The sad part is that these scams do work on enough people so that they keep doing it.
Admittedly I really only read the first few lines of that email. I mean, come on, you're asking a guy that does a webcomic and reviews manga, for money? (Now THAT'S a segue.)
Looking at it on the shelf you would think to yourself that this is just another magical girl snooze fest. I decided to pick it up and give it a try. You just don't know unless you give it a chance. A lot of the stuff you would expect is indeed in there. Younger teen lead character with overly bubbly personality: Check. Totally impractical silly costumes: check. Weird hair styles: check. Cute animal sidekick that has a bad habit of not telling you what you need to know: check. Guns: check.
Hand grenades? Blood? Head splatters? Trying to kill each other? Holy cow! This is done by people that are sick and tired of She-Ra, Sailor Moon, and Pretty Sammy. Parents watch out. This is NOT for little girls. Yeah you get the “Does this ribbon make me look pretty?” conversations. That is quickly dispensed with in favor of scenes of possessed people attempting mass suicide. You wouldn't guess that looking at the covers. It looks like some kind of super heroine team. Anything but. Homura spends most of her time fighting everybody. Mami dies. Sayaka gets a little bloodthirsty. Madoka has yet to transform by the end of volume two.
I think I got a winner here. Now I admit I'm bothered by the fact that the main characters are in their younger teens, but, this is a magic girl manga after all. Graphically it swings between the simplistic: characters on a white background, to hard to follow complex action. The writing is good for the most part with some leaps in logic that leave you scratching your head. Of course if it was all logical then it wouldn't be mahou shoujo. I really like the character development. Each one has some kind of back story that is tragic and can even twist a character into something quite unexpected.
In my research for this article I was totally unable to find any scans of it what so ever. The site I got the images for Rosario Vampire did not have Madoka. Yen Press didn't have it in it's app store. So no extra images to comment on. I did find a few episodes of the anime on one of the manga sites I go to. This series is trippy. The one thing I didn't like was packing in too much detail. Glass walled classrooms? Those hallways, jeeze they're huge. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you have to. All that detail overpowers the characters on screen and make it even more difficult to read the subtitles. Fortunately the DVDs I ordered are in English. What I liked the most was how the character animation looked almost like color manga. It was awesome.
The battles in the witches' wards piqued my interest. It seemed very much like British animation I watched a very long time ago. Maybe some inspiration from Ralph Bakshi. With a twisted twist of Terry Gilliam.
Can't wait for volume three. When's that out? December? Aw man.