(Spoilers ahead, you have been warned)
Madoka Magica is a very special title for me as an anime watcher. I first watched Madoka almost three years ago now in June of 2014. At the time, I had only ever watched anime casually on and off. I had been working through Soul Eater during the semester before, but had all but dropped it and only really watched things I saw on TV. Everything changed when I discovered GRArkada one weekend and heard him talk about the show. On a whim, I binged it a couple nights later and then promptly watched it about 8 more times that summer. I became absolutely hooked on the show, recommending it to all my friends and it completely revitalized my love for anime and strengthened it to levels I had never seen before. I started to get interested in the medium as a whole and I’m proud to say that Madoka Magica is a big reason I’m a weeb today. Even to this day, I absolutely love the series (and it introduced me to several other series on this list and one we have yet to see yet).
There is so much I could talk about that I absolutely love about this show. While I wasn’t a huge fan of every member of the cast (I still dislike Madoka as a character a bit, to be honest), Homura became one of my favorite characters of all time and still stands in my top eschelon of favorite characters to this day. The way her character develops over the course of the series and the major reveal about her in Episode 10 was done amazingly for me and it instantly turned me into a huge fan. The artstyle of the show is visually gorgeous and eclectic, highlighting the pinnacle of Studio SHAFT’s unique style. The music for the series is absolutely amazing, with Puella in somnio, Inevitabilis, and Decretum standing among my favorite OST tracks of all time, and Yuki Kajiura is an absolute genius. I could say a lot more about the personal effect Madoka Magica had on me as an anime fan, but that’s a different tale for a different time.
Favorite Episode: Episode 10, “I Won’t Rely on Anyone Anymore”
So, I feel like this is a pretty cliched choice for a favorite episode from Madoka Magica, and my favorite scene of the series actually comes from a different episode (Episode 11, Homura’s confession about who she really is), but I have to give it to Episode 10 for the complete 180 this episode did for Homura as a character. Going out of Episode 9, Homura was the lowest on my rankings at the time and I had just changed my desktop wallpaper to Sayaka. Almost immediately after, Homura took over and became one of my all-time favorite characters. The episode is such a fantastic look at the struggle Homura had gone through, enduring multiple different timelines and the same fate in every timeline, all in order to save Madoka from the fate she had met over and over again. It’s such a well-crafted episode and it takes Homura’s character completely to the next level. I’ve already sung its praises two years ago in an /r/anime rewatch about my thoughts on the episode, so you can give that a look for more.
Madoka Magica was one of the most influential anime in my time as a fan of the medium. It was the show that got me interested in the rest of the medium and a big reason I started checking out more anime. It’s an anime that has held a staple place in my tops, never dropping below its current #4 position since I first watched it almost 3 years ago now. I can’t say enough how much of an effect Madoka Magica had on me and if not for that show, my life would be completely different and the Taku doing these rankings wouldn’t be here today.