Produced by Shaft and Aniplex, directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and written by Gen Urobuchi Puella Magi Madoka Magica Volume 1 is the first of the three volumes planned for the saga and includes the first four episodes of this anime hit from 2011.
The story follows the adventures of 8th grader Madoka Kaname who led a normal life until a magical creature liken a cat named Kyubey appears, giving her the chance to become a magical girl in exchange for one wish, a decision not easy to make.
Madoka is not alone in her adventures as her all time friend Sayaka shares the ride. Both of them could not decide if they should or should not become magical girls in order to battle the evil and mysterious “witches” who drives people to suicide. There are a couple of very important characters but we won`t spoil it as you have to discover for yourself who they are and their importance in the story which, we can advise, involves a huge twist.
Madoka Magical is not a classic magical girl series as it includes innovative and darker elements, leaving most of the comedy out where Madoka must face her destiny. The plot first looks like a typical animation immersed in Japanese Moe culture which changes after the first two episodes, moving the story to a more mature viewing to avoid comparisons with other series such as Sailor Moon, despite the similarity between them.
The colorful animation in Madoka is flawless with innocent characters and beautiful backgrounds. The series takes everything to a new level, mixing conventional Japanese animation and cool classic old school illustrated scenes whenever the characters enter the Witch’s Labyrinths where we can see surreal characters and scenes which remind us of sketches done by Tim Burton for Alice in Wonderland and Nightmare Before Christmas. However this kind of mix of animations could be a bit disturbing for some viewers and actually takes a while to get use to it.
Overall, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Volume 1 is a series that is here to stay and probes that the magic genre can be reinvented with the addition of innovative elements, including easygoing characters, a simple quick-developing plot and outstanding art directions that will be a pleasant surprise for everyone. The extras on the disc include the Textless Opening and the Textless Ending of the series.
Madman brings Puella Magi Madoka Magica Volume 1 to Australia, in DVD and Blu-Ray and is an anime hit worth collecting; especially if you are a fan of the magic genre and series like Sailor Moon and Magic Knight Rayearth…we really cannot wait for the next volume!