Aeo: With the faults and everything, I love the hell out of the Slayers. I may get killed for saying this, but I actually preferred Lisa Ortiza to Megumi Hayashibara; that girl really made Lina into some unique creature for the series, and her charisma for the character is telling. I'd love to see the show keep making comebacks the way Evangelion has also had trouble staying "dead" after its initial run.
My theatre got the print that seems to be rolling around the country for the new Puella Madoka Magica movie. The third one! REBELLION!!! (which I like to just say: "Reberrion!") I liked the series so I went (and how often does anime show on the big screen?).
Some of the "witch" visuals can be impressive (continuing the trend of using mixed-media and "arts & crafts" motifs to show it off), but some of it is also extremely distracting to the point I really had no idea what was happening and thought this was some sort of "method design" where team putting it together was tripping on some serious acid. There were also some frame-rate issues or just characters pulling "derp" faces that made it kind of wonky as well (and surprising for a feature-length animation).
The beginning is also kinda hard to understand. I think they literally at one point show the girls doing a "paddycake exorcism". Another part involved a bus ride to go "figure things out"... but it's treated by disturbing visuals that aren't seemingly the point of the scene at ALL and aren't treated as anything important (creating it awkward for the viewer?)....
Of course, one reason for that is probably because it's a world in Homura's witch nightmare, but till that reveal happens it's played much too obscurely and strangely than cleverly.
Oh, on that note, I adore them bringing back the witch that killed Mami to have some role, and I love that Sayaka plays in that as well since both girls are these sort-of "witches back from the dead". Sayaka's final scene was also well-played
Anyways, the film basically goes to tell that if Madoka has become a god, then Homura has decided to become Lucifer in some way. Besides some of the clusterfucks for how that works (it'd probably take me a rewatch of the film and series to really get it), the end seemed to have made sense in some way. I think it's fantastic that they brought back the idea that Homura's Magical Girl wish was never really fulfilled if it means Madoka's gone. And I think that even though it's about one kiss shy of Madoka and Homura becoming full-lesbians, you get the idea that Homura's absolute love for Madoka is like a scar: It's ugly, and it's permanent... even if they may one day become enemies of each other.
I really liked Kyubey's existence in this film and end-goal. I actually thought this aspect was pretty clever and a great addition to a generally fucked-up plot.
Nevertheless, the music, the visuals, and the action were extremely striking even if not always coherent (a few mind-fuck moments with Homura's character were very "abstract" but still very effectively done). There was one moment in the film's...um, "opening" (goddamit Japan) that was particularly haunting yet well placed given the otherwise cheery melody.
It also clearly paves the way for another movie.
...I'm also surprised they don't have animated shampoo commercials in Japan. Homura should be in one; they show her blowing or unraveling or elegantly flowing in almost every goddamn scene she's in.