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Old 2014-02-27, 22:43   Link #3541
MegamiMiko
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Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
What say you? Do you buy her development, or was she just written off so as to leave Homura alone against WPN?
Speaking for me personally yeah, I did buy it. She's my favorite character in the show, and I got pretty heavily invested in her development.
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Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
Oh, I was surfing TV Tropes, and I noticed that they had this to say on Madoka's YMMV page:

"Unfortunate Implications: Episode 12's complete romanticism of Homura's obsessive, controlling issues towards Madoka being completely thrown out the window and forgiven. (One could argue that since it is Madoka forgiving her specifically, it could be justified a little, but that doesn't excuse the overall writing of the episode, especially given that Episodes 10 and 11 were setting it up as something destructive and problematic, about to blow up in Homura's face. This is probably due to the ending being rewritten to be happier.) And there's also Episode 9's romanticism of Kyouko's stupid "sacrifice", which is really just her committing suicide using Sayaka as an excuse to do so Sayaka wouldn't wanted Kyouko to kill herself, instead go help Homura defeat Walpurgisnacht, as Sayaka's belief was that all Puella Magi should kill as many witches as they could, which falls into a similar vein."

What say you?
I'm not so sure I agree that the only reason for Kyoko's sacrifice was so Sayaka wouldn't die alone. I know that was a big part of it, but the circumstances were different than in Timeline 3. She was right that Homura needed to get Madoka out of there at that point, and she may not have been able to defeat Oktavia any other way on her own as beat up as she was.

As far as Homura goes, it seems like her issues regarding Madoka will probably be looked at in a more critical light if Rebellion gets a continuation. At least I hope that's the route they go...

I hadn't heard about the ending being rewritten to be happier though, is that true?
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Old 2014-03-14, 03:03   Link #3542
LightDragonman
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Might as well add in another common complaint some have against this show, at the risk of sounding defensive. XD

I was chatting with someone who found the show to be overrated, and he felt that it relied solely on the plot twists, and that it had wooden characters whose art turned sloppy when trying to be moody or dramatic. He felt that they failed the "who are they and why should I care test".

Do you agree? Are the plot twists solely what makes the show great, or is it more than that in your eyes?
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Old 2014-03-14, 16:08   Link #3543
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I think the show is well constructed but it was one of those shows that I wished was more character driven.
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Old 2014-03-14, 17:20   Link #3544
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Perhaps some viewers are so use to heavy melodrama in anime (or loads of loud visual cues in the forms of sweatdrops, blushes, nosebleeds, etc...) that just a normal approach to character emotions can come across as "wooden".

Madoka Magica has plenty of emotionally-charged moments, but most of them are handled with a certain degree of subtlety, and I don't recall there being a lot of visual cues of the sweat-drop type. What perhaps makes this subtlety harder to grasp is the contrast between it and the flashy Puella Magi outfits and SHAFT-y settings. For me, the subtlety nicely grounds all of that, and makes it easier for me to take the narrative seriously. But perhaps it causes a jarring contrast for others. Some viewers may expect the main cast to have "larger than life" personalities because they're dressed that way. Whereas at the end of the day Madoka is a nice unassuming sweet girl, Sayaka is a mildly genki girl next door, Mami is a polite and reserved pragmatic helper, Homura is a steely and reserved loyal friend, and Kyouko is... perhaps the one major character with a personality as loud as her attire is. And the closest either of them get to a catch-phrase is "Tiro Finale!" (that also being the only named attack of note from the entire show).

Don't get me wrong - I love the major characters in this show - But from watching Kill La Kill, Samurai Flamenco and Valvrave the Liberator, it occurs to me that the the cast of Madoka Magica are actually pretty non-hammy for anime characters in a popular anime show.
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Old 2014-03-14, 21:39   Link #3545
Monoriu
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Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
Might as well add in another common complaint some have against this show, at the risk of sounding defensive. XD

I was chatting with someone who found the show to be overrated, and he felt that it relied solely on the plot twists, and that it had wooden characters whose art turned sloppy when trying to be moody or dramatic. He felt that they failed the "who are they and why should I care test".

