English: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st
Japanese: 魔法少女リリカルなのは The MOVIE 1st
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 23, 2010
2 hr. 10 min.
R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.111 (scored by 8200 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe movie will be based on the storyline in season 1 but will have new battle animation and a new transformation sequence.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: Movie 1st the Comics
Alternative version: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
Sequel: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A's
Characters & Voice Actors
For a long time I avoided the mahou shoujo genre of anime like the plague, until a friend recommended the series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. After that, my perception of "magical girls" changed completely, and for the first time I realised the potential of the genre. Nanoha was like no other anime of its type, combining shounen action with a rather dark storyline, all packaged in a "cute" anime (complete with small fluffy sidekick).
It's unfortunate then, that the stereotypical mahou shoujo anime still reigns supreme.
The rather strangely titled Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st (simply calling it Nanoha: The Movie would have sufficed as there's only one Nanoha in anime as far as I'm aware - feel free to correct me on this point though), is, as many anime fans may already know, about 9 year old Takamichi Nanoha, who answers a ferret's cry for help, obtains an intelligent device named Raising Heart (or Raging Heart, I'm still not sure which is correct), and becomes a magical girl tasked with finding "Jewel Seeds".
Cue the twinkly effects and soppy romance? Hell no! This is Nanoha, and she'd kick Sailor Moon's arse from here to the next dimension.
As far as the story goes, the movie is nothing more than a condensed retelling of the first series. Now some have tried to claim that the movie is a parallel history rather than a straightforward rehash (I'm looking at you Tsuzuki Masaki), however the differences between the two are very small indeed. While the movie takes liberties in an effort to condense information, the content is still pretty much the same (the major points anyway), so it puzzles me how anyone could consider this an alternative take on the original series.
Which brings me to a major problem I had with the movie. The plot flows rather nicely throughout the film, and the story has been compacted to a pretty good degree, however sacrifices have been made in order to accomodate the shortening of a 13 episode series into just over 2 hours. The biggest problem with the movie is that it has lost much of the charm the original series had, something which affects the characters in a big way. Granted there's more focus on the action, but one of the reasons why the whole Nanoha franchise works is because we see her grow from being a young, naive girl into the Ace of Aces, and much of that growth is missing from the movie.
Here's what I mean. Part of what I liked about the original Nanoha series was seeing how she came to terms with her new role and how it affected her relationship with her family and friends. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't have the time to go into this kind of detail so much of this is missing, and the upshot of this is that many of Nanoha's later actions, her fights with Fate and such, don't really have the same level of justification that they did in the series. The movie is nothing more than action for the sake of action, and the whole "alternate history" concept is only really noticable in a few small scenes..
But it's still enjoyable nonetheless :)
As for the effect of the shortened plot on the other characters, while the original series made some effort to round out certain individuals, the movie does nothing of the sort. Granted this is because of time constraints, however one can't help but wonder how fans of the series will take this distinct lack of characterisation and development, although in fairness to the movie, the viewer does get a good idea of Fate's motivations.
One thing that I did like is the fact that the cast from the original series and it's sequels have reprised their roles here, and their familiarity with the characters is telling as the performances are very good throughout. The only real downside to the acting is that there aren't too many opportunities for the seiyuu to display their talents because of the nature of the movie (i.e. it's far more action oriented), which limits their performances to a degree. As for the sound, the effects are exceptional throughout, especially during the combat sequences, while the music is very good not only in the scope of tracks, but also in their choregraphy.
In terms of looks, the movie is very clearly a reflection of the first series, and the characters and settings will be very familiar to those who have watched the original. The only real differences between the movie and the series are that the animation is, on the whole, better in the new version, and the action sequences are much more exciting now than they were before. Granted there are some minor visual alterations between the two, however these are nothing more than cosmetic changes to facilitate the belief that this is an "alternate history".
Now, did I enjoy the movie? Damn right I did. While I may not be a diehard fan of the franchise, Nanoha really did change my opinion of mahou shoujo, and while I may seem critical of the flaws in the film, that doesn't mean I didn't like it. The movie is very much an action based affair, and while this is an enjoyable romp in the realm of Nanoha, in all honesty I would much prefer to watch the original series. While the movie is a great way to while away a couple of hours, there is a distinct lack of character interaction that was part of the charm of the original series.
I doubt whether fans of the Nanoha franchise will find this a bad film as it enompasses a good deal of the plot from the original series. That said, while I enjoyed the movie a lot, there really is no competition as I much prefer the series. This isn't a bad film, not at all. It simply lacks some of the things that I liked about the original, and the fact that this is being pushed as an "alternate history" doesn't help matters.
In truth, while Nanoha: The Movie (see how much easier that is?), may be good, it's not the re-envisioning I expected or hoped for. The film could have been so much more if writer Tsuzuki Masaki, and director Kusakawa Keizou, had decided to follow one route only - either a complete alternate history, or a condensed retelling of the original series.
That said, this is a good action movie that suitably pays homage to the original, and while it can't really compare to the series in terms of depth, it will serve as a great introduction for new viewers who, like me, simply haven't realised just how good a mahou shoujo anime can be if done right. read more
Having just came back from watching Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st at a movie theater and feeling very inspired, I felt like writing a review for it.
First off, as any Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha fan can tell by the title alone, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st is basically a recap of the first season. Things like reused elements to keep the whole feel of the series coherent, summarized version of the story to stay on track with the original, and on occasions seemingly reused portions from the original series... all of these are to be expected I guess. I'm pretty sure the creator(s) were aware of this, so in order to make such a recap interesting, they would have to make slight alternations and focuses to the storyline, put emphasis on the highlights or important parts from the original, subtract what is not extremely beneficial to give the intended feel or express the intended message, and add some stuff unavailable in the original series. Of course, I think keeping on track with the original is very important, yet it's easy to make it feel repetitive. So, the challenge for the creator(s) was how to make the movie feel different while still remaining loyal to the original. That said, I think the creator(s) did a pretty good job with most of it.
STORY - 9/10
A smooth flow from beginning to end, even though it was a combination of seemingly reused scenes accompanied with new stuff. The basic structure of the beginning and ending is pretty much the same as the original series, with Nanoha encountering Yuuno and becoming a Mahou Shoujo in the process, eventually leading to the emotional and inspiring scene at the end with Fate. However, the middle portion of the story was altered somewhat. In the original series, you get to see more of Nanoha and her life, while in the movie you get more emphasis on explaining Fate and Precia's situation which leads to a deeper understanding of the overall story if you have watched the original series before. I felt that the different perspective was definitely a nice touch, because in the original series it was easy to "get the logic" but not necessarily the "understanding", whereas in the movie it was easier to "understand" because you just get to know a lot more about Precia and Fate's past, with a few touch-ups like how Fate became the skilled Mahou Shoujo that she is and how Precia became the woman that she is because of loving her daughter so much.
Along with more of Fate's side of the story, there were also a lot more (or in a sense, an abundance of) showdowns between Nanoha and Fate. This was one thing that I didn't mind but was also questioning. With intense battles, I think it's also a good thing to have some "quiet times", such that the audience can refresh instead of possibly starting to falter from being overloaded by the intensiveness thus possibly degrading the quality of a few of the battles. Thus I wondered if any of the battles can be taken out, and my conclusion was that ever single battle felt necessary. Through each battle, Nanoha gets her message to Fate little by little. You can't just have Nanoha finally realizing Fate's situation in a mere 2~3 battles. I think the amount of battles put into the movie was probably the ideal solution, but I suppose the fact that everything felt a little too compacted is inevitable in a movie that tries to compress a 13 episode series into a mere 2 hours, especially if more new scenes are added to it. The creator(s) did a very good job in my opinion, but the challenge was probably just too difficult to overcome completely.
ART - 10/10
I don't think there was anything to complain about the art. My view of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series is that it's a cute series in general, and I think the character design, background, color choice, etc... all reflected that very well. It remained pretty much the same as the original series anyways. The magic battles were also magnificent, being very flashy and elegant, as well as powerful both visually and in the impressionistic sense; The shaking of the screen, details of the spinning magic circles, detailed animation of the weapon assembling and form changes, they were all well done, perhaps a slight level up compared to the original series. If you pay enough attention, you will also notice that both Raging Heart and Bardiche was slightly redesigned to make them both look a little more epic but still look very much like Raging Heart and Bardiche. There were redesigns with Nanoha's and Fate's battle costumes as well, though it might not be so obvious to notice for Fate if you've never studied her costume design (not like the difference of Nanoha's costume is that easy to spot either). Again, nothing to complain about, and the extra touches didn't feel out of place.
