「執行者」 (Shikkou-sha)

Action, close calls, superlative animation, and a twist you may not have seen coming. The missteps have been repaid in full.

No Plan Survives Contact With The Enemy

I know we all had the same reaction whenever Rin first introduced her plan: It’ll never work. Not because it wasn’t a good plan, because it was. And holy hell, that animation! (Be prepared for me to say that several times in this post.) Luvia’s dodging was great, they held the baddie still, Rin amped up Illya’s and Miyu’s magic, and then Kuro shot for the kill. That’s a damn lot of power, they covered the bases, and they did it all well. (Also, dat animation.) But the problem remained, as one of my favorite quotes illustrates:

“There’s always a level of force against which no tactics can succeed.” -Xykon, Order of the Stick

Like those who go up against Koro-sensei, just because you’re strong and your plan goes off without a hitch doesn’t mean you get to win.

Bazett’s Death-defying Charge

Did you think the card was Avenger? Because I maaaay have been dropping hints to that effect for a while now. That was my original assumption back when the 8th card first appeared last season, but alas, someone spoiled it for me a while back (only one commenter, to be fair, most of you are great about tagging your spoilers—but it only takes one). I figured I should stick with my original guess though, because nothing in particular was pointing toward Gil, whereas the appearance of Fate/ataraxia characters like Bazett and Caren pointed at Avenger. Which was a good bit of misdirection. So if you fell for the trick, surprise and congratulations! Seemed like a humdinger without the spoilage, since it was pretty badass even with it.

But Bazett’s charge though, am I right? They did two things well: Building up Bazett as a legitimate monster (both before this episode and during it), and making me think, even for a second, that she might have bit the dirt. Which is perfect, because tension! Stakes! Real uncertainty for how this was going to go! It seems like it would have flown in the face of Prisma Illya’s tone (as a series) to have someone actually die, but there’s enough Fate DNA to make me worry. Then she resuscitated herself, and it just emphasized how much of a monster she is. Which went on to underscore the underlying theme of this episode.

No Matter What You Do, Card|Gil Wins

If Bazett is a Berserker-level monster in mortal form, then Card|Gil is something else entirely. He has none of the personality problems that held the real Gilgamesh back, both in Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night. He’s just power and rage, and it shows. Illya and Kuro had their Big Damn Heroes (trope!) moment when they saved Bazett, which just screamed, “Here comes the reversal!” … and then that didn’t happen. They found out he was a second Archer, and then barely managed to escape. When Bazett says they have no chance of beating Card|Gil, I believe her. Usually I wouldn’t, but I believe her 1000%. He’s fuckin’ nuts.

New ED For A New Tone

I have opined at some length about OPs and EDs. One of my favored tactics: Multiple EDs for different tones. Can you imagine what it would have been like if we ended with the revelation that Card|Gil is after the Holy Grail … and then the fuwa-fuwa ED1 came on? The tone would have been destroyed. And I like that ED! There’s nothing wrong with it. It just would have poisoned the mood here, rather than extending that feeling on to the post-ED scenes. Kudos to the Prisma Illya crew at Silver Link for not only spending what looked like the entire GDP of Gambia on this episode, but for observing the little storytelling details that make for a great anime experience.

Looking Ahead – Caren’s Reveal

I think I can safely say that this season’s missteps have been repaid in full. The first half of Zwei Herz! was too fluffy for too long, but honestly? It was probably only one episode too long. (Episode four in particular, though YMMV.) Another Holy Grail War? You have my attention!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The fuwa-fuwa is gone, & the throat-tightening action is back. With gusto. Bazett & the card are MONSTERS #prismaillya s3e7

Random thoughts:

  • I liked Ruby and Sapphire’s discussion of love how Kuro butted into the transformation sequence. Insult your onee-san more Sapphire, hng~!
  • On why Kuro has left the curse alone: I wonder if it’s because she doesn’t want to lose that link with Illya. Kuro might be surprisingly sentimental about her onee-chan.
  • I like how Luvia’s dress (and arms) looked all cape-like when she was running, when they were trailing behind her. It’s nice when Luvia acts badass. I really like—wait a second, is she dodging in heels? *head explodes*
  • Now Bazett can resuscitate herself too? Man, I wish we could have seen her fight against Berserker in Fate/stay night. If she hadn’t gotten knocked out of the Holy Grail War early, it would have gone a looooot differently. Imagine her & Lancer bearing down on Shirou early on. He’d be fucked.
  • I loved Bazett’s thinking when the others escaped. It’s the old Cortez trick: Burn the ships on the shore of Mexico, and you’ll have no way to escape but through victory. Good thing Illya and Kuro came back though, because sometimes when you burn you ships, you just die.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Rejection, the secret place, & fundamentals, What are your two skills?, Passing the Bechdel Test, and Absence (from work) makes the heart grow fonder.


ED3 Sequence

ED3: 「Wishing diary」 by Kouda Yumeha



  1. First! I never get to do that!

    Yep, they finally pulled out all the stops, earning the respect back from all the fuwa-fuwa/SoL/light comedy haters. Like you, I enjoyed these episodes to the fullest. But that was then and this is now!

    I only have one major complaint about it. Other than that I agree with all your points; well maybe not the Kuro prediction. The complaint is the Ruby and Sapphire VO during the transformation sequence. Annoying, unneeded, and unnecessary. 999% mood killer.

  2. Ryan Ashfyre
  3. So good just had to keep coming back to see what Stilts thought all day while watching it 4 times now.

    Boy got to go back and take notes on the next time.

    Was marathoning Aldnoah.Zero up till 16 but this stopped that, Aldnoah.Zero got some great action especially the part that reminded me of Robert A. Heinlein Starship Troopers book first chapter drop from orbit, gods they got to animate that sometime at least as the book is even better with the full powered battle armor. But the action in this episode hit me harder than all 16 of Aldnoah.Zero so far.

  4. I love how Silver Link never takes the transformation scenes seriously. Still remember the first episode of 2wei when Rin and Luvia were drowning in the bog, and they were screaming at Illya and Miyu to hurry it up while they struggled to keep afloat. Also episode 2 of the first season when Illya transformed in private as it was too embarrassing!

    Kuro always butts in when there is an opportunity to show some skin. When she appeared in that transformation scene I had to do a double-take as I was like “…wait a minute…what’s SHE doing here? O_O”.

    1. That was a moment I couldn’t help laughing at. I also like how they don’t take those transformations seriously and spent the entire thing poking fun at it. There is no reason for Kuro to be there, we saw last season she can be in fighting mode instantly. But come on, this is a moment for fanservice and darn it if Kuro won’t get in on that.

  5. Best episode of the season so far, and likely one of the best action ones as well (sorry Gangsta, you’ve been beat this time).

    Doesn’t entirely make up for the lackluster first half, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t grinning the entire way through this one.

  6. This really was an outstanding episode and it’s hard to say that enough times. Just wow….that was great.

    This really builds nicely off the fight last season with Bazett just owning the entire cast basically. Even she, even a monster like Bazett can’t win this. It was a really shocking moment when you see her getting hit like that. The show deserves props because you do get to see those injuries, the blades stuck through her body and leaving her a bloody mess. It took one of her biggest skills to survive that.

    It is fair to say that this Gil really is incredibly dangerous. He doesn’t care about pride or appearances, he’ll use whatever part of the treasury needed to win. Massive shield? Sure. Mass of weapons? Ok. Out of nowhere spear to the brain? Not a problem XD. There is nothing scarier than that guy coming after you like he did at the end.

    Agree entirely on the ED. It was so necessary to have a new one (that they did introduce musically last week). With the change in tone you need a new ED. The OP can still work just fine, but you can’t end this kind of episode on a cute and fluffy ending sequence.

    It was tough going to get to these episodes. But we’re here. I feel right back in season 1 even. These cards are scary as heck and card Gilgamesh is scariest of all.

  7. Avenger? Really Stilts? You do realize the Avenger is completely worthless in battle right? I thought you knew it was Gil ever since I hinted at it on back on Zwei.

    Anyway, I can finally stop referring him as the Eighth Card. Gil as a pretty much broken with his ego, but without it its a whole other level. Its all endless blade spam that the eye can see. Made worse when he wields Ea. Remember his little display back in UBW? That was barely 1% of its power and that leveled the entire shrine and nearly killed Shirou. At its full power it can literally rip the fabric of space and time (and possible destroy an entire planet as a a side-effect. And it was allowed him to break through the Mirror World and into the real word. So things are as bad as it could be now.

    As for what Bazett did she essentially employed her “Resurrection Rune”. It pretty self-explanatory but its main drawback (if you can call it that) is the it can only be activated with very specific conditions, in this case when her heart stops. So it was very “fortunate” that Gil went for the lethal shot. If she was left impaled and left to bleed for example she would be screwed. Still I suppose Bazett has the honor of punching Gil in the face. Really who doesn’t want to pound the smugness out of Gilgamesh?

