Welcome to the Solaris Blog! ヾ( ʚ̴̶̷ .̫ ʚ̴̶̷ )ﾉ”
You may have never watched any of the Fate anime or played any of the games, but you have most definitely seen her face or heard her name: Saber. Artwork of her has been serving as the background for epic music videos and the fuel for dreams of otaku the world over since the series was released in 2006. And today we’ll be talking about her in depth! ＼(^ o ^)／
If you are new to the Fate universe or just want to know more about the character before putting an effigy of her in your house, then read on because this guide was made for you! (๑❛ ▿ ◠๑ )
But the short answer to the burning question is: yes, you should definitely start a Saber figure collection because she is absolutely worth it. Her character is awesome, her design is beautiful, and her story is moving. There’s a reason why she’s everyone’s favorite!
Because she’s a popular character and the Fate universe has spin-offs, parallel stories, and obscure paths, not ALL Saber figures will be mentioned. (´ε｀*)ゝ
For the sake of brevity, we selected only the ones that best showcase her essence as king, servant, maiden, and dark hero, which stay true to her character as shown in the anime series. Nendoroids and other articulated figures have not been included in this guide either.
If you’re looking for something different, a more whimsical or reimagined version of Saber from one of the many spin-offs and parodies, take a look at all the different Saber figures we have in our store! We have TONS of figures, so you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for! ＼( ^ω^＼ )
Also, regarding her name. Writer-san prefers to use “Arturia,” but other acceptable versions of her name are “Artoria” and “Altria.” This discrepancy is due to how the name is written in Japanese (アルトリア), in which there is no equivalent to the “tu” sound. The closest one to the name given by her creators is “Artoria.” However, writer-san likes the clear parallel with the name Arthur, so…Arturia it is. For this guide, at least.
But even in our store she goes by several different names, depending on the maker. The keyword that yields the best results is “Saber” anyway. o(◕␣~)o
The Fate Universe
If you’re new to all this, the Fate universe can be very confusing. So we’ll try to make it a bit more clear.
The Fate/Stay Night series is based on an adult visual novel in which there are three paths you can choose from, depending on which love interest you pursue. Each path became its own series:
Saber’s path = Fate/Stay Night
Rin Tohsaka’s path = Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Sakura Matou’s path = Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel
Heaven’s Feel is a movie trilogy.
However, the Fate universe isn’t just about these three. It has grown beyond the great animation by ufotable, and that’s where it begins to get confusing. (•ิ_•ิ) After the success of Fate/Stay Night, a couple light novels were published, and likewise turned into anime series:
Fate/Zero, which tells the story before the events of the Fate/Stay Night series. For Saber purposes, it’s a must watch, because she’s a prominent character.
And Fate/Apocrypha, which is set in the same universe but it’s on a completely different timeline.
Finally, there are also the games, of which the mobile game Fate/Grand Order is currently the most popular.
It also originated an anime series (Fate/Grand Order - Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia)...
…and a two-part movie (Fate/Grand Order - Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot).
Okay…so which one do I watch first…?
For Saber purposes, this is the correct order:
2. Fate/Stay Night
3. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
4. Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel (all 3 movies)
2. Fate/Stay Night
3. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
4. Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel (all 3 movies)
And that’s it. These will give you plenty of Saber action and you’ll get to see three of the four aspects we listed in this guide: servant, king, and dark hero.
Fate/Apocrypha is optional because Saber is not in it. Her appearance is in name only, with probably less than a minute of total screen time throughout the anime series. Though there are “Sabers” in it (two, to be exact), they are not the same Saber.
The Fate/Grand Order timeline is neither necessary nor recommended for beginners. The anime series and the movie require knowledge of the game to be fully understood. If you go in without this requirement, you will be very confused. (*´-｀* )
However, once you become well-versed in the basic Fate lore, definitely take a look at Fate/Grand Order because you get a chance to see a couple different sides to Saber!
“Saber” is actually an alias. Her true identity is Arturia Pendragon. Yes, the same king Arthur of the Round Table. Get used to the genderbend, because it’s a common thing in this universe. She is a king, it’s that simple. ｄ(´ ▽｀* )
In the Fate universe, mages summon the spirit of heroes to fight on their behalf in a battle to win an artifact called the Holy Grail. Yes, that is also the same Holy Grail of King Arthur’s legendary quest…sort of. Maybe a little more evil.
Just a little. ԅ(⌒_⌒;)
The Fate series draws heavily upon global folklore and history, with the identities and backstories of the heroes based on the real-life legends about them — at times loosely, at times accurately. For a history buff, the Fate series is just an enormous fanfic of all our favorite historical characters. Even if you weren’t into history, after dipping your toes in these waters, you will be.
