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Patchouli being born a Magician
"It's not explicitly stated that she was born as a magician from birth; this assumption is derived from the fact that she was never mentioned as being human. In Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Patchouli is mentioned as being "purely a magician", but the same detail has also been used to describe Alice Margatroid, a human-turned-magician, in other works."
I'm not sure where this notion came from, but it is false. 「彼女は、生粋の魔法使いであり...」 isn't just "purely", 生粋 means natural-born. So yes, it is explicitly stated she was born a Magician. I don't even know how they came to this conclusion since neither 生粋 nor "purely a magician" are ever mentioned with Alice, and no source is given for this.
EDIT: Just read through the archive. The arguments made there about how Patchouli might not be a natural-born Magician are few, weak, and are completely unconvincing. This really shouldn't have stayed up for so long. Drake Irving (talk) 08:32, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
On further inspection, I'm incorrect here. 生粋の魔法使い has also been noted in Alice's IaMP profile, which is obviously confusing. PMiSS was released two years after IaMP, so it's somewhat reasonable to disregard that statement, but the use of the same term may or may not be intentional so it's difficult to say. Without the later statement that Alice used to be human this wouldn't be a problem, but this has thrown in ambiguity.
As noted by Kief, the absence of mention that Patchouli used to be human is partial evidence that she was not one, since this would be expected from there being other examples. The juxtaposition of Patchouli and Alice in PMiSS supports this and is enough to reasonably assume that Patchouli did not train to become a Magician, unlike Alice. Additionally, the very inclusion of a split between humans-turned-Magician and natural-born Magician is fairly strong evidence that some existing character fit into each category. Otherwise, it makes little sense for that split to be there, and to have been thought out by ZUN in such detail. The intention is clearly there to differentiate Magicians that were either already established characters or were characters to be soon revealed, and as Patchouli is still the only Magician in the series to have not been said to be human, it's quite easy to come to this conclusion.
The main problem I had with the previous article edit was that it implied that the evidence for Patchouli having been born a Magician and having trained to become a Magician were of equal weight, but people just assumed Patchouli wasn't human because it wasn't said she was. While this is essentially true, it really takes a weak form of the argument and seems to imply that there's little reason for people to think Patchouli was born a Magician, or that it's a misconception. Plus, there were no sources for where the term 生粋 was previously used for Alice.
This problem doesn't seem to be commonly noted even within the japanese fandom, but when it is pointed out, it's explained why the assumption is a reasonable one, then notes that when you get down to specifics, it hasn't been explicitly stated, as many ZUN-isms are. This has always been my preferred course of action and should probably be applied more often, possibly even as a general rule for articles. In any case, I'll modify my changes to reflect this and will make notes accordingly. Drake Irving (talk) 02:12, 19 April 2014 (UTC)