-->''"[[ArcWords It was only a small wish...]]"''

The second season of the ''[[LyricalNanoha Nanoha]]'' franchise, set six months after [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha the original series]].

Nanoha and Fate are working together with the [[SpacePolice TSAB]] to investigate an [[LostTechnology artifact of incredible power]] called the Book of Darkness, which has been linked to a number of attacks on magi that have left the victims drained of {{mana}}.

Unknown to them, the Book of Darkness has attached itself to an orphaned girl in a wheelchair called Hayate. She just wants to have a family, and she lovingly adopts the [[{{Mons}} sentient defence programs]] of the Book - a sympathetic female PowerTrio and their NonHumanSidekick - as her own.

But what Hayate is unaware of is that the Book of Darkness is slowly eating away at her life, and only by feeding it the {{mana}} of others can she be saved. Not wishing to lose their kind master, the servants of the Book go behind her back and attempt to satisfy the Book's hunger on their own, leading them to an inevitable confrontation with Team Nanoha.

Even moreso than its predecessor, this is the show that really set the tone and concept of the entire franchise in stone, and made it far bigger than just "magical girls get a little SuperRobot". It's widely considered to be the best season of TV ''Nanoha'' by fans and critics alike, and every ''Nanoha'' product afterwards, not to mention a decent bit of wider anime and other media, owes something to it and tries to emulate what made it successful.

It has a supplementary SliceOfLife manga and [[AudioAdaptation Sound Stages]] that take place between the episodes. The NamcoBandai games for the PlaystationPortable, ''[[VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable The Battle Of Aces]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable The Gears of Destiny]]'', are AlternateContinuity sequels to ''A's'', which change the events of the last episode. A movie remake of ''A's'', known as ''The Movie 2nd A's'', was released in 2012, following the continuity of ''The Movie 1st''.

The anime was licensed and dubbed in North America by Creator/{{Geneon}}, but is now out of print. After Geneon USA shut down, Creator/FUNimation took over distribution of the original series and A's until the licenses for both series expired in 2011.

'''NOTE:''' Only general tropes for the series are listed here. For character-specific ones, check out the [[Characters/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs character]] [[Characters/LyricalNanoha sheets.]]
!!''MGLN A's'' provides examples of:

* AdultFear: Hayate's plight - she has been [[IllGirl sick for a long time]], and seemingly wonders if she'll die soon, but doesn't fear it because she's always been alone. [[spoiler:And Graham believes that sealing her away with the Book of Darkness is regrettable, but it's better that few will miss her]].
* AnAssKickingChristmas: The final battle takes place on Christmas Eve.
* ArcWords: "It was only a small wish." This turns out to refer to the Wolkenritter's desire to live out [[IJustWantToBeNormal a peaceful ordinary life]] with their master Hayate. Unfortunately for them, their very nature prevents them from obtaining their wish and their efforts to maintain the illusion of ordinary life destroys it more and more. Their wish turns out to be not so small, after all. [[spoiler:It takes an intervention by the multiverse's most powerful mages, a space battleship, and a miracle to make it reality--if [[BittersweetEnding only partly]].]]
* ArtifactOfDeath: The Book of Darkness, because of the malfunction.
* BittersweetEnding: The threat of the Book of Darkness is over, as is its control over Hayate and the Wolkenritter's lives, but [[spoiler:this requires Reinforce's HeroicSacrifice, preventing her from sharing her mistress and knights' happiness and greatly upsetting Hayate. To make the loss easier to bear, Reinforce suggests Hayate name her new magical device "Reinforce" in her memory. As ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' shows, Hayate did more than that: the remnants of Reinforce are used to create Reinforce Zwei, with hints that at least some of the original personality has been preserved intact.]]
* ChanceMeetingBetweenAntagonists: Team Nanoha (the heroes) accidentally meets Team Wolkenritter (the heroic antagonists) in a hospital while visiting the Wolkenritter's master Hayate (who also happens to be a friend of Nanoha's friend Suzuka; they didn't know she was their enemies' master until then, however). This takes place just before the Final Battle, so it doesn't go well at all.
* ChekhovsGun: The Arc-en-ciel is a Chekhov's WaveMotionGun. The Arthra is put into maintenance while it's being installed, and it is repeatedly spoken of as a last resort that the protagonists are reluctant to use.
* ChristmasEpisode: The first Megami Sound Stage, set during this season, takes place around Christmas time, and features Nanoha telling Fate about Christmas, among other topics. Nanoha has a belated Christmas celebration on the 26th, as a result of her family restaurant being busy on Christmas Day.
* ClarkKenting: Averted. The Wolkenritter have to avoid being with Hayate whenever Nanoha and Fate come to visit her lest they figure out that Hayate is the master of the Book of Darkness (Shamal even note that they probably should have used disguise magic). [[spoiler: Arisa and Suzuka also recognize Nanoha and Fate instantly when they see them in their Barrier Jackets during the final battle.]]
* DemotedToExtra: The rest of Nanoha's family suffered a steep decline in importance in ''A's'', and stopped appearing altogether afterwards, barring a couple of Sound Stages. During this season, Yuuno gradually transitions from a major character who fights alongside the protagonists to one who stays behind and helps by researching.
* DistantFinale / WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: A sequence taking place six years after the main story. It's somewhere in between the two, since it's an extended scene with both dialog and on-screen captions.
* DramaticIrony: In episode six, Nanoha and Yuuno discuss what type of person the Master of the Book of Darkness might be, followed by Nanoha receiving text from Suzuka talking about her new friend... Hayate.
* EldritchAbomination: The Book of Darkness's defense system after [[EnemyWithout it goes berserk]].
* EvilPlan: The knights are not evil but their plan of attacking mages to drain their linker cores and power up an ArtifactOfDoom is certainly ''dangerous'' and it drives the plot.
* FantasticNuke: The Arc-en-Ciel, which could have destroyed a fair chunk of Japan's landmass had it been fired at the surface. Firing it even follows the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-man_rule Two-Man Rule]] and requires authorization by the highest authorities, heightening the similarities.
* GoodVersusGood: As early as the second episode the audience it let in on the knights' motivation: save their master. There's a side order of world-killing EldritchAbomination thrown in at the very end so both sides can really cut loose.
* GreatBigLibraryOfEverything: The Infinity Library is stated to hold the history of countless planets and civilizations. One requires good search magic to find anything, since it's mostly uncatalogued.
* ItOnlyWorksOnce: The Wolkenritter must seek new targets every episode because the Book of Darkness can only drain an individual's linker core once.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: Fate's HeelFaceTurn from last season.
* LightheartedRematch: After the incident is over, Signum tells Fate she would like one. The last chapter of the manga involves a 5-on-5 sparring battle in which Nanoha, Fate, Yuuno, Chrono and Arf fight against Hayate and the Wolkenritter.
* LightningFireJuxtaposition: Fate, who has lightning-type Mana Conversion Ability, is repeatedly pitted against Signum, the leader of the season's "villains" who has flame-type MCA. Although their enmity doesn't last the season itself, their friendly rivalry continues far beyond that.
* LivingWithTheVillain: Hayate's place is villain central, although it turns out the problem is on the bookshelf, not with the people. Nanoha's friend Suzuka becomes friends with Hayate, later introducing Nanoha to her, and even meets the Wolkenritter. In the first Sound Stage, Nanoha and Fate go to the public bath at the same time as Hayate and the Wolkenritter, and the two groups barely avoid seeing each other.
* LockAndLoadMontage: The show already devotes an inordinate proportion of its {{Transformation Sequence}}s to shots of the characters' magical armaments, which include a surprisingly large number of moving parts. These evolved into full on {{Lock And Load Montage}}s in ''A's'', they begin literally loading their weapons with cartridges and magazines.
* LotusEaterMachine: Fate gets caught in one by the Book of Darkness near the end of ''A's''. Reinforce offers Hayate one, and planned to put the entire Earth into one, but she refuses.
* NoOntologicalInertia: Averted - Nanoha is able to finish firing off her Starlight Breaker after her Linker Core gets damaged.
* MadeOfIndestructium: Technically you can destroy the Book of Darkness, but it just pops back, good as new, ''somewhere completely different''. So the book is functionally indestructible and can only be neutralized by freezing it... which doesn't work. Ultimately they hit it with something capable of taking out a good chunk of a planet and even then it's not completely gone until [[spoiler: they seal Reinforce as well]].
* MixAndMatchCritters: The corrupted defense program of the Book of Darkness, which seems to be a hybrid of the magical monsters whose linker cores the Wolkenritter absorbed.
* MoodWhiplash:
** The relationship between Hayate and the Wolkenritter is absolutely adorable, until it's revealed that they are only able to serve her since the Book of Darkness is slowly devouring her soul. No one involved is happy about this.
** Episode 9 begins with Nanoha having Fate over for dinner and planning to surprise Hayate in the hospital. The surprise visit causes them to run into the Wolkenritter, who had originally took pains to not be there when Nanoha and the others visited to avoid them finding out about Hayate being their master. Things then get ''much'' [[FromBadToWorse worse]].
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya: Both parties pull this off against the raging EldritchAbomination.
* NumberOfTheBeast: The Book of Darkness has 666 pages to fill.
* OpposingCombatPhilosophies: Present in the later seasons as well, but best showcased here. In general, Midchildian Mages use a mixture of defensive barriers, support magic and [[WaveMotionGun ranged attacks]] designed to support any situation or tactic. Belkan Knights specialize entirely in combat magic, using punishing melee attacks and cartridge-enhanced weaponry to make themselves unrivaled in one-on-one fights. Of course, there are exceptions to both rules like Fate and Hayate.
* OutOfTheInferno: ''Nanoha'' pulls this off in episode 9 after Vita attacks her. This scene is one of the reasons [[FanNickname fans call her "The White Devil"]].
* PreInsanityReveal: The EvilMatriarch Precia Testarossa we get to see in the original ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' was driven psychotically (and abusively) insane by [[spoiler:the death of her daughter Alicia]], which also served as her StartOfDarkness. In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'', as well as ''[[TheMovie The MOVIE 1st]]'', we are then shown flashbacks of Precia from before that, when she had been an all-round nice and hard-working single mom who doted over her daughter like no tomorrow.
* RightForTheWrongReasons: [[spoiler: [[CloningBlues Fate]]]] compares the Wolkenritter to herself after finding out that they're just [[ArtificialHuman autonomous programs]]. In reality, her view was backwards. She's not something fake that looks human, they're humans who just happen to be living magical computer programs. They're {{Anti Villain}}s just like she was who wanted to see the one they love smile at any cost.
