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Holly Explains: Hammerspace

Holly Explains: Hammerspace published on 11 Comments on Holly Explains: Hammerspace

Holly (narrating): When a magical girl “creates” a thing,
you don’t choose how it looks — it just appears, fully-formed and designed. As if there’s a cache of pre-existing magical items somewhere, and you’re just reaching in and grabbing one.

We call that theoretical cache “hammerspace.”

The first thing any magical girl pulls out of hammerspace, when you transform for the first time, is your costume.

(Presumably your normal clothes go into hammerspace until you change back.)

Your transformation item appears with the costume — usually as a brooch or a hairpin or whatever — but it stays with you when you detransform. Most people carry theirs around for easy access. Or you can choose to stash it in hammerspace for safekeeping. If it gets lost or stolen, you’ll be unable to transform until you find it . . . . or manifest a sparkly new replacement.

Holly: And then there are magical items! They come in a lot of useful-looking shapes . . . but their real purpose is as power foci. For instance, this sword isn’t really good at stabbing things, but it’ll shoot a beam of sparkles like nobody’s business.

Any questions?

Elisa: Just one . . . do I need to be wearing this outfit to hold the hammer?

Holly: Yes. Definitely. It’s an important Southern magic thing.

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Ranma? Now there’s a blast from the past…

Am I the only one who thought it was Kale talking for the first few panels?

I’d forgotten that the gag in Holly Explains is cosplay, was looking for a Ranma 1/2 reference in the first panel after reading your post.

also: Missing socks go into Hammerspace. How does one learn to extract them?

Missing socks develop their own magical aura/high tech cloaking device. I do not think that we currently have sufficient Magical Girl power and/or technology to reveal and retrieve them. Hmm…perhaps a Girl Genius Cinderella arc/Leif and Thorn crossover is required?

How big is the difference between “creating” and “pre-existing”? Is there just one sword (or one kind of sword) in the hammerspace? Ten? Or is it like when you need sword you get the default one but you can get different one if you are more specific?

None of this is actually known! Hammerspace is a theoretical explanation for how magic-item manifestation works, but it’s not a confirmed place that anyone’s ever visited to take notes.

I wonder about Kale’s transformation item. When they put the bracelets on him they would have taken it away. So if the bracelets are cut he’d still not be able to transform without it, right? But even without transforming he’d be able to use some of his powers or he could neither manifest a replacement nor fight the vines or something else.

Not just taken it away — the authorities had it destroyed.

During the vine incident, Kale calculated that he’d be able to fully manifest a new one. It’s the kind of dangerous, desperate situation that prompts new transformations. (See also: Cedar manifesting his own transformation item for the first time.)

During the stabbing-by-Dex incident, he wasn’t calculating much at all, just acting on instinct. But given what happened, he clearly could’ve manifested something if all the bracelets had been cut.

Since his powers were still half-blocked, he started a new transformation, then got stuck in the “wrapped in a column of glowy ribbons” stage. So that’s what it looks like when he can access a few of his powers, but can’t fully transform.

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