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Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS

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4th Dimension's picture
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Well all season DVDs of Nanoha always came with glossaries, so that is nothing new ;)
Also apparently in Japan, the multimedia approach (splitting less important bits off to manga and sound stages) is not something unusual. I find it unusual but then I'm a dirty westerner (for a certain definition of west). But yeah if it was an important segment, placing it in a manga will hurt overall the enjoyment of people unussed to the multimedia approach.

In this case I don't have a problem with it because the scene with Genya is not as important. For me I never doubted he would visit Subaru, just as I don't doubt Fate visited Erio and Caro despite show not showing it. That level of parental commitment was pretty much a given. The reason Genya may seem cold is because he is obviously not a person given to rash and impulsive decisions. He is the guy that suspected for a long while that elements in TSAB might have had something to do with her death. Instead of flying of the handle or picking a fight he instead spent a decade or more meticulously gathering every piece of intel that came his way that had anything to do with it. He is the type of person who when faced with an assault by a legion of drones who previously wiped the floor with anything of less than A rank TSAB put against them, managed to get a bunch of B and lower rankers to hold a line against and was looking only marginally more perturbed than he was having lunch with Hayate and Ginga. Basically given the amount of scenes he gets it's hardly surprising he seems cold when he is not someone easily given to showing strong emotions.
He also cared enough for his daughters to accompany Ginga during her lessons to the Numbers. His parenting style seems to be that he is an imperturbable rock for his kids that is there when they seek him, but otherwise he trusts them to do the right thing.

Jail and NUmbers: That is brainwashing and Numbers for you. Tre probably genuinely believed that the Professor is simply misunderstood and if only Fate could accept her as her father all would be well. They were largely divorced from reality of how real people handle things emotionally, which is why they had to undergo rehabilitation.
As for Jail himself, I forgot to reply to your previous message, he is . . . wierd. I think he is genuinelly fond of his "daughters", but as you might get fond of your favorite tool or a pet you made. While you may "raise a glass" in the memory of them no longer being there to help you it will still not prevent you from feeding it to a wood chipper to achieve a goal of yours. And for Jail, considering that he is a product of a program called Infinite Desire, achieving his goals is EVERYTHING. He was pretty willing to die along with Tre, Sette and all the rest unborn spawns of his if it meant he would win and a clone of his would get to enjoy his labors and blow nose at the authorities.

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Still a poor practice, all things consider. You don’t explain plot points in the extras.

As for Genya… like I said, you give him credit for things I can see as he being a boring, single minded individual. Is really that I just don’t like the guys, never saw any indications of what you suggest in his actions. But is a matter of perspective really, I just don’t give the benefit of the doubt.

Same for the rest. I think you are being too forgiven. I am not, but we discuss how the show makes us feel so that is probably why

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Eh, as I said we never really see or hear anything that might indicate such an character interpretation, but you are entitled to such an opinion and I can sort of see where it's coming from.

Anyway onwards and forwards:

2.2.9. The antagonists, the TSAB side of the coing: Zest, Regius and Agito I guess
So Jail, Numbers and Lutecia are a bust for me. What about Zest and the TSAB side of things. Before the latest rewatch, I would have agreed that Zest is acting stupidly but probably within his character of an honor obsessed guy. Now after paying more attention to things, I don’t think he is a complete fool. The focus is on “complete” since he does act foolishly and does suffer from massive case of, honor caused, target fixation though.
On the face of it, he is being a massive dunce for not figuring out that Jail is a much bigger threat than Reggie and that he should be targeting him and not his old friend. Not to mention that he kind of screws up the plans of RF6 by drawing away critical forces when they were most needed.
But not that I have been paying more attention they do explain his reasons for focusing on Regius. The trouble is the explanation comes on the late side during info dropping by Jail and Council just before the finale. That is a bad place in general to do such things and I don’t blame people if they ignore it because they have been annoyed by him by that point.
So what are his reasons for going after his old friend and not this obviously evil dude that played a part in his death? Well first thing is that he is probably the closest we ever got to the concept of old Belkan knight, like Signum, in both combat capability and personality. And everything we have seen of him supports that. This means that he expects to die in battle so the fact that someone killed him in combat is unlikely to raise his ire. The fact that his teammates died in the same fight might get a raise out of him, but again this is more of a personal failure for him than something he will blame the enemy for. So he is unlikely to hold a grudge towards Jail and Numbers for killing him, BUT Jail should still be a criminal in his eyes and thus someone Zest HAS to oppose. That is unless there had been a MUCH greater crime committed in the eyes of Zest, in which case bringing down Jail might need to be put on hold for the time being. And what bigger crime there can be, in the eyes of an honor obsessed fool like Zest, than betrayal by those closest to you and betrayal by those in command that you trusted. In such a worldview ripping out such a poison from TSAB has greater precedence over taking down this one criminal.
Other reasons for him doing what he did, after being fed info on Regius by the Council (we are told it was done to gain control over him with the ultimate goal of making Zest the Jail’s overseer), is that he probably still doesn’t want to believe it Regius has fallen so far, which is why he is attacking black research sites with Lutecia and why he feels the need to confront him. Also the Council promised they would protect Lutecia if he cooperated with them, which is important to him since her mother was his subordinate he failed to protect, and still he limited himself to only helping Lutecia and knocking over various illegal experimental labs. As such Jail probably ranks like third on the order of his priorities. This order of priorities is even shown in the show. The moment Regius is down he switches his sights to Jail but is confronted by Signum who tells him Jail has been taken care of and Lutecia is about to be secured
The fact that he does have background built in reasons for wanting to get to Regius first before tearing Jail down is still problematic a because we learn all of that a bit late, which does make him annoying during the first viewing. So while I’m annoyed by him during his scenes with Lutecia I don’t mind him too much. Plus, he is a rare actually male and combat capable character and these are endangered as pandas.

More importantly, the reason I can stand Zest much more than the rest is that he is an important part of the Regius’s story and I like Regius, as a character. I like his character, because unlike Jail he is not For Evulz madman, but a human character that shows dangers of trying to do the good thing at any cost which causes you to start compromising on your ideals, start trampling on liberties of individuals for the greater good. He is right that Ground Forces desperately need a force modifier to help them maintain peace, what with all the mages running around. But the only way that he has, and that his bosses are guiding him towards is really unethical. So he is thinking that the sacrifice of freedom of these few innocents is fine if it allows for MANY more lives to be saved in the long run. Also RF6 is not really the answer since RF6 can only act in one place while he wants protection for an entire world and worlds. His approach is wrong and as a person he is not nice and is bullheaded but at the same time as a character to me he is human, understandable and even tragic, especially with the Zest subplot. This is also why I tolerate Zest more. This is somewhat spoiled by that Erianhar thing he keeps referring to that is basically bunch of laser batteries that seems totally unsuitable for peacekeeping. I guess his plan, if he knew about the Cradle which he might have considering the Council knew of it (and was miffed that Jail took it out for a spin), was for Erianhar to be his way of dealing with it.

Before we move on I’ll just throw out couple of thoughts to two other antagonists. Agito is fine on rewatching for me. She did annoy me, but now knowing her story and that the heartwarming (literally) moment with Signum was coming I don’t mind her as much. The fact that Signum and her are so compatible might have needed more setup/explanation though because as it is it boiled down to Agito losing control when Signum got nearer during Zests fight against Vita. Compared to the majority of Numbers she actually has a character (what little there is of it) and a reason for why she might distrust TSAB and want to fight them. It should say bad things of your script when your side antagonist has more going on than your main antagonists.
The idea of the semisecret High Council is fine by me. The Admiral Misato even implies that they were the ones to start the TSA movement back 150 years ago and handed over the power to the Legendary Admirals after TSA won, with the Councilmen founding the Council that would oversee the TSA. So they have been supposedly plotting and keeping the TSA system going for over a century. Which would explain why TSA has not collapsed with no outside foes to keep the worlds together. So they are a nice, IMO, also continue the idea that the three Aces that we know now might one day become the Legendary Admirals for the future generations (while the current Legendary Admirals might withdraw to the Council). The trouble is in the execution where they make some god damned ridiculously bad moves. Like sponsoring a project to create a being with Infinite Desire and then not handling it properly at all. But again unlike Jail they have understandable and even laudable goals but their methods is what is causing the conflict with the protagonists.
So basically apart from the TSAB side of things the antagonists are mostly a disappointment for me. Which is also the reason why I prefer the first part of the show BEFORE Numbers show up. There is too many of them to properly cover, Jail’s plot is too simplistic to be interesting and takes away the time that could have been devoted to interesting TSAB side of things. More on that in the Optimism and Military sections.

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As concepts Zets, Regius, Agito and even the High Council are fine. But as presented here they are not.

You see is not that I can’t see what you point out for the first two, is just that I don’t buy it. Regius turns evil because he wants to stop the large amount of crime that we never see (Aside from those HE started) and then Zets has confusing goals, went about them in a really unnecessary way and at the end of the day he gets kill… because reasons. Is just so rush that feels like an afterthought.

Agito is just there to fight Rein and then she forgets about that and joins Signum. Nothing of value was archive or lost there, if you ask me.

The Council itsems was laughable, because it feels like they drop the bad guys from another show and they get kill unceremoniously in the same episode they are introduce leaving their entire existence as the weak backbone to explain how Jail got so many things going for himself.

In short, nothing worth saving all things consider

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We don't see it largely because the RF6 is involved with another case so is not handling the other cases. The fact that Ground Forces are getting overwhelmed trying to keep the peace on the ground never struck me as odd or unjustified. We know that TSAB uses mages as their fighting force, so if you are going to be fighting you need some magical talent and that is in short supply. We are told and shown (by showing us which branches of the Armed Forces and Navy the protagonist joined. Only Hayate joined the Ground Forces component of the Armed Forces and she is not really the field material) that the best gets siphoned away constantly from the Ground forces to more prestigious assigments with the Navy and in Air-Force. We are also shown that the Ground Forces in general are getting bad treatment/publicity from the press too where press is all too eager to point out how Air-Force helped and often doesn't mention the efforts of the Ground Forces. We see that in the coverage of the Airport fire incident where the Air-Force mage detachment that arrived AFTER Hayate stabilized the situation and froze the most of the fire, got most of the credit for it and Ground Forces weren't mentioned. All of which means they are probably really struggling to fill out their ranks with capable Mages.

Meanwhile the entire setting seems to be teeming with all kinds of scientists of questionable ethics hiding on innumerable Unadministered worlds and damnable Lost Logia. Sure most of gets caught by the Navy and the Enforcers, but then anything that does slip through is also quite likely to be out of the league of the GF mages. Up to now I could have sworn we even got a picture of what happens when Navy drops the ball in such cases and something gets to Crangan (a large crater happens) but now I can not find it. It's probably in the manga I guess.

But even without all of that which the season does try to set up, they have a problem where a significant portion of their civilian public is magically gifted. Mages apart from their devices and inherent strength don't really need anything else to be a BIG problem if one of them decides to go out in a blaze of glory in the middle of a mall. Think high school and workplace shootings by people that simply snapped one day. But in this case instead of having to go through often quite ardurous process to get a firearm, the person is BORN with bazookas strapped to their hands and only need a simple device to remove the firing pins. Sure the majority of them will get taken down quickly by any GF mage, but non magic powered civilians would be an all to easy target for a mage who is not trying not to kill. And this is pretty much inherent in the setting as it was presented. In fact for one it kind off does explain why the TSAB is happy to enlist 10 year olds, it gets them off the streets where their nascent unaimed magical talent will get them in trouble and gets them to learn responasability AND it might cause them to later join full time. As such I don't think the fact that we don't see much in a way of other crime (while dealing with one criminal) as meaning Regius's problems came out of nowhere and have been slapped on to justify him.

Also I don't really view him as Evil. He is doing morally questionable things, and he is not a nice person, but he is trying to accomplish the same goal the RF6 is working towards but through unethical means and is also being played by Jail. Should more time have been devoted to better setting up the situation? OF COURSE! But him Zest and Agito are really the only antagonists that resemble the proper Nanoha style antagonists that I like.

As I said for Zest, his goals make sense after the fact. It does not absolve him completely from looking like an idiot (well he is an honor obsessed idiot, but then again it's part of his character) fro the majority of the show, but there is an explanation for them. On the other hand I am perpetually annoyed that the only ones of the antagonists that kick the bucket are two male ones that were even marginally interesting and had SOMETHING going on. Meanwhile the asshole Numbers get "befriended" (even the fucking bitch Quatro gets to live, where it would have been perfect karma for her to get stuck on Cradle and blasted with it) and no one is wiser. I have a feeling had them two been female they would still be alive and Regius would be Vivio's kindergarten teacher or something as ridiculous in ViVid.

Agito was not there simply to fight Rein. Oh meta vise they did set her up as Rein's antagonist what with conflicting magic (fire vs ice), personality (brash and angry vs polite and cute) and background (an old Belkan style Unison device that spent what she remembers of her life undergoing hellish experimentation vs new Unison device that is part of a loving family). But Agito's character goals were always to do well by Zest and Lutecia who were the ones that rescued her from her hell. She hated Rein mostly because because Agito felt Rein was preventing her from properly helping Zest and Lutecia. She initially only went with Signum to fullfill Zest's practically dying wish. So I don't see any problems characterization vise there.

No the council was not introduced in the episode where they die. THe council was being namedropped pretty much as soon as we started getting glimpses into what is going on in Regius's office and were shown in their gigantic screen personas I think before the attack on the GF HQ. Only their true nature was revealed in the episode where they die.
But I would agree that they are not the most developed concept in the season by far.

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Ah, found the part where they show/talk about the problem of crime and show the aftermath of Navy dropping the ball. It's part of the flashback showing the background of Zest and Regius (episode 24) and shows a big crater in the middle of Crangan caused by fighting a criminal mage that Navy failed to stop.

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I disagree. The show just doesn’t present its setting well enough to deserve that justification you give it. We need more than one crater with no visible victims or sense of damage to think crime is out of control. I need more than one reference to aerial mages when Nanoha and the others were talking that nobody mention them. You need to work to have an emotional pay off, not just handed me something and tell me “get invested”.

So there is room to see thing as you point it and there is room to see it otherwise, because the setting is so poorly stablish. Again we come back to how you see in a positive light the story and you seem willing to complement it with stuff that in all honesty doesn’t feel like is there. Magic is a problem? How? When? In fact how many people are magically gifted in this universe and how many turn criminal? Never discuss, so it’s all in the air really.

