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Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS

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ForceSix's picture
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Ah Sansker that makes a lot of sense now. You do like StrikerS, but you thought it could be much, much better. There is no shame in thinking like that, I do the same thing. So since we are done with that...what do we talk about now? I mean whats left to talk about StrikerS? Or should we creat a new topic?

Who would in a fight? Nanoha or Saber? Archer or Signum?

Sansker's picture
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No, actually I hate StrikerS because is bad and weak but I admit there was some potential there. In the end I will never get to like the series. I actually watch some episodes again and I get more stuff but just because I read the mangas and hear the sound stage or go to the Nanoha wiki for information so… is not good. We can talk about StrikerS always and this threath will be here for those who wish to put their opinion but of course we can move to other stuff.

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Sweet Lord, what is happening to me. I wrote like 19 pages 10 000+ words of my rambling about StrikerS, and why I think my opinion of it was much more positive than the consensus of the vocal parts of community (or maybe entire community). And it's still growing since the section where I throw in off the cuff notes about episodes while I rewatch them is only on episode 4.
Hell it even got a table of contents:
1. Thing that struck chord with me:
1.1. Magic
1.2. Military Sci-Fi
1.3. The Combat and the Open Skies
1.4. The optimism and positivity of story
1.5. The Characters
2. How does StrikerS stand on the chords the franchise struck with me?
2.1. Magic, Magitech and Combat
2.1.1. Fate’s explanation of mass vs magic tech, and the implications
2.2. The Characters
2.2.1. Nanoha and Fate
2.2.2. Vivio
2.2.3. Hayate and the Wolkenritter
2.2.4. On the bus crew
2.2.5. The Forwards in general and positives
2.2.6. The Forwards the Meh ones
2.2.7. The Antagonists
2.2.8. Other characters
2.2.9. The Characters conclusions
2.3. Military
2.3.1. The power limiters
2.4. Optimism and positivism
3. The Setting
3.1.1. Lack of Teleportation and flight
3.2. The Belkan Church
3.2.1. Large abandoned parts of Cranagan
4. The Story/Plot
4.1. The time skip
4.2. Nanoha's accident
4.3. The White Devil incident
5. Conclusion
6. Notes while rewatching
6.1. Episode 1
6.2. Episode 2
6.3. Episode 3
6.4. Episode 4

What is wrong with my life?!?

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4th Dimension wrote:
Sweet Lord, what is happening to me. I wrote like 19 pages 10 000+ words of my rambling about StrikerS, and why I think my opinion of it was much more positive than the consensus of the vocal parts of community (or maybe entire community). And it's still growing since the section where I throw in off the cuff notes about episodes while I rewatch them is only on episode 4.
Hell it even got a table of contents:
1. Thing that struck chord with me:
1.1. Magic
1.2. Military Sci-Fi
1.3. The Combat and the Open Skies
1.4. The optimism and positivity of story
1.5. The Characters
2. How does StrikerS stand on the chords the franchise struck with me?
2.1. Magic, Magitech and Combat
2.1.1. Fate’s explanation of mass vs magic tech, and the implications
2.2. The Characters
2.2.1. Nanoha and Fate
2.2.2. Vivio
2.2.3. Hayate and the Wolkenritter
2.2.4. On the bus crew
2.2.5. The Forwards in general and positives
2.2.6. The Forwards the Meh ones
2.2.7. The Antagonists
2.2.8. Other characters
2.2.9. The Characters conclusions
2.3. Military
2.3.1. The power limiters
2.4. Optimism and positivism
3. The Setting
3.1.1. Lack of Teleportation and flight
3.2. The Belkan Church
3.2.1. Large abandoned parts of Cranagan
4. The Story/Plot
4.1. The time skip
4.2. Nanoha's accident
4.3. The White Devil incident
5. Conclusion
6. Notes while rewatching
6.1. Episode 1
6.2. Episode 2
6.3. Episode 3
6.4. Episode 4

What is wrong with my life?!?

4th Dimension's picture
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This one is one year younger than the A's thread over at AnimeSuki which I resurrected to post my A's impressions.

Sansker's picture
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Maybe we could go one point at the time? Opinions are complex after all and just throwing that on people can be a bit confusing.

4th Dimension's picture
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That is what I was thinking of doing. Dropping it in sections.

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I'm now watching Episode 5 (the train one) and the part where Subaru and Mach Caliber talk is causing me difficulties understanding what is being said.

Here is an excerpt covering that from my writing:

Although can somebody help me figure out the final part of the Subaru/Mach conversation. Basically they share a moment where she compliments him and then this exchange happens. In the brackets I put the Amazon translation (I think they are now offering all seasons through Prime) which is not great and is often literal:
S: But Mach Caliber has an AI or heart, right? (But, Mach Caliber, even if you're an AI, you have a heart, right?)
S: That seems a little wrong. (So let's put it another way.)
S: You were born so you could run together with me. (You were born to run with me.)
MC: I feel it the same way.
S: That’s not right for many things. (No, the meaning it different.)
MC: I’ll think about it.
If we take the original translation literally she almost sounds like she doesn’t like that he is intelligent and doesn’t want him around her. What I think, the idea that was supposed to be conveyed is that Subaru doesn’t like the idea that MC considers himself subservient to Subaru and his goal only being “to make her run stronger and faster”. Which would fit her character considering she was born to only be a weapon. So she was trying to convey that but MC interrupted her half way because he misunderstood her at first. The last S sentence I think was supposed to clue him in that she doesn’t want him to make her run faster, she wants him to run WITH her. Equal partnership.
But either this part has been terribly translated or there are clearly lines missing here. Or more likely I’m misunderstanding things. So any ideas?

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You are overthinking it a bit too much, that is all.

AIs in this universe are common place but the stands of people on them, like many other things, are never flesh out or leave clear. Nanoha and company consider their devices companions but we have seen Teana throw her old one to the garbage in exchange for eh… Cross Mirage was it? (I am too lazy to look it up) so there is that.

Later Mach Caliber does takes control over Subaru and it seems to imply there are partners. But I would not give him or any of the other devices much concern.

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I don't think I am.

For one the one Tea cobbled together was merely a device and not a proper Intelligent Device. I even think it never got a name, just as Subaru's roller blades were not an intelligent device. Hell the blades were probably just normal roller blades.

For another it doesn't really fit Subaru to be terrible to a device considering what she is.

But then I don't really know what that part of dialogue was meant to say exactly (and there clearly was supposed to be a meaning) since either the writing in original was terrible or the translators were unable to translate it properly.

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Okay let's start with the intro section dealing with things in general that drew me here.
--------------------
My StrikerS opinions, or In Which Ways I'm Seemingly Insane To Like It

StrikerS. Where to start. I seem to hold this part of the franchise in much greater esteem than the rest of the community, even though I will admit many if not most of their criticism of it is perfectly valid. So why the difference in opinion. I personally attribute it to very personal reasons on my part. The franchise in general simply struck chord with many things that I wanted or even didn’t know I want from shows. And while StrikerS was not as good as previous seasons it still provided the things I craved, more or less. So while I too am disappointed it was not much better, and it could have been great, I’m entertained by it and basically treat it as adorable and endearing in its attempt to shoot for the stars and am merely disappointed it did not manage to pull it off. Like Vivio in that one scene, it tried to be great and run, only to faceplant after some steps, yet I can’t be faulted for that attempt, because judging by their attempts ever since they never had the skill necessary to do it properly.
Anyway what are these mysterious chords this thing struck with me because of which I’ll defend it forever like a mother of a really ugly dumb child?
First I’ll state the parts that in general drew me to this franchise, and later I will recount how the StrikerS stands on those grounds. In general, it struck none of these completely perfectly but if you drew a Venn diagram of all of this only Nanoha seasons would be inside the intersection.
Before I begin I should warn that a LOT if not all of this is my personal opinion, and I will still be sprinkling “in my opinion” and IMOs throughout the text just in case. What “my opinion” means is that if I say I don’t like something that doesn’t mean I’m trying to insult people who like that thing. It simply does not sit well with me but different strokes for different folks I guess. Also the reverse is also true.
Second note: The majority of this was written BEFORE I started my latest rewatch of StrikerS. I watched it two times by that point although the last time was some months ago. Additionally, if I change my opinion on something I’m likely to add that clarification at the end of the respected section.

1. Things that struck chord with me:

1.1. Magic
When I say Magic I don’t mean Magic in the usual meaning of the word, like it’s used in other shows, chanting, flying on brooms and summoning demons and shit. I don’t personally like that sort of thing. Here I liked that magic is being used as a substitute for Sci-Fi, creating a Magitech setting. I like SF A LOT but it pains me each time artsy types outright molest and violate horribly, basic principles of physics for the sake of cool or don’t provide any reasons and rules of the setting or don’t care for them. I have over the years managed to create ways of shutting my higher functions when trying to enjoy a show because my nitpicky attitude would ruin it for me otherwise. But here I found a nice alternative that did not require as much shutting down. First we are told that spells essentially runs as programs run by AIs (immediately getting them a plus in my books by devices being run by AIs and not I don’t know tortured souls of the damned or some other edgy sh..), we are told that there are laws and rules, and we are even told some of them to which the show mostly sticks (nothing is perfect). Finally, MAGIC is treated like another force of the universe and science is used to harness it for the betterment of the general population.
Basically it’s an excellent justification for using all the SF showy shit that you want while not requiring physics to lock itself up in a closet to dial 911, and then cry itself to sleep. “Why can you fire a beam that disintegrates everything BUT the enemy who only faints? Oh the beam is set to nonlethal. But how it knows to distinguish normal matter from people? MAGIC!”; “How can Nanoha make 50G turns in air and not be turned into mush? MAGIC adjustment of forces!”; “How can Signum punch Fate through like 5 stories and not turn her into mush on impact; The Barrier jacket absorbed the impact. But… MAGIC!”.
Now this is not an easy thing to do properly. You still need to fool us into believing that despite magic being the answer/scapegoat the magic still runs on rules. And in my opinion while the setting is nowhere near as tight as something let’s say Sanderson would write, they did display a remarkable restraint and attention to detail when setting up the combat side of things with describing with quite a bit of detail how different sort of defenses and attacks work and their pros and cons (there is even more of it in supplemental material) and they mostly stuck to those explanations. That allowed me to buy into the setting and the mechanics of it. It’s not perfect but it’s miles in front of most of the competition.
Now this is not to say you cannot run a show on rule of cool, you can totally do that, but you need to notify the viewer right at the start not to take the physics of the universe too seriously and just go with the flow. A good example of this is Gurren Lagann, which right out of the gate tells you that action will be over the top and not to think too far about it. It gets bonus points for providing reason for why the world runs on rule of cool and why running up your battleship up a mountain to jump kick a flying aircraft carrier is totally a sound idea. The worst thing is to make it look like your universe runs on hard rules only later to show that you don’t know what you are talking about and don’t care about the rules.

1.2. Military Sci-Fi
I like military SF. Partially it’s the childish glee I have when watching good destruction porn, and having organized groups of trained and armed to the teeth solders practically ensures it. The other part is that it shows that society is not stupid or inexplicably blind to the problem that is the key of the conflict and is not going to be leaving the solution of a world threatening problem to bunch of troubled teens and their dog, but will entrust it to a bunch of teens in a chain of command so there is someone overseeing their actions. As I said the society should not be oblivious to the kind of threats that seem to crop up weekly in this kind of settings and not have a force in place to deal with them. Also if we are very lucky those trained people might actually try to pull off some sort of sensible and smart tactic/strategy that doesn’t boil down to screaming while attacking. But that is a rare thing I admit. Oh and we might get examples of spaceships and such bigger examples of mobile tech weaponry going to town and their destruction capabilities should be magnificent. All the good stuff.
We did get some of this in previous seasons. The first season gave the show big points by basically police showing up as a response to a world(s) threatening dimension tremor. The second season just whet my appetite more by showing us some more of how TSAB operates and spaceships and space stations and SPAAAAAAAACEEEEEE! Okay I will space (stop) spacing (mentioning) space (space).

1.3. The Combat and the Open Skies
The combat style is a joy in my book. For one the combat when it’s good is really high energy with dodging running around missiles flying left and right that need to be dodged and beams cutting through everything. Plus, often it’s in form of one particular type of combat, AIR COMBAT. As someone who loves planes, flying and flightsims, the fact that Nanoha is an Air-Force mage and that quite a few fights can be described as magical dogfights in the skies, with all the dodging and weaving in the skies was a joy to me to watch.
It isn’t always that unfortunately, and there is a large amount of whaling in things with sticks like some sort of barbarians, but there is enough of it to soothe my heart and replace combat styles from other shows as my own in my moments of escapism. Plus, the idea of flying solo among the clouds.
Also have I mentioned the beautiful high powered destruction that can be wrought on nice uninhabited landscape? Yeah, it’s got loads of that as well.
Again a pretty personal reason and something no other show from those I watched gave me.

1.4. The optimism and positivity of story
One of the things that I don’t like, which probably makes me a gigantic softie, is pointless edgy darkness for the sake appearing adult. As such the franchise usually offered a pretty good blend of difficult and ugly situations that protagonists had to solve with the protagonists who never truly loose the hope and positivity that if they give their best, and treat their fellow man well they will break through into a better future. Now I know that such ideas are IRL unrealistic, but I have enough such “realism” in my life to suffer more in my entertainment, and we could all do well to be more unrealistic and idealist than to model ourselves to assholes. Now I’m not advocating going 100% sugar route, because that would be bland, and sugar should be cut with some darkness just so the light can shine even brighter.
In that way, my favorite idea for what Nanoha should do in a story, she is the incorruptible light in darkness. When the enemy finally shows his full almost unstoppable plan, you uncage Nanoha who goes 150% on his entire base and scheme bringing light and hope to the situation and tearing through basically anything and everything in her path with infuriating precision all just to open the problem space just a tad so a more likeable ending/solution to the situation can be found.
Another thing I liked was that for the first two seasons the antagonists were somebody whom you could understand how they came to this decision that is driving the conflict, and might even sympathize for. It might not be a good decision, but it was made because the person in question saw no other alternative, and often they were doing bad things not out of hate and anger but out of love.
While we are on the antagonists I’m picky here with the regards of absolution and their ability to switch teams. First they need to be sympathetic in their goals and their conduct during conflict must not be that of a monster. An antagonist who is wasting the MCs friends and family left and right for the majority of the conflict (while MC is in his tent brooding like a dolt) and is visibly enjoying himself or is unconcerned with pain, misery and death they inflict and only suddenly turn over their leaf after their plan has been defeated I don’t like at all. They better have a great and sympathetic way of explaining their shit or they should turn on their own because they realize their errors. Furthermore, such mass murdering psychos should not get the chance to survive things their victims couldn’t just to keep plaguing the protagonists and innocents. Their defeats need to be FINAL.
As such both Fate and Wolkenritter were done well. Fate despite not being firmly on Nanoha’s side until Prescia finally was out of the picture conducted herself admirably to her opponents despite the fact that it was in her choice to off Nanoha and anyone that got in her way. The Wolkenritter were also honorable to their opponents and were not aware what they were doing and turned their leaf as soon as they figured out what was up (well Hayate learning what was up was a big help).
I also don’t like shows boring me for episodes on end with the MC going on and on and on and on about how his or her life is shitty and that everything is terrible (while having at their disposal powers that other people would give parts of their body for) after even a moderate setback. Tough fucking luck. Either do something about it or get off the damn screen. Which is why Nanoha is always a joy, in that she is a determinator (in fact that is how I first learned of the show, tvtropes mentions Nanoha as one of bigger determinators and judging by the description I had to see it), she does not know the meaning of the word giving up and as long as a drop of blood is in her she will keep biting your heels. If you defeat her and fail to kill her you can be sure she will be back for more, only this time she will have a tactic to avoid your strength.

1.5. The Characters
A big part of course are the characters, and in general they are really likeable and have enough personality so it’s a joy watching them bounce off each other. Also as I said before, they are usually optimistic. When they have problems they rarely freeze due to their issues but after a quick angst attack they strap their manpants on and push through. The antagonists were interesting too and not bland psychos who are only in it for evulz. And as I said I did not really have to bear no ex mass murdering unreformed psychos that are for some reason considered allies suddenly.
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I think I'll post smaller sections next time tomorrow.

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You are still doing a bit too much there. Is hard to start a discussion when you publish walls of text like that, I mean just finding the time to read it will be hard at times. Just a recommendation, scale it down even more so it’s easier to engage. And give time for people to answer and have a discussion. Not just throw everything on different days and posts because the end result is still a long thing that would be hard to tackle. Also don’t remind me of AnimeSuki. I was give the boot from the Nanoha section because back then I was kind of an asshole. I want to think I am better now, or at least more willing to listen. But moving on…

Since your stuff is opinion base there is not much to say about it really. Other than I disagree but only because I sensed things different (By the way I think you were talking about the franchise in general at the end, because you didn’t mention Jail nor the Cyborgs). Really I don’t even know where I could start since you mention at least 5 different subjects all ready for a discussion.

The Magic is really nothing to write home about in this franchise, plenty of others use this techno magic approach (Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei for an example, even if the show is not good) and Nanoha never gets a proper set of rules. Some things are clearly mystic others are more technological and at the end of the day… anything goers really.

The Military aspect is really bad. Not the idea, mind you, but how it was executed. Since the entire thing require a proper explanation of the structure of the arm forces and the TSAB in general so we can know who commands who and why, instead they mix and match to such a degree I don’t know who works for who or where the chain of command goes. In short, poorly explain and so I don’t really think it add positives as much as it just screw things.

The Combat is another thing I would not pay too much mind. I mean if you did like replacing magic duels with generic drones then that is ok but I personally like the individual fights from the other seasons over the endless Gadget Drones. And the “strategies” seem base of football if anything so the whole idea always went back to being inconsistent. So Teana can defeat 3 cyborgs on her own but everyone else struggles with one… I don’t know why bother. And don’t make me mention the limiters of the magic ranks.

The tone of the story… I guess it was alright. Nanoha has always been a bit too sweet for my taste and I only need to see ViVid or ViVid Strike! To know the horror of that taking to 11 and all the other elements remove to appreciate the balance the show handles in the other seasons. But StrikerS is, at large, boring and to me that is the biggest crime. I don’t care how exiting they try to tell me office work and training is for the characters doing it… do something! At the end of the day I wanted everyone to die just to get some stimulation going. And at times the tone flip flop so hard I ended confuse. The whole Nanoha gets angry stuff with Teana is my favorite episode in “WTF just happen”

The Characters… none introduce in StrikerS or the newest series has been worth the time it was wasted to write their names down. At least to me, I do know the Forwards and the others have fans but I really do not care for them.

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Sansker wrote:
You are still doing a bit too much there. Is hard to start a discussion when you publish walls of text like that, I mean just finding the time to read it will be hard at times. Just a recommendation, scale it down even more so it’s easier to engage. And give time for people to answer and have a discussion. Not just throw everything on different days and posts because the end result is still a long thing that would be hard to tackle. Also don’t remind me of AnimeSuki. I was give the boot from the Nanoha section because back then I was kind of an asshole. I want to think I am better now, or at least more willing to listen. But moving on…

Since your stuff is opinion base there is not much to say about it really. Other than I disagree but only because I sensed things different (By the way I think you were talking about the franchise in general at the end, because you didn’t mention Jail nor the Cyborgs). Really I don’t even know where I could start since you mention at least 5 different subjects all ready for a discussion.


Yeah I know. I regretted posting all of this in one go when I saw how long it was, but then again this is just the intro covering the things about the franchise in general that I liked, and I will now (tomorrow) go in (too much) detail about the things and see how good was StrikerS in any one of them. In the end it is my opinion that while it did not hit all targets properly (the antagonists are the biggest hole in the season IMO, but more on that later) it did give me enough of this weird crossbreed for me to like it. I've just finished Episode 9 (the one just before the day off and Numbers and Vivio showing up) and it was fine so far.

Basically I'm just getting started. I'll probably won't convince anyone but I will attempt to state my reasons for liking it, even though they might be terribly personal.

So I'll just save my reply to your points, some of which is quite valid IMO, later when I hit those sections.

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Is fair to have an opinion. Some people like ViVid and ViVid Strike! For reasons I would never be able to understand. Others even enjoy Force, despite the fact it has been put in to hiatus (And not precisely because of its raging popularity and quality).

I have my own strong opinions about the show but is not like my standards are the center of the universe. I doubt I would ever be convince that StrikerS is a good show, but by all means do share what you like about it with everyone. Is the difference in opinions that make it more interesting.

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Sansker wrote:
Is fair to have an opinion. Some people like ViVid and ViVid Strike! For reasons I would never be able to understand. Others even enjoy Force, despite the fact it has been put in to hiatus (And not precisely because of its raging popularity and quality).

Ohhh, Vivid makes me sick with sugary empty cuteness. And the fucking fanservice and pandering and unnecessary loli nudity. Watching the anime version got me fucking furious. It did have interesting fight sequences if anything, even though I don't like that they are on the ground in an arena. Manga was more enjoyable since it at least finishes Einhart's main arc and I can more easily ignore the pandering of 10 year old nudity. Basically as far as I'm concerned ViVid is hell into which the franchise fell after it slipped for a moment on a bannana during StrikerS, and I feel that it will unfortunately NEVER recover from it. But roasting it in more detail I'll save for a later date.

Force... Oh Force, for an supposed spiritual continuation of StrikerS you are fucking disappointing. You give me the characters that I love but then you fuck it all up with your terrible new protagonists and antagonists who feel like somebody's original characters from some terrible fanfiction. But again roasting that piglett can wait.

I do hope that this time the post is more manageable.

2. How does StrikerS stand on the chords the franchise struck with me?
This is not the entirety of this section. This post only deals with the 2.1 point fro brevity and ease of discussion.

2.1. Magic, Magitech and Combat
Magic and magic SF is mostly fine. The attention to detail, as much as there is, is still there what with consistent usage and effects of spells (the manga gives stats on spells used) and defenses and in general of the mechanics of the magic. In fact, we see even more of the Sci-Fi world of TSAB systems powered by magic. There is even that speech by Fate trying to build the history on how administrated systems came to rely on magic. I did not buy the security aspect, more on that in a later section, but it did seem as something a person educated from birth on dangers of mass weapons would say.
Some have complained about inclusion of all these SF elements into what they consider a magical girl show. I have a complaint that the Midchilda is NOT visually SF ENOUGH compared to what we saw of their main office in A’s. I would have expected mile high towers and flying cars, but I guess I will have to settle for bright white buildings of glass, holoscreens and cyborgs.
Some people have complained about the inclusion of cyborgs into the franchise, as in their opinion they have no place in a magical girl story. I tend to disagree. For one Nanoha while having some of the themes of Magical Girl stories (friendship triumphing over anything for example) has for a long time been using a lot of SF aesthetics. Nanoha hasn’t been called Girl Gundam for nothing. Hell the TSAB HQ in A’s was even more futuristic. As such cyborgs do fit the setting. There are some nibbling issues with them though. And they tend to concern the fact that Subaru and Ginga seemed to have been implanted, their important organs and musculature got replaced by cybernetics. That is a problem since while human bodies can grow on their own, plastics and metal doesn’t. Now they do mention that they often had to go to hospital, so I guess during those visits they probably used MAGIC to extend their cybernetic musculature. Also once their Linker Cores got working you could probably justify the growth as internal systems using the MAGIC to grow.
They did do some “creative” interpretations of lore. Nanoha’s usage of Wide Area Search in the conditions of heavy AMF should probably not have worked as it did during the battle in the Cradle. With Teana’s pre RF6 “device” (it’s not an intelligent device, hell it’s not even a storage device (like the one Chrono used before Durandal) but simply a way for her to interface with a cartridge system) they seemingly forgot that the cartridges are not actually bullets, but simply a storage for magic. As such Teana should not have to “fire” them out of a gun looking device. The barrel is therefore completely useless since there is no projectile. Now some of this can be explained by Teana being REALLY magically weak, weak enough to not be able to create shots without powering through cartridges. And they do show her firing multiple consecutive shots on one cartridge. Also the Mode 2 of Cross Mirage is ridiculous, not because it’s a blade, she might really need a melee option, but because it has all those spikes practically designed to injure Teana. I guess it can be explained through MAGIC by saying that the blades cannot injure the person who is powering them.
And while I’m at Teana, Subaru’s design with roller skates, if I’m honest (and I’m someone that likes her), is ridiculous. Rollerblades should only work If the surface is hard enough, so ANYWHERE off hard surfaces (which are really only present in cities) she should bog down quickly. I guess she can use Air Road for off-roading purposes and we do see her rolling around on a forest floor with no problem, but it’s still silly. Good thing that she never had to assault Jail’s lab (or the Cradle), or she might have been defeated by strong AMF fields coupled with a really shaggy carpet.
While we are on design and such, I did like that they have seriously cut on transformation sequences. Most characters get like only one at the start and maybe one for the final battle.

Combat: Still even with these complaints I did not particularly take note of them when I was watching since the combat was still fun (and as I said there are ways to explain the designs) for me even though it did focus a bit more on punching side of things which is not my thing but there were extended sequences in the skies so that was a plus. On top of it all we get proper displays of firepower from the old crew. Not as often as I would like, and they go after Hayate with the nerfbat HARD, but often enough. One reason why I think the number of Numbers should have been reduced limiting them to couple lieutenants of Jail commanding his gadget army, is because that would allow Hayate to be usefull by nuking the shit of the main force while the others handle the stronger one and lieutenants.
One thing that is lacking in the show are proper duels, and that is due to the fact that apart from Zest and later Vivio, there are really no proper mages or knights in Jail’s camp. Numbers themselves aren’t really set up for dueling since they are specialists. As such they don’t work as well alone since they are specialists and therefore kind of one trick pony. Uno, Due, Quatro, Sein and probably Otto are not really combat types but support at best and civvies (Uno) at worst. The rest of them have one ability at which they are REALLY good but nothing else. Basically if that ability does not win them the fight they are going down.
The need to show all these Numbers at their best, showing off their before never seen attacks means that we are treated to a series of one sided engagements where Numbers dominate simply by achieving surprise (the abilities have not been seen before) and ganging up on protagonists and then flee as soon as things get though. Which is FUCKING annoying. In the end the protagonists trash them pretty conclusively since they are able to pin them down to a position they cannot retreat from and now know what is their thing and cannot be surprised and they go down pretty quickly. The best showcase of their advantages and vunerability is Teana’s fight. Together acting as one the Numbers are greater than the sum of parts since they complement each other. Nove is a front attacker, Wendy is Center Guard and Dido is wing, but to be able to match actual mages they need perfect synchronization and if someone can disrupt that it’s over for them since they really don’t have much in the way of defenses apart from AMF and a light barrier jacket.
Which is why I prefer things before they showed up since back then when the protagonists cut loose they cut loose and problems get nicely trashed. Also there was no reason bigger and more dangerous gadgets that could require cooperation to bring down couldn’t have shown up, and they wouldn’t suffer from the problem of plot armor making them invulnerable so they could be faced in final fight.
Conclusion: The StrikerS although it had some questionable choices mostly did not fail me on this front delivering more Magitech Sci-Fi goodness with over the high firepower fights that I like. The standouts were the finishing of Quattro (damn that BITCH!), whenever you let Vita loose, Hayate throwing nukes and Fate graduating to becoming the premieer speedster of the show. The Numbers though, and anything to do with them were fucking annoying though and a big fly in the soup for me which the second part of the season was considerably less likeable to me.

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Well this is more manageable indeed, I must say. But let’s keep the focus on StrikerS (ViVid and Force have their own threads)

The entire SF stuff feels really tag on to me. The issue with the Nanoha universe is how bland and unexplored the entire concept is when you come down to it. Without the character’s talking and the occasional look at the sky you could easily mistake Mid-Childa for Earth and it’s done without any remorse whatsoever. Even if stuff like cyborgs fit the setting, Ginga and Subaru might as well be normal humans since they being cyborgs changes nothing about them at all, nobody cares and they just go to the hospital at times… so? They sleep, bathe, eat, presumably go to the toilet and are like everyone else.

If anything I get they just put a cover on top of their vague designs, had a million holes that they didn’t bother to fill and call it a day. As such their tech is inconsistent and the looks of the city goes from futuristic to modern Earth without pause. It didn’t help they added unnecessary, complicated and weird rules like mages can’t fly on cities or the limiters for their strongest mages. It all exist for their own sake.

As such when we get to the action the results I get is that how much faster, easier and simpler things would be if the Forwards were not around and the old cast had their powers back on. Is laughable that they try to sell me these 4 new characters who are, for all intents and purposes, inferior to their superiors and add nothing but raw numbers to the situation. So thinking much about their battles is not something I do.

And then stuff was so over crowded that they have to look for stuff for people to do. So 3 cyborgs fight Teana because if one or two had gone elsewhere then the course of the battle would have been disrupted, Signum stay away to fight Zets because the same would had happen.

Hayate being badass? She just sit or stood without moving, stating the bloody obvious or looking concern and when she just fires a big spell at a distant enemy and gets done with that. No sense of her leadership, no charisma, no nothing. And yet she becomes famous afterwards and nobody remembers or knows Nanoha or Fate? That always bothered me.

In short I don’t think the stuff add here in the lore is consistent or well thought out, so I don’t really give it much mind. As for the combat… it had its moments but the thing feel restricted from delivering a true expectable like the movies did.

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Sansker wrote:
The entire SF stuff feels really tag on to me. The issue with the Nanoha universe is how bland and unexplored the entire concept is when you come down to it. Without the character’s talking and the occasional look at the sky you could easily mistake Mid-Childa for Earth and it’s done without any remorse whatsoever. Even if stuff like cyborgs fit the setting, Ginga and Subaru might as well be normal humans since they being cyborgs changes nothing about them at all, nobody cares and they just go to the hospital at times… so? They sleep, bathe, eat, presumably go to the toilet and are like everyone else.

As I said I do think they should have done more with it. I prefer more the technological than mystical bent anyway. As for tacked on, maybe, but then again it's a concept that goes back to the very first season, after all TSAB arrived on a spaceship, and fits with the whole aesthetics of girl gundam that was always part of the setting.

I don't know how much you remember StrikerS aesthetics, while they weren't as futuristic as I would have liked, they are far more futuristic than what it got reduced to in Strike and like. Basically all architecture that we see is the usual aesthetic that gets used for bright city of tomorrow in NEAR future. That means everything has big glass windows and is painted in bright white so the entire city can gleam. I don't exactly know what they could have done to invoke more of an futuristic feel, other than the usual mile high spires with flying cars or maybe more organic rounded aesthetics for buildings.

As for cyborgs, the fact that they can blend in with the crowd is the point since they were raised as humans unlike Numbers who were raised as tools and weapons. But there are quite a few hints on the fact that Ginga and Subaru aren't entirely human. There is the fact that Subaru doesn't need sleep (she mentions that it's fine for her to go 4-5 days without it) she eats considerably more than even Erio who is also a front line attacker (in fact it's become the usual visual gag for her) and there is more of it in the StrikerS manga where she is shown to be abnormally physically strong and has also abnormally good eyesight. In the end the fact that she is a cyborg saves the day because unlike 100% of RF6 she CAN operate in AMF conditions with next to no problems since she doesn't need to link manna to punch things hard. As for the physiological part, they do eat more and need frequent checkups but not more than that since they are cyborgs and not robots (androids).

Sansker wrote:
If anything I get they just put a cover on top of their vague designs, had a million holes that they didn’t bother to fill and call it a day.

Would you mind providing me with some glaring holes? I can list some small ones but I'm interested in immersion shattering ones.

Sansker wrote:
It didn’t help they added unnecessary, complicated and weird rules like mages can’t fly on cities or the limiters for their strongest mages. It all exist for their own sake.

I actually like the idea of powerlimiters, as a way to stop the power creep that tends to wreck settings. But I'll cover them and the flight ban in a later section. Setting or military one I don't remember which.

Sansker wrote:
As such when we get to the action the results I get is that how much faster, easier and simpler things would be if the Forwards were not around and the old cast had their powers back on. Is laughable that they try to sell me these 4 new characters who are, for all intents and purposes, inferior to their superiors and add nothing but raw numbers to the situation. So thinking much about their battles is not something I do.

If the forwards were not around it wouldn't have helped too much since you would still need to introduce enough POWERFULL antagonists to be able to face the fully powerfull protagonists. But that was not the objective of StrikerS.

The initial idea I think was to a) do some heavy duty worldbuilding to flesh out the TSAB side of things and the bright and dark sides of it which were only hinted at in previous seasons; b) introduce the next generation of heroes to carry the torch onwards, and would allow for scaling back of the stakes (we can't have a world ending crisis EVERY single season, while the OG crew would stay in the form elder mentors that get summoned when shit really hits the fan. In fact I think they really initially only planned for two new characters, Subaru and Teana, both of which fit the themes and ideas of the season (Subaru after all is a cyborg and Teana's brother was a victim of cutthroat TSAB politics) much better than Erio and Caro. And I would not mind such an idea if done well.

But due to a variety of reasons (mostly actually connected to antagonists and biting off more than they could chew in 26 episodes) they had to seriously scale back and characters got shafted (Hayate the most).

Anyway more on Forwards in next section, well no first I'll probably be dealing with the OG crew.

And of course the new characters are going to be less powerfull than 20 year old veterans of 10 years of combat who have reached their maximum while the new guys are just starting.

Sansker wrote:
And then stuff was so over crowded that they have to look for stuff for people to do. So 3 cyborgs fight Teana because if one or two had gone elsewhere then the course of the battle would have been disrupted, Signum stay away to fight Zets because the same would had happen.

And that is due to the fact that they tried to give every OG character a moment and had waayy too many shitty antagonists to keep a track of. As for Teana, I kind of like her fight. For the entire season she has been the plan and idea maker and commander for the Forwards but wasn't doing too much combat wise other than supporting the others. This was her chance to show off her brains over brawn approach and to justify that she can become an Enforcer. And I like the fact that she solves the situation by out thinking the Numbers.

Sansker wrote:
Hayate being badass? She just sit or stood without moving, stating the bloody obvious or looking concern and when she just fires a big spell at a distant enemy and gets done with that. No sense of her leadership, no charisma, no nothing. And yet she becomes famous afterwards and nobody remembers or knows Nanoha or Fate? That always bothered me.

In my opinion she is the one that got most shafted by the season, precisely because they nerfed her powers by making her useless against anything smaller than a city, and then they did not give her any opportunity to show of her investigative and command side. She was supposed to be the smart thinking one.
So I do like the few moments when she IS allowed to do something, even if it is to launch a bunch of magical tactical nukes. And in that case her thinking was sound. Better reveal her abilities than have Nanoha and Fate show of their full power and give Jail time to come up with a counter.

Sansker wrote:
In short I don’t think the stuff add here in the lore is consistent or well thought out, so I don’t really give it much mind. As for the combat… it had its moments but the thing feel restricted from delivering a true expectable like the movies did.

TO be fair the movies had a significantly larger budget and IMO only the first one is great.

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Differences of opinions and perceptions it seems.

I do wonder, when does Subaru says she can go 5 or 6 days without sleeping… because we see her sleeping, a lot. If you ask me that Ginga and Subaru eat so much is nothing, since Erio does it as well so that is not an indication of anything, is a common gag manga and is never mention in serious conversation or address as peculiar in any way. Other superpowers display can be imitate with magic, which can give you extra senses and super strength so my only question is… why cyborg?

What does it add to the story that Ginga and Subaru (or the Numbers for that matter) are cyborgs? Ok, the whole “I was born a weapon” thing, but that arc was done with Fate and the Wolkenritter about being human despite not having born normally. And Subaru never has any issues because she is a cyborg, nor does anyone gives a crap when they discover it. So it was there, but has as much impact as her hair color. In the end it wasn’t even Subaru who gave the speech to the Numbers, it was Teana, who was a normal person.

Execution, is what I question. As for immersion shatter ideas… is a matter of perspective. For example, when you watch the show, all those times and scenes where they have long and unnecessary “deployment sequences” do this: change the mages for giant robots. Imagine they are entering the cockpit of a mecha and launching. Then all of the sudden things start to click in made odd scenes, like Nanoha’s silhouette as she flies away after leaving Subaru with the paramedics in the fire thing at the start.

As for the limiters and the idea of the Forwards. No, it is not a good one. You see, my issue is that Nanoha and company are just 19. Subaru and Teana are 15… there is no room to talk about passing the torch, bring the next generation and what have you because: Nanoha and the others are not long time veterans about to retire, they are young women at the start of a promising career so why would they give up and stand aside?

Besides if you want to actually stablish that you would need to make it clear what the TSAB is and the political world situation, but the show never does. It references it, in passing, but doesn’t do much with it. In the end brains in jars are behind it all, they died, the fat bastard dies and it’s all fixed.

Talk me about potential and intention, but what they show was just not up to it. At least in my opinion, I do understand some of your points about the cyborg hints and the possible ideas of passing the torch and what not. I just do not agree with those interpretations.

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For the sleep thing, Subaru mentions it when she wakes Teana up for her extra early morning training and she offers to/forcibly joins her in episode 8.
I would agree that they didn't in the end do much with it, although they obviously did plan to do something. Subaru even asks Teana should she come clean back when Erio and Caro were talking how they met Fate, and Teana told her not to.
The reason for cyborgs, or why would anyone make them in the first place? Because they don't rely entirely on manna linking and therefore they can operate in AMF and when combined with that it allows them to fight mages easily unless they are strong enough and trained well enough to use barriers to protect their linker cores and the spells they cast.
Also a lot of their abilities they owe to their mechanical components, which when coupled with the ability to clone suitable DNA templates means they are much efficient to produce than relying on random mutations and copulation of humans to produce the proper cocktail of genes that makes a mage. Also those mechanical components alow for boosting of their bodies and abilities such as strength, toughness and senses completely independently of their magic.
Back at the start of Subaru's basic training (one year after the Airport accident, she was 12 I think) even though she has never before had any official magical training except for the things she learned from her sister during that year, she was already strong enough to toss Teana tens of meters into the air with almost contemptuous ease and had superhuman eyesight and speed.

Oh I would agree that the execution in the end was as good as it should have been, it's in most regard mostly okayish IMO which is disappointing.
The first 10 episodes lay a lot of potentially interesting strands to be explored, too many in fact but then I feel they suddenly realized if it took them this long to lay the groundwork no way are they going to pull all of them off in 16 episodes. The biggest example of wasted and abandoned potential is the whole political side which as you say is not done as well as it should. And they were clearly laying foundation for it, and setting up Auris as a sort of antagonist for Hayate with the whole inquiry thing. But then they drop the entire thing in the next episode and the political side is boiled down to like two or three meetings with Carim and Chrono where they rehash the same situation we are either aware off or can assume from other info.

I would agree it would have been nice if we had gotten a nice only three aces season after they moved to Midchilda as a bridge to StrikerS world building vise and to well frankly give Hayate spotlight for once. Because she suffers a lot of the telling and not showing syndrome similarly to Fuka in Strike.

But oh well different strokes for different folks.

Next up I start with characters, as in characterization.

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I see… well let’s answer this two post in one.

I think you did not understand what I meant when I ask “why cyborgs?” I don’t ask why would anyone build them, the idea of combat potential is obvious, I mean what did it add to the story? In a significant way like how Fate being a clone of Alicia add to her story. In Ginga and Subaru’s case it add nothing. All their “super powers” could be explain away with magic just as well so having them be cyborgs to do things is not necessary, the reaction of everyone around them shows nobody even cares and like I said we are repeating a theme.

Worse yet is that Teana gives the speech to Nove… let’s not get in to shitty character roles, motivations and placement because I can be here all day. So let’s get to the main family

Nanoha… she is the worst trainer I have ever seen in a while. We don’t see her being good, we are told how amazing she is and how perfect, she can’t do no wrong and don’t you dare to question her. Because from what I saw her style of teaching can be best describe like this: if she had to teach them how to swim she would throw them in to a pool and see if they can get out of pure desperation.

That role of teaching ill suit her supposed desire to help others with magic, which she could have done better in the front lines, and was just to settle her as Subaru’s mentor figure like this grand legend… but when you think about it makes no sense, I mean she is 19 and have been in the TSAB for just 10 years, take 2 for the accident and we have someone who got a reputation of the best mage ever by teaching people for a couple of years since we are told she wanted to become an instructor since the end of A’s. The entire concept of Nanoha teaching is weak, so I don’t support it and they even toss that out of the window for Vivio who is NOT train by her mother but Nove.

As for Fate she was alright. Erio and Caro are nothing, since their role was to show Fate being good with kids because of her own poor experiences as such but she never helps any other kid. In fact is Nanoha, not her, who adopts and helps Vivio when Fate is the one told to go out of her way to help kids. Heck, they even make Nanoha who helps Caro get over her issues with her powers so… Fate was the one good with kids? Her role as Enforcer is just as good as Hayate’s command: she states the bloody obvious and calls it a day (I mean she figure out Jail was the bad guy when she found his name written in the Gadget Drones)

Vivio is alright but her story had too many holes. You see I don’t count the manga as a proper explanation for the holes in the anime, so her role in StrikerS is alright. As for ViVid… I would say more in that thread.

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Sansker wrote:
I think you did not understand what I meant when I ask “why cyborgs?” I don’t ask why would anyone build them, the idea of combat potential is obvious, I mean what did it add to the story? In a significant way like how Fate being a clone of Alicia add to her story. In Ginga and Subaru’s case it add nothing. All their “super powers” could be explain away with magic just as well so having them be cyborgs to do things is not necessary, the reaction of everyone around them shows nobody even cares and like I said we are repeating a theme.

Ah, you mean story/theme wise. The idea for the antagonist of this season was supposed to be of a more technological bent than magical/mystical opponents of the previous two seasons. So making Numbers cyborgs fit from that standpoint. Subaru is a cyborg, to provide contrast to Jail's cyborgs where she is happy and friendly while Numbers are cold and distant because unlike them she was raised as human. So the demeanor is due to nurture rather than nature. Also she is supposed to provide a sympathetic cyborg character.

I would agree though that her connections to Numbers were wasted in the end since instead of her reaching to them and probably to Nove the most, she gets to have to fight her sister. While that tragic conflict works since we do get to see them interact and show affection for one another. On the other hand this did bring out, unfortunately, the worst parts of Subaru's character and that is her crybaby tendencies.

Sansker wrote:
Nanoha… she is the worst trainer I have ever seen in a while. We don’t see her being good, we are told how amazing she is and how perfect, she can’t do no wrong and don’t you dare to question her. Because from what I saw her style of teaching can be best describe like this: if she had to teach them how to swim she would throw them in to a pool and see if they can get out of pure desperation.

That role of teaching ill suit her supposed desire to help others with magic, which she could have done better in the front lines, and was just to settle her as Subaru’s mentor figure like this grand legend… but when you think about it makes no sense, I mean she is 19 and have been in the TSAB for just 10 years, take 2 for the accident and we have someone who got a reputation of the best mage ever by teaching people for a couple of years since we are told she wanted to become an instructor since the end of A’s. The entire concept of Nanoha teaching is weak, so I don’t support it and they even toss that out of the window for Vivio who is NOT train by her mother but Nove.


Eh. Partial agreement with you there. I personally did not like that part where she threw them against the gadget drones at the start. On the other hand that was probably not to see if they figure out a counter but to show them how difficult an opponent they will be facing before she begins showing them how to counter them. It's just that Teana was able to cobble together a plan to actually deal with them and hit upon a A level technique (wrap a barrier around her shot) and pulled that off too with her garbage device.
We aren't shown her actually showing the basics and Forwards repeating and such because of time constraints and because the crowd that is livid about the training sequences would be even more angry. We are shown one training montage with them training their abilities under supervision and the start of the presentations by Nanoha, Vita and Fate on shooting, being a front attacker and avoiding fire for wing and back positions.
What we are actually shown is not the part where she shows them how to do something, but quizzes them on things learned by challenging them to use what they have learned in simulated combat.

I would not agree with you with your constantation that a better place for her to help people would be on the front lines. If she has aptitude for teaching, has the skills and the knowledge, AND has combat expirience (which she does), she is worth far more to TSAB by teaching future mages who will be able to help many more people than she could by assisting on single cases. She simply can not be everywhere at once while the people she trains will be. Also the cases that would require more than two S ranked mages (Signum and Fate are S ranked) of her strength should not be happening all the time, and if they do it's easy to transfer her temporarily into a new unit. Hell it's what happens with RF6. Given that, and the fact you don't want your instructor to get rusty, she probably did her part even while she was an instructor.
Rottating veterans (aces) from combat into instructional duties to share the expirience with the next generation happened during WWII for Allied fighter pilots. Which was not something Germans did who tended to leave their aces on combat duties until they got killed or captured. And guess what, this did allow few German Aces to accumulate a staggering amount of aerial victories, but in general the quality of Luftwafe pilots suffered because there was a distinct lack of experienced instructors to pass on the experience of combat realities to next wave of pilots. TSAB seems to be fine with the Allied model on voluntary basis where a skilled person will spend time training and sharing the expirience and refreshing their skills from time to time on cases.

