Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First Impression: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Title:  魔法少女まどか★マギカ (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)
Genre: Magic, Psychological, Thriller

After experiencing a bizarre dream, Madoka Kaname, a kind 14-year old girl, encounters a magical creature named Kyube. Madoka and her friend Sayaka Miki are offered the opportunity of gaining magical powers if they agree to make a contract with the strange little being. He will also grant them one wish, but in exchange they shall risk their lives by accepting the responsibility of fighting witches. Invisible to human eyes, witches are catalysts of despair in the areas they inhabit. An ally of Kyube, a magical girl named Mami Tomoe, befriends and encourages the two girls to accept the contract. For an unknown reason, another magical girl named Homura Akemi is determined to prevent Madoka from accepting the deal.

Connect by ClariS


I am honestly impressed with this series so far since it definitely exceeded my expectations. I thought this will be like a rip off of popular mahou shoujo like Nanoha but heck I was so wrong. It was my first time to watch a magical girl anime that tackle the consequences of being  a "Mahou Shoujo", death, murder and suicide. It's like a show dressed as a moe magical girl anime but on the inside it's a LOT ominous. This show is really going against the norm of magical girl anime since the furball here has unknown intentions and as the show progresses it implies that it is evil unlike in the 'normal' magical girl anime where those furball are the ally of the protagonist. In a certain episode, my jaw was left hanging when someone's head got ripped off and that was when I realized that this show is a lot darker than I thought and it even gave me Goosebumps. I really like how this show could manipulate the atmosphere and mood by just the dialogues and also with the help of exceptional camera angles and bgms.

Its my firs time also to see a protagonist in a magical girl anime who is not a magical girl yet after several episodes and for that I think she's quiet clever since she's really thinking through the consequences: "If you were given a choice, would you give up your life for the sake of a single wish and in turn you'll be hunted and get killed with the witches all your life". Actually, each of the girls has their own form of struggle in the series with Madoka she doesn't have a wish yet and after witnessing Mami's death doesn't want to be a magical girl, Sayaka wanted to become one since she wants her friend to regain his paralyzed hands and Mami on the other hand is a lonely magical girl who was forced to become one when she almost died during a car accident (Kyuubei that furball, what an oppostunist) and wants to become the mentor of Madoka and Sayaka. Homura on thee other hand, prevents and warns others to form a contract and become magical girls without knowing the true consequences of being one. On the recent episode there's also the arrival of a new magical girl who doesn't care about saving people from witches but all she cares about is acquiring Mami's territory and getting her fill of the witches. I'm really looking forward to more unique characters that will bug or help our protagonists. I really can't believe that Mami was outdone for just a couple of episodes, I even like her character.

Have you watched Bakemonogatari and other SHAFT shows? If yes, then you're already familiar with the animation style of this show. I like how they used those abstract animation and made a nightmarish world of the witches since it really looks bizarre and out of this world. The character design on the other hand is really cute and somehow its quiet similar with the character design of the other magical girl show named Houkago Pladies. The battles are also well choreographed and it actually looked cool. Overall, I think this time Shinbou's style really fits this anime 'cause it definitely brings a lot of  atmosphere and mood to this already dark anime. Also, I forgot to mention the unique camera angle used just like in Bakemonogatari, is well utilized  and added to the emotions in a certain scene and also the mood.

The OP is really, catchy I kept on singing:
"kawashita yakusoku wasurenai yo
me wo toji tashikameru
oshiyoseta yami
furiharatte susumu yo..."
It was honestly stuck in my head for several weeks. Its up beat but somehow it also a bit melancholic so it definitely fits the series. The animation on the other hand, is also nicely done but it doesn't give us any clues on where this series will be heading. The ED song is also good but I think I won't be listening to it in a daily basis since its a sinister and bleak sounding song. I don't know what the ED animation indicates but it fits the song 'cause we can only see the dark outline of the characters and Madoka running.

Overall, this show is definitely promising and this will be remembered for a long time if the story would continue to be more engaging and if the execution will still be superb as ever. Without a doubt, this is on my On Watch list. I can't get enough of more dark magical girl and if ever that furball Kyuubei is truly evil I hope I could be the one to  kill him.

Until then…

~ ja

Magia by Kalafina

End Card for EP 1-6

**The screencaps & end cards are from ep 1-6 as for ep 7-12 it’ll be included in the review ^_^



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