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4th Jul '14 2:47:02 PM Shieldage
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->''My name is Watanabe Eriko. I'm an upcoming Nobel Prize laureate, and reality is my bitch.''
-->-- '''Watanabe Eriko''', [[InnerMonologue internal monologue]] at her discovery of [[FunctionalMagic magic]]

[[http://www.sagaofsoul.com Saga of Soul]], by troper Tropers/SunTzu, is a take on the MagicalGirl genre.

The story begins when Eriko, an introverted bookworm, suffers a near-death experience. Instead of walking toward the Light, she takes it upon herself to ''perform scientific experiments'', which leads to her acquiring magical powers. Soon enough, she finds herself involved in a complex conflict as several factions of mortal and supernatural entities alike make their play.

For a similar take on magic that also implies it is best off [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic Sufficiently Analyzed]] and [[FunctionalMagic put to good use]] instead of simply DoingInTheWizard, see ''HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality''.

----
!!This story provides examples of the following tropes:

* AbsurdCuttingPower: Murder's Golden Knife has an enchantment on it to part matter that comes within a millimeter or so: the blade never actually touches what it cuts. It's also able to [[InterdimensionalTravelDevice open a portal from one universe to another]].
* AbusiveParents: Junko's dad.
* AllLovingHero: Pak Dae-Hyun. Mother Aurora specifically states that, just as Eriko's strength is Truth and Junko's strength is Loyalty, Dae-Hyun's strength is love.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Demons in general.
* AntimagicalFaction: Aurora, and thus the fae as a whole, oppose humans having magic, probably because [[spoiler: [[{{MagicIsEvil}} it's destroying the multiverse]]]].
* BadLiar: Eriko. Luckily Junko is quite capable of lying, and does it frequently to cover up for Eriko's absences.
* {{Bishonen}}: Eriko describes Katsutoshi as "what you get when you isolate the bishonen gene".
* BossInMookClothing: One of Downfall's favorite tricks. Also {{Inverted}} by him to great effect.
* TheChessmaster: Steel-Sama and Chancell, to the very least.
* CombatCompliment: Murder compliments Soul a few times during their fights.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Steel-Sama.
* CosmicEntity: Aurora is so powerful her magic is often considered a cosmic force. He Who Laughs is even stronger.
* CounterfeitCash: Mages can easily produce fake banknotes. Downfall still orders Living Curse to rob a bank to get attention. Chancell uses this to get an in with the criminal underworld.
* CurbStompBattle: A few of these, but not quite so clear as Soul versus the Queen of Pain or Living Curse.
* DeathActivatedSuperpower: Magic is gained by having a NearDeathExperience and deciding not to GoIntoTheLight but rather to draw upon it to change the universe.
* {{Deconstruction}}: It's no secret that SailorNothing was a big inspiration for this story.
** {{Reconstruction}}: On the other hand, [[PuellaMagiMadokaMagica Madoka and co.]] could take many, many notes on how to survive and prosper in a CosmicHorrorStory setting full of unfairness InherentInTheSystem.
* DeflectorShields: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Kinetic shields]] apply kinetic energy opposing the motion of projectiles.
* {{Determinator}}: Samsod.
* EarAche: Kazu likes to target Kunio's ears, including [[DraggedByTheCollar dragging him to Eriko by one]] as a 'conversation starter'.
* NamesToRunAwayFrom/TheAdjectiveOne: The Supreme One, ruler of the Elysium.
* TheEmpire: The Elysium.
* FairyCompanion: Monsoon, although she's stuck in Castle Nexus.
* [[spoiler:FalseFlagOperation]]: Intuited by Helen Barker and revealed by the narration in chapter 19.
* FinishingMove: After Eriko develops a particularly [[OneHitKill devastating move]], Aurora warns her to only use them when absolutely necessary, for fear her enemies will reverse-engineer her techniques.
