The 12 Days of Anime Day 1–The Witch that Forgot How to Witch: Why I Disliked the New Madoka Movie

So Josh is unfortunately quite busy at present. He’s doing smart people things and all that jazz. Actually though, he’s been working incredibly hard on the papers that he’s trying to get out for publication. I’ve been busy hardly working ;). That’s actually a lie, you’d be amazed how much energy it takes to run a baking blog what with all the social networking and everything XD. Don’t even get me started on my struggles with self-hosting haha. That being said, I will be mainly in charge of this blog as well for the next chunk of time since Josh is busy being MIA somewhere in a galaxy far, far away. Hope you guys don’t mind. I’ll try and keep you entertained for the next few weeks! Also, we’re planning on updating the blog’s theme and appearance soon so keep an eye out for that!

*Just a note, I’m going to keep these posts fairly short and not too detailed since I have to write 12 of them so if you want a more in depth analysis of what I thought then feel free to comment or contact me directly.

Anyway, enough of update. It’s officially the 12 days of anime! That means I’ll be posting a mini-post/ rant every day for the next 12 days whew this is going to be exhausting. I decided I would start with something fairly recent: the new Madoka movie. I’m going to get a lot of hate for this post because from what I’ve heard this movie was well-received. However, for some reason, it just left a really bad taste in my mouth to the point that I was ornery when I left the theater. These are my thoughts and I’ll be interested to hear what you guys think!

464px-Mock_Oscars_Poster_(2)Here’s a brief summary (courtesy of Wikipedia) of the movie for those who haven’t seen it:

A girl becomes a magical girl in exchange for her wish. The magical girls have a fate to fight against the witches, the harbingers of destruction that plant the seeds of despair, and in the end, they will succumb to despair and transform into witches themselves… The terrible cycle that had repeated so many times was finally ended by Madoka Kaname’s sacrifice, and the world was led into a new order. However, the magical girls’ battle must continue. The reason for this is because it is the compensation for the miracle. Unable to let her memories of Madoka die, Homura Akemi, the magical girl left behind continues to fight alone in the revived world. Her feelings pave the way for a new story. …Madoka Kaname, the girl who had become the pillar to the order of the circle and Sayaka Miki, the girl who had lost her life when her magical power ran out both appear in front of Homura. What is the meaning of the appearance of two girls who should not exist anymore at all? Will Nagisa Momoe, the new magical girl who has an unsure face, tell the truth of the matter? And what is the new being that fights against the order of god and tramples the world?

*Beware of spoilers in this post. Just FYI.

Ok, can I start with a weird complaint? Who else thinks that Homura is an incredibly unattractive name? I apologize if someone named Homura in real life reads this post, but I feel like that name is the equivalent of something like Ethel or Mildred in English–just a really unfortunate sounding name, one that is unpleasant to say and listen to.

homura_akemi_vector_by_hombre0-d4ccjbw

Sorry Homura, you’re a pretty cool character (at least in the original series), but your name sucks. .

Moving right along. Homura’s name is the least of the problems I had with the character in this movie. I mean come on, why the eff did she decide to randomly go psychotic at the end of the film and then blame it on ‘a complicated emotion called: LOVE?!’ What does that even mean!? I love people and that doesn’t make me a raging psychopath who turns into a demon and the embodiment of evil. Can we also talk about how cliched that ending was. Yes, it was unexpected, but it was also hellishly cliched (no pun intended).

Of course if Madoka is a goddess, there has to be some sort of entity created in the universe to balance her out, but of all the characters it was so uncharacteristic of Homura to be the one to do so. Also, I know the weird alien experiments were part of the original series, but the fact that the whole conflict of the film was based around these weird alien experiments seemed like a copout for me. Sure if there’s something weird going on in a world let’s chalk it up to the aliens and call it a day. It’s simple and clean so why not? It’s also unoriginal. I bought it in the original series because it was an interesting and somewhat unique plot device, but to bring it back in the film seemed like a deus ex machina.

Then there was the weirdness around not knowing what was going on and Homura being uncannily aware of the situation, yet not aware of what was actually going on. It got really confusing for me–not that it was incomprehensible, just that I didn’t want to have to think I understood what was going on. I wanted to know that I knew what was going on. Does that make sense? Maybe it’s just me and my dislike of abstraction, but that aspect really bothered me. I felt like I was hanging in this weird limbo of miscomprehension for the first half of the movie and it was disconcerting and frustrating. Not sure if this bothered anyone else, but I found that I got frustrated to the point that I became bored and less invested in the film because the plot became too convoluted for me.

Ok, enough ranting. I didn’t hate everything about this film. There were definitely redeeming factors of the movie: the animation was great. Yes, it was kind of weird in the same style as the original series and I know that bothered some people, but I personally didn’t have an issue with it and thought it was cool and avant-garde.

MahouShoujoMadokaMagica222

Definitely not your standard anime setting.

Next, I did like how Urobuchi kept you guessing about what was going to happen next, which I appreciated. It’s always refreshing to have a director throw you for a loop instead of giving the audience what they expect. Props for that. Other than that, I’ve aired my grievances. I say go ahead and see this movie because it seems that I was in the minority in terms of opinion, but definitely let me know what you think!

Happy Day 1 of the 12 Days of Anime!

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4 responses to “The 12 Days of Anime Day 1–The Witch that Forgot How to Witch: Why I Disliked the New Madoka Movie

  1. Homura thought her name was weird at first too. Madoka told her it sounded cool. Then again, that’s Madoka. Her name is written in hiragana (phonetic syllables) rather than kanji (word characters), but one possible reading of it means “flame” or “passion”, which kind of fits with her role in this movie.

    I thought the overall audience reaction in the theater at the end of the movie when I watched it was similar to yours. It takes some time to sink in, along with deeper consideration of the characters and themes, to realize how well this actually works. I was able to enjoy it a lot more on my second viewing.

    • The meaning definitely works, I was more just commenting on how the name is unappealing to my ears just in terms of sound haha.

      I guess I haven’t really changed my opinion since my initial reaction directly after the film, but maybe if I think about it some more or see it again at some later point my feelings will change.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I guess when Homura says love she means love in the more twisted sense. Think about Gasai Yuno and her twisted love towards Yuuki. Anyway the show never declared that everyone shares Homura’s love and you should know that all forms of love vary from person to person.

    It would be incredibly strange if Homura managed to stay safely sane after what happened to her in the series… Her obsessive and dangerous love does make sense when you think about what Homura went through. I don’t think your complaint makes much sense. Maybe I misunderstood it.

    If you don’t like abstraction than that isn’t necessarily the fault of the movie. Than again this does seem to be a personal review rather than a a more objective review so it doesn’t matter. In the end, the movie just wasn’t for your taste and that’s completely understandable. If you found it hard to follow, I’m sure there must be a few explanatory posts on the internet. Those should definitely help.

    • Thanks for the comment, lucidream! I have confession to make…I watched this movie so long ago I barely remember it XD. So while I’m sure all of your points are valid, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on them seeing as I don’t really remember what happened in the film. Maybe I’ll have to rewatch it in that imaginary world where I have time and don’t have a million other things to do haha.

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