Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Movie

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Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Madokarebellion.jpg
Promotional poster for the third film, Rebellion, featuring main character Homura Akemi.
劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ
(Gekijōban Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika)
Genre
Created by
Anime film
Beginnings
Directed byAkiyuki Shinbo (Chief)
Yukihiro Miyamoto
Produced byAtsuhiro Iwakami
Yoshinao Doi
Osamu Hosokawa
Kozue Kaneniwa
Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Hirō Maruyama
Written byGen Urobuchi
Music byYuki Kajiura
StudioShaft
Licensed by
ReleasedOctober 6, 2012
Runtime130 minutes
Anime film
Eternal
Directed byAkiyuki Shinbo (Chief)
Yukihiro Miyamoto
Produced byAtsuhiro Iwakami
Yoshinao Doi
Osamu Hosokawa
Kozue Kaneniwa
Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Hirō Maruyama
Written byGen Urobuchi
Music byYuki Kajiura
StudioShaft
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Aniplex of America
Manga Entertainment
ReleasedOctober 13, 2012
Runtime110 minutes
Anime film
Rebellion
Directed byAkiyuki Shinbo (Chief)
Yukihiro Miyamoto
Produced byAtsuhiro Iwakami
Mitsutoshi Kubota
Written byGen Urobuchi
Music byYuki Kajiura
StudioShaft
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Aniplex of America
Manga Entertainment
ReleasedOctober 26, 2013
Runtime116 minutes[3]
Manga
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion
Written byGen Urobuchi
Illustrated byHanokage
Published byHoubunsha
English publisher
ImprintManga Time KR Comics
DemographicSeinen
Original runNovember 12, 2013January 10, 2014
Volumes3 (List of volumes)
Anime film
Walpurgisnacht: Rising
Directed byAkiyuki Shinbo (chief)
Written byGen Urobuchi
Music byYuki Kajiura
StudioShaft
ReleasedTBA
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Movie (劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ, Gekijōban Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika) is a series of Japanese anime films produced by Aniplex and Shaft based on the 2011 anime television series of the same name. The first two films, Beginnings (始まりの物語, Hajimari no Monogatari) and Eternal (永遠の物語, Eien no Monogatari), were released in October 2012 and serve as a recap of the television series with redone voice acting and newly animated footage. The third film, Rebellion (叛逆の物語, Hangyaku no Monogatari), is an all-new original work released on October 26, 2013, with a manga adaptation by Hanokage released by Houbunsha between November 2013 and January 2014. The films are distributed in North America by Aniplex of America. Rebellion was nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year and won the Best Theatrical Film Award at the 19th Animation Kobe Awards.

At a 10th anniversary event held on April 25, 2021, a sequel movie to Rebellion was announced, titled Walpurgisnacht: Rising (ワルプルギスの廻天, Warupurugisu no Kaiten).[4]

Plot[edit]

In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, there are certain creatures that can grant a chosen girl any wish they may desire. In exchange for that wish, however, that girl must become a magical girl who must fight against witches, creatures born from despair that are responsible for accidents, disease, and suicide. In the city of Mitakihara, a girl named Madoka Kaname is approached by a cat-like creature named Kyubey with the offer of becoming a magical girl. Meanwhile, another magical girl named Homura Akemi seeks to do everything in her power to stop Madoka from becoming one. Madoka soon learns that the life of a magical girl is not the dreamlike fantasy she imagined and is instead filled with sadness and despair.

Beginnings[edit]

In Mitakihara city, a girl named Madoka Kaname meets a new transfer student, Homura Akemi, who coldly warns her to remain as she is lest she risk losing everything. Later that day, Madoka and her friend Sayaka Miki are shopping when they find themselves protecting a strange cat-like creature named Kyubey from Homura. They are caught in a mystical barrier and approached by strange monsters, but are rescued by Mami Tomoe. Madoka and Sayaka learn Mami is a magical girl who fights demonic beings called witches, who spread curses and despair on human beings. Kyubey offers the two girls the opportunity to also become magical girls: in return for forging a contract and having a wish granted, they gain a Soul Gem—the source of their magic—and are tasked with hunting down witches. Killing a witch leaves behind Grief Seeds, which they may use to replenish and purify their Soul Gems. Homura, a magical girl herself with the ability to seemingly appear out of nowhere, is strongly against Madoka making a contract, but Madoka, wanting to help others, almost does so after being inspired by Mami. However, Madoka reconsiders after witnessing Mami's brutal death while fighting a witch named Charlotte. Sayaka becomes a magical girl to heal the debilitating injury afflicting her childhood friend, Kyosuke Kamijo. Sayaka soon comes into conflict with another magical girl named Kyoko Sakura, whom Homura recruits to deal with a powerful witch named Walpurgisnacht, who will appear and devastate Mitakihara in two weeks.

When Madoka learns that Sayaka and Kyoko are fighting on a highway bridge, she intervenes by throwing Sayaka's Soul Gem onto a passing truck, which carries it away and causes Sayaka to immediately fall dead. This reveals the horrifying truth: the Soul Gems used by magical girls are their actual souls, extracted from their bodies by Kyubey after forging the contract. Kyubey describes the process as turning their bodies into mere "hardware" controlled by their Soul Gems, which are usually kept close to them at all times, and allows their bodies to better endure the hardship of battle. The destruction of the Soul Gem also means permanent death for a magical girl, and they must locate Grief Seeds from defeated witches or risk running out of magic and being unable to maintain their bodies. When her Soul Gem is recovered, Sayaka revives and is horrified. Kyubey expresses flat confusion at their reactions, reasoning that the contract is fair and the process is logically sound. Kyoko later tries to help Sayaka cope by telling her of her own experience, in which her wish inadvertently destroyed her family. However, Sayaka falls deeper into despair after learning that her classmate and friend, Hitomi Shizuki, plans to confess her own love to Kyosuke. After Kyubey tells her that she has more magical potential than any girl it has ever seen, Madoka nearly forges a contract to restore Sayaka to normal, but is stopped seconds before when Homura manages to kill Kyubey. The close call causes Homura to break down, tearfully begging Madoka not to be so foolishly selfless, before Madoka runs off to find Sayaka. As Madoka leaves, another Kyubey appears and Homura calls it by its true name: Incubator. Elsewhere, Kyoko finds Sayaka, now fully sunken in despair. Sayaka's Soul Gem completely darkens and explodes into a Grief Seed. As darkness flows out of the Grief Seed, Kyubey muses how a "magical girl" is what they call the juvenile form of a "witch".

Eternal[edit]

Homura saves Kyoko and Sayaka's lifeless body from the newly emerged witch Oktavia von Seckendorff, revealing that the witch is Sayaka herself: magical girls whose Soul Gems become fully tainted and succumb to despair transform into witches, their Soul Gems becoming Grief Seeds. Kyubey explains that he is part of an emotionless alien species called "Incubators" who have long used human teenage girls in this manner because the transformation into witches produces massive amounts of energy, which they collect to ward against the inevitable heat death of the universe. Kyoko, spurred on by Kyubey and hoping for a chance to restore Sayaka, takes Madoka with her to try and reach Oktavia. The attempt ultimately fails, with Kyoko sacrificing herself to end Sayaka's suffering. Kyubey, having known that reversing the process was impossible, taunts Homura, saying that without Sayaka and Kyoko she has no chance of stopping Walpurgisnacht without Madoka also becoming a magical girl, something Kyubey wishes to happen in order to harness Madoka's mysteriously enormous potential energy. It is then revealed that Homura's true ability is time manipulation, and that she is from another timeline: Initially a shy student who was rescued by Madoka in magical girl form, and witnessing her demise, Homura forged a contract with Kyubey with the intention of redoing the past to prevent Madoka from becoming a magical girl and save her from her fate. She has relived the one-month period leading up to Walpurgisnacht numerous times in the hopes of saving Madoka, with each attempt ending in failure. With this new information, Kyubey deduces that it is Homura's actions that have caused Madoka to possess the massive potential energy from multiple reset timelines to become the greatest of all magical girls and subsequently a witch whose power dwarfs Walpurgisnacht.

Determined to save Madoka, Homura faces Walpurgisnacht alone, but is ultimately defeated and pushed to the brink of despair, reasoning that resetting time any further will only make Madoka's fate worse. Madoka arrives and comforts Homura, becoming a magical girl with the wish to have the ability to save magical girls across all time from their despair before they can become witches. The paradoxical nature of her wish causes her to transcend into a godlike psychopomp, and establishes a new "Law of Cycles" in which magical girls are purified and disappear into a higher plane instead of becoming witches. The result of the wish causes Madoka's human existence to become erased from reality, with only Homura remembering her. Madoka assures Homura that this is for the best and thanks her, now knowing the full extent of their friendship across numerous timelines. Homura awakens to find herself in a reality where Mami and Kyoko are still alive, as the three of them now hunt new monsters called "Wraiths", and no one remembers Madoka. Homura describes the previous reality to Kyubey and vows to continue protecting the world Madoka cherished.

