「独りの戦い」 (Hitori no Tatakai)
“Lone Battle”

This was one of the best episodes of action I’ve seen since the last season of Prisma Illya.

Stalling For Time, Padding For Time

It was clear that early on, they were stalling for time. The extended recap sequence at the beginning definitely was superfluous – had they just showed Bazett, mentioned who she was, and then showed the building burning down, that would have been enough to remind us of what went on last week. They went through nearly every step, which tells me they had more time than content.

The battle, too, may have been padded out. I don’t know because I haven’t read this far in the source material, but if it was padded, I don’t care! The action was awesome, from animation and flare to the visceral pain whenever Bazett hit someone. Ruby backed up what I’ve been saying – Bazett is a monster, and she showed it this entire fight.

Archer & Lancer

Speaking of Bazett, I never really questioned why they started out with the Archer and Lancer cards already captured, though the obvious assumption was that someone else captured them before Luvia and Rin got the job (or Luvia and Rin beat those two themselves, though they would have probably mentioned that). That Bazett was the one to take them down is no surprise. That her being taken off the job and an ensuing power struggle is why she’s here now feels so…petty. But good petty. Fate magus are notoriously traitorous, so a power struggle escalating this far isn’t unreasonable. Plus whatever justifies the battles we saw here is fine by me!

Side note: I was totally freaking out when Bazett started showing signs that she had fought EMIYA. I couldn’t figure out how she would have fought EMIYA in this timeline when by all rights it doesn’t look like…and then they explained the card thing. D’oh!

Illya’s Gambit

What a change Illya has undergone since the first season, when she could amp out more power than she knew what to do with. Without Kuro inside her (hur hur hur) she’s being forced to fight as a technician more than a tactical nuke, and the ways she’s chosen to fight are both interesting, thrilling, and almost worked!

First things first – I do not know why Illya didn’t fly. I know she still can post-Kuro. Perhaps she wanted to keep Bazett engaged, and I bet Bazett has some way to counteract that, but it seems like a good tactic she should have tried out. I would gladly carpet bomb my foes from the air if it meant a win, however cheap.

That aside, turning her barriers into binds was great! And it revealed something about Bazett – she’s blocking the magic (and likely bullets) with her hands and feet, but the rest of her body is likely vulnerable. It was a good attempt, but Illya thinking that Bazett would give her a second chance…hah! How adorable. Bazett is a specialist, and she doesn’t give second chances.

Protecting Her Friends

Kuro’s reasons for fighting so hard are obvious – she needs the Archer card to live (we assume), and she would rather not die. Miyu’s reasons as well are obvious by the time she gets there – Bazett is about to break Illya’s arm, and she quickly learns that Bazett presumably killed Luvia and co. So I can see where they were coming from!

But Illya’s reasons were coached oddly. She kept talking about how they all worked so hard and risked their lives to gather the cards, and fair enough. But what does she gain by keeping them away from Bazett? Her real reason is because Bazett hurt her friends and is threatening to kill Kuro, and she said as much early on – it was little bit pride, a little bit wanting to stick it to someone who was trying to rub away their hard work, but mostly she just wanted to defend her friends. But then she kept talking about the cards, and kept it up even when Bazett had her pinned, completely under her power, and was about to disable her ability to fight. Tensions were high, and Illya didn’t want to fail her friends, but yammering about the cards seemed odd. Yammering about protecting the others? Perfectly understandable. So the right actions, just with the wrong justification.

Rider Miyu

The Fate series has always been interesting because the fighting styles are so diverse, even between the same members of a class – compare Rider (Fate/stay night) to Rider (Fate/Zero). The fun wrinkle Prisma Illya adds is getting to see one character embody many of those fighting styles. Mostly it’s been Archer, but Miyu has done both Saber and now Rider. And it was awesome! Seeing her one up Bazett after all the pain she had given the others was awe-inspiring. It’s a good thing Miyu wasn’t the Rider from Fate/stay night, because otherwise Shinji may have won.


They foreshadowed the existence of Bazett’s trump card retaliation ability well. I knew about Fragarach going in, but even to Prisma Illya and/or anime-only viewers, they noted that using powerful attacks or trump cards against Bazett was a bad idea…which is why I was screaming inside when I realized that Sapphire probably hadn’t told Miyu that little tidbit. Just spit it out already! (Also, trope!)

Bad Fortune

Fragarch is one of those bits of misfortune that largely works, as does Miyu’s late arrival itself. To quote Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling:

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

Granted, Miyu showing up late because of Luvia’s pudding was a bit silly, but imagine what would have happened if she had been there like she should have been – she would have been beaten with Luvia so Illya & Kuro could join the battle. Her showing up late gave her the chance for a big damn hero moment (trope!), and gave us Kuro’s line about their scary onee-chan arriving, hng~! And without Sapphire not spitting out the secret of Fragarch, we wouldn’t have gotten all the flash and bang of an angry Miyu. Or in fact, imagine what would have happened if the protagonists were all able to fight together from the beginning? That’s the kind of coincidence/misfortune that enhances the tale.

