Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

Title:Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - FEEL
Donna Burke
Kevin J. England
R1 License - FUNimation
R1 License - Geneon (Defunct)
Takamachi Nanoha is a 3rd grader elementary school girl, who lives with her parents and her older sister and brother (last seen in Triangle Heart). One day after school, she hears a voice in mind, which leads her to rescue a small animal (a ferret?) in the forest. The animal is actually an archeologist-mage from another world, named Yuuno-kun, who is attempting to recover 21 dangerous Jewels Seeds that are scattered across the Earth. Yuuno had been fighting a loosing and desperate battle with a magic beast that emerged from an activated Jewel Seed, and he asks for Nanoha's help (and magic) in assisting him to defeat the beast and in recovering the other Seeds. So, with Yuuno-kun's help, and by activating the magic in the jewel's raging heart, Naoha can transform into a magic girl, complete with a magic-power-staff, to save her city from the dangers of the Jewel Seeds.

[13 TV episodes (~24 min). R1 license by Geneon with the distribution and marketing sub-license going to FUNimation.]

[edit] The ↗Nanoha franchise:

Main story of the game: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha spinoff:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 7 8 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:901#1552]
Having heard about this series getting mixed reception from Western audiences, I decided to rent it via Netflix to judge for myself how Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha went. The series does toss around some fresh ideas for the mahou shoujo genre. Technology is incorporated in the use of magic within Lyrical Nanoha as the gems that enable Nanoha and Fate to transform have their own computer AIs that follow their commands in regards to attack, defense and searching. In addition, the dimensional travels of the Time-Space Administration Bureau add some interesting twists in the plot direction of the series in regards to the Jewel Seeds and the plans that Fate has for them.

Speaking of Fate, Lyrical Nanoha does enough in fleshing out her character throughout the series to give her character depth in regards to her motivations with the Jewel Seeds and her developments are really on the dark and tragic path for a mahou shoujo title. Many of the characters are also a likeable bunch as they show care for one another, particularly Nanoha's circle of family and friends as they show visible concern for her well-being while unaware of her adventures as a mahou shoujo.

The series does show quite a number of issues for me however. I got a bit turned off by the show's use of lolicon fan service through some scenes with Nanoha, particularly her transformation scenes and a couple early scenes used in some cheap comedy from seeing Yuno get flustered over seeing Nanoha in states of undress. Some of the fight scenes, particularly with Nanoha and Fate, get in the annoying habit of being power struggle battles a la typical shounen action anime. In addition, some developments with Nanoha's character tend to require the viewer to suspend disbelief such as how quickly she can grasp use of her abilities as a mahou shoujo without Yuno's guidance and her mother allowing her so easily to risk her life in aiding Fate.

Overall, I found Lyrical Nanoha to be a bit of a mixed bag. While having some new ideas for the mahou shoujo genre with interesting developments concerning Fate, the series still relies on the conventional elements of the genre and pandering to otaku audiences without establishing its own identity. I'm not so sure right now if I would be willing to see later seasons of the Lyrical Nanoha franchise.

Last updated Sunday, August 28 2011. Created Saturday, August 27 2011.
Buy 10 10 10 7 10 10 Xenoknight [series:901#2967]
Would you look at that... I saw a few episodes of this at the anime club in my university. I was very interested in the events of this title (though it was subbed and I never knew the name of it). In spite of that, with help from Stretch, it was found again here on the best anime website ever produced (LOL).

Better believe i'm going to finish it now that i've found it again...

Completed with tears in my eyes... Final review soon...

That was incredible! It was only the first episode but it was fantastic. I knew it was going to get crazy because I saw a few eps already, though they were in the middle of the series so I tried not to commit anything to memory, but for it to be this good from the "jump" (start)?!?! I can't believe this was an '04 title! The suspense music, the realistic animation scene, and the overall "heroine being dragged into something she can't understand" feeling were all masterfully executed. (Sigh) This is going to be another adventure for me it seems. Here we go again...

