They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Uchiage Hanabi, Shita kara Miru ka? Yoko kara Miru ka?, Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari – Magica Quartet x Nisioisin, Mahou Sensei Negima! Movie: Anime Final, and more!
12: Uchiage Hanabi, Shita kara Miru ka Yoko kara Miru ka
English: Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom
MAL Score: 6.08
It’s summer, and Norimichi Shimada and his friends want to know if fireworks look round or flat from the side. They forge a plan to find the answer at Moshimo Festival’s fireworks display. However, Norimichi finds himself conflicted when his classmate, Nazuna Oikawa, plans to run away from home and wants Norimichi to join her. When things go awry in their attempt to escape, a strange orb in Nazuna’s possession gives them another chance at staying together.
Just a heads up, but the story was really bad and confusing. Just because some of the people who contributed helped make Kimi no na wa doesn’t mean it’ll be good.
The art was alright, but Shaft’s other works were better. You could say they wasted their talent on it.
No bad opinion on the sound, it wasn’t bad.
The characters? Hated each and every one of them! They were all so annoying and bland, and they didn’t even improve in the end.
Overall, it was a disappointment. I recommend you listen to the soundtrack online instead of watching this disaster.
If you’re watching this movie because it has nice art: just watch the music video for the image song, Uchiage Hanabi by DAOKO. It contains almost all the nice shots from the movie (missing the ending sequence, which although is slightly odd, is very beautifully animated. So maybe watch the music video then wait for the movie to be available to stream then skip to the ending to see the pretty fireworks and surreal animation).
If you’re watching this movie because it’s Shaft or because of a famous voice actor: I don’t think anything I say here will stop you from watching the movie, so go for it.
If you’re watching this movie because you’re intrigued by the story: just know that this 2-sentence blurb from Wikipedia (the one on MyAnimeList is very strangely worded and sounds very bad, honestly) is the entire plot: “The story takes place one day in summer. A group of young men are planning to watch fireworks from the town’s lighthouse, wondering if fireworks are round or flat when seen from the side. Somewhere else, the class idol Nazuna asks the boy who likes her, Norimichi, to elope with her. What fate awaits these two in a day that keeps repeating itself?” That’s it. Don’t expect much more.
Art: This would have been the best part of the movie if not for the random CGI scenes. There were several minute-long sequences where the movie would switch between beautiful animation of the characters on bikes featured in the trailer to some horrible CGI rendering of the characters on bikes, then back and forth until they got to their destination. It honestly looked horrible and ruined the look of the movie. Other than that, the fireworks and other scenes were lit beautifully, and I can’t remember there being any moments where the animation looked super rushed (though of course there were parts, but I count on stuff looking better on the Blu-Ray). Overall the art was cool to look at and Shaft definitely incorporated their own style by including their signature “head tilt” use of odd camera angles.
Overall it wasn’t terrible, but definitely ruined by that horrible CGI.
Sound: This is what first drew me to the film and it was the best part of it, followed by the art (which would have tied if not for the horrible CGI parts). It was slightly disappointing that the image song only played during the credits, and there was one awkward part where Nazuna danced to a slow song for the full 4 minutes in the middle of the movie. While the song wasn’t bad, its placement and length was; it made me feel like I was watching someone’s ridiculous drug-fueled hallucination instead of Uchiage Hanabi.
The voice actors for the two main characters are actually live action stars rather than anime voice actors. I wouldn’t have even known this if I didn’t look it up. It was a bit odd to see famous voice actors play the side characters, but the only one that I noticed sounding off was Yuusuke’s voice actor (who is an anime VA), who sounded really fake. There was a particular line when the boys arrived at the festival that sounded so bad both me and my friend turned to each other in confusion (we were wondering if he sounded that way on purpose to be sarcastic, but no, it was an actual line).
Characters: I know this is not an original work so maybe cutting some characters was out of the question, but everyone except for the main characters Nazuna and Narumichi, the male rival Yuusuke, and Nazuna’s parents were unnecessary. Okay, since some of the other friends sparked the “Are fireworks round or flat?” debate that the movie is named after, I guess they are necessary too, but you don’t need more than 2 of them.
While I’ve already stated they were unnecessary, there was a particular character that definitely should not have been included. The homeroom teacher (and her boyfriend, another teacher at the school) got some screen time in the beginning and a little at the end and I can’t find anything that they add to the film other than to make those watching feel uncomfortable. The homeroom teacher is female and has a large chest, and there is a 2-minute long scene when the characters arrive at school of them guessing her bra size (one of the friends has a crush (if you can call it that?) on the teacher, which is what sparks the… discussion), then again while in homeroom the student makes a comment about the teacher’s chest to her face and instead of getting reprimanded is slightly teased and the whole class laughs at his “joke.” My friend and I found this to be very uncomfortable and it definitely made me feel worse about the movie. I can’t remember the character’s ages but they seemed to be in middle school if anything.
As for the main characters, they seemed to be pretty generic. Nazuna was a quiet “mysterious” girl that the two main boys, Narimichi (brown hair) and Yuusuke (black hair) have a crush on. I wasn’t paying close enough attention so I’m not sure if they had a crush on her before a certain day or if they knew both of them had a crush on her. Narimichi seemed a little nicer and more awkward than Yuusuke.
Story: Honestly, the story blurb from Wikipedia was the entire movie. Other than that, I found a hard time understanding the motives behind the character’s actions. I’m not entirely sure how to explain this without some slight spoilers for the beginning part, so for those curious I’ve put my explanation (skip the one paragraph if you don’t want to read it) below:
I may have missed the explanation, but it is established that the character Yuusuke likes Nazuna. She asks him to go to the firework festival with her. He agrees, but then later blows her off. I’m sure there was some sort of explanation, but then later in the movie when Narimichi “redoes” the day and gets Nazuna to ask him out instead, Yuusuke flips out. I realize he has no knowledge in this redo that he was previously asked out, but his character should remain the same. Why did he freak out that Narimichi was asked out when he would have blown her off anyway? I’m sure there was some sort of explanation but it was quiet early in the movie and I must have missed it.
The story also suffered from poor writing at parts, whether it was from the original source or added in this adaptation I don’t know. The movie also felt like it started to drag along towards the end when it lost its charm and it began to leap off the deep end. Two scenes that particularly stood out to be as bad are in the middle of the movie. The next two paragraphs are going to have SLIGHT spoilers, but I will describe the scenes in very general terms, so they’re not huge spoilers.
Slight spoilers for this scene: Nazuna’s parents figure out she is trying to run away and are dragging her away. Narumichi tries to help her and runs forward and grabs the father’s arm yelling for him to let go of Nazuna. Instead of shaking off this tiny middle school kid like the large father he appears to be, he whips around and punches Narimichi in the face (yes, in the face, and Narimichi has bruises for a while). The boy then drops to the floor and the scene cuts 2 minutes in the future to show Nazuna’s parents driving off with her in the car and Narumichi still on the floor. Wait, what? This dad just punched a kid. who immediately dropped to the floor and didn’t appear to be able to get up, and left? What kind of world is this? The parents didn’t seem THAT bad; definitely not perfect, but we’ve seen worse.
Another scene not far from the previous one is when Nazuna’s parents are in the car driving on the highway next to the train she got on. The train exits a tunnel when Nazuna is standing in front of the window and people, including the parents in their car, see her standing and begin to frantically chase after her. Narimichi then redoes this scene and makes Nazuna sit down so that she is not seen. We are then shown a shot of her parents crying in the car and don’t appear to be chasing the train as frantically. Why? They literally just saw her get on the train, and this is a rural town in the middle of the evening, it’s not like they don’t know which train she got on? The train also didn’t stop so they actually should know for 100% certainty that she is still on it. But apparently since they can’t see her in the window, they don’t think she is on it. As a result, they aren’t waiting for her at the next stop, which is what would make sense, right?
Overall enjoyment: The most subjective part of the rating. Honestly, for me this ties in very closely with the story, because if there are huge plot holes, I won’t enjoy it. I can enjoy listening to the movie and looking at the pretty pictures, but I won’t really enjoy the movie itself if there are some glaring flaws. Because of the terrible writing (in my opinion) and flow, I will have to rate my enjoyment and overall score a lot lower.
Final disclaimer: I am not a fluent or native Japanese speaker, but I was able to understand almost all that was being said, but I thought I would put this disclaimer here because as a non-native speaker, there are undoubtedly subtle things I missed.
Before I begin, let me just say that I watched this in the cinemas 3 weeks after its premiere at United Cinemas. And inside the theater, there were only 3 people. And so I began to wonder, “Is the movie not good after all?”. My opinion then changed after the movie ended.
So what made it almost perfect? Was it the plot? As far as I can tell, there was nothing wrong with the sequence of the plot. It’s a slice of life romance with a hint of magic. It’s a style we’re all familiar with, and so it wasn’t difficult to follow.
Was it the characters? I don’t believe so. The characters were appealing and memorable. Heck, they almost resemble real people. Even the voice acting was so natural that it didn’t sound like it was scripted. Perhaps it’s because it was based on a live-action drama.
Was it the music? Absolutely not. The BGM and soundtracks were amazing. Without the music, it wouldn’t have the dramatic atmosphere during each scene. Also, that ending theme was so good that I ended up listening to it when I got home.
So what was the flaw? The animation. Don’t get me wrong. The settings were ridiculously well-made, almost resembling real life locations. The signature Shaft “head turns” were apparent, so you know it didn’t come from a panel manga. But what really destroyed my experience was the sudden 2d to 3d transition. I understand that 3d makes everything easier, but they would’ve at least used it at the appropriate scenes. There was no reason to use 3d for a bike scene or walking scene.Also, the out-of-place exaggerated reactions. I know it’s common for anime to add in exaggerated expressions, but the movie didn’t need to include it because it was already perfect without it.
So yes, as much as I want to give it a perfect score, these mistakes blew it for me. But in the end, I did enjoy watching the movie. And even if people think the whole movie is flat or round, I’m still glad that I saw a spectacular display: a display of fireworks.
11: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari – Magica Quartet x Nisioisin
Japanese: MAGICA QUARTET x NISIOISIN
MAL Score: 6.19
Short videos shown in theaters before the main movie starts.
They were created to tell the viewers the basic rules of the theaters (don’t smoke, be quiet when the movie starts, don’t take pictures or video) while having a good time with the NisioIsiN 4koma art style and voice actors references (Madoka Magica x Monogatari Series) (Karen = Sayaka, Ougi = Mami, Hitagi = Homura, Hachikuji = Kyuubey).
The OST of the shorts is the same they used in Nisemonogatari when previewing a new episode.
Overall they were great introductions.
10: Mahou Sensei Negima! Movie: Anime Final
Japanese: 劇場版 魔法先生ネギま! ANIME FINAL
MAL Score: 6.77
An animated feature film based on the Negima! Magister Negi Magi manga.
That was probably the first impression that most people got when they watched this movie, especially with all the hypes it had before it went out.
There will be spoiler in this review and I beleive that with the pathetic story and directing it had this shouldn’t affect your enjoyment.
The movie start with near ending scene from the Mahou Sensei Negima’s mahou sekai arc manga.
To start with, there were already some modification to the original plot before the alternate ending switch had been turned up such as Fate dying.
Not that bad I guess I could still buy it but here’s the catch.
We are then thrown a few day before the graduation ceremony. What happened to the magical world? We have no clues yet but everything seem to hold for now.
Still fine? Yeah I thought so too.
We then learn that Negi must chose one girl which he will do an official pactio with and that the rest of the class will forget every memory linked to magic as well as the fact that Negi is a mage. Mage can only have one partner afterall– wait what?
Where the flying fuck did this came from?
Of course we were introduced the concept of a magister magi having one more official and potent pactio with the partner he/she chose to live his/her life (basically his/her lover) with but it was never said anywhere that magister magi are limited to one pactio.
Let’s not forget the following point which further emphasis the stupidity of that statement:
-The hero of the world Nagi, had more than one pactio
-Most of the girl are directly linked to the magical world even without Negi’s help.
So seriously, where the flying fuck did this come from and how would it takes effect anyway? It sound like a desesperate attemps at creating drama but at the same time it sound so forced and impossible that you just know it’s bullshit.
Oh well at that point I already stopped carring about matter like that and was ready to accept everything that would be thrown at me without thinking much about it.
Oh god, was I courageous at that time.
After the revelation the girls try to get Negi’s attention for becoming ‘the chosen one’ and Mars decide to come hug the Earth.
Yep you heard well, the producer hadn’t forgotten our beloved magical world and at that moment you’ll know that you are in for something big.
We are then revealed that it was Negi’s plan to merge the two world (random use of magic is convenient) but that it started 30 years too early (for no reason again). Everyone wonder what will happen and are desesperate, then Asuna talk about Negi becomming a magister magi to solve the problem.
Why? Did they wrote the script when they were drunk?
The flashback scene with Negi and Asuna suggest that at the moment they fought the mage of the beginning their link was as strong as a magister magi and her partner but this does not make any sense.
Let’s say it straight.
The reason why there was a “power increase” (Because in reality it was just Asuna cancelling all of the mage of the beginning’s magic while Negi’s magic goes for the offensive) against the mage of the beginning was because of Asuna’s power as the imperial princess and was not linked to the pactio.
Which mean in this case that Negi wouldn’t be able to do something similar with anyone but Asuna which render the whole argument about who to chose very obvious.
After that we have scumbag Negi fucking logic in the ass by making an official pactio with his whole class.
Yes you heard me well; His whole class.
I can already hear you ‘Wasn’t that suposed to be impossible hence why Negi had to chose one?’ and to that I’ll answer that’s why logic won’t be able to sit down for a while.
Then when the power (of love) of his whole class combined Negi managed to break the barrier around Mars but this is not enough to stop Mars’s wrath.
Chao then come back from the future (sure is convenient) to add her power to the already too much rainbow beam of love that finally manage to fused both world together.
Was that movie suposed to be a joke? Like seriously? There were so many plothole, it was so pathetic, character were out of character, so full of random convenience and the movie was contradicting itself.
I’ll take that as a major elevated to the fan.
Ken definitively doesn’t give a shit about the serie.
Shaft did a good job as usual when it comes to the animation but the visual is the only thing someone sane would ever watch this movie for.
To the negima fan that considered watching this movie: Act like it never existed and move on, this was horrible.
Well, before starting the review, I just want to clarify something: this film is not related to the Mahou Sensei Negima anime, nor the Negima!? anime. This is the direct sequel of Mou Hitotsu no Sekai, and is the alternative ending from the manga. So, if you didn’t read it, or you aren’t up to chapter 334 (cause yes, this is really advanced), then this movie is not for you. Understood? Great, then let’s begin.
Today is February 24, and regarding Negima, these are crucial times. The manga is almost ending, with only three chapters left… and the future doesn’t look too bright. Fans don’t lose hopes, yet, they’re uneasy. But hey, while we are waiting, this film bring us a different ending, an alternate path, and supposedly, the original way Akamatsu was going to finish this giant story.
