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 What are the qualities that make this series a Mahou Shoujo anime?

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RLinksoul
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PostSubject: What are the qualities that make this series a Mahou Shoujo anime?   Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:38 pm

I've seen it debated again and again whether or not this show qualifies as magical girl. Some say it's just a straight up shoujo series and that it lacks the things that make it specifically a magical girl series.

So for those who have actually seen the show, what's your take on this debate?
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Chopstickman
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PostSubject: Re: What are the qualities that make this series a Mahou Shoujo anime?   Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:38 am

Typical load out criteria are:
only being able to use magic after releasing it (ex henshin)
an item used to release the magic
keeping said magic a secret
magic phrases
fuzzy sidekick; usually one that talks

These are not absolutes by any means; they can be ignored or subverted as per the writer's discretion. The earliest mahou shoujo didn't always follow them, nor do all current majokko. My question to you is which anime did you intend to discuss? I don't see a name anywhere.
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RLinksoul
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PostSubject: Re: What are the qualities that make this series a Mahou Shoujo anime?   Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:28 pm

Just a few days after this thread was made, I ended up answering my own question here.

http://magicalgirlcafe.forumotion.com/t391-shojo-vs-magical-girl
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PostSubject: Re: What are the qualities that make this series a Mahou Shoujo anime?   Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:27 pm

Since one of my side projects is creating a magical girl timeline, It's something I think about alot XD and really pick at over and over as new anime come out that try and mix genres or push the idea of the basic "girl with weird powers" concept.


at the moment, here are my criteria

-Main character is a young adolescent female: since the #1 metaphor for magical girls is puberty, I think the age of the characters is really important. Unless the title out-right states "she's a magical girl" (I.E. - "Okusama wa Mahou Shoujo"/["My Wife is a Magical Girl"]) or its a historical title (as in, Bewitched, the grandma of all magical girls). So a lot of super heroine titles, like Wonder Woman, I disclude because of that.

-Main character uses a special "magic":  What is magic anyway?
  Welp, according to the English online dictionary provided by google it's "the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." Wow that's vague. Sometimes it's obvious in the show. But to narrow it down, It helps if the magic is exclusive to a certain few. Or if the MC is the best, in a high position or a "chosen one" kind of situation. This weeds out generic fantasy titles like Slayers. If the main character is a witch it automatically counts as magical girl regardless. 
If their powers are some sort of man-made science: if its exclusive to the MC and its so far out and advanced that its almost kind of ridiculous, then I think its fair to count it as magic.

-Product Placement: sort of unimportant compared to the first two, but capitalism has always played a part in the history of magical girls. I've worked in enough children's retail to see the genius marketing behind some of these shows - even in adult works! This past year gave us TWO magical girl franchises with the intent of selling card games to adults. So if theres something like mascots, transformation items that resemble plastic, multiple outfits for potential dolls - those are pretty magical girl-esque. Even parodies have all those things, its a staple of the genre by now

-Author Intent: Alot of people forget that a human made conscious decisions about why and how these characters do the things they do. They also decide what tropes to pull from and what genre they consider their baby to be. 
I think viewer interpretation is important of course, but if Arina Tanemura (allegedly, I still haven't found the source of her saying this) says that Full Moon wo Sagashite isn't magical girl, I think it's important to take note of that.

-Intuition: At this point, I've just started listening to my gut and stop listening to arguments. I watched some of Kill la Kill, Black Rock Shooter, Pretty Rythym, and I just didn't get that same "magical girl" vibe, ya know? So I don't put them on my list.
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PostSubject: Re: What are the qualities that make this series a Mahou Shoujo anime?   Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:57 pm

@BunnyBelle wrote:
-Product Placement: sort of unimportant compared to the first two, but capitalism has always played a part in the history of magical girls. I've worked in enough children's retail to see the genius marketing behind some of these shows - even in adult works! This past year gave us TWO magical girl franchises with the intent of selling card games to adults. So if theres something like mascots, transformation items that resemble plastic, multiple outfits for potential dolls - those are pretty magical girl-esque. Even parodies have all those things, its a staple of the genre by now

Nearly all anime is trying to sell merchandise (even not counting DVD/BD sales).  It's not really a magical girl specific thing.  Either it's anime for kids, where the goal is to get them to buy as many toys as possible, or it's for otaku and the show is trying to sell character goods, figures, etc. on the basis of moe.  Manga adaptations are nearly always glorified manga commercials, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: What are the qualities that make this series a Mahou Shoujo anime?   Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:24 pm

@Twinkle Bloomish wrote:
@BunnyBelle wrote:
-Product Placement: sort of unimportant compared to the first two, but capitalism has always played a part in the history of magical girls. I've worked in enough children's retail to see the genius marketing behind some of these shows - even in adult works! This past year gave us TWO magical girl franchises with the intent of selling card games to adults. So if theres something like mascots, transformation items that resemble plastic, multiple outfits for potential dolls - those are pretty magical girl-esque. Even parodies have all those things, its a staple of the genre by now

Nearly all anime is trying to sell merchandise (even not counting DVD/BD sales).  It's not really a magical girl specific thing.  Either it's anime for kids, where the goal is to get them to buy as many toys as possible, or it's for otaku and the show is trying to sell character goods, figures, etc. on the basis of moe.  Manga adaptations are nearly always glorified manga commercials, etc.

That's true, I think what I meant to say is just specifically talking about "magical items" whether that be a magical cellphone, bracelets, weapons, etc.
 
I just like talking about children's marketing. So my text got kinda sidetracked lol XD
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