Puella Magi Madoka Magica (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ, Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika) is a production of studio SHAFT and Aniplex (under Atsuhiro Iwakami as main producer) directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, and written by Gen Urobuchi with original character designs by Ume Aoki, together in a group they formed called "Magica Quartet". Character designs were adapted by Takahiro Kishida and music was composed by Yuki Kajiura. It is an original story anime from which three manga spin-off series are planned. Puella Magi Madoka Magica began development after Akiyuki Shinbo expressed his desire to work on a new magical girl series to producer Atsuhiro Iwakami while they were working on Hidamari Sketch and Bakemonogatari. The show's 12 episodes were broadcast on MBS, TBS and CBC, between January 6, 2011 and April 21, 2011, with a delay after episode 10 due to production and broadcast delays related to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
There exist "Messengers of Magic" who have the power to grant one wish to a chosen girl. However, that girl must then become a magical girl and fight against witches, evil creatures born from curses that are responsible for murders and suicides. A schoolgirl named Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki are approached by a familiar named Kyubey and magical girl named Mami Tomoe with offers of becoming magical girls, while another magical girl, Homura Akemi, tries to prevent Madoka and friends from making such a deal...
Episode 1: As If We Met in a Dream…
Episode 2: That Sounds Wonderful
Episode 3: I'm Not Afraid of Anything Anymore
Episode 4: Both Miracles and Magic Exist
Episode 5: There's No Way I'd Regret This
Episode 6: This Just Isn't Right
Episode 7: Can You Face Your True Feelings?
Episode 8: I'm Such a Fool
Episode 9: I'll Never Allow That
Episode 10: I Won't Depend on Anyone Anymore
Episode 11: The Only Path Remaining
Episode 12: My Best Friend
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (manga)
A three volume manga adapation of the anime based on Gen Urobuchi's scenario, illustrated by hanokage. The first volume was released on February 12 and the second on March 12, 2011. The third and final volume was released on May 30th, 2011.
The first volume covers material from the first through fourth episodes of the anime, the second volume from the fifth through eighth episodes, and the third volume episodes nine to twelve. Each of the four chapters of a volume corresponds to an episode.
Differences from the anime
While both the anime and the manga are based on the same scenario, both versions were produced alongside each other, resulting in some notable differences. See Manga differences for an in-depth analysis.
Puella Magi Kazumi Magica
Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice (魔法少女かずみ☆マギカ ～The innocent malice～, Mahō Shōjo Kazumi Magica: The innocent malice) is the first spin-off manga written by Masaki Hiramatsu and illustrated by Takashi Tensugi. It started serializing in Manga Time Kirara Forward starting January 24, 2011 and features a new set of characters in a different stage from the anime. The first collected volume was released on May 12, 2011, and the second is to be released on October 12, 2011.
Kazumi is surrounded by the darkness, with voice calling her out from somewhere. After she escapes from the darkness that is inside a suitcase, what appears before her eyes are unknown room and unknown man. In that incident, what came across her mind were fragments of memories.
Puella Magi Oriko Magica
Puella Magi Oriko Magica (魔法少女おりこ☆マギカ, Mahou Shoujo Oriko Magica) is the second spin-off manga illustrated by Mura Kuroe with a draft by Magica Quartet. The volumes were published by Houbunsha and feature the return of Kyoko and Mami from the anime as well as new cast members.
Although the first volume was initially intended to be released on April 12, 2011, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, as well as the subsequent postponement of the last two episodes of the anime has caused Oriko Magica to be postponed to May 12, 2011. The second volume was released on June 13, 2011.
The story is believed to take place in one of the alternate timelines, during the same time period (calendar-wise) as the original anime. It is most likely to be one of the timelines occurs between timeline 3 and timeline 4 of the TV anime. The plot revolves around Oriko Mikuni, a mysterious magical girl with a unique ability to see the future.
Don't even think about becoming a Magical Girl
A girl dressed all in white tests out her magic after contracting with Kyubey. This girl, Oriko, seems to have a vision of a future where Mitakihara Town has been destroyed, possibly by one or more witches. Oriko is determined not to let the town be destroyed, but may not be able to stop it herself. She has a second vision soon after, where she sees the potential of a girl with strong magic, implying this girl could do something about the vision.
Some undetermined time later, a very young girl called Yuma Chitose is rescued by Kyoko from being killed by a witch, but not before her parents are killed in the same way. Upon seeing Kyoko fight, Yuma grows a desire to become a magical girl herself, despite many warnings from Kyoko. Kyubey, informed about Yuma by Oriko, approaches her in order to make a contract, but is stopped by Kyoko. Meanwhile, Kyoko teaches the girl how to live on her own, and Yuma reveals her troubled past - her parents were very abusive, which led her to have very low self-esteem and find herself useless.
