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View Poll Results: Madoka Magica - Episodes 11 & 12 Ratings
Perfect 10 274 67.49%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 70 17.24%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 40 9.85%
7 out of 10 : Good 14 3.45%
6 out of 10 : Average 6 1.48%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 1 0.25%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 1 0.25%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 406. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-08-28, 16:50   Link #1221
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
It's not their fault per se. QB says any wish is outside the bonds of logic, and when the universe try to compensate for that imbalance, distortions are created. The drawbacks on the wish (any wish) are such distortions. Of course, if you wish for something like cake, at most the drawbacks would be something like having your dad lose his job, nothing too serious. Regardless, there will always be a negative effect to any wish, no matter what you wish for. Yeah, if Sayaka wished for Kamijo to love her, that too, would have had its negative consequences.
That is basically an objective negation of the benefits of wishing, which does not necessarily have to translate into a subjective one. To take the most simple and explicit example, consider the wish "I wish to always be happy". From a subjective perspective, there is fundamentally zero way for a wish like this to backfire.

To make a successful wish, then, all a girl has to do is know on an absolute level what will make them happy. They have to identify if they have one thing, above absolutely everything else, which is the most universally and unconditionally important to them. If such a thing exists, then a happy wish is possible.
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Old 2011-08-28, 17:05   Link #1222
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
To make a successful wish, then, all a girl has to do is know on an absolute level what will make them happy. They have to identify if they have one thing, above absolutely everything else, which is the most universally and unconditionally important to them. If such a thing exists, then a happy wish is possible.
Even if it's the one thing that makes them truly happy, it will still backfire. After all, the creation of something out of nothing is an illogical thing in itself, and even if it's just cake, it'd be a cake that didn't exist in the first place, therefore an illogical cake. The universe will come to kick you in the ass, no matter what.

The key thing here is to understand that the very nature of a magical girl is an irrationality, since magic is the creation of something (energy) out of nothing. So the wish, which is what defines every magical girl, it's an imbalance in and of itself. But the universe can't have that, so it will struggle to bring balance to the equation again, which will end up fucking the magical girl over some way or another. It's the way Gen created his world, so it can't be helped.

If you want to be truly happy you have to get it the hard way, paying for it with your own effort as a human. If you resort to magic, to a wish, the universe will make you pay for it, and it won't be pretty. EDIT Or you could be like Madoka, who managed to accept the good (preventing the magical girls to go witch) with the bad (the disappearance of her own mortal existence). It's like when someone is dying: you can die resentful and in denial, or you can accept it and die with smile on your face. Like any wish, Madoka's has its drawbacks, but the difference between her and the other girls is that she could accept the good and the bad with a smile in her face. That alone makes all the difference.
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Old 2011-08-28, 17:55   Link #1223
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Even if it's the one thing that makes them truly happy, it will still backfire. After all, the creation of something out of nothing is an illogical thing in itself, and even if it's just cake, it'd be a cake that didn't exist in the first place, therefore an illogical cake. The universe will come to kick you in the ass, no matter what.

The key thing here is to understand that the very nature of a magical girl is an irrationality, since magic is the creation of something (energy) out of nothing. So the wish, which is what defines every magical girl, it's an imbalance in and of itself. But the universe can't have that, so it will struggle to bring balance to the equation again, which will end up fucking the magical girl over some way or another. It's the way Gen created his world, so it can't be helped.

