Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya – is it really that bad?

One could say I’m a fan of Fate, but then I’d have to ask you the definition of Stockholm Syndrome. And today on this wonderful addition of the 12 Days of Anime, I am covering Fate/Kaleid Season 1, and anime I will say right now I am not a fan of in the least.

Also, I feel I’m qualified enough, I somehow saw this anime two times so… kill me now oh merciful god. Oh and don’t get too angry if you enjoy Kaleid, I know some people who are watching now like Kaleid and that’s fine, these are just personal opinions.


In an alternate timeline where Illya has a normal life with no pain or suffering, or really anything that happens in Fate/Zero, Illya just wants to be a good sister to her brother, Shirou Emiya. But Illyasviel Von Einzburn’s life is about to get straight up wack, as after being turned into a magical girl by a magical stick, she must collect the class cards and restore order.

Yes, this is Fate characters, but a blend of magical girls and Cardcaptor Sakura. This is Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma star symbol Illya.


First off, the idea behind Kaleid is that it takes the characters of the Fate franchise and makes them magical girls. This on paper is actually a fantastic idea, one that while adds yet another anime to the list of the ever expanding Fate Universe, still should offer something new at the very least.

Well think again, Kaleid while always coming off as harmless fun and not a serious show in the least, is a show I can’t really stand.

And it’s for various different reasons, but the main reason is fan service and the story not being really interesting and just kinda dull. For the latter, the series main conflict is that they’re trying to find the seven class cards of the Fate series.

And with each class card they run into, they fight a heroic spirit of that class card and must defeat them.

This show is most notable for featuring one of the first showcases of Saber Alter, a character that fans of Fate proper only got a glimpse of in January of 2019 with Heaven’s Feel.

That’s a whole six years before the movie was released.

But this does nothing to help the dull boring feeling I get when watching this anime. This is because the show is simply not as interesting as pretty much any of the other Fate anime out right now.

It feels like we’re treading water with ideas from decades past with nothing new or interesting to spice up the formula.

It’s a magical girl show, that takes a lot from Cardcaptor Sakura but also doesn’t know whether to be a darker show or one where you see the panties of 12 year olds. The tonal consistency isn’t awful, but it’s jarring at times because Fate is dark, it ain’t fluff and rainbows, so to see the show still try and use that but also go for a lighter feel contradicts the two at best.

And as well to not even try and innovate even a little upon some things, I just felt like I was watching a show not made in the same way I see Fate is usually made.

While Grand Order has fan service nonsense, this is an anime I never expected to have it until I actually saw it.

Fate/Kaleid spends too much time focusing on panty shots and low angles that I wondered if the FBI was going to show up at my door.

Why in the hell are we flashing Shirou’s junk to Illyasviel?

Why are we seeing Illya naked?

Why are we seeing any of this fan service nonsense?

This part easily is what made me hate Kaleid almost entirely. The sexualization of young girls in anime is common, but I am not going to accept it in any anime for as long as I am watching

it. While I do understand there is more to Kaleid and a lot of people hate the fan service, the stuff is a massive turn-off and when it happened in Oath Under Snow it brought it down a whole notch for me. That’s how much I am against it, so with it happening all the time in this series, this took probably an average anime down to a very bad series for me almost instantly.


Character wise, it isn’t that bad, Illyasviel is our main character and she’s very charismatic and charming in this anime. The same can be said for Rin and Luvia as well, because I think this anime really understood where they wanted to take the characters of this series.

It’s obvious there is a clear direction and while this is unlike any previous Fate, Kaleid really seems to want to do right by these characters in terms of their writing. Whether that’s executed well or not, well it’s a little bit of both.

For example, I think Illya is a fantastic character in her own right, and having her be a magical is super unique and interesting enough.

She fits the role perfectly and in that aspect is a great main character. The issues come with the comedy and slice of life bits in this series. I found her completely dull and the comedy she was involved in was way too pervy and idiotic for me to care at all.

But in a battle or in a dramatic or serious moment, Illya’s character shins with the writing and shows that while she won’t be character of the year, she’s at least entertaining

when done right. Same can be said for Rin and Luvia who have the best chemistry in this anime for sure. Of course by now people will know these two are an iconic duo and known for their clashes of ego and fists. They carry this over perfectly and their dynamic is unchanged in that sense, which is a fantastic positive for this anime.

Whenever they were on screen, I knew I would be entertained. And as well when the fights started I was glued to my screen because the positive of this is we get to see heroic spirits like Saber Alter, Berserker and Rider in this anime.

And while some of the fights are comedy filler, Saber Alter and Berserker fights were pretty good fun all things considered.



I’m sorry, but this anime doesn’t look good to me at all.

Especially comparing it to some of the manga panels I’ve seen, Kaleid looks like a dollar store version of that manga.

Character designs are simply ugly and they have this weird chibi design that simply doesn’t work.

Honestly, I can’t tell if this is just bad art design or bad anime production, but I’m more likely to lean to the aforementioned, and that’s mainly because of how good the animation is, but also because this design just sucks and I can’t…

I just can’t.

Take Shirou as an example, look at this abomination, it does not look good. Who in their right mind signed off on these designs?

But while characters are designed poorly, the backgrounds aren’t!

Backgrounds in Kaleid are pretty damn good all things considered.

They perfectly capture the essence of Fate down to the atmospheric at times settings like the bridge in Fuyuki. If you for some reason watch shows based off backgrounds, this may be one to check out the fight scenes for because typically when a fight roles around the background art gets really good.

All around it’s just very detailed and well thought out, something I didn’t expect but appreciated nonetheless.


I’m left in amazement because Fate/Kaleids animation is absolutely the best aspect of the series, easily.

The fights in Fate/Kaleid are astounding and some of the best reasons to watch the series.

No really, go on Youtube and watch the Illya vs. Saber Alter fight, it’s really good. And while Kaleid never becomes an extreme technical showcase by any means, there are times where it almost gets there.

I loved everything about these fights. Animation is fluid and smooth, and most importantly impactful, something that Fate proper is always fantastic at doing. As for everything else, well it’s still good.

Animation all around for Kaleid is just good, which is good to say in an anime with not many attractive qualities.

In Closing

Honestly, I hate Kaleid, but I also really like the concept and I hope someone out there will one day take this concept and do it right within the Fate Universe.

There is no reason in 2020 to have fan service like this and as well there is no reason to not be able to create a better more interesting story than this one.  Yes, there are great things about Kaleid like the animation, fights, voice acting and backgrounds, but everything else is bogged down by an outdated concept done pretty well in Cardcaptor Sakura already.

We live in a post Madoka Magica world, this anime just feels third rate trailing behind the better magical girl anime because it’s just holding on by the name value alone.

Fate/Kaleid will never get a recommendation from me, because it goes against the core values I look for in anime, which is one, don’t sexualize children and two don’t fucking sexualize children. Also the dub sucks.