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01 July 2014 @ 12:53 pm
Puella Magi Madoka Magica  
So we started Madoka over the weekend, and since it's only 12 episodes long we managed to finish it up monday night.

All i'm going to say outside the spoiler tag is that A: we enjoyed it, and B: i knew it was a subversion of regular magical girls shows so i expected it to go off the rails at some point, but wow, that got dark fast!

Spoilers!

Also, very slight spoilers for Edge of Tomorrow

So i've got to say, it's kind of weird how we coincidentally started watching this two days after watching Edge of Tomorrow. By the time we got to episode 8 or 9 we'd already figured out there was some kind of time travel going on, but even so we were surprised by the whole Groundhog Day (or rather, Month) loop thing.

That did of course result in us asking "so how likely is it that they'll pull something out of their ass at the end to reset the timeline and save everyone?" Which of course they did (mostly) although in this case it was pretty well telegraphed. And i've got to say that it was more nuanced than Edge of Tomorrow's ending. Madoka saved everyone from despair but couldn't save everyone from death, and she herself had to give up everything about her life as a human in order to achieve it.

Kyubey: You could become the most powerful magical girl ever!
Madoka: Really?
Kyubey: Yes! You could become like a god!
[Later]
Madoka: I want to rewrite all of reality!
Kyubey: Are you trying to become a god?
Us: If someone asks you if you're trying to become a god, you say "Yes!"

Kyubey definitely came off as an ass from early on. Kind of like an annoying not-quite-stalker hitting on a girl. (Do you want to go on a date? No? Well how about now? How bout now? How bout now? You really mean no? Okay, i'll leave you alone. But seriously, are you interested in a date? Come on, it would be a REALLY good date!) It made a lot more sense after he reveals the bit about how they have no emotions, however he goes straight back into ass category a bit later. First he says "Oh look, Madoka turned into the most powerful witch ever, and now she's going to destroy the planet. Oh well, we've got what we came for, this is on you now," but then "later" argues that humans have been benefiting from the arrangement just like livestock, and without them humans would probably still be living in caves. Yeah, sure, we benefit until you get what you wanted and then we can suck it. But of course you're not going to mention that. Apparently for Kyubey's species emotionless also equates to amorality. (Also, it's really not clear how the presence of magical girls led to the development of civilization and technology.)

Also, for reasons that i can't really articulate, i really want to watch Utena now.
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Kirinkirinn on July 2nd, 2014 06:50 pm (UTC)
Watching Utena is always a good idea.

On Kyubey, yeah, I read them as totally amoral. And yeah, "consent" is only of interest to them insofar as as it's needed for the contract, so yeah - asses.

On the civilization thing one could speculate that a more complex society leads to more complex adolescent emotions of the type they harvest for energy. Not to say I don't imagine cave-people had angst, but there's just a lot more detail going on, and maybe that's useful in some way. *shrug* (Actually a simpler explanation just occurred to me - civilization and technology has vastly increased human population density, thus upping the quantity of available livestock to pull likely candidates from. Maybe they just nudge things along for that reason.)

But I do appreciate a nice "screw your horrible game, I'm'a change the rules" ending - which actually ties back in nicely to Utena now that I think about it.

(Also on Madoka, I've heard the movies are pretty but the third - the one that continues past the series - messes with the plot in controversial ways. Haven't watched them myself. I only saw the series like a year ago, mainly because it had become such a reference point among anime fans.)
DonAithnendonaithnen on July 7th, 2014 07:48 pm (UTC)

Huh, i'll have to go back and listen to what exactly he said at some point. Because i got the impression that he meant that civilization had improved because of the existence of magical girls, not that Kyubey's race had uplifted our technology just so there would be more of us and thus more magical girls and witches.

Of course saying one thing while implying that it was something else that seems more beneficial to the people who are considering making contracts is totally up Kyubey's alley :)
Kirinkirinn on July 7th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
It's been long enough that I don't remember any of the exact dialog; I'm just going with my old impressions. So I could be off base there. I remember the scene in general but that's about it.