The Wonderful World of Fate Universe Spin-Offs

fate spin-offs
fate spin-offs

By Deanna Nguyen

In the anime community, “fate” not only refers to a life preordained by some higher power but also to the globally popular franchise founded by writer Kinoko Nasu and artist Takashi Takeuchi, or TYPE-MOON. The success of the visual novel Fate/stay night back in 2004 soon launched countless adaptations and spin-offs, each uniquely catering to different types of fans. 

RELATED: The Fate Universe Expands on Funimation!

To this day, light novels, video games, manga, anime, shorts and animated films continue to pour out with some relation to the original or mainline Fate universe. In the Fatespin-offs, which branch out from Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero, characters wear alternate appearances or personalities that suit the tone of the show. One show in particular doesn’t involve any war or bloodshed and instead opts for the warmth and light-heartedness of cooking at home. 

So, before you dive into the Fate universe (or “Nasuverse”) spin-offs, please note this is by no means a guide for the fresh-faced who’s looking for a place to start. However, we would recommend starting with Fate/stay night (either of the adaptations) or Fate/Zero so you’ll grow familiar with the characters and the nuances of the Fate universe. 

So, if you prefer to stray from the main path, then take your pick among the spin-offs below!

Carnival Phantasm (2011)

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Based on a Tsukihime manga parody that includes characters from various TYPE-MOON properties, Carnival Phantasm is an OVA series adaptation from Lerche that’s adored by many fans despite the lack of an official English translation. 

There are comedic moments such as Rin Tohsaka trying to figure out how to record a show or Lancer being bros with Berserker, which allow fans to see these characters in a different (and silly) light. Moreover, the OVA is like a crossover with Fate characters interacting with Tsukihime characters or special appearances from other titles like Kara no Kyoukai

Carnival Phantasm is a mixture of dramatic sound effects, slapstick comedy, softer character designs and a handful of inside jokes. It’s a welcome shift from the usual seriousness of the main titles and, as it’s called, a parody. 

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA (2015)

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If there’s a star in the title, chances are that it’s either a magical girl anime or an idol anime. Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA from Silver Link falls under the former category, and who better to be the protagonist than Illyasviel von Einzbern, or Illya. 

The show is a direct spin-off of Fate/stay night with a better turnout for the young Illya as she spends her days with her brother Shirou Emiya, making friends and battling enemies for Class Cards by using Kaleidosticks. Several seasons, an animated film, an OVA, a video game and a light novel boost the show’s popularity.

Other recognizable characters such as Rin and Luviagelita Edelfelt are part of the main cast and also take on Magical Girl forms. Though the genre comprises of cute elements, there are dark undertones to Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA. But, it’s still a better alternative route (or Illya route) to her “fate” in Fate/stay night

Fate/Apocrypha (2017)

Set in a parallel universe in which the events of Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero never happened, Fate/Apocrypha centers around two opposing factions: Red and Black. The Great Holy Grail War is mediated by a Ruler-class servant as each side summons seven servants to fight. Sieg, a Homunculus, is the main protagonist.

Fate/Apocrypha was adapted by A-1 Pictures based on the light novel series by Yuichiro Higashide. Because the number of Masters and Servants has increased, it can be overwhelming to keep track of who’s who and which side they’re fighting for. The good news is that the cast consists of new faces, so you won’t see white-haired Archer or regal Saber (or any alternative appearances). 

The rules of Fate/Apocrypha are different from Fate/stay night and, as a result, open up alternative battle tactics and compelling fight choreography that will turn the tide of the Great Holy Grail War.

Today’s Menu for Emiya Family (2018)

ufotable has helmed many Fate titles, most notably Fate/Zero, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works and the Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel movies. Praise for the studio’s smooth action sequences and use of mixed media (CGI, 2D animation, special effects, etc.) is much deserved. With their positive track record on the Fate franchise, they eventually adapted a slice-of-life spin-off: Today’s Menu for Emiya Family

RELATED: More Beloved Aniplex Shows Are Joining the Funimation Family

The premise is simple: Shirou cooks various Japanese dishes for the characters. He breaks down the process step-by-step, allowing fans to take a stab at cooking the dish as well. The show is also a parody, as it strips away the serious tones of Fate/stay night and replaces them with domesticity. 

The show adopts a lighter color palette and displays ufotable’s smooth animated touch whenever Shirou cuts, stirs, fries or peels the food. Your mouth will definitely water at the sight but also curve into a smile as you watch the characters relax and strike up casual conversations with each other.

Watch Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family on Funimation!

Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note (2019)

Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note is a side story adapted by TROYCA and takes place in between Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night. If you’re wondering how Waver Velvet from Fate/Zero is doing after the Fourth Holy Grail War, then you’ll find he’s now known as Lord El-Melloi II and a professor at the Clock Tower.

He partners with his apprentice Gray, and together they solve cases circling around mageraft and Mage Association conspiracies, all the while dealing with Clock Tower politics. Dark themes associated with murder mysteries are apparent in the show, a side-step from the war themes in Fate/Zero

What makes Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note unique is that we’re following the aftermath of war, not what it’s like during. Seeing Lord El-Melloi II’s character development, especially when we previously knew him as Waver Velvet, is cathartic given the fact that he’s carrying on a legacy left behind by his former servant and confidante, Rider. 

Watch Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note on Funimation!

Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia (2019)

Stream Fate Grand Order Babylonia first on Funimation.

Fate/Grand Order as a whole seems like its own universe due to the amount of branching storylines and different mediums in which fans can access its stories. It began as an ongoing mobile RPG game, which was released in the United States in 2017 and has since garnered widespread popularity. In response, a TV special, several animated shorts and an animated series, which is currently airing, have been made.

The anime adaptation from CloverWorks titled Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia covers the “Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia Singularity” chapter from the mobile game. The Seventh Singularity resides in Ancient Babylonia where Ritsuka Fujimaru and Mash Kyrielight try to save humanity under the orders of King Gilgamesh who rules Uruk, the Babylonian city.

RELATED: What to Know Before You Watch Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia 

Fans of Gilgamesh will be happy with the sole focus on his character and how the story takes place during a time period where he originates from. There’s also a character who looks a lot like Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night, but her name is Ishtar, and she is a Pseudo-Servant who was summoned into the former’s body.

Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia continues Ritsuka and Mash’s journey as they Rayshift to the past, and for fans who are avid players of the mobile game, it’s an adaptation worth watching. CloverWorks really pulls out all of the stops to put a unique twist on the style of the Fate universe.

Watch Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia on Funimation!

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