The Fate series is a well-loved anime franchise; however, it may be confusing to a lot of newcomers who are not familiar with how Type-Moon makes their releases. You can watch the series according to its release order, but there could be a lot of plot holes if you watch it this way. So, what is the actual chronological order that Fate should be watched?
The list will show the chronological order of how the Fate anime can be watched:
- • Fate/Zero
- • Fate/Stay Night
- • Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
- • Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel I
- • Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel II
- • Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel III
- • Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma IlIya Movie: Sekka no Chikai
- • Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya
- • Fate Apocrypha
- • Fate/Extra
- • Fate/Grand Order: First Order
- • Fate/Grand Order: Shinsei Entaku Ryouiki Camelot 1 – Wandering; Agateram
- • Fate/Grand Order: Shinsei Entaku Ryouiki Camelot 2- Paladin; Agateram
- • Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia
- • Fate/Grand Order: Kani Jikan Shinden Solomon
If you aren’t familiar with the Fate games or read the lore, watching the series by their release date can be confusing. However, by watching it in chronological order, you’ll understand most of the references and premises when you watch the next show.
Suppose you want to know more about the shows before diving into this franchise. Here’s a detailed list of all the shows from the mentioned list.
1. Fate Zero
This is the prequel of Fate/Stay Night. The series is set ten years before the events of Fate/Stay and recounts the happenings of the Fourth Grail War. Here, the viewer will be given a little history lesson about the Grail Wars.
The Holy Grail War is a contest set centuries ago, created by three major mage clans, the Einzbern, Matou, and Tohsaka. In the contest, seven mages are to summon their own Heroic Spirit to compete for the Holy Grail, which is said to have the ability to grant any wish.
After three consecutive losses, the Einzbern family is desperate to finally win the 4th Grail War, so they hire the reputable “Mage Killer” Kiritsugu Emiya to win the Holy Grail for them. While Kiritsugu is portrayed as a cold-hearted killer through most of the series, he finds himself torn between winning the Grail and the family he gained while living with Irisviel Einzbern.
In the series, you’ll also get to see characters that you will meet in the main Fate/Stay Night series. Rin Tohsaka is shown to be a young mage still learning the basics from her father; Sakura Matou is also shown to be the driving force as to why Kariya wants to win the Grail. Even Shirou makes an appearance towards the end, hinting that the next time we see him, he’ll be the protagonist.
Saber, who is a top servant in the anime, plays a major role as Kiritsugu’s Servant. She becomes Shirou’s servant during the events of Fate/Stay Night.
2. Fate/Stay Night
The original series first aired on January 7, 2006. The story revolves around Shirou Emiya, who is the adopted son of Kiritsugu. By this time, Kiritsugu has already passed without training Shirou any magecraft. An unprepared Shirou ends up caught in the middle of the Fifth Holy Grail War with his own servant, Saber.
If you’ve played the visual novel, you would know that there are three routes to the Fate/Stay series. The anime adapted the story of Saber’s Route.
3. Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works
Among the retelling of the original series, this has to be my favorite. Usually referred to as UBW, this version of Fate/Stay Night is Rin’s Lover Route. In this version of the story, you’ll learn that Rin’s Servant is actually a version of Shirou if Shirou continues to aim to become a Hero of Justice.
Shirou and Rin form a team. While it was only supposed to be a temporary alliance, the two of them end up staying as comrades that ultimately survive the Grail War.
4. Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel I
This is the first of a three-part movie. In the game, this would be considered Sakura’s route. The movie follows Shirou, who ends up getting dragged into the Fifth Holy Grail War. However, unlike the other versions where Sakura is cast aside, she becomes more involved with Shirou.
Towards the end of the movie, Shirou loses Saber. He returns home to Sakura, but he decides to continue to fight in the Holy Grail War even without a servant.
5. Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel II
Sakura reveals to everyone that she is actually Rider’s Master, which complicates the war even more for Shirou. In addition, Sakura turns out to be a big threat to both Rin and Shirou. Despite all this, Shirou decides that Sakura is more important to him. He even tells Rin that he will throw away his ideals and goals of being a Hero of Justice in order to protect her.
The threat turns out to be larger than they imagined. It turns out the shadow causing several deaths in the city actually comes from Sakura. After running away from the Emiya Household, she fuses with the shadows, allowing them to corrupt her.
6. Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel III
With the now possessed Sakura, Shirou and Rin go on a mission to rescue her. Shirou eventually sacrifices his own body in the process. After convincing Sakura to go home, he requests Rider to take them to a safe place while he destroys the Holy Grail.
Before Shirou could sacrifice himself to destroy the Grail, Ilya steps in to perform a ritual effectively separating Shirou’s soul from his dying body. During the aftermath, Rin and Sakura revive Shirou by fusing his soul into an artificial body.
7. Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma IIlya Movie: Sekka no Chikai
This is the prequel of Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, which can also be watched after the series. The prequel explains the past of Miyu and Shirou Emiya, who belong to separate reality from Illya in the Kaleid Liner Prisma series.
In this version, Kiritsugu actually teaches Shirou about magecraft and even brings him along for work. The pair eventually takes in Miyu because Kiritsugu intends to use her to save humanity. Unfortunately, he dies of an illness, leaving Shirou to save mankind.
Time passed, and Shirou believes that Miyu’s power has entirely disappeared with her age. Feeling that it is now safe, he decides it’s about time Miyu is allowed to live a regular life. But, on their first outing as siblings, Miyu gets kidnapped by Julian.
Shirou later obtains an Archer card, which allows him to gain the abilities of the Heroic Spirit the card is based on. Then, he begins hunting down other Servant Card holders who happen to be Julian’s puppets.
When he reaches Miyu, he wishes her away to a different reality where she can find happiness. Shirou is then left to deal with Angelica. Meanwhile, Miyu wakes up in an alternate Fuyuki.
8. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya
If you swap out Shirou for Illya as the main character and make the series a Magical Girl anime, this is what you will get. The series happens after the events of the previous movie. While the tone is silly at the beginning of the series, it shifts to something more serious as you go further into the later seasons.
By the time you hit the fourth season, the two magical girls are transported into Miyu’s world. Illya will have to figure out how to save Miyu from her kidnappers. Illya will also run into the other world’s version of Shirou, where he aids Illya in rescuing Miyu in the final battle.
Fate/Apocrypha happens in an alternative timeline from Fate/Stay Night. The third Holy Grail War ended inconclusively since the Holy Grail mysteriously disappeared during the conflict. After several decades, the Yggdmillennia family reveals that they possess the Holy Grail and defected from the Mages Association.
For this timeline, the Holy Grail War is much more complicated. The war is now renamed as the Great Holy Grail War. The battle is now fought by the Black Faction and the Red Faction. The Holy Grail also summons one servant, Ruler, who acts as the mediator of the war.
10. Fate/Extra: Last Encore
This also happens on a separate timeline and may be confusing to watch for a lot of people. You can actually skip this if you would like. I watched this because I wanted to see Nero in her own series.
Hakuno Kishinami wakes up in the virtual setting of Tsukimihara Academy, a high school that was created to be the next setting of the Holy Grail War. Hakuno finds himself caught in the said war, and now has to fight in it to survive. He summons his own Servant, Saber Nero, giving him a higher chance of surviving this virtual reality.
11. Fate/ Grand Order: The First Order
The movie is adapted from the prologue chapter of the game Fate/Grand Order. The faith of humanity relies on Chaldea. The organization collects mages of all kinds into their ranks in order to observe possible causes of the extinction of humanity. According to their data, humankind may cease to exist by the end of 2016.
Ritsuka Fujimaru finds himself standing as humanity’s Last Master during an accidental Rayshift to Fuyuki in 2004. He and his servant Mash must restore the Singularity to avoid the extinction of all human beings.
12. Fate/Grand Order: Shinsei Entaku Ryouiki Camelot 1 – Wandering; Agateram
This is the adaptation of the players’ experience during the sixth singularity in the game, Fate/Grand Order. Getting used to their role as heroes, Mash, Da Vinci, and Ritsuka travel to Camelot to correct the 6th Singularity.
In this realm, it seems that only the Holy City, ruled by the Lion King, is the only safe haven for people. Ozymandias and the People of the Mountains start to plot against the tyranny of the lands so that people will be freer.
Bedivere, a member of the Round Table who disagrees with his king’s methods, decides to aid Ritsuka and Mash on their mission. However, the other knights decide to stay by their king’s side and fight for the Holy City.
13. Fate/Grand Order: Shinsei Entaku Ryouiki Camelot 2- Paladin; Agateram
This is part two of the Camelot Singularity movies. This time, our heroes decide they are ready to face the Lion King. They managed to convince Lancelot to join their cause. It is also revealed that the heroic Spirit dwelling inside Mash is actually Galahad, Lancelot’s son.
The party now heads to the Holy City to defeat the Lion King, Artoria, and the remaining members of the Round Table.
14. Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia
After clearing the 6th Singularity, Mash and Ritsuka now Rayshift to the Age of Gods in ancient Mesopotamia. They discover that the great city of Uruk, ruled by King Gilgamesh, acts as a frontline for the battle against the strange beasts that are roaming the lands.
Gilgamesh allows Ritsuka and Mash to help protect the city from the beasts and the Three Goddess Alliance, whose goal is to eradicate humankind.
15. Fate/Grand Order: Kani Jikan Shinden Solomon
This is the final and 8th Singularity that Ritsuka and Mash will have to clear. It serves as the Final Chapter of the Observer of Timeless Temple in the game. The film covers Solomon’s Singularity, which features the final battle against Goetia.
It turns out Goetia was only disguising himself as Solomon, and the true Solomon was actually Doctor Romani. Solomon activates true Ars Nova in order to remove Goetia’s immortality.
Due to Solomon’s ability, the beast becomes beatable for the party. But the ability doesn’t come without a cost; by activating true Ars Nova, Solomon sacrifices his existence as a Heroic Spirit. This prevents Solomon from being resummoned.
After defeating the supposed final boss, Ritsuka and Mash make their way back to Chaldea.
What Other Anime from the Fate Franchise Can You Watch?
While the list covered most of the serious stories and spin-offs, the Fate franchise has provided us with a lot of parody shows to keep us entertained.
Carnival Phantasm covers the wacky adventures of a lot of Fate and other Type-Moon characters in their series. Having prior knowledge of the Fate Franchise helps you enjoy the references and gags thrown in there.
Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family is an alternate reality where the war stopped, and the Masters and Servants are able to live peacefully in Fuyuki City. Emiya takes every opportunity he can get to cook the best meals for his newfound family and friends.
Much like Carnival Phantasm, the Fate franchise released their own version of the show called Fate/Grand Carnival. Instead of the male Ritsuka we are familiar with in the anime releases; fans are now treated with the female version of Ritsuka.
Grand Carnival takes most of the references from the Grand Order game. It takes a jab at a lot of players’ experiences, and some of the servants’ personalities are exaggerated in order to get Chaldea into funny situations.
What is Fate/Prototype?
This is actually the original concept of Fate/Stay Night by Kinoko Nasu. Unfortunately, the visual novel was never finished since Nasu rewrote Fate/Stay Night to what we know today. But instead of throwing the drafts, Type-Moon made a 12 minute-short of what Fate/Stay Night could have been.
Fate is definitely a monster of a franchise. Not only is the anime captivating with its stories and visuals, but the games are also great to indulge in if you have the time for it. Once you start your journey into the franchise, it’s hard for you to get out of it.