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"You'll go into the recycle bin and be empty-empty-emptied!"
After Kia Asamiya created Steam Detectives for his son, he looked yet again into an unfamiliar genre, this time for his daughter, who was a fan of Magical Girls. He came up with a story that brought the typical wand-waving, miniskirt-wearing junior high girl Twenty Minutes Into the Future by making her a regular girl in the real world and a magical girl online.
Fourteen-year-old Yui Kasuga is perky, creative, daydreamy... and at a complete disadvantage for someone that lives twenty years in the future: she's so computer-illiterate that she thinks "delete" is a snack food. Luckily for her, her best friend Haruna Kisaragi is a famous computer expert, taught by her father and her uncle. However, Haruna ain't stupid and Yui has to do her own homework, even though the rest of her friends are off to a virtual theme park. Yui puts the homework disk into her computer and manages to screw up so badly that a virtual creature hidden inside it is awakened by just the right key combination. Thinking he's stumbled upon a super-genius, the creature, IR, commands Yui to load her consciousness onto the "Com-Net" (internet) and become a virtual magical girl.
Yui immediately jumps at the chance to fight viruses and wear cute outfits (not to mention, one of the first people threatened by the Big Bad is her father), but as she finds out, there's more to the story than this. Eight sentient programs, of which IR is one, have been created by one Professor Inukai, who is comatose after another program named Grosser rebelled against him and overrode his car. Grosser is after these programs, which uphold the very existence of Com-Net (and, since Everything Is Online, the real world too); presumably, he wants to corrupt everything for some unknown goal. Yui is commissioned to gather all eight and combine their powers with her own to delete Grosser.
Yui might turn to cliche once in a while, but in other respects, it's very different. The title character actually wants to be a magical girl, and has dreamed about it and written like stories for a long time. She has a few basic powers with her Fairy Elemental Suit, but each Corrector Program can grant her a different Elemental Suit with different powers, varying the battle tactics. And though the plot might seem straightforward, never fear: Grosser and his Corruptor Programs aren't simple Card Carrying Villains, Inukai's not such a saint himself, the Correctors have their own personalities and quirks, and both Yui and Haruna might not be what they think they are either.
The original manga was commissioned to a mangaka named Keiko Okamoto which adapted the two seasons in a 9-volume manga series of two parts (5 for the first, 4 for the second). Asamiya later wrote his own version.
- Action Girl: Freeze in the second season, mixed with Dojikko traits.
- Adult Child: Manami, and to some degree, Yui's father.
- Affectionate Nickname: Yui calls War Wolf 'Doggie' or 'Wan-chan', she obviously doesn't do that (later, at least) to tease him... and it is carried on when Synchro returns to his Fearsome Four self during the second season. He doesn't like the nickname but after a while, he gets used to it.
- AI Is a Crapshoot: Grosser
- Aloof Ally: Corrector Ai.
- Artificial Human: Both Correctors and Corruptors have feelings and thoughts of their own.
- Ascended Fangirl: Yui, after she jumps at the call.
- Big Badass Wolf: War Wolf.
- Bodyguard Crush: It's hinted a bit that Synchro might be in love with Yui.
- Body Horror: Second anime season: The Boggler Virus not only forcibly turns Synchro into War Wolf, but at some point it briefly forces a struggling, panicking Corrector Haruna to beat up Yui with her rod, until Corrector Ai comes in a Big Damn Heroes entry.
- Brainwashed and Crazy:
- Broken Bird: Corrector Ai.
- Chickification: Played straight with Freeze, subverted with Haruna.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Chiaki from the Asamiya manga.
- Dark Action Girl: Freeze in the first season.
- Dark Magical Girl:
- Corrector Haruna, when controlled by Grosser.
- Corrector Ai, later.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Ai, in the end.
- Dojikko: Yui, Freeze in the second season.
- Eleventh-Hour Superpower: The Tie Suit.
- Enemy Mine: Yui and War Wolf have to team up at least thrice in the first season to either save their skins or other people.
- Enigmatic Minion: War Wolf.
- Everything Is Online: Rather literally.
- Evil Costume Switch: When normal, Corrector Haruna's white and pink suit makes her look like an angel, white bird wings included. When she's Brainwashed and Crazy, it becomes red and black, with bat wings and a devil's tail.
- Paint It Black: The Angel and Devil Suits might be separate, but their user's alignment summons one or the other, rather than the switch being intentional.
- Fan Service: In the anime, Yui's very detailed Transformation Sequences have quite the Male Gaze directed towards either her breasts, feet, hips and butt. This is amped up to eleven in the second season.
