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View Poll Results: Madoka Magica - Episode 10 Rating
Perfect 10 293 82.07%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 39 10.92%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 13 3.64%
7 out of 10 : Good 7 1.96%
6 out of 10 : Average 2 0.56%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 2 0.56%
4 out of 10 : Poor 1 0.28%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 357. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-04-20, 11:17   Link #1121
recover
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STRONG OVERANALYZING of overly emotional mami
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Old 2011-04-20, 11:49   Link #1122
ednaeleva
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I really think that Mami has a dark and mysterious side, there's something wrong in her expressions... anyway, there's only two more episodes and we'll know how it ends. I can't wait.
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Old 2011-04-20, 11:54   Link #1123
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Akashin View Post
Uh, wut? You gleaned all that from that scene... how, exactly?

I'm not being sarcastic (maybe a little bit, but I'm perfectly serious); how exactly did a BSoD moment turn into an evaluation of Mami's "cold and calculating" side? Note that I don't doubt that she has such a side--I find it hard to believe that she could hold Mitakihara as her turf for very long otherwise. That said, I don't see one thing you brought up in that scene; except perhaps the evaluation of how meaningful Kyoko being a part of the group is, which on reflection is actually a good point I hadn't thought too hard about before.

But seriously. Considering Kyoko a threat to some image that we can't even be sure she was holding up at that point? Considering Madoka to be a naive follower (which is actually somewhat true, but that's not relevant to the point you're making)? You make it sound like she was in a perfect state of mind, and was making these decisions completely rationally. To me, Kyoko dying first was just a case of Kyoko being the one she had the clearest shot on (Homura being bound, and Madoka being beside her). That she put any more thought into the killing spree other than "we all have to die, but Homura could be a problem" is probably unlikely. As I said, massive BSoD moment. It doesn't excuse the BSoD in question, but it also doesn't turn it into some kind of personality evaluation.
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Originally Posted by recover View Post
STRONG OVERANALYZING of overly emotional mami
Err...not quite the response I was looking for. It's fine if you simply don't agree with me, but I don't quite appreciate being written off as 'overanalyzing' that scene when really that analysis is pretty much just based off of elements and impressions I have accumulated over the rest of the series.

I mean, I know that BSoD is some tvtropes reference, probably even one whose article I've read before, but I can't quite call up to mind what it means right now. Even if I did though, I'm not quite fond of defining a show's events or characters by one trope or another and saying that there is absolutely no meaning to them beyond that. There's a good question of characterization here, one that I think should be obviously interesting and fruitful should anybody try to examine and take a look at it, and that question is "Why did Mami decide to kill everybody?". "She went crazy" is a good enough handwave if that's all you want from this show, but I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to think more deeply about it (and neither am I even the only one to be doing so).

My tentative interpretation has been that Mami snapped because she has been clinging onto a 'cool' and 'admirable' elder Puella Magi image. We know that the reason Mami played up the Mahou Shoujo role and helped Kyuubey out with his recruiting was 'cause she was lonely. Part of the same reveal in episode 3 was also that she felt guilty about it ("I'm not a person you should admire" etc.). Well, one of the things guilt can do to you if you don't own up to it is it makes you nervous and paranoid; i.e exactly the sort of emotions I can see in Mami's outburst. I.e. The guilt from the line of thought of "Being a Puella Magi isn't awesome and righteous like I was trying to make them think it was, and I was the one who roped them into it (because I was lonely)" was what immediately lead to "everybody has to die now". The rest of what I wrote about Mami's 'cold and calculating nature' is simply an extrapolation extending some of that paranoia onto the rest of Mami's relationships. (Didn't you know? Emotions are in fact rational and actually can be analyzed :P.)

By the way, Mami binding Homura happened after she took out Kyouko. She clearly went after Kyouko first, and similarly left the threat of Madoka's presence completely unguarded. There's a clear separation in the level of apprehension/dangerousness Mami assigned each of the girls. Mami coldly took out Kyouko first (even though Kyouko was the one to whom comrades and friendship was most meaningful at the moment) and she totally underestimated Madoka. You don't have to agree with my interpretations for why this happened but I don't think there needs to be any argument as to the fact that this distinction was actually there.
__________________
Seasonal enjoyment ratings:
HappinessCharge Precure 100/5 :: Stardust Crusaders 80/5 :: Mushishi S2 90/5 :: Akuma no Riddle: 15/5 :: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san 24/5 :: GochiUsa 33/5 :: Soul Eater NOT! 18/5 :: Love Live! S2 80/5
Summer: Sailor Moon Crystal 20/5 :: Hanayamata 40/5 :: Locodol 24/5 :: Yama no Susume 32/5
God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Yuri Precure otaku manga: Shinozaki-san ki wo ota shika ni
Awesome shoujo manga: Last Game

Last edited by Sol Falling; 2011-04-20 at 12:06.
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Old 2011-04-20, 12:14   Link #1124
Akashin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Err...not quite the response I was looking for. It's fine if you simply don't agree with me, but I don't quite appreciate being written off as 'overanalyzing' that scene when really that analysis is pretty much just based off of elements and impressions I have accumulated over the rest of the series.

I mean, I know that BSoD is some tvtropes reference, probably even one whose article I've read before, but I can't quite call up to mind what it means right now. Even if I did though, I'm not quite fond of defining a show's events or characters by one trope or another and saying that there is absolutely no meaning to them beyond that. There's a good question of characterization here, one that I think should be obviously interesting and fruitful should anybody try to examine and take a look at it, and that question is "Why did Mami decide to kill everybody?". "She went crazy" is a good enough handwave if that's all you want from this show, but I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to think more deeply about it (and neither am I even the only one to be doing so).

My tentative interpretation has been that Mami snapped because she has been clinging onto a 'cool' and 'admirable' elder Puella Magi image. We know that the reason Mami played up the Mahou Shoujo role and helped Kyuubey out with his recruiting was 'cause she was lonely. Part of the same reveal in episode 3 was also that she felt guilty about it ("I'm not a person you should admire" etc.). Well, one of the things guilt can do to you if you don't own up to it is it makes you nervous and paranoid; i.e exactly the sort of emotions I can see in Mami's outburst. I.e. The guilt from the line of thought of "Being a Puella Magi isn't awesome and righteous like I was trying to make them think it was, and I was the one who roped them into it (because I was lonely)" was what immediately lead to "everybody has to die now". The rest of what I wrote about Mami's 'cold and calculating nature' is simply an extrapolation extending some of that paranoia onto the rest of Mami's relationships. (Didn't you know? Emotions are in fact rational and actually can be analyzed :P.)

By the way, Mami binding Homura happened after she took out Kyouko. She clearly went after Kyouko first, and similarly left the threat of Madoka's presence completely unguarded. There's a clear separation in the level of apprehension/dangerousness Mami assigned each of the girls. Mami coldly took out Kyouko first (even though Kyouko was the one to whom comrades and friendship was most meaningful at the moment) and she totally underestimated Madoka. You don't have to agree with my interpretations for why this happened but I don't think there needs to be any argument as to the fact that this distinction was actually there.
First of all, a couple clarifications need to be made. One, a BSoD is a Blue Screen of Death, ie. a moment of complete mental shutdown. I wasn't so much assigning this trope to Mami as I was using it as a convenient way of phrasing the situation (BSoD is easier to say than "moment of complete mental failure", is all). And secondly, rewatch the scene; Homura's binding clearly comes first, although only by a few seconds (less than five, if that). Take that for what you will, but immobilizing Homura was clearly priority #1.

Secondly, analyzing the scene is all well and good, but there's a difference between that and using a moment of mental instability to judge the rest of her character. That she of all the girls was the one to rationalize mass murder isn't the least bit surprising; as you said, she was a mentor type, both in illusion and reality. Yes she was clinging to that image, but image or no image that's what she was to the girls (Madoka and Sayaka, and in those timelines Homura as well). That it was her guilt of putting them in that situation that was twisted into her belief that they had to die is completely likely, but that still doesn't really say anything negative about her. Anybody would feel guilty seeing the negative repercussions of something they forced upon others; that isn't unique to Mami in the least.
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Old 2011-04-20, 15:40   Link #1125
Sol Falling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akashin View Post
First of all, a couple clarifications need to be made. One, a BSoD is a Blue Screen of Death, ie. a moment of complete mental shutdown. I wasn't so much assigning this trope to Mami as I was using it as a convenient way of phrasing the situation (BSoD is easier to say than "moment of complete mental failure", is all). And secondly, rewatch the scene; Homura's binding clearly comes first, although only by a few seconds (less than five, if that). Take that for what you will, but immobilizing Homura was clearly priority #1.
lol alright fine, I'll take your word on the binding thing as I'll admit I was talking from memory. Appreciate the BSoD translation as well.

Quote:
Secondly, analyzing the scene is all well and good, but there's a difference between that and using a moment of mental instability to judge the rest of her character. That she of all the girls was the one to rationalize mass murder isn't the least bit surprising; as you said, she was a mentor type, both in illusion and reality. Yes she was clinging to that image, but image or no image that's what she was to the girls (Madoka and Sayaka, and in those timelines Homura as well). That it was her guilt of putting them in that situation that was twisted into her belief that they had to die is completely likely, but that still doesn't really say anything negative about her. Anybody would feel guilty seeing the negative repercussions of something they forced upon others; that isn't unique to Mami in the least.
There's a difference between the 'negative' you seem to be bringing up here and the 'tragic' which was the word I actually used. No, of course I agree that there's nothing really bad or wrong about Mami's character; I'm not judging her as a human. However, I think you could say there is some pretty damn tragic irony in the fact that Mami tried to kill everybody and was herself killed by Madoka, wouldn't you say? From my perspective, it's pretty clear that Mami couldn't trust that the girls would handle the awful new reality they'd stumbled upon calmly and rationally without blaming her. It was an act of self-interest and self-defense, borne of guilt and insecurity. So then, the point I was making really just was--no matter how reasonable or human or understandable her feelings might have been--it's still a damned tragedy that Mami snapped since, if it weren't for those feelings of guilt and insecurity, those deaths really didn't need to happen.
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Seasonal enjoyment ratings:
HappinessCharge Precure 100/5 :: Stardust Crusaders 80/5 :: Mushishi S2 90/5 :: Akuma no Riddle: 15/5 :: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san 24/5 :: GochiUsa 33/5 :: Soul Eater NOT! 18/5 :: Love Live! S2 80/5
Summer: Sailor Moon Crystal 20/5 :: Hanayamata 40/5 :: Locodol 24/5 :: Yama no Susume 32/5
God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Yuri Precure otaku manga: Shinozaki-san ki wo ota shika ni
Awesome shoujo manga: Last Game
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Old 2011-04-20, 16:15   Link #1126
Dawnstorm
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
It was an act of self-interest and self-defense, borne of guilt and insecurity.
There's a motif running through the show, of people making decision for others without consulting them. The arch goes from Sayaka healing Kamijou's hand to Kyubey sacking mahou shoujous for the sake of the universe. Mami's act lie somewhere inbetween. (I'd also note that Kyouko - in a later timeline - made the same decision [or at least a very similar one in a different context] for herself that Mami made for her here.)

Basically, I think that the show incourages us to take into account other people's points of view. Pretty much all the characters fail in some way, and they have their own reasons: Kyubey's too bureaucratic; Sayaka's too anxious; Mami's too upset; Madoka's too insecure...

I still think that the show's basically picking apart the self-interst/altruism continuum, and redistributing it over social networks, with individuals as vortices (sources of turbulence). I wish I could express myself better about this; it's hard.
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Old 2011-04-20, 16:39   Link #1127
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
There's a motif running through the show, of people making decision for others without consulting them. The arch goes from Sayaka healing Kamijou's hand to Kyubey sacking mahou shoujous for the sake of the universe. Mami's act lie somewhere inbetween. (I'd also note that Kyouko - in a later timeline - made the same decision [or at least a very similar one in a different context] for herself that Mami made for her here.)

Basically, I think that the show incourages us to take into account other people's points of view. Pretty much all the characters fail in some way, and they have their own reasons: Kyubey's too bureaucratic; Sayaka's too anxious; Mami's too upset; Madoka's too insecure...
This is a really interesting point. I wonder how do you think Madoka and Homura's promise in timeline 3 fits into this idea of yours. I mean, it's true that Homura's original wish was her making a decision for Madoka without Madoka's consent, which fits nicely with your take. But it's also true that Homura eventually gave up on that wish, finally accepting Madoka's fate. But then, Madoka changed it all, asking Homura not to give up, to go back and save her....

I wonder if this makes any difference. Will Homura succeed because, unlike the others, she isn't forcing her decision over Madoka but instead acting on Madoka's request (albeit, a Madoka from another timeline)??
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Old 2011-04-20, 16:57   Link #1128
Akashin
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
There's a difference between the 'negative' you seem to be bringing up here and the 'tragic' which was the word I actually used. No, of course I agree that there's nothing really bad or wrong about Mami's character; I'm not judging her as a human. However, I think you could say there is some pretty damn tragic irony in the fact that Mami tried to kill everybody and was herself killed by Madoka, wouldn't you say? From my perspective, it's pretty clear that Mami couldn't trust that the girls would handle the awful new reality they'd stumbled upon calmly and rationally without blaming her. It was an act of self-interest and self-defense, borne of guilt and insecurity. So then, the point I was making really just was--no matter how reasonable or human or understandable her feelings might have been--it's still a damned tragedy that Mami snapped since, if it weren't for those feelings of guilt and insecurity, those deaths really didn't need to happen.
Then I misunderstood what you intended to say, or you worded it poorly; either way, I was under the impression that you were using Mami's actions as an indication of her overall mindset. If that isn't what you meant to say, my bad.

But I still disagree on the point of her actions being borne from a lack of trust since, while it is plausible that may have been a factor, it ultimately doesn't appear to be her motivation. And there is still a case to be made for the fact that, whether or not her actions were made in a proper frame of mind or if they are morally justifiable, she really had every right to come to the conclusion she did. And she isn't necessarily wrong, at least not in the sense that (perceived) mercy killing is probably the best way out. In this case it comes around to Dawnstorm's point, where it was a case of her making a decision without consulting the others rather than it being some selfish action.

No denying the tragedy in it all, though; not sure where or if I implied that I was disputing that, but I'm not.
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Old 2011-04-20, 17:57   Link #1129
Dawnstorm
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
This is a really interesting point. I wonder how do you think Madoka and Homura's promise in timeline 3 fits into this idea of yours. I mean, it's true that Homura's original wish was her making a decision for Madoka without Madoka's consent, which fits nicely with your take. But it's also true that Homura eventually gave up on that wish, finally accepting Madoka's fate. But then, Madoka changed it all, asking Homura not to give up, to go back and save her....
That scene, in particular, is very complex. Remember that Madoka hid the grief-seed to ambush Homura with revitalisation. Homura would have given up, and resigned herself to become a witch together with Madoka. Interestingly, though, she immediately accepted Madoka's decision.

Basically, this scene shows, I think, the difference between considering someone's point-of-view and bowing to it. You still have to make your own decisions, and decisions mean risks.

In this scene, Madoka is taking charge, but she's also accepting Homura's sacrifice. She hides the grief-seed, because she's considered Homura's point of view. There are things she wants to protect, and all she can do now is pass it on to Homura. Homura immediately accepts that because it's the trait she admires in Madoka, in the first place.

And then she requests that Homura kill her... The hardest burden yet.

Homura does comply, but it leaves a mark on her. For one thing, it sets off the I-won't-rely-on-anyone behaviour, and it also seems to trigger (or rather re-inforce?) the kindness-leads-to-trouble line of argument in her, the frustration with self-sacrifice. The idea that magical girls no longer matter once they contracted. They're doomed. (Would she have killed Sayaka? Heh! She killed Madoka! Anything after that is an anticlimax, emotionally, for her. Still hard, but it's been worse.)

Quote:
I wonder if this makes any difference. Will Homura succeed because, unlike the others, she isn't forcing her decision over Madoka but instead acting on Madoka's request (albeit, a Madoka from another timeline)??
That's part of why I'm saying it's so complex: Madoka, in this scene, is basically over-ruling her own past self. Regret displaced on a different continuity - as if they were different people. Are they? (Time travel interpreted as multiple-world theory, or as a re-collapsing of the wave function? Lol, as if entropy wasn't enough...)

It's quite possible that this makes a difference, but I'm not yet sure how t5 Madoka connects to the different timelines.
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Old 2011-04-20, 18:08   Link #1130
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
There's a motif running through the show, of people making decision for others without consulting them. The arch goes from Sayaka healing Kamijou's hand to Kyubey sacking mahou shoujous for the sake of the universe. Mami's act lie somewhere inbetween. (I'd also note that Kyouko - in a later timeline - made the same decision [or at least a very similar one in a different context] for herself that Mami made for her here.)

Basically, I think that the show incourages us to take into account other people's points of view. Pretty much all the characters fail in some way, and they have their own reasons: Kyubey's too bureaucratic; Sayaka's too anxious; Mami's too upset; Madoka's too insecure...

I still think that the show's basically picking apart the self-interst/altruism continuum, and redistributing it over social networks, with individuals as vortices (sources of turbulence). I wish I could express myself better about this; it's hard.
lol. Okay, so I can get behind the 'encouraging us to take into account other people's opinions' idea but as far as self-interest/altruism re: Mami, I'm still not clear what you mean to say here. I assume you disagree with the statement you quoted, and do perceive altruistic intentions in Mami's decision to kill off everybody, but how does that fit into the idea of 'picking apart the self-interest/altruism continuum' as you've brought up specifically?

I note for clarification that my statement that Mami acted out of self-defense and self-interest there is not any sort of condemnation for self-oriented priorities. The tragic aspect of the scene for me is that Mami's guilt and insecurities harmed her self-interests, as opposed to her intention of protecting them, and it think it is probably true that you could say this was a result of failing to take Madoka's point of view (i.e., that she didn't want everyone to die) into account properly. Part of the difficulty, I will admit, for me in understanding any sort of supposed altruism in Mami's decision to kill everybody is that I find it fairly difficult to conceive of there being any sort of genuine consideration for others in any sane human being coming to that sort of snap conclusion. The truth they had all just been forced to confront sucked, certainly, but could Mami seriously believe all (or even any) of them would actually prefer to die because of it? For a person to be convinced enough of that to not even bother asking the other parties, is for me rather unbelievable.

(As far as Mami making the same decision for Kyouko as she made for herself in another timeline, I think there is a fairly significant difference there in that in Timeline 5 Kyouko chose to die because she believed she was 'protecting the one thing which was truly important' to her, and also that this conclusion was furthermore somewhat inspired and confirmed via observation of timeline 5 Homura; whereas Kyouko hypothetically choosing death after the destruction of Sayaka in timeline 3 would have been a pure act of despair and giving up on the world (which, well, it basically was as far as Mami was concerned, I'd say :P). So they are fairly different 'endings' for Kyouko from my perspective here.)

I mean, I think we're in agreement here in that Mami didn't manage to take into account the other girls' perspectives. I don't see how that theme of the story necessarily suggests that there were altruistic intentions behind Mami's actions though. Whether acting in self-interest, or acting out of altruism, it is important to accurately understand an other parties' needs and priorities if one wants to successfully interact with them. Mami's act is a poor decision either way, but if it was the latter moral, Mami certainly didn't live to understand or regret it. And as far as altruism goes, I think understanding that you probably shouldn't kill somebody without trying to figure out how they feel about it should be pretty obvious anyways. So, maybe what I'm saying here is basically just that whether or not you think Mami acted altruistically when she decided to kill everybody is a matter of believability. I prefer more logical and realistic models of human behaviour over just assuming the good in them. I think it is possible for even good and decent people to act completely selfishly. I don't think there is any logical sort of argument to be made that you can kill other people against their will altruistically, but if somebody can present a very compelling argument in support of such a possibility, I suppose I might be able to be convinced otherwise.
__________________
Seasonal enjoyment ratings:
HappinessCharge Precure 100/5 :: Stardust Crusaders 80/5 :: Mushishi S2 90/5 :: Akuma no Riddle: 15/5 :: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san 24/5 :: GochiUsa 33/5 :: Soul Eater NOT! 18/5 :: Love Live! S2 80/5
Summer: Sailor Moon Crystal 20/5 :: Hanayamata 40/5 :: Locodol 24/5 :: Yama no Susume 32/5
God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Yuri Precure otaku manga: Shinozaki-san ki wo ota shika ni
Awesome shoujo manga: Last Game

Last edited by Sol Falling; 2011-04-20 at 18:19.
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Old 2011-04-20, 18:18   Link #1131
hyperborealis
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It is not true that Mami simply snaps under the sudden revelation that MGs become witches. We see in the course of the girls' fight with Octavia a process of realization of the dark truth, from the moment Kyoko asks, "What the hell are you? / What did you do to Sayaka?!," to Madoka's recognition that the witch is Sayaka, when she appeals to the witch by her human name, "Sayaka-chan, stop it! / Please remember!" Even after Homura explodes Octavia, there are a few moments as the anime registers in turn everyone's reactions: Kyoko is angry--"Sayaka, damn it...--Madoka is overwhelmed with horror and grief--"This is terrible! / It's too much!"--and Homura is upset--she doesn't say anything, but clenches her arms, and turns her head away in private grief. Only then does Mami act. And her action she justifies with a rationalization, after she has shot Kyoko: "If the Soul Gems give birth to witches, then we all have to die! / Both you and I!"

I am not saying Mami's decision is a cool rational one. But it is a decision, and not a sudden act of lunacy brought on by the sudden revelation that MGs become witches. Indeed, there is a perverse logic in her words: for if MGs are supposed to kill witches, then killing MGs before they become witches is not unreasonable. I believe Deconstructor led an extensive debate along this line a while ago.

I am impressed by the amount of violence and antagonism that saturates this timeline, from Sayaka's lobbying to exclude Homura from the team and her openly expressed distrust of Kyoko, who she thinks is in cahoots with Homura, to the side view of the violent world of the Yakuza, as Homura steals their weapons, followed by Sayaka-Octavia's efforts to kill all the girls, and then the final spasm of violence, where Mami kills Kyoko and Madoka kills Mami.

We can say that the revelation drives Mami over the edge. And all this violence and antagonism suggests that all the girls are already close to the edge. Still, as Sol Falling points out, only Mami crosses the line, so we need to ask why she and not any of the other girls breaks down.

I go along with Sol Falling's explanation--it makes sense to me. But I wonder if the point of Mami's breakdown is to underline the contrast with Madoka--that she is able to kill Mami in Homura's self-defense, proving Madoka once and for all to be no shrinking violet, and that she is still able not to give in to the impulse to kill everything in despair, when she refuses Homura's suggestion to join her as a witch in the subsequent battle with WN. For all her emotionality, Madoka demonstrates a remarkable degree of self control in her expression of violence.

I think we have to remember what the work of a MG is--it is to kill witches. And killing inevitably rubs off on the killer. You cannot serially hunt and kill witches without becoming changed by the experience. We see this I think in Mami's resort to violence in this scene, in Homura's habitual coldness and reserve, in Kyoko's willingness to fight Sayaka to the death, in Sayaka's frenzied mania while fighting the witch Elsa Maria. What truly corrupts a MG is not the use of magic but just the work of killing itself.

Madoka is extraordinary in that of all the girls she does not seem to be affected by this corrupting violence. Like Gretchen of the Faust story, she seems to be able to remain pure in a fundamentally impure world. Madoka is already magical in just possessing this purity--it is as inexplicable as the supreme magical power QB ascribes to her. This pure nature is not absolute--like everyone else she too will become a witch. And she pays a price for it: as the foil to all the tragedies unfolding around her, she suffers one wave of pain after another, as her friends suffer and die in turn. Yet through it all she remains as she has been. While others around her fall apart, or die, or renew themselves, Madoka remains Madoka. Not by her effort, but by her distinctive nature, Madoka fulfills Homura's advice to her in the first episode to "please keep being the person you've always been."

Last edited by hyperborealis; 2011-04-20 at 23:12. Reason: Needed a conclusion
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Old 2011-04-20, 18:25   Link #1132
recover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
That scene, in particular, is very complex. Remember that Madoka hid the grief-seed to ambush Homura with revitalisation. Homura would have given up, and resigned herself to become a witch together with Madoka. Interestingly, though, she immediately accepted Madoka's decision.

Basically, this scene shows, I think, the difference between considering someone's point-of-view and bowing to it. You still have to make your own decisions, and decisions mean risks.

In this scene, Madoka is taking charge, but she's also accepting Homura's sacrifice. She hides the grief-seed, because she's considered Homura's point of view. There are things she wants to protect, and all she can do now is pass it on to Homura. Homura immediately accepts that because it's the trait she admires in Madoka, in the first place.

And then she requests that Homura kill her... The hardest burden yet.

Homura does comply, but it leaves a mark on her. For one thing, it sets off the I-won't-rely-on-anyone behaviour, and it also seems to trigger (or rather re-inforce?) the kindness-leads-to-trouble line of argument in her, the frustration with self-sacrifice. The idea that magical girls no longer matter once they contracted. They're doomed. (Would she have killed Sayaka? Heh! She killed Madoka! Anything after that is an anticlimax, emotionally, for her. Still hard, but it's been worse.)



That's part of why I'm saying it's so complex: Madoka, in this scene, is basically over-ruling her own past self. Regret displaced on a different continuity - as if they were different people. Are they? (Time travel interpreted as multiple-world theory, or as a re-collapsing of the wave function? Lol, as if entropy wasn't enough...)

It's quite possible that this makes a difference, but I'm not yet sure how t5 Madoka connects to the different timelines.
excellent points...now this is a rational analysis :P unlike an earlier analysis that says mami was some cold calculating killer or something..

i also want to bring up in ep 8 when Homura killed QB right before madoka was about to turn into a MG. Up until that point, homura showed no emotion in the series...it really showed a side of her that deepened her character.
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Old 2011-04-20, 18:25   Link #1133
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
Homura immediately accepts that because it's the trait she admires in Madoka, in the first place.
I agree for the most part, except for this.

It's not the simple. Homura may admire that trait of Madoka, but she also admonishes her for it. For example in the last timeline she outright criticizes Madoka for thinking her own life has little value, which is the core of her self-sacrificing tendencies. This a bit ironic though, considering Homura's own self-esteem issues. Then again, maybe that's why she said so in the first place. Maybe she knows what makes Madoka tick because she realizes it's pretty much the same thing that makes her act the way she acts.

At any rate, I don't think Homura accepted Madoka's request just because she admires her.

EDIT:
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
I go along with Sol Falling's explanation--it makes sense to me. But I wonder if the point of Mami's breakdown is to underline the contrast with Madoka--that she is able to kill Mami in Homura's self-defense, proving Madoka once and for all to be no shrinking violet, and that she is still able not to give in to the impulse to kill everything in despair, when she refuses Homura's suggestion to join her as a witch in the subsequent battle with WN. For all her emotionality, Madoka demonstrates a remarkable degree of self control in her expression of violence.
Everyone had a BSoD moment, even Madoka. Remember that after killing Mami she practically gave up too, and only Homura giving her a goal to strive at (let's fight Walpurigis together) made her keep going.
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Old 2011-04-20, 19:00   Link #1134
Dawnstorm
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
...but as far as self-interest/altruism re: Mami, I'm still not clear what you mean to say here. I assume you disagree with the statement you quoted, and do perceive altruistic intentions in Mami's decision to kill off everybody, but how does that fit into the idea of 'picking apart the self-interest/altruism continuum' as you've brought up specifically?
Lol, sorry for the confusion. It is pretty hard for me to express. For example, I don't necessarily disagree with you. But then someone else might argue for "altruistic" motives, and I probably wouldn't disagree either. I can easily see things from your point of view. And then I can turn around and see it from another. And then, when you ask me what I think, I'd have to bow out with a, "I'm not sure." But at the same time I recognise that the show thematises the distinction, explicitly with Mami, as she's the one who brings it up in the early episodes.

I'm not surprised my post confuses you; it's not like I have a very clear position.

Quote:
I note for clarification that my statement that Mami acted out of self-defense and self-interest there is not any sort of condemnation for self-oriented priorities. The tragic aspect of the scene for me is that Mami's guilt and insecurities harmed her self-interests, as opposed to her intention of protecting them, and it think it is probably true that you could say this was a result of failing to take Madoka's point of view (i.e., that she didn't want everyone to die) into account properly.
I didn't think you were condemning Mami.

Quote:
Part of the difficulty, I will admit, for me in understanding any sort of supposed altruism in Mami's decision to kill everybody is that I find it fairly difficult to conceive of there being any sort of genuine consideration for others in any sane human being coming to that sort of snap conclusion. The truth they had all just been forced to confront sucked, certainly, but could Mami seriously believe all (or even any) of them would actually prefer to die because of it? For a person to be convinced enough of that to not even bother asking the other parties, is for me rather unbelievable.
It's not necessarily about preference; it could be a "I know what's good for you," attitude (preposterous, but not necessarily selfish). But then I do think what you brought is important, too. Maybe what I'm saying is that self-intrest/other-interest is helpful when thinking about human motivation, but once you understand the situation you've moved beyond them to the extent that they're no longer useful? That sounds pretty confusing, too.

Quote:
(As far as Mami making the same decision for Kyouko as she made for herself in another timeline, I think there is a fairly significant difference there in that in Timeline 5 Kyouko chose to die because she believed she was 'protecting the one thing which was truly important' to her, and also that this conclusion was furthermore somewhat inspired and confirmed via observation of timeline 5 Homura; whereas Kyouko hypothetically choosing death after the destruction of Sayaka in timeline 3 would have been a pure act of despair and giving up on the world (which, well, it basically was as far as Mami was concerned, I'd say :P). So they are fairly different 'endings' for Kyouko from my perspective here.)
I absolutely agree. But you need Kyouko's perspective to make the difference. Maybe what I'm saying that egocentrism =/= egoism?

Running out of time.

ETA: Back again.

Quote:
I prefer more logical and realistic models of human behaviour over just assuming the good in them.
This, I think, is an interest quote. Do you think I'm just assuming the good in people? I think any action is a mesh-up of egoistic and altruistic impulses. I'm not praising Mami by (potentially) ascribing altruistic motives to her. Neither am I excusing her. As far as I know, I'm making no moral judgement at all. [I could go into "mirror-neurons" and what they imply about self-interest, for example, but that'd be too far off-topic.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun
I agree for the most part, except for this.

It's not the simple. Homura may admire that trait of Madoka, but she also admonishes her for it. For example in the last timeline she outright criticizes Madoka for thinking her own life has little value, which is the core of her self-sacrificing tendencies. This a bit ironic though, considering Homura's own self-esteem issues. Then again, maybe that's why she said so in the first place. Maybe she knows what makes Madoka tick because she realizes it's pretty much the same thing that makes her act the way she acts.

At any rate, I don't think Homura accepted Madoka's request just because she admires her.
I agree. I was - lazily - simplifying. And, yep, I do think that Madoka and Homura have similar issues.

***

Btw, what's the board-etiquette for coming back an hour or so later with no intervening posts? Edit last post, or add new one?

Last edited by Dawnstorm; 2011-04-20 at 20:22.
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Old 2011-04-21, 00:52   Link #1135
Jimmy C
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Originally Posted by recover View Post
STRONG OVERANALYZING of overly emotional mami
Although it is interesting how it's possible to do a reasonable analysis of Mami's behavior in that scene, the reasons Mami was the one to have a breakdown were quite straightforward from a storywriting point of view:

With Sayaka disposed of, and Madoka and Homura reserved for Walpurgis Night, only Mami and Kyoko were "expendable" characters. Yet, why choose Mami as the trigger man (er, girl) instead of Kyoko? Because Mami had binds and a ranged attack. If Kyoko attacked Mami first, she may or may not have succeeded, but she definitely could have been stopped without killing her. Both characters had to be removed before Walpurgis Night, and this was the clearest way to do it.
Yet, as I said at the start, they justified the killings by letting us know so much about the characters that we can accept that they would act this way in that situation. Rather than, "there was no other way to do it" that you find in other stories with similiar situations.
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Old 2011-04-21, 01:24   Link #1136
kaigan
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Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
I think we may have seen the cat! I'm thinking of a scene in episode 4, where Madoka runs away from Hitomi and the other suicidal people, locks herself in a room, and then falls into a witch's realm. There's a bizarre sequence in which little animated figures tear Madoka to pieces and consume the bits of her[!!!], leaving a black field, in which we see what seem like stars revolving, and a central four-pointed star opens up and flashes, and then the darkness irises so that we are looking out through the eyelids of an unspecified creature, to see Madoka floating in the air. Now, if you look at the outline of the eyelids, you can tell that they are furry! I had originally thought we were looking at Madoka from the witch's perspective, and that may still be true. But it is possible we are looking at her from the point of view of the mysterious cat!
i'm revisiting that scene too and this might be useful in the final eps.




Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
Another place where we look out an eyelid is of course in the OP, where we look out Madoka's eye to see the outline of the cat in front of her. The eyelids in this case is smooth--it's Madoka and not the cat's perspective. But this little scene might be a clue to us that the eye in episode 4 may in fact be the cat's. There would be a nice reverse symmetry: Madoka looking at the cat in the OP, and the cat looking at Madoka in the episode.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperborealis View Post
The only other opening eyelid (besides the one in the OP) is the odd close of the ED, where an eye opens, to show Madoka as the pupil of the eye, for a mysterious face. Any idea what that is?
i'm not sure if this is from the cat really, but i found something in the ED as well. i just noticed it after a downloaded a raw and not from a streaming site.



it's a little dark, but if this is a mere "mask", surprisingly it has eyelashes too, not only an eyelid, a few frames earlier.
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Old 2011-04-21, 01:25   Link #1137
Akashin
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Originally Posted by Jimmy C View Post
Both characters had to be removed before Walpurgis Night, and this was the clearest way to do it.
Just a small thing, but why did they have to be? Either one could just as easily have survived that incident and then been offed during Walpurgisnacht. There's a remote possibility that either one surviving would have lessened the emotional suffering that culminated in Madoka asking Homura to go back and save her, but that's not a certainty.
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Old 2011-04-21, 02:25   Link #1138
Jimmy C
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If they hadn't died, people would wonder where they were when Madoka and Homura lay dying after defeating Walpurgis.
Killing them right after Oktavia was defeated saved on additional lines and scenes related to removing Mami and Kyoko while addressing how that event affected all the girls. It was brilliant!
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Old 2011-04-21, 02:41   Link #1139
Akashin
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Originally Posted by Jimmy C View Post
If they hadn't died, people would wonder where they were when Madoka and Homura lay dying after defeating Walpurgis.
Killing them right after Oktavia was defeated saved on additional lines and scenes related to removing Mami and Kyoko while addressing how that event affected all the girls. It was brilliant!
Point conceded. I thought you meant there was some legitimate, plot-related reason to eliminate them there, hence my confusion. I'll agree with you here though.
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Old 2011-04-22, 21:48   Link #1140
Gusatabu
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Frankly, this episode made the whole series for me. Talk about emotional impact.
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