Anime Reporter brings you the verdict on Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie 3: Rebellion, a film no less complicated than its title.
The Puella Magi Madoka Magica series follows the concept of “magical girls”, girls sworn to protect the world from supernatural threats, at the cost of one day giving up their souls and becoming one of the things they fight: witches. This third film shakes things up a bit as the group of magical girls finds themselves in a world not entirely like their own. Fighting off hordes of nightmares and surrounded by patchwork skies and bizarre visuals, there’s something at work against the girls though they don’t have much time to figure out exactly what it is and return the world to order.
Set after Madoka Kaname sacrificed her life to save the magical girls free from their fates of becoming witches, the primary character in this instalment is Homura. Homura struggles with what the world has become after Madoka’s sacrifice. In many ways, she’s uncertain of her place in this new world and sets out to seek the truth.
This film starts off with every indication of being a light-hearted and magical adventure of friendship and bravery, though it soon swerves into much darker and more abstract territory. Characters and their relationship are emotionally driven and full of pain while action sequences are often fast-paced and vivid. Naturally, as the third film in the series, there’s quite a lot of back story to catch up on, so any newcomers to the series could easily find themselves lost in this instalment. Its themes of sacrifice and friendship are evident from the beginning, but many of its finer plot details are somewhat chaotic and messy.
Visually, this film is wonderful, implementing a fantastic blend of artistic styles for many dream sequences and backdrops and the effect is impressive, if a little unsettling to watch at times. Overall, the plot is a little misshapen, perhaps taking a tad too long to resolve itself and relying too heavily on its own dream-motif.
Fans of the series will likely enjoy the character development and the chance to see Madoka once more, though newcomers would be better off going back to the first film.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie – Rebellion is available now on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK and Ireland courtesy of the fine folks at Manga Entertainment.