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Old 2011-03-13, 21:36   Link #1261
Elestia
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Wow, you put this very eloquently. I speculated something similar a few posts back but you did a better job of communicating the idea. Well said.
Indeed, ever since the beginning of the series Madoka's dreams were able to briefly catch a glimpse of the previous iterations of the timelines. She even was vaguely aware of Homura, despite being their first meeting. What was even more surprising was during episode 8 when Madoka experienced some deja vu, highlighted by the brief static scene, and questioning "Have we met somewhere before?".
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Old 2011-03-13, 21:47   Link #1262
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As it pertains to that black cat, I have a theory.

Maybe that black cat is from another highly advanced alien race, comparable to Kyubey's but of a different viewpoint and approach. Perhaps that black cat race has something akin to Star Trek's Prime Directive, and hence disagrees with any meddling whatsoever in the affairs of humans.

However... Kyubey's little wish-granting scheme has now created a nasty little time loop, and perhaps that's corrupting the timeline as a whole. The Black Cat race decide that it's time to get involved to fix this problem.

The Black Cat race has the technology needed to unlock human magical potential, just as Kyubey's race does. However, the Black Cat race are able and willing to do it with out the soul gem catch.

So they show up on Earth, and make that offer to Madoka.

Madoka takes it, becomes a different type of magical girl, and saves the day. Homura's wish has been fulfilled (somewhat indirectly) and so life goes on and the loop ends.


Now, would Gen be this kind? Maybe not.

On the other hand, though, it's now been shown that the OP is very reflective of the real story of this anime, so I'm inclined to think that this black cat will show up in one or both of the two remaining episodes.
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Old 2011-03-13, 22:36   Link #1263
Xion Valkyrie
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Madoka's wish is to become QB. She turns into a Black Cat.

I don't know how that'd solve anything, but it would be unexpected.
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Old 2011-03-14, 04:44   Link #1264
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Oh dear god, I just found a fanart that makes for such an ending worthy of Urobuchi that I feel depressed from the very idea that this could even happen.

http://gelbooru.com/index.php?page=p...iew&id=1099340
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Old 2011-03-14, 05:03   Link #1265
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Some late speculations based off episode 9, also carried off a post I made there, though I have indeed also watched episode 10 by now:

First, some speculation as to how the ending will play out, c&p nearly verbatim from my ep. 9 post:

In terms of thematic consistency. Kyuubey as an 'alien' represents the cold, objective perspective of the natural world, where, against all our ideals of faith and justice and good intentions and genuine meaning, our feelings of self-entitlement to happiness can be turned against us. 'Entropy' reinforces a fundamental truth of our world, where nothing can actually be got from nothing, where everything has a cost, and a gain in one place equates to a loss elsewhere. As Kyuubey harvests energy for the good of the universe, this 'free' emotional energy from humans is really not arising from nowhere--that good, in fact, is being paid in direct proportion by the suffering of these young girls we have come to follow. And this, as well, is simply life/reality. Our own comforts, livelihoods, freedoms right now are also most definately being paid on the backs of others; and we too, in this vast universe, may at some point in our existences also have our joy trampled for someone else's sake. How then do we live? Selfishly, hoarding for our own gain, and striking out at anything that threatens us? Or blindly, clinging to our idealism, hurtling headlong into the earth as reality catches up with us? This is the question Madoka Magica is confronting, in more direct and strongly a manner than I have almost ever seen in a piece of entertainment media.

Kyouko in episode 9 offers a poignant and relevant answer. Discard your hindrances: live--and die, then--by the one thing you truly care for. Powerful as this idea is, it has merely trapped Homura in an endless recursion of suffering and sent Kyouko to die at the hands of a witch which cannot even recognize her. In the end, it will probably be Madoka who shows us the answer; that is if I and Hyperborealis are right about this show's themes, and I hope we are. If I may speculate, furthermore, the thought has just occurred to me that that answer may lie in the words Madoka's mother gave to her: to learn to let go, make mistakes, and let something wrong happen. Perhaps, indeed, to be an adult means to accept loss, be resilient, and move on, allowing necessary evils to pass by for things more important. Indeed, we might have even already received an answer, inasmuch as it has been said (by the series director, I believe) that Kyuubey as he is now survives through the end of the series.


Next, a speculation about the nature of the 'emotional energy' Kyuubey is gathering from Mahou Shoujo and the origin of Madoka's unprecedented power, given the following translation:

Quote:
Originally Posted by guuchan View Post
M: What Homura-chan said was true?
QB: There was nothing wrong enough that needed to be corrected.
M: Then you are trying to turn everyone into witches by making them MGs...
QB: Don't take it wrong. We don't mean anything ill towards mankind. It's all for the sake of prolonging the life of this universe.
QB: Madoka, do you know the word "entropy"?
QB: As a simple example, the thermal energy obtained from burning woods doesn't match the effort of growing the trees. There is loss of energy resulted when it changes form.
QB: The entire energy of universe keeps on decreasing. That's why we have been looking for energy that is not restrained by the law of thermodyamics.
QB: And what we have found is the magical power of MGs.
M: Who on earth are you...
QB: Our civilization invented the technology of transforming intelligent lives' emotions into energy.
QB: But unfortunately, we ourselves don't have any emotion. So we investigated various races of this universe and discovered you mankind.
QB: In view of mankind's population size and birthrate, the energy of emotion that a single human produces exceeds the need of energy for the birth and growth of that individual.
QB: Your souls contribute a sufficient energy source to overturn entropy. Above all, the most efficient energy comes from the phrase transition of hope and despair of girls in puberty.
QB: The moment when your souls as soul gems burn out and become grief seeds, it will give out a huge energy.
QB: It's our duty as incubators to collect those energies.
M: Are we consumables? Are you saying we should die for your sake?
QB: Do you have any idea how many civilizations are crammed into this universe and how much energy is consumed in every single instant?
QB: You mankind will likely leave this planet too one day and join us.*
QB: By then, you wouldn't appreciate it either if a withered universe is handed over to you**.
QB: If you look at the long term, it should be a good deal for you people too.

* "仲間入り" has the implication of "joining us and becoming one of us"
** "引き渡す" is hand over. If you want a weaker term per se, you can use "pass (over)" instead[/spoiler]
This translation of Kyuubey/Madoka's conversation gave me an idea which I want to draw out from its implications: it seems that it is the transition of hope to despair which generates/determines a magical girl's emotional energy. Perhaps, as a container, a Soul Gem forms representing a person's capacity for hope; this hope energy is then expended as Puella Magi's do positive work casting magic. As the Soul Gem empties, and the consumed hope is slowly converted to despair, grief begins to fill up the container. Eventually, as the Soul Gem is entirely filled with darkness, it becomes instead a container for grief, i.e. a Grief Seed. In such a case, a Grief Seeds capacity is directly related to how much hope the Soul Gem could hold, which is in turn related to the initial hope of the magical girl. Madoka's strength, then, arises from the hope she can place behind a wish she makes--the extent of her desire for happiness. The greater the happiness she dares to wish into the world, the greater the hope and despair the Soul Gem will eventually generate.

(I think it is indeed the Grief Seed, and not the transformation itself, which contains Kyuubey's desired energy. This idea seems somewhat dubious going on the information from this and the next episode. I will wait until episodes 11 and 12 to confirm, though, as this would currently give the show more conceptual consistency.)


Finally, to state my position on the black cat issue for the record. First, there's been a sighting of it (at least, I'm betting it's the same cat) in the Kazumi Magica manga. Given both it's thus far apparently minor/mascot role in that manga, as well as the fact that after episode 10 I feel the anime has already closed/answered most questions/plot issues, I am going to bet that the black cat is also just a mascot character in the anime (i.e., a normal cat which Madoka, Sayaka, et al hang around). A minor red herring, if you will.

That'll be all for now.
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Old 2011-03-14, 05:24   Link #1266
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Originally Posted by Kagekyuubi View Post
Oh dear god, I just found a fanart that makes for such an ending worthy of Urobuchi that I feel depressed from the very idea that this could even happen.

