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Fate/stay night
FSN.JPG
Screenshot from the main menu of Fate/stay night video game.
フェイト/ステイナイト
(Feito/sutei naito)
Genre Action, Romance, Supernatural, Thriller
Game
Developer Type-Moon
Publisher Type-Moon (PC/PS2)
Kadokawa Shoten (PS2)
Genre Eroge, Visual novel
Rating 18+ (PC), 15+ (PS2)
Platform PC - KiriKiri engine
Released January 30, 2004 (PC CD)
March 29, 2006 (PC DVD)
April 19, 2007 (PS2)
Manga
Author Type-Moon
Illustrator Nishiwaki Datto
Publisher Japan Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher Canada United States Tokyopop
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Japan Shōnen Ace
Original run December 26, 2005 – ongoing
Volumes 9
TV anime
Director Yuji Yamaguchi
Studio Japan Studio Deen
Licensor United States Canada Geneon
Australia New Zealand Madman Entertainment
United Kingdom MVM Films
Network Japan TBS
Original run January 6, 2006June 16, 2006
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Director Yuji Yamaguchi
Writer Takuya Sato
Studio Japan Studio Deen
Released January 23, 2010
Anime and Manga Portal

Fate/stay night (フェイト/ステイナイト Feito/sutei naito ?) is a Japanese adult visual novel game created by Type-Moon, which was originally released on January 30, 2004, for the PC. It has been adapted into an anime television series, which was animated by Studio Deen and aired between January 6, 2006, through June 16, 2006.

The official announcement and teaser trailer of the anime were first shown at the Rondo Robe 2005 "-Gate to Date-" event in Japan on June 26, 2005, and a curtain-raiser DVD was released in Japan during November 2005.[1] An all-ages version of Fate/stay night, titled Fate/stay night Réalta Nua, was released for the PlayStation 2 on April 19, 2007, and features the seiyū from the anime series. The series has been adapted into a manga series, which began serialization in the monthly Shōnen Ace magazine.

The September issue of Newtype announced that a film adaptation was in production by Studio Deen. The film is scheduled for release on January 23, 2010.[2]

Contents

Plot

Fate/stay night chronicles a two-week period in the life of Shirō Emiya, an amateur mechanic who attends a school named Homurabara Gakuen in Fuyuki City. Ten years ago, Shirō was caught in a massive fire that incinerated his parents and consumed a large portion of the city; as he was dying, an enigmatic man discovers and treats him. This man, Kiritsugu Emiya, decides to adopt him, though the two maintain a distant relationship because of Kiritsugu's frequent departures from Fuyuki City. One moonlit night, Kiritsugu and Shirō had a discussion outside of their home, and Shirō discovers a fact about his father that Kiritsugu was actually a mage.

Through their conversation, Shirō learns of his foster father's failed life ambition to become a "Hero of Justice" (正義の味方 Seigi no Mikata ?), a guardian of mankind who could protect the weak and innocent. Touched by Kiritsugu's conviction, Shirō affirms to his foster father that he intends to devote his life to achieving that distant ideal, much to Kiritsugu's chagrin. To do this, Shirō pleads with a begrudging Kiritsugu to teach him sorcery (魔術 Majutsu ?); but being born without the capabilities of a magus, Shirō proves to be talentless in almost all the fundamental sorcerous disciplines.

Kiritsugu warns his son that the life of a sorcerer is one that leads to destruction, but if he is truly set on benefiting people, he should apply his knowledge in secret and hone his craft in private. After Kiritsugu dies, Shirō becomes frustrated with his progress, feeling inadequate about his good deeds through sorcery and is unsure of how to orient his future to contribute more.

Unknown to Shirō, Fuyuki City is the setting for a secret and violent war among competing magi. For the past two centuries, seven sorcerers have gathered and engage in a Battle Royale, each gambling his or her own life to obtain the Holy Grail, a legendary chalice capable of granting wishes. The past four Holy Grail Wars have typically occurred every sixty years, with the most recent concluding a decade ago, but the fifth war has started prematurely.

Each of the sorcerers, better known as Masters, is aided by one of the seven summoned spiritual familiars known as Servants, who are the reincarnations of legendary souls from all across time. These resurrected Epic Spirits (英霊 Eirei ?), possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms (宝具 Hōgu ?). A Noble Phantasm's hidden abilities may be released by invoking its true name, but casual brandishing of a Noble Phantasm is best avoided, for symbolic Noble Phantasms usually belie a Servant's identity, diminishing that Servant's competitive advantage. Specific legends may be summoned with the aid of catalysts, which are artifacts, ideas, or experiences similar or of value to the desired Servant. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assassin, and Caster.

As only astral entities (i.e. Servants) are physically capable of retrieving the Holy Grail, Master and Servant are forced to cooperate. Masters control Servants with three Command Mantra (令呪 Reiju ?), which are crystallized miracles issued by the Holy Grail that manifest on a Master's body. When activated, Command Mantra permit a Servant to accomplish an incredible feat, or alternatively provide Masters with the authority to issue an irrevocable and absolute order to a Servant. When all three Command Mantras are used up, Servants are no longer obliged to serve their Masters, and as such, may freely choose to turn upon their ex-partner. In the event of a Master's demise, a Servant may choose to bind him or herself to another Master; if a Servant is slain, a Master may ally with a wayward Servant or pursue sanctuary with the Holy Grail War's impartial supervisor, who is traditionally a delegate of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Holy Grail materializes fully only when there is one Servant left standing; therefore, it is not necessary to vanquish Masters in order to win the war. However, as many Servants possess powerful Noble Phantasms and are grueling to defeat, many participants have chosen instead to eradicate Masters, who are responsible for maintaining a Servant's presence through the supplication of Mana.

After cleaning his school's kyūdō (archery) dojo late one night, Shirō stumbles upon two Servants, Archer and Lancer, battling in the school courtyard. To avoid compromising the war's secrecy, Lancer hunts down and pierces Shirō's heart with a spear. For an unknown reason, Shirō's classmate, Rin Tōsaka, uses an heirloom filled with concentrated magic, Mana (魔力 Maryoku ?), to resuscitate him. Shaken and dazed, Shirō returns home only to be assaulted a second time by Lancer. Shirō weakly defends himself against Lancer, but is soon overwhelmed by the powerful Servant's attack, and is sent flying into his shed's storage room. Cornered, Shirō prepares for the worst; but before Lancer can inflict another fatal blow, a young woman outfitted in alabaster armor blocks Lancer's spear. After driving Lancer away from Shiro, she introduces herself as Saber.

Characters

As with Tsukihime, the character base in Fate/stay night is extremely comprehensive and expansive, with characters possessing varied and extraordinary abilities.

