Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya

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HKBattosai's avatar
Jan 11, 2019

First, let me start by letting you in on a little secret...Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya is my first Magical Girl anime that I've ever seen, excluding Sailor Moon (which I saw eons ago) and My-HiME (since I don't see that as a true magical girl anime), so I did not know quite what to expect going into it. Second, I am going to keep this a review short and sweet; in part because I really have nothing to compare this to outside of the original Fate/stay night series. Lastly, there will be no spoilers in this review.

Story

The story is about a young girl named Illyasviel Von Einzbern who always dreamed of what it would be like to be a magic girl. One night she is surprised by a mysterious wand named (Magical) Ruby, who sudden forms a part with her, transforming Illyasviel into a magical girl! With her newly bestowed powers, she must fight and gather magical cards that can take the physical form of past heroes in order to save the world.

Sounds like a typical story? Well, it certainly isn't anything incredible by way of plot, but then again it is a spin-off of an original anime. But the simplicity of it is done so deliberately and is part of the appeal.

Animation

SILVER LINK took over for Studio Deen in the Fate/kaleid series and did a solid job at differentiating its appearance from the original series. Simple character design with a decent range of a various of colors and tones being used throughout. It's nothing extra ordinary, however, the series would've been scored higher if I had seen it on Blu-ray or streaming HD. The colors would've popped more, the image banding would've been less, and the line detail would've been more crisp. As an additional mention, the battles themselves were very nicely animated and visually appealing to watch, even on DVD.

Sound

The OP and ED were average. They were nothing special and nothing memorable. The music and sounds throughout each episode were appropriate and generally fit each scene or climactic encounter.

Characters

Neither the characters and nor their development were the best I've seen. However, I found most of the main (Illyasviel and Miyu) and secondary (Rin, Magical Ruby, and Magical Sapphire) characters to be enjoyable to watch and to like. For a magical girl's wand, Ruby has a spitfire personality that was a riot of laughter at times. The only one who I found absolutely annoying and truly pompous was Luviagelita. Everytime she was on screen I was hoping for her butt to get kicked in battle or by Rin herself.

The two standouts for me on the "card" side of the series were Saber and Berserker, especially Saber. She definitely showcased a truly exuberant amount of power and ability. This was the side of her that was elluded to in the Fate/stay night series.

Final Thoughts

It was just a quick but fun little series. The storyline was simple but it had some heart to it. Magical girl fan or not, I honestly can say that I enjoyed this, certainly more than I thought I would. I believe almost anyone who gives this series a chance would get some casual enjoyment out of it at the very least.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE:  8/10

Age Rating:  TV-10+ (Fantasy violence and some mild language)

Additional Information:

  • Video Format:  DVD (2014)
  • Audio Format:  English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Publisher:  Sentai Filmworks
  • Equipment Used:  LG 60UH6550 4K TV, Vizio 5.1 Sound Bar System SB3651-E6, Sony Blu-ray Player BDP-S5200
5/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
7/10 characters
6.4/10 overall
bentobox's avatar
Sep 16, 2014

First, yes.  This anime is an alternate universe of the Fate/Stay franchise.  Given that I haven't watched any of the Fate/Stay franchise and I heard that this would be a good stand alone title, I wanted to see if it was truly stand alone and if it could be enjoyed without any knowledge of the cannon material.  Given its average rating, I didn't expect much from it.  But, for a 10 episode commitment, it seemed like something that I could easily pick up and breeze through in an afternoon.  

I looked through the other reviews (after watching) and they seem to be addressing this series as part of the Fate/Stay franchise and how there was nothing from Fate/Stay in it, thus disappointment.  That's because it is a spin off.  It's meant to stand alone and, though it is difficult to separate them, should be considered as its own.  Its an anime that I would strongly recommend watching - whether or not you've seen any installment of Fate/Stay.  And, if you have seen other Fate/Stay titles, maybe consider watching it with a few months between the cannon and the spinoff.  

This anime was good.  Darn good.  

Story

The themes presented (friendship, family, overcoming trials) are typical for the Magical Girl genre.  The plot can't even really be described as unique either. What's impressive is how the story is delivered.  It was reminiscent of a lot of the classic Magical Girl anime titles, namely Card Captor Sakura and the recent Madoka Majica.  Presenting itself almost as a parody of the Magical Girl genre from the start with all the slapstick comedy and antics.  It dares you to take it lightly.  

Enter the action.  Almost non-stop action.

Every now and then you get a breather of some school life and inner strife.  And then it's right back to the action which is beautifully animated.

The series doesn't waste time with filler.  There wasn't any time to start with.

This series did in 10 episodes what many longer titles fail to do in hundreds: resolve plot lines.  

While secondary cast members are essentially cookiecutter characters, they are still entertaining and development for them isn't really needed.  

There were a few elements that felt contrived for the sake of fan service.  Even when such blatant cliches were tossed into the story, they were well timed and balanced out the darker elements.

Without knowing a lot about the Fate/Stay universe, I was still able to understand everything.  I never felt like I was missing out by not watching the cannon material.  If anything, I wanted to immediately jump into the franchise head first if the action was even half as awesome as what this spinoff contained.

I remember thinking as the final fight ended "now that's how you do it."

This anime did a great job planting little hints early on regarding the darker aspects of the show.  Without spoilers, it was very reminiscent of Madoka Magica, but without the Shaft animation gimmick to make the scenes feel more interesting while dialogue ran.

Instead of feeding you endless descriptions of power ups and battle mechanics, the characters did stuff.  If there was explaining to do, it happened afterwards or short explanations were given amidst the battle.  Enemies weren't dumbed down, the power curve was believable, and the underlying mystery kept the plot moving through the initially cliche Magical Girl introductions.

This anime brings you up to speed with what you expect of a Magical Girl series and then it doesn't hold back.

Animation

Clean, crisp, and stunning during the action sequences.  The school scenes fall short with most background characters just standing still in the background, not talking, moving, or doing really anything at all.  I usually care about that.  But everything else was so good, it just didn't even matter this time.  I was too busy trying to keep up with the banter and trying to figure out the little mysteries that were left along the way.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
10/10 overall
tollie01's avatar
Jul 21, 2018

First some items I need to adress. I'm Dutch to expect some spelling errors, if they are to annoying just message me and I'll fix it.

My opinion may vary from others and this is fine. People are different so there is a good chance that I will not like what you love. Deal with it. I'm not telling you that you should hate it too, I'm telling you why I didn't like it.

I'll try to keep swearing to a minimum but fail utterly on occasion. In general it is the more the anime pisses me off the more I swear so watch out for the low scored ones.

Art: It's fine for the most part and it is only when the CGI takes completely over that the quality takes a nose dive. When CGI is used to enhance what is there it is fine but the more it is used the worse it gets.

Sound: No real problems here either. I can't remember any of the music and that is how I prefer it. Voice acting is fine but they didn't have much to work with either.

Characters: Main character is Illya, who is a young girl with a passion for magic girl shows. She loves her older brother, Shirou, a lot....a bit to much actually considering they are siblings. Her dream is to become a magical girl and fight for the right side.

Miyu is a young girl Illya's age who becomes partners with Sapphire. Like her staff she is cool and collected, rarely showing any emotions. Initially disgusted by Illya's attitude she tries to go through the mission alone bet eventually befriends Illya.

Ruby and Sapphire are magic staffs that empower their contract holders with magical powers. Sapphire is cool and collected while Ruby is more happy go lucky. Ruby has a serious magic girl fetish and tries to manipulate Illya in the direction she wants to go. Both do care for their charges and work hard to protect them.

Rin and Luvia are the previous contract holders with Ruby and Sapphire. They were tasked with recovering the cards but hate each other to the point that they get in constant fights together. This annoys Ruby and Sapphire that they decide to break the contract and leave them stranded. Neither is powerless though as they are powerfull mages in their own right.

Story. Illya is a young girl with a passion for magic girl shows and wants to become one. She gets her change when she runs into Ruby who tricke her into a contract with her. Now she is a genuine magic girl but things quickly turn sour when Rin catches up to her and demands Ruby back. As Ruby refuses to break the contract, Rin, is forced to change her plans. She was send to collect several powerful items and needed Ruby to do it. She still intends to complete her mission so she gets Illya's help in collecting the items. Unfortunately the items that need recovering are very powerful and are more than willing to fight back.

Rant. I found this anime to be surprisingly funny. This was mainly due to the anime having fun with the magic girl trope and, more importantly, doing this well. There are some very funny gags that I really appreciated. I kind of liked the one where Illya complained about how much her custome left uncovered. Of course part of this joke is lost when her actual school clothes reveal more of her than her magic girl costume but I'll take what I can get.

I liked the interactions with Ruby and Sapphire. For what amounts as magical sticks they are remarkably expressive. The action is actually pretty darn good although some parts suffered due to overuse of the CGI.

Biggest problem the anime has is the fan service. I'm not sure why they feel to add this much fan service in it, especially since the main characters are very young. Although it is never specified how old they are I guess that they are about 13-14 years old.

Also there is Illya's fixation on her brother and she really, really wants to get into his pants. In fact EVERY female character in the show wants to get into his pants. Well, just the main ones anyway. It is at no point funny and only succeeds in pissing me off as it does one of the things that truly annoys me: Everything is the males fault.

Shirou comes into a situation outside his control that involves the girls and he is immediately punished for it. Even in the cases where he could do nothing about he is instantly accused of being a lecher and punished.

6/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall
Flared's avatar
Sep 14, 2013

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

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.

Story: 4/10

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.

Animation: 6/10

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.

Sound: 5/10

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.

Characters: 3/10

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.

Overall: 4.5/10

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.

4/10 story
6/10 animation
5/10 sound
3/10 characters
4.5/10 overall
YuiYui's avatar
Mar 12, 2016

Warning this Review May Contain Spoilers-

So this is a spin off to the main Fate Stay Night series and honestly it wasn't terrible, I had high hopes it would be more along the lines of carnival phantasm but this way is also interesting. Yeah it wasn't 10/10 amazing but it had some good areas and it was different.

STORY

The story was alright, it was cute and short with not too much depth  but it wasn't boring, there was a bit for everyone and the story we knew all too good from the main series still had a part.  The comedy in the show may only be short little gags but it didn't really have too much effect on the story which was good.

ANIMATION

The animation differs from any part of the main series aiming for a more moe approach to the series, aiming for a more cute and fluffy idea behind the otherwise dark series in which it is a spin off to. Overall it wasn't bad, in some sections it felt off and slightly weird but it wasn't bad.

SOUND

The sound overall wasn't bad, like everything else, just average. No voice acting really stood out to me, they were just as I would expect and overall not badly done. The music was cute as well and fitted  the feel of the anime being quite light and fluffy.

CHARACTERS

Cute characters and all adds some amusement to the story, the main two were the perfect moe characters. Rin and Luvia were quite good in their parts but I wish Saber had more of a role and not presented as this completely dark character. 

Overall yeah, it was cute and nice thing to watch for the monthly marathon XD

-AngelBeatsYui-

PS: This is for the Monthly Marathon March 2016

6/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall
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OtakuVoice's avatar
Jun 15, 2015

What can be said about Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya? How about this story and franchise needs to end, PERIOD! I watched a few series and everytime it seems that the story takes a great story but just tweaks it and recycles the same thing over. I can say that at least this series brings back old characters such as Rin and Shiro.

Story
Well if you seen any of the Fate series you aren't really into any great, in fact I would say skip anything that has to do with Fate/Kaleid all together. The story is a lot worse, instead of fighting for a holy grail as the other Fate series this has to do with Rin and other characters fighting the heros to collect their card. Sounds like a good idea right, wrong its really boring.

Add in the fact that Illya and the other new character to the series are magical girls, which alone really put me off from the series but said I can suffer for 10 episodes. The theme of magical girls in this series doesn't push to move the genre of it along it really just follows the same boring trend. Meet the other main character, next day new character is a classmate, they start to get along, then they hate each other, then they make up, its really the same thing I've seen far too many times.

Getting back to why the story is bad is the way the fights are. I noticed that in this series they seem to have enough time to fight more with each other than fight the enemy for their card. I also didn't like the whole "family friendly story and ending" that this series gave. How about just end it after they were able to get the final card, don't make me suffer through 10+ minutes of them trying to give it an ending.

Animation
The animation is really bland, I only really liked the high quailty scenes that normally happened when they were shooting mana at the heroic fighters. Other than that the animation was dull and for the love of anime can you add some detail to the characters?! I'm not a person who needs mind blowing great detail but can you at least draw the characters with a nose, their human not aliens!

Sound
The sound was bland, half of the time the sound was great and loud but most of the time the music score was so buried in the background and over powered by dialouge I wondered what was he point of even adding music to the scene? 

The explosions were a joke, I heard better explosions from an M80 going off down the street then in this series. I know its a fictional but with weak sound I couldn't tell if they were doing a really strong attack or just a weak one.

Characters
I would give it a zero but since it had characters I give it a one. The characters were horrible. I know they were trying to build them up to something however I just hated the constant bickering between Rin and Luviagelita when Rin wasn't yelling at her wand. Call me shallow or call me a guy who the studio wasn't aiming this series towards the characters sucked and I was hoping they would die at the hands of Saber.

One thing I do wonder, what was the point of Shiro in this series? He was only in 2 episodes, I think Rider had more screen time then he did!

Overall
I really think this series caused my white blood cells to turn against me! My advice for the studio is stop rehashing the same idea, stop tweaking it to make it seem new because the one airing in the Spring 2015 line up is really the original just instead of the view point of Shiro and Saber it was more of a view point of Rin and Archer. Even in this series Rin has Archer's card so the studio isn't straying to far from the crap we already know.

Sad to see this series is going to have another season I just wonder is this spin off going tweak the things from Fate/Zero or Fate/Unlimited Blade Works? Only time can tell with this cancer causing series.

2/10 story
4/10 animation
3/10 sound
1/10 characters
2.5/10 overall
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WolfAngelus's avatar
Jun 8, 2016

This show immediately reminded me of Cardcaptor Sakura. It is the same idea, but much shorter and has 2 cute girls. A simple concept of fight the card's soul to recapture it, tossed in with some relation building between the 2 girls. Only 10 eps to a season makes it rather short with not much to say. Not a ton of stuff happens either though due this fact. About half the material is fighting these card spirits, the other 40% on the relation between Illya, Miyu, and the other 10% being at school/home/ or with Ruby/Sapphire/Rin/Luvia.

If you liked Cardcaptors, this is simply a modern day copy. Other than that, nothing unique, but it was still very enjoyable. It is nice to finally see the Cardcaptors type of anime again so that was a big influence to enjoyment.

The choice of characters is pretty typical, with Illya having a thing for her brother, and apparently maids. Miyu being a kuudere, which she says some pretty epic things in the last episode. Rin is a typical tsuntsun, and Luvia the typical himedere. However, Illya was too whiny for being a main character and gave up way too easily. This is the only part that really bugged me.

The graphics for combat were colorful and well done, same for sound/music.

There are about 4 scenes of Illya being naked (no parts showing) and a few suggestive scenes with maids/kissing/incest.

Review of Season 2 ; Scored 9.5
Review of Season 3 ; Scored 8.5
Review of Season 4 ; Scored 7

6/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
8/10 characters
9/10 overall
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UsuallyTrip's avatar
May 3, 2020

I'm heavily unsure on what to think after watching this anime. I'm not a huge fan but nor do I hate it.

{Possible Spoilers ahead}

I love the characters and how they develop through this, however, I do not like the story that much, it is slightly confusing and I'm not sure, maybe I'm being harsh because it's the first Magical Girl anime I've ever watched, but if you're looking for something cute, humble and funny with girls who become more powerful and realize their friendship, sure, go ahead! I don't really like how Illya likes her brother though lol, that doesn't sit with me well. 

4/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
6/10 overall
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