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Old 2010-01-19, 20:16   Link #321
Demi.
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
I thought the bridge scene was of a good length.

A's was a way more balanced series than either season since it basically took all that was good about the first and pretty much refined it to a better product.

StrikerS... well Nanoha has always been a character-based show, and thus the massive cast just diluted everything. It stumbled around but they started to get it in the end, even if the plot was really stupid. I could enjoy it, but on a much more shallow level. I mean, it does have adult Fate.


True, personally I didn't think it was dragged out, because I was enjoying the sweetness of the ending too much to want a quicker ending. Each time Fate called out Nanoha's name, it was more emotionally powerful than the last.

Yeah, A's is good enough to be one of the better anime out there. Period. That is why I know this studio is capable of making a very entertaining series, and why I'm expecting the movie to be something great. The first season had the potential for awesome, but the first handful of episodes brought it down. Focus more on the good aspects of the first season, added with far better animation...And I think it will have the potential to far surpass expectations.

True, StrikerS had it's moments, and I can't complain about seeing adult versions of my favorite lolis.
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Old 2010-01-22, 19:33   Link #322
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Hm...I have to say, I'm glad that StrikerS was my introduction to the franchise, due to the sloooooooow start. On the other hand, Fate's "As you know..." speech was actually useful for me, and once the Hotel Augusta scenes came around in Ep. 8, the pacing problems went away (heh...I remember that after watching Ep. 9 and seeing the next episode preview, I nearly screamed at the screen, "It's just getting good, and there's ANOTHER training episode?!?!" But of course, Subaru and Tea's day got derailed by plot midway through, and to my taste the show was excellent from then on out, with Eps. 24 and 25 being a generally awesome finale.

A's, of course, had vastly better pacing and a much better use of the cast; IMHO it has the best storytelling of the franchise. I only mark it down because (a) I prefer the overall themes and setting of StrikerS as well as the adult Nanoha and Fate, (b) the final battle was an extended production number rather than, well, a battle (still very cool, but it's basically an AMV to "Brave Phoenix" rather than a fight scene), and (c) the Lieze twins do not get the vicious beatdown that they so richly deserved.

The original series combines the (largely objective) flaws of StrikerS (bad pacing, slow start) with the (highly subjective) flaws of A's (thematic, all-loli heroes), and the scenes of Precia whipping Fate (and worse, much worse, Fate's very true-to-life reaction to that abuse) are Nightmare Fuel of the bad kind. Plus the final Nanoha/Fate duel made no abstract sense.

Ergo, for me, StrikerS > A's > 1st Season.
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Old 2010-01-22, 19:51   Link #323
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Plus the final Nanoha/Fate duel made no abstract sense.
Well, Fate still loved her mother to the point where she wasn't ready to give up on her mother without a fight. Essentially without that fight, Fate wasn't yet ready to accept Nanoha's friendship if it meant sacrificing her mothers will. Even after the fight, Fate continued to give her mother another chance until the very end where Precia fell into the abyss...And befriending is the staple of every Nanoha series. It had to happen eventually.
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Old 2010-01-22, 20:01   Link #324
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StrikerS > A's > 1st Season.
Brb, going on a killing spree.
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Old 2010-01-22, 20:07   Link #325
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Originally Posted by DezoPenguin View Post

A's, of course, had vastly better pacing and a much better use of the cast; IMHO it has the best storytelling of the franchise. I only mark it down because (a) I prefer the overall themes and setting of StrikerS as well as the adult Nanoha and Fate, (b) the final battle was an extended production number rather than, well, a battle (still very cool, but it's basically an AMV to "Brave Phoenix" rather than a fight scene), and (c) the Lieze twins do not get the vicious beatdown that they so richly deserved.
Oh, I'd definitely hold B and C against A's. Of the 3 "we're gonna kick your ass scene with powerup music", that one seemed to be the most anticlimatic, with the "Pray" scene in StrikerS being the best. Maybe it was because it was too drawn out. I don't know.

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The original series combines the (largely objective) flaws of StrikerS (bad pacing, slow start) with the (highly subjective) flaws of A's (thematic, all-loli heroes), and the scenes of Precia whipping Fate (and worse, much worse, Fate's very true-to-life reaction to that abuse) are Nightmare Fuel of the bad kind. Plus the final Nanoha/Fate duel made no abstract sense.
I don't get why Fate's reaction to the abuse was a bad thing. As for, the final fight; well, it was sort of an agreement on both sides to settle this once on for all to finally end this conflict that was causing great stress.

One thing that separates S1 and StrikerS for me, is that S1 attempted to have a plot. StrikerS ended up with a bunch of plot threads that just made me ask "What the hell was the point of all that?", though it did succeed in cleanup near the last third.
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Old 2010-01-22, 20:11   Link #326
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Well, Fate still loved her mother to the point where she wasn't ready to give up on her mother without a fight. Essentially without that fight, Fate wasn't yet ready to accept Nanoha's friendship if it meant sacrificing her mothers will. Even after the fight, Fate continued to give her mother another chance until the very end where Precia fell into the abyss...And befriending is the staple of every Nanoha series. It had to happen eventually.
Oh, know, I understand it on an emotional level. I meant technically.

As in, Fate binds Nanoha, so that Nanoha has to eat her Photon Lancer, Phalanx Shift with nothing but her Barrier Jacket, and it results in minor cosmetic damage. Then Nanoha Divine Busters Fate, who nearly gets wiped out even through her shield, and immediately is able to bind Fate and Starlight Breaker her. So basically, Nanoha's base defense without barrier or shield spells is better than Fate's Barrier Jacket + active defensive magic, and/or Nanoha's second-best attack spell is better than Fate's best one at that point. In other words, rather than beat Fate with skill, or beat her with heart and will, she just opened up a can of "I'm uber-strong and you're a joke" on her.
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Old 2010-01-22, 20:17   Link #327
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Oh, know, I understand it on an emotional level. I meant technically.

As in, Fate binds Nanoha, so that Nanoha has to eat her Photon Lancer, Phalanx Shift with nothing but her Barrier Jacket, and it results in minor cosmetic damage. Then Nanoha Divine Busters Fate, who nearly gets wiped out even through her shield, and immediately is able to bind Fate and Starlight Breaker her. So basically, Nanoha's base defense without barrier or shield spells is better than Fate's Barrier Jacket + active defensive magic, and/or Nanoha's second-best attack spell is better than Fate's best one at that point. In other words, rather than beat Fate with skill, or beat her with heart and will, she just opened up a can of "I'm uber-strong and you're a joke" on her.
Yeah, that was obvious crock. If they wanted to show Nanoha unharmed after the phalanx shift they should have at least shown her break the bind and avoid it using defensive magic. Fate had more of a chance winning by slashing away with her scythe form, at least that way she managed to slice a tear into Nanoha's ribbon!

But Nanoha's a God character anyways. She defeated Vivio while her magic was being sapped away by the cradle...And Vivio was supposed to be virtually unstoppable. Even if Fate's got more magical energy than her(based on their power levels shown in first season), they do a horrible job at showing it.

That's another reason why I liked A's more...The magical potential between the two seemed far closer.
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Old 2010-01-22, 20:21   Link #328
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I always saw it as Nanoha just devoting like everything to defense and waiting til Fate to waste all her energy. Or Fate not willing to go all the way like Nanoha wants to. According to wiki, Starlight Breaker reuses left over energy from magic used on the battlefield which makes sense but that's sort of an important plot point that was left out then.

