Anime Review: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Episodes: 12
Genre:
Psychological, fantasy
Related Words:
magic, contract, witches, girls, dark
Rating:
4.5/5

Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are regular middle school girls with regular lives, but all that changes when they encounter Kyuubey, a cat-like magical familiar, and Homura Akemi, the new transfer student.

Kyuubey offers them a proposition: he will grant one of their wishes and in exchange, they will each become a magical girl, gaining enough power to fulfill their dreams. However Homura, a magical girl herself, urges them not to accept the offer since everything is not what it seems.

– My Anime List

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General Overview (Without Spoilers)

I remember the time when I was obsessed with magic girl anime. The younger me would wish to become a magic girl as I watched them have these crazy awesome powers and do so many cool things. This anime, though, is quite the opposite. In fact, it makes you glad you’re normal.

I didn’t know what to expect when coming into this anime, but it was a lot more than I was expecting. It’s not your average magic girl anime and if you don’t like darkness and gore, this probably isn’t for you. But that being said, I felt like this was an amazing, well done anime. The characters were great, the plot intense, and the ending fabulous.

Full Review (*With Spoilers*)

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The first episode started out as really happy and cheerful and it really started out as any other magic girl anime out there. But then halfway through the episode, the atmosphere suddenly changes. The new girl Homura was after a cute animal-like thing called Kyubey and almost kills it. And we get introduced to this world with witches and magic.

I was still good there, but then the third episode came and when Mami died, I was shocked. After that big speech of Madoka being there for Mami, and Mami feeling more confident because she finally had friends, she gets too over-confident and gets eaten. By a witch.

By that time, I knew that this was not a happy show and that there was more to this magic girl business in this world, than just killing witches. This anime really didn’t sugar-coat anything as they emphasized how heroes are constantly putting their lives on the line. 

And with Mami gone, Sayaka goes to make her own wish in order to become a magic girl. And I knew from the moment she saved that guy, that she would be suffering for the rest of her life. I knew that guy would probably forget her and move on with another girl, that he would just forget that she had even helped him. And he does, and that is only the beginning. 

madoka

The second thing is finding out that the deal between magic girls and Kyubey wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Their soul actually gets ripped up and put into this tiny gem. That is harsh reality. Because of that, Sayaka sinks into depression and turns into a witch.

Little by little the whole idea of magic girls begins to unravel and it’s so beautifully crafted, but so sad and broken. And slowly, the image of these perfect magic girls becomes really depressing.

But the thing is, I can hardly blame Kyubey for all of this. Even though he was the force that caused all these pain and sadness for every magic girl in existence, the way he thought was really pitiful and scary. He didn’t know he was doing wrong, because he didn’t have emotions. He didn’t know anything about the human race. He came from a different world and intruded on another, making a mess. And suddenly this cute and friendly animal-like thing, was not as cute and friendly anymore. But more like a robotic mind. In fact, his face just creeps me out now.

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When Homura’s past was revealed, that was just the breaking point. Everything just fell into place and it made it even more depressing. She was trying so hard to change fate, but failing every time. But never losing hope in the process. She was portrayed as the evil character in the beginning, but it just shows how much one can be different underneath their appearances. I felt Homura was just an amazing character. I did feel like she had a dramatic personality change in the middle of the anime, but she was a great character nonetheless. 

Madoka as well, who at first had low self-confidence, saved all magic girls at the end. And I was glad that she took that wish, after the whole 11 episodes of deciding whether or not to be a magic girl.

Miki, I felt had such a sad ending. She left the world in a depressing state and it was just sad and hopeless to see her being turned into a witch. And the fact that Kyoko had sacrificed her own life and died with Miki. That was a really sad moment. Mami, as well.

But that last scene, after Miki and Madoka watch that guy Miki saved play the violin again as ghosts, we see the world change. Witches no longer exist, Madoka still exists in the back of some’s consciousnesses, and though it isn’t peaceful, it’s better. Magic girls still suffer, but Madoka had helped them changed their fates.

All in all, it was a great anime to watch, sad, but great. And I don’t think I’ll be able to look at magic girls the same way again.

Rating

4-52bstars

Have you seen Madoka Magica? What did you think of it?

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4 thoughts on “Anime Review: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

  1. Adam says:

    I was thoroughly impressed with this series. Many remark on the prevalence of cliches, but this story really subverted that idea by taking audience expectations and using them to create a really powerful narrative.
    I was also thoroughly impressed with how human all the characters were, well except for Kyubey. No one was allowed to just be a villain or a hero. Everyone had both darkness and light, and in their own way everyone was struggling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eileen X. says:

      Yeah, Madoka Magica is one of my favourite particularly because of how conflicting it is. There really is no real “bad” guy in this story, even though there were so many conflicts. It twisted and turned, and that ending especially was great.
      It seems like a really happy go lucky show in the beginning, but it’s anything but that haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adam says:

        Mmm. One of the greatest challenges is finding ways to surpass audience expectations while still satisfying them. I think they took a big risk doing what they did, and I really admire how much faith they had in their story to do so.

        Liked by 1 person

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