I had some preconceived thoughts going into Rebellion. You see, the day the movie played in Japan (about a month or so before it played here) I thought to myself “I sure hope I don’t get spoiled within the month before I go see it” and probably less than an hour later, I already knew the big twist of the movie and a general plot summary.
It would have been SUCH an experience going in not knowing what to expect but man, like, I think that would have only served to fuel my anger even more. At least this way I knew what I was getting into and what to expect and none of it was good.
The movie? Well, some of it was good. The rest… the rest not so much.
Spoilers for Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion ahead, obviously.
There were a lot of things I did like so rather than try and create padding, I’m just gonna give you a brief description.
- The New Transformations
I’m a bit iffy about this and I think I’ll need to see them again. But they really deviated from the norm unlike the previous standard magical girl transformations. Each had a little dance to it and while I laughed at first, Mami breaking out of her silhouette was really badass. Same with the red eyes on Kyouko’s. Sayaka’s breakdancing was ridiculous and Homura and Madoka’s were really underwhelming after that.
- Superman vs Goku fight
Mami and Homura’s fight was really spectacular. In the show, Mami does fight a few witches and she comes off as a total badass but we don’t really get to see how strong she is until this fight. Though considering that she could have escaped Homura shooting her point blank, it does make it seem a bit odd that she lost so easily to Charlotte in the show. Was it her own arrogance and desire to show off? Or was it because the conditions of her wish had been met? After this fight I simply have trouble believing she could possibly make such a rookie mistake.
- My girl Sayaka rockin’ it
I’ve always loved Sayaka. She was my favourite for the longest time (until I watched the first two movies and realized the appeal of Homura). Her part in the show can be a bit frustrating to watch though. Seeing her here though, as the one closest to god, doing important stuff and caring about more than just her relationship with Kyousuke was really pretty nice.
Hitomi was adorable. From her getting upset about her oblivious boyfriend, to her nightmare head, to the scene of her and Kyousuke walking together on the ledge, she was cute every time she showed up. Like Sayaka, it was nice seeing a different side of her from the show.
They could have made sweet, sweet love on screen and it wouldn’t have mattered. That “you were my only regret” bit SOLD it. How can you possibly deny their love now?!\
- Mami doing her hair
Pictures of long haired Mami or Mami curling her hair are my favourite thing in the whole world so getting a scene of Mami brushing her hair and then using magic to create her signature curls was like injecting pure happiness into my veins. It’s a very small thing but damned if I wasn’t excited when it happened.
Bebe seemed like a gimmick to cash in on a surprisingly popular character and to give someone to pair Mami up with but she ended up being surprisingly cute. Nagisa had very little screentime but learning her and Sayaka’s purpose made me much more endeared to her.
But also, seeing the how much Mami loved her really hurt too. The pictures of them together on her wall and going as far as to fight Homura all out for her was all sweet. Which made the fact that it’s Charlotte that kills her in her most famous death incredibly sad.
- Kaiju witch fight
A part of the reason that they should have ended with Madokami taking Homura away was that the fight between Homulily and Octavia along with Homulily’s minions vs. the witch minions and magical girls was just so cool. I expected it to be a lot dorkier and sure, it wasn’t the most climactic fight but it was still pretty awesome. It would have been the perfect way to end the fight. Mami and Madoka being bros, SayaKyou happening, Homulily getting her ass kicked. Everything was swell. It would have been perfect.
I gained a bit more respect for Urobuchi after reading the interviews from Shinbo and himself. He wanted to end the series, wrap it up and be done with it. It seems like it was SHAFT and Shinbo that wanted to continue. I can understand falling in love with your characters and wanting to continue with them but I think you need to draw a line somewhere.
It felt like they should have ended the movie right when Madokami came down to take Homura with her. Someone pointed out to me that if Homura died, and went with her then nobody would be able to stop the Incubators when they isolated a magical girl again and tried to lure Madoka out.
But isn’t that what Sayaka and Nagisa were for? Maybe Madoka would not be lost in a labyrinth that wasn’t made by someone so close to her. If it were a stranger, she might have a stronger sense of mind. And plus, she’d have Sayaka AND Homura accompanying her and carrying her memories in case she lost them.
At first I was missing a very big detail. The theatre I went to didn’t show the post-credits scene. Everyone told me it was such an important detail that made the second half make a lot of sense, and it did explain what someone else had told me re: incubators before. But if I remember correctly, weren’t the Incubator’s using the energy gathered from magical girls to help sustain the universe? Is Homura collecting that energy? For herself or for the universe? If it’s not bein re-rooted to the universe, wouldn’t that put it in danger?
I think such an angle would be interesting for the inevitable second season I’m sure SHAFT is planning but I highly doubt it. I know a happy ending is highly unlikely but now the ending of S1 doesn’t seem that bad. Especially given the fact that Sayaka and other previous magical girls could aide Madoka on such missions.
I don’t like the idea of Akuma Homura as an anotgonist because she’s not really that kind of evil and it kind of goes against everything that made her character so great before. Seeing her slip away into madness might be interesting but I’m afraid of losing the character I loved so much. But apart of the reason I found new respect for Urobuchi was that he pointed out that people seem to love characters that don’t change and I don’t want to be the kind of person he’s talking about. Seeing her change into a new person was interesting, at least.
I saw her changing, I saw the gears turning when Madoka said she didn’t want to be apart from anybody and while it seemed like such an unnatural turn of events, after suffering so much and even becoming a witch, it seems like becoming a little crazy and evil isn’t so much of a stretch.
Urobuchi knew what he was doing, however unhappy to continue he may be about it. In aforementioned interview, he addressed the exact things I was worried about.
Well I assume S2 is only a matter of time now. Another movie is probably unlikely but I’d almost prefer that. Hopefully they introduce some new characters? Maybe explain the importance of the girls who worked for Homura (I thought them representing her friends was too obvious and the similarities too little)? Create new magical girls? Those on the side of Homura? That might be interesting too, I guess.
I’d like to watch this movie in the future after giving it a lot of thought, theorizing and when I can be a lot less salty about it. But for now I’m just overwhelmed with feelings. Most of them frustration and anger about the future of the series, the progression of one of my characters (but also amazed they made her go in such an opposite direction and have it make sense) and a bit sad by the content itself. Instead of accepting her sacrifice, Homura would go as far as to become her enemy. The final scene stating this is a bit sad in itself and while there was so much cool stuff going on, that’s the final taste left in my mouth.
Despite that? I think the movie wasn’t that terrible. It brought up some stupid elements but still had them make sense. It may have turned the series in a less than desirable direction (the former direction of ‘done’ was fine) but the movie was at least interesting and entertaining for the most part.