「サプライズ・アタック」 (Sapuraizu Atakku)
“Surprise Attack”

It’s time for battle practice with the old guard! …next week. We’re ramping up to it this time, with some tantalizing teases of what’s to come. Also, it’s the onsen episode.

In Which Einhart Learns That Vivio’s Mamas Are Kind Of Badass

I, along with Nove and you and everyone else, got a hearty chuckle when Einhart was expressing scepticism that Vivio’s nice, beautiful, warm-hearted mothers would take part in a magical battle. You’re damn right they do! Once again, it was nice to see the old guard in action, as the White Devil and comrades do some proper Nanoha-style training, by which I mean full power, total destruction. I’m still a bit worried that nostalgia is the primary driver of enjoyment. Is it because my nostalgia is so overpowering, and this is a solid episode without it? I don’t know; I’ve been drinking the Nanoha Kool-Aid for so long, I’m utterly impartial. But if it gets me some Hayate and the Wolkenritter soon, I don’t care. Nostalgia me up, baby!

In Which Stilts Contradicts The Things He Just Said

I say all that, but it wasn’t all nostalgia. There was, of course, all the ecchi onsen fun, which can largely go without comment—it’s an onsen scene, okay? You know what you think about that. It was a nice excuse for Rio to strut her stuff, and show that she’s kind of a badass too. Using both lightning and fire is (apparently) impressive, and she certainly took care of Sein (Mizuhashi Kaori … another dual-role seiyuu) quickly enough. I’m conflicted on her having an adult mode too … while it was only the two genetic throwback girls, it made a certain kind of sense, but now everyone has one? Gah! Though hers looks like it’s mostly in her hair, so … well, if it lets her compete with the older girls, I’ll put up with it I guess.

Likewise, Corona picked up her new intelligent device, with the tacit promise of showing us what she can do next episode. I look forward to that.

Looking Ahead – Are You Ready To Ruuuuumbbbble?

They cut the episode right before the best part, AHH! Which is good, because I want them to take their time and give this team battle the royal treatment, but damn, I wanna see it now! I’m still on the fence whether this adaptation is too slow or just right (don’t want to rush it, but not much happens each episode), too fueled by nostalgia or as good as it can get (I feel like some Numbers are superfluous, but they’re not bad characters, and it’s still early), and whether A-1 is animation up to Seven Arcs levels (that’s a no), but next episode ought to answer it all. If it’s proper Nanoha-style combat, much is forgiven. Bring it on!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Practice & onsen time. Einhart learns that the mamas are badass, while we learn that Rio is too. Next time, team battle! #nanohavivid 05

Random thoughts:

  • Nanoha got her long skirt back. I guess now that she’s a mama, she’s not being sexualized any more. Fate, of course, as the papa, kept hers. Wait—that didn’t make sense.
  • “I do hard.” Yeah you do, Brunzel. Yeah you do.

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: Stop sending me job ideas, Schrödinger’s Skill, Pricing: Ebooks and print, and Happiness is low overhead.

Full-length images: 10, 28, 31.




  1. Nove did an outstanding job dividing them into two even teams. It’s gonna be fun watching them have it. (But I suspect the only Wolkenritter we’re going to see is Vita, who is shown briefly in the OP. She’s been training some girl who will be entering that tournament, which is the real core of this series.)

  2. On Rio’s adult mode, I don’t remember if it’s ever explicitly stated, but as a general idea they don’t seem to be treated as unusual in martial arts circles in Nanoha. So Nanoha and Fate would have never needed that for their beamspam, but for physical fighters it makes a certain amount of sense, if someone dedicated wants to get used to the body they’ll have at their peak.

    Granted, we don’t really see other “normal” characters using one either, so I guess Rio still gets the main cast bonus.

    As far as pacing goes, I’m thankful if nothing else that it feels more like two-cour speed. The upcoming tournament that the OP hints at would be teeeeerrible squeezed into thirteen episodes.

  3. “I do hard.” Yeah you do, Brunzel. Yeah you do.

