「アインハルト・ストラトス」 (Ainharuto Sutoratosu)
“Einhart Stratos”

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The new generation is the last generation with a Belkan skin.

Vivio is to Nanoha as Einhart is to Fate

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

“If it ain’t broke, break it!”

The more I watch, the more it becomes clear that this new generation is a rehash of the old generation. Vivio is the upbeat and hard-working Nanoha to Einhart Stratos’ overly serious Fate (right down to their gendered roles, with Fate playing the papa while Einhart has the memories of her male ancestor). It goes further—Rio Wezley (Kitamura Eri) is to Nanoha and Fate’s friend Alisa Bannings as Corona Timil (Fukuen Misato) is to their other friend Tsukimura Suzuka, personality-wise. It’s all superficial differences that separate the generations, like the friends being able to use magic, or Vivio and Einhart being inherently special in a way Nanoha and Fate never were (or at least, not to as large of a degree).

It’s nice, in a way—we know the formula works, so it ought to work again, even if this is apparently more of a martial arts/sports story. But couldn’t they have tried to mix it up a little? It feels unambitious, even if I’m sure it’ll still work.

The Solution To Everything: YURI

If there’s any rule in the Nanoha universe, it’s that the solution to any problem is yuri. Enemy unconscious? Sleep with her. (Not that way, you pervs.) Need to get cleaned up? Yuri bath time. I still wish they’d stop being coy and admit that Nanoha and Fate are gay married, but I’m not going to complain if their go-to move is yuri. The other move? Friendship through superior firepower (trope!). I’m happy Nove didn’t get Worf’d (trope!) like I was expecting, and instead one-upped the kiddo. Now it’s up to Vivio to befriend the crap out of Einhart to secure her future yuri-husbando. It all leads back to yuri in the end, people.

Looking Ahead – Martial Arts

Einhart’s overly serious schtick is, to be frank, tiresome. Where original series Fate was compelled for very good reasons, these ancestral memories just make me go, “Blah blah blah, inherent memories, whatever. I read Dune, get on with it!” The lesson Einhart will have to learn is flamingly obvious, so hopefully they’ll get it over with quickly so we can get on with our violent yuri befriending fun, with a definite martial arts tournament bent this time around. I can dig that.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Vivio is to Nanoha as Einhart is to Fate. The more things change, the more they stay the same #nanohavivid 02

Random thoughts:

  • Nove’s reaction to Einhart mirrored mine. “Blah blah blah, they’re normal people now, kick to the FACE!” Nove is best Saito Chiwa character, aside from Subaru. See what I meant last episode?
  • Kaiser Arts are the only reason to live. SO SERIOUS. SO FATE. Take a chill pill Einhart, geez.
  • Shouldn’t researchers be super interested in Einhart’s memories? If the Belkan Wars are so shrouded in mystery, scholars should be ALL OVER her, to find out what really happened.
  • Nanoha, you smooth talker you. Also, yowza!
  • Stilts note: You can expect most Nanoha ViVid posts to go up on Saturday, and occasionally Sunday.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Cut away the boring bits, Sheet music, Wage Slave Rebellion is officially in print, and From LEGO to author.

Full-length images: 27.

 

Preview

46 Comments

  1. Einhart’s overly serious schtick is, to be frank, tiresome. Where original series Fate was compelled for very good reasons, these ancestral memories just make me go, “Blah blah blah, inherent memories, whatever. I read Dune, get on with it!” The lesson Einhart will have to learn is flamingly obvious, so hopefully they’ll get it over with quickly so we can get on with our violent yuri befriending fun, with a definite martial arts tournament bent this time around. I can dig that.

    …Normally I would expect you to have thought about this a bit more. They chose to have a doctor explain it here rather than let Einhart say it outright herself like she did in the manga, but it’s still important: to Einhart there is no difference between her memories and the ones she inherited. Think about that more carefully, would you? About what exactly it would do to a child to suddenly remember being a heroic and tragic figure from one of the bloodiest and most violent periods of history? I have been constantly astonished that she remains any semblance of sanity and self-identity at all.

    I would have expected the person who reviewed Sakuraso no Pet na Kanojo in such detail, and became one of my favorite bloggers in the process, to look deeper into a series, and not be so quick to shout “we don’t care about your story and character depth, get on with the action already!”

    Also, I think perhaps you should wait and get to know them properly before you pigeonhole Rio and Corona, because they have habits of defying peoples’ preconceived notions about them.

