Anime / Fate/Prototype

There raise not the dead.
There cannot recover lost things, never again.
Even the greatest miracle can only affect the living—

Once upon a time, Kinoko Nasu thought of a story where various legendary figures were summoned by wizards and made to fight each other for the Holy Grail. That story would eventually become Fate/stay night, following the protagonists Shirou Emiya and the female knight Saber....

But before that there was this story, where the protagonists were Ayaka Sajyou and the male knight Saber.

Fate/Prototype is a twelve-minute OVA released with Season 3 of Carnival Phantasm, acting as a digest version of the original concept of Fate/stay night. It also encompasses a number of All There in the Manual material including character designs and story excerpts. The basic idea is the same as Fate/stay night, but the difference is in the details.

Four characters (Ayaka, Saber, Lancer, and Archer) appeared in the Hanafuda game in the PSVITA port of Fate/stay night Realta Nua, with their own scenario.

A Special Drama CD for Fate/Prototype was released on November 10, 2012. Another Special Drama CD was released in September, where Saber of Fate/Prototype being a guest star along with Blue Saber and Red Saber.

In March 2013 at the Anime Contents Expo Type-Moon released Fate/Prototype -Animation Material-, an artbook that contained storyboard illustrations of Fate/Prototype and scenes that weren't aired in the trailer.

A Light Novel series, titled Fate/Prototype: Pale Silver Fragments, began serialization in Comptiq magazine starting in August 2013, with Volume 1 released in September 2014, Volume 2 released in October 2014, Volume 3 released in March 2015, and Volume 4 released in March 2016. The series is written by Hikaru Sakurai and illustrated by Nakahara. The story is about the First Holy Grail War that occurred in Ayaka's childhood, essentially making it Prototype's answer to Fate/Zero. Four out of five volumes have been released. Sakurai has also written a spin-off called Fate/Labyrinth, where Manaka Sajyou possessing a magus ends up in a dungeon where she has summoned the Fate/stay Night Saber.

This article will contain unmarked spoilers for Fate/Prototype and Fate/stay night.

Tropes include:

  • Artifact of Doom: The Holy Grail will cause The End of the World as We Know It if completed.
  • All Myths Are True: King Arthur, Gilgamesh, Perseus, Cu Chulainn and The Beast have been summoned into the modern day for an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.
  • All There in the Manual: Long before the OVA, Ayaka and the male Saber were introduced in a TYPE-MOON art book called "Character Material". Prototype itself came with an art book of it's own, further expanding on the characters and story.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Holy Grail War.
  • Bling of War: Most of the Servants' armor is rather ornate. Archer's is even entirely gold plated.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Ayaka Sajyou was told by her father before his death that she had no choice but to participate in the war herself, when the time came—but she wanted nothing to do with it, traumatized over the loss of her father and sister. Too bad the war came to her, in the form of Lancer and a pack of hunting dogs.
  • Christmas Episode: In the Special Drama CD, Ayaka spends her Christmas after the Holy Grail War on a cruise with Saber, Lancer, Archer and her Ax-Crazy sister Manaka... and then gets caught up in a murder mystery...
  • Crapsack World
  • Crossover Cosmology: Figures from legend and prophecy around the globe coexist here. Of course, not for long.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: If the Grail ritual is completed, the Book of Revelation happens.
  • Expy: Inverted. Prototype's characters aren't based on the Fate/stay night cast, the Fate/stay night cast is based on them.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Some of the command seals features angel wings with eyes on them.
  • Feather Motif: Ayaka and crow feathers.
  • Functional Magic: Laid the framework for the magic system in the Nasuverse, though a number of concepts turned out differently from here.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: The command seals are all based on angel wing motifs. About half of them still manage to look malevolent and creepy despite this.
  • Gender Flip: Inverted. Shirou Emiya of Fate/stay night is a gender flip of Prototype's protagonist Ayaka Sajyou. Same goes with Saber, since she is also a gender flip of Ayaka's Saber-class Servant and by extension, also a gender flip of King Arthur.
  • Gratuitous English: The text in the Opening Narration is strangely worded. They also come with Japanese subtitles.
  • Hot Springs Episode: In the Hanafuda Minigame included in the PSVITA port of Fate/stay night Realta Nua, Ayaka and her team get this ending in their scenario.
  • Kill Sat: Archer summons a mystical one at the end of the original trailer—it's his EX ranked Noble Phantasm, Enki: Sword of the End, which summons the Surge of Utnapishtim. It's capable of flooding the entire planet.
  • Power Tattoo: The command seals (or as they're called here, Master Degrees).
    • Also, the prototype Gates of Babylon, Bab-ilu: Key of the King's Law, which in this is a tattoo on Archer's face.
  • Prequel: Pale Silver Fragments is this. Well, maybe. Given that Prototype is just a Real Trailer, Fake Movie with some All There in the Manual material and Drama CDs, one could say that it's the actual beginning of the story.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie
  • Storm of Blades: Just like his Fate/stay night counterpart, Gilgamesh has a Noble Phantasm capable of this called Bab-ilu: Key of the King's Law. However, it's a tattoo on his face, and it fires weapons out of ten small portals that form a circle around him not unlike a gatling gun, rather than as a gigantic downpour.
  • The Stinger: Manaka Sajyou laughing in a massive pile of bones.
  • Tears of Blood: Rider after killing everyone in the hospital.
  • Theme Naming: The seven masters are given Master Degrees based on the angelic hierarchy: Princes, Powers, Virtues, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim. The exception is Sancraid Phahn, who is given the title of Absence (or Void)—he is actually an anomalous eighth master in the War.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Eight all-stars of legend enter. Only one gets to leave.
  • Urban Fantasy: Just like with Fate/stay night, all the magic shenaningans take place in modern Japan.