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Old 2012-07-26, 15:44   Link #361
AuraTwilight
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Terrorists believe they do good by killing people - does that make them good?
Maybe. I don't believe we can judge a person's moral characters with such limited information. It hasn't ended well in history, so I avoid the precedent. What if the people the terrorist kills is ACTUALLY OPPRESSING THEM, like a rebel fighter that suicide bombs the Oppressive Regime's capital? What if that same person does a lot of charity or good works in their own home community? What if they're mentally ill?

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Lots of assumptions and what ifs there. It's like I said - Your argument is overly dependent on speculation.
Triple, any discussion about the Incubators is going to be dependent on speculation. We know nothing about them other than the fact that they don't feel emotions and don't lie. You can atleast address the logic of my thoughts, or we can't get anywhere.

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It's not unreasonable for viewers of a fictional narrative to make assessments based strictly on the narrative content available to them. After all, that narrative content (in its entirety) is supposed to be sufficient for assessing characters, and understanding the story.

If later reveals call for a new assessment of certain characters, then I'll make that new assessment then.

Perhaps the third Madoka movie will cast the Incubators in a more favorable light. If so, I'll likely see them more like you do... after the movie. For now, I'll work with what I have.
I can agree with this. My main point is that we don't have enough information to properly judge them, so since they're non-malicious and willing to work with humanity to create minimal harm, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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No, it's still not pressing. Pressing means it has to be dealt with soon. Entropy doesn't have to be dealt with soon, regardless of whether one is immortal or not.
Time is relative. If you've lived for a million years, a ten year romance is going to be like a "fling".

If you're going to LIVE TO SEE THE HEAT DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE, it's a pressing concern.

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In fact, they are holding us to a higher moral standard than they appear to hold themselves to. That's something arguably worthy of criticism.
I'd like to think that they offer the deal to their own kind when one of them experiences emotions. That helps with the possible hypocrisy.

After all, the only reason they involve other races at all is because they have no emotions. It doesn't matter what moral standards they apply to themselves because they can't complete the task they feel morally obligated to do.

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I disagree. Kyubey expressed a certain level of disappointment over Kyouko and Sayaka finding out the truth about Soul Gems. It's clear that there's some rather important pieces of information that Kyubey would rather keep hidden.
His level of disappointment seems to be over how they react to it. But even despite that, their emotional reaction does nothing but benefit his cause. He has no incentive of any kind to withhold information. Either they cope with it well and reap a shit ton of Grief Seeds, or they Witch out earlier. Win-win.

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We can judge objective harm for what it is. If a being is cognizant of the harm that they are causing, then we can hold that being accountable for that harm.

I'm inclined to believe that the Incubators are at some level cognizant of the harm that they are causing.

But even if they're not, even if they're robots, their actions are still harmful enough to warrant some degree of moral outrage. Mostly, I'm just defending people being upset with them.
Call then HARMFUL all you want, that's a far cry from making them morally villainous. A natural disaster is not malicious. A machine following it's program is not evil. Guns and drugs are not evil, but what people use them for, etc.

Not a perfect metaphor, yes. They take actions and make choices, but without the ability to empathize with other living beings and understand what they are doing to others in a way they can relate to, they cannot understand what they are doing wrong.

Given their severe handicap, I can't fault them for the actions they have taken. Their logic is consistent, practical, pragmatic, and iron-clad, given what they have to work with. Our ability to understand how others feel blows several holes in it, but I can't fault them for not accounting for it any more than I can fault a middle ages serf for thinking a modern day flashlight is a magic wand.

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How do you know? They're a highly technologically advanced people, aren't they? It's quite conceivable that they could have helped.
The only way to stop Kriemheld Gretchen is to remove all suffering from the world. It's right there in her Witch Card. It focuses on human suffering so it can be contained to Earth, but I were them, I wouldn't risk trying to save humans by relocating them; Kriemheld might try to follow any suffering humans.

And Madoka Portable reveals that extraterrestrial witches DO exist. Better not give her ANY reason to leave the planet.

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Perhaps they could have teleported her to an uninhabited planet.
Now who's the one speculating? We have no reason to believe Incubators can teleport witches, especially witches of godlike reality-warping power capable of sensing all suffering in the world. Chances are just as good that Kriemheld would try to make her way back to Earth, or to the nearest planet with intelligent life on it.

Oops, now Kriemheld is attacking a planet that never got involved with Puella Magi. Great going.

