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Puella Magi Madoka Magica (TV).


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Blood-
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:03 pm Reply with quote
@ Jose Cruz - your post proves my point. You write that the fact the system is less efficient IMPLIES that etc., etc. There is a big difference between something that is implied and something that is known. I would say your assumption is a reasonable one, but an IMPLIED result still does not pack the same oomph as a KNOWN result. If, as a writer, you want to dramatize the monkey paw effect, then pick a STRONG, CLEAR example of that. Kyubey whining about a more "inefficient" system doesn't quite do that for me.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:46 pm Reply with quote
Jose Cruz wrote:
Being less efficient implies that now more girls have to be recruited to gather energy to keep entropy from building up and hence more girls will have to die horrible deaths fighting wraiths. So, actually, while Madoka saved these girls from becoming witches, actually, magical girls will die now in greater numbers than before.

So, overall, one could make the case that the human race is now worse off.


Plus there's the fact that Godoka removing grief from the world will also reduce happiness as well.

Why? Well, in PMMM it is explicitly stated that happiness and grief are interlinked and balance out. When happiness increases so does sadness, and vice versa. When one person is happy another person is sad. Now, this is obviously a BS system which does not describe how real life works, but nevertheless it is the officially-stated system of the various universes in PMMM. When Godoka collects the tainted souls of Magical Girls she is removing a lot of grief from the world. Therefore she reduces global happiness by an equal amount.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm Reply with quote
Christ, that's lame. Again, it goes back to weak writing. Good writing SHOWS you the monkey paw's effect. Weak writing tosses out verbally things like, "zomg, this system is more inefficient" or "yes, grief has been removed but we, in boring exposition, told you that grief and happiness are inextricably linked in some kind of BS system, so now you have to imagine some sort of result from that!"

Lame, lame, lame.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:48 pm Reply with quote
I thought part of the point of Madoka's wish was to take some of the grief onto herself without affecting the happiness.

@ Jose Cruz
Or the Incubators could look after the ones they already have, not choose ones that are most likely to go insane over the monkey paw effect of the wishes, and become dangerous Witches. Despite the Kyubey saying that he can't give example wishes or lie, there did seem to be evidence of him manipulating through leaving facts out that would create volatile situations. Although we don't know if in the end, Mami was able save her parents, Charlotte made a useless wish, etc.
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TarsTarkas



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:33 am Reply with quote
If you have a human centric viewpoint, then Madoka's actions are justifiable.

The aliens are practically all powerful. But if they are believed, their actions have actually improved human life, at the cost of the magical girls. Madoka's actions have improved the relationship between alien and the magical girls. In the end humans still have the involvement of the aliens, pushing human advancement, through the actions of the magical girls. Magical girls now can die with dignity. Madoka perhaps could have wished the aliens away, but perhaps she didn't want to lose their help or possibly reversing alien/magical girl induced progress.

Madoka made a wish that helped her friends, saved her family, and stopped magical girls from becoming witches. In the process she lost her place in the human race and in her family. I applaud her for her choice and her sacrifice.

The aliens are sacrificing human girls as 'their' solution to universal entropy. Humans have the right to bend things in their favor. Just because the universe is going to decay away billions upon billions of years from now, doesn't mean that the human race has to be the willing victim to achieve the aliens goal, even if it benefits the human race billions upon billions of years from now. Also, the aliens could care less if humanity was destroyed in this process, as proven in the previous timelines.
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ChibiKangaroo



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:28 am Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
If you have a human centric viewpoint, then Madoka's actions are justifiable.



I think this is kind of the point we have all been making ad nauseum. From a short term human point of view, Madoka did a good thing. However, from the perspective of the rest of the universe (99.99999999999~infinity % of the rest of existence), she put them all in more danger. I don't think anyone is disputing whether or not magical girls would prefer to die as girls rather than being transformed into witches. That isn't the issue we are discussing.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:09 pm Reply with quote
Just rewatched Madoka today for the third time. What an overwhelming emotional experience, my eyes shed tears several times (specially in episode 10). This series was even better than the first time since when I watched again, as I could focus completely on the emotional content, on the beautiful "camera shots" and on the excellent soundtrack (good music becomes better after you have listened to it a few times).

One very interesting thing is how effective is the editing: this is very fast paced, specially the last 5 episodes, where there is enough plot for 30 lesser anime episodes. The direction of this series (direction in the cinema sense of the directing style) is quite similar to Evangelion's, where the fast paced editing is used to increase the emotional intensity. I noticed that they used pillow shots of a few seconds between scenes where stuff happens in order to let our mind sink in. That was the great Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu's patented style, though in this case the pillow shoots last less than half of the time than in Ozu's 1950's movies.
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TarsTarkas



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:19 pm Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
TarsTarkas wrote:
If you have a human centric viewpoint, then Madoka's actions are justifiable.



I think this is kind of the point we have all been making ad nauseum. From a short term human point of view, Madoka did a good thing. However, from the perspective of the rest of the universe (99.99999999999~infinity % of the rest of existence), she put them all in more danger. I don't think anyone is disputing whether or not magical girls would prefer to die as girls rather than being transformed into witches. That isn't the issue we are discussing.


Yes it is. Since when does the rest of the universe get the right to say the human race must be sacrificed to save everyone else billions upon billions of years from now. As shown in the show, Kyubey could care less, if we all die from their harvesting. Post Madoka, the aliens still get their energy, just at a slower pace. Nothing in the show indicates that the new system will fail to produce the desired effect.
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willag
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:51 pm Reply with quote
So, last night and today I watched SF Debris review the entire series. I really enjoyed listening to his analysis of each episode (very thorough, very well organized and put-together, good delivery, with a good dose of humor every once in a while though the reviews are mostly serious and considerate). He's more of a science fiction fan and reviewer (having only watched a few anime series and only picking up Madoka by request of several people), but despite his initial strong skepticism, by the end he's sold. He mentions in one of the later episodes that if there is one series he would recommend for his viewers to watch, it would be this show.

I'd definitely recommend checking them out.

http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka1.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka2.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka3.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka4.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka5.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka6.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka7.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka8.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka9.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka10.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka11.​asp
http://sfdebris.com/​videos/​animation/​madoka12.​asp
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:25 am Reply with quote
I think Madoka may be one of the best gateway anime shows. Too bad he watched the series with the poor English dubb.
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Treeborn



Joined: 30 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:32 am Reply with quote
I haven't listened to the links, but if the reviewer had good things to say, then obviously the English dub wasn't that bad. I myself watched it in English before Japanese. Liked both the same. Everyone has their own preference. I thought Homura's English VA sounded especially fitting to me :p
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:37 am Reply with quote
@ willag
Okay, I watched all of the episode reviews, did it while playing some Skyrim, but then the videos started loading at a crawl, and my computer wanted to update itself. It took a while.

It was actually a pretty good look at each episode, there was something he managed to put into words that I think that I had not managed to do, can't quite remember what it was. I tend not to like internet reviewers as they are often vulgar, but this guy was respectful enough, but still gave some honest responses. Although he seemed to take a lot of joy in pointing out the bad decisions of the adults, and especially the mother's love of alcohol. Guess I was not too familiar that someone who was not that into anime could enjoy this so much, so that was good.

Also a very informe review, mentions of Sayaka x Kyouko for the win.
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ChibiKangaroo



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:16 am Reply with quote
I actually don't think Madoka is a very compelling gateway anime. I cannot imagine the general populace of non-anime fans appreciating the show in the same way that anime fans would, primarily due to the peculiar genre of anime that it fits in to.

Cowboy Beebop - yes, that is a gateway anime. Sci-fi, gunplay, action, blues music, hot women, and cool dudes.

Death Note - yes. Mystery, detectives, hot button issue (are criminals worth protecting from a megalomaniac with a god complex?), cat and mouse game, hot women, cool dudes, etc...

GitS - yes. Sci-fi, cyborgs, gunplay, action, hot button issues (questions of human existence/relevance in a computer/internet dominated future), hot women, cool dudes, etc...

DBZ - yes. Action, cool dudes, cool dudes, and more cool dudes. Adventure, explosions, bigger explosions, massive world destroying explosions, and MYSTICAL MARTIAL ARTS.

Magical girl shows - not really a gateway (except for maybe young girls in the same way that Yu Gi Oh or Pokemon might be a gateway for young boys, but then again Madoka isn't really targeted at young girls and probably wouldn't function in that way). Madoka is a great show because of its ability to tweak and comment on a genre that anime fans had probably seen as becoming stale. I think the vast majority of people who get into Madoka are either anime fans, or people who are already generally familiar with and appreciate anime.
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:53 am Reply with quote
I guess Madoka requires a bit of an open mind but it is it can be a great show for those that are not anime fans. It is a powerful work of art that, I think, is quite accessible for those that have an open mind.

And no, Madoka is not great art just because it tweaks a genre, but fundamentally because it is a extremely powerful Shakespearean tragedy that is heavily imbued with the zeitgeist of the early 21st century which makes it accessible to the modern young adult. Tweaking the magical girl genre is part of it's reflection of the contemporary zeitgeist but it is much more than that.

I watched it because I heard it gained the animation grand prize at the Japan media arts festival, which is extremely rare for a TV series. I am not a seasoned anime fan, though I have watched lots of anime as a kid and a large number of anime films as an adult, I haven't watched many anime series and most series I have watched have been just after discovering Madoka, so it has been sort of a gateway show for me, since I intensified greatly the proportion of my free time I am dedicating for anime series.

I guess that series like Cowboy Bebop are not as emotionally powerful and thus don't really work as well as gateway anime also since they don't show how special anime can be: Cowboy Bebop can be roughly categorized as a nearly perfectly executed cop show and not very different from western media in tone. I didn't find it as interesting as Madoka, but I am attracted to stuff that is differentiated. Cowboy Bebop is a series of near universal appeal but it appears to me to lack the potential for very powerful emotional resonance and the novelty factor in order to convert someone into an anime fan.

Flawed but powerful series like Evangelion and Madoka series which I think are the top two - or at least among the top 3-4 - most popular anime series of the last two decades work better as shows that demonstrate the special qualities and emotional depth of the greatest anime even though they aren't as close to being perfectly executed as Cowboy Bebop.
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ChibiKangaroo



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:25 am Reply with quote
Jose Cruz wrote:


I watched it because I heard it gained the animation grand prize at the Japan media arts festival, which is extremely rare for a TV series. I am not a seasoned anime fan, though I have watched lots of anime as a kid and a large number of anime films as an adult, I haven't watched many anime series and most series I have watched have been just after discovering Madoka, so it has been sort of a gateway show for me, since I intensified greatly the proportion of my free time I am dedicating for anime series.


It seems like you fit into the second category of people I described. Someone who already has a general understanding and appreciation for anime. When we are talking about "gateway" anime, I think we are referring more to people who don't watch anime at all and don't really appreciate it, but a friend encourages them to "watch this show" and then they suddenly appreciate anime as being an entertaining medium.

The fact is, the average western person who is not already familiar with anime is likely to fit in with the more common entertainment wants/needs/desires. Those desires tend to line up with sex, violence, and a certain level of realism which is evident in most of the shows I referenced above (the cops/criminals/mafia aspect which is prominent in Cowboy Beebop, GitS, and Death Note). Each of those, aside from DBZ, essentially tells a story which you could very easily expect to see in a major blockbuster hollywood film. Although DBZ is much more escapist in its fantastical environment, I would argue that its "mystical martial arts" aspect also makes it highly appealing to western audiences who LOVE to consume martial arts movies, shows, and games.

In essence, the reason that these shows are gateway shows is that they execute narratives and use plot devices that western non-anime fans are already familiar with and strongly desire, just in animated form. Madoka has no similar reference point for the average westerner, as "Magical Girl" is not a genre that western audiences are regularly exposed to and apt to demand in major hollywood films or television. In fact, I can't think of any example of a hollywood film or non-anime television which has ever used the genre, except for a few western animated shows specifically targeted at little girls.

Quote:
I guess that series like Cowboy Bebop are not as emotionally powerful and thus don't really work as well as gateway anime also since they don't show how special anime can be: Cowboy Bebop can be roughly categorized as a nearly perfectly executed cop show and not very different from western media in tone... Cowboy Bebop is a series of near universal appeal...


This is exactly why it is such a powerful gateway anime, as I explained above. It fits in with what western audiences already expect, has universal appeal, and the only real innovation in it as far as most western audiences are concerned is that it is in animated form rather than live action. This is the very essence of a gateway show. Your commentary about Madoka speaks more to the fact that, aside from commenting on or tweaking a genre, it tells a good story. That is not what makes for a great gateway anime though. MANY anime tell a great story, but will never be seen by most non-anime audiences. Great gateway anime attract the non-anime audience with themes, narrative, characters and plot devices that they are already familiar with and desire to see, then tell a great story which allows that person to recognize the potential of anime to entertain them just as much as live action.
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