「金色の少年」 (Kin’iro no Shounen)
“Golden Boy”

Things look bleak for our heroes.

Gil-kun’s Gags

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 Mid-Battle

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

Random thoughts:

  • 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?




      1. Don´t remind me of it! Everey single anime site on the internet listed Gate as 24 episodes long, even the producers of the show said it but right at the middle they say it´s going to be split i half and we have to wait until January!!! One the most awesome arcs of the novels and we fans have to wait 3 freaking months! I demand a second season so all the novels can be animated! It´s easy, the novels are finished for a while now and who doesn´t love that show?.

        At least Kekkai Sensen last spisode is going to be aired soon and it will an hour long, that´s a little something to calm my wrath.

  1. The comedic moments just won’t be the same without Miyu as a foil. ^_^;

    I wonder if the unbeatable adversary monster is a setup so that even with Ilya going all lyrical magical on it she’ll still be beaten to a pulp ….. only just slow enough to thaw Miyu’s heart so she can tear the monster apart from the inside (even if there are consequences). I just hope there’s a satisfying way for Miyu to not disappear from this world line…..

  2. Caren: My job is only to be an expedition dump. The rest of the story is up to you…

    Practically what she said. Didn’t even explain how that observation spell thing works. So you can’t watch over something without it hurting you if shit goes bad there? Did she cast it across the whole city or just the cavern? Plus this whole time we’ve been lead to believe she knows how things were going to go so I guess up to this point she doesn’t anymore? Whatever the case all we need to know is that she’s just there for plot and that’s it. Good…..I don’t even care.
    (I care immensely………)

    Dang Luvia and Rin couldn’t keep up with Buzet and Kuro. If only there was a spell used just recently to help them become lighter/faster. Fuck consistency amirite? 😉

    Rin: Did you know?
    Luvia: No………but a prepared myself for it.
    (Later on……)
    :Luvia: I knew this moment would come all along!

    Words…………they escape me.

    Why exactly did Illya just jump down and slap Gil? What was it going to accomplish………like at all? I mean besides him telling her where Miyu was for no reason. (which is going to be his weakness I’m guessing) The dude is obviously crazy. Words ain’t going to get to the guy. Slaps probably just piss him off. If Kuro didn’t come at the last second (which was kind of easy to see coming) she’d be super dead. I guess we needed to see how determined Illya was but lets face it. Main character status pretty much lets you do anything stupid……………ANYTHING. Even slapping a guy who has control over a giant monster filled to the brim in mana with nearly endless hordes of weapons that he can shoot from anywhere in his body……..yeah I think that sounds even crazier now that I thought about it a second time. Illya is nuts man o_O.

    I really hope she doesn’t slap Miyu with the hand she groped Gil’s balls with by the way. Better sanitize that thing first ;P.

    Grievances aside this was still a solidish episode (at least compared to previous ones). For one it was nice to actually get an explanation for what’s been going on. Namely exposure of Miyu’s origin. One thing that I’m kind of questioning about that though. If she is technically the Holy Grail itself shouldn’t she be pretty powerful? Or does she simply not know how to tap into that power? It’s not like she didn’t know about it either so I’m not sure how that works. They mention that she is defective which might explain that but it seems like that could be spun around (as in she wouldn’t be stable enough for Gil or anyone to use her).

  3. I see, Illya is now the Current World Holy Grail, boosted up with Sapphire’s magic for Miyu. In other Words, Illya is on double Holy Grail Power Level

    Go, show this arrogant Kid Manners

  4. Interesting, Miyu’s some version of the Void from KnK then? Guess this episode also explains why the manga is still going: there’s going to be a season 4 where whoever these “not Einzberns” are come for Miyu in person, cause looks like Gilgamesh has met his match in double magical girl Illya (or is this the eponymous “Kaleid Prisma Illya Zwei” instead of the Kuro and Illya pair?).

    It’s been a fun ride. I’m excited to see the final battle betweeen Gil and Illya, and hopefully kid Gil will get to stick around once corrupted Gil gets destroyed, since he’s absolutely ridiculous.

  5. Illya!

    Light Hawk Wings might be a tad overkill you could destroy the planet with em.

    Hey it a alternative university so the Tenchi Muyo fan in me came first apologies if that too far back. I know it’s only the “Power Gives You Wings” mahout shoujo and . (can someone point me at where to learn how to make a web link with short title)

    Stilts the long delay in attacks when hero is monologging before a power up is part of the physics in mahou shoujo and shonen believe is part of physics in I believe. 😉 there is a trope for that. “Talking Is a Free Action” and “In the name of the Moon”. 😉

  6. In terms of Illya getting insanely stronger because she’s using two sticks…why not? We don’t really have a great grasp of how these things work. Considering what we’re dealing with here it could multiply her power by near infinite amounts. Or just go the other way the first time they were focusing heavily on a detailed plan. But Illya’s best quality as a magical girl is her imagination and creativity. Give her a power boost and she probably can be more effective than the group was by themselves.

    Honestly I’m curious about how much or less dangerous this form actually is. It seems to have exchanged a lot of the firepower in weaponry for massive arms and shields. There is still some weapon spam, but it’s hardly limitless. Even though Gil has jumped on for the ride, that thing probably can’t access his share of the gate.

    In the end I’m curious to see how they make this all work.

    1. Illya isn’t exactly a normal human being given she was created for the holy grail. My guess is that wielding both of them would be dangerous on one body.

      I don’t really see Illya as that battle smart though. Miyu was the more tactical one and could handle the pressure easier. She’s in full “anime anger powerup” mode right now. Usually that means brute force tactics are expected. Against an enemy like this that probably would be the only way though.

      1. Incorrect. Miyu is much more powerful than Illya now and handles all the nuking. All that powerful magic she had on Season 1 has gone to Kuro, when the Holy Grail aspect of herself was split from her. That was actually a minor plot on the Kuro arc. You might also notice she can’t do any more Card Installs. That also went away when Kuro split from her. Illya has spent most of Zwei innovating her magic like using her barriers as restraints or as makeshift blades.

    2. @ FlareKnight

      Think of it as a simple math problem.

      Illya(+ Ruby) + Miyu(+ Sapphire) + Bazett + Kuro + Rin + Luvia + Plan < Card|Gil Illya(+ Ruby + Sapphie) > Card|Gil + Miyu’s Holy Grail power?

      It just feels like the two sides of the equation don’t line up. (And yes, Bazett and Kuro are both actively in the field, and Rin and Luvia could join in, but that still doesn’t balance the scales.) Especially since, as fragb85 rightly noted, all of Illya’s power went away when Kuro split.

      And of course, if it’s more like Illya(x Ruby x Sapphire), and they give a massive power multiplier, it will beg the question going forward: Why doesn’t Illy just wield both sticks all the time?

      Not that any of these problems are insurmountable, from a storytelling perspective. It’s just wonky with the information we have right now.

  7. Illya’s ZWEI Form is finally here! I’m hoping Silver Link will now commit their full budget next episode.

    That somehow, both sticks being wielded by one person is going to be way stronger than all of them together?

    Many people forget (And I don’t blame them) that the Kaledio sticks were created by the Legendary Mage Zeltrech, who has mastered the Second Magic. For some perspective, if you played the VN’s Heaven Feel route, Rin wielded a REPLICA of Zeltrech’s sword and handed some serious beatdown. Ruby and Sapphire have even bigger potential than that, but they are also sentient so its not easy to get them to commit their full power. And wielding both of them? Well…. just wait for the next episode.

    As for Miyu, she is a Holy Grail conduit from an alternate universe, much like Illya was on this world. The only difference is that Illya is an artificially born homunculus and Miyu is natural born. That’s why everything about her adds up, why Sapphire chose her, why she can do Install and Include much like Illya can. Of course, that also means she is deprived from any normal childhood. Remember Illya’s past back in UBW? Its a wonder that Miyu hasn’t turned into a psychopath like Illya from normal Fate was.

    1. Did the Anime until now explained where these two Magic sticks came from? right now i only know their previous Masters was these both Mature Girls, so where they really came from is still unknown to me. I hope if necessary the Anime will give us an explanation

    2. Honestly I hope they use the budget on Non Non Biyori instead XD In fact, they probably blew the budget for this week on Renge’s Sosun and Hotarun burrito!

      But yeah, this series needs a good sendoff in order for Dwei to be a reality!

    3. @ fragb85

      The point about Ruby and Sapphire not usually committing their full power is good, but … well, when FSN|Gil (or FZ|Gil) holds back, it’s because of obvious personality reasons (flaws). That makes sense. It’s all that keeps him from being overpowered, but he IS those flaws.

      Ruby and Sapphire don’t seem to have such a good reason to hold back. If they had extra power, it feels like they would have used it before here … and if they didn’t, I don’t see a great personality-based reason for them not having done so. Ruby, maybe; she’s a capricious stick. But not Sapphire. I feel like she’d use all the power at her disposal to protect Miyu back during that Card|Gil fight in ep7.

      1. There is a VERY good reason why they hold back. I’m pretty sure the reason will be exposited next episode unless that dialogue will be cut off by the anime. For now, I’m just going to say that ZWEI Form isn’t a free powerup and has a catch to it.

      2. I think what stilts means is why exactly couldn’t they just increase their power output little by little? No one is asking for them to completely use ALL their power since obviously that would likely have major drawbacks but if they are THIS powerful it seems like they could have done something like “hey I’m going to increase your power output a little. It will effect your body if I go above a certain level”. Simple right? Are you telling me they can’t above the base level that they used before when they were used separately by Illy and Miyu? Eh not buying that personally.

        I mean they’ve been in nearly hopeless situations before where everyone’s lives were on the line like in the Saber and Buzet fights. Why is this true power thing coming up now? It’s a powerup that feels rather poorly built.

  8. I wonder if She use her Cards in this form, are they also “upgraded”? I think you could use Saber’s Excalibur Phantasm to finish this “Black” Monster away. Yeah, even if Saber was installed on Miyu.

  9. Stilts, the answer to your “why doesn’t Illya use both sticks” comes down to a few things.

    1) Remember that the sticks become bonded to the person that they are using. This is something that Ruby forced on Illya to get her to be a magic girl. The stick also has to recognize her as a master.

    Thus, Sapphire has blood bonded with Miyu and unless Sapphire wants it, Miyu’s still the registered master.

    2) Due to the personalities, do you really think that Sapphire would want to give up her master? The personalities are going to make thinking of things like “hey, if I stop being her master, Illya can use me much better”. Also, the personality would make her stop from doing that.

    3) It really is Illya’s Imagination x Ruby x Sapphire that fires up how come she’s able to just overpower things. Also, remember that Kuro is being maintained by Illya and should not exist. Kuro only exists because Illya uses her imagination to force Kuro to still be around.

    Now think about it. She’s causing something that’s impossible to happen, to happen. Yes, we can say “oh it split off” or “oh, she’s only at half power”, but how much power does one have to create someone’s existence to be in existence?

    Basically Illya takes the magical girl thing so seriously, that she uses her Holy Grail powers and bends things to how a magical girl should be. This would be in the Ridiculously Overpowering Power Ups That Magical Girls Have. It’ll be under Rule 3, Article 15: Friend decided to make sure you didn’t get hurt because something bad is happening to them – earn a power to the 42nd.

    4) The sticks are given personalities so as to not have someone like this just go “oh, btw, I’m destroying the world”. I mean, could you imagine Ruby or Sapphire going along with th-ah, I mean, so long as Illya or Miyu weren’t in control? I can’t see it.

    5) All things come with a price, so most likely Illya’s going to pay for powering up afterwards.

    1. A that How the incoming sword slows down to a crawl. Magical Girl power up always has time to monolog so everything else stops or slows down to allow. So Illya reality warps the flow of time there as wish power is reality warping.


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