First Impression: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Alright! I guess it's a bit late for a first impression post, after all it's already 4 episodes but hey, I started late and this review is for all 4 episodes so it doesn't really matter, right?

Other than wanting to take my time to really enjoy this show, another reason I've been putting this off is because of some of the stuff I've been reading on the blogosphere. One made the analysis that the emptiness of Mami's room is implying something. One commented that there's a strong implication that living your life as a Magical Girl will makes you lonely and deprive you of friends. Another one talks about how Madoka's mom is actually miserable. All these comments gave me the impression that while the show had a pretty cheery exterior, it has a really dark and sad story... which... is something I prefer not to try. The bright and happy image combo with a very different story is going to give me a mindfuck I rather not have.

Well, now that I've watched it, I have one thing I really wanted to say to the other bloggers of this show.

Come on, you're reading too deep into this. True, Mami desolate room might represent a solitary lifestyle, but truthfully how much furniture a lone girl needs? There's no need to make it sound so sad. She probably can't talk to others about the problems she faced as a magical girl, but it's not like she cannot make friends with normal people. Her magical girl business is just a secret she gotta keep. Sucks that she got owned so early in the series, but I think we can all see that Madoka's gonna revive her using her wish she got to use for her magical girl contract. (At least that what I hoped to see... she can't be using it for anything else right? Mami's my favourite so far T.T)

So with that said, I don't have any problems with the story. I'm quite satisfied with what they've presented so far, and I like the fact that they're not afraid to take a darker turn in the story and make it rather tragic and sad. I like how they played out the sadness in the latest episode (4), where Madoka's trying to come to terms with the reality of the responsibilities of a Magical Girl, and, well, what happened to Mami. Sayaka's pretty much just a supporting character, but her own story and what led her to become a magical girl is pretty well played, and not overshadowed by the main story. I just hope that the guy will not turn out to be an ungrateful bastard or give me a bullshit bittersweet ending to a one-sided love.

Shinbo's take on this series is awesome. He never done tried this style before, unless there are similarities with Arakawa, the only Shinbo's work I never saw. The real world and characters adopted a light and almost fluffy feel to it. The backgrounds and inanimate objects looks bright and defined, which helps enhancing the futuristic feel of it. The characters are indeed very Hidamari Sketch, but in this series they added a bit of a sketchy feel to the animation. Very nice touch, IMO. In contrast, the maze (?) and the bad guys have a very strong, dark and erratic animation style. That was very Shinbo indeed, but it draws out the difference between this world and the real one extremely well, and I like the contrast between the two that it brings out. Yumekui Merry's dream world is nothing compared to this.

Outlook: Mind-blasting!

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