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October 2, 2011 6:20 AM   Subscribe

If I loved Puella Magi Madoka Magica, what other shows or films will I love?

After the FPP, I started watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica and got hooked. After the nearly unbearable wait for the last few episodes following the tsunami, all I wanted was more.

I liked how it took an innocent, cheerful genre and turned it on its head into something very dark - costumed magical girls having breakdowns and turning guns on each other, rescuing their friends from suicide cults, adorable companions with evil plans (I really liked Paranoia Agent as well)... And through all this, it's still also a quality program - an engaging story, interesting characters, interesting twists and turns in the plot.

I haven't seen too much anime, so suggestions of that sort are welcome, but you need not limit your answers to it - any television or film from any country is welcome.
posted by Gordafarin to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Neon Genesis Evangelion.

It doesn't delve quite a deep and dark that Magica and Paranoia Agent did. And doesn't have any cute but evil villians, but NGE will twist your brain around. Especially if you include the movies.
posted by royalsong at 6:41 AM on October 2, 2011

I really enjoyed Ceres Celestial Legend. Once I started watching, it was hard to tear myself away from the TV. Originally a manga series, then made into a 24 episode anime broadcast in 2000.

Very dark, lots of magic, reincarnation, and very moving show. One of my favorite anime series.

I'm currently watching Fruits Basket and really like it so far.

Couple of Anime films I highly recommend:

Spirited Away
Howl's Moving Castle
Millennium Actress
Tokyo Godfathers
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 6:48 AM on October 2, 2011

Best answer: Unfortunately, there really hasn't been a lot else like Madoka. That's one of the reasons it's so celebrated.

Neon Genesis Evangelion does have that same kind of mind-fuck characteristic, except that during production the sponsor bailed and the funding ran out before the show was over. As a result the ending is... a complete botch.

Mr. Brian is just doing a title-dump. None of the shows that he lists are anything at all like Madoka.

In terms of having the same kind of paranoid mood and surprising revelations, probably your best bet is Noir. But it isn't really the same kind of show.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:28 AM on October 2, 2011

Best answer: Actually, the show you really should watch next is Haibane Renmei.

But try to avoid reading anything about it. Nearly every writeup I've seen contains spoilers.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:13 AM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Genre deconstruction: Bokurano and School Days. I couldn't finish School Days because it was far too disgusting, but Bokurano is a good deconstruction: "Kokopelli claimed to be a programmer working on a brand new game, in which a large robot has to defend the Earth against alien invasions. He persuades the children to test the game and sign a contract." Having watched Madoka, this should sound pretty similar to you. In its favor, Bokurano was first.

Also consider Revolutionary Girl Utena and Mawaru Penguindrum. The latter is airing right now, and is done by the same person who did Utena. And consider Serial Experiments Lain. These are shows with intricate and complex plots that you may enjoy.
posted by SollosQ at 9:14 AM on October 2, 2011

Whoa, I forgot about Haibane Renmei.. it's been so long. I say yes to that show definitely. It fits a lot of your criteria. Now I wanna go rewatch it..

Be aware that Utena has some mild homosexual tones in it. Utena is gigantic on symbolism. I still loved it. It doesn't really start to get out there until the second half of the second season though. I didn't suggest it because it's more tame then Madoka.

(ah.. school days. How I loved to hate you. I have never been more angry and disgusted at an anime character then I was with the guy in that show. School Days really riled me up, more so then most anime. I'd definitely do a bit of research on that one, though. To see if it's for you.)
posted by royalsong at 12:06 PM on October 2, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers so far everyone. I'll start looking into some of the series that have been suggested.

Keep in mind that I'm not only after anime, so if there are any non-anime shows or films which are similar (genre deconstructions, suspenseful plots, deceptively cheery stories that take a turn for the uberdark etc), I'd love to check those out too.
posted by Gordafarin at 12:52 PM on October 2, 2011

School Days is a good show to stay far away from. That's the show which gave us the term "Nice Boat Ending".

When the last episode ran, a couple of the stations which had been running the series refused to air it, and replaced it with a documentary about tour boats on the Rhine River. Hence "nice boat".

If you want more details about why, send me MeMail.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:14 PM on October 2, 2011

Sola might be an anime that you would enjoy. On seeing your enthusiasm about Madoka I decided to watch it. All in one day. (It was a surprise national holiday in a foreign country and everything was closed what can I say.)

At the end of it, Sola came to mind as an anime that had a similar feel for me, although I can't tell you exactly why.
posted by that girl at 10:32 AM on October 6, 2011

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