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Old 2011-07-27, 09:59   Link #321
Faerie
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Originally Posted by Coldlight View Post
She had that unwavering determination, that steadfast resolve to believe in what was right, even if it meant facing superior enemies, taking on heavy burdens and challenging the twisted world. She never submitted to contradiction or hypocrisy. She's headstrong, but she's decisive and holds strong convictions.

tbh, there are many things that I personally found a bit annoying about Sayaka. Thing is, unlike the many "dislikers" (xD), I didn't interpret them as major offenses of any sort, but only as something that maybe made me roll my eyes, or made me sigh for her.
She wasn't my favorite I admit, and I only started really feeling for her when Hitomi announced that she's a backstabbing friend you could do without.

But I can't understand hating her, because no matter how you look at it, she might be a bit annoying, but she's a good girl, that tragically fell in love with a no-good guy and had a friend that could do with a good punch in the face.
And she made a noble but tragic and regrettable sacrifice. Tbh, in all this, I blame Kamijou and Hitomi much more than Sayaka....


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Originally Posted by Akashin View Post
Oh for crying out loud...



I get the feeling you're making the same error everybody else is. That is to say: How, on any reasonable level, is losing a talent that was both his life and something we was (presumably) well on his way to being a professional at (if he wasn't already; he certainly was in terms of skill) comparable to a child learning he probably won't be a doctor? His violin playing was far from a fanciful dream kids have; it was a reality that meant everything to him. Yeah in theory he could have moved on, but with his heart so firmly set on violin playing, her making the decision to give that back to him is not something I will ever hold against her.

Are there more important things she could have wished for? Certainly. But this was plenty important enough.

thank you, my thoughts exactly.
I don't understand why people seem to keep insisting that Kamijou being able to play again was a wasted sacrifice, or a stupid decision or whatever :s
And why you would compare it to some childish dream is SO beyond me, when it was made plenty clear that the kid was some kind of music prodigy, and it was therefore not some childish dream
Some talents are nurtured early on, because they will not be able to reach their peak if they decided later. So just because someone is young, doesn't mean what they do is some childish dream. If that were so, we would have no olympic level athletes, or classical concert musicians.
They have to have this as their dream at this age, and it was really sufficiently explained that Kamijou was one of those- and those kind of dreams (some name it "calling" or somesuch) aren't in any way comparable to kiddie dreams of becoming a policedog or something xD
Those people might never get over it either, so that's probably the most silly criticism of Sayaka I've heard... I can understand some other critics to an extend, but this point seems like a very non-debateable one.

Unless you maybe want to argue that she should've taken it back- but I don't agree that she should necessarily, it depends on how you interpret Kamijous motivations....
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Old 2011-07-27, 13:18   Link #322
Triple_R
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Originally Posted by Coldlight View Post
Wow, that was a thorough rebuttal by Triple_R of the other person's emotionally skewed arguments. Somehow, I feel slightly discouraged to become his opponent in a debate , but fortunately, I share his sentiments regarding Sayaka. Also, I feel the urge to commend him for his able defense of Sayaka in her time of need (not that I'm qualified to give awards of any sort anyway).
Thanks a lot, Coldlight.

At the end of the day, I think that Sayaka gets hated on for pretty much the same reasons that Superman gets hated on. In other words, for being an idealistic hero with strong moral beliefs that some fans find overly strict (i.e. "Lawful Good").

However, while some dislike The Man of Steel for this reason, it's also for this exact same reason that many people do like him, and I think that The Blue Puella Magi is the same. I like Sayaka a lot largely for the same reasons I like Superman a lot (the differences being that Sayaka also is a moe genki girl, but Superman is much less tragic of course).

With modern entertainment dominated by anti-heroes and cynical protagonists, I find characters like Superman and Sayaka Miki quite refreshing.


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I don't think it's fair to blame everything on just Sayaka's choices. Remember that for every miracle made in a wish, an equal amount of despair is also created to balance everything. At the very least, part of Sayaka's suffering was also caused by despair welling up inside her as a result of making such a miracle happen. Those feelings partly influenced the choices she made later. That was a side effect she neither knew beforehand nor had any control over.
Good points.


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This is one of the many things I love about Sayaka. Though she may not be the only one who made a noble sacrifice, hers is made all the more poignant by the the tragic circumstances that awaited her.
What I find made Sayaka's sacrifice a bit more poignant is that she sacrificed for a person who was not going to return her love, and in the very end (Episode 12), she knew that. Frankly, I think that's as selfless as you can get. Thanks in part to Madoka preventing her from becoming a witch, Sayaka went out a true hero.


