DistributorAniplex, also streams on Hulu.
No of Episodes: 12
Suggested Age: 13+
My Rating: 10/10
Summary: A group of girls are met by a strange cat-like being called Kyubey. It tells them that it can grant them their hearts’ desires and transforms them into magical girls in order to hunt witches. But something sinister is afoot. What are Kyubey’s true intentions?
Review: When I decide to review an anime, I do not look up info on it because I prefer not to be spoiled. So I had no knowledge of what to expect for this title.
When I heard the premise from a former friend of mine, I expected something along the line of Cardcaptors or Sailor Moon. Boy, was I wrong! This is really what you call a deconstruction. It takes what is usually established and destroys it.
The art style is chaotic. The enemies the girls fight create their own environments, almost looking like an animated Salvador Dali painting.
The characters are interesting. Our heroine, Madoka, is actually the weakest of the heroines. But in the end, she proves to be the one who is underestimated by Kyubey.
Kyubey operates similarly to Mephistophilis, a demon in Christopher Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus. In the play, a man named Faust meets a demon who offers divine knowledge, in exchange for his soul. The same premise is made here. Each girl is offered a contract that eventually transforms the girls. They then become dependent on the “soul gems” that are created when they defeat a witch. If they do not allow Kyubey to “purify” the soul gems so that they can use them to heal from battles, they receive the full brunt of the injuries they received.
Kyubey is a great adversary. Because it is demonic, it does not understand the value humanity places on life and compassion. This is a classic model: dark cannot comprehend light.
The overall story had very interesting twists I didn’t see coming. The ending alone is quite the payoff.
I highly recommend this program. If you can handle dark stories, the payoff will be worth it.
Sub/Dub: I was only able to watch the sub.
Music/Score: Beautiful and epic. I like the closing theme best.
Violence: (5/10) The girls magic and there are a few death scenes. We also see what happens when someone tries to back out on a contract, and it’s pretty painful.
Nudity: (3/10) There is silhouetted nudity in the final episode.
Religion: (5/10) OK, time for the spoilers for the ending. Kyubey is a demon and it is harvesting the girls’ souls to create entropy. As I stated in the review, they are essentially contracting with the devil. In the final episode, Madoka outsmarts Kyubey by taking all the suffering of those who made deals with it upon herself, somewhat like Jesus did for us. This not only thwarts Kyubey’s plans, but it also remakes the whole universe.