Before going into the movie itself, let me first preface this by saying that since its initial broadcast in 2011, Madoka’s been one of my all time favorite anime series. To say that I loved the series is an understatement (this and this should give you some indication) and the way the original ended was a key part of those feelings. In many ways, it was a “conclusive ending” that wrapped a bow around everything, and I found myself hesitant to watch Rebellion as a result. The act of revisiting what seemed like a “completed story” rang alarm bells in my head, and I was worried about it potentially just being a money grab that would also ruin some of the positive impressions I had of a series as a whole. That said, that didn’t prevent me from seeing this in theaters initially, and it’s been quite difficult waiting until the BD/DVD came out to write about it. Now that it’s out though, I present to you: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica the Movie – Part III: Hangyaku no Monogatari.

OP Sequence

OP: 「Colorful」 by ClariS

「劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ 叛逆の物語」
(Gekijo ban Mahou Shojo Madoka Magica: Hangyaku no Monogatari)
“Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica the Movie – Part III: Rebellion Story”

Going back to my preface for a moment, the biggest thing for me regarding this movie was whether or not it was just going to be “a money grab that would also ruin some of the positive impressions I had of a series as a whole.” As much as I wanted to believe this wasn’t going to be a factor in it all, the cynic in me couldn’t help but fear this as I watched it, and it was something that made me quite anxious in the days before the movie’s initial theatrical run. Looking back on it now, I feel a bit foolish feeling such a way though, because the fact is that Rebellion ended up being every bit as good as I wanted it to be. It wasn’t without its controversy—the ending had many people up in arms—but then again, when has Gen not been controversial with what he’s done with this series?

With that said, the greatness of this movie lies within the fact that it masquerades itself beautifully as something that’s “merely the reopening of closed doors.” What it actually does though, is anything but. Because if there’s one thing I realized from watching this movie, it’s that I was so wrapped up in the original series’ conclusive (and satisfying) ending that I didn’t see how much there was left here to expand upon following Madoka’s final wish. The fact is that we should’ve known that the Incubators wouldn’t just sit back idly after hearing Homura’s “theory” about witches at the end of the series, and it figures that they’d be back with a vengeance in order to try and harness an energy source far superior to the wraiths they ended up with. In this sense, this movie isn’t so much a reopening of closed doors as it is one that opened new ones. Best of all, it does so while naturally progressing the story lines in ways that don’t diverge from the sentiments and developments built in the initial story.

Case in point, what we end up see again this time around is just who Homura is: mentally strong, physically capable, and willing to do anything to get to the truth (or the end) she desires. She followed through with her desire to protect the world Madoka left behind until her Soul Gem could no longer be purified, and it was only fitting that she too was the reason our main cast realized the truth behind the isolated dimension they were in. To say the least, the latter was exceptionally fitting—leave it to her to find out the truth even if it was something she may have better off been not knowing—and it’s something highlighted further by her determination to speed up her transformation to a witch in order to be destroyed within the dimension and protect Madoka’s powers from falling into the Incubators’ clutches.

It’s been said that the “road to hell is paved with good intentions” however, and there’s something to be said about what happens here as a result of all her actions. This goes double for the controversial part where Homura rejects of Madoka’s Law of the Cycle, and the rapid fall from grace we see from Homura as she becomes the “demon” to counter Madoka’s “angelic” tendencies. Needless to say, this was a moment that likely made many people scream at their media player—there was a lot of groaning in the theaters that day too—and it’s something that really made me think quite a bit on what ended up being a multi-hour ride home. Because while it would’ve been great for the movie to end with Madoka taking back Homura into the Law of the Cycle, I feel that the key here was that it’s not about the ending we want, but the ending that’s right (and fitting) given the circumstances. And no, by fitting I’m not referring to how Gen pulled yet another twist on us—even if this ends up exceptionally true.

Rather, I refer to the fact that Homura’s ability to move on despite the circumstances doesn’t change the fact that she’s still human and feels quite a bit emotionally. She doesn’t show it and never complains about it, but it’s quite easy to see where a part of her couldn’t accept the fact that she wouldn’t see Madoka again until the end, and it’s also easy to see where “X” years of fighting Wraiths would have allowed some of her darker feelings to fester and grow over time. It wouldn’t have changed how she went about things and the fact that she does get to the finish line (pre-Incubator involvement) demonstrates this, but the point is that there was clearly a foundation for selfish desires within her, and her actions at the end of the movie are merely the natural progression that comes from succumbing to desires she wouldn’t have otherwise. In this way, it’s also fitting that the movie is a complete 180 contrast of the selfless wish that ended the TV series, and there’s much that could be said about the angel vs. demon contrast, as well as the whole rebellion vs. God aspect of it all.

Ultimately, the conclusion I arrive at is that the ending—however controversial—ends up at least fitting considering how the story was made up. Regardless, even if the ending wasn’t quite something you might’ve liked, I think we can all at least agree that the general development of the movie and its storyline was quite superb. It started out by giving us a glimpse of what could’ve been (how about that Holy Quintet?) and what had been (such nostalgia being reintroduced to the cast), gave us a clear vibes that something was terribly wrong with how things were progressing, then put the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that just blew off our heads (insert terrible Mami joke here). The soundtrack was especially impressive (as expected), and I think the important thing here is that the movie does complement the series in the end, which is what I feel is all we could ask for. The question remains however, whether this really is the end, and I really don’t think it is. Gen himself has mentioned that the series should continue even without him, and the ending here reeks of additional material sometime in the future. I guess that makes the real question just how long will we need to wait? (I fear for my wallet if they release more signboards again…)



ED Sequence

ED: 「君の銀の庭」 (Kimi no Gin no Niwa) by Kalafina


  1. The ending left itself open for more exploration in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and the ending itself was not enough to dissuade me. What struck me the most was Homura’s obsessive determination to set things right at all costs, even if it meant opposing the world Madoka had created previously…

    1. Yeah, that really impressed me in terms of how much they focused on that thematically throughout the series. The fact is, Homura is just who she is, and it was just fitting that she would be the one to realize and bring to an end to the illusion they were living in — even if she technically would’ve been better off not knowing (and none of the others would’ve blamed her for staying in the world either). That said, the ending yes, you could say is also just another natural extension of this — albeit in the polar opposite manner.

      Life comes with such cruel twists in this universe.

    2. Yes, that’s exactly the impression I got as well. We know from the original series that Homura is perfectly willing to do anything at all for her wish – to save Madoka from a cruel fate – and she wasn’t entirely happy with Madoka’s solution to the problem either.

      I also can’t help thinking that Homura is her own worst enemy. Her interference during the time loops in the series worsened Madoka’s fate and then she told the Incubators about the previous system of witches, causing them to begin this experiment on her in their efforts to control Madoka.

      Great comments, Zephyr, I think you summed up the intentions of the film perfectly.

      1. 😀

        I must say though, the fact I loved the series so much really helped me organize my thoughts on this. I’d have to say this is probably one of my better organized posts in a while. Really does help being a fanboy sometimes. Lol.

        … too bad I feel like getting more Madoka stuff now. :3

    3. I find it ironic how for Homura to be together with Madoka she had to become her enemy. Towards the ending we see Madoka realizing who she is and her powers, in the world Homura created, and then Homura forcing Madoka back into her naive state. At that point, Homura realizes that she can’t control Madoka and that they will be fated to be in conflict with one another for all eternity. Out of her love for Madoka, she turned herself into the antithesis of Madoka, light and darkness so to speak.

      1. Speaking of Gen, Im really intrigued by his returning collaboration with Ei Aoki in Aldnoah.Zero this summer, along with the return of sailor moon with its darker reimagining; seriously summer is looking like a good season for anime (a step up from this spring) which is quite the shocker.

      2. It’s not a darker reimaging, it’s just following the manga proper.

        The original anime, which I’m assuming is what everyone’s thinking about, is largely original work. The actual manga gets…er, well dark. And it’s a lot more mature in tone overall (not really surprising considering some of Takeuchi’s work and who she’s married to XDD)

      3. It’s not actually confirmed as to whether the new anime will be following the manga proper but it is said to be sticking closer to the manga (which is hinted by the character designs looking more like the source material and the fact that its also hinted that this new series will be drawing from the darker parts of the manga) hence why id say its more of a reimagining of sorts; that is if you are making a comparison to the original anime.

      1. Why does that sound like a Japanese take on Children of Men or Battle Tanx?
        Jokes aside if there is a continuation it’s likely to involve a new set of Puella Magi that find out about and set out to eliminate Homura’s new universal order.

  2. This is why I love reading blogs. I get a point of view that hadnt even crossed my mind while watching the series. I am certainly glad to have heard yours. And I cant wait to see what’s in the comments to follow. Hopefully it might shed light on alot of things I didnt fully understand (like mostly everything)

      1. If you feel like you remember the original series well enough, then you can go straight into the third movie if you wish. Otherwise I’d go watch the first two movies as a refresher and to see some of the revisions they made to some scenes. The new OP/ED themes they did were pretty nice too. 😀

      2. Actually it’s more like Rebellion is the direct sequel to Beginnings and Eternal, not much to the TV series, this is moreso for Eternal which focuses mostly to Homura, the slight reanimation/new footage and re-dubbing of lines make it more deppressive and further highlights the struggle of Homura than it was on the TV.

        Also, The epilogue of Rebellion is somewhat tied to the opening theme “Luminous” of the first two movies.

      3. Well yes, if you had to say it it would be continued off the movies more than it is off the TV series, but yeah the basic thing is that if you don’t want to watch the movies and have the series in mind already, it is an option to skip straight to the third movie.

        Ideally you wouldn’t skip anything, but sadly not everyone has multiple hours of extra spare time to watch the first two movies, and it’d be sad not to watch the third one because of that. Heh.

      4. Your right, but like in the epilogue of the Rebellion movie, where the other half of the moon and land is missing, it makes direct reference to the OP Luminous where Madoka and Homura is sitting together, so it maybe little things only but as a viewer who care a lot about Madoka Magica, I would still suggest to everyone to at least see the movie versions, some say it’s merely a condense version of the TV series, but I will say not so much especially “Eternal” because watching the movies is a different experience than watching the TV.

        Of course, people can directly watch the Rebellion movie if they wanted too 🙂

    1. That’s true. And really, that could’ve been said for a lot of other things she could’ve done. Ranging from just deciding to give up in the original series to everything she did here, she clearly has a sound foundation basis from which to do anything given what she’s been through, and really, you can argue it makes it all the more cruel for things to have ended up the way she did. Those darn incubators. Every darn time.

      1. Well, she did basically screw up the entire universe based on her own presumptions and desires and likely led it to more and more entropy build up, which will eventually kill everyone, including Madoka.

        So, there’s that.

    1. And regarding the movie: when I first watched it, I left the cinema feeling a little apathetic. Maybe I just didn’t get everything that had happened, or was still trying to wrap my head around the AI YO twist: either way, I found the movie oddly lacking in impact compared to the original series, and I couldn’t understand why people liked it as much as they did.

      Upon rewatching, though, I’ve come to the view that this really is just as good as the TV series. It’s just a bit of a shame that most of the characters were shafted to give Homura the most development. Honestly, what was Nagisa even introduced for?

      1. Yeah, I left the theaters going “Hmmmmmmm” after seeing that ending. Everything up until then was pretty superb for me, but the ending really left me wondering a bit. Got caught up in a three hour traffic jam on the way back though, so really had a lot of time to think about it and ended up with the views I wrote in the post. Re-watching it on BD/DVD just really confirmed it for me.

        As for Nagisa, I’d say she was part nostalgia for the fans and part red herring. She did have her part as one of the backup holders of Madoka’s memories, but she just never had to play the part eh.

  3. YES! I wanted randomc to do a review on this the instant I finished the movie in theaters.

    Great review Zephyr, and props on you for not going all mad and crazy against the end like many does.

    I agree, it’s definitely controversial, yet it fits in with the series perfectly.

    Funny that you mentioned how people react to the ending. I was in theaters and I literally heard screams and cries of “No!” “Don’t do it!” during the crucial moment when Homura fell.
    I myself had my jaw dropped the entire time.

    Gosh, I freaking love this movie. Thanks for blogging it!

    1. Gosh darn, the theater reactions were quite something. So many screams of “WTF” and “WHAT.” The interesting part of it all was how I was in the earlier one, so when we left we saw the huge line of people for the midnight showing. Made me wonder if any of those guys on the line heard any of the screamin’ as peeps left the theater. Haha.

  4. It was explained in the series that hope must be balanced by despair so I guess it fits that Madoka, the embodiment of hope, would need a foil in Homura to embody despair.

  5. Great review.

    Like Zephyr, PMMM is one of, if not my favourite anime series of all time. I was super hyped to watch this movie.

    When I first sat through the movie, I was left in total and utter shock. Everything up till the moment Madokami reached for Homura’s hands was absolutely perfect from a fan-service point of view. I have heard that many people in theatres were cheering when Madokami appeared and I too was cheering at my computer screen. What happened next tore my soul to pieces. After the movie ended I went over and laid down on my bed for a good half hour just quietly contemplating what happened. That was followed by many hours on the internet parsing through reddit/4chan/blogs reading through every review, every single bit of analysis that was available online to enlighten me.

    The next day I summoned enough courage to rewatch the movie. After all that reading, I was able to get a better comprehension of the events of the movie, and after rewatching I again sat down on my bed contemplating the movie.

    The conclusion I got was very similar to Zephyrs; while many disliked Rebellion’s ending, I found it was a very suitable ending to the series. Furthermore I was in awe of Urobuchi’s courage to write such a powerful and brutally cruel ending that acted as a subversion of the original TV series. Even to this day, thinking about the magnitude of Homura’s actions and their implications tears at my soul. Rebellion has cemented PMMM as my favourite series of all time for now ( it was very close to being toppled by Gundam Build Fighters and Kara no Kyoukai recently) but funnily enough I don’t think I can bear to rewatch the series for another year at least. The emotional impact it had on me was just that great.

  6. Gen probably wanted to end things here, but Moneybags HQ probably insisted he leave the ending open so they could continue raking in revenue with spin-offs or continuations. That asides, Homura’s existence itself now outweighs Madoka’s one as a goddess, since her original wish to save her was left unsatiated by the latter’s extraordinary sacrifice. With that, she rewrites the laws of the universe, and I wonder how anyone will be capable of stopping Homura without compromising the new universe Madoka so painstakingly sacrificed herself for.

    1. From what I read (now I’ve lost the source), Gen was having a writer’s block when he wrote the ending. Along came Shinbo and he suggested the ending that we have in Rebellion.

    2. The way it seems it’d end is that Madoka would eventually remember her role and the part she plays in things. One would assume this would result in the regaining of her powers and possibly the restoration of the memories and powers of the rest as well. Even with Homura’s current state, I doubt she’d be able to win against all of them.

    3. According to the booklet, it was Shinbo who felt that Madoka as Madokami is a “CRUEL FATE” for a 14 year old, so they decide on a way that will bring down Madoka from her throne.

  7. Mixed feelings on the ending aside, I thought this was a great entry to Madoka. The first act felt like a thankful nod to its fanbase with its shout-outs to traditional magical girls as well as plenty of ship fuel especially for KyoSaya. I like how in the later act there was an actual acknowledgement of Sayaka on everything Kyouko did for Sayaka. By the second act the familiar dreaded feeling of the old series came back and it was well handled. The duel between Mami and Homura was especially good. But at the same time, there was always an optimistic tone to it. I kind of wish I saw more of Bowmura though, she was barely in it.

    As for the the twist on the end, I thought it was a good twist. Not one I particularly like, but it was well foreshadowed. It’s sad that Homura once again gave up her own happiness. I won’t argue that subjugating Kyubey was awesome though although it seems a bit redundant , since Madoka essentially did beat Kyubey in his own game. It’s funny, if she had let Madoka take she could spend eternity fighting Kyubey and protecting Madoka and her army of Magical Girl-witches. It would be like an eternal cosmic struggle of Elder Gods, only pink and frilly.

    1. Definitely, it was a tale of three parts the way I saw it.

      The beginning was all fan-service and massive nostalgia done right. At the same time it was pretty obvious something was wrong, so it also set the foundation for the climax, which was Homura finding out what exactly what was. This was the part for me, which made me wanna scream “damn this is a masterpiece,” and then yeah I mean last part was the ending that just wrapped it all up.

