These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion
About half of Homura/Madoka fans have jumped ship, thanks to the ending of the movie.
The other half isn't going down without a fight, though.
If the alluded material is any indication, at least a third of the ship's fans would side with Homura.
Some of those who previously shipped the Crack Ship Mami/Charlottenote Due to Mami not having another Puella Magi to be shipped with out of the group in the popular HomuMado and KyouSaya scenarios have begun to back away after Charlotte's human form was officially revealed as the elementary-school-aged Nagisa Momoe. Which is kind of hilarious, seeing as they'll happily pair Mami with what is essentially a mindless, murdersome monster, but not a 10-year-old girl.
Alternate Character Interpretation: Homura and Kyubey return as very ambiguous characters with ambiguous actions, but especiallyHomura, given their very highly-debated actions in the ending of the movie. See also the Fan Dumb entry below, which describes a scene between Homura and Madoka that's commonly alternately-interpreted.
Ultimate Madoka and Akuma Homura, perhaps better described as God-Devil Shipping, is about as extreme as one can get.
Sayaka and Akuma Homura, as Sayaka is all but stated to be an angel for Ultimate Madoka. The same also goes for Nagisa.
Ass Pull: The "howdunnit" of the ending — corruption of a Soul Gem through love — comes off as one to some, and is a common complaint regarding the movie from them. This is due to the fact that said "howdunnit" comes with little to no foreshadowing and seemingly contradicts previously-established canon rules.
Award Snub: The movie was submitted for the Oscar to Best Animated Feature, and yet The Croods and Despicable Me 2 were selected as finalists instead.note Both were considered inferior choices on the list. Adding insult to injury, most, if not all the judges abstained from voting, with one reason stating that it's for kids and never bothered to watch them, thus leading to the aforementioned inferior choices.
The remixes of different character themes that made up the Holy Quintet transformation scene, each covering a different genre. While Mami's usually soaring theme is downshifted specifically because it was the only theme bombastic as is, we get awesome Triumphant Reprise from Sayaka onwards: her "Decretum", Kyouko's "Anima Mala", Homura's "Puella in Somnio", and Madoka's "Sagitta Luminis".
"Misterioso" ("Mysterious") by Kalafina is the song used in the trailers, as well as in the climatic battle with Homulilly, where Mami shoots off her most powerful Tiro Finale attack yet.
Badass Decay: Kyoko gets hit with pretty much the opposite of what happens to Sayaka in this movie: while Sayaka retained all her memories from previous timelines and therefore became much smarter and more jaded, Kyoko is missing most of her memories and therefore is considerably less savage and cunning than in the main series, even considering that she's working with the other Puella Magi from the start. At the very least, she doesn't suffer The Worf Effect because of this, and remains a competent fighter; she's just not as intimidating or overpowering as she was in the series. As a matter of fact, this is Homura's first tip-off that something is wrong. See also They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character below.
A huge one considering the film's ending. Some fans prefer the new world Homura created to the one Madoka created in the anime, and consider Homura's actions sensible and justified. Other fans denounce the film as completely retconning the events of the TV series, and Homura for acting selfishly and betraying Madoka. There's even more controversy with the ending changing Homura and Madoka's relationship, which some fans consider to be sinking the most popular ship.
There's also a split on whether or not Homura did a good thing or a bad thing with the ending. On one hand, she saved everyone and screwed over Kyubey big time, but on the other hand, she's also screwed over a system that was better than the original system, and if Fridge Horror is to be believed, doomed the universe to a much earlier heat death.
Another concern is how the ending is a blatant Sequel Hook. Some fans are angry that they didn't get more closure, and are afraid Madoka Magica will be turned into a Cash Cow Franchise. Others are perfectly fine with it, as they see it as a possibility to see more new content.
The Cake Song is either a hilarious and Dada-ishBig Lipped Alligator Moment, an adorable happy Moe moment between the girls, or a complete embarrassment that has no place in a dark movie, even if the purpose is to mislead the viewer.
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The "Cake Song", where the five Puella Magi chant a bizarre nursery rhyme guessing game to Bebe, accompanied by equally bizarre and dissonant background music.
Broken Aesop: Depending on how you view it, the movie may have broken the anime's ultimate Aesop: Madoka's championing of idealism and hope didn't do much to stop Homura from stealing her powers and using them for her own ends.
Then again, Madoka's idealism and hope only managed toMercy Killmagical girls before they became witches. Yeah, they go to an afterlife... but it's not like their loved ones can go with them. And there's no cheese. Say what you will about the ending, but there's no denying that Homura gave Madoka, Sayaka and Nagisa their normal lives back, which is something Madoka couldn't do. And Homura implies that she will take care of all the curses in the world herself, so that no-one has to suffer anymore. Although, it should be noted that she didn't exactly ask anyone what they wanted.
As noted in the anime page, the movie trilogy was immediately compared to the Rebuild of Evangelion films — an extension of the anime already having comparisons to Neon Genesis Evangelion. However, the trilogy has a greater similarity to the first twoEvangelion films — Death and Rebirth, a theatrical recap of the anime, and The End of Evangelion, a continuation and conclusion of the anime. The introduction of a white-haired character with the name Nagisa has not helped.
With the release of the film, the comparisons to The End Of Evangelion have become even more blatant, as the film is eerily similar to it in terms of themes, Nightmare Fuel, and the ending.
There are also comparisons made to Mega Man Zero, between the ending of Rebellion Story and the story and character arcs of Mega Man Zero, that have eerily similar themes and events.
The Rika and Homura parallels are now even more apparent, especially since Homura has basically become her own Bernkastel.
Contested Sequel: While generally well-received, fans are up in arms over how good this movie is compared to the original series. Some major points of contention include the following: the beginning sequences following more a traditional, fluffy Magical Girl series tropes (and the length of said sequences), the Flanderization of certain characters, and especiallyHomura finally defeating Kyubey, but nullifying the series' ending in order to do so.
Mami/Charlotte was this, but the movie's introduction of Bebe and Nagisa has alleviated this status somewhat. Shipping Mami with Charlotte specifically, however, can still count.
Once again, Sayaka and Homura, due to the two's hostility towards one another, and general inability to get along. Sayaka's aggression towards Akuma Homura furthers this.
Sayaka and Nagisa, otherwise known as SayaNagi, has gained quite a bit of popularity. Reasons why are due to the two being rather enthusiastic, cheerful characters; having a musical theme (Sayaka's overall theme, and Nagisa has a trumpet weapon); both being heralds of Ultimate Madoka, on a double-mission to protect Madoka and investigate Homura's Witch barrier, being able to channel their Witch forms in some way and summon hordes of their familiars (and other Witch's), and being a cutesy young-girl-and-cool-older-girl kind of couple. It helps that Nagisa is quite similar in many ways to Madoka, who is already prominently shipped with Sayaka.
Basically anyone with Nagisa could count — except Mami — due to how little or no interactions she has with the other Puella Magi.
Draco in Leather Pants: Homura easily reached this status upon becoming Akuma Homura, kicking Kyubey's system to the curb and manipulating Ultimate Madoka's, thus creating a new universe and system altogether and ensuring an Everyone Lives ending, despite her imprisoning Madoka and suppressing her powers as Ultimate Madoka, and telling her that if she continues to think selflessly and follow duty above all else, she and Homura will become enemies someday. It helps that she's Ambiguously Evil.
Die for Our Ship: After Homura's drastic measures, the SayaMado base can be heard clamoring for Armageddon, while HomuMado are prepared to fight to the last person to hold the current status quo. Some people Took a Third Option, though.
Evil Is Cool/Sexy: Akuma Homura, especially given her very revealing outfit. Just look at some of the official art◊ of her! (Note: The link contains major spoilers!) Shame she's only properly seen for such a small amount of time in the movie itself.
It's easy to believe that Homura's actions at the end of the movie are done because she wants Madoka all to herself. However, this is not the case. In the flower field Homura does not become upset because Madoka says she Loves You And Everybody. Homura becomes upset because Madoka is saying she would never want to sacrifice herself the way she did at the end of the anime. Homura originally believed that Madoka wanted to sacrifice herself, but her conversation with Madoka causes her to conclude that Madoka only sacrificed herself because she felt she had to. In other words, Homura thinks that Madoka acted out of duty, not desire. At this point Homura exclaims that she should have stopped Madoka from sacrificing herself in the final timeline, and she ultimately fulfills what she believes are Madoka's true desires when she forcefully separates Madoka from the Law of Cycles and creates a new reality where Madoka is human again. At the end of the movie Homura bluntly states that she just wants a world where Madoka is happy... which has been her goal since before beginning of the anime.
Meta-example: Yes, Urobuchi originally planned on a more conclusive ending. No, he didn't change the script to include it. In fact, he didn't even have a script until Shinbo gave him the idea of the Twist Ending.
It seems that Madoka and natural disasters involving water have something in common. The last two episodes of the anime had to be delayed because of the 2011 tsunami. The first two movies had the East United States being hit by Hurricane Sandy. Rebellion Story comes out, and history repeats, with the Philippines being hit with a typhoon.
Urobuchi has said that the story of Rebellion coincidentally matches the lyrics from "Magia". What he didn't say is that makes their implications even more frightening than before, considering the ending.
Puella Magi Oriko Magica almost seems to have retroactive Foreshadowing for this movie. For example, in one scene, Homura insists on saving Madoka, even when Madoka begs her to save other people instead. Then there's Kirika Kure, who was a YandereEvil Counterpart of Homura that was obsessed with love. Kirika even creates a Witch barrier before becoming a Witch, much like Homura does in Rebellion Story.
How about the fansubs that translated "majuu" as "Demon", for the new enemies at the end of the anime series? Now there's a reason the official translation is "Wraith".
As noted on the Trivia page, Rebellion premiered in Japan on the same date as DokiDoki! Precure's Non-Serial Movie. A few months later, Doki Doki aired an episode revealing the show's villain originally made a selfish decision to save their loved one. Sound familiar?
It Gets Better: The first 30 minutes are rather generic Magical Girl fare, and can be seen as little more than Fanservice or Padding, but once the illusion starts to break down, the film kicks into full gear and doesn't let up.
Les Yay: It's a Puella Magi movie. It would be more surprising if there wasn'tLes Yay enough for ten thousand doujins.
Whether it was for fanservice or not, the main two relationships (Homura/Madoka and Kyoko/Sayaka) got a lot more focus and attention to them than the anime (though the more minor and/or possible pairings, such as Mami/Madoka and Kyouko/Mami, got far less or no attention as a result), and we now have Nagisa as a new candidate for pairings—as well as a definite partner for Mami—and the addition of a new relationship, Mami/Nagisa. Here are the three main relationships explained a little more:
Homura and Madoka: The movie has made their relationship somewhat complicated, in comparison to the anime. While Homura's romantic feelings are basically confirmed by the movie, it is unknown if Madoka returns them, especially given the ending of the movie. Also, in the end where Homura hugs Madoka to stop her goddess powers awakening, depending on how you see it, it could look like Homura is grabbing Madoka's breast due the way her hand and Madoka is positioned.
Kyoko and Sayaka: Like in the anime, Kyoko is most definitely implied to have romantic feelings for Sayaka - and these are basically confirmed by their scene together in the movie's climatic battle - and Sayaka says that her one regret was that she wasn't able to spend more time with Kyoko in their previous meetings. However, the movie changes up their relationship to be more friendly, unlike the anime where the two constantly fought over things: in the movie, there is a definite strong, mutual respect and friendship to their relationship now, and the two fight together as a duo team. It should also be noted that the two are living together in the same house now, which depending on how you look at it, may be either romantic subtext or not.
Mami and Nagisa: Though while uncertain if the relationship has any romantic subtext, they are most definitely very good friends. It is worth noting that Mami says at one point that if not for Nagisa's or more precisely, Bebe's friendship, she would have been lost a long time ago. Though while these feelings are actually fake ones created by Homura, there is the ending of the movie, where they are partners again, to consider. Their relationship also seems to have many similarities to the more minor Mami/Madoka from the anime, with Mami as a mentor and good friend to Madoka/Nagisa, and Nagisa and Madoka being rather similar in personality. It helps that Mami is often paired with Charlotte, Nagisa's Witch form even before the movie came out.
Kyouko and Homura get lots of interaction in the movie. There is notably the scene on the bus, where Homura calms Kyouko down from her anger, and the scene during Homura's transformation into Homulilly where Kyouko is seen caressing a Homura◊ with half of her head missing.
Mami seems to have a thing for tying up Homura with ribbons, as the movie marks the third time she's done it (in the series, she did this right before the battle with Charlotte, and again to Moemura in episode 10). She never does this to anyone else.
And then there's the proceeding scene of Sayaka saving Homura — with a Bridal Carry! — which can help to add fuel for the SayaHomu shippers.
Mami and Sayaka are seen riding in a boat ride together in the OP. And you know what they say about couples in boat rides...
Memetic Loser: Of all people, Akuma Homura gets this treatment. While Homura's in-series incarnation is treated as an insanely badass stalker by the fandom, her movie self, as of the ending, is occasionally portrayed as someone who's trying too hard to come off as evil, while being taunted and bothered by her own familiars at every step. This is despite the fact that she was able to usurp Madoka and finally defeat the Incubators. Interestingly enough, this fits in with Homura's own view of herself.
Memetic Molester: Again, Akuma Homura. This is due to a number of things, including her various weird facial expressions, her sexy and revealing outfit and poses, her becoming a demon out of her selfish love for Madoka, and then there's the scene where she harasses Kyubey with one of her fingers, while declaring he's to be a slave in her new world... yeah. There's also quite a bit of fanart of her "toying" with the other Puella Magi, usually Sayaka or Kyouko or Ultimate Madoka.
Everything about the Cake Song.Explanation A really sugary, sweet, light and fluffy moment where the Puella Magi sing a lullaby about a round cake to defeat a Nightmare.
From the ending, among many things, we have HAIL HOMUCIFER.Explanation Homura becomes a devil figure by the end of the movie. Her canonical name is Akuma/Akuma Homura, but her fan nickname is Homucifer.
AI YOExplanation Something Homura said after her rise to demonhood. It translates to "love".
Homura's weird expression at the end of the movie, mainly due to her lips. It's probably intended to show smugness, but... ehh. This expression has been popping up in Pixiv lately.
Homura gets a lot of weird expressions in general after her rise to demonhood. Some of them come off as sexy — especially when coupled with her new, rather revealing outfit — but others... not so much.
Oriko was right.Explanation Referring to how much Oriko Magica foreshadowed this movie — see Harsher in Hindsight above.
Mis-blamed: It might be easy to blame Urobuchi or Executive Meddling for some of the twists in this movie, but Gen Urobuchiquite explicitly says that the movie was a collaborative effort from Magica Quartet. On that note, the big twist of Homura usurping Ultimate Madoka was actually Akiyuki Shinbo's idea and was only necessary because Shinbo wanted an open-ended ending to allow for another sequel. (Note: The links contain major spoilers for the movie!)
Most Wonderful Sound: The iconic noise of a Witch's barrier vanishing at the end of the climactic battle.
The infamous "Tomatomura" scene with Homura in the post-climax sequence. She's in full cliche'd "Evil Overlord" mode, relaxing in a chair and drinking a fruity beverage like a villain from a Bond movie as she casually gloats with this lopsided, smug grin on her face. Then she gets beaned with a tomato, with said tomato being thrown by her own familiars. Not that Homura really seems to mind it.
However, Fridge Logic pertaining to this scene says that the tomato being thrown at her by her familiars was a symbol of how Homura is not as smugly satisfied with the outcome of her actions as she seems to be.
Also, a little bit after this scene, Homura is seen with a rather spaced-out, creepy expression, and tomato juice running down her face like blood, while the camera zooms in on her tired, corrupted-looking eyes. The sting of it really drains out all the previous comedy.
In another post-climax scene, during a wistful and emotional montage, we get a shot of a panicked Mami rushing to save a distracted Nagisa from a collapsing pile of packages of cheese, in slow motion to boot. That said, the scene also implies that Mami and Nagisa will be friends again in the new world, so there's some heartwarming here.
As mentioned above under Memetic Mutation, some of Homura's new expressions fall under this. Most of them are likely supposed to make her look insane, given her Sanity Slippage, but some of them just end up looking really weird.
Homura's hair gets very dramatic in the movie, even more so than in the anime. However, sometimes it just makes her look silly, and other times it looks weird or out of place.
Shipping Nagisa with any of the other Puella Magi can fall into this trope, due to Nagisa being an elementary student around 10 years old, but especially with Mami, who is quite a few more years older than Nagisa than the rest of the Puella Magi.
For some people, Homura/Madoka has become this, given the events of the movie.
On the flip side, some people have joined in shipping Kyouko/Sayaka, due to the more friendlier, healthier and mutual relationship they have in the movie.
Padding: Despite the excellent in-universe explanation, many fans who enjoyed Madoka Magica for the darker elements view the Lighter and SofterHomulilly witch barrier opening as this, as Madoka is anything but a conventional Magical Girl show.
Nagisa can seem like an unnecessary addition that basically boils down to this, being thrown in simply because of Charlotte's enormous popularity.
It doesn't help that the description for the movie includes the line "Will Nagisa Momoe, the new magical girl with an unsure face, reveal the truth?", implying she plays a major role, or a minor role with major impact, when in reality she doesn't do very much at all. Some fans think she could've easily been cut out of the movie without much change to the overall plot.
However, this doesn't apply to her witch form, Bebe, who serves as a catalyst for several important events in the movie. Even so, Nagisa herself could still be cut out without much trouble.
The opening essentially depicts what quite a few fans have been wanting to see: all five girls living a happy life together, Kyoko going to school and being best buds with Sayaka (complete with tons of Ship Tease), Mami and Charlotte together, etc.
The new relationship between Sayaka and Kyoko could be seen as this to some people, especially their scene together during the climax battle.
The new relationship between Akuma Homura and Madoka/Ultimate Madoka is definitely this for certain people.
The entire movie and plot can be seen as taking advantage of Homura's status as the series' breakout Deuteragonistnote surpassing Madoka in popularity in some circles; she is the main character of the movie, and then is the one to defeat Kyubey, becoming the Big Bad and an equally powerful Evil Counterpart to Ultimate Madoka in the process.
On the other hand, there are scenes like Sayaka and Kyoko all but confessing their feelings for each other, Sayaka and Nagisa with control over their Witches, etc. Both are rather common in the fandom, and yet they take place after the masquerade has fallen apart; neither are due to any Lotus-Eater Machine. Urobuchi may be mocking the fanbase, but on the other hand, he's saying it isn't asking for the impossible. After all, Madoka Magica is his attempt at a heartwarming story...
When you look closely at the plot of Rebellion Story, it plays very similarly to the plot of the anime — see Whole Plot Reference on the main page. This could be read as a possible jab at fans who rewrite the anime's plot, or write alternate timelines in the anime's canon, to be happier. Funnily enough, by the end, the situation is definitely a happy one — the magical girl system has been abolished, and Homura will take care of everything herself instead of letting magical girls do so, while the main cast lives happy, normal lives again — which makes Rebellion Story a successful, happier rewrite of the anime!
Homura's deep devotion to Madoka drives her to become the devil itself... using The Power of Love.
Inverted for Sayaka, who has none of the emotional issues she had in the anime, and has mass amounts of Ship Tease with Kyouko, with their relationship becoming more healthy and friendly. The same also goes for Kyouko herself, since she's kinder, less savage and less sadistic than in the anime.
Sayaka's and Kyouko's overall better and healthier potrayals in the movie have salvaged them from some fans who didn't like their potrayals in the anime.
Homura's actions in the movie, while definitely very divisive, have also made fans like her more — this is probably due to Homura's accepting of all her dark traits from the anime — such as her incredibly unhealthy dependance on Madoka, her abusive, demeaning nature to Madoka and to her friends, and her antagonism and unwillingness to communicate with the others — as well as said flaws and dark spots being brought to the light whereas the anime denied them in the ending. Her demon form also helped her case, for obvious reasons.
Rooting for the Empire: It's easy to root for Homura after she finally overturns Kyubey and his fellow incubators and ensures an Everybody Lives ending. Whether we're supposed to like what she did is unclear; the creators have basically said it's supposed to be ambiguous.
The Scrappy: In many fans' eyes, Homura has become this after her drastic measures and actions in this movie, especially as Akuma Homura, despite (or perhaps because of) how in-character it all is. In particular, many shippers have come to hate her for what they see as canonically sinking the much-loved MadoHomu ship.
The movie takes place in Homura's ideal world. In said ideal world, Kyouko is stated to be living with Sayaka, and the two are incredibly friendly with each other, complete with mass amounts of Ship Tease. Do the math.
Related to the above, there's also Homura and Madoka paired up — though their relationship gets a lot more complicated — and Mami and Bebe/Nagisa. The latter even more so, to the point where Mami states that if it weren't for Bebe, she would have fallen into despair a long time ago, and wouldn't be as strong as she is today.
Special Effects Failure: At a couple of points in the movie, most noticeably after Homulilly's witch barrier is destroyed, before Ultimate Madoka arrives to Homura, Homura's Soul Gem appears to be blue-coloured, when it should be purple-coloured instead.
This was apparently an attempt to show how Homura's Soul Gem was corrupted in an unusual way.note For example, Nagisa comments that it has a scary appearance. It just ended up looking like Sayaka's Soul Gem, before she transformed into Oktavia.
Tastes Like Diabetes: The opening sequences. For one thing, the girls' Soul Gems are cleansed by sparkles. Sparkles that are created after a Nightmare is defeated in a non-violent manner. And then there's the whole of the Cake Song business.
The Nightmares are bizarre and adorable at the same time.
Bebe may come off as this to some, though her human form is nothing short of incredibly cute.
Uncanny Valley: If you look closely, all the non-named characters in the witch barrier have dot eyes and burned faces. Homura's familiars, who repopulate her new universe at the end of the movie, also have strange facial features that make them look very creepy compared to the other characters.
The Untwist: People started guessing that Nagisa was Charlotte by The Stinger of the second movie. When it was revealed that she wears pink and polka dots, her magical girl outfit is brown with a cape and big sleeves, she's unusually close to Mami, and her specialty item at the concession promotions was cheese-flavored popcorn... yeah. It's a pretty minor twist, though, and the whole thing is really just a case of Trailers Always Spoil anyway.
Nagisa's character is considered by many fans to be a waste of potential, given her lack of screen-time and mostly just serving as a plot device,note These points be justified a little by the fact that this is only a two-hour movie, after all, with far less time to develop characters than the anime's twelve episodes and some consider her existence as mere fan pandering.note Especially given that now — with Nagisa being added to the Puella Magi group, rounding it off to a nice, even six — Mami has a "go-to" Puella Magi to be shipped with, that won't interfere with the other "main" ships. See also Pandering to the Base above.
Kyouko is also affected. She has the unfortunate combination of being sucked into Homura's witch barrier unwillingly,note as opposed to going there willingly like Madoka and Sayakaand being defined by her darker personality traits in the anime, and therefore loses most of her character depth, due to her mind being altered to fit into the happy, sparkly, fluffy atmosphere. Although Kyouko does revert to her sour, lone-wolf personality later on in the movie, as a result of learning that she's in a fake world with fake memories, she basically just sits in the background anyway, and doesn't care enough to help anyone until the climatic battle.
However, on the flip side, some view her kinder, less savage and sadistic potrayal as better than the anime. It helps that Kyouko didn't suffer The Worf Effect and still remains a competent fighter — she's just less vicious than she was before.
The Wraiths. Before the release of the movie, it was expected that the Wraiths would get more attention and exposition on in the movie, due to a lack of such from the end of anime; however, they do not make a single appearance in the movie aside from mere mentions. Because of this, some have come to view Wraiths as a pointless, filler enemy that really just ends up being there, because something had to take over the Witches after they all were erased at the end of the anime.
The Nightmares also fall under this trope for similar reasons.
What an Idiot: Homura, despite being the most Genre Savvy of the girls, told Manipulative Bastard Kyubey all about Madoka and the previous Magical Girl/Witch system. Realizing how much more efficient this system would be, the Incubators set out to take control of Ultimate Madoka and restore the old system.
What Do You Mean, It's Not For Little Girls?: Even more so than the series; the movie starts off as if it were a show for little girls, in order to deliberately mislead the viewer, and ends with Homura becoming the devil.
Furthermore, it premiered during the same weekend as the (non-serial) movie of DokiDoki! Precure. Can you tell which one is actually for little girls? Dokidoki is.
Zero Approval Gambit: One theory regarding Homura's actions is that the ending is the beginning of one of these.