Innocent Starter

January 11, 2008

  Hiza wo kakaete heya no katasumi,
  Itsumo fuan de furuete ita,
  Hontou wo shiru koto ga kowakute,
  Tobira wo tojita
 
This opening theme song was the main reason why I decided to watch the anime series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Because Innocent Starter had such a catchy tune, it was enough to make me sit and watch the opening credits even though I felt the whole series was just okay. See, first impressions really do count.
 
  Yasahii uso ni ibasho mitsukete,
  Yume no naka ni nigekonda,
  Dare mo shiranai kodomo no umi wo,
  Fukai ao ni someteku
 
Sung by Nana Mizuki, surprisingly most of the time I could sing this song well and smoothly. The verses are easy on my voice though the chorus part has a line that changes to a higher pitch. Amazingly I could sing that part without any flaw. Destined to sing this song? Unless I have sore throat and such of course that would be impossible. Also, I feel that the final lines of the chorus needs to be sung ‘with all one’s might’. Meaning that I really need to ‘push out’ my voice with full force if I’m to successfully sing that part.
 
  Sabishi sa kakusu ichizu na omoi,
  Kimi no kokoro wo kizutsukete iru
 
As for the lyrics, because I’ve been singing this song many times, I have seemed to memorize the entire words even though each of the chorus lines are different (not many repeating lines, that is). What do you expect when you’re singing it more than once and even so, doing a duet with the singer at times when I feel ‘lazy’ on playing the karaoke version. Thankfully this is a real karaoke version and there are some background vocals so the song doesn’t feel too ’empty’ when I sing it.
 
  Hitomi no oku no himitsu suikomare sou na,
  Egao no ura no shinjitsu ni,
  Yawaraka na ai boku ga todoke ni yuku yo
 
I’m still wondering why this song is called so even though the lyrics isn’t your typical simple love song. I mean, overall the lyrics may have something to do with the story and characters of the show, though I’m not sure and could be wrong. It does touch on love, hope and lonliness. Even if I translated and read the whole song in English, I still can’t really understand what the whole song is trying to say in the bigger picture. So I just take it line by line.
 
  Furetara koware sou na nukumori ga ima,
  Kako wo hanare afuredasu,
  Zutto soba ni iru kara,
  Kanashii kage ni madowanaide
 
The music itself is quite upbeat though it starts on a slow and gentle note before it gradually becomes lively at the chorus. The solo part is quite short though the ending solo seems a bit longer with a stormy electric guitar playing. Thus I can safely say that I’ll be hearing this song over and over again and won’t bored of it for a long time.
 
  Boku no namae yonde,
  Ano hi no you ni warai kakete…

Though I’m not really a fan of the magical girl genre, something inside me kept telling me to have a try for the series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. And after watching so many kinds of anime, I decided to go with my gut feeling. So okay, it didn’t turn out that bad as expected but it didn’t change my liking on the magical girl genre.
 
I should be counting my lucky stars because I really like the opening theme song, Innocent Starter, which is sung by Nana Mizuki. I was really taken into it and instantly fell in love with it. Maybe most people would say that it’s just another ordinary song, but to me, I find it quite catchy, the tune of the song. Talk about starting things off on the right note. With that, I decided to stay and try out watching the series.
 
Another reason being is that, since this series is shown on the local television, there has been a preview of it written earlier on. Because most of the magical girl genres are targeted for younger audiences and especially little girls, this review say that due to the complexity of the magic system, the show would appeal to older audiences as well. Maybe it’s because I’m such a blur case or what that I didn’t realize the intensity of the magic usage system. So after the series has ended, I decided to look up a little and do a little research by paying a visit to Wikipedia. And oh my goodness!!! There are tons and tons of terminologies of whatever spells and devices. Some I might never even heard of or recall ever being used in the series. Like I said, maybe I was a blur head or maybe those additional hyped up stuffs are used in later sequels. Yup, there’s a sequel to this series alright.
 
At first I thought this was a 26 episode series. Why? Because normally and usually I have noticed and ASS-U-ME-D that when the local tv series decides to air a Japanese anime, they’ll usually take a 26 episode one. Anything less than that and it’ll be too short and they might have to repeat the show in the same slot again or churn out more money to buy other shows to replace this one. Hehehe. Not until when I was watching somewhere near the end, it hit me that "Hey, how come the plot feels like it’s gonna end already?". In addition, I happen to notice over the internet that the subs for the series has only 13 episodes. I was thinking did they dropped subbing this show? To satisfy my curiosity (or rather blurness) I did a little research again and to my shock and surprise, it has only 13 episodes. Yes, 13 episodes! Now I really do look like a fool. So next time if you want to ASS-U-ME, don’t. The ASS is on me this time. *face looking towards the ground and blushing*.
 
The storyline is basically like this. We’ve got ourselves a cute elementary school goer named Nanoha Takamichi who seems to have the perfect life. Her kind and caring parents own some sort of a coffee shop and her elder brother and sister are equally caring and nice to her as well. But since they’re busy doing their stuff sometimes, Nanaoha feels left out at times. But she’s all used to that. And as any girl at their age would have, best friends of course. Two to be exact for Nanoha, Alisa Bannings and Suzuka Tsukimura. Doing things together, having fun together. Isn’t life a bliss?
 
But all that is about to change for Nanoha as we see in episode 1 a young archaelogist boy named Yuuno Scrya, is engaged in some battle with some monster. Though both at the end of their duel are injured, the monster retreats and Yuuno… he turned himself into a ferret. I don’t remember why but it seems something like to save his powers and heal himself. Something like that. So Nanoha along with Alisa and Suzuka are heading off to school when Alisa suggests to take a shortcut through the woods. Nanoha hears some strange voice calling for her but it seems only Nanoha herself can hear it. Soon she spots an injured ferret and in no time, the 3 friends took it to the vet for treatment.
 
Because they can’t get that cute ferret out of their minds, they’re contemplating of what to do with it during class. You should pay attention to your teacher… Later that night, Nanoha’s having a strange dream about the ferret being in danger. Yup, some black dustball monster is gonna attack it at the vet. And oddly enough, Nanoha decides to head over to the vet only to find a huge scary monster. What’s even scarier is that the ferret can talk! Well, might as well explain a few things since Nanoha now knows it can speak, like who he is and he’s not from this world bla bla bla.
 
Soon Yuuno (let’s call him this from now on. It’s better and more ‘respect’) gives Nanoha that red round jewel, called Raging Heart, the jewel that he used to fight the monster earlier in the day. Yuuno can’t used it because he has failed once and is injured. I guess it’s no time to think whether you wanna be a full time/part time magical girl and save the world because the monster aint gonna wait around for you to finish making your decision. With that, Nanoha takes the Raging Heart in her hand and with some uttering of some few words and tadah… a henshin (transformation) occurs.
 
So it might not be a lengthy transformation but I figure that since it’s a magical genre, this transformation of showing our young heroine change into her super costume to fight evil is a must. But there is 1 thing that I kinda notice about the costume. Why, the skirt is longer than knee length! No, I’m NOT disappointed. That’s because, in fact, all the magical girl genres that I’ve seen, the heroine’s skirt is so short! Would you believe me, from Sailor Moon to Card Captor Sakura, it’s like wearing a loose mini-skirt. Which brings me to another point. I kinda noticed that Nanoha’s magical girl outfit and her school uniform is quite close to each other in design. Yeah, which means, her school uniform’s skirt length too is longer than knee length. Something refreshing and different.
 
After the transformation, Raging Heart becomes some sort of a magical staff-cum-wand (I later find out that such staff is called Intelligent Devices. Hmmm…) that as usual shoots magic projections, project magic barriers and such. Oh yeah, now she can fly too. Okay, not just fly but some wing like projection will appear at her ankles to indicate that she can soar to the skies. I find it kinda different because the voice of the Raging Heart is to be of a computerized female voice and it speaks in English. And I found out that a non-Japanese person lends her voice to this. Yeah, so no squeaky high pitched typical Japanese anime girly voice for this Intelligent Device. In addition, whenever Raging Heart activates a spell or barrier, there’ll be some English words appearing on the red ball but I can’t make it out though it’s exactly what Raging Heart says because the font style is too ‘fancy’.
 
Nanoha’s battle with that scary monster continues at the start of episode 2. It seems that Nanoha has a natural talent for being a magical girl, impressing Yuuno in a way. Though I’m not sure if Nanoha watches magical girl series or not. Nanoha’s a fast learner and can even pull off spells which are way beyond Yuuno’s expectations. And as expected, she defeats the monster and a jewel appears from it. So we hear some explanations from Yuuno that those jewels are known as Jewel Seeds and he’s trying to collect all 21 of them scattered in this world. Previously on some archaelogy expedition, he somehow lost them on an unfortunate disaster so he’s trying to recover them all as soon as possible. Why? Because the Jewel Seeds are very very powerful source of power and by falling into the wrong hands, you know what this means, right? World domination, cultural abomination. You get the picture. With that, Nanoha agrees to help Yuuno recover them all.
 
Since Yuuno has to be with Nanoha, I guess passing off as her pet ferret would make a great cover. Well, at least everyone allows it so long as Nanoha takes care of it. Plus it would be really weird if they find out that Yuuno the ferret can talk. So how do they communicate? Besides being some magical wand, Raging Heart too becomes some sort of a telepathic tool for Nanoha and Yuuno to communicate anytime anywhere and in total privacy. Now if there’s a phone technology like this today.
 
Remember how Nanoha has a talent of being a magical girl. Yeah, it takes a step further. Why now she can even sense the presence of a near by Jewel Seed. While on her way back from school, Nanoha detects a Jewel Seed who seemed to have turned some Rotweller into a scary looking dog-like beast. So another round of transformation, another round of magic spells before they subdued the monster and collects the Jewel Seed. Yay. Now that’s 2 out of 21.
 
Episode 3 starts off with Nanoha doing another round of Jewel Seeds collection. Yup, she has already 5 of them by now. She’s doing a pretty good job. So while most of this episodes see how everyone else gets accquainted with a cute Yuuno, Nanoha and her pals watches their school football team in play because Nanoha’s dad their coach, we see that one of the football player kid giving his sweetheart a Jewel Seed unknowingly the chaos he might wreck later on. But when she touches the ornament, a bright light suddenly shines and woah! That’s a pretty large tree. Did those 2 lovebirds turned into a tree?
 
Nanoha with her Jewel Seed sense tingling rushes outside her home to see the large tree engulfing the city with its heavy roots. Don’t worry, Nanoha’s here to save the day as she transforms to another magical girl and goes off to find the Jewel Seed. With her ever amazing growing skills which keeps impressing Yuuno each time, she manages to do the impossible (something like sealing the Jewel Seed from a far distance) and bring order back to the world. So when those lovebirds come too, they think it’s all just a dream and walks away. Perhaps it’s better this way. With that all the tree roots disappear but not without leaving some damage to the concrete and road behind. Yuuno explains that when a Jewel Seed comes into contact with a human or living thing, a super power will be unleashed. So is Nanoha immune to it because she’s the magical girl? Or maybe Nanoha didn’t really touch it. But don’t worry, it won’t be each episode Nanoha gets to find a Jewel Seed episode. That would be plain boring, wouldn’t it?
 
It may seem that episode 4 is one of those filler episodes. That’s because, Alisa, Nanoha and her brother gets invited to Suzuka’s super rich and big mansion. Yeah, Nanoha’s brother has a thing for Suzuka’s older sister, Shinobu. Though it isn’t obvious, but you could pretty much guess it’s like that. Is the theme for Suzuka’s household purple? I mean, not only their hair colour is purple but the maids there too are dressed in purple. And Yuuno’s having a hard time trying to stay away from Suzuka’s pet cat.
 
Besides all the fun and enjoyment that our 3 little girl have, we see the appearance of yet another magical girl. A sad and gloomy looking girl called Fate Testarossa (I heard something like testosterone at first) at first may look like the villain of the series as she took is looking for the Jewel Seeds. Nanoha gets to meet her when she and Yuuno sense yet another Jewel Seed somewhere in the huge gardens. To their surprise, they find a giant cat. So it’s not that scary looking as the previous monsters they battled. That’s when Nanoha meets Fate (pun intended). Nanoha notices how Fate doesn’t really care about the cat’s well-being as she’s just relentlessly attacking the cat just to get the Jewel Seed. With that Nanoha transforms and a short battle ensued with her new found rival. Fate’s Intelligent Device, Bardische (a computerized male voice over, who’s also a non-Japanese), to has its superb and cool magical powers as Nanoha lost to Fate and gets injured in the process.
 
Which means, Fate gets the Jewel Seed. And soon after which, Fate leaves. Meanwhile, Nanoha is being treated back in Suzuka’s house and Nanoha gives the excuse that she may have just tripped in the woods. Well, at least they believed her. Who would if she said "I battled another magical girl". Yeah, they’ll say you’ve watched too many animes. Then back in some high rise building in the city, we see Fate, petting her wolf-dog pet, Arf, and ponders about her new rival. We also find out that Fate’s doing it because of her beloved mother. And she’s bloody determined not to loose.
 
I supposed the the fun and enjoyment continues in episode 5 because Nanoha and the gang vists the hot spring. Since they’re little girls, don’t worry about having to see big bouncy boobs. AND I’M NOT A PERVERT! And because everybody sees Yuuno as a ferret, Yuuno’s in a pinch because he has to reluctantly watch our little ladies undress themselves. Luckily he isn’t a pervert. Just close your eyes real tight.
 
But the 3 girls bumped into a suspicious looking woman at the hot spring. Yeah, she has a jewel-like thingy on her forehead. What’s even more surprising is that she’s telepathically telling Nanoha and Yuuno to stay out of other’s business. Looks like she’s one of Fate’s subordinates. But in front of the other 2 friends, she just play dumb and innocent. You’ll find out she’s actually Arf in her human form and she’s telepathically conveying her findings to Fate, who herself seems to have detected another Jewel Seed.
 
As expected, Nanoha and Yuuno too sensed a piece of the Jewel Seed and rushes down to some stream near a bridge. Okay, so Fate’s there too. Another round of battle for tiny tiny piece of jewel. With their Intelligent Devices mentioning some whatever magic moves or special power thingy, it seems Nanoha may have the upper hand that is, until Fate sticks her Bardische at Nanoha’s throat. No choice, Nanoha has to give up the Jewel Seed. With that, Fate spares her life and warns her not to butt in again or else before leaving with Arf. Is Nanoha on a losing streak? Yeah, she’s gonna need all the vacation she can get.
 
Because of the recent events, Nanoha is down in the dumps in episode 6. Lots of spacing out here and there so much so, her pals think that something is wrong with her. Nanoha’s not the kind of girl who would go telling people that she needs help so she keeps to herself. Besides, could anybody help solve a problem which involves magical girls? Not even Superman could. So it’s best to fight fire with fire. And because Nanoha’s been acting strangely, Alisa suspects Nanoha may be hiding something and soon both of them get into an argument. But luckily, Suzuka’s there to stop them. Unfortunately, their friendship is now on the rocks.
 
But Nanoha has to put her spacing out and personal problems on hold. That’s because Fate and Arf are up to their tricks again. They’re trying to activate the Jewel Seed with their magic. Both sides detected the presence of each other as they try to quickly seal the Jewel Seed. Such great timing that both their magic hit the Jewel Seed at the same time. While Nanoha is spacing out about her friendship thingy, Fate is on full speed to recover it. It seems Nanoha values frienship very much and wants to know more about Fate as Nanoha explains her reason for wanting the Jewel Seeds and asks Fate the same. But their conversation is rudely being interrupted by Arf. With that, the 2 girls now race with each other to retrieve the Jewel Seed. But their Intelligent Devices clashed at the same time resulting in some super bright power flash of light which starts to crack both their Intelligent Devices. Now that’s high power impact.
 
So in episode 7, Fate tries to retrieve to Jewel Seed herself but is too powerful as she collapses. A worried Arf then quickly whisks her away as Nanoha and Yuuno could only watch. Back at Nanoha’s home, she’s being doing some thinking and even has a little chat with her sister.
 
