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Dark Magical Girl

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She's not a bad girl. She just needs someone to befriend her.

"She's so strong. And even though she seems so cold, she has such beautiful, kind eyes...
Yet, for some reason, she really looks...incredibly sad."
Nanoha Takamachi, describing Fate Testarossa in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

This young girl's greatest fear isn't monsters. It isn't evil. It isn't even death. No, her greatest fear overshadows all of these.

Her greatest fear is to be alone.

The Dark Magical Girl is this fear personified, molded into a dark parody of the Magical Girl. Where the Magical Girl is a force for good and light, the Dark Magical Girl's virtues have all been twisted to serve evil. It is worth noting that a Dark Magical Girl is rarely evil themselves, being closer to a dark, violent brand of neutral.

Normal Magical Girls have a good relationship with their family members, they make friends at school — they may be a little dim, but that's okay, and this all translates into the magical ability to defend what they love from external threats.

A Dark Magical Girl doesn't have that. For her, Parental Abandonment is not funny or convenient. Her parents are absent at best and abusive at worst, and though she's smart, she can't understand why her life has turned out as it is. She doesn't have real friends or exploits past the academic (if she goes to school). This is because she either doesn't know how to communicate socially or she's already lost her friends and wants to avoid making new ones, the loss of which will just bring her further pain. If she seems outwardly creepy, it's another unfortunate reason people avoid her, which only leads to her being further perceived as evil or otherwise abnormal.


She often acts as The Dragon to the Big Bad, from whom she may crave approval as a parental figure. Inevitably, the Dark Magical Girl will fight the Magical Girl, acting as her Evil Counterpart or Shadow Archetype, her motivation being acknowledgment from the Big Bad or jealousy of everything the heroine has that she does not.

She doesn't want the Magical Girl's pity, but the MG usually tries to reach out to her and gain her friendship regardless. A Magical Girl symbolizes the triumph of virtue, justice, and The Power of Love. A Dark Magical Girl asks if there is redemption and salvation for the cursed and lost. Magical Girl shows tend to come down on the idealist side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, so the DMG almost always gets converted to the good guys' side by the end. Once this happens, most Dark Magical Girls tend to be fiercely loyal to the Magical Girl heroine.


The abilities of the Dark Magical Girl are often polar opposites to the Magical Girl's. She is also usually faster, smarter, and more ruthless than the MG, making her the primary obstacle to the MG's triumph. Younger Dark Magical Girls tend to be Little Miss Badasses, even if they are a Cute Witch. If she is a Magical Girl Warrior, she's frequently a Lady of War. Dark Magical Girl outfits are often color-coded black to contrast the heroines' pink, and are usually slightly more fetishy, which might explain why a Heel–Face Turn doesn't always mean a switch in costume. Dark Magician Girls on the good guy's side tend to be exemplars of Dark Is Not Evil.

As a reminder, the "Dark" in Dark Magical Girl refers to her personality and characterization, not the nature of her powers. In fact, a woman whose powers aren't "dark" in nature can still qualify for this trope if she has the right personality and characterization; as mentioned above, usually the driving force behind the actions of a Dark Magical Girl is some combination of her desire for approval from her parental figure, fear of being alone, or jealousy towards everything the Magical Girl has.

The Dark Magical Girl is a subtrope of Anti-Villain. Almost always The Woobie type on the sliding scale of anti-villains. Not to be confused with the Black Magician Girl, the Lady of Black Magic, the Magical Girl Genre Deconstruction (often referred to as "Dark Magical Girl Genre"), and especially not the Dark Action Girl (who is quite different). Or Dark Magician Girl for that matter.


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  • Being a Magical Girl series, the Lyrical Nanoha provides a plethora of examples:
    • The page image is the original series' iconic Fate Testarossa, who spends the majority of the season attempting to gather the Jewel Seeds before Nanoha, at the behest of her mother, Precia. Eventually, she ends up severely overexerting herself in an attempt to obtain all of the remaining Seeds at once, and is stopped by a concerned Nanoha. Fate ends up returning home empty-handed, and it is at this point that we learn that Fate is a clone of Precia's biological daughter, Alicia, who has spent the past thirty years in medical stasis after a severe accident. Precia considers Fate a failed project, does not acknowledge her as a person, let alone as a daughter, and lashes her with a whip when she doesn't fulfill Precia's orders. The aforementioned scene rapidly converts most viewers' attitude from enjoying the somewhat humorous tone and subversiveness of the series to "PRECIA TESTAROSSA MUST DIE".
    • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS features Lutecia Alpine, a powerful summoner who has lost most of her emotional capacity due to manipulation by the Big Bad who uses her talents to advance his agenda while promising her to help her mother, who has been in coma for most of Lutecia's life. What he doesn't tell Lutecia, however, is that he himself ordered the attack that left Megane in coma in the first place. Notably, Lutecia's Magical Girl counterpart who eventually befriends her is not the title character but Caro Ru Lushe, one of Nanoha's students and Fate's adoptive daughter.
    • StrikerS Sound Stage X gives us another Dark Magical Girl, although her identity is a major spoiler: Runessa Magnus, the former Child Soldier from a Crapsack World, who fell under the influence of an interdimensional terrorist, seeing him as her father figure and carrying out his agenda even after his death. To this end, she becomes Teana's partner, allowing her to manipulate the investigation of her own crimes, but is eventually discovered and apprehended by Tea. Notably, Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs in this case, and Runessa doesn't get a "Get out of Jail Free" Card like the other examples but keeps serving her time in later installments—although Teana regularly visits her in prison, presumably, in an attempt to rehabilitate her.
    • This trope is subverted in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid: Heidi E. S. Ingvalt is set up as a Dark Magical Girl to Nanoha's daughter Vivio, but is soon revealed to be the secret identity of Einhart Stratos, Vivio's fellow student from the local Wizarding School. Granted, Einhart has a lot of archetypal DMG traits, such as loneliness, introversion, single-minded devotion to a purpose (the perfection of her ancestral martial art), and a rivalry with the main character (Vivio), but the two of them become close friends early in the story, skipping most of the usual magical girl foreplay.
    • Played with in ViVid Strike!. Unlike most Dark Magical Girls, Rinne actually has a previous connection with her Magical Girl counterpart (being Childhood Friends) and her family is the one part of her life that isn't messed up. She also isn't working for evil forces and is instead driven by the fear that if she's isn't the strongest that she'll lose everything she cares about.
  • The trope is Older Than They Think, as proved by Karen from the Sally the Witch second series. Karen was cast away from the Magical Realm of Astoria as a little girl alongside her evil father, was poisoned with hate by said father until he died, returned with a big grudge against Sally herself, attempted to separate her from her human friends via her black magic, was less purely evil and much more EXTREMELY bitter and hurt over being alone for years, Sally defeated her with both her magic and The Power of Friendship, AND she ultimately had a Heel–Face Turn.
  • One of the first examples is Non from Majokko Meg-chan, who serves as The Rival for Meg. She's cold and isolated and has no interest in friendship or humanity in the beginning, but changes throughout the show due to her interactions with Meg.
  • Another very early example is Hilda from Horus: Prince of the Sun. She's a mysterious young girl who bonds with main character Horus, but she turns out to be the younger sister of the Big Bad Grunwald, and as the story progresses she's more and more conflicted about her loyalties.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Hotaru Tomoe (Sailor Saturn) is subverted. At first, the Outer Soldiers treat her as a Dark Magical Girl because they believe her awakening as Sailor Saturn would bring about The End of the World as We Know It. This turns out to be somewhat true; though Saturn does have the power to initiate an apocalypse, she would never do so unless ordered to by her Queen; however, in the present day her reincarnation is possessed by The Dragon, whose goal is The End of the World as We Know It. The protagonists are understandably confused about Hotaru's motivations for much of the season. Throughout that time she was a friend of Chibiusa, a.k.a Sailor Chibimoon.
    • Chibiusa achieved Dark Magical Girl status temporarily in "Sailor Moon R", as she is brainwashed by Wiseman, who corrupts her with dark magic and cruel words, making her believe that she is responsible for her grim future and that no one loves her. As a result, she becomes Black Lady, an older version of herself, with longer hair and a very revealing outfit, and becomes a servant of Wiseman due to her bitterness and pain upon the Dark and Troubled Past that she genuinely believes she had. In the manga and in Sailor Moon Crystal, she even brainwashes and seduces her father, though. in the anime, she actively hates both parents and tries to kill them in revenge (Usagi does have a vision of Black Lady and Tuxedo Kamen kissing, but it's a part of Wiseman's attempted brainwashing of her. Which doesn't work, by the way.) She returns to her younger and happier original self after a while, however: either by witnessing Pluto's Heroic Sacrifice (manga and Crystal) or after a pep talk from her parents (first anime).
    • The manga version of Sailor Galaxia is what happens when a Dark Magical Girl grows up and comes into full power before meeting her good counterpart. As one can guess, her mental state is not pretty.
  • When Cutey Honey was remade into a Lighter and Softer, Magical Girl-esque series in 1998 (right after the end of the first Sailor Moon anime), Honey "Cutey Honey" Kisaragi got a counterpart that fitted pretty well in this trope: Seira Hazuki, a cool-headed schoolgirl who can transform into Misty Honey, a dark-haired Lady of War with a purple outfit and an antagonistic behavior. Since Honey is also a Robot Girl in this continuity, Seira/Misty is also one of these here, taken in by the villains when Dr. Kisaragi went the Defector from Decadence way.
  • Tsubame Otori from Cyber Team in Akihabara is another old exponent. Brought as Cigogne's personal enforcer, she curbstomps the Cyber Team in her very introduction and remains as a dark, solitary character until Hibari insists on befriending her. This happens to be Tsubame's first contact with the concepts of friendship and family, whose incomprehension causes her a Villainous BSoD, but Hibari's kindness straightens the trouble and allows her doing her much needed Heel–Face Turn. At the end of the series, she is adopted by Hibari's parents.
  • Dark Nana (Jamanana) from Seven of Seven. She is Nana's dark side/true self, born from her despair over Yoichi and left unnoticed, jealous of all the fun the others had. She has proven to be much, much stronger than the other Nanas, able to hypnotize people easily, teleport, fly with ease, fire energy blasts, and be a badaxe. In the end, she just needed a hug.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch has the dark magical woman, Sara, who, in a variation of this trope, turns out to be The Man Behind the Man herself, rather than the other way around.
  • My-HiME:
    • Mikoto Minagi is truly innocent, sweet, and loving toward everyone she knows — but becomes a holy terror in the defense/service of the brother whom she has been seeking through the entire series, Reito Kanzaki, who turns out to be the Obsidian Lord. True to the form of the trope, Mikoto's convinced to do a Heel–Face Turn via The Power of Love from Mai, and then she frees her Brainwashed and Crazy brother from his inner darkness by smashing his pendant with her sword.
    • Also from My-HiME is Nao Yuuki, who travels the path she took because her father was killed and her mother was seriously injured by robbers. Unlike Mikoto, she doesn't get converted over as easily. Making Nao even more tragic, she was beginning to really warm to the group before Natsuki was tricked into attacking her. It's hard not to feel sorry for her when she leaves, screaming revenge and clutching what's left of her right eye...
    • Shizuru Fujino is a very dark take on this trope. She doesn't have a bad family life, but she's in love with Natsuki and has no idea how to express it in a good way. Instead, she lets her confusion and self-hate plus the pressure of being a Hime take over and ultimately goes nuts in what's implied to be a mix of her present feelings and a curse coming from her CHILD; then she starts killing anyone who threatens Natsuki, who she thinks Natsuki hates, and anyone who might kinda have looked at Natsuki funny, while kissing Natsuki in her sleep. Natsuki has to first give her a kiss, then kill her *and* herself to get her properly on track; when both she and Shizuru come Back from the Dead, the curse of the Ikusahime is no longer twisting Shizuru's affections, and the first thing she does is tearfully apologize to Natsuki for what she put her through.
  • Nina Wong (among others) from My-Otome, who joins Grand Duke Nagi to protect her father from his wrath. Tomoe, however, is an aversion; she's simply pure evil.
  • Pretty Cure has used this trope multiple times. Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star gives us the Kiryuu sisters, Michiru and Kaoru, Fresh Pretty Cure! has Setsuna Higashi, alias Eas (until she became Cure Passion), HeartCatch Pretty Cure! features the aptly-named Dark Pretty Cure, Suite Pretty Cure ♪ has Ellen Kurokawa aka Siren (until she became Cure Beat), Go! Princess Pretty Cure has Twilight AKA Towa Akagi/Cure Scarlet, and HuGtto! Pretty Cure has Ruru Amour later Cure Amour.
    • In HeartCatch, Yuri Tsukikage/Cure Moonlight also has some traces of this despite being on the side of good. Though quiet, mature and intellectual, she harbours a deep sadness within her heart, unable to forgive herself for her past failures that got her Brought Down to Normal and killed her companion. Eventually, she heals... and then becomes Cure Moonlight again. Incidentally, Dark Pretty Cure from the same series actually doesn't get redeemed, and is in fact Killed Off for Real. Though in a heartbreaking manner.
    • One of the Pretty Cure movies had the Dark Precure 5, who were created by the villains to defeat the Precure 5 with. The first of these was Dark Dream, and her efforts paved the way for the rest to be made. All of them die except for her, and even then it was because Cure Dream spared her. Dark Dream did not know how to truly smile and Cure Dream pitied her for it. Eventually, Cure dream ended up at the mercy of the villains and was about to be killed. Dark Dream intercepted the attack and died as a result, smiling peacefully as she faded away in Cure Dream's arms.
    • In DokiDoki! Pretty Cure, Makoto Kenzaki/Cure Sword is a near-expy of the aforementioned Yuri. There is also King Jikochu's daughter, Regina, though she doesn't need to transform to use her dark powers.
  • Rue/Princess Kraehe of Princess Tutu. Although Rue was already the Dark Feminine to Duck's Light, she probably wouldn't have changed into Kraehe if Tutu hadn't sort-of stolen her boyfriend. Her Heel–Face Turn comes about when she realizes that she won't escape the Downer Ending just by helping it happen, and she proceeds to make the Heroic Sacrifice which Duck, despite her desire to help Mytho, isn't willing to make — something Duck herself acknowledges. The two of them are really not that different: Duck is friendly to everyone, and Rue is aloof yet still admired by others, but neither of them have any True Companions for a long time. They're both just trying to get their Happily Ever After with the Prince in the only way they know how... and they both turn out to be working for a villain who was counting on it. In the end, Duck/Tutu returns to her original form/self as a duck after giving the heroic performance of her whole life, while Mytho (his heart restored) acknowledges his love for Rue, saves her from a Cruel and Unusual Death, and makes her his Princess.
  • Misao Amano from Pretty Sammy. While her magical girl form Pixy Misa might not act troubled, in Magical Project S she fulfills the trope to the letter. (One wonders if Fate Testarossa might owe something to Misa, given that both Pretty Sammy and Lyrical Nanoha were Spin Offs of existing series where the Token Mini-Moe becomes a Magical Girl...)
  • Powerpuff Girls Z has both Princess Morbucks and Sedusa, the evil super-powered alter-egos of more sympathetic, troubled girls, Himeko and Annie.
  • Suigintou of Rozen Maiden is developed into this role. Originally a botyh very ruthless and deeply wounded antagonist, when the Ill Girl Megu Kakizaki becomes her medium, her attitude and motivations begin to shift; she begins to feel a strong affection for someone other than her Father...
  • Miyu of the Vampire Princess Miyu TV series starts out as largely this archetype — a reserved, lonely girl whose only companions are her Team Pet, Shiina, and her battle partner, Larva. However, she's a very atypical case, as she's the main character, and begins to grow out of it due to discovering friends, rather than being lured out of it by the magical girl. Her rival, Reiha, is a more straight example.
  • Rubi Toujou from Rosario + Vampire starts off as this archetype, but since she's in an Unwanted Harem show, her move to the side of good is a bit different. Later on, she's the one who saves Tsukune from himself.
  • Saint Tail's mother in the manga Kaitou Saint Tail was a Dark Magical Girl named "Saint Lucifer" long before Meimi was born. Convinced to Heel–Face Turn by Saint Tail's father, they settled down together. (In the anime, she was always good, though more morally grey than Meimi.)
  • Crona the Demon Sword User from Soul Eater. His/Her mother, Medusa the Witch, "trained" Crona by forcing Crona to beat his/her pet rabbit to death, and locked Crona in a closet until s/he agreed to do so. Then they ate the rabbit. S/he also has the Black Blood taint and the demonic sword, Ragnarok. Maka befriended her/him with warrior therapy and became his/her staunchest supporter after the Heel–Face Turn.
  • Naha Midori from Telepathy Shoujo Ran, who did an immediate Heel–Face Turn. She then goes on to get practically adopted into Ran's family, and spends the rest of the series living the good life. Ohara Momoko is a dark magical girl who grows up without going through the face turn, and is miserable because of it.
  • Izayoi Aki from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's when she first appeared, having been alienated from other people due to her fearsome Psychic Powers. When Yusei met her, she was unstable and had developed a destructive Split Personality (the Black Rose Witch) out of anger and guilt, and was hostile towards him for bearing the mark she believed was responsible for her suffering (actually the sign she was a chosen one). As with most examples of this trope, she joined the heroes after being defeated by the main character - in this case, it took two Duels and some help from her parents, who truly regretted neglecting her, for Yusei to get through to her. However, after the Dark Signers were defeated, she took the opportunity to live a normal life, without causing pain to others, something that she couldn't do before.
  • Utau Hoshina from Shugo Chara! is an example played straight. Though whenever Ikuto stops by, she goes from a serious and brooding dark magical girl to lovelorn and cutesy. After both of her Charas leave her, she gets some Epiphany Therapy and turns to the side of good.
  • Naruto:
    • Gaara is a Gender Flip; a lonely antagonistic foil for Naruto who becomes a good guy and a friend after his defeat in Part 1. The fact that both of them are jinchuriki seals the deal.
    • If the flashbacks are to be believed, Hinata could have been this if not for Naruto's influence on her. She has the same father-issues and the loneliness and 'group pariah' status as Naruto. One could say her crush on Naruto acted like a vaccine against DMGness instead of a cure.
    • In the sort-of sequel, Boruto, Sumire Kakei plays this VERY well. She was raised by her dead father for the sole purpose of exacting his revenge on Konoha by blowing it up with a giant monster, Nue, for which she would serve as the summoner. Her dedication to that purpose is so great that she's willing to die for it... until Boruto talks her out of it.
  • Onpu Segawa from Ojamajo Doremi wears a darker outfit, is aloof and mostly antagonistic attitude toward the heroes, and has parental issues (to a degree) Until the end of the first series when said Power Trio saves her from her Laser-Guided Karma and they all have to give up their powers together. Once they get them back, Onpu fully joins the group.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Fate Averruncus' accomplices (especially Shiori and Homura). All of them are young women who lost everything in the recent wars, and follow Fate because he gave them something to believe in.
    • Yue Ayase is an interesting case who teeters back and forth on the edge of averting this trope for most of the series. Most of her "dark" traits are most apparent near the beginning of the series when her primary character attributes (apart from being Nodoka's best friend) involved being a slightly chilly Brilliant, but Lazy serial snarker. In fact, Yue barely averts what could have been a Start of Darkness when her feelings for Negi led to her thinking that she had betrayed Nodoka in a moment of weakness; rather than face her best friend, she chose to run away, and were it not for Nodoka's timely intervention, poor Yue could have sunken to the emotional depths required for DMGs. Regardless, she doesn't unlock her magical abilities until a fair way into the series: by that point, she's warmed up to the rest of the group, effectively ditching the most negative DMG traits she had around the same time she became a mage. At this point, it's hard to say for certain whether Yue is a recovering DMG or just an unusually cynical/snarky Magical Girl.
  • The real Saji Genpou in Ikki Tousen Great Guardians. Under the facade of the cold, cruel Elegant Gothic Lolita young woman who opposes Hakufu and her friends, there is a deeply scared girl who was bullied into insanity and decided to retaliate. Also, Ten'i from Dragon Destiny, a Little Miss Badass who lost it horribly after being kicked and abused for all of her life, and followed the local Evil Genius out of misguided gratitude after she took her in.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica toys with the trope a LOT:
    • Homura Akemi is the in-house poster girl for this trope. From the first episode she is a cold and aloof antagonist contrasting the warm and friendly Madoka. In truth she was Good All Along and has been opposing Kyuubey (who is arguably the Big Bad of the series) and doing everything for the sake of Madoka. She invoked this trope for the sake of not getting too close to, and thus hurting, Madoka.
    • Kyouko is an antagonistic Magical Girl but her foil is Sayaka. On one hand we have the red Social Darwinist and on the other we have the blue Knight in Shining Armor. They fight over their conflicting philosophies but eventually Kyouko reaches out to Sayaka in friendship and becomes a more heroic magical girl because Sayaka reminded her of the idealism she lost.
    • Sayaka herself is a inversion. Initially a straight Magical Girl, her isolation/despair changes her into a monster because Kyouko convinced her it was better to be selfish and she already had severe problems before becoming a Magical Girl.
    • Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion flips things a bit. Sayaka Came Back Strong and moves past her prior faults and doubts. She even summons her witch form as a Guardian Entity, metaphorically accepting her own despair and using it to empower herself. On the other hand, Homura's journey through the movie causes her to realize that she can't accept Madoka's Abstract Apotheosis Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the anime. This drives her into a Face–Heel Turn where she steals Madoka's powers and turns her into an ordinary girl so that Homura can fulfill her one selfish desire: To have a world where Madoka can be happy. In other words, Homura becomes a Dark Magical Girl Devil to oppose Madoka's Magical Girl Goddess.
  • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA: Prisma Ilya, the Magical Girl Spin-Off version of the horrifying and adorable Ilya, gains a rival and subsequent ally in Kuro, a dark-skinned duplicate of herself with more attitude and fewer morals. Oh, and any pain inflicted on Ilya is also transferred to Kuro, making for some hilarious self-inflicted punishment. Then it is revealed that Illya's original rival Miyu Edelfelt really is one.
  • Sigil from Hyper Speed GranDoll is a textbook example. Even before getting converted to the good side by the heroine's friendship, she's a pretty honorable girl who's only on the villains' side because she's in love with the Big Bad. She also has Les Yay with the heroine and Takes The Bullet for her.
  • Morgan Le-Fay is the closest to a Dark Magical Girl in the Ah! My Goddess franchise. She appears in the Movie, as a beautiful fairy who works as the messenger of Big Bad and Belldandy's first love Celestin, who sends her to drive Keiichi and Belldandy apart so he can use this to make Belldandy his Apocalypse Maiden and then go Rage Against the Heavens. It's later explained that Morgan lost her lover when they couldn't go through the Gate of Judgement as a test of their love, which emotionally broke her; when Keiichi and Belldandy manage to pass through it in the end, Margan's faith in love and the world is ultimately restored, and she becomes the guardian of said Gate to help people in love.
  • Princess Luna from Peter Pan no Bouken is this, since she was raised by her evil grandmother Queen Sinistra to become a Princess of Darkness despite her desire for friends. Which she gets when she meets Peter and the Lost Boys, and specially after bonding with Wendy Darling. Who is also the one who brings her back from her Face–Heel Turn, even if she almost dies while trying.
  • The first Cardcaptor Sakura movie gives us Mahoudoushi/The Enchantress. The contrast with her and Sakura, the Magical Girl, is revealed over the course of the movie. Mahoudoushi is a lonely Hot Witch who practised Black Magic, and she turned sour after her lover and mentor Clow sealed her away. After fighting the Magical Girl and losing, she has a Heel–Face Turn, and manages to finally pass on in peace.
    • Also the Big Bad from the second movie... The Nothing Card. All that she wants is to have her old friends alias the other Clow/Sakura Cards back to her side. She reacts with fright, tears and screams if it seems someone will seal her away for a second time, then unleashes her magic in terror. What can she do with said magic? She doesn't so much as flinch to erasing an entire town's populace in her frenzied search. It is only when she realises such actions mean the cards won't accept her that she begins to doubt her methods, and Sakura then fuses Nothing with The Nameless Card, creating The Hope card.
    • Also Gender Flipped with Yue, who is something of a Grumpy Bear and was completely unwilling to accept Sakura until she defeated him. He also has Parental Abandonment issues since his beloved creator died, leaving him, Kero and the cards alone for a few centuries until Sakura found them.
  • An odd example comes from Magic Kaito, where Black Magic practitioner Akako Koizumi is a mix of this and Hot Witch in a series otherwise devoid of anything magical. After Akako falls for Kaitou for repeatedly failing to control him into loving her (including trying to kill him once), she joins his circle of friends and helps him in her own way.
  • The very uncommon mix between Dark Action Girl and Dark Magical Girl happens in Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato. Nara-oh Renge comes off as the first in the beginning, what with her genuine and huge fighting skills and her no-nosense attitude... but as the story continues, we see that personality-wise Renge is much closer to this trope: she's not a bad person in herself, just a confused and emotionally-broken young girl who sincerely loves her Evil Mentor Indra and has inner pain about it and her conflicted loyalties. After being killed in battle and brought Back from the Dead, Renge makes a Heel–Face Turn and is firmly on the side of good from then on.
  • Yugi from Tenchi in Tokyo, in a rare Big Bad example. She was an Artificial Human created for experiments and had few idea of how the world worked as well as how much she hurt others with her powers. This lead to ber being sealed away by the then-Juraian Empress Hinase (an ancestor of Ayeka and Sasami) as the only solution despite how she was terrified of darkness and isolation. She grew VERY bitter and brewed an Evil Plan to conquer the Universe (which involved creating Sakuya to wreak havoc among Tenchi and his Unwanted Harem among other things), befriended Sasami who became her Morality Pet (to the point of deliberately keeping her out of her plans, and then kidnapping her to keep her by her side). To defeat her Tenchi had to reason with her and pull her outta a Villainous Breakdown (in which she cries and screams that she doesn't want to be buried again) instead of killing her. One Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! and Cool Down Hug later, she's redeemed.
  • Vividred Operation gives us Kuroki Rei, an expy of Homura Akemi slash Fate Testarossa. A fairly classical example... aside from not actually being a Magical Girl. And, yes, it is a Magical Girl series.
  • Prétear's anime version of Takako/Fenrir is a rare Big Bad version. She broke down and had a Face–Heel Turn after having her feelings for Hayate rejected, which did NOT mix well with her deep insecurities. Like most Dark Magical Girls, she is ultimately redeemed and the last shot we see of her is her Happily Ever After with Sasame, her Second Love.
  • Hiromi "Potamus" Kawanami from the Wedding Peach anime makes a nice contrast to The Heroine Momoko. She's a devil Yandere and her rival in love. In one scene she transforms between human and devil forms by shouting her true name, similar to Momoko. Then she has a Heel–Face Turn.
    • In the manga, there's Nocturne of the Night, who was a singer who was only able to sing with the aid of a magical bracelet. One of her 'friends' asked to try on the bracelet, then took it, scarred her, and backstabbed her. She lost her voice and her love, and then was approached to become a demon. Upon hearing this, the Love Angels try to redeem her instead of destroying her.
  • In Umi Monogatari, following her Face–Heel Turn, Urin becomes the Priestess of Darkness, gaining destructive powers and following Sedna's will.
  • Rui Ninomiya from Gatchaman Crowds. He's a highly-intelligent youth who finds the current world boring, and seeks to update and advance it at any cost. He created President X and the "GALAX" network in hopes of solving the world's problems, but is unable to solve his own and is basically a cross-dressing Lonely Rich Kid who badly desires company and finds himself at the receiving end of quite the Breakthe Cutie process which includes losing the GALAX Network at the hands of Big Bad Berk Katze, who really wants Rui to pull a Face–Heel Turn...
  • There are two women in Sorcerer Stabber Orphen that fit in the trope:
    • In the first season, Azalie Caith Sith is the rare Big Bad version. She once was a Child Prodigy in magic but her affections for her Sexy Mentor Childman were, at some point, rejected since he didn't want her feelings to hinder her search for knowledge. To ease her grief she turned to her studies and became the most powerful and ambitious sorceress in the Tower of Fangs... and then she turned herself into the Eldritch Abomination Bloody August via an experiment, leading to her adoptive younger brother Krylancelo/Orphen's quest to save her. But even in her monstrous form, she keeps her deeply wounded human feelings, torn between her love for Childman and her desire for revenge against the Tower for trying to kill her rather than redeem her.
    • The second season has Esperanza, a beautiful spellcaster with blazing red hair, the sad stare of a caged bird (according to Cleao), and a mysterious attitude, who follows Orphen around and messes with his plans. She and her father have taken a Deal with the Devil to save Esperanza's sister, and as a result she's been emotionally shattered.
  • In Corrector Yui, Ai Shinozaki aka Corrector Ai takes the role of corrector, firstly and mostly for her own goals, and not because she wants to save ComNet as Yui or the other Software Programs. Said goal? She wants to help her comatose mom Azusa, a talented programmer whose conscience has been lost online for so long, that from one moment or another, she could be declared clinically dead if she never regains it. So thanks to the hardships she's lived, she is aloof and quiet and prefers to work alone, and it takes Yui a lot to reach for her...
  • Played with Ryuko Matoi in Kill la Kill. She's an Anti-Hero protagonist rather than an Anti-Villain and The Rival, but she has the Dark and Troubled Past of a typical DMG, as her father had essentially abandoned her, and that's not even going into what he and her mother did. Through her interactions with Mako (who can be considered the stereotypical Magical Girl in this example) and her fight with Satsuki following her Face–Heel Turn, Ryuko becomes more heroic and decides to fight for the greater good.
  • Nova from Magic Knight Rayearth anime is this along with Evil Doppelgänger. She's basically a personification of Hikaru's despair and guilt over killing Emeraude, and because of that, she was indirectly tossed away to Cephiro and then picked up by Lady Debonair as her dragon. She constantly makes attempt to 'play' with Hikaru (e.g: killing her friends because she's very possessive) but eventually her issues were revealed and Debonair tossed her away for running out of uses. By that time, Hikaru has fixed up her personal issues and chose to finally grant Nova something she wanted: To not being alone by accepting her guilt and despair and allowed her to re-merge back to her.
  • The main character of Gushing over Magical Girls, Hiiragi Utena is a Played for Laughs example. She was recruited to be the Tres Magia magical girl team's greatest foe (by not telling her which side she would be fighting her), her mentor manipulating her into giving into her darker desires (leaving BDSM porn mags for her to find), and she's Trapped in Villainy (under threat of her various videos being released to twitter or her porn mags being left for her mother to find). Hilarity most definitely ensued.
  • Yomi Takanashi from Black★Rock Shooter is a girl that very much counts for this, though the circumstances of the OVA make that version more fitting than the anime one. She was introduced as a nice, although quiet girl that quickpy befriended main heroine Mato, and they hit it off quite well. That is... until Yuu was introduced into their group, and Mato began to interact more and more with Yuu and less and less with Yomi, not helped by them having been transfered to separate classrooms. She would begin to feel like the third wheel in their relationship, and the constantly building jealousy and loneliness would eventually cause her "other self", the Elegant Gothic Lolita Grim Reaper known as Dead Master, to become the dominant personality and kidnap her into the world of the other selves. It is only after Mato encounters her own other self, the eponymous Black Rock Shooter, that she can fuse with her willingly to gain the power to fight against Dead Master and eventually save Yomi via a Cooldown Hug that causes Dead Master to disappear, with only Yomi remaining in Mato/BRS' arms and them escaping back into the real world, their friendship reforged. And then Yuu begins feeling left out...
    • Speaking of Yuu, her anime series version is another example that actually somewhat works in the proper "Magical Girl" context. Having been bullied extensively by her classmates and ignored/outright abused by her parents, she had nothing in her life until meeting Saya. And then her home burned down due to her father falling asleep with a lit cigarette in his hand. Having thoroughly fallen to despair and discovered the other world, she ends up swapping places with her other self, Strength, just to avoid the pain of the real world and stay in a far simpler one where all you have to do is fight. This does not help her sanity at all, as when Insane Black Rock Shooter comes around and they fight, Yuu turns out to have gone utterly bonkers from the years of endless bloody combat. After Strength attempts to pull a Heroic Sacrifice to stop them from killing each other, and actually (albeit only temporarily) dies by the end, Yuu is convinced to return to the real world, with new friends in Mato and crew to keep her out of any slumps she may fall into in the future.

    Comic Books 
  • Tomboy: A very unique example of the trope. The magical girl elements are a result of a combination of the main characters hallucinations and the fact that she's a fan of an in-universe, more traditional magical girl, Princess Cherry Cherry. The princess herself becomes a sort of dark magical girl as Addison sees hallucinations (or maybe visions?) of Princess Cherry Cherry encouraging her to seek bloody vengeance for the murder of her boyfriend and his dad, and telling her to transform when enraged or in danger.
  • Lady Death provides the closest thing to a Western comic take on this trope with Tormina in the Avatar Press continuity. She is a mage in service to her mother Death Queen, who is neglectful and emotionally abusive towards Tormina at best. She also looks the part wearing skimpy gothic color and tying her hair with pigtails. And it turns out, she is related to Lady Death (though she is more of a Lady of Black Magic rather than a Magical Girl) and ultimately pulls a Heel–Face Turn when finding out the truth.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Thor: Gender-inverted; Loki is a sorcerer who Desperately Craves Affection and who believes that his father loves him less than Thor. Loki yearns for Odin's approval while also being envious of his brother, who is a shining example of Asgardian manhood. Loki's strengths, cunning and magic (the latter is, appropriately for this trope, linked with femininity on Asgard), juxtapose Thor's brute force, and he utilizes them to antagonize his elder sibling.

  • Farideh, the main character of Brimstone Angels, certainly meets the criteria. She's brooding, angsty, cynical, sarcastic, and her powers come from a literal Deal with the Devil, all of which ultimately comes from the fact that Farideh is a tiefling: a humanoid with devil heritage, complete with the horns and tail. Farideh spent her childhood subjected to the Fantastic Racism of people who believe tieflings are Always Chaotic Evil (they're not, and Farideh least of all), which resulted in her brooding personality, but she's still an ultimately good person, much to the chagrin of her devilish patron, Lorcan. While she's constantly worried that either her heritage or her pact (or both) make her damned no matter what, the truth is she's a heroic and kind person, albiet with a chip on her shoulder.
  • Liadain Shiel in Nowhere Stars is an Anti-Hero protagonist example. A terminally ill girl consigned to a hospice ward, forgotten by the friends she once had, and largely ignored by a father who would rather not think about her. When her chance to become a Keeper arrives, she accepts it purely on the hope that she can find a way to cure herself with magic and live forever, and is no less isolated and mistrustful of others for her newfound power.
  • Sorceress Arachnia in Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms is a lonely girl whose story was supposed to be something like Hansel and Gretel. Eventually she found love and decided she would be happier being good while appearing dark and spooky.
  • The title character in Stephen King's Carrie is a teenage loner with telekinetic powers who is mercilessly mistreated by not only her peers, who see her as a freak, but also by her own mother, a deranged religious fanatic who, in a just world, would not be permitted custody over her daughter.note  It only takes one cruel prank from her classmates to push her over the edge. The closest thing she has to a "light" counterpart is her classmate Sue Snell, who, while lacking Carrie's powers and being a member of the Alpha Bitch's Girl Posse, starts to feel remorse for her bullying of Carrie and genuinely seeks to make amends — inadvertently setting off the events that lead to Carrie's psychic rampage. The book ends with Sue stopping Carrie by allowing her to Mind Rape her, forcing a Heel Realization in her before she dies from an aneurysm brought on by overusing her powers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Power Rangers usually prefers the Dark Action Girl route, but Marah and Kapri from Power Rangers Ninja Storm, Lothor's bumbling nieces, are more DMG-ish. They don't really want to be evil; they just want to be normal teenage girls, valued by their uncle ("By marriage", as Lothor points out.). He finally leaves them to be destroyed in the Grand Finale, but Cam, Lothor's biological nephew, reluctantly decides to save them "because they're family". In the Reunion Show, they pretended to rejoin Lothor, but actually worked behind the scenes to free Cam's father, Kanoi... who then went on to save Cam, Hunter, and Blake... who then went on to save the Dino Thunder Power Trio from being wiped out by Ninja Storm's ¡Three Amigos!.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Faith is a slayer, like our friendly protagonist, but she does not have "scoobies". This trope's aspects of her character are mostly explored through her relationship with the Mayor and further when she's on Angel.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Regina can be read like this, although she's not a "young girl" anymore. She's definitely suffered from an abusive mother and ineffectual and later dead (by her own hand) father. And with what she sees as Snow's betrayal, she lost both this blossoming friendship and her One True Love. Many of her major interactions after that — at least, those not focused on revenge — can be read as her clinging too tightly to everyone who could prevent her from being alone. It even looks like she might eventually be redeemed by befriending The Chosen One.
    • Zelena, also known as The Wicked Witch of the West, is a straighter example of this. She's so jealous of the life given to her sister Regina by her mother that she turns into a literal Green-Eyed Monster. Ironically, the Magical Girl who she fights is her sister Regina, post Heel–Face Turn.
    • Emma becomes this during her stint as The Dark One.
    • In season seven, the second Alice can be read like this, especially given she's an Apocalypse Maiden twice over. Also, her lover Robin (Robin Hood and Zelena's daughter) breifly becomes this during a flashback episode before getting over herself.
  • Dark Sailor Mercury from Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is not just an ordinary Dark Magical Girl, but a former regular Magical Girl corrupted and co-opted by the bad guys. It takes Moon MORE than a mere "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight to bring her back to the side of good. Mio Kuroki in the special act is this, made out entire evil.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Princess: The Hopeful has the Twilight Princesses, three factions specifically based on the Dark Magical Girl archetype (in contrast with the Radiant Princesses, who represent the traditional Magical Girls).

    Video Games 
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable , all three Aces (Nanoha, Fate and Hayate), have their own Material counterpart: Stern the Destructor, Levi the Slasher and Lord Dearche. And then there is the independent Big Bad Unbreakable Dark. All of them are revealed to be Anti Villains. The King of Darkness Lord Dearche and her two retainers Stern and Levi want to receive the unlimited power in the form of Unbreakable Dark, and then find a place to live. Unbreakable Dark is a Person of Mass Destruction against her own will and she is forced to destroy anything and anyone, not being able to control herself and being forced to live alone. Only Dearche can control her with the Tome of Purple Sky, and the heroes help her to control Unbreakable Dark, who is revealed to be the Materials' beloved Souvereign, Yuri Eberwein.
  • She's not magical, per se, but Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops has a notable case in that the Magical Girl and the Dark Magical Girl are originally presented as twin sisters - the Magical Girl is devoted to her sister and talks about her a lot, while the Dark Magical Girl stalks around alone trying to read people's minds. It turns out that...well, both 'sisters' join forces with the hero to destroy the Big Bad at the end - and give a prophecy together.
  • Marisa Kirisame from Touhou Project. She purposely dresses as a stereotypical witch, lives by herself in the Forest of Magic, is estranged from her father (according to the manual), and her first appearance in the series was as The Dragon to a Big Bad. Defeat Means Friendship, and she subsequently becomes the series' Deuteragonist. So where's the twist? It's her personality; Marisa is one of the most outgoing characters in the series... even if it's just to steal from people.
    • Mokou is an odd example in that she has all the earmarks of this trope, but her image is overshadowed by her on-off rivalry with Kaguya and her interaction with Keine. And she wears suspenders and red poofy pants.
  • Persona:
    • Chidori Yoshino from Persona 3 very much fits the bill. Besides being part of Strega, a group of Persona users who oppose the protagonists, she's also an orphan who was one of only a few kids to survive the hideous experiments that turned her into a Persona user; as such, she has little desire to live and is afraid of any sort of attachment. She doesn't even really care about her teammates, and only stays with Strega because she has nowhere else to go. She also sharply contrasts S.E.E.S.'s female members; the latter dress like normal teenagers and have a strong connection to their Personas, while Chidori dresses like a Elegant Gothic Lolita and has to continually take drugs if she doesn't want to be killed by her own Persona. Chidori's desire for friendship and love gradually reawakens as she spends more time with The Lancer Junpei, but the two are ultimately Star-Crossed Lovers, as Chidori ends up sacrificing herself to save Junpei. You can give the couple a happier ending in the FES and Portable remakes, but it's not exactly easy to achieve.
    • Persona 5: The traitor, Goro Akechi, also pretty much fits the bill apart from being male. They're a bastard child who was passed around an assortment of abusive foster homes after their mother committed suicide out of shame, their father having abandoned them before their birth. As such, their ultimate desire is receiving love and affection; Akechi not only revels in the public adulation he receives as "the second coming of the Detective Prince", but willingly becomes The Dragon for his evil birth father as part of a twisted revenge plan to make his father finally acknowledge him. On top of that, Akechi has the same "Wild Card" power as the protagonist; however, Akechi's borderline sociopathy means that unlike the protagonist, he's unable to cultivate the genuine friendships needed to unlock the wide assortment of Personas available to the hero. Finally, they're incredibly envious of the protagonist, as shown in their Motive Rant:
      "Teammates!? Friends!? To hell with that! Why am I inferior to you...!? I was extremely particular about my life, my grades, my public image, so someone would want me around! I am an Ace Detective... a celebrity! But you... you're just some criminal trash living in an attic! So how...!? How does someone like you have things I don't!? How can such a worthless piece of trash be more special than me!?
  • The Shin Megami Tensei series has Alice, who just wants to make friends, but has no idea that asking everyone she meets to die for her before brutally murdering them probably isn't the best way to go about it. This is all because she befriended a couple of very powerful demons who gave her magical powers that ended up driving her insane, killing her, and raising her as a very powerful undead child with no understanding of death.
  • Jacqli in Ar Tonelico 2. She begins as a not-quite-antagonist who eventually joins the main party after a number of battles. She's cynical in contrast to the heroine duo's idealism and wears wears dark clothing to contrast their bright colors.
  • Bloody Marie of Video Game/Skullgirls, who is not evil herself but was changed into the titular monster because she used the Skullheart to wish vengeance upon the Medici mafia. Peacock, despite her extremely twisted nature, is the good magical girl counterpart.
  • Fire Emblem is noticeable, since it has examples of both genders:
    • Prince Lyon from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is a Rare Male Example, as well a rare The Man Behind the Man example, instead of The Dragon. He is the most powerful Black Mage in the universe of Magvel, but he still thinks he is very lacking as a crown prince of his country. He has all three of the driving forces of a DMG, first being his desire for approval, although in his case he is not only seeking it from his own father but also the twins (so much that he intentionally let the Demon King possess his body to gain more power as well attempting to revive his father from his death), second being his desire to be not alone (the reason why he cherished the twins so much is because they are the ones who freed him from loneliness), and lastly, his jealousy towards Ephraim, for having confidence as well talent in physical combat.
    • Prince Takumi from Fire Emblem Fates is also another Rare Male Example, particularly in the Conquest path. Much like Lyon, he is driven by the three main forces of a DMG. He not only sought approval from his mother, but from everyone in his inner circle. He also Desperately Craves Affection, as he shows this side as soon as a female Avatar romances him. Lastly, he's jealous of all the attention that the people around him give the Avatar, since he sees it as them (unintentionally) neglecting him. As mentioned, it gets really bad in Conquest, so much so that his hate and jealousy allows Anankos to possess him and turn him into a hate-filled killing machine; his wind bow is even replaced by a darkness bow.
    • Similarities with Fire Emblem Awakening's Tharja aside, Rhajat from Fire Emblem Fates turns out to be a rather creepy girl with an extreme case of No Social Skills and rather disturbing habits and powers - but who deep down desperately yearns for love and affection, specially from the Avatar. Her talks with her parents drive the point further: Her father Hayato realises that she's lying when she denies being Not Good with People, and when she speaks to her mother, she focuses on trying to Find the Cure! for an illness outbreak despite being mistakenly believed to have caused said illness with her magic. Plus, when confronted by Hayato on how she doesn't actually want to be alone, Rhajat starts sobbing.
    • On the Nohrian side of Fates, Nyx is one of these. She used to be a mix of Enfant Terrible and Child Prodigy in regards to magic, and as punishment she was given an unbreakable curse that stunted her physical growth. As a result, Nyx is an adult woman trapped in a young girl's body and has severe issues about it: she can barely interact with people and buries herself in books, can't bond with others easily in any sense, has self-worth issues regarding her "childlike" body, and believes that she'll never be able to have a family that loves her. So once she's recruited in Conquest and Revelation, her supports tend to be about her learning to value not only others, but herself as well. And very unsurprisingly, in Revelation she is one of the aforementioned Rhajat's potential mothers.
    • Fire Emblem Heroes has a rare Big Bad example in Princess Veronica from the Emblian Empire. She's young, a talented magic user, opposes the Order of Heroes and the Kingdom of Askr, was deeply marked by a parent's legacy (her dad, in her case), is explicitly said to be a deeply sad girl under her cold facade, and explicitly says she envies Askr's prosperity and joy, something that her kingdom Embla doesn't have.
    • In the case of Heroes, there's yet another Rare Male Example: the infamous "Mysterious Man" aka Zachariah aka Prince Bruno of Emblia, Veronica's older brother. His Dark and Troubled Past (where he was abused and exiled over rumors about his mother, then as Zacharias befriended Alfonse and Sharena but had to leave them over his Brainwashed and Crazy curse, then became his little sister's protector of sorts), his current role in the present story and his desire to die and be free of the curse definitely make him this.
    • Heroes adds yet another example with Eir, princess of the dead and daughter of Hel, Book III's Big Bad. Though she initially joins your team as The Mole in an attempt to gain her cold and distant mother's approval, her heart's not really in it - under her gloomy personality, it's clear that what she really desires is to be friends with Alfonse and Sharena. In fact, she already did befriend them once before, in an alternate universe that ended badly and of which she lost her memories, adding even more to her tragic nature. As for the cruel parent? Hel is revealed to have killed her thousands of times in the past, so that she could grow stronger from Eir's powers of rebirth.
  • Princess Belladonna, in the seventh Dark Parables installment, is very much one of these. She was born with Enemy to All Living Things powers, meaning that if she so much as scratches someone with her fingernails, they will sicken and die. She can't shut it off, either. Her mother died when she was little; her father locked her in a tower to protect everyone from her deadly magic; and the only person she believes truly loves her is her elder half-sister Rapunzel, who has her own magic which renders her immune to Bella's power. But Rapunzel is engaged to be married, and Bella is terrified that this means her sister is going to leave her all alone. A vicious guardian helps her craft a Hypno Trinket that will solve this problem... and create hundreds more. But she's not a bad person at all - just a child who has been through entirely too much, and saddled with powers that scare people.
  • Sonic and the Black Knight features Merlina, daughter of Merlin of Arthurian Legend, and with an appearance befitting a Magical Girl. Though at first she seems like a supportive quest giver who brings Sonic into this storybook world to be its savior, the first hint at this aspect of her character is her lamenting a flower wilting away, wondering why it bothered to bloom if it knew its fate. Eventually, it's revealed she saw into the future and knows how this story ends, so she draws upon the powers of the underworld to make the kingdom eternal. Sonic is horrified by the prospect of a world that never changes, and thus transforms to stop her. In the end, Sonic is the one who plays the part of the straight Magical Girl, lending a supportive hand and flower while telling her every world has its end, so we should live life to the fullest in the time we have.

  • M9 Girls!: Motivated by her need to belong with the other M9 Girls, Vero steals a vial of the serum that helps the Girls get their powers. She is soon kidnapped by the Big Bad and made an offer she cannot resist.
  • MegaTokyo's Tohya Miho: we've seen her flip a van with one hand, jump three or four blocks whilst carrying Kimiko, and walk nonchalantly on telegraph wires, and the held-back tears give it away when Kimiko tells her that the lack of emotional connection to others necessarily means the lack of what it is to be alive.
  • In the Mechagical Girl Lisa ANT, the character Pink Flash is a inversion: she is a mercenary who willfully works for evil alien invaders (as opposed to Lisa, who works for other evil alien invaders because she's too gullible), but she is anything but dark.
  • Angel Moxie, itself a pastiche of Magical Girl and Anime tropes, had the character of Tristan fill in the role of the Dark Magical Girl. She worked for the villain near the start, but she quickly changed sides after being betrayed.
  • In To Prevent World Peace, the main character (a villain) takes down dark magical girls in order to make the nice ones stronger.

    Western Animation