“How do I Watch the Fate Series in Order?” – Ask this question to a group of Fate fans and receive more answers than there are fans in the group. This series tells the epic tale of the Holy Grail War in which a certain group of families fight each other by summoning great warriors from throughout history and mythology to fight by their side. Those who win the Holy Grail will be able to have their wishes granted, but as of yet, no war has reached such a conclusion after multiple wars.
The Fate series looks almost deceptively simple if you just stick with the main bunch. However, even if you don’t count all the miscellaneous little and unrelated side series, the main storyline is still debated today on how new fans should approach watching it.
In the main Fate series, there are four entries:
- Fate/Stay Night
- Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
- Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel (Movies)
There are only four entries, so what is the big deal? The issue is that the Fate series is based off a visual novel, and in Fate/Zero’s case, a light novel. The issue with this is that the visual novel offered players different routes to take based on who they wanted to woo. Of course, and anime can’t animate all the different routes that easily, but they managed to work them into the anime series in various ways.
The Fate visual novels three routes include:
- Saber – The Fate Route
- Rin – The Unlimited Blade Works Route
- Sakura – The Heaven’s Feel Route
With Fate/Zero being a prequel, it almost seems like the order is pretty simple. Just watch Fate/Zero and the rest of the series in any order since they cover the other routes, right? Well, there are some that insist you can skip Fate/Stay Night because, while adapting the Fate Route with bits of other routes thrown in, it has extremely poor animation compared to the other entries and doesn’t feel like it does the story justice. Others insist that though Fate/Zero is a prequel, it was written after the series so thus it doesn’t do an effective job at setting the stage so much as it does spoiling it. Furthermore the debate rages on about how the watching order will affect the themes, the Ancient Greek style of tragic irony, and the general feel of the viewing.
How to Watch The Fate Series in Order
So what is our answer to this question that has so many answers? If you want to be well-rounded in the Fate series, you should watch them all. No skipping.
Our answer is:
- Fate / Zero
- Fate/Stay Night
- Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works
- Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel Movies
While you are sitting there watching Studio DEEN’s poor animation, just endure it and know that UfoTable does a better job in Unlimited Blade Works. The Fate Route of the visual novel is the main route, and thus an important story to hear. You will miss out on hearing that route in the other series unless you want to be super-duper thorough and just play the visual novel. As for putting Fate/Zero first, it is a prequel and, unlike Fate/Stay Night, actually a good series, thus watching it first will engage new fans in the series better than Fate/Stay Night.
What About the Other Fate/ Series?
So what of other series that brandish the Fate/ moniker? Well, aside from those main entries, they don’t require you to have watched any of the Fate series to get into. However, there is no doubt that having some knowledge of the Fate series will certainly enhance the watching experience.
Other Fate Side Series Include:
- Carnival Phantasm – a parody series in which it grabs characters from several Type-Moon series, including Fate and places them is weird and slice of life-y situations.
- Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA – Takes place in an alternate universe setting of Fate/Stay Night, thus knowledge of that series would be interesting, but not necessary.
- Fate/Apocrypha – Unlike Fate/kaleid, Fate/Apocrypha takes place in a parallel world to Fate/Stay Night in which the Greater Grail was removed from Fuyuki after the Third Holy Grail War. At the same time as the Fifth Holy Grail War would have taken place in the canon timeline, the majority of the plot goes down. This series is one we highly recommend even if you have never watched the main series since it requires very little knowledge, though relative familiarity with the universe as a whole would be helpful at times.