Nanoha Takamachi (高町 なのは Takamachi Nanoha?) is the main and title character of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series and also appears in Triangle Heart. Minami Hokuto plays her in Triangle Heart, and Yukari Tamura in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. She has a strong aptitude in magic, a rarity for those born on Earth, amongst these numbered few are Gil Graham, Hayate Yagami, and possibly her own father. She is a quick learner in the magical arts and exceeds expectations consistently throughout the series. She is left-handed. In Nanoha, instead of having a familiar of her own creation, she is partnered with another mage named Yūno Scrya from Mid-childa, who can shape-shift into a ferret. Her weapon is an artificially intelligent staff called Raising Heart.
Nanoha in Nanoha
As the series opens, Nanoha Takamachi is presented as a regular little girl, living with her family, taking the bus to school and playing the gold-hearted average girl to her multimillionaire best friends Alisa Bannings and Suzuka Tsukimura. However, she always felt like a third wheel; her parents had each other, so did her siblings, and so did her best friends, while Nanoha had no such close companion. Additionally, she says she feels her life has no direction, as she has no plans for what she wants to do with herself. When she finds the injured Yūno in ferret form in the park, she brings him to a nearby veterinarian for care. Yūno later calls Nanoha telepathically as an unstable Jewel Seed attacks him, and he then gives her the red jewel around his neck, known as Raising Heart. With his instructions, Nanoha activates Raising Heart, and discovers her own magical ability. Her power blows Yūno away as she is able to create attacks quickly, transform and attack without using the incantations generally required doing so, and sensing Jewel Seeds more easily than he can. Even with all this power, she is still learning and must fight off her rival (later dearest friend and partner) Fate Testarossa, although Nanoha is more interested in befriending her. Needless to say, she succeeds in befriending Fate, however her methodology has led to an interesting pun.
Nanoha lives at her home above Midori-ya, the cafe owned by her family, with her mother Momoko, her father Shirō, her brother Kyōya and her sister Miyuki, the latter two of which served as the main characters of Triangle Heart. Nanoha balances cram school, regular school and hunting for Jewel Seeds with ease, although Yūno fears that it may be too much for her in the long run. Although she tries to hide her identity from her friends and family, in contrast to many mahou shoujo series, she blatantly advertises it to Fate.
Later on, the series focuses not on the collection of Jewel Seeds but on the eventual team up of Nanoha and Fate, which does happen in the second-to-last episode as Fate comes to terms with her and her mother's identities. Nanoha and Fate must part as Fate is arrested for the work she did for Precia, but they part as friends and promise to reunite, as Fate will likely be acquitted of all charges.
Nanoha in A's
In A's, while Nanoha still has been living quietly in her home, she has become much more confident and capable with her magical abilities. This is partially indicated with a training scene in the anime's first episode, in which she practices her magical precision and control by hitting a can of cola repeatedly in the air. Also during the first episode, she is attacked by one of the Wolkenritter, Vita, and is defeated due to the difference in power of their weapons; her weapon is also severely damaged as a result. While Fate Testarossa, Yuno Scrya, and the rest of the Time-Space Administration Bureau manage to rescue Nanoha, in the course of the battle that ensues, Nanoha's Linker Core is drained, preventing her from using magic for the first few episodes of the series. Both this draining and the limitations of Raising Heart are corrected by the fourth episode of the series, in which Nanoha's Linker Core fully recovers and Raising Heart is upgraded (with the addition of the Belkan cartridge system) to become Raising Heart Excelion.
As the series progresses, Vita becomes Nanoha's primary rival; Vita is the only member of the Wolkenritter who Nanoha fights directly. The course of this rivalry is reflected in Vita's attempts to pronounce Nanoha's name; at first Vita is unable to do so, but correctly pronounces it in the penultimate episode of the series once the two have become friends. The series also highlights the growing friendship between Fate and Nanoha that began in the first season, as Fate ends up going to Nanoha's elementary school and becoming friends with Suzuka and Alisa. While Nanoha has no direct connection to Hayate Yagami (the master of the Book of Darkness) at first, it is Nanoha and Fate that first discover Hayate's identity as a result of her friendship with Suzuka.
During the battle with the Book of Darkness, Nanoha's identity as a magical girl is revealed to Suzuka and Alisa, and it is implied that by the end of the season, Nanoha has told her friends and family about her magical abilities and her work with the Time-Space Administration Bureau. In addition, Nanoha becomes friends with Hayate and the Wolkenritter as a result of their shared battle against the Book of Darkness.
Nanoha in the manga
Two official manga series expand on what happens to the characters between A's and the sequel, StrikerS.
In the epilogue issue of the A's manga series, stated as being five months after the conclusion of the A's anime, Nanoha is depicted as having enrolled as a cadet in the Armed Corps of the TSAB, with the stated intention of eventually entering the Combat Instructor Division.
The StrikerS manga series started six years after the events of A's and four years before the events of the StrikerS anime series. In it, Nanoha is in her third year of junior high school. She has now achieved the position of Combat Instructor in the Armed Corps' Air Combat Training Division and is part of a tactical combat training group. As she explains to Reinforce, this group's duties include testing new equipment and spells, researching tactics and strategy, and training TSAB combat personnel through combat simulations. Chrono, in a separate conversation, refers to her as one of the best instructors in the TSAB. She is also depicted in a brief, Vita-centric flashback as having been severely injured, to the point where she came extremely close to death (it was when she was in six grade) though she recovered enough to resume duty. It is the only time that Nanoha is shown to have sustained a life-threatening injury. The event is not very well elaborated on, and also the cause of her injuries remains unknown until episode 9 of the anime, when Shamal explained to the forwards that during a mission two years after she joined the TSAB, a group of unidentified objects appeared and attacked Nanoha and Vita's group. Due to overtraining and the great strain her body received when using the Full Drive of Raising Heart's Excelion Mode, it caused her reflexes to slow down, resulting in her being seriously injured. In episode two of StrikerS, Fate asks if Nanoha's body is doing all right, which indicates that there may be some lasting effects of these injuries.
Nanoha in StrikerS
In StrikerS, Nanoha is 19 years old and now an Aerial Tactics Combat Instructor of the HQ Armed Forces with the rank of a Captain. She enlisted at the 6th Mobile Division of Time-Space Administration Bureau's Special Management, to aid Hayate. She's the Tactics Combat Instructor for the said unit and also the commander of the "Stars" squad in the field, she has grown more mature over the 4 year time gap between A's epilogue and StrikerS. Nanoha, like Fate, is a S+ class mage without limiters, which is the second highest rank possible to be achieved by a mage. She and raising heart wears a limiter while being in the mobile six unit because of rank compatibility rule.
She is first seen in the season with Raising Heart Excelion, and checking the field for Subaru and Teana's examination. After the pair reach their goal Nanoha comes in transformed to stop Subaru and Teana from crashing. After gathering the members of the newly formed Riot Force 6, Nanoha begins to train the new recruits, Subaru, Teana, Caro and Erio (who have both taken in by Fate). Later in the season, Nanoha becomes Vivio's guardian or as Vivio calls her; Mama, and looks after Vivio along with Fate who is her godmother (though Nanoha later officially adopts Vivio). Near the end of the season, Nanoha along with the rest of Riot 6, besides the forwards, Signum and Fate, deal with the Saint's Cradle going into orbit. Nanoha enters the cradle, along with Vita, and they split up, with Nanoha going to the Throne Room and Vita going to the engine room. Nanoha quickly deals with one of the Numbers, using her Blaster System, before entering the Throne Room, where Vivio is being held. Quattro manipulates Vivio, forcing Nanoha and Vivio to fight each other, during the fight, however, Nanoha uses a wide area search and finds the place where Quattro is hiding and, using her Divine Buster and her Blaster System at level 3, knocks her out by blasting a hole through the cradle. However Vivio still does not revert back to her normal self and continues to fight Nanoha until Vivio manages to begin to regain control, but still cannot gain complete control, and Nanoha is forced to use her Blaster System at Full Power, firing five Starlight Breakers at the same time, which then reverts Vivio back to her normal self. Later, Subaru and Teana come in to save Nanoha and Hayate (who came to save Nanoha). In the epilogue of StrikerS, Nanoha was offered many promotions, all of which were turned down in favour of her current position as a combat instructor. She now also lives with Vivio, and checks up on her every so often, even when she is in class.
Before StrikerS, it is apparent that Nanoha's magical ability has increased at an accelerated rate via intensive self-training, in addition to the strain resulting from repeatedly channeling the additional magical energy from the cartridge system added to Raising Heart in A's, it eventually resulted in Nanoha's body suffering very severe internal damage that revealed itself during a near-fatal incident which was depicted in the manga. Nanoha was hospitalized for some time as a result of it, and her doctors originally feared she would never be able to fly or even walk again. Eventually, however, she did recover enough to resume active duty with the TSAB. As a result of this, she has intentionally designed the 6th Mobile's training regimen to ensure the same thing will not happen to the members of the StarS and Lightning squads.
Nanoha in ViVid
In the ViVid manga, which takes place four years after StrikerS, Nanoha, now 23, is on leave and working as a civil servant in Mid-Childia and is raising Vivio. Shortly after Vivio enters fourth grade, she gives her a device which Vivio named Sacred Heart, which enables her to turn into her adult form.
Nanoha in Force
Nanoha, now 25 years old, is back on duty after taking a leave (in Vivid) and is still an Aerial Tactics Combat Instructor in the HQ Armed Forces. She first appears in chapter 4 of Force, when she meets up with Subaru at a dimension port on Midchilda (though before that, she is also seen in the prologue chapter, when Vivio sees her off on a "business trip"). As they walk together, Nanoha comments that she hasn't worked together with Subaru since Riot Force 6. Subaru asks her opinion on "the new equipment", to which Nanoha expresses moderate approval, saying that she and Vita will have to test them more later. She then asks Subaru about Touma Avenir, whom Subaru introduced to her earlier.
Nanoha in Triangle Heart
Nanoha is a minor character, at age 12, in Triangle Heart, who works at the Midori-ya cafe. She spends much of her work time breaking up fights between combat waitresses Akira and Ren, who, afraid of her reaction, pretend to be the best of friends around her. Nanoha is still rather childlike, though, squealing whenever she sees her older siblings or Fiasse on TV. Nanoha is taken to the Tokyo concert of Crystela Music Academy, but is spared the violent scenes that go on before the show.
Her closest friends are Alisa Lowell (the forerunner of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha's Alisa Bannings) and a little fox named Kuon, actually a kitsune and the pet of Nami Kanzaki. However, in this world, Alisa is actually a ghost, who is trapped on Earth because she hates the world. Kuon helps Alisa to forget her spite towards the world, and Alisa disappears to the afterlife.
A major event in the life of this version of Nanoha is the death of her father. When Shirō died, Momoko was pregnant with Nanoha, and thus the child grew up without a father.
The CD drama Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha from a Triangle Heart CD led to the spinoff.
Nanoha in Lyrical Toy Box
After the CD drama came the Triangle Heart fan box ~Lyrical Toy Box~, which included a three-minute music video-style movie that appeared to be the prototype for the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series. Lindy, a pixie in this version, accompanies Nanoha, as well as Kuon, a foxgirl that is able to transform into a real fox, apparently used here as a precursor to Yūno. Nanoha, in her older Toraha design, actually transformed into the outfit that in the actual Nanoha anime is her civilian school uniform. Raising Heart's jewel form and original password did not change, but it had only one weapon form, a typical pink wand with a big plastic heart on it, similar to the weapons of many traditional magical girls such as Mew Ichigo and Sailor Chibi Moon. As Fate did not exist, Nanoha's rival was Chrono Harlaown.
This led to a mini-game in the Box, outlining the plot. Lindy, as a pixie from the Dream World, gives Nanoha powers so she can save the people of Earth. Chrono, who needs them to save his world, is stealing their memories. In the end, Nanoha ends up with Chrono in an epilogue similar in purpose to that of A's.
Nanoha, despite her lack of experience, has demonstrated considerable magical talent. Many of her techniques are taught by Yūno or improvised from already learned abilities. She specializes in shooting skills, but has a balanced set of abilities, with variations in both her defensive and offensive powers. Although she isn't as fast as Fate, she has higher defensive power and guided projectiles. Her command phrase for her shooting abilities is "Shoot!".
- Raising Heart Activation — Nanoha changes Raising Heart into Device Mode, and usually her Barrier Jacket is activated as well. The transformation was intended to be performed with a long passphrase, but Nanoha only uses this incantation in its entirety once before discarding it, replacing it with "Raising Heart onegai!" (Raising Heart, please!).
- Lyrical! Magical! — This is Nanoha's personal incantation for using Raising Heart. Although she calls this out to unlock abilities more complex than simple force fields (such as Raising Heart's Sealing Mode), once the ability is unlocked she seldom needs to use the incantation, except to seal Jewel Seeds. In A's she uses the phrase to kick off a training exercise.
- Jewel Seed Seal — Used to seal the Jewel Seeds so that they will not fuse with anything.
- Area Search — This extends Nanoha's magical senses, helping her to find disturbances, such as Jewel Seeds.
- Wide Area Search (WAS) - An improved version of Area Search where Nanoha leaves something like a ball of light to different places while raising heart controls and monitor the search.
- Restrict Lock — This is Nanoha's binding-type magic, analogous to Fate's Lightning Bind ability.
- Barrier Jacket — Nanoha's Jacket is a blue and white school uniform-styled dress with a metal waist guard. Upon activation, she dons this costume, which is either shown as instantaneous or through a minute-long segment of stock footage. This Barrier Jacket is not just the flashy costume, but it also refers to an invisible defensive field generated by the costume, reducing or eliminating any serious injury from events such as an impact with a building.
- Sacred Mode — An improved version of Nanoha's Barrier Jacket, including field generators on the shoulders, gloves, and other defensive enhancements. She can now use the Jacket with Raising Heart in Standby Mode.
- Aggressive Mode — The new improvement of Nanoha's Barrier Jacket, seen in StrikerS. Design changes include the replacement of the long skirt with a mini-skirt, a waist-attached cape and the inclusion of long white socks and gems (probably field generators) on the shoes.
- Exceed Mode — Debuted in the episode 12 of StrikerS. Nanoha used this variation in set with the Raising Heart in Excelion Mode. Its design is similar to the Sacred Mode's, although it is bulkier.
- Protection — Nanoha's first spell, and Raising Heart's auto-guard magic. It can guard in every direction, but can be penetrated relatively easily.
- Protection Powered — A more powerful version of Protection, which Vita and Nanoha both discovered can resist an attack from a cartridge-enhanced Graf Eisen.
- Round Shield — A powerful shield that can withstand a prolonged attack, such as Bardiche's Arc Saber. Unlike other barrier-type magics such as Protection, it can only guard in one direction.
- Flier Fin — Gives Nanoha the ability to fly and increases her movement speed.
- Axel Fin — This is the upgrade to Flier Fin. It grants even greater speed at the cost of some maneuverability.
- Flash Move — Temporarily increases Nanoha's movement speed, similar to Fate's Blitz Action. If Nanoha uses this in conjunction with a melee attack, the resulting explosion is technically called a Flash Impact.
- Reactor Purge — This ability "detonates" Nanoha's outer Barrier Jacket to counteract an attack, similar in principle to reactive armor on modern tanks.
- Bind Break — This attempts to deactivate a binding spell. The time required to do this depends on the complexity of the target magic.
- Active Guard— Similarly to the spells "Reactor Purge" and "Barrier Burst", this magic makes use of the reactive armor's principle to repel a different type of energy. Unlike the other two however, it can be casted upon an area away from the mage's location. In the episode 1 of StrikerS, it was used to decrease the kinetic force of Subaru's mad rush.
