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Literature / Magical Girl Raising Project

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Magical girl Snow White and mascot Fav from the first arc.note 
Magical Girl Raising Project (魔法少女育成計画, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku) is an urban fantasy light novel series written by Asari Endou with illustrations by Marui-no. Each arc introduces a cast of sixteen magical girls and places them in a situation where they have to fight each other, often to the death. The series began in 2012 and is currently ongoing. Yen Press is in charge of the English release.

Beyond our world, there exists the Magical Kingdom. Unknown to the general public, the Kingdom has under its employ a variety of magical girls. In addition to enhanced strength, speed, stamina, healing, and so on, each magical girl has a particular type of magic exclusive to them. With these abilities, magical girls can do anything from the most menial tasks to jobs that would definitely kill an ordinary human.

There's just one problem: the selection process is far from perfect. Since anyone with magical potential can become a magical girl, regardless of age, gender, or species, there's nothing to stop someone with malicious motives from gaining such incredible power. As such, innocent magical girls often get caught up in the machinations of these villains with little idea on how to stop them. It will take more than just a cute outfit and flashy magic to defeat these nefarious beings for good.

An incomplete manga adaptation began in 2014 and ended in 2015. The first arc was illustrated by Pochi Edoya and the beginning of Restart was illustrated by Nori Senbei.

The first arc was adapted into an anime. Production was handled by Lerche, and it aired during the Fall 2016 season. It can be streamed on Crunchyroll. In 2023, an anime adaption of the second arc was greenlit.

A spin-off manga called Magical Girl Raising Project F2P began in 2016 and ended in 2017. The art was drawn by Ryouta Yuzuki. F2P focuses on a separate cast of characters from the main series.

    List of volumes and short stories: 
  1. Magical Girl Raising Project (referred to by fans as "Unmarked")
  2. Magical Girl Raising Project: Restart (Part 1)
  3. Magical Girl Raising Project: Restart (Part 2)
  4. Magical Girl Raising Project: Episodes
    1. "Nemurin's Adventure"
    2. "The Robot and the Nun"
    3. "Producing the Angels"
    4. "Zombie Western"
    5. "Magical Daisy, Episode Twenty-Two"
    6. "A Cherna Christmas"
    7. "Wonder Dream"
    8. "Meow-Meow @ N City"
    9. "Come Play With Top Speed"
    10. "Akane and the Happy Magical-Girl Family"
    11. "Knight on the Day of the Offline Meetup"
    12. "The Case of the Missing Beef: The Maid Saw It"
    13. "Magical Illegal Girl"
    14. "Memories of the Blue Magical Girl"
    15. "Clantail's Friends"
  5. Magical Girl Raising Project: Limited (Part 1)
  6. Magical Girl Raising Project: Limited (Part 2)
  7. Magical Girl Raising Project: JOKERS
  8. Magical Girl Raising Project: ACES
  9. Magical Girl Raising Project: Episodes Φ
    1. "The Goggles and the Tortoise"
    2. "Hot to Tot About Music"
    3. "Since We Want to Beat the Archfiend"
    4. "Rainbow Friendship"
    5. "Beyond the Triangle"
    6. "Primula Farinosa"
    7. "The Three Sisters Raising Project restart"
    8. "Are Our Real Lives Fulfilling?"
    9. "The Elf of the Inspection Department"
    10. "General Pukin's Case File: The Murder of the Mage"
    11. "The Blue Magical Girls Are Busy"
  10. Magical Girl Raising Project: Peaceful Days of 16 Magical Girls
    1. "The Lady Knight's Lonely Battle: Director's Cut"
    2. "Top Speed's Top Speed"
    3. "Magical Girl Tropes"
    4. "The Yakuza-Angel Business"
    5. "The Great Leader's Distress"
    6. "The Prince of the Club"
    7. "Conditions for an Anime Adaptation"
    8. "Guns or Roses?"
    9. "Alice in Hardgore Land"
    10. "It Happens from Time to Tama"
    11. "An Interview with Swim Swim"
  11. Magical Girl Raising Project: QUEENS
  12. Magical Girl Raising Project: Episodes Δ
    1. "A Witch, a Boxed Lunch, and an Expression of Love"
    2. "Magical Shopping"
    3. "No Magical Girls at This Blossom Viewing"
    4. "Trick or Magical Girl"
    5. "The Making of Magical Girl Raising Project"
    6. "Pechka Ponders Autumn Delights"
    7. "Magical Girls on Christmas Eve"
    8. "New Year's and a Tortoise"
    9. "Princess of the Beach"
    10. "The Archfiend Cram School's Hell Survival Games"
    11. "Operation Get Rid of Patricia"
    12. "Magical Girl Assassination Project"
    13. "Magical Boys' Elegy"
  13. Magical Girl Raising Project: Black
  14. Magical Girl Raising Project: Breakdown (Part 1)
  15. Magical Girl Raising Project: Breakdown (Part 2)
  16. Magical Girl Raising Project: White
  17. Magical Girl Raising Project: Episodes Σ

    Description of arcs: 
  • Unmarked - Arc 1: A new mobile game called Magical Girl Raising Project has taken Japan by storm. Most incredibly, there's a rumor that players have a 1-in-10,000 chance of becoming a bona fide magical girl. One such player, a schoolgirl named Koyuki Himekawa, is granted this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, becoming the magical girl Snow White. She uses her newfound powers to help people, earning her Magical Candies. However, when the number of magical girls in N City reaches sixteen, a mascot named Fav warns them all that the least productive magical girl will lose her powers by the end of the week. While the competition starts out innocently enough, it quickly takes a turn when they realize it isn't just their powers that are on the line: it's their very lives too. Before she can blink, Snow White finds herself in the midst of a battle royale. With the help of a ninja-type magical girl named Ripple, she may just be able to get out of this alive and figure out what Fav really wants.
  • Restart - Arc 2: Magical Girl Raising Project is back, this time as an RPG-like video game. Sixteen new magical girls are transported into the game every three days in order to find and kill the Evil King. The player who lands the finishing blow will win ten billion yen and even just the participation prize alone is one hundred thousand. However, until the objective is complete, the girls will keep being brought back into the game, and if they die in the game, they'll die in real life. And that's not all: the Evil King is actually one of the players, who's been tasked with killing her fellow magical girls. As tensions rise and bodies fall, it becomes clear that there's another player behind the scenes, one whose intentions aren't all that they seem.
  • Limited - Arc 3: During an after school meeting, seven new magical girls are created by a fairy named Toko. Toko claims to be the target of a group of evil mages, and implores the girls to help her fight them off. The evil mages in question, though, are not actually evil; they're here in B City to hunt down an assassin who's been killing off important officials within the Magical Kingdom. While one of them is an actual mage, the others are veteran magical girls, picked specifically for their fighting prowess. And unknown to both groups is a violent anti-establishment faction who wants to find the assassin for their own purposes. All three groups quickly find themselves trapped inside a magical barrier that surrounds B City both above and below ground. As the clock ticks down to zero, the hunt for the assassin turns deadly, and it will take no small amount of tactical thinking and odd partnerships to find them.
  • JOKERS - Arc 4: Sakura Kagami is an ordinary schoolgirl who does boring jobs as the equally ordinary Prism Cherry. This changes one day when Nami, a girl from her class, reveals herself as Princess Deluge and invites her to join the Pure Elements. Together with three other magical girls, Prism Cherry is finally able to get the exciting magical girl life she always wanted. Unfortunately, this quickly comes crashing to a halt when other magical girls find the laboratory the Pure Elements call their headquarters. Two in particular, Grim Heart and her lackey Shufflin, trap the Pure Elements and nine others in the laboratory in order to capture the artificial magical girls then bring them back to the Magical Kingdom for research. Since Grim Heart is ruthless and Shufflin does whatever she orders, the other girls are left with no other choice but to fight their way out.
  • ACES - Arc 5: While searching for Ripple, Snow White receives a request from an incarnation of one of the Three Sages, the highest governing body in the Magical Kingdom. Recently, Premium Sachiko, one of Puk Puck's charges, has gone missing, and she wants Snow White to find her. Puk Puck and her faction are planning a ceremony that could reinvigorate the Magical Kingdom, and Sachiko is a key figure. As Snow White joins two of Puk Puck's other followers to search for Sachiko, Shadow Gale is abducted by a mysterious faction who seeks to use her for their own ends.
  • QUEENS - Arc 6: Having lost two valuable allies to the Puk Faction, Pfle joins the Osk Faction in order to make a deal with its leader, Lethe. As a magical girl war breaks out, the ceremony is underway with Shadow Gale as its main star. Maneuvers are made, allies are killed, and underneath it all is Princess Deluge, still on her quest for vengeance.
  • Black - Arc 7: Umemizaki Middle School was once a regular school for regular humans, but has found new life as a magical girl training school. Much like any other school, the fifteen magical girls of Class 2-F are as varied in personality as they are in magical abilities, cliques are still in full force, and their teacher, Calkoro, has her hands full keeping them in line and her boss happy. This is especially true when former prisoner Kana transfers in. Though content to keep to herself, Kana can't help but be a point of interest to the students. So much so that she distracts from an underlying evil force...
  • Breakdown - Spin-off Arc: A hodge-podge group are sent to an island. They soon find themselves trapped on said island and have to figure out a way off.

This series contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: In the light novel and anime, Swim Swim and Minael are defeated near instantly upon coming into combat with Cranberry. In the manga, the two manage to put up more of a fight, with Minael getting a few hits in while Swim Swim makes Cranberry struggle. Swim Swim even manages to tank Cranberry's first sound wave, requiring Cranberry to take a second to put her down.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The anime shows more of the battle between Cranberry and La Pucelle.
    • Thanks to adapting some of the Episodes side stories, several of the magical girls that didn't get much focus in the light novel are given a bit more development in the anime.
  • Aerith and Bob: There is no rule as to what a magical girl's name can be. It can be a traditional magical girl name (Snow White, Magical Daisy), an ordinary human name (Tama, Akane), some sort of historical reference (La Pucelle, Pythie Frederica), or just plain weird (Yumenoshima Genopsyko, @Meow-Meow).
  • Affably Evil: Tot Pop. Despite her cheerfulness and ability to befriend anyone she meets, she doesn't bat an eye at her subordinates' deaths and has no qualms about beating people to death.
  • The Ageless: Magical girls don't age when transformed, which means they can stay alive for centuries if they stay in their magical girl form.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Pure Elements believe the Magical Kingdom veterans' intrusion into their base is an invasion, and they react appropriately. They end up being right in regard to a few of the veterans.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Ripple's ability is to always hit her target with anything she throws.
  • Anyone Can Die: Very few characters make it to the end of their respective arcs. Even characters who seem to be protagonists can and will be killed.
  • Artifact Title: The titular Magical Girl Raising Project is a video game that the main characters played before being granted magical powers. It's only relevant to the first two arcs, and starting with Limited, even the exams et al that comprised the actual project are gone, with everyone still killing eachother for unrelated reasons.
  • Asshole Victim: Calamity Mary and Fav are hated by most if not all of the other magical girls and neither of them survive the events of the elimination game.
  • Ax-Crazy: Plenty of magical girls, such as Calamity Mary, Stella Lulu, and Melty Pane, are shown to enjoy fighting and murdering their fellow magical girls without compunction.
  • Badass in Distress: Sister Nana dreams of having Winterprison as her knight in shining armor, which is why she convinced her to become a magical girl. Despite how strong Sister Nana's powers are, her obsession with being Winterprison's damsel ultimately leads to Winterprison's demise.
  • Bag of Holding: The four-dimensional bags are small pouches, yet they have infinite storage space, allowing them to hold nearly anything, from weapons to furniture to people.
  • Batman Gambit: In order to create an opportunity to rescue Shadow Gale from Puk Puck, Pfle first goes to Mana from the Inspection Department and tells her that she should probably be arrested for something she's done. Pfle then takes advantage of Mana's sense of justice to get her to investigate the Puk manor for Shadow Gale and Snow White. Rather than assuming Mana would manage to get them out, she counts on Mana's confrontation escalating to violence, which would then give the Osk faction the excuse they need to openly work against the Puk faction. Then Pfle has to convince Osk to let her participate in their operation as someone worth listening to. She accomplishes all of this while barely knowing anyone involved and missing a lot of details she'd normally be aware of due to her mind-wipe.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Snow White fights Flame Flamey in a burning classroom.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones:
    • Swim Swim mostly stays silent and obedient towards Ruler, who she considers her leader. She plots Ruler's death so she can take her place as the "new Ruler."
    • Cranberry rarely talks with the other magical girls. During their weekend chatroom sessions, she mostly just hangs out in the background and plays her violin. She's the one who orchestrated the entire killing game in order to find a Worthy Opponent.
    • Melville doesn't speak for most of Restart thanks to her speaking patterns being nigh impossible to understand. She racks up the most kills of that arc due to sneak attacks and being a capable fighter.
