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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great series
Madoka Kaname is a regular schoolgirl but her life is changed when she meets the strange creature called Kyubey who gives her and her friend Sayaka Miki the chance to have a single wish granted in exchange for becoming Magic Girls who fight Witches. Madoka must wrestle with this choice while discovering the perils Magic Girls must face.

'Puella Magi Madoka...
Published on 1 Nov. 2012 by T. R. Alexander

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected
The series itself is amazing. The pacing is spot on, the story is gripping, the animation does its job perfectly, and the soundtrack is phenomenal. Do not take this review as negative feedback on the show itself.

My gripes are with this particular product and how I did not receive what I was expecting.

First, it is region locked. There was no mention...
Published 9 months ago by James Robertson


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great series, 1 Nov. 2012
By 
T. R. Alexander (East Anglia, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Complete Series Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Madoka Kaname is a regular schoolgirl but her life is changed when she meets the strange creature called Kyubey who gives her and her friend Sayaka Miki the chance to have a single wish granted in exchange for becoming Magic Girls who fight Witches. Madoka must wrestle with this choice while discovering the perils Magic Girls must face.

'Puella Magi Madoka Magica' is a brilliant show and definitely ranks amongst my five favourite anime series. The series is often compared to 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' and it is a rather apt comparison, and like that series it is something of a love it or hate it type of show. This series is a little difficult to talk about without spoiling at least some part of the story so anyone who wishes to avoid spoilers probably shouldn't read any reviews.

'Madoka Magica' is somewhat darker in tone than is usual for a Magic Girl series (as you would expect from a show that includes 'Faust' amongst its inspirations) but it is done extremely well with a good build up, as well as a nice and emotional finale. The animation of the series is very good with a great mixture of animation styles, especially when the characters enter a Witches Labyrinth where it can get a little trippy. The soundtrack used in the series is also extremely good. The series uses a number of the usual Magic Girl clichés but tends to twist some of them in different ways.

I have seen this series in both Japanese and English now, and I must say that they are both reasonably good even if the English one takes a little getting used to after watching and enjoying it in Japanese. The voice actors for the English dub are generally good and they all suit their characters well, although I will admit that I was originally a little disappointed by Cassandra Morris as Kyubey but I soon got used to it and now think she did a great job.

If I had a criticism of the show it would be the usual one for twelve episode series, namely that there probably isn't much time to develop some of the characters. While this is true, the series does its best and there are some nicely done character moments for the main characters even if some of the secondary characters get a little side-lined.

'Puella Magi Madoka Magica' is arguably one of the most popular anime series of the last few years and I feel that it certainly deserves this popularity. The series is definitely a must see for any anime fan and one that is worth nothing less than five stars.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DON'T LET APPEARANCES FOOL YOU., 7 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Complete Series Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a guy and from the appearance of this show it should be the kind of thing that would be sheer torture to sit through. The box is very pink looking and it belongs to a sub-genre referred to as "Magical-Girls".

This show should be awful and un-watchable, the sort of thing a guy would run from watching.

Now the reality of this series is that is is genuinely AMAZING. Buy this series, do it now, you will not be sorry. To anyone that enjoys skilful story telling, gorgeous animation and wonderful music, you will love this. There is intelligence and depth to spare in it's characters and the themes explored here. Almost every episode comes with a "LOST" type twist/revelation, though unlike that live-action series when the twists and revelations come they are GENUINE and MEANINGFUL and actually have an emotional resonance with the viewer.

The last third of the series becomes awesomely cosmic and mind-bending and the manner in which the story is resolved both happy and bitter-sweet. When you watch the series through a second time (knowing the ending/outcome) you will notice numerous hints and touches layered into the narrative that you didn't catch the first time.

I would tell anyone to buy this ASAP, the only down-side to getting it is that you will no longer be able to knock "Magical-Girl" shows any more.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stand-Out Anime, 27 Sept. 2012
Puella Magic Madoka Magica is one of the stand-out animes released in Japan in 2011. At twelve episodes long, it may not seem all that worthwhile, but this is one show where despite the seemingly short length (ignoring opening/closing credits and next episode info, the whole show is about four hours long) there is a lot of action, information, and emotion packed in to it.

The whole premise is about fourteen year old Madoka Kaname being offered the opportunity by Kyubey (a being from another world) to make one wish. In return, Kyubey is able to make a contract with her and give her the power to become a magical girl. In return, she must take up the responsibility of fighting to rid the world of witches. However, a new transfer student to her school, Homura Akemi (a Magical Girl herself), is hell-bent on preventing Madoka from making that contract.

The characters are all rather candy-coloured and pastelly, and the animation style (young and innocent) looks very much like other magical girl shows, especially Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. However, as evidenced by the great big "15" age rating, this is NOT a show for young children. Madoka Magica delves in to just how the responsibility of fighting witches affects the teens who make the contract, and from episode three onwards the show hits you with shock after shock as you find out more and more about this show's universe. If you know Gen Urobuchi or some of the other stories he's worked on (Fate/zero, Saya no Uta), then you stand in good stead to know at least the basic premise of this show and what may occur.

Like another reviewer, I imported the collector's edition from the US partly because there was simply no other way I could get my hands on the soundtrack to this anime (and despite its high cost, I had no qualms about supporting this anime). The soundtrack is done by Yuki Kajiura -- if you have ever watched Noir, .hack//SIGN, Tsubasa Chronicle, or My-HiME (to name a few) with the original Japanese soundtracks, you are already aware of the type of work she does. The music ranges from the fantastical (Salve, terrae magicae; Sis puella magica!) to the distraught (Decretum; Serena ira), to the epic (Credens justitiam; Venari strigas) and fits in with the show very well.

The writing, animation, and soundtrack tie together to make this an anime worth watching.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 27 Jan. 2013
By 
D. P. Flanagan "ithuriel" (Leicester UK) - See all my reviews
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Hello,
I'm not one much for writing reviews so this will be short.
I started watching this show not knowing any of the spoilers, which is a good thing since the first impression was artsy stuff but trite.
I was soon proven wrong, this show turns the magical girl Anime completely on its head and gets increasingly dark with some excellent story telling.
I can not recommend this highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is even happening?, 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Complete Series Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This show is amazing! I bought it having heard very positive reviews from people who normally would not watch anime or read manga - if you're simply a sci-fi or fantasy consumer, you will easily follow and enjoy the plot, knowing nothing about usual anime tropes.

The series acts essentially as a 'deconstruction' of the 'Magical Girl' genre - taking something usually quite simplistic and childish (not to criticize; childish does not always equal bad) and exploring it in a more mature and in-depth manner. As a result, the plot will twist and turn in unexpected ways - and yet never without making sense, or being a logical progression.

Extremely well plotted and gripping right to the end, the only criticism I have of this series is that it's slow to start - the first episode is (upon first viewing) probably the weakest of the entire series, and it's not until episode 3 that things really come into their own. However - upon rewatching (once you know enough to appreciate the myriad of foreshadowing throughout the early episodes) you will definitely understand and appreciate even these weaker episodes!

An absolute must-see for any fan of sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and quirky, mature, deconstructive story-telling!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A disarming beginning, 17 Jan. 2013
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Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a brilliantly told story which takes a much darker twist on the Magical Girl genre. As someone who doesn't tend to enjoy the Magical Girl genre, I can definitely recommend this to people who are adverse to those types of shows. Please don't let the simplistic and cutely drawn characters put you off, or the first couple of episodes which are purposely innocent and carefree; this show has a 15 rating for good reason. In terms of animation, there are some really nifty sequences to enjoy, mostly showcased in the witches labyrinth's. These look amazing and by the end of the show, I truly appreciated the well thought out and symbolic designs. That in my mind is what makes this show work so well; everything in it has clearly been thought out in advance, with most things tied up neatly at the end. When the credits rolled for the last time, I knew I had seen something very special. Don't miss out on this show, after all it's only 12 episodes long so you won't have to dedicate millions of hours to it like with some anime!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Girl Series for both Guy's and Girl's! A Perfect Example of A Deconstruction Series!, 14 Jan. 2015
If you don't already know about the deconstruction series Madoka Magica then I ask where have you been? While I do agree with some people that Madoka Magica is hyped-up, overrated, etc. I will give people some advice, and do what I did; ignore everything you've heard about it and delve into it not expecting anything. I will say now though that this is not a light hearted series that the front cover makes it out to be, but it is a deconstruction of the magical girl genre with some mature themes. If you don't mind that then you might enjoy this, but if you're buying this for a kid then I would recommend you watch it with them depending on how old they are.

STORY
Madoka Kaname is an average fourteen year old girl who loves her friends, family, and her life. One day she encounters a cat like creature called Kyubey, and he offers her a once in a life time opportunity. If she makes a wish it will be granted and she will become a magical girl.
Honestly, I could give you more details than that, but then I would be spoiling it. The story itself is well written. There are moments when the characters ask questions that any normal person would ask; why does this creature want to give me powers? What should I wish for? What is the point in any of it? There countless things to expect. However, it can be quite predictable, but not so much so to ruin the experience in watching it. There are just times when you can easily know what will happen next. Then there's the ending. Honestly, I didn't like the ending that much, but when I rewatched it it grew on me. However, I still think it could have ended better, but it is good enough. The ending isn't bad, but I think it could have been better. But with Madoka Magica Rebellion now available to view I can enjoy this ending a little more than I did originally.

CHARACTERS
To be honest I can't find a way to talk about the character's without giving something away. It's not they're complex character's I just can't find a way to talk about them; though I do find Madoka to be a worse main character than Shinji Ikari from Evangelion. Shinji will get into a fight and be willing to help, but Madoka literally does nothing throughout the entire series apart from crying, and whining. But if that's the case then what is the point to this series? You enjoy a story based around Madoka while she watches her friends do all the fighting, and are the ones to get hurt. This causes Madoka to think about her actions.
Apart from saying that Madoka is a Shinji copy I can't really say much for the other characters except that they go through a lot, but I will give mention to my favourite character, Homura Akemi. She is mysterious, and is probably the most interesting character in the whole series. She's a complex character. The other entire cast of characters can be very much be summed up quite easily.

ANIMATION & SOUND
The animation is okay. It's nothing amazing but does have its moments. The animation really does differ depending on the different art styles that are used throughout the series. The witches have very shoddy and cheap animation with designs that people will either like or hate for they're own reasons. While I'm not much of a fan of the designs I do like the fact that they are showing that this is not a happy-go-lucky series; like pretty much all magical girl series. There are times when various art styles are used to show a dark scene, and are some of the high points to the series. Some fight scenes are also very well animated, and look gorgeous to watch. There are also some bright and colourful day scenes that contrast well with the dark and eerie night scenes.
The music is okay. Nothing like Evangelion, but does pick up every now and again. It serves as decent background music for the series and does make scenes standout, but it isn't amazing. The composer was Yuki Kajiura (Sword Art Online). She does well at composing the music for this, but sadly doesn't bring out many tracks that stand apart from the scenes in the anime. I'm not saying that there aren't tracks that don't standout, because there are and those tracks sound pretty good, but there just isn't a whole lot. If anything it serves well enough to make a scene look good.
The dub is a pretty good one. The actresses do a good job of playing they're characters, and do not disappoint. Christine Marie Cabanos (Azusa Nakano in K-ON!, Shiemi Moriyama in Blue Exorcist, and Silica/Keiko Ayano in Sword Art Online) plays the wimpy Madoka Kaname so well that there are some scenes which some people might find emotional. Cristina Valenzuela (Noel Vermillion , Nu-13 and Mu-12 in BlazBlue, Sailor Mars/Raye in Viz Media's new uncut dub of Sailor Moon, and Mio Akiyama in K-ON!) plays the infinitely awesome Horuma Akemi, and pretty much steals the spotlight. Sarah Williams (Lisbeth/Rika Shinozaki in Sword Art Online) plays Sayaka Miki, Carrie Keranen (Mina Simington and Misty Tredwell in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, Casca in Berserk, and Satsuki Kiryuin in Kill La Kill) plays the mentor figure Mami, Lauren Landa (Litchi Faye-Ling in BlazBlue, Ain in One Piece Film Z, and Annie Leonhart in Attack on Titan) plays the bratty tom boy Kyoko Sakura, and Cassandra Lee Morris (Taiga Aisaka in Toradora!, Ritsu Tainaka in K-ON!, and Leafa/Suguha Kirigaya in Sword Art Online) as the creature with the creepy stare, Kyubey.

SERIES VS MOVIES
Yes. If you didn’t already know there are Madoka Magica movies. Three in fact; there’s Beginning’s, Eternal, and Rebellion. Beginning’s and Eternal are recap movie of this series, and Rebellion being the continuation of the series. I’ve decided to do this because there are some people that might be wondering what the differences are, and might be wondering if they are worthwhile.
Beginning’s is the first eight episodes of the series condensed to two hours and ten minutes with thirty minutes of footage cut, and Eternal is the last four episodes in an hour and fifty minutes. The main difference between the movies and TV series is that there are new visuals, a re-recorded soundtrack and dub, and a faster paced story. With very little content being cut from each movie what we end up having is a recap movie that improves the visual and audio aspect of the series, but also a recap movie that surprisingly follows the story of the series almost exactly. With very little content being cut we end up with two versions of Madoka Magica which are pretty much the same.
The big question is this; are you bothered by what is missing from each movie? The only thing that bugged me when I watched them was that they didn’t explain that Magical Girls could talk to each other telepathically; instead you’re left to assume they can when the scenes come without an explanation, and Mami’s past is cut. Now, I’m not bothered about Mami’s character and her past didn’t change my view on her, nor did it really add anything in my opinion, and I can easily live without the short explanation of telepathically talking. The thing that I like with these movies is that they have better and improved visuals, so it isn’t just a copy paste job.
The music is also a high note to the movies, as it stands out a little more than some of the tracks from the series. The new tracks and old tracks are mixed together well to create a soundtrack that is just an improvement of what we had originally. The re-recorded dialog is also another high note; as a good number of the actresses were just starting out in voice acting when they first dubbed the series, so it’s nice to hear them come back with they’re improved skills and redub Madoka Magica.

OVERALL
I can easily recommend Madoka Magica to anyone who likes Evangelion, or is looking for something different, or are just fans of magical girl anime’s. For guys wondering if they should be embarrassed to watch it I can reassure you that you shouldn’t be; it is vastly different than many other magical girl series that you might already know of.
So, which version of Madoka Magica am I recommending? I’m going to recommend both. I say to watch the series first then the movies, and decide which versions you prefer. Both have they’re up’s and downs.
Currently Manga Entertainment has not released, or announced, the movies at the time of writing. If you want to watch the movies with the English dub you are sadly going to have to buy the DVD or Blu-ray releases in order to watch them, as they can’t be found online. If you can’t wait for Manga Entertainment to release the movies then I would recommend the Australian releases of the movies, as they are cheaper and if you buy the Blu-ray versions then you will be able to play them on any Blu-ray player as they are region B.
I shall return soon to finish my review of the Madoka Magica series for now with a review of the third movie, Rebellion. Hopefully, Manga Entertainment will license the movies soon and release them as quickly as possible, so that eager fans like me can experience the newly improved dub. You can find clips on YouTube that show you the new dub recordings, as well as a fan made version of the Beginning and Eternal movies that have the series dub audio mixed together with the movie visuals. That should satisfy fans for now until the actual dubs are available to be watched online, or until Manga releases the movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, if not a bit overhyped, 2 Jan. 2013
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I personaly enjoyed this series, it was very entertaining but the hype uilt up my expectations to enormous heights, only for those expectations to fall flat on their face.

Now this series is in no ways bad, I enjoyed it but hype was not the only thing.

I'm writing this review in the perspective of a person who knew spoilers before seeing it because the fans were everywhere raving on about and spoilers were everywhere, I know this review is needed as many do know major spoilers yet haven't seen it.

The biggest part about this series was the twists and if you know some of them, it will definitely hinder your experience watching this show.

Overall, the show was good but it would have been better if I went in blind about it. Also, as most people know, the show does make a big twist in tone early on in episode 3, that's all I can say.

The release has to be the best so far. Every country in the world who has Madoka, has it in volumes, now those volumes do come with some cool stuff but if you just want the show in a nice, sturdy sleeve, this is the best release for you, and it is limited so if you want it before it's in a volume release, I would reccommend you buy it soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puella Mago Madoka Magica - A Brief Word, 12 Oct. 2012
By 
P. Seabert "madphil_69" (Taunton UK) - See all my reviews
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As some of the other reviewers have written, this is a series that will stick in your mind for a long time. As stories go, it really is a masterpiece of modern fiction, and really has little to do with the magical girl genre at all.

I originally saw this almost as it was aired, on unliscensed fansubs, and the build up of excitement towards the end meant that it became essential viewing. I hope the opening theme is as it was originally, by Claris, and that haunting end theme by Kalafina as well.

It's a brilliantly made show, and wonderfully confusing. It starts so cute, and sweet, and becomes so dark and miserable. And you'll never guess what happens right up until the end. And it is so sad.

Note also that there was an apology made about this show by the makers, after complaints that the advertising for the series was misleading.

Sorry if this is a bit disjointed, I'm trying not to put in any spoilers.

I loved and still really love this show, and am eagerly awaiting the 3 new movies coming later this year. If you like something a little of the cuff, and a little slanted then you'll enjoy this, and for 28 quid, it a bargain!

Arigotou,
Phil
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally an affordable Madoka set!, 27 May 2013
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Enough people have already mentioned why Madoka itself is brilliant so I will stick to reviewing this particular release.

The main reason I bought this particular set is because it is a great deal cheaper than all previous releases of this series since it only costs just under £30 whereas getting a hold of the Aniplex release would set you back well over £100 if you decided to import it.

This Blu-Ray set has all 12 episodes spread across three Blu-Ray discs which are in one standard box and stored in a rather nice glossy slipcase.
The visual quality is excellent on this set and there is a very noticeable difference in quality between the DVD and the Blu-Ray.

There are not any special features included but since the version that has special features costs around 5x the price of this set I will forgive it.

All in all this set is very reasonably priced(It really is)and despite a lack of special features I will give it a 4/5 simply for being a UK release of Madoka.

Just a heads up for any US customers planning on importing this. It is locked to region B so make sure you have the correct hardware before trying to import yourself a cheap Madoka set.
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