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Often thought of as a magical girl show with the heart of a shounen action series, Nanoha is a young girl granted the ability to transform and fight baddies. The series is actually a mainstream anime spinoff of an adult game called Triangle Hearts.
The franchise follows the adventures of nine-year-old Japanese girl named Nanoha Takamachi. She finds a wounded ferret in the woods after school one day and takes him home with her. Little does she know, he's actually a sorcerer and archeologist named Yuuno Scrya who transformed himself into a ferret. Yuno gives her an intelligent device (which looks like a gem) known as Raising or Raging Heart. The device gives Nanoha magical powers and transforms her clothing into a unique, and of course, magical uniform.
The first series in the franchise is called Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha. Nanoha is nine-years-old and is seeking out the magical artifacts known as Jewel Seeds. She meets a rival, a girl by the name of Fate Testarossa. This series focuses on Nanoha's initial adventures as a magical girl and her relationship with Fate. It is revealed that Fate is gathering Jewel Seeds for her mother Precia Testarossa; Precia intends to use the seeds to open the door to the legendary world of Al-Hazard--however she risks destroying the time/space continuum. Nanoha eventually manages to befriend Fate, and the two fight together to stop Precia.
The second series in the franchise is known as Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha A's. Nanoha and Fate are both still nine. A new character is introduced: another nine-year-old girl, named Hayate Yagami. Hayate is very ill and lives on her own. One day she opens a magical book (another intelligent device of sorts) called the Book of Darkness. She accidentally summons the four guardians of the book and its master: Signum, Vita, Shamal, and Zafila. The guardians seek to protect Hayate and cure her by draining the spirits of people and the powers of mages. Fate and Nanoha must once more team up to fight against these new enemies.
The third series is called Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha StrikerS. Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate are all in their twenties. They all work for the Time Space Administration Bureau. Hayate has formed an independent division to investigate and prevent disasters which Nanoha and Fate are a part of. This series introduces even more characters who become the trainees of Nanoha and Fate. More focus is placed on these new characters and their personal and team development. The source of conflict in this series is the Lost Logia. These are powerful artifacts being obtained by a mad scientist bent on the usual world destruction and domination. Nanoha, Fate, and their trainees are pushed to their limits combating this new foe.
There is a fourth series recently released entitled Magical War Chronicle Lyrical Nanoha Force. This, unlike the previous three, was only released in manga/comic form. Not much is known yet about it.
|Name:||Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha|
|Romaji:||Mahō Shōjo Ririkaru Nanoha|
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