Initially, I was wary of watching Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica because of the title Mahou Shoujo (literally Magical Girl). It was my prejudice to the “shoujo” genre that stopped me from immediately watching the series: I didn’t like how predictable the shows were usually are. Then I found out that Urobuchi Gen was the writer of the series which made me rethink that I should watch the series. At that time, I already knew about the notoriety of his stories (Saya no Uta anyone?). Though I was not yet that convinced so I looked into the reviews and criticisms of the people who already watched the show. What made me skeptical was how short the series was — 12 episodes and I thought that perhaps the ending would be hanging.
I was wrong!
This anime teaches you that do not judge an anime by its title.
You shouldn’t take Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica as its face value. The first time I watched the anime version, I was like, wow what an amazing friendship (in its own twisted way)… but then I re-watched the series, though this time the movie condensation and I realized that this anime has more to it than friendship.
There are several allusions to Goethe’s Faust and other literally figures in the series. I will not make a detailed post here because there are already posts about this in the internet particularly the wikia dedicated to the series.
Despite the fantastical setting, there is a sense of reality within the show. Particularly the “zero-sum equation” or the equilibrium of karma. For the girls to have their wishes come true, they must work on it… well something like that. Though the main overtones in the series are hope and despair.
Anyhow, this anime is a gemstone. Not all viewers are inclined to think deeply into a show but Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is a very thought-provoking series. It’s one of those shows that you will enjoy watching over and over again until your brain cells are very exhausted.