Cloudy Says… Thoughts on the Winter Season (2015) Thus Far…

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Hey guys, here’s an unusual Cloudy Says but today I wanted to talk a bit about the winter season in general. This season throws us a pretty unusual selections of anime in general and after watching quite a few of the pilot episodes and dipping my toes in a variety of genres (some genres that I don’t even usually touch) I think I can safely say that this isn’t going to be a really high point season for me.

Sure there are tons of great additional seasons coming out for a lot of the pre-existing series and franchises, however in terms of new series, a lot of it falls short and many series won’t be getting as much attention due to popular hype over shows like Kuroko no Basket, Durarara and Tokyo Ghoul (all well-deserved hype) I might add.

Azusa ThinkingSo I thought to myself, what should I do this season? Should I focus more on manga? Or hauls? Or rants? Perhaps photography? But before I make any final decisions for this upcoming season I’d like to touch base with all of you who are following my blog or watching my videos… what new shows are you guys watching?

My current anime series include… Death Parade, Absolute Duo (tentatively depending on the fan service), Binan Koukou Chikyuubouebi Love (for the hilarity), The Rolling Girls, iDOLM@STER, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Shirobako and Akatsuki no Yona (reviews currently backlogged due to new series). You guys already know where my tastes generally lie judging from previous seasons and the list above.

Now, if there’s any new shows that are awesome that I might have missed, please let me know in the poll and also remember to vote for what series you’d like to see reviews or videos on since there are two polls below…

 

 

January’s been a pretty hectic and crazy season for me. I flew back from Hong Kong and immediately had exams after I returned to the UK… not to mention that the second academic term for me starts literally the day after my exams finish…

As a result I dropped behind on a few pilot impressions which I apologize for missing some or posting late. However, I did realize that many of the series just didn’t particularly jump out at me. Some are too ecchi for my taste or the art style differs from my usual preferences. If all goes well throughout the season, you guys can probably expect Manga Mondays to return because I am REALLY trying to plan in more time for manga. I know I say this a lot but this season I am really going to make those MM videos come back. It’s always on my mind after all… Aside from that, one video will be coming every week ehh sometime during the week whenever I find time between all my commitments to school and extra-curriculars.

Once again, the blog post will be updated regularly and as frequently as possible because I am foremost a blogger I think… and blogging does really help me unwind. Aside from that, thank you all for checking in with me for this month’s update and I will talk to you guys very soon in my next video or blog post.

Love Logo_Text_Cropped– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Cloudy Says…

Hey guys, welcome to another Cloudy Says update. I didn’t have much time to write put together a more comprehensive one in the last minute scramble to pack, early essays and evaluations but I hope you guys generally get the gist of what’s going on here. I am NOT stopping reviews or videos, they’ll just be dialed down for the next week or so and of course I’ll try my best to fit all the reviews into the family stuff I’m handling plus get some travel blogging in.

Don’t forget to check out any of the MCM Birmingham Convention Vlog or Haul videos that have gone up, as well as drop in for your weekly anime recap or review. Lots of series are hitting the mid-series mark or ending soon so Winter 2014 previews will go up sometime in the next few weeks.

Till then, I hope you guys take care and have a kickass set of exams (for those of you writing exams), and a wonderful holiday =)

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– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Blogging vs. Vlogging… Youtube Month 1 Mark

Hey guys, how are you all?

It’s been roughly a month since I started doing videos on Youtube. I still don’t think I”m entirely accustomed to the change but thank you very much to everyone who has been with me here and supported me in my first few Youtube videos. Today I wanted to rant a bit about the differences between blogging and vlogging and my thoughts on both mediums.

Originally I was pretty Fuko Ibukiadverse to Youtube – 1) because I totally did not want to be in front of the camera 2) because I only had a very vague idea of what video editing entailed. After a long long long process of deliberation in which the decision was thrown into a volcano, taken out, chopped into pieces and put back together with fairy glue,  I decided to try making videos.  If you guys watched my very very first video, the rendering process made the quality horrible and I had no idea what to say or what to do. For the first few videos I was totally uncomfortable looking at the camera and some close friends even pointed that out to me. The videos were intended to bring out my opinions and thoughts on certain topics within the Otaku culture because while littlecloudcuriosity offers a great space for me to voice my thoughts, I’m always caught up with the weekly episode reviews and I never get the chance to insert a lot of rants. Even when I do post rants, they are either lost in the huge pile of seasonal reviews or I never get around to even writing them because I’m trying to balance my seasonal reviews with schoolwork.

Mio LaptopBlogging and Vlogging are those similar but different kinds of things. Blogging is a more literary medium and while you can incorporate visuals are audio, it’s nothing like the immediacy of a video where someone directly talks to you. A blog post definitely takes less time to upload but a vlog is rewarding in itself because the editing process is much more tedious. The copyright standards on Youtube are a challenge in itself. Last week I got a copyright flag for some anime music I used in my first Anime North 2014 vlog which is why I ended up taking it down, re-editing and re-uploading. Doing videos in my room is easy, vlogging on the go, trying to keep a camera straight and centered on my face is hard. All in all the AN 2014 vlog was a huge learning process and a great way to wrap up the first month.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing this post to complain, rather, the opposite. I’m writing this to show you guys, honestly, what this process has been like to me. I don’t think I’ll ever be super professional with video-making (I really should have taken more film courses in university LOL) and I don’t expect to become a Youtube sensation over night but it actually gives me happy feels to know my videos bring me closer to all of you =’)

Looking forward…

Black Bullet Episode 9 (17)As I’ve made more and more videos, however, I actually enjoy hopping in front of a camera to talk every day. I enjoy making jokes with you guys. I love reading your comments. Yes, I do read each and every single comment I get because Youtube sends me a notification. It’s a bit easier to hop in front of a camera and just talk now (even though  I sometimes end up doing like 5 cuts for one line cause I botch it up so badly). I think I’m a pretty bad actress which is why comedy scenes don’t come up a lot in my videos and I’m a lot more eloquent with back space, copy and paste. You guys don’t know this but I cut out a lot of “um’s” in -editing process. Even I get tired of my own “um… um…” XDD

I am working out a way to keep a fair balance between what goes on here on my blog and what goes on on my channel. I don’t want my channel to take over a lot of the seasonal episode reviews even though a lot of subscribers would like to see me review anime in video mode. I have already taken a look at the summer season and with all the manga and games that are being adapted into an anime, I have at least 8 shows I need to review, almost 10 shows to watch regularly and about 12-13 shows that require First Impression reviews. I think I will split up the reviews here and on my channel. With some shows, it’s easier to rant about in person while others require some in depth analysis that only formal writing will bring out the force of my thoughts. I guess I’ll take it one step and one day at a time.

Again if you guys made it to the end of the post, you are a trooper. This post was pretty text heavy after all…

kill-la-kill-mako-eye-gogglesThank you guys very very much for following me here or on my channel. There would not even be a Youtube channel if t wasn’t for all of you guys. I have just reached 200 subscribers so thank you so much for all your support. I will continue to do my best with new content, reviews and rants. Here’s to looking forward =) Ganbarimasu!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Cloudy Says… Setting the AN 2014 Schedule

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Hey guys, I had a blast at Anime North on the weekend and I have tons of photos and videos to share with everyone. Here is a tentative schedule on all the Anime North posts as an overview of when regularly scheduled reviews for my current anime series will be released. I repeat, this is a tentative schedule – for those of you who follow me on my Youtube channel, Manga Mondays unfortunately have to be shifted again due to the convention posts and pictures that need to go up.

Monday

Cosplay General Convention photos Part 1 (excluding photo shoots)

Nisekoi final episode review and series thoughts

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei episode 8 review

Tuesday

Cosplay General Convention photos Part 2 (excluding photo shoots)

Black Bullet Episode 8 review

Wednesday

Attack on Titan photo shoot

Free photo shoot

Kill La Kill photo shoot

No Game No Life Episode 8 review

Dealer’s Room Manga Monday Haul

Thursday

Pandora Hearts photo shoot

Type Moon photo shoot

Kamigami no Asobi Episode 8 review

Friday

Black Butler Yaoi 18+ Panel photographs and Videos

– Artist Alley Feature

Saturday

– Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei episode 9 review

– Kamigami no Asobi episode 9 review

Sunday

– Nobunaga the Fool Episode 20 Review

I had an amazing time shooting cosplayers and meeting wonderful artists and dealers. Shout out to the cosplayers who were so cooperative with the poses and such good sports about the crowd fangirling even though it was scorching hot on Saturday and Sunday.

Again, this is a tentative schedule, some things will go up faster than others but I will generally stick to it. Check out my Twitter for quickie updates and more of my ramblings or like my Facebook page because all links to the photos will be posted there as well.

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– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Cloudy Says…

Hey guys, how are you all?

Last time I spoke with you guys was on a poll for the spring anime lineup this season. In today’s Cloudy Says I wanted to finalize a list of everything I will be following this spring.

For This Season… Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, No Game No Life, Kamigami no Asobi, Black Bullet

From Last Season… Nisekoi and Nobunaga the Fool

The poll really helped me narrow down the shows I wanted to follow week by week so a thank you goes out to all of your who voted. I decided to take it easy with the spring season shows because I have officially started making videos on Youtube where I will be doing vlogging, ranting and hauls in addition to the reviews that littlecloudcuriosity.com mainly features. I’m still really new to making videos and being online in such a visual way so thank you for being patient and supportive. I’m going to give it my all with the videos! You guys can keep up with me directly here or at Twitter or on Pinterest or on Facebook.

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– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Cloudy Says…

Hello everybody! I haven’t talked to you guys in a Cloudy Says post for a while because there has been so much going on. I had Chinese New Year’s and then Reading Week and then the Canadian Autoshow and then Midterms and then I got sick. In fact, I’m still sort of sick but I’m trying to get over it because life doesn’t wait on those buried in mountains of tissues and unwashed dishes.

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Are you guys keeping up with all the current episodes? This week we looked at…

Kill La Kill Episode 20

Tokyo Ravens Episodes 18 and 19 + Episode 20

Nobunaga the Fool Episode 7

As well, other posts include the KidRobot Haul, Haganai Out of the Box and REDLINE the Movie Review

This coming week will brings us reviews and rants for… D-Frag Episode 8 and 9 Review, Nobunaga the Fool Episode 8, Tokyo Ravens Episode 21 and Kill La Kill Episode 21

In a few days, there will be an Out of the Box coming soon for a Nendoroid Petit figure and hopefully I can get to manga review for the first two officially released copies of Dictatorial Grimoire. I also want to make a post on the new UtaPri songs that have come out and just yesterday I placed an order for some wonderful Shingeki no Kyojin merch so there will be a feature for that in a few weeks when my packages come. I can post at regular hours now because internet is finally working steadily at my apartment. Yeah, fingers crossed. This is all just a rough outline of things to come in March but because of my hectic schedule, this Cloudy Says might just help me stay on track.

It is still winter in Canada where I live and it is absolutely horrible. I can’t wait till spring comes because convention season will be all that closer when the snow and ice melts. Wherever you are and wherever you live, I hope you are staying warm and happy this March. We are getting close to the wrap up of many winter series and both of the fall series that have carried past the twelve episode mark. I’m super excited to see Tokyo Ravens and Kill La Kill wrap up (even though I will sorely miss Kill La Kill when it ends). Thank you guys for reading and I will talk to you all soon!

