After the events of the Lost Logia case, Nanoha waits patiently for the day she can reunite with her newfound friend, Fate. Although being an exceptionally powerful mage, Nanoha spends her days normally with her friends on Earth. But peace is once again suddenly shattered, as Nanoha is without warning attacked by a powerful mage. A group of violent mages have been attacking anything with magic power for their own goals. Nanoha and Fate, along with their friends Yuuno, Arf, Chrono and the Space/Time Administration Bureau must once more band together to stop these renegade mages from hurting anyone or anything else. Takes place after the first season of Lyrical Nanoha.
After how much I enjoyed the first season of Nanoha, I immediately set to watching this sequel. And I will tell you something that rarely happens for me, I don’t think I got up from my sofa from episode 1 until the end. In many ways, A's outshines the original as a lot of the peeves I had from that show are non-existent now. I really loved this series a lot, it just had a few warts that prevent me from giving it a perfect grade.
The story in the original was really good, A's takes it all to a different level and
there is almost no comparison. The action picks up from basically the first minute of the show and doesn’t let up. No fillers, no trips to the hot springs, I think this might be the first time I have watched a series and could say that. The plot though is outstanding. A wonderful world of magic is further expanded is a story that puts you through all the emotions and has a number of shocking surprises that you won’t see coming. It’s so delightful to watch such a mature and complex storyline in a genre that is usually silly and plots written more to appeal to youngsters and pervs. There is also a very nice mix of drama and action. The action is more intense than the first season by a lot. Almost every episode it’s full of explosive magical combat but it does a wonderful job of giving great drama and comedic moments.
Nanoha and Fate return to be the same wonderful characters I loved so much from the first series. They get new powers and spells and it’s wonderful to see them in action again. There role with the Space-Time Administration Bureau expands more and we get to know better Lindy, Amy, and Chrono better as well as some new characters within the agency. It was disappointing though that several characters from the original series were left out a bit as we see very little of Yuuno, Arf, Arisa, and Suzuka. There is however a plethora of new characters and my opinion of them is mixed. They are interesting, have complex motivations for why they do what they do. A lot of them made me mad, wanting to throw my remote through the TV screen and scream "I won’t forgive you!". But I guess that is the sign of a well made character huh? The main problem is that now there are so many new characters that the cast just becomes so large that it’s impossible to really get to know any of them that well.
Visually, A's is stunning. The characters are beautifully drawn and animated. They have some great costumes and weapons (especially the new knights). Were it really is spectacular is the action scenes. The fights are exciting, explosive, and on a much grander scale than anything from the first series. It was also a nice surprise at the end of the series to see Nanoha and her friends grown up. I was pleasantly surprised that the transformation scenes were toned down and reduced a lot. This was a complaint of my from the first season, not that they existed, but that we had to watch them in full every time Nanoha transformed.
The music is where this show really fails. While a lot of the background music is the same, I was not a big fan of the EN theme in particular and the OP was not really that much better. I found myself several times just fast forwarding through them which is something I almost never do. The voice acting is still great, but my overall disappointment with the music drives my score down.
In the end this show is really outstanding, my dissatisfaction with the musical score and some of the characters prevents me from giving it a '10' though. This show transcends the magic girl genre and I don’t think should be thought of as such. So if you are resisting watching this series because you don’t like magic girls, don’t! You will not regret it!
Every once in a while or so, appears an anime that is literally compelling, rich, and truly irresistible. This is one of those- the franchise flourishes with support from the first season and absolutely comes back even more powerful to capture and entice the watcher in loving this well-constructed presentation. Seven Arcs has accomplished many great deeds with this release: executing a fantastic sequel to attract more awareness out of a type of "Dark Horse" anime. The Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series (will use MSLN for short in later instances) isn't really "well-known" or "popularly watched" by the general audience, at least imo); Seven Arcs
delivers a work of art that not only entertains, but transports the watcher behind the scenes with an aftertaste of desiring "I want to be there with (insert MSLN character name here);" and has composed a groundbreaking successful title full of truly entrancing characters (one of them really sticks out in my mind above the rest), a profoundly dramatic story, and slightly euphoric sounds that leaves a highly enjoyable watch of wanting even more after each striking episode.
The story continues from where the first season departed. However, old friends must reunite to defeat the newly arrived opposing forces. These new enemies come about to wreak havoc to save their mistress from an impending doom. A new mystery must be unveiled to uncover hidden truths. The prototypes of antiquated weaponry will need upgrades to defend and attack against foes. A touching and shocking conclusion lies near the end which will greatly move your heart.
The animation is definitely a tremendous plus: the visual effects are utterly sensually appealing. The contrasts from lighting and colors are exceptionally amazing. Seven Arcs really respect their art styles and have succeeded in this regard. The battles, the transformation scenes, the adorable scenes of one character that I truly revere, all still leave an afterimage in my enigmatic thought processes. MSLN A’s demonstrates only top-notch animation. The animation has been fine tuned enough and has the ability to withstand many viewers’ tastes to ensnare their visual senses.