The film starts showing scattered parts of chapters 310 to 334. That’s right, 24 chapters in less than five minutes. But, those parts are more informative than anything, and you know how what happened: Negi is petrified, Ala Alba is trying to rescue Twilight!Asuna (epic moment for Natsumi and Kotaro) from Cosmo Entelechia, Chachamaru nukes the original Fate with her kill sat, lots of Fates appear and crush many of the good guys, Negi awake and convince the original (and not nuked after all) Fate (third one, actually) to join him, the members of the original Cosmo Entelechia return including the Mage of the Beginning, Ala Rubra arrives with Eva and kick the evil dudes asses, and finally, Asuna and Negi slice in two the Mage of the Beginning, who was actually Negi’s father. All that in five minutes. Now, to the proper story of the movie:
Having defeated the Life Maker, Asuna use her royal powers to solve the imminent apocalypse that threatened Mundus Magicus. With that inconvenience cleared (for now, at least), Negi and Co biggest concern are the preparatives for the graduation. However, the Principal tell Negi that, if he want to become a proper Magister Magi, he has to chose one of his students and create a permanent pactio (it doesn’t have to be one of his current partners necessarily), and the rest of the class will lose any magic-related memory. And not only that, the decision has to be made before the graduation, so Negi has only one day to think… Obviously, the girls will find out immediately, and although they don’t like this whole business, they’re willing to accept whatever Negi decides, but trying to gain his attention for (possibly) their last day together.
Told this way, the story doesn’t sounds bad, right? I mean, is not the more action oriented film ever, and of course we would all love to see the fight between Ala Rubra and Cosmo Entelechia, or Negi, Setsuna, Kaede or Mana fighthing anyone… but this movie wasn’t supposed to adapt those parts, and they were only shown for instructive reasons (I suppose). No, the problems start shortly after half of the film. Obviously I can’t give more details (cause, if I keep writing, I will end telling you the whole movie, and that’s not the idea), but the plot inconsistencies begin to pile up, and less logical stuff just keep happening. And the most important thing: the resolution of the story is a mess. We also don’t have lots of fights (like I already stated), but the ones presents are pretty cool, yet too short. Way too short.
As for the characters… despite being an 80 minutes long film, every girl participates in a satisfactory way, having their own special moments, or at least a few lines. All the girls have in mind that in less of 24 hours their life is going to change big time, except for the chosen one (and even her will experiment some changes, like… all her friends losing their memories)… and possibly a few more exceptions (like certain girl with the magic-cancel ability, or people with pactios, but with other people). Anyway, it’s amazing the maturity with which the girls handled the situation, especially compared to the manga (good YHVY, the behavior of these very same girls in the parallel events of the manga…). And just as a curiosity, I found amusing the way Haruna and Akira trades roles, in a very subtle way. You’ll understand why…
The animation is excellent. Really, is superb, like in the OVAS. Beatiful 2-D drawing, good 3-D effects (but not overused, like in the Yue OVA), fast attacks, flashy magic (seriously, those magic circles can’t become cooler) and mahou shoujo transformations (present in all the girls that have a card, and especially awesome in Nodoka and Yue’s case). And of course, this is Negima, so fan service is involved, with a good ol’ bath scene (and others too).
The sound quality is as good as the animation. The three songs present in the film are played perfectly, once again, by an excellent group of seiyus. Even the hard stuff like the latin pronunciation is really good. The voices are the same from the OVAS, with only the absence of Tanaka Hazuki, Ku Fei’s original voice actress.
So, to round things up, the technical level of this movie is superb, and the story is weak. It looks like we just can’t get a Negima adaptation that leave no doubts (I mean, why can’t we get a proper adaptation? Is for the Ecchi? Seikon no Qwaser was way worse!). From the beginning, it was obvious that a film so short can’t give that much (look at the Haruhi movie… it lasted more than 160 minutes… and was adapting just a 300 pages novel!), especially with all the characters Negima have. There’s virtually no action. The story unfolds in an erratic, something meaningless way, and even contradicts the manga a few times (it kind of remind me the first anime in that sense). The outcome wasn’t satisfactory. But of course, not everything was bad, there are lots of fun parts, and the characterization is very good, at least most of the time.
As for the recommendation… of course you are going to watch it. This is not any series, this is Mahou Sensei Negima, the manga you read more than 330 chapters (quite possible 352, right?). Regardless of all its faults, all the omissions, all the missed opportunities… this is another ending, a different point of view. Of course you are going to watch it. I know you will, reader n_n.
Bueno, antes de empezar propiamente, vale la aclaración: esta película no tiene nada que ver con el anime Mahou Sensei Negima o con Negima!?. Esto es la continuación directa de Mou Hitotsu no Sekai, y es el final alternativo que se había concebido para el manga, así que si no lo leyeron, o no llegaron al capítulo 334, esta película no es para ustedes. Entendido? Bueno, empecemos.
Hoy es 24 de febrero, y en lo que respecta a Negima, estamos en momentos cruciales. El manga esta a 3 capítulos de acabar, y los pronósticos no son favorables. Sin embargo, no se pierden las esperanzas. Peeeeero, mientras esperamos por el desenlace, esta película nos trae un final distinto, un camino alternativo, el que al principio Akamatsu había pensado para terminar su obra.
La película arranca mostrándonos flashes de los capítulos 310 hasta el 334. Y cuando digo flashes es en serio: son 24 capítulos en menos de cinco minutos. Aunque bueno, ustedes ya saben cómo va: Negi esta petrificado, Ala Alba intenta rescatar a Asuna de las manos de Cosmo Entelecheia, se despiertan muchos Fates que pulverizan a varios miembros del grupo de los buenos (siendo Chachamaru partida en 2), Negi se despierta, convence al Fate original (el tercero, en realidad) de que se una a él, aparecen miembros del Cosmo Entelecheia original, mas el Life Maker, llega Ala Rubra y Eva, los exterminan, se libera a Asuna, y junto a Negi, liquidan al Life Maker, que resulto ser el padre de Negi. Todo eso en 5 minutos. Ahora va el planteo en serio de la historia:
Habiendo sido derrotado el Life Maker, Asuna usa sus poderes reales para resolver el inminente Apocalipsis que asolaba Mundus Magicus. Ahora, la preocupación más grande que tienen Negi y sus estudiantes es apurarse a prepararse para la graduación. Sin embargo, el director Konoemon le plantea un problema a Negi: si quiere convertirse en un Magister Magi real, debe elegir a una sola de sus estudiantes para forjar un contrato definitivo (no siendo obligatorio que sea una de sus partners actuales), y todas las demás perderían cualquier memoria relacionada con la magia. Ah, y dicha decisión debe ser tomada el día de la graduación, por lo que Negi solo tiene un día para decidirse… Obviamente, las chicas se enteran, y aunque no les hace mucha gracia, están dispuestas a aceptar cualquiera sea la decisión de Negi, y queriendo hablar al menos una vez mas con su profesor antes de que todo se acabe.
Dicho así, la historia no pinta mal, cierto? Quiero decir, por supuesto que a todos nos hubiera gustado ver la pelea de Ala Rubra y Eva vs Cosmo Entelecheia, o a Negi, Setsuna, Kaede, Chachamaru o Mana peleando… pero esta película no se suponía que adaptara esas parte, y solo nos mostraron como para plantear la situación. No, los problemas empiezan un poco después de la mitad de la película. Obviamente no puedo dar detalles (por que si no terminaría contando toda la película, y no es la idea), pero las inconsistencias argumentales empiezan a apilarse, y cosas cada vez menos lógicas empiezan a surgir… y para redondear, el desenlace es insólito. Tampoco hay mucha acción que digamos, pero hay un par de peleas que son interesantes.
Vamos a los personajes. A pesar de ser una película de solo 70 minutos, la verdad es que casi todas las chicas participan de forma medianamente satisfactoria, con algunas escenas para que se luzcan, o al menos, para que hablen. Todas tienen en mente que en menos de 24 horas su vida está a punto de cambiar, excepto para la elegida… y otras excepciones (como cierta chica con la habilidad innata de cancelar la magia… o las que tienen pactios con otras personas). Como sea, es increíble la madurez con que las chicas manejan la situación, especialmente comparado con el manga (por Dios, el comportamiento de estas mismas chicas en los sucesos paralelos del manga…). Y a modo de curiosidad, me pareció sorpresivo como los roles de Akira y Haruna se intercambiaron, al menos de forma muy sutil. Ya se van a dar cuenta…
La animación es excelente. En serio, es soberbia, al igual que en las OVAS. Hermoso dibujo en 2-D, efectos 3-D presentes, pero no se abusan (como en la OVA de Yue), ataques rápidos y fluidos, magia vistosa, y transformaciones a lo mahou shojo (presentes en todas las chicas que usan sus cartas. Hay algunas muy buenas, especialmente las de Yue y Nodoka). Y como esto es Negima, también hay fan-service aunque tampoco muy exagerado… para los parámetros de Negima.
El sonido sigue las líneas de calidad de la animación. Las tres canciones presentes en la película son interpretadas de forma impecable, una vez más, por un grupo de seiyus simplemente excelentes. Las voces son las mismas de los trabajos anteriores, con la excepción de Tanaka Hazuki, la seiyu original de Ku Fei.
Entonces, para redondear, a nivel técnico es soberbio, a nivel historia deja que desear. Parece que no podemos conseguir algo de Negima que no deje dudas. Desde su génesis era obvio que una película de solo 80 minutos no iba a dar para mucho (quiero decir…miren la película de Haruhi… duraba más del doble, y adaptaba una novela de menos de 300 páginas!) especialmente teniendo en cuenta el amplio elenco presente en esta serie. Prácticamente no hay acción. La historia se desenvuelve de forma un tanto errática, a veces sin sentido, y hasta contradiciendo al manga. El desenlace no fue mi parte favorita. Pero tampoco es que todo sea malo y la historia la allá hecho un chico de primaria, hay varias partes divertidas, y la caracterización de los personajes es muy buena, al menos la mayoría del tiempo.
En cuanto a la recomendación… ¿a quién engaño? Esto no es una serie desconocida, que puede atraer a tal o cual grupo de personas, esta película está dirigida a personas que leyeron 330 capítulos de un manga. Es obvio que, si llegaron a eso, tienen que ver este final. Sin importar todos sus defectos, todas las omisiones, todas las oportunidades perdidas… la tienen que ver. Aunque claro, sin importar lo que yo diga, de todas formas la van a ver. Se que si n_n.
*This review is a potenial spoiler of the manga series, cause the movie itself expects you to have knowledge of the manga series latest chapters.*
STORY: Mahou Sensei Negima Anime Final is the next long awaited, yet honestly unwanted, adaption of the original negima manga, yet as the title speaks for itself, this will be the final anime. Does it botch itself up? In a way yes, but there’s a silver lining at least: This movie is actually just an alternate ending for the series, where it ends the manga from the 330th chapter mark (The manga ends at 355 chapters), and sets itself up for an ending where nothing more can continue forth with some problems of course.
The movie starts off with a huge recap spoiler for chapters 308 to 332 (If I got the chapter numbers wrong, please someone correct me), showing various chapters fly by with brief moments from each chapter sequence, from Kotaro’s attack against Fate, the ending of Negi’s fight with Fate, to the end of the fight against the mage of beginning (And his true idenity). So right from the get go, if you have yet to read the manga up to that point, checked out the manga, or have no knowledge of the manga, then you’re wasting your time has this has nothing for the latter two while for the former, it offers nothing but spoilers.
Now right away a good percentage of potential viewers are reduced, but how does the beginning affect the overall movie? After very exciting spoiler-rific opening, featuring potential new enemies, and several fallen allies and a major antagionst, what can one but expect an exciting conclusion… Of who will Negi Springfield choose as his permament partner…
I’m not going to say I’m completely disappointed, this direction the movie takes is just as gripping as an all-out magical final battle with the world at stake…… Who am I kidding? This just gives you an empty promise, a shameless bait and switch that many shonen series movies do (Bleach Jigoku-Hen! What was the point of Ulquiorra in the beginning?). But anywho, the plot is centered around, after the magical world arc, Negi Springfield having to choose one of his 30 (31) students right before their graduation day no less, to become his true partner while the majority of them will lose not only their pactio card (Their proof of contact as a temperary partner with Negi and their source of magic powers via magical artifacts), but all of their memories of anything magic related as well, with Negi having to make that choice before the next day.
As you would expect, the movie spends the majority of it’s time focusing on the 30 (31) students, from wondering one will get chosen, to making attempts to convince Negi to chose so and so, to simply giving up and excepting their fate and decide and have another meaningful moment with their teacher (By moment I mean big flashy battles) while the ones who will most likely not lose their memories ponder at the fact of how lonely that would make them become.
Most of these scenes are borderline depressing, and shows deep character maturity between the series most noteworthy friends like Ayaka and Asuna, Kotaro (Yay! He’s in the movie!) and Natsumi, and Setsuna and Konoka (Which they continue to come across as so much more than just friends as any reader of the manga series can tell you) with Nodoka and Yue’s being the best of the friendship development as they show how happy they are to be in love with the same person and will accept it if the other gets chosen instead over the other. And as the movie gradually moves on the promised day, the tension is sky high when Negi tries furiously to decide on a permanent partner, a world threatening situation arrives as Negi and his chosen partner are the only ones can stop it.
And the review will end here… Why? Because it’s impossible to not spoil it, but let’s just say Negi’s decision is so cliched, so safe, and just ruins the build up from thirty-fourty minutes prior. Two promises, left broken by rather good build up that only ends up in disappointment, I just can’t go further than there without giving major spoilers.
ANIMATION: Arguably a step down from the ovas Shaft released a few years ago, with even the big battles looking kinda sloppy. Character designs are very true to the source material, something any Negima fan can appreciate after watching the first two Negima anime adaptations. Though my major gripe is the random panty flashes… I know Negima is an ecchi series (It’s one of the more creeper ones in fact), but even in the manga it irks me, and movie changes nothing (Especially the bath scene with many of the classmates washing two of own in a rush to see their teacher, though it isn’t Negima without the obligatory inappropriate fan service so what can I do?).
SOUND: It’s okay, nothing more, nothing less. The loud graduation song sung by the whole class towards the end of the movie does have a great emotional impact, telling you that it is indeed the end, but other than that nothing really sticks out as well as this. The ending theme that plays during the end so pretty decent too, it kinda sounds like another remix of Happy Material from the first Negima anime.
+ Decent music, the song at the end before the credits is pretty emotional towards long time fans of series.
+/- Great build up, showing good character development and almost saddening conflicts / The pay off is only disappointment.
+/- Good animation / Sort of a step down from the ovas.
– Only readers of the manga can really get something out of this movie besides spoilers.
– The conclusion of Negi’s decision, it down rights brings the whole movie down.
Sure there’s a lot of material that will saddly never see the screens of TV sets (Like my personal favorite: the Rakan vs Negi fight, it is the single greatest fight of any shonen series, without a doubt), and the movie only raises your expectations to only drop them on the floor like an egg, but it isn’t worst Negima adaptation at least, and plenty of the long time fans can still get something out of it. Though there is a something that bugs the shit out of me: Is Rakan Nagi’s true partner? It’s a pretty jarring issue if you take what the movie offers, by that I mean if you accept the movie’s inconsistencies.
9: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica: Concept Movie
English: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Concept Movie
Japanese: 魔法少女まどか★マギカ コンセプトムービー
MAL Score: 7.13
A short four-minute concept film that served as a surprise unveil at Studio SHAFT’s 40th anniversary event in Winter 2015, Madogatari. The concept movie is the core of a new Madoka Magica project, and serves as its trailer. The second short was later screened in Osaka, with the difference being a replacement of several imageboard segments.
If you’re going in here to figure out what the plot of the next Madoka movie and/or TV series will be, you probably won’t have much luck. But it definitely does its job at making you excited for whatever the hell the next entry will be.
Apparently I can’t write a short review for a pretty short video, so I have to figure out how to fill the space with some non-spoiler speculation:
-Mami Tomoe has been a not-that-influential character within the previous entires in the series. Compared to the other four magical girls, she’s the least important one. However, her somewhat-brief moment of spotlight in The Rebellion was absolutely fantastic and one of the better scenes in recent anime history. The concept movie seems to me like it’s hinting that Mami will have a much bigger role to play, possibly literally.
-I’m assuming that a great deal of this won’t bear any resemblance to the final product, but the ballet dancing Madoka was great imagery and I really hope they stick with that theme at least in part. Though not sure if they should go full-on Swan Lake Loose Adaptation like the series did with Faust and The Rebellion did with Paradise Lost.
So, yeah. It’s a cool video, and you should watch it if you want a tantalizing glimpse of what Madoka 4 may or may not actually be like.
This is a short review for a short anime. There isn’t much else to be said. I think it is supposed to be based after Rebellion. Also seeing Madoka in that dress is kind of refreshing. I honestly didn’t understand what was going on but it could easily be sumed up as, a giant statue falls from the sky and Sayaka is a witch…
How much are these people expecting me to write about a 4 minute film!?
In just around four minutes, the concept movie is able to get its themes and points across clearly. It calls back to what happened in Rebellion as well as contain a lot of symbolism and hype. It’s definitely a good opener to SHAFT’s future projects during that time.
The animation and artwork are just as great, perhaps more focused since it only needs to be four minutes. The voice performances are fantastic and the OST still hits.
If you have the chance, you should see this concept film yourself. It’s only four minutes and it’ll be worth it.
8: Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World – Byouki no Kuni – For You
Japanese: キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- 病気の国 -For You-
MAL Score: 7.70
After a long journey, Kino and Hermes finally arrive at their destination—a very beautiful and clean country with many skyscrapers. Unlike the other places they have visited so far, the country’s landscape is a little peculiar. Although the countryside appears to be farmland, the area seems to be abandoned. Filled with old and damaged buildings, there is no sign of life. In contrast, the city is hidden within a mountain, confined under a fabricated sky that is generated by advanced technology. The highly developed city is focused on healthcare, practicing strict hygiene regulations and aiming to turn its citizens into the healthiest of people.
However, despite being in a beautiful and clean environment, Kino cannot help but feel a sense of uneasiness. The town’s air slightly contains a peculiar smell, and there are no birds to be seen flying in the skies, bringing a sense of mystery and dizziness to the scenery. After all, as an experienced traveler, Kino knows that looks can be deceiving and that the town may not be what they had initially expected.
Movie: Kino no Tabi: Byoku no Kuni -For You- was premiered at the Dengekibunko Movie Festival in April of 2007, and started running in theatres on April 21st, 2007. It was animated by Studio SHAFT (famous for their work on REC and Sayonara Zetsubo-Sensei) and directed by Ryutaro Nakamura (famous for his work on the Kino no Tabi series and Serial Experiments Lain). It has yet to be licensed Stateside.
Story: Kino (who’s grown up a bit and filled out o.O) and Hermes make a stop in a country where the majority of the citizens are sealed in a germ-free bubble, and the minority are out in the wastelands, reclaiming the land. They meet a girl who has the one disease (that sounds kind of like cancer to me) that they haven’t been able to cure, and is currently the subject of pharmaceutical research. She asks them to deliver a little trinket to a boy out in the reclamation who she’s been writing back and forth with. But when they go out to deliver the trinket, they discover the truth about the reclamation… (What, you thought I was going to give it away? :P)
This felt like a Kino no Tabi episode. This is what the other movie was missing. While the other movie was good, and it did explain more about Kino, it just didn’t feel like the series did. This movie, however, could have very easily fit anywhere in the series.
It was apparently adapted from later in the novel series (whereas the show only stuck to the first few volumes), which renews my wish for more Kino. They’ve got the source material and the fan base (I think) that they could probably do it.
Art: There’s a bit more CG this time around than there was in the series, but while it is distracting at times, it blends very well with the animation, which is in the same style as the series (even though it was done by a different studio).
Music: There’s the same themes from the series from what I noticed of the background music, and the new ED wasn’t all that noteworthy.
Seiyuu: Same seiyuu as the series, so nothing to add here.
Length: Like the other movie, it’s a half-hour, but this time, I don’t feel so cheated because of it.
Overall: A good story that would’ve made a fine episode in the series. Now hurry up and do a second season already!
Overall: 43/50; 86% (B )
The character artistic design is adequate, and you will find no deviation from the series. Kino is as enigmatic as ever, although Hermes seems just a bit more immature and inept than usual. The backgrounds were much more detailed and the enhanced production budget shows here. Although the integration of CGI was not seamless nor flawless, it did not detract from the overall experience.
‘The Land of Sickness’ is every bit as enjoyable as any other story in the franchise, and remains true to the original concept of gimmick-free story telling, using violence only to advance the plot. Add the requisite subtle invitation to examine human nature, and you get one of my favorite stories of the franchise, following the travels of the most underestimated ‘tough guy’ in anime. I will definitely watch this again, in a few years.
At first glance, For You seems to fit this mold. Unlike Life Goes On, it’s essentially another episode, following the standard formula of focusing on a unique set of customs for contemplation. Compared to other episodes, though, it’s pretty lackluster. Instead of developing the philosophical/cultural aspect, most of the story is about Kino driving around the city and talking to a single person, a young girl who embodies the system but lacks the maturity to embrace or rationalize it. It isn’t until the climactic finale that the cultural aspect comes to the foreground, but even this is rushed and underdeveloped, leaving us with a superficial analysis of a custom that wasn’t too novel to begin with.
As a Kino’s Journey fan I still enjoyed For You, but it would have benefited from more time reflecting upon the country’s culture and less time telling the girl’s story. Or it could have shortened the “Country of Illness” story and added in one or two other journeys. As it stands, there just isn’t much of substance to show for dedicating a half hour to a single country.
On the bright side, the soundtrack and voice cast are the same great stuff from the series. The new animation style is pretty, but it’s harder to gauge. The crisper, higher quality give the film a sharp look, but it also loses the storybook feel. If more Kino’s Journey is ever made, hopefully they’ll improve the classic style (as Life Goes On did) rather than discard it for something more mainstream.
For You is a decent continuation to the series, but this journey doesn’t possess the magic or depth of the rest. Even Life Goes On gave me more to think about. If you want more Kino, this is one of your only options, but it’s also the weakest.
7: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 1: Hajimari no Monogatari
English: Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1: Beginnings
Japanese: 劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ 始まりの物語
MAL Score: 8.23
Madoka Kaname and her best friend Sayaka Miki are ordinary middle school students in the city of Mitakihara. But one day, they encounter a strange cat-like creature named Kyuubey, who claims he can grant them one wish. In exchange, they would become magical girls and fight against evil perpetrated by witches. A veteran magical girl in the area, Mami Tomoe, decides to show them how to hunt witches, while the mysterious transfer student Homura Akemi warns them to not take Kyuubey’s deal, though she refuses to say why.
However, after witnessing the brutal reality of fighting witches, the girls decide it may be safer to decline Kyuubey’s offer. But when another magical girl arrives in the city and Sayaka decides to make a wish to help the one she loves, things quickly escalate as they are confronted with the harsh truth behind their powers and the ultimate price of their wishes.
All of these of these things are prevalent within Madoka★Magica. And yet there’s no anime quite like it.
Back in 2011, Madoka★Magica took the anime industry by surprise with a decidedly mature take on an otherwise lighthearted genre. Important characters die in brutal fashion. They struggle with the concept of right-and-wrong, that ‘justice’ is arbitrary and often fanciful. The villain is driven not by greed or vengeance, but by rational motives, occasionally making you wonder if the girls are the ones you should really be rooting for. It was dark and twisted – it took the tropes of the genre and fed them to the ghouls.
And it was a massive financial success. Enough to spawn a movie adaptation only two years later.
Now, let’s be honest – the first thought that came to mind when hearing about these movies was that SHAFT was milking the money cow. TV to movie adaptations don’t have the greatest reputation, and really, it’s hard to be too surprised by that when comparing the bulk of them to the quality of their source material. So where does that leave Madoka★Magica? Somewhere else entirely. A place where a movie adaptation can not only equal the source material, but surpass it, too.
A glimpse at the art is enough to tell the quality of the movies. It is a beautiful anime to look at, befitting of a full-feature movie and far more than just a copypaste of the TV series. A TV series which, mind you, was marred by subpar animation and technical mistakes in its original broadcast (which have sorta-kinda been fixed in the BluRay release). There are next to no technical mistakes in the movie adaptation, and while the characters’ faces could use some more work, SHAFT has put the effort into making the animation flow as well as possible. And that’s to speak nothing of the art direction and scenery. Even simple locations like a secondary school are given unique designs (in this case, something resembling a cathedral), while the worlds of the witches are illustrated in some weird clay-like design which mixes in several widely different animation styles. Your eyeballs will be treated to one of the best-looking anime out there.
The pacing also sees a significant amount of improvement. A few lighthearted scenes involving the school teacher (rambling on about not being married– poor lady) are added in to set a more appropriate atmosphere at the beginning of the story. The dream sequence from the beginning of the TV series has also been removed, which tones the foreshadowing down a notch and makes the big ‘shock’ scene seem all the more crazy.
It’s a little bit odd, though, that SHAFT would make all these improvements and yet not keep in a vital scene for one of the characters. Mami receives no character development, no depth. The scene where she explains her past to Madoka is gone. Erased. And why? It was the only thing that made her seem like a human being and not just a mentor for Madoka and Sayaka. In the movies, she’s just that – an archetype and a plot device. For a series which stands out for having well-written and developed characters, I can’t for the life of me understand why they would remove such an important scene. It’s an unnecessary blemish on an otherwise brilliant story.
The music, much like the art, is exceptional. Rather than simply accompany each scene, the music enhances them. Fights feel tense. Emotional scenes make you want to go and grab a blanket. It’s a powerful soundtrack, and even listening to the music weeks or months after will be enough to get those same feelings back. The voice acting is stellar as well, with Kitamura Eri providing an especially commendable role for Sayaka’s character.
For those looking to get into the series for the first time, both the TV series and the movies serve as equally valid entry points. I would argue that the movie duology is the better of the two, though, as the cinematic experience makes the climax so much more satisfying. Having only one break in the story does wonders for pacing.
Madoka★Magica is just as great as it’s always been. There’s no need to make significant changes when the existing formula is already so sound. All the little changes (with one notable exception) are enough to improve the story and make it even better than before. Has all the praise the series received over the past few years been exaggerated? I never thought so.
As much as SHAFT is reaching for our wallets, it doesn’t change the fact that the Madoka duology is a solid adaptation of an excellent series. More of the same isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s more than enough.
Yet, was it needed?
Let’s set the record straight: the first two movies cover the same story of the original series. However this is not a simple rehash of the original. It’s a bit unfair to use the term “recap” simply because most fans know the story; the movie contains the same events, but everything in the film has been revamped. Newcomers will be treated with an amazing experience, and fans will be delighted by the subtle changes. Mostly.
After the first few seconds, it becomes quite clear that Shaft had no intention on simply recycling Blu-ray footage: it’s even better. The visuals are absolutely stunning — these changes extend beyond fixing the infamous “meduka meguca” quality drops; the art is much more polished, the animation is more fluid, and backgrounds are incredibly elaborate. The use of the paper-cut-out style returns, bringing an dynamic contrast between the two worlds. Fortunately, these changes are more than simply cosmetic. I have always praised Shaft for having amazing cinematography and this movie is no exception. Familiar scenes have subtle changes: pans, close ups, dynamic angles, head-tilts. When combined with the directing of Shinbo Akiyuki, all these tweaks enhance the tension and suspense.
Shaft also spent much time reworking the sound design. Compared to the original series, audio plays a more prominent role is establishing the atmosphere. Whispers and footsteps add to the eerie nature of the witch-hunts, while the crashes and explosions add power to the action. Of course, the biggest highlight would have to be the amazing soundtrack. Kajiura Yuki created an amazing score that reflects the magical yet horrific world. And just like the visuals, the movie boasts a few new tracks to please the returning fans.
The most controversial change is the pacing. By switching from a television format (12-episodes, 25 minutes each) to a movie format (120 minutes), the story is definitely accelerated giving a great sense of development and plot progression. The movie covers the first eight episodes of the original. The faster pace works to improve the drama (especially with Sayaka’s arc later on) and help give more personality to the characters. However, this change is the Achilles’ heel of the movie.
The original series excelled in “shock and awe” tactics. Before airing, there was mysterious nature to the show. The eerie aesthetics and haunting foreshadowing toyed with the audience’s expectations in the early episodes, only to dramatically reveal its true nature in a stunning plot twist. By deconstructing the genre and using parallels to Goethe’s Faust, it was a roller coaster of madness as the world witnessed the tragedy and downfall of our protagonists. Every week, we were treated with stunning revelations and jaw-dropping cliff-hangers. The pacing was slow yet methodical, only to enhance the suspense and drama. The movie does not have this. The story continuously progresses from scene to scene, granting no time to let it all settle. The audience has no chance to reflect. This isn’t to say the movie is incompetent. The experience is all in the story and the directing, but it’s clear sacrifices were made. This ultimately boils down to one question: What is the purpose of these movies?
Essentially, these movies are a love-letter to the fans. The enhanced audio and visuals definitely deliver a new experience, though the added benefit is quite minimal. Shaft could have simply reused old footage, but it’s clear they chose to make something more. The movie is fantastic as a stand-alone product, but it’s hard to critique it without comparing it to the original. Fundamentally, the story is faithful, yet it lacks the same emotional impact of the original. I’m confident that both die-hard fans and newcomers will enjoy this movie. However, for new fans I recommend the anime original instead.
For a movie to be adapted for another run (especially in terms of story retelling), popularity and revenue often comes as one of the reasons. In fact, anime that have been revived in recent years for a remake or rerun are not new such as Hunter x Hunter, Gurren Lagann, Berserk, Evangelion, and so on. When that comes to the equation, Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica also becomes part of that formula. Despite being only 12 episodes with the original TV series that ran in 2011, it has achieved tremendous success that resulted in the record breaking sales of its BDs, numerous anime awards being won, and achieved universal praise for its presentation. So obviously, when a TV series of this caliber gets a movie adaptation, I was excited. No, I was more like ecstatic.
The movie covers the first 8 episodes from the original series in recap form. Therefore, don’t expect any new plot twists or storytelling alternation in this film. In other words, this isn’t a prequel, sequel or side story but rather a recap. This doesn’t mean you should skip anything though especially if you want a refreshment of PMMM entertainment. For new viewers, this should be a delightful experience. As for those who have seen the original TV series, the movie should be a reminder of what Madoka really was.
As far as experience goes, the movie itself touches upon what modern technology can do – recreating the style of PMMM to its finest form. In fact, animation itself isn’t a term to be used here but rather as a vivid expression of what the movie presents. As for starters, the tone of the movie is lighthearted. There’s no change to Madoka’s character from the original series as she remains her usual self. Easily recognizable by her round face and pigtail-like ribbons, she is obviously still the star of the movie. Then, there’s of course the mysterious Homura who transfers to Madoka’s school. As a new student, she’s obviously the talk of the class. Her character remains generally the same and fills the void of the show with its mysterious tones such as the question:
“Do you treasure the life you currently live?”
From a magical girl theme stance, the question spells out a darker mood of the realm. It explores aspects of the magical girl genre like never before. Chiwa Saito (Bakemonogatari, Last Exile, Strawberry Panic) plays her role brilliantly as Hormura as she draws not only Madoka towards her character but the viewers as well. Coming from the TV series, the infamous Kyuubeymakes his return. As the familiar of the magical world, he can grant any wish to a certain girl, on the condition that she becomes a Puella Magi and fights against witches. For fans who are already familiar with him, it’s nostalgic. But for new viewers, this is an experience to see just how dark his character can be. Other characters makes their reappearances too of course like Mami and Sayaka.
The story pacing itself is designed to fit within this movie in a span of more than 2 hours. (2 hours and 10 minutes to be exact) In other words, 8 episodes from the original TV series had to be fit into this presentation. It’s no easy task especially that means some parts would have to be cut out. Perhaps most imperative of these parts involves Mami and her character. Otherwise, one other particular with a big appetite gets more screen time than I had thought which bought a big smile to my face.
Then, there’s the magical transformation from a normal girl into a Puella Magi to fight the witches. The transformation itself is fluid with a strong OST to back it up. Yuki Kajiura’s work is recognizable here with her style. The action itself is also colored with fantasy like atmosphere enhanced by the visual direction of this film. Indeed, it looks sharp. Shaft also adapts its style of presentation through its easily recognizable work. With a magical staff, gun, and determination, these girls can do just about anything.
The themes of solitude and despair also remains intact in the film. As mentioned by Kyuubey, the magical girls represents the spread of hope while the witches are the symbols of despair. That part comes with the tears running down on the face of Madoka after a startling revelation. It’s amazing how almost every little detail gets captured though in this film. Shaft wastes no time with this adaptation to visually present this at its finest imagery. The voices of the characters captures the mood as well. In the beginning, Madoka has that cheery atmosphere surrounding her. On the other hand, Homura shows more of the darkness of the magical world. Then, there’s of course Mami that represents a balance of both in a way. I give praise to the voice actors and actresses in their roles for an outstanding performance.
For character designs, there’s that sense of magical girl feeling. The way they are dressed shows they are serious in fighting the witches just like from the original TV series. For new viewers, Kyuubey will be the surprising twist behind that emotionless smile. The city and its magical realm contrasts greatly in designs that shifts between the world of the real and the surreal. In fact, that fantasy world represents a surrealist sense of despair that also conjures emotions. Of course, there’s emotions here and there especially since the responsibility of being a Mahou Shoujo is never easy, not once in this film. As for the witches, they are designed to be evil without remorse. Their visual representation seems to be sarcastic with their simple designs. However, make no mistake as they are the harbingers of despair.
Ultimately, this film may have a different impression depending on how you watch it. Obviously, not every single second from the original series will be presented in this work. However, what it has brings refreshment to fans of the PMMM franchise. It takes that magical girl theme and gives it to viewers once again with style. What it might lack though is new additions (such as new material inserted in) since this is a recap..but clearly, this can be supported by the OST, atmosphere, and mood of the movie. The original series had that as well so this is a pleasant refreshment. The production values are probably the strengths along with the powerful soundtrack. (make sure to turn the volume all the way up with headphones!) No random fan service, no forced humor, no stupidity, no still animations, no regrets. It’s more than just a recap. It’s a magical experience. ／人◕ ‿‿ ◕人＼
6: Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen
English: Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu
MAL Score: 8.39
During Koyomi Araragi’s second year at Naoetsu Private High School, he has a chance encounter with Tsubasa Hanekawa, the top honor student in his class. When they strike up a conversation, Hanekawa mentions a shocking rumor: a vampire with beautiful blonde hair and freezing cold eyes has been seen lurking around town.
Happy to have made a new friend, Araragi writes off the rumor and goes about the rest of his evening in a carefree manner. However, on his way home, he stumbles across splatters of blood leading down the stairs to the subway. His curiosity pushes him to investigate further, so he follows the gruesome pools into the depths of the station.
When he arrives at the source of the blood, he is terrified by what he sees—the rumored blonde vampire herself, completely dismembered. After she calls for his help, Araragi must make a decision, one which carries the potential to change his life forever.
I’ve been a fan of The Monogatari Series for quite some time and honestly like every fan out there who seen this series back when this movie was being announced on 2011 – 2013 Gap. We’ve been SHAFTED 3 times after all and each one those hurt a lot for us fans.
I almost teared up as I found myself dumbfounded sitting down waiting for the show to finally begin. Suddenly filled myself with reminiscence of the entirety of the series that went right in front of my eyes, Preparing myself mentally for what was about to begin. The very foundation of NISHIO ISHIN tale, A tale he at first didn’t planned to publish was now right in front of my eyes on the form of a animated movie adaptation.
However did SHAFT make up for their cruel games of leaving the fans holding their breath?.
Story 10 / 10
Given that it is unfair to do a review of a story since this is 1 / 3 of then light novel adaptation, I will say that the first quarter was meticulously executed to perfection.
Inner monologues as well as narrations are absent on this adaptation and are substituted by visuals and symbolism that do it instead meant to challenge the perception of the audience. It compliments the dialogues and storyline presented on this first adaptation.
I always wondered how would SHAFT open Kizumonogatari as the novel opens up to the readers as a flashback of Araragi Koyomi as he has a memory he has kept out of prying eyes and deemed the occasion fit for him to talk about the Hot Blooded, Iron Blooded yet Cold Blooded Vampire. Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade later on know as simply “Oshino Shinobu”.
The Film opens up with Araragi Koyomi wandering inside a building as it were a maze, He explores multiple rooms and decides for the stairs. All this going while on silent as there is no sound but his heavy breathing. He reaches the top and upon opening the door encounters a dense like gray sky filled with clouds and surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of crows as they eerily make sounds as if something awful is about to happen, an Ill omen.
Araragi ignores the crows as they persist as though they’re warning him not to keep moving, but he does and stares blankly at the sky as he sees just the shape of the sun but it don’t quite make it out of the clouds. The sun rays start to break free of the cloud and Araragi doesn’t noticed that little by little he is catching on fire, After he notices it he panics and falls 2 stories down to the ground but shares a moment with “Bakemonogatari” as his falling mimics Senjougahara Hitagi never ending fall but with the difference that Araragi Koyomi plummets like a asteroid enveloped in flames towards the ground.
The picture turns black and we quickly are moved to Araragi Koyomi walking on the streets right in front of Naoetsu High School just to encounter Hanekawa Tsubasa right across!. The rest you’ll have to see.
[For the people who have read “Wound Tale” as Vertical-Inc has named Kizumonogatari for the English translation. Kizumonogatari: Tekketsu-hen adapts the first 100 pages of the novel chapters 001 – 006 in all!.]
Art 10 / 10
Crisp and clean, The art and animation showed to the fans it’s outstanding truly impeccable, A somewhat strange blend of animation with what seems to be realistic CG that works out on a way that you would never think it would on a rather extreme positive way. As always SHAFT proves impossible doesn’t exist on their book of words.
The symbolism is put to well use and the sounds placed on the right scenes are outright powerful to leave you with a dry mouth with nothing to say.
Araragi Koyomi as well as Kiss-Shot on their fateful meeting had a lot of work done on regards to corporeal and facial expressions so much so that’s it automatically silences the theater when there was a comedy just moments ago.
Sound 10 / 10
The voice actors were on their A Game and the OST were on point and so well done that you can’t help but to have your both hands on a triangular manner on which you are left breathless to how much you can get into this 1/3 of the trilogy.
The auditory exposition was masterful and more than BGM the sounds used conveyed seriousness as well as reality checks for some of the characters. It as well highlight positions in power and the powerless on key situations throughout the film
Characters 10 / 10
The characters are used as a thread on a needle, Accurate and on par with the story. They’re well stitched together on complementary fashion that becomes a game of catch and you’re on the middle as you witness remarks and rebuttals done and launched around right in front of your eyes.
Enjoyment 10 / 10
I can’t go further than PERFECT, This film will have you gripped on your seat and you will be swayed to laugh and will be brought to tears, When you realize this was done with just a third of a trilogy you then realize that this series will go down as a Masterpiece.
The adaptation has been twinkled a bit so that your foreseen knowledge of the movie from the light novel doesn’t make it feel easy to anticipate. It is done on a way to hook the audience without removing the vitality from the novel.
The synergy between visuals and auditory expositions are masterfully done compensating for the cut of inner monologues and usual narrations that we are so used to Araragi Koyomi doing. It is done in such a way that it conveyed as much as the dialogue itself and work in perfect harmony.
The opening it’s great. I’ve gone over and over and I don’t see an alternate opening.
Overall 10 / 10
If you’re a Monogatari Fan you just have to witness this work of art, If you aren’t then give it a chance. There is a high chance you will be drawn to the series. Having said that, Rather than a prequel this is more of a Prologue nevertheless you can be assured that this film it’s worth every penny and more!.
I honestly have never wanted summer to come and I’m a winter person, That should say enough. All because I want Nekketsu-hen to arrive as soon as possible.
Let’s be honest, anybody who says they still like Shaft at this point in time really means they just like Monogatari. And the studio knows it because at this point, they’ve churned out more sequels to that thing than they have new anime. Except in Kizumonogatari’s case, it’s actually a prequel. Or to be more precise, “the” prequel, because this thing has been delayed so long that people were afraid it was going to become the anime equivalent to The Thief and the Cobbler. Can’t imagine why people wanted it to be adapted so badly, considering it’s just the story of how Hanekawa and Shinobu first met Arararagi and I don’t know why you’d need to see that. Or why it needed to be a movie to begin with. And what exactly is so important about getting the quality right that you needed it to be split into three parts? Does Shaft think Kizumonogatari is their 5 Centimeters Per Second or something?
I paid money to go see Kizumonogatari in theatres because I was almost certain I would hate it, and I needed more reasons to ignore the -gatari fans I hang out with when they keep trying to reassure me that “this segment is the best one yet” like a Jojo fan going through rehab (which incidentally, they are too, minus the rehab part). Every single Monogatari thing that I’ve personally seen has been nothing but every inexplicably popular light novel adaptation ever. Always full of unfunny conversations that do nothing but build character for the sake of building character, or move plot points along without attaching any sort of story to it whilst having all the female characters get their panties in a bunch for that one lone male who ends up saving them from a terrible fate as a bonus. So with all the hype built towards this film, I was kinda looking forward to see if it was worth the long wait, and whether it would actually differ from the other adaptations or if it was just the fans praising shit that has less differences from the previous iterations than a Ubisoft sequel.
Well it turns out that the reason for the long wait is so they could properly animate Arararagi getting set on the best-looking fire you’ll ever see. No, I’m not kidding. Get close to the screen and when the scene occurs, you’ll actually be in danger of getting your eyebrows burnt to a crisp. Hope you consider the flames worth the price of admission, because everything else about this movie is so bad – so fucking NOT worth the fifteen bucks – that I was glad Boy and the Beast was also airing on the same day, because I needed to watch another movie after that and it helped that it was only $7.50 for a ticket. HALF of what I spent on Kizu in order to watch a movie that’s TWICE AS LONG. That is bullshit!
I actually kind of wished I waited until it got subbed online, because then I could mute the video player, turn off the subtitles, and just watch some pretty visuals for an hour. Sure they’re not exactly on the level of the works produced by my favorite anime directors, and I can’t work around the stupid “title card segues” and the cheesecake shots – but if I can sit through an animated Adam Sandler film with those conditions, I can live with that. Because whilst the incredibly large audience at my theatre were having a big laugh at stuff I didn’t get the joke of several times throughout the movie, I initially sat down pondering how they were going to impress the fans, and by the end I was slumped all over my seat wondering how much longer I had to sit through this pig shit. At least up until the ending credits, where I literally woke up from my seat and started shouting obscenities for reasons I’ll get into later, before leaving the theater whilst everyone around me spoke about how much they enjoyed themselves.
So we all know the basic outline of the thing, but what exactly happens in the first part of Kizumonogatari you may ask? Well it’s pretty much a poor man’s combination of Mind Game and the vampire arc from the latest season of Adventure Time, two much better cartoons. Arararagi meets Hanekawa one day and the two have that usual Nisio Isin inexplicably long conversation before the dude walks off into a random subway in order to meet a busty vampire. He lets the vampire drink his blood after another long conversation and gets turned into one himself. Then he finds himself hunted by three other vampires who mostly like to jump around alot rather than throw a punch or a bite and meets Oshino through them. That’s literally all that happens in this film: meeting and talking, meeting and talking, an explanation for Agakawi’s (yes I’m misspelling this on purpose) vampire powers and how they work, and then more meeting and talking while I try to figure out where the fucking story is.
It doesn’t even have the same level of standalone-ness with each installment as previous anime-told-through-movies like Break Blade or Kara no Kyoukai has. After Hanekawa’s introduction, she never shows up again for the rest of the film. And the three vampires that are hunting Arararagi? They don’t even have a line, let alone are given any names or personality whatsoever, thus causing them to have zero chemistry with the dude. Why? Because we had to devote the necessary screen time to making it clear that our lead character is a pervert who likes his busty ladies. This is script-work I’d expect to see from the writers of Mortal Kombat Annihilation. With screwdrivers lodged into their eyeballs so they can’t even see what they’re typing!
They even use those outdated shitty sound effects whenever a “comical” scene that adds nothing to the movie happens because we needed some way to get the audience to know you’re supposed to laugh at Hanekawa’s bouncing overly large boobs shy of a laugh track. And just to hammer the “nail of suck” in, after sitting through all that meet and greet, the film ends on a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger that literally made me do all the obscenity shouting I mentioned earlier because it just happens out of nowhere, right when Oshino puts an end to his conversation with Arararagi! I don’t care if there are two more movies coming out later. You wouldn’t say that about Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender film – not that sequels will ever be made – and even with the 3D glasses, it wasn’t as expensive as the ticket price attached to this crap!
Intriguing cliffhangers along with a slick (outdated) style and sharp dialogue that isn’t nearly as funny as it thinks it is are the only reason Monogatari (and Durarara for that matter given there’s still people saying it’s good with a straight face despite Japan all but giving up on it entirely) still gets a free ride, despite the fact that the core of the show has absolutely no thrust or tension to its themes whatsoever. Last I checked, story-focused shows require that shit to be intriguing. But then again, anime fans have proven for more than a decade that they’ll forgive lack of forward momentum as long as what lies on the horizon looks intriguing, and given that poll I did a while ago, that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. Seriously guys, “Bad Story #2” is in last place?
I just hope you fans realize that Shaft can’t rely on Monogatari to keep them afloat forever. Eventually they’re going to finish the thing, and what’s going to happen then? Personally, I’m all in favor of them getting help. The same kind that Manglobe got, preferably.
I actually LIKE the Monogatari Series for the most part. It has its faults, but overall is a fun series that’s different enough I keep coming back for the new seasons despite its flaws. So I’m coming from an honest place where I want to give it the benefit of the doubt and can’t. Tekketsu-hen was unbelievably appalling as a movie and I personally think it shows how little they think of their fans. Do they think we’ll like and rave about anything labeled “Monogatari?” Judging by the other reviews I’m reading online, that seems to be the case and it’s really hard to comprehend. Whoever wrote the script left out 90% of the charm the show does have. The show wastes tons of time, but fills it with witty dialogue. Almost none in Tekketsu-hen. There were a couple laugh out loud moments, but that’s it. I WANTED to see this movie, bought my tickets weeks in advance, and have really nothing good to say about it which is a huge disappointment.
