Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 1 : Hajimari no Monogatari & Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari – Review
Title: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 1: Hajimari no Monogatari & Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari
Genre: Drama, Psychological, Magic
The first movie in the Madoka trilogy; a recap of the first eight episodes of the series.
The second movie in the Madoka trilogy. It is a recap of the last four episodes of the series.
(Story: 10/10 It’s already perfect no need to comment on that…)
Since this is quite a phenomenon way back 2011 and probably most people have watched it and know of it’s story (which I also rated 10/10 in my review of the tv series) so I won’t be writing about the story since nothing changed much so this time, I’ll be focusing on the direction/execution. Btw to those peeps who are not familiar with this franchise (shame on you www), this award winning series became famous for the deconstruction of the ‘magical girl’ genre turning it into grim dark, psychological ride.
Kaname Madoka is your average middle school student who one day encountered an injured magical creature who is being pursued by the transfer student, Akemi Homura. After saving this creature named Kyuubey, it offered both Madoka and Sayaka (Madoka’s friend) a contract: If they would agree it will grant any wish they want in exchange for fighting mysterious entities called witches. They also met Tomoe Mami who saved them from a witch attack. Both Mami and Homura would eventually influence Madoka and Sayaka’s decision whether they would want to risk their life to become magical girls. Hope, deception and despair awaits these girls in this story.
Good direction and pacing but…
This 1st movie is based on the first 8 episode of the series and they cram it all up to a 2 hour and 11min movie. They removed several scenes from the tv series which somehow affected how the story was delivered this time around. The tv series focuses on Homura, emphasizing her mysteriousness and her importance in the plot but this movie made the other side characters shine specially Sayaka and Kyouko’s characters (I’ll get on that later). They’ve removed that dream opening from the tv version (which became a source of a LOT of speculah before) and instead it went directly to the ordinary life of the Kaname family. I think that was a bad move since that scene was essential as a foreshadowing of the plot and an addition to Homura’s mysteriousness.
So during the conversation of Madoka, Sayaka and Hitomi in a family restaurant, people who have not seen the tv ver wouldn’t get the same impact, they won’t go into full speculation mode and ask who really is this Homura, they’ll just dismiss this scene as some fancy talk of Madoka.
Another scene they’ve removed is where Sayaka refused the help of Homura. With Homura’s revelation in that scene: that everything revolves around Madoka and she’ll kill Sayaka if it would be for her (Madoka’s) sake, that sure made me ponder what’s Madoka’s share in all of this madness (she’s not even a magical girl yet) and why is Homura so obsess with her.
They’ve also removed Mami’s tragic past so I think to those who will be seeing this for the first time probably won’t get attach to Mami if you would compare it to the peeps who watched the tv ver (oh and also there will be less hate to that white creature)…so another bad move on my list.
Sacrifices are inevitable if you want to achieve something, so by sacrificing/removing some scenes whether it’s essential or not, they were able to hasten up the pacing of the story making it more appropriate for a movie format. So I guess it really is understandable that they have to chop off a couple of important scenes from the tv series. Despite that they did not skip on the important scenes that most audience probably already know so new viewers won’t get lost when watching this. To those who have seen the the tv series a couple of times (just like me), when an episode got cut off it’s easily noticeable in the movie as it either get cut off to another scene or the OP sequence but I guess it’s not so noticable to new viewers. So yes, this movie has a better sense of pace but personally I prefer how the tv series was delivered.
In the 2nd movie nothing much was changed it’s exactly like the tv series with just a couple of new additional scenes and revamped yuri scene at the end.
Re-watching Madoka will always be a new experience…
What’s fun about re-watching Madoka again and again is that you get to see those foreshadowing at the beginning and make you go: “Ahhhhh so this really did happen” or “Oh that made perfect sense”. It’s like a new experience all over again. Seeing Homura’s actions and hearing conversation between the characters you’ll easily notice that she’s been giving us clues all along and I hate to admit it but you’ll find Kyuubey’s reasoning so rational (damn that rat) this time around.
I told you earlier that this time around the focus of the story was not entirely on Madoka and Homura but this time they gave Sayaka and Kyouko’s characters the sympathy they deserve. Aside from Homura, I also love Kyouko now since this time I noticed that she’s an adorable girl who looks like she doesn’t care and selfish on the outside but looking at her actions and that freaking tear jerker scene, she have been trying to prevent Sayaka in ruining her life just and prevent another tragedy like how her wish destroyed her family. After this movie, I’d also like Kyouko to become my bride wwwww…
Watching this adaptation sure made me look at the characters in a new light. Everyone has a dark side, Sayaka have been so righteous, courageous, and willing to sacrifice herself for others but when she lost the guy she like to her best friend Hitomi she succumb to despair and eventually become a witch at the end (no wonder there since that Kyuubey’s revelation pushed this poor girl on the edge). It’s like despite looking tough outside, she’s a very sensitive and fragile girl inside. It seems like people who doesn’t know how to seek ‘help’ and very stubborn to receive one are really easily breakable. So yep lessons learned: “Do not be too stubborn and learn to seek help if you have to”. If only Sayaka learned to share her problems and thought things out she wouldn’t destroy herself. Poor girl. Butch-Gen sure like to bully idealist (I’m not sure if I’m using the right word here) just like Saber from Fate/Zero.
Mami also have a dark side that I just noticed after watching this movie and reading the manga spin-off A Different Story. Mami, I don’t know if she unconsciously or she really intended to push Madoka into becoming a magical girl and she was almost successful, until that Om Nom Nom scene happened. She said it herself, she only pretended to be cool in front of Sayaka and Madoka but the truth is she’s really afraid and want someone to be by her side as a magical girl so that shows that she’s a bit selfish too. Her strong sense of justice have caused her her life, unable to take it that she and all magical girls would end up a witch, she took Kyouko’s life and eventually got killed by Madoka in the previous timeline (Even in the spin-off manga she chose to die what the hell Mami? Why do you always lose your head? www). Oh I just noticed that even if she acts like an onee-chan, she also acts immature specially in that scene below…bithc mode Mami is damn Moe….
When I first watched this seen it feels like she’s being nice but after watching the movie and hearing the re-dubbed ver by Mizuhashi, Kaori-san…Man her words sting. Poor Homu-chan she’s just trying to save Madoka…
I began to hate Kyouske since Sayaka is just too good for him. I don’t know if he’s just dense or what but not noticing Sayaka’s feelings and not realizing that she’s been there beside him all this time then when someone confessed to him he immediately chose her despite not knowing much about her. That’s not the kind of guy I would want to date. Sure Sayaka has a share of fault in here but I think her due to her circumstances that’s understandable. So I just can’t stand the way he accused Sayaka of mocking his inability to the violin, that sure pissed me off. Why can’t he be grateful that he’s alive and there is someone like Sayaka beside him? This guy is also selfish that he’s also one of the reason that lead to Sayaka’s demise.
Now let’s go with Hitomi. One word to describe this girl: SCARY. Despite looking all frail and an ojou-sama character she’s a very strong minded character. She’s so confident with herself. Remember when she let Sayaka confess first before she does, it’s like she knows that Sayaka didn’t have the guts to say what she truly feels. Oh and who the hell is she to decide everything to set a time that she’ll wait one day for Sayaka to confess, that sure pushed Sayaka into despair. Well I guess girls like her will always get their way in terms of love. Damn, I hope I won’t meet a scary girl like her.
That’s why I love this show. I love every character and I sympathize with all of them. They’re not perfect and everyone have their own faults and that’s what they made them human. Thanks to this new movies I was able to get to know these wonderful characters.
SHAFT is as STYLISH as ever…
They started out the movie with those retracting (revamped) curtains, the count down at the start of the movie two, the static during Homura’s flash back and that nice touch at the end (I don’t know how to describe it just look at the pictures below) making this series look like a recording/old movie recording of the story of these girls and I find it really stylish.
With a bigger budget this time around, the animation was very fluid and some scenes finally made some sense because it was properly animated this time (I’m taking about the scene where Madoka was trying to protect Kyouko from being grabbed by Oktavia (Sayaka’s witch form)). The action was more badass (DAT Kyouko x Sayaka fight so damn good) and if you’ve read my previous review I ranted that I wanted the scene where Homura in ep 11 got hit by a building to be more detailed. Yep they’ve answered my prayer and they’ve make it look like it really hurt her. They did not stop there as they added another touching scene…Madoka wiping off Homura’s blood (oh my heart).
Of course this is a magical girl show so we got new transformation sequences and my favorite would be Mami and Kyouko’s transformation scene. I also like what they did with Sayaka’s transformation since it seems like she’s transforming underwater in connection with her mermaid looking witch self and finally she acquired a hair ornament!
For me the best part of the movie is the OP sequence. Man, that sure is a great way/subtle way of showing or telling us Madoka’s ordinary life and the place where the other main characters live. Oh and that nuzzling scene sure knocked me out with it’s cuteness.
