Puella Magi Madoka Magica often referred to simply as Madoka Magica, is a Japanese anime television series created by Magica Quartet, an artist collective consisting of director Akiyuki Shinbo, screenwriter Gen Urobuchi, character designer Ume Aoki, and producer Atsuhiro Iwakami. The story follows a group of female middle school students who choose to become magical girls, subsequently battling surreal enemies known as “witches.” In consequence, they learn of the anguish and peril associated with their new role.
The first ten episodes of the series aired in Japan on TBS and MBS between January and March 2011, while the final two episodes were delayed until April 2011 due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. A manga adaptation of the series and various spin-off manga series have been published by Houbunsha and licensed in North America by Yen Press. A novelization by Nitroplus was released in August 2011, and a dedicated magazine titled Manga Time Kirara Magica was launched by Houbunsha in June 2012. A video game for the PlayStation Portable was released in March 2012 and another for PlayStation Vita was released in December 2013. A film series has also been produced; it consists of two films recapping the anime series and released in October 2012. A third film featuring an original story was released on October 26, 2013, and a concept film acting as a trailer for a new project was screened in December 2015. A smartphone game, Magia Record, launched in August 2017, and an anime adaptation premiered in January 2020.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica has received widespread critical acclaim; critics praised the complex narrative, visuals, artistic direction, and soundtrack of the series as well as its unconventional approach to the magical girl subgenre. It became a commercial success; each Blu-ray Disc volume sold more than 50,000 copies in Japan. The series garnered a variety of awards, such as the Television Award at the 16th Animation Kobe Awards, as well as 12 Newtype Anime Awards and the Grand Prize for animation in the 2011 Japan Media Arts awards.
is the titular protagonist of the 2011 anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica and its related media. In the anime, she initially lives a normal and happy life, but is then faced with the decision of becoming a magical girl.
Madoka is a kind and gentle 14-year-old girl who comes from a loving family. A second-year at middle school, her life changes when she encounters the incubator Kyubey, who offers to transform her into a magical girl. She sees herself as a person without special qualities or talents, and after seeing her schoolmate Mami Tomoe fighting against witches, aspires to become a magical girl like her. She is a kind and gentle person that is averse to fighting. She hopes that the magical girls will support each other, sometimes even putting her own life at risk to help them. After witnessing Mami’s death, she grows uncertain about becoming a magical girl, growing ever more hesitant as the true cost of the role is revealed to her.
In previous timelines, Madoka became a magical girl in a pink dress wielding a rose branch bow and arrow. In the drama CD, “Memories of You”, it is revealed that the wish in the first timeline was to save a cat named Amy from death. However, every time, she was either killed or transformed into a witch named Kriemhild Gretchen, the Witch of Salvation, one that became ever more powerful with each time reset, as Madoka’s power also increased and if created would, by the end of that same week, consume all life on Earth in order to create a paradise where there is no free will or individuality to cause strife or conflict. In the current timeline before the final episode, Kyubey claims that Madoka has an impossibly large amount of potential for magic, going so far as to claim that she could become a god. The reason for this is unclear, since her life so far has been relatively average and free of tragedies. This is later revealed to be due to her accumulated misfortune, which was caused as a result of her classmate Homura Akemi repeatedly resetting time, with Madoka’s fate getting worse with each timeline, making her magic power grow exponentially with each reset. In the first timeline, she still possesses a high amount of power, being able to defeat Walpurgisnacht, though dying in the process. Subsequently, by the current timeline, she has the potential to be the most powerful magical girl to date. Towards the end, she learns of this and Homura’s efforts to save her.
After seeing the suffering of magical girls throughout history, Madoka decides to make her wish: to prevent all magical girls from the past, present, future and all other timelines, from ever becoming witches. The laws of the universe are rewritten such that at the moment that a soul gem becomes black with anguish, Madoka appears and purifies it before the magical girl passes on. As a result of this wish, she becomes an omnipotent being named Ultimate Madoka, that exists for all time, erasing her pre-ascension existence from the world; leaving only Homura – and to some extent her little brother – with the memory of her. Madoka becomes only a concept in the new world, one named the Law of Cycles. Magical girls absorbed into the Law of Cycles regain knowledge of their lives in previous timelines.
At the end of Rebellion, Ultimate Madoka was usurped by Homura and had her human and goddess selves split, with her role as a martyr being forced onto the Incubators. Homura places human Madoka in a new universe where she and her friends can live normal lives unaware of their pasts, though Madoka regains her memories at the last second and her final conversation with Homura implies that it is only a matter of time before Madoka merges with her goddess self once more and must face her friend in battle.