The young girls of Mitakihara happily live their lives, occasionally fighting off evil, but otherwise going about their peaceful, everyday routines. However, Homura Akemi feels that something is wrong with this unusually pleasant atmosphere—though the others remain oblivious, she can't help but suspect that there is more to what is going on than meets the eye: someone who should not exist is currently present to join in on their activities.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari follows Homura in her struggle to uncover the painful truth behind the mysterious circumstances, as she selfishly and desperately fights for the sake of her undying love in this despair-ridden conclusion to the story of five magical girls.
There're anime where the ending will leave you satisfied.
There're cliffhanger anime for people to die for a sequel.
There're even anime that just leaves cliffhangers and never come back.
There're those garbage anime that you just don't feel anything at all.
And there's Madoka, an anime with an amazing story, art, sound, character, but a soulless and downright devilish ending.
There will be absolutely no plot at all, because I want people to understand and be ready for anything.
And, I tell you, you'll need to be.
[P.S. There are absolutely no plot summaries in here, but the vocabularies and terms I use may indirectly suggest a minor point of the story.]
This story is meant to leave an unsatisfactory ending. The motif is pretty clear: the Bible and the genesis of God and Lucifer.
Come on, our world hasn't come to an end, has it? A story based on our world, a never-ending cycle of unsatisfactory endings cannot be satisfactory by itself, unless by deception and/or imagination.
Urobuchi, author of Fate/Zero and Madoka among many others, is famous for a seamless plotline. I cannot state that this movie has brought down his fame, because all his stories had dark motifs. Indeed, this movie has left an unsatisfactory ending, but this is a masterpiece, creating an amazing transition between theogenesis and diablogenesis.
How could I dare say that unsatisfying ending crushes this masterpiece?
Imagine Madoka being reanimated with Monogatari: Second Season's animation technology.
Now add malice to that.
Now add another plot twist to that.
That does not even begin how great the movie was.
The seemingly childish animation was still there, but the malice was all the more heightened, getting into the fine line between creepiness and evilness.
A wise mangaka once stated that drawing a malicious face (not angry face) was not an easy job. He stated that the background, the eye, the position of the panel, the position of the character, darkness, facial expression and etc were all necessary to make one malicious face.
Then how much harder would it be to draw nearly an hour-long malice?
Shaft studio, producers of monogatari series and of course madoka among many others, is known for their ability to, despite using quite "cheating" methods, send chills down the viewers' spine. Using scenes where the character simply stands, or where the name of the font used or color of the scene or sometimes seemingly scanning the clothings or skirts of an unknown origin, Shaft studio actually makes a great success of delivering an heightened message to the viewers.
And, truth be told, I could not catch a single misgivings about the animation of the movie. When malice was needed, Shaft did their job. When they needed a happy tea time, Shaft did their job. When they needed a battle scene, Shaft did their job. No more colors or fonts. They did their job.
If there's one criterion I always cut down and attack, it's the sound. Being a very keen person in sound, I always wanted the producers to use the "perfect" BGMs (of course nothing is perfect but still I can dream?!) at the "perfect" moment. But I have to say it--rebellion nailed it.
The song was as creepy as it could get. The background musics at the moment of realization was so good that I got a chill down my spine and nearly pissed myself (true story). On the opening, ClaRis did their usual mislead. The general "ah, this is a magical girls' story! There're absolutely no genre-twisting stories or one of those Urobuchi things in here!" and comforted the slaughter lambs. Then, came the usual malice.
Scary it was.
And somehow, even at the ending, although the song was in major pitch and no double voice or alterations have been added, it was still creepy and malicious. It created a sense of Judas' kiss, meaning that while the act itself was a beautiful act, the inner sense was dark enough to creep our intestines. If there is one thing that music should do, it is to do that. Even through the electronic amplifiers, music should always deliver the feelings.
Rebellion was an amazing exemplification of this job of music. It did its job when it needed to, creeping our guts out after cleansing our soul with "cute" music, then presenting the "Judas' kiss".
Sound--a job well done.
No one expected this.
No one could have expected this.
No one could have seen this coming.
Yet this was inevitable.
Urobuchi always does this. He reveals a down-to-Earth fact that has been in front of our face the whole time yet at the same time a fact that no one has realized.
The development of our main character, Akemi Homura, is wonderfully presented with this motif.
Her "transfiguration" was something no one have realized, yet something so obvious and inevitable that everybody should have known.
I will not go onto further details.