Furthermore, the sound is also another banging feature. “Eternal Blaze” by the infamous and alluring Mizuki Nana activates the ability of echoic memory or of experiencing an overdose of the appealing music into your head. Whenever the situation became unpleasant, the BGM tended to fit that mood. A select few may even be cherished by the raving fans that found specific scenes to be special. Overall, the sound complemented the thrilling and epic battles. The music strengthened the attributes of the show’s addictiveness.
Of paramount interest, the utilization and how they were portrayed of the seductive characters has been the aspect that has deeply impacted me the most. A majority of the viewers that have finished have taken a liking to Fate or Nanoha or Hayate or Signum or all or whoever; the style, animation, and flair the characters has to display has been the most remarkable feature A’s has to offer. Each one has a context that they serve and fulfill. However, I will put this bluntly that Fate alone has made me consider that this title has been framed, fueled, and augmented by her, without a doubt. I do find her to be truly mind-boggling, lovable, the perfect “all-in-one,” the list goes on and on type of character. Nonetheless, the characters are a huge positive perspective when it comes to enjoying this watch.
Conclusively, with all these magnificent elements being incorporated in this title, or rather sequel, it creates a magnetic pull to actually view this landmark in history. Whether you’ve read the unique synopsis and/or the more or less influential reviews, this title simply cannot be overlooked. If you’ve dropped or constituted a hiatus on the first season and somehow managed to endure to the end of this review, it’s highly recommended that you pick this up again as it won’t disappoint. This title possesses a plethora to offer since it’s extremely appealing and evokes many sentimental feelings when heeded. Ultimately, I hope this review has been an interesting read and for you to savor and appreciate the show like I did.
5 WORDS OR LESS REVIEW: Better than the first season
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s certainly strayed away from the usual, formulaic mahou shoujo stereotype. No more collecting Jewel Seeds for Nanoha and Fate. This time they face bigger, more powerful enemies that get in their way.
The new plot really made me excited, mostly because I’ve been waiting for Fate and Nanoha to become closer friends as well as become team mates. The new characters were also very intriguing and interesting, especially the Velka-type Knights. I like how Nanoha and Fate have to go against them, because they’re not as evil or twisted as Precia Testarossa
from last season, but their objective is much more threatening.
Speaking of the Velka-type Knights, they are Signum, Shamal, Vita and Zafira. They all have different personalities and abilities that mix well together, that’s why I consider them formidable opponents for Nanoha and Fate. To make things more interesting, their master, Hayate Yagami, is absolutely adorable. Out of all the new characters, I like Hayate and Signum the best.
Since there new additions to the cast, there are also new voice actors. I like Vita’s voice actor the best, who is Asami Sanada. Her voice screams tsundere. It really reminds me of Rie Kugimiya’s work in Shakugan no Shana. Also, just as I like Raging Heart and Bardiche’s voice actors, I also like Levantine and Graf Eisen’s voice actor. I thought for sure he was German – he was really convincing.
I think animation has also improved, because the drawings are more consistent compared to the first season. I also love the character design, the new characters and their battle outfits are really flashy and modern. The transformation scenes are less ecchi but more eye catching too.
There might have been a switch regarding the opening and ending themes for this season. Nana Mizuki still sang the opening song, “Eternal Blaze”, and I love it because of its faster beat. I definitely like it more than the OP of the first season. Also, this time around, Yukari Tamura sang the mellow song, which is the ending theme “Spiritual Garden”. It’s cute, but I like the ED of the first season better.
Since the second season was so much better than the first season, I could only hope that the third season is even better and possibly the best out of the three and it does look that way.
Following up on the surprise hit of the first season, Nanoha A's comes with more energy and more faults, but it's still a worthy second season.
The second season dives headfirst back into the action that made the first season so remarkable by the end. There are still many enjoyable twists, though not as impressive in comparison to the previous season. This is no fault of the series itself though. By now, it's become more "girls who fight with magic" than "magical girl" so the various new plays on the genre don't sell as well as they did before. Battle scenes are no longer highlights, but
the majority of the series. If you liked the action more than the drama last time, then you're in for a treat.
Characterization remains as incredible as ever despite the more convoluted plot and a 100% addition to the already quite large cast. This means certain characters once influential to the plot end up as nothing more than glorified cameos. Even Fate's importance to the series is lessened considerably. Like the first season, Nanoha is once again not the focus despite being in the series title. Like how Fate was the main element last season, new girl Hayate and her knights are the focus in these thriteen episodes. Fortunately, their complicated relationship is handled with enough care that it's hard to complain.
Animation continues to be stellar as ever, fluid from start to finish. Because the series is now more action than drama, the quality shines with spectacular brilliance. They even manage to outdo the incredible transformation sequence of the first season with a double transformation scene. Though it only occurs once, it is positively breathtaking in quality.
Soundwork continues to stay relatively enjoyable, highlighted once again with another fantastic Nana Mizuki OP.
Like it's predecesor, Nanoha A's is another dose of no-nonsense magic battles and surprising drama. It's a worthy sequel, but the sum of its parts are still less than those of the first season. Nanoha A's is essentially Nanoha overkill in that it lavishs on more of what made it enjoyable in the first place. Just a little too much of an already good thing.
Overall I give Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's an 8 out of 10.
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