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“I only have two cartridges left.And considering Wrong Every Time has not-so-subtly transformed into some kind of magical girl appreciation blog (shoutouts to Precure, Doremi, and Princess Tutu), it’s probably a good thing that I’m finally investigating one of the modern titans of the genre.

Hello folks, and welcome to another friggin’ episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha! I’ve been having a lovely time with this series, and I hope you have as well – in addition to filling out an important gap in my history-of-anime knowledge, it’s also just been a very fun, aesthetically compelling show in its own right.We don’t need convincing motivations yet, we can just see that they’re kind to and care for each other

They are “Velka-type knights,” apparently

I appreciate seeing the whole cast collaborate in this fight.[Creating Saturday Night Live WearableWednesday Costuming Wardrobe SNL]

So far, the transition into Nanoha’s second season has come with a variety of aesthetic consequences.Presumably the dog from before

She has a sword that’s also a gun, because of course she does

I like this visual partition as Yuuno casts a protective barrier for Nanoha, with the two halves of his face literally presented as a shield around her.Our villains have some weird tools this time

Signature weapons are important to this franchise, though.The show’s ostentatious post-processing work and focus on mechanical transformations remain intact, but the introduction of an antagonist who actually combines magic with physical strikes has lent the battles a newfound sense of physical weight, along with more animation flourishes.Energy beams don’t need to adhere to realistic color schemes, so we get these dazzling bursts of yellow flecked with blue lightning and purple reverberation

I really like Signum’s weapon.I loved how well this episode used the city backdrop to elevate its drama, I loved the diversity of tactics and attack styles demonstrated across this sprawling fight, and I loved the animation, both in terms of the actual fight choreography and the dazzling effects work.Can I do this?” We’re already getting at least some narrative sympathy for our antagonist here, at least in the form of humanizing her attempts to win this fight

“This isn’t a Midchilda-type barrier.” “Yes.They’re setting her up to save them at the last minute, but the strings are too obvious and her current incapacitation too vaguely defined

“I’ll pick up everyone on the way home tonight.” Very directly contrasting Hayate’s domestic home life against the secret actions of her “family.” Nanoha’s new antagonists carry on its general thematic preoccupation with the meaning of family and personal bonds

This final member of the family, Shamal, seems to have a very unique weapon – two gems attached to her rings by long threads, acting somewhat like a dousing rod.Thank you all for all that you do.

.What type of magic is this?” Echoes of Symphogear’s pan-historical magical worldbuilding bullshit

More enemies show up, the pink-haired Signum and a dude who seems to be another familiar.In contrast, their opponent leans more towards evenly animated fluid moments, evoking a brashness and even clumsiness of movement that works well with her personality and attack style.They exemplify Nanoha’s general distance from a conventional shounen action show, and its persistent loyalty to magical girl emotional narratives

“The Storm of Battle, Once Again” fuck yeah

“This crime can’t be considered a mere misdemeanor.” I appreciate Fate doing her best to be the most badass magic cop she can be, now that she’s not an outright villain

Also continuing to enjoy this sequence’s very compelling layouts.They are its gundams, each of them a key reflection of their wielder.The whole ritual of it locking in each energy cell echoes the general thrill of mechanical animation, the sense of pomp and ceremony that makes things like robot launches feel like a kind of beautiful dance

And no, that doesn’t mean I’m gonna suddenly start loving giant robot shows.The traditional knight Signum gets a classic sword, the short bruiser gets a big ol’ mallet

Terrific effects animation for Fate’s assault on Signum.I can see the appeal, but little flourishes that bank on it like this are enough for me!

The knight Signum offers the classic “here’s my name and title, may I ask who I am fighting” exchange.Raising Heart is as selfless as Nanoha

Well shit, now Shamal’s stealing her spirit energy

I always love how Nanoha’s signature energy attacks go off with all the impact and visual consequence of a goddamn bomb

The energy barrier falls like snow on the city.Lots of dramatic foreshortening as each of them spin backwards from the frame, amplifying the sense of momentum as they dance to avoid each other’s projectiles

There’s an interesting compromise in terms of action styles here.To be honest, that first episode fight was probably the best-composed battle of the franchise so far, and I’m excited to see Fate herself take the stage.Them having a team beyond Nanoha and Yuuno allows for far more tactically interesting exchanges, as opposed to season one’s general beam spam

This “Nanoha needs to stay in the recovery orb” conceit does feel pretty arbitrary, though.Kusakawa is keeping things interesting!

