I was rewatching some episodes from Season 1 and 2 recently.
Even though I watched the episodes dozens of dozens of times already, it got me hooked again after I watched an episode for a few minutes.
Well, I am mainly rewatching season 2 right now(rewatched the last episode of season 1 though), watched the first 4 episodes again(and also episode 10).
I enjoyed Season 3 but after rewatching Season 1 and 2, there were somethings about the first 2 seasons that season 3 doesn't have:
Plot - Well, Season 1 had sort of a focus on the (developing) friendship between Nanoha and Fate. Season 2 had friendship also(befriending the Knights, etc).
Rewatching the episodes again, the focus on friendship is actually something that I really enjoyed about the first 2 seasons.
Season 3, well, it had Erio/Caro trying to befriend Lutecia. That plot was kind of underdeveloped or sort of rushed or tacked on, not sure the right word for it. I mean, all season long, there was nothing going on with Erio/Caro and Lutecia except for those 2 episodes(was it episode 24 or 23?).
StrikerS could have used more "befriending". Nanoha was kind of lacking in the befriending department in StrikerS, well, she didn't have much of anyone to befriend.
Well, there was Quattro(even though she was mean and insensitive, she could so be befriended by Nanoha)
Although StrikerS' plot wasn't set up for "befriending" like season 1 and 2 but they could have easily made it that way.
Instead of Nanoha befriending, we get, Nanoha being mothering(Vivio). I didn't really like that plot. Nanoha is 9, now she's suddenly 19, now a mother? I mean, I'm fine with 19yo Nanoha but she's growing up too fast.
Anyway, instead of Vivio being Nanoha's adopted daughter, I would have preferred if they made Vivio into some 19 year old girl, villain, which Nanoha has to befriend.
For example, Vivio could be instead changed to be part of the Numbers.
Well, I just don't like the idea of Nanoha being 9 in one season, then the next season, already 19 years old and a mother as well.
Speaking of numbers, Nanoha should also befriend the older numbers that stuck with Scaglietti and went to jail instead of joining Nanoha's side. Also
to Due being killed off instead of befriended. Poor Due. Also, Hayate should have gotten a fight scene.
Also, I like 9yo(year old) Nanoha better than 19yo Nanoha(see below for reason).
Well, to recap: Nanoha should have been more befriendy in Season 3.
I enjoyed Season 3 but after rewatching (some of) Season 1 and 2 recently, it made me realize how much I miss 9 year old Nanoha and how much more befriendy 9yo Nanoha is compared to 19yo Nanoha.
Well, to simply put it short(and in conclusion):
One of the things that I didn't like was the lack of "befriending" in Season 3. Yes, I actually wanted Nanoha to try to befriend Quattro.
This is actually why I dislike older Nanoha, she just doesn't seem to care about befriending as much as young Nanoha. Young Nanoha, she practically befriends anything in sight. She zooms on anything that can befriended, BAM, BEFRIENDING TIME.
Anyway, I am not sure anyone felt there was a lack of needed befriending in Season 3(Caro/Erio + Lutecia = too short, the sidestory felt a little "tacked" on if that's the right word for it).