Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #11: The Breaking of Shiro Emiya

hisui_icon_4040_round At this point, I’m becoming firmly convinced the universe does not want these posts to come out on time. Ever since Otakon, I have been playing catch up. I finally got things back on track but then I could never gain any momentum on the episode ten post. I also got a tidal wave of work at my job so I could not use any of my free time there to fill in some gaps in needed. The fact that the Prisma Illya event in Fate/Grand Order was starting in full swing did not help me. But eventually, I buckled down and wrote that post. I realized the main problem was the longer I put off the post the harder it was to get moving.

Then I got sick the day episode 11 came out. Nothing more than a little summer cold but it really drained my energy. Then the episode itself was delayed. I’m writing this on Thursday so we shall see how much the curse holds up.

Either way, this is the penultimate episode of the season so I don’t have much more to go until I can rest for a bit.

It all seems set up to be the big fight between Shiro and Julian. The former Hero of Justice vs. the new dark holder of the title. With Chloe’s help, Shiro is able to defeat the seemingly unbeatable Angelica. But before he can throw down with the mastermind of the Ainsworth family a combination of a darkened kohai and Beatrice break him. With the standard hero of the series dying it is time for the titular character to step up to the plate and earn her place on the marquee.

At first, Illya is prepared for a brother and sister reunion until a big nasty reality slaps her in the face. This version of Shiro is Miyu’s big brother and not her’s therefore, he runs past her like a stranger. The reality that she is a stranger in this world could not be clearer than at this moment. This is Miyu’s world. A universe where she probably has never even existed.

Also, Ig-Alima has gone from a random item Card Gilgamesh pulled out during his initial fight in  2wei! to something that everyone and their mother unleashes the second they can get their hands on it. It is even pretty much the centerpiece for much of the fighting in this episode. It actually appeared enough to get to research the sword itself.

It makes sense this is one of the items in Gilgamesh’s vault. It is a fairly prominent piece of Sumerian lore. If you watched Symphogear you might recognize the name. It is both the name of a Sumerian god who is the child of Zababa and Ningirsu and it is also the name of a sword of Zababa. Like Enkidu and Ea, it is one of the items in his treasury that has an actual linked to his native mythology as opposed to some of the more esoteric items he pulls out.

This fight is a good bonding experience for Chloe and Shiro. Originally Chloe was the magical girl who was far better at using Installed cards than anyone else. She only had the Archer Card but she used it like a boss. As the series has gone on her growth has merely been linear whereas everyone else’s has been exponential. Therefore every time she has gone up against the Ainsworth dolls she has been less than effective. Here she seems to be picking up a good deal of techniques and applications regarding her card from Shiro. He has become an unexpected and unintentional instructor for her.

It seems that there is another character with the ability to install Heroes. Sadly while this character would normally be on Team Illya’s side this is not them at their best. Sakura is either dead and nothing more than a puppet for Julian or she is under his control like Rin and Luvia were. Technically it looks like she was killed in the flashback arc later on but it easily could be one of those “the injury was huge and bloody but not fatal” instances. It mostly comes down to how much the story cares to make everything have a happy ending or if the author wants some deaths to show real sacrifice.

Either way, Sakura is distinctly in her Dark mode. That means her jealousy, maliciousness, and cruelty are turned up to 11. Any love that she has for Shiro is twisted into a possessive and controlling maliciousness. Her love for him is as a trophy, not a human. Therefore she only needs his body and any other part of him is troublesome dead weight.

On top of that, she is fighting with the power of an installed Berserker Lancelot. That means his Knight of Honor makes Sakura insanely strong and able to turn any item in the area into a decent strength Noble Phantasm. It is quite telling that no one is actually able to beat her in this form. She trashes Shiro and wrecks Miyu outside of her Gilgamesh form. The only thing that gets her to go back to sleep is Julian worried she will trash his primary Holy Grail.

I have a feeling she will come up again. Not in this fight but in whatever comes after this. She has set herself up as a powerful miniboss.

