WandaVision is the dark live-action magical girl series of our dreams (or nightmares)

WandaVision is essentially a live-action version of a dark magical girl anime, a genre that also has its roots in 1960s sitcoms.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for WandaVision Episode 8, “Previously Activated,” which is now airing on Disney +.

Superheroes and magical girls are very similar. Both feature costumed characters with powers that perform incredible feats, but a key difference can be found in the presentation: Magical girl anime often downplays the action in favor of more character-driven narratives, with the power of the characters displayed. less through battles and more through grander magic that alters reality. In both ways, albeit in a completely different medium, Marvel / Disney + WandaVision has a lot in common with magical girl series like Sailor moon or Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

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All the internal struggle of Wanda Maximoff is externalized in WandaVision, with his magical abilities distorting his reality. In episode 7, Agatha describes herself and Wanda using the phrase “magical girl”, which makes the comparison even more blatant. However, this does not mean WandaVision is particularly influenced by anime. Rather, both WandaVision and magical girl anime share a common influence: the sitcoms of the 1960s.

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WandaVision, Sailor Moon and Bewitched

Sailor Moon in front of the mirror

Both the genre of modern magical girls and WandaVision share a common ancestor: sixties sitcoms like Haunted Y I dream of jeannie. These were escapist stories that used the light fantasy setting to tell simple and grounded stories. While the characters displayed incredible powers, they applied these problems to solve life problems. One of the first magical girl anime, Sally the witch, was heavily influenced by those two sitcoms.

WandaVisionThe first few episodes use this sitcom formula for mischief and fun as well. As the series’ mysteries unravel, WandaVision uses Wanda’s incredible chaos magic more to solve life’s problems than cosmic threats, resembling less of the antics of her sitcoms. Sally the witch and more the epic adventures of Sailor moon. Both Wanda and Sailor moonThe Usagi are chosen with incredible power: Usagi is the reincarnation of Princess Luna Serenity, while Wanda is the mythical Scarlet Witch.

As in both Sailor moon and then Sakura Card CaptorWanda’s antagonists like Agatha Harkness aren’t really evil, but rather dark reflections of what could be. Agatha looks like Sailor Moon villains like Nehelenia in this regard. Their confrontations often result in learning experiences for the hero, forcing them to overcome their inner trauma and pain while taking courageous steps to overcome adversity.

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WandaVision and Madoka

Maybe the magical girl shows that WandaVision bears more resemblance to the historical dark turn of the genre, Puella Magi Madoka Magica. In Madoka, magical girls receive wishes from an alien entity named Kyubey in exchange for incredible magical power. However, their desires only provoke further despair, and as despair overtakes them, they become “witches.”

Witches in Madoka They are not just super-powered magical girls, but entities so overwhelmed by pain and self-loathing that they create insular bubbles where reality is rewritten to reflect their own inner darkness. Madoka, however, has gained enough latent power thanks to the time travel antics of her magical partner Homura that, if she becomes a witch, all reality will be erased forever and recreated as a result.

WandaVision it is very similar to By Madoka magic girl nightmare scenario Wanda rewrites reality when her pain overwhelms her. Despite being granted multiple wishes throughout his life (surviving the Stark missile launched into his room, surviving the Mind Stone), it is ultimately his pain that causes his power to be directed outward. , which forces reality to manifest itself at its whims.

the Madoka The TV series finally ends on a positive note, with Madoka rewriting reality to break all the limitations placed on other magical girls. It remains to be seen if WandaVision will end with Wanda acquiring her own powers and growing up, as in Sailor moon, or rewrite the universe forever, as in Madoka.

KEEP READING: A WandaVision Guide: News, Easter Eggs, Reviews, Summaries, Theories, and Rumors

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