    Wanderer
    1. I also thought it was pretty tragic for a mere elementary student to bear the weight and grief of broken hero in a war-torn era.

      http://randomc.net/image/Mahou%20Shoujo%20Lyrical%20Nanoha%20ViVid/Mahou%20Shoujo%20Lyrical%20Nanoha%20ViVid%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2014.jpg

      Claus truly loved Olivie, and that only deepened the sadness he felt when he lost her. For someone who barely even knows romantic love at her age, it must be extremely distressing for Einhart to have all these unfamiliar emotions haunt her every night. After a while, she started to lose herself in what is really her feelings and what was genetically imprinted on her.

      MasterDragonKnight
    2. @ Wanderer

      All perhaps true, but fiction is subjective, and dependent on our unique worldviews and experiences. In this case, I found myself comparing Einhart’s situation to those in Dune, which tackled these same ideas in much greater (and more devastating) fashion, and I ended up underwhelmed. It’s not that I don’t get it, but I can see the writing on the wall all too well, and I haven’t been given good reason to feel her pain (because understanding and feeling aren’t the same thing). And once again, subjective experiences—I’m a content creator, so Sakurasou hits at the center of my expressed being. Ancestral memories don’t do that.

      (And yes, I’m aware that I’m one who often says that something doesn’t need to be unique to be good, but once again, subjective—there are limits and lines everywhere, and we don’t often know when we’ll trip across one of ours until it happens.)

      Also, please remember that I write these posts quickly. They’re impressions, so I might further consider my reactions even as soon as they next day—in which case those impressions will show up in the next post (as my noticing the parallels between these four girls and their predecessors did, even if I now have people chewing me out for that as well).

      Finally, I know you probably didn’t mean it like this, but a comment that amounts to “I’m disappointed in you” isn’t liable to net a positive response most of the time. Fortunately I get that enough to pretty much ignore it, but it bears noting since I like you. Not a great way to stimulate a productive conversation. Like I said, no umbrage; I’m just pointing out where something rubbed me the wrong way, so we can yammer on about anime better in the future :3

      1. as my noticing the parallels between these four girls and their predecessors did, even if I now have people chewing me out for that as well

        Oh, if I’m one of the people who you think is chewing you out, then I apologize.

        I think everyone who has seen the series (either from the manga or the first two episodes) has noticed the parallels, myself included. It is pretty inevitable to compare the two generations. I was just trying to say that you may want to reserve final judgment for the end and not wave off the new characters as just copies. They each have their own quirks that makes them lovable.

        Kuro
    3. I have a tendency to say what I think, sometimes a little too plainly. I was feeling disappointed: I’d be lying if I tried now to say “Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that.” However it was impolite of me to have said it outright. However I may have been feeling, I have a responsibility to attempt to maintain civil discourse, and if I had been talking to someone who was less familiar with me I could easily have failed in that responsibility by making that statement.

      …Wow, that comes out rather a bit more cold and cynical-sounding than I think I meant it…

      What I mean to say is I apologize. I’ll try harder to avoid that in the future.

      By the way, you keep mentioning Dune, but I haven’t read Dune in… oh probably 20 years, and it’s not really seeming particularly similar to anything from there to me. Also nothing from that book affected me particularly much, emotionally speaking, as I recall. Of course, I was in my early teens at the time. I haven’t read any of the sequels.

      Wanderer
      1. No problem.

        And its the sequels that deal with Other Memory more, including the Abominations that have to deal with a similar situation to Einhart … except its thousands or millions of ancestral memories, not just the one. So possibly the gap between one of my formative sci-fi stories and this is getting to me, haha

  2. Ah, the second mother’s day strip from Nanoha Comic a la Carte. The semi-canon doujin series with Fate as a bumbling overbearing papa to Vivio. ^^

    Have you seen the other strips, Stilts? Or works by the same artist? They are quite hilarious.

    MasterDragonKnight
    1. I have not seen any others. I just tripped across that one because of TV Tropes. I rarely have time to read manga; any reading time I get is devoted to prose, to further develop my craft.

      Someday I’ll have more time for manga. Someday…

    1. Rio and Corona are far much involved in the story than Alisa and Suzuka in the original. Both of them have their own dreams and goals, and they get their fair share of character development later. They are prominently featured in the opening for a reason.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      MasterDragonKnight
  3. Well Stilts, I did see how Vivio is Nanoha and Einhart is Fate.

