Serené here! Welcome to Café Daifuuku! We will be doing our best to pick up the speed and post out regular reviews, so once again:
(haha, I shouldn’t be the one saying this, since I’m the slowest writer here)
Etto, today is also my first time anime-reviewing, so if I’m awfully wrong about how I’m approaching this, please do send me advice! I have a feeling that making a fool of myself on the internet may not be very good for any future careers I may have…
Now, since that is over and done with, let’s get on to the review!
Seated? Comfy? Coffee not too hot? Lets Go!
Today’s post comes to you in 2 slices. That is:
- Slice 1 ~ Episode 1 Review, and
- Slice 2 ~ First impressions.
Part 1 will be more about the storyline, while Part 2 will be filled with personal thoughts and opinions about the characters, the art, the music, etc. In all seriousness, if you haven’t been living under a huge rock of some sort (I hear Sedimentary Rocks are really stylish at the moment) and have already watched the first episode (and probably the second episode as well, since I am quite behind), please do feel free to skip my mediocre summary of it and continue directly to Slice 2 (kinda like eating desert before eating the actual meal). I won’t cry (too much) if you choose to do so.
And of course, hovering your mouse over screenshots may help uncover treasure!
Slice 1 ~ “I Met Her in a Dream”
Madoka Kaname is your average pink-haired schoolgirl. She has the talent, the math skills, is aware of her surroundings, can run a mile a minute, and is completely not helpless when it comes to love. Can you imagine something like this actually happening? The pink-haired girl is almost always the klutzy one.
What she does have however, is a wonderful family, some wonderful friends, and some interesting dreams.
Now, since this is the beginning of the anime, and especially since there’s magic involved, the first few episodes, undoubtedly, had mostly background information and almost no plot. However, since its Shaft, and since they’re awesome, boring information and character introductions are worth blogging about too.
The story begins with her in an EPIC dream world, where she bears witness as a mysterious girl is trying to attack some mysterious beings. She is told (by some fox-like creature) that if she wanted to, she could change the outcome of the fight. However, before our heroine could answer, she wakes up from her dream…
I’m personally going to stare at this character for the rest of the episode to see if it is actually is capable of making facial expressions.
[cue opening song]
The next section is mostly for character introduction. We see her family and her friends, and gets a little bit of information about all of them.
The Kaname family consists of:
A father who cooks and gardens (rather unusual)
A mother who loves makeup and gossip, and is absolutely NOT a morning person
A baby brother who…well…you’ll see.
Sayaka Miki: Energetic and a little tomboy-ish. (Bottom)
Hitomi Shizuki: Pretty, soft-spoken, etc etc. (Top Right)
Of course, lets not forget the mysterious girl who Modoka had met in her dream. That’s right, by the magic of Anime, this mysterious girl turns out to be…the new transfer student!
And of course, they recognized each other immediately. The mysterious girl is introduced to be Homura Akemi. Good at math, good at athletics. The complete opposite of our heroine.
However, she’s here for a reason. The pair find themselves alone in the school halls, and our mysterious girl proves her mysterious-ness by asking a mysterious question:
“Do you believe that your life is precious?”
Fast forward till after school: Madoka and her friends are at the mall. A few things happen, and Madoka eventually finds herself with Miki at the CD Store.
Now remember that fox-like creature? Somehow, Madoka starts hearing pleas of help from the creature, and runs after the voice into a closed portion of the mall. Miki, seeing that her friend has run off, followed her.
Madoka eventually finds the creature in pain, and proceeds to try to save it. However, she meets Homura in her Magical Girl outfit, who blocks her off and requests for her to leave the creature alone. Madoka wouldn’t allow the creature to get hurt anymore, and is saved eventually by Miki.
The duo try to escape, but then their surroundings suddenly changed! They’re trapped! What should they do now?
Luckly, someone came to the rescue.
(Now if only real life was just as easy)
Mysterious girl #2 successfully returns their environment back to normal. She seems to also know Homura, and spoke briefly to her about a Witch. Then, she was able to cure the creature, who then introduces itself as “Kyube”. The episode ends with a very surprising request:
“Madoka Kaname, Miki Sayaka, I want you to make a contract with me and become Puella Magi!”
That’s it for the very first episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica!
Slice 2 ~ First Impressions
Puella Magi is definitely very different from the normal Mahou-Shoujo animes. Although I had said in the Winter Season Preview post that I thought it would be just like any other Magical-Girl out there, Puella Magi Madoka Magica has so far proved me very wrong.
I haven’t seen quite as much Shaft as I should be seeing, however, I’ve so far seen everything I love about them in this anime. The art style is almost a mirror-resemblance to the art in Hidamari Sketch, and personally, I think Shaft’s unique style of “collages” has been used to their fullest potential on the so-far unnamed “evil things” with the paper-ripping effect, the “cut-and-paste from a magazine” effect, and more. This gives an overall contemporary and abstract feel to the anime, which I find very refreshing. Another thing I like about this anime is that it does not stage it’s girl-characters as Damsels in Distress. The girls have actual powers that make sense, compared to the hearts, flowers, stars, and frilly things most anime girls are seen fighting with (what’s so scary about a pink floating heart?).
Of course, even without floating hearts and frilly things, SHAFT still manages to keep the anime cute and light.
However, there’s a bit of a plot hole at the moment. Kyube asked both Madoka and Miki to take part and become Magical Girls (Puella Magi). That obviously leaves their friend Shizuki out of the circle, and this is the first time I’ve seen something like this happen. Will Shizuki find out that her friends are Magical Girls? Will she become a Magical Girl herself? Will she fall victim to the “evils” and have to be saved by Madoka and Miki? There are many possibilities. I do hope we’ll still be able to see a good chunk of her in the later episodes though.
The music. Oh, the music! I can go into great lengths about the music. I can write my own bible for the music and worship it for the rest of my life. The opening song is by a new group, ClariS, the Nico Nico duo who has previously sang the theme song for Ore no imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (My Little Sister Can’t be this Cute!), and although this is my first time listening to them, they are indeed amazing. The song they sang, along with all other music for the anime was written by Yuki Kajiura, and is worth listening to even if you don’t plan to follow the Anime.
I do wish they didn’t skip the ending theme in episode 1 though. Although it is pretty normal for animes to skip OP/ED when there’s a lot of information in the anime itself, it was kind of disappointing that I didn’t get to hear Kalafina’s ED for Puella Magi.
In closing? Puella Magi is AWESOME! Go watch it!