But, but… I’m torn. I like it when characters act sensibly, and since Sapphire knew, I would have preferred she spit it out. But this cliffhanger was so cool! I think it worked more than not, but tell me what you think in the comments below.

Looking Ahead – Life On The Line

It’s looking like next episode is the finale, which is only part way through the 2wei manga, but damn if this isn’t a pretty thrilling place to stop. I don’t know if we’ll get more Prisma Illya – the short cour for this season would seem to say no, but BD sales aren’t everything, and Type-Moon might be paying to keep the Fate promo train going – but we’ll have at least one more, and it promises to be one hell of a finish.

Note: Next week’s post will likely be delayed. I’m going to be out of the country on a trip for the soul-crushing job, and while I might find some time in between projects, if not the post could appear as late as next Sunday. I apologize, but it looks like it’s going to be the finale, so I want to write about it. I’ll try to get to it if I can. Check in on Twitter for updates.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Action, action, & more action! The main girls each get their chance, but Bazett is still looking unstoppable. C’mon Rin! #prismaillya s2e9

Random thoughts:

  • She hit her with a tree! She missed and knocked over a tree, so she picked it up and hit Kuro with it! Bazett, you’re my (anti)hero *swoons*
  • Poor Lancer. Always poor Lancer.
  • Rin and Luvia are a good team, surprisingly. When they’re not bickering, that is. That kind of unspoken teamwork is hard to come by. They should just get along…though it’s way funnier this way, so never mind!
  • Good, unobtrusive fanservice: that little flash of Luvia’s bra after she got blasted. Unnecessary, but it didn’t intrude. Bad, weird fanservice: Bazett lifting Illya up to take the card. That was just strange. You should never see a magical girl’s pantsu!
  • That silence when Bazett told Miyu where Luvia and the others were. Pure silence as they took that in. Eerie.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Life or death, Just plain fun, Don’t have enough time, and Work you love.

Full-length images: 17.



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  1. Bazett is pretty damn cool. No other way to put it.


    I don’t think that Bazett fought Emiya. Although I can’t be certain, that flashback moment was actually avenger, a servant from the series that Bazett mains in. I haven’t actually read/played through that story but when Bazett was introduced in 2wei I did look up wiki.

    For those that are interested in Bazett’s history with avenger you could just wiki it. There may be spoilers pertaining to Bazett’s bag of tricks though; As you can see she’s about to confront Miyu’s noble phantasm at the end of this episode.

      1. It was the Archer card: which is to say it was as much Emiya as Saber Alter from last season was Arturia. They’re mindless creatures with the power of heroic spirits, but not the personality.

      2. What Wanderer said. And I know all about Bazett, Avenger, and Fate/hollow ataraxia. In fact, I actually thought the Archer card was Avenger first (last episode) as well, until I noticed the different hair color and the fact that that didn’t make any damn sense, lol

  2. Jeez Louezzzzzzzzzz….that was tight! Well, Ilya’s landing was a bit of a sticky wicket. We can explain away in universe that Ruby helped here with that…she drifted in like a feather lighting atop a warm bed of sweet dreams. But really, do we want to see a anime realistic result of a child landing face first on the pavement?

  3. Damn, this episode really was freaking awesome in the action department. It was exciting edge-of-your-seat material all the way through against a truly badass opponent. I can’t think of much shows rivaling it this season. Hell, the technical battle prowess Illya and Bazett showed here reminds me of shows like Hunter X Hunter (Bazett basically pulled a Gon when she punched through that piece of floor), and that’s a very good thing. And the moment where Bazett grabbed a freaking tree and smacked Kuro with it, is no doubt one of the most awesome moves I’ve seen all year.

    It’s enough to make me forget about the nitpicks I had, really. Because, yeah, I don’t know why Illya kept going on about those cards either. Shouldn’t the fact that Bazett tried to murder her friends be enough reason to stop her already? You’d think that’d be the first thing on her mind. As for Miyu not knowing about Bazett’s power, eh, I can overlook it. It certainly made for one hell of a cliffhanger.

    I wasn’t too bothered by Illya’s pantyflash though. The cards were bound to her leg, after all, and Bazett isn’t exactly the kind of person who’s going to remove them carefully. ‘Just grab the cards and wait for the unncessary baggage to fall off’ seemed to be her idea.

  4. That silence when the heard about what presumably happened to Rin and Luvia and crew was telling, Illya’s shock, Kuro’s expression shifting to cold anger, Miyu’s reactions escalating from the desire to defeat Bazett to homicidal rage. Firing a noble phantasm at a human is definitely the intention to kill. Definitely no more need for words at this point.

    The Green One
  5. Found the fan service slightly out of place this time around, but meh, I can roll with it considering how great the fight scenes were this episode. Hard to even tell at some points that CG is used prevalently during them ;P Personally loving this season more than the first, it’s hitting all the right notes.

    As for whether we’ll get more Fate Kaleid I’m confident we haven’t seen the last of it. Might have a longer wait in between seasons (thanks to the big hype next season), but it’s doubtful it’s going to disappear anytime soon, the entire Fate universe is too damn popular to not continue milking the cow.

  6. Without doing some drastic rewriting (which they haven’t shown any signs of doing, because all the pieces that lead up to it are still there), they are literally incapable of ending the Bazett fight without setting us up to continue on into the rest of 2wei.

      1. Type-Moon.

        There’s already:
        2-cour Fate Zero
        2-cour Fate Stay Night
        Unlimited Blade Works movie
        2 seasons of Prisma Ilya
        Carnival Phantasm
        2-cour Unlimited Blade Works
        Heaven’s Feel movie

        If there’s the budget for all those,
        I’d like to assume there’ll be eventual anime adaptations of fate/hollow ataraxia, fate/Apocrypha, 2-cour Heaven’s Feel and adaptation until completion of the Prisma Ilya manga –> anime.

  7. Bazett, I am surprised Kotomine was actually able to even surprise attack a bonafide Monster like this in the fate route. But, then again, Kotomine is also a monster considering his rather monstrous manner of doing his job as a “priest.”

    Anyway, Kuro, this is a very good time to use the deadly moe trump card, the Yuri Kiss. That sort of attack will drain Bazett of all her powers for sure.

    1. Kotomine is also a Church Executor. In fact he is one the best around. If you don’t speak Nasuverse Mage, a Church Executor basically means “OH S*** RUN!!!!”. Combined with the element of surprise and Bazett never stood a chance.

      Still its sad that Bazett never got to participate on the Holy Grail war. The 5th Holy Grail War, is best described as a Scrub war, because the Masters either had no idea what they were doing, or are woefully ill-equipped to participate in it. Bazett on the other had been prepared AND was a huge fan of Cu Chulainn thus making her a perfect Master for Lancer. If she had been in the War, she would steamroll everyone.

      1. I honestly feel like thats really the main reason Kirei took Bazett out. Remember, although he does have a goal to achieve with the Grail, he’s in this for his own entertainment too. Kirei probably realized that since the wait between grail wars was only 10 years instead of the usual 60, the participants would mostly be amateurs, and that Bazett would steamroll most people. That’s boring, so its more entertaining for him to play the friend, knife her in the back, and then use Lancer as a glorified scout to get info on all the masters.

        Ironically even though the masters were less prepared, overall the powers of the Fate Stay Night Servants are actually much greater then the Fate Zero Servants. FSN’s Caster is actually a proper mage who can do wayyyy more then just spam octopus, FSN Berserker is more powerful, FSN Assassin can actually do shit besides scout, FSN Lancer has a better Noble Phantasm, etc.

      2. The masters were less prepared – though Rin and Illya are powerful, and Shirou has something of a future ahead of him – but like takashid said, the servants were strong. Fate/Zero is perhaps weird because the masters do so much…I originally thought the point was for the servants to do the fighting.

        I don’t necessarily think Bazett would have won, but she would have done a lot of damage to everyone. (The fact that I think she would attack everyone doesn’t help her chances, lol. No prudent waiting, just ATTACK!) Mostly because she wouldn’t have let Shirou or the other masters get into the swing of things. She would have taken him the fzck out ASAP, lol

  8. It’s a good thing Miyu wasn’t the Rider from Fate/stay night, because otherwise Shinji may have won.

    I’ve read that several times and I still can’t figure out what you meant (・・’)

    1. Shinji was the master of Rider in Fate/stay night. I was saying that if Miyu was the Rider he summoned (same powers, just swapping in Miyu’s personality), he may have won the Holy Grail War.

      1. Weellll… some F/SN VN spoilers, including Heaven’s Feel,

        Show Spoiler ▼

  9. Yahoo! Another episode that brought my fanboyness into a joyous frenzy! While Bazett is the star of this episode, I was also happy to see one of my most favorite servants in full animated beauty! Rider Miyu I love your lolita riderness so much!

