As expected, I couldn’t keep up with the backlog, so I’m again posting on two episodes of Nanoha StrikerS at once. The first one is still a training/preparation one, while the second has some action in it. But let’s look at them in the proper order…
Episode 4 opens with a training session of the recruits against Nanoha. The goal is simple: either they evade her attacks for five minutes, or manage to go through her defenses. As everyone is pretty tired, they go for the first route.
The battle is obviously uneven as Nanoha is way stronger than the others, but somehow they manage to get a clean hit using rather complicated team play. Once the training session ends, the group goes back to their quarters.
In the mean time Fate and Hayate are on a trip to the Church (mentioned in A’s to StrikerS) where Hayate has a conversation with the head on a cargo of Relic (a particular type of Lost Logia, introduced in the earlier episodes) and on the fact that their enemies are on its trail.
Back to Subaru and others, after a shower (obligatory fan service scene) they’re shown their new devices (in other words, something like Nanoha’s Raising Heart or Fate’s Bardiche). While the staff goes a long way to explain how they’re tuned and limited (limiters can be lifted of course), Nanoha joins the group again. She also confirms that she has a limiter in both her device and her own body.
The discussion however is cut short as the alarm sounds: the train with the Relic has been found and taken over. Of course it’s the job of the unit to solve the matter, so they are dispatched, while Fate and Hayate hurry back.
Animation-wise it’s not the best episode, but I expect some adjustments once it’s out on DVD. Story-wise I can quite see where the staff wants to go, they want to build and develop the new characters before going on with the story.
The fifth episode is more action oriented. When the group gets on the place, they find out that a large number of flying enemies are going at them. Fate and Nanoha will take care of it, while the four will have to secure the train and recover the relic (with Reinforce Zwei as operations commander). When they deploy, it’s time of something that is never missing in this kind of anime, namely transformation sequences:
We get to see them all, starting with Fate and Nanoha’s (both incomplete), followed by Subaru, Teana, Erio and Caro. All have totally different styles (though I would have preferred A’s music in Nanoha’s sequence), and so far the best done is Subaru’s, that also quotes some mecha anime (GaoGaiGar anyone?).
As everyone is in battle outfits, the fight starts. Nanoha and Fate obliterate the flying forces easily (but we know, they’re ungodly powerful) while the other four split in two and tackle the train from two sides. Subaru and Teana get a taste of the new power they have been given and also get the chance of talking with their devices a bit (they use the same “Super English” Raising Heart uses). However, they find impossible to stop the train.
Cue to Caro and Erio, dealing with an unusually large enemy. Its anti-magic field knocks out most of their magic and in the end Erio gets a rather strong beating. As Caro sees that, there is a flashback to when Fate adopted her, talking about her dragon summoning abilities. When Erio is thrown off the train, she follows suit and once out of the field manages to use her summoning magic, converting her pet dragon into a full-scale one.
The events fold up quickly with Erio getting a boost power from Caro and cutting the enemy in two. At the same time Subaru and Teana secure the relic. All is well?
Not quite as someone is shown lurking behind the scenes…
Animation-wise this episode is better than the previous one, though the animation drops in quality sometimes. On the subject of story, it starts to get some wheels in motion as a possible villain is shown, while the next episode, aside showing more training, tells more about the background.
Many have complained that StrikerS is not like A’s. I find it amusing, because that was known in advance: in an interview in Megami Magazine around last year, when StrikerS was officially announced, the staff said that they would put less action than in A’s. So why complaining now?
Regardless of that, I’ll continue watching the series as this episode, coupled with the opening, gave me a few hints on possible story development.
Luca Beltrame ANIME