ViVid Strike! Ep06

You know what time it is. It’s time to start another magical martial arts tournament.

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[VividTrans] ViVid Strike! – 06 (1280×720 x264 AAC)

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61 Responses to ViVid Strike! Ep06

  1. Carthienes says:

    It rather looked like Rinne’s Hyper-defence only works if she has time to brace herself – almost as if she has replicated Vivio’s Scared Defender (without Vivio’s reaction time) and layered it over a much more powerful barrier jacket. So it was not Miura dropping defence or focusing offence that was stupid so much as the fact that she telegraphed her move a minute in advance, so clearly that even I saw it coming.

    Then again, I’m only guessing, but it could be interesting if her strengthened ‘Armour of Muscles’ ends up crippling her reaction time. That truly would make her Vivio’s opposite.

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  2. Carthienes says:

    No Problem.

    Although, It might take me a while to work through that and piece a proper reply together. I think I’ll take your advice and break it down into more focused replies.

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  3. 4th Dimension says:

    We can hope it does have some actual weakness.

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  4. 4th Dimension says:

    Take your time. E have time untill next episode gets posted here.

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  5. 4th Dimension says:

    BTW I found the soundstages dubbed: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4hWnvUUkL_k0f9ayGA-Oiw
    Listened/watched StrikerS 01 SS and highlights include StrikerS visiting Earth and Hayate complaining she can not grope her underlings 0_o

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  6. Carthienes says:

    Subsection One, Magical Attacks & Damage, and Crash Emulate

    4th Dimension said:
    “Magical vs Physical damage. If it was only magical damage we would not get cases even in Vivid where the competitors get cuts and their bones broken. So clearly there is a physical component. And that was present even back in As. Remember Signum remarking how Fate’s speedster form was dangerous because any attack from Signum that connects would end her? But then again Fate basically completely dropped her barrier to be able to go FAST. Better example would be first Vita vs Nanoha where Nanoha was not only drained of stamina due to magical attacks but was visibly physically hurt and Yuno had to place her under a healing dome. Yes barriers/barrier jacket of even middling mages should be able to basically shrug off RPGs, but I think what happens is that the writers often forget that little tidbit. They want for their characters to be ridiculously sturdy so that as the result of attacks they can be punched through walls with no ill effect, AND they want hammers, swords and punches to work. On the other hand we do have the proof that magic users do get buffed by their magic and are able to perform enormous feats of physical strength. Like Miura lifting weights that are probably couple times her mass or Nanoha carrying a ton of battle equipment with no problem in Force. Ehhh. In the end I think that ViVid and Strike are working more on rule of cool than trying to fit themselves in the established mechanics. Which annoys me greatly.

    If supposedly the Crash Emulator is on, which is unbelievable to me since in Vivid one of the reasons Sig was terror was that fact that is she cut loose she could at times overwhelm the CE. I find it hard to believe Rinne is in the same league as Sig, but I wouldn’t put it past the creators to pull such shit. Still if there is a player that regularly breaks through CE or if CE is off they had to have added a system that would detect potential carrier ending strikes and block them. And it’s not like they don’t have the tech for it.”

    Limiting attacks to magical damage should, in theory, prevent direct physical damage – the key word being direct. When Nanoha fought Vita, she got smashed through a solid concrete wall – regardless of what type of damage Vita’s attacks were doing, that wall was a physical object and Nanoha was serving (however briefly) as a physical projectile. The resultant damage was physical, though quite small compared to the magical fatigue that came from Vita repeatedly slamming Graf Eisen into her.

    If I am reading things correctly (again, I don’t actually know the full rules of Nanohaverse magic, I’m just extrapolating) Magical Attacks can (don’t have to, but can) be set to do Magical Damage. Purely magical damage only affects magical constructs (like barrier jackets and conjured golems), but this includes magic-users (and even non-magic users?) to an extent. The damage must overwhelm the target’s defences, but will then knock them out rather than breaking their body (if there is also physical damage involved though…). That is why Nanoha could throw enough power to level a skyscraper at Fate without ending her, and why the city was not levelled by the Book of Darkness rampage in A’s (remember those Starlight Breakers?)

    I think (and here we are moving into more theoretical territory) that if the magical blast overwhelms the target’s defences, it directly damages their mana pool (effectively inflicting magical fatigue) and if their mana runs dry, this spills over into physical fatigue (not unlike what happened to Hayate when the Book of Darkness tried draining her Linker Core) – although many characters have noted that spell-casting can be physically fatiguing, so maybe there would be some spill-over regardless – and, obviously, if your physical fatigue runs dry you pass out. Also, tieing back to what happened to Hayate, it seems likely to me that at the extreme end of the spectrum excessive magical damage could spill over into fatal physical consequences, but you would still die before purely magical damage started smashing bones. Note the concern Amy showed in the first season when Nanoha unveiled her Starlight Breaker: “Can even Fate survive that?”

    Which ties nicely into the Crash Emulate System – I think we have different ideas on what it actually is and does. In Chapter 27 of the Vivid Manga (episode 9 of the Anime) during the match between Hallie and Els, Hallie blasts her own arm and prompts Chantez to ask why it caused such pain because “Magical damage shouldn’t be causing injuries” – which is an excuse for the other competitors to info-dump on the audience that the Crash Emulator simulates serious injuries that the contestants were judged to have sustained. Which lead me to conclude that the Crash Emulator does not prevent injury (that is what the contestants are using magic for) but simulates the injuries the contestants would sustain if they had not kept their magic safely set to stun. Seiglinde was a terror because her most powerful magic was eraser class (this being the first time it is introduced, along with ‘breaker’ class, so naturally it is the most powerful there is) and consequently cannot be dialled back – it always deals full physical and magical damage. It ‘goes through’ the emulator in the sense that it inflicts genuine injuries that do not need to be emulated.

