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.


  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:

    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:

    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:


    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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Kaiser Eoghan
You have seen the light, not needing to know everything thats happening to enjoy something ^_^
Kaiser Eoghan
I've given some consideration to reviewing that oujia film followup.
Whether you see one or the other is entirely up to your preferences, so it makes no difference to me which is worse. I have gotten very tired of generic character types, but again that's just because of the things I decide to regularly follow.
I will say if it must come down to either unnatural dialogue or unnatural character types, at leas the character type is speaking their own words and not the words of the script writer.
Or was that a black and white fallacy? Maybe it was a little of both.
@Realjustified, K-Off wasn't agreeing with me. That's a Moving the Goal Posts logical Fallacy but well I will answer regardless. Honestly it's preferable to have neither. The big mistake you are making here is that you are putting down a condiction that a show must have one or the other. But both cartoons and anime can have both. I just think it's a lot more prominent in cartoons than anime.
Like, having read hundreds of harem manga over the years, a majority of the ultimate love interest always happens to be the first girl the protagonist meets.
Wait wait wait wait. Aidan and K-Off. I get that dialogue in cartoon can seem like it was written by a script writer, but at the same time, lots of anime have characters whose sole purpose is entirely scripted. The whole spectrum of "deres" and everything. What do you think is worse? Unnatural dialogue, or unnatural character types?
You guys should really go fuck yourself, it's a solution and it's nothing short of great!
You guys should really watch the first 4 episodes of Bungo, it's a prequel and it was nothing short of great!
omg!! I just realized To be Hero was one of the show that I reviewed its 1st episode back in Chinese Animation post. I watched raw then though
forgive me if I'm a bit too overwhelmed by Flip Flappers... For this episode alone I took like 25 screenshots...trying to write a review now...
I have absolutely no idea what is going on in Flip Flappers plot. And yet for some reason I am OK with that.
Anyone out there that's a fan of crude humor should go watch ep.3 of To Be Hero. Certinately stepped it up a notch from the last two humor-wise.
One downside I can think of already is that I'm bound to lose or break one of the detachable controllers. The cost for those pieces is what I'm most interested in.
Nintendo Switch hmm? Honestly it looks too good to be true. I expect some major downsides to this thing.
I like cartoons, don't get me wrong. Certainly good for a change of pace. But there is something about the way they are written that I find rather distracting.
I don't know, maybe if I said it's like the difference from how characters talk in movie vs how characters talk in a sitcom?
@K-Off, I said one liner's or jokes. Not one liner jokes. It's hard to explain. Basically when I hear a conversation in anime even if it is based in stereotypes, it at least feels like a conversation that's being had in the moment. In cartoons however there is a layer of artificiality and it feels like characters know what a person is going to say and has a response prepared.
That's probably why some of my favorite anime in recent years haven't been very heavy on character archetypes, or were either parodies of it.
Comedic dialogue with anime in recent years have leaned too much on the idea of playing off character archetypes. The collected character vs the energetic character, for one. I'd like to see more variety. Some more word play, hyperbolic humor, body humor, etc etc.
@Aidan Not quite sure what you mean by that, because it's certainly not even a majority of cartoons that rely on cheap one liner jokes. I suppose it's entirely up to taste, but I can appreciate the energy in cartoons like Steven Universe or Regular Show when compared to the increasingly repetitive dialogue found in some recent anime.
@Topgavin: I just read that review and his main reason being Shelter is pretentious. oh well! Can't never please anyone.
Thought I'd check out the reviews for Shelter on MAl and the top review is a 1/10. Apparently because it's a cute girl we sympathise with her more, which is bad because reasons. I mean.. what? MAL never ceases to amaze me
@Mario, no. It's more that the dialogue keeps trying to push out one liners or jokes regardless of whose talking.
@Aidan: maybe because they spoke in your native language do you can feel that it's artificial, ya know? I know I have the same problem with Vietnamese drama/ cartoon and maybe Japanese people have that same issues with anime?
By which I mean, the way characters talk in cartoons is very...artificial. Like you can tell that the dialgoue was clearly written beforehand and it never really sounds natural. At least to me.
