Puella Magi Madoka Magica (TV)

Title:Puella Magi Madoka Magica (TV)
Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magica (TV)
魔法少女まどか★マギカ (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Shaft
Original Concept - UROBUCHI Gen
R1 License - Aniplex of America
After experiencing a bizarre dream, Madoka Kaname, a kind 14-year old girl, encounters a magical creature named Kyube. Madoka and her friend Sayaka Miki are offered the opportunity of gaining magical powers if they agree to make a contract with the strange little being. He will also grant them one wish, but in exchange they shall risk their lives by accepting the responsibility of fighting witches. Invisible to human eyes, witches are catalysts of despair in the areas they inhabit. An ally of Kyube, a magical girl named Mami Tomoe, befriends and encourages the two girls to accept the contract. For an unknown reason, another magical girl named Homura Akemi is determined to prevent Madoka from accepting the deal.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

Aired for 12 episodes starting on January 6, 2011.
Animated by Shaft.
Licensed by Aniplex USA.
[edit] The ↗Puella Magi Madoka Magica franchise:

TV Series Movies
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 7 8 7 8 8 8 Dreamer [series:2414#2279]
I had totally the wrong impression of this series. From first appearance and synopsis, one would think this might be a cutsie type of series with kawaii characters and a light theme. However....

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork can almost be considered dull and boring "if" you don't interpret it as a form of stylistic animation. At times, one would easily think it but then at other times, it seems otherwise. Our characters for sure were pretty boring and didn't care for their facial structures.

The song in the beginning of the first episode was kick-assed! The initial beat and following riff sounded great. The OP was a pop piece with female vocals that didn't do anything for me. Just sounded like a typical run-of-the-mill song. The soundtrack for the most part had some.... what seemed to be gaelic instrumentals.... with flutes, etc. Pretty sounding really. Other times, it had some nice, if not eerie pieces that gave the series a sense of tenseness or dark drama.

Series and Episode Story
This series totally threw me off track. It was totally not what I was anticipating. This is not to say it was bad but rather..... completely different from expectations. With that in mind, this series turned out to be rather well.... no, really well done. All the fluffy things and cute magical girls instead turns out to be dark, gruesome and totally "WTF just happened"! This series is dark and almost disturbing.... mainly in the odd looking and ugly "witches".

The one issue I had with this series is no matter how pitiful and sorrowful our characters situations are, I didn't feel any real connection to them. They felt a bit flat..... or lacking depth. I think this has to do with the fact that we don't get to explore their backgrounds much but rather, we jump directly into their lives with a brief understanding that "something" happened in their past that caused them to gain their powers.

Overall, this series did well with the plot and setting. Characters were a bit lifeless but it didn't take too much away from the series. I'd pick up seson two if available.

Last updated Sunday, August 28 2011. Created Sunday, August 28 2011.
Buy 9 8 7 7 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:2414#1552]
Anyone expecting a typical mahou shoujo title out of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is gonna be in for a huge shock. This series takes the genre and dips it into some very dark and horrific territory where it makes the lives of those given the power a living hell instead of a blessing. The first two episodes hint to a darker picture of things to come while meshing in the typical elements of slice-of-life with Madoka's everyday developments and the seemingly happy-go-lucky developments of the mahou shoujo genre. But once the end of episode 3 swings around, then things will start hitting the fan hard. The series delivers plot twists galore with the true natures concerning the seemingly blessed abilities that the girls are blessed with and the witches that they fight, doing enough to keep you hooked on the show's various developments.

