With the review of the first season of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya in the can, it’s time to move on to the second season. Is it another step in the right direction for the series, or is it a step back? Let’s get to the bottom of it~
With the recovery of the seven Class Cards, all is right in the world for Illya and Miyu, but when a mysterious stranger who bears an uncanny resemblance to Illya shows up and wants to kill her, everything is turned on its ear once again. Who is this doppelganger? Why does she want to kill Illya? And will Illya’s life be able to recover from this newest injection of chaos?
While the first season saw Illya and Miyu put aside their differences and reluctantly join forces and recover the Class Cards, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei! seems to have a greater focus on Illya’s home life and how it gets further affected by the arrival of this new foe.
I never really expected this series to be incredibly action-driven, but especially during the first half of this season, I was a bit surprised at the lack of many battle scenes, or at least as many as season one had. A majority of the time is spent on Kuro’s assimilation into the von Einzbern family, and specifically, her tumultuous relationship with Illya. That’s not to say I didn’t like this development, but the lack of variety in the enemies was something that was disappointing for me. However, what this second season lacked in quantity of battles, you could say it made up for in quality, since I personally enjoyed the fights with Kuro and Bazett a little more than those in the first season.
As for the more standard slice of life segments, I thought this was an improvement over its predecessor. Perhaps that’s just due to the perceived increase in the number of scenes, but the pound cake face-off and dodgeball battle were fun and provided some lighthearted moments that made things more interesting. For me, scenes like these were more enjoyable than most of what we saw in the original season, so if you were hoping for more cute girls doing cute things, your wish was definitely granted~
Lastly, one of my gripes about the first season was the minimalistic story that didn’t really offer much backstory and felt overly simple. To a degree, this was addressed, and there seems to be much more happening in this universe than we were led to believe. Learning of Kuro’s and Illya’s pasts was enlightening, and there still seems to be many more unanswered questions, so this felt like a definite step in the right direction, and I can only hope that this continues going forward.
So even though the lack of resolution is a bit unfortunate, I can’t hold it against the series too much, since steps were taken to address the previous season’s failures. All told, I think the story is definitely in a better place going into the next season.
Everyone from the first season is back, and since we see more of Illya’s daily life, that means we got to know Illya’s friends a bit better. Suzuka, Mimi, Nanaki, and Tatsuko are a fun bunch that fit in really well and help make this cast quite enjoyable, as does Tiger-sensei and someone I wanted to see much more of, Caren, the eccentric school nurse. On the flip side, there’s more of Shirou this season, so if you’re anything like me, you’ll absolutely hate that.
Rin and Luvia are as dysfunctional (and entertaining) as ever, and Iri, Illya’s mom, plays a much bigger role this time around, so that’s good to see. The aforementioned supporting cast is fine and good, but this second season really belongs to Kuro.
All right, I have to admit that for a good chunk of this season, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Kuro’s. It’s not that I thought she was a bad character or anything like that, it’s just, personality-wise, she usually seemed to grind my gears, and when the time came that we were supposed to feel sympathetic to her situation, I felt nothing. But once her attitude started to change, so did my perception of her, and I eventually took a liking to her. It certainly didn’t hurt that she would go around kissing all the other girls, so when it comes to the yuri, she was the driving force in this season.
I feel like the addition of Kuro was real bad news for Miyu, since—like her or not—Kuro seems exciting and charismatic… and to me, at least, Miyu doesn’t. After sharing the spotlight with Illya in the first season, Miyu almost seems like an afterthought at times here, which is kind of unfortunate. Also, aside from the battles, I can’t recall a noteworthy moment involving her. All that said, I actually do like her, even if her personality isn’t conducive to excitement—and even though you can tell she has some feelings for Illya, nothing really becomes of that, so she wasn’t done many favors in the story.
Which finally brings us to Illya. To me at least, Illya strikes a nice balance between Kuro’s over-the-top personality, and Miyu’s laid back personality, which is probably why she’s easily one of my favorite characters in the series. But while Kuro and Miyu are busy contributing to the yuri score of this season, Illya is still crushing on her adopted brother, Shirou. Though, to be fair, so is Kuro… and Rin… and also Luvia. *barf*
Thanks to the many kisses involving Kuro, the yuri content is higher than it was for the previous season, yet it remains a tease that will hopefully provide more in the following seasons. Other than that, Kuro takes an already good cast and adds a little something extra that makes it even better than before, I believe.
Even though I don’t think there were as many battles scenes as there were in the previous season, the visuals seem like a slight improvement from the previous season. Occasionally, you’d see a 3D effect during a fight scene that, on one hand, added a certain cool factor, but on the other hand, might’ve seemed a tiny bit awkward. It wasn’t a major issue for me, but it’s just something that caught my eye. And I guess I’ve gotten used to this series by now, because the ecchi scenes didn’t quite affect me as much as they did in the first season.
Moving on to the sound, it didn’t seem like all that much had changed in regard to the audio from the first season to the second. Of course, business really picks up during the battle scenes, though, the music never really stood out too much or made a very memorable impression on me. That’s not really a bad thing, it’s just that I think what we have here is perfectly fine, but it’s missing that certain something to truly make a major impact.
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei! is more or less what you’d expect it to be. You still have your magical girls engaging in fierce battles, your cute girls doing all sorts of cute things, and the addition of Kuro spices things up and adds another element of surprise. As a refinement of season one, I think things turned out quite well, so basically, if you liked the first season, you’re probably going to enjoy this season as well~