13 September 2011

The Variations of Saber

Maybe the title for the post should have been "The Variations of Saber as of now"? ^^; Saber, Saber Alter, Saber Lily, and now there are more. Saber of Fate/Stay Night is known to have variations even from the beginning, but it looks like that we are getting more of her as the franchise expands.

The "default" Saber that most people are familiar with from Fate/Stay Night and other Fate games, whose identity is based on King Arthur. She is one of the main leads in the game, along with her master and male protagonist Emiya Shirou.

Saber from prequel Fate/Zero is the same Saber from the original game, but serving under a different master Emiya Kiritsugu (Emiya Shirou's father) and is sometimes seen wearing a black suit like in the scanned picture above.

Saber Alter is a dark variant from one of the branching arcs in the original game, where she has been consumed by darkness and is serving under a new master.

Saber Lily is an alternate costume of Saber featured in PS2 and PSP game Fate/unlimited Code. This gives Saber more of a feminine look compared to the original attire. Having first released as a figma action figure bundled with limited edition of the PS2 game, and later followed by static PVC figures and even a doll, this design has been very popular since its emergence despite having no storyline attached to it.

Saber Extra is a playable character from the PSP game Fate/Extra. She is a different character to the original one with different origin. I still find the partially transparent skirt of hers a bit strange. The sword, the Aestus Estus, does look pretty cool though. There is apparently another Saber in the game, but this one is a guy and is an antagonist in the game.

Saber Bride is the latest variation of Saber set to appear in upcoming Fate/Extra CCC game. A figma figure is being planned to go with the game, just like Saber Lily and Saber Extra.

We are getting more and more Saber variations, and it looks as if we are getting a new one every year. I worry whether we will start or have already felt that there are a bit too many out there, as if they are there for the sake of merchandising. Or maybe I am thinking too much there?

The number of variations for Saber so far starts to remind me of those for Black★Rock Shooter. We have that based on the original design, then followed by the game version (and that of a white version but as a separate character), as well as a Beast version. With a new TV series announced, we will very likely have a different version of her for it as well. Though what has been involved with BRS is a bit more "extreme" than Saber is having IMHO.

How do you feel about these new variations of the same character? Is it a good thing and a change of things for you, or that you find it tiring and that it's persuading people to spend more on the franchise?


  1. For me, it started going sour from Saber Extra.
    Alter and Zero shows a same person on a different condition, which is something I like and find interesting.
    I didn't really mind Lily because it's a special occasion for a new TYPE-MOON fighting game and also because the design was pretty good :p.

    Now for Extra, I was really confused. It was a different person with a different personality, but the same/similar look. And when the Bride was revealed, I finally started to get annoyed ;=_=.

    I can understand somebody not wanting to change what they love on their written works, but having a character with the same/similar face on every series is seems kinda... uncreative ;^^.

  2. Sabers, Sabers everywhere (but I don't mind having Saber Extra ;)).

    One thing I like about the figma Saber is that she has good articulations and Alter Saber is just. Plain. Nasty.

    ps. modded my HGUC Dreissen's eye (yes, finally).

  3. So many variations of Saber ^^; I still prefer the "default" Saber xD. That suit of armor and the blue dress are quite unique. It's kind of funny to see that other character designers have tried to mimic her creative design ;)

  4. So many Sabers so little funds... I like the red Saber Extra, even with that transparent skirt (well mostly for that). She has a nice voice in the game since she's voiced by Sakura Tange, another favourite seiyuu. Saber Lily was a bit disappointment because there's no storyline to her, but I do still enjoy the figma cuz it's so fun playing on her Lily = yuri name XD But it was definitely the original Saber's design that got me into Saber. Blue being my favourite colour after all.

    This new Saber bride is a bit over the top though. She looks nothing like the other Sabers... So I can't say I'm excited for it...

    And to add to anonymous object's comment, there are indeed many other trying to mimic that design, such as Sylvie from Princess Lover... Or as I'd like to call her Saber Sylvie :P

  5. Saber isn't my favourite character so I never really paid attention to all of the different variations. I guess they're good if you didn't like any of the previous ones. My favourite is the Saber Lily outfit.

  6. @ hiroy_raind:
    Interesting. So you are feeling that there are now too much Saber and things are going a bit over the top?

    Fate/Extra does seem a little odd, with the characters having familiar faces being not the ones from the original game itself. Even Tohsaka Rin in the game is different apparently o_o It seems that Fate/Extra is more like a spinoff and is set in a split universe to the original.

    Having similar faces for different series but are different characters... For some reasons Gundam is the first thing that pops up on top of my head ^^; Somehow it feels easier to accept different mechas of similar designs across different series, than it is for similar character designs across different series (or even BRS as I have mentioned at the end of the post). Maybe it's the perception that is what made us feel it being... Strange?

    @ bd77:
    Saber Alter is plain nasty?? Are you referring to the figma one? I did notice that it is far from popular to other Saber figmas (maybe other than the casual wear ver), but I haven't looked into the reasons behind it.

