A pair of researchers stays behind on their dying planet of Eltria with their two daughters, Amitie and Kirie, in hopes of finding a way to revive the planet. But when the husband Granz falls ill it seems their dream of reviving the planet will die. Against her older sister's wishes, Kirie sets off with her childhood friend Iris to seek help from a distant alternate world. They arrive in Japan on Earth to search for the key to their planet's regeneration. There, they meet Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate.
I'll keep this brief and spoiler free since most probably have not seen the movie yet.
Unlike strikers which sidelined the main cast in season 1 and 2, and vivid which basically almost changed the main cast entirely, Reflection retains the main cast from season 1 and 2 therefore it was an instant plus to me. The main cast has great chemistry and therefore is always a joy to watch them interact.
Reflection's tone is similar to that of season 1, 2, and 3 (Strikers), not very lighthearted like that of vivid. Although not as well executed as As, the villains (well most of them)
have believable motives which you can empathize with. The movie does end on a cliff hanger leaving many loose ends that will hopefully be tied up in the Nanoha: Detonation.
Overall, if you are a fan of season 1 and 2 or movie 1st and 2nd of the nanoha anime, you will most likely like Reflection.
The movie itself is mediocre or at least not good on its own. Too much action but there isn't enough time to introduce or develop characters, hence not a good entry point for someone who wasn't familiar with the franchise. The pacing is rushed as if a season was condensed into 110 minutes, and it ends with a cliffhanger for the sequel to solve. Generic Magical Girl x Mecha in its purest form (NOT Moe), no subversion, no parody, nothing degenerate either, just uninspiring. Looks like something from the 2000s, or an addition to a franchise that has passed its golden days.
Welcome to my review to the movie 'Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: Reflection'.
THIS MOVIE IS PART 1 OF A 2 COUR MOVIE WHICH MEANS THAT THIS MOVIE HAS A OPEN END THAT CONTINUES IN THE NEXT MOVIE.
Okay, now that that is out of the way, let's get to this. Nanoha Reflection is a movie from 2017, made by the studio Seven Arcs Pictures. It's runtime is about and hour and 45 minutes. I don't have to mention it but just in case I still gonna: This movie is part of the Lyrical Nanoha franchise. Yoh have to watch the Nanoha stuff before watching this movie.
More specifically, this movie happens between the second and third season of Lyrical Nanoha. Now to the review. Also this will contain spoilers for Lyrical Nanoha S1 and 2.
Story/Plot: The story revolves around the sisters Amitie and Kyrie. Their father is dying from an unknown disease and Kyrie with the help of her AI Iris she sets out to earth in order to find ways to heal her sick father. Doing so she does considerable damage and this sets out Nanoha, Fate, Hayate and Co. to go stop and arrest her. But not everything works out as planned. Who would've thought?
To sort out what I just wrote, we have simple story of a person wanting to save someone and in order to do that that person does not hold back on even hurting others. In a previous review to the MHA movie I noted that it didn't really do anything great because as a franchise movie it has things it cannot do. This however does not count for this movie. Reason for that is that this movie is canon and depicts the incident that happened in the time between Lyrical Nanoha Season 2 and 3. Another aspect is that this movie is only the first part and that the second one still has to be released. Because of the third season we know that none of the main cast is going to die and also we know or can suspect that this movie and the following one show the origin of what leads to season 3. There isn't a whole lot you can do in these almost 2 hours. More so, this movie relies on the established cast only introduces a few new ones.
Art: Seven Arcs shows fluid animation and pretty nice action scenes. Nothing bad here at all. What we have here is a very familiar Nanoha artstyle and great action scenes. What more can you hope?
Sound: The sound...Yeah. Always a difficult point. The music and sound effects in this movie are there, that much is clear. But I didn't really pay that much attention on them. One thing I can point out is the ending song that is pretty good.
Characters: Man, it's been so long since I've seen the last Nanoha anime. I must say, it was great seeing everyone again. This movie definitely had me on the nostalgia level. Other than that, we do have our typical characters we all know and love. Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate are all a bit older now (not yet adults) and we get to see the development of Fate and her foster mother, as well as Nanoha's growth as an OP person who can destroy anyone. We also get to see the 3 new characters Amitie, Kyrie and Iris. I can't really go into detail here because of spoilers but I can say that their story is not yet over and will continue in the next movie. What we saw so far, Amitie is a pretty nice character and Kyrie is blinded by her cause. Things I have already seen in other anime. The main reason for this movie is to fill in a missing link in the anime apartment and satisfy our nostalgia.
Overall Enjoymenf and verdict: It's Nanoha, of course im gonna enjoy it. A very entertaining movie and a nostalgia syringe. I kind of feel like Seven Arcs depended on that nostalgia. Anyhow. I can totally recommend this movie to Nanoha fans. They gotta have to watch this movie. For everyone else, I recommend you watching the whole Nanoha series first and then watch this, or watch this after watching the second season. Anyway, that is it for my review on this movie.
Okay, see this is what regained the franchise from the terrible ViVid anime: good action, good plot, amazing animation, and a kick-ass Nanoha. She is the main character, the absolute strongest magician, and you don't sideline her to be the doting mother. She shines best with the spotlight on her, especially when all odd's are against her. I'm also glad they toned down the nudity and the fan-service by a LOT in this movie. Again, in contrast to ViVid which was fan-service to the max.
The villains in this story weren't very compelling. They had okay motives, but I just couldn't connect to them at
all. Kyrie and Iris could've been so much more as antagonists but their motives felt flat and their backgrounds too similar to go "Ah-ha! This is unique!" Maybe it's because I've watched too much anime or read too much manga that everything is a trope. Even the big plot-twist was very "meh." Here's to hoping the sequel movie is stronger in terms of story!