You know what time it is. It’s time to start another magical martial arts tournament.
Ah a fellow Sanderson aficionado. Good good.
Anyway I never thought too much about how exactly devices physically work. It’s one of those things that can easily be charted under “It’s MAGIC!”. What we do know is that they can morph and the core CAN have a magical AI in it (before climax of As Chrono uses a device that is not intelligent). The core is there to crunch numbers for the caster (which makes all mages that can operate without devices like Yuno Awesome By Analysis). Allthough I do not know how the morphing is done I don’t think the devices or the summons are made of magic once summoned. There is a scene in StrikerS where they flat out say that Caro’s summons (in this case Alchemical Chain) are not affected by AMF fields. This is probably because while their summoning is via magic the matter being summoned is real and therefore there is nothing for the AMF to dissolve. Otherwise AMF fields and Eclipse virus’s effects would have a visible effect on Barrier Jackets, devices etc. Basically once the morphing is done the RH is a perfectly pshysicall staff. A staff probably protected by barriers and other defenses of it’s own so it can block magical and physical attacks but a physical object none the less.
Well the callback to Wide Area Search from first season is mared a bit by recolling a spell from one of the least likely to be cannonical episodes of the first season. A fricking HUGE tree suddenly pops in the middle of the downtown and completely envelops it and than later dissapears and NONE of the normal people say anything about that. And this was before they introduced the “barriers”.
Also as for what happened to Nanoha during timeskip it was not particullary set up since we don’t really learn of what happens when you constantly push yourself ONLY in StrikerS practically during the episode where they use that to show what can happen. It’s a good thing to show that anything in large amounts can be bad but I don’t remember them saying anywhere in As that what Nanoha was doing was bad.
I never really said that Miura specialized in listening to her teachers. I merely said that her training was not at fault. Zafira bless his hearth tried really hard to instill good instincts into her, but while he was working with her he was more concerned with building up her confidence. Her recklessness are all her though.
Nanoha does have a big flaw stemming from her previous experiences. It’s the fact that she wants to solve everything on her own and can be a bit too overconfident in her ability to solve situations. As long as you can shoot yourself out of a situation or the enemy can be talked to she should be fine, but if she ever gets handed a situation where that is not possible i don’t think she will understand that in time.
Subsection Six: Miscellany
4th Dimension said:
“Sound stages: I doub it there is a dub since… Hmmm I think I remember watching a video on Youtube where someone did that for a part of that soundstage dealing with Ix and how she started in the story. I think there might be transcripts of them lying around. Also there is a transcript of the commentary tracks for the both movies where Nanoha, Fate Vivio and the crew comment on the movie. That was interesting to try to follow the commentary while watching the movie (it involved a LOT of pausing).
Plus everything that comes out of Jill’s mouth stinks of Social Darwinism.
I would disagree about the premise of the Force. Not about the plot suddenly introducing this magical artifact that infects and turns people into magic invulnerable psychos is kind of stupid. The premise I was talking about was pitting the crew against a new threat to the security of the citizens under protection of the TSAB. One that was darker than those encounters before that did not deal only magical damage and did not limit it’s operations to EXTENSIVE abandoned blocks of the city. It was supposed to be the opposite of Vivid which started as loads of fan service and the stakes that were almost nonexistent when compared to previous seasons.”
I followed up on the Soundstages – tried starting at the beginning, but A’s 001 was only half there it seemed. Some are more complete, though, and Youtube now thinks I’ll be interested in more, so Win anyway. Thanks a lot for that. I have not tried the commentary on the Movies, but it should be… interesting to try.
Oh, and as much as I may disagree with Social Darwinism, I still think it is demeaning to the internally stable and consistent theory to compare it to Jill’s Garbage. Social Darwinism at least presents a logically Sound argument, even if it is not logically valid. Jill can’t seem to agree with herself.
