Rider was easy. Caster was hard. It only gets harder from here. Do you like pulse-pounding magical combat with plenty of danger and explosions? If so, you should be watching this show.
Don’t Think, Imagine!
Even when it gets into Nanoha-style explosive combat, Prisma Illya doesn’t stray too far from its mahou shoujo roots, and for this I’m glad. That’s why I actually enjoyed how Illya and Miyu’s magic is the “believe and you can make it happen” sort. Normally I’m more of a fan of rule magic (trope!) ala Fullmetal Alchemist, but when the bullshit nature of mahou shoujo magic is baked into the plot, it makes it easy for them to do fun and interesting things with it, without too much regard for potential plot holes. Better yet, Prisma Illya isn’t abusing this too much, as so far most of the magic is pretty consistent (trope!), even if it doesn’t make sense per say. Sorry, a little detour into tropesville there. I just like the set up they have going.
What this gave us this weeks was the best gags of the episode. I mean, Luvia shoved Miyu out of a helicopter!! Plus it was nice seeing Illya be the better one for once, on account of being an airhead. Here’s how I think of it: Miyu’s strength is her logic and discipline, while Illya’s is airheadedness and anime. It takes all kinds, right? Hah!
In true mahou shoujo form, Illya won’t stop until she had made Miyu her friend, and this episode made a good start of it. (Hopefully she just doesn’t go the Nanoha route…you don’t have to blow people up to make them your friends, Nanoha-chan!!) Where before Miyu was perfect and wanted to go it solo, now she has shown herself to be vulnerable and seen the benefits of teamwork. Amidst a harrowing episode, that gave me the warm fuzzies. Friendship, d’aaawww!
Stilts Nanoha-style Combat
If you didn’t believe me before, here it is – true Prisma Illya-style combat! This is a magical girl show, sure, but it’s a Fate story as well, and you can’t escape at least some of the danger and blood of that universe, nor would I want to. While the battle against Rider wasn’t that big of a deal, Caster was hard. Rule breaking nukes, rule breaking shields, and the ability to teleport to cap it all off? Hax!
I loved the tactical ebb and flow of this battle. Okay, actually first of all–I really enjoyed all the explosions! This is simply the kind of magical combat I love, filled with nukes (I’m using that in the fantasy RPG sense, by the way) and explosions all over the place. A true duel among spellcasters… *shudders* Love it.
But back to my point, I loved the tactics on display. After the initial shellacking, the characters got to show some serious tactical chops. Miyu’s workaround for flying, for one. If she can’t imagine it, imagine something that will work just as well! Mind you, I don’t understand how that’s easier to imagine, but I don’t have to. Magic, right? She was clever to find a way around it.
The best part was the strategy Miyu and Illya used to get the first big hit in on Caster, though. In effect, Caster lost because she allowed herself to become predictable. If you slip out of an attack and teleport behind someone the enemy once, that’s a solid little trick, but if you do it again, your enemies will use it against you. Illya and Miyu did exactly that by anticipating the teleport location and making sure they were already spraying fire there when she beamed in. Zam!
But seriously girls, you have to be more careful. Remember rule #2? Double-tap! Also, never count an enemy dead until you see the body (trope!). But their mistake just gave Illya another chance to show off with her rocket-nuke. Miyu’s intelligence and drive + Illya’s optimisim and cleverness…not a bad team, eh?
Looking Ahead – Dark Saber
Dark Saber is heeeere! I don’t really have anything else to say, just that Dark Saber is here! Fun things happen when Dark Saber appears. Not for our protagonists, of course. They’re in for a world of hurt. But for us, the viewers? Fun times indeed!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The action has well and truly arrived as the girls go up against Caster, with explosive results #prismaillya
- Ruby is a good onee-san to defend her imouto with that Ruby Eye Poke. Take that, Luvia!
- Special thanks to Kairi for helping me with caps this week. When this goes up I’ll actually be several states away from home, getting drunk with my best friend. Thank you for enabling my drunken shenanigans, Kouhai-chan!
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.