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Seasonal Watches > Fall-Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is one of the three anime we are watching this Fall. We are watching up to episode 4 as a group.

"She has a loving family and best friends, laughs and cries from time to time... Madoka Kaname, an eighth grader of Mitakihara middle school, is one of those who lives such a life. One day, she had a very magical encounter. She doesn't know if it happened by chance or by fate yet. This is a fateful encounter that can change her destiny—this is a beginning of the new story of the magical witch girls."

*Please note, this anime has darker themes and if you're not interested in dark themed anime, you may not want to watch it. The first 4 episodes aren't very dark or violent and are appropriate to discuss as a group, but if you choose to continue the show, know that it gets darker toward the end.*

Discuss Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica here!


message 2: by Selena (last edited Sep 01, 2013 12:02PM) (new)

Selena (sailorstar165) | 2022 comments Mod
We watched Madoka in my anime club at college. I didn't like it all that much.



(No really, that's the reaction I always get when I speak this heresy).

Part of it was someone I knew was obsessed with it, talked about it constantly, and kept telling me every five seconds how much I would love love love this anime. Part of it was because it's so popular online that I went in with "high expectations" (or maybe the correct phrase for my attitude was, "This better be good.")

It's not that I dislike dark anime. I really enjoyed Pet Shop of Horrors and Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun. And I've always liked the magical girl genre...

Maybe it's because Madoka is a deconstruction? I'm not as familiar with that... would you call it a style? That could be it.

I also found most of the characters rather irritating, and the art annoying as well (it's like they only had one marker to color each of the characters with! Madoka's hair and magical girl costume were the SAME SHADE OF PINK!!!! And she had pink eyes. And she was not the only one with lazy color-scheming...)

There's also the fact that once when I questioned the quality of the translation in a certain phrase that I won't state due to spoilers (I have a minor in Japanese language) I got my head bitten off and was practically exiled from the club for the rest of the series because I dared to comment that something could be wrong with Madoka Magica (even if the comment was translation related!).

I don't know. I think a lot of the reasons I dislike Madoka is because of outside forces like the fan base, but even without, it wasn't my type of show and was only so-so in my eyes.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

The coloring got to me too. For me, though, it was all the white space. Whatever happened to backgrounds? That was annoying. The monochromatic character designs were annoying too.

I personally enjoyed the story, though I didn't think it was the GREATEST ANIME EVER, the way some fans make it out to be. Granted, I didn't have the show shoved down my throat the way you make it sound your friends did to you.

This show seems like another case of "it's super popular so I set my expectations too high and was let down when I didn't enjoy it the way others did." I felt like there was more the creators could have done with it. Maybe if it had been longer and they had given more room for the plot and characters to develop and really grow on viewers it would have been a little better. I've noticed with a lot of 12ish episode anime I tend not to get attached as much to the characters or story because it's over too quickly. Granted, 300+ episodes is overwhelming and not always worth it, especially if you can't get interested in the first place. I just think Madoka Magica could have been so much better with more episodes. The ending felt kind of rushed while the beginning felt dragged out.


message 4: by Hardian (last edited Oct 15, 2013 03:39AM) (new)

Hardian | 21 comments My comment is about the whole series, so *SPOILERs AHEAD*.

Selena wrote: "Maybe it's because Madoka is a deconstruction? I'm not as familiar with that... would you call it a style? That could be it.

I also found most of the characters rather irritating, and the art annoying as well (it's like they only had one marker to color each of the characters with! Madoka's hair and magical girl costume were the SAME SHADE OF PINK!!!! And she had pink eyes. And she was not the only one with lazy color-scheming...)"


What do you mean by deconstruction?
Anyway, I think I'd agree that the characters are, to some extent, irritating. Or for me it's more like unlikeable. I don't mind with the blue, red, and yellow girls, I think they're good with the unlikeable characterization as perhaps it's better that way to show that it's not a happy magical girls anime where all characters are likeable. Well, each of them got their own story which made them that way.

As for Madoka, I wish Madoka can be a little more likeable, in a way, not presented as a powerless cute airhead moe. Isn't she supposed to be sympathetic. While I think Homura is not as unlikeable as other magical girl characters.

Regarding the color-scheming, it doesn't really bother me, I don't really understand about it or I never really pay attention to it xD

Wednesday wrote: "The coloring got to me too. For me, though, it was all the white space. Whatever happened to backgrounds? That was annoying. The monochromatic character designs were annoying too."

I do not really understand about the color-scheming of the character-design. But the backgrounds, the white space, the quiet and empty settings, the sometimes shady, almost highly contrasted buildings, landscapes and structures, I loved it. I think this anime is pretty much an architectural anime. The depiction of its settings and backgrounds works well in giving the mood of loneliness, its dark theme, the feeling where no one is around and everything is a burden to the main characters only, no one knows about the cruel things that happened but them. It's depressing to see the settings only, and that's why it works well, in my opinion.

Plus, I really love the surreal settings as they got into the witch's labyrinth.

Some gory fighting scenes are also done well by actually not showing much. Such as when Mami was eaten or especially when Sayaka became berserk, which only shows the shades, the movements. Since imagination can be more scary than what is actually happened/seen.

Wednesday wrote: "The ending felt kind of rushed while the beginning felt dragged out."

I'm in an agreement on this. I honestly stopped watching at the first or second episodes. Though as I continue I felt that they might be necessary. I just watched the movie version and I can say that I quite enjoyed the slow beginning.
But the ending is a disappointment. I'm not sure if it's rushed or that Gen Urobuchi (the writer) wrote an imo unsatisfying ending, but the resolution doesn't make the state any better for the main characters, it feels weak and unfinished.

Overall, I'm actually enjoying this for its visual atmosphere and how the story turns. I watched this before I like anime (and loved the live action cinema), so I really underestimated it for its early episodes. In my case, it's like the opposite of "it's super popular so I set my expectations too high and was let down when I didn't enjoy it the way others did." I didn't know what anime was popular and all my guesses are that anime must be merely for fanservice or comedy or style over substance action entertainment, especially knowing that this anime is a magical girls show (yes I watched it because my close friend asked me to).
So I was pretty surprised when the story turns out that way.


message 5: by Selena (new)

Selena (sailorstar165) | 2022 comments Mod
Hardian wrote: "What do you mean by deconstruction?"

More info on what deconstructions are: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php...

In essence, it's taking the tropes, cliches, and themes common to a genre, playing them straight and riding them out to their logical conclusion, without putting a bright spin on things.

Honestly, though, I can't see how Madoka Magica's one. I don't really recognize any tropes or cliches they were using, and I've been watching magical girls for years. :\


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I LOVE THIS SHOW:-) WATCHED 1-12 in one day :-)


message 7: by Selena (new)

Selena (sailorstar165) | 2022 comments Mod
Bre wrote: "I LOVE THIS SHOW:-) WATCHED 1-12 in one day :-)"

Might I ask what you liked about this show?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Selena wrote: "Bre wrote: "I LOVE THIS SHOW:-) WATCHED 1-12 in one day :-)"

Might I ask what you liked about this show?"


Its different from many magical girl animes. Its darker and its art design is awesome


message 9: by Selena (new)

Selena (sailorstar165) | 2022 comments Mod
Bre wrote: "Selena wrote: "Bre wrote: "I LOVE THIS SHOW:-) WATCHED 1-12 in one day :-)"

Might I ask what you liked about this show?"

Its different from many magical girl animes. Its darker and its art desig..."


I'll agree on darker. Have to disagree on art. Not my cup of tea.


message 10: by MJ (new)

MJ | 13 comments I love it love it :) cool art, interesting twists and turns, suspense, time travel, madoka is so adorable, pure, innocent, the passion of the characters to change the unchangeable, homura is so badass, but also so hurt, and so adorable in her beginning, and has so so much love for her best friend and will give anything for that, it's heartbreaking, the ending was sudden and not the best but with the wish concept i think it works (and there's more after that in the rebellion movie and upcoming season i believe)


message 11: by k (new)

k | 2 comments I remember this anime! I watched it when I was 10, because that's when it was airing. Probably the best anime of my childhood, I wasn't expecting it to be so dark LOL


message 12: by KJ (new)

KJ | 3 comments I had mixed feelings about it too. While I appreciated it as a deconstruction (I agree with you, Selena) I might have been a little put-off by the fanbase, because it came across to me as really pleased with itself. Like, a smug magical girl anime, haha. At the same time, it's good to have variety. I'm glad it exists. It just didn't make me foam at the mouth like so many of my peers.


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