Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya – Licht Nameless Girl is a direct continuation to the story of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei!! and the film Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: Vow in the Snow. Despite being a film, it feels far more like a collection of episodes than anything resembling a self-contained story. It doesn’t have a thematic arc to tie everything together, and more than simply ending on a cliffhanger, it seems to end mid-climax. That said, the film does push the story forward with plot revelations galore—though sometimes undercutting itself in the process.
The most interesting aspect of the 3rei!!‘s story so far has been the moral dilemma our heroes find themselves in. Julian’s plan is to use the grail—i.e., Miyu—to save the world (which would be unable to support human life within 10 generations if nothing is done). Simply put, he would sacrifice one girl to save the human race. In the previous film, we saw Shiro, who in other iterations of the Fate franchise would have done the same as Julian, have a change of heart and choose to forsake the future of the world to save his adopted sister.
In this film, Illya and her friends from her world must grapple with the same choice. Of course,
Illya, with her childhood innocence, is determined to save both the world and her friend. However, that doesn’t mean she actually has any idea how to go about this. She simply elects to stop Julian’s plans first, then think about saving the world second. While her intentions are pure, Illya is the “villain” of the story in the most pragmatic sense: by stopping Julian, she could very well put an end to mankind’s last hope for salvation.
The glaring issue of the film is that, despite this highly compelling moral dilemma being set up across the TV anime, previous film, and the start of this one, it is completely sidestepped by the time the final credits roll. No one is forced to truly confront the issue—it just becomes irrelevant all on its own. Thus, the actual film is about learning the specifics in regards to what is actually going on more than anything else—both in the story and with the characters.
At the start of the film, Julian’s plan is almost a complete mystery. We know he wants to use the Holy Grail and the magic cube to save the human race but the “how” of this process is very much unknown. Even by the end of the film, we don’t have a concreate answer to this as we are sidetracked into learning about the cube itself—namely, what it is and why it is so important to what is going on.
The rest of the story is spent giving us some much needed backstory on its villains, namely Beatrice, Erika, and Julian himself. Honestly, there is a lot of good character work here. We learn about their expectedly tragic pasts and the personal motivations behind their current actions. It makes them sympathetic and serves to examine the idea of what it truly means to “save” someone.
While there is a ton of lore and backstory dished out in this film, much of the runtime is spent on eye-candy, pure and simple. The animation is vibrant and smooth throughout, even in the most action-packed scenes. At the same time, the fight choreography is simply astounding—especially in the battle between Beatrice and Illya. While clearly different in style, the animation can even stand up to its ufotable Fate/stay night counterparts.
As for the soundtrack, it’s on par with the main series, using many of the songs from the TV anime. It does its job of making the action scenes tense and the tragic moments touching, but it doesn’t really stand out as anything special.
All in all, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya – Licht Nameless Girl is a must-watch for viewers of Prisma☆Illya. It’s a direct continuation of the TV anime that moves the story forward in unexpected ways—though at the cost of its intriguing moral dilemma. Likewise, it puts its movie budget to great use in the visual department and delivers some absolutely stunning fight scenes. While it does have some pacing issues—namely with the abrupt, mid-climax ending—this is just the nature of the beast when adapting an ongoing manga to the big screen. For fans of the other Fate series, you’d be better off starting at the beginning of Prisma☆Illya rather than jumping right in for this film, but rest assured that this film has a lot of fun easter eggs for fans of the rest of the franchise.