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Manga / Gushing over Magical Girls
aka: Looking Up To Magical Girls

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Pictured: Utena and Venalita. Not Pictured: her actual outfit.
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Gushing over Magical Girls (Mahou Shoujo ni Akogarete or 魔法少女にあこがれて, also unofficially known as "Looking up to Magical Girls") is a 2019 fanservice-laden comedic Seinen series currently ongoing by Akihiro Ononaka, published by Bamboo Comics, and licensed in English by J-Novel Club.

Hiiragi Utena had always been a fan of the Tres Magia Magical Girl team in her city, wishing that she could be just like them. She got her wish granted when a magical envoy named Venalita offered her just that, recognizing the potential within her. Utena accepted, transformed into the skimpily-clad Magia Baiser armed with a BDSM riding crop... wait, what?

As it turned out, Venalita did not mention that he recruited Utena for the forces of evil instead of justice. She wanted to get out of the whole thing, but was forced to stay on pain of having her transformation sequence broadcast through Venalita's social media account. Thus Utena had no choice but to fight the heroes, and it also awakened something dark within her...

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And then Hilarity Ensued, at least until things get deadly serious.


Gushing over Magical Girls provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All Women Are Doms, All Men Are Subs: Averted Trope, for one there aren't any men of note in the series and while Utena is mostly portrayed as a sadistic, but loving, Dom, she certainly doesn't mind being on the receiving end every once in a while. Played for Drama, with Azul, whose fights with Utena reveal she really enjoys being a sub, to the point she won't even fight.
  • Always Night: Nacht Base, appropriately enough, has a perpetual black sky and giant crescent moon overhead.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Utena, being a fan of the Tres Magia magical girls team was offered to become a magical girl herself. Unfortunately for her, the recruiter did not mention on which team she would be on...
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  • Beach Episode: Chapters 23 and 24, in which the whole cast on both sides spend a day hanging out together at a pier in their civilian identities, only briefly sidetracked by a fight breaking out between their magical girl personas when Kiwi transforms to threaten some drunk college girls that were rude to Utena.
  • The Big Guy: Magia Sulfur has a secret transformation that only her allies know of. It involves manifesting massive magical Power Fists that can really mess up her enemies. But it drains her mana like no other, and most importantly, she'd rather not let the civilians know of this form, as it can be quite scary.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted Trope, hard. After the opening few chapters of Baiser warming up to the prospect of fighting, there almost isn’t a single exchange of blows that doesn’t end with at least one girl getting covered in burns, bruises, and bleeding scrapes.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
    • The tension between Azul and Utena is extremely high due to the fact that their sexual desires are so compatible, but the fact that they are on opposite sides means there are very few chances to explore this.
    • Utena can clearly see this between Leberblume and Loco Musica, leading her to lock them in one of Alice's dollhouses until reveal their feelings, kiss, and finally have sex.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Utena is a meek, rather shy girl who wouldn't dream of hurting anyone, and even her Basier persona stops short of permanent injury, going so far as to reject Magia Azul when she was willing to fully submit to her. Unless you wish to harm her beloved Magical Girls, that is, then all bets are off.
  • Blackmail: The big reason why Utena can't just step up and leave Enormeeta. Venalita threatened to release videos of Utena transforming into Magia Baisernote , dominating the Tres Magia, or just leaving Utena's BDSM porn mags for her family to find.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Utena is a BDSM-themed magical girl, and she's fighting for the bad guys. Not that she has a choice... It does get Played With as Utena is usually a kind and somewhat meek girl, but she also gets off on fighting the magical girls and there is a heavy BDSM side to her she keeps hidden. That said the series doesn't necessarily portray it as bad, just a quirk of Utena's personality that drew the forces of evil to her. Fully subverted later when Azul one of the good guys gains a power up that is linked with her desire to be dominated.
  • Bound and Gagged: Utena's favorite way of fighting is to tie up the magical girls and have her way with them.
  • Calling Your Attacks: A lot of the girls do this with their big energy-blasting super-moves.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Pretty much every named female character is shown to be a lesbian on some level or another.
  • Cat Fight: Shockingly a Downplayed Trope; despite rampant use of Full-Contact Magic, Most fights boil down to the two sides blasting away at each other at medium range, and the times they do engage in melee they’re as likely to try to seriously, grievously beat or stab each other as they are to engage in a silly grapple or sexy bit of dubiously consensual impact-play. Most of the titillation comes from seeing the girls get their costumes torn to shreds, and even that is questionable as the same hits that leave them nude almost always also leave them bloodied up or pounded into listless pulp.
  • Clothing Damage: It’d be easier to count the number of fights that don’t have someone at some point get every scrap of clothing shredded off of their body.
  • Covert Pervert: Being turned into a BDSM-themed magical girl awakened Utena's own fetish, not helped by Venalita planting SM magazines for her to find and enjoy.
    • Concurrent with that, Azul has steadily become more useless in a fight as enjoyment of being Bound and Gagged has increased, much to her embarrassment.
  • Creating Life: Utena's BDSM-style magical girl wand can imbue life to any inanimate object she strikes, turning them into monsters under her command.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Utena has a few of the qualities usually associated with the trope outside of her Sadism fueled desires.
  • Domain Holder: Nero Alice's power allows her to control the mind of anyone caught in her dollhouse, literally playing dolls using real people. Notably, the domain itself can be broken through physical force.
  • Dominatrix: Utena's overall demeanor when in a fight certainly plays to this trope hard. Her Weapon of Choice is even a magical riding crop.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Despite the fact that Utena is quite obviously sexually assaulting her opponents and raping them in all but the loosest of terms, she is never really called out on her actions outside of a few moments of calling her a pervert or "fucked up". Magenta at one point even questions if Utena is evil despite all of her abusive actions.
  • Ecchi: A lot of Clothing Damage, Stripperific outfits, and especially Utena's BDSM-themed powers...
  • Emotional Powers: Vena explains it that the girls of both Enormeeta and Tres Magica get their powers from their emotions, and when these emotions overflow the girls can unlock their true potential.
  • Enemy Civil War: How Tres Magia see Enormeeta fighting Lord's Legion, Magenta thinks they should intervene but Sulfur thinks it would be best to let the two sides fight it out and then crush the winner when they would be at their weakest point.
  • Escape Artist: Baiser has been described as 'good at running away' multiple times by various characters.
  • Fallen Hero: Narrowly averted. Magia Azul was ready to fully submit herself to Baiser due to the BDSM sessions they had in their fights, but Baiser herself was disgusted at this and delivered a scathing speech at how heroes must remember who they are and remain committed to the cause. Thankfully, Azul came to her senses, and started training to better resist her desires.
    • Further Played With when Sulfur fakes her own defection to protect an exhausted Azul and Magenta.
  • Fan Disservice: It becomes increasing hard to find the battle portions of the manga sexy as with almost every chapter the exchanges of blows become less and less slapstick-like or fetishistic, with the girls seriously inflicting and receiving grievous injuries in each fight, the shapely figures meant to be laid bare by the still-rampant Clothing Damage instead being completely obscured by graphic contusions, burn marks, and blood splatters by their endpoints.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Played With in that Utena finds Lord to be such a boring and uninspired person that the only way she can generate any desire to fight her, and tap into the power her desires give her, is to envision Lord as a child throwing a temper tantrum.
  • Glamour: Its stated that magic prevents people from recognizing magical girls when transformed so even people who know one another won't be able to guess a Magical Girls Identity unless said magical girl transforms right in front of them. This also works for the bad guys which is why despite going to school together, Tres Magia and Enormeeta don't recognize each other as enemies.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Invoked Trope by Venalita, who encourages magical girls to name themselves with this to lean into the Chuunibyou trends, such as:
    • Gratuitous French: Emphasis on gratuitous as Utena's transformed name of Baiser is French for kiss, but also is used as a general slang term for sex.
    • Gratuitous German: Kiwi as Leopolt (who really leans into the militaristic theme in her attacks) and Nemo as Leberblume (whose eponymous flower is very on the nose.)
    • Gratuitous Italian: Matama as Loco Musica, to further highlight singing in her repertoire.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Kiwi's whole reason for joining Enormeeta was because she was jealous the magical girls were more popular online then she was. She also tends to react negatively when anyone so much as talks to Utena after falling for her.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Chapter 36.5 is a short flashback omake of Tres Magia lounging in a hot spring during a break in the training trip that unlocked Azul's La Verita, with some reminiscing of past battles that quickly degenerates into a petty catfight with gratuitous aiming at each other's sensitive bits.
