Anime Review: Puella Magi Madoka the Movie: Rebellion

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Sometimes, we discover something that is very disappointing, huh?

There have been a few titles that I have been looking for and with the way we tending to stream or download the things we want to watch, read, or listen to, we are used to having everything at our fingertips.

Unfortunately, not everything is available in major outlets for digital download, like iTunes, and the other alternative presents some problems as well, depending on how one intends to consume the entertainment.

Those titles were some of those that either could not be found available for streaming, digital download, or both, and I finally got my hands on them through my recent order through RightStuf.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those titles, which is called Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion.

Walpurgisnacht has finally been defeated and the cycle that created witches has been broken, allowing all the magical girls to see their wishes come true.

However, while things seem to be relatively peaceful now, things just do not seem to be right and Homura Akemi notices several discrepancies that may suggest that what currently exists may not be the kind of world everyone wished for.

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As many of you guys know, at least from my review, that I rather liked the series, even though iTunes did kind of mess things up in a way that forced me to edit the metadata of the episodes myself.

When I heard that this was coming out, I was a little bit interested in what kind of route would be taken, since the series ended on a satisfying note, unlike a few anime and movies I have seen.

After watching this, I kind of enjoyed it.

I really liked how I was sucked right into the world of the movie, despite the fact that it had been a few years since I had seen the series this was based.

Even though some things may feel off about this movie in the beginning, unless one is not familiar with the series, I do not really see how the Madoka series could have continued on from where it had ended.

Then again, I do not usually write stories that take more than a single book to resolve, so there might be somebody else out there that may have a better idea of where this movie should have started.

Still, I did not really feel like I was missing anything going right into this, as I already knew that the world was vastly different after Madoka had made her wish than what it was before.

I also liked how Homura was doubting everything that she was seeing.

In our lives, we learn a ton of things from our elders, both about how things really are and how people believe things are, such as women being weaker than men, men being less emotional than women, or that the opposite sex is too complicated, and while it may useful, things are not exactly accurate, much like how we can never really know about things prior to the 20th century and there is only a consensus about what thing were like in those period.

Not only can they not be very accurate, such as the fact we think the opposite sex is too complicated, or just plain wrong, like the fact that people should be treated better than others because of their race, age, gender, impairment, or ailment.

Because of that fact, doubt is a very important tool that we have that can help us understand ourselves others.

In the case of this movie, the one of the biggest questions that fans of the Madoka series may have going into this movie is how Madoka Kaname and the gang, along with one somewhat familiar face, could be around when Madoka and a few others should not even be around anymore, when this movie is supposed to take place after Madoka had made her wish.

Due to the fact that Homura doubted that things were always the way that they were presented in this movie, we get to learn more about what happened after Madoka became a different kind of existence and the truth about the world that this movie started.

Another nice thing about this movie was that it explored Homura herself and her motivation behind traveling through time.

While almost everyone who has seen the series, which should probably be everyone who is even remotely interested in this movie, already knows why Homura went back in time, they think that what Homura did was good, because it ultimately led Madoka Kaname to make the wish that finally eradicated the existence of all witches.

Unfortunately, the motivation Homura had is not as selfless as people might think.

After all, there are things that are typically considered selfless by everyone in society, but in certain circumstances, it is nothing more than either an act of greed or an act of apathy.

Yes, pretty much all of would want to go out and rescue those important to us, regardless of that individual’s age, gender, race, disability, or ailment, but if we come to that individual’s aide too much, we are not really helping them.

Throughout the course of Homura’s journey, Homura only wanted to rescue Madoka because it was what she wanted, not because Madoka was in any real danger or because what Madoka was doing was something that was hurting herself or others.

Such desires only lead to obsession, like what is seen towards the end of the movie, and is one that I would have definitely seen coming, no matter how one tries to continue the Madoka series.

The thing that I liked the most though was the artwork still fit the very well with the kind of movie this was.

Shaft has an art style that is very easy to notice because they use it for all of the work they are involved in, but it does not always fit with the show that was being presented, such as ef — A Tale of Memories, because the art style is one that should mainly be used for horror work.

Having an art style that is vastly different than the kind of show being presented can pull one out of the zone after all.