Force: when I said that the initial premise of Vivid Strike was better, I was speaking as an audience watching it as it came, not a writer attempting to analyse the plot. The initial introduction of the series had a lot of promise, promise which is falling flat. Force started with: New Character (Thoma) Treasure hunting in some Ruins – So far So good. Poison/Plague Lady stapped to table turns Touma into Super Invulnerable Magic/UnMagic Destructive Zombie Thingie! With insatiable Killer and/or Destructive urges! Or not! Yes/No/Maybe? – Look; Fight Scene!
By which point it feels somewhat like I’m in a crowd of juvenile deliquents gathered around a playground fracas chanting “fight, fight, fight!” – not really what I come to Nanoha for. Also, they lost me at the ‘Super Zombie’ bit. Strike still felt like it was building potential through the entirety the first episode, at the very least. So, sorry if I was not clear – I was talking more about the actual storyline than the concepts that storyline was built on.
I hope that clears a few things up.
I started with StrikerS soundstages. 3 out of 4 are there dubbed and we have a transcript of 4th. More importantly StrikerS Sound Stage X is complete and that is like a mini season focusing on only the Forwards and covers the background story of Ixpelia, which is kind of a big deal for ViVid and now Strike. Unlike the others SSX actually has a plot, and while it’s not stellar (Mariages are like Eclipse virus infectees version 0.3) it is the kind of story I would have wanted, if we need to step away from the protagonists of the original and As, one focusing on the Forwards.
Jill would have claimed that all her arguments are valid since Rinne would have been weak and a nobody without her strength. Without that base of strength no matter the amount of training she could not have been able to tank Miura’s attacks. The training is simply there to polish and sharpen that innate ability to peak efficiency. Still stupid but to her brute strength that can be lorded above others obsessed mind it makes sense. The fact that it makes some faux logical sense does not make it good and okay.
Force: Yeah that is correct. Allthough it’s not really them chanting fight fight fight, but it’s like someone got a bunch of teenagers and told them to create a “adult/mature” story using Nanoha characters. And of course they will introduce semi invulnerable insert protagonists and loads and loads of pointless blood and voilence. Still I can’t get too mad at it meerely disappointing since it’s the only place I could get the ussual Nanoha air-land action. Also some of the ways the Roit Force Six tries to get around the stupid invulnerability are interesting and smart, and once the initial shock of running into someone that can ignore your magic wears off they start fighting smart and taking away the enemy advantages.
Still I don’t blame you for hating it. I hated it too but now seeing where the rest of the franchise is going I’m meerely dissapointed.
Magic Constructs and Defences
Based on a few of the replies above and below, I am beginning to revise some of my explanations. I think that I did not quite explain myself properly, but also that it wouldn’t have helped. In light of your comments, I was probably off on a number of points anyway.
Anyway – Magical Constructs and Defences – I’m lumping them together for a reason, but we’ll start with the constucts. There have been multiple instances where mages use magic to conjure apparently physical objects into existence. Barrier Jackets are the most obvious example, acting for all intents and purposes as physical clothing apart from their defensive enchantments, and we are explicitly told that they are woven of barriers and field defences. Slightly less commonly we have familiars and the Wolkenritter – we are explicitly told that their bodies are magically created and maintained – both Signam and Arf worried about the amount of their respective master’s mana they were using to maintain their forms. Corona’s golem also falls here (note that it is a Golem Create, not a Golem Summon), and I think likely defensive barriers would also count.
The point I particularly wish to make is that these constructs behave, in most ways, as if they were their physical equivalents, despite being created from pure magic. They are also stated to require a trickle of mana to maintain, but the drain of maintaining a construct appears minor compared to the initial outlay required to create it. In the Sound Stages (2nd for the original series, I think) Fate is severely drained by creating Arf’s first body – Lynith expressed doubt that such a thing could be beyond her, and it certainly came close. Yet, she is able to maintain that body and cast powerful spells, so clearly the maintenance cost is lower than that initial outlay (otherwise she would constantly be at her limit, restricted to little spells even after growing stronger). So, magic can create physical things that act as physical for most purposes, although they do appear vulnerable to magical damage, for a high initial cost and lower maintainence cost. I suspect (though cannot confirm) that if this ‘upkeep’ is not paid, the construct will slowly degrade rather than simply vanishing in an instant. It also appears that the cost to repair a damaged construct falls somewhere between maintainence and creation.
