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Did some exploring on YouTube and found Puparia. I love It. The atmosphere of this piece is something I can't quite explain. It is enchanting and wonderous but there is a tinge of uneasiness to it. I also linked the making of Puparia in the spoiler tag. This three minute animation took three years to make.

Spoiler

 

Also @majestic I freaked out a little when I say your new profile pic.

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Castlevania S4, episodes 6-10.
 

Spoiler

 

Yes, it got crazy. And surprisingly it had a lot of happy endings, except for Carmilla, Lenore and Death. Even Dracula and Lisa, which was totally fair since I still don't understand why she was sent to hell.

And Lenore was stupid.:facepalm::banghead: After all that talk about vampires living longer, she should just have patiently waited for Isaac to die and then do whatever she wanted. Or convince Hector to leave with her, Isaac would probably allow that.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Cardcaptor Sakura, Episode 22

Good job show, now you've made me sad. :(
 

Spoiler

 

BghGxPk.png

Sakura after she realized that she ruined weeks of her father's work.

Sakura's father is an archaeology professor at the university, and currently preparing material for a presentation of his research. Toya and Sakura are being super helpful about it, because he has barely any time to do the household chores, so they're hard at it. Cooking, cleaning, laundry... Sakura gives her father a bento box with a note in it ("Do your best at work, dad!").

He says he'll be staying over night at the university, on Saturday Sakura and Tomoyo decide to visit him to bring him fresh clothes. They run into some of his assistants, watch a lecture, then give him his stuff while he dozes off in the middle of the conversation. A card named Sleep is putting people to sleep, but they don't know that yet. The two decide to bring him coffee because he's tired, and when they come back realize that's the work of a card.

Everyone excep Sakura is put to sleep, she manages to jump out of the way, then captures the card and accidentially knocks over a pile of books, not only making a mess out of her father's research notes but also trashing his laptop computer.

Kero wakes up and finds her standing in front of the broken notebook. She asks him which card to use to fix it... she has tried every card she has, but nothing works, Kero says there are things that even magic can't fix and she bursts into tears (her Japanese voice actor is doing a really good job in this scene, unlike her english dub counterpart, ugh).

Her father comes back, and she tells him that she wanted to get coffee for him because he was tired and now everything is ruined, and can't stop crying. He's being really nice and supportive, and asks where the coffee is. Next day, Sakura is still feeling guilty, not even eating breakfast (she doesn't eat as much as Usagi does in Sailor Moon, that's Yukito's job, but she never misses any meals either, usually). Fujikata shows up and tells Sakura that there's a way to finish the presentation in time, but he needs an assistant - looks like he still has all his reasearch, it's just the presentation document that's gone. Then there's a short montage of her helping her father, with him writing the presentation on paper instead of on the computer. He works all night while Sakura peacefully dozes off in between (mission accomplished, dad).

Poor Sakura. This is really heartfelt and honest in everything it does, that's probably the reason why I like it so much. :)

 

Also have seen some images from the later made third season. Ugh, please, the original animation is beautiful in its simplicity, the third season looks uninspired and soulless in comparison. I hope that works better on screen than on stills.

Edited by majestic
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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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I also tried The Way of the Househusband. Finished the first "episode" on Netflix, more like the first six mini-stories.

I can corroborate what KP said, it looks bad and takes some getting used to. It's pretty... weird though, and definitely entertaining. The animation - or lack thereof, mostly - is breaking my brain though. It takes an extraordinary amount of contentration for me to read the subs and look at the picture for some reason. Not sure why, but it's extremely stressful in the way every other subtitled anime so far wasn't.

Still, I'm going to finish it. It's not that long. :)

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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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One last post before going to sleep. Mima sings in Cardcaptor Sakura too:

 

The audio is a bit out of sync with the video, but it's the best actual cap from the episode on YT, at last at a quick look.

Mild spoilers:

Spoiler

 

Tomoyo helps "defeat" a card by singing at it. You'd kind of expect the comments under this video to be full of the usual fandumb, but it strangely isn't. The comments are overwhelmingly positive.

Quote

Tomoyo could melt the heart of even the coldest person with her kindness and charms.

                                                                                                         -- Random YT comment

The entire episode was great, Song is at Sakura's school and begins sining at night. Students think it's a ghost, and while Sakura can perform magic and capture cards, she is really afraid of ghosts, and spooky stories. She even panics in class in a hilarious scene, and only agrees to go to school with the others at night after Yukito says he'd love to listen to the voice.

I'm getting the idea here that there's more to Yukito than he's letting on. I mean, aside from clearly being into Toya and eating more than Usagi.

 

 

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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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Posted (edited)

Madoka Magica, Part 1, anime is cancelled, please bear with me:

Spoiler

Tried to tough it out with the English dub for the first half hour, and while it was...kind of nice to hear Sailor Mars as Homura, the English dub overall made me want to slit everyone's throats because of how unbearably awful the dialogue and voice direction was - Madoka herself being the worst offender, who I could not hear even one more line from if I was going to retain my sanity. Had to employ the emergency "switch to Japanese because the English is horrendous" maneuver; Madoka Magica is the third to earn this distinction. Not that I care for the Japanese either, but the show is made a little more comfortable by staying focused on reading the dialogue.

...Which brings me to my next point. I've only seen the first part, but watching Madoka Magica was exactly the worst-case scenario that I feared yet expected it to be long before ever watching it, which is that it's actually trying to do something interesting that I want to see play out (which is presumably why it's renowned)...but PLEASE, for the love of all that is holy, do it in literally any style over the style it's currently presenting itself as. And I don't mean art style - although that's a part of it, it's small in comparison to the issues of dialogue, character mannerisms and traits, general presentation, tropes, all that jazz. Even though it's doing some things completely counter to the genre and the style typical of shows in said genre, it still has almost all of its unfortunate trappings that are making me grind my teeth in frustration while watching it.

Why does every character act like they're so...unbearably low-functioning autistic in that special sort of way that only modern anime can make characters act? Watching something like this makes *me* feel like an alien - I'm desperately trying to align myself with a character that is in any way likable or understandable, but almost literally nobody is able to emote or talk or behave in any manner even kind of approaching human. ...I said "almost literally nobody", because the last third or so of the film finally introduced a new character...whose name I did not catch, it was the crazy ultra-anime pink-haired girl that tried to fight Sakaya a couple of times, that I could at least give some amount of sympathies to, since her behavior and line of thinking at least made sense (some tsundere traits aside)...especially augmented by the show taking the time to explain her perspective in a sensible yet concise manner. That creepy anime girl is currently my single lifeline to this show.

The alternative art styles are neat and mostly effective - they don't always seem to quite work together with the normal character art style, but that's fine. It's unfortunately really difficult to be invested in the plot when I'm struggling with all of the characters so terribly. The person I'm watching it with didn't much like it either for many of the same reasons, but they did say they wanted to see the rest since it's so short - if it was just me, I do not believe I would watch the rest; fitting that I dragged them into watching it with me and now they will be dragging me over the finish line. One additional problem while watching is because neither of us like it very much, our minds are wandering and we're constantly bouncing ideas and predictions off of each other and not really paying as much attention as we should, which is only making things worse (especially having switched to Japanese which makes it super easy to miss stuff). Mercifully, perhaps because of the addition of whatsherface, the last third of the movie was better than the first two thirds and is probably the only reason we'll continue with the second part.

In the future, I believe I/we will be sticking almost entirely to pre-2000s stuff with only rare exception...it's just better that way.

 

Edited by Bartimaeus
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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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I remember I once posted pictures of Madoka as a reference between "then and now" anime styles compared to Sailor Moon - not only in terms of art presentation but also expressions. Interesting how far visuals can go alone. Have stuff to do so can't entirely reply yet - so I will make this short. It's in a spoiler, it concerns the next part, i.e. Eternal, and given your reaction to this, it would be somewhat unfair not to mention it.

Still, it's a massive spoiler, so feel free to disregard it.
 

Spoiler


1 hour ago, Bartimaeus said:

Mercifully, perhaps because of the addition of whatsherface, the last third of the movie was better than the first two thirds and is probably the only reason we'll continue with the second part.

Kyoko isn't going to be around much longer. She gets an idea into her head that gives her hope again, and that's it for her. If Kyoko is the only reason for both of you to continue, that will go away rather soon into the second film.

 

 

Also (not a spoiler, so feel free):

Spoiler

I am really terribly sorry to have subjected you to this, and will go cry in a corner now. :(

 

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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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Posted (edited)

And now for the obligatory more in-depth reply:

Spoiler

  

 

14 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Tried to tough it out with the English dub for the first half hour, and while it was...kind of nice to hear Sailor Mars as Homura, the English dub overall made me want to slit everyone's throats because of how unbearably awful the dialogue and voice direction was - Madoka herself being the worst offender, who I could not hear even one more line from if I was going to retain my sanity. Had to employ the emergency "switch to Japanese because the English is horrendous" maneuver; Madoka Magica is the third to earn this distinction. Not that I care for the Japanese either, but the show is made a little more comfortable by staying focused on reading the dialogue.

I watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica twice now. Parts of it several more times, in both the original and the English dub, some parts in German. Fun fact, I badgered a friend into watching it, and he said that Madoka is too much of a Shinji for him, and he also has issues watching the labyrinth sequences. He does have a history with recreational drug use (did not turn into any lasting addictions) and once had one of the feared bad LSD trips. 

Regarding the English dub, I didn't find that so bad - Madoka's voice is grating at times, but that she is in the original too. On the other hand, I am not used to hearing regular English speech patterns. I do communicate a lot in English both in written and spoken language, especially at work, but this is 99% limited to non-natives, and I'm happy at best when they a) understand me at all and b) can express themselves in a meaningful way without me having to analyze what they could mean by puzzling around and factoring in their native language expressions. Which works a lot better for languages I am familiar with, of course. 

The absolute worst experience I ever had was an application integration specialist from India who lived in France and spoke English with an utterly unintelligible French/Indian accent. That was more baffling than listening to Australians, and we already know they don't speak real English. :p

When it comes to Japanese dialogue in anime, there are different factors at play. The largest of which is that for anime, writers do not use regular talking Japanese to write dialogues - mostly (i.e. like I mentioned, Miyazaki often makes it a point to have amateurs speak and writes accordingly for them). Japanese has a written form that is really alien to speak with. That is why, for Japanese natives, it is hilarious and totally obvious when a Westerner comes along and talks Japanese learned from anime. Imagine someone who learned English from watching Shakespear plays.

It really does have a stilted quality to it. That's by design - in a way the voice acting in anime is closer to theatre than it is to regular TV (at least that's my best guess when watching Japanese people speak normally and comparing it to anime voice acting, but that might be a wrong impression - Japanese theatre might be totally different for all I know, I've never seen a Japanese play), which makes it all the more jarring for us when first encountered. At least it was like that for me, nowadays I can watch JoJo's Bizarre Adventure with subtitles and no longer bat an eyelash, but boy oh boy, especially the parts where the narrator is talking over a scene are incredibly over the top.

In a way that is somewhat similar to the way German novels are written (or dialogue in stage plays). Every now and then I watch videos on YouTube about languages, and I found one where a nice Canadian woman talks about what she would have liked to know about German before learning the language. She learned German entirely by ear at first, talking to natives after moving to Germany. There's an issue with this as she's learned.

Written German is nothing like spoken German, and when at work you're supposed to write proper written German. This is doubly bad in the case of writing letters, which e-mails are a form of, beause you're supposed to use every tense available in just exactly the way they were meant to be used (i.e. simple past tense to refer to the past with no relevance to the present, past tense for topics that are still relevant now, past perfect to refer to events that transpired prior to past events, and even a separate future tense that indicates that a certain activity will be finished by a future time).

Since this is German, each and every one has wonderful conjugations. It's impossible to learn the rules when talking to people, because spoken german is almost completely devoid of simple past tense, for instance (never mind the weird future tense). Nobody talks like that precisely because it sounds stilted, is hard to do and at times really imprecise. I already also talked about how the progressive form of verbs is almost never used because it's weird, it's like this.

Novels and reports, on the other hand, change tenses. Everything you would normally write in the present tense becomes the simple past tense, and the regular past tense is replaced by the past perfect. She called that learning a "completely different language to read the newspaper!" which isn't entirely correct, but totally confusing for people at first. 

To give you a fun example of just how weird that can get when you never see it (the example is a fun one, because it's a strongly conjugated verb, i.e. something with a vowel change in between tenses).

Let's take essen, which is the German word for to eat.



