Literature / Magical Girl Policy
Magical Girl Policy
is a story written by Taralynn Andrews.
Robert has recently arrived in Kessia City to attend college, where he plans to buckle down, get an engineering degree, and hopefully make a few long term friends. However, when a monster attacks the local video arcade and is fought off by super powered cheerleaders, Robert begins to suspect that Kessia City isn't as normal as he had hoped it would be. Even worse, the monster and cheerleaders all showed a lot of interest in him since he began to glow the minute it attacked.
The story currently updates once a month.
Magical Girl Policy provides examples of:
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: It seems that Schuyler Adamson University has one of these in the form of the SAU Student Association
- After-Action Healing Drama: After the fight with Day La Mode, Mallory/Tenacity is basically on death's door, with shattered ribs, a fractured skull, a punctured lung, and a number of other injuries. This is made worse by the cops entering the mall to survey the damage caused by the fight.
- An Adventurer is You: While not played completely straight, the Spirit Guard seems designed with an MMO party in mind. Serenity specifically uses her experience as an MMO player in her first fight.
- Spirit Guard Valor: The tank. Fights with sword and shield, and in fights she seems to try to get the monster's attention to make openings for the others.
- Spirit Guard Tenacity: A mix of Bladesmaster-type DP Ser and Blood Tank. She can take more punishment than any of the other Spirit Guard, and dish out punishment with her massive sword.
- Spirit Guard Charity: Healer/Buffer. Most of her healing is done out of combat, but she can protect her teammates with barriers and numb their pain to keep them fighting while their own healing factors kick in. Also brings in a bit of Ranger-type DPS.
- Spirit Guard Felicity: Nuker. Specializes in explosive fire attacks.
- Spirit Guard Serenity: Ninja-type DPSer. Stealth abilities and paired daggers make this obvious. Thankfully, this is also the type of character she plays in Aspect Realms, so she has a ton of strategic knowledge on how to use her combat style to her advantage.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Rob does not accept 'magic' as an explanation for anything, despite several experiences that could hardly be anything else.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Robynne. She's gotten looks/comments from just about everyone she's met since transforming. Also a Discussed Trope within the story, as the characters notice and debate the implications.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Spirit Guard Serenity's combat abilities are best summed up as "sneak up on people and stab them to death". That is not a typical heroic powerset.
- Big Damn Heroes: Taralynn seems to love this trope
- The Spirit Guard's first appearance qualifies as they arrive in time to rescue the boys right as Polygal had Robert in her grips and her guns trained on Cory and Eli
- We also have Mallory/Spirit Guard Tenacity in all her protective elder sibling glory cutting through a small legion of living mannequins to rescue Eli, Cory and Rob (in that order)... twice
- You can't leave out the big one! Robert making his... her... whatever entrance as Spirit Guard Serenity, saving Mallory/Tenacity from death via stiletto heel to the eye! Comes complete with Big "NO!", Dynamic Entry, and Sorry I'm Late!
- Bland-Name Product: Too many to list.
- Blessed with Suck: Robynne has a very powerful "empathokinetic" sense. The blessing? Her ability to read emotions and auras gives her a solid edge against opponents and renders her Blinding Bangs irrelevant. The suck? She has to deal with a high level of psychic and emotional "background noise" (pure torture for an introvert, strong sources cause her physical pain, and she has to constantly guard against others' emotions and auras invading her mind and affecting her behavior.
- Robynne is also stunningly beautiful.
- Bookends: Chapter 13 has a subtle pair of bookends. The chapter starts with Mallory and Angela searching for the monster at the mall's food court's fountain. The end of the chapter has Robert powering up for the first time to rescue Mallory. The words Robert uses to power up? "Fountain of Serenity, Spirit Guard Power Up!"
- ...But He Sounds Handsome: Angela defends the Spirit Guard in her first meeting with Rob.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: Each of the Spirit Guard have a phrase that they need to say to activate their transformation.
- Calling Your Attacks: The Heroines and monsters in the story all need to do this. Though, at the very least, Robert/Serenity realizes the absurdity and inconvenience of this trope, and even manages to use it against the first monster he/she faces.
- The Chosen One: All of the Spirit Guard were chosen by Fate, much to Robert's disdain.
- Clarke's Third Law: Rob's approach to the Spirit Guard's abilities. Although this is how Rob views the Spirit Guard and the monsters, he admits to not knowing the quote. It's actually Angela who quotes this law.
- The Cheerleader: Played straight and subverted: student life at SAU is clearly dominated by a cabal of possibly nefarious cheerleaders, but the Spirit Guard also have a cheerleader motif as well.
- Chekhov's Skill: Rob's childhood ballet lessons.
- Clingy MacGuffin: The Spirit Sticks are always within reach so that the Spirit Guard are ready to transform at a moment's notice.
- Dance Battler: Spirit Guard Serenity's transformation sequence is based on the ballet she learned as a child. Her actual combat moves are less dance-based though the balance and agility training does come in handy
- Double Standard: at least one instance in most chapters, usually called out and frequently discussed among the characters themselves.
- Embarrassing First Name\Embarrassing Last Name: Robynne Darling's cutesy name isn't that bad, but when you're petite, buxom and stunningly beautiful it's just one more excuse for people not to take you seriously.
- First Law of Gender-Bending: While the other Spirit Guard experience only slight changes to their normal bodies, Rob is told that he will be permanently turned into a girl once he powers up for the first time.
- Gemstone Assault: Spirit Guard Valor, who's element is Earth, is able to use an attack which shoots diamonds at her foes.
- Gender Bender: Rob is told that he will be transformed into a girl permanently once he transforms, to help align his body with the power of his past life.
- Genre Savvy: This trope is used to a slight extent with both Rob and Cory. Both are quick to point out the literary clichés that they begin to experience, and are even able to make (accidental) correct guesses as to some events that unfold.
- Girlish Pigtails: Spirit Guard Valor.
- Godzilla Threshold: Rob knows that tapping his power will turn him female for life; to even consider it takes Mallory being at death's door.
- Golden Age: Subverted. The Ardent Empire was a Deadly Decadent Court and the previous incarnations of the Spirit Guard were Defectors From Decadence trying to prevent their corrupt society from spreading to our world.
- Hates Being Touched: Robert. It's worse for Robynne due to the Double Standard. It does not appear to be due to any abuse in his background, he's just that introverted.
- Healing Factor: Standard power for the Spirit Guard, but it works relatively slowly and burns a lot of calories.
- Healing Hands: One of Kara/Charity's primary abilities. She's able to heal others by expending her own energy.
- Henshin Hero: The Spirit Guard only possess their offensive abilities when transformed, though they retain a level of empathokinetics in their civilian forms, including the ability to sense monsters.
- Hero Insurance: We learn in one of Taralynn's patron-only vignettes that Kessia City insurance companies have taken to selling "Anomalous Creature Property Damage" riders to cover your business in the event of monster attack.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Rob definitely falls under this trope. Especially with the side effects of gaining his powers.
- Insistent Terminology: It's not magic, it's empathokinetics.
- In the Name of the Moon: The need to monologue at the monsters seems built into the transformations.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Robert only in this case, due to his rather extenuating circumstances. The other four either accept it or actively enjoy it, at least to some extent.
- Loners Are Freaks: Robert expects this treatment as a life long introvert, his solution is to ignore everyone outside of a small circle of friends. Robynne is subjected to this even moreso than Robert because of her looks, a Double Standard that's immediately lampshaded.
- Magical Girl Warrior: The Spirit Guard are all examples of this.
- Masquerade: In the classical Magical Girl Tradition, all of this warfare takes place just outside of Muggle view.
- Mentor Mascot: Kunapipi, the Kangaroo rat...er, Wallaby of Fate.
- Mistaken for Gay: Robert during high school, due to combination of Hates Being Touched, Ballet lessons, and the machinations of the school Alpha Bitch.
- Monster of the Week: This story definitely follows this trope.
- Muggle Best Friend: Cory and Eli. Not only are they dragged into the mess because of their friendship with Rob, but Eli's sister and the girls that each of them like are in the Spirit Guard.
- Mundane Utility: Vivian has explored the ways her spirit guard powers can be used as personal grooming shortcuts and exploits them to eat junk food without adverse affects.
- My Nayme Is: Robynne, who took the name to honor her maternal grandmother but was not aware of the spelling at the time.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Discussed between Eli and Mallory when he found she's Spirit Guard Tenacity
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Seems to be the way that the Spirit Guard get their powers. Rob/Serenity knowing she had a stealth ability when she needed to sneak up on a monster, gaining her Geyser of Tranquility when wanting a ranged attack, etc...
- The Omniscient: Fate might be considered this, but even Kunapipi isn't particularly clear on how true it is, or even how much of an entity Fate can be considered to be.
- Our Souls Are Different: Each of the Spirit Guard is a reincarnation of a powerful individual from a culture in another universe. Their souls carry the "investiture" of their past lives.
- Past-Life Memories: The Spirit Guard sometimes have visions of the events surrounding the fall of the Ardent Empire.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Spirit Guard Serenity has some magically reinforced ones from her previous life. They tone down a bit when not transformed. Her blindspot is covered by a finely tuned empathokinetic sense
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Spirit Guard Serenity is noticeably petite and her powers favor stealth, but she is just as powerful within her competence zone as any of the others are in theirs
- Plot Tailored to the Party: The monsters, at least. It has been noted several times by the Spirit Guard that a new member was discovered just before a fight in which their new powers would be needed.
- Really 700 Years Old: Kunapipi has been a guide to many heroes throughout Earth's history.
- Screw Destiny: Robert really, really tries to invoke this upon being told about his "destiny".
- Serious Business: Some characters act like Cheerleading and MMORPG's are at least as important as world peace, prompting a few In-Universe eye roles.
- Shown Their Work: When Charity/Kara is having to heal up Tenacity/Mallory from her beat down at the hands of a monster, Taralynn doesn't shy away from getting into the nitty gritty details about what is being done- in particular with how Charity is healing a collapsed lung! Taralynn acknowledged the help of a reader who was an EMT letting her know what would need to be done in such a situation and it shows!
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Cute, petite, and buxom, Robynne is literally one of the most striking girls in school — something she does not find thrilling as she is still struggling through her transition with no sign of the Second Law of Gender Bending in sight.
- Played with, as the beauty results from a literal curse, at least from the recipient's point of view. The last thing an introvert wants is to look so striking people won't leave you alone.
- Sure, Let's Go with That:
- During his first conversation with Angela, Rob notes the cleverness of Spirit Guard Valor's use of rock to negate electric attacks while rescuing of the people in the pool during the battle with Saturationa.
Angela Warrant: I had never considered that.
Robert Dreese: Yeah, well, I’m sure the Spirit Guard did. They are heroes after all.
Angela Warrant: Yeah, I–I’m sure they did too.
- Robynne uses this all the time after her Gender Bender to deflect people prying into her background.
- Third Law of Gender Bending: Poor Robynne gets hit with this hard. Not only is she so petite nothing she owns will fit anymore, she's so curvy that male clothing simply doesn't fit so an androgynous look wouldn't be possible even if SAU's dress code didn't mandate skirts for women. She even has to get a new backpack as her current pack's straps dig into the sides of her breasts. She wants to be inconspicuous, not uncomfortable, and she quickly learns trying to downplay her looks too much actually attracts even more attention (and more negative attention) than playing them up. Ironically, the eventual solution (clothing that's just "off" enough to signal she's no Girly Girl) requires her to learn enough about color coordination and women's fashions to be a Girly Girl.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: Played with: The Spirit Guard are invulnerable during their actual transformation sequences, which they subjectively perceive as taking place inside a timeless pocket universe. However, as this can take up to 30 seconds in real time a magically-aware opponent can position themselves to attack the instant their transformation sequence finishes.
- Transformation Sequence: Seen when Rob transforms for the first time. Played with in that the characters have to figure out how to work their transformation sequences the first time they transform; it doesn't just happen to them.
- Transformation Trinket: The Spirit Sticks
- Unwitting Muggle Friend: Stacy has rapidly become Robynne's closest friend outside of the Masquerade and is rapidly vying for Robynne's best friend thanks to her irrepressible personality.
- Weirdness Censor: The Standridge Circle. The girls theorize that the local's blase acceptance of all of the weirdness in their lives (including the circle itself) is due to its influence. Kunapipi plans to harness this to help Uncle Taylor accept Rob's Gender Bender.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Despite Rob's insistence that he rules his own destiny, he gives in and transforms to save Mallory.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Taralynn seems to deconstruct this trope a bit. Rob finds the rainbow spectrum of hair colors to be completely odd but the residents of Kessia City think it's a normal, if not unique, part of their city. They even have names for the colors the same we we call someone with brown or black hair a brunette. We've had bluenette for blue, emerelde for green, violette for purple, and scarlette for blood red hair. Rob at one point meets a cheerleader with snow white hair and muses to himself about what they might call that. He dismisses the first name he comes up with (whitehead) for good reason.
- Also comes into play after Rob's transformation when she finds out that not only did her mother look very similar to her new form, her mother also had the exact same scarlette hair that she never saw in any pictures before (previously she saw her mother with the same natural reddish-brown Rob had before the transformation).