Shirō Emiya (衛宮 士郎 Emiya Shirō ?)
Shirō Emiya is the main character of the story. He is a serious yet helpful, hardworking, and honest teenager. His hobbies include fixing a variety of broken things, from VCRs to stoves, as well as cooking and cleaning. He has some slight talent with sorcery, though he was discouraged by his foster father Kiritsugu Emiya from improving his gifts. He is initially confused about the Holy Grail War and attempts to irrationally shield others from danger, including his own Servant, Saber.
Saber (セイバー Seibā ?)
She is Shirō's Servant, an agile and powerful warrior. Loyal, independent, and reserved, Saber acts coldly but is actually suppressing her emotions to focus on her goals. Her class is considered the "Most Outstanding", with excellent ratings in all categories. Since her Master cannot effectively provide her with Mana, she minimizes her activity to preserve what she has. Saber is frustrated by Shirō's "protective" tendencies, believing his erratic and reckless behavior will jeopardize her chances of winning the Holy Grail War.
Rin Tōsaka (遠坂 凛 Tōsaka Rin ?)
A model student and idol of Shirō's school who is secretly a sorceress and Master in the Holy Grail War. She is a descendant from a long line of sorcerers, and though she lacks a formal magic education, she is extremely powerful in her own right. Her father was killed in the fourth Holy Grail War, and she has trained since his death to succeed him. She is perceptive, resourceful and avidly competitive. She tried to summon a Saber-class Servant, but she accidentally called Archer instead.
Archer (アーチャー Āchā ?)
He is the Servant of one of the series' main heroines, Rin Tōsaka. Due to an incomplete summon, he apparently has no memory of his previous life or identity. Archer is sarcastic and cynical - but under his hardened exterior lies a complex and dark personality that unfolds throughout the story. Though skilled with ranged weapons, he can hold his own in mêlée combat. Archer considers Shirō Emiya's idealism to be weak and delusional, recognizing Shirō's mentality of "wanting to save everyone" as naïve and impossible.
Illyasviel von Einzbern (イリヤスフィール・フォン・アインツベルン Iriyasufīru fon Aintsuberun ?)
A young Teutonic aristocrat, she traveled to Japan to participate in the Holy Grail War as a Master. Illyasviel has an angelic appearance and an unsurpassed degree of magical power. She lives in a castle on the outskirts of Fuyuki City, accompanied only by her Servant and two maids. Illyasviel asks those she feels comfortable around to simply call her "Ilya".
Berserker (バーサーカー Bāsākā ?)
The Servant of Ilya, who appears as a swarthy giant with adamantine skin and immense strength. He wields a colossal stone Axe-Club, and is capable of causing massive destruction with the mere backlash of his swings. As a Berserker, he is stripped of his sanity and reason, acting feral and animalistic in combat. Berserkers are praised as members of the "Strongest" class, though they are difficult to control and often turn on their Masters. Ilya appears to have little trouble managing him.
Sakura Matō (間桐 桜 Matō Sakura ?)
A student in her first year of high school, and the sister of Shinji Matō. After Shirō's father Kiritsugu died, Sakura often visited Shirō's home to help him with his daily chores. Though Sakura is from a family of sorcerers, she asserts that she has no knowledge of her family's craft or history. Sakura is outwardly shy and timid, but possesses great inner strength. She has a long standing and obvious crush on Shirō Emiya.
Shinji Matō (間桐 慎二 Matō Shinji ?)
Sakura Matō's older brother, and a long-time friend of Shirō. Shinji is very popular as vice-captain of the archery dojo despite being chauvinistic and narcissistic. Like Rin Tōsaka, he is of a distinguished lineage of sorcerers, though the Matō blood has thinned and no longer produces heirs naturally capable of sorcery. Shinji feels uncomfortable with his sister's daily visits to Shirō's home. He has an open crush on Rin, but she does not return his favors.
Rider (ライダー Raidā ?)
The Servant of Shinji, first seen scouting around Homurabara Gakuen. Rider is silent, sultry, and vigilant, never hesitating to shield her Master from harm. With Shinji incapable of lending Mana to her, she is forced to seek alternative means to augment her abilities. To compensate for her weakness, Rider employs covert battle tactics and takes full advantage of territory around her. Her weapon of choice is a pair of long iron nails fastened to opposite ends of a single chain, which she effectively thrusts from distances.

Media

The popularity of the Fate/stay night visual novel has launched a media franchise consisting of a sequel, spin-offs, an anime adaptation, a light novel, and a manga series. A film adaptation is currently in production. In addition, various forms of dōjinshi dedicated to characters or themes in Fate/stay night have been created by fans, including fanart, amateur manga, and fan-developed video games.

Video game

The Fate/stay night franchise began as a visual novel video game created by Type-Moon which premiered in Japan on January 30, 2004.[3] It was Type-Moon's first commercial work, following their transition from a dōjin soft visual novel group. An all-ages version of Fate/stay night, entitled Fate/stay night Réalta Nua, was released for the PlayStation 2[4] on April 19, 2007.[5] Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven's Feel are the three branching storylines found within the game. Each diverge at certain points, and, depending upon player interaction, will end in one of several possible ways. The Fate scenario features Saber as the main heroine. In Unlimited Blade Works, Rin Tōsaka is the main female lead but the storyline focuses around her Servant, Archer. Heaven's Feel expands on the dark history of Sakura Matō. The plot of the anime series is an amalgam of the three game scenarios, though it heavily favors the events of Fate over the other two.

