Genre: Magical Girl (don't know what else at this point)
Director: Shinbou Akiyuki
Synopsis: Having a loving family, close friends, experiencing times of joy and times of sadness. These are the things that make up an ordinary life.
Kaname Madoka is a normal 2nd year middle-schoolgirl who lives such an ordinary life. Until, that is, a strange encounter occurs. She does not know if this encounter is coincidence, or the vagaries of fate, but two things are certain...
This is the moment when her destiny changes...
This is the start of a new magical girl story!
(taken from AniDB)
Aoi YÅ«ki as Madoka Kaname
Chiwa Saito as Homura Akemi
Eri Kitamura as Sayaka Miki
Kaori Mizuhashi as Mami Tomoe
Emiri Katou as Kyube
Junko Iwao as Kazuko Saotome
Ryoko Shintani as Hitomi Shizuki
Tetsuya Iwanaga as Tomohisa Kaname
Yuko Goto as Junko Kaname
The first episode was a total surprise. It started out with Madoka running through nightmarish scenes which reminded me of Escher's mezzotints. Then we see Akemi fighting in what looked like a dark post-apocalyptic world. I don't think I've ever seen such dark imagery in a mahou shoujo anime. The animation really impressed me, especially the weird psychedelic images near the end. The school and Madoka's home had some original designs as well. It looks like this all takes place sometime in the near future.
What drew me in was Aoki Ume's character designs, and I initially didn't think this anime was going to be that great. I expected some cutesy mahou shoujo anime, where Hidamari Sketch like girls fight cutesy monsters. I was realllyyyy surprised at what they created here. I hope that they maintain this quality for the entire series.