  10. The padding was pretty obvious this episode. Still it was worth it when it finally went to the fight. Kuro and Illya really didn’t stand a chance but they at least tried. And considering that Bazett hurt Miyu’s waifu, its enough to enrage her, which is a rare sight. Too bad she has inadvertently done the worst possible thing to do when going against Bazett. Pretty much everyone else has foreshadowed that using Noble Phantasms are a mistake.

    I guess that does settle it though, the series will end with the Bazett battle. Sad they didn’t even go as far as the swimsuit shopping chapter. They’ll probably add some anime original material at the end. Hopefully they will add a stinger for the final antagonist of 2wei, because lets just say there will be much hype for the the final arc.

  11. Huh, I wasn’t surprised Archer lost against Bazett.

    Archer mostly battle against other Heroes by relying on his wits (True Eye of the Mind).

    Turning into some kind of Alter/Madness mode must have reduced that advantage by quite a lot.

  12. To be fair to FSN Rider, her master was a scrub. Sakura’s blue haired brother was at least as useless as Shiro at providing power. Rider’s power increases with better masters.

    VN spoiler under tag
    Show Spoiler ▼

  13. This Episode was full Action awesomeness, alone the Fighting movements was great. And this indirect Fanservice was not out of place for me. Keep going!!!
    And if here are some ones rant about this only Shoot (you know what i mean), i bet they are just envy that she was there not them…

  14. I only knew of Bazett when I saw her working as a promo girl in Carnival Phantasm acting all embarrassed and shy, so I was really surprised to see that she’s a powerhouse fighter. She’s an awesome combination of beauty, badassery, and power.

  15. omg… Fragarach… can Miyu stop attacking? >.< someone gonna die next episode.. either Miyu, the pegasus , or Bazzet … that Fragarach is game breaking (IIRC it even alters time and causality so it ALWAYS strikes first) ..of course the conditions is that the targets used their most powerful attack… i dont remember much of Rider…but i think this pegasus charge was the most powerful, right?

    …and i didnt see Miyu in the preview

    about the archer card… i have been seeing Prisma Illya as an alternate dimention to cannon (ever since the bathing scene at Luvia's house) ..and this kind of confirms it.. all the servants are a version of the 5th HGW. (ofcourse that THAT archer was EMIYA… but not the Prisma one..he wont ever made it to a Counter Guardian… yet another dimension?)

    next episode is the last? really? nooooo x.x

    1. It’s absolutely a different timeline. That’s a feature of the Fate franchise. Take Fate/stay night and it’s three routes, Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven’s Feel – none of those is the “true” route. All of them are.

      Something to do with Zelretch’s magic I think.

  16. My only knowledge of the Fate franchise is through:
    – the anime(s) of Fate Zero, Fate Stay Night (Fate route), and Prisma Ilya
    – Unlimited Blade Works movie
    – Carnival Phantasm
    – Prisma Ilya manga
    – never played any of the VNs so I don’t know much Bazett.

    Now I’m wondering how things would turn out if Kiritsugu and Bazett went for each other’s throats without holding anything back, and both are in their prime conditions.

    1. My only knowledge of Fate franchise is through the Animes so far. Yes, it began with This little Girl being the Master of Berserker.. and in the last episode some very cunning Camera positioning, when she walked above it.. wonder why it keeps in my memories..

    2. Unless Bazett can physically block the Origin Bullet, she’ll implode when it hits her. Kayneth didn’t get hit directly by the bullet but he still coughed up blood because of how Kerry’s Mystic Code works. Blocking it by magic is suicide. The only way to block the bullet is by physical means but he picked the Contender gun for its penetrating power.

      Though given how she’s been dodging Auguste’s guns, Kerry needs to have a good shot to win, else he’s toast. Kotomine managed to catch Kerry in Double Accel and almost killed him. Kerry only survived because of Avalon. He needs Triple or Square Accel to keep up with Bazett’s speed and that’s only possible with Avalon. Having Avalon or not is a key as well.

      Then again, Origin Bullet is a trump card after all and Bazett has Fragarach(that metal ball). It will also depend whether Bazett would resort to use it against him given its power and activation conditions.

      Fight favors Bazett more unless Kerry can get a good shot in, then it’s his win.

      1. iirc she can be killed easily by a sneak attack… Kiritsugu (origin bullet), Souichirou Kuzuki (using the snake) and so on.

        IIRC word of god states that Kirei Kotomine on his prime (AKA fate/zero times or so) would be better than Bazett.

        Actually this weakness to sneak attacks is the reason she is not known much… IIRC in all fate routes she dies … Kirei betrays and backstabs her, steals her command seals and kills her right after summoning her servant in the starting days of the HGW.

      2. Bazett is relying on rune magic, which means she doesn’t use her magic circuits, so the Origin Bullet will definitely damage her, but only physically. Well, it’s armor-piercing, so dodging is relly the only option…


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