I was going to wait for a few more episodes before I wrote about Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, but heck, I’ve speculated on less than two episodes, so… (three, now, which made me rewrite a bit in the middle. ^_^)
I was not the biggest fan of the original Nanoha series, but I didn’t hate it, either. It was a perfectly fine, completely derivative magical girl series, without the captivating characters or seiyuu of Card Captor Sakura from whence it came. It also had the unfortunate addition of an extremely distasteful nude transformation scene, which appealed to a particular sector of the anime viewing audience which is not me.
The second series, Nanoha As, had a much stronger story, great characters and even better character development…and that unnecessary henshin. In fact, aside from that one thing, the series was pretty darn good. ^_^
And now Nanoha, Fate and Hayate are all adults (yay!) and in uniform (yahoo!) and all working as commanders in the Time-Space Administration Bureau. I have already joked that after my bitching about the last two series catering to a fetish that is not mine, they sort of lumped a bunch of mine together into one anime, just to shut me up. ^_^
The anime starts with Fate, Nanoha and Hayate working as commanders of three separate divisions of the Time-Space Administration Bureau. After a particularly grueling and difficult rescue operation, Hayate asks the other two to collaborate with her on a new division that would handle all the “other” issues that come up, like Lost Logia retrieval and special rescue coordination. Of course Fate and Nanoha want to be a part of this. And so Nanoha StrikerS begins with the recruitment of several new team members for the new division.
Yuri in Nanoha has always been speculative, and mostly about Fate’s pretty much one-sided feelings for Nanoha. I cannot beat Zyl’s brilliant post on Fate’s feelings, so I won’t try. Episode 3 (which I *just* watched) lets us know that Fate and Nanoha are at least sharing a bed, so I’m rewriting my initial speculation that Fate’s feelings are one-sided, and have now decided to assume that they are an established couple. I’m glad to see that, honestly. It makes me happy to think that. (And really, as commanders, they should easily be able to afford their own places, so if they are not only living together, but sharing a big, pluffy bed, I think we have to assume it’s not just “roommates.”)
There’s the easily pairable new recruits Subaru and Tiana. Time will tell if they have something more than just a strong partnership. Personally, I see no yuri there, but they touch each other, so fandumb will undoubtedly pair them up. ^_^
Let me suggest, just for fun, an unreasonable, yet amusing, alternative. Not a pair, but a troika. Hayate does not pop as a Yuri candidate, (unless one looks back and considers her history of forming a household with her female knights Signum, Shamal and Vita, and makes a few illogical leaps.) Instead, let me offer this unreasonable piece of “proof” as all we in Yuri fandom call it:
I invite you to think about it at your leisure. ^_^
Send the fanfic links to the Yuricon Mailing List. ;-)
And there’s always Signum who, with her lack of social skills and intrinsic butchiness always pings my gaydar.
Other random thoughts about this anime: The second law of thermodynamics need not apply for this series, thanks. And I really like all the sentient weapons. They have consistently been one of my favorite things in the series.
Art – I quite like it – 7
Story – Remains to be seen, but I have high hopes – 6
Characters – The More the Yurier – 8
Yuri – 6 (upped after the “incontrovertible proof” in Ep. 3 that Fate and Nanoha sleep together.)
Service – 5
Overall – 7 with potential for better.
Adult women in uniforms…me so happy…