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They didn't need to do as much for me to justify this because these are the kind of problems I expected TSA to face anyway even before the StrikerS. Simply think of our world and it's problems even in modern societies. Now add the fact that every like, let's say, 10th criminal or person out to cause problems due to their own issues is a mage, a person whoose destructive capability is intrinsic to themselves and as such you can't really disarm him before he enters public locations. Think of the devastation they could cause before being put down when they can shrug off blows that would crush normal people.
And that is even before adding to the fact that show has shown that people will start displaying magical talent at a really young age and by the time of their teens they will be becoming actual mages. That much power in such unstable hands is a recipee for building destroying temper tantrums. Hell stupid Rinne is probably the poster child of this, and she wasn't even using spells back when she essentially did her own school shooting/kicking.
Which is why I found Fate's assertion of how magic is better than mass based weapons because mass based weapons can be triggered by anybody as ridiculous. The statemtnt makes sense because it's what TSAB wants people to believe so they can stop deaths and enviromental destruction, but mass(physics) weapons are much more finicky and require an entire industrial complex behond them to work unlike mages, who can even function without devices if they are skilled enough.
And let's not mention the FUN that various Lost Logias bring.

Simply put all of these potential problems were pretty much inherent in the lore of the world as established even before StrikerS. As such of course I did not find it hard to accept the extensions to it introduced by StrikerS. Was the lore in StrikerS bulletproof? Of course not. It introduced several silent retcons and did changes so that they could have their Belkan arts focused mages while retaining the mystique of the Wolkenritter, and to add gun looking devices. Did it do much with the whole TSA has problems policing the worlds in their charge, probably not. Was the presentation of the ideas they wanted to include excellent? No it was not, but it was good enough IMO, and told me enough so I could put the pieces together providing I brough some glue and the pieces did mostly fit.

On the other hand if you are suffering from an advanced stage of story collapse, nothing I is likely to make it better since you don't believe anything the writers are telling anyway because you lost faith in them.

Anyway since we are unlikely to reach an agreement on this front I'll just continue to the next section that is the last one in the characters chapter before the conclusion.

2.2.10. Other characters
Of all the new non protagonist characters Vice pretty much stands above them all by actually having an arc, a subplot of his own and some actual characterization. So while he is a bit superfluous, and his background/character development kind of came out of nowhere, he is a fine character in his own right. He was supposed to be a sort of a “I have seen shit kid” mentor to Teana, but that mostly got axed along with everything else. Did we really need to make the chopper pilot into a character? No not really, but then again most of his scenes do have a point and do move the plot or the characterization forwards.
The Nakajima’s are also perfectly fine in my book and their potential removal would hurt things what with Ginga being the reason for Subaru to fight. On the other hand, Subaru shouldn’t really be fighting her sister so that is a minus there. Then again the idea of Nakajima’s being a mecha family does amuse me, even though as I said I did not like the Numbers bits, and Genya being sort of Hayate’s mentor is interesting to me and he actually does things in the finale with his battalion.
Others that are also given quite a bit of screen time but unfortunately are not as lucky are the ones connected to the Belkan Church. Carim and Verossa’s (and by extension Schach) only contribution to the plot is to set up the crisis (with Carim’s prophecy which in the end doesn’t contribute at all) and resolve it via Verossa somehow finding Jail’s lair. Well to be fair Verosa credits the data Genya provided and Fate gathered as being the key to finding Jail’s lair, but since we don’t see Fate doing much of that it’s pretty much a case of Acous ex Machina and that is not good.
What is unfortunately true is that the entire subplot with Carim, the prophesy, Verossa and the Church is not really necessary for the plot. Also as characters they don’t have much to offer and could have been easily replaced by existing ones. You could basically cut the lot of them, and give Yunno the part of mentioning the prophesy (if you really want to keep it) and explaining Vivio’s genetic heritage could be explained by let’s say Shamal and Yunno. Verosa’s job could easily have been handled (SHOULD have been handled) by Fate who is an Enforcer and Hayate who’s specialty supposedly is investigation in the first place. Also Chrono alone would be fine as Hayate’s handler. The only problem with cutting them would be Hayate related since it would remove some indications of her personal life, what with Verossa and Carim being almost her surrogate brother and sister to complement Wolkenritter being her kids and Genya being her mentor.
The show also names a lot of background characters, but they are fine since they exist in the background and don’t impact the story much.

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Without wanting to be confrontational I am not a fan of the implication that I just don’t get it because I think you are willing to stretch stuff too much. Which then surprises me when you can later see that the story itself is so pack of things that nothing gets proper time or those things that do get it don’t matter in the long run.

The idea of Carim was settle even nicer. Hayate says she sees her as an older sister even if they disagree, then they never have any disagreement or indication that they see things different at all. Verossa I barely register since he is also the man who investigated the corruption on Regious side of things. Vice is Vice, his main stick is that he is friends with Signum. And come to that... did we even need a helicopter at all?

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I knew I should have predicated that statement with saying that I did not mean it as a slight to you. For you the story broke and writers have failed you and you don't really trust them with their worldbuilding. That is their problem. While I do not like from drama perspective how little time some things got in the show for me the world itself still has logic to it and therefore I'm able to lend trust to the writer when they say something is such and such.
So please don't take it the wrong way.

I agree about Carim. While everyone being buddy buddy with everyone else is pretty much a staple of this franchise, the Hayate's side of things really needed, well apart from actually existing, some conflict of opinion. But since they slashed everyhing that is not Jail related to the bone Carim is just a default Nanoha female character.

I would not agree that Vice's main shtick is being friendly with Signum. That is kind of given since he came/was recommended with/by Signum from her old Air Force unit. But he doesn't really have that many scenes with her as he has with Teana. He is supposed to be Teana's senior as a shooter, somebody who was an elite shot, and somebody who is closer to her rank and thus easier to approach than her commanding officers. Also if you want to be cynical he is there to throw a bone to the shippers who prefer heterosexual relationships and wanted a character they could ship with the cast, since Yunno and Chrono were gone.

No helicopter was not really necessary. Well it's somewhat necessary since they introduced the idea of ground force mages who don't know how to fly since they are not skilled enough. And since not one of the new characters can really fly solo they brought in the helicopter. But eh, I still would not really mind it (although as I said while I do like Vice we did not really need to meet him) since it's sort of part of the Mil-SF feel, but the design makes no sense. And that is a big complaint from me since this is a setting that I allready said I liked precisely because magitech can solve a lot of sins, but the helicopter is not one of those:

2.3.4. The helicopter
My complaint to the RF6 using the helicopter is not along the lines of “why use a helicopter when you can teleport or fly in”, but more along the lines how do you fuck up the mechanics of how helicopters work. There is a good reason we use two rotor blades in our helicopter designs. Without the second rotor the first time you tried to take off your engine will try to spin the rotor, but it will also spin the helicopter in the opposite direction and you would not be able to control it at low speeds. Sure the magic might be the reason for why it still works, but why use magic when a simpler mechanical solution would work perfectly fine. Hell why use rotor blades in the first place considering TSAB is capable of generating gravity, at least on their own ships and bases, and they do have magic for flying so why not use that. Still to this day seeing that design makes my head ache.

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I didn’t take it the wrong way, is hard to explain opinions at times when is just text. Simply wanted to say that the argument “well you just don’t get it” is one I hear in the past and not one I am found off. I admit I might have use it myself and that doesn’t make me proud. So no harsh feelings.

The helicopter looks like a flying shoebox and it only highlights the inferiority, in combat, of the Forwards. They are weaker, far less experience and slower than the others. Hey we even later see the helicopter being fly by the backup pilot no less and managing to outrun the flying drones, which were able to keep up with the mages. It did return in Force so… there is that.

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Sansker wrote:
I didn’t take it the wrong way, is hard to explain opinions at times when is just text. Simply wanted to say that the argument “well you just don’t get it” is one I hear in the past and not one I am found off. I admit I might have use it myself and that doesn’t make me proud. So no harsh feelings.

The helicopter looks like a flying shoebox and it only highlights the inferiority, in combat, of the Forwards. They are weaker, far less experience and slower than the others. Hey we even later see the helicopter being fly by the backup pilot no less and managing to outrun the flying drones, which were able to keep up with the mages. It did return in Force so… there is that.

Yeah, the moment I started making the argument it felt rotten.

The helicopter in my mind is an example of scaling down the apparent level of development of TSA technology base (no hover/antigrav, the aerodynamics are terrible and the flight mechanics aren't better) which is more annoying to me, someone who prefers detail first rather than drama first approaches.

As for the performance of it, it's a transport helicopter, they aren't really ment to be shot at. THey are supposed to deliver the troops to the edge of conflict or fly nap of the earth, using terrain to obscure their approach. You certanly should not be trying to insert your troops into combat by flying such a vulnerable target THROUGH the airspace that is in control or is being contested by the enemy.
I don't remember Alto outrunning the plane/drones. From what I remember she managed to loose them by performing high G twists and turns among the buildings. Which BTW should not have worked unless the AI in the gadgets is stupid enough to folow the chopper down into the mess of building where their greater speed would be an issue. What you do is stay above the buildings and follow the heli, diving on him to attack from above.

I also don't really remember any of the Aces ever getting into any kind of chases with the plane gadgets, so I don't think the speed comparisons are valid. Especially considering that the Aces never really had any trouble rampaging amongst that type of drones. Sure that one time Nanoha and Fate might have had to switch on their final forms to whipe them out, but that was due to simple overwhelming numbers.

Anyway to round out the character section:

2.2.11. The Characters conclusions
I basically partially agree with the statement that there were too many characters. I agree from the technical standpoint that many of the new good guys could have been cut, but my main issue is not with them (even though Caro and Erio as they were presented were bland) but with the antagonists of which there were waaaaayyy too many and they did not get anywhere near enough development to make them interesting. Finally, the old crew was still fun, and I liked some of the inclusions (Subaru&Teana, Nakajimas and Vice) and had quite a bit of fun with them.
I guess I can see from technical perspective that the sheer amount was dragging down the story, but since I liked quite a few of them I did not mind. Basically the moment to moment character interaction was still entertaining enough to mask the lack of actual character development. Except as I said the antagonist side who were in general crap with some exceptions (Regius) which still weren’t stellar.

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I just don’t feel there was anything to rescue here. I did not like many of the inclusions in StrikerS. By time constraints, the need to still use the old characters and the overall structure of the show I never got a taste for the new arrivals. They would only get in the way of the old cast, the reason I was watching in the first place or just try to imitate them in a way that was not endearing as it was frustrating. And to me that was the biggest disappointment in the character department.

There was enough with the old guard to handle lots of things and themes, I wanted to see them grow but that got shafted to introduce so many new things that didn’t live up to any expectation that I was just sour in the end. Didn’t get much of the old guard, didn’t like the new arrivals… so there wasn’t much any antagonist could have made for me to like them. And Jail, the Numbers, Regius and the others are just not interesting. They seem generic at best, and so all over the place that I have a hard time keeping up with their goals or motivations at worse.

In short, nothing here was lost or added that I care to discuss. Nanoha becoming a mother, Fate growing in a full fled investigator, Hayate’s political games… any of those stories would be a great one. But they barely give us a taste and skim over the details.

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I wouldn't say the ussage of characters was excellent and deep, but moment to moment the antics of Teana & Subaru were amusing and the old crew was well ... the old crew that we love. It's like eating pure sugar. Sure it's sweet and all while you are doing it but not terribly filling. I would have liked for it to have been a proper gourmet meal, but it still tasted like Nanoha meal enough to satisfy my cravings.
Same goes for the fights. Sure the new guys were less combat capable but were still entertaining enough to watch.
Well except Caro and Erio. They are bland and dull.

On the other hand if you didn't find them interesting or engaging I can't change your mind on that.

Anyway, on with the show. This will probably be over analyzing things and going detail first, but eh, that is what I like about the show, that I can do stuff like this.

2.3. Military
I would be first to agree that the military side of things in StrikerS is kind of weak. On one hand they try to give more detail to the structure of TSAB introducing multiple services like Navy, Airforce, Ground forces and other like Search and Rescue and Enforcers. Despite the military names, TSAB has more in common with police what with them being more peacekeeping oriented rather than conventional combat with other groups/nations. In fact, TSAB or whatever form of government is governing the dimensions is seemingly the only polity in universe, so TSAB being police is understandable. So while they do have the trappings of military (enough to satisfy some of my military Sci-Fi itch) their general buddy buddy attitude where the different ranks mix a bit more than you would expect in military. Also what helps is the fact that nonlethal options are common enough that deaths are a lot rarer than you would expect given the firepower that gets slung around, and so I guess they don’t think commanders should be expected of having to choose who of their subordinates lives or dies. So fraternization is a bit too much but in the end we are shown only one unit and that unit is in firm grasp of the Aces, and this is how they deal with the people. What is more important is that seemingly this system works, except in the case of the White Devil incident to be fair (more on that in a later section), and the chain of command is respected and the orders are followed as expected. This is unlike some shows that feature similarly improbable aged “cute” commanders. Despite all Hayate does have the respect of her troops who actually treat her like their commander.

2.3.1. Hayate as commander
Character wise, given that she has always been shown as the most responsible one, after all she did live alone and then took care of the Wolkenritter and handled their reintegration into the society and did not shy away from taking blame for their actions as their de jure commander. This shows she is familiar with the concept of command responsibility, and is unlikely to blame failures of her forces on her subordinates. In general, her overachiever/workaholic detail oriented traits are suitable for the kob and will ensure the paperwork/procedure side of command that ensures proper logistics and contributes to overall efficiency will not be forgotten.

Now on to the main dish: Hayate as commander. Well for one as I said she does things well when setting things up. She does not make the mistake of many a commander and forget the logistics part and sets up her section with competent support personnel that will make sure troops will be properly fed, their equipment maintained and supported in the field. Also she seems to have a good work ethic which means things are likely to continue running smoothly and she will not disregard the boring aspects of the job like paperwork. She also seems to be a good enough judge of character of her own and others, so she brought on her friends to fill out the traits and capabilities she lacks and generally be the method to her madness.
She also seems quite capable of swimming in the waters of interbranch and intersquad politics. Unfortunately, she never really gets to show off her stuff. I guess that part with Auris coming to check up on the state in the RF6 was supposed to be her moment, where she runs rings around her, but it looks like it was cut for time. I personally would have liked to see more of her doing her thing, and as I said she and Fate should have been shown doing the investigation of the TSAB side of things. Fate coming from outside the problem, and Hayate from inside by politicking. After all, when it comes to fanfiction I prefer Hayate that is quite capable and able to plot and has some potential darkness to her when compared to her Hero friends. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if 7Arts is really capable of pulling something like this off.
As for the operational tactics side of things, the results are ehhhhhhhh. She really did not get a chance to show of her strategic thinking too much, and was mostly relegated to overseeing the operations from the Long Arch. She did order the order of deployments in some of the engagements, but just as often her captains were doing that for her. Which is kind of understandable since they do have more field experience than her. Probably the biggest examples of her doing tactical commanding is in the second episode during the airport fire incident where she seemed able enough to handle such a situation, and during the last fight where as long as she was in charge of the outside fight with the drones not many of them were able to escape her cordon sanitaire. As soon as she left her post to solve the bigger problem, an armada of drones broke through and headed for Clangan. Much more importantly from command perspective she realize the strategic benefit of not showing her Aces’s trump cards before the deciding battle. That was smart.
On the other hand, she also did make mistakes. To be honest I feel that some of them were writer dictated mistakes because writers were thinking what would be more exciting than what would be smarter. But we have to judge her by the actions displayed rather than the actions of writers. The mistakes are kind of understandable considering that TSAB is basically police and doesn’t think like military and more importantly she does not have experience and has been promoted a bit past her capabilities so she could serve as a scapegoat if things go south.
Before the last battle the enemy had all the advantages. The enemy had resources and access to the info TSAB had, the location of their base was unknown giving them the initiative, and was attacking using forces with abilities that were unfamiliar to the RF6 making planning a tricky proposition. As such it is no surprise that they managed to achieve almost complete tactical (Numbers) and strategic (The Cradle) surprise and accomplish most of their objective until the last fight. Still despite these excuses the fact that the enemy kept the initiative almost all the way until he accomplished the majority of his goals was not good. I don’t think that RF6 could have done significantly better, but still it won’t look good on her reports.
Next sections will cover some of the important engagements in more detail, and add some bits and bobs that are connected to the military before I make my final conclusions.

