Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an anime created by Shaft, also responsible for anime such as Bakemonogatari, Mahou Sensei Negima, and Pani Poni Dash. The anime originally aired this past winter season and I happend to miss it. It gave off a clichéd magic girl anime feeling at first glace, so I avoided it. A few months ago one of my good friends recommended (with much enthusiasm) that I watched it. I was very surprised when I learned that this show has a different feel to it then previous shows of this genre. After finishing the anime, I totally regret not watching it when it first aired in Japan.
Madoka Kaname is an average 14 year old girl with a loving family and two close friends. During the the start of a new school year, Madoka encounters a mysterious transfer student named Homura, who turns out to be Puella Magi.(magical girl) The strange familiar Kyubey steps into her life and promises Madoka that he can transform her into a Puella Magi as well, after he grants her any wish she desires.
The characters in Madoka Magica aren’t too typical but they each have their own qualities that kept my interested in the show. For instance Madoka’s mothers character is very well developed and she is a very important person in Madoka’s life, unlike many parents in anime. There was just so many things about her that reminded me of my own mother and I felt that it was refreshing to see.
Sayaka, Madoka’s scatter brained best friend is probably the most interesting character. I could tell almost instantly that she is hiding her true feelings from her friends in the first few episodes. There is also the Puella Magi Mami who provides most of the action at the end of episode one and becomes a mentor to Madoka and Sayaka after she saves them one night.
Action wise there is tons of it in each episode and more then its expected for a Mahou Shoujo(magical girl) anime. Typically in other anime of this genera for example Sailor Moon, the fight scene will last less then five minutes. In Madoka as the show progresses the action takes up most of the time frame of the episode and it was great that each scene didn’t end the same way.
For people who don’t like to sit through stock footage of transformation before each fight this is a perfect anime for you. It really bugs me when a transformation lasts longer then 30 seconds. I mean seriously, when you take that long to transform that kinda gives the enemy an avantage to kill you right then and there. Thankfully Madoka Magica never reuses footage over and over again in this case and the transformation sequences are short and to the point while still staying flashy and unique.
My favorite aspect of the show was the music, witch was done by one of my favorite composers in anime Yuki Kaijiura. Each of the tracks match perfectly to their scene and keep their mystifying charm if you are listening to the soundtrack. It defiantly reminded me of her music from .hack//Sign and I’m grateful that she had brought back that style that I really enjoyed. Three soundtracks have been realsed for the anime and are sold with the blue-ray sets.
All in all Puella Magi Madoka Magica gets a 9 out of 10 my book. I’m happy to say that it has the least number of flaws in any anime I’ve seen so far this year. I would like to say that it would have been nice if certain characters had more character development, but thankfully that didn’t bug me too much. It is the best anime in the Mahou Shoujo genre that I’ve seen in a long time.