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 Why Madoka Failed For Me

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Goddess Yami
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PostSubject: Why Madoka Failed For Me   22nd January 2015, 8:53 pm

This conversation started in another thread so I thought I just moved it here. I wanted to talk freely without spoiler tags. So spoilers beware!

Okay so long time ago I tried to watch Madoka. I wanted to see the buzz and sadly I turned it off halfway through episode one. It did not hold my interest at all. I don't mind tragedy at all. Heck my friend and I love to add tragic stuff in roleplays. It's just wasn't my cup of a tea you know? So over the years I have seen a good portion of the show off tumblr. I follow a SM blog and the blogger will post Madoka stuff from time to time. She's a big fan so her posts were really detailed. So a few weeks back I decided to read the episode summaries just so I could fully understand the story. There's so much you get from blog posts.

So what's my beef? The story fails. I feel like the story would have been better if it started out with Madoka and Homura meeting for the first time and becoming magical girls. THEN HAVE Homura go back in time to try save Madoka. The way the story is now it just doesn't flow well for me. Why should I care about their friendship if was just shown in a flashback in like one episode?

Also I just can't get behind the characters. Silly thing to say since I only read summaries. But again I have read in depth posts about them. Still don't care about them at all.

So this show will probably never be for me. Maybe I will sit down and just force myself to watch so I can form a stronger opinion.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   22nd January 2015, 9:09 pm

Again, it's really about watching the content. I hate to throw out that criticism, but it's the only way to truly know if you like the show and fairly criticize it.

The Homura twist is brilliant in my opinion. At least in the context of the original series, Homura is what I like to call a "Sasuke" character. She's brooding, quiet and off putting. The first time you ever see her break is when she cries out for Madoka in a later episode. It comes quite frankly as a shock, since you never see her in such a vulnerable position. It plays on audience's expectations and we soon find out that her quiet nature was all an act. It makes us appreciate her character all the more than having known the reason for her angst in the first place. The flashback episode is simply there to tie up all the loose ends and make us understand why Madoka and her friends are the way they are now. It's also one of my favorite anime episodes of all time for its execution.

As I pointed out in another thread, I believe the reason many magical girl fans don't like Madoka's cast is because most of them start off neutral and turn morally bad. Sailor Moon and other magical girls start of neutral and grow into angelic beings. After all, magical girls are what we want to obtain in terms of purity and beauty. Who wants to be a magical girl in Madoka? No one. I personally adore them for their faults, especially since I can very well relate to one of them in my teenage years.

In the end, Madoka isn't for everyone. I don't say that as a bad thing either. Some people like it and some don't. I personally hate the ending of The Rebellion Story for example but I think the main series is incredible. It's not something that appeals to all anime fans and I think that's what makes it so good. It's a great series for great discussions.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   22nd January 2015, 9:19 pm

@Goddess Yami wrote:
I feel like the story would have been better if it started out with Madoka and Homura meeting for the first time and becoming magical girls. THEN HAVE Homura go back in time to try save Madoka. The way the story is now it just doesn't flow well for me. Why should I care about their friendship if was just shown in a flashback in like one episode?


the point was making this all a mystery. also what witches really are and magical girls really are and what are kyubeys goals are all twist in the story. i think the series would never became that popular if everything was made clear from the very beginning. everyone would just be like "aha we know all of this already" while watching the show.

if you want a show that do this in the order you suggest watch Steins;Gate. you have 12 episodes until "that" event happend.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   23rd January 2015, 9:29 am

I just watched Madoka (the original? I heard there are more but idk) and it was really intriguing. From a magical girls anime standpoint, it was dark as heck. I kinda wish more anime/manga explored the same aspects as Madoka. In Sailor Moon, we see a sliver of that sacrifice and pain and consequence, but in the end they're all reborn anyways. In Madoka, death is real. Being a magical girl isn't all fun and games at all. You literally never know what can happen (e.g. Mami). 

It's more about a sense of duty to others as a means of making personal sacrifices. Kind of like being enlisted in the military. You're doing a service to your country but at the same time, you're losing a part of yourself. 

The entire time I watched it, I compared Madoka and Kyubey to Sailor Moon characters. Imagine if Luna/Artemis were more like Kyubey and not completely honest with the girls? Would the sailor soldiers have been as prepared to risk everything? 

Just some thoughts <3

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   24th January 2015, 12:40 am

I think if you were to have them start off at friends at the beginning it would ruin the whole purpose of having it revealed the way they did which is for it to turn the mysterious transfer student trope on its head.  For example, you have a lot of anime series where you have a character that transfers at a weird time of the the year and everyone is suspicious of them and then you find out the big reveal about them at the end of the series.  You have the same thing here with Homura but the twist is that you knew them all along because you met in another timeline.  Just with the tension and atmosphere the series does an incredible job of making the audience believe Homura is the villain and that she's attacking Kyubey for some evil purpose and then you have the big reveal later on that she's actually trying to save Madoka's life and Kyubey is the real villain.  I also think if you were to change it around to have them be friends from the start, it would dramatically ruin the atmosphere and feeling of the series.  It wouldn't be as dark and cynical and it would be a very different show.  You actually do see this happen with the Rebellion movie as it starts off with Madoka and Homura already friends and it ends up playing out as a more traditional magical girl show until a big plot twist later on in the movie.  I think it works well for the Rebellion movie and for what they were trying to accomplish for that film but I don't think it would work for the series and I don't think Madoka would have been as successful of a series without the plot twists happening the way they did.  I also agree it's best to watch at least the first three episodes because you don't get the atmospheric feeling that's part of the series' draw just from reading and you're also missing the gorgeous animation and music, IMO.  Having said that, I agree with Sailor CJ that Madoka while an amazing series is not a show for everyone and I can see some people being turned off by the dark and cynical nature of it and sometimes it feels like it's being aimed more at general anime fans who aren't into magical girl shows than it is the actual magical girl fandom.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   24th January 2015, 6:16 am

I'm reading the manga like CJ suggested. Because there is no way I can sit watch a 24 minute episode. It still baffles me that people were shock by this show. Yeah the manga came out afterward, but I knew what we were getting into by the first few minutes of the show. The imagery from the dream and can tell you what this show is all about. 

So far I can see why the mystery is likeable. Even I'm like ooh what's going to happen next. I am reading this with an open mind by the way. I really wish Homura killed that evil mascot.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   24th January 2015, 7:21 am

When I watched the first 2 episodes, I was like "what am I even watching ._." I gave up on it for a while before I continued watching. But it actually got a whole lot more interesting afterwards.

The story could have been better at points, but I ended up liking the general plot and found it enjoyable. And even though I'm not really an anime fan (I've only ever watched a few), 12 episodes seemed tolerable even if I ended up not liking it. I'd say it's worth giving it a try if you find the plot interesting.

I think my favorite part of the series is the soundtrack though (at least some of it).

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   24th January 2015, 12:42 pm

I finished the manga. Like I said earlier I read it with an open mind. I will admit it was a nice read and the whole concept is interesting. However it's still not my cup of tea. Now it has nothing to do with the darkness or tragedy. I don't mind those elements one bit. So what's my problem with it? I don't give a damn about these girls. The only characters that I slightly cared for were Homura and Mami. I thought I would liked Kyoko, but eh. 

Maybe I would have cared for these girls if the freaking plot would have taken a break and allowed them to be middle school girls. I wanted to see them laugh, eat, cry, and talk about their dreams. I want to know these girls. Regardless of their wishes I know nothing about them. Because of that they will be forgettable to me. But not really because of Tumblr. 


I will stand my ground on what I said earlier. If it started out with Madoka and Homura meeting for the first time maybe I would have cared more. They still could have done the whole twist with mascot. Like he said they didn't ask about the truth to be a magical girl. If not then the story could still have been dark. Just seeing Madoka die in episode one and Homura vowing to save her friend could still have shocked people. Then watching her repeat time over and over could still have a dark and tragic feel to it. Viewers could have really connected to Homura. 

Again it was a good read and I'm glad I read it.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   24th January 2015, 2:41 pm

There is manga that travels into alternate timelines that homura was stuck through, and the PSP game has alternate timelines and broadening story points galore (Its never going to make it in english, so just watch playthroughs with english subs.) But I agree, it would have been nice if we knew more about madoka and homura's friendship a bit more. Who am I kidding, they would have been total dorks together it would have been great.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   24th January 2015, 2:47 pm

But I shouldn't have to read or watch side stuff to get the full experience you know?

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   24th January 2015, 4:50 pm

As I've said, the Rebellion movie does start out with Homura and Madoka as already friends in an alternate timeline and they spend like the whole first half of the movie together like that.  And while it's very enjoyable, it is a very different feeling from the TV series and it plays off as a more traditional light hearted magical girl anime until we find out things aren't as they seem half way through the movie.   I personally thought we got a lot of character development with Sayaka with the whole subplot with the boy she liked and her slow descent into madness.  We did get some scenes of Madoka and Sayaka and Hitomi hanging out at school and at the cafe at the beginning.  You say we didn't get to learn about the dreams any but they have that scene at the beginning on the rooftop where Sayaka and Madoka are talking about what they would wish for and how it's difficult for them to make a wish because of their ignorance of the harshness of the world and that they don't know what they want from their future.  The only character I think could be a little more developed is Madoka who comes across a little too perfect and sweet at times but I think it worked with what they were doing with this series and it didn't bother me more than other sugary sweet magical girl leads like Sakura Kinimoto.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   24th January 2015, 6:54 pm

Well I needed more of that. There wasn't enough the whole story is so fast paced. The plot never took a break. I didn't really care about Sayaka at all. They didn't give me a reason to care about it. The guy was a total jerk to her. It would have been nice to meet the guy prior to him being in the hospital. To see why she loved him. Seem kind of forced if you asked me.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Madoka Failed For Me   24th January 2015, 7:42 pm

rebellion is not a side story it's a sequel

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