							
							
			present tense	simple past		past tense		past perfect			future I		future II

			REALIS MOOD

First person singular	ich esse	ich aß			ich habe gegessen	ich hatte gegessen		ich werde essen		ich werde gegessen haben
Second person singluar	du isst		du aßest		du hast gegessen	du hattest gegessen		du wirst essen		du wirst gegessen haben
Third person singlular	er/sie/es isst	er/sie/es aß		er/sie/es hat gegessen	er/sie/es hatte gegessen	er/sie/es wird essen	er/sie/es wird gegessen haben
First person plural	wir essen	wir aßen		wir haben gegessen	wir hatten gegessen		wir werden essen	wir werden gegessen haben
Second person plural	ihr esst	ihr aßt			ihr habt gegessen	ihr hattet gegessen		ihr werdet essen	ihr werdet gegessen haben
Third person plural	sie essen	sie aßen		sie haben gegessen	sie hatten gegessen		sie werden essen	sie werden gegessen haben
							
			SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD I				
							
First person singular	ich esse				ich habe gegessen					ich werde essen	
Second person singluar	du essest				du habest gegessen					du werdest essen	
Third person singlular	er/sie/es esse				er habe gegessen					er/sie/es werde essen	
First person plural	wir essen				wir haben gegessen					wir werden essen	
Second person plural	ihr esset				ihr habet gegessen					ihr werdet essen	
Third person plural	sie essen				sie haben gegessen					sie werden essen	
							
			SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD II				
							
First person singular			ich äße						ich hätte gegessen		ich würde essen		ich würde gegessen haben
Second person singluar			du äßest					du hättest gegessen		du würdest essen	du würdest gegessen haben
Third person singlular			er/sie/es äße					er/sie/es hätte gegessen	er/sie/es würde essen	er/sie/es würde gegessen haben
First person plural			wir äßen					wir hätten gegessen		wir würden essen	wir würden gegessen haben
Second person plural			ihr äßet					ihr hättet gegessen		ihr würdet essen	ihr würdet gegessen haben
Third person plural			sie äßen					sie hätten gegessen		sie würden essen	sie würden gegessen haben

And that's leaving out participles (adverbs), the imperative mood, and a few other fun things. However, if you look at the simple past column you can probably guess why it's not used in regular speech. Like, at all.

Boy am I going on a tangent, all I meant to say was that the English dub didn't bother me too much. The dialogue of the dub, far as I can tell, was rewritten heavily compared to the subtitles of the original, mostly to make things a lot clearer (Kyubey's parts in particular, but also the ending). I'm also not sure if the meta dialogue about anime characters between Madoka, Hitomi and Sayaka was like that in the subtitled version. I don't think so.

Guess that's all I got for this point. In the context of dubs, this one I found ok. The voice acting isn't bad, and I'm a bad judge for voice direction. :)

14 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

...Which brings me to my next point. I've only seen the first part, but watching Madoka Magica was exactly the worst-case scenario that I feared yet expected it to be long before ever watching it, which is that it's actually trying to do something interesting that I want to see play out (which is presumably why it's renowned)...but PLEASE, for the love of all that is holy, do it in literally any style over the style it's currently presenting itself as. And I don't mean art style - although that's a part of it, it's small in comparison to the issues of dialogue, character mannerisms and traits, general presentation, tropes, all that jazz. Even though it's doing some things completely counter to the genre and the style typical of shows in said genre, it still has almost all of its unfortunate trappings that are making me grind my teeth in frustration while watching it.

It's very modern anime, isn't it? It even color codes the girls for your convenience (particularily the mix of red and blue for Kyoko and Sayaka, even thought Sayaka and Madoka start out reversed to each other, but progress towards their color spectrum over the course of the first movie). It's perfect in what it does precisely because it plays all the tropes seemingly straight and in a subversive form at the same time.

The girls are each archetypes, and they're also philosophical and ethical concepts given form.

One of the things is, though, the length of the franchise. That sort of seemingly extreme reduction to singular outlooks and traits of each of the characters is, I think, directly related to the short runtime, but it is not only that. This is very much a thematic choice, and exacerbated by both the soundtrack and the visuals.

14 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Why does every character act like they're so...unbearably low-functioning autistic in that special sort of way that only modern anime can make characters act? Watching something like this makes *me* feel like an alien - I'm desperately trying to align myself with a character that is in any way likable or understandable, but almost literally nobody is able to emote or talk or behave in any manner even kind of approaching human. ...I said "almost literally nobody", because the last third or so of the film finally introduced a new character...whose name I did not catch, it was the crazy ultra-anime pink-haired girl that tried to fight Sakaya a couple of times, that I could at least give some amount of sympathies to, since her behavior and line of thinking at least made sense (some tsundere traits aside)...especially augmented by the show taking the time to explain her perspective in a sensible yet concise manner. That creepy anime girl is currently my single lifeline to this show.

