「世界の片隅で君の名を」 (Sekai no Katasumi de Kimi no na o)
“Calling Your Name From a Corner of the World”
I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
The Price of Power
This episode reminds me of a limitation, or perhaps a potential pitfall, of episodic blogging. It’s something I need to be reminded of occasionally, lest I make the mistake I did last week. Were I not blogging this show, when Illya went into superpowered double-stick mode last week, I would have said, “Cool! I can’t wait to watch the last battle.” I wouldn’t have thought about it too much. But since I was blogging the episode, I thought about it more, and found it odd that one person using both sticks would be inherently more powerful, plot considerations aside.
That was before Ruby & Sapphire mentioned the price. And I liked it, and it worked! Having them trick other parts of Illya’s body into acting like fake magic circuits not only ties into Fate-style magic, but it accounts for the extra power she had—and why it’s not something she’ll want to do often. And come on, the battle itself was a treat to watch. It’s something that would have been an utter flash-and-bang mess, had it not been for that countdown, that axe hanging over our necks—“Finish it quickly, Illya!” That’s what I spent the entire fight saying. It added tension, a tension which lasted the rest of the episode.
Which—am I the only one that kept waiting to see if the price Illya paid would be a permanent one? Manga readers might know (reminder: Spoiler tags muthafukkahs, do you use ’em!? You should), but I kept waiting for a incurable cough of death (trope!) that would signal that the damage was permanent. Which I hope it isn’t! But I kind of hope there’s a cleanly noticeable reason why she shouldn’t just dual wield sticks all the time. Which is basically me wishing harm on a little girl, but she’s fictional and we all know I’m a bastard anyway, so par for the course.
And The Tears Came Crashing Down
“I pray you find a world where you won’t have to suffer any longer.”
“I pray that you meet kind people.”
“I pray you find friends you can laugh with.”
“I pray you find a warm, small … share of happiness.”
No, that’s not what got me, though it teed up the shot. (Apparently we’re doing golf metaphors today.) It was Luvia. While Rin and Luvia fighting all the time almost never gets old, I like the complexity injected into Luvia’s character when she shows how much she cares for her little sister. Miyu needs friends, and a place to belong, and as much as Illya gave that to her, so did Luvia. They both never asked for Miyu’s secret, but where Illya did it out of fear, Luvia did it out of understand. I love the gentle, kind Luvia-oneesama. She’s the best *sniffles*
the battle and the immediate aftermath just go to show you: Sometimes you can forget that Prisma Illya is a Fate series to its core. Then it reminds you. When it gets serious, lives (and souls) are on the line.
Happy Happy Lovey Lovey … For Now
Even though I spent the whole time worrying about whether Illya was dying, the sleeping kiss was great, Shirou’s reaction was hilarious, and all the scenes with their friends were that special kind of fuwa-fuwa. While I love the mainline Fate stories, I feel like it’s the mix of the hyper-tense explosive battles with these goofy and happy scenes that makes Prisma Illya more my speed. It’s the reward for all the struggle, renumeration for all the pain.
Mention was made of how much softer Miyu has become. Which I noticed, and appreciated. After accepting once again her fate to slide into oblivion, only to be saved, it’s clear that she treasures her everyday life with her friends. But it was actually Kuro whose softening I noticed first. From her earlier exhortation of Rin, Luvia, and Bazett to not stop Illya, but to help her (which was the right choice—you don’t stop someone when they’ve made a conscious decision of that level), to the end when she calmly said, “Don’t decide it’ll be a bother before you even talk to her,” Kuro has softened a lot since her introduction, and even from the tease she’s been lately.
The trick is, how long will this happiness last? Looks like we’ll get to find out, because Drei confirmed, bitches! (Final impressions below.)
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Illya’s final form isn’t without its costs, but she pulls it out. Miyu is saved, as is the day—for now #prismaillya s3e10 END
- Suddenly, Gainax. My Ea is the Ea that pierces the universe?
