239th G-View: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS

And so we have reached the last part of Nanoha Month as we take a look at the controversial third animated series entry in the Nanoha franchise, Nanoha StrikerS.

I highly recommend newcomers check out the previous three parts in the series as there will be spoilers in this review:

236th G-View: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st
237th G-View: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s
238th G-View: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A’s

Magical_Girl_Lyrical_Nanoha_StrikerS_ChronicleImage Source: http://nanoha.wikia.com/wiki/Magical_Girl_Lyrical_Nanoha_StrikerS

Genres: Action, Sci-fi, Drama

Themes: Mahou Shoujo

Number of episodes: 26

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: Taking place ten years after the events of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s, Nanoha, Fate and Hayate have joined the Time-Space Administration Bureau and form the Lost Property Riot Force 6. Joining them are four new magical recruits, Subaru Nakajima, Teana Lanster, Erio Mondial and Caro. Together, they face up against Dr Jail Scaglietti, a dangerous criminal after the Lost Logia.

StrikerS

From the get-go the first important fact newcomers need to understand is that StrikerS has a different narrative structure than its predecessors. Yes, it is still Nanoha but how the story is told and paced are different. It is a similar structure to one of my favorite anime of all time Mouretsu Pirates.  Like MP its first batch of episodes are dedicated to training regimens with a second purpose. Basically it’s a “meet and greet”/combat training regimen for the four newcomers. Viewers get to know the newbies, Subaru, Teana, Erio and Caro as they are taught by their instructors (most of the major players from the previous seasons), get to see some neat character interactions and development between both groups, slowly build up the main plot with some serious missions while also explaining the world setting and of course the vintage Nanoha series fight scenes it is well known for. So yes a long training segment with some spices thrown here and there but thankfully almost none of it feels like filler. Almost everything that happened from beginning to end felt like it had purpose.

Part of StrikerS cast

Most but not the entire cast.

Next up let’s talk about the cast. As the above picture shows it’s huge, again like MP. Also like in MP I said in that review something along the lines of large casts can work as long as they all get to do something meaningful no matter how big or small their parts are, otherwise why add them at all. For the most part everyone in StrikerS got to do something and some even got flashbacks which are always nice for developmental purposes…however, there were some veterans whose roles were sadly lowered to cameos like Arf and Lindy and a few that felt pointless but we’ll get to those in a bit. The one flaw I could think of in the cast is that some viewers may not like everyone nor care and I do not blame viewers if they do not like some of the good guys.

Sector Six in their work uniforms

As mentioned above most of the characters got something to do. This also means that there is no definitive main character. The rookies and veterans in this picture all feel like main characters because not only does this group get the most screen time but they are also part of the show’s most important scenes. I mention this because I initially thought coming into StrikerS that it was primarily going to be about the rookies but no, the veterans get equal amounts of screen and each have their own separate boss fights during the huge final assault against the villain team.

Yes, for the first time in the series there are villains who are evil for the sake of being evil, or have twisted intentions that seem good to them but means lots of pain and suffering for everyone else. This means that at the time the threat here was Team Nanoha’s greatest challenge. The Book of Darkness was also a big deal but the repercussions during this time were of a grander scale and more menacing.

Dr Scaglietti and the Combat Cyborgs

Having said that about the villains this brings me to my biggest gripe with StrikerS. Season 1 had the despicably awesome and somewhat sympathetic Precia. A’s had the best adversaries in the Book of Darkness and its guardian knights. What did we get in StrikerS. Dr Jail Scaglietti and his Combat Cyborgs or as I like to call them,

Bison and the Dolls

Poor man’s dolls.

The problem with the cyborgs is not that they suck (frankly the fights against them are cool) but that they are lame. First of all their generic combat gear. kung-fu stewardesses or Organization XIII these ladies are not. Most of them are so forgettable that the ONLY two I can remember for years to come are #3 and #4. #3 is because she’s the tallest and has a sweet derriere even though her bland uniform makes it look like a shriveled prune at times, still mesmerizing. #4 is memorable for the wrong reasons. She’s a “blabbering weenie” type villain who like others of the same type has only one purpose, to get the viewer wanting to see them get crippled. Honestly I think “blabbering weenies” are the most difficult villains to make watchable. I was not asking for great depth from these baddies. I have mentioned once before that one-dimensional can work as long as they are either amusing, despicable, charismatic or badasses in combat. The cyborgs are kinda badass in combat…and that is it. Oh and I got to meet the mentor of Symphogear’s Dr Ver in Dr Scaglietti. In this case I think the student surpassed the teacher as Ver’s madness is far more glorious than Scaglietti’s. Oh well, as a typical mad scientist he was alright.

