Saturday, November 12, 2016

Madoka Magica, Magic Girls and Horror

So this week life happened to get in my way a little bit and I wasn't able to find time to watch a new horror anime to talk about, but lucky for me (and everyone who reads these posts) I happen to have a lot of stored up anime to fall back on and write about in case of instances like these. I didn't have one particular anime from my "collection" I wanted to write about so I googled "horror anime" and I was shocked that Madoka Magica came up as a result. I then remembered the scene where one of the magical girls gets her head bitten off by a witch in front of her friends and then decided that yes this seemingly cheerful anime does indeed qualify as a part of the horror genre. I love this anime and have rewatched it several times along with all three of the movies and hopefully I can write a semi-coherent post about it and do it some sort of justice and tell you why I like it so much. Also a disclaimer before you continue on, I haven't seen this anime in a while so this is a post of what I remember it to be and some of what I say might not be totally accurate so read at your own risk!

Basically, Madoka Magica is your average magical girl anime about the protagonist Madoka Kaname and her best friend Sayaka Miki being approached by an adorable cat like creature who offers to grant the girls one wish and asks that they sign a contract and become magical girls that hunt down witches in return. Of course this offer seems too good to be true, you get a wish granted and you get to be a super cool magical girl? It just so happens that ding ding ding! This offer IS too good to be true. There is a ton of fine print within this contract and it just so happens that nobody bothered to read any of it. The witches the magical girls hunt are actually previous magical girls. When a magical girl dies, they become a witch. When you become a magical girl your soul is removed from your body and transferred into a gem. If you damage the gem, you die. If you don't clean your gem with the tears from a dead witch, it gets cloudy and you turn into a witch. A lot of stuff happens, people get their heads bitten off, new timelines are created, magical girls turn into witches, and contracts are made at the magical girls' dismay. Also they find out that Kyubey, that adorable cat thing, is harvesting the magical girls' soul gems and their emotions to counteract entropy aka the heat death of the universe. Basically, he was never on their side and could care less about what happens to them.

I don't want to give away the entire plot to this anime because I really really want people that haven't seen it to watch it, but there is so much more that happens. There are alternate universes, an intense one sided (?) love between two of the magical girls, tragic deaths (like seriously I cried forever because of some of the deaths), the soundtrack is literally so good I used to listen to it on repeat when I first watched the anime, the animation is super interesting too especially during the witch fights, and I cannot even begin to explain how complex and compelling the storyline is. I don't really like the magical girl genre too much (I'm sorry I just cannot get into Sailor Moon) but this one is really good. I want to say that it doesn't matter that they're magical girls, but that is the entire premise of the show so I can't really try and argue that point. Madoka Magica is such a strange anime I'm at a loss as to how to describe it to you. There are moments in it where you think you're watching a happy slice of life anime about a group of friends and then the next moment you're in shock because someone died or some strange revelation was made. Also there's only 12 episodes so if you just watch those it's a relatively short series. You could also just watch the movies because the first two are just recaps of what went on in the series and then the third one is the finale to the entire thing.

I feel really bad because I love this anime so so so much and I feel super scatter brained trying to write about it because I'm really tired and I have so many thought about this show and I can't figure out how to communicate them in a coherent way so I hope you get what I'm trying to say. Madoka Magica is one of my favorite anime's of all time and I would say it is an anime that people consider a classic, but also don't quote me on that because maybe it's just the people I know that think that way. I hope you take some time out of your life to sit down and watch this show (and the third movie!!!!) because I really enjoyed it and I hope you do too. It's not gory and it's a more subtle psychological type of horror that will leave you feeling depressed and maybe a little bit traumatized, but I have checked several website and they all classified this as a horror anime so I swear it counts! If you want to watch this and want to know where to find it, Netflix has everything including the show and three movies, I think Crunchyroll also has the show, but not the movies, Hulu also has the show, and if you google 'Madoka Magica watch online' I'm 99% sure there is a website that has it streaming floating around somewhere. So go watch it and tell me what you think!


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