「繋いだ奇跡」 (Tsunaida Kiseki)
The 3rei anime ends, leaving us with more questions than answers. The upcoming film should answer some of them.
It’s hard to shake the feeling that this finale episode wasn’t much of a finale, and leaned on deus ex machina. The former is obvious—it’s not the ending. The latter can perhaps be debated. But Tanaka throwing Illya her sword arm just in the nick of time, the antagonists disappearing even though Julian gave Beatrice two thunderbolts, and Bazett finding Rin’s amulet—that’s the one that smacked of it most clearly, even if I appreciated the poetry of that gem binding Rin and Shirou, no matter the timeline, no matter the verion of Rin and Shirou. It just united in a whole that wasn’t firing on enough cylinders to get away with transgressions that past seasons could have managed. That’s what happens when you drop the budget and allow the shine wear off with unevenly paced seasons. Such is anime life.
Not that I didn’t enjoy the episode on the whole. Any timeline where Illya gets to grow up happy and innocent is truly the brightest timeline, and I like how they’re emphasizing that it’s Illya’s ability to wish the selfish, unrealistic dreams of a little girl—and to do what she can to pursue them—that separates her from the adults, and this timeline from the others. That’s a good theme to unite the series around.
Plus, a return to some classic Prisma Illya-style hilarity is appreciated! Even if this time it comes with a creepy disembodied hand. (Tanaka is as mysterious as she is freaky, and also dumb.) 3rei has never quite got dark enough to prevent me from liking it, but I do enjoy this version of it better. A little sugar makes the drama go down smooth, and it saves budget to make the action better. Plus, spoiled imouto-mode Miyu! Who doesn’t like that? Monsters, that’s who.
The big thing I want to know is how Shirou and Miyu got to where they are, and who the hell Tanaka is. Fortunately, it looks like one of those is going to get answered in animated form before long. Prisma Illya movie confirmed, and it looks like it’s going to focus on a certain pair of siblings. Bring it on!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – 3rei ends with a flaming sword, a disembodied hand, and bathtime hijinks. As it should #prisma_illya s4e12
- Them taking in Angelica sure is interesting. I have a feeling she’ll play a pivotal role in the endgame, though for who is anyone’s guess. Probably Team Illya, but we’ll see.
- I feel like the Emiya house isn’t the best place to go. Pretty sure Julian will know to look there.
- Saber is in Emiya’s head, even when he hasn’t (presumably) met her. That hair style!
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for a FREE prequel short story. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Re Zero: The hero who strives, I have four jobs right now, Radical transparency. I’ll try, and Freelance Heroics in print, and other matters.
Full-length images: 11.
I feel like 3rei arrived with entirely too much hype. Manga readers will probably say that it really is as good as they said, and this wasn’t a good enough adaptation, but stop—just stop. You’ll never be able to recapture the feelings you had when you first read it. That’s just not how fiction works. Even if it wasn’t as good of an adaptation as it could have been—which is entirely possible—the hype did nobody any good. It just led to massive expectations, with far more potential downside than up.
I’m glad I spent so much time consciously downplaying those expectations, because I still enjoyed the season on the balance. I feel like some of the earlier battles worked better, and the budget began running low late in the season, which shouldn’t be a surprise—3rei was a lot more action heavy than previous Prisma Illya seasons. Which sucks, because now the luster has fallen away from Prisma Illya’s action, as we’re reminded it’s mortal too—but ah well. That’s the risk you run when you have the embarrassment of riches that is four seasons, such a rarity in this anime age. Fortunately the upcoming movie shouldn’t have that problem, probably. Having to fork over money before seeing the content has its advantages.
Full disclosure: I’m exhausted from working too much, so I’m not going to go into the blow-by-blow. There are twelve posts to read if you want that. Instead, here’s a lightning round of things I enjoyed: the mystery of Tanaka; Gil-kun being so very much Gilgamesh, but a bit different; Beako’s perversion; all the different heroic spirit Illya costumes; the selfcest wincest smooching (again); Rin & Luvia being useless as maids too; plenty of Gate of Babylon; Shirou getting to strut his stuff; Shirou & Kuro fighting together, the twin fakers; and Illya keeping the whole damn timeline from sliding into darkness on the force of her kindness and optimism alone. So, most things! Though I wish the antagonists didn’t keep arbitrarily letting the protagonists live. That got annoying. Make ’em earn it.
I liked it. It was fun! Though I’m still looking forward to the movie story a lot. Even if Prisma Illya isn’t Shirou’s story, I still have some affection for the old bastard, and I want to know how he got so far down the Archer/Heaven’s Feel path. Hopefully we’ll get another TV season after that, because we need another two seasons to fulfill the prophecy. It’s six seasons and a movie, right? Almost there.