She did not loose two years due to the accident. Accident happened about 2 years after As but we actually don't have a proper definition how long the recovery took, except the fact that according to one of the sound stages the final recovery took about the same time when Hayate was discharged from her recovery, but I doubt it took more than a year.

As for Vivio and Vivid, she is still a combat instructor there too but doesn't do cases for a few years to rest her Linker Core, which is why she works normal hours. As for why she did not train Vivio, there are couple of reasons. Probably one of them is that the writers were too enamored of Nanoha the mother idea to include training elements, they wanted to do more Numbers stuff, the style of combat is not Nanoha's specialty (Fate would probably be a better pick) and Vivio is training for sport tournaments and not actual combat situations, so leaving it to Nove is fine with her if her daughter likes her instructor and is having fun.

Sansker wrote:
As for Fate she was alright. Erio and Caro are nothing, since their role was to show Fate being good with kids because of her own poor experiences as such but she never helps any other kid. In fact is Nanoha, not her, who adopts and helps Vivio when Fate is the one told to go out of her way to help kids. Heck, they even make Nanoha who helps Caro get over her issues with her powers so… Fate was the one good with kids? Her role as Enforcer is just as good as Hayate’s command: she states the bloody obvious and calls it a day (I mean she figure out Jail was the bad guy when she found his name written in the Gadget Drones)

I agree that Caro and Erio are mostly a waste of space, especially since they don't really interact or fit with she story.
No Nanoha did not help Caro with her dragon anxiety issues. She might have helped by constantly pointing out that her support powers were nice and gentle so that she callms down and accepts her powers, bu otherwise it was more the emotional trauma over potentially loosing Erio that got her to be able to summon Freid properly, and fear of loosing their home (RF6) to get her to properly summon Voltare.
And yes lack of any meaningful investigation is a giant gaping hole in the season, especially sicne it screws over 2 out of 3 Aces who are not 100% combat oriented.

Sansker wrote:
Vivio is alright but her story had too many holes. You see I don’t count the manga as a proper explanation for the holes in the anime, so her role in StrikerS is alright. As for ViVid… I would say more in that thread.

There is a giant one right at her introduction. That transport that carried her, was not Jail's. In fact he did not know she was there, his gadgets simply targeted it since it also carried relics, and only once he learned that a third party used the attack of his gadgets to escape by plowing through his drones did he realize that he struck the jackpot and found the Sankt Kaiser's clone. Which is not how they from thereon try to spin it. From thereon everyone is convinced that it was him that cloned Vivio which flies against what I just said.

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Ah okay. I'll just say that I don't agree, but then again your forum your rules and I'll leave it at that. I'll repost the post without the offending paragraph.

--------------------

2.2. The Characters
The old crew was still a joy to watch for me. I liked where they ended up.

2.2.1. Nanoha and Fate
Nanoha being someone obsessed with combat (considering she is a Takamachi it’s no surprise) so the combat instructor role fit her. She is a bit on the soft side with her trainees, but on the other hand she is not their basics instructor. She is advanced course instructor, where she is not dealing really with raw recruits but with people who already know the basics but need to be tutored on close basis so to hone their skills (which already are able to bludgeon the opponent with efficiently) to a razor edge. Also I get the feeling that while she is happy and smiling all the time she is not a pushover but probably demands a LOT more from those she instructs than other instructors. She simply instead of yelling is visibly disappointed, which is worse for many of her students who are in awe of her, she starts next even worse exercise until her point is drilled in or the student drops from exhaustion.
While she might be considered young for the position, she has also been through much more than a normal TSAB mage might expect in her few short years and it would be a waste for that experience to be lost. We never really see her teach, we see her examine and train the abilities of her trainees through practice matches, but apparently she is good at it enough to keep her position and be able to get a bunch of newly minted Bs up to A level in couple of weeks.
Fate’s journey to Enforcerdom is complete and the role suits her (also nicely for her, her usual style of dress matches the uniform :)), but we really don’t get enough of her actually investigating things which is a shame. Then again the entire investigative side of the plot is almost completely nonexistent. While I do feel Caro and Erio are kind of tacked on, adopting them did feel like something she might do considering that despite how she tries to portray herself (serious scary Enforcer) she is a gigantic softie inside (compared to Nanoha who is a warmachine inside). It also fit her background of being starved for family. Also she still has not let go of her idea that Prescia is her mother. Her interactions with Nanoha are still daaawww, and I love her remark to Nanoha during the ending warning her not to OVERUSE the forbidden Blaster system, which she knows Nanoha will end up using it despite her protests to the contrary. Or the fact that after Vivio is taken Nanoha is able to get through the entire day without flinching only to break down in front of her after everything has been done.
I'll not go into the detail of their relationship in STRIKERS to not break the rules of the board.

2.2.2. Vivio
I never had any issue with Vivio’s inclusion in the show, because I liked the brat. Sure she does get an inordinate amount of scenes, but that has a purpose since we are meant to form an attachment with her. It worked for me. It worked well enough that if I might have had conflicting opinions on Jail before what he did to her, after I hated his bloody guts. They did it so well for me that it was difficult to watch the second opening credits since it showed Nanoha and Vivio desperately trying to reach each other and being unable to. That part of the credits was a gut punch every time I saw it.
So in general I liked her scenes especially the faceplant one. The most adorable face plant ever. It also gave us a view into differences between Takamachi and Fate’s patenting techniques.
Her transformation into adult from was a bit out of the blue, but they DID try to set up the part with her collecting data on fighting techniques from Nanoha in that scene where she is caught watching Nanoha’s training videos. Which is probably where she got most of her attacks because Nanoha seems to have learned quite a bit of techniques outside of her specialization just so she is able to understand and teach them to her students. That is the source of her version of crossfire shoot she used on Teana.
On the other hand, rewatching the series (now at episode 15) I can see why some people hate her. She got rescued in episode 12 and then there were two episodes (13 and 14 and probably 15 will be similar) where nothing significant happened other than Vivio and reheating and rehashing of the political side of things that we were already aware of.
Addendum: While watching Episode 15, it struck me why I prefer this Vivio to the one in Vivid. This one actually behaves like a human. She is cute and all and mostly a good girl, but she also behaves like a kid and will try to use crying to get out of things she doesn’t like and such. On the other hand, her from 4 years from now practically lack character traits other than she is constantly happy about everything and practically doesn’t display any other emotion.

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Yeah, but the whole idea of cyborgs falls apart because we also have Artificial Mages. Even Uno admits they are the same as cyborgs, so we already have artificially made human that is sympathetic and is consider a person: Fate. So why did we need Subaru and Ginga again?

The fight between Subaru and Ginga sadly lacks weight. I understand the idea but since we kick Ginga out the show, bring her back just for two episodes and then we took her away it feels hollow and force that they make you care. I always said Ginga should have been there instead of Teana, showing the close bond of the sisters and how they mostly have one another because of their cyborg parts. Also Subaru’s weakness is nice because we could see her rely a lot on her elder sister who seems better suit for this than she. So when it comes to the battle Subaru has to step up and become her own person and show she is no longer under her sister’s shadow and that she can now carry on her own.

The problem is Subaru herself is a terrible protagonist for this show and is only consider as such because people says so. I honestly do not see her as the protagonist.

I guess is fair what you say but my issue with Nanoha teaching is that she is not a veteran fighter. She is starting her career. If she was like 40 or 50 and was then deciding to train others with that experience that is fine but she is 19. She is like 4 or 5 years older than Subaru and Teana. The idea is weak because she should not be in this role she is trust as the old mentor figure, she should be the main character. But since Subaru is doing that, somehow, we have to put Nanoha in the back with a very contrive role.

As for Caro and her issues with Fried… I think those were weak at best, and I say Nanoha help because she has a talk with Caro and then she saves Erio from falling and the issue that we have never seen until that episode is resolve.

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Sansker wrote:
Yeah, but the whole idea of cyborgs falls apart because we also have Artificial Mages. Even Uno admits they are the same as cyborgs, so we already have artificially made human that is sympathetic and is consider a person: Fate. So why did we need Subaru and Ginga again?

1If you are asking why not use artificial mages instead of cyborgs there are couple of ways to view the question.
If you are asking from the in-univese standpoint, as in why didn't Jail get some DNA samples from the Aces and clone and boost bunch of clone super mages to do his bidding? Because that would be answering to a strength of the enemy with your strength and seeing who wins in a pushing match, and despite the fact that average TSAB trooper is not much, this is the kind of a fight TSAB is prepared for and GF HQ is designed for to resist. There is also meta problem with the fact that introducing loads of new S rankers or stronger would start the distasteful process of power creep. Instead cyborgs backed up by AMF cancel the TSAB's strength (their magic) and then force the mages in a physical combat using mass weapons. The vast majority of TSAB rank and file is practically naked without their magic, except for a scarce few modern belka users who still can clobber you over the head with their sticks without magic.
Basically instead of seeing that the enemy has a fleet of battleships and then planning to build his own BETTER fleet, he built a fleet of submarines and torpedo boats which BBs can not easily fight nor expect to fight.
Also I think they mention that the entire tech is fraught with trouble, with actual examples of successful artificial mages few and between, for example Zest falls to pieces during the course of the season. Which is why Jail was so interested in Fate and Erio as a successful examples of the tech.

From the out of universe meta and thematic side artificial mages did not fit the idea of a technological opponent with an army of drones and robot girls (cyborgs) that they wanted to make. In such a case to show off a good robot girl an artificial mage would not be up to snuff.

Sansker wrote:
The fight between Subaru and Ginga sadly lacks weight. I understand the idea but since we kick Ginga out the show, bring her back just for two episodes and then we took her away it feels hollow and force that they make you care. I always said Ginga should have been there instead of Teana, showing the close bond of the sisters and how they mostly have one another because of their cyborg parts. Also Subaru’s weakness is nice because we could see her rely a lot on her elder sister who seems better suit for this than she. So when it comes to the battle Subaru has to step up and become her own person and show she is no longer under her sister’s shadow and that she can now carry on her own.

The problem is Subaru herself is a terrible protagonist for this show and is only consider as such because people says so. I honestly do not see her as the protagonist.


At least most of the sisterly scenes with Subaru happen right before she is taken so we don't have the time to forget about her and emotions (if there were any) are still there when Subaru snaps at seeing her sister disassembled. And all those girls are now sisters! Think of all the laughs they have when recounting that part of their life... I could throw up.

I would agree that Subaru, given her characterization, lacks the traits needed to be a protagonist of a fighting show. She simply lacks the ruthlessness necessary to accept that you will need to hurt the other guy to bring him down. Which you see in her fight with Ginga where she avoids using her special attack and IS in fear of hurting Ginga. You know if it was Nanoha in her shoes, the moment she is certain Ginga is not coming back easily she would have offered an apology for what is about to happened and opened with her strongest attack and not stopped until the other lady was down. She would be afterwards sorry and apologizing for any wounds she inflicted, but during the fight she would be cold and efficient in exploiting any advantage she gets.
That is not to say Subaru is not brave, in fact search and rescue is perfect place for her and it is good she ends up there after the season, where she can put her life on the line rescuing people which is what she wanted, but a great fighter of other sentients she is not. She is basically a firefighter thrown into combat.
So yeah like the girl, but it always struck me strange that they gave her this characterization for somebody who was supposed to be fighting a lot.

Replacing Teana with Ginga? I don't know. On one hand you are right about the emotional aspect, but on another while they visibly love each other, their personalitties don't really have a great chemistry, unlike what Subaru has with Teana even though it's mostly oxygenation based chemistry. Also I like Teana, but we'll get to that in a moment.
As for the protagonism, yeah she is really not the material on this scale of the problem. The Aces stole the show for her. She is stuck with more of an viewpoint protagonism.

