Kanshou and Bakuya: Gān Jiàng and Mò Yé (干将・莫邪, Kanshō - Bakuya?) are "married" twin swords representing Yin and Yang, crafted by the blacksmith Gān Jiàng (干将, Kanshō?) of Wu during the Spring and Autumn Period of China. They were crafted more for the sake of crafting, as if questioning the meaning of the swordsmith, than for any real idea behind their creation. They were created without vanity, and lack a sense of purpose found in other swords. They contain no fighting spirit to defeat others nor a competitive spirit to beat other weapons, and they contain neither the desire to be famous nor the faith to accomplish great deeds.
Upon receiving orders from the King of Wu to forge an imperial sword, Gān Jiàng could not think of ways to forge swords that fit such orders. While he was extremely frustrated and desperate, his wife, Mò Yé (莫邪, Bakuya?), upon seeing this situation, decided to gamble her own life. The sacrificing of human lives is absolutely necessary in order to forge items reaching the realm of Gods, so Bakuya hurled herself into the furnace in front of the husband she loved and used her own life to help the Essence of Five Mountains and the Metal of Six Heroes meld. Kanshou forged the two swords in grief. He kept the Yang sword, named "Gān Jiàng", and he only handed over the Yin Sword, "Mò Yé", to the king when it came time to present them. The king was furious upon discovering the deception, and he had Gān Jiàng killed.
Their quality and ability as swords is high due to being made with the best materials and a human sacrifice, and they have shamanistic and ritual aspects as enchanted weapons. The quality of the grips is more important in the practical use of the swords than the ornamental value, and they are noted as being quite big and heavy. They are identical in shape with the only difference being their color. Kanshou (Gān Jiàng), the black Yang sword, is covered in a hexagonal pattern, and Bakuya (Mò Yé), the white Yin sword, has less of the shine of a polished metal in its ore than it has the haze of a cloud. While the story of their creation has survived into the modern day, there is no mention of what kind of swords they actually were, and even their shape is a mystery. The assumption is that they were cast swords, as was common in their time period. The only known description of the swords simply says that Kanshou had a black tortoise shell pattern and Bakuya had a white wave pattern.
The original versions of the swords that reached the realm of the Gods due to human sacrifice, rather than the imperfect projected versions, also have a strong affinity against monsters, allowing them to easily cut down creatures like the Gorgon form of Medusa and the extradimensional evil god summoned by Caster in a single strike.
Variations[edit | edit source]
Kanshou and Bakuya (Trace)[edit | edit source]
EMIYA encounters the sword at some point during his lifetime and added them to the numerous weapons recorded and stored in Unlimited Blade Works. Archer additionally crafted spells of warding all over the swords' blades. They are his favored weapons to project, having become his symbols after wielding them all his life. He and Shirou Emiya find the craftsmanship of the blades to be extremely captivating and beautiful, and the swords suit their natural style of fighting. Despite not having a wielder in the legends, they are still Noble Phantasms crafted by the blacksmith.
They are rather low ranking compared to other Noble Phantasms, but the dual-wielding style, their experience, and their tracing time makes them very reliable. The main ability of the swords is their strong bond with each other, which not only allows them to attract each other, but it is also said they will return to their owner even if events cause them to be lost. If one is thrown while the other is held, the thrown sword will return to the wielder much like a boomerang. This works well with projection, allowing an already projected sword to identify a new projection as its partner sword. When both are wielded, the wielder's Magic Resistance and physical resistance improve, and their rank as both weapons and Noble Phantasms increases.
Kanshou and Bakuya Overedge[edit | edit source]
EMIYA can utilize reinforcement magecraft to completely transform the blades into longswords, referred to as Kanshou and Bakuya Overedge (干将·莫邪オーバーエッジ, Kanshō - Bakuya Ōbāejji?). It is unknown exactly what effects are provided through the reinforcement, but he did utilize them at some point in the battle against Berserker in the Fate route of the visual novel.
Kanshou & Bakuya (Handguns)[edit | edit source]
EMIYA Alter, through unknown methods, modified Kanshou and Bakuya to function as bayoneted handguns, which he is able to trace and use in battle. It is with them he is able to use his Noble Phantasm, Unlimited Lost Works. He also shows the capability to transform them back into actual blades vaguely similar to the original swords, along with connecting them at their pommels to create a dual-bladed melee staff.
Triple-Linked Crane Wings[edit | edit source]
Triple-Linked Crane Wings (鶴翼三連, Kakuyoku Sanren?) is an "exquisite technique" utilized by EMIYA, the culmination of his usage of the swords and the "true meaning behind Kanshou and Bakuya." It is said to be a "fatal attack" used to get him through his numerous battles, relying on the married swords' attraction to one another, consecutive projections, and keeping the basic technique, symbolized by the chanted poem. The user projects three sets of Kanshou and Bakuya, executing an unavoidable combination through throwing and slashing maneuvers. Each blade is lethal and the multiple attacks are meant to prohibit escape or defense. The only ways to defeat it are with an omni-directional defense, or by ignoring the damage to make a suicidal assault on the user.
Spirit and technique, flawless and firm
Our strength rips the mountains
Our swords split the water
Our names reach the imperial villa
The two of us cannot hold the heavens together.
Shingi, muketsu ni shite banjaku
Chikara, yama wo nuki
Tsurugi, mizu wo wakatsu
Seimei, rikyuu ni todoki
Warera, tomo ni ten wo idakazu
Crane wings (Spirit and technique), without opening (flawless and firm)
Spirit and technique (Strength), reaching the mountain (pierce the mountain)
Spirit and technique (Sword), crossing the Yellow River (split the water)
Name (Fame), ending in a different heaven (reaching the imperial villa)
Two rivals / Two great men (We), sharing a life (cannot embrace heavens together)
Archer[edit | edit source]
In EMIYA's version, the first pair is thrown at the enemy with the purpose of being deflected, while the second is prepared for close range combat. While the enemy is off guard, he slashes with the second pair, and the thrown pair returns and hits the enemy from behind. Finally, the third pair is modified into Overedge and he performs the final strike with them.
No Name's version begins with a pair of thrown swords that strike the enemy, followed by an overhead slash, and then finishing with a dashing double slash.
In Fate/EXTELLA, No Name's version involves throwing a pair at the opponent that then returns the same way back to him, after which he throws them again with another pair so that there are altogether four swords, followed by a jumping attack with Overedge.
Shirou[edit | edit source]
Shirou's version used to defeat Saber Alter begins with a thrown pair aimed at the neck, coinciding with the first line of the chant, that is deflected by the enemy, and then closes in for close combat with a second pair. The thrown Bakuya returns from behind to attack the enemy and he immediately strikes with the Kanshou in his hand. Directly afterward, the thrown Kanshou returns and he uses the Bakuya in his hand to attack as well, coinciding with the second and third lines. Saber managed to block all four attacks, but the result left her defenses completely open. He then projects the final pair without any reinforcement to slash the enemy's open defense in a downward X-motion, coinciding with the final two lines. It is essentially a methodical strategy at rendering the opponent defenseless.
Kuro[edit | edit source]
English | Japanese
« I'll show you what I’ve been holding back!"
Kuro's version begins with her throwing two pairs of Kanshou and Bakuya that encircle the enemy. She then makes use of her teleportation in conjunction with the technique, making her attack difficult to predict even with one's Eye of the Mind. During the Grand Orders and against Bazett in Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, she teleports behind the enemy and slashes with a regular pair of swords, while she teleports under the platform Angelica is standing on and pierces through it with a pair of Overedge swords when using the technique in conjunction with Shirou's own Triple-Linked Crane Wings. Bazett manages to take the slashes from the thrown swords head-on with minor injury, counterattacking against Kuro, while Angelica is caught off-guard and struck, allowing Shirou to defeat her.
Shirou (PRISMA☆ILLYA)[edit | edit source]
Shirou's version begins with two thrown pairs that surround the opponent. He then creates an Overedge pair and performs an overhead downward slash. Upon combining the technique with Kuro against Angelica, all of their attacks are rendered useless by Flash Air, but Kuro manages to surprise her from below.
