Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica (魔法少女まどか★マギカ)

All posts tagged Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica (魔法少女まどか★マギカ)

Kyubey, the villain of this series, yet is one of the two best characters in this anime.

The sixth anime series I’ve chosen today for the ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ audition is titled Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, a series from the tried and trusted magical girls genre. Just look at the Precure or Sailormoon series if you know what I mean. Nevertheless, this series is quite different from those two titles, and you will know why when you read the review below.

And just like your common diligent marketing executive, Kyubey works her socks off to secure those lucrative contracts.

The idling peaceful life of our middle-schooler main title protagonist was suddenly turned upside-down when a cat-like creature appears out of nowhere and offered her an entry to the exciting world of magical girls where she can fight witches and stuff, in exchange of having a wish granted. She then witnessed a senior student at her school enjoying her magical girl career, and decided that the career move is actually worth it, for a cake. But just when she is about to put the pen to the paper, a mysterious transfer student appeared and stopped the MoU signing ceremony. To say that the legal fallout from the failed ceremony is enormous is definitely an understatement.

Just like what I have said above, this anime is different when compared to your standard magical girls titles, such as Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha or even Powerpuff Girls Z. In fact, structural-wise, this anime has more similarities with the current ‘Anime of the Year 2007’ incumbent Bokurano then those two aforementioned titles. Let's take the examples from the villains of both this series and Bokurano: Kyubey and Koemushi respectively.





To defend the universe from devastation.

To defend the universe from devastation.

Against who?


Mechas from other universes.


Magical battles.

Mecha battles.

Procedure used?

Making contracts.

Making contracts.

With who?

Young girls ONLY.

Anyone will do. Young girls included.

Contract discussion?

Cunning and underhanded negotiation tactics.

Deception. Force is also an option.

Contract perks?

A wish will be granted.


When the contract ends?

The contractee dies.

The contractee dies.


Definitely immortal and probably invincible.

Immortal and invincible.

Modus operandi

Discreet. None of the world superpowers probably knows about her.

Overt. None of the world superpowers can stand up to him. America cannot do anything when one of the battles happened on her soil while being nuked by Japan.


A pompous jack-ass.

A snarky jack-ass.

It is not a coincidence then that both Kyubey and Koemushi are best characters in their respective titles.

But when it comes to the storyline, the difference cannot be any bigger. The main reason why Bokurano is the current holder of ‘Anime of the Year 2007’ title holder is because its storyline are largely excellent despite being the watered-down version of the source manga. Bokurano may be a seinen with mechas in it, but the POV arcs are mainly realistic-type slice-of-life stories or drama or both, and less similar to the mecha titles like Infinite Stratos et. al. For this anime, the storyline is more like a thriller and less magical than the magical girls titles I have mentioned before. And here I do think that the best arcs in Bokurano is better than the best arcs in this anime.

This anime started slowly, plodding around the dithering main title protagonist that still hesitated to sign the MoU while various events happens around her. It only gets better around the end of episode 6 when the true nature of Kyubey and the Soul Gem were finally revealed. It was also here then where the first weakness of this anime’s storyline begins to manifest itself.

The revelation in episode 6, which is for me the major milestone in this anime, is basically a double-edge sword. The positive aspect of that revelation is that it allows the true face of Kyubey (a.k.a. one of the two best characters in this anime) to be finally revealed to all viewers (and the characters), which then allows for considerable character development for her part. You can also apply the same thing to the other best character of this anime, Sayaka Miki who not only gets to benefit from even larger character developments than Kyubey is, but also gets to become an integral part of one of the better story arcs in this series.

The main drawback of the revelation at the end of episode 6 is that it (the revelation) basically make the series become much more predictable. The writer deals out too much cards on his deck at that particular point of the storyline, and all I have to do is to connect the gist of the revelation with certain events that happened in previous episodes to know what will happen in subsequent episodes. Adding to injury, a couple of ill-timed revelations that happened after episode 6 compounded the said effects even further; I can even see the ending from miles off. At that part, this anime is just as predictable as Dragon Crisis! is. 

The presentation aspects in this anime is good; the pacing is a little bit faster than I think it should be but the flow of the storyline is excellent. The ending, while predictable, were at least competently written to not allow any loose ends to remain. For an anime with thise kind of storyline, this is a good thing. I doesn’t see any potential for a second season though, unless the main title protagonist wants to throw the ‘deus ex machina’ dice and reset everything. But considering the wish she has made when she finally signed the MoU, even she cannot do that.

As for character developments, Kyubey and Sayaka Miki are the two best characters in this anime, mainly because of the character strength of the former (especially after episode 6) and the extensive character development of the latter. These two easily outshone the main title protagonist and the other magical girls too. The character developments for the ‘woe is me’ main title protagonist are too minimal considering the huge airtime she has. The same can also be said for the other magical girls too, even the one that time-traveled a lot.

And just like your common diligent marketing executive, Kyubey do ensure that you doesn’t read the fine prints.

Character Design:-
While storywise this anime isn’t your typical magical girl title, the reverse is true when it comes to character design. Actually, general character designs in this anime is comparable to what you can see in  Dragon Crisis! (read: just ordinary). Black hairs are rare in a world where magic actually exists.

But Kyubey character design is simply top notch, better than her counterpart in Bokurano. All five screenshots for the blog entry has her in it.

Voice Acting:-
This anime has done very well in this aspect overall. Outstanding performers includes the main title protagonist, Sayaka Miki and also Kyubey. Definitely a positive aspect for this anime.

The OST is excellent, but not for the OP/ED themes or the inserts.

I’m pretty damn sure that my secondary-school physics classes says otherwise.

This anime is yet another title that uses the blurry animation technique that almost all other titles that has been reviewed in the audition except the Highschool of the Dead OVA has used. Docked one point from the final evaluation.

Character animation can be jerky quite a lot of the time, but general animation are fine even in fast-paced scenes. CGI and 2D animations are integrated properly. Choreography is mixed bag; action scenes by that big-breasted magical girl is excellent while action scenes for everyone else is just average. The directing is decent, especially with the construction of the environment inside magical barriers, and the ending management.

7 out of 10.
The grip of that Highschool of the Dead OVA on the ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ title has just become stronger…

To become a magical girl, costume planning is definitely high on the list. The main title protagonist sure does her homework before signing the MoU.