Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha is a ★★★☆☆ and The Movie 1st is a ★★★★☆︱Technical Magic and the Tragedy of Being a Replicant

The “Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha” is very unique, some might say that it was genre-bending at the time of its release. Before “Lyrical Nanoha” made its debut, the only place that you could really expect to find magical girls and spaceships in the same continuity would be on a videotape… playing an obscure, ’90s OVA. This series made the idea of arcane magic having a scientific equation more of a mainstream idea, and lead to more technologically-enhanced mahō shōjo shows, like “Senki Zesshō Symphogear” and “Vividred Operation”!

⚠️ This review of Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha and Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st will contain spoilers ⚠️

—Story/Characters

Synopsis: Nanoha Takamachi, an ordinary third-grader who enjoys spending time with her family and friends, rescues an injured ferret that she had dreamed about the night before. The next day, the ferret cries out to her telepathically, asking Nanoha to save him. The ferret reveals himself to be Yūno Scrya, a mage from another world who is trying to collect the dangerous 21 Jewel Seeds that he accidentally scattered across the world. He enlists Nanoha’s help, gifting her the magical wand Raising Heart, and teaches her how to become a powerful mage.

Right off the bat, I would suggest skipping to the film version of Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha, if you don’t want to commit to a full-length series. I, myself, watched the TV version of the “Lyrical Nanoha” story first, and aside from the catchy melody of the opening theme (“Innocent Starter”) — the film retelling is better in every way: better animation quality and a cohesive visual direction, deleted scenes that make the series more poignant, and ※superior audio quality, plus it trims some of the episodic fat off of the runtime of the series!

※I watched the Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st BD and the 2K visuals are mind-boggling! Especially, the reframing of the last battle between Nanoha and Fate was really, really good!

The movie adaptation is like a video game that has less fetch quests! So now, let’s dive into the narrative of the first “Lyrical Nanoha” series! Nanoha Takamachi is an average girl that gets granted magical powers by an inter-dimensional ferret. Yes, that’s actually the plot. Like the story of “InuYasha” (except exponentially shorter), Nanoha and her rival, Fate Testarossa, battle to collect “jewel seeds” — Fate engages in conflict on behalf of her evil scientist of a mother (“Sailor Moon S” inspired?) while Nanoha is trying to help her talking, ferret friend (who is part of a Time-Space Bureau). Along the way, Fate and Nanoha begin to fall and love, and Fate — knowing only a life of physical abuse and neglect, begins to question what she’s really fighting for.

It turns out that Fate is a clone of her mother’s (“Precia Testarossa’s”) real daughter, and that she had made Fate in a desperate attempt to replace her deceased daughter, Alicia, but while a human body can be cloned, a soul cannot. This leads to Precia forcing Fate to fight deadly battles in order to collect the “jewel seeds” and form the Philosopher’s Stone, so that she can resurrect her daughter from the dead! She doesn’t have any feeling of love or affection for Fate, but Fate sees her as a mother, because she’s the only family that she’s ever known. There’s a dream scene with Fate, in Episode 12: “When Our Fate is Sealed” — while in the “Garden of Time,” Fate imagines a life where her and Alicia are both living as sisters, and Precia is what one would imagine to be a normal mother. In the film version of this scene, I cried like a baby, it was so sad!

The story ends with Precia’s plot being foiled and her loudly declaring that she never loved Fate. Another very sad moment. And then a woman (“Lindy Harlaown”) working for the Time-Space Bureau decides to adopt Fate. Living in separate dimensions, Fate and Nanoha exchange ribbons to remember each other by, ahem, like the last episode of “Mahō Shōjo Madoka★Magica”! Akiyuki Shinbō’s fingerprints are all over this plot, without the grimdark edge of Gen Urobuchi looming over! For an anime that is an alternate universe, spin-off of an eroge series (“Triangle Heart”)… it has a really good scenario and a cast of memorable characters, despite that!

—Technical

Luna’s Favorite Works by Each Respective Creator = ✅

Pizza Hut promotion for Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st

Akiyuki Shinbō (director of “Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha”), notable works:

  • 3-Gatsu no Lion (series) 
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge (series)  ✅
  • Cossette no Shōzō
  • Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
  • Detatoko Princess
  • Fate/Extra: Last Encore
  • Ginga Ojō-sama Densetsu Yuna: Shin’en no Fairy ✅
  • Hidamari Sketch (series)
  • Katteni Kaizō
  • Kōfuku Graffiti
  • Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai
  • Mahō Sensei Negima!: Mō Hitotsu no Sekai
  • Mahō Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba
  • Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha ✅
  • Mahō Shōjo Madoka★Magica ✅
  • Mahō Shōjo Madoka★Magica (film series) ✅
  • Maria†Holic (series) ✅
  • Mekakucity Actors
  • Metal Fighter Miku
  • Monogatari (series) ✅
  • Natsu no Arashi! (series)
  • Negima?!
  • Nisekoi (series)
  • Ojōsama Sōsamō
  • Paniponi Dash!
  • Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei (series) ✅
  • Shihaisha no Tasogare
  • Shin Hurricane Polymar
  • Shina Dark: Kuroki Tsuki no Ō to Sōheki no Tsuki no Himegimi
  • Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
  • Soreyuke! Uchū Senkan Yamamoto Yohko (series)
  • Tenamonya Voyagers
  • The SoulTaker: Tamashii-gari
  • Triangle Heart: Sweet Songs Forever
  • Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase
  • Uchiage Hanabi, Shita kara Miru ka? Yoko kara Miru ka? (“Fireworks”)

Commentary: Mr. Shinbō’s work on the first installment of “Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha” is less of a reflection of his contemporary resume (with Studio Shaft), and more similar to his work on past ventures, like “Galaxy Fräulein Yuna”! There are semblances of his distinctive style, especially in areas that are given more financial leeway, like with the OP and first episode storyboards. Some of the intimate facial shots would later become an iconic, Shaft staple, and some of the “transformation scene” techniques — with all of their glitz and polish, were then, later reinvented in Mr. Shinbō’s more famous magical girl series, ※”Mahō Shōjo Madoka★Magica”! Mr. Shinbō paved the granite walkway for the franchise; he and his team made the first series a success, so that the successors could have a chance to shine! I personally thought that Mr. Keizō Kusakawa handled the series better (with the films and A’s), but Akiyuki Shinbō was pivotal for the show to gain traction! Iconic director, great job with the first season!

※Kind of strange when you think about it, because Nanoha and Fate have a similar dynamic to Madoka Kaname and Akemi Homura in “Mahō Shōjo Madoka★Magica”!

Keizō Kusakawa (director of “Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st”), notable works:

  • Action Heroine Cheer Fruits
  • Ahiru no Sora
  • Aho Girl
  • Akuma no Riddle ✅
  • Asura Cryin’ (series)
  • Campione!: Matsurowanu Kamigami to Kamigoroshi no Maō
  • Dog Days (Season One) ✅
  • Fūka ✅
  • Genei wo Kakeru Taiyō ✅
  • Happy Sugar Life ✅
  • Inukami! ✅
  • Inukami! The Movie: Tokumei Reiteki Sōsakan Karina Shirō!
  • Jūō Mujin no Fafnir
  • KanColle Movie ✅
  • Kantai Collection: KanColle ✅
  • Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha A’s ✅
  • Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS ✅
  • Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A’s ✅
  • Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? ✅
  • Rō-Kyū-Bu! ✅
  • Rō-Kyū-Bu! SS ✅
  • Rō-Kyū-Bu! Tomoka no Ichigo Sundae ✅
  • Sekirei
  • Sekirei: Pure Engagement

Commentary: Mr. Kusakawa is less celebrated than he should be; the man can direct some very visually striking animation scenes — if you haven’t watched the “Kantai Collection” film, I would suggest giving it a try, it is a gorgeous, hour-long slice of animation! I would say that his lack of popularity with English audiences is partially due to his focus on leading very niche projects, that are more popular with the “moe otaku” crowd, rather than appealing to your everyday, run-of-the-mill, anime-watching normie. The original GAME for “Kantai Collection” has never even received an international release, and I doubt that it would garner much of a following if it did, since “Azur Lane” has already wormed its way into the hearts of EN players! Despite being a very talented director, he doesn’t normally land projects with highly-skilled animators or writers; that’s the whole reason why “Akuma no Riddle” sunk! And he is typically designated to lower budget studios, but when he is granted a large sum of expendable income, like with the repackaged “Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha” films, his finesse really shows! Keizō Kusakawa is an incredible director, I would suggest “Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha,” “Rō-Kyū-Bu!”, or “Kantai Collection” as an entry point into his shows (“Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?” is pretty dang enjoyable, too)! The fight scenes are polished in the film and the emotional scenes brought me to tears, so kudos to Mr. Kusakawa and his animation team for the amazing amount of strife that they put into the project!

