back to review an already complete series, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. While I’m not familiar with really any magical girls series, I can say that this one really surprised me. It’s not the typical (or at least what I think of as typical) “magical girls” series. This one goes much darker than I would have though and really gets the viewer sucked into a reality of curses and wishes.
Here’s a quick synopsis, courtesy of Wikipedia:
“There exist strange creatures who have the power to grant one wish to each chosen girl. However, in exchange, that girl must then become a magical girl and fight against witches, evil creatures born from darkness that are responsible for murders and suicides.
In the city of Mitakihara, a schoolgirl named Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki are approached by a familiar named Kyubey, who offers to grant each of them one wish in return for making each of them a magical girl. Another magical girl named Homura Akemi tries to prevent Madoka from making such a deal, while Kyubey urges Madoka by telling her she will become the most powerful magical girl. However, contrary to the glamorous notions one would expect, a magical girl finds herself dealing with death, isolation, agony over the value of her wish, and existential crises. Madoka, following her friends, soon sees the darker side of being a magical girl, and because of knowing the truth about being a magical girl, she questions if she should become one as well.”
The storytelling is thrilling, leaving the audience continually unsure of what will happen next. Even the ending, which can normally be seen coming, was a complete surprise to me, and I loved it. This was one of the select few series that had an unexpected ending, but still surpasses my expectations. The excitement seemed to start from episode 1, with a story that loops upon itself in a way the viewer doesn’t suspect until the near end.
I especially appreciate the art style of the witches’ worlds, very creepy yet exhilarating to watch. The character design is also very well done, and Kyubey, while cute in appearance, was quite the little devil (I love it when appearances twist the view of a character). The music was, in a word, epic. The ending theme (listen here) gave me goosebumps, as it really epitomized the feeling of the entire series.
I highly recommend this series to, well, everybody. Don’t let the “magical girls” typeset put you off, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is anything but typical. The twists and turns are a great way to blow off half of your week (if you’re like me) and it raises a lot of questions (or at least for me it did) about the consequences of a wish and how the world really needs balance, but then how a single individual with pure intentions can change it all.
A bit of serendipity, after I finished marathoning the series, Anime News Network came out with an article-interview with producer Atsuhiro Iwakami, who has also worked on A Channel (I knew there was a reason I liked this so much :3 ), as well as Kara no Kyoukai, Fate/Zero, and Oreimo. Very interesting stories and viewpoints from the perspective of the creators of this amazing series.
Until next time,