"I'm fine with being a demon... I'll just use my hellish tools to get you to listen!"
Nanoha, the protagonist of the series, is introduced as a sweet little Ordinary Elementary School Student with a normal life. However, this changes when she answers a psychic call for help. Finding an injured ferret, Nanoha responsibly takes it to a nearby vet. Later that night, however, she hears another call, and arrives in time to see the ferret under attack from a monster. The now-talking ferret explains that he's a mage, and gives her an Intelligent Device, Raising Heart, to fend off the attacking monster. With Raising Heart's help, Nanoha quickly learns the basics of magic, defeats the monster, and agrees to help Yuuno find and seal the remaining twenty Jewel Seeds before any more harm is done. Things proceed smoothly until another girl, Fate, appears, and attacks Nanoha with a scythe-like Device. Even while she's defending herself, Nanoha realizes that Fate looks... sad. Nanoha is no stranger to sadness, having spent most of her childhood in an empty house. She resolves to do everything she can to learn about the mysterious girl and her reasons for fighting, and if possible, to become a friend she can count on. Nanoha temporarily joins the Time Space Administration Bureau, which had been monitoring unusual activity, but takes matters into her own hands when they decide to let Fate exhaust herself to more easily capture her, a method she deems far too cruel. The two finally decide to stake everything on a final match, which Nanoha wins. Fate is taken into custody by the TSAB, but before Nanoha has a chance to speak with her, Precia interrupts, and Nanoha watches as Fate's world crumbles around her. Angry at Precia's cruel treatment of Fate, she joins the TSAB Enforcer Chrono and Fate's own familiar Arf in an attack on Precia and Fate's home: the Garden of Time. The three are outmatched, until Fate returns to settle matters with Precia. Nanoha once again encourages Fate, and the two stop Precia from her mad plan to break reality. Precia dies in the collapse, but Nanoha manages to save Fate, and the two have a chance to talk several days later. Nanoha and Fate make official their friendship, and exchange hair ribbons as parting gifts.Nanoha was later attacked by unknown forces, and beaten to near-unconsciousness without warning or explanation. Despite her exhaustion and wounds, Nanoha fights alongside her new friends to drive off the enemies. As she recovers, Raising Heart is upgraded with a magic cartridge system. Nanoha puts her strict training to use fighting the Book of Darkness and its' four knights, ultimately saving both them and Hayate Yagami, who was at the center of the incident.She subsequently joins the TSAB, and moves to Mid-Childa where she serves as a Combat Instructor for the Air Force, becoming known as 'The Ace of the Sky'. Joining an elite task force under the command of her friend Hayate, Nanoha spends her time training two promising young recruits. Hoping to save them from making the same mistakes that almost cost her her life, Nanoha stresses safety over risk, although she doesn't always practice what she preaches. She inadvertently becomes attached to a young girl named Vivio, a mysterious girl her squad rescued while on a mission. Vivio, however, is captured once again, and forced to power a nigh-indestructible warship. Faced with a situation not unlike Fate's, Vivio is left questioning her own creation. As she and Nanoha are forced into combat, Nanoha goes to incredible lengths to save Vivio, and decides to officially adopt her.
Tropes befriended by Nanoha:
Absurdly Youthful Mother: To Vivio, with whom she has a mere 13-year age gap. This has led to a few jokes about how Nanoha's parents would react.
The Ace: She's the TSAB's best combat instructor, and also their best aerial mage. She's known in the bureau as the "Ace of Aces."
All-Loving Hero: She's very self sacrificing and will do whatever it takes to save anybody she can. She also accepts people for what they are, regardless of how they were born, and she always sees the inherent good within people.
Actually, the anime version has this but in a much smaller way; Before becoming a Magical Girl, Nanoha reflects that she feels like a bit of a third wheel in her family because her mother and father have each other and her two older siblings likewise spend a lot of time together.
Angst: See the above. Notable in that this is only present in the movie manga, otherwise Nanoha doesn't have any angst.
Blood Knight: Though greatly exaggerated by the fandom, Nanoha really loves fighting as a magical girl. Good thing she's also incredibly kindhearted. Signum is even more of a Blood Knight than her, so when these two clash, results aren't pretty.
Bridal Carry: Does this to Fate after defeating her in the original series (In the light novel, Nanoha loses and gets carried), and in a Vivid side chapter, does this to Vita, who fell asleep in her car.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Easily defeats Dieci in StrikerS and Einhart in Vivid (but in the latter case, wasn’t able to completely knock her out). Fate defeats her relatively easily in their first two encounters.
Finishing Move: Starlight Breaker. Justified in that the later it's used the more effective it is. The only time it did not end the battle immediately was when it was used by The Book of Darkness early on.
First Name Basis: Prefers being addressed by her first name, even by her subordinates.
Instant Expert: Subverted. Nanoha displays an immense amount of talent with magic and amazes Yuuno with her natural affinity for shooting magics in particular, but the Sound Stages show her struggling to learn other spells like Restrict Lock, and the A's manga makes a point of showing off what kind of hellish training regimen she goes through on a daily basis.
Improbable Age: She is a combat instructor for the TSAB Air Force at age 14.
Mighty Glacier: Nanoha isn't exactly slow in terms of agility, but her attacks are usually Wave Motion Guns that take significant time to charge and go off with a huge boom. Power and Endurance are still the things Nanoha excels at.
The Paragon: Became a combat instructor to teach young mages the skills and attitudes necessary for them to make the correct decisions with regards to their futures and be strong enough to realize their dreams.
Also, if Subaru is really GaoGaiGar, then Nanoha is King J-Der, since both are white, overpowered, unleash pink Beam Spam on a regular basis, both have a red jewel tied to their power source, and both love flying in the sky.
Renowned Selective Mentor: Gives more time and individual attention to the Forwards than most of her students in Striker(s), as she trains the four of them for a year. In normal cases, she teaches entire platoons in advanced combat tactics for only a short time.
In the beginning, Nanoha saved a psychic ferret and agreed to become a magical girl simply because no one else was capable of doing it, and she was a responsible girl who wanted to help people. She had her doubts about magic and getting into dangerous fights, but she got over those in a hurry. But it wasn't until her first slip-up with a Jewel Seed that Nanoha started taking the Jewel Seed incident personally, and resolved never again to give anything less than her all to her performance as a magical girl, a resolution that became even stronger once she met Fate and decided to try saving her from herself.
Her adoption of Vivio basically repeats this process in miniature. At first, she's reluctant to take the girl on, since she didn't actually want to be a mother at the time (partially influenced by her concerns that something similar to her almost being crippled would happen to her again). She compromises by deciding to look after Vivio until her real mother can be found, but regular interaction with the child acclimates her to the idea. Pretty soon, she legally declares herself Vivio's mother, and is perfectly happy with the arrangement.
Say My Name: In a soft-spoken and adorable example she asks Fate to do this in the last episode of season 1. Awww.... Even the name of the episode and the music that plays at this moment is "Namae wo Yonde", which more or less is Japanese for "Call my name".
Spell My Name with an S: Raising Heart vs. Raging Heart. The confusion stems from the fact that while it's written as "Raising Heart", but the Japanese voice cast pronounce it as "Raging Heart", because for all intents and purposes, Raising and Raging may as well be homonyms, and pronounced the latter way, in Japanese due to the lack of a "zi" syllable. It took until the R1 release of A's for the dubbers to realize that it's supposed to be "Raising Heart".
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Nanoha loves this trope. Just look at the other entries on this page. It's a good thing that in this series, purely-magical attack like hers can be set to do only "magical damage" to targets like mages and magical objects, or else she'd cause a lot of collateral damage. But she can also set her attacks to "indiscriminate" whenever she needs to blow holes through entire buildings.
Training from Hell: Played straight in that it gave her incredible power and skill, allowing her to fight on the same level as artificial mages, combat cyborgs, the defense programs of the Book of Darkness, and a clone of the Sankt Kaiser. Subverted in that too much of it almost got her killed.
Tranquil Fury: Displays this during the mock battle with Teana and Subaru, when it becomes clear that the two of them chose to ignore all of her instructions in favor of reducing the mock battle to an all-out brawl. She never raises her voice, but her actions and demeanor make her anger and disappointment very apparent.
Warrior Therapist: In the first two seasons, she starts almost every battle by asking what her opponent hopes to accomplish. She realizes that the antagonists have reasons for what they are doing, but has to fight to get them to explain themselves.
Wave Motion Gun: Her most powerful spells, Divine Buster and Starlight Breaker.
With Due Respect: Does a variant on this to Hayate when discussing her continuing to give orders despite having been stabbed in Force. While Hayate is her friend, Nanoha treats her like any other superior while on duty, and bows and apologizes after making her point.
At one point, Nanoha says "This is going to hurt a bit" to her daughter during the finale of Striker(s). That is, right before blasting her with fiveStarlight Breakers.
And in Force she says nearly the same to Tohma, before bathing him in plasma with her main Fortress cannon. He was in his Black Knight form though, so while it likely did hurt very much, it didn't do much to stop him.
Though the viewer gets to see him introduced first as a human mage, he's been badly injured and assumes the form of a ferret to better heal and recover. This is how Nanoha finds him, and he doesn't end up revealing his human form to her until halfway into the first season (not that he meant to keep it secret, it simply slipped his mind that he hadn't actually told her). In any case, Yuuno is looking for twenty oneJewel Seeds. Being unable and unsuited to use the Intelligent Device, Raising Heart, he gave it to Nanoha, with whom it is remarkably compatible. Yuuno assists Nanoha in most of her adventures during Season One, acting as a cross between a mentor and The Lancer (of the rare gentle-and-sweet variety).The second season sees Yuuno having less action time, and more relegated to the backseat. However, his presence is still crucial as he helps in the battles against the Wolkenritter and the season's Big Bad. His research in the Infinite Library also provides crucial information about both.The third season has him effectively Put on a Bus — he only appears in two cameos in Striker(s), and at least one in Vivid so far... and not at all in ''Force''. He has settled down as the Chief Librarian of the Infinite Library, in the same organization as his friends.
Adventurer Archaeologist: Established in his backstory. Given all of the skills Yuuno possesses, as well as how dangerous Lost Logia artifacts can be, and how there are sometimes very dangerous people who want to steal them, one can infer that this is a particularly hazardous occupation.
Barrier Warrior: In Gears of Destiny, one of his long range attacks is Barrier Smash, where he dashes straight at his opponent in a flying tackle while protected by a barrier. He also possesses two "field-type" spells, which create magical circles that trap opponents caught within their boundaries; one field works as his grab move, and he causes it to explode underneath them. The other field is his counterattack, and seems to electrify the opponent before exploding and sending them flying back. Using fields, he can also obscure fights from observation by normal people, or even trap magical opponents, forcing them to fight when they would otherwise flee.
Berserk Button: Don't call him a familiar or make fun of his ferret transformation.
Boy of My Dreams: Nanoha dreams of Yuuno via telepathy in the very first episode.
Brother Chuck: Despite the time that Vivio spends in the Infinite Library in Sound Stage X, Yuuno makes no appearance and no mention is made of him. Likewise, after the second season, no one thinks to ask him about all of the ancient history, cultures, figures of interest, or pieces of forbidden technology that continue to plague and perplex people in the modern day, despite Yuuno being the most qualified man alive to come up with the answers.
Can't Catch Up: Realizes that Nanoha is considerably better at offensive magic than he is. In the Megami sound stage for A's, he says he realizes he'll never be as good at combat as Nanoha, which is part of the reason for deciding to support her by doing research. Of course, he's also the only mage in the entire extended series without even the most basic Device, and he still manages feats of power equaling those of the other mages. Now, maybe if he got one of hisown...?
Crippling Overspecialization: Despite his exceptional level of power (A+ ranked mages are the few elite, and far fewer who can participate in high-speed aerial combat) and many, many skills, Yuuno has little conventional firepower for knocking suspects or wanted criminals unconscious through magical, non-lethal damage. It's never explained whether he has no talent for projectile magic, or simply never tried to master it.
Gears of Destiny finally reveals that this is not quite the case. Yuuno does in fact know offensive magic, including a magical projectile spell (a heat-seeking variant of Shoot Bullet, which is otherwise the most basic shooting magic in Midchildan system). However, his long range Chain Bind, Chain Anchor and Protection Smash attacks are mostly meant to get him into close range without getting shot, and he displays more varied, powerful and specialized attack spells in close quarters. He's still mostly defensive, with short combos and counters that let him blast his opponent back if he needs to create some room. He fights by controlling how far or close his opponent is, working to keep them at the range where they are weakest.
Demoted to Extra: He gets phased out more and more during subsequent seasons, to the point that he doesn't merit a mention in anything after StrikerS. He isn't even playable in the A's-centric Battle of Aces PSP game, though he finally appears in Gears of Destiny. He may be in the wrong series...
Excuse Me While I Multitask: Other mages use Devices to help them do this, but Yuuno does it just fine on his own, even when dueling a superior opponent with far more combat experience. His abilities here, coupled with his talent for search magic, helped make him the head of the Infinity Library before he turned 10.
Familiar: Fate and Chrono mistake him for one, at first. This was understandable, since he was shapeshifted into an animal and fulfilled the same basic role for most of The Original Series.
Japanese Honorifics: Tends to use “-san” for older people, but none for people in his age group. He initially referred to Nanoha this way, when she first started helping him with the Jewel Seeds, until she told him to cut it out. He once gets into an argument with Chrono over whether Chrono gave Yuuno permission to use yobisute towards him.
The Lancer: In the first season. Nanoha loves to blow stuff up, he protects her from return fire. Also, while Nanoha liked to think straightforwardly, he was more of the strategist between the two.
Minored In Ass Kicking: Considering that Yunno's Chain Binds can rip apart the body of a Superweapon Doom Program and that he can forcibly teleport people into space to suffocate to death, his merely average firepower belies how deadly he could really be in a fight if he put his mind to it. The Gears of Destiny game also reveals that he is able and willing to smash his enemies in the face with battering ram charges, melee-range shots delivered through palm-strikes, close-range chain lashing, and explosive capture fields.
Non-Action Guy: Kinda sorta. Yuuno is certainly not shy about charging off into danger when people need his help, being just as reckless about that as Nanoha. However, he's first and foremost a scholar. While Nanoha pursues a career in the armed forces, Yuuno gets a job as chief librarian of the Infinite Library so he can purse his love of archaeology and research.
Quickly Demoted Leader: Quickly gets to the point where he has nothing to teach Nanoha, at least in the realm of combat magic. Canonically, he still continues to teach her spells like Chain Bind and Physical Heal, after the second season.
Razor Floss: His Chain Bind is used this way in the final battle of the second season. A different version called Aleister Chain (or "Arrester" Chain) serves as his super-attack in Gears of Destiny; he binds his target up in two chains, then circles the target with two more, then yanks the second set tight. The second chains shatter and explode, followed by the first set.
Satellite Love Interest: Effectively treated this way by the creators, despite actually having a developed personality, loads of plot-potential, and plenty of combat power. Beyond his use as a romantic possibility for Nanoha, the writers simply were not interested in developing anything more about him; they don't even explain where or how he gained Raising Heart. So when they decided, as of Sound Stage X, not to Ship Tease Yuuno with Nanoha anymore, he disappeared entirely from the plot and never receives another mention. Even back when he was on-screen he had vanishingly few interactions with anyone else in the cast, even counting the supplementary material manga and drama CDs.
Stone Wall: Even without a Device, Yuuno's defenses are stronger than Nanoha's, as Nanoha clarifies in the first Megami Sound Stage drama disk; she needs to use her full-strength with Raising Heart to pierce through. Exactly how strong his defenses are is a matter of debate; the issue is tricky, considering his lack of a Device versus the quality of the other character's Devices, and the fact that he doesn't fight as often.
The rest of the cast have repeatedly called upon Yuuno to invert this defensive strength, creating force-fields to contain the massive firepower that Nanoha, Fate, Signum and Hayate throw around in practice matches, either to prevent normals from seeing the light show in the sky or to prevent damage to space-station facilities. However, a firecracker that goes off on your open palm will leave only a small burn, while closing your fist around it will blow off your hand. There is not a single canonical instance of Yuuno successfully containing a Starlight Breaker (even before Nanoha discovered the barrier-piercing ability), let alone the destruction that Nanoha and Fate and Hayate threw at each other.
