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Old 2011-08-03, 01:25   Link #402
Dawnstorm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Austria
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama View Post
I definitely gathered that too. Too me the way she handled the Akemi situation (refusing to listen and seeming like she was pulling off some grand manipulative scheme by tying her up and seemingly enjoying it) and just the way she came across right until the final moments of the episode when she and Madoka were alone made me feel like she was trying to bait Madoka into some trap by isolating her from the other girls. I'm kind of confused why she was acting so suspicious and why she seemed to be straddling on the line of unveiling some ulterior motive right up until her death and kind of hope that behaviour is explained in a flashback or something at the very least.
Well, she did have an uterior motive; it just wasn't as sinister as I expected. In fact, it wasn't sinister at all. She was lonely and breaking under the pressure and she wanted friends. Why didn't she come out with that in the first place?

She was conflicted: the very thing that made her want friends (or better: companions) is also the thing that made it hard for her to pursuade others. To take the pressure of that guilt from herself, she pushed the responsibility onto Kyubey. When she had her little talk with Homura in ep3, she explicitly told Homura that Kyubey had chosen them, they are involved. I think she was trying to convince herself as much as Homura, there. Look at the earlier conversation, where she told the girls to take their time choosing a wish. She didn't have the time and now wishes she had had the opportunity to select a wish. Kyubey then says something to the point that he wants them contract as soon as possible. Mami's coy answer (girls don't like pushy boys) shows her position pretty well: please join, but do it in a way so you take the maximum profit out of it.

Homura is in the way, so of course Mami would tie her up. I mean, there are two competent magical girls in town. If they can ward off witches, who knows, maybe Madoka will change her mind? Just look at Mami's behaviour just before: first cautioning Madoka that she wouldn't have time for friends or boy friends, and then - once Madoka comes out - she drops all pretense, responsible Mami disappears and wishful-thinking Mami pops out, suggesting Madoka could wish for a cute boyfriend, of all things. (Hasn't she, only moments ago, told Madoka there isn't any time for that sort of thing?)

Madoka pretty much surprised her with that sincere, naive "you're not alone," and now she's riding the high. I found this totally plausible and it did reverse the impression I had of her. But that creepy feeling didn't go away:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witch of Uncertainty View Post
I don't think it was putting a gun against Charlottes face that made her happy. It was her situation. The smile, when shooting Charlotte) was directed towards Madoka. It wasn't pleasure in killing, but rather her being so happy that she, well, wasn't alone anymore.
See, I do agree with that. The creepy feeling didn't stem from her motives, but from something less tangible in her personality.

To explain, I have to tell you about my relationship to guns. I hate them. I couldn't hold them with such an expression, much less fire them. I couldn't shoot a phone box, or even a pillow like that. I'm biased like that. It's not that I think Mami took pleasure in killing. Far from it, actually. I had the impression that Mami didn't get what it means to fire a gun. Her fights reminded me more of ballet than a fight (a Yuki Kajiura ballet - Mami does have one of the most beautiful pieces of music in the show). This - to me - was apparent from the beginning. From her first fight against the familiar in episode 1. It's sort of understandable; we don't exactly know, but I think it's safe to assume that Mami didn't have gun training before she became a magical girl. But since she's a magical girl (i.e. not necessarily a good shot with a real gun) the choice of weapon also says something about her attitude, I think. It's the most impersonal of weapons, point and pull the trigger. There are many ways you can fire a gun: I'm scared - keep away; quick and efficient... Mami took the show-off route from the beginning.

Yes, Mami putting a gun to doll Charlotte's head and pulling the trigger was an expression of her situational light-headedness, but it was also an extension of her fighting style. It's quite possible that "style" was what she used to cover up her fear, I get it. And as I said, I'm aware I might be unfair to her.

But still, her fighting style, to me, appears to be a combination of cold-blooded and show-off, and that's frightening. Interestingly, viewed in the context of your avarage magical girl show, the effect is lessened. I mean take away the gun and give her a cutesy wand, and see what you get. So I can sort of see, if you're expecting a magical girl show, how this might shed a different light on her. Not sure that's the case.

As I said above, I didn't actually view episode 3 as a game changer. Perhaps I watched too few magical girl shows in the past?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
From the very beginning, Madoka Magica talks about wishes--magical energy born from hope and raw emotion. This is a story whose fundamental premise was borne from the transcription of our hearts into reality. So the death and tragedy in this show was never meant as a gratuity, degenerate cynicism presented for the worst facets of humanity to revel in in despair and contempt for humanity; rather, they set a stage, a mirror of reality--to grant each of us humans a heartfelt opportunity to think about what meaning, what hope really does still remain for each of our pitiful, chained existences.
Exactly. I was sold on Madoka after episode 1. There's this girl with little self-confidence (as evidenced by her dream) who bears responsibility at home beyond what's expected at her age... And she thinks if she were like that magical girl up there she could be useful (which she clearly already is, as Mom relies on you...).

If you contrast that very first fight, Homura vs. the giant witch, isn't that a lot more ugly than anything you've seen from Mami? (Especially her death.)

Ah, well, as you can probably see, I really love that show. Not that I think it's flawless, but it's among the best I've seen. And, yes, I did have to adjust my interpretations a couple of times during the show (interestingly mostly in places that nobody else seemed to find problematic, while I immediately took to the least popular [if you've seen the show you probably know what I'm talking about] twist in the show, thinking of course, now it all makes sense... )
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