    If this is of any indication,

    http://randomc.net/image/Mahou%20Shoujo%20Lyrical%20Nanoha%20ViVid/Mahou%20Shoujo%20Lyrical%20Nanoha%20ViVid%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2027.jpg

    Einhart may definitely have the same bombshell body should the story of Vivio x Einhart continue 10 years later

    http://randomc.net/image/Mahou%20Shoujo%20Lyrical%20Nanoha%20ViVid/Mahou%20Shoujo%20Lyrical%20Nanoha%20ViVid%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2028.jpg

    Seems like Papa Nanoha is happy that her daughter is going down the same route as well

    Makise Kuristina
  4. Certainly the Nanoha/Fate parallels are strong, but I don’t think Einhart’s issues should be simply hand-waved as irrelevant. I can’t even imagine having the memories, especially the tragic ones in my head as a kid of some previous life. Especially when I’d feel those memories were literally mine. It’d be a major battle just to figure out exactly who I am in that kind of situation. I think Fate could more easily shove the memories she had aside because her painful relationship with her mother gave all the more motivation to do so. Einhart chose to carry those memories and accomplish something along the way.

    In the sense the situation is far more serious for Einhart because she’s got this tragic life of someone who lived a full life. Not the few years of memories that Fate inherited from a little girl. The memories weren’t that important in Fate’s case at all, it was more the emotional blackmail her mother had going.

    If they are going back to the standard with this then I think we should give the show as much time as the original had to explore the issue.

    1. I’ll certainly give it time; I’ve always been willing to reevaluate my opinions, and often change them over the weeks of a season. (And, to be frank, I prefer it when I can take my time to come up with my analysis, as I can with monthlies or END posts, but that’s the game.)

      But like I said in comments above, fiction is subjective, and this one doesn’t touch me (probably at least partially because I find ancestral memories to be bullshit in a way that magic doesn’t bother me … everyone’s suspension of disbelief can shatter at different places) like Fate’s story did, nor Hayate’s, nor even Vivio’s original one (though the former two are better examples, or at least ones I remember more clearly). Being plagued by non-controlling ancestral memories that she could easily ignore seems like too easy of a problem to overcome. That could change as Einhart is fleshed out more, but that’s where I am right now; I’ll reevaluate as the season continues.

      1. Being plagued by non-controlling ancestral memories that she could easily ignore seems like too easy of a problem to overcome.

        …”Easily ignore?” D-did you really just say “easily ignore?” Would you tell a PTSD patient “It’s all in your head, just ignore it and you’ll be fine?” Many of Claus’ memories are among the most traumatic things possible, including the one she dreamed about in this episode. Those memories are her memories. She can’t just put his memories in a box and pretend they don’t exist. THey don’t show up with flashing neon borders saying “This is a memory from your ancestor, don’t worry about it!” They are just a part of her memory. Her ordinary memory. Claus’s memories and Einharts memories are all now inextricable and indistinguishable parts of Einhart’s memories.

        *deep breath* You’re really managing to push my buttons on this. I’ma try to back off, but may I request that you try to take a step back and think about this stuff more carefully? Maybe try to look at this from different perspectives? It feels like you’re letting cynicism and quick judgement affect your initial response here, and while I do believe you that you’ll change your response as you go, I’ve found that one’s initial impression that they think is “correct” can often heavily color later opinions. Einhart is a strong girl trying to work her way out of a situation that could very easily end up destroying her entire psychological sense of self.

        probably at least partially because I find ancestral memories to be bullshit in a way that magic doesn’t bother me

        These are caused by magic. Prominant Belkan bloodlines (which obviously included, but was not limited to) royalties, infused certain magics directly into their bloodlines, so that their descendents would gain from them. That is why Vivio possessed the Saint’s Armor in StrikerS that made it almost impossible for Nanoha to harm her (it was also what allowed the relics to fuse with her, but that’s a slightly different issue). That’s why Knight Carim and her brother possess certain ancient Belkan magic. And it is why Einhart possesses Claus’ memories and his fighting techniques. This is caused by inherited magic; it is not simply “genetic memory.”

        Wanderer
      2. The PTSD angle is a good point, and no, I would not say that to someone that had PTSD. The fact is that many WOULD, because they don’t understand the situation. In this case, I think we’re suffering from the visual medium … in a book, we’d be able to get into Einhart’s head and experience her pain and confusion, which would hit home harder.

        Also, her focus on ancient royalty riled me up, since I prefer normal people like Nanoha started out as, or a full focus on royalty ala Arslan Senki.

        Of course, we’re also only on the second episode. I’ll think about it between now and next week, and hopefully (likely) they’ll let us spend more time with the character as well.

  5. I’ll admit that I’m an extremely cynical, bitter and jaded pre-StrikerS fan, but man, this just highlights how much they should have just stuck with the original cast… I miss Nanoha and Fate going on adventures together.

  6. vivio and einhart are nanoha and fate 2.0 seriously! you’re so unimaginative that you have to copy and paste old characters personalities onto the new ones as if the audience is too dumb to notice the blatant rip-off. This is why people pleasing gets you nowhere in any medium; fans won’t be satisfied, keep demanding more, and will blow a gasket if something changes or isn’t up to their standards.

    1. I will assume that you have not read the manga, because if you have then you will know that the similarities between the generations end on the surface. Their true personalities and motivations greatly differ.

      Vivio is determined and energetic like Nanoha, but deep down she is still a child with her own doubts. She never reaches the perfectly implacable White Devil that Nanoha was to start with. She still cries when she loses, clings to her parents, and gushes over famous people, being overall more childlike than Nanoha.

      Einhart may seem brooding like Fate was originally, but there are important differences. Unlike Fate, who was emotionally blackmailed by her mother and physically abuse, everything Einhart goes through stemmed from her own mental weakness. Einhart is also more aimless, uncertain about what she should be doing, unlike Fate who ultimately wanted to be loved and recognized.

      Their relationship is less like Nanoha trying to befriend Fate, who is hesitant to connect with anyone. Vivio and Einhart becomes fast friends pretty much after their first encounter. What is more important about them is letting go of the past, for both Vivio and Einhart, and focusing on the future.

      You really should give this series a chance before resorting to name calling and unfair accusations.

      Kuro
  7. It’s all superficial differences that separate the generations, like the friends being able to use magic, or Vivio and Einhart being inherently special in a way Nanoha and Fate never were

    Well, the superficial is where the similarities end. Like I mentioned above, there is plenty that separates this generation from the last.

    In addition, Corona and Rio are quite unique compared to Suzuka and Alisa. You will understand when the tournament starts. And Miura, the successor to Hayate, is absolutely nothing like her.

    Lastly, it’s funny that you say that Vivio and Einhart are inherently special. Beyond their heritage, it is actually Nanoha and Fate who are special, being AAA rank mages at only age 9 and solving inter-dimensional incidents. These kids here are no more than slightly gifted novices in a large world, which I actually appreciate seeing.

    Kuro
    1. We’re talking about two different kinds of special. I guess a better way to put it would be something like “special-unique”, which is a ridiculous hyphenated word, but stay with me.

      Nanoha especially is a normal girl who happens to be well suited to the job of a mage, and abnormally talented at. All well and good; that happens plenty of times in real life. She is dealt some good cards and got lucky, but she’s still just a regular girl/woman who goes on to do some extraordinary things. Fate isn’t quite as normal—her situation is certainly unique—but there’s no sense that it makes her better in an way.

      Vivio and Einhart, on the other hand, are descendants of and heirs to these ancient kings/queens. They have this inherent unique/special/better attribute that makes them harder to relate to. Fortunately, everything else about them acts to negate this—it’s like Nove says, they’re normal girls in this day and age. But they definitely have an inherent specialness that Nanoha and Fate didn’t have. What they had was talent, which isn’t the same thing, as rare as it may be.

      1. Hmm… Vivio and Einhart are closer to being special in the sense that Hayate is special, if you want to compare to cast from the early series. It’s unclear what connotations being bonded to the Book of Darkness (originally the Book of the Night Sky) would have had officially in Belkan society, but it gave its possessors de-facto status equivalent to nobility, at the least. Through the Book, Hayate has ended up with unique powers that no one else possesses (and she still has them), and her own retinue.

        Nanoha and Fate (and Hayate, but we’ve been over her already for a sifferent reason) are special because of the sheer amount of magical power they can use. That’s a function of their linker cores. Vivio and Einhart can’t even touch them in that department (Vivio once might have been able to do so, but there was a little incident involving mad scientists and an ancient warship that had a serious negative effect on her body…). If you want to see someone among the new generation who’s special in that way… well, I’m not going to tell you who it is: you’ll just have to watch and find out for yourself. :p

        Wanderer
      2. I know what you meant. Sorry for any confusion.

        I just thought it was amusing, considering the difference in ability between the generations. Like you said, to the rest of the world, they are just normal girls. Meanwhile, to everyone else, Nanoha is the feared White Devil!

        Kuro
  8. kuro despite what I said I still like this series and plan on seeing it through to the end. I have nothing against kid protagonists as main characters why do you think Charlie Brown Hey Arnold Kids next door and Jimmy Neutron are so popular even with adults? because all these shows didn’t focus on one gender they all included both genders perspective. like I said people pleasing get you nowhere in any medium I just don’t like how boys are not allowed to be main characters.

