|Good battles, Some funny moments, Interesting alternate universe adventure, Doesn't have a ridiculous amount of fanservice||Strange changes in light of a sequel coming, Not everyone's cup of tea, Story not too deep|
There are just some series that you don’t know if they are going to be good or not. From first impressions Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya might not seem like a series that would work from first glance. A mahou shoujo series that takes characters from the Fate universe (which I assume most are a little familiar with) and mixes them up together. In the end though it actually works and turned into a good series. Honestly they still keep a ton of serious danger that you can get from the Fate series and really the main characters are thrown into quite a few life-threatening dangers pretty soon after everything gets underway.
While it’s definitely a magical girl series with action it does have a pretty lighthearted side at times. Illya’s magical stick Ruby has her own personality and it’s quite the personality XD. Within the first episode Ruby’s personality is pretty well defined. A very fun focused existence that has no problem playing tricks or making fun of others if it leads to some good times. Whether it is tricking Illya into doing things or taunting Rin, Ruby will make sure to stand out. While the series follows some tropes from the magical girl genre they make sure to make fun of them as they go anyways. Just an example of course since most of the cast get into the comedy at some point or another. Be it Rin and Luvia’s rivalry or Miyu’s overly serious and scientific perspective on things causing her trouble.
Have to give credit to Silver Link for animating a good series. You could only imagine the budget they sunk into one specific episode considering how amazing it was, but overall the quality was solid. It never reached a point where I had to stop and marvel in something done horribly wrong. The style of some characters like Shirou or even Rin is just being accurate to the manga that this series is adapted from. They do make the magic and the battles look pretty good which I wasn’t sure was going to happen since it wasn’t like the Fate/Zero production crew was behind this. So props to Silver Link and hopefully they can continue to do a good job with the second season already announced for this series. Anyways, the characters look fine and the action sequences are pretty fluid. For the moments that counted they really put in the effort.
Music was also a pretty strong category for the series. The slice of life moments between battles were nothing great, but they didn’t stand out as bad either. For the action sequences they did pull out some good music for the battles and for those unsettling moments when things might have gone bad. Also made some use of the opening track for a scene or two which actually worked out well.
The voice acting was strong and they had a good cast behind this. Characters like Illya, Rin, and Shirou all retain their voices from related Fate anime so there’s going to be no jarring change to deal with there. The characters specific to this series have good voices so I have no complaints there. Luvia has the rich girl laugh down pat and Ruby/Sapphire have good voices that reflect their characters well. Get a lot of fun with Illya’s VA since this is a chance to really expand Illya’s character and show a variety of aspects to her that you wouldn’t normally see.
The story is pretty easy to follow even if you are just familiar with magical girl series in general. Illya starts out as a semi-normal girl (aside from living with maids, a step-brother, and having parents traveling all over the place) and gets dragged into a serious situation getting turned into a magical girl in the process. What you’d get from the series summary is that there are Class Cards in these sorts of pocket dimensions located throughout Illya’s city. She and another girl need to capture these cards (the puns make themselves sometimes) and return them to Rin and Luvia who will then take them away from there. Of course capturing cards requires battles, blood, and potentially getting killed. All the fun stuff you could attach to being a magical girl…
In the end the series has some good draws to it. A few of the fights are especially fantastic and I like the idea of mixing up magical girls and the Fate Universe. Of course it has enough strengths even if you haven’t seen any of the Fate series.
Illya is a pretty fun main character. Someone that’s thrown into a crazy life or death situation when it wasn’t her idea. At the same time she has an interest in them and certainly has the kind of silly air-headed mindset perfect for the job. The other main character in the series is Miyu who is a much more serious type. Pretty talented, but also can be a bit restricted by her own knowledge. Not to mention isn’t the most social person in the world. The two of them are pretty good characters who get a little bit of growth in the short first season.
In the end this isn’t a very long first season to the series. It’s only 10 episodes which makes it good for marathoning and finding out if it’s the series for you. There is a second season announced though it’s still up in the air as to when it’s actually going to come out. The series has some good action, some good laughs, and the main characters are pretty likable. Really the only downsides are a few changes made from the source material which oddly enough were hints to the second season it got in the end. Perhaps the popularity was better than they expected and thus a second season was green-lighted right before the series ended.
If I am to talk about negatives they are that this series won’t appeal to everyone. If people are worried about loli fanservice there is some. It’s not prevalent throughout the series, but it’s there at a couple points in the series. Mostly just bath scenes of which there are a couple. Also there isn’t really any concrete romance going on here. A few hints in one direction, but also some hints as to how Illya feels in another direction. Nothing is set in stone which could be a positive or a negative.
It’s a fun series and worth checking out if you care for magical girl series, action, or the Fate series already released. In the end it depends a lot on what you are interested in. It’s not some super dark series, but it’s not all sunshine either. Things get serious when needed and it throws in some humor throughout as well. It feels like just the start of the character development for the main characters, but that makes sense since there is plenty of material ahead. Don’t think this kind of series is for everyone, but certainly worth looking into if it at all seems to be up your alley.
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