English: Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part III: Rebellion
Synonyms: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika Movie 3, Magical Girl Madoka Magica Movie 3
Japanese: 劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ 叛逆の物語
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 26, 2013
1 hr. 56 min.
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.691 (scored by 24178 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisWere all the magical girls truly saved from despair? Now, the great "Law of Cycles" leads the magical girls to their new fate. Madoka Kaname, a girl who once led an ordinary life, sacrificed her very existence to set every magical girl free from their cruel destiny. Homura Akemi, another magical girl who was unable to keep her promise with Madoka, continues to fight in the world in which Madoka left her behind.
"I dream of the day when I can finally see your dear smile again."
Madoka Kaname has changed the world. In this new world, is what the magical girls see a world of hope... or despair?
This third film once again brings together the members of the Madoka creative staff. Led by chief director Akiyuki Shimbou, the script is written by Gen Urobuchi from Nitroplus and the original character concept designs are by aokiume. SHAFT is once again the studio bringing their work to life. With a completely new screenplay and animation, "Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie -Rebellion-" is a brand new tale of magical girls!
Related AnimeAdaptation: Gekijouban Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica: Shinpen - Hangyaku no Monogatari
Prequel: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica, Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari
Other: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari - Magica Quartet x Nisioisin
Characters & Voice Actors
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 currently 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 of Rebellion, 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
Both films share enough in common. Both are deeply complex and have confusing plot lines that converge to a major climax to twist everything previously established by its predecessor, combined with dazzling visuals in an apocalyptic thriller.
Visually compelling and very thought provoking sequel movies to highly popular (and deservedly so) TV anime that changed their stereotypical genre (magical girl for Madoka and mecha for Evangelion).
Both have endings that will blow your mind. In fact, the entire movie will blow your mind.
Both are the sequel of a popular franchise with a ridiculous ending
Psychological movies, that are a sequel to a deconstruction anime, which rewrite the main series end.
Hangyaku no Monogatari parallels End of Evangelion in a number of significant ways and it's not just the fact that they are both high-budget sequels to successful franchises that are notorious for playing with the conventions of venerable genres of anime. As expected, the each of two films features top-notch production values, but they additionally both use much of their generous budgets in service of their shared affinity for visual experimentation. However, as the Madoka Magica franchise is already known for its use of unconventional animation techniques, Hangyaku no Monogatari ends up being decidedly more experimental than End of Evangelion with regards to the way that it presents itself. While Gekidan Inu Curry's involvement in the previous installations of the Madoka Magica franchise was mostly limited to scenes in which witches were involved, their signature style is seemingly omnipresent in this film. In other words, many viewers will see this as the most SHAFT that SHAFT has ever gone. The series' signature form of heavily stylized mahou shoujo combat is also the at the best it's ever been. no doubt due to the increased budget. Similarly, with its acclaimed organic mecha design on full display, End of Evangelion features what is arguably the most well executed straight up mecha brawling in anime. Extremely well animated action sequences is not all that it has to offer in terms of visuals, however, and it takes the Neon Genesis Evangelion television series' fondness for symbolism even further with its infamous giant Reis, vulvae that Georgia O'Keeffe would be proud of, and, of course, crosses—can't forget the crosses. The two differing philosophies of visual representation here are the insertion of traditional mahou shoujo elements into the context of expressionistic experimentation versus a uniquely sleek and allegory-laden reinterpretation of the sci-fi mecha aesthetic.
Furthermore, each of the two films takes a somewhat different approach to storytelling relative to its respective predeccessor (and relative to each other, of course). As in the television series, hints are scattered throughout Hangyaku no Monogatari while the full scope of the plot is withheld. However, as the television series was already a visually-driven work by nature, the shift toward an even more theatrical and expressionistic style of presentation has a profound effect on the way that the narrative elements of the film are conveyed to the viewer. Not only has choreography become a major motif that subverts the linearity of the pacing, but the ubiquity Inu Curry's influence establishes surrealism as the norm—we are told that, once again, the rules have changed. As a result, Hangyaku no Monogatari has the potential to be a bit less accessible than its predcessor, as the reaction of some early viewers is already starting to reveal. In contrast, the ending given by End of Evangelion is considered by most to be much more accessible than the television ending. The film doesn't dip too often into the highly minimal and abstract style of the later television episodes and even if it is less than straightfoward at times and features quirks like an eight minute musical interlude (which is totally awesome, by the way), End of Evangelion is in most respects a distinctly more conventional and conclusive rendition of the events of Third Impact. As a result, it finds overwhelcming acceptance among the large portion of the fanbase that finds the original television ending to be dissatisfying.
Finally, certain choices made in both films can elicit very polarized reactions from viewers and especially from fans. Why that is, I'll leave to you to watch and find out.
Opening Theme"Colorful (カラフル)" by ClariS
Ending Theme"Kimi no Gin no Niwa (君の銀の庭)" by Kalafina
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