Good Seiyū Work = ✅

Really Enjoyed the Seiyū’s Performance = ✅ ✅

One of Luna’s Favorite Performances OF ALL TIME = ✅ ✅ ✅

Yukari Tamura as Nanoha Takamachi, notable roles:

  • Michiru, Air
  • Mine, Akame ga Kill  ✅
  • Mayu Watanabe CG-3, AKB0048  ✅ ✅
  • Remon Yamano, Ano Natsu de Matteru (“Waiting in the Summer”)  ✅ ✅
  • Asuha Tōhara, Astarotte no Omocha!
  • Chihaya Ikaruga, Asu no Yo’ichi! (“Samurai Harem”)
  • Yamada, B-gata H-kei
  • Koko Ninna-Nanna, Bōkyaku no Senritsu
  • Fear Kubrick, C³
  • Honey Kisaragi, Cutey Honey Universe
  • Sakura Kisaragi, Da Capo
  • Kaoru Tsunashi, Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken (“I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying”)
  • Nia, DearS
  • Dōnyatsu, Dōnyatsu
  • Moro, Dotto Koni-chan
  • Hikaru Saitō, Futarigurashi
  • Chiharu, Fūun Ishin Dai☆Shogun
  • Ranpha Franboise, Galaxy Angel  ✅
  • Saki Hanano, Gintama  ✅
  • Rino Rando, Gokujō Seitokai
  • Io Euclase, Granblue Fantasy the Animation  ✅ ✅
  • Rika Furude and Frederica Bernkastel, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni  ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Rika Furude and Ōka Furude, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei  ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Ruru Amour, Hug tto! PreCure
  • Ai, I: Wish You Were Here
  • Iori Minase, iDOLM@STER Xenoglossia —stand-in for Rie Kugamiya
  • Maiko Tamaki, Interlude
  • Tabane Shinonono, IS: Infinite Stratos ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Rinne Ohara, Island  ✅
  • Haruka Minazuki, Kaitō Tenshi Twin Angel
  • Mai Kawasumi, Kanon  ✅ ✅
  • Tomari Kurusu, Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl
  • Togame, Katanagatari  ✅ ✅
  • Nui Harime, Kill la Kill  ✅ ✅
  • Komaki Asagiri, Kujjibiki Unbalance
  • Excel, Kurokami the Animation
  • Elizabeth Midford, Kuroshitsuji (“Black Butler”)  ✅ ✅
  • Yotsuba, Kyokugen Dasshutsu Adv: Zennin Shibō Desu Prologue
  • Choco, Last Period: The Journey to the End of the Despair ✅
  • Finis, Last Song
  • Midori Sugiura, Mai-HiME
  • Lu Amano, Miami Guns
  • Ink Nijihara, Moetan
  • Nightingale, Monster Strike
  • Shuri Wakatsuki, Myself;Yourself  ✅ 
  • Muromi-san, Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
  • Tenten, Naruto  ✅
  • Jibril, No Game No Life  ✅ ✅
  • Ringo Kinoshita, Nōrin  ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Kanako Kurusu and Meruru, Ore no Imōto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai  ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Masuzu Natsukawa, Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru (“Oreshura”)  ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Akazukin, Otogi Jūshi Akazukin
  • Zesshi Zetsumei, Overlord II  ✅
  • Misha, Pita Ten
  • Clala, Quiz Magic Academy: The Original Animation
  • Priscilla Barielle, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu  ✅ ✅
  • Kanami Yuta, s.CRY.ed  ✅
  • Chiyo Yumehara, Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan  ✅
  • Hayari Mizuhara, Saki Zenkoku-hen  ✅
  • Beatrix Brehme, Schwarzesmarken  ✅
  • Eva-R, Seikon no Qwaser
  • Tiriel, Shakugan no Shana  ✅
  • M4 SOPMOD II, Shàonǚ Qiánxiàn (“Girls’ Frontline”)  ✅
  • Ellis Valentine, Shinkon Gattai Godannar!!
  • Kazane Shishidō, Sora wo Kakeru Shōjo
  • Suzuha Amane, Steins;Gate (series)  ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Saku Tōyama, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
  • Ai Kunugi, Teizokurei Daydream (“Ghost Talker’s Daydream”)  ✅
  • Frederica Bernkastel, Umineko no Naku Koro ni  ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Michiru Munakata, Uta-Kata  ✅ ✅
  • Hisako Ichiki, X-Men
  • KōRyū, AnRyū, and TenRyūJin — Yūsha-Ō GaoGaiGar Final

