Anime Review: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

Anime Review: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

She was just an ordinary third grader, but then a small incident happened. And then she got naked.

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This is all that modern day anime consists of.

Soulless fanservice.

Casual Shinji:
This is all that modern day anime consists of.

Soulless fanservice.

I'd disagree with that in both this specific case and in a general matter, actually.

For all the first half of Nanoha is so standard paint-by-numbers magical girl cutesy, I actually enjoyed the series overall, mainly because the second starts taking it in a drastically different direction that continued in the sequels. Less "boo hoo I want to be a normal girl but have this duty!" and more "Whelp, there's bad-guys that need a good talking-to, time to blow them up with giant magical lasers."

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

CantFaketheFunk:

Casual Shinji:
This is all that modern day anime consists of.

Soulless fanservice.

I'd disagree with that in both this specific case and in a general matter, actually.

For all the first half of Nanoha is so standard paint-by-numbers magical girl cutesy, I actually enjoyed the series overall, mainly because the second starts taking it in a drastically different direction that continued in the sequels. Less "boo hoo I want to be a normal girl but have this duty!" and more "Whelp, there's bad-guys that need a good talking-to, time to blow them up with giant magical lasers."

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

I'm sure there are a fair amount of good shows out there still. But nothing stands out anymore. Where are the Nadia's, the Neon Genesis', the Cowboy Bebop's, the Serial Experiments Lain's, etc? Where are the big animated features like Akira, Ninja Scroll, Memories, Ghost in the Shell or even Metropolis? The late 90's were the golden age for Japanese animation, but since then the quality has fallen like a ship from heaven. Maybe it's me? Maybe I've grown out of touch with what the today's audience wants.

Casual Shinji:

CantFaketheFunk:

Casual Shinji:
This is all that modern day anime consists of.

Soulless fanservice.

I'd disagree with that in both this specific case and in a general matter, actually.

For all the first half of Nanoha is so standard paint-by-numbers magical girl cutesy, I actually enjoyed the series overall, mainly because the second starts taking it in a drastically different direction that continued in the sequels. Less "boo hoo I want to be a normal girl but have this duty!" and more "Whelp, there's bad-guys that need a good talking-to, time to blow them up with giant magical lasers."

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

I'm sure there are a fair amount of good shows out there still. But nothing stands out anymore. Where are the Nadia's, the Neon Genesis', the Cowboy Bebop's, the Serial Experiments Lain's, etc? Where are the big animated features like Akira, Ninja Scroll, Memories, Ghost in the Shell or even Metropolis? The late 90's were the golden age for Japanese animation, but since then the quality has fallen like a ship from heaven. Maybe it's me? Maybe I've grown out of touch with what the today's audience wants.

I think it's more to do with the stark contrast. back then Anime was the childish shit done by 4Kids and the rest done by big studios that left your eyes in awe. These days every anime is dubbed pretty darn good that it SEEMS like there are less true greats when there are infact more.

It's not that your out of touch it's just harder to find them.

CantFaketheFunk:

Casual Shinji:
This is all that modern day anime consists of.

Soulless fanservice.

I'd disagree with that in both this specific case and in a general matter, actually.

For all the first half of Nanoha is so standard paint-by-numbers magical girl cutesy, I actually enjoyed the series overall, mainly because the second starts taking it in a drastically different direction that continued in the sequels. Less "boo hoo I want to be a normal girl but have this duty!" and more "Whelp, there's bad-guys that need a good talking-to, time to blow them up with giant magical lasers."

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

Yeah Nanoha is /m/ (the Mecha board on 4Chan) along with Strike Witches and the other shows like it. Simply for character tropes and the fact the heroes main response to evil is "Shoot it in the face till it STOPS being evil"

CantFaketheFunk:

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

This. Especially in the second and third season. By the second season, their magical devices load magic bullet cartridges. The second season was localized but apparently not looking good for the third season.

You know, I never realized how fanservicey the first season was. Those transformation sequences are more or less ditched over time though, toned down to about once or twice per season. Looking back now, though, its easy to see the connection to the eroge it was based off.

Could have been worse though, this was their original plan for the series:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_RBghAfiW8

CantFaketheFunk:

I'd disagree with that in both this specific case and in a general matter, actually.

For all the first half of Nanoha is so standard paint-by-numbers magical girl cutesy, I actually enjoyed the series overall, mainly because the second starts taking it in a drastically different direction that continued in the sequels. Less "boo hoo I want to be a normal girl but have this duty!" and more "Whelp, there's bad-guys that need a good talking-to, time to blow them up with giant magical lasers."

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

I'm with the Funk on this one, though I will admit that I started fast forwarding through the transformation sequences in this first season. Despite the number of maho shoujo series I've watched, this was the first one that actually made me uncomfortable enough to hit the skip.

RollForInitiative:

CantFaketheFunk:

I'd disagree with that in both this specific case and in a general matter, actually.

For all the first half of Nanoha is so standard paint-by-numbers magical girl cutesy, I actually enjoyed the series overall, mainly because the second starts taking it in a drastically different direction that continued in the sequels. Less "boo hoo I want to be a normal girl but have this duty!" and more "Whelp, there's bad-guys that need a good talking-to, time to blow them up with giant magical lasers."

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

I'm with the Funk on this one, though I will admit that I started fast forwarding through the transformation sequences in this first season. Despite the number of maho shoujo series I've watched, this was the first one that actually made me uncomfortable enough to hit the skip.

I can definitely agree with you on that.