Do you agree? Are the plot twists solely what makes the show great, or is it more than that in your eyes?
I disagree that the characters are wooden. I think the characters are very well handled. All the five major magical girls plus QB have multiple layers to their character, and are well-developed.

Spoiler for Spoiler just in case:
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Old 2014-03-15, 11:42   Link #3546
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yep, the characters in madoka are actually really good. I wonder if this madoka quality questioning got started because of the sailor moon anime remake/image leak, as some old school sailor moon fans taht have not even watched madoka have started claiming how sailor moon is much better.
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Old 2014-03-20, 20:41   Link #3547
MartianMage
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This isn't really a Madoka Magica video so I'm not posting this on the video thread... anyway:



Skip to 3:51(or just watch the whole awesome video and pause at that time). Is that a Madoka dakimakura being held by a guy wearing a Madoka wig? =x

BTW World Order rocks
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Homura: Die monster! You don't belong in this world!
Kyubey: It was not by my hand that I am once again given flesh. I was called here by humans who wish to pay me tribute.
Homura: Tribute? You steal girls' souls, and make them your slaves!
Kyubey: Perhaps the same could be said of all religions.
Homura: Your words are as empty as your soul! Lolis ill-needs a savior such as you!
Kyubey: What is a loli? A miserable little pile of moe! But enough talk...have at you!
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Old 2014-03-22, 01:31   Link #3548
LightDragonman
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Onto another topic.

This may be just me being an overly analytical fan, but I upon thinking about this series some more, I can't help but feel that it has a few traits from the Cyberpunk genre. Think about it. It has:

*Magic being shown as corrupting people's souls, and showing it being used for nefarious purposes (replace it with technology to get the full comparison)

*A shady scientific group that controls pretty much the entire course of humanity, all to fulfill their energy production quotas, and they manipulate people into carrying out their goals.

*The main secondary protagonist is a rebellious anti-hero who dresses in dark colors and is trying to defeat the higher ups.

*What makes one human and not, and how magic is turning them into basically transhuman creations.

*By the end, the main hero has essentially become The Singularity

Since this series uses magic rather than technology, I guess this could be classified as Magic-punk.
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Old 2014-03-28, 03:53   Link #3549
LightDragonman
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Also, this is definitely gonna sound repetitive and defensive of me, but do you think that this show relies completely on shock value and suffering in order to tell its story, like its detractors say? Heck, this one guy said this in response to Mami's death:

"I personally laughed my ass off and couldn't wait till the next horribly built up crap "meaningful death." Unfortunately the show was just a string of poorly thought out "tragedies" from then on.
This show sucked so bad."

What say you? Do you think it relies sole on tragic elements to get the point across?
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Old 2014-03-28, 05:27   Link #3550
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Madoka Magica is steampunk except with magic replacing science... Interesting. That's an unusual approach to it, but it does fit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
Also, this is definitely gonna sound repetitive and defensive of me, but do you think that this show relies completely on shock value and suffering in order to tell its story, like its detractors say? Heck, this one guy said this in response to Mami's death:
For determining if a character death is pure "shock value" or not, ask the following questions...

1) Did the character death have a significant and long-lasting impact on the other characters?

2) Would the overall plot have a harder time working/making sense if the character had lived?

If the answers to both questions are "yes", then it's not a shock value death. And in Mami's case, the answers to both questions are yes.

Mami's death understandably makes Madoka much more fearful of becoming a magical girl, and Mami's death ultimately isolates Sayaka in a way that made her eventual descent more believable and
sympathy-inducing. If Mami lives, then Madoka/Sayaka have much less legitimate reason to act the way they do act the rest of the narrative. Either you would have to change the plot considerably (and so the story may suffer), or characterization would take a significant hit.

