The Summer of Love III continues! We are now in the last half of the third season which means it’s time to put away the fluff (mostly) and get back to work! There is a final class card to collect, Miyu is being all aloof and mysterious, and Lluvia and her tiddies need to throw money around they are free coupons. So let’s get into it after the cut with the next arc in the series: The Eighth Card!
With the final arc of the third season, we come to the end of what is considered to be ‘non-fate’ portion of the series. While the last two three seasons was chalk full of references and nods to the original visual novel, it always kept its distance from the heavy themes of fate. There was talk about a holy grail war, but it was only to give background. There was talk about servants and magic, but only in the context of the mission. For the battle with the eighth card and everything that will come after, we see Fate/Illya deciding to ‘get serious’ as it heads to it’s fourth (and as of now) final season.
Of course, what came before was never bad at least. I won’t repeat myself, but those fluffy filler episodes have done wonders to help me get invested in the cast. Had I not known about Illya beforehand, and this series had gone right to this arc, I might have felt that there was something missing. Instead with all of that stuff locked in, we can see more of the journey the characters have gone on, and it pays off.
For Illya, she no longer is torn between wanting to live the life of a normal girl, and the magical one that she has natural talent. When the eighth card starts causing trouble, Illya doesn’t hesitate, she doesn’t run away, or try to ignore it. She joins Kuro, Miyu and the others in doing their best to defeat it. Even after they throw everything at it, deal with the taunts of child Gilgamesh, who even at this early stage just steals the scenery, and watch as Miyu is almost taken away, Illya does not give up, and with her new magical girl transformation, does her character proud by winning the day. She is a far cry from the scared little girl of the past, and the series is all the better for it.
But Illya does not hog the spotlight, and this time she shares it with Miyu whose roll in the story comes into more focus. I’ll be honest, with Kuro taking up most of the spotlight in the previous outing, and Illya being the central focus, Miyu is a character who has fallen by the wayside. She’s really just been there to deliver a vapid line, and be the third wheel. Not bad in any regards, just out of place compared to Illya’s reactions and Kuro being…well herself. While most of who and what Miyu is will be saved for the fourth season and the prequel movie, the revelations that she is from a parallel world, one where Shirou and others similar to the main characters may live is an intriguing one. It’s a way for the series to have it ‘both ways’ in terms of getting to be about a grail war, but also have much of the story not be about said grail war. Parallel worlds of course is something not uncommon to the greater Nasuverse, so seeing it here was only a matter of time.
The Eighth Card is a decent arc that helps bring the story back into a more serious focus and set the groundwork for the massive changes coming next. There is plenty of good action, some cutesy character moments and more than enough hints of what is to come. On the whole it is probably not an arc I rate too highly, but it does the job it is suppose to do, and helps prevent the series enjoyable filler from getting a bit long in the tooth. But with Miyu saved and the eighth card supposedly vanished, the girls can kick back and enjoy their peaceful lives once again.
Or can they?
In two weeks we’ll be diving into the first half of the fourth season: To Miyu’s World! But next week, we’ll be taking a character dive into our leading lady of the series!
- This will be the last time outside of the OVAs that we will see the rest of Illya’s friends. I’ll miss them terribly, they were a great addition to the story.
- Luvia saying that Miyu is her little sister and offering her comfort was a good moment for her character. She’s rich and haughty, but she can also be kind and welcoming, a far difference from the dog-eat-dog world of mages.
- There is one of two more fluffy episodes leading up to this arc, and they were pretty solid. Nothing special, but solid. Shirou is a harem anime lead in a show that isn’t a harem anime. But he’ll get his badass moment real soon.
- Child Gilgamesh is like I said, waiting to really step into the story next season, but he’s a cool addition to the cast. Being able to pull off the smug factor by just being a bratty kid was a great creative decision.
- Illya’s double magical girl transformation is a great design. I love the wings and the giant ass laser beam.
- Kuro joining the transformation sequence while Magical Ruby narrates over it was a funny ass scene. Again, I love it when this series pokes fun at the genre.
- Caren’s outfit is right out of her visual novel, and gave me a laugh. She doesn’t wear a skirt because she doesn’t need one.
- Though I do want to know what the deal is between her and Irisviel, there seems to be some bad blood there, and I wonder if it has something to do with Kirei, but he hasn’t shown up yet.
- And yes, we are STILL waiting for Sakura Matou, you know the other main character of the Fate series. Purple hair, big tits, goes a little crazy. No fucking idea where she’s been!