Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

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Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby Visharix » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:00 am

So yea the name is awfully off putting. I mean seriously. Magical Girls(MG)? What are we, 10 year old girls?

But Madoka isn't your typical MG show, like sailor moon or tokyo mew mew (ew did really just type tokyo mew mew?), filled with sugary cuteness and pink bubbles in every transformation scene. Aimed at a much older audience(rated R to +17), this anime actually has plot, character development, and human emotion that speak volumes about the characters. The show is suspenseful, gritty, and most importantly, interesting. Don't believe me? Here is a clip of the first 9 mins of episode 1 here. Watch the first 3 mins of it and you'll get a feel for how this series really is. At about 1 min the first song of the series starts and it freaking gave me the creeps! I honestly did not expect any song in a magical girl show to sound like that song, but it successfully built mood and made me actually think this series was going to be interesting to watch. Of course the rest of the clip is upbeat, so you'd have to watch more of it to really understand how good the show is.

Usually magical girls are all about happiness and friendship, working together to overcome obstacles, and a whole ton of fluff and pomp to make everything seem nice nice and feel good. Madoka Magica still has all of that but with a whole lot less fluff and much more realism. It openly displays rivalry between magical girls that you would never see in other MG shows since they're all about friendship and team work, and Madoka Magica hints and teases at something very sinister hiding beneath the surface of the title and abilities of those labeled "magical girls".

All in all, this is a series you really have to give a chance to because it is just amazing and will suck you in.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby serfiusstyx » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:28 pm

Wow no replies.

Seriously this anime IS worth the watch, the opening song is just lovely, and the lyrics gain more significance as the series progresses.

I got into this after reading about it's brutality in TV tropes...I was like really? decapitated? Hardcore!

Watched it with my girlfriend. Actually had to troll her to have her watch it by describing it as 'like Card Captor Sakura' (which actually had pretty heavy themes) which it was for two episodes, then it's a whole new ride after that, but normally by then you're hooked to the story, just as she was, and can't help but empathize with the girls as they suffer through what they now call life.

For a summarized version, you can read the manga, which while loyal to the series (it was an anime first I belive) didn't really have the same impact.

Also has two spin-off mangas which complement the story quite well.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby Shirozaki » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:43 pm

Yes, it was a splendid display of Urobuchi's ability to make even the happiest theme into a gruesome danse macabre.
I have to admit I don't have much to say about the anime anymore since I am a bit tired of its melancholic theme (analyzing it as a fun project depressed me a great deal, it's really not an anime you should think too deeply over).

I am looking forward to the movies though.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby wakka9ca » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:15 pm

Don't get me started on how I cannot stand watching this series lol. It's okay. But I won't be rewatching it anytime soon. And sorry, I probably won't watch the movie either.

It's not that I absolutely want to bashing it, but I feel this horrible urge to do so.

Let's just say that I personally found this series, amongst the 500+ anime series that I have watched, only average. It kinda pales in comparison to many of the other great series that are much more solid in terms of story, character and visuals. It just doesn't cut it and I can't find a positive thing...nor extremely negative thing to say about this series. And that is not a good sign in my record.

I think the fact that the main characters were teenage girls really did not help in my case... It's not that I don't like teenage characters... But Madoka just rubs me in the wrong way since the beginning. I had to fast forward most of the first 9 episodes or so every week to see if something interesting happened. However, it took 9-10 episodes for something interesting to finally happen (not that I haven't guessed it 90% already due to obvious hints). Not to mention Mami's demise was quite hinted since the beginning. I was quite disturbed people were actually surprised by that, given the director's record.

I summary, I was definitely NOT impressed... but I don't think it's a bad series. It's just.... average. I think it sometimes happen when you watch too many anime, reads too many novels and study too much engineering and being too much of a hard SF fan.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby Godric » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:50 pm

I found this anime awesome, and yeah I was curious how a magical girl anime could turn so dark, but I really enjoyed it. It just kept getting darker and darker with concepts of depression, death, and they even manage to kill off one of the main characters in the second? third episode? and still make it work. I also like the reason why the Magical girls exist as it seems a bit more realistic than a lot of other MG shows where the only real reason is "you've been chosen" or "It's your destiny" or something like that. I don't usually like excuses like that, because it feels like the characters don't have control over their fate. Here however, everything that happens is because of a choice. Nobody is forced into anything and quite often they pay for those choices they made.

I guess one of the things I found surprising however is Homura's plot (which I'm not going to describe for spoiler issues) was almost identical to a character I designed a while ago for a story I'd like to write sometime. Now my only problem is that if I do write it, people might think I took the idea from this show, because I kept noticing parallels after her story was revealed.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby wakka9ca » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:05 pm

Well, I wouldn't consider Mami as a "main" character.

Since the beginning, she was the sempai character that will be killed in order to make the character "grow" type. That's why I was not impressed of her demise....
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby serfiusstyx » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:13 am

Wow I'm liking the sudden attention this thread got.

Certainly there comes a point in your life where you think you've seen it all, and you find yourself acting like the boss guy in Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon ("impress me") when you trying out new animes (especially since every season there's only two or three animes that you really wanna watch out of everything that's being released at the same time).

My advice for you is to try to rediscover your youthful sense of wonder, otherwise yeah, nothing much will please you anymore.

If you didn't like this, you probably won't like Black Rock Shooter, found a lot of similarities between the two animes' character design.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby Shirozaki » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:54 am

Just a rant full of spoilers, don't read it if you..oh well, that ship has sailed.

I agree that Mami is not THE main character, but that there is more to her than the stereotypical senpai.
Urobuchi commented that despite her strength and experience she posesses a certain mental fragility someone with her background naturally should have, as evident by the way she snaps and decides to kill all of them once she learns the awful truth, which almost happens again in Oriko Magica, and by extent in one of the Drama CDs (she doesn't resort to murder in the latter one though).

A lot of her actions are driven by guilt, including the initial wish to remain alone, then to protect the other girls (by extension even from becoming magical girls), and her apartment is completely devoid of any emotion (until the bluray, anyways).
Her entire magical power (the ribbons) goes against the buddhist motif of relinquishing oneself from the attachments of this world, i.e. to "let go" after death, which she was afraid to do, hence her wish.
I would even go so far as to regard her as a deconstruction of the senpai archetype; She is by far the strongest (until Godoka, anyways) and most experienced of the girls, when she fights alone, but she utterly lost it the moment she decided to stray from her path of solitude.
She's not a character made to get the others to "grow", as her fate does the complete opposite, but a character that failed to grow herself, a character that displays that life is not a game, even for magical girls.

My personal favourite was Sayaka though, she was by far the most good-willed, and purest, of the bunch, and just as easily corrupted.
She is impulsive and courageous, almost mocking the hero stereotypes.
On the other side of the spectre she has almost no experience in her life, resulting in the self-impairment she displays, a very realistic problem for people of her age. She cannot muster the courage when needed, and her naivete haunts her until the moment she wished to die, but instead turned into the most horrible thing possible for her. You can literally see her succumb to her depressions, and her fall from grace as a result.
What striked me most about her though was her inevitable (in every time line in which she becomes a magical girl, she will inevitably become a witch or die) transformation in something that can be summarized as a tragic hero (which is mirrored in her appearance; half mermaid, half knight). The runes in her boundary are a desperate cry for attention (They all read "Look at me" "Look at me" "Look at me", in a horribly depressing amount) and the love for music is the only connection that is left to her former self, and her witch card states that no word will ever reach her again.

All in all Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not an anime you can "fastforward" through, it is a work of fiction that needs to be enjoyed in its complete context, in its entire deconstruction progress, and with all its references to classical literature, music and mythology it has.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby wakka9ca » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:24 am

The only real issue I have with Madoka Magica is that I simply cannot empathize with the main characters and their internal struggles. It is the same reason I did not enjoy watching Shinji and his psychological struggle in Neon Genesis. It's not very interesting nor very attractive to me. So here is some personal reason (Internet is a serious business :roll:):

In fact the reason why I can't enjoy the series is probably because I'm more similar to KB than any of the actual girls. It happens when you've seen too much. It also has to do with each one's personality. I am often told that I do not display any emotion (joy or anger) and am often teased to as being an android (the running joke is worse because I usually get things done in a meticulous and perfectionist manner, as people often call out "pull his plug!"). This is where the "impress me" part come into play. Watching characters being psychologically dissected and demolished brings me no pleasure due to the fact that I simply cannot relate myself when it gets way too internal and subtle. Unfortunately, it may be due the lack of these subtleties or internal struggles in my personal psyche... or simple the fact that I am not aware of them. Same with depression, which I cannot understand (in a personal level, of course I understand it from a theoretical perspective)... Needless to say, it's hard to say if I am nihilist or simply does not value the experience of life the same way most do. As I am not afraid of death and have no regrets. I just live as I am, in the present, not for the past nor for the future.

That's also why I devote myself to pure knowledge and don't involve myself too deep in personal relationships.

BRS is essentially similar, in a much less subtle and detailed fashion (unlike the subliminal messages in Madoka). What I find funny though is that people bash BRS and love Madoka, whereas both are very similar and have their positive and negative points. I can't fee but sense some hypocrisy in some hardcore fans of both series.
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Re: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Postby serfiusstyx » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:44 pm

I like how you can express yourself very eloquently despite of (or perhaps because of?) your emotional detachment to things.
In a way that's kind of scary, but I think I know how you feel, just not to those extremes.

Never been a hardcore fan of anything so I'm not affected by fan-dumb. If I liked a series enough, I would buy the manga if it was published in English, that's the extent of my appreciation. Loved both series more or less equally. Fight scenes in the first episode made me hungry for ... that snack that Chariot was spamming.

Was not aware there was going to be a movie, eagerly awaits.
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