I’m almost positive no one saw that coming, so just to briefly address the elephant in the room first:
Yes, it’s all in the circumstances. The Fate System can’t summon… but being brought home isn’t the same as being summoned. There are ways to bypass that rule, and this is merely the first of a few options. It will be the only one of the season though, but Season 4 will definitely be opening up a few more doors.
On to the main topic though, you may have noticed a curious, and maybe even jarring, split with this fragment. That’s the whole point. I wanted it styled like Hector’s that shows he’s both lazy yet dedicated, but Li is different. Li’s entire purpose and desire is to engage in a valiant showdown with an enemy servant. To crush an opponent’s life is not very “Slice of Life” friendly, but it did have its place. I merely decided it was a great opportunity to showcase the idea of duality.
Duality in this case is a simple idea of two opposites being embodied by the same person. Take a soldier going to war only to come home and spend loving moments with his family. That’s pretty much the basis design that would allow Li to enjoy his time in Chaldea. Besides sparring, training, and forms, the battle is necessary to keep Li satisfied, and so it must be shown. Once completed, he simply switches ‘off’ and winds down with forms to transition home appropriately.
Where he’s a barber. I’m pretty sure no one else saw that coming either, so I linked it with penjing/bonsai trimming to show a basis. It was simply a matter of meditation evolving into something else. It also went well with the concept of duality because, let’s face it, Li, who is arguably more famous for his assassin rile in the Extra timelines, doing haircutting stuff? It’s kinda like Soichirou being a history teacher. You don’t expect it, and it’s also a bit unnerving to some who think about it. As he said, though, it’s mainly as meditation and as a calm way to spend time with others.
Which raises the final point. He enjoys spending time with others, but doesn’t become the center of attention most of the time. This is on purpose because he’s rather reserved compared to most (look at his My Room lines for example). To make him the one pretty much engaging conversations instead of reacting would seem off. That’s also why it’d make sense he’s on fairly decent terms with Shiki, since they’re both rather reserved compared to their much louder drinking partners.
Teaser: Chaldea was different… yet they couldn’t help but see the similarities. The two were both sometimes orderly… sometimes undisciplined… and yet they fought with an admirable and vibrant spirit. Chaldea was different… but they may come to like it yet.