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Old 2013-03-05, 23:50   Link #121
Kyuu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Plus I think Madoka probably ruined me for any magical-girl shows, ever.
Really? It was a completely different uptake on the whole magical-girl genre. In that aspect, it was a whole breath of fresh air.
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Old 2013-03-06, 00:04   Link #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Really? It was a completely different uptake on the whole magical-girl genre. In that aspect, it was a whole breath of fresh air.
I think synaesthetic meant that Madoka was so good that every other magical girl show looks like crap by comparison.

(Then again, I'm just guessing here...)
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Old 2013-03-06, 03:59   Link #123
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Originally Posted by speedyexpress48 View Post
Besides, I'm not sure that "huge weapons"="mecha". Force has a lot of mecha elements (to the point where it becomes annoying,) but calling Force "mecha" is like, uh, calling Strike Witches "mecha" (Ok, not like people don't already do that, and I know Force has more stuff in common with mecha shows, but...)
It's about to be a magical-mecha show....
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Old 2013-03-06, 08:09   Link #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Really? It was a completely different uptake on the whole magical-girl genre. In that aspect, it was a whole breath of fresh air.
What sets Madoka apart? It's not the first magical girl show with a dark edge. I've seen it, and it was very good, but I don't get the hype. I can understand the reverence for Shaft's Bakemonogatari better, which is kind of like an anime equivalent to Pulp Fiction, raising the stakes in dialog and directing.
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Old 2013-03-06, 09:04   Link #125
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Madoka is the first show, in recent memory, to question the entire magical girl system, especially its mascot that is usually trusted without any further question. While its telling is pretty much Faustian, the journey of Madoka could mirror Buddha's.

In hindsight, other than the talents working together to make Madoka (Aoki, Kajiura, Shibo and Urobuchi), Madoka have had a very good timing. It have come at a time when people were seeing more and more of mediocre light novel adaptations, the "rise" of that "incest trend", and much more things that made people long for something "fresh".

And yet, it could have been another of those "cute girls doing cute girls" especially for those unfamiliar with Gen Urobuchi's work. Then suddenly, episode three showed that the gloves were off. And what followed was a tale of struggle and suffering, with episode ten crowning it.

I have been talking about appropriate timing, so I need to elaborate a little more. Remember that a bit after episode ten, Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami happened. For Japan, it was one of its darkest hours. Then a little later, while Japan was still trying to fight the effects of the earthquake, the final episode was aired. I think, it was what Japan needed. A story, that is sad, heartwrenching, bitter, but have a happy ending, or at least a bitterweet kind that lifted the spirit of Japanese people, telling them to not lose hope. It resonated with their heart.
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Old 2013-03-06, 09:44   Link #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
And yet, it could have been another of those "cute girls doing cute girls"
Was this intentional, or did you mean "doing cute things?" In any event, it made me laugh!
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Old 2013-03-06, 09:50   Link #127
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Was this intentional, or did you mean "doing cute things?" In any event, it made me laugh!
I meant "cute things" orz
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Old 2013-03-06, 10:50   Link #128
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
Madoka is the first show, in recent memory, to question the entire magical girl system, especially its mascot that is usually trusted without any further question. While its telling is pretty much Faustian, the journey of Madoka could mirror Buddha's.
I like Madoka and it is probably my 2nd favorite magical girl series but for me Princess Tutu still reigns supreme.

I think it also does something unique in a different way than Madoka. However to get into that would be too off topic for this thread.
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Old 2013-03-06, 11:03   Link #129
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Mecha is dying..

WHAT!? Surely is not as popular as 10 years ago but certainly not dying
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Old 2013-03-06, 14:12   Link #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I like Madoka and it is probably my 2nd favorite magical girl series but for me Princess Tutu still reigns supreme.

I think it also does something unique in a different way than Madoka. However to get into that would be too off topic for this thread.
Something about a deconstruction of fairy tales.
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Old 2013-03-07, 14:56   Link #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
What sets Madoka apart? It's not the first magical girl show with a dark edge. I've seen it, and it was very good, but I don't get the hype. I can understand the reverence for Shaft's Bakemonogatari better, which is kind of like an anime equivalent to Pulp Fiction, raising the stakes in dialog and directing.
Kinda funny. I feel the reverse. I thought Monogatari was good, but I don't get the hype.

Madoka is of course, not completely original. Everything is derivative to some point.

When one points out deconstruction, it's more of a meta game thing, in that you have to understand the genre's cliches and nuances, and thus the expectations, and then view the anime's take on said expectations.

If Madoka was just there to subvert and destroy every magical girl concept out there, then it would be alright, but it wouldn't really be that outstanding. In the end, the anime still respects the genre where it comes from and tries to fit in as one, instead of just declaring all the established notions of the genre to be crap and rebelling against it.

But at the same time, this also makes the scope of the audience far more narrow, since if you don't care about magical girl anime, a lot of it is meaningless. But at the same time, it's also far more meaningful for the supposed audience.

A more extreme example of this is Uta Kata. It's good if you're familiar with magical girl anime and pay attention. Otherwise, it just gets overshadowed by its rather apparent flaws and people just never got the underlying message inside.
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Old 2013-03-07, 15:30   Link #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
Madoka is the first show, in recent memory, to question the entire magical girl system, especially its mascot that is usually trusted without any further question. While its telling is pretty much Faustian, the journey of Madoka could mirror Buddha's.

In hindsight, other than the talents working together to make Madoka (Aoki, Kajiura, Shibo and Urobuchi), Madoka have had a very good timing. It have come at a time when people were seeing more and more of mediocre light novel adaptations, the "rise" of that "incest trend", and much more things that made people long for something "fresh".

And yet, it could have been another of those "cute girls doing cute girls" especially for those unfamiliar with Gen Urobuchi's work. Then suddenly, episode three showed that the gloves were off. And what followed was a tale of struggle and suffering, with episode ten crowning it.

I have been talking about appropriate timing, so I need to elaborate a little more. Remember that a bit after episode ten, Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami happened. For Japan, it was one of its darkest hours. Then a little later, while Japan was still trying to fight the effects of the earthquake, the final episode was aired. I think, it was what Japan needed. A story, that is sad, heartwrenching, bitter, but have a happy ending, or at least a bitterweet kind that lifted the spirit of Japanese people, telling them to not lose hope. It resonated with their heart.
Excellent post. It beautifully sums up much of what made Madoka Magica so special for so many of us, including myself

Yes, it's not just that "it's dark and deconstruction-y". It's how it's dark and deconstruction-y. What Madoka Magica did with the magical girl familiar archetype is a big part of that.

And yes, timing was huge. Truthfully, my interest in anime was seriously waning back in December of 2010. 2009 and 2010 were two pretty weak years overall, imo.

Madoka Magica hit at the perfect time in Winter 2011.


And while it's kind of ironic to say this, I think that Madoka Magica breathed new life into the magical girl genre. With the Nanoha franchise becoming increasingly mecha, Madoka Magica put the "magical" back into "magical girl". "Make a little wish" wasn't just a line in the ED for Madoka Magica, it was a major plot point as well!

Even as Madoka Magica deconstructed some magical girl tropes, and arguably the genre itself, it also recaptured a lot of what made the genre so popular in the first place. The magical girl aesthetics in the show are very fresh, yet also quintessential magical girl. Kaname Madoka herself captures the look of a magical girl better than anybody since Sakura Kinimoto.

Madoka Magica paradoxically pushed the magical girl genre forward while also harkening back to its beloved roots. I find that very impressive.
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Old 2013-03-08, 01:18   Link #133
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It's kinda hard to explain Madoka Magica's sudden burst in popularity though, IMO. Nanoha wasn't really THAT popular outside of hardcore otaku circles, and outside of Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon, the magical girl genre isn't exactly popular in American anime fandom.

I think the fact that it was really a bit of fresh air in the industry compared to anything else at the time really helped with its popularity.
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Old 2013-03-08, 01:34   Link #134
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Madoka Magica appealed to a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons.


Magical girl fans loved it for its aesthetics, its protagonists, the way its magic feels like actual magic, and its conclusion.

Magical girl haters loved it for being dark and deconstruction-y.

SHAFT fans loved it for its trippy visuals and bizarre witches/witches realms.

Moe fans/otakus in general loved it for its emotionally moving story wrapped up in moe aesthetics and characters.

More western-oriented fans loved it for having some intellectual/philosophical "heft" to it, and for having an actual plot worth caring about.


So Madoka Magica managed to bring in all sorts of different anime fans, many of which are usually on opposite sides when it comes to liking/disliking a show.
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Old 2013-03-09, 09:40   Link #135
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Madoka Magica appealed to a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons.


Magical girl fans loved it for its aesthetics, its protagonists, the way its magic feels like actual magic, and its conclusion.

Magical girl haters loved it for being dark and deconstruction-y.

SHAFT fans loved it for its trippy visuals and bizarre witches/witches realms.

Moe fans/otakus in general loved it for its emotionally moving story wrapped up in moe aesthetics and characters.

More western-oriented fans loved it for having some intellectual/philosophical "heft" to it, and for having an actual plot worth caring about.


So Madoka Magica managed to bring in all sorts of different anime fans, many of which are usually on opposite sides when it comes to liking/disliking a show.
While the show appeals to different fans on different grounds, Shaft has managed this without resorting to a scatter-gun approach of mixing genres, tropes and style elements. While it challenges conventions Madoka remains a magical girls show at the core, something that could be used more in mecha and scifi imo.
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Old 2013-03-09, 12:25   Link #136
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Originally Posted by speedyexpress48 View Post
Besides, I'm not sure that "huge weapons"="mecha". Force has a lot of mecha elements (to the point where it becomes annoying,) but calling Force "mecha" is like, uh, calling Strike Witches "mecha" (Ok, not like people don't already do that, and I know Force has more stuff in common with mecha shows, but...)
Didn't Nanoha have a "mecha designer" in its production team, though?
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Old 2013-03-09, 19:39   Link #137
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Well, most of my fond memories of older mecha shows were like 50 episodes long (pretty much unheard of today), operating on an epic scope while telling stories that encompass relevant social issues, war, etc.

If I had to think of short mecha that I enjoyed, about the only one I can think of is Giant Robo.

There's something about giant robots that goes hand in hand with giant ideas, and 12-24 episodes just usually isn't enough to satisfactorily portray them.

As for using Madoka as an example of revamping a genre, I think a lot of weight is being placed on a lot of things that simply did not weigh their percieved share in why Madoka was so popular. Personally, I think it can be boiled down to a very simple thing: it was dark and well paced. All the pretty dresses wouldn't have done squat for expanding the genre audience without that. It's also why, to some extent, Princess Tutu was also a nice deviation (and success) for the genre.

I actually forced myself through Nanoha (with a huge emphasis on forced), with all the talk concerning its importance to Madoka, and while I still appreciate Madoka (or, more accurately, Gen), I suspect I wouldn't have been quite as in awe if I had seen Nanoha first, as Madoka now does seem to me to be a blatant reactionary statement by Gen based off, and in response to, Nanoha. But, for the purpose of getting those who aren't normally interested in Magical Girl shows to watch a Magical Girl show, that's not an issue, since most of them (us) would never have seen Nanoha.

Which makes me think that as a huge fan of mecha (and sci-fi/military, which much of mecha tends to fall under), I might be too into it to be able to see what would shock and awe non-mecha fans into enjoying the genre. And, more selfishly, would I enjoy that end product if it was changed to attract a larger audience?

Now, all that said, I don't think there's ever any real need to "evolve" a genre. If you want to be different, why not simply be another genre? I view the anime industry in the same light (fair or not) as the video game industry. Wasting potentially huge revenue for not putting much effort into catering to those who've watched anime/played video games for 2, 3, 4+ decades. Obviously you want to draw in young children/adults to replace fans who stop watching/playing, but that doesn't mean you should completely ignore those consumers. Business doesn't have to be black and white, and you'd think companies would diversify their offerings more than they do in these two fields. TL;DR: I suspect a 50 episode series in much the same vein as Ideon, or something, would do just fine today, without having to make all the characters school girls in short skirts.
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Old 2013-03-09, 20:02   Link #138
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Things change because people get bored with the same thing over and over again. It is possible to make a dozen copies of a smash hit every year, but eventually people will stop watching it in favor of something different. So the industry changes after they figure out what different thing people started watching instead of their dozen shows of the sameness. There however will usually be one group that stays with whatever it was that was being made before, because some people still watch it. But then other time the creators get bored with it and stop for a time. They come back to it again eventually, but in the meantime, nothing of whatever that was is made that way.

Sometimes it is decades before something gets made "that way again"....but it happens any way.

Classic Example....the nearly 30 years between "good" Space Battleship Yamato series. Where the story just gets better as you go along as does the stakes emotion, and action detail.

PV Chapter 1: (episodes 1 and 2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BGu9HESMuI

PV Chapter 2: (episodes 3-6)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx09knIFlmY

PV Chapter 3: (episodes 7-10)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUpyizAgWWc

PV Chapter 4: (episodes 11-14)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5RJBhgdhCI

And the new (short) PV Chapter 5: (episodes 15-18)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q5vhgAZQuE
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Old 2013-03-09, 20:14   Link #139
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Didn't Nanoha have a "mecha designer" in its production team, though?
Mecha designers are responsible for all sorts of mechanical animation, like cars or spaceships, as well as what we normally think of as mecha. Still, the action in Nanoha is very much based on mecha shows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by creb View Post
Well, most of my fond memories of older mecha shows were like 50 episodes long (pretty much unheard of today), operating on an epic scope while telling stories that encompass relevant social issues, war, etc.
Those older shows were made for children, and modern children's shows still run for 4 cours. I wouldn't be surprised if Gyrozetter runs that long, for example. It's your own fault for not watching this kind of show!

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Originally Posted by creb View Post
Now, all that said, I don't think there's ever any real need to "evolve" a genre. If you want to be different, why not simply be another genre?
If Sailor Moon didn't evolve the genre, then all magical girl shows would still be like Creamy Mami.

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Originally Posted by creb View Post
I view the anime industry in the same light (fair or not) as the video game industry. Wasting potentially huge revenue for not putting much effort into catering to those who've watched anime/played video games for 2, 3, 4+ decades. Obviously you want to draw in young children/adults to replace fans who stop watching/playing, but that doesn't mean you should completely ignore those consumers.
Nowadays, a lot of game genres that existed 20-30 years ago don't exist outside of indie producers.
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Old 2013-03-09, 22:55   Link #140
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As for using Madoka as an example of revamping a genre, I think a lot of weight is being placed on a lot of things that simply did not weigh their percieved share in why Madoka was so popular. Personally, I think it can be boiled down to a very simple thing: it was dark and well paced. All the pretty dresses wouldn't have done squat for expanding the genre audience without that.
All the darkness would have done squat without the pretty dresses. If you're going to deconstruct something, it helps to actually look like what you're deconstructing.

If The Watchmen was about metahumans playing hero while wearing jeans and t-shirts, that wouldn't have resonated as well as it did with actual superhero costumes.

If NGE involved people using tanks or VRO-esque flight suits to fight those "angels", that also would not have reasoned as well as it did with huge, ginormous humanoid mechas.

Madoka Magica having quintessential magical girl aesthetics is a big part of why it did as well as it did, imo.


Quote:
I suspect a 50 episode series in much the same vein as Ideon, or something, would do just fine today, without having to make all the characters school girls in short skirts.
I agree with you here. I think this may be a case of modern anime creators just not wanting to do a show like that even though it would likely succeed.
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