Typical Magical Girl anime VS. Magical Girl Deconstruction RANTRue Ever since Madoka Magica came around, I've seen an abundance of hatred of the Magical Girl genre that doesn't follow its roots...Which as a magical girl anime fan of different types, I'M SO TIRED OF SEEING.
Don't get me wrong, Madoka Magica is my favorite anime of all time. I'm not saying it's bad at all. HOWEVER, Madoka Magica isn't good just because it's a "deconstruction" of the Magical Girl genre. Being a deconstruction doesn't automatically means it's good, it's completely based on execution, which obviously Madoka Magica succeeds in doing.
There are other Magical Girl anime that try to be a deconstruction, does that mean they are good? NO. Daybreak Illusion is a complete horrendous mess while Yuki Yuna is a Hero is just okay at best. They aren't put on the same level as Madoka Magica because they failed at the execution aspect of being a "deconstruction."
Now let's look at the typical magical girl anime. They are often considered to be iconic despite not being as realistic (which it's fiction, who cares if it's not entirely realistic?) when it comes to consequences with magic. Sailor Moon is the most notable one and started the trend of how Magical Girl anime became to be. Which even as a deconstruction, Madoka Magical slightly follows the typical magical girl anime tropes while doing it's own thing. And so do the magical girl anime that fit the typical magical girl anime. Let me explain some examples.
Cardcaptor Sakura does things with Clow Cards, which are based of Tarot Cards. There isn't a group of magical girls, they specifically only have Sakura as the Magical Girl. There is also a Magical Boy in the mix. However, they aren't as magical as other magical girls (and boys in this case I guess). They don't have magical transformations. This is an interesting quirk with Cardcaptor Sakura because Sakura HAS A LOT of outfits she goes out to collect Clow Cards in, which leads to diversity in character design. These magical kids also can only use magic through the clow cards, which are summoning creatures inside them. Each Clow Card has a unique way of being used to fight and help the user in obstacles. The whole Tarot Card idea makes Cardcaptor Sakura have a unique trait that other magical girl animes can't simply copy. (Daybreak Illusion did tarots as well, but because of how messy the story and context was, it didn't stand out as much as Cardcaptor Sakura i that regard.)
Princess Tutu, as it is rather dark for a magical girl anime (seriously don't let the title and the cutesy Ballerina context fool you), is not considered a deconstruction at any means, but this magical girl is vastly different from the typical magical girl anime show. (I can argue it does more unique things than Madoka Magica.) Princess Tutu revolves around a 'fairy tale' book with various mini stories written by a weird old guy who's deceased that is secretly real and is playing with peoples' lives. There isn't a magical animal that gives magic, Duck/Ahiru IS the magical animal. Duck is also a magical girl of the series. She can go from a duck, to a clumsy human, to the magical Princess Tutu herself. This is due to the book and how it affects her interactions. She has the role to collect heart shards for the prince who has lost all of his emotions. This causes conflict and the advancement of the plot, and it's not all about collecting heart shards by the half way point? (It's been a while I don't fully remember). Duck also loves the prince but she can't confess her love to him, because if she does, she will vanish from existence. (Yeah Duck has it rough.) The last example I have for Princess Tutu doing things different (because there is too many to list right now) is how they use magic. (Which arguably isn't really magic) Princess Tutu does not fight her opponents, she dances and tries to reason with them. You think this would be boring, but there is in fact conflict when it comes to this method, which I won't say in case someone actually wants to watch Princess Tutu.
Revolutionary Girl Utena is an anime you wouldn't consider a Magical Girl anime at first glance, which also can be considered a deconstruction, and if you do consider it as one, then Revolutionary Girl Utena was actually the first anime to deconstruct the magical girl genre. Which I would explain, but the anime itself (As well as the movie) gets really complicated. This anime requires a full analysis which this post isn't trying to do.
You see what I'm trying to say here? Magical Girl anime are not automatically bad for following the typical format and Magical girl deconstructions are not automatically good for being a deconstruction. It's SOLELY based on execution and how they are able to appeal to the audience. Just because a magical anime isn't a deconstruction doesn't mean it can change up things in order for it to stand out. Not everything has to be so grim and screwed up. I even will say I hate the term "deconstruction" for magical girl anime because it's overused and is often used to bash other anime that isn't "dark and gritty" (Also fun fact, the Sailor Moon manga can get dark. Also, I already mentioned a dark magical girl anime that isn't a deconstruction.)
I know that people have different tastes and the typical magical girl anime may not appeal to them. But please refrain from bashing them unless you have specific reasons of disliking specific ones isn't centered around "not being a deconstruction". Being deconstruction or not, like I've said numerous times, isn't a base to judge a magical girl anime.. It's the the anime itself. Judge the anime for it's qualities, writing, and execution, not based on the formula it's using.
This was longer than I intended it to be. This needed to be said because it has been bugging me for a while.
Well-made post. What matters is not the anime series's genre, but rather how well it is executed. People shouldn't simply judge a show for its genre. Everyone has different tastes, so not everyone is going to like the same genre. At the very least, you should judge a show for how well it appeals to its target audience and genre, not for what genre it is in. - ModernSpongeBobSucks
The irony is that Madoka Magica is a part of the genre. Deconstructions of a specific genre are still apart of it. - Rue
It makes literally no sense to call Kill la Kill a magical girl anime. It's more superpower and action instead of magical girl. - SelfDestruct
You're right. I should remove that one. - Rue
Have you watched Yuuki Yuuna? It sucks - TwilightKitsune
I've mentioned it in the rant. I watched it, didn't necessarily like it, I personally thought it was just okay. Nothing spectacular but also not the worst I've seen. The worst deconstruction magical girl anime I've ever saw was Daybreak Illusion. If anyone is curious of why I hate it so much and why it's so bad, I can link someone's review on it. - Rue
Also please don't watch Day Break Illusion, do not watch Day break Illusion. Do not torture yourself with Day Break Illusion. - Rue
I heard it is darker than Madoka Magica, but many people say it suffers from overuse of darkness. - SelfDestruct
@SelfDestruct It is, and more gruesome. But how it's executed, I don't recommend it at all. Especially with how grossly they handle the magical girls in the show. (ONE OF THEM IS 12 AND THE ANTAGONIST SAID "I WANT TO MATE WITH YOU" TO HER FACE.) The show is bad but also really disgusting. - Rue
Here's a review on Day Break Illusion in case you want to understand what I'm talking about: https://youtu.be/XjGhOuE6Krc
THIS REVIEW DOESN'T COMPARE DAY BREAK ILLUSION TO MADOKA MAGICA. Which is the reason why I chose it.
P.S. I only recommend watching this anime if you want to tear it apart and see how horrible it is yourself. There's a lot of stuff you can spot that's back because this anime is a cluster *BEEP*... if you know what I mean. - Rue