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View Poll Results: Madoka Magica - Episode 09 Rating
Perfect 10 91 52.00%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 36 20.57%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 29 16.57%
7 out of 10 : Good 12 6.86%
6 out of 10 : Average 4 2.29%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 1 0.57%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 2 1.14%
Voters: 175. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-03-07, 08:00   Link #541
MeoTwister5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Well, I'm working off of the definition provided for "manipulate" found here:

To manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner: to manipulate people's feelings.


Of the four different definitions listed there, the one that I cite above is the one at play here. It fits Kyubey like a glove, in my opinion.

Kyubey skillfully influenced Sayaka, and in a somewhat unfair manner (since he lead her to operate under false pretenses - again, she had no way whatsoever of knowing what Kyubey's true goal was when she contracted with him). Still, she did make a choice, and she wasn't literally forced into it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I agree 100%. It's why I made a post earlier in the thread about QB creating a Xanatos Gambit situation. He's just covering all the bases so he'll win regardless of how every possible situation might play out.



Trickery is manipulation though. Regardless of how romantic the notions, free choice and free will, are anything but. All of our decisions are based on what information we possess at the time, weighed over various logic processes such as beliefs, pros, cons, peer pressure, etc. The most important thing a salesman needs to make a sale is to control the information. If the consumer starts questioning too much, there's a chance the sale could fall through by revealing information the consumer might object to. For example a car salesman might claim all of his vehicles go through a 50 point inspection. This statement is intended to ease the consumer into thinking that the vehicle has no problems and disarm the thinking process of "what 50 points?" or "Who inspected it?"

So for example, Kyubey possesses the knowledge that Magical Girls are/will be the Witches they fight against, that he separates your soul from your body and puts it into a gem, that he harvests the energy of the Grief Seed for more than just safekeeping and/or preventing the Witch from returning, etc.

As long as he can control the message that he initially proposes, that becoming a Magical Girl and fighting Witches in return for any wish you desire, with the "tiny" catch that you might die, nm the rest...he's pretty much set. After that, he's your typical shady dealer. Sorry guys, no refunds! You should have been better decision makers, don't blame me!

It doesn't hurt to enlist the aid of a "satisfied" customer either. Mami is the picture perfect image on the outside. She's cool, kind, stylish, powerful, graceful, well mannered, helpful, and pretty. It isn't until you dig deeper that we see the cracks. She's lonely. She has no friends, no family, she lives alone. She gets no recognition for her duties, and her job requires constant danger. Then, she dies a gruesome death.

Homura is the burnt former customer who warns you to stay away but knows/believes you won't believe her claims without some proof. Unfortunately the dealer has reeled in some pretty gullible customers.

Honestly, it's not that much different than buying a lemon. Seems great on the outside, then you notice all the little things, then things go horribly wrong.
So... where then is the line drawn between coercion and persuasion? If you go by the assumption that no distinct "choice" is completely free of outside bias or unconscious influence, and that every mental suggestion and insertion tantamount to the reduction of independent capacity, then there is no such thing as free will and therefore all choices are made under manipulation and some degree of coercion.

Heck if we extend that argument then the mere first act of asking the girls if they wanted to be MGs was already a form of coercion and reduction of free will, even if he did absolutely nothing else to convince them.

I'd say the two of you are treading on very gray and murky middle ground here. There is no real objective way to prove fact and truth regarding free will and coercion here because the entire spectrum of argument is itself going to be insisted as an extremely subjective function of the mind. Again, where does one draw the line? How can one objectively argue the degrees of influence, unbiased decision making and outside influence that is factored into the decision to know whether it is classified as a coerced decision or a free one?

In the end it still goes back to the one making the decision. If you want to insist on debating whether there was a free choice made or it was made under manipulation and/or duress, then you have to draw the line between these two, because you cannot argue either/or if you're not willing to separate both into distinct entities for comparison. The definition Triple wanted to use would definitely put the entire argument inside a gray area by using a subjective classification (feelings and emotions) that none of us can objectively qualify. If that's the definition we're going to use to determine again whether this was free or coerced, then it is impossible to arrive at a conclusion because there is not direct distinction between the two according to the definition of terms.
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Old 2011-03-07, 08:05   Link #542
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What's the point of talking about semantics? It's the meaning of his actions that is relevant, not the term we use to define it.
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Old 2011-03-07, 08:10   Link #543
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
What's the point of talking about semantics? It's the meaning of his actions that is relevant, not the term we use to define it.
And by his actions alone, he is extremely persuasive, but not coercive.
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Old 2011-03-07, 08:24   Link #544
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
In the end it still goes back to the one making the decision. If you want to insist on debating whether there was a free choice made or it was made under manipulation and/or duress, then you have to draw the line between these two

