Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya – 05 (When magic girls get put on the bench.)

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya Episode 05 REVIEW
Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Ilya is wants to race to help the downed Rin and Luvia despite Ruby telling her both girls are OK, forcing Miyu to stop Ilya.  Considering the strength of Alter Saber, Miyu says they have two choices – defeat the Class Card or distract her long enough for a rescue attempt of Rin and Luvia to be made. Since Miyu can’t use the Lancer card again for a while, the Caster card is unknown, and the Archer card and Rider card aren’t very useful, a rescue is all they can do. Miyu starts ranged attacks against Saber while Miyu heads to a nearby wooded area to attempt to get closer to the downed girls. Saber is not phased by the attacks as she’s protected by a powerful “mist” shield. Saber returns an attack, almost as if swatting at a fly.

Ilya sees the attack and screams out Miyu’s name, giving away her position. Saber turns and “swats” her with a ranged attack, sending her back into the woods. Miyu tries another attack and gets swatted at again before Saber slowly turns back to Ilya to attack her. Ilya barely makes it out of the way, but gets injured and starts bleeding. Ilya starts experiencing fear, forcing Miyu to come in and save her from being blasted. Miyu doesn’t know what to do since they can’t defeat Saber nor escape from her. As Saber slowly approaches the two girls, a red gem comes in and explodes, doing Saber no damage, but revealing that Rin has regained consciousness. Rin wakes the “phony” ojousama, Luvia, and the two get to their feet to face Saber.

Luvia and Rin launch gem attacks on Saber, but to no avail. Miyu and Ilya argue over what to do, causing Ruby to smack them both on the head and come up with a third option. As Saber slowly approaches Rin and Luvia, Ilya and Miyu race up, sending Ruby and Sapphire to their former Masters, where the two wands reveal they are forming temporary contracts with Rin and Luvia respectively. Now transformed into magic girls, Ilya sees how embarrassing the magic girl outfits really are, something Ruby mentions to Rin, irritating Rin. Luvia makes a snide comment, causing Rin to call her an idiot. However, their banter is interrupted by an attack by Saber.

Luvia attacks from a distance, allowing Rin to come in for a melee fight with Saber, forming a blade on the end of Ruby. Both Ilya and Miyu are amazed as they watch what experienced mages can do with the magic girl wands. As Rin continues to battle Saber, who’s not harmed. Rin has adjusted her attack/defensive magic distribution so that she’s protected with Saber’s blade comes in. Rin grabs her blade and blasts Saber at point blank range, sending her back. Luvia has been in the air, setting up massive mandalas, and shows up to let Rin know all is prepared. With that, Rin and Luvia get into position for a joint attack.


This episode was surprisingly good, mainly because it broke from the clichéd norms of the mahou shoujo genre.

Until this episode, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya has followed the traditional mahou shoujo path for making a normal, good, airheaded girl into a magic girl. First, the girl gets chosen by an entity, usually in the form of a mascot character. Here, it was an intelligent wand (or rather the top of a wand).  Then, the girl quickly accepts the idea of being a magic girl and is quickly thrown into a combat situation to overcome. A rival or opponent of similar age may appear and things progress from there.

With episode 5, we break free from those traditional path elements. Once it becomes clear that Ilya and Miyu cannot defeat Alter Saber, then they hand the reigns over to the more experienced, original magic girls Rin and Luvia. I didn’t expect that at all because normally, magic girls find some means to overcome an opponent, no matter how powerful. Indeed, we saw that in episode 4 when Miyu and Ilya figure out a way to defeat Caster.

By having Rin and Luvia battle Saber as magic girls, Ilya and Miyu do what inexperienced players who are “sitting on the bench” should do — learn by studying what the experienced players are doing in real time. That’s exactly what Miyu and Ilya do as they learn by observing Rin and Luvia using combat tactics to try to defeat Saber. I loved this because it makes total sense for this to be done.

I also enjoyed the irony of the tables being turned with Miyu and Ilya. Last episode, Miyu was uncertain and Ilya was confident. This episode, Ilya loses her confidences and experiences fear after being injured. For the first time, Ilya starts to understand that this isn’t a game nor an anime (HAR!), but has consequences that could cost her life. This is something that can help her in the future.

I am struck by how Alter Saber isn’t fighting seriously in this episode. She just occasionally swats at Miyu and Ilya without doing much. The only time she gets somewhat serious at all is when she’s engaged in melee combat with Rin. I don’t know if it means anything or if it is just dramatic pause to allow for comedy or exposition moments.

I’m also struck by how the Class Cards seem so worthless. You have the Archer card that can’t do anything and apparently the Rider card isn’t much help either. So, what was the purpose of creating such cards?

