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Old 2011-05-17, 12:52   Link #106
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Some people want power simply for the sake of having power. They don't have anything particular in mind that they need the power for, they just find the concept of wielding power enticing in and of itself. I know of politicians like that. So, for them, the acquisition of power is a goal as well as a motivation.

Likewise, some people want to help others just for the sake of helping others. There's nothing in particular that they hope to gain from that, other than, perhaps, the satisfaction of knowing that they helped other people. Madoka is such a person, I think.
Madoka is not a person, is a character, and you said it yourself, her will to save and help others is not ordinary, and so, it needs a more clear and greater reason that just "the satisfaction of knowing that they helped other people". That's just how you write a character: a clear and fitting motivation makes them easier to relate to, more human.

For instance, the most interesting American superheroes have clear and proper motivations: Spider-man has his guilt over the death of his uncle, Batman the death of his father, etc. The superheroes without proper motivations come from weaker narratives, and even then, new movies or tv series will come out to give those characters more depth (aka, better and more clear motivations behind their actions), the Smallville series comes to mind.

Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But if you really need a reason for why Madoka wants to help others, I would say it's partly because she feels uniquely fortunate to have the family and friends and life that she has, and hence feels that to be deserving of such a charmed existence she needs to give back to the world around her.
I don't need it, I don't even care. The narrative needed it. And if what you say is all there's behind Madoka's actions and goals, then she's just another Sakura or Nanoha, another cliche. Still, I agree with you, and frankly, for the sort of series Madoka is, it's just not enough (or clear enough, either).

Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Sayaka, I think, was motivated in a similar way (Sayaka implied that herself with her own words), except that romantic longing caused her feelings to focus much more on one particular person: Kamijou.
If you have to think about it, it means it's not clear enough. Take Kyoko for a counter example: She was the kid of the priest (that's the core of it) and so she wanted to save the world and believed in noble ideals, etc. I don't even have to think about it; since the moment I learn she's the kid of a priest, the rest just makes sense. And of course, it also makes sense that she goes 180 when all her ideals are betrayed (her own father, the source of her ideals, killing himself and his family).

So what about Sayaka. Do we even know her parents? No. And her friends are just normal school friends, nothing more. So, why are her ideals as strong, if not stronger than Kyoko's?

We don't know, and since we don't know, we have to think, we have to assume, and that defeats the purpose. Analyzing actions and ideals of a character to discern the motivations behind those actions is an oxymoron, since the motivations are supposed to be there to explain those actions and ideals in the first place.

Last edited by Kazu-kun; 2011-05-17 at 15:47.
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