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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, and what happens when you combine MagicKnight with FrillsOfJustice.

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]], and very prone to KickingAssInAllHerFinery.

The origins of this trope as a genre date to early manga, with ''Manga/PrincessKnight'' generally regarded as the modern UrExample 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 MagicalGirl sister-genre.

In the early '70s, however, Creator/GoNagai created the groundbreaking ''Anime/CuteyHoney'', and in doing so threw the SliceOfLife plot of your typical Magical Girl series out the window. A parody of different HenshinHero series [[note]]most noticeably ''Manga/WarriorOfLoveRainbowMan''[[/note]], this series [[TropeCodifier codified]] many of the tropes associated with the Magical Girl Warrior genre to come: giving the heroine the ability to [[TransformationSequence transform into]] a powerful alter ego activated with a [[ByThePowerOfGrayskull magical phrase]] and/or a TransformationTrinket, an armory of weapons and abilities to use in battle, an evil organization to fight against, and a [[InTheNameOfTheMoon heroic introduction]]. In a notable example of an UnbuiltTrope, however, the show is about a RobotGirl and all of her power relied on technology instead of magic.

The genre gained the remainder of its defining characteristics with Creator/NaokoTakeuchi's series ''Manga/CodenameSailorV'' and its MorePopularSpinOff[=/=]{{Sequel}} ''Manga/SailorMoon'', which took all these elements and blended them with classic MagicalGirl tropes and some SuperSentai 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'' [[FollowTheLeader trying to repeat its success by copying the formula]], eventually [[FromClonesToGenre 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 Counterpart}}s of Japanese {{superhero}}es, particularly {{Sentai}} and other HenshinHero characters. This contributed significantly to 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 being much more representative of the MagicalGirl genre outside Japan, as opposed to, for example, {{Cute Witch}}es.

Characters frequently appearing in this type of franchise include the DarkMagicalGirl and TheOneGuy in the ImprobablyFemaleCast, who is frequently a MagicKnight or BadassBookworm himself.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* [[UrExample The earliest prototype]] was Creator/GoNagai's ''Anime/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.
* The most popular show of this type in Japan appears to be ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure'' and [[Anime/PrettyCure its sequels/spin-offs]]. [[DarkerAndEdgier Taken to extremes in]] ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure'', where the battles looks like something straight out of ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' (character designer Yoshihiko Umakoshi went on to work on ''Anime/SaintSeiyaOmega'').
* Parodied in the {{seinen}} series ''Anime/PrettySammy''.
* Parodied within the {{shojo}} demographic with ''Anime/AiToYuukiNoPigGirlTondeBuurin'', which is about a girl who transforms into a super-powered....[[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'' started as a standard Magical Girl Warrior 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 cross of this and MagicIdolSinger.
* ''Anime/SenkiZesshouSymphogear'' goes further and crossbreeds ThePowerOfRock with {{Magitek}}. Net result? [[DiscoTech Powered armor that runs on singing]].
* ''Manga/CorpsePrincess'' 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'': The ShowWithinAShow ''Magical Girl Biblion'' is a parody of this, complete with in-universe RuleThirtyFour {{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/MaiOtome'', both of which have strong elements of {{Deconstruction}}.
* ''Anime/DevilHunterYohko'''s eponymous heroine is just as adept at [[SheFu martial arts]] as she is with her sword and magic. 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 the Magical Girl genre's ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''.
* ''Manga/KamichamaKarin''
* ''Manga/NurseAngelRirikaSOS'', which is often considered a forerunner to ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''.
* ''Anime/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 the SuperRobotGenre.
* Invoked in ''Anime/MaoChan'', where 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.
* ''Anime/MakerunaMakendo'' adds a {{kendo}} theme.
* ''Anime/HyperSpeedGranDoll'' is a very close follower of ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' with a sci-fi feel.
* ''Anime/DreamHunterRem'' is one of the earliest examples.
* ''Anime/KaitouTenshiTwinAngel''
* ''Manga/FateKaleidLinerPrismaIllya'', part of the Franchise/{{Nasuverse}}.
* ''VisualNovel/MagicalCanan'' uses this term to describe their magical girls (''mahou senshi'').
* ''Anime/FushigiboshiNoFutagohime'' starts off as a CuteWitch series before becoming this.
* ''Manga/TowaKamoShirenai'': Himiko and Kosumo, the latter via organ donation.
* ''Anime/UmiMonogatari'' takes this type of show and tweaks it; among other things, the revelation of what the BigBad ''really'' is allows for a conclusion that's more true-to-life than most shows of this genre.
* Every single woman in ''LightNovel/KyoukaiSenjouNoHorizon''; however, how much "mage" or "warrior" there is depends on the person and their abilities.
* ''VideoGame/SenranKagura'' is big-breasted ninja girls with magical clothes and transformation sequences!
* '' Anime/IlSolePenetraLeIllusioni'' is a darker take on the genre. The main girls' powers are {{tarot|Motifs}}-themed.
* ''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 [[ClarkesThirdLaw advanced to the point that it may as well be magic anyway]].
* ''Anime/KillLaKill'' is the team behind ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'''s take on the genre. It borrows a bit from ''Cutey Honey'', including the {{fanservice}}y outfit and having the death of the main character's father as a starting point for their mission.
* ''Anime/TokyoMewMew'' mixed the idea with {{Catgirl}}s and a pro-environmental theme.
* ''Anime/ShamanicPrincess'': Tiara is what happens when you take a CuteWitch and make her a {{Badass}} while bypassing the super hero element.
* ''Anime/YuukiYuunaWaYuushaDeAru'' has four middle-school girls fighting [[MonsterOfTheWeek monsters]] bent on destroying the WorldTree.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Possibly [[UrExample originated]] with ''ComicBook/{{Shazam}}'' superheroine Mary Marvel in 1942.
* ''Comicbook/{{WITCH}}'', with less ''Franchise/SailorMoon''-esque cutesy-ness.
* Franchise/WonderWoman has resembled this at times, with her magic origins, TransformationSequence, and such. Most especially in the early [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]], when she was depicted having adventures as Wonder Girl, just as Superman was once Superboy. Later, a separate Wonder Girl character, [[ComicBook/TeenTitans Donna Troy]], was introduced.
* ComicBook/{{Zatanna}}, especially in later years.
* The title character of ''ComicBook/AmethystPrincessOfGemworld'', as ''WesternAnimation/DCNation'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKdBcTOsTe0 demonstrates]].

