Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya Summer 2013 Series Review

Our main heroine! Illyasviel von Eisnbern

Note: This would be my very first anime review. Be gentle. There are spoilers included in this review.

Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya is a brand new setting in a similar but alternate universe with familiar faces in the Fate series. In the stead of Fate/Stay’s protagonist, Shiro Emiya, is his half sister Illyasviel von Einzbern who is originally a homunculus and does not survive at the end of the canon story. With the role switch (also because I am not familiar in-depth with the Fate visual novel nor the manga of this series), the holy grail war does not or has not occurred and Ilya has lived a peaceful and typical Japanese life up until she is bestowed upon by a magical wand contracting her with magical powers.

I don’t want to go too far in-depth with the differences between this series and the canon story too much but the first difference that stands out immediately is the tone and style. This show does a 180 degree flip going from a darker tone in Fate/Stay to a much lighter and happier one. Also, there is a noticeable change in art style due to being picked up by a different studio. As you would expect from a Mahou Shoujo series (aka Magical Girl), the main characters are children, or to be more precise, grade school girls with the exception of returning character Tosaka Rin and her rival Luviagelita Edelfelt. The noble phantasms make an epic appearance in this series to stay true to the franchise though turning the tables as being the main antagonists of the series. Seeing Saber in all her devastating glory actually had me sit up to not miss a single moment.

Saber's cameo appearance in Prisma Ilya

Ilya’s fight with corrupt Saber

Coming into the show, I either expected a similar feel to the previous Fate series or a completely twisted plot reminiscent of Madoka. I was very pleasantly greeted with this happy-go-lucky Ilya who wanted nothing more than to live a more interesting life. Ilya’s relationship with her maids and her brother Shiro portray Ilya as a very likeable protagonist with similarities to Sabrina from Sailor Moon as she is clumsy and slightly lazy.  Her cute personality and voice really fed the Moe-factor that every Mahou Shoujo fan loves but became quite wearing as the series progressed. With that said, as the plot began to reach climax, more emotional scenes played and the voice acting got a bit annoying to the extent of the scenes feeling forced.

Highlight of the series

Highlight of the series

There were many humorous scenes that kicked up a giggle. The lighthearted jokes and plenty of loli ecchi to shake a stick at added some interesting character bonding. I really enjoyed the interaction between the side characters including Ilya’s innocent reactions to the situations thrown at her. This series was more than refreshing and definitely worth watching. I anticipate watching the second season coming out early next year.

Despite not being a huge fan of the Fate series, this spin-off really piqued my interest as probably the more interesting series of the franchise and one of the top anime of the 2013 Summer season.

Kyubeys of the series.

Kyubeys of the series.

Art Style: 9/10

The change in art style with the switch between animation studios is apparent. Colors feel more robust and there is always a light glow. The cuteness was too much.

Animation: 7/10

Nice. A bit over the top use of CG but it seemed many of the fighting scenes required it.

Sound/Music: 9/10

Fate/kaleid had some of the best tracks of the season and no sound effect felt recycled except for the occasional sound effect that felt ripped from DanganRonpa

Voice Acting: 6/10

All the children’s voices.. Ilya’s squeaky innocent voice was accurate to her character but in certain emotional scenes it felt forced. Bickering between Rin and Luvia was done… pretty well.

Story/Plot: 8/10

Though feeling a bit rushed, the plot was outstanding while staying true to the Fate franchise. A few mahou shoujo cliches here and there but nothing to bring it down.

Enjoyable: 9/10

Very fun to watch! Ilya’s obsession for maid costumes was one of many little quirks that kept the show interesting.

Overall: 8/10

About Clooby
I am half Korean from my mother's side while the other half is a mix of Cherokee Indian and German I grew up in Seoul, Korea swimming competitively and playing Counter-Strike, Halo 3, and Call of Duty semi-professionally for cash prizes. My favorite anime series include FMA, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, Steins;Gate, and Gurren Lagann among others.

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