Before I start, I must address the title of this series… Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma Illya… It’s not exactly catchy is it? I know all of the words are used at some point in the series, but couldn’t the production team have come up with anything a little snappier? Fate/Illya or Fate/Prisma would have been much more memorable at the very least. When I first said the title aloud to my friend, she responded with “Bless you?”. Summed it up pretty well to me.
The story of Fate/kaleid Yatta! Mahou Shoujo revolves around our old friend Illyasviel von Einzbern (you know, that little girl who was born at the beginning of Fate/Zero and is suddenly 8 years old by the next episode and later terrorises Shirou and Rin with her BAHZAHCAR in Stay Night), however this time she is a relatively normal girl living a normal life in a normal house with two women you won’t care about and Shirou (who looks like a beauty school student’s failed first project). But then one night she is greeted by the talking magical stick Ruby (they actually call her a “kaleidostick”, but I am just going to call her a “stick” because that is all she is), who tells her that she can become a mahou shoujo and save the wooooooooooorld! to collect seven Class cards (which each represent the servants of the Fate/series) that all happen to be conveniently situated in Japan. But she isn’t alone, as the lovely Tohsaka Rin (who at the beginning was rejected by the stick, and you’ve gotta look at your life seriously when an object shuns you) is there to teach our heroine how to be a mahou shoujo. Of course there is also Illya’s counterpart Miyu, who is accompanied by yet another stick called Sapphire and Rin’s friend/rival Luvia von Sausage-curls (who too was rejected by Sapphire. Maybe she and Rin should set up a support group or something). They decide to team up to make acquiring the cards easier, however soon there is tension between the two girls.
Illya’s constant questioning of her commitment to fight is shallow and has been done infinitely better elsewhere. You won’t care about her internal strife, Miyu’s loneliness, or their relationship and will be begging for some more action, where this anime, in brief instances, excels. The majou shoujo fighting is fine, but it is where they begin to use the Class cards is where Fate/kaleid Pointless Anime Series shines, even if it is for a very fleeting moment. That battle between Illya and Saber Alter pleased my inner Fate/fanboy a little too much and is easily the highlight of the entire series. Granted, it’s also rather cool when Miyu uses the Saber card in the same vain later on, but it lasts for such a short amount of time and is pretty much the only other scene worth mentioning in this review.
The occasional comedy scenes are thrown in, but they are either hit or miss. Although I have to admit that the scene where Illya went crazy when she saw Miyu in a maid uniform was rather surreal yet entertaining.
Fate/kaleid Prepubescent Lolicon Girls concentrates its effort in the animation department to where it deserves. The battle sequences. The duel between “Archer” Illya and Saber Alter was very well done and definitely did not cheap out when it came to the action. The combat was fluid, brilliantly choreographed and the editing didn’t feel choppy at all. The mahou shoujo fighting doesn’t look that bad either.
Character styling however is bizarre at best. Illya and Miyu turned out ok, but the same can’t be said for most of the recognisable supporting cast. I know that this series is by SILVER LINK (a studio which has never produced a Fate/ series before), but the majority of the characters from previous Fate/ anime are pretty deformed from their last appearances. Huge eyes and slightly exaggerated lips are the main offenders here. Irisviel suffers a bit, but Shirou almost looks like a completely different person. Thankfully, both my beloved Rin and the servants seemed to have been spared this treatment and look relatively normal for the most part. Saber Alter looks in particular looks very good, especially when she first appears with her dark armour glowing red.
Voice acting is adequate for the most part. Ruby has a pretty irritating voice that will grate on you soon enough but her seiyu at least does a decent job of getting into her role. From what I heard of it, the soundtrack is also ok but forgettable, with the only standout track being the one played during the best battle in the whole series. It’s sad that they couldn’t get Kajiura-san to work on Fate/kaleid Jailbait Prison Sentence like she did with Fate/Zero, but she probably didn’t want to be associated with this to be honest.
Both Illya and Miyu have their problems, but I’ve already explained them. They’re opposites, which should work for some decent chemistry and character development between them but nothing of the sort really happens (not that it would particularly save this anime).
The majority of the supporting cast are forgettable and frankly unnecessary if I am brutally honest. It’s nice to see Taiga from Stay Night and Irisviel again I guess, but Illya really didn’t need a whole troop of friends… and since all of the fights occur in the shadow realm an alternate dimension it’s not like they could be in danger at any point, so they don’t really have a purpose.
Luckily the wonderful Rin is there to not only liven up the otherwise dull supporting cast but also make me feel like less of a lolicon/pervert as she is sufficiently developed and old enough to stop me going to jail. Luvia von Currywurst provides the latter service as well, but is only really there for comedic effect and to do the noblewoman’s laugh.
Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma Illya is a frustrating anime to watch. At the beginning you don’t expect anything exemplary but after you witness THAT fight scene, you know that the potential for so much more is there, but it never happens. It rides solely upon Fate/fanservice and while it succeeds in delivering that in one instance, it never really attains that level thereafter. Then again, most serious Fate/fans would have probably stopped watching after the first episode anyway.