I have a deep and abiding love for anime, the theme for this month's Genre. My actual favorites are the magical girl anime, where one or more girls – usually in the 12-16 range – get special powers to save the world. It is a powerful series of images at a time when girls are becoming women, stepping into a wider world, and dealing with all which that entails. My first favorite was Mysterious Thief Saint Tail, the story of a young acrobatic thief who steals form the criminal to bring justice into the world, pursued by someone who only slowly begins to see her in the chase. The eternal fan favorite was Sailor Moon, but I was always more of a Pretear or Wedding Peach sort – Pretear for it's complicated story of love and friendship, and Wedding Peach for the introductory speeches which won my heart.I've just recently tun into LaGrange, a combination of mecha and magical girls which makes me truly happy. On the twisted side of the genre, there is Princess Tutu, the story of a bird who becomes a girl who becomes a Ballet Magical Girl; it begins in a world of lightness and playfulness but rapidly evolves into a meditation on depression, pain, self-discovery, and the power of stories. And a celebration and critique of the entire genre is part of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the powerful tale of recursion, fate, and friendship.
All of these stories are about women with the will and power to change the world, but also about the challenges and glories of friendship between girls and women, and how we influence each other to grow and become better people. Sometimes, like with Pretear, the relationships between women are more tenuous, but most of the stories have a central theme of love and understanding primarily between women who may often work at cross purposes.
My outfit is in the style of magical girls, short and bubbly with plenty of ruffles and cuteness. I pulled largely from Genre this look but flavored it liberally with bits from katat0nik, who draws heavily from anime aesthetics. Her arm bands are one of my new favorite ways to accentuate an outfit, and I simply don't want to take my froggy cap off! I picked my eyes – gem style anime eyes from The Stringer Mausoleum – to match the bright blue froggy eyes of my cap. They come in a bunch of types and are fit for petites as well as full sized avatars; I'm wearing the mesh ones in these images. In true anime style, though, my eyes are almost completely hidden behind these astonishing bangs from the Kazama Store. I love the shape, and the cel shading, and the fact it is modify-ok so I could fit it to my fat head and around my enormous ears! It's all of a piece, so you can't resize individual parts, but since it's one piece you can make it wider without making it taller, which is almost as good! It comes in a bunch of colors from the naturalish to the entirely not, and would be especially perfect for an avatar more inspired by anime's artistic conventions than mine is.
Pretty much the rest of my outfit from shoes to collar are all from Faster Pussycat. There are very few ruffled skirts of this style and I really love the many layers and intricate curves. I also like the cut-out on the front of the scoop bodice and the delicate strings tied between them. The heels are entirely impractical – good things I have wings! – but that makes them a fun example of high, stylistic platforms. The polka dot detailing pulled the outfit together, and I really liked the skull touch – that and the rich shade of red round out what is otherwise a sweet and adorable outfit. The hint of death among the cute is definitely a recurring theme of anime and magical girl anime in particular. Under the cute and frills there are darker drives and painful experiences that gradually transform girls into women, if the girls survive the process. I accented my outfit's colors, and it's theme, with my nails, an elegant circle and stripe motif from Dark Passions, not available at Genre but definitely worth picking up oh its own. Referencing Ophelia and her destruction as a teenager, it seemed entirely appropriate.
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