The Official MSBS Anime Review: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

ModernSpongeBobSucks
Whenever you hear about the term "magical girl" in anime, the first thing that usually pops up in your head would be the anime series Sailor Moon and its protagonist Usagi Tsukino, who also bears the same name as the title of the anime. And just from that first thing, you would probably think that all anime series in the magical girl genre would be very cutesy, innocent, light-hearted, and about love and friendship, right? To be honest, perhaps so... That is, unless the entirety of Puella Magi Madoka Magica was just as cute as its first two episodes, in which case, no. Happy people of TheTopTens, today I bring to you the seventh anime review and grand finale of Aniplex's August Lucky 7. For this anime review, I will bring a conclusion to Aniplex's August Lucky 7 by reviewing the anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, also known in Japanese as Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica, analyzing the 12-episode series as a whole. Now 3... 2... 1... and we're on!

Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes place in Mitakihara, Japan, where two girls named Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are average middle school students. One day, they stumble upon a cute-looking creature named Kyubey, who tells them that it can grant any wish that they desire in exchange for becoming a magical girl in order to fight witches (and these witches certainly aren't the ones you'd expect to see during the Halloween season). However, Homura Akemi, who happens to be a new transfer student at their middle school, refuses to let them become magical girls, as being a magical girl herself, she claims that everything is not what it seems to be. From this point, our heroines then bear witness to trials of hope, despair, and friendship as they learn the hardships and costs of becoming a magical girl and what it takes to make their dreams come true.

Scene 1: Animation, art, and music analysis. ACTION! Now the animation studio that was responsible for animating Puella Magi Madoka Magica was Shaft, which is best known for having worked on other projects in anime such as the Monogatari series, Nisekoi, Hidamari Sketch, etc. With that said, the animation for Puella Magi Madoka Magica was high-quality goodness, as the anime has very well-executed choreography for the action sequences and fighting scenes in the anime. As for the art of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the character designs of the five main magical girls in their respective outfits were all very unique and really suited the girls who were wearing these outfits. In addition, the backgrounds were pretty gorgeous and the labyrinths that the characters fought the witches in were just so vibrant and colorful while being dark and grim simultaneously, giving the series it's much bittersweet tone of looking cheery on the outside, but in reality being evil on the inside. Lastly, as for the music of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, it's composed by none other than, you guessed it, Yuki Kajiura. I've mentioned her name quite a few times in some of my anime reviews, such as Sword Art Online and Fate/Zero. As expected, Yuki Kajiura does her job magnificently as she has done for other anime series, composing many soundtracks from the OST that could range from being simple but adorable to being mesmerizing and mysterious. Speaking of which, I did like the opening song of Puella Magi Madoka Magica called Connect by ClariS, as it was quite a huge contrast with what the actual majority of the series' tone is considering it was rigged to be all peachy and happy. Same thing goes for the ending song for the first two episodes called Mata Ashita by Aoi Yuuki (who is also the original Japanese voice actress for Madoka Kaname), which is also just as peachy and happy. But the one song out of all the songs I've heard in the entire anime that is my most favorite would have to be Magia by Kalafina, as just after the first two episodes, it replaces Mata Ashita in order to show the series' true colors in all its darkness and mysticism. Oh, and And I'm Home by Ai Nonaka and Eri Kitamura (who are also the respective original Japanese voice actresses for Kyoko Sakura and Sayaka Miki) was pretty enjoyable as well. To put all of this into other words, the animation, art, and music for Puella Magi Madoka Magica are spot on.

Scene 2: Story analysis. ACTION! The story of Puella Magi Madoka Magica just so happens to have been written by Gen Urobuchi. If you have been following along with my Aniplex's August Lucky 7 anime reviews, you should know that Gen Urobuchi wrote the Fate/Zero light novel series that would eventually be adapted into the anime adaptation that is highly revered to this day. You should also know that Fate/Zero is supposed to be dark and tragic. Solely by knowing that fact, that should already tell you that the story of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not just any run-of-the-mill magical girl anime. If you have been paying attention, you should have noticed that I mentioned that Puella Magi Madoka Magica goes from being bubbly to suddenly being heavy-hearted in just two episodes. You can clearly see how incredible it is that an anime can truly grip you by baiting you with an unsuspecting image of the series only to hook you in with its true form. To add on, a lot of the main characters were very well-developed and never felt like they were just cast to the side or something. The anime series even pulled a Kiritsugu Emiya by devoting an entire episode to Homura's past and her connection to Madoka Kaname! Not to mention that the anime has some of the most shocking plot twists that I've ever come across while streaming anime on Crunchyroll or any other anime streaming service. All in all, the gist of what I'm trying to say is that the story of Puella Magi Madoka Magica does exceptionally well at presenting tragedy, drama, element of surprise, and deep and complex character depth and development.

Scene 3: Character analysis. ACTION! Throughout Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the main cast consists of five magical girl protagonists. First, there's Madoka, who is the titular protagonist of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, being a very kind and gentle soul who dislikes fighting and wants other magical girls to be helpful to one another instead of getting into conflicts among themselves. Now despite how the media and the opening song portrays Madoka, the anime is actually not about her becoming a magical girl, but rather about her finding what it really means to become a magical girl and the sacrifices that come with it. Plus, she does manage to gain a bigger role later on in the anime series, going beyond more than what I anticipated it to be. Second, there's Sayaka, who is Madoka's best friend and a lovely and energetic tomboy, having a strong sense of love and justice. Now I don't want to give away any spoilers, but if there's one thing that made Sayaka a memorable character from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, let's just say it involves a love that would twist her entire life upside-down... Third, there's Mami Tomoe, who is an upperclassman at Madoka's and Sayaka's middle school that acts generously and wishes to save others in need. Appearing optimistic on the exterior, but feeling alone on the interior, Mami is simply unforgettable. Fourth, there's Kyoko, who initially came off as a fiery but unlikable brat who only cares for herself, but eventually grew into one of the most loved characters by people who have watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica as her back story is revealed later on in the series and begins to form a relationship towards Sayaka. Fifth and finally, there's Homura, the cold and demeaning dark magical girl. Now out of all the magical girls in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura is by far the most deep and complex character ever conceived in the anime, at least in my opinion. Not only did Homura receive her own episode explaining her whole back story and relation to Madoka, but Homura honestly was so well-written that it often felt like she was the main protagonist rather than Madoka. Oh, and I almost forgot about Kyubey! Scratch that, maybe it's best if I leave all of you to view him for yourself. But I will say this: his looks may look cute, but remember that looks can be deceiving. Overall, the characters of Puella Magi Madoka Magica are just perfect!

Scene 4: Flaws analysis. ACTI- No wait, cut! Flaws? Now I don't have all the time in the world to be nitpicking over any flaws I can find in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, because I honestly believe that Puella Magi Madoka Magica is nearly, if not, completely flawless. Yup, that's right. Got any complaints? Why don't you take it to the complaints department, then? *brings out a trash can out of nowhere*

Man, after watching that horrible Foodfight! movie on YouTube on the night before my birthday, I really needed something that was well-written and something that I would actually like to watch. So for my 16th birthday, it was by planning ahead to watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica on said birthday that I did watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica on my 16th birthday. And it was certainly one of the greatest ways to ever celebrate my birthday. Regardless if it's your birthday or not, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is like a gift. A gift from the heavens of the anime world. Just as Puella Magi Madoka Magica is to magical girl anime as Neon Genesis Evangelion is to mecha anime, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not only my favorite magical girl anime, but also one of my favorite deconstruction anime. Having spawned widespread critical acclaim, a manga adaptation and several manga spin-off series, a novel series, a dedicated magazine, several video games, and a film series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes the cake as one of my favorite anime series licensed by Aniplex of America, filled with all the gorgeous animation, action, artistic art, glorious music, tragically dark writing, and interesting characters done greatly that makes this anime series a commercially successful masterpiece. It has been a pleasure holding Aniplex's August Lucky 7, but now I must officially end it by giving my final score for Puella Magi Madoka Magica:

10.0 out of 10.0 stars

Next anime review (or in this case, anime rant): The Official MSBS Anime Rant: Soul Eater Not!

Until then, peace!

Comments

Good review, I'll read the next one, first day of school was fine today. - Skullkid755

I'm planning to post the Soul Eater Not! rant during October as a Halloween special anime review. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

Hmm, something went wrong with my Puella Magi Madoka Magica review. I wonder why it's posted on the list of Top Ten Reasons to Love Puella Magi Madoka Magica instead of the list Greatest Anime of All Time like I intended to do. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

I thought it would be on greatest anime too, maybe to many hq blogs at one time on one list, maybe it will get moved. Can you do that? - Skullkid755

I'll read the halloween special. - Skullkid755

Anime recommendation: Mob Psycho 100. Itoneit's a new anime from the creators of One Punch Man and I just finished 9 episodes. So far: 10/10 standing ovation for this one. It's that good. - Mcgillacuddy

Cool, I might check it out when I have time. I've heard many good things about it. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

One of my favourite anime - TwilightKitsune

And for good reason, too. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

I never watch it (i'm not anime fan). But, Kyoko looks like me because me and her are love snacks - visitor

Can you do one for Durarara? (For now, you should just do a Season1 review, but If you want to see Season 2, Durararax2 go ahead. But the S2 is separated into 3 parts, Durarara! x2 Shou, Durarara! x2 Ten and Durarara! x2 Ketsu) - MLPFan

I'll see if I can get into Durarara sometime next year or so, but I heavily anticipate watching Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

Sailor moon has another name? - visitor

Puella Magi Madoka Magica isn't anything like Sailor Moon. It's not just a over girly magical girl show, but actually has depth with unique characters. ( no offense to Sailor Moon fans ) - Goku02

I started watching PMMM thinking it would be bubbly and cute. Boy, was I wrong. Why did they kill Mami off so early... - Absolite

Update: I just finished this show. New favorite anime. The ending had tears welling up in my eyes (it's rare to see that happen to me). And all the characters are just amazing. Also, when you look into the lyrics, they seem like they are from Homura's point of view than Madoka's, which, in my opinion is genius. And they tie up loose ends quite nicely.

This was a great review, I agreed with everything you wrote. It's also why I gave this show 10/10 on MAL! - Absolite

Honestly, this show is awesome. It's a bit like Steven Universe...but darker.
And the music is amazing, too. - ResonatingScreamS

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