[There are no spoilers contained within this recommendation.]
Alrighty! Some of you haven’t heard from me for a while, so I would like to present to you: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica!
If you’re cringing in fear because this anime’s title sounds like a shoujo (girly) anime, you’re right! The word is in the title, after all; but there’s no need for cringing. This anime offers a little of everything for everyone, even if you’re not the Magical Girl type. There’s a bit of action (real action with movement and physical fighting, not just magic wand flinging), surrealism, suspense, dark themes, and of course, emotional content; this anime also has a very introspective nature, exploring the nature of human beings and consequences of magic usage in a way that I haven’t seen since Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
The Premise: What if you could have any wish granted for you? What would that wish be–a wish for someone else? For yourself? What would you change? What would you ask for? What problems would you fix?
Every Puella Magi must make this choice before forging a contract with the “Messenger of Magic”, Kyubey. In exchange, these girls agree to fight Witches on behalf of mankind. These Witches are the embodiment of despair, those troubles and doubts that hold a person’s heart hostage, that push them toward the edge and convince them that they are alone and hopeless. The Puellae Magae are the opposite, the hope and light of the world, and it all begins with a decision. A wish.
What do you choose to fight for?
Madoka Kaname is an eighth grader living and attending school in Mitakihara, Japan with her two friends, Sayaki Miki and Hitomi Shizuki. She begins suffering from a recurring dream, in which a large monster is destroying her town. The monster is being fought by a girl she doesn’t know with long, dark hair, wearing a grey and purple costume and using magic the likes of which Madoka has never seen before. The girl is losing, however, and then the creature appears–white with pink ears, asking her to forge a contract. She could stop all of this, it says, if she simply made a contract with him; if she makes a wish.
But Madoka can’t decide, because she doesn’t know what to wish for.
The next day in school her class receives a transfer student that looks just like the girl from her dreams. Follow Madoka as she pursues the secrets of that dream and her mystery classmate; by watching other Puellae Magae as they fight Witches, she falls into a world that she never knew existed in order discover what and who she truly holds dear.
The characters are great, different and all have their own unique feel (even the side characters), the story is consistent, as is the logic as the series continues forward and the magical usage and how it affects various things. The main character each have their charms and fallbacks, distribution of power is fair and they do a good job of justifying why each character has the ability to do what they do.
This anime is hot stuff, and just ended at the beginning of April. The premise doesn’t do the series justice. There are a lot of themes explored throughout the show via the characters, and this series puts a dark spin on Magical Girls that hasn’t been seen. There’s only so much I can add to this introduction without spoiling the show, but I strongly urge you to see if, even if Magical Girls aren’t your thing.