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Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Thoughts
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Ever since the days of watching Sailor Moon I have loved magical girl shows, although to be fair the majority of efforts for them in recent years haven't exactly been to my tastes. Sailor Moon shall always remain the ultimate pinnacle of the genre in my eyes. However! When they aired I missed out on watching the first and second seasons of Nanoha (I've yet to watch the second, but I shall probably make a start on it soon). I've heard mixed things about Nanoha, and going into the show I was a little tentative at what to expect:- but throwing caution to the winds I began this thirteen episode adventure, of jewel seeds, talking ferrets, dog girls etc..

I'm going to pass on going into the plotline for Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Based on the fact that a lot of people have seen it and secondly based on the fact that it doesn't actually have much of a plot. Nanoha and Fate battle for jewel seeds, in the end they work together, drooling loli fans get a bit overexcited, the end. That about sums up the story. Nanoha and Fate working together (combined with some of the seemingly totally random monologues Nanoha gives throughout the TV series) is the grounds for many people to scream "yuri subtext!!!" and to be fair there is grounds for that. It's just personally that for me Fate and Nanoha are way to young and dull to even be vaguely interesting as a pairing even in a "aww its a cute crush" kind of way.

Other than being too young to be interesting, the other main reason I don't feel Fate and Nanoha work as a couple is they aren't particularly interesting characters in the first place, pretty much just pandering to loli or moe fans. Nanoha plays the "I'm happy and cheerful and always do my best!" cliche to the extreme while Fate goes in for the "I'm quiet, and slightly psychologically damaged" card. Neither of them are particularly interesting, and while I usually strongly dislike cat-girls, cat-boys and any kind of animal human hybrid I actually like Arf the dog-girl far more than the leads, she at least had a bit of character to her (her loyalty to Fate throughout was rather touching, even if it was presumably an artificial feeling of loyalty seeing as she was created for that purpose).

O.K, O.K. Enough of why I don't like Nanoha despite all it's faults I didn't think it was a truly awful show. It was nice and nostalgic to watch a proper magical girl show for the first time in a while with the usual cliche's that Sailor Moon had. It was refreshing, and that's the main reason I'm going to delve into series 2. Behind all it's faults, crap characters and predictable plot Nanoha is actually quite fun. The battles are good with lots of well paced fight scenes. The storyline while predictable at least had a fairly satisfying conclusion (something I feel more complex anime is increasingly failing at these days), which made a nice change and Nanoha even dropped her super happy act a few times in favour for a bit of angst. Angst is good. I read that series two is actually more superior (and darker) which means I shall hopefully like it more when I get around to watching it.

And there you have it, my brief thoughts on MSLN. And look I remembered to use my new scoring system!

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

Artwork 7
Music 6
Characters 5
Contents 6
Overall 6.5

posted by Mangaminx On Saturday, May 13, 2006  
  • On Saturday, 13 May, 2006, Blogger Anga said…

    I watched only two episodes from Nanoha's first season. It wasn't that interesting and i didn't like Nanoha as main character either. A's was a lot better although not as good as Happy seven tv manga in same season.

    My first magical girl show that hooked me to shoujo generally and same time to mahou shoujo too was Full moon wo sagashite. Since then, well you know the rest.

  • On Saturday, 13 May, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    I have actually yet to see Full Moon Wo Sagashite, I would quite like to though. I'm sure I shall look into it at some point. As everyone seems to say that A's is better than season 1 of Nanoha im quite looking forward to giving it a shot when I have the time.

  • On Saturday, 13 May, 2006, Anonymous codezeromind said…

    Well since you thought first season was somewhat ok, thats alot better than what other people thought. The second season is way much better and the plot is more interesting since there is more conflict. Pretty much to me the first season was only a foundation to set up the second season so that they dont have to waste time on explaining old stuff. Wait till u see second season

  • On Saturday, 13 May, 2006, Anonymous DrmChsr0 said…

    The second season is a lot better.

    I remember I had to force myself to watch through the first two episodes of the first season to get to the goods.

  • On Saturday, 13 May, 2006, Anonymous L-O-N said…

    I thought that the last 1/2 of the first season was just as good as any part of the second season. Nanoha is better than most magic girl show for the following reasons. The fighting choreography is better. Fights aren't just some filler in the middle with the character's signiture final attack that destroys the villain at the end of the battle. The plotline is darker. I don't know you will think about season 2, but I thought that Fate getting whipped by her mother was a pretty cruel thing and equal to any dark plotline of the second season. Also, the "sidekick" was actually useful and not unbearbly annoying(bonuses for not staying in an animal/cute form for the whole show). I also thought that Fate was an interesting character and Nanoha had a good dynamic with her.

  • On Saturday, 13 May, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Well with all the recommendations for season two, perhaps I'll watch it in sooner than I planned too. Thanks for the feedback on it.

    L-O-N - Fate being whipped by her mother was certainly a dark thing to include but the story as a whole did not feel that dark to me. I'll admit that it was nice for the sidekick/mascot characters of Nanoha and Fate to have human forms too, makes a refreshing difference.

  • On Sunday, 14 May, 2006, Anonymous kelly said…

    I'm probably in the minority but I liked season 1 a lot better than the 2nd one. It's true that the 2nd season had more of a plot so to speak but I loved the feel of the first season. Another was Nanoha/Fate, I loved them as a couple, what they had between them was bodering on romantic. In no way do I find them kiddish, they definitely behave as girls much older their years. In fact, in season 2 they actually act their age, a total reverse, probably thats why the lolicons prefer the 2nd season plus the inclusion of 2 more loli girl characters. In the 2nd season, fate/nanoha have all but nearly diminished as the focus is shifted on the new main characters. On the upside, there's a lot more new action scenes. Like wwhat someone said, nanoha is actually shounen disguised as shoujo. *waves flag for first season*

  • On Sunday, 14 May, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Kelly - Oh I definately thought Nanoha was more shounen than shoujo myself (and I do expect that to be more apparant in Season 2), but I tend to not bother myself that much with the labels a series gets (I mean most of my favourite series are labelled as shoujo, but overall I probably watch more shounen). It's good to hear a different opinion on season 2 though for sure, and I'll bare in mind your view too when I get round to watching it.

  • On Sunday, 14 May, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    Nye... Nanoha was okay, I guess. It's definitely different from your typical Mahou Shoujo series with the rather intense and sometimes brutal way the characters fight each other, especially when it comes to how Fate deals with things.

    Nanoha A's on the other hand... Me like. Very much indeed. The story was more exciting than the first season, probably due to the introduction of a few new characters.

    PS. Of course for me, the main reason I craved for every new episode of Nanoha A's was because of Signum. Shimizu Kaori voicing cool chicks = pure hawtness. I'm so glad I get to listen to her use that voice again as Akira in Sukuran Ni Gakki. Besides her, I lurve Arf. Leave it to Kuwatani Natsuko to make the characters sound smexxy -> Arf and of course, Yaya. ~^^~

  • On Sunday, 25 June, 2006, Blogger Fanha said…

    I have to agree that the second season was indeed much better than the first. Still, I did like the first for the more innocent way it was done. Nanoha and Fate are good lead characters with strong supporting characters like Yuuno and Arf. The second season introduced quite possibly my favorite character though: Signum. She was absolutely awesome to watch. The fight scenes are excellently choreographed. No punches are pulled at the last second like in a lot of shows. So definitely watch the second season. I wish they would make a Third. I could definitely go for more seasons as long as it stays this crisp and good.

  • On Monday, 10 July, 2006, Anonymous Zero Blitz said…

    I agree with everyone who said that A's is a major improvement upon the first season. Is A's just meant to be an unofficial name for the group that was working to stop the book of darkness or did I miss something?

    I'm glad to say that in A's, there are no big robots. ^^

    The plot is planned out so much better this time as we discover that the seemingly bad guys have a good reason for doing what they are.

    The ending for the first season really disappointed me (mainly the way there's no real final battle and she just falls to her death or w/e but you can tell they really put the effort in for the ending of A's. (Nowadays, I can't help but compare all endings to the worst ending in existence (in my opinion), Mai HiME's. It just gives you an idea of how many things could have been done wrong. ^^)

    The action scenes in A's are all just so brilliant and they always bring in a new weapon mode / ability and various ways to use them in order to keep the battles fresh and interesting. I'd say the animation is quite a bit better than the first series and it just makes the battles all the more better. I kind of wish we could have seen how Chrono was supposed to be so amazing...

    One thing that irritated me slightly throughout both was that it seemed like the only reason it's named after Nanoha is because she's has the most appropriate point of view for the story. There's nothing that really defines her specifically. After she beats Fate in that one battle, there's nothing that ever suggests she's stronger than her after that. It's likely the other way around seeing as Nanoha keeps getting matched up against the little hammer girl (Vita who's annoying...) of the other group while Fate gets matched up against the other teams sword-wielding leader, Signum. (who is awesome ^^) Also, Nanoha shows us no signs of any leader-ship skills or anything else except she's a long range fighter but that isn't really something that makes you a main character. And, things just don't happen the way they did in the first season. Why would a nine-eleven year old's parents allow her to go off and stay with people they've never met before for an unknown time just because there was 'something she needed to do'.

    Don't be put off because of the things I just said and what I say next as pretty much everything else about A's is really good, I'm just better at picking faults with things. ^^




    Anyway, a few things that just came to my mind were how painfully obvious it was that the Lt. guy had a hidden agenda from that one look from the first meeting and I don't get why the twins set Nanoha and Fate up like that (even expecting them to die by that "how long do you think they'll last?" comment) when it wasn't actually necessary to do what they had to do (they could have stayed in their alternate forms and fled once the transformations had occurred to produce the same effect) and they seemed to like them... plus they came across as very evil for just completing their mission. And why did Hayate believe Nanoha and Fate so easily after she got out? It's not as if they - or any of the guardians themselves - gave any explanation as to the reason it looked like they (Nanoha-Fate)had been the ones who killed the guardians.

    I kind of wish they didn't do the view of what it would be like 6 years later as it restricts the series to either no sequel at all or continuing from that (or a later) point. =/

    Can't think of anything else, so, end of comment. :p

  • On Saturday, 27 September, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    nanoha has no personality whatsoever (loving everyone you see isn't a relationship)all three shows never answers the question; What's her life outside of magic?

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