If you haven't had enough magical girl with Mahou Shoujo Madoka and want to see what else the genre has to offer, then you might want to check out After School Pleiades or Suite Precure. After School Pleiades is an ONA created by Gainax sponsored by the car maker Subaru. Pleiades only has 4 episodes, each 5 minutes each. For what it's worth, I think Pleiades worked really well within it's own limits. Sure there's hardly any character development, but it really gets the fundamentals of the genre and creates a lovable, cute, well-animated anime. Sorry I only took 2 screenshots but if you want here'
s an article from Sankaku with plenty of screens (website is NSFW):
The main character is a pink-haired girl named Subaru. One day she discovers a few of her classmates dressed up funny. She doesn't know what is going on and spends alot of time saying, "nani??!" as she gets swept along on crazy magical flying staffs and helps her friends save the world from stealing their magical star/engine thingies. There is almost no depth at all with the characters or plot, very predictable, but it is all animated and presented very well, that I enjoyed it very much, not amazing, but great nonetheless.
Suite Precure just aired, and I figured I'd check it out. I enjoyed the first few minutes, mostly because I was laughing at the premise that it was setting up. Essentially there are two kingdoms, Major Land and Minor Land. The leader of Major Land, Aphrodite, holds a concert ceremony (annually or something) where this musical piece is played that heals everyone that listens to it. But, oh no! The evil leader of Minor Land has interrupted the performance and wants to rewrite the score as a Melody of Sadness and make everyone feel miserable! And so Aphrodite scatters the notes of the score to various parts of the kingdom, and says that there will be Precure warriors who will fight against the evil leader of Minor Land!
Yes, I couldn't stop laughing. But then it shifts over the the recognizable high-school setting. Two girls who used to be friends, and sing in harmony together have recently been getting into arguments. It turns out these girls are the special Precure warriors that were destined to protect the sacred Melody of Happiness! And the episode ends with their magical girl transformation sequence.
In Precure I found myself being annoyed by how crazy skinny all the girls are. The creepy 3D Miku-like dance sequence during the ending didn't really help either. I didn't really find either of the female characters in Precure likable. I imagine that if I continue watching this, I will continue spending more time laughing AT the anime than with it.
One thing that I appreciated though was the musical references. If you listen to music that makes you happy, chances are it is written in a Major key signature, whereas if you listen to music that makes you anything other than happy, chances are it is written in a Minor key signature. Musicians do this all the time when they make music. I found it hilarious that there is this artificial divide between the two kingdoms Major and Minor. And in the beginning, although I don't have a screenshot of this, it shows the audience listening intently and happily to Melody of Happiness, but then when they play the Melody of Sadness everyone starts crying. This is interesting to me because it brings up the question, whether music is meant to make you think, or is music supposed to just elicits certain emotions (like happiness or sadness)? I had some flashbacks to Fractale Ep 3
when this scene came up.
With that said, I don't think this anime is going to get much deeper than that. I'm afraid if I keep watching, I'll just eventually get annoyed by the characters and the stereotypical plot, so I may end up dropping this series, we'll see.