Meanwhile at Fate’s place, though Fate has only garnered 4 Jewel Seeds, she decides to go meet her mom, even Arf doesn’t have a good feeling about it. Then this is the part which shocked me. We see Fate being tied up and getting whipped mercilessly by her evil looking mom, Precia! What the?! That $#(*&%$ b*tch!!! She’s not happy that Fate has failed her and has only got 4 Jewel Seeds. Well if you want a job done, you better do it yourself, right? And you send your poor little daughter out into the field and she did her best and you’re being this grateful? Why you #(*$#(*&$(*#@!!! I felt really pity for Fate who has to endure all that and she didn’t even fight back! Perhaps she’s too weak. And poor Arf could do nothing but wish for Precia to stop as she’s covering her ears to that intolerable cacophony. #@&*&#@*!!! Well, to show her ‘gratefulness’, Precia decides to give Fate another chance to collect the remaining Jewel Seeds and of course that warning not to screw up again or else. Yeah, go screw yourself. Fate has got to be every mother’s dream daughter because she’s still looking at the positive things of her mom after all that pain. I don’t think I could go through all that.
 
So Fate goes out for another round in search of the Jewel Seeds. As expected, a Jewel Seed possessed some tree and turned it into a frightening one. Reminds of you of Halloween. Yeah, Nanoha’s there too. Though they manage to subdue the monster tree, It’s like the same thing, they’re gonna have that high impact clash again when at the same time, the Time Space Bureau Administration decides to send one of their official, a kid named Chrono to halt the fight between the 2. Okay… so now we have some people in some space ship called Asura who keeps order and justice throughout the dimensions. Uh-huh. Led by Chrono’s mom, Lindy, who’s the commander of the Asura and a seemingly genki young intelligence officer, Amy, among the crew.

 
Chrono manages to arrive in time and stop them before the 2 ladies turn each other into magical girl meat kebab. Just kidding. Because Arf wants to protect her master, she quickly whisks Fate and disappears away, leaving Nanoha and Chrono there. Since Nanoha’s deep into this, I suppose, she has no choice but to follow Chrono back to Asura for some questioning. Perhaps the word interrogation is too much for a little girl.
 
In episode 8, Nanoha goes on board the Asura and finds out more stuffs like the Jewel Seeds are also known as Los Logia. Not only that, Yuuno finally transforms himself back to that human kid. Maybe he’s been too long as a ferret and may be thinking that he’s one now, huh. Yeah, Nanoha’s a little surprised too. Lindy wants to know more about Fate and wants to bring her in for questioning but she seems to be very elusive. Thus, they want Nanoha and Yuuno to help them, which they both agree.
 
So we also see a short flashback of Fate’s past. Well, they both seem to be much happier that time. So what exactly went wrong? But Fate after all that torture still decides to do her mom’s bidding even if Arf protests. But since Arf is Fate’s loyal familiar, I guess she’ll have to go wherever Fate goes. Even if it’s the ends of the Earth. Back at Nanoha, she’s having a talk with her mom and indirectly says she has to leave to settle some problems of her own. I’m not sure, but it seems her mom allows her though she didn’t even specifically say what her problem is because she has her full trust in her daughter and since Nanoha’s a big girl now and can do things on her own. With that, Nanoha gets her blessings from her family members and off she and Yuuno goes on board the Asura. Even back at school, the teacher announces Nanoha won’t be in school for some time to solve some personal matters. I guess everybody cares that much not until you have to be busybody and know what it is. And again, who would believe about the magical girl thing. Furthermore, now it’s got space and time travel keepers.
 
Since there are a few Jewel Seeds left, in episode 9 Fate is desparate to please her @$#*% mom and tries to activate several Jewel Seeds at once though she’s aware that this may cause the Time Space crew to find her location. And on board Asura, Nanoha and Yuuno are having some chat. Don’t worry, there isn’t any real chemistry or romance going on between these 2. Besides, isn’t Nanoha too young for that? They’re just kids. Anyway, they detected Fate hovering across the ocean with several Jewel Seeds.
 
Nanoha and Yuuno are quickly despatched to the scene. So as usual another stormy battle ensues. But this time, Nanoha is trying to reason with Fate and doesn’t want to fight her and even asks to help her find the Jewel Seeds together. Because Fate’s heart is wavering, Precia finally arrives in her island fortress, Garden Of Time and launches an attack on Asura, disabling the ship for the moment. Also one of the bolts strike Fate. Arf’s trying to get the remaining 6 jewels but Chrono appears and intercepts as he gets 3 of them, making Arf mad. Before you know it, Fate and Arf disappears.
 
Poor Fate gets another heartless beating from her &!&*&# Precia in episode 10. Arf can’t take it anymore and decides to go confront Precia. Even though she has the will but Precia’s too powerful for Arf as she disposes her off. Luckily Arf manages to escape in time, but not after sustaining some injuries. What’s this? It seems that Precia seems to be obsessed with some girl called Alicia sleeping in a large tube. Hmm…
 
Arf days may be numbered, that is until Arisa finds it. Yup, Arf’s in her animal form. Because Arisa’s fascinated what kind of animal it is or rather she’s a kind soul, she decides to take in the beast and nurse it. Meanwhile, Nanoha’s briefly back from her whatever expedition, in her eyes of her family and friends, that is. Nanoha hears from Arisa at school about that weird looking animal thing she caught and decides to go pay a visit and have a look after Arisa invites her and Suzuka.
 
We see Arf in some cage at Arisa’s place and of course Nanoha and Yuuno recognizes her. Luckily with that telepathic thing, the trio can converse without freaking out those 2 innocent kids. Arf’s telling how Precia’s the badass woman and using Fate for some whatever experiments. Yeah, the Time Space crew is also listening to Arf’s testimony and they conclude that she may be telling the truth. With that, they’re gonna arrest Precia, seeing that earlier attack on Asura is enough for an arrest warrant.. Um… I don’t remember, but it seems Lindy is impersonating as somebody and making some things as she gets to know the Takamichi household. Some cover up? And since everybody’s there so friendly, I guess they don’t suspect anything.
 
In a way you could say Arf has joined them but only to get Fate back. So after Nanoha makes peace with her friends and some bonding with her family, Nanoha sends a challenge to Fate for their final battle and this time they’ll put all the Jewel Seeds they have on the line, though Nanoha’s real intention is to save Fate as well. Thus, Nanoha and Fate finally meets and prepares to fight. Though Arf’s concern and tells Fate not to follow that mad woman’s orders anymore, Fate still remains loyal to the fact that she’s still her daughter. Aww… Poor girl.
 
Episode 11 is partly a flashback episode as we find out more about Precia and Fate’s background. While Nanoha and Fate engaged in an aerial magical battle over the Jewel Seeds at stake, but it is Nanoha that ultimately wins. Nanoha still forgives Fate (whether or not she’s aware of what she’s done) when Precia arrives and gives Fate another of those lightning blasts. Has she had enough of that already? Bardische breaks and Fate’s Jewel Seeds are being absorbed by Precia. Precia’s disgusted that the ‘useless’ Fate is being with Nanoha. Who’s the useless one. But it’s the moment the Time Space crew have been waiting for, for Precia to show herself so that they won’t have a hard time tracking her down and nab her. While Nanoha brings Fate back to Asura, the other Time Space crew has invaded Garden Of Life and is asking Precia to give up. Would she give up so easily. Noooo, we must hear some little past lecture first. Plus, Precia’s pretty protective over her Alicia and disposes those officials easily.
 
We learn from a sick Precia (both mind and body. She’s coughing blood too) that the Alicia girl in the tube is actually Precia’s real daughter. So who is Fate? She’s only a clone! Oh, I couldn’t have guessed it. Back then, something went wrong in her magical experiment and Alicia died. So Precia who’s so obsessed with her daughter tried all stuffs, legal or illegal to get her daughter back. Therefore, Precia has created Fate in the image of her daughter Alicia and even gave her memories of her precious child. That explains why Fate has those memories of her when she was young but instead of Precia calling her Fate, her mom keeps calling her Alicia. Since a young Fate was happy back then, she couldn’t care less as long as she could be with her mom. Memories of somebody else. 
 
