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The premise is pretty straight forward. Illyasviel von Einzbern is indeed the main protagonist of the story. For those who are unfamiliar with her from the Type-Moon franchise, she is a foster-sister of Shiro. However, there is a difference between her character and Fate/Stay Night. In this series, she is shown as a cheerful young girl who grows up in a seemingly normal childhood with friends and joy. Oh but that all changes one day when she makes a contract and becomes a magical girl. Welcome to your new life, Illya.
Even before becoming a magical girl, we can see that Illya is already fascinated with the idea because of a popular anime she watches. In that anime, there are magical girls. But never did she ever thought the day she would actually become one herself. For fans of Illya from the original series, this would be a delight because we get to see her in a much different way. But for fans of the Type-Moon franchise itself, you might also get a surprise with the addition of some new characters. Oh and Rin makes her return too of course in this series with her tomboyish self.
As some fans might guess, this series does have a lot of fan service and some tasteless moments. These usually involve awkward moments mostly from Illya because of her naive personality. Furthermore, her character is designed with extra doses of moe. Illya’s battle design stands out that also gives her a touch of magical girl atmosphere. In fact, she herself admits the outfit to be embarrassing. On the other hand, we have Miyu Edelfelt, a new character that also serves the serious role of a magical girl. Unlike Illya though, she seems to be much more serious and quite mature for someone her age. With both magical and academic talent, Miyu serves as a character that seemingly exists the opposite of Illya. She is like the perfect candidate for a magical girl while Illya lags behind as the second-rate.
With the help of a talking magical kaleidostick (Magical Ruby), maybe Illya can overcome her lack of self-confidence. After the contract is being made though, the magical stick plays the role of more of a mentor. Of course, themes such as becoming a magical girl, training to gain experience, and fighting/capturing cards isn’t new to the anime industry. About a decade ago, a popular classic is known as Cardcaptor Sakura also adapts the theme of a normal girl whose one day’s life changes forever after becoming a magical girl. Other series with similar themes such as Shugo Chara, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, PMMM, and the more recent Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyō also share similarities. The noticeable phase here is that Fate kaleid liner Prisma Illya plays around the idea constantly in both a cute and dangerous fashion.
This Anime aired for a total of 10 episodes. That’s less than the average amount of a typical one core series. What that means is that the series may have to cut down some material or it won’t have time to fit everything in. Luckily, the series is faithful with its adaptation. The only slight problem might be that the series doesn’t have enough time to cover all the captures’ every detail. This serves a double edge sword in a way. On one stance, 10 episodes could be rushed and leave out material fans want to see. But then again, the more detailed quality can bring out a more pleasurable experience. Oh and let’s not forget there’s still an OVA as well as specials.
The action is surprisingly fluid and presented quite well. I was surprised after seeing how this was adapted because of the amount of detail put into the actual fighting. The enemies are designed with a typical Type-Moon fashion but given a more dangerous look than fans might originally anticipate. In fact, a particular enemy that shows itself might bring out some shock to see how the character is presented differently in this series. The more important part though is that the action isn’t parodied but rather as being serious. Illya’s struggle at first shows her inexperience but there’s development with her skills that are clearly evidenced later on. As for Miya, she shows her experience already as a magical girl but more importantly becomes both a friend and rival for Illya. As a foil to her character, the duo makes a formidable team along with those magical sticks.
As per usual, however, like all Anime nowadays, there is that little hint of fanservice. The suggestive camera angles and skin being shown along with the loli expressions here and there. Some of the conversations between the girls and their peers also seem to be a bit forced in the comedy department. Even the first episode shows a bit of this along with cheesy dialogues. Among other factors, Shiro also doesn’t seem to be an impressive character as his role is more of in the backgrounds. His denseness regarding his female friends and her own foster-sister is also a bit frustrating to watch. By the way, he isn’t even a main character. There’s also some lewd jokes and misunderstandings here and there as well which should be expected.
The artwork isn’t as impressive as I had hoped. Most of the colouring has a light tone but it’s covered with a generic design. As mentioned before, Illya and Miyu are designed as magical girls and they really look like them. Their enemies are designed to give off a dangerous vibe although sometimes. Despite that, however, the OST is brilliant. Sound production met beyond my expectations, especially in the action scenes. A particular battle in the later episodes gives off its intensity with the way it is presented. It has a balance of rock and techno that is pleasurable to hear. The OP song “starlog” by ChouCho also shows its strength with its choreography and some foreshadowing. Among the cast though, Mai Kadowaki gets a standing ovation for her performance. Returning as her role from Fate/Stay Night, the way her character stands out requires a more high pitch tone. I am quite grateful that she was able to pull the task off with brilliance.
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