I’ve Got The Magic In Me… Or Not: Madoka Magica Review, Part One

10 Jun

That’s right, it’s time to spin the Great Big Wheel of Netflix to choose something completely random to review! Annnnnnd today’s winner is… Madoka Magica!

What the hell is “Madoka Magica”?!

… My god. They’re colour coded. I made a terrible mistake.

Okay, lemme see… Madoka Magica is an anime series, about… um… hrm. Okay, fine, spoiler alert, I’m comin’ in to this one blind. I just felt like stepping outside my comfort zone, and picked this one because I like alliteration!

Yes, that is seriously the only reason I’m reviewing this. Look, nobody ever said the reviewer life was glamorous.


Today’s episode one opens with grainy film stock over trippy imagery. My god, we’re back at Altered States, everybody flee! Women and critics first! After that, we cut to a girl in a short skirt, running through a world made entirely out of checker-board patterns and lace doilies.

… If I reference the “Mad Mod” episode of Teen Titans right now, that makes me a loser, right?

[Editor’s Note: Yes. Yes, it does.]

Gotcha. Just making sure.

She eventually opens a door, revealing her… house, I guess, to be on a giant tree, and… suddenly a rock song starts up as we cut around a devastated city, with a big glowing sigil in the middle of the floating carnage? Well. Nice of the show to be completely batshit fucking insane right out of the gate.

Yet another mystery magical girl starts flying towards the sigil, but gets stopped when somebody just up and throws a fucking skyscraper at her head! And when she flies through it, she gets hit by some good old fire in the face, because there’s no kill like overkill. Checker-Board Girl agrees with me, and a nearby talking cat tells her that she has the power to help and change the world.

Also, talking cat what?!

I’m pretty sure if cats COULD talk, all they would say is hate.

The talking cat tells Checker-Board Girl that she needs to become a magical girl, and next thing you know, she’s waking up in bed! Clutching a massive pink bunny, which given the episode so far, I’m surprised hasn’t started talking or shooting fire at people. Annnnnnnd cue traditional Japanese opening sequence that has nothing to do with the show it’s based on!

… Which also apparently features under-age nudity.


Moving on!

Checker-Board Girl, who is finally called Madoka by her father, goes about her morning! Says hi to her dad, helps her little sister wake up her mom, gossips about relationships with said mom, and getting dressed in an adorable outfit! And by adorable, I mean she includes a bowtie. And bows in her hair. She is reaching Super-Critical Bow Mass. The background radiation alone can kill us in ten minutes flat. SCHOOLGIRLS ARE OUR MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON.

Madoka meets up with her friends, all of whom are wearing skirts short enough to show up on My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, and they start gossiping about boys some more. Lets see, Madoka has pink hair, and now we have one with blue hair and green hair. It’s nice when all the plot relevant characters are colour coated like that.

In class, their angry teacher is… insisting that you should never judge a woman by the way she cooks her eggs? If that’s some kind of filthy Japanese slang, I’m shutting this thing off and dousing my skin in cleansing thermite. And next thing you know, the teacher is introducing a new student, who has long black hair, purple eyes, and was the mysterious magical girl in Madoka’s dream! Holy tapdancing cocks, that’s like a Quadruple Anime Cliché Word Score!

Homura, is the new girl’s name, who comes complete with her magical piano leitmotif, and stares creepily at Madoka from across the room. My god, you could cut the sexual tension with a knife. When the other girls in the class start irritating Homura, she asks for Madoka to take her to the nurses office!

… B- but you know, in a really scary and mysterious way.

As they walk, Homura apparently already knows the way to the nurses’s office, and Madoka comments on how unusual a name “Homura” is. Well, thanks for establishing that for all the English speakers in the audience, I didn’t have a fucking idea! Couldn’t you translate that to something helpful, like “Skull Puncher” or “Cock Whistle” or “Renesmee”, so we KNOW how scary it is?

Eventually, Homura gets so pissed off at all of Madoka’s awkward attempts at onversation, she grits her teeth and whirls around with an expression that should really go with a “Skull Puncher”, and asks if Madoka values her life and her family. My god… it’s not Skull Puncher, it’s… Malachite, from Suburban Knights! 

