Review: Mahou Shoujo Madoka MagicaPosted: April 21, 2011
Anime: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica
Animation Studio: SHAFT
Number of Episodes: 12
Length per Episode: Approximately 24 minutes
I’m not going to treat this like a normal review, because pretty much everyone in the universe has watched this show. That means it’d be pointless to go through a lengthy and vague plot summary. I’m just going to talk about the ending. I won’t treat this like an episodic post though, because those are boring as hell to write.
Also, if you somehow haven’t watched this yet, then go do so. Whether you like it or not, this is basically required watching among the anime fandom at this point.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS OF THE ENDING. DON’T READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE LAST EPISODES YET.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is a twisted product of seeing how far you can torture little girls and still get it to air on television. We’re not talking physical torture, though, we’re talking about mental and psychological torture, which is far more painful and effective. The show is sadistic, and only sadistic people will like the show (which seems to be basically everyone).
Wait, stop! Don’t start throwing stones at me yet! Let me explain why I just wrote that paragraph.
While you can sum up the show as basically “lol torturing little girls,” the whole point is the show’s execution of it. From its happy-go-lucky beginning to its slow descent into madness, this torture-fest is orchestrated nearly perfectly.
This allows me to stress one point: no matter how dumb, generic, or strange a show’s setting is, it will always come down to the execution.
Anyways, getting to the last episode, there are only a few things I want to discuss/point out.
First of all, the ending was confusing as hell when I first watched it. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, it makes a lot more sense, though there are still some confusing parts.
To me it just seemed like fluff to help make the episode last its full run, but now I understand the point of it.
All of the wishes made by the girls so far always ended in disaster; as Kyuubey explained, with all of the hope and happiness that comes with their wish, there’s despair and sadness that’s also created to balance it out.
For one, it was important to have the scene so people wouldn’t start going, “lol plotholes, despair where?” But the other reason was to emphasize the magnitude of change that Madoka was bringing about. Normally the despair and hope practically cancel each other out, or the despair just consumes everything, but instead Madoka was just, “lolnope, time to change the rules.”
Madoka’s wish not only stopped witches from being created, but essentially created new rules for the universe, and thus created a new universe entirely. Showing her so easily removing her despair was to highlight this change that she was bringing.
When I saw this I thought, “Wait, I thought I was watching Madoka, not Bleach.” I kind of just saw this as pulling something out of their ass so more :despair: could go on. However, after thinking about Kyuubey’s explanation for despair coming with each wish, and having recently watched the Matrix trilogy again, I understand the point of the demons coming about.
It’s all about balancing the equation. Witches have been removed entirely, so a replacement was needed. These demons, which seem to form from people’s despair (at least that’s the impression I was getting), were part of balancing the equation for the new universe.
What was up with this scene? “Hey lets revive Mami and Kyouko for no reason other than to have some dialogue about what’s happening.” I mean, if that’s the reason, then I guess it’s alright, since the watchers do need to understand the overall picture, but if the scene itself doesn’t make much sense, then that’s kind of pointless.
It’s possible I’m just stupid and don’t understand the scene, though. I wanted to think of it as, “Madoka talks to them before trading places with them in the Purgatory-esque place they’ve been,” but this scene happened before any universe-forming was going on.
So was Sayaka’s death guaranteed from the start or something? They seemed to make it out as her dying from using an overpowered attack on a demon, I don’t understand why.
If any of you lovely readers have ideas, please do say so.
Hmmm… guess I should give ending comments.
Well, I wouldn’t say the ending was incredible, but I did certainly enjoy it. I feel like it would have had more impact if the episodes had been released on time, and if I had watched them a week apart.
Nonetheless, Madoka offered as great a ride for me as Star Driver did. While Star Driver was more due to the fans (the show, too, of course), Madoka was a great ride just off the show itself.
As I said at the beginning of this post, this show has easily become required watching among the greats of anime history. Now Madoka only has to stand the Test of Time.
RATING: 10 out of 10.