The five main girls in PMMM [From left to right: Sakura Kyoko, Sayaka Miki, Tomoe Mami, Akemi Homura, Kaname Madoka] (Image taken from: shoshosein.info)
PMMM is a magical girl anime, similarly to Sailor Moon, but has an entirely different twist. In Madoka Magica, there's more of a dark twist in the sense that magical girls are made basically by agreeing to put their soul in a gem and fighting against illusionary creatures in order to cleanse their souls. The anime starts out with the main-main girl, Kaname Madoka, essentially clueless about the illusionary world with the creatures, but Madoka along with her friend, Sayaka Miki, witness this world alongside Tomoe Mami, whom was already a magical girl. At school, another magical girl, Akemi Homura, transfers into Madoka and Miki's class and warn them (more so Madoka) of just how dangerous and miserable it is to be a magical girl. After some time, Miki decided to form a contract with Kyubey to become a magical girl herself to fight against the illusions despite knowing virtually nothing about the background behind what being a magical girl entitled. The rest of the series follows the struggle of the five girls: Kyoko, Miki, Mami, Homura, and Madoka, as they all question what being a magical girl is or suffer under what they must do to live on as a magical girl.
Akemi Homura holding Kaname Madoka (Image taken from: imgur.com)
When I watched Madoka Magica for the first time at a friend's recommendation, I expected to be immediately repulsed by typical magical girl anime themes that were entirely childish. Don't get me wrong, childish themes can be entertaining, but just not in magical girl-focused animes. Too much flamboyance and "Oh no I broke something entirely insignificant"-types of moments are put into those typical types. Yes, I could be stereotyping magical girl animes, but Madoka Magica especially opened my eyes to the magical girl genre. While Madoka Magica is probably not in my top five or ten, it definitely falls within my twenty-five top animes. The dark twist that Shaft (studio) and the creators of the storyline put into the magical girl genre especially stood out and kept my interest. The transformation from the stereotypical eternal-optimist magical girl to a suffering, depressed magical girl whom is determined to get rid of her powers rather than use them for everything especially caught my interest as it was something new. Also, with the more dark route came more emotion, which is always something that catches my eye in anime. It might depress me as I get so involved in animes' storylines personally, but when I can put myself into a characters' shoes mentally and/or relate strongly to a character, an anime is that much better to me. All in all, PMMM's innovation in its genre as well as relatable characters lands it in a fairly high rank amongst my watched anime.
Sakura Kyoko (Image taken from: konachan.com)
Ruri's Rating: 8.5/10
Suggestions: Code Geass, Guilty Crown, Btooom!, Shingeki no Kyojin, Danganronpa