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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@Anon: Sunny was a solid slice of life series by Matsumoto.
Anonymous1839346
@Anon Weak villains, over-dramatized, protagonists suffer random psychotic breakdowns and all of the elements of the movie do not come thematically together like the creators probably thought they did. Of course, I may just be stupid. For me Ping Pong was waaay better
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Not everyone is going to like the style that film is done in and apparently some think it compresses its source material poorly, but I don't really mind.
Anonymous1838586
can anyone state some of the problems they have for tekkon kinkreet. If they have watched it
Kaiser-Eoghan
Watching Kondou in every episode of after the rain, makes it hit home that in 10 or so years I'll be 40 =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
As far as friendships between men and women are concerned, I do believe in it, although especially when I was a teenager I was always worried about things turning into something more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*kondou's
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think Chihiro might be knfou's wife.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Slight error on the violet evergarden review, episode title isn't showing up at the top.
Anonymous1838382
Media/art have the power to depict the rare and unusual. It is completely normal for the rare to be common in art. I understand what you mean Amagi, but don't hold it (purely) against the consumers. It's the nature of media itself and in that regard, it is a good thing.
Anonymous1838379
Media/art have the power to depict the rare and unusual. It is completely normal for the rare to be common in art. I understand what you mean Amagi, but don't hold it (purely) against the consumers. It's the nature of media itself and in that regard, it is a good thing.
Amagi
What I acutally find worse are series that make that canon and it happens all the time (not only in anime). Usually female/male though. I have nothing against romance but I hate how proper friendships between men and women can't exist in cartoons/anime. It's so common in real life but media acts if it was an alien concept to them. Maybe because of the target audience I don't know.
Amagi
I think these pairing of friends aren't just the fault of crazy fans, it's because anime often has a problem depticting friendships. Almost all friendships (at least those among girls) are fetishized to no end in order to either add ecchi or cute ambivalent scenes, and people get used to that. There are good examples of friendships, Rakugo is one, a current one would be Sora Yori, but it's rare.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Interesting that it's being updated to modern America though, I imagine the crime figures have changed alot though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I don't like sexualize Banana fishe's protag given how theres line in the manga later on that and I somewhat paraphrase where he speaks of the villain "I can't even remember the number of times Dino Golzine raped me"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Coincidentially as we're on this topic, I just watched the pv for that josei action series Banana fish coming out in July and from skimming the manga years ago , people will be insinuating a relationship between the two leads when its left ambiguous, even though the protaganist has homosexual leanings.
Anonymous1837358
Anonymous1836963 - Well according to some bl tropes, women are built into those stories to block the pairing advances. There's also the one off character that isn't romantically inclined but popular like Floppy in MHA or Bulma in Dragon Ball. I do think it's bad when like in Kingdom Hearts, Sora cries for Riku and was just ok with reuniting with Kairi.
Anonymous1837334
@AK Me again. Watch the epilogue in the last ep of Korra S3!
Anyway, basically we agree, I simply say that with Korra, it's explainable and non-invasive. Like, you'll always have romance shoehorned into mainstream series and Asami >>>>> Mako.
Lenlo
What, women cant be gay?
AidanAK47
@Anon, that's not true. They can still get beat up in order to inspire the boys to fight harder.
Anonymous1836963
It's why Sasuke/Naruto never happened. They had to keep Sakura relevant.
Anonymous1836963
If everyone in Anime were gay, there would be absolutely no use for women in any shonen plot. Sad but true.
Lenlo
The push to make Rakugo into a gay relationship has always annoyed me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Feck, I re-read it, shows how shit my memory is.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, No I didn't. I pretty much ruled it out it as early as episode three. I stated that people thought it and mentioned that it could lead to some interesting story developments. But I made it clear I didn't like the idea and felt it cheapened their bond.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lies it was hulk and iron man not hulk and black window....I mean jesus come oooon like =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some crack pairings can be extremely silly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: And I said it after remembering ages ago you said the same about guts and griffith and how people cheapened that relationship.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I also stated that yesterday.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In fairness initially some of us, yourself included thought he might of been at first before it was clear he wasn't gay.