    Poor Brunzel and its Engrish has been the butt of jokes ever since it first uttered that line in the manga. Fortunately Corona’s powers manage to be pretty cool, so folks have mostly forgotten by now. Still, that’s at least one thing I wouldn’t have minded them fixing slightly for this adaptation.

    I find it amusing how a number of folks across the internet have commented on the ecchi nature and lewdness of the onsen scene, when that scene has been significantly censored compared to the original! There were none of those strategic camera-angles, floating leaves and washbasins, bits of strategically-placed hair, or obscuring heads of other characters in the manga. Only the children escaped full exposure.

    Using both lightning and fire is (apparently) impressive, and she certainly took care of Sein (Mizuhashi Kaori … another dual-role seiyuu) quickly enough.

    Mana-conversion affinity. Her “elemental transformation” as it would be referred to in the episode. It is the ability to naturally transform pure magical energy (like the pink beams Nanoha is infamous for throwing around) into some form of physical energy (like lightning or fire) without requiring a difficult and costly magical process to make it happen. Most mages don’t have any affinity, and the ones we have seen who have one only have one. Fate and Erio both have an affinity for lightning. Signum and Agito both have an affinity for fire. Rio has affinities for both. That is unique in our experience, and rare at the very least in-universe. And then combining both elements into a single attack…

    Rio basically just revealed herself to be both more powerful and more intelligent/skilled than people had been giving her credit for. I tend to think of her as being essentially a prodigy like Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate were; but without the world-saving thing spurring her to take the ridiculous risks on the road to becoming more capable that they took.

  4. Nanoha got her long skirt back. I guess now that she’s a mama, she’s not being sexualized any more.

    Actually, she ditched Agressor Mode (short skirt) and swichted to Exceed Mode (long skirt) halfway through StrikerS. Well, she met Vivio already during that time, so yeah it could be that kind of symbolism.

  5. In addition to showing why the adults in Nanoha cast are awesome, this episode focused more on SoL-style onsen activity with some very funny one-liners from various characters. Sein, Lulu and Einhart got the best ones.
    I’m just a bit salty that Lulu’s “if I had a rare beast in onsen, wouldn’t I have bragged about it already?” was cut…

    Have to add I liked how everyone just agreed that Nanoha and Fate staying behind to train a bit more probably just meant they wanted to fly together =3

    1. I’m just a bit salty that Lulu’s “if I had a rare beast in onsen, wouldn’t I have bragged about it already?” was cut…

      Yeah, I noticed that part was left out too. It was funny and showed more about Lulu’s personality.

      They also left out Erio at the end, who volunteered to help with dinner while the others used the onsen. A true gentleman.

    1. Well, if you want to get technical, all three of their adult forms are slightly different from each other.

      – Vivio uses regular transformation magic to replicate some of the power of her old Sankt Kaiser form. Unlike the Sankt Kaiser form, this is more incomplete and unstable, so she needs Sacred Heart to help maintain it.

      – Einhart uses what is called Armed Form, which was inherited from Claus. This is more complete compared to Vivio’s form, so she can use it without a device.

      – Rio uses a Powered-System, which is a body-strengthening spell. This is more meant for tuning her unique mana-conversion magic, and the adult form is more of a side-effect from the strengthening. This may be why she is not as “adult-appearing” as Vivio and Einhart.

  6. I got my predictions wrong T.T

    Last week, I thought the magical pew pew was going to be in this episode… oh well, close enough.

    Next week, the 3 things that embody the Nanoha universe is taking center stage: ACTION, FRIENDSHIP and FLASHY MAGICAL DESTRUCTION! (which, in the Nanoha universe, means the exact same thing!)

    PS: Vivio, dont make your future husband too insecure. Its really tough for us loners to talk to a loli bishoujo you know?


  7. But if it gets me some Hayate and the Wolkenritter soon, I don’t care. Nostalgia me up, baby!

    At the rate they are going, we should be seeing Hayate and the others in 2-3 episodes.

    I’m definitely looking forward to it and their little “gift”. Prepare yourself for massive incoming doses of HNNNNNNNNGGGHHH!


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