Anime / Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a redirect for the Lyrical Nanoha franchise page, (or the PSP games page if you use Video Game/Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha) not for The Original Series.
"Because we both have the same goal, there might be no way we can avoid fighting like this. But I want to know! Why does she have such lonely eyes...?"
The first series in the Nanoha
franchise, simply titled Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
It starts with a typical cookie-cutter plot: Twenty-one dangerous artifacts of incredible power
called Jewel Seeds
have fallen to Earth
following a cross-dimensional accident. A mage named Yuuno is badly injured while attempting to retrieve them, and is discovered half-dead by Nanoha Takamachi, an ordinary 9-year-old elementary schooler
With no other choice, Yuuno lends his "Intelligent Device"
to Nanoha, transforming her into a Magical Girl
so that she can neutralise and collect the Jewel Seeds
on his behalf.
Just as Nanoha is getting used to her new duties, everything changes
when she is confronted by Fate Testarossa
, a Dark Magical Girl
who is also attempting to capture all the Jewel Seeds. However, Nanoha senses something pained and fragile
behind Fate's ice-cold exterior, and resolves to discover the truth even if she has to beat it out of her
Thus ends the introduction of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, one of the most popular modern Magical Girl
anime due to the odd mix of Magical Girl
elements with incredibly flashy fight scenes. The premise of "Magical Girl meets Gundam
" led to a unique and successful show.
A movie titled Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st
was released in 2010 and retold the original plot, but more in the style of the later seasons. It is actually treated by canon as an In-Universe semi-biographical piece
, so it is considered its own continuity. A companion manga titled Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie 1st The Comics
was also released at the same time. Initially it appeared to be a prequel to The Movie, but it was later revealed to be yet another Alternate Continuity
. Both the series and the movie have supplementary Slice of Life
Drama CDs called Sound Stages
. In late 2013 another manga based on the same season started, titled Original Chronicle Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The 1st
, aiming to be a more straightforward adaptation with more All There in the Manual
The anime was licensed and dubbed in North America by Geneon
, but is now out of print. After Geneon USA shut down, FUNimation
took over distribution of the original series and its sequel Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's
until the licenses for both expired in 2011.NOTE:
Only general tropes for the series are listed here. For character-specific ones, check out the character sheets.
The original series provides examples of:
- Animation Bump: The first episode is too smoothly done. Observe.
- By The Power Of Grey Skull: Averted for the most part. In the first episode, Yuno tells Nanoha a password she needs to say to activate Raising Heart but after that she doesn't need it.
- Collapsing Lair: The Garden of Time, as a result of Precia's failed attempt to use the Jewel Seeds.
- Continuity Nod: The scars from Nanoha's father's "old job", Miyuki practicing her swordfighting technique, and other references to Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever.
- Cool Starship: The TSAB L-class cruise patrol warship "Arthra". The Fan Subs called it "Asura", which many fans prefer over the official spelling.
- Cute Giant: One episode had a kitten come into contact with one of the Jewel Seeds, which granted its wish of wanting to grow up... and grow it did, becoming as tall as the trees. Despite being giant, it still acted like a kitten, not aggressive at all. Provided the page image for Mega Neko.
- Demoted to Extra: Before Lyrical Nanoha, there was a Visual Novel called Lyrical Toy Box (which was a Spin-Off of the visual novel Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever). In Lyrical Toy Box, Nanoha's magical companion was Lindy and the villain was Chrono. In this anime, Lindy and Chrono are reduced to side characters as their original roles are respectively replaced by Yuuno and Fate.
- Discovering Your Own Dead Body: In episode 11, Fate sees what appears to be her own body in a jar and finds out that it's actually Alicia, her mother Presea's original daughter whom she was cloned from. Worse, Presea considers Fate to be a failure and willingly dies with the original Alicia's body even when Fate tries to save her.
- Dramatic Wind: Used to great effect during Nanoha and Fate's talk on the bridge.
- Driving Question: Why does Fate have such sad and lonely eyes? This evolved into "Will you be my friend?"
- Dungeon Bypass: Chrono does one in the finale, apparently because he couldn't find the door to Precia's inner sanctum.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first few episodes of the original series were a standard Magical Girl show, and it wasn't until A's that it really became a Gundam-in-a-schoolgirl-skirt show.
- In a similar vein, we have Arf threatening to swallow Nanoha whole if she gets in their way too much, and then nothing comes of this, it is promptly forgotten when Arf appears again, and no mention is ever made to it again.
- Even Evil Can Be Loved: The Noble Top Enforcer Fate Testarossa genuinely loves her insane and abusive mother and believes she can still redeem her despite everyone, from the new best friend, through her familiar, to the Space Police, telling her otherwise.
- Evil Plan: A strange example as it there isn't one until Fate shows up. Yuno just needed help recovering artifacts scattered by an accident. Eventually its revealed that Precia wanted the jewel seeds to revive her real daughter and go back to way things used to be.
- Face Fault: Nanoha gets one in the first episode, when her father asks what a ferret is.
- False Camera Effects: Episode 1 includes a brief sequence of Nanoha running that is made to look like it was filmed with a hand-held camera. There's also a scene during the final battle where it get's splashed with water.
- Genre Shift: Within the course of the original thirteen episodes, the series shifts from typical Magical Girl fare to something more dramatic as well as becoming more action oriented in the process. By the end of the season the action and drama aspects have become central to the series.
- Hot Springs Episode: Episode 5.
- Humongous Mecha: Precia deploys a variety of robots that clearly fall into the category to defend her lair in the finale. Nanoha proceeds to smack them down like she was an escaped Super Prototype from a Gundam show.
- Imperfect Ritual: Precia Testarossa needed all 21 Jewel Seeds to open a portal to Al-Hazard, but only ended up in possession of 9, "thanks" to the title character and the Bureau's efforts. In the end of the series, she decides to go through with the incomplete ritual and goes MIA. Her ultimate fate is still a major mystery of the series.
- Mecha-Mooks: Precia's robotic army.
- Mega Neko: Provided the image for that page. ◊
- Monster of the Week: In the first four episodes.
- Mood Whiplash: Precia whipping Fate rapidly converts most viewers from enjoying the somewhat humorous tone and subversiveness of the series to "PRECIA TESTAROSSA MUST DIE".
- Mythology Gag: Lindy's fairy wings, Chrono's Spikes of Villainy, and other references to the original Nanoha game.
- Ominous Floating Castle: The Garden of Time, Precia's fortress.
- The Original Series
- Panty Shot: Several in the first episode from Nanoha.
- People Jars: Precia had a few.
- Power Levels: Nanoha's average magical power is given to be 1.27 million, while Fate's is 1.43 million. All other mentions use letter rankings.
- The Power of Friendship: Saved Fate's life arguably. Of course, given the definition of "befriend" in use by the Nanoha fandom, it can also be employed to blow you up.
- Say My Name: According to Nanoha, the first step of being friends (apart from massive lasers) is to simply say the other person's name.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: After Fate force activates the remaining Jewel Seeds, rather than wait for Fate to exhaust herself and potentially get hurt for biting more than she could chew, Nanoha defies orders to help Fate.
- Spoiler Opening: The original OP shows Fate and Arf from the start of the show, but they actually feature first in episode 4.
- Stock Footage: Compared to later seasons, the usage of stock footage Transformation Sequences is egregiously high.
- Storming the Castle: The season's climax is the storming the Garden of Time.
- Theme Music Power-Up: "Take A Shot" for both Fate and Nanoha.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Used as Nanoha's cellphone ringtone.
- The Thing That Goes Doink: Lindy's Japanese-style receiving room has one. Said room also happens to be on a spaceship.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: Subverted - early on a monster tries to attack Nanoha, while she's transforming and gets flung buck by a barrier.
- Wham Episode: Mostly related to Fate.
- Episode 4 - Fate's introduction. So far, the series followed a fairly standard Monster of the Week formula. Then Fate shows up, curb-stomps the Monster of the Week and then Nanoha in short order and takes the Jewel Seed for herself. From this point, Nanoha starts struggling and the story shifts to focus more on her relationship with Fate.
- Episode 7 - Nanoha and Fate's last battle attracted the attention of the Time-Space Administration Bureau, introducing us the the larger setting and more "Magical Girl meets Gundam" elements. However, the real wham is when Fate reports back to her mother only to be whipped for not bringing enough Jewel Seeds.
