The magic system (術式 jutsushiki, lit. "arts expression/style") refers to the style and methodology of a practitioner's abilities and devices. Two systems are recognized in the series: the Mid-Childa system, and the Belka system. The Belka system is further subdivided into Ancient Belka and Modern Belka, with the latter being an emulation of the Ancient Belka, using the modern Mid-Childa as basis. Practitioners of Mid-Childan and Belkan systems can be told apart by the form of their respective magic circles.
Chrono Harlaown, in a conversation with Yuuno Scrya, states that 891 classes of magic have been documented by the TSAB. Whether this refers to separate systems of magic, such as Mid-Childa and Belka, or some other way of categorizing types of magic is not specifically explained.
The Mid-Childa system (ミッドチルダ式 Middochiruda Shiki) is the dominant magical style in the Nanoha universe. Although much is known about its spell classification, there is little information about its background or history.
The Ancient Belka system (古代ベルカ式 Kodai Beruka Shiki) was the prevalent magic form during the Belkan era, but is almost forgotten in modern times. Except for actual or offsprings of Ancient Belkans (e.g. the Wolkenritter, Einhalt Stratos), only the Saint Church seems to still practice it. The Ancient Belka practitioners, known as Knights, eschew ranged attacks for anti-personnel melee combat tactics. One of the defining features of the Belka system is the Armed Device, which incorporates a cartridge system to dramatically boost the magical power of its user.
The Modern Belka system (近代ベルカ式 Kindai Beruka Shiki) arose from a combination of the new Mid-Childan magic and the Ancient Belkan system preserved, among others, by the Saint Church. In 0065, it experienced a boost in popularity when Nanoha Takamachi and Fate Testarossa successfully integrated the cartridge system (a quintessential Ancient Belkan invention) into their Intelligent Devices (a defining feature of the Mid-Childan system).
The (Modern) Belka system is largely combat-oriented and focuses on enhancing the practitioner's physical abilities and weapons. It is particularly effective in one-on-one melee combat but useless at long distance.
Additionally, there are magical styles and abilities that do not fit into the above categories.
- The Mana Conversion Affinity, an ability possessed by a few mages to spontaneously convert mana into elemental energy.
- The unique magic system used by Jail Scaglietti in StrikerS, which uses a magic circle similar to that of the Inherent Skills (see below).
- Formula Eltria, the sorcerous power manipulation skills (魔導力運用技術 madōryoku unyō gijutsu) used by the Florian sisters in A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny.
- The anti-Eclipse skills used with AEC Armaments in Force.
- Inherent Skills of the Combat Cyborgs.
- The various Eclipse-induced abilities inherent to the Eclipse infectees in Force.
- Armor Jacket and the "perfume skills" used by Isis Egret.
- ^ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's THE COMICS chapter 7.
- ^ a b c Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS the Comics, chapter 5, page 7.
- ^ a b Note that in the wordings of TSAB, the Ancient Belka is referred to as "Old Belka", while the Modern Belka is referred to as merely "Belka". (StrikerS DVD character ID Cards)
- ^ Japanese for Ancient Belka is written in ViVid as
真正古代ベルカ, literally "Real Ancient Belka".
- ^ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's episode 03.
- ^ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS Chronicle.
- ^ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS episode 22.