magical girl

genre of anime and manga

Magical girl (Japanese: 魔法少女, Hepburn: mahō shōjo) is a subgenre of Japanese fantasy media (including anime, manga, light novels, and live-action media) centered around young girls who possess magical abilities, which they typically use through an ideal alter ego into which they can transform.The genre emerged in 1962 with Himitsu no Akko-chan, followed by Sally the Witch in 1966 produced by Toei Animation. A wave of similar anime produced by the studio in the 1970s led to majokko (魔女っ子, lit. "little witch") being used as a common term for the genre. In the 1980s, the term was largely replaced by "magical girl", reflecting the new popularity of shows produced by other studios, including Magical Princess Minky Momo and Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel. In the 1990s, Sailor Moon introduced the concept of a "transforming heroine" who fights against forces of evil, a synthesis of elements from tokusatsu hero shows that became a staple for magical girl series that followed. The growth of late-night anime in the early 2000s led to a demographic shift for the genre, where series with more mature themes were created and marketed towards an older male audience.
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