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Old 2012-03-10, 00:56   Link #961
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Shadow5YA View Post
The ability to adapt comes with fighting. Unless Saya's otherworld army can kill or permanently cripple BRS, all they're doing is being annoyances. It wastes time and does nothing to save Yuu or actually take down BRS.
Saya doesn't want to save Yuu, though. Yuu chose to go to the other world because "there's no world more painful than this (i.e. reality)", and she made Saya promise to protect her there. That's why all Saya is doing is trying to protect Yuu in the other world for eternity.

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... by actually trying to talk to Mato? All Saya has to do is talk to her, initiate some conversation, and get to know her from talking to her. She could work from there.
Saya does talk to Mato though. And she did an okay job at counselling for the most part (to the point that Mato thought "she was such a nice lady"), right up until the choking thing.

I think that the assumption that you could actually "weaken" an otherworld persona by "dealing" with their issues is pretty suspect anyway. However much Saya encouraged Mato and made her feel better, she would probably need an army to actually kill BRS anyhow. For all we know, BRS emerged from a trauma Mato experienced in that past, and in her present life Mato is completely unaffected by it (it really seems like it). The idea that Mato actually has any issues is still complete speculation at this point anyway. Why do you assume Saya could do anything more just by talking?

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Befriending BRS? Creating alliances and approaching her in larger numbers? Saya actually asking for help from others?
1. There aren't that many developed otherworld personas
2. If they even exist in the otherworld, it's because they're shouldering some other person's pain, so it's kinda unlikely that they'd be interested in joining together to protect Yuu (why the heck would they want to do that), or that they'd even be able to communicate in the first place.

Quote:
The point is that Saya's method of instigating teen drama indirectly is a roundabout method that would not be the first option a person would consider naturally.

If Saya's only choice is to do what she has been doing, then the show needs to prove it. Did she try other options like talking to Mato or looking for a way to rescue Yuu and fail? Then show it. The way Saya has behaved, it doesn't look like she was hard pressed to get rid of BRS after failing so many attempts. She initially seemed like a a schemer that was thrilled at how genius her plan was.

If there are other feasible options, then it just makes Saya look even more foolish for attempting this convoluted plan. And no, "given that Mato is well adjusted" does not answer my question. In what way does a seemingly happy person prevent someone from talking to her? Saya knows that BRS is her alter ego, and given the nature of the otherworld, Mato must have some issues.
Thinking "well, she looks fine, so I can't talk to her" does not logically follow.
It's the only option a person would consider naturally. Where do you get the impression that the actions of the otherworld personas are in any way sentient, capable of cooperating, or controllable by their human selves? What you've got is a world very sparsely filled with mute/mindless personifications of people's pain, which grow stronger from the suffering of their human counterparts. Most of the time people aren't even aware of their otherworld personas. That's all. Now one of those personas is on a rampage apparently trying to destroy that world, and Saya has a "friend" from the past who's said she wants to stay there forever. Is there anything for Saya to do aside from trying to troll/mindbreak random people in order to try to raise stronger personas who might be able to stop her (oh, aside from killing Mato of course. Yes, Saya has been thinking about other options. :P)?

Actually, the fact that BRS is trying to destroy the otherworld or something in itself should be a hint that she's a special or unusual existence, and that any of Mato's emotional burdens she's carrying might not be of the same nature as the others. I don't even know if Mato would really act any different if BRS had been killed earlier on in the story. The idea that Saya could somehow stop BRS's rampage in the other world by talking to Mato in the real world really just doesn't make any sense to me. BRS is an otherworld persona, so Saya fights her by creating other strong otherworld personas. It's as simple as that, an extremely logical course of action.
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Old 2012-03-10, 03:23   Link #962
xizro345
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
The single point people have been raising complaining about BRS's "inconsistency" is that they didn't expect Saya to have any "good" motivations. Like, at all. Apparently they thought Saya was supposed to be a black and white, purely megalomaniacal, evil villain whose sole motivation was that she got off on little girls' suffering. And for this reason they were unable to get into Yuu and Saya's backstory.
It's not even this. The issue is that there was no hint of Saya like this, they showed her just screwing people around for no apparent reason, there was not a single moment of "insight" in her reasonings till this episode. This is not clever writing.
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Old 2012-03-10, 03:42   Link #963
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by xizro345 View Post
It's not even this. The issue is that there was no hint of Saya like this, they showed her just screwing people around for no apparent reason, there was not a single moment of "insight" in her reasonings till this episode. This is not clever writing.
So, what's wrong with giving them now? Even if Saya's actions were portrayed is pretty much evil and random, I did expect to be given a reason for them eventually. And now its there. Even if I understand Saya better now, it's not like this majorly changes my earlier impressions that she's screwing with innocent people and is still mostly an antagonist.
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Old 2012-03-10, 04:03   Link #964
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It's wrong because dropping a bombshell like this without any prior explanation renders characters schizoid at best, and unbelievable at least. They should have played the ambiguity more from the beginning.
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Old 2012-03-10, 04:09   Link #965
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by xizro345 View Post
It's wrong because dropping a bombshell like this without any prior explanation renders characters schizoid at best, and unbelievable at least. They should have played the ambiguity more from the beginning.
I'll admit that I couldn't take Saya seriously at all when she went said "I can't do that to Kuroi (i.e. kill her), she's just an innocent". I do think they could've handled Saya's character better. I just don't think it makes the writing incoherent or the story of the series as a whole irredeemably bad.
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Old 2012-03-10, 05:36   Link #966
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Watched episode 6 today.

Quite surprised that Saya isn't that bad of a person despite her methods, and Black Gold Saw is actually a protector of that strange world (Yuu's world?). Unfortunately, the crazed version of Black Rock proves too much for Saya to handle alone - it's good the other girl saved her.
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Old 2012-03-10, 06:12   Link #967
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Amazing. I could heap so much praise on this episode, this series....everything is just fantastic. Sure, it's overly melodramatic, but this is easily capable of standing next to Madoka in terms of dark fantasy. To pull off so many emotions in one episode, so many plot twists, so many different thematic elements....just outstanding.
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Old 2012-03-10, 09:48   Link #968
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dropping a bombshell? Wut? I thought the hints had been obvious from previous episodes
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Old 2012-03-10, 16:27   Link #969
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Originally Posted by dan-heron View Post
dropping a bombshell? Wut? I thought the hints had been obvious from previous episodes
Which hints are you referring to?
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Old 2012-03-10, 17:53   Link #970
dan-heron
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Saya's and Yuu's actions mostly. Their interactions, how they handle the changes that happened to Kohata.

The scene where Yuu asks Saya why she targeted Yomi was the biggest hint, which coupled with what both Saya and Yuu told Mato in the first episodes, was already leading to the "reveal" of Saya's original intent.

Or maybe it is me. It wasn't really a shock.

Then again, I had figured out most of Madoka's "socking revelations" in the first four episodes. Kyouko was the surprise, but not by much considering she was in the opening
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Old 2012-03-10, 18:05   Link #971
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
I'll admit that I couldn't take Saya seriously at all when she went said "I can't do that to Kuroi (i.e. kill her), she's just an innocent". I do think they could've handled Saya's character better. I just don't think it makes the writing incoherent or the story of the series as a whole irredeemably bad.
I think Saya's problem is that the studios were desperate not to reveal the fact that BGS isn't really a villain until ep. 6. Since it became pretty obvious fairly early on that BGS is Saya's Other, any signs of conflict in Saya would immediately have suggested that BGS' motivations were more complex than they first appeared.

At this point my feeling is that the core of Saya's character is that she's not evil. Misguided, perhaps, and certainly placing the welfare of Yuu / Strength / the Otherworld way ahead of that of the girls in the real world (through guilt or whatever). But fundamentally she doesn't derive pleasure from driving the girls loopy - for her it's a necessity. So the cheap shot the studios took was to "paint her" as evil (to quote Jessica Rabbit - "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way"). OK - I can live with that, BRS certainly isn't the first anime / manga to do it. Mai, the Psychic Girl had an even more egregious example where a whole bunch of characters went from evil to good in the turn of a page (even how the characters were drawn changed).

Personally, I'd have been perfectly happy to see Saya at least be conflicted about how she awakens the powers of the girls' Others. The fact that BRS spends most of her time cutting down all and sundry with no compunction was already suggesting that her role as "heroine" was far from clear. Similarly, if there'd been a few more characters in the real world then the resolution of who BGS' counterpart is could have been delayed, allowing a more complex sketching of Saya's personality without immediately revealing something about the Otherworld. As it is, with five main characters in the real world, and five in the Otherworld, the math ain't that hard to do (barring some complete Deus Ex Machina like "And BGS was Mato's mum all along!!").

But I'm nit-picking. For all the histrionics, bizarre character reversals and general derping, I'm loving the hell out of the series. And since Saya / BGS is now definitely not entirely evil I can feel justified in claiming her as mai waifu

Now to watch IBRS getting facepalmed by Strength again...
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Old 2012-03-10, 19:53   Link #972
Elestia
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Amazing. I could heap so much praise on this episode, this series....everything is just fantastic. Sure, it's overly melodramatic, but this is easily capable of standing next to Madoka in terms of dark fantasy. To pull off so many emotions in one episode, so many plot twists, so many different thematic elements....just outstanding.
That's a bit of a stretch. Madoka really drove a sense of despair into the show that really was depressing to watch as the episodes continued. Besides I don't think episode 3 of Madoka could really be topped or even hold a candle to in this episode of BRS.

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Originally Posted by dan-heron View Post
Saya's and Yuu's actions mostly. Their interactions, how they handle the changes that happened to Kohata.

The scene where Yuu asks Saya why she targeted Yomi was the biggest hint, which coupled with what both Saya and Yuu told Mato in the first episodes, was already leading to the "reveal" of Saya's original intent.

Or maybe it is me. It wasn't really a shock.

Then again, I had figured out most of Madoka's "socking revelations" in the first four episodes. Kyouko was the surprise, but not by much considering she was in the opening
So let me get this straight:

Saya is in the counseling business for students to take advantage of the daily issues overly-emotional adolescents have in school. By tapping into these unstable children's psyche and prodding them to endure traumatic events, it unleashes their other-selves "true power". The motivation for Saya is to save Yuu who is supposedly trapped in the other world as Strength.

However, Saya is combating BRS by sending Mato's closest friend through a mental breakdown in hopes of destroying BRS. The reason is because Saya says she will "destroy that world" and possibly Yuu as well, given enough time. But the one thing Saya avoids, is to cause Mato herself from going crazy. Because apparently, if she does, then BRS turns into IBRS, which gives her a power up? Yet, she has deliberately targeted people who are close to Mato (Yomi, and Kokhata), as well as giving Mato herself a scare (when Saya attempted to pretend strangle her). Nope, definitely not trying to provoke BRS by mentally screwing with Mato's mind there.

But we still do not know how Saya's method to unleash the true powers of a person's otherself will result in her saving Yuu. When Yuu confronted Saya about Yomi's state, she responded saying that the "pain lasts for only a while" and that "hearts will heal the quickest when they are wounded". Is she claiming that BRS will end their suffering? So Saya is depending on BRS to kill a person's otherself to release them from their obsessions? How does that help Saya's goal to saving Yuu trapped in the other world? But this is what people believing in a coherent plot is driving at, so I don't know how this is making any sense.

Now, in this latest episode Saya realizes in horror that Yuu transferred Mato's mind into BRS, right as she was done killing Dead Master. The sight of it causes Mato's to lapse into a catatonic state and "awaken" IBRS. In order to fix things, Saya tries to use BGS as a medium to communicate with Mato in order to regain herself. Yet, Saya has been depending on BRS to end the other character's suffering by releasing them/killing them from their obsessions.

Yep, it's as clear as mud for me. Maybe someone can explain in detail on what the plot is.
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Old 2012-03-10, 20:28   Link #973
SilverSyko
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Originally Posted by Elestia View Post
That's a bit of a stretch. Madoka really drove a sense of despair into the show that really was depressing to watch as the episodes continued. Besides I don't think episode 3 of Madoka could really be topped or even hold a candle to in this episode of BRS.
I think the only reason episode 3 of Madoka Magica is considered the "greatest thing ever" is because nobody who was originally watching it was expecting for a character in a magical girl show to be brutally killed like that. If you watch it about 3 months after it finished airing like I did, you've already heard all the praise it's received with it's deconstruction of the genre, and the shock factor of it all isn't there anymore because you know what to expect.

And while we are making comparisons to Madoka Magica, I'd just like to say that I found the melodrama in Madoka just as forced and silly as it is here in BRS. =/
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Old 2012-03-10, 20:48   Link #974
Sol Falling
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So let me get this straight:

Saya is in the counseling business for students to take advantage of the daily issues overly-emotional adolescents have in school. By tapping into these unstable children's psyche and prodding them to endure traumatic events, it unleashes their other-selves "true power". The motivation for Saya is to save Yuu who is supposedly trapped in the other world as Strength.
Correction here. Saya is not attempting to save Yuu. Saya has no intention of returning Yuu from the other world. Saya is only attempting to protect Yuu, who decided to stay in the other world forever back at the end of the flashback because the real world is too painful. Yuu explicitly made Saya promise to do this.

Quote:
However, Saya is combating BRS by sending Mato's closest friend through a mental breakdown in hopes of destroying BRS. The reason is because Saya says she will "destroy that world" and possibly Yuu as well, given enough time. But the one thing Saya avoids, is to cause Mato herself from going crazy. Because apparently, if she does, then BRS turns into IBRS, which gives her a power up? Yet, she has deliberately targeted people who are close to Mato (Yomi, and Kokhata), as well as giving Mato herself a scare (when Saya attempted to pretend strangle her). Nope, definitely not trying to provoke BRS by mentally screwing with Mato's mind there.
Saya never deliberately attempted to scare Mato. Saya has been tempted to kill Mato because that would permanently get rid of BRS.

The emotional traumas of people around Mato aren't enough to significantly harm her. The level of pain necessary to cause IBRS's awakening was something like Mato merging with BRS (i.e. all the past pain BRS had previously shouldered for her), and then witnessing her own self apparently killing Yomi. Saya's reason for choosing people "close" to Mato was nothing more than that they happened to have emotional wounds and were convenient; so long as they had pain which Saya could cultivate, she would have targeted anybody.

Quote:
But we still do not know how Saya's method to unleash the true powers of a person's otherself will result in her saving Yuu. When Yuu confronted Saya about Yomi's state, she responded saying that the "pain lasts for only a while" and that "hearts will heal the quickest when they are wounded". Is she claiming that BRS will end their suffering? So Saya is depending on BRS to kill a person's otherself to release them from their obsessions? How does that help Saya's goal to saving Yuu trapped in the other world? But this is what people believing in a coherent plot is driving at, so I don't know how this is making any sense.
Saya isn't depending on BRS for anything. Saya is just trying to kill BRS. And BRS just seems to be trying to destroy the other world.

Quote:
Now, in this latest episode Saya realizes in horror that Yuu transferred Mato's mind into BRS, right as she was done killing Dead Master. The sight of it causes Mato's to lapse into a catatonic state and "awaken" IBRS. In order to fix things, Saya tries to use BGS as a medium to communicate with Mato in order to regain herself. Yet, Saya has been depending on BRS to end the other character's suffering by releasing them/killing them from their obsessions.
STR/real world Yuu intentionally cause IBRS to awaken, probably because she does want to "save" Yuu and bring her back to the real world. Now IBRS is on an unstoppable rampage, and Mato is also trapped on the other side. Saya tried to communicate with Mato in order to stop IBRS's rampage. IBRS was too powerful for Saya to hope to kill her, so she wanted Mato to wake up and somehow bring IBRS under control.
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Old 2012-03-10, 21:28   Link #975
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Originally Posted by Elestia View Post
So Saya is depending on BRS to kill a person's otherself to release them from their obsessions?
No, I don't think so. I think Saya is trying to find people who could have strong Others in order that they can pose a reasonable challenge to BRS. While it's true that having your Other killed "frees" you from your pain, it does so at the cost of losing all your emotional attachment. My reading is that if you've got a strong Other then she gets to carry your burdens - that pretty much seems to be what Yuu says. If your Other gets killed, then, yes, you do get to "forget" your troubles (such as they were), but at that point it looks like you're on your own. It's not clear your Other will come back (indications in the OVA notwithstanding), though I'm prepared to have this idea challenged in the last couple of episodes (at least partially expecting DM to reappear).

I was going to speculate wildly at this point, but, you know what?, I'm not even going to try. I think the likelihood of me coming up with a rational explanation is about 0% currently - I'll let the series finish and the dust settle before trying to work things out. There are, however, a few things that probably deserve to be called out:
  • BRS isn't always trying to kill everyone. If you cast your mind back to ep.2 it's clear at several points that she's trying to save DM, even reaching out to her in a very similar way to the original OVA. She only seems to go on a killstreak when her eye lights up. None of the other Others seem to get the "crazy eye".
  • Why does Mato remember (albeit partially) growing up with Yuu? Yuu's clearly not aged since Saya was in school. Or is that just Mato's impression of what happened? We've established pretty clearly that "normal" people don't really perceive Yuu in any clear way.
  • What's the wish that Yuu / Strength forced on BRS?
  • Why is BRS the special case of all the Others? Everyone else appears to have at least some sort of "peaceful coexistence". Is that a reflection of Mato's (stated) philosophy that people shouldn't push their problems onto other people?
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Old 2012-03-10, 21:33   Link #976
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STR/real world Yuu intentionally cause IBRS to awaken, probably because she does want to "save" Yuu and bring her back to the real world.
I'm in agreement with you on all but this bit. I don't think Yuu/STR wanted to awaken IBRS - that only happened because Mato merged with BRS after DM had been killed. I think Yuu's intention was that Mato would merge with BRS (in much the same way that Saya merges with BGS) during the fight, snap her out of "crazy eye" mode, and allow her to have some sort of dialogue with DM/Yomi (OK, major assumption that Yomi would even have been reachable at that point).
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Old 2012-03-10, 22:18   Link #977
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So BRS is the bad girl now??? I am more confused by the episole

Screw it, I will just watch this for the senseless CGI violence
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Old 2012-03-10, 22:40   Link #978
dan-heron
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not the badgirl, she and Mato both are just in opposition of what Saya stands for.

calico, that seems to be the case
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Old 2012-03-10, 22:42   Link #979
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Guess I'll side with the people here who are not very into this show. Asides from the pretty visuals and character designs I really don't see how can this even be compared to Madoka.

6 episodes in and I still don't get how exactly the world works. Saya's actions are too confusing... I also don't get the logic behind her actions(yeaaaah let's agitate the girls more so they pass their raaaaaage onto their otherworld personas and destroy the other world). Heck why would BRS even destroy the other world?

So 2 episodes left and I'm still utterly confused... sure we might get all the answers later but as it is right now... yeah not really impressed atm...
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Old 2012-03-10, 22:49   Link #980
Elestia
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Correction here. Saya is not attempting to save Yuu. Saya has no intention of returning Yuu from the other world. Saya is only attempting to protect Yuu, who decided to stay in the other world forever back at the end of the flashback because the real world is too painful. Yuu explicitly made Saya promise to do this.
Just to clarify, but where in the series did it state that Yuu was trapped in the otherworld? I've been reading it as Strength is simply Yuu's protective psyche similar to a split personality where one personality is used as a shield to protect the core. Anyway, in the end Saya is still trying to save/protect Yuu/Strength.

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Saya never deliberately attempted to scare Mato. Saya has been tempted to kill Mato because that would permanently get rid of BRS.


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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
The emotional traumas of people around Mato aren't enough to significantly harm her. The level of pain necessary to cause IBRS's awakening was something like Mato merging with BRS (i.e. all the past pain BRS had previously shouldered for her), and then witnessing her own self apparently killing Yomi. Saya's reason for choosing people "close" to Mato was nothing more than that they happened to have emotional wounds and were convenient; so long as they had pain which Saya could cultivate, she would have targeted anybody.
Well that's where we're going to have to agree to disagree. You say this level of torment isn't enough to cause Mato to snap, I say it is. You would think that she would know better than most about how fragile the school girls are. She is also taking a huge risk by gambling that Mato would not go crazy, since a majority of the girls seems to have a few screws loose. Even more so, when Saya is deliberately targeting girls with a close relationship with Mato.

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Saya isn't depending on BRS for anything. Saya is just trying to kill BRS. And BRS just seems to be trying to destroy the other world.
Yuu already said that "BRS is Mato's otherself that fights against her grief". Guess what grief she was fighting when she met Yomi? When Kohata's love letter was displayed to everyone. When Yomi went insane? BRS only fights things that Mato is deeply concerned about. There is no indication that BRS was destroying the world other than the people Saya was sending to fight BRS. Which again, goes against the reasoning that Saya is trying to protect that world or protect Yuu. For all we know BRS might have done nothing if she didn't keep running into crazy people.

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
STR/real world Yuu intentionally cause IBRS to awaken, probably because she does want to "save" Yuu and bring her back to the real world. Now IBRS is on an unstoppable rampage, and Mato is also trapped on the other side. Saya tried to communicate with Mato in order to stop IBRS's rampage. IBRS was too powerful for Saya to hope to kill her, so she wanted Mato to wake up and somehow bring IBRS under control.
"Let sleeping giants lie". That's all I have to say. Provoking BRS or Mato is probably the worse thing to do.
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