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In Nanoha StrikerS (season 3), several of the high-end mages had limiters imposed on them to limit their power output thereby reducing their mage rank levels:

The purpose of the limiters was to limit the damage that could be caused to a small area and possibly to protect the mages themselves from overexerting.

Furthermore, limiters can only be removed by a high-ranked official.

With the exception of Lutecia (who was a captured antagonist), why were the mages not trusted to remove their own limiters if their purpose was to prevent accidental collateral damage?

  • If they could remove it themselves, what would be the point of even having a limiter? – Tim Feb 1 '13 at 17:58
  • The limiters are there to prevent accidental misuse. It's like a safety lock for guns. There to prevent misfiring. But when you need it, you are free to remove it. – Mysticial Feb 1 '13 at 18:02
  • I have a feeling it's to limit damage if they 'accidentally' go rogue. Similar to how the military requires weapons to be checked-out of an armory (and ICBMs need multiple people to be launched). – Clockwork-Muse Feb 1 '13 at 19:58
  • I took it to be because the mages are like walking nuclear weapons (probably more destructive in the case of a really angry S+ mage). I'm sure any military command would feel safer with a lock on their strategic weapons! – Martin Feb 3 '13 at 17:08
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This limiter is in place because high-end mages' powers become so powerful that they can present a danger simply by being unrestrained.

When a group of mages are in close proximity, or are working together, they must be limited. Because of their high amount of power, this much energy (mana) in one area would endanger the fabric of time-space (the series's equivalent of space–time).[Nanoha Wiki] So consider, if mages were to be allowed to remove these limiters without consent of the TSAB, they may do it unscrupulously, which could lead to unpredictable damage.

This is compared to a parallel in real life, where incredibly powerful weapons are sealed away for emergency; not every soldier on the battlefield has a rocket launcher because that would just lead to destruction (and high costs!).

This is similar to how a normal organization is restricted from carrying excessive weaponry during normal missions, only using such equipment in times of emergency.[DVD Booklet translation]

TV Tropes calls this Awesomeness Is Volatile, stating that "they'd run the risk of having their sheer combined power potentially warping the fabric of reality" and "[Hayate, Nanoha, and Fate] alone pretty much constitute an army".

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