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Sailor Moon, a popular magical girl manga

Magical girl (魔法少女 () mahō shōjo), also known as mahou shoujo or majokko, is a popular sub-genre of shōjo manga. Magical girl stories feature young girl heroes with superhuman abilities, forced to fight evil and to protect the Earth. They often possess a secret identity, although the name can just refer to young girls who follow a plotline involving magic and a transformation. The Japanese language identifies magical girls as majokko (魔女っ子 () , literally "witch girl"), though this term does not generally apply to modern magical-girl anime. Sally, the Witch (1966) is considered the first magical girl anime.

Magical boys occur much more rarely, but one can readily identify them: they operate along similar lines. Magical girls generally differ from catgirls and from magical girlfriends. Sometimes the catgirl and magical girl character types cross over; the magical girl may have cat-ears and -tail as part of her costume, or a catgirl could have some form of magical powers. A magical girl and a magical girlfriend typically differ in that the magical girlfriend is not the protagonist. Over the years, the genre has given significant influence to numerous non-Japanese media, American magical girl-inspired cartoons and other "anime-inspired" series.

Popular magical manga series include, Sailor Moon, Tokyo Mew Mew, Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, and Shugo Chara!.

General examples[]

See also: Category:Magical girl manga

A general example of a magical girl is Sakura Kinomoto from the series Cardcaptor Sakura, a normal girl who gains magical powers, and becomes involved in a quest for various magical objects. Other magical-girl subjects may appear in the guise of witches, or (rarely) of psychics. Examples of conventional magical girls include the protagonists of: Sailor Moon, and Shugo Chara!. Magical girls have high crossover popularity in different demographics with some minor but appropriate design modifications, and make up a sizable portion of both shōjo and bishōjo fandom.

Other examples include Full Moon o Sagashite, Gakuen Alice, Wedding Peach, and Zodiac P.I..

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