I don't think the debate is if " there was a free choice made or it was made under manipulation", in my mind a person can sill make a free choice and be manipulated so the question of whether someone had a free choice or not is totaly irrelevent when asking if that person was manipulated or not.
The best of manipulators don't take away free choice,they just make the "target" uses their free choice in the way that best suits their interest.
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Old 2011-03-07, 08:34   Link #545
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Originally Posted by totoum View Post
I don't think the debate is if " there was a free choice made or it was made under manipulation", in my mind a person can sill make a free choice and be manipulated so the question of whether someone had a free choice or not is totaly irrelevent when asking if that person was manipulated or not.
The best of manipulators don't take away free choice,they just make the "target" uses their free choice in the way that best suits their interest.
This is my own personal belief as well. The point of my post was that if you're going to decide on something and say it, then say it with conviction if that's what you really believe. Don't dilly dally around with "it is this or even this or even both or something between the two", say what you mean clearly and explain why. Which in regards to the discussion on Inkyubeytor's use of coercion or persuasion, was that even if you believe that he's a mix of both, you need to make a distinction for your own conclusion regarding your perception of him and explain it, and not be content with surrendering to the vague confusions of the middle ground and rely on this muddied sector for your justification, because even that middle ground can be made sense with if you really believe and tried to understand it.

Anyway I'm starting to get irritatingly preachy here, and it's already off topic, so I'll just leave that behind after this.
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Old 2011-03-07, 09:23   Link #546
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Truth =/= Trust. Truth = Integrity.
Lies =/= Idiocy. Lies = Deception.

Do you know why many tragedies happen? Poor communication kills always results in several parties only having one piece of the entire truth. Octavia's role in Tears to Tiara would have been very different if she wasn't caught off guard by an assailant.

Now there are two kinds of truths:
Truths that if revealed would cause mayhem.
Truths if revealed would end bullshit.

The sad truth is if a fairy came to you and said she would grant any wish you want if you would just do her a small favor most people would jump for it, cause god, who the heck can comprehend all that has happened here?

For a critter who has a clear disregard for all life he sure as hell is working to the bone to "save" his people.

Just a trivia: What was your impression of Kyubei throughout the entire series? That alone will give you a clear answer.
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Old 2011-03-07, 10:00   Link #547
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Kyubey lying now would not match his modus operandi, which is hiding information instead of lying about it. Unless he has a particularly compelling reason to break habit, I see no purpose in wasting time with Madoka.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
It's why I made a post earlier in the thread about QB creating a Xanatos Gambit situation. He's just covering all the bases so he'll win regardless of how every possible situation might play out.
I do not see how telling Madoka a fake story she cannot even comprehend will benefit Kyubey in any way. Kyubey talks in scientific terms, but Madoka understands only the language of emotion. The notion of a race beyond the stars has no effect on Madoka.
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Old 2011-03-07, 10:36   Link #548
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
The best of manipulators don't take away free choice,they just make the "target" uses their free choice in the way that best suits their interest.
Well put.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
This is my own personal belief as well. The point of my post was that if you're going to decide on something and say it, then say it with conviction if that's what you really believe. Don't dilly dally around with "it is this or even this or even both or something between the two", say what you mean clearly and explain why.
I thought I was being pretty clear in communicating that I thought Kyubey was a persuasive liar. Oh well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deconstructor View Post
I do not see how telling Madoka a fake story she cannot even comprehend will benefit Kyubey in any way. Kyubey talks in scientific terms, but Madoka understands only the language of emotion. The notion of a race beyond the stars has no effect on Madoka.
It's a fantastic story that you can't prove is true or false. The details aren't as important as the underlying meaning. It was an appeal for Madoka to contract by attempting to persuade her that it was for the greater good. If he was all that interested in telling her his reasons for what he was doing, he would have done it before this.
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Old 2011-03-07, 10:41   Link #549
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Where I think Madoka Magica will differ most markedly from other magical girl anime is in showing how costly, dangerous, and ruthless a world of magical girls and familiars can be. It will show the severe potential costs of trying to operate within that world, and that while idealism may still come out ahead, there will be a cost to be paid for it.

You likely won't get a "best of all worlds" outcome where you stick to your ideals, and everything comes up roses for you at a personal level as well.
I'm sure you are right about this. I think this is a good summary of what the show is basically about.

All I'm trying to add to what you're saying is this. I think QB illustrates one of the dangers and the ruthless aspects of the magical girl world, but I don't think he is the ultimate cause of what makes that world a hard and difficult place. It is in this sense that I don't agree that he is "the antagonist," although he is clearly in conflict with the girls, and obviously is the chief agent who is in conflict with the girls.

I think instead that the costs of the magical girl world are baked into it, so to speak, just in the same way our own world is a place that is costly, dangerous, and ruthless. Just as in our world nothing is got for nothing, in the magical girl world miracles must be paid for. Just as in our world good intentions and purposes can lead to evil outcomes, so to in Madoka's world, as we witness with Sayaka. Both worlds exist in the same, complex, moral reality. In the end, Madoka Magica is not a fantasy--it uses fantasy elements to tell a story of moral realism.

That is why the writers are careful to show that the girls' decisions to become magical girls are finally their own. If they are making free choices, then they are in the viewers' own position in the world. As we watch the story, we can learn from it how to live in a world of moral complexity, heroism, and heartbreak. Madoka Magica is finally about us, you and me, how we live in the world as it is.

If all the moral weight is on QB, then we lose all that. The show will be whatever the writers want it to be, not what I would like it to be, but I don't see the evidence that makes QB a little Satan, and turns the story back into myth.

To be honest, QB doesn't even really figure very much in the girls' decisions to become MSs. He doesn't work in the narrative so much as a tempter (although he is, of course). Instead, what we get with QB is a process of revelation, in which the curtain is drawn stage-by-stage back on how the magical girl system works.

The point of this narrative process I think is to challenge our understanding of what constitutes "free choice." Each time he draws the curtain further, the girls--and us--are forced to re-evaluate their earlier decisions. So we learn from this process the role of contingency in constructing our choices. When we decide, we do so with the knowledge that we have at the time. But our knowledge is never complete, and we can find out new information that could completely change how we might have decided earlier. At this point however it can be too late, and we have to live with the decisions we have already made, while knowing what we know now. This is sadly how the world really works. There is in human life an intrinsic element of tragedy, that can never be eliminated.

I think there is a lot we can learn about ourselves from watching Madoka Magica.
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Old 2011-03-07, 11:33   Link #550
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Before I start, let me state my take on Kyuubee's words: I was pretty sure Kyuubee didn't lie till last episode, but in this episode he has gone beyond "clever choice of words". He can say something then say another thing to make that something interpreted in a totally different way, so good job Kyuubee, you manage to kill your credibility in one episode (I think I'm hearing someone says "did he have any to begin with?" ). Well, I'm not calling him a liar just yet, but I really can care less what he says anymore.

Having that said, if you would like to continue the subject of entropy/sci-fi Mahou Shoujo/Kyuubee is evil or not, then the following might be a good reference to what you are really discussing on:

Spoiler:
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Old 2011-03-07, 11:47   Link #551
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I don't really see any reason to doubt Kyubey and his SciFi reveal. Mainly, I see the reason behind his goals as being more or less irrelevant to the story at large, the goal itself is what's important. This is a story of Madoka, Gen dropped the info on us for one of two reasons; one is to get Kyubey's motives out of the way, and the other is to set Madoka's decision as possibly being 'for the greater good'. Personally I'm leaning towards #1, in that it will be difficult to close the show on the note he wants if people don't at least understand why he's working the way he does.

The same storytelling technique was used in Gen's Saya no Uta, when about 2/3 of the way through he basically dropped the exposition bomb in the same way, describing more or less taking a time out to explain all the outstanding questions away, so that when the finale comes, the only question left to answer is that of how the characters resolve their current predicament. What Saya was, where she came from, and the backstory of her and the supporting cast was largely irrelevant to the conclusion of the story, but it takes those cards off the table which means the character conflict is the only thing left to resolve.

I don't really like the use of SciFi elements in the story, but I imagine it won't be important. All you really need to know is Kyubey has a vested interest in Madoka becoming a magical girl, because he wants her to become a witch. If the Kyubey mystery is out of the way, Homura is the only mystery left before resolving the show's final conflict is the only thing left to do.
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Old 2011-03-07, 16:39   Link #552
Deconstructor
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
It's a fantastic story that you can't prove is true or false.
You are correct. Neither you nor I can prove it to be a lie. (Or true)
So far, he has not lied about anything, so I assume that is his mode of operation. Instead, from what I have observed, Kyubey's habit is to hide information.
I am suggesting that Kyubey is not telling us the full story, but he is not lying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
The details aren't as important as the underlying meaning. It was an appeal for Madoka to contract by attempting to persuade her that it was for the greater good. If he was all that interested in telling her his reasons for what he was doing, he would have done it before this.
Ah, so that is your logic behind accusing Kyubey of lying. Let me run through it:

You find it too convenient for Kyubey to be a savior of the universe, because it would certainly give Madoka a compelling reason to contract with Kyubey. That reason should have been used when Kyubey and Madoka first met, instead of now when three of Madoka's friends are dead. Therefore, Kyubey must be lying because he chose now, of all times, to reveal his secret identity. It would have been more effective to reveal good intentions at the beginning.

It is true. However, the show would have not nearly been as entertaining if Kyubey had revealed he was a universe-saving alien in episode 1 or 2; a lot of Kyubey's appeal is the aura of mystery that surrounds him. The question of whether Kyubey is evil or good caused a lot of speculation (on this board especially) and I think it was Shinbo's intention. I am suggesting that the writing staff purposefully made Kyubey do something inefficient so that the show would be more exciting.
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Old 2011-03-07, 16:53   Link #553
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Originally Posted by Deconstructor View Post
I am suggesting that the writing staff purposefully made Kyubey do something inefficient so that the show would be more exciting.
I see where you're coming from, I just don't agree. He's tried many different ways to contract Madoka, but how does he try to persuade someone who has seen two people meet horrible fates and is in despair because what they were advertised was not what they got? He plays down the horrible fates by telling her they were for a greater cause. We as humans use this same rational thinking for natural deaths. "It's okay, they're in a better place now" or "Their life touched us all and reminded/left behind a legacy blah blah blah..."

The dead don't grieve for the living, nor do we hold funerals for the dead. We hold them so that the living can move on with their lives.

Anyway, Kyouko spelled it out pretty simply: martyrs/heroes die because they have something to fight for, to believe in, to protect when they feel they have no other options. Throwing your life away when you don't have to is a waste. To martyr someone without telling them, and then telling the survivors why it was justified is nothing more than treating humans like sacrificial lambs, imo.

I'm sure there are some who would disagree with what I said, but I just can't see it any other way.
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Old 2011-03-07, 17:38   Link #554
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
He plays down the horrible fates by telling her they were for a greater cause.
I do not see Kyubey as averting Madoka from facing the death of her friends. Given that Kyubey has no emotions, he cares little about comforting Madoka. Kyubey is appealing to the fact that Madoka could have prevented all these deaths, had she contracted 8 episodes ago. In that sense, Kyubey is doing the opposite of playing down Kyoko and Sayaka's death; he is blowing them up so Madoka feels too guilty to resist any more. Kyubey is expanding the stakes to the entire universe - Sayaka and Kyoko were merely a microcosm of what fate will befall everyone in the universe, should Madoka continue to resist.

Interestingly, if Madoka has the potential to become a "God" she should be able to revive Sayaka and Mami. Kyubey has not used that reason as leverage; perhaps reviving people is beyond even Madoka's potential. This is a compelling reason to suggest that Kyubey is not lying. If he were able to lie, telling Madoka she has the ability to revive all her dead friends would be nothing short of overwhelmingly convincing.
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Old 2011-03-07, 17:48   Link #555
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
And by his actions alone, he is extremely persuasive, but not coercive.
Definition of coercion.

the act of compelling by force of authority

Definition of persuasion.

Persuasion is a form of social influence. It is the process of guiding oneself toward the adoption of an idea, attitude, or action by rational and symbolic (though not always logical) means.

----------

Regardless of what these two terms actually mean, the fact is that Kyube is forcing Madoka into a do or die position. Either contract and defend your town, or don't and watch it be destroyed.

You can call it whatever you want. It's wrong either way.
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Old 2011-03-07, 17:53   Link #556
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Looking at the episode, i see Solace's explaination fits it more than Deconstructor's. Kyubei said he came to explain so it does not sound like a guilt trip. Also a guilt trip would fail completely because everyone has become a victim permanently and nothing she can do will bring them back. The only potential victim left standing is Homura which he exploits later (W-night). if he wanted a guilt trip, he would have gone with the "you might be able to bring everyone back" line.

From Kyubei's point of view, he now has a hostile VIP client Such a client will inevitably go against whatever the salesman is trying to sell. There are not many ways of handling a hostile client (whose account you absolutely must retain). Trying to mollify the client is the most common method, which is the way i believe Kyubei tried to do in ep 9
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Old 2011-03-07, 19:40   Link #557
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Originally Posted by FlavorOfLife View Post
Kyubei said he came to explain so it does not sound like a guilt trip.
Kyubey's explanations, whether intentional or not, have caused much grief in this show. Take Sayaka's Soul Gem - Kyubey was explaining how that works, and said that everyone reacts the same way. I am convinced Kyubey understands the psychological weight of reminding Madoka of Sayaka, Mami and Kyoko's death.

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Originally Posted by FlavorOfLife View Post
Also a guilt trip would fail completely because everyone has become a victim permanently and nothing she can do will bring them back. If he wanted a guilt trip, he would have gone with the "you might be able to bring everyone back" line.
The guilt trip may work if Madoka actually has the potential to revive her friends. I am assuming that Kyubey has not played that card because Madoka does not in fact have that potential. One episode ago, he merely said that Madoka could become "God" and do just about anything - he did not say she would have the power to fix or revive Sayaka. It was Madoka who said "If it is for Sayaka's sake, I will gladly do it." Madoka is left to fill in the blanks for herself.

Telling Madoka she might have the power would be a very indecisive answer. Madoka is emotionally hardened from her closest friends dying because Kyubey was hiding information.

And there are still more people close to Madoka for Kyubey to hold as hostages - Madoka's family, Hitomi, Homura, the entire school. Kyubey is not done yet.
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Old 2011-03-07, 20:13   Link #558
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I have to say the entropy thing was a little out there. It's like they said that they were working to keep the sun from turning into a red giant. Even if there was some way that such action would prevent or delay it, we're talking about something so far into the future that we'll probably have ways to deal with the problem, or we'll be able to open a door and enter a new universe where things are still fresh. But either way, we've got several billion years to think about it before we start sacrificing virgins to stop it.

Anyway, you'd think they'd notice after a while that while the despair and frustration released with a turning is massive, it's short-lived and frankly more prone to entropic decay than any other force; it's joy and strength and courage that can actually keep pushing on and growing. Perhaps Madoka will defy her fate and show the power of the other side. While it's hard to find true strength, courage and compassion, finding just one makes all the witches in the world seem worthless.

Either way, I'm hoping that Madoka's wish is that the Incubators get hearts of their own. On top of helping to stop their insanity, it would be the ultimate punishment for their crimes to make them suddenly realize just what they'd done. And they should at least realize the duplicity in deliberately omitting information specifically because a person would refuse if they knew.

Finally, a guilt trip would definitely work. She knows that others fought and died because she refused to, and if they'd not stepped in she and many others would have been lost. She knows that continuing to refuse won't turn people back or help lift their loneliness, so the only difference her refusal will make is that the monsters will descend on everyone who's left and there will be no one to protect them. She knows that if she'd become a puella magi she wouldn't have been able to save Sayaka, but she would've been able to share her pain and ease her burden. This is a lot of weight on her. Also, Kyubei's words seem to suggest that he only facilitates the change, but even without him she'll change on her own whether she likes it or not.
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Old 2011-03-07, 20:48   Link #559
Mikoto Misaka
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Evaluation of episde 9

I would like to estimate ep9 is "7 out of 10 : Good".
This is the worst score of all ever episodes.
It is because the explanation of the world of this series seems strange to me.
For example, the word "entropy" is not very familiar to me and not reasonable because no clues have been given to us in advance.

However, the score "7 out of 10 : Good" is still high compared to other series.
This is the reason why I am looking forward to the next episode.

Sincerely.
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Old 2011-03-07, 21:04   Link #560
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I'm a little late... but the QB explanation scene stroke me as very Bokurano-esque with all those chairs around her bed. I found it somewhat fitting with the sacrificing for the universe and what-not.
I'm actually liking the recent development, makes me pumped up for the finale. I'll give this episode a 9/10.

(My own theory that maybe Madako=Homura doesn't seem as likely now after that end bit, but I can still hope. I was thinking that since Homura seems like the most powerful Puella Magi, and it just seemed logical that maybe her wish was to go back into time to stop everything from happening. I can't really explain the change of appearance, though. )
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