And yea, it'd be nice if Nanoha had suffered more damage.

edit: Oh, I am really stretching to defend this now.
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Old 2010-01-22, 21:00   Link #329
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Oh, I'd definitely hold B and C against A's. Of the 3 "we're gonna kick your ass scene with powerup music", that one seemed to be the most anticlimatic, with the "Pray" scene in StrikerS being the best. Maybe it was because it was too drawn out. I don't know.
I agree with your take there ("Pray">"Take a Shot">"Brave Phoenix" scene-wise). For me, it's even simpler; in the "Pray" scene, the enemy fights back--Tre even does so seriously enough that Fate has to shift weapon forms and come back with a new strategy to beat her, all while the scene is going on. The "Take a Shot" scene has Fate finding her inner strength and coming to the rescue when the others are genuinely in trouble, and then joining with Nanoha to take down the big 'bot, so it has emotional victories being reached that had nothing to do with the enemies being defeated. The "Brave Phoenix" scene was basically a series of "Hi, my name is X, my device is Y, and now I'm going to hit you with Limit Break Z!" one after another. Fun to watch, but the emotional climax of it comes when they think up the idea.

(Hm...hey, it averts the Unspoken Plan Guarantee trope; the plan is detailed for the audience, and then everybody goes out and flawlessly executes it; I never realized that before!)

Ironically, this is how any real military/law enforcement group would want the battle to go in terms of results--the enemy fire is kept completely suppressed and the foe is defeated without any friendly casualties.

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I don't get why Fate's reaction to the abuse was a bad thing. As for, the final fight; well, it was sort of an agreement on both sides to settle this once on for all to finally end this conflict that was causing great stress.
Re: the final fight, see my response above. I don't have any problem at all with the fight happening or the terms of the fight (it is two 9-year-olds, after all; I could completely see them agreeing to genuinely stake the Jewel Seeds on the outcome)--I just didn't like the execution of it, with Nanoha seemingly getting a giant boost in her attack and defense stats because the plot said so.

As for the abuse reaction...it's not that it was badly done or anything; I just find it unsettling and disturbing because it's well done instead of being full of plotcheesium, so it reduced my enjoyment of the show because I don't find those emotions pleasant to have, that's all.

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One thing that separates S1 and StrikerS for me, is that S1 attempted to have a plot. StrikerS ended up with a bunch of plot threads that just made me ask "What the hell was the point of all that?", though it did succeed in cleanup near the last third.
Hm, I never really had any trouble with StrikerS's plot, but then again, I like twisted government conspiracies and obscure mythologies and stuff that doesn't fall into place until the last minute. I agree that it was badly handled, though, with too many subplots that didn't mesh smoothly enough and too many extra characters! It either needed another 26 episodes or a big ol' pair of pruning shears taken to the cast list. A's, to me, had by far the best writing and pacing--Vita's attack on Nanoha to open the show with a bang, exciting battles coming quickly, power-ups coming from a reasonable source rather than out of the blue, appealing characters, emotional drama, and a third party plotting against the initial two groups to add conspiracy and mystery to the mix. It's kind of the reverse of StrikerS, though, in that it falls apart at the end (the last two episodes) with a weak final battle and villains who get off basically scot-free. S1 starts slowly, finds its pace with Fate's introduction and the TSAB's arrival, but avoids resolution with an ineffective fight between Fate and Nanoha and a shaky resolution with Precia, though it does wrap up very well with the bridge scene (I think S1 had the strongest final episode of any of the seasons, as it did effectively tie off the main themes of the storyline).

Come to think of it, treatment of villains is a real weakness of the franchise as a whole. There's a continuous stream of bad guys who do evil things for sympathetic reasons, and they never get called on the evil that they do by the good guys:

Precia (trying to save her daughter's life): has a good scene where she rejects Fate, but at no time do Nanoha, Chrono, and/or Lindy get to really rip into her (edit: Verbally, I mean--the scene works fine without a physical beatdown).

Graham (trying to save the universe and atone for the sacrifices he was forced to make the last time): gets told off by Chrono, but this is abbreviated by the urgency of the situation. At no time does anyone ever look him in the face and say, "Your master plan was to take a little girl, use your wealth and influence to make sure that she never formed any emotional connections with anyone that could grieve for her so that she would remain isolated and lonely all her life, then torture her into insanity to make the Book of Darkness manifest itself, and then in that instant freeze her and hurl her into the void between dimensions, to be lost in that pain and madness until the end of time?" I really, really would like to see Vita have that conversation with him.

