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The term “magical girl” is used to describe female characters in various media with the ability to take on an alternative form in an often decorative and visually stunning way.
While the idea of transforming into a different being goes back to ancient times, Akko-chan of Himitsu no Akko-chan is typically accepted as the earliest magical girl after being published in the shojo manga magazine Ribon in 1962. Himitsu no Akko-chan would would go on to plant the seed for later magical girl themed media .
In 1992, however, Sailor Moon revolutionized the magical girl genre by introducing the first crime-fighting magical girl and popularizing the idea of a magical girl team. Due to its success, many magical girl series after Sailor Moon incorporated similar concepts . It can be said that while Himitsu no Akko-chan introduced the idea of a transforming female protagonist, Sailor Moon molded the genre into what it is today.
Generally magical girls have been positively received particularly by fans of anime.
Some feminists believe magical girls to be a good example of “girl power” as the girls typically serve as strong heroines who don’t continually rely on male assistance. Others argue things such as typical magical girl attire and its take on beauty are a bad influence for young girls who are the main demographic for the genre .
Magical girls are popular subjects for cosplay because of their decorative nature. Often times it is not even required to cosplay an official magical girl because of easily recognizable “magical” traits such as colorful hair, ornamental outfits, and handheld items.
There are many online communities and groups dedicated to this genre.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Because of the popularity of transformation sequences, many fans of the genre like to create their own transformations. Many times these transformations are used in fan-made anime with a magical girl premise. The skill of these videos can range greatly.
While They Transform
(May not be a meme) “What do villains do when they transform?” and variants of this question are often put as a response to lengthy transformation sequences. This concept is also used as the subject of parodies and fourth-wall jokes.
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