Sunday, August 7, 2011

Manga Review: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (1)

“Magical Girl Madoka of the Magus”

There exist strange creatures who have the power to grant one wish to each chosen girl. However, in exchange, that girl must then become a magical girl and fight against witches, evil creatures born from darkness that are responsible for murders and suicides.

In the city of Mitakihara, a schoolgirl named Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki are approached by a familiar named Kyubey, who offers to grant each of them one wish in return for making each of them a magical girl. Another magical girl named Homura Akemi tries to prevent Madoka from making such a deal, while Kyubey urges Madoka by telling her she will become the most powerful magical girl. However, contrary to the glamorous notions one would expect, a magical girl finds herself dealing with death, isolation, agony over the value of her wish, and existential crises. Madoka, following her friends, soon sees the darker side of being a magical girl, and because of knowing the truth about being a magical girl, she questions if she should become one as well.

Upon hearing a friend raving about this anime series and how great it was, I decided to check it out. It was only twelve episodes long and not nearly long enough. So after completing that, I decided to check out the manga adaptation. It follows the series almost exactly. I honestly can’t say which I enjoyed more.

Madoka (the one in pink) is a fourteen year old girl, living a normal life with her parents and little brother. Sayaka (the one in blue) is her best friend. They meet new girl, Homura (the one in black), and it’s not long after that Madoka is called to help Kyubey. Kyubey is a small white creature, similar to a cat, but with long floppy ears. He is under attack from Homura. Madoka and Sayaka save Kyubey and instantly see Homura as the bad guy.

But before they can get away, they are under attack of an evil witch. Enter Mami (the one in yellow), a mahou shoujo (magical girl), who has come to defeat the witch, saving Madoka and Sayaka. Kyubey gives both girls the option of becoming a mahou shoujo as well. In exchange for a life of fighting evil, they will be granted one wish… anything they desire. But is a lifetime of fighting witches worth it? And is Kyubey really to be trusted?

Volume one was fabulous, and I’m off to read volume two!

Also, check out this fabulous site, Puella Magi, for more information about this series and spin-offs.


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