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Manga and anime historians regard the Princess Knight manga, released in 1953, as a prototype for the magical girl genre.Himitsu no Akko-chan, serialized in 1962 in Ribon, is regarded as the earliest magical girl manga. The Japanese dub of the American TV series Bewitched became popular among Japanese girls in the 1960s and inspired Mitsuteru Yokoyama to create Sally the Witch, which was serialized in Ribon from 1966 to 1967.Sally was adapted into an anime in 1966 which is regarded by historians as the first magical girl anime. The Sailor Moon manga and anime are considered to have revitalized the genre and paved the way for later successful titles. Another notable example is Cardcaptor Sakura, with its manga and subsequent animated series being highly popular in and outside of Japan.
After 2003, magical girl anime marketed to male audiences such as Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha became a prolific trend alongside the traditional female-oriented works.[examples needed] The magical girl genre earned renewed popularity in the 2010s with the advent of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, whose mature themes and darker atmosphere earned acclaim from viewers and critics outside the genre's target audience.
After 2010, there was a notable increase in series portraying "magical boy" in protagonist roles instead of the traditional support roles. Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! is a 2015 television magical boy anime series created by Kurari Umatani and produced by Diomedéa. In Is This a Zombie?, a zombie is resurrected by a necromancer after being killed by a serial killer, inadvertently gains "magical girl" powers, and is forced to become a "magical boy" (and thereby crossdress) in the process.
^Gravett, Paul (2004). Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics (2. print. ed.). London: Laurence King. p. 77. ISBN1-85669-391-0.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Thompson, Jason (2007). Manga: The Complete Guide. New York: Del Rey Books. p. 8. ISBN0345485904.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Drazen, Patrick (2003). Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation ([Nachdr.] ed.). Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. p. 281. ISBN1-880656-72-8.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Gravett, Paul (2004). Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics (2. print. ed.). London: Laurence King. p. 78. ISBN1-85669-391-0.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Boren, James (September 2003). "The Making of a Magical Girl". Animerica (Viz Media) 11 (9): 31.
^Thompson, Jason (2013). Manga: The Complete Guide (Unabridged. ed.). New York: Del Rey. p. 199. ISBN9780345539441.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)CS1 maint: Extra text (link)
^Poitras, Gilles (2004). Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know (4. [Ausg.] ed.). Berkely, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 31–32. ISBN1-880656-53-1.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
Napier, Susan J. (1998) . "Vampires, Psychic Girls, Flying Women and Sailor Scouts". In Martinez, Dolores P. The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture: Gender, Shifting Boundaries and Global Culture. Cambridge University Press. ISBN0-521-63128-9.