The Summer 2014 Anime Preview Guide
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 2wei!
Rating: 3 (of 5)
Review: After taking nine months off this magical girl spin-off of the Fate/ franchise is finally back. Events pick up two weeks after the securing of the Berserker card seemed to solve the main plot line at the end of the previous season, and indeed those couple of weeks have been placid ones for Ilya and Miyu. Ilya is still a bit worried about what happened to her during the battle with Saber, but Miyu has started to open up a bit and everyone is getting excited about an upcoming trip to the beach so things are cool – until they are literally yanked off of the street by Luvie's limo. It seems that their task for Rin and Luvie as magical girls is not done, as recovering the cards did not entirely solve the ley line problem; they still have to be unplugged. When the quartet go out to actually do it, complications arise, leading to Ilya's transformation manifesting again – but this time an even more bizarre side effect occurs.
And boy, that last scene is one heck of a cliffhanger, though based on the closer (which will apparently be the regular opener?) it's also the focal point gimmick of the entire season. Beyond that, though, the first episode serves up healthy doses of most of what made the first season a success: a heavy load of cute, the budding relationship between Ilya and Miyu, the sometimes-screwball comedy (the way Rin and Luvie continue to squabble through Miyu and Ilya's transformation sequence while needing to be rescued is an inspired moment), the occasional guest appearance by figures from the rest of the Fate/ storyline, and a more heavily dramatic turn when needed accompanied by an impressive display of magic. Ilya's Archer transformation is even back, too, although in a less jaw-droppingly-impressive form than before. Once again the animation also steps up in the one true action scene and the musical support is strong. And yes, the series still flirts a bit with loli trappings, too.
If you haven't seen the first season yet then this is a bad place to jump on board, even though a brief recap of the first season is provided. While nothing here terribly impresses beyond the cliffhanger, neither should anything here discourage established fans from getting firmly locked in for watching this season, too.
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Ilya 2wei is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
The surprisingly enjoyable Fate/Stay Night spinoff about Illya as a magical girl is back in a season just full of magical girls. What does this one have to offer that the others don't? Well, for a start, you do have to have seen the first season. While there is a small amount of summing up of the previous season – with the biggest surprise being how little time has passed – you are generally expected to know all of the characters and the events of the past. This is mostly important in terms of character relationships. This episode has a pretty significant yuri content for a show about elementary schoolers, and Miyu very clearly has a major crush on her magical girl partner. Illya doesn't appear to notice it, making one scene involving ice cream amusing.
The magical girl part of the show doesn't come in until almost the end. Rin and Luvia show up (mercifully not nearly as at war with each other as last season) and snatch Illya and Miyu off the street to take them to a spot that needs magical inspection. The girls end up transforming to save their elders from a bog that they bumble into before Illya goes into fighting mode. The episode ends one what turns out to be a pretty good hook for a second season that's different enough from the first while still drawing on one of the major attractions of it to make it worth watching.
While most of the episode is light and humorous (I love Miyu trying to pull Luvia out of the bog by her hair), the ending has some interesting implications for later on. Miyu and Illya are now transforming together, which makes for some very pretty imagery, and Illya's transformation sequence specifically is very graceful. An attempt has been made to make the best of the ugly Fate/Stay Night school uniforms, and if magical orbs Ruby and Sapphire don't do much besides flit around, their voices are still a whole lot of fun. Ruby the dirty old man is a little toned down, but some of Sapphire's lines are pretty great. Basically Prisma Illya 2wei manages to take what worked in the first season, tone down what didn't, and elaborate on other things to make its first episode promise some interesting things to come. It takes a while to get going, but hopefully it will jump right in to the intrigue in its second episode and be an enjoyable sequel to a fun first season.
Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya 2wei! is available streaming on Crunchyroll.
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