236th G-View: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st

Alrighty then. Nanoha Month is underway with the first review in the lineup, Nanoha The Movie 1st.

Nanoha the Movie 1st Poster

Genres: Action, Sci-fi, Drama

Themes: Mahou Shoujo

Running Time: 130 minutes

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: Takamachi Nanoha is a normal fourth-grader who feels a little useless and out-of-place with no purpose. Then one day, she saves a ferret, who turns out to be a mage from another planet who came to this planet to search for the jewl seeds. Nanoha agrees to help, but this task gets complicated when another girl arrives to steal them.


I have to get this out of the way immediately. This movie kicked serious ass. It initially felt familiar with the magical girl fighting monsters and collecting sacred items (crystals) setup. Even when the rival was introduced it was still familiar. Then when the true purpose of the crystals along with the plot’s biggest secrets were revealed, then I started getting why this series is as beloved as it is and why fans tell newcomers who pick up the TV show to be patient with the first couple of episodes because it is worth the wait. The waiting’s scrapped here and the good stuff happened quickly and kept on rolling from the quarter point to the end. The one minor hiccup is that it becomes noticeable that some characters who may have had more development on the TV show either did not get to do much or were hardly featured at all. This is minor though as it mainly encourages viewers go watch the show and see what more these side characters did while the movie focused on the major players. There are also some events that took place off screen (the scar for example) but again nothing that ruined the overall pace. Maybe it’s just that I’m a sucker for stories that contain “magitechonological” (combination of magic and technology) elements like this one. Then again the movie’s running time covers at least a half season’s worth of content…which is A LOT! I’m saying a lot of stuff happens in this movie.

Apart from the serious moments and plot development points, all noteworthy, (and some painful) the movie’s major highlight is its fight scenes between Nanoha and the monsters and of course the numerous battles against her rival Fate.

Nanoha vs Fate

This is no spoiler because the first thing people notice who look up this movie is several posters of these two engaging in battle and with good reason. Pretty much every interaction between Nanoha and Fate, combat or otherwise, are the best parts of the movie.

Not to count out the other major cast members who were also awesome in their own way. I warmed up to two in particular.

Raising Heart

Nanoha’s English (for some reason) speaking weapon Raising Heart/Rising Heart. Hard to explain why I liked this character. I think it’s the appeal of listening to a multi-form staff with an Englishwoman computer voice. Not to say Barchide’s uncool but I liked RH more.


Second is the literal sexy beast Arf. Two reasons. 1: whenever she leaped into action I got raging otaku boners. 2: Her relationship with her master. I daresay some might even ship Arf X Master. I would have but after the movie ended I stuck with the legendary couple.

Then there’s the big bad of the story. Without spoiling I will say this. First of all I was reminded of a certain game featuring a nobleman and mentor. Second…so you went from your previous profession to building a stronghold that screamed “I am evil” when you aren’t exactly…I guess it’s because of your secret fetishes. Interesting villain. Oh and believe or not this villain’s story has some simple yet overlooked life lessons.

Nanoha finishing her transformation

I have not talked about the animation quality much but there is little to say because good gollyness molly the movie is gorgeous! The soundtrack’s pretty epic too but it’s the animation that left me in awe.

Glory to NanoFate

Now for one of the main reasons I started Nanoha Month, to better understand NanoFate. The first thing I noticed is that they followed the “shounen friendship developing principle”, meaning the best way to make a lifelong friend (or in this series’ case life partner) is by beating the crap out of each other. Up till this point I had only followed the hype surrounding this pairing and acknowledged its legendary status. After watching this movie I became a firm believer. The hype is real. It was a really good start. I’ll leave it at that. I could only imagine how much stronger their bond would become after “that scene”.

Lastly keep in mind this movie is a retelling of the 1st season and some tidbits were left out. However, this is considered a pretty good retelling for viewers who mainly want to know the gist of what happened when Nanoha and Fate first met and all the important events that transpired inbetween. It’s like playing Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 instead of Hyperdimension Neptunia. Although there are differences the core plot and events are similar.

Overall Nanoha The Movie 1st is a really good, action packed movie. What was cut from the TV show was nothing game breaking and could easily be checked out by viewers who are interested in seeing said show. The fight scenes were epic, the animation was top notch, the music felt grandiose, the plot was definitely interesting and as far as I’m concerned if I had seen the TV show back when it first aired I would have jumped on the NanoFate if their first truly emotional moment was as powerful as the one in the movie. Definitely worth checking out for action fans and Mahou Shoujo enthusiasts who want something less formulaic.

