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Manga / Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA

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Compact, Full Open!
Gateway to Mirror World, Revealed!!☆
Kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya has arrived!

"Hello there! I'm a magical stick of love and justice, Magical Ruby-chan! Do you want to be a magical girl? What do you think? Become a magical girl, join forces, and fight all that I deem evil!"
Kaleido Ruby

A Spin-Off manga of a well-known Eroge, which features the Token Mini-Moe of said game as a Magical Girl... Wait, where have we heard this before...?

Ordinary Elementary School Student Illyasviel von Einzbern lives together with her older brother Shirou and their two guardians, Sella and Leysritt. She is a good sprinter and enjoys watching Magical Girl anime. One day while taking a bath, she ponders about being a Magical Girl herself, flying around with magic, seducing her brother, when suddenly...

Her brother comes into the bathroom... and is knocked out by a talking Magic Wand, "Magical Ruby-chan". Through a combination of sweet-talking, lies, and brute force, it tricks Illya into signing a contract with it to be a Magical Girl. To make things worse, Ruby's former master, a mage named Rin Tohsaka, then forces Illya to become her servant and help collect seven "Class Cards": mysterious relics with the power to summon the spirits of legendary heroes, which are currently running wild in Illya's hometown.

Complicating matters yet further is the New Transfer Student Miyu Edelfelt, who wields Ruby's sister magic wand Sapphire and has been taken under the wing of Luviagelita Edelfelt, Rin's rival in magecraft. As Illya tries to befriend the introverted Miyu, she finds herself thrust into a truly strange competition between magus students — only for everyone to discover that the Class Cards are much more dire a threat than anyone expected. The four girls must set aside their differences and work together to subdue the Class Cards and uncover their mysteries, as well as some mysteries surrounding Illya and Miyu themselves...

It's largely an Affectionate Parody, both of Fate/stay night and Magical Girl works, and doesn't take itself too seriously at first. Then, it does.

An anime adaptation of the series aired in the summer of 2013. A second season (adapting the first half of 2wei!) aired in the summer of 2014. A third (adapting the latter half of 2wei!, titled 2wei Herz!) aired in the summer of 2015. A fourth (adapting the first part of 3rei!!) aired in the summer of 2016. Two films, titled Sekka no Chikai (localized as Vow in the Snow) in 2017 and Licht: Namae no Nai Shoujo (localized as Licht - The Nameless Girl) in August 2021, were released to adapt the second part of 3rei!!, with a sequel announced as in the works the day after the 2021 film launched. An OVA for the series titled Prisma Phantasm aired in 2019. All animated entries thus far have had a home DVD/Blu-ray release (though the 3rei!! anime's home version wasn't released overseas).

In addition, the series is a common target of Crossover events. The first was with Fate/Grand Order which took place in 2016 (2018 for the EN version) and again in early 2019 (2021 for the EN version), featuring Illya, Chloe, and later Miyu as playable Servant characters. Following this, PRSIMA☆ILLYA has featured in many other works involving the Magical Girl genre, such as the Symphogear XDU gatcha game, Crash Fever, Magical Battle Arena NEXT, and more.

This series contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: For the most part in the anime, a lot of the animation does use CG for both special effects and characters (there are sequences where a character will switch between 2D animation and a 3D model quite often), but it's also integrated well enough with the 2D animation that quite a lot of it is rather difficult to notice unless you have a trained eye for that sort of thing. In particular, Ruby and Sapphire are always rendered via CG models. Illya's plushie body is also always rendered in CG. This is a lot more obvious than Ruby and Sapphire since the doll's face is less expressive than most characters.
  • Action Girl: The main characters are young girls who kick the butts of deadly mages and super-powered mythological figures.
  • Actor Allusion: Invoked in the Latin American Spanish dub: Saber is voiced by Alicia Barragan, who previously voiced Saber's Expy Alice Zuberg in Sword Art Online.
  • A-Cup Angst: The flat chested Sella freaks out in one chapter about her chest being so much smaller than the busty Leysritt. Rin also has insecurities about her chest size compared to her well-endowed rival Luvia.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Illya learns a flight spell with trivial ease because she assumes that all magical girls should be able to fly and doesn't think about the mechanics of how. Miyu, who understands all the complications behind making a human fly, is unable to come up with a spell to do so, having to make do with enhanced jumps and standing on invisible platforms.
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • In the anime, Rin is suddenly working as a maid for Luvia as of Season 2. The explanation is that she eventually used up all the jewelry she needs for magecraft and had to take up a job to purchase more (which Luvia preyed upon). This context isn't covered in the main episodes and was instead relegated to a bonus scene in the Season 1 DVD/Blu-ray, so anime-only viewers unaware of the bonus content were a bit confused.
    • The animated series lost some content when it transitioned to film format mid-3rei!!. This wasn't so bad for Vow in the Snow since it was a Whole Episode Flashback, so it was easy to drop the present day scenesnote , but Licht - The Nameless Girl lost a lot of funny and fanservice scenes, instead adding more drama and fight scenes to match the tone of Vow in the Snow.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Several scenes are expanded or have additional characters added for more dynamic talks:
    • The anime shows the first fight against Bazett in Luvia's mansion. The original manga only shows the aftermath, compressed within a few panels. According to Word of God, he wanted the animators to extend it.
    • Since 2wei Herz! focuses on Miyu, she gets more screentime even in scenes she originally didn't appear in, like the side-story about BL, which in the manga only has Illya and Chloe visibly present.
    • The transition between 2wei Herz! and 3rei!! was given a retool. Instead of Angelica and Beatrice showing up out of the crack in reality Gilgamesh's Enuma Elish made and kidnapping Miyu, in the anime there is no crack, and the heroines get to enjoy a brief happy epilogue. What gets Angelica and Beatrice on Miyu's trail instead is that Gilgamesh's card is warped back to their own world, giving them a lead and a reason to be at Mt. Enzou when it time-space shifts naturally, where they have to actively fight the heroines first before taking Miyu.
    • The movie shows what happened to Miyu after she's transferred into Illya's world, meeting Sapphire and Luvia, until before her first battle using a Class Card against Rider.
    • In addition to adaptations of the manga's side chapters, the Blu-Ray releases each include a special OVA episode and/or short unique to the anime.
  • Affectionate Parody: Takes the Crapsack World of Fate/stay night and turns it into a Lighter and Softer Magical Girl series. Then injected with Darker and Edgier to bring it back to standard Fate levels with 3rei!!.
    • The 3rd and 4th special episodes of 2wei Herz! are parodies of various battle shounen tropes.
  • Akashic Records: The Starlog, where the history of the universe is recorded. Important events are represented as stars, connected by lines of light if one event leads into another. Illya finds herself navigating the Starlog with Tanaka's help to learn the connection between Darius and Pandora and try to save the world after Darius ended it.
  • All There in the Manual: While the plot does a decent job at introducing it, much of the background elements in Fate/Kaleid can only be understood if the reader or viewer has prior knowledge with Fate/Zero, Fate/stay night, and Fate/hollow ataraxia.
    • The identities of the Class Cards correspond to the Heroic Spirits in Fate/stay night, though some of their names are revealed throughout the series. Of course, the identity of the Archer Card is a major plot point in 3rei!!.
    • Illya's father and Shirou's adopted father is Kiritsugu Emiya, a magus and the protagonist of Fate/Zero. In 3rei!! his parallel counterpart, Miyu's father, carries his title of Magus Killer.
    • The Einzberns were an aristocratic mage family that designed the original Holy Grail War, a battle between seven masters and seven servants to get their wish granted. Illya's high mana capacity stems from her rich bloodline and her nature as a Grail Conduit.
