2019: Gyaru News Recap!

2019 was the Return of the Gyaru; famous magazines have resumed print; models from the heydays of gyaru put on their false lashes again; and the gaijin gyaru community has boomed. The turn of the Heisei to Reiwa Era* had a lot of people reflecting on their good old gyaru days, and there’s hope that there will be a whole new era of gal in the coming years. Gal is forever changing, but our spirit doesn’t!

So what have been the highlights of 2019 in the gyaru-sphere? Let’s take a look back and reflect on what happened this year… 

EGG resumed publication

Not only did EGG magazine – one of the biggest gyaru magazines from the past – revived their physical print, but they had a whole refresh! New models, new outfits, and new ways of promoting their “brand”… And I absolutely love it. I love how their models represent the new faces of gal as well as harking back to the old styles here and there, but make it look fresh and exciting. I wrote a post on more reasons of why I love the new EGG magazine over here.

EGG Magazine

Papillon – the new gaijin gyaru magazine!

And a magazine that yours truly is very happy to be a part of. We’ve had an amazing first issue (which is now available for print) and I really can’t wait for the next issue. There’s hopes that there will be a closer connection between gaijin gyaru (western gyaru) and Japanese gyaru, so the future of Papillon seems very promising – take a look at my thoughts on our first issue here!

Papillon the gaijin gyaru magazine launches in 2019

Tsubasa Masuwaka returned to gal

It was only for a day but boy did the gyaru community love it. Tsubasa Masuwaka, one of our most beloved gyaru from back in the day, returned to the scene for the opening of “PG-Bra” at Shibuya109. Tsubasa Masuwaka was one of my first big gyaru inspirations when I first arrived on the scene, and honestly it brought back so many memories of trying out my makeup like her. My heart almost burst! Her video of the event was sooo cute and I loved her outfit. 

We waved goodbye to onee gyaru brand DaTuRa

And my heart still hasn’t healed. DaTuRa, one of the newest onee gyaru brands, announced that they were closing back in August. I was really sad to see it go as it was one of my favourite stores when I went to Japan. Their instagram account hasn’t been deleted though, so maybe there’s hope for a return one day…? 

Sakurina graduated from Koakuma Ageha magazine

Not only did Rina Sakurai (aka Sakurina) graduate from Ageha magazine but, as a result, the magazine has ceased publication. She had been an exclusive model to Ageha and it would’ve been weird not to see her face grace the pages, and so they decided to end it when Sakurina left.

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ストーリーでは、この間先に載せてたし、もう小悪魔ageha @koakuma_agehaweb を見てくれた方は知ってるかもしれませんが、わたくしさくりなこと、 桜井莉菜は、今月号で小悪魔agehaを卒業します。 今月4月13日で36歳になるので、ちょうど良いタイミングで区切りが付けられました。 23歳の時から出始めて、24歳の4月号で専属モデルになり、今月で36歳なので、約13年、専属になってちょうど丸12年間。 同じ雑誌にずーっと出続けられて、有難い事に表紙も最後までさせて頂けて、こんなに幸せな事はありません。 小悪魔agehaがあったから、私は私らしく居続けられたし、たくさんの人に知ってもらえて、本当に本当に感謝しかないです。 小悪魔agehaは私の全てでした。 誰よりも小悪魔agehaを好きだった、愛してた自信はあります。 それは、これからも変わりません。 ギャルという文化が少しずつ無くなっていっても、やっぱりギャルが1番可愛いと思うし、輝いてると、私は思っています😊🌸 偏見や常識、世間の目、色々あっても、人生を生きていくのは自分だし、自分を1番大事にしてくれるのもまた、自分自身だと思うので、自分が良いと思った格好、仕事、道を進めば良いと思います。 私はきっと、髪の毛を紫に染めるおばあちゃんになるでしょう👵✨ いや、ピンクのが可愛いかな🤔💕 知らない人の常識より、周りの自分の好きな人達が自分を好きで居てくれて、受け入れてくれるなら、それだけで充分ではないでしょうか✨ 私たちの時代の小悪魔agehaが終わってしまうのは凄く寂しいけど、時代はそうやって流れてくものだし、少しづつ受け入れていきます😊 今まで応援してくれた皆様、本当に本当に心からありがとうございました。 #小悪魔ageha#卒業#さくりな#桜井莉菜#ありがとうございました#エイプリルフールにこの投稿って、誤解されるかもですが、ガチです🤣#ややこしい日にすみません#令和#riinacouture#dearqueen

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Black Diamond to host international gal meet in Japan!

Black Diamond (aka bdia), a gal unit in Japan, announced that they are hosting a huge meetup next October, which will be open to both Japanese nationals and – you’ve guessed it – western gyaru too! They gave the Papillon magazine as well as a few gaijin gyaru a shoutout in their promo video, so they’re very eager to meet us all. 

Go to about 3 and a half minutes in where they talk about the int meet!

Super Gals is back!

Yep, Super Gals is back! Mihona Fujii, the writer and artist of the manga, announced over on twitter that she has produced a new series, picking up where the manga left off. I am so excited to see my favourite characters again and I wait patiently for the English translations (as unfortunately I can’t read Japanese). It is my favourite manga of all time, and the perfect thing for a pick-me-up when you’re low on inspiration. 

Gyaru Jubilee was a huge success!

And, of course, I couldn’t create this article without giving a little mention to Gyaru Jubilee! I, together with my QueenE gals, hosted this year’s international gyaru meet over here in the UK and it was so good to see so many people there! I had such an amazing time, and I was so proud of the UK gyaru community. Can’t wait to see more next year!

So 2019 has been a great year for gyaru and honestly? I’m so excited for 2020. It’s going to be a whole new era of gal and I can’t wait to see where everyone takes their style. Gyaru is such a fluid style, and I’m so happy to have stumbled upon it all those years ago.

One of my main takeaways from 2019 is that we should never give up on our gyaru spirit. We might think we’re not gyaru enough and get sad when we look at older models who had really OTT styles, but gyaru is forever changing. Take a look at the EGG models – their makeup is more toned down what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean they’re not gal. Gyaru is what we make of it! 

Lizzie xx

*The Heisei Era is where gal began, during the reign of Emperor Akihito from 1989 to April 2019. The era we are in now is the Reiwa Era. 

What do you think?

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  • Jadedisland
    December 25, 2019

    I loved this recap it really brought the Gyaru news I needed to end the year informed! I’m happy to see two Jfashion magazines mentioned here, It’s an exciting time for Jfashion writers all over.

    • Chilipepper
      December 28, 2019

      Creating a magazine is great but using the term “gaijin” gyaru instead of something like “overseas” or even “foreign” gyaru takes away any sense of class. If say even here in Japan media coverage was done the term “gaijin” would not be used, so it is cringey to see foreigners use the term that any professional would not use in a media platform here.
      “It isn’t offensive to me” is a tired argument that weebs who live in bubbles if they ever come here use,
      At my work they made a coworker apologize with his head on the ground for using the term instead of Gaikokujin.
      In fashion media class and self respect would make them seem much more professional.

      • hellolizziebee
        December 29, 2019

        Thanks very much for your input! We’ve been ‘owning’ the term gaijin gyaru for a very long time no, which is a bit tongue-in-cheek as we are quite notorious for not being the most polite out there, so I think it’s fine 🙂 But thanks for letting me know!

    • hellolizziebee
      December 29, 2019

      Thank you so so much cutie pie! I’m so excited, too!

  • Kieli
    January 11, 2020

    2019 was the best for Gal since its golden days.

    Gyaru never dies.

  • Marisa Dean
    May 10, 2020

    If you miss Sakurina’s face shes been modelling for ane ageha on the side for years and still is, and her looks and outfits are basically the same 😎

    Also I heard that gal started at the end of showa era as hostess clubs popped up so is even older than 1989 but I’m not sure if it’s true!