Lutecia and Garyuu

This guy is not Zest.

Next are the secondary villains who are more like classic Nanoha adversaries in Lutecia, Zest and Agito. These three are alright. Lutecia I like a little more because she is like a hybrid of Arietta the Wild and Fate/Stay Night’s Rider. Zest is like Largo the Black Lion and Agito’s a shrimpy Etna. Basically they remind me of cooler characters.

Regius Gaiz

Then there’s one of the lamer villains of a sort in Regius Gaiz. He can be best described as a hybrid of J Jonah Jameson, Colonel Thaddeus Ross and Mayor Choo Choo. Basically an “I hate mages” and “my way is best for the world” type old fart who means well but is stubborn.

Lastly is the tertiary villain group whose revelation had me asking “What was the point of adding these mooks?”. They also reminded me that Futurama did it better. So stupid.

I haven’t mentioned the plot as a whole, animation and sound quality or action scenes because by this point it had become a given that all of these are good. The main plot is interesting and is connected to past events in prior seasons. The major characters who get flashbacks and character development are pretty good. The secondary characters’ development (The ones who get enough anyway) are acceptable. The fight scenes are vintage Nanoha goodness. The animation and sound quality still stand up without seeming dated or at the very least are solid.

Sexy Subaru, Teana and Nanoha

Also vintage Nanoha is its occasional fanservice henshin sequences and nude instances catering to both lolicons and people who appreciate young adult bodies. Thankfully there are more of the latter. I also found it funny that during Erio’s henshin sequence he still has clothes on. Guess unlike the ladies his crotch could not be erased during the sequence. Also several lovely butt shots sprinkled throughout the show. Glorious because most of the young adults are hot. As for favorite newcomer it has to be Subaru. Besides being the sexiest to me between her and Teana she reminded me of Sakura Kasugano in her idolization of a badass senior and borrowing/modifying one of their signature movies, Ryu’s Hadoken and Nanoha’s Divine Buster. I would not be surprised if some viewers would pick one of the secondary characters as their favs. Some of them are pretty cool.

One happy gay family

Can’t end a Nanoha review here before reporting the progress of the legendary couple. I will put it this way. All that was missing was Fate asking Nanoha to make her a sandwich. As for Vivio…I wanted a plushie of her. Her cuteness is lethal…that is if viewers are not annoyed by a child like. She reminds me of my niece.

Overall StrikerS, despite its controversial is a pretty good installment in the franchise. Not the best but certainly not bad. The characters who get the spotlight shine bright, the show still feels like a season of Nanoha despite its hiccups and Vivio rocks. As always I recommend it to both old and new Nanoha fans and mahou shoujo enthusiasts.

So that’s it. I thank everyone who joined me this month in watching or rewatching the Nanoha series in preparation for Vivid. I can now confirm both the series’ fame and the NanoFate hype are legit. Alright then, BRING ON THE VIVID!

Can’t believe I both fulfilled a promise I made AND finished it before the due date. Something must be wrong with me.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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46 Responses to 239th G-View: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS

  1. Fruit says:

    IMHO the cyborgs aren’t that bland. I wasn’t paying too much attention to them when they first appeared too, but when I went back a bit, it seemed to me that they are reasonably characterised. maybe looking at their appearance in the sidestory manga helps. Also soundstages, but I’d say they are memorable in the anime itself (except #2 and #7 who don’t have much visible/actual personality for reasons…).

    Oh and note that some of those appear in Vivid 🙂 Can’t wait to see if they animate the part where the shorty drives a car while sitting in a baby safety seat.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      “We’re not naturally born beings. We do not deserve to be treated like humans. We are machines built for combat.” That is all there is to them. Oh sure they all have personalities but that alone is not enough to cure their blandness.
      You know I only cover the anime shows. I’m not picking up the manga side stories. What I got in the anime are enough.
      I figured since some of them did repent for their actions.

      Like

  2. cirno9fan says:

    Now you are prepared for the gloriousness that is Vivid ~
    I never got the hate StrikerS got. Most of it was “Mai waifus grew up!” Which, as a lolicon, I can understand that there’s some things to lament (not everyone can get Gust aging), but the show was great regardless. Innocent is basically catering to those whom lamented that btw. The sad thing is that most barely saw even half the first part of the season, before cursing it.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Really? You cannot be serious.
      All this time the negativity towards StrikerS has been mostly STEREOTYPICAL HARDCORE FANBOY WHINING!?
      Note to self: Never take the word “controversial” in a show about magical girls seriously ever again. GOH!

