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Posts Tagged ‘Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’

Ok…maybe not really that near you, depending where you live…but seriously! Madoka’s going to the big screen! And not just once…not twice…but THREE times. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Gen Urobochi has agreed to bless his fans with a whole trilogy of feature-length Madoka Magica films!

Now….before you get too excited…according to the official announcement, two of these films will indeed be compilations of the original story. Personally…I don’t mind…the thought of getting to see the original story redone in good ol’ movie-quality style interests me greatly. And considering the fact that these two movies only have to cover what occurred in a 13-episode series, I don’t think there’s any reason to be concerned about them leaving too much of the important stuff out. In fact, I’m kind of hoping, despite the fact that these will be compilation films, that the directors will choose to add some more details here and there. I’m not expecting much…nothing that would revolutionize the story…but just little things here and there that would make the movies stand slightly apart from the tv series.

That’s only the first two films though! We have one whole film left…and it’s going to be all new material. We don’t know what it’ll be about…I’m inclined to agree with Kurogane in hoping that it will be an extension of the 10th episode…but I also really wouldn’t mind seeing something completely new. And since the director is quoted in the article as jokingly saying he wanted to make the new movie’s subtitle “Incubator no Gyakushū” (“Incubator Strikes Back”), I’m honestly expecting an actual sequel to the story.

So there you have it, folks…I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely looking forward to this!

See you soon!

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Well, hey, would you look at that, I’m back to make a random post again. I did warn you that my posts would be erratic and infrequent. Anyways…just wanted to write a few final thoughts on some of the latest series that I’ve finished and make some comments about the ones I’ve added to my watchlist. For now, I’ll just be including some brief blurbs…no details or whatever. For the series I think are worth going back to, I may…MAY…go back and give them another entry. Graduate school is very demanding and so, unfortunately, my time is limited. I do what I can. When I feel like it. 😛

COMPLETED (since the last time I posted):

1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Madoka  ended up being everything I could have ever dreamed of and then some. I’ve always enjoyed watching how people can take something common and then twist it into something completely original. To say the least, it’s very refreshing. And Madoka does the job right. This was absolutely, positively, without a doubt, my favorite show of the year.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Grade: A+

2. Level E

Level E is a funny show. It really is. And like most comedies, it comes with its fair share of hits and misses. The first “arc” of the show was definitely Level E‘s strongest point. After those first few episodes, it’s downhill from there. But don’t get me wrong…it’s not so far downhill that the rest of the show can’t be enjoyed. It’s just that the first episodes were so good that the rest of the show simply does not compare. And while it is disappointing that the creators did not choose to capitalize on that first arc by expanding upon it, it was also nice to see something good not get stretched horribly out of proportion. It’s not a waste of time by any means, but there were certainly some better shows released this season that are more worthy of being watched.

Level E

Grade: B

3. Fractale

Similar to Level E, Fractale started off strong and then meandered off into middle-of-the-road territory. What is most disappointing is that this show felt like it had a lot of potential…a lot more potential than it proved to possess in the end. I’m honestly not exactly sure what happened…the premise was interesting, there were a couple of very lovable characters, and the setting was very imaginative. It feels like Fractale had everything it needed for a really strong kickstart but never really got very far off the ground. Not a bad show…not a waste of time…but don’t expect to get anything lasting or meaningful from it. Also…is it silly that I was disappointed when it turned out the girls did not have blue hair? Somehow, the show lost some of its magic for me when their hair color turned out different…

Fractale

Grade: B-

4. Gosick

Gosick was a lot of fun to watch. I do enjoy a good detective story, and Gosick follows the formula to a T. In addition to that, you have a wonderful cast of characters whose interactions make the show, and beautiful artwork and music to top it all off. Now…to be fair…I should emphasize that Gosick really does follow the detective formula. A mystery is presented, the characters struggle to solve it, and the answers are effortlessly achieved every time. I suppose you could say that Victorique’s skill for solving puzzles is both the strength and weakness of this show. Her character is a lot of fun, and I enjoyed seeing her put all of the pieces together…but much what one comes to expect from Scooby Doo and his gang, Gosick presents the answers without giving viewers much opportunity or reason to try figuring it out themselves. In other words…the mysteries are not a lot of work. But that’s partially because the mysteries are merely the setting, not the point of the show. The “big deal” with Gosick is the growth of the main characters and their relationship with each other…something that the anime succeeds at with flying colors. As such…if you want an excellent mystery anime, Gosick will probably disappoint you. If you don’t mind watching a show encased in a mystery shell, but not a detective story at its heart, then you will be much more likely to enjoy Gosick.

