The Type-Moon Museum Shows a Fascinating Snippet of Fate/Stay Night's History

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Exhibit at Sony Music Roppongi Museum runs from December 20 to April 5

The Type-Moon Museum, which is running at the Sony Music Roppongi Museum from December 20 to April 5, is a must visit for any Fate/stay night fan. The lavish 15th anniversary exhibit offers a comprehensive look at the Fate/stay night visual novel and anime production materials, as well as tantalizing hints of the personal lives of Type-Moon members and the earliest drafts of Fate/stay night.

One of the biggest reasons to go is the free booklet handled out to every visitor: Fate/unpublished material. The booklet detailing elements from the early plot outline of Studio DEEN's Fate/stay night TV anime from 2006. Besides the three routes from the visual novel ("Fate", "Unlimited Blade Works", and "Heaven's Feel") which have elements represented in the anime, the TV anime and films were originally planned to depict an original fourth route, focusing on a "Shielder" class character named Tachie. She bears a physical resemblance to Mash from the smartphone game Fate/Grand Order, making the booklet itself a reveal of where the idea of Mash's character came from. Entry to the museum is worth it for the entry bonus alone.

Another absolutely must see aspect of the museum is its reveal of three pages of series writer Kinoko Nasu's handwritten draft of Fate/stay night, which he first composed as a novel in 1991. Fate/stay night illustrator Takashi Takeuchi was already drawing illustrations for Nasu's story back then; his illustrations of the very early character designs were displayed next to the novel pages. Several things can be gleaned from the three pages: the concept of magic-user Masters and Servants as Heroic Spirits was already present, as was the Excalibur as an invisible sword and Sasaki Kojiro as an Assassin-class Servant. The short text focuses on Misaya Reiroukan, Lancer's Master who would form the basis of the character of Rin Tohsaka.

The broad outline of Nasu's original novel was already revealed in 2011, when Type-Moon released the 12-minute special anime "Fate/Prototype" was bundled with the final volume of the Carnival Phantasm anime. The anime was bundled with an artbook titled Prototype material, which outlined the synopsis and characters. Further snippets of information regarding "Fate/Prototype" have been revealed in supplementary materials since, but to my knowledge, the Type-Moon museum is the first time Nasu's handwritten drafts have been put on display.

When you first walk into the museum, you'll get to see a statue of Saber holding the Excalibur majestically. The writing on the wall behind her shows her iconic first lines to Shirou: "I ask: Are you my Master?" There's also a statue of Kinoko Nasu himself... er, the cartoon mascot character who represents him.

Before you can proceed into the museum itself, you'll be screened a video showing illustrations and highlights from the original Fate/stay night visual novel from 2004. This video is accompanied with music and voice acting, and is sure to stir nostalgia in any fan. From there, you're free to explore the museum. The basic layout is as follows:

  1. "The Face of Type-Moon." The area recreates Kinoko Nasu's workspace and bookshelves, as well as the office and desk spaces at Type-Moon. Through this, you can get acquainted with Nasu's taste in literature and music. (He owns a lot of psychology books.) The various Type-Moon staff also have short and quirky self-introductions in the form of an interview Q&A, along with a brief explanation of their roles and works at the company.
  2. "Type-Moon's history, as shown through production materials." A showcase of production art and materials spanning not only all of Type-Moon's works, but also from events and limited-time goods.
  3. "How to Make Fate/stay night." A breakdown of the characters, videos, soundtrack, and direction of the visual novel.
  4. "Gallery Type-Moon." A gallery of illustrations from Type-Moon works. This includes some pieces that Takashi Takeuchi drew for the U.K. travelogue included in his Return to Avalon art book, which is sold at the museum shop.
  5. "Type-Moon and Our Era." A showcase of works derived from Fate/stay night's setting. During the first phase of the exhibit, this area showcased production materials and the plot outline of Studio DEEN's Fate/stay night TV anime.
  6. "Fuyuki City; Day & Nightmare." A 13-meter map projection and diorama shows the entirety of Fuyuki City.
  7. "A 'Carnival' Phantasm." A showcase of magazine covers featuring Type-Moon characters and messages of support from various people related to the franchise.

On top of this, there's an official shop and café. The shop sells limited-edition merchandise, such as T-shirts and mugs, celebrating the 15th anniversary theme. The café sells a variety of Fate-themed food, including (predictably and amusingly), the mabo tofu enjoyed by Kirei Kotomine in Heaven's Feel.

The "Fate" phase of the museum will run from December 20 to January 20, the “Unlimited Blade Works” will run from January 23 to February 24, and the "Heaven's Feel" phase will run from February 27 to April 5. Advance tickets will cost 2,300 yen (US$21), while same-day tickets will cost 2,500 yen (US$23). LAWSON ticket opened sales of advance tickets with allocated timing on December 6.

Update: Date for when advance tickets opened is now specified.

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