@Anon, I wouldn't. The writing and structure are too cartoon. What with the episodic nature and dialogue that generally pushes for a comedic tone.
Kaiser Eoghan
Flanagan also directed absentia which I haven't seen yet but I think someone I came across of 4chan linked it to being lovecraftian?
Kaiser Eoghan
Oculus was a film of two halves for me. Hush was a pretty standard home invasion thriller, making the victim deaf was an interesting twist but not as unique as you might think, still suspenseful though.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never saw the first oujia film. Though Mike Flanagan who did the sequel, he's never made a bad movie but he's never really made a great one either.
Kaiser Eoghan
I stick to the firm belief that cartoons and anime, visually should do and be their own thing. I'll prefer a western artstyle for cartoons rather than one pretending to look like anime style.
But this is a good topic and I'm sure everyone has their own opinions so I'm looking to hear some more arguments
@anon352392: no they aren't. For me not because of where their production based, nor their intended audience, but rather their styles, both visually and storytelling-ly, are different
Anime,” they assert, is not a “style” of illustration or animation.
That's where I differ to those guys. For me, anime is a style. In that sense, I consider RWBY, and Canadian-produced short Flutter as an anime. Thunderbolt Fantasy is not and anime-influence shows/movies that are intented for Western audience like AniMatrix or Afro Samurai are anime
@Anon nah they wouldn't be because they aren't made by a japanese producer for the japanese market. Quality isn't the question, production is
NX and Red Dead Redemption 2 trailers tomorrow.
They are good series and i honestly like them alot more than most anime series, would their quality make them anime?
What about cartoons like Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, Star Vs The Forces Of Evil?
In other news a sequel to an absolutely terrible horror movie called Ouija is out and it's...actually pretty good? Wondering if critics were paid off or it is legit good. Well it did have the guy who was behind Oculus and that was a pretty good movie.
Simplify the term down enough and anime is literally anything animated but the whole point of the term is to distinguish it. For to call Spongebob an anime makes me want to projectile vomit. Point is this, you say you watched a cartoon, people think Tom and jerry, Scooby doo etc. You say you watched an anime, people think Cowboy bebop, Attack on titan, etc. Whole point of the term.
For example, I don't consider Avatar or RWBY to be anime for while they use anime style, the writing is fundamentally structured like an American cartoon. Through I would consider Bloodivores an anime even though it was made by a Chinese animation company, making it technically a Chinese cartoon.
As far as what is and isn't anime I honestly think of the term as a means of distinguishing it from cartoon which gives the impression of being for children. It's like Graphic novel is to comic book. Though techically graphic novels are issues of comics bound in book form, the term Graphic novel is often used to distinguish works that go above superhero comics and whatnot.
Basically I think it was due to Porter Robinsons involvement that they didn't consider it anime.
@Aidan: Did the mods give any concrete reasons why they didn't consider it an anime?
@Mario, It wasn't the community that had the problem. It was the mods. The community made it pretty clear that they considered it anime.
So despite the art style is obviously anime, the character speaks in Japanese, and the production was animated by A1 Studios, it's not an anime? Sometimes I feel sad that the anime community keeps limiting themselves with such fixed minds.
I saw it yesterday and yes it was good. For a 5-minute story, they don't make it too overwhelme with details, and still pack an emotional punch. Moreover it elevates the song. Good stuffs.
Shelter was quite good though. It works well and the animation was beautiful. Song is not bad either. It's got a nice emotional punch to it though it's a bit simple a story.
Well anyway I only saw all this because I checked out the video for the first time and wanted to see how others thought of it with a quick scan through reddit. And I get this shitshow instead.
Playing the victim is the one really pisses off the internet. For refusing to admit you f*cked up only encourages people to shove how you f*cked up into your face. That's what really grinds peoples gears.
Yep, seen that too. The mods even put up another tread about the video and tried to guilt trip people by saying they got death threats. Look, internet rules 101. If you said or did something stupid admit to it and just walk away. Do not try to deflect blame or play the victim, that only adds fuel to the fire.
@Aidan oh yeah saw that live lol. Porter himself even commented on twitter about it, gotta love internet drama
So did anyone happen to catch the big old shitstorm of that Shelter music music when a mod of the Anime subreddit decided it wasn't "Anime" enough and removed the discussion post about it? Oh internet drama...what silly nonsense.
Finally caught up with JoJo. Diamond is Unbreakable has turned out to be much better than Stardust Crusaders. Should have waited for the season to finish through as I really loved marathoning it.
I had a feeling that might be the case considering the source materail for luger.
@Mario Oh I watched that, certinately worth it. Packed more story that some 12-episode shows do nowadays and gorgeous animation.
and I will check out "Shelter" music video to see what all the fuss is about
*this weekend to be exact.
Sounds like Luger Code 1951 is an OVA that will air next week, the same air date with "my" Zaregoto OVA.
@Mario: doesn't sound real at all to me lol
@Mario, I might be able to manage. If all else fails I can talk about the past of these historical figures.
While I don't mind watchinng Drifters, I swaer if I had to cover that show, I couldn't come up with anything to say.
Do you guys know what language the fairies speak in Drifters? It does sound like a genuine language
@topgavin: humanity has declined is a great show. It has good writing and dark, witty sense of humor. I could talk about it in length but psgels pretty much covered it all. He was really impressed by that show however.
That should be me covered till the weekend. Why do all my shows air on the weekend...
@Mario nah I've watched the whole thing but I'd heard about it at the start of this year and put it off. The dialogue between her and the fairies was great stuff, probably gonna rewatch it this weekend now that you mention it
Alright, I got three posts written up and will be throwing them out in about two hours or do.
I thought you've finished it. Yeah I love her character a lot, so cynical but witty. My favorite moment was when she read about fairy's plan to invent religions. She was like "so religions are invented?" (beat) "I've learn something new today". Priceless
@Mario Oh nice, it was one that I had heard about but never got round to. To put it in simple anime terms, Watashi is best girl
@topgavin: I just finished the series yo mentioned the other day: humanity is declined. Man, I love it. I know now I have a thing for dark twisted absurdist anime
@Ano340004: the name is Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, or to put it short Motete. I have fun with it but i'm not that enthuastic
@anon the english name is Kiss him, not me. Search through the first impressions if you need the jap name.
then that girl really loves BL (boy love)
what is the name of the anime that the girl is fat and then she got depressed because her favorite boy anime died then she got thin?
Season 7 is awesome so far too. It feels like the tone of the show is finally back to normal and it feels like Adventure Time again.
Whew, I binged all seasons of Adventure Time this weekend. The show hit a low spot in Season 6 but I think it needed to happen...Poor Finn needed the serious character development after what he did to FP.
You guys are too hard on it
Motete is very funny
Kaiser Eoghan
When it comes to gag manga and four-koma, I just eventually reach a stopping point with a comedy series in that format. Even with hidamari sketch.
I think it was typical light novel trash based on what was in the PV. I laughed that despite it being horrible that the crowd still cheered anyway, likely because it had a bath clip in it.
The PV was hilarious. I had no idea what the anime was about.
@Aidan I'm good, I'll stick with Working.
@K-Off, you could switch to something like Gi(a)rlish Number if you like. I for one am really digging the satire of the show. Plus I like that it's basically showing how an utter train-wreck of an anime can be made. That PV in the last episode was truly painful.
Feeling pretty disappointed with Working. I haven't gotten any more cynical with comedies, at least I don't think, and its flaws are so irritating.
@Adam Le, I find that with Comic book dialogue. Which is one of the reasons I have gone off marvel movies. Cartoons have it to a degree as well.
I love the instagram shots in Yuri
Maybe I can have a watch through those live action films and do a compare/contrast to see which version works better. After all movie and tv series are 2 different medium, and live-action vs animation is the topic that we never get tired of
speaking of which, the overlap between anime and live-action adaptation from manga is overwhelming. For this year alone, there were Erased, 3-gatsu no Lion, Fune o Amu, orange, and Chihayafuru (part 1&2). Those were just the ones I know.
