Posted by psgels on 11 March 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



Holy crap, what an episode. We’ve finally gotten to Homura’s past and BY GOD is is awesome.

This may be because I really like the kinds of series that deal with alternative dimensions, but the reason I love the stories like this is because they really allow creators to show different ways for characters to develop when done right (do note that it can be done poorly just as easily, though. Yes, I’m looking at you Yosuga no Amagami). The creators really put a ton of meaning in this episode

With this, I also understand why the creators said, prior to this series, that it would be the type of show that you need to watch two times in order to fully get it. I remember that first episode and how at first it seemed very much like Nanoha. The biggest reason for that was that scene in which Madoka saves Kyuubei from being attacked. Yeah, that suddenly gets put into a completely different perspective, doesn’t it?

One thing that was amusing during the past few weeks was seeing all of the crazy theories from everyone, ranging from speculating that Homura was Madoka to Homura being Madoka’s cat. In the end though, she just turned out to be a normal girl who just matured much more mentally due to the way that she always kept travelling back in time. Plot twists like “character x is secretly related to character Y in some bizarre way” are good, but they shouldn’t be used for the sake of just using them, otherwise they’ll just become forced.

This episode only left one major question: why wasn’t Madoka this awesome mahou shoujo when Homura first met her? This episode strongly hinted at Madoka getting more talent as Homura kept travelling back in time.

Oh, and the release dates for the final episodes are finally out: Madoka will only have 12 episodes. We’re actually ending this thing in two weeks!
Rating: *** (Awesome)

EDIT: holy crap, I knew by now that I needed to avoid that shoutbox before watching this week’s episode, but this is getting a bit out of hand here. Unfortunately due to my schedule I’m unfortunately not able to watch this series as fast as usual (combined with the fact that four of the shows I’m blogging air on thursday evening).

Next week, I’ll create a topic for discussions before the episode airs.

42 Responses

  1. gandalf8 says:

    Mind blowing episode. Homura’s back story is finally revealed, and what a story it is. The concept of characters that time travel to right a wrong is nothing new, but the execution is so excellent. Really heart wrenching to see was Homura’s transformation as a character: from a clumsy, shy and innocent girl to the cold, driven and hard willed mahou shoujo. Can hardly wait to see what sort of ending awaits our 2 remaining girls.

    On a side note, my thoughts and prayers go out to the people in Japan who are affected by the earthquake. Hope there won’t be a lot of casualties.

  2. Tan-Tan says:

    Anyway, I wanted to just point out how Homura fcked everyone up. And it started when she became selfish and wished she could do Madoka a favor by saving her.

    Why did I say that? First of all, her concern was for her own happiness. Madoka didn’t ask Homura in the original timeline to stop her from being a mahou shoujo or a witch. When did that happen? When Homura went back in time.

    My main argument is that Madoke and Mami died as heroes. They believed to have done the right thing. They died with goodness in them. But Homura refused to accept that. Instead, what happened is the two of them dying in worse scenarios.

    So yes. I really didn’t like people rallying behind Homura too much without seeing first what the consequence of her actions were. She listened to Kyuubey. That itself is already a mistake.

  3. AidanAK47 says:

    I have never been happier to be proven wrong. Seems the Archer theory is out now. It’s a scenario that most of us predicted but the execution was wonderful.

    The only thing that could stop Madoka from entering the realms of one of best anime of all time is the ending. This is the point which decides everything. If we get a MyHime style ending then that would ruin it. Gen has a history for Bitter-sweet or simply bad endings so I doubt this would end with sunshine a rainbows. He already stated that he wouldn’t be as evil as he was with Saya’s ending so I am betting on a bitter-sweet end.

  4. EXM says:

    She listened to Kyuubey, but she didn’t know Kyuubey was evil. None of them knew it was evil. Hell, it doesn’t think it’s evil, but according to humanity, it is. Note that while Madoka and Mami died as heroes, you gotta think about the situation.

    Homura was the only one who lived after Walpuris Nicht, and she saw her only friend die before her eyes to save her (Madoka was strong enough to defeat Walpuris Nicht by herself from timeline1 apparently). If someone closed to you die, and there was a magical miracle making machine, you’d probably use it regardless of the consequences. And back then she didn’t know what the fate of a Mahou Shoujo was. Otherwise she would have realized that although she could prevent Madoka’s sad future, hers would ultimately be sacrificed (She already made the contract).

  5. Kiarae says:

    My first thought in the episode as “Mami never gets a break”, but then as it went on, Homura became more and more the tragic character that she needed to be. I loved each scenario and especially how the Opening wasn’t used until the end – because it’s the ending that Madoka wants and the protection that Homura is after for her. (And now I kinda thought it was hinting that all 5 girls needed to work together to get through it with that final shot…)

    As for Madoka not being an awesome Witch in the first scenario… this might be drawing from a good number of other sci-fi shows, but messing up time takes AND causes energy to accumulate. Since Madoka reached “the end” each time with Homura, she’s the center of this continued time disturbance that Homura keeps creating. I could see something like all or part of the magic energy that Homura uses to travel back ends up with Madoka as she slips back each time. We did see in the beginning that Madoka has faint traces of memories from those alt timelines, after all. The magic could be affecting her.

    I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S OVER IN 2 WEEKS!!

  6. m says:

    I too lamented that Mami’s pure heart was always too good to persist in a world soiled by Kyubey’s infernal paws. At least she never suffered the indignity of becoming a witch.

    I think the most humorous thing about Homura is that she inadvertently became a perpetual motion machine. Talk about hitting the jackpot, Kyubey.

  7. Denizen says:

    This episode was just goddamned incredible, and showed the final act of how this challenges the Magical Girl genre so well.

    It’s funny. Most typical magical girl shows would have Homura as the main character – the hopeless, shy character who joins a magical girl squad. The subversion would then bring the revelation that they’ll become witches, I mean hell, it’s dark, and think about it, Homura’s story could have worked as a 13-episode series in itself and still been shockingly good.

    What this show does is AGAIN subvert that even further, making it even smarter. The perception is changed – Madoka is then the main character, but she never actually becomes the Magical Girl. The OP implies it, so you expect it, but it never happens. This flashback shows what she can do, but otherwise we’re near the end of the series and the main character hasn’t even…done what she’s supposed to.

    So instead we have a setting – Advanced Cultures using humans to solve a problem, and then a pivotal moment within that. An immensely powerful magical girl and an immensely powerful witch catalysing her demise into something that will destroy Earth.

    And so, the ending is going to be immense – the WORST possible ending is for Madoka to actually fulfill her implied role, not the best. Either this re-iteration will solve the entire sequence of events, or Homura is once again forced to go back – if she even decides to try again, of course.

    What a brilliant anime.

  8. South says:

    Lol I can’t believe I was so sure she was Madoka’s cat. It was all so fitting somehow, kinda like Kanon’s Makoto. Haha. I still feel the she is Madoka from the future or something was the most silly of the theories…but oh well.

    About Madoka becoming stronger…I don’t know if that’s the case, but if it was, it’s always by Homura. Walpurgis night #1 she dies, and Mami has just die. In the last Walpurgis, I think she anger she feels and all about the truth she didn’t know in the 1st Walpurgis might help in her powers, kinda like Sayaka was amazing as a fighter when she was super angry/mad/sad. In the first timeline Sayaka doesn’t seem to become a witch/mahou shoujo either, helping Madoka gain the motivation. Maybe. Or, the wish. Madoka might have wished to be awesome like Mami or something the the first world. Same in second since there was no change except for Homura. As for the last one, maybe she asked for the power to defeat the Walpurgis witch in just one hit or something.

    What I didn’t get is why Madoka becomes a witch in the second timeline(I think?) but not in the first one. Or actually, it’s a need for Kyubei to inject her with that thingy I don’t remember the name of for her to become one? Because if Madoka was to become a witch and destroy everything thus helping Kyubei’s race and universe, why did he asked Homura to make a wish?

  9. kylone says:

    The way I see it, the Walpurgis Night witch and Madoka killed each other in the original timeline. When Homura intervenes Madoka defeats the witch just barely. Keep in mind that there’s two ways for a Puella Magi to become a witch–falling into despair, or exhausting their powers.

  10. Solaris says:

    It’s wonderful how the most simple answer blowed up all of those crazy theories. The cat one was awesome silly.
    I like Kiarae’s explanation of why Madoka looks she’s becoming stronger and stronger at any iteration. Actually it looks things get always messier at any iteration. Could it be still entropy accumulating?
    And I urge to point out that we don’t know Madoka’s own wish yet. That could be important to break the loop. Hopefully.

  11. Coyotl says:

    I don’t think Madoka is getting stronger each time line; The power of a MS are related to the wish to be a Mahou Shoujo. In the first time line Madoka could have just asked for cake as she was going to do in ep3; the change happens in the last time line, the emotions to save Homura and stop the destruction in front of her were far more powerful than the previous incarnations. Kyubei told Madoka he could see the greatest Mahou Shoujo in her, what probably means he could foresee the greatest tragedies happening to her.

    Homura may be condemning the world more and more every time she tries to save Madoka. They always defeat Walpurgis but it also looks like the chances of Madoka to become a witch raise every time line.

  12. c160 says:

    I agree with the theory that Madoka’s wish will be important in ending the loop. However, I think the story might even end with a very down downer ending. Maybe just to give a big middle finger to us, Madoka might end up killing Homura this time around..Madoka in this timeline seems to really not trust Homura,and that is the biggest difference compared to all the previous timelines. And compared to the other timelines,Madoka seems to be the least stable in this one. Even in the one where Mami kills Kyoko(Mami always loses her head doesn’t she ^^;),she’s still a bit more stable since she have Homura.

    A bit off topic,but I really wanna play a Touhou style bullet hell Madoka game after this episode(freezing those bullets with Homura would be awesome!) XD And a Heartcatch vs Madoka girls fighting game would be nice too.The ultimate fight of Hope vs Despair,where both sides are Magical girls!That would be AWESOME! ^^

  13. Firechick says:

    Okay. That is officially it. This episode broke my mind. I’m adding Madoka Magica to my top 20 favorite anime!!! And this episode made me cry!

  14. kurini says:

    OMG, it’s way more awesome than I expected! While everyone LOVE this anime, I just simply enjoyed it but now, it’s totally different!

    It is so amazing, everything makes sense now! This anime really deserve all the attention after all :)

  15. Solaris says:

    Interesting, c160: Maybe desperation and emotions are what ‘powers up’ Madoka into seemingly growing stronger at each cycle. And this time she’s really desperate.

    And about Touhou: If Homura is clearly Sakuya, what are the other Touhou girls equivalents in your opinion?

  16. hoiut says:

    “Mami always loses her head doesn’t she ^^;”

    Oh gawd yes. This, definitely this. XD I laughed. Out loud. My head was lolling after reading this. lawl

  17. c160 says:

    @Solaris I was actually thinking about Cirno when I thought of freezing those bullets with Homura(Fairy wars style!),but yeah,Sakuya is a better and closer comparison ^^
    Fighting style wise, Sayaka would be similar to Youmu,but I can’t really compare the other girls to Touhou characters. Maybe Kyoko is similar to Yuyuko in terms of their love for food?And Madoka would probably be like Eirin in the way that they both use bows(well,at least Eirin’s artwork have a bow).Since the Touhou girls all use the spell card system anyway, it’s quite hard to make comparison ^^;

    Anyway, about despair powering up Madoka, it could happen, only if the despair carries over from timeline to timeline. The previous timeline Madoka killed the Walpurgis witch in one hit,and she seems(from what we have seen at least) to have been the most out of the loop/normal in that one(but she also turned into a witch immediately too..). At least from what we’ve seen in episode 1, there wasn’t much despair in her when making the contract with QB,it was more like “I wanna be of some use too!”.Or maybe she wished “I wanna save that girl(Homura)!” which would really screw up Homura in this timeline..

  18. LoliHat says:

    Again, I am reminded of Madoka’s mother’s speech. Her mother said that it is better to make mistakes when young then as an adult. In the previous loops, Madoka acted like and adult…and things did not end well. In this loop, she is acting like a child. This suggests that her not being a strong adult in this loop will be a game changer…that is *if* she doesn’t start acting like a strong adult…

  19. EvilDevil says:

    In the original timeline when Madoka died, she died without regrets, she died defending the world and there was not enough corruption to change her into a witch, so she died pure and innocent. However, each time Homura traveled back into the past each version of Madoka became more sad and depressed thus she eneded up becoming a witch at the end. Also in the original timeline her wish may have been minor, but in the lastest timeline it is possible that Madoka wished to become powerful to defeat the most powerful witch in the world During Walpurgis Night (previous timelines she did it before that), so she became a Puella Magi of equal or of superior power in Walpurgis Night… unfortunately she was too powerful so she become a Witch after battle and she will destroy the Earth in the process… As far as I can tell it semms Homura has made the timeline worse in each scenario.

  20. c160 says:

    @Solaris Oops I just realized I mistook desperation for despair in my previous comment about your post,sorry. I agree that desperation and emotions might power up Madoka, as proven by Sayaka’s witch hunt where she having an emotional breakdown while curbstomping that witch to death. However this doesn’t explain why she’s so powerful in the previous timeline,where she was innocent(from what we’ve seen at least) until the very last point but was still able to take down Walpurgis down in one hit. But it’s still a possibility that the emotions is carried over from one timeline to timeline.

  21. Solaris says:

    @C160: Nice comment about Touhou girls: I didn’t think about those details, and thinging about characters I actually couldn’t find any comparison :P

    And as for Madoka’s strenght i found Kiarae’s and Coyotl one quite reasonable. Maybe it’s a matter of entropy, as if they really mess with time and energy, it could be that all of that energy would end compressed in Madoka only to be blown up at the last moment.
    I don’t even think it’s a matter of desires, as Homura has the cheat ‘time rewind’ from the very start when she’s quite the pure and innocent one, wich is the most powerful ability up now.

  22. Solaris says:

    Addendum: It looks like this time all of the comments look rather more reasonable than last time. Good job people.

  23. Ncrdrg says:

    It somewhat baffles me why people can’t see why Madoka is getting stronger and stronger through each time loop. It actually makes perfect sense and is proving why this episode is bloody brilliant : Emotions/Despair when contracting the wish power the witch. The more you have, the stronger you become when changing into a Magical Girl.

    So why is she more powerful (and less confident than earlier loops)? Because Homura inadvertently made her stronger by delaying her wish. See, the first Madoka/Sayaka/Mami/Kyoko/Homura know nothing about Kyubei’s evil plan. So they make a wish under little duress just to save the world. Madoka makes her wish with little emotion behind it, becomes a MG of decent strength, gains confidence in that and becomes an outspoken person. Exactly how Homura changed along the way from a Madoka-esque shy girl to a confident and bold character.

    Same story for the next loops. However, she learns about Kyubei’s plan and figures out how to thwart it by pre-empting Kyubei’s plan to turn Madoka. Before, she had no need to, she didn’t know the MG->Witch inevitability. But now that she does, she prevents it. So Madoka remains shy because she never became a MG, gets more and more desperate as all her friends die around her and at Walpurgis, she has enough of it and turns into a witch of incredible power because of all she went through and is then doomed to become the strongest witch as well.

    In the current timeline, she replicates her move to stop Madoka from being seduced by Kyubei but her backstory and those secrets to herself. Why? Because she doesn’t want Madoka to save her and turn into a witch. So she ends up being purposely cold. Only once did she slip up and start crying.

    What we’re getting to is… an ending where Homura just gives up and Madoka becomes the strongest Magical Girl there was or that she doesn’t contract at all. Homura will die regardless because she’s doomed. What I think will happen is a complete reversal finale, Homura manages to defeat Walpurgis and then dies/suicide/get Madoka to kill her. Basically switching Homura and Madoka. The real tragedy is that Homura made things worse through her wish. Madoka/Mami/Sayaka/Kyoko dying and her remaining was the best ending she could have.

  24. Solaris says:

    The solution must be leaving Madoka out of the business cause Madoka taking action means the planet is fucked up for good. What about sending her sleeping with a powerful 100T mallet knock out at the right time? Homura should be able to end it by herself and then put an end to her own misery too before Madoka wakes up.
    This is logic (with a bit of humour too), but I’d like the author to surprise me finding some entertaining other way out of tihs.

  25. c160 says:

    I gotta wrap my head around this entropy concept,my understanding of it is just too weak to follow some of the theories and speculations out there XD

    @Ncrdrg I think I mostly agree with what you said.But there’s a few things that I would like to mention;Homura already did the lonewolf thing in the previous timeline,and Madoka didn’t suddenly turn into a witch in the previous timeline because she had enough,it was QB that got Madoka to suddenly contract during the Walpurgis Night fight.I think Madoka didn’t knew about witches in that timeline and there were no clue that her friends were dying in that timeline either(assuming that what we saw and heard from her in the dream sequence in episode 1 is exactly what happened in the previous timeline).But I agree that your ending theory seems very very likely to happen. The most happy ending that could I imagine is that , the situation is reversed in a way that Homura’s memories is wiped and Madoka is the one that remembers everything instead. Very unlikely though,it’s too happy compared to everything else that happened in the series.

    My guess is that.Homura’s plan this time around was to pair up with Kyoko(and most probably Mami,which is why she was in the 1st witch maze where she 1st met Madoka in this timeline) for the fight with Walpurgis,but without contracting Sayaka and Madoka.However she ruined her own plans when she attacked QB,which prompts him to call Madoka for help..

    Oh and doesn’t anyone else think Walpurgis is probably a mechanism put in by QB’s race as to catalyze their umm emotion sucking activities?To beat Walpurgis,either many magical girls or a very strong one needs to be contracted. And more/stronger magical girls,the more emotions they can suck from the Grief seeds.

  26. Solaris says:

    No, C160, adding many more magic girls means more entropy. They’ll solve it if there remain no magic girls at the end. The thing is Madoka is always in the way of the perfect solution. The real deal is Madoka would stay put and behave. Anyway Homura is doomed.

    Entropy measures the amount of energy lost whenever there’s some work done. Any activity consumes energy in some form. You’d say that the universe works by energy changing form. Any time this happens there is some energy that goes lost and is no more expendable. If the universe would spend all of its energy it would collapse in a dead state where there’s no more work being done. Everything stops and keeps at a fixed temperature. That’s called thermal death.

  27. c160 says:

    Thanks for that explanation Solaris, I think I understand it better now :) I think Madoka should sit still too,but judging by the end of episode 9,I don’t think it’s gonna happen unless Homura tells her everything that has happened..

  28. obvious says:

    It’s not really good science, is it? That energy loss is just like the heat dissipated from CPU. The heat will just go back to ambient air, nothing is lost in the world; there is just energy lost for the specific device. And if you know about superconductors, you would know there is possibility of complete use of the energy. As an advanced race who can harvest emotional energy, inKyubeitor should know well about this. It’s probably one of those “you-didn’t-ask-so-I-don’t-have-to-tell-you” facts that the alien kept from Madoka. And even then, trying to convince a junior high school girls with high intermediate-high level physics just sounds like a trickery.

  29. NguyenSon says:

    @Solaris
    It’s actually usuable energy that gets lost overtime in a closed system, the quantity of energy stays the same in the universe (conservation of energy) but the quantity of energy that can be used for work decrease.

    For example, in a box with one half at 0 degree and the other at 20 degree, you could use the difference in temperature to make some movement. In the same box at 10 degree everywhere, you can’t use anything to produce work but the quantity of (kinetic) energy is the same in both boxes.

  30. Ebisu says:

    It was a good chapter showing Homura’s resolution. I think there are plenty of ways through Madoka’s wish to save everyone, even Homura. She could always wish to erase all the aliens, infinite magical power (and so she can’t degenerate into witch), that all witches become mahou shoujos again and forever, or simply wish for Homura to reach her happy ending and a world that wont end destroyed by aliens(that’s how it has finished everytime although Homura going back saves the day).
    The writers have plenty of choices^^.

  31. NguyenSon says:

    @Ebisu
    Don’t forget that the one granting the wishes is Kyuubey and nothing so far tells us that he is forced to grant the wish (a contract usually require the consent of BOTH parties). If a wish would set him back, there’s no garantee he would choose to grant it or that he would be able to.

  32. Solaris says:

    @NguyenSon and Obvious. Thank you for the obvious comments. What’s good in debating about physics here? Just define entropy and explain what thermal death is, cause it’s the minimum comprehension required to follow the show.
    I don’t think blabbering about superconductors of closed system may do much more good than confuse who’s not into science here. Especially how I mentioned universe, that’s a closed system by definition. It was not unintentional. But now, having you mentioned it, what’s a closed system? And you have to explain another 2 pages of stuff before going back to the topic.
    Just stick that Entropy is a measure of energy made not-spendable and that’s enough.
    If you’re smart you can add that entropy never decreases, that is to say that any work you do, you actually spend energy. That is to say you’re adding entropy even if you’re charging a battery, or cleaning your room. You’d say how could it be, as charging that battery actually increases its own energy. Yes, it does it at the cost of energy spent to charge it. That would’ve be a smart comment.
    About superconductors: They don’t defy entropy too. They work by two phenomena that exchange energy between them in a very efficient way, thus by minimizing lost energy, but they do loose it too at the end.
    In the fiction Kyuubey used something that exceeds physical laws to recharge entropy. Don’t forget it. Kyuubey also abides natural laws at the end of the day.
    I know that it’s quite strange to use physics as an explanation in some fiction, but if you remember Arthur Clarke famous quotes: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, you’d see how alien Kyuubey dealing with advanced physics as a kind of magic too.

  33. Shou says:

    Nyugen, Obvious, thank you so much for clarifying the entropy issue in a way that should be relatively understandable.

    While I might conceivably forgive Kyubey for nonchalantly subjecting little girls to emotional torture and facilitating the annihilation of humankind, I can NEVER forgive him for misleading anime viewers worldwide on basic thermodynamics.

  34. windy says:

    Another great episode! Why does it end in two weeks?!!!I also enjoyed this retrospective episode! Amazing to see the Homura’s change of character after her repetitive time travels! At the beginning of this episode, she looked way too different from her usual self, it was like “hey, is it the same stern-looking Homura we all know about?”Then, everything is unravelled in a spectacular way! Also explains her overprotective attitude towards Madoka from the beginning of the show and the impression of already knowing her. And Kyubey who couldn’t care less about human folks as long as they serve his dimension’s purpose!!!! Definitely the best show of the season for me!

  35. Kaza says:

    BEST EPISODE TIL NOW.

    I’d say Homura travelled even more to the past [8, 10, even more months] so she could avoid everything to happen..

    that’s what I believe that happened in the last time, when she warned Madoka, and there was no Mami, Kyoko or Miki in that part.

    and in the last time, madoka probably had a greater wish, of saving her friends, or the world against Walpurgis night

  36. cillia says:

    omg… only 2 more episodes ;~; i’ll miss this so much…

    but really, this is the best stuff i’ve seen for a while. Just had a marathon to catch up on Madoka and damn… This episode had me crying! ]: WHY MADOKA WHYYY

  37. ryvrdrgn14 says:

    /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ { No episode 11 this week. If you make a contract with me, you can change this! }

    I’m still hoping she’ll become a Magical Girl somehow without QB. :)

  38. brit ramos says:

    I just love this anime genre, the characters fight for idealistic causes such as love, peace, hope, and beauty—rarely for revenge. These typical young girls with super powers who fights antagonists have so much fun.

  39. Hogart says:

    Meh. I was looking forward to the last two eps of Madoka, and now that I’ve caught up I can say that it only stands out because the other stuff airing this season is so lame (though I haven’t caught up with Wandering Son or Level E yet).

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid melodrama, but it drowns in it’s own excess.. it’s just not long enough to make me care about the characters beyond. Once they revealed Kyubey as a stock “pure evil” character my interest waned substantially.. it’s just a mahou shoujo now, just with more Evangelion-style kid-torture.

    Still, it’s been a while since I saw an actually-good drama. The brief action scenes are rather nice, and the seiyuu do scream with sincerity. And who knows? Shinbo still has time to pull a 180 with a twist ending. Even if he doesn’t, I can least hope that Jun Maeda will watch it and take some notes on how to not suck at drama.

  40. Solaris says:

    Lol Hogart. Did you really expect this to be another clone of Sailor Moon? Madoka has more to do with Evangelion, for how does it subverted its own reference genre, than with classical majokko animes. They did the job wonderfully in a single season as they delivered the message, never rushed the pace and developed all of the char good enough. I doubt stretching it to two seasons would add to the story more than fillers.

  41. Firechick says:

    Bad news. No episodes 11 and 12 until somewhere (potentially) in April due to the earthquake.

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Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
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