「ライバル!」 (Raibaru!)

And the star of this episode is … Teo, obviously. KAWAIIII!!

Teo For Best Intelligent Device

Easily the best part of the episode was the introduction of Einhart’s intelligent device, Asteon/Teo. That’s megaton-level kawaii there, gents! And … that’s really all I have to say about Teo itself. It’s no surprise that she (he? it?) is another stuffed animal-style intelligent device, because the writing on the wall for that was etched in forty foot tall stone columns. The part I found more interesting was Chris asking Nanoha for training videos in order to better protect Vivio. This is the first time I can think of that an intelligent device—outside of unison devices like Rein and Agito—has displayed such autonomy; the others are just, well, devices—they’re tools that follow orders. Very peculiar.

It’s Not About The Training

This was a training episode, but they hardly ever showed any of the actual training. Which, I realized, is totally fine. Without some kind of stakes, training is boring to watch. So why didn’t this episode bore me, if it was mainly fakes toward training that were never shown? (And when they were, the animation got all shifty.)

It’s because training in and of itself isn’t interesting. It’s necessary because they needed to show the passage of time, and they needed to show the characters striving, but that doesn’t make it entertaining on its own. I still enjoyed the episode because of the anticipation. Like with so much in life, savoring the upcoming contest heightens the pleasure. Too much would change from anticipation to impatience, though; fortunately, one training episode (with the first of the qualifiers at the end) is nowhere near triggering my impatience. It’s true what some commenters said—ViVid is starting to come into its own as a story in its own right. It took it a while, but I’m finally getting a little hyped.

Looking Ahead – Named Characters Face Off

I’m glad that ViVid is already planning multiple battles between named characters, because that’s what makes sports tournament stories like this so fun. Rio will probably face Harry “Buster Head” Tribeca; Vivio will face Miura (Kanae Itou), and perhaps Micaiah Chevelle (Asakawa Yuu)—I didn’t entirely understand what her elite seed meant. But most interesting to me is the potential for Einhart versus Corona. My first instinct is that Corona is screwed, but what if she’s not? We haven’t seen what Corona can do after her training. Perhaps it’s that assumption (that Einhart would beat Corona) that will lead to the upset most viewers won’t expect. Which is what I love about this kind of tournament—anyone really can win. Let the games begin!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Einhart’s device is super cute, so is Miura, & Chantez is Asumi Kana gold. Let the games begin! #nanohavivid 08

Random thoughts:

  • I’m all for some hand-to-hand asskicking, but seriously. Use weapons, people. I’m reminded of a strip in one of the Order of the Stick prequel books, where a main character (Belkar) berates and belittles a monk for being more powerful if he just used a weapon. Crying monks aside, even acknowledged real world masters of hand-to-hand combat would always opt to use a weapon in a real fight. Just an old pet peeve, but I’d kinda like to see someone clean Vivio, Einhart, or Rio’s clock, just to prove that point.

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: Practical freedom, Old to them, Stop sending me job ideas, and Schrödinger’s Skill.




  1. Dunno how far the weapon bit applies to the Nanoha-verse. Weapons are superior to hand-to-hand IRL because of the limitations of the human body. But any kind of blade, stick, projectile and the like are completely moot against a barrier jacket (we’ve seen the Nanoha kids smashed through walls without significant injury, so pure physical damage doesn’t count for much) so in the end it’s all about what medium you can channel more power through.

    Though this episode does mention the issues with using your body as your main shield and weapon.

    1. It may not apply as much, but I think it still applies. Chantez thought it did, at least. Vivio had to use Chris to let her compete at the same level … but if she used a weapon, could she maybe compete at a higher level?

      It doesn’t bother me much, to be honest. A passing thought. As long as they justify it decently well—and they have—I’ll roll with it.

    2. I agree with the sentiment that “monks” are a dumb thing. But in Nanoha it isn’t that bad, basically they all use magic, so it is something like shooting very short-range bombs with your fists. Which incidentally one of the characters actually does.

      I think the anime even adds power or energy SFX and mana/aura/smoke trails to the kicks and punches to show that this isn’t as much unarmed martial arts (although they call it so) as throwing magic around hand-to-hand… Hence they can take attacks with weapons (magical armor through BJs) or damage people with actual armor (magical offense through those barehanded attacks).

  2. This is the first time I can think of that an intelligent device—outside of unison devices like Rein and Agito—has displayed such autonomy

    Don’t forget a vaguely similar scene in A’s, where Raising Heart and Bardiche were the ones who insisted on being upgraded to the Cartridge System, through the form of an error message. It’s ssdly more rare than it should be, but a few Devices have had the chance to show some character over the years.

