A fairly good cinematic re-edit of the quintessential modern shoujo anime
Version I saw: Japanese Bluray release (subtitled) Actors: 6/10 Plot/script: 6/10 Photography/visual style: 7/10 Music/score: 7/10 Overall: 6/10 This movie comes from a class of anime films created by editing together footage from a TV series into a movie-length piece, cutting out stand-alone episodes and incidents and focusing rigorously on the series' overarching plot. Often, as in this case, the footage is spruced up by increasing the picture quality and resolution, and adding in a few extra shots, usually in the action scenes.
As usual, sacrifices must be made when pruning away so much material, and here the main cost seems to be context. Scene transitions are unnecessarily abrupt at times, leaving the viewer disoriented, wondering where we were and why.
Nonetheless, the pacing is good, keeping my interested throughout the unusually long 130-minute running time. The music is good, leaning toward an orchestral, cinematic style, and even the couple of English-language characters buck the general anime trend by being fairly passable actors, although they will never exactly win any awards either. There are a couple of problems with contradictory underlying themes, but this bothered me more when thinking about it afterwards than while actually watching the movie.
Although I have not seen the TV series, Nanoha the Movie appears to do a reasonably good job of adapting it to the big screen. As a result, whether you like the film comes down more than anything else to whether you like the series. Nanoha is almost *the* quintessential shoujo (magical girl) anime, at least in the modern era. When it comes down to it, if you like magical girls, you will like this movie, and if you don't, you won't.
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