* ForgedByTheGods: Aurora crafted the Golden Knife, and it took her over a year to enchant it, at least part of which was ensuring it would work on worlds faerie magic was denied.
* ForScience: The reason Eriko considers looking for the island of stability physicists are trying to discover with particle accelerators is as simple as that.
* FunctionalMagic: A fundamental aspect of the story.
* GambitPileup: The Elysium, Mother Aurora, Downfall, Murder, Steel, and the CIA, just to name a few, are all pursuing separate agendas.
* GenkiGirl: Monsoon.
** Also Junko, though that is something of a facade.
* GenreSavvy: Eriko most certainly is. But instead of following anime tropes, she acts based on what's known to work in reality. Sometimes overt pragmatism does come to bite her back, reminding her to think outside the box - and this is when genre tropes come in handy.
* GodIsEvil: This seems to be hinted at, at times...
* GuardianOfTheMultiverse: Aurora views herself and her faeries as this. Overlaps with MultiversalConqueror.
* HannibalLecture: Downfall to Soul. [[spoiler: It doesn't work.]]
* HiddenVillain: The story is being told by magically-caused flashbacks as Soul is interrogated by an unknown (to us) enemy, which leads to...
* HowWeGotHere
* InnerMonologue: Lots and lots.
* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: We've seen or heard of three actual items:
** Monsoon's ring, which allows her to return to Faeland;
** The Infinity Gate, which allows the Elysium to move people between realities;
** Murder's Golden Knife, which allows him to do so on his own;
** Aurora is powerful enough to open gates between realities on her own, which allowed her to enchant Monsoon's ring and Murder's knife.
* JustToyingWithThem: Murder's first fight with Soul.
* {{Kaiju}}
* KidAnova: Katsutoshi, who's still in high school, and seems to be accumulating dates. [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys Kazu]] is a lesser version of this trope.
* KnifeNut: Murder does have a strong fondness for blades.
* MagicAIsMagicA: A central trope of the series.
* MagicalGirl: Eriko herself.
* MagicIdolSinger: The Muramatsu media conglomerate make a big production of their attempt to invoke this trope, if only to generate publicity. Eriko quickly concludes that they [[TooDumbToLive haven't thought this through]].
* MeaningfulRename: Done by Downfall to his minion mages.
* MeatPuppet: Done by Downfall to Living Curse [[spoiler: mrk II]]
* {{Mooks}}: How Downfall sees the Black Skull Gang. Generally, how every Chessmaster sees their muscle.
* MightAsWellNotBeInPrisonAtAll: Murder allows himself to be taken in by the {{Yakuza}} on behalf of Steel-sama. Steel-sama is well aware that he [[PlayAlongPrisoner can get out at any time]] and so has him [[XanatosGambit kept in the same building as some of her corporate rivals]].
* MissingMom: Junko.
* MuggleBestFriend: Junko.
* MuggleBornOfMages: Spirits have no bodies: when they want one, they whip up a human body with whatever cosmetic alterations they want. These bodies are capable of reproducing ... resulting in non-magical humans, which the faeries call faeborn.
* MultiversalConqueror: the four main multiverse factions (faeries, demons, elysians and the Circle) fall into this. Universes that gain magic become accessible and a new battleground.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Murder lives up to this. Downfall, not quite. [[SuperPoweredMooks Crimson Rain, Living Curse and the Queen of Pain]] are named by Downfall after the leaders of various demon factions.
* NumberedHomeworld: The fae use numbers to distinguish between alternate Earths. The Elysium use poetic titles intended to evoke beauty, such as Earth Blossom or Earth Night-Sky.
* OlderAlterEgo: Eriko is thirteen, but the Soul form is in her late teens.
* {{Omake}}