Commentary: Ms. Tamura is an incredibly talented seiyū; as a testament to their legendary performances in the “Lyrical Nanoha” franchise, both she and Nana Mizuki (voice of “Fate Testarossa”) received honorary voice actor Nendoroids, that Good Smile Company released after the original production of the Nanoha Takamachi and Fate Testarossa figures! Their collection performances (in the first two series particularly), are just that monumental! I would compare Ms. Tamura’s role in “Lyrical Nanoha” to her roles as Michiru Munakata (“Uta-Kata”) and Io Euclase (“Granblue Fantasy the Animation”), though Ms. Tamura is one of the most versatile voice actresses, when it comes to the variety of characters that she’s voiced over the years! Fantastic work with the character!

Nana Mizuki as Fate Testarossa and Alicia Testarossa, notable roles:

  • Nanase Kotobuki, “Bungaku Shōjo”
  • Allison Whittington and Lillianne Aicasia Corazón Whittington-Schultz, Allison to Lillia
  • Akiko, Aoi Bungaku Series
  • Oboro Iga, Basilisk
  • Kururu, Binzume Yōsei
  • Saya Kisaragi, Blood-C
  • Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi, Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryū no Rondo
  • Misaki Kirihara, Darker Than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha
  • Nanami Takatsuki and Ricotta Elmar, Dog Days
  • Hannah, Dragon’s Dogma
  • Sieglinde Baumgarde, Dragonaut: The Resonance
  • Cisqua, Erementar Gerad
  • Wrath, Fullmetal Alchemist ✅ ✅
  • Bi Fei, Gin no Guardian
  • Lydia Carlton, Hakushaku to Yōsei
  • Tsubomi Hanasaki, HeartCatch! PreCure! ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Yu Minamoto, Ichigo 100%
  • Kotoko Aihara, Itazura na Kiss
  • Tsugumi Shibata, Jigoku Shōjo (“Hell Girl”) ✅ ✅
  • Sora Yamato, Jikū Tantei Genshi-kun
  • Tiz, Jū Ō Sei
  • Yin Fu, Ken En Ken: Aoki Kagayaki
  • Roya, Kiba
  • Yuno Rukina, Kiss Dum: Engage Planet
  • Alois Trancy, Kuroshitsuji II ✅ ✅
  • Janice Quatlane, Layton Kyōju to Eien no Utahime (“Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva”)
  • Nyamo Naamo, Love Hina
  • Sayaka Mizushiro, Magical Canan (“Magical Kanan”)
  • Fate and Alicia Testarossa, Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Hotaru Shirakawa, Memories Off
  • Mizuki Hibara, Mokke
  • Magaret Liones, Nanatsu no Taizai ✅
  • Hinata Hyūga, Naruto ✅ ✅
  • Kaho Serizawa, Natsu-iro no Sunadokei (“Hourglass of Summer”) ✅ ✅
  • Shinobu, Ninin ga Shinobuden ✅ ✅
  • Ann Takamaki, Persona 5 ✅ ✅
  • Rue Kuroha, Princess Tutu ✅ ✅
  • Yufa, Ragnarök the Animation
  • Rin Ogata, RideBack ✅ ✅
  • Moka Akashiya, Rosario to Vampire
  • Pandora, Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Tsubasa Kazanari, Senki Zesshō Symphogear
  • Mave, Sentō Yōsei Shōjo Tasukete! Mave-chan
  • Nana Suzuki, Shichinin no Nana
  • Kanon Seena, Shining Tears X Wind
  • Utau Hoshina, Shugo Chara!
  • Morinas, Simōn
  • Aria, Sister Princess
  • Suzu Edogawa, Tactics
  • Colette Brunel, Tales of Symphonia the Animation ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Sylvette Suede, Tegamibachi ✅ ✅
  • Neju Na Melmas, Tenchi Muyō! GXP
  • Chizuru, Tokyo Marble Chocolate
  • Sunao Konoe, Tsuyokiss
  • Matsuki Akino, Wakaokami wa Shougakusei! ✅ ✅
  • Maria, Witchblade
  • Rina Ogata, White Album ✅ ✅ ✅

Commentary: The one word that I would use to describe Nana Mizuki as Fate Testarossa is: heartfelt. Ms. Mizuki is able to alter her glass masks between the abused, little girl to the fiercely, cold magic user in a matter of seconds; despite Fate’s fractured persona, the performance came off as organic and natural, and nothing seemed forced. I would say that this was Ms. Mizuki’s “career-defining” role, and the adulation and recognition that the character receives is well-deserved! Compelling character, by far, the greatest performance in the first series!

Kaori Mizuhashi as Yūno Scrya, notable roles:

  • Purple Thorn, Accel World ✅
  • Taeko Minazuki, Ai Yori Aoshi ✅ ✅
  • Ai Aino, Aria the Animation
  • Minami Shimada, Baka to Test to Shōkanjū ✅
  • Altines, Busō Shinki
  • Len, Carnival Phantasm ✅
  • Pepper, Chicchana Yukitsukai Sugar (“A Little Snow Fairy Sugar”)
  • Ayumu Aizawa, Circlet Princess ✅
  • Vivian Jones, Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Sara Shirogane, Futakoi
  • Chika Ogiue, Genshiken ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Michiru Matsushima, Grisaia no Kajitsu (series) ✅
  • Miyako, Hidamari Sketch ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Kasumi Haruno, Kasumin
  • Akane Suzumiya, Kimi ga Nozumu Eien (“Rumbling Hearts”) ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Haruto Mizushima, Kin’iro no Corda: Blue♪Sky
  • Mifuyu Kiba, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
  • Yūno Scrya and Vivio, Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha —series ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Mami Tomoe, Mahō Shōjo Madoka★Magica ✕ Magia Record: Mahō Shōjo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden (TV) ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Laharl, Makai Senki Disgaea ✅ ✅
  • Janet van Dyne (“Wasp”), Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers
  • Tio Plato, Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen
  • Ōgi Oshino, Monogatari —series ✅ ✅
  • Pikaia, Pikaia!
  • Fel, Prism Ark
  • Mimika, Puka Puka Juju
  • Elina Vance, Queen’s Blade (series) ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Meiru Sakurai, Rockman.EXE (“Megaman.EXE”)
  • Yagyū, Senran Kagura ✅
  • Agnes Bōlange, Shukufuku no Campanella ✅
  • Aya Fujisaki, To LOVEる ✅

Commentary: Ms. Mizuhashi does a wonderful job at making Yūno Scrya an adorable and likable, little boy-type of character (there are less of those than one might think)! It’s kind of odd, because she goes on to voice major sex symbols in the anime collective, like Mami Tomoe (“Mahō Shōjo Madoka★Magica”) and Elina Vance (“Queen’s Blade”)! I would compare her role as Yūno to Laharl (“Makai Senki Disgaea”)! Great performance!

Natsuko Kuwatani as Arf, notable roles:

  • Himiko Kudō (“Lady Poison”), GetBackers
  • Kyaia Furan, Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari (“Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar”)
  • Tweedledee, Kiddy Grade
  • Alister Agrew, Last Exile
  • Kanako Urashima, Love Hina Again
  • Michiru Mamiya, Magikano
  • Yue Ayase, Mahō Sensei Negima! (series)
  • Ryōko Asakura, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu ✅✅✅
  • Suiseiseki, Rozen Maiden (series) ✅✅✅
  • Satomi Kanbara, Saki (series) ✅
  • Kasuga, Sengoku Basara
  • Karen, Sister Princess
  • Hina Kusunose, True Love Story
  • Silvia, Viewtiful Joe
  • Yae Shinatsuhiko, Yozakura Quartet
  • Sae Kawano, Yurumates (series)

Commentary: Ms. Kuwatani is vastly underrated and should be getting more roles, although I don’t know if she’s still apart of the voice-acting industry. I would compare her role as Arf to Ryōko Asakura (“Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu”) and Satomi Kanbara (“Saki”), since her character in “Lyrical Nanoha” an anti-hero that is both loyal beyond belief and ferociously protective over Fate. Great job!

