Many of my friends who are fellow anime lovers recommended it to me one night after watching another anime series. They mentioned how it was wonderful and I would probably love it. When I asked what it was about they simply giggled and told me that it was a show about magical girls. “Magical girls?” I asked, magical girls often refers to anime tropes such as Sailor Moon who were usually teenage girls who became beautiful and powerful warriors in order to defend the world from evil. It’s not my usual cup of tea as I enjoy far darker animes or ones with more depth, such as Gundam or Cowboy Bebop. However they insisted and I accepted the challenge. These were veterans of Anime who had seen it all and if they recommended it, then it had to be good, even if it was about Magical girls.
So I took the plunge, as expected the intro was very light, cheery, and saturated in cute images. When the first scene appeared, it was anything but cute, it was a scene of one character screaming no from a vulnerable position before falling to her assumed death. Then the main character, pink-haired Madoka, woke up and prepared for the day. She spoke with her mom about her dream, went to school and hung out with her friends, and then went to class. In the first episode, I was slightly bored with how adorable the characters and their world was. Even the action scene of a new girl coming in and trying to kill an odd fox shaped creature was a bit underwhelming for me. At the end of the episode, she made a befriended the creature and she was promised a single wish that would make her a magical girl. I wasn’t convinced fully at this point that it was interesting enough to commit but since it only had 12 episodes I gathered the will power to keep going.
When I arrived at a certain episode, everything had changed for me. Until that point certain characters acted as though their lives were unbearable and they couldn’t last another day, while at the same time we were being shown how amazing being a magical girl can be. When the show changing moment came, I was shocked by the brutality that occurred in such a light hearted and cute show. Suddenly the bright colors and adorable art style became creepy. As the show continues you learn more and more about what it means to be a magical girl and why those previous characters were so depressed. I was hooked and it was bad, I burned through the remaining episodes as fast as I could.
Every episode revealed more about their world and with every piece of new knowledge came terrible heart ache. Everything you knew and loved in the beginning of the show is torn to shreds by the end. It actually becomes a much more fantastic anime series than I originally thought. Even some modern series don’t come close to the level of violence and twists Madoka Magica brings to the table. By the end of the series I was teary eyed by all the fucked up shit the writers put me through and at the same time praised them for taking me on such a harsh ride. Not to mention the music is fantastic and memorable! My room mate actually has the OST on her phone because she loves it so much.
If you enjoy a dark anime that is drenched in twists then I highly recommend Madoka Magica. If you are looking for a good time then go far away from this anime because there is nothing but pain and suffering here.