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

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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

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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!

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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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6 Anime to watch at Halloween

1) Blood+

Blood+

Saya seems to be an ordinary high-schooler until she meets a mysterious cellist and starts having strange flashbacks, unaware that she has amnesia. When she is attacked by a terrifying bat-like creature the cellist comes to her rescue. His name is Haji and he calls the creature a Chiropteran, which is sort of like a vampire in that it lives off of blood. Once she had been feed his blood she regains her powers and some of her memories, including ones of him. Together she and Haji set off to find out more about her past and fight the Chiropterans, but the bat-like monsters turn out to be the least formidable of her enemies. Man, even just watching clips of the first episode makes me want to re-watch this entire show!

2) Higurashi When They Cry (2006)

when they cry higurashi

Okay, so, I haven’t actually seen all of this one yet, I’ll edit a full description when I’m done watching it. It was recommended to me by a friend as being a horror anime and good for Halloween. But, essentially, it starts off as an unassuming Harem anime where the normal-looking guy is surrounded by a bunch of pretty girls, however things begin to get more and more sinister. By the end of the second episode its clear that its going to get more murdoerous and bloody, especially with a google search used to gain the above image.

3) Shiki

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Shiki is translated as Corpse Demon, so we can sort of tell where this is going already just from the title. Natsuno is not at all pleased about his parents forcing his family move to a small Japanese town, but he tries to make the best of it with his friend Toru. Doctor Ozaki is faced with an epidemic which turns out to be one of the undead, which comes to include many of Natsuno’s classmates. The old people call these undead ‘Shiki’ and they  begin to take over the town.

4) Corpse Princess

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The series takes place in a world where people who have “intense regrets or obsessions” can maintain an animate corpse after death, becoming imbued with powers that aid them in attacking humans. These monsters are are called shikabane. Makina is a different type of undead creature, a Shikabane Hime (Corpse Princess) who hunts down the newly transformed monsters, aided by her bonded partner, Keisei a Buddhist Monk. In addition to destroying the dangerous shikabane to protect innocent humans, Makina also wants to hunt down the shikabane group the Seven Stars, who killed her family. In their battles Makina, Keisei, and Keisei’s adopted brother Ouri encounter other Shikabane Hime and their partners, leading to a more complex social dynamic.

5) Another

another

“When Kōichi Sasakibara transfers to his new school, he can sense something frightening in the atmosphere of his new class, a secret none of them will talk about. At the center is the beautiful girl Mei Misaki. Kōichi is immediately drawn to her mysterious aura, but then he begins to realize that no one else in the class is aware of her presence.” -AnimeNewsNetwork

Okay, okay, fine I haven’t actually watched this one yet either, but once I finish Higurashi When They Cry, I’m going right to Another. This was also a suggestion given to me, and it has been on my to-watch list. The recommendation pushed it up, so one I finish it I’ll update this entry for it. School, why do you always get in the way of TV?

6) Chibi Vampire Karin

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This was the first anime that I thought of when making the list, but I wound up with Horror/Action/Adventure genre stuff for the rest of the list, whereas this one is more of a Romance/Slice-of-life then with a bit Action thrown in later on. Karin lives with her vampire family but she attends a human school and pretends to be human. But, being a vampire isn’t the worst problem she has- Karin is actually a reverse vampire. She makes too much blood and has to bite people to inject it into them, otherwise she has massive nosebleeds all over the place in a comical but embarrassing fashion. When she meets Kenta, a normal human guy, she realizes that her blood-producing is worse around him but he helps her out with hiding it from the other students.  However, relationships between a human and a vampire are discouraged, which puts her in danger from the other vampires.

Also, this post was featured on AnimeShinBun!

ADDITIONALLY CHECK OUT MY 13 ANIME GIFS FOR HALLOWEEN POST!!!

Things that were suggested but didn’t make the list:

Soul Eater– It has that Halloween feel: art style, Blair the enchanted cat, and the fact that they’re fighting witches. But it just isn’t HORROR enough for my personal taste as pertaining to this list. Also, like Bleach, its very popular and a Halloween theme isn’t really needed to re-watch it.

Vampire Knight- This show IS about vampires, but it’s also the romance, so much so that the vampire stuff often seems lost to me. I do really like this show, but in anime just because a show has vampires doesn’t automatically make it ‘perfect for halloween’.