Six months have passed since the events in the previous movie. Fate has returned to Uminari City with Lindy as her legal guardian and is living the life of a normal elementary schoolgirl along with Nanoha and her friends. The reunion between the two new-found friends is cut short, however, when they are assaulted by four ancient magic users who identify themselves as the Wolkenritter. As the motives behind the actions of the Wolkenritter become clear, Nanoha and Fate find themselves in a race against time to stop the reactivation of a highly dangerous artifact known as The Book of Darkness. (Source: ANN)
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A’s is a movie rendition of the corresponding tv series, and a direct sequel to the 1st movie which covered the first season of the franchise. While the first incarnation started out as a fairly ordinary magical girl series, it eventually evolved into what could be described as the Magical Girl Lightshow of Befriending, involving flashy combat and interesting swaths of character development that made it unique in this genre.
Visually speaking, the movie is extremely shiny and polished, despite a few moments of off model that were barely noticed. While the first movie looked great, it still resorted to stills in combat scenes, but 2nd A’s makes these weaknesses far less pronounced, leading to a ton of fluid movement. Regardless of the actual content of the movie, it sure does look appealing, especially for those into moe aesthetics.
Unfortunately, it falters in the story department. This was to be expected, as the series was 13 episodes long with minimal filler. Trimming at anything significant would weaken the narrative, and unfortunately there are a few plot threads that simply will not make sense to those who haven’t seen the tv series. That is most likely the greatest weakness of the movie, and I would have to recommend you watch the tv series first.
What it does focus on, it does fairly well, and offers a lot of humanization to the antagonists of the story which makes the storytelling a more balanced affair. It’s not too easy to take sides in this conflict for good reason, and that makes the movie more involving to watch. The movie actually doesn’t spend that much time pew pew’ing all day as compared to the first movie, and focuses some on developing the characters’ personalities and inner thoughts. Still, due to time constraints, certain key players from the tv series are left hanging but still left there leaving you wondering what they’re supposed to do. I felt they could have fit them in more cleanly.
In the end, I was very much satisfied to see Nanoha animated after an absence of three years. This movie is much more for fans though, and while I’d recommend that you could skip the first television series for the first movie, I really can’t say the same for this. So, if you’re into the series, you should know what to expect. If not, then try the television series, and give this a pass for now.