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Old 2010-10-09, 23:20   Link #1161
Demi.
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Your post is kind of long Reckoner, Lol...

...When I'm feeling up to the task, I'll reply...Shouldn't be long.

Though some comments in your rant give me an increasing urge to take my frustrations out on you in Starcraft. ;-;
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Old 2010-10-09, 23:26   Link #1162
Reckoner
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Originally Posted by Nanya01 View Post
*Shrugs* I liked Evangelion myself, but I wouldn't rate it a 10 like you did.

But, whatever, I'm done. This is nothing more than an argument that will make everyone who posts look stupid.

Oh, wait, too late for that, since we're arguing back and forth, huh?
Well thanks for starting something and then running away. I appreciate your inability to actually hold a discussion.

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Originally Posted by Demi. View Post
Your post is kind of long Reckoner, Lol...

...When I'm feeling up to the task, I'll reply...Shouldn't be long.

Though some comments in your rant give me an increasing urge to take my frustrations out on you in Starcraft. ;-;
Bring it!
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Old 2010-10-09, 23:54   Link #1163
Kagayaki
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Everything I said above is pretty much a representation of how garbled up the first season is. Such a piece of junk.

(Yes I drew a comparison to a crappy Shonen, what you gonna do about it?).

[...] it makes me want to puke.

honestly, the writers of this show have no idea how to develop any characters. In fact the writers don't even know how to tell a story well in the first place.

Now something that did make me mad [...]

In comparison with what I expected this series to be, it is complete and absolute garbage.
Reckoner, it seems you've put a lot of thought and analysis into your review. Which is good. But especially if you're looking for a flame-free debate, your tone could be a little less sarcatic and provocative. Your language sounds like you're trying to start a shitstorm, not a debate.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
? I don't think either show is the most awful thing I've seen. They're both filled of averagish moments.
If I had to guess what rating you'd given the show after reading your review (without looking at the numbers you gave), it would have been somewhere between 4 and a 0, nowhere near a 7. If you wanted people to think you thought the show was one of the worst anime you've ever seen, you succeeded.

In your review, you make good points and point out a number of flaws that I agree with. On the other hand, I think that the rest of the things you said are hard to argue with since they're basically matters of opinion. I'm not going to go through and respond to your entire post, since I'm lazy and it's really long. But one example is the action section, which basically says you thought it was generally boring and didn't like fast learning, engrish, or beamspam. Well I thought the action was great and I liked all 3 of those things. I didn't think they were boring. I didn't think they didn't fit. Opinions.
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Old 2010-10-10, 00:02   Link #1164
fukarming
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Reckoner: When I say Nanoha is not your cup of tea I don't mean anything negative and there is no need to be so defensive about it. Although I only read your profile which you put Mushishi, Ergo Proxy...etc as your favorite anime and didn't read your myanimelist, After reading your myanimelist it only further reassure me that you wouldn't like Nanoha.

It is quite obvious to me that you like psychological (babble) anime that is (pretended to be) deep. Way before I read your myanimelist I knew you would hate K-on with a passion and I was right.

The bottom line is, there are strengths and weaknesses in the Nanoha franchise. Base on your list you simply don't care about the strengths in Nanoha, which is fine and there is no need to justify that. It is like trying to reason why meat taste better than vegetables or why orange taste better than apple.

To appreciate the Nanoha franchise you need to watch enough of the two genre - magical girl and mecha, which is lacking on your list, especially the magical girl genre. However, I don't think you would like magical girl at all so unless you really want to torture yourself, I don't suggest you to go through 70 episode of Card Captor Sakura.
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Old 2010-10-10, 05:19   Link #1165
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Alright, onto discussing something other than Reckoner's anime prefences which isn't the point of this thread.

Now you might say wow Nanoha's so ridiculously idealist that it runs into standard main character "zomg i must save the world" syndrome, you'd have to wonder why the hell she's doing all this crap. What's her motivation besides the fact that this show is called Magical girl Lyrical Nanoha?

Because she's atypically mature and was put in an extraordinary situation but at the same time is immature enough to believe in blind idealism and that everyone is good and worthy of being saved.

Nanoha is the result of being unusually mature and responsible but at the same time naive to the way the world works.

That sounds circular and awfully corny still. But in the end, that's what happens when a energetic child is given a powerful beam cannon and told she should fight for justice? It sounds corny for us, but it makes much sense for Nanoha. With an opportunity, what are you gonna do?

The point of season 1 was to provide this contrast between Nanoha and Fate. One was given an opportunity to do something to change her normal, boring life, and took it with enthusiasm. The other had her situation forced upon her, her motivations were all a lie and she fights for no reason except following a false dream.

But as we go to season 2 and beyond, Nanoha's personality does begin to change. She becomes more practical and realizes that ideals must be balanced with reality. There sometimes is nothing you can do against an enemy besides the sounds of your own cannons.

And that's the source of character conflict that drives the 1st season. All their actions can be derived from this situation and background.

Overall, it's not the best motivation, but I still prefer it over the "zomg must get stronger" or "must fight evil" spiel that many a lead must recite. For Nanoha, "why?" is answered with "why not?". Why stop and do normal things when you are given the ability to do what other kids could only dream of? Wouldn't that be a waste?

Not that any of this excuses the series. It's extremely evident that the 1st season has no idea what the hell it's doing beyond the faintest of outlines, and it causes extreme difficulty with suspension of disbelief. And that can be the difference between liking the show, and hating it. A's is obviously better at it, but it still has these problems.

I would write my own text wall of feelings on these seasons but I'll find another time.
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Old 2010-10-10, 05:59   Link #1166
Keroko
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*cracks knuckles* Eh, I'll give it a shot. I'm not going to argue season 1 though, since I find season one to be the most boring one of the lot and I actually agree with a fair amount of Reckoner's points. Though one thing I would argue is the comment that Precia is 'out of place' in such a 'light-hearted' show. Light-hearted? Nanoha? Since when? Nanoha is not exactly what I'd call a light-hearted show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
One example is the the higher commanding officer towards the end revealed to be somewhat corrupted (Another plot twist that really was freaking obvious as hell, they just can't execute a proper plot twist),
That 'obvious' part is actually called foreshadowing. It's intentional.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Another problem is the continual usage of the friends and family. They are integrated so little into the story, and show so much trust in Nanoha despite her lieing to them and keeping things from them, and pretty much ignoring them. Why are they even in the story so much? Again, they are just obstacles. Oh yeah Suzuka became friends with Hayate as a plot device, I forgot. So all of a sudden she serves a useful purpose, but unknowingly. Maybe I'm making too big of a deal about it, but the details regarding Nanoha's family and friends is just flat out annoying and poorly done.
With only twelve episodes, cutting needs to be done. Nanoha's family and friends were among the least necessary parts of the series, so logically they get cut.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Hayate's emotional attachment to it at that point was extremely unbelievable as well. It was just rather gaggish. A magical book that was misnamed and reprogrammed was just sad all this time? I mean really?... I cannot take that this seriously. The goddamn thing was just supposed to be a book.
Where did you get that the book was 'supposed' to be 'just' a book? For someone who claims to see through plot twists, you certainly missed quite a bit of foreshadowing on this part.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Also why did they touch so little upon Chrono and his other's development in this season regarding the father that died. It was a missed opportunity to actually develop said characters in a meaningful way, and they just drive by it like "it's no problem dude." Why even mention something like that is going to be touched upon so little? Could have been an interesting point of conflict in this season.
Like I said, twelve episodes. Snip snip. Chrono was a side-character, you don't spend too much attention on side-characters to begin with, least of all with such a tight schedule. They did a decent job with what they were given, and really, it was either that or the emo-route. I can't thank seven arcs enough for skipping the emo-route.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Sure it's nice to have an imagination, but hey bro, you're telling a story here... It doesn't flow well whatsoever and there is little to no sense of direction until a couple episodes before events where they make it so obvious where they're going that it removes all dramatic tension from the show. I rate the plot a 6/10. Very poor indeed.
You seem to be looking for complicated and unexpected plot twists in your shows. Not every show has, nor needs to have complicated plot twists. Writing a show that's easy to follow and predict is a very valid way of writing a story.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
First a general complaint, the cast is REALLLLy young, but are displayed to be of minds and thoughts much older than their actual age. That is just very annoying.
It's a magical girl series, what'd you expect? Realism concerning the cast was the first thing to go out the window.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Nanoha - Strong, good natured, and good natured. OK, so it almost always seems like Nanoha can do no wrong when it comes to emotions. She is hardly ever displayed as weak and lacks any personal conflict really. All she simply wants to do is have everyone talk together like some sort of therapist, so that people can better understand one another. I mean OK. I think her tityle should be Magical Therapist Girl Nanoha. Whether it's first season or second season, that's all she seems to be concerned about. Understanding other people. There is no motivation in her actions beyond the bland "Protect others" that is evident in empty characters like Ichigo from Bleach (Yes I drew a comparison to a crappy Shonen, what you gonna do about it?).
Pretty much. She's the 'superman' for Nanoha. The perfect heroine. I recall making this argument myself some time ago, and it was pointed out to me that it's not a requirement for every character to desperately need a flaw. Sometimes a story can just have pure superheroes.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Yuuno - Can I say plot device? He does nothing more than to serve as the tool for which Nanoha can further integrate herself into the world of magic. He is just the helper character. What a waste. The writers also tossed aside like a piece of garbage in season 2, and apparently season 3 is even worst in that respect from what I hear. If they weren't going to use him as an actual character, why even use him at all. Nanoha didn't have to discover magic through him. I'm very disappointed in how little integrated to the story Yuuno is.
Not going to argue this one concerning it's a point I've been arguing myself since day one.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Now something that did make me mad is the staffs and their craptastic English. Is there any actual reason for having them speak English in this story? Like why?
"It's cool!"

No really, that's the only reason. Since you are from an English speaking country it's probably hard to understand, but to us non-English folk English is a language that sounds cool. Stuff sounds a lot cooler when you say it in another language. Compare it to actually leaving Japanes attack names in Japanese instead of translating them to English. Same thing.

as for why the English is so crappy... well, it's Japan. They are notorious for their bad English.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Not to mention that these staffs have personalities apparently, because I suppose they're "intelligent devices." But are these staff's actually required to do magic? There is very little explanation to how magic is even used in this show. What exactly are these staffs? How are they made? Why do you need them? Could Nanoha theoretically do magic without it? It seems Yuuno can.
Ahh, this is probably going to tick you off immensely, but they do expand on the magic. Or at least, in Japan. You see, the DVD's there came with booklets containing mountains of information on how magic works. The manga also expands on plot and background, and while the manga was translated, the booklets never were.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
But yeah, the action in Nanoha definitely lacks tension most of the time. No one is ever going to die form a battle. It's just all about how my laser PEW PEW is going to be better than your laser PEW PEW PEW.
Why do you think fans call it the Gundam among magical girls?
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Old 2010-10-10, 10:40   Link #1167
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In the end, Reckoner would need to understand and like the magical girl and mecha genres to really understand Nanoha. The series is one that slowly twists the standard magical girl formula into something different; some might say, growing the genre up. The "hype" as it were, is because of the twist to the magical girl genre.

