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Score: 8.39/10

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari [DUB]

Eng Title : Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 2: Eternal

Alt Title : Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika Movie 2, Magical Girl Madoka Magica Movie 2

JP Title : 劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ 永遠の物語

Year : 2012

Genre : Drama, Magic, Psychological, Thriller

Season :

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 1/1

Duration : 1 hr. 49 min.

Studios : Shaft

Synopsis

Though Sayaka Miki's wish was fulfilled, the unforeseen consequences that came with it overwhelm her, causing her soul gem to become tainted as she succumbs to despair and eventually loses her humanity. Homura Akemi reveals to Kyouko Sakura and Madoka Kaname the ultimate fate of magical girls: once their soul gem becomes tainted, it transforms into a Grief Seed, and they are reborn as witches—a truth Homura learned only through repeating history countless times in a bid to prevent Madoka's tragedy. Kyuubey only compounds their despair when he confesses his true intentions: to harness the energy created from magical girls and use it to prolong the life of the universe. As the threat of Walpurgisnacht, a powerful witch, looms overhead, Homura once again vows to protect Madoka and the world from a grim fate. Caught between honoring Homura's wish and saving the world, which one will Madoka choose in the end? Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari is a story of inescapable destiny, and an unlikely hero who could change it all. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

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.

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.

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