First Lady (Black Bird Scissorhands)[edit | edit source]
Black Bird Scissorhands: Fallen Triple-Linked Crane Wings (堕・鶴翼三連, Da - Kakuyoku Sanren?) is the name of the variation utilized by First Lady when inside Chloe von Einzbern's body. It does not differ visibly from Chloe's version.
Development[edit | edit source]
Hirokazu Koyama is the weapon designer for Kanshou and Bakuya.
The design for Overedge comes from the animated version of the fight between Archer and Berserker, and was created by the art director of the anime, Koyama Toshihisa. Nasu Kinoko fell in love with the dangerous look of the swords, and applied them to Archer's version of the attack in the reference material.
References[edit | edit source]
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Gan Jiang and Mo Ye [Noble Phantasms], p.057 [T]
Gan Jiang and Mo Ye [Noble Phantasms]
The Yin-Yang paired swords which Archer favoured.
The swords forged by the famed swords smith Kansho of Wu, during the Spring Autumn period of China.
Kansho received orders from the King of Wu to forge the imperial sword, however, he could not think of ways to forge swords that fit such orders. He was really frustrated and desperate.
Seeing this situation, his wife Byakuya decided to gamble her own life.
In order to forge items reaching the realm of Gods, sacrificing of human lives is absolutely necessary.
Thus Byakua hurled herself into the furnace in front of the husband she loved, using her own life to help the Essence of Five Mountains and the Metal of Six Heroes meld.
Kansho forged the two swords in grief.
These are Kansho and Byakuya, a pair of twin swords that reflect Yin and Yang.
Since they were forged with the best materials and human life, their abilities as swords are great. In addition, they also have aspects as magical weapons used in Witchcraft and Rituals.
It is unknown why Archer chose to carve what seems to be spells of warding all over the swords."
 Fate/complete material II: Character material - Weapons: Kanshou & Bakuya, p.126
Twin short swords wielded by Archer. When both are equipped at the same time, they enhance the user’s anti-magic and anti-physical attributes, and their own rank as both weapons and Noble Phantasms increases. Further, warding texts are inscribed on the swords’ blades.
Historically, the swords are purported to have been created during China’s Spring and Autumn Period. The swordsmith Gan Jiang was commissioned by the king of the time to make him a wonderful pair of swords. However, the swordsmith’s furnace was unable to even melt the metal. Worried about her husband, the swordsmith’s wife Mo Ye willingly threw herself into the furnace, and the heat of her sacrifice allowed the swords to be completed. The Yang sword was named “Ganjiang”, and the Yin sword “Moye”, after the married couple. However, when it came time to present his handiwork to the king, Gan Jiang handed over only the Moye sword, keeping the Ganjiang sword for himself. The king was furious when he discovered this deception, and had Gan Jiang killed.
史実では、中国の春秋時代に作られたと言い伝えられている双剣。優れた刀鍛冶である干将が，時の王の命によ り剣製した。この時，なかなか剣が完成せず悩む干将を見て、妻の莫耶が神の加護を得るための供物として自ら 炉に飛びこんだという逸話が存在する。妻の犠牲によって完成した陽剣には"干将"、陰剣には"莫耶"と、夫 婦の名が付けられた。そして干将は莫耶のみを王に献上した。このことが後に王を怒らせ、干将は王に殺された という物語も残っている。
 Fate/EXTRA - No Name (Archer) Matrix [T]
True Name: No Name
Noble Phantasm: Unlimited Blade Works: Universe of Endless Blades
Keyword: Kansho and Bakuya
Strength: -, Defense: -, Agility: -, Magic: -, Luck: -
Anti-Magic: D, Independence: C, False Insight: B
01 - Unlimited Blade Works: Universe of Endless Blades
This Noble Phantasm is not used directly wielded as a weapon. Rather, it is a powerful reality marble that focuses one's inner being and projects it onto the real world. The reality that this particular skill creates is that of a magus who devoted their life to mastering the art of the sword, and makes available to the user every sword-type weapon ever encountered by that magus in their lifetime.
