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Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Japanese: 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika) is a TV anime series that aired in Japan in 2011. Due to its innovative incorporation of the traditional Magical Girl with a dark psychological theme, it has become one of the most successful anime series in 2011 and received largely positive critical response. The series has also become hugely popular In the internet, encouraging the creation of numerous fanart and parodies.
The series was first produced as an animated series by the animation houses Shaft and Aniplex. It was directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (known from the series Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei, Negima, and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha), scripted by Gen Urobuchi and the character designs were created by Ume Aoki. The series aired in Japan through TBS and MBS between January 7, 2011 to April 22, 2011, with the two last episodes delayed due to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake incident.
The series takes place in a futuristic society. The protagonist is a 14 year old girl named Madoka Kaname and her adventures after she encounters a strange creature who goes by the name Kyubey. This magical being offers both her and her friend Sayaka the opportunity to have any wish granted in exchange for becoming Magical Girls (Japanese: 魔法少女 Mahō Shōjo) who battle dangerous monsters known as “witches”.
The mysterious transfer student named Homura Akemi approaches Madoka and warns her that forming the contract with Kyubey comes with a heavy price. However, despite Homura’s warnings, Madoka and Sayaka become friends with Mami Tomoe, a veteran Magical Girl, who saves their lives from a witch and offers to show them the ropes so they can come to a decision on their own.
The rest of the series focuses on Madoka’s dilemma of whether or not she should form a contract and become a Magical Girl. As the series progresses, the characters discover the true nature of the contract along with Kyubey’s real motives.
Since it’s release, the anime series became extremely popular. It was discussed widely on 2channel, Futaba Channel (2chan) and 4chan. When it was released on Bluray and DVD, it broke selling records. The first Bluray disc of Madoka currently holds a record as selling the most of any anime in it’s first week of release.
According to Anime Otaku Corner, Kyubey’s phrase of “Boku to keiyaku shite, ____ ni natte yo!” (If you make a contract with me, you’ll be come ____ ! ) made it into the Net Buzzword 2011 List published by the Japanese newspaper ”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sankei_Shimbun">Sankei Shimbum. 
“Connect” by ClariS
Main entry: Connect
Connect (Japanese: コネクト Konekuto), the opening theme of the series, is a song by ClariS, a duo of anonymous high school girls who go by the pseudonyms Alice and Clara. Several parodies, remixes, and MADs have been inspired by this song.
Main entry: Kyubey
Kyubey (Japanese: キュゥべえ) is the magical being who can grant normal girls any wish they want along with magical powers to fight witches. Kyubey plays an important role in the story, but very little is known about its origins and intentions until much later in the series.
Due to its deceptive nature, Kyubey has been regarded as a notoriously infamous character in the internet community and thus portrayed in fanart, comics, fanfiction, and flash games.
Main entry: Frightened Madoka
Frightened Madoka originated from a Madoka figurine. In 2011, the figure model company Good Smile, under the line of figma, released an articulated action figure of Madoka Kaname. Her face is swappable with a frightened expression. Due to the figure’s versatility, it has been featured in various photo montages, often with hilarious results, similar to Hentai Woody.
Headless Mami and Charlotte
Main entry: Headless Mami / Charlotte
Headless Mami / Charlotte originated from the third episode off the anime. In this episode, Mami Tomoe battles the witch Charlotte, while Madoka and Saya watch behind. After Mami deals what she thinks a finishing blow to Charlotte, the witch strikes back by rapidly approaching Mami and chomping her head off.
This shocking scene has generated its impact in the internet fan community. As a result, Mami is often depicted as headless in fan art. Fans intentionally omit Mami’s head in pictures (either cropped off or hidden behind something) as part of the running joke.
Due to being responsible for beheading Mami and also due having a deadly 90s cartoon character design, the witch Charlotte who appeared in episode 3 gained a lot of popularity. Though there are fans of the other witches, Charlotte is by far the most popular witch.
Though Charlotte has some popularity overseas, she is most popular with the Japanese fandom. Fans have created stories and legions of fanwork dedicated to Charlotte. It is also very common for people to consider Charlotte as a “moe” character.
Meduka Meguca / “Being ‘x’ is suffering”
Main entry: Meduka Meguca
Meduka Meguca features a series of threads on 4Chan’s /a/-board inspired by the popularity of the show. 4chan’s /a/nons created a parody of the Madoka Magica series which they named Meduka Meguca. The first thread was posted February 2011.
The series consists of five separate threads which cover the entire plot of the show. The users acted out the series using “quality animation” clips borrowed from the show and posts consisting of intentionally poor spelling and grammar. The hilarity of these threads led to users posting dramatic re-tellings of the Meduka Meguca series which can be found on Youtube.
In particular, Kyubey’s statement, “being meguka is suffering…” sprouted into a sub-meme of it’s own. Users of the internet liked this phrase and started to replace “meguka” with other subjects and characters.
Main entry: Morning Rescue
Morning Rescue is a commercial for a Japanese drink that appeared during the broadcast of the second episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The commercial left such an impression with people that the fansubbing group [gg] intentionally left the commercial in when they released their subbed version of the episode. This caused the commercial to gain popularity among fans in the United States for its apparent hilarity, and it became influential to the point where websites such as J-list, started having the product for sale.
Even though Morning Rescue is a very minor meme, it is very closely associated with and recognized by people who are fans of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Main entry: Poorfag-chan
On January 28th, in a discussion topic on 4chan’s /a/ about the fourth episode of the series, one anonymous user noticed that during a clip showing Madoka’s class, everyone in the classroom had laptop computers except for one girl. This character was quickly named Poorfag-chan by /a/nons
Despite her being a character seen only in the background, Poorfag-chan gained her own popularity as a character on /a/.
There’s a lot of various theories, stories, comics, and fanworks crafted around Poorfag-chan. She is generally depicted as an innocent character who makes the best of her circumstances.
Slice of Life Parody
Late in 2011, Shaft announced that there would be three movie releases for the series. Since the series ended, there were rumors that the next season of Madoka would be released as a slice of life comedy instead of a magica girl show. As such, one user from Nico Nico Douga created two parody shorts starring Kyosuke Kamijou.
The shorts contain a lot of minor jokes from the fandom including Homura having very strong romantic feelings for Madoka, Homura’s pissed off faces, Kyubey transforming into a monster, and Sayaka using her “I’m such a fool” face when Kamijou is arrested. The audio is taken from the series Gag Manga Biyori.
You can also see cameo characters like Kazumi from the spin off manga Puella Magi Kazumi Magica along with characters from the anime Nichijou.
Search interest starts in October 2010, but suddenly gained a big rise in January 2011. The first episode aired in January 2011, which explains the rise. Search interest started around October 2010, which is when the anime was first announced.