The List 7 Magical Girls that Fandom Forgot
by Lynzee Loveridge,
New magical girls have been seen a marked uptick in anime since Madoka Magica made them cool again. Certainly, some transforming teens have never left fandom's consciousness; Sailor Moon, the ongoing PreCure franchise, Cardcaptor Sakura, and to a lesser extent Wedding Peach, Creamy Mami, and Magical DoReMi have hung around. The world of magical girls is actually much larger than these offerings but due to licensor's cold feet when it comes to marketing series aimed squarely at women and girls, these heroines have never made it stateside and are instead designated to continue withering on the far back shelf.
7. Nanatsuiro Drops This series is based off an h-game where the hapless protagonist finds himself transformed into a magical girl's mascot every night. He's assigned to help Sumomo Akihime collect stardrops faster than her rival, a fellow magical girl named Nadeshiko. Despite it's origins, the series is harmless, heartfelt moe romance fare. If you can get over the fact that the main character spends a lot of his time as a stuffed sheep, the series does well as a cute distraction. The magical girl outfits are really attractive, too.
6. Getsumen to Heiki Mina A case of a show-within-a-show actually being created. Getsumen to Heiki Mina is first mentioned in Densha Otoko before it aired on Fuji TV about a decade ago. The anime is predominately a sci-fi magical girl comedy where extraterrestrials make contact with Earth and become sports fanatics. There obsession with the planet's athletics become disruptive and so legislation is passed and a trio of rabbit-themed magical girls are employed to capture any offenders. So essentially it's a show about government-backed magical girls taking out alien soccer hooligans. Was it considered far too niche for Western audiences?
5. Sugar Sugar Rune Manga creator Moyoco Anno is better known for her provocative manga like In Clothes Called Fat, Sakuran and Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen. In 2004, she took a break to create a magical girl shōjo series, of all things, for Nakayoshi. The series follows to competing witches that leave the magical world to go to Earth, obtain the hearts of boys, and turn them in for points. Witches Chocolat and Vanilla masquerade as regular humans but can transform back into their witch forms when they need to capture a heart. The manga has had a limited release in the U.S. from Del Rey and was recently picked up by Udon but it's animated counterpart hasn't been as lucky.
4. Hime-chan's Ribbon Most anime viewers are familiar with Creamy Mami and to a lesser extent, Magical Star Magical Emi and Magical Fairy Persia. Hime-chan's Ribbon follows a similar path, when the tomboyish Himeko is gifted a ribbon from a magic princess that lets her transform into any other person. The series includes plenty of cute mascots, like Himeko's stuffed lion and the princess' talking...broom. Throw in an ongoing romance plot and the series hits all the shōjo beats.
3. Nurse Angel Ririka SOS Nurse Angel Ririka SOS aired same year as Sailor Moon, Wedding Peach, and Saint Tail and is one of the early directorial works of Akitarō Daichi, the same guy who would later direct Kodocha, Now and Then, Here and There and Fruits Basket. Despite its pedigree, little Ririka's cosmic quest to find the Flower of Life and save the planet Queen Earth from Dark Joker has never come to light in the west. This is especially unforunate because long before Madoka Magica, Nurse Angel Ririka implemented the tragic heroine ending and there was no creepy mascot to indicate it was coming.
2. Lil' Red Riding Hood Cha-Cha Kids in the U.S. have never gotten to experience Lil' Red Riding Hood Cha-Cha because it has the one-two punch of being pure cute children's entertainment and running for 75 episodes. The story follows Cha-Cha, a witch in training who always goofs up her spells due to puns. For instance, in the first episode she attempts to summon clouds (kumo) but instead summons spiders (kumo). Together with her two classmates, a werewolf boy and another mage, Cha-cha transforms into the Magical Princess to defeat underlings sent by the Demon King. The series is saccharine on all accounts, but is the kind of show I would have liked to watch on Nickelodeon after The Littl' Bits and The World of David the Gnome.
1. Okusama wa Maho Shojo What happens when magical girls grow up? 26-year-old wife Ureshiko Asaba is finding out the hard way. She's been the protector of her town for a long while and is none too happy when the magical world officially sends her replacement in the form of a middle school girl. Her life as a magical girl seems to be over and is only compounded by her ongoing marital troubles and her attraction to another man. Given how many magical girl series involve a young girl transforming into an older, teen version of herself, Okusama wa Maho Shojo gives a unique contrast on what it means to be an adult, avoiding one's problems, and if it necessitates losing the "magic" of youth.
The old poll: What's your favorite anime song of the 1990s?
- "Cruel Angel Thesis" by Yoko Takahashi (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
- "Tank!" by Seatbelts (Cowboy Bebop)
- "Butter-fly" by Kouji Wada (Digimon)
- "Pokemon Theme" (Pokemon)
- "Moonlight Densetsu" by DALI (Sailor Moon)
- "Duvet" by Bôa (Serial Experiments Lain)
- "Rondo -Revolution-" by Masami Okui (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
- "Give a Reason" by Megumi Hayashibara (Slayers Next)
- "JUST COMMUNICATION" by TWO-MIX (Gundam Wing)
- "Platinum" by Maaya Sakamoto (Cardcaptor Sakura)
- Catch Me Catch You (Cardcaptor Sakura)
- "Hohoemi no Bakudan" by Matsuko Mawatari (Yu Yu Hakusho)
- "Yakusoku wa Iranai" by Maaya Sakamoto (The Vision of Escaflowne)
- "We Are!" by Hiroshi Kitadani (One Piece)
- "Driver's High" by L'Arc~en~Ciel (Great Teacher Onizuka)
- "H.T." by Tsuneo Imahori (Trigun)
- "Heart of Sword" by TM Revolution (Rurouni Kenshin)
- "Freckles" by JUDY AND MARY (Rurouni Kenshin)
- "Through the Night" by Masahiko Arimachi (Outlaw Star)
- "Brave Heart (Evolution Theme Song)" by Ayumi Miyazaki (Digimon Adventure)
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