Madoka Magica appeared to be focused on exploring themes related to human nature in the fact that the mahou shoujo in the series gained their abilities through tragic dilemmas or personal desires and Kyubey fulfilling his goals with the girls while lacking comprehension about human morality and emotions. In particular, middle school girls are the focus of this exploration where they are oblivious to many of the harsh realities of life while coming of age. With the mahou shoujo, they come to handle their issues in different ways as they become aware of the realities of their situations. Due to the lack of maturity they have in responding to situations such as rejection and death, they become negatively effected from the nature of their wish as they were oblivious to the possibilities that would occur with their wishes. This gives some of the mahou shoujo in this series a good amount of character depth as the series explores the inner struggles they face in responding to the reality of being a mahou shoujo and their mentalities affected by the past tragedies that occurred thanks to their wish. This helps make the characters seem more than the typical character archetypes you would get out of conventional mahou shoujo titles as characters come across as flawed in their mentalities and there is no true villain within the series. The only major issue I would have to fuss about with the show's plot is that certain major characters such as Mami and Madoka are rather underdeveloped compared to what we learn of Sayaka, Homura and Kyoko.

Another element that works well in the show's favor for the most part is its visual presentation. The scenery for the normal world has subdued color tones with a good amount of visual detail to go with its everyday, plain feel. However in the various witch worlds seen, a surreal landscape is presented with bright colors with macabre-looking renderings of environments and the various witches to give them a horrifying feel when they are confronted by the mahou shoujo. The show does have its moments of fluid animation shown through the mahou shoujo fighting the witches or one another making use of their various abilities. The only low point I would have to give for the show's visual presentation would be the plain looking character designs.

Overall, Puella Magi Madoka Magica makes for a worthwhile subversion of the mahou shoujo genre by dipping into dark territory with its exploration on human nature and making it so being a mahou shoujo isn't so morally black and white and happy-go-lucky compared to more conventional titles.

Last updated Saturday, August 06 2011. Created Saturday, August 06 2011.
Buy 10 9 9 9 10 10 Silence [series:2414#2939]
This is as much a mahou shoujo anime as bokurano is a mecha anime. (There is a shout-out to Bokurano in this series) Think Bokurano but better: the plight of our main characters is explained, and a solution (of sorts) is eventually found. This masterpiece is Madoka.

So, for those of you who know what bokurano is about, you will have high expectations for the quality of Madoka, and this anime will meet all of them. With superb animation, art and music, Madoka will bring you into a seemingly harmless and innocent world of mahou shoujo. But the series keeps getting darker with every turn, and deconstruct all notions of what should be the mahou shoujo genre. And unlike Bokurano, the premise has a very satisfying explanation, all involved characters have very plausible motivations, and there is a satisfying resolution.

I do not know if my expectations for this series has been inflated to such a degree that my feelings for the characters are not very strong, or if this series does not try as hard to pull at my heartstrings, but unlike bokurano, i do not feel as much for the characters in madoka even though I have a lot more time with them. Perhaps it is because the inevitability of their fate is not as strongly impressed on me. I always had a little bit of hope that they will find some way out of it. Bokurano squashed that hope pretty early on. If there is one flaw, this is it. However, there is no question to the outstanding quality of this series. It is a must-watch, and will be remembered as the show that redefined mahou shoujo.

Last updated Wednesday, August 03 2011. Created Wednesday, August 03 2011.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2414#628]
(One episode watched):

This show kind of had two strikes against it going in, since I'm not a big fan of Mahou Shojo, but it got reasonably good ratings at ANN so I decided to take a look. I was immediately struck by the simple character designs, of the sort which I would expect in a comedy series, yet hints of a dark, possibly disturbing plot. I was hoping for a clear cut indicator of whether I should watch it or not, but was left feeling largely ambivalent. But since magical girls aren't a favorite genre of mine, I think I will pass. I didn't really detect any indicator of extraordinary quality, of the sort which even viewers like me might find intriguing. PMMM seemed more usual than unusual, what with the animal intermediary, for instance.

Last updated Monday, January 10 2011. Created Monday, January 10 2011.

Other Sites
Official Website (japanese, MBS) http://www.mbs.jp/madoka-magica/
Official Website (japanese) http://www.madoka-magica.com/

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