Thursday, October 24, 2013

Anime Review: Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya

FATE/KALEID LINER PRISMA ILLYA: It’s fun to see the Fate characters in an entirely different story

Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya is an alternate universe spin-off of the Fate franchise. It features Illyasviel von Einzbern as a typical middle school student. Well, that seems to be the case, until a Kaleidostick chooses her as its new master, because its old master, Tohsaka Rin, has some attitude problems. Now that Illya has become a magical girl, she is tasked to collect the seven Class cards to return them to the wizard Zelretch, and Tohsaka Rin has no choice but to serve as her mentor.

I really appreciate how this anime has reconstructed the Fate universe in a way that would make it suitable for a Mahou Shoujo story, and how it utilized younger versions of characters from Fate/Stay Night to strengthen the magical impression. But looking at the story at a technical perspective, there’s not much to it. It’s just about Illya going around hunting for the Class cards. There are no subtle, interweaving plot points. It is very direct -- well, at least in the first four or five episodes.

The story does have its turns, and this is obvious in the second half of the series. I like how the second half has given room to add emotion to the plot. At this point, it is not just about Illya defeating one Class card to the next monotonously. The characters have also opened for character development.

Speaking of the characters, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya has interesting ones. They’re not complicated enough to deserve complex psychological analyses and such, but they are very fun characters with little conflicts in their heads to keep things interesting enough. A good example of this is Miyu, and how she cannot fly because she is too theoretical and lacking in imagination. This has been contradicted to Illya’s imaginative personality, which makes it quite easy for her to use magic. Rin, Luvia, and the talking Kaleidosticks are also very interesting. Their interactions and conflicts are nothing complicated and deep, but they sure are entertaining to see.

The music is nothing special, but it does deliver in communicating the emotions that the scenes require. As for the animation, there are certain sequences that look marvellous, particularly in the fighting sequences, but nothing too fancy that you could call groundbreaking -- just enough to deliver.

This anime is very entertaining, even though the plotline doesn’t have that much threads to weave. The genuinely comedic dialogue and actions help to counterbalance this flaw. However, I admit that there are more other flaws in the plot. There are instances that seem to be too random that they felt like a cop-out, like how Illya suddenly transforms into Archer and uses Excalibur.

Illya as Archer

But that’s alright, I wasn’t expecting a complicated story anyway. The fact that I see the Fate characters once again, even though not in the way they were in the original series, is a joy in itself.

But there are subtle hints in the ending that the Fate/Stay Night characters are not just the only characters that I’ll see in the next season. It appears that characters from Fate/Zero will be featured as well. I could be wrong, but I hope I’m not. Overall, I really enjoyed Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya. Seeing the characters from the Fate franchise interacting in an entirely different story is really entertaining, and sometimes even comedic. I’ll definitely watch the next seasons of this anime.

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  1. >There are instances that seem to be too random that they felt like a cop-out, like how Illya suddenly transforms into Archer and uses Excalibur.

    I think the manga explains things more, or at least, that's the impression I get from those who've read it. I need to read the manga to get the full picture.

    1. Ah, I see. I don't read manga so I had no idea. I review anime titles as stand-alone projects. That's good to know -- that it's not a cop-out.