Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Cover for first DVD/BD volume of Puella Magi Madoka Magica featuring two characters, Madoka Kaname (right) and Homura Akemi (left)
(Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika)
Genre Drama, Magical girl, Fantasy Tragedy TV anime Directed by Akiyuki Shinbo Produced by Atsuhiro Iwakami Written by Gen Urobuchi Music by Yuki Kajiura Studio Shaft Licensed by Aniplex of America Network MBS, TBS, CBC Original run January 7, 2011 – April 22, 2011 Episodes 12 Manga Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice Written by Masaki Hiramatsu Illustrated by Takashi Tensugi Published by Houbunsha Demographic Seinen Magazine Manga Time Kirara Forward Original run January 24, 2011 – ongoing Volumes 2 Manga Illustrated by Hanokage Published by Houbunsha English publisher Yen Press Original run February 12, 2011 – May 30, 2011 Volumes 3 Manga Puella Magi Oriko Magica Illustrated by Kuroe Mura Published by Houbunsha Original run May 12, 2011 – June 12, 2011 Volumes 2 Novel Written by Hajime Ninomae Illustrated by Yūpon Published by Nitroplus Books Published August 14, 2011 Game Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable Developer Banpresto Publisher Namco Bandai, Nitroplus Genre Adventure game, RPG Platform PlayStation Portable Released March 15, 2012
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika , "Magical Girl Madoka of the Magus") is a Japanese anime television series produced by Shaft and Aniplex. The series is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and written by Gen Urobuchi with original character designs by Ume Aoki, character design adaptation by Takahiro Kishida and music by Yuki Kajiura. The first ten episodes aired in Japan on TBS and MBS between January and March 2011, while the final two episodes were delayed until April 2011 due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. A manga adaptation of the series and two spin-off manga series, Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice and Puella Magi Oriko Magica, are published by Houbunsha. A novelisation by Nitroplus was released in August 2011. A video game for the PlayStation Portable will be released in March 2012. A three-part film project has been green-lit, with two films being a retelling of the original series and the third film being an entirely new story.
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.
The spin-off manga, Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice, takes place in Asunaru City and follows an amnesiac magical girl named Kazumi who, along with a band of other magical girls known as the Pleiades Saints, starts to discover the dark nature of magical girls as she regains her memories.
Puella Magi Oriko Magica takes place in an alternate timeline to the main series, in which Homura, Mami Tomoe and Kyōko Sakura, along with a young orphaned girl named Yuma Chitose, find themselves up against a magical girl pair, Oriko Mikuni and Kirika Kure, who are hunting other magical girls.
- Magical girl (魔法少女 Mahō Shōjo )
- A magical girl, or "Puella Magi", is an adolescent girl gifted with powers granted by making a contract with an Incubator. The terms of the contract are that the Incubator will grant the girl one wish, and in exchange, she will use magic to fight against witches. The powers she receives are often related to her wish; for example, a wish to cure someone will grant enhanced regenerative abilities. There is a range of magic as its nature varies depending upon the girl and the contract made. A magical girl's power radiates from a special gem she carries called a Soul Gem, which is created when she makes the contract to become a magical girl. Magical girls are not invincible, and if she dies in a barrier fighting against a witch, her body will remain there and she will be forever considered missing.
- Soul Gem (ソウルジェム Sōru Jemu )
- A Soul Gem is an egg-shaped gem that holds a magical girl's power. The size is relative to the amount of magical power residing in the girl. The gem is essential for hunting and fighting witches: it glows whenever a witch or one of its familiars is nearby, and it is also used to transform for battle. When not in gem form, it exists as a ring on the owner's finger. When a magical girl transforms into her battle uniform, her Soul Gem also transforms and is located somewhere on her body. The shape that it takes is unique to each girl. A Soul Gem is created when a girl enters a contract for a wish and her soul is taken from her body, it serves as a container for the soul so that the body will be able to survive even critical hits in battle. If the body is moved too far away from the gem, it will lose its pulse and become lifeless. Returning her Soul Gem to within 100 meters of her respective body will revive the magical girl. Accordingly, if the Soul Gem is destroyed, the owner will die.
- The brightness of the gem indicates a magical girl's magic ability. The brighter it is, the stronger the magical girl, and the higher her limit for magic. Inversely, the darker it is, the weaker the magical girl is and the less that magic could be used, up to the point when she can no longer use magic because she has exhausted her powers. The gem's light fades with each use of magic and must be purified by transferring the darkness into Grief Seeds. The cleansing of a Soul Gem also replenishes magical power. However, if the Soul Gem is unable to be purified, it will darken until it finally becomes a Grief Seed, at which point the magical girl transforms into a witch.
- Witches (魔女 Majo )
- Witches are evil entities born from magical girls that have fallen into despair and failed to purify their Soul Gem. Witches reside in special areas called barriers that contain labyrinths inside. Each labyrinth is a unique manifestation of the witch's subconscious. If left alone, witches affect humans in the real world by giving them marks known as "Witch's Kisses" (魔女の口づけ Majo no Kuchizuke ), which cause accidents, diseases, or forces them into suicide. Witches often spawn lesser versions of themselves called familiars that can mature into witches with time. The most powerful witch is a being called Walpurgis Night (ワルプルギスの夜 Waruparugisu no Yoru ). The worlds in which the witches reside are a stark departure from the everyday world. The production design for the witches and their barriers is done by the artist duo Gekidan Inu Curry.
- Grief Seed (グリーフシード Gurīfu Shīdo )
- Grief Seeds are black egg-shaped thorns created at the birth of a witch. Once planted, they form barriers that hide the witch from the sight of regular humans. When a witch is defeated, the Grief Seed that is left behind can used to cleanse and restore magical power to a Soul Gem. Thus, they are highly valued by magical girls. Kyubey is shown to consume used Grief Seeds. Soul Gems may themselves become Grief Seeds if the magical girl reaches her limit--emotionally or simply by overexertion of her powers--and is unable to purify her Soul Gem. In Kazumi Magica, the evil magical girl Yūri uses imitation Grief Seeds known as "Evil Nuts" (イーブルナッツ Īburu Nattsu ) which transform humans into pseudo-witches, carrying out their dark desires.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica began development after Akiyuki Shinbo expressed his desire to work on a new magical girl series to producer Atsuhiro Iwakami while they were working on Hidamari Sketch and Bakemonogatari. During early planning stage, Iwakami decided to not adapt an existing work in order to give Shinbo more freedom in his direction style. He then contacted Gen Urobuchi to work on the project as a scriptwriter and Ume Aoki as a character designer. The series was announced in a commercial slot during the anime series Togainu no Chi. Since then, more commercials have been shown in the same slot revealing the characters and cast. The first ten episodes aired on MBS, TBS and CBC between January 7, 2011 and March 11, 2011; they aired one day later in the Kantō region than in the Kansai region. Episodes were then made available for free streaming on Nico Nico Douga and BIGLOBE's Anime One service a week after broadcast. Due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the broadcast of episode 10 in Kantō, as well as the remaining two episodes were halted. Usually on Japanese TV stations, anime episodes that cannot be finished on the designated air periods are usually not aired, but the remaining episodes were aired on April 22, 2011 in Kansai and Kantō.
The series was released on six Blu-ray Disc (BD) and DVD volumes between April 27 and September 21, 2011, having been delayed from the original release date of March 30, 2011 due to the earthquake. Each volume contains a bonus 4-koma strip by Ume Aoki and a bonus CD. Shinbo has expressed interest in doing a follow-up series that would focus more on a slice of life story. Drama CDs were included with the first, third and fifth BD/DVD volumes. The sixth and final volume released on September 21, 2011 will contain a director's edit of episode 12. Aniplex of America will release the series in North America, including an English dub, in three BD and DVD volumes to be released between February 14 and June 12, 2012. Limited edition volumes will also be released containing both BD and DVD versions, plus the original soundtrack and special items.
The opening theme is "Connect" (コネクト Konekuto ) by ClariS while the ending theme is "Magia" by Kalafina, both of which were released on February 16, 2011. In the BD/DVD version, the ending theme for the first two episodes is "Mata Ashita" (また あした See You Tomorrow ) by Aoi Yūki, which is included with the first volume, while the ending theme for episode nine is "And I'm Home" by Eri Kitamura and Ai Nonaka, included with the fifth volume. Yuki Kajiura is responsible for the soundtrack, released in three volumes alongside the second, fourth and sixth DVD/BD volumes.
A three-part film project is in production. The first two films will be a compilation of the anime series, and the third film will be an all-new story.
Houbunsha have published three manga series based on the franchise. A direct adaptation of the anime series, illustrated by Hanokage, was published in three tankōbon volumes, each containing four chapters, released on February 12, 2011, March 12, 2011 and May 30, 2011 respectively. The manga has been licensed in North America by Yen Press. A side story manga, Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice (魔法少女かずみ☆マギカ〜The innocent malice〜 Mahō Shōjo Kazumi Magika: The Innocent Malice ), written by Masaki Hiramatsu and illustrated by Takashi Tensugi, began serialization in Manga Time Kirara Forward magazine from January 24, 2011. A third manga, Puella Magi Oriko Magica (魔法少女おりこ☆マギカ Mahō Shōjo Oriko Magika ), written by Kuroe Mura, was released in two tankōbon volumes released on May 12, 2011 and June 12, 2011 respectively. The first volume of an official anthology comic featuring guest artists was released on September 12, 2011.
A video game based on the series titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ ポータブル Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika Pōtaburu ) for the PlayStation Portable will be released by Namco Bandai Games on March 15, 2012. Gen Urobuchi will return as the writer with Shaft doing the animation production on the title, while Yusuke Tomizawa and Yoshinao Doi will act as producers. The game will be released in two editions, a standard box including a bonus DVD, and a limited edition box containing a Madoka Figma, a bonus Blu-ray Disc, a Kyubey pouch, a 'HomuHomu' handkerchief and a special clear card. A free smartphone application, Mami's Heart Pounding Tiro Finale (マミのドキドキティロフィナーレ Mami no Doki Doki Tiro Fināre ) was released on October 14, 2011.
Costumes from Madoka Magica, alongside content based on other anime and games, will be made available as downloadable content for the PSP game Gods Eater Burst in Japan.
A novel adaptation of the series written by Hajime Ninomae and illustrated by Yūpon was published by Nitroplus on August 14, 2011. A pre-release was available at Comiket 80 on August 12, 2011. A book based on Gen Urobuchi's original draft treatment for the anime, titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Beginning Story, will be released in November 2011.
The first BD volume sold 53,000 copies in its first week, 22,000 of which were sold on its first day, breaking the record previously held by the sixth BD volume of Bakemonogatari. The second volume sold 54,000 copies, breaking its own record. Each subsequent volume has managed to sell over 50,000 copies in their first week. A live broadcast of the entire series streamed on Nico Nico Douga on June 18, 2011 gathered around 1 million viewers, surpassing the previous record of 570,000 held by Lucky Star. The show won the Television Award at the 16th Animation Kobe Awards, as well as 12 NewType Anime Awards.
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