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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Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry about this really hope I don't come off as trying to start anything/an arguement/coming off as an asshole here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats really interesting about hourou musuko is that in addition to Takako Shimura being a Lesbian , by choosing a mtf character as the protaganist and with shuu's relationship with a biological woman later in the manga, she is dealing with an even more interesting issue of whats called by Lesbians as Trans-lesbianism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Transexual, mtf or ftm are probably the more accurate words to use as transgender also includes transvestite which is a different thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its a very good review though, you don't have to change anything I'm probably being overly anal about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was wandering Children chosen instead of wandering son to avoid suggesting pronouns in the title? But then the text of the review uses shuus physical rather than psychological gender. I'm not preaching or asking for changes or complaining, I just found this somewhat contradictory.
AidanAK47
Oh Tomogui Kyoushitsu? That is a weird death game manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Checks manga cover* Goes in expecting bondage manga *its a cannibalism horror manga instead*
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably just me, but I feel the top two pictures should have a gap between them.
AidanAK47
I would recommend replacing the top image of wandering son. Cause you killed the quality of it by stretching it. Never stretch an image.
Lenlo
Id recommend some kind of slideshow or something Mario. For me, its a big sudden blob of images. But thats just me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny a single criticism of the Junji Ito adaptation, and yet despite it all it works for me , I forgive it because the imagination goes such a long way with me, I don't even mind that some of them aren't fully developed either, don't need things to be too tidy or explain everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Eh, Maverick was a fairly rubbish, thrown in villain but I liked Lunatics backstory how it linked in with the twist his father was that big hero guy mentioned at the start who ended up becoming a washed up mess.
SuperMario
And I won't take "No, you don't need these pics at all" for an answer
SuperMario
Guys, should I put the 2 arts back-to-back at the begin of the post like this, or should I use slideshow?
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: 91 Days was not too bad.
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: Thanks for those two historical manga's head-up.
Anonymous1828434
Akumestu soo satisfying to read
Anonymous1828321
Thank you
Lenlo
A shame. Kokkoku had the first truly dull episode this week. Suppose one had to come eventually, but this one was mostly an info dump.
AidanAK47
Like lightning, I strike. Junji Ito is basically interesting ideas with deeply flawed execution. It's not scary, doesn't really capture Ito's style and the animation is bare bones. While the stories themselves can have there interesting points, they are often not fleshed out enough. Honestly I am getting rather bored with it.
Lenlo
Holy bejesus Aidan. Nice triple post. :P

So overall how is Junji Ito? From what ive read so far, it seems pretty hit or miss on the horror/gore front. Failing to live up to the manga. I havnt read it though, so im curious what ya think
AidanAK47
Akumetsu?
Anonymous1828142
Wearing a mask
Anonymous1828142
What was the name of the manga where the main character is some superhuman high school student who goes around fighting Japanese politicians
Lenlo
On a side note, I should really start Violet Evergarden at some point...
Lenlo
"Anime is dying" is just a meme that gets thrown around because of Miyazaki.
Lenlo
Maybe. I dont think average score per year is a good metric though, as the cash ins are increasing, but I doubt the passion projects are decreasing. For instance we had /alot/ of duds this year, but people only really remember/care about the good ones of which there was a fair number. It wasnt a bad year for decent/good anime.
AidanAK47
Well yeah, but they didn't have as many Animation studios back then as we do right now. So it's not so much that we lost artistic merit but rather the number of studios cashing in on popular trends for a quick buck have increased. Even then, I am willing to put money on there being just as much harem anime in yesteryear as we have cute girls shows in present.
Lenlo
Perhaps, but I would argue those were on smaller scales, and even then, thats not so different from Western animation or movies. Just look at Warner Bros and their DC push after the success of Marvel. Every industry has those who chase successful trends, yet they arnt failing
AidanAK47
@lenlo, the thing is though that before Moe crap there was eva copy crap and before eva copy crap you had space opera crap and before space opera crap you had hyperviolet OVA crap. The industry has always tried to cash in on a popular trend.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel people went apeshit over, say highschool of the dead because they never saw a bunch of old B/exploitation films, thus that show was never special to me and even failed at an imitation of such.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think people getting to excited for it being unique to a single medium or for, its setting themselve up for disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just think its incredibly limited thinking to base it all on just ONE medium, you CAN hold up anime to film when anaylzing anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why should 91 days get a free pass just because its an anime about gangsters? Go watch a film about it instead which theres probably many of, joker game fail you as the mature spy thriller it ended up not being, who cares, Tinker tailor soldier spy exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I dislike this "Its unique for an anime/manga to do this, so instantly lets latch on to it, despite fact that same something is already extremely prevalent in other mediums "
Kaiser-Eoghan
Case in point 91 days and Joker game "It has adults, lets pre-rejoice before the show even came out"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel though because of the level of dissatisfaction with said moe shows that people are going to leap far too quickly on anything just slightly different, getting their hopes up too high and end up feeling let down.
Lenlo
That, or it all comes crashing down around our ears. With stuff like Houseki no Kuni and Made in Abyss from last year however, I think its going to be ok. We are just getting inundated with crap right now.
Lenlo
I do think that some of the artistic part of it has been lost, its gotten diluted in the never ending river of Moe crap. But that doesnt mean its gone. Just harder to find. Eventually all the random moe shows no one cares about will fail and stop getting made. But the anime audience will still be around, to enjoy the better stuff thats left.
Lenlo
Same thing happened in the mid/late 90's and early 00's to American cartoons.
Lenlo
Eh, I dont think anime is dying. Changing no doubt. Its going through a rough growth stage right now. It has a bigger audience than ever and people are trying to cash in on that with lots of shows that are basically the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Tank you and damn you for posting screencap of loli-tachibana, I now have cuteness overload a diabeetus =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
I realize thats a very minor detail to focus on though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I can really really get into a history manga if the art is top quality, the costume designs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the historical thing, I have a massive I repeat massive thing for full body medieval armoured characters hacking the shit into things or just the armour in general , especially templar armour designs. I also have an little obsession with male aristocratic army uniforms from the Prussian era and world war 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That recent Urasawa manga Travlos mentioned is ending also
@Mario: We might get a complete adaptation of after the rain, the manga is ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More historical manga I found, haven't read the second one however, I didn't hear those two mentioned on here either before.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Hawkwood
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Ad-Astra-Scipio-to-Hannibal"]
AidanAK47
@Anon, yes clearly you know better than everyone else on the planet despite having no evidence whatsoever to back up you claims. Thank you nameless Stranger, we owe you a debt for telling us the same thing we hear every year. Let me congratulate you by kicking you out the door.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can generally come up with an opinion for what I follow/watch/read , but I don't really have one on kokkuu.
KTravlos
Well we watched the first episode of Kokkuku. Interesting. The ED theme is quite the fanservice.
SuperMario
@Ktravlos: If your like to check out some other shows this season then I'd definitely recommend After the Rain.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: at least Kino is thought-provoking. I can't say the same for Violet Evergarden. In fact I remain skeptical with VE
KTravlos
I am quite enjoying both Violet Evergarden and Mahoutsukai. Violet gives me similar vibes to the first Kio series, though obviously Kino was a better series.
SuperWooper
EPIC post, anon!
Anonymous1825128
Of course, as ardent fans of anime, the writers of this site would not deign to agree or even entertain the idea that their passion is no longer the same artisanal endeavor it once was.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh. Actually surprised I forgot about that. Yeah, when it comes to something being described as edgy I think Goblin Slayer fits that definition perfectly.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, You can still throw down your take if you want.
Anonymous1824209
AidanAK47 - Or the women shields.
Lenlo
You know, sometimes I dont regret forgetting about this chatbox. Missing the "anime is dying" conversation? One of those times
AidanAK47
Oh, Goblin Slayer is getting an anime adaption. I was rather lukewarm on it but I wonder how the anime is going to handle the rather unsavoury aspects. Like the rape. Lots and lots of rape.
AidanAK47
I remember the last guy said he would make a chart and I thought it was a brillent idea as at least something useful could come out of this old dead horse. Then his chart turned out to be a useless jpeg with series thrown to the left or right.
AidanAK47
It does stir up conversation but it's really just the same conversation repeated. I remember stating the exact same points Nayrael and Bokusen are saying around a year ago when this last came up.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Indeed Ratings are subjective but it would at least be a general mainstream consensus of the quality of anime over the years. Not final but at least it's better evidence than one persons general assumption. And other factors are impossible to quaitify.
Nayrael
A good parody of the "Anime back then and now - what happened? meme (if the links are not blocked here): https://i.imgur.com/JZqxz6f.jpg
Nayrael
Not to mention that back in the olden days you didn't see every Anime that aired. Official translators and fansubbers selected the best stuff, which resulted in you seeing the best shows and never even knowing about the shit-tier shows.
Bokusen
I think that people who say "anime is dying" are just getting too nostalgic. It's easy to remember the hit series from earlier seasons. It's less easy to remember all the forgettable generic series that you dropped after 1 episode, and so anime tends to "seem better" back then because of people's tendency towards selective memory.
Anonymous1820731
Why are there more bad anime? Because there are more anime being made. That means the good ones are buried under the lots of bad ones. But saying "anime is dying" from that is like saying "music is dead because I don't like Britney Spears." Why does this conversation always come up, its obvious conversation bait.
Anonymous1820589
@Aidan: You are the first to obsess over the fact that reviews are subjective. And since they're subjective, looking at anime 'ratings' over time does nothing to gauge the measure of effort and artistic talent that goes into making anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I got my answer by the way.
SuperWooper
>average review scores
What do those have to do with whether anime is "dying" or not? You'd need to look at the money.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to add that I agree with both you and Aidan, only brought up those two topics back there because I wanted to know what shows now will be popular in the future.
SuperMario
I'm on the side of Aidan regarding to this. For me it's not neccessary means the anime industry has become "better" or "worse", it's just that it takes new shape and trends and based on the number of anime produced, the industry isn't going down soon
AidanAK47
Am I really going to draft up a chart gathering average review scores of the past 25 years just t shut up this talk of anime dying?
But even if I did that won't toss aside this nonsense.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this is complete guesswork.
AidanAK47
Plus the industry is dying? Bloody hell, we got major companies FUNDING anime. Streaming services and more anime coming out that ever before. You can argue that this new anime is weaker but honestly it's just misguided. It takes time but great shows are still coming out. Just like back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well thats kind of what I meant, what, when passage of time comes into it are going to end up being classic based on that, speculatively speaking.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats probably a much better way of phrasing it, inheriting mantles. I'm going to say that promised neverland is presently along with Titan a BIG modern shounen.
AidanAK47
Anyway my point is that the shows of the past, the so called classics, are just as flawed as the shows of today. It is only through the passage of time that they become classics. When Stein;Gate finished airing, I seen no one call it a classic. Same goes for Madoka and Fate/Zero. Now, you have people putting up the pedestals.
AidanAK47
Though if anything has inherited the Shounen mantle, it's likely Boku no hero.
AidanAK47
There is no big three Shounen and that's honestly for the best. Because in generally the declining aspect of Naruto and Bleach was mainly due to the pressure on the mangaka to put out chapters on a weekly basis. In fact it's pretty much the primary factor in Bleachs decline.
AidanAK47
Bebop is great but even it is hit and miss by nature. Doubt many remember much about the casino episode and the Alien spoof episode is likely not anyone's favorite. Eva is massively flawed but no one wants to admit it due to the massive amount of praise it receives and influence it has on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what is the new big three shounen?
AidanAK47
If we go further back to DBZ, that has tons of issues with filler, dragging out episodes, animation shortcuts, and even complaints of it doing the same thing over and over again with it's story. No to mention the underutilised cast and the everlasting act up putting Goku on a greater pedestal.
AidanAK47
But let us dissect this viewpoint of yours. You claim the Shouen-jump canon as a great, guessing that refers to the shounen big three. But aside from One piece, the other two are emmensily flawed. Naruto is 50% filler and Bleach drops seriously in quality after soul society.
AidanAK47
Also Fate series is trash? That definitely seems aimed at me. What first series are you referring to? Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night 2006? Fate/UTW? The same thing over and over again? Sure each series has a holy grail war, but none of them every turned out the same. I am more than willing to admit that the spinoff series outside of the main canon are lesser. Calling them trash however is hyperbole.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Not this crap again. The old "Anime isn't as good as it used to be", how many times have I heard that over the years, and each and every time it proves more untrue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One point I'm trying to get at is, I don't get throwing the word bad taste around when I know I was probably in the same position as that other fan years ago.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Another thing, for shows we talk up and obviously I've been just as guilty of this, how many of these am I going to be able to recite off by heart years down the line?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like Madoka but thats a good example of a modern classic that'll keep in peoples minds, people still care.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*its a
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The reason I want to see a new show become a modern classic is because I'm tired of this "fleeting masterpiece" way of thinking, where I a show is super popular during the season and gets talked up as if it'll stick in the mind years on, then weeks later it disappears from memory.
Anonymous1819907
And anime watchers tend to be attracted to series that are just plain boring. The Fate franchise is case and point. The same thing over and over again. It really is a disgrace, to be honest--in my opinion. The first series was great, and I look forward to the movie. But everything in between is trash. But they still get the views, since people are sheep.
Anonymous1819907
The shonen-jump canon, shows like bebop and eva were huge in their time. The industry is just not the same--it's really dying. There isn't the same desire to blow shows up like there used to be. Shonen jump is still at it, but those shows are rarely worth watching, even if they're popular
Anonymous1819907
its a good anime, but it doesn't have the same staying power since it was not an entire industry
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for the long post, I want to get people talking again here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would love for this to happen with, say, made in Abyss, that becoming a show that we remember decades from now and still talk about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something else I want to bring up, what shows do you all REALLY believe will still be talked about in the future . Bebop and Eva still come up regularly to this day, what new shows do you think will become big classics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To base taste on things you watched ages ago doesn't really work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring that up because I remember a comment somewhere I read that said, the people who trashed guilty crown, forget geass was 10 years ago and if guilty crown had came out back then instead of geass they would have embraced it instead at the time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the bad taste thing, I could easily say Mahouka or sword art are terrible, but back when I watched and loved code geass people where probably bashing it as overhyped shit in the same way people like to do with sword art/mahouka now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I sure years ago I would have been all over violet evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For example most anime/manga melodrama has lost its effect on me, I hate Clannad and Kanon now and I won't watch the new code geass season because I want to crop it and death note both up to a teenage error and mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And in some cases it only takes five or so years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If not that, it’s the show no one gave a shit about that you loved or it’s a recent gem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And it hit me, the stuff you often end up loving, becoming a measure of your true taste, in my case at least are the re-discoveries, the show you HATED or didn’t get the first time round, maybe you watched it again soon after or years later, but then it does something for you that tops anything you watched in your early days.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then I remember theres a huge amount of big shounens I never cared for and popular writers that I never liked or if I did found somewhat overated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Given that I’m in my thirties and have been watching anime, reading manga since I was 11, that’s led to a very very large re-watch list, something things I will NEVER get the time to go back to re-assess , for all I know they could actually be terrible series. Then there’s when I DO go back on shows and let’s face it most DON’T hold up (of course its good when they do hold up).
Kaiser-Eoghan
This has been on my back/mind for a bit now, to where I’m actually somewhat confused by this “tastes” thing in relation to myself.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Out of nowhere comment don't you think? Besides it ain't that I have perfect taste. It's just that my taste is the only one that matters.
