「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.

Illya’s Family

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

Random thoughts:

  • 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.



End Card


  1. Woah, Shirou! I thought you had been written out of the show like all other male characters in modern magical girl series.

    …Actually, I don’t remember what he did in the manga either.

    (On a serious note about OPs and EDs: as far as direction goes, I suspect that it’s easy to forget that they even exist. The production team don’t see the episode like we do. The ED is just a chunk of time for credits that are put aside, then never dealt with again unless they need to cannibalise it for more episode time.)

    1. In the manga, Shirou has more scenes. So far it has done nothing notable in the history of manga, he appears mainly for comedic moments. But really if it is important, because without Shirou would not exist “Heroic Spirit Emiya” in Fate / Kaleid history.

      1. I thought he was around more too, but I went and reread it and, nope. They’re pretty close. All the stuff I was remembering was really from Zwei, where for various reasons Love Shared Between Siblings becomes a major (comedic) plot focus.

        There were two scenes that he had that were cut: First, a page in which Sella realizes that he’s done all the housework and shouts at him, and second, he appears in the scene where Sella dons her old uniform and is informed that he should behave in a manner befitting a first son (also, Leysritt walks in and says “What is Sella doing in that outfit? It’s weird.”)

        Frankly, I’m more concerned that his absence makes Sella less funny.

        Axe Armor
    2. I understand why they make that mistake with the EDs, but it’s still a mistake – they should pay attention to the entire experience whenever possible, because that’s how people are going to actually interact with what they’ve produced. It’s an old gripe, and one I don’t expect most studios to pay heed to, even the ones I like (which includes Silver Link). I love it when studios pay it mind, though.

    3. If Fate/Kaleid is cannon then:
      Show Spoiler ▼

  2. “Everyone has different tastes”

    Miyu’s attempt at being an asshole to Illya feels kind of forced. I’m not talking about the drama, I’m talking about her. It’s the typical “Being an asshole to you in order to protect you from harm” trope. I can feel it.

    LOL at Shirou’s “different tastes”. He might have been more convincing has Illya been made a proper heroine in FSN before Nasu shot down the idea. (Hint: Neither Saber, Rin and Sakura are particularly “small”)

    1. @echykr It IS forced, because that scene never appeared at all in the manga Show Spoiler ▼

  3. There were two scenes from this episode that was not in the first season of the manga, the flashback of when Miyu found Sapphire and the argument with Sella about breasts. These two scenes come up later in the manga sequels. This is not a bad thing, however, as the darker tone set by the previous episode tied nicely with the loneliness shown in Miyu’s backstory.

    Another change was with Rin, as she was a lot kinder in this episode. She did not prod more into what Illya did in the Assassin battle, but just gave her gratitude for everything she has done so far. This was really well done, and probably the highlight of the episode for me.

    1. I always like it when studios take risks with adaptations, and try to improve the story (or at least, fit it properly to the screen) based on what was learned with the manga. A scene-for-scene adaptation only works for some manga, after all. Rin being kinder was a nice change.

  4. Sella is always awesome. It’s too bad she’s a side-side character in the Fate series, because she’s under-appreciated.

    With the first episode I was hoping for more Shirou. He always works well with Illya, and I thought it would be great to see here, since Illya’s sometimes-horrifying yandere streaks are out of the picture.

  5. Man this episode was hard on the heart. It all of course makes sense when everything comes together, Miyu obviously didn’t say those words to hurt Illya but to protect her but even with all her talents…there is so much she can do against an opponent she has to kill 13 times. As someone who hasn’t seen the source material I really am curious to see how they’re going to defeat Berserker.

  6. Why, for crying out loud, did you put 25 links in this review? Was it really necessary? I don’t know if it’s the new fad, but I hope it isn’t so. It’s irritating, confusing and makes you feel like you had some crack before reading an article.

  7. tropes, tropes everywhere!
    I find Miyu possibly suffering more than Ilya – because she has not the luxury of choice. Is she an orphan? An refugee from abusive family? I would like to know more of the story behind her.
    I hope Irisviel will help out Ilya with her troubles. Meidos beside providing comical relief were supplying the trope “adults are useless”.

  8. Didn’t like the pacing of this episode. Just felt like the whole situation (miyu and IIlya being awkward around each other) dragged on for WAY to long. Made the episode really boring to watch because we all know this is just a front and IIlya is going to end up fighting again anyway (I didn’t even need to watch the preview to see this coming). I still find it hard to feel bad for Miyu even considering that she apparently had no home or anything of the sort when she first became magical girl just because of how much i dislike her overall character. That doesn’t give her an excuse for what she said to IIlya last episode. Even if they all could have died IIIya already saved them all from death in the fight with Saber so she should be much more forgiving. If she was really concerned about IIlya she would have laid it on her a bit easier instead of the way she did.

    I already know we will get more of her sob backstory soon but at this point i find it hard to care. In my opinion it is a terrible idea to dump a characters tragic backstory all at once near the end of the series. Because if you end up hating that character until you see their tragic past you end up not giving a crap no matter how bad it is (once you’ve seen one sad past you’ve seen them all). It’s better if we are given subtle hints about it throughout the series so that you can possibly begin to understand their pain better. At least that’s how i see it.

    1. Good news for you. Unless there are some change to the source material, we don’t get to know Miyu’s full backstory until WAAAAAY into Drei. My estimate would be roughly 8-10 episodes into the second season not including the time it takes to pitch, produce then air the anime and only IF there will be a second season.

  9. making one of the two main characters unlike-able when they didn’t have to…

    Now, I get it. Stilts, that statement made it ring home for me. Miyu is fighting two battles: the
    one for the remaining card, and other battle is the fear that she’ll be bested by Illya – but it’s
    not a competition where Illya will “win” over Miyu (or is even aware of Miyu’s situation), it’s a
    competition that Miyu will loose everything (or I believe that’s what she believes) – her shelter,
    her food, clothing, probably her ability to attend school as a normal girl.

    As always, thank you for covering, Stilts!

  10. We are finally near the end of this, unless they pull a fast one, say there will be S2 and it will cover Zwei and Drei(because they have to be idiots to just animate Zwei when it ended in a cliffhanger).

    I just don’t dig what they did with Iri, just loot at those eyes. Totally unlike the manga. It’s not bad, per-se. It’s just… unnatural?

  11. You don’t remember Iris showing up, Stilts? Her arrival near the end of the first manga and her discussion with ILlya were absolutely vital to getting Illya to make a certain right decision. The entire manga would have bad-ended in the first series if she hadn’t shown up.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *