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Magical Girl Warrior

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The intersection of Magical Girl with Super Heroine, and what happens when you combine Magic Knight with Frills of Justice.

The extended growth-to-maturity metaphor Magical Girl archetype can mean a variety of things; some do more than use their powers to improve or complicate their lives. Some go out and battle Dramatic Evil, usually with a lot of mystic power and weird outfits (usually a glammed-up Mini Dress Of Power) and called attacks, and very prone to Kicking Ass in All Her Finery.

The origins of this trope as a genre date to early manga, with Princess Knight generally regarded as the modern Ur-Example of the genre's most basic defining trait: a cute and perky female heroine defeating bad guys and engaging in magical adventures. Most series that followed it, however, focused on the magical part and avoided fighting, creating the more whimsical Cute Witch sister-genre.


In the early '70s, however, Go Nagai created the groundbreaking Cutey Honey, and in doing so threw the Slice of Life plot of your typical Magical Girl series out the window. A parody of different Henshin Hero series note , this series codified many of the tropes associated with the Magical Girl Warrior genre to come: giving the heroine the ability to transform into a powerful alter ego activated with a magical phrase and/or a Transformation Trinket, an armory of weapons and abilities to use in battle, an evil organization to fight against, and a heroic introduction. In a notable example of an Unbuilt Trope, however, the show is about a Robot Girl and all of her power relied on technology instead of magic.

The genre gained the remainder of its defining characteristics with Naoko Takeuchi's series Codename: Sailor V and its More Popular Spin Off/Sequel Sailor Moon, which took all these elements and blended them with classic Magical Girl tropes and some Sentai characteristics like a team of different heroines with balanced abilities and personalities. The result was a series simultaneously aimed toward and empowering to girls with large amounts of character building and storyline that still gave focus to the battles and allowed for fanservice. A virtually-unheard-of combination at that time, the series quickly attracted a rabid fanbase with a ridiculously-wide demographic. While many early anime and manga of the genre which followed were accused of being (and often were, at the start) rip-offs of Sailor Moon trying to repeat its success by copying the formula, eventually they evolved into unique works and a novel hybrid genre.


The action-oriented Magical Girl Warriors have the extra bonus of being marketed to male demographics, so they can be very lucrative; in this case, they often resemble Distaff Counterparts of Japanese superheroes, particularly the male-dominated Sentai genre as well as other Henshin Hero characters. This contributed significantly to the associated franchises being exported to the West. Due to sharing many of the typical teenage-superhero tropes, these characters ended up being much more representative of the Magical Girl genre outside Japan, as opposed to, for example, Cute Witches.

Characters frequently appearing in this type of franchise include the Dark Magical Girl and The One Guy in the Improbably Female Cast, who is frequently a Magic Knight or Badass Bookworm himself.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • The heroines of Flowering Heart are young girls who have been given the ability to transform into adults with a variety of magical powers to collect hope energy in order to stop the Big Bad.

    Comic Books 
  • The title character of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, as DC Nation demonstrates.
  • The crystal-wielding heroines of the Crystal Cadets comic book series.
  • Possibly originated with Shazam superheroine Mary Marvel in 1942.
  • The Enchantress (not the one from Marvel comics) can be considered a prototype - the heroine, June, goes to a party in a haunted castle, stumbles into a secret chamber, and is given a transformation word by a mysterious being, which transforms her into a blonde witch so she can battle a Monster of the Week.
  • W.I.T.C.H. was inspired by these kinds of stories.
  • Wonder Woman has resembled this at times, with her magic origins, Transformation Sequence, and such. Most especially in the early Silver Age, when she was depicted having adventures as Wonder Girl, just as Superman was once Superboy. Later, a separate Wonder Girl character, Donna Troy, was introduced.
    • The promotional comic Wonder Woman and the Star Riders for the TV show that never came to be showed a version of Wondy that took this concept and ran with it. She was dressed in more frills than normal and lead a group of girls in similar but different colored get-ups who rode winged horses and used magical crystals.
  • Zatanna, especially in later years.
  • Zodiac Starforce is an American take on a Magical Girl team. Artist Paulina Gauncheau is a huge fan of the genre (and especially Sailor Moon), and it shows.

    Fan Works 


    Live Action TV 

  • The Sequinox girls are all magical girls chosen by Gaea to defend the Earth from the invading Stars.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Big Eyes, Small Mouth: creating a Magical Girl Warrior is part and parcel of this system. The first worldbook for the system was a licensed Sailor Moon RPG.
  • The Princess Race in Bleak World is all about this. They are an alien race of Princesses who's homeworld was destroyed by The Darkness. They now protect the Milky Way Galaxy with a giant force field made of hope and fight back Brainwashed and Crazy dark princesses who are in service to the darkness.
  • High School Girls RPG has the Magical Girl extension, allowing you to play just that type of character.
  • Magical Burst is a mahou shoujo game that takes primary inspiration from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Magical girls in this game are tasked with killing enough youma to collect 13 Oblivion Seeds so that they can make a wish. But as in Madoka, things are not always what they seem, and the Mentor Mascots known as Tsukaima keep horrible secrets from the Magical Girls they give power to.
  • Pathfinder: Regardless of how well they'll ultimately fit, the Magical Child archetype for the Vigilante class is explicitly meant to cover the Magical Girl trope (the switch between the public and secret identities becomes a Transformation Sequence that is much faster, but also flashier and louder, for instance), and being in a system like Pathfinder it'd be hard to avoid fights being a fairly large part of their repertoire. Regardless of how the archetype will turn out, it is, of course, possible to build towards this trope with the right other magic-using classes.
  • Princess: The Hopeful, a New World of Darkness fan supplement, adds magical girls to the mix. No Princess is going to last too long without being able to survive a fight, but the Calling of Champion has an extra dose, as their purpose is literally to fight evil. There is also extra emphasis of this style in the Courts of Swords (as heroic larger-than-life figures), Storms (as an Ax-Crazy version), and Hearts (with an emphasis on noble traditions, which includes warrior traditions).
  • In GURPS Wizards, one of the worked examples of the superhero-mage template is an Ordinary High-School Student with a magical sceptre (the Sun Wand) which transforms her into Bright Sun Angel, who fights evil with the assistance of her talking cat.

    Video Games 
  • Pecan Apple of Banzai Pecan, also doubling as a Henshin Hero.
  • Yunou of Crescent Pale Mist is a magician who uses a deadly and forbidden form of magic known as Pale Mist to battle the dangerous monsters and her former comrades as she seeks to put an end to the source of the Pale Mist that's seeping throughout the country of Gasyukal.
  • Leanna of Crystalline is a "Mage-Knight", meaning she's skilled with both magic and her sword.
  • Mystica from Fading Hearts. Ryou meets her in the forest while he is fighting shadow monsters.

    Web Comics 
  • The eponymous Agents of the Realm fight less with magic and more with BFSs, giant hammers, glaive or bow and arrows. The bleeds are hard to beat otherwise.
  • The heroines of At Arm's Length are basically magic-powered superheroes.
  • El Goonish Shive: In the later comics, Elliot gains a superheroine spell after already having the ability to shapeshift into virtually any conceivable female human form including transformation of clothes. The spell comes with three "secret identities" that shift the user's personality somewhat to help with staying under the radar.
  • Last Res0rt includes a faction known as the Galaxy Girl Scouts, which seem to be a cross between the sailor senshi and the Green Lantern Corps (i.e., alien girls in whatever the alien version of "schoolgirl" happens to be).
  • Magical Girl Neil: the only child of a woman descended from a long line of magical girls gets stuck with the job despite being a boy.
  • Magick Chicks: Teenage witch Melissa Helrune, the daughter of a former Magical Girl Warrior and her former Evil Overlord archnemesis, ends up literally torn between the good and evil sides of her heritage.
  • Emi Arai, the deuteragonist of Metacarpolis, is a former Magical Girl Warrior who became a Magic Idol Singer after her team defeated their big bad and eventually burned out when she got tired of being Not Allowed to Grow Up. She moved to the titular City of Adventure because the Weirdness Censor there allows her to live a quiet life off her residuals and a job as a cleaning service maid.
  • Misfits Of Avalon is an American take on the genre; the heroines' powers derive from Celtic mythology, their costumes are based off Catholic schoolgirls instead of Japanese ones, their Mentor Mascot is a large wolfhound rather than a cute little cat and there is much less focus on prettiness and feminity.
  • Princess Chroma: A parody of the genre in which the magical girl is most definitely the hands-on type. She prefers fighting giant monsters with a mace over resorting to spells, despite magic being the more effective, easier way to end a fight.
  • Shattered Starlight is about a former magical girl struggling to hold down a job and trying to get her life together a decade after the breakup of her team.
  • Sleepless Domain: a nameless city is defended by Magical Girls from the monsters that stalk it during the night. The girls earn fame, fortune and the admiration of their city, but this is war... and war has casualties.
  • Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki is an Affectionate Parody of the genre with a Norse Mythology theme. It also is a Gender Bender series, like the Kämpfer example above.
  • Sweet Dreams follows a trio of magical girls fighting the physical manifestations of people's nightmares, which take the form of goopy purple monsters. Some of them are much larger and more dangerous than others, even to an experienced adult magical girl.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Magic Warrior, Bishoujo Senshi, Pretty Warrior Magical Girl


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