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Your comment on my Madoka review is an interesting one - I mean the fact that I label each tooth with a different series. Hell yeah, that show borrows ideas but it has a special success, which I call 'dragging the genre into mainstream consciousness'. It made mahou shoujo look 'totally kewl' by basically dressing shounen up as shoujo. Even Princess Tutu and Utena, which are superior subversions, never got the attention from the mainstream they deserved. (Look at Utena: it's themes are much, much darker and insidious and also has an apocalyptic twist, yet some voices hail Madoka as groundbreaking.) By mainstream, I mean the majority who physically and mentally fit into the 15-year old fanboy target audience of every other genre.
Madoka Magica, on the other hand, is straightforwardly exciting and has plenty of aesthetic quirks. Like aiming for a James Cameron work without falling into the cesspit of Michael Bay. And having shock value and great visuals and passable plot/character development is definitely enough for a show that's only one season long to be great. You know, because it was fun.
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