I think that, in the case of Madoka, deconstruction would be a good way to put it. Yes, Sailor Moon did change things for the magical girl genre nearly twenty years ago. And yes, there were other series soon after that tried to outdo it, to varying degrees of success. However, nearly two decades have passed and what Sailor Moon and some of the shows have folowed have done back then has become status quo. Madoka's pretty much the first really big shakeup since those days and I think that it'll kick off the new cycle of deconstruction for the genre.I think there's a qualitative difference here. Sometimes, you get a period for a particular genre where the term "deconstruction" isn't very meaningful anymore, because everything is trying to subvert what came immediately before. The deconstruction/reconstruction cycle itself becomes the object of fad, everybody's scrambling to be more avant-garde than everybody else, and ultimately nobody can find their footing because they're too busy incestuously deconstructing each other to pay any attention to the status quo. In anime, it happened with the mecha genre*, and I half-suspect that the magical girl genre is going to go that route next.
* [size=-2]And how; some of the mecha show premises that evolved from the need to subvert last year's subversion of the year before's third-generation NGE pastiche** are downright deranged.[/size]
** [size=-2]Now with 50% more metafictional awareness than the leading brand![/size]
(Yes, I know there's Nanoha before it, but I don't think it really shook things to the core like Madoka has done...ramped up the power level, sure, but it hasn't really shook things up like this)
Oh, on the lighter side, a friend of mine ran across this.