So I missed Madoka fever when Madoka fever was all the rage. (That is, last summer.) But seeing as I’ll be at Otakon in a week, and basically every industry guest at Otakon is there because of their role in the Puella Magi Madoka Magica Japanese or English cast/production staff, I figured I’d give it a look-see. It is only twelve episodes, after all.
The plot of Madoka revolves around the character of Kyubey. Kyubey is an extraterrestrial creature called an Incubator, who will grant you one wish—any wish—if you agree to let him turn you into a magical girl (mahou shoujo, a la Sailor Moon) and fight witches the rest of your life.
The deal is, quite obviously, rigged in Kyubey’s favor. The life of a magical girl is a twisted pyramid-scheme-slash-vicious-cycle that ultimately ends in despair and violent death.
Kaname Madoka (the cute pink-haired one below) is one of the girls Kyubey has chosen to take up the magical girl mantle, and the story of the anime follows her as she sees the effects of magical-girl life and makes her decision.
A friend once referred to Madoka as ‘the most fucked-up anime’ he’s ever seen. I wouldn’t go so far. I think Madoka is a pretty standard horror anime, and really a lightweight one at that, since the show ends on a happy note. The real horror of this show comes from the juxtaposition of the magical girl genre into an anime that is clearly horror. Everything about the peppy opening theme by ClariS, the bright and happy promotional art, and the cutesy character designs screams that this will be an adorable moe escapade, which is why it is all the more harsh and gruesome when the truths of magical girl life are one by one revealed.
This isn’t the be-all end-all of mindfuck anime. But it is actually really good (albeit depressing and horrific at times), and it’s so short that there’s really no reason to not watch it. Check it out!