I’ve reviewed a lot of the Nanoha franchise. The first series, A’s, StrikerS, Vivid and I’m sure I’ll review the follow up to Vivid when it comes out. Why am I talking about Nanoha? Well, today’s offering, Triangle Heart Sweet Songs Forever, is kind of a prequel but not really. The basic gist of it is that this series started as a series of eroges and OVAs called Triangle Heart. Nanoha’s character was introduced as the younger sister of two of the main characters in the third instalment, and the one this OVA was adapted from. It was also the last hurrah of the series, with the OVA coming out late in 2000. Incidentally, the Nanoha franchise spun off of it in 2004, changing hands from Discovery to Seven Arcs. So, is it worth checking this one out or is it fortuitous for everyone that it isn’t tied directly into the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha franchise?
We open with a young woman named Crystela Fiasse, who’s been receiving threats. She’s about to go on a concert tour with charity along with the students at her song school. Her childhood friend, McGaren Ellis, is brought in to act as her bodyguard. She also reaches out to their old friends, the Takamachi siblings, Kyouya & Miyuki. They may not be professional bodyguards, but they’re experts with blades. Ellis resents their amateur interference. Will they be able to put aside their differences and deal with this threat?
Let’s start by talking about what the series does poorly. The biggest issue is that there’s quite a bit of filler for a four episode series. We get to spend time watching people work in Kyouya’s café, even though none of them are actually important to the narrative and the scenes do absolutely nothing. We also get to watch overly long exposition scenes about the shared back story of our four leads. We don’t need these scenes since everything important in them comes out in the main narrative but we get them anyway. The climax is also weak. We get a lot of build up for a battle that gets concluded in a very short amount of time. That aside, what we’re left with is a pretty standard action story.
The cast in this is really boring and not just those café characters who just take up time. The main characters in this are just bland. Both Kyouya & Miyuki were better fleshed out in the Nanoha spin off. They weren’t incredibly complex characters in that, but they at least had verisimilitude, which is more than I can say for them here. Which is really sad since they were just minor characters in that and they were the focus characters in this.
(Nanoha’s first anime appearance, Folks. Working the cash.)
The art is pretty well done. Aside from some odd, faux artistic choices like tinting everything a single colour for some scenes. Overall, it is a nice looking OVA with some strong designs and solid action scenes. The artwork is definitely the OVA’s strongest point.
The acting in this is passable, mostly. There are exceptions. Kodama Satomi sounds like she’s not trying at all. She gives a very listless, emotionless performance as Miyuki. Which could be why Miyuki was voiced by Shiraishi Ryoko in Nanoha. Seki Tomokazu has the opposite problem. He really chews the scenery in how far he goes over the top. Aside from that, we get performances that are functional, but not really good. The music, on the other hand, is pretty good. The biggest issue with it is that they talk the concert up quite a bit. In fact, they go really overboard with it, going on about how great it’s going to be and how it’s going to bring tranquillity to everyone who hears it and it really doesn’t live up to that kind of hype.
There’s only a little in this one. Surprising given how much is in the spin off, I know. A lot of the dynamic between Ellis & Fiasse comes across like they’re an old couple. Although that could be more as a result of there being basically nothing to their characters than anything intentional.
Triangle Heart isn’t a bad little OVA but it is pretty weak. The story, what little it has, is largely forgettable and the characters are just dull. Overall, I give it a 4/10. Next week is going to be one that was requested quite a while back, Golgo 13.