Magical Girl

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Synonyms: Mahou shoujo
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The magical girl (or mahou shoujo) is a popular trope in anime and manga.

I've been having kind of a shoujo renaissance recently, and watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica the other day got me thinking about the range of the Mahou shoujo genre. You've got the pioneer series like Sailormoon and Cardcaptor Sakura that sort of established the genre in all its "LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP WIN THE DAY!" glory. Then you've got series like Utena and Princess Tutu that are meta deconstructions of the trope.
Then you've got darker series like MAI-hime and Puella Magi Madoka that take the premise and deliberately turn it on its ear: the girls don't triumph over evil through the power of friendship, they kill each other and die horribly; they aren't allies of justice like they (and the viewer!) thought, they're being used for evil. [1]

Meta

Resources

References

  1. Mahou Shoujo thread at Fail Fandomanon, April 2011 (Accessed April 6, 2011)