Quote:

She fought an uphill battle at every turn until the very end. There was no light waiting for her at the end of the tunnel, at least until Madoka came to take her away at last. She was a Lawful Good character who was punished by the twisted system for doing the right things, yet she continued to fight and believe in her principles even if her own world was collapsing around her. She had that unwavering determination, that steadfast resolve to believe in what was right, even if it meant facing superior enemies, taking on heavy burdens and challenging the twisted world. She never submitted to contradiction or hypocrisy. She's headstrong, but she's decisive and holds strong convictions.

I like those in a character. Granted, some of these are not exclusive to Sayaka, but in her I saw these qualities embodied the most. Sayaka Miki, the tragic heroine who even in real life (in the eyes of people) remains the underdog, underappreciated. Sayaka Miki, in the words of Snork, our "genki knight", who deserves more love than she gets.
Very poetically stated, and very true. All of this sums up about 80% of the reasons I like Sayaka (a couple others being her genki girl personality, and her character design - just love the magical girl/superhero hybrid feel to her costume).


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Other minor, shallower reasons why I like Sayaka include the fact that she is voiced by Eri Kitamura, I like Eri Kitamura, Eri did a good job of voicing her, I hold a slight bias toward blue-haired characters, I love the color blue and I like swords more than other classical weapons. I consider these small reasons more as the icing than the cake itself, though.
Yeah, I agree with all of that too. I think Eri Kitamura did a great job as Sayaka. It really wasn't an easy role to play, because of the wildly wide range of emotions Sayaka went through over the anime, but Kitamura played them all well.

I also like swords, and I do find that I tend to like blue-haired girls in anime.


Quote:

To borrow and heavily modify a quote from a certain other show:

"Sayaka is dead.
She's not here anymore!
But on my back,
and in my heart,
she lives on in me!
My sword is the one that pierces the sky!"



Nice poem.


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Originally Posted by FlavorOfLife View Post
Doesn't fly.
Akashin addressed your arguments very well I felt, but I wanted to add a bit on a few points.


Quote:

Second choice: Lying to herself she would never regret her choice. If you truly would never regret your choice, you would not need to tell yourself that because you would accept any consequences that came, come hell or high water. Already her words "how could i regret this" during the violin boy's rooftop performance betrayed her doubt
This is just a death flag. It's somewhat ironic foreshadowing (not ironic because it's false - as Episode 12 proves - but ironic because it means that Sayaka is going to go through a lot of darkness that would make many people regret her wish if in her position).

It's no different, really, then when Mami became blissfully happy and thankful just before her bad run-in with Charlotte...

Anyway, Sayaka was just fangirling over the moment, in a sense.


Quote:

Third choice: Lying to herself that she has to give up violin boy because shes now a zombie when it was her own fear of rejection that stopped her. Note the long duration that she spent wth violin boy prior to changing and not a peep on liking him because she wanted him to tell her instead and thus be free from rejection.
I thought she overreacted to the soul gem reveal, but hey, Madoka and Kyouko were pretty floored by it themselves. And I do think that Sayaka's reaction was sincere. Being a "zombie" really did bother her that much, I think. To a degree, I can understand why. Is her body capable of aging now? Is it capable of pregnancy? These may be questions on the back of Sayaka's mind, plaguing her.


Quote:

Final choice: Lying to herself that she is rejecting Homura's help because she is suspiscious rather than that she has given up on herself and waiting to die.
It's not really an either/or thing. Sayaka didn't trust Homura. She also wanted to die.


Quote:

Kyoko saw her wish blow itself up but she did not give up on herself because she admitted she made a mistake in her way of thinking and tried to rectify it. Not that her ultra selfish thinking was correct but it implies she understands and admits her initial mistake and thus faces the truth (ie i fuc*ed up)..
Kyoko dealt with her mistake by becoming cynical, and taking on a social darwinist perspective in order to cope with her incredibly tragic circumstances. It's an understandable reaction to what Kyoko went through.

However, after seeing Sayaka, a person very much like what Kyoko used to be, Kyoko realized that she wasn't wrong for wanting to be a hero, and that the fault lied in the horrific Puella Magi system itself (the soul gem reveal also helped make that clear to Kyoko).

Not seeing a way to correct that system, Kyoko decided that she wanted out. She was tired of playing the social darwinist game forced upon her by the Puella Magi system, and decided to go out in a blaze of glory by taking Witch!Sayaka down with her. In so doing, Kyoko would go out somewhat heroically, and would not allow Sayaka to wreck havoc as a harmful monster so as to give Sayaka a slightly less tragic (and more dignified) end.


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Homura is even more obvious. Every timeline she fails, she thinks on her mistakes and tries again. If she was Sayaka's personality, she would have blamed the entire thing on Kyubei, hid in a corner crying and kill herself by charging Walpugis Night in a "glorious" final strike
This particular Homura/Sayaka comparison just doesn't work, because their goals aren't easily analogous.

Homura wants to protect Madoka. To accomplish that, Homura can't give in.

Sayaka has already saved Kamijo. That's been done. She can give in.

Really, Sayaka's main goal was achieved the moment she made her wish.

Homura's main goal can only be achieved if she doesn't quit. Homura really is fighting for her wish. Sayaka isn't, as her wish has already been achieved.

Basically, Homura has more personal reason to keep fighting on than Sayaka does.
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Old 2011-07-27, 14:17   Link #323
FlavorOfLife
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Originally Posted by Akashin View Post
I get the feeling you're making the same error everybody else is. That is to say: How, on any reasonable level, is losing a talent that was both his life and something he was (presumably) well on his way to being a professional at (if he wasn't already; he certainly was in terms of skill) comparable to a child learning he probably won't be a doctor? His violin playing was far from a fanciful dream kids have; it was a reality that meant everything to him. Yeah in theory he could have moved on, but with his heart so firmly set on violin playing, her making the decision to give that back to him is not something I will ever hold against her.
I could go on about soldiers losing actual limbs vs a weaked hand usable during physiotheraphy but i'll shorten it to the simplest.

"I will ever hold against her"
Thats you. And yet you state you "don't understand" why Sayaka is not popular and say its the same "error" everyone else is making. Yes absolutely

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Originally Posted by Akashin View Post
Are there more important things she could have wished for? Certainly. But this was plenty important enough.
So tell me what is it Sayaka truly wanted after she saw Hitomi and violin boy chatting away? Heal his hand? Let him live his "dream"? So what wish did she make? Is she lying when she says she just wants to heal his hand? Who did she lie to?

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Originally Posted by Akashin View Post
Matter of opinion, really. You see her doubting herself, I see her ascertaining that it's not something she could ever possibly regret. And unless I'm mistaken, she never outright regrets healing him. She regrets a lot of the choices she made, but not that.
"ascertaining". Again why do you need to ascertain if you have 0 doubts. Its really that simple

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Originally Posted by Akashin View Post
*sigh*... You're combining two arguments and trying to make them the same thing. Yes her basic wish was on a level selfish. But that has nothing to do with her perceived superiority over other Puella Magi. Her perceived superiority came from the belief that all Puella Magi barring Mami were like Kyoko (and with only Kyoko and Homura for reference, I can see why she'd think so; she had every right to believe being a Puella Magi is something girls did selfishly). She didn't lie to herself here; she just resolved to, you know, have a heart. Which in her eyes was a rare thing among Puella Magi.
If you became something for a selfish reason, am i to assume you will suddenly become selfless? Take that norway crazy killer. He suddenly wants to be a priest. Am i to assume he will suddenly not be a crazy killer?

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Originally Posted by Akashin View Post
I'll concede to this point, though I'm hesitant to call this lying as such. She did, after all, not trust Homura in the slightest--that isn't a lie. And as we see less than half an episode later, she certainly isn't afraid of facing her own lack of will to live.
So what makes it so difficult for her to kill herself prior to becoming a witch since she "isn't afraid of facing her own lack of will to live"?

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Originally Posted by Akashin View Post
Really, I see to a certain extent where your arguments are coming from, but with a couple exceptions I don't really see her actions as lying to herself...
Yes, its just everyone else is wrong. Yes absolutely. Oh wait that sounds just like Sayaka.
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Old 2011-07-27, 14:23   Link #324
Faerie
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Thanks a lot, Coldlight.
With modern entertainment dominated by anti-heroes and cynical protagonists, I find characters like Superman and Sayaka Miki quite refreshing.
I think this is a really interesting, because only a couple of years ago it used to be the exact opposite (at least in anime, definitely. Not so sure about western media).
The main character would more often than not be a positive character with an idealistic outlook, and we would find cynical or broken protagonists/anti heroes refreshing =)
(My best example is when Angel Sanctuary (or any other Kaori Yuki manga. Or X-1999) was released, and we devoured it, because the protagonists (and essentially no one in there) were not positive and idealistic, but predominantly messed up.
I remember myself being fed up with what I then perceived as self righteous, annoying characters (who most likely had a trouble free past) who have troubles understanding less fortunate characters (who were then often rivals or villains, at least initially). And often they would go about criticizing these more troubled characters, despite not having a clue what they went through. It used to really bother me =D
Nowadays, the roles have been more or less reversed.... and we are glad to see an idealist pop up...

(I mean the type of main character that.. say, most, if not all Magical Girl shows have, and a lot of shounen series used to have. I remember Yu Gi Oh GX had the most horrible example of this type of "annoying idealist" as a main.
i'm not saying Sayaka is annoying btw, I love her, and she's deep, not chronically airheaded like some of those characters were This is just in reference to your statement about idealists being refreshing nowadays.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R
I thought she overreacted to the soul gem reveal, but hey, Madoka and Kyouko were pretty floored by it themselves. And I do think that Sayaka's reaction was sincere. Being a "zombie" really did bother her that much, I think. To a degree, I can understand why. Is her body capable of aging now? Is it capable of pregnancy? These may be questions on the back of Sayaka's mind, plaguing her.
I thought that too. Plus, I was kind of under the impression that she did not reveal her feelings before, because she was afraid or scared of rejection, but because it wouldn't have been appropriate.
Being afraid was maybe a factor, but not THE factor why she waited.
The boy had just lost his dream and arguably purpose in life, a confession is probably the last thing he wanted to hear...
As to why she didn't do it in the years before that- well, she was just too young. 13-14 is the kind of age where I would expect them to start admitting their feelings, but then the accident happened.

The way I understood the show, she was planning to reveal it to him now that he had been healed, but then she started learning the truth about the system, realizing what she had signed up for, and then BAM- the soul gem reveal that she just couldn't take, like you said.

Maybe I misunderstood, but I got this impression.. =)
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Old 2011-07-27, 14:30   Link #325
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Originally Posted by SkullFaerie View Post
Those people might never get over it either, so that's probably the most silly criticism of Sayaka I've heard... I can understand some other critics to an extend, but this point seems like a very non-debateable one.
I really should avoid this 3p but this is part is just too funny.

Lets say there is no magic just like in real life. Now your younger sibling/BFF (who just happens to be a violinist or pianist), just lost lets say 70% of the strength of one hand. A military doctor says he could heal it if you went and fought in Iraq for the rest of your life.

I'm assuming you're going to jump at the chance?

Lets say you don't jump at this chance for whatever strange reason, what happens to younger sibling/BFF now? Are they going to die if you stay focused on helping them? Can they get over this setback with your help?
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Old 2011-07-27, 14:49   Link #326
Akashin
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Originally Posted by FlavorOfLife View Post
I could go on about soldiers losing actual limbs vs a weaked hand usable during physiotheraphy but i'll shorten it to the simplest.

"I will ever hold against her"
Thats you. And yet you state you "don't understand" why Sayaka is not popular and say its the same "error" everyone else is making. Yes absolutely
Uh, wasn't Kamijou's condition confirmed to be untreatable? Assuming I'm not misremembering that, while he didn't literally lose a limb, it's essentially the same thing.

If that's not the point you were making here... I'm not at all sure what the point actually is.

Lastly, how does that quote have anything at all to do with not understanding why Sayaka is not popular? Unless you're trying to imply that I'm saying that other people might hold healing Kamijou against her, in which case, no, I truly do not understand why people would. But really, I fail to understand where you're going with that.

Quote:
So tell me what is it Sayaka truly wanted after she saw Hitomi and violin boy chatting away? Heal his hand? Let him live his "dream"? So what wish did she make? Is she lying when she says she just wants to heal his hand? Who did she lie to?
Not sure what this has to do with the part of my post you quoted, but okay. Yes there's a certain element of lying to herself in the contrast between what she wished for and what she expected of him afterwards. I don't think you brought this up in your original post, but she could certainly be considered as lying to herself in that moment. She still wanted to heal his hand for the sake of it, though, whether she expected more to come of it or not.

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"ascertaining". Again why do you need to ascertain if you have 0 doubts. Its really that simple
Perhaps because Mami had been continually driving home that she would regret such a thing? Given that it's quite easy to think she was ascertaining that she wouldn't regret it, as Mami insinuated she would. Like I said this is mostly a matter of opinion, though.

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If you became something for a selfish reason, am i to assume you will suddenly become selfless? Take that norway crazy killer. He suddenly wants to be a priest. Am i to assume he will suddenly not be a crazy killer?
None of which changes the fact that her wish being selfish does nothing at all to change how she conducted herself as a Puella Magi. And that comparison makes no sense; you're comparing doing a selfless thing for a moderately selfish reason with doing a horrific thing and then seeking redemption (assuming the killer was actually seeking redemption). How exactly are these two things related?

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So what makes it so difficult for her to kill herself prior to becoming a witch since she "isn't afraid of facing her own lack of will to live"?
Any number of things. For all we know she could have not wanted to live, but lacked the guts to actually go through with it. Facing her lack of will to live isn't the same as resolving to off herself; though to be fair, she did look only a step away from doing that at the train station.

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Yes, its just everyone else is wrong. Yes absolutely. Oh wait that sounds just like Sayaka.
...Huh? When did I say anything that remotely sounds like, "I'm right, you're wrong." For that matter, when did Sayaka? Beyond sounding like a childish snipe, I have no idea what you're trying to say here.
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Old 2011-07-27, 16:32   Link #327
Faerie
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Originally Posted by FlavorOfLife View Post
I really should avoid this 3p but this is part is just too funny.

Lets say there is no magic just like in real life. Now your younger sibling/BFF (who just happens to be a violinist or pianist), just lost lets say 70% of the strength of one hand. A military doctor says he could heal it if you went and fought in Iraq for the rest of your life.

I'm assuming you're going to jump at the chance?

Lets say you don't jump at this chance for whatever strange reason, what happens to younger sibling/BFF now? Are they going to die if you stay focused on helping them? Can they get over this setback with your help?
Okay, well, there's a few things to address here.

- first of all, you're using a younger sibling or friend as comparison, which is the first inaccuracy. To Sayaka, Kamijou is the guy she is infatuated with (and from her POV: very much in love with). These connections are vastly different- I'm not saying one is inferior, just that they are completely different. If you were to apply the Sayaka scenario onto real life, you still have to use "the guy I think I'm in love with", instead of substituting. It makes the comparison inaccurate. I think most people use a different approach towards their love interest compared to their family relations, wouldn't you agree?

- But for the sake of argument, let's assume my love interest, that I, in my youthful naivity believe to be the only person I'm meant to be with, is an exceptionally talented individual.
For this person, you need to understand, their special talent is everything. If you ask them about what their life is about, they will tell you "the violin" (or gymnastics. or whatever).
It matters more to them than, say, friends, or general education, or anything. Therefore, if for some reason they couldn't pursue it anymore, they will first try everything to fix it. Then they will eventually give up. Then they will despair. Then, eventually, they will busy themselves with something else, put it out of their mind.

An outsider might then conclude that they have grown past it and found other things to do with their lives.
Thing is though, they will always regret this and carry it with them, because trust me, this will always be what they really wanted to do, and they will thus quite possibly conclude that they missed the chance to do what they were "born for", if it was taken from them by force (accident, illness, unfortunate circumstances etc) as opposed to "lack of talent", or "clear defeat".

So to answer your question: They won't die. But they won't be as happy as they would be, if they could have pursued their talents.
And some, including myself would argue that that isn't true fulfillment/happiness. It's a substitute. It might also be okay, but it's not what they really wanted or needed. It's 2nd best.

And to answer your other question: Yes, I would have taken the military doctor up on his offer.

Maybe you find that stupid, or don't agree with that, but it's a pretty easy decision if you think you're in love, and the person in question is suffering.
I do admit though, it is an emotional decision, and it's not for everyone, and I can understand why someone would not like the thought of it.
Nonetheless, deciding to do this for someone is noble and selfless. Is it not?

Therefore this is the one point I don't understand all the criticism for. Other points I find more understandable, but here she was really noble and selfless, and I see it as possibly the best thing she's done in the show.
I could understand if you were coming down on her for being horrible to Madoka about not becoming a Puella Magi...

Last edited by Faerie; 2011-07-27 at 17:09.
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Old 2011-07-27, 17:33   Link #328
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Thanks a lot, Coldlight.

At the end of the day, I think that Sayaka gets hated on for pretty much the same reasons that Superman gets hated on. In other words, for being an idealistic hero with strong moral beliefs that some fans find overly strict (i.e. "Lawful Good").

However, while some dislike The Man of Steel for this reason, it's also for this exact same reason that many people do like him, and I think that The Blue Puella Magi is the same. I like Sayaka a lot largely for the same reasons I like Superman a lot (the differences being that Sayaka also is a moe genki girl, but Superman is much less tragic of course).

With modern entertainment dominated by anti-heroes and cynical protagonists, I find characters like Superman and Sayaka Miki quite refreshing.
This is an interesting observation, and I think it might show up where we differ on Sayaka. For the record:

I love Sayaka. I wanted her to come around. I wanted her so much to have a happy end. Her story was so heartbreaking...

I never ever cared for Superman. And it's indeed the "lawful good" thing I can't stand.

When people talk about Sayaka healing Kamijou's hand as "noble", my impulse is to roll my eyes. Not so much because I disagree, but because words like "noble" tend to distract from the life that's going on right before you.

Take Sayaka's situation. Sayaka was quick to understand Mami's distinction: why do you make that wish? Do you want to heal him? Or do you want to make him your boyfriend? But because of a strict moral code, she didn't know how to handle it.

Some people here think Sayaka was "noble", others that she was "selfish". Me, I think that's a phony distinction. It's quite possible to want both. Sayaka felt like a horrible person for hoping for gratitude or... more. Poor Sayaka. It's perfectly normal to hope that; you're not a horrible person because of that. Chances are you will be disappointed; how will you deal with this, then?

Here, I think, her morals got in the way. If this was supposed to be a "good" wish, she couldn't possibly have stake in it. The two guys on the train? While it's pure speculation, I don't think it's implausible to assume that "Dark Sayaka" made the connection between them and Kamijou. Women sacrifice themselves for the ones they love, and they just laugh it off and call them annoying. So that's what we're doing it for? Sayaka can only face her feelings in terms of higher morals, and that's crippling her, I think.

Kyouko's suggestion to break Kamijou's limbs shows the opposite approach; taking feelings in extremes of passion. Red flame, blue ice. Polar opposites. Both positions are perilous, but Kyouko's way seems to be a better soul-gem-stress-relief method. What neither positions take into account is Kamijou's feelings. [In both positions he's basically the ungrateful jerk.]

What Sayaka would have needed to do is figure out the difference between hoping something would happen as a result of her sacrifice, and a condition placed by her on sacrificing. Both impulses could be called "selfish", but in the former you're merely facing what you'd like to have in return. Accepting that will prepare you for disappointment. But Sayaka's fixation on "selfish = bad" got in the way, and she couldn't see that. As a result, the disappointment turned bitter and found no release.

But how could I hate her for that? It's so tragic. If only somebody would have told her that it's alright to hope for your own happiness ("good selfishness"), as long as your realise that you may be disappointed and don't hold that disappointment against others ("bad selfishness"). (And wasn't that pretty much her ending?)

Selfish? Noble? Besides the point (in my viewing), but poor Sayaka beat herself up over that very distinction. And it's an isoluble mess, because people aren't either/or.

If Sayaka were my daughter (showing my age here, lol), I'd be so proud of her. But I'd also tell her to loosen up on two counts: a) if you don't allow yourself to want things for yourelf you're going to be miserable, b) if you keep demanding your morals from others, you're going to be constantly disappointed (except by people who conveniently die before they have the chance *cough* Mami *cough*).
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Old 2011-07-28, 13:21   Link #329
Faerie
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
I never ever cared for Superman. And it's indeed the "lawful good" thing I can't stand.

When people talk about Sayaka healing Kamijou's hand as "noble", my impulse is to roll my eyes. Not so much because I disagree, but because words like "noble" tend to distract from the life that's going on right before you.
very good points. I was thinking about this yesterday too- because there is a lot of "lawful good" idealist types I didn't care for, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it why there are some I do like- such as Sayaka.
I thought it might be the tragic aspect, but it's really more among the lines of what you said, it's her dilemma that attracted me to her as a character.

By the way, I wouldn't really say her decision to become a Puella Magi was "noble". If anything it was her ep 12 decision to keep things as they are. To be honest, it is a decision that bothers me at the same time though, depending on how you interpret Kamijou. But anyway, I just agree with what you said there =)
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Old 2011-07-28, 15:38   Link #330
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By the way, I wouldn't really say her decision to become a Puella Magi was "noble". If anything it was her ep 12 decision to keep things as they are. To be honest, it is a decision that bothers me at the same time though, depending on how you interpret Kamijou.
Sayaka's ending is interesting. I'm somewhat dissatisfied with it, but it's complex. First:

When I look at it from the position of emotional development, the ending is plausible. I'm also quite happy that Sayaka found peace in her decision. That is, I quite like the direction it has taken. But compared with the detailled and extraordinary development she went through during the show, it feels sort of flat. Too simple. Too smooth. (And Kamijou's "Sayaka?" was downright cheesy.) That is: what happened is basically okay, but how they treated it... it just felt hurried. We're shown just enough to see that Madoka made the right decision. The exectution of Sayaka's ending was about Madoka, really, not Sayaka. (And due to time constraints, that makes sense, too.)

From a moral point of view that smoothing bothers me a bit. Basically, Sayaka has sacrificed everything and is fine with it. If I'd call that noble I sort of condone that as an ideal. But that only works if I make a distinction between extraordinary people and normal people. I can't ask of everyone to sacrifice themselves, or there'd be no-one left to sacrifice yourself for. I simply can't condone that total self-sacrifice. I can't call it noble, without applying a double standard of the following sort: I hope that people sacrifice themselves for me, while at the same time hoping that I won't have to sacrifice myself. Yet, that sort of attitude is sort-of necessary to keep up self-sacrifice as "noble". Someone has to receive the sacrifice. Basically, someone's dealt the shitty cards, but we put a pretty face on it so that some people want to draw the shitty card.

Now look at that situation from a gender point-of-view. Look for "I'm happy if you are" support scenes and see how often you find boys in the support role. And that's the magical girl genre in a nutshell. It's Madoka's ending, but above all it's Sayaka's ending. Basically, the show's telling us that Sayaka's life was not wasted because Kamijou got to live his dream.

Considering the circumstances, this is probably the best Sayaka can hope for. But I feel that smoothing over the conflict inherent in such a ending cheapens Sayaka's struggles and writes off "Dark Sayaka" as an aberration rather than as a part of her. This is what bothers me. (Not sure that makes sense; as I said - it's complex.)

EDIT: Above you mention X-1999. I love the way that ending plays with the sacrifice trope, pushed onto the characters by fate; they subvert that fate by fulfilling it but also subverting it through mutual respect.
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Old 2011-07-28, 21:48   Link #331
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Sayaka's ending is interesting. I'm somewhat dissatisfied with it, but it's complex. First:

When I look at it from the position of emotional development, the ending is plausible. I'm also quite happy that Sayaka found peace in her decision. That is, I quite like the direction it has taken. But compared with the detailled and extraordinary development she went through during the show, it feels sort of flat. Too simple. Too smooth. (And Kamijou's "Sayaka?" was downright cheesy.) That is: what happened is basically okay, but how they treated it... it just felt hurried. We're shown just enough to see that Madoka made the right decision. The exectution of Sayaka's ending was about Madoka, really, not Sayaka. (And due to time constraints, that makes sense, too.)

From a moral point of view that smoothing bothers me a bit. Basically, Sayaka has sacrificed everything and is fine with it.
I don't think she's "fine with it". She was in tears, IIRC. It's certainly not what she hoped for. And I think that this makes her character more well-rounded, imo.

But I think that Sayaka felt, when it's all said and done, that it was really worth her personal sacrifice in order to make Kamijo a great violin-player again.

Is it noble?

Well, was there a way to heal Kamijo's arm that wouldn't require Sayaka to make the sacrifice that she did? Probably not.

Given the lack of a less costly means of helping Kamijo, I find the act somewhat admirable (of course I'm a bit hesitant here, because strictly on a surface level, a life-for-an arm does seem a bit much ). It's certainly not something you could expect of another person - indeed, even the thought of someone making such a sacrifice wouldn't cross my mind - but it's admirable precisely because it helps another person, and not everybody would do it (few would, chances are).

Incidentally, this is why I differ with you on "Lawful Good" characters, and why I differ with SkullFaerie on idealistic characters.

Characters like these typically make sacrifices that few in their shoes would make. And personally, I just have to respect a character that's really willing to go that far to help others and/or to stay true to his/her personal convictions. It's not to say it makes different characters worse, just that it adds something that I personally find admirable in the characters who do go that far.


Superman could work for Lex Luthor if he wanted to, earn incredible wealth, virtually rule the world, spend all of his time doing things he enjoys doing, and avoid conflicts that truly put his life in danger. He'd probably be happier for it, but his world would likely be worse off for it.

Sayaka could have taken back the wish (or never made it in the first place), and lived a generally happy, normal life. Or she could have gone the route Kyouko had advocated, using her powers to benefit herself (i.e. be "top of the food chain"). But instead she decided to help Kamijo and save some lives (don't forget the lives she saved in Episode 4, ironically including Hitomi ).

Now, I don't think that total self-sacrifice is a good ideal, because usually you don't have to go that far to make a positive difference (in other words, its unnecessarily extreme in most cases). But the desire to make a positive difference, even if it doesn't benefit you personally, is an admirable desire, and that alone is perhaps worth idealizing, imo. And that's what Sayaka displayed in Episode 12 (since, at that point, it was clear that she was going to get no personal benefit out of her wish).


All of the above being said, I do appreciate how you and SkullFairie have pointed out a means by which Sayaka can be viewed in a positive light (or at least a sympathetic one), even if one does not like "lawful good" characters in general.
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Old 2011-07-29, 04:26   Link #332
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I don't think she's "fine with it". She was in tears, IIRC. It's certainly not what she hoped for. And I think that this makes her character more well-rounded, imo.
Hm, "Fine with it" may have been a tad off the mark. Also, I may misremember the scene. I do remember the fact of the tears, but I don't have an image anymore to attach to it. I had a strong feeling of catharsis, though.

Quote:
But I think that Sayaka felt, when it's all said and done, that it was really worth her personal sacrifice in order to make Kamijo a great violin-player again.
Yes, and she had a sort of revelation, along the lines: "So this is what I did it for," with the concert as catalyst. Which was sort of an odd convergence of the boy and the music; it's almost as if the music was all she ever valued in him. Which might have been part of the original problem. But I digress. (It's just that I think that Sayaka's funeral would have deserved an episode to itself - mostly populated with Madoka, Kamijou, Hitomi and maybe a couple inquisitive teachers. But with a 12 episode restriction...)

Anyway, we certainly agree on that point.

I'm snipping the point about morals, because I fear a tsunami of text rolling over this thread that has little to do with Sayaka. Let me just say that I do appreciate your thoughtful posts, as they allow me to figure out things about my own reactions I might not have otherwise noticed. (Also, I love the alignment game... Kyubey = lawful neutral. Absolutely. )

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...by which Sayaka can be viewed in a positive light (or at least a sympathetic one)...
Again, that's a very spot-on distinction. I don't really evaluate characters along the positive/negative distinction; I want to understand them first and foremost - and the result is sympathy, antipathy or apathy.

On that note, I was quite pleased that Sayaka won a preliminary round in the Japanes moe-contest. That was a nice surpise.
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Old 2011-07-29, 07:38   Link #333
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Yes, and she had a sort of revelation, along the lines: "So this is what I did it for," with the concert as catalyst. Which was sort of an odd convergence of the boy and the music; it's almost as if the music was all she ever valued in him. Which might have been part of the original problem. But I digress.
Very well-stated.

And yes, that might have been part of the problem.

Personally, I think that Sayaka had a serious love of music in general, and this factored in heavily both for her love of Kamijo, and her decision to save him even when she knew he wouldn't end up with her romantically.

So, yes, this is what Sayaka did it for. For the (potentially) world-class musician.


Quote:

(It's just that I think that Sayaka's funeral would have deserved an episode to itself - mostly populated with Madoka, Kamijou, Hitomi and maybe a couple inquisitive teachers. But with a 12 episode restriction...)

Anyway, we certainly agree on that point.
True. I felt that Sayaka's funeral didn't get quite as much screen-time as what would be ideal, or even deserved.


Quote:

I'm snipping the point about morals, because I fear a tsunami of text rolling over this thread that has little to do with Sayaka.
That's fine. I just felt it would be good for both perspectives to be well-developed (yours already was) and out there, for the benefit of anybody reading this thread and wanting to see a decent compare and contrast between the two.

I'm not looking for debate on morals/philosophy alone, as that wouldn't be appropriate for a character thread of all things.


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Let me just say that I do appreciate your thoughtful posts, as they allow me to figure out things about my own reactions I might not have otherwise noticed. (Also, I love the alignment game... Kyubey = lawful neutral. Absolutely. )
Yes, I agree with you on Kyubey.


Quote:

On that note, I was quite pleased that Sayaka won a preliminary round in the Japanes moe-contest. That was a nice surpise.
Same here. Maybe she's more popular than some people on this thread thought.
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Old 2011-07-29, 07:47   Link #334
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Using Kyuubey's wish to heal only a single person instead of using it to heal not only Kamijou, but also many, many other people...

Great job, Sayaka!
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Old 2011-07-29, 08:14   Link #335
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Using Kyuubey's wish to heal only a single person instead of using it to heal not only Kamijou, but also many, many other people...

Great job, Sayaka!
Since I'm politely skipping over Dawnstorm's posts (he has a way of looking far deeper into things than I possibly could that makes my head hurt <_<), I'll move right on to this.

And, uh... What? I almost feel like this isn't an argument worth having. I get the feeling you're trying to fault Sayaka for using her wish on a single person instead of as many as possible, but, you know... Madoka was sort of the only person who didn't use her wish for a single person (Mami saved herself, Homura entered Groundhog Day for Madoka, Kyoko gave her father followers, and Sayaka gave Kamijou his dream back). So really, I have no idea what argument you're trying to make here...

Sheesh.
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Old 2011-07-29, 08:56   Link #336
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I get the feeling you're trying to fault Sayaka for using her wish on a single person instead of as many as possible
Exactly. There were far better wishes available to her, but in the end she didn't think deeply enough and chose a very small one. And that seems pretty foolish to me.
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Old 2011-07-29, 09:02   Link #337
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Exactly. There were far better wishes available to her, but in the end she didn't think deeply enough and chose a very small one. And that seems pretty foolish to me.
Which is a fallacy if I've ever heard one. And you're still conveniently ignoring the fact that everybody but Madoka also chose what you would consider a, "very small wish." I mean, if Homura had the necessary strength to make a wish that could control time, then by all means curing illness should have been well within her power. That she didn't do so makes her a pretty foolish character, right?

Oh wait...

I'm not disputing that there are bigger wishes to be made; of course there are. But that wasn't the point at all, and I'm not sure why you think it was.
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Old 2011-07-29, 09:30   Link #338
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Exactly. There were far better wishes available to her, but in the end she didn't think deeply enough and chose a very small one. And that seems pretty foolish to me.
Like Akashin wrote, I hope that you're making this same criticism of Homura, Kyoko, and Mami...

While it's mildly disappointing that neither of these girls (including Madoka until the very end, chances are) thought of a 'big picture' wish like "End world hunger", or "End all war", or "Cure cancer", I think it's pretty picky to bring it up as a major bone of contention with either of them.
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Old 2011-07-29, 09:42   Link #339
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Mami and Homura were in desperate situations, and Kyouko was pretty small. But Sayaka had all the time in the world to think logically about what kind of things she could do with her wish. Kyuubey did say that any kind of wish can be granted with the Magical Girl contract, after all.
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Old 2011-07-29, 09:59   Link #340
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I'm impressed that you think a person would logically consider what they could do for humanity as a whole with a free wish instead of what they could get for themselves, but the reality is that few would. And Sayaka is no different. She saw a free wish and saw the guy she loved falling into despair over not being able to pursue his dream anymore, and made a wish to help him. I can see why you would call that wish "small" in the scope of other possible wishes she could have made, but I utterly fail to see why you would call her foolish for it.
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