In this time of lockdown most of us have been searching through Netflix for show/movies to watch, and if you were searching for anime you should have obviously seen quite a few anime under Fate Series, Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade works, Fate/Apocrypha and many more. Now you would have thought “hmm, that looks like an interesting anime, but which one should I watch first”.
So, in this article I am going to give a quick overview of Fate series and anime within is franchise, and I will also be suggesting in what order to watch them so that you can enjoy them without getting confused.
What is Fate Series?
The main Fate/Stay series mainly follows the story on Emiya Shirou who is thrust into the Fifth Holy Grail war. A battle in between masters and their servants (whom they summon to fight for them) and the winner gets the Holy Grail which fulfils the wish of the winner. If the plot line is so simple why are there so many anime, one might ask. For that we need to see the origin of Fate Series.
Fate series made its debut as a Visual Novel (VN) called Fate/Stay Night by TYPE-MOON (Japanese gaming company) in January 2004. This was the origin of Fate series. For those who are new and do not know, visual novel is a game featuring text that needs to be read. The visual part is that images of characters and background appear on screen and sometimes there are also sound effects and background music. Most VN’s allows players to make choices in game, and according to those choices the game takes different routes. In Fate/Stay night VN there are three major routes that the players can follow based on their choices, each route changes the focus onto a different heroine (there are 3 heroines). Each route of the VN has been adapted and made into a different anime.
Fate Route: Focuses on Sabre (adapted as 2006 fate/stay night anime by studio deen)
Unlimited Blade works route: focuses on Rin Tohsaka (adapted into a movie in 2010 by studio deen and again adapted into a Tv anime and OVA by studio ufotable in 2014-2015)
The Heaven’s feel route: focuses on Sakura Matou (This is currently being adapted into a movie trilogy by ufotabale, the final part was supposed to be released in Aug 2020 but due to the pandemic it is postponed)
Release order of Fate franchise
- Fate/Stay Night -anime (2006)
- Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade works -movie (2010)
- Fate/Zero -anime (2011)
- Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade works -anime (2014)
- Fate/Grand order -First Order -anime TV movie (2016)
- Fate/Aporcrypha -anime (2017)
- Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s feel -Movie trilogy (2017-)
- Fate/Extra Last encore -anime (2018)
There are also some spin off series (e.g. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya and web anime Today’s Menu for Emiya Family) which we will not be discussing here as these can be watched in any order after completing the main series(fate/stay night and fate/zero) .
In which order should I watch it?
According to the chronological order, Fate/Zero and then Fate/Stay Night, Unlimited Blade works and finally Heaven’s Feel
Now, here is my personal recommendation
- 1. Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade works -anime (2014)
- 2. Fate/Stay night Heaven’s feel -movie trilogy (the third movie is yet to be released but be warned Fate/Stay zero spoils some aspects of Heaven’s feel. I suggest that you at least watch the first two movie and as the 2nd movie has covered the spoiler)
- 3. Fate/Zero (The prequel to Fate/stay night. It takes place 10 years before the events of Fate/Stay Night. The prequel is meant to be watched after finishing Fate/Stay Night and not before. Some argue saying starting from Fate/Zero is better, but finally it’s your choice on where you begin from)
- 4. Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note (this takes place 10 years after Fate/Zero and 2 months before Fate/Stay Night)
- 5. Others
- P.S: Studio Deen’s 2006 version of Fate/Stay Night is considered to be a terrible adaptation of the VN within the anime community as it skips most of the character development which makes the story feel half baked, it still has some portion of Fate route you missed. This comes before Unlimited Blade Works in the watching order, but I would recommend reading this route from the Visual Novel, but the choice is yours.
And then continue watching the rest as the order does not matter, as most of the spin offs are stand alone and self-contained and some of them like Today’s Menu for Emiya Family don’t even need prior knowledge of the series.
(Unlimited Blade works, and Fate/Zero are available in Netflix India)
Fate is a long running franchise and has a huge fan base so it would be difficult up catch up on what’s happening right now, so if you plan on starting the Fate franchise I would suggest you watch Unlimited Blade works or UBW for short before going further into the series. Let me know your thoughts down in the comment section, requests and suggestions are also welcomed.
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