Puella Magi Madoka Magica TV Poster Image

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Outstanding anime is more violent than you'd expect.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The underlying message is that one should be grateful for what one has, and that a normal life is preferable to a magical one. Also, that suffering is part of life and that you must persevere and not let challenges get you down. Additional themes include compassion and integrity.

Positive role models

Madoka Kaname is kind, gentle, forgiving, and cares deeply about her friends and even her enemies. She has a very strong will and commits herself to what she believes is the right thing to do, even if it means that she might have to suffer in the process. Madoka is a big dreamer, but she is smart enough to realize when things get serious and is quick to act when other people are in danger. 


Lots of fighting, but it's normally concentrated against the Witches, though there are a few cases where magical girls fight each other. Weapons include muskets, swords, spears, bows, and a wide variety of guns and explosives. The Witches can be very gruesome and creepy -- stabbing, beating, shooting and even decapitating a few characters. 


The girls are often seen in their school-girl outfits (known for short skirts), which is common in Japanese anime. The opening song includes a brief shot of a naked Madoka, but her body is glowing so you can’t see anything.


A few instances of "s--t" and "crap" in both Japanese and the English dub.


There is merchandise available online, such as dolls, comics, and posters.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Madoka’s mother enjoys a drink occasionally.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Puella Magi Madoka Magica appears to be a cute animated show for little girls (similar to Sailor Moon), but it's full of dark moments and imagery that is more suited for teens and adults. Witch characters are very creepy, and there's lots of violence between girls and witches and sometimes between girls themselves, including beating, stabbing, and decapitation. Expect a bit of language, including "crap" and "s--t." There is a bit of adult drinking and some girls in short skirts.

What's the story?

In PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA, fourteen-year-old Madoka Kaname (voiced by Christine Marie Cabanos) is approached by a strange creature called Kyubey. He tells her that if she makes a contract with him, he will grant her a wish and give her magical powers. But in exchange for her powers, she must fight monsters known as Witches. As Madoka struggles to decide what to wish for, she discovers that the life of a Magical Girl is a tragic one, full of suffering and despair. Is anything she could wish for worth sacrificing her life?

Is it any good?


This truly special anime defies genre and takes a common idea for girls' anime -- giving teenage girls magical powers to save the world -- but gives it a darker twist. The result is a story more intent on making its audience think than simply providing entertainment.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica's animation style is full of fluid motion and attention to detail that makes it a uniquely pleasurable experience to watch. Every one of the main characters is well developed and its hard not to get attached to them as the story progresses. The plot is full of twists and turns that will keep viewers guessing and the overall messages -- including the idea that a normal life might be preferable to a supernatural one -- are powerful.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the tone of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. How do the creators establish a mood or tone for the series? What would make it a different kind of series? How would you change the series, if you could?

  • Talk about how the violence is presented. Does it improve the story? How would the story be different if it was less violent?

  • Talk about symbols in the series. Who do the witches represent? Are there other symbols you recognize?

  • How do the characters in Puella Magi Madoka Magica demonstrate compassion and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Premiere date:February 14, 2012
Cast:Christine Marie Cabanos, Cristina Vee, Sarah Williams
Network:New Video
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Fairy tales
Character strengths:Compassion, Integrity
TV rating:NR
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bynduns August 6, 2013

First, a quick warning to parents...

Do NOT be fooled by this show's outward appearance! Trust me, that look was meant to troll audiences into thinking it was a cute and innocent show when deep down underneath, this is one of the darkest and most brutal tragedies you will ever see! That said, though, it is a very well-written tragedy, a masterpiece if you will. It's very short but gets so much done and conveyed during that time. Heck, you have to wait a really long time for the main characters to get their powers, something you normally wouldn't expect from a magical girl anime. Anyway, if you're old enough, this one's highly recommended.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byDarky'sReviews June 19, 2014

It Won't Let You Look At The Magical Girl Genre The Same Way Again

I definitely didn't expect to see this show getting reviewed by CSM, mainly because it's rather unknown outside the anime universe. As much as it might seem like another of those cheesy fantasy girl shows that you see all of the time on channels like 4Kids. Deep down to the core, it really is a psychological thriller and a darn good one at that. With the constant twists and turns presented in beautiful and extremely inventive animation, it is definitely worth renting out 12 episodes. However, this isn't one I would recommend to your fairy loving 5 year old as it is quite violent and it can get pretty dark. This anime is also one of the rare cases in which the language is a lot milder in the original Japanese sub than what it is in the English version (just something that I would watch out for since most people not familiar with anime usually go for the dub.) This is a certainly a show that is worth checking out no matter how much you like magical girls or not, but it's one that's definitely meant to be left for teens, although it's worth trying out with older preteens as well, if they're mature enough. ON: 13+ IFFY: 10-12 OFF: 9 and under
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byvioletflames November 13, 2012

Deconstruction of a classic anime genre

First off, I am surprised to see this on here haha! As a huge anime fan, I have sifted through many a harem show of a show that promises to be such a great, new thing, and seen many disappointments. I have to say that Madoka Magica is not one of them :) It is an extraordinary magical girl show, that fools you into thinking that it will be like all the rest, then hits you hard with what it really is! This is NOT for anyone under 13, as Studio SHAFT (The creators) have a very stylistic way of animating things (some scenes can be creepy to younger kids, especially the labyrinths) and they are not afraid to let characters die terrible deaths. I have heard that there is some language in the dub, but there is none in the sub. This show has positive messages, especially about standing up for yourself and protecting the ones you love. I thoroughly recommend this to any anime fan!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence