Reccomendation in 5 Reasons: Madoka Magica (Show)

madoka magica group

Puella Magi Madoka Magica came out with one season of 12 episodes and became popular in 2011.  There have been three movies, two that recap the show and the third which continues it. In light of having viewed the third movie recently, I thought it would be fitting to explain my adoration for the original series. I know that many anime fans have already seen this show, and it might seem silly to make an effort for a slightly less spoiler-laden post about it, but this is simply how I’ve decided to do it.

Keeping it short and sweet, here we go!

1) Concise Series

Madoka Magica

I think that Puella Magi Madoka Magica had a perfect run length of 12 episodes at about 24 minutes each (including opening and end credits which you might not watch every time). It really isn’t that much of a commitment, and if you’re not hooked by the end of the infamous episode 3, when things start to getting good, clearly it just isn’t your type of show and you haven’t spent long giving it a shot. With 12 episodes there are enough episodes for a long marathon or two shorter ones. If you get into this show, you will stay intrigued because the plot moves quickly with pretty much no filler. In my opinion it has a proper, fitting end (in the Anime at least, I don’t really read manga). The third movie does continue the story, and it does wrap up a few questions, but, honestly, the original series felt complete to me before I saw the movie.

2) Art/Animation

As with most really good anime/manga, the art is simply incredible and speaks for itself but I’ll go on praising it just a tiny bit anyway. The concepts for the characters and their attacks are top notch, but the show truly shines in the more surreal scenes and the animation of the fights. It’s just all so beautiful, even when its intentionally grotesque or dark!

3) Good Round Characters

madoka magica2

It isn’t to say that many anime shows don’t have round characters, most of my favorites do, but it is a major plus when I can put this down on a list of reasons why I enjoy a show. The main characters of this show go beyond the typical ‘hair color is personality’ standby of Anime even though certain characters do fit some of their assumed traits. All these main characters have character strengths and flaws and are put in situations that make them explore the moral grey areas helps them grow and also helps you to get more emotionally invested in them.

4) Counter to most other ‘Magical Girl’ shows

madoka magica mami

puella_magi_madoka_magica-08-kyubey-incubator-shaft_head_turn

The show comes off as a typical ‘magical girl anime’ like Sailor Moon, but, unlike most of those shows it becomes very dark and thought provoking (going back to those moral grey areas). The concept of hope and despair having to be in balance runs contrary message of cutesy Magical Girl shows which focus on good overcoming evil. Also this relates back to the ‘hair color is personality’ statement in the previous point because Sailor Moon was one of the shows that helped nail down the association between colors and personality traits. Also twisting around the concept of the ‘cute companion animal’ is an aspect of the show which I really enjoyed.

5) People who normally only watch American TV will enjoy it too if they give it a chance!

madoka magica

After I first saw the show in 2011 I was trying to get all my friends to watch it, and I had one of my friends who hasn’t watched any anime sit down and view the concise 12 episode series- and she really liked it! (Honestly though, I think that most people who aren’t into anime could be if they found the right niche of shows that is similar enough to what they already watch.)

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10 Sparkle-Eye Gifs

sparkle eye

This blog needs more Sparkle-Eye Gifs, so more it shall have! Normally I try to keep blog is only about ANIME, but I enjoy other animated things, which have Sparkle-Eye gifs, so two of these will be from animated shows not from Japan! Shows recommended by me will have a ☆ next to them.

  1. Meiko “Menma” Honma peeking out from behind her fingers, from Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (I’ve been meaning to watch this one)
  2. Nai Muhinyi chattering cutely, from Karneval ( ☆ )
  3. Shooting-star eyed Serena, from Sailor Moon ( ☆ )
  4. Misty’s star-eyed twirl, from Pokemon ( ☆ )
  5. Kumin Tsuyuri’s excited reaction, from Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions
  6. Star + Eye, my immidate thought was Ciel Phantomhive, from Black Butler ( ☆ )
  7. Yui Hirasawa sparkling and stammering cutely, from K-ON
  8. Adorable squishy-face Jake, from Adventure Time ( ☆ )
  9. HUGE star-eyes PinkiePie, from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ( ☆ )
  10. Largest and most sparkley eyes with tiny hearts surrounded by MORE sparkles, from Squid Girl

Popular Anime of AnimeUSA 2013 (By Convention Poll)

In September I attended AnimeUSA 2013 and I went around asking people about their current top 5 favorite anime shows (not counting movies). Most people stared at me for a moment before their expression turned sheepish and confused, responding with something along the lines of “U-um, uh- well, that’s really hard! Only 5? Wow, I’ll need a moment to think about it.”

Mashup of Characters from Different Anime

Mashup of Characters from Different Anime

I tried to ask as many people as I could while still being able to enjoy the convention myself and wound up with 40 lists of 5 anime shows. As a notable part of my methodology, I did mostly approach cosplayers, since some people in a hotel on an anime convention weekend are just bystanders that wouldn’t be able to answer my question.

There were 99 titles mentioned out of the 200 collected total show answers, which I think really shows the diversity of the Anime community from such a small sampling. A lot of the shows only had one mention, and a number of those shows I had never heard of before, like Patlabor (which makes sense since it seems to be a Mecha series). But other shows only mentioned once surprised me because I thought they would have more people talking about them, like Guilty Crown.

Guilty Crown

I intended to make a chart containing only the shows that had more than one mention, since I thought that there would probably be only about 60 shows total with only about 50 or so repeated, but there turned out to be 43 shows and 143 results, which still seemed like a bit much. But even with 28 shows and 118 results the chart still looked… not very visually helpful.

Huge Anime Chart, 28 Shows, 115 Results

Huge Anime Chart, 28 Shows, 115 Results

Once I narrowed it down to 5+ mentions, there were 8 anime shows left, which seemed to be the most popular.

Top 8 Most Popular Anime Chart

First, as a side note, I want to point out that the listing of “Full Metal Alchemist” contains both the original series and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and that the listing of “Gundam” contains all answers that were a Gundam series, G Gundamn, Gundam Wing, and a few others. These are both shows are classics that probably got people into anime, as are Sailor Moon, and Pokemon.

Soul Eater

Of the more recent shows, Soul Eater is one that I consider to be a ‘modern classic’ which has joined the others on the above list as being a well-known show that most people in the community like or are at least well aware of. The other two, Free Iwatobi High School Swim Club and Attack on Titian, were the most popular new anime at the time of the convention, hence how they both made this Top 8 Answers list.

Attack on Titian

Attack on Titian

Attack on Titian had the most mentions with 7 total. You might be thinking that with only 7 out of 40 people surveyed saying that Attack on Titian is one of their top 5 favorite anime show that it wasn’t that popular, but I asked them about their top 5 shows, so I’m sure that many of them considered Attack on Titian, even if they didn’t put it down.

Overall I found this polling process fun and interesting! I think that I’d like to do it again at a future convention but ask more people… and write the post within a month of the convention, which I failed to do this time. Oops. Ah well, I hope that you all enjoyed this!