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Post Reply Madoka Magica and why I don't like it as much as everyone else.
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Posted 4/18/14
I have seen Madoka 6 times now. ( I still havent seen the 3rd movie yet) What draws me back to that show is not the stuff that is so obvious, the rapid change into a more depressive theme being a good point, but the more subtle, refined, and somber themes. In particular, the Kyoko (Kyouko) and Sayaka mini arc. The relationship is extremely powerful and beautifully executed. Conflicting personalities clashing; exposing the fault in the others only to be destroyed before true expression can be achieved.

Obviously we are all entitled to our own opinion, and in mine i believe that there is a severe lack of deep, expressive dialogue and empathetic conversation in recent anime. This change over to over-moe anime, where story is shrouded in fan service and emotional impact tends to remain constant and dry, is difficult to defend. While there are some epic pieces of work in recent seasons, they seem to be a dime a dozen. Madoka to me is one of the few where I can re-watch and find something new hidden in the background detail. Madoka was something that allowed me to feel a large range of emotion both to the characters and to the story. The themes in the story may be old and used up but this Anime's execution of those themes is in a league of its own. Definitely in my top three.

Everyone has their own preferences and opinions on what we think should happen. The same goes to the artist, storyboard and producer. This applies to every anime, movie, book, song. . .ect, respect what other people think. Just because one persons opinion doesn't match yours, it doesn't automatically mean there is no validity to the statement. These conflicts help breed new works of art. If everyone agreed to everything in the same manner, i have a feeling life would be rather boring.

Also, the music was absolutely glorious.

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Posted 4/18/14 , edited 4/18/14


This is interesting. In a certain way, I am the same with you. I don't really get the Madoka fandom (shippers...ugh). However, I'm different in the sense that I really liked PMMM. I don't really understand why everyone was so shocked by episode 3. By observing its world in the first two episodes, I could tell there was certainly something off about it. (Also Madoka is technically the first Magical Girl anime I've ever seen, so the whole "deconstruction" aspect of it is moot to me). What I found to be much more shocking and much more relevant IMO was when


How Madoka acts on this is really what sold it for me. But besides that, all the other characters acted very believably given their situation. The moral of Madoka is that the world can be a nasty, horrible place, but that doesn't mean you have to be a nasty, horrible person.



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Posted 4/18/14

Felstalker wrote:


xxJing wrote:

One thing about this series though I suppose that personally did not move me was that I could not empathize with any of the girls. They essentially brought their troubles upon themselves. They essentially screwed up which ends up with Homura having to time travel countless times trying to fix their shit, and eventually she's unable to and Madoka becomes basically a band-aid for the problem. Scratch that, I empathize with Homura, the rest deserved what they got.


Ive had this thread open for a looong while now but just haven't been in the proper mood to answer. This post sums up Madokas primary weakness. Characters all serve their roles and functions in Madoka Magica, but little more.

On one hand, the world and themes along with the visual style is nothing shy of brilliant. They're in an awesome world filled with dark bullshit, complete with larger than life magical girls fighting absurdly powerful and visually striking villianesses of vagueness.

Storywise the show tells it good. Setting up parrallels and plots and stuff.

But the characters are just that. Characters. No extra life or fluff behind them. Mimimimi plays Qui gon jin to Madoka's Obi wan and they keep to those roles.


This is a common criticism, but I just don't understand where it's coming from. All of the characters have hidden depths behind their archetypes, and go through more growth (not always positive growth) and development than the vast majority of anime characters, even in much longer shows. What do you want them to do that they didn't do?

I can sort of understand not being able to empathize because most of them committed major avoidable screw-ups, but, well, it's a tragedy. That's what happens in a tragedy--people make dumb mistakes, as they do, and things go wrong. Homura made the biggest mistake of all, since she inadvertently caused most of the tragedy through her own stubbornness. The lesson (a lesson) from the show is that you can't only rely on yourself or expect to do everything perfectly, because you'll just burn out and fail. Anyone who has ever made any missteps in their life ought to be able to relate to that.
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Posted 4/18/14 , edited 4/18/14
Good thread.

Madoka is one of those shows that doesn't resonate with me on a personal level, but I can only criticize so much about it because it is executed so well compared to the vast majority of trash we see these days. I was however pissed off the whole time I was watching because of the stupid choices the girls were making when making contracts etc. "Ask more questions god damn it!" I would shout at my screen!

I have the same issues with peoples choices in zombie and horror movies as well, but at least then you get to see them be eaten or killed and don't feel guilty about it. Which I think is another reason that people are drawn to this series where they abhor school days or the like. While many series go dark, they often do it by having characters make selfish or morally questionable choices. Madoka goes to great pains to make all of the characters extremely sympathetic so that you want that happy ending, and it doesn't really happen.

It drives me nuts when people are trying to explain what they like about Madoka and it comes down to "dark themes', or 'deconstruction of the magical girl genre', neither of which are indicative of quality. I realize people in this thread have used those terms as well, but I'm not calling them out. I think everyone here has done a great job of qualifying those terms rather than hiding behind them as is often done.
The Wise Wizard
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Posted 4/19/14

Man_Of_Leisure wrote:

I was however pissed off the whole time I was watching because of the stupid choices the girls were making when making contracts etc. "Ask more questions god damn it!" I would shout at my screen!

OTOH, these are girls that are for the most part, 14 years old. How many 14 year olds (of either sex) think that much about future consequences to their actions?

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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14

Man_Of_Leisure wrote:

It drives me nuts when people are trying to explain what they like about Madoka and it comes down to "dark themes', or 'deconstruction of the magical girl genre', neither of which are indicative of quality. I realize people in this thread have used those terms as well, but I'm not calling them out. I think everyone here has done a great job of qualifying those terms rather than hiding behind them as is often done.

This just frustrates me across the board, how badly we usually express ourselves about all types of media. It's like we're an entire generation that lacks a critical lexicon, or any structured concepts to help frame our thoughts.

So we cling to words like "deconstruction" and "dark themes" like a drowning man clings to shipwreck debris.

Edit: And in this I include myself.
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Posted 4/19/14

Insomnist wrote:
This just frustrates me across the board, how badly we usually express ourselves about all types of media. It's like we're an entire generation that lacks a critical lexicon, or any structured concepts to help frame our thoughts.


Like most problems with humanity, it's a complicated one. People like different things, often for intractable reasons. Instead of accepting that, it's easier and more self-aggrandizing to just think that everyone who likes different things than you is stupid, or has poor taste, or whatever. This leads to ragey arguments and an unwillingness to listen to each other, which leads to bluntness and bickering over which things deserve labels like "deep" and "meaningful" (because if you try to explain why it's those things, no one will bother reading it) until the words are ironically so overused that they no longer mean anything. People don't agree on what "deep" looks like, and who can say whose version is right?

I guess that isn't really all that complicated. But even though I try not to attack people for liking or disliking things, I also spend a lot of time critiquing human behavior because I don't really understand it, which is the same thing. There's no escaping it, apparently.
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Posted 4/19/14
Ah Madoka this really was one of those anime that i just didn't get into despite so much hype before i even got around to watching it that it's a desconstruction of the magical girl genre and the best anime ever etc etc. What i found was something that was more interested in cheap shock value than telling an interesting story the core of which is mostly about a girl not doing very much while she decides if she wants to become a magical girl. This made a very moe show even more uninteresting than it would have been better had she become a magical girl early on and started having fun and then the impact of realising it's not what she thought it was. There are a lot more effective ways they could have done what they were trying to do besides have some moe girls run around talking about wishes then have them make them at the end.

At it's heart it's just another magical girl show although a slightly more depressing one. I mean really apart from girls getting killed and trying to be dark and depressing what was that show but panty shots and cuteness?
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Posted 4/19/14

MrMoondoggie wrote:

I mean really apart from girls getting killed and trying to be dark and depressing what was that show but panty shots and cuteness?

Since you mentioned panty shots, I assume you are talking about a different show there, and not Madoka Magica. Am I correct?

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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14

TheAncientOne wrote:


Man_Of_Leisure wrote:

I was however pissed off the whole time I was watching because of the stupid choices the girls were making when making contracts etc. "Ask more questions god damn it!" I would shout at my screen!

OTOH, these are girls that are for the most part, 14 years old. How many 14 year olds (of either sex) think that much about future consequences to their actions?



And I would have bought that if they had all made the choice immediately. However most of them had not even identified their wish yet, so it isn't really an issue of failing to identify consequence. In the days that pass they all fail to ask pointed questions about the nature of a talking rabbit, his motivations, what the powers mean etc. So not only do they lack decision making ability(as you state, understandable), but apparently they don't have any curiosity at all. Night even the slightest bit. The whole thing feels forced in this regard.

Pretty minor in the scheme of things, but it's such a consistent failing that it was on my mind in every episode, and overall made the series frustrating. The final girls choice ultimately redeemed the series though in my opinion, because ultimately it was like 'yay, not everyone is a retard!'.
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Posted 4/19/14

Man_Of_Leisure wrote:


And I would have bought that if they had all made the choice immediately. However most of them had not even identified their wish yet, so it isn't really an issue of failing to identify consequence. In the days that pass they all fail to ask pointed questions about the nature of a talking rabbit, his motivations, what the powers mean etc. So not only do they lack decision making ability(as you state, understandable), but apparently they don't have any curiosity at all. Night even the slightest bit. The whole thing feels forced in this regard.

Pretty minor in the scheme of things, but it's such a consistent failing that it was on my mind in every episode, and overall made the series frustrating. The final girls choice ultimately redeemed the series though in my opinion, because ultimately it was like 'yay, not everyone is a retard!'.


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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14

Orga777



Yes, I'm for real. I'll admit its been a long time since I've watched it and it didn't stick with me. My main point was that their choices were not made immediately. I remember time passing and other characters being surprised that they made their choices. If I recall, Kyubei doesn't trick anyone. He tells them exactly what they ask, no more no less. The fact that time had passed before they made their contracts separates this from a lack of judgement. I made my points clear on why this is significant.

The rest of your post is foolish hyperbole, and not worth responding to.
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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14

Man_Of_Leisure wrote:
Yes, I'm for real. I'll admit its been a long time since I've watched it and it didn't stick with me. My main point was that their choices were not made immediately. I remember time passing and other characters being surprised that they made their choices. If I recall, Kyubei doesn't trick anyone. He tells them exactly what they ask, no more no less. The fact that time had passed before they made their contracts separates this from a lack of judgement. I made my points clear on why this is significant.


Do you want to know who's choices that we know about were NOT instant? Two. Homura, who didn't become one till she wanted to save Madoka, and Madoka in the time-lines where Homura was trying to PREVENT that. Sayaka decided to do it because she wanted to heal Kyosuke, and couldn't stand to see him like he was any more.

Also, if you don't think that saying half-truths and never explaining ANYTHING is not "tricking" then I don't know what is. You do know people like to hear things that are good only, right?Kyubey goes to more desperate people that want something. He also doesn't just make random deals with ANYONE. He needs the wishes to break them so they become witches so he can get what he wants. Also, you think all desperate children are going to understand consequences before it is too late. Which is just silly. Your points make no sense.
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Posted 4/19/14
I just watched a few mins of the 1st ep and I was like naaaah!!! this wasn't made for me....... but I respect everyone thoughts......
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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14

Orga777

Do you want to know who's choices that we know about were NOT instant? Two. Homura, who didn't become one till she wanted to save Madoka, and Madoka in the time-lines where Homura was trying to PREVENT that. Sayaka decided to do it because she wanted to heal Kyosuke, and couldn't stand to see him like he was any more.


So Madoka made the choice in the other time line while not knowing anything either. That's 3. Even after the girls made their choices, they still don't have any curiosity until events start to unfold naturally. They don't think, not even a little. For a series that attempts to add realism via consequence this is a problem.


Orga777
I hope you never blame anyone for getting "tricked" by banks to buy houses they can't afford. You do know people like to hear things that are good only, right?

Perfectly relevant. Gaining magic powers and a free wish from some unexplained mystery entity with unknown goals is exactly equivalent to signing a mortgage agreement with a bank that is trying to make money. Brilliant work here.


Orga777
Kyubey goes to more desperate people that want something. He doesn't just make random deals with ANYONE. He needs the wishes to break them so they become witches so he can get what he wants. Also, you think all desperate children are going to understand consequences before it is too late. Which is just silly. Your points make no sense.


Kyube is a guy with a candy bar, saying "get in the van". The fact that all sorts of flags aren't being raised immediately with these kids is silly. Even after taking the candy, there is a startling lack of situational awareness on the entire cast that sours any realism that was added by having consequences in the first place ala deconstruction. You on the other hand are buying into this hook line and sinker because they're drawn like children, when in reality they are 14. Yes legally children, but capable of understanding that you don't get something for nothing - especially from entities seeking to make contracts with children. So good on the makers for choosing the art style so wisely and LOL on you for abandoning reason.

How old were you when you stopped believing in the magic fairy? I hope for your sake it was earlier than 14.
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