"Is... Is that our new Arch-nemesis?"
'"No. I wish it were."In a World... where Magical Girls are commonplace, Kendra and her friends have fought against evil since grade school. However, one day her life takes a dramatic shift when Chronos, a natural born Mage with the power to see the future corners her outside of school. Chronos has been plagued with visions of a future where Magical Girls seek to control the world, for its own good of course, without anyone standing in their way, and Kendra is right in the center of it all. Kendra is quick to point out that it's impossible for a Magical Girl to turn evil."Except," Chronos is just as quick to reply, "for the times that they do."Disturbed by these revelations, Kendra makes a heart-wrenching decision: She breaks off from her team, her friends and her family to become a villain instead. But rather than slope jumping, Kendra's plan is (with the much reluctant help of Chronos) to hunt down Magical Girls at most risk of becoming corrupted, and either force them to change their ways... Or else.A Web Comic by Emily Martha Sorensen, To Prevent World Peace focuses on an interesting take on how a world with Magical Girls in it could develop, with a delightful sprinkling of Worldbuilding and comedy to balance out the riveting main plot.
Tropes in To Prevent World Peace:
- Alliterative Name: Tiffany's M.O. with all her sentient magitek of death... that isn't about death.Kendra: You can't leave me alone with that girl! She's crazy!
Tiffany: Hi, Stevie the Shower! Hi, Linus the Light Bulb! WHOA!! Robbie the Rocket Pack!
Chronos: Indeed, and you still haven't given me a convincing reason to stay.
- Anti-Villain Protagonist: Kendra becomes this, to prevent a Bad Future where Magical Girls control everything.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Played with. Born mages are believed to be evil, but Chronos proves there can be good-natured mages as well. Their villainy seems to be more a matter of upbringing than anything else. Most born mages are in fact quite harmless. Their notoriety is mostly the result of several born mage crime families, who happen to possess the most powerful bloodlines.
- Always Lawful Good: Played with. Magical girls are considered good by definition. Their magical system requires the user to be pure-hearted, but if a magical girl is strong-willed enough and/or sufficiently deluded she can keep her powers even after losing her innocence. For a time at least.
- Beware the Superman: The main issue with the Magical Girl Union. Sure, having all the world's superheroes band together and organize seems like a classic League of Superheroes... until you remember that said League is composed of 0-to-18-year old girls. Almost all of the Union's futures are bad as a result of having easily-manipulated and socially-inexperienced superheroes come together under one easily-controllable organization. Hence the title - To Prevent World Peace, So That Peace Isn't Defined As Killing Almost Everyone With Heroic Methods.
- The Corrupter: Rhea loves luring magical girls to villainy.
- Dark Shepherd: Kendra's methods of culling corruption from the world Magical Girl population can be rather cold. However, she takes absolutely no joy from it.
- Deconstruction: The series as a whole is a "light" deconstruction of Magical Girl anime. In this setting, magical girls can only receive their powers if they have a "purity of being" so that they completely believe in and represent an ideal, thereby gaining magical power that is used to hunt down the magical predators that plague society. Unfortunately, the forces of good are not one big happy family; politicians, businessmen, and even some muggles manipulate their children into doing dangerous / socially unacceptable things for profit; and some of the "pure-hearted" heroes of justice kill people, and are never socially reprimanded for thinking that killing is a pure and honest thing (even in the case of justifiable homicide). This usually results in a lot of nice, kindhearted heroes having serious overconfidence in their ability to be incorruptible or infallible, and are extremely racist towards other types of mages as a result of their conflict and murder of said mages (most of the mages they fight are evil, but only because they're the minority that are stupid enough to cause havoc and fight out in the open), as seen by Kendra in chapter 1 when she is very close-minded to a sensible and peaceful oracle's warnings. A lot of the plot comes from the fact that most of the magical girls in the world think that the world is screwed up and they received their powers by being pure of heart, and by that logic they are the most fit to protect / rule the world.
- The Evils of Free Will: The Union-controlled Bad Future Kendra seeks to avert.
- Exotic Entree: The Deathwave crime family has a shop that sells pets, minions, and exotic food animals. When one of the animals annoys Rhea by chewing her dress, she retaliates by ordering it for dinner.
- Face–Heel Turn: Right in the first chapter no less!
- Foreshadowing: Whenever Emily worldbuilds in the commentary, keep a lookout. Sometimes she hints at something that will involve that bit of info in the next chapter.
