Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie III: Rebellion Part 2 FINALE Review

Mahou.Shoujo.Madoka☆Magica.full.1573386Hey guys and welcome to Part 2 of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie III: Rebellion review (wow that’s a mouthful). If you randomly stumbled upon part 2 and you’re looking for an overview and review of the plot, click here. Part 2 will look at Characters, Music and my final thoughts on the film series. Now without further ado, let’s get started…

Characters

Like all magical series, the story intensely revolves around the lives of a certain group of girls whose lives and destinies are intertwined by magic, and in this case, that magic involves a contract. In many magical girl series and, there are more or less two routes the character development can take. The first is intense development with one or two of magic girl characters and she’s usually the leader of the group. The second is shallow character stories due to the short amount of time and focus divided to giving each magic girl her back story and air time. Somehow, Madoka Magic has both, but leans more to the first route of character development. Even though the story (and fandom) is greatly devoted to Madoka and Homura’s close friendships, their trials and tribulations, we obviously don’t see as much of the other magic girls. They’re either dead in some timelines or they’re just not significant to the main conflict in the story’s main timeline. Still, you can’t help but love Mami’s stern but loving leaderly qualities or Kyoko’s hardass personality; even Sayaka’s character is wonderfully reconciled in this movie. Overall, the characters are properly constructed and mature accordingly to how the story progresses. No cop outs.

Madoka Kaname (3.5/5)- From start to finish, I’ve always felt that even though the series is named after Madoka and despite her main role in the creation of the Law of the Cycle, she serves as more of a symbol of hope and figurehead of goodness. You can easily like her, but perhaps not grow to love her as much as one of the tortured characters that you come to love after a ride on their emotional journey.

Homura Akemi (5/5)- Part 3 really focuses on how Homura copes with the world after her closest and dearest friend leaves her. She even wonders if she had hallucinated this girl named Madoka because no one else remembers anyone named Madoka Kaname; she neither exist in the past, the present nor the future. I’ve grown to really love the character that Homura’s become in Part 3. She’s no longer a crybaby and like how Sayaka said she felt the tough and strong Homura was truer to Homura’s personality, I agree with that as well. Homura’s risen into the list of my favourite anime characters because of the realistic three-dimensionality of her personality that brings out the best of humans – self-sacrifice, unconditional love, perseverance and in this movie, the worst – selfishness, hopelessness and despair. She embodies all of these things and more making her truly one of the most enjoyable characters on screen.

Sayaka Miki (4/5)- We see a lot more of Sayaka, a side of her much more mature and level-headed versus the depressing and somewhat annoying little girl we see in the first parts of the story. She becomes a key character in the show and her role is a defining feature of Madoka’s ways of the world. In contrast to the original story timeline where she’s the weakest of the group, she becomes one of the strongest characters of the show and in the most unique way possible thanks to God-doka. She even shocks Kyubey.

Mami Tomoe (4/5)- Though her death was a pivotal moment in the initial release of the show, she comes back in other timelines so she’s not at all sidelined in the story, especially not in Part 3. We’re shown just how powerful an experienced magic girl senpai can fight – and she’s pretty badass. Her role in the conclusion of the movie kept her pretty much in the same position in terms of being a side character of the main cast. She’s important in her own way and moves the plot deeper but her role finishes quick.

Kyoko Sakura (3.5/5)- I guess it’s because we saw so much of Kyoko in the original series that there’s not much else to talk about in Part 3. She’s actually the first one Homura approaches when they tackle the opening conflict of the movie’s plot. I don’t want to give too much away so you’ll just have to watch but she does contribute quite a bit to character development. For Sayaka X Kyoko fans, you’ll absolutely love the camaraderie that we see between the pair.

Nagisa Momoe (3/5)- Ah, our new character~ the wish she made was apparently formerly announced and we’re given subtle hinted at the details of her wish throughout the movie. She was originally the sweets witch that killed Mami in the original storyline and in this timeline she’s really a new cute girl to keep things fresh, really. If a giant fanbase explodes over Nagisa, I could see a mini side magic girl series being focused on her; how she became a magic girl, the specific details of her wish and how she descended into despair, maybe even her perspective as a witch when she’s fighting Mami.

