|“||I'm fine with being a demon... I'll just use my hellish tools to get you to listen!||„|
|~ Nanoha Takamichi|
Nanoha Takamachi is the titular main protagonist and heroine of the anime series Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, and also appears in Triangle Heart. To use the abbreviated forms of the series, Minami Hokuto plays her in Toraha, and Yukari Tamura in 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. 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 shapeshift into a ferret. Her weapon is an artificially intelligent staff called Raising Heart.
In the first series, she is more of a thoughtful and somewhat naive girl. She has a deep, kind personality but later becomes much more mature and ladylike in StrikerS. Nanoha is also rather energetic and idealistic, showing a certain joie de vivre.
A major aspect of Nanoha's personality is that she always tries to understand other people. As such, she's shown to always take a diplomatic approach to problems and tries to reason with her enemies at first. However, she's also shown to be a pragmatic heroine, as she's not afraid to use force if communication alone is not enough.
The Movie 1st manga adds more aspects to her character. Before she became a magical girl, she was shown to be somewhat depressed, seemingly lacking a purpose in life. When she was little, she often felt helpless and wished for the strength to change things.
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 lead to an interesting pun.
Nanoha lives at her home above Midori-ya, the cafe owned by her family in Uminari City, with her mother Momoko, her father Shirō, her brother Kyōya and her sister Miyuki, the latter two of whom 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.
In A's, Nanoha may be living in peacetime, but she has not let her work slide. She goes out each day (4:00 A.M according to the manga) and trains with Raising Heart, when we see her training in the anime (episode 1) she practices hitting a can of cola repeatedly in the air and being disappointed when the can doesn't go into the trash can. Later she is attacked by one of the Wolkenritter, Vita, and is defeated due to the difference in power of their weapons. However, she teams up with Fate, who saves her and manages to hold Vita back until Signum enters while Yuuno brings Nanoha to a safe place. Arf and Yūno, and the Time-Space Administration Bureau help Nanoha and Fate escape Vita's Barrier which is successful, but not without the Wolkenritter stealing Nanoha's Linker Core which makes her lose some of her magical energy. Soon later in the TSAB HQ it is revealed to them that their new mission is to prevent the Wolkenritter from stealing mages' Linker Cores for their Book of Darkness. Nanoha then later introduces Fate to her two friends Arisa and Suzuka as a transfer student(though they had initially met via Nanoha and Fate's video messages), and resumes her life as a magical and school girl, helping Fate to get used to her new life on Earth. Early on in the season after the first battle against the Wolkenritter, Raising Heart, along with Bardiche, is upgraded to be able to compete with the Wolkenritter's weapons, and is renamed "Raising Heart Excelion", which gains the new cartridge system. She is then pitted against for most of the season Vita, who refuses to call her by her name, always calling her things like "Takamachi Nantoka", which can be roughly translated as "Takamachi Something-Or-Other", though in the last episode of the season she begins to call her name properly. Nanoha and Fate meet a sickly girl, Hayate Yagami, who is actually the master of the Book of Darkness, after being introduced by Suzuka later in the season. Later, when visiting Hayate who was hospitalised, Fate and Nanoha meet the Wolkenritter and find out that Hayate is the master of the Book of Darkness, and the reason why the Wolkenritter are collecting pages for the book. After Fate and Nanoha face off against the Wolkenritter, who wish to silence them for knowing their master's identity. However the match is interrupted by the two masked men (later revealed to be the Liese twins), who trap Fate and Nanoha in magical binds and a barrier and impersonated them, to make Hayate think that it was Fate and Nanoha who killed the Wolkenritter (as the masked men used their Linker Cores to fill the last pages of the Book of Darkness). Then, Fate along with Nanoha are forced to fight Hayate, as the book of darkness. However, during the fight Suzuka and Alisa discover Nanoha and Fate's true identities when they tried to protect them from Hayate's attack. With the help of the Wolkenritter and Hayate herself, they cure both Hayate and the Book of Darkness, which transforms into Reinforce, Hayate's partner and weapon.
