Review: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Alex: So yeah, as you all know, Mimi’s graduating, so less time = no time to write this review. Which means the burden falls onto the always reliable partner ^.^. Anyway, since we both have the same opinions on this brilliant show, there shouldn’t be a problem. And i’ll just bold this. I WILL BE DISCUSSING SPOILERS. DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED.

Mahou Madoka (for short) is simple in premise. It’s a magical girl anime about people who hunt evil witches to protect the population. That’s what it appears like on the surface. But it’s so much more than that it’s hard to describe, so i’ll start with the visuals and the sound. If you couldn’t guess from the screenshots, it’s done by SHAFT. That means trippy visuals, and they go so well with the dark, unique undertone of this series. The musical score…well, me and Mimi both have the 6 tracks currently out on our iPods, it’s just that good. It’s well…a masterpiece on its own, and it’s coupled with this amazing series. The OP and the ED are also wonderfully done, and one could actually think of them from viewpoints of a character, because the lyrics…well, the lyrics fit so well into the show it’s almost like the creators wrote the song.

The show itself focuses on 5 girls and one “magical pet”, as you’d expect from almost any magical girl anime. I remember seeing a funny youtube video about the girls of Mahou Madoka, and how accurate the descriptions are. Mami got ahead in life, Sayaka needs a shrink, Madoka needs some self esteem, Kyoko eats to escape her troubles, and Homura is plain weird and needs a boyfriend. Badly.
It may be slightly rude of me to completly agree with everything there, but…well, yeah. The characters start of charming, yet slowly descend through the madness created by Incubator, and turn out utterly insane, even going to the point where one of them commits suicide to make sure another doesn’t feel alone anymore. It’s hard NOT to get attached to the 5 girls, if i’m honest.

If it isn’t clear by now, Mahou Madoka isn’t any other show.It’s a breakdown of the Mahou Shoujo genre, and a scary, dark look at what it means to be a magical girl.Yet, where I think this anime really puts itself above anything else on the market is the storytelling. It’s dark, haunting, gripping, and always keeps you guessing. For the first 9 episodes, I was always making theories in my head about Homura, and when her past got shown and everything slots into place, suddenly the whole series was turned on its head. This is one of those series where you can actually turn the whole thing around, yet keep a perfectly sensible storyline going. That said, the whole “alternate time lines” route is a very dangerous route for any anime to go down, so i’m not expecting everyone to agree with me on this point. It may be sheer coincidence that me and Mimi both liked it, or it may be that the storytelling hinted towards it the whole way.

Mahou Madoka is one of those “You gotta see it to believe it” shows. With jaw dropping action scenes, luscious visuals, the best villain to ever grace anime and one hell of a storyline, everyone needs to try this show.( ◕‿‿◕ )

Alex’s Score: 10 Meeps out of 10 (Masterpiece)

Mimi’s Score: 10 Meeps out of 10 (Masterpiece)

Dusk’s Score: 10 Meeps out of 10 (Masterpiece)

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 11 & 12

The Final Sign Left


You Were My Best Friend

Mimi: Madoka Magica, which seemed to come out of nowhere and blow all our minds away, and was painfully delayed for weeks, finally ends with a bittersweet, beautiful, Disney-esque ending. Some people are going to hate the fluff, and some people are going to think it’s perfect. I fall somewhere in the middle. I like the ending, but it didn’t grab me as emotionally as the previous episodes, oddly enough. Maybe that’s because of the gap between releases, or the predictability of the ending, but anywho!

There’s not much to say about the majority episode 11; it spends a surprisingly good amount of time fleshing out Madoka’s mother and teacher, which felt like a waste of time. Madoka also gets in another lengthy discussion with that psychopathic stuffed animal about human emotions and so on. The best part is really just the last few minutes when Homura goes all out to fight Walpurgis. Seriously, that was epic.

