Let’s adjust our schedules. Although TYPE-MOON had released Mahoyo in 2012 in Japan, the script was first written in 1996 by Nasu during a frantic winter writing session inspired by the first episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
To orient ourselves in the general timeline, let’s find out where (and when!) we are in the Nasuverse timeline.
The main events of the Witch on the Holy Night occur from November to December of 1989. For reference, the Fourth Holy Grail War of Fate/Zero will occur in November of 1994, five years later. The fifth Holy Grail War – the events of Fate/Stay Night – began in February 2004.
For the curious, this makes Rin Tosaka and Shiro Emiya only two years old, and Sakura Mato barely a year old. Meanwhile, the protagonists of Mahoyo, Aoko Aozaki, and Alice Kuonji are seventeen years old in 1989, and Sizuki Soujyuro is supposed to be the same age.
Now let’s talk about the very important links between our series – starting with the “Red Ghost” that haunts Oku Ozaki.
Throughout Mahuyo, Oko frequently senses a “ghost” in tattered red robes or sees a “ghost”. Red Ghost grows closer to Aoko when she gets especially close to unlocking the hidden secret of the Aozaki family – the “Fifth Magic”, which allows time travel and governs the concepts of consumption and extinction (more on that later).
The Red Ghost is a member of the Counter Force – Alaya-empowered individuals, interchangeably referred to as “The Scientist”. In fact, Alaya is half of the planet’s consciousness, and is of particular importance to mages, as Alaya fiercely protects the Root and all the powerful magic available there, including the fifth magic used by the Aozaki clan.
Some fans speculate that Red Ghost is actually Counter Force “EMIYA” – the version of Shirou Emiya who sacrificed his humanity to become a “Hero of Justice”, as shown in flashbacks from Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works. This seems unlikely, though, given that EMIYA is deployed for full-scale wars to balance humanity and prevent its extinction.
It’s possible that Red Ghost is just another member of Counter Force, watching over Magic users, ready to step in if wizards use root magic in a way that could destroy humanity’s future.
Aoko’s older sister, Touko Ozaki, is obsessed with obtaining the Fifth Magic that should have been her birthright but was instead handed to her younger sister. She becomes a powerful witch in her own right, with a special talent for making dolls.
Tuco appears primarily in The Garden of Sinners, which is set during the 1990s, where she runs the “Hollow Shrine”, a contracting firm that provides many services including detective work and puppet making.
Touko’s biggest and most important role occurs at the end of Fate/Residence Night: Heaven’s Feel III. Spring Song in a “Blink and You’ll Miss It” moment.
After Shirou Emiya loses his body, his soul needs a new home. Although Touko escaped from the Mage Association by 2004, Rin Tohsaka and Sakura Matou manage to track her down and acquire a new doll to house Shirou’s spirit. They also get a pair of Touko’s “Mystic Eye Killer” glasses, which allow a passenger (Medusa) to live a normal life without accidentally activating her mystic eyes.
Throughout the entirety of Mahyoyo, Sizuki Soujyuro remains a mystery. At first, he seems incredibly passive and meek; But later, Father Airi of the Holy Church described Soujiro as a “blank slate”, deliberately created to be almost entirely emotionless.
In the final chapter of Witch on the Holy Night, we learn that Soujyuro grew up in the mountains in a secluded environment, training daily in techniques to disable opponents, block pain, and bypass his body’s protective systems to willingly damage his limbs.
What does this mean? Simply put, Sizuki Soujyuro is an assassin who was raised in the same way as Kuzuki Souichirou, the caster master in Fuyuki’s Fifth Holy Grail War.
Souichirou and Soujyuro fight in an identical manner, willingly sacrificing their own body parts to deal precision damage to the enemy’s vital organs. Both can “strengthen” their body parts to deliver powerful blows, though Soichiro is more adept at this technique.
Soujiro leaves the unknown “Organization” after questioning his role and purpose in the mountains. He was separated and allowed to blend into human society – which constitutes the witch’s initiation into the holy night. Soujyuro struggles to adjust to modern comforts, but is eventually able to settle down to a normal life, leaving his murderous past behind.
In the end, we don’t know much about this mysterious killer organization – but the Church and the Mage’s Association seem unaware of their existence.
The final question we answer today is the nature of the “magic” that a magician can possess.
When magic is found, the sorcerer is properly called the Wizard and is constantly watched by the Anti-Force. Discovering magic requires finding a way to the “root” – a metaphysical location that stores souls and stores information about all possibilities and events (past, present, and future) of the world.
Aoko Ozaki’s grandfather discovers the Fifth Magic, which she uses to bring Sizuki Soujyuro back to life after Touko slices his body in half. Aoko does this by literally removing five minutes from time, returning Soujyuro to his fully intact state.
Oko then casts those five minutes of entropy into the distant future, where it will undoubtedly cause massive destruction due to the inconsistency of the Fifth Magic.
But is the fifth magic related to the feelings of heaven? The short answer is ‘yes and no’; each magic is governed by a very special mechanic, and the more magic is discovered, the less witches will be found in the future. As humanity advances with technology, both magecraft and magic will gradually weaken, with ‘miracles’ being replaced by the word “Science”.
The third magic governs the embodiment of the soul. The path to the third magic is called “Heaven Sense” and was discovered by the Einzbern family but lost a thousand years ago. The Grand Grail powering the Fuyuki Grail Wars uses an incomplete form of Heaven’s Feel to show the servants in the Grail War. The Einzberns hope that the Lesser Grail will perform a miracle and lead the victorious sorcerer to the root.
The Heaven Sense track is used by Elia von Einzbern in Heaven Sense III. Spring Song to save Shirou Emiya’s soul after his body is destroyed, and prevent his soul from returning to the Akasha (Root Spiral) and being lost forever. That soul is then placed inside one of Touko Aozaki’s dolls, as previously mentioned.
We see? It all connects!