Gosick

Grade: B+

5. Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

I don’t know what it was about Denpa Onna, but something in this show kept me watching to the very end. It is not a spectacular series with extraordinary characters and an original storyline…but it contains enough of each and then douses itself in quirkiness to make for a very entertaining watch. I do have to say I am really looking forward to that unaired final episode being released…I am very curious to see how the director intended for Denpa Onna to end. Honestly…if the episode is what it is rumored to be, it may very well make this series one of the best of the season. If it is less than that, though, Denpa Onna is still very entertaining and worth a casual watch.

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

Grade: B+

6. Squid Girl

I began Squid Girl not expecting too terribly much from it. It looked like a cute, mindless, and quirky anime that might occasionally make me laugh…something that I needed at the time I picked this up, when school was demanding so much of my energy. Well, lo and behold, Squid Girl turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Before watching this, I would not have believed a show about a human-shaped squid desiring to invade the world could possibly be anything beyond mildly entertaining. As it turned out, though, Squid Girl was absolutely hilarious. I was laughing during every single episode…it really was just the medicine I needed. And to say the least, I am very excited about the second season that should be airing soon!

Squid Girl

Grade: A+

7. Bokurano

Ah, Bokurano…I have such mixed feelings about you. I read the manga that inspired this show a couple of years ago (largely due to having read Shadow Star Narutaru by the same author), and had been intending to watch the anime adaptation since then. I just never got around to it until now. Bokurano has a very intriguing premise…one that would suggest lots of exciting action…but it is not that type of story. More than anything, Bokurano is a character study. And in that sense, it does an excellent job. Viewers are presented with a wide assortment of characters, each of which get at least one or two episodes to themselves. Then, after viewers are given the chance to get to know each individual, the inevitable tragedy presented in episode one quickly follows. It is a difficult show to watch…but a good one. I will say, though, that after reading the manga, the anime felt…watered down. It definitely not delve quite so far into the darkness as its manga counterpart. Still worth watching, though…just be aware that Bokurano is intentionally disturbing and, thus, not for everybody.

Bokurano

Grade: A-

8. The World God Only Knows I and II

What a fun show! Both seasons of The World God Only Knows are visually appealing, funny, and generally entertaining. I do have to say, though, that this show may not work for everybody. Being that the story relies heavily on the dating sim/visual novel universe for its inspiration, those who are not familiar with or are but really hate these games probably will not “get” this show. Or they’ll get it, but not like it. If you are, however, familiar with these games and, perhaps, like the concept (if not the games themselves), then you very well may enjoy The World God Only Knows. I suppose the biggest downside to this series is the protagonist himself. What a jerk! He reminds me too much of people I don’t like to remember. But do not fear! He gets the smack down he totally deserves…many times. And he actually grows as a person, albeit very gradually. Much like most harem shows, this is one you watch for the girls…they are the ones who will keep you watching to the end. And the nice thing about The World God Only Knows is that the story actually provides an explanation for why the protagonist “gets” all the girls…an explanation that is funny and easy enough to accept. I’ll be very curious to see if a third season gets made…I know that the manga continues to this day. If they do continue the anime, I can guarantee that I’ll be watching it.

The World God Only Knows

Grade: A

9. A Bridge to the Starry Skies

A Bridge to the Starry Skies is your middle-of-the-road harem anime. Sure, the artwork and style is pretty, but it really has nothing special going for it. That said, this show isn’t all bad either. You’ve got your usual group of girls, each falling into a certain, cliched role, all of whom eventually wind up madly in love with the protagonist. I guess the one nice difference about this show compared to a lot of anime from this genre is that the protagonist is actually a pretty nice guy. He’s not a lazy bum or jerk, and he actually genuinely cares about each of the girls he meets. So…I guess you could say that A Bridge to the Starry Skies is tolerable…just nothing really new. You won’t really be missing anything if you skip this one.

