Posted by psgels on 22 April 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica




Ah, the deconstruction: taking a genre or trope, and examine it, put it in a real life situatio, or take a look at it from a completely different angle. I personally love these kinds of series (heck, some of my favourite series are deconstructions). Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica finally shows us another deconstruction of the Mahou shoujo genre, and it is glorious.

This series takes the well known formula: a cute animal comes to a girl, gives her superpowers, and they fight evil. It then examins what it means to be a magical girl. It actually uses its setting quite cleverly in order to really give the life of a magical girl a set of huge advantages and disadvantages. Really, the graphics may be simple, but underneath is a very, very dark storyline.

Teh thing that’s especially amazing about this series is how well everything fits together. It’s twelve episodes long, but it makes excellent use of its time, the characters all fit the story perfectly and everyone serves his own purpose to the points that this series is trying to make. The show really makes sure that it doesn’t waste its time and just about every episode adds something to the overall story and characters. This creates quite a bit of nice development for such a short series.

The graphics are also gorgeous in this series. Unlike a lot of other Shaft series, the animation knows exactly when to be normal, and when to be experimental. The action scenes in this series look really great thanks to all kind of strange and artistic images that are inserted in the surreal battle scenes. Yuki Kajiura is also behind the music, and while this may not be amongst her best work, she still delivers an excellent soundtrack.

It’s definitely a well written and thought-provoking series that continues to evolve. It deserves to be watched, and I see no way for this series to not show up in the top 10 of best eries of 2011. I don’t think that I’ll end up ranking this amongst my favourites, but that entirely because I just consider a lot of other series to be better, not for this show to have major flaws or anything. If I had to nitpick and mention a flaw of this series, then I’d point at the characterization: if the characters here were put in any random slice of life or a more conventional action series, they wouldn’t be interesting to watch at all. It’s entirely the story and the setting that makes something memorable out of them. Again though: this is just nitpicking.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Really well balanced and evolves really well for a 12 episode series. Maks excellent use of the ingredients handed to it.
Characters: 8/10 – Nice development, interesting backstories.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Successfully experiments with its graphics, resulting in some gorgeous action scenes that form a stark contrast with the quiet scenes.
Setting: 9/10 – A terrific deconstruction of a genre that really needed some nudge again.

Suggestions:
Fancy Lala (Very, very different and slow-paced, but shows a completely different yet just as brilliant take on how to deconstruct the Mahou Shoujo Genre)
Mahou Shoujotai
Figure 17 – Tsubasa & Hikaru

48 Responses

  1. Jérémy says:

    Only 87,5? You need to start being more generous with your scores XD Especially when you rave about those shows all season. Personally, I found Madoka and Hourou Musuko to be 100times better then Level E!!

  2. Joe says:

    The story definitely deserved a higher score – that was definitely the strong point of the series, so that should have been a nine at least. I get the feeling that you just gave the story a lower score because you didn’t want to give the series a 90.

  3. mds says:

    Yeah,this should be higher.
    Like two comments above said,the story needs something like 10 cause it’ll need a genius to deconstruct the whole mahou shoujo genre and defy so many tropes it used.

    And also,Homura and Sayaka are really developed well throughout the series ;)

  4. Kiarae says:

    Also surprised by your scoring. You’ve always been generous in scoring anyway, but by that measurement this still should have soared over others for how you raved about it over the past few months.

  5. jeff says:

    Yeah, seriously, the story in this was really, really good. The writers did a really good job of crafting a mature, complex, well thought-out story. The last time I watched a show with a story this good was Phantom (you should note that Urobuchi Gen wrote the story for both Madoka and Phantom of Inferno)

  6. psgels psgels says:

    Crap. Something went wrong there, yeah. I meant to give the characters an 8/10, not the storytelling. Blame an error in the html.

    But yeah, I’ve thought about it and came to the conclusion that I really like this show, but I liked other serise just better. It’s not a matter of Madoka being bad (heck, I rated a lot of amazing series 87,5/100), but others just making more of aimpact on me, and being even better.

  7. Hogart says:

    I don’t agree with the others, I think your score is about right. Your scoring system confused me at first, but after a couple of years I’ve found it pretty consistent and almost predictable.

    But then, I never felt that you were “gushing” over Madoka.. you’ve always been rather generous with your words, and conservative with your scores, saving the real gushing for series that simply blew you away.

  8. m says:

    I think a lot of the strength of this show is in the particulars of its execution. The story is about a centimeter thick on its own. The actual script is more capable than the ideas it contains, and when realized through the direction of the animation and the performances of the voice actors, it is very successful at emotional manipulation. I think it’s the best Shaft work since the first half of ef, and since it’s an original work, I am inclined to give it even more credit (and my money).

    Some of the visual styles and art allusions used throughout the show’s run were clever, and not annoying like Shaft’s other works have been. However, and this only really applies to the broadcast at this point, some of the character work in the early episodes is rather borked. It’s especially strange to have distorted faces on screen for several seconds, but I imagine this has been cleaned up in the final version for the discs.

  9. Zaion says:

    Wow I think i am the only one in the whole world right now that thinks this series is massively overrated. Nah Princess Tutu still is the best mahou shoujo anime ever for me.
    it is not even original at all. In fact, Sailor Moon has almost exactly the same story.

    • mnscoaiy00understudies says:

      Do people die like this in Sailor moon?
      Does Sailor moon have a jesus ending?
      Do mahou shoujos turn into enemies (AKA witches)?
      Are their transformation devices containers of their soul?
      Madoka is awesome.

  10. Tan-Tan says:

    I actually wish they went to the more conventional action series. What sold me to Madoka was the epic fight scenes – never before the same with magical girls. It was creative and damn exciting. I wish we could have seen all magical girls together as a team. The plot could have been the backstory, but well with 12 episodes I guess you can’t expect much.

  11. Ncrdrg says:

    My favorite show of the past year by far. Ending made my bawl like a baby. One thing Madoka did incredibly well is keep the viewer in the dark and making wild guesses based on a few hints.

    It was hard to predict exactly what was coming. I had my own predictions for the finale and I didn’t see that ending coming! And the execution for Madoka was just brilliant.

  12. Acid says:

    I agree with your score and the comment you made about the characters. Something about them made them hard to relate to until the very last episodes. Still a great show though!

  13. Ragna says:

    I’m pretty surprised at the score too, after all, you seemed to like the show a lot, especially towards the middle-end. Then again, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    Madoka was an excellent show of both deconstruction and reconstruction – and in a mere 12 episodes no less.

    While Madoka’s storyline and characters were great, it was the execution and directing that truly made it brilliant. Honestly, a lot of the tropes they used here have been done time and again (especially the “change reality/jesus” trope), but few shows have managed to pull it off this convincingly.

    Also have to give the scriptwriters and VAs props for making the show an emotional roller-coaster. Only Clannad AS and VNs (sharin, ev17, etc) have had this much emotional impact on me.

    Overall, I would rate Madoka around 95/100. It definitely goes into my top 10 list, especially considering its execution and efficient screen time use. My only regret is that Madoka has raised the bar too high – I can’t seem to enjoy any of the new season’s offerings.

  14. V says:

    Only 87.5? I thought you were going to rate this at least with 90, gosh

  15. mochi2000 says:

    i completely agree with you on the scoring. the story is pretty amazing but the characters were 0 LOL. Other than homura, I could not connect with anyone else. Surely it was original but I was pretty let down by the last episode. I was of course happy that Madoka came up with such an amazing wish but it didn’t make me go WOWWWWWWW. The anime is definitely a must-watch but not something I will remember 5 years from now. I would agree though that anime creators should aim for something like this and move forward from here. And I know why people would rate this higher but it’s different for everyone =p

  16. gandalf8 says:

    Ragna “My only regret is that Madoka has raised the bar too high – I can’t seem to enjoy any of the new season’s offerings. ”

    I’m really with you there. i just don’t have any motivation at all to check out any of this seasons new shows at the moment after the awesomeness that was Madoka. I’ll probably pick up the best of the new shows maybe after the 5th or 6th episode. Right now I’m just more inclined to rewatch my favaourite old shows.

    • mnscoaiy00understudies says:

      I know right?
      All the shows are suddenly crappy.
      I’m now perfectly content to rewatch Madoka or my fav shows.

  17. deedee says:

    So, you mention you like deconstructions psgels.

    Can I ask you a question? Do you like reconstructions too? And name a few shows that you like that are reconstructions. Because without reconstructions, deconstructions will not exist.

  18. maskedguy says:

    Hmm, I guess this series doesn’t really “Blow people away” with its ending =/ I mean, its good ending, but it doesn’t make people go “OMG, that just happened”… Anyway, I would probably still have given it 9, but I don’t think your score is bad.

  19. Nomus says:

    Good rating (even too high for me). Nice show, that could be a masterpiece.

  20. Kagekyuubi says:

    Rather than a deconstruction I’d say it’s a reconstruction because of the ending. Madoka remade the system so that it becomes more like the traditional magical girl model with Kyuubey becoming a necessary companion for the girls as they no longer have go cannibal on one another to survive. In this case, it’d be in the furball’s best interests to keep the girls safe rather than screw them over leaving only the new curse demons as a threat rather than each other. Magical girls are still pledged to a life of combat but at least they’re not trapping each other in a cycle of despair now.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I actually hated Madoka. The pointless whining and crying every goddamn episode, the characters I couldn’t feel pity about, QB’s science fiction cliche bs. Everything I don’t like about Elfen Lied is here. They tried too hard to make it unnecessarily dark, when it didn’t need to be. As I recall, even the original Cutie Honey manga had bodies flying all over, and Honey’s best friend even dies after being torched, and that’s from 1973.

  22. vic says:

    “…if the characters here were put in any random slice of life or a more conventional action series, they wouldn’t be interesting to watch at all.”
    And that’s exactly what Shinbo wants to do.

    Anyway, I would have personally given this series a higher score, but I can see why you gave it a 87.5. I was too absorbed in all the plot twists to really care about the other details, but now when I look back on it the flaws became apparent.

  23. astrocurrent says:

    I disagree on Fancy Lala being a deconstruction of Mahou Shojo. Studio Pierrot created the “Mahou Shojo” series in the last century. Each of them was made consciously toward the teenage girls at the time. One of the emphasis of these series, or maybe all the Mahou Shojo anime is “dream comes true” & “girl turning to a woman”. Fancy Lala was the last of them, which was aired in the 90’s. It represents a lot of facts and change of that age. Its unique storytelling and as a mirror of reality may make it look different than other Mahou Shojo series, but the core feels the same to me. It’s still a story about a girl’s dream comes true, the end of the “girl” period, and finally turning into a woman.
    Now for Madoka. I never see it as a Mahou Shojo series. It use “Mahou Shojo” as a figure to tell something the writer himself has been keen on to tell. I enjoyed the show from the first episode to the 9th. But it lost its charm to me at 10th. Not because of the cliche and all. Time traveling has always been one of my favorite theme. But I don’t like how Urobuchi Ken uses the characters as his chess pieces to complete his game. I guess I can’t blame him for this, because after all he is the one who has the power and right to tell whatever he wants to tell. But as a individual viewer who’s outside the game, I tend to like characters have feelings of their own and complete their stories on their own, not forced. And that’s why Miki Sayaka is my favorite character of the show. I think she is the one who has the most independent soul. Kyoko comes after. But her decision in 9th ep comes too quick, still feels a little “made” for me.