    1. Well, as I mentioned last week, this is hardly the place to be complaining about gender ratio. This is more of an issue with the genre rather than this series in particular, and it is hardly fair to single out this series and criticize it because of this.

      With the premise of magical girls, it would be more surprising if the main character is male. In fact, if you are looking for exactly that, then Nanoha Force features a male lead. However, because of poor writing, it is quite unpopular with fans of the Nanoha franchise and has gone on indefinite hiatus.

      Personally, I have no problem with a predominantly female cast. I don’t think it takes away from the story, and it is simply expected of the genre. Just likely how no one complains that Madoka only has three male characters total, and only one with anything to do with the story. If I want to watch a male main character, then I can easily pick from any of thousands of other series.

      Kuro
  9. It’s not the female cast anagiri has a problem with its the fact that most anime has to have yuri in it to get a male audience to watch. I think it’s very shallow on the creators part to assume every boy out there likes yuri because that’s not the case and can force a romance that doesn’t need to be there. These is why post magical girl series will always be loved because they while traditional did their own thing and had their own set ups. Catering to the audience every whim in a story to me shows that the writer is insecure about his or her work so much so that they will please anything the audience says as long as said audience is watching the show.

    1. the fact that most anime has to have yuri in it to get a male audience to watch

      I hope you are not serious about this comment. Otherwise, you have a very narrow and misguided view about anime.

      On another note, I wonder if you are the same person as anagiri, because you have the same site link in your comment.

      Kuro
    2. It seems to me that the one insecure is you. Show me the yuri in popular series like Fullmetal Alchemist, Fate/Zero, Gurren Lagann, Death Note, or any of the Gundam series. These all have tons of male fans, and I can assure you they don’t watch them for the possibility of yuri. Stop trying to force your own “shallow” viewpoints onto everyone.

      soren
  10. pardon Melissa she miscommunicated her statement what she meant to say was why does magical girl shows have to have implied yuri in it nowadays in order for a male audience to watch? why does einhart have to a girl specifically? after all I’m not allowed to question the logistics of the nanoha-verse because sooooooo many fans would chew me out for it

    1. No, just no. Stop generalizing about everything just because you don’t like something.

      I can tell you for a fact that most male audiences did not pick up Madoka because they are looking for yuri. They watched it because it was a thought-provoking deconstruction.

      Same with Nanoha. Most male audiences watched it because it had face-paced magical battles with a touching story. There is a reason Nanoha is called a Gundam in a school uniform, the White Devil. If you look at the comments here, many people liked the first two seasons over the third, which contained most of the “yuri” that you hate. People disliked it for reasons other than pairings, as you imply, and rather because of the story and characters.

      And you seem to uphold old magical series like they are some holy example. You forget, or choose to overlook the fact that they also contained some of your so-called “yuri”. Cardcaptor Sakura had Tomoyo, who is totally infatuated with Sakura.

      You are not questioning logistics, you are just whining.

      soren
    2. You’re over generalizing a lot of shows to justify a pet peeve which is a combination of yuri and fanservice.

      As soren said there have been old shows with stronger yuri hints (sans fan service) which were geared towards girls and had a larger female fanbase, Sailor Neptune and Uranus for one.

      Likewise there are magical schoolgirls who have a significant male ff. sans the yuri hints, such as the numerous Pretty Cure that have cropped up.

      Yuki Yuna no Yusha also has a male dominant fanbase, and the yuri hints weren’t as heavy, nor was there much (or any) fan service.

      Pet peeves and personal preferences aside, you can’t deny yuri and fan service sells. But you can’t always assume or accuse and artist/writer of pandering just because either not part of their target demographic, or that yuri/fanservice is something the creator themselves like. It’s really hard to work on a creative project when you yourself aren’t drawn towards the same themes, genres, tropes you’re using (execution is a diff matter).

      If anything, it’s more annoying that Nanoha keeps playing with “implied yuri” rather than coming out of the closet with it; like a certain magical water bender girl who had far, far less buildup to justify her suddenly being lesbian (or at least bisexual).

      Vagrant
  11. I just don’t like how some characters in nanoha got the short end of the stick despite having great potential like yuuno for example the show could’ve delved into his back story a little more without taking away nanoha as the main character. Look soren and kuro I’m not trying to offend anyone and I apologize if my comments came off as snippy and know-it-allish. I just wish there could be a little boy/girl romance again in anime that’s all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *