Puella Magi Madoka Magica

 
(i)

 

Outstanding anime is more violent than you'd expect.

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.

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. 

Violence

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. 

Sex

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.

Language

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

Consumerism

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?

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?

QUALITY
 

PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA is a truly special anime, in part because it defies genre. It 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 the series. 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?

TV details

Cast:Christine Marie Cabanos, Cristina Vee, Sarah Williams
Network:New Video
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Fairy tales
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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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, 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
Teen, 14 years old Written byVanillaSalt January 25, 2013
 

Puella Magi Madoka Magica!

Puella Magi Madoka Magica was the diamond in the rough for me when it came to anime. There are so many anime out there with great potential, yet it never seems to build itself up to what it could be. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is NOT this and was a breath of fresh air. The story follows Madoka Kaname, a naive and sweet girl who leads a seemingly normal life with a few close friends and a loving family. This all changes when she crosses paths with Kyubey, an extraterrestrial being that offers to grant her one wish in return for her service as a Puella Magi. While the show seems very innocent when you begin watching it, there is more than what meets the eye as it takes a sharp, dark turn several episodes in to the anime. However, the anime itself is thought provoking and makes for an excellent discussion topic as there is so much to think about and draw meanings from. The positive messages are strong with this anime, and the character's personalities are true to life and human. -Concerns- This anime tends to be violent in certain scenes (examples of this include a pity-kill that is silhouetted, two decapitations that are silhouetted/ off screen, and several deaths. There is not much blood or gore (only a few cuts and scrapes here or there, nothing that would be sickening to watch.) Language is not particularly strong (I watch the subtitled version) with just a few curse words dropped here and there, but there is one scene in the anime that drops a few insults towards females (However, the behavior of the people doing the insulting is looked down upon by a lead character, who is quick to correct their behavior.) (For those who have seen this anime already and are questioning what I mean by this, it is the train scene with Sayaka.) Alcohol is scene very briefly in the anime, but the characters that consume the alcohol are adults and are not portrayed as drunks. I really can't say bad things about this anime as it is just simply wonderful. This is one series that cannot be passed up; it's just that good!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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