On October 28, 2005, Type-Moon released a sequel to Fate/stay night, entitled Fate/hollow ataraxia.[6] Regarded more as a fan disc and a side-story rather than a serious sequel, its plot is set half a year after the events of Fate/stay night and features new characters such as Avenger, Bazett Fraga McRemitz, and Caren Ortensia, alongside returning characters such as Shirō Emiya and Rin Tōsaka.[6]

At the 2008 AOU show in Japan, Capcom in conjunction with Cavia and Eighting debuted a fighting game based on the franchise called Fate/Unlimited Codes. The game was released in the arcades and had an exclusive PlayStation 2 release on December 18, 2008. A pre-order version was also available which includes a limited edition Saber Lily figure. Capcom will also release a PlayStation Portable version titled Fate/unlimited codes Portable on June 18, 2009.[7] A North American version (digital download only, not UMD) of this game was released on September 3, 2009.[8]

A dungeon RPG adaptation of the series was announced in Famitsu and is produced by Image Epoch and Marvelous Entertainment titled Fate/Extra. The game is an alternate remake of Fate/stay night, but has an updated plot, different gameplay features and different character designs, especially for Saber and Caster. Players take on the role of an unnamed male or female character that the player chooses to be one of seven chosen masters and control servants Saber, Archer or Caster. The staff involved are dōjin artist Huke of Supercell, Takashi Takeuchi from Type-Moon for the character design supervision, Kazuya Niinō (7th Dragon) as the producer, while Shuetsu Kadowaki (Luminous Arc 2) is the director. The game will be released on March 18, 2010 for the PlayStation Portable in both regular and limited editions. The limited, pre-order edition includes a Saber Figma figure from the game itself and a visual book.[9]

Light novel

On November 22, 2006, Type-Moon announced a new installment in the Fate/stay night franchise, entitled Fate/Zero. Fate/Zero is a prequel to Fate/stay night, stressing the events of the 4th Holy Grail War and how its consequences affected the 5th Holy Grail War. In contrast to Fate/stay night, Fate/Zero is a series of light novels instead of a visual novel, and will be told in a third person narrative that follows the actions of multiple characters. The first volume was released on December 12, 2006, and is a collaboration between Type-Moon and fellow developer Nitroplus.[10] The second volume was released on March 31, 2007. The third volume was released on July 27, 2007. The fourth and final volume was released on December 29, 2007, along with the Fate/Zero Original Image Soundtrack "Return to Zero".

Manga

The Fate/stay night manga, illustrated by Nishiwaki Datto, began serialization in the manga magazine Shōnen Ace, published by Kadokawa Shoten, on December 26, 2005. It is an adaption of the Fate/stay night visual novel, rather than the anime. In contrast to the anime, the manga focuses solely on the Unlimited Blade Works scenario of the game (albeit with slight deviations), and has refrained from pooling story elements from the sister scenarios, Fate or Heaven's Feel. Ten bound volumes have been released in Japan.

Anime

The Fate/stay night anime series aired between January 6, 2006, and June 16, 2006, containing 24 episodes; the storyline follows mainly the Fate scenario but shows parts of other scenarios as well. It was animated by Studio Deen and produced by the Fate Project, which included Geneon Entertainment, TBS, CREi, Type-Moon, and Frontier Works Inc. The series later received its international television premieres on the anime television network Animax in 2007, its English-language television premiere occurring on Animax's English networks in Southeast Asia in June as well as its other networks in South Korea, Hong Kong and other regions.[11] Geneon also licensed the series for distribution across North America. On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon Entertainment still retains the license, Funimation Entertainment assumes exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Fate/stay night was one of several titles involved in the deal.[12]

