I've never been a fan of recaps. I never understood why things needed to be shown multiple times further decreasing my enjoyment of it with every repetition. So going into the recently subtitled Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica duo of movies, I was really wondering what I would think of it.
I'm not the biggest fan of the anime series (at least I wasn't before watching these movies), and, while I think it's good, it never left a very big impression on me. The reason I'm writing a review of the second movie instead of the first, is because this movie finally succeeded at leaving that impression with
me that I have missed both times I have watched the anime. I've heard people talk about feeling a "void" after finishing an amazing anime, and Eien no Monogatari has successfully left me with that feeling. I just can't think of anything to do right now other than writing a review or going to bed early.
As with the first movie, Eien no Monogatari is a recap which follows up and retells the last four episodes of the anime. While the first movie was about an episode and a half shorter than the original material it retold, this movie is actually slightly longer (around 20 minutes more) and it really helps it pace the story much better than before.
Story - 10/10
The story now begins to shift from the main quintet of girls to just Madoka and Homura. It becomes more focused on the idea of the "Magical girl" and exactly what they are. It delves a lot into the psychological aspect of the story as Madoka's conflict of whether to become a magical girl or not reaches it's climax after witnessing the tragedies occurring around her and knowing that more are yet to come.
I've got to give it up to Gen Urobuchi for being able to create this psychologically intimidating situation for Madoka so well. As the mysteries about Kyuubey come to light, his explanations for why he has done everything he has is amazing and really eye-opening. It really takes apart different aspects of the human race like guilt, emotions, and why we consider some things more important than others, and looks at it from the perspective of something that is not only not human, but does not understand our human perspective on any of these topics.
And then it starts to really focus on Homura. Episode 10 of the original Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica anime was one of the best episodes I've ever seen, and this movie pulls off that segment even better than before. It has more time, better animation, and some new soundtracks that make it the highlight of this movie in my eyes.
Art - 9/10
Speaking of the art, it's all redone amazingly. The original anime had some sloppy, rushed animation which has completely vanished in this movie (and the first movie as well). There are still a few still shots that last maybe a little too long, but the action scenes, emotions of the characters, and the backgrounds are all a huge step up from before. The added time in this movie allows for a few new shots to be shown and for many previous ones to be given more depth. Overall, the art is the biggest improvement from the series.
Sound - 10/10
I always loved the Madoka★Magica soundtrack, and thought it was one of the best in all of anime. I have no idea how they made it better despite how amazing it already was, but they sure succeeded. I thought it had one of the best soundtracks ever, but now I know that between these two movies, I cannot think of a single anime in existence with a better soundtrack and I am not exaggerating. They reused all of the old songs, and even added a few new ones with a new, amazing ending credit song as well.
The voice acting is just as good if not better than before. I really can't compare overall because I would have to watch the anime and movie side-by-side to do so, but there are a few parts where I'm sure the movie has the anime beat, especially when it comes to Madoka's voice actress.
Character - 10/10
The characters become fewer in this movie as it begins to focus on Madoka and Homura, so it's a good thing that those two are one of the best duos in anime. I'll admit, I always liked Sayaka the best and cared less about Homura because of that, but this movie really made me like Homura much more than I ever did before. With the little extra time this movie has, her character is given even more focus and extremely well written development. Madoka as well I felt was stronger in this than before. Her psychological distress was less rushed in the movie and given more time to add to the emotions and darkness of the story and helped build her character. The other characters, especially Kyoko, have some emotional scenes that also top the anime in my opinion (well definitely Kyoko's, the others are about the same).
Enjoyment - 9/10 (Amazing)
I actually enjoyed this more than the original anime. Sayaka being my favorite character, I enjoyed the middle of the anime series the best, but with these two movies, I actually enjoyed the end of the story more. The new, brilliant art, new additions to the already amazing soundtrack, and the slightly longer time allowed this movie to go above and beyond the already great anime. I can't wait for the third movie with new material and I'm really hoping it will just as good (maybe better if we're really lucky) than these two movies.
Madoka movie 2 review (part 2 of the epic trilogy):
Well as mentioned previously, this movie is the 2nd part of the trilogy installation from the Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica saga. The movie covers the remaining 4 episodes from the original TV series. While the first movie was titled 'The Beginnings', this is where it it ends from where the TV version left off.
This movie is essentially another recap of the TV series and thus, there is no original material in terms of storytelling or plot twists. However, that doesn't mean viewers should pass up a chance to give this a shot though because not only does
it bring refreshment, it also brings that sense of magical feeling you might get once again like never before. Indeed, Madoka is like a magical girl theme series like no one has ever seen before especially to those new to the franchise.
The movie starts off from exactly where The Beginnings left off related to Sayaka. The OP song remains the same that is orchestrated by the talented ClariS (Luminous). What the second movie offers though is even more of a darker tone related to the Mahou Shoujo theme. Madoka learns it the hard way from the very beginning from Homura. Both the physical and mental scares remains in Madoka's mind along with Kyouko. They bring out the psychological style of what PMMM was, is, and continues to be. As for the movie itself, Kyuubey still remains the all unforgiving antagonist with his devilish smile and mind games. It's a mind twist itself after all.
Like the previous film, this one also boosts talent in terms of voice acting and emotions. Madoka's VA Aoi Yuuki is especially noticeable because her character suffers throughout her experiences with the events in this movie. In fact, she struggles with her current situation and the words from Kyuubey. She knows they are true facts but hard to accept them as reality. Even Kyouko whom originally started as a confident girl is now struggling with her situation and some startling revelations. They are all suffering with the fate and what they must endure.
The movie also spells out the new destiny that Madoka must embrace just like she did in the original TV series. Along with the startling revelation made in the beginning, Madoka must make difficult decisions even if it's by herself. In fact, she wrestles with her own feelings and true facts in regards to her best friend, Sakaya. It's painful to watch but it's also the grim reality of how dark the movie is, just like the original TV series. Kyuubey further fuels the darkness with his plan and ambition to make Madoka into a Mahou Shoujo no matter what the cost.
Despite this though, fans from the original TV series may also remember a bit of Homura. For newer fans, it is a new insight to her character as we see another side of her, or rather in a different way. We see all the magical girls but then, there's some of things we don't expect..(for newer fans that is). Be ready for another twisted ride.
The OST of the movie remains top notch. We can give our thanks to Kajiura Yuki who is able to bring out her talent at its finest. The emotional scenes are played solemnly with the pacing while the action scenes possesses that full throttle feeling of fighting. The artwork takes its majestic style to its own right as well. The way the characters are crafted along with the Witches makes them seem more grim than usual. Of course, the fantasy world also remains surreal with its cutting edge style. Additionally, there's the grey and red coloring backgrounds that almost seems to bleed in with the style of the series. Even though it seems that the movie portrays the TV series for a recap, it is still just as dark in many ways. Thank you Shaft.
Overall, this was another great film. Despite being a recap, it still had the tone of the TV series with its great cast of characters, supreme OST, unique artwork, and a grim story of magic. It is a world that the characters live in with darkness. The movie is a good wake-up call for those who still comes back once and awhile to relive the experience of PMMM. It is through these experiences where we realize just how dark some series can be. A magical girl theme series unlike most others, Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes the magical girl idea to a whole new level, a level that is unparalleled to what I've seen in recent years. There's pain. There's sorrow. There's emotion. There's betrayal. There's solitude. Then, there's Eternal.
The TV anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica took the anime world by storm when it came out last year. What was supposed to be a vapid, plotless “healing magical girl anime” turned out to be a storytelling masterpiece. Much to the delight of fans like me, this year, Shaft adapted the TV series into two new movies. But being film adaptations, are the movies actually of any value?
First, let’s be clear, the two Madoka movies do not tell any new stories different from the original TV anime. However, that doesn’t mean the two movies have no value, for they are by no means mere recaps
of the original series. Except for the plot, everything – visuals, music, voice acting, directing, etc. – everything you can name has been extensively revamped.
Take the visuals for example. Most, if not all, of the scenes have been redrawn and reanimated – the backgrounds grander and more dynamic, the movements smoother, and all the drawing imperfections and animation mistakes fixed. The results are breathtaking. Time and time again, I found myself inadvertently silenced by the beauty and vividness on the screen.
The movies also boast a good number of new tracks by Kajiura Yuki, some of which are remixes/rearrangements of tracks from the original anime, and a few are new compositions entirely. If you know anything about Kajiura Yuki, I probably don’t have to tell you how amazing the new soundtrack is. At the same time, the new tracks also set a different feel for the anime.
Even the lines have been re-recorded. I cannot compare how the voice acting is done in the movie to how it is done in the original series, but I can tell you that in every scene of the movie, the voice acting is always real and compelling. I myself was definitely pulled deeper into the story thanks to the voice actors’/actresses’ part.
Of course, not every change made for a stronger story presentation. Transitions are not always the best, and some important scenes from the TV anime had to be cut out. The added grandeur and drama in the cinematography also sometimes end up working against the story instead. Still there are some changes that neither strengthen nor detract from the story presentation. Nevertheless, the stunning visuals, the soul-hauntingly beautiful music, the emotional grit of the voice acting, and clever editing all come together nicely, sustaining the flow and impact of the story.
When all’s said and done, the differences between the movies and the original series really aren’t that great. But for returning fans, hardcore or not, even these tiny, subtle changes make the movies worth watching. Through such changes in pacing, in cinematography, in animation and music, and in a small number of tiny additional scenes, Shaft has masterfully presented us with a slightly but meaningfully different perspective and feel of the Madoka story. So while it is not essential to watch the two movies to enjoy Madoka Magica – the original anime is still the core production – do try watching the movies if you ever want to revisit that fantastical and cruel world which came to your doorsteps over a year ago, in the form of a cute, white, cuddly animal.
Recaps are usually episodes/movies that re-tell a story that has already been told, but in a shorter and more compact way. It tells you valid points and informative parts in a story without all the unnecessary bits.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari is a recap of the last four episodes in the original series; Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica but squeezed into a 2 hour long action-packed thrilling movie. When I first finished the original series of Madoka Magica I felt like I didn't watch it to my full potential (being distracted or not focusing at some points of the show.) That being, I
decided to watch the recap movies, and I have no regret in doing so!
If I didn't watch these movies, I believe my liking towards the Madoka Franchise/Series wouldn't be where it is right now. Having finished these two movies, this whole series has become one of my favorite anime!
If you aren't too sure whether you should attempt to watch the movies, I recommend watching this no doubt! And with no hesitation! Here is my review for Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari! Enjoy!
STORY - 10/10
This movie mainly revolves around Homura and Madoka because it is a recap of the last 4 episodes from the original series, which involves the back story to Homura "Magical Girl" journey. A plot that gets twisted a lot makes this movie very psychological and keeps your eyes glued to the screen. It plays with the 'Magical Girl' genre a bit and creates something beyond what a normal series of this genre would do. This is simply genius in my opinion!
The story telling in this anime is just too beautiful to explain! The originality and creativity that goes into this is what makes this anime for me. A simple plot, with a bunch of twists and turns throughout keeps you intrigued almost through the whole thing.
Even though this movie is a recap of the original series (last 4 episodes) it still has extra scenes thrown in to it, with better animation and re-dub of the voices. The story is really intense and confusing at sometimes, so in the end you might need to research a bit and find some explanations etc. But that's Madoka Magica for you!
