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Dated 5 April 2006: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

When it first started airing, I dismissed Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha as being a horrible ripoff of Cardcaptor Sakura. Yeah, it turns out I was way wrong. Both it and its sequel Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's are actually kinda awesome, to tell you the truth.



Fate and Nanoha
Fate > Nanoha.

Fate and Nanoha
(Fate has a cape with a giant collar AND had a terrible life. This contest was a boat race.)

Standing in circles magic? Check. People shouting out the names of their attacks before unleashing them? Check. Battle costumes? Check. MAGIKAL GIRLS KICKING THE SHIT OUT OF EACH OTHER? Checkmate.

In other news, both Shakugan no Shana and the end of Mai-Otome were also great.

Dated 11 October 2006: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS

Yuuno, Nanoha, and Fate
Fate saves Nanoha's ass.

Fate Testarossa, Nanoha A's costume.

There's an apparently canonical manga bridging Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's with the upcoming third season, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. Here, we get our first view of the characters' new battle costumes:

Thumbnail image of Fate, Hayate, and Nanoha
Fate, Hayate, and Nanoha in their StrikerS guise.

Fate T. Haraoun, StrikerS costume.

Admittedly, it is not an especially good look, but it's clear enough to see the basic elements of the new costumes. I'll have to see it in its final form and animated to be sure, but so far I like Fate's old EVIL DRACULA CAPE garb more than her new light-colored cape over dark-colored double-breasted long coat combo. The new appearance is more business-like, while the old costure was more about beatdowns—moe beatdowns.

Dated 7 January 2007: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

So apparently there is a doujin-type Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's shooter. Aside from that, I can't tell you much else about it except that it's a Bullet Hell sort of shooter, and that I'm horrible at it since my ability to see into the future has diminished considerably as I've gotten closer to it. I also really need to get myself a good USB arcade stick, because this gamepad madness is not cutting it.

You could also play as Nanoha if you were so inclined. Theoretically. I'm just sayin'.

I should probably also take this opportunity to drum up more interest in the upcoming Nanoha sequel, StrikerS. I would tell you it's going to be badass, but I'm hesitant as a matter or principle because (a) I don't see Fate's Dracula cape anywhere, and (b) they're introducing more new characters. Has there ever been a sequel to anything that had fewer characters than the original instead of more?

Maybe I'm just saying this since I've always kinda wished Vita had killed Nanoha in episode two of A's, so that series could have been about the entire Adminstration Bureau desperately trying to keep Fate (insane with rage and grief and consumed by unholy bloodlust) under control as she spent the next 10 episodes hunting down and whacking each of the Knights—with considerable collateral damage. Ah, don't worry, she would have let Hayate live.