For instance, idealism is the word of the day in magical girl shows, and the good guys(or in this case, girls) are good, and the bad guys are bad, and as long as you care enough, you will triumph. Nanoha still embodies that, but as they go along, they find things aren't so clear cut, and instead of blasting their enemies straight off after a speech of justice, she seeks to understand why her enemies are fighting.

Nanoha's family, and Arf/Yuuon being put on a bus, are about the only real legitimate complaints you can toss at it. Kids being too young for what they are doing, and being mature about it, is standard fare for the anime/video game industry in general, because the creators try to make heroes close to the age range of the kids they are selling it to.

Also, most anime is only given 12-13 episodes to tell a story, so not everything can make it in, and thus I tend to forgive shorter anime that doesn't quite cover everything (not as much an excuse for anime that stretches 50+ episodes). This means that if you really want to understand, you have to seek out additional materials. This is fine, usually, because most anime is based off a manga, which has the time to go into everything and explain it. Nanoha is a bit different, in that it was an anime first. So you have to check out the supplementary manga, the sound stages, and the Triangle Hearts OVA to really get a full background picture.

If you can go online, and it looks like you can, then there isn't much excuse to go check them out. The sound stages have been translated and are available in this very forum. You can find the manga on several manga sites. I can't link them to you, but I'm sure you can find them. The 4-episode Triangle Hearts OVA (Sweet Songs Forever) is also available online in various forms. Despite the name, it's more fighting than romantic in nature; Kyoya and Miyuki (Nanoha's brother and sister) work as kickass swordsmen bodyguards protecting a singer. It's only AU because their father, Shiro, died in Triangle Hearts doing the same thing (swordsmen bodyguard), while he lived in the Nanoha series.
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Old 2010-10-10, 12:32   Link #1168
Reckoner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
*cracks knuckles* Eh, I'll give it a shot. I'm not going to argue season 1 though, since I find season one to be the most boring one of the lot and I actually agree with a fair amount of Reckoner's points. Though one thing I would argue is the comment that Precia is 'out of place' in such a 'light-hearted' show. Light-hearted? Nanoha? Since when? Nanoha is not exactly what I'd call a light-hearted show.
I don't see how Nanoha isn't exactly on the lighter side of anime. Especially when your main characters are these cute little girls...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
That 'obvious' part is actually called foreshadowing. It's intentional.
Foreshadowing can always be used in a subtle manner. I don't like when they treat the audience as dumb, young or old, just so people can understand the plot easier.

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
With only twelve episodes, cutting needs to be done. Nanoha's family and friends were among the least necessary parts of the series, so logically they get cut.
They wasted an incredible amount of time in both seasons with the same repeated fights over and over again, and in season 2 they didn't even give us the end conclusion to such fights.


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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
Where did you get that the book was 'supposed' to be 'just' a book? For someone who claims to see through plot twists, you certainly missed quite a bit of foreshadowing on this part.
It was introduced as a magical tomb with some sort of programming. Whatever. It was within the realm of possibilities, but this isn't a twist. My main complaint about it is how they expected us to empathize with both it and Hayate at the end of the series, when clearly I don't think you can.

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
Like I said, twelve episodes. Snip snip. Chrono was a side-character, you don't spend too much attention on side-characters to begin with, least of all with such a tight schedule. They did a decent job with what they were given, and really, it was either that or the emo-route. I can't thank seven arcs enough for skipping the emo-route.
Here's a better snip snip, don't even include it in the story.

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
You seem to be looking for complicated and unexpected plot twists in your shows. Not every show has, nor needs to have complicated plot twists. Writing a show that's easy to follow and predict is a very valid way of writing a story.
There's no point to a plot twist if it doesn't seem to really "twist the plot." I expect any plot twist to actually be able to change the route of the story in a surprising way.

A show doesn't need plot twists though.

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
It's a magical girl series, what'd you expect? Realism concerning the cast was the first thing to go out the window.
OK. Lets call them magical alien girls instead of magical girls. Clearly they're not humans.

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
Pretty much. She's the 'superman' for Nanoha. The perfect heroine. I recall making this argument myself some time ago, and it was pointed out to me that it's not a requirement for every character to desperately need a flaw. Sometimes a story can just have pure superheroes.
Here's a question for you... Which sold better, DC comics or Marvel? And which comic among the DC comics was the best selling? Why?

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
"It's cool!"

No really, that's the only reason. Since you are from an English speaking country it's probably hard to understand, but to us non-English folk English is a language that sounds cool. Stuff sounds a lot cooler when you say it in another language. Compare it to actually leaving Japanes attack names in Japanese instead of translating them to English. Same thing.

as for why the English is so crappy... well, it's Japan. They are notorious for their bad English.
I understand this perfectly well. I'm just a little disillusioned by it.

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
Why do you think fans call it the Gundam among magical girls?
That's fine and all, but they shouldn't try to do what Gundam/mecha shows do, we have sunrise for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
In the end, Reckoner would need to understand and like the magical girl and mecha genres to really understand Nanoha. The series is one that slowly twists the standard magical girl formula into something different; some might say, growing the genre up. The "hype" as it were, is because of the twist to the magical girl genre.
*snip*
Genres can always be redefined. I watched Cardcaptor Sakura as a kid, I've seen Shakugan no Shana, I've seen shows like Sola, and Sailor Moon (If that counts?)... There are different types of magical girl shows, and I have seen and enjoyed them. I've also seen several mechs. So I'll say this, my criticisms have little to do with my lack of understanding of these genres. Perhaps I have not been around long enough to see just exactly how Nanoha managed to redefine it in any meaningful way.

