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Akiko Sugawa-Shimada

The focus of my thesis is on representations of girls in Japanese Magical Girl TV animation programmes from 1966 to 2003 and female audiences. Magical Girl (‘mahou shojo’ in Japanese) animation is a unique subgenre in Japanese animated works, featuring little girl witch protagonists aged around 8-12. I have investigated Sally the Witch (1966-68), The Secrets of Akko-chan (1969-70), Meg the Little Witch (1974-75), Lulu the Flower Angel (1979-80), Magical Angel Creamy Mami (1983-84), Sailor Moon series (1992-97) and Magical Doremi series (1999-2003) and analysed the way in which the heroines are represented in relation to Japanese feminist movements in socio-cultural and geopolitical contexts.

I am also doing audience research in Japan, interviewing women who grew up in the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and girls, who are active viewers of Magical Girl TV animations.

Supervisor: Dr. Rachel Moseley

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