Rebellion[edit]

In the seemingly carefree city of Mitakihara, a shy Homura Akemi transfers into school and joins Madoka, Sayaka, Mami, and Kyoko, along with Mami's familiar, Bebe, as they become magical girls and fight against creatures known as "Nightmares" (ナイトメア, Naitomea). After they defeat a Nightmare embodiment of Hitomi's frustrations over her relationship with Kyosuke, Homura realizes something is amiss in their memories. She and Kyoko realize they are trapped in a fake Mitakihara, which Homura recognizes as a witch's labyrinth. Homura proceeds to interrogate Bebe, remembering her to be the witch Charlotte, only to end up fighting Mami, who eventually also remembers they fought Wraiths, not Nightmares.

Homura is spirited away by Sayaka, while Mami is kept from pursuing them by Bebe, now taking her original form as a magical girl named Nagissa Momoe. Sayaka, revealing she possesses her full memories, warns Homura to reconsider uncovering the truth. Homura realizes that after Madoka's wish rewrote the universe, the only one who should remember the existence of witches and their labyrinths is herself. She reasons that she had fallen into despair over previously allowing Madoka to be erased from reality and has become a witch, generating the labyrinth around them. Kyubey confirms that after hearing Homura speaking of a reality predating the Law of Cycles timeline, it and the other Incubators isolated her Soul Gem from the rest of the universe in order to observe the Law of Cycles come into effect. As she fell into despair, a labyrinth in the form of a fake Mitakihara was created within Homura's Soul Gem, and subconsciously populated with people from Madoka's original life. While Kyubey admits that Madoka did appear, and was pulled into the isolated labyrinth, she seemed to be no more than a regular girl, and they decided to observe her until they devised the means to contain her. They wish to do away with the Law of Cycles so they can better amass energy from magical girls transforming into witches again.

Kyubey's intentions to control Madoka provoke Homura into fully transforming into the witch, Homulilly. Homulilly directs her familiars to kill every Incubator within the labyrinth, while resolving to destroy herself rather than be saved and expose Madoka to the Incubators. Sayaka and Nagissa are both revealed to be reborn guardians who serve Madoka as part of the Law of Cycles. They rally the others to help save Homura from herself, and help destroy the barrier imprisoning Homura's Soul Gem. Madoka reaches Homura and together they destroy the barrier, freeing Homura's Soul Gem and destroying the remaining Incubators. Now reconnected to the universe and to her powers and memories as the Law of Cycles, Madoka moves to cleanse Homura of her curse and bring her into the higher plane.

However, before Madoka can cleanse Homura, Homura suddenly grabs her, trapping her. Homura separates Madoka into two forms, severing Madoka's humanity from her divinity. Homura reveals that what corrupted her Soul Gem wasn’t a curse of despair, but rather a curse of love. She unleashes this power across the universe and rewrites the cosmos into a reality where her beloved Madoka—and Madoka and Homura's friends—will forget what has happened and return to the lives they led before the events of the series, while Homura herself will assume control over the design of their universe. Homura then transcends her own mortal existence and announces herself as a "demon", a winged figure dressed in black. She gloats to Kyubey that this new reality will force the Incubators to bear the weight of the collective curses of the world. Homura revels in her creation, but she accepts that she may become Madoka's enemy if Madoka should regain her memories and godly powers and oppose what Homura has done...

A post-credits scene shows Homura seated in a chair while watching over Mitakihara, with a badly-beaten and mentally scarred Kyubey nearby. Homura dances, as Kyubey lies, unmoving, at her feet. Homura leans over a cliff and falls. Within the dark pupil of Kyubey's eye, the phrase "The End" appears in multiple languages in succession. The final image is of a pair of doors or window shutters outlined against the darkness. They have been bound shut by a ribbon tied into a bow.

Production[edit]

The original anime television series of Puella Magi Madoka Magica was a collaboration between Aniplex, Shaft and MBS. The series was written by Gen Urobuchi and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo with original character designs by Ume Aoki and music by Yuki Kajiura.

In November 2011, it was announced in the December issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Newtype magazine that a three-part theatrical film project was in development by Shaft.[5] The first film, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Part 1: Beginnings (劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ[前編] 始まりの物語, Gekijōban Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika (Zenpen): Hajimari no Monogatari), covers the first eight episodes of the anime series.[6] The film was released in Japanese theaters on October 6, 2012.[7] The second film, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Part 2: Eternal (劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ[後編] 永遠の物語, Gekijōban Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika (Kōhen): Eien no Monogatari), covers the final four episodes of the anime series. The film was released in Japanese theaters on October 13, 2012.[7] The first two films feature redone voices and some scenes with new animation. They were screened in selected locations in the United States and seven other countries between October 2012 and February 2013,[8][9] as well as screened at Anime Festival Asia between November 10–11, 2012 in Singapore.[10] The first two films were released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on July 30, 2013 in standard and collector's edition sets and is available for import by Aniplex of America.[11] The films were re-released by Aniplex USA with an English dub on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on July 15, 2014.[12]

The third film, Puella Magi Madoka Magica New Feature: Rebellion (劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ[新編] 叛逆の物語, Gekijōban Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika (Shinpen): Hangyaku no Monogatari), is an original story which takes place following the events of the previous films. The film was released in Japanese theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures on October 26, 2013.[13][14] Special skits featuring characters from the Monogatari series aired prior to the film, with a different skit shown during each week of its screening.[15] The film was screened in North America by Aniplex of America in December 2013.[16][17] The film was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD with English subtitles on April 2, 2014 in Japan and was released by Aniplex of America as an import title in North America on April 8, 2014.[18][19][20] Madman Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on April 8, 2014.[21] A re-release with an English dub was released in North America on April 7, 2015.[22]

The opening theme for the first two films is "Luminous" (ルミナス, Ruminasu) by ClariS, which was released on October 10, 2012.[23] The ending theme for the first film is "Magia (quattro)" by Kalafina, and the second film's ending theme is "Hikari Furu" (ひかりふる, "Light Falling") by Kalafina, which was released on October 24, 2012.[24] For the third film, the opening theme is "Colorful" (カラフル, Karafuru) by ClariS, which was released on October 30, 2013,[25] and the ending theme is "Kimi no Gin no Niwa" (君の銀の庭, "Your Silver Garden") by Kalafina, which was released on November 6, 2013.[26]

Other media[edit]

A film comic adaptation of the first two films, titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Film Memories, went on sale on May 26, 2012.[27] A manga adaptation of Rebellion illustrated by Hanokage, who previously did the television series' manga adaptation and The Different Story spin-off manga, was published by Houbunsha in three tankōbon volumes between November 12, 2013 and January 10, 2014.[28] Yen Press began releasing the series in English starting December 15, 2015.[29]

An action-adventure video game based on the films, Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Battle Pentagram, was released in Japan on December 12, 2013 for the PlayStation Vita. The game follows an alternate plotline to the first two films, in which Madoka makes a wish that all the magical girls could work together and defeat Walpurgisnacht.[30]

Reception[edit]

Beginnings grossed more than ¥500 million at the Japanese box office.[31] The Blu-ray Disc edition of the first two films sold over 80,000 in its first week.[32] Rebellion was one of 19 animated films submitted for Best Animated Feature for the 86th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.[33] The film has earned 2.08 billion yen in the Japanese box office, breaking the previous record of 1.93 billion yen, held by K-On! the Movie for a film based on a late-night anime television series.[34][35] The first week sales of the Rebellion limited and regular edition Blu-rays placed first and second in the weekly Oricon chart, having reached 127,501 and 9,872 units.[36] Rebellion was nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year at the 37th Japan Academy Prize[37] and won the Best Theatrical Film Award at the 19th Animation Kobe Awards,[38] and a Notable Entry Award at the 2014 Tokyo Anime Award Festival.[39]

Jacob Hope Chapman of Anime News Network gave Rebellion a B rating, praising its gorgeous visuals and creativity, but citing the film's last-minute twist as "mean-spirited and ludicrously out-of-character."[40] Richard Eisenbeis and Toshi Nakamura at Kotaku reviewed the film positively. Toshi's final thoughts being, "Aside from my aforementioned problems with the pace of the initial mystery, I loved everything else about the movie. It plays with your emotions like crazy, but at the same time, it’s emotionally fluid. While you might not agree with characters' choices and actions, they all make sense and are never forced." Richard's final thoughts were, "Personally, I loved it. It's a great character piece and a worthy addition to the franchise, but it is far from an uplifting cap to the series."[41]