AidanAK47
Truth be told, it pisses me off. It takes a bond of much deeper meaning and reduces it down to something far more simplistic and primal. Can't be that these two hold a trust for one another that's beyond simple biology. Nope, THEY WANNA BONE.
AidanAK47
But then again, the internet often over interprets friendship as sexual attraction. During Rakugo's airing I see people absolutely convinced that Yakumo was gay. Evidence? One bath scene apparently from his POV which made it seem like he was checking out Sukeroku and the fact that the author made a lot of BL. Other than that, nothing.
AidanAK47
Then again, romance in this series was always the worst written part. So many spontaneous relationships.
AidanAK47
Alright maybe you can make the arguement that later down the line while traveling they gained romantic feelings for each other. I can somewhat buy that. But there, in the last few minutes of the series? Hell no.
AidanAK47
To me it's like the Hulk and Black Widow romance. They had literally no real interaction and yet the internet somehow decided they were a couple. Then they tried to crowbar into the second avengers movie and it was just as awkward and out of place as you would expect.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Nah I don't see it. The two did really have that much interaction. Sure they got closer as seasons went on but never to a romantic level. At best it was about decent friends. Friendship I understand but that does not lead to romance. Both Korra and Asami had heterosexual relationships and no evidence shows them being bi or getting interested in swinging for the other fence.
Anonymous1836097
Yes, it was pandering, but it can be explained and it does make sense. I could complain about many things (like the random pairings), but Asami-Korra is definitely not among them.

PS: Korra was very feministic show, I wonder what's all that about.
Anonymous1836097
Asami was strangely always getting the short end of the stick (no power, noone to lean on... and it was aggravating to see no character to care). They were both betrayed enough times to get scarred and they both realized that (the one) constant around them is their friendship.
Anonymous1836097
@AK I dont consider Legend of Korra a well written show, but it does some things pretty well. Asami-Korra pairing certainly did not come out of nowhere (e.g. S3 last ep) and it makes sense as well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Right in the KOKORO =O
Kaiser-Eoghan
**larger half of
Kaiser-Eoghan
*episode
Kaiser-Eoghan
For the better half of this weeks after the rain episodes, I was sitting around just watching it do its thing, the second half of the episode particularly near the end was the show at one of of its stronger visual moments and certainly going for the most effecting emotional angle its put out thus far in a way that finally caught me.
AidanAK47
I don't consider Makishima a great villain but one thing I found fantastic was him getting taken off guard by a sudden attack. Loads of anime criminal masterminds somehow plan for every single little detail no matter how unlikely. But this was one case that shows you could plan for ten years and nothing would prepare you for getting suddenly bashed over the head with a motorcycle helmet.
Lenlo
Makishima is a fantastic villain
Anonymous1835766
Kaiser-Eoghan - I think the closest might be Makishima Shogo in Psycho Pass. Just in the opposite sense, showing how flawed an absolutistic system is. Also a scene from that anime, that subverts the notion of how people are shocked by violence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Moreso than the girls death obsession, I thought the stuff with the mother in the first chapter of yakedo has the potential to go in a more messed up way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But he fails miserably and no one learns from his crimes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why can't there be a BENEVOLENT killer character that commits horrible acts solely to shock people and show how horrifying those acts are, out of the delusion that it will inspire a reflection and change in people to NOT, to NEVER do those things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*higher
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe an abused character is a servant in a historical setting with a hierarchy, trapped in societal rules and defeats the obsession with the attacker and raises up against the class system/character of hire social standing that abused them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps the cannibal killer character in the story has abandonment, severe paranoia and lonliness issues and sees his crimes as taking people inside him so they'll never leave him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
of psychological depth instead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
For the willingness to throw messed up stuff into stories, I wouldn't mind seeing an analysis thrown in, doing a story about a cannibal character? How about instead of just a gore fest, get inside is head and ask, why does he do this? I hate Ntr and its used as a throwaway turn-on involving rape eroticism, but is there any any way that a story involving that could be framed with some sense
Kaiser-Eoghan
Back on to stuff like goblin slayer, they can take out the rape scenes I wouldn't miss them, although I find them less uncomfortable, BECAUSE they are shown as how wrong rape is, instead of say a doujin playing it up for titilation .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite all the talking up of tsunderes, I actually love kuuderes, in the end probably the biggest reason is for how flat chested they are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Slapstick violence always plays second to dry, dark, screwball or surreal humour.
