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Old 2011-03-19, 18:48   Link #121
Hagoshod
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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.

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.
Madoka clearly would have lost it after Mami's death in Timeline 3 if Homura hadn't been there to pat her on the shoulder.

Last edited by Hagoshod; 2011-03-19 at 19:01.
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Old 2011-03-19, 18:59   Link #122
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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.
You suggest there is a wish that can outsmart the system? Well, I think there exists no such human on Earth that can think of it.

As you say, wishes are inherently tied to emotions. Therefore, there can be no perfectly reasonable and foolproof wish. You might argue that a wish has no need to be perfect, only decent enough to result in a net gain of happiness for the wisher... to which I reply: humans are also unable to think of such a wish.

Take Mami, arguably the most successful wisher seen so far. Mami's wish was very simple: To live. Even she admits to crying at night out of loneliness - the pain of losing her family is overwhelming, and she has no one to replace them. Dying in the car crash might have been better after all, but it's quite debatable. Some argue the sheer simplicity of Mami's wish made it relatively successful, compared to other wishes. Ultimately, there was very little room to mess up the wish. You either live or you die.

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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.)
But we have never seen any of these negative effects ("curses") on Kyosuke - he was very happy to have regained his violin-playing ability.

You should have used Kyoko's past as an example. Kyoko's father committed suicide because all of his followers were mindless zombies. What Kyoko's father really wanted was for people to heed his teachings seriously. That was Kyoko's downfall.

It's true, a lack of understanding is the starting point of tragedy. However, in your example, it is more like Sayaka is unable to understand herself. She believed that Kyosuke's happiness would become her happiness. That is where she went wrong - Kyosuke didn't really care for Sayaka after she healed him. Ostensibly, Sayaka healed Kyosuke out of altrustic morals. Truthfully, Sayaka just wanted Kyosuke to love her. By fooling herself, Sayaka was her own demise.

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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.
Rarely, I agree with someone on this forum. Madoka is a nice person, and she can be brave. Madoka has also shown signs of cowardice and fear, but she's human. Humans lose their mind in severe circumstances. But when the ending comes, I think Madoka will summon the necessary courage to do what she feels is right.

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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?
I would recommend another counselor. Because if she really wanted my advice, I would tell her to work in McDonalds for the rest of her life.





Haha, just kidding. I would tell Madoka that she does have a special talent - genuinely caring about others. As corny as that sounds, it's very rare among people. To conclude, I would say that life is not about pursing what one is best at. It is about what one wishes to be.
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Old 2011-03-19, 19:09   Link #123
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Originally Posted by Hagoshod View Post
Madoka clearly would have lost it after Mami's death in Timeline 3 if Homura hadn't been there to pat her on the shoulder.
I disagree.

Madoka quickly nodded when Homura gave her a few words of encouragement, indicating agreement with Homura. That's hardly someone on the brink of completely losing it. I mean, don't get me wrong, Homura certainly was a big help here, but I don't think Madoka would have totally snapped without her.

Madoka was simply mourning given the situation. Who wouldn't, in her shoes?


So, I reiterate what I wrote:

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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Last edited by Triple_R; 2011-03-19 at 19:25.
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Old 2011-03-19, 19:33   Link #124
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I disagree.

Madoka quickly nodded when Homura gave her a few words of encouragement, indicating agreement with Homura.
It's the fact that Homura had to be there and comfort her that's the issue.

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That's hardly someone on the brink of completely losing it. I mean, don't get me wrong, Homura certainly was a big help here, but I don't think Madoka would have totally snapped without her.