The anime is an adaptation of the Fate/stay night visual novel, featuring content from all of the available scenarios in the original game's release. The general direction of the anime borrows heavily from the Fate scenario, with select segments from Unlimited Blade Works included as filler while only a couple nods are given toward the Heaven's Feel option. Elements from Fate/hollow ataraxia not directly impacting the plot were included, but sparingly. Kenji Kawai composed the original music for the series and also remixed four symphonic themes from the Fate/stay night visual novel for use in the anime: "Hizashi No Naka De" (not featured on the original anime soundtrack, but on the out tracks album "LA SOLA"), "Yakusoku Sareta Shouri No Tsurugi", "Emiya", and "This Illusion", the latter of which was retitled "disillusion".

Film

An animated film based on the storyline of the Unlimited Blade Works route from the visual novel is in production by Studio Deen, and is slated for release throughout Japanese theaters on January 23, 2010. The staff from the anime television series, including director Yuji Yamaguchi, return to work on the film, and most of the voice cast reprise their roles.[2]

Music

There is a soundtrack to the game, called Fate/Stay Night Original Sound Track. There is also an arranged soundtrack of the game music, entitled Avalon - Fate/Stay Night. It is arranged by WAVE and K. JUNO and features two English arranged versions of "This Illusion" titled "Illusion/Vision" and "Illusion/Fate". The anime original soundtrack was arranged and composed by Kenji Kawai. In addition, there are image albums Wish and WHITE AVALON as well as various remix albums Fate another score, Fate/extended play, and Emiya #0. There are also numerous fanmade arrangements: Exodus: Fake/ever since, Iriya 51, Broken Phantasm, fragments, and 17 Division.

Aside from Fate/stay night, the other games in the series have their own soundtracks. There is a Fate/tiger coliseum OST and an imaged sound track for Fate/zero entitled Return to Zero.

Game themes
Title Composition and Arrangement Lyrics Performance Type
"THIS ILLUSION" NUMBER201 Keita Haga M.H. Opening theme
"days" NUMBER201 Keita Haga CHINO Ending theme
"Ougon no Kagayaki" NUMBER201 Keita Haga MAKI Opening theme (Réalta Nua)
Anime themes
Title Composition Arrangement Lyrics Performance Single Release Date Type
"disillusion"
(episodes 1-14)[13]
NUMBER201 Kenji Kawai Keita Haga Sachi Tainaka February 22, 2006 Opening theme
"Kirameku Namida wa Hoshi ni" (きらめく涙は星に ?,
lit. Glittering Tears Change To Stars)
(episodes 15-23)[14]
KATE Sogawa Tomoji, NUMBER201 Keita Haga Sachi Tainaka May 31, 2006 Opening theme
"Anata ga Ita Mori" (あなたがいた森 ?,
lit. The Forest In Which You Were)
(episodes 1-13,15-23)[15]
Jyukai March 15, 2006 Ending theme
"Hikari" (ヒカリ ?, lit. Light)
(episode 14)
Jyukai Ending theme
"Kimi to no Ashita" (君との明日 ?, lit. Tomorrow with You)
(episode 24)[16]
Sachi Tainaka Kaneko Takahiro Sachi Tainaka Sachi Tainaka February 7, 2007 Ending theme

Reception

When released on January 30, 2004, Fate/stay night rapidly became one of the most popular visual novels in history, securing the title of "highest selling visual novel" in 2004.[17] A "fan disk" sequel, Fate/hollow ataraxia, was released on October 28, 2005, which became one of the top selling visual novels of 2005.[18] The popularity of the visual novel lead to the formation of the "Fate Project", which in cooperation with Geneon Japan and Studio Deen produced a twenty-four episode anime series based on the original story in 2006. During that same year, a PS2 port for Fate/stay night entitled Fate/stay night[Réalta Nua] was scheduled for a Fall/Winter release, but was pushed back to 2007. A prequel known as Fate/Zero was produced through a collaboration with fellow visual novel company Nitroplus, which could be obtained prior to the official release date at Comiket 2006. In early 2007, the popularity of Fate/stay night and the anime seiyū lead to the launch of the Fate/stay tune internet radio drama, featuring the voice talent of Kana Ueda and Ayako Kawasumi. Another project elaborating on Fate/stay night canon has been planned, but as is the case with Fate/Zero, Type-Moon itself will have little, if any, direct involvement.

