Friday, 11 February 2011

Puella Magi Madoka Magica - Episode 6

Just as things were getting deadly seriously between new magical girl on the block Sayaka and old hand (but new to town) Kyoko Sakura, who else should pop up to interrupt proceedings but Homura?  Our ice queen quickly puts paid to this face-off, while also admonishing Madoka for continuing to involve herself in all these magical girl shenanigans.

So, Sayaka lives to fight another day, but with little in the way of power within her Soul Gem it looks as though she has little chance of present about winning any kind of fight with either Kyoko or Homura.  As for that pair of magical girls, it seems as though Homura is looking to make something of a deal here, promising to deal with Sayaka and letting Kyoko have the run of the town to herself provided she keeps her nose out of things, while also warning of an impending Walpurgis Night - although there's no explanation of what that means in universe, its traditional German meaning is a festival celebrating a meeting between sorcerers and witches, which doesn't sound like good news for magical girls to me.

Meanwhile, Madoka is still concerning herself with what to do about Sayaka as she realises that her friend is in trouble and well and truly out of her depth - attempting to reason with her does nothing as Sayaka is hell-bent on following a "just" path, and a conversation with her mother suggests that the only way forward for Madoka is for to put her good girl demeanour to one side for a moment and do something wrong for a change in the hope of changing things or at least enabling Sayaka to see just how worried her friend is.  Such an opportunity arises when Sakura decides to have another shot at baiting Sayaka, leading to another impending face-off between the two which Madoka interrupts.... with dramatic and shocking consequences that stuns all present with the exception of Homura.

You know, I'm really not sure what to say about Puella Magi Madoka Magica any more - it's so good, so fantastic, so utterly gripping and nigh-on perfect in everything that it does that no words I write here can really do it justice.  It's such an exceptional blend of visual, audio and story telling elements that, as of this half-way point, I'm willing to call it one of the top three anime series I've ever watched without a hint of hyperbole.  This series knows exactly what it's doing, giving you enough room to guess at what's really going on and the real aims of Kyubey and Homura, whilst throwing in twists that make perfect sense yet nonetheless leave you speechless as they unfold. 

Puella Magi Madoka Magica's first six episodes have been unfailingly and increasingly utterly, utterly brilliant, and if its second half follows suit then I'm almost terrified about just what a huge success we could be in the process of witnessing here.  Don't listen to me blathering on, just go and watch the series so far - and if you've already watched, then go and watch it again.

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