According to Wikipedia, “Magical girls (also known as mahou shoujo, or majokko) is a subgenre of Japanese fantasy anime, and manga which feature girls who use magic.” The most famous example would be Sailor Moon, and since the manga (and its anime) made it big in the 90s, it inspired a generation of creators who are either putting their own spin to the subgenre, or borrowing from it. I grew up on Sailor Moon, and it’s great to see young women like my 14 year old sister exposed to more of these stories.
Zodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta, and Paulina Ganucheau
These group of teen girls must battle the forces of evil!…but also get their homework done on time. Sounds like your basic magical girl story except that this particular one starts off with the group disbanded, and retired after already banishing the forces of evil. Rather than a story about a new group of girls who get to know each other, and try to work together, we have a group of friends with an established history getting back together which…still requires working out some teamwork kinks. I got the chance to read the first issue, and Paulina’s art is just incredibly stunning. Panelteer CG has written about her love of the series so check that out.
Power Up by Kate Leth, and Matt Cummings
Again, this is the story of ordinary people who are suddenly “the chosen ones,” and given kick ass magical powers…except this time, it’s not young girls. We instead have Amie who is a twentysomething who works in retail, Sandy’s a mother of teenagers, Kevin is a washed up athlete, and a fish named Silas. Didn’t see that coming, huh? It’s definitely a book that is magical girl in spirit, and by just seeing the previews, the art looks playful, and the tone feels fun. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading it, but panelteer Hilary really enjoyed the first issue.
Agents of the Realm by Mildred Louis
I’ve binged through this webcomic in a day, and after getting caught up, the wait is excrutiating! Agents of the Realm is about five female college students who are chosen to not only protect our world but a sister dimension as well. Again, these are young women in their twenties as opposed to their teens, but it still fully embodies the magical girl spirit. Just like the others, it’s incredibly diverse, and at the heart of it, it’s about figuring out who you are which is often not limited to a particular time in your life.
It’s moments like the one above that got me to fall in love with this comic which exudes a genuineness (and beauty because the art is gorgeous) that I can connect to as someone who graduated from university not that long ago. I strongly suggest checking this webcomic out, and I’d be astonished if it’s not printed in book form a la Nimona in the near future.
What should you take away from this? Embrace the magical girl. You will fall fast, and hard in love and go from normal, everyday comics reader to…a magical girl fan. I’m sorry. I can’t guarentee “chosen one” status, I’m afraid.