A creature named Kyubey offers Madoka and Sayaka a wish if they agree to become 'magical girls' and fight abstract beings called 'witches'. However, a magical girl named Homura is, for uncertain reasons, determined to stop this agreement.
Kyubey reveals to Homura that the reason Madoka has the potential to become such a powerful witch is because Homura's constant trips through time to try and save Madoka has resulted in her becoming ...
Madoka makes the decision to become a magical girl, wishing to prevent all witches from the past, present and future from coming into existence in the first place, a wish made possible by the massive...
One night, 14-year-old Madoka Kaname has a terrible nightmare - against the backdrop of a devastated city, she witnesses a girl fight a losing battle against a dreadful being lingering above, while a cat-like magical creature tells Madoka the only way to change that tragic outcome is for her to make a contract with him and become a magical girl. The next day, the teen's dream seemingly becomes reality as the girl she saw in her dream - Homura - arrives at Mitakihara Middle School as a transfer student, mysteriously warning Madoka to stay just the way she is. But when later on she and her best friend Sayaka encounter the same cat-like magical creature from her dream - who introduces himself as Kyubey - the pair discovers that magical girls are real, and what's more, they can choose to become one. All they must do is sign a contract with Kyubey and agree to take on the duty to fight abstract beings called 'witches' that spread despair to the human world, and in return, each one of them ...Written by
Each of the main protagonists has a surname (Kaname, Miki, Akemi, Tomoe, Sakura) that can also be used as a given name. See more »
When Kyubey explains entropy, he says it involves the net loss of energy, which is not possible in physics. What the term actually describes is the decay of energy to its base form - which is heat - and its subsequent scattering through space, until the system reaches equilibrium, at which point all energy conversion ceases until further external energy input. See more »
Definitely worth a watch, even if you aren't a fan of Magical Girls.
I normally read up on a series before I buy it, but I lucked into this one without doing any research at all, and I'm so glad that I did. I'm a 42 year old male, so you might think I'm outside the demographic for this show, and so did I. I've been collecting anime since 1988, but I've never been into Magical Girl anime. I loved Tenchi Muyo, so I was able to stomach some Magical Girl Pretty Sammy, so I'm not completely unfamiliar with the genre, but it's really not my thing. I only watched this because Christine Cabanos, the English voice actress for the main character was going to be at a local anime convention and I wanted to be familiar with her work before meeting her. I did absolutely no research whatsoever. After watching the first two episodes, it was headed in exactly the direction I expected it to be going, and I wasn't too excited to hit play on episode three, but I'm so glad that I did. The first two episodes aren't all that interesting to watch, but believe me, you will enjoy them a lot more when you re-watch them, and you will. Once you finish episode ten and realize just what has been going on, a re-watch is practically mandatory.
It is absolutely imperative to avoid spoilers, but you do need to know one thing: Give it at least three episodes. The end of episode three marks a major turning point. To say that the plot gets serious at that point is an understatement. Everything changes; the story loses its frivolous nature, the art, settings and even the music change to suit the new dramatic nature of the plot, and it's at this point that you should make your judgment on whether or not to finish the series. Don't get me wrong, this is a Magical Girl anime to the end, but if you are a fan of extremely well written stories, and I mean on the level of Shakespeare, Goethe, and classical Greek legend, then this is for you, regardless of whether or not you like Magical Girls.
Lets break it down:
ART: 8/10 I've seen better animated shows. Especially close-ups on the character's faces leave something to be desired, but still, this animation is above average. The use of backgrounds and lighting to set the mood for the scene is done with masterful skill. The use of a completely different art style to set the witch labyrinths apart from the real world is jarring at first, but you can't deny it IS effective. Every image is meaningful.
STORY: 10/10 This is the real selling point of the anime. I have never come across a better written show, bar none. Again, I'm not going to give anything away, so I'm just going to ask you to trust me here. I can say that if you have heard that this is a deconstruction of the genre, then you heard right. It asks questions that other shows in the genre don't ask, and plays out the consequences of the character's actions and choices in a fully serious manner. However, its more than that. It borrows heavily from the classics to give a surprisingly deep and well thought out story.
MUSIC: 10/10 If you have never really paid attention to Japanese composers, this show may change that. The music is absolutely perfect. Where the show wants to be light and uplifting the music does that quite well. Where the music really shines is in the dramatic scenes and the action where the music can set the tone for a scene equally well, if not more so, than the visuals. Previously, my favorite anime composer was Yoko Kanno, but after watching this, Yuki Kajiura is now top of my list and not likely to ever be deposed.
THE DUB: 8/10 Some other reviewers have given Christine Cabanos a bad rap, but I don't agree. She does a good job here as the main character Madoka. The role was demanding, with a LOT of emotion, and I think she delivered that emotion believably. Christina Vee does an outstanding job as Homura. Her character is almost the opposite of Madoka, with little emotion (at least in the first half of the series) and an intensity that doesn't really suit a middle school student, but once you have seen the full series, you will understand that this is exactly what her character called for.
OVERALL: 9/10 If you are looking for a light, fun piece of entertainment, then this may not be for you. I wouldn't recommend this for younger audiences either. It really is written for a more mature, discerning, intelligent audience, and may even be off- putting, if not inappropriate for young viewers. Hint: Parents, don't buy this for your eight year old daughter. Now, by inappropriate, I don't mean it has a lot of blood, gore, and sex. In fact it has no sex, only the briefest nudity (like during transformation sequences, as is typical for Magical Girl anime), and although it does have violence, it isn't all that bloody and definitely not gory. Still, the story deals with very serious material, and the realities of being a Magical Girl are atypical of the genre to say the least. This is a deconstruction of the Magical Girl genre in a similar sense that Unbreakable was a deconstruction of the Super Hero genre.
If, on the other hand, you grew up with Sailor Moon and would like someone to write a Magical Girl story for your now older and more refined tastes, with a story that will change the way you look at the genre, then get this. If you just like well written stories, that don't pull any punches and make you feel like you've been on an emotional roller coaster by the end, then this is definitely for you.
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