「普通の女の子に戻ります」 (Futsuu no Onanoko ni Modorimasu)
“I’m Going to Be a Normal Girl Again”
First Illya was tricked into fighting, then she went along with it, and now she wants out. Honestly, I don’t blame her. It’s the smartest thing she could do. It’s just…
Fun Time With Tatsuko & Friends
One of the highlights of this episode was the hijinks of Illya and friends. Tatsuko in particular stole the spotlight with her terrible engrish, her talk of tsun and dere, her nightmarish drawings, and her being the constant butt of everyone’s abuse. I thought their antics nicely juxtaposed the awkward air around Illya and Miyu, as well as just being plain funny.
The other highlight of this episode was the focus on Illya’s family, including the return of Shirou. I’ll admit, I missed that guy. He really has the good onii-chan role down in this series, including noticing something was wrong with Illya and wanting to make her a nice meal to cheer her up. You’re going to be a great house husband someday, Shirou.
Speaking of housewives, though it was a bit cliche, I love how they handled the squabble between Sella and Liz over breast size. It’s cliche for a not so well-endowed female character to get angry about the matter, but Sella’s ruthless punches brought it to another level, and Liz deflecting Sella’s wrath onto Shirou was hilarious! “Everyone has different tastes, so…” HAH! Nice try, Shirou. You almost got away with it too!
Bad Guy Miyu
The thing that irked me about this episode was how far Miyu was taking the whole heartless bad guy act. I’m sure she’s trying to be selfless and keep Illya safely away from danger, but she doesn’t have to be so harsh about it! Yes, Miyu can fight where Illya cannot because she has something to fight for – food, warmth, a roof over her head, and all the things Luvia has given her. And no, it’s not like Miyu is even wrong to try to try to keep a normal girl like Illya out of a dangerous situation. There are just better ways of going about it. Miyu is in elementary school, so I can accept that she is awkward and doesn’t know how to get her feelings across, but the storytellers are risking making one of the two main characters unlikable when they didn’t have to. That’s a line I probably wouldn’t walk myself, at least knowingly.
Illya’s Call to Adventure
Let’s talk about calls to adventure (trope!). The refusal of the call (trope!) is one of the most annoying call-related tropes to me, because it’s so often handled badly, and because it holds up the story early on. I can’t count the number of times I’ve grumbled at a main character’s reluctance in the first few chapters / episodes / etc, and wondered when they were going to get over it so we could get on with the plot. When they’re just delaying things it bugs me.
Not here. At first Illya was forced (trope!) by Ruby, and it was really funny. It also got us into the action quickly, so I never got annoyed. Then Illya settled in and fairly well jumped (trope!) at the idea of being a magical girl, so the plot kept moving. It’s only now, after she has been injured and poisoned and nearly killed twice, that she wants out. Unlike Miyu, she has no good reason to fight. She has a warm home, a loving family, and kind friends who care for her. This refusal feels right. This is the smart, natural thing to do for a girl in her situation. Illya is not a coward for wanting out, because this is not her fight. And Rin is kind enough to respect that and let her go. Not that Rin’s kindness surprises me. She never wanted to endanger Illya in the first place, and besides, Rin has always been a nice girl under all that tsundere.
But you can’t go back. Once you’ve stepped into this world, you’ll never be the same again, and the dissatisfaction Illya feels is a sign of that. Forget everything, Rin? I don’t know that she ever could.
Looking Ahead – Mama!?
I apologize, but though I’ve read the manga, I did so a long time ago, and I don’t remember Irisviel showing up!! Note: I am not complaining. Get ready, because the final battle if afoot, against the last card. You’ve had it easy until now, girls. It’s Berserker’s turn!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Illya’s friends, family, & a lot of awkward tension between her & Miyu run us up to the final confrontation. Berserker inc! #prismaillya 08
- That useless meat, yum.
- If you want a sign of how much animation quality Silver Link is putting into this show, notice this cap. The vast majority of that picture flashed across the screen in less than a second, and yet they fully detailed everything when many studios would have half-assed it. Kudos.
- Seriously though, kill the peppy ED on episodes with dramatic endings. Hasn’t every animator in Japan read my post on OPs & EDs this yet? No? Well get on it. I expect this problem fixed by next season, everyone. Thanks for your cooperation.
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.
Full-length images: 35.