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View Poll Results: Madoka Magica - Episode 07 Rating
Perfect 10 57 40.71%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 47 33.57%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 23 16.43%
7 out of 10 : Good 9 6.43%
6 out of 10 : Average 3 2.14%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 1 0.71%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 140. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-02-18, 06:29   Link #161
applejuice
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Rolla rola rola coasta~
let us visit despair and horrar~
dreams and hopes are dead as meat~
only sludge is left for terrar~
This is just beginning hell~
just shut up and ruin ur day~

(Fuck rhyme since it sucks.)

This is why I said being dead is better than being alive. At least Mami never had to confront truth about soul and everything. She died at the moment when she was most happy.

Sayaka? She is only going to fall more. Who knows? She might even actually kill Hitomi or even make Kamijo's hand break again like Kyoko suggested.

Plus, Shaft direction was especially good this episode. Animation was also better than last few, especially that shadow action scene,
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Old 2011-02-18, 06:33   Link #162
mizou
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A question still turning upon my head!!
who's giving food to kyoko ????
and for un couple of seconds, I tought her wish is to have food all the times
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Old 2011-02-18, 06:34   Link #163
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Just saw the episode. Oh my fucking god that was epic, brilliant, best episode so far. Human drama, precisely the human drama I have been waiting for. I like how all this entire time since the show started people have been sitting on their high horses, going all 'grimdark' and making predictions and looking down on all these characters (Mami? She's evil. Sayaka? She's dumb. Kyoko? She's shallow. etc. etc. etc.), acting like you can see their suffering coming and that somehow that makes you smarter, better than them. But this episode really just goes to show you, that all of them are just only human. There is no 'right' or 'unselfish' or 'perfect', they are all just living as best as they know how to, and there is no such thing as a person who doesn't know suffering. All of these characters are 'good' people, it is the cold world and vast universe which is 'evil'. This story will not be some bland 'grimdark' piece for self-righteous judgement and circle-jerking, it is instead a classic tragedy with faint light in the darkness. Sayaka's pain is so much more real than any of you thought it was and she is also so much more real as a person.

Just throwing this out before going to look at other impressions. Off to read the thread now.
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Old 2011-02-18, 06:40   Link #164
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Okay, revised hypothesis is that "wishes" and "curses" are one and the same. Thus, Witches and Puella Magi are also the same. Kyubey has no idea what he's doing and acts much like the wish-granting devices of many ghost stories, granting them in a way that only brings despair in the long run. For instance, instead of granting Kyouko's father the wisdom and understanding to be able to get through to people, he twisted reality so that his words were irresistable. Some probably become Witches straight from the start, people who wish for pain or vengeance. I imagine some become Witches when they fall into total despair and stop caring. Kyouko's "policy" may be dangerous in this sense, but Sayaka's just about cracked.

I imagine we'll soon find out that puella magi all either die or become witches; Sayaka will become a witch and most likely Madoka will not be able to save her before Kyouko or Homura puts her out of her misery.

I also imagine Madoka will eventually find a wish that can't become a curse, one that gives her the power to save without twisting things in ways that will cause more pain. I doubt she'll fall into Kyouko's idiotic trap of a policy that happiness and unhappiness have to be balanced. However these revelations and powers will come too late to save her friends.
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Old 2011-02-18, 07:10   Link #165
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I seriously doubt we'll be seeing any wish-twisting. As you may recall, Kyoko's wish was merely for people to show up to her father's sermons. She assumed (as much as a child can assume) that her father's words were good enough already, she just wanted people to give them a chance and show up to his church. His words were not given magical powers, because that itself would be useless in a situation where no one shows up. Instead, people were magically drawn to attend his sermons, regardless of what he actually said.

It wasn't a twist of the wish, it was exactly what Kyoko wanted. It just turned out that what she wanted wasn't what her father wanted, which created the conflict. The message she got out of this was the same as Mami's: know exactly what it is you're actually wishing for, which in her case was supposed to be a satisfied family life. If there was wish-twisting surely she would be blaming Kyubeh for her troubles, wouldn't she?
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Old 2011-02-18, 08:03   Link #166
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Okay - after watching the ep subbed, I get the impression that the scriptwriter is trying to define various "types" of characters, and to see how they do in a crisis. Based on a very interesting thought from Triple_R, who pointed out that the "idealism" of Sayaka and Madoka are very different in nature, I was trying to differentiate where these differences lie.

The following attempt of classification/differentiation is far from perfect, but people might still try to find it helpful as a basis for discussion. I'd be curious to hear if I'm completely off, or if people would come to similar conclusions.

Introduction of the categories

Rationality/Experience: How much a character knows about being a MG, and how much she is willing to think things through <i>before</i> acting. Characters with a high score know tend to know the ropes and are open to understanding first what they're getting into, characters with a low score tend to jump to conclusions quickly, act on impulse and don't know much what it means to be a MG.

Courage/Initiative: How much a character is willing to take the plunge and act based on her convictions. Characters with a high score tend not to hesitate and are quick to get into a fight, those with a low score tend to stay out of dangerous situations and stay passive, they rather lament instead of trying to change.

Idealism: How much a character is influenced by notions of "doing good" for mankind. Idealistic characters feel that it's their personal duty to act for the sake of mankind, according to their own set of beliefs. Characters with a low score reject the notion of this duty, and rather focus on a much more narrow group of people, if at all.

Altruism: How much a character cares for the well-being of others as primary focus, over your own personal interests. Characters with a high score have a much broader scope of people whose well-being they take into consideration compared to those with a lower score, who rather concentrate on themselves.


So. Using these categories, this is how I'd rate the main characters:


Akemi Homura: The disillusioned veteran enigma

Rationality/Experience: ++
Courage/Initiative: +
Idealism: -
Altruism: o

She's the character who knows the most about what it means to be a MG by far. She claims to have seen countless MGs die, and I see no reason to doubt her claim. She is thoughtful and generally hesitant to take action, but immediately reacts when it's really necessary. Her main "weakness" is that obviously, her experiences have disillusioned and hardened her, leading to a low Idealism score. Her own world has narrowed down to Madoka and the people around her, leading to a neutral Altruism score.

She's currently the character with the highest "power level", but since she's restricting to use it to only the Madoka circle, her impact on the world is very low. She could do so much more. I'm certain that she'll play a key role in the conclusion, but for now she's clearly constrained by something.


Miki Sayaka: The hotheaded crusader

Rationality/Experience: -
Courage/Initiative: ++
Idealism: ++
Altruism: +

Sayaka is a particularly extreme and unbalanced character. She didn't know much about what it meant to be a MG, but still jumped in with reckless abandon. Like Madoka said, she's hotheaded, impulsive and quick to get into fights. She's very quick to judge people and reluctant to change her mind later (though ep7 showed that she CAN do it). Her impulsiveness is complemented with alot of courage and an extreme sense of idealism. Her strong sense of Right and Wrong however leads to a tendency to see things very much in Black and White, and "us" against "them". I don't feel that I can give her the top rating in Altruism because her wish for Kamijou is tinged with clear self-interest (hopes to be loved by him, she's very aware of it), and there also is clear vanity in her ("I wanna be cool like Mami"), but her intent to help others is genuine.

I've been believing that she was going to be put through the grinder right after ep3, and I feel that this is exactly what's going to happen. Impulsiveness and strong idealism make for an explosive combination, and mixed with high courage and little experience, we end up with a crusader for good, who I'm afraid is going to fall into despair, and then either turn into a victim or a martyr. It's the same old thing: If you get too dogmatic and extreme in your fight, you very quickly begin to lose your roots and turn into a spitting image of the enemy: You become what you fight, just with an opposing perspective. If she gives up herself, she'll seek to become a martyr for her cause (the next ep preview ominously sounds like this)... or she'll eventually TRULY become her enemy by turning into a witch. I'm afraid that this is what's going to happen.


Sakura Kyoko: The hardened egotist

Rationality/Experience: +
Courage/Initiative: +
Idealism: -
Altruism: -

Kyoko is very simple to classify: Burned by her earlier backfired wish, she reject notions of idealism and altruism and rather concentrates on one person: Herself. She has learned former painful lessons and gained considerable experience, and she has the courage and initiative required to be successful in life. The downside is that her general egotism isolates her - she's on her own and can't connect. So, she's living a stable, but obviously unfulfilling life. She could achieve more with more idealism and altruism, but will she be able to do so? I guess that she will, but I'd also not be surprised that by changing from her former stable path, she might perish. Personal prediction: She will die when she's doing something idealistic/altruistic, which she wouldn't have if she had stayed focused on herself like in the past.


Kaname Madoka: The Timid Non-Extreme Altruist

Rationality/Experience: +
Courage/Initiative: -
Idealism: +
Altruism: +

Like Sayaka, Madoka is lacking in experience. However, even in critical situations, she tends to keep her head, and unlike Sayaka, she's able to keep her sober perspective about fighting other MGs and other issues. Her defining trait is her caution - or, maybe the better word, timidness. I don't think it's correct to call it cowardice, she did act on saving Hitomi, or when grabbing and tossing Sayaka's SG. But she is still very averse to acting on her own volition. She also does believe in working for the good of mankind, but not in a dogmatic-extreme way. Likewise, she's a genuine altruist since she is even unable to name a single wish for her own sake: instead, she merely wants to be helpful to others. And she's been the only one trying hard to get along with EVERYONE, and to help bridge the rifts between those quarreling.


Conclusion: I think there are alot of parallels of these character templates with how they tend to perform in the Real World.

Homura represents the capable and smart, but disillusioned people who concentrate on something minor in the close vicinity of their lives, and who lack idealism to do more. Don't they waste their potential?

Sayaka is a warning example of dogmatic people: Those who separate the world in good and evil, and devote themselves to fighting the latter uncompromisingly. Even if they are objectively right (witches _are_ dangers to humankind), blindly throwing yourself into a war with them might not lead to those results you desire.

Kyoko represents the egotists: They may be technically successful and lead their lives the way they want to - but don't they tend to be lonely and hollow? Couldn't they do more?

Finally Madoka: I expect the "moral" of the story to be something along the lines of "don't be extreme, be rational, show courage, be idealistic and altruistic without being dogmatic, and you can change the world". For that to happen, Madoka will have to muster courage while maintaining the rest. This very much resembles her mothers' advice to her: Don't be scared of making mistakes. But until she overcomes her timidness, she won't be able to do anything - and merely be forced to cry and sigh on the sidelines.

Congrats to make it through this tl;dr wall of text. This is what I've been mulling over for a while. What do you think?
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Old 2011-02-18, 08:22   Link #167
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that was horrible. forced drama on Kyouko's backstory, and Hitomi's sudden revelation was all so sudden. It really is all downhill since episode 5 from a storytelling standpoint.
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Old 2011-02-18, 08:27   Link #168
Mentar
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Originally Posted by antigone View Post
that was horrible. forced drama on Kyouko's backstory, and Hitomi's sudden revelation was all so sudden. It really is all downhill since episode 5 from a storytelling standpoint.
Wasn't sudden at all - we've seen Hitomi taking interest in Kamijou in ep2 before. We also knew from before that Hitomi was also training on playing music seriously, so it was properly introduced beforehand.

Finally: Kyoko's backstory made for a long "tell instead of show" part of the episode (generally a bad thing), but contentwise, it made perfect sense.
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Old 2011-02-18, 08:39   Link #169
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Mentar - Very good post.

From it, you could say that each character lacks a key element, or rather has a chief character flaw.

Homura lacks idealism (or you could say she's too distrusting of others and cynical)
Sayaka lacks rationality (or you could say she's overly impulsive and too quick to judge)
Kyoko lacks altruism (or you could say that she gave up on others too easily)
Madoka lacks courage

For this story to meet with anything other than a completely tragic end, someone has to overcome their chief character flaw. Or perhaps all of them each overcoming their chief character flaw will be what enables them to collectively defeat the Walpurgis Night.


If it becomes a case of each of them overcoming their chief character flaw in order to defeat the Walpurgis Night, then I think that something like this will happen:

1) Homura will entrust Madoka with a key piece of information that is crucial to finding Madoka's idealistic solution.

2) Sayaka will listen to reason, and take actions to fix things (this could even conceivably be while Sayaka is a witch; I can imagine Madoka trying to appeal to a tiny shred of the real Sayaka that may lie deep within the monstrous witch).

3) Kyoko will show great altruism by sacrificing herself for the greater good.

4) Madoka will show the courage necessary to become a magical girl (but probably through unconventional means), and to make a decisive action that resolves the main conflict of this anime.
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Old 2011-02-18, 09:13   Link #170
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Mentar
4) Madoka will show the courage necessary to become a magical girl (but probably through unconventional means), and to make a decisive action that resolves the main conflict of this anime.
Madoka may wish Kyuubei to dissolve all the contracts with Mahou Shoujos. It's only my opinion (as someone said before), but form the point of how Madoka become a Mahou Shoujo, this is very natural.
Then, Madoka saves all the girls instead of her accepting the destiny to be a Mahou Shoujo.
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Old 2011-02-18, 09:14   Link #171
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Truly outstanding episode. The last few episodes have been great in that there is always something totally expected despite my caution.
Not having anything to add to the discussion for this episode, I'll join the speculation train:
- Hitomi will have a larger role than this. This means: contract with Kyuube!
How: Kamijou rejects her, her pride won't allow this. Enter the helpful Kyuube.
- Sayaka won't turn into a witch next episode (since it won't be unexpected)
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Old 2011-02-18, 09:19   Link #172
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Originally Posted by antigone View Post
that was horrible. forced drama on Kyouko's backstory, and Hitomi's sudden revelation was all so sudden. It really is all downhill since episode 5 from a storytelling standpoint.
I must admit that my prediction goes wrong!
My prediction is Kamijyo won't care about what Sayaka has done for him
but to think that Hitomi is the one who enter actually very unpredictable....

Sayaka is going to be broken?? yes! Since she doesn't have a strong resolution...
but I never predict that Sayaka will broken because of Hitomi not Kamijyo

I also love Kyoko's past.... XD... really touching... and her change of attitude towards other Mahou Shoujo shows that all of Mahou Shoujo actually thinks that all of them are alike right now (since all of them are zombie)....
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Old 2011-02-18, 09:37   Link #173
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Some additional thoughts . Firstly , I'm beginning to have lots of suspicion about Hitomi . Somehow , I get the feeling that's something really off and fishy about her . It is well within the style of this anime for Hitomi to be something that comes out from the left field.

It's almost certain that Kyouko was just as idealistic and altruistic as Sayaka at the very beginning . I'm presuming she came from a rather sincere and strict Christian family , certainly the notions of regarding others above you , and of loving thy neighbor was grounded firmly into her from young , by the sounds of things . Her egoism probably also goes hand in hand with a total rejection of God and Christianity ( I suspect that the line about Slaying God in the ED , Magia may very well be a reference to Kyouko's disillusionment , given that I strongly suspect that much of her moral values were grounded in her faith.) At heart , she is probably trying to consciously reject her religion and upbringing . Which might actually explain the seemingly contradictory behavior that's lampshaded in Universe by Sayaka herself.

Subconsciously , at a certain level , there's a degree of idealism and altruism in her . But I think she consciously subscribes to an ideal probably very similar to Nietzche's Ubenmensch. We wouldn't know for certain until we know the fate of Magical girls who give themselves up to complete despair , but I suspect that this contradiction is one of the primary coping mechanisms to prevent Puella Magi ( Puella Liches would be more accurate , IMO) that keeps many Puella Magi alive in the long run . I wonder whether she strongly fears for the fate of her soul. Perhaps redemption means repentance for her , and in repentance , a sacrificial death? I know , this point has been hinted at to death .

One final thought . If witches are born from curses , and Puella Magi from blessings , the very fact that Witches outnumber Puella Magi may very well be the decisive proof of that this show leans strongly towards Cynicism on the scale between idealism and cynicism. Doesn't it say alot about humanity that Witches outnumber Puella Magis greatly? True , Witches reproduce through familiars , but one has to wonder whether Familiars are really despairing souls culled by Witches.
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Old 2011-02-18, 10:00   Link #174
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It's like the world is trying it's best to screw Sayaka over...

This is very hard to watch...
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Old 2011-02-18, 10:05   Link #175
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It's like the world is trying it's best to screw Sayaka over...

This is very hard to watch...
She's the chew toy. Some say that Madoka is unfortunate for being in the wrong world. Unfortunately it appears that Sayaka is an even more wrong world.
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Old 2011-02-18, 10:06   Link #176
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Originally Posted by antigone View Post
forced drama on Kyouko's backstory, and Hitomi's sudden revelation was all so sudden.
lol

I'm seeing irony here because I saw someone who's complaining this episode for 'EXACTLY OPPOSITE REASON' which was about slow pacing and plot flow.

What's so big deal about sudden revelation being 'sudden'?...
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Old 2011-02-18, 10:09   Link #177
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It's like the world is trying it's best to screw Sayaka over...

This is very hard to watch...
So, it's a test? Pass and you become, well, an adult. Fail and you die.
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Old 2011-02-18, 10:14   Link #178
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Spoiler for ep 7:
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Old 2011-02-18, 10:18   Link #179
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Wasn't sudden at all - we've seen Hitomi taking interest in Kamijou in ep2 before.
can you tell me where exactly though? I went back to ep2 and can't find any footage of it.
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Old 2011-02-18, 10:25   Link #180
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lol, damn. Seems like I am the only person who really connected with Sayaka this episode on a sympathetic level. But first let me offer an interpretation/clear up an issue that it seems many people haven't explicitly picked up on?

This has to do with two issues which have been specifically commented on about this episode, Kyuubey's 'you could go further' comment and Sayaka's breakdown. Some people seemed to be under the impression that Kyuubey was referring to the Soul Gem extraction process rather than the Soul Gem itself; based on what seemed to me like a more obvious first impression, I am offering the interpretation I believe to be correct.

Kyuubey referred in this episode to the human 'soul' as existing in people's nerves, brain, etc. It fades away as one's life dissipates in the throes of death; in function, it seems to be very much similar to the concept of 'consciousness'. What Kyuubey said was basically that your physical senses and consciousness have been transferred into your soul gem; i.e. in biological terms (your sense of pain for one) moreso than and/or in addition to metaphysical ones. Thus, the 'torture' Kyuubey inflicted upon Sayaka wasn't anything beyond the pain you could inflict upon normal humans; instead, it is actually Sayaka's normal sense of pain and other feelings/consciousness which have been extracted and somewhat filtered by the Soul Gem.

As we discovered in the previous episode, the Soul Gem has an effective range of a couple hundred meters. Thus, what Kyuubey meant when he said you could 'go farther' for more strength at the expense of slower reaction times was basically that your body's connection to your 'soul' (in your Soul Gem) is stronger at close distances. At further distances, you feel less pain, but you also have less precise control of your body.

Therefore, (I believe) what Sayaka did at the end of this episode was basically to separate her body somewhat from her Soul Gem. In a manner similar to certain drugs or steroids, she gained superhuman pain endurance which let her beat the witch easily. Basically, she pretty much did exactly what Kyuubey suggested and that's why she was laughing giddily and going "You were right, this way it doesn't hurt at all" etc.

And so, in this manner this episode was somewhat about Sayaka being driven to abandon her human limitations. Her own humanity in her pain, despair, or selfishness. Abandoning those for the sake of the 'right thing', to me her transformation was intensely tragic and powerful. But it was also very much a sympathetic, fundamentally human depiction.
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