September 24, 2016
So the last episode came out, and you're probably (not) wondering what the series was about. I didn't watch it all but I watched enough to get a pretty good idea.
Good: Lots of super powered girls flying around tossing energy bolts all over the place.
Good: The girls are cute and nicely shaped.
Good: No lolis.
Good: Bathing scenes. LOTS of bathing scenes. Ep 12 was the only one that didn't have a bathing scene. I expected that they'd toss one in at the very end as a nudity curtain call, but they surprised me. Anyway, ep 12 had several girls getting MCSA'ed so there were still Buy the BD shots. I swear this show has more screen minutes in the bath than any other series I can think of. (Even more than Popotan!) In fact, more total screen minutes than any three other series I can think of, combined.
Good: Tamura Yukari did the voice of Amane. It sounded enough like Nanoha that I recognized her instantly but not so much as to make the character unbelievable. (There were plenty enough other reasons to disbelieve the character.) I really like her work and she hasn't been getting enough in recent years. It's nice that she's managing to break out of being typecast.
Good: The enemy is so abstract that there's no trace of guilt when seeing the girls shooting and destroying them. It's not even clear that the enemy is alive, so it may not even be killing.
Bad: The real story. At the beginning it would be easy enough to think that the story is about alien invasion, but it's actually about shoujo angst. Waah! I'm lonely! I'm not special and people ignore me! I wanna be a star and have people worship me! Waah! All six major characters go through that, and in particular they express their resentment towards Amane (the alpha driver for the team) because they are low ranked and they don't think she's feeding them enough power to be stars. So then Amane crashes and gets captured and isn't around any more, and we get ten episodes of the other five coming to realize just how much they like and trust and need Amane -- and then in the last episode all that comes together and their newly positive feelings save her, and the six working together again, finally clear of all the resentment and angst, kick the butt of the enemy.
Man, I tell you: if it weren't for the copious fan service I'd think this show was targetted at grade school girls. The only thing that can save five universes is our friendship with each other!
Anyway, it's apparent that the characterization and the story are simply a coat rack onto which they are hanging lots of fan service and it only had to be elaborate enough so that it didn't seem to be TOTALLY pandering -- even though it is.
It's the first series directing job for the director. He has a long track record in production, doing character designs and episode directing but this is his first series. I can't claim it's a success but it's clear he did what he was told to do so I can't say it's a bad job. The massive flaws with the series aren't his fault. Anyway, everyone has to start somewhere and I think it's good enough so he'll get other chances, and maybe next time he'll be able to do something better.
I'm not sure I believe that the BDs will sell well. The first will, but they give away the store in the first episode (EVERY major character has a bath scene) and it's not clear that customers will shell out to see all the same girls naked again, five more times. Oh, they'll sell some, but the first one will sell the most.
Verdict: Completely forgettable -- until the first BD comes out.
Rewatch? Surely you jest; it wasn't even worth watching the first time. (And I didn't watch it all.)
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At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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