''Stop right there, writer! Don't turn yourself loose on your readers and viewers without the knowledge you need to write a good story with wands, transformations and miniskirts! ♥ I am [[CaptainObvious Magical]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Princess]] [[WordSaladTitle Mystic Keyboard]], and with the power of creativity, [[SayItWithHearts I'll teach you everything you need to know!]] ♥♥''

The MagicalGirl genre may have begun with a handful of old-school manga aimed at being ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'' [[RecycledInSpace For Kids]], but throughout its history, it's seen a lot of changes, typical plots evolving from "a kindhearted CuteWitch does anonymous good deeds in order to pass her MagicalGirlQueenlinessTest" to "an elementary-school-aged dreamer uses OlderAlterEgo to become an IdolSinger" to "a group of {{Magical Girl Warrior}}s fights off DemonicInvaders" -- and the fun thing about it is that every single one of these plots remains viable for a story. You can even mix and match them with each other or with other genres if you really feel like it. And hey, it'll be fun!

Of course, check out [[SoYouWantTo/WriteAStory So You Want To Write A Story]] for all-purpose advice.

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'''General advice'''
* Make your characters interesting even without magic. [[RuleOfCool It is easy to get distracted by the coolness of magic]], but don't forget to make your characters interesting enough that you would care about them even if they were [[{{Muggle}} powerless and never had powers]]; that way, your characters will be deep, complex, and relatable. Magic will not make your characters interesting by itself; a flat character will remain boring no matter how much magic she has.
* Personality is even more important than magic. It doesn't matter how powerful or weak your characters are; if they are interesting and relatable, you will keep people interested. Think of {{Spider-Man}} -- there are superheros with the same superpowers and/or more powerful than him, but what keeps people loving him is that he is relatable and interesting, not so much because of his powers.
* Give us a reason to care: If your magical girl has a secret identity exposed, what would happen? How would her parents react? What would her boyfriend say? What would their classmates say? Would they approve?
** If your heroine(s) has nothing to lose or [[RedShirt some random character we never had time to care about dies]], the audience simply won't care. It doesn't matter how [[RedShirt many people]] a villain kills or how many big secrets are revealed -- if no emotions are involved, it won't be interesting, no matter how dramatic the situation is.
* Break the mold. Nothing wrong with being inspired with the greats, just remember putting your own spin on things. Be a first-tier version of yourself rather than a second-tier version of someone else.
* Develop your [[{{Muggle}} non-magical characters]] too. Don't underestimate the plot potential of non-magical characters like friends and parents, as they can be used to make deep and complex plots. How, for instance, would your heroine react if her father was killed/kidnapped by the BigBad?
* Define how having magic changes your characters' personalities and lives. [[BeneathTheMask Are they more confident, mischievous, serious while transformed? Or are they the same?]] Do they change their appearance? Is their magical self their real self or how they would like to be? Has magic improved their lives?
* Be very careful if you want to study magical girl works from {{hentai}}/{{eroge}}, they're aim at different fandom and will be DarkerAndEdgier than their generic counterpart, they ''always include rape scenes'' and naughty tentacles take home in these titles, so the cutesy facade won't last long and may even dip into {{squick}} or {{gorn}}. That being said, they tend to be PornWithPlot (the {{eroge}} are mostly VisualNovel) and you may be surprised by how much you can learn from them.