      Anyway StrikerS was pretty good as you read.

      Like

  3. JimJiminy says:

    You pinned the nail on the head with the baddies being forgetful. After I watched it the first time, the only cyborg I remembered was also #4 (so glad she got trashed by full powered badass Nanoha).

    I really enjoyed the upgrades that the main three got as well as the possibilities of the knights to unison with Rein.

    When I say it I did not like Subaru, no idea why. When I watched it again, I liked her and had less tolerance for Erio and Caro. Honestly, I hate watching their final fight due to them talking down there opponent instead of the normal beat the crap out of them while trying to befriend.

    But besides that I thoroughly enjoy StrikerS. I can’t wait for Vivid right now.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      No Erio and Caro still gave Lulu-sama’s chronies a smackdown before having them submit. Besides why does EVERY Nanoha battle require a beatdown to befriend the opponent. Different is not always bad.
      #4’s supposed to suck aside from her lameness. Nanoha was all “I won’t kill you but you hurt my baby so I will cripple you instead”.

      Like

  4. elkat4 says:

    My biggest gripes with StrikerS was more the change of setting and tone than Nanoha, Fate and Hayate growing up (in fact that was one of the few things that I enjoyed). If anything, I can watch StrikerS without much complaint (besides the loli-fication of Arf; do they have to have a minimum number of lolis or something?). As long as Force never gets an anime adaption, I don’t think the franchise could do anything to upset me anymore.

    Like

  5. Kai says:

    Yea, hilariously, I don’t remember the names of half the cast of StrikerS, the ones that I do remember, are just returning characters from previous season. I think this is going to come bite me in the ass when I watch Nanoha Vivid this Spring…

    Like

    • cirno9fan says:

      Not too badly. A few show up again, but it’s mostly a new cast + Vivio. Though, Hayate’s team do have a fair amount of presence in the manga actually.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Overlord-G says:

      It’ll be more of a “oh it’s that guy” or “hey it’s that one girl”. So it shouldn’t be a problem. Just know that the red haired boy pink haired girl and some of the reformed bad girls do return at some point from what I heard.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. yurimylove says:

    You know you’re a NanoFate fanatic when…

    you wrote 20 NanoFate fanfics… and Yuuno-kun dies a horrible death in every one of them
    when you found out Chrono is married to Amy, you removed his name from your Death Note
    you * Squee! * when you heard that Vivio has two “mamas”
    you got a nosebleed when you saw Fate taking off her clothes to get into THAT GIANT BED with Nanoha
    you threaten to “starlight-breaker” anyone in anime forums who claims that ferret-boy is raising Vivio along with Nanoha
    you think the best way to befriend the opposition is through superior firepower
    whenever you see Nanoha’s eyes hidden in the shadow of her hair… you know somebody’s gonna get a whupping
    you memorized all 4 forms of Fate’s barrier jacket and can debate intelligently the pros and cons of Sonic Drive vs. Lightning Form
    you were wondering why it took Hayate four whole years to get her own unit… then you remembered that the “B” in TSAB stands for “Bureau(cracy)”
    you learned Italian just so you could keep track of all The Numbers
    you’re convinced that Raging Heart Excelion Mode with the cartridge system is the best powerup since sliced-bread
    You organized a sports team, and you ranked your players as SS+, SS, S, AA, etc.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      You wrote that many back in your heyday? Whoa.
      Oh sure, Yuuno has two blush scenes throughout A’s and StrikerS and that automatically means he’s Nanoha’s future husband…wow. Such folly.
      Only once had reasoning worked throughout the first three seasons. Don’t know about the 4th one yet but I doubt lightning struck twice.
      Meh. Not worth remembering the numbers but I guess it shows your dedication to the show and its cast.

      To me Nanoha is female Goku and Divine Buster is the Kamehameha.

      Like

  7. I hope there are some story to see hayate’s political playing in StrikerS. It was a good timing to explain hayate’s thinking and hope, but staff had cut it

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hanneman says:

    I’m really trying to figure out the exact thing that makes this season get some hate, as you stated. Really, it’s an awesome show, and this season just made almost everything right. It doesnt surpass the other two, but comes really close.

