Are you a true anime fan? Then it’s likely that you’ll have watched mahou shoujo, or magical girl anime. It’s a genre of anime that focuses on teenage girls who can transform into super-powered heroines, frequently with the aid of magical items.

It’s a form of wish fulfilment for many anime fans, since it taps into that desire everyone has to have secret super powers. Being normal schoolgirls too, these magical girls also have to face the ever present danger of failing tests and missing classes. If you know what the Japanese education system is like, then you’ll know they’re just as kiasu, if not more kiasu than us Singaporeans.

So take our test and see how many magical girl anime series you’ve watched!

1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica, or Madoka as it’s commonly known to fans, is one of the more popular magical anime series to have come out in the 2010s. It focuses on the eponymous Madoka and her friends, who can transform into magical girls to battle evil witches. Unfortunately, being a magical girl has a lot of disastrous consequences, and the anime slowly grows grimmer and darker as Madoka realises the truth of the situation.

It probably doesn’t help that Madoka is possibly the most powerful of all the characters in the series.


2. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, or just Sailor Moon as it’s known in the U.S., is the most famous magical girl anime series that is. A remake of the series, Sailor Moon Crystal, is currently ongoing, which is testament to the popularity of this 90’s series.

Sailor Moon is about a group of high school girls who are reincarnations of princesses of the various planets in the Solar System. It’s famous for also following the Super Sentai formula, known to English speaking audiences as the Power Rangers series. You see, Sailor Moon fights evil with her team of four other Sailors (Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter), just like how the Power Rangers fight in teams. She sometimes allies with another group of Sailors (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) in her fight against evil.

It also helps that the series eventually expands to cosmic proportions, as Sailor Moon fights to save not just Earth and the Solar System, but the entire galaxy as well.


3. Akazukin Chacha

Akazukin Chacha is the small, red-hooded girl who transforms into the Magical Princess Holy Up in the anime series. Unlike the other entries here, the magical girl aspect is only present in the anime version of Akazukin Chacha – the Magical Princess Holy Up doesn’t exist in the manga. Chacha and her friends are on a quest to save their medieval kingdom from a demonic tyrant who has conquered the land, and only the Magical Princess Holy Up has the power to do so.

Unfortunately, the magical girl aspect was only present for the first two and a half seasons. The third season saw Chacha giving up her powers to save the land, and the rest of the series became more faithful to the comedic tone of the manga.


4. Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne

Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne revolves around a high school girl who can transform into the magical girl “thief” Kaitou Jeanne, who is a reincarnation of Joan of Arc. She battles demons who hide in rare and valuable artworks, and when she defeats those demons, the artwork will vanish, earning her the moniker of “thief”.

There were many comments about how Kaitou Jeanne had many conceptual and visual similarities with Sailor Moon, which is pretty evident. However, what made Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne unique was the horrifying twist at the end of the series. You see, Kaitou Jeanne had an angel mentor who disappeared at the beginning of Season 2, only to return at the end [spoiler tags] as the lackey of the big bad of the series. [spoiler tags]

The big bad, Maou, was also pretty insidious – his plan to defeat Kaitou Jeanne involved manipulating her parents into a divorce from young, even before she gained her magical girl powers, in order to break her heart. And you’re reminded of this in almost every episode (she starts each episode by looking in the mailbox for a letter from her estranged parents, as she lives alone). Pretty sinister for a children’s anime!


5. Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura has a very Pandora’s Box-esque quest. Sakura discovers she has magical powers and accidentally releases magical sentient cards, Clow Cards, which she has to recapture. The series is famous for Sakura’s friend, Tomoyo, who periodically sews a new costume for her to fight the bad guys. This is basically an excuse for Sakura to have new costumes every now and then.

It’s also famous for that horribly catchy earworm which is her theme song.


6. Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!

If you’re wondering why the Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! look like boys… it’s because they are! As a twist on the magical girl genre, Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! is a magical boys anime which sees high school boys transforming into Battle Lovers (we don’t know if they are boys or girls) to defeat evil. Collectively, their group is known as the Earth Defense Club.

If it looks awfully similar to Sailor Moon, that’s intentional – Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! is meant to be a male parody of Sailor Moon.


Scoring System

You’ve watched all 6 series: Congratulations! You’re a true magical girls anime fan. You write “Sailormoon” instead of “Sailor Moon”. In fact, you might even be a magical girl yourself! Have you tried fighting evil by moonlight?

You’ve watched 3-5 series: You’re a magical girl fan, but you’re not quite a magical girl yourself. Perhaps you need to believe in hope, justice, and love… and watch more magical girl anime series. But don’t worry, maybe your pure heart has yet to reveal itself!

You’ve watched 1-2 series: You know about magical girls, but not that much. Maybe you like anime series like Attack on Titan or Doraemon more. No worries, being part of the Survey Corps is just as cool!

You’ve watched none of the series: Stop reading now and go watch Sailor Moon Crystal. Then come back once you have a finer appreciation of the magical girl genre.

Napping Princess. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Napping Princess. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

If you like the magical girl genre, then you’ll love Napping Princess (also known as Ancien and the Magic Tablet in other countries)! While not technically a magical girl anime, it does see high school girl Kokone dreaming of her secret life as a powerful sorceress in the steampunk world of Heartland. Fantasy and reality collide as Kokone discovers that the two worlds may be more interconnected than she thought. And when both worlds are threatened, Kokone may be the only one who can save both!

So why is she the Napping Princess? You’ll need to catch this Golden Village exclusive in cinemas to find out!


Credits: Golden Village Cinemas