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– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Cloudy Says…

Heyhey how are you all? I hope you’re well. We haven’t really had an update for a while now so I thought this would be a good time to check in. If you’re a new follower on littlecloudcuriosity, welcome! Cloudy Says posts are basically updates from me to you so you can keep tabs on what I’m planning in the next few weeks. Tonight I’m headed to the Just Kidding Films talk at the University of Toronto and I’m super excited. I’ve been following JK Films on Youtube for years now and tonight’s is their first time visiting. YAY

Lately I have been super swamped with midterms and assignments and extra curricular club activities that I feel like I haven’t been too hyped about blog content. Plus Internet at my apartment in Kingston is just so bad I’m ready to bash the router. Stupid winter power outages…

Anyway, this week is my reading week/study week and I’m hoping I can up on some chillax photography to showcase my latest Out of the Box post. To be honest, there hasn’t been a lot of new merch out so I keep scouring the Internet for interesting things to show u guys. How do you guys feel about Asian Snack Features? Like strange new flavors of pocky or weird sorts of snacks that I just happen to come across. Think of it like Snacking with Cloudy and it’ll be a great way for me to share some of my favourite anime marathon noms with you guys.

Despite multitasking like a hundred things at once I’m still trying to keep up with the latest anime episodes every week. Kill La Kill and Tokyo Ravens seem to be heating up intensely alarm last season. As for this season, Nobunaga the Fool, Nisekoi and D-Frag! are going pretty strong.I have also been diligently following Hamatora cause it’s just so awesome and I will be posting a full review of the series when it finishes. The same goes for Pupa which I decided to keep on my watch list cause the episode wraps up in the time it takes for me to eat a piece of chocolate. A new Out of the Box feature will be out sometime this week so keep an eye out for that as well!!

Also, I recently got word of my international exchange application and I’ve been offered to go to Manchester, England in September for an entire year!! I am super excited to see what they have in store for me in Europe and I can’t wait to share some of my travel photography with you guys as well. That’s still a little ways down the road but if you guys have any travel tips for me for England, I’d appreciate it a ton!

I hope you guys liked this update and thank you guys so much for dropping in. I’m going to look around for new stuff to post but for now you can expect steady anime reviews coming out every week. Hopefully my blogger’s block goes away soon!!!

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-Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Cloudy Says Cheers!!

Hey guys, haven’t done a Cloudy Says in a while so I have lots of new news for you guys. First of all… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! 明けましておめでとうございます (Akemashite Omedetōgozaimasu) and  新年快樂!! Second of all, thank you all for a wonderful 2013 here on Little Cloud Curiosity. I’d like to thank each and every one of you for stopping by, clicking around and reading. 

K-On Tea Party

I’ve decided that during the in between season of anime to focus a bit on manga series. I do love reviewing new manga very much and I’m not going to do a list this time because I’ve realized that I review a lot on inspiration so I don’t end up following those lists very well. If I have a flash of inspiration pertaining to the Light Otaku Rants, I will definitely write those too. For anime, continuing from the fall Season into winter is Tokyo Ravens and Kill La Kill (whoo!) so this in between period is a great way to rewatch the series or reread some reviews to remember what happened in the first half before the second half begins. I’m working on the post for the new winter season as of right now. If you would like a list of all my fall season anime, check out the anime season page at the top or scroll through the side bar. If you’re looking for a rundown of the latest posts, check out the Recent Posts widget at the bottom.

This week I reworked some categories in the right bar so hopefully some reviews are easier to find. All the rants have been split from Light Otaku Living into the Light Otaku Rants category and all the manga reviews have been re-categorized as well.  Here is some fanart from Kill La Kill to welcome 2014, Mako’s positive determination is a great way to kick off the new year.

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I hope you all had a great year wherever you are and here’s to more great things in the New Year. Cheers!!!

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– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Cloudy Floats over to Facebook…

Hey guys! Just wanted to let you all know that littlecloudcuriosity.com officially has a Facebook Page! *cue cheers*yayyyyyyyy~ The reason I decided to start one of these pages is because it’ll be easier posting quickie updates or news instead of waiting for a lot of news to accumulate into a big Cloudy Says post. So if you want to stay super super informed on what’s going on in the LCC World, hit that like button >3<

Here’s some latest recent posts for those of you who might have missed them…

– Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie III Rebellion Part 1 Review

– Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie III Rebellion Part 2 Review

– Alice in the Country of Hearts, Mad Hatter’s Late Night Tea Party Volume 1 Manga Review

– Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 10 Review

– Kill La Kill Episode 8-9 Rant

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– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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?