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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
*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.