How to create a shitty death battle (illustrated through Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku)

Death battles are one of those genres that are good because of how simple they are, since all you need to create a decent death battle is a proper place to fight, a reason for the death battle, the means of fighting, and the characters that are to be killed, beyond that, everything is up to the execution and the skill of the creators. Despite its simplicity, death battles rarely ever go right in the medium of anime, mainly because of how incompetent the creators are. While in the medium of manga, you got plenty of good death battles such as the manga adaptation of the famous japanese novel, Battle Royale, in anime, the studios time and time again have demonstrated that they are unable to create anything decent out of the formula with such titles as Btooom!, Mirai Nikki, Mai-Hime, and Fate/Stay Night.

But I shall not illustrate the non existent quality of death battles in the four anime I mentioned above, instead I will be using a fairly recent example, namely Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku or Magical Girl Raising Project in English, which is a 2016 winter season anime. It is an excellent example of incompetence, because everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong.

Let us start with the basics I mentioned in the first paragraph. The setting for the anime is a modern japanese urban city, the justification for the death battle are the sick desires of two sadists, the means of the fighting is magic, and we have sixteen characters with totally different powers and personalities (more or less as you will see below). Now let us examine the problems with each of these.

1. The setting

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku pretty much has the same problems that arise from an urban environment that was present in the more famous Fate/Stay Night. Given the flashy, destructive and explosive battles that result from the usage of powerful magic, and considering how much surveillance and population a modern city has, it is essentially a miracle (read: shitty writing) that the existence of magic does not get discovered. Fate/Stay Night justified it via hypnosis, off screen manipulation and bribery, and conveniently never having any people around to witness the death battles, despite the fact that Fuyuki City is by no means a small town.

Magical Girl Raising Project does an even worse job than Fate/Stay Night, one of the rules of the anime was that if the identity of the magical girls were discovered, they would die and that humans cannot be allowed to know the existence of magic. How does the show accomplish that humans do not become aware? It does not, from the very first minutes of the initial episode humans are discussing magical girls in their daily life like it was the most ordinary thing ever. It is also further explained to us that there are entire sites on the internet dedicated to collecting pictures and videos of the magical girls in the city. So much for keeping the existence of magic hidden.

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The only effort that the administrators of the death battle make to contain information is automatically blurring out any pictures and videos (via some super convenient magic) that are taken of the magical girls, as well as memory wiping the characters who came into contact with the girls, which does not seem to work, considering the fact that the humans are clearly talking about the magical girls and how they were helped by them, therefore they were obviously not memory wiped. As for blurring out the pictures, why not just delete them entirely? If you can blur every picture and video automatically via magic, then there is nothing keeping you from outright deletion. Not to mention that the administrators are too stupid to realize that even pictures of bad quality can create endless discussions and theories, if they did not, then people would not be talking about the Big Foot or Loch Ness monster pictures even to this day. And despite the pictures being blurred, it is still very obvious that they have humanoid shapes and are flying through the sky. Good job! The creators of this anime have managed to create an even lazier excuse than Fate/Stay Night.

But allow me to be fair for a second, let us assume that the human population of this particular city are just dumb enough to fall for this trick and that nobody bothered to investigate all the rumors of magical girls helping people, due to some supreme disinterest and being busy with Japanese work life. Even if we accept that particular hypothesis, it all comes crumbling down around episode 8, when one of the magical girls, Calamity Mary, begins killing innocent civilians, blowing up cars on the motorway, and then a few more magical girls appear on the scene to try and help the civilians all the while some others try to kill the ones busy with the helping. There are obvious onlookers and witnesses to all of this. Are there any consequences to this turn of events? Do the humans find out about the existence of magic and magical girls? No they do not, the very next episode after the incident, the whole event is brushed off as ‘terrorism’ and everybody goes back to their life as if nothing happened, there are no repercussions at all.


You can only suspend the disbelief of the viewer so far, before he calls you out on your bullshit. The truth of the matter is, there was really no reason for this anime to be set in an urban city in the first place, it could have been set in a more rural area or a secluded place far away from human population, but no the setting was made to be an urban city just so the author could torture schoolgirls, which is a subject that I will touch more later on.

In conclusion of this section, I can confidently make the declaration that the anime did not even try to follow its own established rules and laws from the very first episode, and it lacked consistency because of this.

2. The justification for the death battle

Everything in the anime happens because of the machinations of two unambiguously evil characters. Musician of the Forest, Cranberry and the familiar responsible for magical girl examinations called Fav are united, because the former wants to fight strong opponents and the latter wants to have interesting (read: edgy and violent) magical girl exams. That is all fine and dandy, but the way they go about accomplishing those goals is extremely convoluted, illogical and badly written.

First they develop an android game called Magical Girl Raising Project and start advertising it with the slogan that a select few players will be able to become real magical girls (which will totally not become suspicious when magical girls start appearing all over the city). Then they proceed to select 16 humans over the course of some months, which is a process that I cannot fathom why it was not instantaneous, considering the fact that there was no apparent qualification whatsoever to be drafted, as evidenced by the 16 characters who were selected by them. The selected range from alcoholic housewives, poor girls, psychopaths, university students, an office worker, bullied girls, a girl who just wants to help people, and even a boy. Clearly anyone could become a magical girl in this anime, so there was really no excuse as to why it took weeks for all the victims to be gathered.


Anyway, after their unfortunate victims were selected, they were lead on a wild goose chase that made them believe they were proper magical girls who were meant to help people and not just victims of a death tournament, for what I can presume to be weeks or probably a month. The time of events is not exactly specified within the show, but it has to fall within that time frame considering the activities of the magical girls went on for long enough to develop rumors and urban legends within the city.

There was really no logic behind this wild goose chase and it also conflicts with the motives of the villains, due to the fact I said above, Cranberry wanted strong opponents while Fav wanted interesting exams, but despite these desires, Cranberry lets worthless characters become magical girls, who couldn’t have possibly served as a strong opponent against her, namely the main character, Koyuki and Nemurin, both of whom have meek and weak personalities, and weren’t given any combat oriented powers (again why?), unlike the other magical girls who are mostly combat oriented. And Fav lets this boring game of pretend go on for months without any objection, despite him seeking amusement, which was the motive established for him. The actions and the motives of the villains are clearly in contradiction.

Furthermore, the only reason that the magical girls even realized they were in a death battle is because they figured it out own their own rather than being told that they were participants, which gives us plenty of problems. The only reason they could put two and two together was because they checked the backlog of their chat room where Fav pretends to reveal to Cranberry that magical girls who lose the candy collecting contest end up dying for real rather than just cease being magical girls. This information was obviously purposely left there by the culprits so that our characters could find it, which is clearly retarded, because if the characters did not think of checking the backlog, they would not have realized their situation, which is again counterproductive to Cranberry’s and Fav’s goals, as magical girls would have kept dying without any battles. This retarded plan further depended on the fact that the first magical girl to die, Nemurin’s real name was Nemu, so they were able to confirm her death when the news announced it. If the first death was not Nemurin, but a character who did not morph her nickname from her real name, someone like Magicaloid, then our characters would have been left in the dark.

In the first place the antagonists had no need for any of this, neither the lying nor the pretending, because as it was shown in the anime, they had the power to make characters turn into magical girls without the consent of those characters, and they also had the power to just kill them in an omnipotent manner like they did with Nemurin in episode 2, so there really was no reason for all of this. They could have just forced a couple of girls to become the participants and then forced them to fight against each other to the death by demonstrating their ability to kill them instantly if they do not comply. They did not do it, because the antagonists of this anime are fucking stupid. And this is important because 2 episodes were essentially wasted on nothing happening, which is a lot in a 12 episode anime, especially one that has 16 characters.

It is clear to me that there was no deeper thought put into the setup and construction of this death battle whatsoever, otherwise the author would have been able to detect the same flaws and problems that I did in this section.

3. The means of fighting

The means of fighting in this anime are magic, which brings the typical power levels into play and a whole lot of inconsistencies. The problem with magic in general is that it rarely ever adheres to an objective standard, as opposed to firearms, explosives, melee weapons etc., which all adhere to the standards of our reality. And if something does not adhere to an objective standard, it must then logically follow that it rests solely upon the author’s arbitrary whims. Indeed we can say that whether magic kills somebody or does not, depends entirely on the author’s decision, after all magic is his imaginary invention, unlike with firearms, where members of the audience with basic anatomical knowledge can easily tell when the author made a mistake or is bullshitting us.

In this anime this arbitrariness is best exemplified by the character La Pucelle, who had the power to change the length and size of her sword to ridiculous extents, and due to the super strength that all magical girls within the show possess, she had no problem whatsoever using the sword. In episode 4 her competence and skill with magic fighting was shown when she managed to achieve victory despite being pitted against 3 other magical girls at the same time. Then in episode 6 when she is fighting Cranberry, the author decides to forget all her skill and competence, and makes her act like a total retard by having her move close in on Cranberry who was suffering from a reach disadvantage (her only melee weapons were her fists), and because the author made La Pucelle forfeit her superior reach, Cranberry easily grabbed La Pucelle by the throat and pummeled hear to near-death.

Again, had La Pucelle not forfeited her superior range, she could have easily won, or at the very least, she could have lasted longer, but in spite of being horribly wounded, the injured La Pucelle still manages to inflict a mortal wound on Cranberry by slashing her front open with her sword.

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Except Cranberry does not die to the injury, she shrugs it off like it is nothing, keeps on fighting without any hindrance to her movement, and finishes La Pucelle off. Why? Because the author did not want one of the main antagonist to die so early, so he simply had La Pucelle die instead out of convenience to the story. Also while magical girls have all been specified to possess superhuman strength, they do not all possess regenerative abilities (as evidenced by the fact that regeneration was actually the special power of Hardgore Alice, one of the magical girls), so by not having Cranberry die despite such a mortal wound, the author is bullshitting his audience and treating them as if they were stupid, especially because in later episodes magical girls are killed by similar slash attacks, showing that such a wound is more than enough to kill a magical girl. Therefore Cranberry only managed to gain the upper hand because the author on some kind of whim decided to dumb La Pucelle down into an idiot, and also on another whim decided to ignore Cranberry’s mortal wound and treat it as if it was nothing.

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The conclusion that can be easily drawn from this, is that all the battles are essentially meaningless to watch since they do not obey the laws of consistency and logic, it comes down entirely to the author’s whims at that particular moment, which lets be honest, is just shit writing, and shit writing does not make for good battle scenes.

4. The Characters

Easily the worst category in this anime, it is its final nail in the coffin, as decent characters could have been the only thing to make this shit show bearable. There are 16 magical girls in total, and all of them are shit. None of them are complex or even relatable, and all of them can be essentially described with a few words. Don’t believe me? Here let me do it:


  1. La Pucelle – Genderbent Knight Magical Girl
  2. Nemurin – NEET Magical Girl
  3. Cranberry – Typical Bloodknight
  4. Calamity Mary – Psychopath Outlaw Magical Girl
  5. Minael – Psycho Twin Angel
  6. Yunael – Psycho Twin Angel 2
  7. Swim Swim – Emotionless 7-Year Old Psychopath
  8. Tama – Weak willed girl who tags along with the Psychopaths
  9. Magicalroid – Robot Magical Girl who scams people
  10. Ripple – Tsundere Ninja
  11. Top Speed – Overly Cheerful Witch, Kirisame Marisa edition
  12. Snow White, the main character – Madoka Clone
  13. Sister Nana – Lesbian Nun Magical Girl
  14. Weiss Winterprison – Lesbian Boyish Magical Girl
  15. Ruler – Smart, but arrogant leader
  16. Hardgore Alice – Insane X-Year Old Gothic Lolita

This is really all there is to their ‘character’, they are all extremely one dimensional and their personality can be summed up in their quirks and degree of sanity.

I  have to comment on the fact that there are obviously too many characters for a 12 episode show, if 5 magical girls were too many in Madoka for the same length, then imagine how shitty the situation is in this anime with 16 magical girls in play. The more characters there are in any given story the more screen time they steal away from every other character, as a result they receive less development than if there had been fewer characters, which is why books with numerous characters typically have larger lengths in order to compensate for this effect, but in anime, where typically an one cour seasonal anime has 12 episodes, each compromising 24 minutes, the studios are vastly limited as to what they can do with the materials given to them.

Still common sense would dictate to restrict the focus onto 1-3 characters only, but this anime did not do that unfortunately. There is no focal point to begin with, the anime literally always tries to show what each of the sixteen magical girls are doing in an episode. Pretty much no one dies off screen, the anime always makes sure to show their downfall just so it can shock the watcher. It is also extremely formulaic in the manner it does things, because whenever a character is about to die at the end of an episode, they will play her backstory in the form of a flashbacks in the earlier scenes pretty much always. After 2-3 deaths, the watcher can easily predict who will die in an episode and who will not based on the flashbacks that are shown to us, which is obviously a bad thing since it leads to predictability, which is one of the worst things that can happen to a death battle, because it will result in the elimination of suspense. (Also, flashbacks are one of the laziest ways to flesh out characters, especially if it is overused like in this anime.)

Overall it is impossible to care about anyone in the anime, because of how little time is given to any character, and how lazily and cheaply the anime tries to make the audience shed some pity for them in their last seconds with its emotion-filled flashbacks that constitute as little more than worthless melodrama. This is not what you want in a Death Battle, if the audience cannot find anyone to root for, then it loses its point, because whether a character lives or dies, will make absolutely no difference to the watcher if he/she cannot connect with them.

Another reason why it is so hard to connect with the characters is because of how psychopathic and abnormal they are. Bear with me please dear reader, because the following will be some really cringe-worthy material that really illustrates just how awful this garbage anime is.


Pictured above is the magical girl called Swim Swim, who in the anime was the magical girl with the highest kill count and served as a villain for most of the anime, she was also the youngest member of the cast with just 7 years to her age. So how come that a child was able to effortlessly kill magical girls older and more experienced than her? The show justifies it by saying “she is not right the head”, meaning that she is a sociopath. Indeed, the 7 year old Swim Swim commits heinous atrocities without any hesitation, murders characters without a shred of emotion, and does not feel guilt nor remorse afterwards.

Everything about Swim Swim is pure cancer, and clearly the worst character within the entire anime. To begin with, why is she even sociopath? It is never explained nor justified. Whenever her human life was show, there was nothing out of the ordinary, all the while many other characters had actual troubling backgrounds yet were far more sane than Swim Swim was. And it cannot even be said that the death battle broke her psyche and made her this way, because Swim Swim was the very first magical girl to consciously kill another magical girl, she was one to start the whole bloodshed by claiming first blood ( Nemurin’s death does not count because it was done by the administrators rather than the participants).

So what is the deal with this character? Why did a seven year old little girl start a killing spree? What is her motivation? Surely there is a reason for all of this? Unfortunately there is no valid reason other than shit writing.

The whole deal with Swim Swim was that she admired her superior Magical Girl, Ruler, who she viewed as a princess and felt a deep admiration for her. Then one day Swim Swim has a dream, and in that dream Nemurin (who had the power to enter dreams) tells her that she can be a princess too. So what is the logical thing that Swim Swim does after this dream? Try to be like Ruler? No. At the very first opportunity she backstabs and murders Ruler in cold blood and usurps her “throne”. That’s right, a 7 year old little girl starts committing vicious murders because of a vague dream she had, that is her sole motivation. (Talk about cancerous writing)


I might be able to look the other way regarding the existence of a single psychopathic character, but the truth of the matter is, about half the cast have psychopathic tendencies for no reason whatsoever. They were not broken by the death battle or traumatized by it, no these characters are often the initiators, meaning they were like this from the very beginning, and do not react like normal people would do in their situation, which is just shit writing and bad characterization.

As I pointed out above when I was listing the characters, Swim Swim, Minael, Yunael, Calamity Mary and Hardgore Alice are all equally wrong in the head for no reason whatsoever. I am under the impression that the author was simply too incompetent to progress the death battle without making half the cast psychopathic murderers.

5. Overuse of Shock Factor

I am a man of principles, so I always try to make a distinction between genuine drama and what is nothing more than cheap shock factor. Unfortunately this anime has only the latter, as it constantly tries to shock the viewer (quite weakly I might add) every episode to substitute for its non existent drama and generate some tension. And like many other shock factor anime (read: edgy) before it, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku falls into the typical pitfalls of shock factor. I shall elaborate below what I mean by this:

The typical problem with any show that relies on shock factor is that it needs to keep escalating the shock factor in order to retain the effect in the long term, because the more you shock the viewer the more desensitized he becomes to the shock, what shocked or surprised him previously will be far less likely to shock for the second or the third time due to the fact that it has lost its effect. Once this point arrives, stories that want to keep relying on shock factor typically have only one option, and that is the escalation of the shock factor, meaning to show the viewer even more shocking material than previously. For example compare simple murder to something like torture or rape, it is obvious that the latter are usually more shocking than the former, and many edgy stories, such as Mirai Nikki typically tap into this in order to sustain their view/readership.

As murders are a very common thing in Magical Girl Raising Project, it quickly falls into the aforementioned trap and escalates itself to ridiculous proportions. This is how we go from murders to betrayals to torture to increasingly violent ways of murder (such as burning somebody alive or burying them in concrete and throwing them into the ocean) to suicides to the murder of a pregnant woman to the murder of children. Yes you read that right, this anime kills a pregnant mother (done by the 7 year old Swim Swim no less) just to shock its viewer, if that is not cheap then I do not know what is.

Now do not misunderstand me here, Alma Elma is not arguing from the position of a moralist, I am not saying that it is evil or anything similar. In fiction anything can go as long as it is done right, but this is cheap and disgusting, because it was done for the sole reason of eliciting an emotional response from the audience for views, it is emotional manipulation, pure and simple, and therefore I must condemn it harshly, just as I condemned every other shitty aspect of this garbage of an anime.

In the first place there was absolutely no reason for this particular character to be a pregnant mother, it added nothing to the story, meaning that she was a pregnant woman just solely that her eventual death could shock the viewer harder than any previous death. This is yet another story that was written by a butcher who created characters solely that they could suffer and shock the viewer with their deaths.

The anime ends with Swim Swim’s karma catching up to her, as Ripple (Ninja Girl) does not intend to forgive her and goes to take revenge. There is no talk of redemption or anything meaningful, it is yet another edgy fight that there was so many of in the anime, and it ends with the death of the 7 year old Swim Swim, which is only more shock factor on the pile. By the way, our supposed “main character”, Koyuki also survives the whole current of events, by doing nothing at all throughout the entire anime. She managed to be even more useless than Kaname Madoka, the character who she was a clone of. To add salt to injury, this anime ends with an ending that is clearly baiting for a sequel, which it obviously does not deserve.



Let us sum up what we have learned here today.

If you want to create a shitty death battle, then follow the steps below:

A, Have a setting that actually works against the concept of the death battle (in this case urban environment vs magic)

B,  Have shitty motivations for your villains.

C, Have your villains’ motivations conflict with their actual actions.

D, Establish rules for your story, only to break them later.

E, Do not obey the laws of consistency. Have every battle be decided based on your own arbitrary whim.

F, Have too many characters for the length and scope of your story. Bonus: Make all of them generic archetypes.

G, Have no focal point, and give screen time to each and every character equally.

H, Make your characters sociopaths and psychopaths, instead of real people that can be related to and have genuine motivation for their actions.

I, Overdose your story on shock factor.

J, Escalate your shock factor the point that you need to kill pregnant women and children to shock your viewer.

K, And on top of all of this, have a shitty ending that is nothing more than a sequel bait.

And if you want to create an actually good death battle, then just do the opposite of these guidelines.




When Mystery and Psychology fail: Heads


Heads is a mystery and psychological manga heavily centered around the theme of insanity, multiple personalities and what makes us, “us”.

It was written by Higashino Keigo, who didn’t write a whole lot of manga, and most of what he wrote can be summed up as one-shots centered at the shoujo demographic. Heads is different in the sense that it targets a different demographic and is his longest manga with 4 volumes and 36 chapters.

Outside of his relatively small work in the manga department, Keigo Higashino according to this site:

“Is one of the most popular and biggest selling fiction authors in Japan—as well known as James Patterson, Dean Koontz or Tom Clancy are in the USA.

He won the Edogawa Rampo Prize, which is awarded annually to the finest mystery work, in 1985 for the novel Hōkago (After School) at age 27.

In 1999, he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Inc award for the novel Himitsu (The Secret), which was translated into English by Kerim Yasar and published by Vertical under the title of Naoko in 2004. In 2006, he won the 134th Naoki Prize for Yōgisha X no Kenshin.

The Devotion of Suspect X was the second highest selling book in all of Japan— fiction or nonfiction—the year it was published, with over 800,000 copies sold. It won the prestigious Naoki Prize for Best Novel— the Japanese equivalent of the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize. Made into a motion picture in Japan, The Devotion of Suspect X spent 4 weeks at the top of the box office and was the third highest‐grossing film of the year.”

So as you can clearly see, Keigo is highly praised for his mystery writing skills in Japan, which came as a bit of a shock to me after I read the manga called Heads, which story he wrote. Because of the fact that the “mystery” aspect of Heads can only be described as highly predictable, obvious, generic and even bad.

The basic story is about a shy, weak and cowardly character called Jun Naruse, whose other primary traits include the fact that he likes to paint and is unable to disobey his superiors, he is generally a conformist person who doesn’t try to stick out like a sore thumb in the community he is in. Also despite being an overall Beta-male, Jun still has a girlfriend as well a job.

Everything seems to be going well for him, but then one day he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. A shooter arrives to rob the building he was in, and when the wannabe robber brandishes his gun at a little girl, Jun proceeds to jump in the way (contrary to his previously established cowardly personality, this is a drastically heroic act from him), the bullet hits him in the head and everything fades to black.

He awakens 4 weeks later from a comatose state only to learn that he is in a hospital and that they somehow managed to save him despite his injuries to the brain. At first the doctors tell him that his brain could be repaired because “science was on his side” and that he was very lucky. But it doesn’t even take a chapter for Jun to accidentally stumble across the freezer (talk about coincidence), which contained 2 damaged brains in a jar, one of them was labeled Host J.N. (Jun Naruse), while the other one was labeled the “Donor.”


Naturally even our dumb protagonist manages to connect the dots and the next day he asks the doctor what really happened. The doctor proceeds to inform him that he is the first person to successfully receive a brain transplant. By brain transplant here I don’t mean full brain transplant, as only Jun’s left side of the brain was injured, they took the left side from the donor and did a “partial brain transplant.”

As you would expect, Jun immediately has worries about this alarming development, but the Doctor reassures him that everything is alright and that the operation went smoothly, so he has nothing to worry about (ha-ha). It becomes evident in the very next chapter that the partial brain matter from the Donor is influencing him anyway by “manifesting” the personality of the Donor.

Most of the “mystery” aspect of the manga is centered around this Donor as Jun tries to find the parents of the donor, learn about his personality and see how the changes in his persona are correlated to the persona of the donor, several important chapters are wasted on this.


And I really mean wasted, because the identity of the donor was obvious to anyone who paid some attention in the first 3-4 chapters, where they mention that the shooter who shot Jun also died. It was honestly such an expected cliché move to fuse the shooter’s and victim’s brains together that anyone could see it coming the moment it was mentioned. Yet instead of averting this cliché, Mr. Keigo decided to play right into it.

This is arguably one of the worst mistakes made in this manga, because as I said Jun is sent on this wild goose chase where he chases after the donor and tries to rationalize his changes with what he finds. Only for him to eventually find out that the donor’s identity that the Doctor gave him was a fake who was actually a nice and friendly person, but they bribed his father to tell a complicated lie about how he was basically an unwanted devil child with a temper that no one liked.

Anyway, Jun only finds out about the “connection” with his brain and the shooter in the last 3/4 of the manga, which is in all honesty a waste of the reader’s time due to how obvious everything was.

The second worst mistake of the author was the fact that he didn’t restrict the narrative of the story to the protagonist’s perspective. What do I mean? Well many mystery maintain their mysterious atmosphere by only showing everything through the eye of the protagonist or what the protagonist sees, because of this, the reader knows only as much as the protagonist. This works quite well for any mystery series since the reader can figure out and notice things that the protagonist didn’t realize himself.

Meanwhile Heads is ruined by the fact that it makes use of two perspectives, the fact that it shows scenes without the protagonist being there, and most of these scenes are what lead to the ruin of the mystery. For example it becomes clear as early as chapter 4 that The Doctor and his two assistants are experimenting with Jun and toying with his life for their own benefit, we are shown this in scenes where they are talking to each other without the protagonist being present.

Again the whole “mystery” aspect is thrown out of the window as there is no anticipation, excitement or anything for the reader to uncover, we always know everything that the protagonist doesn’t, and this is a huge sin from a mystery writing standpoint. Jun Naruse only learns of The Doctor’s manipulation in the latter half of the manga. Once more the manga wastes a huge amount of time for things that the reader knows from the very beginning to be revealed to the protagonist via the story.


Now that we thrashed the mystery lets turn our attention to the psychological aspect of the manga. If you expect some ground breaking or unique portrayal of character psyche change, then you will be in for a disappointment as Heads is very generic in this department.

All that really happens is that our protagonist Jun will start to suffer from paranoia and dual personality, the personality of his old self and the personality of the killer. And as you would expect it, the killer’s personality is the complete opposite of Jun’s, so our character that was previous gentle, shy and somebody who wouldn’t talk back no matter what, now became a character who would slit someone’s throat for the slightest insult.

He is the cliché 1 dimensionally evil second personality. I’m not even kidding, whenever the killer got “dominant” he always tried to kill someone to the point that he was willing to chase someone for several streets just so that he could light them on fire. There is nothing that would make the killer’s persona sympathetic since all we are shown is that he is arrogant, impatient and highly dangerous, a terrible combination of traits.

Well the manga tries to make him more sympathetic, but the word is really on the try here. They give him a bit of a back-story about how he was a victim of his father who abandoned him and his mother and all he did was just a revenge to get back on his father (by robbing his office). But none of that really makes him a better person.

Its hard to not see him as a psychotic killer as he:

  1. Attempted to shoot a little girl with a gun
  2. Attempted to light someone on fire for simply annoying him with loud talking
  3. Attempted to stab someone for being ungrateful to their parents
  4. Strangled the woman that comforted him because she lied to him.

The revenge on his father would have been relatively justified, but none of the things I mentioned had anything to do with that. So how is he not your average unrelatable killer who is devoid of empathy?


The synopsis of the manga tried to make it seem as if the change in the protagonist’s character would be ambiguous, as if he was just potentially just imagining and deluding himself into being the shooter. So I logically expected something among those lines, but what I got was far worse.

There is no ambiguity here that the protagonist is going crazy, the manga makes it seem like its 100% certain that the brain is influencing him, this is all the more evident due to the fact that manga’s artist alters the eye design and switches to this “dramatic shading” whenever the two personas switch.


The mere fact that the otherwise peaceful, quiet, cowardly protagonist turns into a complete maniac who is willing to kill someone for simply annoying him without any hesitation, makes the whole thing come off as cheap shock-factor.

What’s worse is that even though we have this obviously crazy protagonist present, the side characters do not react accordingly, meaning they do things that wouldn’t make sense in reality, which is a minus as the manga clearly tried to go for the “realistic appeal”.

What do I mean? For example: Jun Naruse frequently visits the hospital for checkups and regularly informs the doctors of his experiences and his mood and personality changes. Even when the changes become really drastic, the doctors still don’t do anything about it. They don’t give him any treatment, nor do they lock him up for his own safety, they just let him wander back into the city, where he might just murder someone at the given opportunity.

Or lets just look at the women. Jun Naruse has two love interests, one of them is the Doctor who the killer’s persona has fallen for, and the other is his old girlfriend before the accident. The doctor obviously knows about his unstable condition as she was one of the three doctors who were on his case, yet despite knowing about his condition, the female doctor still decides to feign a relationship with Jun and have sex with him on a regular basis in order to gain access to his diaries.

Needless to say, Jun eventually finds out and proceeds to strangle the female doctor, who honestly deserved it due to her stupidity. His other girlfriend, Megu, isn’t any better. She witnessed Jun’s deteriorating condition first hand (as they were living together), this escalated to the point where she left his home in fear of his behavior, up until this her actions were logical.

But then a few chapters later she decides to go back to him anyway. What happens you might ask? Well Jun’s condition has gotten to the point that he feels no remorse or shame whatsoever about telling her how he killed the Female Doctor and cut her up to tiny pieces (while presenting her with the bloody saw). Despite being told such a gruesome story and seeing the evidence, she barely shows any sign of shock and still decides to be with Jun Naruse.

In response Jun immediately proceeds to physically abuse her.


She manages to avoid being beaten to death by uttering the following cliché lines:


Its hard for me to emphasize just how utterly stupid and illogical this whole situation is. I get it that its supposed to be a “muh love” type of message, but its still retarded when you think about it from a logical perspective. First off, these characters weren’t together for years, they have only been together for a few months. Their relationship and love wasn’t particularly deep to begin with. If anything it was just a casual relationship between two young adults and it has always been presented like that.

Both of them were still young and it was their first relationship. Due to the fact that the relationship wasn’t that long to begin with, Megu should have been able to get over Jun and break up with him when she noticed that he was no longer “him”. Yet as you could see, she decides to risk dying for being able to stay together with the man that is no longer Jun Naruse, but the shooter. The said shooter who had no problems whatsoever in almost stomping her head in. You can’t tell me that this is how a twenty whatsoever year old girl would act like in the same situation.

Hilariously even after this the killer almost chokes her to death like he did with the doctor, as she is only saved by a sudden deus ex machina of the original Jun Naruse personality returning for a moment and saving her by preventing the killer from killing her.Which is utter bullshit, as the whole thing that was going on since the beginning of the manga was how the killer’s brain matter was eroding and slowly taking over Jun’s personality, not the other way around. This is not the first time the killer tried to kill someone, yet coincidentally for the plot, this is the only time Jun decided to take over. Why didn’t he save the Female Doctor? Because it was convenient for the plot, as it was the Female Doctor’s death that set the events into motion that would end this shitty manga.

In the latter half of the manga it is suddenly stated that Jun’s brain operation was actually an experiment approved by the Illuminati. Okay it doesn’t say Illuminati, but it says a group of old and very rich people, so its still the same thing. Basically the old, rich people wanted to prolong their existence on Earth by brain transferring their consciousness and Jun was just the unfortunate victim of this experiment.


This wouldn’t even be such a bad plot twist, if everything else in the story were made to fit this narrative, but it doesn’t fit. As I said above, Jun was let to freely wander around and cause all kinds of havoc at his workplace, home and pretty much everywhere he goes. While it would have made much more sense for the Illuminati organization to just confine Jun to a hospital and don’t let him wander around freely.

They could have come up with a 1000 excuses to achieve this, yet they didn’t do this. Even though it would have allowed them to publicly notice any changes within his persona and experiment on him further accordingly to the abnormalities observed. Please note that the Female Doctor only died because Jun stopped coming to the hospital and the Illuminati ordered her to gather data from Jun personally. Her death obviously wouldn’t have happened if Jun was simply confined to the hospital.

Later the Illuminati tries to kill him after they learn of the Female Doctor’s death. But again why? Why would they want him dead? That is completely illogical from the men who apparently rule the world from the shadows. It was made quite clear by the old doctor in the initial chapters how much of a miracle the whole operation was and how lucky Jun was for coming out alive. Yet despite this, the Illuminati still tries to kill and eliminate their only successful and extremely rare sample, for simply killing an expendable doctor.

When they could have easily just kidnapped him and locked him up somewhere where escape was impossible. Jun was just one man, he couldn’t have possibly opposed a bunch of wealthy and powerful old men. Despite this the Illuminati still tries to kill him, but not even in a simple manner, but in the most contrived manner possible. First they kidnap him and knock him out, then they transport him to an abandoned warehouse, where they proceed to pour gasoline on him. After this they wake him up (????) just so the doctor can proceed to gloat about how he will kill him and what not in the most cliché manner possible.

And as you guessed, this cliché move is exactly what allows our protagonist to escape and survive this ordeal. After this the protagonist decides to finally end his life. (Because apparently burning to death wasn’t his preferred method of suicide.) He moves to the building where everything started, meaning the place that the killer originally tried to rob and where Jun was shot in the head.

He proceeds to rob the place, goes to the rooftop, scatters the money he stole, which the passing pedestrians immediately proceed to pick up. Then when the police arrive he proceeds to end his life in the most anti climactic suicide possible, by shooting himself in the head.

Rating: 5 Jekyll out of 10 Hyde

Overrated and Overhyped Garbage: Madoka Magica

This post is not intended to be a review or an overview, what it is intended to be is a collection of negative points and elements that are found within the show called Madoka Magica, which in my opinion are enough to consider the anime to be bad or at the very least, mediocre.

Let’s start off from the very beginning.

The Hype

Even when Madoka was still just airing it was already praised and hyped by many across the anime community as a “deep and mature” take on the magical girl genre, which is complete bullshit.

But lets examine the underlying causes that led us here, why is Madoka considered to be something special or something unique? Western anime fans have always had the misconception that the magical girl genre is something that is meant for little girls, thus they did not have high opinions of it, leading to low expectations. Even though if one were to actually look at the statistics and the released magical girl anime, one would find out that most magical girls, like moe anime,  are actually primarily made for the male audience. While magical girl anime for little girls also exist, they are in a much smaller number, usually concentrated in long running series such as the Precure series.


In fact, anime fans couldn’t be farther from the truth, as Magical Girls were one of the first genres in anime to explore such themes as bullying, parental abandonment, domestic violence, social exclusion, loneliness, drug abuse and etcetera as early as 1974! With Majokko Meg Chan, it was also one of the first anime of its time to let the main girl character lose and feature a really evil character. The subgenre known as the Dark Mahou Shoujo was one of the first subgenres to develop in the Mahou Shoujo genre, Dark Mahou Shoujo anime are usually just as dark if not darker than Madoka Magica. So why is it that western fans still have the misconception that magical girls are shows for little girls?

The answer to that couldn’t be any simpler. Because they don’t fucking watch magical girl anime!

Indeed most of the people who praised Madoka as the “brilliant new take on the magical girl genre” have never watched a single Mahou Shoujo aside from maybe Sailor Moon in their life, they were entirely working on the assumption that magical girl shows are for little girls, which is a delusion that the community shared and thus inflated. So yes, Madoka was hyped up as the best magical girl anime by the people who aren’t even experienced in the genre. Oh boy if we aren’t off to a good start already…..


Still the claim remains that Madoka is something unique within the genre, so I shall debunk that piece by piece.

A. The Art
Easily one of the first thing one notices about the show and also one of the usually praised categories, when they forget that it’s just typical SHAFT hijinks, literally every one of their anime past 2007 has these exact same damn art and animation techniques that they just keep reusing into everyone of their shows. SHAFT are just milking their own artstyle for the sake of profit and because of the fact that the same art-style is spread across multiple works, it is no longer unique to Madoka, thus their claim is bullshit.


Funnily I always thought that these op’s from Zetsubou looked straight out like a scene from the witches world in Madoka.

B. The Philosophy
Literally nothing unique about it, as it has already been proven numerous times that Urobutchi just copied Goethe’s Faust for Madoka and didn’t add anything new to the already existing thoughts and viewpoints. The connection is all the more obvious from the number of references to Faust the creators have jammed into Madoka, I won’t bother listing them so you can go read them at:

C. Characters
The characters of Madoka are often praised even though they deserve none, they don’t even feel like people much less regular little girls, which has to do with Urobutchers inability to write anything but male characters. Even if we put Urobutchi’s incompetence to the side, one still cannot excuse that none of the characters have any concrete character, they change however and whenever the creator feels like it. (I’m primarily referring to Kyouko suddenly deciding to consider Sayaka a friend, then barely after, abandoning her initially shown and established ideals just so she could die with Sayaka.) The biggest sin though is that none of them have any free will, they seemingly influence the story, but they actually only move according to the authors puppet strings.

D. The maturity of the series.
Blood and mindless shock factor don’t make a series mature, otherwise everyone would be right about Elfen Lied.
Even the “darkness” of madoka is nothing new as dark mahou shoujo as a subgenre is almost as old as the genre itself and Madoka is hardly the first dark mahou shoujo anime that is basically about torturing little girls.
Everyone just forgot or never watched those older shows.

E. Story
Once more nothing new, it takes from Faust as I have already said as well as from other preexisting mahou shoujo shows such as Sailor Moon, Nanoha, Mai Hime and Princess Tutu. Additionally Gen Urobutchi has admitted to taking several elements and high inspiration from the Japanese Sentai Show called Kamen Rider Ryuki.
So I went ahead and watched a few dozen episodes of Kamen Rider Ryuki and the similarities were striking.
In both show the witches/monsters function exactly the same way, the main characters also usually eliminate then by going into their world and destroying them. In Kamen Rider the Riders are also competing against each other for a wish that the winner will gain.

“All over the city, innocent people are being mysteriously abducted, never to be seen again. During his investigations of these incidents, Shinji Kido – an intern at the online news service ORE Journal – discovers one of the Advent Card decks at an apartment where every reflective surface has been covered by newspaper. He is soon sucked into the Mirror World, discovering the terrifying truth behind the disappearances: people are literally being pulled through mirrors by the monsters of the Mirror World so that they may feed. He is about to be killed by a powerful dragon named Dragredder when he is saved by Kamen Rider Knight: Ren Akiyama. Ren seeks to win the Rider War at all costs. He works with a young woman named Yui Kanzaki, who seeks her missing brother: the master of the Rider War, Shiro Kanzaki. Seeing Ren’s strength, Shinji enters the Rider War not for the prize, but so that he may protect innocent people from the threat of the Mirror World, and stop the senseless fighting between the Kamen Riders. With Dragredder as his Contract Monster, he becomes Kamen Rider Ryuki”

Just replace Rider with Magical Girl and its almost the same show.
(Also from what I watched of Kamen Rider, it was better than Madoka in every aspect with the exception of graphics [if we count the Movie quality for Madoka of course])

See? There is literally nothing original or new that came with Madoka, it is a work that is praised for its originality when in fact it just copied from all over the place! The only thing unique about Madoka is how overrated and overhyped it is for such a mediocrity.

Next Major Problem: The Characters
I already touched upon them in the first section, but now I’m going to obliterate them.

The biggest and most general problem with the characters in Madoka is that they are all plot devices that literally only exist to fulfill a certain role in the story whenever the writer demands, which is why they usually die or get beaten after fulfilling their roles. Their role as a plot device is far more defining to them than their characteristics, for most Madoka characters receive little to no development and feel highly 1 dimensional. Let’s examine just how the characters of Madoka Magica are plot devices.

1. Mami Tomoe – Plot Device of Exposition

Mami is only there to serve as the role of the mentor figure for our heroines, be their senior magical girl if you will. Most of the initial information about Magical Girls came from her and thus she was used for the purpose of world building as well as enticing our characters to be Magical girls like some kind of devil. Devil isn’t really that far off as a metaphor, because let’s be honest, Mami is a fucking bitch who wants Madoka and Sayaka to become Magical Girls just so she won’t have to be alone anymore. Talk about selfishness. Needless to say after Mami has fulfilled her purpose of exposition, Urobutcher decided that it was time for her to die, and she indeed dies by being turned into an idiot for the show’s convenience. Instead of just shooting the damn thing she stares dumbly at the newly emerged witch and lets it devour her, because its convenient for the plot to just forget that Mami was initially shown to be a competent and experienced fighter. I still don’t get why some people actually cried for her death, she was a terrible person who deserved it anyway.Her 3 episode death is meant to serve as cheap shock factor and the hook for the rest of the show, Urobutcher wanted you to continue watching just because she died! And Urobutcher succeeded as usual.


2. Homura Akemi – The Walking Plot Convenience

Homura Akemi has the power of Time ( and by extension Space) Manipulation as well as knowledge of the future due to her repeated time resets. Just think about this for a second, Homura knows everything that can happen and what will happen in the entire time span of Madoka Magica, so by extension everything that happens in the show only happens because Homura allows it to happen, this puts her in a rather strange position the moment one becomes aware of both her powers and her goals. It is hard to ignore it, like really after thinking about it one will wonder, wait why didn’t she appear then? Why didn’t she save X? Why didn’t she stop time at moment Y? And those questions are justified as Homura makes completely arbitrary decisions despite knowledge and powers.

Let’s start off with the very beginning of Madoka Magica, we see QB limping around while bleeding, it was revealed not so later that it was Homura who attacked him. The fact that Madoka and Sayaka came across QB while he was injured essentially sparks the whole show, yet it doesn’t make sense due to the fact that Homura Akemi can control time, something which was not revealed at this point, but because of our viewing we know this truth. Why the fuck was QB able to survive with just a wound if he was chased by the time stopping Homura? If a time stopper wants you dead, you don’t fucking escape, you fucking die, which is why this is either a plot hole or it means that Homura wanted QB to survive and limp away to Madoka and Sayaka for unknown reasons, which again doesn’t make any sense because Homura is trying to prevent Madoka from becoming a magical girl, yet this the very moment that eventually led to Sayaka and Madoka becoming Magical Girls in the later episodes.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica - 01 - Large 33

Also note that Homura wants to protect Madoka, which she conveniently does by randomly appearing from nowhere. While at other times, whenever the plot demands it, she doesn’t appear even when Madoka is in clear danger such as the case with the episode where Madoka had to be saved by the newly Magical Girl turned Sayaka.

Homura is a walking plot convenience that the writer can summon whenever he pleases and needs, he can summon her whenever another character is in danger, he can summon her whenever QB needs to be shot, he can summon whenever he needs someone to play the role of an antagonist (other than QB), he can summon her whenever he wants to intensify the mystery and the tension etc. Homura going by her repeated loops should be about the age of 25-30 mentally speaking, yet even with her multitude of experience and retries she doesn’t realizes the most obvious solutions to many of the problems found within the show. Literally all the characters in the show can only die because Homura lets them die. She is supposedly portrayed as an intelligent character, while in reality she has no free will and none of her actions matter in the course of the story because  she is merely a puppet of the writer.

3. Kyuubey – Plot Device of Infodumping

You want to feed info to the audience? No problem just grab this cute white looking fox creature and have him feed the audience whatever you want them to know. Whenever QB talks it is usually another form of exposition and cheap, lazily done world building. He is supposed to be an emotionless alien, yet they failed in making him truly emotionless, just like the characters of another anime called Death Parade, which likewise was supposed to have emotionless characters. A character that openly demonstrated the ability to feel annoyance and curiosity cannot by any means be called an emotionless creature. The truth behind QB is worse than one might expect, as Kyuubey is literally the self insert character of the Author, Gen Urobutchi, he speaks whatever he wants and cannot be removed from the story, his only goal is to lead the characters astray and into corruption, he thus serves little more than the mouthpiece of the writer.

He is supposed to be honest and not-manipulative due to lack of emotions, but that’s clearly a false statement as he purposely didn’t mention effects that would come with the Magical Girl contract as if he was some bad terms of service notification on your computer, while at other times he states 1 thing (YOU CAN WISH FOR ANYTHING) then states the complete opposite in a later episode ( NUH UH YOU CANT WISH FOR ANYTHING, YOU DONT HAVE ENOUGH MAHOU POWER).

Fans of the show excuse this bullshit by saying “the girls didn’t ask him that X very specific detail that they couldn’t have known, so its not QB’s fault”.

And my answer to that is: fuck you! Kyuubey regularly appeared out of nowhere throughout the entire series just to infodump about totally irrelevant crap that no one asked about, so he could have easily told all the things that come with being a Magical Girl to our main characters. But he didn’t do it, because he is Urobutchi personified and thus he wants the girls to suffer.


4. Sayaka – Plot Device of Shock Factor and Drama

After Mami died Urobutcher needed another girl to torture and let the shock factor continue, so his hands fell onto poor, little Sayaka.

It is of little surprise that Urobutcher choose Sayaka, for one of his famous quotes is “Good and nice characters don’t deserve happy endings.” And as Sayaka is arguably the nicest and most helpful in the cast from the beginning, it was inevitable that she would suffer in this show, which immediately begins after she becomes a magical girl (how unexpected). It would not be inaccurate to say that Sayaka’s role in the show is to literally suffer, that’s why she exists after all, she is someone with a strong sense of justice and ideals, that will get broken down as the show progresses.

And I would argue that this is actually the best part of Madoka, due to the fact that Sayaka is the only decent(quality-wise) character in the entire show. Within the cast of Madoka Magica, only 2 characters have regular lives(reality) and interactions outside of being a magical girl(fantasy), these two characters are Sayaka and Madoka. But since Madoka is a passive observer who doesn’t do anything until the ending, nobody cares about her. Unlike Sayaka who is the opposite of Madoka in that she is very proactive and is constantly doing something. We see her interactions with characters (Hitomi, Kyousuke) who are not part of this whole magical girl nonsense, therefore she gives off a completely different air than Homura who is surrounded by mystery and doesn’t feel like a human anymore or Kyouko/Mami who are loner magical girls defined solely by their interactions in the realm of fantasy and magic. Sayaka actually feels like a real character more than just her assigned role and its what makes her more sympathetic and relatable than any other member of the cast. Still it isn’t a big accomplishment considering she is the only character in the show who received 3 episodes of development.

But is all ruined by shitty pacing and poor execution. The change in Sayaka seems to happen almost instantly the moment she realizes the truth of the grief seed, instead of the change being gradual. Her being distraught over it is never truly explained or delved into. You are not human? So fucking what? Life is not over just because you lost your humanity (besides its not like her soul was taken, it was still in the grief seed after all and thus within her possession). This stupid reason was what pushed her into “despair mode” but even at this stage Homura could have literally saved her ANY time she wanted to by stopping time and just refilling her goddamned soul gem. But NOPE, instead Homura decides to kill Sayaka in order to prevent Madoka see her fall and be saddened, which totally not makes sense, because it’s not like Madoka wouldn’t be saddened just from the fact that Homura killed her best friend. Flawless logic and flawless writing.


5. Kyouko – Foil to Sayaka

First off I would like to say that I will completely ignore and not comment on the fact that Kyouko is the carbon copy of a magical girl from another mahou shoujo anime.

Kyouko was introduced right after Sayaka became a magical girl and died when Sayaka became a witch. This is not a coincidence, for Kyouko’s character literally existed only for Sayaka, as they are two sides of the same coin that complimented and built each other. While Sayaka was outwardly friendly and selfless, inwardly she wished for a selfish happiness ( love with Kyosuke), while Kyouko was externally selfish and inwardly she wished for companionship. Kyouko exists solely for the sake of torturing Sayaka as the moment they met each other they were fated to clash due to their opposing ideals, Sayaka did not understand how Kyouko could be so selfish and thus it gnawed on her from episode 5.

Kyouko herself doesn’t have any character, as she is sorely defined by the contrast between herself and Sayaka. And her supposed “development” was way too rushed to count for anything, one episodes she wants to kill our characters, the next episode she wants to be friends. And for what reason? Because she felt sorry for Sayaka? Complete bullshit writing. Her choosing to die with Sayaka instead of just safely defeating the newly born witch also doesn’t make any sense as she was presented as a selfish character from the beginning, and no change or event occurred that would have been sufficient to change this selfish trait of hers. Thus I conclude that she was just killed off because now that Sayaka was gone, Urobutcher no longer needed her.


6. Madoka – Final Ex Machina

The sole purpose Madoka exist for is to solve the conflict at the end of the show with her wish, that is her entire purpose. She can essentially wish for anything due to her “magic potential” giving her the possibility to be God, which she actually does become (even though that’s not what she wished for). Throughout the rest of the series she is just a passive observer who doesn’t do anything relevant besides crying and getting in the way of other characters, which happens due to the fact that seeing she is the namesake of the show, they had to carry Madoka around into dangerous Witch Lair’s even though she could never help the other characters. Her presented “personality” makes absolutely zero sense, she feels as if she was several years younger than Sayaka, Mami, Hitomi and the other characters. She is naive and unrealistically innocent, there is literally nothing about her that would make her interesting as a character, yet everything revolves around her. You can’t make a decent anime like this.

A good portion of the show is spent trying to convince Madoka to become a Mahou Shoujo (Mami, QB) while others try to stop this process (Homura and Later Sayaka). Yet at the end of the show she makes the resolution of choosing to make a wish anyway. What led her to make a wish? We don’t fucking know, because Madoka never has any deep monologues or introspection that would have led us know her thought process or made the character interesting in some way.

She is easily the worst character in the entire series, yet it still baffles me that the whole thing is named after her.

7. Madoka’s Mom

Madoka’s Mom was presented as strong female, businesswomen who often offered her daughter various advice whenever she was feeling uncertain. She was shown to be a caring mother, yet at the end of the show she chooses to willingly let her daughter go outside a dangerous hurricane for no clear reason, despite the possibility that her daughter might endanger herself with this. Yeah. BestMomoftheYear2012


8. Hitomi and Kyosuke

They exist for the sole purpose of making Sayaka suffer and thus lose all their relevance when she dies.

9. Walpurgishnacht

The supposed main bad is just a completely mindless monster as all previous witches, how boring~ Considering she is the whole reason Homura is having a hard time one would think that they would have at least attempted to make it more interesting, but no.

Section C: That Wish/Magic Reset Endings are the worst type of ending a show can have

The ending to a good show is supposed to be like cream to the cake, it is the finalizer and resolver of everything that has happened so far in the show, it is supposed to give us a lasting impression that will etch the show into our hearts and memories. Yet in Madoka all it does is make things worse than they already were. What’s the point of a suffering train if the ending resets everything, magically resurrects all the characters and basically negates everything that happened in the whole show?

What did the characters suffer for?

What did Homura loop a decade for?

What was the point of it all if it ends with a meaningless bullshit reset ending?

It is just another form of deus ex machina, a way for characters to continue on with their leaves as if nothing happened for the sole sake of pleasing the audience who were saddened with their deaths.

Though the reason why this type of ending happened in Madoka is even worse, Madoka was made to have such an ending so that more Madoka could be made in the format of movies and thus it could bring even more money to the table. It is nothing but shameless milking! Fuck you Urobutcher.

Section D: That Symbolism for the Sake of Symbolism is meaningless

People often praise how good the symbolism in Madoka is. I say bullshit. Because the symbolism in Madoka is completely independent and sometimes even out of place from with what is going at the show. Symbolism is only good when it serves a specific purpose or if it is in a direct connection with the themes and messages of the anime, thus contributing to the greater whole (See Evangelion). Symbolism in Madoka is only there so pretentious anime fags can pretend that this is a deep and mature anime, thus validating their own taste.

Section E: That the Art was originally crap

The TV series version of Madoka, which was the version I watched was atrocious and unfinished, to the point that an entire parody series called Meguca Magica was produced based on how bad everything looked. This was however fixed in later versions and movie releases, where everything looked pretty and crystal clear. But the release of the newer versions is clearly not enough to erase the pain of having watched the original.

Section F: That Madoka would have needed 24 episodes

Seriously, most of the problems that deal with the characters being horrible and 1 dimensional could have been solved easily if the series had 24 episodes for its leisure. The deaths and the drama would also spread out with the increased number of episodes, making them less shock-factor material. If the show spent like 3-5 episodes on every girl (like it did on Sayaka), then this could actually be a decent anime.

Section G: That losing when you have the power to stop Time never makes sense

It just doesn’t, it is such an almighty power, especially Homura’s version with rewind and seemingly minute long time stops, that in a logical scenario she should have won after the first few tries. Dio Brando losing in Jojo was bullshit and so is Homura Akemi losing, espcially when Homura is far more powerful than Dio Brando ever was.

No matter what you do, a time manipulator losing always looks stupid.

But to be fair, if they had actually let Homura win, Madoka would have remained useless the whole show, but it would have at least saved us of the whole magic bullshit reset ending.

Section H: On the fights in Madoka Magica

Up until Episode 5 of Madoka Magica, I was utterly bored watching this show. Why is that you might ask? That is because while even the episodes prior to that had action segments, it was meaningless and uninteresting to me for the opponents of the girls were witches, witches are basically mindless and unthinking monsters. If something is an unthinking monster it is not interesting to watch that fight, the same way many mecha anime become boring when they choose to make opponents full of bug-like alien monsters instead of other humans or humanoid aliens (I’m looking at you Macross). The only way to compensate for this is to make the monsters really scary or striking, something which Attack on Titan succeeded in the first few episodes by making the Titans both creepy (Smiling Titan) and terrifying (Armoured Titan). Madoka does not succeeds in this, nor do I think it ever attempted to make witches scary. They are just creepy weird creatures that generally do their own thing instead of actually caring about battles. Even when they are shot and being fought by the Magical Girls they don’t seem to react or care, it is an absolutely one sided fight where only the Magical Girl has something to win. And if the witches don’t care that they are getting killed, why should I? It’s impossible for me to get pumped up by such boring opponents.

This all changed with episode 5, when Kyouko was introduced and she started fighting Sayaka. Finally, instead of mindless monsters we were having human vs human conflict, which was actually interesting due to the conflicting ideals that were between Sayaka and Kyouko. But after this good period, we are once more returned to Witches vs Magical Girls with Walpugrishnacht that I couldn’t give a fuck about, as all Walpurgishnacht was doing, was floating in the air and laughing like a maniac, it’s hard to take an opponent like that even seriously or care for, which is a damn shame as the fight was really well animated and had overall good quality.

Section I: On the Pacing

The first half of Madoka Magica was okay in terms of pacing, so I shall not comment on that. But about the 8th episode the show realizes that it just spent the last 5 episodes on Kyouko and Sayaka alone, all the while not giving any attention or development to other characters (much less to the main character, Madoka). The show goes “oh shit” mode and immediately starts rushing things, which is why the 9th episode has QB do some obligatory infodumping after Kyouko and Sayaka collectively removed themselves from the story. The following episode is the backstory of Homura, which is obviously a lazy attempt to make us care about her as she will be the center of focus in episode 11 and 12, but it does nothing due to the fact that Kyouko’s and Sayaka’s collecitve segment was 5 episodes, Homura’s just feels incredibly rushed in comparison, and honestly just telling us about her backstory is such a lazy way of doing it. But it is still better than what happened to Madoka, who never received any real development, fleshening or detailing until the end of the show.

The pacing then goes complete shit as the next episodes feel completely worn and unnecessarily dragged out.

Once more I must mention that Madoka Magica should have had 24 episodes for its completion, in order to tell a story of this scope in an effective manner.

Section J: That Pseudo-Science does not make for a good plot

Hoohoo big revelations in episode 9, QB is actually an alien, and they are trying to save the world from entropy!… sacrificing the emotions of magical girls…… You just got tricked into thinking this is a fantasy show! Tt is actually a sci-fi lololol. Pretty much a big fuck you to the entire audience, although hardly the first time a Magical Girl show had done this, it is mostly just Urobutchi’s attempts at trying to deepen the story, not realizing he only made it worse. First off, the whole disappearing energy problem is completely unrealistic as energy never ceases to be, it only changes, therefore the universe should not be able to run out of energy, making the goal of the incubators completely redundant. Secondly, why the fuck would you even bring this to an universal scale? When all the events and story up until now centered around the events of a town/city. It doesn’t make sense nor does it fit the theme at all, it is hard to give a fuck about the universe when the whole anime is set in a city/mirror worlds with girls trying to solve their local supernatural problems.

This was simply a lazy way that Urobutcher attempted to connect all the pieces together, but at this point it would honestly have been better if everything was just left unexplained, I mean seriously this is pretty much the laziest and the worst explanation you can come up with in a fantasy story. If you would have chosen not to explain it, nobody would have really cared, because it would have boiled down to the classic”lol magic who cares”, but you just had to make things worse, didn’t you?


You talentless butcher

Section K: Plethora of plot holes.

Because Madoka is full of them, I already mentioned some earlier, but its time to list them together.

  1. QB escaping and surviving Homura attack ep 1
  2. The entire death of Mami, how did a newborn witch kill an expert Mahou Shoujo?
  3. Sayaka, how did a complete rookie easily dispatch a witch, right after her first transformation?
  4. Episode four, Madoka is captured by a witch after she foolishly went out, strangely no Homura rescue in sight. It is Sayaka who comes and helps her, question is, how did Sayaka know where she was?
  5. Why did Kyouko want to become friends with the girls she just tried to kill the episode earlier? It is never explained.
  6. Magical girls eventually turn into witches, we know that familiars also turn into witches, Sayaka immediately turns into a witch upon despair, so how does the familiars come into the picture of evolution?
  7. Sayaka transforms into a witch, despite being experienced and powerful, Kyouko decides to suicide for virtually no reason. Also Homura once more refused to help even though it would have been easy for her.
  8. That QB revealed his entire plan despite the fact that nobody asked him to.
  9. Why doesn’t Homura just take Madoka away to another city? She could easily do it, she could even drag some of the others if she really wanted to, as her time powers make her into the most powerful character in the series, yet she doesn’t abuse this power for some inexplicable reason. Walpurgishnacht as they state it in the show, is not trying to destroy the entire earth or the universe, just THAT one city that they live in. So why not fucking leave if you can’t kill it? Jesus Christ
  10. Why does Madoka’s power increases every time Homura loops? It is something that is never explained, yet it is what causes Madoka to become god.
  11. The 10,000 year work of the incubators was about to be destroyed, so why couldn’t just QB say no to Madoka’s wish? He is proclaimed to be logical, if I realized this fact, then so should he have. He is emotionless but clearly not without free will, yet chooses to take the illogical action of granting Madoka’s wish. Shows you just how much wills the characters actually have in this story.
  12. QB not just coercing a girl into wishing the universe to have unlimited energy. The entire claim of limited wishes is clearly bullshit seeing Madoka was turned into a god anyway.

So why did people hype up this mediocrity in the first place? Well it was a magical girl anime, animated by SHAFT of all things and written by the already infamous Gen Urobuchi, had these 2 names not come together, nobody would have cared about Madoka at all. Episode 3 only cemented the hype.

Still the most hilarious thing about Madoka, is probably how Urobutcher trolled his entire crew and staff.


Review Breakapart 1: Fate/Zero

I’m tired and I have a fever. With nothing else to do, I decided to break down Fate/Zero negative reviews, since they usually have trash reasons for hating it. Unfortunately it seems that most of the reviews that I remember have been deleted ( as expected from MAL as usual). Leaving literally only one negative review that is long enough to be broken apart. And this is that review:


“For the love of Holy Grail, if you have never watched anything from Fate/Stay Night franchise under any circumstances DO NOT watch Fate/Zero first! I’ll hold an even stronger statement – don’t watch it at all. I’ve just made this grievous mistake, because I had listened to advice given on youtube by several self-proclaimed anime gurus. And now how pissed I am! Sheesh!”

Just from this first paragraph, it is already obvious enough that the writer of this review is the typical idiot who lets himself be hyped up by the anime community, youtubers in this case. He went into Fate/Zero with unnecessary expectations and got disappointed as a result. My words on expectation and disappointment strike true as always.

“I am aware this warning and review will probably fall on deaf ears, because of the way unfavorable reviews are treated by MAL users.”

At least he is right about the shitty treatment of Mal and their crappy moderation system, so I can sympathize with him on some level, but I cannot forgive him the fact that his entire review lacks critical thinking and is done from an entirely subjective and biased perspective of someone who was hyped up for this show.

“Let me elaborate on my background – when I started to watch this series I knew only that Fate/Zero is prequel, supposedly much superior to its successor. And that it was written by the same guy who wrote Madoka Magica. I knew nothing about characters, basic premises and how this story ends. So it will be easier for creators to impress me, immerse me in their fantastical world and make me care for what happens. Or so I thought. Oh boy, how I was wrong.”

1/3rd of the review gone, and you only talked about your own expectation and disappointment so far, good job. The fact that it was written by the same person who wrote Madoka Magica only hyped him up more, due to the fact that the said anime is one of his favorites, so it would be highly unusual for him to not raise some expectations towards a work that was made by the same person. (I also seriously have to question his taste and his credibility on whats a good anime if he rated the convoluted mess that is Madoka with a score of 10). Either way he says that “it will be easier for the creators to impress me”, which is bullshit since he already made that harder for himself by having expectations!

“This anime has massive flaws in its narrative. And it is not even the main story itself – it’s of course ridiculous but it would eventually do. However the pacing of it is atrocious.”

The guy makes Claim A: “There are Massive Flaws in the narrative.” A good reviewer would proceed to immediately back up his claim by presenting facts and evidence that support his claims, like pointing out how the narrative has massive flaws in this case, but not him, he immediately moves onto another claim instead of developing his earlier one, which is how we arrive at Claim B: “The Pacing of Fate/Zero is atrocious.”

“The anime disguises itself as interesting in its first 5 episodes

How would an anime disguise itself as interesting? Interest doesn’t come directly from the anime, it comes from within you, interest is one of your possible reactions to a show, if you felt interested in the first 5 episodes, it wasn’t because the show “cheated” somehow and pretended to be interesting, no it was because you actually found it to be interesting, even if it was only for the first 5 episodes. Boredom, Entertainment, Interest, Excitement, Arousal etc. Are just emotions that a show can try to invoke within its audience, but it won’t necessarily succeed as it entirely depends on the viewers tastes, mood and experiences, which are factors that can greatly vary.

“There is some introduction, then almost right off the bat we hop into a duel between characters.”

What some introduction? Was 5 episodes, perhaps not enough for you? It was already 1/5 of the show, especially since the first episode was 40 minutes long! This is way more introduction than what most anime have. Also you can’t claim “right off the bat” if the said duel only happens at episode 5, you would say that at episode 1 or maybe at episode 2, but it is no longer valid starting episode 3, because its not right off the bat, 136 minutes have already passed! That is 2 hours, which is more than sufficient for a series to start off a conflict.

“And then… then almost nothing happens for the next 8 episodes.”

You first complain about the action being too fast, then you complain about the action being too slow. Make up your mind, please. Also “nothing” is a gross exaggeration, the premise for the drama that was used in the second part of the series was built up here, characters were fleshed out, characters were allowed to form relationships with each other and express their ideals and views, you can’t call it useless or nothing. Or what did you expect this to be some mindless action series, or did you expect it to have some episodely battles like Madoka had?

“Ok, maybe I’m somewhat unfair, there were some skirmishes, though utterly insignificant. “

I guess he finds any battle where the characters don’t die to be utterly insignificant, as expected of a fan of Madoka Magica. It was exactly these early skirmishes that built up the relationship between Rider and Waver, Rider and Saber, Lancer and Saber (Hell their entire relationship is about wanting to settle their fight honorably, which turned into friendship in the second part) It was also here when we were shown the fragments of personality from various characters, as it has been said before, “A Person’s true nature can be deduced based on how he approaches the battlefield and how he acts in combat.” It was here where we learned that Lancer’s and Saber’s master were both willing to discard honour in order to win, it was here where the arrogance of Gilgamesh shined, it was here where it was first hinted that Berserker was Sir Lancelot, due to his fixation on Arthuria. It was also here that Gilgameshes’ “interest” in Berserker began.

“Then around second half something indeed started to happen – but it was still interrupted by All Talk episodes.”

The characters have lengthy dialogues in a fucking drama!!?? Jesus Christ, how horrifying.

“(I still get shivers remembering an episode containing conversation between certain priest and Gilgamesh)”

Another evidence that he was only watching this show for the action and the pretty colours, seeing he gets PTSD episodes from the parts containing dialogue.

“And, don’t you have wrong impression – I’m not some action junkie.”

That’s pretty much what you made yourself to be so far, and I’m 2/4 finished of your review.

“I was annoyed simply because discussion and character development episodes were just criminally uninteresting. It’s beyond describable how one doesn’t care for virtually any of the characters in this story. Given how much time the anime spends on exposing their back-stories and motivations it is fail of epic proportions.”

He cannot describe it because he is just talking from his own subjective perspective. The reason he doesn’t say anything is because he most likely knows that whatever he would say would be completely subjective and wouldn’t have any merit outside of his own personal viewpoint, so he avoids making this mistake by simply calling it “beyond describable”.  He isn’t even arguing that the characters are bad, he is just arguing that they are uninteresting, which is something that is completely subjective to the person watching the show, like a critic, a reviewer should try to approach any material from the most possible objective viewpoint, yet this guy doesn’t even try that. Also notice how he takes this tone, as if he was speaking for everyone or for a large group of people when he is saying his sentences instead of just his own opinions, which makes him seem arrogant and conceited.

“It is partially because this whole exposition is handled very poorly.”

Just because you didn’t like it, doesn’t mean it is handled poorly. If you want to bash the exposition then find objective reasons to do so. Here let me illustrate: One of the major flaws of Fate/Zero’s exposition is that it focuses too much on certain characters (Emiya and Kotomine) while it focuses too little on others (Kayneth, Kariya), making it predictable who will stay until the end of the show and leading to uneven character development. Was that so hard? No it wasn’t, you are just incompetent.

“After the whole show I still don’t understand e. g. what is the actual cause of intense rivalry between main protagonist and main antagonist.”

Either you were fully asleep at this point or you just didn’t care to pay attention as it was quite evident and simple that Kiritsugu Emiya and Kotomine Kirei are two sides of the same coin. Both are pragmatic killers who do anything to achieve their goals, the only difference in the beginning is that Kiritsugu has ideals while Kotomine lacks them, Kotomine immediately notices the similarity between him and Kiritsugu but also can’t understand him due to his lack of ideals, which is why he is frustrated. It is not until Kirei is corrupted by Gilgamesh (You know the part you said that was fucking boring to the point of sending you shivers) that Kirei becomes the polar opposite of Kiritsugu. Emiya is the killer who fights for “good”, someone who is willing to sacrifice others in order to save the world, while Kotomine wishes to bring death and suffering upon the world as he learned to enjoy it thanks to Gilgamesh. But these feelings weren’t just suddenly pulled out of nowhere by Gilgamesh, no they were always inside Kirei, he just tried to suppress and deny them to his religious beliefs. Naturally these two cannot coexist so it was inevitable that they would face off with each other.

Kirei is the villain or “monster” to Kiritsugu’s “superhero”.


“Additionally narrative is prone to raise some significantly-looking issue (or character) and then to drop it for long or even forever. “

Once more the reviewer makes a claim yet doesn’t gives any explanation or example as to what it is. What issue or character was raised? We will never know because the reviewer doesn’t know how to review.

“And there is this most important issue, which even one character in the story (Gilgamesh I suppose) noticed – how abysmally dull are most of these characters’ motivations. It makes you automatically yawn at the mere sight of them.”

Gilgamesh is literally a demigod who has seen everything that the world has to offer, of course he wouldn’t be amused by our boring modern times and people that came after him. What I find strange here though is that you have the same boredom as the said demigod. In Fate/Zero we have almost a dozen “player characters” that take an important role in the story and each have their own motivations and reasons for fighting, so I find it odd that you cannot find at least one character that you can identify with, relate to or otherwise sympathize with. We have save the world (Kiritsugu), redeeming the mistakes of the past (Saber), saving someone dear to you (Kariya), chivalry and honour (Lancer), personal redemption (Berserker), Conquest (Iskandar), Self Growth and proving oneself to be worthy in the society they belong to (Waver Velvet) etc. I especially find it weird that you couldn’t find Kariya to be interesting seeing he is essentially the same as Homura Akemi from Madoka Magica, a character that you have on your goddamned favourite list( even though she is literally just a plot device character). Both Kariya and Homura sacrifice their own well being in order to save the one that they care about Madoka/Sakura and that is what defines them as characters, but I guess the fact that Kariya wasn’t a loli made him unappealing to you.

” There are some events which simulate plot twists, but there are all so boring and the reasons for them so contrived they are not something to speak of. “

Once more the writer refuses to elaborate and delve into what these events are, so there is nothing to break down for me.

“In other words – it’s impossible for a viewer to care if character X treacherously kills character Y, when you couldn’t care less neither for X nor for Y.”

Sounds like a personal problem rather than anything else. Sure you can say that it is the show’s fault for failing to make you care, but then I can just grab any of the thousand fate fanboys who will say the opposite of your words. They watched the same series as you did, and unlike with you, the show has managed to make them care about its characters. And due to your subjectivistic viewpoint you won’t be able to deny them since their opinion will worth the same as yours. Another example of why subjectivist reviewers are cancer, they can’t even defend or validate their opinions.

“Ok, so maybe at least fight scenes redeem the show? No! Most of them are astonishingly anti-climactic, including two of the three final ones.”

I actually agree with this one as many fights are actually anti climactic, especially Kiritsugu vs Kotomine and Gilgamesh for simply being overpowered. But the show redeems itself by resolving other conflicts through scheming, stealth and assassinations rather than mandatory direct conflicts that many anime tend to favour.

“BTW not only fights are anti-climactic. So is the ending, concluded thanks to idiotic Diabolus ex Machina. “

It’s not a true Machina if its existence was previously hinted to or otherwise foreshadowed to. But I agree that the ending is anti-climactic and that comes from the fact and the necessity that this was a prequel to Stay/Night. But I can appreciate it due to the fact that it focused on Kiritsugu losing pretty much everything he fought for and believed in, thus a great tragedy occurred. Kiritsugu couldn’t have been deconstructed as he had been if the show was not bound by the laws of a prequel.

“And after having watched this I saw juvenile shounen-like Fate/Stay Night anime series from 2006.”

Fate/Stay Night is a seinen not a shounen, not only you lack critical thinking but you can’t even do basic research. I expected this much from a MALtard as they don’t even know what is shounen/seinen etc. And I doubt that this guy is any different.


“Yes, 2006 anime is cliched. “

Not only it is clichéd, and it has terrible execution, production values but it also butchered the original source material. Though even with that, it still isn’t as bad as 2015 Ufotable version.

“Its stereotypical high-school protagonist whines too much.”

The fact that he gave you such an impression proves that Studio DEEN completely failed at adapting his character.

“Hell, the whole coming-of-mage plot is ultra generic.”

Not even the plot or anything important in Stay/Night.

“And yes, it’s more light-hearted. But still I liked it more, even though I was spoiled by prequel. The creators of F/Zero failed to notice that it’s not enough to be “darker and edgier” to have a good plot and interesting characters.

It’s called consistency, something which Stay/Night lacked as it mixed romantic and harem elements with all that was going on. (While completely leaving out the fact that originally it was also supposed to be under the mystery genre oops, nobody cares about that, harem elements and light hearted comedy are clearly more important.) Fate/Zero unlike Stay Night stayed true to its mood, atmosphere and story throughout the whole show.

“The art part of the anime is only thing in which creators didn’t fail. “

Wrong. Ufotable noticeably ran out of budget in the first half of the show as they spent it all on animating the more costly effects (ionian hetarioi for example), the animation and art became worse after even to the average viewer’s eye, especially when it came to the characters. Ufotable repeated this mistake in the Fate Stay Night 2015 as well.

“Although the story deserves clear zero points, animation, sound and the fact that Saber is always fully-clothed wind up the total score to 4/10 (or 3/10 for first season alone). “

And this is where it is shown that our reviewer has no idea about how scoring works or how he is supposed to score as a critic. Scores are meant to be comparative. Comparative to what? You might ask. To other fucking anime. You look at every anime and decide what the average anime is like before beginning any scoring. Naruto is an average battle-shounen, Slayers is an average shlock adventure, To Aru no Majutsu is an average light novel shit, all 5. Now that you got the average, you look at whether the show is below or above average. After you are done with that you look at how much farther it is from the average anime, and thus push it closer towards either 10 or 0 based upon your judgement. It is quite obvious that Fate/Zero cannot be below a score of 6/10 as a minimum due to the fact that its nothing like the average fucking anime. And no characters, story and plot also have to be done comparatively as well, look at the average anime once more, then look at the cast of the average anime. Surely even you must see that Fate/Zero has a better cast and story than let’s say Naruto. Thus it should naturally be higher on the list, somewhere on 7/10 or so.

My personal addition to this scoring system is that the average is always shit , it is my firm and unshakable belief that 95% of everything is shit, 95% of books, movies, cartoons, anime, manga, visual novels, music, drawings are simply shit. Therefore if I score something below 5 it means that its below shit, which is exactly how we arrive at scoring the review of this guy.

Presentation: As it should be clear from the picture below our writer here wasted 1/3 of the review (marked with a blue) by telling us about his expectation and disappointment and what mindset he went into watching Fate/Zero with, it doesn’t have much to do with actual reviewing, but it helps us understand his viewpoint on why he hates this show so much. The section encircled by red marks how much sentences are actually spent on reviewing Fate/Zero, as you can see only 1/3 of review is actually about reviewing, Jesus Christ. The last third is one half comparison to Fate Stay Night (yellow) and one half Conclusion (pink). 3/10


Writing: Not really exciting or humorous to read, nor is it informative, the reviewer is below average in terms of writing skills but average as far as the reviewers on MAL are concerned as most of them are equally bad, he also had a few grammatical mistakes, so this makes a score of 5/10

Reasoning: His entire reasoning can be summed up as “I did not enjoy it=its shit.” It’s not like he says anything actually worthwhile as all of his reasoning are based on something subjective rather than something factual or concrete that can be properly analyzed. 0/10

Tone: He has a slightly noticeable arrogant and condescending tone, probably meant towards those who like the series. He also likes to emphasize multiple times that you should stay away and not watch the show most likely due to his personal disappointments, but that is once more not objective, so that makes a score of 3/10.

Review: Doesn’t even go into detail enough to be called an actual review. 0/10

And with this I give this shitty review a generous score of 3/10. What a complete waste of time.