In this article we will talk about Carnival Phantasm. If you are not accustomed to Nasuverse or its most famous franchise, Fate / Stay Night, follow the links and enjoy reading.

An abnormal reading key

Taking a step back to the early years of Type-Moon we remember how the company, since its inception, was very open (given its origins in the field) to the officialization of dojin works under its label.

Among the authors who contributed and collaborated with the company in the comics and anthology field we find Eri Takenashi, author known today for Kannagi, in 2002 debutant in the Japanese artistic and creative field within the staff of Nasu and Takeuchi.

One of his works, particularly atypical for Type-Moon publications, was the manga titled Take Moon, a series without a background plot that proposes situations and episodes inspired by the various anthologies of tsukihime reinterpreted in a comic key, exasperating the most recognizable features of characters such as Shiki, Arcueid and Ciel to the extreme making a parody that winks at the original work on several occasions.

Moderately appreciated by the community, Take Moon remained for a long time a little-known work among the Type-Moon works.

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Celebration of success

We know by now that, with the passing of the years and the release of Fate / stay nightType-Moon has managed to grow exponentially, going from their founding in 2001, from struggling to publish Visual Novel forcibly inserted to genres of wider genre take to frequently and permanently publish videogame and novel projects.

Such an achievement, however unexpected, at the dawn of ten years from the birth of the company was, for his staff, something that was due to a fair recognition and a heartfelt tribute to the fans who made all this possible.

We learned that the Nasuverse is a great setting full of premises, complex rules in the functioning of its magic, protagonists who often find themselves asking complicated questions about their identity and their place in the world and the people who are part of their life, the all while surrounded by deceptions, dangers far greater than themselves, death, betrayals and difficult choices: how to celebrate the tenth anniversary of a collection of materials with similar tones appropriately and rewarding for the community that actively contributed to their growth?
Type-Moon's answer is apparently simple: ignore all this and have a laugh.

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The metacafé

Based on what Takenashi did with Take Moon, Type-Moon decided to entrust the Lerche studio with the task of producing an animated series, written by Makoto Uezu and directed by Seiji Kishi, that would go back to all the tone that had been appreciated by the manga parodic about Tsukihime applying it and incorporating it to all that, until then, made up the Nasuverse.

The result is a short series of 12 episodes and three specials celebrating the first decade of Type-Moon's life entitled Carnival Phantasm.

Like the original Take Moon, Carnival Phantasm also does not have a real plot, limiting itself to proposing comic sketches of various lengths involving the characters of Tsukihime, Melty Blood and Fate. Unlike Take Moon, however, the series tries to contextualize its existence: it is not the first time that the spectators of the Nasuverse find themselves face to face with metafiction events, and exactly as happened in Tsukihime PLUS-DISK will be a certain place to make this bizarre and unthinkable crossover possible.

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The Ahnenerbe

The Ahnenerbe is not in fact a foreign place for those who know Type-Moon works: already appeared in passing in the various Nasu series, this strange pub has the mysterious ability to make it possible to meet people who, in normal conditions, do not they could never meet.

This allows the venue to act as a meeting point between the numerous parallel worlds in a ten-year event called "Carnival".

It is precisely during this event that the spectators, led by the bizarre staff (almost completely composed of different types of Neco-Arc), will witness surreal situations with the characters already known of much darker works as protagonists.

Absurdity and nonsense

Carnival Phantasm presents a wide variety of situations and scenarios, some directly taken from the Take Moon manga, others completely new also for Tsukihime (in one episode, for example the heroes of the two Visual Novels, Shirou and Shiki, will find themselves organizing a day of simultaneous appointments with all the heroines of the respective works).

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Everything is brought to exasperation

The characters are painted here bringing to exasperation their peculiar traits, such as Saber's appetite or Lancer's misfortune, Akiha's tsundere qualities or the conflict between Ciel and Arcueid, going to recreate a series of gags and references that almost always break the fourth wall and which quickly recur to the point of appearing even in the opening theme (Super ☆ Affection, played by Minami Kuribayashi and Miyuki Hashimoto), as much as in the closing one (Fellows, by Masaaki Endoh), not sparing to play on issues more related to the community (such as the lack of a route to Illya) and to aspects more belonging to the real world such as surveys of popularity or reaction of the public to certain characters in certain situations.

It is not uncommon to find, in Carnival Phantasm, the transposition of situations faithful to the original works but in a completely distorted key: a striking example emerges immediately in the first episode, which tells the story of a Fifth War of the Holy Grail of Fuyuki in which the rules are you have changed by transforming the bloody conflict into a surreal television game show in which the pairs of participants are called to take part in the most disparate games, without however distorting the original dynamics between the protagonists.

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A thousand cameos

There are also cameos and extras of characters that, for one reason or another, cannot be present in the series: examples of extras are Saber of Fate / Extra, which attributes his absence from Carnival to the postponement of the game's publication, as well as most of the characters of the other Type-Moon works such as Kara no Kyokai, Fate / Zero and hollow ataraxia, Mahōtsukai no Yoru and even Notes, who take part in the final celebration of the series at the Ahnenerbe. A final cameo, which serves as an introduction to the fake trailer for Fate / prototype, is represented by Ayaka Sajyou, going to close the tribute to every work by Nasuverse to the existing times.

The closure of the curtain

Carnival Phantasm is not a significant work, from a narrative point of view, for Nasuverse, as it does not add or deepen anything already known about the works and characters that are part of it and, indeed, play on the knowledge of previous works for show it in a different light, where the characters instead of trying to eliminate each other try to have as much fun as possible.

However, it is a significant work as much as a celebration and tribute of a long-term work with many obstacles in its path, as well as a good way for a spectator to close the Nasuverse circle with a light, fun and rewarding work. attention to details narrated with subtle, absurd, effective and peaceful humor.