Going into the final episode, it’s pretty obvious what Madoka is going to do. She forms a contract with Kyubey and wishes to erase all of the witches before they were ever born, from every world, past and future, with her very own hands. That means she is stuck doing this for eternity, saving magical girls by absorbing the dark energy from grief seeds so that they don’t become witches (jeezus, there was no other way?). So she alters the rules of the universe, ultimately becoming God, and I particularly liked the scene of her saving other magical girls. That’s why I call this a bittersweet ending; it’s sad that Madoka has to go on like this, and what’s more is that everyone will forget her, and she will cease to exist like she used to…but despite all that, she’s happy. The only person who hasn’t forgotten her is Homura because of her time-travel powers, and they have a sweet, close, and tearful moment that is going inspire hundreds of new MadokaxHomura fanfiction and fanart tomorrow…

Of course, Madoka Magica can’t end without a freaky twist! The magical girls might not be fighting witches anymore, but now they fight…demons. This isn’t exactly well-explained, but it’s still awesome, and it’s amusing to see Kyubey wrapping his head around the possibility of a world with witches. Overall, I think that Madoka Magica is a masterpiece, and it is the only anime that hit my Top 20 while still airing. Despite that I only feel okay about the ending, it’s still a good one to an unforgettable series, and the characters will be missed for quite some time. Alex is going to review the entire series tomorrow, so look forward to that~ =D I’m curious to know what he’ll think of the ending too…

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 10

I Can’t Depend on Anyone Anymore

Summary: Homura’s past revealed!

Mimi: MIND-BLOWER. How does this show keep on doing it? Seriously. No doubt my favorite episode by far, this one is all about Homura’s past, and it’s just incredible! We find out that Homura has been traveling back in time over and over to change Madoka’s fate as a puella magi. Before she ever became one herself, she was physically weak and extremely shy. She met Madoka and Mami when they were already puella magi, but after they died fighting, Homura wished to go back in time before she ever met Madoka and start everything over. She became a stronger fighter every time, but the outcome was always the same or worse. Having learned Kyubey’s secret, Homura tried to warn them and earn their trust, but they would just die or be driven crazy. In the end, it was Madoka who pleaded Homura to change her horrifying fate.

It’s amazing to see all these different sides to the characters, such as Homura’s shyness, Madoka’s confidence as a puella magi, and Mami’s mental breakdown. Plus, the scenes that contain Homura and the dying Madoka are really powerful and emotional, and I am impressed by this brilliant level of story-telling. ❤ I can’t help but draw some parallels to Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai…it’s like I almost feel for Homura like I did for Rika. Man do I love stories with time travel and alternate realities.

Alex: It’s not my show, but man…I just wanted to say how much I loved this. And to leave this here. Amazing, yet again ❤

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 9

Episode 9

Summary: Kyoko and Madoka try to bring Sayaka back.

Mimi: Annnnd the situation continues to get worse. Sayaka is most definitely a witch, Madoka is depressed out of her mind, and Kyubey gives her more horrible news: the universe is dying, and the inevitable fate of all magical girls is just to become witches so that he can collect their energy. While that seems totally wrong from our point of view, I can begin to see how it’s reasonable from his. His species is just trying to save the universe, and releasing energy from soul gems is the most powerful method. And because they lack emotions, they don’t see what the big deal is to make a few sacrifices. They’re just scientists thinking rationally in their world view.

Unfortunately, Sayaka can’t be saved, and Kyoko goes along with her. I didn’t really want to see her go that way, but at this point, I’m not shocked by the character deaths anymore. Kyoko really softened up a lot, so she had become pretty likeable in the end. Now there’s only Homura and Madoka left… I have no idea how Homura is going to fight this new powerful witch all by herself, and Madoka has enough reason and fear to reject Kyubey’s contract. However, I just re-watched the very beginning of episode 1 (which I had long forgotten about until now), and I’m assuming that Madoka’s dream was a vision of the future, and she will ultimately become a magical girl, help Homura defeat the witch, and change her fate in the process. We’ll see~ =O

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 8

I’m Such a Fool

Summary: <( ◕ ‿‿ ◕  )>

Mimi: Oh my gawd. The emotional intensity in this episode blew me away like no other. I mean, this is the kind of brilliance you’d expect to see in the second to the last episode or something, but they pulled this off early…which means that the finale will be even more awesome?! At this point, I can’t think of a single thing that I don’t like about this series. It may be short, but every single episode has managed to pull off something impressive and ‘shocking’, not to mention that they all end with a freaky twist. This series has done a very excellent job in building up the haunting atmosphere to be as powerful as it is now, and it is more than enough to make me feel completely immersed in the story, which is rare for anime to do these days. I’m feeling very very excited about the last four episodes. Wait, what, only four?! Nuuuu you gotta be kidding. T_T

I’m still hoping that something great will come out of Madoka, however. I can’t believe it…she was finally this close to making a contract with Kyubey until Homura interfered. Apparently, Homura knows Madoka from another time period, and she’s trying to prevent her from becoming a magical girl because…well, perhaps something horrible happened to her when she did become one. And Kyubey, that obvious little devil, is very interested in her power for some kinda scheme that he’s cooking up… Now I’m wondering what she’s going to do once she finds out that Sayaka is no more. What will happen if she becomes a witch? -sigh- It’s getting harder and harder to wait a weeeeek. -__-

By the way, that scene where Homura killed Kyubey (or shall I say Incubator?) really caught me off guard. That was just…so freaky that I can’t even bring myself re-watch it for a while. And once he returned in his new body, he actually ate his old one for dinner… Uhhh… yum? o.o

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 7

Can you Face your True Feelings?

