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[[quoteright:300:[[Franchise/LyricalNanoha http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mgln_rune_attack_366.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:ThePowerOfFriendship [[DefeatMeansFriendship as delivered]] through a WaveMotionGun.]]

The intersection of MagicalGirl with {{Super Hero}}ine.

In Japan, the extended growth-to-maturity metaphor MagicalGirl archetype can mean a variety of things; some do more than use their powers to improve or complicate their lives. Some go out and battle [[BigBad Dramatic Evil]], usually with a lot of mystic firepower and weird outfits (usually a [[PimpedOutDress glammed-up]] MiniDressOfPower) and [[CallingYourAttacks called attacks]]. This is not magic for magic's sake; the character rarely finds this enjoyable but often gets morally cowed into it.

The action-oriented {{Magical Girl Warrior}}s have the extra bonus of being marketed to male demographics, so they can be very lucrative; in this case they often resemble {{Distaff Counterpart}}s of Japanese {{superhero}}es, particularly {{Sentai}} and other HenshinHero characters. This contributed significantly to the odds of the associated franchises being exported to the West. Due to sharing many of the [[SuperHeroOrigin typical]] [[WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld teenage]] [[SecretIdentity superhero]] [[ComesGreatResponsibility tropes]], these characters ended up to be much more representative of the MagicalGirl genre outside Japan, as opposed to, for example, {{Cute Witch}}es.

Origins of this trope as a genre date to early manga, ''Manga/PrincessKnight'' is generally regarded as the first series to have a female heroine defeating bad guys and engaging into different magical adventures, but most MagicalGirl series that followed it focused on the magical part and avoided fighting, then in the early 70's, ''Creator/GoNagai'' created the groundbreaking ''Anime/CuteyHoney'', a parody of different HenshinHero series (Most noticeable a parody of ''Manga/WarriorOfLoveRainbowMan'') that codified many of the tropes associated to the genre like giving the heroine a powerful alter ego with she achieves by a [[ByThePowerOfGrayskull magical phrase]], different weapons to use in fight, an evil organization to fight against and a [[InTheNameOfTheMoon heroic introduction]], but the show is about an {{Android}} and all of her power relied on technology instead of magic, so [[UnBuiltTrope the genre wasn't completely constructed]]. The genre got more defined characteristics with ''Creator/NaokoTakeuchi'''s series ''Manga/CodenameWaSailorV'' and it's [[MorePopularSpinOff more famous]] {{Sequel}}/SpinOff ''Anime/SailorMoon'' who took all these elements and classic MagicalGirl tropes to create a series was both aimed toward girls but giving focus to the battle, it also added some SuperSentai characteristics like a team of different heroines with balanced abilities and personalities which is another trope that comes immediately to mind when thinking about the genre.

Many MagicalGirlWarrior series were at the beginning accused of being Rip-Offs of Sailor Moon, and while many anime and manga of the genre were [[FollowTheLeader trying to repeat the success of Sailor Moon by copying the formula]], it was a matter of time until [[FromClonesToGenre they evolved into unique shows that just used these elements to tell their own story]].

They are very prone to KickingAssInAllHerFinery.

Characters frequently appearing in this type of franchise include the DarkMagicalGirl and the occasional SpearCounterpart to the ImprobablyFemaleCast, who is frequently referred to as "Magic Knight". [[note]]Not to be confused with the unrelated MagicKnight trope, or with ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth''[[/note]]


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* [[UrExample The earliest prototype]] was GoNagai's ''CuteyHoney'' franchise, which slowly mutated and grew to have an unexpected female fanbase whenever the {{Fanservice}} level fluctuated heavily.
* [[TropeCodifier Pretty much cemented]] by the enormous popularity of ''Manga/SailorMoon'', which introduced the {{Sentai}} elements to the genre.
* Currently, the most popular show of this type in Japan appears to be ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure'' and [[Anime/PrettyCure its sequels/spin-offs]].
** [[DarkerAndEdgier Taken to the extreme in]] ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure''. The battles looks like something straight out of ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' (in fact, character designer Yoshihiko Umakoshi went on to work on ''SaintSeiyaOmega'').
* Parodied in the {{seinen}} series ''Anime/PrettySammy''.
* Parodied also within the {{shojo}} demographic with ''Anime/AiToYuukiNoPigGirlTondeBuurin'' about a girl who transforms into a superpowered.... [[MessyPig pig]].
* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' particularly embodies the "growing up as a struggle" metaphor, with the added bonus of Gnostic metaphor thrown in for good measure. This was emphasized way more in the anime than in the manga, however.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' is a rather unique example: it started as a standard MagicalGirlWarrior anime but quickly [[GrowingTheBeard found its true calling]] as {{Seinen}} MilitaryScienceFiction of all things. By the time of third season, ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS StrikerS]]'', the entire cast are SpacePolice enlistees, making them magical girl ''soldiers'', or, more accurately, [[PersonOfMassDestruction living equivalents of tanks and jet fighters]]. Not that this prevents Nanoha from using her magical abilities to [[DefeatMeansFriendship befriend the living hell out of people]].
* ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' is a fairly rare cross of this and MagicIdolSinger.
* ''Anime/SenkiZesshouSymphogear'' goes further and crossbreeds ThePowerOfRock with {{Magitek}}. Net result? [[DiscoTech Powered armor that runs on singing.]]
* ''ShikabaneHime'' is a rather dark variant - the magical girls are undead corpses who must kill OneHundredAndEight other corpses in order to get into Heaven, [[spoiler:or so they're told, actually they become [[AndIMustScream unkillable monsters and are bound in a coffin for eternity]].]]. Also, [[TheGunslinger they use guns]].
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has many examples.
** The ShowWithinAShow ''Magical Girl Biblion'' is a parody of this, complete with in-universe {{Rule 34}} {{doujinshi}} that typically follows these character types. Since [[PlayfulHacker Chisame]] [[CosplayOtakuGirl cosplays]] the characters featured there, her Pactio Card turned her into one with a cyberspace theme.
* ''Anime/MaiHime'' and ''Anime/{{Mai-Otome}}''. Both have strong elements of {{Deconstruction}}.
* ''[[Anime/DevilHunterYohko Devil Hunter Yohko's]]'' eponymous heroine is just adept at [[SheFu martial arts]], as she is with her sword and magic. So she isn't afraid to [[SettleItWithoutWeapons get physical]], if that's what it takes to get the job done.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': A ''much'' DarkerAndEdgier take on the formula, {{deconstruct|ion}}ing and {{subvert|edTrope}}ing numerous tropes. It has been called a Magical Girl ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''.
* ''KamichamaKarin''
* ''Manga/NurseAngelRirikaSOS'', considered a forerunner to ''Nanoha''.
* ''SweetValerian'' features three girls who transform into superpowered monster-fighting bunny rabbits.
* ''LightNovel/{{Kampfer}}'' adds a GenderBender twist - main character Natsuru turns into a girl whenever he transforms.
* ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' crosses this with [[HeroicFantasy Swords And Sorcery]] and SuperRobot.
* Invoked in ''Anime/MaoChan'', where aliens Earth is being invaded by aliens so [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter cute]] that fighting them is viewed as bullying, forcing the heads of Japan's defense forces to have their [[{{Moe}} cute]] granddaughters fight the aliens.
* ''MakerunaMakendo'' adds a kendo theme.
* ''Anime/HyperSpeedGranDoll'' is a very close follower of ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', except with more of a sci-fi feel.
* ''Anime/DreamHunterRem'' is one of the earliest examples.
* ''Anime/KaitouTenshiTwinAngel''
* ''Manga/FateKaleidLinerPrismaIllya'' comes courtesy of the Franchise/{{Nasuverse}}.
* ''MagicalCanan'' actually uses this term to describe their magical girls (Mahou Senshi.)
* ''Anime/FushigiboshiNoFutagohime'' starts of as a CuteWitch series before becoming this.
* Himiko, and Kosumo via organ donation, in ''TowaKamoShirenai''.
* ''Anime/UmiMonogatari'' takes this type of show and tweaks it; among other things, the revelation of what the Big Bad ''really'' is allows for a conclusion that's more true to life than most shows of this nature.
* Every single woman in ''LightNovel/KyoukaiSenjouNoHorizon''; however, how much "mage" or "warrior" there is depends on the person and their abilities.
* ''VideoGame/SenranKagura'': big-breasted ninja girls with magical clothes and transformation sequences !
* '' Anime/IlSolePenetraLeIllusioni''
* ''Anime/VividredOperation'': Technically the heroines are empowered by technology rather than magic, but they otherwise fit this trope point for point. It certainly helps that their technology is [[ClarksThirdLaw advanced to the point that it may as well be magic anyway]].
* ''Anime/KillLaKill'' is the team behind ''TengenToppaGurrenLagann'''s take on the genre. It borrows a bit from ''Cutey Honey'', including the fanservicey outfit and having the death of the main character's father as a starting point for their mission. Interestingly enough, one of the original Cutey Honey mangas was written by Ken Ishikawa whose works Kill La Kill writer Kazuki Nakajima is a fan of (Ishikawa's ''Getter Robo'' influenced ''Gurren Lagann'' which Nakajima wrote when he was still with StudioGainax) .
* ''Anime/TokyoMewMew'' mixed the idea with {{Catgirl}}s and a pro-environmental theme
* Tiara of ''Anime/ShamanicPrincess'' is what happens when you take a CuteWitch and make her {{Badass}} (while bypassing the super hero element.)

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Possibly [[UrExample originated]] with comic book superheroine [[{{Shazam}} Mary Marvel]] in 1942.
* ''Comicbook/{{WITCH}}'', with less ''Franchise/SailorMoon''-esque cutesiness.
* WonderWoman has resembled this ''at times'', with her magic origins, TransformationSequence and such.
** Especially in the early SilverAge, when she was depicted having adventures as Wonder Girl, just as Superman was once Superboy. Later, a separate Wonder Girl character, [[TeenTitans Donna Troy,]] was introduced.
* {{Zatanna}}, especially in recent years, has become more like this.
* ComicBook/AmethystPrincessOfGemworld counts as well.
** ''Especially'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKdBcTOsTe0 this version.]]

* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', Nonoko temporarily acts as one, equipped with Kyon's {{Badass|Longcoat}} [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman Longcoat]] and {{Morph Weapon}}s.

[[folder: Literature]]
* Most mages from ''{{Avalon Web Of Magic}}'', but Adriane (the designated 'warrior mage') especially.
* Keeah of ''Literature/TheSecretsOfDroon''.
* Sophie of ''SophieAndTheShadowWoods''.

[[folder: TabletopGames]]
* ''HighSchoolGirlsRPG'' has the MagicalGirl extension, allowing you to play just that type of character.
* TabletopGame/PrincessTheHopeful, a NewWorldOfDarkness fan supplement, adds magical girls to the mix. No [[MagicalGirl Princess]] is going to last too long without being able to survive a fight, but the [[{{Splat}} Calling]] of Champion has an extra dose as their purpose is to literally fight evil. In fact, the trope is an explicit part of their inspiration. There is also extra emphasis of this style in the [[{{Splat}} Courts]] of Swords (as heroic larger than life figures), Storms (as an ax crazy version), and arguably Hearts (emphasis on noble traditions, which includes warrior traditions).

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2''.
* Mystica from ''VisualNovel/FadingHearts''. Ryou meets her in the forest while he is fighting shadow monsters.
* Nearly ''everyone'' in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'', with the only characters who ''don't'' have some sort of combat ability (e.g. [[UnreliableNarrator Akyu]] and [[TheOneGuy Rinnosuke]]) only appearing in the ExpandedUniverse or one-off games (e.g. [[GadgeteerGenius Rika]] and [[MadScientist Rikako]]). [[GenreSavvy Deliberately invoked]] by Marisa.

* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': In the later comics [[spoiler:Elliot]] gains a super-heroine spell after already having the ability to shapeshift into virtually any conceivable female human form including transformation of clothes.
* ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'' includes a faction known as the Galaxy Girl Scouts, which seem to be a cross between Franchise/SailorMoon and the Green Lantern Corps (i.e. alien girls in whatever the alien version of "schoolgirl" happens to be).
* ''Webcomic/PrincessChroma'': A parody of the genre in which the magical girl is most definitely the hands-on type. She prefers fighting giant monsters with a mace over resorting to spells despite magic being the more effective, easy way to end a fight.
* ''Webcomic/SparklingGenerationValkyrieYuuki'' is a parody of the genre, with a NorseMythology theme. It also is a GenderBender series, like the ''Kampfer'' example above.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Fey of the WhateleyUniverse. Down to the backstory, the ancient Faerie who rides along in her head, her ability to summon armor magically, and a magical battle in Boston in which she and The Necromancer spent most of the fight trying to intimidate each other by calling their attacks.
* The AO3 series ''StellarRangerDarkStar'' features a few combat-oriented magical girls on the team.
* ''Literature/SagaOfSoul'' is a [[RationalFic rationalist take on the premise.]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/PrincessGwenevereAndTheJewelRiders''
* ''WesternAnimation/TenkoAndTheGuardiansOfTheMagic's'' Tenko and her friends (even though the rest of her teammates are actually guys).
* ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'' is an early one, and many fans argue that her brother ''[[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 He-Man]]'' is a RareMaleExample.
* ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' is an ''academy'' of this.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' slips into Magical Filly Warrior Ponies territory when fighting [[VileVillainSaccharineShow the major villains]], but otherwise is strictly SliceOfLife [[RecycledInSpace with magical talking ponies]].
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' has the Crystal Gems, an [[TheAgeless unaging]] species separate from humans who often fight various monsters to protect them. Steven's mother was one as well before she "gave up her physical form" to bring him into existence. [[WordOfGod The series' creator has stated]] that while they [[OneGenderRace look like human women]] they are actually [[NoBiologicalSex neither male nor female]], Steven being the exception to both because he's a HalfHumanHybrid.