「勝利のために!」 (Shouri no Tame Ni!)
“For Victory!”

In the third round, it’s Chantez versus Victoria. Fight-o!

Anticipating Victors: In-Universe Favorites vs Plot Favorites

Most of the entertainment I derive from martial arts anime like this in trying to anticipate who’s going to win. (I’m well into the fourth level of consuming art, so I have to get my kicks somewhere.) So far, there haven’t been any surprises. The trick, I find, is in analyzing who is the in-universe favorite versus who’s the plot favorite. To do that, you have to get into the author’s head.

The in-universe favorites are easy. The announcer usually tells us who they are. Harry, Micaiah, Victoria, and Einhart are all the in-universe favorites. Note that the announcer telling us who’s favored isn’t necessary—with Einhart versus Corona, they’re both rookies, so they appear to be considered largely equal. We know Einhart is the favorite because Nove said she’d go farther in the tournament than the other three girls.

But the in-universe favorites don’t always win. Here’s where we have to get into the author’s head, to anticipate the upsets, because unlike in real life, there’s always a reason for them. Once the fight starts and you start reading the flow of the battle, it’s usually easy to anticipate who will win. But that all bows to something higher: the plot. In trying to anticipate who will win, I find it most useful to ask two questions: “What will make for a more interesting story?” and “Who will grow more by winning/losing?”

“What will make for a more interesting story?” answers for why Miura won, and to a degree, why Harry did too. Harry was introduced before Els, so she was clearly deemed a more important character—that one’s easy. But the Miura upset was a lot more interesting—or it had the potential to be. The details were fumbled—than Micaiah winning, which would have been business as usual. By the same token, Victoria moving on makes for a more interesting story because we don’t know much about her yet, and because she seems destined to face off against Vivio, Einhart, or both. Without at least one of those matches, introducing her at this point feels pointless. The same is broadly true of Harry as well, by the way.

“Who will grow more by winning/losing?” is tied up in all of them, but I think it will be most instructive in the upcoming Corona versus Einhart battle. If Einhart wins, it’s business as usual—and we’ve already seen Einhart win a lot. But if Corona wins, both she and Einhart will grow. Einhart will learn a hard lesson through defeat (and probably get all mopey about not being able to protect what’s dear to her yet), while Corona will prove that she hasn’t fallen behind her friends, and show the growth she’s already had off-screen. Granted, a lot of this benefit can be derived from a close Einhart victory, but it would be far less interesting than the come-from-behind Corona win. That’s why I’m hoping that Einhart goes dooown!

There’s also a sometimes short cut: Notice who the point of view character is. When you key in on who the point of view character is (Els, Miura, Chantez, Corona), you can restrict the second question (“Who will grow more by winning/losing?”) to them. Which eventuality leads to more character growth for them. Els isn’t as clear-cut since she’s a tertiary character at best—and doesn’t seem likely to change no matter what happens—but this clearly pointed at a Chantez loss, and points to a Corona win. As for Miura … well, this isn’t a science, y’all. And as a story character, her fighting style kind of sucks. That’s one of many things that makes trying to anticipate the victor so much fun!

Chantez versus Victoria

I liked how much this fight revealed character. For Chantez, we knew she was tricky, but she’s more of a clever strategist than I thought. If this whole magical tournament participant thing doesn’t work out, she has a bright future commanding armies, or perhaps in finance. As soon as Victora struck back against the clones, I suspected a shell game (trope!), thanks largely to an example from Order of the Stick that stuck with me, and also makes up that trope’s page quote (link, for those who have read OotS before). In short: Why give Victoria a 50% chance of hitting her when you can give her a 0% chance? Some kind of magical limitations we don’t know about would be one reason, but against someone so straightforward, it’s easy money. If Chantez had the strength to properly exploit the advantages her strategies were giving her, she would have won easily. Though I knew she was doomed 100% when she spawned too many clones. Haven’t you heard about the Conservation of Ninjutsu (trope!)? Kids these days, all batoru, not enough reading. Yeesh…

As for Victoria, she’s a tank. Everything Chantez threw at her, and she almost got her to three-quarters health by the end of the match. I have a feeling Victoria is going to end up fighting Vivio, and not have a good time with her. Vivio’s counter-focused fighting style seems like it might be a good one for defeating, or at least royally pissing off, Victoria.

