Magical, cheesy, cute, where all words I would have used to describe Madoka Magica, if I had only watched the first one or two episodes. Yet after watching the whole thing I would use words like, bleak, tragic, depressing, maybe even, one of the best anime ever.
Madoka Mgaica is about a girl named Madoka, she’s your normal cute middle school student, but one day she meets a little dog, cat, Digimon…thing, named Kyubey, who has the power to change girls into magical girls. He does this so that they can go and fight witches, they meet Mami, another magical girl, and Homura, a transfer student who also just so happens to be a magical girl. Madoka and her best friend Sayaka are told by Kyubey they can become magical girls, all they have to do is make a wish and it will be granted and for payment they will fight witches for him. So basically the first two episodes are pretty standard for the magical genre, cute animal give little girls magical powers to save the world blah blah blah. However in episode three, something goes horrible wrong and that basically sets the tone for the rest of the show. So the show basically takes the assumption you have that this will be a cute, light hearted, magical girl show and curb stomps it in the back ally. This show will take your emotions and toss them around like crew toy, the basic theme of the show is “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”, you have to pay for everything, and the miracles the girls wish for, they most definitely are not free. Alright, I feel like if I say much more I going to get into spoiler territory, so I’ll just skip to my thoughts on the ending. This ending, is tragic, happy, melancholy, and hopeful, all at the same time, it’s an emotional rollercoaster, and because it has such a sad ending I have to compare it to Clannad. So is it as sad as Clannads ending, no, it’s much more sad, it’s not just death, what happens at the end is worse then just a character dying, I can’t really explain it without giving it away, so just go watch and find out. MOVING ON.
This show was brought to us by Shaft, while I admit I don’t have much of a history with this studio, okay I’ve only ever seen one of their shows besides this one. However that show has some of my favorite visuals in anime ever (note: the show is ef-a tale of memories), it was simply, art. Now that I’m done sounding like a stupid hipster, in Madoka the animation is beautiful, simply beautiful, but what really made it stand out to me is the parts when they go and fight the witches. The whole world changes and everything turns into an acid trip of surreal stop motion, it’s quite perplexing and freaking awesome, it’s not beautiful but it’s definitely different.
I hate reusing the same thing over and over, but there really isn’t any other way to describe the music other than beautiful. From the epic vocal victory song, to the creepy music box, all of the music in the show works great for the mood, and is also amazing on its own. The ED was really, really good, but the OP felt really out of place, it’s like it was just there to trick you into thinking this was just some cute magical girl anime, nice try OP but I’m not falling for it.
All of the girls are well fleshed out, have good personalities, interesting back stories, and by the end of the series you will love and feel for all of them. The one, however, you will hope dies in a flaming pit of agony is, Kyubey, seriously he is the biggest SOB in this show and by the end you will hate him with the passion of a million suns.
This show is just, ahhh it’s freaking amazing, it’s easily a contender for best anime ever, mostly because it takes everything you think about the magical girl genre and twists it into something glorious. So in short, go watch this show, if you’re okay with the dark undertones, and are ready to be depressed.