May 9, 2015

Review: Puella Magi Madoka Magica by Magica Quarter and Hanokage

Review of the manga Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Title: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Author: Banana Yoshimoto

Publisher: Yen Press

Date of Publication: 2012 (first published 2011)

Number of Volumes: 3

Number of Pages: 144 (each volume)


In this world, there exist strange creatures who have the power to grant one wish to a chosen girl. However, in exchange, that girl must then become a magical girl and use their powers to fight against witches, evil creatures born from darkness that are responsible for murders and suicides.

In the city of Mitakihara, a schoolgirl named Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki are approached by a familiar named Kyubey, who offers to grant each of them one wish in return for making each of them a magical girl. Another magical girl named Homura Akemi tries to prevent Madoka from making such a deal, while Kyubey urges Madoka by telling her she will become the most powerful magical girl. However, contrary to the glamorous notions one would expect, a magical girl finds herself dealing with death, isolation, loss of humanity, agony over the value of her wish, and existential crisis. Madoka, following her friends, soon sees the darker side of being a magical girl, and because of knowing the truth about being a magical girl, she questions if she should become one as well.


It's not a secret that Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a deconstruction of the magical girl genre. Indeed, it's nothing like you would expect it to be. Contrarily this is a manga that not only isn't targeted to a young female audience, but also feels very mature, almost heavy at times. /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki are approached by a magical creature, Kyubey, who urges them to become magical girls. In exchange, they will have one wish, whatever that is, granted. But the mysterious transfer student Homura Akemi tries to stop them from making a contract with Kyubey. So, in order to help them a veteran magical girl, Mami Tomoe, takes Madoka and Sayaka with her to watch what their responsibilities will be. When things start to go wrong another magical girl appears, Kyouko Sakura and things get really complicated while the truth is slowly revealed. /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

Amazing art style in the manga Puella Magi Madoka Magica
The story starts off really nicely, but the pace picks constantly up. In that way, things go forward quickly but luckily never rushed. In the beginning, there isn't any indication as to what this story is all about, just some girls that thinking about becoming magical girls.  But, it becomes quickly obvious that this is a perilous job and sadness is part of the deal. For what wish would anyone be willing to risk losing everything they have and everyone they love? By the time the final chapter is finished, so much has happened that it's sure that no-one will remain unaffected. /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

The characters in Puella Magi Madoka Magica are all well developed. Each of the five magical girls has its own personality and the way she sees the world. Madoka is a sweet girl, the perfect child, as her mother declares, Sayaka tries to fight for justice, Mami is similar but feels terribly alone, Homura is distant and tries to protect Madoka no matter what and Kyouko seems to care for nothing else than herself. There is also a significant difference on what each of them wished, and each wish has brought an equal amount of pain to all of them. Kyubey at the beginning is a cute creature that the girls are consulting, but by the end the hatred towards it is just too much. Indeed, from the second volume and onward I just couldn't stand it! If I could, I would be violent against it, so much hatred! /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

Action scenes from the manga Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Action scene from the manga Puella Magi Madoka Magica

The illustration is absolutely amazing! These two pages are just a small part of the manga, but you can see how unique it is. All the characters are slightly different from their anime version, but what I really liked is the change in Kyubey's design after we begin to hate him. The witches, the creatures that magical girls have to kill, are very stylish, some of them are even cute. The only thing that I missed from the anime version is the change of atmosphere in the mazes, the places where witches live, they are some of the best visual scenes I've ever come across. Oh, and the music! /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

Action scene from the manga Puella Magi Madoka MagicaNow, the time has come to talk about wishes. What kind of wish would make anyone fight for it while putting his life in danger? Eternal youth, happiness, money, all things are included, but there are also wishes that help someone you love. The thing is when you do help someone else, what do you expect of him? The motives may be pure, but we all seek something in return, even if we can't admit it to ourselves. When all these girls wished for something, they put a curse on themselves at the same time. It's sad, but the world needs to balance. /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ 

Puella Magi Madoka Magica didn't disappoint me at all! To be completely honest, I made a significant effort not to sound like a fangirl in the review. But I can't help it, it's amazing! During the third volume, I didn't stop crying and in the end I was saying only one thing "It's such a good story". I would recommend it to everyone without any exception. It's only three volumes and if you need a specific reason to read it chapter 10 is one of them. /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

So, my advice is...
Scene of the manga Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Will you make a contract with me and become a magical girl?
/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\


  1. I had always been put off these books because they looked pretty shallow, but seeing as they're a deconstruction of the magical girl genre .. now I'm interested. I just bought Watchmen almost a week ago and it is, from what I understand, a deconstruction of the superhero genre, so it seems like this is kind of like that in a way. I haven't read any manga, but seeing as I'm trying to read more comics/graphic novels I'll probably give this a try eventually. Thanks for your review too, you really made me open my eyes to these books!

    1. There certainly a misconception regarding Madoka Magica, because at the very beginning it starts like a typical magical girl manga/anime. But being so popular it's well-known that it's a deconstruction of the genre. And Gen Urobuchi, who wrote the story is amazing, if you search his other works as well you will see that this man can write intriguing stories. I would also urge you to watch the anime version too, it's worth it. I'm more an X-men than a Watchmen type though :)


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