    Yes, in A’s (and the previous season also) we are shown combatants suffering from genuine physical injuries, but at no point would I claim that magic cannot do physical damage, but rather that magical damage is not in and of itself physically damaging. In a genuine battle, one could be forgiven for cutting loose and unleashing potentially lethal attacks. I prefer to think of it as a spectrum – like the confusingly-named ‘barriers’ of the first two seasons pushing everything half a dimension over, so that the contents can not interact with the physical world (normals disappear), I think of magic as having a setting that controls how much ‘in phase’ it is with our physical world, and so how greatly it can interact with (and potentially damage) it. Of course, the magical glow of magic in motion always betrays it’s presence (probably because it is being moved by someone solidly physical, so must have at least a noticeable presence, even if not a tangible one).

    I do realise, however, that mages can significantly enhance their physical attributes – Rio’s ‘Powered System’ is explicitly described as different from Vivio’s Adult Mode because it is “Basically body strengthening magic” which just happens to make her a little bigger as a side effect, rather than ageing magic that happens to make her a little stronger. Even though she can toss Goliath about like a rag doll, however, she can punch contestants full in the face without so much as bloodying their noses – the physical damage of that punch is negligible compared to the magical damage she brings with it. Obviously, if she were to punch a normal (i.e., unprotected) person like that she’d take their head clean off. Unless the magical damage knocks them out of the danger zone first.

    All of which really boils down to: there is absolutely no excuse, in universe or out, for the flying blood and gore that this “Winter Cup” seems to accept as a standard. I hope that makes sense.

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  7. Carthienes says:

    Thank you. It’s not all of them, it seems, but it is a start.
    I have tried just listening to them before, but I can usually only get the gist of half of it. Mostly on the basis of what Nanoha I know – My Japanese is awful.

    I also posted part one of my reply below: Magical Attacks, Magical Damage, and Crash Emulate.
    Too Long: Didn’t Read? – They’re three different things. I think. Feel free to break them down a little further, though they are connected (hence the single post).

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  8. Carthienes says:

    Subsection Two: Nerfing the Nanohaverse

    4th Dimension said:
    “Oh Vivid basically nerfing the world shown in StrikerS which was basically sci-fi futureland based on magitech into basically today’s world based on magitech is another one of those things that I did not like about Vivid. Hell the whole rigmarole with Rinne’s grandfather would probably have been averted since I doubt a high tech society like in StrikerS that made GOD DAMNED CYBORGS possible would have problems treating a failing pump.
    As for the fights, again I agree, at least in Vivid the fights were suitably flashy and there were sufficient amount of different styles present to keep us entertained. As for why the airjousting was dropped. I guess they did not intend it. The original plan was for the Force to be the main continuation featuring the combat as we knew it, which it did even if the protagonist had to change gear) while Vivid was supposed to be a more down to the ground muted affair. Which was probably the reason for the changes to the background city. They wanted to make it a bit more homely and familiar. Unfortunatelly the Force bombed (I was kind of fine with it and my greatest issue with it were the stupidly writer fiat OP antagonists, I could write more but for now I’ll leave it at this) and they got the idea that the market wants is more fanservicey ViVid stuff. Which might as well be the truth in Japan, knowing their preference for moe bullshit.
    As for the shields and barriers (barriers are semisphere or sphere things protecting in all directions, while shields are discs that are used to deflect attacks from one dirrection) in the original we saw shields really often. Every time one of the characters got attacked and knew attack was coming you could bet she would put up a shield. Barriers on the other hand are a rarer occurrence. One time I remember they were used was when Fate and Nanoha had to protect their friends from Eins’s Starlight Breaker. Those bubbles looked like barriers. Also the defense Subaru had to break to get to her sister in the finale resembled a barrier I think. I guess barriers are being generated by the artifact around the wearer by default. The clothes are only there for show, which would make sense considering for example what Fate wears.
    But in Vivid and certainly in Strike I don’t remember anyone using shields to defend. I guess one advantage of giving over the defense to your artifact is the fact that you don’t have to put up your hand to stop an attack. Another dissadvantage of shields might be that they might prevent you from counterattacking your opponent. So the current meta is that it’s better to physically offer some par of your body to the attack and trust on your artifact to protect you while you immediately counterstrike.”

    The change in cityscape I can cope with – it looks rather like they moved from City Central to a gentle suburb, which is quite tolerable for the most part. The aesthetic of the Saint Church and it’s school ties perfectly in with what was shown in Strikers, and the rest of the buildings shown are closer to that aesthetic than the Strikers Headquarters – not a particularly stupid move on anyone’s part, and not particularly unbelievable. Not my favourite element of Vivid (to put it mildly), but certainly not bad enough to break immersion, and we did get flashes of higher magitech in Vivid. Although it seems that even that token concession was taken out for Strike. Not just the magitech, but the magic in general. It seems as if some evil mastermind has erased all knowledge of spells other than “Change Clothes”.

