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MADOKA MAGICA #3 - - Watch & Learn

Big gun, but little help.

OK. I'll fess up to it. I totally wasn't expecting the cereal box mascot witch to bite our lil' would-be butterscotch mentor's little head off. At least that answers the question of why Nick used what looked like a portrait of Cookie Puss for the header image of his review of the movies.

I have a hunch that this probably won't be the first dark twist this show's going take over the course of its half-length run. It isn't quite a shocker on the order of, say, the entire cast of GA-REI-ZERO getting slaughtered in its first episode, but it's a sharp enough of turn that I honestly can't guess which direction this show could go into next. The would-be Magical Girls have just gotten a very vivid illustration of why it probably isn't worth it to make a Faustian pledge with the talking stuffed animal. Hell, the weary veteran who's been telling them to turn away for the past couple episodes just pulled their fat out of the fire. If I were in their size 6's, I'd be inclined to follow her advice about everything, now.

But we wouldn't have a show if this girls just turned away and went back to their normal little lives, would we? Sure, it's anime. It can get thoroughly unpredictable. It can go hog wild with structure. But I really doubt a show's going to spend an hour hinting at the trouble that's obviously going to come from these innocents becoming Magical Girls - - and then not follow through it. Even C-CONTROL, despite its obfuscating ending, pretty much delivered on what you expected to see from a character making a contract with some dandy coated devil.

Also - - Mami's in all the promo images for this show, posing with the rest of the cast in their full Magical Girl regalia. Unless the animation studio took notes about the SCREAM theater posters that spotlighted Drew Barrymore, I don't think they'd go through the trouble of rendering all that art if it wasn't going to be representative of most of the show.

Right? Right? Well, we'll find out soon enough.

Before we wrap up, though, I want to say that the scratchy rendering on the girls' big eyes is tripping me out. Nick was wondering what the point of the movies' "clean up service" was and, honestly, I think a re-do of the eyes would be enough to justify it.

Watch this episode, "I'm Not Afraid of Anything Anymore" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Lurkeroon Nov. 8, 2012 at 1:56 p.m.

It just got real

metalsnakezeroon Nov. 8, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.

This is just one of the twist this show throws at you and it only going to get crazier. I was heart broken when Mami talked about how happy she was to be able to find some friends after being so lonely and then got her head bitten off.

zaldaron Nov. 8, 2012 at 8:50 p.m.

This is not the last turn, and not being a fan of magical girl shows you probably can't feel how much of a turn this was really. Honestly this was a complete 180...even given the hints of darkness in the first episode and the girl telling them not to do it this was a total shock. Given how happy she was in the last episode to it was quite chilling.

The girls for quite some time don't make the contract this is handled very well actually I will be interested in your thoughts.

Turambaron Nov. 9, 2012 at 8:39 a.m.

The twist here wasn't in the "Unexpected death" notion. It's the fact that the scene took something that is accepted gospel within the genre and rejected it. I will side step spoilers for upcoming genre twists by using a more roundabout analogy.

Mami's death is like Shinji's reveal was a wuss. That is only part of the reason why Evangelion is as notorious as it is. The other part is the complete turnaround on the relationship between the pilot and the super robot, and that similar "trust" dynamic is something similar that Madoka Magica will indulge itself in..

thekokapellion Nov. 9, 2012 at 9:49 p.m.

Well, of course it took a dark turn, because it is an OMGWTFGENIUS!!!! dark subversion of magical girl tropes, in the realm of Princess Tutu and Revolutionary Girl Utena, but darker than either of them, I would say. However, this show doesn't require extensive knowledge of magical girl conventions to enjoy, which is one of the reasons I liked it so much. But the main reason I liked it is not because it's an OMGWTFGENIUS!!!! dark subversion doesn't mean it's good (Sucker Punch, anyone?) I liked it because it's an interesting, thought-provoking, and incredibly well-written and visually inventive Faustian tragedy and urban fairy-tale.

Hypeathonon Nov. 9, 2012 at 11:49 p.m.

Did you watch Hope Chapman's review of Madoka Magica?

thekokapellion Nov. 10, 2012 at 12:15 a.m.

@Hypeathon: No, I've heard of her, but I don't watch internet video reviews, really, because youtube makes me hate humanity, but Gen Urobuchi described his show in pretty much exactly those words, so yeah. And Sucker Punch is a well-known intentional subversion that is pretty universally accepted as bad.

Ace20Aon Nov. 10, 2012 at 2 a.m.

Urobutcher Gen at his best.

Kino88on Nov. 10, 2012 at 6:41 p.m.

episode 3, told ya so,

takashichea moderator is online on Nov. 14, 2012 at 8:54 p.m.

Episode 3 got me hooked on the series since it just got dark. I believe the manga was more graphic with more blood. That was it. No actual gore.

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