Thursday, April 19, 2012

Madoka and the Nature of Sacrifice

I have now seen Madoka episode 10. While watching episode 9, I thought that Madoka was the princess, the Madonna of the group. Sayaka, Homura, and even Mami to some extent are all protecting Madoka, even to the cost of their lives, or in Homura's case, unimaginable pain.* In the best shoujo series, I feel, there is the princess figure, one that everyone is fighting to protect. In Sailor Moon, Usagi is the princess, and the messiah- the one who sacrifices herself to save the world. In Princess Tutu, our titular hero isn't the princess- the prince Mytho is- he is the one sacrificed for. In the end, Ahiru (aka Duck) gives up her human form for him, as he gave up his heart to defeat the raven. Being a princess does mean you're at the center of the shoujo world, but you're also expected to make the ultimate sacrifice.

I find that the whole series has been about sacrifice thus far. Homura is more typical- someone who promises to protect Madoka no matter what, which is a bit of twist considering that the arc from episodes 5 to 9 has been about the sacrificed- Sayaka. Sayaka, like most girls her age, was not able to face her true feelings, and Kyubey manipulated that. Her desire to protect Madoka, her desire to have the love of her upperclassman, her desire to be important and powerful... Sadly, Sayaka was going to be a hero, but it's not that type of story. The girls can either sacrifice themselves like Kyoko, and Homura or become sacrifices like Mami and Sayaka.

Join me next time for 'The Princess is the Witch!"

*How hard must it be for a girl of that age to see the person most valuable to her and many others as well, die over and over again?


Friday, April 06, 2012

Thanks. *grumbles*

The sort of person who complains about Naughty Tenticles could just stop using tvtropes instead of ruining it for everyone. There are thousands of pages that meet their standards. And I know that eddie has to be in the golden mean and be nice, but on the other hand, the not so prudish aren't trying to destroy the wiki. asses.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

This Week's Madoka

is episode 8. Taking some inspiration from Utena, not just visually anymore, we get to see where witches come from, and it's not pretty. In Utena, Anthy says a woman can either be a princess (innocent, naive, needing to be rescued) or a witch (not innocent, powerful, and considered to be evil). As Sayaka's soul twists under the burden of realizing she is no longer human, that her wish did not result in what she secretly hoped for, and the enormity of her sacrifice, Sayaka grows, not into the responsible adulthood of a traditional magical girl show- protecting the weak, and finding expression of their abilities*, but into the cruel brutal adulthood that is reality for so many people. Note that her transformation into a witch reaches its peak when she is listening to disgusting men who use women and toss them away. That's a reality as well.

Kyubey talks about how magical girls grow into witches, and I wonder if this is why he seems to target only young girls to become magical girls. Perhaps that liminal state between childhood and adulthood is where there is power. Maybe I'll find out in episode 9.

*Notice the Magical Idol Singer subgenre.

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