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Many people argue why has Fate series become so popular – is it the existence of historical figures being summoned as anime-style-characters to kill each other in a battle royale or is it the waifus who wield superpowers that catches one’s attention?
First, let me explain something about Fate series and what they are based on.
Fate/stay night is a Japanese adult visual novel developed by Type-Moon and originally released for Windows in 2004.
A visual novel is an interactive fiction video game genre that basically uses images & sounds to convey a story. There is usually no gameplay involved, and the only interaction that the player can make with the game is making certain choices at specific points in the game that decides which branch of the storyline that the player will take.
There is also a newer visual novel of Fate/stay night named Fate/stay night Réalta Nua, which features the Japanese voice actors from the anime series.
Fate/stay night Réalta Nua was released in 2007 for the PlayStation 2 and later for download on Windows as a trilogy covering the three main storylines. Later, it was ported to the PlayStation Vita, iOS, and Android.
Importing a Japanese copy is the only legal way to get it.
The plot focuses on a young mage named Shirou Emiya who becomes a warrior in a battle between “Servants” known as the Holy Grail War. Through each route, Shirou bonds with a heroine and confronts different mages who participate in the war.
There is also a manga series adaptation by Datto Nishiwaki that was serialized from 2006 to 2012.
For those who don’t know what’s Fate about, it’s basically a battle royal where 7 mages and 7 servants team up to fight to the death. The last one standing gets the holy grail, a magical item with the ability to grant any wish possible.
No matter what we say there is no denial that Fate series is not only popular but also high ranked, averaging around ~8 on MaL.
Fate/stay night routes
There are 3 different routes covering the story of Fate/stay night.
The first route of Fate/stay night, where the main theme is “oneself as an ideal”.
This route emphasizes plot and world-building.
The main heroine & love interest is Saber.
Anime Adaptations: Fate/Stay Night (2006)
Unlimited Blade Works route
The main theme is “struggling with oneself as an ideal” & this route places the greatest emphasis on character development and themes compared to other routes.
The main heroine & love interest is Rin Tohsaka.
Anime Adaptations: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (film), Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV series)
Heaven’s Feel route
The third and last route.
The main theme is “the friction with real and ideal”.
This route is more focused on the Masters: Shirou, Rin, Sakura and Illya; the main heroine & love interest is Sakura Matou.
Anime Adaptations: Fate/Stay Night Movie: Heaven’s Feel Part 1 – presage flower, Fate/Stay Night Movie: Heaven’s Feel Part 2 – lost butterfly, Fate/Stay Night Movie: Heaven’s Feel Part 3 – spring song
All of these routes begin at the same point but actions and events spiral into vastly different situations from then onward.
There are three options on how to watch Fate series that are popular:
1. Watch Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works first,
2. Watch Fate/ Zero first (it takes place 10 years prior to Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, a prequel to all three timelines),
3. Watch Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel movies first (but you might be confused about what’s happening).
To understand the references you should probably watch at least UBW & the first Heaven’s Feel movie first. Although if you watch Fate/Zero first, it’s also fine. It’s chronologically correct.
By the way, there is also Unlimited Blade Works movie (remake of the UBW series) by Studio Deen & Fate/Stay Night series from 2006 but I definitely don’t recommend watching them because they don’t match up in production values to the Ufotable versions.
After you complete Fate/Zero, you can watch absolutely any Fate installments you choose. It doesn’t matter. They are not particularly important, though and you can cross them off.
How to watch Fate anime series in order
|Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Season 1||2014|
|Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Season 2||2015|
|Fate/Stay Night Movie: Heaven’s Feel Part 1 – presage flower||2017|
|Fate/Stay Night Movie: Heaven’s Feel Part 2 – lost butterfly||2019|
|Fate/Stay Night Movie: Heaven’s Feel Part 3 – spring song||2020|
|Fate/ Zero Season 1||2011|
|Fate/ Zero Season 2||2012|
Other Fate series Watch Order
All other Fate series are in similar Universes that diverged from Fate/Stay Night at some point so you can watch them in any order you want.
Some of the ones worth watching:
- Fate/ Apocrypha – a really popular series featuring popular characters like Mordred and Jean D’arc. Masters & servants pitting against each other.
- Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya: Vow in the Snow – a prequel to Fate/Kaleid series.
- Fate/ Kaleid – a lot of magical girls & ecchi scenes.
- Fate/Grand Order – spin-off series based on the mobile game of the same name, it features Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Mash, and other fan-favored characters.