Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha poster

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

Third grader Takamachi Nanoha stumbled upon an injured talking ferret after hearing his telepathic cries for help. The ferret turned out to be Yuuno, an archeologist and mage from another world who had accidentally scattered the dangerous Jewel Seeds throughout Earth. Without the strength to collect the Jewel Seeds, Yuuno had resumed a ferret form and needed someone else to take on the task for him. He gave a red jewel to Nanoha explaining to her with this she could transform and use magic to combat the monsters that threatened them due to the Jewel Seeds. But the monsters are the least of their worries, as Yuuno and Nanoha are not the only ones out to collect the Jewel Seeds.

Ranking 1325

User Count8703
Favorites Count78
Start Date3rd Oct 2004
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1325
Rating Rank2604
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older


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Magical girl anime is a genre I do notcare much for. It crosses a very fine line between childish andabsurd with its concepts, and the fact that it has a very specifictarget audience doesn't help much. So why am I here, reviewing a showthat I presumably should immediately dislike? Because I actually liked watchingMagical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Yeah, I said it. It does very little toset itself apart from the crowd, but there's something hard todescribe about Lyrical Nanoha that gives it a charm I find unique tothis kind of anime. Before I get ahead of myself, let me start at thebeginning. About a week or so before the time ofthis review, I was starved of anime to watch. The only thing I waswatching for this season was High School Fleet, because it wasmarketed to appeal to slice-of-life fans like myself. Since I hadcaught up with the aired episodes, I needed a new slice-of-life fix.I turned to a few anime that ended up either unappealing or curiouslyinteresting. In the midst of this search, I eavesdropped on aconversation about a show called Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. It wasan adult-oriented magical girl show with a huge emphasis on action.It didn't catch my attention at first, but it remained in the back ofmy mind for some time. A short time after, I was searchingthrough Hummingbird's recommendations list to satisfy myslice-of-life anime fix. Very few of the shows looked interestingenough, so I kept deleting and reloading my recommendations, hopingfor something truly unique. Then, out of nowhere, a recommendationfor Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's came up. I remembered theconversation from earlier, and wondered to myself, 'Would I trulylike a show like this?' I stumbled upon the prototype for the showsoon after, and I came to the conclusion that watching one episode ofthe first season wouldn't hurt. Well, here I am, so let's not waste anymore time! What did I think of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha? Lyrical Nanoha opens with inpresent-day (I assume around 2003) Japan, on an ordinary day in thelife of Nanoha Takamachi, an ordinary third-grader with an impossiblyperfect family. While walking home with her friends after school, shepicks up a telepathic call from a mage named Yuno, who has taken theform of a ferret despite his wounds. Nanoha takes him in and findshelp for him, but in the middle of the night she receives yet anothertelepathic call for help, and she rushes to answer it. She stumblesupon an unbelievable scene: a gelatinous monster attacking theferret. On top of that, the ferret somehow can talk! The ferret asksher to take the Raging Heart, a mystical jewel that taps into theinner potential of the user, turning him or her into a magus. Shefollows his instructions, and becomes Lyrical Nanoha, anexceptionally powerful mage with extraordinary magical potential.Upon defeating the monster, she is tasked by Yuno to collect theJewel Seeds, volatile magical artifacts that, if in the wrong hands,could spell doom for the entire multiverse. The story setup after that starts outpretty formulaic: character interaction/happy times,monster-of-the-week shows up, Nanoha kills it and takes theMacGuffin. I admit, if the story didn't shift so quickly to somethingless predictable it probably would have been pretty boring. In fact,the story as a whole is fairly interesting, and by episode five Icould tell I was engaged in what was going on. Unfortunately, I can'tcall it the greatest thing ever because of two major complaints. First, the dialogue. It's on the levelof a Saturday morning cartoon, meaning a lot of obvious things areconstantly restated to make sure kids get the point. It's incrediblyrepetitive for an adult, however. This extends a lot into my secondcomplaint, the character motivations. The general naivete from majorcharacters this young is to be expected, but they hardly make forengaging characters. Nanoha repeatedly and adamantly refuses to fightwhen Fate is concerned, which irritates me to no end. Fate'spersistence in serving her obviously-evil mother is equally annoying.What makes it worse is that almost every other character knowsbetter, and it frustrates me when Nanoha does something stupid to make those characters look like they don't know what they're talking about. Granted, it does pave the way for decently-paced characterdevelopment, particularly for Fate. However, the trip getting to thatresult felt like a huge hassle to sit through. I could immediately tell that thisanime had its origins from a visual novel when it came to theanimation. The character designs look like something from the late90's-early 2000's period of visual novels, with terrible haircuts anddeformed facial proportions. The animation itself is fairly good,with proper attention given to fight scenes, although there are a fewpoorly-drawn shots that remind me how low-budget this show actuallyis. The music is also decent, with a fewstandout tunes mixed between scenes. The soundtrack itself was a bittough to find, and a bit on the expensive side for what it is.Special mention goes to the show's opening and ending themes, whichare the best parts of the soundtrack but not by much. The OP,'Innocent Starter', is catchy enough to not get tiring every time anepisode starts. The ED, on the other hand, titled 'Little Wish~lyrical step~', I didn't pay much attention to until the end, butit's also pretty good. The OP and ED are sung by Fate and Nanoha'srespective voice actresses, and both are really good singers on topof being voice actresses. These songs are no different. Now, I was initially going to watchthis show in the original Japanese dub, but once I heard of theexistence of a dub, I jumped right on to it. Why? Because I have abelief that the sub is going to be good no matter what, so if a dubexists for a show, getting used to the dub voices first would help mebetter decide which is truly better to watch in. That being said, thedub of Lyrical Nanoha is, like the rest of the show, fairly good.There were a few problems with delivery and pronunciation that makeit seem a little unnatural at times, but I didn't mind them too much.Props to Cristina Vee as Nanoha and Marianne Miller as Yuno, as theyare mostly what make this dub so comfortable to listen to. Not thatthe other voice actors are bad, mind you; I just like their voicesthe most out of anyone else. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a hardshow to judge fairly because I've never watched something like thisbefore. I can tell it's trying so hard to be different despite thelimitations placed upon it, and for what they did, I can applaud themfor it. It's not the anime I was expecting, but more of the firststep towards the natural evolution to the series the adultdemographic enjoys. How I as a newcomer will take what comes next, Iawait to be surprised.

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