Posted by psgels on 1 November 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

Judging continuations has always been tricky. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS is the third instalment of the Nanoha-franchise, which I personally loved. It’s hard to not get caught up in huge expectations, which can ruin a show. Still, despite knowing this, this series disappointed me, and I don’t think that my initial expectations are the only ones to blame.

Basically, in this series, Nanoha has grown up. She’s an adult now, and we join her and the other members of the previous seasons as they form their own division in the military, where their purpose is to protect people from accidents and magical incidents. The series starts as four new rookies have joined as new recruits, and get educated to become law-enforcement mages as well.

The original two Nanoha-series worked for me because of their antagonists. They were deep, and much, much more than just random people who wanted to destroy the world. They were all fighting for their beliefs, even knowing that what they did was ethically unjustified. StrikerS in its turn, creates two more of these villains: Zest and Agito. The two of them are deep and well-developed, and therefore they’re a delight to watch.

But there lies the major problem. This series doesn’t have two antagonists, it’s got freaking eighteen of them. I wish I could say that they’re as well developed as Zest and Agito, but alas: it’s far from that and the phrase “cookie cutter” fits them unfortunately much better. Some of them have only one-line personalities, others are just conveniently brainwashed good guys and while the villains who do get a bit of actual attention (Scaglietti and surprisingly Lutetia) have huge holes in their background story, shallow development and could have been so much more in the end. For a franchise that produced such sympathetic antagonist in the past, this is just unforgivable.

While it’s less apparent, the side of the good guys isn’t flawless either. With 26 episodes instead of the usual 13, you’d think that there’d be enough development to flesh them out well, but for some reason, the creators decided that it’d be better to spend too much time on one group of character, while overly neglecting another group of characters. This leads to quite an unbalanced cast. On one side we have Nanoha, Fate and the four new rookies. They’re fleshed out, developed and all, but the cast is filled with much more (very often more interesting) characters, who hardly ever get any serious attention, other than a few minutes at a time, and most of them lack any sort of background and development. The setting is also horribly neglected. Where does Section Six the section of the military where Nanoha and the others work, stand exactly in the world? After 26 episodes, I still have no idea.

It’s not like Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS is bad. I quite enjoyed certain parts of it. The storyline is quite nice and complex, and the creators did well in creating a setting where difference in experience in combat is actually noticeable, due to the huge focus on it. The characters that were developed were worth the watch as well. But as the continuation of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha and Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s, it just fails and disappoints, making this by far the worst series of the franchise, despite the doubled length.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar nameless says:

    I loved you review. it good. you only need few more PIC.

  2. Avatar Z.N. Singer says:

    As you said: as an anime, far from a failure. As a continuation of the Nanoha franchise, however, it is a letdown. Not much else to it really (*murmurs* your reviews are so much shorter than mine)

  3. Avatar Dreams says:

    As much as I love this anime this season had to fatal flaws with it the first one was too many military meetings and the second was too many practice battles if the first 13 episodes would have focus on their teenage years it would have been great and the second half with a focus on everything that was happening with vivio & rest of the villains and with one or two episodes of training with Subaru and the rest of the gang this would’ve have been awesome  if they ever remake this they state should remake it this way this season wasn’t that bad but it could’ve been a lot better

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