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Mentor Mascot

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The Hero is, in the beginning, just a normal kid (or at least relatively normal, anyway). However, this character has a powerful destiny, completely unaware of the role they will play in the grand scheme of things. Someone has to break the news, and turn this Muggle into the hero they're meant to be. And that someone is... a talking cat?

Part Talking Animal and part enlightened teacher, the mentor mascot plays the dual role of teaching the protagonist about their destiny and powers, while at the same time adding that little bit of comic relief and cuteness. Even so, the Mentor Mascot takes their job seriously, and tends to accompany The Hero everywhere just in case the Mooks or the Quirky Miniboss Squad show up.

In a show (or other medium) where the Masquerade is of significant importance, the Mentor Mascot will simultaneously be the strictest enforcer and the greatest threat to said facade, since talking animals are usually not normal. This can usually be solved with pretending to be a stuffed animal — after all, Girls Love Stuffed Animals — but will still be used for comedic effect at times, especially if the mascot is mentoring a grown man.

Oftentimes, the mentor is an Old Master who was cursed into a helpless form, serving as a very good justification for why they're shepherding the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits instead of using their great knowledge and power to save the world on their own.

Generally an anime and manga trope (especially common in Magical Girl anime) but still present in other media. In Magical Girl shows, this critter is usually the one who initially gives the girl her powers, and is known as a companion, familiar, or fairy.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In Empowered, magical girl parody character El Soldado de Amor has an animal mentor called Señor Pangolin, who is a pangolin.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars: Yoda plays this role in the original trilogy, where he was this manic muppet hiding in a swamp and mostly just provided a training montage.
  • Arguably, Fin Raizel from Willow. She's a powerful sorceress who spends much of the movie in the form of a possum (not to mention a raven and a goat).