* RousseauWasRight: Nobody is outright evil in this story: the heroes are trying to stop the Book of Darkness as it could destroy the Earth, the Wolkenritter, although doing evil acts, are trying to save the life of their innocent master and don't want to kill people, [[spoiler:Admiral Gil Graham]] is trying to save the world even though it would require using [[spoiler:Hayate]] as a sacrifice, and even [[spoiler:Reinforce]] wants to "save" the world by imposing a LotusEaterMachine on it. The closest thing to "evil" is [[spoiler:the corrupted defense program of the Book of Darkness, which is really more of a mindless machine than anything else]].
* SacrificialPlanet: The Book of Darkness is said to have destroyed countless planets before finding its way to Earth, and so Team Nanoha embarks on a quest to locate and stop it.
* SoLastSeason: Nanoha and Fate are easily beaten the first time they go against the Wolkenritter with their cartridge-loaded Devices. It's not until they copy the system for their own Devices that they can fight them on an equal footing.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The TSAB ship's name - Arthra (official) vs Asura (FanSub). This one is so widespread that most of the fandom seems to think that Asura is the official name.
** Also, while the credits and whatnot consistently spell it ''MGLN A's'', the script and a lot of the supplementary material makes it pretty clear that the "season name" is probably meant to be ''Ace''.[[note]]The problem comes from the fact that "Ace" and "A's" would both be pronounced エース - which is exactly what the title of the show in kana uses.[[/note]]
* StartXToStopX: [[spoiler:Gil Graham]] wants to seal the Book of Darkness to prevent another disaster from happening. In order to do so without activating the said book's reincarnation capability, the plan was to let the Wolkenritter complete the book and activate it, then freeze it along with its master before it goes out of control.
* SuckingInLines: Starlight Breaker, some of Hayate's and Reinforce's spells, and the Arc-En-Ciel.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: {{Subverted}} twice. Chrono gets the drop on Shamal as she's telepathically talking to Zafira, but is himself ambushed as he reads her the TSAB's equivalent of MirandaRights.
* TemptingFate
** In Vita's second fight with the title character, Nanoha fires a cartridge-boosted ProjectileSpell spread of twelve, when in the first fight, she used twos or fours at most. Vita responds by deploying [[BeehiveBarrier Panzer Hidernis]] to protect herself while saying: "Are you stupid?! There's no way you control all these bullets!" A moment later, [[ImprobableAimingSkills the bullets start speeding up]], and Vita's Panzer Hidernis begins cracking.
** In her ''third'' encounter with Nanoha, Vita used Eisen Geheul ("Iron Howl", kind of a flashbang/flare) to distract Nanoha while the knight escaped. After flying quite a distance (though still in sight), Vita muses, "OK, this is far enough..." Cue Nanoha charging up [[WaveMotionGun Divine Buster]]. "Is she seriously going to shoot anyway? At this range?!" Yes, Nanoha was and did.
** Nanoha notes it would be funny if the master of the Book of Darkness happened to be a girl her age. Moments later, she gets an email from Suzuka telling her about Hayate.
** Amy, [[YouAreInCommandNow having taken charge in Lindy and Chrono's absence]], tells Nanoha and Fate that she doesn't expect anything to happen, and is ''cut off in mid-sentence'' by the alarm going off as the Wolkenritter are detected.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: "BRAVE PHOENIX" for pretty much everyone in the final fight.
* TimeSkip:
** 6 months between ''MSLN'' and ''A's''.
** 6 years to the DistantFinale.
* TragicDream: The Wolkenritter only ever had a small wish: to complete the Book of Darkness, cure Hayate, and live out the rest of their time in peace with her. Unknown to them, [[spoiler:Hayate was doomed to die (or trapped in ice for eternity), regardless of how hard they struggled to achieve that dream. Their salvation ultimately lay with two particular persons of mass destruction they believed were their enemies]].
* TreacheryCoverUp: [[spoiler:Admiral Graham's plan to seal the Book of Darkness away with Hayate]] is largely overlooked outside of the upper echelons of the TSAB, and he [[KarmaHoudini merely resigns]], only being officially accused of breaking into Bureau systems and interfering with the investigation.
* UmbrellaOfTogetherness: Nanoha and Yuuno share an umbrella when it's snowing. It marked the end of Yuuno's [[DemotedToExtra story importance.]]
* WhiteAndGreyMorality: In contrast to the BlackAndWhiteMorality of the first season; the antagonists in A's are either [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]] or [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well-Intentioned Extremists]].
* TheWorfEffect: Nanoha loses to Vita, and Fate is losing against Signum for most of their first fight, to show the power of the new antagonists.

