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Franchise: Lyrical Nanoha

This is a disambiguation page for the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise. Please don't link here, unless you're referring to it in general. If the link that brought you here mentioned any particular series - including Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (The Original Series) - and not the franchise as a whole, please redirect it to one of the series pages listed below.

Female bonding at its awesomest.

"Call me a devil... it just means I'll have to use my hellish powers to get you to listen!"
Nanoha Takamachi, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, episode 9.

It has been noted by TV executives that Magical Girl series usually have Multiple Demographic Appeal — not only are they popular among 4 to 9-year-old girls, but also among 19 to 30-year-old males. Shows such as Pretty Cure attempt to please both demographics. Nanoha is made exclusively for the second.

The series has a rather unusual production history. Nanoha first started as a Token Mini-Moe in a certain H-game named Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever, part of a trilogy of such H-games. She was a very minor character, but proved popular enough to eventually get a mini Spin-Off game where she becomes a typical sickeningly sweet Magical Girl. A few years later they decided to make an anime based on that, and so Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha was born. Said series proceeded to throw in a bunch of tropes that would be more associated with Humongous Mecha shows for good measure, simply because a production crew member noted that Nanoha's costume design made her look like a Gundam. From there on she went on to become one of the most Badass Magical Girls yet to have existed.

What makes Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha unique is the detail put into the fight scenes, much to the delight of the seinen market's nostalgia for grand space battles and fist-pumping action. Many people who can't stand typical Magical Girl shows enjoy Nanoha because of this. It is also unusual among more dramatic and action-packed Magical Girl Warrior series in that Nanoha loves her job, enjoys her powers, and makes responsible decisions regarding them extending into adulthood. In fact, her job and adventures extend well into adulthood, period.

Over the years Lyrical Nanoha has branched off into a multi-media franchise with several separate continuities:

Primary continuity

Alternate continuities

Supplementary works
  • A Light Novel adaptation, with mostly the same plot as the first anime, but with a few key deviations. Illustrations by the same artist as the movie manga. It has never been translated.
  • Original Chronicle Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The 1st - yet another revisit of The Original Series events, this time in manga form, while also pulling elements from the movie, sound stages and light novel. (2013)
  • Three volumes of manga detailing various slice of life moments throughout A's and StrikerS, including six chapters that bridge the ten years between them.
  • A set of Audio Dramas called "Sound Stages":
  • A semi-canon (though its status is debatable) 4-volume anthology manga called Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: Comic à la carte in the post-StrikerS continuity, as well as extra volumes for the Movie 2nd A's and the INNOCENT continuities;
  • Countless Yonkomas for almost every installment and continuity, up to the movie sound stages. Some are bundled as Omakes after the main manga volumes, others run in the same publisher's magazines;
  • Lyrical Nanoha×Prisma☆Illya - a one-shot non-canon Intercontinuity Crossover manga with Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, which features Nanoha and Fate circa the first season (though looking like they do in the movie) teaming up with Ilya and Miyu after some time/space weirdness traps them in a pocket dimension together;
  • Numerous artbooks, guidebooks, character profiles, collectable cards, colored pamphlets and other things of dubious canonicity. Also a truckload Side Story Bonus Art and other promotional materials from the various magazines publishing the different Nanoha manga.

The entire series is animated by Seven Arcs and written by Masaki Tsuzuki, who has a habit of radically shifting its tone and feel between almost every installment.


