Behind Magical Girls: Plots and Tropes

    Hi! It’s me again, and after talking about the history of magical girls to you, I still have so much in store. However, I think this article will conclude the magical girls series. Worry not, I’m going to review something special – a full in-depth review and analysis of some specific magical girl franchise for you. Today, Let’s talk about more magical girls. If you look at it carefully magical girl genres have patterns in story and characters; something typical, you may call. This is what they call tropes. Both Japanese and Western magical girls have their own tropes, so let’s break down the plots and tropes of those two! I will also include some fun facts about the magical girls franchise.

    If you’re familiar with the genre, you would know that it usually starts with a normal girl having a completely normal life. That girl usually goes through some coming-of-age thing, like moving to a new school, city, or something similar. In this process, our main character would accidentally make an encounter with one of the good or bad guys. In Sailor Moon, Usagi made her encounter with Luna, the cat from the moon that gave her powers. In Cardcaptor Sakura, she made her encounter with Cerberus, or Kero-chan, also the one who gave her powers. In She-Ra (Reboot), She-Ra discovered the Sword of Protection and her identity as the guardian of Grayskull. In Winx Club, Bloom encountered Stella who was fighting an ogre and a bunch of minions, while soon discovering that she is actually a fairy of the dragon flame. 

    I know that the franchise itself is called magical girls, but it always baffles me that in most, if not all, the ages of the so-called warriors are around 14-15ish years old. Yes, a middle schooler with the burden of the world’s safety on their shoulders. I’m sure that is the perfect age to do that. Speaking about the characters, our main character is usually accompanied by two or several other girls. It usually consists of a trio, but more is also common. The personalities of the main group would often clash with each other, but if I were to categorize it you would have the cute one, the mom, the tomboy, the childish, etc. Of course, this is not the case for every magical girls anime, but you can definitely see this in a lot of them. Take a look at the sailors, where Usagi is the cute one, and Ami is the smart one, etc. Or Stella the stylish one and Tecna the tech girl in Winx Club.

    The power is usually given by a cute mascot that is apparently an alien from another planet that bears the mission to search for warriors that can save the world or to protect something really important. The reason for choosing girls can also be very ridiculous such as because girls have the most raw power potential or something like that, but of course sometimes you just have to turn off your brain and let things slide, especially when you’re trying to enjoy things like this. Surprise surprise, in this cute mascot runaway, the enemy follows and wants to steal this important thing, and this is when the girls fight them off.

    I think that’s all the mainstream plot and tropes that I have summarized for you guys. However, I know one thing that still lingers in your mind: why would the bad guys let the good guys take their time, and I mean really take their time in transformation sequences? Isn’t that the most perfect time to attack? I am a prepared person, being prepared is my middle name, I have done my research! Research is my last name and I won’t let you souls that are hungry for knowledge linger in hunger. Take this lightly, but when a magical girl is doing a transformation, they get lifted up in the air with sparkly lights and it is believed that the light is almost as strong as the sun, so if a bad guy jumped in to try to sabotage the transformation, they would evaporate instantly.

    In conclusion, watch magical girls for the transformations and the power of friendship.

Content Writer : Steven Andrew Santoso

Editor : Manohara Diwasasri