Sansker wrote:
I guess is fair what you say but my issue with Nanoha teaching is that she is not a veteran fighter. She is starting her career. If she was like 40 or 50 and was then deciding to train others with that experience that is fine but she is 19. She is like 4 or 5 years older than Subaru and Teana. The idea is weak because she should not be in this role she is trust as the old mentor figure, she should be the main character. But since Subaru is doing that, somehow, we have to put Nanoha in the back with a very contrive role.

It's not contrived, wanting to be an instructor was what they established back in A's so if they were going to add new younger characters here she was going to end up as their teacher anyway.
What they could have done was show a smaller season of just the three Aces to get us on board with their dynamics before doing StrikerS, and maybe they should but they didn't and playing her as an instructor was the only logical choice.
She is only 4 or 5 years older, but unlike them she has 8-10 years of combat and teaching experience compared to their 0 years. In a fighting anime you might go with waiting for someone to actually grow old before transfering him to instructor post, but in actuality you don't want that expirience to get lost simply because the holder got killed in action. So such older chaps as mentor/instructors, but in actuality when you have actual veterans of being shot at a LOT, and God knows she got shot at a lot in her youth, that count much more than your actual age. Basically combat experience years count as basically dog years.
On the other hand a lot of this is also caused by the wierd age thing that is present in Nanoha. This often causes me to add 10 or multiply by 2 every time somebody's age is mentioned. So Nanoha's TSAB record instead of: Joined TSAB at 10; Tapped for instructor program after 2? years of intense combat experience at 12; spent the next 8 years teaching and and on and off fighting when she as necessary, should read: joined TSAB at 20; tapped for aerial combat instructor program after 4 years of intense combat experience at 24; spent next 16 years building her reputation as an Ace.

Oh I'm gonna go and post Teana/Subaru section now since we have already spent a lot of time talking about Subaru. Might take time to readjust some things about Subaru in light of what we were talking about.

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2.2.5. Subaru and Teana
On this front the show is weaker. Well it’s 50/50 for me. I liked the stars while I couldn’t care less for the lightning part of the Forwards.
The idea of trying to introduce the new, next generation was not a bad one IMO. The old crew was beginning to be a bit too OP for most problems that do not threaten the fabric of the universe, and would have allowed scaling back a bit the scope in future stories, so that Midchilda/Earth doesn’t have to be in mortal danger every week. Unfortunately, they did not do too well and only half of the Forwards really got any development. Also at the end of As the cast was already on the LAARGE side, almost unmanageably large, and adding 4 more main characters would not help that.
As I said I like Teana and Subaru. First off, unlike the other two their backgrounds were intimately connected with the source of the crisis. Subaru is a cyborg, like the Numbers (but Jail is not her creator according to Episode 18), and Teana’s brother was posthumously destroyed by darker side of TSAB through office politics. UNFORTUNATELY, apart from setting that up, the plot doesn’t really deal with it at all. Subaru in the end fights her sister and is not reaching to the cyborg Numbers which would have been much more in her personality. Teana’s little arc is a tiny bit more connected in that she does manage to exorcise some of her daemons of family failure through her successes but she really doesn’t get any participation in exploring the darker side of TSAB simply because it doesn’t get explored AT ALL.

While their relationship and character types are tropey as fuck (Subaru being the overly happy one and Teana being the broody tesundere one) their interactions were still fun to me and they do have a chemistry when together, even though it’s on the oxygenation (flammable) side. I also liked how their different reactions to their moments of self doubt cause them to be able to pull each other out of the muck, which is why command kept putting them together in units. Whenever a daunting problem appears and dark thoughts bother Subaru that she is not strong enough to overcome this problem she tends to give up and devolves into her crybaby self, which actually makes her not strong enough to overcome. Teana on the other hand tends to grit her teeth and solder on and keeps fighting at her top strength. But her strength is not her strong side, her mind is, and her mind tends to suffer the worst in such cases since her insecurities tend to force her to be insecure in her decision making, which then make her overthink herself into defeat.
The way they usually solved that is by Teana reminding Subaru that she knows Subaru is strong enough and that she is counting on her, which works because Tana knows Subaru's strength and Subaru herself is kind of obsessed with not letting Teana down. When reverse happens, the problem is usually that Teana has overthought herself into concluding that defeat is imminent and there is no hope of victory, to which Subaru (who really doesn't understand the problem nor Teana's thinking) responds by refuting such thinking and probably annoying Teana in some way which allows her to restart her thinking and to find a more suitable solution.
Basically Teana doesn't believe there is anything through which Subaru cannot punch through, while Subaru doesn't believe there is any situation to which Teana cannot find a solution. Also the both their final fights were about them learning to overcome this problem of theirs alone without the other present.

Both received character development, but I liked Teana’s a more than Subaru’s. Subaru’s one is based around the old tired “discovering that the power was all along within you” type of thing that is annoying because is often boils down to using that “moment of discovery” to explain why for 90% of the fight the protagonist was getting his shit kicked in only to win in the end.
In general Subaru doesn’t really feel suited to frontline combat roles against other people, especially people she might like which causes her to pull her punches and then easily get discouraged. She is personally brave but she doesn’t have that switch in her mind that allows her to accept that hurting other individuals might be necessary for their own good, like Nanoha for example has. If Nanoha determines that talking is out and the only other option is to violently put somebody out of the fight (without killing them) she is not going to pull any punches whatsoever as long as her opponent survives.
Luckily for Subaru she had the Mach Caliber to bail her out and was able in the end to overcome her insecurities alone without Teana’s help and in a way fulfill her dream of becoming someone on which others can count on to save them. Plus, her later transfer to Search and Rescue does fit her a lot better than a purely combat role.

Teana’s arc I liked more, and that is strange for me to say since it involved more angst. Still it was relatively short (just three episodes 7-9) and IMO her reasons to doubt herself were reasonable from her point of view. Her thinking might seem to have come out of nowhere, but her analysis of their team never struck me as particularly out of character. It's the old "If you look at your team and can't decide on who the fuckup/odd man out is, then it's likely it's you". So she looked at her team/the people around her to decide who is the weakest link and found Subaru (who she knows from personal experience while VERY rough around the edges is a powerhouse) and Erio and Caro a pair of kids that are able to match her at age 10 AND both have rare valuable abilities (Erio has rare Mana Conversion Affinity and Caro can summon Motherfucking Dragons). So while so far she has been performing okay against gadgets (and only because Cross Mirage is now helping her with forming the bullets (Episode 5), which she points out does not sit well with her) okay is not enough given her team and given her goal of becoming an Enforcer. Enforcers aren't okay mages. Enforcers are trusted to be able to perform alone in most cases, against MOST opponents in MOST situations and come out on top. Which among others is the reason she kept pushing herself. In her mind she could not afford any slip ups. She had to give her 120% constantly and her record has to show that not only is she an exceptional mage, she is a mage with great initiative who doesn't wait around for orders (shown when she requested from Shamal feed on the going ons around the Hotel).
Also it probably still stings that the only reason she reached the end of her B rank exam is because Subaru literally carried her over the line. To a person like Teana that would mean she didn't really earn that exam. Not to mention that she has been paired with Subaru again and again for the past few years no matter where they get sent. So by this point she has to start wondering why is this happening? Which means there is probably a tiny voice inside her head telling her that maybe this is another case of people wanting Subaru but accepting Teana as well since she is a part of the package. Which would make Fate's comment that she could mentor her to be an Enforcer worse because it would feel like she is simply saying that to get her on board and can't possibly mean it since she is just a new mage that has even failed her B rank exam (they had to retake it).
Her estimations of her own abilities was not particularly logical, but that is how inferiority complexes and low sense of self worth work. You might be actually best at something with a list of recommendations a mile long and still that tiny voice in your head that is constantly whispering in your ear that you haven't really earned ANY of this would keep fucking with your mind. I know this because I too have felt similar things. My work can be exemplary and I would be elated for couple of days after being commend, but give it time and soon I would start finding terrible flaws in it and again start doubting myself. And logic doesn't really help, and the only way to shake it is to have physical proofs of your work often in the form of praise by the people you trust.
Which is why the fact that she was greatly contributing to the combat effectiveness of the Forwards through taking command informally was not enough to satisfy her. To her her plans probably felt obvious and something other Forwards would have probably recommended had they been paying attention.
Hell now that I think more on it, learning that she is only there to command would still have led her down this path since again her ultimate goal is not to be a commander of a team, but an independent problem solver, an Enforcer, which means her personal combat capabilities need to be up to snuff. There is probably a VERY good reason Teana went with the plan to engage Nanoha in melee and was shown practicing basics of it with Subaru (well except the plot needed to make Teana fuck up on many different levels for DRAMA!!!) was that she felt that her melee abilities were being ignored and she was under threat of being cast as just a squishy Center Guard, not suitable to operating outside of teams. Also the reason that in both cases of her lapse of judgement the plan called for Subaru to act as decoy and for Teana to actually deliver the blow, which is reverse of their usual dynamic, but in her mind would show that she has offensive capabilities necessary for an Enforcer.
Which is why Nanoha was so successful in defusing her when she finally got to talk to her. She commended her for her leadership, and basically dashing Teana's fears that she was there solely because Subaru was there. Also importantly she validated Teana's thinking that she does need to learn how to perform in melee by showing her the Mode 2 of Cross Mirage, meaning Nanoha from the start was planning the same fate for her that she was striving for.
Now it could be argued, quite easily in fact, that the lot of this is never explicitly stated in the show and therefore we can never be certain of it and therefore this character interpretation is invalid. I would agree halfway. Yes, we will never know for certain if I'm completely correct (although I think this view is largely supported by the show and supplemental material) but I don't find making character interpretations wrong at all. Hell if the character was able to strike a chord with anybody like this than it's a good character.
As for the weather or not such character should be included in the show, I would say yes it should since the show was lacking a fight smarter not stronger character with the putting on the buss of Chrono, which you should note she shares quite a few traits and approaches to problems with, and such characters are necessary to balance out the combat and show that pure power is not everything and tactics are important.
Then again, I like Teana enough that IMO following her around as she solves cases, which would often include cases where TSA darker side is shown, would be a great idea for some sort of side content, so I might be a tinsy bit biased. Also kudos to the show on creating a character whose arc worked on angst that worked for me.
As I said she reminds me of Chrono a bit. He also is somebody who is weaker if you take into account only the pure magical strength, but he offsets it by fighting smart, which is why anyone who describes fighting him describes the fight as traps and binds for days. And similarly to him she tends to be much less friendly when on mission and will do almost anything to ensure the mission success. This is probably most visible when they first ran into Lutecia face to face in episode 11 and she is trying to walk away with the Relic. Subaru tries talking with her as if Lutecia doesn’t know what the Relic is which of course doesn’t work. Teana meanwhile simply strolls up to her cloaked and puts a blade to Lutecia’s throat telling her to surrender and hand over the relic.

An unrelated point: They seemed to have together inherited Nanoha’s skills and character traits. Subaru is the strong fortress type that hits like a train, can shrug off damage and is happy and friendly with everyone (too friendly even), while Teana inherited the ability to quickly form efficient and inventive tactics and being a shooting mage.

