Memories of Magic began as a rare Western incarnation of the 12-Episode Anime, originally airing on the revamped Toonami Block in 2012, due to runaway popularity both in the states and—as an extreme rarity—in Japan, several more seasons were greenlighted in quick succession. The show eventually ran for a grand total of 150 episodes and the in-universe equivalent of a year. A word of warning, if you want absolutely no spoilers, it's probably best to just not read this page at all.
The show is a product of Soter Omansky and his multimedia company Lightworks! Incorporated, being his second "American Anime" after the trippy slice of life show Du-Ra-Re.
The plot is thus; 15 year old Melissa Mato was a Magical Girl at one point, around the age of ten to be precise, at the beginning of the series, a Mind Wipe has prevented her from remembering that, but she's been having strange dreams lately. Eventually, through the aid of a talking cat, some long lost friends, and—surprise surprise—The Power of Friendship to regain her memories and defeat evil foes. An excellent if divisive Reconstruction of the Magical Girl genre.
Has a Spiritual Successor set in the same 'verse (but far more mindscrewy) called Pretty Flame Warrior Luna featuring a fire-controlling magical girl from the moon and a three-eyed goth from another dimension as the main villain.
Tropes that apply to Memories of Magic
- Ancient Conspiracy - The Magic Society that Melissa works for turns out to be this. However, they are revealed to be a rare benevolent incarnation later on.
- Animesque - It's so animesque as to be one of the few western cartoons popular in Japan. Things contributing to this are the top notch Japanese Dub which was released cocurrently with the English one, and actually being animated by a group of Japanese artists. One can make the case that it actually is an anime, despite its origin.
- Arc Number - One that's never explained. With the sole exception of episode 7 itself, every episode afterward whose digits added up to 7 impacted the series in some major way. Episodes 52, 70, and 106, most notably.
- Artifact Title - The titular memories stop being relevant by the third episode.
- All There in the Manual - See Word of God below.
- Black and Nerdy - Elise.
- Bizarro Episode - Episode 21, "Blackjack, Dealer Wins". Otherwise known as the "what the hell did I just watch" episode.
- To explain, the girls are trapped in a magical casino by Roulette, a villain we never see again and didn't see before. They have to gamble their way out, and fail. we then cut to a shot of Mr. Meow Meow waking up. Suffice it to say, much message board speculation followed.
- Cerebus Syndrome - Starting at Episode 52, goes in reverse after episode 106.
- Creepy Child - Lola, the Big Bad of season 1, is this.
- Deconstruction - The Black Magic Arc seemed to be heading down this route, what, with the revealing of The Magic Society actually not being the nicest people in the world, and the revelation that Lola was merely a puppet for an Eldritch Abomination that is literally made out of despair. But see reconstruction below.
- Disney Death - Did you really expect Leann to stay dead?
- Elemental RockPaperScissors - An interesting version is used, but it's mostly played straight.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" / Known Only by Their Nickname - Mr. Meow Meow (Neko-sama in the Japanese dub) the talking cat.
- Expy - Frequent. Usually of the paper thin variety.
- Fanservice - Present and blatant, for both female and male characters. It's pointed out on several occasions how odd it is that the girls' uniforms are so low-cut.
- Five-Man Band -
- Genre Shift - Episode 33 turns Memories into a Super Robot show. Played for Laughs, here.
- Homage - To the Magical Girl genre and to anime in general. The sheer number of Japanese Media Tropes, Shout Outs, and Expies of popular anime characters cement its status as such.
- Magical Girl - A proud example of the genre, many of its tropes are either played straight, parodied, or both.
- It's also genderflipped with The Young Magicians, who are magical boys.
- Mind Rape - Despair tries this on Melissa. He fails.
- Most Common Superpower - Melissa and Beatrix, most noticeably.
- Jumped at the Call - Melissa, twice.
- Ordinary High-School Student - debatable if it applies here, since Melissa was always destined to not be this.
- Post-Script Season - The last season is mostly dedicated to wrapping up loose plotlines, but a bunch of unrelated stuff happens too.
- Product Placement - Inverted according to Word of God, Omansky allegedly had to in his own words "beg, lie, and steal" for the Arby's corporation to allow him to use their restaurant in his show.
- Real Song Theme Tune - A fixture of the series. Generally, Aesop Rock's "Daylight" is the intro (also making this an example of Surreal Theme Tune) however...
- During the Black Magic arc, the darker reprise "Night Light" was used.
- During the Beach Episode that ends up going horribly wrong an instrumental of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy's "California Uber Alles" is used. If you're familiar with the song, its presence here will tip you off.
- A pair of episodes that actually take place in Hell used a cover of "Through the Fire and the Flames" of all things. However, the version used here and the original are very different, including different lyrics in some places.
- Reconstruction - One of the reasons the show was so popular. That Eldritch Abomination? Defeated by The Power of Friendship. The Society of Magic? They turn out to be more or less as good as we thought they were, though Good Is Not Nice applies. Leanne? Revived. Earn Your Happy Ending indeed.
- Sailor Fuku - One of the few Magical Girl standards to be completely absent, the girls' outfits look more like kimonos.
- Shout-Out - One of the few things outnumbering the take thats in the series. And they are to everything. Now has its own page.
- Take That! - One of the reasons the show is so divisive is because of the enormous number of these. Most of them are aimed squarely at Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Omansky has been accused of having an agenda against the show.
- Token Minority - Ben, being the only major male character. However, he is not the only major black character.
- Transformation Trinket - Rings, originally. They turn out to not actually do anything, being a sort of placebo that prevents the girls from accidentally activating their powers in front of anyone else.
- Weirdness Censor - Battles take place in Spirit Zones that ordinary people cannot see. The battle against Lola is a deception, and the Society of Magic has to come up with an elaborate coverup, and generally do a lot of work to make sure the whole thing doesn't leak out.
- Wham Episode - Episode 52. So much so that the author got at least one death threat.
- Word of God - Omansky likes to clarify things not made explicit in-show. A series of interviews with him is considered necessary for a full understanding.