5: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari
English: Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 2: Eternal
Japanese: 劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ 永遠の物語
MAL Score: 8.39
Though Sayaka Miki’s wish was fulfilled, the unforeseen consequences that came with it overwhelm her, causing her soul gem to become tainted as she succumbs to despair and eventually loses her humanity. Homura Akemi reveals to Kyouko Sakura and Madoka Kaname the ultimate fate of magical girls: once their soul gem becomes tainted, it transforms into a Grief Seed, and they are reborn as witches—a truth Homura learned only through repeating history countless times in a bid to prevent Madoka’s tragedy.
Kyuubey only compounds their despair when he confesses his true intentions: to harness the energy created from magical girls and use it to prolong the life of the universe. As the threat of Walpurgisnacht, a powerful witch, looms overhead, Homura once again vows to protect Madoka and the world from a grim fate.
Caught between honoring Homura’s wish and saving the world, which one will Madoka choose in the end?
Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari is a story of inescapable destiny, and an unlikely hero who could change it all.
I’m not the biggest fan of the anime series (at least I wasn’t before watching these movies), and, while I think it’s good, it never left a very big impression on me. The reason I’m writing a review of the second movie instead of the first, is because this movie finally succeeded at leaving that impression with me that I have missed both times I have watched the anime. I’ve heard people talk about feeling a “void” after finishing an amazing anime, and Eien no Monogatari has successfully left me with that feeling. I just can’t think of anything to do right now other than writing a review or going to bed early.
As with the first movie, Eien no Monogatari is a recap which follows up and retells the last four episodes of the anime. While the first movie was about an episode and a half shorter than the original material it retold, this movie is actually slightly longer (around 20 minutes more) and it really helps it pace the story much better than before.
Story – 10/10
The story now begins to shift from the main quintet of girls to just Madoka and Homura. It becomes more focused on the idea of the “Magical girl” and exactly what they are. It delves a lot into the psychological aspect of the story as Madoka’s conflict of whether to become a magical girl or not reaches it’s climax after witnessing the tragedies occurring around her and knowing that more are yet to come.
I’ve got to give it up to Gen Urobuchi for being able to create this psychologically intimidating situation for Madoka so well. As the mysteries about Kyuubey come to light, his explanations for why he has done everything he has is amazing and really eye-opening. It really takes apart different aspects of the human race like guilt, emotions, and why we consider some things more important than others, and looks at it from the perspective of something that is not only not human, but does not understand our human perspective on any of these topics.
And then it starts to really focus on Homura. Episode 10 of the original Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica anime was one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen, and this movie pulls off that segment even better than before. It has more time, better animation, and some new soundtracks that make it the highlight of this movie in my eyes.
Art – 9/10
Speaking of the art, it’s all redone amazingly. The original anime had some sloppy, rushed animation which has completely vanished in this movie (and the first movie as well). There are still a few still shots that last maybe a little too long, but the action scenes, emotions of the characters, and the backgrounds are all a huge step up from before. The added time in this movie allows for a few new shots to be shown and for many previous ones to be given more depth. Overall, the art is the biggest improvement from the series.
Sound – 10/10
I always loved the Madoka★Magica soundtrack, and thought it was one of the best in all of anime. I have no idea how they made it better despite how amazing it already was, but they sure succeeded. I thought it had one of the best soundtracks ever, but now I know that between these two movies, I cannot think of a single anime in existence with a better soundtrack and I am not exaggerating. They reused all of the old songs, and even added a few new ones with a new, amazing ending credit song as well.
The voice acting is just as good if not better than before. I really can’t compare overall because I would have to watch the anime and movie side-by-side to do so, but there are a few parts where I’m sure the movie has the anime beat, especially when it comes to Madoka’s voice actress.
Character – 10/10
The characters become fewer in this movie as it begins to focus on Madoka and Homura, so it’s a good thing that those two are one of the best duos in anime. I’ll admit, I always liked Sayaka the best and cared less about Homura because of that, but this movie really made me like Homura much more than I ever did before. With the little extra time this movie has, her character is given even more focus and extremely well written development. Madoka as well I felt was stronger in this than before. Her psychological distress was less rushed in the movie and given more time to add to the emotions and darkness of the story and helped build her character. The other characters, especially Kyoko, have some emotional scenes that also top the anime in my opinion (well definitely Kyoko’s, the others are about the same).
Enjoyment – 9/10 (Amazing)
I actually enjoyed this more than the original anime. Sayaka being my favorite character, I enjoyed the middle of the anime series the best, but with these two movies, I actually enjoyed the end of the story more. The new, brilliant art, new additions to the already amazing soundtrack, and the slightly longer time allowed this movie to go above and beyond the already great anime. I can’t wait for the third movie with new material and I’m really hoping it will just as good (maybe better if we’re really lucky) than these two movies.
Well as mentioned previously, this movie is the 2nd part of the trilogy installation from the Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica saga. The movie covers the remaining 4 episodes from the original TV series. While the first movie was titled ‘The Beginnings’, this is where it it ends from where the TV version left off.
This movie is essentially another recap of the TV series and thus, there is no original material in terms of storytelling or plot twists. However, that doesn’t mean viewers should pass up a chance to give this a shot though because not only does it bring refreshment, it also brings that sense of magical feeling you might get once again like never before. Indeed, Madoka is like a magical girl theme series like no one has ever seen before especially to those new to the franchise.
The movie starts off from exactly where The Beginnings left off related to Sayaka. The OP song remains the same that is orchestrated by the talented ClariS (Luminous). What the second movie offers though is even more of a darker tone related to the Mahou Shoujo theme. Madoka learns it the hard way from the very beginning from Homura. Both the physical and mental scares remains in Madoka’s mind along with Kyouko. They bring out the psychological style of what PMMM was, is, and continues to be. As for the movie itself, Kyuubey still remains the all unforgiving antagonist with his devilish smile and mind games. It’s a mind twist itself after all.
Like the previous film, this one also boosts talent in terms of voice acting and emotions. Madoka’s VA Aoi Yuuki is especially noticeable because her character suffers throughout her experiences with the events in this movie. In fact, she struggles with her current situation and the words from Kyuubey. She knows they are true facts but hard to accept them as reality. Even Kyouko whom originally started as a confident girl is now struggling with her situation and some startling revelations. They are all suffering with the fate and what they must endure.
The movie also spells out the new destiny that Madoka must embrace just like she did in the original TV series. Along with the startling revelation made in the beginning, Madoka must make difficult decisions even if it’s by herself. In fact, she wrestles with her own feelings and true facts in regards to her best friend, Sakaya. It’s painful to watch but it’s also the grim reality of how dark the movie is, just like the original TV series. Kyuubey further fuels the darkness with his plan and ambition to make Madoka into a Mahou Shoujo no matter what the cost.
Despite this though, fans from the original TV series may also remember a bit of Homura. For newer fans, it is a new insight to her character as we see another side of her, or rather in a different way. We see all the magical girls but then, there’s some of things we don’t expect..(for newer fans that is). Be ready for another twisted ride.
The OST of the movie remains top notch. We can give our thanks to Kajiura Yuki who is able to bring out her talent at its finest. The emotional scenes are played solemnly with the pacing while the action scenes possesses that full throttle feeling of fighting. The artwork takes its majestic style to its own right as well. The way the characters are crafted along with the Witches makes them seem more grim than usual. Of course, the fantasy world also remains surreal with its cutting edge style. Additionally, there’s the grey and red coloring backgrounds that almost seems to bleed in with the style of the series. Even though it seems that the movie portrays the TV series for a recap, it is still just as dark in many ways. Thank you Shaft.
Overall, this was another great film. Despite being a recap, it still had the tone of the TV series with its great cast of characters, supreme OST, unique artwork, and a grim story of magic. It is a world that the characters live in with darkness. The movie is a good wake-up call for those who still comes back once and awhile to relive the experience of PMMM. It is through these experiences where we realize just how dark some series can be. A magical girl theme series unlike most others, Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes the magical girl idea to a whole new level, a level that is unparalleled to what I’ve seen in recent years. There’s pain. There’s sorrow. There’s emotion. There’s betrayal. There’s solitude. Then, there’s Eternal.
First, let’s be clear, the two Madoka movies do not tell any new stories different from the original TV anime. However, that doesn’t mean the two movies have no value, for they are by no means mere recaps of the original series. Except for the plot, everything – visuals, music, voice acting, directing, etc. – everything you can name has been extensively revamped.
Take the visuals for example. Most, if not all, of the scenes have been redrawn and reanimated – the backgrounds grander and more dynamic, the movements smoother, and all the drawing imperfections and animation mistakes fixed. The results are breathtaking. Time and time again, I found myself inadvertently silenced by the beauty and vividness on the screen.
The movies also boast a good number of new tracks by Kajiura Yuki, some of which are remixes/rearrangements of tracks from the original anime, and a few are new compositions entirely. If you know anything about Kajiura Yuki, I probably don’t have to tell you how amazing the new soundtrack is. At the same time, the new tracks also set a different feel for the anime.
Even the lines have been re-recorded. I cannot compare how the voice acting is done in the movie to how it is done in the original series, but I can tell you that in every scene of the movie, the voice acting is always real and compelling. I myself was definitely pulled deeper into the story thanks to the voice actors’/actresses’ part.
Of course, not every change made for a stronger story presentation. Transitions are not always the best, and some important scenes from the TV anime had to be cut out. The added grandeur and drama in the cinematography also sometimes end up working against the story instead. Still there are some changes that neither strengthen nor detract from the story presentation. Nevertheless, the stunning visuals, the soul-hauntingly beautiful music, the emotional grit of the voice acting, and clever editing all come together nicely, sustaining the flow and impact of the story.
When all’s said and done, the differences between the movies and the original series really aren’t that great. But for returning fans, hardcore or not, even these tiny, subtle changes make the movies worth watching. Through such changes in pacing, in cinematography, in animation and music, and in a small number of tiny additional scenes, Shaft has masterfully presented us with a slightly but meaningfully different perspective and feel of the Madoka story. So while it is not essential to watch the two movies to enjoy Madoka Magica – the original anime is still the core production – do try watching the movies if you ever want to revisit that fantastical and cruel world which came to your doorsteps over a year ago, in the form of a cute, white, cuddly animal.
4: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari
English: Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion
Japanese: 劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ 叛逆の物語
MAL Score: 8.45
The young girls of Mitakihara happily live their lives, occasionally fighting off evil, but otherwise going about their peaceful, everyday routines. However, Homura Akemi feels that something is wrong with this unusually pleasant atmosphere—though the others remain oblivious, she can’t help but suspect that there is more to what is going on than meets the eye: someone who should not exist is currently present to join in on their activities.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari follows Homura in her struggle to uncover the painful truth behind the mysterious circumstances, as she selfishly and desperately fights for the sake of her undying love in this despair-ridden conclusion to the story of five magical girls.
There’re cliffhanger anime for people to die for a sequel.
There’re even anime that just leaves cliffhangers and never come back.
There’re those garbage anime that you just don’t feel anything at all.
And there’s Madoka, an anime with an amazing story, art, sound, character, but a soulless and downright devilish ending.
There will be absolutely no plot at all, because I want people to understand and be ready for anything.
And, I tell you, you’ll need to be.
[P.S. There are absolutely no plot summaries in here, but the vocabularies and terms I use may indirectly suggest a minor point of the story.]
This story is meant to leave an unsatisfactory ending. The motif is pretty clear: the Bible and the genesis of God and Lucifer.
Come on, our world hasn’t come to an end, has it? A story based on our world, a never-ending cycle of unsatisfactory endings cannot be satisfactory by itself, unless by deception and/or imagination.
Urobuchi, author of Fate/Zero and Madoka among many others, is famous for a seamless plotline. I cannot state that this movie has brought down his fame, because all his stories had dark motifs. Indeed, this movie has left an unsatisfactory ending, but this is a masterpiece, creating an amazing transition between theogenesis and diablogenesis.
How could I dare say that unsatisfying ending crushes this masterpiece?
Imagine Madoka being reanimated with Monogatari: Second Season’s animation technology.
Now add malice to that.
Now add another plot twist to that.
That does not even begin how great the movie was.
The seemingly childish animation was still there, but the malice was all the more heightened, getting into the fine line between creepiness and evilness.
A wise mangaka once stated that drawing a malicious face (not angry face) was not an easy job. He stated that the background, the eye, the position of the panel, the position of the character, darkness, facial expression and etc were all necessary to make one malicious face.
Then how much harder would it be to draw nearly an hour-long malice?
Shaft studio, producers of monogatari series and of course madoka among many others, is known for their ability to, despite using quite “cheating” methods, send chills down the viewers’ spine. Using scenes where the character simply stands, or where the name of the font used or color of the scene or sometimes seemingly scanning the clothings or skirts of an unknown origin, Shaft studio actually makes a great success of delivering an heightened message to the viewers.
And, truth be told, I could not catch a single misgivings about the animation of the movie. When malice was needed, Shaft did their job. When they needed a happy tea time, Shaft did their job. When they needed a battle scene, Shaft did their job. No more colors or fonts. They did their job.
If there’s one criterion I always cut down and attack, it’s the sound. Being a very keen person in sound, I always wanted the producers to use the “perfect” BGMs (of course nothing is perfect but still I can dream?!) at the “perfect” moment. But I have to say it–rebellion nailed it.
The song was as creepy as it could get. The background musics at the moment of realization was so good that I got a chill down my spine and nearly pissed myself (true story). On the opening, ClaRis did their usual mislead. The general “ah, this is a magical girls’ story! There’re absolutely no genre-twisting stories or one of those Urobuchi things in here!” and comforted the slaughter lambs. Then, came the usual malice.
Scary it was.
And somehow, even at the ending, although the song was in major pitch and no double voice or alterations have been added, it was still creepy and malicious. It created a sense of Judas’ kiss, meaning that while the act itself was a beautiful act, the inner sense was dark enough to creep our intestines. If there is one thing that music should do, it is to do that. Even through the electronic amplifiers, music should always deliver the feelings.
Rebellion was an amazing exemplification of this job of music. It did its job when it needed to, creeping our guts out after cleansing our soul with “cute” music, then presenting the “Judas’ kiss”.
Sound–a job well done.
No one expected this.
No one could have expected this.
No one could have seen this coming.
Yet this was inevitable.
Urobuchi always does this. He reveals a down-to-Earth fact that has been in front of our face the whole time yet at the same time a fact that no one has realized.
The development of our main character, Akemi Homura, is wonderfully presented with this motif.
Her “transfiguration” was something no one have realized, yet something so obvious and inevitable that everybody should have known.
I will not go onto further details.
As for minor characters, such as Mami, Sayaka, Kyouko and our all-time hated con artist, MOTHER****ING KYUBEY, they have done their job spectacularly. Every bit of stories they shared and every bit of clues they presented showed and developed the story rapidly. In a way, they “created” the main character. It is always difficult to involve all of the characters and giving all of them important roles. Failure to do so may not be the doom of the anime, but a horrible trial of doing so means the end of the anime and doom of its production. However, Rebellion Story, while providing every character a role, also succeeded in not awkwardly fitting in their roles into the original plot.
It is indeed a job well done.
Now, before you say anything or go away, let me explain myself.
Indeed, this was an amazing movie, and I don’t think any other movie can create a seamless storyline as this one.
However, I didn’t enjoy this at all.
In fact, I don’t think I can ever see the movie again.
It was too soul-breaking that it felt like my soul was breaking apart.
Indeed its story was good, indeed the art was amazing, indeed the sound did its job, indeed the character development was godly.
But I just couldn’t like it.
Still, this was only my opinion. Some people might like it.
In fact, exactly because I liked it, I want people to watch this.
It both critiques the conventional “now everybody’s happy” anime endings and the well-known “good guy always is the good guy” logic and crashes it down to Earth.
Because of this, I have to take off the Enjoyment spectrum out of the overall rate.
It indeed is an important aspect of anime, but not in this one. This movie DOESN’T want you to enjoy the show. And that is exactly why this is great.
Great story, art, sound and character.
It is the work of our lifetime.
Don’t miss it.
If you are in a region where you can go watch the movie, you are blissed.
GO WATCH IT.
IT’S WORTH EVERY PENNY.
Then, happy anime-ing.
I dreaded the day that a sequel came to fruition for Madoka Magica. This was a show that ended on a rather ambiguous note but still left a good, everlasting impression in its original run, hinting that there was really no need for a sequel, an explanation, or an “After Story”, for that matter. I’m not saying I don’t want any more of it, not at all. But seriously, Gen Urobuchi, there’s no way you can write a sequel any better than the original series, especially when your original series was THAT good. So yeah. Like…. just stop.
Okay, I was jumping like a schoolgirl when I heard that there was a new Madoka Magica, but I didn’t have much hope for this one either.
But what I believed to be a mediocre attempt to capture the world by storm and ultimately fail, I was proven wrong. I hate being wrong. I can’t stand the thought of being wrong. To me, being wrong, is just wrong.
Never been happier to be wrong.
Story: What the original series packed was a story that was armed to the teeth with dark undertones and twists so shocking, Lindsay Lohan could be one month sober from her usual crack fiend habits and the power of the message would still be ultimately missing. So when Madoka Magica was renewed for a sequel film, they ultimately took the exact same impact and made it even better. For those of you who have already seen the original (and you HAVE to see it first), you might be wondering, “how does it get any better?” Remember when Madoka transcended into the heavens and became a holy power? Think of this as God’s believer trying to make direct contact.
However, I think the real impact of the film doesn’t happen until much, MUCH later. You’re watching for an hour and thirty minutes and you probably haven’t reached it yet. Ten minutes later, you’re probably…. almost there, and I’m specifying what happens near the end. When you hear from other MAL users about how the ending was a serious shock, nobody knew how to take it, “ending of Oreimo”, all that stuff, that’s all true. But if you still have a vague idea of what they’re talking about, then imagine it this way: life gives you a cookie, then kicks you in the third leg just to take it back (if you don’t have one, forget the reference!). Only difference is, if life does it, you’re rolling on the floor, writhing in pain. The ending to this third movie turns you into Niagara Falls for a while.
The story is just splendid.
Art: Aniplex can screw up just about anything on this list in the eyes of some, but if there’s something a pissed-off fanboy or a nine-year-old shounen rage kid cannot base his bad rating on, it’s the animation. Looks clean, characters move in a crisp and fluid motion, and the Nightmares that appear, while they don’t retain the same animation style as the rest of the characters/scenes, it blends in, oddly enough. If they did those sequences wrong, it would pop out very noticeably, especially given the two conflicting animation styles. Fortunately, there’s a sense of depth, and instead of that bolstered look where a character looks as if they “happen” to appear in the scene, the character looks like they’re actually there (and there is a HUGE difference between the two definitions).
Sound: I’m a fan of ClariS.
…..yeah, moving on…..
Character: I didn’t quite understand Homura’s actions the first time I watched the movie, but after a good runthrough over the exact section I was skeptical about, I had to use my own judgment and speak for myself, “it’s logical, it makes sense.” This is the exact same place in the movie where everyone spreads rumors about Gen Urobuchi “ripping out your hearts and sending you into a black oblivion of nothingness and despair and I’m gonna go kill myself and-” you get the idea. You’ll just have to watch this part for yourself and make your own decision about Homura’s actions (that’s a small spoiler, I think, but I know it’s not enough to spoil the entire thing).
I don’t like forgettable characters. Not the forgettable ones in the sense that we see them once throughout the whole movie and they dick off for the rest of the time to do as they please because we don’t need them. I don’t like forgettable MAIN characters, and while Sayaka was one of the main cast of the original series (and still is), I feel like she was neglected most of the time, and never really got the spotlight even after Kyouko came in, who ended up stealing it (as far as Character Favorites on MAL tells me). With the amount of screen time Sayaka got in the original series, I was impartial about her death. It never struck me as particularly noteworthy. That changes with the third movie. Her role is more defined, we do get to see more of her, and this “more of her” that we see isn’t just a way to give Sayaka fans something to squeal about. This is her own persona, her own contribution, and what I would call redemption from her lack of presence in the first movie. I’m more delighted by the idea that Urobuchi doesn’t neglect to use his characters when he needs them.
Enjoyment: If you can classify “enjoyment” as sitting at home and drowning in my own puddle of tears while watching, then yes, I did enjoy it.
Madoka Magica is one of those shows that never initially grabbed my attention, but then again, it doesn’t take very much to draw me in at the same time. All it needs? Good storyline, good execution, and I can cope with the rest. But while a select number of shows can do a combination of both and I would still point out a flaw or two, and while some will gradually lose my initial attention, Madoka Magica is, for me, a very, VERY difficult show to dislike or change the rating of, or keep my eyes off for that matter. I wasn’t swayed by the hype, I’ve listened to all the criticism, and at the end of the day, this series still stands as one of the best series I’ve seen, if not the absolute best. Even with the ending as controversial as it is, there’s no way I can bring myself to dislike this series. I thought it wasn’t a proper ending, as diehard of a fan as I could be, but I was satisfied having seen it.
And while I have a tendency to associate myself with shoujo and rom-com shows, I’ll have to admit eventually that I loved the action sequences just as equally as the idle explanation scenes. You know, those ones where they just sit around and talk to each other? Yeah, I don’t know why I like those scenes. Maybe I’m just weird.
Overall: I think everyone who previously didn’t know I like watching anime and everyone who does know has heard this from me at least twice within the past two days: WATCH THIS MOVIE. If I keep this up, I probably won’t have a social life. Whatever the case, I don’t think I’ve been this hyped over an anime show, nor have I had such a strong desire to watch it again.
Maybe I’m being biased because this is my favorite show, and maybe I’m missing something here and I failed to pick it up, and while this third movie may probably be one of those shows that will still get bogged down on hype alone, there’s no reason for any of that. It’s brilliant, it’s well-thought-out, and it really doesn’t need any of its hype to prove its worth.
The final chapter in the highly acclaimed Madoka trilogy/show has come to a close, and studio Shaft has closed this book right (if not heart wrenching). The story is all tied to Homura after the events of the first two films. We follow her as the story travels down a road most fans never saw coming, but since this is the final chapter there is an end to this road. A very fitting end. I won’t go into detail because of spoiler reasons, but some fans might feel crossed (Homura’s actions during the final moments of the film). Thematically speaking this series has always been about the balance of hope and despair. How the influx of these two emotions create the balance of the world. I feel that once you see the film (and are done crying in a puddle of tears), if you think about what the show has been leading up to, then there is no other way this could have ended. Also there is some excellent fan pandering in the film. Several fights, and scenes were crafted for your viewing pleasure and entertainment. Which this being the final film I really appreciated (mainly in the beginning of the movie). Very minor complaints are near the beginning of the film tho. Lets just say it is a little jarring (for a good reason of course), and takes a little while to get going. Once it gets moving however it never stops, which is a good thing given the run time of the film. Overall an excellently crafted narrative, and conclusion to the series. Filled with tid bits, and nods to the fans of the series. What more could you ask for from a final chapter? For me at least, nothing.
I’ve always been a fan of the style of animation in the Madoka franchise. The artistic nature of the backgrounds, and the world I have always found incredibly appealing. Here is no different. The world is beautifully rendered, and full of little details brimming with color and imagination. The Character designs are top notch as well. Fans will be happy to know there is also new transformation scenes, which look fantastic as well. The fights in this hold a cinematic quality to it that I just don’t see in Anime all that often. They were fluid and fast, which added to the spectacle of what was going on. If the Madoka animation hasn’t shined you on in the past then I don’t think this one will do anything different. For fans on the other hand, they will be happy.
The rule of thumb, besides pure enjoyment, that I use for judging an OST is if it amplifies the tone of the film. All to fitting is what I can say. The music moves with the scenes, and allows the audience to feel connected to it that much more. The voice acting as well is top notch. Saito, Chiwa delivers a fantastic performance as Homura, which is a good thing considering this is her show. Everyone else was great across the board, but her specifically was a stand out.
Everyone is back this time around including some new additions. Of course the spot light is on Homura in this film, and this journey for her has been a rough one. It truly is heart breaking. Now like I said earlier some fans will be split on Homura’s actions in the latter half of this film. So it is up to you to decide on how you feel at the end, but for me it was tragic in a good way. I’ve rarely ever felt more understanding, and sympathetic for a character. This is the fruition of her development, and it is damn good. Concerning the rest of the cast, none of them were really side lined, except for the new addition, Nagisa. Nagisa is the new “magical girl” in the film, and she is underused. Which I am actually fine with considering I came to see the characters I have grown to love, but then I just think back to why she was there to start with (fan service probably). Anyways it was great to see everyone for one last show, and minus the addition of Nagisa, they brought their all.
This film broke my heart in all the right ways, and I will take good story telling over happy any day. Filled with moments that made me want to cheer, and sink into a pit of sadness; this final film was what I needed in my life.
Like all good books one has to reach the last page sometime, and this closing chapter delivers. As a fan I would recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed the original series/films (because they are necessary for this one). If Madoka was never your thing then this won’t win you over. Fantastic characters, story, art, and sound, nothing more to really say except one hell of a good film, and I can’t wait to watch it again. As always thanks for reading.
3: Zoku Owarimonogatari
Japanese: 続 終物語
MAL Score: 8.48
Graduation day is finally here, marking the end of Koyomi Araragi’s eccentric high school life full of peculiar relationships with otherworldly beings.
However, Araragi is unexpectedly absorbed into his own bathroom mirror and trapped inside a bizarre world where everything he knows is completely reversed—the haughty Karen Araragi is shorter than usual, poker-faced Yotsugi Ononoki is brimming with emotion, and cute ghost girl Mayoi Hachikuji is a grown woman! But not everything is as it seems.
Zoku Owarimonogatari details the story of Araragi’s endeavors in this new world as he struggles to return to his home and understand the nature of this bizarre dimension.
Note: Watched this in Japanese cinemas. Japanese is not my native language and the monogatari series is quite complex to say the least. Therefore I might not have understood everything to the fullest extent. Luckily the BD release is just around the corner! Anyhow, this is still one of the best parts of the monogatari series in my opinion though.
So how you do you make a sequel to the end? Well, Nishio Ishin managed to it again! In my opinion, Zoku Owarimonogatari was not really needed to wrap up the main story. However, it is a neat little extra storyline for those who wanted to know what happened with Araragi after his graduation.
As I hinted at before, this story is about Araragi. Even though the main story line is practically finished, Araragi’s mind and thoughts has not reached the conclusion he wants. Araragi is kind of stuck in one place, he just finished high school but has yet to start college nor got any job, he became a nobody despite all the adventures he has experienced so far. Suddenly, a little bathroom mirror incident quite literally turns his reality backwards or “inverts” it if you’d like. The story is just as bizarre as one would expect from Ishin-sensei by now. All I will say is that as for someone who has been in the same shoes as Araragi regarding regrets in life and anxiety for the future, I can really appreciate this story. I really hope you will as well!
I won’t say more story-wise for those who are really looking forward to watch this, but I really want to talk a little about how Shaft’s anime adaptation of the novel is so splendid. Apart from the excellent story and the great characters we have come to love from the monogatari series (albeit a bit different this time), I really must talk about the animation and the effects in this movie. The animation and effects happen to be one of the best parts of this film, since they are in a sense so well adapted from the novel (Which makes no sense because novels do not have animation and effects). But hear me out! For those who has read the novel know the setting of this story, and the way shaft uses reflections to enhance the visuals and make the setting more trustworthy really blew my mind because it is something, I have never personally seen myself before in an anime. The amount of detail shaft has put into the “inverted/mirrored” reality, environment and characters really makes you further respect the love and effort Shaft has put into the monogatari series. I can’t wait to inspect the environment when I watch the film again.
The only thing that I think could have been slightly better is the background music, it is a slight step-down from earlier entries. It is worth to note that the music is still very good, but I expected much more depth from something like monogatari.
Overall, I really love this film, it is definitely one of the best monogatari entries but it’s kind of sad that the main story has come to an end. The monogatari series will remain one of the best series I have ever watched, and I am glad it has gone on for this long. Now, we just have to wait and see which monogatari novel is the next to get an anime adaptation.
¡ᴉɹɐʇɐƃouoɯᴉɹɐʍO-nʞoZ ʎoɾuǝ ǝsɐǝld
PS: Sodachi is great freaking waifu material in this one.
Every good thing must come to an end, or at least that’s how the saying goes. Not that it’s too good to continue on forever, but because it should end while it’s still doing well. If not, however, it is doomed to milk its already-explored ideas until it drenches all the quality from its previous work. Thus is the fate of the once beloved Monogatari series.
Promise of the Premise:
Zoku Owarimonogatari, captures the events that took place after the Second Season of Owarimonogatari, and before the epilogue to the series, Hanamonogatari. We are, yet again, tossed into another strange story that begins with a seemingly unfortunate series of supernatural events; Arraragi Koyomi, who is dealing with an identity crisis upon graduating high school, and is now having problems with moving on with his life, somehow finds himself trapped inside what he refers to as “the mirror world.” In this inside-out version of reality, he encounters all the people important to him, who are now fundamentally changed. We soon learn that the nature of the characters in “the mirror world” is to serve as the polar opposites of the ones in the “our” reality; they reflect all the characteristics that the characters in our reality tried to shut in.
For the most part of the show, we are left to explore the mirrored reality through Araragi’s lenses, as he spends most of the runtime interacting with altered characters as he tries to figure out the nature of the world he is stuck in. He quickly realizes that not only are the characters changed, but their very position in the world is off. And as the story moves on, there seems to be a bigger mystery hiding behind the scenes.
The setting seems to offer a lot of insight, both regarding the characters and regarding the story of the franchise looking from the grand scheme of things, now that the franchise has reached its conclusion in the previous entry. However, the show does none of that.
Toll of Redundancy:
The main problem of every milked continuation is its inability to cohesively add new ideas without contradicting itself in the process. Zoku Owarimonogatari, however, dodges this problem by having no new ideas whatsoever.
To observe the characters from the inside-out perspective would generally be a great move, and a useful tool when it comes to character development. The problem is, however, that every information about the characters that this introspection gained us was something we already knew and were aware of. Throughout the franchise we followed the characters as they all went through a similar path of development: they were introduced along with their demonic apparition, representing their negative sides and the parts of themselves they want to reject and deny, and then we see them as they overcome their flaws, or simply accept them and move along. Having that transformation inverted inside-out is nothing more but going back to the stage of development the characters were in when they were first introduced. Nothing new was gained in the process.
So to cover-up for such lack of progression, the show goes for a solution that I like to refer to as “madlibs storytelling.” Instead of actually providing progress in character dynamics, the characters are given a bunch of random traits that are supposed to fit in with the setting, but add nothing of substance aside from gimmick. And instead of using that to explore characters on any deeper level, now that we are given the opportunity to see the mutual interactions of their inverted personas, we are provided with nothing but a charade of randomized Monogatari characters, self-referencing series’ previous works. It’s filled to the brim with beating-‘round-the-bush philosophy, horribly timed comedy and general lack of direction.
What we are left with is a thin idea that tries to present itself as a gigantic one by hopelessly connecting to everything that the series previously built. A story that pays more attention to browsing its own catalogue of characters than it does trying to write or develop itself.
Through-out the runtime of 6 episodes, or a 2-hour long movie depending on which version you’ve seen, Zoku Owarimonogatari has constant trouble keeping up the pace, and balancing out it’s weak story and its unspeakable urge to fill in with as many redundant characters that were most likely put into the story for a mere self-reference. However, the worst part about this redundancy, as I said, is the fact that after those 6 episodes (or one movie) we are at the exact same place as we were before watching the show. Not only is all the information provided one we already know, but all the progress done in the mean time turns out to be inconsequential, if there ever was one. Zoku Owarimonogatari feels more like an alternative spin-off of a sort, with value of an average Christmas special: it serves no purpose except for you to indulge yourself in the known universe once again. And the worst part about it is that it doesn’t use said universe as a platform for exploring ideas, but rather as a playground for already-explored ones.
I won’t dive too deep into the spoiler section on this one, even though I don’t think this is an entry that deserves to be watched. However, I have to mention that the “explanation” of the story-wise elements might be the most disappointing thing that the franchise ever did. It all boils down to “everything that pointed to a bigger story underneath was a cover-up by a mastermind X,” which itself isn’t too far from the madlibs storytelling I mentioned before. The problem with this Aizen-like ass-pull is that it not only makes a fool out of you, the audience, for trying to figure out the answers, but it also makes all the build-up up until this point just a bunch of cool tension-building ideas that were put for the sake of it. The show forcefully asks of you to follow its plot, and then punishes you for doing so.
It doesn’t happen very often that a continuation shows no understanding of its predecessors aside from the surface-level analysis. Zoku Owarimonogatari is not only failing to understand the main motif of the series, “people save themselves. No one could ever save anyone else,” but it straight-up contradicts it. What was once a self-centered story about overcoming your own flaws and accepting yourself, is now a one-man Messiah story. And this severe contradiction is not only subtly implied throughout the show, but is presented as the very conclusion, slapped across our screens through an overly-sentimental closing montage.
There seems to be an ongoing misconception where people think adding another ending to the ending is what makes the conclusion stronger. However, not only is that not the case, but doing so actually takes value away from the ending. After all, if the ending isn’t complete, it’s not an ending at all. If a character needs five “moving on” stages to actually move on, it makes all the previous 4 stages completely redundant and stripped off of value. This matter is discussed in the final sequence of the show, where Araragi states that he is always unsure whether he should step onto the road with his left or right foot, and is advised by Senjougahara to instead carelessly jump ahead instead of thinking about the next move. Not only a very flawed idea with barely any thematic weight, but also a hilariously cheesy, out-of-place symbol. A fitting conclusion for the messy, incoherent story that this apparition of a show rightfully deserved.
Nothing much to say here, as the audio and visual style remained the same as the rest of the franchise, which is ironically enough, the only coherent part about it. However, I do have a few complaints.
While the animation quality sure is great, the visual narrative was oddly off. Framing is rather more concerned about looking goofy and looking somewhat visually appealing than it does trying to actually say something, which is not common for a Monogatari show. What bothered me the most about it is the downright awkward use of certain visual tools, such as using the frame dividers to capture character’s breasts in the main plan of the shot. It is vaguely pointed out that the shot may be constructed like that for a reason, since that would exactly be the thing that would occupy Araragi’s attention, but it’s still a very dull way of using it.
The audio was hardly even noticeable, and featured no iconic tracks of the franchise, not even the character themes which would be the most fitting considering the direction of the story.
Zoku Owarimonogatari is a painful exercise in redundancy, that serves as a great example of “stop while you’re still worth something.” It tries its hardest to keep the series alive by cramping as much memory of it as possible, but with little to no idea what is to be done with them.
From a long-loving fan, a somber goodbye to the franchise.
2: Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen
English: Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu
MAL Score: 8.60
No longer truly human, Koyomi Araragi decides to retrieve Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade’s severed body parts that were stolen by three powerful vampire hunters. Awaiting him are Dramaturgie, a vampire hunter who is a vampire himself; Episode, a half-vampire with the ability to transform into mist; and Guillotinecutter, a human priest who is the most dangerous of them all.
Unbeknownst to Araragi, each minute he spends trying to retrieve Kiss-shot’s limbs makes him less of a human and more of a vampire. Will he be able to keep his wish of becoming human once again by the end of his battles?
Shaft continues to adapt the best Monogatari story extremely well. I’m giving it a perfect ten out of ten, but it does have a problem: the way it was presented. Kizu should never have been split into three parts. It just doesn’t work, for reasons I’ll discuss below. But that’s Aniplex’s problem, not Kizu’s. So I don’t count that against this movie.
The animation continues to be amazing. There’s no single moment as glorious as the “Araragi on fire” scene from the first movie, but a great many scenes look very neat. Additionally, the voice acting and soundtrack continue to be on-point – which is no surprise. These VAs have proven themselves countless times over the course of this series. I shouldn’t even have to tell you this.
The direction is noticeably good, especially in the comedy department. The comedic timing, the visual metaphors, the sound effects, and so on enhance the humor of each scene. Additionally, the fights are very well-choreographed. It’s easy to tell where each character is at any given time (unless you’re not supposed to), and the developments in each fight are believable.
The story here is geared heavily toward developing Araragi as a character and showing how special he and Kissshot are compared to other vampires. The “intensity as a human” theme in particular receives very heavy focus, with the story developments constantly encouraging the viewer to evaluate Araragi’s “intensity as a human,” in both a literal and figurative sense. Dramaturgy, Episode, and Guillotinecutter exist mainly as devices to illustrate how strong the iron-blooded, hot-blooded, and cold-blooded vampire really is – this is made clear immediately with the reasoning under which the Dramaturgy fight ends. As Araragi grows more accustomed to using his vampire powers, we learn more and more how strong Kissshot was, which leads us to think about how she got into her current predicament and what values she holds. Of course, the main focus of the character development is on Araragi and Hanekawa, and they get it in spades. I really shouldn’t even have to talk about this.
Additionally, Kissshot gains the body of a teenager in this movie, so Shaft is now allowed to sexualize her. We get a nude shot, we get some thigh shots, and we even get some butt shots. Strangely, though, this is actually overshadowed by the Araragi fan service. The guy’s a hunk! No wonder Hanekawa got so flustered when he took off his shirt.
Nekketsu gives us the action scenes that were promised in the first movie and provides nice set-up for the third movie, where the careful character development we’ve seen in our vampires will reach its climax. However, this begs the question: why did this have to be split into three movies? Other people have said this before, but Kizu is a very textbook three-act story. And a movie needs to have more than one act in it to be interesting – with only one act per movie, the tone is more or less the same throughout each one, until the next movie comes out and it changes. The Kizu movies are more suited to the binge-watcher than the theatergoer: it’s much better to see all three in one sitting, with maybe short intermissions between each act.
In short, here’s what I’m saying: watch this movie, but not yet. Wait until Reiketsu is in theaters near you. Watch Tekketsu, then watch this, and then go to the theater and watch Reiketsu. It’s best to have the entire story fresh in your mind as you watch each one. And if Reiketsu doesn’t come to theaters near you… well, at least watch this one right after Tekketsu, since it’ll probably be hard to wait for the Reiketsu BDs.
But enough about the price. Let’s talk about whether Kizumonogatari actually lived up to its promise this time with its second installment. In case you’ve forgotten, the first part of this serial movie release had Shinobu get turned into a little girl for reasons that I can’t be assed to explain the biology of, and Araragi must use his newly acquired vampire powers to defeat a group of supernatural individuals “shonen tournament”-style in order to get the body parts our Heart-Angel-Blade needs to swallow in order to go from “you masturbate to her and you’ll get arrested” to “you masturbate to her and you’ll get humiliated”. Thanks to his newly acquired vampire body, Araragi is basically a non-shining version of a Twilight vampire with his toned body and fighting skills, along with the usual regenerative powers, so of course the movie will exploit the shit out of it with over-the-top fight scenes, Araragi bleeding like a geyser in order to showcase how dangerous his opponents are, and making fangirls squee harder than when Sora in Kingdom Hearts II sung “Under the Sea”. This is what all those years of production were for, fanboys. Pure fanservice that I seem to recall Madhouse accomplishing with a far less time-consuming schedule back when attaching their name to an anime actually meant something.
Hanekawa also shows up for no reason other than fanservice. No seriously, that’s it. Her cat powers don’t seem to exist as of yet and she contributes nothing to the plot but overlong “comedic” banter without the humor and giving Araragi a motive to fight harder, because apparently his loli-fetish for a vampire who doesn’t wear underwear is not the best choice for drawing out his true inner strength. She also has this weird habit of just teleporting to where Araragi is at the most plot-convenient moment, just in time to get her guts ripped out or to discover that the only teenage boy that seems to exist in this world is going to be young and hot forever. And because nobody seems to exist in the Monogatari universe but the main characters, it’s really distracting how much this movie doesn’t bother to clarify why she’d be wandering around these battle arenas in the first place, especially given how these fight scenes always take place in the middle of the night. Is her favorite grocery store in the area? Is her internal clock set in Western Hemisphere time? What?
I’m having a really hard time describing the plot to this thing because it’s not really up to much. There’s not really more to the movie than Araragi fighting vampires (and a vampire hunter), getting closer to Hanekawa, and that cliched “you risk becoming a monster with these powers” narrative with no original ideas whatsoever. Exactly how am I supposed to write a few paragraphs about your story when that’s all you’re giving me? Describe the fight scenes? I guess I could say that I liked how Araragi won some of them due to tactical planning rather than Dragonball Z-logic, although the overblown emotional nature of the second and third fights was pretty silly, and the comedic nature in the beginning of the first fight was fucking dumb. And because the camera is constantly swinging, it’s hard to appreciate any existing choreography that might have snuck in amidst all the power level clashes, although to be fair, I recall the camera being more calm during those scenes than the talking ones.
As for the animation style, what do you want me to say? Nothing has changed from the last Kizumonogatari or any of the other ten Monogatari iterations aside from a little more blood and a little less fire. Nekketsu-hen does increase the amount of humor, so of course that means an increase in the amount of annoying sound effects and stupid reaction faces that would only be funny to twelve year olds who think it’s appropriate to make fun of a woman’s vagina whilst calling attention to the fact that you’re making fun of it as a free pass. Every time Hanekawa banters with Araragi regarding his perverted tendencies and the amazing appeal of the panty she may or may not be wearing, I wanted to reach into the screen and beat both of them up with each other’s faces for wasting about half the movie’s runtime on something that in any sane universe would be considered “filler”, but in the Nisio Isin universe is considered “solid gold”.
Please explain to me the appeal of two characters purposefully making bad jokes and calling attention to the fact that said jokes are bad for long stretches of something that’s only an hour long. If I was watching Danganronpa, said jokes would be accompanied by someone getting murdered or going through a villainous breakdown in order to keep the energy going. Monogatari though seems to have that stupid mindset that characterization for its own sake is engaging, and self-aware humor where you just do something stupid and point out that said thing is stupid was funny when Mike Myers did it. And that’s what’s always annoyed me about this series’ usage of irony: it doesn’t go far enough or attach that irony to something with momentum. Every time characters converse, the plot basically grinds to a halt in order for the actors to banter with each other like a deleted scene that somehow made it into the final cut. Also, someone please tell me the appeal of sexual harassment as humor. What the fuck is the punchline of those sorts of jokes anyways?
Finally, there are the new characters, who I honestly don’t remember a thing about because they have no characterization other than being antagonistic and not above playing dirty to get what they want. Honestly, I can’t even remember what they look like or what their names are. They don’t have any good chemistry with Araragi, making them very pointless villains that makes Doc Ock’s relationship with Spiderman look like something from DC comics, and they’re never mentioned again after they’re defeated, so Araragi might as well have been fighting moving gargoyle statues. It occurs to me that if you had cut out Hanekawa’s very existence from this movie and given all that screen time to Araragi and his vampire opponents bantering it up instead, at least it would have given the action more meaning, even if risks falling into that other DBZ trademark of drawn-out anime action by doing so. But then again, Nisio Isin just doesn’t seem to like the concept of male-on-male conversations. Why else would Oshino leave the story right the first series?
All in all, Nekketsu-hen just gets a big meh from me. I don’t care for the animation because it’s the same Shaft-style it’s always been except of higher technical quality, but lacking in strong visual metaphors deserving of said quality, and full of so many quick cuts, annoying reaction faces, and title cards that I’m surprised I came out of the theater without a seizure. The story actually goes somewhere in this part so it’s not as torturously boring as last time, but anyone who thinks that Araragi sacrificing his humanity to protect those he loves is an engaging tale obviously does not watch monster movies. Not to mention, since this is a prequel, we know he and everyone else are going to make it out okay, so there’s no real tension to anything that happens to the established cast unless you were curious regarding whether Hanekawa actually got through the whole ordeal with her virginity intact.
At the end of the day, I just don’t understand why this prequel needed to exist. All it does is show us stuff that we already knew happened, except being shown to us visually. And there’s nothing being conveyed to us through these visuals that’s new and refreshing unless you count another stupid usage of the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey new and refreshing. It’s basically what’s inevitably going to happen with that new Star Wars movie focused on the spies who stole the Death Star plans, and if there’s anything worse than getting compared to the prequel trilogy, it’s getting compared to Disney’s brand of mediocre nostalgia cash-ins.
Kizumonogatari really goes out of its way to look and feel different, doing so in a fashion so gratuitous yet overwhelmingly desirable that I can’t help but want more. Starting with the setting itself, Nekketsu follows up on Part 1 with its continued use of a 3D rendered setting. Normally you might expect the combination of 2D and 3D to not work out well, with either the characters or the environment feeling out of totally out of place. In this however, it’s an awe-inspiring mixture of extravagant animation and the skillful mimicking of live-action cinematography. Kizumonogatari makes use of this combination in ways that you wouldn’t expect to actually look good, utilizing tilts and pans which you might assume would make the 2D character models appear even more flat, and instead creates shots that are much more compelling and intense.
The attention to detail in the 3D setting is most likely the greatest contributor to actually making the computer generated images “work” (although the quick and precise camera work has a large part to play as well). Specifically, the lighting, shadowing, and reflections all have a major role to play in making the world of the film look ideal, and in a lot of ways, real. Light and shadow are critical in creating believably 3-Dimensional objects, but to create a truly realistic setting you mustn’t neglect the many reflective surfaces of everyday life. Kizumonogatari doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the details, and it exhibits a complete and utter mastery that surpasses any and all reasonable expectations. All that, paired with grandiose architecture and scenery that the monogatari series is known for, this film manages jaw-dropping scenes of an impressive variety ranging from the fabulously intense to the astonishingly serene.