    • Rin and Luvia specialize in jewel magecraft. The magecraft Irisviel uses to knock out Chloe is alchemy. Chloe and Miyu's brother utilize a specialized version of projection magecraft.
    • The reason why Miyu's brother's magecraft is identical to the Archer Card's is because the Heroic Spirit it corresponds to is a future version of Shirou Emiya himself.
    • The Heroic Spirit of the Berserker Card bound to Sakura is Lancelot.
    • The reason why Rin can heal Miyu's brother using the pendant picked up by Bazett is because the item is a Tohsaka heirloom that contains a massive amount of magical energy. It played an important role in Fate/stay night.
    • Rin goes silent after hearing about Sakura's fate in 3rei!!. When Luvia notices and asks her about it, she simply brushes it off as her thinking to herself. She's also oddly knowledgeable about the magecraft that Sakura uses. Anyone who's read Fate/stay night or Fate/Zero would realize that she was probably distressed about the fact that her younger sister was killed. It takes until Chapter 70.2 for the shoe to finally drop.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: Two very notable examples pop up in 3rei!!.
    • Shirou is more or less normal in his universe. The version of him in Miyu's world projects swords like his Fate/stay night counterpart and fights on par with Angelica, a.k.a. Gilgamesh.
    • Sakura gets introduced as a part of a short story. In 3rei!!, she's the user of the Fate/Zero Berserker Install, and has expanded backstory in Shirou's flashback.
  • Alternate Universe:
    • Prisma Illya takes place in an alternate version of the Fate/stay night universe where Fate/Zero never happened. 2wei! implies Kiritsugu and Irisviel murdered the other Einzberns and destroyed the Grail ritual in order to protect this version of Illya instead.
    • Miyu escaped to the Prisma Illya world from a world that borrows the theme from Angel Notes and the Heaven's Feel route of Fate/stay night. Participants of the Holy Grail War from that world eventually cross over to take back their conduit in hopes of using her to save their dying world. It's revealed that the world diverged in the Age of Gods, when Pandora's Box was never opened.
    • Heroic Spirit EMIYA came from a world where Shirou Emiya became a Heroic Spirit.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: When Illya goes back in time and everyone forgets about her, the results of her actions remain, which includes everyone's Character Development. As a result, everyone realizes that somebody important is missing, so Illya is not quite forgotten after all.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Sakura gives one to Shirou after confronting him about the Holy Grail War, offering to abandon everything with him if he decides to run away. As seen from his internal monologue, he actually considers the idea, even having an Imagine Spot of being married to her, but rejects the choice because it would mean sacrificing Miyu.
  • Arrow Catch: Bazett catches one of the magical arrows fired by Chloe in her bare hands.
  • Art Evolution: In terms of quality, both of its sequels look much better than the Fate/kaleid. Whereas 2wei! streamlined the art style of its characters, particularly the eyes and faces, 3rei!! refined much of it, giving the series a modern look and feel.
  • As You Know: Played for Laughs. Gil discusses with Ruby that Time Travel won't solve their problems as all you can really do is look at the past with such methods. Actually changing the past and the present, breaking the very laws of causality, requires an act of True Magic... at which point Ruby annoyedly yells at Gil that she is an application of the second True Magic (the ability to access and pull in elements from Alternate Universes, breaking the laws of conservation of energy and mass) and thus is already perfectly aware of this fact so shut up.
  • Battle Butler: Luvia's butler August is one. In episode 8 of 2wei!, he actually manages to hold off Bazett.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 18 has all the girls going to the beach for a bit of silly fun.
  • Beam Spam: A popular strategy for the magical girls is to fire dozens of magical blasts at their enemies. Caster, as in Fate/stay night, takes it to absurd degrees by creating enough magical blasts to fill the entire sky.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Luvia bites her handkerchief in disgust while explaining how Sapphire abandoned her for Miyu. She does this often enough.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Oath Under Snow movie ends with Shirou successfully sending Miyu to Illya's world. But, Sakura is killed and Shirou is left behind in his dying world as a captive of the Ainsworths, accepting that he probably won't ever see ever his sister again.
  • Body Surf: After Illya and co. rescue Miyu from the Ainsworths, Angelica reveals that Darius was the first head of the Ainsworth clan, and that his mind is transferred to each successive head of the family, transforming them into him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Inevitable due to the parody nature of the franchise, though this happens less and less as the "seasons" go by. Still, it sometimes results in gems like the following:
    Suzuko: Isn't this main character treatment?
    Nanaki: This is pretty ballsy coming from a mere supporting player!
  • Brick Joke: Luvia, angry about the destruction done by Bazett Fraga McRemitz to her home, states she's going to think up a way to ruin Bazett as revenge. a few chapters later, Bazett's been billed for the damage, had all her credit cards frozen, and been reduced to an ice pop vendor.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • Illya has a crush on her brother Shirou in this continuity as well, going so far as to contemplate using magic to snare him before one of the other girls does. However, she avoids expressing those feelings as much as possible, as she knows it's not exactly normal.
    • Illya's "cousin"/"sister" Chloe also has no problem making out with Shirou against his will. Or with Illya herself, although that also has an element of Screw Yourself (and has the justification that she needs Intimate Healing in order to live and Illya is the most compatible and efficient "donor").
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Rin and Luvia usually get easily knocked out of fights, despite both being powerful mages. Even their A Day in the Limelight against Saber Alter eventually ends in them getting stuck in a hole underground.
    • Shirou also ends up getting beaten up in almost every chapter in which he appears. In Iri's family hierarchy chart, his position is even below the maids.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Illya's parents went out of their way to prevent her from becoming involved in the world of mages. Despite this, Rin and Ruby end up getting Illya involved in collecting the Class Cards from the long abandoned Grail ritual anyway.
  • Canon Foreigner: Every character is a version of a Fate/stay night counterpart, except for Miyu and the Ainsworths. And Tanaka. As all of them came from an Alternate Universe.
  • Cards of Power: The Class Cards can be included, granting the user a Noble Phantasm based on the individual card, or installed, giving the user access to the abilities and appearances of the Heroic Spirit the card is based off of.
  • Cat Girl:
    • Rin gets cat ears when transformed into Kaleido Ruby. Luvia meanwhile becomes a "Dog Girl" when transformed into Kaleido Sapphire.
    • Later, in two of the special episodes of Season 1, Ruby, out of amusement, decides to change Illya's Magical Girl costume into a more revealing catgirl outfit, or as she calls it "pervert girl". It happens again in one of the special episodes of Season 2, this time with Miyu and Chloe tricked into doing it by Ruby.
  • Censor Steam: All the girls' nipples and nether regions are entirely non-visible, usually thanks to conveniently steamy baths or light.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Early in 2wei!, Miyu hugs Illya's elder brother, explaining that he resembles her own elder brother. Later during a sleepover, this gets played off as her having a crush on Shirou. 3rei!! reveals that Miyu's elder brother is a parallel Shirou Emiya. The last time she saw him was months ago after she arrived in Illya's world and before that, a month after she was kidnapped.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The series shifts between "pure humor and unadulterated fanservice" and "typical Fate plot with magical girls thrown in" multiple times, often with little-to-no warning.
  • Characterization Marches On: Miyu's Broken Ace aspect is more apparent in the anime early on.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
  • Chick Magnet:
  • Children Do the Housework: A variation. Shirou is apparently in competition with Sella to do the housework, even though Sella is actually the family maid and would prefer that Shirou not steal her work. This character trait is a holdover from the original Fate/stay night, where Shirou does all his own housework because he's the only one living in his house.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The magical girl powers work entirely on belief. For instance, Illya is able to fly because she thinks she can, and Miyu can't because she keeps getting distracted by the laws of physics. Or rather, because she's too emotionally damaged to consider herself capable of flight.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • At the end of 2wei!: Miyu is taken by Ainsworth's warriors who are fighting the Holy Grail War from her Alternate Universe. To Be Continued in 3rei!!...