Bokusen
Also, on tsunderes, me too. I can't stand people using physical violence on someone unless it's in self-defense, or a Fate-type scenario where they all know everyone is trying to kill everyone else. Random physical violence played up as comedy is the worst.
Bokusen
@Kaiser Ah, so it was referring to bondage. I was skimming through posts and must've missed that. Bondage still creeps me out a bit, but if it's a fetish thing I can at least understand the whole exaggerated gender roles thing.
AidanAK47
In regards to Tsunderes, yep that was a bad choice of words there Kaiser. But over time I have come to find Tsunderes more agavating. Tsunderes like Rin are fine but those that beat the crap out of the guy they like and are expected to be forgiven cause they get embarrassed can go straight to hell.
AidanAK47
Also who cares who Korra ends up with? She a goddamn horrible character. I hated her so much.
AidanAK47
Korra was a show that had love realistionships come out of nowhere(And not well written in general) but that one really was just pandering to the Korra/Asami shippers. Not sure where the hell that ship came from to begin with.
Lenlo
I agree Aidan, the love at the end of Korra came out of Left field really
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: It was inappropriate and I shouldn't have said it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Heck one of the reasons I prefer seeing another character with another character or a character simply on their own in a fetish situation is because I can distance myself from it and not feel like I'm touching anything/one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anything I meant role reversal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: I apologize, reading it back it sounds terrible, I was actually referring to bondage where the tsundere pretends to hate it initially but consents .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: I should state clearly that that is merely a fantasy. The anger on both sides makes it easier because even if things became more physical or intimate it would feel more distant if the talking part was she and myself saying how much we hated it , despite actualily liking it.
Bokusen
"The thing is I utterly hate the personalities of tsundere characters in bitch/dom mode, sends me into a fervor to put them in their place." OK, reading that just creeped me out.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well you like screwed up stuff so no surprise.
Try Yakedo Shoujo. Get the feeling you will like that one quite a bit.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Legend of Korra? There was no yuri in that one. No evidence whatsoever. They just had Korra and Asami walk into some light and then announced them gay over twitter. Honesty I didn't see it in the show itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Also was it you that recommended happy sugar life to me? That was a pretty good psychological horror manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Going back several messages, I kind of liked goblin slayer oddly.
Anonymous1832169
Kaiser-Eoghan - Read Sakuranbo Syndrome.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: At the same time I really think more series like after the rain need to come out, showing more sensitive approaches.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nudity/sex just isn't used functionally well enough or dramatically as it should. Come on, give us a story about passionette characters, sensual/erotic rather than only porn. Or do a scums wish where miserable people are doing it because saaaaad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
kuuchuu is really one of those things I need to re-watch, I became so much more open to weirder shows in the past number of years than I would have been ages ago.
Anonymous1832169
I think my excuse in hentai, is that despair, and subjugation adds drama to a very simple thing. Though Dawn of the Silver Dragon may be the peak of objectification.
Anonymous1832214
Sure, np, though I must be off. Again, nice to chat casually. Been off forums for a while. Bye.
PS: thank you gift for anyone not familiar https://myanimelist.net/anime/6774/Kuuchuu_Buranko?q=kuuchuu
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lets talk about the spring 2018 anime season chart: http://anichart.net/spring-2018
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mods, I'm sorry for hostaging/dominating the chat like this I'll change subject.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think official/canon pairings of characters make more sense definitely, non-canon ones can kind of cheapen characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really want to say though, I totally am not okay with rape in hentai though and I don't like 50 shades of grey.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To get off this subject, funny little random memory here of reading manga in public, back when I was still into fate, some street person sat down next to me and saw a picture of berserk and said "Oh, he's quite ripped isn't he"
Anonymous1832214
@Anon could be
@Kaiser Srsly youd hate Young's Aflame Inferno - narcissistic manipulative elite MC guy plays a sub to a playful manipulative OP demon woman. I love that so much..!
Kaiser-Eoghan
The old artists valued some interesting takes on beauty too, all of those middle aged larger bodies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Someone has read this and gone off and done an Akira x Satan devilman doujin haven't they?
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the beauty and the beast thing, I wonder if characters like Elias from Mahouyome will become more popular. Monsterboys might end up catching on.
Anonymous1832169
Anonymous1832214 - I think so, I mean we paint angels following that idea.
Anonymous1832214
Thx for the talk guys (and girls). Btw. I'm the guy with weird nicks, Evaluation, Strength, Victim, etc in case anyone's wondering.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think regarding role switching and whether I prefer being dom or sub is definately based on which gender I'm playing, this goes back to the cliches of girl=the submissive character man=is the non-submissive.
Anonymous1832214
There's something about androgynous features, is there?
Kaiser-Eoghan
accept of course for the sensei, who looks like one-punchman.
Anonymous1832214
Seems consistent with your preferences towards domination. Open your heart more and feel the love. They cant help themselves. They need you to get it out. Why not play the mature person, not play the game and accept their flawed selves?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Specifically due the ambiguity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Houseki's character designs and art is fascinating.
Anonymous1832169
I like the idea of women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women. Not necessarily transgender, just in the sense of playing the role like Hercules and Diomedes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hating them makes it easier/better aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The thing is I utterly hate the personalities of tsundere characters in bitch/dom mode, sends me into a fervor to put them in their place
Anonymous1832214
I wouldnt mind being a dominated by a (good-hearted) Pandora. So I guess I have no idea how you can even say that...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol now we're getting into liking certsin things because their so non-pc =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of me taking on a female role and being dominated by a woman is bizzare to me , taking on a female role and being dominated by a man, yes.
Anonymous1832214
Yeah got it. Like Senjougahara? Lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But she still holds on to the delusion that she's in control.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Wait, to be more specific, I was saying I liked the idea of making a tsundere girl submit, with the tsundere becoming the sub.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Youngs manga work better than say, something like ikkitosen/highschool dxd/seikon no qwaser/highschool of the dead because they go all out with the exploitation .
Anonymous1832169
I do see a correlation between the feminine guys in yaoi and the token girls in otome. I swear I don't get why otome and other young girl series, like to play the bad boy and misogynistic treatment of women. I think they we might have lost the point in Beauty and the Beast.
Anonymous1832214
Kaiser... do you know Im Dal Young's manga? Freezing, Unbalance x Unbalance, etc. He often puts the women in the dominant role. He's gotta have a thing for it. I love that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think going back to the complaints of yuri on ice not having enough bite to it, its the same as the fanservice in josei manga with the ambiguous bromances.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a really pretentious guy, I love going into the psychology of it all.
Anonymous1832169
@Kaiser-Eoghan - As one teacher told me, the most memorable characters are the contradictory ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The western side often feels more tokenistic at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The feminine male character exists as a safe zone for the female reader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
No wonder I enjoyed haru deiteita so much, it did the reversal thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet people don't understand this when I say I find tsunderes attractive, what could be more appealing to me than a tsundere ending up losing the dominant role and becoming submissive?
Anonymous1832169
@Kaiser-Eoghan - I think I like that dichotomy, because since manga is already androgynous one does accept it more. Especially since of anime thread the line of making their male characters submissive. Also in a more design sense it might be because there's a power dynamic at play. That's why there's also harassment.
Anonymous1832214
I also agree that yuri is more established and accepted. Particularly in western media, which are starting to catch up? (lesbians everywhere...) Legend of Korra anyone?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The weirdest thing is from my own perspective, when I play the female role in the relationship I understand taking on a more submissive role, yet in a male role, with a women I find being in a non-dominent role impossible.
Anonymous1832214
@Kaiser I'm not going to defend KnM, valid points. Again, it's done enough. And - I have a thing for tragic/platonic love so KnM clicked...
Anonymous1832169
Yuri can be cold, harsh and seduction is usually a weapon. Though a tiring trope is that most stories treat the couple as kind of sister type of affection. Or so I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In terms of the pairings, my headcanon doesn't understand the petite-man thing in male to male relationships relationships/pairings , yet petit women I am obsessed with.
Anonymous1832169
Kaiser-Eoghan - I do agree. I suppose for me or at least when I did start watching it, it felt more risque, since at least in media lesbians seem more accepted than gay or flamboyant men. So I think the draw for me might be emasculation, because of the uke and seme dynamic. It is said the reason for that is to project their female audiences in more of a dominant role or something like that.
SuperMario
Hmm, I watched few episodes of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi and it's the romance that turned me off. It's just plain secual harassment
Kaiser-Eoghan
In some way its easier to physically work it out mentally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which leads to the interesting phenomenon of fudanshiism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bizzarest thing is I am significantly more attracted to women than men yet find shounen-ai/yaoi more of a draw, while admitting the shoujo-ai/yuri stories out there are better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I recall actually liking the music in gravitation at one point.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As silly melodrama it was somewhat watchable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt that a certain off colour scene with Chikane felt like character assassination.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the characterization and mecha fights are particularly messy in kannazuki, especially bringing the manga into it where the villains didn't even get 1 second backstories and the framing of the art and panels is poor, with some of dialogue, at least in the dub sounding very silly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding kannazuki, I'm not going to doubt that it a kyoshiro aren't rip roaringly hilarious guilty pleasures, not that this dimnishes the anons take on the female lead.
Anonymous1832214
KnM is trash anime, but very endearing and a treasure. I love it.

(Just passing by, I'm straight male with a thing for yuri genre).
Anonymous1832169
And I think Gravitation is also because music is also part of the plot and not solely the romance. I think the last one I enjoyed was Love Stage but that only had a thing going with one side being biconfused. Though it didn't do anything with that.
Anonymous1832214
Kannazuki no Miko has a heroine who readily accepts her feelings and is in a position where it is very difficult not to empathise. Her love seems very pure and to me is very rewarding to watch.
Anonymous1832169
Kaiser-Eoghan - Yeah but then you have Utena, Aoi Hana, Noir, El Cazador de la Bruja, Madoka, and several other series that just happen to have lesbian couples. In terms of good or recognizable shounen ai, it's harder, since I think the most recognizable is Gravitation, followed by (maybe) the Nakamura ones (Seikachi Hatsukoi and his other series).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The manga is even worse than the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are truly terrible yuri series though I'm sure, no idea how Kannazuki no miko became a cult thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Sadly there's too much rape in yaoi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Oh, the gender roles thing is terrible in those things. Plenty of gay men are masculine irl.
Anonymous1832169
Borrowed from Japanese 百合 (yuri, “lily”), by analogy to 薔薇 (bara, “rose”), indicating gay men.
Anonymous1832169
Shoujo AI and even Yuri, are more romance than eros. There could be like 10 or more chapters without any intimate action and I suppose that's also part in why yuri tends to achieve better stories.
Anonymous1832169
Also the formula is so transparent that one scrolls to the end, to see ehem, the good part.
Anonymous1832169
And finally like the typical chick flick there's rarely anything important beyond the relationship. I even say those who try a little may be the better ones in this genre.
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After the Rain – 07 [Heavy Rain]

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