Lets take your point about idealism. Sure, maybe not many magical girl shows took this approach before, but many animes of other genres and many stories of other mediums and genres have. Is it really so novel to apply it to magical girl type stories? Conflicted antagonists have always existed before Nanoha.

And I understand why they make the characters the age they are, but I still think from an artistic standpoint that it is garbage. But hey, they're making the $$$.

And please don't excuse the show because a season is short. Season 1 wasted an incredible amount of time, and season 2 was very repetitive. They could have easily made much more room. I honestly felt like both seasons could have almost fitted into one season.

Anyhow, yes I can always check out supplemental material, and I may do so, but that doesn't change anything I've said.
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Old 2010-10-10, 12:56   Link #1169
Tiresias
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There's SO many comment I could make out of your post, but I'll just focus on what really caught my attention:

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I don't see how Nanoha isn't exactly on the lighter side of anime. Especially when your main characters are these cute little girls...
Ever watched Grave of the Fireflies? Young != light

Quote:
Here's a better snip snip, don't even include it in the story.
Because every show needs side characters. and just because they're not the main cast doesn't mean the can't have background on their own.

Quote:
That's fine and all, but they shouldn't try to do what Gundam/mecha shows do, we have sunrise for that.
Did you know that before Gundam, the real robot genre doesn't even exist? That all mecha shows were super robots? There are times when people decides to tinker with a genre, toy a little bit and made some variety. Otherwise, their product would be labeled as "copycat of x"
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Old 2010-10-10, 13:04   Link #1170
Reckoner
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Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
Ever watched Grave of the Fireflies? Young != light
Yes, it is a wonderful film. I'll elaborate then, since you are correct in this statement.

The Nanoha universe is a place where everyone is good hearted save 1 person (Precia) so far. The main character is a cute 9 year old girl who comes from a family that just seems to be good natured and happy. She goes to a school wehre there never any problems, she has two cute friends, she wears a cute outfit... Death doesn't ever really seem to be a major looming threat ever in this show. No one seems to have experienced any mental anguish save Fate because of one character, Precia.

The magical bureau is filled of happy go lucky people (Amy and Lindy). Almost any other antagonist in this show other than Precia is good hearted and simply conflicted.

That's why I say she doesn't seem to fit. She's the only character presented in the entire show so far that is this dark. The atmosphere other than her is basically almost always light hearted and happy.

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
Because every show needs side characters. and just because they're not the main cast doesn't mean the can't have background on their own.
Precisely. My criticism is that there are no side characters in Nanoha, just fodder characters .

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Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
There are times when people decides to tinker with a genre, toy a little bit and made some variety.
Yeah sure, but I just feel the action has potential to be even better is all. IMO, the appeal of magic is to be able to do all sorts of mysterious things, but this was just like shooting huge barrages of lasers and guns.
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Old 2010-10-10, 13:57   Link #1171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Genres can always be redefined. I watched Cardcaptor Sakura as a kid, I've seen Shakugan no Shana, I've seen shows like Sola, and Sailor Moon (If that counts?)... There are different types of magical girl shows, and I have seen and enjoyed them. I've also seen several mechs. So I'll say this, my criticisms have little to do with my lack of understanding of these genres. Perhaps I have not been around long enough to see just exactly how Nanoha managed to redefine it in any meaningful way.
Genres can be redefined, but they are not always done so. Take Bleach for example; fairly typical of shonen series with little else that doesn't redefine anything (It's DBZ with swords), and yet very popular. Why? Because it sticks to the tried and true formula. Thus, it really is hard to break out of that and produce something that crosses multiple genres and appeals to fans of all of them. Which each genre you cross, you risk pissing off the fans of that genre because you added something else. Say, an action series where you added a lot of romance. The action fans (which tend to be younger boys) won't want to watch as much because there is romance, and the romance fans (which tend to be women) won't like the ball-bustin' action of something like Bleach or DBZ.

To put Nanoha into this context, the magical girl genre has always been one to focus on relationships, usually romantic in nature, with idealism playing heavily into the focus. The bad guys tend to be simplistic, simply out to be evil much like Disney villains. There is usually nothing too graphic shown, and fights are simple affairs, with the heroine uttering her same phrases over and over in a monster-of-the-week smashing affair.

I wouldn't classify Shana as a magical girl genre, though, mostly because men and women are mixed together fairly well in both protagonists and antagonists. Yuji is as much the hero of the story as Shana is; in some ways even more, since he grows from a "normal" person and learns magic and combat, so much so that he becomes as good or better than Shana (you'd have to read the light novels to really see). I haven't seen Sola, but it doesn't appear to be magical girl, either. It's tagged as mystery, drama, romance.

