Ever since I began the thesis-writing portion of my Magical Girl research, leisure reading has been at an all-time low. The Japanese Language has a word that perfect describes my dilemma during this time – tsundoku (積ん読), which basically means buying books but letting them pile up because you never read them. Unless the book was one of the three series I chose for textual analysis (Ribon no Kishi, Sailor Moon, and Sugar Sugar Rune), it just sat in my closet, collecting dust.
Now that I have successfully defended and revised my thesis (you can view it here if you wish), I have more time to read the books I currently have as well as to buy the books I really want. I’ve salivated over the Utena Special Edition Manga Boxed set since it was release in February and now that I’m all done, I think it’s the perfect to get back into reading and reviewing interesting magical girl series. Taking it a step further, I’ve decided to challenge myself to reading one magical girl series each month and writing about my thoughts about it.
Welcome to the Year of the Magical Girls (Hosted by Misu the Witch)!
I think this will be fun because it will give me a chance to read series that I love as a fan that will get the academic treatment. It’ll also give me a chance to read series that may not necessarily be considered magical girl series but can be read as such. But mostly it gives me an excuse to buy books and fill up my bookcase and when my son is asleep, open them up and take one long sniff.
I’m not joking.
The rules are simple. Each month, I pick one series (or two, but that’s because there’s a theme involved) to read and analyze. I can only do that series and I need to give it my full attention. I will try to read a full series if possible – otherwise, I have to be upfront about stating I’ve only read so much of a series. I will try to post at least twice a month about it BUT I DO HAVE TO POST. Depending on the size of the series, I will do my best to read it at least twice before rendering my opinion. Finally, if the series isn’t considering a magical girl series, I must read it as though it were one, and I have to continue reading, even if I hate it.
Seems easy enough, right? Well, here’s to hoping that I don’t find a series that I can’t stand.
Here is a tentative listing of series that I wish to featured:
- Flying Witch by Ishizuka Chihiro
- Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Miyazaki Hayao
- Saga of Tanya the Evil by Carlo Zen (Light Novel version)
- Magical Girl Site by Satō Kentarō
- Magical Girl Raising Project by Endō Asari
- Revolutionary Girl Utena by Saito Chiho
- Wadanohara and the Great Blue Sea by Mogeko
- Ultra Maniac by Yoshizumi Wataru
- Land of the Lustrous by Ichikawa Haruko
I don’t really want to read series that I’ve already analyzed or identify as a fan with because while I could point out criticisms with existing series, I’d also like to look at different series to get an idea of what the genre has to offer. My research was centered on series featured in Girls’ comics so now I want to open my horizons a little.
Aaaaand it gives me an excuse to buy more books.
The event will kick off in October, when I review two Horror Magical Girl series. Feel free to read along with me if you wish. Also, if there is a series you’d like to recommend, please feel free to comment – English-translated and Japanese-only series are all good (just know that with Japanese series, it will take me some time to translate properly). Happy Reading!