Urban fantasy is a genre I didn’t initially have any particular interest in, until I started watching more Japanese media, specifically their magical girl genre of shows. While magical girl is a genre unto itself, as far as the West goes, it falls squarely under the umbrella of urban fantasy.
Generally speaking, magical girl shows are aimed at young girls of 5-10 years, with the exemplar being Pretty Cure, or Precure for short. This franchise, and others like it, feature slightly older girls, normally around 14, who are strong, gentle, motivated, and all round good role models for their young audiences.
Though make no mistake, even grown-ups can watch and enjoy these shows; they’re filled with conflict, drama, and often mature or difficult themes even adults can identify with and enjoy.
There are also shows aimed at those same adult audiences, with more mature themes and often darker, grittier stories. But no matter who they’re aimed at, they almost always take place in modern Japan and feature magic in one form or another. Textbook urban fantasy.
When I was first introduced to these shows, I fell in love immediately, and my appreciation for urban fantasy as a genre grew. This naturally led me to want to create my own magical girl setting. Which leads us to… Starlight.
Starlight is a series of probably four novels (that’s how many I have planned right now, but it could go up by one or two), set initially in the town of Kamogawa on the east coast of Japan.
Note: this series is non-ero, but still features my usual lesbian relationships, which will tie heavily into the overall story.
Book 1: Starlight Blues (Join my email list to get this book for free!)
When Meg Momozono moved to Kamogawa, Japan, to attend a university of the arts, her only real worries had been whether she’d get on okay, if she could speak the language without embarrassing mistakes, and a general hope that she could cook a basic meal without poisoning herself.
But when she has a chance run-in with a hulking, demonic-looking entity, her life takes a turn she had most certainly not expected. Receiving the help of a mysterious girl, dressed in an outfit which Meg can’t help but associate with the magical girl shows she watched as a child, she must make the toughest decision of her life: to become a magical girl herself and enter a world she never knew existed…
Or choose the safe option and go back to her life as a university student.
Book 2: Into the Night (Scheduled for late 2019)
As more and more magic pours into the world, Meg and her friends must content with not only their physical enemies, but their own inner demons, as friends and allies turn on each other.