!!!The movie and its supplementaries additionally/alternatively provide examples of:
* AlternateContinuity: Different from the TV series. Also changes a lot more than ''The Movie 1st'' did.
* BorrowedCatchphrase: Raising Heart and Bardiche borrow each others' catchphrases when [[spoiler:preparing to delete Reinforce.]]
* CallingYourAttacks: Like the previous commentary cast, this cast really loves calling attacks. There is also the rare opportunity to hear adult!Chrono shouting "''Eternal Coffin''".
* CompressedAdaptation: ''A's'' had much more to lose than the first season.
* CurbStompBattle:
** [[spoiler:Nanoha, Fate and Arf got defeated by Vita, Signum and Shamal and Zafira, respectively]].
** [[spoiler: Nachtwal vs Vita and Zafira, respectively]].
* DeathByAdaptation: Not death, but [[spoiler:Arf's]] Linker Core is drained by the Book of Darkness, too, despite she never became a victim in the TV series.
* DemotedToExtra: Yuuno, Chrono, Arf and Amy are demoted to extra even more than in ''The Movie 1st''. Yuuno appears only in six scenes, in one of them we see only his back for a few seconds, and one of them was in the epilogue's ending song, but he gets no action until the final battle. Arf's battles against Zafira are extremely shortened. Chrono gets no action until the final battle because [[spoiler:Graham and the Liese Twins don't appear in the movie]]. And Amy is sometimes replaced by Mariel.
** Yuuno' "extra status" has big impact in the first battle against the Wolkenritter. [[spoiler:Without his teleportation spell, neither he nor Fate can save Nanoha from Vita. The result: Vita, not Shamal, drains Nanoha's Linker Core; and Fate and Arf's Linker Core as well, despite that Fate's Linker Core is drained much later in the TV series, and Arf never became a victim]].
** Even Signum gets less action than in the TV series. Her battle with Fate in the desert is cut out [[spoiler:because Fate's Linker Core has already been drained by the Book of Darkness]], so it is mixed within the second battle. Their third movie battle is barely shown, because Nanoha vs Vita gets the entire focus during this time, [[spoiler:then Nachtwal shows up and kills the Wolkenritter]].
* DVDCommentary: Like the previous movie, there is a commentary which lasts until the credits. This time, the commentary cast is ''three times'' bigger than the previous one, having 21 members.
* FramingDevice: The majority of the movie is Reinforce Zwei reminiscing about the events that let to her creation, as recounted to her by Hayate and the Wolkenritter.
* InSpiteOfANail: Even without Admiral Gil Graham, events still play out in a very similar manner to the anime.
* InconsistentDub: During the final battle scene of the commentary, the cast (including ''Fate'' herself) mistakenly call Fate's ''[[FinishingMove Plasma Zanber Breaker]]'' "''Jet Zanber''", which is a completely different attack.
* KungFuSonicBoom: The movie uses this to show off the power of the [[MidSeasonUpgrade new Catridge System]], with the shock wave from the clash between Fate's [[AnAxeToGrind Bardiche Assault]] and Signum's [[FlamingSword Laevatein]] shattering all the windows of the buildings around them.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: The DVDCommentary totally spoils that Lutecia Alpine and Agito are going to be good girls, despite they are villains in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers''.
* LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition: [[http://www.nanoha.com/disc_bddvd1.html Nanoha Super Special Box]]. Animate and Gamer's version taken up to eleven for 15,750 yen. And they are English subbed too.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: The commentary cast is with 21 members almost as big the movie cast, in contrast to the commentary cast of ''The Movie 1st'' which had only seven members. The cast includes the three Aces[[note]]Nanoha, Fate and Hayate[[/note]], the Yagami family[[note]]Signum, Vita, Shamal, Zafira, Reinforce Zwei and Agito[[/note]], the Forwards[[note]]Subaru, Teana, Erio and Caro[[/note]], Team Nakajima[[note]]Vivio, Einhart, Rio, Corona[[/note]], Miura, Lutecia, and even [[Creator/TomokazuSugita Chrono]] and Yuuno. It's taken UpToEleven when ''all'' 21 members comment about the final battle scene.
* LuminescentBlush: Vita in reaction to Nanoha's glomp.
* MythologyGag: Many of them are references to ''[=StrikerS=]'', some of them are adapted from the ''A's'' supplementary manga.
** Fate's changes her black cape with a white cape during the GrandFinale (Blaze Form), a nod to her mantle which she wears ''[=StrikerS=]'' onwards (Impulse Form).
** Vita uses Kometfliegen against Nanoha, despite she demonstrates it in ''[=StrikerS=]'' for the first time. Though, she does have this attack in the ''A's' Portable'' games.
** When Nanoha and Fate attacks Reinforce from both sides, Fate doesn't use Plasma Smasher, but Trident Smasher, a spell which is introduced in ''[=StrikerS=]''. In that season, she and Nanoha attacks Quattro and Dieci from both sides with Trident Smasher and Exelion Buster; so it could be a nod to that scene. But it's not clear whether Nanoha uses Divine Buster Extension (like in ''A's'') or Exelion Buster (like in ''[=StrikerS=]) in the movie, because neither Fate nor Nanoha call their attacks. It's probably the former, because Exelion Buster can only be fired in Exelion Mode or Exceed Mode.
** When Nanoha activates Raising Heart's Exelion Mode, her Barrier Jacket changes, too, from Sacred Mode to Exelion Mode. This is a nod to her and Raising Heart's Exceed Mode, as her Barrier Jacket changes from Aggressor Mode to Exceed Mode.
** Nanoha and Fate's Blast Calamity is a combination spell which was only seen in the ''A's'' supplementary manga before.
** The scene where Hayate breaks into tears in Nanoha and Fate's arms didn't appear in the TV series, but in the supplementary manga.
* [[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou Nanoha, Fate and Hayate Are About To Triple Breaker You]]: [[http://www.animate-onlineshop.jp/resize_image.php?image=02271003_512d5b478aff9.jpg The Animate version.]]
* NeverTrustATrailer: Lindy vs Signum... yay! Not. Vita interfered. Well, it was seen in the trailer, too, but most assumed Lindy would do ''something'' else after that.
* RetCon: In-universe example - Graham's involvement in the incident is completely cut out from the movie by the TSAB. See TreacheryCoverUp from the series above as for why.
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler: As opposed to getting shot down by somebody, Chrono's father blew up the ship with the Book of Darkness.]]
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: "Sacred Force -Extended Mix-" replaces "BRAVE PHOENIX".
* ThisIsADrill: [[spoiler: Book of Darkness brings up one. Fate cuts it in half.]] In the commentary Hayate mentions she [[AwesomeButImpractical hasn't found any opportunity to use it]] in battle yet and (hopefully) jokingly offers to let [[Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid Einhart]] try and take one, after she expresses her amazement for it.
* UpToEleven: Cartridges + higher budget for movie = bigger battles and bigger explosions. Also the Automatic Defense Program actually fights back this time, which was probably the one change from the TV version nobody complained about.
* VillainOverForDinner: Inverted when Fate and Nanoha accidentally stumble upon the Wolkenritter in the hospital, while visiting Hayate, and thus discover she's their master that they've been looking for. Since they had their oblivious friends with them as well, the conversation was a little awkward.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: This one is only two years later, shortly after the creation of Reinforce Zwei, likely because they intend for the next movie to be an {{interquel}} between ''A's'' and ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers''.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler:[=NachtWal=] appeared after Vita got bound and hit with a Divine Buster, before taking their Linker Cores]].