Quote:
Lets take your point about idealism. Sure, maybe not many magical girl shows took this approach before, but many animes of other genres and many stories of other mediums and genres have. Is it really so novel to apply it to magical girl type stories? Conflicted antagonists have always existed before Nanoha.
The only magical girl shows with any real popularity before Nanoha were Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura. Let's take a look at the stand stuff that both used that are representative of the genre:
  • Both played the tried-and-true monster-of-the-week with only a little deviation to the theme.
  • Cast never really aged, focus was always on young girls (the theme being magic is for the young; as you grow, the magic is lost)
  • Episodic, with collection of MacGuffins being a major point
  • Cutesy, with outfits to match. Pink and hearts a major theme of both outfits and attacks (because girls like cute outfits)
  • Heroines who didn't want their powers, and whined and cried a lot about wanting to be normal
  • Topics were kept simple and mostly clean and safe
  • Focus on romantic love
  • Emphasis and heavy reuse of stock footage for transformations and attacks
  • A secret identity, and some sort of glamor magic where friends and family couldn't tell the magical girl was actually someone they knew
  • Protagonists are mainly female; antagonists tend to be mostly female as well.

Right off the bat, Nanoha starts up the genre standards. MaGuffins to collect, young girl using pink magic attacks with catchphrases and transformations. But part of the twist is that it slowly sheds those, in some cases causing a mood whiplash(part of the design; it starts one way, but changes into another). The Jewel Seeds fade in focus, as it switches to Nanoha and Fate, but I think it was the whipping scene in particular that really told people this was going to be different. The show goes on to realistically address magic, because if it exists, there has to be a society around it. And part of the deviation you'll see when you hit StrikerS, is that Nanoha isn't afraid to grow the cast up, and continue to deal with magic in a realistic way. It retains idealism, but mixes in a healthy does of realism.

Sailor Moon and Sakura never grew up. No magical girls did, and even most series keeps the cast the same ages throughout, with maybe a couple years of growth at most. We never really saw the major implications of the magical lifestyle; at least not to the extent Nanoha did. They stayed in their idealistic universe, not venturing beyond.

Hell, there was actually a loud outcry when StrikerS came around; a lot of otaku complained that their loli's had grown up. Some fansub groups even decided not to sub StrikerS because of that. Nanoha slashed all the standards, which is part of what draws me to a series; does it resort to the old formula? Or does it do something new, and does it well? My opinion is that it did.

Quote:
And please don't excuse the show because a season is short. Season 1 wasted an incredible amount of time, and season 2 was very repetitive. They could have easily made much more room. I honestly felt like both seasons could have almost fitted into one season.
It's not like I'm against all your criticism; I've basically said before that if I were to do season 1, I'd make a number of changes, too. It did seem to drag a bit too much, with not quite enough focus on Nanoha's family and how it shaped her. But yes, I will still stick to the short season idea, because with a hard limit of episodes, it can be difficult to fit in everything. Also, a lot of shows do have trouble finding their footing early on, so I do excuse weaker starts as long as the series improves as it goes on; which Nanoha does, so I cut season 1 some slack. Also, Seven Arcs was a porn company before, and this was the first major attempt at something with a plot.

Take a look at all the materials. Go on to Strikers. Read Vivid and Force. And then give your overall impression.

Quote:
Anyhow, yes I can always check out supplemental material, and I may do so, but that doesn't change anything I've said.
I'd be careful, because you're essentially judging the book without reading it all the way through. Nanoha isn't simply an anime series; it's a world. Part of what they did with StrikerS (and are continuing to do with the Vivid and Force manga) is create a rich and detailed universe. We have a rather large thread on this forum where many have created their own characters, and sent them off on their own adventures.
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Old 2010-10-10, 16:12   Link #1172
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A slightly less serious discussion on Device "engrish", etc:

-- The devices speak pretty fluent English, except in the infamous "I can be shot scene"
-- Why would the devices speak Japanese? It's even less likely than English. As Death Note would lampshade, English is one of the most popular languages in the world. They apparently underestimated the tendency of plot critical elements to occur in Japan.
-- Being alien devices, it's native tongue would be something strange and exotic. Naturally English would fit the bill more than the Japanese to people in Japan; they could have made a new language but I don't think that had to be expected and would be more confusing. English is one of the foreign languages that is more familiar in Japan so it tends to work best.
-- So why do the Belkan Knight devices speak German? Well, they are using a different type of device altogether.
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Old 2010-10-10, 16:22   Link #1173
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
A slightly less serious discussion on Device "engrish", etc:

-- The devices speak pretty fluent English, except in the infamous "I can be shot scene"
-- Why would the devices speak Japanese? It's even less likely than English. As Death Note would lampshade, English is one of the most popular languages in the world. They apparently underestimated the tendency of plot critical elements to occur in Japan.
-- Being alien devices, it's native tongue would be something strange and exotic. Naturally English would fit the bill more than the Japanese to people in Japan; they could have made a new language but I don't think that had to be expected and would be more confusing. English is one of the foreign languages that is more familiar in Japan so it tends to work best.
-- So why do the Belkan Knight devices speak German? Well, they are using a different type of device altogether.
Simple answer: It's cool. Just like an American kid would like to shout out an attack in Japanese. A better answer for why Belkan devices speak German? It's the "ancient" language, and German is used to establish that fact, simply because German is different than English and Japanese. They could have used Spanish or Russian, but German sounds like a better "old" language.
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Old 2010-10-10, 16:29   Link #1174
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Simple answer: It's cool. Just like an American kid would like to shout out an attack in Japanese. A better answer for why Belkan devices speak German? It's the "ancient" language, and German is used to establish that fact, simply because German is different than English and Japanese. They could have used Spanish or Russian, but German sounds like a better "old" language.
Yes, everyone's aware of that answer; so I was being mildly facetious.
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Old 2010-10-10, 16:49   Link #1175
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Genres can be redefined, but they are not always done so. Take Bleach for example; fairly typical of shonen series with little else that doesn't redefine anything (It's DBZ with swords), and yet very popular. Why? Because it sticks to the tried and true formula. Thus, it really is hard to break out of that and produce something that crosses multiple genres and appeals to fans of all of them. Which each genre you cross, you risk pissing off the fans of that genre because you added something else. Say, an action series where you added a lot of romance. The action fans (which tend to be younger boys) won't want to watch as much because there is romance, and the romance fans (which tend to be women) won't like the ball-bustin' action of something like Bleach or DBZ.
Well yeah, but the most successful series are the ones that break out of this like say Haruhi. Romance, sci-fi, mystery, comedy, and moe all in one. Take a look at Neon Genesis Evangelion, the anime touted as the start of modern anime by many, which broke free of the hot blooded mecha series.

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To put Nanoha into this context, the magical girl genre has always been one to focus on relationships, usually romantic in nature, with idealism playing heavily into the focus. The bad guys tend to be simplistic, simply out to be evil much like Disney villains. There is usually nothing too graphic shown, and fights are simple affairs, with the heroine uttering her same phrases over and over in a monster-of-the-week smashing affair.
Well yes, that is the stereotype of the magical girl genre, and yes, Nanoha does break free of it. But execution also counts, and that's where I feel Nanoha does its job poorly. Not in the concept, but how it tell its story. My main criticism of this show is simply how they tell their story.

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I wouldn't classify Shana as a magical girl genre, though, mostly because men and women are mixed together fairly well in both protagonists and antagonists. Yuji is as much the hero of the story as Shana is; in some ways even more, since he grows from a "normal" person and learns magic and combat, so much so that he becomes as good or better than Shana (you'd have to read the light novels to really see). I haven't seen Sola, but it doesn't appear to be magical girl, either. It's tagged as mystery, drama, romance.
Well Shana is a bit of a spin on the magical girl genre I feel. I am very aware of the novel detials in Shana too. Sola is related, but not really magical girl so i'll give you that.

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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
The only magical girl shows with any real popularity before Nanoha were Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura. Let's take a look at the stand stuff that both used that are representative of the genre:
  • Both played the tried-and-true monster-of-the-week with only a little deviation to the theme.
  • Cast never really aged, focus was always on young girls (the theme being magic is for the young; as you grow, the magic is lost)
  • Episodic, with collection of MacGuffins being a major point
  • Cutesy, with outfits to match. Pink and hearts a major theme of both outfits and attacks (because girls like cute outfits)
  • Heroines who didn't want their powers, and whined and cried a lot about wanting to be normal
  • Topics were kept simple and mostly clean and safe
  • Focus on romantic love
  • Emphasis and heavy reuse of stock footage for transformations and attacks
  • A secret identity, and some sort of glamor magic where friends and family couldn't tell the magical girl was actually someone they knew
  • Protagonists are mainly female; antagonists tend to be mostly female as well.

Right off the bat, Nanoha starts up the genre standards. MaGuffins to collect, young girl using pink magic attacks with catchphrases and transformations. But part of the twist is that it slowly sheds those, in some cases causing a mood whiplash(part of the design; it starts one way, but changes into another). The Jewel Seeds fade in focus, as it switches to Nanoha and Fate, but I think it was the whipping scene in particular that really told people this was going to be different. The show goes on to realistically address magic, because if it exists, there has to be a society around it. And part of the deviation you'll see when you hit StrikerS, is that Nanoha isn't afraid to grow the cast up, and continue to deal with magic in a realistic way. It retains idealism, but mixes in a healthy does of realism.
Yes, Nanoha tries to break from it a little, but the way the story unfolded, the whipping scene came out as unnatural in this sort of story. When the main character hasn't even really faced true evil, she never even met Precia let alone fight her, this sort of antagonist just feels out of place in the story.

Again, if they tried to set the tone for the magical society world, I would have appreciated if they tried to set it up from the beginning. Yuuno did little at all to help explain that there really is a complex world out there beyond where Nanoha lives. It's the way they tell the story, more so than the story itself, that bothers me.

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Sailor Moon and Sakura never grew up. No magical girls did, and even most series keeps the cast the same ages throughout, with maybe a couple years of growth at most. We never really saw the major implications of the magical lifestyle; at least not to the extent Nanoha did. They stayed in their idealistic universe, not venturing beyond.
This is actually what attracted me finally to pick up this series. I found it interesting that the main character would grow up. This is something that many series don't do, so I'm happy about it.

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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Hell, there was actually a loud outcry when StrikerS came around; a lot of otaku complained that their loli's had grown up. Some fansub groups even decided not to sub StrikerS because of that. Nanoha slashed all the standards, which is part of what draws me to a series; does it resort to the old formula? Or does it do something new, and does it well? My opinion is that it did.
OK, you've made your point. You're correct. Nanoha doesn't do exactly what other shows in this genre do. But it still does not address my complaints about how they execute the show.

So far I'm 3 episodes into strikers, and I don't see why the complaints are warranted yet.

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It's not like I'm against all your criticism; I've basically said before that if I were to do season 1, I'd make a number of changes, too. *snip*
Take a look at all the materials. Go on to Strikers. Read Vivid and Force. And then give your overall impression.
I will try to brush up on everything I can in Nanoha. But each piece of work does need to stand on its own. The first season for me, was pretty bland, the second was an improvement, but still had many faults, and the third so far is actually seeming even better. So I'll hand it to them that they do seem to be innovating and improving this series.

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I'd be careful, because you're essentially judging the book without reading it all the way through. Nanoha isn't simply an anime series; it's a world. Part of what they did with StrikerS (and are continuing to do with the Vivid and Force manga) is create a rich and detailed universe. We have a rather large thread on this forum where many have created their own characters, and sent them off on their own adventures.
It's a world sure. But when I watch Star Wars for example, episodes 4, 5, and 6 were pretty good, but episodes 1 and 2 were absolutely terrible, with 3 being alright. Do I forgive them for episodes 1 and 2 because of previous works? No, each one is a story that needs to stand up on its own.
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Old 2010-10-10, 18:06   Link #1176
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Only gonna touch on a few things.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Well yeah, but the most successful series are the ones that break out of this like say Haruhi. Romance, sci-fi, mystery, comedy, and moe all in one. Take a look at Neon Genesis Evangelion, the anime touted as the start of modern anime by many, which broke free of the hot blooded mecha series.
Crossing or breaking out of the genres is pretty tough. The ones you name are the exceptions; for every one that succeeds, there are dozens, if not hundreds, that fail. Not because they were bad, but because they didn't find that perfect mix that draws in most genre fans.

And even then, NGE is not really remembered as a mecha anime, and it's popularity is more to the fact that Anno went slowly batshit insane while writing it, and thus it is more of a mindfuck than anything else.

Quote:
Yes, Nanoha tries to break from it a little, but the way the story unfolded, the whipping scene came out as unnatural in this sort of story. When the main character hasn't even really faced true evil, she never even met Precia let alone fight her, this sort of antagonist just feels out of place in the story.
Not sure entirely what you're saying here, as I guess I don't understand why you feel it's somehow out of place. Precia, in her grief over losing Alicia, and her hatred of Fate due to seeing the girl as a living reminder of her own failure, was deliberately cold and cruel to the "thing." She didn't want to get attached, and thus went overboard. Fate responded like a typical apologetic abuse victim, and Nanoha, still being a bit naive but courageous, reacted much like a caring heroine would.

Quote:
Again, if they tried to set the tone for the magical society world, I would have appreciated if they tried to set it up from the beginning. Yuuno did little at all to help explain that there really is a complex world out there beyond where Nanoha lives. It's the way they tell the story, more so than the story itself, that bothers me.
It's important to note that I doubt any of these world details really existed as of Season 1. While A's expanded on it, I don't think it was until StrikerS when they finally got around to expanding things. So, in a way, Yuuno couldn't explain the big complex world because it didn't quite exist. Although it was just made evident that there are more worlds than Earth out there, and we did learn a bit about the Bureau's mission with respect to them.

Quote:
So far I'm 3 episodes into strikers, and I don't see why the complaints are warranted yet.
Heh, it has more to do with the fact that those people really really liked loli's. They really came across like the kind of people that validate the negative things people normally associate with Otaku and anime fans.

Quote:
It's a world sure. But when I watch Star Wars for example, episodes 4, 5, and 6 were pretty good, but episodes 1 and 2 were absolutely terrible, with 3 being alright. Do I forgive them for episodes 1 and 2 because of previous works? No, each one is a story that needs to stand up on its own.
You've got this analogy a bit backwards with regards to Nanoha. I cut Nanoha season 1 some slack because they were just starting out and missteps can be expected (the animation differences in episode 1 in a few scenes illustrating this best). So, to use Star Wars, you'd have to cut episode 4 some slack but expect 5, 6, 1, 2, and 3 to get better, since that was the order they were created. Indeed, because a lot of people feel 1, 2, and 3 sucked, they can rightfully criticize the execution.

To restate: I can cut the beginning of things some slack if it improves as things go on. I feel Nanoha met this criteria, but I know of a lot of series that do not. They either remain bad, get worse, or don't improve much. I watched Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou not too long ago, a 12 ep series. Quite the opposite of Nanoha, in that they tried to cram so much that things felt rushed, especially near the end. Pacing can be an issue.
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Old 2010-10-11, 15:35   Link #1177
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the third so far is actually seeming even better.
Hahaha oh wow.

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Light-hearted? Nanoha? Since when? Nanoha is not exactly what I'd call a light-hearted show.
Well, it is incredibly idealistic. I don't see how Precia "doesn't fit" into the story, though.

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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Nanoha still embodies that, but as they go along, they find things aren't so clear cut, and instead of blasting their enemies straight off after a speech of justice, she seeks to understand why her enemies are fighting.
That particular approach, I have always liked in the show. If you really think about it, it makes Nanoha a rather interesting heroine, I've never really thought about it until I read Triple_R's essay about her. Too bad it's so overshadowed by her memetic "I love to beat people up" personality.
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Old 2010-10-31, 19:39   Link #1178
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Hmm, well for whatever reason, A's and season 1 are like the only shows that I've cared about that I haven't really reviewed. So out of boredom I'll go over both seasons here as a warm up for what to want in the second Nanoha movie; there tends to be an overlap so I don't see a need to go over both separately.... that much.

Two numbers will be given, first one is season 1 and second is season 2; all are out of 10 naturally

Visuals: 6, 8
Spoiler:


Audio: 7, 7
Spoiler:


Plot and Execution: 4, 7
Spoiler:


Characters: 7, 9
Spoiler:


Enjoyment: 8, 10
Spoiler:


Overall:
Season 1 was mediocre for the most part, but it had some redeeming qualities, and they were shown best in the last few episodes so it remains memorable for whatever reason, kinda like another Magical Girl show by the name of Uta Kata. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha gets a 6/10

A's is something bigger and better, though it lost sight of itself in a few parts. Fortunately the disaster was largely averted, leaving a lot of good things and feelings to take home afterward. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's gets a 8/10 and represents something I'd like to see more of in anime.
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Old 2011-09-04, 07:42   Link #1179
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Finished my rewatch of A's no mater how many times i watch it i could watch it again with no problems, this is what made the nanoha series special for me, it has a just about the right amount of drama carefully balanced not to ruin the whole think with to much tragedy, nice action that keeps you sited, wonderful music to accompany the scenes like all of nanoha, great VA's. And also its one of the best for me at least when it comes to rewatch, reason is that through the show it builds sort of a presure on the viewer and a desire to somehow stop all the tragedies that behold the poor girl Hayate and even others (the book), a desire to break the cycle and all that pinned up pressure is being released in the last episodes, cool thing is that even on a rewatch (i don't even remember anymore how many time i've rewatched this anime), the pressure still accumulates being able to captivate you. I'd almost rewatch it again if it wasn't for StrikerS which i'm gonna jump to now.
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Old 2011-09-05, 19:27   Link #1180
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That pretty much summarizes the plot to season 1. There's so little rhyme or reason that not even Nanoha understands what the fuck is happening. It starts off with some boring magical girl fare, then she meets another mage like her, they fight, and some spaceship guy comes out of nowhere. And shit happens. And they want more jewel seeds. Then Fate's mother's a bitch. Then Fate's a clone. And yea...
So, the original season should have started with Precia's attack on that ship carrying the Jewel Seeds, and then ordering Fate to go after them?

That would have informed us of stuff like magical spaceships and the season's Big Bad and Rival from the start.

At least it was clear from the beginning that Yuuno was a boy instead of a ferret.


Quote:
I just get the feeling that they have had no idea what they were trying to accomplish, the random inter-dimensional ship thing just made me laugh so hard. Season 1 is just full of them ass pulls, including such nonsense as the TSAB whisking Nanoha away and not have the parents have a least bit of concern... without explanation, just mere exposition. That's generally very poor storytelling when you must state events instead of showing them.
And when mildly important events like, "Where did Raising Heart come from?" are completely neglected.

And HOW exactly did the Jewel Seeds --and ONLY the Jewel Seeds-- end up falling on Earth, generally all within the same city on the same hemiphere of the same planet?

For that matter, how the hell did Precia KNOW about the Jewel Seeds being dug up, or what transport they were on and where it would be? You'd think that the TSAB would not simply announce such dangerous knowledge, but try to keep it a secret.

And who in the TSAB would have any reason to let HER know about them? If the wanted a dangerously psychotic interstellar scientist to activate them, the TSAB already has one of those as a pet.

Did Jail perhaps spill the beans as a way to repay her advancements on his Project F technology?



Quote:
However, the plot does stumble heavily near the end with the infamous anticlimatic battle (which can be explained away by Hayate being freed and everyone firing at it)
Yeah, it would have been much more exciting if that monster had actually MOVED, especially to attack.

If the next movie delivers anything, it ought to be that. (And hopefully without reducing the role of any of of the characters originally involved.)


Quote:
the same matchups occurring too often
Or not often enough. Where's my Yuuno/Vita rematch, and why wasn't she demanding one?!

"Dammit, you turtle-brat, start taking me seriously!"

A Yuuno/Shamal teleporter/bind/shield battle might have been cool, too. A chance to show off something other than Yuuno's strongest defenses.


Quote:
and also the entire Gil Grahmn fiasco. Not only could his guilt be better explored, him getting off scot free despite having attempted murder of at least 2 mages engaging in an entirely reckless act that could get everyone killed anyways just can't sit well with me.
It's highly unlikely that he accurately predicted that Fate and Nanoha were going to be on the scene when the shit went down. I'm pretty sure that was just the Liese twins adapting to the situation.

I have far less sympathy for the Twins, since Graham at least regretted what he was doing. THEY actually seemed to enjoy every moment of it.

I also seemed to get the impression that Graham was being quietly exiled to Earth because of political reasons.

I mean, we are even given a scene where Lindy explicitly remarks on how "odd" the resolution of the matter is, and we are also given a shot where Letti doesn't really answer her, but stares at her with an unreadable expression.

In other words, the both of them know it's bullshit, and we don't know if Letti is on Lindy's side in this manner.


Quote:
It probably could have used more episodes to really explore some of the world they created, but the storytelling is well done here.
Yeah. It's a shame they couldn't have shaved a few episodes off the bloated, inefficient mess than was StrikerS.

Having fewer episodes might have forced that season to tighten its belt properly.


Quote:
Chrono and Yuuno are likable dorks, but incredibly dull, and everyone else is mostly forgettable.
But enough is established that further seasons could develop them into more interesting characters.

This is pretty much what A's does with Chrono, by showing us more of his relationship with Amy and introducing us to major parts of his past.

I especially liked how his "You can't bring back the dead!" conviction is strongly explained in the second season. It's the conviction he came to in regards to the death of his own father.

The involvement of Lost Logia in that death would make Precia's attempt to use another Lost Logia to challenge that conviction even more personal for Chrono, in hindsight.

Unfortunately, Yuuno remains pretty much the same guy. We don't learn anything new about him in the second season of the anime. But a third season OTHER than Strikers (and set before that time period) could have done the trick.

What better plothook to give us another Lost Logia AND learn more about Yuuno than to have the Scrya Clan dig up another one and suddenly need a rescue?
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