  • BFS: La Pucelle's ability is to change the mass and size of her sword, including making it big enough to bridge a large hole in the street.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of the arcs end in a bitter victory for the main cast.
    • Unmarked ends with only Snow White and Ripple surviving the killing game, with the former suffering intense emotional trauma and the latter losing an eye and an arm. On the other hand, both Fav and Cranberry are killed, preventing them from enacting even more deadly games, and the two survivors vow to hunt down any other rogue magical girls.
    • By the end of Restart, most of the magical girls are killed, but Fal is rescued, and the reward money is donated to the deceased's families. The survivors vow to live on so as to keep the memory of the others alive, with Pfle becoming a force for good in later arcs.
    • QUEENS ends with Puk Puck being killed and her plans destroyed, most of the cast surviving, and Ripple and Snow White being freed from mind control. On the other hand, Pfle dies and in the process reduces Shadow Gale to an Empty Shell, Fal is stuck in space and Princess Deluge has completed her descent into villainy.
  • Bizarro Episode: An in-universe example is the plot of the short story "Magical Daisy, Episode Twenty-Two." At the behest of a representative from the Magical Kingdom who has some overly critical thoughts about her anime, Magical Daisy is forced to spend the day repairing an old lady's house. The footage is then used to create an episode of the Magical Daisy anime. Said episode is quickly loathed by the entire fanbase and managed to rile the usually docile viewers into a frenzy. Karin Sonoda, a.k.a. Genopsyko Yumenoshima, accurately described the episode as missing the point of Magical Daisy's appeal when every other episode focused on her using her powers to go on fun adventures or deal with real world crime. The representative who made the episode was Keek, who not only got fired from working on the anime, but kept insisting she had the right idea of what a magical girl should be. Since this story takes place long before Restart, it's clear this is where Keek slowly formed the idea of her killing game to weed out undesirable magical girls.
  • Blind Obedience: When Puk Puck turns her power to its max, everyone she befriends has to follow her orders without question in order to please her.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: When Magicaloid is killed by Hardgore Alice, Snow White gets covered in the former's blood.
  • Boss Battle: The Great Dragon in Restart is a boss that Genopsycho and her group have to defeat in order to continue the game.
  • Bound and Gagged: Funny Trick and Hana are tied up when captured by Frederica's group. Hana is seen as more dangerous given her experience and particular powers, so she's also gagged, blindfolded, and muffled.
  • Breaking Out the Boss: Tot Pop successfully frees Pythie Frederica from her prison, partially to recruit her to hunt down the assassin and partially out of fondness for her old master. Pythie takes charge the moment she is free.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Hardgore Alice's mother was violently stabbed to death by her father, and Alice generally feels like a useless burden to everyone around her.
    • Snow White gets broken twice: once when La Pucelle, her childhood best friend, dies. The next when Hardgore Alice dies as well. These events are what caused her to become the Magical Girl Hunter.
  • Break Them by Talking: Pechka causes Melville to snap by claiming that she's not like Cranberry at all.
  • Breather Episode: After the mass killings and large-scale conflicts of the previous arcs, Black focuses more on school antics and less on any sort of direct conflict. There are still various political machinations in the background, and how deadly the magical girl world can be isn't glossed over, but no one is in any actual danger until the final chapter, and everyone survives that battle.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In Breakdown, an unknown phenomenon drains everyone's mana, causing the magical girls to detransform and leaving the mages unable to use magic. Their powers can be restored by eating the grayfruits, but the effect is temporary.
  • The Butler Did It: In "General Pukin's Case File: The Murder of the Mage", Inspector Fateru believes the butler Olgrave is the one that killed Miss Hogelten despite Pukin getting the confession of Mr. Hogelten.
  • Car Fu: Postarie uses her "send back to owner" magic to try and ram Mana's car into her group.
  • Cast from Lifespan: The moment the Deadly Game hits full momentum, Fav presents the remaining cast with several items that may assist with their survival. As he tries to convince Snow White to purchase one for self-defense, he maintains that the game itself remains free-to-play: the cost for buying each item is a set amount of years off of the buyer's lifespan. The better the item, the more years are shaved off.
  • The Cavalry: When the students are nearly overwhelmed by the berserk homunculi, Snow White, Uluru, and Princess Deluge arrive to save them and eliminate the homunculi.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: In Limited, the magical phones are mysteriously jammed halfway into the story, leaving the various teams scattered and unable to coordinate. Normal cell phones are strangely unaffected.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: Each arc kills the majority of its characters, generally going from sixteen magical girls and a fairy to being able to count the survivors on one hand. Main characters are no more safe than side characters and villains.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: During Kana's first day, Calcolo gives a lesson about Cranberry's deadly examinations and various other criminal magical girls. When the mountain mock battle went haywire, many of the magical girls the berserk homunculi took the form of were the magical girls the students were taught about, which made identifying them much easier.
  • Childhood Friends: Each arc has at least one pair of characters who are childhood friends: La Pucelle and Snow White in Unmarked, Pfle and Shadow Gale in Restart, Captain Grace and Funny Trick in Limited, etc.
  • Classical Elements Ensemble: The Pure Elements are a group of artificial magical girls with powers themed around the four classic elements. Princess Inferno has fire, Princess Deluge has water, Princess Quake has earth, and Princess Tempest has wind.
  • Clique Tour: Kana quickly learns about the three groups the students are divided into and how they are encouraged to stick to their groups.
  • Closed Circle: A few arcs take place within a specific location that the characters are temporarily stuck in.
    • The plot of Limited takes place within a magical barrier around B City. It's erected in order to prevent a magical girl assassin from escaping, and will remain intact for 24 hours.
    • The later half of JOKERS has the magical girls trapped inside an underground research facility that only has one exit. The exit is locked and requires a password that the main characters don't have.
    • In Breakdown, once everyone has settled on the island, the magical gates that transported them there break, trapping them on the island.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The magical girls have access to their superhuman powers and abilities only if they are in their magical girl forms. If they ever switch back to human form, they're just as vulnerable as anyone else.
  • Combat by Champion: Pfle duels Cherna Mouse in a one-on-one non-lethal fight to let all the teams use the hunting grounds freely. Despite Pfle having a Spider Tank made by Shadow Gale, Cherna manages to win anyway.
  • Compelling Voice: Ruler's ability is to give a command to someone that they absolutely must follow.
  • Connected All Along:
    • La Pucelle and Genopsyko are online buddies. They met in person during a magical girl fan meetup in "Knight on the Day of the Offline Meetup", which Melville also attended. Palette is implied to also frequent their forum.
    • Nemurin trains Masked Wonder during "Wonder Dream" in the dream world when the latter has no idea how to be a proper magical girl. Nemurin even gets Wonder to meet Lapis Lazuline, though they don't remember the meeting. Nemurin is also Wonder's cousin, explaining why Nemurin was drawn to her.
    • @Meow-Meow travels to N City in "Meow-Meow @ N City" to deliver some new magical phones and ends up meeting half the cast of Unmarked.
    • Rionetta meets and fights Ripple in "Magical Illegal Girl", and she's well-acquainted with Pfle's grandfather.
    • In "Memories of the Blue Magical Girl", it's revealed Lapis Lazuline accidentally received the Mermaid's Tear meant for Rionetta, screwing the latter out of an important payment.
    • Detec Bell was once a camp counselor for one of Nokko's summer camps, as shown in "The Case of the Missing Beef: The Maid Saw It". They didn't interact much, but both of them used their powers, and hijinks ensued.
    • Cherna Mouse befriended Pechka's brother in "A Cherna Christmas". She ended up receiving a lobster made by Pechka herself, and is revealed to be Nonako Miyokata's pet hamster.
    • "No Magical Girls at This Blossom Viewing" has the entire cast of Unmarked aside from Nemurin, Hardgore Alice, and Cranberry end up at the same flower viewing spot. It takes place after the game has released and is implied to be before any of them became magical girls. Ruler was approached by Magicaloid, looking for a quick buck, and Top Speed, who offered her a bento.
    • Filru and Patricia get lost on the way to an Inspection Department training session and meet each other in "The Elf of the Inspection Department". They think Tot Pop is supposed to be their instructor, and the three end up breaking up a group of striking magical girls and mages.
    • Tot Pop befriended both Magical Daisy and Cranberry in "Hot to Tot About Music" while traveling around. She even gets Cranberry to consider joining a band with her sometime in the future.
    • "The Three Sisters Raising Project restart" shows that Puk Puck sponsored Keek's virtual reality game. Puk Puck brought Uluru, Sorami, and Sachiko with her to meet Keek, and they also run into Tot Pop, who barged into their meeting for fun.
    • "The Archfiend Cram School's Hell Survival Games" featured many unknown fights between unaffiliated characters in the 36th Hell Survival Exercise, including Hana Gekokujou vs Styler Mimi (Mimi won via Ring Out) and Uttakatta vs Flame Flamey (Uttakatta won with a fire extinguisher). Other participants included Cranberry, Lapis Lazuline/Blue Comet, Marika Fukuroi, Lady Proud, Umbrain, and Blue Dragon Panasu. The match was overseen by Archfiend Pam and Fav.
    • "Magical Girls on Christmas Eve" features Shadow Gale hosting a Christmas Party while Pfle is busy elsewhere. Many magical girls attend, including Monoshiri Mi-Chan, Glassianne, and several other minor characters. Magicaloid 44 also attends with a ticket that allows her to enter any Magical Girl Christmas party regardless of time or location. Shadow Gale ends up upgrading Magicaloid's armor, but only the front part.
  • Cool Gate: The Magical Kingdom has a network of magic gates that allows personnel to teleport all around Earth and the Kingdom.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Some of the fights in the series are very one sided:
    • In Unmarked, La Pucelle manages to repel three magical girls at once. Cranberry is also able to turn pretty much every fight towards her favor, due to her being a Lightning Bruiser even by magical girl standards.
    • In Restart, Snow White single-handedly takes down Flame Flamey using her power to hear anyone in distress to hear what Flame Flamey intends to do next even before she acts on them.
    • In Limited, Hana Gekokujo is jumped by five magical girls at the same time, yet she manages to defeat her five assailants without taking any damage or causing them any harm, either.
  • Cute Witch: Magical girls are supposed to help people with more mundane problems by using the magic they received from the Magical Kingdom. Some embody this ideal, though others prefer to use their gifts for more combat-related purposes.
  • Cyberspace: The setting of Restart takes place within a video game.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Alma's dark color scheme and floating eye designs belies a kind and shy personality.
  • Death by Flashback: In the anime, it's common for someone to die towards the end of the episode in which they get their expository flashback.
  • Death of a Child: Young children aren't safe in the slightest, and since magical girls can look much younger or older than their actual age, no one holds back because their opponent might be young. Notable young deaths include Swim Swim, Nokko, Umbrain, and Princess Tempest, all of whom are in elementary school.
  • Death Ray: Magical Daisy can emit a beam from her fingers or palms that can disintegrate anything in its path. Due to its lethality, she doesn't normally use it on people.
  • Deadly Game: The eliminations of Unmarked are similiar to how contestants on game shows are eliminated: by the end of the week, the magical girl with the least amount of magical candy will by stripped of their powers. What Fav doesn't say is that they will also be killed, but the characters find out rather quickly. And when an elimination is skipped after one of them is killed, the game rapidly devolves into fighting.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In F2P, despite being set up as the Deuteragonist to Alma, or at least a character of equal importance to her, Spinon dies in the first chapter.
  • Designated Victim: By virtue of being unkillable in her magical girl form, Hardgore Alice goes through a lot of abuse, most of it administered by Calamity Mary.
  • Determinator: Sister Nana is an avid believer of peace and wants to unite all of the magical girls together.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening theme of the anime, "Sakebe", is sung by Manami Numakura, Ripple's voice actress.
  • Downer Ending:
    • In Limited, the impending destruction of B City is averted and Pukin and Sonia Bean are killed. However, these victories are overshadowed by the huge losses on every side; everyone except 7753, Tepsekemei, Mana, Federica, and Ripple are dead. The events in B City have traumatized the first three, and 7753 thinks Ripple was killed. The truth is far worse: Federica did save Ripple from nearly dying, but she took adventage of Ripple's weakened state to use Pukin's magical sword on her, thereby brainwashing her into the perfect lackey.
    • JOKERS ends with Grim Heart's crimes revealed to the Magical Kingdom, and she and Shufflin are arrested. However, they're transport explodes and they're assumed dead even though there are no bodies. Meanwhile, only Snow White, Marika, Princess Deluge, and Stanczyka/Ripple survive the massacre. Deluge in particular is so traumatized by the ordeal that she becomes an empty shell.