Summary: Kyouko talks about her past.

Mimi: I figured that Kyouko acts the way she does because she had a rough past, but her background is much more intriguing than I imagined it to be. She actually reveals everything to Sayaka because she doesn’t want her to repeat the same mistakes that she did. This episode adds a lot of depth to her and Sayaka, causing Madoka to feel more like a secondary character by the minute. Kyouko explains that her father used to teach his own views in church, which were strongly opposed by the general public. She formed a contract with Kyubey to make people follow his beliefs, but he found out that they weren’t following him because they really believed him. This drove him down the path of madness, and he killed his own family. Ever since then, Kyouko has decided to fight and live only for herself.

Sayaka doesn’t agree with her point of view right away, but one thing leads to another that slowly causes her to break down. Kyousuke returns to school, and Hitomi confronts her about her feelings for him. As much as Sayaka would like to confess to Kyousuke, she can’t because she knows that her body is just a shell. She painfully realizes that she has no choice but to give him up to Hitomi, and this drives her a bit crazy in the end. I admit, I didn’t quite expect Sayaka to snap like this, at least earlier on in the show. This is just going to put a lot of strain on her relationship with Madoka…I don’t think that they can even pretend to be happy anymore at this point. -sigh- Am I sensing the most depressing ending ever or what?

The character development in this series has really been superb so far, so I can’t wait to see Homura’s background revealed… Actually, there are a lot of things I can’t wait for. -painfully counting down 7 more days- T_T

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 6

This Just Isn’t Right

Summary: Kyubey is being a jerk.

Mimi: *sigh* It must be horrible being a magical girl. After all, Kyubey takes out your soul and turns it into a Soul Gem, so if you’re ever far away from it, your physical body just dies immediately. Oh wait, he didn’t tell you that part? Gee, must have slipped his mind. :3

Seriously, what a jerk. He’s still trying to push Madoka into becoming a magical girl, and he even tells Sayaka that it’s okay to ask her. Then everyone finds out his dirty little secret when Madoka throws away Sayaka’s soul gem to prevent her from fighting. And what is his response? “Ah who cares where your soul goes? Besides, normal human bodies are weak and totally inconvenient!” :3 :3 :3 :3 Thanks, buddy. Thanks a lot.

Well, call me crazy, but I like Kyubey exactly for this reason. He just isn’t your typical magical pet, and there is definitely something darker going on behind that permanent smiley face of his. The darker things get, the more I love this, so I’m not going to try to hurt Kyubey just yet..

Things got pretty interesting when Homura and Kyouko teamed up to drive Sayaka out of town, but I guess the plan has changed. Homura fetches after Sayaka’s soul gem to bring her body back to life, and the others are horrified and angry at Kyubey for not telling them everything. I gotta wonder, what else is that cute little creature hiding?

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 5

There’s No Such Thing as Regret

Summary: Sayaka and Kyouko showdown!

Mimi: Absolutely incredible! Again. I’ve been sitting here for a while just wondering what to say.. 0_0 First, Kyousuke. The accident feels like a total dream to him now that his hand is back to normal, and the baffled doctors are running a series of tests. When Sayaka visits him again, she takes him up to the roof of the hospital where he is greeted by the hospital staff and his mentor, who gives him his violin. This is an incredibly touching moment as Kyousuke begins to play it, and happiness eases into everyone’s heart. Sayaka feels empowered more than ever by this, and she doesn’t regret becoming a magical girl one single bit. Kyousuke’s situation is wrapped up pretty nicely here, but knowing that this series has such dark intentions sometimes, I have to wonder…

