Exploring the Fate/ Franchise: An All-in-One Anime Guide

Fate Zero

Generally speaking, anime prequels don’t pique my interest. Often packaged as a bonus OVA, the impression I get from these sorts of shows is rarely compelling enough to linger long in my memory. It’s anime fluff.

However, this notion changed for me upon watching Fate/Zero. This full 25-episode television prequel is exceptional in virtually every production aspect, and the characters are interesting with their unique philosophies & motivations in achieving their goals.

Fate/Zero as an anime has not only accomplished the remarkable feat of seamlessly tying in with the original anime Fate/Stay Night, it makes this series better.  When previously viewed in 2007, the glossed-over plot points of Fate/Stay left me wondering if all the buzz surrounding the franchise was deserved. However, having revisited this series after Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay seems a lot more dimensional.

If you have an interest of furthering your enjoyment of the Fate/ series, I have compiled this handy  compendium in order of release date:

This art from Fate/Prototype shows the Fate characters as first imagined by Kinoko Nasu.

The Fate/ series was founded by Kinoko Nasu, who formed Type-Moon in 2000 with friend and junior-high classmate Takashi Takeuchi. It was in college that Nasu first began writing Fate/Stay Night. Originally, he did not intend for it to become a game. Also, Saber was a male character in his early drafts, while the main protagonist was a glasses girl. Eventually, with some gender switching, his story became one of Fate/Stay Night’s three visual novel story lines.

Franchise Chronology:

Fate/Stay Night (Windows PC). 2004.

Fate/Stay NightWindows PC (January 30, 2004)

 Fate/Stay Night, the original adult visual novel premiered on Windows PC. A visual novel is basically an interactive comic book with audio and animation to go along with the text and graphics. During the course of the game, your decisions influence the flow of the story. There are 3 main story-arcs in this game: Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven’s Feel.

For an eroge game, Fate/Stay Night was popular as it was well-written. Despite the lack of voice acting, and fewer sound effects than later versions, the original PC title sold a whopping 100,000+ copies.

Fate/Stay Night Réalta Nua

Fate/Stay Night Réalta Nua – PlayStation 2 (April 19, 2007)

This release on the Playstation 2 is the Cero C (adult content removed) version of the original PC game Fate/Stay Night. Exclusively in Japanese, this release added voices, improved background art and effects, and an extra “Last Episode” sixth ending.

Later, in 2011, the toned-down Réalta Nua was crossed back over to PC as a digital release consisting of the trademark 3 story arcs. This November, it is being re-released for Playstation Vita.

Fate/Hollow Ataraxia

Fate/Hollow Ataraxia – Windows PC (October 28, 2005)

The sequel to Fate/Stay Night. The plot of Fate/Hollow Ataraxia is based half a year after the events of Fate/Stay Night. It centers around the main characters’ involvement in a temporal anomaly.

Take Moon

Take Moon – Manga (June 25, 2004-present)

Created by Type-Moon, staff member artist Takenashi Eri created this collection of side stories to most of the group’s projects. This manga features characters from Fate/Stay Night alongside other Type-Moon franchises such as Melty Blood in various comedic situations not seen anywhere else.

Actually, according to Type-Moon wikia, there are numerous Fate/ manga anthologies one could investigate:

  • Fate/Hollow Ataraxia ~ Comic la carte Kadokawa Comics A Anthology ([カドカワコミックスAエース] Fate/hollow ataraxiaコミックアラカルト)
  • Fate/Hollow Ataraxia Hobby Japan Anthology ([ホビージャパン] Fate/Hollow Ataraxia アンソロジーコミック)
  • Fate/Hollow Ataraxia Studio DNA Anthology ([スタジオDNA] Fate/Hollow Ataraxiaコミックアンソロジー)(10 volumes)
  • Fate/Stay Night BIBLOS Anthology (hyper comic) ([Biblos] Fate/Stay Night ハイパーコミックアンソロジー)
  • Fate/Stay Night Enterbrain Anthology ([エンターブレイン] Fate/Stay Night アンソロジーコミック) (6 volumes)
  • Fate/Stay Night Studio DNA Anthology ([スタジオDNA] Fate/Stay Night コミックアンソロジー) (10 volumes)
  • Fate/Stay Night ~ Unlimited Phantasm ([FOX出版] アンリミテッドファンタズム 「Fate/Stay Night」アンソロジーコミッ)(2 volumes)

Fate/Stay Night (manga)

Fate/Stay Night – Manga (December 26, 2005)

Illustrated by Nishiwaki Datto, this manga began serialization in Shōnen Ace. This manga is a retelling of the original visual novel, not the anime. Unlike the anime, the main focus is on the Unlimited Blade Works story arc of the game. This story does not include story elements from the other scenarios, Fate or Heaven’s Feel. In October of 2008, the first of 17 volumes hit store shelves in North America.

