“The Inter-Middle, huh…”
A lot of the issues I mentioned from last episode were solved! Fate had no hesitation in relying on Zanber Form and Sonic Form when confronted by Nanoha. I was particularly glad that Fate was in Sonic Form when she was taken out – we got to… see a lot more of her that way. You did good, Erio. You did good.
A life point indicator was also granted to each participant, although I suspect that was primarily to highlight the insta-kill brought down by the legend that is Starlight Breaker. Megane and Sein were sporting strained and slightly worried smiles at the end there. It’s a manga about Vivio, and as you might guess there isn’t much of a focus on Nanoha as a result – this is one of the few moments in the adaptation (if not the only one so far) where Nanoha gets to let loose, and I enjoyed myself as much as she did,But in the end, it’s a manga about Vivio, and so it’s not surprising that the final match-up of this first match (the others of which weren’t seen) was between Vivio and Einhart. A tie was appropriate, if slightly unsatisfying – it was a team mock battle instead of an individual one, and there were external factors such as healing or built-up fatigue in play . Vivio sorely needs more clean hits on Einhart though – whenever they engage it always feels like Einhart has the upper hand.
I really like Hayate’s raccoon mask! ViVid needs more Hayate and more Wolkenritter – and when did Agito and Rein get so big? On top of gifting Einhart a device of her own, Hayate and the Wolkenritter were there to help set up a debut for Miura, a Yagami-style Strike Arts student being trained by Zafira. A clear rival for Vivio and Einhart if I’ve ever seen one – although she does sound surprisingly girly despite her tomboyish design. Miura is certainly a more reachable goal than Harry or Victoria might be, both of whom are veteran Inter-Middle fighters with a lot of experience under their belts. At least this next tournament arc is essentially a sports competition! If Vivio and Einhart were tasked with saving the world, and had to go up against some of the opponents they’ll be pitted against, the world might not stand much of a chance.
Vivio and Einhart are not out to win. I mean, I guess they are, but the chances of them actually doing so are very slim – there are many talented fighters out there, and Nove was only telling them the truth. They can improve, but with the inter-dimensional champion Sieg (aka Black Rock Shooter-chan) in the same Mid-Childa qualifiers bracket as they’ll be in, an outright victory is not a realistic goal at all. I suspect veterans like Victor would do much better in the overall tournament if Sieg was in a different bracket and only met them later on. But in the end, it’s all about the journey – especially for Einhart. She might have her sights set on winning as a form of catharsis for her, but really, she’s also out for strong opponents to meet along the way. There would be no point to winning if she didn’t manage to knock down lots of strong people in the process. So what they’re all after is a chance to go up against some of their generation’s talented young fighters in a relatively safe(?) environment, and that’s something they’re going to get for sure.