The episode ends on a cliff hanger, and since Saber isn’t even attacked by Rin’s and Luvia’s combined attack, much less defeated, I figure that next episode, we’ll have Ilya and Miyu return to their magic girl roles to finish the deal somehow. After all, the series is about Ilya and Miyu, not supporting characters Rin and Luvia.

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16 Responses to “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya – 05 (When magic girls get put on the bench.)”

  1. Farray says:

    I am struck by how Alter Saber isn’t fighting seriously in this episode.

    This is the problem that I found in this episode: the Pace. The cliffhanger was the weirdest thing in this episode, along with the dialogue because in the manga, Saber Alter didn’t really give them much time to breathe and think. If Silver Link hadn’t done the 2 minutes recap at the beginning and hadn’t stretched the episode with weird pauses, they could have ended the episode with the proper cliffhanger from the manga.

    However, I understand why they did that, since then in the next episode, the fight would have ended too early and that would have kinda… killed the mood? Sort of. You can expect another longer recap and a first half that is again dragged on next week.

    Still, the pace wasn’t horrible. It just wasn’t as good as it was in the episodes before.

    I’m also struck by how the Class Cards seem so worthless.

    and (ROT13)


    Obl, lbh’er fb tbaan erterg fnlvat gung.

    Gur guvat urer vf: Ab bar ernyyl xabjf ubj gb hfr gur pneqf. “Vapyhqr” unf vgf hfrf, vg nyfb vf zber znan rssvpvrag naq abg qvssvphyg gb qb. Jnvg naq frr, gung’f nyy V pna fnl sbe abj.

    I really like how realistically Ilya actually acts. She realizes their mission is life-threatening and being afraid and acting panicked is absolutely understandable.

    In the manga, Rin’s and Luvia’s wounds actually looked a lot more bloodier. They toned it down a bit.

    Anyway, Saber Alter is just awesome. And that ED pic, LOL.


    For your information, the Sabers standing besides Alter are Normal Saber, Saber Lily, Saber Lion and Mysterious Heroine X. Mind you, these are not all versions of Saber. I haven’t even mentioned the Artoria lookalikes like Jeanne, Saber Extra or Mordred.


    Actually, as a joke, Type-Moon’s co-founder and character designer of Tsukihime and Fate/stay night, Takashi Takeuchi even drew another Saber: Sakura Saber!


    Haha, he is well aware of the fact that Saber is really popular and that he draws her too often. ^_^ After all…


    Well said. At least they admit it.

    Btw, I again had recently a discussion with some people who watched and dropped this series. The reason why they dropped it really made me laugh, since they said that Nasu never would have written bullcrap like Kaleido Ruby, the Kaleidosticks and the original characters like Ilya’s maids and Luvia suck.


    I think you know this already, but Ilya’s maids Sella and Leysritt are from FSN. And as I’ve said before, Luvia appeared in Fate/hollow ataraxia. Actually, she had a cameo in the FSN Visual Novel first. Oh, and the sticks and Rin’s Magical Girl appearance Kaleido Ruby are also from F/HA, which was written by… Nasu.

    While Prisma Illya is certainly not written by Nasu, it is acknowledged and recognized as a serious Fate spinoff by Type-Moon. The author has relatively free hand what to do, but he follows the concepts of the Nasuverse very closely and is very faithful to the source material.

    P.S. ryuutobi solved the little problem from last week in the comments. It really was a translation error. And goddammit, another wall of text this week. >.>

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      You are allowed walls of text. ^_~

      Thanks for all the info and the Sakura Saber image. Saber with a katana is something else. I keep thinking “shogun” for some reason. ^_~

      On the Class Cards – I’m not surprised.

      >Btw, I again had recently a discussion with some people who watched and dropped this series.

      You know, I initially didn’t want to watch this series. My thought process was that this series would be to the Fate/stay night franchise what the Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sammy OVA series and TV series were to the original Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA series — some cheap way to try to cash in on a franchise by having the same characters after a fashion, but in different roles.

      So, I have been pleasantly surprised by the fact that this series hasn’t done that, but rather has made this world just a somewhat different, alternate universe (assuming that’s the right way of putting it).

    • Farray says:

      You know, I initially didn’t want to watch this series.

      Interesting. What changed your mind?

      So, I have been pleasantly surprised by the fact that this series hasn’t done that, but rather has made this world just a somewhat different, alternate universe (assuming that’s the right way of putting it).

      Yes, it’s part of Kinoko Nasu’s Nasuverse and its setting again is a multiverse. That’s why every route and every ending (including the game overs) in FSN is officially considered canon. So people who actually have background knowledge about magecraft, characters like Rin, or the Servants’ abilities for instance, should have it easier to understand the story and its characters.

      In this universe, Kiritsugu and Iri are alive and are supposed to live with Ilya in Fuyuki (and for some reason I don’t understand, Shirou was still adopted by Kiritsugu).

      It’s kinda hard for me to see the timeline in this universe, though. Shirou and Rin are highschool students, but Ilya seems to be ten, while she is 18 or 19 in FSN. Also, Waver already seems to be Lord El-Melloi II. So this is probably a different universe with a completely different timeline.

    • Farray says:

      Never mind. I read the first review again because I remember you mentioning that you initially weren’t interested. >.>

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Interesting that the manga hasn’t apparently explained why Shiro was adopted. I guess that might be a creative liberty taken to have the character included since the events of Fate/Zero don’t appear to come into play here.

    • Farray says:

      Well, Ilya explained to Ruby that Kiritsugu found Shirou ten years ago and adopted him because he apparently was an orphan, which… basically explains nothing at all.

      Something must have happened to Shirou, since in the main universe his parents died when the great inferno destroyed Fuyuki City. Or… the author just wanted to have a happy family with Ilya and Shirou living as siblings in this story. ^_^


    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I get the feeling that the events from Fate/Zero didn’t happen at all.

    • Farray says:


      Nf V’ir fnvq orsber, gur Rvamoreaf ner va guvf havirefr fgvyy qrrcyl vaibyirq va gur Tenvy Jne. Ubjrire, V arire zragvbarq Zngbh be Gbufnxn naq vg ybbxf yvxr Eva vf nofbyhgryl pyhryrff, fb lbh ner cebonoyl evtug naq gur riragf bs Sngr/Mreb arire unccrarq.

      Hasbeghangryl, guvf cybg jba’g or erfbyirq va guvf frnfba naq jub xabjf jura 2jrv jvyy or navzngrq…

      Btw, I just noticed, Sakura Saber wears almost the same clothes Iri wore in the Fate/Zero bluray specials, lol.


    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      This has been a surprisingly good series so far, so I hope that the sequel manga all get animated.

      As to the image, I’ll have to wait until I get home to view it. ^_^; Bloody firewall rules.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Saber quite clearly isn’t taking the little girls seriously. She wasn’t even fighting Rin all that seriously, using her sword just one handed.

    Interesting bit is that Rin’s attack is a callback to the original, how she took one life off Berserker. Intentionally get into a deadly dangerous position with a powerful melee hero, then use a combination of a strong physical protection with a point blank high damage attack.

    • Farray says:

      I actually always wondered… are the corrupted versions more like Berserkers, fighting without thinking anything complex, or do they have some kind of consciousness (though obviously, they seem to sense immediate danger)?

      Though I have to mention that Saber hit Rin one-handed because she blocked one of Rin’s arms in the manga. So she actually did take them seriously from the beginning.


      And well… I think the difference between the original in “Fate” and this fight against Saber Alter, is that Rin is aware she can’t kill Saber and only buys time. It does look like a reference to the Fate route, though.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’d forgotten Rin’s fight with Berserker back in FSN. Thanks for the reminder. ^_^

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >It does look like a reference to the Fate route, though.

      It explains the deja-vu remark from Ilya. *lol*

    • Farray says:

      Ah well, I thought she had a déjà vu because Rin got her with a point-blank Gandr in the face in episode one. 😀

    • Anonymous says:

      Double déjà vu, since it got her in both continuities. Back there with Berserker, Rin might actually have killed him proper if she had just five more gems.

      I figure the cards, while berserk and all that, have a bit of their original personality tagging along. Caster certainly was enjoying herself way too much, and Saber is still bound by honor to give her foes a fighting chance.

      It’s dishonorable to go all out against terrified children. On the other hand Rin definitely earned a serious fight there through her courage and skill(seriously, for a magus she likes to attack Servants in melee too much). Respect means no holding back afterwards.

    • Farray says:

      Back there with Berserker, Rin might actually have killed him proper if she had just five more gems.

      Small correction. Rin didn’t need five more jewels, but five times the jewels she used to properly kill Berserker with one attack, if we can believe Ilya. She used four jewels for her point-blank attack, so Rin needed 20 Rank A jewels to finish Berserker off six times.

      I don’t think Rin had the money to do that, haha. Her savings for the Fifth War were the heirloom pendant and 20 jewels that she loaded with her energy, since she was a small kid. And she used 10 of them to summon Archer. However, considering the fact that only 10 (minus one because of Saber) jewels remained and each precious jewel costs 10 million Yen…

      (seriously, for a magus she likes to attack Servants in melee too much)

      Well… comes with the fact that, as a Tohsaka member, she’s trained in Kenpo, right? 😉

      Now that I think about it, she kinda resembles Archer in that aspect, actually.
      Rin goes melee even though she is a magus. Archer rather goes into battle with swords, instead of shooting with arrows. Both are not very normal for their actual classification.

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