12 Days of Christmas 2014 #08 – The Good and Pointless Sequel called Rebellion


Earlier this year I rewatched Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica for a second time, which just so happens to be one of my favorite anime series. The first time I rewatched it was when it was still airing and the final two episodes were delayed because of the tsunami in Japan. It was still very good.

My second rewatch was in preparation for the third movie titled Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica: Rebellion, a completely new story that would finish of the movie trilogy. As such, I decided to marathon all three movies – the first two recapping the series – in a single day to keep my memory fresh. The result? It was still very good.

Eight months later, however, I am still undecided whether or not Rebellion is actually needed. The thing that makes Madoka Magica so great is how it tells a complete story in only twelve well-written episodes. It manages to introduce, explore and round off its ideas in a very organic manner. The ending itself is a great conclusion and there is nothing of importance for a sequel to touch upon. This is the series’ strength: it didn’t need a second more, or less, of screen time.

Then comes the sequel Rebellion and throws everything I initially believed into chaos, making me question myself. I quite like Rebellion – there is no doubt about that. It manages to create a story the audience didn’t know was “needed”, yet works splendidly in action. However, at the same time, it still feels utterly pointless in how the exclusion of it doesn’t make Madoka Magica worse or the inclusion of it doesn’t make Madoka Magica better.

It definitely feels as if Rebellion was created because it had to be and not because it was needed to enhance story. On the other hand, uttermost care has been put into it and it ties so well into the original series it becomes difficult to feel dissatisfied.

I have never been so conflicted about my feelings on an anime before. All I know is that I need to rewatch Rebellion sometime soon.

14 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas 2014 #08 – The Good and Pointless Sequel called Rebellion

  1. John Samuel says:

    I’m uncomfortable with the way the ending of Rebellion [redacted], so I don’t think you’re alone in being uneasy with this film.

    • Marow says:

      Let’s try to keep the comment section free from specific spoilers, if that’s okay.

      But yes, the ending rubbed me the wrong way. The last 30 minutes kinda went over my head to a degree.

  2. Anth says:

    Unfortunately, my hatred of Shaft productions has prevented me from ever watching Madoka. I’ve wanted to, since I’ve heard from people I know personally that it’s very good; but the idea of subjecting myself to another Shaft anime makes me hesitate every time.

  3. rikuo06 says:

    Not the sequel Madoka Magica needs, but the one it deserves. So, we’ll watch it, because Shaft made it. Because the movie is not a sequel. It’s a fresh perspective. A thoughtful retelling. A Rebellion Story.

    • Marow says:

      “Not the sequel Madoka Magica needs, but the one it deserves.”

      Pfft, that’s a good way to describe it. Not entirely sure why you say it isn’t a sequel, though.

  4. Overlord-G says:

    I got to see KyouSaya become stronger and Kyubey get its comeuppances among other neat stuff so it was not a total waste of time. Also it was a Meduca movie that was not a recap, so yay.

  5. Namhur says:

    For some reason, Rebellion doesn’t seem like a sequel to me. Sure it take places after the original series, but the event that happened in it seem somewhat so detached from the original. It’s like a movie-fied fanfic that Urobuchi wrote to explore new ideas, themes and possibility using the characters and the universe he set up.

    • Marow says:

      I understand what you mean, especially as I watched all three movies in a row. Rebellion seems almost out of place. But at the same time, it’s clearly not! So confusing >_<'

  6. […] would also like to mention the movies Patema Inverted, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica: Rebellion and Tamako Love Story – especially the latter, which is a sequel to the mediocre and lifeless […]

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s