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Old 2012-01-31, 12:34   Link #1
Triple_R
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Madoka Magica - Critical Reception Outside of AnimeSuki

Ever wonder what the critical reception of Madoka Magica is beyond the hallowed halls of this Soul Gem-encrusted Series Subforum? Well wonder no more, for we now have a thread for linking to (and discussing) such reviews and awards!

First off, let's see what ANN's Zac Bertschy had to say about Madoka Magica in an ANN review here. What you read at that link might surprise you.

Secondly, here's some good news about Madoka Magica winning the Grand Prize of the Japan Media Arts Festival!

Unfortunately, Kyubey was not able to be reached for comment, but reports have it that he intends to contract with a couple extra teenage girls today in order to celebrate the award.


So for any and all discussion on critical reception of Madoka Magica outside of Anime Suki (including blogs as well), please use this thread!
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Old 2012-01-31, 13:07   Link #2
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What I find interesting about the ANN review is that this was Zac's impressions based on episode 1 last year:

Quote:
Story: whaaaaatever
Visuals: 5

So here we go: pink-haired cutsey-poo Madoka has a terrifying vision of an apocalyptic future where an unnamed threat is being fought off by a struggling magical girl with long hair. A little Sanrio-lookin’ cat mascot character tells her that if she wants to stop all this from happening, she has to become a Puella Magi. Next day at school a mysterious, stern, soft-spoken girl shows up and wouldn't you know it, it's the same girl from her dream. During a fateful trip to the mall, she gets a mysterious telepathic distress call from said Sanrio cat mascot thing and winds up having to save it from the mysterious girl, who's trying to kill it for some reason – then the Benevolent Magical Girl finally shows up, a bunch of crazy shit starts happening and then they ask Madoka to join the Puella Magi and presumably get the story moving.

In terms of plot, this is no different from your standard “late night magical girl show” where there's obnoxious loli fanservice in the opening credits (although surprisingly none in the episode itself) and the characters are mostly pasted-together moe archetypes. The story here is predictable, and it seems like they're taking a lot of cues from the last big “serious business” magical-girl-show-aimed-at-otaku, Nanoha. Normally I don't like this kind of thing.

But that “5” up there in the ratings box is entirely for how stunningly visually inventive Puella Magi Madoka Magica is. We open on a beautifully rendered apocalyptic landscape with some intense colors going on, and then transition into the “real world” where the backgrounds are all very pleasing to the eye – they look like modern art museum interiors or maybe Futurist Frank Lloyd Wright, with lots of intense but carefully placed angles. Then later in the episode things get really cool and the screen is awash in some really nifty street-art-meets-abstract-surrealism stuff, with elements pasted on like some kind of Banksian collage. I haven't seen anyone try to get this artistically ambitious in an otherwise boilerplate genre show since King of Bandit Jing; I have to assume that it's the hand of director Akiyuki Shinbo, whose stuff I also don't usually like, but the man is known for trying some crazy things visually and whatever he's doing here, it works. It's exciting to see someone try something different. It's a little jarring to see the extremely generic character designs wandering around through all this artistic madness; I can't say I care one bit about the story or what's going on, and I can't say I'd watch more of the series unless I were fast-forwarding until all these elements start popping up again, but I'm more than happy to applaud even a glimmer of visual inventiveness.

I guess like a lot of people Zac got trolled but glad to see he came around.The rating is for the first 4 episodes only though,should be interesting to see what his thoughts are on the rest of the show later.



To any other french posters,can anyone find animeland's review of the show online?I remember reading it in the mag but can't find it online.Would love to read it again considering it boldly predicted that Madoka would soon be forgotten if I remember correctly.Would love to read it again just for laughs.
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Old 2012-01-31, 13:29   Link #3
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Quote:
First off, let's see what ANN's Zac Bertschy had to say about Madoka Magica in an ANN review here.
I wonder if the reviewer really hasn't seen more than 4 episodes yet and in the case he does, whether he deliberately restrains himself from watching the subs.
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Old 2012-01-31, 13:32   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post

I guess like a lot of people Zac got trolled but glad to see he came around.
Yeah, I think he probably assumed after Episode 1 that Homura was your standard misguided "Dark Magical Girl" who needed to be helped out but also set straight (like Fate Testarossa), and that Kyubey was on the "up and up" (like Yuuno). Given his jadedness with the magical girl genre, he probably didn't pick up on the subtle clues in the first episode that this was going to be anything but conventional.
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Old 2012-01-31, 13:33   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
To any other french posters,can anyone find animeland's review of the show online?I remember reading it in the mag but can't find it online.Would love to read it again considering it boldly predicted that Madoka would soon be forgotten if I remember correctly.Would love to read it again just for laughs.
I couldn't find it, but I've managed to salvage a mangled scan of the article.
That is to say, the whole thing looks ludicrous: far from finding Madoka as a masterpiece, I think the whole "study of magical girls" by comparing it with meg and Nanoha were nothing but misplaced. That and the flat "nothing much happens during these 12 episodes".
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Old 2012-01-31, 13:35   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snork View Post
I wonder if the reviewer really hasn't seen more than 4 episodes yet and in the case he does, whether he deliberately restrains himself from watching the subs.
That's a funny thought.

ANN is officially anti-fansub, but if Zac likes PMMM this much, it must be hard to restrain himself from watching more.
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Old 2012-01-31, 15:05   Link #7
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Madoka wasn't licensed till long after it finished airing, so either ANN has access to Japanese TV stations and can watch them live as they air (which I consider unlikely, due to the effort that would probably take), have other ways of getting the episodes legally, or they use raws and/or fansubs to form their opinions on.

Either way, it's interesting how Zac, who's known to be a vicious critic, pretty much does a full 180 on a show he basically flamed to death, only praising it's art and animation at first.
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Old 2012-01-31, 15:09   Link #8
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ANN used to do their reviews using fansubs

They've admitted so on their forums and tried to justify it.
Not sure what they're doing now.

Honestly, I think Zac builds up his "reputation" from bashing shows which he suspect have moe elements.
That's his identity. That's how he markets himself.
It's just that he had to backpedal now because of the national recognition Japan gave to Madoka.
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Old 2012-01-31, 17:03   Link #9
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Originally Posted by Lord of Fire View Post
Madoka wasn't licensed till long after it finished airing, so either ANN has access to Japanese TV stations and can watch them live as they air (which I consider unlikely, due to the effort that would probably take), have other ways of getting the episodes legally, or they use raws and/or fansubs to form their opinions on.
Just in regards to Madoka, the first licensed release comes out in 2 weeks. It's not unheard of for them to have gotten an early copy (and I believe that's what they said they did) for review purposes. ANN is pretty reputable, after all.
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Old 2012-01-31, 23:25   Link #10
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ANN only does reviews for series that are licensed only these days whether it be in hard DVD/Bluray format or simulcast streaming. They did do fansubs a few years back but that was before all this simulcast booming started.

As for Zac and co, I follow ANNcast (podcast done by Zac and Justin) on a weekly basis, and although I only take in half of what they say (usually ignore their "blind moe bashing") some of what they say -can- be informative. It's obvious that Zac and co are "old-school" anime fans, but I've checked up some of the older titles they praised and for the most past I largely agree/enjoyed them.

I do question Zac's professionality sometimes, as in particular his seasonal preview reviews tend to be "trollish", but I don't think you can dismiss their opinions entirely as some series are, how should I say, very "fratboy", "immature" and even "offensive". He does sometimes blindly hate series though which I do find annoying but I largely ignore it.

Anyways back on topic regarding Madoka Magica. Glad to see him come around to see the "beauty" of the series. Overrated or not (seriously what popular, well-received series isn't considered overrated), Madoka Magica was the most bold and high profile series of last year (alongside Redline DVD/Bluray release maybe, but that film is actually a few years old) and it -largely- met the hype.

Here's a tweet he posted up a few days ago:

Quote:
Zac Bertschy @ANNZac Close
Hey without spoiling does the end of Madoka Magica even come close to fulfilling the promise of the first 4 episodes? that's some good shit.
I'm tempted to actually reply to this because yes Zac, you just treaded the surface
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Old 2012-02-01, 02:24   Link #11
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Originally Posted by GDB View Post
Just in regards to Madoka, the first licensed release comes out in 2 weeks. It's not unheard of for them to have gotten an early copy (and I believe that's what they said they did) for review purposes. ANN is pretty reputable, after all.
But that wasn't the point. I know reputable sources can get their hands on promotional material and such, but there is no explanation for how they can review shows that are still airing and aren't licensed.
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Old 2012-02-01, 08:50   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
I couldn't find it, but I've managed to salvage a mangled scan of the article.
That is to say, the whole thing looks ludicrous: far from finding Madoka as a masterpiece, I think the whole "study of magical girls" by comparing it with meg and Nanoha were nothing but misplaced. That and the flat "nothing much happens during these 12 episodes".
Thanks,better than nothing.
The hilarious thing about that "nothing much happens during these 12 episodes" comment was that only 10 episodes were out at the time of the review.When someone told this to the reviewer his answer was "I'm a journalist,I've got insider info on what the ending of Madoka will be"
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Old 2012-02-01, 09:07   Link #13
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LoL what a moron.
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Old 2012-02-01, 11:15   Link #14
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Did this guy even watch episode 3????
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Old 2012-02-01, 13:43   Link #15
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Originally Posted by Diveman View Post
Did this guy even watch episode 3????
Yes he did,he saw 10 episodes.Or at least says he did.


Just to make it clear,this isn't some random blogger that wrote this,it's a reviewer on the french equivalent of ANN.

Though since it seems Madoka got a bit of a cold reception on the blogosphere I doubt it'll get a french licence anytime soon.
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Old 2012-02-01, 18:22   Link #16
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Originally Posted by totoum View Post
Yes he did,he saw 10 episodes.Or at least says he did.


Just to make it clear,this isn't some random blogger that wrote this,it's a reviewer on the french equivalent of ANN.

Though since it seems Madoka got a bit of a cold reception on the blogosphere I doubt it'll get a french licence anytime soon.
I dont know man, specially because of the "In terms of plot, this is no different from your standard “late night magical girl show”" ...I mean...come on, when was the last time you say magical girls get eaten alive or turn into monsters (and dying in the process)
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Old 2012-02-01, 19:13   Link #17
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Since it seems you're referring to the first review totoum posted, that one was based upon the first episode alone. It's the french one posted right above your initial post that was made after ten episodes.

So yeah, since it seems you're talking about that first review, that one was before episode 3. Unless of course the french review says the same thing. Wouldn't know.
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Old 2012-02-01, 20:02   Link #18
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Originally Posted by Diveman View Post
I dont know man, specially because of the "In terms of plot, this is no different from your standard “late night magical girl show”" ...I mean...come on, when was the last time you say magical girls get eaten alive or turn into monsters (and dying in the process)
Oh yeah,that's the first review,I thought you were talking about the second one.

First review was based on the first episode,even said so in my post.
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Old 2012-02-01, 20:28   Link #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
Yes he did,he saw 10 episodes.Or at least says he did.


Just to make it clear,this isn't some random blogger that wrote this,it's a reviewer on the french equivalent of ANN.

Though since it seems Madoka got a bit of a cold reception on the blogosphere I doubt it'll get a french licence anytime soon.
That's unfortunate, but interesting.

Why do you think some French anime bloggers didn't like the show? It's no big deal, I'm just curious.
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Old 2012-02-02, 07:06   Link #20
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Yeah me too! I'm a french animes/mangas/games lover and want to find the author of this garbage criticism and insul... ask him how?
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