Magical girl

Magical girl (Japanese: 魔法 少女 Hepburn: mahō shōjo) is a subgenre of Japanese fantasy light novels, manga, anime, and video games which features girls with magical powers or who use magic. Although the genre has origins in Japan, it has been used as a motif outside Japan in Western works such as Winx Club, among others.

Genre history

Anime and manga

Manga and anime historians regard the Princess Knight manga, released in 1953, as the prototype for the magical girl genre.[1]:77 Himitsu no Akko-chan, serialized nine years later (1962) in Ribon, is generally accepted to be the earliest magical girl manga.[2]:8 Sally the Witch, adapted from the manga of the same name, is regarded by historians as the first magical girl anime.[1]:78[3] Sally the Witch was inspired by the Japanese dub of the television series Bewitched.[4]

Mahōtsukai Chappy (1972) and Majokko Megu-chan (1974–1975) popularized the term "majokko" (little witch or witch girl) as a name for the genre. Megu-chan has been noted for its portrayal of multiple magical girls and the friendship between girls. Due to the women's lib movement in Japan, magical girls began displaying a "certain coquettishness" in the 1970s.[4]

In the 1980s, Magical Princess Minky Momo (1982) and Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel (1983–1984) showed girls transforming into a "grown-up image of themselves". This has been linked to the increasing prominence of women at this time (such as politician Takako Doi, the girl band Princess Princess and pop idol Seiko Matsuda) and the passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act in 1985.[4]

Kumiko Saito argues that magical girl anime is best understood as "twenty-five-minute advertisements for toy merchandise", highlighting the high production costs and the involvement of Bandai in Sailor Moon and Precure. She acknowledges that despite this and the childish plots, magical girl anime discuss gender roles and identities.[5]

The Sailor Moon manga and anime are considered to have revitalized the genre in the 1990s and paved the way for later successful titles.[2]:199[6] A key feature of the heroines of Sailor Moon is that their transformations make them look more feminine, as well as make them stronger. The romantic relationship between Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba and Usagi's care for her future daughter, Chibiusa are seen as points of difference between Sailor Moon and "typical Western superheroines".[4] Another notable example is Cardcaptor Sakura, with its manga and subsequent animated series being highly popular in and outside Japan.

In 2004, Precure was created and became a huge success and influence for modern magical girl series. Initially focusing more on fighting with its first iteration, the series lightened this aspect later on, but is still very battle-oriented in comparison to other female-focused series. The Precure series is currently the biggest series of the genre in Japan, with 15 years in the market and different series behind it.

After 2003, magical girl anime marketed to male audiences such as Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Magical Girl Raising Project, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica became a prolific trend alongside the traditional female-oriented works. The magical girl genre earned renewed popularity in the 2010s with the advent of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, whose mature themes and darker approach earned acclaim from viewers and critics outside its target audience.[7]

Live-action

Along with anime and manga, live-action magical girl series were produced as a female counterpart to tokusatsu series aimed at young boys, such as Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Ultraman; however, interest in the genre declined in the early 1990s due to competing toy sales with Sailor Moon and other magical girl anime.[8] Tokusatsu magical girl series were revived with the Girls x Heroine! Series, beginning with Idol × Warrior Miracle Tunes! in 2017 and the sequel, Magic × Warrior Magi Majo Pures! in 2018.[8]

Magical "boy" works

Some series are notable for portraying "magical boys" as protagonists instead of the traditional supporting roles. Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! is a 2015 television magical boy anime series created by Kurari Umatani and produced by Diomedéa, which parodies tropes and cliches common to magical girl anime.[9] Magical Girl Ore features magical girls who transform into manly-looking forms. In Is This a Zombie?, a zombie is resurrected by a necromancer after being killed by a serial killer, inadvertently gains "magical girl" powers, and is forced to become a "magical boy" (and thereby crossdress) in the process.[10] In Shugo Chara!, released in 2006, half of the series' main characters are males that possess the same powers as their female counterparts.

In non-Japanese works

The Italian animated series Winx Club,[11] PopPixie, Mia and Me and Angel's Friends use a magical girl concept for their main characters, including transformations for each character. This concept also appears in the Italian comic book series W.I.T.C.H. and its animated adaptation, featuring five teenage girls with powers over the five classical elements.[12][13] In 2014, LoliRock debuted as a French anime-influenced animation series of the genre, and contains many references to Japanese magical girl franchises.[14][15][16] Miraculous Ladybug blends magical girl conventions with modern superhero action and adventure storytelling.[17][18] Ragazze dell'Olimpo (Girls of Olympus), an Italian series by Elena Kedros, portrays a trio of magical girls who are reincarnations of the Olympian goddesses.[19] The American cartoon series Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Steven Universe, Hanazuki: Full of Treasures, Little Charmers, Nella the Princess Knight, Shimmer and Shine, Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders and My Little Pony: Equestria Girls franchise use a magical girl concept as a sub-theme. For example, the main characters in the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls are described as "full-time students and part-time magical pony girls".[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Gravett, Paul (2004). Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics (2nd ed.). London: Laurence King. ISBN 1856693910.
  2. ^ a b Thompson, Jason (2007). Manga: The Complete Guide. New York: Del Rey Books. ISBN 0345485904.
  3. ^ Boren, James (September 2003). "The Making of a Magical Girl". Animerica. Viz Media. 11 (9): 31.
  4. ^ a b c d Sugawa, Akiko (February 26, 2015). "Children of Sailor Moon: The Evolution of Magical Girls in Japanese Anime". Nippon Communications Foundation. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Saito, Kumiko (2 January 2014). "Magic, Shōjo, and Metamorphosis: Magical Girl Anime and the Challenges of Changing Gender Identities in Japanese Society". The Journal of Asian Studies. 73 (01): 143–164. doi:10.1017/S0021911813001708.
  6. ^ Poitras, Gilles (2004). Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know (4th ed.). Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 31–32. ISBN 1880656531.
  7. ^ Ohanesian, Liz (October 22, 2012). "How Puella Magi Madoka Magica Shatters Anime Stereotypes". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "大人気シリーズ第二弾『魔法×戦士 マジマジョピュアーズ!". Real Sound (in Japanese). April 8, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  9. ^ "Binan Koko Chikyuu Boei-bu Love Anime with High School Boys Unveiled". Anime News Network. 2014-09-26. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
  10. ^ "Anime Series' Official Homepage". Anime Series' Official Homepage. January 21, 2011. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  11. ^ Anders, Ella (February 13, 2016). "Winx Club to Receive Live-Action Film". BSC Kids. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  12. ^ Altehenger, Jennifer E. (2013). "Chapter 4: Comic Travels: Disney Publishing in the People's Republic of China". In Yung, Anthony Y.H. Asian Popular Culture: The Global (Dis)continuity. Hoboken, New Jersey: Taylor and Francis. pp. 66–70. ISBN 9781134089956. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  13. ^ Bellerby, Grace (August 15, 2012). The History of Magical Girl Anime: Sparkles Without Cullens (Speech). Amecon 2012. SlideShare. Keele University. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Anders, Ella (April 27, 2016). "Lolirock Arrives At Long Last to US". BSC Kids. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  15. ^ Jenkins, Bob (October 1, 2013). "Lolirock Gets Ready to Rock". License! Global. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  16. ^ Todesco, Bertrand (September 4, 2015). "BACK TO 2011 !: the creation of LoliRock - part 1: IRIS genesis". Tumblr. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  17. ^ Anders, Ella (July 2, 2015). "Part Magical Girl, Part Superhero; Ladybug Arrives State-Side in Fall". BSC Kids. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  18. ^ Collins, Elle (December 3, 2015). "Teen French Heroes Ladybug & Cat Noir Arrive On Nickelodeon". Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016. The influence of the Magical Girl genre is inescapable; when Marinette's mother is captured in a bubble and carried off into the sky, apparently along with every adult in Paris, Marinette transforms into Ladybug in a series of twirls and poses, just as Sailor Moon and other magical girls always do. She even has the guidance of some kind of talking ladybug creature, fulfilling another Magical Girl trope.
  19. ^ "Girls of Olympus". The Animation Band. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  20. ^ "The Girls of Canterlot High Return to Discovery Family in Three New My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Specials to Air Throughout the Network's Annual "Summer Splash" Programming Event". Discovery. May 26, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2018.

Further reading

List of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha characters

The following list introduces the characters of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha in Main and Movie Timeline.

Luna Petunia

Luna Petunia is a Canadian-American animated television series produced by Cirque du Soleil Media with Saban Capital Group and BrainPower Studio. The series premiered on Netflix on December 9, 2016. It follows the adventures of a little girl named Luna Petunia who plays in a dreamland where she learns how to make the impossible possible. Season 2 was released on July 7, 2017. Season 3 was released on November 17, 2017.It was followed by Luna Petunia: Return to Amazia on February 2, 2018. Season 2 was released on July 20, 2018.On May 1, 2018, Saban Brands sold Luna Petunia to Hasbro.

Magical Girl (film)

Magical Girl is a 2014 Spanish neo-noir film directed by Carlos Vermut. The film was screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2014 San Sebastián International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Shell. It won the Goya Award for Best Actress for Bárbara Lennie at the 29th Goya Awards ceremony.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (魔法少女リリカルなのは, Mahō Shōjo Ririkaru Nanoha) is a Japanese anime television series directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, with screenplay written by Masaki Tsuzuki, and produced by Seven Arcs. It forms part of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series. The Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations broadcast 13 episodes between October and December 2004. The series is a spin-off of the Triangle Heart series and its story follows a girl named Nanoha Takamachi who decides to help a young mage named Yūno to recover a set of 21 artifacts named the "Jewel Seeds".

Masaki Tsuzuki adapted the series into a novel, which Megami Bunko published in August 2005. King Records has adapted several soundtracks and drama CDs from the series. A sequel to the anime series titled Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's produced by Seven Arcs premiered in Japan on October 2005, broadcast on Chiba TV. A film adaptation of the anime series, also by Seven Arcs, was released in theaters on January 23, 2010, accompanied by a manga series which was serialized in Megami Magazine between November 2009 and March 2011.

Geneon Entertainment licensed the anime series for English-language dubbed release in North America at Anime Expo 2007 (June 29 to July 2). Due to Geneon switching distribution labels between September 2007 and July 2008, Funimation distributed the series (in a single DVD compilation-volume boxset) approximately one and a half years after the announcement of the licensing. Many production credits for the English-language dubbed release were missing.

Moderately well received by Japanese-language viewers, all DVD volumes peaked at 70 to 22 and below on the Oricon Animation DVD ranking and remained on the chart for at least two weeks.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's (魔法少女リリカルなのは エース, Mahō Shōjo Ririkaru Nanoha Ēsu) ("A's" is pronounced as "Ace") is an anime television series produced by Seven Arcs. It is the second anime in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise, following the previous series. The series aired in Japan between October 1, 2005 and December 25, 2005 and was licensed in North America by Geneon. A film adaptation, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A's, was released in Japanese theaters on July 14, 2012. The series has also spawned a manga accompaniment and two video game adaptations for the PlayStation Portable. It was succeeded by Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS in 2007.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS (魔法少女リリカルなのはStrikerS, Mahō Shōjo Ririkaru Nanoha Sutoraikāzu) is the third season of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series. The Nanoha anime was, in turn, a spin-off of the Triangle Heart series of games and OVAs, specifically Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever. This season aired shortly after the promotional event "Lyrical Party III" on April 1, 2007. The series focuses more on team-based battles and bureaucracy rather than individual rivalry and school life, due to the change in character dynamics. The name StrikerS refers to an SS rank given to top mages, much like how A's refers to A rank mages. A special sound stage, under the name of StrikerS Sound stage X was released on October 29, 2008. A manga adaptation, which explored storylines outside of the anime series, ran in Megami Magazine from November 2006 to February 2008.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid (魔法少女リリカルなのはViVid, Mahō Shōjo Ririkaru Nanoha Vividdo) is a Japanese manga series written by Masaki Tsuzuki and illustrated by Takuya Fujima. It is part of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise, taking place four years after the events of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. The series began serialization in Kadokawa Shoten's Comp Ace on May 26, 2009. An anime adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan from April 3 to June 19, 2015. A spin-off original anime project by Seven Arcs Pictures, titled ViVid Strike!, aired between October and December 2016, featuring a new pair of protagonists.

Magical Girl Ore

Magical Girl Ore (魔法少女俺, Mahō Shōjo Ore, lit. "Magical Girl Me") is a Japanese manga series by Icchokusen Mōkon. It began serialization in Fusion Product's Comic Be magazine in 2012, and was collected in two tankōbon volumes. The series was renewed for serialization in the same magazine in 2014. The 12-episode anime television series adaptation by Pierrot+ aired from April 2 to June 18, 2018.

Magical Girl Pretty Sammy

Magical Girl Pretty Sammy (魔法少女プリティサミー, Mahō Shōjo Puriti Samī) is a Japanese original video animation (OVA) series produced by AIC and Pioneer LDC, and released from 1995 to 1997 as three videos. It features character Sasami from the Tenchi Muyo! series as a magical girl, and is noted for recasting the Tenchi Muyo! characters in new roles. It has been dubbed into English by Pioneer USA. It also spawned two television series: Magical Project S, and Sasami: Magical Girls Club, the latter of which recasts the characters another time.

Magical Girl Site

Magical Girl Site (魔法少女サイト, Mahō Shōjo Saito) is a Japanese magical girl shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Kentarō Satō. The series is about a tormented withdrawn middle school student named Aya, who gains the ability to become a magical girl through a mysterious website. She soon finds friends that provide her strength in other magical girls like herself, who also got their abilities through other mysterious websites. Aya eventually learns of a dark secret in store for all of humanity that is being planned by the website managers. She makes friends and enemies along the way all while fighting to keep herself, and her friends alive.

The series is a spinoff of Magical Girl Apocalypse, and has been published in Champion Tap! since July 2013. It is also licensed by Seven Seas. An anime television series adaptation by production doA premiered on April 6, 2018.

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka (Japanese: 魔法少女特殊戦あすか, Hepburn: Mahō Shōjo Tokushusen Asuka) is a Japanese magical girl/military seinen manga series written by Makoto Fukami and illustrated by Seigo Tokiya. Naoya Tamura is the series' military advisor. It began publication in June 2015 in the manga magazine Monthly Big Gangan, published by Square Enix, and has five tankōbon volumes slated for a North American release as of January 2018. The series is published in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment. An anime television series adaptation by Liden Films began airing on January 12, 2019; the anime series is licensed in North America under Crunchyroll-Funimation partnership.

Magical Project S

Magical Project S, known in Japan as Pretty Sammy (プリティサミー, Puriti Samī), is a 26-episode anime television series produced by AIC and Pioneer LDC. It is based on the Pretty Sammy character and the OVA series.

The series was released in the United States on VHS in 1999 and on DVD in 2002, only in a subtitled format. All instances of the word, "Sexy", were changed into "Lovely" in some episodes, presumably to keep within the guidelines of Pioneer USA's rating system (the series was rated for 3 and up).

Majokko Tickle

Majokko Tickle (魔女っ子チックル, Majokko Chikkuru), also known as Magical Girl Tickle or Magical Girl Chickle, is a 1970s magical girl manga and anime by Go Nagai. Unlike Nagai's earlier (and more popular) Cutie Honey, Majokko Tickle is closer to the more traditional mold of magical girl anime such as Mahoutsukai Sally, and unlike Nagai's other, more popular works, was created for an audience of pre-teen girls.

The anime television series was produced by Toei Company Ltd. (the main office, not the animation studio), with the actual animation produced by various other studios, including Nippon Sunrise. It consisted of 45 episodes and was aired across Japan on TV Asahi from March 6, 1978, to January 29, 1979. It brought the magical girl genre of anime back to Japanese TV screens for the first time since Toei Animation's Majokko Megu-chan aired its final episode in September 1975. Some episodes were scripted by Masaki Tsuji, a longtime friend of Nagai's and head writer on his earlier series Devilman, Dororon Enma-kun, and Cutey Honey. Go Nagai also wrote the lyrics to the opening theme song.

Majokko Tickle is notable for being the first magical girl series to feature a "double hero" (Tickle and her human "sister" Tiko, or a "lucky pair" as they are referred to during the series). Reportedly the series was inspired in part by the popularity of Pink Lady, a female pop duo who were known for performing their songs and dancing in perfect unison and who sold millions of records in Japan during the late 1970s (they also later had a minor hit in the United States called "Kiss in the Dark"). Pink Lady had an enormous audience of young girls, and Majokko Tickle was considered an opportunity to capitalize on the similarity. In fact, one of Pink Lady's hits ("Southpaw") was featured in one episode, in which Tickle and her "sisters" Tiko and Hina watch the duo perform the song on TV. The Majokko tickle will be one of the last magical girls old series among Lun Lun and Lalabel and in fact the last before, Himitsu no Akko-chan remake, that is action takes places only in Japan, the next magical girl series Lun Lun and Lalabel will take place elsewhere.The refreshed series (with new intro and ending) shown in the times of Lun Lun and Lalabel and in 1979/1980 and in the time between February and October 1981 (together with Hello! Sandybell) would be the end for nearly a decade of old style magical girls created by Toei Animation and Nippon Sunrise.

Moldiver

Moldiver (モルダイバー, Morudaibā) is a 6-episode 1993 OVA anime series. It is a parody of magical girl and superhero anime series.

Pretty Cure

Pretty Cure (プリキュアシリーズ), also known as PreCure (プリキュア, Purikyua) is a Japanese magical girl anime franchise created by Izumi Todo and produced by Asahi Broadcasting Corporation, Asatsu-DK and Toei Animation. Each series revolves around a group of magical girls known as Pretty Cures who battle against evil forces. Starting in February 2004 with Futari wa Pretty Cure, the franchise has seen many anime series, spanning over 700 episodes to date, as well as spawning movies, manga, toys, and video games. Its most recent iteration, Star Twinkle PreCure, began airing in February 2019 as part of TV Asahi's Sunday morning children's television block. To date, three of the series have received English-language dubs; they are Futari wa Pretty Cure, Smile PreCure! and DokiDoki! PreCure. In 2017, Toei Animation acquired the Glitter Force trademark from Saban Brands. In 2018, Hasbro acquired the rights to the names and the Glitter Force brand from Toei.

Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu (Japanese: プリンセスチュチュ, Hepburn: Purinsesu Chuchu) is a Japanese magical girl anime series created by Ikuko Itoh in 2002 for animation studio Hal Film Maker. Inspired by ballet and fairy tales, particularly The Ugly Duckling and Swan Lake, the story follows a duck who is transformed into the mythical ballerina Princess Tutu in order to save the shattered heart of a storybook prince come to life.

The first season was broadcast in Japan in 2002 and the second in 2002 and 2003. It was also adapted into a two-volume manga. Both the manga and anime series were licensed by ADV Films in 2004 for distribution in North America, then by AEsir Holdings when ADV Films closed in 2009, but its upcoming Blu-ray Disc release will be distributed by Sentai Filmworks, as the latter two are parts of Section23 Films. The series explores the concepts of destiny and free will. Reviewers point out that although Princess Tutu is nominally a magical girl series, it is more of a "fairy tale set to ballet with a few magical girl elements mixed in," and its use of dance in lieu of violence to solve conflicts carries "surprisingly effective emotional appeal."

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ, Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika, "Magical Girl Madoka Magica"), commonly referred to as simply Madoka Magica, is a Japanese anime television series that was produced by Shaft and Aniplex. It was directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and written by Gen Urobuchi, with original character designs by Ume Aoki, character design adaptation by Takahiro Kishida, and music by Yuki Kajiura. The story follows a group of female middle school students who choose to become magical girls and must battle surreal enemies called witches. They consequently learn of the anguish and perils associated with their new roles.

The first ten episodes of the series aired in Japan on TBS and MBS between January and March 2011, while the final two episodes were delayed until April 2011 due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. A manga adaptation of the series and various spin-off manga series have been published by Houbunsha and licensed in North America by Yen Press. A novelization by Nitroplus was released in August 2011, and a dedicated magazine titled Manga Time Kirara Magica was launched by Houbunsha in June 2012. A video game for the PlayStation Portable was released in March 2012 and another for PlayStation Vita was released in December 2013. A film series has also been produced; it consists of two films recapping the anime series and released in October 2012. A third film featuring an original story was released on October 26, 2013, and a concept film acting as a trailer for a new project was screened in December 2015. A smartphone game, Magia Record, launched in August 2017, and an anime adaptation will be released in 2019.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica has received widespread critical acclaim; critics praised the writing, visuals, and soundtrack of the series as well as its unconventional approach to the magical girl subgenre. It became a commercial success; each Blu-ray Disc volume sold more than 50,000 copies. The series garnered a variety of awards, such as the Television Award at the 16th Animation Kobe Awards, as well as 12 Newtype Anime Awards and the Grand Prize for animation in the 2011 Japan Media Arts awards.

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