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Year of Fate

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month or two, you would definitely have noticed the slew of announcements and previews for the Fate/Stay Night franchise. From films to OVAs, the sheer volume of content that will be released in 2017 will excite both hardcore and casual fans. 

For those of you who're completely new to the world of Fate, this is probably the best time to start reading the original visual novel. Once you've whet your appetite with that, the many anime adaptations, manga, light novels and games will ensure that you know the franchise better than some of your closest friends.

Here's a handy list of what will be airing and with the AnimeJapan exhibition approaching, expect more updates and trailers to come.

Fate/Apocrypha (A-1 Pictures)
Fate/Apocrypha is the title I'm least familiar with out of the five listed here, having an entirely new cast of Masters and Servants. It is a five-volume long light novel series depicting a Holy Grail War between two warring factions. The vastly different format from the original Fate/Stay Night also doubles the total number of the Servants and Masters. I'm optimistic that A-1 Pictures can handle the intensity of the fights, having produced the Sword Art Online, Aldnoah.Zero and Nanatsu no Taizai anime.

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! film (Silver Link)
The 3rei!! film picks up where the anime left off and viewers expecting to see more magical girl antics and mana transfer action from the trio of Illya, Chloe and Miyu will be sorely disappointed. What you get in return is a flashback story bearing the same bleak tone of Heaven's Feel and Shirou at his manliest, producing one highlight reel after another. I'm looking forward to this one as much as the Heaven's Feel film, having read the PRISMA ILLYA manga.

Fate/Stay Night Heaven's Feel (Ufotable)
The final route of the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel will be adapted in a series of three films, unlike the 26 episode-long Unlimited Blade Works. This means that screentime is a lot shorter, no matter how long each movie is. However, I'm confident that Ufotable can pull it off, having enjoyed their adaptation of Unlimited Blade Works previously and rewatching it one too many times. Heaven's Feel closes the book on the original story and ties up any loose ends that were present. It also provides much-needed development for characters who were sidelined in the previous routes.

Fate/Grand Order First Order (Lay-duce)
I finally understood the premise of the mobile game after watching the OVA on New Year's Eve itself. Before this, I knew nothing about Fate/Grand Order's story, bar the fact that you traveled across Earth to battle enemies and save the world. Seeing the original Rider and Lancer in different classes and outfits duke it out was a treat and of course, it wouldn't be complete without Saber making an appearance. I hope that more Grand Order OVAs will be released, making up for the lack of translations in the game's story.

Fate/Extra Last Encore (SHAFT)
Imagine the Holy Grail War in a more futuristic setting, where mages are also A-grade hackers. I've completed the original PSP game but it's reported that the plot for the anime adaptation is being rewritten by Kinoko Nasu, the creator of Fate/Stay Night. Whatever the case, I'm happy to see Nero Claudius being animated and by SHAFT, no less. I'm expecting references to the odd combat system of the game and gags making fun of it.

Out of the five titles, four of them will be premiering this year, with the exception of Fate/Extra Last Encore, which makes its debut in January 2018. I expect to watch the PRISMA ILLYA and Heaven's Feel movie in cinemas and not on my computer's monitor, hopefully. Did I also mention that Fate/Grand Order is receiving a major update titled Epic of Remnant and the localised version of Fate/Extella for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita will be released in the next two days?

Written by ET

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