Ep 3 made me a tad nostalgic and I found myself reminiscing about the good old days of Tales of Symphonia! For those who played the game, I highly suggest watching episode 3 just for that reason alone. If you beat the game, you will be pleased to see what happens in this episode. Never forget Sheena...

Ep 4 was filled with action, fighting, and was very intriguing. There is no way I could say no to this title, it's a Buy for sure. This is the "high-caliber" stuff I remember from the anime club and its only going to get better from here on...

Ep 5 was insane and puts a bunch of action titles to shame. I got a "full-coarse" meal (episode) with a taste of fan-service to wash it all down (LOL). There will certainly be a great battle of desperation in the near future between our 2 magic teams. Where was I when this came out anyway? LOL...

Ep 6: That stupid familiar ruined any chance of ending this stalemate peacefully! I also see that they don't intend to let us see exactly how Nanoha is learning all these Raging Heart moves and attacks. There is some jewel seed number typos as well. They used 14 and 17 already but I noticed their numbers again and it's throwing the record off. (yeah, i've been keeping track, LOL)

Ep 7 left me speechless to find out why Fate has to collect the jewel seeds! We also get some Star Ocean: Till the End of Time futuristic sci-fi stuff going on. Now there is a third party in this madness! Will the surprises ever stop or what?

Ep 8 is the climax of the story as certain ties are broken, new alliances are formed, and unbreakable bonds are reaffirmed. The final string of episodes begin with the tumultuous events in the next episode! Let's finish this! LOL (I always wanted to say that)

Ep 9 was spectacular. The pairing of the destined rivals prove to be unbeatable and their spectacular demonstration of magic is testament to that. I guess the answer about the never-ending surprises is a definite "No" because we get another unexpected development right when things were finally looking up. This show is far too good to be a normal childrens' title but i'll take it for what its worth.

Ep 10 was another fantastic episode as well as the beggining of the end!

Ep 11 was an explosive battle! It was full of astonishing surprise attacks, aggressive countermeasures, and "split second" defensive moves. This is the stuff action shows should base as the foundation of any action sequence. Of course they can't all have magic, but if this title can do it perfectly (more or less) with no problems, then surely other action titles can put forth a little more effort. Speaking of action sequences: TELL ME THEY DIDN’T USE WATER DROPLETS ON THE SCREEN! During the battle over the ocean, their explosions and blocked attacks caused water droplets to drip on the screen from the ocean! I thought this was a Genius move on the animators part and I became convinced that this title was far ahead of it's time. The truth about Fate is not something to be taken lightly at all. My heart goes out to the poor kid...

Ep 12: This is what my final seed list looks like after the events of this episode for those who have been keeping track...

Jewel seed number:

1. ?
2. Fate
3. Fate
4. ?
5. Fate
6. Fate
7. Chrono
8. Nanoha
9. Nanoha
10. Nanoha
11. ?
12. Nanoha
13. Fate – stole from Nanoha
14. Fate
Typo 14. Fate
15. Fate
16. Nanoha
17. Nanoha – implied that it's Raging Heart
Typo 17. Fate
18. ?
19. Fate
20. Nanoha
21. Nanoha

Chrono gave his 4 seed pieces (3 unidentified pieces) to Nanoha's 8 making her grand total - 12/21 and any three of the question marks belongs to Nanoha. Fate acquired 9 pieces, making the complete 21 jewel seed collection, but the anime has some discrepancies (like with the typo seeds) as the list indicates her coming out with 10 seeds (22/21)(?) and there is still one question mark left over (23/21)(?)! You can try to decipher what went wrong for yourself, I just gave the facts, and as for the episode itself; Let's just say that I have had enough of the brilliant episode events and this title has been crowned an anime winner!!!

