The most truly interesting thing about this book, Higa Yukari’s Mahou Senki Lyrical Nanoha Force Collection (緋賀ゆかり 魔法戦記リリカルなのはForce画集) is the paralyzing crisis of conscience it gave me. ^_^;
I’m in Japan in October 2013 and I see it on the shelf of Animate and I say “Ooh!” and reach for it. Then I pull my hand back, because I know the audience of the Nanoha franchise is not me and I’ve been reading Mahou Senki Lyrical Nanoha Force and I know what the art in Nyantype (the magazine in which Force runs) is like. This book is bound to be a disappointment, I know this.
And then we go to another bookstore and I see it on the shelf and I say “Ooh!” and reach for it. Then I pull my hand back, and I go through the whole conversation with myself again.
The fourth or fifth time I went through this charade my wife was giving me the old “Just BUY it already” but I’m shaking my head and explaining that I know the audience of the Nanoha franchise is not me and…
The last time I went through this process, I actually had the book in my hand and was on line to buy it, but talked myself out of it. I knew what would be in there…pictures that made me sad. Sigh. I put it back on the shelf and left Japan. When I came home I put this artbook into my shopping cart on Amazon JP and there it has sat, for order after order after order, going through the same monologue every time.
So, finally, I bought it. And, as expected, the audience of the Nanoha franchise is not me and it is all very Nyantype. Plenty of naked or nearly naked girls for thems as like that, and lots of group shots for the covers of Mahou Senki Lyrical Nanoha volumes.
In a nutshell, the big negative negative is that there just isn’t a great Fate/Nanoha shot in this book. There are a few side-by-sides and back-to-backs, some bath shots, but nothing that fills the gaping hole where one really fabulous Fate x Nanoha picture should live. (There’s been a few over the years, I don’t see why we shouldn’t get one from Force.)
On the positive side Higa Yukari’s art is **fantastic.** I mean, “wow, that’s an awesome picture” fantastic. Barrier jackets and weapons look better than they ever have before. The book is super thick, so if you like the group shots (and are interested in the specific composition of those pieces, and the devices, this has got a lot to look at. If you like drawings of fictitious naked girls, you’ll be well served, as well. Also some really service-y drawings of Toma, which struck me as more silly than sexy. The sexiest thing in this book is Raising Heart in her grazillion forms.
Overall – 7
I don’t regret it, but I stare at it wistfully, wishing it just had one really excellent NanoFate picture.