If you want to be truly happy you have to get it the hard way, paying for it with your own effort as a human. If you resort to magic, to a wish, the universe will make you pay for it, and it won't be pretty. EDIT Or you could be like Madoka, who managed to accept the good (preventing the magical girls to go witch) with the bad (the disappearance of her own mortal existence). It's like when someone is dying: you can die resentful and in denial, or you can accept it and die with smile on your face. Like any wish, Madoka's has its drawbacks, but the difference between her and the other girls is that she could accept the good and the bad with a smile in her face. That alone makes all the difference.
That's exactly my point (the example of Madoka). The benefit of Madoka's wish is objectively negated due to the universe's tendency towards balance, but because Madoka (along with other magical girls, as Madoka was acting out of empathy for them) is subjectively satisfied we can consider it a successful wish. This is only possible because Madoka knew exactly what she was wishing for, and was willing to accept whatever the possible price. As such, the prerequisite for a successful wish is precisely a matter of the preparedness of one's subjective perspective.
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Old 2011-08-28, 18:01   Link #1224
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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
That's exactly my point (the example of Madoka). The benefit of Madoka's wish is objectively negated due to the universe's tendency towards balance, but because Madoka (along with other magical girls, as Madoka was acting out of empathy for them) is subjectively satisfied we can consider it a successful wish.
Then we were arguing about different things, because my point was the any wish has drawbacks no matter what you wish for, not whether it could be considered successful or not. After all, Madoka was prepared to face any consequence because she knew that all wishes backfire. This is information that most potential magical girls don't have, making Madoka's experience a very special case that can't be apply to all situations.
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Old 2011-08-28, 21:36   Link #1225
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It's not their fault per se. QB says any wish is outside the bonds of logic, and when the universe try to compensate for that imbalance, distortions are created. The drawbacks on the wish (any wish) are such distortions. Of course, if you wish for something like cake, at most the drawbacks would be something like having your dad lose his job, nothing too serious. Regardless, there will always be a negative effect to any wish, no matter what you wish for. Yeah, if Sayaka wished for Kamijo to love her, that too, would have had its negative consequences.
That's not at all what Kyubey's statements mean (atleast, not objectively). The universe makes Hope and Despair balance out, but the only way this is demonstrated is through the system where Magical Girls eventually become Witches, doing as much destruction as they did protecting and saving people. As far as we know, there is no magical mechanism that the universe uses to do stuff like "Wish for cake = fires your dad from his job." This isn't The Monkey's Paw.

I would say it's not so much that wishes have objective negative consequences as a cosmic fuck you insomuch as it is a naturally emergent consequence that humans can never be absolutely satisfied, especially in a system where magic inevitably leads to death or monsterhood.

For example, how did the universe fuck over Homura as a result of her wish? Yea, she kept failing to save Madoka, but that was because of Madoka's own personality and her tendency to think of others before herself, making her decision to contract with Kyubey pretty much a mathematical certainty. Homura's wish doesn't do anything to change this in any way.

Yea, there's the thing with Madoka being more powerful in each timeline, but that kind of worked in their favor, ultimately, and even if it DIDN'T, it wouldn't end up in "balance" because the ultimate conclusion would be Madoka consuming the planet.
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Old 2011-08-29, 03:48   Link #1226
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That's not at all what Kyubey's statements mean (atleast, not objectively). The universe makes Hope and Despair balance out, but the only way this is demonstrated is through the system where Magical Girls eventually become Witches, doing as much destruction as they did protecting and saving people.
No, QB never says anything specific about becoming witches, just that the wish were irrational and so they would cause distortions. In fact, not every magical girl that appears during his speech became a witch (Joan and Cleopatra, for example, didn't become witches) but QB said they all were betrayed by their own wishes. So it's not specifically about becoming witches. Every wish has its own natural drawbacks, which are a result of the distortions caused by the irrational nature of the wishes. It's a very convenient plot device because the way the wishes backfire isn't something specific, so Gen can come up with whatever he wants to (and he did lol)
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Old 2011-08-29, 05:11   Link #1227
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No, QB never says anything specific about becoming witches, just that the wish were irrational and so they would cause distortions. In fact, not every magical girl that appears during his speech became a witch (Joan and Cleopatra, for example, didn't become witches) but QB said they all were betrayed by their own wishes. So it's not specifically about becoming witches.
Not what I said. I said it was the only clear demonstration shown, which it is. Whether they become witches or not, the negative energy born in the soul gems through use of magic is a clear connection to the distortions of magic trying to balance itself. We see nothing happen within the wishes themselves that aren't merely natural, logical extensions of those wishes.
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Old 2011-08-29, 05:28   Link #1228
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Not what I said. I said it was the only clear demonstration shown, which it is. Whether they become witches or not, the negative energy born in the soul gems through use of magic is a clear connection to the distortions of magic trying to balance itself.
But it's not the only one. Everything is connected. Like I said, Joan and Cleopatra didn't become witches, meaning their soul gems didn't get dark to that point, but their wishes still backfired on them. This is clear in Madoka's case too: with her wish she managed to prevent the magical girls to become witches, but as a result (drawbacks) she lost her mortal existence and the Maju appeared (since witches don't exist anymore because of Madoka's wish, the universe creates Maju to keep the balance). That's what QB means, he's not talking specifically about the darkness in the soul gem, he's talking about everything negative that happens to magical girls as a result of their wishes and being magical girls. That's why Joan and Cleopatra appear during his speech. It makes it clear that the wishes' drawbacks manifest themselves in a myriad of different ways, not only the darkening of the soul gem.
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Old 2011-08-29, 05:54   Link #1229
Sol Falling
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But it's not the only one. Everything is connected. Like I said, Joan and Cleopatra didn't become witches, meaning their soul gems didn't get dark to that point, but their wishes still backfired on them. That's what QB means, he's not talking specifically about the darkness in the soul gem, he's talking about everything bad that happens to magical girls as a result of their wishes and being magical girls. Anyway, all the wishes has drawbacks (the wished betray the magical girls, like QB said), which manifest themselves in a myriad of things, not only the darkening of the soul gem.
Mm, I don't think that I really agree with this, actually. Consider the post-Madoka reconstructed world. In that world, is it actually bad that girls are becoming Puella Magi and making wishes? Are they actually losing anything? While it is true that not everyone has a wish which they would or should trade their entire life for, I do not doubt that for certain magical girls the wish system can manage to produce a very noticeable step up. Fundamentally, a wish like Mami's (at the moment of death, "I wish not to die") is not one that can backfire. Whatever comes next, there is an incontestable gain in being alive the next second. While Mami can regret the fact that she is not actually happy as time passes afterwards, there is no sense that she would ever say, "I wish that wish had never happened". So, I am tempted to agree with AuraTwilight on this that the only rebalancing which arises in the universe comes from the grief seeds or else the new demons.

