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The List - 6 Trailblazing Shojo "Deconstructions" You Should Be Watching


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Divineking



Joined: 03 Jul 2010
Posts: 1045

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:06 am Reply with quote
I'm not gonna lie. Utena is the only one on this list I;ve heard of/seen. Even so it's definently a good deconstruction so it deserves top spot on the list.

As for the orphan thing I debated voting Johan as a joke but seeing as spoiler[ he'd kill me in a hearbeat] I went with Rika
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 775

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:44 am Reply with quote
To be honest, I always thought "trailblazer" implied that something is influential. I've seen a few of these examples, but with the exception of Utena and Momo, they are fairly obscure. It's pretty hard to argue some of these shows "blazed" a trail when few people even know about them, including industry pros, I'd wager.

There are a lot of anime that have done experimental stuff and nobody cared. They're meant to be re-discovered, but I wouldn't call them trailblazing.
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Joe Mello



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 1812
Location: Tekkoshocon

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:51 am Reply with quote
I'm guessing Rose of Versailles is not available and thus isn't on the list.
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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 3748

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:02 pm Reply with quote
Ohhhh, Yamibou is mentioned! That really needs a home in R1 land! Crying or Very sad

(c'mon, Sentai!)
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 5638
Location: Windsor Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:03 pm Reply with quote
Not gonna lie. This article is very flawed. Well this is kind of a hard subject to pin down so I don't blame you for not getting it right.

In the first place, Madoka is not a shoujo show. It's a Mahou Shoujo show, but the target audience is shonen/seinen. It is notable for the things it did with typical Mahou Shoujo elements.

Now when we talk Mahou Shoujo we mean stuff like Card Captor Sakura and Sailor Moon: flashy transformation sequences, monster of the week, etc etc. Kannazuki no Miko is not a mahou shoujo series. While it has magical elements it firmly stands in the mecha genre.

In the first place the word "deconstruction" is thrown around a lot but rarely used correctly. Deconstruction happens when you apply real world logic to usual anime tropes. Madoka doesn't do this (spoiler[unless you think in real life all magical mascot characters are aliens that use teen angst to prevent entropy]), all it does is have a darker spin on everything.

Evangelion was a descontruction because it took the idea of taking a random kid and telling him to pilot a giant robot his father dedicated himself to making and said "You know, if this happened in real life the kid is more likely to have all kinds of mental issues than be all hot blooded and stuff."

So Deconstruction =/= being all dark. If in a harem show the tsundere lead punches the protagonist through a window, causing him to be hospitalised and her to be arrested for assault, that's a deconstruction.

If we want to talk trailblazing Mahou Shoujo series, it's almost criminal that Nanoha isn't on this list. It was even one of Madoka's main influences. In that show magic is simply highly advanced technology and mages are organized into a law enforcement agency. The battle scenes are high speed dog fights more at home in a mecha show than a mahou shoujo one.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 7451

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
If we want to talk trailblazing Mahou Shoujo series, it's almost criminal that Nanoha isn't on this list. It was even one of Madoka's main influences. In that show magic is simply highly advanced technology and mages are organized into a law enforcement agency. The battle scenes are high speed dog fights more at home in a mecha show than a mahou shoujo one.


The best way to make friends is to bombard them with laser cannon weaponry.

Glad to see Yamibou getting some recognition, I love that series' tone and world-traveling. If you like that one, try out Touka Gettan. That one is strange, and it only begins at it being told completely backwards.

If you want more Kannazuki no Miko, Shattered Angels follows more in line with playing things at odd angles, but neither of them really deconstruct or subvert what we're used to.


Last edited by walw6pK4Alo on Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lynx Amali



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 733
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:13 pm Reply with quote
Actually recommending Kannazuki....

Did I fall into an alternate reality where people RECOMMEND that?

Even as a fan of KnM (both the anime and manga), the show is crap and the only thing it has going for it is the soundtrack, mecha designs and MAYBE the relationships between the central three characters.

And as you said, Episode 8. Twas unnecessary but I guess it's supposed to show spoiler[ Chikane's desperation ]

And then we have the manga version of said Episode 8.
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 1567
Location: Leiden, NL, EU

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:45 pm Reply with quote
I've seen both Kannazuki and Utena, and wouldn't recommend either. Kannazuki is just bad, and Utena is highly overrated and tries to be mysterious at the expense of it's plot and characters.

The other magical girl anime on this list were already on my to-watch list btw.

For the new poll, I voted Yotsuba from Yotsuba&. I wish someone would turn it into an anime already. Rika Furude would be a close second. Nipaa! Very Happy
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Polycell
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:48 pm Reply with quote
It's not a matter of nobody being willing to make the anime; the mangaka's deadset against it after Azumanga Daioh.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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Location: Sunny California

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Polycell wrote:
It's not a matter of nobody being willing to make the anime; the mangaka's deadset against it after Azumanga Daioh.


What happened with Azumanga Daioh? What made its creator so upset?

Also, I'm not going to argue with the shojo titles on the list, but I'd like to give an honorable mention to Princess Tutu. Like others on the list, it starts out in one direction and then twists onto a path of its own. To me, it's a precursor to Madoka.

I love seeing Uta-kata on the list. The show's ending made me angry, but that's just a sign of how involved I became with its characters. Like the reviewer noted, it has its flaws, but it really shook me up.
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Myaow



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 1052

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
In the first place the word "deconstruction" is thrown around a lot but rarely used correctly. Deconstruction happens when you apply real world logic to usual anime tropes.


That's a much better definition than "it's super dark and cerebral", but technically it's not quite correct either. I'm not a theory expert but what I understand is that deconstruction is a term by Derrida that refers to readings of (specifically Western) texts that blur the boundaries between the "binaries" that Western civilization takes for granted-- like "man/woman", "good/evil", "civilized/savage" etc.

I don't really have a problem with anime fans taking the word and giving it a totally new meaning specific to them-- that's just how language works-- but I'm not sure if anybody really agrees on any one definition. I get so confused when I see people calling stuff like Nanoha or even Mawaru Penguindrum "magical girl deconstructions"!! Say what now?
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:03 pm Reply with quote
here-and-faraway wrote:
Polycell wrote:
It's not a matter of nobody being willing to make the anime; the mangaka's deadset against it after Azumanga Daioh.

What happened with Azumanga Daioh? What made its creator so upset?

Azumanga was a big success, wasn't it? I wonder what the mangaka didn't like about it.
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Polycell
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:14 pm Reply with quote
The problem with the non-English-department-nonsense definition is that people love to call shows they like "deconstructions" even if they aren't in the slightest. The term itself is accurate enough for what it tries to describe - tearing apart tropes and analyzing them in a more realistic context - but it gets misused so heavily it's almost as meaningless as "fascist". I'm pretty sure the directions Madoka took the story aren't even remotely related to typical magical girl shows.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:16 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
3. Fairy Princess Minky Momo
Where would any of the better shojo deconstructions be without the infamous ending to Fairy Princess Minky Momo?


As I understand it, it's like the ending to the Lost Universe light novel series; "Fine, you don't like it? Let's kill the main character[s]! How do you like them ending apples!?" It's more a case of creator frustration than an actual storytelling device planned from the start.

Also, no one should be watching Destiny of the Shrine Maiden, not because t's bad but because it's an ugly mess. And yes, episode 8, man oh man...

Uta~Kata, I didn't understand that show. It wasn't bad and the animation and backgrounds were beautiful but too many undeveloped ideas ruined it. I liked the initial idea of having a magical girl without any magical foes to face off against but it doesn't make for a deep series.

And the title's misleading; Mahou Shoujo/Shojo is much different from plain "Shojo/shoujo". I'm not sure what deconstructed shoujo would look like anyway. The Bitter Virgin manga? It's seinen but it took all the basic shoujo romance ideas {and ideals} and merciless murdered them. Imagine my disappointment when I read the article for better examples...

Oh, another vote for Nanaho; it's a series for males but then again, so's Madoka.

Yotsuba; It's 100% not ironic {Kaiba made me laugh} but she is so cute, it's creepy so there's that.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 163

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:35 pm Reply with quote
The best write up on Madoka Magica as a "subversion" or whatever that I've seen is this one here - the important thing that helps a great deal being that the author is a long time fan of magical girl shows in general. As pointed out there, the difficult thing about the ways in which it's viewed as a "deconstruction" and what not over here is that fans are largely not familiar with the wide swath of shows that define the genre in Japan (not meaning to be accusatory in saying so, it's just kind of how things panned out with what was/wasn't brought over in English or popularized in fansubs).
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