The franchise as a whole and the supplementary works provide examples of:

  • Air Jousting: Sometimes with rocket-propelled devices for good measure.
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like
  • All There in the Manual: Many things, from details on how spells work to how characters came to certain decisions in the series, to even major parts of characters' backstories, are only discussed in the sound stages and companion manga. Even who some minor characters actually are. Recall the cheerful maid that took care of Fate and her sister in the dream she had towards the end of A's? Without seeing some of the official art, you'd never know she had cat ears and a tail under that outfit. She's Precia's familiar. This was corrected in The Movie.
  • Alternate Calendar: Old and New Mid-Childan Calendar.
  • Alternate Continuity:
    • Nanoha and family are an Alternate Universe version of the one from the H-game and OVA series Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever where her brother, sister, and father were ninja-like bodyguards. The first season makes numerous references to this. Her father, killed in Triangle Heart, is alive in this universe, although covered with scars from "his old job". In addition Nanoha enjoys watching her brother and sister spar, using the same fighting style from the original series.
    • It's also an alternate continuity to the Lyrical Toy Box mini-game Spin-Off, which was the spiritual pilot for Nanoha, very little of which was kept in the final incarnation.
    • Within the franchise itself we have The Movie 1st and 2nd, which are considered an alternate retelling of the first and second seasons, with changes justified In-Universe as semi-biographical films, produced on Mid-childa.
    • The first movie's supplementary manga diverges further into it's own continuity, shifting the order of major events and changing the characters' personalities somewhat.
    • The PSP games Battle of Aces and Gears of Destiny are also an alternate continuity diverging from the main series shortly before the end of A's, though apparently all the events after the time skip remain unchanged.
    • Lyrical Nanoha×Prisma☆Illya is some kind Alternate Continuity singularity, considering it crosses over two Alternate Universe spinoffs of two unrelated franchises, while not being in continuity with any of them. It's still official, but definitely a Fake Crossover.
  • Amplifier Artifact: All devices, as they don't really enable people to cast magic, as much as they automate the process, control the flow of mana and in the case of the cartridge system enable short bursts of power.
  • Anti-Villain: Perhaps the most straight-played element from classic Magical Girl franchises present in Nanoha is that the typical antagonist usually is more misunderstood than genuinely evil. Unlike traditional takes on the genre, however, getting them to talk means having to beat the snot out of them first in the most spectacular way possible, or at the very least Gunboat Diplomacy.
  • Apocalypse How: Lost Logia in sufficient amount is capable of X-2 and beyond class as the Al-Hazred disaster showed.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: Has an aversion that proves the trope. The blast radius for the Arc-en-Ciel Wave Motion Gun is less than its maximum range, so a ship firing it must immediately jump out to dimensional space or be Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • Armed with Canon: The Megami Sound Stages were written by Yuunoha supporters (or at least Nanofate opponents), while ViVid gives a slightly different look. For instance mention is made that Vivio's relationship with Fate is like that of an aunt (Vivio says she knows Fate isn't really her "mama" since it was Nanoha alone who adopted her) — with the implication that Nanoha and Fate are Like Sister and Sister — but in ViVid she's back to calling her "Fate-mama". They also break the fourth wall, so their canonical significance was already pretty suspect.
  • Artificial Human: Many of the characters, both heroic and villainous, are lab experiments.
  • Ascended Extra: In Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever, Nanoha is just a side character who doesn't get much development outside of Kuon's route. Then the fan box came out and gave her a small game. Then, that inspired this show.
  • As Lethal as It Needs to Be: With the right Device setting, spells can't kill people, and functional Barrier Jackets prevent most kinds of indirect damage.
  • Audio Adaptation: The Sound Stages. Most are manuals, but Sound Stage X is a self contained story and even has lasting consequences in the series canon.
  • Author Appeal: No matter what direction the series goes in, you can always count on having cute girls blowing stuff up mecha style.
  • Badass Adorable: Anyone with magical powers between the ages of 9 and 12 easily qualifies.
  • Badass Family: Several.
    • The Harlaowns. Admiral Lindy, Admiral Chrono, and Fate Testarossa-Harlaown. Probably also the late Clyde Harlaown. Any of them can and will befriend you into outer space if you make them mad. Erio and Caro probably count as members as well and Arf's the family pet.
    • The Yagami family. Not actually blood-related, but a family nevertheless. Hayate, Signum, Vita, Shamal, Zafira, Reinforce/Reinforce Zwei, and Agito.
    • The Takamachi family. The White Devil herself, Fate, and Vivio. And if you go with the Triangle Heart backstory, also Nanoha's siblings, Kyoya and Miyuki Takamachi and their father, all of whom are superb swordsmen and able to defeat legions of gunmen in mere seconds. Not to mention the fact the entire family is descended from samurai.
    • The Nakajimas. With the exception of Non Action Dad Genya (who lets his 108th Battalion do the talking), all of the members of the family are formidable fighters. Quint, Ginga, Subaru, Cinque, Dieci, Nove and Wendi. Tohma Avenir will likely be joining them in the near future.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Used extensively in transformation sequences and in all other cases for the lolis in the manga and the anime series. The adults in ViVid and Force or anyone in the movie, not so much.
  • Battle Ballgown
  • Beam-O-War: Subverted for the most part. In any Beam-O-War situation, nobody ever really has to work at it. Any time it happens, one of the people attempting it will lose almost instantly, because true Beam-O-War requires standing still, and anyone engaged in Full-Contact Magic loses when they do that.
  • The Bechdel Test: Passes, in large part because of the Improbably Female Cast. Interestingly, if you tried to reverse the gender components, it would almost certainly fail.
  • Become Your Weapon: The Unison Devices are tiny sentient humanoids who exist specifically to physically merge with their masters and give them enormous power boosts. The only downside is that very few mages can handle Unison.
  • BFG: Shooting-focused Intelligent Devices are basically the magical equivalent. To push the analogy further, the second season introduces cartridges, which might as well be magically charged shotgun shells or even rifle casings from their appearance, and Bardiche loads them from a swing-out revolver cylinder, while Raising Heart does so from a detachable box magazine. Raising Heart's cannon mode in The Movie even has a sliding trigger grip.
  • Blank White Eyes: In comedic situations.
  • Bleached Underpants: In addition to the series' roots in eroge, the animation studio Seven Arcs made nothing but porn before they made Nanoha.
  • Blue with Shock
  • Boring, but Practical: Storage Devices have no to minimum A.I. whatsoever and are limited to only one weapon form, but they process magic faster. The "practical" part makes them the most commonly used type of device among mages, while the "boring" part makes them the least used type of device among main characters.
  • Boxed Crook: One of the bureau's favorite ways to recruit new mages is to give defeated villains job offers. Contrary to most examples of this trope, the work involved is more akin to community service than anything else, and it's shown to be temporary. As of StrikerS, Fate and Hayate have both graduated from this program and gone on to become high-ranking officers and widely-recognized heroes of the bureau, and the Numbers seem to be on their way to similar status in ViVid.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!:
    • "Set up." Amusingly in very beginning, Nanoha had to recite a ridiculous chant in order to activate Raising Heart. She developed the reroute/short-cut on her own, much to Yuuno's shock and amazement.
    • Durandal's "Start up."
    • The one-time-only German commands used to initate the Wolkenritter's Devices.
  • Calling Your Attacks: And when the characters don't, their Devices do it for them.
  • Can Not Spit It Out: The more sympathetic villains regarding their true objectives.
  • Casual Interplanetary Travel: The cosmology is a bit vague. It might be that the different worlds in the setting are actually located in separate dimensions, as the space in between planets is explicitly NOT your regular cosmos and is instead called "The Dimensional Sea". However, the ships used to traverse dimensions are also sometimes explicitly shown in orbit of a planet, so it might be that it's only dimensional travel in the sense that it's done through a Hyperspace. Either way, for all extents and purposes, "dimension", "world", and "planet" are completely interchangeable in the setting. Spells like Dimensional Transfer are readily available to Magitek mages, and in Nanoha ViVid, the heroes take a shuttle to another planet like one would take a bus to another town.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: Most of Nanoha tends to alternate between adorably sweet and terribly depressing.
  • Clothing Damage: The clothing damage in the mangas is worse than in any other media.
  • Competence Zone: Averted with a vengeance. Where most magical girls lose their powers as they grow older, Nanoha and company get that much more badass as they go from their pre-teens to their early 20s.
  • Cool Starship: StrikerS has the Cradle. And Force adds the "Wolfram" and "Esquad Hückebein".
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: All young males in both the Japanese and English versions.
  • Darker and Edgier: The series is gradually slipping into this as the franchise wears on. Well, the main continuity is anyway, the movies and games keep the tone consistent with the anime, and the spinoff manga go the opposite way.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: To the point where, among the fandom, "befriend" has come to be synonymous with "beat the crap out of".
    befriend (v.): to use mecha-class beam weaponry to inflict grievous bodily harm on a target in the process of proving the validity of your belief system.
    — From a post on rpg.net
  • Demoted to Extra: Frequently happens to character that carry over from previous seasons, even the main ones after the third series.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
  • Empathic Weapons: All the intelligent devices. This leads to somewhat comical moments where they will compliment one another. The unison devices take it a step further by being completely self aware.
  • Evil Wears Black: Fiddled around with.
  • Excessive Steam Syndrome: Most Intelligent and Armed Devices usually discharges some kind of gas after any particularly impressive attack. It's apparently a design feature, since the vents have caps that pop off to let it happen. Especially with a cartridge system. This kind of supports the theory that Magi-Link Cartridges generate a lot of waste heat, if not for the AI system decompiling the Magic As Programs attacks in split-seconds and then cooling down in-between. In other words, AI split-second overclocking in weapon forms. In the side materials Nanoha mentions her new Raising Heart jury-rigged with a cartridge system is a total maintenance nightmare.
  • Fanservice
  • Fanservice Faux Fight: Every "mock battle" in the ever, by the virtue of its participants being mostly female while their weapons are safely set to Clothing Damage mode.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: There's a single unruly tuft of hair growing out of the head of almost everyone, particularly prominent on the members of the Testarossa family.
  • The Federation: The TSAB.
  • Flash Step: Various spells allow this, but Fate is a regular practicioner who doesn't need special assistance from her Intelligent Device, Bardiche, to do so.
  • Frilly Upgrade: An interesting take on the concept, with later seasons trying to see how much metal parts they can jam into Nanoha's barrier jacket before she start resembling an actual mecha. The devices get more weapon-like as well. The movies, manga and games retroactively apply this look to the earlier periods though.
  • Genre Shift: Each installment seems to move further away from the stereotypical Magical Girl setting, and closer to Nanoha's destiny of being an RX-78-2 in a schoolgirl outfit.
  • Gratuitous English/Gratuitous German: Nanoha and Fate's devices speak English, and the Wolkenritters' speak German. It's pronounced well because the actors are native speakers, although from A's onward the grammar does start to get a little funky. The movies fix that as well.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Ancient/Old Belkan War.
  • Hit So Hard The Calendar Felt It: The Mid-Childan calendar begins after the end of the Belkan War.
  • Holographic Terminal: Magical ones, but holographic nonetheless.
  • Human Aliens: Most of the human cast isn't from Earth.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: To quote Raising Heart: "Barrier Jacket". Furthermore it's freely customisable by the user.
  • Improbably Female Cast: In both population and screen time.
  • Instant Armor: The Barrier Jackets are skimpier than most example, but they still appear outta nowhere, and seem to outstrip a main battle tank in terms of defensive potential. They appear to be created by the user's mana and according to the movie manga can even be regenerated mid-battle. Then again that is an Alternate Continuity.
  • Instant Runes: Endemic to high-powered magic.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Averted mostly, since the TSAB imposes heavy restrictions on the use of mass-based weapons, because unlike magic devices you can't set them to stun.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: The TSAB has the Air Force, the Dimensional Navy and the Ground Forces.
  • Life Energy
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Manageable in the first two series. Becomes quite unwieldy in StrikerS, to the point that many of the antagonists receive almost no characterization at all outside of the supplementary material. ViVid and Force also keep piling on the new faces while keeping many of the old ones and well, there's a reason the character sheet is split in seven.
  • Lost Technology: Lost Logia.
  • Magical Accessory: Several of the Devices across the franchise take the form of necklaces in their Standby Mode.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: With the exception of a couple of the early episodes they are called "mages" or "knights", which isn't strictly limited to females, though the ratio is quite heavily slanted in their favour. ViVid recently added witches, whose magic seems to work in somewhat different ways.
  • Magic Knight: Almost everyone, with Belkan Knights (except for Hayate and Shamal) and Fate being particularly reliant on close combat.
  • Magic Missile Storm: Several spells. These are types of shooting spells are some of the easiest and fastest to cast for a mage, and could be used as suppression fire as well as direct attacks. These spells often come with alternate versions that changes the amount of energy bullets and/or the way they are fired at the enemy. In particular, if the name of the spell is followed by something like Phalanx Shift or Genocide Shift, you should be ready to block or dodge like hell as you will be faced with a veritable wall of energy projectiles. Examples of these include:
    • Nanoha's Divine/Axel Shooter - homing energy spheres whose every movement Nanoha could control;
    • Fate's Photon/Plasma Lancer - arrow shaped, bolts of energy with limited homing capabilities. Comes in several variations and could be combined into an energy lance;
    • Teana's Cross Fire Shoot - controllable energy spheres like Nanoha's, but could alternatively be fired as a Beam Spam instead;
    • Vivio's Sonic Shooter - controllable energy orbs like her Nanoha-mama's.
  • Magitek: While using combat magic still requires some genetic predisposition, everyday technology on Mid-Childa is all magic based. The Ancient Belkans had an even more advanced fusion of magic and technology, to the point that even TSAB scientists don't know how most of their Lost Logia operate.
  • Mana
  • Mildly Military: The Time/Space Administrative Bureau, which also acts as both The Federation and The Magocracy.
  • Mini Dress Of Power
  • Moe Couplet: Fuels nearly every standard fanship, to the point it replaces the otherwise vanilla Erio/Caro ship vaguely implied in the show.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Thoroughly inverted. Except for pesky Mage Killers, magic is superior in both strategic and tactical aspects. Even a mid-tier mage needs an anti-tank missile to kill, high-ranking mages throw out building-busters at least while outflying modern fighters and the Arc-en-Ciel Wave Motion Gun makes mundane nukes look like firecrackers. Even the prototype "kinetic" weapons used to fight Mage Killers in the latest season are magic-powered and fire pure kinetic force, which is a whole different ballgame from Real Life weapons.
  • Mundane Utility: The Devices have many mundane functions, as they can take photographs, exchanging mails or photos, having schedules, and even phoning when telepathy is just too far. Some of them help their masters even in office work. There is even a picture where Nanoha and Fate use their Devices as microphones.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • Raising Heart doesn't have any hearts. The name is an artifact from the Lyrical Toy Box, where it actually was a puny heart-shaped wand.
    • The TSAB doesn't do anything in the Time department. TSAB should in fact be translated as "Dimension Administrative Bureau", and going by the English subs of the first movie, this is the official English translation as used by Seven Arcs. It could also be more accurately translated as Space-Time Administration Bureau to correspond with the "Spacetime" concept that pops up whenever the Universe is discussed in Physics, but, uhh... the problems with that acronym should be pretty obvious.
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: The Midchildian mages focus on defensive barriers and Wave Motion Gun tactics, while the Belkan Knights swarm up close with punishing melee attacks and cartridge-enhanced weaponry. There are exceptions to both rules like Fate, a melee-oriented Mid-childa style, and Hayate, a long-range Squishy Wizard Belkan-user, and things get more complicated as the series goes on with mixed types, defense and support specialists, exotics like summon magic, curses and various forms of magical kung-fu.
  • Overranked Soldier: Many characters hold ranks that are highly implausible for their age. Most gratituous are Hayate (a lieutenant colonel) and Chrono (an admiral), both are barely twenty. Even Lindy commanding her own ship at 31 can be a bit of a stretch. Somewhat justified in Chrono's case, as he was promoted in the wake of a scandal that ended the careers of several high-ranking general staff.
  • Panty Shot: Mandatory during transformation sequences. Otherwise almost non-existent, save for roughly one single inexplicable shot in each season.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Nanoha is a rare series where there's a good portion of individuals who treat theirs well. The ones who don't... well, they get befriended, in some cases fatally.
  • Phantom Zone: There is a spell called "Barrier" that pushes everything half a dimension over. The city is still there, but all non-magic users are no longer present, and thus cannot witness the light show. However, fights without barriers enclosing them leave massive collateral damage — like Nanoha's first, the cratered site of which she fled from upon hearing the sirens of incoming emergency vehicles.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Played with in many ways.
  • Powers as Programs: Yuuno explains right at the start of the first season that this is how the Intelligent Devices work, by channelling the caster's mana through standardized algorithms. This is somewhat subverted later, however, as all the high level mages personalize their repertoire. The more impressive spells usually combine several common effects and the unique skills of the caster, so while anyone with enough proficiency can copy the basic idea, matching the level of execution is a lot less likely.
  • Psychic Link: Belkan users can do this by themselves, while Mid-Childa mages need to use their Intelligent Devices.
  • Random Power Ranking: How mages in the TSAB are ranked. Various characters have been ranked as C, B, A, AA, AAA, S, S+, and SS in one of the three disciplines: ground combat, air combat, or composite.
    • Hayate's SS rank is a composite rank, as opposed to a combative rank, which is believed to be only based upon magical capacity, and not much else. She even went as far to say that Caro, without the aid of her dragons, could kick her ass at this point.
    • Body augmentation rank of combat cyborgs.
    • Mages who are not in the TSAB are not ranked by this system. Although TSAB use this mage ranking system to evaluate threat level of enemy mages.
  • Reference Overdosed: Mostly to mecha shows and cars.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Mostly. Any given antagonist a has at least a 50% chance of joining the good guys in the next season. Well, the Hückebein will probably break the trend considering how they're all Omnicidal Maniacs and all.
  • Seinen
  • Sequel Escalation: Between the three anime series, the stage just gets bigger and bigger. However, StrikerS and later series consciously averted the Dragon Ball method of power-level inflation; in StrikerS and Force, the Riot Force 6 elites (Nanoha, Fate, Hayate and Signum) are the strongest mages in the story, and their opponents are dangerous because of new capabilities and tactics rather than greater raw power.
  • She Is the King: Various Ancient Belka Kings still keep that title even if they are female. Specific examples are Sankt Kaiser Olivie Segbrecht and Ixpellia, the king of Garea.
    Bardiche: Yes, sir!
    Fate: That's ma'am!
  • Ship Sinking: Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever had Nanoha/Chrono as canon, with none of the major alternative partners for Nanoha or Chrono available. Naturally, in this universe, it's the one suggested Nanoha pairing that we're explicitly told doesn't happen, as Chrono marries Amy between A's and StrikerS.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: In the backstory, the Belkan Homeworld's disappearance into the interdimensional void was a major turning point in the Belkan Wars.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: STARLIGHT BREAKER! It fixes everything!
  • Smoke Shield: At least once each season, if not more.
  • Spell Levels: Spells are ranked by power output: D is pretty much a parlor trick, S is a tactical nuke.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Regarding the use of fan spellings of certain names as opposed to the official ones: examples include "Raising Heart"/"Raging Heart" and "Harlaown"/"Haraoun."
  • The Stinger: At the end of the Kaleid Liner crossover special when everyone goes back to their home dimensions, Ilya thinks of the pair of wonderful friends she made... then suddenly realizes she's holding Raising Heart, and Ruby is nowhere to be seen.
  • Stock Footage: Surprisingly little, but there.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Mostly spoken by the computers, but also one of Nanoha's friends at school. They're correctly accented, and make sense in context, although the grammar leaves something to be desired. The movie has the best English so far. They actually have native English-speaking voice actors for the computers — Australian-born Donna Burke for Raising Heart and an unknown named Kevin J. England for Bardiche. The German-speaking devices sound pretty good too, because Tetsuya Kakihara grew up in Germany.
  • Talking Weapon: Devices.
  • Technology Porn: With the exception of ViVid, the Transformation Sequences focus just as much time on the individual components of the Devices snapping together in place as it does on the characters themselves. Every time a Device switches forms, it will dominate the screen while it goes through the process. Force takes this further by having a mini feature devoted entirely to new weapons and armor designs.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: All the insert songs sang by Nana Mizuki act as this, as they play during part of the climactic showdown of each season. The TV series have "Take a Shot", "BRAVE PHOENIX" and "Pray", while the movies substitute the firest two with "Don't Be Long" and "Sacred Force".
  • Time Skip: Between each instalment.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: In the Gears of Destiny drama CD, the supposedly fictional movie versions of Fate and Nanoha are accidentally pulled into the PSP verse - itself an Alternate Continuity to the one that spawned their movie - to a time before said movie should existed, even if it will exist in that timeline.
  • Training from Hell: One particular subversion aside, most of the mage training in the series is shown to be very grueling.
  • Translation Convention: Messages displayed and spoken by Mid-Childa's Magitek devices are usually in English or Germannote , but all non-device characters exclusively speak Japanese. Since no explanation is ever provided, and it's possible that Mid-Childa could have picked up any or all of these languages through dimension-hopping shenanigans, it's unclear where the Translation Convention is being applied, or whether it is being applied at all.
  • Transformation Sequence: Present, but unusually for a Magical Girl series, not used as time-wasting Stock Footage. In fact, each main character gets at most two of these per season and only the first few times they transform.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: While the aforementioned full sequences are pretty long, whenever we see a transformation happen "from the outside", it takes less than two seconds.
  • Trouble from the Past: The interdimensional community in the series is more or less a technological Utopia still reeling from the Belkan War 80 years ago. Every season so far has revolved around a piece of Belkan legacy from said war.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Each of the main girls started out this way to some extent. Hayate's the only one who remains so even into adulthood, needing Rein just so she can properly aim her attacks.
  • Vehicular Theme Naming: As in Magic Knight Rayearth, characters from the magical worlds are named for cars — (Ferrari) Testarossa, Scaglietti, (Opel) Zafira, Signum, Vita, (Maserati) Shamal, (Nissan) Teana, Subaru, etc. In total, there are around forty characters/devices that share names with cars.
  • Wave Motion Gun:
    • The Arc-En-Ciel is a good example of a traditional one.
    • The others are all powered by a Person of Mass Destruction. In the movie, Nanoha's Starlight Breaker levels an entire city.
  • Weaponized Ball: Vita's long-range weapons of choice are iron spheres that she launches towards her targets by striking them with the polo mallet-like Hammer form of her Armed Device.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Rampant. You'd be hard pressed to find a child in this series that isn't at least a little more mature than you'd expect them to be for their age. In the first season alone,
  • Wizards from Outer Space
  • World of Action Girls
  • World of Badass
  • World of Buxom: There isn't much variety in breast sizes for the characters who are at least in their teens or are already adults (physically); the two most common sizes that you'll see are "big" and "bigger". They're realistically sized rather than being extreme like some examples of this trope can get, though. Downplayed in the first two series where a large portion of the female characters are children, but becomes more obvious after the Time Skip to StrikerS since at this point most of the female cast are either in their adolescence or adults. However, the rule doesn't apply to everyone: characters like Otto or Iris are flat-chested, Caro is as well once she gets older, and Sein is the only character in the animated canon who has small (but not nonexistent) breasts and isn't physically a child. Once ViVid comes around the trope starts to fade a bit; while some of the new characters are still buxom, overall they have a far more diverse variety of breasts sizes. For example, Lutecia from Striker(s) shows up as a teen in that manga, and turns out to be one of the small breasted characters.
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alternative title(s): Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha; Lyrical Nanoha; Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
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