* OurSpiritsAreDifferent: [[OurFairiesAreDifferent Faeries]], [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]] and [[OurElvesAreBetter elysians]] are all spirits, capable of conjuring up a physical body with noble magic.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Every mage is theoretically capable of this, in a variety of ways. Monsoon uses the example of a mage on an alternate Earth who conjured up some antimatter - "Only a little. Just enough to fill a crate."
* PlayingBothSides: Victoria Steel provides anti-mage weapons to Japan in exchange for money and information to Downfall in exchange for magic.
* ProtectiveCharm: Holistic shields act something like this.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: '''"Junior! Goddess! Of Kick your Ass!"'''
* RageAgainstTheMentor
* RationalFic: A must read for any troper considering the MagicalGirl career.
* RayGun: The [=PRISMs=] ([=Paranormal Risk Incineration SysteM=]) fall into this: industrial laser technology applied to breaking through a mage's [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin kinetic shields]]. They're about the size of a car, but effective.
* RedShirt: See {{Mooks}}.
* RegularCaller: Soul gives Inspector Aoyama the 'Soul-Signal', which calls her mobile.
* SecretKeeper: Junko is the first person Eriko tells about her powers. At the time, though, she hadn't yet realized she was going to ''need'' a SecretIdentity...
* SecretIdentity: Eriko for Soul
* {{Sentai}}: The Kamirentai
* SerialKiller: Murder. According to Monsoon, he has a seven digit kill count. Started off as a ProfessionalKiller.
* SharePhrase: Multiple characters enter [[InnerMonologue inner monologues]] by introducing themselves to the audience with "My name is..."
* ShoutOut
* SpitTake
* SquareCubeLaw: It takes extra magic to get around the effects of scaling up [[{{Kaiju}} mutant lizards]], as noted by a mage when he [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever makes himself ten metres tall]].
* StarterVillain: Downfall. He starts out slightly stronger than Soul but doesn't level up any between their first and final encounters (while she advances considerably) and is well below-par at planning and scheming. The other villains play him like a fiddle.
* SuperPoweredMooks: Downfall manages to turn three of his gang into mages.
* TheSmartGuy: Eriko herself is a rather intellectual protagonist.
* TheSpymaster: Kurt Winston, aka the Ghost, a vice-director in the CIA and Helen Barker's boss.
* SmugSnake: Downfall.
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse: At least in the early parts of the story.
** Lampshaded, to the point of having the in-universe version of TVTropes add an example to its RealLife section.
* TheWatson: Junko. Secano. Hiromasa. And arguably others.
* TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard: Exalted Grand Adviser Chancell, master of House Lor. Hero to the Elysium thrice. Imperial Mastermind. Recipient of the Supreme One's Trust. Recipient of the Supreme One's Greater Trust. Recipient of the Supreme One's Perfect Trust. Resident of the Domain of Wonders. Key Holder of the Domain of Wonders.
** He keeps trying to convince them to only announce the highest level of Trust and not bother with "Resident" when it's made superfluous by "Key Holder," but it's a slow process. Maybe in another couple centuries.
* ThinkingUpPortals: Eriko uses them several impressive ways, such as weaponizing seawater through pressure and the Earth's rotation.
* ThisIsReality: Mentioned multiple times. It '''is''' a {{deconstruction}}, after all.
* WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld: Eriko often has to respond to the Soul-Signal while in class. In at least one case, her enemies time an attack to shortly after class starts to ensure she's late to the scene.
* WickedCultured: Murder is a mix of this and FauxAffablyEvil.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Arguably Junko.
* {{Yakuza}}

----
<<|TroperWorks|>>

to:

->''My name is Watanabe Eriko. I'm an upcoming Nobel Prize laureate, and reality is my bitch.''
-->-- '''Watanabe Eriko''', [[InnerMonologue internal monologue]] at her discovery of [[FunctionalMagic magic]]

[[http://www.sagaofsoul.com Saga of Soul]], by troper Tropers/SunTzu, is a take on the MagicalGirl genre.

The story begins when Eriko, an introverted bookworm, suffers a near-death experience. Instead of walking toward the Light, she takes it upon herself to ''perform scientific experiments'', which leads to her acquiring magical powers. Soon enough, she finds herself involved in a complex conflict as several factions of mortal and supernatural entities alike make their play.

For a similar take on magic that also implies it is best off [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic Sufficiently Analyzed]] and [[FunctionalMagic put to good use]] instead of simply DoingInTheWizard, see ''HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality''.

----
!!This story provides examples of the following tropes:

* AbsurdCuttingPower: Murder's Golden Knife has an enchantment on it to part matter that comes within a millimeter or so: the blade never actually touches what it cuts. It's also able to [[InterdimensionalTravelDevice open a portal from one universe to another]].
* AbusiveParents: Junko's dad.
* AllLovingHero: Pak Dae-Hyun. Mother Aurora specifically states that, just as Eriko's strength is Truth and Junko's strength is Loyalty, Dae-Hyun's strength is love.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Demons in general.
* AntimagicalFaction: Aurora, and thus the fae as a whole, oppose humans having magic, probably because [[spoiler: [[{{MagicIsEvil}} it's destroying the multiverse]]]].
* BadLiar: Eriko. Luckily Junko is quite capable of lying, and does it frequently to cover up for Eriko's absences.
* {{Bishonen}}: Eriko describes Katsutoshi as "what you get when you isolate the bishonen gene".
* BossInMookClothing: One of Downfall's favorite tricks. Also {{Inverted}} by him to great effect.
* TheChessmaster: Steel-Sama and Chancell, to the very least.
* CombatCompliment: Murder compliments Soul a few times during their fights.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Steel-Sama.
* CosmicEntity: Aurora is so powerful her magic is often considered a cosmic force. He Who Laughs is even stronger.
* CounterfeitCash: Mages can easily produce fake banknotes. Downfall still orders Living Curse to rob a bank to get attention. Chancell uses this to get an in with the criminal underworld.
* CurbStompBattle: A few of these, but not quite so clear as Soul versus the Queen of Pain or Living Curse.
* DeathActivatedSuperpower: Magic is gained by having a NearDeathExperience and deciding not to GoIntoTheLight but rather to draw upon it to change the universe.
* {{Deconstruction}}: It's no secret that SailorNothing was a big inspiration for this story.
** {{Reconstruction}}: On the other hand, [[PuellaMagiMadokaMagica Madoka and co.]] could take many, many notes on how to survive and prosper in a CosmicHorrorStory setting full of unfairness InherentInTheSystem.
* DeflectorShields: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Kinetic shields]] apply kinetic energy opposing the motion of projectiles.
* {{Determinator}}: Samsod.
* EarAche: Kazu likes to target Kunio's ears, including [[DraggedByTheCollar dragging him to Eriko by one]] as a 'conversation starter'.
* NamesToRunAwayFrom/TheAdjectiveOne: The Supreme One, ruler of the Elysium.
* TheEmpire: The Elysium.
* FairyCompanion: Monsoon, although she's stuck in Castle Nexus.
* [[spoiler:FalseFlagOperation]]: Intuited by Helen Barker and revealed by the narration in chapter 19.
* FinishingMove: After Eriko develops a particularly [[OneHitKill devastating move]], Aurora warns her to only use them when absolutely necessary, for fear her enemies will reverse-engineer her techniques.
* ForgedByTheGods: Aurora crafted the Golden Knife, and it took her over a year to enchant it, at least part of which was ensuring it would work on worlds faerie magic was denied.
* ForScience: The reason Eriko considers looking for the island of stability physicists are trying to discover with particle accelerators is as simple as that.
* FunctionalMagic: A fundamental aspect of the story.
* GambitPileup: The Elysium, Mother Aurora, Downfall, Murder, Steel, and the CIA, just to name a few, are all pursuing separate agendas.
* GenkiGirl: Monsoon.
** Also Junko, though that is something of a facade.
* GenreSavvy: Eriko most certainly is. But instead of following anime tropes, she acts based on what's known to work in reality. Sometimes overt pragmatism does come to bite her back, reminding her to think outside the box - and this is when genre tropes come in handy.
* GodIsEvil: This seems to be hinted at, at times...
* GuardianOfTheMultiverse: Aurora views herself and her faeries as this. Overlaps with MultiversalConqueror.
* HannibalLecture: Downfall to Soul. [[spoiler: It doesn't work.]]
* HiddenVillain: The story is being told by magically-caused flashbacks as Soul is interrogated by an unknown (to us) enemy, which leads to...
* HowWeGotHere
* InnerMonologue: Lots and lots.
* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: We've seen or heard of three actual items:
** Monsoon's ring, which allows her to return to Faeland;
** The Infinity Gate, which allows the Elysium to move people between realities;
** Murder's Golden Knife, which allows him to do so on his own;
** Aurora is powerful enough to open gates between realities on her own, which allowed her to enchant Monsoon's ring and Murder's knife.
* JustToyingWithThem: Murder's first fight with Soul.
* {{Kaiju}}
* KidAnova: Katsutoshi, who's still in high school, and seems to be accumulating dates. [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys Kazu]] is a lesser version of this trope.
* KnifeNut: Murder does have a strong fondness for blades.
* MagicAIsMagicA: A central trope of the series.
* MagicalGirl: Eriko herself.
* MagicIdolSinger: The Muramatsu media conglomerate make a big production of their attempt to invoke this trope, if only to generate publicity. Eriko quickly concludes that they [[TooDumbToLive haven't thought this through]].
* MeaningfulRename: Done by Downfall to his minion mages.
* MeatPuppet: Done by Downfall to Living Curse [[spoiler: mrk II]]
* {{Mooks}}: How Downfall sees the Black Skull Gang. Generally, how every Chessmaster sees their muscle.
* MightAsWellNotBeInPrisonAtAll: Murder allows himself to be taken in by the {{Yakuza}} on behalf of Steel-sama. Steel-sama is well aware that he [[PlayAlongPrisoner can get out at any time]] and so has him [[XanatosGambit kept in the same building as some of her corporate rivals]].
* MissingMom: Junko.
* MuggleBestFriend: Junko.
* MuggleBornOfMages: Spirits have no bodies: when they want one, they whip up a human body with whatever cosmetic alterations they want. These bodies are capable of reproducing ... resulting in non-magical humans, which the faeries call faeborn.
* MultiversalConqueror: the four main multiverse factions (faeries, demons, elysians and the Circle) fall into this. Universes that gain magic become accessible and a new battleground.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Murder lives up to this. Downfall, not quite. [[SuperPoweredMooks Crimson Rain, Living Curse and the Queen of Pain]] are named by Downfall after the leaders of various demon factions.
* NumberedHomeworld: The fae use numbers to distinguish between alternate Earths. The Elysium use poetic titles intended to evoke beauty, such as Earth Blossom or Earth Night-Sky.
* OlderAlterEgo: Eriko is thirteen, but the Soul form is in her late teens.
* {{Omake}}
* OurSpiritsAreDifferent: [[OurFairiesAreDifferent Faeries]], [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]] and [[OurElvesAreBetter elysians]] are all spirits, capable of conjuring up a physical body with noble magic.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Every mage is theoretically capable of this, in a variety of ways. Monsoon uses the example of a mage on an alternate Earth who conjured up some antimatter - "Only a little. Just enough to fill a crate."
* PlayingBothSides: Victoria Steel provides anti-mage weapons to Japan in exchange for money and information to Downfall in exchange for magic.
* ProtectiveCharm: Holistic shields act something like this.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: '''"Junior! Goddess! Of Kick your Ass!"'''
* RageAgainstTheMentor
* RationalFic: A must read for any troper considering the MagicalGirl career.
* RayGun: The [=PRISMs=] ([=Paranormal Risk Incineration SysteM=]) fall into this: industrial laser technology applied to breaking through a mage's [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin kinetic shields]]. They're about the size of a car, but effective.
* RedShirt: See {{Mooks}}.
* RegularCaller: Soul gives Inspector Aoyama the 'Soul-Signal', which calls her mobile.
* SecretKeeper: Junko is the first person Eriko tells about her powers. At the time, though, she hadn't yet realized she was going to ''need'' a SecretIdentity...
* SecretIdentity: Eriko for Soul
* {{Sentai}}: The Kamirentai
* SerialKiller: Murder. According to Monsoon, he has a seven digit kill count. Started off as a ProfessionalKiller.
* SharePhrase: Multiple characters enter [[InnerMonologue inner monologues]] by introducing themselves to the audience with "My name is..."
* ShoutOut
* SpitTake
* SquareCubeLaw: It takes extra magic to get around the effects of scaling up [[{{Kaiju}} mutant lizards]], as noted by a mage when he [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever makes himself ten metres tall]].
* StarterVillain: Downfall. He starts out slightly stronger than Soul but doesn't level up any between their first and final encounters (while she advances considerably) and is well below-par at planning and scheming. The other villains play him like a fiddle.
* SuperPoweredMooks: Downfall manages to turn three of his gang into mages.
* TheSmartGuy: Eriko herself is a rather intellectual protagonist.
* TheSpymaster: Kurt Winston, aka the Ghost, a vice-director in the CIA and Helen Barker's boss.
* SmugSnake: Downfall.
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse: At least in the early parts of the story.
** Lampshaded, to the point of having the in-universe version of TVTropes add an example to its RealLife section.
* TheWatson: Junko. Secano. Hiromasa. And arguably others.
* TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard: Exalted Grand Adviser Chancell, master of House Lor. Hero to the Elysium thrice. Imperial Mastermind. Recipient of the Supreme One's Trust. Recipient of the Supreme One's Greater Trust. Recipient of the Supreme One's Perfect Trust. Resident of the Domain of Wonders. Key Holder of the Domain of Wonders.
** He keeps trying to convince them to only announce the highest level of Trust and not bother with "Resident" when it's made superfluous by "Key Holder," but it's a slow process. Maybe in another couple centuries.
* ThinkingUpPortals: Eriko uses them several impressive ways, such as weaponizing seawater through pressure and the Earth's rotation.
* ThisIsReality: Mentioned multiple times. It '''is''' a {{deconstruction}}, after all.
* WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld: Eriko often has to respond to the Soul-Signal while in class. In at least one case, her enemies time an attack to shortly after class starts to ensure she's late to the scene.
* WickedCultured: Murder is a mix of this and FauxAffablyEvil.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Arguably Junko.
* {{Yakuza}}

----
<<|TroperWorks|>>
moving...
4th Jul '14 2:43:03 PM Shieldage
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* OneOfUs: As evidenced both by the author's trope page and Eriko herself explicitly using Tropes in-story.
** For example, "Junko Watanabe" is a placeholder name for a protagonist on the PlayingWith/MagicalGirlWarrior page.
25th Jun '14 4:23:41 PM EryliaStarheart
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->My name is Watanabe Eriko. I'm an upcoming Nobel Prize laureate, and reality is my bitch.

to:

->My ->''My name is Watanabe Eriko. I'm an upcoming Nobel Prize laureate, and reality is my bitch.''
17th Feb '14 12:45:36 PM EryliaStarheart
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Added DiffLines:

* RationalFic: A must read for any troper considering the MagicalGirl career.
17th Feb '14 11:45:54 AM EryliaStarheart
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Added DiffLines:

** For example, "Junko Watanabe" is a placeholder name for a protagonist on the PlayingWith/MagicalGirlWarrior page.
19th Jan '14 8:39:21 AM EryliaStarheart
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* GenreSavvy

to:

* GenreSavvyGenreSavvy: Eriko most certainly is. But instead of following anime tropes, she acts based on what's known to work in reality. Sometimes overt pragmatism does come to bite her back, reminding her to think outside the box - and this is when genre tropes come in handy.
19th Jan '14 8:36:01 AM EryliaStarheart
Is there an issue? Send a Message


For a similar take on magic that also implies magic is best off [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic Sufficiently Analyzed]] instead of simply DoingInTheWizard, see ''HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality''.

to:

For a similar take on magic that also implies magic it is best off [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic Sufficiently Analyzed]] and [[FunctionalMagic put to good use]] instead of simply DoingInTheWizard, see ''HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality''.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.SagaOfSoul