    • Due to the rollercoaster of events following the fight with Julian, the ending of Licht - The Nameless Girl was inevitably going to be this to avoid Overtaking the Manga. The endpoint of choice is Darius about to crush Chloe's Class Card.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: A contract with Kaleido Ruby and Kaleido Sapphire cannot be cancelled without their consent. And while they're happy to abandon Rin and Luvia, they absolutely refuse to let Illya and Miyu quit.
  • Clone Angst: Chloe is the suppressed memory/destiny of Illya as the Holy Grail conduit given form, technically making her closer to the Illya from Fate/stay night canon. She spends a good part of 2wei! angry and bitter over not getting to be the "real" one.
  • Clothing Damage: The heroines' outfits end up getting ripped apart by explosions and debris anytime a fight gets serious.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Shirou has a lot of girls after him, despite not being the main character, including: Illya, Chloe, Rin, Luvia, Miyu, Sakura, Issei, and Nanaki's older sister Nanami. And he's oblivious to all of it.
  • Compressed Adaptation: To account for the short seasons of the anime, some events of the main story are slightly shuffled around or happen concurrently. Most of the non-essential side chapters are also dropped in the main seasons, but were done as special shorts in the Blu-Ray releases.
  • Consistent Clothing Style: Rin and Luviagelita tend to wear outfits of the same style as their standard outfits in the visual novels (Luviagelita wears frilly things, Rin tends to show off the Zettai Ryouiki in most of her outfits).
  • Cool Horse: Miyu gets a Pegasus to ride on anytime she uses the Rider Class Card.
  • Costume-Test Montage: The entire plot of the second special for 2wei Herz! is this in a nutshell where Illya gets Chloe to model potential new outfits for her, from summer clothes to a new school outfit (even accidentally making her wear a belly dancer outfit as an extra).
  • Crapsack World: The world Miyu comes from, which is quickly turning into a Death World.
  • Crippling Overspecialisation: Nanaki mastered Gakumazawa-style Jiujitsu(?) in less than a day so she mastered perfect counter. But she cannot attack. Probably, Gakumazawa-style itself.
  • Crossover:
    • Has one with Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha known as 'Lyrical Nanoha x Prisma☆Illya'' or simply ''Nanoha x Fate''.
    • Another one with Fate/Grand Order in 2016 or 2018 depending on whether you're playing on the JP or EN server. Illya and Chloe were implemented as playable Servants in the Caster and Archer class, respectively, while multiple tracks from the anime are used. A rerun of the event in 2019 on the JP server introduced Miyu as a playable Caster.
  • Curbstomp Battle:
    • Illya unlocks a portion of her sealed power during the battle with True Assassin to nuke every enemy in the area in one hit.
    • Bazett takes on Rin, Luvia, Chloe, Illya and Miyu at once, and the best they can do is fight her to a draw.
    • Illya with Caster install vs. Beatrice Flowerchild and her Berserker install. Illya never stood a chance. Also a bit ironic because normally the The Berserker class is WEAK against the Caster class because of their low magical resistance. Too bad for Illya, Beatrice installed a Berserker that BYPASSES THIS (THOR).
  • Cuteness Proximity:
    • Illya goes... a little crazy around maids.
    • Nanoha in the crossover also sets her off (as she's a true mahou shoujo), though not to the same... extreme.
    • In 3rei!! Kid Gilgamesh deliberately invokes this, getting Illya to forgive him and accept his aid by calling her "onée-chan" (complete with blushing smile and golden sparkles), piercing through her resistance instantly.
  • Dance Battler: Archer Illya, due to using EMIYA's fighting style.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • Illya's dual wand wielding at the end of 2wei! causes internal damage to her that Ruby has difficulty healing. She wants to use it again in 3rei!! if she can get her hands on Sapphire, to which Ruby immediately replies that she is forbidden from doing so.
    • Illya increases her power in this form by using her nerves, along with other organs, as pseudo-magic circuits. Sounds a lot like a certain somebody, doesn't it?
  • Dark Magical Girl:
    • Chloe, the rival "Dark Illya" who shows up at the beginning of 2wei!. She turns out to be Illya's suppressed memories of being a homunculus built to serve as the Grail conduit, and she'll die if she doesn't have a regular supply of mana or someone takes the Archer Card that gives her form.
    • Miyu's backstory also reveals her to be one, despite only being portrayed as The Rival before that.
  • Demoted to Extra: Central characters in Fate/stay night are demoted to minor roles uninvolved with the main plot. Sakura, for instance, is just an ordinary student Shirou hangs out with, and former protagonist Shirou is just Illya's clueless big brother.
    • Played with in 3rei!!, where Shirou is a legitimate badass and plays a more important role, but only has a main character status in the flashback arc.
  • Dr. Jerk: Caren Ortensia cameos as the school nurse, where she has a tendency to consider patients' injuries "boring" and ask they get hurt much more badly next time they come to see her. To add insult to non-injury, she often tells visitors to get lost because "healthy people make her sick."
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Illya has tears in her eyes while pleading for Shirou to snap out of the drug-induced trance as he pretty much forces himself on her.
  • Don't Think, Feel: Illya's advice to Miyu in regard to Flight is "DON'T THINK IMASINE (sic)" . Miyu has difficulty learning to fly because her magical paradigm leans too heavily toward science.
  • Don't Try This at Home: While Illya's team are wrapping up their Cloud Cuckoolander team member to prevent her from screwing up their cake:
    Nanami: Kids, be good and don't imitate this, please.
  • Double Knockout: Illya and Chloe's dodgeball match ends this way.
  • Dual Wielding:
  • Dueling Messiahs: Illya and Julian Ainsworth. Angelica reveals that their world is running out of mana, and will become uninhabitable very soon. Julian's plan is to sacrifice Miyu as the Holy Grail, and wish for humans to be able to survive the coming disaster. Illya is then presented with the Sadistic Choice of saving Miyu or the world, and eventually decides to take the third option and find a way to save both, somehow. Julian is skeptical, and also states that if it is indeed possible to save both Miyu and their world, he believes that those two things will be the only things saved, implying something bigger happening.
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • Illya seems to be fond of these at the ends of arcs.
    • But even her Dynamic Entries are no match for her mother Irisviel, who jumps a Mercedes Benz 300SL "Gullwing" into the scene!
    • Miyu also takes a turn at this and saves Illya from Bazett. Not for long, sadly.
  • Early Adaptation Weirdness: The beginning of the 3rei!! anime is less than graceful. Although Angelica and Beatrice managing to find their way to Illya's world is made more believable in this case (see Adaptation Expansion above), the scenes conceived to fit it are less so: 2wei Herz! ends with the girls and their school friends doing homework, and 3rei!! awkwardly starts from that exact same homework scene and makes a Contrived Coincidence for the heroines to return to Mt. Enzou within the same day, at the exact moment Angelica and Beatrice jump between worlds.
  • Easy Amnesia: Tanaka is introduced with amnesia.
  • Empathic Weapon: Kaleido Ruby and Kaleido Sapphire are the Laurel And Hardy of Magical Girl weapons.
  • Equivalent Exchange:
    • Seems to be averted with the Kaleidostick wielders. Possibly justified, in that the Kaleidosticks supply their magical energy via the Second Magic.