  24. MrWasabihead says:

    This story reminded me of why I love anime.
    “Madoka” was in my opinion an excellent anime series. It has definitely made my top 10 of all time. Though I’m not sure where it lands it succeeded in amazing me at the quality of story telling and [voice] acting present in some of today’s anime series. All of those that worked on this anime should be proud of their accomplishments. I wonder if they ever stop to think about all of the lives they touch. Lives so far away from what they might consider their “target” audience. Watching anime of this quality also re-establishes my faith in the human race, somehow. This series was more than entertainment. It was without a doubt art in the truest sense. Engaging, deep, thoughtful and complex with an gorgeous sound track that hooked me at the first episode. I’m sad that it ended at 12 episodes but I feel that I’ve been changed by it. As the best of arts does, in the best of ways. I truly loved it and I thank those that created it.

    MWH

  25. Ragna says:

    Looking back at Madoka, there is one thing that’s really bugging me – Homura’s piss poor social skills. I mean couldn’t she have just spilled the beans to Madoka in episode 1 and told her everything? It doesn’t even matter whether Madoka believes her or not, all Homura has to say is “if you don’t believe me, its fine, but make freaking sure to ask/squeeze the truth out of Kyubei if he approaches you”. That could have prevented A LOT of close calls, especially at the start when Madoka didn’t know crap and was overeager to sign the contract. It might have even prevented Sayaka from signing on if she had known that she would effectively be lich-ified. I can excuse Homura not being able to prevent Kyouko’s death (in episode 9) due to the circumstances… but I can’t seem to rationalize why she didn’t do the above.

    I guess I’m just nitpicking I suppose. Regardless, Madoka’s still an amazing show and I stand by my previous 95/100 score.

    I just have to add that its pretty sad that psgels gave Madoka 87.5/100 when Star Driver *shudders* got 85/100. Of course, its his opinion XD.

  26. Aikun2012 says:

    90/100 for me, but Phantom DOES NOT deserve a bloody 92.5/100 …. That show was way too inconsistent and way too bloody stupid… maybe an 85 or even an 86, but NOT a 92.5…. Anyways, Madoka was okay….

  27. windy says:

    This show was utterly amazing from the beginning till the very end! I love how it managed to completely deconstruct then reconstruct and renew such a primarily light and simple genre as the one that characterizes the “magical girl” series. The ending was quite ingenious too, I could somehow see it coming that Madoka would make a wish that shall put an end to the perpetual circle of agony the chosen ones had to face. But to think that she would ask Kyubey to erase the witches from existence before they’re born was a surprising twist ending! It’s also interesting how the world seems to have changed but at the same time things have not changed that much, since Homura and the others still has to fight demons, the change is centered on the characters’ (mahout shoujo’s) fate and not so much the world itself. Anyway, I place this show among my favorite! The creators did a fantastic work!

  28. Rodkin says:

    Madoka is the one who doesn’t deserves all this praise/high scores. Not only Phantom but Madoka is way too inconsistent too, you know? Messed up plot full of nasty coincidences, unbalanced and random powers, many plot devices (Last second saves: a plot device overused to the point of stupidity. When a character is about to be killed it is saved at the last moment by someone who appears at that moment without anyone noticing it; this happened…hmmm…a dozen of times?), many things remain unexplained, etc. Madoka just goes for shock effect, just like Elfen Lied did. But even with me bashing this show, Madoka was still fairly good for me, since i enjoyed some aspects of this show, but far, far, far away from being as great as the hype seems to say.

    If you want great stuff, watch Monster, Cowboy Bebop, Berserk, Yojouhan Taikei, Legend of the Galatic Heroes or something like that. THOSE are great animes, worthy of a 92,5/100 or a 95/100, but not Madoka… A 82,5 is just fine for this show. Nothing less, nothing more.

    And yeah i like Psgels reviews and i respect that, but wow a 85/100 for Star driver was kinda bizarre since this show represents the “bad” Bones(along with the dreadful Heroman and the good but unfortunately heavily flawed Wolfs Rain). Just to remember that Star Driver had the score of 85/100 from Psgels, the same score was given to another two excellent shows from “good” Bones that are Fullmetal Alchemist and RahXephon, which i consider far superior compared to Driver.

  29. Da5id says:

    “Madoka Magica finally shows us another deconstruction of the Mahou shoujo genre”

    There were others?

    Also, is your mid B range rating having something to do with the fact the show JUST ended? Lots of good shows look way better in hindsight, as with some good shows that look horrible in hindsight (I.E. Code Geass, Gundam 00)

  30. Oroboros says:

    I finally finished Madoka today, and I have to admit it’s probably the only Shoujen anime I enjoyed ever since I started watching anime sporadically and then religiously over the past year. The grade is a bit low, but I don’t think any of us can make our opinion objective or independent of our tastes. And Pgels argued his/her rating, so that’s good enough for me.

    I too enjoy a deconstruction of a genre (even though I wasn’t a fan of the genre in the first place) so I would like to know what are the other deconstructions? I know Neon Genesis Evangelion is one (giant robo anime) but I think its dominance has turned into a reconstruction for a new series to deconstruct one of these days.

  31. P-chan says:

    If I may add a series to your list of recommendations for people reading this: Princess Tutu – another magical girl deconstruction, but one that deconstructs itself rather than magical girl series in general.

  32. Juno says:

    @P-chan: Good recommendation. And yes, it was a magical girl series, but it didn’t have enough of the magical girl genre formula in there to deconstruct in the first place. It really deconstructed its own story from beyond the 4th wall for a while, though, and that was surely an amazing feat that could only be done with a series like itself.

    As for Madoka, I see what you mean, but I find that “normalcy” of the characters to be a positive part of the series. Lots of people don’t agree with me, but I could connect with the characters, their motives, and even their changes and development a lot. For characters that were meant to symbolize cliches (as they did in the second Drama CD, which put the same characters in a typical magical girl story, complete with spoofs of the series), they were very realistically developed.
    Even more so than anything, though, Madoka excels in the “hidden elements” category. There is so much to be gained from re-watching the series again (all Blu-Rays are out, so use those!), and I can guarantee that you’ll look at something again and think, “Oh! Now it makes so much sense!” or something will pop out as being genuinely foreshadowed or intended to creep you out the second time through. The creators even suggested watching it twice for a whole new experience the second time through. Pretty interesting, to say the least.

  33. pseudotim says:

    Finally watched this, and I agree that it’s great as a “mirror universe” parody of the genre. But I expected far more than that from the accolades and analyses I’ve seen online. Talk about counter-productive hype.. I was honestly expecting something serious or profound, not a self-aware dark parody.

    PS: Your readers get way too easily hung up on the final score, and seem to ignore the glowing review. It’s quite amusing.

  34. ultama121 says:

    While it did contain some satire, it was not at all a parody. A deconstruction, obviously, but to say it was a “self-aware dark parody” makes me question your understanding of the show. Urobuchi Gen hasn’t written anything that wasn’t serious and this is no exception.

  35. pseudotim says:

    @ultama121, I might change my opinion some day, but for now I’d rather enjoy it as a satirical parody. Question my understanding as you wish, I’m not pretending it’s some laughy, happy comedy.

    There’s just a limit to how far my brain is willing to take something seriously, and fighting that will only lower my enjoyment. You seem to have enjoyed Madoka on a far more serious level, and more power to you.

    • ultama121 says:

      Wait a minute.

      So you’re aware that Madoka in its nature isn’t a parody of any sort… but there was some element in the show that you found detestable enough so that you decided you’d prefer to enjoy it as a parody?

      Pardon me, but that’s the same kind reasoning one utilizes when watching a B horror movie. The movie itself is meant to be taken seriously, but the viewer finds it too silly to digest normally… so they treat it as a silly, albeit dark comedy.

      Madoka obviously isn’t without its flaws, being among my favorites, I’ll admit that… but unless your standards are unbelievably high (especially for anime!) there’s literally no reason for you to find it that silly. You’ve taken cynicism to an extreme. Just come out and say you hated it. That’d be fine. At least then you aren’t coming from some passive aggressive pretense, claiming to have “enjoyed” the show in an “unconventional” way. At the very least you enjoyed laughing at the show. If you enjoyed laughing at the show, just say so. In the case of a serious anime like Madoka, enjoying laughing at the show =/= enjoying the show.

      • pseudotim says:

        Good lord, what is with your need for a witchhunt? Let me spell it out for you: I enjoyed Madoka, just not as much as a serious story, and more as what you apparently call “satire” (hint: parody is NOT always funny, nor does it have to be the purpose and focus of a show).

        I also don’t care what you think about that (or me). I wasn’t laughing at Madoka like some pathetic solo MST3K rant or enjoying it like I would enjoy Army of Darkness. And if I can enjoy [C], Ben-to, and Blade, I certainly don’t have high standards. You are reading WAY too much into what I’m saying.

        Clearly you have your own idea of exactly how I feel, and nothing I say will change your mind. Madoka may be among your favorites, and I think that’s awesome. But apparently *I’m* the hipster jerk for not enjoying Madoka the same way you did, and for letting *you* put words in my mouth.

        • zo says:

          This is not a parody – it is a deconstruction. Parodies DO have to be funny. It is one of the conditions for it to actually be a parody for it do be funny.

          parody |ˈparədē|
          noun ( pl. -dies)
          an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect : the movie is a parody of the horror genre | his provocative use of parody. See note at caricature .
          • an imitation or a version of something that falls far short of the real thing; a travesty : he seems like a parody of an educated Englishman.

          • ultama121 says:

            Just to be clear, that post wasn’t aimed at you zo. In fact, thanks for beating me to the punch in terms of clarifying the terms. xD

        • ultama121 says:

          This isn’t so much a witchhunt as much as it sort of played out this way. Initially you posted something I thought you misunderstood and I corrected you. Your response irked me a little bit so I decided to reply further. It evolved into this. Don’t even pretend I’m some random fanboy who’s decided to attack your “innocently” subjective opinion. I have plenty of friends who absolutely hated Madoka. I don’t give a shit, because its art. Art is subjective. Its the way you’ve written your post/expressed your opinion that irked me… at least at this point I’m more confused of what your opinion truly is at this point.

          First and foremost, here’s a tip: If you criticize someone’s use of words (IE: if you feel the way they’ve mistaken definitions) at least bother looking up the words.

          “Parody: An imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.”

          Emphasis on comedic effect. Parodies are comedic.

          “Satire: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”

          Satire isn’t necessarily comedic. Its the word you’re looking for. Please make sure you know your words before you use them in a semantic argument.

          Regarding your second paragraph… Alright, I have to admit that at this point I’m not even entirely sure how the hell you enjoyed this anime. You’re saying that you thought Madoka was a self-aware dark satire… a non-happy laughy satire. Okay, so then you must have enjoyed it as a more serious satire that contains compelling depictions of issues… or put simply, a satire meant to be taken seriously. Buuut thennn… you proceed to say that you didn’t take it seriously.

          *This is an inherent contradiction*

          Second, your evidence for lacking cynicism is laughable. Enjoying any of those anime is inexpressibly easy simply by one virtue:

          They. Aren’t. Necessarily. Meant. To. Be. Taken. Seriously. That’s it. With anime like that its inexpressibly easy to ignore any semblance of plot and simply enjoy the obviously enjoyable elements such as absurdity or action. Cynicism doesn’t only encompass pretentious idiots that consume nothing but high-horse media and look down on those who consume anything of what they consider lesser. It also applies to people who can’t ignore relatively very small inconsistencies in logic for the sake of a much more enjoyable experience… and regarding reading too much into your post… I’m only reading what you’re posting… and what you’re posting doesn’t make sense. Simple as that.

          Now… dat last paragraph. I like how you attempted to perform the ~pretentious hipster reversal~ thing, yet your last paragraph contains a gigantic assumption. If you can clearly explain how you enjoyed Madoka and make non-conceit tinged sense while doing it, then I’m totally cool with that. I’m not as static as thou assumeth. This is kind of redundant at this point, but I didn’t put any words in your mouth. I logically attempted deducing your opinion based on your words… but apparently your opinion doesn’t make sense. It’d help if you didn’t depend on your mysterious method of enjoying Madoka as a “self-aware dark parody [sic]” that apparently is not serious and not funny at the same time.

          TL;DR: Stop trying so hard.

        • pseudotim says:

          Ah, thanks. My bad. You put me on the defensive, and I didn’t even realize that I was the one with the wrong definition of the word. Thanks zo, if he had just said that or I didn’t have a stick up my ass this would have been avoided.

          So ultama121, it’s your win. I was wrong. Sorry for making you rant on and on because I was too lazy to look up a word.

          • Ytinasni says:

            that’s a lot of talking.

            I enjoyed the manga adaptation, havent gotten around to the anime. (I just prefer the pacing of manga better, since I can skim talky parts to get the jist of whats going on, and go back and read them if I feel I missed something.)

  36. mnscoaiy00understudies says:

    Yep, I love this series too.
    Madoka is a little too stereotypical, but Homura was the best. She does everything to protect Madoka and what does she get in return? nothing.
    Though personally there seems to be too much yuri going on.

  37. mnscoaiy00understudies says:

    Yes, Madoka. One of my all time favorites.
    Why didn’t you say a single word about Gen Urobuchi? Heck, he’s awesome, from what I’ve heard. And if you knew about the leaks that he directed it, that would probably give you a whole new first time perspective, won’t it?
    :D

  38. Amaya says:

    I personally think Madoka Magica was not all that good. While I admit it’s certainly not bad nor is it merely above average, it’s not something that can pull you in. I watched this, gave up, and forced myself to watch it again when recommended. I found that the experience was similar to School Days, but way better. It seemed to depend on its twist and its dark nature to make up for its beginning, which I found rather uninteresting. I think people who don’t like the Mahou Shoujo genre may not even follow it long enough to like it. It does a good job at trying to get your attention (They killed off a certain someone first for that impact) but it seems more reliant on its hidden theme to cover for its beginning.

    Of course, it’s up to personal preferences. I did not like the starting and the art style just made me uncomfortable from the first episode onwards for some reason (it just didn’t feel cheerful enough to me to be a Mahou Shoujou anime). Madoka Magica is certainly good, but most definitely not all that brilliant.

  39. Afonso Ribeiro says:

    Absolutely the best anime I’ve ever ever had the opportunity to watch. I am anxious for the film trilogy. It is simply beautiful.

    And I agree with you: Deconstruction is a beautiful art, specially in anime.

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On that note, apart from the 3 shows I'n currently covering (Eccentric Family, Tsuki ga Kirei and ID-0), I will give a full review on Grimoire of Zero, a show that I feel rather difficult to pinpoint exactly on its quality.
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@Anon1206174: I agree with you on both counts. And Sakura Quest has never been bad, but it could have been deeper and less messy. If you plan to watch ID-0 (I suggest you do), don't get your expectation too high because it works much better when you expect nothing of it. Like each episode I was genuinely surprised how good ID-0 actually is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember one of Aidan's visual novel posts where he said theres potentially hundreds of VNs un-translated and LNs too, makes me wonder just how much un-translated manga we are missing out on.
Anonymous1206174
The ID-o posts sound pretty interesting, I am really thinking of dropping Sakura and watching this instead. Really loved the beginnign of Sakura and that abandoned town atmosphere it had, but I am not feeling it anymore. The recent episode about Shiori was great again though..
Kaiser-Eoghan
*looking
Then again he's an extremely forgetable person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Godammit, looing back over my comments I meant to say Souta not Setsuna, I suck at remembering non-English names.
Anonymous1205999
Meh - I really like this season but I already have my first cases of 'good-show-disappointing-ending/second half'
Anonymous1206022
KT Here:RE:Creators , we need to know more about the rules for Altair to see if that works. It might, and it might not. With what they know they have a good plan. But I was thinking why not just do a Super Smash Bros type game with the characters? I am sure that would generate enough stuff in order to lock her.
SuperMario
On Re:Creators, I find a better solution instead of going all cross-media like the show suggests. Someone could just make some fan-fiction on Altair that purposely show her weakness (like get busted when expose to the sun, or the magic word that render her skills useless). Less efforts, more effective
SuperMario
Man, I agree wholeheartedly with what KT said here: mass media actually sells, so it keeps the industry to a more stable position; then the art-house/more adult oriented anime can have some freedom to do what they like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its more that I have to read it all at the same time as expecting action to come , it might change my mind if I watched it in English.
Anonymous1205580
KT here: I accept the mass media because it raises the funds for the less mainstream stuff I like. That is how I make my peace.

On RE:Creators. I get what you guys say. But for some reason I do not find the exposition heavy in this series. Every person has his own limit I guess
Alonaria
@Kaiser: Yep, that sounds about right, lol. I take my Sheldon in concentrated doses. I might give the Young Sheldon spin off an episode or two because it's highly exaggerated but still somewhat relatable to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel big bang theory is a show for people who know nothing about nerds/nerd culture to find funny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then theres this thing about Sheldon being some kind of autism spectrum thing , which is kind of annoying to hear when I am on the spectrum myself and never really found the character all that amusing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably not the strongest reason to go off a show but, it was people around me going on and on about big bang theory that eventually put me off it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol is it any surprise Miura and the hunter x hunter guy take so many breaks =P
Alonaria
*Sheldon
Alonaria
I pick and choose Big Bang episodes that I enjoy. Shelden in the ball pit never ceases to amuse me. Still, it's definitely overrated haha.
Lenlo
IT Crowd > Modern Big Bang. Early Big Bang was good.

And yes, the work conditions in the Manga Industry are terrible. Oda, One Piece Mangaka, works stupid hours. He requests his assistances be "Willing to die for One Piece" because of the amount of work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And hell yeah"! someone else thats hates on big bang theory.
IT crowd > big bang.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more safer
Kaiser-Eoghan
And yet now here I am at same time, I think it might be kind of a shame that I can't see the value and fun anymore in some less safer offerings.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I thinking I might go insane if I looked up comments defending the visuals in occultic; nine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hate to say it but sometimes opinions, mainstream ones are actually wrong. Its a fact that superhero films have bad action scenes and cinematography and Hardboiled, a chinese action film is better filmed in terms of choreography.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As dickish as this is to say, I really do recoil when ssomeone says something like the Notebook or fifty shades is the best film of all time/their favourite.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See theres also factoring in the people whos favourite film or anime of all is the most recent they finished.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember mentioning recently that I was re-watching the twilight zone, the response I got was "I thought that you were talking about twilight"
Kaiser-Eoghan
See thats whats so great about being able to talk about more niche stuff online, theres an easier to find common ground.
AidanAK47
In general when it comes to mass popular opinion it's the tried and true safe stuff that ends up selling. The highest selling Mario games are the New Super Mario ones. The same generic Light novel and harems keep selling. There are plenty of examples but majority opinion tends to gravitate to the safe and familiar.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See, most (offline) people (and or teenagers)who aren't really all that interested in film or don't look into it that much will turn out for things like fifty shades, transformers or twilight, thats why those are popular. Most people aren't going to watch something made more than a few years ago or subtitled.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh...lol fuck thats a blunder...yes I meant Re:creators.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But by all means, people are fully entitled to like what they like. But there is a reason why so much rubbish gets popular.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Re:Creators.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As someone who would actually consider themselves creative and interested in things being imaginative I really do hate the whole anti-creativity /anti-art, anti-intelligence movement and way of thinking that allows un-deservedly popular things like what Aidan mentioned to fester.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes Re:zero's poor pacing and leaden dialogue is becoming too dominant and there should be more action, its good Setsuna opened up, but I still don't particularly like him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine the magazines/editors probably consider themselves the writers sometimes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty sure I only read nisekoi because I was keeping up with conversations about it, then dropped it before the Chitoge doublie showed up, just stopped reading.
AidanAK47
On the matter of Re:Creators, I feel the same as the Anon said. I find the exposition to just drone on far too much.
AidanAK47
On the matter of the manga industry being shit...it is. Manga in general is great but Jesus Christ the industry is a mess. Work conditions are utterly abhorrent and it's even worse that most series live or die based on a magazine popularity poll.
Because just because something is popular, does not mean it is quality. Example: Transformers, Twilight, Fifty shades, Sword Art Online, Big Bang theory
AidanAK47
@Anon, Still not getting your logic here. I mean if I have a problem with it after trying it then why am I not allowed to complain about it? Anyway it is only popular for the pandering. Even those who like Nisekoi admit that it's a mediocre harem and they mainly enjoy the waifu wars on the internet.
SuperMario
and now we will resort to illegal streaming sites for this one. "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem", this f*cking true
SuperMario
Huh? Welcome to the Ballroom Anime Gets Amazon Prime-Only Streaming Inside and Outside Japan. Now that just unbearable
SuperMario
Don't know about this new Re:Creators episode since I haven't watched it, but I don't really mind Meteora. Her dialogues scream "exposition" but she still fits well to the story. The fights are good, I agree, but why didn't they go all the way with the world's collapse last episode?
Anonymous1202407
Whether Nisekoi is pandering or not, it is not enough proof for you to suggest that manga industry is shit. If u want good mainstream then its not that hard to find. Also for every success like Nisekoi which u claim to be pandering, there are dozen like it that failed to be popular. Why? Because it clearly is popular for a reason other than just simple pandering.
SuperMario
Ha, Ping Pong. I need that kind of show again in my life.
Lenlo
Also, Ping Pong is amazing.
Lenlo
Theres a difference between pandering to a large audience, and an anime/manga with a quality story that everyone ends up liking. Ive always found moe shows and things like Nisekoi to be the former.
Anonymous1202407
If you have a problem with it after trying it just dont read it. Its that simple. Also what a surprise that a show like nisekoi that appeals to a large demographic is popular. U want the mangaka to apologize it's not some art house story like Ping Pong?
Lenlo
Meteora is pretty hit or miss with her dialogue imo. Sometimes its great, othertimes its not. I can say though I enjoy most of the fights.
Anonymous1202113
I really want to like Re:Creators. To be honest though, I'm getting tired of the dialogue. It has its high points, but it sometimes just seems to drone on and on, especially with all of Meteora's "hypotheses."
KT
Both Bahamut and RE:Creators had great episodes. But I was indeed mentally screaming Super Smash Bros at RE:Creators. You will get the point when you watch the episode.
AidanAK47
Taken on it's own, Nisekoi is harmless. But it is undeniably proof that you need not be creative or innovative to succeed in the industry. In fact declaring creative bankruptcy could turn more fruitful than genuine effort.
AidanAK47
And I said how can you decide you don't like something if you haven't read it?
Of course you are likely mean that if you don't like something then give up on reading it further which of course does not mean that someone cannot complain about it regardless.
Anonymous1198985
No, Im said if you dont like nisekoi dont read it
AidanAK47
@Anon, How do you know you don't like it if you don't read it?
Anonymous1196967
Don't like it don't read it.
AidanAK47
I went and read Double Arts. This really was a great manga with tons of potentail and truly didn't deserve the axe. It's so depressing that this was cut off so soon and the author went on to make the most generic Harem ever Nisekoi, and that got over 200 chapters.
Lenlo
All of the important dance scenes for Yuri were fantastic, its just some minor one off characters and some reused ones that were an issue, so no they are better than the CGI
Anonymous1190387
Is it worse than those CGI dance scenes in some anime?
AidanAK47
@Puran, It is pretty surprising how well that story turns out. I say IG might do the job even if there animation isn't the most consistent. The one thing I am worried about is those necks though. In the PV those things were ridiculously long.
Puran
Fair enough, recycling the animation was bad, agreed. But the animation itself was really good.
Lenlo
See, I found the repeated dances in Yuri one of the worse parts. Alot of it was recycled animation and certain characters were obviously rushed/not done. Some were amazing, cause they took their time, but others looked terrible.
Puran
I kinda wish Mappa was doing the anime though. Yuri on Ice had really nicely animated dances (and was more or less the only actually good quality of that show :P )
Puran
Reading the Ballroom e Youkoso manga has made me really excited about the Anime.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm particularly turned off by bully/bullying cliches these days. I've only read the first two volumes to see how awful she was but I ended up simply losing track of the series and stopped reading.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Mario: Actually that has changed, I had to pick a different day to see it given changes in schedule, I've booked it for NEXT Wednesday now. I've watched Akira about four times.
AidanAK47
Oh, Rising of the Shield Hero is getting an anime adaption. Hmmm...honestly after finishing the series and looking over it as a whole I am not sure I even want that. Plus seeing Bitch Animated...would fill me with rage.
SuperMario
I intend to re-watch Akira soon, probably this weekend. It has been almost 10 years since my first watch and now I don't remember much about that one. Thought it was intriguing and complex but not as acclaimed as people hyped it to be (I'll pick Ghost in the Shell anytime). Wonder how I'd feel now after re-watching it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I remember you mentioned that you were going to watch In this Corner of the World today right? How was the movie Kaiser?
Lenlo
Oh cool, food wars is getting a 3rd season
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ballroom youkoso appears to be leading the polls.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Fumiko is a female mangaka yes. Also I found bokura no hentai worth reading.
SuperMario
yep, I finished that manga too and I have conflicted feeling about it. Yuri(!) part and fanservice are to blatant but they have a purpose. This mangaka (not sure but I think she's a girl) has some unique voice.
AidanAK47
....well I skimmed that manga. And it was weird
SuperMario
By all appearances,Sakura is normal,albeit sheltered junior high school girl who enjoy talking about love and walking home from school together.However,they also happen to inhabit a strange and supernatural world populated by mysterious,gigantic beings and unusual plant and animal life.Amid their peaceful lives,Sakura becomes very interested in something only alluded to exist in old books: dicks
SuperMario
Here's a synopsis of other manga from the same author, I think you'll have a better idea of his theme -
Sakura no Sono
AidanAK47
Pretty much what Masky said. I am not really praising it. Anyway I plan to read one or two more chapters to see where it's going. But if it's going in the direction I think it's going then I am dropping this one fast.
Kaiser_Eoghan
There is of course the underlying concern that it will go a very ugly route with that development or it could become edgy/horribly minipulative, but for now it is as mario said, a hook.
SuperMario
Well. overall I don't dislike what I read there. It has good hook and I'm intrigued to know more what the hell will happen. Good set-up for me. I'm in
SuperMario
@Masky: it's fine Masky, since I will chec itk out any way and see it for myself ^^
Masky
So since you guys started being interested, I checked it out and uh.. Yeah, not reading. I think ye guys misunderstood Aidans warnings since that was just fucked up and not in the interesting way.
Lenlo
@Aidan: Berserk will never again go more than 3-4 months without a hiatus.
SuperMario
Hmmm, that manga Cutie Mutie sounds good to me. I might check it out later today
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But had you not alluded to that scene, I may have seen the cover of that manga and skipped over it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I had a feeling, sort of, sad, I am intrigued to read more.
AidanAK47
Hyping and warning are not the same thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well with Aidan hyping up the horrors of cutie mutie I may as well glance at it to see what he' on about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three manga with the name rec.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am familiar with the artist for cutie mutie, she did that manga about the three kids dealing with gender/orientation issues.
AidanAK47
Oh look Berserk is on Haitus again....
.....the sad thing is that it comes as expected now.
AidanAK47
For reference the two I read were Cutie Mutie and Rec. Be warned, the first one goes to a rather uncomfortable level.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Read two manga. One started lighthearted and then went to really dark territory. The other one looks like it's about a really dark subject but turned out to be something more lighthearted.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Alright. Tested it now so it such be fixed. Try again.
Masky
@Aidan: Huh? What you read that turned dark/didn't turn dark? .-.
SuperMario
"too many answers selected for question 1! only 3 answers allowed!"
SuperMario
@Aidan: I still have the same issues. Weird
AidanAK47
@Mario, Wasn't my intent. Try it now and you should be able to pick as many as you want.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm not allowed to vote more than 3 votes. Is it your intention Aidan?
AidanAK47
Well that was weird. I read something that looked innocent but turned out to be really dark. Then something that looked really dark only to become innocent.
Masky
Yeah, nothing that interests me I see :D Like my strongest reaction to season preview was "Someone made isekai with smartphone? Really? REALLY? Thats best idea you had"
Masky
Ah Knighs and Magic, found that manga. It was boring enough for me to forget its name. Also besides being boring, I kinda find MC unlikeable since their only personality is that they like mechas and were a programmer before renicarnating as short bishie kid
Masky
Woo, time to vote stuff
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that movie In this Corner just getting more and more acclaimed huh? Thou I think it'a a type of movie that if you have high expectation for it you will likely be disappointed. It works best as a sleeper hit
SuperMario
As for cute monster girls, most of the time I don't find them cute at all. I know I'm being racist, but...
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I'm guilty with that cute girls genre, as i enjoyed K-On tremedously for example. Or If I have more time I'd follow Hinako Note this season ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
They don't always adapt all that well or work as well outside of manga format, especially 4-komas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*three
Kaiser-Eoghan
The only two of any interest were hidamari sketch, azumanga daioh and yuru yuri and that was largely down to being in the mood for them a few years ago.
Lenlo
@Mario: Personally, I have 0 interest in this Monster girls doing cute things subgenre, just like I have very little interest in the cute girls doing cute things major genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As it turns out I DID read in this corner of the world. I'll also be seeing it next thursday.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: at this moment I'm very skeptical with the whole Monster girls doing cute girl subgenre, so I'm approachig Centaur with a caution. Of course, it all depends on how I feel after the first episode
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Happy End isn't as bleak aa his other works. But it's certainly Hanake's films, as it explores many of his favorite themes: the voyeurist of camera in his Benny's video, the detachment to the world and the underlying violence. Not his best thou but it's still very good
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I'd be up for watching jigoku shojo, its been a long time since I watched the original two seasons and this one won't be as long, so it won't get as repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I voted centaur no nanami on the poll, think Mario could cover it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How did did you get on with Happy end? I heard its like a mix of his best works. Is it as dark and depressing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have vague memories of in the corner of the worlds manga, unless I'm mixing it up with something else.
SuperMario
Some news, Lu Over the Wall won the best prize at this year's Annecy (the 1st anime won the award since 1995's Pom Poko), with In the Corner of the World took the Jury Prize. Quite a good showing for anime this year.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Hello.
SuperMario
Really, still no vote for Kakegurui?? I thought it would take the top poll for sure
SuperMario
That 18if, even the poster doesn't make much sense, but it looks dazzling ^^
Lenlo
go-go licensed products!
SuperMario
@Lenlo: and Madhouse is the studio behind that Marvel rip-off. Are they really going that low for profits?
Lenlo
Lookin forward to Kakeguri next season, but thats the only thing thats really caught my eye
Lenlo
Well, you have to watch Marvel next season right?
AidanAK47
And done. I swear these previews take a lot out of me.
AidanAK47
Almost done....almost done...
KT
Attack of Titan, ended ok. But man the production values had gone down.

Virgin Soul had a okish episde

Re:Creators continues to rock for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I liked the 70s version ending, it was mean spirited =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The original used its one room location quite well and dim lighting in parts, very closed in/claustrophobic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just finished the Beguiled and it was much better than I expected. Like, I didn't expect it to be that well shot. The guy was put in a passive role than active here, which help the theme imo. Also, the ending admitedly isn't for everyone but I liked it just fine
SuperMario
@Kaiser: using a black girl? The girls in this one are all white :(
AidanAK47
Sato in Re:Creators isn't doing himself any favors is he? Honestly the more I learn about him, the less likable he becomes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was a good film though, one of scarjos better moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As for Sofia, I'm only familiar with lost in translation, which I haven't seen since it originally came out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Everyone goes on about Francis' for the Godfather, the conversation is massively underated and apocalypse now is better, but it has to be the theatrical cut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I guess it was probably seen as progressive in its day by way of using the black girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Very very cynically 70s of course.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Actually just happened to finish it there, I felt it stood out for its somewhat successful gothic feel and aesthetic and Eastwood's performance which shows how well he can command the audiences attention even when he isn't shooting people. Kind of liked how it got slightly grisly later on. It makes a small effort in giving one line backstories .
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the original movie isn't that well-received. It's more like an exotica film where the main guy (Clint Eastwood) hooks up girls of all ages. This one I heard has a good spin on feminist angle. I'm sure is intrigued but Sofia Coppola's filmography has been mixed for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I doubt any one has ever heard of this....I know I didn't, I haven't read it either but I came across some weird old Blacksploitation manga, probably from the 90s, Blast knuckle or something...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Still remaking the beguiled might be good, we need more modern westerns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I suppose I can busy myself with the original 70s version of beguiled. At the moment I've been focusing on old Japanese films, they had such a good film industry, it makes it hurt so much more now knowing that all they do now is shit live action adaptations.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: gonna be a long day for me with the screenings of The Beguiled, Wind River, The Other Side of Hope and Happy End
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now I need to re-watch 08th ms team.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I watched 4 hours straight of Gundam the origin, hit me with a hard punch of nostalgia, actually seeing his backstory rather than hearing about it is a good thing, I enjoyed the action scenes, it was high-melodrama but well used and more Char is always a good thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I'll just put Kado on hold for now and see whats being said about future episodes of it, I'm too unsure of it being worth it or not at the moment.
Total users: 36

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