Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya – Final Thoughts

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA Final Thoughts Review
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya
Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ


When I first heard about Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, I can’t say that I was impressed.  Despite its obvious connections to the Fate/stay night franchise, I figured this to be some cheap magic girl knockoff done to cash in on the franchise. After all, I’d seen this happen before with the Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sammy spinoffs from the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki franchise (not to be confused with the Sasami: Mahou Shoujo Club spinoff that came years later).  But, there are times when a magic girl spinoff actually ends up pretty good, which is what happened when Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha was spun off from the Triangle Heart franchise. So on a whim, I decided to watch Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA,which has its good and bad.

The series starts off as a parody of the mahou shoujo genre, making sure to touch the various clichés associated with that genre such as the required magic girl transformation (henshin) sequence. There are obvious nods to Cardcaptor Sakura and Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha as well. However, since this series is based off the Fate/stay night franchise, there are also a lot of nods to the original Fate/stay night series (or visual novel, since that came first).  With the older Rin and Luvia acting as guides for Ilya and Miyu respectively, the subsequent rivalry between Rin and Luvia is cliched but humorous, right down to Luvia’s “Noblewoman’s Laugh” trope.

With only ten episodes given to adapt the first, two volume manga series, the series has plenty of time to cover the material from the manga. I have not read the source manga (I plan to now), but I could certainly feel some drag at times, but also some oddness in plot development toward the end of the series. Ilya somehow instinctively knows how to use the Class Cards they are collecting, but that’s never gone into. Ilya also has a seal on her powers, but that is not explored either once the seal beaks. Miyu has a rather harsh reaction to Ilya’s saving everyone, but due to her massive power, which could have injured the others. Miyu’s actions didn’t make sense to me. The ending was rather clichéd as well, followed by some loli shoujo ai as Miyu clings to Ilya.

But things weren’t all bad. The story, despite a lack of any in depth exploration of the Class Cards, was fairly interesting to me. I liked the concept of Ilya’s being a fan of the mahou shoujo enabling her to excel when she became a magic girl, but I really liked Ilya’s reaction when the deadly reality of being a magic girl came up. I can’t imagine anyone like Ilya not having that reaction. After all, not only could Ilya have been killed, but her comrades could have been killed or harmed as well. There’s a difference between an anime (manga) and reality.  So I appreciated the series bringing this aspect up. I just hope that subsequent series continues to explore things properly.

I also appreciated the linkage to the Fate/stay night series. Unlike Pretty Sammy, which just took TM!R characters and put them into new settings with no connections to the original TM!R other than names and character designs, Fate/kaleid successfully creates an alternate universe feeling. The some of the characters from Fate/stay night (and one from Fate/Zero) are here and in similar roles, only there’s no Grail War for whatever reason in the Fate/kaleid universe. Rin is still Rin and Shiro is still Shiro, only why he was rescued and adopted by Kiritsugu is unknown since there was no Grail War to make him an orphan. The mahou shoujo elements actually end up fitting in fairly well into the Fate/stay night multi-verse.

Despite my disappointment with how the series ended, I am looking forward to seeing more of this world. Since a sequel is in the works, I plan to watch it. In the meantime, I’m going to read the manga, as I’m able.

AstroNerdBoy is the primary author of this test blog. His main blog is AstroNerdBoy's Anime & Manga Blog.

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