Sentai Watchwomen is a twelve-issue manga limited series created by actress-director Emma Watson. The series is being published by Kodansha, and plans have been made to reprint all 12 issues in collected form once the last issue is released in August.
Emma used the story as a means to reflect contemporary anxieties and to deconstruct the magical girl concept. Sentai Watchwomen takes place in an alternate history Japan where magical girls emerged in the 1970s and 1990s. The country is edging closer to a war with extradimensional villains, and most magical girls are voluntarily in retirement or working for the government. The story focuses on the personal development and struggles of the protagonists as an investigation into the murder of a government sponsored magical girl pulls them out of retirement and eventually leads them to confront a plot to kill millions of innocent people.
The story is set in an alternate 2007 where magical girls exist, Albert Gore Jr. is president of the United States, and extra-dimensional villains raid Japan on a regular basis. The sentai leader Mikey Michiru is investigating the murder of a former magical girl, Smiley Mayumi, and uncovers a plot to discredit and murder various magical girls. Michiru discovers a far wider-ranging conspiracy involving his colleagues' past which could completely change the course of history.
Main article: List of characters in Sentai Watchwomen
Smiley Mayumi / Mayumi Shiina: Already deceased when the story begins, her murder is what sets the plot in motion. The character appears throughout the story in flashbacks and aspects of his personality are revealed by other characters. Smiley Mayumi was based on the Haruhi Suzumiya character Mikuru Asahina, with elements of the Project A-Ko character Eiko Magami added. Emma saw Smiley Mayumi as "a kind of Eiko Magami character, only a much timider, yet tougher, girl". Along with Kaori Tendo, she is the only government-sanctioned magical girl after magical girls fell out of favor with the cyberpunk-loving public and many retired; therefore her death is seen as an assassination of a government worker. Her magical girl costume is basically a maid outfit with a "Have a nice day" pin on her chest area. She is parallel to The Comedian.
Killer Kaori / Kaori Tendo: A supernatural being who is contracted by the Japanese government. Recent (and teenage) college graduate Kaori Tendo gained superpowers when she was caught in an "Intrinsic Field subtractor" in 1989. Killer Kaori was based upon a cross between Yuki Nagato and Hikari Kujo. Her magical girl costume is basically a catsuit with gray and yellow coloring, similar to the one worn by Silk Spectre in Watchmen. However, Emma has categorically said she is parallel to Dr. Manhattan.
Cool Keiko / Keiko Morii: A retired magical girl who utilizes mechanical gadgets. Like Mikey Michiru, Cool Keiko is one of few magical girls without any real magical powers, which they both make up for with mechanical gadgetry. Cool Keiko was based on a cross between several magical girls, including most notably Nagisa Misumi and Mai Tokiha. Similar to how Cool Keiko had a predecessor, Emma also incorporated an earlier adventurer who used the prefix "Cool", the retired magical girl Kyoko Hirano, into Sentai Watchwomen. During her time in action, Cool Keiko lost her left eye fighting an extra-dimensional Mook. She now wears an eyepatch over her eye all the time in both forms. Her magical girl costume uses a blazer/skirt combination school uniform as its basis, similar to Mai Tokiha's costume. Her weapons include a miniature supercomputer (which she can use to hack other computers) and a miniature flamethrower. She is parallel to Nite Owl II.
Einstein Emiko / Emiko Fujio: Fujio was once the magical girl Einstein Emiko, but has since retired to devote his attention to the running of her own enterprises. Fujio is believed to be one of the smartest women on the planet. Einstein Emiko was directly based on Ryoko Asakura, with a little bit of Asuna Kagurazaka thrown in. By taking initiative to "help the world", Fujio displays a trait normally attributed to villains in magical girl stories, and in a sense she is the "villain" of the series. Emma noted "One of the worst of her sins [is] kind of looking down on the rest of humanity, scorning the rest of humanity." Her magical girl costume consists of a labcoat, a head visor, and a short purple and gold tunic. She is parallel to Ozymandias.
Mikey Michiru / Michiru Suzuki: A magical girl whose hairstyle significantly changes in magical girl form (her only supernatural property), she continues to fight extra-dimensional villains in spite of the fact that most magical girls had retired. Emma based Mikey Michiru on Go Nagai's creation Honey Kisaragi; Naoko Takeuchi's creation Usagi Tsukino also served as a template for creating Mikey Michiru. Unlike the others, her magical girl costume does not include a dress or skirt, but is instead a black vinyl jumpsuit with a pink heart in the chest area. Like Cool Keiko, other than a changing costume and different hairstyle, Mikey Michiru has no magical powers, but what they both lack in magic, they more than make up for with modern technology. Her motif is idol singer, and she is part of a sentai team. She is parallel to Rorschach.
Nova Nagisa / Nagisa Takahashi: The son of Nova Naojiro (with whom he has a strained relationship) and an older yet unnamed magical girl. Nova Nagisa was not based on a particular magical girl manga character; rather, Emma felt she needed a male hero in the cast and drew inspiration from heroes such as Dark Mousy. His costume is made entirely of leather save for his helmet, which is made entirely of titanium. He is parallel to Silk Spectre II.