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Old 2012-07-30, 17:56   Link #41
TJR
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He's just referring to the writing process. When creating prose, a writer is expected to provide a lot of detail, whereas with screenplays, the production staff fulfill that function (through art/animation as opposed to text).

Urobuchi is saying that the latter may be a better fit for him.
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Old 2012-07-30, 18:17   Link #42
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I'll just say, that it's not much of a tragedy if all the wounds are self-inflicted, ie, "stop punching yourself" doesn't work as much of a tragedy, when the main character can end the bad stuff at any time.

Gen is like most other manga/anime writers, no better or worse. Puts out decent stuff, full of high points and pitfalls, both on an emotional and technical level.
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Old 2012-07-30, 18:50   Link #43
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I am not really surprised that Gen Urobuchi is going to be focusing on anime projects for awhile (and from what he said at Otakon it sounds like there are a few in the works). After all Madoka was a huge success, of course he was going to get a lot of offers to develop more series.

Anyways I am very happy I managed to get his autograph at Otakon.
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Old 2012-07-31, 02:54   Link #44
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
I'll just say, that it's not much of a tragedy if all the wounds are self-inflicted, ie, "stop punching yourself" doesn't work as much of a tragedy, when the main character can end the bad stuff at any time.
You have only watched Madoka. Go watch all of Requiem for Phantom, read Fate/zero and PLAY Saya no Uta, then you can talk.
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Old 2012-07-31, 07:37   Link #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
You have only watched Madoka. Go watch all of Requiem for Phantom, read Fate/zero and PLAY Saya no Uta, then you can talk.
That really hit a nerve with you, didn't it? Sorry about that. But I fail to see how my comment lacks any sort of validity, not having seen the qualifiers on your list. When my comment can be taken as not applying to those particular series.

Curious, why did you leave off the fact that I watched Fate/Zero, too? Or is the light novel series of Fate/Zero somehow better and different, and you're more of a purist that way? Was a good series, other than the plot hole near the beginning. Koto is the perfect man because he just lost his wife and thus doesn't have anything to wish for? Um, he doesn't want to wish his wife back to life?

Oh, also saw Black Lagoon. Another decent series, though sometimes all the convenient bullet missing and dodging got to me. Still a good series.

Oh wait, I can't have an opinion on what I've seen, until I watch, read, and play everything you demand I do. Duly noted!
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Old 2012-07-31, 07:58   Link #46
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Koto is the perfect man because he just lost his wife and thus doesn't have anything to wish for? Um, he doesn't want to wish his wife back to life?
That clearly shows that you don't pay attention to the series.
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Old 2012-07-31, 08:20   Link #47
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
That clearly shows that you don't pay attention to the series.
I admit, I only watched it once. But hey, you could explain what I'm missing, but instead you'd rather settle for subtle jabs. That doesn't seem very conducive to a constructive conversation, but then again, I haven't seen, read, and played all of Gen's stuff. Maybe, in that light, it's good I haven't?

Thanks for agreeing with the rest of my points, though.

Edit: I will add that, Koto seems to lack a sense of joy and fulfillment, so it is quite possible he simply married just because, and never felt any real love. So he wouldn't wish her back because it would be like wishing back an old chair that broke that you no longer need. If this is the case it still makes the statement "nothing to wish for since his wife died" a bit odd, when it should have been "nothing to wish for since he lacks a sense of joy and fulfillment." Although my impression is that he became like this *because* his wife died.
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Old 2012-07-31, 08:47   Link #48
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Emiya, Einbern and Gilgamesh all found out that something is wrong with Kotomine. It was never about "he became that", it was about "he never found out what he was all along". He was a dark reflect of Shirou. And before you fault Urobuchi for Kotomine and what he was, it was Nasu who decided this for Kotomine.

All Gen ever needed was to write Kotomine's start of darkness and awakening to his true nature, and outline the events that eventually led to it. Why Gen instead of Nasu? Possibly because his previous works at Nitro+ have shown that he is one of those able to talk about the inhumanity of humans (like in Saya no Uta) and the downfall of people in a compelling way.
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Old 2012-07-31, 16:16   Link #49
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
I'll just say, that it's not much of a tragedy if all the wounds are self-inflicted, ie, "stop punching yourself" doesn't work as much of a tragedy, when the main character can end the bad stuff at any time.
Sometimes that rings true, however, what you describe reflects a great deal of human history.

It's depressing enough to not use an emoticon for it.
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Old 2012-07-31, 18:26   Link #50
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
Emiya, Einbern and Gilgamesh all found out that something is wrong with Kotomine. It was never about "he became that", it was about "he never found out what he was all along". He was a dark reflect of Shirou. And before you fault Urobuchi for Kotomine and what he was, it was Nasu who decided this for Kotomine.

All Gen ever needed was to write Kotomine's start of darkness and awakening to his true nature, and outline the events that eventually led to it. Why Gen instead of Nasu? Possibly because his previous works at Nitro+ have shown that he is one of those able to talk about the inhumanity of humans (like in Saya no Uta) and the downfall of people in a compelling way.
While all that is interesting and things I derived that the anime wanted to tell us, it's not exactly addressing the point I was making. I don't want to get too far into this, but...

The point was that I found it odd that Tokiomi said (paraphrasing) "He just lost his wife so he has nothing to wish for." That statement is odd, even taking the above into account. Given that this is episode 1, and thus we don't know the characters well, one would rightly assume that Koto *does* have something to wish for: his wife back.

If we presume that Toki knows Koto well enough, then his statement should have been more along the lines of "He's not one who has any real wants in this world, so he has nothing to wish for."

If we presume that Toki doesn't know Koto well(and later actions bear out this more than the other), then his statement is odd because he might have considered that most people would want to wish their dead wife back. So it's more a critique of Toki, then it is of Koto.

But while we're on the Koto track, it never mentions Koto's wife again, or shows any real flashback of him, so we never really get a sense for how he developed and became how he is. We get plenty of backstory and development for Kiritsugu, which makes the lack of Koto's development all the more jarring; he's simply there as an antagonist for Kiritsugu to fight, and supposedly his "dark half" but this is all things we are just told, instead of shown why that is. Not very good storytelling.

But having said this, I still enjoyed Fate/Zero and thought it was decently good. However, I'm always perplexed at how people can get jumped on merely for having the subtlest critiques about a series or director. It must be a circle jerk love story discussion fest, and if you have one slightly dissenting moment, you are bad. :P

And Gen is still on the hook for the entire series, even if someone else like Natsu made a call. By keeping his name on it, he's agreeing with the development. Unless you have a quote from Gen saying, "I didn't want to do that, but was overruled."

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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Sometimes that rings true, however, what you describe reflects a great deal of human history.

It's depressing enough to not use an emoticon for it.
Indeed. But oddly enough, it's a major reason I don't consider self-inflicted wounds to be tragic. If a character is rich, and yet live as a homeless person, it's not that tragic if they continually complain that they don't have basic necessities. If their hell is of your own making, then it is their own fault. Even if outside circumstances created it, if they have an easy way to make things right, but don't and simply go emo over it, then it's not tragic so much as sad and pathetic. True Greek Tragedies do have the implication is that the tragic (sad) outcome is an inevitable result of the key character's personal flaws; he or she was 'doomed' to disaster (death) from the outset. But when that crosses into stupidity, it fails the test for me. I suppose this is more of a personal opinion, thing, and as a critic, I do tend to be harsher than most. Most people are easily entertained.
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Old 2012-07-31, 21:23   Link #51
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^ you're forgetting the important fact that this is a prequel to the F/S N visual novel (Yes the VN not the anime).

Kotomine's development is not relegated solely to F/Z, it was basically in F/S N and F/Z is more his how his descent to darkness took place.
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Old 2012-08-01, 02:44   Link #52
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
While all that is interesting and things I derived that the anime wanted to tell us, it's not exactly addressing the point I was making. I don't want to get too far into this, but...

The point was that I found it odd that Tokiomi said (paraphrasing) "He just lost his wife so he has nothing to wish for." That statement is odd, even taking the above into account. Given that this is episode 1, and thus we don't know the characters well, one would rightly assume that Koto *does* have something to wish for: his wife back.

If we presume that Toki knows Koto well enough, then his statement should have been more along the lines of "He's not one who has any real wants in this world, so he has nothing to wish for."

If we presume that Toki doesn't know Koto well(and later actions bear out this more than the other), then his statement is odd because he might have considered that most people would want to wish their dead wife back. So it's more a critique of Toki, then it is of Koto.

But while we're on the Koto track, it never mentions Koto's wife again, or shows any real flashback of him, so we never really get a sense for how he developed and became how he is. We get plenty of backstory and development for Kiritsugu, which makes the lack of Koto's development all the more jarring; he's simply there as an antagonist for Kiritsugu to fight, and supposedly his "dark half" but this is all things we are just told, instead of shown why that is. Not very good storytelling.
To me this is fairly obvious why, even though I never read the VN. Kotomine is for all intents and purposes, a sociopath-- one who has no emotions for others.

Spoiler for Fate/Zero:


Quote:
But having said this, I still enjoyed Fate/Zero and thought it was decently good. However, I'm always perplexed at how people can get jumped on merely for having the subtlest critiques about a series or director. It must be a circle jerk love story discussion fest, and if you have one slightly dissenting moment, you are bad. :P
I don't think Fate series is the worse for that.


Quote:
Indeed. But oddly enough, it's a major reason I don't consider self-inflicted wounds to be tragic. If a character is rich, and yet live as a homeless person, it's not that tragic if they continually complain that they don't have basic necessities. If their hell is of your own making, then it is their own fault. Even if outside circumstances created it, if they have an easy way to make things right, but don't and simply go emo over it, then it's not tragic so much as sad and pathetic. True Greek Tragedies do have the implication is that the tragic (sad) outcome is an inevitable result of the key character's personal flaws; he or she was 'doomed' to disaster (death) from the outset. But when that crosses into stupidity, it fails the test for me. I suppose this is more of a personal opinion, thing, and as a critic, I do tend to be harsher than most. Most people are easily entertained.
Well, that is a matter of what degree the tragedy is reaching. Your example would be an extreme one and for the most part while possible is hardly plausible. If no effort is to explain why (Perhaps the person is mentally ill, or somehow has some plan to carry out), then yes it would be a bad idea. But in a vacuum, said character would be so detatched from reality that it's not worth considering.

Many anime about war often illustrate this problem. UC Gundam is a story of such-- many preventable conflicts that are made worse by those too stubborn to let go of ideology, and those that are too devoted to the manipulative. Many decent and resourceful people were lost simply due to the worse parts of human nature. The same minds that create such advanced technology are also the same ones that use it to senselessly kill each other out of some foolish conflict. Char Aznable is one example of a tragic character that could have avoided much of the trouble, but trauma and the events that ensued, as well as frustrations with progress let to a rather tragic fate.
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Old 2012-08-01, 07:39   Link #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
^ you're forgetting the important fact that this is a prequel to the F/S N visual novel (Yes the VN not the anime).

Kotomine's development is not relegated solely to F/Z, it was basically in F/S N and F/Z is more his how his descent to darkness took place.
This is something important to know, which I didn't. I'd argue that a series needs to stand on its own, and not rely so much on extra stuff to explain and develop its characters (Nanoha had something of a similar problem), but I can understand having extra materials scattered around. I was a bit put off by those 3 special eps that tried to explain the grail's creation and the families, too, which seemed clunky and a bit lacking in sense.

@Archonwing: And again, my comment isn't so much toward Koto, as it is toward Toki. As I said before, I already kinda get Koto after watching the full series. It was just that I found Toki's comment at the start rather strange. Especially given that the wife or marriage is never mentioned again. I won't go further into this, though, in order to end this thread divergence and let it get back to the normal discussion.

And to be clear, this was only a nitpick, and F/Z had so little wrong with it, that it doesn't trigger my "fatally flawed" line. Unlike a few other series I've seen. :P

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Well, that is a matter of what degree the tragedy is reaching. Your example would be an extreme one and for the most part while possible is hardly plausible. If no effort is to explain why (Perhaps the person is mentally ill, or somehow has some plan to carry out), then yes it would be a bad idea. But in a vacuum, said character would be so detatched from reality that it's not worth considering.

Many anime about war often illustrate this problem. UC Gundam is a story of such-- many preventable conflicts that are made worse by those too stubborn to let go of ideology, and those that are too devoted to the manipulative. Many decent and resourceful people were lost simply due to the worse parts of human nature. The same minds that create such advanced technology are also the same ones that use it to senselessly kill each other out of some foolish conflict. Char Aznable is one example of a tragic character that could have avoided much of the trouble, but trauma and the events that ensued, as well as frustrations with progress let to a rather tragic fate.
I see what you're getting at, but my comment isn't so geared at those with ideology problems that prevent their actions; it's more stupidity. Times when there is no ideology present, and the character repeatedly doesn't do the obvious thing that they have no compunction against doing... they just don't do it for unexplained, or poorly explained, reasons. Like watching a house catch fire, and you have a hose hooked up to water right there, which they look at several times, and instead settle for sitting there going, "What do I do? There has to be some way to put out this fire; oh woe is my life!" Even worse when they set that fire themselves, heh.

Edit: I suppose the best analogy I can draw, is the Darwin Award winners. We don't see their suffering or their deaths as tragic. Instead, at best we just shake our head, and at worst, we laugh. All because they do things that they should have the good sense not to do.

Last edited by Kaijo; 2012-08-01 at 08:14.
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Old 2012-08-01, 14:53   Link #54
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I see what you're getting at, but my comment isn't so geared at those with ideology problems that prevent their actions; it's more stupidity. Times when there is no ideology present, and the character repeatedly doesn't do the obvious thing that they have no compunction against doing... they just don't do it for unexplained, or poorly explained, reasons. Like watching a house catch fire, and you have a hose hooked up to water right there, which they look at several times, and instead settle for sitting there going, "What do I do? There has to be some way to put out this fire; oh woe is my life!" Even worse when they set that fire themselves, heh.

Edit: I suppose the best analogy I can draw, is the Darwin Award winners. We don't see their suffering or their deaths as tragic. Instead, at best we just shake our head, and at worst, we laugh. All because they do things that they should have the good sense not to do.
Well, I feel in those cases it's bad writing because the scenario is just too detatched from actual people, or comedy. However, I happen to like comedy so...

But I will say, the more cynical one becomes, the more comical things become, even if it shouldn't.
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Old 2013-03-10, 03:20   Link #55
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(I'm bumping this thread due to AS' pro-necro policy and due to some observations I've made with Psycho-Pass almost finished).

With only two episodes left to go in Psycho-Pass, I'm struck by the lack of major character death in the show. Kagari is the most important character in the show to die so far. The rest were all "mid-boss" antagonists, random one-shot victims, and one of Akane's friends. To be sure, there's been a lot of death and violence in Psycho-Pass, but I'm honestly surprised that here we are, going into the final two episodes of the show, and none of the five most important characters (Akane, Kougami, Makishima, Tomomi, Gino) have died yet. I'll be shocked if the finale doesn't see at least one or two of them die, but even so, it's pretty amazing they all lasted this long.

So this raises the question - Is Gen's reputation for loving to brutalize and kill off characters deserved?

Certainly he puts them through a lot of trials and turmoils, but I don't get the impression that Gen kills off characters just for sheer shock and awe.

"What about Madoka Magica Episode 3?" somebody asks.

Yes, what about it?


As much as I like Mami Tomoe, the rest of the Madoka Magica narrative arguably does not work if she lives through the Charlotte battle. That's for the following reasons.

1) With Mami there, Sayaka vs. Kyouko changes completely. For one thing, it might not even happen. If it does happen, Mami likely forces Kyouko to retreat. Kyouko's tough, but she wouldn't take both Mami and Sayaka in an one-on-two fight. And that means...

2) The Soul Gem reveal never happens. And that means...

Well, by now, I'm sure you see how keeping Mami alive would force Gen to completely rework his narrative. And remember that for his narrative to work, certain key reveals need to be made to Madoka in time for her to resolve the major conflicts of the narrative (but also while staving off her choosing to become a Puella Magi).

If Sayaka joins Mami, and the two work well as Puella Magi together, what stops Madoka from joining in? Mami's death lends some credibility to Homura's warnings which in turn makes it more believable for Madoka to refrain from becoming a Puella Magi.

So it's clear how Mami's death is very helpful to the the PMMM narrative as a whole. And the falls of Sayaka and Kyouko are also very helpful for setting the stage for Madoka's big decisions.


Deaths in Gen's works aren't like deaths in Another or Blood+. They're purposeful, they serve important roles in the story, they're not solely for shock and awe. And I think that's part of what makes Gen an effective writer. He is willing to kill characters, but only if it serves the bigger picture of the narrative as a whole. He doesn't kill characters just for the sake of killing characters.

What do other people here think?
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Old 2013-03-10, 05:36   Link #56
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Deaths in Gen's works aren't like deaths in Another or Blood+. They're purposeful, they serve important roles in the story, they're not solely for shock and awe. And I think that's part of what makes Gen an effective writer. He is willing to kill characters, but only if it serves the bigger picture of the narrative as a whole. He doesn't kill characters just for the sake of killing characters.

What do other people here think?
Well, I have to bring up that quote from one of his interviews where he mentions Raoh's, and one character from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, death as those people will most remember. Those characters have become memorable because their deaths have been meaningful and in tune with the philosophy of the series and the ideals they represent.

Deaths in Urobuchi's stories appears to serve a purpose: either it is to make a point, either it affirms something, either it is underlining something about a character and one aspect of the story, or it is simply the most logical conclusion in one situation.

Death in Urobuchi that makes a point: Mami's death, it is here to prove Homura's point: A Puella Magi's life is miserable and its end will be as miserable. (the miserable death of Mami did not stop her from becoming that model of hero of justice that Sayaka looked up to).

Death that affirms something: Lord Keynneth and Sola-Ui's deaths affirms the ends Kiritsugu is willing to go to win the war.

Death underlining something about a character and one aspect of the story: Rider's final charge underline the character of Iskandar, a bodacious and stubborn king willing to burn his life away and never look back, and more importantly he have never regretted it (which is what have earned him the respect of Gilgamesh).

Death being the most logical conclusion to one situation: Kagari was a witness that could not be let loose.

Unlike what many of his detractors have stated, deaths in Urobuchi's stories are never gratuitous or to show that Urobuchi is EVULZ, they are here because Gen is one of those writers who have accepted that sometime, you need to kill a character because it will serve the greater picture.

(important to note that he used to play Call of Cthulhu, which may have influenced the way he writes story and characters)

Gen is a very story-driven writer, characters being actors of his stories and the small cogs in his narrative. And it may be his weakness, when his characters might not be as memorable to anime fans in this decade where cults of characters are the big thing, and where a vocal portion of anime fans loudly voices their aversion to angst and characters' death (never recovered from the traumatism of Evangelion perhaps?). That he managed to make the five main girls of Madoka Magica as memorable is one of his feats for the series.
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Old 2013-03-10, 05:49   Link #57
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@Triple_R Didn't the Different Story manga show that Mami not dying before Kyoko's arrival would have made things go quite differently?
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Old 2013-03-10, 05:59   Link #58
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Deaths in Gen's works aren't like deaths in Another or Blood+. They're purposeful, they serve important roles in the story, they're not solely for shock and awe. And I think that's part of what makes Gen an effective writer. He is willing to kill characters, but only if it serves the bigger picture of the narrative as a whole. He doesn't kill characters just for the sake of killing characters.

What do other people here think?
Unlike most anime in which some characters die without reason, Urobuchi's deaths do serve a purpose, and I think they are portrayed so magnificiously despite not being so gratuitous (despite only watching Madoka Magica and Psycho-Pass so far). My gripes to Urobuchi's writings however is while their characters developped throughout the story, only the most important ones have enough backstory to tell, as well their motivations, which is what I realized when watching P-P so far. Romance also happen to be another weak point in my personal experience of watching his works. But I'll admit that Urobuchi has a fondness of comparing his works to western litterature and movies, and he likes to touch a genre that never exploits much of the darker aspects before, such as the magical girl genre for PMMM, but is also able to use one darker genre (such as police procedural for P-P) but mixes some of his trademark lines in order to make up for a flavorful, yet grim plate. Considering I plan to watch Gargantia this season, I really hope for Urobuchi to try something more lighthearted (despite falling under the post-apocalyptic approach of the mecha genre) without putting much of his darkness like his previous works nor any trolling traces like he did in PMMM.
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Old 2013-03-10, 06:06   Link #59
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(I'm bumping this thread due to AS' pro-necro policy and due to some observations I've made with Psycho-Pass almost finished).

With only two episodes left to go in Psycho-Pass, I'm struck by the lack of major character death in the show. Kagari is the most important character in the show to die so far. The rest were all "mid-boss" antagonists, random one-shot victims, and one of Akane's friends. To be sure, there's been a lot of death and violence in Psycho-Pass, but I'm honestly surprised that here we are, going into the final two episodes of the show, and none of the five most important characters (Akane, Kougami, Makishima, Tomomi, Gino) have died yet. I'll be shocked if the finale doesn't see at least one or two of them die, but even so, it's pretty amazing they all lasted this long.

So this raises the question - Is Gen's reputation for loving to brutalize and kill off characters deserved?

Certainly he puts them through a lot of trials and turmoils, but I don't get the impression that Gen kills off characters just for sheer shock and awe.

"What about Madoka Magica Episode 3?" somebody asks.

Yes, what about it?


As much as I like Mami Tomoe, the rest of the Madoka Magica narrative arguably does not work if she lives through the Charlotte battle. That's for the following reasons.

1) With Mami there, Sayaka vs. Kyouko changes completely. For one thing, it might not even happen. If it does happen, Mami likely forces Kyouko to retreat. Kyouko's tough, but she wouldn't take both Mami and Sayaka in an one-on-two fight. And that means...

2) The Soul Gem reveal never happens. And that means...

Well, by now, I'm sure you see how keeping Mami alive would force Gen to completely rework his narrative. And remember that for his narrative to work, certain key reveals need to be made to Madoka in time for her to resolve the major conflicts of the narrative (but also while staving off her choosing to become a Puella Magi).

If Sayaka joins Mami, and the two work well as Puella Magi together, what stops Madoka from joining in? Mami's death lends some credibility to Homura's warnings which in turn makes it more believable for Madoka to refrain from becoming a Puella Magi.

So it's clear how Mami's death is very helpful to the the PMMM narrative as a whole. And the falls of Sayaka and Kyouko are also very helpful for setting the stage for Madoka's big decisions.


Deaths in Gen's works aren't like deaths in Another or Blood+. They're purposeful, they serve important roles in the story, they're not solely for shock and awe. And I think that's part of what makes Gen an effective writer. He is willing to kill characters, but only if it serves the bigger picture of the narrative as a whole. He doesn't kill characters just for the sake of killing characters.

What do other people here think?
The critical thing to remember is that each death is meant to be ringers for the "awful truth" or if you want "awful reality". There is not collateral damage. Unlike the typical redshirt carnage of nameless stormtroopers getting gunned down, people he kill off die in order to affirm some sort of brutal point that surviving characters otherwise wouldn't have realized.

Really, Madoka and Sayaka would have never seen beyond the silver lining of being a Magical Girl if they didn't see Mami lose face (pun intended) in her last fight. Saber would never have seen the brutality of the Holy Grail War if Kotomine wasn't willing to sink low enough in blackmailing Keyneth and Sola-Aoi then kill them in cold blood. The reader would never have seen the clash of Saya's "humanity" and "brutality" if she didn't do what she did to... propagate her species.

In the end in order to smash the rose tinted glasses some characters wear and break them out of their blissful ignorance bubble, sometimes someone has to die. This is Gen's method of choice.
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Old 2013-03-10, 07:19   Link #60
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Yes it always made me smile when people were looking forward to some bloodbath early on in psycho-pass,that's just not how Gen works.

I also perfectly understand why some people wanted to see Kagari's body since if I've learned something from fate zero and Phantom is that with Gen your really shouldn't assume someone's dead unless you see their body.

I've always been curious about Requiem for the Phantom's ending,I don't mind it at all but it caused quite an uproar and from my understanding the very end is anime original,it makes me wonder how much he approves of it.

Spoiler for madoka magica + ending of requiem for the phantom:
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