The shows are both content and market-wise similar. Dramatic story, lesbian attitude, darker atmosphere than your average CCS, target older rather than younger demographics, oh yes and magical girls too.
I put my rec on A's because I seriously never watched the first Nanoha. My knowledge of magical girls genre is limited but these similarities are true and clear, see for Yourself.
The theme of magical girls in combat filled with action plays a central role in both of these epic series. Although Madoka leans into more of the psychological side as well, both of these anime(s) draws spectacular battle scenes that are pleasant to eyes of viewers interested in action.
The Nanoha series is basically gundam in loli form with the awesome battle effect. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's is the second season in the Nanoha series. The first season- Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha is describing how Takamachi Nanoha and Fate Testalosa met and the development of their friendship, but of course with awesome battles. Nanoha series is just really awesome about its plot and fighting.
In the impossible situation where Gundam became a magical girl series, it would be extremely similar, if not identical, to Nanoha.
In particular, the relationship between Fate and Nanoha reminds me greatly of the relationship between Athrun and Kira. Also, many of the battles from Nanoha often remind me of battles from Gundam SEED.
The concept of magical girls are present in both Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya. In both series, the main character's life are suddenly changed after one faithful day and they in turn become a magical girl with gifted powers. With that gift, they must fight to collect certain magical objects with the help of a mentor.
The main female character from both series are also somewhat naive but are caring, helpful, and cheerful. They also hope to make friends even with rivals throughout the series.
Both series has plenty of humor and drama. However, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's has a more serious mood especially in later episodes.
They also take place in a school life setting. read more