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Rise of the Dark Magical Girls


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Gemnist



Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 1539
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:13 pm Reply with quote
I honestly am not a fan of all these dark magical girl shows. While I appreciate Madoka for being a deconstruction of the genre, I really, REALLY wish that someone would try to do somethings else instead of trying to imitate Urobuchi and making it the new archetype. Genres are meant to be broken. Creators should try to do just that.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 12891
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:14 pm Reply with quote
Just wish more people would understand that Madoka popularized such things, but didn't actually invent it.

Thankfully fewer of these shows simply rely on cheap character deaths or sudden twists that characters could have learned had they actually asked about it like Madoka did. I think Yuuki Yuuna is a particular stand out since rather than death it focused on spoiler[living with disabilities.]
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synaia



Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 112
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:15 pm Reply with quote
Should have at least mentioned Princess Tutu and Revolutionary Girl Utena. Especially Utena as it's clear as a day Madoka draws a lot of inspiration from it.
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Blood-



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:24 pm Reply with quote
I welcome this "new" genre. I've really enjoyed many of the titles like Madoka, Yuki Yuna, Daybreak Illusion, and even though the Wixoss franchise has things that bother me about it, I have found it mostly worth while, too. I absolutely adore Magical Girl Raising Project. I'm even going to get the light novels when Yen Press puts them out and I rarely buy light novels.

Death to F'av!
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Showsni



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 611
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:41 pm Reply with quote
If there's one thing the Wixross anime teaches, it's never ever ever play a game of the Wixross trading card game. Don't even open a starter pack. It's not worth it.
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Spike Terra
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Joined: 21 Mar 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:50 pm Reply with quote
I have mixed emotions about the darker trend in magical girl shows. While I enjoyed madoka and loved yuuki yuna, I can't get into shows like magical girl raising project. Mostly because of my dislike for the death game genre as of late.

I'm more of a fan of Nanoha style magical girl shows like symphogear and prisma Illya. Which is kinda why the only magical girl shows I'm watching this season are Vivid Strike and Brave Witches. While I enjoy the genre as a whole, I tend to gravitate towards the more shonen style magical girl shows that can be dark at times but end in a more positive fashion.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 12891
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:01 pm Reply with quote
Showsni wrote:
If there's one thing the Wixross anime teaches, it's never ever ever play a game of the Wixross trading card game. Don't even open a starter pack. It's not worth it.


The card game was first released while the anime was airing and lots of places sold out. You'd think the anime would be a bad commercial since it's all "it's a bad idea to play this game!" but nope.
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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4780
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:01 pm Reply with quote
Utena and Sailor Moon were the clear inspirations for a dark magical girls show. The end of Magika is like the end of most Sailor Moon series, and Sailor Moon started it off early in season 1s finale by each sailor senshi sacrificing herself to get UsagI to the boss and Usagi ending things with a magical wish where her friends were still alive a
and living normal, non-magical girl lives. A lot of people just dont remember this because the dub heavily edited the ending and theur death scenes. Then like someone else pointed out there's princess tutu which was also heavily influenced by utena.

Since Ikuhara worked on both Sailor Moon and Utena maybe he's actually responsible.

Madoka wasn't anything we haven't already seen to magical girl fans, it just made the genre popular to mainstream
guys.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 328
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:20 pm Reply with quote
I think that a lot of people forget about the rise of the "dark magical girl" genre is that it isn't unique to the magical girl genre. There has been a trend in anime in general for the last decade and a half or more for anime to become darker overall, with less glossing over the violent aspects that naturally already exist but went unexplored. Most anime always had violence, but it was generally "cartoon" violence - violence but with no one really bleeding, no one losing limbs, and certainly no one dying. You had people getting into grievous fights and the like, but the motives were always simplified, there was a lack of the sort of crude language that is more common nowadays.

This has happened as anime has grown to appeal to larger, more diverse, and generally older, audiences. Magical girl series, which as the article notes were mainly aimed at young girls and based around very simplified messages of friendship and hard work, increasingly came to be aimed at first older audiences, and second more at a male audience than female. Well, when you aim a show at a teenage boy instead of a pre-teen girl, you're gonna get a show that is more violent and looks more like Magical Girl Raising Project than Mahou Tsukai PreCure.

There's no telling for certain what the next iteration will be, because in many ways we're still in the early days of this current regime. If 2011 was the beginning of a flood started by Madoka, then there needs to be time for a flood to settle in before it has a chance to slowly recede. Not mentioned, but I think worth noting, is the increasing growth of shows like Asterisk that are't really magical girl shows, but introduce a psuedo scientific expression to magic and focus on mainly female casts (yes I know these tend to be harems more so than anything else). Wixoss, though I understand the want to not place it squarely in the magical girl genre, is on its third season. Yuki Yuna is about to have its second. And folks still can't seem to stop talking about Madoka, as is apparent by the immediate comparison anytime a new magical girl show pops up with a hint of violence. Heck, I remember around this time last year when the title for the new PreCure was revealed, and there were even a few people wondering if they would try to take more of a turn towards Madoka - obvious not to happen since there was not likely to be a demo change, but still something that people thought about.

That is all to say, we're still in the flood. The waters haven't started to recede yet. So the next thing isn't likely to become visible for a while yet.
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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Location: Colorado, USA
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:40 pm Reply with quote
Thank you for the article. It was very informative but I wish that it would have identified more shows, though this thread is helping with that.

The main value to me is in learning what shows I should avoid, which I think is at least as important as knowing what shows to watch.
I love the old magical girl shows such as Sailor Moon and Wedding Peach and even My HiME and My Otome, but I have not felt that it was safe to watch a magical girl show since I heard about Madoka.

Have there been any recent examples of the old style shows where love is stronger than hate, friendship is a force multiplier, and the girls have happy endings?
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gabuhaha



Joined: 01 Mar 2016
Posts: 136
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:43 pm Reply with quote
DRosencraft wrote:
I think that a lot of people forget about the rise of the "dark magical girl" genre is that it isn't unique to the magical girl genre. There has been a trend in anime in general for the last decade and a half or more for anime to become darker overall, with less glossing over the violent aspects that naturally already exist but went unexplored. Most anime always had violence, but it was generally "cartoon" violence - violence but with no one really bleeding, no one losing limbs, and certainly no one dying. You had people getting into grievous fights and the like, but the motives were always simplified, there was a lack of the sort of crude language that is more common nowadays.

I have to disagree with this. Part of the appeal of anime has always been that it's not just "cartoon" violence. Just to name a few dark shows/ova's/movies off the top of my head that were in the late 90's which would be before the start of your decade and a half cut-off: Perfect Blue, Serial Experiments Lain, Kite, Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal. Some of these are more psychologically dark but the point is similar. We just see more now since there's more anime in general.
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DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:44 pm Reply with quote
DRosencraft wrote:
Not mentioned, but I think worth noting, is the increasing growth of shows like Asterisk that are't really magical girl shows, but introduce a psuedo scientific expression to magic and focus on mainly female casts (yes I know these tend to be harems more so than anything else).


Despite having a mostly female cast and some elements of the magical girl genre... Asterisk is actually primarily a sports anime - like Aokana or Keijo!!!!!!!!.
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bassgs435



Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 215
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:46 pm Reply with quote
Touma wrote:
Thank you for the article. It was very informative but I wish that it would have identified more shows, though this thread is helping with that.

The main value to me is in learning what shows I should avoid, which I think is at least as important as knowing what shows to watch.
I love the old magical girl shows such as Sailor Moon and Wedding Peach and even My HiME and My Otome, but I have not felt that it was safe to watch a magical girl show since I heard about Madoka.

Have there been any recent examples of the old style shows where love is stronger than hate, friendship is a force multiplier, and the girls have happy endings?

Shoushin Shoujo Matoi, maybe. There's been some drama for the finale, but given the light hearted tone of the rest of the show, I seriously doubt the ending not being a happy ending with the girls pulling a miracle through the power of their wishes and friendship. Also, the Precure franchise. Prisma Illya's also an strong contender, as even with the increasing seriousness of backstories and conflicts, there's still an emphasis on Illya's objective saving the world with no sacrifices and her abilities to turn enemies into allies
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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 950
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:47 pm Reply with quote
There have always been dark elements in Magical Girl series Majokko Meg-chan being one of the first examples I that comes to mind but since it never got released over here and came from 1974 it is rather obscure.

Along with series like Shamanic Princess, Vampire Princess Myu. Even the Sailor Galaxia arc in Sailor Moon although one could argue that the dark elements where in it from the end of season one and came to a head in the Death Busters arc.

I liked Madoka but it did not invent the idea of dark elements in Magical Girl series in fact if some interviews by Gen Urobuchi are to be believed the entire dark and violent Magical Girl aspect of it is simply a happy accident.


Last edited by Parsifal24 on Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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FenixFiesta



Joined: 22 Apr 2013
Posts: 2576
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:00 pm Reply with quote
My personal take is that a dark magical girl is often the "moon" in comparison to the usual trend of Magical Girl leads "sun".
Hotaru Tomoe from Sailor Moon is effectively the earliest example of a modern era Dark Magical girl, there is a very clear contrast between her and Chibi-Usa.

A DMG while contrasting with the MG does not always have to be dark and brooding, Pixy Misa from Magical Project S had a loud abrasive personality, her costume and antics were methods of garnering attention as she was effectively a manifestation of the timid Misao's inner desires without restraint.

That is part of what makes the DMG intriguing is that there is no real definitive style beyond "they are a bit different from the usual magical girl".
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