魔法少女まどかマジか (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
I can count on one hand the amount of times I have witnessed a show come to a grinding halt, I certainly was not expecting Madoka Magica to be one of them. At one point, a little over halfway through, some revelations are revealed that completely altered the course of the series. Centred on a handful of middle school girl friends and their ordinary lives, a talking alien cat named Kyubei asks them, politely I might add, to become magical girls. With the sole purpose of fighting human-devouring monsters known as witches. Our protagonist Madoka gets to experiences the terrifying life of a magical girl first hand before even signing the contract. Madoka Magica is a great series, but is the hype more of a hindrance than a boost?
From the start, every moment in this show felt genuinely eerie. I recall many who exclaim the series “starts out happy, but after three episodes it changes drastically”. Every situation seems happy, but character’s auras are splashed with despair. Maybe it is just my perception, but the first three episodes are purely character introductions and though they may be having a fun time running around school and falling into witch worlds, the colour pallet reeks of the dreariest greys. Every one of them is dressed in dullness. There is no vibrancy about them. Even hair colours find themselves as dull derivatives of what should be energetic: pink, teal, red and yellow to name a few. Though, for myself it all comes down to the eyes as I feel the melancholy flow from them. Everyone looks so lifeless, the eyes do not shine. Believing characters are happy is hard when their eyes are screaming out in sadness. Despite all the happiness in the first episode that sense of sadness still lingers.
Gaining momentum from first episode the series was storing a lot of potential energy and a time would come when it would be released… but it just dissolved. To get an understanding of what I mean let me build this picture for you. Kyubei approaches Madoka in her bedroom as she mourns the loss of her best friend. At this point (episode nine), Madoka finally asks what Kyubei is even doing recruiting young girls and my gods does he/she deliver. He/she explains its species intentions and identity. Going into great detail of the predicament the universe is currently in, and how its species is trying to fix it. It was at this point I sided with Kyubei. I understand the great pain these young girls must endure, but this is no longer about despairing humanity; it is about the survival of the universe and in the long run it is a win-win for all parties.
The universe history lesson was fascinating. The situation all life forms of the universe find themselves in and Kyubei’s species attempts at combatting the problem. However, all that failed to hit the correct mark for me. Maybe I was supposed to be pissed off with this scene, as many people were, but I took a step back to look at both sides of the argument. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. How did she just ignore Kyubei? Madoka is grieving for her friend, but you were just told there are many sentient beings in the universe. It is not ever day anyone answers the age-old ‘are we alone in the universe’ question. It just flew right over her head. Not even batting an eyelash at the statement.
Humans, man. The selfishness of humanity never ceases to amaze me. Sure, these girls really mean to help others, I just wish they could see the potential for the greater good of humanity in the situation. I had hoped the dynamic of the show would have changed after learning this earth-shattering news, but the idea was immediately thrown on the back burner and never heard of again. A shame, really.