Happy International Cute Witch Day

Okay, I confess: I intended to have a JAKE AND THE DYNAMO short story ready to go for Halloween, but I have been so busy, I didn’t get it done. Perhaps it will appear later in the week, and you can enjoy it while eating the candy corn you picked up for fifty percent off out of the discount bin while you contemplate stuffing a rotten pumpkin into Mrs. Shushley’s mailbox because she gave you a toothbrush for Halloween instead of candy.

Halloween is, as you might expect, the most important day in the liturgical calendar of Urbanopolis, more important even than Walpurgisnacht (April 30) or the birthday of the Moon Princess (June 30). On Halloween, at midnight, it is the Witching Hour, when the girls’ power is at its greatest. At that hour, they customarily renew their oaths to their familiars and sign with fresh blood the contracts by which they have sold their souls.

It’s also a good time to pick up free junk food. Halloween is the one day of the year on which it is socially acceptable for children to take candy from strangers. Just don’t eat the apples; they contain razor blades. At least, that’s what my mom always said.

It’s also a good time to engage in disgustingly unhygienic pastimes like bobbing for apples. Do you realize you’ve indirectly kissed, like, the whole town when you play that game? That’s gross, dude. And you should’t be trying to catch apples in your mouth anyway—they contain razor blades.

Although I’d make an exception if the other players were ponies. It’s my lifelong dream to indirectly kiss a pony, though that’s not the kind of thing I’d admit to complete strangers on the Internet.

Hey, baby.

Um, where was I? Anyway, in honor of Halloween, have some images of cute witches:

Evolution of the Magical Girl Anime

Featured image: “Magical Girl of Valentine’s Day” by ElynGontier

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.