As for minor characters, such as Mami, Sayaka, Kyouko and our all-time hated con artist, MOTHER****ING KYUBEY, they have done their job spectacularly. Every bit of stories they shared and every bit of clues they presented showed and developed the story rapidly. In a way, they "created" the main character. It is always difficult to involve all of the characters and giving all of them important roles. Failure to do so may not be the doom of the anime, but a horrible trial of doing so means the end of the anime and doom of its production. However, Rebellion Story, while providing every character a role, also succeeded in not awkwardly fitting in their roles into the original plot.
It is indeed a job well done.
Now, before you say anything or go away, let me explain myself.
Indeed, this was an amazing movie, and I don't think any other movie can create a seamless storyline as this one.
However, I didn't enjoy this at all.
In fact, I don't think I can ever see the movie again.
It was too soul-breaking that it felt like my soul was breaking apart.
Indeed its story was good, indeed the art was amazing, indeed the sound did its job, indeed the character development was godly.
But I just couldn't like it.
Still, this was only my opinion. Some people might like it.
In fact, exactly because I liked it, I want people to watch this.
It both critiques the conventional "now everybody's happy" anime endings and the well-known "good guy always is the good guy" logic and crashes it down to Earth.
Because of this, I have to take off the Enjoyment spectrum out of the overall rate.
It indeed is an important aspect of anime, but not in this one. This movie DOESN'T want you to enjoy the show. And that is exactly why this is great.
Great story, art, sound and character.
It is the work of our lifetime.
Don't miss it.
If you are in a region where you can go watch the movie, you are blissed.
GO WATCH IT.
IT'S WORTH EVERY PENNY.
Then, happy anime-ing.read more
There's no escaping the fact that the Madoka Magica franchise is explosive. And with it comes the pressure on the creators to push out more content for the fans. After two films that covered the original series with many improvements and new footage, the first truly new piece of Madoka Magica canon has arrived in the 3rd film, titled "Rebellion".
Before I review the film, I will mention that Rebellion is not intended to be viewed without prior knowledge of the original series - it is required viewing to understand the plot, as nearly the entire story and its characters are reflections and references to the original story.
With that out of the way, I'm sure most people reading this are quite familiar with Madoka Magica, a magical girl anime that turned the genre on its head with a macabre and unexpected dark side. It won a lot of fans over, and it's understandable why. It also wrapped itself up rather nicely, which compiles onto the caution that must be taken when attempting to continue a story that set high expectations and standards.
And that leads me to the story of Rebellion (5/10). At the ending of Rebellion, I had this deep feeling in my gut that the creators of this film were pressured to make sure that post-Rebellion there would be potential to add even more to the Madoka Magica timeline in order to milk more out of the franchise - because the premise of this film started out rather promising, and ended somewhat weak and half-baked, drawing reference from the original series ending, but coming off as an uninspired far cry from its predecessor. And indeed, Urobuchi's original ending for this film was scrapped for something less neatly wrapped. For the sake of not revealing major spoilers, I will say only these few things: that the story focuses mainly on Homura, and the setting deliberately fools the audience for a good portion of the film in order to tell this story.
To compound on this, the pacing of the plot is very stunted, and there is a tiring amount of exposition as the story goes on in order to explain the layers of events that are occurring. It is easy to get lost somewhere along the way, so it is important to pay careful attention to all of it. It doesn't help that a lot of this dialogue is going on during extremely visually focused segments of the film - which, while beautiful, are excessive, drawn-out, and can be distracting from the story.
At the end, I feel that the character of Homura has been cheapened. It is a bitter pill to swallow for one of Madoka's most beloved characters, and her actions at the end become almost meaningless that one has to wonder if the sacrifice that was made to her integrity in order to allow room for more sequels was worth it when you have to betray, and in some cases deeply upset your fans in order to achieve this.
I will acknowledge that many feel this way because they are deeply connected to her character and her story. However, while I did enjoy Madoka Magica and consider myself a fan, I approached this film with no expectations, and I judge the story solely from its merits as a sequel. And, at the end, I found the story to be overly convoluted, poorly paced and thrown together with more importance given to hitting a 'reset' button for more franchise profit potential, rather than telling a new and complete story to compliment the original. It's not so much that it was a bad story, but rather one that had a lot of potential and fell on its face at the end - which is almost more disappointing than a bad one.
Though the story was lacking, there is one thing Shaft nailed and that is the art and animation (9/10). Much like in the original series, the world of Madoka Magica is quite surreal - the characters live in an almost dream-like utopia, sprinkled with glass-laden spires and towers, beautiful gardens and pristine city blocks. Then there is the creepy, nightmarish worlds of the witches, with cut-out art nouveau parades, beautifully textured dreamscapes and stop-motion animation combined with the unique 2D style of the show - there really isn't anything quite like it in the world of anime. And while it is not always perfect, it stands out as an example of successful mixed format animation.
Because of the setting of Rebellion, the animators go wild for a large portion of the film. So much so that I would say that it is sometimes too much of a good thing, but still always a treat to watch more of it. My only real complaint is that at times the 2D animation of the characters felt phoned in or boiled a bit, but I will chalk that up to the fact that many anime films operate on a very tight budget with very strict deadlines. Though during the action and important moments of the film, the animation team put in the effort where it counted.
The sound (9/10) adds a lot more to the atmosphere of Rebellion. The music treads familiar and welcome territory and compliments every moment of animation. The sound effects and voice work was also very well done, with special attention being taken to their surroundings.
As far as characters (4/10) go, I had three major issues with this that go in tandem with Rebellion's story. Before I go into those though, I will say that Kyoko and Sayaka fans will appreciate their larger role in this story, and their friendship is a positive and fun element to this otherwise grim movie. But we don't get to see how they became so close, it is more or less implied.
The first major character issue is the addition of Nagisa Momoe/Bebe. I consider this a minor spoiler, so if you do not want to read any more about this then please skip this paragraph. Moving on, Bebe was teased to audiences for months as being in this film, and indeed, she does appear in her pre-witch form for brief moments in the movie. Consider it an alternate universe where, instead of Bebe biting Mami's head off, Mami befriends her and becomes part of her team of taking down Nightmares. And I will admit, she is adorable, albeit annoying at times. The problem? There is almost no point to her being in the film. She serves absolutely no purpose beyond attracting curious fans to wonder why she is there, and when she is, she has nothing significant to add to the plot. The one time she could add anything significant to the plot, it is mentioned that she can explain something, and then is never mentioned again. She felt like a shoe-in and I honestly do not think the film would have suffered at all without her.
The second is Homura. Homura's character is completely altered by the end of this film. I understand her torment and the negative effects that seeing the same events occur over and over may have had on her, but I found her actions at the end of the story to be foolish and confusing. And when all is said and done, her decisions are trivial at best and amount to almost nothing. I feel like I do not know who she is anymore, and, more importantly, that perhaps the writers don't, either. And I find this rather troubling for a once strong character who has been diminished to something more of a reckless psychopath. Perhaps she will be "redeemed" when the time comes, but for a self-contained story, the path that they have decided to take with Homura is nothing short of disappointing.
The last is, well, the entire cast. I already went over this briefly but I'll mention it one more time. The universe in which the story of Rebellion takes place is, for lack of a better word, fake. The events take place entirely in a bubble, almost quite literally, and feel inconsequential. It's almost one of those "everything was a dream" endings, and it compounds on the slight sense of unfamiliarity that you get from how the cast behaves in Rebellion - and then it all gets tossed out in the end. It's misleading, and leaves a hollow feeling that the original series didn't. I don't mean to say that all stories should have happy endings, but Rebellion's tragic ending feels cheap, forced and uninspired - and at the deep cost of a loss of characterization.
In the end, the movie still comes out being slightly better than average (6/10 enjoyment, 6/10 overall). Rebellion has a lot of powerful material to work with, and its premise starts out strong. But it tries so hard to be even darker and more macabre than its predecessor, while still attempting to make way for even more sequels, and because of this it falls desperately short of its potential.
Though I still hope for the best for the future of the Madoka Magica franchise. This film, for better or worse, is sort of a "reset button" for the series, and for all I know the next season or movie could be multitudes better than Rebellion could have been. But, for now, Rebellion leaves Madoka Magica on a confusing and sour note, one that would be a real shame to leave on.read more
This movie was disappointing. While visually and artistically stunning, I found it to be extremely lacking in the story and character department. The first two thirds of the film to me were nothing more but Shaft just masturbating in front of me for an hour with their colossal budget and overly-indulgent animation. Magical girl transformation sequence that lasted too long, overly long fight sequences with the Nightmares, with the only thing they accomplished was to vomit a barrage of non-stop god-like animation, while relatively little progression in the character development and story department occurred.
I don't want to go into any spoilers, but suffice to say, the first hour of this just feels like a massive pandering and giant piece of fan service for fans of the original show. You get to see the fight between Hamura and Mami that we never got the chance to in the original show. Familiar characters such Kyosuke and Hitomi turn up for the sake of cramming more of the original cast into the story and reminding us why we hate them so much. The only new character that's introduced is Bebe, and besides explaining a bit of the plot to one character, she has about as much relevance to the overall story to what Nami from the Rebuild films does. Both of them are equal amounts of fan service and overall uselessness. There was relatively little of interest for me going on during this time and I found the only thing engaging me was the unbelievable production value of the show. After the first hour of the movie finished, I felt like this would've been better off as 30 minute OVA dedicated as a side story to Homura's character rather than a movie.
