It’s the tenth Weekly Wednesday, the world has been subjected to magical boys in their own show for (just over) 3 years and it seems like we’re having a magical girl rennaissance in recent years to boot. Let’s celebrate, with 5 reasons to love magical girl anime!
- Magical girls make dreams come true.
Real life is hard.
Everyone knows that, right?
But say you could run off and suddenly become a singer or a vanquisher of evil, and have nice outfits to go with it. It’s basic wish fulfilment.
- It’s a different perspective.
Shonen is full of male instinct, just as much as it is full of the ideas of “friendship, hard work and victory”. It’s full of patriarchal values, and occasionally not treating its girls right or using them as pawns for a greater cause. By having a female perspective, it changes the paradigm.
By combining the masculinity of fighting evil with the femininity of frilly power-ups, magical girl warriors make a truly unique experience. As for idol singer and cute witch types, they often deal with the shoujo themes of romance while mixing in ideas from other less gender-based genres, like fantastical magic and the problems of show business.
Sure, magical girls are full of their own tropes…but they’re tropes that can be embraced, if Boueibu and Mahou Shoujo Ore are anything to go by.
- They’re classic.
There was an age in the 70s where magical girl series were the norm. Sailor Moon is huge, and continues to be to this day. Even Madoka could be considered classic, even though it’s not even 10 years old yet.
When you can easily churn out a magical girl series without much effort – the PreCure people sure do this a lot – you know you can make legacies with just your imagination.
Come to think of it…magical girls are often subjected to reboots of the franchise. That’s how a lot of magical girl series stay in the public consciousness, in fact.
- The post-Madoka age makes the genre unpredictable. (To a degree.)
Once upon a time, every magical girl concept’s shadow was Sailor Moon. These days, Madoka’s position in the genre makes it unpredictable to trust the ordinary magical girl show to have an ultimate happy ending and have the protagonist end up with the main romantic interest.
The splintering in the genre, as I allude to in How Do You Approach Anime?, keeps the viewer on their toes about whether a magical girl show follows the Sailor Moon model or Madoka’s…assuming that it’s anime-original, of course…
- The themes are timeless.
Love, friendship, wondering if the secret identity is the real identity…
Certainly, you get these tropes from the superhero genre – and admittedly, the magical girl warrior comes from the mould of the typical superhero – but then this genre brings point two into this for an exploration on femininity and sexuality as well. These themes speak volumes to their intended younger audience and even magical girls’ older audience, and allow the goods to be sold. That’s how you get more magical girl anime, and that’s what matters to the businesses.
So, any other magical girl fans out there? Or any naysayers? Sound off in the comments.