Thursday, January 24, 2013

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: NOT the Usual Fluff

What I originally thought to be kiddy tripe turns out to be an interesting show.
L-R: Kyubey (on shoulder) with magical girls Madoka Kaname,
Sayaka Miki, Mami Tomoe, Kyoko Sakura, & Homura Akemi.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: NOT the Usual Fluff


Jay Agan

Normally I steer clear of the magical girl sub-genre. That sachariny, cutesy-patootsie garbage makes me beyond ill. I had fun in the 90s making fun of the insipid Sailor Moon show on Fox Kids  on my days off but that's about it.

I scoffed when an aquaintance suggested Puella Magi Madoka Magica to me (Another has been trying to get me to watch ... gasp! ... My Little Pony, Friendship Is Magic! That's another gory story entirely ... ). After months of on/off again passive derision & just plain avoidance I fell across the Wikipedia review & episode guide & later decided to give it a try when I "discovered" Crunchityroll.

Gotta admit. This ain't the usual cup o' bubbly barf you'd expect.


Sailor Moon ... Hell Girl ... Neon Genesis/End of Evangelion ... Bedazzled ... Wishmaster ... Throw in a bit of Peter Max & Terry Gilliam ... And you have ...

A semi-deep, non-superficial tale of young ladies making Faustian bargains with what at first appears to be a benevolent spirit but in reality a satanic manipulator & user. Why satanic? One episode has a scene reminiscent of Christs' temptation wherein the "demonic" Kyubey or "Incubator" tries to cajole the protagonist Madoka into "drinking the Kool-Aid". Promising wonderful things if only she'd give in.

The arrangement seems wonderful at first: Become a "magical girl" trope in order to fight evil & your one fondest wish will be granted. Such a deal! Over the course of several episodes Kyubey gradually reveals the rest of the contract as nothing more than a scam to use selected humans as "energy sources" for his races' use. Oh yeah. It's also shown that after time, the ultimate fate of all magical girls, in spite of steps taken to prevent, is to gradually sink into a state of despair & trans-form into "witches", the very enemies they're fighting, which are also being used for the same purpose.

By the way ... Unlike most of those insipid "magical girl" shows, one can get killed in the course of fighting evil ... Painfully so.

In short, one is sucked into a sick, little game manipulated by the Incubators for their own ends.

Samuel Goldwyn once said: "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on."

Whenever making agreements/covenants with seemingly benevolent entities (Especially the cute, puppy/kitty looking kind!) be sure you get it in writing & have your lawyer go over the fine print FIRST. Otherwise ... NO DEAL!

What I thought to be a kool touch was the Homura characters' supplementing her powers
with conventional weapons. Using her "time stopping" ability, Colt .45s, a Desert Eagle
& a shotgun are taken from the locker room of a local Yakusa hangout. She's later seen
making & using pipe bombs!

A couple of spoilers: Madoka, the main protagonist, doesn't become a magical girl until the last of the twelve episode series (This may seem aggravating at first but the pay-off is worth it!). When she does, she "folds the situation in on itself". Watch & see.

Too bad Aniplex doesn't know how to  market anime very well, otherwise I'll just have to wait a good looooong while for it to come out in a box set ... On Amazon ... Sale price ... USED! This releasing a series in overpriced 3 to 4 episode dribs n' drabs just doesn't cut it with me. I WILL get this one when conditions are right.

Article (only) copyright © 1-24-2013 Jay Agan

Wikipedia review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica here.

Crunchyroll main page here.

Go to Jays' Tee Vee blog main page here.

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  1. Really dark...turns the magical girl trope on its head!

    1. It's not Sailor Moon anymore ... Now if they could give MLP the same treatment ...

    2. They have.

      Check out "Friendship is Witchcraft", a fan-dubbed tretment of the original animation. It is amusing.

  2. Just finished this last night. Quite a series, I've got a feeling it's going to stick with me for a long time.

    1. It's definitely going to stick with me as well. Now if Aniplex would retail this right I'm going to get it. And, as I stated before, I do NOT like this particular sub-genre! This show is that good.

      What also hooked me about this show is the protagonist doing a "Rei Ayanami" at the end. That came off as a surprise to me.