Madoka was simply mourning given the situation. Who wouldn't, in her shoes
Let me just remind you of Madoka's emotional response to Homura's cheerful "Don't worry, we can still fight Walpurgis together!" line:



This is not the smile of someone who has regained complete control of their mental facilities. This is the smile of someone who is trying to make the best of a situation they know is abysmal, struggling to hide the despair that's eating them alive, and barely hanging on. If you take away Homura from that scene, she doesn't have a crutch to stand on.
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Old 2011-03-19, 19:57   Link #125
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Originally Posted by Hagoshod View Post


This is not the smile of someone who has regained complete control of their mental facilities. This is the smile of someone who is trying to make the best of a situation they know is abysmal, struggling to hide the despair that's eating them alive, and barely hanging on. If you take away Homura from that scene, she doesn't have a crutch to stand on.
Even though this is qualitative evidence, it's quite convincing.

If I were the opposing side, then I would avoid trying to argue that Madoka has a level head. Instead, Madoka's pure emotion is what will make this timeline different from the others. Against all feasible logic and previous experience, Madoka will summon the courage to do what she truly believes in.

But I'm not the opposing side, so please don't quote me and reply to this.
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Old 2011-03-19, 19:59   Link #126
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You suggest there is a wish that can outsmart the system? Well, I think there exists no such human on Earth that can think of it.
No, I don't think you can outsmart the system. I just think that the wish doesn't have to backfire. There are two components we're talking about here, really. (a) The wish and its effects, and (b) the soulgem and it's darkening. (a) can accellerate or slow down (b), but (b) is inevitable (unless you destroy the soulgem before it reaches critical mass, eventually you become a witch).

What I said is: you could be lucky, and you never get to regret your wish; i.e. nothing in the real world makes you doubt that you made the right decision. Until you become a witch, that is.

Quote:
Take Mami, arguably the most successful wisher seen so far. Mami's wish was very simple: To live. Even she admits to crying at night out of loneliness - the pain of losing her family is overwhelming, and she has no one to replace them. Dying in the car crash might have been better after all, but it's quite debatable. Some argue the sheer simplicity of Mami's wish made it relatively successful, compared to other wishes. Ultimately, there was very little room to mess up the wish. You either live or you die.
I absolutely agree with that. To clarify: Mami's post-wish lonliness is a result of the contract (i.e. of the act of wishing) rather than of the wish's content.

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But we have never seen any of these negative effects ("curses") on Kyosuke - he was very happy to have regained his violin-playing ability.
You're right there. Sayaka/Kamijou was a bad example, because it entails too much speculation on my part, and also because Sayaka's downfall is very complex, and it's hard to isolate specific issues. And, yes, Kyoko would have been the perfect example. Thanks for pointing it out.

(A minor quibble: I thought they portrayed Kamijou a bit more ambiguously. Especially the scene with him in the hospital bed flexing his fingers. Something in the visual/music style. But that's off-topic, here, so I'm not going into details.)

Quote:
It's true, a lack of understanding is the starting point of tragedy. However, in your example, it is more like Sayaka is unable to understand herself. She believed that Kyosuke's happiness would become her happiness. That is where she went wrong - Kyosuke didn't really care for Sayaka after she healed him. Ostensibly, Sayaka healed Kyosuke out of altrustic morals. Truthfully, Sayaka just wanted Kyosuke to love her. By fooling herself, Sayaka was her own demise.
I agree, actually. She was too scared to find out how Kamijou feels about her, used the wish to avoid the question (by rationalising it with her altruism spiel), and then beat herself up over not living up to her own standards. The way she later reacted to that jerk on the train goes directly back to this. You're right, the main part is that she doesn't understand herself too well. (Yes, I should have talked about Kyoko. )

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I would recommend another counselor. Because if she really wanted my advice, I would tell her to work in McDonalds for the rest of her life.
Lol

Quote:
Haha, just kidding. I would tell Madoka that she does have a special talent - genuinely caring about others. As corny as that sounds, it's very rare among people. To conclude, I would say that life is not about pursing what one is best at. It is about what one wishes to be.
Yep, it's no coincidence that she's the one who walks others to the infirmary in class. The question is whether she'll be able to believe you.
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Old 2011-03-19, 21:03   Link #127
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Originally Posted by Hagoshod View Post
It's the fact that Homura had to be there and comfort her that's the issue.

Let me just remind you of Madoka's emotional response to Homura's cheerful "Don't worry, we can still fight Walpurgis together!" line:



This is not the smile of someone who has regained complete control of their mental facilities. This is the smile of someone who is trying to make the best of a situation they know is abysmal, struggling to hide the despair that's eating them alive, and barely hanging on. If you take away Homura from that scene, she doesn't have a crutch to stand on.
When it comes to simply keeping her mental faculties, I don't think that Madoka needs a crutch to stand on.

That's not to take anything away from Homura. I do think that Madoka would have ultimately failed against Walpurgis Night without Homura's help (in Timeline 3). I get the sense that you might be upset over the idea that I'm downplaying Homura's contributions here. I'm not. Homura was hugely helpful to Madoka in Timeline 3.


Madoka just killed one of her friends, and witnessed two others besides die. The fact that she's not in a much worse state than this speaks volumes.

Of course she's not going to be in a great state in that exact moment.

But Madoka looks no worse there than someone grieving at a funeral.

I've been at a funeral for loved ones before.

I've grieved more or less just as Madoka is doing there.

That didn't mean I never had a level head, or that I was about to snap.


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Even though this is qualitative evidence, it's quite convincing.
No, it's not.

Madoka's reaction is perfectly reasonable for a person in her shoes in that instance. A lot of people, perhaps most people, would react much worse, if in her shoes.

This is not the image of a person about to snap.

It's the image of a person mourning.


Plus, Madoka's actions in that scene is a big part of the reason why I say that Madoka keeps a level head.

In that scene, Madoka kept control of her faculties enough to stop the person who really snapped. That person being Mami.

In the midst of all this death and tragedy, Madoka had the presence of mind needed to protect Homura, with a quick and decisive action.

Now that's keeping a level head. That's refusing to allow sadness to turn into madness.

In the end, actions speak louder than words, including the cries of a person in mourning.
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Old 2011-03-19, 21:42   Link #128
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She acted quickly to take out Mami as well; I think that's indicative of good reasoning abilities under pressure.
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Old 2011-03-19, 21:47   Link #129
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I was pretty surprised to see that Madoka was actually capable of doing that when it was necessary.

I guess I'm too used to the present whiny and powerless Madoka. ;<
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Old 2011-03-19, 21:50   Link #130
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Well, in any case Madoka has usually done the right thing (well, the best thing she COULD do) more often than not. So there might be a chance for the current one.

It also really tells you how events can change a person completely. When she didn't know about the truth, she was facing the problems fearlessly. As she began to know more and more about the truth, it became harder and harder. Until we get to this point where everything points to the fact that becoming an MG is just a bad thing.
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Old 2011-03-19, 21:50   Link #131
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She acted quickly to take out Mami as well; I think that's indicative of good reasoning abilities under pressure.
Yeah....someone who is mentally frail wouldn't be able to do that. Plus she could still fight the Walpurgis Nacht even in that state.
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Old 2011-03-19, 22:46   Link #132
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Don't get me wrong. I think Madoka has emotional fortitude. When Madoka kills Mami, she does it out of reason.

After Madoka killed Mami is when the water works started leaking out. That's when she started saying "No! I can't take this anymore!" as if she had given up hope. Actions speak louder than words? Madoka planting her sobbing face in her gloves could be thought of as a sign of mourning... but it looks like one of resignation and despair, if you ask me.

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Old 2011-03-19, 22:54   Link #133
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Don't get me wrong. I think Madoka has emotional fortitude. When Madoka kills Mami, she does it out of reason.

After Madoka killed Mami is when the water works started leaking out. That's when she started saying "No! I can't take this anymore!" as if she had given up hope. Actions speak louder than words? Madoka planting her sobbing face in her gloves could be thought of as a sign of mourning... but it looks like one of resignation and despair, if you ask me.

She could still fight the WN.....yes I have no doubt she was irreversibly damaged but fact is she could still FIGHT. You don't win without being able to muster your emotions even if temporarily.
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Old 2011-03-20, 02:09   Link #134
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I don't think anyone has ever agreed with me so much... are you my secret admirer in disguise?

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No, I don't think you can outsmart the system. I just think that the wish doesn't have to backfire. There are two components we're talking about here, really. (a) The wish and its effects, and (b) the soulgem and it's darkening. (a) can accellerate or slow down (b), but (b) is inevitable (unless you destroy the soulgem before it reaches critical mass, eventually you become a witch).

What I said is: you could be lucky, and you never get to regret your wish; i.e. nothing in the real world makes you doubt that you made the right decision. Until you become a witch, that is.
I suppose that is possible. Mami, who had just about nothing to lose and everything to gain, stated she was happy to have become a savior of humanity. In exchange, Mami admit to being extremely lonely; I think she was hiding some of her regret. Maybe it is more reasonable to say that one's wish can be worth the regret.

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Yep, it's no coincidence that she's the one who walks others to the infirmary in class. The question is whether she'll be able to believe you.
For humanity's sake, I hope she does.
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Old 2011-03-20, 05:53   Link #135
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I don't think anyone has ever agreed with me so much... are you my secret admirer in disguise?
Just trying not to get lost in a semantic swamp. For example, about Madoka's reaction after killing Mami:

Triple_R: "mourning"
Deconstructor: "resignation", "despair"

Dawnstorm's first reaction: neither, really. She's just releasing all the emotional pressure of the situation, once the threat is gone. "Mourning", "Resignation" and "despair" may come later.

Dawnstorm thinks some more: So do I disagree with anyone here about Madoka? Or maybe I'm just using the words differently?

Normally, when I'm finally ready to post, the thread has moved on, and any post I could make is rendered irrelevant by lots of others pretty much having made my point. If people reply to my posts to counter some stuff I stay, I usually reply.

The main effect of Hagoshod's posting of the pictures (thanks, Hagoshod) on me was: oh my god, I never realised how great the art is at expressing emotions. A picture says more than a thousand words.
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Old 2011-03-20, 06:37   Link #136
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I guess I'm too used to the present whiny and powerless Madoka. ;<
Madoka saved people from a mass suicide in episode 4 and quickly took action to stop Sayaka from fighting in episode 6 ,the latter turned out to not be such a good idea but it does show that even current TL Madoka can make quick decisions.
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Old 2011-03-21, 20:09   Link #137
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Madoka saved people from a mass suicide in episode 4 and quickly took action to stop Sayaka from fighting in episode 6 ,the latter turned out to not be such a good idea but it does show that even current TL Madoka can make quick decisions.
Homura may or may not realize this yet, but in spite of the no-win situation Kyubey's put her by removing Kyoko, this timeline is the most hopeful yet as far as saving Madoka from contracting.

In the first few timelines it's strongly hinted (based on what we know of Madoka's character) that part of Madoka's reasoning behind becoming a puella magi was because she believed she was valueless otherwise. In timeline 4, Homura tried not to involve her at all, and because of that when the time to contract came, Madoka eagerly sacrificed herself for Homura because she hadn't been through the character development that totoum mentions above. In this timeline, Madoka is developing a sense of self worth and empowerment as a human, albeit at a dangerously slow pace.

Madoka's happy ending -- if she is to have one -- will almost have come from the epiphany that she has worth as a person, and not just as a martyr for others.
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Old 2011-04-22, 14:36   Link #138
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Madoka, wherever you are... Thanks a million, and rather than a goodbye, I hope I'll be seeing you again, in a better time and place.


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Old 2011-04-22, 15:54   Link #139
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I need someone to replace this guy with Madoka, and either use an English voice, or some random Japanese with a subtitle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUxFiNlrDmA
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Old 2011-04-22, 16:47   Link #140
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So how many people feel that Madoka wasn't a sacrifice but a savior?
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