  • Hypocrite: Played for Laughs, when, after she had calmed down from her "Reason You Suck" Speech to Azul, both Utena and Vena acknowldge that Utena of all people shouldn't be calling others out on succumbing to their desires.
  • Improbably Female Cast: There are no boys in Utena's school (albeit it could just be an all-female institution), no male teachers are to be seen, only the moms of two of the protagonists were revealed and/or mentioned (no dads), and even background characters in all circumstances are always girls. Venalita is the sole male character in the entire series.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Kiwi and Utena’s entire relationship is built around them fighting against and for each other, to the point that when they are consumed by awkwardness after a failed attempt at sleeping together, Kiwi’s plan to resolve their issues is to challenge Utena to a bloody-knuckle brawl, which works, well enough that Utena promises to try pursuing a carnal relationship again some time under better circumstances and the two derived no small amount of gratification from the duel itself.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: In Chapter 25 Utena finally makes good on the promise she made with Kiwi in chapter 17, the two actually get pretty far before Vena busts into the room with a report that Tres Magia is on the move. Though Kiwi herself might have ruined the mood when she asked an Armor-Piercing Question a second before.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: When Azul asks a naked and collapsed Magenta what Baiser did to her in chapter 33, she weakly explains "She scratched me... where the mosquito bit me..." Baiser did do that, but it was a mosquito enhanced with her magic and came at the end of an entire day of similar torments while strung up in an abandoned warehouse under the summer sun. Sulfur is momentarily thrown, but can tell there was way more to it.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Chapter 12 had the arrival of the founding members of Enormeeta. Unlike Utena and co., these girls don't mess around and were shown to have killed a number of good-aligned magical girls before.
  • Laughing Mad: Utena sometimes falls into this when she gets really into a fight, even when she's losing.
  • Locked in a Room: In chapter 16 Utena locks Leberblume and Loco Musica in a room together as punishment for their part in the Magical Girl Hunting. The only way the two can get out is by satisfying Utena, which involves her forcing the two to confront their feelings for one another, share an intimate kiss, and then finally full on have sex, all while Utena watches.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Taken Up to Eleven by Sister Gigant, who's a Sizeshifter and was about to crush Baiser and Leopolt to death with her assets, prompting Baiser to have Leo chuck all kinds of explosives at themselves just to break free.
  • Mêlée à Trois: At first, it was Enormeeta vs Tres Magia vs Lord's Legion, until the last faction got dismantled and subsumed by the first. Come chapter 35, it becomes Enormeeta vs Tres Magia vs Shio-Chans, who make it clear that although they're on the same side as Tres Magia, they are not going to work together with them and are in fact condescending and openly, violently hostile to their nominal comrades.
  • Mundane Utility: Nero Alice's dollhouse is not only good for playing People Puppets, she can also use it to play doctor, with very real healing as a result. She used it to heal Utena when she caught a cold as a result of working all-night to restore one of Alice's dolls.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Basically how Utena feels after any fight with the Magical Girls though special mention goes to her accidentally Mind Breaking Azul.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Nacht Base, but only parts of it are in the air.
  • Ordinary Middle School Student: Baiser, Azul, and Magenta all consider themselves boring or average in their civilian selves. The rest of the teenaged cast is colorful enough to not be or think they are this.
  • Pocket Dimension: Nacht Base is in one that’s barren, bristling with stalagmites, and in eternal night.
  • Power Incontinence: Getting overly turned on while in civilian mode causes at least Venalita’s girls to involuntarily transform into their magical girl costumes.
  • The Power of Love: Stock and trade of a magical girl series, but notable for how Utena (and her teammates) is also tapping into it in her own way.
  • Press-Ganged: Utena's practically been impressed to fight for evil, under pain of having various videos of her Transformation Sequence, and/or her BDSM-filled fights with Tres Magia leaked to Venalita's social media, or him leaving her porn mags for her family to find.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Played With, while it's shown that Utena is greatly turned on by fighting and humiliating the Magical Girls and others, she is still most of the time a kind girl who would never want to seriously hurt anyone.
