Let’s face it. It is a bit of karmic justice that Illya is the one who ends up with her soul stuffed in a doll. Fate/Stay Night Illya loved to throw people’s souls in various objects. Most of the time Shiro winds up with his soul smooshed into some doll if he gets captured by the Einzbern’s White Holy Grail. Mind you she also saves Shiro’s life with the same technique at the end of Heaven’s Feel but that is only when she is on her way out while being consumed by the Dress of Heaven. Illya’s always a little nicer when she is second away from death. There is a reason Fate/Stay Night’s Illya’s wresting name is Cutie Heel Bloomer.
Now magical girl Illya is a far kinder version of the character whose general methodology would not casually play with people’s essences for fun and profit. But much like Karna, she has to pay for the crimes of past lives despite the fact that she had done little to deserve such punishment in this timeline.
When it rains it pours. Illya has not only been captured by Erika and Angelica but her soul was thrown into a goofy doll since she could not be brainwashed. She learns to move her silly doll body but is captured by Beatrice. She finds Rin and Luvia but it turns out they are MUCH less resistant to mind control. And eventually she escapes to find Sapphire but it has yet to be seen if a Magical Doll is anywhere as effective as a magical girl.
This turns into a bit of a mystery for Illya’s crew. From the state of things, they know that Illya was taken as opposed to her running away. They can be fairly certain it was not Darius who took her because he would have no reason to be sneaky. He utterly trounced them so he could have easily taken her if he wanted to in the afternoon. It had to be someone who needed the cover of night to do their work.
As for how they got in through the security system, it turns out that Chekhov’s Cap of Invisibility has turned up but more by absence than prescience. Gilgamesh quickly realizes if someone who had to sneak in they would be greatly aided by using the Cap of Invisibility that was left behind then they fled their raid on the Ainsworth castle. That almost assuredly means someone who lives in the castle found the cap but they also a low-level goofadoof to use it. That just leaves the Small Lady of the castle as the culprit.
I guess when you have all the rational characters of the story put their heads together things can actually get solved. Soon Chloe will have a Tranquillizer Watch and Voice-Changing Bowtie in order to make it seem like Luvia is actually a Sherlock Holmes level detective.
The more I watch the anime the more I say I have come to admire Chloe as the glue who holds things together in the background. When I first read the manga she often seemed more like an excuse for Illya to make out with a tan version of herself. But the anime has made it very apparent that while Illya gets all the flashy moments to shine, as is proper for a magical girl heroine, Chloe is the one with all the little clutch saves in the background. Even when she blocks Beatrice’s strike from Mjölnir during the tactical retreat from the castle she mostly does it from the shadows. This time Chloe saves Illya by leaving a bunker in her mind left when she was manifest into her own existence. This bunker prevents Illya from just being reformatted by Angelica and lets her get a body that gives her a chance for escape. It is an unintentional save but a save none the less.
As the title of the post implies before Illya can do anything in the castle her first priority is getting her little doll body to move. This means she spends a good deal of her time just trying to move her toe like the Bride in Kill Bill: Volume 1. While this seems like an otherwise throw away scene in it actually a major thematic moment.
Through out the series the major obstacle it Illya’s path has been her lack of confidence in herself and her wavering conviction. Every time she has been defeated it was because she assumed she was going to lose after seeing an impressive display of power or feel into a mindset where she assumed someone else more suited to the task could take the banner. In the past someone has been there to kick her in the ass and get her to charge forward and visualize victory no matter how crazy that might seem. This time she gets that same revitalization from a memory of Ruby but it is only a memory and not anyone prompting her to remember that lesson. She summoned the power herself even if it was remembering when someone has aided to do the same in the past. It is one step closer to that actualization being whole internal.
If it was not already clear it should be obvious at this point that Illya becoming someone who can imagine herself a victorious against the Ainsworth family and WILL, and not maybe, save Miyu is the key to defeating Julian and freeing Miyu.
As I said before Illya gets no breaks in this episode. Any little advancement she makes is actually just a trap that lands her in an even more dangerous situation. Also a far more traumatizing event then nearly having her head torn off is seeing Beatrice’s mega creepy manic-depressive obsession with Julian. Apparently as outwardly sadistic as Ms. Flowerchild is she is utterly masochistic when it comes to the bedroom. S on the streets but M in the sheets.
The odd thing about writing these posts is that on a certain level I do feel like I’m writing into the void at points. I know there are some people reading these posts but I’m not 100% sure what their experience with the series is. What I’m really worried is that I occasionally spoil events in the manga because I just assume most of the readers have about the same level of familiarity with the material that I do or don’t care about spoilers. That said at this point I mostly write these for myself so spoilers HO!
It is interesting to see that Julian was actually introduced to manga reader with this scene. You expect Julian to come up as an offhanded comment in a SUPER SERIOUS scene or in some blink and you miss it picture or document. Instead, he is introduced in Beatrice’s weird scene that would be probably the prelude to some very sad masturbation had fate not intervened. Illya should be INCREDIBLY thankfully it did not get to that point. This scene was disturbing enough as it is. It easily would go into “roll on the Call of Cthulhu sanity loss chart” territory.
The anime has made it MUCH clearer that Darius is actually Julian with an illusion spell over himself. I thought they made this VERY clear but apparently from a quick look around most people just watching the anime have not picked up on that yet. It is interesting how so many people writing episode reviews of the show have never read the manga.
The fate of Rin and Luvia is revealed! Both of them getting captured and then turned into antagonistic maids really only continues their generally far less capable portrayals in Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya. Then again Rin and Luvia are always less effective whenever they are in the same room. Individually they are amazingly effective. It is just their competency is cut drastically when they are in each other’s gravitational pull. This comedic series just kicks up that fact up to 11.
By the way, does anyone know how competent Luvia is when she appears in the Lord El-Melloi II Case Files?
If nothing else they do add to the comedy of this scene due to the fact that they both utterly ruin Beatrice’s day. Also, they really expose what a sad lady she is when push comes to shove. On a certain level, it seems like this in partially just a scene to humanize Beatrice. Up until now, she has just come off as a murder crazy goth loli with thunder and lightning powers. A little peek under the hood makes her a bit more human.
As a side note, it is will be very amusing for Rin to realize that Luvia was forced to be a maid. It is sort of like realizing that your terrible boss has been demoted to your lowly position years after you left your job.
It is also worth noting that pain is what breaks the spell on Rin and Luvia. if you can’t see the comedic potential in that then you have been watching some other show this whole time.
Thankfully for Illya it seems that Rin and Luvia are not more effective when they are brainwashed otherwise she would end up a very unhappy talking rubbish when she gets thrown in the incinerator. This lets her meet the Queen of the Kingdom of rats in the Ainsworth castle: Magical Sapphire. Illya has hooked up with the Hisui voiced resistance within the castle. She even gets a transformation sequence. The main problem is if you have ever seen an episode of Precure where one of the girls in trapped in a mascot’s body you will know that it is about as far from an upgrade as you can get.
Next up is the dolls vs. “doll” battle. While Illya is disadvantaged due to being a body of a plushy but at the same time, Rin and Luvia don’t seem to have the best AI running them so it might actually be a fair fight.
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
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #04: Shonen Friendship and Softcore Porn
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #05: Dumb and Dumber
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #06: Attack of the Designer Knockoff Noble Phantasms