Who the fuck thought this was a good idea?
I’m incredibly disappointed.
And I’m disappointed because I love the Prisma Illya manga. In a single episode, and through Herz in general, Silver Link have maimed the future of this adaptation. I’m not saying it has to be faithful to the point it reproduces every last panel in the manga, because that would be unrealistic – changes have to be made. But after so many seasons, it should be an accurate representation of what it really should be. That is, a fantasy magical girl series which evolves into an established spin-off and gets progressively darker. If you create entire swathes of filler episodes that shouldn’t exist, if you fuck up the second half of the final episode so badly that it’s beyond recognition, then that’s not a proper adaptation at all.
Now, it would be a different situation entirely if they aimed to end the adaptation here – if they decided not to go onto 3rei!, as the manga is still on-going. If that were the case, then I would fully accept this episode – it’s nice to have a happy ending, where Illya saves Miyu and they all go back to their peaceful lives. But they ARE going to animate 3rei!. And this is not how the 2wei! manga is supposed to end at all – there is no happy ending, and things are supposed to escalate even further. It shouldn’t be too much of a spoiler to just say that Miyu does not grab her hand in the manga. If you want, you can read the last chapter of 2wei! here, starting from the page with Quintet Fire – if you do, you’ll be able to grasp just how massive a difference there is between the proper ending and the one made by Silver Link. Also, isn’t the manga artwork great?
In fact, it’s odd even from an anime-only standpoint. In this episode, Gilgamesh pulls out Ea and uses Enuma Elish at full power – an anti-world Noble Phantasm. In Fate/Zero, when he used it against Rider, it completely tore apart his Reality Marble. In the Mirror World a few episodes ago, simply swinging the sword caused the Mirror World to break down – which is why he’s even in the real world in the first place. Gil didn’t even do anything at any particular power level back then – he just waved it around, and the fabric of space-time was torn apart. Now, in this finale he stated that Illya was someone worth using his ‘full might’ on. He states that Ea will rend creation itself and incite the hell of genesis. And we believe him, right? Because that’s what Ea does. It’s supposed to do that. It would be odd if it didn’t. We know that it has the power to tear apart dimensions – and coincidentally enough, we know that a certain parallel world exists in this story.
So even if you’re an anime-only viewer, you expect something to happen when he uses Ea at 100%, or at least what feels like 100% to him in his half-incarnated form – instead, what happens? Illya accepts Miyu and her big secret by saying, ‘okay, cool’, which creates a massive plot hole in terms of their character development for 3rei!. Gil completely vanishes for some strange, unexplained reason, and there are now trees where he once was, with no other effect at all. It doesn’t add up from what we know about Gilgamesh and his power, and that’s because it shouldn’t add up – something happened in the manga that the adaptation cut out completely. What about his Class Card? They made it look like they just forgot it even existed.
And I can guess why. After all, how can they continue the slice-of-life filler episodes if there’s the after-effects of a dimension-tearing anti-world weapon just sitting in the sky? If they end the story happily like this, they can spend the first half of the 3rei! anime next year doing exactly what they did this year with Herz – sticking in a bunch of filler for a month or so before retconning in the two girls who appeared at the end, one of which can Install the eighth Archer card everyone was trying so hard to win (she’s the better of the two, by the way). I actually thought the second half of the episode was just a dream Illya was having before she woke up to reality – that’s how bad I thought the changes were.
So this is what I mean by the very future of this anime being compromised – the 3rei! anime won’t be what it should be. The day we get to see this scene animated (heavy, heavy spoilers, beware) is, sadly, very far away.
[spoiler title=”3REI SPOILERS”]
I waited a year to see my Angelica’s face animated, and I don’t even get that? Are we even going to get that this time next year? And what about all the other stuff I was looking forward to – Illyabear, Apneic Beauty, Gilgamesh vs Angelica, anti-Kiritsugu Shirou, chef Kirei, Berserker Sakura? Instead, it’s more Mimi and Tatsuko? How are they even going to jump to the parallel world now? Are they just going to do whatever they want with the story? What the fuck is wrong with you, Silver Link?
If I’m asked to evaluate Herz as a whole, and from a holistic viewpoint… I can’t say it was very consistent overall. And this is me trying to be nice to it. To put it another way, its existence was a mistake. What I wanted was Episodes 6, 7, 8 and 9. What it felt like I got was Episodes 1-5 and 10. And I’m saying this as someone who likes lolis, you know? I’m not a loli hater or anything, it’s not like I had to suffer through the slice-of-life episodes – in fact, quite the opposite. As a loli fan, I loved them. But from an objective viewpoint, they should not have existed. The first two seasons of Prisma Illya had slice-of-life too – but it was all in proportion with the actual plot, which gets more exciting exponentially as it goes on. If you experience 3rei! you basically have the same reaction of indescribable hype every chapter. So even if the adaptation eventually pulls through, a huge amount of momentum will be lost. If this was sex, this episode would have been the equivalent of kissing and lots of foreplay – you know, getting into the mood. And right when they’re about to do it, the guy says, ‘sorry, I can’t get it up, goodbye’ and leaves.
I’m terrified for next season’s AntiMagic Academy now, because that’s also being done by Silver Link and has a really dark story at risk of being butchered by extra fanservice. I’m also scared for 3rei!, especially since this has gotten more serious than just delaying the plot with filler – the plot has diverged now. It’s supposed to be what Heaven’s Feel was to Fate/stay – a lot more despair, with wider context given to the story. Now it’s looking more like it’ll be just like Tsukihime the anime.
tl;dr you had one job, silver link