The Magical Girl’s Guide to Life:
Find Your Inner Power, Fight Everyday Evil & Save the Day with Self-Care
by Jacque Aye
Published by Ulysses Press
Publication date: December 21, 2021
The Magical Girl’s Guide to Life is an anime-inspired approach to self-help for magical girls of any age. Guided by the gentle and encouraging hand of Jacque Aye, the reader is taken on a journey through personal growth and empowerment as explored through the animé trope of the “magical girl” or mahou shoujo, which can be seen in shows and movies like Sailor Moon, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and others.
Featuring colorful, lighthearted illustrations and multiple-choice quizzes, the book starts with an introduction to the idea of the Magical Girl and a quiz to help the reader discover what type of Magical Girl Power she possesses. This is followed by an exploration of the Magical Girl’s Origins, Names, Weapon, and Familiar, with suggestions for how to find or manifest each of these in your own life.
From there, Aye talks about how to find, assemble and maintain a Girl Gang to support you, and how to battle the Monsters that represent life’s challenges. This is followed by chapters on Self-Care, Beauty, and Finding Love, all of which discuss balancing your emotional life, taking care of yourself, and exploring romantic avenues with an honest, open heart. There is a short glossary and suggested Magical Girl animé watchlist at the end of the book as well.
I should probably confess that while I’ve seen some anime movies and TV shows, I am by no means an aficionado of the genre, and haven’t watched any of the media referenced in this book except Kiki’s Delivery Service. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was utterly charmed! Aye peppers her well-crafted advice with personal stories and struggles, exploring many ways of dealing with challenges and manifesting joy and love. Difficult topics such as anxiety, depressions, and breakups are all explored with emotional honesty and sensitivity. The book doesn’t deal with any of these topics in exceptional depth or complexity, keeping things light and positive for the most part, while keeping a gentle emotional space open for the hard parts.
This would be a great book of advice for a young woman in high school or college, or any fan of the Magical Girl trope. There’s really not any Pagan or witchcraft content here ? while the word magic appears in the title, this book is about a different kind of magic. The book is beautifully illustrated and designed, with cuteness popping out of ever pop-culture-filled page. It’s a delightful book of self-love, self-care, and growth that shines a light on the struggles and power of Magical Girls through the charming vibrancy of Aye’s encouraging prose.
Jacque Aye is the CEO of Chigami Studios and “Head Magical Girl” of the Adorned by Chi lifestyle brand! Since launching Adorned by Chi in 2015 Jacque has grown her business tremendously, racking in 6-figure sales within the first two years of operation and a development deal within the first five!
Adorned by Chi has also worked with the likes of Sanrio, collaborating on a collection for their Small Business, Big Smile initiative. As a leader in the manga and anime space, Jacque has grown her small tight knit community into one that boasts over 100,000 magical beings across social media.
Jacque is a vocal supporter of mental health awareness and self care amongst Black women, and advocates for those suffering from social anxiety. In 2020, Adorned by Chi was able to donate $20,000 to the Loveland Foundation.
About the author:
Sarah McMenomy is a visionary artist, author, and witch. Pulling inspiration from trance states, dreams, auras, psychedelia, and the natural world, she weaves together themes of nature and the occult in her artwork and writing. She has created art and written for books, magazines, games, and more, as well as producing digital fine art prints and acrylic paintings.
She is the creator of The Entanglement Tarot, a hex-shaped occult Tarot deck designed for spell-craft.
She is co-runner of Pagan Pages, for which she also writes articles and book reviews, and she also publishes art on her Portfolio site and other work on her Tumblr.