Moving on to a focus on the characters, as well as a focus on the camera’s focus of the characters, it’s utterly delightful how much expression is delivered through the close-ups of this film. Though predominantly Araragi and Hanekawa, almost all of the characters make complete use of their close-up time in conveying emotions. Their facial expressions exemplify so much of what they’re feeling at any given moment; it’s remarkable just how excruciatingly painful things look when just given the facial expressions of Araragi, or how imposingly malevolent Episode seems to be in the heat of battle. And outside of the fights, feelings of reluctant embarrassment and cheeky skepticism come off just as strong.
Another signature of the monogatari series, the editing of this film is just as sharp, agile, and wildly hilarious as you’d expect it to be. On a personal note, one of the things I love most about the series is how it’s able to inject comedy into any situation, going much farther than you’d think is possible without overstepping the boundary of where it becomes hokey and depreciative. Kizumonogatari amplifies this even further, making some gags hit especially hard with jump cuts and non-diegetic imagery. The whimsical and avant-garde nature of the film makes it so much more than just a viewing experience. It’s as if the movie itself is playing with its audience and going the extra mile to make sure we’re all having a fun time.
But as wonderful as it was, this film was not perfect. I mean, I’ll give it a 10 anyway because I’m a biased SHAFT fanboy and numbers are pretty meaningless to me anyway, but I do have a few gripes that somewhat relate to the consistencies between the novel and the movie. I normally don’t like comparing a movie to the books they’re based off of, because adaptations are not inherently meant to precisely embody its source material, and making judgements based on how it didn’t live up to the base that exists in a different storytelling medium is usually pretty unjust. That all being said, I thought the villains in the film lacked a lot of dialogue and consequentially a lot of character. In the book, they’re given plenty of lines, and Episode’s even given a catch phrase. However, in the film’s interpretation, they’re just obstacles to be overcome. Having villains with depth is obviously preferable in most instances, at least for me, because that essentially raises the stakes. Understanding motivations for the hero is one thing, but being able to see the point of view of the antagonist, and being able to relate to them on some level, can be much more thought-provoking.
Other than the villains not being compelling characters however, I’d say this film was an absolutely marvelous experience. Kizumonogatari: Nekketsu knows how to experiment and perfect almost every single aspect of itself, presenting its unique mastery of visual design, cunning cinematography, and brilliantly whimsical editing, to far exceed our necessary requirements of captivation. And I haven’t even addressed the musical score, which is full of fantastic jazz renditions that really add to the whole “film noir” motif that the movie also has going for it. While it does suck that film was arbitrarily cut into three parts, it’s still incredibly satisfying to witness an hour of this extraordinary piece of art.
1: Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
MAL Score: 8.81
After helping revive the legendary vampire Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade, Koyomi Araragi has become a vampire himself and her servant. Kiss-shot is certain she can turn him back into a human, but only once regaining her full power.
Araragi has hunted down the three vampire hunters that defeated Kiss-shot and retrieved her limbs to return her to full strength. However, now that Araragi has almost accomplished what he’s been fighting for this whole time, he has to consider if this is what he really wants. Once he revives this powerful immortal vampire, there is no telling what she might do, and there would be no way of stopping her.
But there is more to the story that Araragi doesn’t understand. If a newborn vampire like him could defeat the hunters, how did they overpower Kiss-shot? Can he trust her to turn him back to a human? And how is that even possible in the first place?
Araragi is at his limit but he must come to a decision, and it may not be possible to resolve this situation without doing something he’ll regret…
As perfect as they were, I almost regret giving the other two movies tens, for now I have no numerical way of showing that this one is far superior to even them. Spoilers for those movies, obviously.
Anyone who’s seen the main Monogatari series can tell you that the difference between pre-Kizu Araragi and post-Kizu Araragi is like night and day. The question, though, is this: what happened in Kizu to change him so dramatically? There were two catalysts: Hanekawa and Kissshot. In Nekketsu, we saw him learn the joy of true friendship when Hanekawa obstinately stuck by him where any sane human wouldn’t have. In Reiketsu, we see the effect Kissshot had on him. This relied on buildup from the previous two movies – through them, the viewer and Araragi had to come to like Kissshot. But this is a review for Reiketsu, so I’ll quickly move on to why that’s important here and now. You know how Kizu has been devoid of the signature Araragi narration that pervades the main series? It comes back after a certain scene in this movie. My belief is that it’s intended as a delineator between pre- and post-Kizu Araragi. “This scene is where the transition was complete.” I don’t want to go into further detail because I don’t want to force my interpretation on you, but the takeaway from this paragraph is this: Araragi’s character arc in Kizu is very cleverly done, making use of both female leads, who themselves have character arcs.
Readers of the book know that there’s a very long talk scene in this movie (after the one I was just alluding to), meaning that Shaft has to pull out all their Monogatari tricks to keep the viewer’s eyes open. And they do it well. The tone shifts at a moment’s notice, with the OST and the animation style as its indicators, keeping it from becoming monotonous. The comedic timing was brilliant, enhancing jokes to be even more funny. The symbolism is cheesy and heavy-handed – to comedic effect. It was clear that Shaft knew they were being ridiculous with the symbolism in this scene.
This has nothing to do with Shaft, but the juxtaposition of the two talk scenes (both of which I talked about, believe it or not) really is brilliant. It’s like a modified Hero’s Journey template that has two Audience with the Father sections. It raises the stakes for the Ultimate Boon section.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about that, shall we? The fight scene in this movie was a lot longer and more action-packed than I remember it being in the novel. Frankly, it was amazing. Several parts of it were somehow silly and badass at the same time. The best part, though, was that we knew our characters. They were both unique, well-developed, and interesting. Think about – REALLY think about the climactic showdowns you’ve seen and name one that fits all three of those criteria. Ain’t easy, is it?
But as any reader of the novel knows, the real climax of this story is the very, very end. Remember that legendary narration from the last few paragraphs of the novel? They kept it. Every last word. A huge number of factors make it so that the end of the fight scene isn’t also the end of the movie’s tension. Your socks will be blown off.
After writing so much about this movie, it made me realize why I consider it so much better than the first two, though they were perfect too: out of the three Kizu installments, this is the one that feels most like a standalone movie. Its tone shifts multiple times, its pacing is extremely varied, and it feels like it has a proper climax. What was Tekketsu’s climax? “Pleasure doin’ business with you.” It was hard to say that that movie was anything more than set-up (albeit very good set-up) for the next two. What was Nekketsu’s climax? “I’m not a human anymore.” The story was quite obviously nowhere near any satisfying endpoint, and we had two character arcs very openly unresolved. It was, again, hard to argue that it had merit as a standalone movie. These problems were borne of Aniplex’s decision to cut Kizu into three, which is why they didn’t affect my scores for the movies themselves, but it’s worth noting why Reiketsu is so much better than Tekketsu and Nekketsu.
Now that I’ve talked at you for five friggin’ hours, I’d like to end my review with this. Out of all the anime movies I’ve seen here in Japan so far (Kimi no Na wa, KnK, Nekketsu, Planetarian, Kagerou Daze, AC…), this is the only one where I’ve walked out of the theater and thought to myself, “I want to see this again, right now.”
Oh, and there’s no post-credits scene. Sorry! No “Owari S2 soon” or “Musubi in stores now” or anything.
Kizumonogatari takes a cinematic approach on the well-established TV series the Monogatari series. This is truly a prequel that can only be appreciated when watching all of the series up towards Owarimonogatari. If you want Kizumonogatari in the chronological order you are watching anime wrong and the entire intention of the series is ruined. The foreshadowing is lost and you lose the bigger picture SHAFT tried to create for Nisio’s work.
But before going through Kizu 1 and 2 we are here on this page for Kizu 3. Kizu 3 was truly a wounded story. A story that doesn’t end happy nor does it end conclusive. It’s a prequel to the giant franchise therefore whatever happens at the end is only just the beginning. The story begins right where we left off. Arararararagi has collected the arms for Kiss Shot and is now going to see her full form. After some talks with Meme, we finally see her beautiful, bodacious, succulent body in all of her motherly, milf, glory. Truly a work of art. Fastword and we get to see the conflict arise. Ararararararararagi begins to realize that Kiss Shot in her full form is a danger to the human race. Internal conflict starts to brew within our young naive main character. Most of the middle part of the movie is focused on Hanekawa and Ararararararararararagi getting prepared to fight Kiss Shot. Of course, this wouldn’t be the Gatari series without fanservice. And with some big ole’ titties, it’s obvious that Hanekawa will motivate him with her body. So to summarize, the first half is Kiss Shot and Arararagi, Second half is Hanekawa. Now the final part is strictly a fight between the two. This fight goes on for a while but you never truly get bored. There are 10 different art styles and animation styles in this 1 fight that you never get bored. As I stated early, you will have so much fun with this. To be exact, this might be the best fight scene in all of the anime. Scratch that, might is underselling it. It is the best fight scene. Bless you, father Oishi, the series director of Bake and storyboard for Kizu. And we end with a great moment. But it’s not a happy one. Everyone is equally miserable. But that’s what true happiness is. Wait for that like communism. I digress. Ararararagi ends up not killing Kiss Shot and having her live her life feeding of him to live. Arararagi doesn’t turn back into a human. And they will spend their lives worried about someone hunting them.
So where do the first 2 movies play in this? The first movie serves as a way to introduce us back into the world. However, in a new world, Oishi constructed. The world where things are more avant grade. The world where internal monolog isn’t needed. Exposition is replaced with visual storytelling. The second movie serves as the meat of the story. Showing us the best fights and the most interesting plot points. This movie serves as the concluding narrative to branch into the sequels. Sincerely, this is the best installment in the Gatari series. But to understand the lore more one must have watched everything that aired. I have to say, this is one of the best movies I have watched in my life. Thank you, Shaft, thank you, Oishi. God bless Japan.
BUT WAIT THERES MORE. The ecchi scenes are amazing in this movie and so is the fight scenes. Hanekawa and Kiss Shot titties are a 10/10 alone.
Kizumonogatari is back and at last we get the last piece of the puzzle, This time part three otherwise known as “Reiketsu-hen” or “Cold Blood”. The final chapters animated, just how well did it do?.
Story 10 / 10
We start the film at a brief conversation between the characters of Oshino Meme and Araragi Koyomi talking how it is unreal how Koyomi managed to overwhelm the hunters that were after his life and his master, Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade.
The film progresses as we see a rampant return of the eloquence of visuals, symbolism and long chats that have left a mark on anime by the now known “The Monogatari Series”. Reiketsu unites the presence of Monogatari by displaying thought and process of our main character Araragi Koyomi and the familiar Monologues as we se how Araragi opens up his conscious and spills it right before all of us all and notice how he has changed. Reiketsu shows us how is it that Araragi came to be as characters and show the transition to us all by splitting up the process.
As on Tekketsu, Kizumonogatari is Visceral as it appealed to human instinct of its rawness but also included a conversation oriented presentation that carried the first act.
Nekketsu focused more on youth, The youth of our characters reminding us just how over their heads the main protagonist are, being Hanekawa Tsubasa and Araragi Koyomi. It imposed the rampant sexuality and the ego of our characters and it brought forth action to the table that greatly differs from the first act, Tekketsu.
Reiketsu in the other hand combined all of that, and brought us the current formula of Monogatari as the last piece of the puzzle is unlocked and we get those ever so necessary inner monologues showing us the how! of how can someone who lives on being spontaneous and show us the results that it carry. It also shows us the result of forbidden knowledge, as the more you know, the less safer the world becomes.
Reiketsu at large, It can be called the very beginning of the franchise of The Monogatari formula, it can also be the start of series itself but buried in all that, Reiketsu was the conclusion and acceptance to the end of ordinary lives that will from now on live knowing of the supernatural.
Art 10 / 10
Shaft really outdid themselves with this final arc, and brought us more fluidity we ever dreamt off to the screen surpassing the preceding films in the direction of visuals and their rawness, the combination of 3D CGI with 2D artistry of the highest caliber showcased on a eccentric but fully working presentation that the trilogy is. as well as honoring the culture of animation now that it has become a well define characteristic of the new culture of japan, that marvelously attracts new blood to japan enticed for the ever newer pile of contribution to society with impact on international scale.
Sound 10 / 10
The sound direction was astounding, as it was the voice actors on their A game. followed by well composed OSTs and keeping the old school horror feel you’d normally feel from Alfred Hitchcock, as many reference and use of direction clearly referenced the style and with new twist to the presentation of the film.
Character 10 / 10
Our characters, Oshino Meme, Araragi Koyomi, Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade and Finally Tsubasa Hanekawa were connected on highly unusual ways that your standard presentation, As their interaction feels timelined of progress aided by well directed visuals and ever accurate sound directions.
Our characters are weaved on the thread of ignorance, youth and experience. weaving them differently but ultimately presenting us in split acts the coming together of a series and the buiding blocks of a character we’ve enjoyed for years on the Monogatari franchise.
I’ve waited for this for a long time, due to work I sadly missed this film while on theaters because of work. Know this though, any anger I held and all regret that plagued me as I patiently waited for clearly was worth every second now that I’ve witnessed the final film.
If you’re a monogatari fan, I highly recommend it and if you’re not give it a shot, For it is very possible you’d be one of us and enjoy of the international harmony and fandom that surrounds The Monogatari Series
However as much as I loved the movies, If I was director I would have added and removed a couple of things. In comparison I liked the structure of Tekketsu. The Alfred Hitchcock direction references and the music with cold moments with well executed music.
For example, instead of the dancing monks when Araragi returns from the convinience store to Kiss-Shot, I would reuse the animation just prior, where Kiss Shot in all her forms are running about in the garden of flowers, I would reuse that but change the background into a landscape of corpses and/or entrails. Adding some blood to the faces of the multiple kiss shots creating a better visual of Araragi Koyomi world view, the alternative would be to use the style of Onimonogatari painting like style but of old Europe showing vampires with human skulls since it’s a European folklore, Given the use of French I’m guessing Kiss-Shot is probably of French relativity . If used the first scenario with the landscapes I would put a stare similar to hanekawa just like how she looked right after passing out in front of ararsgi after being ripped open by episode’s cross and place it in the multiple kiss-shots.
I would add the same effect to Guillotine Cutter severed head, and remove the CGI because that’s the only section where it doesn’t really play well the CGI environment and 2D people is awesome but making Guillotine Cutter that way really steals from the punch araragi is supposed to feel.
I would have also added on the beginning a little flashback in black on white, same style as tekketsu, when Oshino Meme first came In contact with Kiss Shot the legendary vampire and her power as a little background when Meme tells araragi when he took Kiss-Shots heart.
Maybe that’s just me, Absolute masterpiece of a trilogy nevertheless.
Overall Grade: 10
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
2. Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen
3. Zoku Owarimonogatari
4. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari
5. Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen
6. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 2: Eien no Monogatari
7. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 1: Hajimari no Monogatari
8. Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World – Byouki no Kuni – For You
9. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica: Concept Movie
10. Mahou Sensei Negima! Movie: Anime Final
11. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari – Magica Quartet x Nisioisin
12. Uchiage Hanabi, Shita kara Miru ka Yoko kara Miru ka