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Rebellion comment for HelpingWritersBecomeAuthors

Apr 20th, 2021
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  1. So, here’s one from the world of anime, where the protagonist tragically falls from the Queen to the Sorceress: “Madoka Magica Rebellion”. Alas, it used to be on Netflix, but is now nearly impossible to watch. So, recap:
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  3. “Rebellion” is a sequel to the TV series “Madoka Magica”, a magical girl deconstruction that I like to call “Sailor Moon meets Watchmen”. In it, magical girls are granted one wish in exchange for the power and the duty to venture into extra-dimensional “labyrinths” to defeat bizarre monsters called “witches”. Late in the series, it’s revealed that witches are created from magical girls who fell into despair, and that this vicious cycle has been going on for millennia (Cleopatra, Himiko, and Joan of Arc are all implied to have been magical girls) under the supervision of alien “incubators”. In the finale, protagonist Madoka uses her wish to destroy witches throughout time before they are even born. Because of the resulting paradox — Madoka must herself become a witch, who must also be destroyed by her own wish — the laws of the universe change, and Madoka is erased from existence, becoming the concept of hope, referred to as the “Law of Cycles” who takes fallen magical girls to the afterlife.
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  5. But as Rebellion begins, all of this appears to be off the table. The five magical girls from the TV series work side-by-side — even though they were never all alive and all magical girls at the same time in any of the series’ timelines — to clear the city of monsters called “nightmares”. Homura, the shadow protagonist of the series, suspects something is wrong. She was the only one to remember Madoka at the end of the series, and starts to investigate, taking on the Queen role as she probes the true threat to the city. Alternately interrogating and battling the other magical girls, she makes a horrifying discovery: the entire city is a labyrinth, and the witch at its center is the witch form of Homura herself. Kyubey, the adorable animal mascot who’s actually an incubator, spills the beans: the real Homura is on the outside, on the brink of terminal despair, trapped in a stasis field by the incubators, who hope to use Homura’s ascension to the afterlife as an opportunity to capture the Law of Cycles (i.e., Madoka in her goddess form) for their own purposes. Homura, determined to protect Madoka and foil the incubators, attempts to destroy her own witch form, collapsing the illusionary city in on itself. But the other magical girls rise up and fight on her behalf (like the heroes and maidens of the queen arc), defeating the incubators and destroying their false city.
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  7. Outside, two of the magical girls stand by Homura’s dying body as Madoka descends from heaven to lead Homura to the afterlife, with Homura’s final mission now complete. But at the last second, Homura grabs Madoka, tearing away her human side and keeping it for herself. With the power she’s stolen, Homura creates a false reality where Madoka is now a timid transfer student (exactly mirroring Homura in the TV seres’ first timeline), completely unaware of her power, protected by and forever dependent on Homura. The obsessive, controlling Homura is now the Sorceress, even acknowledging in a monologue that she has effectively become a “demon”, and that she and Madoka are fated to become enemies should Madoka ever learn the truth. But if that’s the cost of protecting Madoka from the Incubators, Homura is happy to accept it. The movie ends with a shot of Kyubey on the ground beneath her, bedraggled and twitching from the nightmarish reality that has come to pass.
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  9. Nice little article on Rebellion: https://www.cbr.com/puella-magi-madoka-magica-rebellion-5-ways-its-the-perfect-finale-for-the-anime-5-ways-its-not/
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