Ahem. Don't suggest examples unless they aren't already on the current Magical Girl page!
The genre, born out of Manga
, which features the Magical Girl
as its main protagonist(s). While it's rare for Magical Girls to appear outside the Magical Girl Genre, it does happen, and the genre follows many conventions besides simply having Magical Girls in it. These include:
- Episodes focused on a Monster of the Week and/or a race to collect Plot Coupons, with an overall Plot Arc and/or Myth Arc tying them together.
- A Talking Animal mascot aiding the heroes - cats, weasels and ferets, furry alien creatures, etc.
- A Dark Magical Girl, often The Dragon to the Big Bad, serving as The Rival and a likely target for a Heel-Face Turn and a Rivals Team Up with the Dark Magical Girl becoming a Sixth Ranger.
- An Aloof Ally, often male, serving as a Mysterious Protector. They may also formally join the team later as a Sixth Ranger.
- Important plot points tied to The Power of Love and/or The Power of Friendship. The "Power" part of them may even be literal, fueling the Magical Girl's powers, Finishing Move, Empathic Weapon and/or ultimate attack.
- Liberal use of Stock Footage for the Transformation Sequence, called attacks and In the Name of the Moon speeches delivered in a "Super Sentai" Stance.
- An occasional tendency to be Merchandise-Driven.
While this is the standard blueprint of the modern Magical Girl
series, when the genre was first starting out, "mahou shoujo" in Japan actually meant something more akin to Cute Witch
. The characters in these early show just as often had to solve mundane life problems with their magic as much as or more than fantastical challenges or dastardly villains. It wasn't until after Sailor Moon
became a smash hit in Japan it became the modern Trope Codifier
and shifted the trend to Magical Girl Warrior
characters. The Magic Idol Singer
shares Magical Girl Tropes
with the genre including the transforming girls (usually an Older Alter Ego
) but is more of a cousin than a direct descendant and are better covered on their own page.
For more common factors, see Magical Girl Tropes
Two series claim the title of being the first Magical Girl
series, and both of them actually claim inspiration from the American live-action Sitcom
. Both of course were of the Cute Witch
Cute Witch Style
Magical Girl Warrior Style
- 1991 saw mangaka Naoko Takeuchi introduce Codename: Sailor V, the first "official" Magical Girl Warrior story. Minako Aino finds a talking cat, Artemis, with a crescent moon on his forehead, who reveals that Minako is a sailor-suited magical soldier of justice with a connection to the planet Venus. If this premise sounds familiar, it's because the series led to Toei Animation commissioning the More Popular Spin-off...
- ...Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. In which Usagi Tuskino finds the talking cat with a crescent moon on its forehead named Luna, who reveals she, and the rest of the Five-Man Band to follow, are the reincarnations of soldiers of the ancient Moon Kingdom. Sailor V joins the team partway though the series as Sailor Venus. The manga and anime totaled five seasons, spawned a host of adapatations and in spite of often Bowlderized localization, was a Gateway Series for many international anime fans.