A Bridge to the Starry Skies

Grade: C

10. Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail

Ah, Black Lagoon, how I love you and the mindless, over-the-top, kick-butt violence you provide me. Once again, you have given me a dose of exactly what I was hoping for! Returning to its fans in this OVA, Black Lagoon brings back its lovable ragtag cast to give you another fun, blood-and-violence-filled adventure. One thing I will say is that there is a noticeable jump in maturity from the original series to Roberta’s Blood Trail. Not to say that the series does not already have plenty of violence, cussing, and scantily clad women, but Black Lagoon‘s OVA definitely kicks it up a couple of notches. To be perfectly honest, though, this is in no way out of place. As the regular series went on, the level of violence and the plot’s darkness grew incrementally, and so the OVA really feels just like the culmination of where Black Lagoon was trying to go. But if you were made squeamish by the TV series, then you may want to exercise some caution and at least prepare yourself before watching these episodes. I definitely feel they are worth watching, though…I really hope to be able to own a DVD copy someday. And I certainly would not mind seeing the show continue (though I have my doubts as to this actually happening).

Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail

Grade: A

11. AnoHana

This…is a beautiful show. Absolutely beautiful. And it will make you weep like a little baby. I would chalk AnoHana right up there with Key’s Air in this show’s ability to draw you in and then wrench your heart right out. Do I hate to cry? Yes, yes, yes. But did AnoHana make it worth it? Without a doubt. I can’t even begin to go into the details of why you should watch this show…just watch it. It’ll make you love and appreciate life and the people you care about more. Just do it. Watch it. Go. Now.

AnoHana

Grade: A+

12. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

I seem to be in the mood for watching tear-jerkers this year. What’s with that? Yup, you got it, Tokyo Magnitude is another show that will bring out the tears. I picked this show up because I love watching disaster films. What can I say? They’re a lot of fun to watch! And having read the premise for Tokyo Magnitude, I thought, heck, why not, I’ll give it a shot. It’s an excellent series…very well done. I was impressed. Unlike American disaster films, though, Tokyo Magnitude is not merely about a group of characters experiencing and having to survive some terrible occurrence. This, like much of Japan’s shows, spends a lot of time focusing on the characters and their relationships, delving into emotions and psychology to send out messages about self-betterment, yadayadayada. So…if you’re wanting a mindless disaster movie…this one is not for you. If you’d like something a little more meaningful, though, then Tokyo Magnitude will give you that and then some. And then some more. Without spoiling anything…I do have to say…trust your instincts when watching this show. I was impressed by how well Tokyo Magnitude managed to hint at things without revealing them until the end.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Grade A

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Alright…here’s my final piece of news (at least for now). And this news is for fans of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica! SHAFT has officially announced that they will be airing the final two episodes of the series, back-to-back, on April 21st! (For news in English, check here!) Celebrate oh rabid fans who have been waiting on the edge of your seats for this news! Now we can finally watch the end of their suffering! Or not.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

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Okay, since I’m too lazy to write Part 2 of my “Not a Top Ten List” post right now, I’ve decided to instead write a little blurb on the anime I’m following this season. So here we go for my “Currently Watching” list:

1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Looks exactly like what you’d expect from your typical mahou shoujo anime, doesn’t it? Cute mascot, rainbows, and sparkles everywhere, right? Don’t kid yourself.

 

Same girls, more fitting art style...

Nightmare-inducing Monsters: It's like Picasso met Salvador Dali met Tim Burton

Yes, that is blood. And no, not the monster's.