    But, the main thing i want to talk about is Vivio. Her addition upped the worth of the show by 100x. Never had i shed tears of joy for so little. SHE’S JUST SO CUTE! I cannot express how much i loved her character. After this season, i’m just hyped as hell for ViVid.

    About NanoFate, there’s no denying, anywhere in this Solar System, that they’re a couple. Simple as that.

    Like

  9. ArcaJ says:

    The best thing about StrikerS (besides Hayate’s Lesbian Army) was the first installment of the Takamachi Family. Fate and Nanoha are now married, with a freakin’ kid! My squee was heard ’round the world. It only continues in ViviD. There are a few misguided fanboys who show up on Nano-fate Youtube videos to whine and pout; however, the fans, director, voice actresses and Aphrodite Herself call this pairing (this FAMILY) canon. #DEAL WITH IT

    Like

  10. automaticimperfection says:

    I’m ready to watch this series!!! It’s..3 seasons and 3 movies right?..I will look it up, I just don’t wanna watch in an incorrect order,again …

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      1st movie is a great retelling of the first season. I recommend the movie for maximum pwnage. Watch the original season only for completion’s sake.
      Enjoy the 2nd and 3rd seasons freely while the 2nd movie has some differences from the 2nd season and goes in a different direction. 3rd movie hasn’t premiered yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. LMAO I can’t wait for this to pretty much become my favorite season (since I haven’t watched the first two, just the movies which I’ve said before I absolutely LOVE) when I watch it (until Vivid finishes though we’ll see about that lel) just because of the fact that I’ll probably love all the things that make it so ‘controversial’. It’s kinda nice to have a balance of one-dimensional antagonists and three dimensional ones. It’s also nice to see people in the TSAB get screentime even if in the end I will have to admit the ‘large cast syndrome’ may drag down the show’s quality a bit (though I certainly hope I’ll be surprised).

    That being said, definitely looking forward to watching it. And the legendary Takamachi family and Vivio moments. HNNNNNNNNNNNNG! ❤

    Also BRING ON THE VIVID. I mean I might miss the premiere since I want to finish StrikerS first (and I’m not sure how this week is gonna go considering college and my procrastination tendencies and rushing to finish/marathon a show that I will hopefully love), but meh. We’ll see.

    Great writeup as always, G! NanoFate FTW!

    Like

  12. Reblogged this on haveyouexperiencedshitsurakuen and commented:

    LMAO I can’t wait for this to pretty much become my favorite season (since I haven’t watched the first two, just the movies which I’ve said before I absolutely LOVE) when I watch it (until Vivid finishes though we’ll see about that lel) just because of the fact that I’ll probably love all the things that make it so ‘controversial’. It’s kinda nice to have a balance of one-dimensional antagonists and three dimensional ones. It’s also nice to see people in the TSAB get screentime even if in the end I will have to admit the ‘large cast syndrome’ may drag down the show’s quality a bit (though I certainly hope I’ll be surprised).

    That being said, definitely looking forward to watching it. And the legendary Takamachi family and Vivio moments. HNNNNNNNNNNNNG! ❤

    Also BRING ON THE VIVID. I mean I might miss the premiere since I want to finish StrikerS first (and I’m not sure how this week is gonna go considering college and my procrastination tendencies and rushing to finish/marathon a show that I will hopefully love), but meh. We’ll see.

    Great writeup as always, G! NanoFate FTW!

    Like

  13. TYxTxYT says:

    Late to the party.

    I believe Regius Gaiz is like a counterpart for Hayate and she should have learnt much from his fall.

    One thing I really like about StrikerS is it depicts how… well, when you grow up and immigrant with your wife to another country(or plane), you left a major cast behind in your hometown. Such is so true in real-life.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’d started this show quite some time ago but sorta dropped it because of pace. I thought I commented something like that before. I finished episode 5 and it seems to be getting off the ground. But I can’t help but notice that one of the songs in the soundtrack has a piano melody that sOUnDs LiKe jOnTRoNs THeMe.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m looking forward to the moment(s) that made the fans ship NanoFate. It had to be some pretty big stuff… Arf really loves Fate…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I give season 1 maybe a 7.5. I’m not sure why I’m expecting the season 2 opener to be metal AF.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. -It’s all a ploy orchestrated by the planet of Remnant to efficiently test prototype gun-melee hybrid weapons in combat.-

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: 313th G-View: Vivid Strike! | The Yuri Nation

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