Madoka loves her family and friends. She leads a quiet and carefree life. There’s really nothing more she could want. So when a strange creature offers her a deal where she can make any wish in the world and have it granted, she finds she doesn’t really know what she could possibly wish for. Especially as that wish will bind her into being a magical girl who must fight witches nightly at the risk of her own life.
The worst aspect of this show by far is the violence, which is quite high. A character is eaten by an enemy (most is off screen though), a character is shot to death, an enemy is stabbed repeatedly, a character is covered in blood stains, etc. It’s at least on level with Trinity Blood. However, the difference lies in a bit of horror added in. Thankfully it’s of a kind that’s more weird than gory, blending traditional animation with strange textures and “cut out” art. Even so, it’s defiantly not for those easily frightened. So if abnormal stuff, like dandelions with full lips, puts you on edge, skip this show.
Defiantly less than a few other YA shows. Even so, there’s at least one instance of the “female dog in heat” word. And a few d-mns and such. Rather tame for shows today, actually.
This one is odd because there’s actually not much nudity at all in this show. Except in the opening where the main lead is transforming (pretty much the only place you see this transformation happen) and a shimmering “older” version of herself is with her. Both are not wearing clothing. No details are seen, but they are in strange positions to one another and it’s just one big trip to awkward town. This doesn’t really happen anywhere else either, so really it’s completely pointless.
And this is where I struggle not to give out any spoilers while still doing my job. Alright, there is an implication throughout the show that one character might have enough power to be like a “god” (think Haruhi Suzumiya here). At the end, this theory is realized. The concept of god is not really a religious one, however, but more of an idea about being outside of normal space/time and having the ability reorder the world’s laws. Actual worship and mind set about them is completely left out of the picture. Even so, it makes the ending a bit… weird. If you’re sensitive to this sort of thing… you get the idea.
I have been requested to see and review this show by a lot of people. And little wonder. It’s gotten itself a bunch of hype since its release in 2011. My impression of it? The plot at the end was interesting, but it’s not something I feel has rewatch value for me (which is what makes a show truly stand out these days).
While it’s true the plot has elements that were unique for its genre, the characters held it back on multiple occasions. The main character specifically was nearly impossible for me to identify with. She’s a very stereotypical magical girl type, demure, ever sincere, has faults but always forgiven for them and seems to have no other motive in her life than making everyone else happy at all times. I would think she’d have something else she’d like being outside of running after other people and trying to “help them” by being a stuttering target. She seemed more of a kind that served the purpose of the story itself and little more, in the end. A few of the other characters did this as well, especially during a flashback sequence where one girl is grief-stricken and just shoots another for really no reason. Shooting someone you think is responsible, sure. But it felt extremely forced for her to shoot randomly like that.
In other words, a case of genre writing taking precedence over character driven writing. A shame considering what they could have done if the characters had been allowed more time to be themselves. Of course, a few of the side characters were different, such as Madoka’s mother and father and so on. But they couldn’t replace the heroine’s flat character for me.
The art, music and such are all decent enough, though a bit odd here and there. And, as stated, the plot is interesting. So in the end, if you enjoy some fighting and a unique take on an old genre, this show serves well. But if the typical anime heroine has been grinding on your brainstem, or you have an aversion to blood, skip this. As short as it is, this show only lives up to its hype if magical girl genres are something you’re familiar with and can compare this to. Otherwise it feels more than a little contrived.
Personal Rating: Young adult