!'''Necessary Tropes'''
* First things off: magic. You need to establish it, and you need to know what it does. However, MagicAIsMagicA isn't too important, as it would be with other genres that use magic. All you need to do is make it work; you don't have to explain it with anything but a few sentences.
* Make all the naked transformation scene jokes you want, but the fact is that, especially in the olden days, a MagicalGirl story was really a ComingOfAgeStory. You don't need to go so far as to have the main character happily abandon her powers to run off with some guy at the end, like they did in TheEighties and earlier - in fact, that really ticks modern readers off. Still, character interactions, maturation, and important milestones are good. Don't run the tropes listed under Coming Of Age Story into the ground, though. It's distracting and can get disturbing pretty fast, which isn't quite what we're looking for either.
* ThePowerOfFriendship and ThePowerOfLove ''cannot'' be thrown away or ignored. Most magical girls' powers run off the stuff. Even if they don't, they're still going to have to bail out their friends once in a while and work together. Even if she works alone, your main character shouldn't be completely shut out from the world all the time, unless she's going to learn how valuable the people around her are. This applies to normal, optimistic series, but also to the ''Literature/SailorNothing'' imitators -- after all, the theme ran strongly through ''Sailor Nothing'' itself. If you absolutely have to, subvert it, deconstruct it -- just don't ignore it.
* Related to the previous item, it's rare for magical girl shows not to have at least a hint of RomanticTwoGirlFriendship somewhere. Mainstream series tend to either have the main character involved in one or keep it between secondary characters only, but rarely have more than two of such relationships going on at the same time. If you decide to focus on the main character, lots of mainstream series are [[GetBackInTheCloset subtle about it]]. A popular way is to have a {{fangirl}} pining for the main character, while the lead herself is mostly oblivious to the romantic overtones (like Tomoyo to Sakura in ''Manga/CardCaptorSakura''). Another way is to make the feelings mutual, but to introduce a RelationshipCeiling (Honoka and Nagisa from ''FutariWaPrettyCure''). The latter is rather tricky, as it can lead to confusion with the audience -- unless you aim for that. Secondary characters are fair game and you can crank up the LesYay between them quite a bit (see Michiru and Haruka from ''Franchise/SailorMoon''), but it really depends on the setting and target audience. Then again, if you're sick and tired of HideYourLesbians and GetBackInTheCloset and you really want to give the pairing equal footing with the het ships, and no one's stopping you, why not? A number of ''PrettyCure'' fanfics capitalize upon the Cureshipping tendencies in the show by making out-and-out canon ships between the Cures that are treated equally to the het pairings, from side characters (Hanae and Ikuko from ''Fanfic/PrettyCurePerfumePreppy'', Akira and Sora from ''Fanfic/ShiningPrettyCure'') to the leads (Asa and Yoko from ''Fanfic/FutariWaPrettyCureBlueMoon'').
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Perhaps not strictly "necessary", but very common. After all, there are plenty of young girls who fantasise about being a princess. This is because, like the {{Superhero}}, it's a power fantasy - the difference being that, where the superhero is a physical power fantasy, the princess is a ''social'' power fantasy, of commanding the love and obedience of everyone around you. Of course, WithGreatPowerComesGreatResponsibility applies to a princess as much as it does a superhero.

!'''Choices, Choices'''

Are you doing a CuteWitch story, a MagicIdolSinger story or a MagicalGirlWarrior story? All three have their obvious perks, so it depends whether you prefer slice of life, celebrity life or saving the world as your type of WishFulfillment. However, remember this:
* The CuteWitch template could use some dusting off, as it was last popular quite some time ago - but you're in the company of ''KaitouSaintTail'' and ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'', so you're not the first to revive it. Just try and avoid making it into ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'' like it was originally intended to be. If we wanted that, we'd watch a MagicalGirlfriend show.
* The MagicIdolSinger is going to have to deal with the politics of her career, and, eventually, probably losing it in favour of a cuter, younger girl - not exactly uplifting. How are you going to get around that? ([[{{Deconstruction}} Do you plan to?]])
* The MagicalGirlWarrior story, no matter how original or entertaining or how many times it's been done before, ''will'' be called a ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' ripoff in the comments. It's unavoidable, so you'd better learn to deal with it.

Does your heroine work alone, or in a group? The latter has become much more common nowadays, probably because it allows ThePowerOfFriendship to be exercised more often. If you're doing the MagicalGirlWarrior thing, you might want to throw in a MysteriousProtector or AloofAlly along with the band. (Actually, that might work for a MagicIdolSinger, too...)

Especially in a MagicIdolSinger series, a [[TheRival rival]] character is good for motivating your lead. You don't have to limit yourself to a singer from a competing label, though; the character works equally well as a selfish witch jealous of the Cute Witch's popularity or a DarkMagicalGirl competing for the PlotCoupons (or anything else you can think of).

Want to throw out the genre tropes and instead use the plot devices from HumongousMecha series? How about {{shounen}} battle series? Or maybe you want to send in a DeconstructorFleet? These can be done extremely well to a wide reception, but we only know this because of ''LyricalNanoha'', ''Anime/{{Mai-HiME}}'' and ''Literature/SailorNothing'', in that order. If you want to go off the beaten path, don't just rely on novelty - do it as well as they did.

!'''Pitfalls'''

* One must not ignore CharacterizationTropes, as with everything. Nobody wants a boring cast, and nobody wants one we've seen a million times, either.
* For {{Magical Girl Warrior}}s, don't just focus on the battles. No matter what the ''Nanoha'' fanbase will tell you (no offense, it's a wonderful show), character development and interaction are key to any shoujo series (or any seinen/shounen series if you decide to go the ''Nanoha''/''[=My-HiME=]'' route).
* Moving to the cynical end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism is for ''Literature/SailorNothing'', ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' and DarkFic. If you want to occupy that spot yourself, do something they didn't do. You'll be written off as a DarkerAndEdgier mindless childhood-corruptor otherwise.
* The liberated among us plead with you not to fall to the old cliche of the heroine giving up her powers to run off with the boy. That became a DeadHorseTrope years ago.
* {{Magical Girl Warrior}}s will be accused of ripping off ''Sailor Moon'', as previously mentioned. This does not '''not''' mean that you can just go ahead and rip off ''Sailor Moon'' because they'll say you are anyway. You're not doing anyone any favours.
* Some people are going to bash your show [[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch without having watched it]]. Just accept it. Your show can still last. ''Manga/WeddingPeach'' has somewhat of a fanbase, even though a lot of people blindly assume it's all about how marriage is important, when it's more about how love is important (and that marriage isn't right when there isn't love).
* RealWomenDontWearDresses: Even in MagicalGirlWarrior shows, Magical Girl stories are not just about girls who have power, but ''the power of the feminine''. Of course, including a {{Tomboy}}ish character is fine, too, and one shouldn't go too far the other way, either.
* To be extremely blunt, a {{Magic Idol Singer}}'s story cannot carry the plot of a multi-episode series on its own; it needs help. To understand why, compare the stories in this sub-genre to performing-arts stories that ''don't'' involve magic. In those stories, the heroine bleeds for her craft - she constantly hones her skills, seeks out new teachers to expand her horizons, enters high-stakes competitions, practices late into the night, etc. By contrast, the MagicIdolSinger gains her singing, dancing ability, and song lyrics/music through magic. There's no need to practice or create anything; she doesn't need to work hard when she can effortlessly soar to the top of the pop scene in a single bound. In fact, the MagicIdolSinger story can be told in the space of a single episode: girl gets magical powers, gets discovered, instantly becomes famous and successful with minimal effort, the end. While you can throw in a jealous female rival, a love interest (or several), a few festivals and competitions, and some scandal to spice things up a bit, that's about the limit - it's hard to wring a multi-episode plot out of a premise that revolves around instant gratification. So you have to pad the story with other things. FullMoonWoSagashite spends a lot of time focusing on the shinigami and their backstories, several love triangles, and Mitsuki's backstory (Mitsuki also writes her own songs, and often must work within parameters mandated by her agency, avoiding too much instant gratifcation), while MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch combines MagicIdolSinger with MagicalGirlWarrior, {{Lilpri}} uses a similar tactic with its "rescue Fairyland by collecting PlotCoupons" plot, and {{Jem}} focuses on the Starlight Girls and the other members of Jem's band (as well as the members of the 2 rival bands) as much as Jem. Even CreamyMami is only about 50% idol-singer, with the rest being random supernatural SliceOfLife adventures. So don't just focus on the IdolSinger part, add a few sub-plots - they may have nothing whatsoever to do with the story, but they'll hold the audience's attention, and stop them getting bored.

!'''Potential Subversions and Variations'''
* Having the MysteriousProtector go BrainwashedAndCrazy makes for good emotional drama, of course, especially when he's finally gotten together with TheHero. Too bad it's been done to ''death''. We don't want to cringe when we see that scene in ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', ''TokyoMewMew'', or any of the other series that have used it in the past, so please stop it from becoming a DeadHorseTrope. Don't worry, you can still play with it and churn out something original! ''Anime/CorrectorYui'' and ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon'' both had the lead's close friend and teammate catch the crazy in place of her boyfriend. ''MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' appeared to be leading up to Gackto brainwashing Kaito, all the way up to invading his dreams and kidnapping him, but he just wanted to steal his powers and blackmail Lucia with a FriendOrIdolDecision. Do something new.
* IJustWantToBeNormal. Ever since Sailor Moon said those words, [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny people have copied them until it turned into a blur of unoriginality]], not to mention [[{{Wangst}} ungratefulness]] for [[CursedWithAwesome awesome powers]]. Too few girls actually want them.
** Let's get into detail here. In the MagicalGirlWarrior story, if your heroine is an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent, then this is actually a realistic reaction. A normal girl saddled with power that she doesn't understand, a responsibility that forces her to battle evil empires and monsters that could seriously harm or even kill her, and her line of duty costs her her social life, as well as forcing her to lie to her friends and family in order to keep the whole thing secret. That being said, make sure to turn this into CharacterDevelopment instead of keeping her complaining, or she'll just come off as {{wangst}}y.
** In MagicIdolSinger or romance-themed CuteWitch stories, hold off on using this trope until your heroine has some CharacterDevelopment. Unlike MagicalGirlWarrior, the characters in this group aren't loaded with world-saving responsibility. If they ''really'' wanted to be normal, then you wouldn't have the story at all. But after CharacterDevelopment, it's possible that some events will make her question herself, for example is she really worthy to enjoy the fame or love, or it it only because she's lucky enough to have the magic power? It's most likely that she will try to prove her worth without using her power. How it turns out should lead to more CharacterDevelopment.
** For the classic "CuteWitch helping people" story...just don't use this trope, you can't justify it without changing the genre into something DarkerAndEdgier. Like romance-themed CuteWitch, this kind of heroine alway has a choice in using her magic or not. In fact, she usually gains the power (if she isn't born with it) because whoever granted it recognized her as a good girl, and believed that she would use it for the benefit of others. So pulling this trope is simply a case of TookALevelInJerkass for your heroine. And if you want to do that, there is no reason to write this kind of story to start with.
* Have your heroine [[JumpedAtTheCall jump at the call]]. Chances are that you will make introducing the plot a naturally speedy process, and the heroine would be more than willing to play {{The Watson}} for a little while to ask about her destiny, responsiblities, and powers. Notable examples include [[MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha Nanoha Takamachi]] and [[YesPrecure5 Nozomi Yumehara]].
* Try mixing and matching the three genres! It's worked before and quite well, and it's not done enough to be boring yet.
* How about a male romance prospect who is an ''equal partner'' to the female lead? Emphasis on "equal", emphasis on "partner." Please don't just rely on [[FauxActionGirl sudden cases of helplessness]] to facilitate [[RescueRomance feelings of love]], that are then expressed by them just [[ThatMakesMeFeelAngry talking about it nonstop.]] This makes the romance feel [[StrangledByTheRedString forced]]. Instead, try to write a female/male team that works together, that has ''conversations'' together, and that respects each other. A note: beware of perfect matches when creating romances; everybody involved should preferably be a real character.
* Why don't you try to explore the view from the sidekicks and {{Secret Keeper}}s? Especially the ones who have no powers and are more often than not in the rescued side, or [[MissedTheCall were skipped by The Call]]. At least for ADayInTheLimelight or a AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent episode.
* We know TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse, and since Magical Girl Warrior series mostly take place within the last 20 years or so, so who says there's only one Magical Girl Warrior (or one team of them) active at a time? To that effect, instead of creating a Magic Girl Warrior team in the {{Sentai}} mold, go for a JusticeLeague style group consisting of a bunch of different sorts of magical girls.
* In the same vein, how about magical girls from different cultural, ethnic, religious or socio-economic backgrounds? Take a look at Roleplay/ForTheSpiritOfCreation in the rpg.net forums, for example. It has a homeless magical girl who protects kids on the street. How about an inner-urban black or hispanic magical girl? A MilitaryBrat girl? A Muslim girl?
