Puella Magi Madoka Magica / Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Drama, Magic, Psychological, Thriller, Magical Girl, Horror, Dark Fantasy
First aired: Winter 2011, 12 episodes + 3 movies!
Summary: Madoka Kaname is an eighth grader at Mitakihara middle school. She has a loving family, best friends, and lives a seemingly normal life. One day, she has an encounter with a magical girl and a witch. Naturally this changes everything. She is sent through a labyrinth that created by the witch. The mysterious magical girl saves her, and then her life never seems to go back to normal.
Madoka Magica is noticeably different from other magical girl anime and you can tell from episode one. Generally speaking, magical girl anime is seen as being more light-hearted and full of friendship. Madoka Magica tip-toes along those lines but then goes into darker territory and does not return.
One of my favorite parts of this anime is the animation that occurs during the various labyrinth scenes. It is quite unique to anime to have the labyrinths animated in such a style. I enjoyed it because it was refreshingly different and new, while being slightly disturbing at times.
I have rewritten this review several times due to my feelings about Madoka Magica. The last couple of episodes flew by because of how amazing they were. After the last episode ended, I found myself simply staring at the screen, trying to process everything that had just happened.
You might enjoy this if: You want a dark fantasy version of magical girls. In addition, if you are not a fan of magical girl anime but you enjoy the psychological horror genre, check out Madoka Magica.
You might not like it if: You hate having your heart torn apart by a blender of emotion.
Note to the Viewer: I have said it once and I will say it again, the labyrinth scenes are something else.
EXPANDED REVIEW: WARNING, MAY CONTAIN MINOR SPOILERS!
There was a lot of positive comments stated about Madoka Magica. Several people enjoyed the animation style, and especially the style during the labyrinth sequences. There was a lot of positive comments regarding the story towards the end of the season. It seemed to the group that the season was split up into two separate mini-seasons. A few group members enjoyed the first mini-season while the majority of the group enjoyed the second mini-season, from episode 8 on. Most of the group had not watched a lot of magical girl anime before Madoka Magica, but it was agreed that this anime is a good magical girl show to watch. An interesting point that was brought up was how the glyphs shown on the show were part of an actual language that was made up for the show. This was one of many aspects that showed the depth of the story. The story was light-hearted at times, but developed into something dark, twisted, and psychological by the end.
There were also negative comments about the show. Some group members thought that the fight scenes were too short. A great comment brought up was that instead of a fight buildup, there was emotional buildup before the fight, and then the actual fight would conclude too quickly. There were mixed feelings about some aspects of the show. This included the emotional aspect of the anime. Some people thought it was well done, others thought it was too much or it was boring. There was a lot of emotional moments at the end of the anime when Madoka makes her wish.
The last thoughts from SLC Anime on Madoka Magica were regarding Kyubey. It was this mysterious creature that was very convincing towards the girls. The main questions that were discussed were: 1- Would you be convinced to become a magical girl by Kyubey, and 2- What would you wish for?
AMV – The Nightmagi Cometh by Kinsanzi, Visualized Nightmare Studios
(Warning, the AMV contains spoilers! This is one of the best AMVs I’ve seen)