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[[quoteright:300:[[Anime/HappinessChargePrettyCure http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_1clg1wrp.png]]]]

TheHero is, in the beginning, just a normal kid (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 they're 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 Mentor Mascot 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, the Mentor Mascot will simultaneously be the strictest enforcer and the greatest threat to said facade, since talking animals are usually ''not'' normal. This can usually be solved with [[NobodyHereButUsStatues pretending to be a stuffed animal]], after all, GirlsLoveStuffedAnimals, but will still be used for comedic effect at times, especially if the mascot is mentoring a grown man.

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}}.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', in the guises of Luna and Artemis, also their daughter Diana. In the Manga is revealed that Rei's crow pets Phobos and Deimos play a similar role.
* Kerberos from ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', a.k.a. the glutton-stuffed animal who is also Sakura's most faithful guide in capturing the cards.
* 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 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 ''Anime/MagicalProjectS''.
* Yuuno from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' is a mage boy posing as a telepathic ferret in order to keep things normal. Nanoha quickly outpaces him in power.
* 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 parody of Luna from ''Franchise/SailorMoon''.
* Every ''Franchise/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'': Tarte
** ''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
** ''Anime/GoPrincessPrettyCure'': Puff and Aroma
** ''Anime/KiraKiraPrecureALaMode'': Pekorin
* 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''. He is the one who delivers the call to [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent regular teenage girls]] to become magical girls who must fight [[MonsterOfTheWeek witches]] and save the universe. He also gives them [[MakeAWish one wish]] and plenty of advice. [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope 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 magical girls are... [[BlueAndOrangeMorality amoral]]. He turns them into [[TragicMonster witches]] to be used as disposable energy generators [[WellIntentionedExtremist to prevent entropy]]. Homura implies he's a straighter example in the AlternateUniverse created in the GrandFinale]].
** In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'', [[spoiler: he actually turns out to be an even ''worse'' BigBad due to his interest in 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''.
* Koyemushi from ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'' wants you to think he's one of these. [[DeconstructedTrope He is not.]]
* 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 ''Manga/NatsumesBookOfFriends'' 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.
* Wombat (a pink [[ADogNamedDog wombat]]) and Zundar (a green hedgehog) from ''Anime/CuteHighEarthDefenseClubLove'', the former for the good guys, the latter for the bad guys. Both are alien creatures who physically look like unusually colored terran animals. Averted in that Wombat doesn't really deliver the call but he directs it (by controlling the Defense Club). Also averted in that [[spoiler: Zundar made the Caerula Adamas believe that they were using powers that he'd given them to create the MonsterOfTheWeek]].
* In ''Anime/LadyJewelpet'', each lady-in-training gets a Jewelpet that's tasked with helping them through their apprenticeship. They're even called Mentors in-universe.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'', magical girl parody character El Soldado de Amor has an animal mentor called Señor Pangolin, who is [[ADogNamedDog a pangolin]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[Literature/TheHobbit Smaug]] plays this role to Bilbo (albeit for selfish reasons) in ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/1470613/chapters/3099160 I'll Make a Dwarf out of You!]]'' -- appropriate, since it ''is'' a fanmake of ''Disney/{{Mulan}}''.
* [[Franchise/SailorMoon Helios]] serves as this to Mamoru in the ''Fanfic/CardinalKing'' series.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Jiji from ''Anime/KikisDeliveryService''
* Disney/{{Mulan}} has Mushu, a tiny, wisecracking Chinese dragon as her guide.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/StarWars'': Yoda plays this role in the original trilogy, where he was this manic muppet hiding in a swamp and mostly just provided a training montage.
* 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).

* 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.
* The title character in ''Literature/ReservedForTheCat'' is the heroine's father, transformed into a cat by an evil sorceress. Although his magical abilities in feline form are limited, he does what he can to help her.
* The Toad in ''Discworld/TheWeeFreeMen'' ("I'm not a familiar, I'm just slightly presumptuous.") helps Tiffany understand the worlds of witchcraft, Feegles and elves.

