When you initially hear of a show that deals with magical girls, you initially think of cutesy and fun-loving, mainly adorable, girls flying around fighting monsters. And, generally, magical girl-shows generally offer just that. However, Puella Magi Madoka Magica puts a spin on this genre that gives it a darker feel. More importantly, for a magical girl anime… it just has a, simply, epic story. It is a short series, only 12 or 13 episodes in total, but it packs a punch and leaves you a bit in awe.
The series centers around a few different girls. The most important ones are Sayaka Miki, Madoka Kaname and Homura Akemi. Madoka and Sayaka are best friends and are seemingly normal school girls. This changes, however, when they run in to an adorable, but injured, cat-like creature called Kyubey. Kyubey is running away from Homura Akemi who is a dark and brooding exchange student that appears to not have good intentions. The creature is saved by Madoka and Sayaka and it reveals that it can grant any single wish that each girl desires, but in return they would be granted magical powers and would have to fight witches for the Kyubey.
Both girls are intrigued by the offer and take it under advisement. In the mean time they also run into another magical girl, named Mami Tomoe, in their school and she decides to show them the ropes. While the two girls wrestle with the decision of whether or not to take the deal from Kyubey, they find out that the magical-girl life is not as awesome or easy-going as they might have first thought. As Rumpelstiltskin, from the TV series Once Upon a Time, always says: “All magic comes with a price.” There wish and powers are not simply a gift from the Kyubey, in fact, it might just be a curse. As the series continues you find out that the fate of all the magical girls, as well as the fate of the world, are tied to Madoka and the decisions she makes could very well change the world.
It is hard to talk about this anime without revealing too much that would be important to the story. However, I cannot stress this enough, if you are looking for a feel-good anime please look elsewhere. It is initially very upbeat and cute (and Madoka is very adorable) but the show takes a dark turn and stays there. When watching this show, make sure you do not stick to your first impressions as I imagine the characters will drastically change in your mind when viewing.
The characters on this show each have their own personal reasons for wanting to become a magical girl. Sayaka, for instance, is in love with a boy that had amazing musical talent. However, after a horrible accident he is left hospitalized without the use of his hands. Sayaka uses her wish to save him, and even has a moment of joy, before thing spiral downward for her.
It is actually pretty crazy that, within the show, each girl experiences an ultimate high of being in control and, right when they get comfortable, it gets ripped away from them. Either the authors are simply cruel or amazing geniuses, because once the show kickstarts from cute to serious, you can’t stop watching it.
This is honestly a show that everyone can enjoy. Well… all except my fiancé who, apparently, can’t handle sad things. It has great action, a super in depth story, a cute and epic feel… honestly the show is so very well done!