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View Poll Results: Madoka Magica - Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 169 57.48%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 80 27.21%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 27 9.18%
7 out of 10 : Good 9 3.06%
6 out of 10 : Average 7 2.38%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 1 0.34%
1 out of 10 : Painful 1 0.34%
Voters: 294. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-05-04, 01:12   Link #21
Sheba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
In the post-Nanoha era, action scenes do matter in magical girl anime, in my opinion. Action scenes with visually unimpressive enemies to be defeated, and/or action scenes that are very short and unsatisfying, are not good. They're significant flaws, in my opinion.

You really have to tell me exactly how the fighting in Nanoha are impressive other than the beamspeam and the big explosions. Because if StrikerS have shown me anything it is how in the long run this kind of fighting loses it, with its lack of choregraphy and dynamic. Especially when compared to the likes of Full Metal Alchemist and Cowboy Bebop. I'll be honest here, the fireworks and the lenght of a fight are not the measuring sticks of quality fighting for me, they are just bonus, they are why I enjoy the Jacky Chan fights all the more as they drag on, and why I pump my fight into the air when John McClane does what he do the best. When it comes to anime it is the use of camera work and clever use of animation tricks (budget saving tricks) that bring a kinetic feeling to the fighting which is why the fights in Yoshiaki Kawajiri's animations (Ninja Scroll, X TV or Highlander the Animation) feels dynamic in despite of the use of still or sliding shots, but the best example for this is Cowboy Bebop. Also, the occasional use of elements of the environment that gives the illusion that there is more to this fighting than just brute force (which is what Full Metal Alchemist accomplished).

Now on defense of the fighting in Madoka, I think that they are not central to the anime which is why they felt underwhelming (save for the first fight between Sayaka and Kyouko, and Homura's Last Stand); however the few we had still had that dynamic feeling, especially those involving Mami. But, I repeat, fighting is not the selling point of Madoka. Which is why it did not bother me that much. While those in Nanoha ended up to annoy me in StrikerS because all the claims for clever and tactical fighting fell flat in front of Big Pink Beam of Befriending That Will Level City Blocks But Never Kill.
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Old 2011-05-04, 01:51   Link #22
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Oh sure, I get singled out. I'm kidding, I'll happily answer devils advocate disagreements.
Thanks for being a very good sport about this.


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I haven't decided if it's the art style or just that outside of Walpurgis and Charlotte they don't seem able to pose any serious threat. We see the girls defeating them rather easily, which I think takes some of the seriousness out of the story.
I absolutely agree.


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When I say well done, I mean from a choreography, interesting to watch sense. Walpugis vs Homura was just incredible, but that doesn't make up for the others really. The others don't really feel like "battles", and I think that's part of the problem. While Walpurgis was clearly insurmountable for Homura, you at least felt there was a struggle and that she *might* be able to pull off a miracle. For the other fights, they had moments of cool, but they were horribly lopsided.
Very well said.


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Kyubey's plan is one of things I was referring to when I said "don't linger too long" on some elements of the plot. Let's face it, entropy and the MG system aren't exactly well thought out plans, but for the story to conclude the way it did, they work well enough.
The thing is though, Gen didn't have to go with entropy. He could have used something vaguer and/or more magical in nature. It would have set up the conclusion of the story just as well, but avoided the messy business of twisting a scientific concept out of its real world understanding.

It could have also made Kyubey seem a bit more effective if, say, he was simply a force for universal balance.


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Kyubey's plan isn't what made him interesting, it was his portrayal. Was he entertaining to watch? No. I've seen more interesting and grandiose villains. Rather, what makes him so appealing to me is that unlike so many other villains, I struggle with the morality and ethics he represents.
I certainly respect that. However, here is where the use of entropy is problematic in another way, in my opinion.

Entropy is generally understood to be very far off, a distant concern. The anime did nothing to change this particular understanding of entropy.

If Kyubey was striving to deal with something of a more immediate concern, that would have greatly increased the moral ambiguity of his character, imo.

As is, though, I never really struggled with the morality and ethics of his position after the entropy reveal was made. My reaction to that was very much like Madoka's, honestly.


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Was he defeated? Yes, but not really. He admits that if he had the option of Witches he would have used it, but if you think about it what did he really lose out on? If anything he gained a sustainable source of energy instead of one doomed to fail as soon as Madoka became a Witch and destroyed humanity.
Was humanity the only source of emotional/magical girls that Incubators could take advantage of?

Given how nonchalant Kyubey was about the pending destruction of Earth in one of the Episode 10 timelines, I doubt that.


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So it's less efficient, but he didn't exactly lose either.
He had to settle for less than what he wanted, and he's been effectively de-fanged as well. To me, it's very comparable to, say, a RPG main character defeating a mid-boss type and afterwards adding him unto his team.


Quote:

Maybe I didn't word it as well as I could have. I wasn't implying that viewers are at fault for noticing flaws, I'm saying that it would hamper their enjoyment if they let the flaws they notice overcome their enjoyment of the overall story.
Oh, I agree with that.


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It's only 12 episodes, and the story covers quite a bit. Maybe it could have been tightened up to explain more, but what is there works and gets the job done, which is to tell a story and conclude it. If you spend too much time trying to use logic on things like entropy, converting human emotions into magic, how wishes actually work, etc., it's almost like missing the forest for the trees.
You can see the forest and still notice that some of those trees are in hard shape, if you catch my analogy.


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I have never seen a story that can truly withstand critical opinion.
I have. Looks like this might be a good opportunity to make some anime recommendations, lol.

I've seen a few anime movies that I felt were very internally consistent, with no significant plot holes, flawless character consistency, and where everything makes sense (as far as I could tell, anyway).

Examples:

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Perfect Blue
Summer Wars
5 Centimeters Per Second

Now, I actually gave only one of these a 10/10 due to varying degrees of personal enjoyment, but I saw nothing of real consequence that could be picked apart or deconstructed in any of these.


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For example, so many people proclaim Evangelion as the pinnacle of the industry. Really? Estranged fathers let their mentally scarred children pilot city leveling war machines without any concern for their well being, or the well being of others?
As far as NERV is concerned, it's done precisely for the well being of others. It's done to defend the Earth from powerful and destructive foes.

And it's precisely because Gendo is estranged from his son that he doesn't care enough about his son's immediate well-being.


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The characters and plot of Eva are easy to pick apart, but because the show is just so damn interesting to watch, many can gloss over those elements and hail it a masterpiece.
When it comes to the End of Eva movie, you might have a point. As it pertains to the Eva TV series, I'd have to disagree with you actually. I have no major problem with the characters or plot of Eva in the TV series itself.


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How about classical paintings? Picasso certainly created some....interesting paintings, but compare them to Michelangelo and his iconic works. Masterpiece, like art, is subject to the eye of the beholder.
So are you saying that Madoka Magica is a masterpiece then?


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You say Shaft hyped this. I agree. But does it not hold up to the hype?
9/10 is a very high rating, so I would say they just about lived up to the hype, generally speaking.

But the hype right before Episode 10 was very heavy, and pretty much asked the viewer to carefully consider every little detail by rewatching Episodes 1 through 9.

I'm not sure Madoka Magica quite lived up to that. Precious few stories would, of course.


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Does it not hold up a high standard of quality animation, music, and storytelling? Ignore the things we'd nitpick for every show regardless of hype, can you not say that Madoka is head and shoulders above many, if not most, anime offerings in the last few years?
Yes, I'd be inclined to agree with that.


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Look at the Older Series section of our site. It's reflective of some of the best and most popular offerings since 2005. I won't argue that there has been many quality niche titles that didn't get subforums, but that aside, can you not find agreement in the statement that Madoka is at least on par with, if not better than some, of the best each season has had to offer in the last five or six years?
Not including movies, yes. Including movies, though, I'm not as certain.


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Seriously? Nanoha?
All I'm saying is that Nanoha did change what viewers can reasonably hope to see in a magical girl fight scene.

Nanoha showed that you can do lengthy, elaborate, dramatic, explosive mecha-esque fight scenes in magical girl anime.

There's no particular reason why Madoka Magica couldn't have this, imo. And I know for a fact that I'm far from the only viewer that would have found this anime even more enjoyable if it had Nanoha-esque fight scenes.


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I'll give you that Nanoha has exciting fight scenes, but they're the equivalent of DBZ slugfests.
That's a bit harsh. Nanoha's fights don't take that long to conclude.


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I can't speak for others, but I give the show a 10/10 because what complaints I do have never got in the way of me liking the show, and I felt that it was good enough to put in my personal list of "favorite anime ever".
Well, you make clear here why you gave the show the rating that you did.

That being said, I have to admit that I wish 10/10 ratings were used more rarely (not just for this anime, but for anime in general). It does imply perfection, in my opinion. Or, at the very least, it implies the idea that it couldn't possibly be any better than what it is.


Edit to add in replies to Archon and Sheba:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post

I think an anime can be regarded as a masterpiece even if it does have severe flaws, and there pretty much is no work that would be considered a masterpiece by everyone.
Well, I guess that's just a fundamental difference of opinion between the two of us then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
You really have to tell me exactly how the fighting in Nanoha are impressive other than the beamspeam and the big explosions.
I felt that most of the Nanoha vs. Fate fights were quite exciting, thrilling, and dramatic to behold. Other than the last one, I also found them unpredictable.


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Because if StrikerS have shown me anything it is how in the long run this kind of fighting loses it, with its lack of choregraphy and dynamic.
I'm not thinking about StrikerS so much as I am the first two Nanoha animes.


Quote:
Now on defense of the fighting in Madoka, I think that they are not central to the anime which is why they felt underwhelming (save for the first fight between Sayaka and Kyouko, and Homura's Last Stand);

Well, let's look at how often fighting is a part of Madoka.

