Good and evil. Darkness and light. The world lies perfectly balanced on the edge of a salient blade. How does this universe maintain it’s perfect level? Perhaps there are forces at work beyond normal human comprehension ensuring the path stays impeccably aligned.

Just imagine if you could be granted any wish you could possibly dream of. However, in order to maintain balance, in exchange for your miracle a contract must be made; a contract that will ensure the eventual, cruel end to your life. Would you take it? Is there anything you would want bad enough to risk everything you love – to risk your very life for? Think carefully…some mistakes cannot be undone.

The contract spoken of is one of becoming a magical girl. In exchange for a granted wish, a small cat-like being named Kyubei will enter into a contract with the chosen girl.  From that point forward, the magical girl lives only to hunt down and destroy witches that inhabit and curse the city, causing unrelenting despair and tragedy in their wake.

This is no easy task though and oftentimes death is the only reward the magical girl receives for her blood, sweat, tears, triumphs and defeat. As Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are about to find out, becoming a magical girl is both an unimaginable dream and an unending nightmare as they set out down a lonesome path of tears, mistrust, and ever fading hope.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is a magical girl anime that brings about a darker, more terrifying side to the genre. A major decision can change the fate of every character and their loved ones in a matter of moments – but what is the right choice to make?

This anime is one that has really stood out this past year, and it is easy to see why. The characters and story are beautiful and sad, offering twists and fragments that lead to significant revelations and emotion throughout the entirety of the series.

The music and artwork of this show also stood out to me in a vibrant way. The score offered mystique and wonder which transitions effortlessly into confusion, sadness and terror through captivating and passionate pieces. Both the opening and closing included Connect! by ClariS and Magia by Kalafina (an exceptional group created by Yuki Kajiura). Visually, the art is unlike any other anime. The main images appear soft at times, almost as if it is lightly colored with pencils and gives the entire show an almost ethereal feel to it. The witch’s lairs also stood out immensely as an amalgamation of rough animations and cutout imagery – violent and chaotic with harsh conflicting colors and unpredictable actions.

I cannot believe I waited so long to watch this and am exceptionally happy that I have seen it now. There was not one episode that I did not enjoy. I feel as though there is much more I could say about this show, but I do not want to give away anything; which would undoubtedly happen if I continued. So, I will leave it as is. Remember that no matter how you may wish for your life to change, sometimes what you already have is more than you could ever ask for…or ever need.

Don’t forget.

Always, somewhere,

Someone is fighting for you.