It was nice to see them effectively do away with the scenes in the last half / A's, for sure.

anyone who treats this as a normal mahou shoujo anime is mistaken
this isnt a show aimed at young female demographic which also happens to have an appeal towards the teenage males demographic
its specifically directed at the male demographic

even calling it a magical girl anime is not really doing it justice, as it presents it the wrong way
if anything, this show would fit better along side anime like shakugan no shana or bleach
despite almost all the characters being female, this anime is about as shounen as it gets with
and when viewed from THAT prospective, the show is actually quite nice
especially in the later seasons

All this talk about nude transformations reminds me of Moetan, pretty much a parody. Yes, it has the nude transformation sequences for its underage main characters but it also has their mascots (who are actually grand mages who got transformed and banished for sexually harassing little girls...) getting pretty damn horny over it...

Casual Shinji:

CantFaketheFunk:

Casual Shinji:
This is all that modern day anime consists of.

Soulless fanservice.

I'd disagree with that in both this specific case and in a general matter, actually.

For all the first half of Nanoha is so standard paint-by-numbers magical girl cutesy, I actually enjoyed the series overall, mainly because the second starts taking it in a drastically different direction that continued in the sequels. Less "boo hoo I want to be a normal girl but have this duty!" and more "Whelp, there's bad-guys that need a good talking-to, time to blow them up with giant magical lasers."

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

I'm sure there are a fair amount of good shows out there still. But nothing stands out anymore. Where are the Nadia's, the Neon Genesis', the Cowboy Bebop's, the Serial Experiments Lain's, etc? Where are the big animated features like Akira, Ninja Scroll, Memories, Ghost in the Shell or even Metropolis? The late 90's were the golden age for Japanese animation, but since then the quality has fallen like a ship from heaven. Maybe it's me? Maybe I've grown out of touch with what the today's audience wants.

Sturgeon's Law was originally applied to science fiction: "Ninety percent of everything is crud." Anime, like video games, television, film, or anything else, is no different.

Back in the bad old days, anime fans had to make due with third-generation VHS copies. Maybe, if you were lucky, you got a fan-sub made with Video Toaster or some other thousand-dollar cutting-edge technology. The quality of anime was subjectively viewed as better for two reasons:

(1) Only the better anime could get through this filtering process. Boring daily fare, or impenetrable dramas that wouldn't make too much sense to outsiders, didn't get widely copied.

(2) The rarity of the product artificially inflated the product's value. There was so little anime making it to the US, there wasn't as much to compare it too. Emotional investment couldn't be discounted - because, obviously if you were spending $50 and 100 man-hours to get a random episode of some kiddie show, it must be good!

These days, version-1 DVDs are freely available of almost anything, so there's more to choose from. Good thing you have us reviewers to watch it for you! :D

As for "where is the good anime?" ... I still can't recommend Welcome to the NHK enough, for any fan of cinema, much less anime. And I suppose I should make it clearer that I found xxxHolic to be a classy production of the "magical high school student" genre, full of self-confidence that's lacking from Nanoha.

CantFaketheFunk:

Casual Shinji:
This is all that modern day anime consists of.

Soulless fanservice.

I'd disagree with that in both this specific case and in a general matter, actually.

For all the first half of Nanoha is so standard paint-by-numbers magical girl cutesy, I actually enjoyed the series overall, mainly because the second starts taking it in a drastically different direction that continued in the sequels. Less "boo hoo I want to be a normal girl but have this duty!" and more "Whelp, there's bad-guys that need a good talking-to, time to blow them up with giant magical lasers."

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

I'm The Escapists resident Nanoha fan as you can tell by my avatar, and I quite agree with your assessment. It starts out rather bland, but it starts to improve when Fate is introduced, and by about episode 8 the awesomeness and character-driven plot sets in. The super robot influences also really help the series, and A's is a roller coaster ride of awesome.

Rodger:

Could have been worse though, this was their original plan for the series:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_RBghAfiW8

Oh thank zod that didn't happen, that would have excluded pretty much everything that made Nanoha awesome after the first few episodes.

CantFaketheFunk:
Less "boo hoo I want to be a normal girl but have this duty!" and more "Whelp, there's bad-guys that need a good talking-to, time to blow them up with giant magical lasers."

To be fair, Nanoha starts blowing things up with magical lasers in episode 3, and pretty much carries on doing so from there.

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

That's because it is. Nanoha's costume is designed to look like the RX-78-1 Gundam in a skirt. Fate is Gundam Deathscythe. Signum is Lamia Loveless (and even has the same voice). Subaru's Divine Buster is a frame for frame copy of GaoGaiGar's Broken Magnum. Listing all the references, super robot in general and Super Robot Wars in particular in MGLN would take all day...

Nanoha isn't a magical girl show. It's is a mecha show.

Those transformation sequences are more or less ditched over time though, toned down to about once or twice per season.

There are only four in the first season, which is a significant reduction from every damn episode because they fill a minute with reusable animation, like every other magical girl show, which will frequently do three or four such transformations in succession every single episode.

GloatingSwine:

It ends up feeling like a magical girl show that thinks it's a super robot show, bizarrely enough.

That's because it is. Nanoha's costume is designed to look like the RX-78-1 Gundam in a skirt. Fate is Gundam Deathscythe. Signum is Lamia Loveless (and even has the same voice). Subaru's Divine Buster is a frame for frame copy of GaoGaiGar's Broken Magnum. Listing all the references, super robot in general and Super Robot Wars in particular in MGLN would take all day...

Interestingly enough, they actually made an SRW-like game based on the Nanoha series. I forgot what it's called though; you can probably find some videos on YouTube or something.

 

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