Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS 4

I agree completely with Owen S’s observation that the 1 vs 2 cour comparison to explain why StrikerS has been off to a slow start is deeply flawed. In the first season, Fate didn’t even show up until the middle of the fourth episode while we had a relatively slow buildup about ‘Hi, I’m Nanoha Takamachi, this is my family etc etc.’ and then gradually levelling up under Ferret Yuuno’s instruction.

There appears to be a similar structure in StrikerS. The main new character Subaru has her back history and connection to Nanoha built up and, with the other three newbies, are being levelled up. Although we do know the members of the original cast, there is also considerable ground to cover, given that ten years have passed since the end of A’s (not counting the last few minutes of the last episode), such as the setting up of Hayate’s new unit – which isn’t covered in the A’s to StrikerS transition manga.

It’s quite hard to do the ‘start in the middle’ narrative IMHO because although that was used in A’s, we have the same knowledge about the new characters as Nanoha. That’s not the case in StrikerS where the studio has decided that we, the audience, should be levelled up in our knowledge of the new characters to what the original cast members know. In any case, I have this sneaky suspicion that it’s a no win situation either way. Instead of complaints about slow pacing, the ‘start in the middle’ alternative would probably provoke complaints of ‘Who are these people!?’, ‘What’s going on?’, ‘needs MOAR background’ etc.

The first four episodes have been a bit of a yo-yo for me. I was pretty alarmed by how the first episode totally had no Nanoha x Fate love-love at all. Felt ecstatic at the end of the third episode with the Big Bed scene. But this episode seems to further affirm Stripey’s sense that:

Nanoha doesn’t seem to have the hots for Fate anymore and Fate carries this resigned-ness that Nanoha is never ever gonna to reciprocate her love…

Either that or their relationship is so established that everyone seems to take it for granted. *Fingers crossed*

Nanoha seems to be most herself when she’s in the air strutting her combat instructor stuff, an odd mix of delight at how her trainees are pushing themselves and innovating on the go while looking quite fearsome when confronting any of their direct challenges. The scene when she looks up at Frederick’s fireball attacks reminded me sooo much of the GOUFs coming under attack from above by ORB Murasames for some reason. But the unwelcome Gundam SEED Destiny reminder was how her ‘look up’ faces were recycled within a minute of each other. Doesn’t bode well for animation quality… but then again, the pre-DVD release version of A’s wasn’t that good either (outside of the Fate vs Signum battles). Remember the horrible defence program monster? orz

If there’s another dimension to the Nanoha x Fate relationship that I’m looking out for is how Nanoha relates to Fate’s two adopted children and how they relate to their ‘other’ mom (though I think Erio addresses Fate as ‘oneesan’). LOL

Our last main character, Carim, head of the Saint Church and Hayate’s mentor in Belka magic as well as the most important sponsor of the new unit is finally introduced. Nanoha to complete the newbies’ training, Shari to have their new devices ready just in time before a major attack by 30 Gadgets, possible Type-2 as well on a transport train (Spider Man 2 anyone?). Next week’s episode should have more action: Thunder of the Stars.

Needs MOAR Nanoha x Fate love-love!

11 thoughts on “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS 4

  1. Fate x Nanoha FTW!!!! eventhough i might not get what i wanted, I still crave for these two to make out and declare their love…damn

  2. Meh!

    I won’t ever give up on this one…

    No matter what, even if Yuuno makes his cameo, I will still praise Nanoha X Fate…FTW!!!

  3. Wow, thanks, never expected to be mentioned here. You might want to link to my original comment over at Stripey’s blog in case the readers are confused.

    I personally think that StrikerS will outdo what A’s delivered in terms of action and drama because the numbers simply call for it — four relative newbies and three experienced veterans, not counting the Velka Knights? I expect something resembling Bleach’s Soul Society arc in the second half of StrikerS.

  4. Jerry, I don’t think we’ll see that but hope springs eternal. ;)

    T_I, overzealous is the sign of rabid fanboyism. orz

    Demon Eyes, neber givuu uppu!!!

    Owen S, have amended the link. Thanks for pointing it out. I’ll be happiest if Nanoha and Fate become as close as they were in the last ep of the first season and first two eps of A’s, even better if we also have more Signum flirting with Fate too. Although A’s has a lot of fans for its action, I loved the fighting there because it was retro-martial arts cheesy with a lot of shouting of moves as cute girls went head to head. Smashing gadgets just ain’t gonna be the same…

  5. Signum flirting with Fate-chan?! Man this gonna make me hard too. I loved the scene when both girls speaks to each other. Of course FatexNanoha FTW :D

  6. I think I’m different from many people in that I don’t see Nanoha losing her interest in Fate or their relationship being diminished or anything of that sort. While I would also love to see more NxF rabu rabu scenes, I think the few ones we’ve had have cemented the steadiness in their relationship. And it shows how they’ve grown, too. They’re able to be professional at what they do and give each other free reign to do what they love. And when they’re together, there’s a comfortable, loving air about them that I really enjoy. I think it says a lot more than make out scenes ever could.

    But I’m just a romantic at heart, so I could just be seeing through NanohaxFate happy tinted glasses. XD

  7. Mandy, I’d read things your way too except that the repeated declarations (in the Megami radio drama and Ep 2 from Fate and Nanoha that they are ‘friends’ rather than ‘lovers’. Still, I’m not expecting the ambiguity to be definitively resolved in favour of yuri but I’d hate to see that ambiguity eroded further in favour of the ‘just good friends’ direction.

    Just saw the subs and the whole nerfing thing is much clearer now. I was wondering how Nanoha, Fate, Hayate are going to level up even further without becoming ridiculously overpowered a la the Dragonball franchise. Using inter-unit/service rivalries and politics to knock them down several ranks leaves room for their limiters to be gradually released as the enemies increase in difficulty without having the need for them to acquire really new abilities or upgrades. Seems that the script writers have thought this particular aspect well ahead and hopefully this will bode well for the series as a whole.

  8. i forget whether i had said this, but even if yes i would like to say again. i really like the way u present ur review by inserting other blogger comment and other sources. it is extremely helpful. I posted it at here because i just watch nanoha strikers recently and found ur blog really helpful. thx a lot ^^

    1. Many thanks, glad you found it useful.

      I do regret that I’m not more consistent in doing this for more of my posts though. ^_^);;

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