Oh dearie me. It's time to review Madoka...
Story: Decent. Well-paced. Thick on the drama. Interesting in that Madoka didn't make the choice to become a Mahou Shoujo until the very end. "Shit got real after Mami died?" I guess, but not really. The story didn't really captivate me the way it seems to have captivated Everyone Else. It had some holes; Homura fulfilled that obnoxious trope of "plot twist in the form of a single character knowing everything all along." The ending was obnoxiously vaguely complex and had too much use of psuedo-physics with weird religious overtones.
Animation: Actually, the animation was probably my favorite part of the show. Except for the fat face shots; I really don't like those. I did like that there were two color palattes, which served to highlight the differences between real life and real life. The pastel real world scenes were detailed, textured, backgrounded, and had great depth and perspective. The witch-barrier scenes were suitably creepy and dark with similar attention to detail. I loved the mahou shoujo outfit designs, especially Mami's, who I have added to my want to cosplay list.
Sound: I don't normally pay attention to it, but it was noticeably good. Except for the generic-as-crap opening song. The in-show music was cool, and the ending song set a nice haunting, ominous tone for the following episode.
Characters: Ugh. Do I have to say it? I really didn't spectacularly like any of them. Wayyyy too much idealism with not enough complexity of personality to back it up. Yeah yeah yeah, tragedy. I get it. But they all weebled and wobbled all over the place, making up their minds and then changing them within an episode. And the title character spent almost the whole show being lame.
Overall: I understand what's been said about it. I get why people think it's so great. I may even agree with some of it. But in the end, this show didn't reach out and grab me in the way I was expecting--and hoping--it might. And by no means do I think it was bad. I just didn't think it was killer. /pleasedon'tkillme
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