Puella Magi Madoka Magica review – Magical Girls have never been so fun


Originally I was going to watch the anime. All of my friends kept recommending it to me, not because it was a magical girl anime, but because it wasn’t your normal, super and sweet, hero girl anime. It added a twist. When it was announced back in 2011 by Aniplex for a US release, I held back from watching past the first episode and avoiding the oh-so-many-spoilers my friends wanted to tell me, only because they wanted to be able to have that group conversation on how awesome it was.

We were able to get our hands on the Limited Edition for review. You get to enjoy the anime in both DVD and Blu-ray, so you can lend a friend the copy and get them interested in the series while you enjoy the the beauty that is the Blu-ray version, an OST featuring 13 tracks from the anime, and some great collectible items that include a booklet with interviews, character design, stickers and a poster. All this in a nice box featuring Madoka (2 will be similar with Mami).

The main theme of the first set is simple, if you had one wish, any wish, what would it be? Madoka Kaname,  a typical 8th grader living a normal life with a loving family, has the ability to get one wish and with it she will gain powers of a magical girl. But things aren’t always so black and white, as Madoka finds out.

Madoka has a strange dream talking to a strange animal and watching a mysterious girl fight a strange creature. She suddenly wakes up from this strange dream. She heads to school and while in class, she sees a new transfer student, Homura Akemi, arrive. Oddly enough it is the girl from her dream, who begins targeting Madoka and giving her some strange advice. After school, she hears a strange voice calling out to her. Things only get worse when Madoka and her friend, Sayaka Miki, get pulled into a different dimension. She gets into a bunch of weird events that led her to become a Magical girl, fighting witches who kill and drain human lives.

After watching Episode 1-4 twice, I am really holding myself back to watch the rest of the series, but instead waited the extra month to get the 2nd volume. Simply put it is worth watching for anime fans, whether you’re a male or female.

Video Quality

With two options to choose from, the obvious for me to recommend is to watch it on Blu-ray at full 1080p to really enjoy the depth and colors of the anime. The transition from light in the normal world and dark in the alternate world is something to see. Aniplex is well known for some great animated animes like Durarara, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Full Metal Alchemist, and Madoka is right up there with great animation and awesome stories.

Audio Quality

The anime has both English and Japanese dialogue tracks. I have always been a fan of the original Japanese voice tracks with subs, but the cast for the English dubs, including new names like Christine Marie Cabanos, Sarah Williams, and Carrie Keranen did great jobs. Aniplex itself has some awesome dubs voices, and that means I’ve only enjoyed 4 English dubs in anime so far. With Magical girls using spells and weapons to defeat witches, the magical effects sounds wonderful. The music soundtrack is also sounding great.

Extras

The only Extras for this are the original trailers released in Japan and a music video, “Magica”, performed by Kalfina.

Final Reaction

It’s been awhile since an anime release had only 4 episodes, and it comes down to how hardcore of a fan you are. Luckily, Aniplex and Crunchyroll have made a deal that allows you to watch full-streamed episodes of Madoka Magica on Crunchyroll.com every Wednesday with currently episode 2 up at the time of this post and episode 3 scheduled to be up tomorrow. If you are on the fence about buying the DVDs/Blu-ray or the Special Edition, you can watch it online.

Fans have the ability to enjoy the anime in 3 different ways; A standard DVD at $29.98, Blu-ray at $39.98, and the Limited Edition at $74.98. It is all available now.

Grade: A

Vol. 2 release on April 10th, 2012, so pre-order yours now if you are a Madoka Fan. The Limited edition is also available for pre-order.

Also of you haven’t seen our coverage of the Madoka Magica meet and greet event, check out the amount of fans who waited to meet the English voice cast.

About author

Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.

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