Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Rebellion

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    Review:

    Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion otherwise known as Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari is a psychological/thriller, dark magical girl film that had its theatrical release in Japan on 26th October 2013. The movie is a sequel to the Anime series and the second Madoka movie titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 2: Eternal.

    This being a sequel it is recommended you either watch the main Anime series or the first two movies beforehand otherwise you will not understand the contents of this movie. It should also be noted that due to the ending of the second movie and Anime series being subtly different it is recommended, given the context provided in the Rebellion movie, to watch the Anime series as that ended is actually the storyline on which this film expands upon. It should be stressed the differences are not great so if you have already watched the second movie then don’t fret and just prod along. I merely highlight this point for people who have not watched either the Anime series or the movies.

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    The film starts on a very upbeat note, more so than even the original Madoka series. We are quickly introduced to all the magical girls and it would seem that not only are all the girls working together but their relationships are stronger than ever. This tranquil setting is rather fleeting unfortunately and it is not long before doubts begin to surface on the true nature of the setting that is presented to us.

    If you have been following the series or previous movies closely you will likely see some minor inconsistencies that have developed thus far (more so if you have watched the Anime series). It is not long after these observations that we learn the true nature of the world. It is at this point we reach the mystery element of the movie as the search arc begins to work out how this world came to be.

    The resolution to this arc is cleverly done and the twist provided great. This is a real plus point and one of the reasons you should watch the movie. The accompanying scenes after this revelation leads to some of the most climatic battles and whilst initially, we think we know what will happen next, the movie, like the Madoka franchise in general, finds a way of subverting your expectations. The subversion made was definitely a bold move and not something you see in most Anime series. Personally, I found this to be a brilliant move. The direction taken was not only surprising in and off itself, it also casts an extra shadow on what is already a dark series.

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    The ending is left somewhat open making a sequel to the movie a possibility but at the same time there is sufficient closure to leave keep you satisfied. Fortunately for us however there will be a sequel to this great show and we can expect this upcoming movie to be release later this year! Like before the storyline is the strong point of the movie and the primary reason you should watch the Rebellion movie.

    Character wise this movie has a relatively small cast as it focuses on the same characters you have seen before. Whilst most of the cast retain their solid personalities actual character development is limited. This lack of development may seem like a detrimental point but given the context of this movie’s storyline it actually works. What is more while character development is limited it is not non-existent. Development does occur and it is focussed on the key characters who drive the plot. It is always relevant and unlike other shows no fluff is delivered that would create unnecessary distractions.

    Animation remains a forte in the Rebellion movie as the show retains its unique character designs that made this franchise so memorable. What is more, the unique battle sequences seen in previous works are not only used but are expanded upon so now we see these shots play out beyond the action scenes. This vivid imagery is often used for dramatic effect or to heighten the sense of mystery and its use just add to the overall enjoyment to the series. On the whole the quality of the animation is excellent with the only con for this movie being the musical score which does not match the heights set in the original Anime series. The opening theme for this movie is “Colorful” by ClariS whilst the ending credits song is “Kimi no Gin no Niwa” by Kalafina.

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    Overall, the Rebellion movie is a worthy sequel to the Madoka series. The plot provided in this movie is definitely its selling point for various reasons. The story trends new paths and the mystery it raises and then solves is brilliantly done. There are subsequent subversions that not only enhance the plot but add an extra dimension to the overall narrative. It really makes you wonder what the focus will be in the fourth movie given the details disclosed right at the end of the movie. It all lays the groundwork for a great sequel and makes me wonder how they will portray the antagonist in the upcoming movie. In any case I feel most Madoka fans will enjoy this movie.

    If you really like the story as told so far and can’t wait for the next movie then I suggest you check out the wraith arc Manga series. It is not only a good Manga series but it is short meaning it won’t be a time sink to consume. What is more, the Manga does provide additional exposition making it easier to understand the actions made by the key characters in this movie.

    Story 8 – Strongest point in the Rebellion movie. The mystery arc and its resolution are well handled. In addition, the climatic scenes are also very dramatic and the subsequent revelation was a very bold move taken by the creators. It all opens the door to an extra dimension in the Madoka storyline and allows this show to focus on more than one direction in any sequels that come.

    Characters 8 – Characters are solid to begin with and whilst the character development is limited the movie makes the limited development count. It all adds to the story’s Drama and heightens the impact and ending of this movie.

    Animation 8 – Very good and the movie not only retains the iconic imagery but expands on it which heightens the dramatic and mystery elements of the show. The biggest weakness in the movie which could not maintain the standard in the Anime series.

    Overall 8 – A very solid movie that is a recommended watch for people that have watched the Anime series or the second movie. The most compelling aspect for this movie is the strength of the plot although the characters and their developments are also very strong and they do a good job in fuelling the overall narrative. A good companion piece to this movie is the wraith arc which you can read if you can’t get enough of Madoka.

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    Transformations - This being a magical girl series I am sure some people would be interested in seeing how the transformation sequences pan out. This time we get one for all the magical girls! They are pretty nice but note they are all stacked in one scene so don't expect to see this much during the movie. Enjoy!






    You can also check out the gallery for the Rebellion movie but be warned, it can contain some spoilers.
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