02 - Kansho and Bakuya
A set of matched swords favored by Archer. Although extremely lethal, their mystical aspects make them useful for ceremonial and divination rituals. They are thought to have created in the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history by the master smith Gan jiang.
03 - Hero of Black Metal
This is the title given to the one who in a previous life was involved in the development and manufacture of many different types of weaponry.
It hints at the fact that in his previous life, this Archer was more of a craftsman than a warrior.
０１ - 無限の剣製
０２ - 干将・莫耶
０３ - 錬鉄の英雄
Cancels single-action spells.
It also bestows magical resistance equal to that normally provided by a physical talisman such as an amulet.
This ability allows him to remain independent by rejecting any kind of support from his Master. When this skill reaches rank C, he can remain in the world for a single day without establishing a contract with a Master.
False Insight [B]
Bestows a heightened sense of awareness honed and refined through experience. Makes one capable of making claim and rational decisions on the field of battle regardless of the surrounding dangers.
01 - Character Background
A hero without a name. A fictional Legendary Soul. A fake.
The remnants of a person who spent his human life in the pursuit of justice. While the man who spawned this Legendary Soul was once a real, living being, the slow passage of time has completely erased his entire existence from the records of human history.
The weapons he uses in battle are not technically real, but are created using thaumaturgy technique known as Projection. All of the weapons at his disposal are simply manifestations of those he sees in his mind's eye and then materializes in the real world.
02 - "Ally of Justice"
In his mortal life, Archer was a magus who barely deserved the title, although he was a Master in a previous Holy Grail War. While not even remotely in the same league as Rin Tousaka, he did possess Magic Circuits capable of a single function.
While many people prate about the justice and equality, he actually went out of his way to be an "Ally of Justice", often at the expense of his own freedom. When faced with a potential disaster that was beyond his power to prevent, he willingly sold his soul to the Moon Cell in return for a miracle. Now, instead of playing the part of the hero, he willing plays that of a Servant instead.
As for the human he once was, no traces of that person exist. Instead, he is now the personification of what most people would imagine one who holds the title of "Ally of Justice" to be.
０１ - 人物背景：
０２ - 『正義の味方』
 Fate/side material - Weapons: Gan Jiang (Kansho) • Mo Ye (Byakuya), p.083
Gan Jiang (Kansho) • Mo Ye (Byakuya)
Their shape is absolutely identical. The black blade is (somehow) the Yang sword Kanshou, and the white is the Yin sword Bakuya. The ore of the white has less of the shine of a polished metal than it has the haze of a cloud. The black one is covered in a hexagonal pattern. As for the practical use, the quality of the grip is more important than the ornamental value. But it's quite big and heavy.
 Fate/complete material II: Character material - Weapons: Kanshou & Bakuya Overedge, p.127
A version of Kanshou & Bakuya used by Archer in the undescribed battle against Berserker in Fate route. Using reinforcement magecraft, the blades have been completely transformed into long swords.
By the way, while the story of Ganjiang and Moye has survived to this day, there is no mention of what kind of swords they actually were. The assumption is that they were cast swords, as was common in that time period. Even their shape is a mystery, as the only known description of the swords simply says that Ganjiang had a black tortoise shell pattern and Moye had a white wave pattern.
ちなみに史実の干将·莫耶に関しては、どのような剣だったのか、外見に関する記述は残っていない。時代的に 、鋳造によって作られた鋳剣だとは推測されている。また形状についても、干将は黒く亀甲のような模様、莫耶 は白く波のような模様がある剣だったと伝えられる程度である。
 Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Noble Phantasms, p.134
Q: If the original Kansho and Bakuya take the stage in the Holy Grail War, as the twin swords reaching the realm of Gods...
Q: If the original Kansho and Bakuya take the stage in the Holy Grail War, as the twin swords reaching the realm of Gods due to the sacrifice of human lives, will they possess powers as Noble Phantasms? Or, since they did not have wielders in the legend, thus cannot become Noble Phantasms?