- Five-Man Band: In the second season, four Correctors join Yui more frequently than the others and form a team with her.
- Genius Bruiser: Yagi, Peace.
- Genius Ditz: Yui, Rescue.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The faces that the Correctors make in their transformation sequences are very... orgasmic indeed.
- Gotta Catch Them All
- Heroic BSOD: Yui has three short ones in the first season.
First, when she discovers that she wasn't The Chosen One.
Second, when Haruna is revealed to be Brainwashed and Crazy.
Third, after Grosser reveals his Xanatos Gambit and the reasons behind it to her.
- I Know You Are in There Somewhere Fight: Yui, to Corrector Haruna, and later to Grosser/Shun.
- Ill Girl: Azusa Shinozaki, Corrector Ai's mother, who's in a Convenient Coma after her mind is trapped inside the Web by the Big Bad.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: The Elemental Suits.
- Inside a Computer System
- Jumped At the Call: Yui was just a bit too eager to become a Magical Girl. The same goes to Haruna and Ai, but for very different reasons.
- Joshikousei: Yui, Ai and Haruna are often seen in uniforms outside of school.
- Living Next Door To The Anti Heroine: Yui and Ai are next-door neighbors.
- Magical Girl: The three Corrector girls: Yui, Haruna and Ai.
- Magic Music: Yui uses this against Haruna, and later against Grosser.
- Mailer Daemon: Grosser's subconscious met Yui and became amazed by (and obsessed with) her when she was a little girl. This developed into him becoming somewhat of a Stalker with a Crush when he saw her again, although even he didn't know why for a long while.
- The Medic: Rescue.
- Missed the Call:
- Played straight at first; Haruna was supposed to become the first Corrector, but that went to Yui instead.
- Subverted later, when given the "second call", Haruna accepted it to spare Yui from danger but all was a Xanatos Gambit to be prime target for Grosser's brainwashing.
- And in the third call... well, she got to fight side-by-side with Ai and Yui.
- Missing Mom: Azusa is there in body, but not in mind thanks to her Convenient Coma.
- Mysterious Waif: The Little Girl from the second anime season.
- Overprotective Dad: Yui's father.
- Parental Abandonment:
- Haruna's parents are more interested in work than their daughter and ignore her almost completely.
- Haruna's father was on the "Princess Net" site as the prince (Acoording to Haruna herself) but we never see him or know who is him
- Ai's father died when she was a little girl and her Hot Mom is comatose, so her paternal aunt is her ward and caretaker.
- Pinocchio Syndrome: Grosser just wanted to be alive.
- Put on a Bus: Shun, in the second season.
- Screw Destiny: Yui was not destined to be a Corrector and at some moment she was about to fully give the mantle to the *real* Chosen One, but ultimately she changed her mind and came back. Just in time, since Haruna was Brainwashed and Crazy.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Poor Synchro.
- Ship Tease: Yui has it with Shun; Synchro with Ai.
- Shrinking Violet: Haruna start as one, slowly gets better...
- Silk Hiding Steel: Haruna, Anti, Rescue in a more child-like way.
- Super-Hero Speciation: In the anime and the Okamoto manga, the Corrector Program to Elemental Suit ratio was 2:1, although the powers varied [for example, Yui could get the wind suit from Anti and see the future, or she could get the same suit from Control and stop time]. In the Asamiya manga, though, every program got their own suit.
- The Snark Knight: Ai Shinozaki, sometimes.
- Taken for Granite: Yui and Freeze, among others, in an episode of the anime's second season. That triggers Haruna's return.
- Tall, Dark and Bishoujo: Ai Shinozaki.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Synchro.
- Team Mom: Anti, sometimes Haruna.
- Tenchi Solution
- Those Two Guys: Yui and Haruna's friends Reiko and Akiko, as well as Takashi's buddies Ichitaro and Hideto.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The Big Bad of the second season, Ryo Kurokawa... was Dead All Along.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Yui is actually Haruna's Tomboy and Ai's Girly Girl.
- Tsundere: Reiko is a Type B towards Ichitaro.
- Twenty Minutes Into the Future: Year 2020.
- The Unchosen One: Yui.
- Weasel Mascot: IR.
- We Can Rule Together: Grosser wants Yui to be his puppet girlfriend/wife. Yui refuses his offer, though.
- Wrench Wench: Rescue.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Control.
- Xanatos Gambit: How Grosser manipulates Haruna to separate Yui from her Corrector friends and then controlling her.
- Your Mind Makes It Real
- Zettai Ryouiki: Standard for Yui and Haruna's school uniforms.