    1. I thought it was Avenger when it was first mentioned as the eight card in the FIRST episode of season two. Someone (and I don’t honestly remember who) ruined it well before that. As for Avenger’s combat prowess, I know it’s pretty much shit, but to be fair, I didn’t know that the eighth card would be so badass when it was introduced, lol

      Gil is totally broken. Utterly broken. He’s scary man.

  8. Hot damn, I had to wait for a while, but the action parts of Prisma Illya are back with a vengeance. This episode started with a running start and never lost momentum, showing off just how good this series gets when it get serious. From the way they built up the villain (holy crap cardGil is a monster), Bazett being a badass and all the main characters working in conjunction like that – it made the wait more than worth it. One of the best action episode of the entire anime season, seriously. And there’s only more to come!

    And isn’t Kuro’s seal made from Illya’s blood? Seems to me that she lets the curse stay because it makes them literally bound by blood – just like real sisters. It’s more than just a link to her – it symbolizes the fact she has a family at all. Or maybe I’m just overthinking it.

  9. “He has none of the personality problems that held the real Gilgamesh back, both in Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night. He’s just power and rage, and it shows.”

    All I could think during this fight was “this Gil wouldn’t have lost to goddamn Shirou.”

    1. Aye, we don’t KNOW that Shirou on his mark (or Archer) couldn’t beat Gil at full power. That said, this Gil would not have lost to UBW|Shirou the first time they faced each other. At full power, fully on point? Who knows. But Gil’s arrogance is one of the many things that allowed Shirou to grow powerful enough to beat him.

      This one would have wiped the floor with him.

      1. To be frank, if Gil default to nuking everything with EA, Shirou wouldn’t have stood a chance.

        But that would make a rather boring story, so he doesn’t do that. Not unless he’s a completely insane monster solely fueled by his desire for the Grail, that is. 🙂

  10. Stilts, Bazet managed to kill lancer and archer for a reason before the first season and managed to steamroll them in the previous season ^_^
    Not sure if they will include the entire fight from the manga, or if they will change or add stuff to the fight, but this was just a warming up match ^_^

      1. Isn’t that also a bit depending on which archer he is facing Stilts?
        Card|UBW Archer might have a chance to win here as he is the ultimate counter against Card|Gil but when going with the other known archers in the Fate-universe only Heracles might stand a chance when he gets summoned as an Archer class. The other possible Archer heroes known in the fate-universe would stand no chance against Card|Gil thanks to how broken our golden boy is.

      2. Fate/strange fake’s True Archer says hi. In volume 2, Show Spoiler ▼

      3. That True Archer is most likely an anomaly together with True rider since both are considered strong enough where Gil needs Ea to fight on equal grounds from what i could deduce with skimming through fate/strange fake. Then again, Gil was an anomaly already with him being the second archer where-as true archer seems to be the third one…

  11. Actually, rather than Avenger, I was wondering if it was even a card at all. I did consider Gilgamesh given his “held-over Servant” role, but when thinking about whether it was a card or merely a huge mass of mana, it made me consider Dark Sakura as a possibility, especially when you consider we have not seen Sakura once throughout all three seasons (granted, we didn’t see Shinji either, but yeah, lol) and, without giving overall plot away, the way she could “devour” and corrupt Servants (hence, Saber Alter).

  12. Wonder what type of code Bazett has that did not let her use her talents when she was looking for work. I’m certain the Yakuza or other parties including the master of all trolls would pay well in Ikebukuro for someone of her talents.

    Several neat Fate points I saw in chat on another site. Did not see a FAQ here or posting rules. Would like to quote with persons site name and the site name is that ok? And if ok should I link em?

  13. Whoa….
    you could fund whole series on last episode of fate/kaleid prisma ilya
    also, Bazette really kicks ass going toe-to-toe with dark Gilgamesh and his Gate of OP
    cant wait to see what was Caren up to and if she gers also to show off her power

  14. https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20kaleid%20liner%20Prisma%20Illya/Fate%20kaleid%20liner%20Prisma%20Illya%20Zwei%20Herz%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2025.jpg
    If Bazett has a resurrection rune then I wonder if Lancer Cu has one as well. As a master of rune magic that even warranted him as a separate Caster character in Fate/Grand Order, I wonder if he knows that kind of rune. Or maybe resurrecting is pretty cheap since he wants to fight to the death so he doesn’t use it.

    I just love how they got Gil’s seiyuu, Tomokazu Seki, to just growl and scream the whole episode with just one legit line in the end. Gil still as overpowered as always. Bazett definitely pushed him too far that made him draw the Sword of Rupture. Knowing its effect, everything is far from over.
    Gil is available in FGO for a limited time. I really want one and I’m jealous of others getting him. He’s too good with his multiple hit attacks that generate a lot of crit and the powerful Enuma Elish. Looks like I need to throw money in the game to get him.

  15. Some wonky 3DCGI aside the animation was quite good in the episode. I wouldn’t go as far to say that the episodes prior have been redeemed considering there are only 3 episodes left and I hated almost everything prior but it’s a start I suppose. Got to admit I like the idea of having a sword……..arrow…….bow thing. Looks badass. And I really loved the track that played once Buzet restarted her heart. Actually sent chills down my spine a bit.

    Nitpicking section:

    Why was Luvia the one holding up a shield after their attack didn’t work? We know Illya has the strongest defensive skills of the group so it seems odd they make her stick back. Plus Rin said that they were retreating but after the second shield breaks Luvia says they are retreating again for some reason. Why weren’t they fred flintstoning the fuck out of there in the first place? Luvia holding a shield while everyone else stood there made no sense. Couldn’t Miyu or Illya have made a mobile shield instead of everyone having to block each attack?

    Kind of laughed at Kuro saying Buzet was going to die which of course turned out to be bullshit. What I got to wonder though is how those swords Gil was using work. For some reason when Buzet got stabbed the first time they disappeared. Are they made of mana or are they real and Gil just teleported them back (kind of like what Kuro does)? But why even summon those back if you’ve impaled your opponent? It’s much more convenient for your enemy if you get rid of the things causing them pain don’t you think?

    Also why Gil start shooting the swords from the sky after Buzet started attacking it again? It was making them rise from the ground before that and Buzet couldn’t get close which was smart. So why start randomly raining shit from the ceiling instead? Did it get stupider as the fight went on? Or was it to make Buzet look cool for a brief moment? Eh I’m just going to say it was for the needs of the script.

    (Kuro comes at the last second to stop Buzet from getting impaled in the brain)


    So apparently Kuro and Illya slipped out of the jump back to safety help. That’s all well and good but why did Illya’s restraints do anything to Gil? Do they deplete mana or something? Gil can use it’s swords without waving it’s hands around. Plus Gil was capable of using it’s vast mana as a shield earlier. You’d think it would have used either when it was restrained but I guess the script called for a couple more logical fails on his part.

    Not to mention there were plenty of things that Buzet in particular did wrong during this fight. First of all why the hell did she think punching through the swords would just let her have a free pass at the monster? I mean it’s not like the thing as a known number of swords. She even said before it would be pointless to count them due to their number. Not sure why she’d be surprised about an extra one coming at her. Though it would be kind of cool if she knew the exact number and knew when it was vulnerable by quickly counting them off as she dodged them. Might seem like an impossible feat but hey I just saw this woman restart her own heart so I’m inclined to believe anything is possible with magic in this world.

    Also WHY THE HELL DID SHE HESITATE WHEN SHE GRABBED THE CARD???! That part seriously made me so mad. It’s almost unbelievable in fact. She knows that the thing regenerates quickly and considering how hard it was for her to even get to that point I don’t believe for a second she’d be so stupid as to take her time and say “Eh well I’ve got all day to look at this thing. Not like this monster cares. Better look at what it is and tell the audience instead of just winning this fight”. Even when she’s supposed to look cool she’s got moronic moments. Damn it……..

    Bah whatever. Hooray for some much needed tension. Gil seems to be a near impossible opponent to beat so I’m interested in how all this will turn out. First time I’ve said that in a while for this show.

    1. I think part of the issue here is using the word “think.” This is a berserk mode being they are dealing with. Who knows what Gil in that state is even thinking if he is at all. If it’s all instinct then his reactions may not make much sense. If he already took down the enemy why bother keeping the weapons there? Return them to the gate and pull them out when needed again. For all we know when that pissed off it’s more satisfying to send blades flying at a person then launching them from the ground. You can’t argue that something working off instinct and not logically thinking is somehow getting smarter or dumber.

      Bazett herself even said the restraints didn’t really mean anything. At best they served as a distraction for Gil. That in itself has meaning though. Even if he doesn’t need his arms, in that state he instinctfully is probably going to respond to the fact that his arms aren’t moving anymore. That is enough to take his focus of Bazett for an instant. He also had more time to react to Kuro’s long distance attack to bring up a shield than an inclose gouging by Bazett.

      Bazett was making a last ditch desperate move. She had no way out other than winning. With the amount of attacks she could only dive straight in. It’s not that she was surprised he had an extra attack, but she had to take the chance and hope he didn’t.

      Look at all the reactions when Gil managed to repel Bazett. Grabbing the card should have been the end. The card is the being itself. It’s like getting your soul grabbed. It’d make sense to think that he was done the moment she did that and she had the time to quickly look at the card before pulling. It’s the fact that Gil was that kind of monster that those expectations were defied.

      1. I didn’t see Gil as completely battle dumb in this fight. Sure he yelled a lot and doesn’t talk much but you can see small instants where he knew what he was doing. For example when Buzet breaks through his sword wall he pretends to be surprised about it. This lures her into a false sense of security thinking he’s vulnerable. Moments later we see him smile as Buzet is then almost immediately impaled by one of his weapons. Which means he did this ON PURPOSE. That’s not something a being that works on pure instinct does things. That requires a certain level of human intelligence. At least in my opinion.

        Also like I said before Buzet witnessed how fast Gil recovered already. Add that to the fact he was so difficult to deal with up to this point it should have resulted in LESS blankly staring at a card and more ACTUALLY winning the fight first. I mean if you were to stab your hand into my chest and grab my heart I could STILL kill you if I had something on hand before you could pull it out right? That is a rookie mistake that I would expect from someone like Illya but not Buzet. Someone as battle hardened as her wouldn’t do such a thing and I can only think of this instance of brain fartness happening due to the needs of the plot. If I had risked my life to defeat someone you can be DAMN sure ANYONE with a brain would wait till they knew the threat was over for sure before gloating.

    2. I agree. I mean, I really enjoyed this episode, but pretty much everything leading up to this felt so completely pointless. They really just overshot the fluff this season to the point that I don’t think I could recommend this even if the remaining episodes are top knotch. Just really disappointing.

      1. Oh shit…….someone agreed with me? That’s a first! :3

        Yeah this season as a whole is probably the worst the of the bunch so far for me. Even if there was stuff I hated in season 2 at least most it was well paced. I thought the first season was underwhelming but it did have it’s share of awesome moments and didn’t rely too heavily on the fanservice aspect like 2 and 3 did which made it a decent watch. It’s a little sad to see a show get worse as time goes on but that’s how it goes sometimes. I probably wouldn’t be saying this if the staff would have planned the series out better than they did. Instead they went “oh shit…..we don’t have enough material! Better churn out some extra filler!”. Personally I’d take extremely dragged out canon material over dragged out filler any day.

  16. Well… RIght from the get go last week, I had felt that it’ll be Gil and yes indeed it’s true.

    Plus Kuro’s confrontation with her mom about the ACTUAL holy grail wars may have some link to Fate Illya. I’m guessing that once you collect all the cards, the holy grail would appear and the proverbial shit really hits the fan

    Makise Kuristina
  17. I’ve never understood this whole idea that having one kind of good episode where more things happen can magically fix what someone feels is an entire season of lackluster content to date. If that’s the attitude people are going to have than what’s the point of having even 10 episodes of something, why not just have one if that’s all that’s really going to matter in the end. Like seriously the way some fans are nowadays it’s like they’d be perfectly content watching 11 episodes of absolutely dog shit as long as something kind of cool happens in the last one. Hell I’d swear I’ve seen it happen before even. Such low standards.

    1. I guess you didn’t read the rest of the post. I do not, nor have I ever, considered the entire season to date lackluster. I think ONE episode, episode four, was unnecessary, whereas the others were good (and episodes one and two, exceptional), though they may have dragged the fuwa-fuwa on too long (though that only became clear when they mailed in a subpar episode). I said exactly that in the post:

      I think I can safely say that this season’s missteps have been repaid in full. The first half of Zwei Herz! was too fluffy for too long, but honestly? It was probably only one episode too long. (Episode four in particular, though YMMV.)

      One awesome episode forgiving one mediocre one is a decent trade. Saying the entire season is lackluster is you projecting on me.

    2. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, true. But criticizing other people for what they like is kind of disrespectful here. Just because you don’t like how it is, doesn’t mean the anime is low-standard or anything. You’re just watching the wrong anime.


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