So … The Measure of Man. The Nature of a Hero: A Fate/Stay Night Panel could have gone … better. I finished the panel but the laptop chose not to work with the projector in panel room 6. Which is funny because the laptop worked fine with the projector in panel room 7 . That means that I forgot to record the audio for the panel. If you really wanted to know what the panel was like I will post the slides and my notes in this week’s Type-Moon Weekly News Roundup. To everyone who did attend the panel I hope you were able to get something out of my troubled lecture. Hopefully the next time I run that panel it won’t have another crazy problem.
This is the episode where the whole Kuro arc finally reaches it climax. We finally learn what is the whole deal with the mysterious other Illya, why this timeline is different from Fate/Stay Night Classic formula™, and who is the baddest mother in the Type-Moon universe. (Just talking about Irisviel.) But what does this all have to do with blocked ley lines and class cards?
Kuro and Miyu face off with the fate of Illya in their hands. But even Illya can’t stop their death match until an even higher priority target appears for Kuro: Irisviel. The thing is Irisviel is nobodies fool. So when the big reveals comes it seems like Kuro’s time on this earth might soon be up. Will anyone save the dark-skinned assassin? Can the inevitable save the miracle?
Miyu has mostly been sticking to the sidelines lately so it is interesting to see her step up to the challenge here. She goes with installing the Saber card since it might not be the best class in every situation when it comes to straight up brawling it is unbeatable when it comes to pure stats. It is the classic Fighter type. As the skirmish goes on it is clear that Kuro on the other hand is using the more Ranger like abilities of the Archer class to keep Miyu at bay. Every time Miyu boosts her speed, strength, or agility it seems Kuro can stay one step ahead of her. Even when Miyu tries to change her fighting style it just not enough to get though Kuro’s defenses.
In the end this is more of a fight between two people who don’t really have their heart in it. Miyu totally wishes to save Illya but she has no serious grudge against Kuro. Like Illya she really just wants to know what is causing Kuro to be so filled with rage. During the battle Kuro even taunts her with the fact that she knows Miyu fighting all out would be far more dangerous but she is pulling her punches even if she does not realize it. At the same time it is clear that Kuro has complete mastery of the Archer card. As the embodiment of the Hero of Wrought Iron Kuro could probably easily take down the clumsy Miyu. As we learn whenever Illya went into her berserker trance in the first season it was Kuro rising to the surface. Kuro wiped the floor with the Arturia Alter Automata™, who while not that clever, was a better Saber than Miyu. It is clear that Kuro could have killed Miyu when she caught her. What she really wants is to win over the dark-haired girl not snuff her out.
But this stalemate is broken by the arrival of Illya who confesses that she finally understands Kuro to a certain degree. She realizes her wish is an indirect rejection of Miyu and Kuro’s friendship. But Kuro screams while it is all fine and dandy that Illyahas had a breakthrough, and she is now on the right track now, she is still so far from understanding her pain. If Illya truly understood her anguish then Illya would understand why Kuro wants her dead. Illya’s mere existence means that Kuro must kill her. Ceterum censeo Illya esse delendam.
But before the right can really begin a new challenger enters the battlefield. It seems that Irisviel’s Magical Mega Mama Messenger™ went off and she races to the scene in her signature Mercedes-Benz 300SL. It seems that her driving has not improved any in this timeline so she still is like a mixture of Super Dave Osborne and Mr. Magoo. She tries to be another person to talk out the conflict between Illya and Kuro but it seems Irisviel is an unexpected element. While we see a brief look of affection from Kuro to Irisviel it quickly turns to a murderous hate. It seems the only person she might want to kill more than Illya is Irisviel. In fact her blows seems a bit more savage towards good old mom.
But while it seems at first that Irisviel is a delicate flower that needs to be pampered her Militant Motherly Monofilament Mittens of Malice™ unexpectedly tells Kuro that she needs a bit of a time out in the form of a concussion in retribution for attacking her mother. When Illya tries to question what is happening she gets bonked on the head as well. Miyu is smart enough to keep her mouth shut.
Because this is still Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA the big emotional scene that explains Illya’s birth secrets and Kuro’s angst and pain must occur in Luvia’s bathroom. Because. People wanted to see Irisviel in a towel. I can’t complain too much. She does look quite fetching in a towel.
Irisviel finally lays the truth out now that it is clear that she is majorly magical. It seems that in this timeline Kiritsugu and her decided that they would reject fighting in the 4th Holy Grail War and just run away with their child. To prevent the Einzbern family for coming for Illya and to giver their daughter a chance at a normal life they sealed away her magic. This inadvertently lead to the creation of Kuro inside of Illya. In many ways this explains why the Illya of this timeline is all full of CCS Hoe! and Kuro is more like the Illya we know and love. As it turns out if Illya gets her wish to be a normal girl once and for all that will destroy Kuro. Since Kuro is avatar of everything strange about Illya it also means that she must die for Illya to be truly normal. This explains once and for all Kuro’s hate.
As a side note this is now definitively another timeline for a Fate series that is still related to the main Fate series. Fate/Extra exists because some event in the timeline during the 70’s that wipes out magic and changes the world and the Holy Grail War (although the existence of Moon Cell probably changed lots of things before that point.) Fate/Apocrypha is based on a time line where the third Holy Grail War went down very differently. Fate/Grand Order apparently takes places on an even more divergent timeline. As a side note to the side note while there is nothing that really prevents Fate/strange fake from taking place during the original Fate/Stay Night timeline there is nothing that says that it does take place on that exact timeline as well.
Also it appears that a combination of factors have destroyed the rest of the Einzbern clan. I assume that Kiritsugu and Irisviel played at least a small part in that coming to pass. That is sort of bad ass.
And so with a mixture of anger and exhaustion Kuro begins to burn herself out. The only way she could have remained in the world is to get rid of the original Illya and that idea in of itself might have been nothing but a fantasy. Kuro was nothing more than a mirage like miracle created by a wish and unusual circumstances. As her prana runs out everyone watches as she fades away. But Illya refuses to let that happen. For the first time she willing gives Kuro some energy but it proves too little too late. The main damage has been done. In the last fight she ran too hot and burned out her candle. So Kuro begins fade away with a grim acceptance of her fate and regret for hating her family despite the fact that they never knew they were hurting her.
But Illya is a proper magical girl and refuses to give up until the end. She forces Kuro’s true wish from her.. It is not revenge, love, hate, to be accepted, or have a normal or magical life. It is merely to be her own person and live. With the true and pure wish finally out in the open both Illya and Kuro are on the same page and a Perfect Wish can finally be cast by the Holy Grail.
After the magic of Kuro and Illya is done it seems that Kuro is a real live girl with a stable existence that is not constantly in danger of disappearing. So Irisviel dumps the newly rechristened Chloe von Einzbern on the rest of the Einzbern family. Kuro is probably the most demure that we will ever see her as she enters the family. Shiro is being rightfully suspicious, Sella is merely put upon, and Leysritt see this all as a fascinating curiosity. Illya is happy but realizes that her soul fragment is just as attracted to Shiro as she is. Kuro might not be trying to kill her but the tranquil peace might not last long. The next episode preview makes it clear that Kuro is not Cure Beat. She does not become pure good once you befriend her. She just becomes the troublemaker not trying to kill you (as much.)
The thing is as I mentioned before the blocked ley lines of the area are still mysteriously clogged up and class cards are even more mysterious than before. It seems that Kuro had little to do with that all when the truth comes out. In fact her existence is more a byproduct of the mess than the cause. When what is still warping Fuyuki City reveal itself? (Whatever it is it will have to wait for classroom Iron Chef battles before then.)