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Score and Soundtrack

Rating: 4.5/5 curiously excited clouds Crop_45 CuriousClouds Transparent

 yukikajiuraIt’s Yuki Kajiura. Nuff said. The name itself already warrants a listen to the soundtrack. She adds a nice collection of sounds in the continuation of the series. It’s hard for me to draw out a full review of the music because you don’t usually pick up the instrumentals as you’re absorbed in the action, but that’s just how amazing the music is. The best score and soundtrack is one that elevates the storytelling to a mesmerizing state for the audience. The one key score piece that I did pick up on was the uniquely abstract and refreshing soundtrack that went with each girl’s full magical transformation scene. It just fits immensely well with the art style and atmosphere that the story evokes. This is not your regular magic girl anime, so it requires not so regular magic girl music.

Still the music is one of the most memorable part of your movie-going experience because some would argue that it’s the music that sticks with you the longest, after the action explosions have faded and the credits have run out.  Though I can’t point out the melody, I can still remember the way I felt when I heard the soundtracks. Another key moment of orchestral brilliance are the moments when Homura prepares to die as a witch. Delicate and tragic yet so chaotic and destructive, reflecting turmoil of emotions that Homura feels when her soul descends into the abyss. I love Yuki Kajiura’s work and I can’t wait to have a listen of the full OST when it gets released.

cover…And now on a slightly more positive note. Since ClariS has been singing the opening songs in the Madoka series so far, I did expect a new ClariS song from them and I wasn’t disappointed. The new opening was aesthetically pleasing in the most artistic way possible which really compliments the hopeful and magical sounds of the opening song, “Colorful.” If you listen carefully, you can hear violin sounds in the track. I have it on repeat and it’s just so addicting.

Click below for a listen or the link to download the song!

http://www.mediafire.com/download/dotqqmd6kg63nco/Puella+Magi+Madoka+Magica+Movie+III+Opening+-+ClariS+-+Colorful+%28littlecloudcuriosity.com%29.mp3

Mahou.Shoujo.Madoka☆Magica.full.1319098Contribution to Genre

The fact that Part 3 of the film series is called “Rebellion,” tells you a lot about what’s happening in the story. Of course in the magic girl series you generally expect pretty dresses, flashy powers and cute girls. This has all of that – and So. Much. More. The story never lets us forget that its written by Urobutcher. Madoka Magica gives us a reality slap check when it comes to critiquing and reviewing magic girl series – it totally destroys our presumptions that twelve and older magic girls can go to school by day and fight evil by night and still function cheerily with less than three hours of sleep every night. AND NO DARK CIRCLES! Must be great to be a magic girl right? Not in this world. This series takes everything you ever thought you knew or wanted in a magic girl series, reconstructs and reinvents part of the genre for more mature audiences who have enough of their share of cutesy pointless magic girl clichés and want substance in the plot, all the while keeping the traditional elements of the magic girl genre true to its core.

Whether you love fantasy or action, drama or just a hell of a good anime no matter what the genre, you should watch Madoka Magica. It’s one of those anime defining series that proves to anime-haters or non-anime watchers just. how. good. anime can get.

Final Thoughts? (in no particular order)

– I need the God-doka Magica Nendoroid like now

– Gonna go and read Magical Girl Kazumi and Oriko

– Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie III: Rebellion places the series on my list of absolute favourite animes that everyone should watch

– Don’t show Puella Magi Madoka Magica to your magic girl loving cousins or you might ruin their magic girl dreams and they’ll start telling you that there’s a Kyubey under the bed instead of a Bogeyman. Of course, because even the Bogeyman’s afraid of that creepy thing.

Anyway, we’ve now reached the end of our review and now that we have reached the end, I wanted to show you guys some cool freebie character cards that were up for grabs in the theatre. I could only find the three most common character cards so if you have a Sayaka X Kyoko or Mami  card, I’m super jealous of you!! There were some really great bonuses that scores  up some big points on the score for overall movie-going experience.

I hope you guys liked this thorough two-part review on the finale of the Madoka Magica film series. If you liked this don’t forget to share it with friends or follow me for new stuff coming almost every day. Thank you guys very very much for dropping by and reading. Let me know what you guys thought of the series? Whether or not you liked Homura’s ending and if you think there will be a magic girl anime that could EVER TOP Madoka Magica.

