SoraNews24’s Seiji compiles a list of five things you’ll need to do if you want to be a heroine in the grand tradition of Sailor Moon and her ilk.

All in all, our Japanese-language correspondent Seiji Nakazawa is pretty happy with his job here at SoraNews24. Not only does he get to flex his creative writing muscles, his position comes with some nice perks, like getting paid to eat gold-covered sushi, beg for chocolate on the streets of Shibuya, and even watch anime movies while accompanied by a cute girl.

But as much as Seiji enjoys being a writer for SoraNews24, if he could be anything, he’d like to be an anime magical girl, saving the world with cuteness and grace like the stars of Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and the like.

▼ Seiji

In pursuit of that ambition, Seiji has been thinking a lot recently about what tropes and storytelling traditions define the magical girl genre and its heroines, and has compiled the following five laws of anime magical girl series.

1. First law of anime magical girl series: Magical girls must get totally naked when transforming

Anime magical girls don’t duck into a phone booth like Superman to change their clothe when it’s time to burst into action. Instead, their street clothes or school uniform magically melts away, revealing their naked silhouette before a field of shining sparkles materializes into their combat costume. Given that Seiji routinely appears in our annual SoraNews24 beefcake calendar wearing only a loincloth, having to get entirely naked to transform shouldn’t be a problem for him.

2. Second law of anime magical girl series: Magical girls must be instantly accepting of mysterious, unknown lifeforms

Whether it’s a talking cat like Sailor Moon’s Luna or a red-eyed alien like Madoka Magica’s Kyubey, every legitimate magical girl needs a familiar guiding her on the path to greatness and/or manipulating her to further its own shadowy designs, with their first meeting often happening on a nondescript suburban street. Most normal human beings would respond to an unexpected encounter with a compact monster/alien by taking two big steps back and wondering what sort of bacteria it might be carrying, to be a magical girl, you have to instead think “You know what? I think this thing would be an excellent source of life advice.”

3. Third law of anime magical girl series: Magical girls’ hair must be lollypop-colored

Vivid hair colors are a motif throughout anime, but if you want to be a magical girl, something candy-colored is preferable. Not only that, it’s heavily advised that you and each of your close friends (who are, of course, also magical girls) all have different hair colors (Sailors Moon and Venus get a pass on both having dazzling blond hair since Venus originated in her own one-shot manga).

4. Fourth law of anime magical girl series: Magical girls must die

The mortality rate for magical girls didn’t use to be so high. Then Sailor Moon killed off its core cast as part of its first season climax, and now, with the recent rise in dark deconstructions of the genre, magical girls are dropping like flies. Sometimes they fade daintily away, sometimes they meet their end with blood gushing from their wounds, and sometimes they even manage to come back from the dead, but increasingly you can count on a body count in magical girl anime.

5. Fifth law of anime magical girl series: In the end, all problems are solved with power

There are often conflicts where who’s right and who’s wrong is a matter of perspective. But Seiji has noticed that when the final episode rolls around, even magical girls tend to operate under a policy of “might makes right,” with the heroines combining their powers to forcibly subdue their adversaries. “Essentially, the principles of magical girl series aren’t all that far removed from those of Dragon Ball Z,” Seiji concludes.

Following his analysis, we’re not sure we’re entirely rooting for Seiji to achieve his dream of becoming a magical girl. Honestly, we’d rather not sure we want to be subjected to his domineering will before watching him tragically die, so hopefully he’ll stick to just watching anime magical girls for the time being.

Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: SoraNews24, Pakutaso (1, 2)
[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s always happy to talk about why Sailor Jupiter is the best magical girl.

[ Read in Japanese ]