Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

The third season in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS takes place ten years after the second series, with the previous cast becoming high-ranking members of the TSAB in the meantime.

Following the emergence of a new type of Lost Logia called Relics, Nanoha, Fate and Hayate seek permission to form "Section Six", an elite group of mages comprised of powerful veterans and talented rookies.

As their investigation into the Relics continues, Section Six comes into conflict with Mad Scientist Jail Scaglietti and his all-female group of cybernetic operatives, the Numbers. Jail is the mastermind behind a number of illegal projects, such as the creation of Artificial Mages and Combat Cyborgs, and now he has his eye set on the Relics.

Then there's Vivio, a orphan of the same "Project F" that created Fate, who Nanoha and Fate decide to adopt as their own child. When Vivio is suddenly kidnapped by Jail, who intends to use her as the lynchpin of his ultimate plan, Section Six must mobilise to save her and stop Jail's plans once and for all.

Unlike the first two seasons, this one had a full 26 episodes instead of 13. It had the largest cast so far and shifted the tone to a darker, more sci-fi/military feel.

It has a supplementary Slice of Life manga and Sound Stages that take place between the episodes. StrikerS Sound Stage X could be considered its Spin-Off, as it only feature the new characters from this season.

NOTE: Only general tropes for the series are listed here. For character-specific ones, check out the character sheets.

Tropes used in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS include:
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The site of a battle.
  • Alien Sky: Mid-Childa has a lot of moons.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The assault on the Riot Force 6 HQ.
  • Amazon Brigade: Riot Force 6 in general, not counting Erio and Zafira.
  • Anti-Magic: The Gadget Drones generate an anti-magic field. The "official" reason for creating Riot Force 6 is to train operatives to fight under anti-magic conditions.
  • As Lethal as It Needs to Be: This is an explicit property of the "magic bullets".
  • Badass Longcoat: Zest, Cinque and Erio. Fate's Impulse form Barrier Jacket combines this with Badass Cape.
  • Beam-O-War: The only time in the franchise where it's played straight is Nanoha's "fight" against Dieci.
  • Beam Spam: Played with - the anime and manga warn that dismissing battle strategy in favor of zerging enemies puts an unhealthy strain on the body.
  • Busman's Holiday: In Episode 10, the Forwards' day off is canceled when they find Vivio and two Relics, leading into a battle that spans the next two episodes.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: Teana's Optic Hide spell works this way.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Friedrich, Caro's normal dragon.
  • Cherry Blossoms: In the final episode.
  • Church Militant: The Saint Church has its own armed force of comparable power to the TSAB Ground Forces.
  • Clone Jesus
  • Cloning Blues: The products of Project F, aside from Scaglietti.
  • Conspicuous CG: The helicopter.
  • Convenient Color Change: Subaru borrows her sister's Revolver Knuckle and dual wields it with her own for the Final Battle. At first, it retains Ginga's signature color scheme, but when she is preparing a powerful spell, it changes colors to match Subaru's own Revolver Knuckle.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Given the finger, hard. There are crazy cyborgs, but they're crazy in a way anyone could be.
  • Darker and Edgier: While nowhere near the level Force would later reach, it still traded in most of the Magical Girl trappings for military sci-fi tropes and revealed the near-fatal consequences of overdosing on Beam Spam among other things.
  • Demoted to Extra: Yuuno, Chrono, Lindy, Zafira, Shamal, Arf, and arguably even Hayate suffer from this.
  • Deus Exit Machina: During the press conference, Nanoha, Fate and Hayate are required to turn over their devices to the Forwards in order to go in. This costs them valuable time when Scaglietti's forces attack.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Nanoha blows through half a warship from the inside to get Quattro.
  • Everyone Is a Super: Once they get off a certain Insignificant Little Blue Planet. Mid-Childa is populated by mages, making magic use mundane. Of course, the heroes' signature type of magic is still second to none.
  • Exact Time to Failure: The last few episodes end with how much time is left before Scaglietti's plan succeeds.
  • Fandom Nod: The "who is the stronges in Section Six" chapter of the manga.
  • Fauxshadow: Vita speaks about her mortality several times, then towards the end of the series gets several opportunities to go out in a blaze-of-glory, but then she gets better. This does, however, show the Wolkenritter's Character Development in dealing with their mortality, as well as having causes they're willing to risk their lives for.
  • Genre Shift: In StrikerS, the series branches out into a more sci-fi fantasy/military genre.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Vita, Teana until the epilogue and Vivio.
  • Grin of Audacity: Jail Scaglietti laughs when Fate finally captures him after years of pursuit.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Whatever you make out of Nanoha and Fate, they pretty much are life partners after StrikerS.
    • Subaru and Teana, since training school. Subaru is sad when they get different assignments near the end (Subaru goes into an elite rescue squad while Teana becomes Fate's Enforcer aide), but Teana reassures her.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Subaru vs. Ginga, Nanoha vs. Sankt Kaiser Vivio, and Caro and Erio vs. Lutecia. Subverted in that talking didn't really help much in either of the cases and the mind controlled parties were only stopped the old-fashioned way - by thorough befriending. Hey, it's Nanoha after all.
  • Killer Rabbit: Friedrich - Caro's baby silver dragon. He looks like a misshapen chicken in his "sealed" form, but you probably don't want him spitting fireballs in your direction.
  • Koan: "To defeat someone stronger than you, you must not be weaker than that person." This gets a few interpretations, but is never conclusively explained.
  • Knockout Gas: Dieci has the Aerosol Shell of her Enormous Cannon, which releases fast-acting knockout gas after they explode on impact as shown during the assault on the Ground Forces HQ. Unlike the more colorful gases used in many other media, these have the appearance of ordinary white smoke.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: The Wolkenritter's Heel Face Turn and Fate's adoption into the Harlaown family.
  • Loophole Abuse: The TSAB doesn't allow too much raw power on the same squad. Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate together are way over the stated power limit. Their solution is to have power limiters to artificially keep their collective rank under the stated limit. See the rest under Power Limiter.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Gadget Drones.
  • Medical Horror: Some of Scaglietti's more depraved experiments jump right into this. Especially his end-of-season escape plan.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Caro's dragons, Friedrich and Voltaire
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Ended with the beginning of a mock battle in which the four forwards faced Nanoha, Fate, Vita and Signum, but none of it was shown.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The High Council, represented by three screens with Roman numerals to hide their being brains in jars.
  • 108: Genya Nakajima commands the Ground Forces' 108th Battalion.
  • People Jars: Jail Scaglietti loves these. They contain unfinished cyborgs and Lutecia's comatose mother.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: The mages when they fuse with either Rein or Agito.
  • Power Limiter:
    • Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate have them, partly due to the office politics of having too many powerful mages in one department, but also because it disguises the amount of power Section Six has at its disposal from their enemies, giving them the element of surprise when necessary. The real reason is that they were starting to go Off the Scale and could have easily curb stomped all opposition without needing any help from the Forwards, which they very nearly do in the final battle.
    • A four-level limiter is applied to the Forwards' own Devices so they can ease into the power they receive. One level typically gets taken off before each major battle.
    • Lutecia also gets one as part of her sentence, reducing her rank from S to D.
  • Powers as Programs: Most of the Combat Cyborgs from have special moves "programmed" into them.
  • Prophecy Twist: A vaguely worded prophecy mentions the "destruction of the ship of law that guards the stars". Everyone assumes, given the seemingly easy conclusion of an earlier part referring to a disastrous terrorist attack, that this refers to even worse things to come if they're not averted. Turns out, it's referring to the ancient warship the Big Bad manages to excavate, thus prophesying that they'll manage to stop it.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Fate, Dieci and Nanoha.
  • Rank Inflation: In season 1, the scale goes up to AAA. By StrikerS, Hayate is ranked SS, and Nanoha, Fate and Signum are all S-rankers.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: The Forwards in have been handpicked for a year-long personal training by the eponymous character. Most combat mages in the setting consider themselves lucky to get Nanoha to act as their OPFOR for half a day. Not to mention that she normally only teaches advanced aerial combat to squadron-sized classes (as opposed to one-on-four training from basics up for the Forwards).
  • Saintly Church: Belkan Saint Church.
  • Ship Sinking: Fate/Chrono already took a blow after Chrono's mother adopted Fate at the end of A's, but it and Nanoha/Chrono is only finally sunk when Chrono marries Amy.
  • Shooting Gallery: Subaru and Teana go through one of these on the first episode for their B-Rank qualifying mage exam.
  • Shout-Out: In Episode 7, Zafira yells lets a group of gadgets know that they "shall not pass" as he stomps once on the ground which causes large cracks to appear.
    • Granted, the gadgets fly and are killed by spikes rather than falling, there are many of them, and it takes place on a ridge rather than a bridge so it's possibly just a coincidence but if it isn't a Shout-Out the scene seems oddly out of place (especially considering Zafira's general quietness).
  • Sound Off: The Ground Forces trainees in the manga, in a Shout-Out to Full Metal Jacket.
  • Spoiler Opening: The second opening shows who most of the cast fights in the final battle.
  • Storming the Castle: A two-in-one combo for the final showdown - Fate, Schach and Verossa attack Jail Scaglietti's lab, while Nanoha, Hayate, Vita, and a ton of air mages attack the Saint's Cradle.
  • Tears of Blood: Lutecia's summons cry these when she's being forced to fight.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: "Pray" for Fate in the final battle.
    • To a lesser degree for Verossa and Schach as well.
  • Time Skip: 6 years between A's and the first 6 chapters of the manga then another 4 to series proper.
  • Title Drop: Fate explains the designation/title of "Striker" to the Forwards.
  • Train Job / Traintop Battle: In episode 5 the Gadgets attempt to steal a Relic form a train and the Forwards get their first chance to kick ass.
  • Training from Hell: Subverted in episode 9, where the dangers of over-training to the point where it damages your body are a major plot point.
  • Treachery Cover-Up: In Sound Stage X it's mentioned that many parts of the Jail Scaglietti incident were classified, presumably including Jail's origins and connection to the Bureau, which had created him.
  • Unconscious Objector: Subaru demonstrates the ability to fight even while knocked unconscious. However, this has less to do with her determination and more with her AI-equipped magical Device seamlessly taking control of her body while she is out cold.
  • Unfamiliar Ceiling: In Episode 9, Teana wakes up in the infirmary after being shot down by Nanoha, and is shocked to find that it's already 9 at night; according to Shamal, her taking this long to wake up was a result of not getting much sleep.
  • Weak but Skilled: One of the Bureau's top-ranked admirals, who is at least two levels weaker than Nanoha and Fate, once fought them at the same time in the manga, for a training session. We don't see the fight, but the aftermath has them singed and panting on their knees, while she's just standing there without a hair out of place. Teana also learns to settle here eventually.
  • Wham! Episode: Episode 17.
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Takes place a few months after the events of the series.