Useless Accessory: His side pouch once contained Raising Heart, but ever afterwards goes unused.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Type 2 with Chrono. Chrono tends to tease him about his ferret form and pile on work for him to do, and while Yuuno doesn't take either without complaint, he and Chrono are essentially friends.
Weak, but Skilled: A-rank magewithout firepower, do the math. Of course, one of his powers is forced teleportation, which was good enough to send a target out into the deadly vacuum of space (or to potentially bury them underground or drown them in the ocean). He doesn't need to blast you to beat you. Perhaps the fact that Yuuno is the last person who'd want to kill, while the most obvious offensive application of his skills would be very lethal, explains why he prefers staying out of the action.
Wise Beyond His Years: How many nine-year-olds do you know who feel so responsible for cleaning up their messes that, even when the mess isn't really their own fault, they'll travel to a world they've never heard of, all alone, without any family or friends, to face danger to life-and-limb in order to fix the problem before anyone gets hurt, even when they could have just waited for the regular authorities to eventually travel there and fix the problem themselves?
"She has such beautiful, kind eyes... Yet, for some reason, she really looks... incredibly sad." — Nanoha
First introduced as Nanoha's rival, Fate is the daughter of the Mad ScientistPrecia Testarossa, and constantly yearned for her approval. Unfortunately for her, Precia had snapped, abused Fate constantly, and thoughtlessly threw her into dangerous and painful situations. When outside, Fate was usually assisted by her familiar Arf and armed with the Intelligent Device Bardiche. She first met (and fought) Nanoha Takamachi over the Jewel Seeds, which Fate had been ordered to capture. Considering herself unfit to be friends with such a pure-hearted and kind girl as Nanoha, Fate rejected her attempts at negotiation, determined to win back her mother's affection. Ultimately, she pushed herself far beyond her limits in a desperate gambit to obtain all the remaining Jewel Seeds at once, though Nanoha intervened when it became evident that Fate would not emerge unscathed. Shortly afterwards, Precia revealed Fate's origin; a failed clone of Precia's daughter, Alicia. Precia cruelly destroyed Fate's fragile hopes, and denounced her as both a daughter and a person. With her identity, memories, and motivation shattered, Fate fell into despair. However, with the encouragement of Arf, Bardiche, and Nanoha, she decided to face Precia one last time, and reaffirm her feelings as real, even if she herself is fake. Despite Fate's efforts, Precia died in the collapse of The Garden. Afterward, Fate was adopted by Lindy Harlaown, and awaits trial as a material witness, keeping in constant contact with her new friend, Nanoha.The trial concluded quickly, and Fate quickly joined Nanoha in both everyday school life and the sudden battle against the Wolkenritter. During this time, she begins to develop her Fragile Speedster fighting style, with an upgraded, revolver-type magic cartridge Bardiche. She established a close bond with Signum based on mutual respect, and helped Nanoha defeat the Book of Darkness, thus freeing Hayate and her knights.Years later, Fate is an Enforcer; a powerful agent of the Space-Time Administration Bureau. Known throughout the galaxy as "The Ace of the Navy", Fate investigates various incidents, but takes a particular interest in cases involving children, even adopting and raising two herself: Erio Mondial, a clone created with the very technology her mother helped develop, and Caro Ru Lushe, a young summoner with immense power, who was thrown out of her tribe and sent to a high-security special-protection building. Both her and her children joined Riot Force 6, where Fate encountered Jail Scarlietti, the man who started the project which ultimately led to her creation: Project Fate. Fighting him, Fate is forced to recognize the traits she and her mother have in common, namely, having her kids fight for her, but after some quick encouragement from Erio and Caro, Fate turns the tables and captures Jail. She also co-adopts Vivio alongside Nanoha, and the three are shown to be living happily together.Herrelationshipwith Nanoha is the subject of much debate.
Tropes associated with Fate:
Absurdly Youthful Mother: To Vivio, Erio and Caro, whom she adopts at a young age, young enough so that Lindy has to be the one to officially become Erio's guardian.
Academic Athlete: As shown in side-materials. She gets perfect marks in nearly every subject (except for Japanese language) in school and being so good at math that she helps Nanoha's older sister with her math homework. On the other end, even without using her powers, she's second to only resident Passionate Sports Girl Suzuka in terms of athletics.
Action Mom: To her adopted children, Erio, Caro and Vivio.
Badass Adorable: Her Woobie status in season one puts her squarely in the "adorable" category, as does her softspoken, caring nature in the later seasons. In either case, the magical beam scythe takes care of the other part.
Beam Spam: Bardiche's first spoken words in the franchise were "Photon Lancer. Full Autofire." and Fate seems infatuated with this and Macross Missile Massacre attacks in the first series, but has outgrown it by A's.
Big Damn Heroes: She has a habit of saving Nanoha from deadly situations in the nick of time.
The first time, she helps Nanoha defeating Precia's mechas.
In the first episode of A's, she, along with Yuuno and Arf, save Nanoha just in time from Vita.
In the Movie 2nd A's, she can't save Nanoha from Vita because Signum interferes her and defeats Fate as well. The rescue moment is moved to Nanoha's fight against Reinforce Eins. In the original A's, there wasn't a rescue moment in that fight because Nanoha wasn't in danger.
In INNOCENT, Fate saves Nanoha from Vita again. It should be noted that Fate and Nanoha don't know each other at that time and continuity.
She intercepts Deville's attack on Nanoha in Force.
And one more if you count the Kaleid Liner crossover special, where she isn't even properly befriended yet.
Black Bra and Panties: Avoids the usual depiction by being the one of the most motherly people in the show.
Boobs of Steel: Fate has always been better in close combat than Nanoha, and in StrikerS her breasts are quite noticeably larger than Nanoha's. It also perhaps reflects how she's more of a classically-maternal person than Nanoha.
Butt Monkey: Tends to get a fair amount of teasing from her friends, especially in the Comic a la Carte one shots, as she is socially awkward and easily embarrassed.
Calling The Old Woman Out: Averted. Instead of denouncing her for her cruel acts - especially revealing her status as a Replacement Goldfish and deeming her worthless at that - Fate says that even if Precia doesn't consider her a daughter, she still brought her into the world, and is her mother. Precia brushes it off, though.
During the first A's sound stage, Fate struggles with telling Nanoha that they could resolve the issue of who goes into the bath first by going in together, but gets interrupted by Amy and Miyuki's arrival and the subsequent decision to go to the public baths.
In the "Magical Cooking" short side story, Vivio lets her and Nanoha try her salt cookies with baked caviare and a whole bottle of brandy added as seasoning. Fate can't even swallow it and has to put significant effort to not spit it out, while wondering what to say when Vivio asks how it was. Luckily Nanoha has no such problem and simply says "It's terrible" with a smile on her face.
In the second StrikerS Sound Stage, she has difficulty talking to Erio and Caro about her concerns for them (specifically that they are hiding their problems from her), causing some unspoken tension between them.
The Cape: Between The Trickster Hayate and Combat Pragmatist Nanoha, Fate is easily the most classically heroic one of the Three Aces and, possibly, the entire cast. Her post-A's combat attire even includes a long white cape.
Character Exaggeration: Following the original series, she is, for the most part, a relatively calm individual who is sometimes insecure. In the Comics A La Carte one shots, she gets exaggeratedly depressed over the smallest things, such as Vivio delaying giving her a gift for Mother’s Day until Father’s Day, or choosing to take a bath alone.
In the original series, her Barrier Jacket gets torn up pretty badly in the final battle with Nanoha after she blocks a Divine Buster.
In the movie manga, it is instead caused by Precia using area magic on the entire field with no regard to whether or not Fate got caught up in the blast.
In Vivid, she goes Shin Sonic Form against Erio, but his speed allows him to keep up with her and he ends up shredding her outfit entirely, leaving just scraps covering anything important. And then Teana and Nanoha bombard the field with Starlight Breakers, leaving Fate in even fewer scraps of clothing than before.
Dark Is Not Evil: Fate's Barrier Jacket is black and frequently includes a Dracula-esque high-collared black and red cape. Black is even stated to be her favourite color and she fights with an axe/scythe. While she was a Dark Magical Girl, after her Heel-Face Turn she became the closest friend Nanoha "befriended".
Expy: She's got the equivalent of a dead little sister, in the first season she served as the hero's rival, she was the product of a project, and she had a Heel-Face Turn. In this sense she's a Gender Flipped, kinder version of Shadow.
Take all of that, then add in the blonde hair and a form that lets her go Three Times Faster and she's a CHAR.
Flawed Prototype: Technically speaking, she is one for Project F. She's among the first clones produced via the tech, but wasn't identical to her original, which was the project's goal.
This is more due to Precia's issues; as the result; a copy of a person who is an incredibly strong mage; is exactly what was created. In fact, attempts to replicate the result Fate was couldn't be done.
Fragile Speedster / Glass Cannon: Not noticeably so in normal combat despite being relatively weak in defensive magic, but her Sonic Drive Super Mode combined with Bardiche's Zamber form turns her into a hypersonic One-Hit-Point Wonder with a BFS. Fate is still alarmingly fast when in normal form, but her Sonic Form weakens her defenses and turns her inherent speed Up to Eleven.
Just to drive the point home: In Force, she fights Deville of Hückebein, whose special skill is short-distance teleportation in combat, to a standstill. Deville first thinks Fate can teleport as well, before realizing that no, she's just that fast. And she wasn't using her Sonic Form, either.
"Living with the memories of the past in her heart, her cloak/Barrier Jacket is her snow-white wings for protecting her loved ones. It can be said that it is Fate's will to embrace the future given form."
In A's, blushes and looks somewhat uncomfortable after Lindy takes her hand, prompting Lindy to apologize.
In Vivid she blushes when Vivio cups her face in her hands.
In the Movie manga, Linith makes note of this and suggests that it's because Precia did not give her much affection.
In the A's movie, Lindy reaches out to touch her in a maternal manner, which she enjoys. However, when in Precia reaches to touch her in the Lotus-Eater Machine, she instinctively pulls away, showing that she's come to view Lindy as the mother she always wanted.
Heroic BSOD: Winds up with her finding that she's a placeholder while Precia tries to revive her daughter. She gets pushed over the cliff after Precia admits that she has always completely hated Fate despite Fate's unwavering dedication to her "mother" up till then.
Honor Before Reason: Fate helps free Signum from a monster's clutches rather than take the opportunity to capture her. Even Signum tells her she shouldn't have done that, albeit largely because Fate cost her a Linker Core by destroying the monster.
Jack of All Trades: Fate is well versed in all forms of magical combat; able to use powerful ranged spells and fight in close range. This is in contrast with Nanoha, who excelsin ranged combat, and Hayate, who can only usenuke-level spells. This makes her one of the best Enforcers in the TSAB, as the position requires a mage to have a wide array of skills to fit any possible situation.
Weak, but Skilled: Although not really weak in any sense of the word, Fate doesn't pack as much raw firepower as either Nanoha or Hayate. However, she makes up for it by having a much more balanced skillset without any real holes and by being extremely fast.
Japanese Sibling Terminology: She wonders what she should call Chrono once she joins his family as his younger sister. She occasionally calls Chrono "Onii-chan" much to his embarrassment, but otherwise tends to just use his first name, (or "Admiral Chrono" when she's on duty in front of people she doesn't know).
Knight of Cerebus: In the original series, heralds the start of the plot getting serious and Nanoha facing setbacks and failure on her quest for the Jewel Seeds.
Love Martyr: Towards her first mother, Precia. Even after being rejected by her, continues to love her because she brought her into the world, and to Fate, is still her mother even if she doesn't acknowledge her as a daughter.
To incredibly awkward levels in the DVD Commentary of the movie; as she's defending her mother as Precia is whipping her. "She never gave wounds that magic couldn't heal." This is actually a painful bit of Truth in Television, seeing as it's not uncommon for abuse victims to sugarcoat or outright defend the behavior of their abusers.
The Maiden Name Debate: When she's adopted by the Harlaown family, takes on "Testarossa-Harlaown" as her family name, as she considers both Precia and Lindy her mothers; the former for bringing her into the world and the latter for raising her.
Married to the Job: Her job as Enforcer requires her to travel around space most of the time. In the Megami Sound Stages, she laments the fact that she can't spend as much time as she wants with her adopted children Erio and Caro, and in Vivid, she was away so often that she was the last person to hear about her other adopted daughter Vivio's Adult Form (Nanoha kinda forgot to mention that little detail to her). In the 2nd Mother's Day one-shot, when Vivio teases Fate about how often she is absent from her life (prompting Fate to angst that Vivio will no longer consider her one of her mothers).
Martial Pacifist: According to Shari, she greatly enjoys mock battles, but doesn't like actual combat.
Pet the Dog: Sound Stage 2, which deals with her backstory, set while she was still an antagonist, shows that she made Arf into a familiar solely to save her life, and set the contract open so that Arf can live the way she wants to, without having to worry about herself disappearing when it's fulfilled.
Phlebotinum Rebel: Subverted - while she's an indirect products of Jail's illegal research and the one in charge of Jail's capture, she doesn't treat him any differently than she would every other criminal.
Save the Villain: Saves Signum from a desert monster, and in Striker(s), while it is not her primary goal, saves the lives of Scaglietti and several of his defeated cyborgs by stopping the self-destruct sequence.
Spirited Competitor: Likes sparring with Signum and Nanoha, although Shari implies that she stopped sparring with Nanoha for some time after she was injured (possibly for fear of her overexerting herself)
Stripperiffic: Her regular outfit in season one, quite possibly even more so than her Barrier Jacket.
Her Sonic Form in the Third season is this.
Sugar and Ice Personality: Initially seems unfeeling, but after becoming friends with Nanoha, shows a kinder, gentler and often somewhat shy side.
Super Soldier: An unintentional case as she was meant to be just a clone of Alicia.
The Unfavorite: A weird version; her sister is clearly the favorite of their mother because Fate is a clone of her 'sister' Alicia, and Fate is hated because she was "too" different from (and some ways, like magical aptitude, actually better than) the original.
Fate's familiar, who accompanies her on her quest to find the Jewel Seeds. She despises Fate's mother and is only loyal to Fate. Late in the series, when she is injured after attacking Precia over her mistreatment of Fate, she retreats to Earth and seeks help from Nanoha, later helping in the assault on the Garden of Time. She fights alongside the heroes in A's, primarily facing off against Zafira.In StrikerS, she takes on the form of a small child in order to use as little of Fate's mana as possible and stays behind to do household chores, believing that Fate has become strong enough to fight on her own.
Tropes associated with Arf:
Animorphism: Looks like a giant fox, though she's said to be a wolf and is mistaken for a dog on Earth.
Demoted to Extra: Six years after A's, retires from active duty because Fate is strong enough to fight on her own. She spends most of her time around the Harlaown house, doing chores and looking after Chrono and Amy's children. She wasn't playable in the A's-centric Battle of Aces (though she is in the sequel).
Fire-Forged Friends: Strongly dislikes Nanoha at first, thinking she's weak and is trying to trick Fate into abandoning her quest. She eventually decides to cooperate with Nanoha for Fate's sake, though, and starts to like her after seeing how happy Fate is after becoming Nanoha's friend.
Heel-Face Turn: In Episode 10 of the first series, attacks Precia over how she treats Fate, and is defeated. After being found by Alisa, Nanoha and Yuuno meet her, and she agrees to help them save Fate.
Hey You: Has quite a few insulting nicknames for Nanoha at first, before she's ultimately forced to work with her in saving Fate.
I'm a Humanitarian: While it's probably not something she does on a regular basis, Arf threatens, and later attempts, to swallow Nanoha whole.
My Master, Right or Wrong: She hates Precia and tries to convince Fate to give up looking for the search for the Jewel Seeds on a few occasions, but nevertheless continues to help her. Fate later regrets not listening to Arf and causing her pain by persisting.
Non-Human Sidekick: Wolfgirl sidekick, but Arf is in fact a magical construct, though the series tends to view magical constructs and even sufficiently advanced Magitek devices as human enough. In A's, typically takes on the form of a small red dog when she's on Earth so as not to attract suspicion, and recommends that Zafira do the same toward the end of the last episode.
Older Than She Looks: In StrikerS, which takes place 10 years after A's, she takes the form of a small girl to consume as little of Fate's mana as possible.
Spell My Name with an S: Spellings include Arf, Aruf and Alph. And to make things more confusing, the English dub uses... all of them. More recently, the official English subtitles from the home release of the movie used "Alf".