    There’s actually a whole tiered system to them with a little digging into official material, Intelligent Devices like RH, Bardiche, Mach Caliber, Cris, etc. can hold actual conversations and make requests like we saw, where Armed Devices like most of the Belkan ones are limited more to simple phrases. But that’s a whole overly-nerdy conversation in itself.

    As for the actual episode, it’s great to finally see the tournament going along. Time for everyone to enjoy the badass wonder that is Miura!

    1. That’s true, I forgot about that. I guess it’s that Chris is showing more personality. Raising Heart and Bardiche appear to have a will of their own, to a point, but they’re still fairly mechanical. Chris acts with more personality, partially because of the bunny exterior, but this is the first time it meant something other than Chris being cute/goofy.

      1. Actually, Raising Heart has actually always seemed to have a will of it’s own. From asking for the Belka Cartridge device to telling Nanoha to go to Excelion mode, it is pretty willful. Has anyone heard any background on Raising Heart. Most devices seem to have been made for their owner or were passed down from a known source. I don’t think we know Raising Hearts origin.

      2. I think canon on Raising Heart is that Yuuno found it during an archeological dig. He tried to use it at the beginning of ep 1 of the original series to fight a jewel seed that had taken over some creature, but it’s a mismatch to his kind of magic, and anyway he isn’t really strong enough.

        His original deal with Nanoha was that he’d give her Raising Heart in exchange for her helping him find all the jewel seeds, and it turned out to be a good match, with Nanoha’s style of magic, and the amount of power she has. She’s strong enough to really fully utilize Raising Heart.

    2. If I remembered correctly from the 1st Nanoha, Raising Heart was pretty much the default device given by that ferret which contracted with Nanoha.

      Speaking of which, would that ferret and Chrono appear?

      1. Chrono does not appear, unfortunately. Yuuno shows up for one page in a later chapter, but it was such a minor appearance that I wouldn’t be surprised if they cut that part out.

      2. I would also like to see Arf more, but they did give a reason for her absence.

        Arf noted that Fate is now strong enough to look after herself, and she has made many companions who can help and support her. There is no longer a need for Arf to stay by her side at all times, so instead she decided to continuing watching over Fate in her own way, by looking after her new family and young niece and nephew. That way, Fate can be at ease when she goes on her missions, knowing that the protection of her family is in good hands.

        I think that this is very sweet of Arf, a loyal familiar and companion to the end.

  3. How RandomC has fallen. I just realized this worthless blog doesn’t even cover DanMachi, probably one of the best anime airing right now. Yet it covers crap like this.

    1. If I were to treat this like a serious concern, I would tell you that each writer decides what they want to cover, and aside from dealing with any overlap, we let everyone cover what they want. I would tell you that sometimes this means we’ll miss good shows.

      I would remind you that we don’t get paid for this, and some days of the week are bad for some writers—friday being a particularly rough one for many of us.

      I would also remind you that there are a lot of anime blogs out there, and if we’re not covering something you like, I encourage you to find one which is to get your fix; hopefully we’ll be covering everything you want next season.

      I might even tell you that in another season I likely would have covered DanMachi, because, while the first episode didn’t thrill me, it’s been pretty fun to the point I’ve seen (I’m a couple of episodes behind).

      I might even, if I wanted to delve deep into the cause for such deep concern, talk about how our lack of coverage isn’t a strike against the show you like, much less you. It, in fact, can have little to do with the show, for all the reasons stated above, and absolutely nothing to do with you, no matter how personally you may be taking this perceived slight. You are free—no, encouraged!—to keep on liking the shows you like, even if we don’t cover it, or even if we do and we hate it.

      But yours isn’t a serious concern. You’re just being an ass. If you don’t like what we’re doing here, please leave. Thank you for your patronage until now.

  4. Comparing Vivid to Nanoha and A’s, I pretty much enjoyed them. Didn’t enjoy StrikerS that much since I felt it was kind of messy and too many characters.

    I still have trouble clicking with Vivid since they’ve turned it into a sports anime and also the animation is kinda shifty at times.

  5. This was a training episode, but they hardly ever showed any of the actual training. Which, I realized, is totally fine. Without some kind of stakes, training is boring to watch.

    That is very true, and I agree with you. This series is pretty good at showing the bare minimum of training, enough to show that the kids are putting in effort but not too much to bore the audience.

    That being said, there are a few things that were left out of this episode during the adaptation, which I believe would add a bit more insight. I will discuss them here for those interested.

    1. All the kids were given special mana-draining wrist bands at the start of training, which initially drained them enough to bring them to their knees. This forces them to both increase their overall mana stores and learn to use it more efficiently. Nanoha did something similar with the pressure mode of Raising Heart when she was young. By the end of training, they were each wearing four and able to move without difficulty. This showed remarkable growth for all of them.