- Episode 11 - Nanoha "befriends" Fate with her first use of the Starlight Breaker. However, Precia decides to go through with her plan anyway, with the TSAB tracking her down to her doorstep. However, the TSAB squadron finds a girl in stasis that looks exactly like Fate. This girl is Alicia, Precia's real daughter. Fate is actually a clone made to replace her. Precia never saw Fate as a human let alone as a daughter. The last revelation breaks Fate.
- Xanatos Gambit: Nanoha and Fate's final battle is one for the Time and Space Administration: Nanoha's victory or defeat is irrelevant. They would prefer she won (and thereby arrest Fate and recover the jewel seeds) but if she doesn't Chrono will step in and finish off the worn-out Fate. If nothing else the battle will allow them to track Precia's location.
The movie provides examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation: It fixes many of the pacing and writing problems of the first season, and in general alters things to be more consistent with later seasons. It also animates some of the All There in the Manual material, largely about Precia, painting a clearer picture overall.
- Ascended Meme: The Movie Sound Stage Side F'', gives the popular meme known as "Befriending" amongst english-speakers a nod, as Arf jokingly explains to an increasingly worried Erio and Caro that the only way to make life-long friends is to blow them up first.
- Demoted to Extra: Nanoha's family have no speaking roles in the movie, and her friends Alisa and Suzuka are just her Muggle Best Friends without any depths.
- Yuuno never gets the opportunity to be a potential love interest to Nanoha, and Chrono's battle against the Mecha Mooks is barely seen.
- DVD Commentary: Provided by Subaru, Teana, Erio, Caro, Vivio, Fate, and Nanoha from the ViVid timeline.
- Monster Sob Story: Due to Adaptation Distillation, the movie does a much better job of explaining Precia's backstory.
- Orchestral Bombing: The movie version of Starlight Breaker's Leitmotif, which is prefaced by a passage which sounds very much like it was inspired by Gustav Holst's Mars, The Bringer Of War.
- Panthera Awesome: The little kitten that encounters a Jewel Seed in the movie, instead of a Mega Neko, turns into a giant, demonic, black panther, which sprouts large bat wings.
- Product Placement: Pizza Hut supports the befriending!
- Recursive Canon: Though in classic Nanoha style you won't know it unless you listened to the sound stages.
- Stun Guns: Nanoha explicitly sets Raising Heart to stun. Presumably, RH's default setting is "befriend".
- Surprisingly Good English: The movie has the best English so far with the devices finally having learned proper grammar.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Starlight Breaker is enhanced Up to Eleven, which is also an understatement. This is probably one of the reasons why only three of Fate's limbs are locked instead of four, giving her a chance to cast shields to defend herself (the other reason is that Fate has no other option than to block Nanoha's Divine Buster).
- Theme Music Power-Up: "Don't Be Long", replacing "Take A Shot" in the same scene from the original.
- Voodoo Shark: The first season had a few minor plot points that were later Ret-Conned. For example, in the original series Nanoha was the one who thought up Raising Heart's staff and cannon modes herself, but after season one all new devices have predetermined forms and require hardware upgrades for new ones. Naturally, when they remade the first season for the movie, they made sure it was consistent with the later seasons. However, this opened up a new Plot Hole. While Raising Heart having its staff and cannon modes pre-loaded makes sense, it's never explained why Yuuno didn't try using either mode before handing the device over to Nanoha.
The movie manga provides examples of:
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: As a result, this version of Nanoha acquired the Fan Nickname "Emoha".
- Take My Hand: After their final fight, Nanoha falls off a rooftop and Fate catches her. First she grabs her by the hand and then holds her with both arms Superman style. They were both too tired and beaten up to fly so they had an emergency water landing shortly after. Still a great rescue, especially since Fate jumped after her so fast the stretcher she was on disintegrated.
- Wham Episode: The fifth chapter of is especially shocking, when you consider the first four chapters were a manual. It summarizes the entire movie in 21 pages. Minus Fate's and Nanoha's final big fight, which here takes place after the main conflict and is a lot more prolonged, continuing through the entire second volume.