So, I went and saw Rebellion last night in theaters. On the train ride home I took out my notebook and just started going on this. If you haven’t seen the movie yet I would recommend not reading this till after you do. All I hope to achieve with this is to explain to others my thoughts and feelings toward the film.
Okay, where to start…..
The movie was not quite what was expected I think. To anyone who is just salty about the end or hated it well fine that’s how you feel. So! let’s take it from the top!
The beginning, HOLY SHIT the beginning. The idea was to basically just feed you all of the feel good moments you wanted out of the series. The team ups, the synergy, the Sailor Moon transformations, Madoka being there as a Mahou Shoujo. It butters you up really well. But of course, this couldn’t last. I mean this IS a Madoka movie after all. When you start to see the setting, the backgrounds, the background characters, everything feels off. Not even slightly, blatantly off. The art that Madoka is known for, pastels, scribbles, and weird magazine clippings. No one seems to notice, but Homura. Homura asks Kyoko to show her to her old town. Once they try to reach it they realize they simply can’t. Reminded me of that scene from Coraline. Homura turns back into the Homura we all know after being her frail and shy self in the beginning. Thus she decides to do some snooping around.
Homura discovers all the familiar feelings about where they all are. She deduces that this is a Witch’s Labyrinth. So she confronts the only thing resembling a witch in the movie so far. Bebe, the thing that bit Mami’s head off during the show that became her little pet somehow. This next scene…. Oh my god.
So Homura stops time and takes Bebe for interrogation. Violently tossing it around asking why they’re there. Then she’s snagged by a ribbon wrapped around her leg, and god damn. The moment I’ve been wanting for a long time. Homura vs. Mami. Best fight scene I’ve seen in a long time. This part was out of its mind. The choreography was outstanding, I was at the edge of my seat the whole time. At the end, my only words were “Holy shit! I guess that answers that question!” Homura tries to trick Mami by putting a pistol to her own head, Mami pulls on the ribbon he had attached to her so she couldn’t stop her in time. The bullet comes out of the pistol, skims Homura’s head and breaks through Mami’s ribbon, then Homura stops time. She shoots at Mami’s leg. Mami only needed that one millisecond though to replace herself with a ribbon clone which bursted into a bunch of stray ribbons and chained up Homura. Scene was Godlike.
Homura is saved by Sayaka, however. During their discussion about events it’s revealed that this IS Sayaka. The one who became a Witch. Sayaka begins to explain the Witch causing this was trying to use the labyrinth to keep everyone inside. Sayaka disappears and Homura is left to figure things out. Oh fuck… Next scene….
Madoka finds Homura and begins to comfort her. She and Homura begin talking and this scene killed me. It also does a lot of foreshadowing, but when I think about everything, the movie did that a lot in most of the scenes. Homura understands the Madoka here IS the real Madoka. In their moment, Homura explains in her “dream” that Madoka had vanished. Madoka tells her she doesn’t think she’d be capable of doing something like that. Homura says something along the lines of “I never should have let you do that.” Then they part ways.
Homura leaves behind her Soul Gem and tests the space limits between her and it. She does not shut down after reaching the maximum distance between her and her Gem. Thus showing she isn’t a Mahou Shoujo anymore. Homura is the Witch…
So this is where it get’s a bit different.
Kyubey and the other Incubators had taken Homura’s Soul Gem which had become corrupted with the grief energy. They then isolated it in a field that was virtually impenetrable. By doing this, Madoka was unable to reach her. Thus turning her Soul Gem into a Grief Seed. Her labyrinth was unable to take victims as it was isolated entirely. Unless she would subconsciously bring in someone she knew. This was the only way Madoka was able to enter, but she was taken over by the effect of Homura’s labyrinth which was altering everyone’s memories. Madoka was only as strong as she was when Homura met her. But, the Madoka Cycle had a plan B. Sayaka, and Nagisa (Who really wasn’t important at all. LIKE AT ALL)
When Kyubey explains all this Homura realizes he’s trying to capture and control Madoka so that the universe can revert to what it was and they can obtain the energy from Witches. Homura falls into the Witch’s power and starts using it to attack Kyubey. Kyubey explains she will fall into the grief of being a Witch forever if she does this but she is willing to do it to save Madoka.
Sayaka being the only person who couldn’t be saved from Madoka’s wish, became Madoka’s back up. As for Nagisa, well I guess she was the Mahou Shoujo who became Charlotte, the Witch that killed Mami, but they never quite say. So Sayaka brings the rest of the Mahou Shoujo crew and they’re here to save Homura.
Shit gets so fucking real here.
Sayaka can call her Witch form like it’s basically a Persona. Her witch form starts duking it out with Homura’s as the rest of the girls are fighting off the monsters Homura created. This scene has a really touching Syaka/Kyoko moment. Madoka busts through the barrier, remembers who she is, and finds Homura. Together with both their bows they fire a barrage of arrows that take out every last Kyubey in the place where Homura was being kept.
Homura’s Soul Gem is freed, Madoka comes to take her away. This is not the ending. This isn’t what Homura wanted. So Homura does something that I honestly feel she was the only person who could. Homura accepts the sadness and tragedy she’s gone through. Her sadness no longer becomes a curse to her, since everything she’s ever went through, she did for Madoka. Her Gem does not become a grief seed, it changes. She takes all of her Grief energy and becomes something else entirely. Her sadness becomes her will, and her pain only reminds her of Madoka. As she put it in the movie, it’s her love. Homura has an enormous amount of power. So much so that she actually pulls Madoka out of her Goddess state. Homura takes in all of the sadness and grief from the universe, if Madoka was a God, Homura became a Demon. She takes Kyubey as well. She tells him from now on you’re all a part of me. She decides to become the evil of the world so that Madoka doesn’t have to be bearer of the burden. But Homura’s way is significantly different. Which I’ll get into after I explain the rest. Homura rewrites the universe just as Madoka did except she became the evil of it from Incubators to Witches. So Sayaka calls her out on it. But Homura wipes her memory of being a part of Madoka. This scene shows Homura’s hate for the world, like that scene when her and Madoka were dying together in the show after they fought the Walpurgisnacht. Homura even mentions the possibility of her destroying the world eventually. Then Madoka shows up as a transfer student, yellow ribbons in her hair. Homura takes her around the school, just like that scene we all know, but with the places swapped. Madoka almost breaks and becomes a Goddess again but Homura stops her. She can’t let her do that to herself again. As she decided when they met up earlier in the movie. Homura gives her the ribbons back. She created a world where Madoka can live peacefully. On that note the film ends. BUT AFTER THE CREDITS YOU SEE KYUBEY BEATEN THE FUCK DOWN THE MOST SATISFYING FEELING OF ALL TIME.
Okay. This is where I discuss how I felt about the film.
So I’ll start by pointing something out. In the show, Homura spends a long time trying to save Madoka, but in the end it’s Madoka who saves Homura and everyone in the process. In this film, Madoka spends a long time trying to save Homura, but in the end it’s Homura who saves Madoka and rejects everyone in the process. This film strives to reverse the roles of Homura and Madoka, and I feel like it worked. It was the polar opposite of the show. It showed how significant the differences between Madoka and Homura are.
Madoka is very selfless, brave, and strong willed. Even during the show she never gives up. Despite her seeming somewhat frail and weak at moments in episode 10 you really get a grasp of what she’s capable of especially at the end.
Homura appears as a very apathetic and even selfish person. Though she seems to be that calm and collected person, we see she was actually the one who was the frail and weak girl we thought Madoka to be. The difference in them is how they overcame their weakness. Madoka is willing to give herself up for the universe, she leaves her faith in everyone. Homura just isn’t able to do that. The only thing she ever wanted was to save her one true friend. The person she loved and cherished.
It’s really because Homura was unable to save everyone that she couldn’t save Madoka. Homura was selfish, and so long as she was her goal was unobtainable. This movie really went so far as to say “What if Homura was in Madoka’s position? How would she handle it?” and it did a fine job of that to me. Because Homura and Madoka are very similar yet very different. Where Madoka wanted to take everyone’s sorrows from them, Homura just cared about Madoka’s. Both wanted to create a paradise without worry but Homura’s was exclusive to Madoka. Which to me, made for a good turn of events.
The movie was able to give the ending where Madoka was free, but still keep it in a dark and eerie way which is what this series is to me. Though I do want to rewatch the movie and catch some more things I probably missed. This is my analysis of it all. I felt it was the ending it deserved despite it not being what everyone wanted. You have how Madoka ended it, and you have how Homura ended it. Honestly in the entirety of the show, those were the only two characters that really mattered to the end. So I rate this movie a 9/10. What I wish they did in the movie was explain more of what led up to Homura being stuck in the Incubators trap and how her Soul Gem got so corrupted. I mean I can sit here and assume, but a little confirmation would have been nice.