A: Absolutely without a doubt that they will be true Noble Phantasms. They will be extremely strong anti-monster Noble Phantasms. Rider's ultimate form--Gorgon Lv100, or the extra-dimensional evil god summoned by Gilles, will all be cut down in a single strike.
Fate/EXTRA - Archer and Assassin battle dialoge
Archer: The secret arts of China are also right here, "Divine Spear" Li. I strike with this Yin and Yang...!
Assassin: Hou... Those swords, Kanshou and Bakuya. As if the Heroic spirits of the great swordsmiths were new once more.
Julius: Do not prolong this, Assassin. That servant, he excels at drawn-out battles.
 Fate/Grand Order - Archer Profile [T]
Chloe von Einzbern - Archer
Illustrator and Voice actor
Illustrator: Hiroyama Hiroshi
Voice Actor: Saitou Chiwa
Noble Phantasm: C
Mind’s Eye (False): B
Projection Magic: B
Kiss Demon: B
Magic Resistance: C
Independent Action: B
Kakuyoku Sanren: Triple-Linked Crane Wings
Kuro is a clone who split off from Illya and incarnated in the form of a certain Heroic Spirit.
She describes herself as “Illya’s older sister.”
However, Illya also claims to be the older sister, leading to endless sibling quarrels that look like someone yelling into a mirror.
Level 1 Bond
Source: Fate/Kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya
Region: Fuyuki, Japan
Alignment: Chaotic Good Gender: Female
“Mana transfer, pretty please?”
Level 2 Bond
Illya rejected Kuro at first, but Kuro eventually came to live in the Einzbern household.
Her cover story claims that she’s Illya’s cousin, but the resemblance is so uncanny that they are often mistaken for twin sisters.
Upon their first meeting Illya’s foster brother Shirou mistook Kuro for Illya. This was understandable since he had no idea Kuro existed, but it seems to have been a great shock to Illya that her brother couldn’t tell them apart.
Level 3 Bond
Kuro does not know the identity of the Heroic Spirit whose form she has borrowed. She has only inherited the fighting skills that he refined.
She wields her formidable combat powers with reckless abandon. Rin saw this as a threat, and inflicted on Kuro a curse of shared pain perception. Kuro’s shared pain with Illya was meant to deter her from targeting her twin, but the trifling curse meant nothing to the little devil.
Level 4 Bond
"Threefold Crane Wings"
Rank: C Type: Anti-personnel Noble Phantasm
An exquisite technique of a certain Heroic Spirit.
The user projects three sets of the male and female paired swords, combining throwing and slashing maneuvers to execute an unavoidable combination.
Kuro also teleports behind the enemy in conjunction with the technique, making her attack difficult to predict even with Mind’s Eye.
Level 5 Bond
- Kiss Demon: B
Kuro, who unexpectedly manifested as a Servant-like being without a Master, always requires magical energy.
Thus, she resupplies via mucous membrane contact as a quick and easy method that requires no contract.
An unguarded victim will suddenly oneself thrust into a kissing scene by the brown little devil, without a care for the time or place.
“But don’t get me wrong, it’s just a medical procedure,” she says. Oh, that makes sense.
Interlude "Two Flowers Laughing in the Wind"
Illya’s sealed nature and memories grew denser and more complex until they condensed into a single personality: Kuro.
Kuro is aware of this.
She knows that it’s a miracle that she can even exist.
She may not have even wanted to take this form.
Still, Illya and her family accepted Kuro.
The warmth of a family she believed had been stolen from her was still there after all, waiting for her.
Thus, her birth must have had meaning.
Kuro will lecture her unreliable little sister, defeat her enemies, and show her the way.
Once, she thought her little sister was behind her. But before she knows it, Illya will surely surpass even her big sister, and reach for the light of the distant stars.
クロエ・フォン・アインツベルン - アーチャー
- Kiss Demon: B
- Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel - Sparks Liner High
- Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA 3rei!! - Volume 6
- Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA 2wei! - Volume 3
- Character Material - Kanshou and Bakuya Overedge, p.053