Horror AMV of the Day: Homura’s Seven Devils (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)


homuras-seven-devils

It’s that time of the year when all things dark, terrifying and horrific invades the halls and corridors of Through the Shattered Lens.

While many who hear the term magical girl and colorful-costumed girls fighting evil won’t think dark and disturbing well they’d be dead wrong. The magical girl genre of Japanese animation have always had that undercurrent of darkness which makes these so-called kiddie anime series more adult than that many people realize.

In 2011, the magical girl anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica (aka Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica) came out and it finally explored that very undercurrent of darkness in the magical girl genre that people discussed about. The series was still cute, but also disturbing in how it explored the cost these teenage girls would incur in gaining magical abilities to fight evil.

The latest AMV of the Day takes Madoka Magica (especially the three films which followed the series) and it’s two lead character in Homura Akemi (girl with the dark hair) and Madoka Kaname (girl with the pink-hair) and their very complicated relationship that transcends not just their friendship, but time and divinity itself.

What better song to pair up with Madoka Magica but none other than “Seven Devils” by Florence + The Machine.

Anime: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Song: “Seven Devils” by Florence + The Machine

Creator: Kinnsao San

Past AMVs of the Day

AMV of the Day: Sweet Dreams


SweetDreams

It’s that time of the year when we should all be celebrating peace and love (and lots of presents and alcoholic festive drinks) yet the world of late has turned meaner, sadder and just plain not-fun. People really just need to chill and let the holidays move them.

This latest “AMV of the Day” is just plain fun and smile-inducing. No leaked emails here. No threats that lead to censorships. Not even a cynical pixel to be found.

So, let us just sit back and watch some Hall & Oates (never thought I’d say that in this day and age) inspired anime music video.

Anime: Angel Beats, Bakemonogatari, Black Lagoon, Carnival Phantasm, Eden of the East, Eden of the East: Paradise Lost, Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Neon Genesis Evangelion 2.22 – You Can [Not] Advance, Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Song: “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates

Creator: Alexmichur00 & Dragontamer5788


Past AMVs of the Day

AMV of the Day: Ship Happens


ugens-amv-ship-happens-800x450

What was one of the hobbies teens of any era enjoyed doing before, during and after school?

That is a question that could have many answers and all of them would be correct. Of late, the answer of “shipping” classmates, fictional characters and everything in-between has become such a cutthroat past-time amongst teens and those teen-at-heart that on-line wars have cropped up when certain people think their “ships” is the only OTP and everything else are non-canon and thus not worthy of mention or attention.

Yeah, I could barely understand what I just said there, but being a confessed otaku I know enough of this “shipping” and “OTPing” and all the other made up words people younger than I have created to help enhance their obsessi….enjoyment of anime, films and books.

This AMV perfectly illustrates the extent people go through to make sure everyone knows their pairings of characters is the one true one. I’ve studied wars which have started like this.

Anime: Azumanga Daioh, Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion (TV), Cowboy Bebop, Death Note (TV), DragonBall Z: Movie 1 (Dead Zone), Durarara!! (TV), Evangelion Shin Gekijouban: Q (Movie), Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club (TV), Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (TV), Guilty Crown (TV), Kill La Kill (TV), Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, The (TV), My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute (TV), Naruto, Ouran High School Host Club (TV), Puella Magi Madoka Magica (TV), Sailor Moon, Shingeki no Kyojin : Attack on Titan, Steins;Gate (TV), Toradora! (TV), Trigun, Vampire Knight (TV)

Song: “I Ship It” by Not Literally

Creator: Vivifx

Past AMVs of the Day

AMV of the Day: Otaku Paradise


maxresdefault

It’s the 4th of July Weekend and one of the things I’ve gotten used to these past couple years is that it means Anime Expo has come around once more. While I don’t have the anime convention experience as pantsukudasai56 it is still a event that I’ve gotten used to attending once a year when possible.

The latest “AMV of the Day” arrives just in time for the largest North American anime convention held every 4th of July weekend in Los Angeles. Not to say that the other anime conventions around the country are nothing to sneeze at, but Anime Expo is a whole different animal that every otaku in North America needs to experience at least once in their life. It’s a video that comes courtesy by the very talented video editor who goes by the handle of BecauseImBored1.

A video that combines scenes from anime and real-life footage of cosplayers and anime con-goers into one timely video that celebrates the positive nature of the word “otaku”. It’s a word that has a negative reputation in Japan, but one that’s seen as a celebration of anime and Japanese pop-culture fandom worldwide. It’s a label taken on proudly.

“Otaku Paradise” has such a huge number of anime referenced yet barely scratches the surface of what “otaku” watches and follows year in and year out. I love the fact that the video intersperses these anime scenes with real-life people in cosplay of those very same anime characters. Not everyone cosplays, but every otaku appreciates and admires those who do. Yet, cosplayers and non-cosplayer otaku both have one thing in common and that is their acceptance of the label of “otaku”.

One thing this video made me do while I watched it for the first time and the many times since was put such a huge, happy smile on my face. It’s small consolation for having to miss this weekend’s Anime Expo 2014.

Anime: Another, Attack On Titan, Baccano!, Baka And Test – Summon The Beasts, Bakuman, Black Lagoon, CANAAN, Clannad, Code Geass – Lelouch Of The Rebellion, D.Gray-Man, DragonBall Z, Durarara!!, Fate/Stay Night, Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club, Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Genshiken, Genshiken Nidaime, Haikyuu, Hellsing Ultimate, Howl’s Moving Castle, Idolmaster, K, K-ON!, Kampfer, Kanon, Kara No Kyoukai – The Garden Of Sinners, Kill La Kill, Kuroko’s Basketball, Kyoukai No Kanata, Kyousougiga, Little Witch Academia, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Lucky Star, Macross Frontier MUSIC CLIP Collection – Nyankuri, Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, MM!, Munto, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Ookami-San To Shichinin No Nakama-Tachi, Ore No Kanojo To Osananajimi Ga Shuraba Sugiru, Ouran High School Host Club, Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt, Persona 4: The Animation, Pokemon : White, Pokémon: Movie 2, Pokemon 2000, The Power Of One, Princess Jellyfish, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Romeo × Juliet, Sailor Moon, Sakura Trick, School Rumble, School Rumble 2, Shugo Chara!, Soul Eater, Soul Eater Not, Summer Wars, Super Smash Bros, Sword Art Online, Tales Of Xillia, Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, Toradora!, Trigun, Uta No Prince Sama, Welcome To The NHK, Yu Yu Hakusho

Song: “Raging Fire” by Phillip Phillips

Creator: BecauseImBored1

Past AMVs of the Day

AMV of the Day: Devil’s Game 2.0


MadokaMagica

I think it’s not a secret that the anime series (and now the three films) Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one of my favorite anime. It’s not just me who has a major fondness for this anime. Site anime editor pantsukudasai56 also shares my passion for this series. Over a couple years ago I profiled several AMVs featuring this series. One of them was Chiikaboom’s Devil’s Game.

That very same editor decided to go back and re-edit the AMV using scenes from the series and the three films and what we get is a vast improvement over a video that was already a classic in the AMV scene. The animation from the films are much more crisp and the detail shows from the increased budget.

This “Devil’s Game 2.0” has now become one of my top AMVs ever and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Anime: Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie 1: Beginnings, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie 2: Eternal, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie 3: Rebellion

Song: “A Demon’s Fate” by Within Temptation

Creator: Chiikaboom

Past AMVs of the Day

It Figures (No. 1): Godoka


For some time now, Arleigh has been trying to get me to write up a post about figures.  We both enjoy collecting them, and my collection of them is rather extensive so there’s certainly no lack of material.  Again, it all came down to motivation to just get started, and what motivated me the most was my most recent acquisition, the Good Smile Company version of Ultimate Madoka, or as she’s better known, Godoka.

IMG_1007

Yes indeed, the contents are fragile, and very valuable.  Many Bothans died bringing this….ahem, wrong story.  Anyways, this is one thing I really appreciate about the Japanese.  That’s no cheaply made, reused, been sitting in the back with people taking naps on it kind of cardboard box.  That’s a sturdy, never before used, highly protective one.  Plus they put just the right amount of packing material inside to keep the figure from shifting, but not so much that it crushes it.

IMG_1008

And that effort paid off.  Here she is, safe and sound in the comfort of my own home, without nary a dent in the box.  The boxes themselves are often times practically works of art.  On them they usually show the various angles and options one can do with each figure.  I know Godoka is yearning to be free from her plastic and cardboard prison, but first I think one needs to appreciate just how big this box is.  This picture doesn’t really do it justice, since there’s no basis for comparison.

IMG_1009

Now this one gives you an idea.  That’s about 14.5″ wide, and the box is pretty much square, so that should show that they didn’t mess around with this figure.  The boxes for the other figures in this series were only half this size.  But now that we’ve had our fill of boxes, let’s get her out of there and take a better look.

IMG_1010

Here we have a look at all the various pieces that comprise her.  While this may not be a lot by some figures standards, by a scaled, static figure this is a lot.  In case it’s not easily seen, in addition to the main figure, she had two different bows, two sets of wings, an arrow and of course her base.  What also probably isn’t easily seen is the fact that the plastic tomb is not only held together by the snaps and tape, but also with twisted wire.  This last part is always a pain in the rear, so be sure to keep a pair of wire cutters handy.  Trying to untwist those wires by hand is not a fun task, and I do not recommend those without much patience to attempt it.

IMG_1014

Now we finally get to see Godoka free from her constraints.  And let me tell you, she’s no lightweight figure.  A good amount of weight is in the dress of hers, which is good since that’s where she’s going to attach to her base.  The pattern of stars on the black interior of the dress is a very nice touch, and GSC did not skimp on the details.  One thing to be wary of is her hair.  It feels pretty fragile, and the ends are very pointy so if you’re not careful, she could very easily snag a piece of clothing and possibly snap a strand of hair off.  I thought it was going to happen to me a couple times as I was getting later parts put on her, but thankfully I managed to avoid any catastrophes.  Ah, I can hear you now.  “But pantsukudasai, when you say she’s detailed, just HOW detailed, if you know what I mean?”  Oh, I do know what you mean, yes indeed.

IMG_1013

Homu Homu would be drooling in envy.  Yes, in keeping with a fine tradition in figures, they made sure to sculpt a pair of panties on her.  Sadly, it’s just a very standard pair.  Some figures get very fancy underwear indeed.  Still, it’s this attention to detail that makes collecting so worth while.  And when you think about it, it certainly makes sense.  I mean, if you’re going to have a figure in a dress, it stands to reason that she’s going to be wearing something underneath it, doesn’t it?  And since one must appreciate all aspects of their figure, it’s only natural that I’d flip each figure over and check out their pantsu.  Nothing perverted about that in the least!

IMG_1015

Now here she is with her bow and arrow.  As I mentioned earlier, she comes with two different bows.  The other bow does not have the pink energy charge around it and it just her regular sprout bow.  I assume that’s if you want to display her as if she’s already fired the arrow.  I think it looks much better with the arrow and the charged bow.  The only downside to this is that the bow doesn’t feel particularly sturdy, and as you move the figure the top wobbles in a way that doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in me.  Still, for the most part the figure is going to be safely behind glass, and other than the vibrations from me walking past, it should be kept stable.  It’s not like I live in an earthquake zone.  A great deal of care must be taken when getting the arrow into her hand.  Her hand is removable, so I’d recommend taking it off and then attaching the arrow.  It can only go in one way, so don’t try forcing it!  Also, there are many little barbs on the bow and the arrow that could easily snap off if improperly handled.  They didn’t do us any favors by wrapping some plastic around the bow either.  I had to carefully cut the plastic wrap off, because those barbs I mentioned earlier made it difficult to slide off otherwise.

IMG_1019

The next troublesome point were the wings on her feet, but this was more a troublesome aspect simply because it’s not very clear which wing goes on which foot.  When you try putting the correct wing on the correct foot, it slides on snugly and securely.  While this might seem like the obvious thing, in some cases they don’t get all the slag out of the slots for the holes, so things like this don’t always fit right.  Luckily for me, when I tried them the other way, it worked just fine.  You can kind of see in the bottom corner of the picture, but it does come with instructions.  The reason why they’re sitting there, unused is two reasons.  First off, I’m a guy.  We don’t need no stinkin’ instructions.  Secondly, they’re in Japanese, which I cannot read a single word of.  The pictures they show aren’t terribly helpful in deciphering what one is to do.  At any rate, you can probably guess, but those wing tips are very fragile too.  Take your time, and you should be fine.

IMG_1020

The last detail to add to her are the wings on her back.  These thankfully were very obvious how they needed to go, and other than having to weave the right wing in between a couple strands of hair, it went on quite painlessly.  Again, the details they made with the sculpt of the figure are indeed stunning.  The way the dress flows, the ruffles in it, all her accessories, it made the wait for this figure from when I originally ordered it back in June all worthwhile.

IMG_1021 IMG_1023 IMG_1024 IMG_1025 IMG_1026

This group shows her from various angles.  It’s truly a satisfying feeling when you finally get your figure all assembled and ready to properly be displayed.  Certainly another run to Ikea is in my future so that I may properly save her from the evils of dust.

IMG_1027

Lastly, I felt it fitting to have her shown with the other figures in her line.  On the right we have the pairing of Kyoko and Sayaka, and on the left we have the pairing of regular Madoka and Homura.  In the middle, with Godoka taking careful aim, we have the hated Mami.  No one is romantically interested in Mami.

I’ll end this with saying that while she might be a bit spendy for some people, I feel that Godoka was worth every penny I spent on her.  If figure collecting is your thing, don’t delay on grabbing her as fast as you can.  She’s still available now, but when a figure looks this good, it’s tough to say how long she’ll be around for.  If you wait too long, the only way you’ll get her is by forming a contract with a certain someone….

Best anime of 2011


With the year rapidly coming to a close, and the apocalypse soon to be upon us, I thought it would be a good time to make my pick for the one anime of the year that if you watch no other, you should at least watch this.

There were many worthy candidates this year.  From top notch dramas like Ano Hi Mita no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (or AnoHana for short) to very solid slice of life shows like Hanasaku Iroha and Usagi Drop, comedies like the second season of Ika Musume, and Working!!, to more thoughtful fare like Fate/Zero, all these and more could and deserve to be delved into more in depth.  Perhaps I’ll manage to do that at some point.  But as good as these and other shows this year were, there is one title that stands out from the crowd.  I speak of a little show called Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

This is a difficult show to talk about without spoiling things, so I’ll try and be careful to avoid dropping any huge bombs about the show, but a few things do need to be brought up.  First off, don’t let the images fool you.  This show takes the cutsey magical girl genre, and drags it through the darkness, permanently staining it.  It starts off very standard, where you have our titular heroine, Madoka, saving the traditional mascot character Kyubey from harm.  From there, she’s and her friend Sayaka are introduced to another Magi, Mami, and then another character, Homura, shows up and plays the role of chief rival/antagonist.  All sounds like every other magical girl show you’ve seen, or heard about, yes?  Well, you get a feel for what this show is really like with the events in episode 3.  It’s something that should definitely be experienced firsthand to get the best impact out of it.  I had it spoiled for me prior, because people are jerks like that, but even knowing what was going to happen didn’t make it any less shocking, so I can only imagine how people who saw it for the first time without any inkling of what was going to happen felt.

After that episode, things continue to follow along a very tragic storyline, and you can pretty much feel the sorrow that everyone experiences.  In a lot of cases, when anime has these tragic storylines, the emotions can feel cheap and manipulative.  But with this, even though they of course WANT you to feel that way, you end up feeling that way without it seeming like you were forced into it.  When each of the girls find out the truth behind what they’re doing, you get a range of believable emotions, from sadness, to anger, to despair.  This isn’t the typical reaction where a plucky young girl tries her best with a never say die attitude and prevails against all odds.  Things don’t go as the heroine wishes, and in fact the show seems destined to end with the complete opposite of a happy ending.  Even the ending itself is debatable as to how happy of an ending it really was.  And I think that’s a refreshing change of pace.  Madoka ends in a way where you could take it as being a happy type ending, or you could view it from another person’s perspective as having lost something important.  There does remain a tiny glimmer of hope, but it’s one that could easily be extinguished.

While the story written by Gen Urobuchi is the real meat and potatoes, the art and animation is certainly worthy of calling this the best anime of 2011.  The character designs were done by Ume Aoki, who has a very distinctive style as seen in her previous works such as Hidamari Sketch.  They’re typically characterized by wide faces and large eyes, even by the standards of anime, which lends a nice contrast to the seriousness of the show.  People in the know also were a bit more prepared for the direction the show took, since it was directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, who has some amount of note for taking shows in different directions and using a lot of surreal imagery.  And that is very evident in scenes where the girls are fighting against the witches.  The backgrounds look as though they’re walking through a Dali painting.  It’s a very effective blending of animation and CGI.  Plus the fluidity of the animation in the battle scenes shows that no corners were cut in any aspect of production.  The musical score is also done by well known composer Yuki Kajiura, whose tracks set the perfect mood for each scene.

While there is no one universal title that everyone everywhere will point to and say “This is a masterpiece!” Puella Magi Madoka Magica is definitely a title that people shouldn’t just write off as yet another tired old magical girl show and should give it a fair chance.  Tastes are always subjective, but this is one that you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you missed seeing it.

AMV of the Day: Imagica


The latest AMV of the Day comes courtesy of AMV creator “Chiikaboom” whose works I’ve chosen many times for this feature. This one was just completed and released by Chiikaboom less than a month ago and, like her other AMV’s, this one truly impresses.

This latest AMV from Chiikaboom is simply called “Imagica”. She’s taken on the theme of the mahou shoujo (magical girl) genre which continues to be one of the more popular ones in anime and manga both in Japan and overseas. Casual viewers and readers of the “magical girl” genre tend to view them as just cute and peppy, but for those who have actually watched these series from start to finish know that they’re more than colorful, happy characters.

Chiikaboom latches onto the darker aspects of the mahou shoujo genre and runs with it headlong towards one of the songs which made the Sucker Punch soundtrack one of the best of 2011. The song she picks to shine a light on the darker side of the magical girls is the Emily Browning cover of the Eurythmics classic song, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. The haunting rendition of this song by Emily Browning matches up well with the darker scenes of these magical girls. Scenes which goes beyond young girls and teens with powers, but how such powers weigh heavily on them.

“Imagica” is one of the better AMV’s to arrive on the scene in the last couple months. Once again it’s the one person who seems to have the flair for the dramatic and just the right touches which makes these AMV from Chiikaboom the best.

Anime: Sailor Moon, Houkago No Pleaides, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie (1st), Cardcaptor Sakura, Pretear, Mermaid Melody Pitchi Pitchi Pitch, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, Uta Kata, Princess Tutu, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Magic Knight Rayearth

Song: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by Emily Browning

Creator: Chiikaboom

Aniplex USA has licensed Puella Magi Madoka Magica


Wonderful news was announced during the first day of Anime Expo 2011. While I wasn’t able to figure out a way to attend I was still able to read up on announcements made during the industry panels being held at the convention. One such panel was the Aniplex Industry Panel where they made two major announcements.

First, was that the anime series Blue Exorcist will be released in the US in a four-volume DVD. There’s no word on whether this will also include a release in Blu-Ray format.

The second major announcement was one that should excite anime fans throughout the US. The very popular mahou shoujo anime series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, will also get a dvd release for the US market. While the panel gave more details on the Blue Exorcist release announcement not much about the Puella Magi Madoka Magica US release was given. The good thing is that Aniplex of America has already put up the official website for Puella Magi Madoka Magica though at the moment it’s still more of a “coming soon” and “under construction” welcome page.

I’m sure more details will come out about the home video release in the US for this mahou shoujo series. I also hope that it’s original Japanese-language w/ English subtitle option gets a 5.1 surround sound mix.

Source: Anime News Network

AMV of the Day: Devil’s Game


madokamagica

The latest “AMV of the Day” is another one which is based on the mahou shoujo series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It’s become one of my favorite anime series of late and with each repeat viewing just increases my love for it. This latest anime music video takes that “magical girl” anime series and combines it with a symphonic rock song to create an AMV titled, “Devil’s Game”.

“Devil’s Game” is not just my latest pick for “AMV of the Day” but also the latest from AMV creator-extraordinaire Chiikaboom whose anime music video creations have always become instant favorites of mine. This latest really highlights the darkness that permeates throughout the anime series. For a mahou shoujo series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica get pretty dark and the subgenre as a whole uses themes of darkness to balance out the cute magical girl art design.

Within Temptation’s “A Demon’s Fate” is quite an appropriate song to use for this video. The series is all about Magi (magically-enhanced teen girls) fighting evil Witches to save the innocent people and the world. The series also includes Kyubey whose extremely cute appearance hides a secret that the song’s lyrics and title really meshes well with.

Chiikaboom’s editing of the video was not as extensive as some past ones which really comes and goes in rapid-fire fashion. For this video the editing and scene transitions matches very well with the bass drum sections in the song that it’s not noticeable at first glance, but really shows after repeat viewings. And it’s well-made AMV’s like this using scenes from this series that really should help sell Puella Magi Madoka Magica to the uninitiated whose experience with anime is from Adult Swim showings on Cartoon Network.

“Devil’s Game” is the best Puella Magi Madoka Magica AMV I’ve seen, so far, hand’s down.

Anime: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Song:  “A Demon’s Fate” by Within Temptation

Creator: Chiikaboom