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China's Magical Girl Show
If you want to see China's version of the Magical Girl genre, then you have Balala the Fairies (Simplified Chinese: 巴啦啦小魔仙). The first season of the series was a live-action show, which is common in China and not so for the genre. Most of the seasons are animated, however. It‘s much like their form of Pretty Cure.
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Outside of the human world, there is a magical world where human fairies are capable of using magic, ruled by the powerful Fairy Queen. However, there's also the presence of dark magic, which is forbidden from study or use. Luna, a fairy imprisoned for such research, escapes from her cell and steals a Power Crystal unguarded from the queen's throne room. Despite predicting such an incident would happen, the queen tries the fairy guardian of the stone Xiao Lan (Shirley/Sally in English) who was absent from her duties at the time. As punishment, she is sealed within a magical box and sent to the human world, not able to return until the stone is returned and Luna captured.

The magical box falls into the hands of two sisters, the underachiever Mei Qi/Maggie and the Teen Genius Mei Xue/Michelle, after it scares the owner of the shop where it was found. Xiao Lan emerges from the box and tells them of her mission, disguised as a babysitter so she can train the girls to become magic users themselves. But they encounter Lili, a jealous classmate who rivals the sisters and becomes the pupil of the Big Bad in her campaign to cause havoc.

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Currently has six seasons, four of which are animated. The first animated series featured a fourth main character, Xiao Qian/Sandy, who was replaced with Bei Bei/Emma in the second animated season. The live-action show consists of 52 episodes, first animated season has 36 episodes.

A series of films were also released, starting their release in January 2013.

Tropes include:

  • Art Shift: Each animated season has a different art style. Unlike "Pretty Cure", this affects even sequel seasons.
  • Ban on Magic: Most specifically the dark kind in the fantasy world.
  • Big Bad: Luna and Evil Goddess Gunala in the first season.
  • Calling Your Attacks
  • Chef of Iron: As long as Xiao Lan uses her magic, she can cook up some very good recipes.
  • Child Prodigy: While Meixue is a decent student, Xiao Qian far surpasses her despite being 9 to 10. It surprises people in how a young girl lke her can attend middle school. Justified by how she’s the future Queen, so she’s destined to learn far faster than the others.
    • Though it is deconstructed early in the series. Many teachers and the sister see her as a very problematic child who fails to learn anything in class. However, that’s because she learns so quickly in class that schools normally can’t keep up with her learning curve. She easily becomes bored since they never gave her any new content.
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  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After Lili was reformed, the Fairy Queen has set her up as a new member of the fairies, but she isn't seen or heard from again in the other series.
  • Colony Drop: An attempt in the film.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The middle school kids adore Xiao Qian.
  • The Dragon: Lili in the first season.
  • Expy: Xiao Lan's Love Interest Prince Youle has parallels to Tuxedo Mask, fit with a Cool Mask and taking the bullet every now and then to her dismay.
  • Evil Former Friend: Luna to Xiao Lan.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Justified as she is the future Fairy Queen, Xiao Qian.
    “You can remember everything just by reading a book once!? I can’t remember anything even after reading it ten times!
    • This is also deconstructed since normal schools can’t keep up with Xiao Qian’s learning ability. Thus, she becomes bored and borderlines to being an Insufferable Genius.
  • The High Queen: The Fairy Queen.
  • Insufferable Genius: Xiao Qian, though it’s mainly becuase she can’t find any real challenge even when attending middle school.
  • Jumped at the Call: The sisters are frightened by the box and Xiao Lan's entrance, but are later more than eager to become her pupils.
  • Lethal Chef: It's implied that without magic, Xiao Lan doesn't cook well. It has become a running gag in the live-action series whenever she has something in her mind. The girls' mother is also said to be a bad cook.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: A rare Chinese version.
  • Magical Land: Where the fairies come from.
  • The Masquerade: Xiao Lan disguises herself as a babysitter for the sisters.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: First animated season has a box with seven crystals. Two evil ones show up in the same season, but only Once per Episode each.
  • Pest Controller: One of her abilities from researching dark magic, Luna used swarms of insects to break the seals protecting the Power Crystal.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Meixue’s red to Meiqi’s blue.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Subverted. The fairy queen uses a music box to seal up Xiao Lan, but she's able to get out by her own will.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Meiqi and Meixue. Meiqi is The Ditz and the lazy one while her sister Meixue is more diligent. This is even shown in their powers (i.e. one can only make plants bigger while the other can only make plants smaller).
  • Sixth Ranger: We had Xiao Qian who joined the team for the second season only and in the later seasons we had Princess Beibei who became a permanent member of the cast.
  • Transformation Trinket: The butterfly-like stones.

Alternative Title(s): Balala The Fairies

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