In this article we will talk about Fate / Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya. If you don't know the franchise of Fate or the narrative universe Nasuverse, we advise you to recover the previous articles thanks to the links we put above.
The Fate / Zero post
The years following the release of the Fate / Zero volumes were, for Type-Moon, years of remakes and readjustments: the Réalta Nua remake, the re-releases of Kara no Kyōkai, the Fate-themed fighting games; a series of minor works that allowed the company to accumulate funds for some particularly large projects scheduled in the near future such as the animated adaptations of Ufotable and new themed video games, without however publishing anything actually new for the narrative universe and focusing mainly on what is already available to readers.
The sequel that the works of Nasu and Takeuchi had collected also began to create many transversal works, as often happens for franchises of this genre once they have gained popularity, such as fan art and fan fiction, often built to alleviate the ruthless rawness which pervades Nasu's writing.
An example of these works is represented by the work of Eri Takenashi, future author of Kannagi, who over the years has published a Tsukihime theme parody manga entitled Take Moon, which strongly contrasts the dark and raw atmospheres of the original work with situations absurd and over the top, although keeping the characterization of the protagonists perfectly intact.
The need to lighten the drama
The desire to create humor and lightness in Nasuverse is due precisely to the nature of Nasuverse itself: after all, Nasu's stories are not completely happy stories: it is true that there is always a fund of positivity, a ray of light at the end of the tunnel, a positive vision or a glimpse of beauty in the world in his works, but they are works characterized by a deep unease and drama for the characters who are part of it.
Even Fate / stay night, in its mix of mystery and action, in its collection of great heroes of the past, is no exception: Shirō Emiya is a deeply disturbed person from the psychological and ideological point of view, and the whole story focuses strongly on putting questioning his vision of his life in one way or another. Although this does not lead to a tragic end or future, however, the seventh Master is not the only pawn on Fuyuki's chessboard, and all the characters around him have the opportunity to experience their difficulties and traumas during the three routes , often with rather unhappy outcomes.
Attention to Illyasviel
And it is precisely from the latter that the illustrator Hiroshi Hiroyama, known in the dōjin circle with the pseudonym of KALMIA, felt particularly touched, sensitized by the sad story of Illyasviel von Einzbern and by the fate to which he went against because of his nature as a character, especially in the events that involved her in the course of Unlimited Blade Works.
For this reason Hiroyama wanted to create a world in which little Illya could live in peace and grow like a normal girl, without the horrible implications that the Holy Grail War can have for her life and without her parents being torn away away prematurely.
As a great fan and connoisseur of Nasuverse, inspired by the above mentioned intentions and by some elements introduced in Fate / hollow ataraxia, Hiroyama begins to give life to his work, which was soon made official by Nasu and Takeuchi as a Type-Moon publication, starting its diffusion starting from 2007: a series of three manga entitled Fate / kaleid liner PRISMA ☆ ILLYA.
The Fate / Kaleid story
As usual for the themed works Go out so far, the story takes place in Fuyuki, although this time you are in a completely different universe from that of Fate / stay night.
In this context, in fact, Kiritsugu and Irisviel have chosen to prevent the start of the Holy Grail War ritual by ending it, abandoning the Einzbern and starting a happy family life with their daughter Illya.
The constants in change
In unspecified circumstances (Fuyuki's Great Fire after all, as a consequence of the Fourth War of the Holy Grail, never happened) they adopt the young Shiro, who acts as the older brother of Illya living a normal life with her without any knowledge of the magic and taking care of her together with the servants Sella and Leysritt during the numerous trips of the parents.
The unexpected event
One day, however, things begin to change due to the appearance of the Class Cards, unwanted residues of the Holy Grail formed by corrupt fragments of Heroic Spirits, which disturb the quiet of the city, creating dark versions of the Servants associated with them.
Fortunately, the two little witches are present to face the threat of the Class Cards
Old and new characters
Kaleido Ruby and Kaleido Sapphire, the secret identity of Rin Tohsaka and Luviagelita Edelfelt who, chosen by Zelretch to deal with the danger, were equipped by the magician with two sentient wands that, by using the Second Magic, give power to their protégés.
