Magic in the Magica Universe are forces created from fluctuation of emotion, unbounded by the First Law of Thermodynamic. When Kyubey's scientifically-advanced race discovered magic, they realized its capacity to create new energy can postpone maximum Entropy and delay the heat death of the Universe. However, Kyubey's race is incapable of emotions, thus they scoured the Universe for species with the most emotional potential. He found his answer in Earth's human females, especially those still developing secondary sex characteristics. Magical girls and Witches, and thus the settings of the story, are the result of Kyubey's quest to harvest this energy.
- 1 Magical creatures
- 2 Common abilities
- 3 Unique Abilities
- 4 Connect
- 5 Adjustment
- 6 Magical realm
- 7 Magic Seals
- 8 Further reading
Three types of magical creatures exist in Magica universe: magical girls, witches, and familiars. However, because both familiars and magical girls can mature into witches, all three may be considered stages of a single species. Souls of magical girls and witches are separated from their bodies and reside in soul gems and grief seeds respectively. Because of this, magical girls and witches are highly invulnerable as long as their soul gems or grief seeds are intact and can recover in due time. Familiars do not have grief seeds so they are presumed dead when killed. Both soul gems and grief seeds are adorned by the emblem of the holder, and familiars carry the emblem of the witch from whom they budded from.
Read more about emblems at soul gems and grief seeds.
These are magical abilities common to all magical girls. For magical girls, magic usage (inside and outside of battle) causes their soul gems to become tainted, which must be cleansed by a vanquished witch's grief seed. With training, magical girls can become more proficient at these abilities and reduce magic usage. According to a magazine article, veteran magical girls will become very powerful in time as they gain experience. They can also develop different magical powers beyond those of their original abilities:
- Henshin: Magical girls undergo a magical transformation that summons a fancy new costume onto their body. It is assumed that the costume provides protection.
- Summon weaponry: Magical girls typically summon their offensive weapon from thin air or their Soul Gem at will. Each has their own characteristic weaponry and fighting style that they gain increasing proficiency at. Magical Girls can summon numerous copies of their weapons, and sometimes in differing styles or sizes, and channel their unique or elemental magic through them. Magical Girls may also instead fire blasts of pure magical energy in lieu of using weapons proper. For a catalogue of weapons used in the series, see Weapons.
- Summon barriers: Magical Girls are capable of using protective magic if they desire or learn to; in Kaoru Maki's side story, Natsuki Utsuho's desire to protect her created defensive magic that saved her from a Witch, a power she did not know she could use until then.
- Physical enhancements: All Magical Girls exhibit superhuman strength, agility, and healing. They are also able to shut off their sense of pain during battle at will (though this hinders their reaction time). They are also capable of healing physical ailments such as poor eyesight, weak constitutions or immune systems, or physical disabilities like paralysis (though expending great deals of magic may leave a Magical Girl disabled and unable to cure themselves, as was the case with Nemu Hiiragi). According to Kyubey, it is possible to keep fighting even with every drop of blood in their body drained by healing it with magic. These physical enhancements also include the ability to jump to incredible heights and survive immense falls. However, Magical Girls may still retain severe injuries from magical opponents that may leave them in a hospital for prolonged periods of time, comatose, or on the brink of death. Such injuries, if left unhealed by another Magical Girl and without unique healing magic (as granted by a wish), will continuously and rapidly darken the injured girl's Soul Gem, and purifying it with Grief Seeds will not necessarily speed up their own healing or awaken them. Magical Girls may choose whether to use their magic to make themselves completely immune to mundane illnesses, and some choose not to so that they may retain some semblance of humanity.
- Magic Detection: Soul Gems are capable of detecting the magic of Magical Girls, Witches, Familiars, and Uwasa. They glow when there are Witches or Familiars nearby, or if there have been any in a given area recently. Witches seem to leave behind some sort of trail of magic, each unique and distinguishable from each other, which Magical Girls can detect and follow. It is unclear whether a Witch's Familiar has the same energy signature as its master Witch, and whether Soul Gems can also detect victims of a witches' kiss. The magical signatures of Uwasa cannot be detected, even in the area it exists in, unless the rumor it embodies has been successfully invoked and it subsequently appears to fulfill or protect it. The magic of Uwasa is noted to feel very different from that of Witches.
- Some Magical Girls are able to conceal their magic from the detection of others.
- As depicted in Magia Record, the magic of a Magical Girl detected through another's Soul Gem is depicted as a glowing dot, the color of the detected girl's own gem. This dot will move around to mirror the detected girl's own movement.
- Telepathy: Magical Girls are able to use telepathy to communicate with each other nonverbally and over large distances or through obstacles. Kyubey can use himself as a relay through which non-contracted girls with magical potential can communicate with each other and Magical Girls. As clarified in Magia Record, Magical Girls do not require Kyubey to use this ability amongst themselves. Also shown in Magia Record, telepathy can be negated by some Witch labyrinths, and is shown to have a maximum range in which it can be used.
- Flying/Hovering: While so far only Homura has displayed the outright ability to hover in the air (during her fight with Walpurgisnacht) it's not impossible they can all learn to do it.
- Magic Imbuement: Magical girls are able to imbue ordinary objects with magic. This can enhance their original functions, or allow them to be used in combat.
While most magical girls who aren't transformed are unable to use their magic, they still use up a bit of it to sustain their body involuntarily in their daily lives. However, even without transforming they can still use their Soul Gems in a limited fashion to perform magic. For example, the Soul Gem can be used:
- To summon a magical weapon still attached to the Soul Gem.
- To heal any form of injuries on themselves or others.
- Adjust a body's ability.
- Preserve a dead body from decomposition.
- Rena Minami has been shown to be able to use her disguising magic while not transformed.
Wishes and Unique Magic
Magical girls are granted unique, personalized powers (regularly referred to as "unique magic") based on the wish they made to become magical girls. As with the way wishes may be granted, the powers bestowed by them can be interpreted in many different ways.
In the original series and most manga adaptations, the unique magic a girl's wish grants was always based on some interpretation of the wish and its wording, creating a mostly direct parallel between the two: for example, Homura Akemi's wish to redo her first meeting with Madoka Kaname gave her the ability to stop and rewind time; Kirika Kure's wish to become a "different" Kirika, one Oriko Mikuni would like, granted her the ability to alter others' perception of her; Riz Hawkwood's wish to become the one from which a hero (who, in turn, wished to be the "light" that saved France) would emerge gave her the ability to manipulate shadows.
With the introduction of Magia Record, however, girls' unique magic is shown to be able to differ rather significantly from the wording of their wish, and can now be based on the intent or background of the wish: Kanoko Yayoi wished for her parents to be healthy enough to work for decades, but instead of any powers relating to healing, strength, or longevity, she gained the ability of "Sewing", allowing her to create threads and needles to sew things together, stemming from her desire to become a fashion designer instead of work at her parents' steel mill; Tsukuyo and Tsukasa Amane wished that they would never fight each other, and gained the ability to manipulate sound waves, stemming from them being reunited by their flutes.
In some cases in both the manga adaptations and Magia Record, though, a girls' unique magic seemingly has nothing to do with the wishes they made. A notable example of this was Melissa de Vignolles' wish to heal her father's and Tart's injuries; rather than grant her any healing magic, she gained destructive anti-matter powers (presumably tied to her anger that she inherited from her father); Seika Kumi wished to revive a dead friend, and gained the ability to travel between bodies of water; Masara Kagami wished for money, and gained the ability to become transparent (invisible).
In some cases, when a magical girl subconsciously rejects her wish, she loses the ability to use whatever power her wish granted her, as was the case with Kyoko Sakura losing access to her illusion magic. However, this may not always be the case, as multiple magical girls in Magia Record have been shown to reject their wishes (consciously or otherwise) and still retain their unique abilities.
Additionally, a magical girl may still retain access to her unique magic even if she does not remember her wish, partially or entirely. Iroha Tamaki forgot she had a sister and that she had wished to cure her disease, yet was still able to use her healing magic (in the anime, this was used to determine that she had in fact wished to heal someone's injury or ailment). Felicia Mitsuki's memory of her parents' death was modified due to her confusion when she had made her wish, and yet retained knowledge and usage of the ability to make others forget things.
For information on wishes that are more like curses, see Adjustment below.
According to Kyubey, a magical girl's power is tied to her "karmic destiny". From his explanation regarding people like queens and messiahs having greater karmic weight than average girls, it can be surmised that karmic destiny relates to how much influence a girl has on the world and people around her. Because Homura's repeated time loops centered around Madoka Kaname, Madoka's karmic destiny (and subsequently, power) was increased with each loop. Naturally, this strength also applies to the strength of a magical girl's Witch form.
Further, as Kyubey says in Magia Record, some wishes may be "impossible" to grant if they outweigh the karmic weight of the girl making the wish; such a wish can still be granted, but will come at a significant cost to the girl.
In the case of Ui Tamaki, wishing for one of Kyubey's abilities seems to have resulted in her being unable to handle her power and quickly become overwhelmed by the absorption of impurities. Touka Satomi and Nemu Hiiragi may have also been affected by this cost, as the use of Touka's Doppel's wish-granting power and Nemu's creation of Uwasa both use up their life force and take years off their lives.
In a more explicit instance, Rion Yuzuki wished to in some way undo an event that led to the death of her sister Hotori. However, because she lacked the necessary karmic destiny to completely undo a fixed point in time, her wish instead created two split timelines (one where Hotori never made a wish and Hotori died, and one where the incident that killed her never occurred, which also resulted in their memories being modified so they believed they had both been magical girls together for the same amount of time and without any knowledge of the other timeline's events). Over time, these two timelines began to merge and overlap with each other, until the inciting incident that ultimately led to Rion making her wish was resolved and the timelines could merge peacefully, again erasing the knowledge of the entire incident from everyone involved.
This, coupled with Homura Akemi's wish, which was said to "surpass entropy" indicates that the alteration of time and creation of multiple timelines may actually be relatively simple for an average wish to accomplish, but that there exist certain moments in time that are fixed points, and thus are more difficult if not impossible to change without sufficient karmic power. It is possible, but unconfirmed, that what constitutes a "fixed point" in time, or at least how much karmic weight is required to modify it, may be tied to how much karma is involved in that moment (eg. a moment that effects a great number of people would have a lot of karma, and thus require a girl with equal or greather karmic power to modify or undo it).
In Tart Magica, Tart's incredible power was the result of Riz Hawkwood's wish for the existence of a great hero, resulting in the entire karmic weight of all of France centering on her. The manga, as well as various descriptions in Magia Record, make frequent mention of threads of fate/karma being added to Tart's destiny. Because her karmic destiny was artificially enhanced, Tart lacks natural control over her magic and expends a lot of it at once.
As initially established in Magia Record and briefly shown in its anime adaptation, magical girls and their magic fall in one of six "elemental" categories: Light, Dark, Fire, Forest, Water, and Void.
In the game, these elements have strengths and weakness against each other: Light and Dark are equally strong and weak against each other; Fire is strong against Forest, Forest is strong against Water, and Water is strong against Fire; Void is neither weak or strong against any other element.
- Magical arrows: Madoka can produce arrows of pink magic that seem to explode on impact. She can fire as many as five in one shot and they appear to be able to curve in mid-flight to change direction.
- Incredible potential: Madoka is able to take out Walpurgisnacht in one hit in the right conditions. This would appear to burn through her magic near instantly however, and turn her into a witch.
- Law of Cycles/Vital Circle: Madoka can heal and purify the souls of magical girls from despair, preventing them from becoming witches and transferring them into an alternate dimension (heaven). This power is Madoka's wish, which turns her into a goddess, unleashing her immense potential, unseen by any magical girl ever before.
- Healing: In the timeline Magia Record takes place, it is postulated that Madoka and Iroha Tamaki's magic are very similar. As Iroha has healing magic, and Madoka is known to have wished to heal a cat in previous anime timelines, it is highly likely that she possesses healing magic in this timeline.
- Time stop: Homura can temporarily stop time in the surrounding area with exception of herself and anything in direct contact with her (such as holding hands).
- Hammer space: Besides blocking damage, her clockwork shield can store any size and amount of munition. Thus far, Homura has seen storing and pulling out from it pistols, grenades, flashbangs, an M249 and a large amounts of RPGs.
- Energy manipulation: She would appear to be able to fire purple-ish blasts of magic out of her hand (or Soul Gem), as well as form energy barriers around her shield to block attacks. In chapter 5 of Oriko Magica she creates a defensive barrier around Madoka.
- Time loop: Homura can rewind time back one month; however, she must wait at least one month between uses (or use up one month's worth of sand in her timer).
- Healing: Homura is seen healing her eyesight, allowing her to no longer wear glasses. It's also possible that she healed her heart condition and altered her physical state, allowing her to beat the school's pole jump record.
- Memory manipulation: Due to her wish in the new universe involving Madoka, whom only Homura remembered, she was granted the ability to manipulate both her own memories and those of others.
- Regeneration: Sayaka can quickly regenerate any otherwise fatal body damages and continue fighting. Because of her wish relating to healing someone, she uses less magic to do this and is more efficient at it than other magical girls, even Mami, who also made a wish related to healing.
- Screen sweep: Leaving blue streaks in her wake, Sayaka is able to quickly bounce across the entire battlefield and take out any enemies in her path.
- Musical platforms: Sayaka is shown creating magical platforms that take the appearance of musical notations to walk on and propel herself from. Whether this is specifically due to her own love of music, or an underlying reason for her wish, is uncertain.
- Witch summoning: In Rebellion, after having been claimed by the Law of Cycles and returning to Earth, Sayaka is shown summoning her witch form to fight alongside her in battle.
- Healing: In episode 1, Mami demonstrated the ability to heal wounds on others. Unlike Sayaka however, whose wish was related to healing, Mami is not as good at healing quickly like Sayaka can.
- Restrain: Mami can summon ribbons to restrain and incapacitate an adversary.
- Ribbons: She can shape her ribbons as she sees fit, making bridges or giant pistols out of them. Mami had to study the mechanics of pistols first before being able to shape her primary weapon (ribbons) into them though.
- Ribbon Construct: As seen in Rebellion, Mami can create a duplicate of herself entirely our of ribbons. Whether it is capable of fighting on its own/possesses some form of its own consciousness, or if she is able to control it and experience sensations through it, is uncertain.
- Other abilities: Mami placed a ribbon barrier around Madoka and Sayaka in episode 1 to protect them from harm, and imbued Sayaka's bat with magic in episode 2. In Rebellion, she is shown using her magic to instantly curl her hair.
- Erecting fencing: Kyoko can erect a impenetrable, latticed barrier to keep others from harm or to isolate her adversary.
- Giant spears: Said barrier is made of giant spears. She would appear to be able to ride them and they behave somewhat like snakes due to their chained nature.
- Create Duplicates: This attack was shown in Drama CD 3, "Farewell Story", where she created up to 13 duplicates of herself. The attack was named Rosso Fantasma by Mami. Kyoko's subconscious mind blocks her use of this power after she lost her family.
- Energy manipulation: Kyoko is also able to shroud herself in a powerful magical glow. Whether it has any effect or is just for show remains to be seen.
- Soul Gem detonation: Suicide attack. Able to take out witches in one hit. It is unknown if other magical girls can also do this at will.
- Other abilities: Kyoko was able to keep Sayaka's (soulless) body from decaying while also keeping it warm. This might be a generic use of magic all of the girls can learn to do, but it might also just be an application of healing magic on a body other than hers. In Episode 4, she used her soul gem to transform and enhance a pair of binoculars.
Connect is a magical skill introduced in Magia Record and expanded upon in its anime adaptation. It is only accessible to magical girls who have been adjusted by a Coordinator like Mitama Yakumo, who describes it as a power "(magical girls) never knew (they) had before" that is brought to the fore, implying it is an innate ability of magical girls, but one that lies dormant within their souls for some reason.
Through Connect magic, activated by direct contact, magical girls are able to share their elemental magic with one another to perform powerful magical attacks (such as Momoko Togame, who has fire magic, utilizing Rena Minami's water magic, or Rena utilizing Kaede Akino's forest magic). If a magical girl is inexperienced at using Connect, or potentially if they have very powerful magic, their partner may be overwhelmed by the strength of the magic they are given.
