The History of
Magical Girl Anime ~ R
Is That Returns, Romance, or Rondo?
Panel Outline
So What Makes A Girl Magical Anyway?
~~
The Genesis of Magical Girl Anime
~~
History and Timeline
~~
Look...
So What Makes A Girl
Magical Anyway?
Defining “Magical Girl Anime”
How does one define “magical girl”
(mahou shoujo) anime? Is it any
anime that prominantly fe...
Majokko – Girl Witches
In Japan magical girls who
were witches were some of
the most popular early
examples of magical gir...
The Girls Who Would Be Queen
Ever since the early days of magical girls
anime has realised a fact that the
Disney corporat...
Shape Shifting for Fun and Profit
Many magical girls have the ability to
shapeshift, particularly to turn into an
older wo...
Who Needs Simon Cowell Anyway?
Perhaps the ultimate ‘wish fulfilment’
magical girl which first came into
prominence in the...
Like Xena and Buffy With Frills
Probably the most famous magical girl type in
the west. These girls are imbrued with
magic...
I Fought the Law and I Won
(with magic)
A smaller collection of magical girls fit into this
subtype, these girls are on th...
So What Does All Of This Mean?
Whilst often dealing in wish fulfilment
and escapist elements, like most
fantasy, superhero...
The Genesis of Magical Girl
Anime
The 1960s - The Beginnings
Which title was the ‘first’ magical girl
series? This actually depends on
how you look at it.
H...
The 1960s - Inspirations
Akatsuki and Yokohama both cited
the same source of inspiration for
giving the initial idea for b...
Bewitched
Bewitched has a lot of themes that would appear in
magical girl series, particularly those featuring cute
witche...
History and Timeline
Himitsu no Akko-chan
(Secrets of Akko-chan)
Atsuko "Akko-chan" Kagami is a girl who
owns a mirror which holds special
sent...
Mahoutsukai Sally
(Sally, the Witch)
Originally named Sunny in the manga,
our protagonists name was changed
to prevent leg...
History and Timeline
Akko-chan, and Sally introduced several of the genre
tropes including the ‘princess of another kingdo...
The 1970s – Rivals, Monarch
Quests, and Panty Shots
The next magical girls to appear
were those of the 1970s, still
shows ...
Mahou no Mako-chan
(Magical Mako or Mako the Mermaid)
The first magical girl adaptation of Hans Christian
Anderson’s famou...
Cutie Honey
Created by creator-powerhouse Go Nagai, though
this anime series was intended for male
audiences, it had a mas...
Hana no Ko Lunlun
(Flower Child Lunlun or Lulu, The Flowe Angel)
Lunlun is a French orphan living in a florist with her
gr...
The 1980s – The Studio Pierrot Era
The up until the 1980s the predominant
studio producing magical girl anime was
TOEI Ani...
Minky Momo
Animated by Ashi Productions, and the first
magical girl not animated by TOEI.
This anime is could be called th...
The Studio Pierrot Girls
Maho no Tenshi Creamy Mami / Magical Angel Creamy Mami (1983,
52 episodes)
Yu Morisawa has a huge...
The Studio Pierrot Girls
Mahou no Idol Pastel Yumi / Magical Idol Pastel Yumi (1986, 25
episodes)
Yumi Hanazono is a buddi...
The 1990s – Warrior Girls and the
Anglosphere
The 1990s saw several significant
events for the genre. The focus of
the gen...
Hime-chan no Ribon
(Hime-chan’s Ribbon)
Himeko Nonohara is a 14 year old tomboy who
tends to go by the name of Hime-chan.
...
The one everyone knows! Sailor Moon is the story
of lazy, crybaby, 14 year old Usagi Tsukino
(a.k.a “Serena”) who rescues ...
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
(Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon)
Sailor Moon
1992-1993
Sailor Moon R
1993-1994
Sailor Moon S
1994-...
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
(Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon)
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
2003
The Sailor Moon Musicals a.k.a ‘...
CardCaptor Sakura
The other one everyone knows! Cardcaptor
Sakura by CLAMP is the story of Sakura
Kinomoto a young girl wh...
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne
(Jeanne, the Kamikaze Phantom Thief)
Maron Kusakabe is the reincarnation of the
legendary Jeanne d’...
The 2000 & 2010s – Today’s Magical
Girls
The magical girls of the new
millennium have largely
extrapolated on the examples...
Another series form the manga creator Arina
Tanemura. Mitsuki Kouyama is a 12 year old
orphan who dreams of becoming a sin...
The Pretty Cure Franchise
Starting with 2004’s Futari wa Pretty
Cure (“Together We’re Pretty Cure”)
and often called simpl...
Pretty Cure
Futari wa PreCure
2004
FwPC: Max Heart
2005
Yes! PreCure 5
2007
Y!PC5: GoGo!
2008
FwPC: SplashStar
2006
Fresh ...
Shugo Chara!
(My Guardian Characters)
So one day this girl wakes up and she’s laid
three eggs…
..okay not exactly, Amu Hin...
Looking Beyond the Shoujo
Demographic
Shows For Older Demographics
and Parodies
Though ‘core’ magical girl shows are aimed at a
young and typically female audie...
Examples Aimed At Other Audiences
Though core magical girls shows are aimed at a
young female audience, there are examples...
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
(Magical Girl Madoka of the Magus)
Aww doesn’t that image look adorable? All cute pastel
colours...
Some More Examples
Lingerie Senshi Papillion Rose (2003, OVA. 2006, TV Anime, 6
episodes)
An adult magical girl show in th...
Parodies
The magical girl genre is very open to
both affectionate and more critical
parody. Most of these appear in other
...
Parodies – Some Examples
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy (1995, OVA, 3 episodes. 1996, TV anime
26 episodes. Sasami: Magical Gir...
Magical Girls ~ A Worldwide
Phenomenon
Non-Anime Examples
There have been examples outside
of Japan that aren’t parodies but
that play with the same or similar
t...
Some Non Anime Examples
She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985, 93 episodes)
I don’t need to summarise this one, I can just play ...
More Non Anime Examples
W.I.T.C.H. (2001, Comic, Ongoing. 2004, TV Animated Series, 52
episodes)
Based on an Italian comic...
…and finally
And Finally
References:
• Anime News Network Anime Encyclopaedia:
http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/encyclopedia/
• Wikipe...
And Finally
References:
• Magical Girl Genre List:
http://www.angelfire.com/moon/sailormoon19/MagicalGirlGenre.html
• Wiki...
And Finally
References:
• The Mike Toole Show, Wake Me Up Before You Shoujo:
http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/the-mike-to...
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The slides for the panel The History of Magical Girl Anime: R (Is That Returns, Romance or Rondo) from Ayacon 2013. An update of the first time I ran the panel at Amecon 2012.

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The history-of-magical-girl-anime-r

  1. 1. The History of Magical Girl Anime ~ R Is That Returns, Romance, or Rondo?
  2. 2. Panel Outline So What Makes A Girl Magical Anyway? ~~ The Genesis of Magical Girl Anime ~~ History and Timeline ~~ Looking Beyond The Shoujo Demographic ~~ Magical Girls – A Worldwide Phenomenon ~~ Credits and References
  3. 3. So What Makes A Girl Magical Anyway?
  4. 4. Defining “Magical Girl Anime” How does one define “magical girl” (mahou shoujo) anime? Is it any anime that prominantly features a female magic user? Well a lot of this is roughly down to opinion but magical girl shows tend to fall into a certain set of rules. Most of them are marketed and aimed at young girls themselves, and many of them aim to teach morality lessons or provide an escapist fantasy for their young audience. Later shows of course have deviated from these core concepts but the main stable of magical girl shows tend to stick to them. There are several sub ‘types’ of magical girl, which can be roughly divided into the following: • Cute Witches and Magical Princesses (or Majokko) • Shapeshifting Magical Girls with Skills Simulation • Magical Warriors
  5. 5. Majokko – Girl Witches In Japan magical girls who were witches were some of the most popular early examples of magical girls, long before the ‘super heroine’ style shows more well known by the English speaking fandom were even developed. Generally these witches are also extra dimensional travellers, though Earth Born witches would later appear as well. In most cases they use their abilities to try and become better witches and to help their friends and family. Occasionally these witches are also magical princesses... which leads on to. Some examples: •Mahotsukai Sally (1966) •Hana no Mahotsukai Mary Bell (1992) •Akazukin Chacha (1991) •Majokko Tickle (1978) •Ojamajo Doremi (1999) •Ultra Maniac (2001) •Sugar Sugar Rune (2004)
  6. 6. The Girls Who Would Be Queen Ever since the early days of magical girls anime has realised a fact that the Disney corporation has also made a lot of money from – a heck of a lot of little girls like princesses. Therefore many magical girls are themselves princesses. A common plot line is for a princess to from another dimension, like the aforementioned witches, to travel to Earth to test her mettle before she can ascend to the throne. Sometimes she needs to collect plot tokens or defeat a rival to do so. Other times a princess is sent to our world to save it via doing good deeds with her magic or simply to have fun. Occasionally the princess is not herself a main character but instead is the one who imbrues an ordinary girl with magic. Some Examples: •Majokko Megu-chan (1974) •Comet-san (1967) / Cosmic Baton Girl Comet-san (2001) •Hana no Ko no Lunlun (1979) •Magical Princess Minky Momo (1982) •Hime-chan no Ribon (1990) From Parody: •Dai Mahou Touge (2002)
  7. 7. Shape Shifting for Fun and Profit Many magical girls have the ability to shapeshift, particularly to turn into an older women with a ‘glamorous’ job role – such as air hostess, singer, nurse or doctor. Alternatively she has the power to mimic specific individuals. There are a few shows where a magical girl has this as a side power unrelated to her main powers or where a cute witch uses her general witch abilities to occasionally do a similar spell. However, it is also very common to find magical girls who have this as their only major power. These shows often have the girls use these abilities to either do good deeds for other so that she can spread a little joy and happiness. Another use of this power is to allow the magical girl to sneak into places she normally couldn’t go or to snoop around and do detective work. Some Examples: Main Premise: •Himitsu no Akko-chan (1962) •Hime-chan no Ribon (1990) •Magical Princess Minky Momo (1982) Side Power: •Cutie Honey (1973) •Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
  8. 8. Who Needs Simon Cowell Anyway? Perhaps the ultimate ‘wish fulfilment’ magical girl which first came into prominence in the halcyon days of the 1980s. The basic plot of was to take the idea of the shapeshifting magical girl and to single her abilities down to one particular career – idol singer. In these shows a girl would be granted the power to become an older more confident version of herself usually as thanks for having helped out a being of great power. She would later go on yo be recruited by talent scouts in order to become an idol singer. These magical girls would later go one to be combined with the ‘magical warrior’ style magical girls to become magical singing warriors in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitchi. Some Examples: •Mahou no Tenshi Creamy Mami (1983) •Mahou no Suta Magical Emi (1985) •Mahou no Stage Fancy Lala (1988/98) •Full Moon no Sagashite (2002) •Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch (2002) Oddly Similar Western Example: •Jem and the Holograms (1985
  9. 9. Like Xena and Buffy With Frills Probably the most famous magical girl type in the west. These girls are imbrued with magical powers (or sometimes is ‘scientifically enhanced’ via with a version of technology that really stretches Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law of sci-fi writing) to fight evil. These girls have proven their mass market appeal more across the world as they tend to be the type of magical girl that has gone on to be parodied the most outside of Japan, but also to have genuine non- Japanese shows follow their examples. Though early examples focused on singular magical girls, these shows were the first to really branch out into depending on an ensemble cast as they were also heavily influenced by sentai team shows (e.g. Super Sentai, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman – perhaps more familiar to some of you as the Power Rangers franchise, or Battle of the Planets). These shows promoted friendship, camaraderie, and team work. Some Examples: •Cutie Honey (1973) •Bishojo Senshi Sailor Moon (1992) •Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach (1994) •Tokyo Mew Mew (2000) • The Pretty Cure Franchise (2004) Western Examples (Direct and Indirect): •She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985) •Princess Starla and the Jewel Riders (1995) •W.I.T.C.H. (2001) •Winx Club (2004)
  10. 10. I Fought the Law and I Won (with magic) A smaller collection of magical girls fit into this subtype, these girls are on the other side of the law to our aforementioned magical warriors though for honourable reasons. They use their abilities to steal items from under the nose of the police and do so with a high degree of style and stealth. Often having a rivalry with someone who is somehow related to the police but who has no idea that the thief in question is actually a class mate or even their best friend! These girls blend the magical girl genre with the ‘phantom thief’ (kaitou) genre in that they tend to steal for just reasons and leave calling cards or even advance warnings to give the police a head start. These magical girls draw heavily on the popularity in Japan for gentleman thief characters such as the original Arsene Lupin, there have also been occasional cases of male phantom thieves appearing as love interests in other magical girl works. Some Examples: •Kaitou Saint Tail (1995) •Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (1998) A with a male protagonist but a lot of magical girl tropes: •D.N.Angel (1997) Shows with (male) secondary thief characters: • Sailor Moon (Tuxedo Mask) • Codename Sailor V (Kaitou Ace) • Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (Kaitou Sinbad)
  11. 11. So What Does All Of This Mean? Whilst often dealing in wish fulfilment and escapist elements, like most fantasy, superhero and and sci-fi genres magical girl shows are often used to examine specific themes. As shows typically aimed at young women in their late childhood to early teens the trials and tribulations of puberty are often metaphorically, or even sometimes directly touched on – a prime example being Osamu Tezuka’s Marvellous Melmo. Romance, sexuality, death and other issues can be either lightly touched on or sometimes even directly presented – for example the relationship of Haruka (Sailor Uranus) , and Michiru (Sailor Neptune) in Sailor Moon. The importance of friendship, and discovering ones own identity are frequent topics that are looked at in shows such as Futari wa Pretty Cure and Shugo Chara.
  12. 12. The Genesis of Magical Girl Anime
  13. 13. The 1960s - The Beginnings Which title was the ‘first’ magical girl series? This actually depends on how you look at it. Himitsu no Akko-chan (Secrets of Akko- chan) • created by Fujio Akatsuki • first debuted as a manga: 1962 (Ribon magazine) • first animated: 1969 • generally believed to be first magical girl manga Mahoutsukai Sally (Sally, the Witch) • written by Mitsuteru Yokoyama • first debuted as manga 1966 (Ribon magazine) as Mahotsukai Sunny • first animated: 1966 • generally believed to be first magical girl anime
  14. 14. The 1960s - Inspirations Akatsuki and Yokohama both cited the same source of inspiration for giving the initial idea for both Mahotsukai Sally and Himitsu no Akko-chan. That source? Sol Saks’ 1960s ‘fantasy sit-com’ Bewitched which originally ran on ABC in the USA from 1964-1972. The series became incredibly popular in Japan when it aired as Okusama wa Majo (My Wife is a Witch) especially with young girls. It was this that inspired both manga creators to pen their own versions but with young girls themselves as the protagonists.
  15. 15. Bewitched Bewitched has a lot of themes that would appear in magical girl series, particularly those featuring cute witches. It is the story of Samantha Stephens newlywed housewife to Darrin Stephens who was secretly a witch. Though, in keeping with her husband’s wishes she tried not to use her magic she always ended up breaking that promise, especially when her troublesome mother Endora (who deeply disapproved the marriage) turned up. The themes of having to hide their magic abilities, trying to use magic to help others but screwing things up, and meddlesome magical relatives or associates are common tropes in witch themed magical girl series. The show would later go on to have a direct inspiration on series not aimed a young girls Okusama wa Maho Shoujo: Bewitched Agnes. About 26 year old magical girl who was married to a human but who began to consider having an affair with someone else. On a side note Bewitched was remade in 2004 into an 11 episode J-Drama also called Okusama wa Majo.
  16. 16. History and Timeline
  17. 17. Himitsu no Akko-chan (Secrets of Akko-chan) Atsuko "Akko-chan" Kagami is a girl who owns a mirror which holds special sentimental value to her. One day, it is accidentally broken and she decides to give it a burial rather than just discard it. Shortly afterwards, she is approached by a magical figure who is moved by her actions and replaces her mirror with a magical one. This mirror gives her the power to turn into anyone else and gain there abilities. Has been adapted several times as anime, and in live action: • Series: 1969 (eps 94), 1988 (eps 61), and 1998 (eps 44) • Movies based on said anime: Five between 1969 – 1973, and two in 1989 • Also set to receive a live action film in September 2012
  18. 18. Mahoutsukai Sally (Sally, the Witch) Originally named Sunny in the manga, our protagonists name was changed to prevent legal action from the Sony corporation under fears of sounding similar. Sally was the princess of the magical kingdom of Astoria who longed to come to Earth and make some friends. Whilst there she uses her magic to solve problems and help people out as well as to learn to be more proficient. Adapted as series twice and has one movie: • Series in 1966 (109 eps), and a sequel series in 1989 (88 eps) • Movie in 1990 associated with 1989 series
  19. 19. History and Timeline Akko-chan, and Sally introduced several of the genre tropes including the ‘princess of another kingdom’ character type, the trope of a human girl being gifted with a specific power – disguise, the ‘transformation trinket’ and the magical phrase to activate a magical girl’s powers. Both girls were around the 10-12 mark at both series were aimed at girls the same age or younger and by and large were coming of age stories.
  20. 20. The 1970s – Rivals, Monarch Quests, and Panty Shots The next magical girls to appear were those of the 1970s, still shows generally aimed at young girls but now featuring a wider range of ages. It was in the 1970s that we saw some bigger changes including the introduction of: • Older protagonists • Somewhat darker themes • Rival magical girls • Trials of suitability for becoming Queens • Examples aimed at audiences other than young girls • Fanservice!
  21. 21. Mahou no Mako-chan (Magical Mako or Mako the Mermaid) The first magical girl adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s famous fairytail The Little Mermaid. It follows the story of Mako the mischievous mermaid daughter of the Dragon King the Japanese God of the Sea . Much like in the original story Mako is curious about the human world and finds herself rescuing a human boy who falls overboard. She then goes to the sea witch – in this case her grandmother to become human and search for him. Mako does not lose the ability to talk, she instead sacrifices her life in the sea to become permanently human. She is then taken in by a fisherman – Urashima - and his two grandsons. Her father is unhappy about this but gives her a magic pendant - The Tear of the Mermaid - that she uses to help enrich the lives of those around her. The king of the sea as visits dry land from time to time to scold Mako, make sure she’s alright and to try and stop her from showing off too much fanservice. • First of Several My Little Mermaid Adaptations in Magical Girl Form • An early example of fanservice despite being aimed a girls • 48 episode anime series (1970)
  22. 22. Cutie Honey Created by creator-powerhouse Go Nagai, though this anime series was intended for male audiences, it had a massive impact on the genre and needs mentioning in the main time line because of it. Honey Kisaragi thinks she is a normal girl until her scientist father is murdered by the Panther Claw group. It is then she finds out she is actually a specially designed self aware gynoid who the villains want to extract her – till now unknown to her – ability to create matter from the air. Honey Kisaragi’s true form has always been designed to be that of the warrior of love – Cutie Honey! Who she transforms into with the phrase – “Honey Flash!”. Though aimed at boys and young men Honey’s assertive mischievous heroine was very popular with girls this popularised several tropes which would later become magical girl staples. • Cutie Honey was the first magical girl warrior • Nekkid! transformation sequences • Introduction of speeches, transformation phrases, and attacks – popular boys shows staples to the genre Versions: •Cutie Honey (TV anime, 1973, 25 eps) • Several Cutie Honey Manga •Shin Cutie Honey (OVA ,8 eps, 1994) • Cutie Honey Flash (TV anime, 1997, 39 eps) • Cutie Honey (Live Action Movie, 2004) • Re: Cutie Honey (OVA, 2004, 3 eps) • Cutie Honey the Live (TV show,
  23. 23. Hana no Ko Lunlun (Flower Child Lunlun or Lulu, The Flowe Angel) Lunlun is a French orphan living in a florist with her grandparents, on her fifteenth birthday she is approached by plant spirits who hail from the “Flowern Star” who need her assistance. Lunlun is a descendent of plant spirts herself on her mother’s side, and she is tasked with the quest of travelling around Europe looking for the “Flower of Seven Colours” that is required for the prince of the Flowern Star to ascend to the throne. She is aided by two sprits who take the form of a talking dog and talking cat, as well as mysterious photographer called Serge. Her advisory is the selfish Togenishia and her minion Yabooki, as Togenishia wants to take over Flowern Star for herself. Lunlun has a magical pendant she can activate with the phrase "Fu Flay Lu Fey Lora” to request from flowers outfits which will give her useful ablities like mountain climbing, sailing, or bull fighting. • The first Magical Girl to make it to the USA though only a few episodes were show under the title Angel. • An early example of a magical girl having a mysterious protector in Serge. •50 episode anime (1979) • 15 minute OVA ‘film’ (1980)
  24. 24. The 1980s – The Studio Pierrot Era The up until the 1980s the predominant studio producing magical girl anime was TOEI Animation (the major exception to this being Marvelous Melmo). This was changed with the introduction of the wildly popular Magical Princess Minky Momo animated by Ashi Productions. However, though that company would later become Production Reed and indeed be known for it’s magical girl shows the 1980s were dominated by one production house: Studio Pierrot. Studio Pierrot shaped the magical girl scene for the entire decade and introduced certain tropes that are still with us today: • The magical idol singer genre • Multiple magical girls – abliet not yet as teams – meeting one another • Marketing really picked up… hey it’s the
  25. 25. Minky Momo Animated by Ashi Productions, and the first magical girl not animated by TOEI. This anime is could be called the epitome of the ‘magical princess’ mahou shoujo show. Momo is the princess of the Fenarinarsa the land of fairy tales, which resides in the sky, she is sent down to Earth on a mission – to reconnect the Fenarinarsa to human hearts as her homeworld is in peril, it’s residents are disappearing. She has the power to transform into and adult and gain any skill set for example, police officer, master thief or similar. In many ways this followed earlier examples lead, but then went darker towards the end of the series. It was later reinterpreted in the early nineties where another Momo comes from a different kingdom in the sea Marinerursa and has more varied transformation powers not just becoming an older version of herself. The two Momo’s later meet, and the first Momo even crossed over with another magical girl from a different studio, Creamy Mami which leads us to… Fenariarsa Momo: • Magical Princess Minky Momo (1982, TV anime, 63 episodes) • Long Goodbye: Creamy Mami vs Minky Momo Gekijou no Daikessen (1985, Short OVA) • La Ronde in my Dream (1985, OVA) • Hitomi no Seiza SONG Special (1987, OVA) Marinerursa Momo: • Magical Princess Minky Momo: Hold on to Your Dreams (1991, 65 episodes) • The Bridge Over Dreams (1993, OVA) • The Station of Your Memories (1994, OVA)
  26. 26. The Studio Pierrot Girls Maho no Tenshi Creamy Mami / Magical Angel Creamy Mami (1983, 52 episodes) Yu Morisawa has a huge crush on her slightly older childhood friend Toshio. Unfortunately he sees her more like a little sister. One day she encounters an alien spacecraft and helps out its pilot. In return he gives her two alien kittens, and a limited time only gift – the power to age to sixteen at will and back again but only for a year. Yu finds herself scouted by a talent agency and picks the stage name Creamy, the name of her parent’s creperie. Mahou no Yosei Persia / Magical Fairy Persia (1984, 48 episodes) Persia is a young girl who grew up amongst the animals of the Serengeti running free in the wild. She is found by Japanese benefactors and sent to Japan to live a normal life, however mid flight she is transported to the land of “Lovely Dream” which is in peril. To save it she is given the power to transform into an older version of herself in any profession to collect love energy. Mahou no Star Magical Emi (1985, 38 episodes) Mai Kazuki desperately wants to perform in her grandparents’ stage magician troupe Magic Carat. However she hasn’t quite mastered her skills yet. One day she is approached by a mirror sprite named Topo who gives her the ability to not only become older, but in that form to perform real magic. She uses this ability to save Magic Carat’s reputation when a show almost goes wrong. She then becomes a star attraction.
  27. 27. The Studio Pierrot Girls Mahou no Idol Pastel Yumi / Magical Idol Pastel Yumi (1986, 25 episodes) Yumi Hanazono is a budding artist, it is her best subject in school at which she’s otherwise not very proficient. During a flower festival she saves a dandelion from destruction, to her surprise the flower spirit comes to her with a magical gift. A magical wand and locket that she can use to draw in the air and create anything she wishes. Yumi doesn’t have the best situation at home, her mother is an alcoholic and her parents argue. Mami, Emi, Persia: Charming Young Girl Magic Trio (1986, OVA) The three girls get stuck in their older forms and have to undo this. Witch Girl Club Quartet – Alien X from the A Zone (1987, OVA) Yuu, Persia, Mai and Yumi fight an alien on the moon that has been stealing women's youthful beauty. The ones who have alter egos transform and Yumi draws them some powered armor. Harbor Light Monogatari: Fashion Lala Yori (1988, OVA. 1998) An OVA magical girl Cinderella story. Miho is a girl who lives with her mean aunt and equally mean older cousins – with the exception of the youngest of her cousins Shuri – whilst her father is at sea. She dreams one day of becoming a fashion designer and also would like to enter and win her seaside town’s “Disco Queen” competition. After some exploits involving a biker gang, bombings, and the competition being a fix a magical book in her attic glows and reveals it contains two dinosaurs – Pigu and Mogu who transform her in Fashion Lala to save the day with the power of disco.
  28. 28. The 1990s – Warrior Girls and the Anglosphere The 1990s saw several significant events for the genre. The focus of the genre arguably shifted and the image of the magical girl, as superheroine style warriors really came to the forefront. The 1990s saw: • Warrior style magical girls becoming the iconic ‘default’ – at least to the west • Magical girls becoming introduced to the Anglosphere – mostly in the form of Sailor Moon, and Cardcaptor Sakura. • This had a knock on effect of popularising shojo manga in general in the English speaking world. • Episode counts sky rocketing – 80 plus episodes was always the
  29. 29. Hime-chan no Ribon (Hime-chan’s Ribbon) Himeko Nonohara is a 14 year old tomboy who tends to go by the name of Hime-chan. Unbeknownst to her she has a doppelganger from a magical land who happens to be it’s princess, Erika. Erika gifts Hime-chan with a magical ribbon of the princesses’ own invention to test out for a year so that she can help prove Erika’s worth as future Queen. The ribbon at first only gives Hime-chan the ability to transform into anyone else, with the strict time limit of an hour lest she be trapped in that other for forever. Later on the ribbon also gives her the power to create and a clone of herself, to shrink or grown herself or others, to freeze time and to freeze objects that are in motion. Erika also brings to life Hime-chan’s favourite stuffed animal for company – Pokota the lion. Nobody other than the Hime-chan, Pokota, her friend Daichi and other magical land inhabitant Sei are allowed to know of the magical ribbon or else their memories will be wiped. Versions: •Hime-chan no Ribon (Manga, 10 Volumes, 1990) • Hime-chan no Ribon (Anime, 61 eps, 1992) •Hime-chan no Ribon (Remake Manga, 3 volumes, 2009)
  30. 30. The one everyone knows! Sailor Moon is the story of lazy, crybaby, 14 year old Usagi Tsukino (a.k.a “Serena”) who rescues a cat from being bullied by some neighbourhood rascals. This cat – Luna – approaches her that night to tell her she is destined to be Sailor Moon – a heroine and protector of the long dead moon kingdom. She is also told she must gather the other members of the Sailor Soldiers (“Sailor Scouts”) – later renamed Sailor Guardians – and find the missing Moon Princess and Mysterious Silver Crystal (“Emporium Silver Crystal”) lest it falls in to the hands of the nefarious Dark Kingdom (“The Negaverse”). This series was instrumental in many ways: • It was the first to really hit big in the Angelosphere, albeit through a less than stellar dub - and was a major player in popularising shoujo manga in the west. • In it’s homeland Japan, it was the first proper ‘sentai magical girl team’. There had been team ups before, but these were one off OVAs and this was the first show to have a band of similarly uniformed colour coded magical girls as a focus. • It re-popularised the ‘warrior style’ magical girl – a superheroine who uses magic to fight. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon)
  31. 31. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon) Sailor Moon 1992-1993 Sailor Moon R 1993-1994 Sailor Moon S 1994-1995 Sailor Moon SuperS 1995-1996 Sailor Moon Sailor StarS 1997 20th Anniversary Sailor Moon 2013 Codename wa Sailor V 1991-1997 (3 Volumes) Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon 1992-1997 (18 Volumes) ?
  32. 32. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon) Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 2003 The Sailor Moon Musicals a.k.a ‘Sera Myu’ 1993 – 2005, 2013
  33. 33. CardCaptor Sakura The other one everyone knows! Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP is the story of Sakura Kinomoto a young girl who is tasked with collecting the magical spirts of the tarot inspired Clow Cards and returning them to Card form with the magic she is only just learning how to use. It bridges the gap between a cute witch and warrior series by having a wide array of magic fight scenes but balancing them with the fact that a lot of Sakura’s magic is not exclusive to fighting – many of the cards preset Sakura with puzzles rather than fights. CCS is mildy a Magical Girl deconstruction as there is no transformation sequence for Sakura herself – her costumes are all hand made by her best friend (who has a huge crush on her) Tomoyo Daidouji. Sakura was also a return to the more tomboyish and sporty heroine like Akko-chan. Probably the second most well known magical girl show in the west, also like Sailor Moon received a dub that was heavily edited. • One of CLAMP’s semnial works and did a lot to get their names well known to western fans and improved their popularity in Japan. • Manga ran in Nakayoshi (1996-2000, 12 Volumes) • Anime (70 episodes, 1998-2000)
  34. 34. Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (Jeanne, the Kamikaze Phantom Thief) Maron Kusakabe is the reincarnation of the legendary Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) who has been given a new mission of from God; she has been equipped with heavenly powers and tiny angelic companion called Finn Fish to hunt down the demons living in beautiful works of art. The only problem is when she does dispell these demons the piece of art in question disappears – making her look like a thief. Maron’s best friend Miyako has vowed she will one day capture Kaitou Jeanne for her apparent crimes meaning Maron has to sneak around behind her friends back to complete her mission. In the meantime another phantom thief who calls himself Kaitou Sinbad has appear on the scene stealing Jeanne’s thunder. She surmises he must be working for the devil as her opposite, on top of this a really handsome but annoying boy called Chiaki Nagoya has just moved in next door and he wont leave her alone. The first popular work by Arina Tanemura who has gone on to create several more magical girl series, Maron is actually a much less happy protagonist than she first appears – her parents have divorced and essentially abandoned her also her scenario is not as straight forward as Maron first believes. Versions: •Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (Manga, 7 Volumes, 1998) • Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (Anime, 44 episodes, 1999)
  35. 35. The 2000 & 2010s – Today’s Magical Girls The magical girls of the new millennium have largely extrapolated on the examples set by shows like Sailor Moon in the nineties with a focus on magical warriors, and the production style of Ojamajo Doremi in terms of preference for animation studios preferring to control the storylines and other elements themselves rather than adapt from a manga authors idea. What the last decade has provided more examples of is shows which have a smattering of magical girl elements but then a more convoluted or darker plot, for example Princess Tutu, though many series that fall into this category are technically not
  36. 36. Another series form the manga creator Arina Tanemura. Mitsuki Kouyama is a 12 year old orphan who dreams of becoming a singer, she has several major problems standing in her way – she is too young to audition, her grandmother who looks after her forbids her from singing, and Mitsuki has throat cancer which is refusing to have operated upon as she could lose her voice. She is visited one night by a pair of shinigami, gods or spirits of death who tell her she has only a year left to live. Mitsuki offers to go quietly with the shinigami when her year is up if they give her the chance to fulfil her signing dreams. Takuto, the male shinigami of the pair gives her the power to turn into a 16 year old blonde version of herself who does not have any illness in her throat. She auditions for a contract at a talent agency becoming known by the stage name Full Moon. She hopes her music will reach the shores of the USA where a boy she likes named Eichi now lives who she promised she would follow her dreams of being a singer as he promised to become an astronomer. Like many Tanemura series not everything is as it seems at first however. Full Moon o Sagashite (Searching for the Full Moon) Versions: •Full Moon o Sagashite (Manga, 7 Volumes, 2002) •Full Moon o Sagashite (Anime, 52 eps, 2002)
  37. 37. The Pretty Cure Franchise Starting with 2004’s Futari wa Pretty Cure (“Together We’re Pretty Cure”) and often called simply PreCure for short these shows have become the primary ‘Magical Warrior’ type magical girl of this era’s anime scene. Initially followed up by a sequel series Futari wa Pretty Cure: Max Heart in 2005 the show was later cemented as a franchise with most new series following a new group of girls with different power sources and reasons for becoming heroines each time, somewhat like Super Sentai or Power Rangers. There have also been “All Stars” crossover movies.