In this age-old struggle, the summoned spirits can fit into one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, and Berserker — all named after their fighting styles. Because revealing their identities could also reveal their weaknesses, it is common practice to keep their true names hidden. When masters call on their summoned servants or refer to them, they use their class name. That is why throughout the series, Arturia is called “Saber” by everyone. However, not all Sabers are Arturia, as we will see later in part II.
Long Live the King!
Starting with the basics, this is the Saber everyone thinks about when we hear her name: blonde paladin with milkmaid braids wearing a blue dress and silver armor.
This figure, the Triumphant Excalibur by Good Smile Company, is a perfect example. GSC is great at making high quality, highly detailed figures at a reasonable price point. This is definitely a fan favorite because it has everything we love about Saber: action and spirit! (ﾒ｀ﾛ´)/ The pose is super dynamic, the armor glints in the light, and Excalibur is a piece of art on its own!
With hiding names also comes hiding weapons, especially if they are so famous that they could end up revealing the identity of the wielder. In Arturia's case, since her blade was a legend on its own, for most of Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night, and Unlimited Blade Works, it was kept hidden, being revealed only when she unleashed her most powerful ability. Saber covers it with a magical barrier of wind, which can also be manipulated to amplify her attacks and boost her speed.
However, if you want to see Saber less as a warrior and more as a king, Aniplex and Stronger are going to re-release this majestic scale at the end of April 2022. Her pose is more subdued but no less grand; with a serene but determined expression, the King of Knights gazes upon the battlefield. She sanctifies the ground beneath with the light of her magical blade that stands ready at her side. Pre-orders are still being accepted at the time of writing, so come fight for your king! (シ_ _ )シ
Now, if there were a Pop Up Parade of Saber in this outfit, we would definitely put it here, but so far, there isn’t one. (╥︣﹏╥᷅) There are Pop Up Parades of other flavors of Saber, which we’ll talk about later, but no vanilla on the menu…yet. They’re slowly working on bringing the most popular characters to the line, so we hope to see her sometime in the future! (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و
But if you can’t hold out for that long and want to start your Saber obsession right now, how about starting with a nice prize figure?
FuRyu does a pretty good job of capturing Saber’s sweet side. In this figure she is seen in fairly casual clothes, with the only piece of armor being her greaves and sabatons; her elegance shines through in her relaxed expression. This is that fleeting moment where you see the human behind the crown and the sword. ( ͡ ° ‿ ͡ °)
“Are you my Master?”
Let’s take a look at Saber as a summoned servant to mages. More specifically, in this section we’ll talk about Saber as a servant to Emiya Kiritsugu, a mage killer. ( ❛o❛)
Their relationship is explained in-depth in the series Fate/Zero, along with amazing fight scenes and a thrilling plot. Even if you’re not going too deep into the Fate lore, at the very least watch Fate/Zero to see Saber in action. 人 ´∀｀)
In a few episodes, Saber is tasked with protecting the heiress of a prestigious mage family, Irisviel von Einzbern. In order to do her mission inconspicuously, Saber dresses up as a bodyguard. And a dashing one, too! We get to see the softness that turns ordinary killing machines into knights. (˵ ͡o ͜ʖ ͡o˵)♡
Compared to her usual outfit, a modern-day bodyguard suit is a serious downgrade. But it’s Saber we’re talking about…epic isn’t just in her armor. She is the definition of epic, and she will continue being so even if our era seems so lackluster.
Under her command, a Yamaha motorbike becomes a roaring beast!
As a heroic spirit, the knowledge in her previous life is a transferable asset. Having been a knight in the past, Saber is automatically granted superior riding and driving skills with modern-day beasts as well. We haven’t seen her pilot an airplane, but knowing her creators, we’ll see Saber dogfighting eventually.
During one of her missions, she is forced to fight on two wheels. GSC brought that masterpiece of a fight sequence into the 3D world with The Motored Cuirassier.
This figure is loved by fans because it evokes the thrill of those scenes. It is essentially a two-for-one deal, since the motorbike is a figure on its own. We did an in-depth review of this amazing scale last year, so go check it out! (but the TL;DR of that post is: it’s so good we couldn’t find flaws with her even when we tried, so go ahead and add it to your collection because it’s 100% worth it!). (✧ᗜ✧)
For Saber basics, those two are the most important aspects of her character, and great starting points for your collection. However, it doesn’t stop there; Saber is the light that attracted all of us otaku into the Fate universe. Though it doesn’t always revolve around her, she’s definitely its brightest star! There are more sides to her personality and more secrets to her past, which we’ll cover in part II of the guide.
We hope you find this useful!
Until next time! ヾ(＾∇＾)