People who overstate the "shock value" of Mami's death are falling into the trap of paying too much attention to Episode 3 viewer reaction, and not enough to what actual narrative impact Mami's death had. In fairness, some Madoka fans have sort of mythologized Mami's death into being bigger than what it is. Yes, it was a startling moment that made it crystal clear that this anime was not going to be a conventional magical girl show, but it's not like there weren't hints going in that direction to begin with. Homura's cryptic warnings to Madoka, the conflict between Homura and Kyubey, the standoffs between Homura and Mami... it was very clear that something dark was going on behind the surface. Mami's death simply confirmed that this was in fact the case, and it also confirmed that it wasn't Mami herself.
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Old 2014-03-28, 05:30   Link #3551
MYWA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
Also, this is definitely gonna sound repetitive and defensive of me, but do you think that this show relies completely on shock value and suffering in order to tell its story, like its detractors say? Heck, this one guy said this in response to Mami's death:

"I personally laughed my ass off and couldn't wait till the next horribly built up crap "meaningful death." Unfortunately the show was just a string of poorly thought out "tragedies" from then on.
This show sucked so bad."

What say you? Do you think it relies sole on tragic elements to get the point across?
Eh, I'll bite:

I would argue that the show used shock value exactly once, and I think we all know what that moment was. Therefore, to act as though the show constantly relied on shock value seems...silly to me, as though to confuse twists and big reveals with exploitative shock value.

As for "poorly thought out", I suppose that's a matter of taste. Certainly it's not a crime to dislike this series (I hate on things all the time) and there are legitimate things to gripe about, but considering some of the most touted strengths of the show were its plot-driven narrative and the effective economy with which it was delivered, I would need to hear more on why a person considered the roll-out of events "poorly thought out" to judge the validity of such a contention. Seemed coherent enough to me.

If someone laughs at Mami's death scene (not in the way it's become a running gag within the fandom), that's their prerogative, but it seems to me that such a reaction arises from a lack of willingness to (or indeed a commitment not to) engage the show or invest in its characters in a serious way. Which is an interesting way of watching the show, I guess...but the results speak for themselves. I've done the same thing with kids shows in the past and most of the blockbuster action movies I watch these days.

That said, of course the show absolutely relied on tragic elements to get the point across -- I mean, they were central to the point it was getting across. I think the main issue is how well or not the series succeeded in its use of tragic events to relate whatever theme it was trying to convey and whether or not the tragic scenes earn their "tragedy" and the cathartic reactions thereto expected from the audience.

Last edited by MYWA; 2014-03-28 at 05:40.
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Old 2014-03-28, 10:32   Link #3552
LightDragonman
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Then again, the comment was from a random Youtube user, and you know how that site's community is. >_>

Personally, I feel that plot points and tragedies in Madoka Magica were very well thought out, as nearly all of them were neatly foreshadowed and hinted at. In fact, I'd even go so far as to consider this show to be one of the most efficient stories I've ever seen. There is not a single line or action that doesn't relate to a future event or contributes to character development.

Also, I feel that the show is very much character driven in addition to being plot driven. All the characters have their own personalities and desires, and that is what drives them to do their actions, as opposed to simply going a certain way because the plot demands it. Instead, their actions are what dictates the story, and are allowed to act according to their personalities. About the only thing that is plot driven is the setting in which they are in.

So really, I'm not really sure how one can call this show poorly thought out unless they weren't paying attention to it. Maybe they weren't simply invested in the characters, so the flaws stuck out to them more, but considering that the characters are what drive the story, it makes me wonder if they were even that interested to begin with, or if they were simply wanting to go against the hype. Hype backlash is a thing.

What say you?
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Old 2014-03-28, 15:19   Link #3553
MYWA
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Interesting.

One must be mindful about that setting, though, as it plays a very important role. Instead of "setting," I would go as far as to call it a malevolent environment that actively works to destroy the characters, forces that are, in fact, the main antagonist of the series against which Homura has been fighting a losing battle.

Seems to me what goes in in the show is an awful lot off STUFF HAPPENS! which the characters react to. That's not to the characters' personalities, experiences and actions (most notably, Madoka's final wish) don't play an important role and advance the story, but I'd say it's the events outside their control that are usually in the driver's seat. It's a very top-down story, not bottom-up: the story is not set in motion by the characters, rather the characters get involved in the ongoing events around them. There are witches, girls have to deal with that. Sayaka becomes a witch, girls have to deal with that. Walpurgis Night, girls have to deal with that. Even in character-driven moments like Madoka throwing Sayaka's soul gem away, the scene is less about what Madoka's feelings were that caused her to do that and more about "Oh my god, magical girls' are liches fighting witches!"

Of course, this isn't to dismiss or devalue the characterisation. The characters are each lovely, likeable and distinct. Otherwise, the tragedies the encounter would not be very effective. I will say, however, that they're not the deepest or most complex characters i've encountered, which is not a fault; on the contrary, it's part of that "economy" I mentioned earlier: the characters are fleshed out just enough to make the whole thing work. But there's a reason their personalities - like their designs - are vivid, boldly drawn, and generally conform to familiar tropes. And despite Homura being the breakout character, I'd argue that the most complex of the characters is in fact Sayaka, which is why it is not surprising to me that her arc is probably the most character-driven part of the show. And even that is in service to her becoming a witch. Because Kyubey is in control, and Kyubey is basically a walking, talking plot device. And a dick.
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Old 2014-03-28, 16:08   Link #3554
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Yes, Madoka Magica is extremely economical, in every respect - Plot and characters. It doesn't belabor things a whole lot, and I think that's what trips up some critics of the show. You have to pay close attention to almost every line, every scene, every piece of body language. There's minimal fluff here - And even that minimal fluff serves a purpose (i.e. making the characters likeable so you'll hopefully care when they run into difficulties).

When it comes to the characters... They're a bit like comic book superheroes in that there's certain jobs they're meant to do - Certain ideas and personality types and character types that they're meant to capture - But any distinctiveness beyond that is just enough to make them feel human. A lot is left to viewer interpretation and speculation.

To me, this is a feature, not a bug. It gives the characters a certain strength in that they can very effectively represent ideas and viewpoints bigger than themselves (these ideas can sometimes get watered down a bit through heavy character complexity). It also means that the characters have a good consistency to them. I find it pretty easy to write the Madoka Magica main cast in fanfics because they each have a distinct, consistent voice and/or temperament.
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Old 2014-03-28, 16:26   Link #3555
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Indeed. In fact, I wouldn't have enjoyed this show nearly as much if I didn't like the characters. To me, it is equal parts plot-driven and character-driven.

So I do not think that this show is just "one poorly-thought out tragedy after another" like detractors say. All of the events are hinted at and foreshadowed consistently, and the characters reactions are believable. If you didn't see that, than you're just not looking hard enough, and are only focusing on the superficial.

Seriously, what other show can you think of that is as efficient as this one in terms of progression and plot points?
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Old 2014-03-28, 17:03   Link #3556
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Now, if one wanted to call the plotting of Rebellion poorly thought-out, I personally would be, er, less equipped to counter that claim. Still an awesome friggin' movie, though.
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Old 2014-03-28, 17:10   Link #3557
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Really? Cause I also feel that Rebellion is just as well thought out as the show, just in a much more demanding and subtle manner.

Once it comes out on BD, rewatch it and pay very close attention to the dialogue and animation. Nearly everything there is foreshadowing in some way to a later event. Not since Hot Fuzz have I seen a film that's made such an efficient use of foreshadowing events.
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Old 2014-03-28, 17:15   Link #3558
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Well, I think it's pretty clear Gen never ever intended for Madoka Magica the TV series to have a sequel. And that shows in Rebellion (I'd get into greater detail, but it would be spoilerrific for this thread). But still, I think he did a reasonably good job with Rebellion given that he was writing an extension to something that he probably considered a finished story.
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Old 2014-03-28, 17:51   Link #3559
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Actually, now that I actually think about it, I think having watched a dim camrip with amateur subs means I'm probably not in a position to appraise the movie quite yet. Still, if the glorious Blu-Ray I watch is like I've seen, well...

(Now I feel the need to watch Hot Fuzz again...)
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Old 2014-03-28, 17:55   Link #3560
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I was lucky enough to see it in theaters.

Man oh man was it a beautiful film. Rivals (and maybe even one-ups) Rebuild Of Evangelion in terms of visuals, with the gun-battle being the highlight.

Also, when you do watch Hot Fuzz, watch it in the same way you'd view Madoka (look for all the hints and foreshadowing).
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