  38. 38. Pretty Cure Futari wa PreCure 2004 FwPC: Max Heart 2005 Yes! PreCure 5 2007 Y!PC5: GoGo! 2008 FwPC: SplashStar 2006 Fresh PreCure 2009 Heartcatch PreCure 2010 Suite PreCure 2011 Smile PreCure 2012 DokiDoki! PreCure 2013
  39. 39. Shugo Chara! (My Guardian Characters) So one day this girl wakes up and she’s laid three eggs… ..okay not exactly, Amu Hinamori is considered the ‘cool and spicy’ badass of her primary school. She’s reserved, has a rock chick look, and rumours abound about her fighting prowess. Unfortunately, no of this true, Amu actually is a very sweet girl who is bad with words – something her school mates take as aloofness. Amu hates this, and one day wishes she could be the person she really wants to be. In come those aforementioned eggs, which appear in her bed the morning after and eventually hatch into chibis called ‘shugo chara’ or ‘guardian characters’. Amu is then recruited onto the student council who all are character bearers too. They are fighting against an evil organisation called Easter. Amu has managed to activate the powers of the Humpty Lock and transform into Amulet Heart and, and later Amulet Spade and Amulet Clover and fight against Easter who have been looking for the legendary ‘hearts egg’ the Embryo by destroying children’s dreams. • Shugo Chara! (2006) and Shugo Chara! Encore (2010) manga • Shugo Chara! (2006, 51 eps) • Shugo Chara!! Doki – (2008, 51 eps) • Shugo Chara! Party (Comprises: Shugo Chara!!! Dokki Doki anime, and Shugo Chara Pucchi Puchi! shorts) (2009, 25 eps) • Shugo Chara Chan yonkoma (2008)
  40. 40. Looking Beyond the Shoujo Demographic
  41. 41. Shows For Older Demographics and Parodies Though ‘core’ magical girl shows are aimed at a young and typically female audience there have been examples of magical girl shows aimed at other audiences. Many of these are parodies, though some are serious or semi-serious examples. Also, there are inevitably examples that are intended for, shall we say, ‘mature viewing’.
  42. 42. Examples Aimed At Other Audiences Though core magical girls shows are aimed at a young female audience, there are examples that aren’t necessarily parodies that are aimed at older or male audiences. These tend to be either darker in nature, more action based, or are ‘for mature audiences only’.
  43. 43. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Magical Girl Madoka of the Magus) Aww doesn’t that image look adorable? All cute pastel colours and magical girls looking like they are having fun with their sweet looking mascot character Kyubey? ...don’t let this show fool you for a second. This is the story of Madoka Kaname, an apparently ordinary teenager who one day stumbles across the secret world of magical girls who fight grotesque beings called witches. This happens when the enigmatic Homura Akemi transfers to her class and later attempts to kill the marshmallow like talking creature called Kyubey in front of Madoka. Homura tells Madoka that she doesn’t her to become involved in this fight and puts up a very austere and cool front to Madoka. However Madoka and her friend Sayaka run across a different magical girl called Mami Tomoe who is friends with Kyubey and tells her more – Kyubey can grand any wish to young girls who are willing to make contracts with him and become magical girls. Madoka must decide if this is something she should do, if there is a wish she wants that much, or if she should listen to Homura’s warning. "With kindness comes naïveté. Courage becomes foolhardiness. And dedication has no reward. If you can't accept any of that, you are not fit to be a Magical Girl."—Homura Akemi
  44. 44. Some More Examples Lingerie Senshi Papillion Rose (2003, OVA. 2006, TV Anime, 6 episodes) An adult magical girl show in that sense of the word adult. Both the OVA and the TV series have somewhat different plots – focusing on Tsubomi / Papillion Rose. The raunchier OVA features mainly Tsubomi, a gentleman’s club waitress who transforms into Papillion Rose to fight an evil dominatrix elf who works for a tyrannical Queen. The tamer but still fanservicey TV show has a wider cast, and they all fight a group of STD spreading transvesties. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha (Several Series: 52 episodes) Nanoha Takamachi meets the mage-turned-ferret Yuuno Scaria who tasks her with the collection of 21 ‘Jewel Seeds’. To do this she must become a magical girl. Eventually she becomes a very competent magical warrior and one who lover her work. Actually aimed at adult male fans Nanoha possibly has more nods to mecha shows – in particular the Gundam franchise. Nanoha hangs lampshades on some of the genre’s sillier aspects. Earth Maiden Arjuna (2001, TV Anime, 13 episodes) Juna Ariyoshi was an ordinary teenager until the day she died in a motorcycle accident. As her spirit left her body she saw Earth in all it’s suffering being eaten by worm like creatures called Raaja. A boy called Chris appeared before her offering to resurrect her if she agreed to protect the Earth. Juna was then given role of “The Avatar of Time” the being who can decide the fate of the planet. A darker existential tale.
  45. 45. Parodies The magical girl genre is very open to both affectionate and more critical parody. Most of these appear in other anime in some form, usually in ones aimed at older audiences, but there are western examples. Western examples tend to specifically parody Sailor Moon, it being the most popular example in the west – an example of with would be the Megas XLR episode “Ultra Chicks”. Some of these parodies are simply one episode nods, others are the basis for whole series. Some of these parody series are semi-serious or at least still have a honest core plot of there own which could qualify themselves as full examples; other shows are just out and out silly gag shows. There has also been a show still aimed at the same core demographic as magical girls, young girl, but that is which is a definite parody: Tonde Buurin.
