I want to thank you again for more or less agreeing to a compromise on the magical girl debate.
I know that in your heart of hearts StrikerS may not be a magical girl anime, and that's fine, but I think the genre definition should have enough leeway to squeeze it in there for people who think that it is a magical girl anime.
I won't deny that I have a bias here.
I really like magical girl aesthetics, and find that no other genre offers anything quite like them, so I'd hate to see them fade away for good. Nanoha and Fate are also two of my five favorite anime characters of all-time, and StrikerS is part of the reason why, lol, as flawed as StrikerS was.
That being said, I do see how the "coming of age" element of magical girl shows is important to a lot of magical girl fans (especially pre-Sailor Moon era magical girl fans), so that had to be accountant for as well.
What you linked to ties into why I would perhaps allow for "a magical appearance" alone, even if the magic is based on something a bit different.
However, the thing is that "hard" sci-fi (Star Trek, Andromeda, Stargate, Gundam, Steins;Gate, etc...) all have a very different look, feel, and atmosphere from "magical girl" or "fantasy" (Bewitched, He-Man, She-Ra, Sailor Moon, Madoka Magica, etc...).
Star Trek fans would object to magic-based (as opposed to science-based) wizards and witches suddenly populating its universe just like Lord of the Rings fans would object to heavily armored non-magical laser gun-wielding aliens suddenly invading Middle Earth. There's a reason for this, and this reason ties directly into my arguments about magical girl anime.
With this in mind, I think that you, 4Tran, and perhaps some others, are greatly understating the importance of magical girl aesthetics.
Haha, I don't mind us being at odds at all. I think this has been an interesting discussion, even if we end up agreeing to disagree in the end. And I'd say it's the mark of a good friendship when you can passionately disagree with each other without actually being upset with the other person.
When I say that there doesn't need to be magic, I'm allowing for things like http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...ByAnyOtherName
where things that aren't explicitly called magic are handled by the plot and characters like they were magic. So if they changed Nanoha so that the magic is powered by sufficiently advanced nanotechnology, I'd still count the first season as a magical girl show. Or if you stuck Misaka Mikoto in ordinary some school life setting where she had to hide her identity but still fight her enemies, I'd still call that a magical girl show, even if she's technically using some quantumn mechanical esper power.
I think that a young girl secretly gaining a "magical" superpower as a catalyst for a coming of age story is really the important part of the magical girl genre, IMO.
Thanks for the friend request! Glad you liked the Kyubey/Haruhi shop. Hopefully I'll have some time this weekend to get started on the El Hazard idea. I've never actually seen the show, but that picture of alien Haruhi is pretty funny by itself