I will talk to you guys soon!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie III: Rebellion Part 1 Review

Magica Madoka NA Poster“Even though I’m lonely, even though I’m sad, no one else can understand how I feel…” – Homura

After seeing this movie, I sincerely believe that Madoka Magica is going to be an enduring series for the rest of anime history. It’s left its mark. Seriously. And it’s one of those series that older magic girl lovers and anime fans are going to cosplay at conventions year after year after year. When people ask you, “What’s the best magic girl anime out there?” you say, “Madoka Magica, without a doubt.”

I had the pleasure of seeing both first parts of the movie in theatres when I was just starting this blog and this year, I’m once again stunned by how amazing Gen Urobushi’s story planning is and how awe-inspiring and outright smack you in the face gorgeous the animation touch-ups are. Major major props goes out to the character design, animation and art direction team.

In a review for a film of such magnitude, I’m going to be breaking it down in four broad categories – Storytelling and Script, Characters, Score and Soundtrack, Contribution to its Genres and lastly, Final Thoughts.

Storytelling and Script

Most of you might know that the original Madoka Magica series consists of twelve episodes, all released within a regular season of anime. When the movie was released, fans all over the world wondered if there would be extra added features that may explain certain aspects of the inner-workings of the world that were left out in the short original series. While Part 1: Beginnings left us at a sort of suspenseful part where the Sayuka and Kyoko action is building to its peak, Part 2: The Eternal Story, which resolved the original story, followed the anime’s plotline shot for shot, perhaps omitting certain details and throwing in a few action scenes. All in all, it was the handful of preview shots after the credit roll of Part 2 that had us on the edge of our seats for more answers. For me and my friends, we launched into a forty minute discussion on Kyubey and the concept of magic girls on the bus all the way back home though there technically weren’t any right answers.

For Madoka Magica being the first anime film I have ever seen in North American theatres, it certainly made my first experiences a memorable one. There were considerably more people in the theatre for Part 3: Rebellion – part of them were recognizable from the previous screenings while many were mostly likely attending to find out what happens AFTER episode 12. AFTER the “happy” ending with the salvation of magic girls, the conception of God-doka and Homura’s journey in the world as a magic girl AFTER the world is rewritten. Because of course, there’s no way Urobutcher could ever leave us with a happy endings with and rainbows and sparkly pink-haired magical gods. No… there must be more… because the incubators are still around, and you just know that creepy white kitty thing is just lurking somewhere waiting to make a magical contract with you.

The screening actually begins with a word from the main cast of Madoka Magica – Aoi Yuki (the voice of Madoka), Chiwa Saito (the voice of Homura), Eri Kitamura (the voice of Sayaka), Kaori Mizuhashi (the voice of Mami), Ai Nonaka (the voice of Kyoko), Emiri Kato (the voice of Kyubey) and Kana Asumi (the voice of Nagisa Mome – a new character of the show).

PLOT RANT SPOILERS~~ SCROLL QUICK IF YOU WANT TO SKIP!

Magica Madoka picks up in a reset world, or so you think. In Mitakihara City, Madoka Kaname, Mami Tomoe, Kyoko Sakura and Sayaka Miki with their old friend Kyubey – who incidentally only says “Kyu-Kyu” like Pokemon at the start of the film, welcome a new transfer student and fellow magic girl named Homura Akemi. Oh and by the way, did I mention that Charlotte, the sweets witch actually becomes Mami’s chibi creature sidekick nicknamed Bebe? Yeah, she’s the white-haired loli in the poster.

So at the start of the series, you might think that everything’s a reset, in a world where no one dies as a result of their wishes. Things are pretty good for the girls, they’re working together as a team to fight evil things called “Nightmares” and it seems like everything is as it should be in this classic magic girl world. But of course, something’s not normal and Homura is the first to notice this. She realizes, and after some investigation, realizes that this world, this version of Mitakihara City is not normal nor is it real. It’s a city created by a wish that was designed to keep this perfect idealized magic girl world. Now the question is, who is the creator of the world? And why?

It’s really Homura’s interactions with Madoka that prompt her to the answers she’s looking for. This initial plot conflict opener seems pretty big, but then it gets bigger. Homura pinpoints three problems of the perfect city ; the first is that certain magic girls should not even exist nor encounter Madoka, the second is that the sweets witch should not be an ally and the third is that Sayaka should not remember anything about Madoka, Homura is the only one who can ever remember.

As the story develops, Homura having been moved by Madoka’s kindness realizes the Madoka of this world is not a fake because for someone to create such a Madoka akin to the real one, it must be someone who knows Madoka well. Of course, the person who knows Madoka best is Homura. We discover that Homura is really a magic girl being experimented on by the incubators. At the end of Part 2, where Homura is explaining the aspects of the old world to Kyubey, the incubators start to become curious about the concept of “witches” in which they isolate a magic girl, enclosed from the “Law of the Cycle” that Madoka reworked into the universe in order to save the souls of magic girls, so that the incubators could learn about/recreate the “witches.” Even in this restructured world, the Kyubey have hypothesized that the transition from hope to despair that magic girls may make would generate enormous amounts of energy for their kind. What happened during the experiment was that Homura ended up reconstructing an entire city inside her mind and invited certain individuals to fill that city. After Kyubey’s explanation, Homura almost immediately guesses that the incubators are attempting to divulge the secrets of Madoka and control her.

In order to prevent the incubators from targeting Madoka, Homura decides to raise the witch’s curse on her own and attempt to commit suicide. At this point, Homura descends into her state as a witch and is prepared for her soul to be cursed for all eternity to suffer. At which point, Sayaka and Mami Nagisa reveal that they’re “secretaries” for Madoka, who have been sent to help the Madoka inside Homura’s world to realize her true memories. At which point, Homura is purified by the magic girls and everyone returns to the real world. The action gets pretty intense… but it’s not over… Things get messy, but Madoka’s ready to receive Homura into magic girl heaven (wherever that is, out there in the universe) because her Soul Gem’s run out and she’s going to die. You’d think that at this point, this when the story wraps up with a nice bow but Homura actually yanks Madoka down from her godliness, and detaches the person that is Madoka, from her godly half. Homura is able to do this because her Soul Gem’s descended into a level of despair worse and way past a regular curse, where she’s reached the pinnacle of human emotion which she calls love. They say there’s a fine line between love and hate and Homura really embodies this by the end of the film. Her Soul Gem transforms into something so different that she herself becomes a powerful demon with the powers equivalent to that of a god’s. She’s ripped a part of Madoka’s universe for her own and exists as evil in which she states twice after that when the world ends, when all the magic girl’s souls will be collected, the final battle will very likely be between her and  Madoka.

The greatest part of it is that Homura is powerful enough to take on the incubators. She abducts Kyubey to “help” her and returns the little creature, which can usually heal, respawn or regenerate and beats it into a PULP at the very end. Versus the many times that little magic girls look at Kyubey and think to themselves, “I really should have stayed away from this cat thing,” Kyubey’s got that same scared out of his mind look plastered on his tattered expression at the end. GO HOMURA!

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END OF PLOT SPOILERS~~ KEEP READING FOR THE REST OF THE REVIEW

More on Storytelling

The sort of ending that you’re given by Urobushi is the sort of ending that completely follows his style but of course, it’s never anything you can predict or expect. And it’s so dark and yet plausible in that world that you can’t help but blink for a moment away from all the other magic girl and regular anime series that finish with super sunshine conclusions. For someone who’s such a sucker for happy endings – as clichéd as they may be at times, this ending thoroughly satisfied everything that you want in a happy ending and yet you can argue that it wasn’t an entirely “happy” ending. If you watch the movie or you’re familiar with Urobushi’s work, you probably know what I mean.

Urobushi really shook things up, but it takes a really great director and team to bring the screenplay alive. Akiyuki Shinbo and Yukihiro Miyamoto do a spectacular job at drawing out the storytelling in a fairly easy to follow pace even as we’re caught up in all the character development and action. And there is action. And there are explosions. Not only is it packed full of magic girl action we’re dying to see, there a wickedly innovative magic girl transformations for each of our characters who form a Holy Quintet magic girl team.

I don’t cry for anime much. This film did it for me. It takes a lot for an anime to make me cry and there’s only been one other anime that moved me to tears in the history of my anime watching.