Fate Stay Night (anime)

Fate/Stay Night – Television Series (January 7, 2006 to June 17, 2006)

Consisting of 24 episodes, Fate/Stay Night is an adaptation of the visual novel. It covers the events of the 5th Holy Grail War, and borrows heavily from the Fate scenario of the game. Included is content from Unlimited Blade Works, which serves as filler with a few nods to the Heaven’s Feel arc. Also, some elements from Fate/Hollow Ataraxia were present, but did not impact the plot.

Fate/Zero (manga)

Fate/Zero – Manga (December 29, 2006- December 29, 2007)

This four volume manga takes place 10 years before the events of Fate/Stay Night, and chronicles the events of the 4th Holy Grail War. An anime adaptation of the same name has been created.

Fate/Tiger Colosseum (PSP)

Fate/Tiger Colosseum – Playstation Portable (PSP) (September 13, 2007)

Based on the characters of Fate/Stay Night, this fun fighting game was released by Capcom and Cavia, inc. in cooperation with Type Moon. All of the characters are very cute, as they are designed in a super-deformed style.

A sequel, Fate/Tiger Colosseum Upper, was released in August 28, 2008.

Fate/Kaleid Liner PRISMA☆ILLYA

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMAILLYA – Manga (Sep 26, 2007 to Nov 26, 2008)

Unlike her Fate/Stay Night character, Illya is a normal,emotionally adjusted child with no knowledge of magic or the Holy Grail War. After encountering a magic wand, she becomes a magical girl and must find the seven heroic spirit “class cards”.

All Around Type Moon (manga)

AATM: All Around Type MoonManga (Apr 12, 2008-present)

Type-Moon staff artist Takenashi Eri created AATM. This slice of life comedy is stuffed with hilarious side-stories that weren’t covered by the anime. Stories feature characters from most of the Type-moon’s projects: Tsukihime, Kagetsu Tohya, Melty Blood, and Fate/Stay Night.

Fate/Unlimited Codes (PS2, PSP)

Fate/Unlimited Codes – Playstation 2, Playstation Portable (June 11, 2008)

Another Capcom project, the pre-order version of this game included a limited edition Saber Lily figure. Although it is set in the Fate/ universe, there isn’t much story in Codes. Despite being 3D, the gameplay is reminiscent of a classic 2D fighter.

Fate/Stay Night TV Reproduction

Fate/Stay Night – Television Reproduction (Jan 17, 2010)

This two-hour animation of Fate/Stay Night was produced by Studio Deen. If you haven’t read Fate/Stay Night or watched the anime, avoid watching this as it will make absolutely no sense. This feature consists of scenes from the anime condensed into a refresher. The only original footage are the opening & ending credits.

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – Movie (Jan 23, 2010)

This is the adaptation of the 2nd route of the popular visual novel: Fate/Stay Night. In this film, the relationship of Rin Tohsaka and Archer are the main focus. Revelations about Shirou and his destiny are also added.

Fate/Extra (PSP)

Fate/Extra- Playstation Portable (July 22, 2010)

Fate/Extra is a dungeon role-playing game. Players can take on the role of a male or female master, and can control servants Saber, Archer or Caster. The Type-Moon special edition of this game includes an exclusive Saber Figma, an art book, and a limited edition soundtrack.

A release date has been decided for Fate/Extra CCC. It will hit stores February 2013 in the United States. Although it is a sequel to Fate/Extra, it will not be a continuation of the first game. The Heaven’s Feel route from Fate/Stay Night the visual novel will be explored instead.

Carnival Phantasm – OVA (Aug 14, 2011 to Dec 31, 2011)

This anime comedy is based off the manga Take Moon. Carnival Phantasm was created by Type-Moon to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary. To fully appreciate the humor of this series it is recommended you be familiar with Tsukihime, Kagetsu Tohya, Tsukihime, Melty Blood, & Fate/Stay Night.

Worth noting is that one of the episodes is based on a real-time run of the Fate/Hollow Ataraxia visual novel’s mini-game, Ilya’s Castle. Also, there is a feature called Fate Prototype that does some gender swapping. Saber is a man, and his master is a girl. Just as Kinoko Nasu’s original character designs.

Lastly, the special edition Take Moon volume includes an extra episode: EX Season.

About Anne's Anime Blog

I am an astronomical anime fan. I enjoy watching it, collecting figures & merchandise, assembling models, and attending conventions. California burrito glutton. Let's be friends:)

Posted on August 14, 2012, in Anime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Nice guide. I’ve encountered various Type-Moon franchises like Melty Blood and Tsukihime but never really connected them. Now I know!

  2. Yes! Great article. The fate series is probably one of the few series that almost every new thing they add to it makes it that much more awesome >.<

  3. My little nephew asks me allot to watch the show. I kinda couldn’t get through the amount of talking they did right in the first episode so I basically stopped there. Now that I hear allot people praising it, I kinda feel like an idiot not watching it. Thanks for the guide, I’ll definitely if I have time get back to watching the show.

  4. Yeah, the first episode they do a lot of explaining. When all the servants have been summoned is when the coolness happens:)

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