    • Rin actually ends up expending most of her jewels, and is forced to take a job to buy more.
  • Erotic Dream: Illya has one about Shirou which leads to her kissing Miyu while she's still half-asleep. And then just digging herself in deeper.
    Illya: So-so-so-sorry, Miyu! I mistook you for my brothe... I-I mean not that I...! It's nothing like that! It was a dream! Do-ri-mu!
  • Everyone Is Related: One page indicates that Miyu, Rin, and Luvia know who Shirou is (even though they didn't know Illya.) And he looks like Miyu's brothernote .
  • Evil Twin: Chloe from 2wei!, a dark-skinned version of Illya with Archer's powers representing Illya's suppressed identity as a mage and Grail conduit. At first Chloe tries to kill Illya in order to replace her, only to move in as Illya's "cousin" after being defeated and develop a friendly Sibling Rivalry with Illya instead.
  • Expy: Numerous characters in Prisma Illya are based on people in other Nasuverse works.
  • Fanservice:
    • Some Barbie Doll Anatomy and extremely magical skirts in the first season, and more in the second, of both the girls and Rin and Luvia.
    • Invoked and exaggerated in the anime specials. The first starts with Rin and Illya in School Sport Uniforms like in the Tiger Dojo and just rolls from there.
    • The anime swings back and forth with this trope, especially compared to the manga. Specific scenes have more detail, like the Transformation Sequences, the bath scenes, or whenever Chloe is kissing someone, but other than those the Fanservice is typically toned down.
    • Angelica, in her Gilgamesh install, wears a very skimpy bikini top that's nowhere near big enough to properly cover and support her breasts. Of course, her bosom is very obvious in any outfit she wears.
  • Festival Episode: Episode 5 of the anime's third season involves everyone going to a festival.
  • Field of Blades: The Archer Card is associated with one, which appears once in the anime and multiple times in the manga. Fate/stay night and 3rei!! reveals that it is Unlimited Blade Works, Heroic Spirit EMIYA's reality marble and the source of his Projection abilities. Miyu's brother develops the ability to invoke it through prolonged exposure to his own Card.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Miyu gives Sapphire a basic explanation of how she installed the Saber Card by bringing up terms like the Throne of Heroes and pseudo-summoning. In 2wei!, Rin and Luvia have no idea what the Holy Grail War is, meaning they couldn't have told her. She has this knowledge because she's her universe's equivalent of the Holy Grail.
    • Furthermore, when Irisviel mentions the Holy Grail War to Chloe and Illya, only Miyu gives a surprised reaction. In contrast, Illya is properly confused and Chloe is indifferent to it. It takes until 3rei!! for this to get a proper explanation.
    • Illya mentions it's strange that Miyu's never been in the beach water despite living near the sea. In the anime Miyu has an immediate reaction to the response before giving a short summary of her past. 3rei!! reveals that she was lying. Shirou is her elder brother, and after Kiritsugu died, he raised her alone until she was taken away by Julian.
    • The number of similarities Miyu has to Illya is also extremely suspicious - same birth sign and similar elder brothers is one thing, but having the same birthday is another (which even Chloe is surprised by, and even she catches on early that there is something unusual about Miyu). This hints that she's Illya's alternate universe counterpart.
    • Throughout 3rei!!, the Archer Card is constantly alluded to as The Dreaded by the Ainsworths. We later learn that it's Shirou's Card, and he soloed the Fifth Holy Grail War with it.
  • Genre Shift:
    • A slight one happens in 2wei!!, halting the Gotta Kill Them All class card collection in favor of Slice of Life and some exploration of Illya's backstory. Then the story takes a massive turn in 3rei!! where the tone becomes much darker, the Slice of Life is toned down significantly, and the card collection plot disappears entirely. The Magical Girl elements are retained, but only as a means to an end, rather than the focus of the story.
    • When Shirou tells his story, the Magical Girl elements all but disappear as the story shifts into a parallel version of Fate/stay night.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Ainsworth family's plan is such a threat to the world that Gaia's Counter Force intervened to try to stop them. note 
  • Going Commando: While getting ready for the Festival, Luvia makes a few remarks about Rin's figure, so Rin tricks her by mentioning that yukata are traditionally worn without underwear. Later, when they're both talking to Shirou, she completes her revenge by mentioning that only some kind of pervert would walk around in a yukata with no underwear on. Illya, watching along with everyone else, is horrified to hear it, and moments later accidentally reveals that she isn't wearing any either.
  • Good Parents:
    • Iri and Kiritsugu, despite almost never being home, provided a safe and loving home for their children, and when Iri shows up she has nothing but love and gentle teasing for her daughter(s). It's all but said that they destroyed the Einzbern family to permanently end the Fuyuki Grail Wars for Illya's sake.
    • In Miyu's home timeline, the Sakatsuki family created a form of magic that allowed their children to grant any wishes until they turned six years old. The only ever used the wishes to ensure those children grew up safe and healthy.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The characters have to assemble the seven class cards.
  • Gotta Kill Them All:
    • The class cards manifest as heroic spirits, meaning they have to be killed before they can be retrieved.
    • In 3rei!!, Miyu's brother has to kill the other six participants of the Holy Grail War in order to claim their cards and save Miyu.
  • Grand Theft Me: After Miyu and her elder brother, an alternate version of Shirou, are rescued, Angelica performs a Heel–Face Turn, revealing more of the Ainsworths' secrets: specifically, that Darius Ainsworth is the family's "all-father", and that his mind will eventually take over Julian's body, as it has done with every previous head of the Ainsworth family, making Darius effectively immortal.
  • Gratuitous German: Rin and Luvia's spells have German incantations, as do Illya's attack callouts.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The Ainzworths practice displacement magecraft—as in, remove something from its original position and put it somewhere else. In true Fate fashion, this one spell is used to insane extremes; creating the class cards by attaching heroic spirits on the cards, reviving the dead by attaching them to dolls, avoiding attacks by displacing them, Weaponized Teleportation, making Gate of Babylon even more dangerous by making the projectiles faster and go through unpredictable trajectories, allowing Darius to Body Surf...
  • Harmful to Minors: A mostly ignorable trope when the Fanservice is getting dialed up, which is more than half of the initial story... but not when shit hits the fan and loudly reminds us this is indeed the Fate series, whereupon it becomes obvious that these children are fighting for their lives. Rin and Luvia catch a fair bit of flak for this In-Universe and out.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Chloe in chapter 59 of 3rei!!. Up until that moment it was never clear what parts of Darius were real or illusion, but Chloe knows the hand killing her is real, so she uses that chance to stab him with the Origin Bullet, destroying his magic circuits.
  • Hollywood Healing:
    • Justified. The magical girls have a Healing Factor. However, after her going into Zwei form against Gilgamesh, Ruby notes that Illya has severe internal damage and disallows her from using it again.
    • As Illya notes, Tanaka is spotless after her beatdown. This is a major plot point.
    • Averted for everyone else. Bazett is still covered in bandages after fighting Gilgamesh and explains that she's using a healing rune on herself. Later, Miyu's brother's injuries are magically healed by Rin, but a large scar across his stomach remains. In the flashback arc, Shirou's injuries persist between chapters. In the same arc, the Dolls retain permanent injuries after their deaths.
  • Hour of Power: The Berserker Card's Mad Enhancement grants the user a boost to physical parameters in exchange for gradually robbing them of their sanity. For an ordinary person, the time limit for retaining their sanity is ten minutes.
  • Iconic Outfit: Installs grant outfits that are similar to those of the associated heroic spirit.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal:
    • Deconstructed. Illya has a few moments of this, particularly after the powers sealed inside her start acting up. This infuriates Chloe, who represents all the parts of Illya that aren't normal. Illya realizes this is a slap in the face to Miyu, as well, who only knows Illya because they both became Magical Girls.
    • Miyu herself is someone for whom her brother wished this, since at that point she was too broken to wish for it.
    • Miyuverse Shirou realizes that he and Sakura were projecting their desire to pretend to be normal people on each other, using each other as a symbol of their "normal" life.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Chloe needs to be regularly supplied with mana (by kissing people) in order to keep from disappearing, and this is essentially her attitude when she explains to Illya that the two of them are the most compatible for the process.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • Luvia has one of those when Irisviel invites her, Rin, and Miyu to spend some days at the Emiya household since the Edelfelt mansion was destroyed by Bazzet. Her line of thought involves sleeping together with Shirou, having a baby and marrying him.
    • Shirou has one about being married to Sakura after she offers to abandon everything with him.
  • Improbable Age: Deconstructed. Illya is ten when she becomes a Magical Girl. However, she does not have the mentality of a magus like Rin and Luvia. She is nearly killed multiple times and she's absolutely terrified like a normal girl would be.
  • In Spite of a Nail: A lot of events from Fate/stay night still end up happening despite Fate/Zero having been avoided in this timeline.
    • Shirou was still orphaned and got adopted by Kiritsugu.
    • A grail ritual of sorts still ends up happening in Fuyuki City, with the same seven Servants from Fate/stay night and even Wild Card Gilgamesh being summoned. It's later revealed this all came from an Alternate Universe, as if to be Laser-Guided Karma for stopping the original Grail War.
    • Sakura is still a Matou, though it's not specified whether by blood or adoption.
    • Blackened Servants still exist in this continuity and serve as the main opponents Illya faces, despite there being no Holy Grail (and thus no Angra Mainyu) supplying the corruptive mud to make them. Turns out the mud from Pandora's Box works just as well.
  • Intimate Healing:
    • Chloe mana-drains Miyu by kissing her. She's not hurt, but the fatigue plus embarrassment causes her to collapse.
      Chloe: Thanks for the treat!
    • She then proceeds to do this to Illya's four friends and her teacher, but becomes particularly fixated on Illya herself.
    • The "other way" from Fate/stay night still exists, as Illya learns when she asks if there's any other methods. She regrets the inquiry.
  • Invisible to Normals:
    • Averted. When some of the girls from school first see Illya transformed, they recognize her instantly and assume she's doing some bizarre cosplay. Of course, they might have been somewhat distracted by the fact there were two of her...
    • In 3rei!! the castle of Ainsworth is invisible to anyone not in its close vicinity.
  • Irony: In the main Fate/stay night continuity, Berserker is Illya's Undyingly Loyal Servant. In this continuity, he's the final opponent she and Miyu face in the first season.
  • Lack of Imagination: Unlike Illya, who immediately masters Flight without issue as a Magical Girl, Miyu has difficulty in trying to master it. This is initially attributed to her lacking imagination in her thinking, not helped by her high intelligence and knowledge in physics and other sciences. It turns out to be a subversion, however, as the real reason that Miyu can't fly is due to being a Broken Bird with a Dark and Troubled Past, lacking the idealism that Illya possesses. Ultimately, Miyu solves this issue by projecting platforms under herself instead, which has pretty much the same effect as flying.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Illya spots Magical Girl tropes at work, she tends to point them out. The biggest example, of course, would be Miyu's New Transfer Student status.
    Rin: Emiya-kun is one of those people you put in the 'natural disaster' class. I mean, why does he drag us with him every time he randomly trips? What's up with him? Is he some kind of hero from an h-game or what?
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When Ruby and Sapphire grant "guest" access to Rin and Luvia when they're up against Saber Alter. One would never believe that Magical Girls could be so badass.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Fate/stay night is a visual novel where the main characters are constantly hunted in a dramatic Mêlée à Trois, putting their lives at stake. This manga, however, is light-hearted and focusing on magical girl antics. Illya is a healthy young girl with a normal lifespan, is enjoying herself immensely when she's not running for her life, and her and Shirou's parents are alive.
    • The second "season," called 2wei! is mostly the same, being full of light-hearted moments, even though there are some more serious elements like Chloe's existence, Bazett's appearance, and the fight against the 8th card.
    • The third "season," called 3rei!!, is much more serious. There are still a few comedic elements, especially in the Omake, but between Miyu being held captive by Ainsworths, Miyu's brother being held captive by her captives, and Illya's party being trapped in a Crapsack World, it is debatable whether this trope still applies.
  • Literal Split Personality: Chloe was born from Illya's memories up until she was 8 months old, having already gained the ability to understand communication and knowledge. The memories were sealed so that Illya could have a normal life.
  • Loophole Abuse: During the final battle against Darius, the heroes learn that the world is trying to erase Illya's existence, even retroactively removing her from the past. Miyu realizes that if this is a world where she never met Illya, then that means that she never went to Ilya's world, which also means that she never used up the power of the Child of God, meaning that she can bring its power to bear against Darius.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Rho Aias. Used by Illya to stop one of Saber Alter's Excaliblasts.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The star in PRISMAILLYA.
  • MST3K Mantra: Invoked In-Universe by Illya, when showing Miyu anime as she tries to teach her to ignore the science of things so she can fly.
    Illya: Well, it is anime, so you shouldn't think too hard about it...
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Magical Girls excepted, magic functions the same way as it does in other Nasuverse works. Then it later turns out that even the Magical Girls themselves use canon Nasuverse magic; it's not so much Wrong Context Magic as it is Illya, Chloe and Miyu all being Grail Conduits, becoming fusions of the Third* and Second* Magics when they turn into Magical Girls.
  • Magical Girl AU: The series it was based from was a story of seven Masters who summoned their own Servant to fight in a Holy Grail War to make a wish in the Holy Grail. Here, there are no signs of a Holy Grail War happening with Illya becoming a magical girl with Ruby as her magic wand and collecting Class Cards as transformations.
  • Magic Skirt: The first season doesn't have Panty Shots or other Fanservice that's unrelated to Magical Girl antics. The second season does, to make it more obvious that Prisma Illya is a Seinen series.
  • Make a Wish:
    • The Grail conduit's power. The solution to a Wish Maker who wants to be normal? Wish to be normal!
    • The result of that wish was the appearance of Chloe.
  • Mundane Utility: As the Blu-Ray exclusive OVA shows, magical girl transformations can be used for other things — like dancing. Specifically Miyu uses Sapphire to dance more naturally during her class' turn in the Sports Festival. Oh, and it adds sparkles to her routine too.
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic:
    • Mages have the same limitations that they do in the rest of the Nasuverse. Magical Girls aren't as restricted; they're not quite Sorcerers, but they can easily perform feats that would cripple or kill an ordinary magus, with the catch being they require the approval of their Empathic Weapon. And then there's whatever is sealed inside Illya; the limits aren't yet apparent, but it's shown the ability to crush Epic Spirits with relative ease, her Magical Girl status seems to be waking it up, and she's not happy.
    • The Installs overwrite Illya and Miyu's Magical Girl trances, turning Ruby and Sapphire into a part of it. The Gilgamesh Install pushes out Sapphire entirely.
  • Mysterious Past:
    • There is... something sealed inside Illya, that her maids know about. A vast power that goes way beyond "Magical Girl" and that the recent nonsense seems to be waking up. When she remembers pieces about it, she tries to go back to forgetting. Turns out she is a vessel for the Holy Grail, before Kiritsugu and Irisviel put a stop to the Holy Grail War, and sealed away her memories of being a vessel. These memories eventually manifest as Chloe.
    • Miyu also is a "something." It's mentioned that she required an Undead Tax Exemption; and like Illya; she can manifest cards within herself. Kaleido Ruby comments that if Miyu had used her true power in their initial sparring, Illya would have been creamed. It then asks if Illya knows just what Miyu is. In 3rei!! it is revealed that she's the Holy Grail of her world and Shirou's younger sister.
  • Mythology Gag: Now has its own page.
  • Naked People Are Funny: This happens to Illya quite a bit.
  • The Needs of the Many:
    • The Ainsworth family is willing to sacrifice one girl, Miyu, to save the human race from extinction. On the other hand, Shirou and Chloe have chosen to forsake humanity in order to rescue her. When asked, Illya decides that she wants to save everyone.
    • It's implied by Chloe that Kiritsugu abandoned his beliefs of saving the many at the cost of the few in order to save his family.
  • New Transfer Student:
    • Miyu transfers into Illya's school immediately after her mysterious appearance at the beginning of the first series. This is immediately lampshaded by both Illya and Ruby.
    • Chloe von Einzbern / Dark Illya transfers in after her initial defeat.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Luvia has one and it drives Rin nuts.
  • Nosebleed: Magical Ruby uses this to collect blood from Illya to form their contract in the first chapter of the manga.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: An eighth servant class is noted by Irisveil to be impossible (the secret Avenger class notwithstanding), as when the Einzbern family were in charge of the Holy Grail War in the past, they never summoned more than seven servants and never more than one of each type. This conversation also stresses that the Einzbern Holy Grail Wars as in the original series explicitly used servants, not class cards, and not even Iri knows what the class cards are. The revelation, followed by the appearance of the eighth class card (that also isn't Avenger), flies in the face of what everyone thought they knew and throws the established Fate plot right out the window.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Irisviel very clearly knows more about her daughter's situation than Illya herself does, yet when asked about it will only smile innocently and pretend she doesn't understand the question. Even when she was giving lengthy discussions on the subject not five seconds earlier. When said "situation" suddenly gains a will (and body) of its own as Chloe von Einzbern, Irisviel is forced to come clean.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In 2wei! the magical girls give a collective one when Gilgamesh brings out Ea. In fact, this is pretty much the default reaction to Gilgamesh doing anything.
    • At the start of 3rei!!, when Angelica and Beatrice Ainsworth emerge from the dimensional distortion, upon recognizing them the normally-stoic Miyu has an expression of utter terror.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: During the epilogue of the first season, Luvia makes off with Rin's cards. The epilogue chapter ends with a Sequel Hook—Rin caught up to Luvia and beat the crap out of her, reclaiming all of the cards, but is forced to remain in Japan for fighting.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Any time that Miyu breaks from her natural stoicism. When it isn't Played for Laughs, it's usually because there's either something very wrong or very bad happening.
    • Irisviel drops her ditzy behavior and immediately demands an explanation from Caren after the Sixth Holy Grail War is initiated.
    • Kuro goes silent when Shirou brings up her lack of self-worth.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There are two Shirou Emiyas known to the series without any nicknames to designate them: the relatively normal one serving as Illya's brother, and the Heaven's Feel-like one serving as Miyu's brother.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: When Illya and Tanaka manifest out of the Starlog to interact with people from the time period, they appear as sea angel-like entities that the other characters assume are fairies. When they try to speak, almost all of their dialogues are rendered in fairy letters that the other characters cannot understand.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Holy Grail Participants from Miyu's Alternate Universe.
  • Painting the Medium: The second season begins with the girls wondering why their outfits have changed, and the only explanation given is something along the lines of "because a new storyline started".
  • Parasitic Immortality: This is how Darius has remained the head of the Ainzworth family. He uses Displacement magecraft to attach his soul to the "next head of the family", and each time he does something of his personality gets erased. It started with him losing a scar and forgetting an emotionally charged event connected with it, and now there's barely anything left of the original. This has been going on for millennia.
  • Personality Powers: Installs can reflect different aspects of a Heroic Spirit for different users, allowing one Card to have multiple appearances between different people. The Assassin Card takes it further and can manifest a completely different Heroic Spirit that best matches each user due to the nature of the Hassan-i-Sabbah.
    • The Saber Installs correspond to three different faces of King Arthur. Miyu's reflects the King of Knights, Illya's reflects the Knight Princess, while Zachary's reflects the original King Arthur. Once Illya reinforces her ideals, her Saber Installs transforms into a mixture of Saber and Saber Lily.
    • The Archer Installs carry elements from different incarnations of Shirou Emiya. Illya's Install is based on the the original Archer. Kuro's Install resembles the corrupted Archer Card, who has elements of Avenger. Miyu's brother's Install has elements from both Avenger and Limited / Zero Over.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Justified. Whenever Chloe kisses someone (to replenish her mana), it usually ends with them in this state. Illya wonders if it's because she's just that good a kisser, but Chloe informs her that it's just exhaustion from being drained of mana. After Miyu's first time, she actually passed out, and Mimi wasn't much better:
    Kiss-Dazed Mimi: So many pansies...
  • Power Copying: The cards provide the user with a specific Noble Phantasm when included in the Kaleidosticks. Installing them into oneself allows the user to gain a fraction of the Heroic Spirit's power and abilities by overwriting one's own existence at the cost of being unable to use the Kaleidostick's powers.
  • Powers in the First Episode: Whether the first chapter or first episode, Illya gains Magical Girl powers by forming a contract with Kaleido Ruby. This also tells the readers/viewers that this story is a lot different than the original VN.
  • Power-Up Letdown: The Assassin Install is actually weaker than Illya's standard Prism form. This gets lampshaded by Chloe, and acknowledged by Illya, before switching back.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The anime adaptation avoids or outright cuts out any reference to Illya a Grail conduit from the supporting characters like Sella, Liz, or even her mother Irisviel. In the latter's case, the conversation the two had in the anime was completely given a different context — instead of Iri obliquely telling Illya not to be afraid of her powers, she gives her advice on trying to understand why Miyu acted the way that she did.
    • The 2nd season is an aversion. Mysteries brought up by the first season and left a mystery are explained in episode 6. What was the golden-eyed personality that engaged the Assassin and Saber cards? That was Chloe, Illya's original personality who was sealed by Irisviel and released through the Archer card. How did Illya perform feats like overpowering the Saber Card's Excalibur and detonating a massive amount of mana? It's because Illya/Chloe is a conduit to the cancelled Grail and her bloodline carries a magical background from her mother's side, granting her the mana capacity to perform said-feats.
  • Precision F-Strike: Taiga manages a semi-stealthy one, at least in the dub ("WTF do you think you're drawing?"), when she sees Suzuka in her Yaoi Fangirl glory.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: As a Magical Girl staple, this - along with a hefty dose of yuri - is obviously in effect:
    • The most obvious pairing are Illya and Miyu, who are Fireforged Friends and share quite an amount of intimate moments.
    • A more down-toned, sort-of Belligerent Sexual Tension relationship is fairly obvious between Luvia and Rin; the two can't stand each other very much but in truth they rely on each other much more than they'd like to admit. Though they obviously don't kiss.
    • Season 2 adds Chloe, who is a lot more open about everything, making the relationship between Illya and Miyu a lot more complicated. The fact she randomly walks around kissing everyone she meets (which somehow are only girls), and tries to force herself on both Illya and Miyu pretty much confirms this trope. After all, Girl On Girl is Cute.
