A random person reviews Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

A random person

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As those who know what my avatar is (probably Tropers) have figured out, I'm a Nanoha fan. So, for the sake of writing a review and because I have too much free time, I will now review the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. And a warning: this review contains images with (supposedly) witty captions that only make sense if you read, and is also very, very long. Make sure your party is fully equipped and healed before you enter into yon text dungeon.

The show starts off with your title character Nanoha, living with her oddly conflict free family that consists of her parents who act like newlyweds (as she comments) and her older sibling expies of the main characters from Triangle Heart 3, which this anime spun-off from and overtook as indicated by your not knowing about it. She goes to her rather peaceful, also conflict free school with her friends Alisa and Suzuka. Walking home with them they take a short-cut and find a ferret which Nanoha decides to keep, probably because it's cute and we all know Japanese girls are obsessed with cute things.


Don't worry about the others, that girl in the center is all who matters.

After learning that the ferret can communicate with Nanoha, one of the macguffins (oops, forgot to mention those) creates a completely generic monster of the week. The ferret tells her how to use the necklace that predictably becomes her weapon, she has an awkward transformation sequence (make sure Chris Hanson isn't in the room), and she fumbles around yet succeeds in defeating the monster of the week like any good magic-power-centric anime protagonist would. As it turns out, she has to collect more macguffins like the one she just collected and sets out, while remaining home, to do so. Now doesn't this sound suspiciously familiar and cliche?


What you're probably thinking of at this point.

Why yes it does, and as you'd expect it's not that good at first. So you're probably asking, "Why, A random person, do you like such a trite, cliched show that you acknowledge is crap?" Well the answer to that oddly formally framed question, good sir, is Fate, or more accurately as you guessed by the capitalization, a girl named Fate. She appears in episode 4 as a badass magical girl dressed in black, since black (and purple, for that matter) is the designated color of villains, rivals, and antiheroes. Her introduction causes the plot to no longer be the boring monster of the week macguffin-hunting fest you've seen a million times and instead an interesting, character-driven story between Nanoha and Fate, with some macguffin hunting present to move the plot along.


The cute face of plot. Don't you just wanna give her a hug?

Since I can't think of anymore funny things to say about the plot I'll just get to the review part of this wall-o'-text. First of all, this is not a gateway series for anime. If you hate typical anime art styles you won't like the art of this, or a lot of anime for that matter. Hell, I wouldn't really recommend this series to you unless you can pass what I call the Lucky Star test. The series also has some lolicon, hence the parenthesized warning about Chris Hanson far above if you actually bothered to read this review and didn't just skim and look at the pretty pictures. And the series is absolutely troperiffic with anime tropes, such as magical girl powers, space ships, some fanservice, and other things trolls like to ***** about here.


The Lucky Star test: if you like or at least are indifferent to this image, you pass. If you feel the need to rage because of it, you fail.

So basically, if you're one of those guys who thinks all anime is for "fags" (or if you still consider that a legitimate insult) and says "all of it" on threads about what anime you hate, or worse spews crap about how it's all loli hentai and that anime fans are pathetic weeaboos who need to get out of their mother's basement, this show is not for you. And if you are one of those guys, report immediately to be beaten over the head with the Cowboy Bebop boxset and the works of Studio Ghibli; you'll either realize that not all anime is shit and has a good 10% in accordance with Sturgeons Law, or you'll die of even more brain damage. Either way, the world and the internet are better off. An elegant solution, don't you think?

I cannot find a picture to give a witty caption to for this. Instead, imagine a picture that can be summarized as "either way, I win."

Since I forgot to mention the positives since negatives are so much funnier, I'll do it now. The magical girl fights are, unlike series along the lines of Sailor Moon, actually good. It seems taking strong inspiration from (read: ripping off) Gundam in the staff and character designs was a good decision, as the staffs look cool and the characters have superior costume design, being both like magical girls and yet taking said Gundam inspirations, making them look awesome instead of just extremely flamboyant (glares at CLAMP) and/or stripperiffic (but Fate's outfit is pretty revealing). More importantly, the plot is character driven instead of your typical "stop the evil dude and find the macguffin" thing, and thus any character that is introduced meets a decent quota of likability and making you give a crap, so no real scrappy's here. The animation is well done, with a good art style if you're not repulsed by cute anime art styles. And of course, the music is great, fitting the situations in the show and with an absolutely kickass song in the climax, not to mention the opening.

