Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

16 September 2008: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. What a mess

Ginga, Subaru, Teana, Elio, and Caro
Yup, that's the kind of show you're in, sister.

I've finally resumed watching Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. I've already heard all the usual complaints about the series and know most of the spoilers, so I'm pretty much only watching out of general principle.

SEELE comes out of left field.

This latest Nanoha installment really isn't very good. There are too many new characters, and the antagonists aren't interesting, and the extended focus on training episodes really does get rather tedious. But despite all that, the real problem I have with StrikerS is that it doesn't make any God damn sense.

Zest and Agito
Why is TSAB fighting the evil, "Mirror, Mirror" cast of Hand Maid May?
(You know, from the alternative universe where Spock has a beard.)

I'm willing to play fast and loose with the "rules" in a magikal girl anime, but the elements that don't necessarily have anything to do with propping up the story shouldn't just be arbitrary. For example:

  • Why is this huge metropolis a ghost town? It makes it convenient for the good guys to fight robots in an urban environment with lots of buildings getting torn up without the hassle of civilians on the battlefield or the possibility that anyone might get hurt. But yeah, post-rapture/zombie-apocalypse WASTELAND, this city is.
  • Is the Time and Space Administration Bureau a military organization or not? Because their rank structure is completely FUBAR—as are their customs and courtesies. People salute at random ass times and half the time don't drop their salutes, standing rigidly with their hands glued to their foreheads while the people they're saluting have their backs turned and don't even know they're being saluted. Plus there's a lot of backtalk.
  • Why are these yahoos out in the field when they haven't completed their training? Didn't they watch The Empire Strikes Back?

Nanoha and Fate
At least Nanoha and Fate are better parents than Eureka.

Then there's just the random assortment of unrelated problems I have with the show:

  • 15 episodes down and I still can't see Subaru as a girl. I suspect I never will. The closest she got to appearing feminine was when she and Teana were doing mundane work in a cubicle farm and chattering like office ladies.
  • Vivio is horrible. She's not as bad as the Eureka 7 children, but she's still ghastly.
  • Holy crap, they talk a lot on this show. Someone's always going on trying to explain some nonsense that doesn't really matter.
  • I can't accept Kyon/Chrono. Chrono was a little bitch before, but it's better than being a TSAB pinhead.
  • I liked Hayate better when she was in a wheelchair. Is that wrong?
  • Nanoha-mama and Fate-o-mama? Terrible idea. Whoever thought up that idea needs to go choke himself.

Nanoha, Fate, and Vivio
It's just that Vivio is a horrible kid.

Part of me sincerely wishes Vita had killed Nanoha in episode one of A's, with Fate arriving too late to save her but still in time to clutch her still-warm corpse. And then A's could have been about FEITO losing her mind, hunting down and brutally butchering the Velka knights while useless TSAB pinheads desperately try to get her under control and end her reign of terror with impotent lines such as, "Killing more people won't bring Nanoha back, Fate!"

Vivio. Seriously, she's awful.

Alas, it was not meant to be, but A's turned out to be pretty good all the same. I don't know if there is really any way they could have saved StrikerS, but if pressed I'm just going to volunteer some manner of Triangle Heart sequel or tie-in to acknowledge that OVA series as canon.

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