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I do agree that you are overthinking it there. The military aspects of the setting are just too weak for my taste and Hayate… yeah, not seeing much there. Which is sad because I think that written well she does have some potential to be a good commander. I just don’t see any of the results as being as much her brilliance at work… when just plain lousy writing seems more like it.

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Yeah. Some more logs on the fire that a lot of it was writer mandated stupidity:

2.3.2. The attack on the GF HQ during Conference
The Jails plan:

  • Step 1: Bring down the information and communication system of GF HQ by cracking it (probably using codes Jail had since he was technically part of TSAB). Accomplished by Bitch Quatro.
  • Step 2: Eliminate the central defense coordination center – accomplished by Sein.
  • Step 3: Bring down the power supply to the GF HQ defenses (probably a combination of barriers and fields to prevent porting and entering into the towers) – accomplished by Cinque

  • Step 4: The fall of the barrier should allow the summoning/teleportation of gadgets straight into the GF HQ grounds bypassing city defenses – accomplished by Lutecia
  • Step 5: The fall/weakening of the barrier now allows Dieci to deliver a gas attack on the GF HQ further softening defenses inside the towers. Step 6: Have Sette and Tre suppress and keep the aerial reinforcements from giving aid to the HQ. - Accomplished
  • Step 7: With the weaker barrier protecting the towers it is now possible for Jail’s forces to penetrate the tower and go about accomplishing their objectives:
    1. Gadget drones using their inbuilt AMF field generators are now able to penetrate the barrier that is wrapped around the tower and wreak havoc inside bringing Jail because he can now gloat about his successes – DONE
    2. With the defenses suppressed let Zest of his leash and point him at Regius. If he does get to him he is likely to try to kill him or out him which would leave Cranagan defense forces leaderless, eliminate the most exposed person that knows about Jail and in general provide Jail with a way to revenge himself on the man who was limiting his desires. If he fails, he still should cause enough trouble and chaos among the defending HQ forces for other objectives to be accomplished successfully – Objective Partially successful (It drew Vita away, but Zest was not able to reach HQ but was not captured)
    3. Nove, Wendy and other two Numbers already in the building are now to capture any of the original cyborgs (Subaru and Ginga) or Project F products (Fate and Erio) – Partially successful, Only one Type 0 cyborg acquired. The operation costs Jail temporary loss of Cinque due to damage Subaru inflicts, but Sein saves her from capture.
  • Step 8: With the gadgets deployed, and RF6 forces effectively tied down hit the Long Arch with gadgets (to suppress normal forces) and Otto, Lutecia and Dido to recover the clone of the Saint and destroy the RF6 HQ (“gracefully“ allow the personnel to withdraw to rub salt into the wound) further showing superiority of you and your works. – Parital success (The recovery of objectives is successful but RF6 does not flee and is saved by Caro’s Voltare. But the damage sustained in the attack means Long Arch is now unusable)
Final conclusion: Mission partially successful. Retrieval of the CRITICAL objective accomplished along with one of the secondary. Public image objective successful with visible damage to the HQ done by his forces. This proves their strength. The assassination of Regius unsuccessful. Retrieval of critical component of the Cradle allows for the second phase of the plan while Regius and his handlers still remain a liability.

This is probably Hayate's greatest failure as a commander. She willingly put her greatest firepower, the Aces + Signum, in a place from which it would be difficult to sally from in case of attack WITHOUT access to their gear. This pretty much neutralized the Aces as a combat force during the incident. Now were they allowed to keep their devices, keeping one of them there would be smart, since it would be insurance if the enemy manages to breach the defenses, and the Ace would be there to act as the last line of defense. On the other hand, considering that not one of her officers, which includes combat veterans of centuries, commented on the brilliance of it this is a clear instance of plot mandated stupidity rather than character stupidity.
I did not like at all the ease the Forwards got ambushed with no shown preparation at all. I call bullshit on that one. As for the Forwards they managed to counter the Numbers pretty successfully despite fighting a completely unknown opponent with unknown abilities armored with plot armor. To be fair a lot of plot armor comes from that walking cheat code called Sein and access to TSAB secrets that Jail had.
There are two nice military aspects of the attack on the protagonist side. The rappelling scene by Nanoha and Fate, I like that they were taught abilities they can use without their devices, and the fact that barrier jackets can easily be reprogrammed to provide protection against gas attacks. That is usefull.

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It just seems to me that this long winded series of events had no real reason to be. Jail’s plan was to recover Vivio because he needed her for the Craddle, everything else is an add-on that in no way helped him with that goal or the second attack he send just a week later. Ginga’s capture add nothing he didn’t already have or could procure later down the line (In fact couldn’t he just ask for the data the TSAB had on the Nakajima sisters? Seems like the whole kidnapping Ginga is just to give Subaru something to do).

And I say that because Jail didn’t touch the anti-spaceship lasers nor did he kill anyone. If this was a show of strength I wonder to who, because while he says he is willing to sell this technology he was talking to the TSAB officers who would not be kind to say “yes” after this. So the entire battle just doesn’t ring well to me and I can see plenty of contrivances the show wants to put forward so things go its way. I can tell they wanted some people out of the way because otherwise the entire idea would collapse, and instead of finding interesting and creative ways to handle it they resot to laziness and poor writing to accomplish it-

This isn’t Hayate’s greatest failures as a commander not Jail’s evil genius at work. This is just plowt induced stupidity on everyone involve so we can settle the final battle with a semblance of caring.

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While Jail did need to raise a BIG BIG stink somewhere to draw away the combat personel fo the RF6 so he could hit the Long Arch, it is true he didn't really need to hit the summit.
That is true if we only consider material considerations. But that was not the only major objective Jail had.

When you think about Jail you have to understand the man is a primadona. Remember Loki from Avengers and how they were able to figure out where he would strike? Jail is like that. He doesn't just want to have and make the best tech and discover new things he needs others to know he CAN and just how BETTER he is from them. I mean this is the guy who SIGNS his highly illegal gadget drones. So one of the objectives was for him to get a chance to gloat over the entire TSAB about just how better the forces he made were than anything TSAB can field.

Once you take that into consideration then OF COURSE he would have HAD to hit the most defended, protected and observed event that year. Where he can gloat over practically most of the TSAB high figures and in front of the press of the entire TSA system. This is also the reason he used non lethal attacks (the gas Dieci deployed was meant to put people to sleep not kill them). He wanted to prove that not only are his forces better, but they are so better that they really don't need to kill TSA personnel to accomplish their objectives. It wasn't because he cared one way or another about what happens to anyone, but he does care about putting on the image of smug superiority.

