Sunday, March 22, 2009

Magical Girls

So, the other night I was watching Sailor Moon. Hey no wisecracks, I loved Sailor Moon as a child, and I hate grading lab reports in total silence. Anyway, while watching Sailor Moon, I started to think about magical girls. Sailor Moon (which came to America long after it was out in Japan) is a fine example of a magical girl story. Japanese cartoons and comics are filled with the magical girl stories—stories of young girls who find they have magic powers and save the world. America has far less magic that Japan in this area. Before Sailor Moon, there were no popular magical girl teams. Until, Joss Whedon brought, our ultimate magical girl, Buffy the Vampire Slayer to America. Buffy produced a mythos and a history. The line of the Slayer is described in “Tales of the Slayers” by Joss Whedon. These magical girls protected through the ages and belong to the American mythology.

The “Tales of the Slayers” follows the stories of eight girls, none of which are Buffy. From the first nameless slayer to last girl Fray, each girl has her story. The first tale is the tale of the first. It is a sad short piece showing the loneliness of the Slayer. The second tale is of a middle ages Slayer, burned for being a powerful young woman who could protect her from, for being a witch. The third is a tale of evil not of Vampire but of the Slayer’s watcher in revolutionary France. The forth tale shows the hardship of the female form in the Victorian age. The Wild West and bond of sisters comes out in the fifth. The Slayer in Nazi Germany fights many evils in the sixth tale. The seventh shows a slayer not far ahead of Buffy, Niki the New York Slayer. Finally, the last story is of the last Slayer, a lone girl, Fray, of the future disconnected from the full history of the Slayers. Each story is a quick read, but shows these girls lives fully. The life of the slayer is complex. Not just because of the gift/curse they bare, but the times they live in. Whedon shows pieces of history through the eyes of exceptional girls.

The comic brought up good ideas and in an easy to understand form. Overall, I give it a 4 out of 5.

Rooting for girl power,
J.R. West the Raccoon

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