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

* Most mages from ''Literature/AvalonWebOfMagic'', but Adriane (the designated "warrior mage") especially.
* Keeah of ''Literature/TheSecretsOfDroon''.
* Sophie of ''Sophie and the Shadow Woods''.
* All of the magical girls in ''Literature/MahouShoujoTheGlowing''.
* The Spirit Guard in ''[[{{Literature/MGP}} Magical Girl Policy]]''.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/HighSchoolGirlsRPG'' has the MagicalGirl extension, allowing you to play just that type of character.
* ''TabletopGame/PrincessTheHopeful'', a ''TabletopGame/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 literally to fight evil. There is also extra emphasis of this style in the [[{{Splat}} Courts]] of Swords (as heroic larger-than-life figures), Storms (as an AxCrazy version), and Hearts (with an 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}}''. The only characters who ''don't'' have some sort of magical combat ability (e.g., [[UnreliableNarrator Akyu]] and [[TheOneGuy Rinnosuke]]) only appear in the ExpandedUniverse or one-off games (e.g., [[GadgeteerGenius Rika]] and [[MadScientist Rikako]]). [[GenreSavvy Deliberately invoked]] by Marisa, who uses a FlyingBroomstick (even though she, [[IBelieveICanFly like everyone in Gensokyo]], can fly unaided) and always wears a [[NiceHat comically-large witch hat]] because that's what {{Cute Witch}}es are supposed to do, which doesn't detract at all from her passion for [[StuffBlowingUp huge explosions]].

* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': In the later comics, [[spoiler: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.
* ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'' includes a faction known as the Galaxy Girl Scouts, which seem to be a cross between [[Franchise/SailorMoon the sailor senshi]] and the Franchise/GreenLantern 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, easier 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 ''LightNovel/{{Kampfer}}'' example above.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Fey of the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, who has an ancient Faerie riding along in her head, an 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 [[Website/ArchiveOfOurOwn AO3]] series ''Characters/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'': Tenko and her friends (even though the rest of her teammates are 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 these.
* ''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 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 because he's a HalfHumanHybrid.
* ''WesternAnimation/LoliRock'' is a combination of this and MagicIdolSinger.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'' is about Star Butterfly, a GirlyBruiser princess from the magical kingdom of Mewni who is exiled to Earth until she gets a better handle on the powers granted by the magic wand she was gifted on her fourteenth birthday.