Undying Loyalty: Toward Fate, as a result of affection and appreciation rather than contract. Fate only made Arf a familiar to save her life, and made the terms of her contract to live as she wished. Fate also left the contract completely open in duration - only actual physical death will end it.
Younger than She Looks: Her typical form in the first two seasons is a girl in her late teens or early twenties, but she was created by the nine-year-old Fate, and is thus younger than her. Interestingly enough, her "official" age is 16 as of the original series, despite being chronologically much younger.
The main antagonist of the original series, who seeks the Jewel Seeds to travel to Al Hazard to resurrect her dead daughter Alicia. Apparently died when she and the capsule containing Alicia's body fell into the trans-dimensional void.
When Alicia died, she realized just how she has neglected her daughter and wished that she had spend more time with her. Too bad she went off the deep end.
A second one occurs in the movie, where as she falls to her death, Precia remembered that Alicia once wanted a little sister and realized that she could've treated Fate as another daughter instead of a failed replacement for Alicia. Unfortunately, there is no longer enough time left to make amends or even apologize.
Hey You: Tends to refer to Fate as "that girl" when talking about her to others, possibly to reflect her contempt for her as a clone, but tends to address her by name when speaking to her.
Hoist By Her Own Petard: Desperate to reach Al Hazard before dying of her disease or being arrested by the TSAB, she tried to go do the dimensional transference when she had nine out of 21 Jewel Seeds, short of even the 14-seed bare minimum she suspected she would need. She falls to her death as the transference fails and her lair collapses.
Ignored Expert: In the movie, Precia tried to explain to her superiors that accelerating the timeline for the final stage of her reactor project from one month to one week was a bad idea. They didn't listen, and the disaster that resulted from that foolish management decision cost Precia her daughter and, eventually, her sanity.
Incurable Cough of Death: Suffering this as early as the second Sound Stage of the original series, which takes place two years before the series begins.
Not Quite Flight: One of her abilities is levitation, which she sometimes uses on herself.
Older Than She Looks: Looks in her 20s to early 30s, but is actually age 54 at the time of her introduction in episode 7. She doesn't even have a single middle/old age wrinkle on her face. Time has been very kind to her appearance.
Orcus on His Throne: It's made clear from the first time we see her that she's much stronger then Fate, but due her terminal illness, relies on her to find the jewel seeds anyways.
Start of Darkness: Alicia Testarossa's death was this for Precia. Even so she still showed some kindness even to Fate, but slowly became a monster after Linith disappeared.
Superpower Lottery: One of only two SS rank mages in the series, and unlike Hayate, Precia's power is entirely natural. She performs what is quite possibly the most impressive feat of magic in the entire series when she casts a spell powerful enough to disable a spaceship from another dimension, and she effortlessly slaughters the TSAB personnel sent to arrest her. And this was after years of suffering from insanity and an Incurable Cough of Death. It boggles the mind to think how powerful she must have been in her prime.
Some of her feats include: hitting a large target in dimension space (as noted above) and a small target in another world (the spell that hit Fate after her battle with Nanoha) from her lair, implied to be quite deep within dimension space itself, Severely injuring Arf without batting an eye and summoning an entire army of Mecha-Mooks that can give a highly trained Enforcer a run for his money. Again, as noted above, all of this while suffering from insanity, an incurable disease, and is practically living on borrowed time.
Precia's familiar, who was created to further Fate's education and make Bardiche. Although she cared greatly for Fate, she was unable to go against Precia, even at the end of her life. The records she left behind, however, helped prove Fate's innocence in the Lost Logia case.
Tropes associated with Linith:
All There in the Manual: In the TV series, she only appears once, in Fate's Lotus-Eater Machine sequence with no explanation of who she is. However, she is central in the second Sound Stage, and is frequently referenced in the other Sound Stages and the manga. She is also in the flashbacks in The Movie and her role is further expanded in its accompanying manga.
But Now I Must Go: Disappears after Fate's training and Bardiche are complete, per her contract.
Familiar: Precia's. Created to teach Fate as the sole purpose of her contract.
Morality Chain: Precia still showed some bits of her lost humanity when Linith was around. After she disappeared, well, things went worse. Arf suggests that Linith would have told Precia off for hitting Fate for the book she retrieved not having what she wanted if she had still been around.
Servile Snarker: Has little respect for Precia, and is not above talking back or using sarcasm even during her Famous Last Words ("my never kind master, Precia"). Has a better relationship with Fate, but is not above teasing her a little over her being sleepy in her Lotus-Eater Machine dream.
Gears of Destiny shows that she actually loves Precia a lot. Just like Fate want to be loved as Precia's daughter, so too she wants to be loved as Precia's familiar. She does reconcile with Precia at the end of her story arc.
Spared by the Adaptation: In INNOCENT. Interestingly, both her human form and cat form appearing seperately in this manga.
Spell My Name with an S: Does it begin with an L or an R, and does it end with an s or a th? One of the most unfortunate names from a Romanization standpoint.
Precia's deceased daughter, for whom Precia went completely nuts, and for whom Fate was cloned as a temporary replacement. Precia sought the lost technology of Al Hazard to resurrect her. If she wasn't already irreversibly dead, she became so when her pod fell into the trans-dimensional void alongside Precia. A false version of her was created in Fate's Lotus-Eater Machine, where she regretted not having met in real life, and offers Fate some encouragement.
One of the top enforcers on the Arthra and the son of Captain Lindy Harlaown. While not as powerful as Nanoha or Fate, Chrono (initially) has far more experience. Stoic and logical, Chrono prefers to assess a situation and wait for a chance to strike, and he can get somewhat annoyed by Nanoha's impulsive actions. Chrono singlehandedly determines cause of the unusual events in season 2, but hardly appears in season 3.
