A while ago, we quoted a review of Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion, the film that continues the story of the original Madoka Magica dark magical girl series. It accused it of having an "indulgent lack of focus" and "mean-spirited twists," and said that they "beg to be rejected as a conclusion to the work that preceded it."
Those are still our thoughts on Hate Plus. After watching Rebellion a few times, however, they aren't our thoughts on the film anymore, and the film itself gave us a new perspective on *Mute's story and our fanfiction. It's become very significant for us.
Content note: Spoilers for Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Rebellion, plus videos of relevant parts if you don't care to watch the series! The videos contain gore and disturbing imagery.
Also there's talk of suicide, because it's key to both Rebellion and Hate Plus' stories, and is the reason for our fanfic rewrite of the latter.
So, how does this tie into Hate Plus?
First, we have the author's dubious understanding of *Mute's agency. Pretending a fictional character can choose how they're portrayed is just a silencing tactic, which prevents discussion of what the character should have done and why the author chose to have her do this.
(Especially when the real reason Love made that choice is because she didn't know how to tell *Mute's story. Not and have it be meaningful.)
And second ... second, the day after I finished crying, I went back and played Hate Plus over and over again, trying everything I could think of. The whole time, I was remembering Homura's struggle, and listening to Magia on repeat.
I feel I know what it was like for her.
I'll never stop trying to create a world in which *Mute can be happy.