Eyecatch.

Once again, there is the hunt for the good-quality raws of the show, which preclude it from being blogged about as soon as it airs. The explanation for this raw hunt, which does not happen with many other shows, goes on mostly about different regional broadcasters and how the main raw providers in Japan live in certain regions that MSLN StrikerS does not air in first. Therefore, we are making do with what we have.

Many thanks, as usual, to those who provide the raws on the usual places for those who know next-to-no Japanese, and thus cannot look for them ourselves.

I've gotten used to the pacing of the show by now: in this episode, we sacrifice a bit of the action for a larger chunk of plot. And considering the plot appears to tie into the first season (as well as obviously the second season), I consider this to be more than a fair tradeoff.

While there's the training sequence in the beginning, we don't actually see a lot of training being done by the Newbies this episode; most of it is offscreen, and we just see them exhausted at the end of it. We also see Vita and Signum, while Shamal and Zafira fail to make any appearances.

And finally, we learn the name of the main villain, or at least the person who seems to be the main villain based on all available evidence. This veritable cornucopia of plot is utterly commendable, and eased my worries, the previous episode, that this one would have concentrated on training and nothing else.

Rein reporting.

Reinforce Zwei is busy typing up a report on the incident in the previous episode. I'd say she's come a long way from the minor shadow of the Book of Darkness program who was only seen in the final moments of MSLN A's; now she's permanently-manifested, and she can apparently use the TSAB computers well enough. I imagine that it might not be much of a problem scaling the interface down to her size, and it makes her feel a bit more human to type all this in instead of just communicating directly as the other Intelligent Devices would.

There's nothing really interesting in that report; mostly it just mentions that everything Went As Planned and the Relic (number nine, in Roman numerals "IX") was obtained safely with no casualties. Personally I'm wondering if Rein is doing the report because she was the sole member of Long Arch (the HQ division of Riot Force 6) present on the scene, with the possible exception of Vice the helicopter pilot (who was probably not in much of a position to see any details, despite the amazing number of pictures taken in the midst of battle from impossible angles). I'd guess that if anyone else had any after-action reports to do, they've already finished it, which is a noteworthy feat in itself. Sometimes I think the military exists, first and foremost, to bury any opponents in a flurry of red tape.

Vita demonstrating Barrier and Shield.

Meanwhile, the Newbies are in the midst of training. Vita is, in this situation, teaching Subaru about the various types of magical protection. I note with some interest that Subaru, when she wishes to call up a barrier, relies on Mach Calibre (her rollerblades) to do so, rather than Revolver Knuckle. This, even though she blocks the attack by, um, punching it. I suppose it makes sense somewhere, somehow.

Let me dig up a couple of manga scanlations from the A's To StrikerS manga, translated by… I forget. I-Jin? Or am I wrong? Anyway, here they are.

From the A's To StrikerS manga volume 2.From the A's To StrikerS manga volume 2.

(If you didn't already know, remember that manga is read from right to left. I put the first page on the left for convenience.)

In summary, putting aside the physical shield, there are three (known) ways of blocking attacks magically: shield, barrier, and field. Going by what I remember from various discussions: the shield, showing as a magical sigil like the Midchildan circle or the Velkan triangle, pretty much gives a deflection bonus to Armour Class. It is, I believe, the most effective in terms of blocking a direct attack, but the most obvious drawback is that one needs to know what direction said attack is coming from, since it can only block one direction.

The barrier is the most commonly-used variety, and it's essentially the typical portrayal of a force field, down to the concentric impact shockwaves when hit. I believe Yuuno is an expert in this, like in A's, where he created a barrier around a wounded Nanoha which both protected and healed her. Barriers can keep things in or out or both; in A's, there were plenty of building-sized or larger barriers raised, mostly because the Wolkenritter didn't want any of the mages inside to call for backup.

Fields look something like a HOT-BLOODED aura emanating from the person. This aura can be used defensively, as per usual, or offensively, like the Anti-Magic Fields the Gadgets use. While not really that useful in terms of blocking direct attacks, it's much better at dissipating effects, especially since everything inside the field's area will be affected. (As opposed to a barrier, which is less useful if you manage to get inside it.)

Presumably various combinations of these defences (plus the actual physical shield) can be used, at the obvious cost of mana or magical energy or MP or whatever it is they measure in. And of course, every defense may be overcome by sheer brute force; in fact, Nanoha's Starlight Breaker has the property of breaking barriers, although that's another story.

Vita's training method is suitably tough: she warns Subaru to block Graf Eisen's strike, or Bad Things will happen. I suppose it's all-or-nothing, and it helps Subaru develop the skills needed for frontline fighting. I would peg Subaru and Vita as the shock troopers of the division, first into the fray and crunching all opposition as quickly and decisively as possible.

And that's how you do it.

Fate is training Elio and Caro in evasion techniques, presumably because neither possess the Kzinti Scream And Leap instincts of Subaru and Vita. If I'm reading this correctly, Elio's role is the "Guard Wing", running interference for Subaru and Vita. Basically, he's supposed to dart in and out, taking care of threats that the shock troopers are not in a position to meet immediately.

Caro, for her part, is in "full back" position, which I would assume means that she's not supposed to actively engage the enemy, but use as much speed as possible both to reinforce (and boost) the others, as well as avoid any enemy attacks. I'd say that Friedrich can cover the artillery role well enough.

The tactics for evasion are mostly the sort that are simple to explain but difficult to put in practice, like running in an unpredictable pattern, knowing when to dodge, and simply not being where the attacks are going to hit. This is why I love playing high-Dex characters, especially if they retain their Dex bonus when flat-footed.

Shoot the bullet.

Nanoha is training Teana in being the "center guard" of the team, and I get the feeling that I'd probably do a lot less groping in the dark for this if I knew (or cared about) American Football and its various positions. But since I know nothing about it, I'll just carry on speculating that here, Teana is meant to provide support for both the front and rear of the team by intercepting attacks and changing tactics on the fly.

Cross Mirage is also apparently able to quickly reload as a free (or possibly swift) action, rather than the usual move actions. Teana just dips the gun into a holster, and it's reloaded.

I'm assuming that Nanoha and Fate would count as the air support, since the Newbies can't fly. The Stars squad (Nanoha, Vita, Teana, and Subaru) seem to have a tougher training regimen than the Lightning squad, possibly because half of Lightning is prepubescent.

Watching the Newbies.

Signum and Vice watch the Newbies go through their paces. Signum feels that there's no point to her joining in the training, since her style of fighting is Old Velka, while Subaru and Elio use New Velka, which is kind of like Midchilda-style magic adapted to emulate Velka-style magic. As for Teana and Caro, their roles are simply too different. There's also something about her sword being too unique or something, but that will, again, have to wait for subs. (Also, I'm not sure why Vita is there training Subaru, if Old Velka and New Velka are so incompatible.)

Vice also calls Signum "Oneesan". I think this illustrates quite well both Vice's irreverence in how he casually slips it in the conversation, and Signum's mellowed personality in how she fails to disembowel him for that.

Food.

Just before lunch, the gang meet up with Hayate, who was just about to meet with Subaru's father Genya Nakajima, who I think is a Major, but I could be wrong (update: I'm pretty sure he's a Major, and Ginga is a Sergeant). Hayate asks Subaru if she wanted to relay anything to her father and sister, but Subaru (somewhat uncomfortably) declines the offer.

During lunch, as Subaru and Elio consume a stupendous amount of noodles, they discuss the Original Team's past, namely that Nanoha and Hayate are from Earth, and, along with Fate, they were childhood friends. (That is such a prosaic way of describing the events of MSLN and A's.) Subaru reveals that her family has ties to Earth, but Genya, Ginga, and herself have never been there before.

Subaru asks Elio about his past, and Elio answers that until the age of eight, he was from an orphanage (I think). (This causes the atmosphere around the table to get uncomfortable until Elio assures them not to worry.) Elio talks about how Fate (whom he calls "Fate-san") took him in because her own childhood was a lonely one (see: first season of MSLN), and there's a bit of Nanoha/Fate smiling/blushing. I think mostly Fate has a tendency to blush easily, especially when she's happy. (Awww.)

Ginga and Rein.

Over at Division 108 or whatever Genya's unit is called, Hayate and Genya talk about stuff I will need the subs to be sure on. Personally I'm wondering what the average career soldier in the TSAB think when they see all these young people joining the military. I wonder if there are objections based on them being so young; not so much "they're too young to have experience", but more of "they're too young to have to put themselves in danger, what with the rest of their life still ahead of them". I doubt anyone really questions the group's abilities, but luck, both good and bad, plays a large part in fighting and war.

Off to the side, Rein and Ginga talk about stuff which I also need the subs to be sure on, but there's something in there about Subaru's Device, which I assume means Revolver Knuckle. I know, through discussions on forums, that Ginga has the left hand counterpart to Subaru's right hand Revolver Knuckle, so this may be regarding that.

A familiar-looking, um, diamond.

That night, Shari and Fate are putting in overtime analyzing the Relics and the Gadgets. There's some talk about how the Relics are high-energy magical batteries or some such, which should sound familiar to any viewers of the first season.

And sure enough, Fate recognizes the component in the Gadgets as a Jewel Seed. She also notices a tiny little nameplate next to the Jewel Seed, and calls up research on that name.

Picture on file.

Meet Doctor Jail Scaglietti. His crimes and motives will, once again, have to wait for subs. Possibly he is simply railing against the world for naming him Jail Scaglietti.

I get the feeling that he's a wanted criminal of the mad scientist variety who has been Wanted for several years. Maybe he has connections with the Jewel Seed incident of the first season, which would make it extremely likely that he would have been involved somehow with Precia Testarossa and Project Fate as well. He could be a supplier for Precia's drone army and assorted equipment, or he could be a fellow seeker of Alhazred, or perhaps he likes the whole cloning bit.

In any case, Fate relays this to Hayate, who's having dinner with Genya and Ginga. Hayate takes her leave as Genya refuses to let her pick up the tab, even though she technically gets paid more as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Enter mad scientist and secretary.

In the lair of the mad scientist, Scaglietti treads ominously past rows of tubular tanks with people (all female) in them. The ones numbered 5 and 12 are conspicuously empty.

Scaglietti receives a report from what I would peg as a standard Mad Scientist's Unflappable Secretary type, the kind who is aware of whatever abominations unto plot the Mad Scientist is up to, but does her job without comment anyway because she's professional like that. She reports on Zest (or Zast, since the Nanoha-verse has this thing for oddly-romanized names) and Lutecia, who are seen walking on a sidewalk somewhere in the night. Lutecia is the mysterious purple-haired Rider-lookalike from the OP sequence, and Zest is a tall muscular man who looks a bit like Zafira. Lutecia also has, and the camera focuses on it for a few seconds so we know that this is Important, what resembles Caro's gem-embedded-in-glove Device Kerykeion.

Scaglietti says something about "Relic Weapon". This may be important.

Vita and Nanoha.

The Newbies finish their night training, and after they leave, Vita wonders if Nanoha is pushing herself too hard, with training from morning to night. Nanoha, as usual, cites responsibility as a squad leader, and that this is to be expected of her. Considering that Vita has to have some level of respect for Nanoha's fighting prowess and sheer magical stamina by now (firing off a Starlight Breaker after her Linker Core got drained in A's), and that Fate had already asked about Nanoha's wellbeing a few episodes back, this may be a sign of some Dramatic things to come.

Yuuno, you know.

Next week, Yuuno returns! Also, there's something about an auction that the crew have to crash, as well as meeting Lutecia properly rather than the hints and glimpses thus far. In other words, we have plot! And Yuuno! And some green-haired guy who may be Verossa Acous, one of the other Old Velka users and Chrono's friend.

This episode has a rather even mix of screentime between the large cast, with the Newbies being there mostly for training, and the Original Team actually figuring out the plot, being that they have the security clearance for it. I'm pretty happy with it overall, even though there wasn't a lot of actual progress, even if there was more than usual, relatively speaking. I suppose I'm biased by my wishing for the plot to tie in closely with the first two seasons, and maybe answer some of the questions.

And yes, I will say that it's good to see various members of the old cast back in action again. Now if only we have confirmation one way or another about Nanoha's family members (I kind of liked Miyuki), or Arisa and Suzuka. Still, considering we have yet to see Arf (or Chrono, although his appearance is more or less guaranteed), chances are sadly low.

Vita, the eternal loli.

6 Responses to “Nanoha StrikerS 06 – Return Of The Plot”
  1. Syaoran Li says:

    Yes!

    We need Sugita right away (I can't picture him as Chrono) and some of the old members. Damn it; I have to quit spoiling me this series…

  2. Servitor says:

    Sight*'s with relief. Good… I was so afraid of Yuuno not reteurning! Chrono's name has at least been said, about arf… Can't imagine the makers excluding her, but maby the voice actor left. I just hope not.

    Hmm… Good revieuw or previeuw for us, sub-watchers. Thanks, Sola!

    Nice anime. As for the third season… Its uncompareable to the other 2.Take the main characters for start. 1e: Nanoah, 2e: Nanoah & Fate. 3e Tsubaru.

    Well, Its getting on nicely by now. After ep 4 I was very scared that I would be watching Tsubaru as main character. Aparantly not.

    Thanks,
    Servitor

  3. Servitor says:

    With uncomparable, I ment that it's a quite different anime. Not that its bad or what! ;)

  4. Rattha says:

    Wow!Cool webpage, but i don't know what the comic says at all.T.T
    (That's sad)
    Anyway watch MichellePhan videos if you have a make-up problem! I maybe 11 but i watch them just in case!

  5. Rattha says:

    Oh yeah, I watch magical girl lyrical nanoha and so far i'm on episode in 20 magical girl lyrical nanoha strickers!
    But it's so sad! And i mean it! I almostcried in episode 19…

    Waaaahhhh!! Why can't it be more action and less sadness. I mean really why is so sad and not happy. I know it is happy sometimes… T.T

  6. Rattha says:

    Yes im the same person of the three rattha's! i like to type

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