Every season has to have some sort of series that involves magic. It can either be serious with a deep plot, comedic with a light story, or a hint of both. Where does Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika fall? The first episode leaves you wondering.
I went into watching this first episode expecting it to be a typical mahou shoujou with an easygoing, naïve heroine running around trying to collect stuff. After some of these expectations were broken and explosions from a bunch of giant matchlock rifles, I became somewhat interested.
However, most episode ones are usually crowd-pleasers. It introduces characters, establishes setting, and throws out some sort of cliffhanger that leaves you interested for more, but never leaves any indicative mark of how the series will pan out as a whole. Nevertheless, I try to hold back any feelings of “kakkoii!” and keep it in my “things to watch” pile until a few more episodes come out.
While MadoMagi doesn’t have much in the way of fan-service (unless you dig transforming magical girls in cute outfits), it does have a unique choice in environment setting, art style, and good animation going for it.
What is interesting to note was how different this setting is compared to other series. MadoMagi uses a modern metro style; large open spaces, numerous glass panels, and artistic architecture dominate. It’s like having a modern art museum in your own home and practically everywhere else.
MadoMagi has smooth, crisp animation with light-toned colors and a unique ‘sketchy’ art style (the character’s iris’/pupils in particular) typical to Shaft (the studio doing MadoMagi). Some sequences also have a “‘scrapbook” style artwork using real pictures. The animation, colors, and unique styles are similar to Shaft’s previous works, Hidamari Sketch, Pani Poni Dash!, Maria Holic, Bakemonogatari, Negima, and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series.
Having seen a lot of and liking their work, I’m expecting another high-quality series. I think MadoMagi might start comedic until mid-series, and then end up taking things to the deep side. By the looks of this episode, I’ve ruled out a strict “SOL” (Slice of Life) plot. But my predictions are sometimes wrong, so we will just have to see what happens next in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika.
P.S. The opening song title is Connect by ClariS. I’ve only been recently introduced to ClariS from their opening in OreImo (Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai), of which I liked. Connect isn’t half bad either.
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