Madoka Magica & Yumekui Merry

I’ve been so busy with the recruiting that I haven’t had much time to watch many new shows nevermind reviewing them. But this past weekend, I managed to find myself a little time to catch up. I watched Level E and Beelzebub and found them to be mildly amusing but not something I would wait to watch every week. There were two shows in particular, though, that did: Yumekui Merry and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from either of these before sitting down to watch them. I wasn’t involved in the Winter Preview as I was really busy at that time, and skipped all the Madoka previews during my Bridge x Bridge episodes. The art of Madoka didn’t impress me at all at first, but as the series carried into the second episode, I realized the sketchy, pale-coloured characters were quite full, some of the back drop scenery was quite detailed, and the garden of witches quite imaginative. The witches themselves are really… gross.

Episode One was interesting enough to get me to watch Episode Two where the magnetism of Mami took over. That girl is fantastic. Shotguns in her skirt? Discarding each gun after fire and succeeding it with yet another from her arsenal of long barrelled, elaborately embellished shot guns, thus producing a rapid fire attack? Awesome. But I know the real focus will be on Madoka and Homura. Something tells me that Homura isn’t as happy being a Magical Girl than we’re supposed to believe; she probably tried to destroy Kubey so that no other girls would have to go through whatever she did – or something along those touching lines. I’m not sure if Mami sincerely believes in the cause or gets a referral bonus for recruiting more girls into the Magical Girls Club.

Yumekui Merry, on the other hand, has all the character stylings that I like. Really cute characters, really rich colours, and really beautiful backgrounds. The male protagonist is a good balance between placid and decisive; even if he is a bit of an idiot, he’s not too immature or entirely stupid. Merry, our lead girl, is balanced too: strong fighter, stubborn personality, but unafraid to express her emotions. She cries openly, she’s angry openly, and she’s upfront about what she wants. She also isn’t instantly attached to Yumeji – nor instantly repulsed, which was refreshing. They meet coincidentally, she saves him when he’s attacked by John Doe but not so much for his own good, but because she wants John Doe to take her back to the Dream World. When that doesn’t work out, she’s outwardly distraught. Tachibana Isana, however, is very typical, but I guess you can’t get away from that altogether.

I’ve always been interested in dreams so I find the premise of this show fascinating. There are bad Dream Demons like John Doe, who try to acquire a human vessel by force to enter the Real World, but at the same time, there are good Dream Demons like Serio from Episode Two, who just want to experience life alongside a human. Apparently a Dream Demon and a human who have a bond or contract doesn’t prevent other Dream Demons from infiltrating the other Dream Demon’s world and destroying them. It’s very likely now that poor Serio’s gone that Yumi’s a vessel for some not so nice Dream Demon.

There are some non-consequential characters like Yumeji and Isana’s friends, but there are other characters who are more mysterious and will probably come to play a bigger role in the series – either to oppose our protagonists, or to reveal some larger plot in the show. Like the transfer student: Never trust the transfer student (that goes for Madoka Magica too). Whether they’re good or bad, the transfer student is always the trigger to larger events in that move the story along.

It’s interesting that in both Yumeji and Yumi’s cases where they enter a “daydream”, that there was a physical object involved before they entered the Dream World while awake. For Yumi it appears to be a pair of rusty scissors; for Yumeji, however, I can’t be too sure as he was holding Merry’s hat and staring at a cat when the world switched, but then again, there’s that old tuna can that keeps rolling around in his Dream World, shared with John Doe. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into this.

Well anyway, I’ll definitely be watching both shows, and hopefully I’ll find the time to keep reviewing both. If not, then I’ll probably couple them in one way or another. Until Episode Three: Sweet Dreams…!


10 Responses to “Madoka Magica & Yumekui Merry”

  1. 18 January 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Have you checked out Fractale as well?

    • 2 blindability
      19 January 2011 at 12:33 am

      I did watch Fractale but I think I’d rather just watch and enjoy that one rather than have to think about reviewing it. Plus I don’t really get it after just the first episode, haha.

  2. 3 ~xxx
    18 January 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Did you check Noitamina?
    I heard they had good shows this time.

    • 4 blindability
      19 January 2011 at 12:38 am

      Fractale I like but I won’t reviewing. Wandering Son isn’t quite up my alley. It’s pretty and all and I’ll probably watch it for another episode or two, but to be honest, I thought it was a bit dull.

  3. 19 January 2011 at 3:44 am

    I think with Madoka Magica they are really trying to reach a male audience and thus it is a little darker than most magical girl shows. But as pretty as I find the vivid details it is hard to watch at time. The transition between the real world and the girls between the monsters and creepy dandelions almost looks like a bad sci-fi movie with cheap CGI plopped in. Almost like the girls are placed in FRONT of the action and not IN the action.

    And the witch was too gross for words. And it moved so weird, like a monster from a Final Fantasy video game when your system is lagging.

    But I do like the realism in the show (that there is a real fear of death and the girls get to MAKE a decision). So I shall be watching it. Also because this season sucks and I need to watch something.

    • 6 blindability
      19 January 2011 at 11:04 am

      Haha. The CGI is too funny. I’ve also seen Level E so I mean… the work in Madoka isn’t as bad as that.

      I’m a little surprised that the witches are such passive creatures – and by passive, I mean they don’t physically do too much in terms of fighting. I mean yeah they move and they obviously control flying mustaches and butterflies to attack the Magical Girls, but other than that, they’re just big ugly blobs. I don’t think I like that all too much right now, but it is different than really beautiful manipulative witches or really ugly and terrifyingly old witches.

  4. 7 ariannasterling
    19 January 2011 at 9:35 am

    I’m taking an interest in Madoka so far–I feel like it’s what would happen if you asked Tim Burton to do an anime series.

    Merry hasn’t really excited me at all, but I do plan to continue watching. My favourite character as of now is actually Isana’s dad. He seems like a pretty cool guy.

    • 8 blindability
      19 January 2011 at 11:01 am

      Oh I know: Isana’s father has to be one of the coolest dad’s in anime history. I’m looking forward to him playing more of a role as the series continues.

      You’re right with the Tim Burton and anime comment; Madoka is much darker than your average mahou shoujo anime and the art is pretty out there. But despite the oddly shaped and slightly sketchy characters, I’m learning to like the animation style.

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