    2. When Einhart visited the Yagami household, she also observed Miura practicing at a distance. There was a glimpse of her fighting style, which mainly involves kicks. Einhart was reasonably impressed by her skills, which made her reflect that the martial arts world is truly vast.

    3. After their spar, Chantez also had a small discussion about Vivio. She believes that Vivio is less suited for close combat, with her magic being better for a scholar or rear guard type. However, Vivio is determined to get stronger, despite this handicap, because she truly wishes to become someone strong enough to protect her beloved mamas.

    1. There were also a few more comical parts left out, which would have balanced the more serious parts I mentioned above.

      1. Before they presented Teo to her, Rein and Agito mentioned that they based the design off the snow leopard. While Cinque and Nove were concerned about the size being a problem, Einhart had a cute thought of how cool it would be to command a full sized leopard.

      2. When the kids all gathered for the start of the tournament, Nove was talking with Zafira about them being nervous. When Einhart was brought up, Zafira thought she was pretty calm and collected…only for Einhart to walk right into a wall while deep in thought. Turns out not even the little Hegemon is immune to stage fright.

      3. Rio and Corono ran into Harry and her gang, who are surprisingly polite despite their appearance. Harry even gives the two kids her autograph.

      1. I really wish they had included Harry’s scene, at least. that’s important for establishing her character, and setting up her odd sort of friendship with Rio.

        They also cut out Chantez’s explanation of something that had been bugging me since Vivid began. Since none of the new-watchers have mentioned it, it’s probably been too long since StrikerS for them to remember, but one of the things we learned about Vivio in Strikers is that nothing should be able to hurt her. Her inherited Belkan ability is the Saint’s Armor, which rendered her effectively invulnerable. It took six Starlight Breakers simultaneously at Blaster 3 from Nanoha in order to break through it and actually hurt her. In the manga at this point Chantez quickly mentioned why Vivio no longer had that advantage.

      2. Harry’s drawings in her autograph were also silly cute (think something like Rukia’s bunny pictures, if you saw enough of Bleach to recall.)

        Another great moment that got cut away was that when Nove with Cinque took Einhart to Hayate, they went by a car, and Cinque was driving it, while sitting in a baby safety seat. Damnit I so wanted to see that animated. Or there was a point where Nove did some tournament paperwork and wore *glasses* for no apparent reason besides meganeko fanservice…

        Hmm, reading this, I realize that this episode was really rushed and a wasted opportunity. There was so many great moments dropped… for example, the manga has a special with Nanoha and Vita here, in which funny things happen too. And where the manga had all sorts of funny faces, the anime had just characters with nondescript looks and no movements. Makes me sad, thinking about it now.

        Here’s some cutouts from the manga: imgur

      3. Wanderer, that was when she had the Relic inside her. Without the Relic, she’s nothing like as super-powered. It took five (not six) Starlight Breakers to get through the shield and destroy the relic, but now that it’s gone Vivio is a fairly normal little girl.

        Or maybe not. She is genetically the same as Olivie was, and Einhart tells us Olivie was the strongest fighter and mage of her generation, so Vivio probably has great potential. But as best we can tell, so far she hasn’t developed more than a bit of that potential, though we see more of it when she’s in adult mode.

      4. Negative, the Saint’s Armor was Vivio’s inherent power, and did not require the relic. Those who remember StrikerS may also remember the episode in which Vivio was introduced. The Numbers attempted to shoot down the helicopter that Riot Force 6 was transporting Vivio onboard using an S-ranked physical destruction cannon, and Quattro specifcally mentioned both then and again later that Vivio wouldn’t even have been scratched by that attack. That happened long before Scaglietti implanted the relic into her.

        Now, she lost the power because the relic was torn out, true, but not because she depended on it to give her the power in the first place, but because it was so interwoven with her own magic that tearing it loose in order to free her from the Cradle caused her permanent harm.

  6. I didn’t entirely understand what her elite seed meant.

    seed positions are kind of special treatment given to high-ranking fighters from previous tournament(s). Basically, seeded participants are:
    1. put in different preliminary groups to save their high-level battles for later
    2. excluded from early qualifiers
    For example, despite Micaiah, Miura and Vivio being in same group, Vivio and Miura have to participate in the qualifiers from this episode, but Micaiah goes straight into the tournament proper. Also, Harry and Victoria are two more seeded participants, so the three wouldn’t meet in their first match(es).

    In short, it just means she’s skilled enough to get special treatment.

    1. I think this way it also benefits the newcomers, since they would not have to face veterans too early. That way, they can at least fight against people their own level for some matches and gain valuable experience from that.


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