「それはとっても嬉しいなって」 (Sore wa Tottemo Ureshii Natte)
“That Would Make Me Really Happy”

After a lot of you commented on this week, I’m starting to think that the depth on this take of a Mahou Shoujo is probably what makes it stand out from the rest. As I sat here watching the second episode, I could almost feel the different atmosphere that each scene tried to create. After taking a week to gather my thoughts on the show as a whole, I don’t think I can even compare it to other shows. Instead of striving to be that “cute” show that tries to capture your attention with fan-service or using mystical devices, Madoka flies past the competition using it’s ability to change the atmosphere on a whim. By switching between a light hearted scene to a serious one, and making it flow smoothly, a sense of tension starts to build even though nothing is actually happening on screen. Something other shows only dream about doing.

Besides the dialogue helping push the story along, I’m glad to see that the whole mahou aspect isn’t being blown out of proportion. Besides having some type of artifact that provides a Mahou Shoujo her power, it was really interesting learning about the strings attached to becoming one. With the only upside being that a single wish will be granted, I couldn’t decide if actually becoming a Mahou Shoujo was blessing or a curse in disguise. While being able to transform on the fly and casting spells on a whim does sound really fun – is it really worth having to risk your life every single day to fight against witches who roam the land, causing havoc wherever they go? Besides having no physical form, they seem to have tons of minions at their side wherever they go, ready to attack anything that gets near them. Plus, even if a Mahou Shoujo didn’t want to fight them, it looks like that fighting witches is essential for a Mahou Shoujo to keep her powers intact. Without defeating witches, they are unable to restore the magic after they’ve used it; and without magic to defeat witches, I would guess a Mahou Shoujo becomes useless! It sounds like a pretty vicious cycle to just have a single wish granted. On the lighter side of things, even though the atmosphere can feel super serious at times, I’m glad there is still room for jokes to get thrown around. Besides watching Madoka and Sayaka fail to be subtle about being able to talk with each other telepathically, it’s even funnier when Hitomi misunderstands their strange actions and believes that they’ve become so intimate that they can read each other minds! Besides bringing up the topic of how a forbidden love between girls probably would never work, I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of watching her run away with that cute squeal of hers.

I’ll take a second to quickly comment on the art style during the fighting scenes. While I can honestly say that I’m not a fan of the whole abstract art style of the monsters and how they look too “real” in comparison with the characters, the background art that SHAFT decided to use in the other dimensions look pretty amazing. The battleground where Mami and the witch fought at looked amazing – making me think it might be something that could have came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book for adults. Plus you can’t forget how awesome Mami looked like as she started pulling rifles out of thin-air (like a magician with a top hat), finishing off with a HUGE pistol with a just as huge final blast.

With such an interesting checks and balance system for Mahou Shoujos, it makes me wonder if there is a greater power behind the whole thing. Could there some omnipotent being that controls both Mahou Shoujos and witches? And what about Kyubei – he couldn’t be the only creature who can create pacts to make Mahou Shoujos right? From an animation standpoint, I’m glad that everything still looks nice and crisp, especially all the close face shots. While the plot itself hasn’t advanced very far, I’m hoping that this SHAFT original keeps on being awesome.




  1. I still don’t understand what happened in the fight scene. I actually didn’t notice that there was a change in the tension at different points of the episode as it flowed quite smoothly. It’s nice how it melds both the soft hearted and seriousness together so that we have a complete episode rather than the first half focusing on the characters and then the latter half focusing on the fights with a lack of connection.

  2. the fight scene is awesome! unlimited guns work XD
    one thing I am curious is how Madoka’s dream in the beginning of the first episode connect with all these… nice way to keep the plot a mystery, I like that.
    and to use the witch loot drop made it sounds like that magic girls and witches might be related or something like that…
    Art style is still as SHAFTY 🙂

  3. I’m loving the underlying creepiness I keep feeling from everything. Regardless of what direction the story goes from here, I’m loving that everyone seems to be putting dark twists to every piece of information given, i.e. like witches being magical girls who were unable to fulfill their contract and refill their powers.

  4. I definitely wasnt disappointed, it had a smooth and light hearted atmosphere then went to dark and serious one later. the fight was pretty cool to watch, pulling out guns here and there and using a gigantic for the finisher. it was a bit confusing for me when the tendrils came from the holes though.

    but what I really liked most was the hint of yuri in there. I predict and hope sayaka really loves madoka…

  5. wow. Animation wise SHAFT is at it! That abstract sequence was again very jawdropping. Story-wise its getting pretty gripping i guess. Needs a bit more episodes like Nanoha to be really breathtaking. So far this is my “Series to automatically watched when an episode airs”.

  6. dang! subtle yuri is delicious! L0L. man, this is why i like shows to have girls everywhere. XDD

    nuff with the perversion,xD my impression of this still haven’t changed.the aura that it gives thrills me! madoka surely is a worthy watch.XD

  7. I think the fact it brings people to thought about the very foundation of what we are seeing is epic…i like the suspense, even if it turns out to be what we expect. It kind of reminds me of telling stories as kids when things like witches really did seem scary. the music is epic. They are really doing a good job using it to enhance moods along with the dialogue. Very well put together ambiance. Is it just me or did Mami look extra ruthless when she stomped on that little creature thing to get the big witches attention!? o_O

    1. Actually with the need for the heart thing (and it being needle shaped) they get after defeating the “witches”, it seems like Mami’s a drug addict. “Sharing” the witch heart with Homura reinforces that image.

      In that case Kyubei is a drug pusher, giving new “clients” a free taste before they start being unable to stop. Mami’s motivation could then be seen as being pretty black.

      If this was true, then the series would definitely be a head spinner on cliches 🙂

  8. And one other thing: on one of anime related sites i just read interesting theory which says that bright “real” world here is just illusion in which our heroine sleeps and that destruction we saw at the beginning of first episode is real

    Discuss 😛

  9. there still 2 things for me that i dont understand in myself.
    1. Even though i dont like the art why do i feel i dont want to drop this.
    2. Why do i get absorb when the fighting begins.
    (╯︵╰,) what a strange anime

  10. This series is quickly becoming the top priority in my list this season. This is the first Mahou Shoujo to be in that list after 4 years (the last I’ve watched and completed is Cardcaptor Sakura), It seems that many people are commenting on how this series and Nanoha are the same, maybe perhaps I should try re-watching Nanoha which is still currently “on hold” on my list.

    Yeah! It’s about darn time I watch Mahou Shoujo themed series, something I’ve been avoiding for quite some time.

  11. I just love the way this series strays from the norm of fanservice and melodramatic battles about friendship. The girls aren’t fighting for the sake of their friends or any of that bullcrap; they’re fighting for survival. The music and insanity of the abstract artstyle adds to the feeling of terror. I love it.

    The only thing I can really complain about is the witches themselves. I love SHAFT’s abstract art style, but I have to agree, it just felt like it would be a little cooler if the witches were animated normally. The backgrounds and the minions are great, but I would prefer the witch itsself to look a little more…hit-able? Like, it feels as if they’re shooting a piece of paper. Meh, that’s all I have to complain about though.

  12. ” I’m starting to think that the depth on this take of a Mahou Shoujo is probably what makes it stand out from the rest.”

    IMO, the reason why Madoka is able to be stand out is because the array the magical girls genre offers is vastly unique in the first place. Every couple of years or so, a magical girl show comes along that is innovative and tries to bring something new to the table (be it Utena, Princess Tutu, Rayearth etc.) that I think it’s hard to find a cookie cutter magical girls show (the closest I can think of would be Pretty Cure, and even that is difficult to call run of the mill at times) I think it’s the genre’s own malleability with introducing and experimenting new ideas that allowed for a show like this one to be born.

    As for the actual episode, Unlimited Musket Works for the major win people. I do wonder what other things Mami keeps under that skirt @_@

    Oh and Yuri.

  13. The anime looks even more promising, which is rare for me. I hope Shaft can keep up the quality with the show in both story and animation wise. BTW, I love Mami’s elegance when fighting, especially with the tea sipping at the end.

    1. Gen Urobuchi is going to be exclusively in charge of the script and plot, so I doubt there will be much fluctuation in there.

      As for the animation … this is SHAFT after all, best to keep these sort of expectations low for the reminder of the show.

  14. after rewatching this episode many times and seeing some SHAFT anime art. i finally realize that anime is not about the movement, moeness, fan-service and etc., its about how unique the animation is how they will adopt this to story/manga/Light novel/Visual Novel/blahblha. Seeing that, if they keep repeating the same style over and over again, it will make you think that anime is getting boring or something.
    From what i understand from the different dimension thing ,the art i think is “messy, distorted,not sorted out”. Meaning things get messy inside when they fight.

  15. Fight more = More Grief and soulgem becomes grief seed easliy
    Mami may finds downliners to reduce that oppotunity.
    Kyuubei look likes a salesman on the MLM business.It’s persuade Madoka into its MLM business by bulff and offer some benefit.
    Honoka mays knowned this thats why she has killed intention.
    Ps.Kyuubei’s contact its reminds me to the demon contacts.

  16. A great episode once again. As far as I can tell Mami’s stealing the show from Madoka lol. Unlimited Rifle Works ftw.

    If there’s one thing I hope they change though then it’s the enemies. Whilst the abstract stuff is okay for now, I’d like to see some well animated antagonists which the magical girls can fight, and we the audience can connect to. There’s only so many times you can fight a strange, abstract, disjointed cannon fodder…thing…that passes for a witch before it get’s boring.

    Ninja Penguin
  17. several point to say
    1) unlimited gun work, cool
    2) don’t trust kyube and mami( seem to be hiding something )
    3) hmm, recharging soul gem huh, why is that a reward? maybe 2nd function will explain better
    4) very important: anyone notice hitomi said to madoka? In my translation (from nutbladder???) she said: “I’m jealous! i just feel like a fifth wheel now!
    FIFTH WHEEL???, either there are some translation problem or that she is foreshadowing that hitomi is involve as well

    1. A 5th wheel is a wheel that does not belong in a vehicle since a vehicle can turn and maneuver normally when there are 4 wheels and less. Unicycle, Bicycle, Tricycle, and cars. Once you add a 5th wheel, the maneuvering becomes awkward and it makes it very hard to turn. Thus the term of the 5th wheel, its the wheel that does not belong.

      Suppa Tenko
      1. I’m not really sure where you got that “5th Wheel” definition, but that is not at all what the term means in American English. I admit, the subbers or you could be from some other country with different sayings and different meanings, but this looks to me like a translation error. The proper term would be “3rd Wheel” which is a saying used for someone who tags along on dates between couples. Just like a bicycle, only 2 wheels (the bf and gf or in this case, the two girls accused of having some kind of lesbian relationship) are needed and a third just feels left out.

        The phrase is sometimes extended to “5th Wheel” if there are two couples and a single person who is feeling left out. “5th Wheel” is also a type of trailer or RV which is pulled behind a truck.

  18. Hmm, maybe it’s just me, but did anyone else notice the German on the wall when they entered the building? From what I could see, I recognized it as a quote from Faust, the alchemist who sells his soul to the devil. I’m pretty sure Kyubei and Mami are more sinister than it appears, and here are my reasons, based solely on these two episodes.

    1) Hemura showed up at the school to warn Madoka to not become a mage. Did anyone notice the setting there when Hemura told Madoka to stay as herself? The two were on a bridge. mmm, symbolism.
    2) Hemura was trying to kill Kyubei so he couldn’t give Madoka the offer
    3) Kyubei said he *wanted* to make a *contract* with the two girls. That means he was actively seeking them out, specifically Madoka. Also, notice the language he uses at the very end of episode one. He says “I want you to do something for me”.
    4) Kyubei said he could grant one wish as his part of the contract. Sounds like a devil’s offer to me
    5) Mami threatened to kill Hemura
    6) Mami’s gem didn’t become brighter due to a recharge, it became brighter because the darkness left it
    7) Mami’s apartment was poorly lit when she was describing everything, implying something is being hidden.
    8) Mami is trying to convince the two to sign the contract, hence the witch-hunt. But, she earlier states that a possible motivation for Hemura’s warning was to reduce competition. Something seems off here.

    All of that makes me think we’re going to be in for a big plot-twist later that shows Kyubei and Mami aren’t as nice as they appear.

  19. Yeah, ‘recharge’ my ass.

    I have a similar opinion of the analysts above, too much foreshadowing and a sense of foreboding. The ‘maybe she just doesn’t want competition..to recharge her powers’ seems like bullshit to me as well.

    Somethings up. How could Saito Chiwa ever be a villian!!

  20. Caution: Never watch this when tripping. You might wind up eating one of your own hands.

    So the first thing the witch-blob does is … throw a Victorian sofa (I think it was a Chesterfield) at Mami.

    Sure, that makes perfect sense.

    If you’re insane.

    I like the series so far, but it loses 30 points when I see the somewhat lame witch-blob and the incoherent battle scenes. Same old SHAFT crap I’ve seen for the last god-knows-how-many years. Please get some new ideas.

    Otherwise, the art is really nice. Very well done. But this whole “I’m trapped in a Tool video” stuff really needs to go. It’s very 1996. And it wasn’t even that hot in 1996.

    As for the plot, I don’t trust a critter that has arms (or whatever the hell those things are) coming out of its ears. $5 says he creates the witches so the mahou shojous can fight them. Maybe that’s why Homura was trying to turn him into McNuggets?

    The odd thing is this– if he is so powerful that he can grant any wish, why couldn’t he stop Homura’s attacks? Was he letting her attack him on purpose then? Why can’t he just do away with the witches himself? Why does he need to get 13-15 year old girls involved? (Isn’t that a little creepy?)

  21. The battleground where Mami and the witch fought at looked amazing – making me think it might be something that could have came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book for adults.

    Monty Python would be closer. The animation reminds me of the animation and the transitions between skits in the Flying Circus show.

    While the witch herself lacked character (and I hope that the future witches become more interesting), I think that the artwork is wonderful so far. I like the way they use shadow, indirect light and reflection. The scene where Madoka and her mother brush their teeth looks great. Of course, her mom is a cool character too. Or the scene where they discuss the grief seed — the lighting is very nice. Even the clock looks great. [10:56]

    On another note, while the two magical girls have been positioned as one being good and the other bad, how will things develop? Mami keeps suggesting that they should ensure that they make the right choices, but can they? What is Akemi’s motive? Is the cute critter deservedly cute? I don’t know how it’s going to develop but I’m looking forward to it.

    I also liked how the two girls prepared for their day. Sayaka brings her Louisville Slugger, Madoka some costume designs. And I like they way they are trying to think of what’s behind the curtain. Do they really need a wish?

    Lots of tension, some interesting characters and some cool artwork. It looks like a fun ride is getting underway.

    1. Oh and as for the grief seed absorbing darkness, maybe witches are actually Mahou shoujos that have fallen to the darkside, and each time a mahou shoujo uses fights against a witch, her jewel becomes tainted.

      Suppa Tenko

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