Puella Magi Madoka Magica

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Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Director Akiyuki Shinbo
Screenplay Gen Urobuchi
Format Anime (TV)
Made By Shaft
# of Episodes 12


Magical Girl, Drama, Fantasy, Action

Sum it up in a Sentence:

Innocent schoolgirls make Faustian contracts with a cute mascot character and become magical girls to fight against the Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei OP.

Main Description

Akiyuki Shinbo (Nanoha S1), Gen Urobuchi (Saya no Uta, Fate/Zero), Ume Aoki (Hidamari Sketch original manga), and Shaft team up to create a new kind of magical girl story. Yuki Kajiura (Kara no Kyoukai) provides the music and Gekidan Inu Curry (Maria Holic ED animation) provides the designs for the monsters of the week.

The main character is 14-year old middle school student Madoka Kaname. Other than a dream about a black haired girl fighting against an enormous monster in a destroyed city, her life is remarkably average. One day when she's out at the mall with a friend, she encounters Kyubey, a messenger of magic, and Mami Tomoe, a magical girl who is one year Madoka's senior at school. Kyubey offers to fulfill any one wish that Madoka has. In exchange, Madoka must become a magical girl and exterminate witches, evil spirits who drive people to suicide.

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Personal Opinions


Madoka Magica is the best TV anime I've ever seen. Urobuchi's excellent writing, Kajiura's excellent soundtrack, Shaft's clever animation style and direction, and Gekidan Inu Curry's crazy monster designs combine to create an utterly fantastic show. The pacing in this series is some of the best I've ever seen, the show is a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. There is not one single superfluous scene in the entire series and shit is always getting realer. So much happens so fast in every episode that it will feel like 25 minutes pass by in the blink of an eye every time, and every episode develops the characters and plot in some substantial manner. I loved the show from the very first scene, but I know that a lot of people have trouble with it early on. All I can stay is stick with it until the end of episode 3, that's when things start to really get going.


Saying that Puella Magia: Madoka Magica is a show about magical girls is like saying Evangelion is a show about mecha: technically true, but missing the point entirely. Urobuchi's fantastic writing coupled with Shinbo's superb direction creates a wild tale about what might really happen when middle school girls are made to fight reality-warping evils. The plot twists and turns with every episode, leaving viewers with as many questions as answers, and the sheer amount of attention to detail lets speculation about every aspect of the show abound. Supported by Yuki Kajiura's spectacular sountrack, Ume Aoki's unique character designs, and some of the best animation SHAFT has put out to date, this show is an absolute must-see, regardless of your thoughts on the magical girl genre.


This a rare series where the hype matches the product. Don't be fooled by the troll OP. If you search for moe, you will only find suffering. The sharp writing, fantastic music, and trippy visuals will make it worth your while.


People will tell you to watch this show because it's a "z0mg dark subvershun" of Magical Girl anime, and technically they're entirely correct.

But Madoka Magica's real strength lies not in what kind of show it is, but rather just how well made the entire thing is. Regardless of any other factors, Madoka Magica is a beautiful, engaging, intelligent, and finely-tuned storytelling machine. Every frame, every line of dialogue, every track on the OST, and every grim revelation is perfectly planned and flawlessly executed. Absolutely flooring visuals from Shaft, adept direction by Akiyuki Shinbo, and a masterfully written story from Gen Urobuchi drive this remarkable twist on one of anime's most beloved genres.


Easily one of the top five anime I've ever seen. Gen Urobuchi's fantastic writing combined with Shaft's unique take on art direction come together to produce a landmark series that is unlikely to fade from memory any time soon. At only twelve episodes, it's a very low time investment to watch, and worth absolutely every minute. The show's themes pervade every character interaction and every plot twist. Bravo to everyone involved in the making of this absolute masterpiece.

a kitten

A fantastic series that is tightly plotted, thematically consistent, well directed and written. From the first episode where things that seem very familiar have hints of darkness, to the end where all the threads come together to make one of the most satisfying endings I've seen in a while, the whole show is spectacular start to finish. Vaulted its way into one of my very favorite series, or even stories in general.

Robert Denby

Going into this, all I knew was that it was a SHAFT/Shinbo joint (which vary all over the place in terms of quality), and that it was a magical girl show that essentially turned the genre on it's head in a very unsettling way. Even in the very first episode, there's a sense that things aren't what they seem. You have protagonists leading ordinary lives get caught up in something supernatural, the mascot character who grants magical powers, and monsters to fight. But everything seems just a little... off. Maybe it's the evil realm the characters have to enter to fight witches. It looks like the nightmare from Twice Upon a Time, just weird 'cutout' animation and trippy imagery.

The show's writer, Gen Urobuchi, has gained a lot of infamy in a short career for making a lot of unsettling work, and this is no exception. What's different about this show from say, Elfen Lied, is that it wasn't just shocking or disturbing for the hell of it, there was actual payoff -both on a story and dramatic level- as to why the show is difficult to take at points. Early on is a death scene that was extremely shocking. Instead of having the entire thing happen off-screen or go the opposite route and have the character die graphically, the creators of the show went the route the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" went - showing you just enough so that you can get sickened by it, and letting your mind fill in the rest. It's no surprise that early into it's run, Urobuchi apologized for misleading people into thinking this was a normal magical girl show.

As things progress, the characters are fleshed out in interesting ways, and the writing never feels like it's cheating or taking the easy way out when it comes to some difficult-to-pull-off concepts. It's clear that Shinbo and Urobuchi thought this show out really well, both as it's own contained story, and as a take on the whole magical girl genre. It isn't like Evangelion where you could see the point where they went, "Hey, I'm bored with the standard mecha stuff, how 'bout a little fireworks?"

Even with some pacing issues at the start, and a few choppy bits of animation (most of which are cleaned up on the DVD/Blu-Ray release), this is easily the best anime in quite a few years, and very worthy of all the hype and acclaim it's accumulated in such a short time.


I've watched this show through twice and both times I cried at the end. I have no shame admitting this. The show is that damn good and easily my favorite anime.