OP: 「starlog」 by ChouCho
「誕生！魔法少女！」 (Tanjou! Mahou Shoujo!)
“Birth! A Magical Girl!”
Magic, plot, excellent comedy, and some of the best pacing I’ve seen in a while. Everything flows naturally as we’re eased into the action. As a storyteller, I am impressed. It was like Prisma Illya was made for the screen.
Manga to Anime: Perfect Pacing
First of all, let me state that this is the first series I’ve ever blogged where I’ve actually read the manga beforehand (I like it that much!), so while I won’t spoil anything that’s going to happen ahead of time, at least part of the time I’ll be comparing this to the manga. It’s sort of unavoidable.
The good news? The transition from manga to anime has been great so far. With source material only 13 chapters long, it really was like this was tailor made for a 1-cour anime, and it showed in the excellent pacing of this episode. They smoothly introduced all the main characters, eased us into the plot (without revealing too much about the Class Cards yet…that’ll come), and did it all without it seeming too rushed or forced. This has as much to do with the source material as Silver Link’s adaptation, but they still get full marks for plotting it out well.
Hilarious Comedy That Moves the Plot
The thing that I love about this show so much is how the humor is not only hilarious, but it seamlessly meshes with the plot, not only enhancing it but even pushing it forward at times. This first episode was a great example of that. Magical Ruby (Takano Naoko) is, without a doubt, one of the biggest and most hilarious trolls I’ve seen in a while, and seeing her and Magical Sapphire (Matsuki Miyu) screwing with their former masters was hilarious! But best of all was how their hilarious abandonment of Tohsaka Rin (Ueda Kana) and her eternal rival Luviagelita “Luvia” Edelfelt (Itou Shizuka) actually pushed the plot forward. I like my comedy (and romance, and most things) when they work seamlessly with the plot, and that’s what happened here.
Better than that though, was how Ruby got her claws in her new master, Illyasviel von Einzbern (Kadowaki Mai). It takes a deft hand at the storytelling wheel to turn a hilarious scene where a secondary character teases, provokes, and tricks the main characters into actual plot progression. And it doesn’t hurt that they slipped in a little romance in there as well. Illya loves her (step)brother, Emiya Shirou (Sugiyama Noriaki) – don’t worry girl, you’re not blood related. He’s fair game! Go for it! Also: D’aaawww!
Production, Animation, & Seiyuu
The character designs are a bit different in this series sometimes, though honestly I really only noticed that with Shirou – everyone else looks just like they did, only with updated art and without the grim reaper stalking them quite so closely. Animation-wise, this first episode was very encouraging, though seeing as Silver Link is adapting this, that’s more or less par for the course. Seriously, that transformation sequence? Just showing off. Though I really appreciate how good the magic looked, because that’s part of what makes Prisma Illya so fun.
As for the cast, we have all the old seiyuu back in their roles. Illya, Rin, Shirou, even Sella (Terada Haruhi), Liz (Miyagawa Miho), and Taiga (Itou Miki) all have their old seiyuu back for this show. What really surprised me was the star power they brought to even the smaller roles. Bringing Itou Shizuka in as Luvia was a no-brainer since she has done some drama CD work, but when even Illya’s friends have seiyuu like Katou Emiri, Satou Satomi, Itou Kanae, and Ise Mariya, they’re clearly sparing no expense to get good people on board. And Matsuki Miyu as Sapphire? *swoon*
Looking Ahead – A Small Story, But a Good One
Next episode we’ll get more explanation of the plot, show off some more action, and most importantly, properly introduce our last main character. Don’t expect something epic on the level of other Fate stories, though. Magical girls, magic and love, collect class cards…it’s nothing like the grimdark murder-fests that the rest of the Fate universe tends to devolve into. I don’t hold that against Prisma Illya though, because while it might be small, it’s good. The plot supports the comedy, the characters, and their eventual growth, and all of those support the plot right back. It’s a small story, but it’s well balanced.
I mean, what would we do with a big plot in a lighthearted and hilarious magical girl anime? The only thing would be to go grimdark, and I think we’ve had enough of that – at least, until ufotable produces their new Fate/Stay Night project, woohoo!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Perfect pacing, comedic timing, & gentle plot progression. This is what happens when the source material just WORKS #prismaillya
- A reminder: I always tweet my thoughts on whatever shows I watch, including (from now on) the shows I’m blogging. Check it out. I’ll still throw some of the better ones (+ others) in the random thoughts here, though.
- Sella & Liz really are good additions as onee-sans. Especially Sella & her feeling all threatened by Shirou’s domestic skills :3
- Illya is smart to be suspicious. Any stick that moves like Ruby doesis clearly up to no good.
- Whatever it is, this is still a Fate story in the end.
- Note: This show will be blogged along with the TV/Crunchyroll release on the Friday or Saturday after the initial Niconico airing. Expect it on Saturdays, though I’ll try to finish it late Friday if I have time. Thank you.
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.
ED: 「Prisma Sympathy」 by StylipS