Yuri Anime: Lyrical Nanoha A’s (English)

May 7th, 2009

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.

Ratings:

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!

 

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9 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I must admit that while on the first viewing of Nanoha some of the “service” focus was a bit alarming; I found that once I fell into the prudent course of fast forwarding through the transformations it is a lot more palatable in that respect. And really that’s a must for Magical Girl shows and proper time management, disturbing nudity aside.

    In the end maybe my threshold for being able to skip the parts that don’t agree with me and file it under JiFU may be a bit higher than most. But I cannot agree with Erica enough that there is a lot of great fun in Nanoha, especially if you’ve got a good eye for the fast forward. I can’t wait to add ‘Strikers to my collection. –Jst

  2. Itanshi says:

    It’s a shame I have to enjoy a series for less than the sum of its parts, but it’s even worse becoming numb to things that should otherwise alarm. Still, with the numbness aside and the fear of missing something wonderfully enjoyable, I found this series quite a bit of fun and I enjoy writing fan fiction for it and it’s parts. Mahou Senki Lyrical Nanoha: Force has begun. 25 year old Nanoha and a rather angry looking Hayate. Good times.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ive always been puzzled by your usage of LFB.

    What about girls who like the kind of stuff thats considered LFB?

    And what if some guys dont like that kind of stuff.I know guys that like stuff that wouldnt be considered that.

    It just seems very judgemental.

  4. @Anonymous – the word “otaku” is judgemental. It means the creeoy guy in the corner who lives in his parent’s basement and collect /fillinthblank/ obsessively.

    A guy who doesn’t like these things is a guy. LFB is for guys who DO like stuff that makes the average person feel icky. LFGs are the equivalent for females, the equivalent of “fujyoshi”.

    And Loser FanErica is me, for everything I like that makes other people roll their eyes and cringe. :-)

  5. Mara says:

    It is interesting to note that those who say they dislike loli so strongly seem to have psycomu guidance for picking it out in shows.

    Sometimes I wonder if the ladies doth protest too much, but who cares.

    A’s is also the series where Arf has any significant screen time. Did Fate have to put her down between A’s and Strikers?

  6. @Mara – It’s safer to say that a lot of “Yuri” is tied up with loli, since both are popular fetishes. anyone who knows me know I dislike children strongly. Even animated.

    Arf appears more in the first season than in this or StrikerS. In Strikers she appears only a few times, mostly as a guardian to Vivio.

  7. Anonymous says:

    @Erica – Actually, the doggy creature guarding Vivio in StrikerS is Zafira. Arf only appears once in my memory, very briefly in chibi form floating around in the Infinite Library behind Yuuno. Sadly, she was basically cut from StrikerS except for that one cameo…

  8. @Anonymous. You are quite correct, my mistake.

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