Thursday, 22 March 2012

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Anime Review

Season 1 of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha TV series. This season makes way for the overall much better S2 and S3.

Loli Magical girls. Nothing new, but fantastically played!

This is a general overview of the plot.

Third grader Takamichi 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 taken the form of a ferret 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.

There are multiple side characters in the series, but noted are the three main ones whom the anime revolves around.

Takamachi Nanoha :  Nanoha Takamachi is a sweet if naive third-grader. However she has always as though her life is lacking in something, arguably because she thinks everyone around her has someone they deem special in their lives, while she feels she has yet to find this someone. Nanoha ends up finding an injured ferret, Yuuno Scrya, who she promises to help with finding all the Jewel Seeds. Their task gets harder when they meet Testarossa Fate, who is after the Jewel Seeds as well. She has very small character development, which is a given when she is an open book character in S1.

Testarossa Fate: Fate is a mage from the Garden of Time, who is sent to collect Jewel Seeds, which puts her at odds with her rival, Nanoha Takamachi. She is aided on her quest by an animal familiar, a mature dog-woman named Arf. Fate is a very serious and strong-willed person. At first, she was rather cold to Nanoha, but starts to show her kind and protective side after realizing how much Nanoha has reached out to her. Learning of her own origins has led her to question herself, and at times wonder about her own worth. This however ends up changing as you get into seasons 2 and 3.She's received the most character development in S1. She's named after Ferrari Testarossa. I'd like to be named after a car too. 

Yuuno Scrya:  A mage and archaeologist at the age of nine, he comes from Mid-Childa in search of the Jewel Seeds and becomes Nanoha Takamachi's partner. He is also a shapeshifter, turning into a ferret, and is thus often mistaken for Nanoha's familiar and serves the same function. He was the original owner of Raising Heart.

Protagonist of the series.

Protagonist's Ferret partner.
Rival's pet familiar.


Well, truth be told, given that I've seen all three seasons, this one was the most disappointing. It's not to say it's not good. It's just that the other two have a much greater impact and a much stronger story, with more character development. This is a great anime as an opening for the other two seasons. It has a good story, some very powerful scenes, and fantastic art, along with the music and the exceptional voice acting. I would have given it a 10/10 if it were not for the lack of decent character development, as the only characters who had a significant amount of development were Fate and Arf, while Nanoha only gets the proper development in S3. Overall, it's a great anime, that is the starting point for even greater seasons. 9/10.

I will review the remaining two seasons sometime soon!

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