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Surprisingly, Sailor Moon wasn’t even close to the top pick.

Some anime protagonists fall into the same archetypical classes as the heroes of other types of fiction, such as the noble knight, hotshot pilot, or lonely drifter. But there’s no other medium that loves magical girls as much as Japanese animation does.

Japanese anime portal Charapedia recently asked 10,000 respondents to pick their favorite magical girl. Respondents between the ages of 10 and 29 made up 63.6 percent of the group, with the remainder in their 30s. 65.2 percent of the survey participants were male.

Let’s see whose spell they admitted to being under.

20. Yu Morisawa Creamy Mami (92 votes)

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Three decades after her TV debut, the Magical Angel is still fondly remembered, thanks in no small part to her character design from veteran Akemi Takada.

19.Hikaru ShidoMagic Knight Rayearth (106 votes)

Magic knight? Close enough to magic girl for fans of this fiery Clamp heroine.

18. Riko Izayoi Maho Girls PreCure! (109 votes)

17. Shiba Miyuki The Irregular at Magic High School (115 votes)

16. Punie TanakaMagical Witch Punie-chan (125 votes)

15. Kosaki Onodera Nisekoi (132 votes)

14. Ami Mizuno Sailor Moon (152 votes)

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The first Sailor Senshi in the top 20, prim and proper Sailor Mercury has long been one of the most popular Sailor Moon characters in Japan.

13. Lina InverseSlayers (160 votes)

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Most would call the brash and covetous Lina a “sorceress” instead of “magical girl,” but since the short-tempered mage is liable to level our city with black magic if we offend her, maybe we shouldn’t argue the point too much.

12. Hayate Yagami Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (172 votes)

11. Kyoko Sakura Puella Magi Madoka Magica (191 votes)

Get used to seeing the Madoka cast, as all five core members of the dark reimagining of magical girl tropes secured spots in the top 20.

10. Usagi Tsukino Sailor Moon (194 votes)

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Color us surprised. Not only did Sailor Moon herself come nowhere near to capturing the crown, she just barely managed to crack the top 10. Hopefully Sailor Moon Crystal’s revamped third-season artwork will help her return to form.

9. Sayaka MikiPuella Magi Madoka Magica (226 votes)

8. Doremi Harukaze Ojamajo Doremi (260 votes)

While little Doremi got only 15 votes from male respondents, she soared to third place among female survey participants and eventually landed here in the overall ranking.

7. Fate Testarossa Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (265 votes)

6. Mami Tomoe Puella Magi Madoka Magica (277 votes)

We’re happy for you, Mami, we really are. Just promise us you won’t let all the popularity go to your head, OK?

5. Illyasviel von Einzbern Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya (326 votes)

4. Nanoha Takamachi Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (403 votes)

3. Sakura KinomotoCardcaptor Sakura (560 votes)

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Once we saw Sailor Moon didn’t have the top spot, our money would have been on Sakura to capture it. Still, this is a great showing for a character who’s been on hiatus for the last 16 years (though happily that’s about to change), as Sakura was the top vote-getter among female respondents, who cast 298 ballots in her honor, and also the number-four men’s pick.

2. Homura Akemi Puella Magi Madoka Magica (597 votes)

Well, if the fallen angel of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica crew is around, that must mean the object of her obsession is nearby, right?

1. Madoka Kaname Puella Magi Madoka Magica (605 votes)

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Madoka or Homura seems to always be a tough choice for fans of this groundbreaking show, but in the end good triumphed over evil.

Interestingly, while men were more likely to vote for Madoka than Homura (splitting their support 383/332), more women picked Homura, giving her 265 votes in comparison to the 222 they bestowed upon Madoka.

Because of that, if you’re looking to buy one of those Madoka Magica swimsuits for a lady friend, you might be better off getting her the Homura version.

Follow Casey on Twitter as he tries to sort out his conflicted emotions of joy that people still remember Lina Inverse and his bitter disappointment at the criminal omission of Sailor Jupiter from this list.

Source: Charapedia via Jin
Top image: Super Groupies
Insert images: Studio Pierrot, Sailor Moon official website, TV Tokyo, Sailor Moon official website (2), Super Groupies, Puella Magi Madoka Magica official website