Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica 01 (cont’d)
Sorry that this post is so late had some irl stuff to sort out…..
Well this post will be more about the initial impression rather than an episode review as this show really warrants one.
Overall the episode is quite normal mahou shoujo(magic girl) fare with the standard transfer student cliche and something mysterious occurring near the end of the episode where the main character needs to either become a mahou shoujo or gets saved by one in which the latter happens. Well as this is a SHAFT show, do not expect it to be generic as they sprinkle some of their magic to twist the genre. No fancy wands and staves in this show but guns and bows instead(which was shown when they initially announced the project). They even did a mahou shoujo Gate of Babylon(FSN ref) as an attack.
Even the monsters in the show were given a unique shaft twist becoming a mustachio-ed dandelion butterfly hybrids.
The episode ends sort of typical with the main character(Madoka) being asked to become a mahou shoujo but there is a twist as even her friend (Sayaka) getting recruited as well. I also see a slight NanohaXFate-ish chemistry between Madoka and Homura but we can only wait and see how it progresses. Other than that, there is nothing much to say as its only the first episode.
Now to start on the initial impressions and there can be no better way to start than to talk about what i think is the best of the episode and maybe the series, the music. Seeing as the staff of the show was already announced before the show aired everyone knew that the music was going to be done by Kajiura Yuki and did she not disappoint. Throughout the episode, the BGM was superb with the tempo and style to suit each scene done magnificently. The best part of the music was during the typical mahou shoujo transformation scene in which she added her own touch to it and it was a breathe of fresh air. Even though the BGM is quite a monster by itself, the OP and ED music is on another level. This show has one of the best, in my books, OP ED combos ever with Claris singing the OP and Kalafina doing the ED. Claris is and up-and-coming duo riding on their success on their debut single irony (Oreimo OP) and their new song is quite good. On the ED, do i really need to say anything actually? As a Kalafina fan myself, to me any Kalafina song sounds great but no need to worry as the ED sounds great.
Next up is the animation. SHAFT is well known for its superb and unique animation and did they not disappoint. The episode is filled with typical SHAFT fare with their animation/CG combos and paper-cutout scenes.
The action is animated smoothly with the typical SHAFT quality which i hope will mean that there are even better action sequences to come. And as a typical SHAFT bonus, the end of the episode preview comes with a guest artist rendition of the show and this time its done by hanokage.
Overall, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica has exceeded all of my initial expectations with terrific animation and music. Even the voice cast performed their roles perfectly and who knew that Saito Chiwa would do Akemi Homura using her Senjougahara Hitagi (Bakemonogatari) voice and boy did it suit her character. Well there is nothing else to say as this is just the first episode but please be prepared for a wild ride as with Urobochi Gen doing the script and Shinbo Akiyuki directing no one will know what will happen other than it will be awesome.
So watch out as the SHAFT, Gen, Shinbo and Yuki team add some flavour and spin to the mahou shoujo genre and get ready for a show that i feel will the be the best or one of the best this season.