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Webcomic / Magical Boy

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Magical Boy is an original webcomic by The Kao

Max is your average high school student trying to get through life as himself. He may not be your average boy, being assigned female at birth, but he's set on being the man he is. Though, trying to come out to his parents is one thing, his mom coming out as a Magical Girl is another. Now it is Max's responsibility to take on the family tradition of becoming the next Magical Girl and save humanity.

The comic can be read on Tapas here.


This webcomic provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Armoured Closet Gay: The reason why Pyper is so abrasive towards Jen and Max is that she harbored attraction towards other women (most likely Jen) and is fully aware of how her pastor father would think about it, internalizing these feelings and taking out her frustration on them. She gets much better later on, joining Max on his Magical boy adventures and might secretly being in a relationship with Jenna.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Pyper uses one in "Within the Forest".
  • Ascended Demon: In "Wrath of Devoid", it is revealed that Walnut was originally one of Devoid's monsters, Lord Animosus, before he eventually defected and sided with Aurora, acting as Guardian to her descendants.
  • Aura Vision: Max has the ability to see people's auras, which reflects how they're feeling. He calls them "light farts".
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  • Badass Gay: Max has a crush on the cis male Tobi. His Gay Best Friend Jen and Pyper are also willing to help Max out in monster fights despite being Muggles.
  • Butch Lesbian: Jen, Max's best friend, to the point of being mistaken for a guy from behind.
  • Dark Is Evil: Devoid, God of Darkness, is portrayed as the Greater-Scope Villain in the story and the story's Creation Myth, the Goddess' job done expressly to keep Devoid and his armies out of the mortal world.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Of the Magical Girl genre. The genre has often been marketed towards girls when it's tame, men if it has Fanservice, and will often enforce certain gender norms in its fashion, themes and morals. Max himself is the current incarnation in a long-line of Magical Girls who have fought against monsters that feed off hatred and misery. Max himself comes out as trans and openly rebels against all the glitter and ruffles that define the genre's look. Max's mother Hikari acts as an allegory for the genre-traditionalists, trying to keep the Magical Girl role to its default and forcing Max to adhere to traditional gender roles in the belief that not doing so possesses an existential (or in the narrative's case, literal) threat. Because these stories typically follow a "love defeats hate" narrative, Hikari's attempts at making Max adhere to his given name and gender hinders his role at Goddess more than it helps by flooding him with doubt and self-enmity, something that only makes his enemies stronger.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Sean posts a video about one of the group's more public battles...without censoring their faces. This results in him, Pyper, and Jen getting dragged to the Principal's office to explain themselves, Sean's father lecturing him and dragging him to the police station for interrogation, Pyper getting outed as a lesbian in front of her father's congregation, and Max yet another transphobic lecture from his mother. Max is almost as guilty however, as he gave Sean permission to upload said video to the internet.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Hikari blames her husband for giving into "her delusions" of being male and that doing so is why his mission as the goddess has been slacking. He retorts that the whole point of the goddess is to be compassionate and loving and understanding and she herself has not been living up to those very standards. This gives her a Heel that she thinks that Max is trans because she made him hate feminine things.
  • Emotion Eater: After Aurora introduced light (and with it, the emotional spectrum) onto the world, Devoid discovered a dark-based by-product of this light born from negative emotions and that feeding on this darkness made him stronger. His minions are also able to feed on this darkness as well, growing bigger and stronger the more they feed off of humans. What better place for Lord Timor to build up their strength than at the high school?
  • Face of a Thug: Sean is introduced with the image of a standoffish delinquent but he's actually an Adorkable sweetheart who loves magical girls.
  • Fan Disservice: Max is horrified when his first Magical "Girl" Transformation Sequence destroys his bindernote  and forces him into a frilly dress and high heels, ties his hair in a ribbon (and turns it silver), and gives him make-up, jeweled earrings, and a necklace. The whole thing would look incredibly gaudy even if Max was a cis woman. The chapter begins with a well-deserved Content Warning saying it may induce gender dysphoria. Tellingly, it's the only time we see the transformation in full, with subsequent versions being a simple flash.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: Pyper gets outed to her pastor father by members of his congregation.
  • Gay Best Friend: Max's Butch Lesbian friend Jen is the first one to know Max's gender identity, and supports him absolutely, even buying him a binder and some new clothes. The comic has yet to show her in a romantic relationship with anyone.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Defied. Because all of the Goddesses have been female, Hikari has come to the conclusion that adhering to traditional gender norms regarding femininity are correlated to one's effectiveness in the role and tries enforcing it on her trans son. While he struggles with his powers at first, his own methods of using his powers, while unorthodox, get the job done. His outfit even begins to change with every transformation into a more masculine form to better suit his personality.
  • Get Back in the Closet: Max suffers from a Heroic BSoD when he fails in closing the third gate and his behavior is upsetting his normally confident mother, so the next day he walks out in a dress. He only walks a few blocks on his way to school before suddenly suffering from an anxiety attack.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Pyper initially comes off as a Heteronormative Crusader Alpha Bitch and is intolerant of Max's gender identity, but when she comes to terms with her own sexuality, she breaks up with her Girl Posse and starts supporting Max and his friends.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Max's mother Hikari has a rather narrow view of things when it comes to her family's role as the descendants of Aurora to the point of being insufferable. She tries enforcing strict gender-roles onto Max while completely overlooking him coming out as trans, does everything she can to make him fulfill his role as the current goddess without considering how he feels about any of it. It is even implied that the only reason why she married her husband was that she would have named her daughter "Áine Owen", a name that has symbolic significance with the Creation Myth and the Legacy of the Chosen.note 
