Nanoha A’s Ends

I finished Nanoha A’s about a month ago, but have neglected to post about it until now. I don’t have much to add to my previous posts on the subject, but I do want to comment on one thing that I wrote a while back:

Ultimately, I’m glad I’m watching this series, but I think I’ve discovered a strain of Anime that I know I want to avoid in the future. The whole lolicon business is frustrating, especially since you can go a few episodes without it and just when I’m getting used to a normal story, I get slapped in the face with a creepy transformation deck or something. I don’t really have that much of a problem while watching the show, but I can already tell that this is the sort of series where my opinion will degrade over time because the most memorable part of it is something I find annoying and creepy.

A month after finishing the series, and I have to say that my opinion has indeed degraded over time for the reasons described above. Much of what I remember about the show are the creepy lolicon overtones and a bunch of nitpicky complaints.

The overall stories of both series are reasonably well done, and I do like the way stakes were raised in the second series. For a quasi-inanimate object, the Book of Darkness makes for a good villain, and I like how it meets its match in a young, crippled girl who has seemingly endless reserves of good will and optimism. The way the protectors bond with that girl is touching and further reinforces the “empathetic villain” motif of the series.

There’s a twist later in the series which is reasonably satisfying, though not entirely unexpected. As soon as a second masked mystery man showed up, it was almost immediately obvious who they were and why they were helping the Book of Darkness.

The battles in the series are certainly bigger and our heroes’ power certainly seems to be growing, but this does represent something of an issue with Magic. I had mentioned before that the series doesn’t get too carried away with the Magic, but in hindsight, I think it might suffer from the typical magic trap of ever-escalating power. There don’t appear to be much in the way of limitations to magic in the universe of this show, and that does begin to sap the show of some tension.

But all of that is beside the point. In the end, I simply can’t deal with the creepy lolicon stuff. There isn’t that much of it in the series, but it’s about evenly spread throughout, so that every time I felt myself getting comfortable with the story, they’d throw a creepy transformation deck at me and I’d be right back where I started. It’s a good series, but I find it hard to overcome the things I don’t like about it. As I mentioned above, it’s only really gotten worse over time, to the point where things I didn’t mind much now feel like negatives. I’m glad I watched it, because I now know to steer clear of anything with even a whiff of lolicon, but that’s a bit of a shame because I did enjoy some aspects of the series quite a bit. I’m a little comforted by the fact that the folks who recommended this series to me don’t seem to like the whole lolicon business either, but while they were able to tune it out, I just wasn’t able to do so… I’m told that the sequel to this series takes place when Nanoha and friends are in their late teens (something we get a glimpse of at the very end of this series… and I wish that’s how the series had started), which sounds promising, but at the same time, I’m not exactly in the mood to chase down the series (which hasn’t been released yet in the US).

Up next in the Anime queue are a pair of movies – Banner of the Stars III (technically an OAV) and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (which I apparently had in my Netflix queue, probably added due to Otaku Kun and the rest of the Otakusphere).

5 thoughts on “Nanoha A’s Ends”

  1. C’est la vie. It’s a shame so many good series are damaged by the inclusion of unnecessary underage sexual imagery, Azumanga Daioh is another series that turns a lot of people off entirely because of one character.

    Your opinion on something, when you get a chance:

    I mentioned before that I felt there was a character in each of these series that really determines how much you’ll enjoy the story. (Now that’s assuming one isn’t put off too much by the lolicon imagery, so this may not be applicable.)

    Which character in each series, if any, did you find most compelling?

  2. I tended to favor the side characters more than any – Aruf would probably be the most consistently liked character. I love Amy as well, though she doesn’t get a lot of screen time. I liked Hayate a lot as well (who couldn’t!) Not sure if that’s who you’re looking for, but they seem to be my favorites.

  3. That’s what I wanted to know. I’ve been working on some viewer proviles vs. how well they liked Nanoha; because I’m always trying to categorize and quantize other viewers and reviewers so that I can more accurately compare their opinions of movies and anime to my own.

    A largely pointless task, but fun.

    Plus, it’s fun to see just who got what out of a show and who didn’t. E.g. Aruf was never a big deal as a character for me. In fact I was almost as embarrassed by her (IMO) sexualized adult body as the younger girls panty shots, etc.

    One of the most interesting viewer traits is whether someone got more out of Hayate or Vita, though both characters are well-liked. Vita was a pretty big hit, apparently: in StrikerS Hayate has less screen time than Fate or Nanoha (but not much less) and Vita is given one of the bigger drama parts.

  4. I think my like of side characters in Nanoha is indicative of a lack of involvement in the rest of the story. I agree about Aruf’s sexualized adult body, but at least it was an adult body. A lot of geek culture features that sort of thing though, so perhaps I’m just desensitized to it (probably a bad thing in the long run).

    Was Vita the leader of the Book of Darkness guardians? I thought she was fine, but somewhat bland (by design, of course, which is actually interesting in its own right). Hayate was more of my kind of character…

  5. Vita was the one with the hammer. Signum was the the leader. Signum was (and continues to be) very bland; I never found her too interesting, although if I remember correctly SDB was impressed with the voice actress for some reason (may be wrong about that).

Comments are closed.