On the one hand, it is a reasonably enjoyable boy’s version of a magical girl anime, but on the other hand it’s the kind of things that loli fetishists like. It’s not really cute or sweet – in fact it’s a bit grim and dark, which I quite like – and the fight scenes are okay. But if I were a bottom feeder who couldn’t admit that I’d never sleep with an actual adult female…I’d probably say the same things.
Which is why I’m torn. I feel dirty even enjoying this series marginally. The yuckiest thing is the girls’ new henshin. While I don’t mind nude transformation scenes, I *do* mind these. They are not as utterly repusive as the Ultimate Girl henshin, but they are definitely squicky.
Other than that, A’s is actually better than the original Lyrical Nanoha series. For one thing, there’s a plot.
In a nutshell:
An evil book, which creates fake guardian soldiers to protect it and gather power for it, tries to find a new master who will supply it with power, so it can destroy things. Once it has destroyed everything, it moves through space and time and does it all over again. The guardians this time are a tough chick, a smart chick and a goth kid….and the new master-to-be is a likeable disabled girl Hayate, who happens to befriend Nanoha’s friend Suzuka. So you *know* we’re going to have to “believe in” all of them at the end, so the book can either be destroyed or turned good, or something. Let’s face it – we’ll have to all be friends at the end. I’ve got money down that the fake guardians don’t totally disappear, even, because you just *know* Hayate will use the book’s power to give them real life.
Yuri fans will like the fact that Fate and Nanoha are not only reunited in this series, but get to live together – they even have some touching huggy scenes. Personally, I’m watching Signum, because I find practically non-verbal fightin’ adult women with swords more appealing than kids. ^_^
There’s alot more weapons and fighters in this series. Less monsters, more people = good story, in this case.
Art – 8
Character – 7
Story – 6
Yuri – 3
Music – 5
Overall – 6
The best characters this time around, IMHO, are Fate’s and Nanoha’s weapons themselves. Bardiche and Raising Heart have developed strong personalities – and I quite like them. They seem so eager to beat the crap out of the bad guys. ^_^