Mikako Takahashi as Chrono Harlaown, notable roles:

  • Hitomi, Appleseed VIII
  • Louise Bubby, Chocolate Underground
  • Tuile, Chōjūshin Gravion ✅
  • Leerin Marfes, Chrome Shelled Regios
  • Ayaka, Crystal Blaze
  • Sakura Mizukami, D-Frag!
  • Rebecca Anderson, Dog Days (series) ✅
  • Reverie Metherlence, Erementar Gerad
  • Nanami Moriyama, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz! ✅
  • Suzuha Amanosuzu, Future Card Buddyfight (series)
  • Tsu Terakado and Sadaharu, Gintama (series) ✅✅✅
  • Yuzu Koyama, Girls und Panzer ✅✅
  • Rushuna Tendō, Grenadier: Hohoemi no Senshi
  • Ayumi Yamada, Hachimitsu to Clover ✅✅✅
  • Rika Akiba, Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora (“Looking Up At The Half-Moon”) ✅
  • Ayumu Nishizawa, Hayate no Gotoku!
  • Shirayuki Hotogi, Hidan no Aria
  • Elena and Eeta, Hunter x Hunter (2011) ✅✅
  • Hakugen Rikuson and Teni Shizen, Ikkitōsen (series)
  • Sayo Tomoe, Keitai Shōjo
  • Izumi Makihara, Kemeko Deluxe!
  • Caro Ru Lushe, Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS and Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid ✅✅
  • Rosalie Claudel, Mai-Otome and Mai-Otome Zwei
  • Ayako Takasu, Mamoru-kun ni Megami no Shukufuku wo! (“Venus to Mamoru!”)
  • Chisato Tanuma, Maria-sama ga Miteru (series) ✅✅✅
  • Nyami, MonHun Nikki Girigiri Airō Mura G
  • Saya and Saizō, Peace Maker Kurogane
  • Nowi, Queen’s Blade (series) ✅✅✅
  • Adelicia Ren Mathers, Rental Magica
  • Kuniko Hōjō, Shangri-La ✅✅
  • Jun Shiomi, Shokugeki no Sōma ✅✅
  • Rodoreamon, Simōn
  • Kusuha Mizuha, Super Robot Taisen OG the Animation (series)
  • Tsubasa Watatsumi, Tactical Roar
  • Sakuno Ryuzaki, Tennis no Ōji-sama
  • Akiho Sairenji, To LOVEる✅✅
  • Patchouli Knowledge (“Pachurī Nōreji”), 東方 Niji Sōsaku Dōjin Anime: Musō Kakyō ✅✅✅
  • Rita Sior, Wellber no Monogatari: Sisters of Wellber
  • Montmorency Margarita la Fère de Montmorency, Zero no Tsukaima (series)

Commentary: Ms. Takahashi has the same weird juxtaposition as Kaori Mizuhashi (voice of “Yūno Scrya”), where she starts out playing the role of a little boy character and then transitions into more, well, provocative roles! I would compare her role as Chrono Harlaown to Elena and Eeta (“Hunter x Hunter”), Yuzu Koyama (“Girls und Panzer”), and Nowi (“Queen’s Blade”)… since those characters are more boyish and androgynous than the rest. Great work!

Aya Hisakawa as Lindy Harlaown, notable roles:

