Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd A’s Review

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd A’s is the second movie in the Lyrical Nanoha series. The first movie recapped the entire first season of the Lyrical Nanoha TV series. Now the second movie comes along to summarize the second season.

The second movie begins half a year from where the first movie left off. Fate has been adopted by the Harlaown family and can now reunite with Nanoha and attend school like any normal girl. But on the day of the two’s reunion they are attacked by strange magical knights. The two girls are promptly defeated and their magical energy is extracted. As it turns out an ominous book called The Book of Darkness has spawned these magical knights (named Vita, Signum, Shamal and Zaphira) to collect magical energy in order to activate itself. The book is attached to Yagami Hayate – a girl the same age as Nanoha and Fate who is slowly losing her life due to a rare case of paralysis. Once the Book of Darkness absorbs enough magical power it will activate and grant Hayate a tremendous amount of magical powers. It will also cure her deadly disease. The spawned knights are determined to collect the energy needed for the book and will do anything to activate it. However not all is as it seems. The Book of Darkness holds a dark secret befitting its name and Nanoha, Fate and the magic-enforcing Time-Space Administration Bureau have no choice but to counter the Book of Darkness and the magical knights serving it.

In the short time span of two and a half hours Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd A’s manages to summarize the entire second season of Lyrical Nanoha. It does so with ease and with good pacing, without jumping over important events. It does jump rapidly across time and cuts across less important daily issues. A week in the TV series that might have been portrayed using two episodes is portrayed in two minutes in the movie. This can be a little disorienting, but thankfully happens only a couple of times. The movie removes all things that are not directly related to the main characters or the main conflict. The first movie removed the daily life portions of Nanoha and her friends. The second movie phases the Time-Space Administration Bureau almost completely out of the picture. Furthermore the movie removes an important villain figure. By doing so it simplifies the plot and helps the movie flow better in terms of pacing. The drawback to this is that by removing a key character the movie loses an important layer of complexity and a plot twist found in the original series. Other than that the movie follows the TV series to a T. Even though the movie is officially labeled as an alternative universe to the original TV series the creators did not change anything substantial in the overall plot. Surprisingly enough they even chose to ignore all the plot holes that plagued the original series, and as a result these too made the move to the big screen. Plot holes like how the Time-Space Administration Bureau always tracks and monitors the location of the magical knights but never arrives on time to confront them, how Nanoha and Fate are always conveniently on the scene to help, or how a fight might engulf the entire city in flames only to reveal later that those flames did no damage at all.



One thing that stands out considerably in The Movie 2nd A’s is the music. The movie employs a powerful array of tracks, a lot of which are fully orchestrated. Several vocal songs are present, one of which is the new theme song Bright Stream by Mizuki Nana. If the movie surprises in the music department it completely disappoints in the visual one. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd A’s doesn’t look very good. The movie uses the old character designs from the Nanoha 2nd A’s TV series without bothering to change or update them to HD. Don’t be fooled by the polished publicity images. In the actual movie there is no shading, no extra details and no revised outfits. These are the character models you saw in the TV series, for good or bad. The movie generally does not look very impressive. It does little to no use of the fine details that our current HD technology allows (and arguably dictates). Rooms are always conveniently empty. The city is always portrayed from above and its residents are seldom shown (despite it being a huge metropolitan city). Special effects are rendered in noticeably ugly and outdated CG. Overall it seems like the production company missed a vital opportunity, and instead of creating a polished high definition version of Lyrical Nanoha A’s just opted to upscale the original series. The difference between the movie and the series is evident in the more fluid attack animations and some battles end differently than in the TV series; but these battles don’t look as flashy as they should have.

In the end Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd A’s succeed in summarizing the second season of the TV series into one feature film. On the other hand it does little else. It will certainly be a good watch for those who haven’t seen the TV series and builds upon the first movie nicely. But it definitely does not satisfy the high expectations Nanoha fans have had for it.


This review was based on the film as it was shown in the cinema and does not reflect upon the future Blu-ray release of said title.

Related posts:

  • Kagamiku

    “Don’t be fooled by the polished publicity images. In the actual movie
    there is no shading, no extra details and no revised outfits.”

    This makes me question whether you watched the movie. The outfits are 100% definitely revised.

    • Nadav

      I did watch the movie yesterday and they look the same to me. The outfits are the same as they always were. They didn’t add any new details.

  • Yerocha

    I was looking forward to this, since it’s been quite a while since I last watched Nanoha. Even if the artstyle isn’t as good as it could be, I think I’ll still end up watching it at some point.

  • Kagamiku

    Erm, both Nanoha and Fate’s casual clothes were redesigned, and Fate’s BJ received significant changes. Far more than just her buckle. Why not try to compare the two?

    In-fact, every character has some kind of change with their outfits.

    I’ll say the night could have had slightly more revision to theirs, but the differences are there, and this is a remake, there is little reason to give the characters complete make overs. They’re intended to be the same characters as from the original. I don’t see anything the promotional content featured that was not present in the movie.

    • Nadav

      Again you are trying to catch me by the word here. I didn’t say promotional content, I said publicity images (like the one at the top of the article or the one used as the slider). These received shading and look very sharp. The actual movie doesn’t look like that at all. And about the outfits, I didn’t see anything new aside from little things that have no impact on how the characters look. If you don’t compare the series and the movie pixel to pixel than you will not notice any of this. This is a movie remake and they could have added new outfits (although that’s not the real problem with this movie). My review is being honest here. Other remakes change noticable things. This one didn’t. Please understand.

  • Kagamiku

    Oh I understand, I’m just left completely dumbfounded by how anyone would want completely new designs for a remake. I know the characters by who they were and what they looked like in the original. Those are the characters I love, not what could have been. An example would be the rebuild movie who did an absolutely horrendous job at portraying Asuka and Rei’s characterization. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. If a movie wants to go off on a wild tangent, then it shouldn’t be a remake. I saw the movie as well, and I really am baffled to how you can’t see a huge improvement in regards to animation over the original. Sure, the character designs are roughly the same, but the budget invested on those designs were greatly improved upon. Rather similar to how the first movie was compared to the original series, honestly.

  • Del

    Even if the animation isn’t excellent, I’m still very intrigued to see it. Are there any scenes of Fate with her adoptive mother, Lindy? I’ve heard she still calls herself Testarossa in the movie. Does it have Fate accepting her new family?

    • Nadav

      The animation is quite good. It’s the visual quality that isn’t. Regarding Fate, there is a short scene in the beginning of the movie that shows her and Lindy moving to an apartment on earth after leaving their ship. Lindy has a more important role in the movie than the other Time-Space Administration Bureau so you will see her a bit more than the rest of them. When Fate first arrives at school she introduces herself as Fate Testarossa (and not Harlaow) so I’m guessing at that point she’s still not used to her new family.

  • karth

    I can’t comment on the visual yet as I haven’t seen it.

    “Set in an alternate universe…” Kinda correct, but not. Obviously the
    reviewer might not heard the Sound Stages (The production company loves
    to do this, All There in The Manual).

    The movies are actually
    produced in Mid-Childa to recap the Adventures of Nanoha and Co. So
    changes in BJ and device designs are understandable. Changes in plots
    are also explained if you think about it.

    The TSAB actually
    intervened in the production of the 2nd Movie (In Mid-Childa sense), by
    deleting Admiral Graham and the Twins. They don’t want the public to
    know that one of their Admirals plotted the death of a 9 year old girl.
    Doesn’t bode well in publicity.

    • Nadav

      I’m ashamed to admit it but I’ve watched the original about three years ago and I completely forgot about Graham and the Twins! I apologize for not writing anything about that (they are obviously not in the movie). I’ll add a sentence about that.

      “Obviously the reviewer might not heard the Sound Stages”. I haven’t listened to any of the sound stages, as drama CDs tend to be none canon.

      • Eloise

        If you have listened to the movie sound stage, you will understand better about what Karth said.

  • 123

    I don’t know if the animation is bad because i haven’t watched it. However, I am still looking forward for the oppurtunity to watch it as i think that the story is actually nice.

  • Kevin Faultner

    “In the short time span of two and a half hours…”

    Since when is two an a half hours considered short for a film? Exactly how long IS it?

    • Nadav

      Read that sentence again from beginning to end. The film is not short. Two and a half hours are short in comparison to the many hours that comprise the entire second season of Lyrical Nanoha.

  • EliseChan

    Well, speaking honestly, there are a few costume upgrades.. Reinforce’s outfit was redesigned nicely and I rather liked the new look. Animation wise, since I study Digital Animation, I know that it is rather good… As for the rendering and the parts that were made in 3D, I’d give the texturing a 3/5…. As much as it would be nicer to make the whole movie in 3D, the budget required would be higher, mostly due to the rendering cost as it takes a whole load of super strong computers to render anything nicely, take Final Fantasy for example… Story wise, it is definitely much cleaner than the series and no plot holes, though I must agree that Graham’s part did add quite a bit more twist to the story in the original series. The pacing and all that is great, they did not waste time on scenes that will drag the movie and leave you yawning. I admit I did not watch the first series properly nor did I watch the first movie, with reasons of it being really draggy….. If I actually do the math, because A’s had more characters than in the first series, technically made room for more plot and it would require them to actually present all the characters properly otherwise the plot won’t move along nicely. Although, frankly speaking, most people would probably find it weird that I am cheering for Signum to actually whack the hell out of her opponent, seeing as she was the enemy, but I stand by my favourites. If I were to rate this movie, I would say 8/10 if compared to the first movie.

  • kosina

    why doesn’t nanoha have a personality? I mean we as an audience know nothing about her as a character all we know is her proficiency in magic. what her like and dislikes? What’s her relationship with her family and friends? What’s her life like outside of magic? you can make a mahou shojo with everyday life interesting cardcaptor sakura anyone

Social Links

Social Buttons with Twitter YouTube RSS Feed RSS Feed Twitter Twitter FaceBook FaceBook FaceBook

Like Us On Facebook!