Rin and Luvia, unfortunately, are not very inclined to collaboration and, during a heated discussion, are abandoned by the Kaleidosticks who promptly look for two new bearers who can help them fight Class Cards.
This is how, coming into contact with Magical Ruby, Illya's life will take a new turn by starting her strange adventures as a witch to discover the secret world of magic.
A mix of old and new
Fate / Kaleid liner is in all respects a manga belonging to the genre Mahō Shojō, possessing all the trappings and clichés of the case, a detail that is goliardically taken in reference in the work itself in which Illya, a great fan of this narrative trend, tends to note the parallels and elements familiar to the genre.
Despite this, the manga does not exempt itself from creating more serious and dangerous situations for the protagonists, staging a story that is lighter and happier than Nasu's productions, but without depriving the context of many of its primary characteristics, which detail the Nasuverse in its entirety.
The characteristics of the Nasuverse are respected
Hiroyama not only knows very well the multiverse set up by Type-Moon, but he demonstrates a profound respect towards him so as to involve many key characters of Nasu by creating new characters only where it is strictly necessary, keeping intact the characteristics of the recurring protagonists of Fate submitting to the reader a credible and plausible version of their life without the terrible events of the Holy Grail War.
The structural references to Nasuverse do not stop even at Fate alone, moreover, reaching to mention elements derived even from Notes, denoting an almost obsessive care for the world that the author wants to propose in this vision of the Type-Moon universe.
The necessary changes
The nature and subject of Fate / Kaleid Liner, however, require the infringement of different rules and elements of the Nasuverse to bend them to the intentions of the author: it is precisely for this reason that Hiroyama, in the first person, wanted to specify how his work should not be directly linked to that of the main franchise and therefore should be treated as a work in its own right.
Given the terms and position that the author has taken for his work, it is natural that Type-Moon was able to formalize the manga as part of its productions, giving the mangaka the opportunity to create his own vision and spread it more widely It is free.
The original manga has only two volumes, which are followed by two other manga that directly continue the initial narration, entitled exactly like the main manga but with the addition of 2wei subtitles! and 3rei !!, the latter still in publication.
The inevitable adaptations
In 2010 Comp Ace, magazine on which Fate / Kaleid liner is published, publishes a special crossover with Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha on the occasion of the magazine's fiftieth anniversary, while in 2013 the animated adaptation of PRISMA ☆ ILLYA by the Silver Link studio begins. continuing in the following year with the adaptation of 2wei! in two parts and, in 2016, the partial adaptation of 3rei !!, at the end of which the film Fate / kaleid liner PRISMA ☆ ILLYA: Oath of the Snow is announced, adaptation of the second part of the manga awaiting the new anime currently in production.
In addition to the animated adaptation, in 2013 the title of the same name was released for Nintendo 3DS, a fighting game in which players, using Illya, Miyu, Rin or Luvia, will have to find the seven Class Cards by defeating the representatives.
The importance of the work in the Nasuverse
Although not really part of the Nasuverse, Fate / Kaleid liner PRISMA ☆ ILLYA represents a specific position taken by Kinoko Nasu, reaffirmed in several interviews following the release of the manga, affirming it as one of the strengths of Type-Moon both its flexibility and potential for expansion, elements that alongside the large amount of creatives who support fans their works opens the doors for the formalization of any job that falls within the company's standards, encouraging and stimulating anyone who gains satisfaction in using the their talent in creating something derivative without the fear of incurring creative brakes but, on the contrary, meeting the opportunity to officially expand the universe object of their passions with spin-offs and anthologies, a feature that, according to Gen Urobuchi makes Type-Moon jobs the closest thing Japan has to Marvel Comics.
However, Hiroshi Hiroyama's manga represents only the tip of the iceberg of Fate's expansion capabilities, which in the following years will see not spin-offs, but numerous parallel works written or supervised by Nasu himself aimed at further expanding the Nasuverse structure using the Holy Grail as an instrument through which to examine some events and phenomena in a new light.