Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya: Oath Made Under the Snow was a great watch and obligatory for any fan of the Fate/Prisma series.
The content of the film itself is quite specific however which makes it quite difficult to recommend to anyone who hasn't seen all 4 seasons of the Prisma anime. With that said, If you are a fan of the Fate/Stay Night/Zero series you may very well find this film quite enjoyable even without prior knowledge of the Prisma series. While the content of the film is a flashback arc of the third main series of Prisma, it effectively acts as a sort
of spinoff Shirou storyline, taking place in an alternate dimension which pulls from the Fate/Stay Night series, especially Heavens Feel. This may sound very complicated, but again, this is a very specific story and is definitely only able to be penetrated by those who have seen Prisma and those with a working knowledge of the Fate series.
The main reason I am specifying this is possibly enjoyed by those with a working knowledge of the Fate series but not necessarily Prisma is that many are turned off by the loli fan-service that plays a large role in the Prisma series. The animation, art and story line are all very strong in this film and there is just about zero fan service. Therefore, it can definitely be enjoyed by a larger audience.
If you are a follower of the Prisma series, you may be disappointed by the lack of fan-service but if you've read the manga, you'll know this is a very serious arc where Shirou takes up the role of protagonist. Along with that, Illya makes only the briefest of appearances and Kuro, not at all. For a series with such a heavy reliance on fan service and the girls , this could be seen a downside but the film really plays into its respectable and serious tone, I think to its benefit. I feel like They could have done a flash forward to the bathing scene that takes place immediately after this arc for a bit of fan-service but they instead take it full circle in a much more well done and respectable way. As a big fan of the fan-service this series offers, the restraint they show in this film is actually quite commendable.
The film itself very closely follows the source material with great animation and art all around. While I'm not quite sure if the film ever hits the heights of Illya vs Saber Alter from the first season, it does consistently pull off sequences on par with the other highlights of the series. I may have expected a bit too much since it is a film and they generally have much higher budgets, but Prisma fans are generally spoiled on the art and animation front , besides the most recent tv series which this definitely rises above and beyond by a mile.
One interesting addition is an extended montage of Shirou collecting the class cards after his fight with Shinji. My mouth was wide open this whole time due to the sheer unexpectedness of it, the great animation and many fun Easter eggs and references to other Fate series in the identities of the installers. It also came immediately after a great battle with Shinji and featured tons of great 2D animation, as opposed to the final battle with Angelica which relied on quite a bit of CG. It was still a fantastic battle , but because of this the montage really stood out and I loved it.
All in all, definitely check this film out if you follow the Prisma series (I'm sure you're already frothing at the mouth to view it) and even if you are just a Fate/Stay Night or Zero fan. I didn't focus on the earlier, slice of life moments much here. The first half could be seen as quite slow but they really beautifully build up Shirou and Miyu's relationship which causes the rest of the film to be that much more tragic. I went with my girlfriend who has no knowledge of the Fate series and even she really loved the nicer slice of life moments in the first half and was really endeared to the characters.
Oath Under the Snow is a prequel story that tells the origin of the character, Miyu and adds context to the overarching plot of the TV series, Fate/kaleid liner Prismy Illya 3rei!! It’s a prequel in the best sense of the term, taking a primary character—in this case, Miyu—and adding depth to them in a way that changes how you view them and their actions while never betraying the character that has already been established.
As Oath Under the Snow is a prequel story, viewers will already know how it ends. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any tension in the movie’s
climax. Quite the contrary. However, having seen the Prisma Illya series—in particular 3rei!!—and having seen how the state of the world in the series contrasts with how Oath Under the Snow begins, we already know right away from the start that tragedy is waiting throughout the movie, and the movie plays it to the hilt.
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: Oath Under Snow is an excellent watch and a must-watch for Fate fans (especially those that are following the actual Prisma Illya manga/anime). Before I continue, I will disclose the fact that I have been following the series (both manga & anime) and read the manga story-line the movie adapts so have this in mind when reading my review.
Having read the original story prior to watching (and loved it), I had high hopes for the story's adaptation into movie format. For the most part, the movie had adapted nearly every aspect of the story save for the actual framing device
of the story in the original source material and a few minor parts but those were not issues for me. As for the actual story, Oath Under Snow is the prequel to the events of the Prisma Illya series that tells the origins of Miyu (a main character in the aforementioned series) prior to her appearance in the actual series though the story's focus is placed on her brother, Shirou Emiya. There are some changes to certain parts of the story from the source material (with some key moments switched to other parts of the film) but I found that those changes benefited the movie in establishing certain facts (with some possibly being able to help fresh newcomers gain a grasp of the story - I can't say for certain on this point since as I've stated before, I am following the series). Overall, I give the story a 10 for how much I enjoyed this adaptation of a story I already loved.
Firstly, bear in mind that I am not the best judge for aesthetics so take what I say with a grain of salt: This is probably the film's only real weak point. For the most part, the art was good and the animation of an acceptable quality. While nothing compared to Ufotable's animation, I found the art of the film satisfying to watch.
EDIT: Upon retrospective, I would have to amend this part. The animation is not that great. The animation is not that great and definitely could be improved a lot. The direction of the main fights while good, are hampered by the film's animation. With that in mind, I'm changing the actual Art score to 6. It's fair, not great but not god awful either. I've seen god awful animation in other Fate anime and this film... is not that bad. Just not great for this arc.
I will have to split this part into two segments, voice and music. For voice, the voice actors pulled off amazing performances all around. Noriyaki Sugiyama especially pulls off an amazing performance as Shirou Emiya, hitting all the right notes and tones for the dialogue and monologues for his character. The only gripe I can come up with is that Kiritsugu (yes he is in this movie) comes across as lacking emotion at times but this is a negligible issue at best. As for music, it is fitting and great at setting up the tone & emotions for the scenes with a recurring Leitmotif that plays in appropriate moments in the story. The editing of the music was great as well. The best of the music in the film would have to be in the final battle of the film with every beat matching up with the scene to make for an amazing viewing experience. Even now, I still want to go back to watch the film again just to watch the climax again and see that amazing blend of visuals and music. Thus, I would give the sound a 10.
Part of why I enjoyed the story is due to Shirou Emiya's arc in this story. I will not go into detail on Shirou here to avoid spoilers but let me just say that Shirou's arc is well-portrayed and presented in the film with stellar voice acting as mentioned before. As for the rest, they do their parts well with the Ainsworth family being antagonists with heroic goals (though being cruel enough to make Shirou sympathetic despite the implications of his success). Sakura also appears in this film too with a great performance by Noriko Shitaya, hitting the right notes and tones for her character (I wound up liking Sakura quite a bit here which is a stark contrast with my indifference to her in the original series she is from). Overall, the characters are outstanding to me at least which is why I give a score of 10.
As someone following the manga and having read the original source material, this film was an outstanding experience for me from start to finish. As an adaptation, the film is great with key points and moments adapted well along with fitting voice acting and music throughout. I still recall sitting at the edge of my seat in sheer glee as scenes straight out of the manga are adapted into enjoyable spectacles (and as mentioned before, the film even adds on an original montage showcasing more of Shirou's battles). In the end, I was left thoroughly satisfied and happy to have seen the film in cinemas. I'll probably watch the film again in the near future. Overall, this gets a 10.
I enjoyed this film as a person following the original source material and its anime adaptation. Every element was done well enough to provide for a great experience that I want to relive through future re-watching. After the rather poor final episodes of 3rei during its original airing (though I hear the Blu-Ray versions are better), it is great to see Silver Link putting in such a good amount of effort to make such a satisfying final product.
EDIT: Now thinking about it, here's another definitive issue. Pacing. The film goes by fast.
Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma Illya - Sekka no Chikai
"was the most disappointing thing since my son" - Mr. Plinkett
I hoped for a solid manga adaptation with a decent quality... well a shame they couldn't give us the things which was expected from them.
Animation quality... they butchered it like they did in TV series and no, I didn't expect from them Ufotable's quality, just a decent one. Shots were derpy (who am I kidding... everything in this movie was derpy), I couldn't even tell the distance between characters cause of this shitty animation.
Fighting scenes? Battle with Angelica has such a "great" fighting sequence: Parry Flying
Swords > UOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH! > Spin > UOOOOOOOOOOH! > Parry Flying Swords that's all... (comparing this to manga fighting scene is quite insulting) SO AMAZING! Fok me even DEEN made this better (how bad it must be to even tell that DEEN made better Fate adaptation?).
If someone thinks they gave their best just compare this movie to the episode when Illya installed Archer's Card and fought Saber Alter. Just compare the quality of... like everything, animation quality, etc. (I dare you, I double dare you).
About adapting, they also made mistakes here. I was quite suprised that they cut some sentences from this movie which were very good (like calling Angelica cute in the middle of a fight) and they weren't so long anyway so what's the point? Also last part was rushed as hell...
Oh! but they gave us some additional fights! Screw this, tbh they were rushed anyway and the movie could easy went without them (also there wasn't anything in those fights just a fanservice).
The good thing is and trust me that was hard to find in that one: the music was ok I guess... Movie EMIYA theme was fine for me. Oh! and also promotional posters were fine.
In summary I'm sad because this arc in manga deserved way more better adaptation and this one just became a big piece of rushed trashy disappointment. If you want to earn as much money as any other studios, then put your god damn hearts into making a decent movie you jerks :/
This title should be Fate/Crap Liner Trashy Illya - Shitto Chikai
I don't recommend this one, better read the manga arc.