Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
Watched roughly 2008
Aired: 2004-2007, 2015
Producers: Geneon Universal Entertainment, Seven Arcs, A Line, FUNimation Entertainment
This anime was the second ever Magical Girl Anime I watched, the first being Sailor Moon. Nanoha was something, is still something, that I have a special place in my heart for even years after watching it. I squealed with delight once I learned it is getting a fourth series this summer (2015) and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing how the writers combat the change in Magical Girl genre. Will they change their formula or stay true to the Nanoha franchise?
So Nanoha. Nanoha is a sweet pure heart girl who ends up on a quest to save the earth. I didn’t say the plot was original, I said the show had a special place in my heart. Nanoha is such a heart warming character, who more times than not, tries to make friends with her enemies. She is a power mage, despite being from earth and forms a close bond with the boy she is trying to help, Yuuno.
The first series is set while she is still very young. Not even in junior high yet. Nanoha stumbles upon an injured talking ferret after hearing his telepathic cries for help. The ferret turns out to be Yuuno, an archaeologist and mage from another world who had accidentally scattered the dangerous Jewel Seeds throughout Earth. Stuck as a ferret until his powers return, Yuuno recruits young Nanoha to find the Jewels Seeds before they fall into the hands of evil. Granting her a red jewel which allows to use magic to defeat the monsters. However someone else is looking for the Seeds as well.
Enter, Fate. Fate’s mother is the villain for much of the first season. Wanting the seeds for her own gains and not afraid to use her daughter in order to do so. Fate is stubborn, strong and bad ass. She also comes with her own fox familiar who helps look after her. Arf.
The first season is cute and heart warming with some sad moments. Eventually ending with Fate’s mother defeated, Nanoha becoming friends and Fate getting arrested for her mothers evil deeds. Yuuno leaving Nanoha to go home. Nanoha left to her own devices on earth. Though she is able to keep in touch with Fate.
Six months later and Second two starts :Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A (2005)
We are introduced to Nanoha, who is eagerly awaiting the day she can be reunited with Fate. However her peaceful life is once again shattered as a powerful mage attacks. Fate appearing to help. With a new found enemy, Nanoha must once again team up with Yunno, Fate, Arf and more to keep her home safe.
This season was sadder than the first in many ways, though it does have a happy conclusion. A group of violent mages have been attacking anything with magic power for their own goals and when they attack Nanoha, they set out to stop them before they can hurt anyone else. Fate enrolls at Nanoha’s school and there is a very cute side plot about all their friends. Including one very sick friend, Hayate Yagami, who turns out to be connected to the mysterious mages. Another important thing is that the mages are so powerful, Nanoha and Fate have to upgrade their equipment to a much more dangerous version. They are both warned not to over do it or it could cause massive damage to their bodies.
Back to Hayate. Hayate is a lovely character and as sweet as Nanoha and Fate. Which is partly how she has gained the loyalty of these mages. Hayate is suffering from a family curse, with no obvious way to fix it. As the story moves on, we learn more and more about the intentions of the mages.
As stated earlier, there is a happy ending and everything is fixed. But not before some pretty heavy angst considering these girls are all still 9 years old. The ending points to the future.
And onwards we go to season 3. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS (2007)
Set 10 years after. Yes. 10 years. Our girls are all grown up now and teaching the next generation of fights. All with some really cool weaspons of their own. Nanoha is a famous hero and well respected teacher. And things have not been easy. She may not be the naive little girl any more but she is still a strong believer in right and wrong. And still able to break the hearts of many.
Seeing these girls grow was a fantastic idea and they did not ignore the ten years in between. Nanoha has suffered. She overworked her body and due to the upgraded system of her weapon, almost died. We learn this as the guys explain to the students just why Nanoha is so strict with them and doesn’t let them overwork too much. She almost lost the ability to walk. To fly.
Nanaho is a strong character who evolves and grows with the challenges she faces, while never losing that part of her with is truly special.
And I look forward to watching the fourth instalment. Four years later. How will Nanaho be now?
Anywhere, this little universe is Platinum for me.