Madoka Magica Movie: Hajimari No Monogatari

Oh wow I can actually draw worth a shit

Ah yes, the privilege of living in a first-class Asian country where all the famous cons are held. Just so happens that the Goddess Madoka decided to descend on our shores and share her revamped tale with us. Indeed it was a refreshing experience even for one who has watched the series at least twice.

Madoka Magica: Hajimari no Monogatari ( Beginning story ) is SHAFT cum Aniplex’s theatrical take on the series Puella Madoka Magica. With the movie being labelled only as ‘cash cows’ and ‘milking attempts’ by its beloved haters, I went to the screening myself to determine it for myself.

“Hey, i’ve seen these exact scenes before, just that it still feels fresh and even new !” was basically my reaction to the aspect that’s supposed to be ‘theatrical’ about the movie. It is in essence still just a really compressed version of the anime with revised key frames and an assload more of in-betweens. My newbie animator eyes can easily tell. They also neatly replaced a lot of the mattes featured in the original and put in freshly new ones; very commendable effort to make it look polished. Story-wise? It’s the same focused, concise narrative of a struggling main character that goes through the motion while her surroundings tumble and fluctuate – yep, it’s largely only a visual spectacle. ClariS is back to support the production, churning out another opening theme to complement its freshly-squeezed opening sequence ( featuring the oh-so controversial few-second-frames of Madoka and Homura nuzzling with each other ). It’s pretty good stuff.

I was really satisfied with the pacing of the whole movie, it’s as if they finally knew what to do with the air time that plagued the TV version- there was animation every few seconds and it kept the movie engaging that way. With rehashed cinematography, I couldn’t really complain about the well-planned shots. First-time watchers of Madoka will find the story easily comprehensible ( hey, Magical Girls aren’t nuclear science, after all ) and leave long time fans satisfied with the rate of things.

‘So what’s the point in watching a revised version of an anime series ?’ Well well well, i’ve been observing the presentation of the movie and they did something right- including revelations of the human psyche within its limited screen time. The movie shined in such a way that each magical girl, no matter how different and deviant they seemed at first, has their own insecurities and fallacies no matter what. ‘Wishing for happiness brings about an equal amount of sadness- it is required to keep nature in balance’ and that’d be damn right. Oh Sayaka Miki, how long can you keep up that facade of being the ‘hero of justice’ and the ‘defender of the city’ ? It was just a matter of time before you broke down, lamented and reflected upon how much of a burden Madoka has actually been. Mami thought she had a good head on her shoulders and is fine being alone – but jumps with joy upon hearing that Madoka will join her witch-hunting odyssey of  solitude. Even magic cannot separate the burden of being human, and the stake of emotions in their roles. This is so realistic that it’s a duality for Magical Girls to exist, because of the way Kyuubey designed Soul Gems to be like – a gem to render the body to be but an empty vessel to host the fragile conscience of the once-human magical girls.  That got me thinking beyond the ‘oh i’ve my own issues’ approach to each girl and this is easily an enthralling point of the story – another discovery for me.

As a normal story, it’s probably a mess – a main character who does nothing but become a center of all the downfalls of the universe. but the star doesn’t have to be the heroine all the time right? It’s actually how one changes the environment around him or herself, whether done passively or through palpable actions.

Part 2, let’s go !

p.s Loot will be posted later on

Cheers

Posted on November 11, 2012, in Anime, Special and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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