Holy shit, Homura. Holy shit.
As they say, better late than never. And I’ve never been glad to be late than never on watching this movie.
The first two movies were decent, but as far as TV-series material remade to theatrical versions, it didn’t really offer anything drastically new for fans of the series. And of course, the third, original movie was always a wildcard which I was always afraid of, as there’s the constant worry in the rush to capitalize on such a hot new franchise, would they go the “safer” route and do something bland but offers a lot of fanservice to pull the crowd in. Or would they try something new and original, that actually is a worthy follow-up to the TV series. After watching this movie, I’m glad to say the latter was the case.
To go further on, at least for those reading without the benefit of enjoying this masterpiece (better turn back now before you get spoiled!), basically Homura finally succumbs but the Incubators aren’t going to let her off easy which results in a world that looks so much like those “safe” route cashgrabbing movies that I was ever so worried it was. And I’ll be honest the first half hour of the movie really made me almost stop watching at parts (they really put a *lot* of effort in those henshin scenes!) with how ridiculous things were.
But shit quickly hits the fan hard, with a following hour after that a slow run in to the Twilight Zone and the subsequent reveal of Homura finally reaching the end stages of the Puella Magi lifecycle. If the movie ended here, it would have been a very poignant goodbye and a decent curtain closer to the franchise but no, Urobuchi is not contented with that.
Devil Homura is very fine indeed.
It’s the final half hour of the movie that puts this production up to greatness as Homura turns the table around and drags a part of Our Goddess out from her and reinvents the universe to allow her mortal existence to continue. Oh, I’ll just add she made the Incubators her bitch in the process (can’t believe they didn’t do that from the start!). All this done using the sheer power of her obsessive love towards Madoka. And the best part is, she even sets herself up as the Lucifer to Madoka’s Goddess, even as she still holds on to her own wish of making Madoka happy. Those words do somewhat ring hollow, yet ominous at the end of this movie.
Finally putting those furry bastards in their place!
My mind hasn’t been blown this much since the End of Evangelion. And even that legendary production could be said as a sort of “Good End”, while Rebellion, truly living up to its name, quite clearly is a “Bad End” of sorts. Goddamn, I’m impressed by Urobuchi’s balls to actually do this, especially after the “True End” of the TV series.
In a way, this movie really keeps up to the overall feel of the TV series, even if it entirely overturns the final message of the series itself. It also explores what the true depths of a person’s despair can go to, and even despair itself can gradually be turned into a weapon (of sorts). The way Homura finally falls in to the “dark side” and even manages to elevate herself to a higher existence thru sheer power of will born from the combination of love and despair… it’s a bold move to be doing this for a commercially successful franchise. Truly, this is how religions are born ≧∇≦ブハハハハハ
Aren’t those eyes just so… charming?
So yeah, I’m really liking the movie, just for the sheer ballsiness of pulling this off, plus points for the amazing presentation as well. I really expected the twist of Homura reaching the end of her span as a Puella Magi was the main thing the movie was offering, but the twist behind that was just… sublime. To cap it off, it even foreshadows and affirms that this is truly a “Bad End”, no ifs and buts there. If you’ve been on the fence for this movie, really, go watch it now.
Rewatch: This movie is going to be hard to top anytime.