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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, 13:37   Link #201
Sackett
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
That isn't the issue. She remained hopeful Kamijou would return her feelings until this very episode. The reason she's been shying away from confessing is that she's scared, like all teenagers (even adults, really... it's never easy to confess). Her problem now isn't that she's realized Kamijo will never love her (she hasn't), but that she's convinced a zombie like her can never be with him. There is no future for the two of them. There is no future for her. Not a single spark of hope left. This is what pushed her over the edge.
Exactly. Sayaka hasn't given up because she's friend zoned, or because she's scared she'll be rejected.

It's because she's already dead, can never have children, and from the backstory of Kyoko- will never age.

Sayaka realizes that she is no longer a good romantic match for anyone, and she is absolutely correct.

This is something that a lot of shows gloss over- if you are an undead eternally 15 year old girl, normal guys are not going to want a romance with you. And you will only bring misery to those that try.

Sayaka realizes in her head that she's already lost Kamijou the moment she decided to become a magical girl- all because Kuybee didn't tell her everything about the price. (Yeah, "it's an irrelevant detail").

However, I don't get the whole "Sayaka is evil now" from the ending. What I get is that Sayaka is in enormous emotional pain and is dealing with it be taking a lot of risks, and aggressively attacking and going berserk on an acceptable target- a witch. She hasn't attacked anyone else because she's still got some metal inhibitions up.

Sayaka is a very moral person who punishes herself for not being as moral as she aspires to be.


We'll see what happens in the future- she could go off the deep end and become insane, dark, and evil. She could become a cynic like Kyoko, or a depressed fatalist like Homura. Or Sayaka could decide that even morally flawed as she is, she won't stop trying to live up to her ideals (essentially a reconstruction of the normal heroine archetype). I actually think that this last one is the most likely.
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Old 2011-02-18, 13:43   Link #202
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Originally Posted by Shadow5YA View Post
No, it's very different from the standard Magical Girl show. If this were the standard MG, everyone would have planet-busting nukes that could obliterate their opponent, yet after the fight the enemy would become their friend in no time.

In Madoka, the MGs often fight alone, their enemies are inhuman, and they have a much higher chance of dying. When they do die, the public will have no knowledge of the MG or what the enemy is like. The MGs can't even trust their own kind as friends because they have their own agenda and differing ideals, and the one who gave them power does not follow human morals. The only real friend these MGs have is Madoka, who can't really help out since she can't fight. There is little comraderie compared to the typical MG show.
So? Sakura fought alone. Nanoha fought alone. Even when teaming up, a lot of Nanoha fights are one-on-one.

Like I said, I'm not buying it yet. What's happening here is no different than every other show out there, and yet we're told it is supposed to be bad somehow. Why? Because one person died and teenage girls are angsting? People die in other shows. Teenage girls angst in other shows.

I'm sorry, but it's not convincing.

Now, if they wanted to convince me, then show me exactly WHY they have to keep fighting. Does their soul gem darken automatically and they die when that happens? Or become a witch? Or do they lose their sanity as it goes dark? Mai HiME did a good job showing why the powers were a curse; it meant their loved ones were at constant risk. Not themselves, but the people they cared about most in the world. And the clash of personalities was believable, because everyone had a good reason why.

So show me WHY I should believe that this universe is so grim dark.

Hell, in Nanoha, there was blood and injuries were bad. But in Madoka, they have convenient bodies which can feel very little pain and be rebuilt easily! If anything, that makes Nanoha more threatening.

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Originally Posted by jeroz View Post
I have a feeling that there's more to the soul gem than we are aware of. Though the revelation might come as the big twist in the final episodes.
Not to mention that you would think it's hard to put your soul back in, and we don't know much about the zombie's body, if it's physically different from a normal human being or not.
Maybe there is. The problem is we don't know. And my prediction is that the girls will never ask. Even after learning this, they won't think to ask, "What else aren't you telling us?"

Quote:
Just easier to die in unconventional ways and harder to die in conventional ways. Personally I wasn't disgusted by it. Even Kyoko and Sayaka both accepted the fact already so I don't see why you think it's supposed to be creepy and bad. All I see is a set up for more plot twists
The show is trying to tell us it is, through Sayaka's angsting over Kamijou. Also through the whole shock factor of last episode. This is falling straight into Cursed with Awesome territory:

"This trope is a major source of Angst Dissonance — if not used carefully, then a character being Cursed With Awesome carries the risk of plummeting straight into Wangst or Deus Angst Machina territory, as nothing is guaranteed to piss an audience off more than a character complaining about having abilities that are, on the face of it, utterly fantastic and that the audience would kill to have. This is especially a risk if a balance between the awesomeness of the powers and the suckiness of the consequences of possessing them is not maintained; if the drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits, then the character just looks whiny."


I'm reminded of that sword chick from Negima, the one with the white wings. "*sniff* Look at me, I'm a monster!"

That's why I'm not buying the "look at how awful and grim dark all of this is!" line of thought yet.

Quote:
that's unless she's still following her hollow sense of justice at that time. You never know if Kyoko's story has any effect on her or not. It's sad to see your hard works not to get recognised by other people. This scenario may have been played in the superhero story for numerous times already, but it's still a good one to create a huge sense of doubt in those people with great responsibilities.
The problem is not "omg she's stealing my boyfriend" but "omg why did I have the idea that I want to abandon her to die". It has been raised on this thread before, but it's her realising that her(and even Mami's) sense of justice might be false is what's hurting her.
That line of thought is human, though. We all have dark thoughts, and sometimes they last just a moment, and sometimes they last longer. The fact that she's crying over it, shows she has a good heart. She just needs to learn that what she's feeling is okay, and to stop beating herself up. Time will tell if that will happen.

And I think Kyoko's story did have an effect on Sayaka; she realized where she was heading, and that Kyoko was the cynical example of what she could become. Sayaka decided she wouldn't be like Kyoko, but hold to her ideals of using her power to protect people. So while Kyoko helped, it just wasn't in the way Kyoko expected.

Quote:
We need Sayaka to fall into the depth of hell first to give madoka a good example of a Mahou Shoujo went wrong from start to finish. I'm still in the camp of "Hitomi is just pressuring Sayaka because she's not being honest with herself" and that her behaviour might be another example of "do the right thing the wrong way" that was mentioned in ep6.
Possibly. I still think Hitomi's secret love is a bit contrived, but if she's doing this to push Sayaka, then it is still a bad move. The dude just got out of the hospital, and Hitomi could have given Sayaka more time, or let her know that she would support Sayaka, but not to wait, because someone else could snatch him. It just seemed perfectly timed to strike when Sayaka was just recovering from her earlier issue.

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Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
It's because she's already dead, can never have children, and from the backstory of Kyoko- will never age.
Just want to point out: We don't know how long ago Kyoko's story took place, and we don't know if they can have children or if they age. Physically speaking, nothing has changed about them, other then their souls moving from a body to a gem. Given the fact that they still eat, shit, and sleep as normal, their bodies are still governed by biological processes. And even if they don't age, given that magic can rebuild them, who is to say it can't rebuild them looking a little older?

I suppose we would know for sure if someone asked Kyube, but I doubt any of the girls will. =/
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Old 2011-02-18, 13:43   Link #203
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Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
However, I don't get the whole "Sayaka is evil now" from the ending. What I get is that Sayaka is in enormous emotional pain and is dealing with it be taking a lot of risks, and aggressively attacking and going berserk on an acceptable target- a witch. She hasn't attacked anyone else because she's still got some metal inhibitions up.
I took the fact that she went ahead and got rid of all her sensitivity to pain to mean that she was sick of feeling of pain and was running away from her physical pain as well as her emotional pain.
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Old 2011-02-18, 13:49   Link #204
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Sayaka is kind of stupid.

also for a series with Madoka in the title, she hasn't done anything at all..
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Old 2011-02-18, 14:06   Link #205
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
So? Sakura fought alone. Nanoha fought alone. Even when teaming up, a lot of Nanoha fights are one-on-one.

Like I said, I'm not buying it yet. What's happening here is no different than every other show out there, and yet we're told it is supposed to be bad somehow. Why? Because one person died and teenage girls are angsting? People die in other shows. Teenage girls angst in other shows.

I'm sorry, but it's not convincing.
It's because you're trying to convince yourself otherwise .

Here I'll outline the differences for you, but just because you seem to be confused, let me define a term for you.

Deconstruction

a philosophical theory of criticism (usually of literature or film) that seeks to expose deep-seated contradictions in a work by delving below its surface meaning

Now I'll explain how Madoka has done this so far.

Magical girl series usually present the idea of becoming a magical girl as something incredibly heroic. It's the superman role. Superheros fighting against a clear evils or threats.

Madoka on the other hand so far seems to go against this. The magical girls are almost more like victims rather than heros fighting against evil. They've been coerced into a situation where they think they're supposed to do something noble, fighting witches, when they have very little grasp of the situation they're actually in. We don't even know what witches are right now!

Series like Nanoha have failed at this. They tried to bring in morally grey enemies, but through sheer idealism, were able to change their hearts in the end and made them friends. Now we're back to magical girls being simply good and protectors of justice. Nanoha tried to bring in more mature themes in Strikers, but again there's a serious lack of impact when no one ever has suffered major consequences for their actions and no one dies. They were too afraid to take the next step.

Magical Girl series usually make the idea of magic fun. It's something cool, and something you'd like to be able to use. The world is interesting, and you possibly would like to take part in it.

Madoka on the other hand shows this to be anything but that. Becoming a magical girl is not what you want to do. Sure you may have some powers, but the consequences, the physical and mental costs, and the depressing reality all trump the idea of magic being something worth wild to use in this world. This will especially be the case if they're constantly at threat of becoming a witch if they don't purify their soul gems.

Series like Nanoha are anything but this. In the end, the Nanoha world is a colorful place, and Nanoha is shown to be happy all the time with her friends. Even Fate who was in a terrible situation ended up find salvation in a happy family and her friend Nanoha. The magical world was something you wanted to be a part of actually.

Magical Girl Series usually have enemies that they can at least talk to. They are able to be judged with a human's morality.

Again, Madoka doesn't do this. Witches are inhuman. Kyube isn't really their friend either and doesn't share their notion of human morality. Death comes quick. They don't even understand what is threatening the world. The enemy is not something as tangible as they would like.

Series like Nanoha don't do this. The enemies have motivations and desires. They're humans, even if they disagree, they know and can eventually understand how to cope with the troubles they are to face. And many times, the enemies aren't even bothering to threaten their actual lives. Fate? Yeah right. The knights? Lol. The enemies are not truly presented as threatening as they are supposed to be for so called people woh may destroy the universe.

Magical Girls usually simply fight for the ideas of justice. It was their choice to defend the world on their own.

Again Madoka trumps this. Kyube used the idea of a miracle to coerce the magical girls into doing his dirty work. People like Sayaka can fool themselves all they want, but it was the wish in the end that made her do what she did. Magical Girls are shown to be fighting for themselves (Mami, Kyoko). They're not these noble people who only serve to protect humanity.

=-======

Honestly I can keep going on and on.
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Old 2011-02-18, 14:09   Link #206
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post

So show me WHY I should believe that this universe is so grim dark.

Hell, in Nanoha, there was blood and injuries were bad. But in Madoka, they have convenient bodies which can feel very little pain and be rebuilt easily! If anything, that makes Nanoha more threatening.


Maybe there is. The problem is we don't know. And my prediction is that the girls will never ask. Even after learning this, they won't think to ask, "What else aren't you telling us?"


The show is trying to tell us it is, through Sayaka's angsting over Kamijou. Also through the whole shock factor of last episode. This is falling straight into Cursed with Awesome territory:

"This trope is a major source of Angst Dissonance — if not used carefully, then a character being Cursed With Awesome carries the risk of plummeting straight into Wangst or Deus Angst Machina territory, as nothing is guaranteed to piss an audience off more than a character complaining about having abilities that are, on the face of it, utterly fantastic and that the audience would kill to have. This is especially a risk if a balance between the awesomeness of the powers and the suckiness of the consequences of possessing them is not maintained; if the drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits, then the character just looks whiny."


I'm reminded of that sword chick from Negima, the one with the white wings. "*sniff* Look at me, I'm a monster!"

That's why I'm not buying the "look at how awful and grim dark all of this is!" line of thought yet.
Cursed with Awesome? This is Blessed With Suck.

Magical powers, fast healing, death avoidance, sounds pretty good... oh wait, there is that little having your soul ripped out and stuck in a gem thing.

What we have here is Values Dissonance. You agree with Kuybee. "Who cares where my soul is, it's not like I can sense it anyway." Which by the way implies: "My soul is unimportant as anything other than a necessity for life." Which most people do not agree with.

Kuybee even identifies why it's important to people (although he misses the importance). Human souls are contained throughout their bodies. It's in their nerves, their blood, their skin.

Consider Sayaka's grief about how she can never kiss her love- because it won't be her. It won't be her lips on his. Her soul will not be intertwined with his. It will just be a lump of flesh, not a living soul, kissing her love.

To you that is unimportant. "Who cares as long as I can feel and touch, and sense things." But that is a very materialistic (in the philosophical sense) way of viewing the world. Most people have a more mystical way of viewing things, particularly things revolving around love.

Nor does this even get into the religious aspect, in that most religions identify life as a soul inside a human body. If you remove the soul from the body you are no longer alive. (I believe that Shinto holds this view too). This isn't some minor thing that has no importance, this is Fate Worse Than Death territory. It's eternal damnation stuff.

Because your values about the location of souls are such an outlier compared to most people you simply can't understand the horror than other people are seeing.

That's not because the anime is poorly made- it's just not made for someone who doesn't care about the location of their soul.
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Old 2011-02-18, 14:11   Link #207
Klashikari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
So show me WHY I should believe that this universe is so grim dark.

Hell, in Nanoha, there was blood and injuries were bad. But in Madoka, they have convenient bodies which can feel very little pain and be rebuilt easily! If anything, that makes Nanoha more threatening.
Comparing on case by case basis isn't really the best thing ever.
Nanoha used an unorthordox setting for the MG, but by essence, the execution itself is quite standard.
By contrast, Madoka series is different considering the actual themes and messages behind. Whereas you had a "happy go lucky" crew in Nanoha dealing with remotely tortured antagonists, using the almighty "friendship" power, such thing does not work in Madoka.

I think you are taking way too much on the logical side like Kyuubey is doing, and don't see the point in term of a psychological aspect.
Certainly, they have more convenient body, but is that what they want? Is that truely allright to be basically a little gem piloting a flesh robot?

I think you are not giving the appropriate credit regarding the issue about "not feeling human with this body", which leaves a weird conclusion regarding the theme used in Madoka.

The deconstruction is there: you arguably have a mocking situation for the self righteous character, the main character is arguably -not- the happy go lucky ally of justice, the messenger/mascot itself has a very dubious agenda and/or methods, the antagonist is arguably not pleasant one bit etc.
You really don't need any sense of physical impact to be different, and honestly, the fact there was potential wounds and blood in Nanoha was vastly overshadowed by its presentation and execution, leaving almost a perfect guarantee that "no one will die", where the sense of death in madoka is arguably present, even if it isn't really the physical death per se.

Quote:
The show is trying to tell us it is, through Sayaka's angsting over Kamijou. Also through the whole shock factor of last episode. This is falling straight into Cursed with Awesome territory:

I'm reminded of that sword chick from Negima, the one with the white wings. "*sniff* Look at me, I'm a monster!"

That's why I'm not buying the "look at how awful and grim dark all of this is!" line of thought yet.
I think you are just looking at it in a complete different perspective, compared to what is going on for a teenager girl thrown in such situation. I'm actually wondering how come you can even pull Setsuna from Negima *scratches head*.

I wouldn't say it is really a cultural issue, but I do think it is belivable to think that not everyone can accept to be "not human anymore". As long as it is in line with the character and the given context, I don't get how one can blame the characterization given here.

In appearance, Sayaka is the same as human, but in essence she is no longer human. That simple thought lead to a lot of complications, such like the plain and painful "immortality".
Defining a human is a tad difficult, because the definition itself can be a sketch (for instance, those who have read Ever17 will understand, as I'm referring to Tsugumi speech: what is "yourself"? If you cut an arm, can you still call that arm "you"? What defines you with a body that is constantly renewing its cell etc? What is your own existence actually?).
However, the representation of one's own existence is always personal and you can't have a formula. You might think that Sayaka didn't change, but as far as her characterization went, she cannot see herself human anymore.

I will actually use the example you have brought: you seem to think it is ridiculous for Setsuna to complain about her powers. The problem isn't actually the powers themselves, it is actually what define them, and sorry to say, but she is "not human". No matter how you look at it, by essence she isn't, but her problem is that she didn't learn that "being human or not isn't the most important thing".
That being said, you have to factor the fact that people react extremely differently when their "body" isn't the same. In reality, it happens much more often than people might think: people with a scar, an amputed limb etc will react extremely differently, and some might even consider them as "monsters".

That is reality, and I think it is extremely weird and preposterous to put a logic like "she LOOKS human, and CAN act human, so no big deal".
Not everyone are fine with what they "can" do, but what they "ARE". Which is the problem with Sayaka: even if you tells her that she can hug and kiss Kyousuke with this body, it doesn't mean she is human one bit. She can -act- as a human, but she is by essence not the same.
This point is very important to define the thought process of such character.
Quote:
That line of thought is human, though. We all have dark thoughts, and sometimes they last just a moment, and sometimes they last longer. The fact that she's crying over it, shows she has a good heart. She just needs to learn that what she's feeling is okay, and to stop beating herself up. Time will tell if that will happen.
You are asking a teenager girl to understand something like this. I dunno about you, but it isn't a magical equation to think "it is normal to have dark thoughts".
Sayaka was characterized as a girl who push herself too hard, but for the wrong reasons. That is why I was criticizing her character, because to me, she was sheltering herself with a sense of "justice" whereas the true goal of hers was arguably not the same.

The fact she thought for a single moment that Hitomi should rather be dead is a huge blow on her psyche, because it actually crumbles the so called "righteous justice facade" she made herself, unable to accept what Kyoko was saying: that this power is made for the MG's own sake.
Even now, she doesn't exactly acknowledge that she did that for Kyousuke, thinking it is actually for justice and concern. However, once she realize that she has a selfish and gruesome thought, she snapped because she no longer has a solid conviction anymore: she cannot lie herself anymore, that she made such efforts in order to win Kyousuke.
And because of the revelation she is "not human" anymore, it leads to a mess: that no matter what she does, it is "wrong":
1) even if she acknowledge she is doing it for herself, she cannot win kyousuke, because she is not human.
2) she cannot claim she is doing it for justice, because she wanted her best friend to die.

The solution may be simple at the first glance, but such characters are unable to see through the situation, and just compute themselves with a "black and white" way, much like what she did with Kyouko etc.

Last edited by Klashikari; 2011-02-18 at 14:27.
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Old 2011-02-18, 14:22   Link #208
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Like I said, I'm not buying it yet. What's happening here is no different than every other show out there, and yet we're told it is supposed to be bad somehow. Why? Because one person died and teenage girls are angsting? People die in other shows. Teenage girls angst in other shows.
We are? I heard about a deconstruction and a "Ok I will go back to being the usual Urobuchi now" from him but the much assumed hype (and the then spread anticipation about the roller coaster of despair) was generally coming from the fans themselves.

Quote:
Hell, in Nanoha, there was blood and injuries were bad. But in Madoka, they have convenient bodies which can feel very little pain and be rebuilt easily! If anything, that makes Nanoha more threatening.
It's the emotions and atmosphere. It's also closer to real life tragedies. Not the mere fact that someone died.

Quote:
Even after learning this, they won't think to ask, "What else aren't you telling us?"
I get what you mean but what do you actually expect them to ask? I don't deem it stupidity that they don't ask specific questions and I'm sure they have to worry about other things that are more important. They aren't nerds or Katsuragi Keimas or L's or Lelouches. It adds up imo.

Quote:
The show is trying to tell us it is, through Sayaka's angsting over Kamijou. Also through the whole shock factor of last episode. This is falling straight into Cursed with Awesome territory:

snip


That's why I'm not buying the "look at how awful and grim dark all of this is!" line of thought yet.
To begin with, that trope is way too generalizing and subjective I think.

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It just seemed perfectly timed to strike when Sayaka was just recovering from her earlier issue.
Shit happens.
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Old 2011-02-18, 14:38   Link #209
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Big post due to several people to respond to. Tried to trim some stuff I thought unimportant. If you wanted me to respond to something specific and I didn't, please re-ask and let me know.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
It's because you're trying to convince yourself otherwise .
On the contrary, I've even listed criteria that would convince me, and a show that did (Mai HiME). I'd like to be convinced, but I'm not there yet. And I know what deconstruction is, thank you. My point was not about deconstruction at all, but about making me believe this is all bad.

Quote:
Madoka on the other hand so far seems to go against this. The magical girls are almost more like victims rather than heros fighting against evil.
Young girls fighting monsters who are preying on humans. Where have I seen this before? Yes, it's not exact, but it is very close. We don't know what witches are, so that hurts it, and perhaps would help. If it was somehow hinted that witches weren't the bad thing we thought they were, then it would be more interesting to me.

And partially I'll agree about Nanoha, because that is an idealistic universe, whereas Madoka is a cynical one.

Quote:
Magical Girl series usually make the idea of magic fun. It's something cool, and something you'd like to be able to use. The world is interesting, and you possibly would like to take part in it.
Eh, maybe they're convincing you, but I still see a super-resilient body and magic powers.

Quote:
This will especially be the case if they're constantly at threat of becoming a witch if they don't purify their soul gems.
And this is what I see over and over. In order to convince yourself, you have to make an assumption and treat it as fact. When and if this becomes true, I'll re-evaluate my opinion on this. But as it stands now, there isn't much to convince me this all horrible.

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Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Cursed with Awesome? This is Blessed With Suck.

Magical powers, fast healing, death avoidance, sounds pretty good... oh wait, there is that little having your soul ripped out and stuck in a gem thing.
You can't say "Suck" and then go on to list the very cool things that counteract the definition of suck. Read the Cursed with Suck page. It lists 5 examples, the first four of which don't apply. The last maybe, sorta might, but it's not direct at best.

This is exemplified in Kyoko. Sure, she had a bad past, but she enjoys her powers and the present. If someone is enjoying the powers, then it's not really a "Suck" situation.

Quote:
Consider Sayaka's grief about how she can never kiss her love- because it won't be her. It won't be her lips on his. Her soul will not be intertwined with his. It will just be a lump of flesh, not a living soul, kissing her love.
Which is all in her mind. To misquote the bard again: "Has she not human eyes and ears? When you prick her, does she not bleed?"

We have many stories of people where their spirits disconnect from their bodies, or say someone becomes a ghost. Are they any less human, if they still possess human thoughts and feelings? You're right that I'm looking at it in a coldly logical way (which I've stressed over and over). Because emotions are just in the mind, and each of us decides what we want to be, and what we want to think of ourselves.

At this time, there is nothing preventing her from having a relationship with Kamijou, except herself. When she kisses him, both of them will still feel it. Yes, you can postulate possible reasons, but we don't know any of that at this time. She still eats, shits, and sleeps, feels joy and pain, and can spend time with friends and family. To me, that's human enough.

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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
Comparing on case by case basis isn't really the best thing ever.
I'd partially agree, and I only used the comparison to get across an understanding of how I feel and how I am seeing things.

Quote:
I think you are taking way too much on the logical side like Kyuubey is doing, and don't see the point in term of a psychological aspect.
Certainly, they have more convenient body, but is that what they want? Is that truely allright to be basically a little gem piloting a flesh robot?
I'd argue that's in the mind. We humans can convince ourselves of anything if we want, and live just fine. What kind of life you have and lead, is totally up to you. It is up to you to come to terms with who you are. No one else can do that for you.

I'm reminded of the Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager, and how he became human. And one episode in particular, where he had a breakdown because he saved one patient and not another. They deleted his memory, but later were convinced to let him sit in the holosuite and work through it. He seemed very much a sentient creature to me, despite a lack of a flesh and blood body.

I think you are not giving the appropriate credit regarding the issue about "not feeling human with this body", which leaves a weird conclusion regarding the theme used in Madoka.

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The deconstruction is there:
As I said above, it is not so much the deconstruction; it's the fact that this is all supposed to seem bad. The best I can see, is that idealism isn't winning the day, but that isn't unusual for a cynical series.

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I think you are just looking at it in a complete different perspective, compared to what is going on for a teenager girl thrown in such situation. I'm actually wondering how come you can even pull Setsuna from Negima *scratches head*.
Because as I quoted, I see this as the very definition of the trope. The powers are awesome, and I've stated before that practically everyone here would have wanted them, or at least visualized themselves as heroes gaining power to fight bad things. They never saw such powers as a bad thing.

Just like with Setsuna, who thought her wings made her ugly and inhuman, when really most people would love to have such wings.

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In appearance, Sayaka is the same as human, but in essence she is no longer human. That simple thought lead to a lot of complications, such like the plain and painful "immortality".
Defining a human is a tad difficult, because the definition itself can be a sketch (for instance, those who have read Ever17 will understand, as I'm referring to Tsugumi speech: what is "yourself"? If you cut an arm, can you still call that arm "you"? What defines you with a body that is constantly renewing its cell etc? What is your own existence actually?).
However, the representation of one's own existence is always personal and you can't have a formula. You might think that Sayaka didn't change, but as far as her characterization went, she cannot see herself human anymore.
And as I said, that's in her mind. Biologically speaking, not much has changed. Just the way she thinks about herself. That's for her to work out, and maybe it convinces you that this is bad, but it doesn't for me, which is the only main point I was making: I am not convinced.

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That is reality, and I think it is extremely weird and preposterous to put a logic like "she LOOKS human, and CAN act human, so no big deal".
Not everyone are fine with what they "can" do, but what they "ARE". Which is the problem with Sayaka: even if you tells her that she can hug and kiss Kyousuke with this body, it doesn't mean she is human one bit. She can -act- as a human, but she is by essence not the same.
Then the logical conclusion you come to, is that there are people who look human, but can be sub-human or non-human to you. That's a dangerous slippery slope to go down. I suppose that's why I stick to a more logical standpoint.

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This point is very important to define the thought process of such character.
You are asking a teenager girl to understand something like this. I dunno about you, but it isn't a magical equation to think "it is normal to have dark thoughts".
I partially agreed with this, when I said that if I was a teenaged girl, I might be more sympathetic. But endless teenage girl angst and whining doesn't entertain me, anymore than it did in Twilight. And obviously, Twilight has it's fans, so great on them. Not every work can appeal to everyone, obviously.

The rest of what you're saying, I understand, it's just not convincing. The fact that Kyoko is living proof that one can accept it, and still lead a "normal" life shatters the notion. If Sayaka can't get over it, that's her problem. And I expect some angst; just not endless amounts of it. As the trope said, then it drops down into wangst territory.

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Originally Posted by Vanish View Post
It's the emotions and atmosphere. It's also closer to real life tragedies. Not the mere fact that someone died.
And Fate was whipped, leaving scars along her back and limbs. The atmosphere of her leaving that room, limping, and calmly telling Arf that she needed to please mother... that wasn't emotions and atmosphere that led you to see a tragedy in action?

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I get what you mean but what do you actually expect them to ask?
What else aren't you telling us about this process?
Where do witches come from, really?
And what are they?
Is there another way to deal with witches?
Why is it only young girls being used?
Can we get our soul back in our body and fight normally?
What else is changed about us by becoming a magical girl?

And these are just off the top of my head. I'm sure if I thought more, I'd come up with tons. Perhaps it's just me, but I have a hankering need for more information about what the hell is going on, and there is someone right there who can answer.
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Old 2011-02-18, 14:43   Link #210
Triple_R
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Shh! You'll bring out the wrath of those that worship at the feet of Gen!
I want to be clear - I'm not saying that this isn't well-written. Most of this anime has been well-written, in my opinion. A little heavy on the exposition, and a little light on the "show, don't tell" side of things, but good solid work on the whole. It's certainly very thought-provoking, to its credit.

But I've read Gen be built up as this incredibly twisted writer that puts his characters through dementedly dark meat grinders.

Going by that, I was expecting something at least as dark as Full Metal Alchemist, Ga-rei Zero, Higurashi, Shakugan no Shana, and Umineko. And so far, I haven't seen that.


Quote:

But I'm with you here. I'm being left somewhat underwhelmed. The show is telling us a lot, but not really showing it.
This is the main issue for me as well.

Too much exposition, not enough "show, don't tell", imo.

At this point in the anime, there probably should be a bit more visual confirmation to the bleak nature of the magical girl's life in this universe.


Quote:
For instance:

The show wants to tell us that being an MG is a very heartbreaking thing... but we haven't really had any evidence of that. Sure, they fight and die, but that's no different than every other MG show or superhero anime out there.

They apparently can't walk away, but we're never told why.

We're told that having your soul protected in a gem is somehow supposed to be creepy and bad because you're a zombie... but the girls are shown enjoying the rest of life as they choose, so nothing really changes.
Exactly.


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You pretty much summed it up: Teenage girls angsting. If I wanted that, I'd watch Twilight. And maybe if I were a teenage girl, I'd feel something. But since I'm not, the whole thing leaves me scratching my head and going, "Why?"
I'm very sincerely having a hard time understanding why Sayaka is so freaked out over her soul moving from her body to a gem that is in her possession. I just don't see the logical progression from that to her viewing herself as a zombie, when her body seems either unchanged, or objectively improved.

I mean, if her body's appearance changed, even just a little bit (her eyes becoming entirely white, or perpetually bloodshot, for example) then I could relate a bit more to her being freaked out. But as is, she really does seem to be overreacting to me.


Quote:

It feels like there is more going on, and I'd like to learn what else Kyube and Homura know, but stuff like Hitomi coming out of the closet really feel contrived, just to try and force Sayaka into a dark corner.
Hitomi struck me as a bit fishy in that one scene, though. She was strangely cold and methodical in what she said to Sayaka pertaining to Kyousuke. I think that most girls in Hitomi's position would have shown a lot more signs of nervousness while making that confession to Sayaka than what Hitomi showed. This makes me think that there's more to Hitomi than what we know so far...

So I'll give the anime a slide here. Actually, I'd like a few more unusual developments (as long as the plot eventually makes sense out of them, of course), not less.


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Which was odd, because she had just accepted what she was, and made the decision to continue using her power for others.

In short, we ran out of angst, so we needed a new source; enter Hitomi with a confession and a 1 DAY(!!!!) deadline that wasn't foreshadowed at all. If she really were a friend, I'd think she'd give Sayaka a bit more time than that. But then again, we have W-night coming up, and so this has to be done before then, so we have to shoehorn this angst in now.
Yeah, the 1 Day deadline is pretty severe, lol.


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Originally Posted by Shadow5YA View Post
No, it's very different from the standard Magical Girl show. If this were the standard MG, everyone would have planet-busting nukes that could obliterate their opponent, yet after the fight the enemy would become their friend in no time.
You're conflating Nanoha with all magical girl animes. Nanoha itself is fairly unique amongst magical girl animes, as it incorporates a lot of mecha anime elements.

Most magical girl animes have far more subtle and less flashy action scenes than Nanoha's.


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In Madoka, the MGs often fight alone, their enemies are inhuman, and they have a much higher chance of dying.
The problem is that we're not being shown this.

One death in seven episodes doesn't really give a sense of unusually high degrees of danger for super-powered combatants. At least not for me.

As for their enemies being inhuman... this is actually quite common in magical girl anime. Sailor Moon utilized the "Monster of the Week" approach just as much as Power Rangers did.

And many magical girls do fight alone. Not all are in teams like we see with the Sailor Scouts or Nanoha and friends. Sakura was mostly fighting alone, albeit with her friend tape-recording her every move.


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When they do die, the public will have no knowledge of the MG or what the enemy is like.
True, but this is also true of magical girls in general.

If Sailor Moon had died while fighting one of the monsters of the week, her parents would be unaware of how exactly their daughter died, and would simply notice that she's now gone.


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The MGs can't even trust their own kind as friends because they have their own agenda and differing ideals, and the one who gave them power does not follow human morals.
This is a bit different, I'll admit, but I do want to add that many magical girl animes do have a dark magical girl antagonist, so it's not uncommon for magical girls to fight one another (heck, Nanoha and Fate had no fewer than four separate clashes with one another, IIRC).



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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
To expand upon this good post here, it's funny how the people complaining that this hasn't been dark enough tend to be fans of the Nanoha franchise.
Why's that funny, Reckoner? Do you think that people can only like "dark" shows, or can only like more conventional shows?


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This anime has been a brilliant deconstruction so far.
Even if you're right, that doesn't mean it's exciting or thrilling to watch.

In complete honesty, I was hoping for this show to be a bit more action-packed than this. And a bit less
exposition-heavy.


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It has spun the magical girl concept into a cynical world, something that the Nanoha franchise fails quite epically at.
Reckoner, you can't "fail" at something that you're not even attempting.

What makes you think that Nanoha was trying to make a cynical magical girl show? The whole idea behind Nanoha was to take magical girl character types, narrative approaches, and genre conventions, and spice it up with mecha-style action and conflict.

In that, Nanoha was an exceptional success.


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Girls are not just going around angsty either. They're shown to be having to constantly fight for their lives, and put themselves in dangerous situation.
That alone is no different than most other magical girl shows. Again, "Monster of the Week". In other words, lots and lots of regular and dangerous combat.


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I'm not sure what you guys want. People dorpping dead every episode?
Well, that was what a lot of people were predicting. I even remember death diagrams that posters put up predicting a death every episode, or every other episode.


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Vomit and blood everywhere? Limbs getting chopped off?
Sure, why not? Why would this "not make sense"? Is it exceptionally nonsensical for blood and lost limbs to result from dangerous combat?
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Old 2011-02-18, 14:58   Link #211
Makender
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I want to be clear - I'm not saying that this isn't well-written. Most of this anime has been well-written, in my opinion. A little heavy on the exposition, and a little light on the "show, don't tell" side of things, but good solid work on the whole. It's certainly very thought-provoking, to its credit.

But I've read Gen be built up as this incredibly twisted writer that puts his characters through dementedly dark meat grinders.

Going by that, I was expecting something at least as dark as Full Metal Alchemist, Ga-rei Zero, Higurashi, Shakugan no Shana, and Umineko. And so far, I haven't seen that.
This is why I said Gen isn't able to shine here. He may be trapped by some restricting confine of anime, Shaft, Shinbo, some mysterious higher force, that doesn't allow his dark creative juices to get running. Real Urobuchi Gen is in Saya no Uta and Kikokugai, which imo are both grim dark amazing. Both made in 2003 incidentally, so maybe that was his prime.

Otherwise, I'm feeling his limited in a sense by what's acceptable by whatever standard this show has presented so far (which seems to be more psychological than physically brutal). And at that Gen is then somewhat unable to really delve into the psychological states of each girl like he could do in a visual novel. So yeah, long story short I'm disappointed by Urobuchi Gen standards (unless last five episodes are freaking amazing).
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Old 2011-02-18, 15:04   Link #212
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Just finished watching the episode. It was really nice to see Kyoko loosen up(she's still a bitch though) after Kyubey revealed they are like zombies. I love the way they revealed Kyoko's past. The backgrounds they used and the BGM are superb. Well the animation is actually high quality this time around but I really find the abondoned church and the surroundings beautiful.

The end part was awesome yet depressing. I'm really feeling sad for Sayaka now and I hope Madoka will be able to save her later.

Giving this episode a 9/10. Probably 10/10 after they remaster this episode in blu-ray / dvd.

edit: uhhh... guys even though Madoka is planned to be grim dark. It is still a mahou shoujo anime and they stated they will be keeping elements of the genre so I don't see why you're expecting some super grim dark story.
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Homura: Die monster! You don't belong in this world!
Kyubey: It was not by my hand that I am once again given flesh. I was called here by humans who wish to pay me tribute.
Homura: Tribute? You steal girls's souls, and make them your slaves!
Kyubey: Perhaps the same could be said of all religions.
Homura: Your words are as empty as your soul! Lolis ill-needs a savior such as you!
Kyubey: What is a loli? A miserable little pile of moe! But enough talk...have at you!
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Old 2011-02-18, 15:18   Link #213
Reckoner
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Eh, maybe they're convincing you, but I still see a super-resilient body and magic powers.

And this is what I see over and over. In order to convince yourself, you have to make an assumption and treat it as fact. When and if this becomes true, I'll re-evaluate my opinion on this. But as it stands now, there isn't much to convince me this all horrible.
Well we're both looking at the same things and getting different things from it. Not much we can do here to find common ground then .

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Why's that funny, Reckoner? Do you think that people can only like "dark" shows, or can only like more conventional shows?
It's just something I noted in this thread. The people differing from my perspective enjoyed a much more optimistic, idealistic magical girl show quite a bit, while even though I like Nanoha, didn't find the series as compelling as others make it seem to be.

It's just interesting to note because it seems people here probably also have differing perspectives on Nanoha.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Even if you're right, that doesn't mean it's exciting or thrilling to watch.

In complete honesty, I was hoping for this show to be a bit more action-packed than this. And a bit less
exposition-heavy.
Well that wasn't what I was trying to argue. If you don't enjoy it, you don't enjoy it. I was just saying it achieved its goal. If you didn't want to see a deconstruction done in this manner, that's a different story altogether.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Reckoner, you can't "fail" at something that you're not even attempting.

What makes you think that Nanoha was trying to make a cynical magical girl show? The whole idea behind Nanoha was to take magical girl character types, narrative approaches, and genre conventions, and spice it up with mecha-style action and conflict.

In that, Nanoha was an exceptional success.
You cannot possibly argue that the goal of Strikers was not to add a sense of maturity and world building to the Nanoha franchise that was clearly lacking beforehand. Also Nanoha herself acts as if she were 7+ years older than she really is.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
That alone is no different than most other magical girl shows. Again, "Monster of the Week". In other words, lots and lots of regular and dangerous combat.

Well, that was what a lot of people were predicting. I even remember death diagrams that posters put up predicting a death every episode, or every other episode.

Sure, why not? Why would this "not make sense"? Is it exceptionally nonsensical for blood and lost limbs to result from dangerous combat?
Refer to my post I made to Kaijo above about the issue of the "enemies" they're fighting.

The reason I said it wouldn't make sense is that, if we were just dropped into pure carnage, it would be hard to take this seriously as a deconstruction of the magical girl genre.

Also, I think the lack of overly exciting action is just again part of the deconstruction. Although you may not enjoy it, they're actually trying to make the battles seem not that exciting,b ut rather just brutally quick fights to the death.
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Old 2011-02-18, 15:21   Link #214
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
And Fate was whipped, leaving scars along her back and limbs. The atmosphere of her leaving that room, limping, and calmly telling Arf that she needed to please mother... that wasn't emotions and atmosphere that led you to see a tragedy in action?
It was a tragedy but has less impact. Do you agree? And why if not?

Quote:
What else aren't you telling us about this process?
Where do witches come from, really?
And what are they?
Is there another way to deal with witches?
Why is it only young girls being used?
Can we get our soul back in our body and fight normally?
What else is changed about us by becoming a magical girl?

And these are just off the top of my head. I'm sure if I thought more, I'd come up with tons. Perhaps it's just me, but I have a hankering need for more information about what the hell is going on, and there is someone right there who can answer.
Weird question maybe but if you were in the same shoes (same age etc.) as them, would you really ask all that and even more? And (in case he actually answered all the important questions in an unambiguous way which is questionable) would it really put you into a much better position?

For instance, Homura seems to know a lot about MG business but I doubt she'd be less cold (or whatever) if she knew less. And Mami probably would have still died anyway, too, just with more knowledge which is basically mere info. Like I said I understand what you mean and there ought to be at least one or two very essential questions that could very much help in specific situations when answered. Like if Madoka knew about the SG earlier etc. but still. I think you're a bit too concerned about this.

For that matter, all the other MG shows are in similar fashion, no?

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Originally Posted by Makender View Post
This is why I said Gen isn't able to shine here. He may be trapped by some restricting confine of anime, Shaft, Shinbo, some mysterious higher force, that doesn't allow his dark creative juices to get running. Real Urobuchi Gen is in Saya no Uta and Kikokugai, which imo are both grim dark amazing. Both made in 2003 incidentally, so maybe that was his prime.
Add Fate/Zero maybe.
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Old 2011-02-18, 15:25   Link #215
Makender
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edit: uhhh... guys even though Madoka is planned to be grim dark. It is still a mahou shoujo anime and they stated they will be keeping elements of the genre so I don't see why you're expecting some super grim dark story.
I wanted to say this, but just didn't have the heart to do it. Maybe if it was Urobuchi Gen directing himself he'd have the balls to send this anime into complete despair and carnage. However, with Shinbo at the helm he's held to abiding by some semblance of a magical girl standard and that may be admittedly a bit depressing. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying Madoka Magica to a degree, but not to the degree of how I absolutely love Kikokugai and the like. Eh, at this point I'm just going to let the sadistic side of me take over and hope that at the end Madoka, Homura, or someone becomes lost in an inescapable pit of insanity and despair or some kind of sneer, bittersweet ending just so I can say that's the good old Gen I know. Sayaka's a start. One domino falls to start the chain they say.
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Old 2011-02-18, 15:25   Link #216
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Didn't expect Kyubey to hurt Sayaka, at least we finally get to see his dark side.

Interesting that Kyoko shared her story with Sayaka. Explains why she's always eating something. Sayaka again proves why she's an idiot for ignoring the advice.

Enjoyed how they made Hitomi her rival in love, i think it's a better decision than having some unknown girl take Kamijo.

At least Sayaka admitted tha she has regrets. Though at the end think she lost it. Definitely think she's a lost cause now. Madoka better listen to Homura now.
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Old 2011-02-18, 15:28   Link #217
justsomeguy
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
At this point in the anime, there probably should be a bit more visual confirmation to the bleak nature of the magical girl's life in this universe.
Episode 3 had quite enough of that. The fact that the mascot creature is a manipulative prick instead of a sincere ally adds quite a bit more grim darkness.
Quote:
I'm very sincerely having a hard time understanding why Sayaka is so freaked out over her soul moving from her body to a gem that is in her possession. I just don't see the logical progression from that to her viewing herself as a zombie, when her body seems either unchanged, or objectively improved.

I mean, if her body's appearance changed, even just a little bit (her eyes becoming entirely white, or perpetually bloodshot, for example) then I could relate a bit more to her being freaked out. But as is, she really does seem to be overreacting to me.
She was basically tricked into undergoing a surgery that she did not give informed consent to, which in all civilized countries would be considered a gross violation of rights possibly on par with rape, and which many patients would feel disgusted by afterwards.
Quote:
One death in seven episodes doesn't really give a sense of unusually high degrees of danger for super-powered combatants. At least not for me.
This isn't quite valid, because Madoka Magica is supposedly a mahou shoujo show, not shounen or tokusatsu. Having a young girl advertised to be one of the main heroines get her head chewed off in the third episode goes beyond conventions here. Sure, other magical girls regularly face danger, or even die in the final battles, but right at the beginning is highly unusual.
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Old 2011-02-18, 15:30   Link #218
Mentar
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Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Exactly. Sayaka hasn't given up because she's friend zoned, or because she's scared she'll be rejected.

It's because she's already dead, can never have children, and from the backstory of Kyoko- will never age.

Sayaka realizes that she is no longer a good romantic match for anyone, and she is absolutely correct.
No, this is way too simplistic and unconvincing for me. She's been extremely timid before she ever heard the truth about the soul gem. Besides, all her crying about never being able to hug or kiss Kamijou is simply untrue. Of course she can. Nothing stops her from doing so, just like she's currently hugging Madoka. No, the blow she took to her self-esteem is only emphasizing her latent cowardice in her emotional dealings with Kamijou, which is in sharp contrast to her usual bravery when it comes to fighting. She managed to convince herself that "there's no hope anymore" before even trying, just like before. It only gave her an extra excuse.

Quote:
However, I don't get the whole "Sayaka is evil now" from the ending. What I get is that Sayaka is in enormous emotional pain and is dealing with it be taking a lot of risks, and aggressively attacking and going berserk on an acceptable target- a witch. She hasn't attacked anyone else because she's still got some metal inhibitions up.
I wouldn't say that she's "evil now" at the end, but she is definitely losing her sanity and emotional balance, which doesn't bode well for her. And it's only going to get worse from now on, I'm pretty sure of that.

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Sayaka is a very moral person who punishes herself for not being as moral as she aspires to be.
At the end, Sayaka is a broken person doing suicide runs on a witch, laughing while crying and hiding in "I feel no pain" mode. Which is a sight terrible enough for Madoka to cry for her to stop. You seriously don't see anything more than self-punishment at work here?

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We'll see what happens in the future- she could go off the deep end and become insane, dark, and evil. She could become a cynic like Kyoko, or a depressed fatalist like Homura. Or Sayaka could decide that even morally flawed as she is, she won't stop trying to live up to her ideals (essentially a reconstruction of the normal heroine archetype). I actually think that this last one is the most likely.
The last one is the least likely, the way I see things developing. She may TRY to do that - yes - but she is almost guaranteed to fail. In fact, I fully expect her defeat and destruction to be so complete that she is going to turn into exactly what she's trying to defeat, which is nothing but a terrible tragedy. We'll have to wait and see.

I also disagree with the "depressed fatalist" notion for Homura, but I guess we better postpone this for 1-2 more episodes, when the focus will shift over to her.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But I've read Gen be built up as this incredibly twisted writer that puts his characters through dementedly dark meat grinders.

Going by that, I was expecting something at least as dark as Full Metal Alchemist, Ga-rei Zero, Higurashi, Shakugan no Shana, and Umineko. And so far, I haven't seen that.
Mami would tsk at you for that. It's starting. The main strength of Urobuchi Gen is that he manages to create highly logical tragedies with very subtle means. Look at what happened to Sayaka: All it took was one imprudent contract with someone who many people still insist not to be evil, and the considerate warning of a friend of hers about an impending confession to totally and pretty much irrevocably wreck her life. While what she did was truly done with good intentions, which are now coming back to haunt her. That's nothing in your eyes? I think that this is much sadder already than _anything_ I've seen from Shana (and I've seen everything of that).

Urobuchi said that he'd begin to throw at the viewer what he could come up with after ep6, and if you ask me, I see a kitchen sink incoming. Sure, I might still be wrong, but I don't think so. You know my predictions. Would you agree that if most of that came to pass, it would qualify as a "dark meat grinder" after all?

Quote:
Hitomi struck me as a bit fishy in that one scene, though. She was strangely cold and methodical in what she said to Sayaka pertaining to Kyousuke. I think that most girls in Hitomi's position would have shown a lot more signs of nervousness while making that confession to Sayaka than what Hitomi showed. This makes me think that there's more to Hitomi than what we know so far...
I don't see why. She's been introduced as a very proper ojousama, and she perceived that Sayaka loved Kamijou, even though she never admitted it. Under these circumstances, I consider her warning to be perfectly in-character. If anything, Hitomi's fair treatment of her friend only makes the loss even harder on Sayaka.

Quote:
In complete honesty, I was hoping for this show to be a bit more action-packed than this. And a bit less exposition-heavy.
Being more action-heavy would only lighten the mood. It's the oppressive atmosphere which is setting Madoka apart from the canon mahou shoujo shows, in my opinion.
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Old 2011-02-18, 15:32   Link #219
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanish View Post
It was a tragedy but has less impact. Do you agree? And why if not?
A fair question. I actually feel that, listening to the crack of the whip, watching Arf tremble and try to hold back tears, flinching everytime Fate cried out, and then watching a near-zombie like Fate limp along and smile somewhat, talking about how she had to please mother...

Yeah, honestly speaking, I find that scene to be more powerfully moving and emotional and tragic, then anything I've seen in Madoka. Well, Mami's death was just about as moving, but ever since then, I haven't felt much. And this is coming from someone who isn't such a Fate fanboy.

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Weird question maybe but if you were in the same shoes (same age etc.) as them, would you really ask all that and even more? And (in case he actually answered all the important questions in an unambiguous way which is questionable) would it really put you into a much better position?
Yes, I would. Then again, I've always been inquisitive. It's rather baffling to me that anyone, after learning repeatedly that there are things they don't know, don't at least finally go, "Well, what else is there that we don't know?"

As far as better position, I'm of the opinion that more information is rarely, if ever, a bad thing. I like to have as much as possible before making a decision, especially a life-altering one. For as much as I talk about how cool these powers are, and how great a situation these girls are in... I can imagine several scenarios which would instantly change my mind. I'd like to find out about any pitfalls in advance.

So I suppose, I'm waiting on the series to actually show me why this is supposed to be bad.

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For instance, Homura seems to know a lot about MG business but I doubt she'd be less cold (or whatever) if she knew less. And Mami probably would have still died anyway, too, just with more knowledge which is basically mere info. Like I said I understand what you mean and there ought to be at least one or two very essential questions that could very much help in specific situations when answered. Like if Madoka knew about the SG earlier etc. but still. I think you're a bit too concerned about this.
Perhaps, perhaps not. It is hard to speculate on what might have been. Maybe nothing would have changed. Maybe it would have changed for the worse. Maybe it would have changed for the better.

But consider this: A number of people ardently believe there has to be a better way to handle this witch situation. We don't know how because... we lack information. Wouldn't you like more information so you could see if you could find a better way? A way to eliminate witches that doesn't require contracting young girls for life?

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For that matter, all the other MG shows are in similar fashion, no?
Not sure entirely what you are asking by this question. A number of shows do hide information, but do so believably. The most common one being that no one around really knows, or has scattered memories, or is deliberately not answering. thus, when the hidden reveal comes later, it actually works to shock.

I don't blame a character for not picking up clues. I do blame them for not asking questions. While I like Sayaka, I see her main flaw is that she just made an assumption and jumped in without waiting or asking for clarification. So you can see how getting too comfortable with assumptions can blind someone.

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Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
She was basically tricked into undergoing a surgery that she did not give informed consent to, which in all civilized countries would be considered a gross violation of rights possibly on par with rape, and which many patients would feel disgusted by afterwards.
You have a certain point, but it's not quite correct. She had the opportunity to ask the exact details, and didn't. She signed a contract, and got exactly what she wanted.

The problem is, you can't protect people from themselves. No matter how many laws and such you lay out, nature will always give you a bigger idiot. At some point, you have to stop and say, "Look, we can't coddle you. We need people to exercise some discipline and personal responsibility." Sayaka a tragic case of someone who didn't ask to see the fine print. In any court of law in the US, a court would rule that she made a fair contract, and can't sue for damages just because they didn't read the fine print.

I do place some blame on Kyube for not telling them, even though I understand why he doesn't. But Sayaka is equally to blame, here, and I LIKE her as a character.
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Old 2011-02-18, 15:37   Link #220
Shadow5YA
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

The problem is that we're not being shown this.

One death in seven episodes doesn't really give a sense of unusually high degrees of danger for super-powered combatants. At least not for me.

As for their enemies being inhuman... this is actually quite common in magical girl anime. Sailor Moon utilized the "Monster of the Week" approach just as much as Power Rangers did.

And many magical girls do fight alone. Not all are in teams like we see with the Sailor Scouts or Nanoha and friends. Sakura was mostly fighting alone, albeit with her friend tape-recording her every move.
The monsters in Sailor Moon were often humanoid in appearance (or if not, they had a human form for disguise) and could speak. That gives them more humanity than the Witches in Madoka.

There is also a difference between fighting alone by choice and being alone. A person in the former may be physically alone, but she has friends that she can fall back on, either just to talk to about their abnormal situation, or as an ally to help in battle. Many of the Sailor Scouts also had solo battles, and Cardcaptor Sakura usually fought alone, but they still had someone they could trust. The only person whom the MGs can trust in Madoka in Madoka herself.



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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
True, but this is also true of magical girls in general.

If Sailor Moon had died while fighting one of the monsters of the week, her parents would be unaware of how exactly their daughter died, and would simply notice that she's now gone.
There were Sailor Moon battles that took place on Earth in public. If one of the Sailor Scouts died while fighting on Earth, someone would be able to find out that she died in battle.

In Madoka, the Witches fight in their own little world. Should a MG die there and the Witch disappears, the MG stays in the Witch's world. In that case, without a trace of her body or a struggle taking place, the MG in Madoka would be considered just missing, not dead. Mami raised little, if any commotion, even though she's obviously absent from school now. No one would know, and I'm sure many students would just think she's home and sick instead of being killed.

The MGs in Madoka are also a secret. In Sailor Moon, plenty of normal people knew who the Sailor Scouts were, even if they didn't know their true identity. In Madoka, a regular person does not even know that MGs exist, so when MGs die, their death is also unknown to the public, whether as a regular human or as their MG identity.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
This is a bit different, I'll admit, but I do want to add that many magical girl animes do have a dark magical girl antagonist, so it's not uncommon for magical girls to fight one another (heck, Nanoha and Fate had no fewer than four separate clashes with one another, IIRC).
... but none of the MGs in Madoka are antagonists. They are all supposed to be on the same side with the same common enemy, but they can't trust one another. It's as if they were soldiers in the same nation's army pointing rifles at one another.



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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
That alone is no different than most other magical girl shows. Again, "Monster of the Week". In other words, lots and lots of regular and dangerous combat.




Well, that was what a lot of people were predicting. I even remember death diagrams that posters put up predicting a death every episode, or every other episode.




Sure, why not? Why would this "not make sense"? Is it exceptionally nonsensical for blood and lost limbs to result from dangerous combat?
It's nonsensical to kill off a character with development for the sake of showing brutality. If there were a large supply of stock characters portrayed as fodder, than a large number of casualites would be fine. However, for a character with a degree of depth, her death must serve a purpose. Mami affected Madoka's view of MGs, and she affected Sayaka's view of Homura. It's nonsensical for a developed character to die abruptly just for the sake of being grimdark.





Anyway, as for Kyousuke, Hitomi gave Sayaka plenty of time. While it looks like Hitomi only gave her a day, there's also the fact that Sayaka has known him since she was a child. Kyousuke should also be fairly popular, since he has his own professional CD and a career to go along with it. It's very likely that someone other than Sayaka could like Kyousuke, even with little on-screen development.
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