Magic Circles from "Oh My Goddess!"

The manga series "Oh My Goddess!" ( ああっ女神さまっ Aa! Megami-sama), by Kosuke Fujishima, involves (among other plot elements) the struggles of deities (primarily goddesses) and demons against each other in our world. The magic spells, etc. used by these characters occasionally makes use of carefully rendered circular inscriptions. I've redrawn some of these inscriptions (referred to in the translated books as "mandalas" or "workings" - apparently the Japanese is 魔方陣 mahoujin or "magical formation" though this phrase is also used for mathematical magic squares) using PostScript and provide images of them below, as well as a PDF collecting them.

Except when stated otherwise, these magic circles appear suddenly, as a result or possibly as a side effect of a work of magic by a deity or demon. Deities and demons are generally human-sized.

The "Ultimate Magical Warding Mandala". Used in chapter 47 to keep demons away, though it apparently blocks magic of all kinds. The circled Y symbols indicate boulders. The unbordered light gray areas indicate magical text - I didn't feel up to rendering that (though I may, later). In the book this working is created at great effort out of pebbles, boulders, and drawing in the sand.

Approximate size: 20 feet in diameter.

A "working" used in chapters 137 and 138 to remove a demonic curse. Created by a demon but used by both demons and deities. The light gray interior lines represent large amounts of magical text.

Approximate size: 40 feet in diameter. A standing human fits easily into any of the empty circles.

A demonic working used in chapter 138 to return to the infernal realms.

Approximate size: 6 feet in diameter. A human can stand in the center circle carefully.

A divine mandala used in chapter 157-159 to lock a door. The casting deity unlocks it with an incantation and a touch. The shape shown appears on the outside of the door - the shape on the inside is not shown clearly until the moment of unlocking and may be very different even before that point.

Approximate size: 1 foot or less in diameter.

A demonic working used in chapter 158 to teleport into a closed room. In use, the central circle fills in with black and then expands (the outer lines bending to accomodate it) until it is large enough for a demon to drop through (it appears on the ceiling).

The triangle off to the side clearly appears in the book - not all of the surrounding area can be seen, but the obvious symmetrical locations definitely do not have corresponding triangles, so I believe there is only the one.

Approximate size: 4 feet in diameter. A human can drop through the large circle easily.

A "Seal Square" - a divine mandala used in chapter 169-170 to seal another deity's powers.

This working only appears in-panel twice. In the first appearance, there are only 3 bridging arcs between the center circle and the outer lines. The second appearance has all four symmetrical bridges, so I'm assuming the earlier image was mistaken. The circle is also mirrored between the two appearances - what appears here is the latter orientation.

Approximate size: 4 feet in diameter.

A working used in chapter 186 as part of a naming ceremony for a demonic familiar.

It's not clear whether this is a demonic or divine working. This ceremony is being "witnessed" by three deities, but they apparently aren't necessary for the ceremony - it had already been started without any working or witnesses at all but was interrupted. Maybe this is the divine working for the equivalent divine ceremony? Or maybe the characters are just in the habit of making up circles for any major magical activity, whether needed or not.

Approximate size: 7 feet in diameter.

A "Binding Mandala" - a demonic working used in chapter 240 as part of an attack.

This working actually consists of outlined white areas, but I've changed them to light gray to make it more clear what areas are included. In the comic it was rendered on a gray background. The un-outlined gray areas again represent short bits of magical text.

Approximate size: 7 feet in diameter.

The gate to Hell - a portal to the demonic realm, which first appears in chapter 246.

This doesn't seem to be a magic circle in the same sense as the other ones listed here, as it is not placed on the ground as a space for spellwork. Rather, this appears to be the physical representation of the portal. Shown is the fully visible, but partially closed form. The gate unfolds into this from a more compact version, and later shifts into a fully open version with a larger center opening.

Approximate size: the circular section is about 7 feet in diameter.

All 9 workings in a PDF

Unincluded Circles

There are some magic circles that I haven't redrawn, for various reasons:

These are magical symbols from a fictional universe - I make no claims about any power they have in our world beyond looking cool.

I've also redrawn a magic circle from the comic "Wormy".


Symbols designed by Kosuke Fujishima and redrawn by Denis Moskowitz with no authorization. I claim this to be fair use of possibly copyrighted material. Last modified November 19, 2011.