  • Rotten Reincarnation: An odd case of the trope is present that's combined with Grand Theft Me and Body Surf. The head of the Ainsworth family, Darius, perpetuates his life by using the body of the current "heir" born into the family to grant himself a new life after death, but each and every time he does so a part of himself is lost in the process. It starts with losing a scar and forgetting a very important event associated with it, and eventually reaches the point where there's barely anything of his original personality left with each rebirth.
  • Rummage Fail: In 3rei!!, Gilgamesh attempts to withdraw Vimana from the Gate of Babylon but is unable to find it (his treasury having been split in two and divided between himself and Angelica). He casually tosses out a number of legendary treasures while rummaging around for something that might be useful in the situation.
  • Scenery Porn: So, so, so much in the anime.
  • Schmuck Bait: While looking at job ads, Rin gets a little too blinded by one position's absurd pay rate to notice that the job requirements are so specific that really only she could possibly fill them. Congratulations, Rin-san... you are now Luvia's personal maid.
  • Screw Yourself: Being partially Archer, Chloe's feelings toward Shirou are technically this, while also being a case of Brother–Sister Incest. Then in 3rei!!, Chloe and Illya get a little too chummy...
  • Serious Business:
    • Illya vs. Chloe in an epic, life-or-death, magically powered... game of dodgeball.
    • Sella gets really intense about weight loss.
    • 2wei! Chapter 12 introduces epic cake-baking.
    • Epic food judging too, courtesy of one Shirou Emiya.
      I can't tell a lie about cooking!
  • Sequel Hook: The anime has one. In Episode 10, Bazett walks through an airport after the credits end. 2wei Herz! has one as well, showing Angelica and Beatrice arriving in Illya's world.
  • Shipper on Deck: Yeah, it's safe to say that Ruby just maybe ships Shirou/Illya.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To a lot of Fate/stay night doujinshi. Such as "Sword Dancers" (a.k.a. "Archerko") and "Unlimited Maid Works".
    • Take a look at the 'wild dogs' in this image. One of them in particular...
    • At one point, Kaleido Ruby suggests they "explore" an alternate dimension by "reducing it to nothing with a 'Lyrical Grade' magical blast."
    • In Episode 10 of anime, Illya uses Nanoha's "Zenryoku Zenkai!"note  Catchphrase when firing a point-blank mana blast at the Berserker class card.
    • In Chapter 9.5, Caren-sensei is shown putting sugar into green tea. Six of them. At least unlike Lindy, she doesn't put milk in it...
    • The wands seem awfully familiar as well, especially when they're trying to combine them with cards.
    • The crossover with Nanoha features Ruby using a scouter to measure, basically, Illya's tendency to freak out over cute stuff.
    • Another chapter in a flashback shows Rin and Luvia at the end of one of their spats...and Shirou lying in a crater in a very similar pose to one of the Z-fighters who has been blown up.
    • Illya can probably sympathize with Touma after this scene.
    • "Teach us, Mama Iris!" corner
    • The visuals that appear when Kuro explains what BL is in episode 3 of 2Wei Herz! involve Kotomine and Kiritsugu, a nod to Fate/Zero's astounding popularity with BL fans (Kotomine/Kiritsugu being an especially popular ship).
    • In the same episode, Mimi reads a BL doujin starring two characters named "Scarecrow" and "Dolphin"—in other words, Kakashi and Iruka.
    • A few of the weapons that Angelica fires out of the Gate of Babylon look a lot like some weapons from Dark Souls.
      • The mud giants that Darius/Julian summons from Pandora's Box bear more than a passing resemblance to the LastGiant from Dark Souls II.
    • The way Julian shrinks Pandora's box during his escape brings to mind The All Spark/ The Cube, particularly when Bumblebee touches it, causing it to shrink and become easier to transport.
    • Ig-Alima being green and Shul-Shagana being red bring to mind a certain other show with green Ig-Alima and red(ish) Shul-Shagana.
  • Shown Their Work: The series is chock full of references to Type-Moon mythology, but there are some notable examples.
    • Miyu can kill Berserker twice with Gae Bolg because its reverse causality strike and its usage as a projectile are considered to be two different attacks with their own ranks.
    • Miyu's world dying follows one of Nasu's oldest works, Angel Notes. The reason is "Grain", a byproduct of mana usage that is harmful for living creatures.
    • Illya's Saber Install is based off of Saber Lily.
    • Angelica gives Illya a basic rundown of how Nasuverse magecraft works, explaining the concepts of prana, mana, od, and magic circuits.
    • Chloe and Illya's Rho Aias have four petals whereas Miyu's brother's has seven petals. In Fate/stay night, only Archer's Rho Aias has seven petals whereas Shirou's has four, following along with the fact that Miyu's brother is approaching the former's level.
    • Zachary's Saber install's helmet and armor are based on the male King Arthur's designs from supplementary materials, equipped with the female King Arthur's Excalibur.
    • In Fate/Zero, Saber can't use Excalibur properly with only one hand. Here, Zachary can't use Excalibur properly with only one arm.
    • The Berserker Succession Install that Illya uses in the battle against Beatrice is Gorgon. Miyu also installs Hassan of Serenity from Assassin card.
    • Illya's Berserker Install is visibly overpowered by Beatrice's, yet her Gorgon Install can match the Magni Install in physical strength. How? According Fate/Grand Order Gorgon (as well as Asterios) canonically has the highest strength stat out of every servant in the game at a ranking of A++, higher than Heracles' A+ strength.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: When the girls face off against Beatrice, she installs a Class Card that gives her access to Thor's hammer Mjölnir, thus giving her access to the powers of a divine spirit. Instead of trying to overpower her, they decide to recreate the conditions of Thor's death to take advantage of his conceptual weakness, which means poisoning Beatrice and forcing her to take seven steps backwards. It doesn't work because even though Mjölnir is Thor's Signature Weapon, he wasn't the only one to ever wield it. The class card Beatrice uses actually grants her the power of Thor's son, Magni. This means that they have to beat Beatrice the hard way.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: So Miyu has a mental block against flight that she really needs to get over. What's the most sensible way to go about it? Well, if you're Luvia, the obvious answer is throw her out of a moving helicopter! It fails completely, and only Sapphire's protection saves Miyu from the impact.
  • Skinship Grope: This happens a few times, including one awkward example wherein Illya gets felt up in the bath by her mother.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Once a Season for strategic meetings, a character will put on glasses to lecture others in a manner similar to a teacher and schoolkids: Rin in 2wei!, Luvia in 2wei Herz!, and Chloe in 3rei!!.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Averted. The major enemies of each arc vary widely in their power scale and morality. The seven class cards are feral and vary wildly in strength. Bazett is neutral and about on-par with the cards. Card!Gilgamesh is insanely powerful but lacks higher judgement beyond his instincts to pursue the grail. The Ainsworths are the closest that an antagonist in the series gets to evil, but they're below Card!Gilgamesh on the power scale and their actions are to save humanity—or so it seems, but following some revelations about Darius Ainsworth, Illya and the gang start to doubt whether this is true.
  • The Spock: Miyu's weakness is a lack of imagination and focus on logic in a world where magic runs on imagination and belief.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • The anime opening shows the class cards being used in battle.
    • 2wei! shows the fight between Miyu and Chloe, as well as the battle with Bazett.
    • The 2wei Herz! opening shows the fight with Gilgamesh and Miyu's brother.
    • 3rei!!! shows, among other important plot points, Erika being affiliated with the Ainsworths, and Illya during her time trapped in a stuffed bear.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Inverted with Sella in the first episode. She actually wants Shirou to leave the housework to her so that he can be a better big-brother example to Illya. One could say that she wants him out of the kitchen.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: A favorite of August, Luvia's loyal butler.