Oh and you can see the transformation of the setting from tv ver, Blu-Ray, and finally the movie. As the budget gets bigger, so did the structures in the setting.
Overall lots of improvements visually and adding more scene sure made those memorable scenes have more impact. Watching this movie in our tv while hooking up my laptop with an HDMI cable was glorious, it was beautiful. Then hearing Yuki Kajiura’s BGM with those visuals sure made my eyes and ears happy.
Yuki Kajiura’s tracks sounds as epic as ever…
Yuki Kajiura’s tracks sounds epic on TV what more if it’s in the theater? (wah….I’d still want to re-watch this on the big screen!). They’ve switched several tracks like the bgm of Mami’s fight scene, this time they’ve used Magia. The switching and adding several more tracks in the movie was not a bad move and it even enhanced the viewing experience. Credens Justutam was given lyrics by Kajiura and was sung by Kalafina (The new title was Mirai) and it was a very nice touch specially with those lyrics that reflects Mami. Sagitta Luminis was also given lyrics and sung by Kalafina (new title Hikari Furu) and was used as the ED song of the 2nd movie. In Magia the song was really eerie and full of despair this time, Hikari Furu was full of hope though it’s still a sad song. I had goose bumps while reading the lyrics since it seems like Homura and Ultimate Madoka are singing alternately every stanza with the 1st stanza it seems like it was Homura then the next it’s Madoka. Man that sure touched my heart specially the part:
(Even if I no longer exist anywhere,
Through the light that illuminates everything.
I will always be by your side.)
Oh being Meguka is suffering
Luminous by CLariS was also a great OP song and very catchy just like ‘Connect” (Sorry I can’t find any video of this song). Reading the lyrics, I can’t point out if it was Homura or Madoka that was singing since I think it could apply both ways. Overall the bgms, used was almost the same with the tv series they’ve switch several tracks and added a couple of new songs which make everything perfect.
I’ve heard somewhere that the dubbing was re-recorded for this film and I think that was a good decision since the seiyuus this time have already grasp the feelings and personality of the characters. They would have a chance to redo lines they wish they’ve done better. I guess this is one of the reasons why this movie have this kind of impact, it’s really heart wrenching and touching (damn it I cried again and it’s the nth time I’ve seen this story). The seiyuus in this series really have good chemistry so kudos to Yuuki Aoi, Saito Chiwa, Nonaka Ai, Kitamura Eri, Mizuhashi Kaori and Kato Emiri.
Like I said earlier, every re-watch of this series would be an entire experience. You’ll get to see the other side of the story and the characters that you won’t be able to notice the first time you watch it, that’s how deep it is. What I really liked about the tv series was it was one hell of a emotional roller coaster ride. It makes the audience think, it doesn’t serve you the answers in a silver platter, it doesn’t tell you if a certain action was right or wrong, it let’s you decide, just like in real life.
If you would ask me if first time watchers would be able to appreciate it my answer would be YES since it was made with an audience like that in mind. I would just have to remind the first timers to keep their eyes and ears open since every conversation/dialogue in this movie has its meaning.
Would the fans need to watch this? I’ll answer NO since it’s basically an omnibus format of the tv series and nothing new to see (except the OP sequence www). But the right question is will the fans enjoy it? YES, because of the reasons I’ve stated above and if you like to see the new transformation sequence and the beautiful art works in this movie then I guess it’ll be a fun watch.
Oh remember that in the tv series we we’re teased with the badass Homura battling wraiths at the end of the credits well this time, we got an additional confusing and indulgent teaser that made me go “Kyaaaaa!! Kyaaaa!!” when I’ve first seen it. It got awesome looking fight scenes between Mami and Homura and OMG seems like they’ll be involving Hitomi in the next movie completing the mahou shoujo sentai with a green ranger wwww. Here’s the trailer:
When the Blu-Ray was released in Japan they’ve also released another teaser and thankfully it was subbed by AniplexUSA. Oh man, looks like there will be a LOT of Homura suffering this time around. Oh Butch Gen I wonder how will you crush our hearts?
The third movie would be release in Japan on Oct 26, 2013 and Winter 2013 on the US, Canada and France. Damn I’m so envious of the peeps who live on those countries. They won’t probably release it on this side of the world so it’ll be another year of suffering before the Blu-Ray is released.
I think I’m going to turn into a grief seed waiting for this….oh the despair!
Overall: 9.6/10 (Must See)