Which brings us to the defences. If barrier Jackets, woven of barriers and fields, are constructs then so are barriers. Probably. It would then follow that conjuring a barrier, such as that provided by Nanoha’s first spell (Protection) is a relatively intensive task – the strength of the barrier (remember, it acts like a physical barrier to merely block harmful attacks) is defined by the volume of magical energy initially put into it, but it can be maintained for reletively little mana. It also appears that it can be eroded at specific points (again, like physical barrier), which would explain why barrier jackets become tattered rather than simply vanishing once being completely eroded (and not before).
Compare to shields, which are explicitly described as using opposing energy to reflect attacks. They are not constructs, they are defensive spells, so should be a lot more intensive to maintain (you need to pour in the same amount of energy each moment you have the shield raised to maintain that shield) – effectively, like a wide but impossibly short beam. Since it reflects attacks, however, incoming magic can be rebounded on itself. Looking at the pictures we have (the Divine Buster in Nanoha and Fate’s final fight over the Jewel seeds is particularly well framed) it seems that not all the energy is reflected back exactly at the origin, but the beam still has to overcome some of it’s own magic to push through to the shield. In the case of shorter pulses, we still have the front half rebounding on the back half, if not a full redirect. This points to shileds being more effieicnt to use, albeit less efficient to maintain.
So why use either? Ignoring concerns of shape (becase, let’s face it, when that comes up Nanoha just uses multiple shields) both have clear advantages. Barriers are stated to be more common, which makes sense given that they are easier and faster to cast, much more efficient to maintain, and can be regenerated in use. Shields seem somewhat more common amongst our protagonists, which also makes sense given that they are more efficient to use, and our protagonists generally have the raw skill and reflexes to raise one at a moment’s notice. Shields seem better as a short term solution to an immediate problem, but barriers are better as a solution to a long-term low-intensity problem. If you envisage a problem that involves a long duration of high intensity attacks, I suggest evasion as the defence of choice.
Anyway, I hope that made sense. Like I said, half of this is educated guesses, but I hope I make an argument that is at least coherent.
It can always happen that I’m completely off base and am stubbornly railroading you into conclusions that are not true. I don’t think that is the case since I try to give reasons and inspect evidence. But then again it’s a big franchise and my memory is not what it used to be so I tend to check the wiki although that can be wrong coz they can post theories as proof and are light on references.
Anyway don’t be discouraged because you had to change opinions because new evidence presented itself. That is a good thing. I had to change my opinion in shields and barriers too for example.
I agree that the Wolkenritter and the actual clothing part of the barrier jacket system (BJ) are made up of physical matter. Especially the Wolkenritter since they don’t morph and more importantly their bodies are not affected by the AMF and Eclipse any more than human ones. It’s also probably long term more efficient to pay for matter assembly for their bodies up front during activation rather than to constantly support them. Also AMF was known of during Belkan wars so not basing your defense system 100℅ on magic was probably seen a good idea. The only thing that differentiates the Wolkenritter from humans is that they do not age.
As for the BJ, I feel there is a bit of disconnect between how they are supposed to work according to lore and what is shown. According to lore as you say BJ system is based on basically a stack of barriers and fields there to provide basic protection to the mage. It therefore covers the mage’s entire body and should be last thing to get hit if all other defenses fail. The actual clothing is therefore a cosmetic thing since it does not cover the entire body. Although it’s also possible that the cloth is basically very durable material like Kevlar (or something probably stronger) that also provides protection even though that protection is negligible when compared to barriers.
On the other hand what is shown on the show is that it functions on rule of cool and reflects not so much damage taken but the level of mage’s raggedness and tiredness. The jackets tend to get damaged even if the attack gets stopped. Example: When Fate stopped Nanoha’s Divine Buster using a shield her cape and the gloves got damaged even though her shield didn’t fail.
As such I cannot with confidence say how the system works considering none of the theories fit the evidence presented. On the other hand this might be the case of setting marching on. Do you remember cases any cases of the BJ getting visibly damaged due to attack we saw in As or StrikerS?
As for the barriers and shields I don’t think they are composed of physical matter since physical matter doesn’t seem to do much to protect from magical attacks. To me things here are rather simple. The barrier is the defense where the mage counters the attack with their own power and tries to withstand the attack by pouring his strength into the barrier. Sort of how in some shows the opponents often go beam on beam letting pure power decide the outcome. You therefore need greater mana expenditure than the one needed for the attack. But since it’s a simple it’s cheap and fast to erect. Also if no one is attacking you there is nothing to counter and therefore the cost is not great.
Shields on the other hand have that special property that they can redirect and reflect the attack. Because of this they do not need to counter power with power, they simply redirect the power away. Therefore they are more efficient but their complexity means long cast time. I think the redirection is best shown in the first season last fight when Fate throws a hailstorm of projectiles at Nanoha and you see her deflecting the shots and the shield is even being affected by their power and is being ripped left and right.
So I would rather say that the barriers are like shortranged beams that do beam on beam protection while shields are “like” (not are) physical armor that does not need to withstand the impact but only redirect it away from the mage.
The argument is fine. I do not agree with it 😉 but I think I understand what you mean with it.
On Numbers and redemption:
One thing that particullary surprised me/I did not like in the end of StrikerS/Vivid was how quickly some of the Numbers were forgiven. Now they were the victims too, and I do not dispute that, but Ginga and Subaru went from being torn to bits and brainwashed/watching her sister get torn to bits and having to fight her to being buddy buddy waaaaayyyy too quickly. Or in Vivio’s case she expirienced Otto, Dido & Lulu tear apart her home and then Dieci practically assisted in her torture/operation by JS. That is the stuff of nightmares, and yet they are all buddy buddy like a year later. On one hand it is kind of understandable for Vivio since she is a kid and as such they tend to forget bad things but still.
Also for us watchers we never saw them do anything that showed they deserved forgiveness. All the way untill they were arrested they were agressive, violent and quite unconcerned about injuring anyone. The closest any one of them came to questioning anyhing was Dieci but that was after she assisted into a forcible implantation of power core into a kid that was screaming the while time. Asking yourself if that was right is not high moral stance but basic human decency.
Again I shouldn’t blame them for their actions. They were doing what they were taught. Unfortunately that made them to me unlikable, unlike the Wolkenritter who the characters had enough time to meet and fight and figure out and decide they need to help.
Here they seem to have skipped a LOT of steps between the murderous enemy to best sister parts. And the worst thing it could have been done well. Ginga and Subaru deciding to help them could have been an act out of trying to face their nightmares. Then through interaction they would realise that 5+ Numbers aren’t evil and should be helped, which would have culminated into some of them being asked to join their family.
But like this it’s mood whiplashy as hell. Especially as I said in Vivid.
Yagami Hayate and Magical Damage
I was not trying to imply that Hayate was suffereing from mere physical fatigue – the point I was trying to make was that she was technically only suffering from the magical draining of her Linker Core, but that the excessive degree of the drain spilled over to actual physical consequence. In Hayate’s case it seems to have mainfested primarily as worsening an existing condition. Although it may be that the nerve paralysis she was suffering only happened because she had bonded to the book from an early age? I don’t know, but the point remains the same. Hayate was subject to an effect that was nominally purely magical, yet resulted in distinct physical consequences. So it is at least theoretically possible for excessive magical effects to have unintended and/or physical affects. Still, if a spell is cast to be physically harmless, it should not be causing significant physical damage as a default. I would expect it to default to spillover.
That said, I think I explained myself horribly last time. Trying to explain the phasing theory was like trying to describe how electricity works in terms of quantumn physics – far more complicated that it needed to be. I think a better analogy might be pulling punches – I get the impression that mages can pull their metaphorical punches with damaging spells to cause damage that is expressed magically rather than physically. In theory, this magical damage should not cause any direct physical damage to anything that is not magically conjured (as opposed to summoned). However, this is like saying that a pulled punch should not hurt – if the caster misjudges the ‘pull’ it will be damaging anyway (though likely less damaging than if the caster meant to set the spell to kill-smash-destroy).