Fortunately, that is not the case with this movie, and I definitely cannot see how anybody but Shaft could make this series work out, so they do deserve some praise.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.

The fact that the world that was created after Madoka made her wish was explored and that Homura had turned evil due to her obsession with Madoka, as well as the fact that the art style still goes very well with the series, made this movie pretty enjoyable.

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Although I did like the movie, there are some issues.

Fortunately, only two things really bugged me.

First, this movie did not seem to have any subtitles at all.

Now, some people who had already gotten this on Blu Ray or DVD, which is, unfortunately, the only way to watch this movie, may say that I am wrong about this, but, unfortunately, I only got this on Blu Ray and I do not have very many Blu Ray players over here, so I cannot really check this out like I can with DVDs, especially since the software I got with my new Blu Ray drive is one that does not work out too well on a Surface Book, mainly due to the fact that many desktop apps are too small.

I could definitely be how I was playing it, but that does not really change the fact that this was dubbed in English, but there were still some things that were not too easy to understand.

For example, Bebe, who many know from the series was a witch prior to Madoka’s wish, keeps talking in what seems to be quite a bit of gibberish, yet I see Japanese characters floating up almost every time Bebe goes into a panic while in her miniature form.

Is Bebe really talking in gibberish or not, Aniplex? If she was, there is absolutely no need for any subtitles because it is utter nonsense, but if it is not, which I would expect to see some English subtitles.

After all, the one distributing this movie is Aniplex’s North American branch.

If the series on iTunes features subs when appropriate, then they should be in this movie as well.

In fact, if Aniplex put this up on iTunes, whether it be directly or through an aggregator, which I think they normally did in the past, I would not have had this problem to begin with.

All I can say is that things are much harder for me to check for sure using Blu Ray than it is using DVD, and that probably will not change for the foreseeable future, though it is nice to finally not have ridiculously small windows to watch the video on a Surface Book.

The thing that I hated the most though was how Homura had become evil.

While it is something that I do expect to see no matter how the series was continued, she was shown to be a caring friend to almost everyone throughout the entire movie and series.

However, in the last few minutes, Homura reveals her greed, without any hint that her greed had already grown to such an extent, and become a demon, whereas Madoka had become a godlike creature.

Really, Shaft? Do you think really think that this is believable? I sure hope not.

For this to be even remotely believable, there needs to be some kind of gradual change of the course of the series, because no human being becomes corrupt by greed and apathy, nor do they become more caring or thoughful, instantaneously. It happens over the course of a period of time.

After all, can we really think of great work of fiction out there where one of the characters who used to be good turned evil without some kind of explanation?

Yes, the series does show that Homura went back in time a numerous amount of times and became colder as every time she repeated things, but she seemed to be content with the world Madoka had created at the end of the series and even brought back from the misery that she was experiencing.

Not only does her sudden change from being good to being evil not make much sense, but this all occurs within the last few minutes of this movie.

If there was going to be a fourth movie or series, which I am not too sure if there will be, though there do seem to be some things that suggest that there may be more, I would have been content, but since this seemed to be the absolute end of the series, I cannot really overlook this.

Seriously, Shaft did a pretty poor job deciding when Homura would turn evil.

I do not entirely know how I would have done things if I had wrote the story for this movie, but I would have made Homura turn evil much earlier and tried to implement a gradual change of heart.

As a result, I want to deduct a few points from this movie, but, as should be be obvious, I am not one of those reviewers that uses a scoring system, such as star ratings, so it would only end up hurting the quality of the movie.

While the fact that there might not be any subtitles present did diminish my enjoyment somewhat, though that could have just been because of the way that I was watching the movie, the fact that Homura turned evil too late in a movie that may or may not be the last thing in the overall series did ruin my enjoyment quite a bit.

Despite the fact that there were a few things to like, the negative made an impact big enough that this movie was only good enough to kill time.

I only recommend this to fans of the Madoka franchise, because one of the negatives would be much worse for somebody who is not familiar with the series at all, even though a few things do get explained during the movie.

What are your thoughts on Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion? Did you like it, hate it, or find it okay? Was there anything that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.