Looking Ahead – Corona versus Einhart

I’ve already said it: I think Corona is going to win. Or perhaps I should say I hope so, because that would make a much more interesting story than Einhart proceeding as planned. Whoever wins will fight Sieg, right? While Einhart facing her would be cool, it’d be nothing next to Corona shutting her out of the tournament right here. (Tag and mark your spoilers, please.)

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Chantez is faster, smarter, trickier, & way more fun, but Victoria doesn’t care. Victoria just beats people #nanohavivid 10

Random thoughts:

  • Uh, Chantez. I’m not sure how Sisterly underboob is. Not that I’m … okay, actually, this is kind of Farangis all over again. Underboob in combat? Really? I’d be too worried about popping out to fight properly.
  • The only bad strategy Chantez had: Trying to get girls interested in becoming a Sister by fighting in a martial arts tournament, much less doing it while showing underboob. Though since the Saint Church appears to do more ass-kicking than good works or celibacy, maybe that’s the perfect way? Nishishi!
  • Use the Force, Victoria.
  • Lots of excellent rookie contestants. Ouch. Chantez was right—that’s a classic talking down to from Victoria.
  • My favorite things about this episode: Deredere Chantez, and Asumi Kana in stereo. More Asumi Kana pleeeease!
  • Reminder for those who watch anime raw: We usually don’t blog an episode until it’s been subbed in English, since that’s what most of our viewers wait for too. Just a reminder, in case you’re wondering why this post seems so late.

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: A lifestyle designed for productivity, Practical freedom, Old to them, and Stop sending me job ideas.




    1. That’s actually a very good point. Something I didn’t consider in my analysis. I’ll have to remember that.

      And since I was spoiled on what’s happening next:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. While I won’t go into specifics even if you have a decent idea what’s up, I will say as far as Einhart’s development is concerned, one of the more interesting parts of having a tournament setup is seeing how certain characters react to her. It’s still Nanoha so everyone is wonderfully polite and friendly without fail, but Einhart’s stuck in the past mindset doesn’t sit well with everyone, as you’d expect.

        And the possibility of a split cour is definitely a relief, after the breakneck pace we had for a while. With how behind manga translations are at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the anime ends up passing them a few episodes into the second half.

      2. That’d be cool. I certainly don’t mind blogging adaptations (otherwise I wouldn’t have much to blog), but one of the reasons I’ve always preferred blogging originals is that no one knows what’s going to happen next. We all get to experience it together, which is a lot of fun.

        Going past the manga translations will work too 😀

  1. Show Spoiler ▼

    Stilts edit: Kind of spoiled the next episode for me. Please be careful.

    1. First of all, please be careful. You implicitly spoiled the next episode for me. I would have liked to be surprised when it came out, buuuut I guess that’s out of the cards now 🙁

      Rest of mine will be in spoiler tags, for the same reason.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Arg. And I was trying really hard to try to find a way to say it without outright spoiling things, too. But if I just put it all in spoiler tags I was fairly sure you just wouldn’t read it, Show Spoiler ▼

      2. No worries, it happens. That’s why I try to tell people what’s up instead of revving up for a flame war. Plus, I get in trouble all the time for rushing and not thinking what I’m saying through enough, so I feel ya *brofist*

  2. One think I like in this fight is the fact they made much more big and look much more important than the manga. In manga, Chantez vs Victoria have a little less than one chapter, they put extras scenes, like the Carmin visiting Chantez after fight, this scena dont exist in manga.

    Sorry any error in my writing

    1. Actually, Carim did come to visit Chantez after the match. Here it is, if you want to see.

      However, in the manga, Chantez’s match was split over several chapters, in between other matches. I actually prefer how the anime combined them all into a single episode, to make it flow better.

  3. Pacing-wise, this episode is probably the best in the past few weeks. They focused on a single match and spent the remaining time developing the characters.

    The reason they fight, the risks they are willing to take, and the doubts they hold in their hearts.

    By delving deeper into these, it makes the Nanoha Vivid universe truly complex and alive. Almost everything from the manga was fully adapted in this episode.

    On another note, it is now mostly confirmed that Nanoha Vivid will be spit into 2-cour. So there will be a season break after the next two episodes.

    1. I had been assuming 2-cour for a while, so good to hear!

      And yes, the pacing was better. Hearing (as you said above) that they combined it into one episode instead of splitting it into multiple chapters seems to have worked. Yay for appropriate anime changes! \o/

    2. Given some of the things they’ve cut, I’m not sure how they’ll manage two cour. SPOILER’s introduction was omitted completely, and I’d think she’d be kind of important going forward.

      1. I assume you mean the little resident witch. She has indeed been absent, but at this stage in the tournament, they can still introduce her later.

        In the manga, she was introduced and did not play a role until much later anyway, so maybe they are saving her introduction until the second half of the 2-cour, so people will remember her when she become more involved with the story.

      2. They could do that, but I find it would be much less effective to introduce her and then immediate have her start… doing the plot-relevant stuff I’m not going to spoil, in comparison with having introduced her earlier and then revealing that she was involved in something deeper.

    1. Corona is far from untalented. She may lack fighting prowess like her teammates, but her skills in puppetry and creation is unmatched.

      She is not known as the Golem Meister for no reason. ^^

  4. Sister Chantez’s battle attire didn’t really surprise me at first because the first thing that came to mind for me was Blazblue’s Makoto Nanaya, who also sports a pair of tonfas and the almost the same design in the chest area. Last I checked though Nanoha Vivid came first before Makoto became playable in the game so I guess Sister Chantez was a basis for Makoto’s design.

  5. As for Victoria, she’s a tank.

    This and her being an ojou that has more than the standard bitchy ojou attitude going for her makes her one of my favorite characters in Vivid (I like non-standard ojous). Seriously, she’s the first character like this in speed and beam reliant combat world of Nanoha series, and needs no fancy magic barries for it. She just takes blasts to the face like nothing and that’s cool.

    The only bad strategy Chantez had: Trying to get girls interested in becoming a Sister by fighting in a martial arts tournament

    In the world of Nanoha, where little girls of age 9 and up living magic artilleries and magical martial arts replace cheerleading and gymnastics as hit sports in their age group, it’s not that bad of a plan.

    Stilts edit: Fixed your tags. Use < and >, not [ and ], to italicize, blockquote, bold, etc.

  6. Maybe Chantez thinks if any girls swing that way it would be a good distraction in combat to dress that way :). Or she`s just trying to play up her whole “against the grain” character to hide how she really feels.

    I also hope that Corona wins this one. She’d really grow a lot and have her hard work rewarded which is always nice to see. Corona is the classic underdog and you can’t help rooting for her. Whether she can beat Einhart or not is up in the air. Einhart talking about whoever wins getting to take on that former champ certainly gives an interesting spin on the results. Whoever wins this one gets an even tougher challenge next time. I do want to see Corona win since if they don’t handle it right, a loss could really do a lot of harm to her confidence.

    Will say that Victoria was an awesome opponent for Chantez and losing there wasn’t something to be ashamed of. That girl was just a powerhouse. A speed and tactical type like Chantez can only do so much against someone who is heavily armored and has a devastating amount of firepower. Plus she really should know from Naruto….any time you go mass shadow clones it just leads to annihilation.

  7. As a female with relatively large breasts, the underboob service always annoys me so much that it pretty much always ruins the scene whenever it occurs. Unless the girl is really flatchested, her worst enermy will be gravity, and gravity WILL win. The boobs poking out of the costume is actually the least of the problems. The uncontrollable boob swing frickin HURTS just to do a high jump or jogging without a bra. I can’t imagine fighting without one! When I see a fight scene with underboob, I just think “OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH”.


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