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13 of 13 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 8 months ago by James Robertson


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13 of 13 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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47 of 49 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
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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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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 A touching masterpiece of a series, 3 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Complete Series Collection [DVD] (DVD)
One of the hallmarks of any good piece of fiction is the ability to empathise with and become invested in the Characters. Madoka Magica, presents them well and in glorious detail.
Each frame is vibrant ,colourful but done with a dark pallet as befitting the mood of the series overall- Fair warning do not go into this looking for laughs.
One of the best parts of the show is something that is often overlooked in my opinion, the music , not understanding a word of the traditional Japanese myself I can however sit back and listen to its own its own there’s just something so ....pure about it.
The story .....Has a personal connection to me as I tried to do the right thing by someone I loved even if I ended up never seeing her again possibly pushing away others in the process . In a way the story of all four main characters , Madoka , Homura, Siyakia, and Keyoko all deal with sacrifice for someone we love be it sibling, or romantic love or just caring for the world in general. Oftentimes we do not sacrifice for a piece of land but the people on that land, those we don’t know and in our lives ....would we all be so noble.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best show you will ever watch, 18 Aug. 2012
By now you've probably at least heard of "Puella Magi Madoka Magica"; most likely from the large fanbase it has that is constantly shouting about how great the show is...guess what though? They aren't wrong at all. To say it is the best anime of recent years is an understatement - it's an example of some of the best TV as a whole in the last few years.

The Magical Girl genre is one of Japan's most popular - after all, who can fault a story about young girls getting dressed up to use the power of love and friendship to stop bad guys? However, this show isn't about that. It takes that genre, flips it upside down and then messes with its head. It isn't a show with a clear cut line between good and bad - we have a villain that is far more fascinating than even Othello's Iago, we have a young idealistic girl realising the cruel world around her and we have a finale that is so inspiring and awe-striking that it WILL change your life.

Madoka Magica is a show with a very real, but very dark theme - that as much as we try and do for people, it will often end up being thrown in our faces. Everyone can relate to that overall message, that we have all been willing to give all we have for someone, only to have that backfire in one way or another. However, it is a show that teaches us that despite that, we still need someone to be there for us and when it comes down to it, that one person is all we need. It is a show that teaches us that it is all over the moment we give up on our wishes or our dreams and that all that awaits after that will be despair. Puella Magi Madoka Magica a beautiful, precious, sparkling gem wrapped up in an epic heart-wrenching tragedy.

The performances by the voice talent in both the original Japanese and the dub are absolutely superb - Aoi Yuki won awards in Japan for her performance as lead character Madoka Kaname, while Cristina Vee's English Homura was so powerful that I will now burst into tears just by hearing a certain line of hers.

This show is a visual masterpiece - definitely a show to be watched on blu-ray. The scenes in the witches' labyrinths really stand out in particular - they are random, quirky and yet even creepier and unsettling than the contents of Tim Burton's nightmares. The character designs are cute and the Magical Girl outfits are bright and cheerful, which creates a spectacular contrast of the dark world these Magical Girls invite themselves into.

The soundtrack for this show is absolutely phenomenal. With a classical feel, but with a more modern, fiery energy that really gives scenes the boosts they sometimes need from becoming great scenes, to becoming tear inducers. I would pay serious money to see it being performed by an orchestra; it's that good. My personal favourite track has to be "Nux Wulpurgis" - I blast that as load as I can whenever I can.

Once you watch this show, you will absolutely love it and you will love Gen Urobuchi's fantastic writing, yet hate him at the same time for what he put your favourite character through. It's an amazing feeling - you really connect with all of the main cast; you're happy when they are happy and you cry when they cry. If a show can make me cry, then I know that it has truly succeeded in taking the step from entertainment to art and despite having watched many anime, films, read many classic novels and plays nothing has managed to make me cry more than once...until Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica and the lessons I have learned from it have, no lie, changed my life. I cannot go into detail about how until you have watched the final episodes, but I have won plenty of religious debates using the morals and lessons I adopted from this masterpiece.

I paid £210 to import this show from the United States and I do not regret a penny of it - and I still have this release on pre-order. £28 for the entire series on blu-ray is the cheapest in the WORLD and for a show of this magnitude, it is an absolute steal that should not be passed on for any reason. In an ideal world, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises wouldn't be the most in demand blu-ray releases this year, it would be Puella Magi Madoka Magica (and I enjoyed the Avengers and TDKR!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected, 7 Sept. 2014
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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 in the description even though it can be shipped outside the UK.
This is not the original series. It is the revised footage from the movies fit into the scenes from the original series.
There are other issues, like the "next episode" sequences using what can at best be called terrible fanart instead of actual footage.

It's dirt cheap compared to the US release though, so I can't complain too much.
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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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