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Puella Magi Madoka Magica |OT| - It's a magical girl anime!

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Lufiaddict

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The review of Rebellion by Hope Chapman on Anime News Network gives a very good non-spoilerish description of what to expect:
“Wasn't the end of the original series perfect as it is? Does this movie do anything to add to an already excellent conclusion?”

Well, let's say that Madoka Magica, the story as concluded by the TV series or the first two movies, is an ice sculpture, flawlessly crafted with all the loose shards of snow brushed away to reveal a pristine creation with precise edges and curves in all the right places. It is a finished work of art. However, the powers-that-be decide that more entertainment can be gotten out of this sculpture, even if there's no more work to be done on the surface. They have two options. They can watch it melt, slowly, (through episodic installments of the girls fighting the darkness, introducing new magical girls, Shonen Jump-style, ad infinitum.) Or they can stick a charge on that baby and blow it up. Rebellion blasts the franchise sky high, which results in an experience about as satisfying and horrifying as that sounds, and demands to be seen, although not necessarily enjoyed.
but episode ten. hooboy, that's what sealed this series as one of my favorites
Same for me.

I'm amazed by how much character development the writers were able to cram into twelve episodes.

so yeah, it was pretty great. i know there's a third movie that sort of acts as a sequel to the series, but everything i've read up on it sounds like it undoes a lot of what the show ended on so well. and it also sounds like it gets caught up in 'who is the best girl!?' which is something i never really indulged in, or looked for from this show.
One could say that the first part of the movie is "pandering to the base", but it's done with so much style and creativity that it's definitely worth watching to anyone who enjoyed the show. A good example is the transformation sequence. But seriously, don't click that link: just watch the movie so you can love it and hate it as much as you love it, like we do!
 

jman2050

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See I think Rebellion is a better ending that what we got from the TV series so it's most definitely a YMMV thing.

You won't know until you watch it!
 

AniHawk

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That's just the fanbase being a fanbase. The tone is mostly identical to the show, though with a possibly bigger light/dark contrast depending on how you look at it.

Now it is divisive for a very good reason and I think that was intentional. For some, it disregards the themes present in the show and retroactively ruins it. For others, it takes them to their natural conclusion making for an exciting and intriguing finale.

I'd say give it a try, but I can't say what end of the spectrum you'll fall on.
i very much believe the show's ending was more or less perfect. the tone it struck really amazed me for being true to what the show was while still being basically happy. it's not the bleak and futile outlook that psycho-pass has. the concept and theme of hope and despair works so well here that i am both intrigued and afraid of something that destroys what seems so perfectly created.

The review of Rebellion by Hope Chapman on Anime News Network gives a very good non-spoilerish description of what to expect:



Same for me.

I'm amazed by how much character development the writers were able to cram into twelve episodes.


One could say that the first part of the movie is "pandering to the base", but it's done with so much style and creativity that it's definitely worth watching to anyone who enjoyed the show. A good example is the transformation sequence. But seriously, don't click that link: just watch the movie so you can love it and hate it as much as you love it, like we do!
yeah, i never got into the 'oh this girl is the best- she's myyyy favorite!' side of things. i really enjoyed sayaka's and homura's arcs and i think they are by far the most fleshed out and interesting characters in the show, with kyoko third, then madoka, and mami last. although i really thought it was great that mami was the one who snapped and was willing to kill other magical girls and herself considering what little that we knew of her that she was supposed to be super straight-laced.

i'm also amazed what was accomplished in 12 episodes. i don't feel like any time is wasted and everything is used to its fullest potential. i can't say the same thing about fate/zero or psycho-pass. the former meanders quite a bit in the middle and the latter sort of takes a while to get to the point, although i found it always entertaining. madoka magica acts as a downward spiral all the way to episode 10, and then concludes honestly and extremely well.
 

AniHawk

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See I think Rebellion is a better ending that what we got from the TV series so it's most definitely a YMMV thing.

You won't know until you watch it!
well i just got done watching it.

i don't love it or hate it. the whole thing was a big ol' meh to me. i kept expecting it to go somewhere and it never really did. i think what hurt was homura's change in attitude being so abrupt. instead of that carrying any sort of emotional weight, it came off as super cheap. even considering the movie-world until then, she was pretty much homura from the show.

so yeah. i prefer the show. i think it's a happier ending in that everyone gets what they want - mami and kyoko are fighting wraiths in exchange for their wishes, sayaka and madoka willingly sacrifice themselves for their wishes, and homura's wish to protect madoka (in this case, the world she wanted), continues. best of all, it's pretty honest and true to the characters.

i do like that the movie was born from homura discussing the witch world with kyubey. even when i was watching episode 12 i thought it was a pretty huge mistake to place any trust in that asshole.
 

