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Why 'Madoka Magica' Is Every Bit as Magical as It Sounds

By Rosie Narasaki, Hollywood Staff

I couldn't in good conscience call myself a true anime fan. I'm a casual fan of the genre at best - I haven't truly watched it since the days of Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura.

That is, until Puella Magi Madoka Magica. At first glance, it looks almost unbearably saccharine - Madoka, the protagonist has cotton candy pink hair, and together with her friends, they make up almost every color in the rainbow in their ultra-girly get-up. To my prejudiced eyes, it looked, in a word, silly.

But then I started to notice that all of my smartest, savviest friends could not stop gushing about it - and feeling the tiniest bit left out, I decided to give it a try. It was one of those shows you binge-watch over the course of a day - and binge-watch I did. Approximately 6 hours later, I was crying my eyes out and feverishly planning out a Homura Akemi Halloween costume (even though it was February). Long story short, everyone should watch it, and here's a few reasons why:

- First off, the series is beautiful. Part of the premise involves a magic parallel universe, which is rendered in animation through breathtakingly gorgeous collaged art. It's unique, and I'd watch it again for the art alone.

- It's surprisingly dark - no spoilers, but there's a definite nihilistic slant to the series (though it is ultimately hopeful and uplifting). The writer (Gen Urobuchi - A.K.A. the Urobutcher) is most well known for writing horror, and it shows.

- And speaking of Urobuchi - the writing is top-notch. You'll cry. A lot.

- It's adorable. (Does that even need saying?)

- Finally, the series is a thought-provoking study on the whole magical girl genre - it serves to both celebrate and subvert it.

So, what are you waiting for? Look past the pastel bows and puffed sleeves, and give the show a try.

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