* Try for a magical girl who loves the idea of the powers, but thinks all the other magical girls are ''doing it wrong''.
* What if the villains aren't {{Harmless Villain}}s? What if they're DangerouslyGenreSavvy {{Complete Monster}}s who don't mind if their {{Starfish Alien}}s [[MonsterOfTheWeek of the Week]] actually ''kill people'' (and since they might be {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, it actually makes much more sense if they just don't care about it)? What if [[AnyoneCanDie casualties are common]] and the battle is a long road of BreakTheCutie for the heroes? This subversion might be only a good idea if you're working on a {{Deconstruction}}, though. Typical fans of the genre (young girls and...well, {{lolicon}}s) just don't like to see DarkerAndEdgier stuff much.
* Just because your protagonists are young girls doesn't mean your show has to be a {{Shojo}} series. ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' proves you can write a magical girl series with plenty of action to appeal to the older male crowd. And {{hentai}} with a MagicalGirl theme prove you can write a magical girl series with another kind of ''action'' to appeal to the older male crowd.
* Try doing something different with the genre. In the early days of the genre, a few magical girls were ordinary muggles who were given a magical object, like [[Manga/HimitsuNoAkkoChan Akko-chan's mirror]], or [[MagicalIdolPastelYumi Pastel Yumi]]'s wand. As for the object itself, its magical powers were quite specific and limited, unlike the CuteWitch. This type of magical girl has fallen out of fashion, but it's not too late to attempt a revival - only please note that while the object sometimes bestows an OlderAlterEgo, this type of magical girl has nothing in common with the MagicIdolSinger or MagicalGirlWarrior apart from the TransformationSequence, and the girl could only vaguely be considered a Cute Witch. Or there's the wizard school, like ''GakuenAlice'' or ''PetitePrincessYucie'', where the Cute Witch must attend magic school with other witches (and sometimes wizards) in order to learn how to use magic. If you use this one, however, try not to rip off Franchise/HarryPotter. Or there's the psychic, like ''TelepathyGirlRan'' or Manga/{{ION}}, which tend to be more down to earth and feature girls who were born with their powers and discovered them at some point in their lives - telepathy and telekinesis are common, although levitation is sometimes used, and with many other pyschic powers out there, the choice is limitless. Please note, the last 2 have no transformation sequences, no signature outfits, and minimal use of bling.
* For extra humor, try adding a GenderBender slant - the hero is a boy who turns into a girl whenever he transforms to fight evil. Or you could play the gender inversion straight and have a serious story featuring a male witch or idol singer or warrior, but remember some of the motifs, costumes and props suggested here won't apply.
** Indifferent if it's for comedic or serious value, how going full straight with the above and have a cross-dressing character in the cast? Apart from cross-dressers of either gender being highly famous, it adds another layer of "What if the character gets found out?" and "Why does the character actually act this way?"
** One idea that hasn't been explored much in magical girl stories is the idea of {{transgender}} magical girls. How about a transgender girl who becomes a magical girl, or a transboy who feels he can't come out due to his duties as a magical girl? Keep in mind that this plot would require a lot of research, as well as effort to avoid stereotypes and keep the characters from being defined by their status as transgender.
* How about setting your story in a different time period? How would magical girls function in Victorian London? Sengoku period Japan? Ancient Greece?
* What if existence of magical girls is ''normal'' to your setting? How they will alter the society? There are lot of possibility to play with. Maybe they will be used in war. Maybe the {{Muggle}}s will form CapeBusters out of paranoia? Or maybe they will be treated like idol celebs? Remember to be creative, don't just pick ComicBook/{{X-Men}} and [[RecycledINSPACE replace all mutants with magical girls]].
* Try mixing it up a little with the variety of protagonists. Why not make the heroine the standard BrokenBird DarkMagicalGirl often seen in magical girl teams instead of the usual AllLovingHero NiceGirl? [[DarkMagicalGirl Dark magical girl]] types are usually quite popular with the magical girl fandom. Alternately, how about the heroine being a DeadpanSnarker DarkMagicalGirl who [[DarkIsNotEvil fights for goodness]], but [[AntiHero operates in questionable manners]] that make more "heroic" magical girls find it hard to work with her?
* Why not make the heroine's love interest be, instead of a MysteriousProtector DistressedDude, [[DatingCatwoman a villain]] from the QuirkyMinibossSquad? It could provide some interesting CharacterDevelopment for both parties involved, and maybe add in a factor of LoveRedeems.
** Or, hey, why not make the QuirkyMinibossSquad member ''and'' the MysteriousProtector the same person? How often has ''that'' been done?
* Have a magical girl series be about a character who is a seasoned magical girl but was once a DarkMagicalGirl. The series could be about her struggling to atone for her horrible crimes while fighting evil in the process. Not something that is done often.

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!'''Writers' Lounge'''

!!'''Suggested Themes, Plots, and Aesops'''

One overall theme around Magical Girls is the Power of the Feminine, who is not necessarily "Grrl Power". In a way, a Magical Girl is a celebration of the way girls do things, and the power to overcome everything and find the strength inside herself, all while looking fabulous. Don't underestimate this wish fulfillment aspect; even if they later claim that they just [[IJustWantToBeNormal want to go back to normal]], very few girls won't enjoy having a little bit of magic power to do what they want ;).

The ever-popular BeYourself is a very common aesop we can use, and becomes more appropriate when we focus on the CharacterDevelopment. "We can do everything with ThePowerOfLove''/''[[ThePowerOfFriendship Friendship]]" is another popular one, because it's especially powerful for females.

!!'''Potential Motifs'''

Hearts. Stars. Things that [[MerchandiseDriven look like plastic]]? [[MineralMacGuffin Jewels never go out of style.]]

If you're writing a team of characters, giving them a united theme is a must - but planets/gods have already been done by ''Sailor Moon''. What else? ''Ojamajo Doremi'' used musical notes, ''Tokyo Mew Mew'' had endangered animals, and ''Pichi Pichi Pitch'' just went for colours (since the team would obviously be ColourCodedCharacters anyway). A team based on semiprecious stones is a possibility, or pick out some esoteric pattern that you like - the Zodiac, Tarot, uppity women of history (imagine moe modernized version of Hatshepsut, Joan of Arc ot Elizabeth I, or if you really push it, GenderSwap JosephStalin). This will be a good starting point for crafting your team's powers and personalities, and you could base villains around them, too (Elizabeth I faces off against the despicable Spanish Armada Five! For example.)

FairytaleMotifs are commonly used in Magical Girl series, and for good reason - fairy tales are stories, often with a young girl as a major character and magic as a major element, with enough resonance to have endured for centuries. With some shows, the connections to such tales are referenced (''{{Pretear}}'', ''Anime/PrincessTutu'', among others), others simply base storylines on fairy tales (e.g. the first arc of ''Sailor Stars'' is based on "Literature/TheSnowQueen". Don't just go by the Disney versions - add your own take on the stories, and do the research - you'll probably find at least a few stories that you hadn't heard of, but would make great motifs to include in your story.

While it's noted that magical girl is ''the power of the feminine'', that doesn't mean your magical girl's motifs must be something cute and adorable. Take a look at MoeAnthropomorphism, and you will notice that you can make adotrable outfit and gadget out of almost everything, as long as you're creative. So, for example, if you're designing a team of magical girls with bug motifs, and want strong one to fit with a {{Tomboy}} girl with sheer combat prowess, what should you choose? Dragonfly and ladybug are fine, so do the JapaneseBeetleBrothers, but even mantis isn't out of question as long as you can design a cute costume out of it (and have no problem with including magical girl tearing monsters apart with sickle-like blade).

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!'''Departments'''

!!'''Set Designer / Location Scout'''

These kinds of stories tend to be set in the present day, usually in a big city. [[TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Tokyo is popular.]]

The bad guys in a Magical Girl Warrior series will live in a sea of black, purple and gray. It could just look like a void with only those colours in it, but you can always add some variety by making it a fortress, a ruin, even [[YesPrecure5 an office building]] if you really want it to.

!!'''Props Department'''

[[MerchandiseDriven Cute, pink, plastic weapons and accessories are a must.]] In a Cute Witch series, you could use some typical witch accessories - usually for magic purposes, but maybe when she's fretting over the lunch she's making for that cute boy in her class, she's cooking it in a big pink cauldron with heart-shaped jewels on the sides. In a Magic Idol Singer series, showy microphones and cute stage show props should be within arm's reach. In a Magical Girl Warrior series, {{Improbable Weapon User}}s are the most popular, but the LadyOfWar might have a glowy or jewel-studded sword. All three types like wands.

!!'''Costume Designer'''

Cute. Flashy. ImpossiblyCoolClothes. The Cute Witch should have a few witchy elements to her design, like a pointed hat and short spiky dress, but should look adorable overall rather than threatening. For the Idol Singer, check the streets and fashion magazines, and check them often. Try some {{Frilly Upgrade}}s for your Magical Girl Warrior, and put your DarkMagicalGirl in leather or SpikesOfVillainy. Overall, when in doubt, err on the cute side.

!!'''Stunt Department'''

Magical Girl Warriors: Ballet-fu, LeParkour, and lots and lots of twirling to shoot beams of death out of your parasol or heart-shaped flute. The other types don't have to worry about this.

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!'''Extra Credit'''

!!'''The Greats'''

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Magical Girl Warrior ]]

* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'': Pretty much [[TropeMakers set the standards of the tropes]] for a majority of the shows that came after it, including the [[FiveManBand multi-character team]] concept and {{Transformation Sequence}}s.
* ''MagicalProjectS'' though not very popular it's both a parody and a deconstruction of the genre , it lampshades and makes fun of magical girl tropes (Which will help you understand and play with them.).
** And it also deconstructs the genre showing [[BeneathTheMask how a normal girl with heavy real life problems would act if she had magical powers]] with Pixy Misa:[[spoiler:Pixy Misa (A crazy DarkMagicalGirl enemy of Sammy and a VillainousHarlequin being the repressed aspects of the personality (and hidden self) of Misao Amano (a ShrinkingViolet and best friend of Sammy) (not brainwashing as it was initially thought)]]
* ''ShugoChara'': At least began with a very interesting lead. Is quite retro in that Amu does StockFootage attacks rather than Precure type fight scenes, but is also about good vs evil so doesn't quite fit into other categories. It even later [[spoiler:lets boys transform and at one point has 4 boys and 4 girls.]] Can be used as an example that proves good characters and strong writing can make a show that could easily be downright absurd or even childish be enjoyable for many people.
* ''Manga/CardCaptorSakura'': A good example of a series where the heroine works alone (okay, so she has a FairyCompanion in Kero, but that's beside the point) and is quite enthusiastic about her new powers. She's half this and half CuteWitch; Creator/{{CLAMP}} worked off their fuzzy childhood memories to create a "typical" magical girl series, but ended up with one of the most original things that the genre had seen.
* The ''PrettyCure'' franchise is good for a post-modern feel, twisting, subverting and playing with the genre tropes all over the place. Their girls fist-fight, have WonderTwinPowers (at least for the first two continuities), and take ThePowerOfFriendship to a [[RomanticTwoGirlFriendship whole new level.]]
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' provides a good example of DeconstructedTrope in the most brutal way.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Magic Idol Singer ]]

* ''FancyLala'' is an old-school, cutesy-plastic-transformation-pen whirl through the Magic Idol Singer's life. Yes, it's old, and it uses some storytelling devices that the modern day rolls its eyes at - but the main character's use of creativity to tweak her own powers should alone grab some attention, plus there's the nostalgia factor and knowing the roots of the genre.
* ''Anime/FullMoonOSagashite'' is an early-2000s anime by Tanemura Arina. If you know her, you know exactly what you'll get. This is a TearJerker with a lot of relationship drama, from family to friends to love triangles, and sometimes a combination of two or more of the three.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Cute Witch ]]

* A modern example is ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'', which is adorable condensed. The art style might put you off if you're not into that sort of thing, but it's a good crash course for the do-gooder witch (even though they ''might'' be a little selfish sometimes). The main characters sometimes have a quest or two, but never to the level of the Magical Girl Warrior's workload - these girls just want to be happy.
* A much more classic example is ''MagicalPrincessMinkyMomo'', both the original and early 1990s remake. The original is famous (some may say infamous) for its [[spoiler:DownerEnding -- the main character is run over by a car and dies.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Non-Shoujo Genre Hybrids - these are gaining in popularity ]]

* ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'': A rare example of a magical girl series set for [[{{Seinen}} older audiences]]. People who hate magical girls love it, because [[GrowingTheBeard after the first few episodes]], it turns into a HumongousMecha series pretending to be a MagicalGirl series. The ShipTease and {{Fanservice}} are a side bonus.
* ''Anime/{{Mai-HiME}}'': A recent {{shonen}}-oriented series, though it doesn't skimp on magical powers or character interaction and/or development. Not to mention is quite willing to [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstruct]] certain aspects of the genre; including the PowerOfLove!
* ''Literature/SailorNothing'': A ''[[DarkFic very dark]]'' {{deconstruction}} of the MagicalGirl genre that is entertaining in its own right.
* ''Anime/{{Mai-Otome}}'': A politically-themed series in which magical girls are servants for heads of state and weapons of war. Starts off light-hearted, but takes a darker turn. Could provide ideas for a series with no {{Masquerade}}. Also notable for being populated mostly by alternate versions of the ''Anime/{{Mai-HiME}}'' verse, making it an official AlternateUniverse spin-off....or possibly a distant Future.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': This show's popularity proves that strong characterization and entertaining writing can make even a premise that seems blatantly ridiculous on the surface great fun to watch. Though keep in mind that only the first two episodes have any semblance to a MagicalGirl show. The rest of the episodes are SliceOfLife.

!!'''The Epic Fails'''
* ''Moetan'': The premise looked interesting: an EdutainmentShow for {{lolicon}}s. However, it fails because it really is an EdutainmentShow for {{lolicon}}s. An early episode was removed from syndication for too much {{fanservice}} and replaced with a ClipShow, which should tell you something.
* "Episode 0" of ''SuzumiyaHaruhi'', though this is more due to StylisticSuck than anything.
* ''TheCosmopolitanPrayers'' is plagued with poor editing, resulting in a weak story, uninteresting characters, and MindScrew continuity problems. Whatever story you tell, don't let this happen.

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''[[CallingYourAttacks Princess Magical Finish!]] Wasn't that fun? Hey, what do you mean you asked for that Engrish loli girl? Stupid fanservice always stealing my business... I need a new destiny. This career isn't working out.''

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