I'm not crying at all
While Kyoko is out fighting witches, Oriko approaches Yuma and manipulates her into believing that Kyoko is in big danger and she should become a magical girl, too. Kyoko is indeed having a hard fight and is nearly killed. Kyoko is rescued, without initially realizing how she survived, but Yuma quickly appears in front of her - as a magical girl. It turns out that Oriko also told Yuma that Kyoko is about to die. That's why she contracted - to prove her usefulness and save Kyoko. At the end of the chapter, Kyoko is seen determined to get revenge on Oriko, while another girl is talking with Oriko on the phone while covered in blood, accepting some request.
Love is infinitely finite
Backstory of Oriko is revealed - her father, Hisaomi Mikuni, was a politician, and she was helping him with his campaign back when she was a child. Mami is seen fighting Charlotte, and feeling a presence of another magical girl nearby, who turns out to be dead. Kyubey reveals to her a rumor that there is a magical girl who hunts other magical girls. The girl seen at the end of the previous chapter is revealed to be Kirika Kure, and she's having a tea party with Oriko in the garden. A witch attacks, and Kirika fights her while Oriko continues to make tea. Kirika faints, and Oriko says that she has to use her again, "to protect [their] world".
Mami investigates the case of the killer magical girl, asking Kyubey, Kyoko and Homura what they know about it. Kyoko asks Mami back about Oriko, but she doesn't know anything. Homura has no knowledge herself, but tells Mami to stay away from herself, Madoka, Sayaka, and Hitomi. Homura then accompanies them home (note that Sayaka and Hitomi never actually appear). Mami meets Kirika, who has lost a stuffed toy - Mami helps her recover it, and Kirika calls her "savior". Kirika treats Mami for a strawberry crepe to thank her, but Mami mentioning Kirika probably loving the person who gave her that toy makes Kirika mad - she is extremely picky about using the words "affection" and "love". She comments that "love is infinitely finite". A witch appears, and Mami begins to fight it carefully, not wanting to harm Kirika. However, Kirika transforms into a magical girl and attacks Mami, revealing herself as the "Black Magical Girl", the culprit behind the previous murders. Kirika is seen winning the battle, while in the meantime Oriko is seen talking about her and Kirika making her father's dream come true.
I'll never forgive you
The chapter begins with a flashback to Kirika's past. It reveals that she was a quiet loner who looked down on people with friends and was apathetic to the world.
Mami and Kirika's fight continues. Kirika wounds Mami on her leg, making it difficult for her to move. Mami still manages an escape, however, and realizes that Kirika must have cast a spell to slow down enemies, giving Kirika the illusion of great agility and speed. Mami takes advantage of this, setting up a trap for Kirika. In the meantime, Kirika is searching through the barrier for Mami, knowing that it is starting to fall apart and that she needs to end the fight quickly. Kirika has a flashback to when she first met Oriko. While Kirika was trying to pick up her things that had fallen on the ground, Oriko is the only one to stop and help her gather them. Kirika is charmed by Oriko, who is seen in the present baking sweets, thinking that Kirika will return hungry.
Back in the barrier, Kirika finally finds Mami, who summons her large gun to perform her signature attack, Tiro Finale. Kirika slows down time again in order to dodge the blast, but this causes it to go off behind her and wound her back, which is where her Soul Gem is located. Oriko, who is some distance away, sees some kind of vision about Kirika and falls to the ground.
As Kirika falls to the ground as well, Mami asks for an explanation for the murders, mentioning that Kirika needs to heal soon or she'll die of blood loss, but Kirika refuses to answer. Mami then holds up a gun to Kirika's head and prepares to shoot, but is interrupted by Oriko, who causes a huge explosion. In the confusion, Oriko takes Kirika back and comments that Mami and the pair will probably meet again and that Mami will hopefully have realized her "foolishness" by that time. As Oriko vanishes and the barrier finally crumbles, Mami falls to her knees, relieved to finally be away from the terrifying strength Oriko displayed.
At Oriko's house, Kirika confesses something to Oriko, which is revealed in another flashback. Kirika tried to track Oriko down after their first meeting, but when she finally does, she's too nervous to call out to her. She thinks that no one would pay attention to her and that there's no way Oriko will remember her. Her apathetic personality was fake and that she really did care about things like friends. She was jealous, and thinks, "I want to change myself." This is the wish Kyubey grants for her. The Kirika Oriko knows is a result of that wish. Kirika apologizes for the deception, but Oriko responds that what she's done is "unforgivable." She demands that Kirika make it up to her, which the bed-ridden girl agrees to while we see a shot of Kirika's cracked Soul Gem.
The final page of this chapter shows Homura, Sayaka, Hitomi and Madoka going out for snacks after school.
That's what I'm here for
Oriko's past begins to be revealed: She was the daughter of a politician, Hisaomi Mikuni. She was a well-liked and popular girl with a good reputation who fully believed in her father. He embezzled money from the government, and when he was discovered, he committed suicide before he could be tried for it.
