Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Why Madoka Is So Good (There Will Be Spoilers...Seriously If You At All Plan To Watch This Run)

Okay so as indicated by my last post Madoka Magica made me think about the relationship between magical girl anime and shonen fight anime. The basic beats and internal logic of shonen fight anime and magical girl anime are basically the same except with the masculine and feminine ideals switched in the hero spot.

Massive spoilers ahead.

Most shonen fight anime tends to be idealistic, good guys winning, but  they have a plausible mechanism for this. The hero's moral indignation at the villain provides the motivation to give an epic beat down normally hinting that the hero was holding back until the villain does that one thing that he can not allow and pushes him past his normal limits emotionally and by extension physically. Or to put it simply fighting capability is tied to the emotional state of the hero.

And the same could be said for magical girl anime except that rather than spirit energy or fighting motivation or whatever they work with magic. Emotion particularly righteous anger and idealism forming the battery for their powers.

And here is why Madoka Magica so good. See most magical girl of shows have some sort of cute fuzzy furry familiar.

Shut up was on between Pokemon and  Jackie Chan Adventures. I have the listings to prove it and I was not going to miss Jackie Chan, no, not even cartoon Jackie Chan.

Rumble in the Bronx rocks.

Back to my point rather than reassuring my masculinity. In Madoka Magica the big twist is that the cute familiar is actually evil. Like if I had to make a list of most evil characters in all of anime he'd be right up there with the serial killer Johan, committer of patricide, and symbolic stand in for the antichrist from Monster.

Kyubey as he's called is the mechanism by which everything related to magical girls happens in this show, including the creation of the villians, witches who are very alien. Like lovecraftian alien. Why? Because the emotional energy of little girls can be harnessed to power the universe. Some of you might be thinking that doesn't not seem so bad. They still get to be frilly superheroes for a while and to top it off they get to have a magical wish granted. Yaaaaaay! Then you realize that all of the magical girls he's creating eventually die in battle or... turn into the same nightmarish eldritch abominations they fight due to to their own inevitable despair at the unending battle and futility of idealism.

Emotions are tied to their powers. As long as their happy and bubbly every thing is cool beans but the moment things start going wrong or they realize they're in a faustian horror with no way out shit gets real bad.

And again that thing feeds of emotion so it wants to bring the pain and isn't above subtly hastening the process through emotional manipulation. It wants to build them up so the fall will be all the greater. Sure magic exists and all your dreams will come true. Just shake this poor sinner's paw.

The devil is a damned contracts lawyer.

This show manages to break the mechanism that the entire genre runs on, which by the way is the same mechanism that fighting shonen shows that I love also run on.

Forever more all those grand speeches about brotherhood, honor, justice and peace will sound just a little hollow.

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