I'd just like to say, I often describe myself as a recovering anime fan, trying to get into American comics and video games, like a proper lady should.
The finale of Puella Magi Madoka Magika came out last Thursday, but I didnt bother looking for a sub until yesterday. The show was interesting, though it had its flaws. It wasnt nearly as super over-the-top dark as it wanted to be (somewhat because of censorship). But the fact that the entire show was about Madoka's choice to become a magical girl was fascinating. The tenth episode made me freaking cry, so I was hyped for the two-part finale.
Since I actually have ONE READER (gasp!) I think I'm going to be a little vauge on the details of the show. Mostly because every episode is a spoiler for the depths of darkness it tries to delve. Its only twelve episodes, this stuff is packed in!
The first half of the two-parter answered so many lingering questions of the fanbase, and quite a few of the guesses wound up being right. Which is actually kind've wierd, you know? Fan guesses usually all get thrown strongly into a crazy direction, and then they call foul once the show refutes them. Especially after this long of a wait... but almost all of the popular theories were right on. The episode sets everything up to be nice and hopeless with the undefeatable end boss. After, you know, Homura fires ten million rockets, slams and explodes a propane tank into it, summons missile launchers out of the ocean, and blasts the witch into a massive silo with ten gajillion proximity mines, you kindve suspect it's not going to work. If you're prepared and overpowered, anime always tells you youre screwed. So we have a nice little setup for the absolute most depressing ending to a pretty dang depressing and deconstructive show. I'dve seen it coming a million billion miles away.
And then Madoka turns right around and says, "Hell no. No more sad ends. I will become HOPE ITSELF."
Doesnt that sound equally like cop-out bullshit?
...why am I cryyyyiiiing.
Maybe because it worked. No "gotcha!" moment where the man behind the curtain yanks despair out from under you. Whats funny is that because of that wish, the world becomes as it should be. A standard magical girl setting. Its ridiculous and silly, but I'm just blown away by the reconstruction. And by all the bombs and rockets. And the floaty star nudity.
Oh yes, my favorite thing about this show? Lesbians.
Yep, thats all folks, girl just loves her lesbians. Screw yaoi, gimmie more yuri, anime. That's all I want from you, as a straight adult female.
Okay, I'm joking, rather, what makes me happiest about this show is the damn HANDLING of lesbians. Most anime are just so damn glad to pander, especially those magical girl shows aimed at the oldah boys crowd. It's right there in the opening. "Here there be lesbians!" It invites you into a common trope/joke about magical girls, and then takes it seriously. It shows a relationship that doesnt have to have a gender. It shows true love, in a nonphysical way. It shows the purest devotion to a single person, doesnt matter what gender said affection is, it just so happens that her love is for the same gender as herself. They share a hug, a lovers lament, but they never go full blown crazy like the do in the opening.
That is something I wish we could see more often. A love that would be no different if it was "proper," if one of them was male. A strange relationship handled without comment or judgement, simply presented. Something like this had full rights in a anime to take it too far, but they just let it stand as what it should be, a purehearted young love. Almost all of my friends have been gay or bi ever since I've gotten to college, and hanging out with them, it almost seems that simple. "I just like him, so I went with it. I'm not letting society stop me."
Okay, I'm going on too long about the lesbians.
One final gripe: What the hell was Walparugi then?! Was she a collection of witches, like her name suggests? Was she Homura herself, and the depths of her despair, building and building, make Walparugi that much more powerful? Was it an alien? Was it the nature of the wish/curse cycle? Hang on.... yeah, I checked the wiki, it has no goddamn clue either. Kindve a big thing to leave hanging. I mean, this is a Cosmic Horror Story, but Walparugi isnt the source of the horror, only a looming and understood threat to hang over the whole show.
Single reader! Internet! I've gone on too long about this! GO WATCH THE SHOW 8I