One of the aspects that makes being an anime fan fun is how everyone has their own opinion. Everyone watches different shows, has their own thoughts, and formulates their view. Everyone is different. Certainly, you may find several people who have the same thoughts as yourself on one or two shows but not once you start bringing up a dozen shows, you’ll see there’s some divergence. Each fan is a unique individual who has their own tastes and thoughts on everything they watch.
Continuing on that aspect are rankings (and you’re probably wondering when I’ll get to Madoka). Rankings are one of the most basic ways of communicating one’s judgment of an anime to another. And of those ratings, typically a 10/10 is the highest possible grade an anime can get. A 10/10 to one person will mean something entirely different to another person, yet they still use a 10/10 to communicate their thoughts. That’s the benefit and disadvantage of using such a system. So, in this post, I’ll try my best to communicate what makes Puella Magi Madoka Magica a 10/10 for me.
Madoka had everything I look for in an anime. It was thought-provoking, evident from all the wild theories everyone tried to use to explain everything, and it was thoroughly entertaining, judging from everyone’s reception of it. The directing was astounding, something rather extraordinary with its pacing, its shots, and all the details that made watching it meaningful.
The artwork was breathtaking. All those witches and their worlds were innovative and a significant concept for this anime. But their presentation is more noteworthy, putting a unusual feeling into each scene and each fight. The animation was splendid throughout the series. The use of light, colors, architecture, and other elements are usually non-existent or after-thoughts in other anime but here, they were focal points. It was truly something to watch.
Another significant aspect in my ranking of Madoka was the characters. While at times I never felt emotionally connected to everyone or agreed with what they did, I ended up liking everyone before the end. Kyoko, the glutton that she was, was rather a fun character to watch. Her personality was interesting with how it shifted but I felt it changed for the better of the anime. We hardly got to know Mami, which is my regret with her character. She was one of my favorite characters with her kind and supportive (maybe pushy even) personality toward Madoka and Sayaka. Sayaka was prideful and believed in her ideals, even if it meant she would be worse off. She was rather admirable in how she did what she believed in instead of harvesting the witches for her own existence. It’s fun to think about how misunderstood Homura was at the beginning before we knew what we were getting into. I felt she was the best character, especially after the tenth episode, when we finally observed her true character and her true goal. Madoka provided the audience with its view of the world of magical girls, allowing us to witness the hope and sorrow her friend faced. She was sensible and logical and provided the strong character role necessary of a lead for this show. And Kyubey, what a fascinating character he was. As the mascot of the series, he played the role perfectly with how he explained details and tormented the girls unexpectedly. In all, I felt all the character designs were strong and very appropriate for the story. I had qualms sometimes during the series with some things they did and I still have some of those issues but they are largely overshadowed by the positives at this point.
Madoka’s story was extremely stimulating and, despite the entire depressing nature of the show, ended on a rather inspiring note. The way details unfolded about the world of Puella Magi, the sequence of events, and the pacing of the series were all strong. The placement of the tenth episode was perfect. The character development matched the story development well, one never too far ahead of the other. And the storytelling was another strong feature, providing time with each girl to add their part to the story as a whole. And the story provided some ideas to ponder and left us with a rather touching note. It’s a story I would mind rewatching all over again.
I’m not an expect on anything sound related but I was not disappointed with that in Madoka. Music in Madoka not only was gorgeous but helped build the atmosphere and provided a strong mood during each scene. And the absence of music, too, was used to build and play with the tension, too. Another strong point regarding the sound was the job the seiyuu did with each character. They were able to match the emotions of the scene and add another layer on the passion of the anime.
The setting, too, was rather remarkable when considering it took place mainly within the confines of a Japanese metropolis. Definitely, a high point with the setting was the witch’s worlds, each individualized and methodically detailed. The various rooms the girls visited were populated with various details, such as Madoka’s bedroom, Mami’s apartment, Homura’s home, and the industrial district they often visited. But the best part about the setting was the dark feeling each area created. Whenever the anime wanted the mood to be ill or sinister, the scenes would be dark to match that feeling. The setting did a great job of enhancing the mood of the anime.
So yeah, the past few minutes are why I rank Puella Magi Madoka Magica a 10/10. Not only was an extremely engaging anime, both in emotions and entertainment, but it is one of the more memorable ones, too. I haven’t watched an anime like this in a long time and I’m truly thankful I did. And I know everyone who watches Madoka may not feel the same way but I hope you at least found the show to be valuable. It was more than that for me.