「空白 夜の終わり」 (Kuuhaku Yoru no Owari)
“A Blank and the End of Night”
Chills. I knew what was coming, and still I got chills. This battle was a thing of beauty.
Usually stories like these are about the good guys triumphing over evil, so there’s not much question about how they will end. The joy is in finding out how they’ll get there. A false climax like the one we got here, where it looked like Rin and Luvia finished it in one blast only to have them apparently die, is a great way to dial up the tension. The trick is coming up with a reason for the heroes to triumph that makes sense even though it wasn’t obvious immediately beforehand.
I think they did that.
Illya, Mode: Archer
This is still a Fate story people, and some of the old rules still apply (except when they don’t…eh, you’ll see). Yes, I could criticize the reveal for not being as easy for non-Fate fans to follow, but a protagonist suddenly manifesting special powers isn’t exactly a new development (trope!). Original it may not be, so what matters was how well it was done.
It was done well. I don’t think I can do justice to the beautiful, terrible, vibrantly brutal battle that took place this episode. Even the screen caps don’t do it justice, not without seeing that artful movement as they danced and clashed across the screen. It was a treat to Fate fans to see Illya cracking out all of Archer’s old moves (gar + moe = gaoe? Moer? Gamoer? Eh, I’ll think on it), but for anyone watching it was still a spectacle that must be seen. This is how a manga-to-anime adaptation should do a battle – take what was great on the page and bring it alive with movement and sound, as only an anime can do.
Atmosphere, Pacing, Tone
The pacing has been a touch spotty in the last two episodes, mainly because they had to cover three manga chapters in two episodes, and that’s an awkward gap to span. That’s why we saw some of the previous episode repeated before the OP – they were stalling for time. The slow pacing extended through Rin & Luvia’s argument, but after Saber fired her first Excalibur blast, it started working in our favor. The slow tempo plus the haunting soundtrack really evoked the feeling of desperation and despair. There were moments where you almost can’t help wonder whether this was going to go full Fate/Zero and really start fucking with our heads and hearts.
Once we got to the battle though, the pacing was wonderful. That was the centerpiece, the reason this part of the story was told, and it succeeded in spades. Plus, one minor thing that especially impressed me: how they included a humorous moment right before the peppy ED. They would have run into the ED dissonance that I’ve argued against so frequently, but that quick little joke staved it off. Great directing there.
Meido Miyu. That is all. Okay, so actually there’s more on the way, but meido Miyu. I think I’ve said all that needs to be said for now.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Chills, chills, chills. I knew what was going to happen, and still it was amazing. So many chills #prismaillya
- That’s how real mahou shoujo do. Full power, total annihilation! Erh, uh oh–
- Illya is more badass than you will ever be. That is all.
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.