Where the first two Madoka Magica movies compiled the tumultuous events of the 12-part anime series, the third entry is a brand new venture into the dark and enigmatic frontline of magical girl life. From the opening, it’s plain to see that Rebellion was intended purely as movie; it’s altogether more cinematic, and joyously so. It goes beyond what’s usually seen in traditional episodic anime form for something that’s truly exuberant and essential.
Far from undermining the power of her sacrifice at the end of the previous instalment, Rebellion weaves a new tale where Madoka, already a seasoned magical girl, goes about her daily routine. Get up, go to school and fight witches with her friends. But this strange new world is a slinking shadow of what the audience has seen before. It lulls you in with a sense of knowing, but as the layers fall away, it’s an altogether more mysterious storytelling experience than its precursors.
Visually, it’s a patchwork masterwork, a magnum opus of animation both in terms of style and in audaciousness. The labyrinth scenes go above and beyond the eerie imagery of the previous movies, more chilling and more arresting. The transformation scenes play like ballet, beautifully coloured and scored to the traits of each of the girls’ personalities and fighting styles. The pencil sketch character designs and thoughtful interiors counterpoint the background and gnarly angles for something tactile, as if you could reach out and actually feel the textures.
The creepiness of its visuals, complexity of its characters’ relationships and interactions, and the graceful plotting make this the definitive magical girl mission statement. From the almighty fight sequences to its devastating conclusion, Rebellion is a transcendental revelation.
Special Features: Mongatari Manners / Textless opening and closing / Commercials / Trailers
PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA THE MOVIE: PART 3 – REBELLION / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR: YUKIHIRO MIYAMOTO / SCREENPLAY: GEN UROBUCHI / STARRING: AOI YUKI, CHIWA SAITO, AI NONAKA, EMIRI KATO, ERI KITAMURA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW