There are a couple of things anime fans have come to expect from the magical girl genre. Magic and girls are on the list, of course, plus things like flowers, sparkles, and probably a parfait or two.
What they usually don’t anticipate are decapitations, handguns, and implied homicides, but they got all that and more in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the 2011 TV series that defied magical girl conventions with the same gusto it crammed words into its title. Not only did the hard-edged anime win over legions of fans, it also inspired one to insert the Madoka cast into some iconic rock album covers.
The name Tatsuya Shingyoji probably isn’t familiar to most anime fans. Aside from penning manga based on the video games Graduation and The King of Fighters ‘94, Shingyoji served as an animator in the 1980s on a handful of adult anime with titles like Escalation: Tonight We Do It Hardcore.
But while Shingyoji may not be on the frontlines of anime production these days, he does seem to keep up with the latest hits, as evidenced by his account on image-sharing website Pixiv where he posted the following the following Madoka-infused drawings he created.
▼ Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life
▼ Queen’s News of the World
If Deep Purple could cram another face onto Mt. Rushmore for Deep Purple in Rock, there’s no reason Madoka and her cohorts can’t too.
Although the titular Madoka is the series’ protagonist, a lot of Shingyoji’s artwork reflects the ensemble nature of the show, like this tweaking of Led Zeppelin’s Presence.
▼ “Live in Japan” seems pretty fitting for anime fan art.
Hey, there’s one member of the cast missing from this Beatles tribute! Cue the “Mami is dead” rumors.
▼ Madoka gets the spotlight to herself here, though.
Some of the other one-girl covers tie into certain well-known traits of the characters. For example, scarlet-tressed Kyoko is always eating, so naturally she becomes the stand-in for the cow on the cover of Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother.
Here she is again, packing Pocky like a boss.
On the other hand, Mami has an aura of maturity and femininity about her, which comes through in this version of Derek and the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.
She also gets a robotic upgrade for this famous Aerosmith cover.
▼ Plus a bust enhancement
Then there’s the girls’ animal familiar/mentor/puppet master Kyubey, who’s mostly known for being a vile rat.
▼ Sometimes, metaphors are easy.
Don’t think that image fully conveys just how creepy the little space alien is? Then how about substituting him for the deranged face on the cover to In the Court of the Crimson King?
But perhaps the most compelling Madoka character is Homura, due to the complexity of her psychology (and sometimes her bewitching footwear, as well). Homura carries the great weight of a secret pain in her heart, plus the great weight of a bundle of firewood on her back, if you’re going by this Led Zeppelin IV cover.
As the series has progressed, Homura’s actions have become increasingly motivated by her obsessive fixation on Madoka, so we could see her being easily lured by a pair of the heroine’s panties.
We’re getting a little worried about her continuing mental breakdown, which is starting to remind us of one of rock’s most self-destructive legends.
▼ Really, if Homura doesn’t turn herself around soon, we wouldn’t be surprised if she winds up dying broke and obese in Paris.