「嵐の転校生」 (Arashi no Tenkousei)
“Wild Transfer Student”
Let the most epic Type-Moon-style dodgeball match ever BEGIN!
A Serious Match
I don’t want to say the episode started off slow because the early parts weren’t bad – Luvia was especially smart to allow Kuro to go to school in exchange for some concessions once it became clear they couldn’t hold her – but it certainly kicked into high gear when the dodgeball game began. And even leading up to it! Oh ye of little faith, who thought Silver Link wouldn’t dish out the kisses. I don’t know where those were in the manga, but they were smartly placed here, in an episode where we had more time for goofing around like that.
But I digress. The match! The comedy was clear and obvious, so I won’t spend much time on that. The animation too, was better than the scene needed, though no less than it deserved. What really piqued my interest was the subtext.
Ever since Kuro stopped trying to kill Illya, she’s gotten more relatable. Her jab that Illya hasn’t even tried to understand her is totally correct, though to Illya’s credit, her reply that she (and all the others) are children isn’t wrong either. It’s understandable that Illya wouldn’t want to deal with this apparent clone of hers who has popped out of thin air, especially after the attempted murder, but she should. Part of being mature – I hesitate to say “being an adult” because many adults never learn this lesson – is learning to forgive those who have wronged you, and yeah, attempted murder is kind of a big deal, but even so. Illya has to forgive her and attempt to understand her to live with Kuro, because she’s apparently not getting rid of her. But Illya isn’t an adult (or mature), so hm. We’re at an impasse.
What Does Caren-sensei Know…?
The most enigmatic thing this episode (and season period) is Caren-sensei knows. She brushes up against one of the most interesting facets of this alternate universe spin-off – how similar are these characters to their original Fate/stay night (and ataraxia) counterparts? Some, like Taiga, seem to be a complete repurposing of a character without any of the depth or plot-relevance of the original. It’s like they needed a teacher, and Taiga was already there, so they tossed her in. But does she perhaps know Shirou as more than Illya’s brother? Probably not, but I wondered.
Illya is definitely more than a regular girl. The first season showed us that during the Archer Illya vs Saber fight, not to mention the fact that Ruby picked her at all. And it would appear that Caren-sensei might be as well. She knows something about Kuro, or more likely, can tell, and she’s keeping a journal about what she sees…and then not noting the remarkable people she met this episode. I think she’s more than just a school nurse – she’s a pretty poor one, at that – but who, and what, exactly is she? I have no idea.
I Don’t Know What’s Going On…But I Want To
So far this second season has mainly been fanservice in one form or another. Remember that fanservice does not always = ecchi stuff, though we’ve had that too. Where is your hand, Kuro!? *Ahem* The comedy, the battles, and the simple fact that this is a spin-off that lets us to see old favorite characters in more kind circumstances is all fanservice of a sort. It’s a delicate dance to fill a season with what some people consider to be fluff and still keep people interested in the plot.
They’re managing it, at least for me, though I have to wonder how much is from the Fate magic rubbing off. Would I be as interested in this series if it weren’t a Fate spin-off? No, probably not, but that’s not the right question. The real question is, would I be interested in the plot if this weren’t a Fate spin-off? Because when I step back, this season feels so strong in all the other stuff that I could easily lose myself in the funny-silly without giving two whits about the plot. I suspect some of you have done exactly that.
What saves me is that Fate magic, yes, the feeling that there’s something more here, and that comes from the slow-burning enigmas they’ve laid out. Who is Miyu? What is the secret power that sleeps in Illya? What is Kuro? What does Caren-sensei know? What are Iri & Kiritsugu’s role? They’re not in a hurry to give us answers, but what we’re watching in the meantime is so good I don’t mind…but I still want answers!
Looking Ahead – Bath Time!
I’m not sure how many answers we’ll get next episode, but I do know we’re rapidly approaching how far I’ve read in the manga, and I had already forgotten most of what happened in these last two episodes, so I’m practically in anime-only territory now. There is one major thing yet to come though, which will be very, very interesting to see. Could be next episode, could be the one after. We’ll see. Either way, bath time with the whole family is always a good time. If you’ve got a family like Illya’s, that is.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The most destructive Type-Moon-style dodgeball game ever is HEEEERE! But the enigmas grow. What does Caren-sensei know…? #prismaillya s2e4
- Otome blushing Taiga?! That’s not the Taiga I know! She’s more like–yup, there she is. Good to have you back, Taiga!
- I-I don’t know what Suzuka was talking about when she mentioned a natsucomi funnel, but I don’t want to know. I think I would regret knowing.
- Kuro wants daily kisses for her reward. I… New plan, girls: Let the Kuro win. Do it. DO IT! I NEED THIS!!
- Didn’t know Illya could do this? Check out the OVA. It’s a lot of fun!
- A good bit of comedic misdirection when Kuro nailed Illya. I was thinking about her “fake” comment, and then I remembered (just as Kuro did) that they share pain. Hah!
- The miracle. The happenstance. The inevitable. Does the latter mean just Illya, or Illya & Shirou being together? Either way, my points stands – I want to know. Next episode plx.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Temporally unfocused, Fast, easy, guaranteed, Starting off with a bang, & why you shouldn’t, and Writer, author, full-time author.