Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya Review

fatekaleidhdr

Unfortunately for myself, my taste for magical girl style anime left in my early years.  It’s just a style that got old and riddled with similarities.  Even still yet, I recently had an urge to pick up Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya in hopes of filling a quick desire for a magical girl.  Being from one of my favorite worlds Fate/Stay, I had hoped I’d at least get some good fan service at the same time.

fatekaleid7Story
After Rin Tosaka and her reluctant partner Luviagelita Edelfelt are given the task of collecting 7 unknown cards spotted in Japan, they quickly get into a fight over their skill which leads to their magical Kaleidosticks leaving them. Claiming that the two are unfit to wield them, the Kaleidosticks Ruby and Sapphire leave on a hunt to find two candidates to become their new masters.

As the middle school student Illyasviel von Einzbern (or Illya) takes a restful bath after watching a marathon of a magical girl anime, she’s confronted by Ruby and eventually tricked into making a pact with her to become a magical girl. However after Rin arrives to explain the task at hand, she quickly realizes that Ruby had forced the girl into becoming her master and thus offers to guide her on her journey to collect the 7 cards. Or until she can get Ruby to make her master again.

fatekaleid4The story is pretty standard for a magical girl show. Magic, mascots, friendship, hardships, and an enemy to take down. Fate/kaleid really does nothing to shake the mold. While I would say this is unfortunate, I also didn’t really expect much from it. It’s really just a show to fit the bill of a silly magical girl.

The one thing I can possibly give the series was its use of fan service. Though it doesn’t really get at all interesting until episode 6. At this point the show starts ramping up the fan service and it gets a bit exciting to be honest. It went from magical girl to a sort of play off of the heroes and it does it in an interesting way. Meshing Illya with a hero of choice. It was fairly awesome.

It was at this point that I felt like the Fate/kaleid franchise could have a bit of potential, however after a couple of episodes it went back to being a dull magical girl once again. Losing its flavor and becoming trope filled.

fatekaleid1Though all of these problems could be solved by having likable or cute characters as most magical girls feature. While Illya is relatively cute, she’s a rather dull protagonist and only manages to stand out in a few brief moments throughout the entire 10 episodes. Miyu is depressing and cold, filling a trope cookie cutter build. Then there is Rin who I enjoyed from Fate/Stay, who ends up being obnoxious and constantly bickering with Luvi. No joke, constantly.

Animation
Fate/kaleid is off and on when it comes to animation and style. While the style itself is similar to the rest of the Fate universe, it also has a certain childish element to some of the character designs. Like I said before, it’s back and forth on being good and being messy. Though it never takes from the experience too much.

fatekaleid3Where it excels is in the combat animations. Things ramp up and the combat is relatively good. It’s engaging, entertaining, and very well done. Though I have to admit the Kaleidosticks Ruby and Sapphire always looked rather disjointed from the world as I believe that used CG for them.

Conclusion
For a magical girl anime, Fate/kaleid is rather sub par. Though to be honest the show is an obvious knockoff cash-in for the magical girl market, just as Pretty Sammy was for the Tenchi franchise. If you’re big on magical girls, or just crave more of the Fate universe and are fine with mindless magical girl action, Fate/kaleid is a decent show to pick up. For anyone else, there’s just nothing really to be had here.

One of my main purposes to watching this was to keep up on the second season coming soon. If you’re into the series, keep an eye out for my impressions on that series as it comes out.

NOT BAD, BUT NOT GREAT..

NOT BAD, BUT NOT GOOD..

REVIEW VERDICT:
Meh..

Goods:

  • Great hero fuse concept
  • Some comical moments
  • Good battles
  • Some good Fate fanservice

Bads:

  • Some battle cut short
  • Tropes everywhere
  • Lacking in substance
  • Characters aren’t likable
  • Its one interesting element is abandoned quickly
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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.