When you become a Magical Girl you're often instantly gifted with enhanced physical prowess. You can run further, jump higher, punch harder. In Precure, it's even become a first episode trope that the girls are amazed by their new abilities to the point of comedic worry. The idea of magic granting enhanced physical performance is the core reasoning behind the joke in Magical Girl Ore.
If these enhanced physical traits aren't granted sometimes the characters are already predisposed to it. Cutie Honey and Miracle Limit-Chan are robots and there is no shortage of girls born as witches or magical princesses.
The reasoning as to why Magical Girls can do what they do usually ends at that, explained away in a mythos of magic. It makes sense! There's nothing wrong with that, there isn't need for anything further, but it's intriguing when the narrative delves deeper and connects real world talent with Magical Girl performance.
In Sailor Moon, Makoto's real life fighting talents translating flawless in Sailor Jupiter and Rei's shrine maiden influences affecting what she can do as Sailor Mars. Well known examples but now who I'm looking to shed some light on something now so well known. Let's take a second to acknowledge Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne.
I've done a list of Western Magical Girl shows but outside of anime in Japan there's a number of Magical Girl shows from Korea and China. So here's a brief list!
Just like my Western show list I am only including animated series and no live action, comic books, or any other type of media. This is by no means a complete list and I'm finding more to add frequently. . If you see one missing, let me know!
She's a blond princess who doesn't know she's the princess of a lost magical kingdom. She's being raised on Earth with a new family with no knowledge of a former, more magical life. Suddenly, on her 13th birthday she finds out she has a magical destiny to defeat the evil force that destroyed her home world. She's granted magical powers, a cool animal friend, and some friends to help her fight.
Nope, Amethyst Princess of Gemworld
DC Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld (1985) | Paris Cullins
I already have a list of black + brown magical girls (basically anyone who isn't light skinned) but I want to highlight people telling their own stories. Black Magical Girls created by Black creators should be emphasized - it's important to elevate voices coming from the culture represented.
So without further delay, below the cut is a list of black creators creating magical girl content:
What's a Magical Girl without the magic?
Cutie Honey? Vividred Operation?
Yes! But also Saint Tail.
The definition I use to define the shows I watch and talk about stipulates that advanced technology is perfectly at home in magical girl shows- so long as the tech used is so far out of the realm of reality it mimics magic. Meaning shows like Cutie Honey and Miracle Shoujo Limit-chan are secure in their rolls as magical girls. But what happens when a magical girl doesn't have any actual magic?
Do you need a transformation sequence to be considered a magical girl show? No. Is it one of the most instantly recognizable parts of the genre? Absolutely.
The transformations have become interwoven into the fabric of the magical girl genre and have caused genre fans to spend hours on YouTube looking up compilation videos of sequences of transformations from decades past, specific series titles, and more. Even non-fans can recognize the iconic sequences. Throw in some glitter, ribbons and posing and you've got a dozen or so people saying "Just like Sailor Moon!".
The entrancing nature of the whole affair can sometimes make you forget the five minute time chunk the transformation eats up.
Transformations have become so popular it's made it's way into non-Magical Girl shows like DC Super Hero Girls on Netflix or Cartoon Network's Craig of the Creek.
How did this glee inducing genre staple start? Where did it come from? And why can a good transformation make or break a series for genre fans?
Let's roll on back to the 60s and find out.
Sparkle Cadet from Craig of the Creek
When it comes to mixing genres with Magical Girls there is a lot of obvious choices that you can chose from - Romance, Drama, Comedy. Even if you wanted to boil it down to more specific genres like Isekai and Slice of Life feel like more obvious choices. Mecha seems like a far cry for a genre that usually centers around softer aesthetics of frills and lace, and yet from the 90s till now there are about a dozen or so Magical Girl shows with mecha influences, and vice versa.
There's something about the combination of cute girls and robots that makes for a winning formula. Long running franchises like Lyrical Nanoha had definitely figured it out- the series started in 2004 and has an installation as recent as 2018 at the time of writing this- but Nanoha wasn't the first. The genre mixing goes way way back to a show called Magic Knight Rayearth.
Vita from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's
Miracle romances have been a common thing in the magical girl genre since the 90s when Sailor Moon popularized the phrase. Even before then shows like Creamy Mami and Magical Emi usually had some sort of romance angle going on. So, in a genre with an emphasis on miracle romances which shows are the MOST ROMANTIC? Or at the very least which ones are the most focused on the romance aspect of the story.
While this may not be the "most" of either of those options here's a list of 4 magical girl anime that have romance as the focus.
This list was originally posted on tumblr back in 2017 but I'm moving it to this blog for easier updates.
So here's a list of Magical Girl Indie comics! Some are available for free online, some you’re able to purchase as a PDF or even a physical copies. Bold are faves and an asterisk (*) means they are currently not updating or that the series is complete.
This is by no means a complete list and I'm finding more to add frequently. . If you see one missing, let me know!
I do my best when it comes to web comics as many of the web comics available are incomplete or without much content. Before adding to the list i try to review them to make sure they meet at least one of the following criteria:
For the sake of this list I'm defining Indie Comic as self-published not through any major comic publishers such as Boom, DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, etc.
HERE’S A FUN NINA FACT. There are a few things as much as I love magical girls and one of those things is sharks. So Shark Week is here and I often make magical girl lists for various things so why not also make one for shark week?
Tropical Rogue Precure
Wonder Egg Priority
Battle Girl High School
Magical Girl Site
Assault Lily Bouquet
Majo no Tabitabi
Not Out Yet
Fairy Ranmaru: Anata no Kokoro Otasuke Shimasu