Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya

illya2The other forerunner in the Summer 2013 line-up, along with Day Break Illusion, is Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya.  Illyasviel von Einzbern is just another normal schoolgirl until a magic wand (Magical Ruby-chan) flies into her bathroom one night and quickly tricks her into becoming a magical girl. The majority of anime reviewers I’ve read favour this one over Day Break, but I find myself being of the opposite opionion.

There is something about Prisma Illya that I just didn’t gel with. At first I thought it was because I was unfamiliar with the franchise from which it had descended: the Fate series. However, I did enjoy the first few episodes without even realising that this was technically old characters in a supposed paralell universe. I thought it held itself well as a stand-alone media. Maybe it was all the fanservice? The whole ‘bathroom scene’ with her brother did make me a tad uncomfortable – especially given the general age of the participants, but I don’t think that was exactly it, either.

After a little thought, I came to a realisation: there was really nothing new on offer here. It would seem that all the aspects that make up this magical girl plot are taken from different animes and patched together. So far, there is nothing that I haven’t seen before. Card collecting: Cardcaptor Sakura, manipulative being granting powers: Puella Magi Madoka Magica. At least with Day Break old magical girl core references were used in new and interesting ways. I know that things aren’t going to stray too far from the Type-Moon franchise here, but since everything is set in a supposedly new world I would’ve thought that things would have gotten a little more creative.


However, Prisma Illya is not without its merits. The animation, particularly in the eyes of characters (it’s all in the eyes), is beautiful. This anime succeeds in being both lighthearted and rather dark, making a smooth transition between both. It is another magical girl anime going on a slightly darker path like Madoka, but ultimately it doesn’t forget its roots, and there is a good sprinkling of humour throughout to stop the balance from sliding into something where it wouldn’t fit as well. I also think logical cynic Miyu is a great counterpart for the flighty, optimistic Illyasviel. It’s new to see a magical girl that can barely believe that she is one, and pretty amusing when she discovers that she has the ability to fly if only she could ‘believe’. But believing humans can fly goes against all common sense, not to mention the laws of physics, so she lacks the natural talent that Illya displays here. I also thought it was great how she actually found away around this difficulty by transforming it into something that made sense to her.

With everything considered, I still want to watch this one and see where it goes. I’m interested in the characters, and want to see what happens to them. This anime did jump straight into action and has already set up a handful of interesting developments, especially now that the magical battles are kicking off and we’re really starting to see some character development, which there was a discerning lack of at the beginning (for all us Type-Moon virgins, anyway). In particular I want to see how these ‘card classes’ develop (hopefully into something just a little bit original). And also, I guess, I want to see more of the Type-Moon world. These kind of projects are set up in order to bring new fans to the fold, recreating themselves for new audiences, and I want to see if Prisma Illya opens up a new dimension for me in the animeverse.