This is from the Twitter account of Kai Wai Cheah, the author of No Gods, Only Daimons. He’s a seriously skilled author of military sf and fantasy. He’s also in my writer’s group, where he’s given some additional details about this project, but since he hasn’t posted them in a public forum, I won’t repeat them.
A miko, in case you don’t know, is a Shinto shrine maiden. That’s a picture of his new character up at the top there … nah, I’m kidding. I grabbed that off Pinterest.
Anyway, let’s just say that I’m very interested in seeing what a knowledgeable military sf writer does with magical girls.
Rawle Nyanzi, who blogs both on anime and on Appendix N (that is, those fantasy works that inspired Dungeons & Dragons), noticed that I was preparing to review Glitter Force, which I will seriously get to after I’ve cleared some other things off my plate, so he tried his hand at watching the original Futari wa Pretty Cure.
I’m busy with school, and I’m also digesting the annotations from my editor. But in the meanwhile, I refer you to The Hyped Geek, which offers yet another article overviewing the evolution of magical girl anime from Sally the Witch to the present day.
Being one of those who grew up on anime, one of my biggest and most secret fantasies was to become a magical girl. That’s right; minute long transformations with colourful lights, a cool signature outfit, speeches of love and justice and a cute animal sidekick as a guide.
While that’s how many of us would think of it, it’s a pretty generic view of what constitutes as a magical girl anime. There’s a lot more to the genre than cute young girls with powers, saving their loved ones, or even in most cases, the world, as different anime bring different and new elements that have made the magical girl genre so renowned today. So get your transformation items ready as we go through the most influential magical girl anime from its inception until today. [More …]
One of the reasons I got into this genre in the first place is that it’s narrow enough in its concerns that it plays out over time like an ongoing conversation. One cartoon or comic will come out, and another will build on it or respond to it. So, for example, Revolutionary Girl Utena is an answer to Sailor Moon, and then Princess Tutu is an answer to Revolutionary Girl Utena. More recently, Puella Magi Madoka Magica was a major game-changer, and then Yuki Yuna Is a Hero responded to it. I think this is why magical girl fans so preoccupied with tracing history, because this genre is an ongoing dialogue.
Yesterday’s post on the 1998 Revolutionary Girl Utena visual novel for the Sega Genesis is quite popular for some reason, so let me add a few more links of interest.
I have located exactly one walkthrough for the game, presented by Rouroni Kaji on GameFAQS. It’s a text file that briefly outlines the different game paths and lists what you need to accomplish each of the game’s nine possible endings. It’s a brief outline, with no images or description, that’s meant to be used in conjunction with the game, so it’s more-or-less unintelligible by itself.
There is also a playthrough of the English fansub by Geek Sentai on YouTube. It’s divided into parts; I post only the first here.
It’s not exactly exciting to watch; visual novels are sort of like adventure games minus everything that makes them even slightly interesting.
In 1998, there was a Revolutionary Girl Utena video game. Semi-canonical, it was set chronologically immediately after episode 8, the one I just reviewed. It was created for the Sega Saturn. Sega Nerds reports.
The game was a visual novel, a type of video game that to this day has never found more than a niche market overseas, so it is no surprise that the game, subtitled Story of the Someday Revolution, never saw a release outside Japan.
Deus ex magical girl recently got a mention Nathan Housley’s blog, The Pulp Archivist. Glancing at his blogroll, it appears that he runs in the same circles I do. Check him out.
He has this to say:
D. G. D. Davidson has been discussing Revolutionary Girl Utena, a shoujo series aimed at teenaged girls, bringing a more balanced and thoughtful analysis of the anime and themes than the gloss of surface-level feminism that normally passes for shoujo criticism.
I’m glad to hear it. That is, in fact, one raison d’être for this blog, because I thought it was high time for an alternate interpretation of shoujo anime.
Pulp Archivist is part of a movement Housley calls “PulpRev,” which stands for “Pulp Revival” (or sometimes “Pulp Revolution”), an attempt to recapture some of the fun and grandeur of early sf and adventure stories. It’s certainly a movement I can support, even though I’ve moved from sf fandom to weeaboo in my personal interests. Housley has no great interest in magical girls, but he does from time to time discuss anime. Check him out.
We find a quick definition of the Pulp Revival from Misha Burnett, who summarizes it in “five pillars.” Although I may not be a formal part of this movement, I think I could argue that Jake and the Dynamo embraces all five of the pillars and could in that sense be called a pulp novel.
Roffles Lowell, the official illustrator of Jake and the Dynamo, sends us this delightful image of Magical Girl Grease Pencil Marionette cosplaying as the Statue of Liberty to remind us that imagination is freedom … whatever that means.
I doubt it if mankind’s last refuge, the megacity of Urbanopolis, has a Statue of Liberty. Instead of some colossus welcoming visitors to its harbor, it more likely has some kind of warning. Like a big sign saying, “Screw with humanity and we’ll kill you. We’re serious.”
In fact, while poking around the Internet, I think I found the city’s official flag:
I suppose, in addition to warning away mankind’s uncountable enemies, a statue in the harbor could potentially serve as a beacon to human survivors. Instead of “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” it would probably say something like, “Get in the city if you want to live.”
A few days ago, I amused myself by inventing magical girl-themed mixed drinks (all are untested, so create at your own risk), except the Madoka is basically a ripoff of a standard Baby Guinness, only with Cannon Shot.
But I’m not alone. Kyla M. Covert beat me to it by creating the Magical Girl, a cocktail involving viniq, prosecco, and cranberry juice. I don’t even know what those are. Well, except for the cranberry juice … okay, viniq is apparently moscato with vodka. That sounds appropriately disgusting. Maybe not as disgusting as what I suggested for the Utena, but still.
Unlike me, Covert actually tested her creation. Here’s the result:
It looks okay. It’s probably pretty sweet, but it really shouldn’t be called “the Magical Girl” unless it’s cloying and gross.
Speaking of which, if you really want outrageous girly drinks that will cause heart palpitations or possibly fits of rage in anyone with a Y-chromosome or a modicum of respect for alcohol, you totally have to check out the abomination known as a “unicorn.” As described on a blog inappropriately called Kidspot, a unicorn is an alcoholic beverage made with such ingredients as ice cream, milk, and cotton candy. And there’s booze in there someplace.
This is apparently something of a trend, as Kidspot reports several bars with several variations on this diabetes-inducing creation.
So there you go. Now we know what magical girls drink on their down time. As for me? I’m gonna go crack open a beer.