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 ongoing StrikerS manga series occurs 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 Zwei, this group's duties include testing new equipment and spells, researching tactics and strategy, and training TSAB combat personnel through combat simulations. Chrono Harlaown, 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 during a case, to the point where she came extremely close to death. It is only the second time Nanoha is shown as having been defeated completely, and is the only event where she is shown, in print or television, as having sustained a life-threatening injury. The event is not very well elaborated on, and the cause of her injuries (which she seems to have fully recovered from by the time of the manga) remains unknown until episode 21 when Vita was stabbed and realised that the Type IV Gadget Drone which stabbed her was similar to the one that injured Nanoha. In episode two of the anime Fate asks if Nanoha's body is doing all right, which tends to indicate that there are some lasting effects of these injuries. It was stated in the manga that she still gets into mock battles against Fate, but not anymore after the incident.
In StrikerS, Nanoha is 19 years old and the primary Combat Instructor for the Riot Force 6 of Time-Space Administration Bureau's Special Management, and also the commander of record for 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, and she is a AA class mage with the limiters, 2 ranks down from what she should be.
She is first seen in the season with Raising Heart Excellion, and checking the field for Subaru and Teana's examination. After the pair reach their goal Nanoha comes in transformed so as 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 Force 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 Riot Force 6's training regiment to ensure the same thing will not happen to the members of the StarS and Lightning squads.
In ViVid, which takes place four years after StrikerS, Nanoha, now 23, is on leave, working as a civil servant on Mid-Childa and raising Vivio. Shortly after Vivio enters fourth grade, she gives her a device named Sacred Heart, which enables her to revert to her adult form.
In chapter 8, she and Fate organize a trip to Carnaaji for Vivio and her friends. She also uses this opportunity to get to know Einhart Stratos, whom she thanks for looking after Vivio, much to Einhart's embarrassment. In chapter 10, she, Subaru, Teana, Fate, Caro, and Erio participate in a spectacular mock battle on Carnaaji.
In the upcoming team battle on the second training day, Nanoha will take the Center Guard position of the Blue Team, opposing Teana.
Despite the manga bearing her name, Nanoha first appears in chapter 4 of Force, when she meets up with Subaru at a dimension port on Mid-Childa (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.
In chapter 7, Nanoha is at the Caledfwlch Techniques testing facility, finalizing the adjustments to her AEC Armament, CW-AEC02X Strike Cannon. Raising Heart asks to fine-tune the "Fortress" (Nanoha's second AEC Armament, numbered 00, which only the two of them can use at the moment), when they are ordered to scramble to assist Signum, who has been engaging Cypha of Hückebein in battle on Ruwella.
Nanoha is a side character in Triangle Heart 3 at the age of 8. She is childlike and makes cute sounds as reactions, and is more than willing to help around the house when asked. She is nicknamed the "Digital Girl' by her family as she, despite being the youngest, is the only family member who is proficient at using modern electronics. She has an affection toward cute animals, and as a result she spends most of her time going to the shrine to play with a small fox named Kuon owned by Nami Kanzaki, a part-time shrine maiden. As she is not one of the main heroines Kyouya can choose in the game, she does not do much but will take the role of the protagonist in some of the extra scenarios in the game.
At age 12 in the Triangle Heart OVA, Nanoha now 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 friend is Kuon, and in an extra scenario she befriends Alisa Lowell, the foundation of MGLN's Alisa Bannings. However, in this world, Alisa is actually a ghost who is trapped on Earth due to a tragic incident when she was living and could not leave due to an unfufilled desire. Kuon helped Alisa realize what she needed and with the thought of Nanoha being her friend, she happily passed on to the afterlife. Nanoha cried over not being able to see Alisa again, but knew that it was the right thing.
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.
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 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 appears in both The MOVIE 1st and The MOVIE 2nd A's, as well as in the MOVIE 1st manga.
Nanoha appears in both Battle of Aces and Gears of Destiny.
Nanoha Takamachi, similar to her initial appearance in the primary continuity, is an elementary school student of Uminari City. However, she is studying Year 4 in the Private Kaisei Elementary School instead of Year 3 in Seishou Elementary School.
Nanoha, despite her lack of experience, has demonstrated considerable magical talent. Many of her techniques are taught by Yuuno 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 is not as agile as Fate, she has higher defensive power and guided projectiles. Apart from her natural magical power, Nanoha is shown to be remarkably skilled and tactically smart. As such, she is able to defeat Fate in Nanoha and Vivio in StrikerS, despite presumably having lower magical power at that point. Her command phrase for her shooting spells is "Shoot!"
Nanoha's personal incantation for using Raising Heart is "Lyrical! Magical!". 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.
Since StrikerS, Raising Heart additionally implements the experimental power booster called Blaster System, which further increases Nanoha's raw energy output.
When Nanoha sets up Raising Heart to active, her Barrier Jacket is usually 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 and later replaced by "Raising Heart, onegai!" ("Raising Heart, please!").
Nanoha's Barrier Jacket is a blue and white dress with a metal waist guard, styled after the Seishou Elementary School uniforms for girls. Throughout her career, Nanoha uses several variations of this:
- Sacred Mode. An improved version of Nanoha's Barrier Jacket after Raising Heart's upgrade in A's, including field generators on the shoulders, gloves, and other defensive enhancements.
- Aggressor Mode. Further 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. Debuting in StrikerS episode 12, Nanoha uses this variation in set with Raising Heart in Exceed Mode. Its design is similar to the Sacred Mode's, although it is bulkier.
Much of the direction of the series was apparently influenced by the resemblance between Nanoha's Barrier Jacket concept art and a Gundam. The final design bears a resemblance to the Weissritter of Super Robot Wars.
Nanoha's signature most powerful spell is Starlight Breaker, which has so far only been replicated by Teana Lanster (her only student to learn it) and Reinforce (who used a stolen copy stored in the Book of Darkness). Although in The MOVIE 1st continuity, the casting process of Starlight Breaker is altered slightly, the general principle of collecting dispersed leftover mana from the battlefield remains the same; in the movie, it is also much more destructive.
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 Ryuuguu) 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.
Nanoha is often nicknamed "The White Devil" by her fans with awe, referring to Amuro Ray and the in-universe nickname for his RX-78-2 Gundam in the Gundam series. Fans also compared her to the ZGMF-X10A Freedom from Gundam SEED since they both have the same theme colours, or even its pilot and the series' main protaganist, Kira Yamato due to sharing a similar hair and eye colour combination (brown/purple). This comparison was reinforced with the Freedom's upgraded replacement, ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom, which is equipped with a DRAGOON system. The DRAGOON system on the Strike Freedom includes multiple wireless remotely-controlled beam cannon pods, and are the inspiration for Nanoha's Blaster Bits . It is also believed that this title was attached to her since Vita called her "Akuma..." (devil) in A's episode 9, and she answered "Fine, I'm a devil, so I'll have to use my hellish weapons to make you listen!", as well as the running joke amongst fans about her "befriending" the opposition with superior firepower.
Another nickname that Nanoha is called by fans is actually a pun on the title "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha". While "Mahō Shōjo" means "Magical Girl", "Ma Hō Shōjo" can be interpreted as "Demonic Cannon Girl".
Nanoha is also well-known for her befriending abilities, implying that anyone hit by her attacks is going to "suffer" character development toward the good side sooner or later. This was first observed when she slapped Arisa prior to the first series and then spread through to Fate, Vita, Dieci and Vivio through the rest of the series as a whole.
A popular motto for the character is "Listen or be shot," a popular meme which originates from her line in the first episode of Nanoha A's while fighting Vita and preparing to fire her Divine Buster:
Raising Heart: "Divine..."
Nanoha: "...TO ME!"
Raising Heart: "...Buster."
- Nanoha is left-handed, as she always holds Raising Heart in her left hand. In The MOVIE 1st, when Yuuno tells Nanoha to extend her dominant hand, she does so with the left one.
- Platinum the Trinity from BlazBlue has an Astral Finish similar to Nanoha's Starlight Breaker.