Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #04: Shonen Friendship and Softcore Porn

hisui_icon_4040_round I had ALMOST forgot what type of show this could be. The fact that I was getting answers and the fights were ramping up it seemed like the show was catering to what I came to Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA for in the first place. In the back of my head, I knew the truth. I have read the manga. I know WHO is coming. But I figured I could power through this … rough patch to get to the good stuff again.

All the warning signs were there. The new Miyu The Beast figure being in the news should have been enough warning. I guess I just figured that the fan service levels would remain at 2wei Herz! levels. But I forgot that as the audience becomes more self-selecting with every season the series tends to head towards the extremes . It means that the action gets more intense every season but so does the debauchery.

It is sadly only going to get worse before it gets better.

Illya, Tanaka, and Gilgamesh have escaped but they have seen the enemy and it was disheartening, to say the least. Even after a strategy meeting and emergency ramen Illya is feeling utterly downtrodden. Chloe tries to motivate her doppelgänger with the classical shonen solution: a battle to the death! By the laws of shonen logic, the two are able to pour out their feelings and renew their convictions to save Miyu.

Also, Tanaka runs around in her underwear and there is some skinamax tribadism.

After being given a reprieve by Darius the two teams finally meet up but Illya quickly collapses after the tension has broken. When she awakes it is to discover that this universe’s version of her school is now the group’s temporary base as they try to figure out what to do next. Since it still has power, heat, and a decent amount of supplies it is a good place to rest.

Tanaka apparently has some Wolverine levels of regeneration because she nearly instantly healthy despite the damage she took fighting and being hit by the All-Crushing Hammer of the Thunder God. Tanaka would clearly be a serious threat if she had all of her memories but in her current condition, she is all potential but very little actualization.

I am beginning to wonder if Tanaka is going to be the ultimate solution to this conflict or a threat greater than the Ainsworth family when her memories return. Maybe both.

Since Rin is MIA the role of Master of Exposition role goes to the next most competent person. Preferably the person who has the strongest commitment to zettai ryouiki. With those requirements, Chloe is really the only person capable of taking over for Ms. Tohsaka. While Bazett is very serious she is a bit too  much of a meathead to be this universe’s version of Ciel-Sensei.  Also, Bazett never wears skirts so she does not have the required leg exposure to explain magical systems to everyone.

The most important event is not the actual lesson or the planning. Most of the lecture is a clarification of what has happened in the last three episodes more than new information. While Chloe clarifies what Servants Beatrice and Angelica are using that was already fairly obvious. Also, they don’t really come up with any big plan.

The big change is Bazett hands over her cards to Illya. That means she gains the power to use the Rider, Lancer, and Saber classes. These are some fairly powerful cards back in Illya’s deck to call upon. The Sword of Promised Victory alone is a huge firepower upgrade let alone the other Noble Phantasms and skills regained by this pooling of resources.

One quick point: Technically they have a VERY simple strategy to deal with Beatrice when she has installed the Thor card. While Mjölnir is insanely powerful it is tied to the  power of a god. Normally that only makes Beatrice only more dangerous it is actually a detriment in this case. Enkidu is actually more effective in proportion to the divinity of the target. While it works well on humans and it is practically inescapable by a demigod, therefore, it would be a death sentence for anyone channeling a full-fledged divine being. The second that the chains ensnared Beatrice her goose would be cooked. They would still have to deal with Angelica but that is a far more manageable affair.

It does seem like an oversight in favor of dramatic tension as Beatrice is supposed to be the enemy to tackle just before Darius so they can’t just easily beat her like a chump but  I figured it was still worth pointing out. I am a little surprised they have not thrown out some hand waving reasons of why they can’t just win that way.

I am amused that NO ONE is worried about the location of Rin and Luvia. I don’t think anyone expects a fevered manhunt for the bickering duo but maybe just a bit concern about the two missing mages.

You really can’t blame Illya for not wanting anything to do with Kotomine. There is no universe where associating with him leads to good things. Even Shirou Kotomine and Caren Hortensia are proof of this truism. The fact that he is serving “burn you on both ends” ramen is just a case of the poisonous snake having a coloring that tells everyone exactly what sort of snake it is.

The arrival of the tofu death bomb gives Illya an excuse to wander off and wallow in self-pity for a bit as well. Chloe sees what is actually going on and steps up in her role as the younger but wiser sister.

Bazett is clearly one of those characters who asks the questions everyone should ask when in such a situation. Unfortunately for her, while Gilgamesh knows at least part of the answers to all of her questions he mostly gives half answers in a way that would make a Vorlon or Aes Sedai very proud. There are no lies but all the half answers mostly tease greater truths more than show a path to enlightenment.

While he is very clearly is the opening this is the first time the audience gets to see Darius in the show proper even if it is from a distance. This also gives the audience a hint of his true nature even if in a round about way. Much like Gilgamesh’s responses this hint will mean much more in retrospect than it does now.

As always understanding is a three edged sword.

Chloe is not the sort of person who can just sit down for a heart to heart. She is a shonen rival in the most classic sense. The dark mirror of the hero who is fighting for the same goal in a slightly twisted manner. They may be weaker in the end but they have a brutal clarity that lets them see certain truths the protagonist cannot see at first. They always pass these revelations in combat with the hero as a way of not only training their body with more techniques but more importantly enhancing their spirit with wisdom. This is a trope that magical girl shows like to borrow as well.

If nothing else this fight lets everyone see some of the lesser Class Cards. Sadly Illya only has 3 and 4 star Fate/Grand Order heroes. Even her Artoria Pendragon is only her 4 star Saber Lily version. If Illya has an Okita Souji Saber Card this would be all over.

Some quick notes about the fight. First, it is interesting to see Chloe use some Black Keys in the fight. They don’t do much but they have just become more and more common in Type-Moon properties to the point of almost becoming an iconic piece of weaponry. Second is that all of these class cards are clearly Chekhov’s Servants. One of the purposes of this fight is to remind the audience what these cards can do after not seeing them for a while. This way when they act as trumps later on it was telegraphed in advance. Thirdly it shows how far both girls have come since they started. While Illya wins the fight, in the end, it is clear that Chole has grown even being able to use Excalibur Image which is no small feat.

There is a reason I used a Bakemonogatari screen shot here. It is very apropos for the scene I am mostly skipping over. Let’s just say Chloe gets some mana from Illya. There have been some gratuitous scenes before this point but this one generally seems to test the boundaries of what the show can get away with.

Stuff happens here. Chloe is rejuvenated through METHODS. If you want the details on that the rest of the web will gladly indulge you.

Chole’s real mission here is to reinvigorate the flame within Illya. While Illya has grown enough that she no longer just runs away whenever things start going south she is clearly not able to muster 100% after seeing the power of the Ainsworth family. Chole is able to remind Illya of what Miyu has gone through, survived, and even triumphed over.  Many of her triumphs were on her own but her greatest accomplishment was with the support of others. If Illya can stay strong then she can pull they best out of her allies as well as herself.

So very shonen.

Oh right. Next up is the introduction of the  Chibiusa of Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA in the next episode. If you thought that Illya and Chloe were pushing boundaries then you have not seen anything yet. 

At least the is some skin from Bazett to even it all out.

– Alain


My reviews of previous episodes:

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #01: Tanaka-kun is Always Clueless
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #02: Tactical Espionage Action
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #03: The Bay of Pigs Invasion
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