「金色の少年」 (Kin’iro no Shounen)
Things look bleak for our heroes.
I felt like there was some stretch in this episode, and a few pacing issues—most notably how damn long it took Monster|Gil to swing his sword—but over all, this was a solid episode. I especially like how the story once again showed a good awareness of when to be funny, and when to get down to business. To wit: They got all of golden boy’s nudity jokes out of the way at the beginning. And I’m glad they were there, because not only were they funny (& quickly sold us on Gil-kun as a character), but had they not been there, there would have been even more stretch. But mostly because they were funny. No, Gil-kun, a leaf is not enough. Hah!
Exposition is tricky as hell, and these last two episodes illustrate two different ways to do it. Last week it was done badly—the action was strangely interrupted for a tea party so some exposition could be spouted. But it also did it well, as when Kuro and Bazett were doling out exposition in the car/motorcycle respectively. This episode did more of the latter. Rin thinking as she ran was more travel-based exposition. When Gil-kun was spilling the beans on Miyu, there was action going on, another decent way to toss out exposition mid-battle. Granted, none of these are the best way at all: Organic storytelling, also know as Showing Instead of Telling. But that’s not always possible, so at least there was no giant, obtrusive Anime Original-shaped wrench in the works.
It’s Too Much. Game Over, Man. Game Over!
I have to admit that, this big bad? This monster? It’s a bit too much. I think back to the fight two episodes ago, where they threw everything they had at Card|Gil, all their power and ingenuity, and still come up short. That looked hopeless enough, in an extremely compelling way. Now we’re expected to believe they can beat this thing with no extra help? (Even Karen is no help.) That somehow, both sticks being wielded by one person is going to be way stronger than all of them together? It beggars the imagination. Not that I’m not stoked to see how they’ll (hopefully) pull it off and save Miyu. I just feel like the enemy has gotten so far and away more powerful than the protagonists that it’s hard to conceptualize how fucked they really are. That’s one thing if over the top is your M.O. (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), or if you’re going for an astounded “We’re fucked” feeling (the main Fate series, and full-on grimdark like Warhammer 40K), but neither of those have been this series’ bag, baby. Plus, I can’t help but go, “Ah, it went one-winged angel. That means it’s okay to kill it now. Also, trope!“
Living Holy Grail
Rereading this post, it feels like I’m down on this episode, though I’m really not. It just so happens that there were some areas of wonk, and those are interesting to talk about. On the “Holy shit!” side of things, I loved the revelation that there are many different ways to perform the Holy Grail War ceremony. That … I mean, it makes sense, right? As much as anything about the Fate series makes sense (less than Fullmetal Alchemist, more than Metal Gear Solid). And Miyu is a princess, and a living Holy Grail? As far as hooks to get another season of the manga (from Zwei to Drei) go, that’s a damn good one. It’s funny, the plot of Prisma Illya feels more well-planned out than the original series, and where Fate/Zero had to occasionally tie itself in knots to not screw up cannon (such as making sure Kiritsugu and Saber only speak three times), this is almost effortless. That’s in exchange for less of the symbolism that’s rife throughout Fate/stay night, but I’ll make that trade off. By which I mean, I’ll take both.
Looking Ahead – Illya’s Slap Of Friendship
Next episode is the finale. Look forward to Double Magical Girl Illya laying the smackdown on the card beast, and the answer of whether Prisma Illya will get auto-confirmed for yet another season, or if the end of Zwei is as far as it goes for now.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – And I thought it was cool when Illya/Kuro were the core of the grail. Miyu is on another level entirely #prismaillya s3e9
- Luvia is still maintaining that Miyu is her imouto, no matter what. Luvia is good people.
- It would appear that Miyu’s Shirou didn’t have a good time of it.
- I was surprised when Gil-kun dove into the monstrosity, and I sorta wish he hadn’t. Had he stayed out and joined Team Illya, his help would have made beating the Miyu-powered-up Shadow-Gil|Card seem feasible without being easy.
- The OST got awesome and Kyoukaisen-like near the end. I approve of anything that’ll let Kato Tatsuya flex his epic. It’s what he does best.
- Maybe my favorite part: When Illya resolves that she needs to slap Miyu. You go, Illya! Get your friend back.
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: My morning routine, True Ends, Rejection, the secret place, & fundamentals, and What are your two skills?