And then the final act happened. From here on the review will be straying into spoiler territory, so if you haven't watched the movie before doing so, I highly advise that you do before reading on. To say that Homura's 180 degree turn as a character was a massive ass pull would be an understatement. One of the film's most glaring problems is that it breaks the most cardinal rule of visual story telling mediums-show, don't tell. When it occasionally decides to visually stop jerking off in front of my face for about five minutes and remembers that it has a story and characters, the characters basically announce how they feel and describe why they're doing what they're doing. This is especially egregious during the conversation between Homura and Madoka when they're on the flower field. Homura breaks down in front of Madoka and blurts out her feelings to her as if she was reading her own character page from a wiki. This moment had little to no build up or foreshadowing to really have an effect for me emotionally, mostly because Madoka has been pretty much a non character within the story at that point, and the plot had been focusing more on Homura's confrontations with the other characters.
And it's because Madoka and Homura's relationship felt so ineffective to me was the reason why I had nothing but indifference to convey to Homura suddenly turning into magical satan because she was completely overcome with her lesbo juices when Godoka showed up. If her motivations had alway been selfish and she yearned to be with Madoka regardless of the consequences, then why didn't she just stay in the labyrinth once she found out that the Madoka with her at the time wasn't an illusion but the real deal once Kyubey told her? Her sudden plunge into the dark side felt extremely half-assed and forced, and felt like it was there to introduce a superficial shock factor that was needed to justify for what up to that point was an extremely point-less movie.
Many have said that you need to watch this film multiple times to grasp the "deep" themes and meaning of the film to truly appreciate it, but I can confidently say that you'll pretty much get the entire gist of the thing on your first viewing, since 75% of it is a superficial, two-dimensional barrage of fan service and Shaft reminding us how loaded they are, and the final 25% of it is just the writers undoing the ending of the original show so that the film can appear "edgy" and "controversial", with Biblical allusions to Madoka as God and Homura as Satan, but it's really all a pretentious disguise and mechanisation for them to dish out more sequels and milk this dead cow of a franchise even further, because no way was the ending I just watched a satisfying conclusion that ties any untied threads the movie had introduced to the universe at this point. While I do recommend watching the movie just to see how it completely falls the fuck apart towards the end, the only reason I can see myself coming back to this is for the stunning animation, and even that struggled to keep me engaged during my first viewing of the film, considering how bloated and dragged out a lot of the sequences in the beginning were.
I don't think I've ever given perfect 10's across a rating scale. I don't think the third Madoka Magica movie deserves 10's across the board either, but this is the closest I'll probably ever get.
I dreaded the day that a sequel came to fruition for Madoka Magica. This was a show that ended on a rather ambiguous note but still left a good, everlasting impression in its original run, hinting that there was really no need for a sequel, an explanation, or an "After Story", for that matter. I'm not saying I don't want any more of it, not at all. But seriously, Gen Urobuchi, there's no way you can write a sequel any better than the original series, especially when your original series was THAT good. So yeah. Like.... just stop.
Okay, I was jumping like a schoolgirl when I heard that there was a new Madoka Magica, but I didn't have much hope for this one either.
But what I believed to be a mediocre attempt to capture the world by storm and ultimately fail, I was proven wrong. I hate being wrong. I can't stand the thought of being wrong. To me, being wrong, is just wrong.
Never been happier to be wrong.
Story: What the original series packed was a story that was armed to the teeth with dark undertones and twists so shocking, Lindsay Lohan could be one month sober from her usual crack fiend habits and the power of the message would still be ultimately missing. So when Madoka Magica was renewed for a sequel film, they ultimately took the exact same impact and made it even better. For those of you who have already seen the original (and you HAVE to see it first), you might be wondering, "how does it get any better?" Remember when Madoka transcended into the heavens and became a holy power? Think of this as God's believer trying to make direct contact.
However, I think the real impact of the film doesn't happen until much, MUCH later. You're watching for an hour and thirty minutes and you probably haven't reached it yet. Ten minutes later, you're probably.... almost there, and I'm specifying what happens near the end. When you hear from other MAL users about how the ending was a serious shock, nobody knew how to take it, "ending of Oreimo", all that stuff, that's all true. But if you still have a vague idea of what they're talking about, then imagine it this way: life gives you a cookie, then kicks you in the third leg just to take it back (if you don't have one, forget the reference!). Only difference is, if life does it, you're rolling on the floor, writhing in pain. The ending to this third movie turns you into Niagara Falls for a while.
The story is just splendid.
Art: Aniplex can screw up just about anything on this list in the eyes of some, but if there's something a pissed-off fanboy or a nine-year-old shounen rage kid cannot base his bad rating on, it's the animation. Looks clean, characters move in a crisp and fluid motion, and the Nightmares that appear, while they don't retain the same animation style as the rest of the characters/scenes, it blends in, oddly enough. If they did those sequences wrong, it would pop out very noticeably, especially given the two conflicting animation styles. Fortunately, there's a sense of depth, and instead of that bolstered look where a character looks as if they "happen" to appear in the scene, the character looks like they're actually there (and there is a HUGE difference between the two definitions).
Sound: I'm a fan of ClariS.
.....yeah, moving on.....
Character: I didn't quite understand Homura's actions the first time I watched the movie, but after a good runthrough over the exact section I was skeptical about, I had to use my own judgment and speak for myself, "it's logical, it makes sense." This is the exact same place in the movie where everyone spreads rumors about Gen Urobuchi "ripping out your hearts and sending you into a black oblivion of nothingness and despair and I'm gonna go kill myself and-" you get the idea. You'll just have to watch this part for yourself and make your own decision about Homura's actions (that's a small spoiler, I think, but I know it's not enough to spoil the entire thing).
I don't like forgettable characters. Not the forgettable ones in the sense that we see them once throughout the whole movie and they dick off for the rest of the time to do as they please because we don't need them. I don't like forgettable MAIN characters, and while Sayaka was one of the main cast of the original series (and still is), I feel like she was neglected most of the time, and never really got the spotlight even after Kyouko came in, who ended up stealing it (as far as Character Favorites on MAL tells me). With the amount of screen time Sayaka got in the original series, I was impartial about her death. It never struck me as particularly noteworthy. That changes with the third movie. Her role is more defined, we do get to see more of her, and this "more of her" that we see isn't just a way to give Sayaka fans something to squeal about. This is her own persona, her own contribution, and what I would call redemption from her lack of presence in the first movie. I'm more delighted by the idea that Urobuchi doesn't neglect to use his characters when he needs them.
Enjoyment: If you can classify "enjoyment" as sitting at home and drowning in my own puddle of tears while watching, then yes, I did enjoy it.
Madoka Magica is one of those shows that never initially grabbed my attention, but then again, it doesn't take very much to draw me in at the same time. All it needs? Good storyline, good execution, and I can cope with the rest. But while a select number of shows can do a combination of both and I would still point out a flaw or two, and while some will gradually lose my initial attention, Madoka Magica is, for me, a very, VERY difficult show to dislike or change the rating of, or keep my eyes off for that matter. I wasn't swayed by the hype, I've listened to all the criticism, and at the end of the day, this series still stands as one of the best series I've seen, if not the absolute best. Even with the ending as controversial as it is, there's no way I can bring myself to dislike this series. I thought it wasn't a proper ending, as diehard of a fan as I could be, but I was satisfied having seen it.
And while I have a tendency to associate myself with shoujo and rom-com shows, I'll have to admit eventually that I loved the action sequences just as equally as the idle explanation scenes. You know, those ones where they just sit around and talk to each other? Yeah, I don't know why I like those scenes. Maybe I'm just weird.
Overall: I think everyone who previously didn't know I like watching anime and everyone who does know has heard this from me at least twice within the past two days: WATCH THIS MOVIE. If I keep this up, I probably won't have a social life. Whatever the case, I don't think I've been this hyped over an anime show, nor have I had such a strong desire to watch it again.
Maybe I'm being biased because this is my favorite show, and maybe I'm missing something here and I failed to pick it up, and while this third movie may probably be one of those shows that will still get bogged down on hype alone, there's no reason for any of that. It's brilliant, it's well-thought-out, and it really doesn't need any of its hype to prove its worth. read more
Girls are said to be the most loving beings in existence, something that is true in real life and in anime. So what about girls who love other girls? Well that, my friends, is the definition of yuri anime. From just friends to more than friends, here are 20 of the best yuri anime of all time.
Guns come in all shapes and forms, but sometimes you need a little something more than a simple bullet to deal with arcane and mystical threats against humanity. The following list will showcase magical anime guns that pack enough heat to blow away whatever is on the other end of the barrel!