[[quoteright:285:[[Manga/CardcaptorSakura http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kerochan_8613.gif]]]]
[[caption-width-right:285:Yep, this is your all knowing guide.]]

TheHero is, in the beginning, just a normal boy/girl (or at least relatively normal, anyway). However, this character has a [[BecauseDestinySaysSo powerful destiny]], completely unaware of the role they will play in the grand scheme of things. Someone has to break the news, and turn this {{Muggle}} [[TookALevelInBadass into the hero he/she is meant to be]]. And that someone is... [[Franchise/SailorMoon a talking cat]]?

Part TalkingAnimal and part [[TheMentor enlightened teacher]], the mentor mascot plays the dual role of teaching the protagonist about their destiny and powers, while at the same time adding that little bit of comic relief and cuteness (if the show in question is already cutesy, it might start to [[TastesLikeDiabetes become sickeningly sweet]]). Even so, the MentorMascot takes its job [[SeriousBusiness seriously]], and tends to accompany TheHero everywhere just in case the {{Mooks}} or the QuirkyMinibossSquad show up.

In a show (or other medium) where the {{Masquerade}} is of significant importance (and when is it not?), the MentorMascot will simultaneously be the strictest enforcer and the greatest threat to said facade, since talking animals are usually ''not'' normal. However, due to cleverness and selective possession of the IdiotBall, this is generally just for comic effect rather than an actual problem.

Oftentimes, the mentor is an OldMaster who was cursed into a helpless form, serving as a very good justification for why he is shepherding the RagtagBunchOfMisfits instead of using his great knowledge and power to save the world himself.

Generally an anime/manga trope (especially common in MagicalGirl anime) but still present in other media. In MagicalGirl shows, this critter is usually the one who initially gives the girl her powers, and is known as a companion or a {{familiar}}.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Animated Films ]]

* Jiji from ''Anime/KikisDeliveryService''
* Disney/{{Mulan}} has Mushu as her guide.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Perhaps the queen (and king) of this trope is ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', in the guises of Luna and Artemis.
* Kerberos from ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' provides the picture you see above.
* Paya-tan from ''Anime/DaiMahouTouge'' is certainly an adorable mascot, most of the time, [[spoiler:but wait till he gets into his "Colonel Paya Livingston" persona]].
* Chamo from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' is less of TheObiWan and more of a DirtyOldMan in ermine form. He does a bit of mentoring about a particular aspect of the local magic system (a special form of partnership), but mostly so he can collect a hefty paycheck from somewhere or other every time Negi gets a partner.
* Ryo-Ohki in ''Anime/PrettySammy'' and ''MagicalProjectS''.
* Yuuno from ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' is a mage boy posing as a telepathic ferret in order to keep things normal. She quickly outpowers him.
* Yoruichi from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''.
** In the early-but-not-the-beginning episodes wherein she was impersonating a tomcat for incognito purposes. She was grouchy and uncommunicative and seemed to be something of a riff on Luna from ''Franchise/SailorMoon''.
* Every ''Anime/PrettyCure'' series has at least one:
** ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure'': Mipple and Mepple
** ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCureSplashStar'': Flappy and Choppy
** ''Anime/YesPrettyCure5'': Coco and Nuts (more Coco)
** ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'': Tart
** ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure'': Chypre and Coffret
** ''Anime/SuitePrettyCure'': Hummy
** ''Anime/SmilePrettyCure'': Candy and Pop
** ''Anime/DokiDokiPrecure'': Sharuru, Raquel, Lance and Davie.
** ''Anime/HappinessChargePrettyCure'': Ribbon and Glasan
* There's also the cat from ''Manga/ShamanKing'', Matamune, though he only shows up in a flashback VERY late in the series.
* Arks and Karks, a duck and a cat from ''{{Moetan}}'' fill this role, when not otherwise [[DirtyOldMan distracted]]
* Each Knight in ''Manga/TheLuciferAndBiscuitHammer'' gets an animal. The male lead gets the lizard.
* A less obvious example, but at the end of the manga Mokona from ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' [[spoiler: [[GodWasMyCopilot turns out to have been God all along]].]]
* The Suicide Plushies in LightNovel/{{Kampfer}}.
* Ninufa from ''Manga/BarajouNoKiss'' is both extremely creepy and cute. Can also shift into an enormous black dragon when [[BewareTheCuteOnes distressed]].
* [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Kyubey]] from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' appears to be this at first because he delivers the call and gives magical girls advice. However he has a habit of [[YouDidntAsk withholding crucial information]] from his charges, along with [[ExactWords wording things in misleading ways]] and his motives for creating and mentoring [[MagicalGirl Magical Girls]] are amoral. [[spoiler: He uses them as disposable energy generators to prevent entropy. Homura implies he's a straighter example in the AlternateUniverse created in the GrandFinale]].
** [[spoiler: He turns out to be a worse BigBad in the AlternateUniverse due to his attempted method of restoring the Witch System making him an even bigger inversion.]]
* Nubo and Cato from ''Anime/HanaNoKoLunlun'', a dog and cat duo who are actually fairies in disguise.
* Topo from ''Anime/MagicalStarMagicalEmi''.
* The alien kittens Posi and Nega from ''Anime/MagicalAngelCreamyMami''.
* The dinosaur plushies Mogu and Pigu from ''Anime/MagicalStageFancyLala''.
* The trio of kappas from ''Anime/PersiaTheMagicFairy''.
* The President from ''Anime/HoukagoNoPleiades'' is a cute blob-shaped alien who serves this role.
* Panda-bu from ''Anime/SweetValerian'' is a small round panda-creature who actually tricks the heroines into becoming {{Magical Girl}}s.
* Reborn from ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' definitely applies for this, as he is a cute killer stuck in a baby form asked to transform Tsuna in a decent mafia capo.
* Professor Kejiro Isshiki in ''Anime/VividredOperation'' started out as a human, but became one after transporting his self into an otter doll. He still provides assistance to Akane, just now in a form more suited to the magical girl nature of the series.
* Madara in ''NatsumeYuujinchou'' usually occupies the form of a fat old cat and goes by 'Nyanko-sensei.' He's officially more of a bodyguard than a mentor, and is generally agreed to be an ugly alcoholic greedyguts of a feline, but manages to guide, support, and be adorable anyway.
* Fuu-chan of ''Manga/OtasukeMikoMikoChan'' is this to the [[LegacyCharacter latest]] Miko-chan alongside being her manager.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Bob the Skull in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' doesn't teach Harry magic, but he does ([[SnarkyNonHumanSidekick snarkily]]) exposit on spells and creatures Harry is unfamiliar with, and helps him design magic items. [[DirtyOldMan In exchange for romance novels and "out time".]] Unlike most mascots he usually stays in Harry's magically-warded apartment, since numerous villains would want to kidnap him for his knowledge if they knew he existed.
** Interestingly, the version of Bob in [[Series/TheDresdenFiles the TV adaptation]] ''did'' teach Harry magic and fits the "OldMaster cursed into helpless form" trope, but that Bob takes human form whenever he needs to speak.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action Films ]]

* ''Film/StarWars'': Yoda, anyone? Not in the prequels, but in the original trilogy where he was this manic muppet hiding in a swamp and mostly just provided a training montage. Oh, yes.
* Arguably, Fin Raizel from ''Film/{{Willow}}''. She's a powerful sorceress who spends much of the movie in the form of a possum (not to mention a raven and a goat).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In the first episode of ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'', Sensei Watanabe gets into a fight with [[BigBad Lothor]], and is turned into a guinea pig. Nonetheless, he is still the team's mentor, and still a master ninja - just very, very small. The same goes for his Japanese counterpart in ''Series/NinpuuSentaiHurricaneger''
* Mandora Boy in ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger''. He educates the Ozu kids about their powers through song in light of their parents being absent, and provides additional info on the show's spells in a bonus segment.
* Bomper in ''Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger'' is the closest thing the team has to a mentor. He's also a small, pink robot.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Jubei to Ragna in ''VideoGame/{{BlazBlue}}''.
* The Owl Sage in MyWorldMyWay . Doesn't follow Elise constantly, but keeps showing up to give her advice.
* The cat in the fangame Memories of Mana
* The owl in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening''.
** Another owl, Kaepora Gaebora, appears in other entries in the series, like ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''.
* Teddie starts as this in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' since he's the only character who understands anything about the TV world, unlike how in P3 you had experienced senpai who had been fighting in the Dark Hour for years. However, he eventually becomes a {{subversion}} as he [[spoiler:begins to question just what exactly he is]] and knows nothing about who the killer is.
* Straynap, the mentor / ExpositionFairy of the SegaDreamcast ActionRPG ''VideoGame/NappleTale'', is an odd sort of flower-fairy creature. Despite his appearance, he knows all there is to know about the DreamLand in which the game is set.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* [[Webcomic/{{Megatokyo}} Boo]] is something of a subversion in that he really does try his best to help Largo, but unlike most of the other examples on this list he has something of a language barrier to overcome. In effect, Boo ends up just squeaking while Largo goes off and causes havoc.
** Actually it seems that Erika can understand Boo just fine, implying that his ineffectiveness is less due to a language barrier and more to do with Largo being a hyperactive CloudCuckooLander who doesn't listen to anyone's advice if he doesn't need to.
* Miya from ''Webcomic/AngelMoxie'' is a sendup of Luna from ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', but is a good deal snarkier.
** Then there's the whole really-a-CatGirl and [[spoiler: exchanging her life for Alex's]] thing
* Hermod from ''Webcomic/SparklingGenerationValkyrieYuuki'', though less qualified than some of the others on this list.
* Carl from ''SoulSymphony'' is this. He's a mystical spirit who looks like "a cross between a rat and a kangaroo", and while he is very wise in the workings of magic, he's [[SnarkyNonHumanSidekick not the most helpful mentor.]]
* In ''Webcomic/HiToTsukiToHoshiNoTama'', [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Tipko]] recruits three {{magical girl}}s, supplies their first [[{{Mon}} bead]], and instructs them in its use and many other things.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Dusty from ''Literature/SailorNothing'' plays this role.
* Played straight and played with in ''Literature/MagicalGirlHunters''. The animals in question are almost always outlandishly colored. In case of mass empowerment, a crate full of baby chicks was used. In another case, Sailor H's turn to homicidal mania was prefixed by her animal companion, a purple raccoon, developing rabies.
* The Recruiters from ''Literature/{{Lambda}}''. Given the nature of the setting, it's only natural to have so many of these {{Ridiculously Cute Critter}}s running around and serving as walking army recruitment posters.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'', June's dog Monroe is her Mentor Mascot, assisting her Ah-Mah.
* The entire WesternAnimation/SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperforceGo is this to Chiro, but Antauri in particular.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'' has Fu Dog, who is sort of a beta Mentor to Jake, after his [[OldMaster Grandfather]].
* Jake from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', just barely.
* Nibbler from ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''. And how.

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