Become a fan of h2g2
In todays Western comics the Superhero is almost always one thing. A man. You do get some leading ladies: Wonder Woman, Hawk Girl, and so on, but the majority of Superheroines are sidekicks like Supergirl and Batgirl. But there is a place in the world this is different: Japan. In Japan the comics are not all about race cars and giant robots - They have comics about Romantic Comedy, Drama, and many other topics. And they have Superheroines known as Magical Girls.
Mahou Shoujo (The Magical Girl)
The staple Magical girl story includes some or all of:
- One young girl of around 10 to 15
- Magical powers with a fantastic phrase to bring on the henshin (transformation)
- a cute animal (or two) with magical powers
There are dozens of these stories, but some of the most popular include:
Kamikaze Katio Jeanné (Kamikaze Thief Joan) - a girl who is the reincarnation of Joan of Arc captures soul stealing demons from within works of art. However, afterwards the work of art often disappears making people believe she is a thief.
Card Captor Sakura - A young girl finds a magical book in her fathers basement library and accidentally releases the magical Tarot like cards within. She is enlisted by Kero-chan (Cerberus) to get them back through the use of her (unknown to her until this point) natural Magical Powers. Cerberus looks more like a lion than a hell-hound form and most of the tine he looks like a stuffed lioncub or teddy bear with wings. Sakura's best friend makes an array of outfits for her and unlike other Magical Girls she has no henshin.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl) - Utena is rescued by a prince at a young age and grows up wanting to be one. This story is hard to explain.
Magic Knight Rayearth - Three Strangers (Hikaru, Fuu, and Umi) are summoned from below the Tokyo tower to the kingdom of Cerphiro. There they must save the princess and the kingdom from evil by awakening the Mashin (magical weapons) of the Magic Knights. They have magical armour made by Presea the weapon smith and can learn magic spells.
Pretty Solider Sailor Moon
Bishoujo Senshi Sera Munn (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon) - This series follows the story of Usagi, Ami, Rei, Matako, and Minako the Sailor Soldiers. They transform into Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus1, respectively. Usagi is an underachiever and cry-baby but extremely loyal and believes in the goodness in all humans. She is also in love with by a man named Mamoru or Tuxedo Kamen.
New characters were introduced in the Sailor Soldiers Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn and Chibimoon (little moon). Chibimoon is the odd one out, being the future daughter of Mamoru and Usagi. Next came the three Sailor Starlights and Chibichibi.
The powers of the Sailor Soldiers stem from their being reincarnations of princesses of the Solar System's nine planets, except for earth who had a prince instead, and Usagi who is a reincarnation of the moon's princess. The powers rely on the users desire to the defeat of evil. For example, Sailor Moon is the most powerful Sailor Soldier, but she can only use her full powers when she is willing to give up her life to defeat the evil that is attacking the world. She does this several times - coming back to live via her own powers afterwards.