Overall this story has no MAJOR flaws and I cannot come to point out any cons in the plot, all in all a very solid story. Shaft never disappoints!
ART - 10/10
The art. Well what can I say... One word... BEAUTIFUL!!!!
The animation in this film was simply amazing. The movie's animation compared to the original series was a hell of a lot better and it shows in various scenes throughout. In this movie the background scenery and fighting scenes are much more detailed. Having the animation blow me away! There were also some extra scenes put in to express the darkness and depression of some scenes. Overall the art was a big step up from the series. Plain beautiful!
SOUND - 10/10
Madoka magica has always been one of my favorites when it comes to the OST. Yukia Kajiura defintley did not disappoint! Unlike the series, there were more scores in this movie, making it more alive and detailed. They kept the old ones in with a few new ones. Overall the soundtrack was at it's best.
Now when it came to the voice acting in this movie, I felt that it exceeded the series, in terms of emotion, screaming and just plain voicing. Saito Chiwa (Homura's voice actress) did a fantastic job in this movie and I also did notice the voice of Madoka did a much better job compared to the original series. But that's just based on my ears! Overall voice acting was perfect!
Character - 10/10
I have always loved the characters in this show. The movie portrays these characters in a depressing and deep way. You learn a lot about each and every character in this movie, seeing there happy side, and dark side. Even though this movie mainly focuses on the relationship between Madoka and Homura, I did feel that some other characters got some decent development and depth put into them. But in saying that, the character you see get most development is defintley Homura. You get to see her background/back story etc. It was like this movie kind of expressed the depression and motivation Homura felt, but not only her but with all the characters. It makes you feel the emotions that are being felt in the movie. You also get to see more depth into Kyoko and what she's about. Showing scenes from her past and how she became a Magical Girl. You learn about this 'bad ass' type character a bit more. Overall characters were good. Period.
ENJOYMENT - 10/10
Surprisingly this movie was more enjoyable to watch than the actual anime series! It made me love the second half of the series even more, and also made me understand it a lot better! With the new addition of a beautiful soundtrack, new extra scenes and gorgeous animation, this movie is beyond good. No doubt I would recommend this show to any anime watchers! Well time to watch the next and final movie...
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part III: Rebellion!
Airing in the Winter 2010 Season (Starting in January of 2011), Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica was met with critical acclaim and gained a lot of popularity in the west and Japan due to its ambitious and thought provoking storyline hidden behind its frilly pink dresses. Shaft were a very popular studio before hand with hits like Bakemonogatari and Hidamari Sketch. But Madoka Magica's popularity exceeded even them. Because of it's success, Shaft decided to expand upon it by creating a trilogy of movies based on the series. The first two movies (Which I'm reviewing) are
a recap of the series with new animation, re recorded dialogue and some new scenes. I've already reviewed the series so this review will be about the differences between both versions.
The basic story remains the same between the two versions. Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki meet Mami Tomoe, a magical girl. Along with her is a cat like companion named Kyubey. Kyubey says that he wants them to make contracts to become magical girls. As the story progresses, it becomes very clear that there is something different about Madoka Magica. And then the tone drastically changes turning it from slice of life with a little bit of supernatural into psychological horror with a very unique take on supernatural powers.
The movie does suffer a little plot wise compared to the TV version. The pacing doesn't work quite as well with the movie format. Some scenes move too quickly and some move too slowly. Although I have to give Shaft credit for not removing any major plot details. The reason this movie works as an alternative to watching the show is because it makes perfect sense on its own. Not many recap movies can do that. Death Note's recap movies tried to condense 37 episodes into 2 movies. Needles to say, they cut out a lot of important plot details and it made no sense on its own. 'Death and Rebirth of Evangelion' fairs even worse with 24 episodes condensed into just an hour. Even with the show that movie made no sense. Madoka on the other hand is a perfect alternative to the show. While the pacing is better in the show, everything is covered in the movie. If you have limited time or you just don't feel like watching the show, you won't lose too much if watch the movies first.
Now onto the art. Ume Aoki's Hidamari Sketch esque art style helps to hide its dark side in the early parts while not being entirely ill fitting when it becomes darker in the later parts. The animation has also had a big step up in quality to fit the higher budget for the movies. You won't find any 'Meduka' animation or extra fingers in this. This movie's art and animation is absolutely flawless. Yes that's right. I just called the animation in a Shaft production flawless. The character models in general also have some extra detail put into them. Sayaka's hair pins have had some minor changes but it's nothing to write home about. There are also some minor changes in the design of the city and the witches Labyrinths. A few scenes also have some minor cosmetic changes but once again, it's nothing to write home about. But the new transformation sequences need to be mentioned. Visually, they were already stunning in the show. But the movie turns in up a notch with some very elaborate sequences. Mami's in particular was jaw dropping. The new animation is one of the biggest draws and rightfully so. While it's not the best I've seen with a movie budget, it still looks amazing. Easily the best looking Shaft animation has ever looked.
Another one of the big draws is the new soundtrack. Madoka Magica is what I consider to be Yuki Kajiura's best work. It's mix of choirs singing gibberish, ominous strings, hard rock, Jpop and classical music worked perfectly in every scene. The movies improve on the soundtrack by using more fitting music in some scenes and adding new music into parts that were previously silent. Hearing the score booming through the cinema speakers is a thrilling experience to say the least. The opening is 'Luminous' by the Jpop duo ClariS who also performed the opening for the show. This has to be the only time I've ever gotten goosebumps by just watching the opening sequence. Hell, I got goosebumps again at the start of the second movie when they played it again. Also scattered throughout the two movies are new songs from the group Kalafina who performed the show's ending theme. A remix of Credens Justitiam (Or 'Mami's theme) with Japanese lyrics, A remix of 'Magia' with some added instrumentation as the ending them for the first movie and 'Hikari Furu' the ending theme for Movie 2. Overall an amazing soundtrack that improves even further on the already superb score for the show.
Since I've already discussed it in my actual review, there's not much point in talking about the characters since there aren't many differences. However, the movies have some flaws compared to the TV show. Mami's backstory has been removed completely. Her importance in the show was questionable as it was but the removal of her backstory highlights this flaw even more. The reason this is a flaw is because it became even more apparent that she didn't matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. Sure, she triggers the change in tone but the fact that she's so insignificant in the movies is problem. Overall, the characters are the same as the show. However, the change in pacing means that some characters are focussed upon a bit more than in the show. I felt a bit more attached to Madoka than in the show. The characters in the show are great and they remain mostly the same in the movies. Not much else needs to be said.
Overall, these movies are a solid retelling of one of the best anime series in the past few years. If you liked the show, watch it. The new animation and music are a real treat and not just a gimmick. If you haven't seen the show, watch the show then watch the movies. Or you could just watch one or the other. What you take from this movie boils down to personal preference. Maybe you prefer the quicker pace of the movies. Or, like me, you could prefer the slower pacing of the show. While I think the movie is slightly inferior to the TV series, it's a great recap of one of my all time favourites with some interesting improvements which make it stick out from the TV show. If you like Madoka, watch it. If you don't like it, don't watch it. If you like the series (Or haven't seen it yet) and you're lucky enough for this movie to be screened in your neck of the woods, I highly recommend you go see it.
Back in 2011 Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica shattered the anime world. Winning multiple award, and being the most successful and well known deconstruction of the magical girl genera to date. It has created some divide in the anime community as hyped shows usually do (Ie, SAO). Yet, not nearly as divided or as flawed as the former. Madoka Magica has become the epitome of greatness to some, good to most, and an object of scorn to a select few. Well here we are in August 2013. The long awaited Madoka Magica movie re-works are now available for streaming. These Recap Movies which originally released October
of 2012 took nearly a whole year to be available on (not so legal) streaming. As the vast majority of people watching this movie have already watched the series I shall allude and compare the movie and series. Thus the review will contain major spoilers for the series. Now if you are here wondering weather or not to watch the movie or the series I would say watch the 2nd movie for episodes 9-12. Watch the DvD HD version on Crunchy Roll (with better art and scenes than the TV Ver.) for episodes 1-8. This is because certain scenes are stripped from movie1 that in my opinion are paramount to the plot. No such scenes are stripped from movie 2, and small scenes are also added as in movie one. Now starts the review of Madoka movie 2.(for those who have not seen the series or both movies yet, spoilers ahoy.)
Madoka Magica 2: Eien no Monogatari is a HD recap, with "bonus content" of episodes 9-12. Movie 2 is a much more masterful recap than in movie one. This because no important moments are taken out. It also has the advantages of having some of the finest episodes in anime to work with. Movie 2 Starts off where movie 1 left off just after the Fall of Sayaka our bue haired ally of justice. Then the Oktavia Fights 1 and 2 re-scored and the death of Kyouko's and Oktavia. It then leads into the first timeline episodes of Hommura's back story and episode 10. Which if you only watched the movies DOESN'T feel to come full circle. As the symbolic epic opening sequence of Madoka is cut for luminous and check rubs in movie 1 :[ . Yet, if you know what happens the recap of movie 2 is a treat to behold and flawless story wise, Nothing seems to have changed from the execution of the last 4 episodes of Madoka and their is not much to say else to say but.....
Well the majority of the movie had a quality job. With many extra backdrops and shaft style symbolic add on's planned for the TV and Latter the DvD, but never added due to time, and budget constrains. Yet, with all the pretty pennies Madoka made all the money, and time in the world was at their disposal. SHAFT the proceeded to go to town with something they had never had before Madoka..... a LARGE budget. This allowed Akimbo to go full wild with all symbolic backdrops he could handle. This in turn gives a certain creepiness and wonder that I haven't felt since my first view of Madoka. The most prevalent art bonus was to the Kyouko vs Octavia fight. Which had a more up close view for the phantasmal violinists, added movements to the fight, and more detailed injures on Kyouko. The most lack luster work was the Homura vs Walpurgisnacht fight. which I expected to be even more done up, but alas is basically the same as the DvD Ver. The only saving grace was the Transformations which were done over the top and epic. Yet, the art has one flaw. This is with the moments, when things go from an already existing scene, to a new Movie only scene. You can sense a faint flicker. Something just seems off. The new scene is a little more HD than the old prettied up scene. It is most noticeable in fights were it flickers to an extra Movie only movement and almost disrupted the moment. Its This flaw the brings down some of Akimbo's greatest work. But, the art truly by all standards is top notch.
you ever felt that no one could make an amazing sound track better? such as how could you make Tanked from Cowboy Beebop any better? That's what I thought going into the Madoka reworks. How could Yuki Kajurai possibly out do what is considers some of her finest work? I don't know what she did, but she made new songs that fit certain parts so well I I can't even see the scene's now without them. The Ost "shes a witch" is so Hauntingly gorgeous that it left me in stunned silence at first hearing the tune. I almost was distracted from the transformation of Sayaka (almost is the keyword) a Ost worthy of being along side Sis Puella Magica and Magi. Slow Violins start it off, then Choirs kick in, then half way a pause. The realization dawns on Kyouko. everything kicks into high gear A bell is added, chimes In tune adding suspense (transformation) solemn silent finish ( my personal new Ost choice). Another amazing addition is adding opera to Dectretum in the Form of "Witch world #2". The addition of extra Violins to Magia is also a nice touch. With music better that I thought couldn't get better its no surprise music is.
Character: all the same from series, Mami got no development early so shes even more paper thin in episode 10 than in series. Each girl still represents the same concept and dies accordingly. Though it is even more highlighted this time around by the extra art symbolism by Akimbo. The recap no extra development of personality and thus the same as old score of series. 8/10
I enjoyed the 2nd movie much more than the first movie, which to me was just "good". Yet, the addition of extra art and music set the tone great for movie two. Greater even than that of the series, there is simply not a level of enjoyment I can give above this movie 2 recap. Which truly, unlike movie 1 felt like watching Madoka Magica for the first time all over again. Yet,due to certain flaws in art and Madoka Magica's flaws in character Madoka MAgica Movie 2 cannot have a perfect score. It though is a recap truly worth the watch and admiration of its fans.(though skip movie 1... hopefully movie 3 doesn't kills the series :[ )
The first movie covers the first eight episodes and the second movie covers the final four. Just like the first movie, Shaft added extra effort to ensure fans are treated with a visual tour de force. Subtle tweaks and greater attention to details build upon the drama created by the story. Combined with an excellent cinematography and an amazing soundtrack (which includes a couple brand new scores), viewers will experience a beautiful, yet haunting masterpiece. Yet no matter how stunning the art may be, these cosmetic enhancements cannot mask the underlying story and pacing issues. Caution: Major Spoilers.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part
II: Eternal suffers from the “middle child” conundrum common in trilogy series. The second chapter must continue development of the plot and characters, but must not bring closure to the overarching universe (which is the ultimate purpose of the final installment). The movie does an excellent job continuing the story, but it does not create a satisfying conclusion. The story development introduces many new questions about the characters and their world, and yet offers no definitive answers or even hints. Some may consider this a strength, garnering fan’s interest and excitement for the final movie. Regardless, it leaves an unsettling feeling of incomplete development.
This fault lies in movie’s purpose, rather than the story. In the final episode of the anime, Madoka wishes to save all magical girls from their doomed fate, and the world we knew unravels at the seams. After watching the despair, desolation, and downfall of our protagonists, the show takes a reversal in tone to discuss the concept of hope. This controversial ending redirects the attention onto the psychological states of the characters, not the witch-hunt story. When a new universe is revealed in the final moments of the show, there’s no need to explain everything: the final message is about hope. However, the second movie does not convey this idea. Instead it remains focused on plot development for the third chapter.
The movie’s limitations also contribute to the sense of incompleteness. The first movie condenses the first eight episodes into one 120-minute movie. The streamlined story is more engaging as it accelerates the story and character development, but at cost of tension and drama. The second movie is shorter and covers fewer episodes, but disappointingly the pacing is even more uneven. Some of the most critical and powerful scenes in the show were tragically cut short. The absolutely essential initial confrontation between Kyuubey and Madoka, so well-executed in the show, was reduced to its barest bones. That was one of the biggest disappointments I had with the movie.
There was one mistake in particular that almost ruined the experience: Homura’s backstory. As expected, the movie would need to cover episode ten — the biggest revelation of the series. We learn that Homura is a time traveler repeatedly going back in time in order to save Madoka. The problem is not the story itself, but how it was included into the movie. Immediately after the Sayaka-Kyoko conflict, there is a long, narrated CG scene followed by a count-up to ten, clearly identifying the original’s episode count to that point. I question Shinbou’s judgement with this transition; it ruins the tension from the last battle. The movie then uses the original anime opening exactly like how it appears in the show. However, the opening was never used in the movies up to this point. Why is this moment, when the show hangs precipitously on a dramatic high note, the time to spring the opening on us? These jarring transitions completely ruin the atmosphere and tone of the story. Shinbo Akiyuki attempts at pandering to the fans backfires, disrupting the overall experience of the movie.
It is clear that Shaft has no intention on simply recreating the original. As I stated in the previous review, these movies are clearly a love-letter to the fans. Like the first movie, the second has outstanding audio and visual upgrades. However, it has even more problems than the first. This movie is just good — not bad, but not great. Despite my complaints, this is still a wonderful experience for both newcomers and old fans alike. Most importantly, both movies succeed in rekindling love for the franchise and building interest for the third installment.
Disclaimer: Have you not seen the series nor movie I heavily advise you not to read this, as even without spoilers it could very well more or less ruin the experience for you.
“If someone says it’s wrong to hope, I will tell them that they’re wrong every time!” - Kaname Madoka
As the first and second movies pretty much exactly follow the story and events of the original series, (which I’ve already written a review of) this review will more or less consist of comparisons between the series and movie, along with some of my personal thoughts.
(And again, a perfect score doesn’t mean it’s all perfect.
It probably leans more towards me being a crappy, biased reviewer, to be honest.)
Story: (10 / 10)
The second movie of the Madoka★Magica trilogy is a retelling of the last 4 episodes (and in my opinion the ones with the largest impact) of the original series. Interesting thing to note though, is that the first movie had a couple of new scenes, and yet it was quite a bit shorter than its “original source”, meaning there were a lot of cut scenes. However, the second movie is actually somewhat longer than the original 4 episodes were, and so not only are there completely new scenes added, but a lot of the existing ones have been reworked to be given more depth/impact.
The movie focuses heavily on the story and relationship between Madoka and Homura, as well as providing the final build up towards the climax of the show. Homura’s “arc” (if you’d call it that), which happens to be one of my favorite sequences in a series, has been slightly extended and it doesn’t fail to impress. The fact that this is the 3rd time I’ve seen the series, and yet it still manages to get to me this way is just proof of the overall greatness of these particular scenes.
Even with the very small amount added in terms of story, I feel like the fact that it manages to perfectly tell the same story as the 4 episodes it’s based on, without cutting any scenes, sacrificing any emotional “material” (for lack of better words), and still managing to add that little bit of extra to it, makes this pretty much better (if only so slightly) than the series.
Art: (9 / 10)
Just like in the first movie, the art has been completely redone and reanimated. In both movies, I quite liked the slight changes to some characters during the “labyrinth” scenes, and the new transformation scenes really adds a nice touch to it all. The scene played during the opening theme remains the same as in the first movie, which is totally fine. However, one thing that got me a bit confused, I guess was the insertion of a remade version of the original series’ opening scene in the middle of the movie. It seems as if it was made to appear slightly more depressing, or at least not as happy as the original, but it just felt sort of weird that they’d put that in there at that moment.
The quality remains at top level, and there’s isn’t really much else to say about it if you read any other source detailing the art of either the first movie or the series (which one would assume you have, if you’re reading this).
Sound: (10 / 10)
In my review of the first movie, I mentioned how I wasn’t really sure if I liked the change they’d made in the musical section. However, during the second movie, I didn’t experience this problem at all. I could certainly notice some new, or remade songs, but they were all pretty great and fit very well into their corresponding scenes.
The opening theme, “Luminous” by ClariS remains the same, however during the aforementioned scene (the remade original opening) the song that’s played seems to be some sort of slightly altered version of “Connect”, the original opening theme (however I might be totally wrong about this). In addition, not only does Kalafina’s “Magia” make a comeback (if I recall correctly, it only played once during the entire first movie), but Kalafina also performs the new ending theme for the movie, “Hikari Furu”. It was a great song, and felt very fitting for the series’ ending.
While it’s pretty hard to compare the voice acting of the movie and series, I’m sure the movie would mostly do better (if only slightly) in this regard, and I think there are scenes where you can actually notice this, especially for Madoka.
Characters: (10 / 10)
This movie more or less “wraps up” the stories of several characters, and thus focus on a smaller cast than previous works. This would obviously make you think that these select few characters would get a whole lot of development and whatnot, and just as the original series the movie does a fantastic job with this. This is where we get to learn more about some of the characters, and where they really show themselves for what they really are. Adding in the new and remade scenes, as well as the whole extended version of Homura’s “arc”, I can’t say I was anything but please in this aspect.
Enjoyment: (10 / 10)
I’ll openly admit that I spent a majority of this movie either crying or teary-eyed (though that might not mean much, since it’s not like I’m not a very emotional person in general), and it just amazes me how this piece of art can continue to make me feel this way after several rewatchings.
I’d probably say that I enjoyed this movie a bit more than the original episodes too, as it improves on a lot, without really sacrificing anything in return.
If you liked the original series, then you’ll definitely love this as well. However, I honestly don’t think the two movies can fully “replace” the series, and as such I’d personally say it’d be best to watch the first 8 episodes of the series, and then the second movie. I think this provides the whole “best of both worlds”, and will net you the most enjoyable viewing experience.
+ Improved art.
+ Added and reworked scenes, without any big cuts.
+ New additions to the soundtrack, as well as the old songs.
+ One of the most emotional sequences in an anime (in my opinion).
- Somewhat random insertion of the “original” opening scene ruins the feel a bit.
My review for the 2nd movie is pretty much the same as the first, so I'll just write it here for the both of them.
There's nothing wrong with either movie as they both retell the events of the anime with slightly better sound and animation.
However, it barely adds new things, if any. In fact, in the first movie, several nice character moments, and even Mami's entire background is cut. And although the second movie is longer than its series equivalent, I didn't find many meaningful additions other than a few panning shots, one of which was excruciatingly long.
is nothing -wrong- with the movies - but personally I would recommend watching the (updated) series instead. It's not much longer, and you get rewarded with more character and sceneric detail, and personally I find it easier to watch episodes instead of a movie.
I do very much look forward to movie 3 coming up next, since it's an entirely original story with stunning graphical effects I hear!
After watching the first movie and realizing that it was no more than a pretty recap, my expectations for the second one definitely dropped, and for good reason.
As mentioned in the description and almost every single review, this movie deals with the last 4 episodes of the original anime series. As with the first movie, animation is improved, music is changed, things are added on, gems are made shinier, etc. etc. etc.
However, the enjoyment stays the same. Having already watched the original series, you already know what's coming, hence making the "thrill", "mysteries", and "revelations" seem far less interesting. It is mainly for
this reason that I was left rather unsatisfied and keep insisting on the fact that creating an original story would have been a far better choice.
Although I was already baffled by the fact that this series had three movies, that two of the three were recaps, and that most of them had already gotten amazing reviews, I was even more puzzled as to why these recaps would be divided into "8 and 4", rather than "6 and 6" episodes per movie.
Unsurprisingly, the result of such a decision was that the first movie was a rushed, over-the-top version of the original series, that, while pretty, had way too much action for my taste and hardly developed the characters, whereas the second one was so slow and low on material that they simply decided to use TWO openings to kill some time. Have you ever heard of any other movies using not one, but two openings for seemingly no reason whatsoever (and randomly throwing in the second one somewhere in the middle of the movie)? Yup, me neither.
Consequently, I found it very hard to be captivated (or even entertained by this movie). Sure, it looked amazing and it even surprised me (in a nasty way, as mentioned above), but would I ever watch it again or recommend it to a friend? Definitely not.
I haven't been writing reviews for a while because of school. I have so many reviews that I need to write about some terrible animes and some really good ones I've seen recently. One of the really good animes I've watched recently is Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. I'm writing the review now and not after watching the third movie because I know they aren't supposed to connect so this review is purely on the recaps.
Before starting, I'll tell you what I thought of the anime (or movie?) before I watched it. I thought it was a kiddy anime about a bunch of girls with magical
powers and they go around saving people with their powers of friendship and love. In other words, I had really low expectations of it but after being nagged by many to watch it, I gave it a go and I was mind blown.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica mainly follows a young girl called Madoka. Everything starts off with a mysterious transfer student who no one seems to know about and a rabbit-like creature (that reminded me of Miffy, you know that cartoon rabbit?) that grants one wish for a dire consequence, becoming a magical girl. Madoka is introduced into this world of magical girls that normal humans aren't aware off and the story heads off from there.
The story in a nutshell wasn't something that unique, come on we've all seen the story where the weird transfer student turns out to be someone special in one anime or the other, but the way it was put together and presented was really something else. The start was a bit slow but once the story started to properly pick up, it was such an exhilarating anime. I've never been a fan of 'fate' animes but like I said before, the way the story was pieced together was really fantastic and hard not to love. The writers weren't afraid to kill off important characters which made the story more special. There were of course, like most animes, a few plot holes but there were so minor that you would forget them 5 mins later.
I just have one more thing to add, I really liked the ending. It wasn't perfect and even bordered on depressing but it was such a satisfying ending.
This was probably where the anime stood out to me the most. The character art was nothing special, I didn't really like it that much because it made the anime seem really childish, which it definitely wasn't. The bordering chibi art style wasn't what I would have liked the character art to be but I'm guessing it was done so the aura of the anime was lighter.
The background art, was absolutely exceptional. The labyrinths were so detailed and the wacky art style used for them was just so beautiful. It was just so different that I loved it so much.
I really liked the background music that played during fighting scenes or more emotional scenes, they were so well placed that you barelt noticed them and you could just feel yourself being lifted deeper and deeper into the anime.
I wasn't a fan of the ED music played, it was long and very dragging. I think a more upbeat song would have suited it but I'm guessing it was meant to be savored as emotional.
I never really thought about the characters before writing this review, they were nothing more than the story linkers, they tied everything together. They is nothing special about most of the characters but somehow, you end up liking them all. The back story of some are shown and they are just tear jacking but they aren't characters you could relate to. Except for Sayaka, I think most could relate to her and even drop a tear for her at some scenes. But as an overall, the characters serve as nothing more than characters to a show (which is what they are... but you know what I mean).
As an overall, even though the individual parts didn't score a perfect 10, I have to give this anime a 10/10. I really loved it and definitely look forward to rewatching it very soon. I'm thinking of watching the series and comparing the two.
Story: Pacing is a bit off-putting. Aside from the randomly inserted original TV OP animation, the extended flashback sequence and the big info dump after the climax dominate the duration of this movie, requiring the audience to digest a lot of information in one sitting. The movie noticeably made effort to accommodate these large story sections (even including movie exclusive scenes to transition into them). Given the original series, they did as well as they could in converting it to movie format, but ultimately, it's a point this review can bring up in critique.
With that said, the previously mentioned flashback sequence remains the strongest emotional
part of the Madoka series, while the info dump resolution still mediocre to acceptable at best, even after rewatching it to understand and buy into their explanation for how the story ends up (kinda hope that the 3rd movie expands upon the ending).
Art: as outstanding as the original series but with additional scenes to visually awe even more
Sound: anguish and action with contrasts of distant sounds and silence enhance the harsh emotions of the flashback sequence, and the music makes the moments leading to the final battle so dramatically epic
Character: Homura blazes through character development stages, while Madoka FINALLY comes to a decision, ultimately affirming her selflessness.
Enjoyment/Overall: Strong rewatch value of the original means the movie delivers the same entertainment with added theatrics, albeit in condensed-marathon style. I only regret not securing a movie poster for myself.
It's interesting that the first movie adapts the first two thirds of the series, rather than half. So the second is left for last third. This means it's much more fast paced than the series in the first movie, which is great when you're trying to sell the show to someone. There was only one scene that I missed from the series that wasn't present in the second movie, everything else felt accounted for and pacing felt improved. The second movie benefits a lot from slower pacing as it gives the climax the time to really shine and feel well rounded.
Arguably, it was
too fast paced in the anime, and movie fixes that. It does make me wonder if pacing might be too slow now. But I do usually prefer faster pacing and I did watch the series version way to many times to be unbiased. Objectively, if someone came that far they won't care if the pacing slows down, in fact, my guess would be they'd prefer it, as it would feel like a better pay off for the investment (longer more elaborate climax). Considering the non-episodic nature of the series storytelling, 2 movies do seem like a better format for it so it's what I'll be recommending to people.
Enough about the movie format, here is copy paste of my Madoka review:
It's a deconstruction of a magical girl genre (so it's hard to say it falls into magical girl genre, considering how much different it is from a typical magical girl anime, though technically it does). It is so acclaimed, that it is considered the anime that redefined the genre (great deconstructions tend to do that). I personally disliked the genre, had all the wrong expectations towards this anime, and dropped it early on, only to pick it up many months later, one-shot all of the episodes and absolutely fall in love it with. It's a must-watch, try to trust me, this once, just watch it. Also take it seriously. If something seems nonsensical or stupid, it's actually clever foreshadowing, and will be explained later, if you don't figure it out yourself. It also just keeps getting better, so don't drop it under any circumstance. If you get annoyed by unusual graphics in first few episodes, that also gets better as the show goes on.
With the second Madoka film in the bag, I'm seriously pumped for Rebellion Story to come out, if only so we can see where this universe takes us next.
(Once again, disclaimer: if you haven't watched the anime series and/or the first movie, you're really in trouble here. No spoilers, of course, but really, go watch the other two. ;) )
Story (10/10): I can't be unbiased when I say this, but this movie recaps my favorite part of the whole damn show. Episodes 9-12 are hard hitting and this movie adapts that excellently. Since we get an unbroken line throughout, you realize how much really
happens in the last 4 episodes and how great the story can be.
