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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So I'm rewatching some random show called Seven of Seven and I must say, the old-school tropes are quite refreshing to the current day ones. Like a current day romcom but old school-style (no overused tropes, less cute girls, simple characters and plot), quite a rare novelty that I'd say is worth checking out if you're bored.
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Also featuring moon ninjas.
Anonymous222624
*insight* *major philosophical questions* *??????*
Anonymous222458
I can understand that. Before the conclusion the main cast was pretty linear and repetetive character developement wise - the main focus was shounen action for the majority of the series. The conclusion showed us that these characters are reincarnates of sons of a demi god. They build up that past world with such an insight to major philosphical questions but easily understandable & relatable.
SuperMario
People might disagree with this but I like how 91 Days plays out. Low-key but satisfied ending.
AidanAK47
@Badesh, Forgive me if I am rather skeptical on that statement.
reaLjustified
Well when the series is two decades old how is it an accomplishment? There are one shots that make me feel more emotionally attached to the story.
Badesh
Hell, Naruto final arc turned out to be one of the most holistic storytelling i've encountered in a while. The character developement ties in so nicely with the whole universe. It's a great accomplishement growing a pop anime into a mature mystic saga. i highly reccomend it even for newcomers. just watch past great ninja war.
Kaiser Eoghan
*last two
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll leave it to someone else to pick the last one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Might add trouble every day by Claire Denis and Livid by Julien Maury.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thanks for that. So now its under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator, haute tension, nekromantik, the tunnel.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah I had forgotten, I'd meant to see Haute tension.
Kaiser Eoghan
Of those I haven't seen nekromantik or dead things.
SuperMario
That's all I can think for now. I'm sure K-off and others will have more inspiring suggestions down the line
SuperMario
For pychological edge: Haute Tension, Lake Mungo, Three... Extremes (actually the 3 shorts are all interesting), The Tunnel 2011 (underaprreciate Aussie found-footage)
SuperMario
For sick minds, Man Bites Dog, a Serbian film, Der Tolesking, Human Centipede (1&2)
SuperMario
Alright, for pure horror pleasures: Necromantik (1987), Green Inferno, Dead/Alive (my childhood's nightmare), Children Shouldn't Play woth Dead Things (more like a guity pleasure)
SuperMario
Haha scary indeed
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The scariest thing about the haunting was that a remake of it exists that betrays the original.
SuperMario
Now, let me check my own horror list for more reccomendation
Kaiser Eoghan
Hahaha! Possession predates urotsukidouji =P in terms of the tentacle monster thing.
SuperMario
And I heard that the Haunting (1963) is good as well. Some david lynch movies (Lost Highway for example) could be claasified as horror too
SuperMario
Shame he passed away early this year. But he did say that the violent relationship in that movie was based on his own divorce.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think Polish directed films are apparently rooted in theater. Though I believe he is a Dadaist.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Apparently Possession and diabal, all of his works are full of hidden political messages.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That director is genuinely off-the wall insane, silver globe and l'amour braque actually make that look sane.
SuperMario
Possession the movie that Isabelle Adjani stared in? God, that movie exhausted me
Kaiser Eoghan
Innocents was so much better than its remake the others, the atmosphere was a lot lot stronger too, black and white really adds to the mood too.
Kaiser Eoghan
ha! I loved those.
This year I'm looking for silly horror movies predominently.
SuperMario
Let scare Jessica to death; the innocents 1961, Kill List, goodnight Mommy
Kaiser Eoghan
My alltime favourite horror film is Possession.
Kaiser Eoghan
No fuck it, no sequels. Currently it stands at under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator.
SuperMario
Too lazy to check out which horror movies that you've watched, but sure I can reccomend you some, from shitty to pure camp.
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually wait, under the shadow is out next week so that means I only need 5 more.
Kaiser Eoghan
Or maybe a 12 days is more feasible, easier. So that brings it down to six more. Guilty pleasures accepted.
K-Off
Any room for shitty horror in that list?
Kaiser Eoghan
I have to do a 30 days of halloween list soon. Want to limit it to horror films I haven't seen. So far I have the return of the living dead trilogy , dagon, from beyond and the re-animator.
Kaiser Eoghan
I also recently watched stranger things. I felt it did right by its 80s throw back, straight down to the references, score, costumes. Pretty cool monster too and the younger actors I thought were mostly good. Kind of slightly reminded me of the goonies to a small extent. I think it succeeded in being fairly heartfelt. Although I did find it a bit padded.
SuperMario
About the new season, I'm more interested in how these dark horse titles will turn out: Flip-flappers, ClassicalLoid, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Yuri on Ice
SuperMario
@Aidan: I had Stranger Things on my queue list for a while now, but don't plan to watch it anytime soon. Glad you enjoy it.
K-Off
ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
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
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