The Summer of Love III continues! We are wrapping up the second season of Fate/Illya today and there is plenty that happens! With Kuro now on the scene and her eyes on Miyu, will things remain the same for the girls? And what about that purple hair woman running around the scene? After the cut let’s take a look at the fourth arc of the series: The Arrival of Bazett.
The fourth story arc of the series is about two separate but equally important stories. The first is putting the previous arc to bed, with Kuro coming to terms with who she is and her place in Illya’s world, and the next is the arrival of the titular Bazett, whose entry into the story helps set the stage for the eventual events in the fourth season. Both stories end up quite well, and thankfully Fate/Ilya also gives some time for the girls to ‘take a breath’ and have some fun.
I’ll be getting into this more in the third season, so I won’t say much here, but I do think that it is to the series’ credit that Fate/Illya allows the girls to have fun ‘nothing’ episodes. They help build character, establish relationships and frankly it’s just fun to see the cast of Fate/Stay Night in a danger-free (for the most part) world. And there is no bigger example of this than Irisviel von Einzbern, the mother of Illya and the secondary female lead of Fate/Zero. Fans of that series will know her as the doom experiment of the Einzbern family, a homunculus whose sole purpose was to a vessel for the grail. Fate/Illya with its explanation of Kuro’s existence as the original Fate/Stay Night’s Illya’s personality, but manifested through the Archer Class card, is a great way to tie the two series together. Even more with the entire premise of Fate/Illya being based on Kiritsugu and Irisviel deciding to place their daughter’s happiness over the quest for the grail. It gives fans who did not like the tragic ending of Fate/Zero a fun alternative.
But it also helps the story. As I said before, letting Irisviel be a mom, not only to Illya but also Kuro helps them both reach a sort of piece. Kuro, for all her bluster and arrogance, only really wanted what her other half had. A family, a normal life, and peace and happiness. She is able to get that in the end here, and joins the cast full-time, giving the series not only it’s third main lead, but a great foil to Illya. I won’t re-hash what I said before, but Kuro really does give Illya the chance to be more comedic and her bouncing around the household adds a new layer of comedy to the series. The episode where Illya obsesses over trying to be the ‘big sister’ had me laughing hysterically.
Of course, it’s not all fluff, and the last half of these five episodes deals with the arrival of one Bazett Fraga McRimitz. Fans of the visual novels will know her as the original master of Lancer, and the main lead of Fate/hollow ataraxia. Here she steps up as the second season’s antagonist and man of man she’s a force to be reckon with. Bazett has been a character barely mentioned in the greater Fate anime world, but here, she comes into full force. There isn’t a opponent she can’t punch, and her very own noble phantasm seems tailor made to kill servants. I found myself thinking as I watched her go toe to toe with Illya that they probably could have used her during the main Fate timeline. By the time it is all over though, there is a truce between the two parties as they agree to compete for who can hunt down the final eighth class card. An event that will only lead to the series best moments.
The Arrival of Bazett is another solid arc in the series, and a great way to end the second season of Fate/Illya. It is a perfect balance of plot and filler fun that shows the anime at its best. Kuro slides her way into the main cast easily, and there is plenty of work done to make you invested in what happens next. If you enjoyed this good balance of action and fun, then you are in for a treat, but it will be interesting to see what people think of the next season. We’ll get into that next week as we dive into the next arc of the series: Peaceful Days of Magical Girls!
- Auguste, the butler of Luvia, having guns stored around the entire mansion and whipping them against Bazett was a great action moment. Hell most of the fighting in this season was pretty solid for a Fate series. Nothing on the scale of the Ufotable works, but it is nothing to scoff at either. Fate/Illya actually does have money behind it and it shows.
- Rin and Luvia plotting against each other near the end, while acting all polite is a perfect way to sum up their relationship. I love them, I love them so much.
- As always, Illya’s schoolmates steal every scene they are in. Tatsuko fucking up Illya’s cooking class was hysterical. I really wish this character was in more of the Fate series, because she is a perfect addition to the world.
- If after two seasons and oodles of cameos from other series, you are asking the question: “Where the fuck is Sakura?” Don’t worry, we still are too.
- Shirou Emiya is just comic relief in this series (at least this version) but man if you don’t feel the Emiya theme play when he decides to review the girls school cakes.
- Seriously, Bazett’s servant killing noble phantasm is pretty overpowered. She probably would have one shot Gilgamesh back in Blade Works. Kinda sucks we never got to see her there.
- Irisviel spying on the girls to make sure there is okay is a adorable little mom moment for her. Again, it’s so good to see her get to be the parent she never had a chance to be. I mean, she’s basically a mother of four if you count Sella and Liz.
- There is actually a lot of foreshadowing for Miyu in this season, giving hints about who and what she really is. I didn’t catch that on my first viewing of the series, but I’m glad it is here. It makes the massive shift in tone for season four easier to digest.