  • Bob the Skull in The Dresden Files doesn't teach Harry magic, but he does (snarkily) exposit on spells and creatures Harry is unfamiliar with, and helps him design magic items. In exchange for romance novels and "out time". Unlike most mascots he usually stays in Harry's magically-warded apartment, since numerous villains would want to kidnap him for his knowledge if they knew he existed.
    • Interestingly, the version of Bob in the TV adaptation did teach Harry magic and fits the "Old Master cursed into helpless form" trope, but that Bob takes human form whenever he needs to speak.
  • The title character in Reserved for the Cat is the heroine's father, transformed into a cat by an evil sorceress. Although his magical abilities in feline form are limited, he does what he can to help her.
  • The Toad in The Wee Free Men ("I'm not a familiar, I'm just slightly presumptuous.") helps Tiffany understand the worlds of witchcraft, Feegles and elves.
  • Race to the Sun has Mr Yazzie, who is a horned toad and used to be a stuffed toy that Nizhoni bought in a museum. Justified, as in Navajo culture, horned toads are believed to be helpful to people.
  • In addition to the aforementioned Yoda, the Star Wars Legends series Junior Jedi Knights introduced Ikrit, a Jedi Master who resembled a small furry long-eared quadripedal animal and acted as the Team Pet for Anakin Solo as much as he provided guidance. He would go on to play an important role in the New Jedi Order series, and despite looking uncannily similar predated Kyubey by a whole 17 years.
  • Nowhere Stars: Keepers are conferred their powers by [[Messengers]], spirit beings that exist for the purpose. Even though only their Keepers can see them, a few have made art to show what theirs look like, resulting in a wave of toys and plushies based on them. Supposedly their are six of them in total, each of them with multiple Keepers they are responsible for, with Liadain's Messenger, Vyuji, resembling a humanoid dolphin girl the size of a small child. Messengers apparently view their Keepers as their "children" but how they deal with them varies from one to another.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Some Super Sentai series feature this type of character. Most of the time, these characters will not be adapted into Power Rangers as they kind of feel out of place with the tone Power Rangers is setting.
    • In the first episode of Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger, sensei Mugensai Hinata shapeshifts into a hamster to escape the initial attack of the villains. He forgets the spell to turn him back into a human, however and stays as a hamster for almost the entire series. Nonetheless, he is still the team's mentor, and still a master ninja - just very, very small. The same goes for his American counterpart in Power Rangers Ninja Storm, who instead involuntarily gets turned into a guinea pig by the villains.
    • Mandora Boy in Mahou Sentai Magiranger. He educates the Ozu kids about their powers through song in light of their parents being absent, and provides additional info on the show's spells in a bonus segment.
    • Bomper in Engine Sentai Go-onger is the closest thing the team has to a mentor. He's also a small, pink robot.
    • Datas from Tensou Sentai Goseiger might be a large arcade machine, but still acts as cute and comical as one would expect from a Mascot Mentor. He is sent as a replacement mentor to the Goseigers, as Master Head, the real mentor of the team, is unable to reach them. Contrary to most depictions of this trope, Datas is able to fight alongside the team by assuming a Humongous Mecha form.
  • Kamen Rider
    • Kivat Bat the Third from Kamen Rider Kiva combines this trope with Transformation Trinket. He is the partner to Wataru and gives him tips on how to fight his enemies, as well as activate new forms and abilities for him.
    • Mr. Belt from Kamen Rider Drive, though rather than a Talking Animal he's a Talking Belt, which doubles as Drive's Transformation Trinket. Otherwise he fits the trope's description quite well, especially the "Old Master turned helpless" part, since he was the inventor of the Drive System, who transferred his consciousness into the belt when he was killed by the Roidmudes.
    • Yurusen in Kamen Rider Ghost. Ironically, the final episode reveals that his real form is an ordinary housecat.
  • Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a Token Evil Teammate mentor to Sabrina, whose advice varies between good and bad depending on the episode.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Chosen One archetype for Paladins in Pathfinder features these heavily. A young Lawful Good person is chosen by a god or goddess to take up the mantle of a Paladin, and are sent a divine emissary that his been reduced to a level-appropriate small animal to guide them and assist them in combat. Eventually they'll be able to shed the tiny animal form and revert to their true selves.
    • The Magical Child archetype for the vigilante class comes with a small animal that can transform into a magical creature of the players choice and even change back into a normal animal to disguise themselves.
  • Princess: The Hopeful, being a Magical Girl game set in the New World of Darkness setting, naturally has the rules for this kind of set up, drawing on the people within the dream world. Interestingly enough, they don't come to guide the awakened Nobles but instead will come at their call if suitable preparations are set up. Also, they tend to have minor vices like a massive Sweet Tooth in regards to their state as spirits now with a physical form.

    Video Games 
  • Jubei to Ragna in BlazBlue.
  • Ghost is this to the player in Destiny. Granted he's a robot instead of a lil' animal (abit a magical robot), but he's still a textbook example of a mentor/exposition giver that follows the player and guides then through their quests (which usually involve him being a glorified door key.)
  • The Owl Sage in My World, My Way. Doesn't follow Elise constantly, but keeps showing up to give her advice.
  • The cat in the fangame Memories of Mana.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Persona:
    • Teddie starts as this in Persona 4 since he's a cute teddy mascot who's the only character who starts off understanding anything about the TV World, even if he's just as clueless as everyone else about who the killer is. However, as the other heroes begin figuring things out themselves, he eventually becomes a subversion as he begins to question just what exactly he himself is.
    • Morgana in Persona 5 is a fairly straight example, being a cat who understands the Palace better then anyone else in the group and the one who leads them into becoming the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. He also does this on a more personal level for the main character, offering him advice in his everyday life whilst accompanying him everywhere in his tote bag. It's revealed near the end that Igor created Morgana specifically to guide the heroes.
  • Straynap, the mentor / Exposition Fairy of the Sega Dreamcast Action-RPG Napple Tale: Arsia in Daydream, is an odd sort of flower-fairy creature. Despite his appearance, he knows all there is to know about the Dream Land in which the game is set.
  • Azurda Xenoblade Chronicles 2, though he doesn't start out this way. Originally a dragon-like Titan the protagonist lived on and affectionately called "Gramps", he is "killed" during the prologue and regressed to his larval form, taking on this role for the rest of the game.
  • Omnis from I=MGCM is essentially one of these in Remote Body form. His true name is Tobio Hakari, a guy who got transported to the White Room minus his memories after a very strange happening that he has no damned clue about. He is often as in the dark about what the hell is going on as the girls he's charged with turning into Magical Girls and commanding against the demons seeking to devour people, and has to rely on the strange being known as Kamisaman for answers. Like all Executors, he also has the ability to create and merge alternate realities, which he only discovers after one of the Magical Girls under his command dies horribly and turns into a demon, sending him into a "Groundhog Day" Loop to try to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.

    Web Animation 
  • Flipnote Warrior: Ugo is a spirit of the Flipnote who lives inside Nintendo 3DS and looks like a frog. He also acts as Mome's guardian and teacher.

    Web Comics 
  • Megatokyo: Boo is something of a subversion in that he really does try his best to help Largo, but unlike most of the other examples on this list he has something of a language barrier to overcome. In effect, Boo ends up just squeaking while Largo goes off and causes havoc. It seems that Erika can understand Boo just fine, implying that his ineffectiveness is less due to a language barrier and more to do with Largo being a hyperactive Cloudcuckoolander who doesn't listen to anyone's advice if he doesn't need to.
  • Miya from Angel Moxie is a sendup of Luna from Sailor Moon, but is a good deal snarkier. Then there's the whole really-a-Cat Girl and exchanging her life for Alex's thing.
  • Magical Mom: Mr. Shogun provided aid to Pailin during her heyday as Magical Luvli. Years later, he is now teaching her son Sara how to be a magical boy.
  • Hermod from Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki, though less qualified than some of the others on this list.
  • Carl from Soul Symphony is this. He's a mystical spirit who looks like "a cross between a rat and a kangaroo", and while he is very wise in the workings of magic, he's not the most helpful mentor.
  • In Hi to Tsuki to Hoshi no Tama, Tipko recruits three magical girls, supplies their first bead, and instructs them in its use and many other things.
  • Spiders from Princess Chroma. Shame his advice is rarely ever taken to heart. He's also the number-one victim of slapstick and humiliation.
  • A downplayed example in Girl Genius: Krosp I (a talking cat) is Agatha's political adviser, but she learns combat from someone else, and doesn't need teaching in the field of mad science.
  • Mechagical Girl Lisa ANT: Io. Alien engineer, in the form of a cute doll-size ant-person.
  • Kakkikomy-kun from Kakikomi Magical Girls is a penguin-looking Non-Human Sidekick. He helps Shiori as a Magical Girl.

    Web Original 
  • Dusty from Sailor Nothing plays this role. He was a normal cat who was made into a magical Uplifted Animal after Himei became a Magical Girl. However, Dusty's know-how only goes so far.
  • Played straight and played with in Magical Girl Hunters. The animals in question are almost always outlandishly colored. In case of mass empowerment, a crate full of baby chicks was used. In another case, Sailor H's turn to homicidal mania was prefixed by her animal companion, a purple raccoon, developing rabies.
  • The Recruiters from Lambda. Given the nature of the setting, it's only natural to have so many of these Ridiculously Cute Critters running around and serving as walking army recruitment posters.
  • Kunapipi, of Magical Girl Policy, is not a Kangaroo Rat, but in fact a Wallaby working for Fate.

    Western Animation 
  • Nibbler from Futurama turns out to be this. In this case, however, he pretends to be a normal animal until events make talking necessary; it's only in the last two seasons that he speaks regularly.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug they're called Kwamis, little fairy things that resemble various animals. Each Miraculous has a Kwami that flies inside of it when its bearer transforms; otherwise they offer advice. The main ones are Tikki (Ladybug) and Plagg (Cat Noir), though it's eventually revealed that there are more: Nooroo (butterfly), Trixx (fox), Wayzz (turtle), Duusu (peacock), Pollen (bee) and twelve others based on the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
    • Miraculous World: New York - United HeroeZ reveals that there are more Miracle Boxes in existence, and with each, a new set of Miraculous and kwamis, including Liiri, the eagle kwami.
  • The My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Spike from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a dragon that was turned into a dog. While this world's Spike is a dog that gained the ability to talk from Equestrian magic.

Alternative Title(s): Animal Mentor