  • Skuld, Ah! My Goddess ✅✅✅
  • Mune-Mune, Abenobashi Mahō☆Shōtengai ✅
  • Shana T, Al Caral no Isan
  • Megumi Hisakawa, Alien 9 ✅
  • Miyuki Haneda, Aozora Shōjo-tai (“801 T.T.S. Airbats”)
  • Minamo Kurosawa, Azumanga Daiō
  • Rei Kon, Bakuten Shoot Beyblade ✅✅
  • Ichino Yanagida, Battle Athletess Daiundōkai ✅✅
  • Ami Mizuno, Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon ✅✅
  • Kissu, Bōken Ō Beet (“Beet the Vandel Buster”)
  • Hassan, Byston Well Monogatari: Garzey no Tsubasa (“Garzey’s Wing”)
  • Keroberos, Cardcaptor Sakura ✅✅✅
  • Carol Mudagolas, Carol
  • Marina Oki, Cosmo Warrior Zero
  • Aimi Koenji, Dark Cat
  • Bulma, Dragon Ball Super
  • Yuki Sōma, Fruits Basket (2001) ✅✅
  • Yae, Ganbare Goemon (“Legend of the Mystical Ninja”)
  • Maki Umezaki, Geobreeders
  • Serena, Gin’iro no Olynssis: Tokito
  • Becky Farrah, Gunsmith Cats ✅✅
  • Yuri Tsukikage (“Cure Moonlight”), HeartCatch PreCure ✅✅✅
  • Palutena, Hikari no Megami ✅
  • Layla B. Simmons, Idol Project
  • Yōko Nakajima, Jūni Kokuki (“The Twelve Kingdoms”)
  • Chris, Kōryū Densetsu Villgust (“Armed Dragon Fantasy Villgust”)
  • Kanako Shijo, Kōryū no Mimi: Mina no Shō
  • Lindy Harlaown, Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha ✅✅
  • Sumire Kasugano, Mahōtsukai Sally 2
  • Yōko Mano, Mamono Hunter Yōko
  • Shizuka Nakamoto, Marriage: Kekkon
  • Vinca, Mushrambo
  • Chloe, Noir
  • Kappii, Ontama!
  • Claudia McCunnen, Phantom: Requiem for a Phantom ✅
  • Hardy Newland, Power Dolls
  • Takius, Ragnarök the Animation
  • Haruka Shitō, RahXephon ✅✅
  • Shizuka Nakamoto, Sailor Victory
  • Mira Ackerman, Shinkon Gattai Godanner!!
  • Miki Kaoru, Shōjo Kakumei Utena ✅✅
  • Ryōko Balta, Tenchi Muyō! GXP
  • Midori Saejima, Tenshi Nanka ja Nai
  • Tomoko Hoshina, To Heart ✅✅
  • Kaoru Niimi, Uchū Senkan Yamato 2199 ✅✅✅
  • Hinoto, X ✅✅
  • Ororo Munroe, X-Men

Commentary: Unlike Precia Testarossa, Lindy Harlaown is the likable mother — in “The Wizard of Oz” terms, the Good Witch of the North, as opposed to the Wicked Witch of the West. Her voice is very sweet and is similar to any young-looking, attractive mother in anime (the “ara ara ma”-type). I would compare Ms. Hisakawa’s role as Lindy Harlaown to Kaoru Niimi (“Uchū Senkan Yamato 2199”) and Pautena (“Hikari no Megami”). Both are voluptuous, older women that are on the side of good — that’s the only reason that I excluded Claudia McCunnen from “Phantom: Requiem for a Phantom”! Fantastic work!

Rei Igarashi as Precia Testarossa, notable roles:

  • Kanzeon Bosatsu (“Merciful Goddess”), Gensōmaden Saiyūki (series) ✅

Commentary: Ms. Igarashi doesn’t seem to have had many other roles, her performance in Gensōmaden Saiyūki is similarly as husky and cold, as her role as the antagonist in “Lyrical Nanoha”! Great performance, albeit not very sympathetic, except for when Fate’s backstory is revealed!

Conclusively, this series is still hailed highly today because, even now, there isn’t anything quite like it. Not only is there a canonical, yuri romance but there are themes of child abuse, dimensional travel, and it ponders the philosophical question of whether human cloning should ever be an ethical option for the bereaved. The “Lyrical Nanoha” anime is a ground-breaking series that everyone should try, at least once, that is… if little girls duking it out with magical powers and well-choreographed sakuga scenes is your thing! I give Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha (TV) a 6/10 and Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st a solid 8/10!

Rankings: 

Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha ★★★☆☆

Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st ★★★★☆

Published by eggheadluna

H.E. Rodgers is the author of the Juniper's Tree series, also known as the 真柏Project. MyAnimeList: https://myanimelist.net/profile/Egghe... Twitter: https://twitter.com/EggheadLuna #真柏Project #JunipersTree

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