Concept: magical girl heist caper. Each team member hails from a totally different genre of magical girl media, brought together via whatever plot contrivance is most expedient to combine their Very Particular Skills™
in pursuit of the biggest score of all: to infiltrate the polydimensional dream-fortress of the nefarious Cats from Saturn and steal back the Moon.
(To anticipate the obvious question, of course the Cats from Saturn have stolen the Moon. It’s what they do.)
Heck, you know what? Let’s make a game of it. Leverage creator John Rogers’ formula for the genre identifies five essential roles in any heist caper:
- The Grifter deals in trust: gaining it, using it, and (if necessary) burning it. Deception and impersonation are frequently key skills, but don’t underestimate the power of a firm handshake and a winning smile.
- The Hacker deals in information, both in terms of acquiring it for the team, and in terms of denying it to the target. Surveillance, misinformation, and social engineering fall under the Hacker’s domain.
- The Hitter deals in force. Far from being simple muscle, the Hitter’s most essential skill is understanding the applications of violence, which includes knowing how to avoid it as much as knowing how to perform it.
- The Mastermind deals in plans. In this case the name says it all – the Mastermind is the one coordinating the team and spinning backup plans for the backup plans when things inevitably go off the rails.
- The Thief deals in access. Stealing is part of it, but it’s broader than that: anything that involves having something you’re not supposed to have or being somewhere you’re not supposed to be is the Thief’s forte.
Who’s your all star team? All five roles must be filled (though you can double up on some roles if your team is bigger than five), and no two characters can be from the same media franchise.
Grifter: Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon). Season 1 Sailor Moon has a transformation pen, and her entire think is gaining the trust of those around her to follow her to hell and back.
Hacker: Himawari Shinomiya/Vivid Yellow (Vivid Red Operation): No joke, she’s literally a hacker in the show before she becomes a technomagical girl, and continues to be one to the benefit of the team.
Hitter: Nanoha Takamachi (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha): this girl will obliterate you with amazing precision. She even earned the nickname “The White Devil” in her fandom (yes, it’s a Gundam reference) because of this. To be fair, most of the primary cast of MGLN and its later seasons would fall under this category.
Kinomoto (Cardcaptor Sakura): Far from innocent, she commits multiple B&Es & trespasses constantly to collect her cards throughout the series. I mean, yes, it is ultimately for everyone’s safety, but she still breaks into an art museum, an aquarium, and at least one business.
Mastermind: Hibiki Tachibana (Symphogear): She’s here mostly because I find it hilarious. Her entire playbook comes from action movies, and so her solutions tend to be “hit it really hard with my fist”. To be fair, her plans never fail unless the plot demands it.
I am very upset that I didn’t even hesitate to come up with all of these.
Challenge Mode: Don’t use any of the franchises used previously in the specific reblog chain.
Mastermind: Marinette Dupain-Cheng | Ladybug (Miraculous Ladybug)
A bit of a stretch to call her a magical girl, as the show leans more on Western superhero aesthetics and tropes, but there’s nobody better to come up with a million plans while flying by the seat of her pants. The whole concept of her Lucky Charm power is built around that. In-verse, it’s why she was chosen as the new Ladybug.
Hacker: Lala Hagoromo | Cure Milky (Star Twinkle Pretty Cure)
This girl has a supercomputer AI hivemind on her wrist that can literally answer any question you might have. Canonically her people don’t know how to do basic multiplication because the computer did everything for them. Sh becomes more independent and self-reliant as the story goes on, but the ability is still there.
Thief: Meimi Hanaeoka | Saint Tail (Phantom Thief Saint Tail)
I haven’t made the time to watch this one yet but do I really need to explain myself?
Hitter: Kimberly Rose | Taurus (Zodiac Starforce)
A powerful and stubborn girl with a huge heart of solid gold – and some pretty kickass magic armor that she uses to ram through walls. This girl has repeatedly put her life on the line to protect her friends and, if she’s being honest, loves nothing more than fighting by their sides. She’s a veteran magical girl when the story starts, itching to get the team back together and go back to punching badguys.
Grifter: Jerrica Benton | Jem (Jem and the Holograms)
Again, I’m playing a little fast and loose with what a magical girl is and isn’t, but frankly she hits all the notes of a magical idol with the double identity and the secret keeping and the magic jewelry. All she’s lacking is the henshin sequence and the merchandizable mascot. With the help of her insanely powerful hologram-projecting AI, her multitude of connections, and her influential position both onstage and off, Jerrica is the perfect grifter. Disguises? Check. Need an excuse to be here? Got three. Oh fudge I’m gonna get found out? Not if I’m in two places at once!