Saturday, July 13, 2013

Anime review: "Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica"

"Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica", or "Madoka Magica" hereafter, is not a show I would usually be attracted to, at least considering the style of its animation and its cover-picture on AniDB. Therefore, I pretty much unintentionally avoided it two years ago when it came out. I also avoided it the year later when it got several awards for the pass year... But after watching other high-rated anime, "Madoka Magica" kept jumping out on first places and getting nice reviews, so I finally decided to give it a try.

As I said, "Madoka Magica" at first looks as a typical shoujo action anime with magical girls (mahou shoujo): cute flat-chested and silly/clumsy protagonist, cute uniforms, lots of pink, lace and winking.... Setting include middle-school girls who enter a contract with some kind of cute-cat-look-a-like demon who gives them magical powers and a free-wish while they in return have to fight evil "witches" (nightmares) who attack innocent men and women...

Well, while it certainly has elements of mahou shoujo anime and it looks like one, "Madoka Magica" hides a big surprise for its viewers: it is actually a very powerful seinen tragedy! While it is a bit angsty toward end, that is to be expected of such anime, and the complete reversal of expectations negates any negative experience...

As you noticed, I am trying to avoid spoilers as much as I can. But I just can't avoid talking about the main villain... First, you really don't expect her to be a villain, especially considering her looks. Secondly, he is really a psychological masterpiece! It is scary how good she is at being passive-aggressive and manipulative toward an innocent girl... I am fan of grittiness, but there are some lines you just don't cross...

As I said, it is really a tragedy - it becomes evident after all that Mami's happy talk. And definitely it is seinen: the more Homura tries to do what is right, the worse it gets.

Other remarking sides of this anime are the visual side and the music. The music is very good, including a song by Kalafina. The show has nice vibrant colors, which together with intense music and the action at the beginning, made me like this anime instantly. As I said, design of character is typically shoujo, but this you just have to accept. Things change when they enter the "witch domain", where it looks like some kind of patchwork and it is very interesting. There are 12 episodes totally.

All in all, "Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica" was a pretty good surprise, but a kind of that I would recommend mostly to those who like seinen, and potentially josei anime. I hope those will forgive me my little misdirection in review and be thankful for it later.

1 comment:

  1. Although i still didn't watch this anime yet, but i like all pictures related with this Anime. If i have a chance i will watch it too. nice review~ ^^