Also, like pulling punches, the more you put into the spell the harder it is to judge accurately. Hence why Signum expressed doubt in A’s that she could defeat Fate without killing her – Going all out is not particularly compatible with the degree of restraint required for holding back enough to keep the damage relatively ‘safe’. Of course, devices help a lot with that.
Another analogy that might help, in line with the ‘spells as programs’ idea, is to view spells as a template into which particular types of magic can be poured to form spell effects. Pour training grade magic into a battle grade spell, and you get a training spell that looks and acts just like a battle grade spell apart from causing stunning rather than destructive damage. Which is what appears to have happened in that training exercise when Nanoha blasted Teana with Teana’s own favoured battle spell (Cross Fire) and only left her unconsious – I believe Shamal’s statement was “Nanoha is an expert with training-grade magical bullets”. So it does not require entire separate spells predicated on their relative leathality, just a degree of control over the magic you pour into them. Again, Devices help with that.
I don’t really want to dig too deep into the nature of Nanoha Magic, though, because I am building a magic system for one of my own settings that is heavily inspired by it (with a little Puella Magi and a few random tweaks thrown in) – I really shouldn’t get the two mixed up. Also, there are enough contradictions to keep the conspiracy theorists happy.
Not that I need to go particularly deep with Vivid Strike.
The trouble is that I don’t think they ever truly explain how the nonlethality really works other than Shamal saying „Nanoha-chan’s magic training bullets are well made, so they shouldn’t have done any damage to your body“. That would lead me to conclude that the spells themselves or the effects that they deliver are specifically made so they don’t inflict physical harm on the body. But this was in a rare case where one mage was able to defeat another by blasting them away when their defenses are down. Much more commonly the attacks are used to blast down the defenses until the enemy is tired enough to be captured using bindings and not be able to break free.
On the other hand they don’t really shy away from using their top level strikes when fighting Numbers who often don’t have the same kind and level of defenses. For example I doubt Quatro and Dieci really had much in a way of defenses yet Nanoha and Fate went all out against them . The same of course happened back in the original where Nanoha certainly Furthermore in that same episode Hayate uses Diabolic Emission that was last used by Reinforce who was definitely using it with murderous intent since she wanted to destroy those that she thought made her mistress sad .
So it seems that the spells themselves are reconfigurable. Nanoha and Fate have probably been using less than lethal variants since forever since they are in law enforcement.
I kind of doubt it’s pulling punches that is happening especially considering how fragile human bodies are and that they are slugging each others with powers of grade that can easily smash concrete. Even a small mistake in punches pulling could easily kill or maim your target. And Nanoha was certainly not pulling punches in the original .
To me this was always explainable as it being easy to put magical conditions on spells that prevent blasting away the atoms of any living being. If it’s inanimate destroy it, if it’s magical destroy magic and if it’s a live body only put strain on the stamina to KO. Basically IT’S MAGIC!
As for the Wolkenritter, they don’t use magical attacks only since they are Belkans. They also use a LOT of attacks that have physical components. Physical component is not the main thing, not by a long shot and it alone cannot penetrate the BJ. I mean when Signum or Vita hit you they are delivering a shitton of magical damage to blast away your defenses BUT you are also being hit with a physical weapon. The trouble Fate had was that Signum might hit her with her blade. Magic might not kill her but that blade being swung at her by a martial artist trained for war could easily accidentally take the life of a 10 year old who completely dropped her BJ.
We do more or less agree where Hayate is concerned. Her state was the result of the Book of Darkness draining her for years which caused problems with her body. Similar thing happened to Nanoha between As and StrikerS. She broke herself by pushing her body too much. And it happened again due to Blaster system . In all those cases the damage came from overworking/overstressing the linker core though. I don’t think anyone ever truly commented on what happens to the body when hit by the magical attack. I guess it is possible that too much magical damage can spill over and cause permanent damage if the conditions are wrong. But I don’t think we have enough to go on to counter the official line that the pure magical attacks are non lethal and can distinguish normal matter from alive.
