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Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: -Rebellion- (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

April 19, 2015 by  



puella-madoka-reb1

“Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: -Rebellion” turned out to be a wonderful film that answers many questions for fans of the series but also takes the series to a new direction if needed, but also fits as a fitting conclusion if this is the end of “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”. Featuring wonderful production values, fantastic music and great voice acting on both Japanese and English soundtracks, with each “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” film, they get better and better. But for “Rebellion”, this was a film that I found myself watching multiple times and I enjoyed it immensely. “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: -Rebellion” is highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © Magica Quartet/Aniplex, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


 

TITLE: Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: -Rebellion-

YEAR: 2012-2013

DURATION: 116 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 Aspect Ratio), English and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, Subtitles: English and Spanish

COMPANY: Aniplex of America

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: April 7, 2015


 

Directed by Yukihiro Miyamoto

Chief Director: Akiyuki Shinbo

Screenplay: Gen Urobuchi

Music by Yuki Kajiura

Original Story: Magica Quartet

Original Character Design by Ume Aoki

Character Design by Junichiro Taniguchi, Takahiro Kishida

Art Director: Ken Naito

Chief Animation Director: Hiroyuki Yamamura, Junichiro Taniguchi

Anime Production: Aniplex, Shaft


 Featuring the following voice talent:

Aoi Yūki/Christine Marie Cabanos as Madoka Kaname

Chiwa Saito/Cristina Vee as Homura Akemi

Emiri Katou/Cassandra Lee as Kyubey

Ai Nonaka/Laura Landa as Kyōko Sakura

Eri Kitamura/Sarah Williams as Sayaka Miki

Junko Iwao as Kazuko Saotome

Kaori Mizuhashi as Mami Tomoe/Tatsuya Kaname

Ryoko Shintani as Hitomi Shizuki

Seiko Yoshida as Kyōsuke Kamijō

Tetsuya Iwanaga as Tomohisa Kaname

Yuko Goto as Junko Kaname


Were all the magical girls truly saved from despair? Now… the great “Law of Cycles” leads the magical girls to their new fate.

Madoka Kaname – a girl who once led an ordinary life sacrificed her very existence to set every magical girl free from their cruel destiny. Homura Akemi – another magical girl who was unable to keep her promise with Madoka continues to fight in the world Madoka left her behind in. Madoka has changed the world. In this new world, is what the magical girls see a world of hope… or despair?


With Madoka using up energy from several timelines to become a powerful magical girl in order to eliminate the witches before they were born, her actions rewrote the law of the universe with Madoka now not existing but a concept.  Yet, Homura is the only one to remember her.

As “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Eternal” left fans wondering what will happen to Madoka after she has changed the world, all answers are revealed in the third film “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion”, which will be released on Blu-ray in North America courtesy of Aniplex, Inc.

What is “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”?

In 2011, an anime series known as “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” took things in a much different direction that the past magical girl anime series because of its edginess and tragic elements.

Produced by Shaft and Aniplex, the 12-episode anime TV series would feature a talented working staff which included director Akiyuki Shinbo (“Hidamari Sketch”, “Dance in the Vampire Bund”, “Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko”) and series composition by Gen Urobuchi (“Fate/Zero”, “Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom”~, “Blassreiter”).

Music composition is by Yuki Kajiura (“.hack” series, “Noir”, “My-HiME”, “Mobile Suit Gundam Seed”, “Fate/Zero”), character design by Takahiro Kishida (“Noein – to your other self”, “Macross Zero”, “Durarara!!”) and background art by Kunihiko Inaba (“The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”, “C-Control – The Money and Soul of Possibility”).

The series was so popular that it won the Television Award at the 16th Animation Kobe Awards, won 12 NewType Anime Awards and won the Grand Prize for animation in the 2011 Japan Media Awards.

When the series streamed on the Japanese video streaming site Nico Nico Douga in June 2011, it surpassed the previous record held by Lucky Star (at 570,000 viewers) with around 1 million viewers. Also, the first Blu-ray for “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” broke the record of “Bakemonogatari” by selling 53,000 copies in its first week, 22,000 copies on its first day.

The popularity of the series eventually led to a manga series, a Sony PSP video game and three animated films (which combines all 12 episodes into three films). The first two titled as “Beginnings” (Hajimari no Monogatari) and “Eternal” (Eien no Monogatari) with scenes featuring new animation but also voices being redone to compliment a film version. A third film titled “Rebellion” was also shown in Japan.

And all three animated films are available on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex, Inc.

“Puella Magi Madoka Magica” is a series about a young teenager named Madoka Kaname. She’s 14-years-old and comes from a loving family and hangs out with her best friend Sayaka Miki and Hitomi Shizuki.

But lately, Madoka has been having nightmares. A dark world filled with destruction and she watches these girls in battle. As she watches and wishes they would be stopped, she is told by a cat looking extra terrestrial known as Kyubey that Madoka can stop it if she makes a contract with him and become a “Magical Girl”.

Meanwhile, a new girl named Akemi Homura has transferred to Madoka’s school and during her introduction in class, she gives Madoka a hateful glance. Homura quickly becomes popular in school and excels in academics and athletics.

When she meets Madoka, Madoka tells her about her love for her family and friends and Homura responds by telling her her not to change.

One day, while Madoka and Sayaka were at a music store, Madoka hears a plea for help and she is led to a dark warehouse and finds a Kyubey that is hurt. She then sees Homura and is frightened that she is about to hurt it. Immediately, Sayaka comes to Madoka’s aid.

As the two are running away, both are whisked into a magical world where they meet a kind magical girl named Mami Tomoe who begins fighting against a witch in the magical world and defeats it with ease.

The Kyubey asks for both Madoka and Sayaka to sign a contract with him and become magical girls.

Magical Girls receive a soul gem which gives them their power. The contract of becoming a magical girl states that a girl will get one wish in exchange for her using magic to fight against witches (which are evil entities born from magical girls who have fallen into despair and failed to purify their soul gem). Each battle features a large amount of risk and during these fights, typically one dies.

Homura for some reason is trying her best to prevent Madoka from accepting the contract in becoming a magical girl. But will Madoka and Sayaka want to become one?

This leads to major repercussions for everyone in “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Eternal” as the laws of the universe were changed by Madoka’s actions which leads us to the third film “Rebellion”.

The film begins with Madoka and her magical girls friends taking on the nightmares (creatures derived from the negative feelings of humans).  All have no recollection of the past but Homura feels that something is wrong and she conducts her own investigation.

Her investigation leads her to believe that she and the other girls are trapped in an alternate world inside a witch’s barrier.  But why is this happening?

Homura must find out the painful truth of what happened to Madoka and the universe.


VIDEO:

“Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: -Rebellion-” is presented in 1080p High Definition and is presented in 16:9 LB. Like the previous films, Shaft and Aniplex have done a fantastic job in this series. For one, the amount of detail for the art backgrounds is incredible.   And overall, these colors really pop via HD. Reds and pinks, greens…they come are absolutely vibrant.

As for character designs, the character designs manage to keep with the “majo shojo” theme of characters looking young, even the older characters looking young. But they are nicely drawn, good amount shading and also at times showing a sketched look.

In fact, I have to go far to say that the picture quality of this film and the character designs and overall animation is much better than the previous films because the animators had to create a new world for the characters to interact in.

Featuring newer artistic backgrounds, creative magical worlds, cool character designs… “Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: -Rebellion-” looks fantastic!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: -Rebellion-” is presented in Japanese and English Dolby Digital 5.1 and also the original Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is included.

One of the biggest difference from the original Blu-ray release for the TV series and the film is that the action-sequences are giving a jolt of surround sound usage. While dialogue is crisp and clear for both Japanese and English soundtracks, the film series to have a 5.1 soundtrack was a blessing and it was good to hear how the action scenes and the music come alive.

The voice acting on both the Japanese and English soundtracks are well-done. I was expecting the Japanese soundtrack to feature high-pitch voices considering this is a magical girl series, but they kept the voices to the ages of Madoka and friends as 14-year-olds and older. English voice acting was well-done and if anything, it’s great that Aniplex is including both Japanese and English soundtracks to this anime release.

But what stands out the most in this soundtrack is Yuki Kajiura’s music. Each time I see her name associated with an anime series, if you are familiar with her work, you immediately know that the soundtrack is going to be wonderful and beautiful. With “Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: -Rebellion-”, once again Kajiura’s music is captivating and it really enhanced my enjoyment of the series.

Subtitles are in English and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: -Rebellion” comes with the following special features:

  • Ougi Oshino Collaboration Manner Video
  • Mayoi Hachikuji Collaboration Manner Video
  • Karen & Tsukihi Araragi Collaboration Manner Video
  • Hitagi Senjyogahara Collaboration Manner Video
  • Trailer 1-4
  • TV CM 1-5 – Featuring the 15 and 30 second versions.
  • Textless Opening and Ending

EXTRAS:

“Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: -Rebellion” comes with an exclusive original soundtrack CD featuring 43 tracks by Kajiura Yuki, a 24-page deluxe booklet, and a postcard set.

The soundtrack comes with the following tracklistings:

  1. Once We Were 1:10
  2. Nightmare Ballet 1:56
  3. Mada Dameyo (Not Yet) 0:59
  4. Nice To Meet You 1:17
  5. Nothing Special, But So Special 1:10
  6. Nightmare!! 0:32
  7. Holy Quintet 2:52
  8. One For All 1:31
  9. He Is… 1:07
  10. The Battle Is Over 0:55
  11. Doubt 1:40
  12. Something, Everything Is Wrong 2:43
  13. Raise The Curtain 1:14
  14. Never Get There 2:32
  15. I Remember 0:41
  16. Face The Truth 1:37
  17. Doubt #2 2:29
  18. Gonna Fight With Me 1:12
  19. Absolute Configuration 2:47
  20. Her Decision 0:55
  21. Where Is The Truth 1:01
  22. Pulling My Own Weight 1:59
  23. Another Episode 1:29
  24. Wanna Destroy? 1:05
  25. Dream World 1:55
  26. Never Leave You Alone 4:57
  27. This Is The Truth 1:25
  28. Now He Is 0:58
  29. You Are Here 1:51
  30. Noi! 1:01
  31. The Worst Ending 1:36
  32. I Cursed Myself 2:11
  33. This Is My Despair 1:40
  34. Theater Of A Witch 0:48
  35. We’re Here For You 2:26
  36. Take Your Hands 1:48
  37. Wings Of Relief 2:03
  38. I Was Waiting For This Moment 1:50
  39. Her New Wings 2:49
  40. Solve The Riddle 1:40
  41. I Think This World Is Precious 1:54
  42. Happy Ending 0:47
  43. Not Yet 1:08

puella-madoka-reb2

I have gushed and talked about how I love the “Pulla Magi Madoka Magica” animated series and the film series due to its creative handling for its backgrounds and magical worlds, but moreso for its characters.

Magical Girls vs. Witches was always the primary storyline but with what took place with “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Eternal”, you had a sense that with Madoka wanting to protect the people she loves and making decisions that would rewrite the law of the universe, things would no longer be the same.

And thus with “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: -Rebellion”, the state of the world is unclear as everyone, even those who were gone, have suddenly reappeared in the world.  Homura starts to realize that something is wrong and that the people that are with her today, were much different than before.  What if they were trapped inside some alternate world?

And thus, the investigation begins as Homura tries to find out what has happened but most of all, wanting to protect Madoka at all costs.

For those who have watched the anime series and the films will find out the truth about the alternate world, what Kyubey (the incubator) was up to and this time, the major decisions that Homura must make.

It’s a vague summary, but “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: -Rebellion” is a fitting film for those who have watched and wondered what would happen to Madoka and Homura but also wondering from the movie trailer of how certain people who were gone, have now come back.

While not a complex storyline, it’s a film that focuses on visual beauty but a storyline that tries to answer many questions that were lingering, but also a chance to somewhat conclude the series if need be, but also leaving an opening if they creators want to pursue another storyline.

If anything, everything comes full circle in “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: -Rebellion” but I felt the writers gave fans a fitting conclusion or another wonderful film in the “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” series.

As for the film, you can’t help but be in awe of the detail that goes into the art backgrounds, the artistic creativity that goes into the making of the magical world during battles, the character designs and experimental ways of presenting it onscreen and of course, the fantastic music by Yuki Kajiura in combination with a storyline that is not only cute, but also dark and tragic.

“Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: -Rebellion” features wonderful production values and for this third film, the art direction of the film is elevated to a higher level and looks so much more impressive, considering the previous two films looked impressive to begin with.

As for the Blu-ray release, once again, production quality is fantastic, colorful and picture quality is very good for an anime TV series. The lossless soundtrack improves from the TV series in many ways. Crystal clear music and dialogue but a better use of surround sound for both Japanese and English soundtracks. And you do get a few special features including trailers and TV CM collections plus collaboration manner videos.

While you do get an exclusive box plus a 16-page material booklet, two postcards and the original soundtrack for “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: -Rebellion” featuring wonderful music by Kajiura Yuki.

Overall, “Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: -Rebellion” turned out to be a wonderful film that answers many questions for fans of the series but also takes the series to a new direction if needed, but also fits as a fitting conclusion if this is the end of “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”.

Featuring wonderful production values, fantastic music and great voice acting on both Japanese and English soundtracks, with each “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” film, they get better and better.  But for “Rebellion”, this was a film that I found myself watching multiple times and I enjoyed it immensely.

“”Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: -Rebellion” is highly recommended!

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