To be the best means to surpass all and to contain the finest possible attribute. Indeed, it’s a bold statement to articulate that Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is the best of 2011. But given all the merits that are there to consider, I have no doubt that this show is the most worthy to be placed on this year’s pinnacle of excellence.
As a huge psychological, yuri, and fantasy fan, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica effortlessly fell under the category of my preference. But on the contrary, that didn’t give this anime an easy-pass to my watch list despite the fact that it clearly satisfied my genre of interest. With all honesty, those wide-faced and neon coloured hairs failed to impress me. Not that I have anything against with cute-moés, but I would prefer to watch characters with pointy faces, slimmer figures, and somewhat mature looking wardrobes—kind of like Ikuhara’s artwork.
On the other hand, staying true to Shaft’s tradition, I highly commend how this show beautifully presented its architectures and aesthetics. The buildings, roads and houses were well-structured and constructed. Plus, the minimalistic interior designs were truly impeccable and refreshing to look at. What’s more praiseworthy was how within all of these vibrant structural and flashy character designs, this anime artistically managed to breed something dark and baleful. It creatively turned tame-natured objects into something threatening and captivatingly mysterious. For instance, those strange checkers, malevolent candy land, evil doll houses, and shady hospital wards sinisterly yet pleasingly aired-out this show’s dark atmosphere—a perfect setting of a fairytale gone wrong plot device.
Plot-wise, MSMM might neither be a total ground-breaker nor one of a kind show. However, in such a small package—12 episodes—it innovatively rendered its dark twist without having unnecessary tease-and-chase components. The mystery was kept neatly and revealed cleverly. And from the get-go, this show gave its viewers a premonition which hinted and revealed vaguely the Walpurgist Night and the main conflict of the story—allowing us to wonder and guess what’s stored on the next episode.
Apart from that, what I truly loved the most about the plot was how it didn’t need any twofold deceptions in order for the antagonist to mind-blown its viewers. All those times Kyuubey was sneaking right under our noses by using its charm. Come to think of it, Kyuubey didn’t really deceive the viewers but rather shocked and caught us off guard. That being said, the execution of the events such as Mami’s death and Kyuubey’s revelation were smartly placed and carried out within the series.
As for characters, clearly we have seen character development especially on Madoka’s part. Her character wonderfully illustrated fear, hesitation, naivety, and triumph. Aside from that, it’s worthy to point out how she didn’t transform overnight, but instead took her time to metamorphosis and used effectively the roles of the other characters before completing her sole and ultimate task—which successfully made its viewers hang on their seats and anticipate the next episode.
For instance, Mami’s death deeply surprised us and seriously set the tone for some dark premise. Secondly, Sayaka’s insanity brilliantly setup and revealed Kyuubey’s misleading character and reminded how humans are so prone to deception. And lastly, despite leading to hopelessness and damnation, Kyouko and Homura’s characters showed hope and goodness in humanity that is worth saving—likewise Madoka’s family. Hence, it’s pretty apparent that every character has its own significance and strongly backed up the other.
Finally, indeed, the ending wasn’t as overwhelming and memorable. However, overall, it delivered a heart-warming and satisfying finale fitting enough to preserve the emblem-filled nature of this series and allowing the viewers to discuss and assume more. If we’re going to measure the level of success of this anime, it’s quite obvious that this show created the most buzz, profoundly impacted the start of the season, and elevated its characters into pop culture icons—Madoka was even said to have her own cult.
Some might say that viewers of this show only jumped into the bandwagon. But based on my experience, I would deny that. I was an aniblogosphere outsider when this show started to air. I don’t browse reviews and summaries because I dislike spoilers, and I don’t read posts that I don’t know anything about. Hence, this show allured me with its own magic. But of course, I’m aware that not everyone likes this series, however, for me, it’s beautiful and special on its own way.
Just before I end my final post of the year, I’d like to thank all of the readers and visitors of this blog, and online friends whom I interacted with on twitter. I really appreciate the encouragement and support which makes blogging really fun.
Happy 2012 to everyone and I wish for a prosperous and wonderful year ahead of us.
Past Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Posts:
Top Five Honourable Mention:
- Ikoku Meiro No croisee
- Mawaru Penguindrum
- Usagi Drop
- Hanasaku Iroha
- *Chihayafuru – still airing