May 05, 2012

Earnestly Paving The Road to Hell

Magical girl shows:
Someone has given ENTIRELY too much thought to the concept.

I'd long heard that Puella Magi Madoka Magica was good.
It's a magical girl show
I'm 42.
I'm a dude.
To say I have little interest in the genre is an understatement. It was, therefore, rather far down on my to watch list.

I was particularly afraid that it was going to be a creepy underage cheesecake vehicle.

Oh my!

It's not. It's creepy in an entirely different way! Six episodes in I'm finding this to be an an intelligent, albeit rather disturbing show that raises a lot of questions. Those include hard questions about ethics as well as questions about who the HELL the target audience is. 

The character designs and animation are nothing to write home about but the art direction and writing is really inspired. Set in the near future (as envisioned by Corning it would seem) the backgrounds are gorgeous and imaginative. This contrasts jarringly with moments of frightening  otherworldlieness that come off as downright Lovecraftian.

The story is excellent thus far and is consistently surprising. This show has quite important things to say....Be advised though, it goes to some very dark places.

I'm hoping against hope that they can keep this up for the last half of the show. At the midway point I'm inclined to recommend it highly.

UPDATE: Wow...

...The first half had been well above average, The second half surpasses that handily.

I have rarely seen in any medium anything approaching the callous malevolence that is portrayed in this shows antagonist.

 Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an astoundingly well executed and brilliantly paced drama with which uses its 12 episodes to drive home a vital and timeless message.

Despair is a sin.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 04:51 AM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
Post contains 301 words, total size 3 kb.

1 There is actually an in-story reason why the architecture is strange, and it can be stretched to explain why the character designs are so funky.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sat May 5 07:24:06 2012 (+rSRq)

2 Can you elaborate on that, Steven, or is it tied up in spoilers?  I've seen the show, but I can't say I remember anything explicit which might explain the high-tech, ultra-Bauhaus futurism of the architecture.  Aside from "it's the near-future, and Japan".   If anything, I find the glass-birdhouse architecture creepier than the witches' labyrinths.  Especially that whitened-sepulcher ziggurat of a rooftop that Kyubey uses for his please-become-a-magical-girl seduction scenes.

Posted by: Mitch H. at Sat May 5 08:16:37 2012 (j/OI0)

3 Never send to know for whom the show is targeted...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat May 5 11:40:51 2012 (PiXy!)


Well, it's a huge spoiler. Brickmuppet, don't read this until you've finished the show.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sat May 5 14:10:25 2012 (+rSRq)

5 Wow Steven, that's an aspect I hadn't even considered when I watched it recently.  I merely accepted it as "Modern Near Future architecture".

All I can say to Brickmuppet is "Stick with it, it gets even more awesome."  It turns the entire genre on its head.

Posted by: Mauser at Sat May 5 15:59:48 2012 (cZPoz)

6 After you watch the tenth episode, imagine what it was like for us to have to wait six weeks for the conclusion.

Posted by: Don at Sat May 5 17:25:07 2012 (E4dk1)

7 What Don is referring to is that broadcast of the final two episodes was delayed by the tsunami.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sat May 5 17:38:54 2012 (+rSRq)

8 What Mauser said.

Posted by: Toren at Sat May 5 22:30:28 2012 (tcSL4)

Never send to know for whom the show is targeted...

I'm sorry WHAT?

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun May 6 00:28:21 2012 (EJaOX)

10 RE: Steven in comments 1 and 4.
Yes. That was subtle and it does follow perfectly. I'm not sure I'd extend to to the character designs though.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun May 6 00:54:15 2012 (EJaOX)

11 Oh wait...

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun May 6 00:58:32 2012 (EJaOX)

12 Muppet, since I couldn't seem to answer the text you sent me Friday evening:

Yes, this is SHAFT being its SHAFTiest. 

Sorta loses its punch now that you've seen the whole thing, but there you go.

Posted by: Wonderduck at Sun May 6 00:59:49 2012 (6CHh4)

13 Just for the record: it isn't Honami, it's Homura.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sun May 6 09:35:24 2012 (+rSRq)

14 of those H-words.  (facepalm)

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun May 6 09:46:47 2012 (EJaOX)

I'm sorry WHAT?
John Donne:
No show is an island, entire of itself; every one is a piece of the medium, a part of the main. If an episode be washed away by the censors, Anime is the less, as well as if a season were, as well as if a DVD of thy friend's or of thine own were: any show's cancellation diminishes me, because I am involved in otakudom, and therefore never send to know for whom the show is targeted; it is targeted for thee.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun May 6 12:35:27 2012 (PiXy!)

16 This article was the tipping point, off to Baka BT I went...

...ok, yeah, that was creepy.  I suspect my daughter is going to love this.

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at Thu May 10 00:26:53 2012 (N9Lwt)

off to Baka BT I went...

You know, it's streaming on Crunchy Roll.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Thu May 10 11:08:54 2012 (EJaOX)

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