I also like that our main team are already clearly demonstrating their own specialties.This season’s having a lot of fun

The effects animation is so cool! I love this cut panning behind Nanoha’s head, where we’re so far away that all we can see are the flashes of wild color, like some kind of fireworks display

Nanoha treated Raising Heart like a person in the first season, and it seems this time they’ve made the decision to give it an actual mind of its own.That was a very convincing loss for the home team

And Done

Holy hell, what an episode! There were just no brakes that whole time – the entire twenty minutes was utterly consumed by that brawl, as new challengers approached and various tactics were attempted and our heroes were slowly, undeniably defeated.The shift from Akiyuki Shinbo to Keizo Kusakawa has been accompanied by a general consolidation of the Nanoha aesthetic, with fewer of the striking two-tone compositions Shinbo favors, but plenty of generally evocative symmetrical compositions.This is how you tell a gamified narrative – you embrace the fundamental game design concepts that make action parsable and exciting, not the dramatically hollow trappings like levels and stats.Probably a good choice, especially since it seems they’re leaning into how each character’s signature weapon reflects their identity.Let’s dive into another episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha!

Episode 15

“Even deep within this storm, I’ll continue to believe in the bond that connects our two hearts.” The cold open insists the emotional core of this story is still Nanoha’s relationship with Fate.It’s far easier to make categorically distinct strengths apparent in action coherent and engaging, as opposed to “his energy level exceeds my energy level”

Standing this mallet girl next to her ally confirms that she is indeed a smol

“Thanks, Signum.” They’re really taking some time to endear us to the ostensible antagonists here.It always bears repeating that few creative ideas truly come from nowhere – all creators are reprocessing and reflecting the works that inspired them, and thus engaging with Nanoha has naturally enriched my understanding of works like Madoka Magica, Symphogear, and modern interpretations of magical girl drama as a whole.I’m liking this new season’s urban aesthetic

These flashing static monitors at home base nicely emphasize our team’s sense of disorientation and powerlessness.I appreciate that these cold opens are no longer spoiling the events of the episode I’m actually about to watch!

The prominent electric guitars give this OP a much more aggressive tone than the first one, which seems appropriate – with the core relationship established, this season may lean a lot more towards shounen action than magical girl drama (and the first episode seemed to support that)

Checking in on Nanoha’s civilian friends for one of this show’s signature idle conversations, where dialogue doesn’t adhere to any sort of narrative need-based economy, and instead characters ramble in the way actual human beings do.I like how many of these shots intentionally place both Nanoha and Fate in the frame, tilting the angle to emphasize how Fate is presenting herself as a shield for her friend

“Fate’s here, and so is Arf.” Hell yeah, let’s see Arf’s season upgrade!

Oh man, even more lovely animation for Fate and this new girl’s match.I’ll be interested to see how this season continues to keep these two integrated into its central plot, as their relationship with Nanoha being the first season’s C plot was one of the more unusual things about it.Fate and Arf’s movements are defined by lots of dramatic flourishes that seem to echo the Kanada school of animation, with an emphasis on dramatic poses.Nanoha A’s is KICKING ASS!

This article was made possible by reader support.Fate and Nanoha are ranged attackers, Arf is a bruiser who debuffs and crowd controls, Yuuno is all utility spells.This episode hammered in the threat of our new antagonists while offering likely the finest action spectacle of the franchise so far, easily one-upping the already-thrilling season premiere.[7SEEDS Reveals And More ED Anime Staff PV OP First]
Source: http://wrongeverytime.com/2019/03/22/magical-girl-lyrical-nanoha-as-episode-2/

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