Puella Magi Madoka Magica 11&12: End

A fitting word to describe this anime would be: smart. My guy reactions to the ending would be stunned, awed, inspired. As if I had just walked out of a visual feast for my eyes and mind. SHAFT has provided an experience that I won’t soon forget.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a strange anime. It attempts to bridge the old and the new with SHAFT twisting and manipulating to my delight. Many people who have watched anime will remember Sailor Moon or a magical girl of some description. The genre in the past few years has essentially withered into nothingness, disappeared from the mass market. Modern times call for modern takes after all. Novels, for example, have strayed away from the singular character centric plots and now revolve around chaining intricate stories together. With Puella Magi, the magical girl genre is revisited and it’s well… quite magical to be honest.

In these final two episodes, which I consider to be one,  there is less of a focus on witches and fighting evil. Madoka and Akemi rule the stage, rightfully so. They did a good job setting up the finale. It views much like a movie in that there are definite highs and lulls, perfect for creating suspense. Immediately to begin, questions are addressed and answered. I love that. So many times have I been stuck wondering what truly happened. Why does this or why does that. Closure is important and Puella Magi leaves no end untied.

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As questions are acknowledged, the viewer is kept entertained by one of SHAFT’s trademark acid trips. This provides ample substance to gawk at while Kyubey speaks. They really went all out with their canvas painting style. What I would normally expect would be face shots of Madoka crying or perhaps QB smirking and while those do appear, they aren’t as prevalent as in other anime. It’s unique and I must give it bonus points for that. Smart in their presentation, smart in their storytelling. Very nice.

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To transition into the next scene, a few random characters are pulled in. Madoka’s mother and teacher are used as an interim. They speak of death and anguish, leading the viewer to hold some form of attachment. Following this is an emotional Akemi clinging desperately to her one hope. This is all in preparation for the climax. The entirety of episode 11 is devoted to crafting a moment in which happiness is achieved. Again, smart.

Ending off the episode would be an epic battle against Walpurgisnacht and I must say that the animation is spot on. It’s crisp enough so that each individual rocket is discernible even while flying through the air. This has not been rushed. The explosions and scale are simply massive. Akemi roars through the fight on a truck, via rockets, buildings, anything really. It’s great.

Of course, we expect Madoka to jump in and save the day. Well she does but not before her mother chimes in asking where she is going. FINALLY, a mother with some common sense in an anime. You cannot understand how surprised I was when her mother didn’t say “Oh, you’re going to the washroom? Take care, don’t trip.” A tiny guts pose for me.

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Skipping to the next episode, Madoka makes a wish, stepping in just as Akemi was about to lose hope and with it, her life. Her wish is to become a goddess so that no more witches may be formed and that salvation can be had. It’s grandiose and the laws of nature literally change with it. Sprinkled in between all the heartwarming savings, she finds time to visit Kyouko and Mami, Sayaka as well. Closure, I love it. However, by rectifying the evils in the world, she will be erased from all history. Only Akemi will remember her as she is the single anomaly. Tragic but necessary I guess. Though epic as it is, it’s ironic that her wish only included witches. A new evil soon emerges as the “Magical Beasts”. FFS, and here I thought it would end happy. I guess not as Akemi is left to deal with the problems and salvage what remains of the world that Madoka has so painstakingly fixed. This could be grounds for a sequel, we’ll see. I doubt it though because that just wouldn’t be received well like reviving Rurouni Kenshin from the dead. Oh. Right.

All in all though, it was amazing. Fans are calling this the best anime ever and though I am inclined to do so, it’s too fresh in my mind to assess without bias. It’s good though, the best that SHAFT has made and probably a contender for the best of the century. If you haven’t watched it, do so. It’s fantastic.

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– Jacqivarius

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About jacqivarius

"I often have long conversations all by myself, and I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."
This entry was posted in 2010/11 - Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Puella Magi Madoka Magica 11&12: End

  1. baka~ says:

    FINALLY, a mother with some common sense in an anime. You cannot understand how surprised I was when her mother didn’t say “Oh, you’re going to the washroom? Take care, don’t trip.” A tiny guts pose for me.

    While I admire Kaname Junko for all the words of wisdom she shared with Madoka, in the end, she turned up like common Mahou Shoujo parents. She simply believed in their daughter and let her go but still, props to her for giving a good fight; For arguing with her daughter for the first and last time in this series. Thinking about it, maybe it’s what makes Madoka’s fate so painful. For the very person that she shared a close bond with, more than Homura, to forget her, I think, this factor is one deserving of manly tears and kudos to shaft for balancing out all factors of drama and action in this finale.

    • jacqivarius says:

      It’s true that she simply let her go but nobody would have guessed that Madoka was leaving to become a magical girl and sacrifice herself to rid the world of all evils. Madoka said she would do the right thing, what parent can stop their child after that? It’s more preferable than having a vegetable of a daughter.

      The way that shaft tied everything together was excellent. Every little aspect such as showing Mami or Kyouko, one last time, in the midst of the climax really did it for me.

  2. Anonomyous says:

    @baka
    Madoka’s mother addressed an issue you might not have noticed. To act, as you say you should act. Notice Madoka reminded her that she said Madoka never did anything bad so to stop her now would be true hypocrisy.

    When you believe, you must trust. That was what allowed Junko to let Madoka go. Notice what Junko said at the end, “you’re not being lied to or anything right?”

    Junko’s offer to go along was really true to common sense. You trust Madoka is not lying, but you fear she cannot handle what comes.

    The entire exchange is much more believable than “oh ok, run along then”

  3. baka~ says:

    Not to argue but I am not condemning what Kaname Junko did. If anything, I agree with her all the way and as Anon mentioned, her exchange with Madoka is more realistic when compared to those mothers in the generic mahou shoujo anime who simply lets their daughters leave to do the right thing. And I guess, this realism makes Madoka’s fate more tragic.

    First, the scene where she’s seen drinking with Madoka’s teacher indicates how she’s losing faith with her daughter and her exchange with Madoka shows how she regained it. But the thing is, this isn’t your ordinary mahou shoujo anime. We never thought Madoka would perish from their memories. Compared to those generic mahou shoujo moms who lets their children because they believe that they will come back safe and fulfilled, this isn’t the case with Madoka and Junko. And while Junko did turn up to be a generic mom that agreed to let her daughter go, the fact that she fought to protect her daughter till the very last argument made her stood out. I salute her for making sense in this anime and I weep for her tragedy that she’s not aware of.

  4. TWWK says:

    Just to comment on the mother…that scene made me curl. Really? REALLY? You let your daughter go out into what looks like the biggest tornado of all time just because you trust her? She’s a 13-year-old!

    I’m a parent. I would NEVER let that happen. Ever. EVER. Come on…

    There are plenty of times to show your child you trust him or her. There are times to let your child go. But in the midst of a natural disaster, when you’ve been evacuated, and without any knowledge of where she’s going or what she’s doing – this is NOT the time.

    She also didn’t try very hard to go with her daughter…the whole scene was more of a teenage fantasy about a cool parent rather than anything more realistic or better than the typical absentee anime parent.

    • jacqivarius says:

      I’ve seen anime parents do worse so much worse. I do agree with you though, wounds can be mended as can mental afflictions. Losing a daughter… not so easily. However, from a viewers standpoint, I appreciate that the mother at least approached Madoka. After having watched so many different types and genres of anime, it was a fairly fresh experience compared to most.

    • Allthough its a long time since you wrote this comment I thought I should reply to you anyway.

      The thing is that the scene is perfect, if you add in one little detail somewhere in the storyline, and that is if the mother found out about what Madoka had been up to the last couple of days/weeks/what ever.

      Just putting that in on episode 10 or 11 would save that scene so badly. But since that didnt occur I have to agree with you, I also thought that to send her daughter out in those circumstances was ehm… I cant even find words for it.
      PS: Im not very fluent in english, so try to ignore my bad grammar :)

      • TWWK says:

        You’re probably right – an additional scene or two may have completely changed how I felt about the scene. Maybe at least it would have helped me transition my mindset from viewing the scene with realistic expectations to being completely in fantasy mode.

  5. Blacksun88 says:

    you forget another out of norm mahou shoujo series : Gundam Nanoha

  6. Yi says:

    Yea, this anime is really fantastic. I also had a false hope that it would end happily ever after, but I guess that was never going to happen. The way it ends though is, while sad, not totally tragic.

    p.s. Lovely screenshots to really showcase the incredible visuals.

  7. I really hope they’ll make a season 2. The closure in season 1 didn’t really do much for me (it was kind of depressing). It was still very good, but I think a little more should have been explained.

    • Highly doubtful that Shaft will produce a second season involving Madoka’s storyline since her ending leaves little room for further development. At best, Shaft could make an anime adaptation for one of the spin-off manga(s) though I’m doubtful of that idea as well.

      You said that the closure of season one lack explanation – I suppose the only way to get around that would be the rewatch the season. You’ll definitely see it in a new light, knowing what there’s to come.

      • I actually did just re-watch the series. I finished it not 10 minutes ago. And I don’t necessarily mean a season 2 with Madoka, I was actually thinking about all the spin-offs that there already are for the manga.

  8. Zeroragnarok says:

    Big O Final

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