Disclaimer: I clearly have a horse in this race so I know most people are going to take what I am saying with a healthy bit of salt. That is more than fair. In fact it is the only way to properly approach this open letter. I still think that I have a valid point to make so at least read until the end before you respond.
Dear Type-Moon Fans,
Look at this point it should be obvious. Saber is not going ANYWHERE. Consider her eternal for the time being. That might not always be the case but you will be far happier if you consider it the standard operating procedure for the foreseeable future.
What really brought this up was just my casual observation of fans every time another Saberface is introduced in Fate/Grand Order. There was the normal amount of Saber complaining when the game first showed the fans the initial batch of characters. But Santa Alter, Mordred, Lancer Artoria Alter, and Sakura Saber being added one after the other did not help anything. But overall there is always a low-level of Saber resentment. It was just a little more than usual. But it just made me think, “Why bother being so upset?”
Saber has become the poster girl for Type-Moon. If anything Type-Moon related happens they sneak Saber in there somehow. I once did a list of all the Saber variants (that I could remember) back in 2013 and now that list is hopelessly outdated. A season where they don’t throw out a new Saber variant costume is a quarter that Type-Moon is clearly insanely busy. On top of that there are a ton of Saberfaces. Nero, Mordred, Joan of Arc, Sakura Saber, and Gray are just the beginning. There will be more Saberfaces. Those Saberfaces also get their own variants. All of them get figures, get placed on clear files and wall scrolls, are made into key chains, have utensils made of them, and are branded on almost any other type of merchandise you can imagine. It has gotten to the point where Saberface has become an official Type-Moon acknowledged term. There is a reason they openly call her the Company Cash Cow.
Plus Fate/Grand Order is just becoming a Saber variant generation engine that can also instantly monetize on that version. The Lancer Artoria Alter is a prime example of that. The game is a Saber Engine. It is Unlimited Saber Works.
When Tsukihime make finally comes out they will probably sneak her in the background of some omake section. She will probably be a student in the class for the updated “Teach me, Ciel-sensei!” Olga Marie Animusphere has already snuck into a Melty Blood manga so can the King of Knights be far behind?
Here is the thing. I know that at this point it is hard to argue that Saber is not overexposed. There are good deal of Type-Moon heroines that could use more exposure. Sakura Saber, a joke character from a gag manga, gets more attention that Medea who is a full character from a full game. At this point Miyako Arima might get more attention than Medea but that is a conversation for another day. If you want to argue that there are a good deal of Type-Moon characters who need more love you will have my full support. (Unless you championing Akiha. Then you only have my token support.)
And lets not even start taking about male characters. That is its own quagmire of skewed perspectives, false assumptions, and general bitterness.
The thing is Saber still sells like hotcakes. You can complain all you like that all the other Vocaloids get less attention than Hatsune Miku. As much as you love Meiko or Gackpoid they are never going to get the same attention as the girl who became the breakout hit. At that point you have two productive options. You can either learn to accept it and politely champion your favorite or you can leave the fandom. Those are not the only two options. You can have a bunch of other reactions but they are the equivalent of beating you head against the wall. Those reactions are ineffective and unnecessarily painful.
Now if Saber becomes less profitable or another character becomes more profitable I am sure that there will be a sea change. Arcueid could have her moonlit night in the spotlight once again if the Tsukihime remake goes well. (You know, because vampires don’t have days in the sun.) But even then it is much more likely that she will just have a surge in popularity much like Shiki Ryougi had after Kara no Kyoukai movies and nothing more. Saber will probably still be the Type-Moon mascot with Arcueid just getting a temporary boost in popularity.
I’m not saying anyone has to join the strange Cult of Saber. There are already enough crazy people in there (like me.) It just seems to be detrimental to be so bitter about the favoritism for Saber. I have always found that championing what you love is far more effective than trying to tear down what you hate when it comes to entertainment. Hate gets you a lot of temporary attention but does little over the long haul. The Saber hate mostly just builds up an unnecessary divide in the fandom. It is not going to win your favorite characters any more love, stop the Saber fans from doing their thing, and on top of all that companies are just going to continue to produce the merchandise that makes them money. No one cares about the characters you refuse to buy but they do notice that characters you do buy.
But even beyond simple and base commercialism I think it would improve the overall feel of the fandom. The fandom is already infamous for both being based on a series of porn games and being oddly defensive. Being bitterly divided and argumentative internally does not help matters.
All the Type-Moon fans are just waiting for the Tsukihime remake. Can’t we all do that together as compatriots? I think it would make the wait much more enjoyable.
– Alain (aka Saber Fan #1)
PS: Also where are the militant Aoko Aozaki fans? I could get behind that movement.
PPS: Also there is always the simple answer. If the Tsukihime fans stop hating Ciel I will lift my curse on the fandom as a whole.
Your move Tsukihime fans.
2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Type-Moon Fandom”
Is Ciel really that hated? I didn’t get that impression, certainly not a fraction of hate Sakura Matou receives. Ciel is most “normal” heroine, so maybe the reason she does so poorly at popularity polls is not that she’s hated, but its because by being so average, she’s not anyone favourite. Akiha for example, appeals to both Tsundere and Imouto lovers. Personally, I’d rank Ciel pretty high on list of Tsukihime-verse heroine.
Well no one gets the venom that Sakura gets (nor should they.) I just feel like Ciel does get a little bit of shit aimed at her. I mean that is half of the joke with Back Alley Satsuki – Chapter Heroine Sanctuary was despite being a main heroine Ciel was still able to join the Gold Saint hunting team because she is not that beloved.