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 PMMM: Magical Girl anime or no way? (Spoilers! Beware!)

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Sailor Jupiter
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Sailor Jupiter

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PMMM: Magical Girl anime or no way? (Spoilers! Beware!) Empty
PostSubject: PMMM: Magical Girl anime or no way? (Spoilers! Beware!)   PMMM: Magical Girl anime or no way? (Spoilers! Beware!) I_icon_minitime17th January 2019, 5:52 pm

OKAY. Last night I was chatting with Tyler about Puella Magi Madoka Magica and we when got onto the topic of genre the discussion got really interesting

As someone who's somewhat drowning in magical girl content at all times, I see PMMM as part of the magical girl genre. For me, it has all the hallmarks. Transformations, unique character outfits/looks (that include the usual frills), fantasy weapons, female friendship, familiars, communication devices, the works.

But Tyler was surprised that I was so convinced it was part of the magical girl genre. As someone who watches more seinen/shounen, he felt that Madoka was pretty obviously fantasy horror from its harsh plot twists to its gruesome deaths. I was inclined to disagree until I read this:

Quote :
Asahi: Madoka Magica is an original story. Where did the idea come from?
Urobuchi: I received a request to write a bloody story where magical girls appear, and then drop out one by one. I paid attention to the aspects that are troubling or overlooked in the traditional magical girl genre. I've been thinking that magical girls who have acquired superhuman abilities will find themselves removed from the world, which would cause contradictions and reactions.


I've heard the series referred to as a deconstruction of the magical girl genre which seems to side with the horror fantasy point of view. And yet you can't remove the magical girl elements from Madoka, subverted or not.

To me, the series will always be a magical girl anime that expanded what it means for an anime to be majou shoujo, broadening the umbrella of what fits into the category.

But, I'd be interested to hear what you think. Magical girl anime or not?


Last edited by Sailor Jupiter on 17th January 2019, 7:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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An Ordinary Girl
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PMMM: Magical Girl anime or no way? (Spoilers! Beware!) Empty
PostSubject: Re: PMMM: Magical Girl anime or no way? (Spoilers! Beware!)   PMMM: Magical Girl anime or no way? (Spoilers! Beware!) I_icon_minitime17th January 2019, 7:06 pm

First to define terms (Wikipedia's always reliable, right?): 
Magical Girl: a subgenre of Japanese fantasy anime and manga which features girls with magical powers or who use magic
Horror: is a genre of speculative fiction which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle, its readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror

It definitely fits within both genres, but it's primarily magical girl to me.  

It took the genre and asked "How would this really play out?  What would the consequences really be?" It asked the questions no other show wanted to ask.  Where do these girls powers come from? How can they survive these battles? Etc, etc.  I think it fits perfectly the philosophical definition of a deconstruction.

Deconstruction: a method of critical analysis of philosophical and literary language which emphasizes the internal workings of language and conceptual systems, the relational quality of meaning, and the assumptions implicit in forms of expression.

Or, in short, it analyzes the very working of the magical girl system and displays one possible answer in the form of a 12-episode anime.

A more simple argument is that the horror is the result of their being magical girls, and not vice versa.  Their existence as magical girls is the foundational premise of the entire show.

I might chime in on this again later if this thread continues, once I've had time to chew on this idea.

Edit: For what it's worth, here's a "professional magical girl enthusiast"'s definition of magical girl: 

  • Girl, or group of girls, who uses magic or advanced technology to overcome their problems, go on adventures, and/or defeat evil. I include tech because of the series like Corector Yuil and Cutie Honey don’t use “magic” but advanced technology. I also included “go on adventures” to cover things like Sally the Witch or Fancy Lala.


  • The story must be girl-centric. Girls must be the heroes (and maybe even the villains). Girls must progress and expand the plot. I did this to eliminate series like Harry Potter where the focus is on the boy character. This is the Magical Girl genre after all. If people are looking for magical boys I highly recommend looking up Super Sentai or Henshin Hero shows like Gatchaman and Devilman or even things like American Dragon Jake Long.


  • One or more of the girls must grow and develop as a character. Even if it’s just a “lesson of the day” type moral. I did this to specifically eliminate things like Strike Witches where the characters are incapable of actually growing, really, according to the plot.


I think PMMM checks all these boxes pretty thoroughly.  Unless you want to argue that the girls don't really defeat evil with their powers, but only perpetuate it...  I gotta think some more.

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