Madoka still hasn’t become a magical girl yet, but Kyubey is really pushing it and looking rather scary lately. She accompanies Sayaka on a witch hunt, and we get to see Sayaka transform. Her transformation kind of reminds me of Sailor Mercury’s, and it’s less spectacular than Mami’s, but she still looks pretty cool, especially following the next major scene. She manages to locate a ‘familiar,’ a creature that eats people and eventually becomes a witch, and she tries to kill it. But before she knows it, the ‘familiar’ gets away, and another magical girl approaches her with an extremely indifferent attitude towards justice. I have to say, the very moment that Kyouko enters the scene is just pure awesomeness. She engages in a fight with Sayaka almost immediately and is clearly the stronger one, but Sayaka puts up a pretty impressive fight! I mean, the whole thing is a visual feast for the eyes, and I love how they use their weapons… The fight almost ends quite badly for Sayaka; fortunately, Homura intervenes. Oh boy.. Now all three magical girls are together, and I don’t have a good feeling about it. A fight between Homura and Kyouko would be freakin awesome. Or maybe..just maybe..Madoka will..


Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 4

There are Miracles and Magic

Summary: Sayaka becomes a magical girl!

Mimi: Wow. This episode is just freaky and flippin’ cool at the same time.

Sayaka and Madoka hold completely different attitudes towards fighting now, as Madoka has been feeling the most disturbed since Mami’s death, and she solemnly rejects Kyubey’s contract. She even thanks Homura for saving her from becoming a magical girl, and Homura claims that she has witnessed countless other deaths just like Mami’s. On the flip side, Sayaka is pushed to her limits because Kyousuke is rapidly giving up hope on his life, and there is no cure for his illness, so she finally grants her wish. I have to say, she looks incredibly awesome as a magical girl; even though she’s a rookie, she already kicks serious butt. Love her cape~ ❤

Madoka also has a few great scenes in this episode, such as when she tries to prevent a group of people, who are being controlled by a witch, from committing suicide; her friend Hitomi is also among them. Shortly after that, she gets sucked into the witch’s surreal world and helplessly played around with. If Sayaka hadn’t come to rescue her, she would have been torn to shreds or something. x_x

Compared to other magical girl shows, this series moves in reverse order as to when the characters transform for the first time. Usually, the innocent main character transforms first and has to protect everybody, followed by her friends and people she meets along the way. But here, Madoka is the only one who hasn’t transformed yet, and we’re already four episodes in! I really like how this series takes a different approach to that order, as the focus is never completely on Madoka. I do wonder when she’s going to step into the action though.

Getting back to the episode, it seems that Sayaka is in for a bit of trouble now because there is another magical girl who wants her territory. The fate of the city already rests on her shoulders, and I can’t wait to see their showdown!

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 3

“I’m Not Afraid Anymore”

Summary: This series surpasses itself yet again!

Mimi: Incredible. Did that really just happen? Madoka Magica raises the bar even higher this season after delivering its darkest episode yet. Although it’s a tragedy, I loved every bit of this episode for being extremely bold and shocking.

Really, the trio Mami, Madoka, and Sayaka are growing into such solid characters already. The more we learn about them, the better they get. This time, we learn more about Mami. Remember how magical girls are born from wishes? Well, Mami’s wish was simply to live. She was a victim in a car accident, and she was going to die if Kyubey hadn’t come along to form a contract with her, so there was no other choice. And despite that she puts up a ‘cool’ front, she reveals that there are times when she’s really scared, cries, and feels alone. Madoka admires her so much that she promises to stay by her side, as Mami is her main inspiration to become a magical girl. I absolutely love the closeness that they share in that brief moment.

Even Sayaka gets more development. At the beginning of this episode, she’s with a boy who is being hospitalized. She seems to care for him so much that she is willing to make a wish to benefit him instead of herself, though there is still a bit of a grey area there. Mami warns her to be careful for what she truly wishes for, but really, Sayaka is quite admirable for that. Later on in this episode, she volunteers to keep an eye on a ‘Grief Seed’ so that Madoka can go look after Mami, and she gets swallowed up in the witch’s barrier. Despite the danger, and despite being afraid, she still shows a lot of courage, which really makes her stand out for once. I admit, I was a tiny bit afraid that she was going to be the annoying best friend when this series started, but she proves to be just the opposite.

Of course, the biggest event in this episode is Mami’s death. It’s so sudden that she barely has the time to express a look of disbelief before getting killed. It’s going to be extremely interesting to see how Mami and Sayaka will cope as magical girls without her guidance. They just witnessed the worst possible thing that could happen to them, but at least Mami was able to share a lot of knowledge with them before departing. They’ll certainly use that knowledge and their strength to keep moving forward. But Mami will be missed… (unless she can be wished back or something..we’ll see.. o.o).

Just..finally..a magical girl anime that treats itself seriously and shows the dramatic consequences of things.