To land the ultimate killer blow to Fate, Precia tells her that even though Fate has Alicia’s memories and all that, Precia has never loved her once and hated her since the day she was created! Why that #($#(*$&(#*$&(#*&$@#)(@*#)(#*@)(#*)(@*#)(@*#)(@^!!! Anybody who wants to pound this monster to death, please raise their hands! She’s just using Fate to do her bidding until her Alicia revives. This is worse than being a slave. I suppose there’s a limit a child can take. Fate’s in real shock and disbelief. Bloody cruel. As Fate collapses, her mom doesn’t care a single bit. The Time Space crew prepares to take Precia in by force.
 
But getting to Precia isn’t easy as in episode 12, she’s gonna use the power of the 9 Jewel Seeds to bring her to some legendary place of magic called Al Hazard. What’s so good about that place? Well, that place is fabled to have some lost technology which would allow Precia to finish her work to revive Alicia. Though Precia mentions that the 9 Jewel Seeds isn’t enough but since she’s desparate, it’ll just do. And since the Time Space crew isn’t enough, Nanoha, Yuuno and even Arf has to join in and stop her.
 
What about Fate? No doubt she’s till in shock about her new found discovery, she’s doing some self analyzing psychological stuffs and soons get her confidence back. Uh-huh. Just like out of confidence, her Bardische somehow becomes fixed like as though it’s all new. Maybe it’s magic. With that, Fate decides to join Nanoha in battle. Our heroes are having a tough time with Precia’s guards as they’re obstructing them in order to buy her some time to activate and open the gate to Al Hazard.
 
To Nanoha’s surprise, Fate comes in at the right time and saves Nanaho before she becomes toast. With that, the 2 forged a friendship and worked together as a team. Aww… While Nanoha went off in search to stop some power source, Fate once again meets up with her mom and tries to talk to her. I would have guessed that the answer is the same since that woman is quite stubborn. Even in times like this after what Fate has been through, she’s still willing to forgive Precia and wants to give her a second chance. Fate’s such a good girl as she doesn’t care if she’s a clone or what so long it’s that mother-daughter relationship thingy.
 
Because Precia has used the 9 Jewel Seeds to activate the gate to Al Hazard, this causes some instability as the Garden Of Life now is gonna crumble. Precia is still obsessed with her irreplaceable daughter and snubs Fate’s good intentions. With that the ground crumbles, Precia and Alicia fall into some sort of dimensional abyss. Fate could only watch in horror. And since the whole place is gonna crash, everyone has to evacuate quickly. At first I thought Precia actually disappeared into another dimension and would resurface somewhere later in the next season. However, upon further reading I found out that she actually perished during that incident as she’d rather die with her Alicia rather than facing up to her crimes. Uh-huh, Precia’s still laughing like a mad person when she’s falling to her impending doom. Good ridence.
 
The final episode 13 begins where we left off as Precia falls to her doom. Nanoha manages to arrive in time to stop Fate before she too follows her mom. Luckily everybody manages to escape Garden Of Life before it total self destructs and get back onboard the Asura. This final episode felt like tying things up and make it as though it’s a prelude to a sequel. Yup, we see Nanoha and Yuuno getting some whatever reward from Lindy for their cooperation. Then Lindy, Chrono, Nanoha and Yuuno have some discussion over their meal about Al Hazard which is only believed to be a myth and the real existance of it isn’t really proven yet. Something like that. Also, Chrono tells Nanoha that Fate is going to get prosecuted for violating some space dimension rules but he will assure that Fate will get a lighter sentence because Fate initially didn’t know what’s going on the first place and was doing this under the orders of her thank-Lord-she’s-gone-now mom. With that, Nanoha and Yuuno are beamed back down to planet Earth as they said their goodbyes.
 
Back home, Nanoha gets a warm welcome back from her family and friends. Who wouldn’t miss such a cute girl. They’re glad she’s back in 1 piece. On the day before Fate’s trial, Nanoha gets a chance to meet her one last time and talk things over. It’s quite heartwarming to see them together. Looks like Arf and Yuuno are pals too. And if you noticed, this is the first time Fate actually smiled! Fate wonders how are they going to be friends and Nanoha just simply say to call each other’s name. I’m not sure the logic behind that, but I guess it’s a start. After giving each other a warm goodbye hug and promising to keep in touch, they exchange hair ribbons and off Fate and Arf goes. The end credits isn’t anything much as we just see the characters resuming their daily life and going about with their usual business. Looks like Yuuno’s here to stay with Nanoha since he’s got no where to go. Has he given up on his archaelogy thingy?
 
