I’m currently neck-deep in Glitter Force, the English adaptation of Smile Pretty Cure!, the ninth Pretty Cure series, but only the second to get dubbed in English.
Although its writing is decidedly better, Smile PreCure doesn’t have the technically impressive action sequences of the original Futari wa Pretty Cure. So this week’s Waifu Wednesday goes out to one of the original cures, Nagisa Misumi, also known as Cure Black. In addition to starring in the original series, she reappears in the sequel Pretty Cure Max Heart and in multiple movies.
The year 2004 represents a sea change in the magical girl genre. In that year appeared two series that would give a new look and feel to mahou shoujo. One was Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, a series aimed primarily at the neckbearded adult male crowd, and the other was Futari Wa Pretty Cure, aimed at young girls. Both would produce spin-offs. Pretty Cure became a cash cow franchise for Toei Animation, with an impressive total of fourteen series to date, the most recent of which, KiraKira☆Pretty Cure a la Mode, began in February of 2017 and is still ongoing as of this writing. There are also several movies, including crossovers that bring together cures from different series.
Both of these franchises are notable for introducing to the genre a heavier emphasis on physical combat. Both series also completed the process of all but eliminating the previously omnipresent romantic subplots in favor of a focus on feminine camaraderie. Continue reading “Now Starting ‘Glitter Force’”
LoliRock. Written by Madellaine Paxon et al. Directed by Jean-Louis Vandestoc. Marathon Media and Zodiak Kids, 2014-2016. Starring Kazumi Evans, Kelly Sheridan, and Vincent Tong. 52 episodes of 26 minutes (approx. 22.5 hours). Rated TV-Y.
We now turn our attention to that other French magical girl cartoon, LoliRock. According to an earlier version of its Wikipedia entry, LoliRock has the honor of being the first magical girl title from France, though this assertion was followed by the wisest and truest words to be found on Wikipedia, “citation needed.” One way or the other, we can can probably safely say that LoliRock is the first French magical girl show to get international attention. It made its appearance in France in October of 2014 and ran for two seasons. Its English dub now has a home on Netflix.
Rose is in the same class as the protagonists Marinette and Adrien. Blond, blue-eyed, and presumably French, she is known for her sweet temperament. Look at the picture at the top there: does she have a finger pressed against her own eyeball?
When her classmates were attempting to make a homemade horror movie, Rose was in charge of the catering. Even when a real monster showed up and started devouring them one by one, she was still making sure that everyone had enough to eat.
On this day when your orb covers the disc of the sun, may we remember those virtues of love and justice for which you fought, and may we remain always true to the Silver Millennium.
May we remember not to look directly at yon eclipse, lest we be blinded by your majesty. And may we remember not to use those glasses we got off Amazon, for lo, they are fake.
And speaking of amazons, we pray that on this day, you will not allow that Dead Moon Circus, once imprisoned by your mother, to be released by the phlebotinum of yon solar eclipse. Or, if you do allow it, that you totally kick their butts forthwith.
And lead us not into temptation, especially the temptation to make out with any alicorn ponies that might appear to us during this eclipse, even though that would be kind of hot.
And may your Crystal Tokyo come, and your ten-century reign over the Solar System, that we may live long lives of peace and sugar-free cake, at least until your daughter completely screws things up.
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 9: “The Castle Said to Hold Eternity.” Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. Character designs by Chiho Saito. Be-Papas, 1997 (Nozomi Entertainment, 2011). Approx. 24 minutes. Rated “16+.”
In this episode, after two weeks of filler, we return to the main plot. The first story arc, known as the “Student Council Saga,” is drawing rapidly to its conclusion. In this episode, the basics of the show’s underlying mystery are laid before us, though that might not be obvious to someone who hasn’t already watched the whole show through.
Saionji returns. He’s still something of a joke character, but he plays an important role in this episode. We now learn that there’s more to Saionji’s obsession with Anthy than had at first been apparent.
A debate has raged—raged, I say—in our combox on the subject of waifus.
What is a waifu? And how many waifus may a man have?
The first question is easily answered. As explained by Know Your Meme, the word waifu entered the parlance of English-speaking otaku largely on account of the popular anime adaptation of Azumanga Daioh, an irreverent and plotless slice-of-life story originally created as a four-panel comic strip by Kiyohiko Azuma. Azumaga Daioh is more-or-less the origin of the deservedly reviled CGDCT (cute girls doing cute things) genre of manga and anime, though it is considerably less putrid than many of its imitators. In one of Azuma’s comic strips, later adapted into an anime episode, the girls find a photograph of a beautiful lady, which fell from the pocket of their creepy pedo schoolteacher. When the girls ask the identity of the woman in the picture, the creepy teacher replies, in mutilated English, “Mai waifu,” that is, “My wife.” Continue reading “On Waifus”
Today’s Waifu Wednesday is dedicated to Makoto Kino, also known as Sailor Jupiter. Sailor Jupiter is best pony.
Naoko Takeuchi originally intended the character to be a sukeban (that is, a girl gangster), but later dropped that idea. Nonetheless, Makoto retains some sukeban-like characteristics, including an intimidating air and a longer skirt.
Allegedly, she’s enormous and intimidates people with her bulk, though she actually has the same Barbie doll build as every other girl in Sailor Moon and doesn’t appear to stand more than a couple of inches taller.
Makoto likes flowers, cooking, and boys. In the anime, she also studies Kung fu. The anime also turns her general boy-craziness into a running gag: most every male she meets reminds her of her senpai.
She has super strength, and she’s a pretty good fighter even when not transformed. As a sailor, she can fire bolts of lightning, and she can allegedly control weather, though she apparently sucks at it.
But that’s okay, because no matter what, she’s still best sailor scout.
Roffles Lowell, the official illustrator of Jake and the Dynamo, is hard at work on the interior illustrations for volume 1. He sends along this image of Magical Girl Pretty Dynamo completing her transformation sequence, and he invited me to post it, since he has a different picture intended for the book itself.
Meanwhile, I’m hard at work making the changes recommended to me by L. Jagi Lamplighter. I have a window of one week before I’m back at school, and I hope to get it finalized in that time.