  8. I felt like Homura went from selfless to selfish, but when I think about it again, she was always both.
    Honestly a part of me wish I didn’t watch this, yet a part of me is glad I watched this. But whatever feelings I have for this, I have to admit I found this movie really good. After the movie, my thoughts were all over the place and I didn’t even know what I felt about the movie, yet I couldn’t bring myself to watch the movie again ;_; So your review and the comments really helped me understand some parts of the movie, thank you! 😀
    On a side note, I thought the witch-human girl (was she Charlotte or something?) was really cute. And even now somewhere in my brain I pity Kyubey and I still find him cute =\

  9. Puting Akiyuki, Gen, Kajiura and Shaft in the same team is like forming the Avengers.

    I’ve got the movie loop playing on my second screen at home and the OST loop playing at work (headphones) since April 2nd. Still can’t get enought of it.

    1. No. It’s more like a fatal overdose of psychedelic drugs that does not lay your senses and mind to waste, but one that totally generates hallucinations, distortions of perception, altered states of awareness, and occasionally states resembling psychosis.

  10. Before anything else, I think this OST might fit perfectly here…

    As it is, Homura became the very evil that she has swore to fight against. Truthfully speaking, her slow and downward spiral to despair and hopelessness was not evident in the series or the first 2 movies itself. Though it may have been hinted, it was rather subtle or inconspicuous.

    Than again, is there any hope for Homura to redeem herself just like how Vader got redemption by Luke? If so, who would redeem Homura? Or is the universe doomed to the infinite rule of Homura and be the dominion of darkness and despair?

    That aside, there were a few things that I felt rather disturbing in the first half though.

    1) Seeing Charlotte being all chummy with Mami, it was unnerving and unsettling. And that tea party with Charlotte, that recital just sent shivers down my spine. At this juncture, this cut possibly says a lot but I wasn’t sharp enough to catch its significance till much later.

    2) So now we have definite proof of Charlotte before she became a witch….. Previously she’s a loli magic girl! And a cute one to boot!

    3) Which is sexier….. Innocent twin tail megane Homura? Serious no nonsense Humura? Humu-akuma? Damn these choices…..

    4) I don’t know but reading this post again, this scene somewhat resembles this

  11. An interesting thing I started thinking about is how Homura’s and Madoka’s ideologies are kind of similar to Fate/Stay Night and the difference between UBW Shirou and HF Shirou. One thinks more about what’s right and what they feel they should do, while the other focuses on their own desires and what they want to do.

    Needless to say, neither is really wrong. It’s simply a matter of what the viewer’s personal beliefs are.

    While I can’t say I can blame Homura for her actions, it’s not really a commendable thing either. Her focus on a single person created an obsession that really sort of pushed her to the edge where she was merely enduring a world without Madoka. By the end of the movie, all that pent up desire within her unleashed itself in a big way resulting in her taking her first chance to “save” Madoka from her “cruel fate.” She’s obviously projecting her feelings in regards to the situation onto Madoka and convinced herself that it’s what’s best for her. Having Madoka sort of reaffirm her belief when she lost her memories didn’t help matters either.

    Honestly, I kind of liked the ending a little more than I probably should have since I rarely ever get to see a main character fall from grace in such a big way. Plus having it fleshed out as the series goes rather than have the them start out as a villain who becomes sympathetic through the use of a flashback. Naruto is the only other series to do this that I can really remember off the top of my head.

    The movie wasn’t without it’s faults for me though. I found myself getting really annoyed with all the moe pandering the first half hour was doing. I get that if you look at the movie as a whole it was necessary, but having them do dances that were almost completely out of character (Sayaka was freaking break dancing, lol) was something I found stupid and literally said out loud, “You’ve got to be f*****g kidding me…” And that weird song part… oh God, it’s almost painful to remember.

    Other than that, the Mami/Homura fight was amazing. Maybe a bit over-choreographed, but fantastic nonetheless. I always wanted to see them fight what with all the animosity between the two during the series.

    Hopefully they do a followup to this. I really can’t see this being the end.

    Now to go rest my eyes. Watching all three movies in succession might have been a bit overkill. (Totally worth it though.)

    1. Lol, that beginning was something I found pretty fun. It was so obviously over the top fan-service for peeps that I couldn’t help but just smile despite my “Wtf” sensors beeping all over the place. It did nicely to set up for the climax of the story though.

      But yeah, definitely the concept of right/wrong isn’t really something you can grasp here.

      1. They put a lot of attention to detail.

        Look at the dance scenes during their transformation, there’s a lot of strange animations accompanying their “shadow selves” which just screams out of place. And that feeling of “out of place” is consistent with the setting itself.

      2. Yeah, I mentioned that earlier as well. The point of it all was to be out of place, but that didn’t change the fact that the initial reaction for me was kind of like a “whoa, what’s going on here,” partially because there was something so obviously wrong there. 😛

    2. Exactly my feeling about first half an hour or so. Over the top fanserwis and overdose of sugar and moe made it hard for me to watch it and even when I know that something isn’t the way it is.

      But as a whole the movie was great and I really liked the ending. I can tell why someone could want it to go other way but it would be boring if it did. Stories that end in good way are much more boring than those ending in gray area.

      Thanks for covering it cause your post reminded me I should already watch it and later gave me some food for thought.

  12. If we’re going to have a sequel, I hope we get a new cast of characters, ones who would show Homura to the right path.

    Well, usually, stories would be like that. Not sure how “despair-filled” Madoka should be. I want it to end satisfyingly with hope :C

  13. I didn’t like the ending, but I’m not sure I hated it either, but the one thing I felt for sure “This won’t last”. Madoka almost went back to Madokami before the moment was broken, Homura isn’t enough to hold her back from that, her world will crumble.

  14. The thing is Gen did plan on the movie to end with Madoka taking Homura to heaven. Shinbo told him that that ending was too final though, so he was told to change it. Shinbo was also the one who came up with pitting Homura againsr Madoka too, Gen just went from there.

  15. It still took me some time to digest and figure out what’s going on since I saw this months ago in the cinema. I’m still conflicted about what it all means from here on, though.

    HomuHomu’s Rebellion against the Truth of the Cycle is but a giant “Batman Gambit”.

    She most likely purposely told QB about the Witches, knowing the Incubators would be curious about this amazingly new power source and would attempt to incubate her, and then waited for the right moment to turn the tables on them, correctly predicting that Ultimate Madoka would send Sayaka and Momo/Charlotte (“Valkyries” from Ultimate Madoka’s “Valhalla”) to rescue her.

    The way she snatched Ultimate Madoka’s powers and used it to alter the world in her image is akin to Nagato Yuki taking Suzumiya Haruhi’s powers and altering it for her own.

    No matter which timeline they were in, Mami and Kyouko never fell to despair and turned to Witches in the first place and remained mortal, (Even when they died, they died through conventional means) thus they were the least affected by HomuHomu’s alteration of the space-time continuum.

    Sayaka and Momo OTOH, being affiliated with Ultimate Madoka, lose all their powers and memories and return to their mortal lives.

    1. Hmmm… I wonder about that. There’s definitely a lot of debate to be had in regards to whether or not Homura intended for all of this to happen. I personally think it wasn’t like that given the effort she put near the end when she tried to force her witch self to awaken, but yeah there’s a room for interpretation here.

    2. Her master plan appears to be pretty bad then considering Madoka is constantly(?) on the verge of regaining her powers/memories.

      I think it’s also quite clear that the turning point is when Madoka tells her she wouldn’t be happy abandoning her friends & family.

  16. Besides MadoHomu, yuri fans may be glad to see Kyouko and Sayaka finally getting along with each other at last, there was even more rapport than they ever had in the TV series. Even Mami gets some company with Momo. 😀

  17. I was a bit surprised with Homura’s character development in Rebellion. It was hard for me to accept her refusal to be forgiven and moving on. I watched it three times just to be able to accept Homura’s reasoning for behaving that way…and it made me thinking, this Akuma version was not that bad after all consider the fan art trolls XDD

    Though i sincerely hope that she can have a better ending in this movie, to have a normal life with Madoka…seems like she chose not to, or rather Urobutcher doesnt want to lol. It was selfish, but selfishness is what she is. Her love is obsession, compared to Sayaka’s.

    Ohh Homura, her final form really reminded me of Rue Kraehe from Princess Tutu.

    onion warrior
  18. It was a very good movie. The one thing that bothered me was that at the end of the series it looked like quite a lot of time had passed and everyone but Homura was gone by then. In the movie it looked like hardly any time has passed at all and everyone was still there.

  19. I loved the Madoka Magica series. It actually made me enjoy a Magical Girl series. But I still need to watch the movies. They look awesome and I’m perfectly fine with a different ending for the movie. Would be dull otherwise. Plus more screen time for my favorite, Mami, is always a big plus.

    I’m hoping for a sequel. The ultimate sign of a great story is that it leaves you wanting more by the end. And I feel that this series has more than enough material left to explore.
    1. Yeah, Madoka was the series that got me watching magical girls for the first time. The irony of it is that ever since I’ve watched this first though, none of the other series in the genre have given anywhere near the same impressions since, heh.

      1. Same here albeit I’ve been watching mahou shojo genre for a very long time aready. I have to agree with Zeph… After Madoka Magica, most other mahou shojo seems to pale in comparison. Even Nanoha

      2. For me it will Sailor moon (1995) followed by Magic Knight Rayearth (1996) then Akazukin Chacha (1999), my last one prior to Madoka Magica (2011) is Cardcaptor Sakura (2000, 2008) XD. I don’t remember any other magical girl anime I watched besides those before Madoka Magica.

  20. After I watched this the first time with a friend, we both curled up into a fetal position on the couch and just sat there for twenty minutes every now and then saying, “What?” Our minds were overloaded from plot twists, pseudo-physics, and trying to decipher the Engrish subs of the rapidfire dialogue.

    As I’ve been ruminating over the movie for the past four months, as crazy and explosive as the ending seemed to the franchise on the first viewing I’ve come to realize it’s probably the natural progression and not out of character at all. Homura would never be satisfied until she had protected Madoka from the entire cycle of magical girls and Kyuubey. The fact that Madoka became a magical girl at the end of the series means that technically, Homura still failed in her goal. So to see her destroy everything even though it was a fairly happy status quo isn’t unexpected in hindsight.

    Also not angry about all of the (happy?!) Kyoko in the movie, as well as all the Kyoko and Sayaka interactions we never fully got to enjoy in the series.

    Really loved the movie and what it opens up for the characters and the world. Thanks for the review!

  21. I read this interview with the producers before I watched the movies:

    It’s interesting when you go into the movie know that Gen-san actually wanted to end the series, and wasn’t entirely happy that it was being continued. And also that he originally wanted the ending to be just that: Madoka taking Homura with her. Granted, that seems almost a bit too idealistic for him (insert Fate/Zero nihilism joke here)

    It also has some info on what he was trying to portray throughout the movie, so I recommend giving it a read.

  22. Ah yes, Madoka. I did watch this as a marathon few weeks ago. Truth be told, I knew what I was getting into and I knew few of the important plot stuff like Mami’s death and Madoka becoming a god. But overall I did enjoy the series. But now on to the movie.

    The ending did shock me and really made me dislike Homura after I had rooted for her during the anime run. But after giving some thought I came to think that Homura was essentially going insane during those countless repeats of the month and the anime ending was very close in snapping her. But she ended up snapping during the movie and the AI YO she declared was just her twisted and mad obsession to make Madoka her own. But really this all me theorizing about it and forming my headcanons. Nothing against the ending, mah girls are alive and that’s all it matters.

    Favorite parts of the movie? Mami vs Homura, a what a spectacular sight.

    Also as a reminder to all of those who aspire to become magical girls.
    Ya gotta have dem break dance moves like Sayaka does.

  23. Personally I was one of the few who hoped for a Homura homecoming ending which is pretty foolish considering it’s Gen we’re talking about here. Can’t really fault Homura for it either since one can only go through so much hell alone without completely snapping.

    What bothers me is “the ending here reeks of additional material sometime in the future.”

    Just how much of the intention to keep the franchise going was contributory to the ending. Wouldn’t the franchise still survive if they stuck to the Madoka vs. Incubator setting rather than going with Madoka vs. Homura.

    Admittedly tho both have the potential for interesting stories and drama, just hope the move wasn’t just for the sake of milking the cow.

    1. I actually never, ever regretted SHAFT deciding to make a sequel of their series. Some were better, some were worse, some were superior or just plain cash cows, but ALL of them were fun for me to watch.. although I admit I may just be biased as a SHAFT fanboy.

      Kinza Datteri
  24. ooo AKUMA Homura!

    really liked the movie , from Homura’s relentless to Kyubey’s deviousness.

    and wow that fight .. Homura vrs Mami, so yeh people EXPERIENCE does matter. … also self inflicted headshots are a valid diversion tactic!

    Man.. my Charlotte cant be this cute! ..(atleast till she wears that mask…)

    oooo Ship confirmed! Kyoko x Sayaka! (we need a confirmation for Homura x Madoka… mebe next movie? hahaha)

    the Homura – Madoka scene on the flower field was really toching … it actually explains a LOT of Homuras actions (i would go as far as saying that it is one of the reasons she did what she did) … even more if one considers that is the REAL Madoka (w/o powers tho) which is speaking.

    what i liked it more is that at the end it was NOT about right vrs wrong but about Hope (selfless love – Madoka) vrs Love (romantic or selfish love – Homura) … and quite the contrast with the ending of the second movie indeed: the second movie ended with a selfless wish to save others, this one ended with a selfish wish to “save” the ONE.

    and man… it was really satisfying to see the incubators (specially Kyubey) get what was coming to them.

    PS: so in one corner we got MadoKami “i love everyone: with my sacrifice you are all make clean” Madoka.. in the other we have Akuma “i love YOU so much than ill pull you from the heavens” Homura… and we also got Incubator “trying to make use of human emotion is dangerous” Kyubey

    1)some time (soon) Madokami WILL regain her powers
    2)Homura loves Madoka so much she WILL become her enemy if that is what she considers the best for Madoka
    3)Kyubey WONT take the abuse lying down… dangerous glint in its eyes, beware!
    4)soo 3-way conflict soon?

    PS2: yeah the ending screams “to be continued” … but as always the best stories never really end.

  25. I like madoka I just don’t like the expectations it has risen now everyone is gonna expect “madoka” every time in terms of storyline whenever a new magical girl series comes out and whatever there is a “Tokyo mew mew” storyline people are going to dislike.

    1. Yeah it’s just one of those things that come with the territory. I’d say really the thing is not to let other series of the same genre skewer your expectations, but that’s easier said than done. That considered though, I think I’d rather have one masterpiece like Madoka rather than not have it all, even with all the issues impressions wise that would come from it.

      1. it made the short list, which was 15 movies. I would have loved to see it nominated just to screw with people’s minds. Unfortunately, the Academy Awards is a glorified popularity contest, so the family friendly Disney movie was always going to win.

        It would have been fun though =P
        you hear accounts of how some of the voters would leave it to their kids to decide the best animated movie. What would it be like to slip in Rebellion into that watch list and completely screw with their minds? =P

    1. Not quite. The Law of the Cycle is still intact, but it’s literally just a physical phenomenon. Madoka’s “spirit”/”consciousness” itself is now within Homura’s sealed off dimension.

      Think of it this way, Godoka’s body is still present and performing the cycle, but the mind is enclosed within Homura’s dimension on the intent that she and Madoka will be together there forever. Obviously though, it’s only going to be a finite thing from what we saw near the end, so eventually the thing would be that Madoka regains her full memories and link back to her body after being forcibly separated from it.

      1. But that doesn´t sound like love to me Zephyr! That sound like what maniac obsessed with someone would do! Keep her target in a prison just to make sure she´s safe, not taking into consideration what she wants Madoka or wishes for Homura is being beyond selfish with this, this pure madness, how could anyone be happy with this kind of ending?.

      2. Actually, you can say this is exactly what love is if you take it to the most obsessive extreme. One could say this is the purest form of love in its negative form, really. But yeah, the notion of wanting someone by your side forever is by itself a selfish desire. We have a view of love and what it should be, but there are times where it stretches well beyond that definition but is still “love,” and this just ended up one of these cases.

        As for “being happy with the ending,” well, it’s controversial for a reason. I think you can see here there was and still is a clear split between how people feel about it. I just know that personally I feel it fits into the context of what happened in the movie, so while it took a bit of thinking to accept it, I’m perfectly fine with how things ended up here because it was a natural progression to it all. The happy ending would’ve been great and what most people wanted, but it isn’t necessarily the right one given what was shown, is the way I see it.

      3. Well, it does fit both the story and Homura´s personality perfectly but I still demand a sequel, there´s just no way she can´t get away with this, Homura can fool herself all she wants saying she´s doing this for Madoka´s happiness but she´s only doing for her own sick and twisted happiness. Homura has to learn that sad things happen, all that has happen until must have taught her that by now, at this rate she´ll be worse than the Incubators and that beyond the bottom of the abyss people.

      4. selfless love (Hope/Agápe)* taken to the extreme: sacrifice (Madoka)
        selfish love (Romantic love/Éros)* taken to the extreme: obsession (Homura)

        they are both still a form of love.

        Yeh people does say that love makes people do crazy things xD

        PS: * “The Four Loves” by C. S. Lewis

  26. What was Sayaka and Bebe’s role in all this? Madoka put her memories in them as a safeguard cause she’d lose her memories after entering the Isolation Field. Sayaka clearly remembers all this in that little conversation she had with Homura after saving her from Mami.

    Weren’t they supposed to save Homura and purify her Gem Soul? What were they waiting for? Once inside the field, shouldn’t they have told Madoka to remember who she was and do what she came to do?

    1. My best guess is that once they entered the isolation field, they cannot leave out, they have to destroy the seal that was place by the Incubator from the inside.

      Sayaka and Bebe was entrusted with Godoka’s memories so that Madoka without using any unusual powers will be less suspicious for the Incubators, for what I understand, they understand the whole situation from the very beginning, they have just to play along with everyone to make the “saving Homura plan” to work.

    2. The way I saw it, the purification of the soul gem could only occur after Homura was released from the isolated dimension, so Madoka and the rest went in order to try and release her from it. Mid-way though, Madoka lost her memories and didn’t remember what she wanted to do, but Sayaka and Bebe were there holding on to her memories just in case.

      From the way they acted, it seems like they wanted to do a wait and see approach on things as they tried to find the seal to release Homura from the prison. They probably could’ve restored her memories and powers to accomplish this yes, but the problem would be that the Incubators would subsequently be able to visualize and then possibly control Madoka and her powers. So basically they were waiting for a chance to release Homura without having to use Madoka’s powers, as Sayaka herself does notably tell Madoka near the end not to worry about the power that the Incubators kept saying she had and should use.

      Alternatively, it’s possible even with Godoka’s powers they couldn’t do anything unless they found the seal or they wanted to respect Homura’s original wishes regarding Madoka. One could argue they wanted to give some time for Homura to live in the “dream” she was having within the Soul Gem, as it was mentioned by Gen in the interview links above that that was essentially what the events within the Soul Gem represented.

  27. I go back and forth on this movie. The one thing I can say is that I unequivocally loved everything up until the big final twist. The ‘main’ story was excellent: the characters, the style, it was everything I wanted from a Madoka movie. I think the movie did an admirable job of taking an ostensibly ‘closed’ series and finding a way to add a new story that fit organically into the old universe.

    The end, though…I keep going back and forth on the end. On the one hand, like with the movie itself, I think it did a good job of finding the holes that existed in the series and working itself into them in a way that makes sense. On the other hand, it also feels like an obvious cash grab, an unnecessary epilogue tacked onto a finished series. I think my ultimate feelings on the ending twist will be dictated by where the series goes from here. The original show is, for me, one of the best examples of a perfectly contained twelve episode series. If the show can create a continuation, be it series or movie, that lives up to the standard of the rest of the series then the movie’s ending will stand the test of time. My fear is that the cash cow will be milked so much the franchise will turn into some kind of bloated, Kingdom Hearts-style mess and that this ending is just the start of it. I’m hoping the former will be what happens, but the idea of the latter makes me nervous nonetheless.

  28. I had to confess that, every overrated anime (at least in a category 2) seem to be so unpleasant, and sometimes it has some mental and emotional intolerance. but thankfully not all of these C2 type anime seem to be the same, like madoka at first it was just a regular magical girl show, until i look it up so seriously i can see why it became a worthy to watch! and so far i’am happy to oblige!

    I was planning to watch this one on Friday or Sunday after i watch the Movie of Hanasaku Iroha

    BTW Category 2 is a group of anime found in late night and it only last for a quarter (or cours) or half a year!

    and one thing (and for the fun part):

    …i was wondering who is QB’s Superiors?


    1. Ok Now…I Actually watch the movie and i do admit that it’s great but like the series it seems that the ending for me is a peaceful one but the plot is seem to be unsettled! (personally) but anyways…

      Now let’s see lets sum up for this…actually i was curious about this scenes here:
      Ahh Yes…The Entity One (Madokami)…well…i wonder
      …and rightfully so…
      so this shows up…The Diabolical One (Homu-Akuma)…
      Seems like he is…down for a moment…BUT STILL!!

      and i apologies for the bad comment there. but believe me i don’t truly bash them really, I do really like this snow and personally this is one of the best anime i ever watch. but to be honest i find these girls seem to be ridiculed rather than being remorse with. still at least their actions is more noble and commendable. that’s all i can ask!

  29. This is my all time favorite movie =)

    I find it amusing at the people getting all huffy about the ending, because no where was this out of the blue. The dialogue with Homura and Madoka during the second and third act is laced with double speak and hidden meaning. So when the ending hit, the question wasn’t so much “was this appropriate?” but rather “were you paying enough attention?”

    1. Hmmm… for me it was more so a fight between what was more appropriate given the circumstances versus what you wanted as a viewer/fan to happen eh. I think a vast majority of people really hoped for and just wanted that happy ending for them given all that they’ve had to deal with, and that played a large part in the controversy surrounding what actually ended up happening.

      1. To clarify, when I said “was that appropriate?” that’s what I meant. I put it in broader terms because I didn’t want to insinuate that people hated the movie because they didn’t like the ending, or that people hated the ending because they were too emotionally invested in the characters to think critically of the series as a whole.

        To me, the Madoka franchise has never been about finding the happy ending, but rather finding the best answer with the tools you have. The ending of the TV series left Homura forever alone with the sole burden of the memory of the one that saved the world. Rebellion ended with Homura getting everything she wanted while still being completely miserable. Not once has anyone come out of the series a winner, and I love this franchise for doing that (which makes me so looking forward to Kizumonogatari, whenever that comes out >.<)

        So when people complain about the ending, I keep thinking about a quote from Game of Thrones:
        "If you thought this was going to have a happy ending, you clearly haven't been paying attention."

  30. “Its been 3 years.” (…of fighting Wraiths??) – Homura, at the end of the movie.

    This movie as three problems to me:

    1 It´s a sequel to the two movies before and I prefer the TV Series.
    (Remove Sayaka´s hair pin and problem solved, the school roof is OK in all the surrealism.)

    2 Sometimes the surrealism is just too much, love it, but is just too much at the same time.

    3 This movie, it has not a conclusive note to it. In the end it feels like part 1 of 3.
    (My thoughts when the credits rolled.)

  31. Is this really a selfish conclusion? Judging from both the ending and the epilogue it doesn’t appear that Homura is receiving any benefit from what she did. Rather, it seems like she’s alienating and distancing herself from Madoka. Also, her reasons don’t fit the textbook definition of selfish: her plan was only conceived after Madoka said she wouldn’t be happy leaving everyone behind as well as knowing that the incubators would always be trying(and according to them, succeeding) in eventually controlling and harnessing the power of Godoka.

    Rather, it seemed that the endings were a mirror of each other. Madoka sacrifices her happiness to save all magical girls. In Rebellion, Homura sacrifices her happiness(going to heaven with Godoka, and perhaps her very relationship with Madoka in the New World Order) primarily for Madoka. As a byproduct, Nagisa and Sayaka also benefit.

    I’m fine with no more Madoka Magica being produced only because it’s strongly hinted that any further story won’t be a happy ending. At least in the two current endings there are some elements of hope.

    1. Homura does benefit from being able to be with Madoka and only Madoka in their own universe for however long that lasts.

      It’s up to interpretation though, because the thing is that no one knows exactly when Homura conceived her plan in the first place. Depending on if she planned it way before hand or only came about it after turning into a witch, the definition could go either way.

      The thing that is notable is that Homura does state she did not intend for Nagisa, Sayaka and the rest to get caught up in it all, so that’s something that should be considered. They do “benefit” in someways from this exchange, but it didn’t seem intended that they were supposed to. And you got Sayaka saying I’ll forever think of you as a demon, so eh.

  32. Aside from the last scene with homura prancing around Kyubey which was kinda weird,I actually really love this movie’s big twist and ending….hell,I actually prefer this movies ending over the original. While the original ending was great and fittingly bittersweet,it honestly left me feeling incredibly depressed and the more I think about it,the more apparent it became that the magical girls fate hasn’t change much thus firmly putting Madoka Magica on my list of ‘greatest shows that I never want to watch again’. I’m probably in the minority here,but this is the conclusion that I really feel the show deserves. 😀

    1. Yeah, the interviews seemed to have pointed to that as what happened. At least though, the ending was quite fitting regardless. Definitely wasn’t something they just changed right before its execution or anything of the sort.

  33. I don’t know about you guys, but after all Homura had gone through, I say she earned her happy ending.
    And let’s face it, does it really matter who sits on the throne of God? At least with Homura, there won’t be any fighting at all. Not even wraiths (in contrasts to Madoka’s world). And as a bonus, we got this! What more do you want?

  34. I’m personally all for the ending as I wasn’t shocked, but rather pleasantly surprised. Homura does the whole benevolent demon thing which I really dig and She really does come off as a Lucifer of sorts as Her love for Her God is what caused Her descent from Grace (so to say). Although the two stories are far apart in terms of details, there are obvious similarities which I personally think were intended.

    One thing I absolutely loved about UroGens writing for this film, is that to me, how the film played out is something that didn’t surprise me, I considered the possibility of what the ending became to be. However, he throws in all of these other plausible possibilities which you end up becoming mixed up in.

    For example, I really expected Bebe to again kill Mami at the start since how she likes cheese, and she was always chanting for Mami to turn into cheese. Not to mention that Cake scene really felt like a Russian roulette.

    The whole Labyrinth thing, it was easily a possibility that it was Homura, but again (and as they mention in the film) there were also other potential witches who could have made it as well. I considered the possibility of it being Madoka’s doing not only because of her divinity, but she did create the most powerful witch (besides Homura maybe?).

    I just love how UroGen creates all of these plausible possibilities that keep you thinking and on your feet during the film until the final revelation.

    Goodwill Wright
  35. A lot of people thinks that Homura world is not gonna last long but that is also apply to Madoka world too.
    In Rebellion, Incubator had recognise that existance of Madoka and found a way to capture Madoka and Madoka herself is too naive and defenseless so its just the matter of time when Madoka got capture or get rid by Incubator.
    So Homura must take the coutermeasure and take control of everything instead of ignoring everthing and pass away to stay with Madoka forever selfishly.
    Madoka sacrifice may benefit a lot of people but she’s just only 14 yo girl who only see the beautiful side of the world and just too naive to be able to decide by herself properly unlike Homura who properly see both side of the society and see the world more. She make a wish without consult with her parent and Homura and she still didn’t see the world as much as “the adult who can decide by themself”. Homura just merely take Madoka back again to expereice and know the world more so she can “fully grown” to becomes adult who can decide thing properly instead of being a girl who only know her own little small world.


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