Anime / Puella Magi Madoka Magica
aka: Madoka Magica
Cute magical girls at its best!note 
"A person becomes naïve if they're too kind. Careless if they're too bold. And no matter how hard you try to protect others, there's no gratitude. Those who can't comprehend such things aren't fit to be magical girls."
Homura Akemi

Madoka Kaname is an Ordinary Middle School Student with a loving family and a close circle of friends. One day, an enigmatic girl called Homura Akemi transfers into her class, setting off a chain of events that will completely change Madoka's life.

In the shadows of the city, a war is being waged between the grotesque witches and the magical girls who fight to limit the former's destructive influences. A small cat-like creature named Kyubey appears before Madoka, and offers to grant a single wish in exchange for her services as a magical girl. The idealistic Madoka wants to accept the contract so she can help people in need, but Homura — who reveals herself to be a magical girl — seems determined to stop Madoka for unknown reasons.

Bringing together an all-star staff, Puella Magi Madoka Magica has Studio Shaft animating, Shaft's primary director Akiyuki Shinbo directing, Yuki Kajiura producing the music, Nitro+'s Gen Urobuchi writing and Ume Aoki designing the characters for Shaft's first original series in a decade. The show started airing in January as part of the Winter 2011 season, though it was put on a temporary hiatus due to the Sendai earthquakes in Japan. The final two episodes were broadcast back-to-back on April 21st; the initial announcement was met with much rejoicing. When it was aired on Nico Nico Douga, over one million people watched. Compare this to Lucky Star's similar stream, which had over half a million.

The series has been dubbed and released in the US by Aniplex USA and Manga Entertainment in the UK. The series was aired on Australian TV on ABC3 starting on the 29th of June. The series can now be found by US users on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Daisuki and Daisuki's YouTube channel (all subbed), and dubbed on Netflix.

In November 2011, a theatrical film trilogy was announced. It is composed of the following:
  1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Beginnings: Part one of a Compilation Movie, released on October 6th, 2012.
  2. Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Eternal: Part two of the Compilation Movie, released on October 13, 2012.
  3. Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion: Part three of the Compilation Movie, released on October 26, 2013. A true sequel to the anime, originally intended to be its second season. The movie also introduces a new magical girl, Nagisa Momoe, to the team.

In December 2015, a trailer for a new Puella "project" was released. Because of previous announcements that the studio was considering making a Rebellion sequel, this may be confirmation of such a sequel.

In October 2016, it was revealed that the anime will be crossing over with The Battle Cats, featuring characters from the anime as Cat units and enemies. It has not yet been revealed what content will land on Madoka Magica's side.

The anime has several spin-offs, such as manga and games, which can be found in detail on the franchise page.

Compare Neon Genesis Evangelion, Bokurano, Narutaru, Alien Nine, Princess Tutu, Revolutionary Girl Utena, A Song of Ice and Fire, and many other no-holds-barred Genre Deconstructions. Madoka Magica has been perceived to be the primary inspiration for later shows like Il Sole penetra le illusioni, Yuki Yuna Is a Hero, and Kamen Rider Gaim, though how much this is true is up for debate.

Contrast Cardcaptor Sakura, which serves as the show's most obvious antecedent; Claymore and Lyrical Nanoha which are examples of relatively adult and drama-laden treatment of the genre that are, however, played straight; and Kill la Kill for a series that is arguably the antithesis to this show as well as Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt for the comedic version of this show.

For some of the inspiration of the series, see Faust.

NOTE: Please put tropes for Rebellion on its own pages.

Late-Arrival Spoiler Warning: Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one of the most popular anime franchises in the anime fandom as of the winter 2011 season. In other words, there are a great deal of SPOILERS below — most marked, some unmarked, but all of which may possibly ruin your enjoyment of the story. Avoiding these pages is highly suggested for those who have not seen the show.

This anime series provides examples of:

Don’t forget.
Always, somewhere,
Someone is fighting for you.
As long as you remember her,

Alternative Title(s): Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica