Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei!! Episode 1: City Fading to Silver

The time has come.


Firstly, apologies for not getting this out on Wednesday. I was somewhat occupied (and by that, I mean I’ve been accidentally falling asleep earlier than I’d like to every night after coming home late from work). Rest assured, I haven’t forgotten about this. How could I? How could I possibly forget the ending to Herz? I still remember it like it was yesterday. Notwithstanding the weeks and weeks of filler, Silver Link decided to irrevocably tarnish the reputation of what was (up until then) an amazing adaptation by fucking up the ending, before revealing that it wasn’t even a necessary step to take because another season had already been confirmed. My fury was limitless.

3rei 1 Img005It’s been a year since then. All of us are now older, and hopefully wiser. And regardless of how deep a grudge you may or may not hold over Herz, it doesn’t change the fact that we’re in for yet another Illya-flavoured summer. Nor should you forget that this is, in theory at least, supposed to be the most delicious season of them all. For those who have somehow just stumbled upon this, Prisma Illya is sort of like Nanoha. It’s a magical girl series that isn’t. It would no longer be correct to call it a mere spin-off of the franchise it was derived from, although Prisma Illya hasn’t had the same meteoric rise that Nanoha has experienced in relation to its parent Triangle Heart. A new season has been airing every summer for the last three years, and the plot has developed such that it’s long been able to stand on its own two feet (it would have been able to match Nanoha in terms of how many seasons it’s had, if not for the fact that a new season of ViVid was announced yesterday). With 3rei! introducing characters that were not previously part of the Nasuverse canon, this will become more apparent than ever before. Prisma Illya has also created an unhealthy number of lolicons, not least of all because Illya, Kuro and Miyu engage in certain extremely lewd activities together on a regular basis. I sincerely hope that, despite the many dramatic plot twists and much darker plot-line that await us this season, Silver Link will still find time for more loli yuri twincest. Look at her! Isn’t she just too lewd? Why is she so perfect?

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3rei 1 Img022I’m sure I’ve said this in the past too, but 3rei! is on a whole different level to the rest of Prisma Illya thus far. It features a lot more suffering and angst than 2wei! or the first season did, and the scale of the plot is unimaginable. It’s a lot like the Heaven’s Feel route, actually. For an idea of what it’s like, think of the hype and tension from the fight against Gilgamesh in 2wei!. Multiply that out across an entire season, and you’ll get something comparable to 3rei!. In fact, the reason so many manga readers were angry with the anime-original ending to Herz was because the tension and adrenaline all throughout and in the aftermath of the Gilgamesh fight was lost entirely. Angelica and Beatrice, the new antagonists from the Ainsworth family, weren’t supposed to appear in the way they did this episode. In the manga, Illya never manages to take Miyu’s hand after defeating Gil. Ea has the power to tear apart dimensions, remember? Using Enuma Elish at full power is supposed to have ended up tearing a hole in space-time, allowing Angelica and Beatrice to cross over from the parallel world Miyu came from in order to retrieve her by force. It was supposed to be an incredible plot twist, because everyone expected a comfy and happy ending after the lolis overcame a terrible crisis – and instead, the sky split open, the suffering continued, and Illya was plunged into despair as she was sent to an unknown world, where it snowed in the middle of summer and she was all alone with no-one to rely on. It was an amazing, shocking ending, and it really set the scene for 3rei! and indicated to us the sort of manga it would be.

3rei 1 Img023That didn’t happen in Herz, of course. At this point we can only guess what sort of bizarre bureaucratic fuck-up enabled Silver Link to announce an adaptation of 3rei! while still having to create an anime-original ending. To them, the bigger issue was exactly how they were going to retcon their changes with the actual plot of the manga, and their solution was to have Angelica and Beatrice take advantage of what seemed like a random moment of dimensional instability long after Enuma Elish was activated whilst everyone who was present at the Gilgamesh fight coincidentally happened to be there (although the Ainsworths may have dimensional transfer magic of their own, which would explain how Miyu came to Illya’s world to begin with). This is, of course, far from perfect and riddled with canonical inconsistencies. After some thinking, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s probably the best and only feasible route to take, which in turn speaks volumes about how retarded a decision the ending to Herz was.

3rei 1 Img030I should probably stop ranting. I’m just hoping that the sheer hype from 3rei! will make me forget the sour taste in my mouth, because I won’t deny that a little bit of my excitement has been diminished from the bumpy road we’ve had to take to get here. I’m rather easily baited though, especially where lolis are involved, so hopefully it’ll be doable. Kuro in twintails will do wonders to my mood, I’m sure. Other positives include the animation and the fight choreography – the short exchange against Beatrice felt incredibly fluid, and I really liked both the animation this episode and the change to the animation style in general. In particular, that opening scene of Illya turning her head as the wind and snow blew around her was gorgeous. Just like Illya herself. I couldn’t stop staring at her face for some reason, and by that I mean I’m staring at her more than I usually do. I can’t quite describe it, but I think they now all have slightly longer faces? And it feels like a cross between the manga and ufotable’s character designs. It’s really nice.

3rei 1 Img036Asterism is also a thing of beauty – although it was rather odd for them to omit a certain young man entirely (especially as he’s in the preview for the next episode and appeared briefly in Wonder Stella last season when he shouldn’t have). ChouCho is doing god’s work, it’s not a coincidence that Asterism and Starlog are now my two favourite Prisma Illya OPs. Illyabear is super cute, and I’m now looking forward to both Saber Illya and Caster Illya, as well as the impending fight between Angelica and Gil (and every single Angelica fight in general, I’m a huge fan of both her and her way of using the Gilgamesh card). If you’re an anime-only viewer, you’re probably rather confused at this point – and sadly some of your questions will have to remain unanswered, as even the 3rei! manga has yet to end. A bit of inference and thinking will lead you to quite a few answers though, as all the foreshadowing surrounding Miyu thus far has been for this exact arc – they’ve already not-so-subtly hinted that Miyu is Illya’s alternate universe counterpart, in that she’s the embodiment of the Holy Grail over which a Holy Grail War is supposed to take place. From that, we can infer what role the Ainsworths have and what their goals are. Who exactly these new characters are (Angelica, Beatrice and Tanaka) will take a little longer to reveal, although background knowledge about the Einzberns and about the Nasuverse in general may be of help should you attempt to deduce things.

3rei 1 Img039That’s about all I wanted to say. As ever, I will be blogging this – it will be a total of 12 episodes as opposed to the usual 10, which will make for a longer season and thus more source material covered. Manga readers will notice that we’ve drifted off into anime-original material already, which made me panic for a good few minutes until I calmed myself down. I think it’s understandable – one of the greatest worries people had with the notion of a 3rei! anime adaptation was that there was no obvious stopping point where things would calm down like they did after the Bazett fight in 2wei! – until recently (when a certain major fight concluded in the manga) the general consensus was that there was no getting off the rollercoaster. In order for the anime to make it to that major fight, Silver Link will most likely be cutting out some early scenes in 3rei! – Beatrice never went looking for Illya in the manga, for example. It was Illya, Tanaka and Gil who sneaked into the Ainsworth mansion in an attempt to rescue Miyu. Now the fight’s been brought to Illya so things can progress at a faster pace. I’m not that happy about it, but it’s a justifiable decision at least. 3rei! has the potential to be really, really good, but so much (perhaps too much) is going to rely on Silver Link’s decision-making – which, as anyone will be able to tell you, can be flawed at the best of times.

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7 Responses

  1. Ryan says:

    let’s reminisce that shirou in this time also miyu verse shirou is not fluffy anymore..

    • Vantage says:

      Miyu!Shirou is my favourite Shirou. The only Shirous that can compare are probably Mind of Steel Shirou and true route Heaven’s Feel Shirou. The three have very different ideals, but they’re all really, really cool.

      [spoiler] We’re never going to get to his fight with Assassin Shinji and his enlightenment on the ideals of Unlimited Blade Works, but I’m indescribably hyped for his fight against Angelica, the face-off against Julian and Sakuralot cutting him down right as he’s about to end things.


      • Ryan says:

        it still going the flashback arc…

        and i think is enough for the cut in between is big battle in the crater..
        we will got enough doses of shirou in GAR moment

  2. John says:

    “Beatrice never went looking for Illya in the manga”

    Actually she did that right on the first chapter.

    I guess Silver Link will be trying to rush through the manga rather than using more anime-original scenes.

    • Vantage says:

      Holy shit, she did! It’s been ages since I’ve read 3rei!, I have zero recollection of that scene for some reason. In that case, I humbly take back what I said about Silver Link changing things at their leisure, that was unfounded.

      Which means the issue of them making it to around Chapter 30 or so is now a reopened can of worms. Maybe 12 episodes will suffice, but given how well everything except Herz has been paced, I’m worried about whether they’ll be able to maintain the same sort of quality.

  3. Yithar says:

    Yeah, I read your review on the final episode of Herz and I totally agree with it. It was just unnecessary. They pretty much wasted half this episode with filler because now they all had their happy ending and now they need a pretext to go back and I think it ruins the darkness of the show (although I do think the tsundere bit was sort of funny, because Miyu was all like “what?” and they were like “nothing!”). I mean, I do like slice of life, as that’s what Oregairu was about, but that’s not solely what Fate/kaleid is about. Which is why I disliked episodes 1-5 of Herz. The slice of life, as you stated, should be fit to go with the plot.

    What made me watch this series was a quote from a review on MAL.

    “When it was first airing, I dropped it, not because I didn’t think it was interesting, I just didn’t feel like watching it at the time. I, too, think that turning the Fate/ series into a Magical Girl series is a, well, stupid idea. I was wrong.
    Also, this series is [i]a lot[/i] darker than it seems, so do not judge a book by it’s cover, including a fair amount of blood and suggestive themes. It’s like Madoka Magica’s rating, though I find that this series is more mature in terms of content than that series is.”

    Hmm, yeah, I kind of agree it has the same sort of feeling as Heaven’s Feel. Fate and UBW have this sort of lighter happy feeling that in the end everything’s just going to work out [spoiler]and there’s only one correct choice to be made. But in HF a devastating choice has to be made.[/spoiler]

    I don’t know if you’ve watched/read Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn, but I think Illya being sent to another world can be compared to what happened in KHR. I think it has somewhat of the same feeling, although imo Fate/Kaleid was a bit darker with how they got into a different world in the first place. [spoiler]Reborn was hit with the 10 Year Bazooka, and Reborn’s pretty much the strongest hitman in that time period. But his 10 year self didn’t come back. Gokudera: “Tenth… Reborn-san did disappear because of the 10-year bazooka, and no one took his place, right?”…”He didn’t come ten years from now…This means, ten years from now, Reborn-san doesn’t exist.” And when he gets transported to the future. Tsuna: “Why am I in a coffin?”…Tsuna: “Y-You may not believe me, but I was accidentally hit by Lambo’s 10 Year Bazooka.” Gokudera (in a sad tone): “That’s right. We only have five minutes.” Gokudera then closes his eyes and makes a really distraught face. Tsuna’s thoughts: “Why has he been acting so serious? What’s happening in this world, ten years in the future?” Also, 20-year Lambo in the earlier Varia fight also pretty much foreshadows what happens and is referenced by Gokudera when they learned about parallel worlds after the Choice battle. “Meeting you again… It’s been such a long time.”[/spoiler]

    >their solution was to have Angelica and Beatrice take advantage of what seemed like a random moment of dimensional instability long after Enuma Elish was activated whilst everyone who was present at the Gilgamesh fight coincidentally happened to be there
    As I said, they needed some pretext to come back, and lo and behold, EVERYONE is there, just magically. Yeah, of course it was most logical given the retarded route the Herz ending took. It would lead to more inconsistencies without a pretext imo.

    Yeah, Asterism is a really nice song. I actually didn’t know its meaning until I looked it up in the dictionary. But imo the lyrics really fit what happens in the story, i.e. the bond between Illya and Miyu and their journey to save Miyu.

    Hmm, yeah, it’s understandable, being 12 episodes and whatnot. I don’t like it either. I preferred the way things developed in the manga. It just doesn’t have the same feel, you know?

    • Vantage says:

      I’ve never read Reborn, but I’ve heard good things about it. The way Illya was sent to a parallel world does sound darker, which makes the transition in the anime a real mood whiplash – the continuity between 2wei! and 3rei! was lost completely, and on top of that they let the hype sit stagnant for an entire year. Both the ending and Herz in general involved terrible decision-making, and as partial as I am to lolis I really can’t condone what they did with that season.

      Do always take MAL reviews with a pinch of salt (at best), but I’d definitely agree what you’ve quoted (although I thought the first season was far too interesting to drop at any point). The reason it works is precisely because 2wei! and 3rei! break away from being a by-the-book magical girl series, instead veering towards its own rendition of Nasuverse lore by formulating a plot around the Class Cards and the Holy Grail Wars. That, and the repeated instances of Illya, Kuro and Miyu sucking face for entire minutes of screen time while in various states of undress is probably the reason why Prisma Illya has been received so positively.

      Now that I know the lyrics, Asterism has become even more beautiful. I really hope we get to a certain climactic fight, it’s going to be awesome if we make it there. As for cutting out material, I think the most important exchange of the various early fights is Angelica vs Gil, as teased in the OP. So long as they do that well (and don’t cut out any Angelica fights in general) I can live with what they’ve done so far. Maybe a little less Illyabear would be good, I feel like that dragged out for quite a while in the manga.

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