  • Storming the Castle: The plot of 3rei!!. Shirou challenges the Masters of Miyu's dimension to save her. She's held in an actual castle there.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The Licht - The Nameless Girl movie ends on a low note. Just after Illya and Miyu come to an understanding with Julian and Pandora and all seems well, Darius finishes his Grand Theft Me on Julian, stabs Pandora, and crushes Kuro's class card. Roll credits.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: The series itself acknowledges this regarding Miyu for Illya. Illya's classmates note with dismay that Illya is the only person Miyu is 'dere' for.
    "You unlocked the Miyu route!"
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Illya isn't a mage in this continuity. As far as she knows, she's an ordinary child, and has a child's perfectly ordinary reaction to the otherworldly situation she's forced into: fear. It takes no small amount of time for her to adjust. The only reason Miyu doesn't have the same reaction is because she's already traumatized and Conditioned to Accept Horror.
    • Because Sakura is a Woman of Kryptonite to Shirou's projection magecraft, his second encounter with her involves guns and explosives. It only works until he runs out of ammo, after which he is at Sakura's mercy again. Despite his meticulous planning to handle her on his own, he simply cannot defeat his natural counter without help.
  • Synchronization: Rin has a curse that will kill one target of the magecraft if the other target dies. She eventually uses this to make Chloe / "Dark Illya" stop trying to kill Illya, and later on Bazett to force the mage battle into a draw. Later, the two of them dispel it.
  • Take a Third Option: When Illya is forced to choose between Miyu or the world, she chooses neither. Instead, she seeks to find a solution where everybody can be happy.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Rin and Luvia despise each other,note  but they are thoroughly competent when they actually manage to put aside their differences and work together. And so, they continue to bitch at each other while dealing with it.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • The final battles of Seasons 1, 3, and 4 all have their respective opening themes played as Illya & company turn the tide to win the day.
    • As usual, EMIYA will blare in the background when Shirou is showing his badassery.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: This is Miyu's brother's response toward Julian when he claims he will doom humanity by saving Miyu.
  • Rate-Limited Perpetual Resource: The Kaleidosticks are able to draw upon an effectively infinite amount of magical energy by drawing it in from throughout the multiverse. However, they're limited by the amount of energy their user is able to handle and use in one sitting. Illya bypasses this by using both Ruby and Sapphire at once and having them use her circulatory system as makeshift Magic Circuits in order to defeat Gilgamesh, but both sticks ban her from ever doing so again due to the risk of burning her organs out in the process.
  • The Reveal: 3rei!! goes Darker and Edgier as a result of finally cutting into the biggest mystery of the plot, that being who Miyu really is, resulting in a conga line of major revelations. The class cards everyone has been hunting down to prevent a Holy Grail War? They weren't even for this world's Holy Grail War, but for the war of an Alternate Universe. Miyu hails from that universe as the Grail Conduit like Illya was supposed to be for her own, and the Ainsworth family are trying to make her fulfill her role. Miyu's foster brother, the Emiya Shirou of that world, derailed that plan by winning the war and wishing for Miyu to have a better life, sending her to Illya's world... but this ends up bringing eight class cards (seven of each type and Gilgamesh) with her, kickstarting the plot.
  • Third-Person Person: Tanaka is Tanaka!
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Take the characters from Fare/stay night and transplant them into a Magical Girl series. This is the result.
  • Tsundere:
    • Alternate universe or not, Rin is still Rin. To make things worse, Illya is almost completely incapable of bringing out her deredere side. It's only reserved for Shirou.
    • Also Sella, although she seems to reserve her 'dere' for Illya exclusively. Poor Shirou in particular gets an almost unending stream of hostility.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action:
    • Averted by Illya in Season 1 Episode 2. Her transformation seems to work in real-time as seen from Rin's perspective, including the music and light show.
      Illya: I'm back.
      Rin: Why did you bother hiding yourself?
      Illya: Because it's embarrassing.
    • Played straight in Season 1 Episode 6 when Illya installs the Archer Card. Saber has both Sword Beams and Lightning Bruiser fighting skills, but makes no attempt to use either despite having ample time to stop Illya.
    • Downplayed Trope in Season 1 Episode 9. Berserker rushes forward to attack Miyu while she's priming her Saber install, but she finishes just in time to block his attack.
    • Averted in Season 2 Episode 1. Rin and Luvia can be heard struggling in the bog while Illya and Miyu complete their transformations, and Rin also lampshades how they should skip the Transformation Sequence entirely.
  • Transformation Sequence: Averted in the manga, where the magical girl transformations are more or less instantaneous. Hilariously played straight in the anime. Illya even acknowledges how embarrassing it is.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Kaleidosticks allow its users to transform into magical girls. The Class Cards serve a similar function when installed, granting the user access to the powers of the Heroic Spirit it is based off of. They play a much larger role in 3rei!!, taking the place of Servants in the Ainsworth Holy Grail War.
  • Truce Zone: The gang encounter Bazett during the Beach Episode, who is working off the damage she did during their fight as an iced treat vendor.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: Luvia cooks up one of these for Chloe when her presence is revealed to the rest of Illya's school. Interestingly enough, Luvia comments that they had done the same thing for Miyu...
  • Undying Loyalty: Miyu is loyal to Illya, period.
  • Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Illya forcibly rips Kid Gilgamesh out of the dark mass with her hand in a very awkward place. She immediately opens fire, which Gil lampshades noting that he should be the one screaming.
  • Visual Pun: When Mimi watches Illya kiss Chloe in Chapter 17 of 2wei!, the scene switches to a bouquet of lilies (i.e., yuri) that their other classmates were discussing. In the equivalent scene in the anime, it cuts from Illya and Chloe kissing to Caren noticing that the lilies outside her window are blooming.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Rin and Luvia take this trope to an extreme level.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Illya and Miyu (and later Chloe) continue to attend school in between their adventures. At least until they all get transported to Miyu's crapsack Alternate Universe.
  • Wham Line: Tanaka revealing what she is.
    "Gaia's Counter Force". The last survival instinct this dying planet's unconsciousness gave birth to. That is who I am.
  • Wham Shot: Bazett ripping the Eighth Card out of its blackened Heroic Spirit, revealing it's a second Archer card. This moment completely changes the direction of the plot.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The "Archer" Class Card, when equipped to one of the Kaleidosticks, gives the wielder a bow... or rather, it gives them only a bow, without providing any, y'know, arrows. Illya is not amused to discover this. Eventually subverted when she uses it by directly integrating it into her own body instead of into Ruby. The result gives her complete access to Archer's projection magic, a ''much'' more worthwhile ability.
  • World of Badass: The alternate universe in 3rei!!. There, not only is series Butt-Monkey Shirou, if possible, even more deadly than his Fate/stay night canon self, but even franchise-wide loser Matou Shinji is a legitimately deadly threat.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Three months after Miyu is kidnapped and hitting his emotional low point, Shirou gets confessed to by Sakura. In the very next chapter, she gets killed trying to protect him from Shinji. He got manipulated by Julian to use against Shirou in case he attempts to take Miyu back or ruin his plans.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Illya's friend Suzuka and her sister are fans of boys being in romantic relationships. They eventually get Mimi addicted to it.
  • Yuri Fan: Corrupted Mimi believes boys should love boys and girls should love girls.


Video Example(s):


"Adult" Pajamas

Erica is researching what kind of sleepwear everyone wears because she wants pajamas that feel "adult", and is shocked to find out Angelica doesn't wear anything to bed at all. Erica concludes that's the most "adult" way of sleeping of all.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / SleepsInTheNude

Media sources: