Wow... I had my doubts with the first volume, but when Madoka Magica slows down the story to focus on the characters, you can see how great a series this really is. If you were to levy a complaint about this series is that nothing much happens plot wise. We're no close to finding out why Madoka is more powerful the magical girl or what Homura Akemi has to do with all this, but Sayaka and Kyoko all make up for it. Manga has always been better at portraying emotions than the animes and this remains the case here. For example, there is Sayaka. After making a wish to become a magical girl in order to help her crush Kyosuke, she quickly learns that in doing so she no longer has a soul that's connected to her body. If that didn't sound bad enough, think about this. After doing all this for the one she loves, she can no longer be more then friends. If she decided to let out her feelings to the one she loves, she would be unable to feel the warmth of him when they hug or kiss nor would she be able to enjoy the more intimate aspects of a relationship. Her despair is so crushing that it shows in her eyes, seemingly blank and expressionless, but showing crushing entrophy and hopelessness. Basically she's given it her all for others and gets a one way path to hell in return. It also shows in Homura as well. While normally calm and expressionless there's a small scene where she lets all that drop and shows that face of one who has a goal and will do anything to accomplish it. This is completely different from same exact scene in the anime. Finally, there is Kyubey who shows on two occasions that he is an absolute monster who can't be trusted one bit. It was pretty obvious in the anime, but is more obvious here. As for Kyoko (I wouldn't forget about her), she may seem like the cliche tough, crass girl, but she shows us there is a completely reasonable explanation to why she acts that way. She is also ironically both a foil to Sayaka and the person that Sayaka is becoming, but much, much worse. Though she starts by trying to kill her, Kyoko starts to gain a connection to Sayaka and shows how affected she is when Sayaka takes a turn for the worse. There's also Madoka, but she doesn't really do alot. Considering this is called Madoka Magica, there should be more of her here. Hanokage's art has improved here. Sure, its still a little too dark, but you can tell what's going on this time, save maybe one important scene. It's also much more gory than the anime and all the blood spilt happens to Sayaka unfortunately. The poor girl loses like a gallon of her own blood in a few days, perhaps even more. She even ends up murdering two people because they just happened to rub her the wrong way, indirectly by the way. Once again if you haven't seen the anime, each chapter equals one episode, so you can see the differences between the two one after the other quite easily. After starting off on questionable ground, Volume 2 renews my interest in this version of events and one on par with the anime.