Squeezing a full season into a shorter than three-hour experience sounds like a trying and futile goal. Seven Arcs' Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's ran for 13 episodes and combined action, magical girls, and comedy to tell an entertaining and compelling storyline. While the series is fantastic and well worth watching, Seven Arcs' film adaptation successfully captures the original's brilliance. In some ways, it improves on the show.
Following the events of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 1st, Nanoha Takamachi and Fate Testarossa have become the best of buds and plan to lead a relatively normal life. On the day that Fate joins Nanoha's school, the latter is attacked by a mysterious girl named Vita. After a grueling encounter, Vita defeats Nanoha and, with the help of the Book of Darkness, steals some of the protagonist's magic. To make the situation even worse, Vita is not working alone, as she forms part of a group of knights striving to rebuild the book's power to save their dying master. While fighting for a sympathetic cause, reviving the Book of Darkness could lead to devastating consequences.
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A's presents its antagonists as likable and understandable characters. This is not a fight between good and evil, as both sides are driven by justifiable beliefs. With quieter character moments sprinkled alongside many awesome fights, Seven Arcs' film is an action-packed thrill ride that never outstays its welcome.
For those who adored Seven Arcs’ magical but complex action film, here are six similar anime worth watching.
Similar Anime to Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A's
1. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai (Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Oath Under Snow)
- Aired: Aired: Aug 26, 2017
The Fate series is rather complicated. In layman's terms, each incarnation happens in an alternate universe that is interconnected but should be taken on its own. The same faces tend to appear in every version, but their behavior, importance, and personalities might differ. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya is a substantial departure from Fate/Zero or Fate/stay night, with a heavier focus on comedy and a magical girl theme. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai serves as a prequel to Silver Link's four season series, just with Shirou Emiya elevated from supporting to main character.
When it comes to the tone, Sekka no Chikai is closer to the darker final two seasons. The story goes through Miyu's origin story, starting from when she was rescued by Shirou and Kiritsugu Emiya, before detailing her initial encounters with the series' other main characters. As this is a prequel, it is accessible for people who have not followed the anime. There is quite a bit of worldbuilding, as the film briefly mentions the fourth Holy Grail War that left humanity on the brink of destruction.
Similarly to Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai avoids talking down to its audience by introducing an easily identifiable villain. Even though Shirou and Miyu go up against a dangerous foe, the latter is motivated by a desire to save the world. Everyone is desperately trying to rediscover something they have lost.
Fate/kaleid liner - PV
2. Trinity Seven Movie: Eternity Library to Alchemic Girl (Trinity Seven: Eternity Library & Alchemic Girl)
- Aired: Feb 25, 2017
Trinity Seven is an action harem largely set at the magic school Royal Biblia Academy. After his hometown is destroyed, Arata Kasuga uses a magical Grimoire to artificially recreate it. As a consequence, he is visited by Lilith Asami, a magic user who threatens to kill Arata if he does not relinquish the Grimoire. Deciding against either option, the protagonist joins Lilith's magical school, which contains six other mages who want to separate Arata from his book.
Trinity Seven Movie: Eternity Library to Alchemic Girl brings Arata's story to an end, as he is forced to save the world from the powerful White Demon Lord. The antagonist is revived due to Arata accidentally touching Lilith's Grimoire and transforming the book into a magical girl.
At a short 55 minutes, Trinity Seven's conclusion moves at an insanely quick pace. As the series was mostly known for its ecchi comedy, the first half of the film is dedicated to Arata's misadventures with the magical girls. Once the White Demon Lord enters the fray, Seven Arcs ramps up the action. As Trinity Seven is made by the same studio that created Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, the animation is nearly identical and the fight scenes are just as exciting as the studio's previous film.
Trinity Seven Movie: Eternity Library to Alchemic Girl Trailer
3. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari (Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion)
- Aired: Oct 26, 2013
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a must-watch anime. As a subversion of the magical girl genre, Shaft's franchise is suitable for fans and haters of these type of stories. Rebellion brings the narrative to a conclusive end, but it really should not be watched without knowledge of the television series.
Taking place after the events of Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica, things seem oddly perfect. Supposedly dead characters are back among the living, as Homura Akemi and the remaining magical girls continue to free people from their nightmares. Despite the general pleasantness in the air, Homura cannot shake the feeling that something is terribly wrong. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Rebellion allows the characters and the audience to feel comfortable before viciously pulling the rug from underneath their feet!
