Well that was slightly shorter than I expected but that might just be a case of the KISS principle in effect (and not that Illya and Miyu dance to Rock and Roll All Nite at the end.) The original Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya was fairly short so it’s probably better that they just let the series run only 10 episodes with a minimal amount of filler rather than trying to stretch 10 episodes into 13.
It reminds me of a time when people complained about filler for filler’s sake and unnecessary stalling for ongoing series. Anime fans were always asking for shorter seasons and breaks between them. Now that budgets have made it that series tend to be shorter and more often cut into multiple seasons with gaps in between I see more complaining about series being shorter.
I guess it just proves no matter which way you choose, you lose.
While Illya may have arrived just in the nick of time that does not mean Berserker is going down without a fight. You have to kill him 12 times for it to stick (unless you use some cheating weapon). But with all the cards collected can everyone go back to a life of peace, quiet, and bizarre sexual tension only now with magical powers? Or is another journey of the horizon?
Illya has arrived but she is not alone. Rin and Luvia are tagging along as well because their job is not done yet (if their job is bankrupting Rin.) Since Berserker is slow but powerful they are able to bind him in magical chains. I guess they got inspiration from Gilgamesh and Enkidu: Chains of Heaven. While it does not harm Berserker it does give Illya and Miyu some time to settle affairs before the final battle begins. Otherwise such talking would be impossible. The little break in the fighting allows Illya time to confess is was her naivete that gave way to fear and then eventually denial and cowardice. But Illya refuses to let her friend take the burdens of their shared responsibility any longer. So this time they will finally truly fight together as one.
I have to say I forgot who said it but someone noted it was nice to see Gae Bolg actually be effective in Fate/kaleid as opposed to being hampered by The Worf Effect for Fate/Stay Night. As a weapon whose effect is supposed to be a sure-fire kill that pierces the opponent’s heart by reversing cause and effect a good deal of people seem to have some way of avoiding it. It is like if you found the Unpenetrable Shield and All-piercing Spear but then discovered if your rubbed your nail on the part of the spear that said All-piercing it came off really easily. But Gae Bolg really seems effective in Fate/kaleid. It really is a one-hit-one-kill weapon. Those people don’t necessarily stay dead but the weapon never guaranteed that part.
Maybe Cú Chulainn could take some lessons from Miyu.
But even after the excellent tag team between Illya and Miyu it is clear that Berserker is going to have to be killed several more times before he will go down. And in despair it seems that for a second Miyu is going to continue to carry that weight while Illya just plays back up. But Illya smashes through her last layer of hesitation which allows them to do an awesome Saber related Wave Motion Gun of Excaliburs that completely cuts through Berserker’s remaining lives. Saber and Shiro used Caliburn: Golden Sword of the Victorious which cut through the God Hand despite the sword actually be weaker than Excalibur in general. Illya and Miyu on the other hand just created 9 Excaliburs with a double include to burn away his remaining lives. That is the power of teamwork.
This time I have two side notes. The first is actually not from me but in fact from twitter. SkeetStop from twitter noted that the background from the Double Include was the same one from Fate/Another score cover. You can see the comparison here. That was a good call.
Also that stained glass that appears comes from Fate/Hollow Fate/Hollow Ataraxia. Since I have not played the game I don’t know what its mean is beyond something that appears in the opening and on loading screens. I know a modified version of it appears in the Colosseum in Fate/Tiger Colosseum but that is a silly place (much like Camelot.) That stained glass is clearly a commonly used design in Type-Moon games.
And with that Berserker is defeated and the heroes bask in the afterglow of defeating all 7 classes. Well technically 5 classes. Someone else defeated the first 2 classes to get their cards. (I wonder who that could be?) But as they lazily sit on top a Fuyuki City skyscraper they trade a little banter until they notice that Luvia has been quiet for a while since she has stolen all the class cards and is about to escape in what appears to be a stealth helicopter. (It has to be a stealth helicopter since you never see or hear it until those blond spiral twin tails are already in the air.) But as Rin gives chase the two real heroes decide that they should turn in as they still have school to attend.
And it seems that Illya is a heavy sleeper as she rather unaware while having sexy sex dreams about Shiro. And just as she is getting to the good part it seems that she is not in fact kissing a pillow but Miyu who came to make sure she woke up after a night of heavy card fighting. (BTW this is actually the gag that starts the next part of the manga in the original.) This leads to some misunderstandings and perhaps awakened feelings.
But that too is just a part of the magical girl experience. If you thought fujoshi were bad you should see certain guys talk about magical girl shows.
But the importance of this ending sequence is seeing how Illya has finally gone back to being comfortable with being a magical girl or at least is less distraught about the experience to the point where she see the benefits again.
At the same we see the fall out of the shanghaied cards. Zelretch the Wizard Marshall is apparently smart enough to see through the BS surrounding his two potential students. So Lord El-Melloi II lays down the law for Rin and Luvia who now have to stay in Japan for another year before they can study under Zelretch.
All that destruction for naught.
When Illya and Miyu get to school the new dynamic of their friendship is clear to everyone. Miyu has one friend and that is Illya and Illya will only have one friend if Miyu has anything to say about it. Tatsuko can get her own friends. Man, Miyu is going to be one overly possessive girlfriend in the future.
Also no one loves Tatsuko Gakumazawa but we already knew that.
And so ends Illyasviel von Einzbern’s magical adventure. Sure, we never learned what Miyu strange back story is, what Kiritsugu and Irisviel were doing, or what is up with Illya’s locked powers were all about. But was any of that important anyway?
Oh wait. Who is this purple haired lady in a suit? She seems like some sort of super cool but underused lady from Fate/Hollow Ataraxia. But we only see her at the end of the series. So I guess she can go on the pile of unexplained questions.
Or it would be if there was not a second season on the horizon. So I guess I will see everyone again when that starts up. Until then we just have to wait and hope that this season gets us more of the Bazett merchandise we all deserve.