- Holding Net — This creates a net that can catch almost anything. It was used in the first episode of StrikerS along with the Active Guard to prevent Subaru from crashing into a wall.
- Divine Shooter — Nanoha's rapid-reaction attack magic. Creates a small number of magical energy balls which can be guided through the air. Sometimes, Nanoha will use this magic to attack the target from the rear.
- Axel Shooter — This is the upgraded version of Divine Shooter, allowing Nanoha to guide about a dozen high-speed magic missiles.
- Sacred Cluster - Seems like another upgraded version of Divine Shooter and much more dangerous looking that Axel Shooter. Seen in Chapter 10 of the Vivid manga.
- Snipe Shot - Seen in StrikerS, this is a variation on Axel Shooter, where Nanoha controls two missiles with great accuracy.
- Crossfire Shoot - Identical to Teana's move of the same name, though Nanoha can used it without a device. Superficially similar to Axel Shooter.
- Divine Buster — Raising Heart's first attack. It is best described as an anime-stereotypical particle beam shot.
- Divine Buster Extension — The same as Divine Buster, but with a longer range and a targeting reticle/scope.
- Excelion Buster — Available only in Raising Heart Excelion's less stable Excelion Mode, this is arguably Nanoha's most powerful ability to date, second only to the Starlight Breaker ex. Excelion Buster involves a few supporting magics, but is itself similar in principle to her Divine Buster with far more attack power. Unlike her Starlight Breaker ability, this does not require residual magic to be in the vicinity. The command phrase for Excelion Buster is "Break shoot!"
- Force Burst — This attack requires four cartridges, and she fires the shot much like the Divine Buster. Two variations exist for Force Burst: she may fire all arms of the shot at once, or delay the last one until after the others weaken the target's defenses.
- Barrel Shot — Nanoha may precede an attack in Excelion Mode with an invisible binding field to prevent the target from moving.
- Axel Charge System (ACS) Mode — Nanoha combines the energy bayonet on the tip of Raising Heart along with a burst of speed from the energy wings on the device to penetrate the target's magic defenses. Then, she unleashes a massive burst of energy inside the defenses. Two cartridges are spent for the first phase, three for the second.
- Shooting Star Assault (SSA) Maneuver - Similar to ACS Mode where she suddenly acquires speed and charges to her enemy. Seen in Chapter 15 of the StrikerS manga.
- Starlight Breaker — Nanoha's own "variation" of Divine Buster and her ultimate attack, but in reality a very different magic. It involves collecting and reusing the magical energy left over by previous attacks dispersed in the combat airspace for a new attack, creating the "light beam converging" effect seen in the anime. Two additional variants are recognized in the DVD booklets, but not explicitly named in the anime dialogue.
- Starlight Breaker Plus — This variant simply extends the time spent collecting magical energy, thereby increasing the overall attack power. Nanoha used this at episode 2 in A's (despite the damage to her Linker Core midway) to break the force field deployed by the Wolkenritter and alert the TSAB.
- Starlight Breaker ex — This variant is used in Excelion Mode, and uses a full magazine of cartridges, thus meeting or exceeding the attack power of the "Plus" variant with less time.
- Barrier Burst — This detonates an active barrier (such as Protection). This is useful for countering a melee attack.
- Strike Flame — The energy bayonet that Nanoha produces from the tip of Raising Heart when in Excelion mode's ACS Mode.
- Strike Stars - An attack where Nanoha pierces through an enemy's shield then shooting a high energy beam shot inside, she use this together with Raising Heart's SSA Maneuver. It's the same with Strike Flame in ACS mode. Seen in Chapter 15 of the StrikerS manga.
- Stardust Fall — Classified as an accelerated material type shooting magic, Nanoha uses her magic to lift many rocks into the air and send them crashing down onto her enemies. First used in Chapter 1 of the StrikerS manga to physically break through a group of Gadget Drones' AMF.
