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 Why Always 14 Year Olds?

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RLinksoul
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PostSubject: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:04 pm

I remember questioning a little while back why virtually all of the Precure protagonists are around that age. I wondered why we don't have more magical girl characters in general who are ten years old or younger.

Someone told me something about it having to do with the kids who watch these shows, but I can't recall.

There are only a few shows that immediately come to mind where the protagonists are younger than 14 years old. Mary Bell doesn't count because she's 500,000 years old.

The characters in Ojamajo Doremi started out around 8-9 years old, and in the span of four seasons grew four years to match. 

If it's not 14 it's usually 10 or so. Almost never will the protagonist be a five year old. Battling the forces of evil might be okay for a five year old in shounen, but not here. 

It might work for a cute witch show if the protagonist is from a magical world, but I doubt too many normal Earth parents would let their five year old wander around unattended. And a protagonist that young would likely be very poor at keeping their powers secret.

One thing I do remember reading is that protagonists in anime in general are typically second year students because it's convenient for the writers to be able to insert them in the school setting without them having to adjust to a new setting.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:37 pm

It's kind why Ash is still 10 years old. It allows the age group to be able to relate to the main characters. As for precure they might be 14 years old because usually little kids look up to big kids. I still can't believe Precure is a kindergarten show. In America kindergarten shows usually consist of people shouting at the viewers to find something.



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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:45 pm

So true. So true. American shows are why no one respects shows made for kids. Shows for girls in particular. Americans see a show that's girly and automatically think it must be some poorly written Barbie nonsense. We can't get more magical girl shows on TV because networks are afraid to air such things as they think there's only money in stuff that appeals specifically to boys. Even when a show is made to appeal to boys but happens to get female viewers (like Young Justice) they cancel it because they don't want largely female viewers.

I still can't believe Attack on Titan is a shounen series. I gotta give props to Legend of Korra for being able to handle subjects like terrorism maturely, while Spongebob was busy trying to make jokes about suicide.

Back on the subject, I would have found it less surprising if most magical girl protagonists were the same age as the target audience, as it would make them more relatable, I think.

But it makes sense when you think of all the young girls who watch Sailor Moon and remark how pretty the characters are, and decide they want to be like them when they get older.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:52 pm

Plus I think Japenese TV makers also take in account that there will be people watching shows outside of the target audience. While the Sailor Moon anime was aim at kids I would argue it as a family show. I can see a 14 year old girl watching it with her five year old sister. The same goes for parents. On tumblr someone asked a person who lives in Japan about Japanese fans reactions to Crystal. They list a groups of people who are watching it and their reactions. They mentioned there are men who are watching Crystal because they watched the original anime with their daughters.



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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:56 pm

I actually wonder why there aren't any shows with older, possibly adult magical girls, butI guess it comes down to appealing to their target audience more.

Also, from a preschool teacher perspective, there is a reason for the way American kids shows tell at kids to answer stuff (not saying I like it but I know why they do it)
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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:03 pm

@Serenity Magica wrote:
I actually wonder why there aren't any shows with older, possibly adult magical girls,

Well, there is one that comes to mind. 

Of course it's not a kids show, but it cuts a lot of the fanservice bull after the first episode.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:57 pm

I always figured that 14 was a pretty symbolic year for Japanese students too.

Think about it, when they reach 3rd year (15) they're focusing on entrance exams to High School (in Sailor Moon S it felt like that's all they talked about in their spare time) and High School is apparently the most difficult time for students, heck High School isn't even required by law unlike America. Some kids just start their adult working life then and there.

So 14 is the last year a Japanese student has to really be a little more lax in their studies without worrying about their future.

Since magical girls have adopted this theme of growing up, I think 14's a pretty good year to tie in with that.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:04 am

Well, Lilith has a friend who's making a magical girl in college years... sorta.


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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:12 pm

could it be since the theme is growing up that 14 is the cusp between childhood and adulthood? or was that said already?



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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:40 pm

@Chat de la Lune wrote:
could it be since the theme is growing up that 14 is the cusp between childhood and adulthood? or was that said already?
Already said, yes.


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PostSubject: Re: Why Always 14 Year Olds?   Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:30 pm

I think that, by making them 14-years-old, they're young enough to be relatable for older kids, while also being old enough to be a role-model for younger kids.

Also... I don't know how things go in Japan, but when I was in elementary school, and I watched shows like My Life as a Teenage Robot that had teenage protagonists... I thought that being a teenager was just the coolest thing. I wanted to grow up so badly, because I thought everything would just be awesome. I was wrong of course, but I do wonder if there's a similar romanticism of being a teenager in Japan.


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