It's been forever since I came here, but I really want to review Puella Magi Madoka Magica since it's is one of my favorite animes. I was pleasantly surprised that CSM reviewed it since this anime series is not as popular outside outside the anime community compared to the likes of Dragonball Z or Sailor Moon. I will try to write a clear review without spoilers to the best of my ability.
Short version of the plot is, ordinary 14-year-old Madoka Kaname is called by a mysterious creature named Kyubey who can grant a wish. In return, she has to become a magical girl and fight witches. But the mysterious new transfer student in her class, Homura Akemi, seems to want to stop Madoka from making a contract at all costs. Sounds simple, but the story becomes much more complex as the series progresses.The anime, produced by Studio Shaft, is only 12 episodes long, with a sequel movie called Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion. Alternatively, the franchise also has two movies, Beginnings and Eternal, which are compilation movies of the anime that are more or less the exact same as the first 8 and last 4 episodes, respectively. Personally, I recommend watching the TV series over the movies since the movies do take out some scenes, but both are phenomenal in their own way. As stated by many others already, parents should keep in mind that this series may seem like a typical cute magical anime with moe and slice of life elements, since the most of the artwork was created by Umi Aoki, the artist who created Hidamari Sketch, which is another cute anime with young girls that was also produced by Shaft. But it's deliberately misleading, as the anime is shown to be a much darker take on the magical girl genre, deconstructing many tropes present in the genre. This series is similar to Neon Genesis Evangelion, an anime that deconstructs the mecha genre of giant fighting robots. There are deaths, as well as bloodshed (more so in the movies and the revised DVD/Blu-Ray versions of the episodes than the TV airings, as Shaft has a bad habit of finishing episodes only hours before airing them on TV so they reanimate the series to be prettier on the disc releases). Other concerns may include Madoka's mother drinking ("Being an adult can really such sometimes, that's why were allowed to drink"), some risque language in the English dub ("damn", "what the hell", "dumbass), brief nudity during transformation scenes (but nothing can actually be seen), and the fact that this is one of the most popular anime series, it is naturally a cash cow franchise, hence the compilation movies of the series. The movies have a rating that roughly equates to a PG-13, so I would recommend thinking twice before letting any younger children watch the series. Gen Urobuchi, the writer of the series, is famous for his dark, nihilistic writing styles in his works like Fate/Zero and Saya no Uta, so that is something to be aware of. The story of Madoka Magica is not the typical story found in most other magical girl animes about the main character's adventures as a magical girl, but rather the main character watching other magical girls around her fighting witches and discovering what it truly means to be a magical girl. As a result, the characters learn that living a normal life is preferable. The characters are interesting and the audience might be able to relate with them. While not all of them may be likeable, they do all have their postive attributes. Their development makes you attached to them.
Overall, this is a phenomenal series with original thoughts and interesting twists. I definitely recommend it for anyone over 13, and parental supervision for slightly younger kids. And have a box of tissues ready because you will probably find yourself wanting to cry while watching.