Just What Happened at the End of Madoka Magica Movie 3: Rebellion (2013)?

Madoka Magica Rebellion

As the credits rolled of the Australia REEL anime screening of Madoka Magica: The Rebellion a hefty cry expels from the audience “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!”. Judging by the giggles that followed this comment matched every person’s thoughts on the movie. Anime that sparks discussion and essays about symbolic indications like the works of director Kunihiko Ikuhara (Revolutionary Girl Utena), Serial Experiments Lain (1998) and the Neon Genesis Evangelion film The End of Evangelion (1997) are rare. The Rebellion may be another popular title to add to the list. Only a few anime blogs, discussion boards and reviews detail theories and explanation about the last twenty minutes of the film. The majority of discussion revolves around whether people liked the movie or not. We can agree that it is enjoyable and beautiful, except for the questionable ending and deliberately happy-go-lucky, cutesy beginning. This article aims to explore the most plausible theories as to the franchise’s ending and speculate for what to come.

This post is nothing but spoilers. If you have not seen the film, read at your own risk.

Madoka Magica: The Rebellion takes place after the events of the television series. The world now functions with Madoka, in the form of an omnipresent deity, saving Magical Girls from their fate of turning into witches. If that’s the case, why is Madoka is a magical girl existing in the real world? Homura notices other continuinity problems like the Witch that ripped Mami’s head off is BFFs with Mami, Kyoko and Sakuya are living together, Sakaya has the ability to turn into her Witch form at will and control it, and her friends are missing crucial memories at to their origin story. Thanks to Homura’s impeccable problem solving and deduction skills, Homura realizes she is in the middle of a labyrinth, which again, shouldn’t be possible given the new laws that run this universe.

That’s when The Incubator abandons his typical-cute-small-animal “Kyuu…” act and blurts out a comprehensive, mind-boggling rant about his evil plot. As very heavilyi implied at the end of episode twelve of the series, Kyubey explains he is trying to revert the universe back to the state where Witches exist, to maximize the power his race can harness for themselves. Yep, he’s a bastard. Our beloved Homura turns into a witch thanks to this mischievous experiment and her inability to cope with reality. With mixed feelings the Puella Magi Holy Quintet defeat Homura. As expected Angel-like, God, Law of the Universe Madoka bursts from the sky to invite Homura to “disappear” and join her. Homura is overwhelmed with relief and joy to be face to face with her best friend once more. Homura’s knocking on Heaven’s door is where the film starts to get weirder, which doesn’t seem possible considering what has already occurred.

Evil strikes again.
Evil strikes again.

Writer Gen Urobuchi stated in the planning stages of Rebellion his idea was to end the film with Homura being taken away with Madoka to the Heavens. “I thought the story would end this time for real!” he laughs. However, the producer and director insisted the story should continue, leaving Urobuchi with little choice. “I really feel that Madoka doesn’t just belong to me anymore” Urobuchi says. It was the director who suggested the upcoming twist.

The big twist of Rebellion is Homura’s decision to fight against Madoka’s wishes. Homura is sick of hardship, heartbreak and wants her sacrifices for Madoka to be recognized. Grasping Madoka’s arms, Homura responds with a smile and an evil cackle. Much like the psychedelic sequence at the end of Puella Magi Madoka Magica episode twelve, Homura steals part of Madoka’s power and uses it to re-write a universe she likes better. Homura rebels against her gorgeous Madoka and create a world held up by an obsessive love with possessive intentions. She decides she’d rather live in a world where Madoka is human and shares a life with her at the risk of peace of Magical Girls, than die alone. This concept it is opposite to Madoka’s ideals. “I guess you would call me someone like that a demon” Homura grimaces.

“You’re changing the laws of the Universe!” Kyubey cries in horror “But why? Don’t you like it the way things are… the way Madoka made it?”

“Don’t worry. I haven’t changed much about the Universe. The only difference is everyone will forget the lives they lead before, even Madoka” Homura explains, deadpan. “[…] But you brought the malediction here to a boil. We still need you in existence. I’ll allow you to collaborate with me, Incubator!”

Homura says her Soul Gem was not stained with despair, but love. This is what sets her apart from being a Witch or a Magical Girl. At first glance this development makes sense. Madoka is an angel. Homura is a demon. It appears to be the duality concept. Sadly, this comparison is rendered inaccurate by Homura’s choice to erase Madoka’s memory of whom she was before. If Madoka no longer remembers who she is, she wouldn’t be able to remember the wish she granted in episode twelve of the television series:

“I wish to erase all Witches before they’re even born, from the Universe, from the past and future with my own hands”

If Madoka fails to remember this she would have no concept of the peaceful universe she created governed by the Law of Cycles. Therefore, as long as she doesn’t remember she is no different to the Madoka we know from episode one of the television series.If this new Universe is one where Madoka no longer behaves as an angel to the Magical Girls, it would be a very different Universe indeed. Homura must have pulled Kyubey’s leg when she said “I’m not changing it that much”. Yeah, right. A forum poster from Crunchyroll pointed out that Homura, intentionally or not, is repeating history. She has in some capacity recreated the world from the start of the Rebellion film, which is ironic because she hated the ‘fake world’. Perhaps Homura finally accepted that world when Kyubey mentioned the alternative?

The most unsettling aspect of the film is questioning the true intentions of Homura, given she is one of the most popular characters in the series. If Madoka is Homura’s best friend, what would motivate Homura to go so far? Is she evil? There are clues deliberately placed throughout the film. Director Akiyuki Shimbo stated in an interview that:

“What [Homura] says in the field of flowers is what she’s really feeling at the time. That scene may seem overly sentimental at first glance, but if you think of everything Homura does afterward, her feelings will come across more easily.”

…Which gives the scene added meaning beyond a bonding moment for the two girls. A writer at TV Tropes points out Madoka possibly misinterpreted Homura’s explanation of “far away” literally, in the sense of moving house. This is not incorrect. One could argue Homura forgot that Madoka told her she was omnipresent, and “always with you, whether I seem to be or not”. Homura could still feel alone despite convincing herself Madoka is there in spirit. She was in a world where no one else remembered Madoka except her, after all! In Homura’s words: “I began to doubt you existed at all, that I had imagined it.”. Doubting one’s experiences and thoughts is a recipe for isolation, confusion and everything unpleasant. Perceiving someone “who isn’t there” in this society could be the equivalent of Homura having a confronting or poorly understood mental illness like schizophrenia. Of course, as complicated human beings it could be a combination of all the above. It is often brought to Homura’s attention that she often wants to change things and cannot accept flaws.

Madoka: “That is right, Homura. […] I don’t want to part with any of you. Even if that is something I must do, I would not have the courage to go through when the time comes”

Homura: “Are these your true feelings then? Then I was a fool to have misunderstood it. I should not have approved. I should have used every possible mean to stop you back then […] I know you are kind to everyone and not afraid of making choices. When you feel that there is something that only you can do, you would not hesitate even if it means hurting yourself”

Demon Homura does not seem ill-willed or “evil”, but merely more selfish than Madoka. In the Madoka Magica PSP Game Homulily, Homura’s Witch form, is described as the witch of “shigan”, a Buddhist concept which means “mortal world”. Japan is a very spiritual country which focuses most on Shintoism and Buddism. This is a suitable and possibly very deliberate name which also links back into the Rebellion film. The writer of the Rebellion Story/Spoiler Wiki draws a comparison between Homura and the Buddhist deity Mara. Mara is a demon who represents un-enlightenment, impulsiveness and desire. He originally tried to seduce Buddha with his daughters. This is a more suitable definition for the Homura demon. She created the world almost on impulse out of a want to control Madoka’s destiny. This sense of control is what Homura has tried to own throughout the series with her wish in episode ten:

“I want to re-do my meeting with Madoka, but instead of her protecting me, I want to become strong enough to protect her”.

She may not have had as much time as Madoka to consider the wording of her wish and the possible consequences, which is why things may have turned out as they did. This is confirmed by the Clara Dolls whom yell “Gott ist tot!” in a labyrinth sequence of the film. This means “God is dead” in German . Although it shouldn’t be taken literally because Madoka’s God state is lying dormant and not necessaraily dead. The duality idea in Rebellion could be better compared to an energy imbalance in Eastern or Traditional Chinese Medicine theology: there is too much of the dark (yin), and not enough of the light (yang).

