Noriaki SugiyamaMiki ItouFate/stay nightPrisma Illya
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei!
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2014: F
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2014
Director: Shin Oonuma, Masato Jinbo
Original creator: Hiroshi Hiroyama
Actor: Kana Ueda, Kaori Nazuka, Mai Kadowaki, Ami Koshimizu, Chiwa Saito, Emiri Kato, Haruhi Nanao, Hitomi Nabatame, Kanae Ito, Mariya Ise, Miho Miyagawa, Miki Itou, Miyu Matsuki, Naoko Takano, Noriaki Sugiyama, Rikiya Koyama, Satomi Satou, Sayaka Ohara, Shizuka Itou, Daisuke Namikawa, Tessho Genda, Yumeha Koda
Keywords: Fate/stay night, Prisma Illya, anime, magical girl, favourite
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season 2: 10 TV episodes + an OVA 11th
Website category: Anime 2014
Review date: 7 September 2016
It's more Prisma Ilya! You'd have to nail me to the floor to keep me away from this show. Season 1 was great. Season 2 is just as great, although significantly more perverted.
Ilya is a magical girl. She's also a German-speaking albino ten-year-old pervert whose apparently airheaded mother has mostly left her to be raised by their similarly albino maids. What's with all the albinos? I try not to think about it, but... anyway. Ilya's a lovely girl and usually the One Voice of Sanity. Don't worry about her crush on her brother, her occasional but extreme lesbian fetishes or the fact that her amusingly open-minded friends always assume that the most outrageous interpretation of Ilya's behaviour must be true. (They're wrong, but it's still funny.) Her incestuous urges are now officially confirmed, by the way. Ilya doesn't deny it in ep.3. And when it comes to Chloe... is there even a word for that? Selfcest? Admittedly no one ever goes past first base (or second in the OVA) and Ilya's not initiating it, but, um.
In Season 1, Ilya and her best friend, Miyu, fought ridiculously powerful monsters to retrieve seven magical cards. They nearly died. The "responsible" (ahahahaha) adults who made this happen are Rin and Luvia (perpetually bickering clowns) and their magic wands Ruby and Sapphire (snarky con artists). Fortunately, though, card-collecting is now over! They've caught them all! Life will be peaceful again! Ilya can return to hanging out with her schoolfriends and trying to keep Miyu's reserved but definitely non-platonic affections at arm's length!
...and then Chloe shows up. That's not her real name. "Chloe" comes from the Japanese word for "black", as in "Black Ilya", "Evil Twin of Ilya", "Wants To Murder Ilya And Steal Her Life", etc.
Not so peaceful, then.
As always, the show's very funny. It's a joyful, happy show that makes me smile, although admittedly it also enjoys having a dark sense of humour, e.g. a school nurse who apparently took the job because she hates children and just wants to see them injured. "Seeing happy, healthy people makes me want to vomit." Rin and Luvia are as always hysterical. Physical age: adult. Mental age: six (which is significant progress from Season 1). Ilya's schoolfriends can turn pretty much any scene into comedy just by appearing. I was almost in pain laughing at Ilya taking notes on How To Be A Big Sister from them in ep.7, plus the subsequent train wreck. The cooking sequence in the same episode particularly impressed me, incidentally, by building its gags so specifically around these characters instead of just going for generic Bad Cooking jokes.
However the show's stakes are always high. Ilya's enemies are always going for the kill and brutally ruthless, usually with enough magical firepower to flatten everything to the horizon. Chloe will put a knife in your face. Bazett will go all-out on ten-year-old girls, grabbing their leg and body-slamming them into the scenery hard enough to crack concrete. Rin and Luvia should have died several times over by now. They're like cockroaches.
There's far more to Chloe than non-stop murder attempts, though. She's Ilya. She looks so much like Ilya that people mistake them, which traumatises Ilya when Chloe starts seducing and French-kissing all her friends. (Plus their schoolteacher.) Theoretically it's just a magic-draining thing, since Chloe's not quite a real person and needs regular recharging to maintain her existence. However it's obvious that Chloe enjoys making salacious trouble and being a bad girl. She's as bad as she can be. It's her mission in life. Chloe vs. Ilya is at the heart of this season and they're going to travel a long way together. (That said, though, this season is actually just the first half of the manga's 2wei storyline and Season 3 is going to complete it.)
The only problem with all this is that in practice Chloe doesn't look like Ilya. Their colouring's completely different, as are their facial expressions and body language. I'm sure they are the same in outline, but then again all anime faces tend to look similar anyway.
What I love about this show is its life. It's always full of energy, whether making us laugh or putting Ilya in a fight to the death. However it's also doing its character drama properly, with Ilya's thoughtlessness in ep.5 and Chloe's existential issues taken seriously and played out as they should be. What was done to her was nearly horrific enough to justify what she's trying to do to Ilya. Even the dirty jokes are great. Season 1 was going a good bit further than you'd expect, but this season's more extreme still. The show's got a rich seam of perversion and it's mining it for more laughs than most sex comedies. Ilya's regularly aghast to hilarious effect, not just at the depraved things Chloe's doing but at the idea that everyone's going to think it's her doing them. Chloe even manages to shock Ilya's friends, which is impressive given how blase they are about all the other depravity they blithely slander her with.
"I was planning to offer my first kiss to my older brother!"
"What are you saying, Tatsuko!? That would be like Ilya!"
It's fantastic. Everything it's doing probably shouldn't work together, but it does. I love everyone in the cast, but every single one of them is a loon, a twonk, criminally inclined and/or a sexual deviant. But I do love them.
"We'd have no trouble disposing of the bodies."