The heartbreak of episode 9, the tear-jerking realizations of 10, and the action, heartwarming sadness, and ultimate description of hope of 11 and 12 are all here. It's honestly hard not spoiling what happens (though with the internet being the internet, you might already know what happens), so I'll end the story section with this: PMMM is a great example of tragedy and the strength of hope. It's a story that started simple but spiraled out into a take on the magical girl genre that won't be forgotten for a long time.
(If there's one nitpick I have to talk about, it's similar to what I said in my review of the first movie- they removed Madoka's dream sequence from the first part, so the full impact that it should have brought never really gets felt like in the original series. I know it was probably just a measure of having to cut something, but it is a slight flaw.)
(Also Kyubey sucks at describing entropy. Sorry, but the physicist in me hates that part.)
Art (9/10): Everything here is great. The fight scenes look awesome, the barriers and witches as damn creepy as before, and the whole atmosphere draws you into what the characters are feeling. The last half hour of the movie is easily the best animation I've seen in a while and it just pushes the awesomeness of the climax even further into my memory.
Sound (9/10): Again, the sound for this is wonderful. We finally get a reprise of Connect (in it's original spot in episode 10s place in the movie) and at the end with a new mix done to an orchestra. (Really, I like Connect, so I have to gush about it. I know, I know.) We also have all the wonderful classical music that just adds to the movie in a way that I can't put my finger on. Lastly, we have the reappearance of the Ave Maria, which is always a wonderful song, and really strikes a chord with you in it's place at the end.
Character (10/10): With the original quintet of magical girls down to three (my favorite three, if I'm being honest), there's more solid character development that just pushes the story along. And it's amazing. With how Kyoko makes her final impact, the revelations of Homura's past, and the difficult decisions that Madoka has to make, it's really no wonder why they make the movie as strong as it is.
Kyubey also comes into his...it's(?) own here, showing how alien it really is. It comes out as one of the most fascinating things of the whole show, with how it holds the system that its race adopted. Again, spoilers, but Kyubey comes off as close to the villain as we get, yet when the end comes, you get an interesting reversal that I can't wait to see again in the third movie.
Enjoyment (9/10): This was the movie that I was most looking forward to watching, and it succeeded in that. If you couldn't tell, I liked this movie a lot, so I don't think I need to elaborate further huh? ;)
The only thing I can say that I didn't like is that, like every other recap movie, it was long. But since it was only concentrated on 4 episodes as opposed to the others 8, it just flows a lot better and makes for a better watch.
Overall, the Madoka movies are a real treat for prior viewers and newcomers alike. The second movie is where the real heart of the show is and it comes off that way. You won't be disappointed after watching this and you may have a new outlook on what it really means to be someones hope.
Catch you guys after we finally get to see the third movie!
I’ve pinned down why I hate this series. It’s depraved and horrible. That doesn’t mean I don’t fucking love it, but watching this second film in the trilogy, I realized that I never wanted to watch it again because it’s just too much. It is mature and dark, but the focus is the death of young girls and the hopelessness they are cast into. And because of the fact it spends so much time delving into the minds of characters who are barely pubescent and are basically being murdered off by a race that finds emotions to be a birth defect, it makes the series
feel like some kind of young girl holocaust. I’ve watched it twice now and I don’t know if I want to watch it again because of the fact it isn’t easy to watch. The first film doesn’t get as dark and depressing as this second film, but it still contained some very uneasy elements. It was a fun film to watch, but was also really hard to watch. Gen Urobuchi is one of my favorite anime writers ever, but he’s also one I absolutely hate because of how depraved he is. What the fuck happened to this guy as a child?
That being said, the second film in the Madoka Magica trilogy, Eternal, is another great retelling of the series, this one more faithful to the original material and not cutting as much out. The first half hour drags out to a sad conclusion, and then it spends a lot of time giving us Homura’s past, followed by the deus ex machine ending. In the middle is the opening to the series…for some reason. This is a film with a lot more padding than it needs. The graveyard sequence was long and unneeded; the music video broke things up and was out of place. But otherwise, the film was paced nicely and wrapped things up in a satisfying conclusion.
That being said, the character department shines completely with Homura, one of my favorite female characters of anything ever. Starting as a moe, scared girl, her continual reliving of the same month turns her into what you think is a heartless bitch with her own agenda, but is really a deeply scarred and loving friend.
Madoka also develops beautifully, giving up her bystander role and becoming the center of everything, just as she has always been.
And then there’s Kyubey, that motherfucking sack of shit white fuzzy thingy that I really want to pet but also want to shoot over and over…he’s one of anime’s most asshole villains. He doesn’t understand human emotions or the existence of souls, but he still manipulates young girls because….why not? He doesn’t know better and doesn’t understand, but at the same time, it’s such a hard concept to accept, a creature with no emotions, that it’s hard to give him any remorse for the terrible things he does.
His “entropy” explanation for his actions is flimsy and I’ve always thought it could be better explained, but whatever. Human emotions can be used to give off energy to the universe. Sure, whatever.
Once again, beautiful animation and music. The characters look like the marshmallow characters of your average magical girl anime while the backgrounds are starkly different from the happy, light environments found in Precure or Cardcaptor Sakura. The music is captivating, lots of classical compositions lending an eerie air.
Despite all the pluses, there are still the minuses. The entropy thing, the random music video, Homura having all those missiles and weapons at the end that she’d obviously stolen from someone, somewhere. But how the hell do you set up an arena full of missiles with no one asking what the hell is going on. Even if you stopped time, the ability only works for a limited time apparently. Also, how come she stops time for the first RPG, time remains stopped, but she can still get the second and third RPG at the same spot as the first?
Small complaints for an otherwise exceptional experience.