Mana is a cosmic energy form found throughout the universe, widely (if obscurely) known about but never completely understood. Also known by quintessence, juju, magic power, spell slots, and a dozen other names, mana tends to exist in two forms: free-floating, raw, and ambient; and concentrated, typically in objects, people, or places. Mana in its native state is generally imperceptible to most living beings, but some life forms are naturally capable to being able to learn how to perceive and/or manipulate it to create impressive effects. Objects that resonate or control mana can be constructed to do the same. In Suburban Senshi, manipulation of mana is the most common form of magic.
Mana is generally (though arguably) considered to be a monolithic energy type. In its natural state, mana is untyped -- a sort of extradimensional background cosmic radiation -- but its manifestations are many and varied. As such, mana can fuel both wicked, blasphemous magical rituals as well as the most holy of incantations. Like ki, mana is frequently flavored or influenced by peculiarities in the environment, the manipulator, or the manipulation process itself; such environments are usually conducive or inhibitive to particular mana manipulation (a.k.a. 'spell-casting) efforts.
Mana differs from Ki, the Force, and reiatsu in that it exists independently of life or spirit energy. While Mythos power can (and sometimes does) make use of mana, Mythos power is expressly amoral and anti-mortal, and spiral energy can only be utilized by creatures capable of evolution. Mana is expressly apolitical, aspiritual, amoral, and non-ethical, and can be shaped by any creature capable of commanding it.