Geoff Berkshire of Variety gave a mixed review, stating "Rebellion delivers a convoluted conclusion sure to prove beyond baffling to any franchise newcomers." Berkshire praised other aspects such as the visuals of Gekidan Inu Curry.[42]

Accolades[edit]

Year Name of Competition Category Result Recipient
2014 37th Japan Academy Prize Animation of the Year Nominated Rebellion
13th Tokyo Anime Award Anime of the Year (Film Category) Notable Entry Rebellion
19th Animation Kobe Theatrical Film Award Won Rebellion
2015 2015 UK Anime Network Awards Best action anime[43] Nominated Rebellion

References[edit]

  1. ^ 「まどか☆マギカ」がスクリーンによみがえる!大阪で全劇場版をアンコール上映. Natalie (in Japanese). April 9, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  2. ^ Beveridge, Chris (February 4, 2014). "Aniplex USA Sets 'Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie –Rebellion-' Anime Import Blu-ray Release". The Fandom Post. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  3. ^ "Gekijoban: Maho Shojo Madoka Magica — Shinpen — Hangyaku no Monogatari". The Japan Times. 26 February 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  4. ^ "Madoka Magica Gets New Anime Film as Sequel to 2013 Rebellion Film". Anime News Network. April 25, 2021. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  5. ^ "Madoka Magica Film Project Launches". Anime News Network. November 7, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  6. ^ "Madoka Magica: Beginnings May Be Better Than the Series". Kotaku. October 9, 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Madoka Magica Films Slated for October 6 & 13". Anime News Network. June 6, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
  8. ^ "2 Madoka Magica Films to Play in 8 Global Territories in 2012". Anime News Network. September 13, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  9. ^ "Theater Listing New Showtimes Added!". Aniplex. Archived from the original on December 16, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  10. ^ "Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie". Anime Festival Asia. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
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  12. ^ "Aniplex USA Offers 1st, 2nd Madoka Magica Films Dubbed, AnoHana Film Blu-ray/DVD". Anime News Network. May 24, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
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  15. ^ "Madoka Magica, Monogatari Casts Teach Manners in Crossover Shorts". Anime News Network. October 7, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  16. ^ "3rd Madoka Magica Film to Screen in U.S. This Winter". Anime News Network. July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
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  23. ^ ルミナス [Luminous] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  24. ^ ひかりふるス [Hikari Furu] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  25. ^ "カラフル" [Colorful] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  26. ^ "君の銀の庭" [Kimi no Gin no Niwa] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  27. ^ "Madoka Magica Anime Gets Its Own Dedicated Magazine". Anime News Network. April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  28. ^ "Hanokage to Draw Madoka Magica: Rebellion Film's Manga". Anime News Network. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  29. ^ "Yen Press Slates Madoka Magica Rebellion Film's Manga Version for December". Anime News Network. May 7, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  30. ^ "Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Battle Pentagram Set For Vita On December 12". Siliconera. September 18, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  31. ^ "Idolm@ster Movie Debuts at #5 With 150 Million Yen". Anime News Network. January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  32. ^ "Japan's Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, July 22–28". Anime News Network. July 30, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  33. ^ "Wind Rises, Madoka Magica, Momo Submitted for Oscar Nominations". Anime News Network. November 5, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  34. ^ "3rd Madoka Magica Film Tops K-ON! Film's Box Office". Anime News Network. December 22, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  35. ^ ""Madoka Magica: Rebellion" Film Earns Over 2 Billion Yen in 2 Months". Crunchyroll. January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  36. ^ "Japan's Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, March 31-April 6". Anime News Network. April 8, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  37. ^ "Wind Rises, Madoka, Lupin vs. Conan, Harlock, Kaguya Earn Japan Academy Prize Nods". Anime News Network. January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  38. ^ "Seiji Kishi, 3rd Madoka Magica Film, Love Live! Win Anime Kobe Awards". Anime News Network. October 23, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  39. ^ "Announcement of The Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2014 Anime Of The Year Winning Programs And Winners". Tokyo Anime Award. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  40. ^ Chapman, Jacob Hope (December 12, 2013). "Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 3: Rebellion". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  41. ^ "The New Madoka Magica Movie is the Sequel You Never Knew Was Needed". Kotaku. October 29, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  42. ^ "Film Review: 'Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie — Rebellion'". Variety. December 5, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  43. ^ "The 2015 UK Anime Network Awards". UK Anime Network. Retrieved June 22, 2017.

External links[edit]