Magical Girl Anime Jennifer Berman JAPN 313 Final Project Spring 2012
What are magical girl anime? • Magical girl (魔法少女mahoushoujo) series are a subgenre of fantasy anime and manga • Centered around young girls with magical powers • Some magical girls use their powers to fight evil, others for everyday tasks or to achieve some goal • Most magical girl series are shoujo but some shounen ones also exist
Origins • First magical girl anime was Mahoutsukai Sally (“Sally the Witch”) in 1966 • Created by Yokoyama Mitsuteru (Tetsujin 28-go/Gigantor) • Inspired by the American show “Bewitched”
Origins • Himitsu no Akko-chan (1969) was another successful early magical girl series • Title character uses a magic compact mirror to transform into anyone/anything she wants
The 70s • After success of Mahoutsukai Sally and Himitsu no Akko-chan Toei Animation released lots of magical girl shows in the 1970s • Known as majokko (魔女っ子) series • Most influential one was Majokko Meg-chan(1974)
The 90s • Sailor Moon (1992-1997) popularized the idea of magical girls as superheroines who fight evil (sentoubishoujo/戦闘美少女) as a team. • Team format was inspired by sentai shows • Success started a wave of other fighting magical girl shows throughout the 90s and early 2000s • Magic Knight Rayearth (1994) • Cardcaptor Sakura (1998) • Wedding Peach (1995) • Etc.
Other things I’ll talk about • Shounenand seinen magical girl shows like Nanoha – how they compare to shoujo ones • More recent series (like the Pretty Cure franchise) • Coming-of-age metaphors in magical girl shows • MahouShoujoMadokaMagica (how it’s a deconstruction of the typical magical girl anime)