mahou shoujo

Wonder Woman’s Foreign Successors

I’ve been reading Mike Madrid’s The Supergirls, a really fantastic look at  the history of superheroines in mainstream American comics. I just reached the 1970s, and the karate-chopping, white-pantsuit-wearing, depowered Wonder Woman era that came with it—a sharp contrast to Ms. Magazine’s famous, Diana-emblazoned inaugural issue. For those not in the know, Gloria Steinem put Wonder […]

Pretty Soldiers: Hotaru Tomoe

Hotaru Tomoe is abused by her father. She suffers from an illness that leaves her breathless, weak and wracked with pain. She is picked on by her classmates. Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are planning to murder her. Her magical senshi power is to bring about the apocalypse. She possesses healing abilities, but their strangeness […]

Pretty Soldiers: Minako Aino

Minako Aino revels in frivolity. She loves pop music and cake, she trades shoujo manga with her friends, she wants to be an idol singer someday. She loves fame and glamour and if she existed today, you can bet she’d be updating the official Sailor Venus twitter account every hour because “omg today’s monster had […]

Pretty Soldiers: Makoto Kino

The strength of characterization in Sailor Moon is, in my opinion, what has made it such an enduring series. When we were children, we chose our favorite and used her to represent who we were and who we hoped to be. And there was such a diversity of choice—they’re tomboys, wannabe idols, obsessed with video […]

The Fallen Magical Girl and the Crisis of Adolescence

The Fallen Magical Girl is a trope as endemic to the mahou shoujo genre as the transformation sequence.  Though she once swore fealty to ideals of love and justice, now she obeys only herself, or perhaps the whims of some dark master. Her altruism has been gouged out, her idealistic nature soured. She is bitter […]