@Adam: Don't know which genre you're into but you can try Fune o Amu (The Great Passage)
Adam Le
I can't seem to get into any of these new shows. I don't know, the dialogue always seems off to me and the forced comedy is a big turn off.
Reminds me of a thought I had when I was last at the Getty art museum. People walking past works of art hundreds of years old, but only taking a second-long glance before moving on to the next one. Not their fault really, it's only the professional critics who can understand what they see with depth.
I'm the opposite really, they're getting paid for what they said so they better know their shits
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose I'm slightly envious of professional critics somewhat.
Sometimes you're just meant to experience the ride you know. I don't watch those explained video anymore because after all it's just one guy's opinions.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
And I mean people who art professionals or students.
Kaiser Eoghan
I guess I'm just unsure of something, how many people watching "arty" stuff are able to pick it up on their own. By looking up an "explained video" or "explained essay" to get it, am I copping out?
Kaiser Eoghan
I feel like I've begun getting on board with the european art stuff but am really only scratching the surface with the Chinese and that stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
And find myself missing whats going on sometimes.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll admit I do find it frustrating, that even though I can like art films, emotionally connect at times, appreciate the visual techniques and admire them for being so different without looking up analysis by people far smarter than myself I honestly feel lost sometimes as to the meaning.
@Kaiser: Apichatphong Weerseethakul's films are so otherworldly and spiritual that I wouldn't dare to call them "dreams" anymore. Check out his "Uncle Boonmie", "Syndromes and a Century", "Cemetery of Splendors". he has such singular vision that just watch and experience his films are rewarding enough
@afgm: well, if we really go over-analyze it, bunnies can represent desire for example ^^
like eating sweet snow is so randomness for me
@Badesh: the things you said might be something I might do in the future. After all I love dissecting symbolism. But for Flip Flappers I need to know more what are intentional and what are randomness first
So Papika is corrupting Cocona? That would make some sense I guess
I mean I guess bunnies represent purity? Maybe?
@Kaiser: I mean yeah I get that things can be beautiful just because they're beautiful. But the effort comes in trying to connect that beauty and symbolism to the story as a whole, which is something I honestly struggle to do with Flip Flappers. It just seems pretty gratuitous at this point.
I don't know I think flip flappers is probably deeper than people might give it credit for. I just don't have the time or energy to piece together the abstraction. Doesn't mean that the meaning doesn't exist, it's just hard (and possibly misguided) to uncover it on the first run through.
but i don't want to get into a "who is right" argument. it was just a wish of mine to get to know the persons view of the world and not just be part of his daily mood
yeah, but i could happen that you grow intelectual but not personal ;)
Kaiser Eoghan
But theres no shame in watching a heavily thematic arthouse thing, liking it then going "didn't quite get/catch that" then looking up what it means.
Kaiser Eoghan
But for going into things, analyzing them, I wasn't saying thats wrong, when I meant overanaylsis I meant people making shit up that isn't actually there.
Kaiser Eoghan
And going too deep into thinking about that image shows the person is failing to understand that they were supposed to interact with it on an emotionally or spiritually intellectual level.
Kaiser Eoghan
Rather than de-mystifying that image or losing its enigma.
Kaiser Eoghan
I just think sometimes people forget that things can be entirely impressionistic or expressionist, people sometimes forget that images don't necessarily need a giant essay behind them or meaning or analysis. What I mean is you can have a 15 minute stretch of gorgeous looking images but the point is that you feel that or see the imagination and creativity because its beautiful.
It requires an understanding and a concept of life of the reviewer that highlights the right things, the things that widens the readers perspective, based on the narrow popculture consicousness that we have, sorry to be that dramatic...
Yeah, i don't mean that kind of overanalyzing :) so i.e. that beautiful picture of flip flappers to the left is so much more than the "character floating through an imaginary world" if you start to go into that, what it does with the viewers heart, you can write an essay weather it was the creators intention or not. that's the kind of thing i dream about and care to read
Of course afterwards they will certainly claim that they planned everything from the colour of toothpaste used but I take that with a grain of salt.
