Don’t worry! I know everyone is worried that I would not do an episode review for the Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya OVA and specials. I have been inundated with emails, tweets, instant messages, hand written letters, telegraphs, candy-grams, and sky writing campaigns to cover these vital and game changing pieces of the Type-Moon universe by my legions of adoring fans. As a magnanimous hero of the hoi polloi I will answer your fickle demands with grace and wisdom.
(No one has even remotely commented on this fact. In fact the only reason I remember these existed was I was randomly looking for the Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya opening and saw someone uploaded one of the specials to YouTube. Then the existence of all these extra animated episodes came back to me. I then figured I should talk about them before 2wei! starts airing. Also I am fairly certain I don’t have anything even remotely approaching an adoring fan.)
These episodes were all pack-ins with various Fate/kaleid items. The specials were BD disc extras and the OVA was bundled with the manga. Sadly none of them have been picked up by Crunchyroll yet so I sort of forgot about them. If anything that clearly shows the power of Crunchyroll’s excellent anti-piracy model. In the old days I would have carefully monitored torrent sites for the release of the specials. Now I am so used to the ease that Crunchyroll provides I don’t ever look on torrent sites for anything but a very small niche of anime. Good job Crunchyroll. That is the way to do it.
Now pick up Pretty Cure so I never have to regularly look at a torrent site again.
But on to the far less wholesome magical girl show.
Is there anything that screams silly OVA quite like a school athletics festival? (Other than a trip to the beach? Which is the setting of a main plot point.) But this is not your usual class vs. class battle. It seems like poor hapless Taiga Fujimura’s virtue is on the line and only Illyasviel and her friends can save their teacher from being a “meat slave.” The only problem is one of the most critical events is the concluding dance competition. Everyone is primed to do well. Even that useless sack of hammers Tatsuko Gakumazawa is able to contribute. The problem is the little robot Miyu dances like Elaine Benes on a bender. Can they teach Miyu how to get her groove back or will all those non-con Taiga fanfics come to fruition?
The specials on the other hand are short little adaptations of the omake chapters from the manga. They mostly seem centered on Sella and Leysritt in various states on undress. No mater what the plot is about. This is unsurprising (and not entirely unwelcome).
Let us be very clear. In a series that is all ready fan service fluff with some small portions of good action (much like one of those juice boxes that PROUDLY claims to ave 10% real fruit) these little episodes just indulge in full hedonistic depravity. Take the OVA for instance. Most of the time it looks decent for a pack in OVA. Nothing spectacular. Pretty much just on par with the TV series. But whenever anyone adjusts their gym shorts you can feel the animation budget jump for a quarter of a second. As for the specials I think Sella spends more time in her underwear in episode five then she appears in all of the original Fate/Stay Night novel.
It is not that there is no humor. Tatsuko Gakumazawa mostly steals the episodes as the biggest chucklehead in a cast of blue catfish. There is a lot of her normal running around like a chicken with its head cut off as well as her bizarro logic. There is even a rather extended Michael Jackson reference that sort of hovers around the episode after its first big unveiling. But is is mostly about bloomers.
Apparently Tonami Kugamine makes a guest appearance as the other teacher that makes this bet with Taiga. Of all the Tsukihime characters to make a cameo in Fate/kaleid I can’t say that he would be on the top of my list. I know Fate/kaleid is where second banana Fate characters go to get some screen time but this is a C-list Tsukihime character. But I suppose if you needed a sexual harassment teacher he is a good go-to guy.
But you can tell that the key scene is always supposed to be the big dance number at the end of the episode. They very deliberately tease the audience without actually letting you see what the dance moves look like. Until the pay off at the end the camera is often placed so you know the girls are dancing but you can’t see what they are doing. It is actually a clever bit of direction actually gives what should be an otherwise inconsequential scene an actual palpable build up for what would otherwise just be the Haruhi ending with Fate characters.
Also technically Miyu does not really learn a lesson from this. She never actually figures out the joy of dance. She just cheat codes her victory using Magical Sapphire. I suppose they can’t have her change too much and retroactively introduce growth that is supposed to happen in 2wei! Then again it is merely her learning to dance well not her learning to love again.
The second short is just a long joke about Ilya having the hots for Shiro joke framed around an extended Who Wants to Be a Millionaire skit. I have to say they are fairly committed to extending out a single question in many of the same way the actual show does. Thankfully the short is only three and a half minutes.
The third special is basically just Sella trying to lose weight. Also Shiro gets hit a lot. The title of the episode might as well be “Sella Runs Around in a Towel + Other Inconsequential Events.”
The fourth episode is another day in the life of the ongoing Rin vs. Luvia conflict. In this case Rin runs to Ilya’s house after she can’t take any more of being Luvia’s maid and brains her with a vase. It is mostly just proof they are both sort of horrible toward each other.
The last story is pimp mama Irisviel making her maids play strip LIFE. This mostly is just an excuse to have Sella and Leysritt slowly lose all of their clothing. Also Shiro gets hit a lot. I think a smart person might see a trend here.
Overall these are pretty much what you would expect for extra episodes on a show that is always fairly insubstantial as it is. If anything the OVA does tip toe closer to the already pretty sketchy line this show is always dancing on. I actually think that the aired TV does some worse gags. And the manga has this page. So in a way I’m not sure the line is even visible at this point. At this point if you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound. This is all really just killing time for them to introduce the real hero of the show anyway.
I actually had this all written up as it was. There was only one thing I did not see. Special number one. I could not find it on YouTube so I just figured I would watch it before I got my screne shots and sneak in a few lines about what I though of it before the other specials. After just watching it I now know why it was not with the rest.
There are some things that cannot be unseen. Special #1 is one of those things. It has no nudity. It has no intercourse. But it is one step up from one of those hug pillows that is technically not pornography but is not in any way safe for work. You know what I’m talking about. So scratch my conclusion. If you watch these you are one step closer to throwing away what was left of your already dwindling humanity.
And now you know.