Top Ten Things that Made 2017 a Great Year for the Fate Series

Welcome, any and all fans of the Fate series, Type-Moon, and the Nasuverse! In case you're not aware of this meme, 2017 has been hailed as The Year of Fate by many fans. From the first installment of the Heaven's Feel film trilogy that adapts the Heaven's Feel route from the Fate/stay night visual novel to pretty much everything Fate/Grand Order-related, Type-Moon has been on quite a roll this year. And it seems it's only going to get even better in 2018. That said, I decided to make this list in order to take a look at some of the highlights of what truly made the Fate series as great as it was in 2017. It can be anything as long as it pertains to 2017, whether it was released or announced in 2017. So feel free to add and vote to this list.
The Top Ten
1 Fate/Stay Night: Heaven's Feel - I. Presage Flower

It goes without saying that this was arguably the most anticipated installment in the Fate series last year. With Fate/stay night having a history of anime adaptations, the ones by Studio Deen were initially widely acclaimed but gradually aged badly, especially when compared to ufotable's adaptations of the prequel Fate/Zero and the Unlimited Blade Works route. Fans were very pleased to see the Heaven's Feel route finally get an anime movie by, you guessed it, ufotable.

The only concern fans had was how much content would have to be adapted out since the Heaven's Feel route is chock-full of several major plot points and twists that are far too vital to be cut out. Thankfully, this issue was averted when it was confirmed that Heaven's Feel was getting not just one movie, but THREE movies in total. To start things off, the first installment is titled Presage Flower.

To be completely honest, I have NOT been able to see Presage Flower yet. But based on the synopsis, Presage Flower follows our main hero Shirou Emiya, seeking to be a hero of justice as usual, and somehow gets caught up in the Fifth Holy Grail War. However, things take a significantly darker turn than in Fate or Unlimited Blade Works. Sakura Matou is the main heroine of Heaven's Feel, and her love for Shirou, combined with her deep-seated evil from her tragic past, takes the Holy Grail War into a darker path.

This path is darker than any other route, delving deep into the hands of Sakura's vile grandfather Zouken Matou and her abusive brother Shinji Matou. Based on all this, Fate/stay night is already set on a dark path even earlier than any route ever. With fans waiting for more questions to be answered, Presage Flower is undoubtedly not only one of the best things to happen to Fate this year but also one of the best anime movies of 2017.

2 Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: Oath Under Snow

Heaven's Feel wasn't the only thing in the Fate series to get an anime movie. Quite remarkably, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya got its own movie as well. If you don't know already, Fate/kaleid is basically a magical girl series set in a parallel universe revolving around Illyasviel von Einzbern as the main protagonist.

Now, I don't know much about Oath Under Snow since, one, it didn't get an English theatrical release, let alone any English subtitles for streaming. And two, I have yet to start watching Fate/kaleid. That said, Oath Under Snow seems to take place after the anime adaptation's fourth season, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: 3rei. It appears to be more focused on Shirou Emiya than any other Fate/kaleid season based on what I've seen from trailers.

There does seem to be Illya, Miyu, Rin, and Luvia, along with a load of other characters as well, including Kiritsugu Emiya, Kirei Kotomine, and Sakura Matou. Now, I don't want to go into too much detail since I don't want to spoil the movie for myself, and I plan to watch it when I have the time.

Regardless, the movie is nonetheless a worthwhile action-packed adventure. It's probably a good watch, but I HIGHLY recommend watching all four seasons of Fate/kaleid before diving into this one.

3 Fate/Grand Order: Epic of Remnant

Starting at the beginning of the year in 2017 on the JP server, after the first main story was finished and all seven singularities were restored along with the eighth and final one being completed, a second main story was announced. However, before that second main story, a side arc acting as the bridge between Arc 1 and Arc 2 was announced as well, with four new challenging sub-singularities (five if you count the one from the Fate/Extra CCC collaboration event) to take on. They are Shinjuku, Agartha, Shimosa, and Salem.

While I don't play the JP server, I have seen gameplay of the Epic of Remnant arc and read about all of the important plot points and twists of each singularity. I won't spoil it for anyone who's stuck playing on the NA server like me, but Epic of Remnant truly made FGO better than it already was.

New singularities, the new multi-HP bar system, new battle soundtracks exclusive to each singularity, new Servant classes, and of course, the new Servants themselves. The list could go on and on for how many new awesome Servants were released in Epic of Remnant. From what I've seen, it was undoubtedly a great experience for JP players as always. Man, I can't wait until Epic of Remnant comes to the NA server in the future!

