The Scary and the Innocent in Madoka Magica

If you were to ask me:

“have you ever seen or read a magical girl anime/manga?”;

I’d probably reply:

“wtf no gtfo with that girly sh*t”….. 


No actually its more like “I tend to avoid shojo, mainly because of its target demographic. I haven’t watched much magical girl either, and I assume it’s also meant for young girls to watch”.


Do I even know any magical girl animanga?


Um… S-s-ss-Salor Moon? Does that count? Do I pass? Even though I’ve never seen it? … What about Date a Live? Is that one? *sigh*. Ok so I’ve never really given the genre a chance. 


If you were to show me the cover of Madoka Magica, I’d honestly think it’s another kids show. The characters look cute, probably loli-children I assume? 




That’s not the reason I started watching it. No. What caught my eye was not only Netflix’s cryptic rating “fear, language” but also the stream of overwhelmingly positive reviews on MAL, with user ratings averaging over 8 stars! Soo something had to make it stand out above the rest. 

Of course, we shouldn’t rely on reviews to determine what to watch or read, as there’s some really undervalued anime out there. But after asking for some horror recommendations, I was surprised when Madoka Magica showed up multiple times. It looks so innocent on the surface, but in fact it has a pretty dark, somewhat terrifying narrative. 


My thoughts race thinking about this one, only because there’s a lot of neat sh*t in this one. So I’ll briefly describe a few episodes/scenes:

As I watched the first half of the first episode, it seemed typical, nothing too interesting; anxious girl Madoka goes to school with her ditzy friends and meets a new and mysterious classmate that warns her not to get involved with the.. Albino rabbit creature eagerly handing out magic to random girls worthy enough.

With that last part, the second half gets interesting… like, really interesting and fresh. The girl and her friend find themselves in a labyrinth (literally) of what I can only describe as magazine cutouts mixed with children’s drawings, but the esthetics aren’t in any way friendly. No. These lil cotton balls with smiley faces are looking to straight up murder our heroines. Of course luck is on their side and they’re rescued, and Madoka is introduced to the world of magical girls! 

The second episode is much of the same. Madoka and her friend Sayaka follow magical girl Mami to get a taste of the action before deciding to commit to it. They’re granted any wish (can you imagine?) but in return they must fight scary motherf*cking witches for the rest of their lives, soaking up magic in their egg-shaped soul-canisters, otherwise they’re souls will be tainted. Ya know, totally worth it for a wish. 

This is a big decision to make, and our heroine Madoka takes her sweet time deciding (while mostly crying; she cries like… a lot) whether or not to become one. If Madoka isn’t crying, she lives day to day with a resting-anxious face. 

t doesn’t help that magical girl Homura keeps mysteriously showing up to stop the pokemon knockoff Kyuubey from making a contract with Madoka. After all, he claims she would be the most powerful magical girl ever.


Back to the topic at hand! 


But then the third episode happens. 


And oh boy it happens. 


It hits you like a bullet train and leaves you feeling alone & scared, wondering what in the actual f*ck you just watched. So this is what the anime is about, or rather, how far it’s willing to take the audience. 


Look at this creepy motherf*cker…

It’s the stuff of nightmares.


If you know, you know. 


But that’s hardly the only sketchy looking monster the anime offers. 

I thought this was a kids show. It’s not. It’s far from it. It’s dark, depressing, dreadful, cute, and I love it. 


Madoka Magica came to life by studio Shaft, the brilliant minds that brought us the Monogatari series, so of course it has to be good. I recognized similar facial animations (the iconic Hitagi head-twist) and the pleasant esthetics, especially in the labyrinth parts of the anime. I also recognized Hitagi’s voice actress, Saitou, in Homura, as well as Mayoi’s voice actress, Katou, in Kyuubey.

It’s an awesome feeling being able to recognize voices in anime. It’s an even better feeling being able to hear the Japanese words and understand what they mean in English. Gosh I wish I knew Japanese. 

Anyway, caution is thrown out the window for these girls, as they make wishes that sure seemed like a good idea at the time, but aren’t. They say not to wish something for someone else, but I probably would’ve done the same thing, honestly. 

Like… world peace, or reverse climate change? Yeah right, I wish. 


I dunno, but that’s the type of wish most of these girls end up wishing, and regretting it later. 


Like *SPOILER ALERT*…………… Sadoka wishing her musician crush had a hand… that worked, and the ability to walk again. But then bestie miss Steal-Your-Man comes around wanting a piece of that newly born man and… well, she asks Sadoka permission to claim him (ya know, like an object to behold) and Sadoka gets so upset! She literally asked your permission… 


Then the anime decides to show you Homura’s back story. 


And oh my God her character development.

She goes from this innocent 4-eyes girl with pigtails to this broken… zero-f*cks given badass time-lord who’s lived through hell countless times, seeing her comrade magical girls die over and over and over again, failing each time, each time becoming less human herself *END OF SPOILER*

Best scene below by the way:

Yea the anime has a lil bit of drama in it, but not so much that it becomes boring. I thoroughly enjoyed Madoka Magica and I think everyone who likes dark or spooky things should check it out! 


By: The Shy Otaku 

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