Sunday, February 9, 2014

Madoka Magika Movie Afterthoughts

Oho? What's this? Finally, an anime-related post? You bet!

This series has taken me for a crazy ride since it aired in 2011. For those who didn't watch it yet, know that you are missing a hell lot. It is a brutal show with fantastic writing and screenplay which invokes tons of feelings to viewer for both anime and movie alike. I will try to leave as little spoilers as possible (not going to be very possible) so here goes:

Let's take it back to the beginning, back when we were looking at anime lists for the upcoming season of Winter 2011. Hey look! A Mahou Shoujo! It must be about dreams, hopes and happiness! *laugh* How darn wrong could we possibly be? Remember the first shocker everyone had at the legendary Episode 3? Everyone just went from "looks like it's going to be a nice show" to "What the fuck? What the fuck? Why?!". All you Mami fans, I totally hear you. It's so sudden that there isn't enough time for you to feel sad, and that makes you sadder.

After episode 3, things took a horrible horrible turn and you get to see Orobuchi's talents unfold. Basically, he built up to a happy 'conclusion' in one episode and tore it apart again and again and again for a few episodes thereafter. If you look up this show in wikipedia, you'll notice the "Dark Fantasy" and "Tragedy" tags under genre between the words "Magical Girl". Looking at it now, I can't imagine that these 3 tags can co-exist so comfortably beside each other back then. 

Anyway, back to the movie. It was in 3 parts, with parts 1 and 2 airing together in Japan in 2012. At that time, I didn't know there was a part 3 as Japan only mentioned 1 and 2. They were redrawn recaps of the anime, in rewatching it invoked different horrible (in a good way) feelings in me, which I found interesting. Rewatching it is satisfyingly torturous because you already know the bad things that happened, so with the mindset that you already know what kind of anime it is, every characters' action leaves a different impression. Like when Madoka tries to protect Kyuubei. Why does she do it? Because it's cute? Because it's looks like a poor thing? Oh how naive we were when we first watched!

After watching the 2 parts, I was satisfied with the simple recap movies. That is, until the credits rolls and went "WATCH PART 3 NEXT YEAR" (essentially). Well, suffice to say I was stunned because I do not see how else the show could end. So I waited, moved on with life and eventually the next Japan trip with my friends arrived and we went again to watch what this part 3 was about.


Part 3 was aptly named 叛逆の物語, which literally means "Rebellion Story". I did not see ANYTHING coming at all. I sat through the first 1 hour confused as hell because every character is happy, alive and working together to defeat evil, which makes no sense. Then suddenly, the plot twist came. Homura started questioning the world and concluded that it's not real (etc, etc), and suddenly I was bombarded with explanations after explanations, conclusions after conclusions made by character after character. Because my Japanese listening skills weren't really great, somethings got lost while I'm trying to understand wtf they were talking about. 

But wow, the end of the movie is a mindblast. I remember wandering around Ikkebukuro (while waiting for the next movie which is Persona 3) in the cold weather wrapping my mind over what happened. Homura basically became the devil to Madoka's god. It was fantastic. I remember how fantastic it was back in the anime when Madoka became god. This was just as fantastic as that moment. If you think about it, having Homura become the devil is so natural a plot to a writer. It's just fantastic that most of us don't see it coming at all. It's like explaining Genesis of the Bible. 

Then I returned to Singapore and just today, I had the pleasure of rewatching Part 3 again with subs so that I don't miss anything. Well, it so happens that I didn't miss much; I was just as confused when the explanations came. It's like they were in Greek or something. I kinda get the IDEA of it, but not sure about the details. Rewatching it again was definitely satisfying just like watching the recaps. Things like Sayaka's 'confession' to Kyouko seems more prominent since I wasn't confused throughout the movie and occupied with Homura-Madoka side of the story.

All in all, it was a crazy ride and a great ending.


Gotta love/hate the open-ended endings.

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