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Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force is a manga, part of the Nanoha franchise. It's set six years after StrikerS and is considered the fourth season, even though ViVid chronologically predates it by two years In-Universe and a few months in Real Life. It's running in Nyantype, Newtype's Spin-Off magazine.
The plot revolves around a new Lost Logia called the Forbidden Book of the Silver Cross, which is somehow linked to a mysterious affliction known as the Eclipse Virus. When a young traveller called Tohma rescues a girl called Lily from a series of cruel experiments involving the Forbidden Book, he too becomes infected with the Eclipse Virus. This grants him superhuman strength, incredible magical power, a potent Healing Factor and near-perfect Anti-Magic abilities, but also an uncontrollable thirst for murder.
Meanwhile, Section Six of the TSAB mobilise to confront a new group of villains wrecking havoc across the non-administered worlds: the Huckebein Family, whose members all carry the Eclipse Virus. Finding that conventional magical weaponry is useless against the Anti-Magic of the Eclipse Virus, the TSAB attempt to bring Tohma into their fold while the Huckebein try to do the same.
Notice how the "Magical Girl" was dropped from the title. Indeed this instalment departs from the signature Nanoha style, going further into Darker and Edgier territory than ever before, in rather sharp contrast to the concurrently running ViVid manga. Fandom reactions have been sharply divided.
Nyantype also runs a companion feature called Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force NEXT, which is a sneak peak with illustrations and detailed descriptions of new weapons and equipment that will be appearing in the upcoming chapter.
A four-panel comic based on the series, called Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force Dimension, began serialization in Kadokawa's 4koma Nano Ace magazine on March 9, 2011.
MRLN Force provides examples
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Only used in the transformation sequences.
- BFG: Force has without a doubt the most oversized weapons yet and they are even mass based for the first time.
- Big Damn Heroes: Done so far by Fate and Subaru, both saving Nanoha in the nick of time from a certain death. Then shortly thereafter, pulled off by LILY, of all people. Who remembers her purpose, and dives in to save Tohma by Assuming Direct Control of the Book of Silver Cross. Also inverted with the Huckebein saving each other from the heroes.
- Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: Subverted; Hayate does this in chapter eight but nothing has come of it yet.
- Continuity Nod: Nanoha tells Tohma that "this may hurt a little", just like she told Vivio in StrikerS, before blasting him in the face with her Fortress.
- Darker and Edgier: Maybe a bit too dark. The first villain is introduced sitting at the altar of a church, which he ransacked, and killed the three nuns there while waiting for Tohma to arrive.
- Decompressed Comic: Force has been accused of Doing It Wrong, and it's especially easy to see why lately: one battle started around chapter eight and ended at chapter 15, taking up one and a half volumes. New Force chapters are released once a month but are prone to Schedule Slipping (or being released in two halves).
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Aside from Anti-Magic, inducing these in the narrative seems to be the Huckebeins' main power.
- Dream Team: Special Service Section 6 adds a number of the Combat Cyborgs to Riot Force 6 from StrikerS. They have yet to do anything though.
- Even Evil Has Standards: A weird example. According to All There in the Manual, the other Huckebein find Veyron a bit distasteful, but he hasn't really done anything they haven't.
- Evil Versus Evil: In chapter 19, Veyron and Arnage engage in a fight against other two Eclipse infected guys.
- Again in chapter 23 where Cypha fights against the equally infected Grendel family.
- Genre Shift: As noted, Force doesn't even bill itself as a Magical Girl series.
- As the lead character Tohma is a male, and almost all of the Section 6 personnel are adults already, so "Magical Girl" does not fit this series at all.
- Gut Punch: The Darker and Edgier tone of the series is settled quickly on Chapter 4 with Veyron welcoming Tohma in a church filled with nun corpses, and specially cemented shortly after in Chapter 7 when Cypha nearly killed Signum who was never truly defeated onscreen until that point. Things were never the same after that.
- He Knows Too Much: The fate of Marty.
- Identical Stranger: Mariya Ranevskaya, who looks suspiciously like a tattooed punk version of Vivio. Doesn't qualify for Criminal Doppelganger because no one seems to have cottoned on In-Universe.
- Immune to Bullets: Marty has this power above and beyond standard Eclipse healing. So Arnage converts her Divider to Wave Motion Gun mode.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better:
- Since the appearance of the Huckebein, who are completely immune to magical attacks, the TSAB ban on mass based weapons has been relaxed somewhat. As a result Special Service Section 6 is now equipped with experimental hybrid weapons that convert magical energy into pure kinetic energy or plasma... and are still proving mostly useless against the Huckebein.
- Meanwhile Tohma, Veyron and Arnage are using Dividers that look and behave like mash-ups of conventional Earth weapons, though how they work has not been explained.
- Isis uses chemical explosives in liquid/gas state, which she then delivers by molding them in the shape of butterflies or birds with her device. So that could also be considered an equal parts magic/kinetic weapon.
- Gratuitous English: Averted for Tohma's and Isis' Devices, which are the first non-unison types that speak Japanese and have proper conversations with their masters.
- Knockout Gas: Arnage's knockout gas has so far been the only thing to reliably stop Reacted Tohma's rampage.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Once again there's a good number of new characters added to the already sizeable cast from Striker S, many of whom appear as cameos.
- Mood Whiplash: Do not read this back-to-back with the other currently running Nanoha manga Vi Vid or you'll be in need of a new metaphorical neck before you know it.
- Within this story itself, the switch from Tohma's lighthearted travels with Lily to Teana visiting the site of an apparent Huckebein attack with many dead or severely wounded and back also counts.
- Murder by Cremation: A variation occurs in the first chapter. When Tohma was discovered sneaking into the facility containing Lily and successful gaining a reaction with her, the people in charge of that facility attempts to get rid of both Tohma and Lily by activating the lab's heat sterilization function, burning the entire area at temperatures that could melt metal. Fortunately, the Viral Transformation of Tohma had already completed by then, allowing him to protect both himself and Lily and subsequently escape.
- No Ontological Inertia: Curren invokes this by shanking Hayate so the Heimdall iceberg vanishes.
- People Jars: The research facility, where Lily was, had some. Though the things stored in there really couldn't be called "people" anymore.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Arnage and Veyron attack the aforementioned two other Eclipse-infected because the Huckebein don't attack innocents willy-nilly and their doing so brings unnecessary attention on the Hucks, who are convenient to misblame.
- Shameful Strip: When the Huckebein capture Tohma's group, they proceed to strip them of all the equipment they can remove. Unsurprisingly, while Tohma is able to keep the Instant Armor that comes with his Black Knight form, Lily and Isis are left completely naked while their enemies interrogate them.
- Smug Snake: Most of the Huckebein, although Cypha, Fortis and Curren take the cake and eat it.
- So Last Season: Taken Up to Eleven, since neither magic, nor standard physical attacks have any effect on the Huckebein, requiring a complete arsenal swap for most of the cast. In an unexpected subversion most of the new prototypes also fail miserably.
- Stern Chase: Tohma spends much of the story fleeing the TSAB and law enforcement after breaking into the lab and saving Lily.
- Time Skip: 6 and 2 years after StrikerS and ViVid respectively.
- The Worf Effect: Signum and Hayate losing.
- Also Vita scored her 2nd defeat against a new villain by curbstomp.
- Webcomic Time: The manga started in July 2009. It took a year to get from the introduction of the main character to the first battle (about a day in-story), and another year to wrap up said battle (about an hour long).
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: As of Chapter 17, Curren makes a speech to SS6 that paints the Huckebein in this light.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Oh, looks like Hayate's gonna do something awesome for once! Ooooh. Nevermind, then.