Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Episode #2

January 18, 2011 at 6:41 am Leave a comment

Are you ready for some brainfk? Are you? I know you want some. Come on, don’t deny it, you know you can’t resist it. Did we get it in this episode? Actually… no. While the first episode is about setting the tone, the second episode for Madoka Magica focuses more on the explanation of the system. More ominous signs are shown throughout in what looks like just your general mahou shoujo episode.

What does it take to be a mahou shoujo? What are their roles? Who are their enemies? What are the prizes and the prices for being one? Moreover. What was Homura’s intention? Why is Kyubee so *****y freaky? Is Mami up to something?

Those questions were briefly talked over in this episode. From my point of view, they were slightly different from what I’d expected while still providing plenty of opportunities for a grimdark story. Even though Mami and Kyubee has been explaining a lot of the mechanisms throughout the episode, you always get an idea that they are hiding something. Ties that into the new element of the grim seed and how those reacts with the mahou shoujo personal gems,  it seems like Urobuchi (the writer) wants to tackle your traditional mahou shoujo cliche in this direction. Lots of visual clues has been dropped around during the episode, most notably a transcription of Goethe’s Faust in one scene. Plenty of conjectures has been thrown around on 2ch, 4chan and various anime boards on the internet already. Those theories generally extends from the LOAD/SAVE theory gathered last episode, to how the existence of the witches will play into how the world was lost last time round. At the moment I like this community discussion environment, reminded me so much when higurashi was aired a few years ago, or even further back when higurashi the game was released. Reading through all those possibilities is just what makes the viewing experience for this series so great.

The first encounter with the actual witch is included in this episode. While the battle scene provides plenty of ammunition for my own enjoyment, the actual design for the witch itself is actually quite disappointing. Genkidan Inu Curry, the animation duo who’s responsible for those paper cut out, out-of-this-world sceneries, didn’t do a good job come those critical scenes. While I like the contrasting atmosphere they provide, the low framerate in the fight is kind of jarring. I do hope that’s just a gradual thing and they improve upon the presentation later on in the series. Otherwise the battle sequence is quite awesome and deserves repeated viewing.

 

Mami does Hitagi's "weapons falling from under the skirt trick"

Unlimited Musket Works

When Gekidan Curry makes the witch looks stupid

I cannot stress enough of how much I love Yuki Kajiura’s music, they give that unique charisma which is so fitting to the tone so far. Once again SHAFT decided to include the ending theme, Magia, during the battle scene. I have to say that it’s one track that got me hooked immediately to the show. However, as pain as it is for me to say it, I can see that it gets repetitive very soon if we see it in every episode. Magia is one song that takes high emotional toll while listening as it contains a mixture of hot-bloodness, grim outlook, slither of hope, me-against-the-god and just the general beautiful sadness. I like it when it comes occasionally to provide highlight, not just in every episode because it has to be there. Also I’m quite worried about how the ED animation will go. It will be either OMGAWESOMESAUCE or just pure disappointment that cannot match up to the song’s greatness.

"Forbidden Yuri Love!?"

Other than that the first half of the episode provides some nice comedy relief, one from a friend of their mistaken their new secret to something else, and another one from Madoka’s own badass mother who’s open about her corporal ambition in front of her children.

Overall this is another solid yet spectacular episode. The sense of something is about to go wrong is cooking nicely, and I hope the studio delivers. At the moment though, the show is still gathers more hype on the premise than what it has go so far, which I’m sure will get rectified soon in the near future. One thing’s for sure, this is not your ordinary mahou shoujo title, according to the general consensus going around. The moral ambiguity in this series just gets murkier and much more chaotic, and that’s what I like about the outlook of this show

Kyubee's actually quite cute if he's not that freaky

P.S. I still find it funny how I find the most badass combat action scenes in the most seemly unlikely places. Last season it was Hyakka Ryoran this season it’s this series.

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Entry filed under: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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