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Maria the Virgin Witch (TV).


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Blood-



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:00 pm Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
Blood- wrote:

I disagree that he became an afterthought after his prison encounter with Maria. There were always a number of antagonists arrayed against her: Bernard, Galfa, Gilbert, Le Comte, Michael most prominently. As I already explained, as far as he was concerned, once she was captured, his part in her story was over.


Yea, his part of the story was over, and then they made him an afterthought. I don't think there is anything inconsistent in those two statements. They seem to be in agreement with each other.


Not really. There is a pejorative sense to calling something an afterthought - especially given your attitude towards the Bernard character. Afterthought suggests that the show really didn't have any plans for him after Maria was captured which was obviously untrue. He was never Maria's main or even most dangerous antagonist and it was a crowded stage of people lined up against her. So even though Bernard did not get a ton of exposure after her capture, he still had an important role to fulfill thematically which he did.
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MaxSouth



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:03 pm Reply with quote
Since this project is significantly more deep than average, this only showcases more the fact that Maria is just shallow, selfish, short-sighted teen.

If she did not tamper with the troops, French lands would be freed from occupation by England much sooner, people would regain their country. As result, Maria did not learn lessons from this.

Visuals are outstanding (Production I.G., so no wonder), and this thing overall, despite serious drawback I mentioned and few lesser issues, is still has to be appreciated with either "Very good" or "Excellent" rating.

______________________________________________________________

By the way, does anyone know if the anime was success on local market?

If so, then a continuation is possible, if not, then unlikely.

As far as I understand manga itself still continues, right?
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jroa



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:10 pm Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
Whether or not one presumes that God has such a "sense of humor," it wouldn't at all excuse Maria's repeated actions of arrogantly flouting every single thing that God is apparently compelling her to do. It would be like, if you were a parent and you told your kid "Hey honey, don't play with fire." And then your kid keeps playing with fire over and over and over again right in front of you, arrogantly saying they'll keep doing it. Then when you try to discipline them they say "Don't worry, I'll forgive you for disciplining me" and "I don't care what you say, I'm gonna keep playing with fire." Then your response is to chuckle and say "Ahh! What a scamp! Okay dear, looks like you got me!"


See, I believe that this fictional interpretation of God can, and should, still be able to see the big picture...which is essentially positive rather than negative for the natural order.

Why even punish Maria at this point? It seems unnecessary in every pragmatic respect. She is no longer a threat in any meaningful way other than through amusing posturing. Discipline need not be tyrannically enforced for its own sake. There are always other options that parents can choose. Again, I believe Michael and God were distinct entities right from the start. Symbolically speaking, the clearly separate intervention of God seen back in episode three goes a long way towards explaining the outcome.

We can still ask questions though. Why would God sometimes seem to arbitrarily favor certain people and punish others more harshly? Why doesn't everyone receive special treatment and multiple chances? That's impossibly hard to answer. It is not a consistent matter. Even the Catholic Bible does not have a perfect response for that, so it is a mystery far beyond the limits of this show's understanding or, I would posit, what viewers should be expecting in the first place.

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spoiler[She told Michael to his face that she wouldn't stop rebelling against them, ever. And God's response was to say "Oh well! Now we'll just make her a "part of the natural law, and she'll be our neighbor."] Again, it was like a parent giving in to a child who says they will never stop rebelling.


I think the point of her colorful rhetoric was quite different. To me, characterizing her actions as a "rebellion" would be highly overstated. I'd say only Viv might well fit that description.

Maria will merely continue to dislike wars and conflicts, so she will do everything she can to prevent them. Which is not necessarily wrong as a principle, especially not if her actions take a different shape from now on.

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Such reluctance was never shown. The show has never indicated that any of the other villagers other than Martha and Anne even like Maria. Instead, most of the time when they were shown to be talking about her it was in negative terms. When Bernard/Gilbert dragged her to the town to be stoned, no one was shown to be reluctant except Martha and Anne, and maybe Anne's parents but I can't even remember if they were shown to have any sympathy for Maria. Everyone else was happy to send her off to be burned at the stake. I'm not confusing the city where she was to be burned with that town. Both were shown to be very much against Maria.


Rewatching that scene in a little more detail, I don't believe they were all that "happy" about it unless we count absence of profound sadness as an expression of joy. For example, Ann's father wasn't too thrilled nor jumping for joy when he confessed that Maria had summoned "demons" to Gilbert and Bernard. He said it grudgingly. Less conflicted than Martha, indeed, but he has still had brief scenes saying both negative and positive things about Maria. Beyond him, I don't think the villagers as a whole -as opposed to the city dwellers- have ever been characterized as hating Maria per se. Once again, I believe the only "happiness" at her burning came from an urban context or otherwise involved external groups like the mercenaries.

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I do agree that there is the implication that spoiler[Maria will lose her powers after she gives birth to Ezekiel.] However, that didn't change the way things were resolved between Maria and God/Michael. She still remained as ideological as she had been previously and just as arrogant, and essentially "won" a victory against God.

I think, again, there is just so much wishful thinking with her characterization and how it played out here. This show did seem to have an overt agenda of criticizing the Church by having this unimpeachable character Maria stand up to God and "win." I'm not wholly opposed to such a concept being done, but when the protagonist does it through pure arrogance and "superiority," I think it becomes a very crude wish-fulfillment story.


That's where we have a profound disagreement. I don't think Maria "won" over God but, at best, "won" over Michael's very literal enforcement of the natural order. My belief, which I think the last episode facilitates, is that the Lord was testing Maria. Arrogance isn't what lies in Maria's heart but genuine care for others.

Did God really lose after all? I don't think so. spoiler[Maria will no longer fly into battlefields and summon monsters to create havoc and accidentally extend wars. The reason for Michael's interventions will effectively disappear if Maria uses purely human means to stand in the way of conflict. The natural order is preserved and everyone can find their own happiness even without giving up their ideologies. What's there to make a big stink about on God's behalf? Objectively speaking, Maria will be just like any other regular person after giving birth.] If Maria has won, then I'd say her victory has a wholly different meaning from anything that would make God worry.

Ironically, I think the God of Maria's world would find your fears about his position being in jeopardy to be misplaced.


Last edited by jroa on Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:22 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Blood-



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:11 pm Reply with quote
@ MaxSouth: I will grant you short-sighted (as evidenced by her resolute refusal to protect herself in the face of plenty of warning that some serious opposition was coming her way), but I reject both shallow and selfish. Especially selfish.

Her attitude was: "I'm helping people by providing medicines and stopping battles. I believe these things to be right and I'll keep doing them and let the chips fall where they may." Ultimately, this approach spoiler[proved to be successful although it did entail losing her magical powers permanently] (I think). It was a stubborn attitude but not a shallow one because she was being stubborn in the service of good.

She is especially not selfish. If she was, she would have used her magic to generate wealth instead of doing good.
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MaxSouth



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:18 pm Reply with quote
@-Blood

By "selfish" I mean her inability to restrain her wishes and step away from her immediate instinct and desire to stop the war and understand that her meddling actually harms more than helps. It is deeper level of selfishness comparing to just insipid expressions of it like greed, for example.
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Rogueywon



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:25 pm Reply with quote
MaxSouth wrote:
By "selfish" I mean her inability to restrain her wishes and step away from her immediate instinct and desire to stop the war and understand that her meddling actually harms more than helps. It is deeper level of selfishness comparing to just insipid expressions of it like greed, for example.


I think she strikes some of us watching the show as selfish (and a bit stupid) on those grounds. But the final episode was sending up all kinds of "writer self-insert" flags, which makes me suspect that isn't how we're "supposed" to see her.


Last edited by Rogueywon on Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Yttrbio
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:28 pm Reply with quote
There were a lot of episodes between when Michael first confronted Maria and the conclusion. Did anything that happened in those episodes contribute to the conclusion? Is there any reason this conclusion couldn't have happened in that first confrontation? Obviously the details about who is around and who reflects on what are different, but for Maria as a character, nothing changed at all. The villagers loved her for the things she did before the show started. She was already stopping battles before the show started. She already had a relationship with Joseph before the show started.
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Blood-



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:30 pm Reply with quote
@ MaxSouth: but what you subscribe to as a form of selfishness, I would argue falls more into the short-sighted category. Her inability to hoist on board that her actions were, in some cases, having a harmful effect didn't arise from selfishness, but from being short-sighted.

@ Rogueywon - no, I don't think the show intended for us to see her as selfish, but I do believe it was casting her stubborn-ness and short-sightedness in a negative light.

@ Yttrbio - I believe Heaven was testing her. I think God wanted to see how she would operate under pressure - what the crucible of opposition would do to her beliefs. In the end, she spoiler[did agree to play ball. She was going to marry Jospeh, have a child (Dovey), give up her magic (I think) and pursue her peace agenda through non-magical means.] No, she wasn't ready for that earlier in the show.