Regius (trying to strengthen the Ground Forces so that small-scale evil that hurts people doesn't get overlooked while the Navy's running around saving the universe): has his final confrontation with Zest, the ultimate symbol of how he's allowed his obsession to betray everything he held dear, cut short by Due killing him.

In truth, only Jail--the one villain who's just in it for the evil of it (whether you blame him or his genetics)--ever gets his worldview challenged and he himself beaten down by the good guys.
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Old 2010-01-22, 21:49   Link #330
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I agree with your take there ("Pray">"Take a Shot">"Brave Phoenix" scene-wise). For me, it's even simpler; in the "Pray" scene, the enemy fights back--Tre even does so seriously enough that Fate has to shift weapon forms and come back with a new strategy to beat her, all while the scene is going on. The "Take a Shot" scene has Fate finding her inner strength and coming to the rescue when the others are genuinely in trouble, and then joining with Nanoha to take down the big 'bot, so it has emotional victories being reached that had nothing to do with the enemies being defeated. The "Brave Phoenix" scene was basically a series of "Hi, my name is X, my device is Y, and now I'm going to hit you with Limit Break Z!" one after another. Fun to watch, but the emotional climax of it comes when they think up the idea.
Yea, pretty much. It's fun and all they get to work together. But the whole "let's take turns shooting at it" just didn't grab my attention. For all that build up that A's had masterfully done, it didn't have that sense of drama and excitement. In StrikerS, it took a lot of courage to take that risk and thus it was like OOOHH CRAP THIS IS GONNA BE COOL! much like the infamous nuking of Quatro.

I won't comment anymore on StrikerS's plot since I have already done enough in the other thread. I was just really wondering what was their overall picture, or if they even had one. That could be said of season 1 as well.

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Graham (trying to save the universe and atone for the sacrifices he was forced to make the last time): gets told off by Chrono, but this is abbreviated by the urgency of the situation. At no time does anyone ever look him in the face and say, "Your master plan was to take a little girl, use your wealth and influence to make sure that she never formed any emotional connections with anyone that could grieve for her so that she would remain isolated and lonely all her life, then torture her into insanity to make the Book of Darkness manifest itself, and then in that instant freeze her and hurl her into the void between dimensions, to be lost in that pain and madness until the end of time?" I really, really would like to see Vita have that conversation with him.
Ugh, Grahmn. Yea, I'm rather annoyed he never really had any major consequences for his actions. What he got was a mere slap on the wrist.
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Old 2010-01-31, 18:00   Link #331
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I actually enjoyed the first series quite a bit, albeit once things got serious. (I mean, was the bathhouse really necessary?) This is probably because I'm a sucker for stoic/lonely characters, and Fate is THE lonely stoic; making the bridge scene teh best evah. (Yes, that is how it is spelled.) Furthermore, I was so surprised by the prevalence of massive fight scenes in a magical girl show that I didn't even notice the broken character abilities. Yeah, the Fate whipping was a bit much, but that shock just added to my already absurd attachment. Basically, they introduced a character that I genuinely cared about, and they ended things on a great note with her. Nanoha was great because she's the first character who actually doesn't want to fight, and wants to understand the other persons reasons, and help them. It was something different, and perfect given Fate's situation. She's not in this to beat Fate, she wants to know why Fate's fighting, and the whole thing was very nicely done. Did I mention the bridge scene was teh best evah?

A's wasn't that big a hit with me. The knights (Vita in particular) just seemed ridiculously hostile; I understand they want to help Hayate, but seriously, Vita goes berserk and beats down a little girl with a spiked hammer. This may not have been so bad if they showed even slight remorse, which they didn't. They had plenty of scenes at home where they show softer sides, but that just seemed hypocritical when they go out and mercilessly attack people in their spare time. And even when Nanoha volunteers to help, they break out the weapons. ("You don't understand, if you complete the book, Hayate will-" *SMASHED BY HAMMER*.) They went out of their way to be jerks, it seems. I did like the returning cast, but without the emotional tension of the first season, it just didn't cut it. And the pacing was 13 episodes of Nanoha fighting Vita, Fate fighting Signum, and the occasional Arf - Zaf or Yuuno - Shamal fight. The eventual face off against The Book of Darkness was nice, although once the Defense Program showed itself, it got pretty over-the-top.