  • History Repeats: Walnut compares Hikari fighting with Max over his more masculine goddess form is just like Hikari's mother shaming her for having a short skirt in her goddess form.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Discussed: After Max says that the nice and cute Student Council President Tobi is straight, Jen says that maybe he'll make an exception for Max. Max isn't keen on the idea since he doesn't want Tobi to see him as a woman.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: The role of Goddess was forced onto Max on his birthday, specifically the day he decided to come out to his parents as trans. Because the Goddess is an exclusively feminine role to take, he is forced to have his hair up, his face covered in make-up and wear a frilly dress whenever he has to take on his duty (which he has no real say in whether he wants to fulfill it or not). If he does not fulfill his destiny, then the world will be overrun with emotion-eating monsters, leading to The End of the World as We Know It. When he is not powered-up, his zealous-to-the-point-of-obnoxious mother tries reminding him of his destiny every chance she gets, ignoring his coming out and trying to enforce his assigned gender onto him so that he may be a "proper lady."
  • Legacy of the Chosen: The role of Goddess has been passed down from mother to daughter from one generation to another in Max's family.
  • Light Is Good: In the Creation Myth, Aurore, Goddess of Light bestowed light upon the world and banished Devoid from his role as dark lord over the planet before bestowing light onto the creatures that lived there. After her being was sacrificed in her efforts to banish Devoid from our dimension, her descendants take up the role of Magical Girl to keep Devoid and his minions from escaping.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: While she's initially in denial about it, Pyper is a lesbian, and she's got a very feminine sense of style, what with cute backpacks and hair decs.
  • Not So Different: Much like Max, Hikari had her own nigh-crippling doubts with being a Goddess. Complete with a less than supportive mother who shamed her for expressing herself differently than tradition dictated.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: The Goddess typically works alone in fighting off Devoid's armies, so Jen, Pyper, and Sean following him around and helping fight them off is highly unusual.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Max's father accepts his gender identity and preferred name immediately, and promises to support him despite his wife's unsupportive attitude.
  • Parents as People: Hoo boy. Hikari is overly fixated on having a ladylike daughter inheriting her role as the Goddess' Descendant, completely ignoring Max's discomfort. His dad does the best he can to keep her in line, though he admits he was off on his guess that his child was a tomboy who preferred girls since he'd never heard of trans men before.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Max and Jen, very much so. She's the first person he came out to (both about being trans and his new powers), and her birthday gift to him was a proper chest binder, a haircut, and new masculine clothing.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Sean has the Face of a Thug, and, at first glance, would be the last guy you expect to get chummy with anyone. In actuality, he loves magical girls and collecting cute things, fanboys over Max's magical transformation and fights, and wants to make his own magical girl movie.
  • Reality Ensues: In a world of social media, Max's mission in fighting monsters does not become a secret for long and the monsters become public knowledge. Not only that but when the footage shows Max and his friends actually going to the incredibly dangerous situation and handling it themselves, it does not take long for their school to call in their parents to let them know what they have been doing.
  • Sinister Minister: Pyper's father is an ultra-conservative Fire and Brimstone preacher who holds a very narrow view of right and wrong. When earthquakes start happening and the monsters become public knowledge, he claims that they are demons sent by God to punish a morally unrighteous society. When his daughter is caught helping fending off the monsters in a viral video, he drags her out of school and shames her in front of the whole congregation for consorting with riff-raff, her old friends only making it worse by outing her as gay in front of everyone. The anger and distrust he stirs in his flock are so potent that when one of Devoid's monsters gets there, he is already at full size and conjures a portal on the spot. When she fully admits to being gay and tells them that their hate and fear-mongering is what brought the monsters there, him disowning her on the spot fills her with enough hopelessness to finish opening the gate for Devoid to escape through.
  • Star-Spangled Spandex: When transformed, Max's hair and dress take on the patterns of a starry night.
  • Supernaturally Validated Trans Person: Inverted - Max, when he transforms, is forced into an extremely feminine and sparkly persona, despite being a trans guy. This slowly works its way to being played straight, however, as his outfit gradually becomes more masculine. Over the course of a few pages, his dress has become shorter and less sparkly, he's been getting a Skirt over Slacks, sneakers instead of high heels, and, in later strips, has become a tunic and pants, along with short, masculine hair. Also, when his Magical Girl staff is broken, it transforms into a sword instead. Even before the costume starts shifting to something more masculine, it has the same color scheme as the Trans Pride Flag.
  • Title Drop: Max declares himself a "magical boy" at the end of the tenth issue.
  • Wanted a Gender-Conforming Child: Hikari has really been wanting Max to take up his intended role of a Goddess, even since before he was born. (She flat-out balks at the possibility of having a son when she's pregnant with Max.) Of course, she doesn't react well when he comes out as trans and is still having trouble accepting it.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: When Max is trying on clothes to try to pass as male better, an employee says "Hello, sir" the short-haired Jen. Then they address Max as "ma'am".


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