    • The end of ACES sees just about everyone losing. Snow White fails her mission and witnesses Ripple murder an innocent person. Ripple is freed from her brainwashing, but has to live with the crimes she committed. Uluru's sisters are killed. Pfle fails to rescue Shadow Gale, who is now in Puk Puck's hands. Dark Cutie and Glassianne have had a member of their team die. Deluge fails to gain any leverage over Osk and loses Armor Arlie's group to Puk Puck. Bluebell Candy is horrified at Deluge's self-destructive path. CQ Angel Hamuel is forced to report back in failure with many dead Shufflins. Frederica and Lazuline fail to prevent Puk Puck from getting who she needs. Only Puk Puck comes out ahead, though losing Sachiko is still a harsh blow to her.
  • Dream Land: The dream world that Nemurin resides in is the main setting of the drama CD "Magical Girl Raising Project in Dreamland". Many magical girls from across the series are gathered there to save the dream world from danger.
  • Driven to Suicide: Sister Nana hangs herself after Winterprison is killed, unable to see herself living without her.
  • Dropped Glasses: Clantail loses her glasses when she's forcibly detransformed in the forest alone. She tries to look for them, but an attack against her forces her to abandon her search.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: The civilian self of Stella Lulu is male, but he can very easily be mistaken for a girl due to his feminine looks and clothing preferences. Alma was surprised to learn that he's actually a boy.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The first and third Lapis Lazulines made a small appearance in "Memories of the Blue Magical Girl" long before they turned up in the main novels.
  • Eating Optional: Modern magical girls don't have to eat or drink. Some of them take advantage of this by staying transformed so that they don't have to buy food. Most of them still eat anyway to regain energy or simply because they like it.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Pure Elements' headquarters is an underground facility that can withstand magical girl attacks, dampen their powers, and holds various training rooms such as a desert and forest area.
  • Emotion Control: Nokko can manipulate the emotions of anyone within a 20 meter radius of her. She can transmit, enhance, and suppress the emotions within those that she targets.
  • Enemy Mine: The remnants of the Investigation and Namiyama School Teams reluctantly join forces with Pythie Frederica to fight the more dangerous Pukin. Frederica is still evil and caused several of them lots of pain, but she can at least be reasoned with and isn't currently interested in targeting random civilians.
  • Ensemble Cast: While it's not particularly apparent in Unmarked and Restart, nobody in this series can be easily classified as the protagonist. This has been lampshaded in JOKERS by Prism Cherry.
    There is no main character.
    Everyone is the protagonist of their own story.
    She wasn't special. She wasn't chosen. And she's not thinking this trying to pity herself, either.
    Nobody was special. If they wanted to be special, they had to make the world notice them.
  • Everybody Lives: Every single main character manages to survive the events of Black. The only dead person is an unnamed mage who nobody even met before their body was found.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: At the end of Limited, 7753 laments that, while the city is saved and the worst of the bad guys are dead, everyone on her side except herself, Mana, and Tepeskemei are dead.
  • Evolving Credits: Swim Swim's silhouette is initially pure black except for her eyes in the opening for the first episode of the anime, gradually revealing her features and attire more clearly as the series goes on.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: In order to ensure a fair fight for their rematch, Twin Dragons Panasu explains to Lapis Lasuline about her ability to control two dragons.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: Even though magical girls are often seen when helping people, their existence is still a secret since memories of them tend to be fuzzy if contact is brief. The Magical Kingdom also has memory wiping magic if a large incident happens that can't be explained as a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or the like.
  • Extranormal Prison: Rogue magical girls are held in a prison on Earth that disables their magic and prevents time from flowing. Unfortunately that also means that if someone does break out, they'll be as physically fit as they were when they were first imprisoned.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The main plot of Limited takes place within a 24 hour time frame.
  • Fairy Companion: Some magical girls get a fairy loyal to them personally. They can be digital cyber fairies like Fav and Fal, animal types such as Palette, or an actual fairy with wings like Toko.
  • Fantastic Recruitment Drive: The Magical Kingdom actively searches Earth to find potential magical girls. Sometimes they search person to person, sometimes they use social games to narrow down candidates, and sometimes they just put up a poster that only people with magic potential can see.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: There is no limit to what a magical girl can be; ninjas, knights, robots, angels, elves, dolls, centaurs, samurai, pirates, stage magicians, genies, vampires; if it exists, chances are there's a magical girl themed around it.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Most of the side stories happen before the events of the main novels despite being meant to be read after them. As such, many of their resolutions are fairly obvious, such both Hardgore Alice and Calamity Mary surviving "Zombie Western" or Cranberry passing her test in "Since We Want to Beat the Archfiend".
  • Foreshadowing: In the anime, when Koyuki first boots up the game, she receives a Rabbit's Foot item and doesn't think its effect will be too useful. The item turns out to be essential to Ripple's survival by the end of the game.
  • From Bad to Worse: At first, the elimination procedures of Unmarked are simple: help people to collect points called magical candies. Whoever has the lowest points at the end of each week is eliminated. However, it turns out that there's a way for you to not die even if you have the lowest points in each week. The quota of "one magical girl dies each week" is fulfilled so long as one of the magical girls dies under any circumstances during the week- even if those circumstances are in combat with another magical girl. This quickly leads to the more battle hungry magical girls trying to kill off their competition. And when the count falls to eight, the original goal, Fav announces that the goal has changed again, reigniting the conflict.
  • Frozen Face: Cyber fairies like Fav and Fal all have the same smiling expression that they are unable to change.
  • Gambit Pileup: Pfle, Nokko, and Melville of Restart are all planning different things at once. Pfle's plan is to flush out the Evil King, Nokko is the Evil King who is tasked with killing off the other players, and Melville is also killing off the other magical girls as a way to keep Cranberry's legacy alive.
  • Game Between Heirs: Satabourne's relatives, colleagues, and colleagues' children are invited to negotiate who will inherit what from his possessions.
  • Gender Bender: It's entirely possible for a boy to become a magical girl. No matter what you look like in real life, your magical girl form will always be an idealized version of you as a magical girl. Examples include La Pucelle from Unmarked and Stella Lulu from the spin-off manga F2P.
  • Genre Shift: Each arc has a distinct feel to from the one that came before.
    • Unmarked feels like a typical Battle Royale story with the magical girls trying to kill each other in order to keep their powers and stay alive.
    • Restart involves being transported into a virtual reality world, with elements of a Whodunnit mystery.
    • Limited plays out like a crime thriller; there are three different factions, each with their own separate goals and one assassin that they're trying to capture.
    • JOKERS can be viewed through a slasher horror lens, what with the magical girls being stalked by a relentless opponent.
    • ACES is much like a political thriller.
