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.
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. ^_^
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?