Anonymous1819624
@Aidan you don't need to keep pretending you have perfect taste in anime. we are all aware your taste is often questionable, as all of ours are at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its kind of a pity because there were moments where I saw potential in it and thought maybe this would be some kind of exception.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But to more calmly review this, I do think its possible to present topics like this, though in a more accessible way, I think even someone more versed in this would be bothered by this presentation, in addition to this manga never flowing properly, the dialogue just feels it was ripped directly from an article or book.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose in all fairness, its right to say I never studied any of these subjects in much detail that it brings up and never did anything sciencey for more than two years at school so I was probably doomed from the start.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know the expected response to what I said there is "why do you read/continue to read things you know you won't like" but if I don't come out of my comfort zone theres no chance of me being surprised.
AidanAK47
Hehe..well Kaiser, I don't remember saying it was good. I just said it was an insane ride. I found its concept interesting but the presentation was just terrible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for ranting but this makes my blood absolutely seethe and boil.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got to the last two chapters and just stopped caring, the info dumping, the multiple lives thing, especially the my own father/mother thing and magical girl part....fuck...
Kaiser-Eoghan
And yes I'm talking about Qualia....this...was....abject...punishing headwrecking agony to read.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay fuck it, just fuck it, I refuse, absolutely refuse to touch anything involving many worlds interpretation, time travel, shared memory,multiple runthroughs/loops ever again under any any circumstances, this is the worst form of storytelling I can possibly sit through from my perspective , I cannot finish this its impossible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've given away/sold/thrown out anime/manga before, including figures and posters while keeping others , can't remember off hand, but it was to free space.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Together we make....tiger and dragon....Toradora =O
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To be clearer, any interesting series/films they threw out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Anything else interesting they threw out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm year of the tiger, Aidan is year of the dragon.
SuperMario
And today is the Lunar New Year, happy new year guys! It's a year of the Dog so for those who is born in the year of the Dog... my condolenses since it is supposed to be your bad luck year
SuperMario
I think they move away so they just throw all their dvds there. There were other live action movies and series in there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Strange that if he truly didn't want it that he never decided to just sell it.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I tested it and all of the DVDs are playable. The package includes the whole show and the movie. Not a scratch either
Kaiser-Eoghan
pppftt, not leaving it in the trash and instead going out and getting the blurays instead =P
Lenlo
Ha, shouldnt be surprised you read it to
AidanAK47
Everytime I read a newly translated Re:Zero chapter I just hunger for a new anime season. The latest chapter would be fantastic animated
AidanAK47
@Mario, Maybe the discs got scratched and the don't work anymore? Otherwise this is blasphemy if the highest degree.
SuperMario
Don't know how should I feel about that :))
SuperMario
Can you believe it? Someone in my apartment just threw away the Cowboy Bebop boxset. Normally I don't pick up someone's trash but it's a crime NOT TO in this case. %$^&&
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will hearby read Murasakiro Qualia!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Very good voice casting decision with hourou musuko, the voice actor for the protaganist was an actual 14 year old and sounds kind of androgynous anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it comes as no surprise for me if the mangaka of Housou Musuko is a lesbian, since the show has a honest feeling if someone who actually experience those issues
Kaiser-Eoghan
So that probably came after or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
None of those episodes 30 involved this ant-arc Aidan mentioned as I recall.
Bokusen
0_o What the heck...It must take a long while to get good then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
All I was told by a hunter x hunter fan on here was after I said I'd watched 30 episodes was "I wonder if the next arc will change your mind"
Bokusen
Does Hunter x Hunter really take 40 eps to get good? I've been thinking of watching it since I really liked YYH & it's the same mangaka. I got hooked on YYH by episode 7, but if HxH takes 40 eps to hook me I might get tired of it before then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And in some cases it can represent an temporary escape from the self.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an odd, maybe interesting relevant point, in some cases, well I think most a non-mtf , both a physical and psychological male, if they wear female clothing, the body reacts as if its like contact with a woman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Or for a very old manga on that theme: http://mangakakalot.com/chapter/claudine/chapter_0
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Featured Posts

Fate/Extra Last Encore – 04[No Faith may King]

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