Episode 1 - Mami fights a witch

Episode 2 - Mami fights a witch

Episode 3 - Mami fights Charlotte, gets killed; Homura fights Charlotte, wins

Episode 4 - Sayaka fights a witch

Episode 5 - Sayaka fights Kyouko

Episode 6 - Sayaka vs. Kyouko: Round 2 is cut short.

Episode 7 - Sayaka ends the episode by engaging a witch in combat

Episode 8 - We see the end of that Episode 7 fight.

Episode 9 - Kyouko vs. Octavia (Witch Sayaka)

Episode 10 - Loads and loads and loads of fights.

Episode 11 - Homura vs. Walpurgis Night

Episode 12 - Goddess Madoka vs. Walpurgis Night & Witch Madoka


Combat is a pretty consistent and important part of this anime, imo. There's not one single episode that doesn't have it at all.


Quote:
But, I repeat, fighting is not the selling point of Madoka.
Fighting is almost as important in magical girl anime as it is in big shounen titles.

This was true even in the Sailor Moon days.

This is the whole reason they even had "Monsters of the Week".
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Old 2011-05-04, 02:53   Link #23
Snork
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10/10.

When I first heard of this project, I had a lot of hype for it from the start, but mainly because since watching :e Portrait de Petite Cossette I had been dreaming of another collaboration between Shinbo and Kajiura. I was also glad to hear it was a magical girl anime, seeing as Shinbo's previous venture in that field created one of my favourite anime franchises. Basically, I was aware of all standards, traditions and cliches of the genre, although I'm not sure if I experienced them all myself, the only MG shows I watched being Card Captor Sakura and the said Nanoha (both of which are considered to be rather stand-alone). So my expectations for this series were high, but revolved mainly around hopes to hear great soundtrack and hopes to see magical girl fare rendered via Shinbo's trademark direction style. I haven't had any idea of the plot, only WMGs like something Robin Hood-esque (blame the bows, the bows! ) and maybe even some Celtic overtones (interestingly enough, the OST itself ended up having one definitely Celtic-flavoured theme, despite the whole show not featuring any of this stuff). Shinbo's claims to create a mahou shoujo unlike the rest excited me, but I assumed that would be thanks to awesome visual presentation a-la SZS/Bakemonogatari. and admittedly, I had never heard of Gen Urobuchi at that point, so I was clueless about how people went WTF at the mention of him involved. I just looked forward to something stylish, with interesting fight mechanics not unlike Nanoha (bows and muskets looked promising), "that cute loli knight" in action and - based on one of Mami's dialogue exerpts - maybe some witch-hunting a-la Soul Eater. That was how I approached PMMM (although it was late December when I laid my hands on Saya no Uta and started scratching my head about Urobuchi's involvement, too. ).

I ended up following this series as an ongoing, something I almost never do. Every next episode just hooked me up more, offering expected visuals and the OST and above that - plot twists, drama, concepts I hardly even imagined ever encountering in a magical girl anime and characters I sympathised with not just because the fate went all NGE on them, but because I found them believable and sympathisable. The show hooked me emotionally, but without playing on my waterworks alone (as Key works like to do), and giving me the story I was eager to follow - hoping, fearing, praying for one possible outcome or another. And then it managed to wrap up grandly, leaving me emotionally attached to the characters and hoping for their well-being in the struggle they continue.

My expectations were basically fulfilled. I got lots of visuals, including architecture that gives Dubai a run for its money, magical girls that don't look any less cool than TSAB special troops with their equipment and fighting style and witches that left me wondering how long it might take me to get used to standard cute anime witch girls again. I got one of Kajiura's best soundtracks, including a couple of songs by Eri Itoh (whose works with Kajiura all tend to redefine pure win) and ultra-epic tracks like Octavia and WN's themes. But this show exceeded my expectations as well - in terms of story, characters, scripting and - yep, can't dismiss voice acting either (Homura's cry in episode 10 is one cry heard in an anime I'll remember for a long time as well as phrases like "I'm such a fool", "Vent your fury out on me as much as you like, just come back after that" and "Fulfill my wish, Incubator!"). I'm not sure if this show will change anything in the genre or remain stand-alone like other unique works, but I do know that Shinbo succeeded in creating something special. And I've read a lot about the flaws people see in this show, and I agree it's not wrong for them to feel critical toward these points, but - to each his own. I, for one, merely overlooked these points and might have not noticed them, were it not for all the criticism. And when the show drags you in so much you fail to see any of its drawbacks, that speaks volumes. I also give this show 10/10 exactly because it doesn't mean "perfect" - there has never been a perfect anime and I doubt there'll ever be (and I hope there'll never be, since after that we might stop watching all other animes ). For me it means "a kind of show that you don't often see nowadays". Unlike perfect animes, stories with the quality of Madoka ought to be the standard, but they're not. And until everyone reches that standard of writing, such stories will remain far above the crowds.
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Old 2011-05-04, 03:15   Link #24
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snork View Post
I also give this show 10/10 exactly because it doesn't mean "perfect"
Then why does Anime Suki have the word "Perfect" right next to the 10 rating?

10/10 does imply perfection to many people.


I guess that I'm just curious why some fellow posters seem to feel like a 9/10 is not a fitting rating for something that they think highly of and enjoyed, but admit to having flaws. 9/10 is an excellent rating.


This is something I've long felt, but only now feel compelled to comment on.
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Old 2011-05-04, 03:24   Link #25
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Thanks for being a very good sport about this.
It's always a pleasure.


Quote:
The thing is though, Gen didn't have to go with entropy. He could have used something vaguer and/or more magical in nature. It would have set up the conclusion of the story just as well, but avoided the messy business of twisting a scientific concept out of its real world understanding.

It could have also made Kyubey seem a bit more effective if, say, he was simply a force for universal balance.
I'll respond to this when I get to your movie list.


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I certainly respect that. However, here is where the use of entropy is problematic in another way, in my opinion.

Entropy is generally understood to be very far off, a distant concern. The anime did nothing to change this particular understanding of entropy.

If Kyubey was striving to deal with something of a more immediate concern, that would have greatly increased the moral ambiguity of his character, imo.

As is, though, I never really struggled with the morality and ethics of his position after the entropy reveal was made. My reaction to that was very much like Madoka's, honestly.
I can't disagree with what you're saying, and it is something that could have been handled better. But no matter how you slice it, the urgency of the story was in preventing Madoka from contracting, and not the entropy. Why was it even brought up? Because it demonstrates two things. One, how much Kyubey didn't care about the girls, and two, Madoka's realization of that. It could have been any number of explanations, but Gen decided entropy worked well enough. Obviously with some disagreement (I myself said at one point that Kyubey's explanation was full of crap).

My reaction was like Madoka's as well, I'm human too (so I'm told). On the other hand I find his reasoning compelling. For example, he is correct that people often fail to look before they leap, and then blame others for their inability to make better judgments. He also represents a slippery slope moral argument, in the form of "the good of the many". He's the devil in a sense....he never forces anyone, all of the characters in the story made their own choices, for better or worse.

He makes me think about the nature of how humans define evil, how we define the values of life and death, how we rationalize what is right with what is necessary, etc. To me his nature of villainy is not so easily classified and packaged, and compared to so many other villains that I've seen, it makes him in a unique league.


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Was humanity the only source of emotional/magical girls that Incubators could take advantage of?

Given how nonchalant Kyubey was about the pending destruction of Earth in one of the Episode 10 timelines, I doubt that.
To flip the chessboard around, Madoka was his prize. Considering his attitude when Madoka went Witch, he was pleased to have gone above and beyond his energy quota. He obviously wasn't concerned about entropy at that point if he's willing to write off humanity so easily.

To put it another way, we've burned through oil and will soon run out. We're concerned about continuing our lifestyle and seek (with some urgency) to find a new source. Once oil runs out, and we have this new source freely available, oil will just be a footnote in history and no one will care about energy until this new source starts to become unsustainable.

Picture Kyubey in that light, he's basically tapped the well and has enough reserves to last for a long time. Now his race will spend it while finding another source. He has no interest in humans except as a resource, so if it has to be wiped out because the system can't produce something stronger than Madoka, then so be it.


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He had to settle for less than what he wanted, and he's been effectively de-fanged as well. To me, it's very comparable to, say, a RPG main character defeating a mid-boss type and afterwards adding him unto his team.
He didn't have to settle at all, since he doesn't remember the old system. I sometimes wonder what the wisdom of Homura telling him about Witches was, and if that won't come back at some point to be an issue. What if he discovers a loophole in the new system that allows him to reintroduce a Witch type element again?

Defanged or not, he still gets something out of the system, which is better than nothing, and he's still able to be as meddlesome as he used to be.

We're heading into speculation territory with this though.


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You can see the forest and still notice that some of those trees are rotting and decaying, if you catch my analogy.
/chainsaw


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I have. Looks like this might be a good opportunity to make some anime recommendations, lol.

I've seen a few anime movies that I felt were very internally consistent, with no significant plot holes, flawless character consistency, and where everything makes sense (as far as I could tell, anyway).

Examples:

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Perfect Blue
Summer Wars
5 Centimeters Per Second

Now, I actually gave only one of these a 10/10 due to varying degrees of personal enjoyment, but I saw nothing of real consequence that could be picked apart or deconstructed in any of these.
These are all great movies that deserve more credit than they get among the mainstream audience. It saddens me sometimes that Ghibli seems to be the only anime movie maker that gets any credit for producing quality works.

But they're movies. While your argument holds true, the format is different. Movies get big budgets and bigger talents. Disappearance, for example, is absolutely phenomenal. I have it in HD and it looks gorgeous, and you can really tell the people who worked on it gave it everything they had. Personally I found it even more entertaining than the first season.

I really disliked the ending of Girl who Leapt Through Time. I remember a number of people in that thread who found issues with the movie, even though most enjoyed it, even some of the dissenters. The same goes for all the movies you listed, despite how good they are, there are still people that find issue with them.

I stand by my statement. I have never seen a story that can truly withstand critical reception. There's always someone who finds an issue with something.


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As far as NERV is concerned, it's done precisely for the well being of others. It's done to defend the Earth from powerful and destructive foes.

And it's precisely because Gendo is estranged from his son that he doesn't care enough about his son's immediate well-being.
I understand the plot of Eva, I'm saying that you don't take a child who is mentally scarred, put him in a position of following orders from a father who doesn't give a shit about him, and give him the keys to a machine that can bring about the destruction of mankind. Unless of course...that's exactly what you planned all along. /justasplanned

And it isn't just Shinji. All the pilots are nuts.


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When it comes to the End of Eva movie, you might have a point. As it pertains to the Eva TV series, I'd have to disagree with you actually. I have no major problem with the characters or plot of Eva in the TV series itself.
I've so far enjoyed all of the incarnations of Eva. I'm somewhat partial to the new version, but some of the changes I don't like. However you see what I'm doing here right? I'm picking out elements of the story that bother me, and I'm willing to look past them because the overall story is worth it.

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So are you saying that Madoka Magica is a masterpiece then?
To me, it is. Unless you want me to nominate Dragonauts. Although I guess HotD beats out Dragonauts when it comes to breasts defying the laws of physics.

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9/10 is a very high rating, so I would say they just about lived up to the hype, generally speaking.
So you had some reservations. In the end, it's just a score. What matters is....did you enjoy it? Clearly you did.

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But the hype right before Episode 10 was very heavy, and pretty much asked the viewer to carefully consider every little detail by rewatching Episodes 1 through 9.

I'm not sure Madoka Magica quite lived up to that. Precious few stories would, of course.
I'll be honest, 10 blew my mind. Rewatching the first 9 episodes really helped to see how much the show had changed over the season, and it was fun picking out different pieces and seeing the differences and how they might relate to the ending.


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Not including movies, yes. Including movies, though, I'm much less certain.
If we're including movies, I nominate Kara no Kyoukai. Not including movies, it seems we have some agreement.


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All I'm saying is that Nanoha did change what viewers can reasonably hope to see in a magical girl fight scene.

Nanoha showed that you can do lengthy, elaborate, dramatic, explosive mecha-esque fight scenes in magical girl anime.

There's no particular reason why Madoka Magica couldn't have this, imo. And I know for a fact that I'm far from the only viewer that would have found this anime even more enjoyable if it had Nanoha-esque fight scenes.
Nanoha did show that, yes. I think Nanoha's greatest achievement was in taking a genre normally viewed as something just for girls and making it cool enough for guys to watch. It then did something even further, by making each season a time skip. By the third season, these little girls grew up, ditching the trope that growing up means losing your magic powers.

In the end though, Nanoha was largely about fighting over stuff, complete with mid-bosses and big bads. The system itself was never in question, so the focus was on the evil plot and making friends by beating the crap out of them.

Could Madoka have gone this route? Maybe. But it didn't. It chose to focus more on the system and how the characters dealt with it, and the fighting was more plot progression than any central focus. I'm not sure it would have been more interesting if the fighting in Madoka had been more like Nanoha.

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That's quite harsh. Nanoha's fight don't take that long to conclude.
Fair enough. They usually lasted long enough to charge up a Divine Buster.


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That being said, I have to admit that I wish 10/10 ratings were used more rarely. It does imply perfection, in my opinion. Or, at the very least, it implies the idea that it couldn't possibly be any better than what it is.
The key to ratings is that they are always subjective, never objective. Some of my favorite movies are rated as trash, some of my favorite games are considered "average", and some of my favorite anime were largely ignored by the community at large (for instance, Red Garden).

What is important is that people form their own decisions and opinions rather than judging something purely on someone else's ratings. I'd have missed out on so many good things if I took someone else's opinion as my own, without seeing the material for myself.

I enjoy reading what other people think, but I will never take it as gospel.
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Old 2011-05-04, 03:34   Link #26
Haak
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Dear lord, is the difference between 9/10 and 10/10 really enough to spawn wall of text battles?

Well anyway, I give it a 9/10. The reason I don't give it a perfect score because whilst I could appreciate it's plot, I couldn't fully appreciate the characters. I felt the characters were primarily designed for the plot and were never given enough to become real characters in their own right and I just naturally prefer stories that are the other way around. Urobuchi Gen does this a lot in his other works. It's more about appreciating the complexity of the plot and doesn't focus much on characters.
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Old 2011-05-04, 03:47   Link #27
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Solace, I intend to reply to you in greater detail tomorrow, but there's a couple brief points I want to make before I head off to bed.


1. I don't believe that quality is purely subjective, which is probably where the crux of our disagreement lies. I believe that there are some objective measures of quality (most measures are subjective, though). In other words, some plot holes simply are. They're objectively indefensible.

Let me give you a quick hypothetical example:

In Episode 1, Character A is shown and said to have a debilitating fear of cats.

In Episode 6, Character A is shown to be hugging cats, and happily snuggling up to them. No character says anything pertaining to this remarkable change in Character A, and no explanation is ever offered or strongly hinted at for how this change occurred.


To me, that's a piece of objectively poor writing. That's a clear-cut plot hole.

Few flaws are this stark, of course, but I think this hypothetical example does show how some flaws simply are.

Now, Madoka Magica has nothing quite this stark, thankfully. But it does come close in a couple of instances, in my opinion.


2. You wrote "I stand by my statement. I have never seen a story that can truly withstand critical reception. There's always someone who finds an issue with something."

That doesn't make them right in an objective sense though. Withstanding critical reception doesn't mean that literally everybody thinks highly of the work. It simply means that more objective critiques (such as ones that would touch on clear-cut cases of plot holes) can not be found, or can be effectively countered. There's a difference between a criticism based on personal taste, and a criticism based on a plot hole or a clear example of character inconsistency, imo.

In other words, I think that those five movies I listed can withstand critical reception in the sense that its plot is consistent and makes sense, and its characters are consistent and makes sense. That's all.
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Old 2011-05-04, 03:48   Link #28
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I'm not sure it would have been more interesting if the fighting in Madoka had been more like Nanoha.






I'll be honest here. It will be not. And before I am accused of trolling, I'll elaborate. StrikerS have shown the characters going through tedious training episodes. I really meant the episode part, There is like ten of them out of twenty-six. And the biggest problem is that not only they are not interesting but also they really did not serve the new protagonists in the end, other than Teana, but is it really something worth going wow over? No.

The Numbers have fought well with teamwork and tactics, until the Big Girls got their limiters released and those unlucky to fight Nanoha and Fate got curbstomped. What training did serve for when you are Erio and Caro? They did it because they managed to get distressed loli of the season snapping out of her distress, by talking. For Subaru? She just yelled louder like a Super Robot protagonist. StrikerS only amplified the issues laid by the power levels of the protagonists and their power sets. How can one make interesting and tactically engaging fights with characters like Nanoha without resorting to evil wizard overlord or cosmic abomination? Even if you nerf them (with limiters) the audience will expect this nerf to go and let the protagonists CURBSTOMP the threat, and it happens. This is part of the reason why people who dislikes StrikerS and/or find problems with it finds Jail Scagglieti and the Numbers less interesting and underwhelming.
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Old 2011-05-04, 03:53   Link #29
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I'll be honest here. It will be not.
I strongly and passionately disagree with you.

And why do you keep going back to StrikerS when I specified that I'm talking about the first two Nanoha animes?

Is it your position that the Nanoha/Fate fights, and the Nanoha/Vita fights, weren't good?
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Old 2011-05-04, 04:01   Link #30
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They were good, but can hardly be compared to the best fights in the shounen or action genre.
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Old 2011-05-04, 05:48   Link #31
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
In other words, I think that those five movies I listed can withstand critical reception in the sense that its plot is consistent and makes sense, and its characters are consistent and makes sense. That's all.
I guess I'm confused here. When did the plot and/or the characters lack consistency or sense in Madoka?

I'm so going to regret asking this one.
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Old 2011-05-04, 07:56   Link #32
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Then why does Anime Suki have the word "Perfect" right next to the 10 rating?
Yep, but I'm being subjective here.

Quote:
Dear lord, is the difference between 9/10 and 10/10 really enough to spawn wall of text battles?
Between two Madokamis, no less *looks at the avatars*

While I like StrikerS, I sometimes think it's a good example of what Madoka would risk becoming if it was made as a two-cour show. Yes, 12 episodes may not give too much room for character development, but StrikerS is an example of a production where the studio didn't seem to know what to do with all these episodes in the end. I agree that there are a number of unnecessary sequences, while most crucial points of Nanoha's story (like the accident whereafter she devoted herself to instructorship) are merely flashbacked (and not even given proper lighting in the manga). Even as a MGLN fan, I can see why some people are displeased with the third season - IMHO, it wasn't given the attention and effort it demanded and was worth.
So, while it would be good to have whole 24/26 episodes of Madoka, I wonder if it would do the show any good or make the plot too sparse and buttered thinly over these episodes...

As to the battles in Nanoha and Madoka... Madoka was officially positioned as an action magical girl anime, so battles were expected. They are also part of the system, and part of the girls' lives. So they ARE part of this series, not dismissable in the least. On hte other hand, the nature of these battles differs. In MGLN, characters face either magical/mechanical mooks devoid of any plot-influencing traits or, on the contrary, living people with their problems and souls (most of whom are eventually befriended into coma and then recruited upon leaving hospital ). In Madoka, a similar impression is pulled off at the beginning, all the way until the nature and origin of witches is revealed. Once it's done, fighting witches represents a big vicious cycle, a battle you can never really win. In the end, it's the system or fate the characters fight, not the witches they face.
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Old 2011-05-04, 08:42   Link #33
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For me it's a 10/10.

I am not a big fan of the magical girl genre, so at first it was the name behind the project that drew me in (mainly Akiyuki Shinbo and Gen Urobochi).

For me the serie was a great combinaison of near perfects parts:

- SHAFT visual style: some really disliked it, but for me it added alot of the show's charm ex:the Witch and their worlds were cleary something out of the world and wrong.
- Yuki Kajiura's composition: she has done a outstanding work for Madoka (for exemple i really love the music playing during episode 1 when Sayaka and Madoka cross into the Witch world or Mami's transformation/battle music).
- the thight plot written by Gen Urobochi: for me the plot was logical, lots was forshadowed (well except the entropy thing for exemple)

It was a real pleasure watching episode after episode
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Old 2011-05-04, 11:06   Link #34
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I guess I'm confused here. When did the plot and/or the characters lack consistency or sense in Madoka?

I'm so going to regret asking this one.
I'd rather not rehash two of the longer debates on this board, so I'll answer your question by just referring to what they were over:

1. Kyouko's virtually overnight change from wanting to kill Sayaka to wanting to be Sayaka's friend.

2. Junko letting Madoka walk into a raging typhoon for no clear or apparent reason.


Now, in fairness, I've seen worse characterization issues than these, but these were hard for me to swallow back when I first watched them unfold, and they haven't really become much easier since.


However, I've actually decided to drop our debate if that's Ok with you.

As is probably to be expected of two people who are only one point apart in their grades for an anime, my slight differences in opinion with you just aren't worth multiple days of walls of text debates.

I also feel that, at this point, I've made just about all the more critical points that I personally want to make about this anime, and people will either agree or disagree with them.

Also, my level of disagreement with Sheba is much greater than I thought it would be, as I sincerely feel that Nanoha and Fate's final fight was simply perfect, and measures up well with just about anything in the shounen realm. Given the opinion gulf between the two of us, further debate on the matter might be pointless.
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Old 2011-05-04, 11:53   Link #35
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1. Kyouko's virtually overnight change from wanting to kill Sayaka to wanting to be Sayaka's friend.
This can be explained by the amount of shock she received. While it's better suited for Kyouko thread, I'll risk going offtopic here.
Remember that whether she became selfish and cruel or not, Kyouko was originally brought up as a Christian. In this particular paragraph I'm not discussing her MO or current views, but I believe that the concepts you were infused since toddlerhood as a priest's daughter can't go away that easily. Now, look at Madoka shocked at the news about magical girls' souls being extracted - and project these news on Kyouko. For a little spice, add the fact that her father called her a witch when he learnt the truth - and dramatic irony aside, what is a traditional Christian concept of a witch? Yep, a woman who sold her soul to the devil. I bet my four limbs that this couldn't but have surfaced in Kyouko's mind at that moment or later when she was digesting the revelation. While it didn't lead to the instant revision of her ways (which is exactly what I'd have called inconsistent and dragged up), it's enough for her to feel sympathy for the girl who is obviously ruined by this revelation. Because their difference in views aside, this is something Kyouko understands.

Quote:
2. Junko letting Madoka walk into a raging typhoon for no clear or apparent reason.
That is significantly less imaginable in real life, I agree. But I suppose we should consider that Junko and Madoka are not quite your average mother and daughter. I had an impression that the bond of trust between them is rather deep, and Junko views her daughter as a person not incapable of making reasonable and justified solutions. It's that view that Madoka appeals to in their last conversation. Although we see that Junko doesn't let her go all that willingly.
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Old 2011-05-04, 12:54   Link #36
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I want to avoid TL;DR posts when rating on anime that I watch so here goes...

Perhaps due to having a fair share of MG shows that I watched in the past (Cardcaptor Sakura, Nanatsuiro Drops, Mahou Shojo Lyrical nanoha... forgot the others) I was skeptical about the concept of creating a different kind of Magical Girl anime (even if it was Gen Urobochi at the helm) and also, I wasn't the type to watch shows immediately (I wait for several episodes before starting)

I started watching when I heard from my friends who was already tuning in weekly that major characters (Mami and Sayaka's) died... the storyline was quite interesting since it was the character's emotions which was the main driving force of the story.

It was a rollercoaster ride from episodes 1 - 10. there was lots of plot twists and actions that most of us didn't see coming (Soul Gem system, the Incubators, and that Magical Girls become witches with negative emotions, Homura's knowlege on everything due to her powers)

The last 2 episodes, as I mentioned from another topic in this forum, felt a bit rushed on some parts. But nevertheless, the ending was fine for me. Seiyuus were great in their portrayal of their characters, soundtrack was excellent (Claris' Connect still causes me great LSS)

Overall, the show delivered as promised, an attempt to redefine what a Magical Girl anime is (and a damn good one at that) it deserves a 10/10 from me... as of now, Madoka Magica is tops at my list for the Magical Girl genre...
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Old 2011-05-04, 14:33   Link #37
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I'd rather not rehash two of the longer debates on this board, so I'll answer your question by just referring to what they were over:

1. Kyouko's virtually overnight change from wanting to kill Sayaka to wanting to be Sayaka's friend.

2. Junko letting Madoka walk into a raging typhoon for no clear or apparent reason.


Now, in fairness, I've seen worse characterization issues than these, but these were hard for me to swallow back when I first watched them unfold, and they haven't really become much easier since.


However, I've actually decided to drop our debate if that's Ok with you.

As is probably to be expected of two people who are only one point apart in their grades for an anime, my slight differences in opinion with you just aren't worth multiple days of walls of text debates.

I also feel that, at this point, I've made just about all the more critical points that I personally want to make about this anime, and people will either agree or disagree with them.
I kinda figured those would be the points you would find issue with, and yes I definitely agree that those debates have been done to death. No need for more wall of texts on that one.

To be honest I'm happy that there is someone to push the buttons in a civil way, that is willing to challenge bold proclamations like a perfect rating. As I said before, I'm not normally one to rate anime in this manner (this is one of the few "reviews" I've ever given, I don't even have a blog), but I do want to stress that the 10/10 is nothing but a measure of how amazing Madoka ended up being to me.

Like yourself I'm not really interested in debating the merits between Nanoha and Madoka. Apples and oranges, imo. They're very different takes on the genre and both good in their own right. Nanoha is an industry phenomenon, even if someone has never watched it they've likely heard of it and/or watched a show influenced by it. I enjoy them both, for different reasons, although the pacing in StrikerS left an initial poor impression.

I also share the sentiment that we've pretty much discussed Madoka to death. I'm looking forward to the mangas for new material and maybe the next anime (if they do move ahead with one). Otherwise I've pretty much said my peace on the anime and feel it's time to let others get a word in edgewise.
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Old 2011-05-04, 15:14   Link #38
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I gave a 10 to the series:

Reasons:
1) It is a series that redefines a traditional genre - Madoka Magica tributes to the past, yet it takes off in its direction. In an industry that has lacked creativity, I hope Madoka Magica will give a nudge to other creators in what they should be making. I know some people will not like what I say, but do we really need so many adaptation series?

- Part of the reason I give a 10, is that ambition of the series. The creators toke a big risk, and it worked... And the series probably worked more than they originally imagined.

2) 10 is supposedly means "Perfect", and I understand nothing is perfect. Madoka Magica has its flaws. The story writing is close to top notch. However, I am very pleased with the overall experience.

- The series is able to keep viewers interested and in awe/emotionally touched from the beginning till the end. The series had done a good job to merge suspense, thriller, and melodrama.

- The research to non-anime related materials (like references to European drama and theology) is done well; it shows how hard the creators work to try to make series good.

- Coming from a person working in science & engineering field, I do have to say the usage of entropy was whacky , but that problem is just a minor flaw to overall series.

- There are other holes in the plots. Given only series only has 12 episode, it has managed quite well in pace and is able to cover most of the important points that it needs to cover.

3) Damn you Urobuchi. While I expect something different from the series, I did not expect to be THAT different.

We need more series like Madoka Magica. Looking back the last few years, the few other original series that did come out (Eden of the East, Angel Beats, Kaiba) are all quite successful. The future of any business (including Otaku business) requires innovations and changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Churchill
To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.
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Old 2011-05-04, 19:02   Link #39
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I haven't said much about this series as it had me prone to thinking more than talking. It definitely 'subverted the archetype" much like the Nanoha series did though in a different direction... generally I like archetype inversion/subversion/perversion. It means I'm not about to be dragged through the same old rut.

The series, though, left me vaguely unhappy/unsatisfied. Problems with plot, pacing, and characterization (most of which have been detailed by others). So... not a bad series, but not "paradigm changing". Certainly more successful than Fractale turned out to be in trying something different. Anyway, my attitude currents are flowing in both directions. Can't give it a 10.... don't think it deserves something like a 6.... I'm going to go with an "8" and perhaps give the DVD releases a watch to see if they cleaned up any of my concerns about editing, etc.

(before anyone loses a sprocket... I gave my favorite series of the last season Ore Imouto a "7" because of characterization and adaptation problems, I'll probably give the expanded version of Ore Imouto an "8")
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Old 2011-05-04, 21:02   Link #40
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True, the more sober (and emotionally unmoved) critics and pundits gave out a more realistic lower score because of those technical flaws and errors you pointed out, and again, IMHO it's because of severe limitations the staff had to work within at the time of PMMM"s production (had the staff were more professional and organized (especially in terms of quality control) than sloppy, and then given a little more resources, in terms of time, money and thus additional episodes, PMMM would've obtained a better rating, but it's too late lest we wait and see as Shaft will make considerable revisions through BD releases).

For most admirers (including me), we tend to overlook those technical flaws in favor of the devastating, emotional impact the story generated. It's one of the few factors, helped by word-of-mouth and hype generated by tweeting, that put this show (almost) on top.

Finally, PMMM's success leaves us wondering if there's indeed a sea change in viewer idiosyncrasies. Maybe the fanbase is hungry for something entirely new.
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