Puella Magi Madoka Magica 01 – As If I Met Her In My Dreams…
「夢の中で会った、ような。。。」 (Yume no Naka de Atta, Youne…)
“As if I met her in my dreams…”
SURPRISE! I replaced StarrySky with this show. So a couple of things before we get into this. This show is an original show made by SHAFT, meaning there’s no canon material for it to follow. I believe this show has two names. “Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica” and “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”. I don’t know what the deal with that is, or if they both mean the same thing. In any case, this is a magical girl anime. I will tell you NOW, that I haven’t watched a magical girl anime properly since the days of Sailor Moon. So I’m stepping into quite an unfamiliar territory. Now, I will also tell you NOW that my main reason for checking this show out was because of the voice talent in the show. Particularly the fact that the young and fresh Aoi Yuuki was going to be playing Madoka, the main character. I particularly enjoyed her role as Jubei Yagyuu (both personas) in the recent Hyakkaryouran: Samurai Girls show. Not to mention that the likes of Emiri Katou and Eri Kitamura were also voicing in this. So, yeah. The fact that I’m blogging this now means that this must’ve left a good impression on me, no?
The beginning of the episode instantly got me engaged with the show, with the seemingly dark setting we see Madoka run through some abstract scenery and then into a weird spacious area with floating pieces of city builidings and the like everywhere. The music in this part was really good. I’m not entriely sure who sung the insert song at that point, however. We see a black-haired girl armed with some sort of buckler on her arm dashing towards what seems to be her enemy. Our little Madoka here is nothing but a mere spectator to this feat, and a strange little animal says that there’s nothing they can do to help her. I was seeing some pretty good animation here at this point. This little animal rattles on about Madoka being able to change her destiny and whatnot and how she has the power and all the clichéd business. At this point, it would seem that the black-haired girl was defeated and the strange little animal says that Modoka should make a contract with her (the animal, that is) and become a Puella Magi. Now, I noticed at this point that she said “mahou shoujo”, so I’m guessing that Puella Magi and Mahou Shoujo are the same thing. I guess that clears up the confusion about the title of the show. So here I was thinking that we’re gonna get to see an epic pact or something, but no.
I was watching this show with my friend on Skype and we both noted that the beginning of this OP reminded us of the OP from OreImo “irony”. Well, it just so happens that this OP happens to be sung by the same person, ClariS. I did enjoy the opening rather well, though it’s not a song that warrants a spot on my iPod. I dunno, I guess I’ll grow to like it because it’s not a bad song. I was more impressed by the animation during the OP, I thought it was quite endearing.
So the episode begins properly and I almost died at the cuteness of Satsuya trying to wake her mom up from bed, though I recovered when Madoka came marching into her bedroom and pulling open her bedroom curtains like a boss. Junko’s (the mother) reaction was just priceless. At the risk of sounding sexist I noticed how the typical morning roles were switched. Here, the father (his name is Tomohisa) was the first one to be up, be outside picking berries and cooking breakfast, and the mother was the last to be up, dressed up for work and leave for work with newspaper in hand. Kind of an interesting role switch and it’s the first time I’ve seen something like that.
So the episode goes along at a pretty normal pace and we’re briefly introduced to what seems to be Madoka’s best friends, Sayaka and the green-haired chick who’s name isn’t mentioned at all in the episode. I took the time to take in the lovely music at this point that was fronted with woodwind instruments. The music is composed by Yuji Kajiura who also did the soundtrack for El Cazador de la Bruja. If you’re familiar with her musical work, you’ll be able to hear her style.
The pace doesn’t pick up until they actually arrive in class and a new transfer student is introduced as Akemi Homura, who just so happens to be that black-haired chick from Madoka’s dream at the start of the episode. COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT. While Madoka might think that she’s merely a look-alike of the girl in her dream, Akemi appears to know full well who Madoka is and finds an opportunity to talk to her in private. Though, the only thing of note that she says is that she shouldn’t change herself, otherwise she would lose everything that she holds dear. Grim words, huh.
Now the real order of business starts when Madoka and Sayaka decide to go to the CD store, and we see that little ferret-cat-bunny thingy running through some tight hallways while…DODGING MAGIC BOLTS!? As Madoka dons a pair of headphones to listen to some J-pop in the store she hears a voice calling for her help. She follows the voice down to some dark place underground somewhere. Next thing we know that ferret-cat-bunny thing falls from the ceiling, brutally injured. Uh oh. And then Akemi appears and tells her to leave the thing alone and that this isn’t any of her business. There’s a brief stare-off between the two as those chains around them begin to move very suspiciously. I’m assuming that’s some sort of magic. But then Sayaka comes in and dispells whatever magic that might have been with a frickin’ fire extinguisher. But hey, Akemi is better than that, and instantly removes all the gas from the area so she can see.
Now, this part was a real trip. As Madoka and Sayaka make their escape, the entire scenery begins to look like some LSD-induced hallucination. Like…what the hell was I seeing? But hey, what ever those things were, they were the enemy and out to get the two. But who comes to save the day? Some blonde chick named Mami Tomoe. She refers to the ferret-cat-bunny thing as Kyube, so I guess that’s her name. But before we start with the introductions…
Mami does a magical girl transformation which looked REALLY cool. SHAFT really did a number on the animation with this show. So this girl basically brings out a barrage of guns and prepares the enemy for BULLET HELL. I’m gonna post the transformation and the attack here.
So with the enemies completely obliterated and the LSD-induced scenery terminated the scene directly after serves as the ED for this episode. In other words, there was no actually ED for this episode. You could only see the credits. It was completely silent, save for the dialogue. Ameki appears and Mami says to her that the witch as already fled and that she should go after her fast if she wises to kill her. It’s heavily implied that Ameki is one of the bad guys, but I think it’s too early to say so. There’s a lot of foreshadowing around the situation at the moment. In any case, Mami heals Kyube and she wakes up. Apparently she was calling both Madoka AND Sayaka and not just Madoka. Kyube has a request to ask of them. She wants them to make contracts with him and become Puella Magi. Just like in the dream. And the episode ends right there. Quite abrupt, it if you ask me. On that note.
[07/01/2011 21:53:36] 4Saken Virtuoso: NEGIMA!!!!!!!
[07/01/2011 21:53:43] 【A S B E L】 McTricky: I’m guessing bad?
[07/01/2011 21:53:47] 4Saken Virtuoso: CONTARCT TO BECOME MAGICAL GIRLS???
[07/01/2011 21:53:53] 4Saken Virtuoso: NNNEEEGGGGIIIIMMMMAAAA!!!
[07/01/2011 21:54:11] 4Saken Virtuoso: THE FERRET THING MAKES THE CONTRACT!? ITS A NEGIMA RIP!
Of course, I wouldn’t know because I’ve not watch Negima but both shows have the theme of magic so I can’t say I’m too surprised.
My first impressions of the show? Well, I quite liked what I saw. It never did bore me. Even when things were going slow during the episode the production quality of this show kept me engaged. I have to say, SHAFT did really well with this. I’m a little skeptical about the art style is rather interesting and the bright colours and the fluid animation are just a pleasure to watch. The music was also one highlight of this show. The score had a specific musical and instrumental theme to it that I rather liked, making frequent use of woodwind instruments a lot of the time. As for the story, there’s a lot of things I can’t say for sure right now. I do wonder how things will go next episode. Now that they know Ameki’s identity, how will things go down in school?
Posted on January 8, 2011, in Anime, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and tagged Anime, Eri Kitamura, Madoka, Magical girl, Mahou Shoujo, Puella Magi, Sailor Moon, Sayaka, SHAFT. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.