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Puella Magi Madoka Magica — Anyone else watch this? It's very SHAFT, and I loved every minute of it
edited 6th Jan '11 10:38:04 PM by Hylarn
I wasn't that interested until near the end when all the weird SHAFT-y stuff started showing up. The art style bothers me a little bit, but I can adjust.
I think I will keep watching. This is actually the first legitimately Magical Girl show I've seen, so that will be interesting. Or, actually, does Princess Tutu count as Magical Girl? In that case, it will be the second one I've seen.
As for the episode itself, thousand shotgun Mari was pretty cool. Madoka's personality doesn't really appeal to me, but I guess it's cute. Akemi was rather cold, but I'm pretty sure there will be something to make us like her later. I had a weird feeling that green haired Ojou friend will turn out to be evil, but I have no idea.
Two things stood out to me. The close ups of Homura's mouth during her conversation with Madoka and the fact that the ordinary friend is being caught up in this so early.
The first strikes me as a nice Shaft technique for being not quite so blatantly direct as a lot of anime dialog ends up being and the second seems to imply quite a different premise than most magical girl shows. The Dark Magical Girl is one thing. The mentor figure is another. The normal, somewhat silly friend? I think that's gonna be a drama bomb.
edited 6th Jan '11 11:39:57 PM by Clarste
The friend getting involved is definitely a bit odd. From an in-story perspective, something that's definitely odd is that the opening sequence was about Homura fighting someone with rainbow attacks, and Homura was the good guy. We later see Mami use rainbow-coloured magic
edited 7th Jan '11 2:48:57 AM by Hylarn
Downloading this now I have been anticipating this show.
Consistently high quality, as expected from Studio SHAFT. I'm very much looking forward to where this show goes - we could have a The Faceless as our Big Bad here, for one, and if the artistic style keeps reminding me of Zetsubou-sensei, it'll be very hard for SHAFT to convince me to stop watching.
Man, the WMG section for this show is depressing as hell.
It's written by Urobuchi Gen, what do you expect?
I think its going to be somewhat happier though probably along the lines of Nanoha.
Pretty much everything in the first episode that involved magic was creepy and/or depressing. The whole show has a desolate feel. I'm not expecting it to be happy
You don't hire the writer famous for his Cosmic Horror Stories and then ask him to write a standard magical girl story. That's just not how it works. Pretty much everything within the show also hints at future tragedy of some sort.
I think the happiest story we could get out of this is Death by Newbery Medal.
But Kyubey is obviously evil!
Well, yes. How does that contradict what I said?
The whole thing seems to be so bleak so far, the real Gainax Ending twist for SHAFT would be giving it a perfectly happy ending. Shows that start light often end up grim, but never the other way around. It'd be an interesting change of pace. I doubt it'll happen, but I'd like it.
Really, the whole WMG for this series is amazing, since it has one episode. I wonder if Kyuubey is evil, though.
It seems too cute to not be evil.
Maybe that's the twist...
I think the basic logic is that Homura is almost certainly a good guy, so she probably has a good reason for trying to kill Kyubey. Plus, makes for a good subversion of standard Magical Girl tropes
Also he just sound kind of sinister. In a Faustian bargain way.
Or maybe the twist is that Homura really isn't a good person...
Or both sides are bad persons with conflicting interests.
I honestly wasn't expecting much. I'm one of those people who just goes and watches a show without any research beyond checking what genre it is, so this show came out to be a really big surprise.
Looking up speculations about Madoka Magica, I came across this interesting WMG:
One thing to know is that the batch of translators subbing this are evidently from the "picked up Japanese by watching Naruto" school, so a lot's going above their heads. And by extension, yours, since you're reading their interpretations of the lines.
In the beginning, when Kyubey is talking to Madoka while Homura's fighting, he says something that none of the T Ls I saw picked up on (And I watched a couple, since I've got easy access and what you're writing here didn't jive with my recollection of the show.) "Shikata nai yo. Kanojo hitori de ha ni ga omosugita." Which means something like "This was inevitable. It was too much for her alone." Every TL I saw missed the 'alone' part. And the past tense, for that matter. (Bunch of other mistakes too, but that one seems relevant.)
From this and a few other things in the episode, this was the conclusion I drew:
At some time in the future there's going to be some kind of catastrophe, and Homura alone won't be able to stop it. What we saw in Madoka's dream is after that disaster, with a shattered world ruled by some kind of abstract evil. Kyubey thinks that Madoka, for whatever reason, can stop this, so he wants her to be a magical girl. But whatever being a magical girl means, it carries some kind of price. It might be like what you're saying, that she lives in a matrix-style illusion, and that becoming a magical girl means finding that out.
My guess was a little different (from yours) though. I think that whatever the magical girls are fighting, it's very, very bad. Cthulhu-style sanity wasting bad. The kind of evil that would think nothing of hunting down somebody's friends or relatives to devour, just on a whim. I think that Homura lost her friends and family to it, and she's trying to warn off Madoka to keep her from meeting the same fate.
Hence, Homura trying to kill Kyubey: "YOU did this to me, it's all YOUR fault they're dead, and now you're going to pay."
This show gives off a definite Sailor Nothing vibe.
edited 12th Jan '11 12:04:53 PM by JakesBrain
Okay, refined and revised theory here. WMG ahead, so buckle up.
There is going to be some kind of disaster in the future, and the only way of avoiding it so far has been through the use of a reset or time loop. Homura was recruited by Kyubey to fight it, but she got into a bad mess and everyone she loved was killed. This particular loop may have been repeated more than once, judging by Homura's attitude, and Mami may have joined at some point.
Madoka's dream is constructed largely out of fragmented memories from the last reset. The only characters with a perfect memory of the timeloop are Homura, Kyubey, and (possibly, though to perhaps a lesser extent) Mami. Kyubey realizes that Homura's attempts to fight alone are doomed to end in defeat, so he's attempting to pull more Magical Girls into the fight in the hopes of breaking the loop; Homura, however, is jaded and embittered by the repeated defeats (she's probably seen her whole Nakama dying right before her eyes, and more than once), to the point where she regrets ever making a contract with him and is actively trying to kill him or foil his recruiting efforts. Unlike Mami, she's given up all hope of ever winning, or ever being free (unless murdering Kyubey means no longer having to fight his battles) — and she's convinced that the same thing will, even must, happen to Mami, Madoka, and whoever else he brings in.
Well, it is SHAFT + Shinbou + Urobuchi Gen. It's to be expected.
edited 12th Jan '11 11:36:21 PM by JakesBrain
These are some really WILD guesses...
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