Overall, I guess this whole anime is pretty decent to me, since I’m still haven’t turned into a magical girl crazed fan. To be fair (ahem ahem), this series isn’t that all bad. Okay drawings, art and animation and just a little character development with Nanoha and Fate. Though I think it will appeal to younger and older audiences, boys and girls. Okay, maybe not so the younger audiences in a way because this series touches on child abuse. It may be a little horrifying. Then I found out that the local tv is gonna air the second season Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s. Which means if you count them in total, there are additional 13 episodes which makes the whole Nanoha series into 26 episodes. For me, I’ve had my share of kawaii Nanoha so I won’t be continuing further.
 
Plus, the storyline for the second season seem less appealing to me. It goes something like this. Several months after the first season ended, Fate is currently being tried for her crimes but still keep in touch with Nanoha. Of course new villains who call themselves Velka-Type Knights threatened to steal some magical powers to rule the world by filling up the Book Of Darkness. That kind of thing. Therefore, Nanoha and Fate has to team up once again to defeat the new enemies and save the world, time and space. So more magical spells, more characters, more drama and plot. Sounds interesting? Not if you’re a Nanoha or magical girl hardcore fan.
 
Actually I’ve caught the first episode of Nanoha A’s. The opening and ending theme song this time are way unappealing though the drawing and art are still consistant. Yuuno seems to be onboard Asura along with Fate and Arf. Uh-huh, Nanoha gave the excuse that Yuuno’s real owners have reclaimed him. Raging Heart’s vocabulary seems to have increased and is like able to have a decent interaction with Nanoha. You could see the kanji subtitles when Raging Heart speaks. And even later Nanoha gets her first battle with an aggressive hot headed brat, Vita, who’s another magical girl. Yup, Nanoha’s really taken a beating and seems on the verge of losing when Fate and Yuuno showed up in time. See, you just need to call her name, right? And Fate will be here. Can’t get enough of magical girl battles already and wanting for more?
 
Speaking of which, currently in Japan, they’re showing the third season of the series called, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. It’s set 10 years after the end of the second season. Yeah, everybody’s grown up here. So is Nanoha too big to be a magical girl now? Would she be better being a teenage idol? Perhaps not. That’s because Nanoha here now is some super high level mage. And along with Fate and some girl, Hayate, supposedly from the second season, are working at the Time Space Administration Bureau with some trainees. Well since I’ve got a little Nanoha overdose (after 13 episodes of the first season and 1 episode from the second? I must be kidding myself) I won’t be watching this one too as I’ve mentioned I’m dropping the second season as well.
 
Back to the first season. Each of the episodes starts off with Nanoha narrating how she’s just a normal elementary school kid and somehow unexpectedly she turned into a magical girl after receiving Raging Heart. Sometimes it’s like a recap of what has happened so far before she finally says "The story of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha will now begin". Perhaps Nanoha too has a little fascination about beginnings and doesn’t want things to end because in the final narration of the last episode, Nanoha too narrates how this isn’t the end but the beginning of things. I think it’s a typical signal for a sequel. Hehehe.
 
You can probably guess from the title screen whether or not that particular episode is gonna be a serious one or not. Well okay, this is just my observation. If they show the title with the Raging Heart as the background, then it’s most likely to be a less serious one. If not, it’s just one black screen, which is more prominent around the halfway point of the series. Also it seems the title too ends with ‘~na no’. Must be Nanoha’s catch phrase.
 
And probably the whole crew got this contract thingy because not only it’s common sense to retain the voice actor and actresses of the characters for the following season, it seems that the opening and ending themes for all the 3 seasons are sung by the same person as well. With Nana Mizuki doing the opening themes whereas the more highly pitched Yukari Tamura does the endings.
 
Therefore the lesson here is the magic of friendship. A friend in need is a friend indeed. It’s always better to portray a positive outlook even in times of despair and pain. So okay, maybe a strong willed person can do that. And since maybe they’re little girls, they’re still considered innocent in a way. Though I’m through with this series, but "The story of Chua Tek Ming’s anime adventure will continue". And that’s just the beginning of it.