Incidentally, consider this. In the old universe, not all Magical Girls became witches. If they died, then the produced a net gain in preventing grief and destroying witches. However, at the same time, not all witches were borne from Puella Magi: in fact, the witch system could independently self-propagate. In the balance, it probably exactly worked out.

(It's not really that each individual Puella Magi's happiness/despair ended up in a balance of zero. It's more that the overall happiness/despair of humanity in general always remains in balance. Like Sayaka said just before her transformation: the truth is that whenever one person gains, another person actually loses out. The wish system, even in the new world, is a system of the passing around of misfortunes. However, it is not the case that it is impossible for it to make a single individual happy.)
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Old 2011-08-29, 06:04   Link #1230
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Mm, I don't think that I really agree with this, actually. Consider the post-Madoka reconstructed world. In that world, is it actually bad that girls are becoming Puella Magi and making wishes? Are they actually losing anything?
We don't know, and I'm not going to speculate on that since Gen himself admitted he didn't even think too much about the epilogue and what happens in this new world.

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So, I am tempted to agree with AuraTwilight on this that the only rebalancing which arises in the universe comes from the grief seeds or else the new demons.
To each their own. To me it doesn't add up with what we have been told and shown. In fact, we are introduced to the concept of balance between hope and despair trough Kyouko, who talks about it in reference to what happened with her family, which has nothing to do with her soul gem getting dark or anything like that. It's Sayaka later on the one who links Kyouko's words to her transformation into witch. By the end of the series, QB makes it clear that both were right.

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Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
(It's not really that each individual Puella Magi's happiness/despair ended up in a balance of zero. It's more that the overall happiness/despair of humanity in general always remains in balance. Like Sayaka said just before her transformation: the truth is that whenever one person gains, another person actually loses out. The wish system, even in the new world, is a system of the passing around of misfortunes. However, it is not the case that it is impossible for it to make a single individual happy.)
Well, Kamijo was certainly happy thanks to Sayaka's wish. But like QB says, the magical girls are betrayed by their own wishes.... so they are the ones who, one way or another, are going to get the short end of the stick. It certainly explains why Kamijo didn't even talk to her after getting out of the hospital, or why Hitomi suddenly reveals she's in love with him. None of this makes much sense, so this is likely the result of the distortions created by her wish acting up.
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Old 2011-08-29, 14:36   Link #1231
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But it's not the only one. Everything is connected. Like I said, Joan and Cleopatra didn't become witches, meaning their soul gems didn't get dark to that point, but their wishes still backfired on them.
But WHY did they backfire? We don't know. Unless it's what they specifically wish for, we have been given absolutely zero evidence of reality being altered in ways a wish didn't ask for. The 'distortions' that balance hope and despair is a subjective one because they're subjective emotions. Things like saving countless people as a Magical Girl, then dying knowing your own dreams will never be fulfilled. Hell, this is the phrasing the series (specifically concerning Sayaka) actually uses.

