Magical girls are my favorite kind of anime archetype. My love for the character type began with Sailor Moon. Back then I, (and a lot of kids in the U.S.), developed a love for a girl named Serena who was basically a superhero. She was a goofy schoolgirl in Japan by day but by night she would transform into Sailor Moon, a magical warrior of justice. Later in life I’d learn how deep whitewashing can be when I discovered Serena is really named Usagi in its original, Japanese run but before that, I ran into Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Madoka Kaname is a normal Japanese high school girl with good friends, Sayaka Miki and Hitomi Shizuki. One day, Madoka hears a voice calling for help and chases after it as Sayaka follows. Eventually wandering into an eerie lair, they discover the voice belongs to a being by the name of Kyubey. Kyubey is under attack by Homura Akemi, a new student at their school but is rescued by a girl named Mami; Both Homura and Mami are magical girls. Soon, they learn what a Magical Girl is and Kyubey offers to grant any wish of their desire in exchange of becoming Magical Girls to defeat witches. However, Homura Akemi isn’t letting that happen.
I lovingly like to think that watching this show was the birth of my love for fucked up shit. I love entertainment, (be it a book, movie, anime, manga, or comic), that leads you in one direction only to get thrown the complete opposite direction. In this case, this anime has twists and turns each time you think you have the show all figured out. Madoka Magica also was the origin of the taking magical girls outside of their happy, cheery lifestyles to blood and death. This trend began to continue with shows like Yuki Yuna Is A Hero, Magical Girl Raising Project, Magical Girl Apocalypse, Magical Girl Site, and many more.
Although some of the darker magical girl works released after Madoka Magica are worth watching, none handle the despair and darkness within human emotions quite like it. Magical Girl Raising Project comes close, but there’s not enough screen-time with some of the characters to build an attachment to them. Magical Girl Apocalypse is very much like Highschool of The Dead with magical girls instead of zombies. Puella Magi Madoka Magica serves its audiences such a fully fleshed out story that the franchise grew into a sequel film, several spin-off manga, and there’s even a continuation in the works taking place after the sequel film.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica maintains its place in my heart as my favorite anime series of all time and each visit back still tugs at the heart when the first twist happens. If you haven’t checked this title out yet, I strongly suggest you find it on Netflix and get to binge watching.
Rating: 10 out of 10