Illyasviel von Einzbern is an ordinary elementary school student who becomes a magical girl when the magical Kaleidostick Ruby deems her a more suitable master than the sorceress, Rin Tohsaka. Rin, who had been tasked by the wizard Zelretch to collect the seven Class Cards containing the spirits of Heroic Spirits from legend, finds that she is unable to change Ruby's mind and must supervise Illya in completing the task of collecting the Class Cards. During Illya's adventures, she receives a friend and rival in a girl named Miyu, the contracted master of the Kaleidostick Sapphire, which similarly abandoned its original master and Rin's rival, Luvia Edelfelt.
Have withstood magical girls and their self aware banter.
Yet, those viewers only care about the yuri scenes.
So as I pray... UNLIMITED LOLI TWERKS!
Fate/kaleid, the somewhat self aware, somewhat deconstructing, and fully bonerific and moeblob magical girl show, also known as Carnival Phantasm with only Fate characters and with... magical girls. I found this show to actually be more entertaining than Fate/Stay Night UBW, for even though it is as stupid and over the top as UBW, if
not more so, at least it's painfully aware. It's also... not for kids... that's for sure. Just like how Madoka Magica isn't for kids due to the darkness and dankness, Fate/kaleid isn't for kids because... there are jokes that you wouldn't associate with a kids show.
Oh, you thought that scene was just gonna be cute girls doing cute things, with their cute voices and their cute interactions? Too bad, here's a boner joke. You thought one of the cute lolis visiting their sick loli friend was heartwarming? Too bad, let's have one of the lolis try to sexually assault the other.
Fate/kaleid is bad, but it's so funny that it's good. The story itself is basically like every magical girl ever made, trying to capture the cards! If only Sakura Matou was a magical girl. CLAMP would probably sue Type Moon...
Fate/kaleid does, to some degree, deconstruct the magical girl genre. While it is nowhere near the depressing realization in YuYuYu, or the dark twist in Madoka Magica, it still deconstructs the expectations of what a magical girl is supposed to be. Whether it be through self aware magical girl jokes, or through character expectations of what being a magical girl is like, let's just say that this show isn't entirely rainbows and unicorns and yuri lolis.
Fate/kaleid is one of those shows where you should probably watch the rest of the Fate franchise to get the full experience. While this show does take place in a completely different setting, there are a lot of references to the Fate universe we all know and love. The concepts of classes and Noble Phantasms are still a thing, and to fully get the grasp of the situation, go watch the other shows first! You don't have to, but I recommend it.
And of course, there is the budget, the most famous aspect of the Fate series. Fate/kaleid is a spin off, and it isn't even by Ufotable, so how are the action scenes? Surprisingly, the action scenes are still incredibly high quality. Great choreography and special effects that can hold its own against Ufotable, Fate/kaleid has quite the thrilling battles. Fate/kaleid also has a very good soundtrack, as well as a catchy Fate-esque OP. The voice actresses for the lolis are just HHNNNGGGGGGG and yeah. Long story short, Fate/kaleid still boasts some surprisingly high production values.
And of course, the characters! The Fate characters are back, albeit with somewhat different personalities. Illya is a deredere moeblob loli who is actually an incredible comedic character, and she's got a maid fetish! What a gal. Miyu is a Fate/kaleid exclusive kuudere anti-social character who is... pretty generic, but hey, she's also a loli! And of course, you will find many of your favorite Fate characters back in action. TsundeRin is back in business, this time stealing the Cardcaptor Sakura position from her sister to become Illya's mentor, and you got Luvia, who you thought was going to be a Fate/kaleid exclusive, but spoiler alert, she isn't!! You will also see other familiar faces in the supporting cast, such as SHIROU THE HERO, back at being the good oni chan that he is. He doesn't say any stupid quotes in this season, but I heard he does later on, so looking forward to that. You got Iris, who is now a total milf, and her personality hasn't changed at all since Zero. There is even a personal favorite of mine, Fuji-nee, the best sensei ever! Also, the two magical sticks, Ruby and Sapphire, have A LOT of character! Don't take their stick appearance for granted! They have way more character than most modern anime characters these days.
Fate/kaleid is just even more fanservice for Fate fans. As someone who isn't a big Type Moon fan, I still found this spin off highly enjoyable. The fact that I enjoyed a magical girl spin off more than half the canon story line is... impressive, to say the least.
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya is one of those anime series where people may tends to look away just because for what it is. You know that saying that goes “don't judge a book by its cover?” Well, I guess some anime fans seems to do just the opposite of that and take the cover for granted. This is one of those anime series that might bring some disappointment at first especially to those loyal fans of the Type-Moon franchise. Series like Fate/Stay Night, Garden of Sinners, and a more recent example of Fate/Zero has a stance of that serious atmosphere going on. What does Fate/kaleid liner
Prisma☆Illya have? More than what you hoped for.
At any rate, this series is adapted from the manga of the same name written by Hiroshi Hinoyama. An important note is that the series takes place in an alternate set universe that serves as a spinoff of Fate/Stay Night. Therefore, do not be surprised if there are some familiar characters making their spotlights in this series.
As far as this series goes, the premise is pretty straight forward. Illyasviel von Einzbern is indeed the main protagonist of the story. (for the sake of my laziness and ease, she will be referred to as 'Illya') For those who are unfamiliar with her from the Type-Moon franchise, she is foster sister of Shiro. However, there is a difference between her character and Fate/Stay Night. In this series, she is shown as a cheerful young girl who grows up in a seemingly normal childhood with friends and joy. Oh but that all changes one day when she makes a contract and becomes a magical girl. Welcome to your new life, Illya.
Even before becoming a magical girl, we can see that Illya is already fascinated with the idea because of a popular anime she watches. In that anime, there are magical girls. But never did she ever thought the day she would actually become one herself. For fans of Illya from the original series, this would be a delight because we get to see her in a much different way. But for fans of the Type-Moon franchise itself, you might also get a surprise with the addition of some new characters. Oh and Rin makes her return too of course in this series with her tomboyish self.
As some fans might guess, this series does have a lot of fan service and some tasteless moments. These usually involves awkward moments mostly from Illya because of her naive personality. Furthermore, her character is designed with extra doses of moe. Illya's battle design stands out that also gives her a touch of magical girl atmosphere. In fact, she herself admits the outfit to be embarrassing. On the other hand, we have Miyu Edelfelt, a new character that also serves the serious role of a magical girl. Unlike Illya though, she seems to be much more serious and quite mature for someone her age. With both magical and academic talent, Miyu serves as a character that seemingly exists the opposite of Illya. She is like the perfect candidate for a magical girl while Illya lags behind as the second rate. Or does she....?
With the help of a talking magical kaleidostick (Magical Ruby), maybe Illya can overcome her lack of self-confidence. After the contract is being made though, the magical stick plays the role of more of a mentor. Of course, themes such as becoming a magical girl, training to gain experience, and fighting/capturing cards isn't new to the anime industry. About a decade ago, a popular classic known as Cardcaptor Sakura also adapts the theme of a normal girl whose one day's life changes forever after becoming a magical girl. Other series with similar themes such as Shugo Chara, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, PMMM, and the more recent Gen'ei o Kakeru Taiyō also shares similarities. The noticeable phase here is that Fate kaleid liner Prisma Illya plays around the idea constantly in both a cute and dangerous fashion.
If I had to use the word 'cute', this series would earn a 10/10 on that scale. But more than that though, the concept of collecting cards as a magical girl is indeed a serious role. There's no joking around because the enemies Illya and her friends face are dangerous. In fact, even around half way into the series, the girls' lives are put into danger when they face adversaries like they've never encountered before. Classic enemies from the Type-Moon franchise makes their appearances in alternate versions to present a challenge that really does put their lives in danger. In a series such as this, you might not take it serious at first. However, it is clear that the idea of collecting cards is a grim task at hand. On the comedy side, there's the love/hate rivalry between Rin and Luvia. Illya's behavior also might spawn a few face palm worthy moments because of her age and inexperience.
10 episodes. That's less than the average amount of a typical one core series. What that means is that the series may have to cut down some material or it won't have time to fit everything in. Luckily, the series is faithful with its adaptation. The only slight problem might be that the series doesn't have enough time to cover all the captures' every detail. This serves a double edge sword in a way. On one stance, 10 episodes could be rushed and leave out material fans want to see. But then again, the more detailed quality can bring out a more pleasurable experience. Oh and let's not forget there's still an OVA as well as specials.