    • QUEENS has been described as a war story between several factions.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Joining up with Frederica is treated as a desperate effort on 7753's group's part. 7753 and the rest resent the idea, but they can't ignore just how useful Federica's magic and expertise may be in taking down Pukin and Sonia Bean. The partnership does end up working since both Pukin and Sonia Bean are successfully killed, but most of the magical girls die in the process.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The Magical Kingdom has many divisions that manage magical girls and keep law and order intact.
    • The Inspection Department investigates possible illegal actions and arrests criminal magical girls.
    • The Magical Girl Resources Department manages the recruitment, scouting, training, and care of magical girls.
    • The Department of Diplomacy is in charge of negotiating with other countries and organizations, either diplomatically or militarily.
    • The Research and Development Division collects data and researches anything relating to magic.
    • The Public Relations Division is in charge of advertising the public image of magical girls. They're the ones in charge of the various magical girl anime.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: While from time to time there are characters that are truly evil, most of the antagonists never have truly evil intentions.
  • Healing Factor: Hardgore Alice has the ability of healing any damage inflicted on her: acid burns, bullet wounds, beheading, she will survive all of that and more.
  • Hidden Villain: In Breakdown, an unknown enemy on the island breaks the magical gates and attacks/kills the people present. It's purpose and appearance are a complete mystery. Even when the culprit reveals themselves, it's initially unclear as to whether they're actually a magical girl.
  • Hope Spot:
    • When the total magical girl count falls to the goal of eight, some of the characters breathe a sigh of relief that the ordeal is now over. Unfortunately for them, it doesn't stay that way; the goal changes once again, reigniting the fight between the magical girls.
    • In the anime, La Pucelle seemingly lands a fatal blow on Cranberry after getting her Heroic Second Wind, only for her to recover and finish her off.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: In JOKERS, the Magical Kingdom veterans offer to give up a restrained Deluge to Grim Heart in exchange for the password to escape the facility. The negotiations go nowhere. In actuality it was a ploy to get Snow White to read Grim Heart's mind so that she can just steal the password.
  • I Believe I Can Fly: While some magical girls can fly via their special abilities, such as Top Speed or Archfiend Pam, others are able to fly because it's part of their motif, such as the Peaky Angels having wings or Magicaloid 44 having rocket boosters.
  • Iconic Item: La Pucelle is able to figure out Snow White's civilian identity on account of the fact that Snow White's magical girl outfit is the exact same outfit that she drew when they were kids.
  • Indirect Kiss: When Deluge licks Marika's healing fruit after Inferno, Deluge jokes that they shared an indirect kiss.
  • Interquel: Breakdown was published after QUEENS, but takes place in between JOKERS and ACES. Notably it shows the circumstances that led Princess Deluge to leave 7753's care.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Swim Swim buys an invisibility cloak from Fav that perfectly hides the user, though it won't protect her from all magical skills. Her group uses it for several sneak kills.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ruler genuinely cares for the magical girls on her team, even though she acts like a tyrant most of the time.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Ripple will sometimes use a katana during her fights.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: One of the rules of being a magical girl is to never reveal your true identity to anyone outside other magical girls. To do so would forfeit your right to become a magical girl and, by extension, means you'd die.
  • Killer Yo-Yo: Spinon's weapon is a magical yo-yo that can freely change its size and length. Outside being used in combat, it can also be used as a grappling hook or a means of transportation.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The anime Detec Bell watches in a flashback is very obviously Case Closed.
  • Legion of Doom: Black features a series of Homunculi who take the forms of the previous villains: Cranberry, Calamity Mary, Akane, Melville, Flame Flamey, Pukin, Sonia Bean, and Grim Heart.
  • Left the Background Music On: In the anime, whenever Cranberry stops playing so she can speak, the violin in the soundtrack also ceases.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: When the Magical Kingdom veterans run into the Pure Elements, the latter assume the former are hostile and attack. The veterans mostly try to avoid conflict, but Marika and Umbrain are happy to oblige. Snow White manages to defuse the situation, but not before members on both sides disappear.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Some of the magical girls are experienced veterans who use their powers to hunt down rogue magical girls and other criminals. Archfiend Pam in particular is stated to be one of the most skilled magical girls, using her wings in a variety of creative ways.
  • Magically-Binding Contract: Nephilia is good at writing magic contracts that must be followed. Otherwise the one who broke it will lose all of their possessions. Agri uses one to ally herself with Navi Ru. Later on, once she's amassed plenty of grayfruits she uses them to exchange the fruits for money.
  • Meaningful Name: A lot of characters have names that reference their powers, a historical figure, a well known fairytale, etc. Of the reoccurring cast, there's:
    • Koyuki Himekawa, who has the character for both "snow" (雪) and "princess" (姫) in her civilian name. Her magical girl name is the same as a fairytale princess whose trademark appearance includes the description "skin as fair as snow". Snow White's outfit is also predominately white.
    • Kano Sazanami's last name means "ripple", the same as her magical girl name. She's the one who kills Swim Swim, effectively making her a "ripple" in the water.
    • Kanoe Hitokouji's magical girl name, Pfle, is short for "pflege" which is German for "care/caring". Kanoe shows extreme care towards those she considers her family.
    • The "Gale" in Shadow Gale refers to Florence Nightingale, a famous nurse. Fitting for the magical girl tasked with taking care of another person, and who wears a nurse outfit when transformed. Her civilian name, Mamori, was given to her due to her role as Pfle's protector ("mamoru" means "to protect").
    • The "Pythie" in Pythie Frederica's magical girl name is a reference to Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi. Much like her namesake, Pythie also uses crystal balls.
  • Mêlée à Trois: ACES has the Puk Puck faction vs the Osk faction vs Deluge's team, with Ripple acting as a wildcard, in a battle to secure Premium Sachiko.
  • Memory Gambit: Pfle contacts Lapis Lazuline III to have her memory wiped so that the Magical Kingdom won't discover what she's been doing. She entrusts her memories to Shadow Gale and expects to have them returned when the time is right.
  • Me's a Crowd: Amy is able to produce fully-functioning clones of herself, though the time her clones last is inversely proportional to their quantity (i.e. more clones, less time).
  • Missing Mission Control: In JOKERS, Prism Cherry is left in the control room to oversee the facility. She's attacked by the villains early on, leaving the Pure Elements without one of their main advantages making it easier for the villains take over.
  • Mistaken Identity: Pastel Merry briefly thinks an untransformed Dreamy☆Chelsea is Sheperdspie turning himself into a woman when Chelsea accidentally mistakes Sheperdspie's room as her own.