I was kinda pissed when Riot Force 6 recruits took all the screen time, but by the time I was halfway through, I liked them as much as the veterans. Seeing Fate grow up to be a gentle and caring enforcer/adoptive parent was awesome, when you keep in mind her history as Precia's child. The knights even had personalities that I didn't hate! I like Signum now! Who knew? Teana was a great flawed character, Erio and Caro had great backstories, and if Subaru's "Give Gin-nee BACK!" scene didn't seem emotional to you, you have no soul. Again, the numbers didn't get much sympathy from me (if anything, they were twice as bad as the knights were in A's, and I'm honestly amazed that they got befriended at all after trying to destroy TSAB and kill everyone in it,) but at least they weren't main characters. And Lutecia was like season 1 Fate, although she wasn't nearly as good at it. It's the thought that counts, though.

So, 1st Season = Strikers > A's.

And Archon, I'm actually watching Clannad as I type, and Tomoyo is the best character in the whole damn show. Fuko is close, though.
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Old 2010-02-01, 04:30   Link #332
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I actually enjoyed the first series quite a bit, albeit once things got serious. (I mean, was the bathhouse really necessary?) This is probably because I'm a sucker for stoic/lonely characters, and Fate is THE lonely stoic; making the bridge scene teh best evah. (Yes, that is how it is spelled.)
Aha, the bathouse scene; I was like oh no, the show was getting good! Yea, I would say I have a bias towards that type of character. But in any case, a lot of stories will fail by seriously dialing up the angst to unreasonable levels, aka "emo level". But fortunately, Fate isn't emo and eventually uses her sadness to do something productive. The shift in her mindset in reaction to the things that happen is entirely believable.

Quote:
Yeah, the Fate whipping was a bit much, but that shock just added to my already absurd attachment.
Yep, the show was pretty deceptive with all that cutesy stuff, but then it starts tackling issues like child abuse in such a serious fashion. While the trope of having abusive parents is nothing new, the majority of stories generally have it in a generic, simplified manner, typically as a cheap ruse to get a reaction. Or even worse, it serves as a side plot. But the way Nanoha does it is by actively going into the psychology of an abusive relationship in a terrifyingly realistic manner. It's not just for shock value; it is utterly important to developing the story. It's also not something that a simple pep talk could fix. And really, how many shows of this type would dare deal with something like that? The ultimate resolution is that Fate isn't just saved physically from her mother, but emotionally too.

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A's wasn't that big a hit with me. The knights (Vita in particular) just seemed ridiculously hostile; I understand they want to help Hayate, but seriously, Vita goes berserk and beats down a little girl with a spiked hammer. This may not have been so bad if they showed even slight remorse, which they didn't. They had plenty of scenes at home where they show softer sides, but that just seemed hypocritical when they go out and mercilessly attack people in their spare time.
You have to understand that the Wolkenritter are weapons of war. Before Hayate, their previous masters were not nearly as nice. Being cruel and violent is their job and after all the evil that the previous masters most likely made them do, they probably have become desensitized to that. The other thing is the very fact that Hayate is a kind master have made them even more determined to keep her, and thus they are now blind to any kind of logic or reason. It is not until later that they begin to see themselves as something other than tools of destruction.

As for Strikers; although I do bag on it a lot, one thing that I would acknowledge is that it brings out another side in Nanoha. We take the fact that Nanoha is a cheery highly armed mage for granted too much. But the stress does get to her, and she cries like a normal person. The other thing is the possibility of permanent damage to oneself due to overexertion during battle; how many fighting animes have we seen where the heros get beat up but it really doesn't matter after? The realization that Nanoha may be shortening or endangering her life is quite a sad one.

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And Archon, I'm actually watching Clannad as I type, and Tomoyo is the best character in the whole damn show.
Naturally.
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Old 2010-02-01, 05:16   Link #333
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Seeing Fate grow up to be a gentle and caring enforcer/adoptive parent was awesome
Wow, that was really touching. Hearing her say those things makes me realize how close she was to not making it out of the first season alive.