  46. 46. Parodies – Some Examples Magical Girl Pretty Sammy (1995, OVA, 3 episodes. 1996, TV anime 26 episodes. Sasami: Magical Girls Club, 1 volume manga (2005) and 26 episode TV anime (2006)) Originally appearing as a joke in Tenchi Muyo itself the OVAs and TV anime exist in alternate universes that use some of the same characters in different ways. In the magical world of Juraihelm the mage Tsunami is selected as Queen but she must choose a girl on Earth to be her champion for good. She selects Sasami Kawai but Tsunami’s rival Rumia then creates Pixy Misa a champion of evil from Sasami’s best friend Misao. Dai Mahou Touge / Magical Witch Punie-chan (1 manga volume, 2002. OVA, 2006, 8 episodes) Punie Takanara is the princess of Magical Land, a kingdom in the sky. She is sent to Earth to train as Queen for a year as per tradition like many magical princesses before… except, she’s evil, will break bones with her wrestling moves and her magical spell is “Lyrical Tokarev, KILL THEM ALL!” Ai to Yuuki no Pig Girl Tonde Buurin / Super Pig (3 manga volumes, 1994. TV anime, 1994, 51 episodes) Karin Kokubu is a underperforming clumsy girl. She ‘rescues’ small pig she finds one day. He turns out to be the prince of the pig planet Ringo. He offers to fulfil her desire to be a heroine and gives her a transformation device that turns her into his worlds ideal heroine… a caped pig! If she can collect 108 pearls from doing good deeds she’ll be able to turn into a prettier heroine. However if anyone finds out she’ll be stuck as a pig forever!
  47. 47. Magical Girls ~ A Worldwide Phenomenon
  48. 48. Non-Anime Examples There have been examples outside of Japan that aren’t parodies but that play with the same or similar tropes as magical girl shows. Many that have come along in later years have been directly inspired by the magical girl genre, some could argue there is synchronicity to this. After all, the first Japanese examples were inspired by Bewitched so arguably things have come full circle. However, there have been odd cases of shows sharing very similar magical girl themes and tropes but that date from a time too early before the rise of magical girl shows in the west to in all likelyhood be direct inspirations. However, they are very similar and worthy of looking at in that vein.
  49. 49. Some Non Anime Examples She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985, 93 episodes) I don’t need to summarise this one, I can just play the helpfully descriptive intro! The show, like it’s literal brother show He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was animated by Filmation and was created to promote Mattel’s “Princess of Power” toys, themselves a spin off of the “Masters of the Universe” toyline. The show, like many ’80s kids shows, was hokey and dumb but was charming in it’s own way and gave little girls a heroine to look up too. Jem / Jem and the Holograms (1985, 65 episodes) Jerrica Benton inherits a record label and an orphanage from her late father. Unfortunately her father left half of his record label to Eric Raymond who wants to oust her and has just signed the bullying band “The Misfits”. Jerrica then receives Synergy, a powerful computer which can make lifelike holograms. Jerrica uses Synergy to transform into Jem and best the Misfits. Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders / Starla & the Jewel Riders (1995, 65 episodes) Gwenevere (or Starla, internationally and therefore over here) is a princess of Avalon of Arthurian myth. She is on the mission to rescue her mentor Merlin from banishment. She fights her evil aunt – Lady Kale - who wanted to take over the kingdom. Gwen/Starla and her friends must collect the seven crown jewels of Avalon to restore stability to this magical land and stop Lady Kale from getting them.
  50. 50. More Non Anime Examples W.I.T.C.H. (2001, Comic, Ongoing. 2004, TV Animated Series, 52 episodes) Based on an Italian comic book, and animated as an Italy-France- USA co-production by Disney Europe. This the story of five girls who discover they are “The Guardians of the Veil” the barrier between our world and that of Metamoor a magical place ruled by the tyrannical Prince Phobos. The girls gain the powers of air, earth, fire, water and quintessence to fight against Phobos and attempt to restore the true ruler of Metamoor to the throne. Winx Club (2004, 104 episodes – but ongoing) Another Italian series. Winx Club follows the story of Bloom, a girl who believes herself to be ordinary until she meets and be- friends Stella Princess of the magical Solaria dimenison. When she realises Bloom is also magical Stella convinces her to attend the magical fairy school of Alfea. A sort of marriage between magical girl show and Harry Potter fantasy. Penny Crayon (1990, 12 episodes) A BBC series from the early nineties that though unlikely to be directly inspired by magical girls has certain traits she shares with them. With the voice talents of Su Pollard. Penny Crayon is a girl who has a magical set of crayons and pencils, like in Pastel Yumi and later Fancy Lala her drawings are able to come to life though she needs no incantation for this. Her drawings have a tendency to cause trouble. She is followed around by her rather adoring friend Dennis/
  51. 51. …and finally
  52. 52. And Finally References: • Anime News Network Anime Encyclopaedia: http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/encyclopedia/ • Wikipedia: http://www.wikipedia.org/ • Hitoshi Doi’s Anime Page: http://www.usagi.org/doi/anime2.html • Black Sun: Monochrome Anime: http://blacksun1987.blogspot.co.uk/ • Majokko Club: http://www.majokkoclub.com/
  53. 53. And Finally References: • Magical Girl Genre List: http://www.angelfire.com/moon/sailormoon19/MagicalGirlGenre.html • Wikipedia: http://www.wikipedia.org/ • TV Tropes: http://tvtropes.org/ • Bewitched @ Harpies Bizarre: http://www.harpiesbizarre.com/ • The Ultimate Cutey Honey Resource: http://tuchr.tripod.com/home.html
  54. 54. And Finally References: • The Mike Toole Show, Wake Me Up Before You Shoujo: http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/the-mike-toole-show/2012-06-17 • The Oracle: Your Sailor Moon Resource: http://www.soul-hunter.com/sailormoon/ • T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews 4.0: Harbor Light Story from Fashion Lala http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=1556

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