Quote:
This is clear in Madoka's case too: with her wish she managed to prevent the magical girls to become witches, but as a result (drawbacks) she lost her mortal existence and the Maju appeared (since witches don't exist anymore because of Madoka's wish, the universe creates Maju to keep the balance).
The thing is these would probably be necessary even without the hope/despair balancing thing. Without witches, what do Magical Girls fight, therefore how does history shape the way it is? An enemy has to exist or we become cavemen again. And Madoka probably has to cease existing because she's now an omniscient goddess (and also she kind of literally killed herself in a weird quantum self-fight).

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That's what QB means, he's not talking specifically about the darkness in the soul gem, he's talking about everything negative that happens to magical girls as a result of their wishes and being magical girls. That's why Joan and Cleopatra appear during his speech. It makes it clear that the wishes' drawbacks manifest themselves in a myriad of different ways, not only the darkening of the soul gem.
Here I'm going to take the troll direction of pointing out that we don't know if Joan or Cleopatra actually avoided the fate of becoming Witches, nor do we know what they wish for so we don't know if their deaths were part of this balancing act.

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To each their own. To me it doesn't add up with what we have been told and shown. In fact, we are introduced to the concept of balance between hope and despair trough Kyouko, who talks about it in reference to what happened with her family, which has nothing to do with her soul gem getting dark or anything like that. It's Sayaka later on the one who links Kyouko's words to her transformation into witch. By the end of the series, QB makes it clear that both were right.
You're right, which is why I'm speaking in a general sense instead of exclusively blaming witches and soul gems.

But Kyouko's despair is not a result of the universe distorting to balance her out. She made a wish that wasn't what she truly wished for (for her father to be happy or for their family to be able to eat, or something), and she made a wish that didn't take into an account that her father seems to have been emotionally unstable beforehand. And, well...there is pretty much no Christian who is comfortable with the idea of screwing with someone Free Will (and still a large number that don't tolerate magic).

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Well, Kamijo was certainly happy thanks to Sayaka's wish. But like QB says, the magical girls are betrayed by their own wishes.... so they are the ones who, one way or another, are going to get the short end of the stick. It certainly explains why Kamijo didn't even talk to her after getting out of the hospital, or why Hitomi suddenly reveals she's in love with him. None of this makes much sense, so this is likely the result of the distortions created by her wish acting up.
It makes perfect sense. Kamijou didn't tell her because he doesn't see her as all that special, and perhaps he was in a hurry to get back to his life, thinking he had his closure with Sayaka on the roof. Hitomi, after seeing that Kamijou is recovered, approaches her best friend, Sayaka, and someone she knows likes Kamijou, and is being courteous and allowing her an oppurtunity to ask him out first because she suspects she likes him more.

Now, if Sayaka got over her angsting over her body, and asked Kamijou out, what would've happened? Say for an instant that Kamijou said yes! Hey, hell yea, her wish worked out fucking awesome.

And what if he said no? Well, it's still not the wish's fault because his failure to think of Sayaka as a love interest never had anything to do with the wish in the first place.

tl;dr you're taking a poetic metaphor way too literally.
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Old 2011-08-29, 16:42   Link #1232
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The thing is these would probably be necessary even without the hope/despair balancing thing. Without witches, what do Magical Girls fight, therefore how does history shape the way it is? An enemy has to exist or we become cavemen again. And Madoka probably has to cease existing because she's now an omniscient goddess (and also she kind of literally killed herself in a weird quantum self-fight).
You're fishing for explanation here. Homura even use the same word (distortions) to describe the Maju that QB used to describe the negatives results of a wish.

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Here I'm going to take the troll direction of pointing out that we don't know if Joan or Cleopatra actually avoided the fate of becoming Witches, nor do we know what they wish for so we don't know if their deaths were part of this balancing act.
You're right that it's troll so don't even try. It just doesn't fit your explanation, period. In fact, when Madoka is going all the over the world (and time) taking the darkened soul gems, there's a moment when we see Joan and it's clear she wasn't going to become a witch.

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But Kyouko's despair is not a result of the universe distorting to balance her out.
By using the same explanation of balance between hope and despair, it's implied that yeah, it's a distortion.

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It makes perfect sense. Kamijou didn't tell her because he doesn't see her as all that special, and perhaps he was in a hurry to get back to his life, thinking he had his closure with Sayaka on the roof.
Again trying to fish for explanations. But it just fits nicely with what Kyouko told Sayaka at the church and what QB later on tells Madoka.

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you're taking a poetic metaphor way too literally.
But that is the way Gen writes. He doesn't properly explain a lots of his shit so he can get away with a lot of things. For instance Madoka's wish was to erase all the witches "before" they are born, but the last witch she takes care of, you know, actually appears...

Gen's writing isn't as logical or clear-cut as you make it out to be. Of course you can make up explanations for a lot of this unexplained stuff if you think hard enough. But that's you deluding yourself from the fact that Gen made things unclear and ambiguous on purpose so he would have more room to develop his ideas.
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Old 2011-08-29, 18:21   Link #1233
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You're fishing for explanation here. Homura even use the same word (distortions) to describe the Maju that QB used to describe the negatives results of a wish.
That describes their origins from a temporal perspective. They exist to prevent a temporal paradox. I don't even buy that they're "manifested despair", personally. They exist because otherwise history would change too radically to hold to the spirit of Madoka's wish.

Quote:
You're right that it's troll so don't even try. It just doesn't fit your explanation, period. In fact, when Madoka is going all the over the world (and time) taking the darkened soul gems, there's a moment when we see Joan and it's clear she wasn't going to become a witch.
We don't even get a closeup of her Soul Gem, nor do we see Madoka's interaction with her (and Madoka is visiting all Magical Girls at their end, not just the Turning ones). My explanation is just as consistent as yours, but mine doesn't suppose that everyone in Sayaka's life is being brainwashed by the universe to be a dick to her.

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By using the same explanation of balance between hope and despair, it's implied that yeah, it's a distortion.
'Distortion' insinuates that cause and effect and the natural order are being thrown off-kilter somehow. As far as we know this isn't happening outside of the scope of Kyouko's wish. Her father, an emotionally unstable, highly religious man learns that his family is profiting off of mind control and hypnosis, and loses his shit.

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Again trying to fish for explanations. But it just fits nicely with what Kyouko told Sayaka at the church and what QB later on tells Madoka.
Actually, no, the "Kamijou never saw Sayaka as a love interest and was in a hurry to get back to his life" thing is Word of God.

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Q - This is also something that has got divided interpretations. It seems that when Kamijou went back to school, he neglected Sayka. What happened there?
A - To make it really clear, Kamijou-kun did not see Sayaka as a potential love object. He saw her as just a close friend. Of course he was thankful to her when she came before everybody else to congratulate him. But he did not hold any kind of thought like seeing her as a potential love object or carrying any romantic love feeling. And the fact that he did not notify her about his discharge from hospital was just because he was in such a hurry. And he did not say anything to her at school was also because he was so occupied as there were so many girls who greeted him before then. Something like..... it would be great if I could call out at Sayaka, but I just was not able to...like that. Alternative translation from /a/ -I believe the explanation behind this one is already generally understood, but when Kamijo returned to school it looked as if he'd started ignoring her. Why was that? To put it bluntly, Kamijo simply didn't recognize Sayaka as a member of the opposite sex. Just a close friend. Of course he's grateful to her for celebrating his recovery before everyone else, but it didn't make him fall in love with her, or allowed him to see her as a woman or anything. When he was discharged from the hospital too, he didn't let her know only because things were happening to quickly, and when her returned to school, he had his hands full with other girls welcoming him back so he never greeted her. It would have been nice if Sayaka had made an effort to reach out to him then, but she was already at the point where she couldn't do that... and that's how it is.
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But that is the way Gen writes. He doesn't properly explain a lots of his shit so he can get away with a lot of things. For instance Madoka's wish was to erase all the witches "before" they are born, but the last witch she takes care of, you know, actually appears...
So then why are you taking THIS metaphor to the literal extent? You're being picky and choosy if you're acknowledging that Gen doesn't always keep to the letter of his metaphors.

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Gen's writing isn't as logical or clear-cut as you make it out to be. Of course you can make up explanations for a lot of this unexplained stuff if you think hard enough. But that's you deluding yourself from the fact that Gen made things unclear and ambiguous on purpose so he would have more room to develop his ideas.
This is just a copout for you to write in your personal fanon. He's more clear than you're giving him credit for, here. His core ideas are discernible.
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Old 2011-08-30, 14:42   Link #1234
Kazu-kun
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That describes their origins from a temporal perspective. They exist to prevent a temporal paradox. I don't even buy that they're "manifested despair", personally. They exist because otherwise history would change too radically to hold to the spirit of Madoka's wish.
For me, both are the same thing. After all the idea of balance implies that everything is connected, so it makes sense from that perspective.

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We don't even get a closeup of her Soul Gem, nor do we see Madoka's interaction with her (and Madoka is visiting all Magical Girls at their end, not just the Turning ones). My explanation is just as consistent as yours, but mine doesn't suppose that everyone in Sayaka's life is being brainwashed by the universe to be a dick to her.
Your explanation just doesn't up IMO.

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'Distortion' insinuates that cause and effect and the natural order are being thrown off-kilter somehow. As far as we know this isn't happening outside of the scope of Kyouko's wish. Her father, an emotionally unstable, highly religious man learns that his family is profiting off of mind control and hypnosis, and loses his shit.
Why of course. Didn't QB said once and again that magical girls' existence is dictated by Karma? In fact, since the moment the idea of "balance" was brought to the table, it was clear Urobuchi's universe has a sort of Karmic nature, so nothing happen "just because". A magical girl's wish has an effect on reality, and reality kicks back to compensate, not because the magical girls system is made that way, but because Madoka's entire universe (including the mg system) is made that way. There was no reason for Kyouko's father to learn that Kyouko was a magical girl, but he did: it's called karma.

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Actually, no, the "Kamijou never saw Sayaka as a love interest and was in a hurry to get back to his life" thing is Word of God.
Who cares if Kamijou didn't love her. But he was a good friend of hers, and he was sorry he treated her badly in episode 4 (remember?) and he knew that little party on the building's rooftop (when he played the violin for his family and teacher) had been arranged by Sayaka too. In other words, he had a lot of reasons to talk to her when he got out of the hospital, if only to thanks her for all she did for him. But he didn't. Again, Karma.

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So then why are you taking THIS metaphor to the literal extent? You're being picky and choosy if you're acknowledging that Gen doesn't always keep to the letter of his metaphors.
That's not what I said. What I said is he doesn't make things (not ideas, but explanation to specific events) totally clear so he has more room for plot developments. Things that can not be explained easily then can be attributed to the way his universe works. In other words, what I'm saying is that what you believe is a metaphor isn't actually a metaphor, but an overall explanation of the mechanics of Urobuchi's world.

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This is just a copout for you to write in your personal fanon. He's more clear than you're giving him credit for, here. His core ideas are discernible.
Again, I never said his ideas aren't clear. What is not clear are concrete events, like why Kyouko's father learned about her being a magical girl and went from eccentric but overall loving father to bat-shit crazy killer, or why Kamijo went from a good (and thankful) friend to completely indifferent. You may come up with explanations for these events by yourself if you think hard enough, but that just shows how the series doesn't provide clear ones. The only explanation the show ever gives about pretty much everything that happens in Madoka's world is this idea of Karma, of balance. That's why it doesn't make sense to me to dismiss it as a metaphor. And it's not fanon because I didn't make up the idea of karma/balance as a major influence in Madoka's universe by myself. Of course, to think this concept is not just a metaphor is my take, my opinion, and is as valid as your opinion that it is.

Anyway, I'm getting tired of this. If we can't find a point in common then let's just agree to disagree and be done with it.
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Old 2011-08-30, 17:32   Link #1235
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Personally, I think, the show uses the entropy concept to account for wishes backfiring: there are way more possible states of the universe than there are states that conform to your wish. Thus you'll be expending emotional energy on frustration - turbulent rather than directed energy motion within a soul gem. If you manage to deal with your frustration and re-direct the energy towards your wish, your soul gem's life will be expanded. If not, it'll blow up and release all the energy - part of it turns into witch-space, part of it is lost to entropy (has to be, because that's how the world works), and part of it is probably harvested by Kyubey.

Remember that a magical girl's soul is now a physical object, and thus subjugated to entropy. Basically, a frustrated soul gem is a "hot" soul gem. A grief seed is a cool soul gem. Thus frustration flows from the soul gem to the grief seed - because frustration ends in despair. The grief seed gets a bit warmer, the soul gem a bit cooler.

Also, physical souls can interact with non-physical souls - as witches call out to normal humans. How this works is a mystery. But, yeah, I don't think the universe has any drive to re-balance things, apart from entropy, which is the totally random distribution of particles, which is the ultimate antagonism to a wish.
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Old 2011-08-30, 17:45   Link #1236
Kazu-kun
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But, yeah, I don't think the universe has any drive to re-balance things, apart from entropy.
I disagree. I don't think you can portrait the ideas Urobuchi was talking about in his last interview unless you interpret the universe as an element that pushes for balance in every sense.
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Old 2011-08-30, 19:36   Link #1237
Sol Falling
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Personally, I think, the show uses the entropy concept to account for wishes backfiring: there are way more possible states of the universe than there are states that conform to your wish. Thus you'll be expending emotional energy on frustration - turbulent rather than directed energy motion within a soul gem. If you manage to deal with your frustration and re-direct the energy towards your wish, your soul gem's life will be expanded. If not, it'll blow up and release all the energy - part of it turns into witch-space, part of it is lost to entropy (has to be, because that's how the world works), and part of it is probably harvested by Kyubey.

Remember that a magical girl's soul is now a physical object, and thus subjugated to entropy. Basically, a frustrated soul gem is a "hot" soul gem. A grief seed is a cool soul gem. Thus frustration flows from the soul gem to the grief seed - because frustration ends in despair. The grief seed gets a bit warmer, the soul gem a bit cooler.

Also, physical souls can interact with non-physical souls - as witches call out to normal humans. How this works is a mystery. But, yeah, I don't think the universe has any drive to re-balance things, apart from entropy, which is the totally random distribution of particles, which is the ultimate antagonism to a wish.
So: Hope --> Wish == Order, and
Universe == Chaos/decay/entropy --> despair?

This in contrast to
Happiness --> Wish == Order +
Universe == (karmic) Order --> Grief

Entropy is indeed the ultimate balancer, so again I must say I agree with the former model. The concept of "opposites" has a sense of "opposing forces" but it can also be approached from the perspective of "negation/reduction to zero". In terms of the natural universe, Entropy is already the greatest force of "balance" or "returning to Zero".

If we take the Karmic model, focusing on "happiness" vs. "grief", and consider the supposition that making an unnatural imposition of Order in the universe (towards Happiness)will be met by an equal imposition of Order in the opposite direction (i.e. Grief), the implication is that Madoka Magica's universe is actually fundamentally ruled by Order. I.e., the 'balancing' which goes on, is between the specific ('orderly') states of grief and happiness.

By comparison, in the Entropic model, if we consider grief as "the absence of happiness" (or more illustratively: "despair" as "the absence of hope"), then the natural entropic decay of the universe towards nothingness already encompasses all aspects of the 'rebalancing' of any unnatural "order". In fact, the collapse of happiness gained by "illogical impositions of Order" (i.e. the fundamental nature of wishes) is then simply a natural extension as it already the highest and most unstable states of order on which entropy works fastest.

Gen's assertion, I think, of the nature of the universe, is not one where Opposites (in terms of opposing forces) are naturally restrained to a balance of equals. Rather, he focuses on entropy, which is the continuing unstoppable decay of all things. Despair is not the opposite of hope, but rather the absence of all hope, as in the case of inevitable human death, or the death of the universe. In this way, in Gen's worldview, "hope" and "despair" are not actually equal: despair actually wins, and is the inevitable reality, because despair is the "negation" of hope equivalent to "balance", nothingness, Entropy, zero. That is why I think Gen's point is not "all happiness will be met by grief", but rather "all happiness will eventually fade" and "great happiness will fade even faster". The point is not to think of happiness and grief as opposite absolutes but rather as two progressive points in a line which ultimately ends at "non-existence". That "non-existence" is, to Gen, the real endpoint/inevitability.
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Old 2011-08-30, 21:44   Link #1238
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Gotta agree with Sol here. Also, as a nitpick, "A universe that balances with entropy" and "a universe as an element that balances in every respect" are synonymous term. Entropy works on absolutely everything and is an inescapable, fundamental force of the mathematical universe.
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Old 2011-08-31, 16:34   Link #1239
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entropy is an illusion of the mind, it only exists if you think it exists
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Old 2011-08-31, 16:38   Link #1240
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That's factually not true.
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