Nanoha Month will continue with a review of the second season, Nanoha As.

PS: Why was a certain henshin sequence uncensored?

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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37 Responses to 236th G-View: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st

  1. elkat4 says:

    Never seen the movies, but I’ve seen the original anime and enjoy them immensely… up until StrikerS, originally, but that was more how I didn’t like the sudden change of setting and how certain characters’ roles have shrunk. I’ve overcome my initial dislike of StrikerS, mostly so I could place all of my disgust and loathing upon Force, one-half of the “fourth season” of the Nanoha franchise (the other half being Vivio Vivid). I rather not get into detail with Force as I rather let others read it and form their opinions of the series rather be biased against it from the start.

    Arf is, hands down, my favorite character. Not only as the primary source of non-loli fanservice (if I ever had a complaint about the first two seasons is the fact there is a little too much loli transformation sequences), but also because I’m a sucker for characters who swear blind loyalty to their master and are willing to die (if necessary) for their master’s sake. Sadly, I shipped Arf/Fate even though I knew that Nano/Fate was a thing. If I had the skill and talent, I’d happily draw a Nanoha/Yuri Kuma Arashi doujinshi just so that I can have Arf and Lulu meeting and reminiscing how the girls they love are love with someone else.


    • Overlord-G says:

      I have heard of the controversial reputation StrikerS has. We’ll get to there later this month (March 2015).

      I was very impressed by Arf and look forward to more from her in A’s and its movie counterpart.


  2. ?????? says:

    the creator ships arf/fate and nanoha/yuuno


  3. cirno9fan says:

    I’m not sure you’ll really get much more to other characters. It was pretty focused on Nanoha, Fate, and Final Boss the whole time. Unlike in Vivid, the friends of the MC really don’t get a whole lot to work with concerning the plot. Innocent does a much better of giving a purpose to Nanoha’s friends though.


    • Overlord-G says:

      That’s because Innocent’s a side-story. Plenty of time to have Nanoha’s homies shine. I’d like to see more of her puffy and her rich tsundere pals.


  4. Cytrus says:

    “Namae wo yonde / Call my name” is a legendary scene for me.

    Old fans in the west also know RH as “Raging Heart”. There was no official English name for the staff at the time, and “raging” seemed like a good enough guess considering the staff’s trigger-happy disposition.


  5. JimJiminy says:

    Nanoha’s shoot first with an overpowered weapon, make friends later is pretty much her monicker and gives her her legendary status (power of the beam represents friendship/lover status).

    That said this is my favorite of the two movies. Mainly because of how well the plot was made while choping off less important stuff but also because Yuuno is reduced to an infodump kid and doesn’t contribute as much as he did in the show.


    • Overlord-G says:

      She’s femme Goku.
      I have heard of how Mr Scrya’s role is more important in the anime but to me he’s Nanoha’s ferret sidekick.


  6. jianuzzi says:

    Nano x Fate. xoxo. Awesome stuff.

    I just watched episode 22 of cross ange and it shattered all my beliefes in good anime. You were right about that series. Sorry, just had to vent my anger.

    Anyways xoxo for Nano x Fate. It was a good show. I hope it brings good merit.


  7. kracen says:

    I want to watch all this series, can someone tell me the order it goes in? Is it movie first or is there a series before the movie?


  8. yurimylove says:

    Great review that does justice to this movie!

    You are right that storywise one won’t miss anything by skipping the first season and start with Movie The First. However, when you find some free time a few months down the road, i still recommend you to watch the first season, starting from episode 6 till the end (ep. 13). You will get more of the NanoFate sweetness, in more glorious details. As an incentive, ep. 6 is titled “Feelings That Can’t Be Understood?” Need i say more? 🙂


  9. Timothy Bacchus says:

    Finally, you’ve watched it. Are you going to see the series too? It might be too old but it’s pretty good. NanoFate is really sweet imho cuz friendship rocks. XD It might not be the best pairing in the yuri genre but it’s one of the never dying pairs in the genre. Or should I say, long time running? Sorry for poor english.


  10. Silvachief says:

    I watched the movie because I apparently care more about visual quality than I though and found it to be pretty enjoyable; i’ve given it exactly the same score on MAL.

    My girlfriend fell asleep during it though >.>


  11. Hanneman says:

    I’ll just say it outright: NanoFate is the epitome of subtext. That final scene where they say goodbye to each other is just pure gold! I was almost punching my screen and screaming “Just frickin kiss already, goddamit!”.

    One thing that this show struck me with was emotionally. Specially with Fate, every scene i felt her pain and anguish, and her shock with that twist in the later part. I was crying and smiling all the way through my experience.

    The other thing i should praise in this movie are the battle sequences. The last Nanoha vs Fate battle was specially thrilling, and the outcome was well thought out as well.

    The pacing is awesome too, mixing really well the sad and happy, slow and fast scenes. Nowhere in my watch i was looking at the timer to see how much was left. The movie just kept me interested all the way through.

    Overall, i’d say this is an awesome movie, and one that everyone can enjoy (maybe the super critics/analyzers wont, but they’re unpleaseable). Waiting here on your coverage of the second movie.


    • Overlord-G says:

      It was a most impressive introduction to the legend.
      Oh definitely. Fate had every reason to feel conflicted during the entire ordeal. Painful stuff.
      A lot of good stuff to keep newcomers watching and wanting more from future installments.
      I’ll get to the second mvie soon.


  12. kracen says:

    Okay, so I finally finished watching the first season, and I just now skimmed through the movie (skipping every seconds until I see any scenes that were not in the series and to rewatch every single NanoFate moment, especially the final one).

    I’ll start by saying it, if anyone plans on watching this who has not already watched it, just watch the movie, nothing too significant was missing, mostly fluff and filler, but the movie had something that the series didn’t… Back story on Fate and her mother, more flashbacks and information about them.
    Was weird seeing the weapons talk more to, in the series they just say the abilities/modes they’re doing, so was cool to see them more than just mere objects.
    The final NanoFate scene was shorter, which was a bad move because it was so god damn yurific I had to bite my thumb to stop me squiling like a little girl.
    The movie also had updated animation, which is never a bad thing unless you’re one of those people obsessed with the classics, to which I say, deal with it.
    I will do the same with the second season, watch the series, but skim the movie to see the differences/additions…. Though I am tempted to just watch the movie considering the minimal differences between the first season and its movie (Will read your reviews then decide)

    Now, as for the show itself… I liked it, (insert my usual rant and dislike of male important characters here) Throughout watching it however, I didn’t feel the legend that was NanoXFate, I mean, I could see why it would have its legendary status, it being over 10 years old and all… It didn’t quite click in me at first… but as it developed I understood more, I liked it more, all building to the final moment with them two, as I said, I had to bite my thumb to contain myself… NanoXFate is truly something deserving of legend.


    • kracen says:

      Season 2, not much Yuri development.
      Season 2 Movie, Lessened male character significance + Yuri overload….
      Might skip out on watching the TV series version….


    • Overlord-G says:

      Good to know. Will watch the TV show when able to check out what I missed anyway.
      Raising Heart and Bardiche being more lively is really cool. I love RH.
      NanoFate hype is real!


  13. YayaSamuko says:

    I agree with you mate. This movie is awesome! I just finished it and am already thirsty that I want to watch the second one. Now, I can understand how NanoFate has become this legendary.

    Also, I thought I was the only one who saw that the henshin scenes are uncensored 😮 I was surprised.

    With that, I wish ye a good day! Now, if you’ll excuse me; I have tons of doujins to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mauron says:

    I finally saw the first season, but not the movie version. I’m liking the series a lot so far, and have more to watch.

    Arf: I always cry at weddings.

    Nanoha: The talking ferret that’s been living in my room and seeing me change is actually a human boy? Eh, who cares.

    Normally when we get to a moment like Nanoha and Fate had, it’s the end of the series. And here we have multiple seasons remaining!


    • Cytrus says:

      Well, if you liked the first season, the second is like a victory lap of concentrated win.


    • Wanderer says:

      Try to remember the things Nanoha and Fate said in that parting conversation, and the promises they made to each other. They end up keeping them in a way that I found really heartwarming.


    • OG-Man says:

      I’d say check out this first movie alongside the first season of the anime. Trust me.


      • Mauron says:

        I’ll make a point of that. Would you recommend the same for the second movie?


      • OG-Man says:

        I watched the shows in the following manner:
        Nanoha Movie 1st
        Nanoha A’s
        Nanoha Movie A’s
        Nanoha StrikerS
        Nanoha Vivid
        Vivid Strike.
        (Once they’re subbed)
        Nanoha Reflection
        Nanoha Detonation

        I’m waiting for Nanoha Detonation to get subbed before watching Reflection since they’re a 2-Part movie.


      • Cytrus says:

        1st and 2nd movies are retellings of the first two seasons. Simplified story, significantly better graphics. So series first, movies second works best, I’d say.


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