Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- 1 Season
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a 12 episode anime about girls who battle Witches by choosing to become "magical girls." As middle schoolers Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are hanging out at the Mitakihara mall, they encounter a strange cat-like creature who refers to itself as Kyubey. Kyubey extends the offer of a contract to each of them. This contract will give a girl the wish of their dreams and in exchange, they become a "magical girl" who must defeat "Witches." Witches are the manifestation of despair, emptiness, and other negative emotions experienced by people and they are source for all unexplained deaths, extending to suicides. Elsewhere, transfer student Homura Akemi tries to prevent Madoka from making the pact with Kyubey, no matter what. While Madoka spends eleven of the twelve episodes debating making a pact with Kyubey, she learns that a magical girl's life is actually filled with anguish, despair, and suffering; curiously, these are the same emotions that give rise to Witches. After learning of the truth behind the relationship between magical girls and Witches, Madoka wracks her brain to think of a wish that is worth the sacrifice. The series makes use of some specific terms, which will be explained below. Magical girls, also known as "mahou shoujo," are all adolescent girls whose magical powers have a strength and theme tied to the nature of their wish. Witches are sources of negative energies, which normally inhabit a pocket dimension themed around their life before becoming a Witch. Witches can arise from either a fragmented "familiar" or from a magical girl who fails to purify their soul gem. A soul gem is the source of a magical girl's powers and also functions as a repository for her life force; if taken outside of 300 yards from her body, a magical girl's body will collapse. Soul gems are depleted as a magical girl uses her abilities, requiring draining the "grief seed" of a slain Witch to restore the magical girl's reservoir of magical energies.