Puella Magi Madoka Magica 03: Sweets=BAD

“If you want to make someone else’s dream come true, you need to make your own wish even clearer.”

Mami draws a thin line (of sugar) between selfishness and carelessness, and the end result is not pretty.

I’m sold on this show. Episodes 3 and 4 have been out for quite some time now, but I’ve been so bogged down that I haven’t had a chance to witness why everyone was going nuts over episode 3 in particular. So to prevent this post from going poiler-ific out of my sheer excitement and anticipation for the episodes ahead, I’ll talk about the general theme that brought me to like this series, and eventually this episode specifically.

Mami and Madoka on a bridge in a witch’s portal perfectly shows the contrast between the light and dark elements of this series. I don’t normally watch mahou shoujo shows  (although I’m trying out Shugo Chara), so I’m really only guessing that they’re typically light hearted and full of bright color palettes. Puella Magi pulls out all the stops on that common trope, yet adds the dark, moody, and serious vibes akin to horror stories and whatever creatively twisted worlds Shaft has ever produced these past few years. The witches’ portals themselves are so demented (..and filled with sweets this episode..) and awkwardly animated that it makes even me wonder sometimes when those segments will move on to something more tolerable to watch. Conversely, those very segments are what differentiate this show from the others I’m watching this season. The amount of uncertain intrigue about these environments is what I’m hooked on.

And then there’s the mysterious Homura. The “I told you so” look on her face during the aftermath of Mami’s previous duel with a witch was priceless. Further reasoning behind why Kyubey should not be trusted…EVER. Homura has popped in and out of scenes these first few episodes as something of a potential antagonist, but I always had a feeling there was more to her grim outlook on her and Mami’s abilities than initially perceived.

So basically, Madoka is the main heroine in this show alongside her friend Sayaka, and both are being persuaded to become Puella Magi for the greater good of the world. Witches are bad and must be stopped by the Puella Magi, which in-turn helps the Magi because they replenish their own powers every time a witch is defeated. Magical girl civil wars, anyone? Another interesting part of this show has been the character designs; this ain’t your regular Hidamari Sketch sextuplet. I’d always enjoyed Ume Aoki’s character designs from Sketch, so to see the same style in a much more darker tone was a fresh welcome.

Looking forward to Sayaka’s and Madoka’s reactions in the next episode over what just happened. I’ve been seeing a lot of commentary go back and forth about Kyubey’s involvement with the girls, so it’ll be entertaining to see if any contracts will be made out of grief or for what Madoka and Sayaka truly wish for.

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