The action is surprisingly fluid and presented quite well. I was surprised after seeing how this was adapted because of the amount of detail put into the actual fighting. The enemies are designed with a typical Type-Moon fashion but given a more dangerous look than fans might originally anticipate. In fact, a particular enemy that shows itself might bring out some shock to see how the character is presented differently in this series. The more important part though is that the action isn't parodied but rather as being serious. Illya's struggle at first shows her inexperience but there's development with her skills that is clearly evidenced later on. As for Miya, she shows her experience already as a magical girl but more importantly becomes both a friend and rival for Illya. As a foil to her character, the duo makes a formidable team along with those magical sticks.
As far as jokes goes though, I have to admit that some of it is a bit stale. Oh and the series doesn't try to avoid its fan service. There's the suggestive camera angles and skin being shown along with the loli expressions here and there. Some of the conversations between the girls and their peers also seems to be a bit forced in the comedy department. Even the first episode shows a bit of this along with cheesy dialogues. Among other factors, Shiro also doesn't seem to be an impressive character as his role is more of in the backgrounds. His denseness regarding his female friends and her own foster sister is also a bit frustrating to watch. By the way, he isn't even a main character. There's also some lewd jokes and misunderstandings here and there as well which should be expected.
The artwork isn't as impressive as I had hoped. Most of the coloring has a light tone but is covered with generic design. As mentioned before, Illya and Miyu are designed as magical girls and they really look like them. Their enemies are designed to give off a dangerous vibe although sometimes, I wonder what their real purpose is. The backgrounds are typical with a less-so realistic feeling to it. In fact, there's hardly any realism in this show. On the other hand, I do find that everything does fits within the concept of the series quite well, at least that much.
Color me surprised here but the OST is brilliant. Sound production met beyond my expectations especially in the action scenes. A particular battle in the later episodes gives off its intensity with the way it is presented. It has a balance of rock and techno that is pleasurable to hear. The OP song "starlog" by ChouCho also shows its strength with its choreography and some foreshadowing. Among the cast though, Mai Kadowaki gets a standing ovation for her performance. Returning as her role from Fate/Stay Night, the way her character stands out requires a more high pitch tone. I am quite grateful that she was able to pull the task off with brilliance.
Overall, don't entirely judge this series by its cover. Sure, it looks like just a typical magical girls series with cute girls doing cute things. But then when you look deeper into it, you might get a surprise. That surprise comes from the way it is both adapted and presented. I feel sorry for those who dropped this series from the first episode without giving it another shot. If you're a fan of Type-Moon's franchise, this should definitely be something to invest time into. Even if you're not fan of Illya, Rin, Shiro, or the others, it should be at least given a try for the first 3 episodes. Oh and there's nothing wrong with watching cute girly cartoons with magical girls.
Fate/Kaleid is something that happens when you take a seemingly stupid idea and turn it into something that's close to spectacular.
Now, before I get started, I just want to point something out; A lot of people disliked this series, or dropped it in the first few episodes because it's a Fate/ series... turned Magical Girl. I did the same. 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
Also, this series is a lot 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.
I love the Fate/ series, I love Fate/Zero and I love Fate/Stay Night. Now note that I have JUST finished this series, as in, I watched it after the announcements for a Fate/Stay Night remake by ufotable and a season 2 for Fate/Kaleid were made. Due to the Fate/Stay Night remake being announced, I saw this series more as an awesome bonus. It takes the Fate/ story line and looks at it through a different light; although a fairly obnoxious and/or ridiculous one, it has a lot more to offer than it seems. Also note that this series has NOTHING to do with the main Fate/ storyline, character relationships are different, the Holy Grail War doesn't exist as far as we know, and characters who are supposed to be dead, are now alive.
Now I'll start my actual review, and it may seem like I'm over-praising the series... if it does, I apologize because that was not my intention. This is my actual opinion. I watched this series with a perspective as it being a bonus series to add onto the already-amazing Fate/ universe, thus I won't judge it just because it's a "dumb" magical girl adaption of the Fate/ series like most people have.