Wow. That is ICE COLD Beatrice. I had to take a little time out to devote a little section here to the utter absolute zero reception Beatrice has for a defeated Angelica. It was never like they were BFFs, sisters, or lovers but you might assume they have some sort of cordial working relationship. Apparently, Beatrice is more than willing to let Angelica fall to her death in hopes that it might merely INCONVENIENCE any enemies of Julian.

Damn. That is icy.

Also, I don’t want to forget the Fastball Special the extra members of Team Illya use to save a falling Shiro. Usually, the Fastball Special only has two participants but it seems they needed Luvia and Bazett to railgun Rin fast and far enough to save Shiro. It is a very small and mainly inconsequential scene but I really liked it.

A completely unrelated but interesting thought also came into my head during this scene. If Takashi Takeuchi ever needed a theme song he could use Neil Young’s A Man Needs a Maid. Then I thought A Man Needs a Maid is a song from the album Harvest which is also the name of Shigekiyo Yangu’s Stand from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable. All because of seeing Rin in a maid outfit fly through the air. That is how my mind works.

Boy, Gilgamesh is even dangerous when he is just an Installed card. It seems like a great idea at first. When Miyu sees her brother in trouble she picks up the most powerful weapon around. The card Angelica dropped. But Magical Sapphire’s warning soon makes sense. Gilgamesh is not someone you casually control. Fate/Zero and Tokiomi Tohsaka proved that in spades. It quickly becomes so much trouble that Julian of all people has to put a stop to her rampage before the golden demigod overwrites her soul.

Also, that screenshot makes me wonder if they will ever make a Beast Class version of Gilgamesh in Fate/Grand Order. So far it is a Class only used by boss enemies but it would make an interesting class for someone like the King of Heroes.

Two things I want to mention here.

The first is that Enkidu continues to be broken. It could easily capture Beatrice since she is Installing the full God, Thor. She eventually breaks free but if Gilgamesh’s goal was not more focused on regaining his Class Card he could have easily dispatched her without a second thought.

The second is this is also another scene where Gil clearly knows more than he is saying but mostly acts as a form of taunting the reader more than anything else. It is clear that much of the true purpose of Julian’s plan, Erika’s true nature, and other secrets related to the Grail and this world are all very obvious to him but he refuses to share this knowledge with Illya’s team or the audience.

Now that he has his Class Card back he could probably either easily end this whole affair or at least be critically instrumental in Julian’s defeat. But now that his role is done the author has basically removed him as a full-fledged party member so there can still be a serious challenge past this point.

Now he probably will still give a little advice or maybe even a major helping hand past this point. He still has a bit of an allegiance to Illya and the others but his role as a temp NPC in the party mostly seems done.

It all looks hopeless. Shiro is so badly injured that he can’t even be moved and Rin’s healing magic is limited at best. The armies of Shadow Servants seem to unstoppable. Julian has gone untouched and Beatrice is still a powerhouse.  Miyu is even been recaptured.  But Illya is the main character for a reason. It is time for her to make a stand.

Plus a powered Tanaka is on her way as some calvary. The titular character has spent too much time just observing this episode. It is time for a Magical Girl counterattack.

I don’t usually spend too much time seeking out what people think of Primsa Illya’s episodes but it came to my attention through Fate/Grand Order talk that people were really down on this episode. In the end, it is not a bad episode. It is just very lackluster. They crammed in a whole slew of chapters to finish by the end of the season. Also, the animation is only OK most of the episode. It took me a bit to get decent shots for this episode since a lot of the frames are slightly off model. Also, the action is serviceable but never enthralling like it has been in the past.  It explains why this episode came out so late on Crunchyroll. I’m guessing this episode really fell behind on schedule and while they eventually got it out it does feel VERY rushed.

So I hope this episode gets cleaned up on the home video release. I don’t think they will make it the grand vision the fans had for this confrontation but hopefully, it will at least look a lot cleaner. Also, hopefully, the final episode will be the grand conclusion to the season that the fans need.

– 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
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
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #07: Illya Does a Fairly Good Beatrix Kiddo Impersonation
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #08: Are We the Baddies?
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #09: Puella Magi Illya Magica
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #10: Declaration of War
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