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A's tackles some serious issues, including sacrifice and mortality, but Seven Arcs' anime never approaches the Rebellion's morbid darkness. Shaft's animation is gorgeous, which is especially true during the trippy and violent fight scenes. The characters go through a ton of character development and nobody is presented as a straightforward hero or villain. For those who appreciate Nanoha's action and darker moments involving the antagonists, Puella Magi Madoka Magica should be the first name on your list.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie -Rebellion- Official Trailer
Any Anime Like Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A's ?
4. Precure All Stars Movie: Minna de Utau♪ - Kiseki no Mahou (PreCure All Stars - Singing with Everyone♪ Miraculous Magic!)
- Aired: Mar 19, 2016
As a franchise, Mahoutsukai Precure! could act as the poster child for the magical girl genre. It follows the adventures of Mirai, a teenager who finds a powerful artifact granting magical powers. Inadvertently, she is dragged into a conflict between good and evil magic users, with both sides yearning to get their hands on Mirai's artifact.
Precure All Stars Movie: Minna de Utau♪ - Kiseki no Mahou takes the anime's typical formula and adds a touch of music. Putting aside the songs, Precure All Stars' story plays it relatively safe. While visiting the human world, Mirai is attacked by a witch named Sorciere, who wishes to activate a dangerous spell by acquiring the tears of the 44 Precure girls. In a bid to save the world and themselves, the girls came together to challenge Sorciere.
Precure All Stars Movie's animation is easily the film's crowning achievement. Toei crafted a vibrant product filled with whimsy and charm. While the story is serviceable, the film is mostly worth watching to see all the girls working together. Precure All Stars Movie sticks close to the genre's conventions, but it is a fun and magical ride.
Precure All Stars Movie: Minna de Utau♪ - Kiseki no Mahou Trailer
5. Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike (Tales of Vesperia ~The First Strike~)
- Aired: Oct 3, 2009
So you thought adapting a series into a film was hard? Try doing the same with two completely different mediums! Anime based on video games are relatively common, especially when referring to Japanese RPGs. Considered one of the best entries in the franchise, Tales of Vesperia follows the adventures of the vigilante Yuri Lowell, who left the prestigious Imperial Knights due to the rampant political corruption seeping through their ranks.
Rather than stuffing a massive storyline into a couple of hours, The First Strike serves as a prequel to the events of the game. It is set during Yuri's time with the Imperial Knights and establishes why he turned his back on their cause. Accompanied by his friend Flynn Scifo, Yuri is stationed at Ceazontania, a peaceful town that is slowly being taken over by monsters. Despite their captain asking for reinforcement, the Imperial Knights' political agenda delays the process and puts the lives of many at risk. Like the game, Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike presents its cast as three-dimensional characters.
Flynn and Yuri have their own reasons for joining the Imperial Knights, with neither of them being presented as right. Similarly to Nanoha, Tales of Vesperia's fights are explosive and bloody, but they tend to take a backseat to Production I.G.'s world building and character interactions.
6. Glass no Hana to Kowasu Sekai (Garakowa -Restore the World-)
- Aired: Jan 9, 2016
Apparently, the life of an anti-virus comes with a few challenges. The "Box of Wisdom" is a strange entity housing multiple worlds and timelines. In order to maintain order, Dual and Dorothy exist to weed out any potential threats and delete them. Whenever a virus shows up, the affected world is erased to avoid an epidemic. Dual and Dorothy's programming is interrupted by the arrival of a young girl named Rimo who wishes to return to the flower patch.
As a standalone story with barely an hour on the clock, Glass no Hana to Kowasu Sekai has a tough task on its hands. A-1 Pictures' sci-fi film has to establish a complex and unique universe, introduce multiple quirky characters, and deliver a compelling narrative. Surprisingly, Glass no Hana to Kowasu Sekai accomplishes its task with minimum fuss.
The plot can be convoluted, but the gorgeous animation and likable cast pick up the slack. While described as anti-viruses, Dual and Dorothy are practically magical girls. While they serve a vital function, their actions result in the deaths of countless people. Like Nanoha's antagonists, Dual and Dorothy are caught between a rock and a hard place as they are forced to choose between sacrificing the few to save the many.
Garakowa Restore the World Teaser Trailer
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A's revitalized the overstuffed magical girl genre by circumventing the typical good vs evil narrative. While not every recommended anime tries to accomplish the same thing, these six films are not afraid to push beyond convention. Anyone yearning for action, magic, and comedy should feel right at home.
Is there any other anime that you would recommend for fans of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A's? If yes, please leave us a comment below with your recommendations.