- For example, the first mention of Counterpoint: http://worldpeace.emilymarthasorensen.com/worldpeace189.html
- Growing Up Sucks: In most parts of the world magical girls are expected to give up their powers as they reach adulthood. The Word of God confims this is bound to change eventually, since magical girls are becoming more and more aware of their power.
- Gender-Restricted Ability: Only women can become magical girls. Adverted with born mages, who can be both female and male.
- Heroic Neutral: Chronos would really prefer to live life as a hermit. But since her visions of bad futures plague her sleep with nightmares, and some of these bad futures threaten the entire world, she has agreed to work with Kendra to avert them.
- Heroic Willpower: If magical girl is strong-willed enough she can keep her powers even well past losing her innocence.
- Magical Girl: Well... Duh.
- Magitek: Tiffany's inventions - according to Word of God, they are not scientifically sound, and it's only her magic that allows them to work.
- Oh Crap!: One from Kendra and Chronos when they realize that The Union (which is Well-Intentioned Extremist personified for magical girls) has begun construction. But the architect isn't Kendra. IT'S HER BEST FRIEND.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Rhea may seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but she is colossally malevolent and quite good at what she does.
- She even succeeds at killing her asshole RANGED-Touch-Of-Death Great-Uncle by buying off his ninja security. Of course, the fact that he was such a paranoid, trigger-happy boss helped.
- Puberty Superpower: Inverted. Magical girls gain their powers as young children and are expected to lose them during or shortly after puberty.
- Pure Is Not Good: How some magical girls are not good, even if they are pure-hearted.
- Purity Personified: You have to be this to be a magical girl in this universe. Although, the multiple kinds of purity that can be personified allows the creation of 'corrupt' magical girls.
- Schedule Slip: Largely averted so far. The author is in fact two chapters ahead of what is posted online, and is posting it page-by-page every friday.
- Shout-Out: The commentary for Chapter Five never so much as touched on it, but the situation with the Australian Magical Girl sounds somewhat reminiscent of Kyuubey.
- Unequal Rites: Magical girls are believed to be always pure-hearted and good, born mages are seen as villains. Other magic users consider magical girls' system to be “cheating”, mostly because it lets them survive as depowered humans, when their transformed form is killed.
- White Sheep: Chronos.
- Chronos has an outward persona as a True Neutral slacker, saving the world so that she can stop having traumatizing nightmares, and funding the protagonist by stealing millions through stock marketing and psionic powers. Whether or not she's good, evil, or really neutral has yet to be seen in the comic.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist:
- At the start of the series, this is Kendra's most potential future as the leader of the Magical Girl Union. And the Union itself. She's genre savvy enough to quit while she's still sane and resolves to prevent other magical girls from falling into corruption. But she is willing to resort to unpleasant means to do so, such as destroying their magical girl forms and otherwise breaking the law.
- Sadly, her best friend, Florence, takes up the mantle. And doesn't quit after seeing Chrono's warnings. And while Florence herself is a Reasonable Authority Figure, there are several potential bad futures in which other magical girls still end up using the union to cause trouble.
- One magical girl, Counterpoint, seeks to end apartheid... by fomenting violent revolution with Mass Hypnosis. And since Kendra agrees with the goal, she initially decides not to do anything about the means by which Counterpoint intends to accomplish this.
- Word of God: After each chapter, Emily posts a page of commentary on the preceding, as well as the occasional bit of world-building on how her magical system works.
- Would Hurt a Child: Most of the villains. Sadly, this creates a setting where all magical girls and their fans assume that any mage who isn't a magical girl is evil incarnate. This nearly causes the protagonist to fight, or even kill, an oracle trying by warn her about a bad future so she can go back to bed.
- After becoming a villain, Kendra fights a lot of magical girls. Not to kill them (not permanently, at least), but to teach them of how stuck-up and close-minded they are. Since magical girl forms act as an extra life (with an expiration date), killing heroines in magical girl form is considered more ethical than stealing millions of dollars. This actually works great, especially against some REALLY deluded heroes (such as the Robin Hood fanatic who almost caused an international incident, and the Luck Stealer who was strong-armed by her father into cheating in Las Vegas).
- Yes-Man: Maria Athemyst is literally incapable of defying her socially abusive, misery-profiting dad.Maria: This is ALL YOUR FAULT! I don't have a choice, my daddy is threatening to hire me out to other gamblers!
Kendra: You REALLY need to work on your no-saying skills.