    The tech level not being able to cope with the grandfather’s failing heart is more believable than most of this psuedo-plot, however. We never actually find out what is really wrong with him, or how old he is. It looks likely that he is suffering from complications from multiple conditions, and it is possible that the doctors have trouble curing one without making the others worse (a common enough medical complaint), or perhaps he is allergic to magic? Of course it is also possible that he is simply to stubborn to accept a cybernetic heart, or put things off too long; though it does seem a little odd when the original season of Nanoha appeared to establish that multi-centerians are the norm. Not to mention the truly horrific injuries that we have seen mended – then again, Nanoha getting impaled from behind was not a condition that could be healed – she just got therepy in the hopes that it might encourage her body to recover naturally. So as far as issues go, Grandfather Berlinetta’s death seems a rather minor one. It is a required part of the plot, and we don’t actually see enough of it for it to break immersion with the world presented so far.

    The variety of combatants and combat techniques in Vivid certainly helped keep things interesting. It would be impossible to visualise a character’s fighting style before actually seeing it in action – even if they are similar to an old one, they are all unique. Rinne seems to charge in, fists flying with seething hatred, and prefers to end it with a slam. Predictable to a fault (which would certainly explain something of how Vivo beat her). No other new character is seen doing more than flailing, except Fuuka who is a retextured Einhart. To be honest, I’d have to be interested in the characters to dig any further than that.

    No airjousting in Vivid does make perfect sense, given the shortage of mages that can fly and fight, and we have a tournament for all-comers. It was not a question as to whether ground duels were appropriate, or even a good idea, but whose dumb idea it was to fabricate a premise that more-or-less eliminates the possibility of the alternative? Thrusting it all onto a bombing Force, and then migrating Force’s bombing aspects to the Vivid sequel gets stupider than stupid (And if they got the idea that people wanted more of the fanservicey, Vividy, not-Forcey stuff, why’d they ditch the Vivid style in favour the worst elements of the Force style?). At least in Vivid we had the training camp to make up for things somewhat. Definitely my favourite segment of Vivid so far. Perhaps Team Nakajima should consider signing up for an ariel tournament – the Spring Joust, perhaps? It would give Vivio an exciting chance to teach Einhart all about punching people in mid-air. She seems to have some flight experience, but both flying and combat have been repeatedly stated to get several notches more tricky if you try both at once. Hence the scarcity of flying combat mages.

    As for shields and barriers, there was actually an overview of the difference in the Strikers manga: http://www.mangareader.net/magical-girl-lyrical-nanoha-strikers/2/11 . Seems to only cover personal defence types, which gets confusing when spells that knock a whole area half a dimension over are also referred to as barriers, but if you ignore that: a barrier is a solid layer of magical energy that blocks attacks, as opposed to a sheet of opposing energy that reflects attacks. Barriers are described as more common (Protection, Defeser, and Panzer Hidernis being the main examples from the first two seasons), and is in fact the first spell Nanoha casts – Yuuno then tells her that it is one of her two basic magic types (the other being basic attacks) that is cast by wishing with all her heart. Which makes sense given how they are used – after Nanoha learns the round shield spell for her final fight against Fate, she seems to favour it (perhaps shields are stronger? Or more likely to save you even if they fail {partial redirect}?), but uses protection when she needs a barrier at the last moment and does not have time to cast a spell. The shortage of barriers in Vivid may relate to the close-combat focus – shooting spells can be directed around your own shield. Although when Subaru and Ginga fought, both were maintaining barriers and punching the other’s barrier at the same time so, not a very good excuse that one.

    Also, I forgot an example in Vivid – Lutecia’s Reflect Mirage was a set of shields used to channel an escalating volley of magical bullets into the target. Shields being used in an attack role, for once; but the only defensive use I recall is still Nanoha blocking Subaru in training. The only real excuse I can think of is ease of redirect, but Nanoha was shown redirecting leverage with shields so…

    Definitely something missing if this is the same world as Nanoha; and I’m not talking about the White Devil herself.

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  9. 4th Dimension says:

    I still think we have slightly different thoughts about how all this works, although we agree on the last point. But then again dissagreement is fine since I think the ruleset was changed, no modified, over time to allow for new things. Thus rules of the past do not exactly fit the situation in the present. Especially with the introduction of ViVid which focused more on physical things.

    Anyway on to the reply.

    IMHO Magic is a tool, and as such it can be used for whatever the user wants. You can certanly kill people with it if you set your mind to it, but also if you are carefull you can craft attacks that do not inflict permanent physical damage (stamina is not counted under this). In StrikerS after the “White Devil Incident” Shamal notes to Teana that she is fine and will suffer no lasting consequences because “Nanoha’s bullets were finely crafted/made”.

    But if we are talking about such nonlethal/non physically damaging attacks (These are thrown about by Nanoha, later Fate and TSAB personell. In As Wolkenritter might not have only used these since their only limitation was that they wanted their targets alive to a) drain and b) fulfill their oath that they will not kill to save Hayate. Also while nonlethal and not causing physical consequences (brusing, cutting breaking) are not exactly the same I will use nonlethal to mean the later.

    A nonlethal magical attack hits another person it first has to overcome the shield if there is one, in process the target will drain it’s own mana in an effort to deflect the attack. Shields are extra efficient at deflection and as such you might not need nearly as much mana to deflect an attack as the attacker needed to launch it. If the shield breaks or if it is not present the barrier is hit. I will roll barier and barrier jacket into one. The device most likely reacts by boosting the barrier in an attempt to stave off the attack by pouring mana into it. Barrier is less efficient than the shield at defense since it profides all around protection and as such more mana will probably be used to stop an attack than was put into it in the first place. This is the part where if this is a long term directed channeled attack the attacker can overwhelm their opponent and erase their mana pool.

    Using up all this mana is probably tiring a lot, and at first I thought that at this point the device might, as a last resort to try and save it’s user, try draining his stamina and use that to stave off the attack. But that would make such nonletahl attacks nonuseable against muggles. So what I think happens is that the barrier breaks and the magical attack can not inflict stamina damage making the target drowsy and effectively KOing them nonlethaly.

    If we were to follow these rules to the letter than one should expect that in the original as the result of Nanoha’s attack Bardiche and her jacket would have been unsummoned, since Fate would lack the power to sustain them, but I guess the system has a safety system where the defice will allways seek to remain on with the barrier jacket system even if it needs to premit an attack through. This is to protect the user from secondary/colateral damage and save his life. Colateral damage? If you are on the first floor of a building and I hit you with a BIG nonlethal attack that blows away you and the supports of the building. You will be fine due to my attack, but you will not be fine as a result of a building falling on your head. Same if you are an aerial mage and get defeated. The magical attack might not harm you but terminal velocity impact would if the device was not there and had a last resort reserve to pump into the jacket to prevent damage due to impact with the ground.

    This is if the attack is well constructed to be nonlethal. You can also make it so it inflicts cuts (probably a kinetic variant) or a variety of elemental attacks. And those can inflict permanent wounds.

    As such in the DSAA I disagree that the system basically invents damage that would have been sustained IF the attacks were nonlethal. This would mean that the competitors would need to use special tournament attacks and that is really not the case.
    Mira, the samurai girly, used a sword that when helped by her powers cna cut a bus in half and the witch character used mental attacks and specifically said that in DSAA ANYTHING goes probably since CE is there to protect from the lasting physical harm. Of course the problem is CE was not designed to counter psychological harm a witch can do. CE probably in conjunction with the competitors device (they note during the preparation that the Einhearth needs a device is she is to compete I think) limits the damage output to what can be safely blocked by the barrier jacket which can block both physical and magic attacks. Then CE inflicts probably in conjunction with the device virtual damage on the competotor to simulate the damage.

    As for Chapter 27 it fits my explanation too, and Chantez is surprised because Chantez is generally an uninformed idiot and as such was not aware that her attacks could cause physical effects on targets.

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  10. 4th Dimension says:

    The Book of Darkness, Hayate and the “Barriers”
    The Book of Darkness and Hayate. I disagree that the Book of Darkness was only physically fatiguing Hayate. What was happening was that since her Linker Core was allmost nonexistant (maybe even completely nonexistant ei she would have been a muggle like 99,9% of Earth’s population) when she was bonded to the Book the book had to start draining her lifeforce to sustain itself. This is the reason for her being wheelchair bound. This was of course made worse once the Book figured out it was time to start collecting the pages and activated the Knights which put even more of a burden on her body, threatherning to cut her life REALLY short and prompting the knights to break their promise. (In the manga they were even aware of what happens when the book gets filled so they were planning to only collect enough pages so that Hayate can get admin privileges which would also apparently upgrade her Linker Core). BTW have I ever said how cool it is that the magical organ is called Linker Core. It sounds like something you would find at the hearth of a mech. Definitelly reinforcing the whole “girl that is a gundam” visual theme.

    The while draining health and vitality happened later to Nanoha. Her blaster system is dangerous pretty much because it allows her to probably turn off the safety function of the RH and use the quantities of mana that are not suitable to her Linker Core. As a result of her using the blaster system a lot during her fight aboard the Cradle she lost a percentage of her magical abilities (6% I think).

    “Barriers” and The Book
    The reason the city was not destroyed was because at that time they were inside one of those inaptly named “Barriers” that shift them half a dimension over. Those are one part of the setting that I don’t like looking too much into because I feel the system wouldn’t hold under scrutiny.

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  11. 4th Dimension says:

    Settting: Oh none of those things by themselves are enough to bring you out of suspension, but if I start ranting about things I start looking at the things to nitpick. Also while all of that could be explained, a single line about like magical treatment not working on him would have done wonders to explain things and further push the idea that Strike seems to like to push that not everything is perfect in this magitech world of theirs. Or him declining treatment would be a nice character moment. But fine he had to die and failing hearth is like a goto cause of death in these cases.

    Asthetic: Oh I’m fine with the church and school stuff and Vivid certanly did not shy away from telcom equipment using the holograms (I remember Fate using those to take a call from Teana in shower (who does that?!?!)). My beef was more with downtown using old buildings of the kind you can find on Earth and traffic looking like all of the vehicles are constantly belching fumes. This is in Strike BTW. Hell Berlinettas have an SUV with a prominent GMC logo on the front grill. I guess somebody forgot to tell the artists that this is not happening on Earth?

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  12. 4th Dimension says:

    Bariers and Shields: Oh I know about that difference, when I was talking I was making a short differentiation barriers are for allaround protection and absorb strikes while shelds deflect strikes. My guess on teh difference would be that shields are better (they deflect attacks) and stronger but take more time to set up and can defend in only one direction.

