Happy International Cute Witch Day

Featured Image: “Magical ‘Witch’ Girl Neil” by Layer Industries. Sources for the rest of the art in the post are unknown.

Life is crazy, and I find myself behind on both reviews and story chapters, but so it goes.

Today, however, we must all pause in our labors to celebrate that second-most important of all magical girl holidays, Halloween, the one night in the year when cute witches can fly on their broomsticks without worrying about being observed, because they are simply mistaken for trick-or-treaters.

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This is also an excellent night for magical girl warriors to use their transformative powers to acquire free candy, usually while being scolded comically by their familiars.

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The first-most important magical girl holiday, incidentally, is Walpurgisnacht, which I believe you’re supposed to celebrate by destroying Tokyo or something. But that’s not until April 30th.

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In any case, happy Halloween to one and all.  To all cute witches who will be seeking candy tonight, stay safe and don’t stay out too late.

Um … so, candy corn. Does anyone really eat that stuff? It tastes like wax. It’s like something that nobody likes, but that they keep bringing out year after year anyway because it’s become inextricably linked to the holiday. Like Peeps at Easter.

Myself, I hand out toothbrushes and toothpaste samples at Halloween. That keeps the little scamps away. That way, I can watch the Halloween episode of Ouran High School Host Club in peace.

"Candycorn-chan" by celesse.
Candycorn-chan” by celesse.

Whatever, I’m Writin’. Have some Pocky.

I was going to post another video I wanted to show you, but I previewed it and … yeah, I can’t show that here. It overstepped my vague semblance of family-friendliness.

I need to be writing something else, so I’m afraid you get another art post.

Here we see a Pocky-themed magical girl, Pocky being a chocolate-covered biscuit stick that’s popular in Japan and appears frequently in manga and anime. As usual, Pinterest screws up my image searches, but I tracked this down to the official Pocky website, apparently an entry in a contest. This same artist, who I believe goes by the name of Mr. RoboT, appears also to have done the magical Pretz girl:

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MIT Student Creates Magical Girl Transformation in the Lab … Sort Of

There is a class at MIT called “Indistinguishable from …” in which students are invited to create technology inspired in some fashion by magic from fantasy stories. Project descriptions from the class are posted online.

Back in 2015, one Kyrie Caldwell, social science graduate student, decided to base her project on magical girls. Continue reading “MIT Student Creates Magical Girl Transformation in the Lab … Sort Of”

Fifty Shades of Pink: The ‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’ Rewatch, Part 2

The bird is fighting its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Whoever wishes to be born must destroy a world. The bird is flying to God. The god is named Abraxas.

—Herman Hesse, Demian

Revolutionary Girl Utena, episode 2: “For Whom the Rose Smiles.” Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. Character designs by Chiho Saito. Be-Papas, 1997 (Nozomi Entertainment, 2011). Approx. 24 minutes. Rated “16+.”

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The 39-episode anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena is complex and weird enough that it admits probably several interpretations. After kicking around on the internet, I’ve decided that in spite of the large volume of ink already spilled, I don’t feel redundant for writing this series of essays, because after I read anything anyone else has written, I inevitably come away saying, “No, that’s completely wrong.” Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Pink: The ‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’ Rewatch, Part 2”

Art, Now with More Utena

Source: Chiho Saito (I think).

I’m working on the second essay in my series on Revolutionary Girl Utena, and I hoped to have it finished today, but it’s time to discuss Herman Hesse’s Demian, one of the most important inspirations for the anime, and if there is one thing I simply cannot do at 9:30 at night, it’s summarize a navel-gazing literary novel.

If I try to write that summary now, it’s going to come out as, “There’s this whiny little bitch, and he’s really into Jung and Nietzsche.”

But anyway, have you some Utena art instead. I think this one is actually from Chiho Saito, the manga-ka of the official manga, which is paradoxically both inspired by and the inspiration of the anime, because the studio broke the space-time continuum in making this thing.

(I’m kidding, sort of. Saito was in on the planning of the anime, but released the manga before the anime appeared, so the creators of the anime had the chance to make use of her work. At least, that’s how I understand it. It’s confusing.)

History of Magical Girl Anime, Part 14

Once again, we are obliged to skip ahead in SourcererZZ’s overview of the history of mahou shoujo anime due to copyright. This brings us up to the years 2005 to 2007.

This particular episode is slightly NSFW, about as NSFW as I can put on this blog.

The first title he discusses, UG*Ultimate Girls, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of, and it looks awful, a brainless cheesecake show.

Of most interest to me personally in this edition is Powerpuff Girls Z, which is bizarrely unavailable in the U.S. even though it’s based on an American cartoon. Cartoon Network needs to broadcast it as penance for what they did to the franchise in the reboot.

Notice that most of the titles SourcererZZ discusses in this episode are parodies or fanservice or both, with only two exceptions. That’s not a sign of a genre in good health.

Shut up, fanboy ... or stop shutting up ... or whatever.
Shut up, fanboy. Er, I mean … stop shutting up? Um … whatever.