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Manga / Puella Magi Tart Magica

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Spoilers for Puella Magi Madoka Magica are left unmarked. You have been warned!
Puella Magi Tart Magica: The Legend of "Jeanne d'Arc" is a Spin-Off Manga of the series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and one of three spin-offs that began after the premiere of Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion. The manga is made by a pair with the pseudonyms of Masugitsune and Kawazuku. They make up a group called Golden Pe Done, who previously made doujins for Touhou Project as well as a Madoka Magica story entitled Homura's Revenge.

Tart Magica began running in the magazine Manga Time Kirara Magica on November 8th, 2013, with trade paperback collections being released later in both Japan and the US. In America, this series is licensed by Yen Press.

Near the end of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, it was revealed that Joan of Arc was actually a magical girl. This is her story.

The year is 1425. Jeanne Tart follows a fairy and finds herself attacked by brainwashed soldiers. She is rescued by a girl with magical powers and a creature calling itself "Cube". When everything is settled, Cube asks Tart to make a contract, one that will change the history of France. The story is a Historical Fantasy, and the creators have certainly Shown Their Work, as it follows more or less the exact story of Joan of Arc, just with magical fights and some character-based humor. Several lengthy history exposes are included, explaining the historical background so that the reader knows what parts of the manga are true to life; it basically ends up being an educational manga.

Tart, Riz and Melissa would later appear in the 2017 smartphone game Magia Record, with Corbeau and Elisa being added in a later event, and the antagonists joining further.

Tropes in Puella Magi Tart Magica include:

  • Amazon Brigade: Tart's magical girl group. The villainous English magical girls are also this.
  • Anachronism Stew: The magical girl outfits the main cast and the antagonists wear get a bit of an Artistic License here, as while everyone wears clothing that is appropriate for the time period of the story's setting, the magical girl outfits look like modern cosplay costumes that would be tailor-made in the 21st Century. And even then, the design styles of these outfits would fit more in the 1800s than they would in the 1400s. Likely justified because they're magical by nature and can be changed on a whim.
  • Animal Motifs: The enemy Puella working against Tart and co have French animal names and wear masks corresponding to that animal.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A giant witch made out of vines appears in the fourth chapter. Tart obliterates it with one blast of her magic. Another giant witch appears as big as the fort of Orléans.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The entire premise of the story.
    • And not just Joan of Arc. Apparently both Pernelle Flamel (wife of Nicholas Flamel) and Elisabeth of Baravia (the queen of France) were magical girls.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It wouldn't really be a story about the Maid of Orleans if it ended any other way. Tart does manage to save France and defeat Isabeau, ending the threat, but as in history, she is tried for heresy and sentenced to death. What's more, her battle with Isabeau ends in Riz, her closest companion, being dealt a Heroic Sacrifice, and it taxes her Soul Gem far past its breaking point, only being kept alive by the remains of Riz's wish, to the level that she submits to the execution willingly because the alternative is turning into a witch of near-apocalyptic power. Nonetheless, she does manage to Go Out with a Smile.
  • Bound and Gagged: Tart after being captured.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The English Puella trio has a squad of them. One of them, named Fléche, mortally wounds La Hire and Tart at the battle of Orléans.
  • Continuity Nod: Like Madoka, Tart's story starts with a dream.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: A lot of the nobles, from both French and English, are more badass than they look. Both Gilles de Rais and Arthur de Richmont are very foppish and flamboyant, but they hold their own in battle and good in court intrigue. John Talbot looks like a standard Aristocrats Are Evil Fat Bastard, but he shows himself as a strong warrior who swings BFS one-handed, a competent general, Father to His Men, a Worthy Opponent, and Graceful Loser.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The three sisters completely take over Orléans, blasting all the French soldiers into pieces, and wounds Jean de Dunois in the leg.
  • Disney Death: Tart and La Hire at Orléans. Melissa's wish brought them back.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In Christian spirituality, the soul is usually interpreted as the true, eternal whole of a person, and the body is just a container for it, while in Japanese spirituality, the soul is generally interpreted as a part of the whole with the body. This results in Tart having a very different response to the revelation of how Soul Gems work than the majority of (largely Japanese) magical girls we've seen in the franchise.
  • Doomed Hometown: Domrémy-la-Pucelle is ransacked by invaders after Riz departed. They were waiting for her to leave.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: It's implied that Tart was dreaming of her own execution at the beginning of the story.
  • Flashback: Chapter 4 begins with Tart and Riz leaving their village before flashing back to Catherine's funeral.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The very first witch Tart encounters in her flashback is a butterfly with its bell rung by fairy familiars.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Tart's death of being burnt at the stake.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the manga's splash pages is showing the three England magical girl sisters, with a script of The Marriage of Figaro in French written on about the banter between Figaro and Suzanne discussing about love. Apparently, too much love is never enough, not too mention too little, as Corbeau finds out.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: One of the Witches Tart and Riz face while traveling from Vaucoulears to Chinon is a giant crab with a dinning table for a back and a girl (presumably the original magical girl of the Witch) kneeling on top of it.
  • Hard-Work Montage: When Riz begins training Tart.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tart defends Melissa from Corbeau and Fléche's attacks and left a hole in her. Melissa decides to become a magical girl then.
  • Historical Domain Character: Everywhere! Our main characters are Jeanne d'Arc, the granddaughter of John Hawkwood, daughter of La Hire, and Elizabeth of Luxembourg, and it's still discounting other characters, major or minor, that appear in the story.
  • Historical Fantasy: It's a story about magical girl Joan of Arc. What do you expect?
  • Important Haircut: Tart does this upon making her wish. She leaves her cut braid at Catherine's grave.
  • In Medias Res: The story begins with Tart's execution, promptly goes back to 1429 after Tart has assembled her group, and then begins properly in 1425 when Tart begins reminiscing about how she became a magical girl.
  • Kangaroo Court: The famous witch trial is shown at one point, and the narrative provides explanation for just how lopsided it was against Tart, all of which is completely accurate to reality: not only did Bishop Cauchon, a man who was openly in favor of the Treaty of Troyes that Tart's actions nullified, act as judge, but he was also acting as prosecution, and Tart was forced to act as her own representation due to being assigned no defender. Not to mention she was slapped with seventy accusations at first, which was soon after brought down to twelve.
  • Killed Off for Real: Catherine is the first to die.
  • Last-Name Basis: Cube and the magical girls call Jeanne "Tart".
  • Meta Twist: Over the course of various Madoka works, one of the most significant reveals is almost always the idea that magical girls become their Soul Gems instead of simply using them as a focus for their power. Most often, this is treated as a violation of their body and soul, and those aware of this fact tend to become far more cynical as a result. This makes it a surprise that when Tart finds out about it, she's actually thrilled—interpreting it as a sign of becoming more holy by way of manifesting her soul as a physical object beyond the body.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: For a definition of hero, as Cube is a loyal companion of Tart's group. Ever wonder if a potential magical girl gets too curious about the magical girl system, exploits the Incubators' Cannot Tell a Lie policy by asking things most girls won't, and wishes for something that screws the system badly after knowing the context? Queen Isabeau, the Woman Who Sold Her Nation, did just that and transcended the magical girls, the witches, and the Incubators to become a personification of evil because of multiple events that she arranged. The Incubators are forced to cooperate with magical girls without questions just so they can salvage anything from the system.
  • Ominous Owl: The first witch appearing in the manga.
  • Prequel: The spin-off story takes place six centuries before the main anime and the other spin-offs during The Hundred Years War in France.
  • Real Event, Fictional Cause: Because of the amount of magic present in the story and of magical girls fighting out in open, there are a lot of things that are interpreted differently by the story because of it. Both Charles VI and Charles VII were driven mad because their wife/mother Isabeau's magic is playing with their lives, William Glasdale was found dead in Loire River not because he fought with Jeanne d'Arc but because he spoke out against Corbeau and she killed him as an example, Jeanne was executed despite being successfully rescued by the French Army because she chose to, lest her witch will destroy all of Europe.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Tart is introduced to the world of magical girls by fairies — which are actually a witch's familiars.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Catherine again. She takes down one of the ransackers with the sword skills she learned from Riz. Unfortunately, she was stabbed from behind, and Tart witnesses it all.
  • Shown Their Work: At several points in the story the narration explains the historical and political background of the events and locations that Tart is present for. The end of each volume also gives a mini-biography on the actual history of Tart.
  • Spell My Name with an S: "Tart" is one of the alternate spellings of Joan of Arc's surname. This actually comes up in story; Cube asks Tart to write her name, and she writes it as "Jehanne Tart" after admitting that she's not sure if it's correct.
  • Threatening Shark: A witch assumes the form of a hammerhead shark, complete with a giant crossbow on its head. Elisa of the Order of the Dragon shoots it down with one blast.
  • Time Passes Montage: After Riz decides to stay at Tart's village, the comic shows several scenes of her and Tart before revealing that three years have passed.
  • Wham Episode: At the end of chapter 4, Riz outright tells Tart that magical girls become witches. That's not the surprising part. What's surprising is that Tart accepts this without falling into despair, and reaffirms her vow to save France.
  • You Have Failed Me: Subverted. When one of the brainwashed magical girls is incapable of defeating Tart and co., Minou immediately turns her into a witch with her branding iron, which makes her a much bigger threat.