The story is simple. Illyasviel Einsbern lives a normal Elementary-School life with her friends, and her "older brother" Shirou Emiya. Rin Tohsaka and a woman named Luvia were given the job of finding the remaining Class Cards, as they already own the Lancer and the Archer. The class cards reflect the 7 servant classes in the Fate/ series; Archer, Lancer, Saber, Rider, Assassin, Caster and Berserker. These cards are obtainable by entering a mirrored version of certain areas, (As in, another dimension) and fighting the "Alter", or the Dark versions of each servant. They use weapons that look like Magical Girl wands, each with a name, Ruby and Sapphire. They both talk and have personalities, too. These two wands believe they're abused by Rin and Luvia, so they decide to find new masters. Ruby flies off while Illya is taking a bath and happens to meet her. She then tricks Illya into a "contract" with her to become her new master. (Note: This is NOT a contract similar to Madoka Magica whereas she's forced to fight or else she'll die or something horrible will happen. It's just a contract to give her the title of master and to be able to use the wand's powers, that's all. She doesn't HAVE to fight and Ruby fully understands that.) Rin finds Illya, and tells her that since she stole her wand, she'll have to help her collect the class cards. Luvia does the same with a girl named Miyu. Thus begins their story.
Since the story is simple, it's portrayed/paced perfectly fine. There isn't much to explain, so it doesn't waste any time. Although, there are some fanservice-ish moments included, but that's to be expected of Silver Link's animations. They don't last long enough to really be a bother. The story becomes dark around episode 6 of the series, as Illya and Miyu go to collect the Caster card, an unexpected servant arrives causing trouble. The series delves into the horror and grief involved with being an elementary school girl and having to fight dark, demonic entities with a magic wand dressed as a magical girl. Illya shows true signs of terror, she realizes that, after she's cut and begins to bleed, that all of this is real, that she can actually be killed within these dimensions. Thus, she's psychologically unstable for certain amounts of time, and even refuses to talk to her friends when the time comes. The impact of her fighting really shows in her character development. Guilt from accidental attacks that could have injured her own friends is also an element, that you'd have to see to know what I mean. It does an alright job emotionally, and the dimensions are portrayed spectacularly.
To be honest, one of my favorite aspects of the story was the Dark versions of the servants. I have to say, Dark/Alter Saber is one of the most badass characters I have ever seen. She is brutal.
There is one thing that isn't really explained, unless you're a fan of the Fate/ series and you know the background behind Illya, and that's the source of her powers. That may or may not be explained in season 2, which I heard from someone that the story will only get darker.
What can I say? This is Silver Link, their animations have always been fantastic. Look at shows like Dusk Maiden, who's visuals are gorgeous. Also, compared to other anime these days, the fight scenes were top-grade. Actually, one of my new favorite anime fights of all time come directly from this series, and that's the fight with Alter Saber. You'll see what I mean. It's a stunning sight to see, and certainly came as a surprise. The art keeps the show suspenseful and intense. I'm hoping season 2 will be even better, I expect no less from Silver Link.
The music is phenomenal. It keeps fight scenes and other emotional scenes intense or it causes them to leave more of an impact. The soundtrack actually sounds like Fate/ music as well, which is a huge plus. I believe it even kept close to the original main theme of Fate/... but it's been so long since I've seen Fate/Stay Night I can't say for sure. The opening, too, is amazing. Great song, and great visuals to go along with it. The ending I didn't really care for because it was somewhat light-hearted and I wanted to see more, so I skipped the credits.
The characters are... they're alright. Nothing really worth mentioning. Ruby and Sapphire, the wands, have their own personalities which keep the show a little more lively considering their attitudes. Illya is, well, different. Nothing really worth describing. One of her friends at school, though, was entertaining even though she didn't have a lot of screentime. She was obnoxious and clueless but in a good, funny way. Other than that, the characters are fairly average but you can get attached if you weren't already from the previous Fate/ series.
This series was interesting. An extension to the Fate/ universe, and a very satisfying one at that. Especially considering there's going to be more, I'm even more pumped and happy that I saw this. It's underrated and misunderstood. Don't take it as an extension to the Fate/ story directly but an additional bonus to the universe. That way, it'll be more enjoyable. Watch it for what it is, don't watch it as a Fate/ series, in terms of the Holy Grail War.
I can't wait for the second season. Give the show a try, I promise it'll be a lot better than what it seems to be, especially if you don't compare it to anything and just watch it as it is.
