You’re probably looking at the title and asking why in the world would Ogiue Maniax be making such an obvious, brain-dead statement. Shugo Chara! was a kids’ show. Shugo Chara!! Doki was a kids’ show. What’s the fuss? Let me clear up something though. While the first two Shugo Chara anime were kids’ shows, Shugo Chara Party! is a KIDS’ SHOW.
The format of Shugo Chara Party! consists of 1/3 live actors introducing the show, 1/3 flash animation starring the Shugo Chara who proceed to engage in hijinks, and 1/3 actual anime episode. This is important to keep in mind.
While shoujo has traditionally been designed to target young girls primarily, there has been for many decades now a desire to implement a degree of storytelling sophistication. This is how the world got works such as Candy Candy and Onii-sama e, and mahou shoujo ends up being no exception. This sophistication is also what manages to draw in additional audiences outside of young girls to magical girls, be it older women, teenage boys, or adult salarymen, and while the manga for Shugo Chara! is running in Nakayoshi, very much a shoujo magazine, it is also written by Peach Pit, manga creators who know a thing or two about appealing to non-female audiences through seemingly feminine stories (Rozen Maiden).
The first Shugo Chara anime is regarded by fans as a very good show (and I would agree), with each sequel being regarded as inferior to the series that came before it. You may have seen back when the second series Doki was airing that people complained about it being significantly worse. They cited the large amounts of filler and lower-quality animation as evidence of the decline, and to some extent that is true, but what the fans of Shugo Chara were truly feeling was actually the sting of them being removed as a relevant demographic. In an old post, I talked about how the characters in Doki tended to talk directly at the audience in a manner reminiscent of Dora the Explorer, and with Party!, it is clearer than ever before that Shugo Chara is being turned into the type of show that kids enjoy at the expense of keeping older viewers and fans of the manga entertained.
Look at Shugo Chara Party! and compare it not so much with shows such as Pretty Cure or even the original Shugo Chara!, but rather Thomas the Tank Engine or Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. You have live actors talking to you the audience, asking you questions about how you’re feeling. The characters in the animated portions do the same. And while Mr. Rogers can certainly be enjoyable to watch as an adult in its own way, it’s always obvious that 20 year olds are not the target audience here.
In fact, the similarities between Mr. Rogers and Hinamori Amu really come to light when you consider the following famous saying by Fred Rogers.
You’ve made this day a special day
By just your being you
There’s no one in the whole world like you
And I like you just the way you are