  • Safe, Sane, and Consensual: Averted, but mostly cause of that last part. Utena's sexual assaults are definitely not consensual, but it is shown a couple times that she keeps things for the most part safe. For example when pouring melted wax on Sulfer's bare chest, Utena mentions she using a special wax that melts at lower temperatures, which means that chances of actual burns, or even pain, are low.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Tres Magia have a decently modest uniform consisting of a bubble skirt, short-sleeve blouse, and long gloves and boots. In contrast, the majority of the villainous girls are in fetishistic, hyper-Stripperific costumes that leave their tits or ass completely hanging out.
  • Slave to PR: Magical girls are supposed to be cute and/or beautiful. That's why Sulfur can't just unleash her true strength, as the form might scare off little kids watching her fight.
  • Stripperific: Enormeeta as a whole are this, with Nero Alice being the sole exception until Lord Enorme shows up. Frequentily Lampshaded, especially in regard to Baiser's own outfit.
  • Super Mode: A number of magical girls (namely Baiser, Leopolt, and Sulfur) are capable of pseudo-transformations when they let out their maximum power output. On top of those, almost all magical girls are capable of unlocking a “La Verita” form, achievable by expressing their innermost feelings and which is both substantially stronger and less unstable than the false second forms previously described. Venalita has indicated that one of his objectives is to push all magical girls in the city, both the villainesses and the heroines, into unlocking them.
  • The Svengali: Venalita, the Utena's Mentor Mascot is this. Though Blackmail is definitely his most-used tool to coerce Utena to do his bidding, he's also shown to use a sob story to attract sympathy, and planting BDSM magazines for her to find and further corrupt (and use as more Blackmail material later).
  • Their First Time: Kiwi and Utena go to a love hotel in chapter 25, ironically despite all her fawning and teasing in the manga when the time actually comes Kiwi is a nervous wreck, worried if she will be any good. On the other side despite all her rampant sexual abuses when it comes to having just vanilla sex Utena is also a nervous wreck. After a bit of talking the the two get into a comfortable mood and begin. But before they can get very far past naked embracing Vena interrupts them causing Kiwi to literally explode in anger.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: One of the workers accidentally wrecked the barrier generator while Tres Magia were having their photoshoot, and...
    Tres Magia: Ah, that's what we used to make the barrier. [looks at each other] ...Uhm... well... [looking concerned] Can you evacuate...please?
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Leopolt's power allows her to manifest multiple grenades which she uses to blow things up.
  • Trapped in Villainy: When Utena first tries to get out of being a villainess, Vena threatens to upload pictures of her transforming into her revealing outfit onto the internet. She ends up digging herself deeper when she attacks the magical girls in a panic to protect herself.
  • Victory Is Boring: Tres Magia find battles against Venalita’s demons to be tedious, and Baiser gets disgusted if someone actually gets mind-broken by her.
  • Villain Protagonist: Played With. Utena was forced to become a villain and is by all intents a good girl at heart. However, since the story is narrated mostly from her point of view, the villainous team is given more focus than the heroines.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: As is typical of the genre, Tres Magia have completely mundane civilian lives as quiet middle-schoolers, broken up by sudden calls to blast away rampaging monsters and villainesses. What's slightly unusual out of them is that, when monster fights are in a slump, they also have an actively cultivated merchandising brand at their mascot's behest, ostensibly for public outreach and goodwill.
  • We Can Rule Together: Lord Enorme asks Baiser and co. to join her in world domination but Baiser doesn't have any interest in that kinda thing and turns her down.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 12 has the arrival of the founding members of Enormeeta, who are a lot more serious than Utena and Co.
    • Chapter 20 ups the ante by revealing that everything, including Lord Enorme's rebellion and defeat, to be all according to Venalita's plan. Sister Gigant is also in cahoots with Venalita, and disposes Lord Enorme under Venalita's order.
    • Chapter 35 fully introduces the other 'good' faction, Shio-Chans, sworn to oppose and defeat Enormeeta. These girls are tremendously powerful... but they make it clear that they are not here to work together with Tres Magia, and in fact look down on them as weaklings.
  • Wham Line:
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Utena gives a pretty brutal one to Azul when she realizes the Magical Girl has no real interest or ability to fight her and just wants to be dominated.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Magenta has pink hair, Azul has blue-green, Baiser and Sister Gigant have shades of violet, Leberblume has cyan, and Loco Musica has burgundy with bright blue streaks.
  • Yuri Genre: More focused in Fanservice than romance, but it's still a story of a girl who has a great love for other cute girls.


Alternative Title(s): Mahou Shoujo Ni Akogarete, Looking Up To Magical Girls

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