Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica 6 – Time to Grow Up

Because you can’t be a child anymore with that stuffed animal…

It appears that we’re shifting gears here in Madoka Magica, away from the witches and now onto this tension between mahou shoujos. These past two episodes have highlighted the differences between the 3 mahou shoujos, 1 dead mahou shoujo, and 1 potential mahou shoujo. They’re all wildly different in their mindset, and it’s nice to see a lot of development given to every single one. At the same time, the plot is charging forward full speed, and with Walpurgisnacht only a week away, it imposes a rather short timeline on all the events that will happen and have happened. So before accelerating full speed into the plot, it’s probably a good idea to just reconsider some overall trends in Madoka.

I think it’s very, very clear now that Madoka is a full on reversal of the Mahou Shoujo genre. There was a lot of debate earlier about how Madoka Magica adhered to a very cliche plot, though with the end of episode 3, that kind of just flew out the window. You just have to hand it to SHAFT in terms of how hard they were trying to keep this all covered up, by trying to not release the fact that Urobuchi was working on the script to the public, and how Urobuchi was actually trying to change his image, etc, etc. What a troll.

In fact, remember how many people spent a lot of time looking at the architecture of the “clean and proper” real world as compared to the dirty world of the witches? The lighting and architecture in the show have taken on a much, much darker tone. We’re beginning to lose the clean and proper world in favor of the gritty one. The world has changed to reflect the characters’ mindsets. No longer is the world clean, even childish. It’s now the dirty, gritty, mature world.

Anyone remember this?

Well it’s now this… With warped walls.

But the path that the episodes have taken after 3 focuses far more on the characters than the episodes before it. The witches have, in a way, faded into the background, with even the episode 4 witch essentially being one that causes introspection, though the symbolism of that witch is still rather confusing. In fact, I don’t expect the witches to take a proper role again until Walpurgisnacht actually happens, what with all the mahou shoujo drama that’s going on right now.

And the character commentary has far, far outweighed any sort of real plot progression from happening. In most other mahou shoujo shows, the shows are fundamentally plot driven. In other words, it’s some external force that’s pushing the characters to do something. Madoka Magica is now fundamentally character driven, in that the actions of the characters are driving the show forward, with Kyouko and Sayaka taking front stage in the past few episodes. And this method of storytelling first and foremost is meant to analyze the reaction of these characters as they’re placed in this world.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t launch into some episode 6 discussion with Sayaka. She’s pretty much the one no one cares about, a little bit like the Ruiko Saten (from Railgun) of the show, though that isn’t the best comparison. But Sayaka isn’t experienced and apparently has no innate talent compared to everyone else in the  show. She’s the one with the most angst as well, especially due to her new responsibilities as a mahou shoujo, amplified so much more by her fundamental altruistic beliefs.

Agony.

The incompatibility of her views with essentially everyone around her came to a head in this episode, as a lot of the episode centered around her conflict and friendship with Madoka. At the core of their beliefs, Sayaka is focusing on the differences between herself and the others around her, while Madoka is looking at the similarities. Madoka sees that they’re all human, witches are not, they’re all mahou shoujos, witches are not, etc, etc. Sayaka sees essentially the polar opposite, though curiously enough she fails to see the differences between her and Kamijo. It was rather subtle this episode, but it’s rather clear now that the situation here is a very, very one sided love, considering how Kamijo didn’t bother to tell Sayaka about anything before going back to his violin. Sayaka doesn’t seem to realize this, as she’s blinded by love and the such. At the moment she doesn’t mind, being just absorbed by his music, but the conversation with Kyouko brings this one sided love into clear focus.

He doesn’t really love you. You’ve been chasing after him the entire day. The only way to make him yours is to break his arms and legs. Then, he’ll have no way to resist, and his only option is to give you his body, soul, and heart. Yeah ok not really. That’s only the sort of stuff that you’d see in something like extreme guro NTR. But why is it that this result is undesirable? I mean his soul and heart are intact right? That’s all that’s needed for a human, right? Not really.

Yes, why?

Such a clear nod to Descartes here in his formulation of the dualism between the soul and the body. The body is a machine. Only humans have souls, and that souls interact with bodies through the pineal gland. If you want to take it one step further and extrapolate his theory to Kyuubey, well, animals have bodies and pineal glands, but they lack a soul, and thus they can’t feel pain. This is obviously false, but I’m going to assume that this is “close enough” to the truth that we can begin extrapolating tons of stuff because of this.

No, I did not just take a satirical jab at the Madoka-Faust connection. But on a more important level, the ripping out of souls and placing them into more solid containers is practical. Is it heartless? Depends on how you look at it. Well what’s the problem that we have with it? Is it because we have this sort of “unity” complex where we feel that anything that isn’t inside of us isn’t part of us? Is it because we can’t possibly view our souls as an “object”? Or is it just because it’s different? I’ve seen many people just describe this act as “heartless” and that’s all they’ll say. I still don’t get why it’s heartless though. Why does it revile you so? Why does it revile Kyouko so? I mean you’re still human. You have a soul. You have a body. You have a heart, a mind. In fact, you can regenerate your body, heart, and mind. Why do you care then? When you think about it, it sounds like a pretty good deal now doesn’t it?

Why aren’t we thankful towards Kyuubey then? He’s doing us a service. Eternal youth, able to enjoy DDR and Pocky every day, still having our school lives, what’s the problem here? Eternal youth sounds pretty damn good don’t you think?

Let’s dance the day away!~ Dog Drug Revolution!!!

On the other hand, though, being a mahou shoujo isn’t really “eternal youth” as you would think of it. The responsibility is pretty big, and the reality of being a mahou shoujo this episode hit really hard, especially when put in context of the conversation between Madoka and her mom.

Damn that’s pretty depressing…

The reason why she could give the “advice” that she gave Madoka is just because Madoka is still a child. Make those mistakes for Sayaka. You can still afford to mess up as a child, and then you can learn to fall down. Because when you’re an adult you won’t have that chance. Well unfortunately there’s just one small detail.

Oops.

Yeah, well, Sayaka isn’t really a child anymore. She’s taken on adult responsibilities and an adult mindset. And when you’re an adult, mistakes kill. Mami made a mistake. Sayaka/Madoka made a mistake. This isn’t your happy go lucky land of “anything goes” anymore. But Madoka is still stuck in the childish mindset, and the only reason she chooses to take action in this episode is because of the advice her mom gave her. After all, she’s pretty much been an observer for the majority of the series. But maybe it’s time to take action. Because your friend needs it. Homura needs it, though she may not know it.

But that would mean taking on adult responsibilities. Can you handle it Madoka? That’s the question. When you’re a child, and confronted with the realities of being an adult, what do you do? Do you accept that “being an adult is only as fun as it is tough”? Or will you escape away from reality? On the one hand, Madoka professes to want to take a drink with her mother. Drinking in and of itself is an act comparable with Kyouko’s food binge. She knows how to enjoy herself as an adult. But Madoka and Sayaka don’t have this ability yet. They might want to drink with the adults, but it’s impossible for them as they currently are.

Especially not if you’re reading stuff like this!

Will Madoka ultimately gain this ability? That’s the question that Madoka Magica asks right now. It’s the story of a young girl who has to grow up. To what extent can she actually grow up and retain her childish mindset? Well we’ll find out…

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77 Comments

  1. Posted February 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    This anime can be quite depressing. I suppose Madoka could be thought of as a child, but I’d rather think of her as a stupid idiot, who does nothing but whine and cry over every little thing. Having said that, I do find it interesting that the only time we have seen Madoka smile recently, was her “I would like to get drunk with you Mom” line. Hmmm.

    • Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I think Madoka is reacting like a 14-year old girl would *normally* react to horrific situations though — that is, cry or freak out in some way. The foundations of her world are falling apart around her, so do you expect a very sensitive girl to do?

      • Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        That’s true, I keep forgetting that these characters are only 14 or 14, I am to used to High School leads.

    • EvilDevil
      Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      She is still 14! What do you expect? If anything Madoka is very brave by risking her life on trying to stop Sayaka from making a terrible mistake. The fact that she went to her mom for some advice shows that she is hardly stupid…

      • Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        My apologies!
        My excuse:

        Every time I see a female lead, my mind enters shoujo analysis mode, and in that mode, I automatically make the assumption that the main lead is a 16 or 17 old high school student, and if she whines, regardless of context, I sub consciously assume she is complaining about her love life, and then I hate her.

        More probable reason:- I am an old hazbag who has forgotten the awesomeness of youth.
        It’s either that, or I truly am stupid.
        Damn, I used to be such a big fan of naive innocence, I am getting to old.
        But yeah, I do agree that getting help was a good idea.

        • Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          Hey it’s clear you haven’t watched enough mahou shoujo anime! We’re usually dealing with Elementary/Middle School girls in this genre.

    • Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Haha stupid idiot is rather harsh. I think everyone else pointed out that she is still a child. She probably lived a far more sheltered life than others, which possibly translates to naivety, though to call her a stupid idiot >.>

    • einnashe
      Posted February 14, 2011 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      I think with all the other stuff going on in the show it’s easy to overlook Madoka’s development.

      Sayaka can’t beat Kyouko. She doesn’t even stand a chance. To borrow somebody else’s analogy, she’s an amateur pointing a loaded pistol at a SWAT team with full armor and assault rifles. In that light, Madoka’s response makes sense and is even commendable–disarm her friend before somebody gets hurt. She can’t really be blamed for not being genre-savvy enough (or perhaps too genre-savvy?) to question why Soul Gems are called Soul Gems, and her only other option is to make a contract and become a magical girl and we can’t really blame her for her reluctance on that front, either.

      I think it’s an important step for her. Even without forming the contract, Madoka has influenced events in the magical world twice now (both times by throwing something, leading to all sorts of fun memetic growth). Maybe this is the “potential” of which Kyubey spoke.