    The lack of either visible in Vivid is probably in my mind due to fact that most of the combatants use their devices to argument their defence adn as such the device is setting these up. Also since they are using actual moves the device can probably be taught to react to certain moves. So putting your hands up into a guard probably causes it to set up a barrier. Plus artistically they don’t fit into the martial arts tournament so they were conveniently forgotten.

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  13. CybeastGregarX says:

    What the hell with these unnecessarily long rants??? Dx

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  14. 4th Dimension says:

    Well you don’t really need to read them if you don’t want to. As we mentioned before we had this thing brewing in our minds for some time and when I realized somebody else was also interested I kind of blew all over this post.

    It’s nice to find somebody to bounce ideas off from.

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  15. Carthienes says:

    Subsection Three – Life Points

    4th Dimension said:
    “LP. Actually I checked the Victoria vs Chantez fight. If the combatants were awarded different LP counts based on their strengths and weaknesses you would expect Victoria to have many more LPs than Chantez. And yet they both started with 15 000 LP. The system on the other hand does have some kind of system to figure out how damaging an attack would be overall that takes into account defense and “toughness”. This again was present in both Chantez’s fight and more importantly in Einhart vs Sig fight where E could not DENT Sig’s LP pool even using attacks that would have one hit KOd other opponents. Now that I think about it giving everyone the same amount of LP and than scaling the damage makes sense, since otherwise you would be giving away info to the opponents on how tough you are.”

    Not a lot to say on this one, so perhaps it would be better to fold in the Crash Emulate – although this all ties in quite closely to the nature of Magic, Attacks and Damage covered above. I will try to stay focussed for now.

    Of course, it makes perfect sense that if LP pools were scaled that way when you put it like that – which is one of the things that I loved about the setting. Things made sense (well, as much sense as flying warmages ever do) in their own context, and things that are not immediately apparent often seem horribly obvious in retrospect or having thought about it properly. It makes me feel rather small and stupid at times when it reveals something that should be obvious. Which only makes it seem harsher when things fly so far off the rails.

    Of course, preventing competitors from gaming the system by revealing more than they should know is only one reason to keep Life Points equal. By judging attacks and damage on the same scale, it gives us a ready idea of the competitors’ relative offensive and defensive strengths, and it avoids the necessity of recalculating each competitor’s LP prior to each match (since training, and possiblely natural growth, could be expected to improve or potentially damage durability). You just need to keep an eye on the damage slipping past the defences, which you have to do anyway. It think not denting Seiglinde’s LP pool has more to do with her exceptional defence than absurd durability, though – Einhart did do noteable damage with the one clean hit she did get.

    Still not seeing a good excuse for excising LP from the DSAA’s rulebook.

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  16. Carthienes says:

    What he said.

    Plus, we kind of migrated from the Issues raised by Vivid Strike to the Issues themselves. Trying to unravel them is proving unexpectedly entertaining by comparison.

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  17. 4th Dimension says:

    While all of them have not yet been uploaded on that YT channel, the missing ones might be found here, since these transcriptions/translations is what those were based on I think:
    https://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=85192

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  18. Carthienes says:

    Subsection Four – StrikerS: Limiters and Numbers

    4th Dimension said:
    “StrikerS and the limiters: Other show would have handled the crew being powerfull by introducing EVEN MORE OP opponents. Since they had defeated an opponent that could end worlds an opponent that could end MULTIPLE worlds. And that is how power creep gets out of control. The fights stay the same but we are informed that this OP bad guy is EVEN MORE OP than the previous OP bad guy. But this way they got to play with the formula. Which is a thing I like about the Nanohaverse that every season had a different thing or even genre going on. The trouble is we have been stuck with only ViVid’s and it’s martial arts tournament genre for too long.
    Yeah the sense that the writers were trying to think how the society that runs on magic would look, while trying to introduce a kitchen sink of ideas (really magical girl robots, really). Like in the original. There are other worlds. Humans live on these worlds and on many of them they know magic. Magic can be dangerous and can leave dangerous artifacts behind. Some of them got scattered on Earth because travel between these worlds is a common thing. Of course there would be a group dedicated to stopping incidents with magical artifacts and that they would come to Earth if shit got real. Plus a chance to throw in a god damned Magical Starship.
    Pretty much my thoughts on Rinne. Her background is interesting, but they are making her fighting style too perfect and with little or no drawbacks for me to be able to believe anyone could take her down if Rinne knows their weaknesses. And certanly not a newcomer Fuka.
    Plus everything that comes out of Jill’s mouth stinks of Social Darwinism.

    I allways took the Numbers (separate from Subaru and Ginga who are also cyborgs but can do spells) to be a magitech attempt by Scallieri to match particular skills of his targets. They suffered from a bit of a crippling overspecialization since their system often gave them only one skill but they were VERY good at it. My main issue with them is not that what they did was unrealistic, they and Scallieri achieved almost complete tactical and strategic surprise over TSAB. Okay I lie, the ability to swim through solid matter is bullshit. My problems are both subjective: that subjectively the plot was putting characters I like into unwinnable situations where the combined abilities of Numbers allowed them to nullify their strengths; and objective: there were simply bloody too many of them and they were simply not interesting, easy to differentiate or likable.”

    Yes, I am folding the two separate exerpts together. I think that it makes more sense than leaving them separated – feel free to disagree.