COMPLETELY unrelated note 2: As far as I’m concerned I will always consider Teana’s arc to be that one of a Magical Batman in training. She is in a crimefighting unit with essentially demigods, while she is a garden variety mage and is still able to perform at their or above their level through only skills and tactics and is the one they turn to for tactics and planning. Plus, she cannot really fly like all of them but has to rely on grappling hooks and tricks. Also she is being driven to train hard by family tragedy. Plus, her best buddy is the powerhouse type whose problem never really is not being able to punch something hard, is able to withstand terrible punishment and prefers helping people and being friendly to hunting criminals. So Superman basically. I can readily imagine Teana in a dark costume standing on a roof edge during night in in Cranagan brooding on crime while methodically pursuing and studying a criminal enterprise so she can best take it apart. Meanwhile Subaru is in a bright costume flying around inspiring people and rescuing them from danger. Which is basically where they end up in the show. Teana is a black clad enforcer while Subaru is in search and rescue.

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I would simply have to disagree with you there in plenty of stuff. I don’t mean this as a way to diminish your argument of your opinion, far from it, but is an honest expression: look at what you are telling me.

Your arguments for why some things are how they are seem to be based on considerations that can’t be find anywhere. Use cyborgs with anti-magic because otherwise we have power creep issues and never explain nor describe TSAB weapons, or think that the amount of years the show uses is actually double so it’s not so outrageous. I can see what you are trying to do, is to find an explanation that fits yourself and that seems to go in with the logic of the show. But I find the arguments, personally, a bit weak since they seem to be holding up more by your interpretation of the lore than things we can actually get from the show.

That being said, and please I must insist, I am not saying is wrong. I am doing that to some degree I am sure, is not like I have the right answers or the perfect way to look at this show. But the view you offer me is not convincing as far as I am concern. So I have to disagree in those points, because seem to be a matter of perception.

Going to Subaru and Teana now.

I don’t think Subaru’s issue is that she is not violent. If anything that is admirable and to be fair fit that she became a rescuer later, making the fact that she joins several murder and long case investigations later on quite silly but you can’t win them all. My issue is that… she is not connected at all to the story. She is a cyborg, alright, but Jail shows interest in her once then forgets about her among the other 10 things he is doing at once, heck I don’t think Subaru even speaks with or about Jail in the entire series.

Which makes Ginga’s sudden reappearance and kidnaping all the more fun since it just existed so Subaru had something to do in the final battle that she seem invested on. Think about it, without Ginga being taken she had no stakes in the fight, no personal investment and no real reason to do anything other than because she was told to. Ginga did not existed as a character but rather as a plot device for Subaru, and that was her entire contribution to the plot make the main heroine care. That is what makes Subaru a terrible protagonist, that she could have easily skip that one and it would not change the other characters in the slightest.

Teana is even worse. She literally has nothing in this for her since she is the only “normal” person among the Forwards. I assume her dead brother would have something to do with Regius but it seem that just existed to justify her little arc. Which I always found silly. The reason is that up until that moment we had seen Teana being quite capable, operating at the same level as her teammates and even directing most of their training exercises, so much so that she was told she should consider officer training, and then in episode 7 or 8 she does a 180 and thinks she is a failure base on… nothing.

I could buy it if they had properly stablish that, let’s say, Teana was pushing herself to the limits to keep up with the others and that she is show to use everything to perform tasks that the others just easily do but that is not the case. She starts to think she is less out of the blue when she compares herself to the old cast and some of the new cast, despite the fact that she has being doing just fine up until then. And what sparks this is just she thinking about it, not a fail mission or a low grade or a warning that she is slacking up… it just appears, she feels inferior. And that cheapens her entire arc to me.

So, no, I don’t think Teana is Batman and I don’t have a high concept of Batman either, but that is neither here nor there. I do think Teana and Subaru, and the Forwards, could be cut from the show and you don’t even need to change much of the story. Think about it, if the Forwards are gone you still have Jail, Vivio, the Craddle and some of the cyborgs to fight the others. Hey Jail doesn’t even need Ginga for anything at all, so with a little effort I can do the same plot without them in it and when that is possible I tend to feel they were unnecessary additions. But that is just my opinion.

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Sansker wrote:
Your arguments for why some things are how they are seem to be based on considerations that can’t be find anywhere. Use cyborgs with anti-magic because otherwise we have power creep issues and never explain nor describe TSAB weapons, or think that the amount of years the show uses is actually double so it’s not so outrageous. I can see what you are trying to do, is to find an explanation that fits yourself and that seems to go in with the logic of the show. But I find the arguments, personally, a bit weak since they seem to be holding up more by your interpretation of the lore than things we can actually get from the show.

First the age issue, but it does fit everything we have seen of the world so far. Unlike in our world in TSA systems it is apparently normal for 10 year olds with enough talent to start being involved in TSAB matter, and apparently they can advance INCREDIBLY quickly. Take Chrono as an example, back in the season 1 he was what 14, and he was an Enforce already. And an Enforcer is not just a top level mage put is also one whose decision making is trusted enough so he can operate almost completely independently in matters of investigating crime and threats to dimensional security. That is the kind of responsibility TSA is willing to place upon a 14 year old. In our world such responsibility with such low oversight would be something you give to a tried a proven veteran of at least a decade, but here it's in hands of a kid with maybe couple years of experience.
And in previous two season we HAVE seen that Nanoha and co, who are all 10 year olds have a way of thinking that is MUCH MUCH more self aware and adult than you would expect from bunch of 10 year olds. So we have to take it a given that these are simply rules of the setting and roll with them.
So knowing that it makes sense that Nanoha is a Captain after less than 10 years of active service and at 20 and in even less time Hayate is a Lieutenant-Colonel even though that is ridiculous in our world.

The same goes with the cyborgs. We are told, and shown that most mages would have trouble fighting gadget drones due to the AMF fields which prevent manna from linking. We are also further told by Uno, if we can take her word for anything, that cyborgs are superior to artificial mages because cyborgs can be tuned up, probably by sharing improved moves amongs them, which they do mention at least once if not more.
I'm now watching episode 21, and I have been reminded why I don't like them (some of them have frankly cheating powers), but the fact of the setting is that they do work as an asymmetric counter to most mages.

That is lore vise, there are some holes (drones do have AMF fields but cyborgs seemingly don't have them, or we are nevr shown that they have them, which one would think would make them less effective) but spent enough time building them as a credible special forces level threat.

As for the power creep and such, that is not lore reason. That is story/meta reason for why writers might have gone this way. On that front mostly they fit because they fit the theme of the threat and Subaru fits as a positive example of the threat, to show that being a cyborg doesn't make you bad. Should the writer have gone down ths route instead of giving us another magical threat, I don't know. Personally even if I don't like the Numbers the tech angle suits me better but that is highly personal opinion.

Considering that the lot of this is me simply restating my position let's say that on this issue we simply have a critical difference in opinion that is unlikely to be solved any time soon so we can move on?

Sansker wrote:
I don’t think Subaru’s issue is that she is not violent. If anything that is admirable and to be fair fit that she became a rescuer later, making the fact that she joins several murder and long case investigations later on quite silly but you can’t win them all. My issue is that… she is not connected at all to the story. She is a cyborg, alright, but Jail shows interest in her once then forgets about her among the other 10 things he is doing at once, heck I don’t think Subaru even speaks with or about Jail in the entire series.

You mean in Force? Yeah the fact that they reactivated her for that is a bit strange to me too. On the other hand I don't think she could have stood by either if her friends were in danger.
Actually in both major incidents involving the Numbers, the attack on GF HQ AND during the Flight of the Cradle, Jail's standing orders were to capture any Type 0s and Project Fs that they encounter. He even sets out this goal and interest back in the episode 5. Even as late as episode 21 I think Wendy is the one to remark that since Teana is not one of the ones Doctor has ordered captured they are free to kill her.
As for Jail, well he hardly has time to say anything since most of his time is spend laughing maniacally and bragging on how great and generous he is. Don't like him particularly either. But more on that late.
As for interaction, on one hand her backstory is not so much tied to Jail, since she was NOT made by him (Episode 18). Regius was the one to push for development of combat cyborgs initially and Jail only came later on when the project was dead and finished/perfected it (Episode 20).
As such I find it more likely that both of them were the product of that initial research, which is why they are Type-0s and have more of a connection to other Numbers than to Jail.

Which is why I do agree that Ginga was a blantant attempt to give Subaru a personal duel in the final fight. They even use that old and tired way of forcing a fight "mind control" and I call bull on all mind control induced fights in the ending, except possibly the Vivio one because there it can be justified with the whole Cradle is a relic of ancient past and who knows what it can do.
I would have preferred for her to have gone the route of trying to befriend by force her future sisters. That would have been more in keeping with the traits she "inherited"/shares with Nanoha, ridiculous amount of friendliness to everybody.
Hell if we are talking potential, I would have prefered for Cinque to have gotten actually captured and have had a change of heart or something and gone back to fight to save her sisters with Subaru. That would have fit them much better.

Sansker wrote:
Teana is even worse. She literally has nothing in this for her since she is the only “normal” person among the Forwards. I assume her dead brother would have something to do with Regius but it seem that just existed to justify her little arc. Which I always found silly. The reason is that up until that moment we had seen Teana being quite capable, operating at the same level as her teammates and even directing most of their training exercises, so much so that she was told she should consider officer training, and then in episode 7 or 8 she does a 180 and thinks she is a failure base on… nothing.

I could buy it if they had properly stablish that, let’s say, Teana was pushing herself to the limits to keep up with the others and that she is show to use everything to perform tasks that the others just easily do but that is not the case. She starts to think she is less out of the blue when she compares herself to the old cast and some of the new cast, despite the fact that she has being doing just fine up until then. And what sparks this is just she thinking about it, not a fail mission or a low grade or a warning that she is slacking up… it just appears, she feels inferior. And that cheapens her entire arc to me.


Maybe a bit sudden, but her analysis of their team never struck me as particularly out of character. It's the old "If you look at your team and can't decide on who the fuckup/odd man out is than it's likely it's you". So she looked at her team/the people around her to decide who is the weakest link and found Subaru (who she knows from personal experience while VERY rough around the edges is a powerhouse) and Erio and Caro a pair of kids that are able to match her at age 10 AND both have rare valuable abilities (Erio has rare Mana Conversion Affinity and Caro can summon Motherfucking Dragons). So while so far she has been performing okay against gadgets (and only because Cross Mirage is now helping her with forming the bullets (Episode 5), which she points out does not sit well with her) okay is not enough given her team and given her goal of becoming an Enforcer. Enforcers aren't okay mages. Enforcers are trusted to be able to perform alone in most cases, against MOST opponents in MOST situations and come out on top. Which among others is the reason she kept pushing herself. In her mind she could not afford any slip ups. She had to give her 120% constantly and her record has to show that not only is she an exceptional mage, she is a mage with great initiative who doesn't wait around for orders (shown when she requested from Shamal feed on the going ons around the Hotel).
Also it probably still stings that the only reason she reached the end of her B rank exam is because Subaru literally carried her over the line. To a person like Teana that would mean she didn't really earn that exam. Not to mention that she has been paired with Subaru again and again for the past few years no matter where they get sent. So by this point she has to start wondering why is this happening? Which means there is probably a tiny voice inside her head telling her that maybe this is another case of people wanting Subaru but accepting Teana as well since she is a part of the package. Which would make Fate's comment that she could mentor her to be an Enforcer worse because it would feel like she is simply saying that to get her on board and can't possibly mean it since she is just a new mage that has even failed her B rank exam (they had to retake it).

