A type of anime
. The typical mahou shoujo (literally translated "magical girl") flick goes something like this: normal Japanese girl gets magical powers (through some sort of magical animal such as a flying teddy bear), and proceeds to fight the forces of evil using kawaii
dresses, pink and gold magical jewelry
and eloquent English attack phrases like "Silver Moon Crystal Power Kiss!". Some hentai
absolutely love that sort of thing and nobody else understands why.
The main audience for the genre is 9-year-old girls, but it also has a wide cult following among (mostly male) college students. There must be some sort of fundamental mystic link between the two groups that future generations of sociologists will later discover. Perhaps watching mahou shoujo is a subconscious form of rebellion against the ideals of toughness imposed by our cruel modern society for some. Personally, I'm a fan because it kicks ass. I mean, how can you *not* like a show where a chirpy anime girl battles evil villains wearing a lacey pink one-piece dress and wielding a Scepter of Love?
Note that this is only a small fraction of all anime, so if reading this description made you retch just thinking about it, remember that the vast majority of anime is not like this. At the other end of the spectrum, you have giant robot fighting, and every other nuance imaginable in between. Not even all mahou shoujo is as "bad" as I described. Hime-chan no Ribbon, for example, involves a girl with magical powers, but isn't really sappy.
Popular examples of the genre (that really are sappy) include Sailor Moon, Card Captor Sakura and Wedding Peach.