    A’s did handle the power creep by introducing even more overpowered opponents in the Wolkenritter and the Cursed Book of Darkness, though they handled it a lot better than most series do. It made sense that a pair of young and growing girls yet to reach the peak of their power would not be the most powerful creatures in the universe. Also, it was the cartidge system that truly made the Wolkenritter so overpowered – they made sense in context, almost from the moment they appeared, and had an immediately apparent weakness (the boost is fairly brief – the rest of the time they are just as ‘weak’ as the rest of our cast); not to mention the fact that it is a dangerous technique that can be readily purloined by our protagonists in their hour of need. The power level spiked, without upsetting the setting; and we still get to see the difference. More to the point, it was not sheer raw power that mattered. It gave the Wolkenritter the edge in their first appearance – beyond that, their experience was what really prevented Nanoha and company from overwhelming them before the cartridge system . Both sides were potent and skilled enough to force the other to rely on CVK-792, which actually made for a much more interesting and engaging story than power creep would typically make for.

    In StrikerS they took the opposite approach. The use of power limiters was brought up at the end of A’s (as part of the knight’s restrictions) so does not come out of the blue. Office politics and a desire to conceal their hand make for a perfectly reasonable excuse to deploy them, not to mention that the cast have already been established as unbelievabley powerful – their primary weakness, at this point, is the fact that they only have one body each: they can not act in multiple locations, which is exactly what the Gadget/Relic investigation requires (since they do not know where or when). To enable them to accumulate the numbers they need to offset that one weakness, they gather impressive young hopefuls to guide to power, accepting the limiters which don’t really prevent them doing what they need to do if they can just get to the right place at the right time. Of course, come the final battle they need to split up. So many places to be, so little time to fight. At last the new cast can come into their own. It is an excellent take on a common problem (in writing, that is).

    One of the Successes of Vivid, in line with your comment above, is that it was not a ‘martial art tournament’ – we get a lot of martial arts stuff, since the main characters like it so much, but the toutnament arc is just one arc – most of the time, the Strike Arts (and, indeed, Kaiser Arts) are in the background. Always important, but not quite central. In fact, one of the arcs – Einhart’s main character development arc – is about Einhart coming to that realisation. Not so much with Strike, which cannot seem to get away from it’s obsession with Gore. So much for the Schoolgirl Gundam.

    Strikers did do a good job at portraying a real magically Sci-Fi society, one with it’s own problems and familiar concepts, right down to the jelous non-mages who would give anything for a scrap of innate power. It largely fit together with what we already knew, and things that differed could be explained, or were, or there were enough hints to reassure us that we were wrong. My biggest problem, I think, with the setting was the change to the cartridge system. Not making it comparitively commonplace, especially since it is established that it is the public use of them by the famous three Aces that accounts fo rthe surge in poularity, but the fact that characters seem to pop cartridges with reckless abandon, without experiencing anything like the enourmous power boosts they seemed to get in the first season. It was irritating, but not enough enough to break immersion (especially since I quickly realised that there was no need for all cartridges to contain the same level of boost). Signum had a throwaway line in episode about Nanoha choosing to use the “Then-unreliable cartridge system” (I have also seen it translated as unsafe – either way works) which immediately implies that the system has been modified – and reducing the raw power level makes perfect sense if your goal is a safer, more reliable system.

    Talking of Jealous Non-Mages wanting power, we come to the Numbers. It was supplementally explained that all the Numbers were latent Mages, and the first implant was designed to convert their latent magical energy into electrical, hence why all were able to train as conventional Mages post-Strikers. They never struck me as any particular attempt to copy or counter the Protagonists on Scalietti’s part, though. There was no indication that he realised he would be facing any particular opposition from the Protagonists prior to the railway raid, and he showed particular intrest only in four of them. I have a hard time believing that he spent any significant effort attempting to counter the others previously (and there was little to develop on the Cyborgs by that point)

    Complete Strategic and Tactical surprise can be attributed largely to two factors – Superior Intelligence (which the Combat Cyborgs admittedly helped with) and Sabotage from Within (which would have happened regardless). Given that Scalietti is essentially creating an entire bio-enhancement regime and ‘Magic’ System from scratch, it makes sense that each Number only has one (at most 2) Special powers; which they would naturally specialise in and be really good at (if all you have is a hammer…). Which naturally leads to the problem of crippling overspecialization – like the cartridge system in A’s, they are really powerful, with game-changing potential and a Really obvious Weakness. Being one-trick ponies (though some of them can apply their trick somewhat flexibly, it is still just one trick), if you can put them in a situation where their trick does not apply, they’re helpless. Which happens almost as soon as the protagonists decide to stop toeing the Regius’ line and do what’s right regardless.

    The Crippling Overspecialization also made the Numbers seem unusually powerful when they first appeared. The main characters did not know what to expect, which led to a number of unfortunate losses. It also made them seem rather weak in the second – whilst the Numbers still did not know exactly what to expect from Mobile Section Six (and certainly weren’t expecting that degree of raw power from them), our protagonists knew almost exactly what the Numbers could and couldn’t do. I won’t argue there being to many of them for proper characterisation, though; especially given how limited the antagonists’ screentime was anyway.

    On another note, that final battle was an excellent story, especially given the number of Overpowered characters it introduced into the mix without upsetting the story – showing us a large conflict, one which required a TEAM to act in many places at once and not something that any of our overpowered protagonists could have solved alone. Definitely worth the buildup, and a wonderful example of these things done right. Fast forward a little and…

    They went wrong somewhere.

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  19. 4th Dimension says:

    I wouldn’t at all say Wolkenritter were OP in As. As you say in the first fight it was the cartrige system that gave them the edge, but without it even in the first fight Vita wasn’t showing that much if at all of an edge when going against Nanoha despite her greater experience. As such cartrige system was an excellent way to give an introduction to the opponents that set them up as a serious threat. Especially since at the beginning no one knows who they are and what do they want.
    If anyone was annoying in As it was those twins that kept interfering. Now thir powers made sense, they largely specialized at binds and used them to a devastating effect and together with sleight of hand it made them even more mysterious and powerfull. I hated them for being so unexplained better than the rest and having a third agenda. And that is not to say anything about the rooftop scene, but that is a subjective thing.
    The only truly OP entity in that was the “Book of Darkness” but that was to be expected and was built up towards throughout the season.
    The cartrige system was also good because it further boosted the theme of Girl Gundam by making all these seemingly “magical girls” carry around magazines of catriges and allowed the artists to play around with gun cocking animations and sounds which made things better.

    Yeah the overuse of the system in StrikerS was kind of annoying. For me it was not the problem that everyone was using it, after all the Book of Darkness crysis pretty much demonstrated the superiority of the system so of course it additional funding would be found to do the research of making it safer. Also the Wolkenritter had, albeit Belkan, devices with them that had perfectly well working cartridge systems. Hell even in As the system was not as dangerous by itself the danger was due to the fact that neither the Bardiche nor the RH were constructed to deal with the additional strain it would introduce. It was ptobably a lot easier to construct new Midchildan devices with the goal of using the system than it was to bodge it to the RH and Bardiche in the field.

    Now as to why didn’t the devices come with it if it was so good? Probably because the system did not exist in the first season 😉 . But if we want to think of a reason it might be that since this is a setting where ancient tech is superior to current often it was forgotten somehow. Or it might be that recent stability and peace plus possible added costs made it fall out of favor for peacekeeping and civilian use. That would explain why RH did not have it since RH was purchased by a civilian Yuno. As for Bardiche it might have been a bit beyond the capabilities of Lyinth to add it.

    What annoyed me was that sometimes the catriges were essentially treated as bullets. Prime example, Teanna’s self made pre Cross Mirage device. For some reason that thing needed a cartrige for each shot. Now that I think about it it kind of makes sense since Teana was always portrayed as having much smaller raw power, so at that point in her life she probably lacked the raw strength to form the magical bullets if she was not powering them with the cartriges. Which begs the question how was she even accepted into the military course for the military mages. Possibly she was allowed to try since her brother was an Enforcer, but that was a bit less than likely since he was considered a bit of a disgrace (unreasonably), and then she ran into Subaru and they formed a team that was stronger than the sum of it’s parts.

    Now that I look back, I got the idea of Numbers being copies largely because Nove resembled Subaru so much (because she was made using the same genes), tre’s powers looked like somebody tried replicating Fate’s ridiculous speed, X’s big assed gun looked like someone tred replicating Nanoha’s beams etc. Not really the case. But their skills were rather focused on one thing, which meant if they were properly deployed they could perform as a team with strengh larger than the sum of it’s parts.
    The tactical and strategic surprise was not because of something specific that S did, but was mostly because Riot 6’s very superiors were hiding and funding S’s project. Which was insane to give such autonomy to somebody who had “infinite Desire”, but at the same time Regius and his bosses reasons for funding Scalieri were much more interesting and relatable to me than anything S was ranting about.
    The final battle was good but for me it was a bit spoiled by the fact that it happene on so many fronts for so many episodes and because of that many of the fights lost their impact since we had to jump all over the place constantly. Maybe having the young StrikerS fight as one Team that Teana was leading would have been better.

    Yes the combination of all these characters bouncing off each other, flashy battles and evolving of the Einhearth’s character rescued ViVid for me. In fact I love Eainhearth’s line from when Vivio finally got to her in their “recent” fight at the church, paraphrasing “Thank you, I will put all my feelings into my fists, please accept them” (* in your face *). Such a Nanoha line.
    When I first watched the Anime adaptation of ViVid I liked some of the aspects (fights) but pretty much hated it otherwise because it adapted such a small fragment of the story that there was no character arcs but instead I got a facefull of fanservice that was mostly absent in previous seasons. Getting myself to read the manga was one of my better decisions since it allowed me to more easily ignore the fanservice and actually enjoy the good parts. It still was not starching that Nanoha itch that I had but it was better than nothing.
    Here we are getting some good things, the setup of Rinne was interesting and all, but they are ruinning it if the keep running with making her this overpowering superfighter, when we in the cast have people that are descendants of clones or have fought people that fought in Belkan wars and were considered terror back then. And she was an unknown like 2 years ago, which can be solved by saying that she does not live in the same region with the rest of the cast, which would be a bit of a stretch. It’s not excatly that it’s impossible that she is that good (the protagonists got unimaginably good quickly) but that coupled with her current behavior it makes her a unlikable character.

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  20. Carthienes says:

    Subsection Five: Sanderson and Training

    4th Dimension said:

    “We are in agreement on story and setting. It’s basically what Sanderson’s laws are about: http://coppermind.net/wiki/Sanderson%27s_Laws_of_Magic . Also every fiction story asks it’s reader to suspend their dissbelief to a greater or smaller degree. This suspension is helped in many ways: by offering a good gripping story or art or by assuring the reader that these incossistences are only needed to set up the story and the rest of it is sane. But as the inconsistency mounts more and more these can finally break the suspension which can terminally break you out of the story being enjoyed. You are no longer enjoying the story to be entertained. You are nitpicking it’s flaws and not having fun because the magic is gone.

    Nanoha and training hard: On of the things that were done better in the movie 1st than in the original season was that movie showed how she trained. Basically she ran combat simulations with Raising Hearth in her mind prectically ANY chance nobody was dirrectly addressing her. Which helps feed the joke that Rising Hearth is obssessed with firepower and was raising her te be perfect wearer for him. Plus her other teacher was Yuno, and he is terible with a lot of things but can erect god tier shields and barriers. That probably helped boost her defence even more which was allready fine due to her Takamachi stubborness. Another good expirience trumps raw skill can be found in one of the mangas where Fate or Nanoha is flashbacking to the time they first joined TSAB and one of their instructors who was of a lower pure strength level basically wiped the floor with them and showed them that they still are inexpirienced.
    Well there should be nothing wrong with Miura’s training. She was trained by the Wolkenritter initially after all. She does have a reckless streak, which she actually shares with Nanoha, unfortunatelly for her she does not have Nanoha’s tactical sense that makes sure her recklesness is waranted. Hell one could say the result of this episode was comming for her for a long time and I have heard some say that she would have likely won here had she stuck with her inital strategy which was working and did not let Rinne intimidate her into using her flashy moves that left her open.”

    Speaking of Sanderson, there is an interesting set of Lectures on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXAcA_y3l6M&index=8&list=PLH3mK1NZn9QqOSj3ObrP3xL8tEJQ12-vL is the eighth one, which is actually based on the Three Laws (plus the 0th law – “Always err on the side is what is Awesome”). Sanderson applies his laws specifically to magic, but notes that they apply equally to all aspects of worldbuilding. Interestingly for our purposes, Nanoha’s solution to the Quattro problem at the end of StrikerS has been held up as a textbook example Sanderson’s First Law done right – two spells we have seen used several times before (Area Search and Divine Buster), individually doing exactly what they do best – exactly what we know them to do, how we know them to do it. These effects combine (actually an example of the Third Law) to give us a very satisfying solution to the problem. A solution that becomes blindingly obvious right before it happens.

    The Zeroth Law is interesting because it covers things like the increasing mechanisation of the series in A’s – devices went from magically realised metaphors to machines conjured to hand, with vital physical components that can be damaged to the point of needing replacement. Not terrible changes, certainly they made some sense especially after being explained, and it made the addition of CVK-792 much easier. I came to assume that advanced devices like Raising Heart (anything with multiple forms – including a ‘standby’ mode like the standard cards, but not Teana’s old anchor gun) is a computational device and/or crystal core (magically powered, of course) with access to a ‘HammerSpace arsenal’ of components (the same place the Jewel Seeds go when Captured? That’s where they keep the components) which can then be brought through into realspace and assembled into a functional magical implement. Of course, if you’re good (or the device is programmed appropriately) you can reconfigure the design of the internals (not the components, but how the components slot together). As for the ‘shell’ of the staff – that is still a magical construct. Like Corona conjuring her golems, or barrier jackets in general, the shell is magically physical, protecting the internals and making a handy thing to hold onto whilst using it. At least, that’s how it worked in my head.

    The hard training of Nanoha comes across best in the A’s Manga – they had an entire episode dedicated to it, after all. It’s also where she mentions that her ‘Buster’ attacks sre tiring but vital. They mention how Raising Heart is magically draining her every chance it gets that she is notdoing intense live magic practice, as well as running vision training in her mind most of the time she is doing something else – apparantly multi-tasking is essential. No wonder she got so good. It is also mentioned that such a strenuous regimen should probably be fatal if maintained indefinitely – no surprise when StrikerS reveals that it very nearly did. On the other hand, enduring such strenuous effort made it seem unquestionable that t=she would have the force of will to force through her rehabilitiaion as well. Excellently set up on all sides (Sanderson talks about foreshadowing a lot in his lectures).

    I don’t think that Miura’s specialty is listening to her trainers – when she was doing those ridiculously stupid things in Vivid, there was Vita and Zafira in the background behind her scraming things like “No, Don’t!” and “Baka, baka, baka!”. Perhaps they hadn’t covered common sense in their early sessions, but they promised “much training on this issue”. I am not seeing results. You are right that her reckless streak mimics one Nanoha has, but the application of that character trait is very different. Nanoha was much more practical – reckless behaviour was not her first resort. She spent a lot of time (hinted at in the first series, better shown in supplemental materials) overcoming the need to be reckless. She has a very strict sense of priority, I think, and does not rank her own well-being very high on that list (probably not at all but for the fact that she needs it to fulfil other priorities). It is a determination Vivio seems to have inherited, and we all know how focussed her defence is. Nanoha is reckless because she can afford to be, and because she often considers the stakes to be much higher than her safetey (let’s face it – in the examples we see, she’s usually right). Miura does not have either excuse, which is why I was rather hoping the Anime would fix Miura’s Magna ‘wins’. They dropped the ball on the first one, unfortunatelly, but they still had Vivio’s match to correct. It all came down to one final shot each – ane Miura got stupid lucky. Again. There is a reason Miura is not very poular despite being a pseudo main character. I could go on a Force rant but…

    Miura definitely had this coming, but it coming from Rinne I found profoundly unsatisfactory.

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