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What Ben Learned From Watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Part I

Posted on the 27 June 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG
What Ben Learned From Watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Part I

Oh, hi acid trip. I wasn’t expecting to experience you today

When Madoka was airing a few years back, I had a friend who really liked it. He would constantly urge me to watch it, and it did seem very interesting to me at the time. Months passed, and to get me motivated to watch it, my friend got every single episode of the series, put them on a flash drive, and gave it to me in the hopes I’d watch it since I had easy access to the show. To nobody’s surprise, the episodes have just been sitting on my external hard drive for almost three years now. I can’t excuse that amount of laziness. I could lie and say that I forgot about the series, but every time I accessed my external hard drive, those episodes stared at me in shame.

It wasn’t until recently when the fairly reputable publication The Guardian ran an article about Japan’s recent ban on child pornography and how it doesn’t necessarily pertain to anime or manga. Yes, it’s a legitimate news story, and yes, I think that all types of child pornography should be banned, even in anime and manga. Most of us can agree on that. However, when The Guardian ran that story, they used an image from Madoka, forever assuring their readers who don’t know any better that this non-pornographic series is a show for pedophiles and perverts. Shame on them for their lack of research.

So, out of spite for their poor judgment, here’s what I think of Madoka!

What I learned from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Episode 1

1. Surreal art is cool, and this is no exception. Surreal art is cool, not only because it can look really awesome, but it’s a nice change of pace from the generic art I see in most every anime out there today. It’s a good way to make the series stand out, and it’s a great way to immerse the viewer in this world. I especially like how no building is specifically defined. That way, the insides just look like a mess of random objects scattered about. It might sound weird, but I like that kind of thing. It’s one step above having the characters interact over abstract backgrounds that have no meaning (which, admittedly, would be kind of cool).

2. The animation looks very nice. It looks like actual effort was put into not only making the art look nice, but making it come alive as well. So in the presentation, this series is very solid.

3. I don’t really know anything about the story yet. All I know is that Madoka is about a schoolgirl named, well, Madoka, and the weird stuff that’s about to happen to her and her friends. She meets a girl who may or may not be evil, but she’s seen her before in a dream. I mean, it sounds a little flat. Once this plot is fleshed out a bit, I think it has the potential to have a complex and entertaining story. I at least hope so.

4. Nobody’s been given a personality yet, so it’s hard to say that I have any investment in the characters. The job of the first episode is to fill these empty slates known as “main characters” up with actual characteristics. However, nobody’s been given a definitive personality yet. Madoka seems to be quiet, yet observant, but those aren’t definitive characteristics. So in the character department, I feel that this should have been better. Then again, a show doesn’t become this popular without lovable characters, so I’ll keep the faith.

5. “Cute girls doing cute things” isn’t my cup o’ tea, so this anime immediately turns me off from it. Okay, that’s actually extremely unfair. I’m just going off of all the promotional posters for the series, and to a lesser extent, the first half of this episode. Everyone has big, cute smiles, and there’s even a moment where one girl tickles Madoka for 30 seconds or so. DAWWW!! Psh, I don’t like that girly crap These aspects of the series probably turned me off from it for so long. I just feel this stuff distracts from the plot. Then again, that’s probably not what this series is about, so I’ll give it a pass.

6. The setup is so ambiguous, and the story can go any way. Magic happens, but then what!? Everything that happened in the second half of this episode is entirely open to interpretation. I’m excited to see where it all goes.

7. I liked how none of the surreal happenings were explained. Usually with magic or supernatural anime, they try to explain every weird thing that happens the second it happens. I hate that so much. Thankfully, when the fabric of space and time started to split here, it wasn’t immediately told to me. It leaves me guessing, and that’s a good way to hold my attention.

8. Kyubey is so cute! I think this one’s self explanatory.

What Ben Learned From Watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Part I

I mean, look at him. He’s adorable!

The first episode of this anime is pretty weird. I don’t think that’s a huge surprise, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I love weird stuff! I just want the plot to come along and justify all the weirdness. What I can say for sure about this series is that it’s peaked my interest, and I’ll be looking forward to making sense of the bizarreness that happened here.

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What Ben Learned From Watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Part I
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20 year old university student studying economics by day, snooty anime blogger by night! I have high standards for anime, but I also keep an open mind when it comes to shows outside my comfort area, which usually includes dialogue-heavy drama. Always happy to have a discussion.
What Ben Learned From Watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Part I
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