Anime Review: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

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Well, things have been frustrating recently, but that does not mean that it overshadowed the good that did happen.

Because of the good things, I recently got a new show from iTunes, and today, I am going to review that show, which is called Puella Magi Madoka Magica (part 1, part 2, part 3).

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Madoka Kaname is just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life, but one day she meets a girl in real life that looks like the same girl that appeared in her dream and she is pulled into a world that no other humans know about.

Now, she must decide whether or not she wants to join it, when things are not as they seem.

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I kind of liked this show. Now, I am not really much of a fan of the magical girl shows, though I did live in a time when both Sailor Moon and DBZ were on television in the US, but I decided to give this show a chance, since Daisuki does not seem to have it in their iOS app, at least when I last looked, and my new dog makes it tough to watch it subbed anyway. I liked how I felt like was drawn into the story within only a short time. In fact, I did not want to take my eyes, though that is kind of impossible with the needs human have, as well as needing to deal with a dog. I also liked how the two of the main characters did not immediately jump at the chance to gain magical powers. In many other titles, the moment the characters get a chance to have power, they immediately take it, with very little skepticism. Then again, they did not really have much choice, unlike Madoka and her friend. I also liked how mysterious things were throughout much of the series, like how Homura knew so much and acted like she did not want to be involved with others. Even after watching it multiple times, mainly because I needed to remember how things went and the dog makes it hard to do reviews when I normally do, I could not really figure out Homura until the final episodes. This is how I wish a lot of shows and movies were, because that tends to make things so interesting. However, we live in a world where things are not perfect. Another nice thing is that Shaft style actually seems to fit this series quite well. Unlike ef — A Tale of Memories, which had an art style that did not go with the kind of show it was, the art work seem to give me the feelings that I felt really belonged. If the style of the artwork does seem to fit the kind of show being watched, it can really ruin the enjoyment that may have been. The thing that I liked most though was the subs for the opening and endings. These days, anime distributors in North America tend to alternate their subs between romaji and English, which did annoy me at one time, but it really confuses me. Here, I see both romaji and English subs being presented in the opening and ending of almost every episode, though it is not close the karaoke subs that people who claim to be true anime fans seem to like. I guess Aniplex does things a bit differently than other distributors in North America. Then again, since this is the first series I got from Aniplex, I am not too sure how they usually handle things, because all other dubs of series associated with Aniplex that I have seen were from distributors other than Aniplex of America. The fact that things seemed to mysterious, even after multiple viewings, and the fact that the art style fit the show, as well as the fact that the subs for openings and endings do not alternate between romaji and English subs, make this a decent show.

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Although I liked the show, there are some issues. However, only one thing seems to really bug me. The episodes are out of order. Now, I am not sure if things are like this on the DVDs and/or BDs, but in the third part of the iTunes edition, two episodes were out of order, which I did not know prior to my first time through. Because of this fact, the show did not really make too much sense because there seemed to be way too many endings. This is not the feeling I want to have from a show, especially since the final Lord of the Rings movie annoyed me enough with that issue. Now, I could edit the arrangement in programs like XBMC, since that relies on filename, but other programs, like Quicktime and VLC, read things from the file's metadata. As such, I had to edit the metadata with the use of MetaZ to get the metadata corrected. I got the show from iTunes so I would not need to edit the metadata. As much as I want to blame iTunes, I cannot because the FAQ on Apple's site suggests that the ones responsible are either aggregators or the studio themselves. I sure hope that Aniplex does not make the same mistake when, and if, more of their titles, like Sword Art Online, come to iTunes. After all, I can only see one other Aniplex of America title on iTunes. The fact that two out-of-order ruined an otherwise decent experience really hurt the show more than it should have, because there ending up being multiple endings.

Despite the fact that my initial viewing was ruined by episodes being out-of-order, the good outweighed it enough that it was worth watching. I recommend everyone to give this a try, though the DVDs and BDs may be a better experience, even with the high prices Aniplex is known to charge its customers.

What are your thoughts on Puella Magi Madoka Magica? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Did any of you who have it on DVD or Blu Ray have the same issue I had with the iTunes download? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.