LOS ANGELES – The North American home release of Rebellion Story, the third movie in the popular Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica series, has caused a noticeable increase in the number of antidepressant prescriptions nationwide, according to a new paper published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.
“A comprehensive survey of practitioners showed a rise in prescriptions of SSRIs, SNRIs, and other antidepressants that was demonstrably linkable to patients having recently been exposed to Rebellion Story,” the article reads. “Patients reported feeling sad, being unable to sleep or eat, and a general sense of lethargy and apathy.”
Professor Bert Schmidt of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, a coauthor of the paper, said that researchers were able to tie the spike specifically to Rebellion Story due to a previous incident involving the same movie. “Back in early December we noticed a rise in the prescriptions of various antipsychotic drugs along with a spike in forced hospitalization of teens and young adults,” Schmidt told Anime Maru. “After a series of exhaustive interviews with many of the patients involved we managed to establish a connection – Rebellion Story. The movie had just played in a very limited run across America, and English-speaking anime fans finally had a chance to see it. In the following days, many of them revealed key plot points on social media, thus spoiling the experience for those who hadn’t seen the film yet. This caused such a stir that there were noticeably higher numbers of both antipsychotic drug prescriptions and forced hospitalizations as a result. Therefore, when we noticed this new anomaly concerning antidepressants, we immediately thought to test whether Rebellion Story was once again the culprit, and it was.”
According to Schmidt, while the previous incident involved internet plot spoilers, this one concerned the movie’s plot itself. “It’s just fucking depressing,” he admitted. “I mean, they couldn’t just have a happy ending? I even heard that’s what Urobuchi originally wanted but was talked out of it so they could make more sequels. I don’t want to spoil anything but man… I’m not surprised that people feel like popping a Cymbalta after watching it.”
A Los Angeles-based psychiatrist who must remain anonymous due to doctor-patient confidentially told Anime Maru of his experiences regarding Rebellion Story: “Back in December two patients of mine came in extremely upset in the same week. Both had been inadvertently exposed to spoilers from Rebellion Story and both required medication adjustments as a result. Those same two patients, as well as three others, all needed additional adjustments now that they’ve actually seen the movie. They all liked it, but there’s only so much little girl suffering the human psyche can withstand.”
The psychiatrist was also pessimistic about preventing future cases like this. “We need legislation to regulate the release of these emotionally damaging films,” he said, “but politicians are all too busy arguing over whether Homura’s love for Madoka qualifies this as Yuri or whether Kyoko and Sayaka’s does and also what the hell is the deal with Mami and Nagisa anyway? Pretty creepy if you ask me…”