 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: StrikerS – Episode 9 – 3:00
 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: StrikerS – Episode 12 – 17:54
 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: As – Episode 10 – 7:53
 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha – Episode 11 – 10:30
 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Soundstage: StrikerS 04 – Part 20
Any Cases of Barrier Jackets getting visibly damaged in A’s or Strikers?
I immediately though of the first episode of A’s when the outer layer of Nanoha’s barrier jacket explodes whilst Vita is trying to smash Graf Eisen through it. Also, most of the fights we see between Fate and Signum display their wounds through rips in the barrier jackets.
In StrikerS, the protagonists are much more powerful compared to their opponents (at least in comparison to the first two seasons), so opportunities for barrier jackets to get shredded are somewhat limited. I definitely recall Erio missing a sleeve to his barrier jacket in the final battle, though offhand I don’t remember how that happened. Of course, Subaru and Ginga’s jackets got rather thoroughly ripped when the latter was kidnapped.
Also – regarding the ‘Physical Barrier’ Analogy – barriers are physical in that they are solid – to hit what’s on the other side you need to smash or pierce the barrier – I suspect they are effectively some sort of middle ground between spells and conjured matter.
Where I was going with that is that barriers are passive defences – they just get in the way of attacks, depleting the strength of the barrier until the attack stops or wins through. shields are Active defences, in that they are actively pushing back against the incoming attacks (a more strenuous, yet effective, exercise). It’s like the difference between a chainmail shirt and actual shield – if you can parry an attack on your shield, better for you, but catch in the mail and at least you are not dead.
Finally, what happened to Fate does fit my theory – she was pushing the last fading remnants of her strength into that shield, but was unable to maintain it at the strength required to counter Nanoha’s beam. When the strength of the shield dropped below that required, Nanoha’s beam started to break through (admittedly blunted) – not that most of the damage to the jacket appeared in bursts, as if the shield was flickering at the edge of the strength needed.
Oh there is damage I know, what I was asking if you remember some instance where we both see the impact directly on the BJ and the outcome. The only things I remember are the cases where the impact hit the BJ system or maybe the defenses but was stopped, leaving a glowing mark hovering above the skin where the attack hit. But that might have come from ViVid, and ViVid really backed the whole mostly clothing damage angle for it’s own fanservicey ways.
Curiously in case of Nanoha vs Vita fight in episode 1, Nanoha’s jacket glowing then dissapearing was one of those Nanoha surprises she likes to keep in her pockets. In that case Reactor Purge happened. The BJ system overloaded itself and exploded to act as reactive armor and block this attack since it was about to fail. But even though the BJ system was gone the black bodysuit that is the base of all BJs remained. Similar thing apparently happened in ep 17 of StrukerS to Subaru during her fight with Cinque.
Of course the barriers are solid. They would have been of no use if you could bunch through them using non magic solid matter. Also I don’t see why they would need to be anything but spells, since it has been established that spells are just if not more effective against matter. As to how excatly they work I’m going to chart it up to Its’ MAGIC!, and somehow they allow conjuring physical and magical forces to oppose those hitting it.
As for shields I agree they are more efficient but require greater resources time and magic wise.
I would not agree about the Fate theory, primarily because I don’t thing we were ever shown shields as not being 100% effective UNTIL they break.
BTW, apparently along with the releases of Anime Seasons, Movies and Manga a series of ductionaries that cover various setting lore had been released. Unfortunatelly their translation is on spotty side with seemingly liberal use of google translatis. But they do give some interesting info:
Oh, now that is very interesting.
It’s nice to have some of my extrapolations confirmed by the people behind it, not to mention my theory that things are much more complicated than the anime gives it credit for.
It also reinforces one of the reasons I liked Nanoha so much. The background is detailed and makes sense even before it is unveiled – At least, it used to.
Thank you Again.
Looking back over my last comment, I realise that I need to clarify slightly. The depth of complexity, detail and consistency in the background,coupled with the way it fits together logically enough for the viewer to realise something important before it is explicitly shown (or understand why they should have in hindsight) is one of the main reasons I like the setting of Nanoha so much.
The reason I liked the stories so much has more to do with the characters and their presentation – when Fate and Nanoha faced off in their “Final True Fight” (1st Season) I was gripped – not because I am obsessed with fight scenes or the graphics were awesome, but because I cared about what the outcome would mean for Nanoha and Fate. I wanted Nanoha to, not necessarily beat Fate, but rescue her from Precia. I half wanted Fate to win in case that helped her get over stuff, but mostly wanted Nanoha to win so she could save Fate from herself.
Thar engagement with the setting and characters is what made Nanoha great, at least for me. I’m not seeing it here.When Miura and Rinne battled, I did not care who won, why or how.
If pressed, I side with the other inter-middle viewers: “It was not a good fight”.
Yeah, the characters are one of the main reason I consumed basically all manga and other content there was because it is fun watching them bouncing off each other because they made us care for them. And first season was able to do that for Fate and Nanoha because they focused 100% on them. Each episode after those first couple that were strange were cast as a competition of them against each other. Hell in order to sell Fate Nanoha was allowed to basically stay static. Once determines herself about her goals and she sets herself on the path of collision with Fate she is Nanoha that we will know for the Original and As. Since Nanoha was the clear MC and already had to feature in all episodes that let them concentrate on Fate. So by the end we had a good idea about both of them and what they are like. Throw a scene or two at tha other characters to give them some life and you have a cast of likable characters.
This on the other hand suffers from the problem where they again try to focus the story around two charactes (MC and the antagonist) BUT the tournament and the gym are getting in the way. The tournament scenario does not allow the MC and antagonist to struggle against each other because if they fight and one looses that would be that. Also they are saddled with other Nakajima fighters, from ViVid and with the central conflict of Vivio and Enihart gone they are kind of bland and not really interesting. So again because of the tournament they need a time in limelight and need their fights shown, and these fights in the end end up eating most of the time.
So as a result Fuka got drowned out by her teammates who really are not capable to take over and lead on.
One thing that was done interestingly was Rinne, BUT here they really failed at pulling my strings and getting me to care for Rinne. While I can intellectually see that she is in a bad place, she is also emotionally to me a uncontrollable cold bitch that breaks people and only cares about winning. It’s this coldness that without the background would make her an utter bitch that made her unlikable for me. Her actions were as if Fate hospitalized Nanoha every other episode, and did not clearly display that she really doesn’t want to hurt anyone and is doing only what she needs to do in order to fullfill her orders.
So in the end to me so far (episode 8) we get an antagonist that is not likable (although getting downed by Vivio again did a lot to clear some of my problems with her) even though her circumstances ARE interesting and a MC that got drowned out by bland fights and bland characters from previous series.
Although I would suggest you at least giving the Episode 8 a chance.
Remember the first time we met Fate? She didn’t quite hospitalise Nanoha, but she left her confined to a bed and awaiting a Doctor – but that’s not the point I was trying to make. Those three syllables before she fired the final attack, that last regretful glance before she left: even though we still know nearly nothing about the character, those tiny gestures mean a lot.
Compare Rinne’s reaction to a girl she has literally hospitalised: “I’m glad I didn’t hurt you because you can’t fight well…Number 8” One appears sympathetic, the other as callous. Whilst it may seem that Rinne may aspire to Fate’s character path, she appears to have taken lessons from the Hückebein on generating reader sympathy.
Speaking of Number 8, morbid curiosity got the better of me. I can’t say I’m bracing myself for the worst, because whenever I try things have just deteriorated faster than anticipated.
Someone really should have set the limit on the max comment level couple of comment levels lower, because the tightness of the comment box gets ridiculous otherwise.
Vivid Strike: Continuation
QUOTE: Remember the first time we met Fate? She didn’t quite hospitalize Nanoha, but…
I don’t remember that she got into a hospital (her parents would have noticed that), I do remember that she shot her down, but you might be right it had been a while.
You are right about the attitude that is important. But even if she had not said sorry they had an entire season to meet up and compete time and time again, therefore giving Nanoha enough time to work on Fate’s head, and we could see that she was getting through, so that by the end Fate coming to Nanoha’s rescue did not feel out of place and illogical.