I never did get around to reading the StrikerS manga.
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Old 2010-02-01, 13:43   Link #334
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You have to understand that the Wolkenritter are weapons of war. Before Hayate, their previous masters were not nearly as nice. Being cruel and violent is their job and after all the evil that the previous masters most likely made them do, they probably have become desensitized to that. The other thing is the very fact that Hayate is a kind master have made them even more determined to keep her, and thus they are now blind to any kind of logic or reason. It is not until later that they begin to see themselves as something other than tools of destruction.
You're right, but my point was that I just wasn't sorry for them. I mean, Hayate tells them outright not to do EXACTLY what they end up doing. And then they found out Nanoha and Fate are friends of Hayate, and they still try to kill them! (Yes, kill. Signum as much as admits that when she says "You made your lightweight armor even lighter? You'll die if you take even a glancing blow." And Vita.... doesn't have much self control.) And they trust the mysterious masked man whose objective seems to be completing the book of mass destruction? C'mon! I did genuinely feel for Reinforce, though.

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The realization that Nanoha may be shortening or endangering her life is quite a sad one.
Yeah, and seeing that just made her Teana smack-down 20X more emotionally potent. As if it needed to be.
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Old 2010-02-01, 13:52   Link #335
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You're right, but my point was that I just wasn't sorry for them. I mean, Hayate tells them outright not to do EXACTLY what they end up doing. And then they found out Nanoha and Fate are friends of Hayate, and they still try to kill them! (Yes, kill. Signum as much as admits that when she says "You made your lightweight armor even lighter? You'll die if you take even a glancing blow." And Vita.... doesn't have much self control.) And they trust the mysterious masked man whose objective seems to be completing the book of mass destruction? C'mon! I did genuinely feel for Reinforce, though.
Well, to be fair, they had good reason to complete the Book and fight Nanoha and Fate. They knew that if they didn't complete the Book, they would lose the only one they could ever consider "family". And to be fairer still, they couldn't remember that the Book would go out of control--Vita even says it, that there's something she should remember that she can't.

And they knew that Nanoha and Fate were TSAB mages. If they managed to get word off to the TSAB about the Book's master's identity, Hayate could be as good as dead. Their first and foremost objective was Hayate's survival, whatever the cost. They didn't like the idea of killing them, but they didn't see any other choice available to them. The masked man was their only ally, though they didn't truly trust him. Basically, its an End Justifies the Means scenario for them.

But yeah, Vita really doesn't have a whole lot of self control. At least at first.
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Old 2010-02-01, 15:45   Link #336
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And then they found out Nanoha and Fate are friends of Hayate, and they still try to kill them! (Yes, kill. Signum as much as admits that when she says "You made your lightweight armor even lighter? You'll die if you take even a glancing blow."
Actually, that's more a warning than a threat to kill. They even swore not to kill when this whole mess started.

That said, I felt about as much pity for the Wolkies as I felt for Fate: "Aww, poor sods. Now stop being idiots and use your brains."
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Old 2010-02-01, 15:54   Link #337
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But yeah, Vita really doesn't have a whole lot of self control. At least at first.
No self control is putting is mildly...

I'll attack you at random with all I have while blaming everything on my opponent!
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Old 2010-02-01, 15:54   Link #338
Keroko
Adeptus Animus
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Age: 26
A's Vita in a nutshell.
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Old 2010-02-01, 17:04   Link #339
Blank-Mage
Maniacal laughter ensues.
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: My own delusions of grandeur.
Age: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keroko View Post
That said, I felt about as much pity for the Wolkies as I felt for Fate: "Aww, poor sods. Now stop being idiots and use your brains."
My thoughts exactly, although I let Fate off the hook, on account of her warped memories and complete lack of emotional support. (Arf aside.)
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Old 2010-02-01, 17:07   Link #340
Demi.
Ass connoisseur
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Florida
Age: 27
And being 9yrs old, compared to the wolkies hundreds(thousands?) of years of existance.
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