My expectations and mindset over the franchise have reached the point where:
#1. I think they should just drop the mask and give them giant robots to pilot, along with cameos from Super Robot War, and a OP by Jam Project. Because Tsuzuki have been doing the wink wink nudge nudge for a long time already.
Although that one silly image from Force wasn't indicative, I see the actual character designs below... and WAT. Looks more like Infinite Stratos than Nanoha. I didn't realize the "mechnization" you mentioned earlier was so bad, this is barely recognizable at all. I'm no longer surprised why there's no more anime...
I would seriously read Force just to write some long rant about how the franchise has derailed and how they've lost it. (Dog Days does not help their case at all...) However, anime as of late is good, so I didn't see the need to rage at anything.
The whole franchise is dead in my eyes. I'll recognize Strikers, but ugh... the rest doesn't deserve the Nanoha name.
The only way for it to redeem itself , is if they take a creative approach to the 2nd movie (not copy and paste) but yea, I'm worried to say the least.
They've also failed on the fanservice front... trying too hard is what i'd say.
Alright, I guess I will check out vivid if I have to choose... I was reading some of the talk about force plot as it leaked out of containment (in the thread it should belong!) and found out the bad guys were unbeatable due to herp derp anti magic field, which I feel would be lamer than StrikerS limiters-- it's as if they just can't come up with credible villains and just had to give them "i win" buttons. Unfortunately, I can't say I'm surprised at all.
I didn't get into Nanoha til like almost 2008, so I watched all 3 series in quick succession. The first season was okay even though it suffered from identity crises, A's finally established its identity and therefore it was good, and come StrikerS it doesn't know what it wants to be anymore, again. Force just seems to be continuing in this...
So it really doesn't surprise me that the franchise is meandering randomly, not knowing what it wants to be. All this ship tease, random genre shifts (even dropping the magical girl part from the name) , refusing any events with consequence (nobody dying approaching Bleach levels), and beating around the bush are symptoms of the problems.
Vivid is actually readable and does a better job at worldbuilding than Force. Force, on the other hand, distance itself further from what made Nanoha "Magical" in the first place, and, in my opinion, turned the franchise into Tsuzuki's love letter to Super Robot War. And if you think that discussing about whether QB from Madoka was evil or not was bad enough, it's actually way worse in the Force thread. But yeah, I don't like the "mechanization" of the franchise, I hate the ship tease, and I hate how Tsuzuki seems to beat around the bush when it comes to do something very serious and that have substantial and grave consequences for the characters and the franchise. I prefer the gravitas of BetrayerS much better than what I see in Force.