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Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari Anime Cover

Score: 8.44/10

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari [DUB]

Eng Title : Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion

Alt Title : Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika Movie 3, Magical Girl Madoka Magica Movie 3

JP Title : 劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ 叛逆の物語

Year : 2013

Genre : Drama, Magic, Mystery, Psychological, Thriller

Season :

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 1/1

Duration : 1 hr. 56 min.

Studios : Shaft

Synopsis

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. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion is to its original twelve episodes series as to End of Evangelion was to Neon Genesis Evangelion. Both have an extensive and truly mind-blowing foundation to build upon as well as featuring an absolutely earth-shattering ending that leaves the audience feeling shell-shocked.

Veterans of the Madoka Magica TV series know that something is eerily off within moments of the movie’s introduction. Given the fairly conclusive ending in the previous installment, the setting in the movie’s beginning, is perfect to a fault. Characters, that should be dead, are back and everyone’s is best friends with each other including Kyubey .The same events are relived in different sequences and circumstances like some a twisted version of Groundhog Day. Even Mami gets a little friendly helper named Charlotte which, disturbingly enough, is the same witch that chomped off her head the first time around.

For the first forty-five minutes, the audience to treated to a mishmash of fanfiction and fanservice as the Holy Quintet goes about their business of smoothing the nightmares of their citizens and doing regular slice-of-life things. While it was pleasant to see all the main leads carry on with their lives in a typical happy-go-lucky mahou shoujo after suffering so much, I felt that the first act overstayed its welcome by fifteen minutes. By the time Homura begins to figure what is really wrong with this world, I was left tapping my foot and wishing the movie would hurry up and get to the point. Though, once the plot got over the initial hump, it just becomes a roaring rollercoaster ride to the very end.

Characters

Every main character, regardless of their status at the end of the TV series, makes a comeback. Starting us off is Homura is my favorite magical girl as she dethrones Sailor Mars of my childhood since she has an amazing power of manipulating time and uses high explosives and bullets to get the job done. Although, she regresses back to the timid and awkward girl in the beginning of the movie, by the time the second and third act hit, she is back into her badassery ways. Since the series is really about Homura and not Madoka, despite what the title suggests, she forms the core of the main narrative and Rebellion is just the continuation of her story, which is taken to the next level under Urobuchi.

Outside of the tremendous amount of development and dialogue given to Homura and Madoka, Sayaka is surprisingly given a good amount of depth and maturity this time around as opposed to her personality leading to some pretty dark implications in the preceding storyline. Where she was sort of unlikeable, Rebellion changes her into an assertive and confident young magical girl that put her on par with the rest of the Holy Quintet. Other members like Kyoto and Mami, while they do have their moments to shine and speak, aren’t given that much of role in the plot. That is to be expected since their back stories have reached their conclusion in the original television series.The much-hyped character Charlotte being included into the main cast doesn’t detract or add to the overall package. She is a colorful and playful thing of sorts and she does give Mami a witch/person to be paired with as strange as that sounds. Charlotte does suffer same problems as Kyoto and Mami in that they don’t have really much to do other than coming along for the ride and use their powers in a supporting role during the climactic battle of the movie.

Visuals

Studio Shaft is notoriously known for rushing their episodes in order to meet airing deadlines and then redoing entire episodes for the Blu-ray releases. With all the heaps of money that they raked in with disc sales, spin-offs and merchandise, the production team spared no expenses for the entire two-hour long movie. At 2,300 shots, it is double of the typical amount in comparative animated movie and yet, all the visuals remain at a higher quality than the TV series.

If you thought that the witches and their labyrinth were trippy with their collage art project style, then be prepared to be utterly overwhelmed to point of questioning whether or not someone slipped LSD into your drink. At more than a few points, I was struggling to find traditional animation in the sea of psychotic art cutouts. Still, the creativity required to produced such things is nothing to scoff at. In fact, Rebellion has my favorite magical girl fight scene of all time and personal highlight of the movie which pits Mami and Homura against each other in a frantic gun battle. This fight is a display of Studio Shaft’s ability as these two unveil their full abilities in the torrents of bullets that they unleash at each other in a spiraling dance to the death which is unmatched in any other magical girl show.

Music

Returning back once more to score the soundtrack is Yuki Kajiura, having down work on high-profile shows like Sword Art Online, Kara no Kyoukai, Fate/Zero and previous installments of Madoka Magica. While the quality of her music is still set to a high standard, I felt that her primary weakness is the lack of variety by reusing the same style of dance beats, strings and vocals. I could have literally interchange her music with her other projects and at one point, I thought I was watching another Kara no Kyoukai film. However, there were a couple of highlights and one of them, titled “Absolute Configuration” is perfect for the Homura/Mami fight scene.

Also coming back to sing the opening credits is ClariS, which give a very good performance that complement their pervious Madoka effort. At this point, the viewers know that cute opening is one trick pony that is not representative of the show but does have nice some fanservice and important insights for the interceding time gap between the television series and this batshit crazy movie. Closing theme is sung by Kalafina, Yuji Kajiura’s own band and while it sounded nice, it didn’t have that punch nor despair of “Magia”. Overall, the sound department was handled fairly well , even if it retreaded old ground and missed some opportunities to take Rebellion to the next level.

Betrayal and Rebellion

After consuming vast amounts of literature, shows and movies over the course of my lifetime, I have come to a point where I don’t really care what happens to the characters or plot as long as it’s reasonably justified. What I mean is that I don’t particularly ship couples or have an narrow expectation of where the story should goes. In the case of Homura’s being the Devil to Madoka’s role as God, I thought it was the perfect twist to a franchise famously known for its subversion and deconstruction of the magical girl genre. Love is often a central theme in this genre, where the power of friendship and justice overcome all evils and saves the day. In Rebellion, it is love that is taken too far and of a selfish nature that is the perfect instrument to stab the audience in the back in a delightfully manner.

It was reported that Gen Urobuchi originally writing a script that had an ending of Madoka carrying Homura into paradise after the Incubator ‘s trap was broken but Akiyuki Shinbo managed to convince him rewrite the conclusion into what it is today. First, this is an ending is entirely in line with Homura’s hardening mindset over the course of the television series and movie. Remember, according to comments made by the Madoka’s creative team, Homura had gone through the month-long time loop over one hundred times which is equivalent of reliving the same despair and death for five years nonstop. As an audience, we have only experienced glimpses of her past and the final iteration of her soul-crushing quest to save Madoka. Any teenager that has gone through the amount of shit that Homura has, is probably dead set on getting her own selfish way, even at the expense of the wishes of her waifu Madoka. Secondly, some viewers and pundits have decry the final third act to be an example of SHAFT milking the franchise and leaving it ripe for another season of Madoka Magica. To that, I say “who cares?”. As long as the quality is there, having more anime to salivate over is never a bad thing.

Although Rebellion is infinitely more comprehensible and easier to understand than Hideaki Anno’s definitive take on Evangelion, Homura’s descend into becoming the devil is no less digestible than the third impact. If you have watched Madoka Magica in its television form, you would be doing yourself a great disservice not giving the Rebellion movie a watch, regardless of how might the ending rips into your soul.

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.

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