Luminescent Blush: In the last episode of the first season, when Nanoha says he's a Nice Guy for reassuring her that the bureau will take Fate's circumstances into account.
Older Than He Looks: Despite looking as old as nine-year-old Nanoha (probably because that's also how old he seemed in Magical Toybox), he's actually five years older. After the first time-skip, however, he starts looking his age.
Trap Master: His fighting syle in the Nanoha games. Instead of a stronger projectile attack, Chrono sets-up invisible Delayed Binds that trigger when his opponent flies too close to them.
Weak, but Skilled: As he says, it takes more than power to make a great mage. Chrono's first appearance has him intervening in a fight between Nanoha and Fate, each of whom has substantially more raw magical power than him. He also uses an obscure spell to capture and unmask the masked men in A'swho turn out to be his teachers. In the supplementary mangas, he likewise handily defeats Fate in a one-on-one match despite her superior power, although it's implied that she has improved to the point where he has to take her seriously to win.
Chrono's mother and The Captain of the Arthra. Despite her authority, Lindy is a gentle and easygoing woman, and like Nanoha, would rather talk things out before resorting to force. However, it's implied that she possesses incredible power, suppressing a dimensional tremor by herself. She is responsible for giving Nanoha most of her orders in the original series and A's. She adopts Fate, and serves as the legal guardian for Erio and Caro, as Fate was too young to officially do so.
Fee Fi Faux Pas: Drinks her Japanese tea British-style. Nanoha is extremely well-behaved in every other respect, but cannot stop herself from making a◊ face◊ at this◊ while her back is turned. This may be an example of Lindy attempting to emulate Earth customs very, very badly, or else an example of how the TSAB has "borrowed" and mixed various cultures with their own. One possibility is that, knowing a fellow Admiral from England, she attempts to apply the way he drinks his tea to how she drinks Japanese tea.
Married to the Job: The ending of the A's movie strongly implies this, with another member of the military lampshading it by saying she'll let Lindy, who she knows is single, go report to her husband.
Lindy is dedicated to her job, but it's not depicted as a bad thing, unlike many examples of this trope. She is very devoted to her family and always makes time for them, even taking leave so she could help Fate settle into her new life.
The Ditz: Ties a bow in Chrono's bandages, and when sending a message to Nanoha and Fate in the first Megami Sound Stage, instead of making comments on the characters and the story, asks them to pick up supplies.
Shipper on Deck: For Nanoha and Yuuno. She asks Yuuno how things are progressing with him and Nanoha in the Distant Finale of A's and the early part of the StrikerS manga at the same time, and seems disappointed that their relationship has not changed.
Nanoha's older brother, who is a college student in the first series. He was the hero in Triangle Heart 3, but the only things that carry over are his skill with swords and his relationship with Shinobu.
Tropes associated with Kyouya:
Covert Pervert: Hinted to be quite a big one at the audio dramas, as a Jewel Seed, which acts based on the desires of those who come into contact with it, turns into a water monster that tries ripping off girls' swimsuits.
Japanese Sibling Terminology: Her referring to Kyouya as "Kyou-chan" could suggest that she's his cousin, but Nanoha uses this as a way of suggesting that Fate doesn't necessarily have to use terms for older siblings on Chrono.
Open Minded Parent: Fairly understanding about letting Nanoha go away for several days in season 1. Also didn't even blink when Lindy explained the situation, and nonchalantly greets her 19-year old daughter in the Sound Stage when she stops by to visit with her students after moving to another planet/dimension.
Students: Her mom treats Nanoha like she's a normal girl!
One of Nanoha's schoolfriends. Alisa has the honor of being the first person to be on the receiving end of a Nanoha befriending, when Nanoha hit her for bullying Suzuka. She got better soon, thankfully.
Big Friendly Dog: Suzuka has cute kitties. Alisa has huge puppies. She even briefly takes in an injured Arf (in wolf form) after finding her by the road side one night.
Defeat Means Friendship: Holds the dubious honor of being the first person Nanoha "befriended"note At least in this universe. In Triangle Heart 3, Chrono had that dubious honor for himself, to stop her from bullying Suzuka.
Jerkass: Before becoming friends with Nanoha and Suzuka, notes that she didn't care at all about how other people felt, prompting Nanoha to slap her for taking Suzuka's ribbon to show her what pain is like.
Shana Clone: Despite the anime being aired one year before Shakugan no Shana and the original Alisa from Triangle Heart 3 appeared two years before Shana herself, Alisa has many traits and the seiyuu to fit this role. Ultimately, she becomes a Shana Clone in INNOCENT, where she has a fire-elemental Device in form of a sword called Flame Eyes.
Tsundere: It's Rie Kugimiya... need we explain more? In episode 6 of season 1, she gets upset with Nanoha for not confiding in her, but despite that, is the first to volunteer to copy her notes for her. When Nanoha returns, she welcomes her back, but doesn't get as emotional as Suzuka does.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her arranging a surprise Christmas visit for Hayate leads Nanoha and Fate to see the Wolkenritter with Hayate, when they are trying desperately to keep Hayate's status as their mistress secret. A fight ensues, and things get worse from there because of outside interference.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Farin is cheerful, friendly, and relatively informal with the children of the family she serves and their friends. By contrast, Noel is more serious and formal in her speech and actions.
Talking To Herself: Farin and Momoko have the same voice actress in the dub, and Momoko once speaks with Farin in Episode 5.