Anime Kobe Awards Announces Winners

The winners of the 19th Animation Kobe Awards have been announced:

Individual Award: Seiji Kishi (director)
Special Award: Kyoto Animation
Anime Work Award: Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part 3: Rebellion
Anime Work Award: Love Live! School Idol Project
Theme Song Award: “Sidonia” by Angela

Manga Review: “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” Volume One

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Volume One is a manga with the story by Magica Quartet and the art by Hanokage; the manga is based on the anime of the same name. This volume was released in North America by Yen Press in 2012. The series is rated “OT” for older teens; from what I’ve read and from what I know about the anime, I would agree with this rating.

The main character of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a middle school student named Madoka Kaname. One night, she has a dream where she sees a girl in a battle, and a creature tells Madoka that she has the ability to change destiny by making a contract with it to become a magical girl. Madoka wakes up before the dream can go any further.

When Madoka goes to school, a girl named Homura Akemi transfers into her class, and Madoka instantly recognizes Homura as the girl from her dream. After school, Madoka tells her friends Sayaka and Hitomi about her dream, but they don’t take it very seriously.

While Madoka and Sayaka are at a music shop, Madoka hears a voice calling to her. When Madoka follows the voice, she finds the creature she saw in her dream; the creature is injured. Madoka then sees Homura, and Homura encourages Madoka to stay away from the creature; it’s obvious that Homura is the one who injured the creature. Sayaka suddenly appears to rescue Madoka and the creature, and the three of them escape. They encounter another girl named Mami Tomoe, a magical girl fighting against witches. Mami heals the creature and introduces it as Kyubey. Madoka and Sayaka are taken aback when Kyubey asks them to make a contract and become magical girls. By making a contract, each girl would get a soul gem and must fulfill a duty to battle the witches; in exchange, Kyubey can fulfill one wish that the girl wants.

After this setup, the story starts focusing on Mami teaching Madoka and Sayaka about being a magical girl, as well as providing some character development for both Mami and Sayaka. Madoka also keeps trying to figure out what her one wish should be if she decides to make a contract with Kyubey and become a magical girl. Near the end of the volume, there were a couple of major developments in the story that ended up taking me by surprise; these events also made me interested in trying to read more of the series at some point in order to find out how these events will affect the progression of the overall story.

My first exposure to Puella Magi Madoka Magica was watching the first episode of the anime series on Crunchyroll. That first chapter of the manga basically covered the first episode of the anime series, so everything past that point was new to me. From what I remember from watching the first episode of the anime, it appears that only minimal changes were made between the episode and the first chapter of this volume.

After watching the first episode of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime, I realized at that point that the series wasn’t just another “turning the magical girl genre on its head” show; where most shows in that vein accomplish that by utilizing comedy, this series seemed like it would accomplish the same goal on a more serious note. Now that I’ve also read the first volume of the manga, it appears that my initial assessment after watching the anime is on the right track. I have to say that at this point, the manga has done a great job of capturing the tone and feel of the anime series. This is true for both the storytelling aspect, as well as the look and feel of the art. The appearance of the characters in the manga seems to be trying to stay true to how they looked in the anime source material.

After watching the first episode of the series, I thought that Puella Magi Madoka Magica showed a lot of promise. I also feel the same way after reading through the first volume of the manga.

If you’re a fan of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime, I would recommend giving the manga a try. I’d also recommend this manga series to readers who enjoy stories that appear to be deconstructing the magical girl genre.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Puella Magi Madoka Magica Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

New Anime Releases: July 15, 2014

Here are the new anime releases for July 15, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day: The Movie [DVD]
anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day: The Movie [Blu-ray]
anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day: The Movie Collector’s Edition [Blu-ray/DVD]
Deadman Wonderland: Complete Collection (Anime Classics) [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Fairy Tail Part 11 [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Gurren Lagann the Movie Double Feature [Blu-ray]
Kill la Kill Volume 1 [DVD]
Kill la Kill Volume 1 [Blu-ray]
Kill la Kill Volume 1 [DVD/Blu-ray Combo; Limited Edition]0
Majestic Prince Collection 1 [DVD]
Majestic Prince Collection 1 [Blu-ray]
Mononoke [DVD]
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1: Beginnings [DVD]
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 2: Eternal [DVD]
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Parts 1 & 2 [Blu-ray/DVD Combo; Limited Edition]
Silver Spoon Complete First Season [DVD]
To Love Ru Darkness Complete Collection [DVD]
To Love Ru Darkness Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time [DVD]
Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time [Blu-ray]

New Anime Releases: April 8, 2014

Here are the new anime releases for April 8, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this listing, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

The Familiar of Zero Season 1 [DVD]
The Familiar of Zero Season 1 [Blu-ray]
Naruto Shippuden Volume 18 [DVD]
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie -Rebellion- [Blu-ray] (Import)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie -Rebellion- [Blu-ray Limited Edition] (Import)

Aniplex of America Releasing Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie -Rebellion- in April 2014

Aniplex of America has announced that the Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie -Rebellion- anime film will be available on Blu-ray starting April 8, 2014.

The company will be importing the release from Japan, and that it will be released in North America in both Collector’s and Standard Edition Blu-rays. Both the Collector’s and Standard Edition will include the film, the theatrical trailer and textless opening. Bonus extras in the Collector’s Edition include exclusive new cover art on both the Rigid Box and Digipak, a deluxe booklet and an original soundtrack CD.

Customers who purchase the Collector’s Edition through Aniplex of America’s official retailers will receive a translation booklet for the deluxe booklet. Also, those who purchase the Collector’s Edition through MadokaMagicaUSA.com, Aniplex of America will also include three exclusive clear files featuring the theatrical poster images while supplies last.

The SRP for the Collector’s Edition is US$118.98, with a store price of US$94.98. The SRP for the Standard Edition is US$68.98, with a store price of US$54.98.

Third Madoka Magica Film Ranks 5th in Screen Average in the U.S.

Anime News Network is reporting that Madoka Magica The Movie -Rebellion- ranked fifth on Box Office Mojo’s list of films with the highest screen averages in the United States for the weekend of December 6-8, 2013.

The film averaged US$4,884 on 39 screens, for a total gross of US$190,479. The four films ranking ahead of Madoka Magica The Movie -Rebellion- were Inside Llewyn Davis, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Frozen, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Another English-Subtitled Trailer Posted for Third Madoka Magica Film

Aniplex of America is now streaming a second English-subtitled trailer for the third Puella Magi Madoka Magica film on YouTube. The film will begin being screened in the United States and Canada with English subtitles on December 6, 2013.

I am embedding the trailer below. I apologize in advance to any readers who are unable to view the trailer due to region-blocking.