      • Posted February 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        I’m unconvinced that she’s actually developed beyond fearing for her friend’s life as a sort of visceral reminder of Mami’s death. She was willing to take action beforehand, as evidenced by her rescuing of Kyuubey. Whether she’s actually growing to understand the world in the different way… Not yet at least.

  2. Kyubey
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    “Why aren’t we thankful towards Kyuubey then? He’s doing us a service. Eternal youth, able to enjoy DDR and Pocky every day, still having our school lives, what’s the problem here? Eternal youth sounds pretty damn good don’t you think?”

    And, most importantly, eating junk food all day without getting fat.

    • Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      “And, most importantly, eating junk food all day without getting fat.”

      I can do that. I literally have 11 boxes of pizza stacked in my dorm awaiting disposal right now (started the collection some time in January, it’s too cold to take out the trash right now).

    • EvilDevil
      Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Repeating the same grade over again sounds nightmarish to me

      • Posted February 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Hey looking at Homura, she’s apparently gone above and beyond that. Besides, then you’d just breeze through school, and be able to enjoy the better parts of life right? :D

    • Darkfireblade25
      Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      I get the vibe that you are turned into a Twilight vampire with a purpose and slightly different limitations. Just sayin’ :P

      • Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        …. No. Just no.

        • Darkfireblade25
          Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Ok yeah, just a vampire in general ._. just cuz they are immortal unless completely destroyed/vaporized body wise (that’s probs why i said Twilight since they have no other weakness except complete burning. most others have some ridiculous weakness like silver or w/e), they rely on a food/life source that is a common good in terms of economics (if they hunt too much then they would end up something like that movie Daybreakers where everybody is a vampire and the human race is practically gone and all the vampires are fighting for food), and they will have to move from place to place in order to keep on living.

          • Posted February 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            Hey if you say that we’re turned into a Twilight vampire “with a purpose and slightly different limitations”, then you aren’t really turned into a Twilight vampire now are you?

            And I don’t think that sucking out people’s blood and making them vampires is a “common good in terms of economics”…

          • Darkfireblade25
            Posted February 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

            u are still depleting ur supply of food though in the unconventional form of making ur food one of you (or dead if it’s all gone). It isn’t exactly like the example but eventually there will be more mahou shojou if u do hunt too much and they will start getting negative effects.

      • EvilDevil
        Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Twilight Vampires…

        Do you have a death wish or something? Because I know a demonic furball that can grant you that wish…

        • Darkfireblade25
          Posted February 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          yeah i know my bad. i was just thinking of story physics in terms of body indestructibility and immortality (and maybe the general age distribution…. not too sure anymore). wasn’t considering all the other things. sorry about that.

    • Posted February 14, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      AND THEN YOU FIGHT ART-DECO LOVECRAFTIAN HORRORS ALL DAY, ERRYDAY. AND THEN YOU DIE.

      Poor Mami T_T

  3. EvilDevil
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see where to start: Ok, alot of people are saying that Kyubey is evil but we are overlooking something important. As far as I can tell Kyubey is a manipulative creature that is taking objectionable actions to accomplish his mission. We still dont know if he is just a servant or his own boss but he seems to believe that the process of turning magical girls are effective and efficient (objections aside), in a way he is not bothered by his actions so long it brings results, “the end justifies the means”. So he will probably lie, cheat, steal, and con the girls, even going so far as trying to manipulate and create scenarios where Madoka will have no choice but make a contract with him. It is too early to tell if he “believes” he is doing the right thing, for all we know he has an ulterior motive, but this episode clearly shows that Kyubey cannot emotionally connect with the girls, almost as if he is a psychopath, but realistically speaking he is not human to begin with, so what is Kyubey then?

    • Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      At this point I’m leaning toward Kyuubei being simply amoral, kind of like a magical machine that goes through the motions of maintaining whatever system he is part of. That, or maybe his moral values are so ALIEN that human trifles like placing importance in one’s soul being, y’know, in one’s body is something he can’t understand.

    • Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I agree, he constantly mentions “his job”. His job is to find girls with potential, his job is to turn them into mahou shoujo by changing their soul into a soul gem thingy, his job is to get rid of the witches seed thing.

      So, unless he is trolling, most likely he is working for someone else, but the true intentions of that someone else are still unknown, and probably will remain unknown.
      This is just speculation, but I doubt the identity of his employer (should he exist), will be revealed. Like Mystlord has pointed out, this show isn’t really about plot, so I don’t think they will do something like making Kyuubei or his employer a final boss or anything like that.

      In my opinion, a key idea of this show is that the world doesn’t revolve around you, the lack of empathy and any proper connection between Kyuubei and his contracters is a clear indicator of the above. Kyuubei knows that these girls aren’t that special, that if one or two were to die, nothing big would happen, and he could simply get a new mahou shoujo. This is especially true for weak ones like Sayaka, Kyuubei pays a lot more attention to Madoka because he knows that it is much harder to find girls of her potential.
      In other magical girl shows, the lead always saves the planet, it is her duty to do so. But in this show, it is more like each girl only does a small part of the work. If they are gone, nothing will happen, the world won’t be destroyed, someone else will just replace them. It’s really sad, but unfortunately it is also a stark reminder of our real world.

      • Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        It’s sad, but I prefer it this way.

      • Darkfireblade25
        Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        I think that the fact that the show does not revolve around the awesomeness of the main character and the “good side” is a big if not the main difference between this show and any other action show. Even in D. Gray Man, where the good side is practically dead and the world is taken over by evil, the main character pretty much guns down everything.

      • Posted February 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        The world doesn’t revolve around you? Well, if Madoka is supposedly the one who stops the apocalypse from happening as like what happens in the initial dream sequence, then I think the anime would affirm that the world revolves around some people to a certain extent.

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Manipulative? Not really. He clearly has rules set out to him, as evidenced by repeated statements in the earlier episodes that he can’t suggest wishes for the girls and what not. Now the question is where these rules came from. So he definitely has some paths blocked out to him just by this rule alone. Sure, he might resort to any means necessary to get the girls to become mahou shoujo, but so far there’s no direct evidence of the sort, unless you want to believe that he caused Mami’s car crash and caused Kamijo to get extremely irritated or something. I personally don’t see any reason to believe it yet.

  4. EvilDevil
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Ok, now part of another idea:
    Kyubey is a good salesman, I mean immortality, eternal youth, and magical powers sounds like a bargain and the only price is just ripping your soul from your body and place it in a gem. But Kyubey is committing the sin of omission by not explaining the girls the high price they all pay. In a way he is not just ripping their souls to protect them, he is ripping their humanity or at least cheating them from being part of the human experience.

    Let us start with the obvious, by making a contract with Kyubey, these girls are surrendering their childhood and they are forced to take responsibilities that only an adult should take. Mami clearly warned Madoka the kind of life a Magical Girl will have to experience, but she forgot to mention something important, an element that we learn in episode 6 from Madoka’s mom. Childhood is a period where you are allowed to make mistakes and the consequential impacts are very little from a child (most of the time), those mistakes are the sum of our experiences that allows children to grow up and obtain wisdom. But being a Magical Girl you are forced to skip childhood and you are robbed from the opportunity to learn from those mistakes. In a way they are children forced to be adults without the benefits of learning from the important lessons of life. This is important, to be a well rounded adult you need to have a healthy childhood and be allowed to learn from your mistakes, instead these girls are almost like child soldiers, forced to fight battles and avoid deadly mistakes.

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      What high price? What kind of “price” is having your soul kept safely in a container for all eternity? To Kyuubey, there really is no sacrifice here. All you’re doing is moving your soul around. Your body, personality, emotions, etc, all remain the same. Eternal youth, immortality, magical powers, what’s not to like?

      And surrendering their childhood? Well, Mami pretty much would have no childhood had she not contracted with Kyuubey. Responsibilities, sure, but she doesn’t regret it. Kyouko lives day to day without a worry. Responsibilities seem to be nothing to her. Kyouko is evidence enough that there are NO responsibilities that come with being a mahou shoujo. You can just have fun with it.

      They aren’t “skipping childhood”. They’re just experiencing a different one. Why do we all need to have the experience of going to school and stuff like that? Does that mean that in hunting societies, you don’t really have a childhood? You can’t really make mistakes when you’re hunting either. You screw up in the forest and get spotted by a tiger? Oops sorry, you’re dead.

      Perhaps the human experience isn’t necessarily what we think it is. Maybe being a mahou shoujo isn’t the destruction of the human experience, but rather just the creation of a different kind of human experience.

      • EvilDevil
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        “Kyouko is evidence enough that there are NO responsibilities that come with being a mahou shoujo. You can just have fun with it.”
        At the expense of few human lives…

        • Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          And? Since when did living your own human life to the fullest extent somehow get tied with some other people you don’t even know? Ignorance as to who they are is bliss right?

          • Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            Also, Kyouko isn’t causing them to die, she’s just not stopping it from happening. People are dying somewhere in the world every second.

  5. EvilDevil
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    and finally this:

    Sayaka made a contract with Kyubey so she could heal her childhood crush. Considering the obvious that this love is only one sided we need to look at other conditions for as to why this relationship is doomed to fail anyway, even if Kamijo loved her back. The obvious issue is that Sayaka will have to balance her life as a magical girl and her life as a girlfriend, but that is just the tip of the issue.

    Consider this, Sayaka’s body is immortal and will never grow old (why should it? After all by granting eternal youth to girls, Kyubey will cut down on time and resources on hunting down new girls every time they either die or grow old). Even if Sayaka could have a relationship with Kamijo in the beginning it will only last for a short while. Kamijo will grow up into an adult, and unless he is a pervy pedophile, I do not think having a little girl as a girlfriend is his idea of an ideal woman. But lets say he tries to overlook this issue, society would not accept it, so their relationship will have to be hidden and in the dark, that means their love will not be able to be in the open. And lets say even with all of this, Sayaka will be robbed from experiencing a healthy relationship anyway.

