Story by: Magica Quartet
Art by: Hanokage
When Homura Akemi transfers into her school, Madoka has the unsettling feeling that she’s seen her before . . . perhaps in a dream. Homura seems nice enough. That impression is challenged, however, when Madoka finds herself trapped in a bizarre alternate dimension where she encounters Homura trying to shoot a cute little creature calling itself Kyubey. Things become even more confusing when Kyubey offers Madoka the chance to become a “Magical Girl” and have her greatest wish granted. All of which sounds fantastic . . . until the heads start to roll. Ugh.
Puella Magi Madoka☆Magica is a brilliant, beautiful, horrifying parody of your classic mahou shoujo story. It’s got all the typical stylized magical abilities and cutesy girls in frou-frou outfits, but the actual plot is incredibly complex, dark, and frankly depressing. If it weren’t for Madoka and her absolute refusal to accept the way things are, the story would be an utter tragedy. As it is, Madoka☆Magica is dark yet beautiful. As the mangaka states, this manga version is really another take on the anime scripts and storyboards (as opposed to on the anime itself); thus, there are some visual differences and variations in focus as compared with the anime. Personally, I would consider the anime the original (and would recommend watching it first; I’ll probably review that separately at some point). Still, the manga is beautiful, complete, and an overall excellent rendition of the plotline and characters. Definitely recommended.