4 Fate/Grand Order: Cosmos in the Lost Belt

With Epic of Remnant now finished on the JP server, it was only a matter of time before they officially released something related to the next story arc in Fate/Grand Order. This second story arc is called Cosmos in the Lost Belt.

Taking place after the events of the first story arc, with the protagonist and Chaldea having restored all seven singularities and practically saving humanity, humanity is threatened once again when Chaldea is attacked and taken over by a new staff. This new staff includes a new secretary with a fake Russian name who suspiciously looks like Vicchi of the Tamamo Nine, and Kirei Kotomine assisting her on behalf of the Holy Church.

It's arguably Chaldea's darkest hour in the prologue, with all the registered Servants vanishing after the summoning system is disabled. The protagonist and the remaining Chaldea staff must escape now that Chaldea has been taken over, made even more dire by Leonardo da Vinci's adult body being stabbed through the heart by Kirei Kotomine. Thankfully, thanks to Leonardo da Vinci thinking ahead and sending her memories and mind to a new younger body, and Sherlock Holmes smuggling the vanished Servants' Saint Graphs since he was never a registered Servant in Chaldea's records, the protagonist, along with Mash, must once again save humanity.

Only this time, humanity is its own enemy now that the main antagonists are Team A, an elite team of Masters originally selected to be the 48 Masters sent to save humanity but were critically injured and frozen as a result of the explosion in the prologue of the first arc. Now they are entirely committed to sending humanity back into the Age of the Gods. What challenges await our protagonist and Mash in this new story arc coming this spring on the JP server?

5 Fate/Grand Order Gets an English Release

They really should have given Fate/Grand Order an international release altogether instead of just initially region-locking it to be only playable in Japan. That said, the Western Fate community rejoiced with excitement that after two years of Fate/Grand Order being originally released in 2015, it was finally getting an English release in the United States.

Sure, Fate/Grand Order did eventually get releases outside of Japan in countries like China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, but it never managed to get a Western release until now. South Korea also managed to get FGO released in the country on November 21st, 2017. With FGO getting an English translation for the first time, it arguably marked a milestone for the game itself, as a Western country would finally be able to play FGO in its prominent language.

However, the only downside is that the English release only applies to the United States. So, other regions like countries in Europe or other countries in North America will have to wait longer until they can get their own releases of FGO in their native language. Otherwise, this was one of the biggest events for the Fate series as a whole in 2017.

6 Fate/Extra Last Encore

For the record, yes, I know Fate/Extra Last Encore is supposed to come out in 2018, but since it was first announced in 2017, that's why I'm putting it on this list.

Basically, Last Encore adapts the story of the spin-off game Fate/Extra, set in a parallel universe where the main protagonist is Hakuno Kishinami, and your main Servants consist of Nero Claudius (Red Saber), Tamamo no Mae (Caster, or Casko), and No Name (Archer). In this installment, the Holy Grail War takes place in a location known as the Moon Cell, where magecraft has evolved differently, and its inhabitants have to resort to acquiring mana and whatnot from their virtual reality.

Last Encore revolves around Hakuno not remembering who he is (Hakuno has two genders in Fate/Extra, but Last Encore uses the male counterpart by default). He wakes up in a strange virtual world where he meets an unknown Servant (Umu! You should already know it's Red Saber, aka Nero Claudius) and finds himself fighting in the Moon Holy Grail War.

I only know a few tidbits of the Extra continuity based on what I've read from the TYPE-MOON wikia, but it does seem Last Encore will be a great anime. Based on the beautifully animated teaser trailer and the promotional videos for characters like Francis Drake, Robin Hood, Gawain, Nursery Rhyme, and Li Shuwen, all animated by Studio Shaft, Last Encore looks to be a visually exhilarating and unique experience to come.

7 Fate/Apocrypha

Confession time: I'm not really a big fan of Fate/Apocrypha. I had a lot of hype for it, and I didn't mind A-1 Pictures producing it, but the inconsistent production value and the inferiority of the story's coherence and presentation compared to ufotable's Fate anime adaptations utterly disappointed me. HOWEVER, I will say that I AM glad that Fate/Apocrypha finally got an anime adaptation.

While not without its flaws, I genuinely enjoyed quite a few moments and characters from the latest anime installment in the Fate series. Taking place in Romania, Fate/Apocrypha is set in a parallel universe apart from Fate/stay night where the Einzbern family summoned a Ruler instead of an Avenger during the Third Holy Grail War. This ultimately set in motion the events of Fate/Apocrypha. The story revolves around the Great Holy Grail War, pitting the Red Faction and the Black Faction against each other in a seven-against-seven battle royale for the Greater Holy Grail.

There is a disturbance in this Holy Grail War, which leads to Jeanne d'Arc being summoned as Ruler to seek out this disturbance and mediate the Great Holy Grail War. Along the way, the main protagonist and formerly unnamed homunculus Sieg gets caught up in this Holy Grail War. He and Jeanne fight for what's right in the Great Holy Grail War. Fate/Apocrypha introduces us to quite a lot of Servants, with a few favorites of mine being Karna, Achilles, Atalanta, Astolfo, and of course, Mordred!

Now, Apocrypha itself can be rather divisive with its character dynamics, execution, and animation. While I agree that the anime could have been BETTER, I am at least glad that Apocrypha got an anime adaptation. But I'm NOT glad that it didn't turn out as well as I wanted it to. Oh well. Hopefully, ufotable can make a better adaptation of Apocrypha in the future. Regardless, its announcement and release still made a big contribution to one of the biggest years in the Fate series. And if you like... more

8 Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star

Yes, Extella was originally released in 2016 in Japan, but since it didn't get a release in North America and Europe until 2017, that's why I'm including Extella on this list.

If you're familiar with Fate/Extra, you'll be quite familiar with the characters and story of Fate/Extella, as it takes place after Fate/Extra. Basically, you're Hakuno Kishinami again, finding yourself in the midst of three factions owned by Nero Claudius, Tamamo no Mae, and the newcomer Altera respectively, who are fighting each other for control of the Moon Cell, with Altera being the one who just wants to destroy it.

Fate/Extella is basically a Dynasty Warriors-style fighting game in the musou genre where you fight your way through waves of enemies. To some, it's a repetitive button-masher, but to others, it's something along the lines of Dynasty Warriors by Koei Tecmo. The gameplay does seem to be a bit stale since it's just Dynasty Warriors but with Fate characters. However, the graphics are stunning, and exploring the lore of each Servant, whether they are veterans or newcomers, is fun to achieve and look at.

While it's not something I would want to buy as a video game in the long run, it does seem like a fun game for any Fate fan, such as one like myself.

9 Fate/Grand Order: Moonlight/Lostroom


Anyways, Japan released another Fate/Grand Order OVA near the end of the year in 2017 to commemorate the upcoming New Year and the prologue to Part 2 of Fate/Grand Order. Since the OVA has yet to have official English subs and isn't available on any legal streaming website yet, I haven't taken the time to watch it. I don't really know what happens in it, but I do know it takes place after Part I of Fate/Grand Order.

From what I have seen of the raw anime footage, Moonlight/Lostroom is exactly what the title indicates. The story of the OVA basically takes place during the Christmas season at Chaldea, where Ritsuka Fujimaru finds himself in a lost corner of Chaldea and is transported to several alternate universes. These range from him fighting alongside Olga Marie in E Pluribus Unum despite her being dead since the prologue to him actually getting to fight and meet Galahad himself.

It seems the anime genuinely has some awesome moments and even more Adaptation Expansion like First Order. However, it seems still isn't too fond of Lay-duce's FGO OVA productions. Regardless, this seems to be a nice OVA to look at. It probably isn't great, but it at least seems fun to watch if you're an FGO player.

10 Fate/Grand Order: First Order

I did an anime review of this OVA back in 2017. I thought First Order was good but nothing too great. It was animated by Lay-duce, so don't expect the animation to be on the same level of quality as ufotable. That said, First Order is essentially an animated adaptation of the prologue to Fate/Grand Order.

The prologue involves the main protagonist Ritsuka Fujimaru and the main heroine Mash Kyrielight finding themselves in a huge predicament after humanity's future is threatened. They have to fix Singularity F and restore humanity's foundation. I won't go too in-depth since I want people to experience the prologue to FGO on the actual mobile game itself, but while the OVA isn't anything too phenomenal, it does have some good moments, especially with Caster Cu, as Adaptation Expansion makes him significantly more badass and powerful in comparison to his playable Servant counterpart in the game.

Otherwise, First Order is best described as It's Okay, So It's Average. Either way, it's an anime adaptation of Fate/Grand Order, so it's still a major installment and contribution to the Fate series in 2017.

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