  • Mob Debt: This forms Rionetta's motivations in Restart. Her father amassed a massive debt with a yakuza and she intends to use the prize money from the killing game to bail him out.
  • More Dakka: Since Calamity Mary's power includes the rapid production of ammo, the way she deals with her opponents tends to involve a lot of bullets.
  • Naginatas Are Feminine: Swim Swim's weapon of choice is a large naginata. It later becomes Snow White's, who uses it to cut down villainous magical girls.
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: The Evil King is one of the players, and her goal is to kill all the other players. That means the one killing everyone is the Evil King right? Nope; it's actually the one who hasn't partaken in anything obviously antagonistic.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Nemurin tells Swim Swim not to be afraid to follow her dreams. Unfortunately, her dream of "becoming like Ruler" causes her to plan out Ruler's death, since she can't possibly become like her if Ruler's still alive.
  • Nominal Hero: The Osk faction in QUEENS are by no means a moral group, but they're the leading force against the Puk Puck faction's plan, making them the good guys by default.
  • Oddball Doppelgänger: The Ideal Magical Girls in "Magical Girl Raising Project in Dreamland" are idealized versions of someone who is close to them. Some are similar to the original, while others act vastly different.
    • Mecha Shadow Gale was originally Ideal Shadow Gale, Pfle's ideal version of Shadow Gale. Since Pfle figured out what was going on quickly, she used self-hypnosis to transform Ideal Shadow Gale into something more fitting until she settled on a robot.
    • Ideal Postarie is Rain Pow's ideal version of Postarie. Unlike the original, she's confident, outgoing, brave, can fire energy waves, and is an incredibly powerful fighter thanks to her skill in Chinese kung fu. Despite being completely different, it takes the appearance of the original for Rain Pow to realize she's not the real Postarie.
    • Ideal Marika Fukuroi is Marika's ideal version of herself. She prefers to solve issues without violence and is superior to the original in all aspects. Despite her increased stats, the original still beats her up.
  • On One Condition: In Breakdown, to be eligible for the inheritance, the heirs must come to the island with one or two magical girl escorts.
  • One Degree of Separation: The Episodes short stories reveal that much of the cast have met each other or know about one another in some way.
  • One-Steve Limit:
    • Subverted; Tepsekemei's nickname and civilian name is both Mei, which she shares with Princess Tempest's civilian name, Mei Higashionna. Since each one takes part in separate arcs, they don't interact with one another at all, avoiding any confusion.
    • The same applies to Tama and Cherna Mouse, who is also named Tama.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: Black introduces them to the series. They’re shape shifting monsters who can assume the forms of other Magical Girls- one test sees them take the forms of the villains of the first four arcs.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: All the magical girls have natural hair colors in their civilian forms. For most of them, their hair color changes to something completely different: Snow White's turns from brown to a pale pink, Prism Cherry's turns from brown to silver, etc.
  • Power Glows: In the anime, magical girls glow in various colors whenever they activate their abilities.
  • Power-Up Food: In Breakdown, the grayfruits restore mana when eaten, which helps people feel better after sickness, restores a magical girl's ability to transform, and replenishes a mage's magic. They're only a temporary cure, and all parties scramble to secure as much fruit as they can for themselves.
  • Pregnant Badass: After she's killed, it's revealed that Top Speed's civilian identity was that of late teenager who was pregnant.
  • Premature Empowerment: Most magical girls first learn of the existence of magic when they're suddenly chosen to become a magical girl. When a fairy or test administrator finds someone suitable, they generally give them their powers first and answer questions second.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Flashbacks in ACES through to the conclusion of QUEENS chronicle Princess Deluge's descent into a villain.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Most of the arcs end this way. The villains are all killed and/or face punishment for their actions (unless you're Pythie), but almost every character is killed in the process and the survivors are left to move on without them.
  • Race Against the Clock: Towards the beginning of Limited, a barrier is placed over B City that prevents anyone with magic from escaping for 24 hours. When the situation escalates, higher ups consider eliminating everyone with magic in the barrier when the time limit is up, followed by wiping out the entire city if the rogue magical girls aren't caught in time.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Magical girls could probably help Earth a lot more than just patrolling their areas looking for people in trouble, but few bother in part because the Magical Kingdom wants to keep The Masquerade up. Magical Daisy once suggested she could use her disintegration beam for waste disposal or to get rid of dangerous chemicals, but her proposal was rejected because it would put humans out of a job.
  • La Résistance: The main goal of Lala Luna's faction is a revolution against the Magical Kingdom.
  • Ret-Gone: In F2P, Sera Sera's power is to erase a person's existence by placing a paper with their name on it into her costume. The target has to be dead in order for it to work. Prior to the manga's events, she utilized this ability to erase the memory of Akira and Kaoru's parents from their minds.
  • Riddle for the Ages: What are the real names of certain magical girls, like Pukin, Pythie, and the First Lapis Lazuline?
  • Ring Out: In "The Archfiend Cram School's Hell Survival Games", anyone who exits the boundary of the game for five seconds automatically forfeits the match. Styler Mimi manages to trick Hana to step out by disguising the border line.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Snow White duels Dark Cutie on top of a roof in the climax of ACES.
  • School for Scheming: The magical girl class in Black is supposed to be used to train the next generation of elite magical girls, but many of the individuals and factions sponsoring the students have their own agendas.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Winterprison sacrificing her life to save Sister Nana ends up being rendered pointless since Nana hangs herself shortly afterwards anyway.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: As revealed in the epilogue of Limited, the danger of the assassin was a misreport. Had this not happened, Archfiend Pam wouldn't have been deployed, the barrier wouldn't have been put up, and most of the cast would've most likely survived.
  • Shear Menace: Shadow Gale wields a giant pair of scissors as a weapon.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Magicaloid 44's background and ability makes her the magical girl version of Doraemon. Her official description, being a robot come from the future, is even a more direct Shout-Out.
    • When Federica, Tot Pop, Pukin, and Sonia arrive in B City, they decide to steal a Plymouth Fury when they're reminded of a movie about a car killing people, a clear reference to Stephen King's Christine.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • Magical Daisy is an anime staring the actual magical girl of the same name. The Magical Kingdom's Public Relations Division is the one who produces the anime, with the approval of Magical Daisy.
    • Cutie Healer is another In-Universe anime staring multiple magical girls, including Dark Cutie.
  • The Siege: In QUEENS, Puk Puck's forces take control of the ruins where the device lays, while Osk and their allies spend most of the story trying to break through their defenses.