Plus the basic idea that the creator of a materiel is a complete mastermind who has internally planned out a massive series of symbolic comparisons and intricate threads which the vast majority of viewers would completely fail to see. And quite frankly, people just ain't that smart and have no reason to put in such massive effort.
The problem with overanalyzling however is that it's usually down to a series of simplifed concepts held together by a flimsy logical foundation. Like the ring theory of star wars.
...which is only achieved through what you call overanalyzing - at least in the internet world where only words count.
I wish people would "overanalyze" more. For me it get's pretty boring pretty fast to read something along the lines of "this wasn't good/perfect because i have seen better" - that's interesting as long as i need anothers opinion to get a feel for the materia. once you are somewhat experienced in life you only care for this sort of things if you know that persons view of the world...
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Would you say the Apichatphong Weerseethakul's films are worth looking into as "dream" films, always wanted to get into his work but it seems....daunting.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'd imagine if you went looking you could probably find people who overanalyzed Eden of the east (as with anything) to where they saw something none of us could (or that they wanted to see). Something about young peopl in society was one look at it. But for me eden of the east was an undercooked thriller merged with a bad chick flick and the films ruined whatever good will I had for it.
I'm almost giddy with the possibility of this being the closest thing I get to Utena this decade (besides actual ikuhara works of course haha)
@ano327926: Boy, how true. agreed 100% with you here
"liberate pure illusion" is the new "revolutionize the world"
@mnei, that's hardly the only thing in Eden of the east that didn't make any sense. It was a great idea but boy...did the writing fail hard.
Anyone here watched Eden of East and got fucking confused as I do about why Akira had to wipe off his memories and ship NEETS to Dubai? He wasn't really deceived (in my opinion). He didn't have to send the NEETS anywhere either.
@Mario and from what I've heard, they skipped out a whoooole bunch of fanservicey training sessions that happened before the 1st episode. Dunno whether I'm happy or dissapointed with that
I swear Keijo's everyday training is much more intense than Saitama's
I goddamn love Drifters opening.
@Anon, the story improved in volume 3 but I don't think your issues with the show have really disappeared. So yes, it did get better but it still has it's issues.
Did RWBY get better in vol 3? I watched the first two and hated them but the designs of the girls are nice and the characters are even good, I just can't stand these graphics and that shitty plot or the comedy scenes in which it tries to copy anime humor. The "western" comedy is nice.
So RWBY volume 4 airs next week. Nice. I was actually going to write a review on RWBY and just never got around to it. Seeing as it's somewhat anime I say it's suitable for the site though honestly while it is anime styled, the writing is pure cartoon.
So that's Raising project, Drifters and Occult Nine for me.
@Topgavin, seeing as it was pretty much Top of the Preview poll(Besides Natsume but I am not the man to do Natsume.) I will do Occult Nine. I can at least have fun ripping it apart and comparing it to its contemporaries.
@Mario, for starters you can stop calling her a bitch. Flip Flappers is a classy lady so put you fapping aside and treat her good. So yep, it fine by me.
@Topgavin: He'll be fine.... I hope
Guess it'd be Raising project, Drifters and Keijo/Occult Nine..?
@Mario poor aidan, what shows are there left to cover?
@Friend: Ha! I'm really looking for RWBY 4 as well. At one time I was intended to blog RWBY 4 here but even for me (who tend to go off track), I know that covering RWBY would not be appropriate for this site. But I'll give each season a proper review in the World Animation section, I promise!
@Topgavin: I'm a bit underwhelmed with Izetta 2nd episode, but it's still a better-than-average show out there this season. Anw I'm now settled for Flip Flapers
@Vonter: Agreed with everything you said. I remember one of anime blog that I visited had that format: they break the episode down by time, and give their witty comments (sometime pics) alongside. I could see that format work very well for comedy, slice-of-life and shows with heavy symbolism...
So this season I'm blogging Sound Eupho 2, 3-gatsu no Lion and Flip Flappers
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Featured Posts

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Sound! Euphonium 2 – 03 [Troubled Nocturnes]

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Flip Flappers – 02 [Pure Converter]

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