http://gelbooru.com/index.php?page=p...iew&id=1099340
That's one of my speculations. But it won't be an exact circle because Madoka knows the eventual fate of all MGs before making a wish.
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Old 2011-03-14, 05:37   Link #1267
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*sigh*

i'm so frustrated. i dun have any idea how gen would end this. I wish for NO RESET for either Madoka and Homura. I dun want them ending up saving each other only to fail. That'd be cruel for me..
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Old 2011-03-14, 06:00   Link #1268
Kagekyuubi
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Originally Posted by Jimmy C View Post
That's one of my speculations. But it won't be an exact circle because Madoka knows the eventual fate of all MGs before making a wish.
I'd say a circle works here considering she died without becoming a witch in the first iteration so she could have intentionally let her soul gem get destroyed after finishing off Walpurgis, which adds yet another level of depressing to what was already a highly depressing speculah. I'm torn between wanting a bittersweet ending where at least someone ends up happy and having it end just like in that picture to cement the series as a masterpiece.
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Old 2011-03-14, 06:16   Link #1269
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It's great that people find such deep meanings in Madoka but sometimes I think too much weight is added to words like "balance". It's a romantic notion to hold, and I note that some posters really think Madoka is some kind of metaphor for humanity, but I have to disagree. Sometimes something simply is, what it is. When the characters speak of balance, they mean it in the karmic sense. The notion is "I got what I deserved" perhaps, something along those lines. It isn't a physical law in the story where everything MUST have a balance.

Every event in the story is the result of choices. Even Mami, on deaths door, could have refused the wish. Sayaka could have taken the help when it was offered to her. Kyouko didn't have to kill herself. Etc., etc., etc. There are choices, even when they aren't choices you like. All else aside, the only universal constant is that every event has consequences. Action or inaction, both carry consequences. We see how this plays out each time Homura loops back into the past. Each time is different, because the choices changed.

We find meaning in that which affects us. It does not automatically mean that what we found meaning in is telling us those things. We interpret as we're inspired, nothing more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
(I think it is indeed the Grief Seed, and not the transformation itself, which contains Kyuubey's desired energy. This idea seems somewhat dubious going on the information from this and the next episode. I will wait until episodes 11 and 12 to confirm, though, as this would currently give the show more conceptual consistency.)
Guuchan's translations are pretty close to the various subs, so this is answered just by observation.

Quote:
QB: The moment when your souls as soul gems burn out and become grief seeds, it will give out a huge energy.
QB: It's our duty as incubators to collect those energies.
This means exactly what it says. For two specific examples, the energy release from Sayaka and Madoka turning into a Witch are shown on screen. This is the energy that Kyubey collects. The energy released that changes the Soul Gem into a Grief Seed, and transfers the soul from the human vessel into the newly created Witch vessel, is what he is after.

To further support this, Kyubey states he doesn't care about humanity after Madoka turns into a Witch. He clearly doesn't need her Grief Seed because he already collected the energy from her transformation into a Witch.

On another note, why people want a bad end of some kind is beyond me. Wasn't most of the episodes including the events of the last episode enough? Maybe it's just me, but I'd like to see these characters get a break after going through so much crap.
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Old 2011-03-14, 06:33   Link #1270
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And by making all the bad ends in ep10, they made it unacceptable to recycle those for the finale. So, even if it's a bad end, it'll have to be different from the ones already shown.
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Old 2011-03-14, 08:00   Link #1271
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
On another note, why people want a bad end of some kind is beyond me. Wasn't most of the episodes including the events of the last episode enough? Maybe it's just me, but I'd like to see these characters get a break after going through so much crap.
No, you're definitely not the only one. I want a good end too. However, knowing the scriptwriter, I know it's not very likely to happen (but not impossible). I wished they had managed to keep the scriptwriter's identity a secret. I tried my best to remain objective, but knowing Urobuchi wrote the shows has definitely warped my expectations to some level.

All I'm hoping for is for Homura and Madoka to be together in the end. If they can also topple the Incubators' system and save the city/world in the process, then even better. Right now, I'd say infinite time loop is the most likely ending. I'm very eager to see the next episode.

On the topic of the black cat... I think it's simply a black cat that will have no relevance whatsoever to the story.
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Old 2011-03-14, 08:46   Link #1272
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No, you're definitely not the only one. I want a good end too. However, knowing the scriptwriter, I know it's not very likely to happen (but not impossible). I wished they had managed to keep the scriptwriter's identity a secret. I tried my best to remain objective, but knowing Urobuchi wrote the shows has definitely warped my expectations to some level.

All I'm hoping for is for Homura and Madoka to be together in the end. If they can also topple the Incubators' system and save the city/world in the process, then even better. Right now, I'd say infinite time loop is the most likely ending. I'm very eager to see the next episode.

On the topic of the black cat... I think it's simply a black cat that will have no relevance whatsoever to the story.
I don't know how Urobuchi's name has become synonymous with "Bad End" to this extent. Saya no Uta was definitely not sweet, but not everyone was screwed over either.

I don't know whether Madoka and Homura can remove Kyubey and his system entirely, but after ep10, there is no purpose to seeing Madoka dying or becoming a Witch and Homura looping again. Something has to change this time.
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Old 2011-03-14, 09:04   Link #1273
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Originally Posted by Shadow5YA View Post

I don't know whether Madoka and Homura can remove Kyubey and his system entirely, but after ep10, there is no purpose to seeing Madoka dying or becoming a Witch and Homura looping again.
Well, I think that there is no purpose to seeing an infinite time loop end, because that wouldn't be significantly different than what we saw in Episode 10.

However, I could see there being one more loop, if this anime is slated for a sequel and/or a movie. Perhaps valuable lessons are learned from this loop which enables Homura to succeed in Timeline 6.

If the Madoka Magica story ends in this 12 episode anime, then I am inclined to think that we are witnessing the final loop, though.
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Old 2011-03-14, 09:21   Link #1274
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Well, I think that there is no purpose to seeing an infinite time loop end, because that wouldn't be significantly different than what we saw in Episode 10.

However, I could see there being one more loop, if this anime is slated for a sequel and/or a movie. Perhaps valuable lessons are learned from this loop which enables Homura to succeed in Timeline 6.

If the Madoka Magica story ends in this 12 episode anime, then I am inclined to think that we are witnessing the final loop, though.
What I mean is that there is no purpose in another loop where Homura fails to save Madoka if she does not learn anything new to set it apart from her past trials.

After Homura's third time around, she has just been experimenting by doing things differently instead of having a clear answer on how to stop Walpurgis Night without Madoka. Telling everyone directly did not work, so Homura keeps it all to herself and tries to solo everything. However, that fails, so this time around Homura tries a middle ground: not completely secretive, but cryptic, and not fighting alone, but with Kyoko. However, Homura is apparently alone again. Homura can only do trial and error so many times before even the audience loses their compassion.

Also keep in mind that Madoka is the star of the show, not Homura. The story is centered around this current Madoka, so this timeline has to have a different ending. Should the series focus on Homura's endless grind of fate, she would be in the spotlight more instead of having her entire story condensed into one episode.
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Old 2011-03-14, 09:41   Link #1275
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I don't know how Urobuchi's name has become synonymous with "Bad End" to this extent. Saya no Uta was definitely not sweet, but not everyone was screwed over either.
I wasn't trying to imply his endings are all "Bad Ends", just that most are not really what I'd call happy/good, so I'm not expecting a happy end a la Higurashi here. And for the record, I liked Saya no Uta's true ending. Love triumphed over everything (humanity, morality, etc...). It was horrifying yet incredibly beautiful at the same time. I wouldn't mind seeing a smilar ending in Madoka. There's no way Madoka would accept though. Homura definitely would, Madoka's life weighs more than anyone else's for her. She's the type that would sacrifice thousands for the sake of the one person she loves.
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Old 2011-03-14, 10:01   Link #1276
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I wasn't trying to imply his endings are all "Bad Ends", just that most are not really what I'd call happy/good, so I'm not expecting a happy end a la Higurashi here. And for the record, I liked Saya no Uta's true ending. Love triumphed over everything (humanity, morality, etc...). It was horrifying yet incredibly beautiful at the same time. I wouldn't mind seeing a smilar ending in Madoka. There's no way Madoka would accept though. Homura definitely would, Madoka's life weighs more than anyone else's for her. She's the type that would sacrifice thousands for the sake of the one person she loves.
Which, of course, begs the question of just how similar she could be with Inkyubeytor on their beliefs, when you consider that ideal method to escape this fate is something completely opposite to what Inkyubeytor is pushing on humanity.
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Old 2011-03-14, 10:31   Link #1277
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
I wasn't trying to imply his endings are all "Bad Ends", just that most are not really what I'd call happy/good, so I'm not expecting a happy end a la Higurashi here. And for the record, I liked Saya no Uta's true ending. Love triumphed over everything (humanity, morality, etc...).
It's interesting that you say that, because it has occurred to me that the theme of this anime may simply be "Love conquers all".

If you look at most of the core character actions in this anime, they're driven by love or a desire for love.

1) Mami trying to recruit Madoka and Sayaka. Mami does this in large part because she's lonely. She desires friendship. She desires platonic love, basically.

2) Sayaka's wish is obviously rooted in romantic love.

3) Kyoko's wish is rooted in a familial love, and admiration for her father.

4) Homura's wish is rooted in love for Madoka. (Note that for all this talk about how wishes should be selfish, three of the four we know of where based on love for another person)

5) My view is that Kyoko had came to love Sayaka, and hence tried to save Sayaka, and eventually sacrificed herself in order to be with Sayaka in the end.

6) Should Madoka become a magical girl, it may be due to an unconditional, and perhaps self-sacrificial, love for the people and places that are important to her.
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Old 2011-03-14, 11:05   Link #1278
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It's interesting that you say that, because it has occurred to me that the theme of this anime may simply be "Love conquers all".

If you look at most of the core character actions in this anime, they're driven by love or a desire for love.

1) Mami trying to recruit Madoka and Sayaka. Mami does this in large part because she's lonely. She desires friendship. She desires platonic love, basically.

2) Sayaka's wish is obviously rooted in romantic love.

3) Kyoko's wish is rooted in a familial love, and admiration for her father.

4) Homura's wish is rooted in love for Madoka. (Note that for all this talk about how wishes should be selfish, three of the four we know of where based on love for another person)

5) My view is that Kyoko had came to love Sayaka, and hence tried to save Sayaka, and eventually sacrificed herself in order to be with Sayaka in the end.

6) Should Madoka become a magical girl, it may be due to an unconditional, and perhaps self-sacrificial, love for the people and places that are important to her.
But the thing is love hasnít conqured anything, they all end up dying in the end because of their love. If anything this story is about love=tragedy which really is a bad message, lol. In a way I want this to end on a happy not with everyone alive because of how tragic Homuraís loops have been. Especially this last one where she kind of wants/lets everyone die in the end of their fight. I wonder if she has given up and is going to let Madoka die or, if Walpurisnight is next episode then maybe Madoka will die/turn into a witch and the final episode will be Homura saving everyone by sacrificing herself without ever meeting them. That way the loop ends and they never meet her, meaning Madoka will never have to grieve over losing her bff.
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Old 2011-03-14, 11:13   Link #1279
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But the thing is love hasnít conqured anything, they all end up dying in the end because of their love.
Love doesn't always conquer by saving lives. Sometimes it conquers by costing lives. I mean, think of Romeo and Juliet.

One thing I like about the idea of "love" being at the very core of this anime, is that it makes Kyubey the perfect antagonistic figure, as he stands in opposition to this theme of love by being a coldly unemotional alien.
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Old 2011-03-14, 11:18   Link #1280
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But the thing is love hasnít conqured anything, they all end up dying in the end because of their love. If anything this story is about love=tragedy which really is a bad message, lol. In a way I want this to end on a happy not with everyone alive because of how tragic Homuraís loops have been. Especially this last one where she kind of wants/lets everyone die in the end of their fight. I wonder if she has given up and is going to let Madoka die or, if Walpurisnight is next episode then maybe Madoka will die/turn into a witch and the final episode will be Homura saving everyone by sacrificing herself without ever meeting them. That way the loop ends and they never meet her, meaning Madoka will never have to grieve over losing her bff.
Homura grew stronger because of her love for Madoka. She may have experienced a lot of trauma for it, but she went from clumsily swinging a golf club to being able to take out any witch out on her own, with the exception of Walpurgis Night. Despite the suffering, the fact that she has come this far from being the outcast nearly driven to suicide by a Witch says a lot.

Sayaka turning into a Witch can also be seen as her losing her love for other people. She was falling out of love for Kyousuke because Hitomi took him, and she lost her sense of justice because the found that some of the normal people she wanted to protect were jerks, like those two guys on the train.

Finally, while Kyoko did physically die, it was from her own sacrifice instead of being killed. Thanks to Sayaka and Madoka, she was reminded of her love for others and in a sense, received spiritual salvation.
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