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I have no idea what this looks like in an RSS reader. If you’re using some kind of RSS thing, and the title wasn’t a huge tipoff, stop reading nooooooooooow.

(filler so that if anyone inexplicably wanders back this many pages, they won’t see spoilers in the excerpt. I guess people would see any replies in the recent comments list but again the title should make it clear…)

This is nothing formal, I already dumped the many thoughts I had on Twitter (behind amply spoiler tagged twitlonger links) while watching last night. I’m not intending to “review” this or even re-paste my previous thoughts, I just wanted to throw a few more thoughts out to continue some discussion from last night there without risking people replying without hashtags or too blatantly on twitter and potentially spoiling other people who haven’t seen it yet. I miraculously managed to go all this time with ZERO spoilers (and a lot of effort to manage that) so the last thing I want is to be even indirectly responsible for spoiling anyone else.

Anyway just a couple additional thoughts:

click to open
1. So I get that the new magical girl’s name is Momoe Nagisa but it was never mentioned in the movie. At least I don’t think it was. I’m also kind of surprised how little focus she got, but I think it worked – it was a good idea to give Sayaka some backup, and it had to be someone else who had turned into a witch, and is there really any better choice than Charlotte? Although someone on the Save Homura Task Force has twisted humor pairing her up with Mami in the dream world… …then again Mami x Charlotte is one of my favorite things so this just makes it even better. I guess we fans are twisted too.

2. The idea of Sayaka taking on the role of Madokami’s enforcer is still extremely cool and such a great comeback for her. A+ writing choice there. The TV series sets up the idea of Madoka being able to communicate with her at the end, so it works! I guess the idea of Madoka building up a personal army of former magical girls sort of negates some of the utter solitude of her position, but I’m quite glad for that. She still has to fight for eternity, she still can’t be perceived by the vast majority of humanity… it doesn’t change her sacrifice. It just makes her task a bit more interesting.

3. While I totally get the idea of what Homura did at the end, I’m slightly unsure on some of the mechanics, considering I was pretty mentally drained by that point. I understand that she recreated a new universe by co-opting Madoka’s power. This universe still has “wraiths” and she still intends to see all those wraiths destroyed. And she keeps the Incubators around, so she’s still intending to have magical girls too. And we see the girls (Sayaka, Mami, and Kyouko at least, not Nagisa or Madoka) still have their soul gems. Sayaka implies they can no longer be saved before turning, because Homura has taken Madoka away. But Homura has only taken the tiny portion of Madoka’s existence that was Madoka before she became Madokami. And yet at the end we still see Madokami within Madoka. So is the rest of Madoka’s existence still out there cleansing magical girls? What Homura and Sayaka say seems to be at odds. I don’t imagine magical girls turn into witches again now, otherwise why would there still be wraiths instead of witches? But it’s left vague.

Regardless, Homura really just seems to have trapped herself in a constructed world again, only this time it’s on her own terms. But not terms that will make her happy in the long run. The scene at school between her and Madoka makes it clear to me that Homura cannot hope to contain Madokami forever. And Homura knows this, which is why she keeps bringing up the idea of fighting the other girls down the line. She’s not even 100% on board herself.

I think the ending struck an amazing balance of all these elements. Homura’s choice especially. It’s part selfishness, part lust, part love, part insanity, part cry for help, and in a way, part of it can be seen as her taking on the role of the villain to free at least a sliver of Madoka’s existence from Madokami’s eternal fate. I simply can’t see Homura as pure evil, no matter how hard she tries to play herself up as such.

4. Also uh, pretty cool to get a canon confirmation of love from Homura (as if it weren’t blindingly obvious in the TV series!) although it’s manifesting as the yandere to end all yandere. “I will rewrite the laws of the universe and tear away your divinity to be with you” is pretty… intense.

5. Not directly movie related, but did the TV series ever address the question of whether magical girls age? Kyouko contracted at a young age. I swore Mami looked younger when she did too. And if they do age (assuming they don’t stop at a certain point), then their life expectancy isn’t very long. Maybe 10 years tops if you contract as young as Nagisa, who we see is in elementary school. And of course high turnover is in the Incubators’ interests because the more magical girls go bust, the more energy collected. But this only applies to the universe before Madokami remade it. I guess I mainly ask because if we’re ever going to see what happens after “all the wraits are destroyed” then that either needs to happen quite quickly, or Kyouko and Mami (the only “normal” magical girls left) need to stay around some other way.

6. Movie 4/season 2 when? The final battle to save (or destroy) Homura couldn’t be a more perfect way to continue, and end, the franchise. The setup this movie provides is absolutely tantalizing.

Anyway I had a lot of other thoughts but I already went into them while watching (like OH GOD THE KYOUSAYA IS SO STRONG). I just didn’t want to post this on twitter because I don’t want people to reply with spoilers, so if anyone has anything to add, maybe do it here instead.

18 Responses to “Madoka Movie 3 spoilers, stay far away if you haven’t seen”

  1. Hitokiri says:

    Re: 4. And of course, some people hate this. “waaaaah, fan pandering, waaah, doesn’t fit her character blah blah blah” (see also the KyoSaya stuff). In fact, a common complaint about the film is ‘feels like a fanfic’. Which is… ugh. I guess it’s fine as a personal feeling about it, but it’s incredibly not useful as a critique.

    5. Pretty sure nothing was ever said about it. I’d be very surprised if any of them lasted close to 10 years, I’d expect 5 is on the high end, maybe with 1 or 2 really unusual exceptions.

    • something says:

      Which part to #4, going yandere, or being in love with Madoka? The latter was always obvious. She’s been obsessed with Madoka for… hell, we don’t even know how long. She could have repeated the cycle a thousand times, the show was always purposefully vague about that. But she was always deeply, deeply in love with Madoka. As for her basically losing her mind and becoming evil itself – well sure that’s a shock that seems not terribly clearly foreshadowed (but if it had been it would have lost so much impact). When we last saw her in the TV series, she was in bad shape, but hopeful. Then, in what was probably only the span of a few years at most, something fundamental changes in her.

      The biggest question for me is how premeditated this was on her part. Homura inside her barrier showed zero sign of planning anything like this. Since the story gave no hint that her private internal monologues were deceptive, we have to assume she genuinely didn’t know she’d become a witch or any of those other things. So then Homura outside the barrier, before her soul gem was captured, hatched this whole plan. But… when?

      Her not having her memories of becoming a witch while inside the barrier is fine. Intentionally repressing memories to more convincingly play a part and execute a plan is something we’ve all see before. Hell Madoka did it too, in this very movie. But when she wakes up outside as Madoka is coming to take her away, that was clearly planned. I mean that can’t be spur of the moment, can it? Didn’t seem like it.

      I think the best foreshadowing we have is the very last scene of the TV series, when she spreads those black, evil-looking wings. Deeply corrupted versions of the wings she’s shown with when we first see her in Madoka’s new world. And hell, that could have been the very fight when she finally corrupted her soul gem too much – it takes place in a desert scene similar to where her body is for the Incubator experiment. Perhaps by that point she had already formed her plan, and while the Incubator plot was unanticipated, it didn’t change her ability to execute the plan. Just delayed it a bit. Maybe a movie or second season will fill in the gap between the end of the TV series and the third movie.

      And “fan pandering”, ugh that doesn’t make any sense at all in the Homura case (seriously, who would ever claim this as their ideal MadoHomu end?), is just super jaded bullshit in the KyouSaya case, and as you say is just garbage as a critique. So pbft, that opinion can go jump in a fire.

      • Hitokiri says:

        Oh, uh, both parts of 4, I guess. Mainly the “yandere” part for characterization, I guess. And yeah, I don’t know how people look at that and think “this is a totally unrealistic turn for her character”. I’ve also seen a number of complaints that it wasn’t built up to enough, but yeah, it’s not exactly hard to see how she went this direction and too much build-up would remove the surprise.

        I really need to rewatch the movie myself before I can adequately discuss whether there was proper build up, plus to better understand what was going on in those last ~10-20 minutes. Watching it in a theater was fantastic, but it doesn’t give you the time to process what was going on there.

        The issue of premeditation is actually one I don’t think I’ve seen discussed much, and again, I’d need to rewatch it to properly assess that. She probably always wanted to ‘save’ Madoka, but had no real way to execute, until the Incubators handed it to her. That said, I think she likely didn’t come up with the ‘rewrite the world and trap Madoka and everyone else in it, with her playing Lucifer’ until right about then. She couldn’t have conceived of having that kind of power and being turned into a super-witch, so she couldn’t have possibly planned that out before she found out that she had become a witch.

        • something says:

          If someone is a stickler for every plot twist being explicitly foreshadowed, maybe. But there really is something to be said for surprises, even if you have to skip a bit of the build-up. This whole turn would not have been remotely as shocking and devastating if we knew it was coming (also why spoilers suck!).

          But either way, yeah this is absolutely one possible outcome. Homura, for all her cold efficiency, is just about the farthest thing from emotionally stable. The idea that it wasn’t premeditated… hm. I guess that could be possible, but man I really want to know exactly when she made the decision. Would be fascinating to know her thought process at that exact point.

          • Hitokiri says:

            The BD will have a translation of the booklet that comes with it for those buy it from TRSI or Animate USA (I’m getting it from the latter), maybe that will get addressed in that somewhere.

  2. fencedude says:

    I should have more thoughts on this but I really need to rewatch it.

    Anyway, I felt what happened was pretty well justified, because as you say, Homura is definitely not a stable person even in the best of times.

    What I find interesting is speculation for the next movie or series. It would by necessity be radically different in tone from either the series or Rebellion, but it has all sorts of interesting potential.

    Just as an example, if we assume the main conflict is Sayaka as Madoka’s proxy vs. Homura, once things coming out, imagine if Homura somehow had Kyouko learn that the only way to preserve her life with Sayaka is for things to continue as they are. That would definitely put a major wrench into things.

    • something says:

      That’s one thing that’s really great about this – for all people moaned and wrung hands over how it “didn’t need” a sequel, not only did we get an amazing one, we got one that itself is so very open to a variety of damned interesting continuations. Whether in movie or TV form.

      And if we get to learn more about Nagisa/Bebe/Charlotte that would justify a sequel all by itself!

    • Hitokiri says:

      Kyouko should be the lead/viewpoint character of the next film.

      • something says:

        I certainly wouldn’t object to the best character in the show and of all of 2011 and one of the best of all time getting the focus next. Other than maybe Mami for somewhat understandable reasons, she’s gotten the least focus, but if another film does indeed put Sayaka in the spotlight, that could be a great way to put heavy focus on Kyouko as well.

        I guess the problem for Kyouko is that she’s, oddly enough, the most normal person left. Sayaka is a witch, as is Nagisa, Madoka and Homura are, well… So it would be hard to see how Kyouko has the power to drive the plot. But goddamn I’d like to see them try to make it work.

        • Hitokiri says:

          I think her being the most normal one (along with Mami) are pretty big reasons to make them lead characters. Sayaka seems the most likely though, just based on how Rebellion ended.

          But while I’d prefer Kyouko (being best and all), I really just want it to be someone other than Homura or Madoka after this. Of course you’d have to get in their heads and there are certainly major issues with them that need to be resolved, but they don’t need to be the primary viewpoint for that to happen.

          • something says:

            I’d bet on Sayaka as well, because she’s the only character besides Kyubey who even remembers what Homura did (for now, Homura seemed to be affecting her memories already). Kyouko and Mami and Madoka all sense something is wrong, but little more. Nagisa is completely oblivious.

            Of those that forgot, Kyouko and Mami are more likely to break free first, given Madoka will be watched 24/7 by Homura. Even Nagisa would probably get clued in before Madoka, once Mami brings her along. Of Mami and Kyouko, Kyouko seems like she’d get it sooner since she’s probably still living with Sayaka in this world.

            But yeah, man, I am so ready for Sayaka’s underground guerrilla war against evil overlord Homura, where she gathers allies to her cause and rebels against Homura’s new order.

            It can’t be “rebellion” again, since they’ve used that. In two senses, really. Homura and the other girls rebel against the Incubators’ prison, but I think the deeper meaning of “hangyaku” in this case is its other possible definitions of “treachery” and “treason”, which perhaps more aptly describe Homura’s actions than “rebellion”. Maybe this time we need something like Gyakushuu (Counterattack) no Monogatari.

            Although that sounds kinda cheesy, I’d like something that conveys Homura’s redemption. (Assuming they got enough stomping on our hearts in this movie and will let Madoka and Homura have a happy ending.)

            • Kaisos says:

              Mobile Suit Magica: Sayaka’s Counterattack

              • something says:

                Heh yes, Char’s Counterattack is what came to mind when I thought of that (nevermind the only UC I’ve ever seen is 08th). Man I really want to nail down some cool name that addresses redemption or salvation or whatever though. Such a name would give me more hope for a happy ending than a more martial “counterattack” or “reconquest” (why do these keep having Gundam connections) or whatever.

                I still can’t get over what a master stroke this whole thing was though, basically everyone will be going nuts for a continuation if they announce one. No compromise on the impact of the work while cleverly introducing super important new plot threads to address. So gooooooooood.

                (Yay for speculating on movies that haven’t even been announced.)

  3. hpulley says:

    I didn’t love Rebellion when I saw it in the theatre and will not be buying it but I would still welcome further movies or a second season. Hopefully I would then get my desired outcome. Perhaps I was just in the wrong mindset but it was not at all the ending I was expecting.

    • something says:

      Nobody (who wasn’t spoiled) was expecting that ending, didn’t make it any less mind-blowing. On the contrary, way moreso.

      • hpulley says:

        It did blow my mind, but in a, “no, No, NO, NOOOOOOOOOOO! Not like that, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be…” kind of way. I was hoping for a “yes, Yes, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!” ending. But I suppose this one does leave room for more while my dream ending would be fairly final.

        • something says:

          While it was a shock at the time (I wasn’t paying attention to runtime and thought it was over and was blindsided by Homura’s “caught you!”), in retrospect it should have been obvious we wouldn’t get off so easily!

          So getting something shocking and daring and super well executed, even if it is faaaaaaar from how I personally want Homura and Madoka’s relationship to conclude, works too. Storywise it was brilliant.

          I’d be a lot more ambivalent about the ending, perhaps, if it were more final, and it weren’t obviously leading into a continuation. If Homura didn’t make clear that she knew she couldn’t maintain this situation forever. If Madoka didn’t come so close, already, to breaking free. If Homura didn’t still quite obviously have good left in her, if she were doing this purely for evil rather than for love. If Sayaka weren’t determined to keep fighting. If all magical girls had been completely erased. But none of that is the case, and oh man the awesome, awesome things it’s potentially set up…

          For this movie, I couldn’t ask for a better ending. Even if the franchise did end here, they’ve left enough ambiguity about how things will play out that it could fuel speculation and doujins forever. I really doubt it ends here though. Continuing it is just too easy, too potentially rewarding. If the credits roll on the very last installment of the franchise and there’s an unambiguously dismal end, I won’t quite know what to think (though if it’s done well enough, that’s okay too) but I have a feeling there will be at least some glimmer of hope in the end.

  4. Progeusz says:

    I’m happy to see your impression of the movie (in all points regarding it) was basically the same as mine back when I watched the camrip and absolutely loved it. I wanted to discuss more but never had time during the week and now the package has finally came so I’m going to excuse myself and proceed to watch it properly. Can’t wait to finally see it in glorious 1080p! Also a grand test for brand new BD drive bought specifically for Madoka.

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