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


Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 990
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:07 pm Reply with quote
I'm kind of surprised Fancy Lala isn't on this list and that Nurse Angel Ririka SOS is. Fancy Lala, while it's nothing totally ground breaking, shows that you don't need magical girl anime to be about saving the world, and in some ways it is a deconstruction. Just watch the series to see what I mean. I LOVE IT!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Yuki_Kun45



Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 483
Location: U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:42 pm Reply with quote
Polycell wrote:
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.


I have to disagree I think Madoka did play with a lot of the tropes of Magical Girl shows then started subverting them.

Let me compare it against Cardcaptor Sakura, one of my all time favorites. The most common things I think of with magical girls are:

Mascot character/mentor character all around guardian and friend.

Kero in Cardcaptor Sakura good straight example of this

Kyubye is a subversion of this because spoiler[Kyubey doesn't really care that much, magical girls are a means for it's (seeing as it's genderless) object which is to gather energy deposits left by witches and restore the universe.]

Power of Friendship:
Tomoyo and Sakura are BFFs.
In comes potential rival, hostile character, Shaoran
they become friends in the end and work together right?

spoiler[
Sayaka and Madoka are BFFs
In comes potential rival, Homura/Mami
Mami becomes a friend but is killed in battle
Homura proves to not be a rival but someone on a quest to save Madoka.]



Monster of Week:

Clow Cards vs Witches

Clow Cards are something made beyond Sakura's control but she has to fight them and she triumphs every episode.

spoiler[Witches are likely fallen magical girls, kind of fridge horror when you think about it
Mami is killed against a witch, so danger is very real]


Fighting for justice/the people you love:

Sakura fights for her family friends, her community to protect them from these magical occurrences.

spoiler[ Sayaka does it but starts to wonder is it worth it which makes her despair and of course dooms her fate]

So there's a few of the common occurrences in magical girl shows that Madoka subverts. I won't pretend to try and argue if its' a Decon or not, even I don't totally understand the terminology my self 0_0 I kind of think it is from what I've read up on the modern interpretation of the term but hey I could be wrong.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
littlegreenwolf
Crazy FangirlCrazy Fangirl


Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4621
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:01 pm Reply with quote
This list is all well and good and all but the lack of Princess Tutu anywhere on it makes me go Whaaaaa?

Princess Tutu. The exclusion is blaring for this magical girl freak who loves a good psychological deconstruction of all things girly, especially since the targeted audience of the show was little kids.

Utena is however exactly where it should be. I could teach a summer college course on the symbolism through art and the deconstruction of the Princess archetype, but it's highly doubtful a college would allow me to obsess/teach such a thing. Hell, you could do a college course on psychology in animation and easily just focus the whole thing on Utena.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 5545
Location: Windsor Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:59 pm Reply with quote
Yuki_Kun45 wrote:
I have to disagree I think Madoka did play with a lot of the tropes of Magical Girl shows then started subverting them.


Yes, there were plenty of subversions. However a subversion is a different thing from a deconstruction.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime
Fencedude5609



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 5085

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:12 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
Yuki_Kun45 wrote:
I have to disagree I think Madoka did play with a lot of the tropes of Magical Girl shows then started subverting them.


Yes, there were plenty of subversions. However a subversion is a different thing from a deconstruction.


Right, Madoka twisted the concept around so hard that it bled, but at no point did it deconstruct it, and in the in it further affirmed the core-concepts of the entire genre
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
cl-shojo



Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 65
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:13 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:
Quote:
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.


Agreed - the article seemed as though it was going to be about all shojo series; not just magical girl anime. The terms aren't exactly interchangeable. As for what a deconstructed shojo would be, I'm not too sure either. The closest might be Paradise Kiss, which although technically a josei takes the premise of having a girl fall for a jerk then twists it by spoiler[having the two break up at the end]. Ouran is considered by some to be a deconstruction of shojo tropes, but it's really just a parody.

Firechick wrote:
Quote:
Fancy Lala, while it's nothing totally ground breaking, shows that you don't need magical girl anime to be about saving the world, and in some ways it is a deconstruction.


Actually, many of the magical girl series from the 70s and 80s were about young girls transforming into older versions of themselves, or becoming idols (see Magical Emi). So Fancy Lala's not really so much a deconstruction either.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
animefan425



Joined: 01 Feb 2012
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:34 pm Reply with quote
TitanXL wrote:
Not sure if we're talking about 'dark' 'realistic' or 'deconstruction' shows anymore, but an actual shoujo I'd recommend is Ojamajo Doremi. A very nice and mature, yet funny take on the genre. It's core concept is just because you're now a witch/magical girl doesn't mean it'll instantly solve all your problems, like one of the main character's divorced parents and her relationship with her estranged mother. She can't just wave her wand and fix her parent's broken marriage, but it can help her deal with her life. Other topics include child abuse, sexual abuse, friends being diagnosed with cancer, racism, hate crimes, relatives passing away, parents fighting, dealing with your mother miscarriaging your new sibling, moving away, puberty (especially early bloomers who are made fun of by other kids for developing breasts early, for example), friends committing suicide, parental neglect leading to abusing other kids at school to make yourself feel better, immortals outliving their loved ones, and all kinds of stuff. Magic in the show is kind of secondary given how 'useless' it is when it comes to dealing with all these problems, but it's a literary device that unites the girls and gives them that little boost they need to deal with these problems themselves. The last batch of episodes in the series really reinforces this.


Wow, really? That was really informative, thanks TitanXL! As always, you are the only reason why I would be in this God-forsaking place, where as always the ANN writers don't even know the difference between shoujo and mahou shoujo.


Last edited by animefan425 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3018

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:42 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
Yuki_Kun45 wrote:
I have to disagree I think Madoka did play with a lot of the tropes of Magical Girl shows then started subverting them.


Yes, there were plenty of subversions. However a subversion is a different thing from a deconstruction.


Correct, Deconstruction is a very specific thing were you attach real world logic to a story to point out the absurdities of the genre.

I wouldnt even really call Evangelion a deconstruction because it rarely actual uses real world logic to point out the absurd parts of the story. Its mainly concerned with showing the mental problems of Shinji (I would compare it to Good Will Hunting like that).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
la_contessa



Joined: 20 Apr 2007
Posts: 196
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:22 pm Reply with quote
I have to second (or more) the suggestions of Magic Knight Rayearth and Princess Tutu. Even though I hate the second season of the MKR anime (it's my all-time favorite manga series, and the second anime season butchered it), even the anime really brought some interesting and new ideas to the genre.

Also, I would add Petite Princess Yucie and Pretear. I mean, if we're going to talk about what Gainax did for the mecha genre with Eva, we can't forget what it brought to the mahou shoujo genre with Yucie. The most persistent theme in the show (that I noticed anyway) is spoiler[that all of the magical girls have daddy issues], which is a different perspective. Pretear was the first "dark" mahou shoujo I saw or read (I prefer the manga, but the anime is also good), and as a mahou shoujo fangirl, it really changed what I expected from a series. I don't know if I would call either of them a deconstruction, but since we've broadened the discussion, I wanted to throw the suggestions out there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
mandisaw



Joined: 12 Sep 2008
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:38 pm Reply with quote
My understanding of deconstruction from a media studies standpoint is that it involves examining the cultural (or in our case fandom/otaku) assumptions that the story & audience are making, where shared assumptions => genre tropes.

So in that sense Eva was at some level a deconstruction of earlier series like original UC Gundam (and Macross?) - even though Gundam originally assumed its audience would be horrified by the cynical use of children/young adults as soldiers in wartime (on both sides), in many cases the audience ate it right up, and it kind of became this promotion of patriotic-duty over self (sort of 180deg to what it's creator intended). Eva had *so many* flaws (I'm not a fan, personally), but not being a deconstruction isn't one of them.

For the article, I'm familiar with a lot of the series listed, but agree that most aren't really deconstructing (or even subverting) anything. Utena TV is a good choice, though less for its gender-role-reversal, than for its questioning of the role/usefulness of the hero's actions. Princess Tutu is all kinds of awesome, but tho it makes the chars question themselves, the audience is never really led astray (we know when things go bad way before Ahiru does).

My picks (just in mahou shoujo anime, audience-independent) would be Rayearth and Mai-Hime. Rayearth made you question the whole nature of "The Hero Gets the Call", and it's the first mahou shoujo series I can think of where it puts the villains on the spoiler[morally "good"] side. Mai-Hime specifically deconstructs the magical-girl-team genre, with several chars using their powers for notably selfish goals, and the big plot/char reversal from "we're all in this together" to "every girl/woman for herself". I also appreciated that several of the Hime were either grown-up women or older teens with a grown-up POV.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fireaxe



Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 476
Location: Quebec City, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:15 am Reply with quote
This list is 100% win, with Yamibou, Kannazuki no Miko, Utena and Uta~Kata all being in my top 25. Those get too easily cast aside because of their shortcomings, and that's a real shame. They're not perfect, but they're definitely good series.

Oh and:
JoePianist wrote:
I watched 10 episodes of "Destiny of the Shrine Maidens" today, and I still think it's mediocre. The "Yuri" aspect of the series is when the show is the most interesting, but the lame robot/shrine maiden/demon storyline gets in the way of an otherwise decent watch. In fact, I truly wish this was a total Yuri drama, instead of a half-baked action/drama series.

And the plot twist at Episode 8 almost makes no sense. It feels like this certain "traitor" absolutely goes out of character for the sake of shock-value.


Episode 11 and 12 are BY FAR the best of the series, you'll understand why once you've seen them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Fencedude5609



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 5085

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:28 am Reply with quote
fireaxe wrote:
This list is 100% win, with Yamibou, Kannazuki no Miko, Utena and Uta~Kata all being in my top 25. Those get too easily cast aside because of their shortcomings, and that's a real shame. They're not perfect, but they're definitely good series.


Yeah, but except for Utena, none of the are Shoujo.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Posts: 740

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:30 am Reply with quote
Definitely taking Rika home.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
fireaxe



Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 476
Location: Quebec City, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:35 am Reply with quote
Fencedude5609 wrote:
fireaxe wrote:
This list is 100% win, with Yamibou, Kannazuki no Miko, Utena and Uta~Kata all being in my top 25. Those get too easily cast aside because of their shortcomings, and that's a real shame. They're not perfect, but they're definitely good series.


Yeah, but except for Utena, none of the are Shoujo.

Very true, and I'm not arguing that. Just saying this list is made of some very good (though obscure and flawed) anime. Would have been great to have Touka Gettan also on that list, but at least it was mentioned in the article.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
N.R.



Joined: 22 Oct 2010
Posts: 232

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:02 am Reply with quote
fireaxe wrote:
This list is 100% win, with Yamibou, Kannazuki no Miko, Utena and Uta~Kata all being in my top 25. Those get too easily cast aside because of their shortcomings, and that's a real shame. They're not perfect, but they're definitely good series.


I'm sorry but you are the minority here. Yamibou sold terribly in Japan. Uta Kata sold terribly in Japan and I am assuming (correct me if I'm wrong) that it did even worse here in the West. Saying they are not perfect is a far cry. They are just bad series.

Also, since when is Madoka Magica a shoujo? I haven't watched all of it (I didn't like it) but from what I saw it was clearly created for the age 30+ male otaku audience. I guess you can say it's a shojo. People say the Nanoha series is shojo, even though it clearly isn't...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Page 3 of 6

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group