Also I never took the offer to have been directed only at TSAB. He was certainly broadcasting for the whole world (why wouldn't he?) so he was probably offering his services and products to anyone interested in weapons that can defeat best TSAB security.

As for the anti-spaceship lasers, not taking them out as soon as he is able but before the Cradle is ready was actually smart. You don't eliminate enemy's ability to strike back and then wait to launch your attack giving the enemy time to potentially get additional forces. Had he hit the guns that same night (which might not be good for him since while his Numbers were victorious, RF6 forces were also all in the field and could have reacted and made things difficult) Regius might have done the sensible thing and asked for help or beefed up the air forces present around Clangan. Which would have potentially made thing unnecessarily difficult. Hitting the guns just before the Cradle flew was smart since it left the TSAB command with no time to respond to it and come up with a solution.

As for Ginga, she might have been made by Regius's program, but not necessarily given how many secret unsanctioned illegal labs there seem to be in Nanohaverse. They could as well been made by an non-TSA affiliated lab. Also later the Numbers note that while Ginga was made using Jail's research (meaning she and Subaru were made AFTER Jail was put in charge of the project) but not by him. So it's likely someone cribbed Jail's notes like Prescia did when making Fate. If so getting Ginga would be a priority to him simply to see what potential improvements did this other team make when making Ginga and Subaru.
Acquiring Fate, Erio, Subaru or Ginga was never a terribly high priority objective for Jail, just somehting he would like to have if situation presents itself.

About plot mandated stupidity I do agree as I explained in the post.

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Yeah, but we get back to the same old thing: I just don’t see it that way. I mean the entire attack feels just an obligation, seeing how nothing has happen until then, and the entire outcome rely on dozens of things Jail could not have counter nor plan. Like the TSAB not sending any additional forces and hopping things would sort themselves out, Riot Force Six being too busy doing nothing to go after him (Which they were because despite Hayate insisting she wanted an independent unit that could act anywhere she had to be acting under the Ground Forces chain of command) and let an entire week go by in which everyone just sit down looking busy while he prepare.

I can go on, but I think the base line of this entire thing is: the entire thing rest in such weak foundations it falls apart at the smallest examination: Why X happen or have to be this way? Because stuff we never saw nor hear about. And then you realize is because otherwise people would not be invested at all in the outcome.

Which is not bad directly. But StrikerS doesn’t built a coherent world and story to hide these facts. I can totally see the structure of the story unfolding and so the illusion is broken for me. Like noticing the puppeteer more than the puppets in the show, the story just doesn’t connect.

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Actually most of that can be explained, and was explained in the show.

When you say TSAB not sending additional forces, do you mean that they did not try to reinforce the summit after the attacks happened? Because that actually happened and Tre and Sette, Jail's top combatants, were specifically ordered to stop the reinforcements by the nearby Air Force regiments. If you mean that Jail couldn't have known that nobody would reinforce Crangan during the week between the attack and the Cradle lifting off, actually it was unlikely any great reinforcements would arrive considering that Regius's character would prevent him from asking for aid from home office, normal mages, even strong ones from Airforce are less than useful in AMF fields and finally he was trusting in that stupid Laser battery of his. And again we were shown that even AFTER the Cradle flew the high council was still thinking they can spin this their way and get Jail to give the Cradle back, before Due permanently disabused them of that notion. One thing is for you to disagree when I'm extrapolating and trusting the writer, but another is when we are actually shown the reasons for things.

RF6 could not act because a pretty big portion of their fighting strength and support personnel was out of action and hospitalized. Not to mention they lost their base and had no idea where Jail actually was. Now I would agree that we should have been shown Fate and Hayate investigating where Jail's base is instead of handing it over to Acous ex Machina, but since they had no real leads they could not hit Jail.

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I don’t think so since, again, I don’t know how the command structure of the TSAB Works to know if Regious would be in charge of asking for reinforcements, to me it sound the TSAB administers him and the rest so is not like they need his permission. Or maybe they do, I don’t know and that was my point really. The High Counccil controls things but is not like they appear to stop the reinforcements or even hinted that they did, in fact they just appear laughing, get kill and I never understood who took orders from them since the Three Legendary Admirals just did whatever in the end. So… no, not well explain.

As for the Aerial Mages being bested… so those two single handily beat every single solitary mage in the entire planet that serve with the Air Forces? Or then the others just decided NOT to go and just assume things would sort themselves out? Again, they never explain that aspect properly. I can assume some great reasons to justify this or just go with lazy writing

And yes, the vital support personnel from Riot Force 6 that did what exactly? Sit around looking busy? And they vital and necessary combat personnel which we never saw in action until that attack and we never get to see again. The only wounded were the no-names, the Forwards and Shari… so nothing of special value was lost really. Heck they replaced their base with a space ship so that building sure it help in the end, and no leads? How can we tell? They might have dozens of awesome leads and adventures in places we were not looking, and so they just ask Verossa to confirm them.

If it sounds I am a bit… sour, is only because I am. But not really at StrikerS so I maybe should not put this up at all. We are mostly chasing circles here at this point. It just so easy to see this series being good that it annoys me to no end that they could not be ask in so many areas. But yes, I do not approve.

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Sansker wrote:
I don’t think so since, again, I don’t know how the command structure of the TSAB Works to know if Regious would be in charge of asking for reinforcements, to me it sound the TSAB administers him and the rest so is not like they need his permission. Or maybe they do, I don’t know and that was my point really. The High Counccil controls things but is not like they appear to stop the reinforcements or even hinted that they did, in fact they just appear laughing, get kill and I never understood who took orders from them since the Three Legendary Admirals just did whatever in the end. So… no, not well explain.

From what they showed TSAB seems to be ruled by, or major decisions are decided there,... fuck I had the name recorded somewhere... oh well, that meeting of senior officers that Numbers in the end hit. At least that body was important enough to be presided over by the three admirals and decide on important things such as taxation and portioning of the budget (which is what is mentioned).
Day to day operation at least planet side are overseen by the local heads of planetary defense forces, which is what Regius was for Midchilda the capitol/root world of the TSA. Plus there is an undetermined hierarchy of Admirals in the TSA main office. The visible face of ultimate command are the three Admirals, allthough given that they are only overseeing the proceedings during the meeting in the Midchilda GF HQ their influence is largely based on their renown. It could be that they are in overall actuall command of their respective branches (Navy, Enforcers/Law, Ground Armament Service) but since we are never told that, it's just hinted at, I won't take a firms stand on it.
Given that fairly loose command structure at high levels, it's hardly surprising that there is a lot of political horse trading going on, which is probably how the High Council applies it's control. Plus they personally knew the Legendary Admirals and put them in their positions, and as such can also exert influence through them too.
So basically while administratively there is someone, or probably some council above Regius, directly countering his orders would set of a political fight. And nobody wants that. Hell we were pretty much point blank told by one of the Legendary Admirals that they trust Regius and even with the Cradle taking flight that they can not conceive that he or the Council had anything to do with it.
As such the RF6 was not established to oust Regius, but to help him in a way he could not refuse since in their eyes while he was doing a good job keeping Mid safe he was for some reason ignoring the threat of AMF equipped Lost Logias/drones.

What was really hurting the TSAB troops during this engagement in the end was not as much the fact that they did not have enough forces there, but that they did not have enough forces trained to fight in the kind of conditions Numbers preferred. Which is actually why RF6 got formed in the first place and, I hate to use this argument, is mentioned in the manga. They first tried to see if they could change the entire training regimen for all TSAB troopers to include AMF training but that idea got shot down by the Academy headmistress, I think the length of training and length of time needed to retraing the entire TSAB were mentioned, plus price. So in the end Nanoha (and possibly other combat instructors) and later Vita took it on themselves to train the people they trained in the basics of fighting under AMF. Which meant only a small part of Air Forces and Genya's battalion got the basics.

Sansker wrote:
As for the Aerial Mages being bested… so those two single handily beat every single solitary mage in the entire planet that serve with the Air Forces? Or then the others just decided NOT to go and just assume things would sort themselves out? Again, they never explain that aspect properly. I can assume some great reasons to justify this or just go with lazy writing

No they did not beat all of them. What they did beat were the fast response forces stationed near or in Clangan. Probably the same ones that in Episode 2 get credit for stopping the Airport fire. There were certainly other forces on Midchilda, and other AirForce regiments, after all by the time of the Cradle the Crangan defenses were restrengthened enough for there to be enough Air Mages for Hayate to command during her containment action on drones leaving the Cradle. But those were scattered offer the entire planet since there are other places beside Clangan on it to defend. I would even argue this is probably the reason the Numbers did not stick around once they accomplished their objective since if they stuck around too long in the end without the Cradle TSAB would win by the force of sheer numbers.

One thing I would note is that I do not entirely like the EASE with which Sette and Tre tore all those Air Mages. I would have liked for the explanation to have been that they caught them in a trap or something and not that they are straight better. But then again it's my ussual complaint about the Numbers, and also the scene works to convey the idea that Tre and Sette had the reinforcements handled without spending more time on it.

Sansker wrote:
And yes, the vital support personnel from Riot Force 6 that did what exactly? Sit around looking busy? And they vital and necessary combat personnel which we never saw in action until that attack and we never get to see again. The only wounded were the no-names, the Forwards and Shari… so nothing of special value was lost really. Heck they replaced their base with a space ship so that building sure it help in the end, and no leads? How can we tell? They might have dozens of awesome leads and adventures in places we were not looking, and so they just ask Verossa to confirm them.

I would agree that the fact that the entire investigation subplot was sorely needed and the fact that it was missing was a shame. And while I do like to extrapolate from what we were shown I can not change the facts. And the fact of the matter was that they did not know where the enemy base was and as such any assaults on it were impossible.
They did do one thing though during that time. They FINALLY got Genya on board to share the info he collected on how his wife and her unit died, and Verosa in the end credits his finding of Jail's base to the info RF6/Fate and Genya provided. Which is weak I agree, and the only defense of that that I have is that they clearly by this point were trying to solve as many thing as quickly as possible so that the plot would fit the 26 episodes.

Also it wasn't that just the "no names" and Forwards were hurt. Rein and Vita were also tosted by Agito and Vita's device suffered damage so she was out of the fight too. They did replace the base with the Artha, but it took them time to un-mothball it and prep it for action. It was only like a week between GF HQ attack and the Cradle, and that is not a lot of time to do after action reports, find a new base, transfer your people there, find replacements for those lost, figure out what to do now etc. etc. Hell the attack on Erianhar happened right during like their first proper meeting in Artha.

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In short is again so poorly presented we can go either way with it. I rather have solid explanations than just educated guesses to explain what the writes might just had forgotten, but fair enough.

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Err, we were shown or told a lot of it. For example we did see that the big conference is deciding on some pretty big issues like taxation, and is staffed by 100% TSAB officers.
We saw the Admirals presiding over it. We were told the High Council while hidden is legitimate in the eyes of the Legendary Admirals and is supposed to guide TSA. We got plenty of examples to indicate the looseness of structure at high echelons given how much of a role politics seem to play in the management of TSAB.

While I would agree that it would have been nice to get a more detailed explanation, since I allways like getting more details about the setting (I'm a details first guy), considering that the investigation/politics subplot was slashed to the bone we got just enough to support the remaining elements of that subplot.

But if you don't see it that way, I can not force you to my viewpoint and will simply have to move on.

Oh and ever since StrikerS, well ever since the parts of the franchise that came after it, I'm no longer convinced that the creators won't take the bulldozer to the lore at the drop of the had if that allows them to add more pandering and lolis. Which is a shame because they visibly did try to keep things consistent in the first three seasons. So the fact that they did or didn't explain in detail how the TSA goverment worked would not have stopped them from bulldozing it in some other issue.
Hell before I learned that all of this was written by one guy I could have sworn it was written by two guys or two groups. One preferring military SF, grimness, details first worldbuilding and such "dark" topics. The other liked pandering to the viewers and lolicons, bright and optimistic plots and characters, magic and drama first plots. The compromise between them were the first tree seasons that I liked precisely for the mixing of things. But then for Vivid and Force they decided to go their own ways with the military SF guys taking Force and the pandering ones got to make Vivid. And without the other guys to provide the counterbalance in both cases they ran themselves into the ditch of extremity.
But now knowing it's just one guy... Guy really has a wide set of tastes.
But this is not the time for me to speak about Vivid and Force, their time will come and they will be JUDGED!

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Again, you don’t just throw some concepts in to the air, hope they more or less fit and then call it a day (Also I notice you use TSA at times, nothing about it just looks odd that is all). Give the proper setting, describe the government, and explain how things work… especially if this is relevant to the plot. Since from the looks of it Nanoha and the others work for a military dictatorship rule by nepotism, corruption and incompetence in such a scale this looks more like Game of Thrones.

And they didn’t try to keep things consistent in the show. Is my honest opinion that, ever since StrikerS, they have been going for either the lowest and most cliché things or actively avoid that and give us nothing. Yes, I agree both Force and ViVid reflect the extremes of how bad the franchise can get in two different levels but I doubt fusing them would come across as fixing it.

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I tend to use TSA (Time Space Administration) System when I'm talking about the system of government and administration and just TSA sometimes when I talk about the government of the TSA system. I use TSAB more for the justice and peace enforcement branches.

Well I would have certainly liked for them to have gone more in depth, but I feel that there is a large segment of the viewer base that would have complained about the infodump and the lack of explosions. Again I would have liked it (as long as it's logically sound) but then I'm weird. As it is I still feel we got just enough to be able to follow the plot and extrapolate from there.

Nepotism, corruption and incompetence. I don't think we really see examples of that in TSAB. If you mean that the Harlowns are an example of nepotism, I don't think so since Chrono is capable and there is no reason to think he would not have earned his rank if he wasn't Clyde and Lindy's son. Corruption? I don't remember us seeing of widespread instances of TSAB clerks taking bribes and such. Incompetence? If you are aiming this at Regius, it's not fair to him since he was never characterized as incompetent. Even his enemies don't deny that his policies did help stop the crime wave Mid was under back when he started his rise and was an able protector of peace. Jail is just a turd his bosses foisted on him after a pretty good career.
But yeah TSAB is a military dictatorship where only the enlisted decide on important issues such as taxation. Then again this is the same TSAB and is in the universe where using children as solders is seemingly fine, and that has been happening from the start of the franchise. What absolves them of a lot of gilt is that despite all their system does mostly work and DOES allow for a pretty high tech society and the protection of it's citizens.

I think I'll simply have to disagree about the StrikerS and consistency. In StrikerS they do introduce some concepts that I'm not crazy for but they do try hard to fit them into the existing rule set. I don't really remember any overt examples of bulldozing the previously established lore like the later parts did.

The fusion was what made the first two seasons interesting. The fusion of grimdark SF and brightlight Magical girl is what got us the season 1 for example. They took magical girl idea and then dressed it with technological gizmos. They made a character who is being overtly and horribly abused by the person they consider to be their mother and added pretty much a lot of the consequences of that kind of abuse (the person blaming herself for the abuse and not the abuser and such) and fused it with rainbows and sunshine person determined to bring the other one into the light. Over the top flashy magical combat fused with a details first world where we know pretty well how all the attacks work and their strengths and weaknesses. etc etc.

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Is still confusing, and it just reinforces my point they never bother explaining those aspects as all. I just prefer to have proper context to what is going on. Previous seasons could get away with them not going in to detail about the magical society from which the TSAB spawns from because the focus was clearly on Nanoha and the gang’s adventure which center on Earth.

However StrikerS tries to bring political intrigue, criminal investigations, terrorism and the creation of weapons in a magical society. It goes in to things that by the nature of Mid-Childa should have different and long ramifications but from the way everything is presented I would excuse anyone from thinking this is an alternative Earth or something.

But clearly we both see this different. You see an attempt to fit lots of elements that somewhat works when I… well I don’t. To me is like just looking at a bunch lego pieces scatter on the floor and going “Yep, that is a castle alright” the materials might be there and maybe it could become one, but it needs to be properly assemble.

But I do think is time to move on. You have more sections to release?

4th Dimension's picture
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I sure do. I also think I need to start writting again since I did not initially do the sotry section.

2.3.3. The battle of Cradle
Hayate’s performance in this one has also been questioned by some. They accuse her of almost loosing because she did not properly concentrate her forces which almost caused a defeat in detail. On the other hand, the enemy handed her the situation where she did have to work with multiple fronts two of which guarded critical objectives that had to be defended or attacked. Cradle HAD to be stopped, or Jail would have a weapon that might be able to match the Navy and hold Midchilda hostage. The city HAD to be defended or he might be able to hold Cranagan hostage if the Numbers could break Genya’s battalion. Or they might be able to hit the ground forces HQ and make a mess there. Finally, somebody should go and back up Church’s knights in Jail’s lair and at least pin him down or he might have additional aces up his sleeve, or be able to use his personal guard reinforce other fronts. The first one is inarguably true but the second one is on shakier grounds since up to that point Numbers haven’t really shown any inclination towards mass slaughter of the civilians. On the other hand, Numbers wouldn’t be doing the slaughter, gadgets would, after the Numbers got among Genya’s troops and broke their cohesion allowing the gadgets to overwhelm them. Also the last scrap has proven that GF HQ has the defensive properties of tissue paper to Numbers. The urgency of the third one is least defensible, since unlike the first two Jail by himself was not an immediate danger to the safety of civilians IF he has no additional Aces up his sleve. And that would be a big gamble.
The deployment of the assets kind of matched the threat levels and skills of the assets. Flight capable combat mages went to the Cradle, the rest of the forces plus Signum were sent to defend the civilian population. Jail got only one RF6 member. An important member, but a tried and tested one that should be able to handle the situation with help of the forces already present there. Also, given that Fate is an Enforcer, I’m unsure if Hayate would have been able to justify preventing her from pursuing the main criminal of the case. A ruthless person might have forgone sending Signum out to face Zest since he was gunning for Hayate’s political opponent, but especially because of that she would have gotten even more flak post battle. Correction: Signum was not specifically sent off to confront Zest. Splitting of the forces was presented by Nanoha, and Fate decided to leave Signum behind just in case something crops.
Basically except for Fate and Signum, the main threat got basically all the best troops while the rest that could not be used as easily on the Cradle were back in the city keeping a lid on things. Given that both sides can be argued with both positives and negatives, it’s not a brilliant decision, but un understandable on the part of a newly minted commander. Also, it seems that the deployment was not Hayate’s plan, but was possibly made by her captains. Nanoha at least presents the idea of splitting up because not everyone can operate in high AMF present in the Cradle.
On the Cradle front, Hayate’s strategy seems to have been to cordon off the Cradle to prevent the drones from getting out and providing reinforcements to those already engaging the GF, while she waits for her strike teams to stop/slow the Cradle from the inside. They did not show much of what she was doing outside, but the cordon did collapse quickly once she left the post. I would like to attribute it to the fact that since she was no longer present the Air Forces mages could not coordinate as efficiently as with her in command and got overwhelmed, but that idea is kind of thin.
The Forwards got split for the last fight and acted independently and not as a team, which was not well considering they are stronger together than apart. While the Forwards did get chances to be team in two previous engagements (during recovery of Vivio and during the attack on GF HQ) it’s a shame they were unable to cap off the season with a final team fight. On the Forwards part I’m not sure they could have done anything differently maybe they could have restrained Erio and Caro from going after Lutecia before Numbers are taken care of. On the other hand, their de facto commander, Teana, got trapped pretty quickly and was in no position to command.
It would have probably been better if things could have been set up in such a way for Forwards to face Numbers in clumps or something so they could stick together as a team. It would require some setup to explain where the others were while they are crumping the first ones, but it would be a better payoff. Hell if they still want to do Teana alone scene have her get trapped while others are executing her plan and are therefore busy.
Still despite it all it was a fun romp, and more importantly the mook TSAB troopers finally got a moment to be effective against SOMETHING after two seasons of being redshirts. Some might complain that it’s ridiculous for them to be suddenly able to fight against drones, but I’m sure they mention somewhere that Genya’s battalion troops got trained by Nanoha to combat the effects of AMF. In Episode 10 Vita mentions that as part of their cooperation with 108th she will be training their mages. Basics of fighting AMF effects were probably covered considering Nanoha seems to have made it her mission to teach anyone she teaches basics of anti-AMF fighting.

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I am not going to lie, I do not mind the battle as I didn’t the rest of the show. By this point I was just counting the minutes to the end of each episode and just waiting. That being said I don’t think Hayate was in charge of this battle at all, at least not all of it.

Overall the sensation I get from the battle is “we need something for X and Y to do” and that speaks for half the people in it. Story wise I can see that many of the characters just needed to get out of the way so the ones with actual stakes here could get on going: Nanoha with Vivio, Fate with Jail… and that’s it really. I know, what about the others? Well their tales are so self-contain that removing them would not affect the main event. And yes, is a matter of perspective and many people love the new arrivals but if I have to say the plot was to stop the Craddle and Jail then we have a bit of filler that really isn’t needed.

4th Dimension's picture
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Hayate was personally in charge of the Cradle fight. That was her prime objective and the greatest threat to the Midchilda. Effectively she was only able to command the forces outside of the Cradle. And she was certainly in command there. It was her idea to focus on suppressing and containing the Gadgets around the Cradle and not let them through (episode 21) while the Air Force Assault team + Stars team disables the Cradle from the inside. We also see multiple flashes of her seemingly directing people and finally when time starts running short and she decides she has to enter the Cradle too we see her ordering people and then passing command on someone else. So yeah she was in direct command of that part of the fight. We didn't see much of it, except for the effects, but she was in command.

Well if you want to be extra reductionist the entire last fight was pretty much Nanoha/Vivio and Cradle affair. The entire thing about the Fate/Jail connection and how he had a hand in her creation (no he did not) felt forced. Actually it's Jail+Numbers+TSAB problems that were supposed to be focus of the season. I personally don't give a F about the Numbers and their hax powers but they were the focus of the season. Again Lutecia and Erio & Caro part felt worse, in particular because they used that annoying stupid way of forcing a fight via mindcontrol and I hate mindcontrol. And in the end they don't even really fight that fight but knock her on the head and run. The entire mind control angle was really not necessary other than make my blood boil with hatred for Quattro.