I really like the out-of-box display of magic power in Madoka Magica so far, because it is a solid example of when visuals take care of narrative, and says so itself. It takes risks (though one might say that risk is largely mitigated by Shinbo’s reputation…if you don’t get what I mean by this you can ask me) but it is inventive. But I had to react like this.
The one thing that always made Soul Taker something I look back to is how it incorporates direction as a way to express the story, as a part of the narrative. I can see the same thing in Madoka. I don’t even care too much about the harem of beautiful girls in Soul Taker (and it seems nobody ever talks about it). Which is okay when the story in Soul Taker is like your usual, Casshern-esqe, fighting shounen manga. But magical girl? I don’t know if it works. Just on the basis of the nature of draw typical in that genre, it is not one in which you can buck the norms of presentation too much.
Cross-clashing fists of burning manliness can be kind of cool, in the same way that a magical wideface commands a legion of magical muskets, I guess. Is this why Archer is GAR? Is Nasu’s Reality Marble the next trope for a manly exchange of interpersonal understanding through physical violence? Joe is going to be sad when he finds competition.
It is yet another fine example of danmaku-triggering visual this season, I suppose.
But on some level, the thing feels like a Nicovideo MAD. And that is my problem with Magica. Besides that it also is kind of boring, since most of the episode employs the same tired tricks from every other Shinbo x SHAFT anime in the past 6 years. And there were a lot of them. Am I suppose to survive on how moe Madoka’s mom is during that wake-up routine scene and Chiwa Saitou’s deadpan voice? Man does not live on cherry tomatoes alone. Or Junko Iwao for that matter.