Storytelling Rating: 5/5 legendary clouds 55rainbowclouds

I hope you guys enjoyed Part 1 of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie III: Rebellion review. Stay tuned if you wanna see the review on characters, the genre, my final thoughts and a little surprise at the end!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Madoka Magica Movie Part III Review Update

250px-MadokarebellionHey guys! So… I just saw Part III of Madoka Magica and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING *goes into fangirl mode– takes a moment*

Okay, so here’s how it’s gonna go down. I started writing the review for this film anddddd it ended up being realllllyyyyyy long so it’s going to be posted in two parts. Part 1 will encompass a general itnroduction, storytelling review and there’s going to be a large section of the post devoted to a rant on an actual summary of the movie events (or at least, what I remember). I really tried to pay extra attention to the sequence of events and how they unfolded. Part 2 of the review will talk about a few smaller sections consisting of mini character reviews, the series’ contribution to the genre, my final thoughts, personal enjoyment and special feature surprise at the end 😉

If you’re interested in the first two parts of the Madoka film series, check out the post here.

I am super excited to post the reviews and I hope you are too. If you want to stay on top of the news here at littlecloudcuriosity, leave your email in the follow box or follow me as a wordpress user. And even if you just stumbled upon my blog today, thank you so much for dropping in. You’re always welcome here!

For a general outline of what’s going on right now, check out the Latest News page above.

I have a huge exam a few days from now so I’ll try my best to post on time in the next few days! Thank you all so much for being here and I hope you like the upcoming reviews!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Out of the Box: Puella Magi Madoka Magica X Sanrio

Hi everyone. Today I wanted to do another otaku merch feature today. If you guys have seen Puella Magi Madoka Magica, you’ll be familiar with the characters of these straps. The Madoka franchise collaborated with Sanrio’s Melody and Kuromi characters… and the result is these adorable cosplay character keychains! They’re just so cute! What do you guys think of Sanrio X Anime collabs?

Hope you guys liked this quickie post! Don’t forget to like, share and follow for new stuff coming every day!

– Cloudy

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Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the Movie Review

Part 1: Beginnings and Part 2: The Eternal Story

A few weeks ago, I went to see the film adaptation of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime, which was a big hit due to the popularity of the series when it was first release. The anime takes the classic magic girl archetypes and adds a darker twist to it, making the story immensely well received among anime fans.

The movie was split into two parts and previewed one night in two consecutive weeks only at certain theatres from where I lived. Labelled a foreign film, I was not even allowed to use my movie pass! And you could almost be certain that the handful of people in the audience (mostly university students), were anime fans.

I’ll try not to spoil anything in my review below.

Synopsis:

Madoka Kaname is a regular middle-school girl who hears a cry for help from the magical creature (or cat-like alien) called Kyubey. Upon saving the creature’s life, she and her friend Sayaka Miki stumble into a dark and twisting world. Girls, who have had their wish granted by Kyubey, are granted magical powers and obligated to fight “witches,” evil entities that spread disaster and despair. Soon after, Madoka and other magic girls find themselves caught in a web of deceit and destiny as they realize that begin a magic girl is not all frills and tassels.

Review: 4/5 happy clouds  4 Clouds Transparent

Overall this movie is a great retelling of the original anime. I thoroughly enjoyed the music inserts, not only showing anime’s opening: Connect by ClariS and dynamic orchestral score but also an additional music video of the song Luminous also by ClariS. Part one summarizes the first half of the series up to around episode six or seven and cuts out the slow-paced snippets that seem to drag on through the first half of the anime. The second half of the series picks up at a pivotal part of the story and wraps up its loose ends. What I enjoyed about the second part of the film were the additional scenes that clarified more of the concepts of Kyubey and magic girls. Because the film was officially released, translations of the Japanese script were definitely on par.

***

BEWARE SPOILERS BELOW

If you haven’t seen the Puella Magi Madoka  Magica series, the movie is a great place to start. You’ll be done the series in around four hours. However, one significant detail that I felt should not have been cut from the movie was the flashback of Mami Tomoe’s back story which I thought greatly contributed to the development of her character before she dies after a few episodes into the anime.

A bonus from seeing the movie in a theatre was that upon entering the theatre room, we came upon Magic Girl Contracts on our seats!

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If you have seen the series and are looking to see the movie, I’m sure it will be up for online viewing or download very soon. Overall, Puella Magi Madoka  Magica dramatically raises the bar in the magic girl genre. It has been a while since and will be a long while until such a unique and thought-provoking magic girl anime emerges. Also, if you enjoyed the series or movie, check out the manga, it was adapted from the anime and is only a short three volumes making for a short but excellent read.

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Hope this review was helpful! Comment below on what you think!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?