View Full Version : Magical Girl: A Dying Genre?

08-30-2006, 11:32 PM
Disclaimer: This is not a cranky sledge at the genre. There are many magical girl anime I enjoy. But I do have concerns at the overall quality of the genre. Especially these days in which anime is in somthing of a slump.

Most anime genres have had over time, dramatic changes in what is considered standard fare. Before Mobile Suit Gundam, mecha anime were exclusively about a lone superhero robot bashing up monsters. Before Rose of Versailles, romance/ shoujo anime were exclusively whimsical stories about schoolgirls in love with guys. What I am trying to say is that usually, a title comes along that shakes a genre and turns it on its head. In its wake, that genre is changed and not seen in the same light again.

Not Magical Girl anime.

Since the earliest days of mahou shoujo anime, nothing has significantly changed. Sure there have been slight changes in setting (such as Magic Knight Rayearth using a unique fantasy setting more akin to Dungeons and Dragons). But in the end, big ideas are given a small clap and then left in the background.

Even Revolutionary Girl Utena came along and turned the traditional definition of magical girl on its head. Almost every barrier of magical girl was completely shattered in a whirlwind of creativity and symbolism. Yet after all the phenomenal success in Japan and more than respectable success overseas, nothing. The genre continued on business as usual with a group of girls transforming into pink outfits and fighting evil queens.

Basically I’m asking you others in the forum why you think that is. Do you think that Magical Girl is a genre that has forced severe constraints upon itself? Perhaps because of its average target demographic (young girls) that writers feel won’t understand deeper or even different plotlines? Could this cause the decline into oblivion for the genre?