At a Glance: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a fairly standard magical girl genre show. It starts when a mage, transformed into the form of a ferret, requires magical assistance from the title character, Nanoha. Nanoha is a bright elementary school girl, but she seems to have some self-doubt. The pair have to find 21 plot tokens, presumably to be gained by defeating monsters of a similar nature to the one that attacks in the first episode. It is implied by the opening song that Nanoha forms a friendship with another girl, and that the pair become magical girls together. I'm guessing that the tone is going to be idealistic, but the monster in the first episode is visually intense, and blood is shown, indicating that this will be a bit more mature of a magical girl show, but probably without the gut-wrenching tragedy of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Spinoff of "Triangle Heart" OVA Series
Franchise is Ongoing with Spin-Offs, Sequels, Manga, Novels, and Films
Not much is new here. Many of the plot tropes are somewhat cliché in anime, especially in the magical girl genre. For instance, the animal sidekick. The "Collect All 6 MacGuffins". The fact that the main character is a little girl. In Japan. But, just going off the Wikipedia summary, it does seem that the plot will get better after a bit, especially as this rival character is introduced. So, I wouldn't skip it, especially if you're a fan of the magical girl genre. But is it going to be one of those great, epic anime series everyone needs to see? I think not. But for what it is, it looks endearing and entertaining, with a possible blend of sci-fi elements in a magical girl show.
The interesting thing is, for all its clichés, there does seem to be something special to look at underneath the surface of this one.