References

  1. ^ "Official Fate/stay night animation homepage" (in Japanese). http://www.staynight.com/top.html. Retrieved 2006-11-26.  
  2. ^ a b "Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works Film Confirmed". Anime News Network. 2009-08-06. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-08-06/fate/stay-night-unlimited-blade-works-film-confirmed. Retrieved 2009-10-04.  
  3. ^ "Official Type-Moon product information page" (in Japanese). http://typemoon.com/product/index.html. Retrieved 2006-11-30.  
  4. ^ "Official Type-Moon Fate/stay night [Réalta Nua] extra edition の特典として付属 homepage" (in Japanese). http://www.ps2-fate.com/realta_nua/hana_ps2/index.html. Retrieved 2007-01-16.  
  5. ^ "Official Type-Moon Fate/stay night Réalta Nua homepage" (in Japanese). http://www.ps2-fate.com/. Retrieved 2006-11-26.  
  6. ^ a b "Official Type-Moon Fate/hollow ataraxia homepage" (in Japanese). http://typemoon.org/product/hollow/main.html. Retrieved 2006-11-26.  
  7. ^ "Fate/unlimited codes Gets PSP Version In June". Animekon. http://www.animekon.com/news-932-Fateunlimited-codes-Gets-PSP-Version-In-June.html. Retrieved 2009-03-26.  
  8. ^ "Fate/unlimited Codes Available Today on PSN". Playstation.Blog. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/09/fate-unlimited-codes-available-today-on-psn/. Retrieved 2009-12-1.  
  9. ^ "フェイト/エクストラ 公式サイト:製品情報 [Fate/Extra Official Site: Product News]" (in Japanese). Marvelous Entertainment. http://www.fate-extra.jp/information.html. Retrieved 2009-12-28.  
  10. ^ "Official Type-Moon Fate/Zero homepage" (in Japanese). http://www.fate-zero.com/. Retrieved 2006-11-26.  
  11. ^ "Animax Rave April Issue". http://express.animax-asia.com/cp.aspx?p=WiYC1UmQWX8k1Ks9kncVdi7XIeyW2/P8yKKUgNzDZL8ybzT57tdq2A==. Retrieved 2007-05-01.  
  12. ^ Anime News Network (2008-07-03). "FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for North America". Press release. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2008-07-03/funimation-entertainment-and-geneon-entertainment-sign-exclusive-distribution-agreement-for-north-america. Retrieved 2008-07-03.  
  13. ^ "Amazon.co.jp disillusion single product page" (in Japanese). http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B000E4E4BS. Retrieved 2006-11-30.  
  14. ^ "Amazon.co.jp "Kirameku Namida wa Hoshi ni" single product page" (in Japanese). http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B000F9RASG. Retrieved 2006-11-30.  
  15. ^ "Amazon.co.jp "Anata ga Ita Mori" single product page" (in Japanese). http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B000E6UV1I. Retrieved 2006-11-30.  
  16. ^ "Amazon.co.jp "Kimi to no Ashita" single product page" (in Japanese). http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B000LE1HWU. Retrieved 2007-02-16.  
  17. ^ "Getchu.com PC visual novel sales rankings for 2004". http://www.getchu.com/pc/salesranking2004.html. Retrieved 2006-11-30.  
  18. ^ "Getchu.com PC visual novel sales rankings for 2005". http://www.getchu.com/pc/salesranking2005.html. Retrieved 2006-11-30.  

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