Last edited by Blood- on Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ChibiKangaroo



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:33 pm Reply with quote
jroa wrote:

See, I believe that this fictional interpretation of God can, and should, still be able to see the big picture...which is essentially positive rather than negative for the natural order.

Why even punish Maria at this point?


Why ever punish her in the first place? Why have Michael smite her and viv? Why impose a virginity condition on her and demand that she obey? Why do all of those things if in the end, he was just going to laugh it all off and say "Oh well!" This is such an absent-minded or even senile portrayal of God. It's a portrayal that suggests God doesn't really know what he wants, and is so aloof or out of touch that only Maria's stubborn refusal to obey will teach God about love and happiness. I just can't buy it.

Quote:
We can still ask questions though. Why would God sometimes seem to arbitrarily favor certain people and punish others more harshly? Why doesn't everyone receive special treatment and multiple chances?


Now you're getting somewhere. These would all be interesting things to explore! Likewise, that article I posted earlier that was shared by another reviewer of this show (the article where the Pope struggles to answer a child's question about why God allows bad things to happen). These are all wonderful questions that a show like this could, and should have explored! Is it so wrong to be disappointed that the show left all those things by the wayside to focus on Maria stubbornly proving her independence and superior ethics to God? I would love to see a show exploring those other things in more depth, but that would take a protagonist who can grow and learn, someone who has real intellectual curiosity and not just stubborn ideology.

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That's where we have a profound disagreement. I don't think Maria "won" over God but, at best, "won" over Michael's very literal enforcement of the natural order. My belief, which I think the last episode facilitates, is that the Lord was testing Maria. Did God really lose after all? I don't think so. spoiler[Maria will no longer fly into battlefields and summon monsters to create havoc and accidentally extend wars.]


That's very much contradicted by the language from the episode. Maria explicitly said spoiler[she would continue using her powers in rebellion to what Michael was saying, and he said he would continue to try and stop her. That's the strange part - continue to "try" and stop her? He could smite her at any moment, so why would he even need to "try?"] It suggests that she has won, and she will be able to use her powers openly without being smited. This is supported by spoiler[God suddenly declaring her "part of the natural law."] As Haruhi indicated, this means spoiler[she is now being accepted by God as some kind of fellow deity.] Again, a victory. Now, I do diverge from what Haruhi said as I agree with you that she seems like she will spoiler[lose her powers at some point, possibly after Ezekiel's birth,] but again all indications are that she will be able to continue using her powers until then.
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jroa



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:35 pm Reply with quote
Rogueywon wrote:
I think she strikes some of us watching the show as selfish (and a bit stupid) on those grounds. But the final episode was sending up all kinds of "writer self-inset" flags, which makes me suspect that isn't how we're "supposed" to see her.


Who can say where the line is drawn? At least I would call her extremely stubborn rather than merely selfish. If there is any stupidity in her, it is simply the result of her sheer innocence and purity in the spiritual rather than sexual sense.

Yet the fact she was willing to die and tried to prevent her friends from going down in a futile struggle heavily suggests, in my opinion, that selfishness isn't what actually motivates her. Concern for others even to the detriment of your own well being might be annoyingly naive, but it isn't selfish.

Having said that, I would imagine the character could mature off-screen after the events of the show. In fact, I think it's very likely to happen. Too bad it's not explicitly part of the story though.
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jroa



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:57 pm Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
It's a portrayal that suggests God doesn't really know what he wants, and is so aloof or out of touch that only Maria's stubborn refusal to obey will teach God about love and happiness. I just can't buy it.


Again, because it is a test. God doesn't need to know about those concepts. Michael might, but probably not God. His initial intervention with the rain suggests otherwise to me. What the Lord wanted to know was what Maria's answer would be and determine if her actions could change for better or for worse. If Maria had really been supremely arrogant and totally selfish, she would have given up under the pressure as her heart wouldn't be sincere enough to bear it.

As for the other questions...why indeed? Asking is what critics should always do, by virtue of profession, but I believe spiritual questions can be left open to personal interpretation. I have mine, but you surely have your own.

For I do not see this version of God as any more senile or absent-minded than the real one. In fact, I find common ground between them. The Catholic God also appears willing to allow some very convoluted, selective and even potentially unnecessary ways for events to play out, resolving problems in the least obvious manners, all of which is described as being just fine according to the Holy Bible. That document is even a few orders of magnitude more confusing and contradictory when analyzed and read purely at face value than this show.

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I would love to see a show exploring those other things in more depth, but that would take a protagonist who can grow and learn, someone who has real intellectual curiosity and not just stubborn ideology.


So would I. But I believe the show does implicitly acknowledge some interesting points of that hypothetical debate, despite Maria's attitude and lack of intellectual curiosity, even if it has never addressed them in detail.

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That's very much contradicted by the language from the episode. Maria explicitly said spoiler[she would continue using her powers in rebellion to what Michael was saying, and he said he would continue to try and stop her. That's the strange part - continue to "try" and stop her? He could smite her at any moment, so why would he even need to "try?"] It suggests that she has won, and she will be able to use her powers openly without being smited. This is supported by spoiler[God suddenly declaring her "part of the natural law."] As Haruhi indicated, this means spoiler[she is now being accepted by God as some kind of fellow deity.] Again, a victory. Now, I do diverge from what Haruhi said as I agree with you that she seems like she will spoiler[lose her powers at some point, possibly after Ezekiel's birth,] but again all indications are that she will be able to continue using her powers until then.


It's contradicting an isolated reading of the language, not a contextual one. God knows what is going to happen in the end. There's no harm in Michael and Maria exchanging mutual threats that, effectively, they will not be able to act upon in a very short time. I feel the rhetoric shouldn't obscure the big picture of the situation. The practical consequences are overwhelmingly in God's favor.

I don't share the interpretation that Maria is now a spoiler[ "fellow deity" (not that one couldn't co-exist with God in this world though). Her actions at the end of the episode are extremely human and far less "witchy" for lack of a better term than what she had been doing before. I think leaving the forest hut behind is pretty symbolic. That is when Maria really does, in fact, become part of the natural order rather than stand above it. ]

Of course, if we want to speculate about the unclear future, maybe spoiler[ she will become a deity upon her natural death as a regular person and that's what they were referring to. Such things tend to happen in mythology. But that is hard to tell.]


Last edited by jroa on Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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getchman
He started itHe started it


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:39 pm Reply with quote
much better than I initially thought it would be. One of my favorites this season

MaxSouth wrote:


By the way, does anyone know if the anime was success on local market?



First volume went on sale two days ago, so we'll get an idea of how it is doing on Tuesday.
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ChibiKangaroo



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:37 pm Reply with quote
jroa wrote:

Again, because it is a test. God doesn't need to know about those concepts.


That's completely against Christian teaching though. Christian doctrine says that God is a god of love, hope, friendship/harmony and all those good things. The idea that God (or his agents) don't know about those things and need to be taught by Maria is just way off. Also I just don't buy that it's a test. God doesn't smite people as part of tests. God supposedly tested Abraham by demanding Abraham kill his son (and then stopping him at the last second), not by smiting Abraham's son himself and calling it a test.
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jroa



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:59 pm Reply with quote
Forgive me, I've made a mistake when typing my response. I meant to say that God doesn't need to be taught about such concepts, not that he doesn't understand them. I think that would be clear with the rest of my post, but it seems my error became your focus.

If anything, that's why I referred to the incident in episode three, which makes no sense if you assume God is just as robotic as Michael. Nor do the events of the last episode. My argument is precisely that Maria was merely giving God her own answer to a test, not the other way around. Michael wasn't initially prepared for that, as someone who is used to simply enforcing the law without question, but ultimately had to accept it.

As for the nature of tests, the Bible supports all kinds of them. There is the case of Job, who was rewarded for obedience after suffering the loss of everything he had, and other figures were actually punished because of following the letter of the law too strictly (which reinforces the idea that not all heavenly orders are absolute in practice).
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ChibiKangaroo



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:39 pm Reply with quote
jroa wrote:
Forgive me, I've made a mistake when typing my response. I meant to say that God doesn't need to be taught about such concepts, not that he doesn't understand them. I think that would be clear with the rest of my post, but it seems my error became your focus.

If anything, that's why I referred to the incident in episode three, which makes no sense if you assume God is just as robotic as Michael. Nor do the events of the last episode. My argument is precisely that Maria was merely giving God her own answer to a test, not the other way around. Michael wasn't initially prepared for that, as someone who is used to simply enforcing the law without question, but ultimately had to accept it.

As for the nature of tests, the Bible supports all kinds of them. There is the case of Job, who was rewarded for obedience after suffering the loss of everything he had, and other figures were actually punished because of following the letter of the law too strictly (which reinforces the idea that not all heavenly orders are absolute in practice).


What exactly is this test? God is testing to see whether Maria can keep rebelling against him, and when she passes, he awards her with equal status in the godly "natural order?" Like I said, it still doesn't make any sense from any kind of historical or theological standpoint.
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