    But one important factor that we still dont know (as I am guessing) is if Magical Girls are allowed to bear children. If they are not allowed to grow up that means they are not allowed to enter into the period of womanhood and motherhood, and to be perpetually trapped in the period of girlhood but without ever experiencing a healthy childhood. I would not be surprised if Kyubey only creates youthful bodies that are unable to procreate, not only are the girls unable to experience real death (and lets face it, they will experience the trauma of death countless of times, making it an equivalent of psychological torture) but they will never experience the miracle of creating a new life (just like the immortals of highlander). This experience of life and death (and the creation of new life) is denying these girls an essential part of the human experience, specially the motherhood. If you think about it if Madoka ever signs a contract with Kyubey she will never be able to have that drink with her mom, nor will she be able to pass her mother’s wisdom to her children or even have such cool conversations. In a way, Madoka’s bloodline will die with her literally. Human bodies are fragile, but our true legacy and the key to human immortality is in the propagation of children, as long as humans continue to produce children our race will never die, but here Kyubey takes that away from these girls. In a way, he is killing them more ways than others.

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      I disagree with your assessment of what Kyuubey is doing.

      You’re implying that eternal youth is the natural consequence of transferring a soul from the body to a soul gem. But from what Kyuubey described, the body is maintained and repaired by magic. That would imply that you can let your body age as well, and it doesn’t invalidate the ability of the girls to get pregnant.

      • EvilDevil
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Until I see a geriatric Mahou Shoujo I stand my opinion.

  6. Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    So the Soul Gem was named literally, instead of just something that sounds cool. I don’t believe in souls so I’m not rattled by it, but I like the reaction it got out of Kyoko.

    I don’t really notice character development when I watch things, but what stood out to me this episode in terms of plot or the “magic laws” of the show were:
    1. You can use an abundance of Grief Seeds to “extra purify” your Soul Gem. How can you take away something ahead of time? Either the GS (just noticed: Grief Seeds = GS, Soul Gem = SG, two sides of a coin?) creates a void/container within the SG to suck in the impurities, or Kyuubey is lying about the purification and instead the mahou shoujos “eat” a part of the GS to power their SG. Also, do you just lose the ability to use magic when your SG becomes black or do you become a witch?
    2. Kyuubey eats the extremely impure GSes? Say wot?
    3. Homura knows Kyoko’s identity, but either feigns ignorance or really doesn’t know how she knew. Kyuubey seems to know what she’s up to but doesn’t let up (what a cocktease).
    4. Sayaka has no memories of her soul being dropped over the bridge. How much of her memory does she loose? Does she also forget events prior to her soul being separated from her body? Maybe even forget all about mahou shoujos (pure speculation, very unlikely).
    5. Since the SG are attached to the body when they transform, in Mami’s case was her soul gem destroyed? To what extent can you take damage to your physical body without destroying your soul gem? Does regeneration only apply to damage taken in the real world? Would the producers want to bring Mami back, since it would take away the impact of her death?

    To me a good show has to have a framework of “laws”, such as obeying the laws of physics or defining the laws of the show’s universe. You can’t just suddenly pull something out of your ass like Gurren Lagann did. To me Code Geass is a decent example, since it clearly states the capabilities and limits of the Geass and how it turns into the Code (although they didn’t say much about the origins or uses of the Code, it becomes irrelevant to the show). Madoka seems to be on the right track so far.

    • EvilDevil
      Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Keep in mind that Mami’s soul gem takes the form of a hairpin when transformed. It was the first thing to get crushed, so as far as I can tell she is dead, also dont forget that if the body (or in this case the soul gem) is left behind the witches’ zone, it is gone forever. So even if the gem was intact but was left behind, I doubt it would be easy to recover.

      • Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        I know that her soul gem was on her head, but considering how much information Kyuubey is withholding I still think it is theoretically possible though unlikely that they can bring Mami back if they want to.

        I think the OP is the biggest troll this season, more than anything else in this anime or in KoreWaZombie.

      • Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        I’m pretty sure that the only way for Mami to come back at this point is if Madoka uses her wish to bring her back (which might be a VERY bad thing).

        • Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think she’ll wish for that (wasn’t it mentioned somewhere that there was a restriction on bringing people back to life? Maybe my memory is bonked, I have a bad cold right now), but I agree that the shit will probably hit the fan if she does. At this point it makes me wonder if she’ll EVER turn into a mahou shoujo. It’s kinda like she has to, looking at the OP and the apocalypse scene and all, but then again the OP is one big troll about a happy magical life.

          Off-topic: looking at your blog, are you and Myssa Rei the same person or two separate people who happen to have almost the same descriptions?

          • Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            Myssa is my cousin. She does the heavy lifting, post-wise. Also, I’ve stopped going to school for them moment (conflicting work schedules and lack of money being the prime reasons). ^^;

          • Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

            Oh.

    • Darkfireblade25
      Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      To me though, I think shows “pull [stuff] out of [their] ass” until they stop coming up with laws. That’s how I see it. Any show may very well abuse the Deu ex Machina up to the very end. Shows like FMA and Code Geass have simple laws that the show states very early and unambiguously that the show can’t pull Deux ex Machinas on unless the director/story writer sucks balls/wishes to die/etc.. FMA has the law of equivalent exchange no matter what (unless it’s a philosopher’s stone and even then u have to give up human lives) and of course the Geass example you mentioned.

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Plot discussion eh? Ok I’ll bite.

      1) I don’t think that it’s “extra purify”, but you keep them in stock until you need them. And acronyms in this sense don’t exist in Japanese, and even if they did, they don’t share the same beginning sounds. Anyway, the mechanics of how grief seeds work are still a point of confusion on me, and I suppose it ends up depending on why exactly your soul gem dirties when you use magic. Of course I take it on a more symbolic level, so it doesn’t really matter to me…
      2) Well the conspiracy theorists say that he’s storing up grief seeds to unleash them all at Walpurgisnacht, but I choose to believe that he’s actually getting rid of them. After all, you didn’t see any other grief seeds stored away back there right?
      3) Homura dodges so many questions in this episode. So, so many.
      4) I mentioned Descartes in my post. You can’t possibly experience things without senses to sense what’s going on. I don’t know. Try to get into the metaphysics of how this soul gem/body interaction works and you’re just asking for major trouble. I’ll just trust what I see.
      5) Her gem was probably destroyed. Her head got eaten along with her hair pin. Hey, if Charlotte didn’t crush it, I’ll assume that it was blown up my Homura’s bomb then. And I can’t really answer the other questions here, since they’re unknowns that I really don’t care to speculate about. I’ll let the show come to me at its own pace :3

      And logical consistency to a story is most definitely a crucial element of any story.

      • Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        I think Kyuubey said something along the lines of using the Grief Seeds that you have right away, in the extra purifying sense. In the prior episodes it sounded like keeping in stock like what you said, but this episode he talked about making the soul gem more pure so you can use a lot of magic in battle without overloading it. I’ll rewatch it after I get some sleep to make sure.

        So far Madoka is pleasing me in terms of logical consistency. They’re withholding the laws from us, but they’re following it themselves so far I think.

      • Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        Saying you’ll bite makes it sound like a bad thing =(

  7. H.C.
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    You write in a very coherent, cohesive fashion. I enjoyed reading your summary and analysis of this episode. Hope you continue watching the series and write articles on the next 6, too!

    Madoka and Sayaka need hugs. Homura needs a hug too.

    • Posted February 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      *Hugs Homura*
      She’s my second favorite character. Normally she’d be my first, but Mami takes the spot >.<

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Haha many thanks! I can’t wait for the rest of the series~ I haven’t felt this excited since Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei. Also Star Driver, but that’s totally different ;o

      • Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        Oh yeah how come none of you are writing about Star Driver? Many things happened after that long one-time post. There’s just so much inside that anime, if you guys weren’t full I probably would’ve signed up and offered to do so….. Actually on second thought I don’t really catch on to the character development and themes part of shows, so I would probably make a crappy anime blogger ^^”

  8. Darkfireblade25
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I did not understand this episode…. did the show explain what is Walpurgisnacht? I never caught that word before… and what did Madoka’s mother mean to let Madoka make the mistakes for Sayaka like run away and tell white lies? does she mean to fix Sayaka’s mistakes? or make them so Sayaka won’t make them again like how Madoka throwing away the grief seed?

    In regards to Kyubei, I agree that he is an amoral creature who only serves to do his job and no other. As EvilDevil mentioned before, he is getting Madoka in any sneaky chance he gets to convince her to contract, including getting Sayaka to convince her to contract. He hasn’t done so quite often before because there was no immediate reason to and to be saying “CONTRACT TO ME B****ES” all the time will inevitably bring the girls to question his motives.

    The big deal with the soul part is the lack of information that the girls got before they contracted. Sayaka was even considering immortality when before she even contracted so in a sense it could be a desirable thing to some if not most. However, Kyubei never mentioned he would be doing anything besides giving the girls magical powers. They were never told that they would be losing their body in place of another one. Even tho this may be desirable as they survive better, the right to one’s own property is violated in that they gave no permission to give their bodies up. This may seem absurd but the majority of the people rather have the right to know everything there is to know before somebody does “improvements” to them and not getting it than giving up the right and going off on a guarantee that things will be better even if they do need “improvements”. If Kyubei was some sort of company, he would be sued for withholding information to the customer so bad it wouldn’t even be funny. Also, the body comes with the package the moment u even form in this world (according to biology, it is the first thing that comes. Some may say so otherwise.) along with your soul, heart, mind etc. Basically it is a part of you. And taking away a part of “you” without your permission or knowledge is definitely a something to be concerned for even if it is for a greater good. Who knows, maybe it isn’t good for yourself. It isn’t for someone else to decide what is good for you unless u don’t have the capability to understand what is and I’m sure the girls are at an age where they are capable to understand if they thought it through. Even if you don’t it’s not up to some random stranger let alone a magical stuffed animal to do so….

    • Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      According to Wikipedia, Walpurgisnacht is a European celebration that’s linked to the gathering of witches or something. From the context of the show (Kyoko saying she wouldn’t be able to handle that amount and inviting Homura to partner up), I would assume it’s a night where a lot of witches appear or something like that.

      • Posted February 14, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        If we’re going by the Faustian parallels, Walpurgis Night is an event in Faust where the Devil himself is brought to Faust.

        As for me? Congratulations. Walpurgis Night is when Kyuubey’s boss shows himself. IA IA CTHULHU FTHAGN.

    • EvilDevil
      Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      I think what her mom was saying is that Madoka needs to make a mistake in place of her friend, that way it would shock Sayaka to balance things out. Like when you have to tell a lie or run away when you are scared, that way it would shock Sayaka, even it means Sayaka will hate Madoka later. I guess she wants Madoka to act as the bad guy on the situation to make her understand that what Sayaka is doing is wrong, even if she is convinced that what she believes she is doing the right thing. If words dont work to convince her, then Madoka must act as the jerk in this situation to stop Sayaka from making a mistake.

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Pretty much like I said above, where the soul ends up is a non-issue for Kyuubey. It doesn’t really matter because in the end you’re better off with your soul in a soul gem. The fact that he’s transferring their soul from one medium to another doesn’t strike him as being significant at all. Why does it matter? Think about all the benefits. All you’re doing is moving the soul. You still have all human faculties. It shouldn’t matter. It’s like saying that 1+1=2. That’s the same as 1+1=2+0, but you don’t care about the zeros, so you can just toss them. It’s not a perfect analogy, but I think it’s a bit clearer if you think about it that way.

  9. Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Not exactly related to this week’s episode, but if some of you have seen some of the images on the website released before the show started it showed that both Madoka and Homura use bows as their weapons. I’m currently watching Star Driver 19, and it shows a commercial for Magia (the ed) and has a small image of Homura teaching Madoka how to aim the bow.

    • Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Those images were part of the stuff released prior to airing. Who knows if they’ll actually happen in-series. For example, Homura is shown to be an archer, yet she’s used bombs and a shield in the show so far.

      • Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        I know, that’s why I said “released before the show started”. Maybe Homura has a bow as a main weapon, but is able of using other stuff too. During Sayaka’s first appearance as a mahou shoujo she used some sort of blue laser thing, complete with sound effects (I remember thinking WTF Exia!?!??!). Maybe she was throwing swords, but I only see blue streaks. Homura was also using a ranged weapon when she was hunting down Kyuubey, although they looked like pink lasers rather than arrows.

        • Fencedude
          Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          I believe Homura’s shield probably unravels to form her bow.

          • Jibun
            Posted February 14, 2011 at 6:27 am | Permalink

            Generally , and I’m speaking hundreds of years ago, as it doesn’t happen now, archers used to have vambraces AND a small round buckler as Homura does.

            Just putting it out there.

          • Posted February 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

            No Homura is secretly KAMEN RIDER OOO.

            Watch as she performs RIDER KICK.

  10. ~xxx
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Kyubey knows his product too well, that’s why he is a good sales man,
    and Sayaka was too convinced to that.
    Take note, that line when Madoka’s mother lecturing her about growing up….

    Man, I really learn a lot from that.

  11. Merq
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    The thing that bothers me about Kyuubey is that he feigns understanding and concern for the girls right to chose, but then tries to manipulate them into contracting. He showed up right as Mami and Sayaka were breaking down, and it stands to reason that they were incapable of making an informed decision as they were both very emotional at the time of their contracting. Like really? He happens to appear right as Sayaka was trying to deal with her love interest and as Mami is dying. Now, he is manipulating Madoka’s love for her friends to convince her to contract. He hides information and catches the girls in their weak moments. In many ways I think this is why he targets children. As Madoka’s mom said, you have to make your mistakes while young so you can grow from them. Children are resilient, yet they don’t know that they are until they’ve gone through some stuff. I don’t think adults would be as easily manipulated in weak moments because they would know how to handle it better.

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think he feigns understanding and concern. He just says “Hi. Contract with me, and I’ll give you a wish.” And it’s certainly possible that Kyuubey is an actual sort of wish fulfillment type creature. He has like a little radar that goes off in his head when he senses a truly honest and impossible desire. Also possible is that he appears when someone wishes for a miracle to happen or something like that. We really have no idea.

      And adults wouldn’t be as easily manipulated? Oh wow I so disagree with that. How many adults sign contracts out of desperation? Borrowing money from the Yakuza, or even how about trying to bring back your baby from the dead? (from FMA). Adults are just as terrible in their weak moments as are children.

      • Merq
        Posted February 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        I think he does feign concern. He says to Madoka that it’s okay if she doesn’t want to contract and says it’s not her fault and other such things; yet when she shows even the slightest bit of desperation the first thing out of his mouth is “contract me with”. It comes off as manipulation to me.

        And yes, adults can do stupid things out of desperation. However, I think adults are generally more mature and experienced than children and would have a better idea of when they are being manipulated.

        • droptest
          Posted February 17, 2011 at 1:05 am | Permalink

          I agree… he does have that “soft sell” approach (bad pun!)

  12. EvilDevil
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I just did a quick search on the word Puella, here is the etymology of the word.

    From puellus (“a little boy”), contracted from puerulus (“a little boy, a little slave”) the diminutive of puer (“boy”)

    the word could mean little girl, but also a servant or slave, something tells me this was not accidental. And something tells me there are more secrets that Kyubey is hiding from the girls…

    • Jibun
      Posted February 14, 2011 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      You do a lot of research, and you’ve made a few really good posts in this subject so far.
      Hats off to you.

      Mystlord + You, and the occasional thoughtful post here give proof about why this anime is just so good.

      I mean, there are shows where you think, and put thought into it, (I’m generally thinking Angel Beats! / Kore wa Zombie if you look at it)
      But this one, in most of the cases, leaves you to ponder about the backround, feelings, and personal mind of each character.
      There isn’t a definite backround to each character, which I like. (You can probably except Mami/Madoka as Madoka is main character, and Mami explained her a minor detail about her past, but it doesn’t matter as we’re looking for their attitudes as M. Shoujo’s aren’t we?

      Regarding scenery, I have noticed, yes – every episode, the real world scenery itself becomes more … “Deformed”? and darker, compared to the lush and clear scenery we all saw at the start (Think Mirrors’ Edge)

      I can see a lot of people brushing off these thoughts if they don’t read a blog, or don’t have that much of an inquisitive mind, which is why I think there should be a lot of time put aside to watch this show, ponder what happened, what could happen, what were the REASONS. etc.

      Or, you could just watch, notice differences, and think during the show, less accuracy, but if you’re a lazy year 10 highschool student with more and more homework piling up as you play Halo like me, then that’s more suitable..
      (You can always re-watch to get more accurate view, can you not?)
      I feel like I’m getting off-track here so I’m going to leave it at that.. I don’t have much to add as most of the people have already brought up many varied opinions which are similar to mine and I don’t like to repeat.

    • Posted February 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Oh lawks no.

      Sayaka, Kyoko and Mami were child soldiers fighting against Lovecraftian art deco horrors and they didn’t know it at all D:

      THIS IS TOO MUCH FOR MY HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEART.

  13. Posted February 14, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I feel a lot of pity for Madoka herself. I believe she was so looking forward to making Mami not be lonely anymore, and then Mami’s death just completely made something go wrong there–which makes sense, as she is a young girl. Then what happened with Sayaka…I feel Madoka needs a giant pile of hugs.

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      I think both Madoka and Sayaka needs lots of hugs. And I mean like real hugs.

  14. Posted February 15, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Madoka is just another Shinji. She just 14 years old right?

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      You can hardly make that comparison. Shinji was a lot more screwed up than Madoka is, and their family situations are completely different.

  15. Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I kind of forgot about touching on Sayaka’s wish since it was important. Like most people said, wishes should be something with no regrets. Using the wish just to win your love is not the right way to do it and Sayaka has made a mistake… Love needs to be earned, not handed to.

    Considering that all these girls are teenagers, they are at the stage of transitioning to adulthood. The transition allows them to learn from the mistakes and learn from them quickly so they won’t make it when they become young adults. With the contract, this stage is skipped and results in a lack of experience. This lack of experience can cause recklessness that has dire consequences like shown with Mami. I think girls need to be prepared emotionally and mentally before jumping in, which may be a reason why Madoka is still holding up on her decision, especially when there are so many tragic events happen all around her.

    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Love needs to be earned? Sure, if you’re taking a romantic stance on it. I think that subjecting yourself to the threat of death is a pretty high price to pay for love as well. Like I explained in my Madoka 4 + 5 post, Sayaka must have realized exactly what love is in order to give up her life for the guy.

      And I would hardly call Mami reckless. You can go on analyzing why she died, but recklessness isn’t the right word, especially not against Charlotte’s initial appearance.

  16. droptest
    Posted February 17, 2011 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    …I see this show as commentary. Parts of this genre always could have been described as “SERIOUSLY F***ED UP”, or elaborately disguised horror at a minimum. How many stories present something like altering another’s DNA as somehow NOT AT ALL FRIGHTENING (!?), with “saving the world” excuse as the setup. Other-worldly beings, mutation, dangerous unknown forces, and kids being imperiled as part of their “job”, etc. all in a days work somehow.

    The writers are playing a little bit of a game on us, no? They add a touch of real world emotional/physical consequences for characters and suddenly questions like “Is Kyuubey evil?” become hard to answer. Frankly I think they could have taken it further, seriously disturbed though it already is.

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