You’re already bound to be watching a ton of anime in college, so why not make it part of the actual curriculum? That’s what recently went down at the University of South Carolina, which offered “Reading and Writing About Magical Girls” as an English 101 course last semester.
The course covered a wide range of material, including a mix of anime and western cartoons. Some of the featured titles were Little Witch Academia, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Bakemonogatari, Puella Magi Madoka Magica (in its entirety), The Powerpuff Girls, and Steven Universe.
The professor shared an in-depth analysis of the course after its completion, including an abbreviated list of the objectives:
● Understand the basic tropes and methodologies of the magical girl genre.
● Use the genre to introduce basic tenets of feminism.
● Question whether niche interests like anime can elaborate on theoretical questions of aesthetics versus politics in a meaningful way.
● Connect the magical girl genre to larger questions of political importance.
● Teach students how to write (this is, after all, an introductory level English course).
If you’re bummed out about missing out on the course, you can get a taste for what it might have been like thanks to a lecture the professor uploaded, “Grace v. Glamour: The Duality of Sailor Moon.”