October 28, 2010

Crew fired magical weapons

Pete borrowed one of my top-rotation pictures, from Mai Otome Zwei, and labels it a "magical phalanx". I can understand why he says that, since the weapons the girls are carrying look like lances. But it isn't quite what he thinks. Those things are missiles, and moments after that frame they get shot at an asteroid which is on a collision course with the planet.






The reason the otome are up there is that the planet doesn't have the technology of space travel. The otome are the only ones who can reach space, so they're being used to ferry the missiles up where they can reach the asteroid before it devastates a pretty large area of the surface.

Anyway, as to his question, "...got me wondering if we ever see a crew-fired magical weapon." I can think of at least two such cases.

There's one in the last episode of Yumeria which involves pretty much the whole cast. And in the last episode of Card Captor Sakura there's one involving two major characters, or perhaps four depending on how you count, all working together. I don't really want to say more in each case because they're spoilers.

There's also a case in Nanoha A's where an entire platoon of magical marines work together to create a confinement field to trap a couple of the Knights, but that's not really an attack. (It facilitates an attack by Nanoha, Fate, and Arf, though.)

Would Pete accept "unison devices"? In Nanoha Strikers we see Rein Zwei united with Vita, and we see Agito united with Zest (and later with someone else, which is a spoiler). I suspect it wouldn't count, but I thought I'd mention them. (Rein belongs to Hayate, but I'm pretty sure we never see them united. I always thought that was a bit strange.)

UPDATE: Pete doesn't understand the reference to Card Captor Sakura, so I guess I'll include a spoiler:

In order to do it, Kerberos and Yue dematerialized and became part of Sakura's staff, hugely powering it up. But even with that, Sakura still couldn't do it. Then Shaoran struggled to his feet, and made it over to Sakura. Standing behind her, he too held onto the staff. It may be that the only thing he really contributed was to make Sakura more confident, or he may have been able to add some magical power. Regardless, the four of them together were able to do it, and the last two remaining Clow Cards were converted to Sakura Cards.

And now that I think about it, that was in the second-to-last episode, not the last one.

On the other hand, Eriol is English, not Chinese.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 03:52 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
Post contains 326 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Would the Vandread(s) count? Yes, nominally a sci-fi setting but Paksis is basically magic even within the setting.

Posted by: Jeremy Bowers at October 28, 2010 04:21 PM (/EDjr)

2 Perhaps the Paxis would count as magic, though I don't really think of it that way. But none of the crew of Nirvana are mages, so I don't think it counts. (No, Hibiki and the three ladies aren't magicians.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 28, 2010 05:23 PM (+rSRq)

3 We've seen Hayate in Unison Mode a couple times, but it's just a palette swap really, not that visually impressive.

There was a panel in the A's to Strikers manga where they were talking about what Nanoha had been up to, and one of the pics in the background was Nanoha holding an improbably large beam-weapon-thingy (much longer than she was tall, and almost as tall as she was tall at the same time - if there had been engines on the back it would have been a vehicle!) I recall it mainly because another pic in the panel has Nanoha in drill instructor hat...

For that matter, the Nanoha Force weapon designs are trending more and more that way. Nanoha's full panoply is halfway to a Gundam by now, and Graf Eisen is significantly larger than Vita by now...

And of course, Vice has Storm Raider, which flies the chopper when he's busy... but the chopper's not armed other than Storm Raider itself, so I dunno if that counts.

Could you make the case for the Outlaw Star falling in that category? Vessel, not heavy weapon, but same principle...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at October 28, 2010 07:31 PM (mRjOr)

4 We're talking specifically about a weapon, not just a combined magical attack, right?  Because I can think of a few examples of the latter.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 28, 2010 08:30 PM (PiXy!)


Only Pete knows what he would consider a valid example, but I don't think that a combined attack probably qualifies.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 28, 2010 08:48 PM (+rSRq)

6 Afraid I'm not much help outside of brainstorming on this one... I can think of instances of "if we focus our powers on this widget, we can make it work!" but the widget is always the lock on the prison door, or some sort of scrying device. Can't think of a specific case of a weapon that worked like that.

It would make sense that the Nanohaverse would have them... , and they have plenty of one-user weapons, so it would be strange if they didn't have crew-served weapons between them.

Was there anything like that in Tweeny Witches/Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu? Been a while since I watched it, but seems the "warlock military" might have had something like that.

Or, a bigger stretch... the Simoun craft are technomagic on the order of Nanoha's stuff; two-girl anti-grav aircraft powered by yuri. Not sure you'd call the pilots magicians, though, so has the same problems as Vandread.

Posted by: Mikeski at October 28, 2010 09:13 PM (GbSQF)

7 Hayate is in Unison with Rein more often than not in combat, I believe; basically, that if she's platinum blonde, she's in Unison.  ISTR there are a couple of times in Strikers when she's throwing around spells while still a brunette, which is about the only giveaway that the hair color change is not just part of her barrier jacket ensemble.

Posted by: BigD at October 29, 2010 08:48 AM (LjWr8)

8 Don't forget Shingu.

Posted by: PatBuckman at October 29, 2010 10:48 AM (4OSFL)

9 Shingu requires a finely developed sense of appreciation, I think. It's not going to work on a newbie. But instead I'd say RahXephon might.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 29, 2010 12:36 PM (9KseV)

10 I was addressing the crew served weapon aspect, not the intro to anime for newbies aspect. Shingu has two examples of a crew served magical weapon. (At least in a sense. And no examples if it isn't considered a magic show.) Crew served weapons have two sets of reasons why they are useful in real militaries. One is that the weapons systems are such that one person cannot operate, maintain, or carry them. (Size, weight, ammo, attention, etc...) The other, and perhaps more important one, is psychological. That is, the loyalty of the crew to each other helping them keep the system in operation and working to effect. (I think the standard example is a two man machine gun team, the high kill counts of such, and that the psychological difficulty of killing humans is a major factor.) So the question is, 'How many magical anime are going to have the underlying world-building, psychological situation, and creator background to make crew served weapons both useful and appropriate?' Going off my experience, I'd say most media creators, especially those working with magic, prefer to do other things instead. (Look at all the places in media where they have lone snipers instead of proper sniper/spotter teams.) I'd might be interested in seeing an anime where an army of mage-soldiers deployed crew served weapons, but I do not expect that it would appeal to everyone (or very many at all).

Posted by: PatBuckman at October 29, 2010 02:15 PM (4OSFL)

11 Sorry about the wall of text, I forgot that I needed to put in the break tag on this browser.

Posted by: PatBuckman at October 29, 2010 02:16 PM (4OSFL)

12 In the case of a magical weapon, the excuse for more than one operator would be that no single person could provide enough energy to fire it. The crew aren't just running it, they're also the power supply.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 29, 2010 03:26 PM (+rSRq)

13 Or one stabilizes or powers it, and the other directs it. It can be done easily in various ways. I just see more anime/manga about mages who are just abnormally powerful, or they use fusion, or they break it down mage and monster/summon/familiar. It seems to be a case 'If we are making them special anyway, why not make them extra-special in ways we are used to?'

Posted by: PatBuckman at October 29, 2010 03:35 PM (4OSFL)

14 You might be able to find an example in some of the Sentai shows, depending on what the balance between Tech and Magic is in the setting, and whether they have combining weapons.  But I've never watched them closely enough to think of an example, and they probably don't count, being live action anyway.

Posted by: Mauser at October 29, 2010 06:01 PM (cZPoz)

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