Madoka movie part 2, David Bowie-sque labyrinth, 17 forever


Sunday night, The Day of Infamy, aka, Pearl Harbor (Dec 7th in American time), Gautama Buddha’s pari-nirvana day, and also the day John Lennon was killed. Yes, December 8th is very historical day. That night, I bought a ticket online while I thought there won’t be any tickets left since this was the movie that everyone was excited about. And we had a high expectation for how Urobuchi would turn around the story in a form of cinematique.

So, I went to Downtown and it was really effing freezing. I had my duffle coat on and scarfs around my neck, but it was still cold. I got too used to So-Cal weather. When I was in Tokyo, this coldness was nothing. I could walk outside with only a T-shirt on. But now, just 50 degree F, jeez, it’s already so f@cking freezing. I thought my hands would turn into ice. And then on Main St., I spotted a long line that went to a movie theater, and I saw Madoka movie posters on the windows. Yes, that’s it, this is the film that I was going to enjoy!

Now, I had waited this moment, and I saw a Madoka cosplayer too, but I was too preoccupied with securing a good seat in the theater, so I forgot to take a picture of her. Anyway, I got a pretty good seat, and surprisingly there were few seats left at front while I thought it would be full.

Finally, a theater worker made a speech about Madoka film and we clapped with cheers. And then the movie started.

Well, first it started with Louis Vuitton commercial. But the music was classical, yes, harpsichord, very baroque, but suddenly the stringent voice that was very familiar caught my ears. “This is David Bowie!” Yes, David Bowie, aka, Ziggy Stardust, who is known as a paper maker who created the combative papers for Yomiko Readman of Read Or Die. Yes, David Bowie is even influential to us anime otakus. So, his subcultural influence goes beyond rock music and also reaches Akiba subculture. And also his style reminds me of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, today’s Ziggy from Harajuku instead of Mars. David Bowie is surely a pioneer to that style of artistic performance. He leveled up rock’n roll from a frivolous black music to the state of art. David Bowie himself also appeared in the Louis Vuitton commercial, playing harpsichord and singing I’d Rather Be High. That sound is very late 60s, yes, very psychedelic like old Sid’s Pink Floyd sound. The commercial reminded me of the film Labyrinth (1986). It has the same feel to it. In Japan, he is more remembered from Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and David Bowie plays a British POW who confuses the commander of a Japanese concentration camp played by the legendary music professor Ryuichi Sakamoto. Yes, yaoi in live action, homosexuality, i.e., erotica is Nagisa Ooshima’s central theme, like his movie about Abe Sada, a legendary erotic film. Yes, even David Bowie’s sexuality is an art, turns into mysterious aesthetics. And I was surprised by his looks, though he is very old now, still looking good, still got sex appeal, and very fit with that mysterious baroque scene. You know, I wish I could be like him when I get in my 60s. If I could, I don’t mind being old. No need to fly to Korea for low price guaranteed plastic surgery. Yes, because he is also 17 years old at heart! Not only Inoue Kikuko who claims to be 17 which is painful, but check out his lyrics!

I’m seventeen and my looks can prove it
I’m so afraid that I will lose it
I’d rather smoke and phone my ex
Be pleading for some teenage sex, yeah

Yes, 17 years old! The bittersweet age of all. I wish I was 17 forever too! Well Prop 19 was rejected and no 3D girls to text for some teenage sex, I’d rather have moe~♫, by talking to 2D girls on PSVita or Nintendo DS, I’d rather trap myself in a labyrinth of dating sim, its time is stopped by Homura, so I won’t age. Yes, a film about labyrinth, that labyrinth is exactly the theme of Madoka Magica. The labyrinth of witches. So, the Louis Vuitton ad featuring David Bowie was right on for the intro to Madoka film.

And then, Madoka movie started. With Kalafina’s grandiose operatic BGM composed by otakudom’s Beethoven, Kajiura Yuki, it totally absorbed me into Weltanschauung of the film, directed by Shaft’s Shinbo Akiyuki, who also directed Bake-monogatari written by Nishio Ishin. The visual and sound effect were just amazing. But story-wise, it was a maze. Somehow very religious, probably Buddhistic? Kharmatic, or at least, very Indian upanishad type of discussion that Kyuubei and Homura were having. Probably this is written for seminar students. I really don’t know what was going on. Wait, didn’t Madoka die? Or at least disappear and nobody can realize her existence? Like Tathagata, not able to recognize, “she is and she is not” type of non-sensical words that these post-modernists or zen buddhists love to word-play. But till the end, I wasn’t able to catch the meaning of the story. And when the movie ended, everyone was, “What the fuck…” Followed by only few sporadic claps. Yes, I had that reaction too, so I asked people in front of me after the showing, “Do you know what was that about? I really don’t know…” They also said, “I don’t know either…,” as if they were completely clueless.

Man, Urobuchi did it… Sh@t, how come he can do this to me? Darn it! Since I watched Gargantia, I’ve started doubting his writing ability. I thought he was running out of ideas, used up all his creative talents, so felt probably his retirement was near, yes, he has damaged moe for sure, which was disturbing to moe fans like me, so I’ve kinda been praying for his retirement, but this one, oh noooooo! To be frank, it wasn’t boring at all, indeed very exciting, the action scenes were greater than Hollywood, and Kalafina’s music was greater than Bollywood, but the story…, I have to see it again. Same reaction I had when I saw Inception. So, now I have to watch it again when the blue-ray disc gets released. That’s why I can’t really write a review about this film, I don’t know what to say now, till I watch it again and see if I can digest it. So, now I’m trapped in the labyrinth too, but not the labyrinth I wanted to be trapped into. It’s not my own labyrinth. Yes, King Jareth got me into his labyrinth, or rather Homura’s labyrinth that I can’t get out?


Author: Monsieur LaMoe

A refugee from Japan. Live in NAFTA. Get hooked on Moe. Moe is opium? Twitter: @MonsieurLamoe