Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica & Gaiden: Magia Record 2nd Season

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Genre: Magical Girl (don't know what else at this point)

Studio: SHAFT

Director: Shinbou Akiyuki

Synopsis: Having a loving family, close friends, experiencing times of joy and times of sadness. These are the things that make up an ordinary life.

Kaname Madoka is a normal 2nd year middle-schoolgirl who lives such an ordinary life. Until, that is, a strange encounter occurs. She does not know if this encounter is coincidence, or the vagaries of fate, but two things are certain...

This is the moment when her destiny changes...

This is the start of a new magical girl story!
(taken from AniDB)

Seiyuu:

Aoi YÅ«ki as Madoka Kaname
Chiwa Saito as Homura Akemi
Eri Kitamura as Sayaka Miki
Kaori Mizuhashi as Mami Tomoe
Emiri Katou as Kyube
Junko Iwao as Kazuko Saotome
Ryoko Shintani as Hitomi Shizuki
Tetsuya Iwanaga as Tomohisa Kaname
Yuko Goto as Junko Kaname

Thoughts:
The first episode was a total surprise. It started out with Madoka running through nightmarish scenes which reminded me of Escher's mezzotints. Then we see Akemi fighting in what looked like a dark post-apocalyptic world. I don't think I've ever seen such dark imagery in a mahou shoujo anime. The animation really impressed me, especially the weird psychedelic images near the end. The school and Madoka's home had some original designs as well. It looks like this all takes place sometime in the near future.
What drew me in was Aoki Ume's character designs, and I initially didn't think this anime was going to be that great. I expected some cutesy mahou shoujo anime, where Hidamari Sketch like girls fight cutesy monsters. I was realllyyyy surprised at what they created here. I hope that they maintain this quality for the entire series.
 

Killer_Ossi

Retired
Kouhai
Just like Julezia already said it was a huge surprise. Seems someone wants to break with the typical Mahou Shoujo genre. And it worked. I really liked the dark atmosphere at the end and the really disturbing images with the aggressive cotton balls.
But what I didnt like are the character designs, especially because they totally dont fit the very beautiful background and they often look totally cheap as if it was done hastly or they didnt have money for that anymore (though its not even nearly as bad as Pain vs. Naruto back then). But since its the first ep Im pretty sure that is intentionally. I just hope I can get used to it, epsecially since the mainprotagonist really looks physically disabled in the face sometimes.

Story wise you cant tell much for now except it sounds as the Mahou Shoujos are fighting some witches in another dimension. And there seem to be different fractions of Mahou Shoujos since it sounded as Mami and Akemi usually try to kill each other.

Overall it looks very promising and very strange. Not only the weird images when fighting but the school too. I mean its totally glass so you can always see inside the other class rooms. Looks like total suveillance to me.

Oh and the SHAFT-ish style doesnt really suit always, but its far better than back then with Dance in the Vampires Bund.
 

AccipiterF1

-sama
Retired
This was very interesting. Pretty cute, but less so than I anticipated. I was almost getting a CLAMP rather than SHAFT feel from this show. If you take into consideration the fact that it was written by the creator of Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom, the dark tone isn't very surprising.
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
Hmm, i am not sure about this one. The first episode was different than expected. The dark undertone was very good and gave it really something extra. However all of the atmosphere was ruined due to the bad animation of the characters. It really started to irritate me that the animations of some scenes was good and suddenly it went to terrible. That sure ruined the mood for me.
Some things are interesting: why has the school only glass walls?? why are they fighting? etc. That makes this series good enough to keep watching but i do hope the animations will get better..
 

FireChick

-san
Kouhai
QUOTE The first episode was a total surprise. It started out with Madoka running through nightmarish scenes which reminded me of Escher's mezzotints. Then we see Akemi fighting in what looked like a dark post-apocalyptic world. I don't think I've ever seen such dark imagery in a mahou shoujo anime. The animation really impressed me, especially the weird psychedelic images near the end. The school and Madoka's home had some original designs as well. It looks like this all takes place sometime in the near future.

I totally agree with you, 100%! Madoka Magica totally blew my mind out of the gutter BIG TIME!
 

Kid-Wolf

~ Azur Lane Hunter ~
Staff member
Leader Council
Well for some reason after wathing this episode I have to say a few things about this. Firstly the way things are it seems like this would be a good series with the way Shaft is of course. Second since this is a magical girl series it makes me worry since this is Shaft, for those who know of another magial series they did you'd understand what I'm trying to get at.

Overall I kind of like how the setting and the animation quality is, but I'm just worried on if Shaft will have any run-ins with problems with this series. I mean it was like that for Bakemonogatari, and that was a good series overall, but better on the BluRay. I just hope they don't pull the whole "We do better with the DVD/BluRays" on this series. I mean if they can hold thier own on a TV sries I might start having some kind of faith for them once more.

Long story short, yes I do plan on seeing the next episode.
tongue.gif
 

wedora

-dono
Sempai
I was surprisingly impressed with this. Its like Alice in Wonderland meets Nahoha + awesome visuals & excellent BGM. Its extremely eerie for a magical girl series, almost feels surreal (which appears to be the intention). I hope it keeps that atmosphere going forward.

For the visuals, I really like the backgrounds and the attention to detail (check out that escalator in ep1 or the pixel whiteboard), but like others the characters feel flat and washed out compared to everything else. On the flip side, I realize the other visuals are so stunning solely because of the massive contrast with the character designs...if they fit into the background better, it wouldn't be as striking.

The BGM was very strong and seemed to give progression to fairly static scenes...something reminiscent of Pandora Hearts. If they continue to utilize it well, this series will do well in my eyes even without a bunch of major action scenes. I think music is such an important part of any visual medium that is unfortunately overlooked by many.

I remain optimistic going into episode 2.
 

Killer_Ossi

Retired
Kouhai
Ep 2 was quite good again. We got to know a lot about witches and mahou shoujos and the reason why Akemi was after that thing (cant remember its name ^^).

But Im a bit disappointed at how the witch looked. Sure somehow it suits how the barrier inside looks, but still I hoped it would be something human since it shouldve been the opposite to the mahou shoujos and not just some monster.

The character development for Sayaka was pretty nice with her really thinking through if she wants to risk her life for some wishes. I must say the wishes would be pretty uninteresting to me, I would just do it to fight. But of course only if there was a male version of that (but pls not like in Kore wa zombie desu ka ^^).
Mami is quite a nice character too, but Madokas mother was the best ^^
Still Madokas the most uninteresting person in this whole anime both in character and in animation.
 

b.o.w

-san
Kouhai
I spent the end of the first episode wondering why Mami attacks with Monty Python's holy grenade...

someone must be a fan
 

Kit-Tsukasa

-desu
Retired
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica may very well be the show that shines this season. Having watched Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, which also happens to be produced by Akiyuki Shinbou, the feeling is quite similar. The difference? Madoka Magica takes an amazing staff, combines Nanoha, Hidamari Sketch, and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei all into one show and to some extent a little bit of Bakemonogatari's realism artwork.

Yuki Kajiura's music continues to be amazing to this day and they were absolutely wonderful for this show. The Hidamari Sketch character designer, Ume Aoki, made the characters really fit into the normal school life setting and of course every cent of SHAFT's animation budget is spent to the fullest such that the action scenes are all top quality to the extent that there's not even an ending theme yet for this show if there ever will be at this rate.

I have high expectations for this show but my main concern is that unlike Nanoha, there's little direction. We know the magical girls are to kill the witches and that to become a magical girl they have to make a contract where they essentially put their lives on the line. I guess if anything you could call Madoka the "Nanoha" of this series and Homura the "Fate" of this series. I have a feeling that Mami may be more of an antagonist that what this series currently shows, but I guess that will just have to wait. Oh and as far as I'm concerned, Sayaka is a useless character at the moment.

Preliminary Expectations: High
Preliminary Score: 8/10
 

khael

/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ being M
Sempai
QUOTE I have a feeling that Mami may be more of an antagonist that what this series currently shows, but I guess that will just have to wait. Oh and as far as I'm concerned, Sayaka is a useless character at the moment.

Yeah, kinda getting those vibes too. Partly because in some, if not most, anime, some antagonistic characters shown in the beginning are almost always not an or the real enemy.

Though their attitude/methods clash with the main characters' beliefs, their purpose usually ends up being the same OR, the anti-hero is doing it for a good reason.

I'm currently assuming Homura want's that little Ferret dead because she doesn't want any other Mahou Loli to be born and suffer the tragic fate she experienced, if any, hence the warning to Madoka. Either that or she wants revenge on the rodent because she lost everything dear to her after she became a Mahou Loli. Maybe even both. This is just pure speculation on my part anyway.

As for direction, I think it'll probably center on the changes in Madoka's life once she chooses to be a Maho Loli. Remember Homura's warning? Something along the lines of "don't ever change who you are now if you want your life to remain the same i.e. not lose your family, friends etc." Though this is again, just pure speculation based on that warning, how the OP is presented, and their current relationship with that classmate of theirs who think they've gone lesbian.

Anyway, this is the FIRST, mahou loli show I'm probably going to watch til the end. Partly because of the dark vibes I'm getting and partly because of the animation style.
 

Killer_Ossi

Retired
Kouhai
Hmm I must say the thought of Akemi doing it because she doesnt want others to experience what she did didnt even cross my mind. But that could reall be the reason, I mean you never saw someone around Mami and she even lives alone so it could very well be that she lost everything too since she became a target for the witches after she became a Mahou Shoujo.

Seems that this animation style is either a hit or a miss for the watchers since there are a lot who say it sucks (like me) and a lot who love it.

@Kit: Sorry but Madoka is far more useless for now. Shes only running after Mami and Sayaka, while Sayaka really takes the things in her hand and got good character development in this ep unlike Madoka.
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
QUOTE (Killer_Ossi @ Jan 15 2011, 02:33 PM)Hmm I must say the thought of Akemi doing it because she doesnt want others to experience what she did didnt even cross my mind. But that could reall be the reason, I mean you never saw someone around Mami and she even lives alone so it could very well be that she lost everything too since she became a target for the witches after she became a Mahou Shoujo.

Seems that this animation style is either a hit or a miss for the watchers since there are a lot who say it sucks (like me) and a lot who love it.

@Kit: Sorry but Madoka is far more useless for now. Shes only running after Mami and Sayaka, while Sayaka really takes the things in her hand and got good character development in this ep unlike Madoka.

That is a very good point. It does seem somewhat strange that you get your wish but have to stake your life. The thing that Sayaka said was also very good: why do we who have everything get this chance? Is there something else playing in the background when a choice for a Mahou Shoujo is made? Homura must have a reason for saying that to Madoka.
And agreed: Madoka feels like she is completely useless. She is certainly the most weakest person in this series even though she is the main character....Homura sure is a lot better with much more mystery behind her.
 

khael

/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ being M
Sempai
QUOTE , I mean you never saw someone around Mami and she even lives alone so it could very well be that she lost everything too since she became a target for the witches after she became a Mahou Shoujo.

Oh yeah, she does live alone now that you mention it.

As for Madoka,she is currently such a weak character, and not just physically or usefulness-wise. Her personality, to me, seems pretty weak. She's sort of like a wallflower and doesn't stand out too much right now.

But if things play out like how we speculate then I can pretty much see a large amount of character development, which is not necessarily good or bad [we'll decide on that when the development actually happens], and that's the time when Madoka will outshine the others.

I must admit, it'd be pretty interesting to see how Madoka handles the changes in her life when she accepts being a Mahou Loli. I can picture her cursing herself for accepting such a condition [stake your life and your wish will be granted] in the end if indeed she does lose everything dear to her because as it stands right now, she doesn't really have a wish that she'd want to stake her life for, apparently [Well she hasn't decided yet anyway so we'll find that out next episode... Hopefully.]

I can also see her using that wish in the end to restore everything back to normal. Though I highly doubt that'd be how things will end.

Anyway, as you might deduct from my posts, this show really has got me intrigued and interested. Not so much about the Mahou Lolis themselves but more on how the story will flow.
 

Kid-Wolf

~ Azur Lane Hunter ~
Staff member
Leader Council
Ok with the 3rd epiosde we pretty much have the whole bit of, "If you get cocky in a fight you die" kind of deal here. In any case it's good to show that fights like there are really a life and death sort of thing aside from the norm of course. That might be one of the few reasons why I like this series aside from Kaifina doing most of the songs for this series as well.

I guess that's what happens when you kind of compare this to one of the Kara no Kyoukai chapters when it comes down to emotion of a series or episode for that matter.
tongue.gif
 

Xanadu

-chan
Kouhai
I must say, it's been a while since I've seen a show when a character gets killed off by a cute-looking creature.
 

Kid-Wolf

~ Azur Lane Hunter ~
Staff member
Leader Council
QUOTE (Xanadu @ Jan 21 2011, 02:42 PM) I must say, it's been a while since I've seen a show when a character gets killed off by a cute-looking creature.
Well you know the old saying, "The cuter something is the deadlier it becomes."
tongue.gif
 

exophaze

New Member
Kouhai
not sure where i should put the spoiler tag so i'll just put the whole body in just to be on the safe side

WTF did i just watch, i didn't see that death scene coming... i thought this would be another one of those shows where the main protagonists(?) miraculously escape death every single time. Question mark because I'm not sure if Mami is a protagonist at all, i kinda have to agree that she does give off some evil vibe but i forgot all about that once she started her speech fighting those witch pawns or whatever those were. Oh and btw, this has been one of the best deaths i've seen in a while, it was quick and the drama was cut short, that made it perfect for me. I have to say though, if that scene didn't happen I would have probably stayed semi interested in this series rather than how I'm actually looking forward to the next episode now.
 

khael

/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ being M
Sempai
I suppose I speculated too much and overlooked the simple fact that being a Mahou Loli is dangerous to your health, which right now seems to be the reason why Homura doesn't want the two to become Mahou Lolis.

The death may be too sudden [got a hint of it when Homura warned Sayaka about the witch being "on a different level"] but I'm reeeeaaaally hoping that Madoka won't use her wish to revive Sayaka, which might be possible considering Sayaka's wish when she became a Mahou Loli. I hope it doesn't turn out like My-Hime where even though a lot of characters died they were herp derp revived in the end.

And it seems Sayaka didn't really lose her loved ones as a result of becoming a Mahou Loli. Hopefully that's not the case with Homura.

Also, now we get an interesting tidbit on the soul gems. Why would Madoka's soul gem be bigger than others? Would it be because of her status in life? She's in a state where she wouldn't wish for anything else ergo, she's happy and satisfied before she met Kyubei and Sayaka. Or would it be because she's empty inside despite being fortunate? I think she said that she felt useless. There may be some existential depression going on in the background though we'll have to wait for later episodes.

I'll comment on the animation now that it's been 3 episodes. So far it's been very pretty [to my eyes], and the battle sequences were a blast to watch i.e. Sayaka smiling like a psycho while shooting the monsters in the face. She also looks like a ballerina of sorts, what with her dance-like moves. The witches and the monsters can be a little bit disturbing and are very surreal. As for the character designs, all I can say is MY NUTBLADDER... Overall, I'm loving it.

Finally, I must say, Kyubei looked seemed kinda disturbing in this episode. A Mahou Loli died and all he did was "tilt-head-am-I-kawaii-uguu~".
 
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