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Top 10 favourite characters in the Fate series anime

Hello everyone, today I will be sharing with you my top 10 favourite characters in the Fate series. Before I share them with you, I will also briefly tell you why I love the Fate series and give you my recommended watch order on all the current anime in the series.

Holy Grail- The omnipotent wish granting device

The Fate series is one of my favourite anime series for several reasons. I was hooked after watching Fate/stay night because I felt that the story was very unique and well-written. The concept of masters summoning heroic spirits as servants to engage in battle with each other over the Holy Grail was truly fascinating. These heroic spirits are all based on true historical figures, well maybe except for Archer in Fate/stay night.

Aside from the story and the characters, I also thoroughly enjoyed the action scenes in the Fate series. The animation was great in some of the anime in the series, Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works in particular. The original soundtracks are pretty decent as well. 

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works


For those who are new to the Fate series and would like to give it a try, below is a list of all the available anime belonging to the series. My recommended watch order will be the order in which I listed them.

1. Fate/Zero
2. Fate/stay night (2006) – Saber route
3. Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works – Tohsaka Rin route
4. Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel – Sakura route
5. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya
6. Fate/Extra: Last Encore
7. Lord El-Melloi II Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note
8. Fate/Apocrypha
9. Fate/Grand Order: First Order
10. Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia

You might not have the time to watch them all but my recommendation would be to at least watch Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night because they form the core foundation of the Fate series. The rest of the other anime are spinoffs that take some elements and/or characters from Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night.

An important thing to note is that Fate/stay night consists of three different anime, Fate/stay night (2006), Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven’s Feel. Fate/stay night is originally a romance, action-fantasy visual novel where the male protagonist has the option of choosing between three routes. Each route leads to a romance with a different female heroine which I have included in the list above. However, the difference between the three routes is not simply which female heroine the male protagonist ends up with but also in the theme of the story. Therefore, there will be a difference in the story within each of the three Fate/stay night anime.  

Top 10 favourite characters in the Fate series anime

10. Emiya Kiritsugu


Appears in: Fate/Zero, Fate/stay night (flashback)

The main protagonist in Fate/Zero, Kiritsugu is a key character in the Fate franchise. His life was a constant struggle and his ideals brought him nothing but regret, to the point of nearly driving him insane. Kiritsugu had a large influence on the protagonist in Fate/stay night, who inherited his dream of becoming a ‘Champion of Justice’. He was the Master of Saber in the Forth Holy Grail War. 

Kiritsugu’s struggles and backstory are the main reason why I like him. Let’s begin with him in his youth. Imagine having your childhood sweetheart turning into a vampire and then finding out that it was caused by your father. Imagine killing your own father as a child when killing a person is already hard enough for most. He lost everything, the place he called home and everyone dear to him. For those confused about how the vampires came about in Fate/Zero, I recommend checking out Tsukihime which is an earlier work of Kinoko Nasu, the author of most of the anime in the Fate series. I suggest reading the manga or playing the visual novel as Tsukihime was poorly adapted as an anime.

Kiritsugu had believed in the act of sacrificing people for the salvation of humanity as a whole, a view he held since young and throughout most of his adulthood until the end of the Forth Holy Grail War. I like his character development over the course of the anime as you could clearly tell that he was slowly starting to struggle with this belief. I also enjoyed his action scenes in the anime as a professional mage killer, his battles against Kayneth and Kirei were epic.

9. Iskandar 

 Ionioi Hetairoi

Appears in: Fate/Zero, Lord El-Melloi II Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note (flashback)
Servant class: Rider

Iskandar was summoned by Waver Velvet as the Rider class servant in the Forth Holy Grail War. His true identity is Alexander the Great, the King of Macedonia and more commonly known as the King of Conquerors. Iskandar was on a conquest to conquer the world and before he was summoned as a servant, died while chasing his dream of reaching Okeanos.

Iskandar is one of the most charismatic characters in the entire Fate series and my favourite servant in Fate/Zero. I felt that Rider made Fate/Zero so much more enjoyable because of how he acted and his choice of words. I never get tired of listening to his battle cry “Aaaalalalalalaei!!!”. The main reason why I like him so much besides his charisma is because he made a very significant impact on the character growth of the other characters especially Waver Velvet and Artoria. One of the most hyped scenes in Fate/Zero was when Iskandar unleashed his noble phantasm, Ionioi Heitairoi which is shown above. His death was honestly one of the saddest moments in Fate/Zero. 

8. Waver Velvet / Lord El-Melloi II 

Waver Velvet in Fate/Zero

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note

Just to clarify for those unaware, Lord El-Melloi II and Waver Velvet is the same person. Waver is referred to as Lord El-Melloi II after the events of the Forth Holy Grail War when he became more grown up. You will understand how that came about after watching Lord El-Melloi II Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note.

Waver was the master of Iskandar in Fate/Zero as mentioned earlier. I feel that Waver has one of the best character developments in the Fate series. He starts out as a character full of hatred after being humiliated by his teacher Kayneth. Waver was also portrayed as wimpy and whiny throughout most of Fate/Zero but all these negative traits changed after forging a strong bond with his servant Iskandar. I was very proud of his courageous display after Iskandar’s final battle against Gilgamesh. Iskandar’s approach towards life had a large impact on him, resulting in him wanting to experience more of the World. If you like Waver as much as I did after Fate/Zero, you can consider watching Lord El-Melloi II but it is more of a mystery anime with less action. Waver is much more calm and collected as Lord El-Melloi II. I prefer him in his older version because he has really matured as a loyal subject of Iskandar. The scene in Lord-El-Melloi II Case Files where Rider asks Waver whether his journey had been fun hits me in the feels every time. 

7. Astolfo

Appears in: Fate/Apocrypha
Servant class: Rider

Ahh Astolfo, easily one of the best “girls” in Fate/Apocrypha and a character that has been made into memes. In popularity polls on Apocrypha, Astolfo constantly takes the top spot. Summoned as the rider class servant of the black faction, he is one of the Twelve Paladins of Charlemagne. He is the very definition of cheerfulness, loyal to a fault and straightforward, following through with whatever he believes to be right. Astolfo may not be the strongest character but he will never yield to those stronger than him as shown in his battle against Mordred. 

Sadly, Astolfo often gets bashed by some fans of fate for who he is. Fans either really love him or hate him, the group who are neutral about this character exist but are few mainly because of his portrayal as a character. I feel that in Apocrypha, Astolfo is one of the best characters mainly because of his bubbly personality and protecting his beliefs to the end. 

6. Artoria Pendragon 

Appears in: Fate/Zero, Fate/stay night, Fate/Apocrypha (flashback)
Servant class: Saber

Excaliburrrrr!!! Even if you have not watched or heard of the Fate series, chances are you would have likely seen Artoria somewhere. That unmistakable ahoge, striking armour and distinctive holy sword make Artoria one of the most iconic characters in anime. Artoria has always been the poster girl of Fate and adored by a significantly large group of fans. In fact, due to her overwhelming popularity as the face of the franchise, many other characters were modelled based on her, what fans fondly refer to as SaberFaces. As the name implies, SaberFaces are characters with faces that bear a striking resemblance to Artoria. 

Artoria was summoned as the saber class servant to Kiritsugu in Fate/Zero and to the main protagonist in Fate/stay night. Artoria’s true identity is that of King Arthur, the King of Britain, although referred to as the King of Knights by the other servants. I like Artoria as a character because of her pride as King and her unwavering loyalty to her master. She is also very supportive towards her master’s beliefs and ideals, using all of her strength to fight those that stand in their way. I must admit I have a soft spot for all SaberFaces and she is my favourite heroine in Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero. 

5. Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh (archer) – Fate Zero, Fate/stay night

Gilgamesh as King of Uruk - Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia

Appears in: Fate/stay night, Fate/Zero, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya (child), Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia
Servant class: Archer (in Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero)

This dude is literally a walking cheat code. In terms of strength, Gilgamesh is no doubt the most overpowered character in the Fate series anime. Gilgamesh is summoned by Tohsaka Tokiomi in Fate/Zero as the archer class servant during the Forth Holy Grail War. He is the most arrogant and selfish character in Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night, often addressing other masters and servants as mongrels. Gilgamesh is known as the King of Heroes and is also the King of Uruk. 

I like Gilgamesh because of his overwhelming might and his arrogant demeanour. His noble phantasm, Gate of Babylon, is a treasury that houses numerous amounts of weapons which are all noble phantasms. In short, he has close to infinite noble phantasms and is able to launch them towards his enemies as projectiles. Among his trove of noble phantasms is the strongest noble phantasm, a sword called Ea that will decimate his enemies. He perceives himself as the strongest supreme being that would never be defeated and that all the world’s treasures belong to him. It is this pride that makes him one of my favourite characters.

In Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia, the focus is on him as the King of Uruk although he still has his powers. We see a different side to Gilgamesh, one that is slightly less arrogant while also fulfilling his responsibilities as an actual King. I actually prefer Gilgamesh in Grand Order because he was more well-balanced as a character. 

4. Saber Alter

Appears in: Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya
Servant class: Saber

Saber Alter is the result of Artoria being tainted by the shadow in Fate/stay night Heaven’s feel. She is the dark and evil version of Artoria. Just think of Alter servants in Fate as an alternate version of their original counterparts. Anyway, the Heaven’s Feel anime is a three-part movie each lasting about two hours. The third and final episode was originally scheduled to be released in April but has been postponed due to the recent coronavirus pandemic. 

Alter class servants have always been one of my favourites because they look so badass. They are more powerful than their original counterparts in terms of raw power. Saber Alter is no exception. I absolutely loved her armour and character design when I first laid eyes on her. Her battle against berserker in the second episode of the Heaven’s Feel anime was very exciting to watch and I enjoyed every moment of it. 

3. Ereshkigal

Appears in: Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia

Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia is based on the Babylonia arc in the top-grossing mobage Fate/Grand Order(FGO). It is a turn-based gacha game which I highly recommend playing because the story content gets really good especially in the later chapters of the story. You can clear the story content as a free-to-play player without the need to roll for 5 star servants. FGO is more of a pay to waifu/husbando game. Just note that rates in FGO are terrible and you will likely have to whale (spend a lot) in order to summon your waifus and husbandos unless the gacha gods always shine on you.

Ereshkigal has a sad backstory. This dere-dere goddess has been appointed the ruler and caretaker of the underworld since birth. She has never tasted freedom, never met new people and does not know of joy or sadness. Managing the souls of the dead for thousands of years was the one and only thing she did.

The reason why I like Ereshkigal a lot is because she is very helpful in the anime, has a playful side to her and also being a dere-dere. Ereshkigal is a RinFace, you can just think of her as Tohsaka Rin from Fate/stay night but with blonde hair. Unlike Rin, I would not consider her as a Tsundere but rather a dere-dere. She gets flustered really easily and is very cute when she does so. She did not hesitate to help the main protagonist save Uruk from destruction and played an important role in the final battle. My only gripe is that she did not have much screen time as she only appeared after the halfway mark of the anime. 

2. Mordred

Appears in: Fate/Apocrypha
Servant class: Saber

Summoned as the Saber class servant of the red faction, Mordred is the “son” of Artoria, a SaberFace and also known as the Knight of Treason. In the early episodes of Apocrypha, we can see that Mordred has nothing but admiration for her father, Artoria. However, this admiration quickly turned into resentment as the recognition she craved was not returned coupled with the fact that Artoria rejected Mordred as the heir to the throne.

She is spunky, has a fun-loving attitude and does not hesitate to throw insults which made her a loveable character. Two notable traits of Mordred are her high level of confidence in her abilities and her courage, always eagerly awaiting the next battle. Mordred has always been one of my favourite SaberFaces and my best character in Apocrypha because I really like her backstory and how she developed as a character. She actually did not want to be King just because of her lineage but something else entirely which you will understand after watching Apocrypha. Mordred was the main reason why I did not drop Apocrypha despite how terrible the main character Sieg was. 

1. Saber 

Appears in: Fate/Extra: Last Encore
Servant class: Saber

Umu! You can just call me Saber. Saber is the saber class servant summoned by Hakuno Kishinami in Fate/Extra: Last Encore. Fans call her Red Saber mainly to distinguish her from Artoria. She also appears in the video game Fate Extella. Her true identity is Nero Claudius, the Fifth Roman Emperor. Nero has a tragic backstory but I like how she always stays positive and cheerful. I love Nero because Umu! Well other than Umu, Nero like the other SaberFaces, is very loyal towards her master. She supported Hakuno throughout the anime, even after he found out about his true existence. Overall, Nero is just very cute and likeable. She is my favourite character and SaberFace among the many that exist in the Fate Franchise.

I will be completely honest. Nero is the only reason why I forced myself to watch Fate/Extra till the end because of how weak the story and characters were. There was little to no character development whatsoever in Fate/Extra and Hakuno as the main character was comparable to Sieg in Fate/Apocrypha. I felt like both of them were just there for the plot armour in their respective anime. It is quite a shame because both anime had so much potential. Among all the Fate anime in the series, Fate/Extra is probably the one I enjoyed the least. Umu, I was so glad that Nero appeared in every episode of the anime. 

That concludes my top 10 favourite characters in the Fate series anime. Thank you for reading and please stay safe during this period. Take care everyone!

Written by Kou

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