Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion

Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion

Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion anime cover art
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion

Overview

Right from the start I want to mention that this review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion is going to be full of spoilers.

So with that PSA out of the way, I’m reviewing this movie today because @maisoonsart mentioned to me that I never actually did a review of this movie despite Madoka Magica being one of my favorite anime. And, considering it’s been almost two years since my original Madoka Magica review, I think this movie finally deserves some attention.

However, it’s not as if I haven’t written about Madoka Magica over these two years. For example, I wrote a five-part series on the main characters of Madoka Magica starting with Madoka Kaname.

But, finally getting to the movie at hand, this is the sequel to the series as well as the third movie. The first two movies are just recap of the series with slightly better visuals and a bit of information cut out. I recommend watching the series over those movies if it’s your first time. You can also skip those two movies if you’ve seen the series.

So, what’s interesting about Rebellion being the sequel to the series is that it gives the series a chance to start over. At the end of the series Madoka resets the world, but without herself or the witches magical girls fight against. This in turn leads to the rise of the wraiths, which are briefly mentioned in this movie.

However, the movie begins in a world with both Madoka and witches, but without the negative aspects associated with them.

The Cake Song

The start of the movie is weird and doesn’t make sense until later on. Per the end of the series Madoka and the witches should have been erased from existence and Sayaka should be dead (she died again after Madoka revived her). But the reason everything is “back to normal” is because this is a fake world.

This is a world created by Homura for reasons I’ll get to later on. The real world is in fact as I mentioned above.

But this fake world Homura created gives us a picture of the “ideal” world for magical girls, which is something we never really got to see at any point in the series. In this world, magical girls work together instead of against each other, and they have no fear of becoming witches themselves.

This concept is exemplified by the cake song scene. Here we see the five main magical girls singing and having fun in order to take down the witch Charlotte (Bebe). This is a drastic break from what we saw in the series, and it’s the first real sign that something isn’t quite right.

There’s also a great part of that scene when Kyouko passes Charlotte off to Mami. Charlotte is the witch form of the magical girl Bebe, whose favorite food is cheese. Mami represents cheese in the cake song. Charlotte was the witch who ate Mami in the series. And to tie this reference all together, Charlotte opens her mouth towards Mami as if she’s going to eat her again.

But this is a happy world in which Mami isn’t decapitated by Charlotte. So instead, Charlotte is saved and reverted back into her true form, Bebe. Other than the reference I just mentioned, I have no idea why Bebe is included in this movie.

Mami vs. Homura

The next scene of the movie I want to discuss is the fight between Mami and Homura. The inclusion of scenes like this is actually one of the things I like the most about this movie. It gives us a chance to see more of our main characters interacting with each other.

Think about it, Mami died in the series before Kyouko or even Homura joined the group. This fight between her and Homura gives us a chance to see characters interacting who we previously saw very little of. And it’s during this fight that we see how powerful Mami truly is.

Mami Tomoe vs. Homura Akemi from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion
Mami Tomoe vs. Homura Akemi

Homura has thousands of days worth of experience using her time magic and guns, and yet Mami is still skilled enough to hold her own in a one-on-one battle. She’s even smart enough to understand how Homura’s time ability works and how she can use her own ribbon ability to nullify it.

The one reason Mami eventually loses the fight is because she’s too caring. When Homura acts as if she’s going to end her own life, Mami lets her guard down just long enough for Homura to activate her ability.

And remember, just because we didn’t see Mami and Homura interacting as friends all that much in the series doesn’t mean they aren’t friends. In the current timeline they are friends, which is why Mami reacted the way she did. But, Homura knows Mami even better and is able to manipulate her feelings.

Kyouko and Sayaka

However, if there’s one thing more important than the extra characterization we get for Mami in this movie, it’s the extra characterization we get for Kyouko and Sayaka. That’s right, the ship has officially sailed and this yuri is not bait.

Back in the series we got a little teaser of the fact that Kyouko and Sayaka had a relationship that went beyond just being friends. This is why Kyouko sacrifices her own life to take down Oktavia von Seckendorff (the witch version of Sayaka).

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in a number of other posts, but the scene of Kyouko and Sayaka finally being reunited is probably my favorite of the entire movie. After all, they had a pretty tragic story up to this point.

Kyouko Sakura and Sayaka Miki holding hands from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion
Kyouko Sakura and Sayaka Miki holding hands

In their first lives Sayaka turned into a witch due to her despair and Kyouko committed murder-suicide. Then in their second lives Sayaka died once again, leaving Kyouko behind alone. But now that they’re back together for the third time Kyouko can finally express her feelings to Sayaka.

Seriously, whether you’ve seen the Madoka Magica series or are planning to watch it, don’t skip the Rebellion movie. It adds so much more to the characters.

Rebellion

The final thing I need to go over about this movie is the ending and how exactly it ties into the series which preceded it. As I mentioned, this “ideal” world for magical girls was created by Homura. And interestingly, that makes Homura the villain of the movie — sort of(?)

Really, for both the series and the movie I could argue that Homura or Madoka is the villain. They’re actually constantly working against each other, so if Madoka is the protagonist, Homura is the antagonist — and she takes this role seriously this time around.

At the end of the series Madoka made it so that witches could no longer exist in the world. However, Homura used her own magic to make a bubble world in which witches could exist. She then became a pseudo-witch within this world and created a labyrinth of her own — the “ideal” world in which the movie takes place.

The Homura of this world is really just a shadow of the real Homura. Mami and Kyouko are very much real, though. As for Sayaka and Madoka, things get a bit more complicated. Sayaka was sent to this world by Madoka in order to stop Homura. And the Madoka of this world is just a single piece of the omnipotent Madoka.

If that makes no sense, go rewatch the movie.

So, Homura’s plan was to take a piece of the omnipotent Madoka and return her to the school life she always wanted. And at the end of the movie that’s exactly what she does. Homura is able to take the power of omnipotent Madoka and reshape the world (temporarily) to be the world free of magic which Madoka should have created from the start.

And that’s where the movie ends.

Conclusion

I know this review was a bit rambling, especially towards the end, but I was trying to fit a lot of ideas in a review that isn’t too long. Basically, it’s a very good movie and you should watch it. After all, the animation is by Shaft and the OST is by Yuki Kajuira, so it must be good.

But, despite that, I actually liked the series more than the movie. To me, Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion is a 9/10.

Yes, it gave us a lot more information about the various characters, but overall I didn’t think the story being told was quite as good. I think I would have rather the movie been about the Wraith Arc which we don’t actually ever get to see animated other than briefly in the epilogue of the series.

If you enjoyed this review or found it helpful in any way, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on on any future content such as my eventual review of Madoka Magica Gaiden: Magia Record.

And come join my Discord server so you can appreciate the Madoka gifs I send.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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