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A spell (魔法 mahō)[1] is a pre-defined magical formula or program that shapes (links) mana into a specific form.

UsageEdit

Each use of magic requires complex energy computations to achieve the desired effects. The purpose of the spells is to simplify casting magic by preparing and storing common formulas beforehand, so they can be used on short notice, e.g. in combat. The spells can be both stored and calculated either within a mage's brain or in their Device.

A major advantage of using spells is the possibility to teach them to others (although some abilities, known as Rare Skills, are notoriously difficult to obtain). When a mage teaches a spell to another, the latter will often adapt it to their existing methods instead of copying them verbatim. For instance, Nanoha's Starlight Breaker is based on Divine Buster, but Teana Lanster's version of the same spell is a derivative of her own Phantom Blazer. A more extreme example is Subaru Nakajima's Divine Buster, which was merely named after Nanoha's spell and has nothing in common with it apart from being a bombardment-type spell.

ClassificationEdit

For the complete list of known spells and their classification, see Special:BrowseData/Spells or the semantic list.

The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Visual Fanbook, a Nanoha universe guide book, provided the first system of classification for the various spells seen in the anime series. Apparently other categories have appeared in the manga series or DVD booklets, describing each spell in detail as they are thrown.

Category Type Description Examples
Attack
(攻撃魔法
Kōgeki Mahō)
Shooting
(射撃
Shageki)
Spells of this type are guided (like Divine Shooter) or aimed (like Photon Lancer) at targets. It also includes the rare material accelerating spells. Shockwave, Plasma Barret, Sturmfalken (see all)
Bombardment
(砲撃
Hōgeki)
This type denotes any aimed attack that fires a cone or stream of energy. This includes collection type (集束砲 Shūsoku Hō, lit. "Focused Ordnance" or "Accumulatory Cannonfire") spells, such as Starlight Breaker, which gather up mana dispersed in the surroundings to release it as a single blast (rather than use the caster's own mana).[2] Rarely, there are also guided bombardment spells like Exelion Buster. Ragnarök, Phantom Blazer, Hræsvelgr (see all)
Melee
(打撃/斬撃
Dageki/Zangeki)
This type affects attacks that directly use the device as a weapon. Melee type spells also include energy blade type (魔力斬撃 Maryoku Zangeki, described in the fanbook) spells such as Arc Saber. Strike Flame, Accel Smash, Sprite Zanber (see all)
Area-of-effect
(広域攻撃
Kōiki Kōgeki)
This type categorizes all attacks that affect targets within a general area. Ray Storm, Heimdall, Thunder of Destruction (see all)
Magic-enhanced attack
(魔力付与攻撃
Maryoku Fuyo Kōgeki)
As the Belka system prefers melee attack over other magic types, spells of this type enhance the attack power of the device, or expand its attack capabilities. Knuckle Bunker, Speerangriff, Giganthammer (see all)
Defense
(防御魔法
Bōgyo Mahō)
Barrier
(バリアタイプ
Baria Taipu)
These spells erect defensive barriers such as Protection, usually in spherical or hemispherical shape. They can defend in all directions, but are relatively easy to break. They work by absorbing the power of an attack in order to reduce damage. Harden Armor, Circle Protection, Defenser (see all)
Shield
(シールドタイプ
Shīrudo Taipu)
This type describes spells that generate powerful shields. In contrast to barrier type spells, shield type spells can only guard in one direction, but are much more difficult to penetrate. Also unlike a barrier type defense, these spells defend by repelling the energy driven against them. Panzerschild, Binding Shield, Round Shield (see all)
Field
(フィールドタイプ
Fīrudo Taipu)
Not to be confused with force field spells below, field type spells directly affect an area around the user to nullify a specific energy type, thermal or electrical for example. They mostly take form of protective clothing or auras. Blade Bite, Gunshot Defense, Armour Jacket (see all)
Capture
(捕獲系魔法
Hokaku Kei Mahō)
Bind
(バインドタイプ
Baindo Taipu)
Bind type spells directly inhibit a target's freedom of movement and the use of action triggers by attaching themselves to them. Bind type spells may prevent movement outright, as in Restrict Lock, or contain the target's mobility, as in Chain Bind. Lightning Bind, Commandment Thread, Delayed Bind (see all)
Cage
(ケージタイプ
Kēji Taipu)
Cage type spells surround the target in an immobile prison. Steel Yoke, Crystal Cage, Frierenfesseln (see all)
Force field
(結界魔法
Kekkai Mahō)
Circle
(サークルタイプ
Sākuru Taipu)
These force fields originate from a magic circle, which can be placed by the caster at any location. An example is Yuuno Scrya's Round Guarder Extend. Round Guarder Extend, Floater Field (see all)
Area
(エリアタイプ
Eria Taipu)
Area type force fields affect a large region, and generally are much more powerful than circle type fields. In contrast to defensive spells, force field spells apparently have more varied roles, from protecting property and civilians from collateral damage, to confining enemy magic users to a predetermined area. The imprisoning field used by the TSAB Armed Forces in A's episodes 04 and 05[3] is one such type of field. Temporal Force Field, Gefängnis der Magie, Prisoner Box (see all)
Support
(補助魔法
Hojo Mahō)
Increase
(インクリースタイプ
Inkurīsu Taipu)
Directly heals or replenishes the target. Boosted Healing, Raging Fire Blade, Enchant (see all)
Decline
(デクラインタイプ
Dekurain Taipu)
Presumably, spells of this type lower the target's defenses. However, the known spells of this type directly target other magic spells and attempt to deactivate them. An example is Bind Break. Mystic Flight, Klargeheul, Barrier Break (see all)
Transport[4]
(移動魔法
Idō Mahō)
Spells of this type include movement enhancement spells such as Flier Fin, as well as teleportation spells. Sonic Sail, Sleipnir, Jet Step (see all)
Illusion
(幻術魔法
Genjutsu Mahō)
Although illusion magic is not recognized as a distinct magic category by canon sources, it appears to be one, in which e.g. Teana Lanster and Quattro specialize. Spells of this type create visual and audible illusions, that either make the caster harder to locate or distract the opponent. Mirage Hide, Silver Curtain, Dream of the Book of Darkness (see all)
Summoning
(召喚魔法
Shōkan Mahō)
The summoning magic, officially introduced in StrikerS, specializes in conjuring living creatures to serve the mage. It is so uncommon, however, that is considered a Rare Skill on Mid-Childa. Transport Summoning, Scarlet Dragon Summon, Dragon Soul Summon (see all)

Some defense spells are not sub-categorized. There are also a large number of uncategorized support spells, ranging from telepathy, shapeshifting, and sealing.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The original Japanese seems to make no difference between the terms for magic as a discipline and for individual spells.
  2. ^ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS DVD 3 Booklet (translation).
  3. ^ Shamal says that the field can only be broken by Vita's Gigantform or Signum's Sturm Falken, but Signum manages to break through with her Schwertform.
  4. ^ Presumably, this category is indicated in the manga.

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