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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Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, but I mean without science fiction elements.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser"I'd love to see an anime take of film noir."
What do you call Cowboy bebop?
AidanAK47
I remember someone recomending me wolfs Rain and then right after goes and tells me the ending to wolfs rain. Thanks asshole.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Yep. People just can't bloody keep things to themselves. No matter what you do, people will spoil. Like those assholes who read the manga and then go to the anime threads to post their "Theory" in an effort to gain internet cred for their amazing prediction skills.
Amagi
@Aidan: completey agree with everything you said
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see an anime take of film noir.
Amagi
My only problem is the schedule, AidanAK47 mentioned it. They should know that anime fans watch weekly anime timely. Waiting half a year will get you killed by spoilers and you can't discuss it "live" or speculate after each weekly episode, kinda killing the hype.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Peepo choo was a very good example of how to do a western manga, done by some Argentinian guy , even ran in the same magazine Monster did, dealt with an American otaku kid finding out a dose of reality after going to Japan.
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Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

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Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

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Juuni Taisen – 10 [A Tiger May Die, But It Leaves Its Skin]

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Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 09[Various Countries]

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Houseki no Kuni – 09 [Spring]

Houseki approaches summertime this episode and this week feels like a breather after the intensity from the last few weeks, by that I mean Phos didn’t get into any real trouble by the end of this week. Not to say this episode is anything less amazing compared to last several weeks. One of the factor […]

Inuyashiki – 8 [Mari Inuyashiki]

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