I don’t really know how they intend to resolve this here. Do they expect to throw one fight between Fuka and Rinne and that to somehow magically resolve things?
Although to play devil’s advocate again, I interpreted the scene with no.8 a bit differently. While her outward actions are callous, it’s actually her TRYING to be kind. She tried to pull back her punches and end things quickly. Only problem is she has like 1 in charisma and has no finesse whatsoever. She was trying to show concern for her fellow combatant but basically rolled a critical one and did not even understand she did that. It’s clear that she simply doesn’t know how to handle people (probably a big reason those assholes decided to pick on her) which is hardly surprising considering she is turning away everybody (remember that scene in her new school? Other girls are trying to get close to her since she is interesting to them but she is ignoring them) and considers anyone she does not know either as a bully or potential bully.
In the end I find Rinne interesting but not endearing. I guess thinking now I could care more if the goal was to show her reformation through therapy and such because then her struggle might be even more interesting. But this is a show that will probably somehow try to solve her mountain of issues by punching her in the face.
No, Fate did not leave Nanoha in a hospital – she woke up hours later, having been bandaged and seen to by a Doctor. She got off lightly compared to Rinne’s opponents, but that is irrelevant to the point I was trying to make. First Impressions count for a lot, and the first impression we get of Fate isn’t “She hurt Nanoha” it’s “She really wishes she hadn’t had to do that”.
The first Impression we get of Rinne is the shrinking violet she used to be, but the story manages to overturn that quite dramatically with a few glimpses of the new Rinne. The way I read that little scene with Carrie was “I’m glad I didn’t hurt you (I know I’m supposed to be obliged to be glad that you got off lightly; and injuries severe enough to hospitalise are negligible) and “It was not a satisfying Fight, Number 8” (You are a pathetic Failure, inferior weakling) – callous and unfeeling, with absolutely Zero empathy for anyone or thing.
I also read that scene in her new school very differently – her classmates seem scared of her. No-one dares offend the scary lady who routinely hospitalises people, but they don’t dare get close either. So they try to smile politely when they see her, and go back to talking about how scary she is after she goes away. My view may be coloured by the fact that I was in a similar situation (though I wasn’t scary: I just had the answers everybody else needed so they didn’t dare risk offence).
I suppose you’re right that showing Rinne through the eyes of Mid-Childa’s greatest Psychiatrist would be a much more interesting take on the character – there’s probably a good few years of drama in there. As it stands, I’m shuddering in anticipation of the level of Deus Ex Machina I’m forseeing over the next few episodes. Elegantly done, Deus ex Machina blends unnoticeably with the story (like the way Fate’s trial finished and everyone tried to contact Nanoha at just the right moment to realise the barrier had been raised – a few minutes earlier would have made a very different story) – it also helps to use it sparingly. Sadly, the current story is showing little sign of elegance in it’s execution, and seems to place an overbearing reliance on inexplicable Deus Ex Machina.
It could be that your intepretation is more correct. I do plan to rewatch this thing when it finishes just so I can see it the way it was supposed to be seen and look if my opinion changes.
So far the opinion is that it tries to do some interesting things (shows that life on Midchilds is not all butterflies and rainbows and that all stories don’t have happy ending), but fails totally in execution.
It could easily be that I’m either wrong, or just missing the point they were going for; but for me it does not really matter whether Rinne was actually genuinely trying to be nice or just thought that she was expected to act nice – it still shows the same about her character. A cold soul lacking in any Empathy.
Also, whilst Strike does feature a number of elements that could be interesting I think that it has also been burdened by a number of other elements that are far from interesting; and the execution of the entire thing (not merely individual elements) fails completely.
I think I’ll pick up the rest of the conversation over in the comments on Episode 8, as this is getting a little tricky to follow.
I didn’t enjoy this fight, why they made Rinne say all that to Miura only to have her go back on her words in order to win I will never know.
The undisputed world #1 ranker shouldn’t be made to look weak like that. She should be made to look strong.
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