Anime Movie Review: Puella Magi Maodka Magica: Rebellion (2013)
Director: Yukihiro Miyamoto
Studio: Aniplex USA, Manga in the UK
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Runtime: 116 minutes
Available on DVD and Blu-Ray, buy on RightStufAnime, Amazon UK, not legally streaming anywhere
Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion is actually the third movie in the Madoka Magica movie trilogy that Studio Shaft made which were two movies that recapped the TV anime series. It’s also the sequel to the TV anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Homura Akemi transfers to Mitakihara Middle School and meets fellow magical girls, Madoka Kaname, Sayaka Miki and Kyoko Sakura. Together with magical girl veteran Mami Tomoe, they battle the Nightmares that plague the city, but Homura senses something is wrong and she wants to find out what it is.
This Story Is So Interesting!
What makes Puella Magi Madoka Magica stand out from other magical girl anime is that it made the deconstruction of the genre mainstream, so the movie did a lot to subvert expectations.
It starts off like a typical magical girl movie, but then slowly reveals what’s really going on and there are a lot of twists and turns, and especially the big plot twist near the end of the film.
I do find the film is interesting because it has so many crazy twists and turns.
The ending is very bittersweet, especially if you liked the ending of the anime. Still, I’m hoping there will be more Puella Magi Madoka Magica to come since they left it wide open for a sequel.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion English Dub Trailer:
The Animation is Stunning:
The animation by Studio Shaft is stunning. It has its own style that is hard to describe because it’s so different. It’s one of those things you have to see for yourself.
The art and design of the movie are very different from a lot of other anime because it’s so trippy and weird, but it’s something you’ll get used to after awhile.
The highlight of this film is the fight scenes and they are stunning. There’s the Homura VS. Mami fight that fans had been expecting in the series and Studio Shaft really delivered on it.
There are other fights that are just a great but there’s also all the crazy scenery and ridicules things that happen. So many over-the-top events happen in this movie that they could only really be done to the ridiculously trippy degree because of the animation.
It’s very hard for me to describe the movie without going into massive spoilers, but I’ll tell you, you’re in for a visual treat when you watch this film.
Audio And Subtitles:
Both Languages Are Spectacular Dubs:
Now I’ve already gushed about both the English and Japanese dubs in my review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011) and you can read that for a detailed description of what I think of the voice actors.
I do love how much the English dub improved, it’s not that the English cast was bad or anything, but they gave an even better performance than in the anime.
Christina Vee had to carry a lot of this film because it’s centered around her character, Homura Akemi, and she did a fantastic job. She didn’t have to hold back and be stoic this time because we know Homura already. She was able to show more emotions as Homura compared to the anime and she was great.
The one who improved a lot since the anime aired is Christine Marie Cabanos as Madoka Kaname. She really settled into the role and gave an excellent performance and she was fantastic in this role.
Xanthe Huynh is fantastic as Bebe/Nagisa Momoe. I didn’t realize it was her because I haven’t heard her in a lot of roles besides Haru Okumura in Persona 5. She was great in this movie even though her role wasn’t as big as the other characters.
The original Japanese cast is fantastic too and I really enjoyed watching it in Japanese the first time I saw the movie a long time ago, even if the fansub I watched was a really bad translation. The official subtitle translations are definitely better than what I watched so if you prefer Japanese over English watch the original language track on Netflix with the English subtitles turned on.
Puellla Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion Soundtrack:
The Soundtrack Is Beautiful:
Yuki Kajiura did a fantastic job with the soundtrack. The soundtrack is a marvelous work of art. Every song sounds wonderful and fantastic. The music is amazing.
My favorite track is “Absolute Configuration” when Homura and Mami fight each other, this track is just incredible!
The opening song is "Colorful (カラフル)" by ClariS. It’s a really wonderful opening song.
The ending song is "Kimi no Gin no Niwa" (君の銀の庭; Your Silver Garden) by Kalafina. Kalifina also performs the insert song, "misterioso".
Overall, it’s an amazing soundtrack that is amazing on its own but compliments the film perfectly and it has some of my favorite music from the Madoka franchise in it.
The Mystery Can Be Confusing:
A lot of things happen in this film that doesn’t always make sense. You have to pay close attention to what’s happening to unravel the mystery. While some people may like that about the movie, there are some people who will dislike it for being confusing.
Will you watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion?
The Plot Twist Can Feel Unnecessary:
The huge plot twist near the end of the movie that I won’t spoil can feel like it came out of nowhere and that it nullifies the ending of the anime series. Originally, Gen Orubuchi didn’t want to do a plot twist and he was going to give the movie a happy ending, but the anime series director Akiyuki Shinbo asked him to write the plot twist.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is very popular franchises in Japan so I suspect they wanted to leave it open-ended so they could make more anime in the future.
I understand how some fans feel it ruined the ending of the anime by basically undoing a lot of it, but I found it to be a very interesting plot twist. Some fans also feel like the movie was a cash grab because the anime is popular. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any new announcements for more Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime so the ending of the film so far is the ending we currently have.
I Love This Movie!
I love Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion. It was so much fun to watch! I enjoyed the twists and turns throughout the film, the highs and lows and the shocking plot twist at the end!
It’s not a perfect film, the ending will determine whether you love or hate the movie. It is also an interesting film because of how it affects how you feel about the ending of the anime.
It’s a movie that I enjoyed a lot as a fan of the anime series but not everyone will like it.
What Doesn't Work:
Excllent story, world-building and characters
The plot can be confusing
Great dub in English and Japanese
The ending is controversial
Some fans feel the movie is a cash grab
Final Grade: A+:
I love this film and it’s one of my favorite anime movies. I enjoyed the visuals, the acting, the soundtrack and the story. It was an incredible experience and I really hope that there will be more one day but the creators of the franchise haven’t announced any new properties for it.
Now is Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion worth buying for your anime collection? Yes, it is, but is it worth paying for Aniplex USA’s price of $39.99 or importing from the UK. It is cheaper to buy it from the UK but you have to already have a region free blu-ray player to get your money’s worth out of it.
The blu-ray is at a decent price in the U.S. It depends on how much you want to spend on an anime movie. It’s worth waiting until Black Friday if you want the Region A blu-ray because it will actually be on sale. Even with shipping, the UK is cheaper overall, but you can’t let people borrow it unless they have a region free blu-ray or DVD player, depending on what format you buy.
This is a great anime and worth having in your anime collection but it’s up to you on if you’re willing to import the DVD or blu-ray or not, the movie is affordable in the U.S. for most fans, unlike the anime which costs over #100 on blu-ray in the U.S.
It’s well worth your time and money to pick it up, especially if you wait for a sale during Black Friday. But you should definitely stream it on Netflix as it’s the only streaming service that has the movie in both English and Japanese.
It’s definitely worth your time and money and it’s one of my favorite anime movies.
You can read my fascinating analysis comparing Homura to Darth Vader: The Postive Influence of the Star Wars Prequels: Madoka Magica if you want to, it will spoil the ending of the movie so watch the movie before you do!
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