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View Poll Results: Madoka Magica - Episode 07 Rating
Perfect 10 57 40.71%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 47 33.57%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 23 16.43%
7 out of 10 : Good 9 6.43%
6 out of 10 : Average 3 2.14%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 1 0.71%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 140. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-02-17, 19:43   Link #81
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elestia View Post
It would make sense if QB has some tools at his disposal to enforce the contracts. Otherwise the entire system of contracting MG to "fight witches" would be moot if he didn't have some control over the girls. So it might not be so arbitrary as to simply touching the soul gem to cause pain.
While a number of us have been scratching our heads over how he gets MG's to fight, we have come up with a number of them. That their gems will darken eventually, or that they have to keep fighting or their wish gets taken away, etc. All sorts of other ways to get girls to fight witches, but that wouldn't give him control. All equally likely as the one you are suggesting.

So you are presuming that this is the method, but we don't have proof of that. And still, in order to inflict that pain, he has to touch the soul gem while it is out like that. That doesn't sound like a particularly easy way to enforce something. It would be incredibly easy for a girl to protect her gem from Kyube touching it.

Quote:
In episode 7, when Sayaka was lashing out at QB about the soul gems, he (to my understanding of Japanese) mentions that neither Mami nor Kyoko were aware of the true nature of the Soul Gems, and maybe the extent of QBs ability to cause cause pain. So in that respect with Kyoko or any of the girls they would not need to be on their guard.
Again, even if he started to touch Kyoko's gem, you can bet she wouldn't stand there and take it. Or she could promise not to go after Sayaka, and as soon as Kyube lets up, she snatches her gem and says she was just kidding. Like I said, it is a poor enforcement method. There still could be some way to force MG's to fight, but we don't know what that is.

Quote:
Get Homura off his back? Are you talking about her constant attempts to prevent Madoka from making a contract?
I meant when Homura was beating the crap out of him, trying to kill him. Although as an interesting side note, she isn't planning on killing Kyube anymore, despite the fact that he can contact and contract new girls. Homura only reall seems to care that Madoka does not. And still, killing him now with Mami out of the way, would prevent Madoka from ever forming a contract; why doesn't she?
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Old 2011-02-17, 19:50   Link #82
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Old 2011-02-17, 19:55   Link #83
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I can NOT wait to see this subbed. I scanned through the raw because I couldn't help myself, and boy does this look juicy. My predictions (which I kept to myself) were pretty spot on. The only thing that blew me away this episode was Hitomi being thrown into the mix; all this time I was thinking of her as a toss-away/semi-comedy relief character, but now it turns out that she actually plays a part in Sayaka's inevitable psychological breakdown. Nice.

Kyoko's actions were also something I wasn't expecting, although I kept the possibility in mind. Unless she's just pretending or something/waiting for the right moment to backstab.

I loved psycho Sayaka. <3 Oh, and QB has probably made me madder this episode than in any other. Leave. Sayaka. Alone.
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Old 2011-02-17, 20:02   Link #84
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Haha. Just thinking about the reaction of QB defenders amuse me. It will make my day. This episode also gives insight about the extent of Mami's mental broken-ness.

Spoiler for eps7:
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Old 2011-02-17, 20:04   Link #85
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
While a number of us have been scratching our heads over how he gets MG's to fight, we have come up with a number of them. That their gems will darken eventually, or that they have to keep fighting or their wish gets taken away, etc. All sorts of other ways to get girls to fight witches, but that wouldn't give him control. All equally likely as the one you are suggesting.
I've also mentioned this, but if the only reason to fight witches was because that their soul gems "darken" (which opens a whole new can of worms), then what's stopping MG's from taking the Kyoko route of farming soul gems?

Also taking away a wish that you regret making doesn't seem to be a real mechanism for controlling MGs. As Mami, Homura, and Kyoko proved that all their wishes became something they ended up regretting.

So I'm inclined to believe that the tools QB has at his disposal are more .... absolute in power.

Quote:
So you are presuming that this is the method, but we don't have proof of that. And still, in order to inflict that pain, he has to touch the soul gem while it is out like that. That doesn't sound like a particularly easy way to enforce something. It would be incredibly easy for a girl to protect her gem from Kyube touching it.
I'm assuming that he has the means to, but the methods are not entirely clear. He gave an example by touching the soul gem, which might lend to the theory that he has more tricks up his sleeve that does not require him to "touch" the soul gems to inflict pain. He could have the ability to just simply inflict the pain at his whim.


Quote:
Again, even if he started to touch Kyoko's gem, you can bet she wouldn't stand there and take it. Or she could promise not to go after Sayaka, and as soon as Kyube lets up, she snatches her gem and says she was just kidding. Like I said, it is a poor enforcement method. There still could be some way to force MG's to fight, but we don't know what that is.
We don't know the extent of the pain he can inflict, but judging by the pain Sayaka received it was enough to have her reeling on the ground. The reason that contracts are kept is because they have an enforceable power that binds both parties into carrying out their duties. And I'm guessing the powers are vested to QB, making him difficult to defy.


Quote:
I meant when Homura was beating the crap out of him, trying to kill him. Although as an interesting side note, she isn't planning on killing Kyube anymore, despite the fact that he can contact and contract new girls. Homura only reall seems to care that Madoka does not. And still, killing him now with Mami out of the way, would prevent Madoka from ever forming a contract; why doesn't she?
I thought it was pretty clear. Homura is an irregular, meaning that there is some unknown element to why QB labels her as such. But this line of thought is pointless without more information.
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Old 2011-02-17, 20:16   Link #86
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Originally Posted by Elestia View Post
Also taking away a wish that you regret making doesn't seem to be a real mechanism for controlling MGs. As Mami, Homura, and Kyoko proved that all their wishes became something they ended up regretting.
Not Homura. She said she has not regrets about her wish, even if she had to give up everything, even herself, for the sake of that wish. Since her main concern from the beginning has been to prevent Madoka from makeing a contract, it's pretty clear her wish has something to do with that.
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Old 2011-02-17, 20:23   Link #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elestia View Post
Also taking away a wish that you regret making doesn't seem to be a real mechanism for controlling MGs. As Mami, Homura, and Kyoko proved that all their wishes became something they ended up regretting.
Mami did say something like she would think about wish twice or something..but I wonder whether or not Mami actually regreted for her wish. Afterall, it looks like Mami is the only MG so far that had spent the wish on herself (to keep herself alive, that is), not knowing what Homura's wish is.

I could totally see Kyoko and Sayaka regret, because they got none of what that actually wanted (Kyoko wanting a good family + happy father, Sayaka wanting Kamijiou); but it seemed to me like Mami just wanted to live, and...well...she did live longer than what she would otherwise be...
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Old 2011-02-17, 20:23   Link #88
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Oops, you're right. I meant to put in Sayaka not Homura.
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Old 2011-02-17, 20:35   Link #89
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Actually Mami said she didn't quite regret it... just that she would have liked more time to think about it. I believe the implication was that she would have preferred to be alive and have the opportunity to wish for something other than her own life.
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Old 2011-02-17, 20:42   Link #90
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Kaijo - In fairness, I see where a lot of specific details favor your position. You're right that Madoka isn't terribly helpful right now.

However, I have this feeling that Urobuchi may be painting with broad strokes in the proverbial background, while allowing specific details to camouflage what's really going on. The genius to such an approach is that you get light foreshadowing that looks very good when the viewer looks over the series a second time, but also that you may end up surprising a lot of your viewers with a good plot twist for the initial viewing.

So let's put aside the trees of specific details for a second, and just focus on the forest of broad strokes.


Two girls are each asked to become a magical girl.

Both get to see a magical girl in action (and both the pros and cons which that entails) before making a choice.

One girl decides to become a magical girl, with a wish for a friend in mind and a desire to fight witches and familiars to protect people.

The other girl decides to not become a magical girl, as caution rules the day for her, with the magical girl role seeming too dangerous to her for its own good.


The girl that decides to become a magical girl slowly, but surely, spirals downward into an abyss because of it. First, it makes her more willing to engage in lethal combat with another person. Secondly, it's making her go downright psychotic, based on what we've read in this episode thread so far. As a person, Sayaka seems to be changing for the worst.


The girl that chose the cautious path tries to talk her magical girl friend into favoring a peaceful course of action over a violent one. She advises talking things out. And interestingly, it now seems that such a diplomatic course of action may have worked, as Kyoko makes a truce in this episode.

The girl that chose the cautious path also is the one suffering less, of the two girls. All of Madoka's current problems are due to Sayaka choosing to be a magical girl. As a person, Madoka has remained fairly constant, her beliefs and convictions left unchanged.


Now, it's clear that Madoka's decisions and words are shaped a lot by idealism. She doesn't want to risk her life fighting witches, but she does like the idea of helping people that are endangered by them (which is why she says "Sayaka is doing the right thing"). She refuses to give up on Sayaka, even after Homura repeatedly tells her to. She doesn't want Sayaka to engage in lethal combat, even with someone seemingly as psychotic as Kyoko is. It's abundantly clear that Madoka doesn't want to get her hands dirty, but she also doesn't want herself or anybody else to get hurt. Long story short, Madoka is desperately searching for a very idealistic solution.

Madoka hasn't found it yet, but that doesn't mean that she won't. If she does find it, then it could be seen as Madoka being rewarded for sticking to her convictions and values through a long, bitter storm.


Now, I'm not saying that this is what I necessarily want, but I do see it as a striking possibility.


Two girls, two different choices, and two different outcomes, with the more idealistic girl suffering less out of those outcomes. I think that might say a lot.
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Old 2011-02-17, 21:01   Link #91
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Two girls, two different choices, and two different outcomes, with the more idealistic girl suffering less out of those outcomes. I think that might say a lot.
Ok, I just loved this post. I thought we didn't agree at all, but this is basically what I've been thinking of since the show started.

Then again, you do make it clear that you won't like it as much if the show ends like this lol.
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Old 2011-02-17, 21:03   Link #92
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
That isn't the issue. She remained hopeful Kamijou would return her feelings until this very episode.

... edited for brevity...

Now that Sayaka went bonkers, I predict she's going to come up with a twisted "if I can't have Kamijo then no one else will" logic. She will either seriously injure Hitomi or kill her.
Why would she kill Hitomi? If she REALLY believes that, then she would kill Kamijou to make sure he can't be with ANYONE else. Now, how does that work when your wish actually becomes a curse... and curses result in witches... ?
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Old 2011-02-17, 21:06   Link #93
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The point is she'll probably do something she'll definitely regret in her current state.
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Old 2011-02-17, 21:10   Link #94
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The girl that decides to become a magical girl slowly, but surely, spirals downward into an abyss because of it. First, it makes her more willing to engage in lethal combat with another person. Secondly, it's making her go downright psychotic, based on what we've read in this episode thread so far. As a person, Sayaka seems to be changing for the worst.
You're making the implication that it is because she is a magical girl that she is suffering, when that's not entirely accurate. Kyoko isn't suffering. Sayaka is suffering because she's trying to do the right thing, and finding life crapping in her face, as Madoka noticed.

Sayaka is learning that life isn't fair, essentially.

Quote:
The girl that chose the cautious path tries to talk her magical girl friend into favoring a peaceful course of action over a violent one. She advises talking things out. And interestingly, it now seems that such a diplomatic course of action may have worked, as Kyoko makes a truce in this episode.
I'm waiting to see exactly what kind of truce happened, but it has to be noted that this only came about because they learned about the true nature of the soul gem and Kyoko was upset over learning about. There was no way to know in advance about any of this.

Hindsight is 20/20; I wouldn't fall into that trap if I were you. It's like a serial killer pointing a gun at your family, and you can shoot him to save your family, but someone else says, "There has to be another way!" And then a piano falls from the sky and lands on him, and then you proudly proclaim, "See? There was another way!"

Another kink in your idealism theory: Madoka wanted Homura to look out for Sayaka. In short, she wants someone else to do the dirty work that she herself doesn't want to do. That the kind of idealism you want winning through? It's not that Madoka wants to do things peacefully, it's that she's afraid to get her hands dirty, and wants someone else to. It may be an understandable fear, but it mars that perfect idealism that would somehow elevate her above Sayaka.

Orphans are drowning. Madoka and Sayaka are standing on the shore. Madoka is afraid to go in, but Sayaka jumps in and saves some, then gets swept away by the current. And yet, somehow Madoka was the better, more idealistic person? "Everything will just work out if I hope and believe. I don't want to take that step, but I'm sure someone else will so I don't have to!"

Quote:
The girl that chose the cautious path also is the one suffering less, of the two girls. All of Madoka's current problems are due to Sayaka choosing to be a magical girl. As a person, Madoka has remained fairly constant, her beliefs and convictions left unchanged.
This, I'd take some issue with, because I don't think it is that apparent as to who is suffering more. Madoka seems to suffer just as much, watching her friend suffering, seeing Sayaka lifeless on the ground knowing it was her fault, wracked by guilt and fear.

Sayaka even points out to Madoka, that if she had made the choice earlier, perhaps Mami would still be alive. She doesn't want to have that regret again. She doesn't want to be in a position where someone close to her dies, because she could have had the power to stop it, and didn't. It's an idealistic notion that you can prevent tragedy if you just have enough power, which Sayaka is learning doesn't quite work. Even if you have power, bad things can still happen.

Quote:
Now, it's clear that Madoka's decisions and words are shaped a bit by idealism. She doesn't want to risk her life fighting witches. She refuses to give up on Sayaka, even after Homura repeatedly tells her to. She doesn't want Sayaka to engage in lethal combat, even with someone seemingly as psychotic as Kyoko is. It's abundantly clear that Madoka doesn't want to get her hands dirty, but she also doesn't want herself or anybody else to get hurt. Long story short, Madoka is desperately searching for the best, idealistic solution.
And while she's looking, people are dying. How many lives is her idealistic notion worth? Name me a time interval. How long should one sit around thinking about the perfect solution, while people are dying. 5 minutes? A day? Several months?

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Madoka hasn't found it yet, but that doesn't mean that she won't. If she does find it, then it could be seen as Madoka being rewarded for sticking to her convictions and values through a long, bitter storm.
Could be. Maybe.

But you can't base your life on the hope that somehow everything will work out. You yourself have pointed out that this series is more realistic. In reality, things don't just turn out fine because you have an idealistic hope.

So what you come out saying, is that Mami and Sayaka just weren't quite idealistic enough. They were only 60% and 90% idealistic, so they deserved to die and suffer mentally. Regardless of what you think of their idealism, it was idealism, and in an idealistic series, that would be enough to see them through their trials.

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Now, I'm not saying that this is what I necessarily want, but I do see it as a striking possibility.
Scientifically speaking, everything is possible. Some are more likely than others. But given a story where the author can go anywhere he chooses, I wouldn't be so quick to call him a genius and thus be able to overlook flaws that crop up.

Quote:
Two girls, two different choices, and two different outcomes, with the more idealistic girl suffering less out of those outcomes. I think that might say a lot.
AS I said above, this is what I take issue with, because I think they are both suffering. Sayaka's is just more obvious, but you can't tell me Madoka isn't torturing herself over what she could have done, what she has done, and what she will do in the future.

And you can't paint Madoka's idealism as good, either, because her choice to not be an MG, means that more humans will suffer thanks to witches. It means Sayaka will suffer because she can't stand up to Kyoko and Homura alone. That the kind of idealism you're going for? "Hey, I abandon my friends and everyone else to save myself, thus my idealism is the right one." Actually, that's fairly close to Kyoko's cynicism, hmm...

So actually, if Madoka perseveres with her current "idealism" then it wouldn't have been such an idealistic story after all.
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Old 2011-02-17, 21:31   Link #95
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The most impressionables are the easiest to led astray. The self-righteous will not stand to reason. To that end Sayaka will not yet directly do something wrong, but she definately will cause damage either by hesitation or as an unexpected consequence - someone will be seriously hurt/die next episode. Then Sayaka goes bonkers :P

What Homura described as an ideal magic girl is not about being the best magic girl for the system, but rather the best(sane) magic girl for what's left of the original person. Even then, it is assumed the magic girl to know as little about the nature of their transformation as possible. I view it a case of the more they know, the more overwhelming despair they will feel. I almost feel KB is doing a service by not telling them the truth, though one may argue KB then shouldn't get magic girls to contracts so readily but that's probably KB's job description.

As the series progressed first we see the idealistic magic girl, represented by Mami and her beliefs, then the free-will type in Kyoko - both are somewhat at peace with their situation. Sayaka is a case where she made the contract in haste, then found out too much about the system for her own good. The knowledge itself can be viewed as a barrier to become a magic girl and with what Madoka knows now, the situation that warrants a contract will be really dire.
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Old 2011-02-17, 21:54   Link #96
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Guarantee, guu? I'd list that as likely, but not guaranteed ... unless of course a witch is "alive".

If "witch" is considered "dead", too, I'd put 2 hellroasted QB tails on a 1:5 longshot bet against you.
I haven't got the chance to watch it yet, but judging from the posts here, she is still alive alright. NOW, I would love to see you gulping down the 2 tails, please.
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Old 2011-02-17, 21:56   Link #97
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Now that QB was creepy. It almost feels like he lets his mask slip a bit and underneath is outright evilness
On the other hand Homura does not label him as such.
Ambivalence.
Probably she just doesn't know. Probably.
Or may be someone wanted us to think he is evil. May be.
Ambivalence.
Whatewer the case, I want to kill both of them.
Certainty.
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Old 2011-02-17, 21:59   Link #98
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Homura about Kyubey and his miracles: "Truly, miracles can not even be purchased with one's life. Yet, he's selling them."

So it means he's getting extra payment for those "miracles" somehow. Perhaps the grief seeds he eats is such a payment. In any case, Kyubey looks more and more like the devil (or at least Mephisto) with every new episode.
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Old 2011-02-17, 22:12   Link #99
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Oh, we already knew he was getting something out of it. He said at the beginning that it was equivalent exchange, and that the girls would be getting paid. Although true they never really asked him what he was getting out of it, but then again, they haven't really been smart enough to really think and ask any questions in advance.
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Old 2011-02-17, 22:14   Link #100
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Ok, I just loved this post. I thought we didn't agree at all, but this is basically what I've been thinking of since the show started.

Then again, you do make it clear that you won't like it as much if the show ends like this lol.
Well, the thing is that most of what I outlined there is painfully antithetical to everything I like about magical girl anime.

My instinctive reaction to a magical girl is that it's awesome to have super powers, and it's even better to be able to use those super powers for a good cause. Magical girls are basically Superman in the shape of a moe girl fighting for Truth, Justice, and the Japanese Way. What's not to like?

So to internalize the idea that in this show being a magical girl is a reflection of a wrong choice that will only make matters way worse, and is one of the bleakest existences possible, is a very tough pill to swallow for someone like myself.

But it's hard to ignore the very negative events that have been caused by Sayaka's choice to become a magical girl. Sure, Madoka is suffering too, but it's only because her friend chose to be a magical girl. So, the fact remains that Sayaka's choice is, on the whole, making things a whole lot worse. For her, and her friend.

Madoka doesn't take the magical girl offer because it's an imperfect one, that involves gruesome combat. She wants a better solution than that. That feeds right into pacifistic idealism.


In some shows, I'd find a character like Madoka annoying. But in this one, maybe she's right. It certainly seems to be pointing that way so far, imo.
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