love with her. Not to mention Archer has already decided to erase his existence by killing Shirou so why bothered? If he has feelings for Rin, it must hurt and is hard to leave without regrets. So... yeah. enter image description here


I've watched both series and came up with the conclusion that Archer in the UBW is actually Shirou in the original Fate/stay night (the one that in love with Saber) because Archer in UBW actually tried to scold Saber as Rin was telling him. Also, he knows what Saber really motives for the grail, which Saber from the UBW did not tell Emiya.

So, in other words, UBW is not actually a route, but it is sequel for the original Fate/stay night.

  • I'm not sure about your statement that "UBW is not actually a route". While I don't play the game, I know that the original Visual Novel has 3 routes: Fate, UBW, and HF
    – Aki Tanaka
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 7:40

I believe feelings for Rin were shown throughout the UBW route. Archer is cold to everyone, he tries to distance himself from others. Out of everyone in the entire anime, Archer has the best grasp on reality. He obviously respects Rin and cares for her. Usually I would judge these feelings as respect for your ally, and maybe even a friendship. But because he does have the identity of Shirou Emiya, we must assume he has feelings for her.

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