Yuri Anime: Nanoha StrikerS – End of Season Report

September 17th, 2007

Yahoo! Whoo-ee! Yeeha!

Those are bascially my reactions to the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS anime, as the season draws to a close.

I’m so happy to have a totally formulaic, predictable magical/fighting/fantasy/scifi series with every single freakin’ cliche’ possible, that doesn’t suck.

With the understanding that I am usually in the minority about Nanoha, since the things I like are not the things everyone else likes, I’m going to say that this anime was pure win, from beginning to end.

I love that Nanoha, Fate and Hayate are now grownups (well, almost, from my perspective,) that they all have totally alternative families that are, nonetheless, very loving and caring, and that they all kick royal ass in every direction. Let’s take a moment to point out that, for all the cliches, Fate, Nanoha, Hayate, Subaru, Teana, or any of the leads are definitely not the typical idiot savant hero/ine that I have come to loathe in anime. All of them are competent because – as we see – they practice until they collapse. Every day. This is refreshing, no matter how many times it’s used.

I appreciate that the gloating freak Scaglietti was doing his duty as the “gloating crazy bad guy” and I even approved of the giant red herring in uniform, General Regius. But I wanted there to be more stabbings and a few kickings of the corpses…oh well. I like my revenge hot, what can I say?

The Numbers were good “bad guy’s forces” and Zest was an excellent tragic noble knight (and allowed Signum to dramatically let her hair down.) Quattro was absolutely teeth-grindingly annoying and her long-anticipated “befriending” was worth the long anticipation.

Nanoha and Fate are a couple. There is nothing that will convince me that they are not, despite the utter caginess of the writers. Because ambiguity sells, I know. But my gaydar is exceptional and I trust it. And I have the advantage of actually living with another woman for almost a quarter of a century and you know – it looks a lot like that. Without the magical kid or the uniforms.

Giant doomsday weapon? Check? Massive “zOMG!” powerups? Check. Final confrontations with loved ones? Check. Tears and sacrifice and epic music? Check.

This has all the bells and whistles and the *only* thing that could possibly make it better – and no, I don’t expect, or even hope we’d ever get it – would be a kissful reunion between Fate and Nanoha at the end. Because that would make it perfect – and you just know how the anime industry hates the thought of that.

There was one negative thing and it did make me a bit stabby. When Quattro revealed the reason the Numbers were all female, yes, it pissed me off. Because you know women are really only good for service and babies. Obviously.

Here’s my response:

Dear Men of Japan,

Every year for like 30 years you have been voted the worst lovers in the world. Have you ever wondered why?

No one else has.

Sincerely,

***

I’m just saying…

Anyway, other than that one thing, StrikerS for the win.

Oh, and Tea should get some serious promotion for taking on 4 Numbers at once and prevailing.

In fact, the writers did do a good job of giving everyone screen time. Even Erio and let’s face it, how many of the pervs fans of this series are shota fans? Like 2? But there was something for everyone, really. Varying degrees of moe from the young to the old (19…old…cough).

This is me sobbing from relief. Adult females, in uniform. Who are competent and kick ass. It’s heaven, I tell you. One episode from the end of the season and I wish StrikerS never ends. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – sometimes better than others, but overall – 7
Story – nary a cliche missed – 8
Characters – there were a LOT of them, surely there was *something* you liked – 9
Yuri – 5
Service – 8 in the earlier episodes, settling to 5 in the later

Overall – 9

MVP for the series has to be Eisen, Vita’s device. He’s like “Yay! Let’s go smash and kill things!” He’s a German warhammer, what else would you expect?

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11 Responses

  1. Ayman says:

    Lol, I love your review, I am actually going to give that thingy a try, I mean I really liked the mahou shoujotai one so maybe, just maybe…

    As for gender and sexuality in japanese anime… Well from time to time you have gems like Simoun that really challenge our definition and then on the other hand you have those lolicon stuff. I just can’t get used to those, I have just seen some screenshots in another blog of Kodomo no jikan… Good lord…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad someone else liked this series. None of my friends liked it.

  3. Hafl says:

    What, there is no increase in LFB rating for Signum’s hair? It was the second best part of the episode, after Vita and Eisen.

    Also, I completely agree with this review.

  4. ayman – thanks for the kind words. I remember the days when characters were drawn to look older and more cool and sexy thatn they could possibly be at 16, so I await the days when the pendulum swings back that way. :-)

    anaynous – get new friends, clearly.

    half – Oh, yes, Signum with her hair down was indeed a high point. Remember that moment in Clueless when Alicia Silverstone shakes her hair out and the male lead goes all bug eyed and speechless? That’s me for women who wear their hair up and take it down, too. :-) Happily, my wife does that every night. lol

  5. Dragonkitty says:

    My friends aren’t so bad, they just want ALL of the anime they watch to mean something, or to be stellar.

  6. Subaru says:

    So sad that the series is coming to an end..So quickly too.. :(

    But I still enjoyed it! I would probably have to say its my favourite anime I’ve watched so far.. (Tied With Strawberry Panic).

    Each episode exciting in some way!
    The characters were well made!

    Subaru Nakajima is miiiiine! XD

  7. Anonymous says:

    That was a good review. I like how the anime got a 9 even though it so wasn’t the average of the numbers. Although personally I kinda agree with your ratings :) I hope they do more seasons… perhaps with actual kissing cause we all know they want to.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ah, I can’t believe I missed this review when it was first posted! I’ve been bummed by the onslaught of negative comments about the show from everywhere I turn. It sapped away at my enthusiasm and enjoyment of the show. >
    I could definitely use another season of Nanoha, Fate, Hayate and the others kicking more butt. :) Oh and more Nanoha and Fate (and Vivio!) happy goodness. XD

  9. KyaniteD says:

    I saw you made this one Okazu’s anime of the year ’07. Hoping that’s a more or less responsible recommendation, I have only one question: Is the loli-prequel needed for any kind of deeper insight?

  10. rummyryu005 says:

    I think my favorite moment during this series was the part when Nanoha and Fate were at training and Vivio came to see them and fell…or maybe it was the part where Nanoha woke up early and Vivio was reaching for her, and Nanoha ended up scooting Vivio to Fate and the two of them cuddled…I can’t really pick but those moments made me felt all warm and fuzzy inside lol…

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