Staappy’s Weblog

September 4, 2008

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series

Synopsis: Yuuno Scrya is a mage from a distant planet working to fix the problem he started when Jewel Seeds were accidentally spread around the world. In a failed attempt to seal a seed properly, he winds up on Earth in the form of a ferret. However, his battle with the seeds did not end upon reaching the Earth and he needs somebody else’s help to seal the seeds for him. Takamachi Nanoha hears his telepathic cries for help and comes to his rescue. When she is given a pearl known as the Raging Heart she is able to transform into Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and wield a staff to fend off the evil that lies within the Seeds. In order to help Yuuno complete his mission, she needs to seal all 21 Jewel Seeds away, but Fate may be playing a hand in the matter to prevent Nanoha’s goals. -Source: ANN

There are definitely better series out there, and although Nanoha doesn’t make my top ten lists, it does make a favourite. I can’t believe I’ve delayed downloading and watching it for the longest time. To have made two sequels and an upcoming movie means that this series is a must-watch for Nana, Yukarin, and Kana fans. I’ve put off this entry for a while now, and I haven’t updated in a long time because of it, so here it is!

Warning, image heavy.

First impressions of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha would be directed somewhere between ‘perverted loli-watcher’ and ‘Sailor Moon’. Since Nanoha and Fate are in third grade (9 years of age), it’s no surprise that one would get that impression if the kids strip naked and transform Sailor Moon style. The highlight for me was when Fate first appeared and I went, ‘zomg, Fate >>> Nanoha.’ Her barrier jacket is way cooler than Nanoha’s, and Baradiche >> Raising (Raging) Heart. And besides, Kevin J England provides the voice of Baradiche.

Fate Testarossa with her barrier jacket. Seiyuu: Mizuki Nana.

There wasn’t much to the first season of Nanoha, either than exploring the limits to Nanoha’s newfound magical powers, and the explanation of Fate’s life purpose and connection to Project F. Another favourite character would be Arf. Arf is the best familiar one can have, and she’s a pretty awesome one. Fate summoned a loyal wolf tsukaima all on her own, at such a young age too. I think if I ever get a dog puppy, it’s going to be named Arf (アルフ Arufu), or Alph, so people don’t have to go barking at it to get the dog’s attention. As Japanese goes, there is no rolling ‘r’ sound, so Arf = Alufu/Alph.

Fate and Arf. No, I’m not getting this wolf as a pet.

I actually prefer seeing Arf in her human form, rather than staring at the scary wolf. Which reminds me of a gahaku post j1m0ne did way back when I first became her blog reader; Kuwutani Natsuko (Arf) did a quick sketch of her character during one of the Lyrical Parties, and it was a masterpiece compared to the one Mizuki Nana (Fate, her master) drew.

Arf, by Kuwatani.

Nana’s attempt.

Of course, I’m getting a little biased here, where my love for Nana greatly exceeds that for oba-loli Tamura Yukari, who voiced the lead character, Takamachi Nanoha. Everything about her character shouted ‘Sailor Moon!‘ to me. Either than that, her insight and people relations skills pull off the impossible, reeling in difficult rivals to become the best of friends, such of Fate Testarossa, amongst others in the next season.

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Takamachi Nanoha. Seiyuu: Tamura Yukari.

IMO, Nanoha <<< Fate.

So, it wasn’t mentioned why this series was called Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Would someone like to explain the ‘lyrical’ part to me? Even after watching all three seasons, I didn’t get the connection. Though, I realized that the character names were based on automobiles during the second season. Fate, for example, was named after the Ferrari Testarossa. (^^;)

Synopsis: Several months after Nanoha first became a Magical Girl, she still is unable to personally meet with her new close friend, Fate Testarossa, who is being tried in the Space / Time Administration Bureau for her association in the Lost Logia case. They still communicate through video-mail and hope to see each other in-person once again. Their reunion is not a happy one, unfortunately, as several people who call themselves “Velka-Type Knights” battle Nanoha above the city. Their objective is to fill the pages of the Book of Darkness by stealing the magical power of anyone they can find. Nanoha and Fate must once again team up to stop their plans and save the world. -Source: ANN

The addition of the Wolkenritter (Cloud Knights), and their master, Yagami Hayate, made Nanoha A’s a good watch. The second season would be the one I liked the most out of the three. Hayate, keeper of the Book of Darkness, was voiced by Ueda Kana, and the leader of her Guardian Knights, Signum, is one hot character to boot.

She strikes fear into people’s hearts.

I’ll just do a quick intro to the Guardian Knights, by putting together a quick 5-minute Photoshop whip of the four without explaining too much into detail about their abilities; that’s for me to know, and for you to find out. Besides, that was the most appealing part of the show – to watch the fights in action and witnessing Signum’s their greatness. \(^o^)/

(L-R) Shamal, Signum, Zafira, Vita

Hayate’s evil consumed form owns all (Hayate > Signum >> Fate >>> Nanoha), but unfortunately, I couldn’t find any decent screencaps of her. To be honest, I wrote this entry last month (early Aug) and I haven’t touched the draft until now, so I don’t remember what else I wanted to include.

So this is where I bring in bias spam of my favourite scenes and characters from the second season.

Arf trying to convince Zafira to become a puppy.

The cutest scene ever, IMHO. Just look at Arf! Seiyuu: Kuwatani Natsuko.

The attractive ones are always the deadliest. Signum FTW!

I LOL’d hard for this scene.
(L-R): Yuzuki Ryoka, Shimizu Kaori, Ichijou Kazuya, Sanada Asami.

Ending the second season summary with a beat up picture of the main trio:

(L-R): Fate Testarossa, Hayate Yagami, Nanoha Takamachi.
Seiyuu: Mizuki Nana, Ueda Kana, Tamura Yukari.

I personally liked the second season most, but all three seasons had their merits. The first season made me love Fate, the second introduced Signum and Hayate, and the third season produced results of everyone’s hard work in the Time-Space Administration Bureau, leading their individual lives.

Synopsis: Set 10 years after the events in Lyrical Nanoha A’s, now three Rank S mages, Nanoha, Fate and Hayate are working for the Time-Space Administration Bureau. Following Hayate’s dream to make her own division that helps into all kind of disasters, including the Lost Logia cases, Fate and Nanoha including their own trainees, create Riot Force 6. Unfortunately not all can go as planned, because uncontrolled Lost Logia will get in the way of Riot Force 6 and is up to Nanoha, Fate and Hayate to deal with them while training their new trainees and helping with other tasks that arise along the way. -Source: ANN

This is where everything gets interesting – the now adolescent heroines lead their own lives as agents of the TSA Bureau. As the synopsis says, new trainees come in, and as noob as they are, they screw up and leave messes for their superiors to clean up, while they have their own issues to tackle. I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The newest of the trio, Lieutenant Colonel Hayate Yagami.
She ended on top as Commanding Officer of Riot Force 6.

Now Lindy Harlaown’s foster daughter, Investigator Fate T. Harlaown.
Commander of Riot Force 6’s Forward Lighting Squad.

Everyone in their respective uniforms (for I lack a Nanoha picture).
On the right, is the experienced combat instructor, Nanoha Takamachi.
Commander of the Forward Stars Squad of Riot Force 6.

A few weapon and uniform upgrades from the second season. You didn’t get to see Hayate in action much last season, so they’ve put her on the field for big missions this time around. Some reoccurring characters below:

Hayate casting an ice spell to put out a big fire.

Nanoha’s Divine Buster, at the ready.

Fate still owns Nanoha.

Signum, leader of the Wolkenritter; and Vita, the eternal child.

Vita; Shamal, medical doctor of Section 6; and Zafria, hand-to-hand combat specialist.

Reinforce Zwei, Hayate’s fully sentient unison device, and chief-of-staff.
She’s only 30cm small tall, and so annoyingly tempting to swat. Seiyuu: Yukana.

Riot Force 6 team and new characters:

New recruits: (L-R) Erio, Caro, Subaru, Tea.

Private Erio Mondail, guard wing of the Lightning Squad. Seiyuu: Inoue Marina.

Private Caro Ru Lushe summoning her guardian dragon; Lightning Squad’s fullback. Seiyuu: Takahashi Mikako.

Private Teanna Lanster, center guard of the Stars Squad. Seiyuu: Nakahara Mai.

Revy still owns even though she’s not part of this series. Sorry, Tea.

Private Subaru Nakajima, front attacker of Stars Squad. Seiyuu: Saito Chiwa.

Older sister to Subaru. Seiyuu: Kigawa Eriko.

The lieutenants (Nanoha and Fate), and second lieutenants (Vita and Signum) of the Stars and Lightning Squads, respectively.

The third season centers around the young, little Vivio.
Seiyuu: Mizuhashi Kaori.

It’s not uncommon for a seiyuu to voice more than one role in an anime. Heck, the main cast of Simoun all voiced cameo roles when their character wasn’t on screen. Unfortunately, Arf only appeared once or twice in the third season, but you can hear her again as Lutecia. She kind of reminds me of a chibi Rider from Fate/Stay Night, with the purple hair and all.

Agito, a unison device; and Lutecia, a powerful summoner.
Seiyuu: Kameoka Mami, Kuwatani Natsuko.

As there are many protagonists this time around, there are many antagonists to compensate; twelve combat cyborgs, one maniacal scientist, and three mercenaries on the side. Agito and Lutecia are two of the latter. Just because I want to put the picture up, here’s a SPOILER: Agito and Lutecia reverts to the good side, and Agito was left in the care of Signum, for her previous master believed Agito would be most compatible as Signum’s unison device. When Signum and Rein do a unison, Signum’s outfit turns lavender purple, instead of her usual pink, and her skills are enhanced by whatever powers Rein provides. On the other hand, when she pairs with Agito, Signum has a full armor change, and some deadly looking eyes.

Signum in unison with Agito. Check out those fiery wings.

Aside from the anime, the music was pretty good. Of course, I’m talking about Nana’s OP and insert songs. innocent starter (OP) and Take a Shot (insert) for the first Nanoha season; Eternal Blaze (OP) and Brave Pheonix (insert) for A’s. Ueda Kana’s insert Snow Rain was pretty good too; and Secret Ambition (OP1), Massive Wonders (OP2), and Pray (insert) for StrikerS. Nana’s music career skyrocketed from here, as I would believe, since the series spans 3 years. She even sang five of six Nanoha songs in her Live Formula concert.

I think it’s about time I wrapped up this entry. It took me a whole month to write because I’ve been putting it off for so long. I probably have tons of grammatical errors and whatnot. Anyway, thanks for reading!


1 Comment »

  1. hotness! KANA FTW!!! Hayate >>>>>> everyone else in the series *nods nods*

    My fave song was Massive Wonders, no doubt about it man… Massive Wonders >>>> all other Nanoha songs *nods nods*

    I actually really like “Beautiful Amulet” by loli-oba ERM i mean Yukarin…

    Comment by soulsrhapsody — September 4, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

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