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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 2011-05-17, 05:09   Link #101
BlueWitch
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My vote also goes to all the witches, such creative and beautiful characters, my favorites would be W.N, Elsa Maria, Octavia, and Charlotte because she's just too cute.
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Old 2011-05-17, 05:36   Link #102
CrimsonSunshine
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My votes went to:

Homura Akemi
Do I need a reason? A strong willed fighter determined to save her best friend from a tragic fate! That reminds me of another certain anime girl... With that aside, there's no way Homerun wouldn't get my vote!

Sayaki Miki
Why does she have so little votes for one of the main characters? She's not that popular, huh... Ironic that she's my favorite character, too. She's free spirited and fun, but also has a heart of a young girl in love. If only this anime was a bit longer, we could have seen a bit more to Sayaka's character than a girl in love with Kyosuke, and well, what happened afterwards too, of course... Her downfall was heartbreaking! I love Sayaka!

Kyoko Sakura
Scratch that. Kyoko and Sayaka are equally awesome in my perspective. I love how hot blooded she is, and her love of food. o u o;

Kyubei
If you do consider him a villain, he's one of the best villains known to anime. Ever. Cute and creepy!

Kyosuke Kamijo
Why did I vote for him again? He was a jerk to Sayaka... But, I suppose his previous and seemingly kind attitude he had in the first couple episodes just stuck with me til the end. I actually think he's adorable.

Tatsuya Kaname
Well, background characters need votes too. Plus, just look at him! Adorable! Adorable!

I should have voted for Mami, but I thought that it'd seem odd to vote for all of the Puella Magi except the main character, right? Madoka... didn't interest me.
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Old 2011-05-17, 06:12   Link #103
Snork
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Two votes for Kamijou already... Let Sayaka's smile from above be your reward, guys.

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If we're talking about motivations, then yes, it does. Think about Homura, or Yuma from the Oriko manga. The motivations behind their actions are so clear you don't even have to think to understand their behavior.
Good examples, but different IMHO. What we try to dig up here is the motvation behind Madoka's personality, right? Well, it might seem that Urobuchi gives us plenty of it for the other characters... except that it's not the motivation behind their personalities, but rather the CHANGE they underwent. Homura wasn't a pragmatic cold badass from the start. Kyouko is implied to have been as idealistic as Sayaka. Yuma might have easily been your average sweet little girl before her family started cracking up and her mother took to lashing out at her horribly. In all of these cases, we are not given the motivation behind the original personalities, but the altered ones, and it always takes some significant (down to shocking) events to cause that change.
In Madoka's case, we may debate about her kind-heartedness and will to help others, and complain about the lack of motivation for that as long as we wish. But her self-sacrificing traits don't seem innate, if you come to think of it. They are partly based upon her original personality (which becomes part of motivation itself here) plus the events she undergoes - the acquisition of magical powers , feeling like a hero that IS useful to the world, losing her friends in battle, finding out the truth behind the system... In timeline 5, Madoka clearly wasn't self-sacrificiing from the start, and that's presumably why she apologises tearfully to Mami in episode 4 (she's too shocked and scared to become a magical girl, even knowing that her wish might be able to bring Mami back). Then, as her best friend becomes involved and squashed under the pressure of the system, she becomes desperate to help her. And by the episode 12, having learnt enough the HARD way and realising that people around her are in danger and the girl who have been trying to protect her is going to perish inevitably... That pretty much does it. There were many talks about the reasons behind Madoka's self-denial, but it seems to me it's not in her character - that's in the CHANGE she undergoes due to the events of the show.
And original personalities... good luck guessing the motivation behind them. Why is Madoka so sweet? Why is Sayaka so energetic yet shy around the guy she likes (such combo is common, but NOT obligatory)? Why is Kamijou so oblivious? And so on and so forth.
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Old 2011-05-17, 10:41   Link #104
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Kazu-Kun, remember how a long time ago on the Spoilers and Speculations thread I debated in favor of the idea that Madoka wants to be extraordinarily helpful?

Well, there you go. That's a lot of Madoka's motivation when all is said and done, in my opinion.
No. In the end, it seems you were right about Madoka wanting to be somewhat extraordinary. But that's a goal, not a motivation. It's the motivations/drive/reason behind that goal what's nowhere to be seen.

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Good examples, but different IMHO. What we try to dig up here is the motvation behind Madoka's personality, right? Well, it might seem that Urobuchi gives us plenty of it for the other characters... except that it's not the motivation behind their personalities, but rather the CHANGE they underwent.
No exactly. The original personalty and the change are related. In fact, the change only makes sense in the context of their original personalities. For example, before meeting Madoka Homura was really really lonely because of her illness and lack of friends (that's a trait of her original personality), so it makes sense that Homura would end up wanting to save Madoka because Madoka was the first one to reach to her and became her friend.

So, as you see, you can only understand the change/action of a character, if you understand the character before that change, and for that, you need to know what makes the character tick.

I understand Homura (because of her illness) and I understand Kyoko (being the kid of a priest) but there's no way I can understand Sayaka (why so self-righteous?) or even less Madoka (why did she want to help people to that extant, way beyond a normal desire to be helpful??)
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Old 2011-05-17, 11:52   Link #105
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
No. In the end, it seems you were right about Madoka wanting to be somewhat extraordinary. But that's goal, not a motivation. It's the motivations/drive/reason behind that goal what's nowhere to be seen.
Some people want power simply for the sake of having power. They don't have anything particular in mind that they need the power for, they just find the concept of wielding power enticing in and of itself. I know of politicians like that. So, for them, the acquisition of power is a goal as well as a motivation.


Likewise, some people want to help others just for the sake of helping others. There's nothing in particular that they hope to gain from that, other than, perhaps, the satisfaction of knowing that they helped other people. Madoka is such a person, I think.

But if you really need a reason for why Madoka wants to help others, I would say it's partly because she feels uniquely fortunate to have the family and friends and life that she has, and hence feels that to be deserving of such a charmed existence she needs to give back to the world around her. The irony here is that by acting on this motivation, the nature of Madoka's own existence is changed irrevocably.

Sayaka, I think, was motivated in a similar way (Sayaka implied that herself with her own words), except that romantic longing caused her feelings to focus much more on one particular person: Kamijou.


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but there's no way I can understand Sayaka (why so self-righteous?)
Why is Sayaka "self-righteous" in your opinion?


Sayaka is actually pretty normal, in my view. Especially for a teenage girl. She has a fairly typical streak of youthful idealism, hardly anything out of the ordinary.

I think where some viewers misjudge Sayaka is in evaluating her actions through the prism of our 3rd person omniscient perspective, along with us being fairly genre savvy and knowing who the writer of Madoka Magica is.

But Sayaka has none of that of course. To properly evaluate Sayaka and her actions, you have to keep in mind how other characters and plot events come across to her, and of the limitations in knowledge that she has to work with.

So when a new transfer student shows up at Madoka's school, puts up an impeccable cold front, and asks Madoka some rather "out there" questions about whether or not Madoka loves the people she cares about, Sayaka naturally is quite disturbed by this when she sees it and/or hears about it.

Wouldn't you be disturbed and weirded out if your best friend was approached by a complete stranger asking her if she cares about her loved ones or not?

While Homura's actions are quite understandable given her situation, it's also quite understandable how and why Sayaka could develop a generally negative view of Homura.

Then, later on, Homura tries to kill a strange and seemingly defenseless/harmless creature (Kyubey). Homura then later refuses Mami's olive branch offering of a grief seed gift, free of charge. In both of these cases, I can see why Homura made the decisions that she did, but that doesn't impact on how Sayaka views it.

Sayaka naturally comes to view Homura as a weird, powerful, and dangerous delinquent. Sayaka is incorrect in that assessment, of course, but can you really blame her for thinking that? I certainly can't.


On the other end of things, Sayaka and Madoka are rescued by the gallant, stylish, and charming Mami. Oh, and the cool, calm, and collected Mami too (going by outward appearances). Why wouldn't Sayaka take a strong liking towards Mami? Why wouldn't Madoka, for that matter?

Then Sayaka and Madoka find out that these bizarre super-powered beings called "witches" are causing serious problems, up to and including causing people to attempt suicide. Well, I can certainly understand a person wanting to shy away from these dangerous opponents, but at the same time it's not hard to see why somebody would want to put a stop to them either. If nothing else, Sayaka and Madoka would understandably want to ensure that their families and friends can't be victimized by these witches.

Through all of this, Mami seems trustworthy enough, and Kyubey isn't doing or saying much to give away his true motivations. Oh, sure, we viewers have reason to suspect Kyubey because we know this is a Gen Urobuchi-wrote story, but Sayaka and Madoka don't know that. Putting aside cynicism (which, it's important to remember, tends to come with age), there's not much reason for Sayaka or Madoka to think that Mami and Kyubey are anything but on "the up and up". And heck, they were right about Mami at least.


Later on Sayaka runs into Kyouko, and Kyouko rather forcefully states that familiars should be allowed to roam free to become witches. Well, such an approach will lead to more innocent people being victimized, at least in the short term. Sayaka is quite correct in bringing that up.

Is it really that hard to see why Sayaka wouldn't want to let innocent people be victimized when a few sword slashes on her part can prevent it? I don't think you need to be "self-righteous" to feel that way, or to take exception to a person arguing that it's Ok to just throw innocent lives away for pragmatic purposes. I mean, weren't most people here arguing against such "ends justify the means" logic when arguing at length against Kyubey, even before the "magical girls become witches" reveal was made?

Now that's not to say that Kyouko's cynicism wasn't understandable given what we later find out about her background, but nor is Sayaka's idealism something that should be hard to understand and find reasonable given the circumstances.


Not in every conflict is one person "right" and the other person "wrong". In many conflicts, both sides have understandable reasons for taking the position that they're taking, and it's simply a matter of different backgrounds and/or different degrees of knowledge helping to shape different perspectives.

In fact, one of the understated strengths of Madoka Magica is how raw, real, and ambiguous many of its moral and philosophical conflicts are. The disagreements between Sayaka and Homura, Sayaka and Kyouko, and Sayaka and Madoka, all seem reasonable and even realistic to me. In all cases, I see where both sides are coming from, and I see where both sides have good arguments that can be made.

Sayaka is simply a pretty normal girl with fairly conventional moral values (thrown into a world that's anything but conventional, unfortunately for her ).

Did she make many mistakes? Sure, but a lot of that has to do with Sayaka not having all the facts to work with, or even knowing where to go to find those facts.
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Old 2011-05-17, 12:52   Link #106
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Some people want power simply for the sake of having power. They don't have anything particular in mind that they need the power for, they just find the concept of wielding power enticing in and of itself. I know of politicians like that. So, for them, the acquisition of power is a goal as well as a motivation.

Likewise, some people want to help others just for the sake of helping others. There's nothing in particular that they hope to gain from that, other than, perhaps, the satisfaction of knowing that they helped other people. Madoka is such a person, I think.
Madoka is not a person, is a character, and you said it yourself, her will to save and help others is not ordinary, and so, it needs a more clear and greater reason that just "the satisfaction of knowing that they helped other people". That's just how you write a character: a clear and fitting motivation makes them easier to relate to, more human.

For instance, the most interesting American superheroes have clear and proper motivations: Spider-man has his guilt over the death of his uncle, Batman the death of his father, etc. The superheroes without proper motivations come from weaker narratives, and even then, new movies or tv series will come out to give those characters more depth (aka, better and more clear motivations behind their actions), the Smallville series comes to mind.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But if you really need a reason for why Madoka wants to help others, I would say it's partly because she feels uniquely fortunate to have the family and friends and life that she has, and hence feels that to be deserving of such a charmed existence she needs to give back to the world around her.
I don't need it, I don't even care. The narrative needed it. And if what you say is all there's behind Madoka's actions and goals, then she's just another Sakura or Nanoha, another cliche. Still, I agree with you, and frankly, for the sort of series Madoka is, it's just not enough (or clear enough, either).

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Sayaka, I think, was motivated in a similar way (Sayaka implied that herself with her own words), except that romantic longing caused her feelings to focus much more on one particular person: Kamijou.
If you have to think about it, it means it's not clear enough. Take Kyoko for a counter example: She was the kid of the priest (that's the core of it) and so she wanted to save the world and believed in noble ideals, etc. I don't even have to think about it; since the moment I learn she's the kid of a priest, the rest just makes sense. And of course, it also makes sense that she goes 180 when all her ideals are betrayed (her own father, the source of her ideals, killing himself and his family).

So what about Sayaka. Do we even know her parents? No. And her friends are just normal school friends, nothing more. So, why are her ideals as strong, if not stronger than Kyoko's?

We don't know, and since we don't know, we have to think, we have to assume, and that defeats the purpose. Analyzing actions and ideals of a character to discern the motivations behind those actions is an oxymoron, since the motivations are supposed to be there to explain those actions and ideals in the first place.
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Old 2011-05-17, 12:55   Link #107
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The whole problem with Sayaka is that pride was bitting her in the ass. If she were to accept the soul gem from Kyouko and Homura, she would still live.

She had dug her own grave with her own foolishness and pridefulness.

Even though her crazy moments were cool, I can't really sympafize with her.
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Old 2011-05-17, 15:26   Link #108
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The whole problem with Sayaka is that pride was bitting her in the ass. If she were to accept the soul gem from Kyouko and Homura, she would still live.
My own view here is that Sayaka really was feeling suicidal when she refused the grief seed from Kyouko and Homura, and was somewhat hiding that behind a prideful facade. In other words, she wasn't refusing the grief seed because she was too proud to accept it, but because she really did want to die and saw the grief seed as a Puella Magi form of life support that would keep her alive longer than she wanted to.

I think that Homura threatens to kill Sayaka in order to confront precisely this suicidal drive. Homura is basically forcing Sayaka to ask herself "Do I really want to die?"


Sayaka's rapidly worsening situation (and Hitomi's discussion with her about Kamijou in particular) basically drove her to a point where she wanted to die.
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Old 2011-05-17, 16:47   Link #109
kaigan
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Her desire to help others even at the cost of her life has always been there, even before knowing about Magical girls, as explained in the drama cd.
Madoka displays a strong desire to help others, yes, always. but, it's not always helping others at the cost of her life. just i like i said before, i remember only one instance of this and she did do this willingly with a smile on her face. the wish cost her life and existence.

the other instances of helping others, don't involve the cost of madoka's (normal human) life at all. then, when she did become a pm (and in the capacity of being a pm helping others) in all timelines except the last one, those just involve taking risks.

taking risks is different from doing things at the cost of one's life. there are high and low risks. and at worst, high risks involve the possibility of death too. in any case, by risking alone, one can still go unscatched, if you do better and be careful. safe. but at "the cost of one's life" it is terminal. you are exchanging something wholly and completely for something else in a single proceeding. and there is only one end here, and that is death, no more exit.

i'm saying this because the situation when madoka became a pm in ep 12 is entirely different from the rest when she became a pm or at least, she attempted to. in ep 12, madoka knew the 'full rewards/consequences' of her action. and she bet her life on it. she exchanged her life for a single wish.

her other attempts of becoming a pm, don't involve at the cost of her life, at least she's not aware of it. there are risks. true. it will be dangerous, not going to be easy, and no time for parties and boyfriends.

now, you might ask then, why is she willing to take some risks to help others (by becoming a magical girl).

look closely at madoka's face before she's about to make the contracts saving saya twice. look at her facial expressions. true, she is being helpful, but look also at the situation she/they is/are in. saya is fighting for her dear life in a losing battle with kyouko. during this time they are still unaware that body damages are repairable as long as the sg is intact. qb offers a chance to save her closest friend. no other explanation. only a fellow pm can intervene.

how about the second one. saya is emotionally breaking apart. saya considers herself a zombie. saya is saying mean things to her best friend. saya tells madoka to become a pm since she wants to help. saya is fighting without regard to her (sg) health. qb offers a solution - through a contract, magic.

now with these two instances, we could see clearly that madoka is deeply in trouble or troubled. maybe not really personally. but chaos and hardship/suffering before her can be stopped. no other available means are presented to solve the problems but only through a contract. through magical means. something beyond normal human intervention.

look again at her face. is she that all too willingly? with all the 'unrealistic strong desire' to help others? is that the resolute and smiling face she made in ep 12? uhmmm, one wonders. but it is more like there is no other way. it is more like she's compelled to force a decision and you could see she's in the verge of tears. she's helpful true, but that can be easily superseded by the fact of fear that her best friend is about to be impaled with a spear before her very eyes or whatever gruesome thing might happen.

how about the drama cd. the situation here is much weaker than saving saya. madoka did become a pm. but we are only told of this through her narrative. when she saved the cat, was she aware that becoming a pm and fighting witches involve death and you will turn into one yourself in time? knowing qb, probably he did not explain. so we can only speculate that she's even willing to take risks here.

how about her ominous warning to homu-chan that something might happen to her? we don't know when she learned the fact that a pm could die in battle. before or after saving amy? before or after meeting mami? we could only speculate. i doubt she even saw a dead or dying pm before.

by knowing tidbits of truth, madoka reconsiders making a contract, hence the delay. they greatly affect her. she will only make one if there is nothing else left to do. this is not only about being kind but the situation she's engage in.

Quote:
What she gained in the last episode of the series is the know-how to make the right wish, but her will to make the sacrifice has always been there.
ep 12 showed us that she made a wish, the best possible wish with someone carrying a potential like hers. and it somehow 'cheated' qb in a way. but that's not all. this also showed us how this situation in entirely unique from the rest of her contracting. she's happy. she's willing. with conviction.

you mentioned sacrifice. she sacrificed her life here by becoming a pm. her will to make a sacrifice is exclusively for this instant, not always. the others just involve risks. she did not trade anything anywhere as much as her own life just like in ep 12.

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Madoka had been a magical girl for just a week, a WEEK, and she was already talking like that, already willing to make any sacrifice to help others.
this is entirely different. madoka here is already a pm. it's a brand new profession of hers, and this certainly involves some duties. here, it's now her responsibility to help others. regardless of her being kind-hearted or not, she has to fight. she has to. and at worst, she might lose her life in those fights.

Quote:
So, as you see, her desire to save others is so strong and so deeply rooted into her already (even before knowing about magical girls), that there's no way just having a wonderful family and a good environment would be enough to make her that way.
here, you use the word save. so i'll assume it's the same in the context of 'helping others'. you must also not forget on what particular situation she's in because a particular situation is not exactly the clone of another. the people/living things involved. the magnitude of danger she/they is/are in. the degree of internal dilemma or stress she's in. the degree of damage caused by indecision or inaction. her available options. her alternatives if there are some present. are these not considered when she made a decision to save/help others? are these simply glossed over? so what is exactly there is to be considered 'enough'?

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Look, if you feel it's enough for you, that's ok, but this sort of characterization would get you kicked out of any script writing course. That much I'm pretty sure of.
so, what is 'enough' again? i see no problem in her characterization considering madoka magica is a 12-ep tv series. i welcome additions of course though, since the franchise is still on-going. the story is not yet closed. who knows, how many drama cds will be released.

Spoiler for slightly OT:


Quote:
That's an inferiority complex right there that was also never given a proper explanation/reason.
i guess this is the problem: madoka is suffering from inferiority complex but the show gives no reason. thus she has a poor characterization. right?

inferiority complex is a strong, specific, and technical term. there are books in psychology and in behavioral sciences about it. * a quick check @ wikipedia * since you use it, i guess you know more than i do or what a brief online definition could offer.

so how exactly is inferiority complex different from normal feeling of inferiority?

when one whines a lot about being unhelpful, compares oneself to the ability of others, being troublesome to others, when one questions oneself, when one desires to do more than one is originally capable of doing, when one attends classes and yet still having difficulties, does that make one automatically suffer inferiority complex?

madoka is a teenage girl. she is in the process of discovering herself, her strengths, her weaknesses. there are also bodily/physical/hormonal changes that make this 'awakening' possible. it's normal to see someone greater than you or compare yourself with others at this stage. so a feeling of simple guilt or insecurity translates to inferiority complex?

you might say that madoka said 'i felt that way too for the longest time' - referring to homu-chan's line of being useless and just there to exist. but how much madoka really know about homu at that time? they just met. it's more like madoka's trying to sympathize and cheer up homu. of course, madoka may also not be lying, but is the degree/extent of homu's difficulties equal to that of madoka's? madoka might be acting in good will and faith, but they are not exactly in the same footing.

so as far as jumping to conclusion is concerned, madoka suffering/displaying signs of inferiority complex is a mere speculation. of course, i might be wrong. but as long as using the 12-ep tv series and the 30-min drama cd as evidence, nothing of them supports that madoka is suffering/displaying signs of inferiority complex indeed.

i refuse to believe madoka has inferiority complex (for the lack of evidence) just like how some in this forum strongly refuses to acknowledge madoka attained/achieved goddesshood. however, the latter one is for another discussion.

Quote:
Homura, who also had an inferiority complex but was explained by her illness and lack of friends
homu-chan has signs and seems to satisfy some of the causes listed in the wiki. she has higher chances of having one. but mado and homu are different cases. they are not exactly the same.
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Old 2011-05-17, 17:35   Link #110
Kazu-kun
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i refuse to believe madoka has inferiority complex (for the lack of evidence) just like how some in this forum strongly refuses to acknowledge madoka attained/achieved goddesshood. however, the latter one is for another discussion.....

homu-chan has signs and seems to satisfy some of the causes listed in the wiki. she has higher chances of having one. but mado and homu are different cases. they are not exactly the same.
Madoda herself was the one who compered her feelings of inadequacy with Homura's, so if you think Homura's could be an inferiority complex, then Madoka, as per her own words, could have an inferiority complex too.

For the rest of your post, let's just agree to disagree. I can't help being a bit overly-critical (maybe a bit too much!!), I can't just switch off what I know. And I do understand some things that really concerns me about the series are probably just fine to most viewers, and that's totally ok.

So let's leave it at that. Besides, I really did like the show... or maybe I just liked Homura a lot . I don't know, but anyway....
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Old 2011-05-17, 18:17   Link #111
kaigan
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Madoda herself was the one who compered her feelings of inadequacy with Homura's
just like i mentioned above, they just met. homu is feeling down. it's more likely she's cheering her up and trying to sympathize. listen to the bgm music. is that a sound for someone suffering heavily or afflicted with inferiority complex?

mado wants to connect to homu. they have common grounds already like amy for example. but she wants to take steps even closer. and mami even approves and advises not to use magic about it.

Quote:
so if you think Homura's could be an inferiority complex, then Madoka, as per her own words, could have an inferiority complex too.
i don't think homu-chan has inferiority complex. i just said she displays signs and some causes in the wiki fit in her situation. she's more likely to have one than madoka. but their cases are entirely different.

again, they just met. how much information does mado really knew about homu? her difficulties? her reasons to be hospitalized?

did mado completely understand the whole being/personality/history of homu on the single event they walk and chat together after school. she's speaking with the intent to cheer and to connect. mado is not speaking with full understanding of homu's case. there might be similarities of course, but they are not the same.

and this is the catch, does mado even considers homu to have inferiority complex? and with full awareness of what it truly means, she tags herself too?

inferiority complex here is mere pure speculation.

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For the rest of your post, let's just agree to disagree.
...
So let's leave it at that.
ok, no harm done. nobody convinces anybody. this exchange is something i consider healthy and friendly since we both love/like at least in a certain degree this series.
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Old 2011-05-17, 18:28   Link #112
Kazu-kun
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inferiority complex here is mere pure speculation.
We can't help but to speculate because it was never clearly explained. Even if Madoka's feelings of inadequacy weren't enough to be considered inferiority complex, they came out so often in the tv series (and are even mentioned in the drama cd), that we really should had been clearly told where those feelings were coming from.

We discussed a lot about this with Triple_R and others before, speculating about all the possible reasons Madoka felt so inadequate about herself even though she was a healthy, normal kid. At that time it was cool speculating about it, because the series was still running, and so the explanation was surely going to come..... except it didn't. And so we are still speculating, and we shouldn't need to!!
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Old 2011-05-17, 21:19   Link #113
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My own view here is that Sayaka really was feeling suicidal when she refused the grief seed from Kyouko and Homura, and was somewhat hiding that behind a prideful facade. In other words, she wasn't refusing the grief seed because she was too proud to accept it, but because she really did want to die and saw the grief seed as a Puella Magi form of life support that would keep her alive longer than she wanted to.

I think that Homura threatens to kill Sayaka in order to confront precisely this suicidal drive. Homura is basically forcing Sayaka to ask herself "Do I really want to die?"


Sayaka's rapidly worsening situation (and Hitomi's discussion with her about Kamijou in particular) basically drove her to a point where she wanted to die.
Well looks like it wasn't enough for her, only when her seed actually became black, she started to think otherwise...

And even so suicides were never approved by me so her actions are still wrong.
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Old 2011-05-17, 21:34   Link #114
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I can't tell if this is going off-topic or not anyway to the top 3 for me

1: Homura: Cold and Heartless but with a deep passion to save Madoka from her fate scored first.
2: Madoka: Going along with others that she was sorta useless at the beginning, but also thought she would make a comeback eventually (previously thought it was going to be in episode 8) but yeah Madoka!
3: Kyoko: She really struck me when she risked her life to save Sayaka.
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Old 2011-05-17, 21:52   Link #115
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Well looks like it wasn't enough for her, only when her seed actually became black, she started to think otherwise...

And even so suicides were never approved by me so her actions are still wrong.
What is this I don't even...

Jokes aside (but only sort of), seriously, I'm starting to lose sight of why people have so little love for Sayaka. Really, why? Maybe I just look at her differently than you do, but I can't think of a single thing to truly condemn her for. As far as I can tell she's nothing more than a perfectly fine character that got hit psychologically one too many times; that's not really her fault, though, so I fail to see how that might affect somebody's perception of her.

And on your previous point of her surviving had she accepted Homura's Grief Seed, I doubt it. Episode 11 showed just how easily the Soul Gem can become tainted by grief; with Sayaka in the state she was in, her Soul Gem would probably be just as dark again in a day or two. Grief Seed or no, she was on a downward spiral that wasn't likely to change.
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Old 2011-05-18, 02:37   Link #116
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homura's not in the poll. T___T i hate that fact. she must get some recognition for Madoka's ending.

i like k-on and macross, b-but...homura should've been in there. she's supposed to be first!! TT___TT
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Old 2011-05-18, 07:40   Link #117
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Eh?! Useless Madoka won? Why everyone are so easily bought by cutely looks in Japan T_T
I also think that Homura should have been somewhere there, beside she also looked cute in original life time.

Akashin
I don't really hate her, she has her pluses but over all she seriously failed!
Even if it was just for 2 days, that's still some time that could have been used somehow, could give time to her friends to figure something out.
And she instantly gave up on her love just because Hitomi said she will confess... and Hitomi was kind enough to warn her and give time for Sayaka to confess first! Did she make use out of it? NO!

She instantly decided that she lost so it is good to go insane and die.
I'm sure that if she was of legal age or something, she would also get drunk first -_-

That's simply lame.
I also might not attemp some things but I'm not going insane because of that later.
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Old 2011-05-18, 07:58   Link #118
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Madoka is not a person, is a character, and you said it yourself, her will to save and help others is not ordinary, and so, it needs a more clear and greater reason that just "the satisfaction of knowing that they helped other people". That's just how you write a character: a clear and fitting motivation makes them easier to relate to, more human.
The difference in opinions here is related to whether we see the provided info sufficient or not. Wanting to be helpful is not something you wouldn't want to bring your daughter up like. And I'm pretty sure that in Japanese society, such a trait is more than welcomed, thus becomes a good element in upbringing. It was apparently successful with Madoka, as we can judge by Junko's words in ep 6. "Loving family" is not just a concept to make you kind and eager to help per se - it's never too far-fetched to assume that a loving family tries to raise the children accordingly.
Now, wanting to be helpful is one thing, but if you're an average girl with no special talents, not enrolling into any clubs (and having Hitomi's image to remind you that you ought to - after all, it's another thing that Japanese schools try to advertise among students) and the most you can do around is take people to the nurse's office... Might make you wonder if the desire to be helpful really matches your potential at all. While I can't say Madoka is desperately looking for a purpose in life (neither was Nanoha, at least before the movie manga retconned her character, and certainly niether was Sakura who seemed to have quite a satisfying life of a teenage girl), but she does express some melancholy about whether she might just live her life away and die. Her self-esteem is not too low, but it's something many people her age come to wonder, if occasionally (and Madoka doesn't seem to be bothered by it ALL THE TIME).
Then, an opportunity rises. There are actually horrible creatures around, threatening people (and there's no guarantee that one of your friends/relatives won't get hit someday - which is proven quite bluntly in episode 4 with Hitomi). Heck, Madoka herself could fall prey to a witch, along with her friend, if not for... MAMI-SAN! There are girls who fight witches and thereby REDEFINE helpful in Madoka's eyes. They do it elegantly and magnificently (check out Madoka's expression when she watches Mami fighting). And here's the juicy part: you, an average girl brought up well and wanting to be helpful to people around but not seeing any prospects in that field, suddenly learn that you can become a Puella Magi! As cool and helpful as Mami-san and presumably just as strong at the very least, if Kyuubey's estimation is true. The ending of episode 2 pretty much nails it down: an innocent, apparently nice office lady (who most likely has someone to grieve over her death) nearly commits suicide she had never even cosidered before, and then she's saved by magic, and here she is, sobbing into Mami's shoulder... You can do the same to people, save their lives - all for free and with a thrown-in bonus of a wish granted magically to you. Who wouldn't AT LEAST CONSIDER this prospect, regardless of upbringing and personality? And for Madoka, it sure looks like a win-win situation. If she wasn't at a loss about a wish, she'd probably become a Puella Magi right way - as she did in previous timelines. Save the poor cute cat whom nothing else will save anyway and proceed to save people whom, likewise, nobody but the likes of you would sufficiently protect from witches - sure, why not? And in TL4, preventing destruction, grief and your classmate getting killed before your eyes, when nothing else is stated to do that and you can do it? COUNT ME IN ALREADY!

So, to summarize.
- initially Madoka is what Junko describes her as - a good and kind girl. Her wish to be helpful is moderate, partly restrained by her lack of belief in her abilities (otherwise, she'd have been a triple scout already ) and not too uncommon for a person who apparently was brought up with such an wish to keep in mind.
- her wish to be a hero directly derives from the seeming opportunity to become one with a flash spark. The wish to help people suddenly gets a definite prospect sketched out - and it's more than Madoka has EVER hoped to be able to do. You won't be able to explain her eagerness to fight witches unless you consider HOW she views the system at the time (and in timeline 1 she herself becomes a poster child for it together with Mami, in Homura's eyes).
- her self-denial and self-sacrificing, while they MAY be based on her personality and the first two points above, do NOT look like her innate traits to me. If anything, Madoka knows well what Junko voiced in ep 11: her life does not belong to her alone, and her family will be in great pain. That's partly why she turns down Kyuubey's offer in ep 4 after witnessing and painfully realizing the old "Anyone Can Die" trope. Up to this point, there is no self-denying Madoka. However, if this girl has a heart big enough to sympathize with other people and want to help them, what to expect when people dear to her start getting involved deeply? When Hitomi's endangered, she does her best to save her. When Sayaka contracts, she insists on tagging along because she can't leave her friend alone in situations she has seen to end tragically. And tagging along as a helpless spectator makes her consider contracting again, more and more. She's hit again with the episode 6 revelation, but then it's seeing Sayaka suffering that makes her as desperate as to put her own soul on the line - because Sayaka is not even some abstract "people to help", she's her dear friend whose life is being ruined rapidly... and Kyuubey keeps hinting Madoka could change it. As I see it, THIS is where the Madoka we've seen at the beginning of episode 12 comes from. Her self-denial and sacrifice does not lie in her character that needs backstory motivation - it's her character development that starts from ability to sympathize with others and a simple wish to be helpful (not necessarily to a Spiderman extent and not necessarily bordering on inferiority complex), then goes along the line of the events Madoka experiences.

Quote:
What is this I don't even...

Jokes aside (but only sort of), seriously, I'm starting to lose sight of why people have so little love for Sayaka. Really, why? Maybe I just look at her differently than you do, but I can't think of a single thing to truly condemn her for. As far as I can tell she's nothing more than a perfectly fine character that got hit psychologically one too many times; that's not really her fault, though, so I fail to see how that might affect somebody's perception of her.

And on your previous point of her surviving had she accepted Homura's Grief Seed, I doubt it. Episode 11 showed just how easily the Soul Gem can become tainted by grief; with Sayaka in the state she was in, her Soul Gem would probably be just as dark again in a day or two. Grief Seed or no, she was on a downward spiral that wasn't likely to change.
What Sayaka needed was not a grief seed, but a reason to live. She entered a heavy BSoD and her only fault ever is turning down all attempts to snap her out of it. She IS a tragic character, but I don't see how people can be annoyed with her. Especially the reviewers who usually complain bout characters being not true to life - now, Sayaka's behaviour is QUITE believable for an energetic, naive and lovesick teenager thrown into the aforementioned circumstances. She meets her end because she failed to get a hold of herself and because the plot (unlike many other plots in anime, and especially in mahou shoujo) did NOTHING to bail her out of it by some external means. Just as Urobuchi admitted to see things - "leave them on their own and they'll naturally develop in the worst way possible".
And I think Homura knew this. But she tried to postpone Sayaka's fall at least, because she desperately needed to do something about the situation before it led to Madoka's contracting.
Personally, I love Sayaka and I felt like my heart was being slowly driven over by a paver while watching her arc. She deserves a better fate - yet the most she can get now is being aware of changing Kyousuke's life for the better and maybe finally hitting it off with Kyouko after she joins her in Madoka's domain. Rest in peace, our genki knight.

Quote:
And she instantly gave up on her love just because Hitomi said she will confess...
She gave up on her LIFE, let alone her love. Since episode 6 she views herself as a walking corpse - Shinji Ikari's self-esteem is over 9000 compared to this. I'm afraid it wouldn't matter if Hitomi gave her a day or a week, unless Sayaka herself got over her real problems in that period. Of course, this 24 hours ultimatum just added oil to the fire. Sure, the show's one-cour pacing benefited from that, but Sayaka obviously didn't...

Last edited by Snork; 2011-05-18 at 08:11.
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Old 2011-05-18, 13:18   Link #119
Kazu-kun
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So, to summarize.
- initially Madoka is what Junko describes her as - a good and kind girl. Her wish to be helpful is moderate, partly restrained by her lack of belief in her abilities (otherwise, she'd have been a triple scout already ) and not too uncommon for a person who apparently was brought up with such an wish to keep in mind.
- her wish to be a hero directly derives from the seeming opportunity to become one with a flash spark. The wish to help people suddenly gets a definite prospect sketched out - and it's more than Madoka has EVER hoped to be able to do. You won't be able to explain her eagerness to fight witches unless you consider HOW she views the system at the time (and in timeline 1 she herself becomes a poster child for it together with Mami, in Homura's eyes).
- her self-denial and self-sacrificing, while they MAY be based on her personality and the first two points above, do NOT look like her innate traits to me. If anything, Madoka knows well what Junko voiced in ep 11: her life does not belong to her alone, and her family will be in great pain. That's partly why she turns down Kyuubey's offer in ep 4 after witnessing and painfully realizing the old "Anyone Can Die" trope. Up to this point, there is no self-denying Madoka. However, if this girl has a heart big enough to sympathize with other people and want to help them, what to expect when people dear to her start getting involved deeply? When Hitomi's endangered, she does her best to save her. When Sayaka contracts, she insists on tagging along because she can't leave her friend alone in situations she has seen to end tragically. And tagging along as a helpless spectator makes her consider contracting again, more and more. She's hit again with the episode 6 revelation, but then it's seeing Sayaka suffering that makes her as desperate as to put her own soul on the line - because Sayaka is not even some abstract "people to help", she's her dear friend whose life is being ruined rapidly... and Kyuubey keeps hinting Madoka could change it. As I see it, THIS is where the Madoka we've seen at the beginning of episode 12 comes from. Her self-denial and sacrifice does not lie in her character that needs backstory motivation - it's her character development that starts from ability to sympathize with others and a simple wish to be helpful (not necessarily to a Spiderman extent and not necessarily bordering on inferiority complex), then goes along the line of the events Madoka experiences.
I disagree. I'm no going to repeat myself over and over. I already addressed some of this points before so go read those post if you're interested. That aside, the way you analyze the character is already a pretty big concern for me: if her motivations were properly handled (like Homura's, Yuma's, Koyko's, etc) you wouldn't even need to analyze the character to this extent, which is very telling, because you really shouldn't have to.
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Old 2011-05-18, 13:25   Link #120
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if her motivations were properly handled (like Homura's, Yuma's, Koyko's, etc) you wouldn't even need to analyze the character to this extent
many things would be different if Magica Quartet weren't such trolls to begin with. Handle characters properly? what for, when leaving fans to speculate their tongues off is so much more fun? But personally, I find it fun as well.
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