    Oh you've modded the Dreissen's eye so it can move? I gotta check it out then!

    @ anonymous_object:
    Sometimes the first rendition of a character is the one that stays most vividly in our minds. I did hear some comments about how there are non Fate characters that seem to have rather siginicant resemblance to Saber in terms of character design, and apparently one or two even uses the same seiyuu too!

    @ Lightning Sabre:
    Interesting to know that the voice behind Saber Extra is different to that of the normal Saber, and is also a veteran seiyuu too! :o

    Saber Lily seems pretty much like the normal Saber but in attire and that's it, but her popularity even without any story settings is something worth reckoning. Oh you and your figma Saber Lily yuri XD I actually thought that you prefer Saber Lily more than the original one, but it appears that many still prefer the original. That's interesting to know as the initial rendition does leave a lasting impression on those who know the character.

    I did hear about Saber "mimics" but haven't really looked into them. Sylvie does look very much like Saber. :o I've heard that one even shares the same voice with Saber, but I've forgotten who she is and where she is from.

    @ Nopy:
    I am not big into Saber, but I hear a lot on Saber due to a lot of gossips on twitter timeline and forum, so that's how I get to know the information ^^; Saber Lily has the most feminine and perhaps also the most elegant look of all versions, so I can see how it's a big hit even though it has no story settings attached it.

  7. Yeah, Extra is an alternate universe spin-off, which is why I can somewhat accept Saber Extra (not exactly with smiles though). But when Saber Bride was revealed, I can't help but think that the exploitation has gone a bit too far.

    Long time running franchise does have some carried-on characteristics, like most Gundam series have a mecha named Gundam with V-fins, most Kamen Rider Series had a henshin hero with belt and bug eyes, every single JoJo's Bizarre Adventure have a main character whose name can be shortened into "JoJo" (although part 8 might be an exception), etc.

    But if that means from now on every TYPE-MOON series (specifically Fate) would have a blonde female knight with similar hairstyle named Saber on every series, even if they're a different person... that just doesn't felt right.
    Speaking of TYPE-MOON, I'm still waiting for Mahou Tsukai no Yoru and Tsukihime remake =/.

  8. I find variation to be a good thing. Just look at how many Miku figures there are. This is great for marketing because it appeals to a wider audience. Some people may prefer dark Saber over the regular one. Also, collectors would love to...well..collect them all. I'm not that kind of person, but let's admit, it'd be boring if everyone owned the same figure.

  9. personally I am fine with Saber Extra as her legend is ”somehow” connect to the King Author's legend, but for Saber Bride...her cloth only remind me on CC of Code Geass... well I will still buy the game and the figma...

  10. @ hiroy_raind:
    I personally don't mind the Saber variations too much, though the Saber Bride seem a little out of place out of all variations, and it is partly because of that I have made this post.

    As you said franchise such as Gundam and Kamen Rider have characterisitcs that are easy to recognise and are symbolic but won't make things out of place (in fact it would be the other way round should they be absent), but in terms of Saber Extra and Saber Bride in Fate/Extra it seems a little harder for some of us to accept. Maybe it's the feeling how they try to be different but at the same time want to be the same that don't fit well compared to the former two franchise mentioned. Or that directly implementing the characteristerics on a character him/herself is what makes things seem awkward. Perhaps.

    I really am not aware of Mahou Tsukai no Yoru until just now, and Tsukihime's anime adaptation was badly received. Hopefully like Kara no Kyoukai (which I have yet to watch) there will be more such adaptations available in the future.

    @ MkMiku:
    Hm you have a good point there. Despite having different kinds of variations such as World is Mine, Love is War, and perhaps to a larger extend the race queens and VN02 etc. Miku is still the same Miku who we normally associate with, and that is one of a virtual idol. My thought would be that it would seem a tad odd if Miku is to become an RPG character all of a sudden (okay there's BRS which there are some who would still think that she is a variation of Miku, and she does become an RPG character recently abeit being a different character), or be some other role completely unrelated to what fans will associate the character with.

    The purpose of having variations for marketing is understandable, and it has been done for many things recently; from colour variations to costume variations, and now even character variations too. Having the same figure that everyone has would seem rather banal, and hence the variations exist so people can pick their own tastes. I however do worry whether things will go a bit too much and lose the originality of the character. Hopefully it'd just be me worrying too much there.

    @ Yui:
    Now that you mention there is a connection between the two Sabers have I really started to read the profile of Saber Extra on the TYPE-MOON wikia and see the link, abeit a bit of a loose one I'd say.

    Saber Bride does have some resemblance to CC with the tight clothings there. This is perhaps the variation that looks the least like the other Sabers so far, and what makes me feel odd about her. Well, we shall see how she is like lore-wise when the game is released. I do commend your effort to the game and the figma, with a possibility for a DD next year too haha!

  11. Nice toys review. I love to play with attacking toys as like as Jojo's Bizarre that I recently collected from at PIJ. Now I also wanna to collect your posted toys from there. Thanks for your nice toys review.


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