… No? Damn.

Madoka answers that yes, she really DOES value her life, so Homura tells her that unless she changes, she will lose everything she loves! Or… possibly the other way around, I can’t tell. Look, Homura is good at being myserious, nobody ever said she was good at sentence structure. She IS, however, very good at walking away from this conversation like a badass.

I apologize for nothing.

We get a montage of Homura being so utterly awesome at everything at the school, before cutting to Madoka and her friends discussing what Homura said over lunch. Madoka explains how she saw Homura in a dream, and her friends immediately burst out laughing about “how you totally sound like you’re in an anime right now”.

Hah hah hah, I officially like you, show.

Green Hair and Blue Hair try and explain away the dream, and then Blue Hair and Madoka head off to the record shop. And meanwhile, in the exciting section of the plot, Homura chases the talking cat through a darkened parking garage while shooting lasers at it!

Annnnnd then immediately cut back to Madoka and Blue Hair shopping for records.




All of a sudden, Madoka starts hearing voices in her head, begging for help, and she wanders in to the darkened construction area of the mall. Because, you know, all malls have those now. She finds the talking cat, badly injured and about to die, and Homura wanders over and tells Madoka to get away from it. Hmm. Allow me to answer that with a blast from a motherfucking fire extinguisher in your face!


Thank you, Blue Hair.

Blue Hair, or Sayaka as the subtitles finally call her, followed Madoka over to this section of the mall and saves the day by spraying Homura with a nice jet of chemicals in the face. And then throwing it at her. Because when you have blue hair in Japan, you are physically no longer capable of giving a damn.

*put on sunglasses*

Homura teleports, but… suddenly gets a montage of bizarre images and butterflies floating around, which also swiftly envelope Madoka and Sayaka. And.. okay, moustached rice balls with butterflies for legs are attacking with a hoard of flying scissors, I officially have no fucking idea what’s going on any more.

Suddenly, there’s a bright flash of light again, and now everything is slightly less fever dream-ish! They run in to a girl with golden hair, who thanks them for saving the talking cat, before noticing the flying scissor hoards. QUICK, ENGAGE MAGICAL GIRL TRANSFORMATION SEQUENCE! She gets a corset, a pretty skirt, a fancy hat, and oh yeah, A METRIC FUCKTON OF GUNS. Do all magical girls get that? Because if so, I am switching my gender identity and getting a mini-skirt like that.

After all the scissors and rice balls get gunned down, suddenly we’re back in the real world! The girl with the gold hair tells Homura that she’s willing to over-look that she tried today, and Homura considers it, but eventually decides that maybe it’d be better to skull punch their cock whistles another day.

The golden girl, Mami, heals up the talking cat, who thanks them for the help. And, it turns out, has a proposition for Madoka and Sayaka: Sign a contract with him so they can become magical girls too! Wait, I want a kickass outfit a plethora of goddamn guns! Sign me up! Right over here!

So, that was the first episode of Madoka Magica! How was it? Um. Magical? I think?

The animation is nice and voice acting is charming, but not enough really HAPPENS in this episode to justify giving it my full endorsement. We get introduced to the characters and vice versa, but really, what exactly HAPPENED so far? New girl at school, shoots lasers at a cat, girl with a fleet of shotguns smacks her hand and makes her run away?  Maybe the next episode will be the lynch pin to put it all together, but until then, pretty much all this episode has going for it is adorable outfits!

Oh, what am I talking about, I would TOTALLY watch a show for its adorable outfits.

Case in point. … EEEEEEEEEEEE SO CUTE!


3 Responses to “I’ve Got The Magic In Me… Or Not: Madoka Magica Review, Part One”

  1. Tim Hurley June 11, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Cute cat picture! …with opposing eyeballs!

    Also, somebody is going to earn the ire of the anime-loving crowd if they don’t like this series. Never watched it, though I believe there was a PSP game based on it (only in Japan, of course).

  2. slacker June 14, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Finish the series and you will find your review turned on its head. Not joking

    • averystrangeplace June 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      I am planning to, but I have a LOT of terrible movies to muddle through in the meanwhile! Plus, hey, maybe I’ll end up hating it and scream incoherently at it for a while. Won’t THAT be fun!

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