In StrikerS, Nanoha utilizes a power-up system named Blaster. The cyborg Quattro explains it is an experimental booster that far surpasses the physical limits of the user's body. It greatly enhances Nanoha's offensive and defensive powers, at the cost of her and Raising Heart's lives. Each progressive increase in power causes physical damage to Nanoha and Raising Heart - Blaster One and Two appear to be relatively safe if used for short periods of time, though Raising Heart steams afterwards and Nanoha's weapon hand bleeds. Blaster Three on the other hand causes visible cracks to form on Raising Heart and leaves Nanoha unable to walk without using Raising Heart as a crutch. It appears that unlike the Excelion Mode, damage from Blaster Mode is treatable after a period of time.
The Blaster Bits seems to be a literal multiplication of power, as they will execute the same moves as Raising Heart with equal force. There are the three levels of Blaster:
- Blaster One — A temporary booster for the next or the current attack. It gives Divine Buster enough power to overcome Dieci's S-class energy bullets with far less time than it takes her IS: Enormous Cannon to even charge up. also may be maintained for an increase in speed (Used in episode 23 of StrikerS)
- Blaster Two — Also known as Blaster Second. Used to create two Blaster Bits, and hold Vivio within Nanoha's Crystal Cage attack. However this only lasted for a short while as Vivio managed to break the cage in a matter of seconds. (Used in episode 25 of StrikerS)
- Blaster Three — Used by Nanoha and four Blaster Bits to fire the Divine Buster attack with enough power to blast through all the walls from the Saint's Cradle's throne room to its deepest area (StrikerS episode 25) despite the presence of an extremely potent Anti Magic Field (AMF). Later used to fire five Starlight Breakers at once (StrikerS episode 26) and finally end Vivio's struggle. Although Nanoha exclaims Zenryoku Zenkai (Japanese for Full Power) before performing the Starlight Breaker(s), this is not indicative of the Blaster System's mode, as she uses that phrase in Nanoha A's during the final battle as well.
- Starlight Breaker Fireworks Version — A Starlight Breaker modified by Nanoha & Yuno to look like fireworks. Nanoha showed it to Fate and Arf as a gift for their contract anniversary. See Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Sound Stage 03.
Nanoha is one of the most popular Japanese anime characters in recent years. She has entered 2channel's Anime Saimoe Tournament for four times, becoming champion in 2005, entering the top 16 in 2006 (lost to Fate Testarossa), and top 8 in 2007 (lost to Rena Ryugu) to become one of the few characters to enter the top 16 thrice (Shinku, Suiseiseki), and to enter top 8 twice (Sora Naegino, Shinku, Tsukasa Hiiragi). In 2008 her performance degraded significantly, as the anime has been concluded for too long at the time of the tournament, and she lost a close match to Shana in the third round, ending up in the top 32 group. Still, her career statistic of 16 wins against 3 losses remains a "lifetime achievement" record in the history of saimoe.
Ironically, Nanoha was also included in the SaiGAR2007 voting tournament, which was intended to elect the manliest anime character, although she only won one match before being defeated.
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- ↑ Issue 7 ("Epilogue of Aces"), page 5.
- ↑ Stated specifically in Issue 1, page 5.
- ↑ Stated specifically at the end of Issue 3
- ↑ MSLN StrikerS, episode 2.
- ↑ Revealed in MSLN StrikerS, episode 9.
- ↑ "I am the one who gives you this charge: release your power to your contracted master. As the winds fill the sky, and the stars fill the heavens, so shall my heart fill with courage, and my hands with magic! Raising Heart, set up!"
- ↑ In episode 9, she uses a revision of the last sentence: "As the winds fill the sky, and the stars fill the heavens, so let light fill my arms, and strength fill my heart! Raising Heart, set up!"
- ↑ Contrary to some rumors at the time of broadcast, Nanoha did not learn the technique from Fate, but already knew it well in advance—in fact, she learned it from Yūno during the events of the first audio drama CD. The DVD booklet identifies this as the magic used in episode 11 before Nanoha fired her Starlight Breaker.
- ↑ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's episode 01.
- ↑ Raising Heart's gem reads "Axel Fin" in the animation (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's episode 05).
- ↑ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha episode 11.