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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Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
Friend
Most of the time they meant no harm, I think it's always about getting recognition. They quickly take them down after I send them a polite email, and I let them save their ego without smearing them on their page.
Total users: 44

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