Lufiaddict

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well i just got done watching it.

i don't love it or hate it. the whole thing was a big ol' meh to me. i kept expecting it to go somewhere and it never really did. i think what hurt was homura's change in attitude being so abrupt. instead of that carrying any sort of emotional weight, it came off as super cheap. even considering the movie-world until then, she was pretty much homura from the show.

so yeah. i prefer the show. i think it's a happier ending in that everyone gets what they want - mami and kyoko are fighting wraiths in exchange for their wishes, sayaka and madoka willingly sacrifice themselves for their wishes, and homura's wish to protect madoka (in this case, the world she wanted), continues. best of all, it's pretty honest and true to the characters.

i do like that the movie was born from homura discussing the witch world with kyubey. even when i was watching episode 12 i thought it was a pretty huge mistake to place any trust in that asshole.
It's unfortunate that you didn't get some enjoyment out of it. But it doesn't seem to have retroactively ruined the series for you, so I guess it's not too bad. As far as I'm concerned, I would have prefered if this movie had never been made, but considering it exists, I'm glad I watched it, and I enjoyed it despite the blow to the gut that it delivers in the last minutes. I view it as a worthwhile sequel to a series that did absolutely not need a sequel, so to speak. And I too find interesting that Homura's mistake is the cause of all this.

While the first part of the movie, as I wrote earlier, is largely pandering to the base, I like how everything in it seems a little off. For example, the transformation sequence evocates witches, and the infamous cake song is as disturbing as it is cute.

I agree that Homura's change in attitude seemed very abrupt. It wouldn't have hurt if the writers had sprinkled more hints throughout the movie... but they were obviously eager to sucker punch the viewer with that ending. Still, I think Homura's actions make sense, considering all that she endured through the time loop, and then the time she spent simmering in her darknened Soul Gem that Kyubey artificially prevented from shattering. If I recall correctly, Homura was very upset when Madoka left her in the serie's ending (the scene were Madoka gave her her ribbons). Moreover, when you think about it, what Homura did in her Soul Gem (creating a fake world where she has the illusion of being reunited with Madoka) was pretty much a prototype version of her grand scheme (altering reality so that she can be reunited with Madoka).

The irony in Homura's scheme, is that by trying so hard to be reunited with Madoka, she actually lost her. This is very well illustrated by the movie's imagery IMO:

http://i.imgur.com/Xaz52iW.png

http://i.imgur.com/oPxZwkc.jpg

Let's be clear: I hate this horrible ending. Like you, I consider that the girls deserved the "happy" (all is relative) ending brought by episode 12. Yet, I think the fact that Homura's love ends up ruining everything fits the themes of the show tragically well. "The more good you did, the more harm you'll do", as they say. I entertain the thought that I should have seen it coming, but didn't because it was not the ending I wanted to see: how could I have seen the writing on the wall when I was looking at the door?
 

AniHawk

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It's unfortunate that you didn't get some enjoyment out of it. But it doesn't seem to have retroactively ruined the series for you, so I guess it's not too bad. As far as I'm concerned, I would have prefered if this movie had never been made, but considering it exists, I'm glad I watched it, and I enjoyed it despite the blow to the gut that it delivers in the last minutes. I view it as a worthwhile sequel to a series that did absolutely not need a sequel, so to speak. And I too find interesting that Homura's mistake is the cause of all this.

While the first part of the movie, as I wrote earlier, is largely pandering to the base, I like how everything in it seems a little off. For example, the transformation sequence evocates witches, and the infamous cake song is as disturbing as it is cute.

I agree that Homura's change in attitude seemed very abrupt. It wouldn't have hurt if the writers had sprinkled more hints throughout the movie... but they were obviously eager to sucker punch the viewer with that ending. Still, I think Homura's actions make sense, considering all that she endured through the time loop, and then the time she spent simmering in her darknened Soul Gem that Kyubey artificially prevented from shattering. If I recall correctly, Homura was very upset when Madoka left her in the serie's ending (the scene were Madoka gave her her ribbons). Moreover, when you think about it, what Homura did in her Soul Gem (creating a fake world where she has the illusion of being reunited with Madoka) was pretty much a prototype version of her grand scheme (altering reality so that she can be reunited with Madoka).

The irony in Homura's scheme, is that by trying so hard to be reunited with Madoka, she actually lost her. This is very well illustrated by the movie's imagery IMO:

http://i.imgur.com/Xaz52iW.png

http://i.imgur.com/oPxZwkc.jpg

Let's be clear: I hate this horrible ending. Like you, I consider that the girls deserved the "happy" (all is relative) ending brought by episode 12. Yet, I think the fact that Homura's love ends up ruining everything fits the themes of the show tragically well. "The more good you did, the more harm you'll do", as they say. I entertain the thought that I should have seen it coming, but didn't because it was not the ending I wanted to see: how could I have seen the writing on the wall when I was looking at the door?
having read up more on the ending since the weekend, i've slowly come around on it in small ways. i can now appreciate the decision homura makes as a fairly selfless one to save madoka versus the selfish one it appears to be.

i think the film could have used a lot more time catching us up to how homura wound up where she was. had she accepted that her soul gem was about to shatter? was she looking to reunite with the great madoka in the sky? she seems to be lying there peacefully with the staff/bow thing. we get a little bit about her talking about being lonely and then not being able to trust her memories, but i felt like it was quite a jump from 'that's why i continue to fight' and her smile when she hears madoka telling her to do her best at the end of episode 12.

i also missed the significance of the scene with the flowers. when madoka admits to never wanting to hurt those she loves, but is willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good. and from there i can see how guilt drove homura to do what she did at the end of the film. what i still don't get is how they overtly make homura so ... thrilled at being evil. the smile, her mocking of sayaka, it all seemed super out of place. i would have preferred something where she was either cold and distant as always or really thought she was doing the right thing. there's even some good stuff about being aware what she did was bad, but being gleeful about it doesn't really fit for me.

the dance at the end after the film has me believe she's just kind of gone bonkers after eight years of time loops and being experimented on by kyubey, and turning into a witch.

oh and the magical girl fighting squad part of the movie, from the movie starting like episode 1 all the way through the cake song was probably my favorite segment of the film, because knowing what the show was like, i kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. it was suspenseful in a way i wasn't familiar with.

also, i never really considered any sort of shipping between the characters - watching the show i only developed the opinion that homura really really loved madoka because madoka was her only friend at a time she was super vulnerable. that continues throughout the film. sayaka and kyoko though, what the hell was that. i thought kyoko was kind of reaching out to someone for the first time in a long time, but the movie makes their relationship seem a lot more than that. it was really weird.
 

Lufiaddict

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having read up more on the ending since the weekend, i've slowly come around on it in small ways. i can now appreciate the decision homura makes as a fairly selfless one to save madoka versus the selfish one it appears to be.
You make a good point. I'd say what Homura did was about as selfless as it was selfish. I find this interesting because the question of selflessness played a big role in Sayaka's story in the series (the realization that her wish might have been more selfish than she thought was a huge factor in Sayaka's breakdown IIRC).

what i still don't get is how they overtly make homura so ... thrilled at being evil. the smile, her mocking of sayaka, it all seemed super out of place. i would have preferred something where she was either cold and distant as always or really thought she was doing the right thing. there's even some good stuff about being aware what she did was bad, but being gleeful about it doesn't really fit for me.

the dance at the end after the film has me believe she's just kind of gone bonkers after eight years of time loops and being experimented on by kyubey, and turning into a witch.
I think "thrilled at being evil, gleeful and bonkers" describes witches quite well (especially Walpurgisnacht). Even before turning into a witch, Sayaka already had bouts of nefarious gleefulness. She was almost mocking Madoka at some point. So Homura's behavior as a witch (or rather, as a demon) seems coherent to me. Of course, the big difference is that Sayaka changed progressively, whereas, as you pointed out, Homura's change was too abrupt.

The gleefulness is actually one of my favorite aspects of the witches. The way I see it, they sank so deeply into despair that they lost all hope of redemption, and can only revel in their own darkness. Some kind of "rapture of the deep", if you will. Their joyless excitement reminds me of the last verses of a French poem:

I'm the vampire of my own heart
— One of those utter derelicts
Condemned to eternal laughter,
But who can no longer smile!


(More translations here)

also, i never really considered any sort of shipping between the characters - watching the show i only developed the opinion that homura really really loved madoka because madoka was her only friend at a time she was super vulnerable. that continues throughout the film. sayaka and kyoko though, what the hell was that. i thought kyoko was kind of reaching out to someone for the first time in a long time, but the movie makes their relationship seem a lot more than that. it was really weird.
I know what you mean, I'm not much into that either. I guess the writers felt the need to throw a bone or two at the raging hordes of shippers...
 

jwk94

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Man, oh man I just got done watching the 3rd movie. That was surely something. As someone else pointed out, the magical girl fighting squad scene was awesome. I loved the transformations. As for the rest of the movie....just jesus. Like JESUS. WTF happened? The whole Homura witch to demon thing was hella confusing. I feel like this could have benefitted from A) Being Longer or B) Being the second season of Madoka but longer than 12 episodes so it wouldn't feel so abrupt. The great thing about Madoka was the pacing was fast but it all felt natural. Them cramming all that stuff into the end was jarring and more confusing than it needed to be.

So did the Wraith world get destroyed? When Kyoko and Mami were standing next to Homura's body, they looked like they were in a wasteland. Do we know what happened?
 

Toad.T

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I keep putting this Anime off. But I feel that I know a lot about it through friends/cons/references. Pop culture osmosis, I guess?
 
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