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We don't know that. Again, this is completely speculative on your part. The incubators may fail. Their actions may ultimately destroy the universe before entropy itself would end it. All it would take is a bad wish or two. Madoka's wish alone shows the holes in Incubator's system.

The Incubators actions are frequently harmful and decidedly risky, and they have yet to be proven heroic.
We know they're TRYING to save the universe. Intent, in my opinion, is more important than results. Otherwise Madoka is pretty much entirely insignificant as a moral example in every timeline but the last one. They ARE trying to save the universe, they ARE getting energy, and they've been doing this since prehistory so they must have SOME reason to keep it up. Whatever they're doing with that energy, it seems to be working because emotionless beings don't have the concept of hope. "Maybes" won't convince them to proceed with risky business.

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How would you propose they test it?
Ask it questions? These girls never really stop to think about anything. They don't ask what Kyubey is, what Witches are, why he's offering these contracts, where the wishes come from, what Grief Seeds actually do, what Kyubey gains out of this, how long he's been doing it, etc. and when they do ask some things and get cryptic answers they don't press him for information.

Because the girls need to be stupid in order for the script to work out how Urobuchi needs it to. It's not Kyubey's fault. He doesn't lie, and he answers questions when he's asked properly. He has no incentive or motivation to withhold information except for the short-term gain, such as trying to corner Madoka near the end of the series, and that's painted to be a unique circumstance in every possible respect.

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No, we're not. Obviously we were talking about "amoral" in the context of "amoral beings". Not in the context of inanimate objects.
The word doesn't change meaning just because you attach it to a different noun. An amoral being would have no moral compass, be incapable of being a proper moral agent, and not have the ability or desire of rectifying that. A baby is amoral. A sociopath is immoral. The two do not overlap.

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Like I just wrote above, we don't know that. They may fail. Their actions could well make things worse than they are.
We also have no reason to think they will. At all. Seriously, they have things pretty well under control provided we don't have holyshit maginuke buttons like Madoka Kaname.
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Old 2012-07-26, 16:49   Link #362
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Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
Triple, any discussion about the Incubators is going to be dependent on speculation. We know nothing about them other than the fact that they don't feel emotions and don't lie.
Even those "facts" are open to debate. And it's rather self-serving on your part, don't you think, to simply speculate a whole bunch of ways that cast the Incubators in the best light possible?

But we do know some actual facts about them. We know that they claim to be collecting energy to combat entropy, and we know that they take actions that cause severe harm to innocent people.


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I can agree with this. My main point is that we don't have enough information to properly judge them, so since they're non-malicious and willing to work with humanity to create minimal harm, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Seriously? You seriously write that after what Kyubey did in Episode 9?

Emotional or not, Kyubey is extremely manipulative, and is willing to trick people into harming themselves if it serves his purposes. That's hardly what I would call "willing to work with humanity to create minimal harm".


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If you're going to LIVE TO SEE THE HEAT DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE, it's a pressing concern.
Your average 8 year old human living in Canada today is going to live to see his or her graduation from high school. That doesn't make planning for life after high school a pressing concern for the 8 year old. Sure, it may deserve some thought or attention, but it's not like it calls for immediate, decisive action.

So no, combating entropy is not a pressing concern (presuming, of course, that entropy operates the same way in the Madokaverse as it does in the real world, and Gen hasn't given us any concrete reason to think otherwise).

The Incbuators have extremely ample opportunity to try to find less harmful ways of combating entropy.


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I'd like to think that they offer the deal to their own kind when one of them experiences emotions. That helps with the possible hypocrisy.
You might like to think that, but that doesn't mean it's true.

Like I wrote before, you're obviously very biased in favor of the Incubators, and are throwing out all sorts of wild and convenient speculations to try to cast them in a more positive light.

It doesn't make for a fair or intellectually honest discussion.


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After all, the only reason they involve other races at all is because they have no emotions.
Or perhaps they're merely pretending to not have emotions, because they aren't willing to make the sacrifices needed to combat entropy. That way, if they're ever forced into a "The jig is up" situation with a Madoka, they can fall-back on "Well, we'd do it ourselves, of course, but alas, we have no emotions" which sounds a lot more sympathetic than "We have emotions, but we're not willing to make the sacrifices, so we're volunteering you to make that sacrifice for us. Thanks!"

Then, to make their stance even more ironclad, they carefully make a point to avoid stating complete falsehoods so they appear more trustworthy when and if the key falsehood is needed to be said.

See? This speculation game can work both ways. It's very possible to hold viable speculations on the Incubators that cast them in a decidedly villainous light.


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It doesn't matter what moral standards they apply to themselves because they can't complete the task they feel morally obligated to do.
... So they're not moral agents, but they have feelings of moral obligations?


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His level of disappointment seems to be over how they react to it. But even despite that, their emotional reaction does nothing but benefit his cause. He has no incentive of any kind to withhold information.
Of course he has an incentive. His incentive is that this information can make contracting with girls a tougher sell.


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Call then HARMFUL all you want, that's a far cry from making them morally villainous. A natural disaster is not malicious. A machine following it's program is not evil. Guns and drugs are not evil, but what people use them for, etc.

Not a perfect metaphor, yes. They take actions and make choices, but without the ability to empathize with other living beings and understand what they are doing to others in a way they can relate to, they cannot understand what they are doing wrong.
They're not incapable of noticing which actions of theirs' are likely to cause harm from a human's perspective.


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Ask it questions? These girls never really stop to think about anything. They don't ask what Kyubey is, what Witches are, why he's offering these contracts, where the wishes come from, what Grief Seeds actually do, what Kyubey gains out of this, how long he's been doing it, etc. and when they do ask some things and get cryptic answers they don't press him for information.
Many of these actually were answered, simply in ways that hid key details. Kyubey and Mami both described witches in lurid and poetic detail in Episode 2, based on how both Madoka and Sayaka expressed clear curiosity over them. Kyubey simply left out the detail of them being former Puella Magi. Now I wonder why he left out that detail?


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It's not Kyubey's fault.
His deceitful, carefully worded answers that leave out key details is his fault. It's patently obvious why he doesn't tell the whole truth.


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We also have no reason to think they will.
We have plenty of reason to think that they might. Like I said, all it takes is one or two wishes to throw everything awry.
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Old 2012-07-26, 18:07   Link #363
maximilianjenus
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Be careful of the next post because it contains kazumi spoilers

Spoiler for kazumi magica c 19:


It's difficult to argue when you take one's example and change it's meaning, it's either straw doll technique or just putting words in someone else's mouth.
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Old 2012-07-26, 18:36   Link #364
AuraTwilight
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Even those "facts" are open to debate. And it's rather self-serving on your part, don't you think, to simply speculate a whole bunch of ways that cast the Incubators in the best light possible?

But we do know some actual facts about them. We know that they claim to be collecting energy to combat entropy, and we know that they take actions that cause severe harm to innocent people.
I choose to believe that everything the series tells us is factually true if it's not contradicted, because otherwise we can speculate that, seriously guys, being a Witch is awesome. You'd love it.

Kyubey is an expositional device. If he lies and it's exposed, that's one thing, but he is our insight into the Puella universe. We shouldn't doubt his word if we want to have common ground on anything.

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Seriously? You seriously write that after what Kyubey did in Episode 9?

Emotional or not, Kyubey is extremely manipulative, and is willing to trick people into harming themselves if it serves his purposes. That's hardly what I would call "willing to work with humanity to create minimal harm".
I like how you cut out the part about how Madoka Kaname was a special circumstance that demanded special attention in the Incubator agenda. Because that changes everything about what you just said.

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Your average 8 year old human living in Canada today is going to live to see his or her graduation from high school. That doesn't make planning for life after high school a pressing concern for the 8 year old. Sure, it may deserve some thought or attention, but it's not like it calls for immediate, decisive action.

So no, combating entropy is not a pressing concern (presuming, of course, that entropy operates the same way in the Madokaverse as it does in the real world, and Gen hasn't given us any concrete reason to think otherwise).

The Incbuators have extremely ample opportunity to try to find less harmful ways of combating entropy.
Yes, sure, they have ample opportunity as soon as magic becomes a scientifically repeatable, controllable phenomenon within comprehension.

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You might like to think that, but that doesn't mean it's true.

Like I wrote before, you're obviously very biased in favor of the Incubators, and are throwing out all sorts of wild and convenient speculations to try to cast them in a more positive light.

It doesn't make for a fair or intellectually honest discussion.
I'm really not. If the tables were turned, I'd be as hard as them as you are now. I just like playing the Devil's Advocate here because the "QB is an evil jackass" meme is getting really fucking annoying. :3

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Or perhaps they're merely pretending to not have emotions, because they aren't willing to make the sacrifices needed to combat entropy. That way, if they're ever forced into a "The jig is up" situation with a Madoka, they can fall-back on "Well, we'd do it ourselves, of course, but alas, we have no emotions" which sounds a lot more sympathetic than "We have emotions, but we're not willing to make the sacrifices, so we're volunteering you to make that sacrifice for us. Thanks!"

Then, to make their stance even more ironclad, they carefully make a point to avoid stating complete falsehoods so they appear more trustworthy when and if the key falsehood is needed to be said.

See? This speculation game can work both ways. It's very possible to hold viable speculations on the Incubators that cast them in a decidedly villainous light.
See above. I'm not doubting anything canonical with my speculations, you are. So you're being fallacious.

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... So they're not moral agents, but they have feelings of moral obligations?
Yes. See: mythological creatures such as angels, which in many sects and belief systems, are morally obligated by their creators but do not possess free will, and thus do not have moral agency. If the Incubators are creations of their home race (which is seems they ARE, given Kazumi Magica spoilers), then this can very easily apply.

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Of course he has an incentive. His incentive is that this information can make contracting with girls a tougher sell.
Doesn't stop Madoka, any. But that aside, a girl's not gonna ask about Grief Seeds until they contract, in most cases. So for the average Puella Magi, this is a moot concern.

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They're not incapable of noticing which actions of theirs' are likely to cause harm from a human's perspective.
That doesn't mean they can understand it. Like I said above, humans get upset over the SILLIEST THINGS, and without empathy, Incubators aren't as equipped to separate these instances like we are. They cannot tell the difference. They can understand physical harm like death or becoming a Witch, but something like "Oh, you're a remote-controll zombie" they don't understand as a problem. At all.

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Many of these actually were answered, simply in ways that hid key details. Kyubey and Mami both described witches in lurid and poetic detail in Episode 2, based on how both Madoka and Sayaka expressed clear curiosity over them. Kyubey simply left out the detail of them being former Puella Magi. Now I wonder why he left out that detail?
Not the same as being deceitful. If they pressed further, he'd tell them. He's just not going to volunteer information. :3

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His deceitful, carefully worded answers that leave out key details is his fault. It's patently obvious why he doesn't tell the whole truth.
The fact that the girls are satisfied isn't his fault, though.
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Old 2012-07-26, 21:28   Link #365
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Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
I'm really not. If the tables were turned, I'd be as hard as them as you are now. I just like playing the Devil's Advocate here because the "QB is an evil jackass" meme is getting really fucking annoying. :3
Well, at least I now get your motivation in this discussion.

I'll admit that "brutalized Kyubey" is one of the Madoka image memes that I've grown a bit tired of. It seems to me to come up as much as "panties-on-head Homura" and "no-head-at-all Mami".

That's partly why I have no desire to see the Incubators get brutalized in the third movie - Fan-images alone is enough of that.


For what it's worth, I don't think that Kyubey is evil, per se. I see him more as an implied metaphor for nature, if not the universe itself - With all of its abundant potentials ("magic" in place of "oil"), and all of its harsh downsides ("witches" instead of "natural disasters").

I still think he is (or at least was) an antagonistic figure (largely because even the titular lead herself seemed to view him that way in Episode 11), but in the same way that a storm at sea is an "antagonistic figure/force" in a classic Man vs. Nature story about a guy trying to guide his ship through an awful sea-storm.

In a way, it's fitting that Kyubey fights entropy, because it might reflect how nature can be brutal in its own self-preservation, in its seasons and natural forces and abhorring of vacuums.


And I think I'm going to leave it here.
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Old 2012-07-26, 22:26   Link #366
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Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
And that's something very interesting. The Incubators think humans should have no problem being utterly selfless and self-sacrificing. They are holding us to a higher moral standard than we ourselves hold to.
No they aren't, otherwise they'd tell the whole truth before the girls contract.

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"So, Kyubey, what's with this black shit in our Soul Gems?"

No one asks. Kyubey would gladly tell them and not hold back. Teenage girls are idiots.
And Incubators know that they're stupid and are exploiting it. They also could just go with actual adults, who, while having less energy, would be more likely to ask questions, which would make it more acceptable and fair. It's really obviously exploitation of a dumber/weaker age group of a dumber/weaker species.

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Yea, Kriemheld Gretchen is also a very abnormal and atypical case that the Incubators couldn't of possibly predicted or prepared for.

Not that they CARE, but once it happened there was nothing they could do. I can't blame them for bailing on something completely out of their hands regardless of their culpability in causing it.
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What the hell could they possibly do? Kriemheld Gretchen is literally unbeatable unless you end all human suffering in the world. Good fucking luck.
Potentially, they could've found other human girls to wish Gretchen away (as well as the girl themselves, or they could've had that girl killed, etc).

I'm not saying whether or not they would do that, or even if it was really an option at all, but it's highly possible they had a lot of other options, in all honesty (whether or not they wanted to take them).

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The Incubators, from their perspective, are doing what is absolutely necessary to save the process of life and civilization. They cull some of us for survival, but they're also fairly humane. They offer us the chance to reap the benefits of this system, are more upstraight and reasonable than they have to be, and don't force anyone into anything. All these girls literally bring it on themselves because they trust something without properly testing it's trustworthiness.

Humans are kind of stupid.
They exploit young girls (that sounds wrong, but bear with me ), knowing full well they aren't smart enough or developed enough to try and get the full scoop first. Kyuubey's also been shown to hound girls after they've already said they didn't want to be magical girls (like episode 4, which he then goes back to them anyway).

He also exploits them when he knows they'd have the worst chance of thinking of the ramifications (ie, Mami was dying, Homura just lost Madoka and Mami, Sayaka was very upset about Kyousuke, Kyouko was living in a very bad situation/starving, etc.).

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You're right though, you can be evil while thinking you are good. I don't believe the Incubators can qualify for that though because they are not equipped to realize the ramifications of their actions. They are not accountable in the same way a child isn't accountable.
But the difference between Kyuubey and a child is that Kyuubey is much more intelligent and DOES see things from the girls' points of view, since he scans their minds. He understands why they despair, even though he can't relate to it.

That's sort of like comparing a child to a sociopath.


I don't dislike Kyuubey, but I can see why people do and why people call him evil. From an actual storywriting standpoint, he would be considered a villain, since he causes harm to the heroes, indirectly but knowingly. From a real-life standpoint, it's too subjective to say.
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Old 2012-07-26, 22:59   Link #367
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From a storywriting standpoint, Kyuubey is an antagonist. Direct authorial statements such as Yukihiro Miyamoto's as the director of the series to the effect that "Kyuubey is still Kyuubey in the end. Personally, I'm satisfied with that" reflect the legitimacy of the Incubators' motivations from their own perspective, as a matter of the series' creative intention.

By concluding the story the way they did with Kyuubey still present, unchanged, and even cooperating with the Puella Magi, the creators basically went out of their way to say that Kyuubey was not a villain.
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Old 2012-07-26, 23:29   Link #368
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Correction, Kyubey is no longer a villan after Madoka's last wish. They are now motivated to keep magical girls alive and able to hunt demons as long as possible, because they cannot collect any energy if a soul gem shatters anymore.
However, this is irrelevant to the question of whether Kyubey is a villan or not prior to Madoka's last wish.
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Old 2012-07-26, 23:46   Link #369
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What defines a villain? What makes them different from an antagonist? I'd say antagonism is merely a question of opposing the hero/protagonist of a story. However, villainy is dependent upon the content of the antagonist's character.

If Kyuubey's character does not change, then neither should his status as a "villain". This is concurrent with an understanding of Kyuubey as representative of an antagonistic force of nature/reality, rather than a force of evil.
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Old 2012-07-27, 00:18   Link #370
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An antagonist can be a villain but a villain is not always an antagonist.

Kyuubey is simply a pragmatist.
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Old 2012-07-27, 01:15   Link #371
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Originally Posted by KoiYuki View Post
They exploit young girls (that sounds wrong, but bear with me ), knowing full well they aren't smart enough or developed enough to try and get the full scoop first. Kyuubey's also been shown to hound girls after they've already said they didn't want to be magical girls (like episode 4, which he then goes back to them anyway).

He also exploits them when he knows they'd have the worst chance of thinking of the ramifications (ie, Mami was dying, Homura just lost Madoka and Mami, Sayaka was very upset about Kyousuke, Kyouko was living in a very bad situation/starving, etc.).
How we'd read this:



How Kyubey would read this:



The point is that when establishing morals, perspective matters. It's evil to me. Not evil to you. Right and wrong, good and evil, justice and revenge, all of these things are more than words, they are perspectives. Kyubey is utilitarian in his view of the world to the point of appearing amoral. He does care, because he has a goal: get energy. But that's his only concern. Everything to that end is a cost benefit analysis. If saving a magical girl earns more energy than not, he'll do it. If not, harvest time.

We all do this. We just have this pesky thing called emotion that make it more difficult to make judgments that aren't influenced by "gut feelings" of right and wrong.
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Old 2012-07-27, 02:25   Link #372
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For what it's worth, I don't think that Kyubey is evil, per se. I see him more as an implied metaphor for nature, if not the universe itself - With all of its abundant potentials ("magic" in place of "oil"), and all of its harsh downsides ("witches" instead of "natural disasters").

I still think he is (or at least was) an antagonistic figure (largely because even the titular lead herself seemed to view him that way in Episode 11), but in the same way that a storm at sea is an "antagonistic figure/force" in a classic Man vs. Nature story about a guy trying to guide his ship through an awful sea-storm.

In a way, it's fitting that Kyubey fights entropy, because it might reflect how nature can be brutal in its own self-preservation, in its seasons and natural forces and abhorring of vacuums.
I can concur here, absolutely, and add that none of this necessarily means the Incubators are moral agents. Antagonists certainly, but villains have too strong a connotation in the English language. :3

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No they aren't, otherwise they'd tell the whole truth before the girls contract.
That's a non-sequitor. Just because they hold Principle X to be a moral good doesn't mean Principle Y is as well, and even if they did, Principle Y (lying) isn't broken in their code. They don't see a lack of information as being deceitful because they cannot tell you everything they know even if they wanted to. They have to omit SOMETHING, and the line is drawn subjectively.

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And Incubators know that they're stupid and are exploiting it. They also could just go with actual adults, who, while having less energy, would be more likely to ask questions, which would make it more acceptable and fair. It's really obviously exploitation of a dumber/weaker age group of a dumber/weaker species.
This is assuming contracting older people is even possible. We don't know that. I wouldn't say that the Incubators are explicitly exploiting people's ignorance, however, because knowledgeable, depressed girls give a much better payoff.

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Potentially, they could've found other human girls to wish Gretchen away (as well as the girl themselves, or they could've had that girl killed, etc).

I'm not saying whether or not they would do that, or even if it was really an option at all, but it's highly possible they had a lot of other options, in all honesty (whether or not they wanted to take them).
That's not how wishing works in the Puella-verse. You'd need a girl who's magical power exceeds Madoka, which is impossible.

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They exploit young girls (that sounds wrong, but bear with me ), knowing full well they aren't smart enough or developed enough to try and get the full scoop first. Kyuubey's also been shown to hound girls after they've already said they didn't want to be magical girls (like episode 4, which he then goes back to them anyway).

He also exploits them when he knows they'd have the worst chance of thinking of the ramifications (ie, Mami was dying, Homura just lost Madoka and Mami, Sayaka was very upset about Kyousuke, Kyouko was living in a very bad situation/starving, etc.).
We don't know that he knows 'full well' how they'd behave. It's a reasonable guess, but he's so perplexed by our behavior NO MATTER HOW MUCH HE GOES THROUGH THIS that it seems there's this conceptual barrier he can never breach. The Incubators are basically autistic.

Also, if Kyubey didn't intervene, Kyouko and Mami would be dead. Probably Homura too because it's not clear if Walpurgis was properly defeated or not. Even if we assume it was, and Homura was fine, bitch woulda been Witch Kissed in NO TIME.

That aside, they need to be emotionally vulnerable to even qualify for a contract. He doesn't do it to optimize his chances with them, it's how the magic works. Your wishes don't have a magical payoff of any kind if they don't come from the heart.

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But the difference between Kyuubey and a child is that Kyuubey is much more intelligent and DOES see things from the girls' points of view, since he scans their minds. He understands why they despair, even though he can't relate to it.
No, he literally does not understand. Leaving aside how far his telepathy goes (I do not believe for a second he can just read their thoughts wholesale, he's never implied he could do this), that's not the same as experiencing it. He can KNOW you're feeling sad, but he doesn't know how that feels like, and he doesn't know what it does to you. It is a complete Black Box to him. Even scientifically understanding it from an anthropologist's standpoint doesn't give him the frame of reference to empathize with our circumstances in any meaningful light.

This is a much, much, much huger gap than anything the human experience can metaphorically apply to. This isn't like a sociopath who is just broken. This is like meeting a creature that knows OF the concept of sight, but has never had eyes.

Or, to be frank, it's like sex. You can't understand how mind-fucking, life-changing, heart-racing it is until you actually DO IT. No textbook, anecdote, romanticization, masturbation, or pornography can deliver that experience in a way that lets you cross the gulf.
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Old 2012-07-27, 04:01   Link #373
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Originally Posted by ninryu View Post
Terrorists believe they do good by killing people - does that make them good?
I'm not talking about what Kyubey says/thinks about himself, I'm talking about what I think of him.

I don't think he's evil, so there.
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Old 2012-07-27, 10:26   Link #374
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contracting an adult in midst of an emotioanl turmoil would be interesting, but since a lot of the contract details are left to "magic" that not even the incubators understand as well as statistics it's difficult to get an explanation on why adults can't be contracted, maybe they did so before and the results sucked, just imagine contracting a n adult who fights witches and never fails to despair, or even the fact that finding an apropiate adult is much more worth than finding an apropiate teenager.
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Old 2012-07-27, 10:41   Link #375
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I'm willing to believe that, in PMMMverse, teenagers really do have higher emotional/magical potential than adults do. It's not really that silly an idea to me.

One analogy that could be helpful here is one between magical potential and athletic potential.

In most sports, the "prime" of one's athletic talents and career is in the late 20s (and early 30s). I know that most NHL players (and I think most NBA and NFL players) retire around the age of 40 (give or take a couple years), and they start to decline markedly in their mid-to-late 30s. Generally speaking, a pro sports player's best years are 25 to 32.

Perhaps magical potential is much the same. Perhaps "the prime" of one's magical potential, in PMMMverse, is in the teens (13 to 18). Once adulthood is reached, magical potential declines just like athletic potential declines for real world adults in their mid-to-late 30s.

If so, Incubators are merely like pro sports teams that emphasize youthful and "prime" players over people nearing "retirement".


That being said, the female gender targeting is a bit trickier to explain, at least in an in-canon way.

Maybe this is something that the third movie will expand upon, although I'm not going to get my hopes up too high.
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Old 2012-07-27, 11:29   Link #376
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Yeah, I can buy the age of puella magi, but the gender part is kinda iffy, now I hope the third movie is not based on the existing spinoffs, as good as they are the movie deserves to be something new, though it would be cool to have the spinoff characters as part of it.
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Old 2012-07-27, 11:31   Link #377
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Originally Posted by maximilianjenus View Post
Yeah, I can buy the age of puella magi, but the gender part is kinda iffy, now I hope the third movie is not based on the existing spinoffs, as good as they are the movie deserves to be something new, though it would be cool to have the spinoff characters as part of it.
I kind of expect the characters in the spinoffs to get cameo appearances, at least. Although they could be of the "blink and you'll miss it!" variety.
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Old 2012-07-27, 11:55   Link #378
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the oriko magica characters would be interesting as
Spoiler for oriko magica manga:
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Old 2012-07-27, 15:14   Link #379
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I just want to point out that in neurology, the onsets of puberty and such do make teenagers more emotional than children and much older people. The thing is these emotional changes don't settle down until the mid 40's. But if Urobuchi didn't KNOW THAT, I can give him a pass.

Also, the genre is magical girls. The only reason for the Incubators to contract teenage girls and no other demographic is for the meta-reason of deconstructing the genre.

Spoiler for On Oriko:
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Old 2012-07-28, 12:34   Link #380
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The discussion that's been going on for the past two pages leads me to subscribe to the theory of the Incubators being artificial creations. Explicitly, I'll take Kyubey's word of them being emotionless. Implicitly, their capacity to withhold information suggests conscious manipulation instead of automated actions but not necessarily by their own volition. The Incubators are pre-programmed with a set of "facts" that they cannot deny. Maybe it's not that they don't state falsehoods but rather they're incapable of lying; if I "knew" the earth was flat and I told you it was flat, I would be telling you a falsehood but I wouldn't be lying. Likewise, if the Incubators are built to think the destruction of an entire planet is irrelevant so long as they get the energy they need then it would theoretically allow them to remain honest but not necessarily truthful.

At least, that's as far as I can guess anyway.
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