So overall, this is an anime I recommend. It's not that good for the first 5 episodes, but it gets better with 6 and really gets good around 8. With the praises I gave to the series it has the three important things in any story: good plot, interesting characters, and a fitting surrounding and design for the overall events and characters, like metaphysics, technology, setting, and other things. Add in good art and music, and you've got yourself a good anime series. And yes, I really do like this show, it's just much funnier to snark and make fun of things, since let's be honest, this review stopped being remotely funny when I started praising the series. I'll end this by saying if people like this, I might do more.
 

A random person

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A random person said:
So basically, if you're one of those guys who thinks all anime is for "fags" (or if you still consider that a legitimate insult) and says "all of it" on threads about what anime you hate, or worse spews crap about how it's all loli hentai and that anime fans are pathetic weeaboos who need to get out of their mother's basement, this show is not for you.
Methinks that people who do that would just post TL;DR.

Also, you appear to have posted this in off-topic. You might want to get a mod to move it.
 

A random person

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3.141592654 said:
A random person said:
So basically, if you're one of those guys who thinks all anime is for "fags" (or if you still consider that a legitimate insult) and says "all of it" on threads about what anime you hate, or worse spews crap about how it's all loli hentai and that anime fans are pathetic weeaboos who need to get out of their mother's basement, this show is not for you.
Methinks that people who do that would just post TL;DR.

Also, you appear to have posted this in off-topic. You might want to get a mod to move it.
To where? I though off-topic was the place for user reviews. And how do I get a mod to move it?
 

A random person

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A random person said:
To where? I though off-topic was the place for user reviews. And how do I get a mod to move it?
To the [a href="http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/index/326"]User Reviews Forum[/a] (it appears just under Gaming Discussion).
I recommend sending one a polite PM requesting it be moved there.
 

NeutralDrow

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Having already watched and loved the first season, I pretty much agree. Including the semi-unrelated rant at the end.

A random person said:
3.141592654 said:
A random person said:
So basically, if you're one of those guys who thinks all anime is for "fags" (or if you still consider that a legitimate insult) and says "all of it" on threads about what anime you hate, or worse spews crap about how it's all loli hentai and that anime fans are pathetic weeaboos who need to get out of their mother's basement, this show is not for you.
Methinks that people who do that would just post TL;DR.

Also, you appear to have posted this in off-topic. You might want to get a mod to move it.
To where? I though off-topic was the place for user reviews. And how do I get a mod to move it?
There's actually a User Reviews forum. I'm not sure about the second thing (ask them, I guess, though which one, I don't know).
 

karp250

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this is a good first try keep it up if you enjoyed making it they will improve with practice
 

A random person

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NeutralDrow said:
Having already watched and loved the first season, I pretty much agree. Including the semi-unrelated rant at the end.

A random person said:
3.141592654 said:
A random person said:
So basically, if you're one of those guys who thinks all anime is for "fags" (or if you still consider that a legitimate insult) and says "all of it" on threads about what anime you hate, or worse spews crap about how it's all loli hentai and that anime fans are pathetic weeaboos who need to get out of their mother's basement, this show is not for you.
Methinks that people who do that would just post TL;DR.

Also, you appear to have posted this in off-topic. You might want to get a mod to move it.
To where? I though off-topic was the place for user reviews. And how do I get a mod to move it?
There's actually a User Reviews forum. I'm not sure about the second thing (ask them, I guess, though which one, I don't know).
That unrelated rant thing at the end was just the quality of writing going down with my praising it instead of being a snarky bastard, unless you're actually talking about a higher paragraph, which is just me being snarky because that's the funniest and most entertaining thing I could do with my inferior writing skills.

