Magical Girl Warrior

The intersection of Magical Girl with Super Heroine, and what happens when you combine Magic Knight with Frills of Justice.

The extended growth-to-maturity metaphor Magical Girl 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 Dramatic Evil, usually with a lot of mystic firepower and weird outfits (usually a glammed-up Mini Dress Of Power) and called attacks, and very prone to Kicking Ass in All Her Finery.

The origins of this trope as a genre date to early manga, with Princess Knight generally regarded as the modern Ur Example of the genres most basic defining trait: a cute and perky female heroine defeating bad guys and engaging in magical adventures. Most series that followed it, however, focused on the magical part and avoided fighting, creating the more whimsical Magical Girl sister-genre.

In the early '70s, however, Go Nagai created the groundbreaking Cutey Honey, and in doing so threw the Slice of Life plot of your typical Magical Girl series out the window. A parody of different Henshin Hero series note , this series codified many of the tropes associated with the Magical Girl Warrior genre to come: giving the heroine the ability to transform into a powerful alter ego activated with a magical phrase and/or a Transformation Trinket, an armory of weapons and abilities to use in battle, an evil organization to fight against, and a heroic introduction. In a notable example of an Unbuilt Trope, however, the show is about a Robot Girl and all of her power relied on technology instead of magic.

The genre gained the remainder of its defining characteristics with Naoko Takeuchi's series Codename: Sailor V and its More Popular Spin Off/Sequel Sailor Moon, which took all these elements and blended them with classic Magical Girl tropes and some Super Sentai characteristics like a team of different heroines with balanced abilities and personalities. The result was a series simultaneously aimed toward and empowering to girls with large amounts of character building and storyline that still gave focus to the battles and allowed for fanservice. A virtually-unheard-of combination at that time, the series quickly attracted a rabid fanbase with a ridiculously-wide demographic. While many early anime and manga of the genre which followed were accused of being (and often were, at the start) rip-offs of Sailor Moon trying to repeat its success by copying the formula, eventually they evolved into unique works and a novel hybrid genre.

The action-oriented Magical Girl Warriors have the extra bonus of being marketed to male demographics, so they can be very lucrative; in this case, they often resemble Distaff Counterparts of Japanese superheroes, particularly Sentai and other Henshin Hero characters. This contributed significantly to the associated franchises being exported to the West. Due to sharing many of the typical teenage-superhero tropes, these characters ended up being much more representative of the Magical Girl genre outside Japan, as opposed to, for example, Cute Witches.

Characters frequently appearing in this type of franchise include the Dark Magical Girl and The One Guy in the Improbably Female Cast, who is frequently a Magic Knight or Badass Bookworm himself.


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     Anime and Manga 

     Comic Books 

    Fan Works 


    Tabletop Games 
  • High School Girls RPG has the Magical Girl extension, allowing you to play just that type of character.
  • Princess: The Hopeful, a New World of Darkness fan supplement, adds magical girls to the mix. No Princess is going to last too long without being able to survive a fight, but the Calling of Champion has an extra dose, as their purpose is literally to fight evil. There is also extra emphasis of this style in the Courts of Swords (as heroic larger-than-life figures), Storms (as an Ax-Crazy version), and Hearts (with an emphasis on noble traditions, which includes warrior traditions).

    Video Games 

  • El Goonish Shive: In the later comics, Elliot gains a superheroine spell after already having the ability to shapeshift into virtually any conceivable female human form including transformation of clothes. The spell comes with three "secret identities" that shift the user's personality somewhat to help with staying under the radar.
  • Last Res0rt includes a faction known as the Galaxy Girl Scouts, which seem to be a cross between the sailor senshi and the Green Lantern Corps (i.e., alien girls in whatever the alien version of "schoolgirl" happens to be).
  • Princess Chroma: 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, easier way to end a fight.
  • Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki is a parody of the genre with a Norse Mythology theme. It also is a Gender Bender series, like the Kämpfer example above.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s):

Magic Warrior, Bishoujo Senshi, Pretty Warrior Magical Girl