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world! Also, check one section below the list to read about my audio review project!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Wednesday, October 07 2009. Created Sunday, October 05 2008.
Buy 10 10 10 8 10 10 aoneish [series:901#1615]
heh, i really haven't anything to add, astronerdboy's said it all.

but it's a series well worth buying. i mean, it IS reminiscent of card captor sakura, but it takes on life of its own. the fighting with the staffs i thought was pretty cool and i was surprised to see the transformations cut out. they usually love using that stuff over and over and over again. heh. but really, the main focus is on the plot and the characters. one to get the plot going, and two to develop the two lead characters, nanoha and fate. it's all accomplished and resolved very nicely by the end.

however, i was bothered by the fact that they did gloss over some details. it's nothing major and nothing really vital to the story(not really anyway), but yea, the questions do pop up in your mind sometimes. it's like wait a minute, if yuuno-kun can transform back and...doesn't raging heart belong to him? or what the heck is taking precia so long to go? she's just sitting there...and why the heck aren't nanoha's parents more worried? and of course, the whole where the hell is she learning all this stuff(attacks and such)? i could have bought that raging heart just did it for her, or maybe the words came magically to her mind, but really, they didn't make it so it seemed that way. anyway.

the opening theme i absolutely love. but yea, this series has everything--drama, action, magic, cuteness, nudity, fighting, a little bit of comedy here and there. so if you're okay with the detail problem then it's definitely worth a buy.

Last updated Monday, September 18 2006. Created Monday, September 18 2006.
Buy 8 8 8 7 8 7 AstroNerdBoy [series:901#436]

For the first three episodes of this series, I thought I had another Card Captor Sakura series on my hands. I'm not much of a fan for non-original titles, but fortunately this very mahou shoujo series turned out to be interesting and more than a little fun.

After four episodes, when the rival mahou shoujo arrived, the series begins to attempt to find some new ground. So it shakes the "monster of the week" syndrome and much of the forced "here's your naked lolicon mahou shoujo" transformation sequences. The show uses the quest of finding these jewel seeds to lightly examine Nanoha's semi-lonely existance (despite having two rich friends, a mother, a father, and an elder brother and sister). So we get a nice understanding of Nanoha's desire to befriend Fate-chan, the other mahou shoujo, with whom she feels a kinship.

Fate-chan's story takes the series to some darker places than I would have expected for a clearly shoujo market. I won't spoil anything, but the writers really work hard to make Fate-chan a 3-dimentional character and one more than a few girls will be able to relate to (sadly). For me, this is where the series was strongest.

I also liked the idea of technology and magic being mixed. While the idea is not new (Ultra Maniac had some), the battle staffs of the mages were really neat in that they were a computer unit which aided the user with their magic. Nanoha's staff (Raging Heart) was voiced by Donna Burke, and while not getting to say much beyond things like, "Stand by, ready", "Sealing mode", and the various powerful attacks, having them spoken in REAL English versus Engrish was a real treat. A similar story could be told for Fate-chan's staff (voiced by Kevin J. England, though Donna pulls off the computer voice a bit better in my opinion.

In addition to the early weakness of looking to much like CCS, the series suffers from the trap of having Nanoha quickly master Raging Heart and spells without being taught. While her family do have the gift of chi (mystical powers that ninja supposedly have), it really doesn't explain Nahoha's abilities, nor why Yuuno-kun never asked for his stuff back. Being a shoujo series, some other things like the parents allowing their third-grade girl go off on some unknown journey for unknown reasons is obviously a stretch, but because this IS a shoujo series, I have to let that pass. ^_^

One quick note on the art/animation. While it is nothing special, there is a scene in the series where a large object crashes into a large body of water, causing spash. One of the splashes that happen near the "camera" causes water spots to appear on the screen and even drip down as it would in real life. I thought this was a pretty nice touch.

Bottom line: despite some weakness in the start, this ended up being a rather enjoyable mahou shoujo title, one which I could sit with my nieces and watch again without being annoyed (in Japanese of course). As such, I give it a marginal "buy."

Additional: I'm told this was an otaku mahou shoujo series and not a shoujo one. This would explain all the naked lolicon henshin sequences. It doesn't explain other things, but this being an otaku series and not a shoujo one doesn't change my enjoyment factor, so no rating change.

Last updated Sunday, May 25 2008. Created Thursday, November 17 2005.

Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:901#967]

Last updated Sunday, October 05 2008. Created Thursday, June 02 2005.

Other Sites
Series Web Site

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org