As for moving it, I politely asked Susan to help since she was the first mod I came across. I thought user reviews was just for games since it was under gaming discussion.
 

A random person

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A random person said:
624 said:
I'm also sorry but everyone in the first picture you posted looks exactly the fucking same...
I'd agree with you. The father and the son look practically identical.
I mean everyone (besides the eye colour and hairstyles (which are also very similar...)).
 

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karp250 said:
this is a good first try keep it up if you enjoyed making it they will improve with practice
Thanks for the encouragement, and I'll probably do it with another anime. I guess my biggest flaw here was that when I started giving praise it went down substantially in quality, since snark is always more amusing and I can't really make praise funny.
 

NeutralDrow

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A random person said:
NeutralDrow said:
Having already watched and loved the first season, I pretty much agree. Including the semi-unrelated rant at the end.

A random person said:
3.141592654 said:
A random person said:
So basically, if you're one of those guys who thinks all anime is for "fags" (or if you still consider that a legitimate insult) and says "all of it" on threads about what anime you hate, or worse spews crap about how it's all loli hentai and that anime fans are pathetic weeaboos who need to get out of their mother's basement, this show is not for you.
Methinks that people who do that would just post TL;DR.

Also, you appear to have posted this in off-topic. You might want to get a mod to move it.
To where? I though off-topic was the place for user reviews. And how do I get a mod to move it?
There's actually a User Reviews forum. I'm not sure about the second thing (ask them, I guess, though which one, I don't know).
That unrelated rant thing at the end was just the quality of writing going down with my praising it instead of being a snarky bastard, unless you're actually talking about a higher paragraph, which is just me being snarky because that's the funniest and most entertaining thing I could do with my inferior writing skills.
I can sympathize. I'm writing a Tsukihime review, myself...and I haven't finished it after two weeks. We seem to approach the same problem from opposite sides.

As for moving it, I politely asked Susan to help since she was the first mod I came across. I thought user reviews was just for games since it was under gaming discussion.
Ah. So's Off-Topic Discussion, if you think about it! ^_^
 

Xanadeas

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624 said:
I'm also sorry but everyone in the first picture you posted looks exactly the fucking same...
That's because they're related.

OT: I saw a bit of this anime... couldn't stand watching it for more than four episodes.
 

A random person

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NeutralDrow said:
A random person said:
NeutralDrow said:
Having already watched and loved the first season, I pretty much agree. Including the semi-unrelated rant at the end.

A random person said:
3.141592654 said:
A random person said:
So basically, if you're one of those guys who thinks all anime is for "fags" (or if you still consider that a legitimate insult) and says "all of it" on threads about what anime you hate, or worse spews crap about how it's all loli hentai and that anime fans are pathetic weeaboos who need to get out of their mother's basement, this show is not for you.
Methinks that people who do that would just post TL;DR.

Also, you appear to have posted this in off-topic. You might want to get a mod to move it.
To where? I though off-topic was the place for user reviews. And how do I get a mod to move it?
There's actually a User Reviews forum. I'm not sure about the second thing (ask them, I guess, though which one, I don't know).
That unrelated rant thing at the end was just the quality of writing going down with my praising it instead of being a snarky bastard, unless you're actually talking about a higher paragraph, which is just me being snarky because that's the funniest and most entertaining thing I could do with my inferior writing skills.
I can sympathize. I'm writing a Tsukihime review, myself...and I haven't finished it after two weeks. We seem to approach the same problem from opposite sides.
Unless I misinterpreted what you said, it seems you can make praise into good writing, which is a valuable gift indeed. Especially from my perspective, since I have the same attitude Yahtzee has that liking something isn't really funny, only he can pull it off when he does.

As for moving it, I politely asked Susan to help since she was the first mod I came across. I thought user reviews was just for games since it was under gaming discussion.
Ah. So's Off-Topic Discussion, if you think about it! ^_^
I see what you did there.
 

A random person

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Xanadeas said:
624 said:
I'm also sorry but everyone in the first picture you posted looks exactly the fucking same...
That's because they're related.

OT: I saw a bit of this anime... couldn't stand watching it for more than four episodes.
The end of my review said it gets better later in the series, but I don't blame you since I'll admit that it's not an inviting wall of text. And the only reason I kept watching was because TV Tropes constantly insisted that it's great, motivating me to see the later and better episodes.
 

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wordsmith said:
A random person said:
SAKURA!!!

*completely misses the point of the review*

CCS rocks :D
I don't actually hate it, I just know it's a show about collecting things (it's called "Cardcaptor Sakura") and thought it was the best picture for that space between paragraphs.
 

NeutralDrow

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A random person said:
NeutralDrow said:
A random person said:
NeutralDrow said:
Having already watched and loved the first season, I pretty much agree. Including the semi-unrelated rant at the end.

A random person said:
3.141592654 said:
A random person said:
So basically, if you're one of those guys who thinks all anime is for "fags" (or if you still consider that a legitimate insult) and says "all of it" on threads about what anime you hate, or worse spews crap about how it's all loli hentai and that anime fans are pathetic weeaboos who need to get out of their mother's basement, this show is not for you.
Methinks that people who do that would just post TL;DR.

Also, you appear to have posted this in off-topic. You might want to get a mod to move it.
To where? I though off-topic was the place for user reviews. And how do I get a mod to move it?
There's actually a User Reviews forum. I'm not sure about the second thing (ask them, I guess, though which one, I don't know).
That unrelated rant thing at the end was just the quality of writing going down with my praising it instead of being a snarky bastard, unless you're actually talking about a higher paragraph, which is just me being snarky because that's the funniest and most entertaining thing I could do with my inferior writing skills.
I can sympathize. I'm writing a Tsukihime review, myself...and I haven't finished it after two weeks. We seem to approach the same problem from opposite sides.
Unless I misinterpreted what you said, it seems you can make praise into good writing, which is a valuable gift indeed. Especially from my perspective, since I have the same attitude Yahtzee has that liking something isn't really funny, only he can pull it off when he does.
And I am extremely jealous of that ability, since I have to restrain myself from praising the game too much.

...but mostly it's taking me so incredibly long because I'm being too much of a perfectionist (and I'm lazy, besides).
 

A random person

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NeutralDrow said:
A random person said:
NeutralDrow said:
A random person said:
NeutralDrow said:
Having already watched and loved the first season, I pretty much agree. Including the semi-unrelated rant at the end.

A random person said:
3.141592654 said:
A random person said:
So basically, if you're one of those guys who thinks all anime is for "fags" (or if you still consider that a legitimate insult) and says "all of it" on threads about what anime you hate, or worse spews crap about how it's all loli hentai and that anime fans are pathetic weeaboos who need to get out of their mother's basement, this show is not for you.
Methinks that people who do that would just post TL;DR.

Also, you appear to have posted this in off-topic. You might want to get a mod to move it.
To where? I though off-topic was the place for user reviews. And how do I get a mod to move it?
There's actually a User Reviews forum. I'm not sure about the second thing (ask them, I guess, though which one, I don't know).
That unrelated rant thing at the end was just the quality of writing going down with my praising it instead of being a snarky bastard, unless you're actually talking about a higher paragraph, which is just me being snarky because that's the funniest and most entertaining thing I could do with my inferior writing skills.
I can sympathize. I'm writing a Tsukihime review, myself...and I haven't finished it after two weeks. We seem to approach the same problem from opposite sides.
Unless I misinterpreted what you said, it seems you can make praise into good writing, which is a valuable gift indeed. Especially from my perspective, since I have the same attitude Yahtzee has that liking something isn't really funny, only he can pull it off when he does.
And I am extremely jealous of that ability, since I have to restrain myself from praising the game too much.

...but mostly it's taking me so incredibly long because I'm being too much of a perfectionist (and I'm lazy, besides).
I understand that. I tried writing a youth rights thing (fun fact: I started life here on The Escapist prompted by a rash of teen bashing threads) and just made an introduction and a not that good section on suffrage. Maybe I'll try again someday when I can write a good essay, though part of the problem is that I wasn't snarky and thus was overly earnest and boring.