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Manga: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT

One of the fun things about the Lyrical Nanoha franchise is how the flexible Science Fantasy Multiverse setting allows it to dabble in practically any genre. Still, some genres simply won't fit in Nanoha. Take the Gaming series genre. It's rather hard to go all Serious Business over a children's card game when your average grade schooler could already throw around energy blasts.

Enter Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT.

Nanoha INNOCENT is a multimedia Spin-Off of the Nanoha series, composed of a web-based Card Battle Game and a manga published in CompAce that provides background info on the game. Unlike the other Nanoha installments, INNOCENT is set in an Alternate Universe with neither magic nor alternate dimensions. All the characters are either ordinary humans on earth, or ordinary pets in the case of the familiars.

The story revolves around Brave Duel, a recently created card-based virtual simulation game jointly released by Hobby Shop T&H, House Yagami, and the Granz Research Center. Instead of magic battles, the characters duel with each other through the card game, hoping to win for the sake of their team.

Nanoha INNOCENT provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Miss Number One in Japan, Stern Starks.
  • Actor Allusion: While this is a manga, Arisa and Suzuka's Devices and powers are references to their voice actresses in the anime. Arisa (Rie Kugimiya) is a fire-elemental wielding Flame Eyes, clearly referencing Kugimiya's breakout role as Shana; Suzuka (Ai Shimizu) is an ice-elemental wielding Snow White, which shares the same name, namesake and elemental power as one of Shimizu's characters in MÄR.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The Wolkenritter and Reinforce Eins now share the Yagami family name;
    • The Materials also now come with their own family names: Stern Starks, Levi Russell, and Dearche Kings Claudia;
    • Rynith has Teana's last name Lanster. Curiously, there seems to be two Ryniths, one is Precia's pet, and one is human. The cat is named Rynith the 2nd.
  • Alternate Universe
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents/Doting Parent: Precia, of all people, a far cry from the abusive Evil Matriarch of the original series.
  • Art Shift: The art can quickly change from the usual cutesy moe to gritty and dark when the situation warrants it (particularly, when the Materials are going full badass).
  • The Artifact: Some relationships here don't make sense by themselves, so some familiarity with the original series may be required.
    • Alicia is still Fate's "older sister" despite looking very physically younger than her; there are no People Jars to prevent her aging;
    • Hayate doesn't go to school and is the "Master" of the Yagami family, and referred to as such. As mentioned, Reinforce, Shamal, and Signum share her last name, but are also listed as "employees". It's not clear how they're related to her. Lampshaded by Dearche, who is mystified by this.
    • The Materials are no longer magic doppelgängers of Nanoha, Fate and Hayate. They just look just like them completely by coincidence. Furthermore, Stern, Levi and Hayate always address Dearche as "my king", even though her "Ruler of Darkness" title is just part of her in-game persona.
  • Ascended Extra: Arisa, Suzuka and Alicia become main characters, the former two finally become Magical Girls. At least while they're playing Brave Duel.
  • Ascended Meme: The card game included a card called "Arisa the Burning", a reference to the "Burning Arisa" meme. The manga indeed turns Arisa's avatar into a pyrokinetic Magical Girl, obviously alluding to her voice actress' role as Shana.
  • Blank White Eyes: Most of the characters does this. Nanoha does this more often and Yuri's Chivit Petit Successor seems to have a permanent one.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Precia shows a little part of her dark persona in chapter 4. It's Played for Laughs, though. But remember, it's Precia.
  • Big Little Sister: Fate to Alicia, much to the latter's annoyance.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Precia is the boke, and Lindy is the tsukkomi.
  • Butt Monkey: Vita. Everyone assumes she lost to Nanoha, even though she never did, much like in canon. She is curb-stomped by Stern, she has to work with Nanoha in the Sky Dodge game despite Vita doesn't like her, and she's almost taken down by Stern again in Sky Dodge. At the finale of Sky Dodge, when Nanoha and Stern use the last back right, Vita is the only one of the field players who is out, and the only player on the opponent side is Stern.
  • Card Battle Game: The webgame that the manga provides the background for. Supposedly anyway, as the manga kind of forgets to show the cards after the first couple of chapters, since they are just ability tokens, and thus not visible from "inside" the game. And most Brave Duel sessions so far have not been straight-up battles anyway.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Suzuka's dodgeball skills becomes immediately handy in Sky Dodge.
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: Hayate does it in Chapter .1
  • Clothing Damage: Vita suffers from this in chapter 4. She doesn't care, as she has lost consciousness.
    • It has gotten synonymous to "defeated in battle" as the chapters goes on.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Stern vs. Vita. Stern demolishes Vita in a one-shot fiery laser blast.
    • Arisa and Suzuka did this to Yuri in a rematch battle, kicking the latter out early in the battle.
  • Death Glare: Reinforce delivers one to Dearche in inter mission: 01.
  • Demoted to Extra: Yuuno again. In this series, he is just a ferret.
  • Don't Call Me Sir: Hayate doesn't want Rein to call her "master" in public.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Nanoha, true to form. Building in front of you? Blast right though with your newest card.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Nanoha puts her mana into the ball and tries to hit Levi, just as she does to Stern. But Levi is too fast, even when Nanoha moves the ball with her magic, so she decides to aim for Dearche instead. The King gives her No Sell with a single finger. And then she puts her element into the ball...
  • The Gadfly: Levi scares the hell of Arisa by suddenly screaming "Boo!".
  • Genki Girl:
    • Alicia. She sickeningly enthusiastic about Brave Duel, her younger sister, her mother, her job...
    • And of course, LEVI THE SLASHER!