[[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.
* Yurusen in ''Series/KamenRiderGhost''. [[spoiler:Ironically, the final episode reveals that her real form is an ordinary housecat.]]
* Mr. Belt from ''Series/KamenRiderDrive'', though rather than a TalkingAnimal he's a Talking Belt, which doubles as Drive's TransformationTrinket. Otherwise he fits the trope's description quite well, [[spoiler:especially the "OldMaster turned helpless" part, since he was the inventor of the Drive System, who transferred his consciousness into the belt when he was killed by the Roidmudes.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Chosen One archetype for [[ThePaladin Paladins]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' features these heavily. A young LawfulGood person is chosen by a god or goddess to take up the mantle of a Paladin, and are sent a divine emissary that his been reduced to a level-appropriate small animal to guide them and assist them in combat. Eventually they'll be able to shed the tiny animal form and revert to their true selves.
** The Magical Child archetype for the vigilante class comes with a small animal that can transform into a magical creature of the players choice and even chagne back into a normal animal to disguise themselves.
* ''TabletopGame/PrincessTheHopeful'', being a MagicalGirl game set in the TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness setting, naturally has the rules for this kind of set up, drawing on the people within the dream world. Interestingly enough, they don't come to guide the awakened Nobles but instead will come at ''their'' call if suitable preparations are set up. Also, they tend to have minor vices like a massive SweetTooth in regards to their state as spirits now with a physical form.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Jubei to Ragna in ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''.
* [[Creator/PeterDinklage Ghost]] is this to the player in ''VideoGame/{{Destiny}}''. Granted he's a robot instead of a lil' animal (abit a magical robot), but he's still a textbook example of a mentor/exposition giver that follows the player and guides then through their quests (which usually involve him being a glorified door key.)
* The Owl Sage in ''VideoGame/MyWorldMyWay''. Doesn't follow Elise constantly, but keeps showing up to give her advice.
* The cat in the fangame ''Memories of Mana''.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** The owl in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening''.
** Another owl, Kaepora Gaebora, appears in other entries in the series, like ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''.
* ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Persona]]'':
** Teddie starts as this in ''VideoGame/Persona4'' since he's a cute teddy mascot who's the only character who starts off understanding anything about the TV World, even if he's just as clueless as everyone else about who the killer is. However, as the other heroes begin figuring things out themselves, he eventually becomes a {{subversion}} as he [[spoiler:begins to question just what exactly he himself is]].
** Morgana in ''VideoGame/Persona5'' is a fairly straight example, being a cat who understands the Palace better then anyone else in the group and the one who leads them into becoming the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. He also does this on a more personal level for the main character, offering him advice in his everyday life whilst accompanying him everywhere in his tote bag. [[spoiler:It's revealed near the end that Igor created Morgana specifically to guide the heroes.]]
* Straynap, the mentor / ExpositionFairy of the UsefulNotes/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: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. 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 ''Webcomic/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.
* Spiders from ''Webcomic/PrincessChroma''. Shame his advice is rarely ever taken to heart. He's also the [[ButtMonkey number-one victim]] of slapstick and humiliation.
* A downplayed example in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': Krosp I (a [[UpliftedAnimal talking cat]]) is Agatha's political adviser, but she learns combat from someone else, and doesn't need teaching in the field of [[MadScientist mad science.]]
* ''Webcomic/MechagicalGirlLisaANT'': Io. Alien engineer, in the form of a cute doll-size ant-person.

[[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.
* Kunapipi, of ''Literature/MagicalGirlPolicy'', is not a Kangaroo Rat, but in fact a Wallaby working for Fate.

[[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.
* [[spoiler:Nibbler]] from ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' turns out to be this. In this case, however, he [[ObfuscatingStupidity pretends to be a normal animal]] until events make talking necessary; it's only in the last two seasons that he speaks regularly.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' they're called Kwamis, little fairy things that resemble [[AnimalMotifs various animals]]. Each [[TransformationTrinket Miraculous]] has a Kwami that flies inside of it when its bearer [[HenshinHero transforms]]; otherwise they offer advice. The main ones are Tikki (Ladybug) and Plagg (Cat Noir), though it's eventually revealed that there are more: Nooroo (butterfly), Trixx (fox), Wayzz (turtle) and presumably a fourth for the Peacock Miraculous.