There are many, many good things about Lyrical Nanoha A’s. There are also some bad things – things significant enough that they impact not only my own, but many other people’s enjoyment of this series.
We’ll suffice to say that the lolicon in this series strikes me as problematic. It’s not cute, or sweet; it’s pandering and it is troubling. I spoke at length about some of these issues in my original review of this anime, so I won’t beat it to death again.
Instead, I would like to focus on the positive aspects of this series. Primarily to convince Bruce that bearing with the first season is, really, I swear, worth it. ^_^
This season begins with Nanoha being trained by the Time-Space Administration Bureau, and Fate nearing the end of her punishment for her crimes from the previous season. In order to foster a positive environment for Fate, and to provide her with a functional family model, Admiral Lindy Harlown has adopted Fate and is going to live on Earth for a while, along with her daughter.
While on Earth, a powerful Lost Logia appears, and burns its way through the life energy of a girl the same age as Fate and Nanoha, Hayate. The Book of Darkness, a the Logia is called, manifests four guardians who, along with Hayate, form a surprisingly functional alternative family of their own.
For reasons that are very good on both sides, the TSAB, Nanoha and Fate are placed in direct confrontation with Hayate and her Guardians.
What makes this series good is, simply, that the characters are excellent. There is not one of the Guardians that isn’t likable, honorable and respectable. Vita’s a fun bundle of righteous anger, Shamal is cool and Mom-like, Signum is awesome embodied, and Zafira’s a good dog. There is no Prescia, no Jail Scaglietti here (okay, well, there is for like thirty seconds, but it’s a dumb plot complication that is made to go away practically as quickly as it appears) – just a tremendous, tragic conflict between opponents both equally matched and equally worthy. Of course we are never REALLY in doubt that Nanoha will befriend and “befriend” her opponents…and this time we’re so very, very glad she does. In fact, I kinda wished she had defeated them sooner, so we could spend more time just playing around together.
So, Bruce, I promise, if you can just manage to make it through the first half of the first season, it gets *so* much better. And this season is miles better than the first. Plot and character-wise, at least.
Yuri-wise, this is probably the least of the three seasons, mostly because just about as soon as Nanoha and Fate have even a second together, they are hard at work saving the universe. But, delusional as I am, I see it anyway. ^_^
I still think that the best characters are the Devices, something that has not changed no matter how many times I watch this series. I just love Graf Eisesn’s enthusiasm for smashing things, Raising Heart’s gung-ho supportiveness and Bardiche’s cool competence.
Technically, I have any number of issues with the Funimation translation, but meh, don’t feel like complaining. It’s a great series with great characters and some stuff that isn’t so great.
Art – 8
Character – 8
Story – 8
Yuri – 3
Service – 8
Overall – 8
My sincere and repeated thanks to newly promoted Okazu Superhero Amanda M! I just adore this series and cannot thank you enough for sponsoring this review of it. As much as watching it still makes me feel a little icky, I don’t care – I’m gonna keep watching it. lol Please email me at your earliest convenience to get your shiny new gold Superhero badge!