  • The Glomp: Precia every time she sees one of her daughters.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Interestingly, unlike the rest of Lyrical Nanoha, Nanoha has been trained in the family martial arts style.
  • Grade Skipper: The Materials skipped into middle school, while Hayate is a university graduate.
  • Heroic Sacrifice/Taking the Bullet: Invoked by Petit Lord/Ō-chama, as she throws herself between Levi and the ball that is aiming for the latter. But since it's a combination throw of Suzuka, Arisa and Vita, the ball just thrusts Ō-chama aside and hits Levi anyway.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Precia and Lindy. Alicia doesn't call Lindy mom, but she does say the Harlowns and the Testarossas are basically one family. The game suggests Clyde is... somewhere.
  • High School A.U.: Well, Elementary School AU, and one revolving around a card game.
  • Identical Stranger: The Materials from the A's Portable games are no longer doppelgängers of the three Aces, they're just three foreign competitors who happen to resemble them. And just happened to draw the same in-game character types, playing up the resemblance that much more. However, the Materials are at least three years older than their counterparts in this continuity and they go in a middle school/junior high school instead of an elementary school.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: When Alicia disappears from her sight, Precia immediately thinks that she was kidnapped for her cuteness since that's what she would do in regards to Alicia and Fate.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Nanoha and a spoon.
  • Improbable Age: Hayate has graduated from university
  • Improvised Platform: Suzuka created a couple of them with ice for Arisa.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: A light version, Nanoha demonstrates throwing a spoon at a plastic cup using the family martial arts, causes a silver-dollar sized smoking hole. She's afraid she'll creep out her friends, who instead just roll their eyes except Fate, who is entranced.
  • Instant Expert: Nanoha learns pretty quick how to play the game if someone explain her new features she doesn't know. Or she just copies other people, which would be like copying the moves in a fighting game, without seeing the input commands.
  • Japanese Sibling Terminology: Alicia complains when Fate doesn't call her "onee-chan", in contrast to Chrono getting embarrassed when Fate calls him "onii-chan" after being adopted.
  • Lighter and Softer: Even more so than ViVid. To start with, Precia is alive, sane, and a doting mother to both Fate and a still-living Alicia.
  • Magical Girl/Magical Girl Warrior: Cyber Magical Girl Warriors.
  • Meganekko: Stern.
  • Missing Mom: Amitie and Kyrie have a mother who is on a business trip.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Arisa's weapon, Flame Eyes, is a whip/gun combo that looks like a gunblade.
  • Moment Killer: Arisa kills one of Nanoha and Fate's moment in chapter 4.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The title INNOCENT comes from the first opening theme, innocent starter. And the Brave Duel system comes from A's insert song BRAVE PHOENIX.
    • Much like in A's, Nanoha's first encounter with Vita ends with Fate appearing out of nowhere to block Vita's attack in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • The setups for Brave Duel look suspiciously like Gadget Drones.
    • After Chapter 14, the title has changed from INNOCENT to INNOCENTS, derived from StrikerS and marking the appearances of Teana, Subaru and several characters from the said season.
    • Fate doesn't sport Girlish Pigtails in INNOCENTS, mirroring her hairstyle from the above season.
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken: Dearche ropes Alicia into a duel with her using this.
  • Noodle Incident: Hayate briefly mentions to Alicia about doing something to their customers when Stern,after beating Vita in their duel, refused to participate in a rematch. What they planned to do was never mentioned except she and Alicia apparently have done this "thing" before in Echigoya.
  • Older Than They Look: Poor Alicia.
  • Onee-sama: Everyone in the school calls Amitie this, except for Kyrie and their two friends.
  • Only Sane Girl:
    • Arisa.
    • Lindy, in contrast to Precia.
  • Overprotective Mom: When Precia jumps to the conclusion of Alicia being kidnapped in chapter 4, she starts to project the Precia from the main continuity.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: One of Alicia's attacks.
  • Playboy Bunny: Alicia wears this outfit while commentating for Hayate.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Stern uses these to get what she wants from Dearche.
  • Ramming Always Works: Nanoha's idea for testing out her new defensive spell? Smashing headlong through buildings!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Fencer Arisa and Professor Suzuka.
  • Roofhopping: Arisa.
    "I could handle just floating! But humans aren't able to just ... start flying all of the sudden."
  • Ship Tease: Nanoha and Fate, of course. And pretty much more than in the main series.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slasher Smile:
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Stern, The Smart Girl of the Dark Materials.
  • Southpaw: Three of them. Nanoha, Stern, and Alicia.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Precia and Alicia Testarossa, Rynith, Reinforce Eins, Clyde Harlaown and Granz Florian are all alive here.
  • Super-Deformed: All over the place adding to the cuteness factor but Levi's three Friend NPCs take the cake.
    • All three Materials have Friend NPCs. Steyn the Cat, Chivi the Treasure, and Petit Lord (Ō-chama).
    • In general, Chivits (robots created by Professor Granz), are this.
  • Talking Animal:
    • Zafira. The Yagami family seems to aware of it. But nobody has pointed it out, yet.
    • Yuuno. It was hinted early that he can talk. In chapter 8, he has a full-blown conversation with Nanoha.
  • Those Two Girls: Precia and Lindy.
    • Amitie and Kyrie's two friends.
  • Training Montage: After team T&H Elements' (composed of Nanoha and co.) defeat at the hands of Amitie and Kyrie, they had several weeks of training to hone their skills.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Dearche sports one in inter mission: 01. Yuri, too.
  • Tsundere: Dearche, especially towards Hayate, much like she is in Gears of Destiny.
  • Yandere: Downplayed and Played for Laughs with Precia.

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alternative title(s): Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT; Nanoha INNOCENT; Nanoha Innocent
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