Winter Anime Reviews - 魔法少女まどか★マギカ

9:41 PM

It finally begins! I've been putting this off until my reading break starts, and now it's finally here! I've got a butt tonne of work to do during the week, so these will generally show up later in the day.


Text heavy post. Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Over half way through the series (yes, it's only 12 episodes long) and the story has made itself quite clear that Urobochi has no intention of giving us diabetes with cutesy magical girl action. With death, deceit and despair looming around almost every corner, each week adds another weight to the cast.

Urobochi commented on the story, saying that the focal point is Madoka's struggle between becoming one of the Puella Magis, or heeding Homura's warning and keeping herself out of it. Every episode seems to draw her towards Homura's side, but if the character art is anything to say, she will eventually take up the fight.

Shinbo's decision to use a different animation style for the Witches bugged a lot of people. Heck, even the character design was a turn off for some people (I'm looking at you Andrew). It didn't particularly bug me too much, but I can see why he did it. It really sets the atmosphere. Whenever a Witch materializes, they're in a different plane. Using a different animation style easily depicts that while also setting a rather creepy tone. There was a bit of a problem of integrating the regularly animated characters into this, but I don't think it was too much of a problem.

The music by Kajiura Yuki is wonderful. Kajiura has always impressed me with her works and this one isn't any different. The music is well placed (I don't think Kajiura has much of a say in that) but the music really does set the tone of the scenes. The outro theme (Magia) surprised a lot of people when the preview first came out. It was vastly different from the opening by ClariS; it was dark and heavy. Not something you expect from a Magical Girl show. It does, however, certainly suit this series, as it's hardly your average magical girl show.

One of the best series this season, hands down. I'm not being biased either. The story is absurdly intriguing, inspiring throngs of theories about how the story will play out, who Homura is, what the very first sequence of the series meant, what Kyuubey is, and the list goes on and on. A lot of them are valid, while some are pushing it a wee bit.

Speaking of Kyuubei, he and Homura currently hold the title of 'most mysterious character' in the series. Kyuubei has been holding back information from the cast, information they would most definitely want to know. Information like what the contract really does to you, how the wishes and miracles work, etc. Homura seems to know a lot about the magica, and Kyuubei doesn't seem to have made a contract with her, leaving viewers to wonder where she comes from and who she really is.

What I love about Madoka Magica is the small, tight knit cast it sports. With Madoka as the main character, Sayaka as her best friend, Homura as the aloof 'friend' and more recently Kyouko, who joins as the sort-of-enemy-turned-probably-friend, the minor characters don't often make appearances. Even the minor characters are few in number; I can count maybe 4-5?

All in all, this is one of the series you don't want to miss this season. It's got a great story, excellent music, great characters and best of all, it doesn't have a male lead character who happens to have a skull denser than lead, but is still loved by all the girls.

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