The best way to describe Puella Magi Madoka Magica is to say that it is a series that takes the mahou shoujo genre and completely subverts it. It starts off with all the fixings that one would expect to find in shows like Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Tokyo Mew Mew, Pretty Cure, and so on…and then it twists those tropes into something ugly, deeply disturbing, and horrendously AWESOME. As I made known in my previous post, I’m a huge fan of the shoujo genre, particularly the mahou shoujo segment of it. It’s what got me into anime, kept me into anime, and continues to greatly entertain me to this day. What I also love…whether it’s in books, movies, anime, or something else…are stories that take clichés and turn them on their heads. Not only does Madoka turn the mahou shoujo genre on its head…it does it very well. Apparently, the script writer and series composer, Gen Urobuchi, has a reputation for creating darker anime. At least, that’s what I gather from what many people have said about him. I had never heard of him until now…never watched any of his previous series. But now that I’ve seen this, I may have to remedy that…

 

2. Fractale

Fractale

Of all the anime I was anticipating from this season, Fractale was the one I looked forward to the most. Madoka was a close second, but Fractale beat it out. I love a good adventure stories, and Fractale looked like an anime that would fulfill what every good adventure story should have. I’m also a big fan of anime that steer away from the big eyes, small mouth art style. Shows like Monster, Paranoia Agent, and Last Exile that embrace a more realistic art style are very attractive to me. And while the above image does show two girls with blue hair, the designs remain very reminiscent of that art style I like. (It becomes even more-so that way once you watch the actual anime, as the girls’ hair is not blue at all!) Fractale also has the potential to be a deep story, without being overbearing. It feels light-hearted and yet it touches on issues that are very relevant, ringing deeply with humans today: the importance of human contact, communication, and so on. I will be very curious to see how this show turns out. I predict Madoka will give Fractale a run for its money when it comes to which show will turn out to be my favorite of the season. But we will just have to see whether or not the one series that truly caught my eye will maintain it until the very end.

 

3. Level E

Level E, featuring Prince Baka

This winter is, thus far, proving to be a fantastic season for anime this year. Another show that has stepped up to the plate as a potential favorite is Level E, an incredibly witty and playful comedic sci-fi. I love a good comedy, and Level E is an excellent one. It is silly, yet intelligent, frequently leaving me chuckling, if not rolling on the floor with tears streaming down my face from outright laughter. Be forewarned, this is not a show you want to watch for a deep and intricate plot. If that’s what you’re expecting, you will be disappointed. At this point in time, Level E has very little plot, but it really doesn’t need one. This is more of an entertaining snapshot, showing the many ways that Prince Baka (yes, that is his real name) can cause trouble for others. So far, it is divided into segments. The first three episodes are an introduction to Prince Baka, that helps viewers to understand just what kind of a person he really is. Following that is a single episode that is completely stand-alone. And currently, it is in its next “arc,” showing how Prince Baka makes trouble for a bunch of elementary school kids. It is immensely entertaining and absolutely hilarious…definitely worth watching if you just need to give your brain a break.

4. Gosick

Gosick

Much like Level E, Gosick is not a series I expect a deep plot from. It will probably develop a semi-solid story in the latter half of the show, but otherwise, this is another anime utilizing the arc-pattern. Not without reason, Gosick has been compared to the classic series of stories, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. This is an anime, with detective genre leanings, following the cases that a young man and his extremely intelligent friend in which they frequently find themselves caught. It is a very simple show…it does not try hard at all. Cases are presented and they are solved, the puzzles (which are so far quite easy to figure out) being laid out for observation in the end. It’s like the popular crime shows that flood the TV today. There’s a case, everything falls unrealistically into place, and the problem is solved by the end of the hour (except in those occasional two-episode specials). Do not watch Gosick for the plot or for the cases…they’re entertaining much in the way that fluffy cotton candy is a tasty, but substance-less treat. Gosick is a show that you want to watch for the art and the character interactions. Victorique and Kujo are an immensely entertaining pair, much like Sherlock and Watson, and they live in Victorian Europe, resulting in beautiful artwork that is easy on the eyes. I doubt this will be a contender for my favorite series of the season, but the same qualities that prevent it from being this winter’s star show are also what will keep me hooked and entertained from beginning to end.

 

Alrighty, that’s it for today. I’ll eventually get around to writing Part 2 of my Top Ten List. Until next time! 🙂

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