- “Lies and bluffs are your forte, aren’t they?” Rin best girl still! (For Stilts)
Zwei Herz! is inarguably the weakest season of Prisma Illya so far. Which isn’t the kiss of death that it would be for other series, because the first two seasons was awesome. I get the impression that I have a better opinion of Zwei Herz! than most people, so let me break down why I thought it was still a fairly good season, even if it wasn’t as amazing as the first two.
The five purely comedy episodes we had before the plot kicked up and eventually got to the battle in episode seven are what most complain about. And I agree—it totally killed the pacing when the only ones that were really in the source were episodes one, two, and six onwards. (Three as well, though it was apparently an out-of-order side chapter originally released in the Drei manga.) Which would have helped the pacing a lot, even if it would have resulted in a seven-episode season.
I don’t discount that. And yet, I enjoyed episode three a lot. Fujoushi Mimi was hilarious, even if it didn’t quite reach the heights that episode one and two did (they being probably the funniest episodes I’ve seen of ANY show in a while). And I really enjoyed episode five, even though it was apparently all anime original! I would be sad to not have seen that, even though it contributed to the fubar’d pacing. Only episode four was, to me, an utter waste of time. To a person who hasn’t seen the season yet, I would tell them, “Bazett works at a theme park for a while, and she gets a lion sit she sleeps in,” after which they can safely skip episode four. In my opinion. I do realize that some people liked episode four, which is perfectly fine.
A big reason the first half of the season got problematic is because it was pure comedy for too long, and comedy is the most subjective type of story type. It’s refreshingly binary—either you laugh or you don’t. I listen to a lot of comedians talk about comedy (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee is great for this, as is Talking Funny), and they all talk about the intense feedback loop—you’re judged every 10 seconds, by every joke. And that binary, immediate feedback doesn’t let us kick in the justifications that we use to say why dramas—and most stories are dramas, even if they’re not overly serious—are still good even if they don’t truly touch us somewhere deep inside. But you can’t explain a joke and have it be funny. Which means that if it’s funny, it’s funny—and if it’s not, it’s not.
What Prisma Illya has long excelled at is being both funny and dramatic. If you liked both, it was awesome, but if you didn’t much care for the comedy, or if it was only all right, then the drama (and action) was thee for you still. This season go so weighted toward the comedy early on that those who didn’t enjoy the comedy as much as someone like me did, didn’t enjoy the season all that much. Whereas I love nearly all of Prisma Illya’s comedy, so I enjoyed most of those early episodes, even if I did get impatient for them to get back to the plot.
Aside from that, it’s the ice cream cake conundrum: Some ice cream cake is good, but if you eat too much ice cream cake, it’ll make you sick. (Name that reference, people.) When the balance was lost, the season was diminished. Though I lay fault for that firmly at the feet of the suits and the production houses. I have a feeling the staff at Silver Link knew that they had too many episodes, but ten-episode seasons are already rare enough (I can’t think of any other than Prisma Illya, though I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some)—a seven or eight-episode series? I can’t imagine someone bothering to greenlight that. Which they should have, to be honest, even if I would have missed not having some of those episodes. But it’s probably hardly worth promoting a series when you can only get a couple of DVD/BD releases out of it. So they stuck with ten episodes.
The final four episodes of the season were good. Not perfect, again—there was more odd pacing in episode eight. But the battle in episode seven was amazing, and the final battle in nine and ten was good stuff. And Kid Gil! What a fun character. I approve of this shouta encroaching on this yuri loli world. He’s just that much fun.
In the final calculus, I still enjoyed Zwei Herz, and I’ve blogged much worse adaptations. I was worried that it would prevent us from getting a greenlight for the broadly-acclaimed Drei manga, but luck is with us. To quote a madman, “I think you and I are destined to do this forever.” Until Illya and friends return again, thank you for reading.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: My morning routine, True Ends, Rejection, the secret place, & fundamentals, and What are your two skills?