The third Puella film is pretty much on the same level as the second one. Whenever Shinbo shift into a higher gear this is one hell of a creative undertaking. Sadly, there's also quite some pre-teen magical girls stuff here that holds up the film and isn't all that fun to wade through. At least, not for me.
This third film starts off with the introduction of a new girl, who is quickly assembled into the team of magical girls. Together they do a great job getting rid of the witches, until it dawns on them that's something's not quite right. What follows is a lot of conversation, mixed with crazy visuals and cool fights.
Three films in, I'm still not sure who the target audience of this franchise is supposed to be. I'm glad Shinbo left it behind (though I heard he might be returning for a fourth film), because with different material his particular style is a lot easier to appreciate. There's a lot to love here, it's just too often interrupted by some childish nonsense.
Second film that covers the second half of the series. It's a big step up from the first one, mostly because it can dive right into the action and forgo the introductions. The combination of moe/kawai stuff and experimental fantasy remains very peculiar, but it's nice to see this film tilt more towards the experimental side.
The plot continues where the first film left off. The relation between the aliens and humans is further explained and the film actually comes with some very interesting dilemmas, way more challenging than you'd expect from a film with chibi school girls. Then again, that's part of Shinbo's style.
The animation is pretty awesome. The mix of different visual styles and techniques is inspired and the battles with the witches are simply stunning. The rest isn't quite on the same level and some of the more timid scenes see a sharp drop in quality. Overall though, this is pretty unique. Looking forward to the final part in this trilogy now.
While I'm pretty familiar with the oddities of anime, I don't think I've ever seen something as puzzling as this film. One half is uber cutesy chibi magic stuff, the other half the awakening of Akiyuki Shinbo. There's such a big contrast between these two sides that I still hadn't gotten used to it when the credits started rolling.
The first two films are a recap of the series, but I can't say it's all that obvious to people unfamiliar with the franchise. It feels like a pretty typical trilogy opener, a little heavy on information and a finale that is a genuine cliffhanger. Or maybe I was just too puzzled by this film that I didn't even notice the plot.
I'm not quite sure who the target audience for this film is supposed to be. The chibi drama is childish and simplistic, the characters are bland and derivative, but the art style is outlandish and completely original, especially when the characters are crossing over into parallel worlds. It's not for kids, it's not for adults, it just is. Not my favorite Shinbo, but it has some superb scenes that kept me intrigued until the end.