Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

6 December 2010: In re that Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha movie

Put on a Barrier Jacket, Nanoha. It's cold out.

<@ghostlightning> Nanoha Movie 10:34 WHOA OK, NOPE NOT WATCHING THIS /dropped

Okay, yeah, there is a naked transformation sequence. Now, magikal girl shows have always had transformation sequences. The more tasteful ones aren't quite so overt with the "between outfits" nudity. For example, in Futari wa Pretty Cure, Cure Black and Cure White are naked the way Marvel Comics' Silver Surfer is technically naked. Unfortunately, there is a large Nanoha fan base for which its fan service is critical. However, the franchise does have its merits, and I don't believe a single scene should discourage someone from watching the rest of the movie.

Nagisa transforms into Cure Black.

Think of the first Nanoha movie as Pretty Cure with a budget. I suspect the Pretty Cure franchise probably generates more revenue as a whole than Nanoha, but Toei probably wastes it all on hookers and blow instead of pumping out improved fight sequences. The fights are where Nanoha shines. The franchise is at its best when it is about magikal girls trashing the dog shit out of each other. And make no mistake, the first Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha movie is very much about Nanoha and Fate whaling on each other.

Nanoha and Fate
Never turn your back on a fire, the ocean, or magikal girls.

Unfortunately, aside from upgraded animation and a condensed storyline, this movie is essentially the anime's first season in a two-hour block. I was hoping it would explore new ground by taking Fate's point of view, but I guess it is Nanoha's show, after all. Most of the changes are minor, such as Fate's brown belt replacing her red one. Also Raising Heart talks way too much now. I guess Raising Heart is still better than most of the yammering Precure mascots, though.

Yuuno, you're not half the weasel Tart is.

To me, the most significant changes are related to Fate and her mother. Although the tension in the movie is thicker than I remember from the series, I believe Fate suffered more abuse during the series. But most importantly, the content of the exchange between Fate and Precia at the end of the movie is critically different than how it played out during the series. These changes soften some of Nanoha's harder edges—a mistake in my book.

Fate and Precia
Maybe things will go better this time, Fate.

Then again, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha had already rejected Gripping Magikal Girl Melodrama by StrikerS. A second movie has already been announced, presumably re-imagining the A's season. Hopefully they won't back away from the darker elements of that season also, or we'll end up with a two-hour block of tensionless fights a la Pretty Cure All Stars DX. Speaking of which, it's a pity All Stars DX3 won't have nearly the animation quality of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The First. I suppose I'll have to wait for The Second for more Top Fuel magikal girl brawls, unless someone talks Kajiura Yuki into writing that three-hour The End of My-HiME ~My Purest Heart Love for Thee~ opera.

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