Mami, at school, remembers speaking to Kyubey about the murders of magical girls. He claims he had suspicions as to who had done it, but no proof, so he never brought it up. Just then, Oriko and Kirika take over the Mitakihara Junior High School's broadcasting room. As Madoka and Sayaka speculate on it, Homura tells them not to worry. Kyubey realizes what Oriko is really up to, and vows to get rid of her. Oriko begins to make a speech, saying, "Do you have people who you love?" She claims that the world is in danger, that a monster will descend upon it and destroy it. She seems to look straight at Madoka as she says, "I will fight," and shuts the camera off.
Suddenly, a witch's barrier forms over the school, and Madoka's classmates being to panic when Kazuko Saotome, their teacher, is eaten by familiars before their eyes. They stampede away, pushing Madoka to the side. She's quickly surrounded by familiars, but Homura saves her. Mami attempts to do the same for the other students, but realizes that defeating the witch is the only way. She tries to make it to the center of the barrier, but is quickly captured. Kyoko and Yuma arrive just in time to save her. Kyubey had called on them to help, because Oriko was getting out of control. They start moving to the center of the barrier.
Homura continues to protect Madoka, but Madoka is not satisfied with that. She asks Homura why she only protects her, and not any of their other friends or classmates. She doesn't want to be saved at the cost of everyone else's lives. Homura says that even if she can't save everyone, she wants to protect Madoka, and puts her in a protective barrier, saying she'll go on alone. Madoka apologizes for her words, and says, "Let's go home together." In response, Homura agrees, and says, "That's why I'm here."
Homura reaches the center of the barrier, where Oriko and Kirika are waiting. Homura demands they take it down, but when they play innocent, Homura attacks. Oriko and Kirika's combined abilities (foresight and time-manipulation) allow them to dodge Homura's attack. Oriko then reveals that she's seen Homura in her vision of the end of the world. Oriko plans to kill Madoka to prevent her from contracting, and eventually becoming a witch with the power to destroy their planet, which Homura refuses to allow.
Kyoko, Mami and Yuma then reach the center. Mami comments that there isn't a witch there, but Kyoko just wants to take Oriko down. The white magical girl begins to cry, and says she feels pity for them in their ignorant state. Kirika realizes she's outmatched, and transforms into a witch.
Someday isn't today
After the death of her father, Oriko is shunned and ostracized by her former friends and the people she counted on. Teacher refuse to speak to her, and students mock her. Oriko is in such despair that Kyubey appears to her, offering her a contract.
Mami, Kyoko, Yuma and Homura continue to attack, trying to defeat Kirika's witch form. The confusion they feel from the knowledge that magical girls become witches hinders their battle skils.
Chapter 7, the final chapter:
To protect my world
In the last and final chapter Madoka breaks out of the protective barrier that Homura had formed around her and runs into Hitmoi and Sayaka. Determined to save Homura, Madoka goes to find her, accompanied by Hitomi and Sayaka. At the scene of the battle between Oriko and Homura, Oriko reveals that she has forseen Madoka to become the most terrible witch mankid has ever encountered, she is determined to kill her. Her plan is to hit Madoka with all of her magic once Madoka reaches the battle site. Kyoko, Yuma and Mami also join the fight.
During a flashback to her past, Oriko remembers her wish. In the depths of her sadness with her father tarnishing her reputation, she met Kyuubey, and wished to learn the meaning of her life. Oriko is then shot by Homura and falls into a seemingly endless hole, as a piece of Kirika's witch form falls towards her, she hurls it at Kyuubey. The piece then knocks off Kyuubey's head. As Homura turns to tell her story to Mami, Kyoko and Yuma, she hears the screams of Hitomi and Sayaka. Passing by a distraught Yuma and Kyoko, Homura sees Madoka lying on the ground, already dead and unable to be saved by Yuma. Homura's hopes of this being her last timeline are dashed as she falls to the ground in shock, once more seeing her friend dead, and prepares to restart yet another timeline.
In what seems to be either some kind of afterlife, Kirika is seen talking to a sad Orkio, sitting at the edge of a curb in a bus stop. Oriko confesses to have killed many people, and says to have saved more, but the burden is too heavy for her, and she can't stand up. Kirka, confused, can only comprehend that it means she has a big burden. Struck with an idea, she says that she'll take half the burden, they then take each others hands and walk off, smiling, maybe to heaven.
Connect (コネクト, Konekuto) by ClariS is the series' OP single.
Lyrics: Sho Watanabe (渡辺翔)
Composition: Sho Watanabe
Magia by Kalafina is the series' ED single. The song is also used as background music in the the dream scene at the beginning of Episode 1 (slow version in the original broadcast, replaced with the faster version for the nicovideo broadcast) and in the battle scene during Episode 2 and 10