  • Single-Attempt Game: In Restart, 16 magical girls are trapped in a VR game designed to test their aptitude as magical girls. They spend three days within the game (which is essentially nothing in the real world), then 3 days in the real world so as to not forget what they have. While they could just hang around in the safe starting area indefinitely, in order to permanently escape they must defeat the Evil King, so they set out to defeat monsters and clear the areas to make their way to the final dungeon.Of course, death in the game means death in real life, and they're not allowed to contact others for help. The win condition is a bit more complicated than beating a final boss however, as one of the players is the Evil King, and their goal is to kill the other 15 players, which is unknown to anyone else. Ultimately the Evil King is exposed and kills herself, but not before all but 3 other players die.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Snow White spins her naginata to disperse Flame Flamey's fire attack.
  • Suicide Attack: Puk Puck entrances several Shufflin and has them infiltrate the Osk camp to kill Glassianne. They blow themselves up with a grenade to do so.
  • Super-Deformed: When the magical girls do their weekly chatroom sessions during Unmarked, they're magically transported to a virtual space where they see each other as chibi versions of themselves.
  • Super Family Team: Everyone in Akane's family becomes a magical girl. Unfortunately, Cranberry kills all of them but Akane, leaving Akane with deep mental trauma and a desire for revenge.
  • Superhero School: Magical girls enrolled in the class during Black are there to learn about how to be a good magical girl, which includes honing their abilities, teaching them about the Magical Kingdom, and instructing them on how magical girls should act.
  • Superpowered Mooks: Normal training homunculi can keep up with magical girls physically, but lack any special powers otherwise. The homunculi during the mountain training exam however can not only take on the appearance, strength, and mindset of magical girls, they can even replicate their magical skill perfectly; the Pukin homunculus can brainwash people with its rapier, and the Sonia Bean homunculus will charge straight at its opponents so that it can disintegrate them.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: The girls' powers are described very specifically; those whose magic is very specific and/or seemingly useless will often find clever applications for their magic. Grim Heart's power, for example, is described as "ignores those without proper manners". Sounds pretty pointless at first until it's shown that she views all of her opponents as rude barbarians and doesn't take any damage from their attacks, no matter what they may be; in other words, she's "ignoring" their lack of "proper manners".
  • Teen Genius: Wen Heizwald managed to become a professor at the gentle age of thirteen.
  • Teleportation Sickness: Mana is weak and suffers from motion sickness after going through the magic gate to get onto Breakdown's island. She complains that an amateur probably made it.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Calamity Mary's ability is to enhance the abilities of any weapon she wields, from giving them Bottomless Magazines to high-explosive bullets. She uses this ability to attack her opponents over and over and over again, regardless if the situation calls for it or not.
  • Those Two Guys: Sumire and Yoshiko are Koyuki's regular human friends, who help serve as a more normal perspective on magical girl activities. The side stories elaborate on them, with Sumire being open to the possibility that they exist while Yoshiko is skeptical, disbelieving their existence until she sees firm evidence with her own eyes.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Keek has a minor breakdown when she realizes that she herself was also a product of Cranberry's tests.
  • Transformation Sequence: In the anime, Snow White gets a full sequence of her initial transformation in the first episode. Ripple also gets a full one in episode eleven.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Pure Elements were each given a colored gem that lets them transformation into magical girls. When transformed, the gem is part of a tiara. This is one mark of the Pure Elements' artificialness: true magical girls don't need a trinket to transform.
  • Trapped in Another World: The premise of Restart goes thusly: sixteen magical girls are transported into a game world where they spend three in-game days before being brought back to the real world. The maintenance period lasts for three real world days after which the girls are forcibly transported back. This cycle will keep repeating until they can complete the main goal of the game: find and deafeat the Evil King.
  • Trigger-Happy: Calamity Mary's very much a "shoot first, ask questions later" type of magical girl; she's more than happy to use her ability to barrel down her opponents with whatever guns she can get her hands on.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Swim Swim is extremely loyal to Ruler, following her orders as if they were the law.
    • Weiss Winterprison is willing to do anything for Sister Nana.
    • Shadow Gale has vowed to protect Pfle and stay by her side no matter what.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Nokko is one of the main point of view characters in Restart, yet she somehow manages to avoid mentioning to the reader that she's the Evil King.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: In "The Three Sisters Raising Project restart", Keek convinces Puk Puck to sponsor a Virtual Reality Training Sim where magical girls can train safely. Uluru, Sorami, and Sachiko end up going through the beta, an early version of the RPG-type game featured in Restart.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Keek's actual intentions for hosting her own game is to find the ideal magical girl who can protect the world, though her methods are very flawed in trying to find them.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: A few of the side stories show how the survivors coped with the events of their associated main novel.
    • "Snow White Raising Project": Snow White trains to become a powerful fighter with the help of Pythie Frederica and a reluctant Ripple. Snow White and Ripple remain in their city until they arrest Frederica.
    • "Clantail's Friends": Clantail moves on with her life knowing that's what Pechka and the others would want her to do. She's learning how to cook and is making friends in addition to Pfle and Shadow Gale.
    • "The Goggles and the Tortoise": Tepsekemei is now living with 7753, who is still depressed about the events of Limited. The two of them remain close with a recovering Mana.
    • "Primula Farinosa": Marika realizes she's lonely without Styler Mimi. She runs into, and eventually befriends, Snow White.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist:
    • Snow White is an avid magical girl fan who believes that magical girls are supposed to help people, not fight each other. Due to this, she thinks that she and the others of Unmarked will find a way to settle the elimination compitition peacefully. This outlook is tested when the participants start killing each other.
    • Sister Nana constantly tries to unite the magical girls together, even the more dangerous ones.
  • Win to Exit: While they get a reprieve from the game every three days, the magical girls of Restart have to defeat the Evil King in order to be permanently free from the game world.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: Magical girls are supposed to use their powers to help people, but many use their magic to make their ordinary lives easier as well: staying transformed to cut down on buying food, using their magic to complete mundane tasks, etc.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: In Restart, the three days the magical girls spend in the game world is essentially nothing in the real world.
  • You Have Failed Me: CQ Angel Hamuel is worried that returning in failure will result in her being given a suicide mission or becoming a lab experiment. She manages to avoid such fates.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Marika, Mimi, and Cherry stay behind and fight off the advancing Shufflin wave so that Snow White, Filru, and Deluge can escape the facility. They succeed, but only Marika survives.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: In Restart, dying in the game world triggers the victim's real body to suffer a heart attack, killing them instantly. Other injuries don't affect their real bodies, however.

Alternative Title(s): Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku