Review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011)

Moving picture, 5.0 hours

An alien species has discovered one way to counteract entropy.

Dark magical girl action, taking the genre for children and retooling it for depressive adults, as Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) did for mecha. It’s got the right mix of genre goodness, creativity and deconstruction. Shockingly, even the fan service is tolerable; some of the “illustrations” by other artists, displayed to the next-episode previews, give a sense of how bad and baiting it might have been. Episode 10 is the kicker, empowering a weak moe stereotype until there is no weakness left.

References here: Witch Craft Works (2014), BoJack Horseman (2014), “Johanne” (2017).

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction series magical girl