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.
Scholastic will publish the webcomic in one book in fall 2021.
Magical Boy provides examples:
- All There in the Manual: An In-Universe example: a book is passed down to Aurora's descendants, explaining everything one needs to know about Aurora, Devoid, and the many things affiliated with them. Hikari is seen reading from it at the start of the comic. Max...has yet to really delve into it.
- Cast Full of Gay: Of the four leads — Max, Jen, Pyper, and Sean — all of them are gay.
- The Dividual: When the universe began, Aurora and Devoid thought of themselves as simply two halves of a single Top God. It wasn't until life began to flourish did they begin to see themselves as individuals, their interests taking them into different directions before animosity grew.
- 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 Max 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. It's eventually subverted entirely when Aurora herself tells Max that the idea that gender conformity somehow helps being a goddess is a completely arbitrary standard her descendants made in their effort to make sense of it all.
- 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.
- Last-Minute Hookup: The last chapter has Sean asking out Max when the latter's attempt to hook up with Toby didn't work out.
- 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.
- Legend Fades to Myth: At the start of the series, the Creation Myth establishes the Goddess Aurora as the God of Good and Devoid the Satan-Esq monster that only wishes to destroy everything For the Evulz, Aurora's descendants tasked with keeping this metaphysical status quo from ever shifting to Devoid's favor. It turns out that Aurora and Devoid were actually sisters, embodiments of Light and Darkness that coexisted in the world. While Aurora saw potential in humanity and decided to foster it, Devoid sided with the magical creatures that were being threatened by human progress, a divide that would eventually cause a falling out between them and her hatred towards humans turned Devoid into a monster.
- Magical Girl Genre Deconstruction: The series is an Animesque webcomic where the main character is a transgender boy who is struggling with both his gender identity and the fact his mother, who is a Magical Girl, wants him to be feminine so he can connect with the Goddess Aurora and fight evil. Themes include homophobia and transphobia. He finds out that his magical girl outfit is mostly for show and can actually be manipulated to become a more masculine outfit.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- One Riot, One Ranger: The Goddess typically works alone in fighting off Devoid's armies, so Jen, Pyper, and Sean following Max around and helping fight them off is highly unusual.
- Parents as People: Hikari is overly fixated on having a ladylike daughter inheriting her role as the Goddess' Descendant, completely ignoring Max's discomfort. Kai 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.
- The Sacred Darkness: While the series starts out establishing that Light Is Good and Dark Is Evil, it is revealed later that they were both originally equally good, Devoid a goddess who acting as psychopomp for life on Earth, before she grew sympathetic to the magical creatures of nature being pushed to near-extinction by humanity.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In an age of social media, Max's mission in fighting monsters does not remain 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.
- Title Drop: Max declares himself a "magical boy" at the end of the tenth issue.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: When Max is trying on clothes to try to pass as male better, an employee says "Hello, sir"...to the short-haired Jen. Then they address Max as "ma'am".