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View Poll Results: Madoka Magica - Favourite Character(s) Poll
Kaname Madoka 125 43.10%
Akemi Homura 198 68.28%
Miki Sayaka 80 27.59%
Tomoe Mami 97 33.45%
Sakura Kyoko 122 42.07%
Kyubei 77 26.55%
Shizuki Hitomi 7 2.41%
Kamijou Kyousuke 4 1.38%
Kaname Junko 36 12.41%
Kaname Tomohisa 6 2.07%
Kaname Tatsuya 17 5.86%
Saotome Kazuko 6 2.07%
Other 6 2.07%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 290. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-05-12, 10:03   Link #61
White Manju Bun
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So I think some of you feel that character development is an issue, which explains for personality and relationship discrepancies, and sudden changes in behavior.
Development of certain characters was an issue for me. Nothing (to me) really stood out about the girls, nothing (to me) made them really that likable and I want to have some emotional attachment to characters when I watch them. Homaru stood out the most since she was the only one who didn't buy into QB's talk and basically I wanted to know why, thats what kept me watching it. Yeah she's tsundere but all the girls were a cliche of something. But a bad love-triangle, the girl who goes from villain to friend, and Madoka's...issues, just didnt grab me. I'm about to go off an a tangent, will save further character analysis for the Overall Series thread.
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Old 2011-05-12, 10:46   Link #62
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If it weren't for that 12-episode choker, the characters would've been more memorable once they get enough development in personality over time. Me, being a fanfic writer, I have no choice except to delve deeper through writing.
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Old 2011-05-12, 15:02   Link #63
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I do think that some characters had changed and snapped a bit too fast, this show did great with 12 episodes but I think it would do even better if it had several more.
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Old 2011-05-12, 17:32   Link #64
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Voted for hero of justice Sayaka.
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Old 2011-05-13, 06:28   Link #65
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Development of certain characters was an issue for me. Nothing (to me) really stood out about the girls, nothing (to me) made them really that likable and I want to have some emotional attachment to characters when I watch them. Homaru stood out the most since she was the only one who didn't buy into QB's talk and basically I wanted to know why, thats what kept me watching it. Yeah she's tsundere but all the girls were a cliche of something. But a bad love-triangle, the girl who goes from villain to friend, and Madoka's...issues, just didnt grab me. I'm about to go off an a tangent, will save further character analysis for the Overall Series thread.
To Gen's credit, he left a number of background details for us to speculate on and shape up the girls' personalities further. Mami and Kyouko's backstories, Madoka's image in past timelines - it all sums up gradually. But of course, giving enough character development for such a cast in 12 episodes is a tough ride. That's why people pay attention to CD dramas and the currently running Oriko, since both are written by Urobuchi and promise to outline the characters more. And like someone said here already, if the authors really come up with a slice-of-life second season, its main potential value will be in giving the characters more screentime for development. Of course, it might be debatable whether ordinary life can show the true character as much as critical situations (which the main plot bathed in)... but Urobuchi's invoilved again, the slice-of-life part will be... temporary at best.
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Old 2011-05-13, 07:27   Link #66
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They should have just decreased the number of characters, no? Or skip Madoka's longwinded ramblings throughout the whole series or focus less on Sayaka jumping up and down 4 episodes long.

I personally like 12 episode shows; forces the producers to cut the chase, take out all the mundane stuff, to go on with the plot/character development. Of course things can also go horribly wrong when producers have a too long/complicated plot or too many characters in mind. *cough*Angel Beats!*cough*
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Old 2011-05-13, 10:34   Link #67
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^Yeah, I heard Angel Beats WAS supposed to have more episodes initially. The director was NOT amused when the duration was cut in half.
But as to Madoka... I can't even think of who to dispose of for the sake of giving other characters more room... Rushed and cliche or not, all five girls did touch my heart's strings...
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Old 2011-05-13, 11:44   Link #68
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They should have just decreased the number of characters, no? Or skip Madoka's longwinded ramblings throughout the whole series or focus less on Sayaka jumping up and down 4 episodes long.

I personally like 12 episode shows; forces the producers to cut the chase, take out all the mundane stuff, to go on with the plot/character development. Of course things can also go horribly wrong when producers have a too long/complicated plot or too many characters in mind. *cough*Angel Beats!*cough*
Angel Beats had two or even three times as many characters as Madoka, and in the latter case, one died pretty quickly, meaning we only had four true main characters to deal with. How many more would you have found necessary to remove?

In theory, the small number of characters in Madoka could have resulted in a lot of character development, but this isn't a character-driven anime, but a story-driven one, and given the number of episodes, either the story or the character development had to take a step back. Considering a lot of people would probably complain more if the story ended up being torn to pieces, I think they did well in doing it like this. If they want to flesh out the characters more, they can use the manga for it, or that slice of life sequel that Shinbou wants, or even both (should the latter get green-lit).

For the most part, I think we can deduct our own conclusions for the characters, but there will always be something we can't figure out without outside help.
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Old 2011-05-14, 22:33   Link #69
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Homu
Madoka
Mami
Kyouko
Junko

Hitomi was my least favorite followed by kamijou and sayaka
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Old 2011-05-15, 14:31   Link #70
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To say now that I wasn't really serious about cutting out characters isn't going to help me out of this one, is it?

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Angel Beats had two or even three times as many characters as Madoka, and in the latter case, one died pretty quickly, meaning we only had four true main characters to deal with. How many more would you have found necessary to remove?
Sure you can't remove any of them if you take the plot as is. A story isn't written after the anime where the story takes part in aired, no? What I'm trying to say is is that they probably could've achieved the same thing with less characters and, naturally, with a different plot (not overall story). They only had 12 episodes after all, so they had to make compromises. I was trying to say they could do that by cutting out a character or two (or give them less scenes) to deepen the remaining ones.

But on the other hand, I agree that Madoka Magica isn't necessarily about the characters and that it focuses on story progression instead; it's a tough world to explain after all. If you make the following division of the 12 episodes:

Episode 1 to 3 - Mami - Show them how scary it is
Episode 4 to 9 - Sayaka and Kyoko - Show them how a wish can backfire and the hidden information behind the Puella Magi thing
Episode 10 to 11 - Homura - Show them who I am and what's actually happening
Episode 12 - Madoka - I rule the world!

It's clear that all the main characters have a role to play and they're thrown away just about when they've fulfilled their jobs.

That said, this thread is about characters and favorites. Knowing that the series is story-driven doesn't make up for the dull, inconsistent and/or plain awkward characters.

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If they want to flesh out the characters more, they can use the manga for it, or that slice of life sequel that Shinbou wants, or even both (should the latter get green-lit).
Can't agree with your here. I doubt you want to read a book just to be told at the last page 'the answer is in the sequel, go buy it!'.
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Old 2011-05-15, 14:46   Link #71
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Can't agree with your here. I doubt you want to read a book just to be told at the last page 'the answer is in the sequel, go buy it!'.
Of course not; that's stupid. But you can finish a book and say, "Hey, I really like this story/these characters, so I want to hear more about them." And if a character wasn't fully explored in the first book, there's nothing wrong with picking up the second in the hopes of seeing more of that character; I've done exactly that a number of times.
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Old 2011-05-15, 15:08   Link #72
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Of course not; that's stupid. But you can finish a book and say, "Hey, I really like this story/these characters, so I want to hear more about them." And if a character wasn't fully explored in the first book, there's nothing wrong with picking up the second in the hopes of seeing more of that character; I've done exactly that a number of times.
Depends how those stories and characters are placed in the first product you mentioned. If it's a fully concluded story and/or well developed characters, yes, going for a sequel is not strange at all. But when something is missing (like what I suggested in your quotation), it's a different story. Then it isn't "Hey, I really like this story/these characters, so I want to hear more about them.", but "Hey, what in the world happened in the end and who in the world is that guy?". It's as if one can't judge a certain product without being redirected to other works.
In Madoka Magica's case, it seems that we agree that the characters are indeed underdeveloped. But can we can call it something that 'should have been there?

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Old 2011-05-15, 15:11   Link #73
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My favourite characters are the five Puella Magi. They all bring something new to the table that combine to help make this series great.
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Old 2011-05-15, 15:41   Link #74
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Depends how those stories and characters are placed in the first product you mentioned. If it's a fully concluded story and/or well developed characters, yes, going for a sequel is not strange at all. But when something is missing (like what I suggested in your quotation), it's a different story. Then it isn't "Hey, I really like this story/these characters, so I want to hear more about them.", but "Hey, what in the world happened in the end and who in the world is that guy?". It's as if one can't judge a certain product without being redirected to other works.
In Madoka Magica's case, it seems that we agree that the characters are indeed underdeveloped. But can we can call it something that 'should have been there?
Can the holes in characterization really be called something that is 'missing' from the series, though? As far as I recall there was never a moment where I had to sit back and truly wonder why the characters were acting the way they were, and honestly, I never noticed any strict problems until you brought it up. Yeah they're underdeveloped, and yeah spending more time fleshing them out would have been nice, but with the length of the story that's perfectly understandable. Of course that doesn't mean that I'm in favor of the idea that all problems would be solved had the series been longer; quite the opposite actually, since there really wasn't enough material to warrant more than maybe 2-3 more episodes.

Fleshing out the characters would be nice, and Madoka Magica has enough going for it in its story to make a sequel something I'd pounce on eagerly; if said sequel fleshes out the characters more, then that's just a bonus. That's all I was arguing.
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Old 2011-05-15, 16:21   Link #75
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Can the holes in characterization really be called something that is 'missing' from the series, though? As far as I recall there was never a moment where I had to sit back and truly wonder why the characters were acting the way they were.
Really? Never wonder, for instance, why Madoka always wanted to help people so badly??

The reason Homura wanted to save Madoka is properly developed in episode 10, but Madoka's reason for wanting to help people is just glossed over and never developed. And she's the freaking main character, so her motivations should be extremely clear so we can relate to her properly. As it is, it seems Madoka's strong desire to help others is just a trait given to her by default to make the story work, and while that's pretty common in other shows of the genre, I feel Madoka should have been above such plot conveniences.
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Old 2011-05-15, 16:27   Link #76
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Really? Never wonder, for instance, why Madoka always wanted to help people so badly??

The reason Homura wanted to save Madoka is properly developed in episode 10, but Madoka's reasons for wanting to help people is just glossed over and never developed. And she's the freaking main character, so her motivations should be extremely clear so we can related to her properly. As it is, it seems Madoka's strong desire to help others is just a trait given to her by default, to make the story work, and while that's pretty common in other shows of the genre, I feel Madoka should have been above such plot conveniences.
It isn't as if it goes completely undeveloped. Quite a lot of attention is given to Madoka's apparent inferiority complex, and while that doesn't fully explain the zeal with which she approaches helping people, it does provide some explanation. It isn't a fully satisfying explanation, but it's still leaps and bounds above the common trope of helping others, "Just 'cause."
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Old 2011-05-15, 16:49   Link #77
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It isn't as if it goes completely undeveloped. Quite a lot of attention is given to Madoka's apparent inferiority complex, and while that doesn't fully explain the zeal with which she approaches helping people, it does provide some explanation. It isn't a fully satisfying explanation, but it's still leaps and bounds above the common trope of helping others, "Just 'cause."
Really? Then can you tell me what is the source of her inferiority complex? Homura has one too, and the source of it is also neatly explained by her illness and lack friends. But in Madoka's case, we don't know.

So, not only Madoka's inferiority complex doesn't fully explain her desire to help others, but it isn't even properly explained to begin with. With Homura you have both, a proper explanation for her insecurity as well as a properly developed reason for wanting to help Madoka. In Madoka's case, you have neither.

So I disagree. To me, it seems pretty much "just 'cause," or worst: because it was needed for the plot to work.
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Old 2011-05-15, 16:59   Link #78
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The lack of explanation for why she has an inferiority complex (though there are some things we can infer on, I guess) and its inability to fully explain her desire to help others is what I meant by it being unsatisfactory as an explanation.

But it's not really a "Just 'cause," explanation, since we at least have something that begins to explain her mindset. As I said it wasn't a perfect or even a good explanation, but it's still an explanation, and it didn't have me sitting back, trying to figure out what might have caused it (and with a character like Madoka, her inferiority complex could have stemmed from any number of things). So yes, it's unsatisfactory and annoying, but that doesn't change the fact that it wasn't damning enough for me to dwell on it.
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Old 2011-05-15, 17:12   Link #79
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But it's not really a "Just 'cause," explanation, since we at least have something that begins to explain her mindset. As I said it wasn't a perfect or even a good explanation, but it's still an explanation, and it didn't have me sitting back, trying to figure out what might have caused it (and with a character like Madoka, her inferiority complex could have stemmed from any number of things). So yes, it's unsatisfactory and annoying, but that doesn't change the fact that it wasn't damning enough for me to dwell on it.
Sorry but I disagree. I expect Sayaka's self righteousness not to be explained because she's just a plot device, but Madoka's the main character, and her motivations should be properly explained because it's supposed to be the driving force behind her actions. And I'm not saying it's unsatisfactory or annoying (I don't care about that); it's just that this is no way to write a main character, and I should know, being a film student and all...
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Old 2011-05-15, 17:33   Link #80
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Err, I don't think we're really disagreeing on much here... Yes Madoka wasn't properly explained, yes she should have been, and yes that is no way to write a main character. I perfectly agree on all that. The only distinction I'm making is that it wasn't such a big deal to me that it was damning; I'm willing to forgive it, because we at least got something beyond the writers saying, "That's just how it is; suck it up and deal with it." But yes, I would have liked something better, and there should have been something better in a show like this. There's no denying that.
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