Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Beginning Story: In-Depth Look

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Note: This article was originally posted on yuis-musings.tumblr.com on October 15th, 2012. It has been copied here for purposes of archiving and backup.

As a huge fan of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime series, I was ecstatic when I heard that movies were being produced. Despite the fact that they were to be a retelling of the TV series in two parts, I felt it would still be exciting to see in the theaters. This opportunity was thanks to the fact that I moved to Japan from the United States a couple months before the movies were to be released; I made it a priority to get tickets to see them.

I was one of those fans that was able to see the first movie on opening day, 6 October 2012. Just before the movie started, I decided to try and remember any significant differences and document them later. As I have watched the series many, many times on Blu-Ray, I felt this was something I could handle.

So, I am going mainly off of memory and the fact that I re-watched the 1st movie again on 13 October 2012, when the 2nd movie premiered. I wish I had images to refer to, but I was not about to try and illegally film the movie.

I will be highlighting changes or differences as seen in the 1st movie in comparison with the Blu-Ray version of the series. The 1st movie covers events that happen from episode 1-8. Granted, for those that have seen the series, there is no real change to how the movie plot proceeds; if you’ve seen the series, there are no spoilers. If you have not, well, then you have been warned.

Generally, most if not all the scenes were redrawn/reanimated and/or have wider angles. Most of the backgrounds were given more detail, color, depth and contrast. Plus, a lot of the voice acting was redone for the main characters. I will not be going over all these changes unless they are significant. If scenes were cut, it is most likely for time, even though the movie runs for 2 hours and 20 minutes.

This was a rather difficult, but fun project to do, as I rewatched the first 8 episodes to recount any differences I remembered from the movie and take note of those worth noting.

This effort was made especially for those English-speaking Madoka fans that cannot see the movies in Japan, or cannot make a trip to a “local” theater in their country that may be playing the movies. Don’t say I never give anything back!

That being said, this post is extremely long and text-heavy, so may not be for those with short attention spans. Even so, enjoy!

Contents

Episode 1

  • As the slightly modified curtain rises in the movie, we are greeted with a modified title slate. Presumably the date on the bottom is changed to 2012, instead of 2011 as was in the series version.
  • The countdown sequence has also been changed, to the symbols around the numbers being more circular and modern.
  • The immediate and significant difference here is that we do not see Madoka’s dream sequence involving Homura fighting Walpurgisnacht,
    • Instead see Madoka greeting her dad in the garden, asking her to go help Tatsuya wake up mom.
  • As Madoka’s mom (Junko) leaves, the wall behind her has a static picture frame, rather the LCD picture frame that has the image change.
  • As Madoka runs out of the house for school, the music for the movie OP Luminous by ClariS starts, which leads into a new OP animation. Try as I might, I may mix up the sequence of these in the opening animation.

Opening Animation

  • It features Madoka and Homura in white dresses, lying in what seems to be water, reaching for each other’s hands with smiles on their faces. They then dissolve into bubbles, followed by a wide shot of what seems to be Ultimate Madoka or Madoka in a very long white dress with her hands together and her head down. The Homura is shown: her part zooms out from her right eye, as the background fills with gears, and a clock behind her.
    • The scene with Madoka and Homura reaching out for each other and then dissolving repeats twice.
  • We then see scenes of Madoka as a baby, growing up several stages such as crawling, walking, going to school for the first time (a young Sayaka and Kyousuke are seen here too), to when her mother was pregnant with her little brother (Tatsuya) and her playing with him.
  • There is an adorable scene of Madoka and Homura sitting in chairs in the middle of a green field. Madoka butts her head up against Homura’s, which surprises Homura, but she happily returns the gesture back. Such cute skinship between them!
    Movie OP Homumado.gif
  • The five girls have cycling close-ups as the camera spins around to each of them. Then we get a close up of each girl followed by a wide shot of them after Madoka. Then Mami in her apartment. Kyoko in her dad’s chruch. Homura in hospital.
  • Sayaka does not have such a scene.
  • Finally, we see a wide shot of Madoka running as the background literally flips between reality and witch barriers and then to the landscape after Walpurgisnacht appears.
  • The final scene is Madoka in a white dress taking her ribbons out of her hair, as she floats on top of water and clouds quickly fly by. We get a nice shot of her smiling face and the wind blowing through her hair.
  • All in all, a very pretty OP sequence to watch.

Episode 1 (Continued)

  • After the OP, Madoka runs up to Hitomi and Sayaka. The backgrounds here are really improved. The way to school is filled with more trees and has an increased sense of wilderness with the river nearby. Colors seem more vivid and there is more contrast.
    • When Hitomi coughs in embarrassment as Sayaka harasses Madoka, they are much farther from school than shown in the series, as they are still on the path by the river.
  • After the teacher’s rant about hard or soft-boiled eggs, Sayaka’s exclamation about how the transfer student should had been introduced first is more pronounced and her expression is more dramatic.
  • Homura’s entrance has a very smooth and dynamic redrawn camera angle pan up from her legs up to her face, showing off more budget that Shaft had for this movie. It is not just a simple static pan up as seen in the series.
    • When the curious students ask Homura questions, she does not respond to them.
  • Before and after Homura asks Madoka to “take her to the nurses office”, Shaft takes the time to really show how extravagant the school is. The backgrounds are much more dynamic, showing more detail is shown in the flooring, the glass between the hall and classrooms and along the ceiling.
    • It also more apparent the students are staring at Homura. When Madoka says something that bother’s Homura, such as calling her by her surname, her footsteps echo loudly.
  • There is no scene of Homura performing her extraordinary physical talents on the school grounds. Kyuubey is also not shown hiding in a plant.
    • Instead, we go to Madoka, Sayaka and Hitomi in the restaurant after school.
  • The restaurant is much more detailed, and the group is sitting at table rather than a booth as seen in the series. The background behind them as they talk shows the interior of the mall rather than windows and blank walls. This carries a more “inhabited” feeling. Even though we did not see it, Madoka still makes her comment about how she felt she met Homura in a dream, and Sayaka is the only one that laughs at it.
    • When Madoka and Sayaka leave for the CD store, there is no scene of Homura pursuing Kyuubey.
    • In the CD store’s backgrounds are enhanced and the store is advanced with touch screens, as the girls demonstrate when they choose a song.
    • The song that Madoka listens to in the store is Luminous, instead of Connect.
    • When Homura meets Madoka after she finds Kyuubey, the ambient light is predominately red.
    • When Sayaka comes to Madoka’s rescue, she shoots the fire extinguisher from the right side instead of the left. The extinguisher fumes seem to be more substantial. She also throws the extinguisher at Homura in a more animated and violent manner.
  • As the witch barrier appears, we are greeted with a sequence of several doors opening into each other.
  • Gertrud’s witch barrier appears much more detailed, and creepy. As the familiars close in on the girls, a different BGM plays.
    • Interesting note: When Mami first appear and walks in behind Madoka and Sayaka, she says “That was close. But you’re safe now”, her mouth does not move in either the series or in the movie.
  • Mami’s transformation sequence is reanimated. It is smoother, and in a more elegant fashion that reflects Mami’s personality. She actually kicks off her shoes. Then her stockings change, following her skirt and top. Her beret and plume burst onto her head, making a trail of flower petals or ribbon pieces. Her corset then wraps around her from behind. Her boots appear and then her ribbon flies in and ties around her neck. This ends with a close up of her face, giving the camera a wink.

Episode 2

  • Instead of Mami giving her self-introduction in a flashback of her series transformation animation and subsequent battle, she gives it as they all go to Mami’s apartment. We are also treated to improved and detailed shots of the city landscape.
  • Mami's room has slightly different furniture, and she is using a different tea set (with strawberry pattern).
  • There is no scene of Madoka waking up thinking it was a dream again. Also, there is no scene with Madoka and her mom telling her to call if she will be home late. There is no remark about Kyuubey being invisible to others.
  • Madoka does not recall her meeting with Mami as a flashback, so mom never says what she would wish for if she was given the chance.
  • Mami’s room has more ambient lighting from the sunset than in the series.
  • As Mami explains the task given to all Puella Magi, the BGM is changed to "Sis puella magica!".
    • The conversation about how witches work is slightly truncated.
    • Note: Mami’s head-in-lap reflection from the glass table exists both in series and movie.
  • After the talk of wishes, we see the scene where Sayaka takes a CD to Kyousuke and we learn about his injury. We also see how Sayaka admires Kyosuke’s violin playing. This does not happen until the start of episode 3 in the series.
    • This scene in the movie shows many chairs in Kyosuke’s room, where the series version had no chairs minus the one Sayaka sits in. This scene takes the place of the following scenes:
    • The conversation between Madoka, Sayaka and Hitomi the following morning does not occur.
    • No “yuri undertones” as to why Madoka and Sayaka are staring at each other while talking through Kyuubey thanks to Hitomi.
    • The situation where Kyuubey is at school does not occur. It is not made clear that they can communicate telepathically.
    • The conversation between Madoka, Sayaka and Mami about Homura being a Puella magi and why seems to be against them does not occur. As such, the discussion about rewards of defeating witches is absent.
    • The scene where Madoka is doodling in her notebook with Sayaka falling asleep in class does not occur.
  • After the Sayaka/Kyousuke scene and some more shots of the city, we go to the school rooftop where the two girls discuss wishes. Some dialogue is omitted as being redundant.
    • In the series, this is where we get a glimpse of Kyousuke silhouette in the hospital.
  • The background for the rooftop is changed considerably. The side fences are much taller and the entire area is more decorated and detailed, also with more places to sit.
    • Instead of being pure white, the structures on the roof appear more off-white. The changes also allow for detailed shadows to be cast across the roof.
    • Though the side fences are now much more solid, the sound of the metal net rattling in the wind is still present.
  • When Homura appears on the roof, the BGM is slightly different, reflecting the intensity of the situation.
    • When Madoka asks Homura what her wish was, Homura is more visibly bothered by it.
    • When Mami is overlooking this encounter, we only see her once and from a distance.
    • The subsequent scene that follows the events in the morning with Hitomi after school does not occur. As such, the school girls do not ask Homura to go somewhere with them after classes.
    • Movie Consistency Error: The meeting between Mami and her two Puella magi prospects, Madoka shows her doodles of costumes as her way of being “prepared.” At first, all the drawings are monochrome, when it switches to a wide angle; the largest doodle of Madoka is colored in. When the scene changes again, it is monochrome again.
    • Madoka’s face does not glow red in embarrassment, but her blushing is more subtle.
  • As they are witch hunting, the conversation about how Mami should had finished off the witch yesterday, but wanted to protect Madoka and Sayaka instead is removed.
  • As the distraught woman walks into the ruined building, the entrance is more decrepit and the German lines from “Faust” are harder to read. Later, when the girls walk by this same wall, the lines seem to be completely different and unreadable as a real language.
    • After Mami saves the woman from committing witch-assisted suicide, the Witch’s Kiss on her neck is more detailed and “shines” with dark sparkles.
    • As they enter the barrier, they go through three doors as an intro.
    • The BGM as they go through the barrier is changed to the one when Mami fights Charlotte in the series, "Venari strigas".
    • They go through several single doors before reaching Gertrud. Perhaps reflecting how the stages in the PSP game operated.
    • However, right before they reach Gertrud, they go through three doors.
  • The area where Mami fights Gertrud is more detailed, such as more roses on the ground and detailing on the walls.
    • The BGM as Mami fights Gertrud is the instrumental Quattro version of Magia.
    • Mami’s battle animations are smoother, and overall, the fight is a bit shorter than in the series.
    • Mami makes no mention of grief seeds as a reward as it would reference a past conversation that did not happen in the movie.
    • The background of the confrontation scene with Homura is darkened.
    • There scene where Madoka is coloring her doodles at her desk at home is not shown.

Episode 3

  • The entire sequence where Mami fights the familiar Ulla, where she explains her wish when she became a Puella Magi, where Mami advises Sayaka to not make a wish she might regret is cut from the movie.
  • After Kyuubey tells Madoka has the potential become a super powerful Puella Magi, the scene where her mom comes home drunk after work and needs help, along with the subsequent scene of her dad telling her how her mom treasures the life she has and is, in sorts, living her dream, is not shown.
  • When Kyuubey sees the grief seed on the pillar by the bicycles, Madoka and Sayaka run up to it, and have to navigate through the bikes a bit. In the series, they seem to run just close, but are shown as if they did not run to it at all.
    • The grief seed shares the same characteristics as the witch’s kiss in that it has “Dark sparkles” as the barrier starts to grow on the pillar.
    • Sayaka’s dialogue about how she can’t leave the grief seed alone here is somewhat more determined.
    • The backgrounds for the hospital during these scenes in the movie are different.
    • When Madoka returns with Mami, Mami is visibly more upset with Madoka and Sayaka about how they went on without her.
    • The camera angle where Madoka and Mami enter the barrier is shown from the side, similar to when they went into Gertrud’s barrier. We are also shown more doors when they first enter.
    • The BGMs during these scenes are subtle, but it builds better atmosphere.
  • When Mami traps Homura in the ribbons, Homura sounds more desperate in her pleas for them to not fight this witch.
    • Madoka's voice reflects more fear as they go through the barrier.
    • On the bridge with the hanging headless bodies, the BGM changes to "Amicae carae meae."
    • Mami’s hand does not clip through her skirt as we watch her walking from Madoka’s POV after she lets go of her hand.
    • They (thankfully) redrew the scene where Mami and Madoka make a promise for her to join her Puella magi team.
    • When Mami calls this a “Special day” and is about to transform, Madoka sounds more delighted, than frightened in the series.
  • As Mami transforms with another new transformation, which is longer than the quick one in the series, our ears are treated to a new version of Credens Justitiam, but with lyrics in Japanese. [the song has been released as "Mirai" on Kalafina's "Hikari Furu" single --kFYatek]
    • During her fight with the familiars, which has better animation, we see her form her dual arm cannons. They also go back to the TV version where Mami has one leg up on the syringe.
    • Mami does not say anything about her body being light, and only says, with total confidence “I’m not afraid of anything anymore… because I’m not alone anymore.”
  • As Mami fights Charlotte in doll form, the BGM is different, which sounds like a witch playfully mocking the girls, building up perfectly to the point where Mami meets her end.
    • As Charlotte ends Mami, we see her flower soul gem on her head shatter.
    • Homura’s fight with Charlotte also has a new more fitting BGM.
    • When Homura plants bombs that Charlotte eats, there are 3-4 of them on her tongue (only one in the series). Once Charlotte starts exploding multiple times, Homura does not throw explosive debris at her like in the series. As Charlotte swallowed more than one bomb in the movie, this makes sense.
  • Sayaka’s cries for Homura to give the grief seed back to Mami are much more emotional. To match, Homura’s lines are much sterner. The girls are more shocked at what happened to Mami.
    • Kyuubey face is redrawn so it does not look completely disproportionate after Homura leaves. It still didn’t look right for some reason.

Episode 4

  • The opening scene where Sayaka goes to see Kyousuke and she seriously considers using her wish for him, echoing what Mami warned her about is not in the movie.
  • The scenes where the egg yolk of her breakfast reminds Madoka of Mami’s death, and where Sayaka forbids Madoka from talking about it on the way to school do not occur.
  • During the lesson in school, we are zoomed into the word “ENOUGH” just to see “UGH” before it zooms out to show the entire board.
  • The roof scene, again redrawn, where Madoka changes her mind to become a Puella magi despite her promise to Mami, is more somber, and has several different angles throughout the ending conversation with Kyuubey.
  • Sayaka makes no mention of Mami being a kind person, but instead goes right on to ask Kyuubey if another Puella magi will come.
  • After the scene ends, Madoka’s “I’m sorry” to Mami is more emotional, and echoes longer in the theater.
  • When Madoka visits Mami’s apartment to leave the notebook behind, the BGM is "Quamobrem?". Again, Madoka’s crying seems even more emotional than in the series.
  • When they meet outside the apartment, Homura does not say Madoka’s name during their conversation.
  • As they continue their conversation while walking together, the background of the industrial section is much darker and filled with red ambient lighting. This suggests this takes place later than it did in the series. Homura and Madoka walk in near darkness.
    • However, we lose the effect of the sunlight being blocked by Madoka’s hair on and off as they walk, as it was shown on the Blu-Ray series.
    • The BGM as they talk is very somber arrange of "Sis puella magica!".
    • Once Madoka stops walking to cry, Homura seems more concerned about her.
  • Next scene is where Sayaka is with Kyousuke in his hospital room and he is listening to more music. The BGM is "Serena ira", which would have made sense in the first place for the series as it is a sad sounding violin piece.
  • As Madoka is walking by herself, there are no other shadows of people around her, opposite to how it was in the series.
    • The witch’s kiss on Hitomi’s neck, and the other people, matches the standard set from earlier in the movie.
    • Madoka does not overreact when she realizes she doesn’t have Homura’s cellphone number.
    • The floor of the factory they all gather at is either see-through or very well-polished.
    • A very spooky and chilling chorus BGM plays at this part.
    • As the people are about to mix bleach and ammonia, there is no flashback to where Madoka’s mom tells her never to mix them.
    • When Hitomi initially stops Madoka from interfering, her voice isn’t as stern as in the series.
    • Once Madoka locks herself into the room, there is more detail shown in the background.
    • As the witch barrier propagates, carousel music starts to play and some undead horses are seen to run by rather close to Madoka.
  • The classical music, accompanied with some playful sound effects is heard throughout this witch fight with Kirsten.
    • There is more detail in the walls of the witch barrier.
    • Sayaka is the only Puella magi to have a significant change to her costume design. On her left side of her head, her two hairclips change into a fortissimo symbol (ff) when she transforms.
  • When Kyousuke wakes up to find his arm is healed, there is no BGM.
  • The scene where Kyoko shows up and is talking to Kyuubey in the tower about how she’ll beat the hell out of the new girl does not occur.

Episode 5

  • The opening scene where Sayaka makes her wish and contract is not shown yet.
  • The following scene with Hitomi explaining to Madoka and Sayaka how she doesn’t remember what happened the night before and how Sayaka says she should had stayed home instead, does not happen.
    • Instead, it is the scene where we see a happy Sayaka acting proud about what’s she done, and how she will become an ally of justice.
    • BGM is changed to "Decretum" during this scene.
  • Next, Sayaka visits a partially healed Kyousuke. Here we see many chairs in the room in both in the series and movie.
    • There is no consistency though, as the chairs that appear in each are different.
    • As they are going up the roof in the elevator, the smile Sayaka gives Kyousuke is slightly delayed.
  • Once Kyousuke starts playing Ave Maria on his violin, Sayaka closes her eyes, and we see a flashback of her making the contract with Kyuubey on the very same spot on the roof just a day before.
    • There is more depth to the rose garden sections and smoother animation.
    • During this, she makes her “I’ll never regret this” speech to Mami in thought.
    • The silhouette of Sayaka against the sun is also against a fence… which oddly looks like a prison. There was no fence shown here in the series.
    • Note: When Kyousuke stops playing the song, the BGM continues on. Just like in the series.
  • Kyoko is seen watching this event from afar in the tower, and is seen eating a thin cream filled cracker/cookie. In the series, she is eating a waffle.
    • Also is the first scene we see Kyoko in the movie.
  • The scene where Madoka and Homura are talking in the restaurant about becoming friends with Sayaka does not occur.
    • This also means we don’t see Homura make the Mami-loses-her-head reference with taking the lid off her cup (which she never drinks from… even though she tries to). Seeing that Homura tells Madoka to give up on Sayaka several times in the series, this scene is trivial.
    • Instead, we see Sayaka in her room, psyching herself up to go hunt for witches. Kyuubey is seen lounging nearby, but in a slightly different position.
  • Sayaka’s room is a bit darker and more detailed.
    • When she meets Madoka outside, and grabs her hand, all ambient noise is cut. This is exemplifying that her hands are indeed shaking despite her air of confidence.
    • Kyuubey does not give his speech about how dangerous it is, and how he talks to Madoka only about her own plans should Sayaka need help, and we don’t see the scene of them walking around during this witch hunt.
    • Instead, we see a nice shot of Sayaka’s soul gem glowing brightly right before they go into an alley and spot the crazy crayon familiar, Anja.
    • Once the familiar shows up, the BGM turns a little more intense.
  • Sayaka’s transformation takes place underwater and she seems to swim though it in a fashion that a mermaid swims.
    • Her transformation is rather modest compared to the series version. She seems to pull her sword on out her body as it materializes.
    • Here we can see her hairclips changing into the fortissimo symbol.
  • Kyoko’s tone when saying that it is just a familiar and won’t drop grief seeds is more harsh and berating of the new Puella magi.
    • Kyoko is seen eating a bear taiyaki instead of the tradition fish taiyaki shown in the series.
    • When Kyoko blocks Sayaka’s initial attack, there are more sustained sparks and Kyoko appears to not struggle at all.
    • This entire fight sequence has more camera shake during action scenes. Also, the visuals on all the characters are more dynamic and flowing, and do not appear so flat. Shading and shadows in the alleyway helped improve that.
    • Kyoko’s initial blow to Sayaka makes it apparent that she hits her head on the water pipe.
    • When Sayaka blocks Kyoko’s spear point-to-point, Kyoko is visually much more irritated. There is also no big energy ball that is created with the contact of weapons.
    • The BGM is more fitting for a battle like this, semi-metal guitar.
    • Homura’s entrance into the fight is less dramatic, but still does her signature hair flip.

Episode 6

  • After the battle, once Homura walks away, Kyuubey does not make any suggestion that he might know something about Homura.
    • But we do see a few water droplets suspended in midair, and then falling suddenly to match the water pouring out the broken water pipe.
  • There is no scene of Sayaka cleansing her soul gem with Kirsten’s grief seed, so we don’t learn that Kyuubey “eats” grief seeds, we don’t get the clue that a soul gem must remain clean, and Kyuubey doesn’t tell Sayaka that Madoka has great potential to be a Puella magi.
    • Instead, we go the scene of Kyoko playing Dog Drug Reinforcement. The song is still the remix of “Connect” as played in the series.
    • Kyoko is eating pocky, but it is strawberry flavored.
    • The arrows on the floor now shoot up a quick image of the game's mascot when Kyoko steps on them.
  • The scene with Sayaka returning to place she fought Kyoko to find remnants of the familiar and her yelling at Madoka about how she can be friends with Puella magi that are just after grief seeds, does not occur.
  • The next scene where Madoka goes downstairs when she hears her mom come home from work is slightly different. In the movie, Madoka just goes downstairs and asks her mom if it is okay to talk.
    • The BGM is different.
  • Their conversation about making mistakes is slightly condensed and some lines are rearranged, but it still has the same message.
  • When Sayaka is told Kyousuke is discharged from the hospital, she doesn’t respond. Next scene, she is already at his front gate, and hears him playing his violin. In the movie, these events do not happen as fast as it appears in the series.
    • When Kyoko shows up she is eating the same thing in both movie and series (churro-thing).
    • The conversation between Kyoko and Sayaka is a little more intense as far as delivery goes.
  • When Madoka is doing her homework on her computer, she is not in her school uniform, but in casual clothes (makes sense to me). The color of her laser keyboard is blue in the movie. It was orange in the series.
  • Kyoko’s transformation consists of fire, a cartwheel kick and some fancy action moves with her spear. Her transformation is centered on her spear, as it materializes first out of her soul gem. All the while, she has what appears to be green tea pocky between her lips.
    • We would get another Sayaka transformation but…
  • When Madoka grabs Sayaka’s gem out of her hands, there is a very cool 3D zoom out as she does so.
  • When Homura sees this and vanishes, you can see her targe/shield glow purple just before she does vanish.
  • When Kyoko grabs Sayaka and says she’s dead, the BGM changes to what sounds like an arrange of "Terror adhaerens". This continues as Homura chases after the truck with Sayaka’s gem on it and into the next scenes.
  • Sayaka’s body is laid on a rather ornamental part of the bridge and her body looks more lifeless due to the position of her hands and legs.
  • Kyoko grabs Kyuubey’s head from the middle, not one of its ears like in the series. In one shot, it looks like she’s petting it…
  • Kyoko’s expression makes her look even more furious about this than in the series.

Episode 7

  • The scene where Sayaka yells at Kyuubey for never mentioning the issues regarding soul gems does not happen yet, and is modified. Also, she was seen walking home and throwing her soul gem onto the desk before confronting Kyuubey. This does not happen in the movie.
  • Next scene in the movie is the next day at school and Sayaka is absent. Madoka speaks with Homura on the roof about the details on the soul gems. The conversation takes place close to one of the towers on the roof, instead of by the side, next to the fence, as in the series.
    • The revamped roof and towers cast a shadow over Homura as she speaks, giving a more ominous feel to their dialogue. Parts of the dialogue are changed and some elements are added to compensate for prior discussions about grief seeds being removed.
    • BGM is "Inevitabilis" rather than "Serena ira".
  • The scene just prior to this one, where Sayaka is in bed holding and staring at her soul gem, is moved to here. Also, the scene where she yells at Kyuubey for deceiving them is shown here as a flashback.
    • As with all of Sayaka’s flashbacks in the movie, they are shown in black and white with a vignette.
  • Kyuubey's explanation about what soul physically is, and why it places their soul into a gem for the girls’ benefit in battle, is removed.
  • Kyuubey says nothing prior to climbing onto the desk and touching Sayaka’s gem to demonstrate the true effects of pain to her. In the series, it prefaces this by equating the upcoming pain with getting stabbed in the stomach with a spear.
    • BGM is another piano track.
  • Sayaka does not look as distraught as she recovers from the sudden rush of pain. This may be to display the disconnect between a Puella magi’s body and soul, or may be an element of Sayaka’s healing ability.
  • Kyuubey doesn’t mention the possibility of blocking out pain during battle.
  • When Sayaka opens the curtains to see Kyoko outside, Sakaya’s face is partially blocked by a section of window frame.
  • The scene and conversation where Sayaka and Kyoko are walking down the path is not shown. Kyoko does not suggest to Sayaka that she should live on without regrets, like she does.
    • Instead, they are right in front of Kyoko’s dad’s church. The interior is a little more detailed.
  • At one point during the explanation of Kyoko’s past, the BGM turns into a somewhat deranged violin piece.
  • Sayaka seems to have less interest in Kyoko’s history.
  • After Sayaka asks Kyoko why she would worry about her, we see a bright blue light against a black background. Perhaps Sayaka’s light of her soul?
  • Overall, this scene was a bit faster than in the series. Also, some lines were altered or rearranged.
    • There was a line said by Kyoko about living without regrets, which occurred during the walk to the church in the series.
  • As Madoka, Sayaka and Hitomi are walking to school the next morning, their positions while speaking are slightly altered. When Sayaka sees Kyousuke among a group of boys, the girls are on a higher level than them.
    • BGM is a simple, slow piano arrange of "Decretum".
  • The conversation about Kyousuke between Hitomi and Sayaka takes place in the restaurant, but in chairs instead of booth seats. Also, Hitomi’s tone when speaking to Sayaka is a little less critical in the movie.
  • BGM is a different piano piece during Sayaka’s breakdown when she is speaking to Madoka.
  • As Kyoko watches Sayaka fight the witch from outside the barrier, she is eating an orange popsicle, rather than the blue one in the series.
  • As Sayaka fights Elsa Maria, the BGM is enhanced with an opera-like chorus accompanying the instrumental.
  • The walls of Elsa Maria’s barrier have more detail.
  • The glow around all the girls' black silhouettes stands out more.
  • There seems to be less blood in this fight than in the series.
  • There is no black screen with Madoka saying “No. Please Stop,” to Sayaka.

Episode 8

  • The final moments of the Elsa Marie battle does not have a pause, as it continues straight through. There was a break between episode 7 and 8 in the series.
    • The animation as the barrier disappears is different.
    • The screen goes all black and silent before Sayaka says “I’m just a little tired.” It echoed perfectly in the theater.
    • The next scene where Madoka helps Sayaka walk does not happen.
    • Kyoko does not call Sayaka an idiot.
  • Next scene is Madoka and Sayaka at the bus stop during the rain storm.
    • There is no BGM, just ambient sounds of the rain and passing cars.
    • There is no moment of a red-tinted, crazed Sayaka showing her darkening soul gem to Madoka.
    • Sayaka’s tone is harsher and Madoka shows more concern over Sayaka in her voice.
    • Sayaka doesn’t make mention of Kyuubey telling her that Madoka has potential to be a powerful Puella magi.
    • When Sayaka runs off after telling Madoka not to follow her, she doesn’t say how stupid it was to say that to her.
    • We do see her tainted soul gem, however, as in the series.
  • In Homura’s home, the walls containing Walpurgisnacht information have more detail in them.
    • There is no BGM during this scene.
    • After Kyoko points her spear at Kyuubey, there is no close shot of the spear in Kyuubey’s face.
    • After Homura tells Kyuubey to leave, its footsteps are louder than in the series.
  • The scene of Madoka in class, regretting not having followed Sayaka the night before, is not shown.
  • This also corresponds to no scene a bit later of Madoka visiting Sayaka’s home after school in search of her.
    • Instead we see the scene with Kyousuke and Hitomi walking home, as Hitomi is about to confess to him, with Sayaka watching from a distance.
  • As Sayaka watches their conversation, the BGM is a low-fidelity version of "Decretum" (the BGM in the series), which fades into a more familiar version of the song as Sayaka is shown desperately fighting familiars, screaming in agony. Her screams are more desperate in the movie.
    • Next is a scene of Sayaka’s body falling face down as she is sinking in black water, her body gradually dissolving.
  • There is no scene where Sayaka is confronted by Homura to accept her help, and cleanse her soul gem for Madoka’s sake, or die by her hand right there and then. Consequently, we don’t see Kyoko come to Sayaka’s rescue and we don’t get another hint of Homura’s abilities when Kyoko retrains her.
    • Instead, we see Sayaka on the train, listening in on the conversation between the two men about how women should be treated like dogs.
    • The conversation between the two men is truncated.
    • This scene is in black and white with a vignette, with the white’s brightness blooming over the black. As Sayaka confronts the two men, the lights outside the train pulse in intensity as it moves along.
  • When Kyuubey has the conversation with Madoka about how she could possibly change Sayaka’s fate if she were to become a Puella magi for Sayaka’s sake, the majority of the conversation is seen through gaps in the streams of water that are colored by LED lights.
    • The streams shift color and positions throughout the conversation. The fountain also has two vertical spouts that shoot water periodically as well.
    • The fountain in the series only has one spout, and the streams do not move as much.
    • The scene is shown mostly from a static wide angle, whereas in the series, it varies in distances.
    • Portions of Madoka and Kyuubey’s lines are omitted.
    • BGM is a lonely-sounding flute, and later a violin, arrange of "Sis puella magica!".
  • After Homura interrupts and kills Kyuubey, her pleas to Madoka to not call herself worthless are more desperate.
    • When Madoka runs off to find Sayaka, Homura does not say Madoka’s name until after she is out of earshot, and when she does say it, it is under her breath between sobs.
    • When Kyuubey returns from the dead and is standing on the fence, its eyes do not glow at all.
    • When Kyuubey realizes what kind of magic Homura uses, her face shows more shock and concern.
  • When Kyoko finds Sayaka in the train station and sits down next to her, it is a wider angle shot.
    • Once Sayaka shows Kyoko how tainted her gem is, a more serious violin and chorus BGM plays, growing in intensity as the scene progresses.
    • In her last moment of humanity, as her tear hits her soul gem, we get a clearer view of Sayaka’s distorted face, which is nothing but black with a white circle for the eye and a white trail from the tear that fell. This scene was not as clear in the series.
    • When Kyoko cries out Sayaka’s name, it is much more bone-chilling and echoed particularly well in the theater.
  • The movie closes out with Kyuubey explaining the relationship between Puella magi and witches.
    • Kyuubey has the same tone and face as seen in in the Blu-Ray version of the series.

Ending Animation

  • The song that plays is a new version of Magia, called Magia (Quattro). It is also the full version of the song.
  • The visuals are much more dramatic, but are share similarities to the series ending sequence.
  • The background is a distorted shot of a view of walking down a street.
  • There are 6 teal-colored silhouettes that are seen during the first verse, which could be presumably the Puella magi versions of some of the witches, or maybe something different altogether.
  • After these figures pass by, we see in the distance a pink figure which seems to be Madoka, as seen in the original ending. As the 2nd verse starts, she starts walking as in the original. She walks by herself for a bit.
  • During the middle section of the song, larger silhouettes of the other four girls’ bodies, one at a time, show up on the screen. Each of them is represented by their respective color.
  • Soon after, we see the visuals of Madoka walking by each of the four girls, her clothes ripping off, and then her running in the distance in same fashion as in the series ending, up until we see the lone figure of Madoka in a fetal position.
  • This final part is an interesting change from the series. We see a large pink silhouette with long hair, and the floating figure of fetal position Madoka in the mid-section of this larger figure. It is presumed this larger figure is Ultimate Madoka, and this may relate to a plot device in Faust where Gretchen is pregnant with Faust’s baby.
  • There are no after-credit extras.

Summary and General Observations

  • There was much speculation that the movies may present a different story from the series version, however, from my own personal viewing of the movies twice, it seems there is little departure between the two versions after the first movie.
  • The only character that had any sort of modification was Sayaka. Her hair clips transform into a fortissimo symbol as shown in music scores.
    • After the second movie, there is speculation as to if this is significant, as she appears to be alive according to the trailer for the third movie.
  • Kyuubey’s mouth is drawn more distorted in most scenes it is in. Perhaps to help illustrate that it is more alien than something cute.
  • Sayaka’s face seems to be more concealed in various scenes in comparison with the series.
  • Homura seems to have more trouble fighting back her emotions in her dialogues concerning Madoka.
  • General improvement on scene backgrounds seems to have been a focus, and overall, improved most scenes in the movie.
  • New Kajiura music and BGMs helped create better atmosphere for certain events.
  • The Witch barriers were given more detail
  • It is interesting the movie’s story would omit Mami’s wish when she decided to become a Puella magi, as it should be an important detail in regards to her character.

I hope you enjoyed this detailed look at the first movie and its comparison with what was shown in the series. I am currently working on a similar post for the second movie. Please look forward to it sometime this week!

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