Currently, the powerful attacks performed with Connect magic resemble the attacking girls' personal Magia attacks from the game, so it is unclear if such attacks are possible to perform without it in anime canon.
As shown in Episode 4, it is worth noting that, as Iroha's Light magic is not tied to a tangible element (such as Fire, Water, or Forest), and Tsuruno's Connect attack did not seem to involve any sort of Iroha's healing magic, it is unknown whether this means not all Connect attacks equally combine both girls' elements; if both girls must willingly combine their magic or must concentrate in order to do so; or if Light and Dark magic are simply less visible or mostly invisible in Connect attacks.
The concept of Connect was inspired by the Holy Quintet combining their magical attacks in Rebellion.
Adjustment, known as Coordination in English, is a magical skill used by Adjustors (Coordinators) that allows them to directly affect a Magical Girl's Soul Gem. This is usually done to enhance a customer's magic and make them stronger, but can be used adversely as well. This power Adjustors them direct (albeit uncontrollable) access to their customer's memories.
It also allows Adjustors to modify or entirely change a Magical Girl's outfit, such as when Mitama Yakumo changed Homura Akemi's and Kyoko Sakura's outfits into swimsuits; in the latter case, it was noted that Mitama was the only one capable of returning Kyoko's outfit to its original form. Also in Kyoko's case, Mitama was able to bestow Kyoko with the ability to swim, which she otherwise completely lacked.
As said in the Scattered Flowers Melancholy Chapter event, Mitama was unable to Adjust Magical Girls who had been made comatose by Hanna Sarasa (through uncertain means), as their minds were "closed". It is unknown if Adjustment can be made inoperable by simply being unconscious, or if making oneself resistant to Adjustment at will through some form of mental closure or strong will is possible.
As explained by Livia Medeiros, a Magical Girl can only learn Adjustment if her wish was one out of or that causes despair/ruin, rather than for or out of hope - in essence, a wish that was more like a curse. Such "wishes" bestow destructive powers that are mostly or entirely ineffective against Witches, but can weaken the power of other Magical Girls; Adjustment, then, is purposefully using this destructive magic wrong, so that it strengthens Magical Girls instead. Doing so is described as difficult, though, and consumes much more magic than using it properly - thus, those who survive to learn Adjustment offer their services in exchange for Grief Seeds collected by their customers.
As noted by Livia, however, there remains a mystery as to why some wishes create Adjustor Magical Girls while others don't (several magical girls like Kanae Yukino and Hanna Sarasa have wished for the complete erasure of someone, yet displayed no abilities of Adjustment), as Livia states that all Magical Girls make wishes rooted in hope no matter how despicable they may be, and yet have normal magic.
Known Adjustors include:
Witches and familiars reside in magical labyrinths of another dimension. These labyrinths interface with the real world at specific locations through an unknown mechanism, but can be entered by magic girls through ripping open barriers. To attract normal people to their locations to feed upon, witches infest unhappy people with a witch's kiss, which either attract them to these locations to commit suicide (if unhindered) or kill them off with diseases. For this reason, witches tend to gather around violence-prone areas and hospitals.
The labyrinths consist both of elements from their locations in reality and of allusions to the witches that create them. Deeper within the labyrinth, more references to the witch will be seen and fewer elements from reality show up. For example, in Episode 1, the labyrinth is set in a floor waiting for refurbishing, and it was fulfilled with 'under construction' signs and barriers of a construction site. In episode two, the labyrinth is set in an abandoned concrete building, thus the rooms in the labyrinth are made of solid concrete, making its appearance differ from Episode 1 even though the owner is the same. As the protagonists approach the the final room, elements of a rose garden start to dominate the construction elements. In episode three, the labyrinth is set in a hospital, therefore surgery signs, needles, gallipots, and wards are presented first, but deeper in, those are replaced by various kinds of desserts. The barrier can also be influenced by the strong emotions of the people within them, as seen in Episode 3 when Mami and Madoka make their promise.