Review – Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka was one of the most talked about shows last season. I initially checked it out because SHAFT (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Bakemonogatari, Arakawa Under The Bridge) was behind the project. Let’s just say that I’ve constantly enjoyed most of their work and was willing to look into Puella Magi Madoka Magica despite it being a genre I’ve never really enjoyed.

So what’s there to say about Puella Magi Madoka Magica? A lot apparently. This was a masterfully crafted story that injected new life to a tired genre without completely straying away from it. In a way, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is both a tribute and a deconstruction of the magical girl concept.

The show made good use of the 12 episodes it had, they wasted no time and used every episode to progress the story and develop the characters. Every character was important, each one was given sufficient growth and this made the tragic events have a bigger impact on the viewer. With all these important storytelling elements in place accompanied by unique visuals and gorgeous (sometimes heart wrenching) music, Puella Magi Madoka Magica has undoubtedly become one of the most remembered and revered shows of 2011.

I think a lot of people mistakenly compare this to Neon Genesis Evangelion. And honestly? I don’t see a lot of similarities between the two. NGE presented itself as a mecha show that went on to write a completely different genre for itself. Madoka as I stated earlier, is more of a tribute and a deconstruction.

It has more in common with the grim Now and Then, Here and There delivering a story of hope in the backdrop of a despair-filled setting while still being somewhat loyal to the genre. Another commendable feat of this show is that it doesn’t sacrifice it’s plot for the sake of being different, it doesn’t blame anyone in particular for all the misfortune that’s happened and things still make sense if you think about it and the protagonists hardly act out of character.

As for flaws, the show doesn’t suffer from any major flaw but it might take some time to get used to the art style. Also, while the show did utilize the time it was given, the concept of entropy remains vague and isn’t exactly given a more concrete explanation. Other than that, Madoka remains to be a solid show I’d recommend to anyone. It now has a place in my all time favorites. Whether or not Madoka will leave a legacy in its wake is something only time can tell. It definitely has the makings of a classic, proving that you can still find a gem in this day and age when anime is saturated with mediocrity.

Overall Score: 8/10

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