SOUND - 10/10
I never disliked any of the Theme Songs or OSTs used in any of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series, so there was nothing to complain about this either. I'm sure some people might want to hear at least a few new soundtracks (unfortunately I couldn't tell if there were because there were some retarded anime fans that liked to yell or make idiotic comments while I was watching the movie), but I think more so than that, it's important to make sure every piece fills the puzzle nicely. I would of course actually be glad to hear some new soundtracks as well, but in a sense I'm just plentifully happy with refreshing my memory of the series with the usual soundtracks. The only specific flaw for me was when Arf marched towards Precia with a rage. The sound effect made it appear as though Arf was wearing iron boots. o_0 But, it was so minor I just decided to overlook it.
CHARACTER - 9/10
There's nothing new on Nanoha's side, but as said before there's a lot more emphasis, therefore character development, on Fate's side of the story. In a sense I was happy about this, yet in a sense I was somewhat disappointed. Nanoha is obviously the main character, so logically speaking it would be best to give her the most depth in the story. However, like said before it's probably a better idea to change the focus of the movie to make it not look just like a total recap of the original series. I suppose for people who have watched the original series before, the shift in emphasis would be beneficial. On the flip side, for people watching the movie for the first time, they might feel Nanoha a bit lacking in quality when compared to Fate, asides from Nanoha living up to her reputation of a "Magical Cannon Girl" as named by fans of the series. Nonetheless, I think character development on Fate's side was well done. You get a few more flashbacks of her or Precia's memories as new pieces of information to enhance the story. Characters were introduced as necessary, everyone felt like a necessarily component of the story, and every character was likable in their own way(s). At least, I found every character to be interesting. Even if they're are just minor characters, you can still get a general sense of their personality and their importance to glue the story together.
OVERALL - 9/10
I was more focused on the creator(s) decisions or evident differences of the movie when compared to the original series since I didn't expect much in terms of a different story, so that's probably why I'm giving Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st such a high score. Basically, I enjoyed noticing and studying the differences, which in return I was amused by the amount of decision making put forth to making this movie. I guess another reason I gave a high score is because I'm a big fan of the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series. I felt that the original series was already pretty good, and the creator brought forth something different (it's different enough to me anyways) that was also enjoyable, so I didn't hesitate to stick a positive impression in my mind. Despite being so short, I still think the movie still manages to capture the whole feel of the original series well. Another thing is that I loved was the scene near the end where Nanoha and Fate conversed before the farewell. Nanoha said what I consider as perhaps one of the greatest quotes of all time, and Fate's reaction to it just makes me almost burst into tears while feeling so happy for her. That highlight was in the original series, and I was very happy that it was in the movie as well. Neither the movie nor the original series would've been as great without that scene.
Unfortunately, in the end I suppose I still suffer from knowing the general story beforehand. Even if has been over 2 years since I watched the first season of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, a few reminders from the movie allowed me to remember the general story very quickly. The upside of that was that I get to remember how much I liked the series to begin with. The downside of that was that if I wanted to enjoy the movie as I did, I couldn't just sit there and watch it like it was something I've never watched before. I was too aware of many things from the original series that I had to kinda tweak my mindset a bit in order to absorb everything fully. Either way, I still think Nanoha fans would be able to enjoy the movie. For people new to the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha universe, the movie would probably be a great introduction to the series, except I'm somewhat under the impression that if you do watch the movie first, the first season might not appear as good. It's your call though. I would recommend watching the original series first, then jump to the movie as if it's a super long OVA that covers more details of the overall story. If you do watch the movie first though, you can still try the original series right after, or jump straight to the A's season without a problem. And of course, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st also works as a single story on its own. read more
Opening ThemeNo opening themes found, add themes.
Ending Theme#1: "My wish My love" by Yukari Tamura
#2: "PHANTOM MINDS" by Nana Mizuki
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