Spring 2007 Anime Season: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS

April 16th, 2007

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:

Why, I ask you, does Hayate own a bed big enough for the three of them? (Four if you count Reinforce, which I don’t.)

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.

Ratings:

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…

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8 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wasn’t aware that “adult” was a fetish. Then again, from its rarity in anime/manga/etc you’d think it’s worse than scatology. I can imagine the conversation now: “I don’t mind a few brown showers, but ewww! Don’t get any of those ‘legal age’ freaks near me!”

  2. Yeah…it feels that way these days. I so preferred the days of “oldening” a character, so they looked older, cool, more grown up.

    (Me thinks fondly back on Battle Athletes and Sailor Moon.)

  3. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely adore the Nanoha series and especially love how StrikerS makes them all grown up! The loli thing was kinda squick to me, too, despite my love for the show.

    Nanoha and Fate sharing the bed at the end of episode 3 nearly sent me into fangirly squealing. Save me from my fangirlishness, it’s embarrassing… >
    And no matter what people say, I think Nanoha fell in love with Fate first and it was never a one-sided thing. The first season was all Nanoha being entranced with the girl with beautiful, sad eyes. ^^

  4. You’re right. It’s been a while since I saw any of the original series – and yes, I do remember Nanoha trying to reach out to Fate quite a lot. So, maybe it was just time, distance and cynicism speaking at the moment. :-)

  5. Zyl says:

    Thanks for the plug, Erica.

    About the ickiness of the henshin scenes, I suppose it could still be considered as being toned down, given that the Nanoha series is a spinoff of the Triangle Hearts H-game which catered to a whole lot of fetishes.

    With reference to the second anon comment, I agree it was fun how ardently Nanoha pursued Fate in the first season. But, very much like a guy, her thrill seems to be in the chase. From A’s onwards, it seems that it’s Fate who is more active in investing in their ‘friendship’. ;)

  6. Always a pleasure, Zyl.

    I didn’t know that about the anime, but it doesn’t make the henshin less icky – I’m never going to be complacent about the idea of fetishizing or eroticizing images of young girls.

  7. Unmei says:

    Just found there is a manga “Nanoha StrikerS – A’s to StrikerS” which tells many events before StrikerS like how Subaru and Tia met, how Fate became Eriol guardian etc.

  8. Yup. Runs in Megami magazine. It covers how the Forwards met, some of Fate’s backstory with Karo and Eriol and Hayate’s trials and tribulations. Then it continues after the formation of Section Six. :-)

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