On the outside, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya just seems to be a magical girl parody of the Fate series, and in many ways it is. Though, it manages to stand on its own with a story I can take seriously. The story starts off as a monster of the week show, but like any good magical girl show, it deviates from the formula. With focus on the internal conflict with Illya and external conflict with a new character Miyu. Though, I found the two conflicts to be cliche and predictable (Rehash of MGLN). The whole conflicts between rival magical girls and personal
motivation, has been done else where and done better. Although, thanks to the direction of Shin Oonuma, the drama and conflicts were actually enjoyable. With Oonuma directing many drama series before, he knows how to make the viewer care for what's actually happening on screen. I felt emotion for what was happening, whenever the show was being heartwarming, chilling, etc. And I have to give credit for that. Also, the throw backs to Fate lore was very much enjoyed and appreciated. Overall, while nothing new, the story was highly enjoyable.
CHARACTERS *This section contains spoilers*
The cast consists of mostly alternative versions of their Fate/ counterparts, with there only being two new characters. The magical stick sapphire, and its master Miyu. With Miyu being the only new character worth talking about. Miyu is that typical cold isolated girl you see in a lot of magical girl shows. And, she also goes through the typical development that comes with the cliche. Not saying that's a bad thing, it's just predictable. She grows from a cold person to our main character, then to a nice one. It's that simple. Speaking of our main character, we have Illya. Illya is a character from the original series, and is the only one that has a dramatic personality change. In Fate/Stay Night, she's a cold killer, but is somewhat mischievous to the people she trusts. In this show however, she's a normal girl. Illya a normal magical girl protagonist, but what also comes with this is the typical development. Like Miyu, Illya also goes through a typical magical girl character's development. She's been given a duty she knows nothing of, then she begins to doubt her position in that duty, but in the end she grows to be stronger to protect what she loves. Although, unlike Miyu, Illya's development was refreshing. Illya's internal conflict takes up a lot more time than the average magical girl protagonist. The show made an effort to give her internal conflict real meaning. Illya actually gets inner monologues on her how she really feels about the duty she has been given. And, while I've seen better magical girl protagonists, seeing things done this way was refreshing.
*End of spoilers*
As for the rest of the cast, none of them really get any development, but are just throw backs at the Type-Moon universe. They're most there for comedy relief, and they do their job. While the comedy isn't Carnival Phantasm funny, it got a few laughs out of me. All in all, with there only being 2 stand out characters, and both only having slightly above average development, the overall characters are passable.
Animated by Silver Link, the animation is pretty good. With decent use of lighting, the tone the art gives off is a fun lighthearted feeling, with dark undertones. The character designs of the original characters, stay faithful, but they have a bit more cartoon style than their original's. I also like Miyu's out of costume design, for some reason. Though, I notice the character designs aren't always consistent. There's a few times a character would go off model, although that can be forgiven. As for the actually animation, the regular scenes are standard fare. Though, the action scenes are particularly impressive. The movements are fluid, and combined with the really good directing, makes the action look even more impressive than Fate/Zero's. (Fate/Zero had crappy fight direction, in the first season at least.) Overall, while there were some small dips, the animation is well above average.
Composed by Tatsuya Katou, the music isn't standard magical girl music. The style is more of a mix between F/SN's and magical girl OSTs. This results in some calm slice of life music, and epic battle music. While the slice of life ones aren't anything special, the epic battle ones, are pretty good. I particularly like the Illya version of the EMIYA theme. It's probably my favorite version of it. (Maybe) As, for the OP and ED, I liked them, but I admit they weren't that special. Catchy and that's it.
As for the dub.... It was a a big meh. It's one of sentai's better dubs, but it's not that hard to be one of the "better" sentai dubs. While the acting is okay, the a few of the voices don't match the characters. Illya sounds too old in my opinion and Rin doesn't really have that charm to her voice. I kind of wish they went to bang zoom for this dub, but I understand that they wouldn't make as much of a profit on this show, compared to the F/SN UBW movie.
I've always liked Type-moon, particularly the Fate/ series. With Fate/Zero being my favorite anime. So, when Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya got announced, I was a bit "ehh" about it. I mean, Fate and magical girls? One part of me was expecting for it to be bad, and another was being optimistic. So, when it actually turned out to not half bad, I was honestly pleased. I seriously enjoyed Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, and I'm looking forward to where ever this sub-series will go in the future
The ultimate fantasy for any anime fan is the anime crossover. How cool would it be if one of your favorite anime characters teamed up with another one of your favorite characters to make animated magic? Very, indeed. Let's explore some of the most creative anime crossovers of all time.