An anime that took an interesting approach to the magical girl genre. (Some Spoilers)
In this world, familiars chose a girl to grant one wish to. In exchange for power, the girl has to become a magical girl and fight witches. Witches are born cursed and are evil creatures that are the cause of murders and suicides. One day a schoolgirl named Madoka Kaname and her friend, Sayaka Miki stumble across a creature called Kyubey and their upperclassmen, Mami Tomoe who offer them the chance to become magical girls.
Throughout the show a girl named Homura Akemi tries to stop Madoka from contacting the creature Kyubey. When I first read the hypnosis for this anime, I wasn’t interested due to the magical girl genre but I decided to give it a chance after a couple of months later and I’m so glad I did.
Madoka was a sweet and kind girl who always tried to help people when she could. She was the typical crybaby peace-loving character that we all expect in anime. This doesn’t mean I hate her but it was hard to take an interest in her as she either crying a lot or trying to make peace. Madoka trying to make peace was annoying because it ended some interesting conflicts with other characters.
I think the most frustrating part of her character for me was her timidness. Just once I wanted to see Madoka lash out at someone it would make for some interesting interactions with other characters at least. She was pretty bland as she just listened to other character’s back story and allowed other characters to run over her. It would have been to see “some” character development from her. (The later episodes do not count at all)
As a fellow tomboy I could relate to Sayaka which made me like her. She believed in doing the right thing. Sayaka was one of the characters who suffered in this show. Once Sayaka decided that her wish was to heal her childhood friend who she loved deeply, it all went downhill from there. Sayaka fell into despair (Junko would love this XD) when she found out her soul, her entire being was inside the gem she and the other girls have on their chest.
I won’t say anything else about Sayaka, if I say anymore well spoilers. (Not that I haven’t spoiled those of you haven’t seen this anime in this character slot. Welp on to the next character… -_- )
Mami was the oldest of all the girls and the magical girl who had the most experience. She always had a kind smile on her face but under all the that kindness and experience was a lonely girl who made her a wish to survive. Mami seemed to be ok with the idea that Madoka and Sayaka would become magical girls, you could really tell she wanted them to fight with her.
There’s not much to say about her character, she was nice and I like the way that she took Madoka and Sayaka under her wing… by taking them on a witch hunt to convince them of becoming magical girls. That was very smart. (*whispers* Not really -_-)
Let me just start off by saying that Kyouko was my favourite character but not from the start. It was later in the show that I decided she was an interesting character. Kyouko was the other character that had a lot of experience as magical girl alongside Mami. Kyouko was introduced as a protagonist first. She let Madoka and Sayaka know that magical girl’s fight for themselves and not for what is right which enraged Sayaka who fought Kyouko a bit.
Behind Kyouko’s tough demeanour I could see that she also suffered as the wish she made destroyed her family. She survived due to the soul gem on her chest. After finding out the truth behind magical girl’s and witches, Kyouko does something that made me sad. It also made me respect her character. (Sorry guys, limiting the spoilers)
Homura. 😦 She didn’t deserve the suffering she went through. Homura was the first magical girl who Madoka and us the audience layed eyes on. Homura tries to kill Kyubey when we first meet her which lead me to believe that she was the bad guy, the “villain” of this show. “Why would she want to hurt kyubey? was what I thought at first. But after watching the later episodes it all becomes clear.
Homura is a very serious and cold character who doesn’t play around when it comes to magical girl’s and Madoka. The wish she made to become magical girl was to save Madoka. What’s that? Why does she want to save Madoka? Why that would be spoilers of course :D. Homura was one of the most tragic characters next to Kyouko. I liked her and I’m glad I was able to find out the reason for her actions.
The art style was amazing. The moe style (cute faces) at first didn’t fit this anime for me but as I watched on I understood why they decided to do this. The moe style tricks you at first, it makes you think this a lovely sweet magical girl anime but as you watch the darkness of the show overtakes your mind it makes you wonder what you got yourself into. The large bobble heads on a small body made me laugh a bit when I layed eyes in on the character designs at first.
They looked out-of-place like someone had just stuck their heads on their bodies and thought “You know bob, these characters designs are great!” “We could properly compete with those Bratz Dolls!” “Gotta get girl’s to buy Alllll the merchandise!” You’re properly wondering how I’m seeing Bratz dolls from these designs. Bratz Dolls have giant heads on top of a small body. No? Welp I thought it would be funny… anyway the art style fit perfectly with the setting and mood of the anime.
Especially in the witches dimension, it gave of a creepy vibe. Reminded me of Pablo Picasso’s “The Weeping Woman”, “Les Demoiselles Avignon” and “Jacqueline with flowers” paintings. ( Check them out they’re creepy -_- but lovely somehow..) I remember the Weeping Woman painting clearly, I had to draw her in my art class in Year 8 at Secondary School. It was a bad drawing….
This was a great anime, though it had its problems. First of all the characters, I felt that the characters weren’t fleshed out enough. If you’re trying to make a good anime, the characters need to interesting. How am I supposed to invest in an anime, if the characters are the same I’ve seen in other anime. In this case, the problem was Madoka, I’ve already said how it bugged me how she cried and didn’t do anything at all in the show. She was just there.
I like to care about characters, I don’t want them to come off as dull. If something happens to them and there not fleshed out, how am I supposed to care? My other issue was the first two episodes, I mean sure there introducing you to the world and characters but introduced us to the world in a way that didn’t seem so generic. I felt like I was watching a slice of life anime at first with unfunny moments and dullness that is everyday life.
I feel like better writing for the first two episodes wouldn’t have made me drop the show after two episodes. (yes, I really did drop it, I realised my mistake after a while XD) When I first heard of this show, I heard that it was a deconstruction of the magical girl anime and that’s what got me interested. If you’re going to make it a deconstruction of the magical girl genre, then don’t make the first two episodes about high school life. I mean I know they’re 14 but that doesn’t mean you need to show what life is like at school. Well…
I guess thinking about it now it shows the long drag that is everyday life at school and home I guess… I understand now that to get people interested, they needed to show the normal life of the girl’s before everything comes crumbling down in front of them at the end of episode 3. I mean wow! that’s when I felt like the show found its mark.( A bit early I know)
I loved how the show tricks you with the fluffiness that is the opening but after the end of episode 3, the ending song kicks in and leaves you wondering “Did that just happen?” “Am I watching the right anime?”
Madoka Magica is not a happy show (Ignore the image on top XD). This anime really tests your mind. I know it did mine, and I have still not recovered. If you want to see magical girl’s get their dreams crushed, then this is the anime for you. If you don’t like magical girl’s or moe, I would recommend you give this show a chance as it was amazing with great replay value.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch this anime again while laughing at the magical girl’s getting their dreams crushed with a cup of tea in my hand.
Tea tastes better when magical girl’s dreams slide down the drain but it also tasted bad when a certain character refuses to disappear…
If you like this review, please give me a like and a comment! I appreciate it! 😀
Title: Magical Girl Madoka Magica
Genre: Magic, Psychological, Thriller, Drama
Released Date: Jan 7, 2011 – April 22, 2011
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo
Animated: By Shaft