Her reasoning and estimations of her own abilities was not particularly objective, but it made sense from her subjective perspective because that is how inferiority complexes and low sense of self worth work. You might be actually best at something with a list of recommendations a mile long and still that tiny voice in your head that is constantly whispering in your ear that you haven't really earned ANY of this would keep fucking with your mind. I know this because I too have felt similar things. My work can be exemplary and I would be elated for couple of days after being commend, but give it time and soon I would start finding terrible flaws in it and again start doubting myself. And logic doesn't really help, and the only way to shake it is to have physical proofs of your work often in the form of praise by the people you trust.
Which is why the fact that she was greatly contributing to the combat effectiveness of the Forwards through taking command informally was not enough to satisfy her. To her her plans probably felt obvious and something other Forwards would have probably recommended had they been paying attention.

Hell now that I think more on it, learning that she is only there to command would still have led her down this path since again her ultimate goal is not to be a commander of a team, but an independent problem solver, an Enforcer, which means her personal combat capabilities need to be up to snuff. There is probably a VERY good reason Teana went with the plan to engage Nanoha in melee and was shown practicing basics of it with Subaru (well except the plot needed to make Teana fuck up on many different levels for DRAMA!!!) was that she felt that her melee abilities were being ignored and she was under threat of being cast as just a squishy Center Guard, not suitable to operating outside of teams. Also the reason that in both cases of her lapse of judgement the plan called for Subaru to act as decoy and for Teana to actually deliver the blow, which is reverse of their usual dynamic, but in her mind would show that she has offensive capabilities necessary for an Enforcer.
Which is why Nanoha was so successful in defusing her when she finally got to talk to her. She commended her for her leadership, and basically dashing Teana's fears that she was there solely because Subaru was there. Also importantly she validated Teana's thinking that she does need to learn how to perform in melee by showing her the Mode 2 of Cross Mirage, meaning Nanoha from the start was planning the same fate for her that she was striving for.

Now it could be argued, quite easily in fact, that the lot of this is never explicitly stated in the show and therefore we can never be certain of it and therefore this character interpretation is invalid. I would agree halfway. Yes, we will never know for certain if I'm completely correct (although I think this view is largely supported by the show and supplemental material) but I don't find making character interpretations wrong at all. Hell if the character was able to strike a chord with anybody like this than it's a good character.
As for the weather or not such character should be included in the show, I would say yes it should since the show was lacking a fight smarter not stronger character with the putting on the buss of Chrono, which you should note she shares quite a few traits and approaches to problems with, and such characters are necessary to balance out the combat and show that pure power is not everything and tactics are important.
Then again, I like Teana enough that IMO following her around as she solves cases, which would often include cases where TSA darker side is shown, would be a great idea for some sort of side content, so I might be a tinsy bit biased.

Sansker wrote:
So, no, I don’t think Teana is Batman and I don’t have a high concept of Batman either, but that is neither here nor there. I do think Teana and Subaru, and the Forwards, could be cut from the show and you don’t even need to change much of the story. Think about it, if the Forwards are gone you still have Jail, Vivio, the Craddle and some of the cyborgs to fight the others. Hey Jail doesn’t even need Ginga for anything at all, so with a little effort I can do the same plot without them in it and when that is possible I tend to feel they were unnecessary additions. But that is just my opinion.

And my opinion is that the addition of THIS half of the Forwards was a good one because I did like them as characters and I did find entertaining how they tended to bounce off each other.
In my opinion the actual blight on the season were lackluster antagonists, which were mostly unlikable and unsympathetic (with some exceptions), not so much the protagonists.

Note/PS: I'm probably going to update my post on Teana & Subaru based on my new thought that you jarred in my mind by making me think again on them. So, don't worry I'm not intentionally changing history to make me sound smarter (which is why I'm leaving this message), I just want for the thought to be in a easily accessible manner.
Also thanks for putting up with me and challenging me. Even though I can find it tiring to have to rethink things so much, in the end I do like it that I can find new interpretations for things, so thanks for that.

PS2: I'll be adding to Subaru and Teana section also the following text since I just thought of it:
I also liked how their different reactions to their moments of self doubt cause them to be able to pull each other out of the muck, which is why command kept putting them together in units. Whenever a daunting problem appears and dark thoughts bother Subaru that she is not strong enough to overcome this problem she tends to give up and devolves into her crybaby self, which actually makes her not strong enough to overcome. Teana on the other hand tends to grit her teeth and solder on and keeps fighting at her top strength. But her strength is not her strong side, her mind is, and her mind tends to suffer the worst in such cases since her insecurities tend to force her to be insecure in her decision making, which then make her overthink herself into defeat.
The way they usually solved that is by Teana reminding Subaru that she knows Subaru is strong enough and that she is counting on her, which works because Tana knows Subaru's strength and Subaru herself is kind of obsessed with not letting Teana down. When reverse happens, the problem is usually that Teana has overthought herself into concluding that defeat is imminent and there is no hope of victory, to which Subaru (who really doesn't understand the problem nor Teana's thinking) responds by refuting such thinking and probably annoying Teana in some way which allows her to restart her thinking and to find a more suitable solution.
Basically Teana doesn't believe there is anything through which Subaru cannot punch through, while Subaru doesn't believe there is any situation to which Teana cannot find a solution. Also the both their final fights were about them learning to overcome this problem of theirs alone without the other present.

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Again with walls of text I’m afraid. These kind of arguments can get long winded but I do suggest we try to keep things short. Also what did you change about the previous post? You could have just add that in a following one. I am not longer sure what you said now.

Like I said, differences of opinion. Which is what most of our arguments boil down to. I am not letting the show just get a pass for being inconsistent or poorly constructed so I can make sense of its world. The age doesn’t make any sense, especially when later we see Vivio at the same age as her mothers, or Erio and Caro for that matter, being consider a kid that needs to stay safe and not do dangerous stuff.

About Subaru and Teana is just that they are unnecessary, and they will always be because we already had a cast for this story. Their role within the large plot is neglectful at best since their job consisted on fighting poorly construct antagonist that if remove alongside them… would not alter Jail’s plan to bring the Craddle and use the Relics. Is as simple as that, the show had to contrive reasons and things for them to do rather that they bringing something to the table that was essential. That is my main criticism about them and many other elements in StrikerS

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Sansker wrote:
Again with walls of text I’m afraid. These kind of arguments can get long winded but I do suggest we try to keep things short. Also what did you change about the previous post? You could have just add that in a following one. I am not longer sure what you said now.

Mostly I added some of my rebuttals and my character interpretation of Teana to the original post. I did change the line about Subaru and Jail into me wanting for her to interact with Numbers (since Jail is not her maker).
I will try to keep it short but other than that I can make no promises since once an idea strikes me it has to be told. Sorry.

Sansker wrote:
Like I said, differences of opinion. Which is what most of our arguments boil down to. I am not letting the show just get a pass for being inconsistent or poorly constructed so I can make sense of its world. The age doesn’t make any sense, especially when later we see Vivio at the same age as her mothers, or Erio and Caro for that matter, being consider a kid that needs to stay safe and not do dangerous stuff.

Considering 3 out of 4 seasons treated the age in Nanoha unique way and only Vivid did anything different, I would say that Vivid is the one that odd one out. Also in Vivid's case it makes sense since joining TSAB is not mandatory to those that have power and Vivio in Vivid so far hasn't expressed any desire to follow her parents into the military. So she is attending a civilian magic training course.
As I said, I never liked the whole child solder aspect of Nanoha, but it's part of the setting and I can only complain about it, I can not say it does not happen.

Sansker wrote:
About Subaru and Teana is just that they are unnecessary, and they will always be because we already had a cast for this story. Their role within the large plot is neglectful at best since their job consisted on fighting poorly construct antagonist that if remove alongside them… would not alter Jail’s plan to bring the Craddle and use the Relics. Is as simple as that, the show had to contrive reasons and things for them to do rather that they bringing something to the table that was essential. That is my main criticism about them and many other elements in StrikerS

The way they were incorporated into the major plot is a bit weak. They could have been done better. But then again until the final main fight happens pretty much none in RF6 does much that is plot related. Which is a major minus in my book with the fact that the antagonist was weak. But as characters, which is what I was trying to talk about in this section, they are fine and even fun for me.

On the other hand if you want characters that even I consider tacked on simply to fill out the numbers in the Forwards...

2.2.6. The Forwards the Meh ones
Unlike Teana and Subaru who were interesting to watch and offered a kind of parallel to Nanoha and Fate and had some (poorely realized) connection to the plot, Erio and Caro always felt a tacked on. Frankly they feel as if someone took a look at Nanoha having disciples in Subaru and Teana and wanted to give something, anything for Fate to do, at which point the local shotacon/lolicon intervened and demanded inclusion of kids to the Forwards. Another reason could be that the writers wanted a team of new gals and two persons is not really a team.
As characters, I do not hate them, but they don’t really grab me either. For one unlike Subaru and Teana they aren’t fun to watch bounce of each other. The idea of their personality seems to be take Fate as a basis and make that person even more shy and withdrawn. Then add slight smattering of differentiation on them based on sex, where the Caro is pink girly girl and Erio is token male character. Basically they feel like characters from like 90% of other shows which makes them bland as fuck.
Their fightstyles are also kind of bland too. Carro is a sumoner, which means her summons are more interesting than her (one reason I never really like the characters who rely on summons), and so she basically never really gets a moment where you are able to say, Caro is cool on her own. Erio on the other hand is essentially another of Caro’s summons, which is the reason he often got paired with Garyu, and his attacks are also bland what with them boiling down to charging at things.
The other reason for them never clicking for me is that they don’t really get much in the terms of character development. Well I’m being a bit unfair. Caro sort of gets development what with her mastering summoning and finally being able to control her summons so they no longer go out of control whenever summoned. But that is never really developed as a problem, and simply happens along the way. Sure they do show Nanoha encouraging her couple of times, but that was about her ability to buff her allies and her dragon problems never got addressed by Nanoha.
While Erio has no arc or character development to speak of in show, he had one in his origin story. It’s shame that it got delegated to the background and is not shown in show, because it would have given him and Fate (she has similar lighting based powers) something to do and bond on.
Then there is the issue of writers trying to force them into a relationship and that silly intro scene where he accidentally “gropes” her.
If that was not enough to sink them, the plot is also trying to pit them against Lutecia, in an attempt to do another sad antagonist girl that gets befriended through fighting from first season. Unfortunately, unlike Fate Lutecia was waaaaaaayyyy too emotionless, bland and boring to me. Her scenes are literally interchangeable for me with static. Also it’s not helping her case that her powers keep getting used by the writers to justify bit of an asspulls in the plot. They want drones to suddenly be more efficient, Lutecia is controlling them (we never really see her doing anything except sending insects, so it doesn’t feel like her act), they want for gadgets to somehow avoid defenses, Lutecia is teleporting them etc. And in the end the resolution of their conflict with her was also bland since instead of Caro and Erio talking her down they had to drag in the tired mind control idea to force a fight, which then doesn’t really happen since they grab Lutecia and book it. Still I did like Voltare noselling all the attacks from Lutecia’s summons because after all he is a God damned MOTHERFUCKING DRAGON, and DRAGONS trump all.
I think Dragon fans/purists would be pissed off that Friedrich gets to be called a dragon since he has no front paws. He would be a wyvern in their mind. Also he kind of look like a pink chicken on which somebody sew on a lizard’s head in his chibi form, that is he looks ridiculous.
Basically the kids feel tacked on IMO.