Anime That’s Awesome: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Hey all!  A small deviation from my NaNoWriMo related posts.  This blog has been sitting around since July, I think its finally time to finish it, hehe.

On the note of NaNoWriMo, I’m approaching that magic 25,000 point.  I had a breather point in the novel.  It needed to happen.  This is a very dark novel, despite the fact that I have quite a bit of humor blended in.  I’m having trouble picking out which of the men guys Celia will end up with.  Its a tough choice.

Also!  The “Ask the Starving Writer” section is open!  I like answering questions, so feel free to ask whatever you want.  You can ask what my favorite music is to who my favorite authors are – or something that doesn’t deal with writing.  Either way!

I’m considering submitting some of my poetry to some literary magazines, but I’m very unsure about it.  Is it common for a literary magazine to have a submission fee?  I’m very new to this sort of thing, so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

After not watching too much anime this year, I decided to watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica after watching an AMV by one of my favorite editors, Chiikaboom.  After finding out that the series is a brutal deconstruction of the magical girl genre, I was even more interested.  I hate to admit it, but the magical girl genre is one of my favorites.  Often times the shows are much darker than you would anticipate (holy crap SAILOR MOON).  Also, Sailor Moon (along with Gundam Wing and Dragonball Z) got me into anime when I was younger. ***This blog will contain spoilers from the series, do not read if you haven’t watched!***

Puella Magi Madoka Magica showed this past season in Japan.  It is 12 episodes of brutal deconstruction.  The series opens with a huge fight scene.  The main character, Kaname Madoka, sees a girl with dark hair fighting a huge…thing.  But its okay, she wakes up and we’re greeted with a very cute moe art style and bright colors.  It was clearly all just a dream.  Things get weird again when Madoka finds the girl from her dream in her class.  The girl’s name is Akemi Homura.  Homura tells Madoka to stay the way she is, or bad things will happen.  When Madoka goes shopping with her friend Miki Sayaka, a strange voice leads her to a backroom.  She then meets Kyubey, a cute little creature that isn’t from her world.  She and Sayaka get caught in a magical barrier and are rescued by a Puella Magi (magical girl), Tomoe Mami.  After all of that, Kyubey tells Madoka and Sayaka that he wants to make them magical girls.

Up until episode three, the series continues like a relatively normal magical girl series.

Episode three is when things get real.  The viewers get a huge wham with a main character death at the very end of the episode.  Mami ignores advice from Homura about the witch they are facing and ends up dying in front of Madoka and Sayaka.  This drives the series forward, it gives the girls motivation to think of their wishes so they can become Puella Magi.

Sayaka becomes a Puella Magi to help a boy she knows heal so he may play the violin again.  We have another antagonist introduced as well, Sakura Kyoko, a veteran Puella Magi who comes to take over Mami’s territory now that she has died.  Things get progressively darker and darker.  The true nature of Puella Magi is revealed (they essentially become a Lich when they make the contract).  A hugely powerful witch is supposed to be coming towards their town, it is called Walpurgis Night.  Kyubey’s true nature is revealed, the fact that Puella Magi become witches is revealed.  Eventually, Madoka has to become a Puella Magi, making the wish that all witches, past, present, and future, be erased by her own hand.

Awesomeness

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is full of awesomeness, but its a different sort of awesome than the other anime series I’ve blogged about.  Its a series that isn’t afraid to show that something like a magical girl can be an awful burden.  It would have to be.  I’m also just going to say, Akemi Homura.  Her wish was to save Madoka.  She keeps reliving the same few weeks, months, whatever, until she can save Madoka.  This, of course, causes Madoka’s potential to become greater and greater, which eventually causes Madoka’s witch to be ever more powerful than Walpurgis Night.  Madoka, who spends most of the series a teary mess (which, all things considered, is a pretty healthy response to the amount of trauma that happened) uses her huge potential to have her wish actually come true.  Of course, she is essentially erased from history.  But she soothed the pain of all the Puella Magi that had suffered before her, who suffered with her, who would suffer in the future.  It was a very awesome thing to do.

Writing

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one of the best written anime series I’ve encountered.  It brings the darkness in the first episode, but then backs off and makes the viewer think that maybe, just maybe, it could be a normal magical girl series.  After the wham episode, many truths are revealed, all of them shedding light onto the horrible life of a Puella Magi.  The characters have back stories, they all change throughout the series.  Even the short-lived character Mami has a back story and a developed character.  On a different note, its chock full of literary allusions.  The entire story is full of references Goethe’s Faust.  This also has fans of the series hopeful, as Faust has two parts.

Conclusion

This is a series that I highly recommend.  Its a bit spooky and dark, but its very well-written.  Right now its only in Japanese, but I’m sure it won’t be long before the series is being dubbed.

Thanks for reading!

~Laura

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3 thoughts on “Anime That’s Awesome: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

  1. Pingback: Anime that’s Awesome: Mobile Suit Gundam 00 | Rants from a Starving Writer

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