The end of the film is the most difficult to comprehend. It is challenging to decide how this new Universe functions in terms of the Magical Girls and Wraiths because it is not been explicitly stated. It has left many viewers unsure of what to think about Homura or the film in general. Was Homura’s choice for better or worse? Is the world almost the same as Madoka’s, like Homura’s claims it is, or was it a farce to save face? Since Madoka’s wish was to destroy the existence of Witches in all areas of time one could assume this still applies. Perhaps this world still runs on the Law of Cycles, Madoka may not be the one that instigates it. Witches may just disappear from the world without Madoka taking the Greif Seeds, or Homura might have taken up this role instead. If this is the way Homura’s Universe functions it may not be such a sad place to live in. The unexpected pro to this universe is Homura’s intention to keep an eye on the Incubators and make sure they never cause problems for Madoka, or anyone else, again. It is a smart move as even in Madoka’s universe the Incubator’s caused lots of problems. If the Universe ran on Madoka’s rules, with Homura keeping the Incubator’s in check and able to share a life with Madoka, the only con would be Homura and Madoka having to start their friendship all over again.

Fanart of God Madoka and Demon Homura
Fanart of God Madoka and Demon Homura

Once the intriguing, colourful re-writing sequence is over we meet Sayaka walking to school with her fellow school mates among the beautiful, fluttering cherry blossom petals. The only thing out-of-place in this harmonious picture is Homura sitting at a café table with a grim look on her face and red ribbons in her hair. Her change of heart as a demon is in full throttle here as there is no longer a sad or indifferent disposition about her. Sayaka spots Homura under the umbrella and approaches her. It is clear from her discussion with Homura that she still remembers aspects of her life before, although this does not last for long. Sayaka is angry and wants answers. She is so much like the viewer’s voice that it is sad to see her memory fade away.

Sayaka: “Do you have any idea what you’ve done? […] You took away parts of the Law of Cycle! A magical girl’s hope, the power of salvation is…”

Homura: “What I snatched away was merely a fragment. I’ve simply established that Madoka is back to the girl, the person she was before”.

This confirms some of what is discussed in previous paragraphs. Besides the obvious red ribbon signifying the devil, it is interesting to note that cherry blossoms have multiple different meanings, both cultural and symbolic. Ohnuki-Tierney writes in her book “Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms and Nationalisms” that the cherry blossom is simultaneously a symbol of the circle of life (life, death and rebirth) and power. It could be a reminder to the audience of new beginnings, or that the cycle of life, perhaps even the Law of Cycles, will continue (I certainly hope so).

Next we return to the scene Homura has experienced too many times, except the roles are reversed. Homura is introduced to a new transfer student at school: Madoka. Madoka has been living in America for the past three years due to her parents work. Almost like the complete opposite of episode one, Madoka and Homura introduce themselves and go for a walk down a corridor as Homura shows Madoka around the school. In slow motion, Homura turns around and asks “How does it feel coming back to your hometown?” Madoka is confused by this, but for a different reason than before. She vaguely remembers “Somehow this all feels really familiar. But something feels different, y’know? A little weird […] If I were to say anything has changed, I would say it’s my own memories…”. Madoka’s hair starts to blow in an imaginary wind and her eyes turn gold. Homura spins around, shocked, and hugs Madoka. Bringing the series full circle she asks “Kaname Madoka, do you think this world is precious? Even above your own desires do you feel a need to honor it?”. This is almost Homura asking if Madoka would make the wish she did before, or return to being a God if she could. Madoka responds with “…I do think it’s precious, but I think that thinking we can tear it apart is selfishly wrong”. Homura tells Madoka they will probably fight one day, and Madoka will not remember her past for very long.

Is this a happy enough ending for Homura?
Is this a happy enough ending for Homura?

After three minutes of rolling credits and many “How can they end it like that?” comments, another scene appears. It’s night. Homura sees an Incubator. Homura dances and stands over the edge of a cliff while a terrified, ruffled Kyubey is battered up on the ground. The gigantic moon overhead is only displaying one half, perhaps signifying duality. Has Madoka come to her senses? Has Kyubey managed to make Madoka remember who she is? If this is the case, how could Homura have missed it? Without any dialogue or explanation, Homura either falls or jumps off the edge of the cliff. There is speculation of whether she tried to commit suicide or her intentions are elsewhere. Maybe she intends to enter battle with someone? It is possible that she has injured or exhausted Kyubey to such an extent that she has proven herself to be more powerful than he. It is possible that Homura is simply travelling from area to area. Here she could have jumped off a cliff to travel to her next destination. Far too soon, “the end” flashes across the screen in multiple different languages as if to remind the viewers “Yep, this really is the end, folks”. There is no preview after the end credits.

Does the Madoka franchise deserve to end here? There is much demand for a sequel, if only to answer the questions this one left dangling out in the open. Are we supposed to suffer, speculate and debate for the next decade like End of Evangelion, or is Gen Urobuchi going to take the high road and give the series a ‘proper’ ending? There is a high chance the director Akiyuki Shimbo will push for another sequel, given he pushed for the films to be made after the television series was so successful. He states, “If we can continue [the Madoka franchise], we definitely want to”. It is interesting to note that Urobuchi had not planned a sequel but did so due to unwavering support from the staff. He shares the opposite viewpoint. He would rather viewers imagine their own conclusion in form of fan fiction or theorizing.

It doesn’t take much thinking to picture what would happen in a sequel. In all probability it would include Madoka rising up and confronting Homura. Even if it starts as a want to negotiate it may escalate into a fight depending on how irrationally emotional the characters become. No doubt this would be one of the most visually spectacular fights, as Homura and Madoka have never seen fighting during the television series. One can only hope if this occurs they can overcome their differences, possibly become a couple or compromise to create a Universe that acknowledges both wills: a true duality. They could create a world far more potent than one created alone. Hopefully it won’t end depressing like this one. I would like to think after all this pain and suffering the characters can get a happy ending. Only time will tell if our theories are confirmed or rejected, whether it’s in an interview or a sequel.

What did you think of the ending? Do you have a different theory? For further reading the Madoka Spoiler/Story page is a great resource which analyses further Rebellion‘s imagery and song lyrics. The full translated version of the staff interviews can be found on Feral-Pheonix’s livejournal.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Female University student. 24 years old. I have been writing about anime since I was 15 and it looked far worse than this.
Edited by Justin Wu, Misagh.

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100 Comments

  1. Ora Mckinney
    13

    As crazy as it sounds, this ending actually reminds me somewhat of the ending of The Dark Knight. Batman doing everything for Gotham’s sake much like how Homura pretty much acts selflessly for Madoka’s sake while taking the blame by turning herself in and becoming the devil herself. Stripping away Madokami’s power not just for Madoka’s sake, but to also prevent the Incubators from achieving their goal by taking drastic measures like she said before. And now, re-writing the universe once again while everyone would turn against Homura eventually. Yes, she may have been selfish for the desire of Madoka, but not after the hell she has been through especially repeating the 100+ time-loop and fail many times all for Madoka’s sake. And if Homura didn’t act immediately, then the Incubators surely would have achieved their goals much like how the Joker would have achieved his goal by exposing Harvey Dent’s true color and watching the criminals loose while Gotham burns… See where I’m getting at?

    Homura’s the hero Mitakihara deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we’ll hunt her, because she can take it. Because she’s not our hero. She’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. The Dark Knight.

    • Jordan

      Very interesting comparison. I’m not a huge Batman fan but it makes sense

      • Alexandre Martins
        3

        Actually, I believe Homura is acting solely on misguided self-interest. Madoka does not WANT to be “rescued”, because she does not see her position as Godoka as any real kind of sacrifice, or rather, because she puts the wellbeing of others (everyone else, as she’s saving the world world from witches and especially all mahou shoujou from becoming witches) above her own (more like Spock than Batman for me here, “the needs of the many…”). And she’s not unhappy: she has all her friends with her beyond death, except for Homura, whom she was about to take there when our Devil pulled a fasty on her. Homura, on the other hand, does not care about anyone else except Madoka, not really. Her love for Madoka is the obsessive kind, which thinks “I know what is best for HER, because I love her”. That’s one of the worst and most destructive kinds of love there is.
        Anyway, I hope (and believe) they make another movie to put things to right. I have nothing against a happy ending, provided it’s an intelligent one.

    • Lelouch
      3

      Also similar to my plans to make the world hate me so that when i dissapear, everything will be at peace!

  2. DustinHudson
    1

    Don’t you dare make this the final thing. After watching this movie all I’ve desired is a new season based on the events after the movie. If you dare try to make two more seasons and make me wait a whole season for the events. I will come after all that you love.:D

    • Justin Wu

      I actually prefer it to end in such way. If they do make a new series then it’ll likely be just another ‘loop’, hence just reusing the same idea of a brand new timeline. That will only lead to a decline in terms of plot quality.

      If they intend to make anything, I really hope they’ll make a movie/anime adaptation of the manga series ‘Another Story’. It features heavily on the past story of Mami and Kyoko’s acquaintance and how they stop becoming friends later on. By far, it is the best Madoka spin-off series that I’ve read.

  3. wallace
    0

    I dislike the ending, and now when I know it is because they want to milk series more… I am going to compare this mess to mass effect 3. Movie III sucked plain and simple…

    • Oni_Link
      1

      Poor comparison. Unlike ME3, Rebellion has no new character introduced in the last minute. And Homura had her own reasons to act like she did (which makes perfect sense in terms of character development), even if that means milking the franchise.

      • I really don’t like they way Homura changed, it just doesn’t make sence for me. And they created million of unanswered questions and they probably never make a sequel (even if they do, I doubt it will be good enough because of homura current state). Therefore I would give this film 6/10

  4. Cody Mills
    4

    Homura… In the series time and time again it showed that she never cared about the world only Madoka. As she continually rewound time repeating the events of Madoka’s death over and over again she grew more obsessed with protecting and being with Madoka but in doing so each new timeline produced a more depressed Madoka until she untimely ended up being incredibly insecure and sad by comparison to the first timeline. So from that context reaching out, stealing Madoka’s power, and trapping her and the girls in an alternate realty where she can be with Madoka for eternity is completely within context of her character. She didn’t care what Madoka, or any of the girls for that matter, wanted (even though they were all clearly happy) or how her own actions would affect them. Madoka is the symbol for ultimate selflessness and love hence why she is a Goddess, Homura is the symbol for ultimate selfishness confusing her obsession for love hence why she was a demon. If you rewatch the series (or the 1st 2 movies) then rewatch the movie this conclusion and what the writers were thinking becomes fairly obvious.

    • Jordan

      I completely agree. I rewatched the series after seeing the movie and, even though this movie was made after the series was finished there is plenty of foreshadowing/hints placed early on.

  5. Actually, what if Homura split Madoka and Godoka to further protect her from the Incubators? I mean, without her god powers, she’s not as useful to Kyubey and in a universe where Homura controls everything she could protect her completely. Homura said it herself that her wish was to protect Madoka and that’s what she was doing. If she’d just gone with Madoka, Kyubey had already proven that Madoka could be captured and potentially controlled by drawing her into a cage.

    Last I checked, Mami and Kyouko were still alive and Madoka wouldn’t hesitate to go to them when their time came. So, Kyubey’s plan in mind, Homura did what was probably best as a whole for Madoka and everyone. If Kyubey had its way, witches would be born from Magical Girls again.

    So, I was initially torn until I watched it again and realised this point that I haven’t seen brought up.

    • Jordan

      This is very true, and the ending I would like to believe. As Homura says in the last episode about Madoka’s universe “There are still demons, they come in different forms”… a pretty obvious “demon” here is Kyubey.

  6. Kerry Oliver
    2

    In the movie, when Madoka came down to reunite with Homura, Homura grabbed her. The girls didn’t know what she had become or why she was doing what she was doing. Even so much, everyone was confused or mad about the ending, I was too, until I watched it the second time. Yes, she did think of herself but it was only for the good of all the girls. She particularly didn’t split Madoka away from her Goddess self even you saw it, because in the end Madoka was trying to remember who she was, Homura was only erasing memories of who she was, to save her from Kyubey’s plan so she wouldn’t repeat The Law of Cycle, To also for the 2nd time, rewrite the world and history to change Madoka’s fate, even though in the end, SHE does control rules and logic.

    • Why do you think it’s called the rule of cycle? No matter what gets involved, no matter how much you rewrite everything, it will always come back. Timelines will intertwine everywhere and it will get so out of hand then causality itself could be shattered, not just rewriten

  7. Ricardo Brewer
    3

    Easily my favourite movie of all time. Rebellion has a rough start but once it picks up the pace I was in for a ride I may never forget.

  8. Fletcher
    1

    Caught the film at a showing yesterday. Great movie, but fuck, that ending didn’t let me sleep very well….

  9. Personally, I think the best way for the series to end is for Madoka and Homura to have some sort of fight, where they’re battling about their ideals. (Though neither of them really wants to hurt the other, and it’s more of a “What the Hell, Hero?” kind of moment). And then Madoka takes Homura’s memories away and takes her to MG heaven with her. I mean, in the movie, Homura said she wished she’d never remembered the truth. And it seems that by her wanting to braid Homura’s hair, that Madoka is saying she wants Homura to go to her old self. Plus, in the manga it DID seem like Homura had forgotten things when she meets Madoka again. Honestly, I think this is the only way Homura can relax and finally go with Madoka peacefully. She’s so effing messed up now: especially since she’s suffered more than any other MG, is the only one to remember Madoka (and was beginning to think she was insane for that), and STILL had to fight on. If they do do this, though. I hope Homura’s able to remember everything eventually. It wouldn’t be fair if she didn’t get to remember all she did for Madoka. Just wait until she’s in paradise with Madoka for that to happen, though, so it won’t matter or hurt her anymore. LOL.

  10. I just watched Madoka Magica this week. I’ve read it’s just a recap of the episodes. Is it worth watching the two movies? Will I get some sort of closure from watching them or is it a waste of time? Any insight would be much appreciated.

    • Justin Wu

      the first movie is on episodes 1-8, and the 2nd one is on episode 9-12. They improve the graphics on both.

      The third movie (the one Jordan is discussing here) is an original production, with a brand new plot that continues after the anime ends.

  11. Fantastic movie. It left me conflicted, but after careful consideration and also this article helped to bring some clarity, I am amazed.

  12. Stopped reading on the spoiler note. Very excited for this and i’ll be picking this up whenever they release a home copy.

  13. Very nice study, you brought up some points I did not consider on my first viewing of the movie. This is one of the best anime movies of all time.

  14. Nilson Thomas Carroll

    I’ve never seen any of this anime, but the ending doesn’t seem too obscure. I’d be interested to read your thoughts about the End of Evangelion…now there’s an anime that many find difficult to follow.

  15. Mary-Ann
    6

    I had heard about how controversial the ending was, everyone kept telling me to watch it. I wanted to watch the film anyway since I love the series and this is a continuation. Anyway I just saw the film a few moments ago and….

    Personally I quite liked the ending of the film, I thought it was very fitting.

    After all the crap Homura has been through, after all the suffering and sacrifices she has made, I would expect anyone to snap and go insane. Though I think this does pave way to Homura becoming a very tragic hero and I definitely want to watch the continuation! XD

    If they had made this the official ending with no hint of a new film or second season, then I would have been extremely pissed. As long as there is hope for a sequel, there is hope for Homura to redeem herself and finally get some peace.

  16. This movie is a freaking masterpiece. Very sad, too.The movie scared the utter crap out of me. I loved it but Homura sends shivers up my spine.

  17. MRattay

    I know this sounds ridiculous, but I really Homura would the devil, or a demon of some kind, from what I saw in the epilogue of the anime. I really should have posted my theory before the last movie came out, but then again everything looks better in hindsight.

    It just made sense to me considering the wasteland she was left in at the end of the series. Fighting that many wraiths? That much power? She was definitely a fallen angel of some kind.

    I’m excited to see where the story goes from here, especially now that they’ve brought Sayaka back from retirement!

  18. i just got back from it today that god damn ending!!!!! i randomly shouted out after the whole movie we need a season 2 and everybody laughed

  19. Thoudan
    2

    For me the ending made a lot of sense, laws of balance and all that, Madoka’s extreme selfless act paved the way for Homura’s extreme selfish act. The law of cycles needed a law of chaos, maybe not chaos, law of discord to directly oppose it for balance to be restored and as the series has a lot of tragedy in it who better than Homura herself?

  20. I though this is the perfect way to end the Madoka Magica franchise, even it seems “too dark”. The reason is that all the problems from the very beginning (included the ‘true’ culprit) have been soleved.

    1. Homura success in changing Madoka’s fate not to turn into a Magical Girl again and risk her life.
    2. Madoka gets what she wishes (by what Homura did) that there will be no more despair and no more witch that curses people.
    3. Showing for fews secs, Kyoko and Sayaka – both of them fulfiled there happiness feeling, be able to live a life happily together.
    4. Just like (3.) but for Mami and Bebe (ex-Charlotte)
    5. Kyubey “the true culprit” is under control (by what Homura did, overrule it)

    The only creepy thing is that Homura’s universe is somewhat look like a normal world that blend with the witch labyrinth (which I feel unease to live in), a partly (or maybe completely) a “fake” world like the beginning of the movie, but without both Magical Girl, magical power, and witch. Just a “fake” world of an ordinary world like where we’re living !!

    P.S. My theory is – We may be living unawares in “Homura Akuma”‘s world 😀

  21. john quinones
    1

    My friend introduced me to this series. I was a lover of the Dragon Ball saga and I haven’t watch any anime series lately. I have to say I was blown away by this series. I was telling my friend that the cat is the representation of evil in real life. The cat is cute but his intensions are evil, in real life evil shows to you in a cute form, could be drugs, women, money etc. And all this could get you in lots of trouble or maybe death.
    Also, I like the friendship subject. I love how Madoka sacrificed herself for everybody to be happy.
    I think Homura sacrificed herself too. She decided to become evil for the happiness of everybody else. However the sad thing is that not matter which universe is created either by Madoka or Homura, Homura will never be happy. She will always remember what happened in the pass and will be always worried about Madoka.
    My question is Homura’s love for Madoka is a deep love of true friendship or is the love of a woman for another woman?

    • Jordan

      I think it is highly implied that she is in love with Madoka. I’m glad you enjoyed the series after watching DB.

      • I wanted to believe that her love was innocent and pure, as a friendship. I guess Madoka never knew about it, I think.
        I just hope they can develop their love story in the next movie where evil and good will be united by love. Thanks for the answer

    • Did you just imply women are “real life evil”?! ( ‘o’)

  22. AnimeShoujo

    Thanks for explaining, I got so lost in the end…

  23. One point no taken. Is that Homura did go on a sort of conscious witch form and any previous notions she may have held would have become distorted making her a demon that is why she did not want to be saved at that stage she placed her hopes on the other magical girls to stop her. The Homura that was recued is a sort of an unleashed id not the calculating time mistress Homura of the series.

  24. iorbiter
    0

    @Ios – Yes, excellent point.

  25. Patrick
    3

    I think the ending is fitting because it’s the full realization of Homura’s wish. She wished that she could protect Madoka and the only down side is that this is all against Madoka’s will. I definitely see the Yin and Yang allegory and the way I see it is that both are going to have to come into conflict so that balance can be restored. Also for the short scene after the ending, I think it’s more symbolic than anything else. I think it shows that Homura has figuratively gone over the edge. She is no longer in her right state of mind, she has fallen. The half illuminated half blacked out moon symbolizes that there is a balance and no matter what Homura does Madoka will remember eventually.

  26. You forgot about the obvious few scenes in the end with the sweets witch in human form. I bet they’re hinting on another main character there, but that has got me wondering. If it was the law of cycles to eradicate all witches, then why would she still be alive? Even after rewriting the universe, Homura would definitely try to erase someone she hated in her dream word, of all those a witch. Don’t you think something seems a bit off? And one more thing, the half moon represents the mouth of ultimate Kriemhild remember? The giant witch Madoka obliterated when rewriting the universe for the first time.

  27. Some thoughts/opinions:
    *) Maybe it’s rationalization, but I believe Homura really believed she was fulfilling Madoka’s true desire to be home with her family and friends again (from the conversation in the flower field).
    *) Note that Homura’s wish wasn’t just to redo her meeting with Madoka, but “…to become strong enough to protect her…”, something she never got in the original series. The wish she gave up her soul for was never actually fulfilled — until Rebellion.
    *) Madoka’s wish also forced Homura to give up on her promise to Madoka to keep her from becoming a magical girl. Retconning her back into a mundane life was the best she could do to fulfill that promise.
    *) Homura only broke off a small piece of Madokami (you see the split soon after Homura graps Madokami, and then she and Sayaka both say so explicitly) — there’s no reason to think the rest of Madokami isn’t still rescuing magic girls like always. But now Madoka also has the opportunity to live the life she had to sacrifice before.
    *) I don’t think Homura necessarily has as much control over people’s memories as people seem to think she does. The only real evidence of such control is the hand-clap that seemed to disperse Sayaka’s witch form. All of the other memory (and, in Madoka’s case, life) changes can be seen simply as a consequence of the new universe rewriting itself. Homura is responsible for instigating that rewrite, but may have no more control over specifics than Madoka did with her rewrite.

    Potential problems in the new universe:
    *) I’m pretty sure the entire universe is now a witch’s — or, rather, demon’s — labyrinth (Homura’s minions, and that floating … eye? … right before the credits). A labyrinth won’t stop Madokami from saving magical girls (it took Kyubey’s barrier to do that), but there certainly might be other problems with the entire human race (or the entire universe) living in a labyrinth.
    *) Madoka’s wish was a good self-sacrifing wish, but it only protected magical girls from themselves. Homura’s wish may allow/require her to protect all of humanity, perhaps the entire universe. If anything, the problem may be that it’s simply too much responsibility for her even with her new greatness. She’s probably going to need some help. : )

  28. First world problems eh?
    Ive decided that this movie never happened.
    /end

  29. I think the law of Madoka still exist that’s why Homura instead of turning into most powerful witch turned into most powerful being a opposition of Madoka. The new universe is actually a gigantic universe sized “witch labyrinth” (in new world witches still exist but as controlled forms of Ex-Magical Girls, but only Homura is able to make labyrinths that’s why beings that accompany witches also live there. Stating that Madoka will someday have to fight her means when Madoka will discover the truth she will face Homura. As for jumping I think it has nothing to do with plot since Homura is immortal as mew omnipotent being. (it was just to troll audience)

  30. Tachikoma
    0

    You know what’s worse than a bad movie? Apologetics for a bad movie! “Rebellion” is one of the worst continuations, I’ve ever seen in my life – and this includes such masterpieces like “Highlander II: The Quickening”, “Batman&Robin” etc. – and it’s really funy how fanboys/fangirls try to defend it. Plot holes, fanservice, out of character behaviour, pointless scenes and characters, ruination of narrative and theme of oryginal anime, milking the franchise… How is this a good thing? Yes, it’s just like “Mass Effect 3” ending, only worse – at least ME 3 really was ending, not some stupid cliffhanger.

    I especially love how people on wikipedia, try to defend nonsensical ending of “Rebellion”. You see – they say – Madoka’s omniscience was directly linked to her omnipresence, so she couldn’t see what’s going to happen inside Kubey’s isolation field! Even if this was true – and honestly, I never seen any evidence that Madoka’s omniscience was in any way connected to her omnipresence – then you still have to admit that… Homura captured Madoka OUTSIDE isolation field, that’s why Madokami could appear, whereas before, inside field, it was impossible! So, no matter how you slice it; she should still know what was going to happen in the end, she should know the outcome even before she head out to rescue Homura! And what’s even more funny: Madoka wish was to destroy all witches before they were born, she literary can’t interact with anyone else… only in the end Homura is not a witch, so Madoka shouldn’t be able to come for her! But this movie clearly is a masterpiece – even though it make no sense! 😉

    And narratively, nothing was achieved in “Rebellion”. Think about this: in the beginning of the movie we have amnesiac Madoka being trapped in Homura’s “ideal” world, and in the end we have… amnesiac Madoka being trapped in Homura’s “ideal” world! We have almost exactly this same setup, so what was the point? Only thing that really changed was the jail keeper – now it’s Homura, instead of Kubey. So, again what was the point of this movie? Don’t you think that if they really wanted to make next season, they should slowly revel the mystery behind Homura’s “ideal” world -as they did with soul gems and magical girls=witches in oryginal anime – instead of spelling the beans that Homura is a big bad?

    As for continuation… For what purpose? Just to torture the characters and kill them off all over again? been there done that.

    So, sufficient to say that I agree with this guy:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueAnime/comments/1wrc4k

    • Lulu Vi Britannia
      2

      You have some pretty good points… Still, I have to take the side of those “fanboy defensers” lol.

      . “Homura captured Madoka OUTSIDE isolation field, that’s why Madokami could appear, whereas before, inside field, it was impossible! So, no matter how you slice it; she should still know what was going to happen in the end, she should know the outcome even before she head out to rescue Homura!”

      I agree, Madoka should know what Homura would do. It all comes because of the confusion : is Madoka a god (so, an entity) or a principle? The answer is : she is a principle. She can’t act however she wants : when a Magical Girl ends ut her life, she make her vanish. That’s why she had to come to Homura, so that’s why she couldn’t prevent her to split the Law of the Cycle apart. BUT I agree there is a little inconsistance here : Madoka shouldn’t have been surprised.
      BUT (again), this inconsistance can be explained : the whole point of the story is that love is beyond everything… and god is part of everything. This is how they came to make an omniscient character surprised.
      Still, this is not a problem of the movie : it was the same in the anime. So, don’t blame Rebellion for that 😉 .

      . “Homura is not a witch, so Madoka shouldn’t be able to come for her!”
      You didn’t understand the principle of the Law of Cycle at all : Madoka doesn’t come to witches, but to Magical Girls whose Soul Gem get totally darkened. We saw it in the end of the series : Madoka appears in front of all the Magical Girls BEFORE they turn into witches. The only exception is Walpurgis Night. So, your point is false.

      .”in the beginning of the movie we have amnesiac Madoka being trapped in Homura’s “ideal” world, and in the end we have… amnesiac Madoka being trapped in Homura’s “ideal” world”

      That’s a good point. Still, it all comes to this question : is there a difference between dreams and reality? Because that’s what this is about : Homura re-wrote the whole universe in the end, that’s totally different from being trapped in a dream-like world. Plus, there is one more difference : in the Labyrinth, the Law of Cycle couldn’t act, whereas in the reality, it’s appealing Madoka. So, “what was the point?”, you asked. I would answer that in the reality, the story hasn’t reached its end yet.

      Conclusion : one of your main arguments should be against the whole anime, not the movie, and the other one is false. I would be glad to discuss with you about the other points you mentionned (for example : “plot holes”… like what?).

      Now, I shall answer your first question : “How is this a good thing?”.

      – It’s visually rich AND beautiful. Of course, you have to watch it in a pretty good quality, certainly not in streaming… Then, you will see how much detailed it is. I particularly loved the fact that the Magical Girls don’t notice how weird their world is.

      – The music is still awesome, I don’t know why you say they “ruined the original themes”. I wouldn’t say this is as good as the anime OST, but still, there are some magical stuff in this movie (my favourite is “absolute configuration”).

      – The scenario is completely consistent with the original story : the fact that the incubators want to study the Law of the Cycle is my favourite part of it, but there is also a lot more, like Sayaka’s coming back, Homura becoming the opposite of Madoka, and so on.

      – The story is not empty, this is what makes it difficult to understand.

      – Some of the dialogues are awesome : I particularly enjoyed Homura’s lines.

      – The fight beteen Homura and Tomoe is fucking good, damn it! That’s probably one of my favourite anime fights.

      In the end, maybe you didn’t understand the movie : I will suggest you to read Jordan’s commentary (because I feel like you didn’t : you implied this was just an “apology for a bad movie”, whereas it’s not at all!), and even to rewatch the movie. Perhaps you will enjoy it more!

  31. Lulu Vi Britannia
    1

    Very nice commentary! I didn’t know Gen Urobuchi didn’t want to make this movie at first : the story of Rebellion just fits perfectly with the original story, some points seemed planned forever (for instance : the fact that incubators would study the Law of the Cycle seemed completely logical!). Plus, though the ending of the original series was very good, it couldn’t end this way. Just like this movie : it was perfect to me as a sequel, but NOT as an ending. It just feels like the beginning of everything!

  32. They’ve just gotta’ make more, this movie wasn’t enough. And what they have started in this movie, they must finish. I watched the whole series recently, then realized this movie was out, and figured that would end it for me (the series isn’t exactly conclusive), but that didn’t happen. I’ve gone so deep into this show, I’m so heavily invested, and there’s really practically no conclusion, but it’s amongst the most beautiful things I’ve witnessed. The depth of this show is mindblowing.

    A sequel movie, another season, is anything on the pike? I’ll do anything for a bit more Puella. If they end it here it would be an unfortunate waste of the great story we were left with at the end of Rebellion.

    I have come to the unfortunate realization, I think with about fifteen minutes left in the movie, that probably this Puella thing is one of those recurring things that’ll pop up every once in a while and completely break my heart again. (I haven’t felt this way about a series since Inuyasha).

    I might also say that leaving Homura like Madoka did was real crappy. Homura loves Madoka and to just abandon her for ideals, was rotten. I never felt right after the original end of the series.

    The movie continues this theme and Homura takes back what Madoka stole from her. I think we can all obviously see that this should brew into the final bruhaha that we’ve all been waiting for between these two main characters.

    It’s painful knowing that I have to now watch something else. This can’t be the end.

    • Jordan

      One more movie could be useful if it doesn’t end on another cliffhanger!

      • Homura Akemi
        0

        Agreed I want them to see what happened to me!

      • Alexandre Martins
        0

        Just so! However, as in the end it’s more a matter of money than anything, and considering the success of Rebellion so far (I’m not sure about blu-ray and dvd sales, though), I think they will make another. Should end the story there, though, otherwise quality will inevitably go down the drain and the series will be swallowed by the labyrinth of the Repetitive Cliche Witch.

  33. I’m not so sure Homura’s motive was as selfish and bad as it seems on the surface. Homura found out that the incubators were trying to bring Madoka under their control and would probably do something awful to her to make it happen. Despite the fact that Madoka is a goddess, Homura seemed to believe the incubators would indeed be able to harm her. So, what if Homura did what she did to try and protect Madoka from falling into Kyubey’s clutches?

    Of course I’m not saying Homura is in the right here. And if she really is doing it to protect Madoka, she seems to have embraced her demon role full-heartedly to do so. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  34. Homura Akemi
    0

    What’s your problems stupid I’m right here it’s me Homura and no I did not die!If you thought I did then I’ll do this to u

  35. Just another Kyoko fan
    2

    I’m still confused on:
    A) Is Homura good or evil or a misunderstood villain or an anti-hero, what’s her alignment?
    B) How did Homura become a ‘demon’? I understand she tapped into Madoka’s powers but wouldn’t she be an angel too and not something demonic?
    C) How is the new world that Homura created? Will Kyoko, Sayaka and Mami be fighting witches? Is there the Law of Cycles in the new universe she created?
    D) Why can’t Madoka intervene with Kyuubey’s plans before they got into action? After all she did wish to erase all Witches before they’re even born, from the Universe, from the past and future with her own hands. So how can she allow Kyuubey to turn Homura into a witch?

    Sorry if this has already been stated somewhere, if it has, can someone please point it out to me? And if you have answers, I need to know. Thank you

    • MadokaHomura
      3

      A) I think she represents an anti-hero more so than the villain. Her motives are not bad for the sake of being evil. All she wants is to be with Madoka and to save Madoka from the cruel fate (of being turned into an entity that is only a concept. She thinks that what happened is not really what madoka wants or deserves and wants to control her destiny (and as a result Madoka herself) so that she can change it into what she thinks Madoka would want. It can also be speculated that her wish was never granted, because she was never able to “protect” Madoka from becoming a magical girl. It is hard to tell until another movie clarifies her motives. She could also be acting on what her soul gem changed her into, just like how magical girls are no longer themselves after they change into witches.

      B)Madokas wish was to erase all witches before they were born. As a result magical girls are now within her law – The Law of Cycles. However, Homura interfered with Madoka purifying her soul gem (which would prevent her from turning into a witch)by holding her down. She is enabling her gem to grow darker. However, she can’t turn into a witch because by doing so that would void madokas wish to prevent all witches from being born. So as a result of being unable to become a witch, she has to change into something else because of the darkness in her soul gem. And because she interfered with the God and the laws of the new universe, she becomes a being in opposition to the God. By doing so she “Rebels” against Madokami’s laws (she doesn’t believe that what happened was best for Madoka, and is still trying to change it). An angel often supports the wishes of the god, and Homura is not respecting Madokas wish my doing this. Also as a result of Homura holding Madoka down, The Law of Cycles still needs to do it’s job to prevent witches. So in order to protect itself, it splits away the part that is essentially madoka which is what Homura wants. I think Madoka and her powers are now split in two as a result of this.

      C)It may be a barrier that she created over the new world. She clearly has some sort of control (due to her altering Sayakas memories at the end and the fact that her familiars are everywhere). It seems similar to the old one, but she has made changes to it,Madoka being the transfer instead is an example. It is possible that the trio may encounter beings like witches, but it is unlikely that they will be witches. They may still have portions of there powers but once again it is hard to say exactly if they will continue fighting these beings simply because we don’t have another movie to explain this. Everyone in the new world seems blissfully happy and unaware due to Homura altering their memories. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is up to interpretation. I personally believe that the Law of Cycles is still in place for two reasons: 1) being that Sayaka still has her memories for a bit at the end, and 2) because it is stated by both Sayaka and Homura that Homura only took a piece of the Law of Cycles. The piece she took being Madokas memories and essentially Madoka herself. This makes it highly likely that the other half of the law of cycles is still out there doing its job (but this is up for speculation because we do not have enough information yet).

      D)This one is a little harder to answer. Madoka can see all possible futures, but her vision is restricted when in the field Kyuubey created. Madokas powers involve erasing witches, not controlling the incubators actions or the actions of any being in the universe because that would involve interfering with their free will. This is against what Madoka wants. Like stated, she has to do it with her own hands, and so Madoka has to be physically present at the time the girl is changing into a witch in order to prevent it. Kyuubey wanted to trap her by using Homura’s pre-transformation into a witch to catch Madoka in the act when the time came for her to come for Homura. The barrier he created suppresses godly powers to a point and prevents anyone inside from being affected or detected by the law of cycles (which is basically goddess madoka). Homura as a result is not detected by the law of cycles, so it is like she is not even there. However, Madoka most likely foresaw this and came up with the plan between her, sayaka, and nagisa in the movie so she could rescue Homura and do her job. So she is not allowing him to turn Homura into a witch, she is simply restricted by the barrier (Homuras witch world also alters memories of those inside it, including Madoka). She may know everything that is going to happen (in every dimension), but she can still be interfered with as stated by Kyuubey and as demonstrated by Homura once again because she can’t control free will. She may also have foreseen this future as the best outcome to safely save Homura without Homura from succumbing to despair completely. If there is another movie, it will probably touch upon these questions in more detail. The next movie will probably solve the issue of Madokas restricted god powers and Homuras new transformation.

      http://wiki.puella-magi.net <—- this is the source of all this information. It is a good place to read up about facts and speculations in the series 🙂

      • Just another Kyoko fan
        0

        Thanks alot, that was extremely helpful. Even though some part I’m still stumped. I really hope there will be a new movie or at least someone clarifying all of these though.

  36. eymaslacker
    1

    The final movie will probably be based on the breakdown of the law of cycles. Madoka herself is an important part of the entire cycle and even if the rest of ultimate madoka is still working, like a machine missing a tiny cog or a fridge having a tiny leak, it’ll still work for a time but will break down in the end.

    The movie requires 2 viewings as really the flower field scene doesn’t express the impact it has until homura does her twist at the end

  37. I felt that Homura was telling a bit of a fib as to her reasons for taking part of Madoka’s power.

    I got the feel that by the end of the film, magic girls were gone and the world had become normal. The Kyubey “beings” were left to clean up the remnants of the old world as punishment for what they did. Homura over-rode Madoka’s wish by creating a world that she could be a normal person, along with everyone else. The enemies thing, I feel, was pointing to Homura realizing that Madoka still has enough power that should she truly wish it, she could undo Homura’s efforts, hence why she asks if the “new” world should be undone. Homura simply wants Madoka to live a normal life as long as possible.

    My 2 cents anyways.

  38. If I may be so bold, I didn’t like the ending for this movie. It diminishes the importance of Madoka’s sacrifice and it makes Homura’s love for Madoka look selfish rather than something that was rooted in genuine admiration. It changes Homura’s character, and not for the better. It was mean spirited and was a huge slap in the face as someone who saw Homura’s love for Madoka as caring and genuine. I don’t know if the other movies change parts of the canon to make Homura’s fall make more sense, but I came in only having seen the 12 episode series. While Homura becoming a witch was interesting, the flip of Homura becoming a demon and dragging Madoka from “heaven” (pretty much) seemed out of character of Homura. She was a genuinely good character (in how she was written and her morale). I didn’t like it.

    • TheButteredPotato
      3

      Homura did do it for herself, but her actions were also mainly to help Madoka. By doing what Homura did, she brought Madoka “back to life” (not sure how else to express it) and gave her a chance to live again and be a normal girl. She gave her her life back and a chance to properly live it out. Of course, Homura also did what she did for her own selfish intentions such as just wanting Madoka to be back alive so that they can be back together, but the majority of what she did helped Madoka and all the magical girls, if not all of her actions. I quite liked how Homura handled things; she put the incubators in their place and just kind of said, “HOLD UP, THIS IS NOT HOW I WANT THIS TO PLAN OUT – CAN I GET A REDO?,” and then she made the world how she wanted it and it worked out to everybody’s advantage.

    • eymaslacker
      3

      You need to pay attention to the flower field conversation. That was the point where Homura thought Madoka wasn’t happy with being the law of cycles. The entire conversation was a series of crossed wires

  39. ERMERGERRRR!!>,< I CRACKED UP SO HARD AT THE PART THEY CALLED KYUBEY A BASTARD!!! *DIES*

  40. I’m wondering if the whole movie was just Homura’s dream. In the prologue at the beginning of the movie Homura says this…

    “They are the ones who pray for hope, Embrace curses, and fight forever onward.
    They are the Magical Girls.
    The price we paid to obtain our miracles was to take a destiny of battle upon our souls.
    And this destiny ended in the salvation of oblivion.
    By disappearing from this world, we could escape our fate of despair.

    Someday that final day will come.
    As we wait for the Law of Cycle to lead us away,
    We continue our unending battle.

    In this Irredeemable World, forever repeating it’s tragedies and hatred,
    I dreamt that I encountered that familiar smile once again.”

    Could this whole movie just have been Homura’s dream? And that end piece after the credits was “Her Happy Ending” that she was dreaming of?

  41. Brionna
    1

    After watching this movie the second time, I believe that they should come out with a sequel. Why? Homura recreated the universe so she can become strong enough to protect Madoka. In order to do this, she steals half of what Madoka had and uses that power to create a world that she can control herself and have no harm come to Madoka. In the end, Homura took the memeories of Madoka so she can live a normal life including Sayka’s which started to slowly fade away in the last few minutes of the movie. As said, Homura stats that she will become their enemy someday. When? Who knows. Of course what left the audience hanging is at the end of the movie where Homura spots a kyuby, does a little dance in the grass and falls off the cliff ending the movie. In that case, they should come back in the 4th movie with homura as the demon and the girls trying to regain their memories leading up to the big fight to bring homura back to the way she was.

  42. I looked up the word she said… It’s devil. Not demon. The translation has lots of mistakes.

  43. I was really confused and shocked by the ending of the movie and was wondering why they would choose to end it in such a blank way. I mean I can imagine all day of what Homura will do and if she will end up going in a all out battle royal with Madoka but I would really like to see it put to life on the screen, ya know? I mean who wouldn’t want to see if the magical girls and the life of cycles return or if Madoka will save the day again and become her god like self? Homura being portrayed as the devil and with Madoka being this savior figure it would only be logical for them to go in a head to head battle of good vs. evil. I think that to truly to this series justice they will have to make another movie and really clear up this whole plot line and give us viewers a proper description of the true nature of this story. Also fanfic’s are great and all but shouldn’t the writer of such a great manga truly write the ending? Or maybe he’s too attached to the characters to give them a ending? Who knows? I just really want this whole series to be cleared and put into a final light so I can figure out what the hell these girls are gonna end up like! PLEASE JUST MAKE ANOTHER MOVIE!!! *_*/

    • Servant to the Dark Lord
      0

      In regards to a sequel in the foreseeable future, I’ve already given up on that to save myself from despair. I believe they INTENDED for there to be a sequel, then realized they ran themselves into a corner and pulled the plug on the concept of a sequel a la Evangelion. Best case scenario is that they bring the series back to life about a decade later or when sales of their merchandise starts to drop, whichever comes first…

      On the bright side, an OVA adaptation that adapts the manga adaptations seems more likely!

      • Servant to the Dark Lord
        0

        Ignore that Evangelion comment, that was an ill-informed mistake…

  44. CebrenGirinis
    3

    I actually liked the ending. During the series I never really found Kyubey’s logic to be all that horrifying (especially the “zombie bodies” thing) because, well, it usually made sense, especially when you consider his race.

    When he describes the “isolation field” and how it’s set it up, he’s describing almost exactly how a black hole works… so they created a black hole and sat on the edge of it and monitored EVERYTHING that went in just to verify, with the intent to manipulate, the Law of Cycles. (We, as humans, do the same thing. We verify Laws of Nature and then use those to affect outcomes.)

    However, since their race essentially created that particular Law (in the form of wish granting), by attempting to create Witches they are reneging on a contract they made in exchange for a soul.

    If you consider that perhaps the “main character(s)” aren’t the humans, but the Incubators (specifically Kyubey), then the narrative changes to focus around the repercussions of breaking a Divine Contract. Homura isn’t a Demon who tortures humans; she is the divine retribution (hell) for Incubators who attempt to subvert the Law of Cycles.

    Personally, I found the sight of a completely tortured Kyubey satisfying, despite my understanding of his logic. To me it was warranted, especially from the characters’ standpoint, and left me feeling that he had actually (finally) received his comeuppance. It seems that Homura is to Kyubey what Cthulhu is to us; completely incomprehensible and mentally destructive.

    Wait… so was this just a retelling of the Cthulhu mythos with young teenage girls playing the role of Cthulhu?!

    …Actually, that sounds about right…

  45. Dupa200
    0

    I’m sorry to ask that, but can someone explain me in few words the movie?

    I’ve watched whole tv series, was very excited, read all the trivias and such but I have no time to read this one.

    I want to know if its “ending” to everything or not, and what actually happend?

  46. So many fans would have walked away with a big ol’ fat smile on their face if they just ended it with Homura going into the heavens with Madoka.

  47. Alexandre Sobreira
    0

    Ver good article. I ve just sen a trair for another Madoka movie called Attonement. I hoje well get ou answers there. I do believe that Homura is insane with suffering. The close-up to her wide staring eyes seems to bear this up. She has decided that she will have her Madoka-is-happy world even if she has to kill everyone and everything in the process, including Madomany. She has become a tragic figure. And Madoka made the wrong wish. She should have wished for the incubator race to never having existed. That would have solved all the problems that made me very happy as well. F****** incubators…

    • Alexander
      0

      I regret to inform you, that the trailer was released on april fools and used a lot of recycled clips from the earlier productions.

      Sorry if I’m shattering anyone’s dreams.

      • Alexandre Martins
        2

        No problem, I myself found it out just after I posted the comment. I’d like for another movie, but that doesn’t mean it will be good. This one was good, but it was – sequel-wise -as twisted for me as End of Evangelion or the Rebuild series. Both the TV Eva and TV Madoka endings are far more satisfying to me, even though, in the case of Madoka, I get the impression that this movie was hinted at in the series, especially with Akemi spreading her Witche’s Labyrinth behind her like a pair of giant wings in the final scene of the TV series. And now matter how sorry I feel for Akemi (she has plenty of reason to turn into an akuma), I side with Madokami because that’s better for everyone (and apparently even Madoka, as she IS with her friends in heaven as she herself says in Rebellino) – at least she doesn’t deny people’s free will like Honokuma does.

  48. Kamren Murrell
    0

    There is a fourth movie.

    Madoka Magica 4: Atonement.

    The trailer is available but not in english or subbed. It comes out 2016 09.

  49. Danielle
    0

    I’m still very confused about one thing though. At the end of the last episode, Kyuubey says that Madokami’s soul gem is gathering up all the grief of the other Mahou Shoujou’s and that it was going to end the entire universe in 10 days. Whatever happened to that? In the third movie, it seems Madokami is able to just absorb all the grief without any consequence, and that’s that. Why?

    • That’s a good question. I think it’s like this:

      Madoka kills herself before becoming a witch. Then she starts gathering the despair of other MG again. Rinse and repeat for all eternity.

      It’s supported by the 2nd film scene when Mami says that “Sayaka spent too much power” fighting a Wraith and that she was now “part of a circular logic”.

  50. mekakushimegane

    I haven’t watched it yet. But this makes me want to watch it more. Thanks
    *-*

  51. GRRRRRRR! I loved the movie, but I just DON’T FREAKING GET THE ENDING! Like, did another world get created in which Madoka forgets that she was a god and everyone else is alive and also forgets and only Homura remembers? And the reason it was created is so that Homura could live with Madoka “happily” and she could control things… right?

    Honestly, this needs a sequel. I NEED ANSWERS.

  52. ChristopherKay
    ChristopherKay
    3

    I see Homura’s betrayal as a sort of wake-up call to the fanbase and towards anime fans in general. The first five-sixths of Rebellion, we are given an idealized world, the kind of world that fans not only wanted but convinced themselves that Madoka was, ignoring all of the harsh truths it dished out. The world is not simply idealized in the fact that the first half-hour is sweet, sugary fun: everything up to Homura’s betrayal is most definitely NOT Madoka Magica. Everyone fighting together to save Homura, a constant stream of one-liners, the absurdly overblown fight between Homura and Mami that completely defied the original series’s portrayal of combat, the ridiculous ‘dark’ plot twists of the Incubators evil schemes (Incubators were never selfish creatures in the original series): all of it is the sort of world Madoka fans pretended Madoka was, the kind of world they wanted it to be. It was dark and ominous, but its underlying nature was forgiving and fun, and in the end everyone got to go to heaven and it was great. Homura’s betrayal is an expression of the creator’s dissatisfaction with this mentality and an attempt to make the audience take a deeper look at the original show and their own lives. Homura’s labyrinth almost seems like a metaphor for the labyrinth escapism can trap you in, a sugary false reality that can only eventually crumble.

    • Thats interesting, but I think its almost entirely the opposite of what you said.

      90% of the movie felt like pandering to the fans. The overblown action, the cute mascot bebe, the constant Utena visuals, the transformation sequences, the randomly biblical references, the dancing, the Incubators suddenly being evil, Hamuras heal turn, was all added for the fans.

      Lets look at something like the transformation sequences. Which really annoyed me. Madoka the series did not have giant long transformation sequences. In fact, it was popular because these magical girls did NOT act like the typical magical girls in other animes. Not having a long transformation sequence, followed by a pose. But the movie somehow forgot that… and made them into much more standard magical girls, giving them transformation sequences and poses. Its like a step backwards.

      And then theres the ending. After watching the movie, and before coming here, I was talking to my friend about it. My words were, “It felt like the movie was 5 minutes to long.” Meaning that it really felt like the movie was supposed to end, when Madoka came to take Hamura away. Then I come here and read that it was actually supposed to end there, but was extended for a ‘shocking twist’ ending.

      It makes no sense. Hamura is acting completely out of character, when she grabs Madoka and becomes the ‘devil.’ (I have to say, the whole god vs satan symbolism is really forced and annoying. I had to slap my head and say, “Oh, the Rebellion in the title literally means satans rebellion against god.” Its terrible.) Ive read comments here where people say it makes sense for her to do that, but thats not right. Its true that Madoka is Hamuras biggest concern and main focus. But she does care for the others when she is allowed to. The Hamura we mostly see from the series, is the one that has steeled herself, to do what she needed to do to save Madoka. But we do get to see glimpses of the true Hamura, the one who cares for more then just Madoka. A kind and gentle girl. When Hamura doesnt have to take on the responsibility of protecting Madoka anymore (because its now Madoka protecting everyone), she should go back to the kind and loving girl she was, before she steeled her heart. In the end, she is about to be taken to Madoka heaven, but she randomly decides to be selfish and go against Madokas wishes. Not only that, but suddenly she is acting evil too, doing the whole villain thing with an evil laugh and evil smile. All are not a part of her character. Also, when you love someone, you dont obsess over them.

      The Hamura from the series was doing her best to protect Madoka. Protect her from herself, from the witches, and from becoming a magical girl. Madokas own words were, “Go back, and stop me from making a contract. Stop me from being tricked.” Which the Hamura in the series is trying to do. At the end of the series, Madoka becomes a magical girl. However this is not the same Madoka that asked Hamura to protect her. This Madoka knows what she is doing. She knows her wish, and she knows she is not being tricked. Thus meaning that Hamura no longer needs to protect Madoka. Madoka has grown enough, that she can now be the protector.

      So when Hamura suddenly decides to turn heel, and rebel against Madoka, it makes no sense.

      To me it felt like the concept for the movie was based off, the director seeing a fan picture of Hamura with black angel wings (said picture is right in the leaflet that came with the dvd) and was like, “Hay thats a cool picture, lets make a movie about that.” Then the producers got involved was was like, “Japan likes idols, lets add a dance sequence. And magical girls are supposed to have big long transformation sequences. And people liked the weird imagery, lets add LOTS of that. And biblical stuff is cool, lets make it satan vs god. And so on. Its like they forgot, or missed the point, of what made the series so amazing.

      Anyway, although the movie was very pretty, I was ultimately dissapointed in it. I even consider it non cannon, and just fan fiction. The series is far better off, without the movie existing.

      • The story the fans need is not the story the fans want. I do think the end made sense and it was logical.

        “90% of the movie felt like pandering to the fans. The overblown action, the cute mascot bebe, the constant Utena visuals, the transformation sequences, the randomly biblical references, the dancing, the Incubators suddenly being evil, Hamuras heal turn, was all added for the fans.”

        That’s right. But if it was 100% fan pandering, it’d end with Homura being taken away by Madoka. Instead, they decided to take the risk and made that ending, which could have turned many fans away from the Madoka Magica franchise.

        “And then theres the ending. After watching the movie, and before coming here, I was talking to my friend about it. My words were, “It felt like the movie was 5 minutes to long.” Meaning that it really felt like the movie was supposed to end, when Madoka came to take Hamura away. Then I come here and read that it was actually supposed to end there, but was extended for a ‘shocking twist’ ending.”

        If it ended with Homura being taken away by Madoka, then there would be no need at all to create the movie in the first place. *That* would be ripping off the fans, since it was implied it’d’ve happened sooner or later and nothing new would happen.

        “It makes no sense. Hamura is acting completely out of character, when she grabs Madoka and becomes the ‘devil.’”

        It’s called character development. You don’t have to like it, or like the person Homura becomes, but saying that it’s out of character for her to do that is dismissing early clues. Homura was the one who threatened Madoka in the series to take “more drastic measures” if she continued to be “stupid”, among many other little things. She’s my favourite character, but yes, that’s something I can totally imagine Homura doing.

        “But we do get to see glimpses of the true Hamura, the one who cares for more then just Madoka. A kind and gentle girl. When Hamura doesnt have to take on the responsibility of protecting Madoka anymore (because its now Madoka protecting everyone), she should go back to the kind and loving girl she was, before she steeled her heart.”

        To be honest, this is the part that irks me the most about your comment. She “should” revert back to his insecure, bullied, suicidal self? Why? She is still caring – not kind, but she still cares for Madoka first and the others second.

        What you’re saying is that the writers should undo all the character development Homura went through just because. Doing that would be exactly like what Homura did to Madoka. But you say in your comment that you don’t agree with it. The Homura who turned into the devil to kidnap Madoka’s essence is as true as the kind Homura.

        Going from a loner child with soldier mentality who’s focused only on her goal, to a generic moe, clumsy girl – now that would be really weird unless there was some kind of explanation for it. And even then, it was shown that she couldn’t completely forget what she went through – that gives you an idea of how much it affected her. Trauma doesn’t go away so easily.

        I do think that she needs to learn how to trust, rely on, and communicate with others, which would help her grow into a better, happier self that is neither Moemura nor the infinity timeloop Homura nor the devil itself. 😀

        “At the end of the series, Madoka becomes a magical girl. However this is not the same Madoka that asked Hamura to protect her. This Madoka knows what she is doing. She knows her wish, and she knows she is not being tricked. Thus meaning that Hamura no longer needs to protect Madoka. Madoka has grown enough, that she can now be the protector.”

        Tell that to someone who has spent almost 100 times reliving the same month again and again and watched everyone die every time. Homura wouldn’t drop her guard so easily, and when a real threat to Madoka’s safety arises? She has proven she would do anything necessary to protect Madoka – even if she has to take “drastic measures” as she said in the anime. I don’t agree with what she’s done, but I can understand her reasoning.

        • I agree. Couldn’t it also be that Homura’s love for Madoka became more distorted, obsessive and selfish as her soul gem got darker and darker and that almost becoming a witch definitely pushed her to become what she became? Even in the first episode of the series (if I remember correctly), you can see Homura making a frustrated or perhaps even “evil” face when she’s in the school corridor with Madoka. It’s like before Sayaka turns into a witch, she is also changed from a magical girl fighting for justice to a maniac with her demonic slashing, while killing a witch.

          • That’s part of it, too.

            Kyubey’s magic does tamper with their very being, their souls, after all – to quote him, it’s no surprise that kind of thing would end badly for the girl. What’s a surprise is that all that soul tampering ends badly for the Incubators too, for once. (Not that I complain. He had it coming.)

            However, I’m guessing what triggers the witch transformation and how their minds are affected once their soul gem taints and breaks differs according to each girl’s circumstances, even if the steps to their transformation into witches are the same for all of them. The way I see it, getting a soul gem tainted only aggravates whatever issues the girl already had in the first place, but it won’t create them directly. Homura already felt worthless and lonely before making the contract.

            Then there are the things magical girls experience *after* contracting. Even if they’re powerful like Mami, they’ll still face violence and isolation in the best of cases, and it’s hard to find someone who they can truly rely on. They can endure with willpower and keeping their emotions in check – which is apparently what Mami did that made her so powerful according to the author and SHAFT, which contradicts the explanations given in the story about karmic potential and whatnot.

            Let’s not forget either they are teens. Not all of them can do what Mami did. Plus, even if they truly wished for what they wanted and they were perfectly fine with it, the way they see their sacrifices may change as they grow. That’s the perfect recipe for disaster. Homura’s just a more extreme example because she endured for so long, but that’s because she started breaking little by little long before she became the devil.

            The Rebellion movie is almost a step-by-step guide into PTSD and depression, two mental illnesses that usually go hand in hand.

            https://liquidcitrus.dreamwidth.org/1080.html (On Rebellion and PTSD).

            As for depression, the movie is riddled with suicidal symbolism, and Homura felt useless and isolated ever since the very first timeline, when she was lured by that Witch. She also seems to be emotionally dependent. That said, I’m no therapist, even though I like reading about psychology quite a lot. It’s fun guessing what may motivate a fictional character, but don’t try to diagnose real people, people.

        • She spent between 8-10 years trying to save Madoka, to be more precise.

          However, I think she’s broken past the point of redemption by the end of Rebellion. Like, whatever happened to her I think is an irreversible change. Her soul gem didn’t change back after she let Madoka go.

          She just descended too far down that path, and what happened, happened. She accepted that she can’t keep Madoka and bury her pain, but she’ll never be who she used to be. That innocent little girl died a long time ago.

          • Hmm, I agree only partially with you. I do think she’ll never be who she used to be, but I’d like to think there’s still some way for her to stop feeling so miserable and be happy. It’d be too heartbreaking otherwise.

            The worst thing that could happen to Homura is not that she and Madoka fight – is that Madoka leaves her and Homura has no means to reach her anymore. Or even better, that Homura leaves Madoka for good. If that happens, it may be a blessing in disguise. It ended disastrously after the first universe rewriting, but if Homura finally learns that placing all her happiness on Madoka will only lead to repeat the same cycle, and stops trying to control her, I can see her finally coming out of the hell she put herself through.

            That’s why I think her soul gem didn’t change back when she “let Madoka go”, as you’ve put it – she hasn’t let her go yet, she merely resigned herself to be Madoka’s enemy. It’s not the relationship she would’ve liked, but it’s a relationship nonetheless, twisted as that thinking is. It’d be difficult for her to change her mentality, but not impossible.

            Or you could be right and this is just all wishful thinking on my part, and it’s too late for Homura. In that case, I can only see two outcomes – either Madoka becomes free and leaves Homura for good, or Madoka is forced to kill her. Either way, things will get interesting in the fourth movie.

  53. what happened was alchemical NIGREDO

  54. Ok. No. They kinda have to make a new movie.

  55. I felt a big hope but then it changed into grief. Coincidence?

  56. JustPassingBy
    3

    The review, with all respects, has got it all wrong. The facts are more or less correct, but the interpretation is just not right.

    >>Homura is sick of hardship, heartbreak and wants her sacrifices for Madoka to be recognized.<>Demon Homura does not seem ill-willed or “evil”, but merely more selfish than Madoka<<

    On the contrary, Homura is NOT sick of hardship. And she DOESN'T CARE that her sacrifices for Madoka are not recognized. Well, she succumbs into a labyrinth of the ideal fake Mitakihara City which she herself had created because of fighting wraiths in the world without Madoka and which she finds it difficult to fight for, but it's not because Homura hates hardship or because she wants selfishly to have Madoka back or others to recognize her sacrifices. On the hill garden (so-called the Hill of Luminous), there is a scene that Homura realizes that it must have been painful for Madoka to leave everyone that she loved (Madoka's family and friends) that she would not dare to do that (but she did in the real original world). Having heard those words, Homura decided to grab the human part of Madoka out of the God-like being to let her enjoy her human self again- but with risk of others and even Madoka herself eventually becoming her enemies. Homura gained power by returning time and becoming ever-powerful by Kyubey's device trap and wanting to be trapped there and doomed eternally rather than inviting Madoka's rescue [which would have been used by Kyubeys to study and gain god-like powers].

    That is not "merely selfish". That is self-sacrifice and act of love. Homura is essentially saying: "f**k the laws of the universe, f**k myself, f**k everyone, but I'll save Madoka from the eternal burden and let her have her life back as a human again- and I don't care whether she becomes my enemy if she found out."

    There can be different interpretations, but (sorry), the review is just a simple mis-interpretation because of a bias.

    In any case, I enjoyed the review, and thanks to the author

  57. JustPassingBy
    2

    In the epilogue of the film, Homura is alone on the Hill of Luminous and what she seems to be waiting for is Madoka to show up (which is shown in her face expression), possibly to confront her for what Homura has done. But that time hasn’t come yet, and what she gets instead is Kyubey, who will be tortured for his in sensitiveness, disrupting the musings of She-demon Homura. Unless Madoka realizes her full potential and confronts Homura, it will never be perfect (just like real love doesn’t happen among strangers but by deeper understanding of the other; Homura has a dilemma of wanting Madoka to stay in the normal girl life form although she desires somewhere that she finds her true self and confront Homura and become a perfect pair of good versus evil). Homura will be at least alone and bitter-sweet for a while, and the half-moon is implying that. The theory of Homura commiting suicide is just trash – how can Homura who jumped from a skyscraper to fight wraith in the original episode and who became a She-demon just die by jumping from a higher-ground?

  58. Hadrea Batt
    0

    I mean, what if we just pretend it was like Repo (Repo-Men? Repo Men..? Not the genetic opera, that’s for sure.) and what happened was a dream halfway through, but in reality Homura really did cease to exist, Madoka came and got her, and that ending was just the nightmare power she could have unleashed as a witch, a demon, whatever, BUT DIDN’T.

    I… I prefer that ending, where it’s just a fanciful dream (although this one was a nightmare) but happiness was waiting at the end anyway. The one where Madoka and Homura go to a place beyond Death, to enjoy cake parties with Mami and Miki and Sakura. And Bebe. Bebe was really cute in this one, I’m actually really glad they included her again.

    And that cake song, can we just laugh at how weird yet oddly cute that was?

  59. Flare
    0

    You misspelled “Sakuya” and “Sakaya”, it’s Sayaka 😅

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