This episode didn’t really sell me on the show, but it hasn’t really deterred me either. I remain on the fence when it comes to the art and animation approaches, and am still waiting for the story to genuinely hook me in.
⚫ One thing I do like about the story at the moment, is the fresh take on the Magical Girl genre. The powers of a magical girl have traditionally been altruistic – their primary function is help and empower people, and that is the motivation of the girl herself. In the world of Madoka Magica, they are still helping people, but their war against the corrupting witches has certain rewards. For a start, becoming a magical girl means your mascot character will go beyond the call of duty and actually grant any of your wishes, and make miracles happen. The fact that they could ask for money, power, immortality and such adds an interesting new layer to the story, and I’m already finding it one of the best themes of the show!
⚫ I’m enjoying Yuki Kajiura’s music more than I thought I would, even though it’s not far removed from her usual style. I think it’s because I’ve had quite a long break from her music, so it’s starting to feel fresh again! I think the BGM gives the show a certain charisma.
⚫ The work of animation duo, Gekidan Inu Curry, who do the trippy cut-out stuff, still feel misplaced to me. I understand the idea behind it – to give an unsettling and weird feel to the realm in which the witches are hunted. I like that thought, but they may have let it run a bit far because the images Gekidan Inu Curry have conjured up, including flying mustache eye-monsters, cross over the border of ‘weird’ and into the definition of ‘stupid’. I can’t take these scenes seriously, which actually undermines the pretty good choreography and animation work on the action sequences.
⚫ Key animators involved this week include Hironori Tanaka (who seems to be working on everything right now) and Nozomu Abe (also the action director).