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Old 2011-03-12, 11:18   Link #101
Triple_R
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Heh, yea, it's ironic she's the one that handled the situation the best.
Madoka's biggest strength is probably that she doesn't make rash decisions, and she keeps a level head.

Yes, she cries a lot, but even in the midst of doing that, she doesn't lose her mind. You can give vent to sadness without giving reign to madness.
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Old 2011-03-12, 11:42   Link #102
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Madoka's biggest strength is probably that she doesn't make rash decisions, and she keeps a level head.
I'm kinda curious how you come to that conclusion, as all I've seen is an insecure, wavering Madoka who is very susceptible to pressure and would sacrifice herself despite the countless warnings she received.

Mami's death made her hesitate a little bit, but I think that she would have made the contract somewhere down the line if Homura wasn't there to stop her. After all, she came close in episode 5, when Kyouko and Sayaka were duking it out (Homura had to separate them to diffuse the situation), and even closer in episode 8 (right before Homura turned Kyubey into Swiss cheese).

Quote:
Yes, she cries a lot, but even in the midst of doing that, she doesn't lose her mind. You can give vent to sadness without giving reign to madness.
This, I agree with, though. The death of her friends definitely shook her up, but she hasn't gone over the edge, unlike Sayaka, who bottled up a lot of her sadness and kept putting up a mask in front of the others while hurting herself on the inside the more she learned about her inevitable fate.
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Old 2011-03-12, 11:59   Link #103
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Originally Posted by Lord of Fire View Post
I'm kinda curious how you come to that conclusion, as all I've seen is an insecure, wavering Madoka who is very susceptible to pressure and would sacrifice herself despite the countless warnings she received.
Well, warnings or not, a dead Sayaka is a dead Sayaka. A totaled city is a totaled city.

Even if Madoka is accepting the warnings given to her, the alternative is not always good or easy to accept, is it?

She's wavering because there's more than just her personal well-being and these warnings at play here. Do you want to just watch your best friend die when you have the power to save him or her?

It's not as clear-cut as some people are making it out to be, imo.

In fact, Madoka's wavering and insecurity shows me that she is being very thoughtful over her choices, and is seriously weighing the pros and cons.
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Old 2011-03-12, 12:33   Link #104
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I think that having a rash personality like Sayaka or Kyoko's goes a long way into becoming a Puella Magi.

However, Madoka's personality has less importance than other girls due to Homura's influence. Even if Madoka were emotionally cracked and constantly trying to contract with Kyubey, Homura would not allow Madoka to do so. I will say that the current Madoka needs tragic events as motivation in order to willingly contract with Kyubey. Events such as Sayaka turning into a witch and Homura losing to Walpurgi's Night. If nothing egregiously terrible happens, Madoka is unlikely to accept the contract.

Of interest is the wish the fourth Madoka made when she became a Puella Magi. The viewers do not see Madoka after she makes the contract, which leads me to question where she has gone. Considering Madoka killed Walpurgi's Night in one shot, I do not think she died or immediately turned into a witch (assuming Walpurgi's Night drops a Grief Seed). All the viewers see is Homura and Kyubey talking - I would think Madoka would stay with Homura. Where did the fourth Madoka go, and does it have any effect on the current timeline?

The most direct explanation I can see is that the fourth Madoka wished to become the most powerful Puella Magi ever. That would explain why the fourth Madoka was able to easily defeat Walpurgi's Night, while the other Madokas failed horribly because they wished for cake.

I hesitate to speculate about other wishes. We know very little about the fourth timeline - Mami, Kyoko, Sayaka are all noticeably absent from our view. It may be assumed that they were all Puella Magi and died in front of Madoka's eyes, as they were not present during the battle against Walpurgi's Night. However, it could very well be that Homura killed them instead and dealt with the witches herself. We do not even know if the fourth Madoka knew that Homura was a time-traveller. All we are shown is Madoka concerned about Homura's safety - logically, Madoka's concern would translate into a wish to become the most powerful Puella Magi.
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Old 2011-03-12, 13:14   Link #105
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In the fourth timeline, Mami could be killed by Charlotte or by Walpurgis early on, as in the first timeline. We know she doesn't do well against Walpurgis, even with Madoka by her side.
If Kyubei kept trying and failing to contract Madoka, it's possible he never even noticed Sayaka. If Mami survived until Walpurgis Night arrived, then Kyoko has no reason to be in Mitakihara.
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Old 2011-03-13, 04:18   Link #106
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After watching episode 10, I must appreciate Madoka.
Whoever can predict she has the great courage if she has become Puella Magi?

Actually I don't like her before watching this episode because she always behaved timidly.
What she needed must be the change of her surrounding.
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Old 2011-03-13, 08:50   Link #107
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Originally Posted by Misaka of Misaka View Post
What she needed must be the change of her surrounding.
I don't think so. The source of Madoka's meek nature is well explained in the series:

Madoka: "I thought I had nothing good going for me. I thought I would continue on living until I died, never helping anyone, never being useful. That made me frustrated, and it made me feel alone. But I thought I couldn't do anything about it."

Considering that, the only reason she behaves more confident in TIME LINE 1 is because she's already a magical girl. I don't think the writer wanted the audience to think it was actual character development, but rather to notice how instead of trying to better herself as a normal human, Madoka chose the easy way out and ended giving up her soul because of it.

In hindsight, the present Madoka will probably be a lot wiser, but let's see what happens.
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Old 2011-03-13, 09:03   Link #108
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
I don't think the writer wanted the audience to think it was actual character development, but rather to notice how instead of trying to better herself as a normal human, Madoka chose the easy way out and ended giving up her soul because of it.
So... fighting to defend your city, and saving lives (such as Homura's) is not "bettering yourself as a human being", eh? Wanting to make a real difference as a magical girl is "the easy way out", is that so?

I have to say, Kazu-kun, I find your position... very morally upsetting, shall we say.

There's every good reason in the world for Madoka to become a magical girl in the first two timelines. How is she supposed to know that Kyubey is "tricking her" (as Madoka herself puts it at the end of Timeline 3)?

There's nothing ignoble, or "easy way out", or "failing to better yourself as a human being", by choosing to fight for the welfare of other human beings. Quite the contrary, in fact.

So, in this timeline, do you think that Madoka should just sit back and watch her city be obliterated by Walpurgis Night, should Homura not be able to defeat it?

Again, the situation is not as cut and dried as some posters here are making it out to be. Walpurgis Night still remains as a threat that has to be dealt with.

Defending human lives and entire cities is still a great and admirable cause. There's nothing "easy way out" about it.
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Old 2011-03-13, 09:22   Link #109
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Defending human lives and entire cities is still a great and admirable cause. There's nothing "easy way out" about it.
That purpose itself is noble and admirable, but the actual source of that wish is not. Look at Sayaka. She wanted to help Kamijo. That is pretty noble, but the source of that wish is her longing for Kamijo to notice her.

Madoka is the same. She wants to help people. That's great. But why does she wants to do that? Because she has seen herself as worthless all her life.

The actual motivation of her wish may not be that relevant to you. But in this show, it matters, a lot.

Of course, the fact that there's no one except Homura to fight Walpurgis this time around puts things on a different perspective, and I do no mind if Madoka has to make a contract because there's no other options.

YET, it's extremely important, IMO, to keep in mind Madoka's original motivation. It's important because both it's the only way you can understand Madoka's character properly, and because I bet this element it's going to play out somehow in the final!!
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Old 2011-03-13, 09:28   Link #110
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
That purpose itself is noble and admirable, but the actual source of that wish is not. Look at Sayaka. She wanted to help Kamijo. That is pretty noble, but the source of that wish is her longing for Kamijo to notice her.
Ok, I see what you're saying here. Madoka's lack of self-esteem is not good, no. Just as Sayaka's degree of emotional dependency on a guy that shows almost no gratitude for all that she's done for him isn't good either.


Quote:

The actual motivation of her wish may not be that relevant to you.
I do think that it has some relevance, but I'm not sure how it'll impact how the anime plays out. Maybe she'll come up with a clever way of stopping Walpurgis Night without contracting with Kyubey, hence gaining self-esteem? Is that what you're thinking?


Quote:
Of course, the fact that there's no one except Homura to fight Walpurgis this time around puts things on a different perspective, and I do no mind if Madoka has to make a contract because there's no other options.
Yeah, that was a big part of my point to you in my previous post. I couldn't really fault Madoka for contracting with Kyubey now if Homura falls in battle against Walpurgis Night, and Madoka is the only one left who can stop it.


Quote:

YET, it's extremely important, IMO, to keep in mind Madoka's original motivation. It's important because both it's the only way you can understand Madoka's character properly, and because I bet this element it's going to play out somehow in the final!!
I hope that you're right, since it would likely mean a "not bad" ending. At the very least, a bittersweet ending.
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Old 2011-03-13, 09:47   Link #111
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I do think that it has some relevance, but I'm not sure how it'll impact how the anime plays out. Maybe she'll come up with a clever way of stopping Walpurgis Night without contracting with Kyubey, hence gaining self-esteem? Is that what you're thinking?
No. What I got in mind is something a bit more Urobuchi-like. Not because it's grimdark , but because it's more consistent with what have been foreshadowed. Let's face it, gaining powers without making a contract is almost an impossibility because the foreshadowing for that is almost non-existent.

I don't know if you noticed, but Madoka's witch form is a Mountain Spectre. This is not coincidence, since Mountain Spectre is related to Walpurgis Night in the folklore.

When I realized that, I wondered. Are they also related in this anime's plot??

Then it came to my mind Homura's and Kyoko's words about the balance between hope and despair....

So what did Homura wished for?: to became someone who can protect Madoka. What kind of despair would be the counterbalance to that hope? To become the one who brings death to Madoka (Madoka always dies or becomes a witch when she faces Walpurgis).

Can you see what I'm thinking? Yes, it's totally crazy, and yet, totally foreshadowed and logical. Let's say it together:

Walpurgis Night is witch Homura

The only con. I fond is that Kyoko knew about Walpurgis. That hints Walpurgis has appeared before in different moments of history. But then, Witch Homura would be a time witch, and so it wouldn't be so fartfeched to think Walpurgis travel through time between her attacks.

If this is true and not just misdirection, then I pretty sure I know what Madoka is going to wish for... but I'm not saying, at least not yet. It won't be another time loop though.
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Old 2011-03-13, 10:04   Link #112
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Walpurgis Night is witch Homura

You're gonna have to explain to me why it is then that WN was defeated in all timelines yet Homura was still alive afterwards.
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Old 2011-03-13, 10:08   Link #113
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You're gonna have to explain to me why it is then that WN was defeated in all timelines yet Homura was still alive afterwards.
Eh? Walpurgis would be her potential future, so just because Walpurgis is defeated doesn't mean Homura would disappear.

You have to remember that Walpurgis would be a time traveler too BTW.
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Old 2011-03-13, 11:09   Link #114
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What kind of despair would be the counterbalance to that hope?
Watching the person/people you're trying to save die over and over again despite your best efforts isn't enough of a curse?

I get that people see the similarities between Homura and Walpurgis and are trying to put them together to simultaneously explain what Walpurgis is and also figure out what the "Gen touch" of despair and irony will be for the ending but I just don't see it.

Remember that most people were pretty darn convinced Sayaka was going to be Walpurgis (even using charts!) and that didn't happen at all.
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Old 2011-03-13, 11:38   Link #115
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Watching the person/people you're trying to save die over and over again despite your best efforts isn't enough of a curse?
I'm thinking about it in terms of her becoming a witch. For example, when Sayaka became a witch, she said:

"She just ended up bearing a curse as powerful as her wish. She will now live cursing as many people as she had saved."

Considering that, if Homura does become a witch, then it stands to reason she would be the witch that brings Madoka's downfall.

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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I get that people see the similarities between Homura and Walpurgis and are trying to put them together to simultaneously explain what Walpurgis is and also figure out what the "Gen touch" of despair and irony will be for the ending but I just don't see it.
I just can't think Madaka's witch form being a Mountain Spectre is coincidence. Homura being Walpurgis also fits thematically.

If it's just misdirection, then so be it. I'm not afraid of being wrong you know.

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Remember that most people were pretty darn convinced Sayaka was going to be Walpurgis (even using charts!) and that didn't happen at all.
Well, they later changed Walpurgis design, and the new one, as you can see, doesn't resemble Sayaka's outfit as much as the original. I think they realized they unintentional made it too similar to Sayaka, which led to a lot of confusion.
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Old 2011-03-13, 11:57   Link #116
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
I'm thinking about it in terms of her becoming a witch. For example, when Sayaka became a witch, she said:

"She just ended up bearing a curse as powerful as her wish. She will now live cursing as many people as she had saved."

Considering that, if Homura does become a witch, then it stands to reason she would be the witch that brings Madoka's downfall.
I see where you're coming from, but I see it differently than you do. I don't think there is an actual "downside" to the wishes made. The curse comes from the choices made by the characters. For example Sayaka's wish had nothing to do with her genuine feelings, by which I mean what her actual wish and her true desire were totally different. Under her tough exterior was someone who couldn't bring herself to admit many things. Her love for Kamijou was one of them. This refusal to admit and accept was what created her tragedy and downfall. The real tragedy is that none of it needed to happen. Sayaka might have had the best of intentions but (and I hate to sound cold about it) she set herself up to fall.

Kyouko too, fell down this path. The difference is that she shouldered it instead of turning it inward like Sayaka did. Both isolated themselves from others which hurt their ability to come to grips with what they did.

I do agree there would be an interesting irony that Homura would be the Witch that is cursed to fight Madoka, but I don't personally believe it will happen like that.

Quote:
I just can't think Madaka's witch form being a Mountain Spectre is coincidence. Homura being Walpurgis also fits thematically.
I agree the Mountain Spectre fits thematically, not so much in regards to Homura being the Walpurgis. Then again, as you say....

Quote:
If it's just misdirection, then so be it. I'm not afraid of being wrong you know.
Glad to hear it. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that I don't agree. Neither of us can be proven right until these final episodes air, and there's a chance neither of us will ever be proven right. It's still fun to speculate, no?

Quote:
Well, they later changed Walpurgis design, and the new one, as you can see, doesn't resemble Sayaka's outfit as much as the original. I think they realized they unintentional made it too similar to Sayaka, which led to a lot of confusion.
The wiki notes that Walpurgis changed, but it's tough to say one way or another. The initial design may have been to mislead the audience, for all we know. Just like that damn cat. ><
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Old 2011-03-19, 13:40   Link #117
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post


I just can't think Madaka's witch form being a Mountain Spectre is coincidence. Homura being Walpurgis also fits thematically.
You know, she may not really be a solid mountain.....she could be just a colossal pile of Grief Seed energy or whatever it is that powers Witches
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Old 2011-03-19, 14:05   Link #118
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You know, she may not really be a solid mountain.....she could be just a colossal pile of Grief Seed energy or whatever it is that powers Witches
Eh... a mountain spectre is not a solid mountain. Anyway, here's wikipedia's description:

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Originally Posted by wikipedia
A Brocken spectre (German Brockengespenst), also called Brocken bow or mountain spectre is the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer, cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun. The phenomenon can appear on any misty mountainside or cloud bank, or even from an aeroplane, but the frequent fogs and low-altitude accessibility of the Brocken, a peak in the Harz Mountains in Germany, have created a local legend from which the phenomenon draws its name. The Brocken spectre was observed and described by Johann Silberschlag in 1780, and has since been recorded often in literature about the region. However it can be seen in any mountain region.
Also this:

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Originally Posted by wikipedia
In Germany, Walpurgisnacht, the night from 30 April to 1 May, is the night when witches are reputed to hold a large celebration on the Brocken and await the arrival of spring.

Walpurgis Night (in German folklore) the night of 30 April (May Day's eve), when witches meet on the Brocken mountain and hold revels with their gods..."

Brocken is the highest of the Harz Mountains of north central Germany. It is noted for the phenomenon of the Brocken spectre and for witches' revels which reputedly took place there on Walpurgis night.

The Brocken Spectre is a magnified shadow of an observer, typically surrounded by rainbow-like bands, thrown onto a bank of cloud in high mountain areas when the sun is low. The phenomenon was first reported on the Brocken.
—Oxford Phrase & Fable.
Anyway, Madoka's Witch is called Kriemhild Gretchen, but its form is that of a Mountain Spectre (aka Brocken Spectre or Brocken Bow).
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Old 2011-03-19, 14:53   Link #119
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Eh... a mountain spectre is not a solid mountain. Anyway, here's wikipedia's description:



Also this:



Anyway, Madoka's Witch is called Kriemhild Gretchen, but its form is that of a Mountain Spectre (aka Brocken Spectre or Brocken Bow).
Oh...you mean Brocken spectre...I see....I've never heard it called as mountain spectre before.
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Old 2011-03-19, 18:19   Link #120
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About the wish's curse:

I actually don't think of it as a "curse", but rather as a consequence of glossing over the complexity of life with the simplicity of a single wish. What Kyubey does is tie the "emotional energy" of a person's soul to a single wish. Think of it in terms of Buddhist attachment, if you will. You priviledge a single view of life and pledge your soul on it. This is a gambler's move and the odds are against you. You can win, but if you rely on it you're as much a fool as if you rely on a lottery ticket to finance your new house.

Part of why the wish often fails is because you have an incomplete (and possibly flat out wrong) understanding of the basic situation that gives rise to your wish. For example, did Sayaka know what "playing the violin" would mean to Kamijou? What if being able to play again is both a blessing (he loves music) and a curse (he'll feel stressed out by performance anxiety)? Does Sayaka ever address the possible downside of being good at playing the violin? (Nope, she's really acting more like fangirl than someone who wants to understand the guy himself.) What I'm saying here is that Sayaka made a wish for Kamijou without bothering to get to know him better beforehand. Healing someone's hand is good, isn't it? (I don't need to talk about Sayaka's own feelings here; there's a whole thread on her.)

On to Madoka. Thank you, Kazu-kun for quoting her. It's very useful to remember the words:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Madoka: "I thought I had nothing good going for me. I thought I would continue on living until I died, never helping anyone, never being useful. That made me frustrated, and it made me feel alone. But I thought I couldn't do anything about it."
Never helping anyone? Madoka's very supportive of her mom. She wakes her in the morning ("the epic drawing of the curtain" in ep1), and she helps her father put her to bed when she comes home too tired and drunk to go herself. [Notice how Madoka's "not again" reaction in that scene is probably the only sign of resentment (which is not targeted at Kyubey) she shows in the entire show so far, and it's pretty mild at that. What is she bottling up, here?]

She takes charge, when she has to, like grabbing that bucket to keep the witch-induced fanatics/incl. Hitomi from suiciding. And she grabs Sayaka's soulgem and throws it away. She saved people's lives in the former case, and she screwed up in the second (based on incomplete information).

Add to that how her general disposition ("kindness") cheers people up, and you get nothing like the above self-characterisation. She feels she's not helping anyone? She feels alone? There's something enormous bubbling under the surface. She'll have to face that, but once she's tied her soul to a wish in a soul-gem, it's too late.

Thought experiment: If you were Madoka's teacher and in charge of "career counselling", how would you deal with that? If all she ever tells you is that she has no special talents?
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