Episode 02 – “Who?”
Watching three different mahou shoujo series this summer is confusing, to say the least. You could say that they all follow similar tropes, but then again I think that adds to the confusion. Still, I’d say all three take the standard formulae in fairly different directions and follow the conventions at different levels. Fate/kaleid is kind of the middle ground between Fantasista Doll and Gen’ei wo Kakeru Taiyou for me right now. It has a very nice balance between parody comedy and some dark moments as well.
Rin extrapolates a bit more about the whole Card collecting business. Apparently, she was sent by an organization called Clock Tower to essentially clean up the Cards that were left in the city. If left unchecked, the Cards possess the power to the destroy the entire city. As Illya puts it, the job is like a bomb sniffing dog.
Illya happens to be one of the least excitable mahou shoujo that I’ve ever seen. Most girls jump on the chance to transform and show off their powers. Hell, most girls always know exactly what to say and do to use their powers too! Refreshingly, Illya has to be taught by Ruby what to do. Well, sort of. According to Ruby, a mahou shoujo’s power is drawn by doing lots of cute twirls. The history of the genre will say that that’s probably not completely incorrect, at least. Too bad Illya’s so embarrassed that she has to do her transformation sequence in a restroom.
In reality, Illya simply has to imagine what she wants to do, and Ruby will do it. Though, I’m sure there are limitations to how much Ruby can do and is probably dependent on Ruby’s skill level/EXP/etc. As her first test, Illya throws (almost literally) into the action, taking place in a parallel world where the Cards reside, no less. The first target happens to be Rider, looking very much like she did in Fate/stay night. Surprisingly, Illya does very well in keeping up with her in a fight, until Rider starts charging her lasers. This is when a mysterious girl comes in with a Lancer card and uses Gae Bolg to take down Rider, thereby apprehending her Card.
Wouldn’t be a mahou shoujo series without a transfer student who turns out to be a rival, right? I like how the episode preview even admits that this is a common development. I should make a countdown to see how long it is until we see Saber…