I noticed a lot of people not liking Sayaka because "she dumb" and therefore her entire character arc crumbles. If one doesn't care at all - which is perfectly fine in itself (and she says it herself, she was stupid, so the other group has... a point, really) - then you also feel nothing when Kyubey tortures her. I hated him for it. That's part of what made this so great for me: Kyubey is torturing Sayaka to make a point that's actually perfectly logical.

I had no problems identifying myself with certain characters in the anime. Sayaka's outlook on life is really a lot like I would be in real life in this sort of situation - including doing the "right" thing and expecting gratitude and appreciation in return for something someone else doesn't even know she had done.

Homura on the other hand is pretty much what I would be if I wrote self-insertion fan fiction, i.e. everything I'd enjoy being but am not. Dark, mysterious and charismatic (that one's up for debate, but anyway, I guess it's clear what I mean, I hope), but ultimately deeply flawed. Which is why a lot of people watching this seem to have attached themselves to her and were disappointed by Rebellion. She's a regular power fantasy until she isn't any more.

Mami and her loneliness that she overplays I can relate to as well, even if not with her coping mechanism. Kyoko and Madoka less so, but that's me (now take a guess why Asuka and Kyoko both have red hair).

However, this combines the more modern anime character approach with its thematic exploration, and that's perhaps the root of the issues here for you. The reason why all these characters are behaving like that is because they're isolated, and that's why Madoka is also the only one who gets scenes with family members. Everything about the characters comes down to this. Well, the main characters, at least. Hitomi is just there to hasten up Sayaka's demise and to establish that she's envious of her popularity and that her asking Kyosuke out would be a worst case scenario for the poor girl. Which, of course, happens.

Madoka is the only one who has a normal, regular life, in a way, and she's unhappy with not being special (dear Madoka, enjoy being normal, please), yet she is constantly drawn into suffering on the behalf of others. Mami unloads her feelings of loneliness on her, Sayaka her despair (in more than one way, by making her worry the hell out of her and then berate her for being passive), Homura, oh boy, and Kyoko does something in the next movie.

The visual direction and the music of the anime enhances this feeling. The extreme close ups, the wide shots, the way they walk through the world with nary anyone else present or interacting with them. The world itself feeling completely sterile compared to the characters - that's what I meant with the visual composition being great. It adds to this wonderful (eh, debatable) feeling of discomfort this exudes, right from the start, everything feels wrong, and it stays that way, up until everything is resolved.

The characters weren't made to make you feel like an alien, but they were made to express how alien you would be if you actually were a magical girl. They are a reduction to their respective archetypes, or, a distilled version of the archetypes if you want.

I'm not saying it's your fault for not liking it, on the contrary, it's... understandable. Look at me being the hack fraud here, I actually thought the subversive elements attached to the regular anime archetypes would keep you entertained enough to push through it. Turns out I was wrong. 😮

14 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

The alternative art styles are neat and mostly effective - they don't always seem to quite work together with the normal character art style, but that's fine. It's unfortunately really difficult to be invested in the plot when I'm struggling with all of the characters so terribly. The person I'm watching it with didn't much like it either for many of the same reasons, but they did say they wanted to see the rest since it's so short - if it was just me, I do not believe I would watch the rest; fitting that I dragged them into watching it with me and now they will be dragging me over the finish line. One additional problem while watching is because neither of us like it very much, our minds are wandering and we're constantly bouncing ideas and predictions off of each other and not really paying as much attention as we should, which is only making things worse (especially having switched to Japanese which makes it super easy to miss stuff). Mercifully, perhaps because of the addition of whatsherface, the last third of the movie was better than the first two thirds and is probably the only reason we'll continue with the second part.

Everything in this, I think, was intentional, including the disconnect between the witch labyrinths, the character art style and the design of Mitakihara City. I also don't think I was invested much in the plot the first time watching this, it was more like feeling a sense of despair, loneliness and melancholy that I simply rode down to the finish line, where it resolves itself and goes away - unlike in the sequel movie, that does exactly the opposite.

It's not also just the inclusion of Kyoko that changes the dynamics of the final third of the film, there's a distinct difference between the first three episodes and the ones that follow, and the second movie is again somewhat different in what it does. It's not magically going to turn into something you like, though. Hahahaha, get it, magically turning into something you'd like? What fun... boy am I on a roll today.

 

Edited by majestic
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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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7 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Madoka Magica, Part 1, anime is cancelled, please bear with me

Bartimaeus is a big fat meanie. A big fat meanie zucchini. Let's chop it up, chop-chop it up. And serve it with linguine. AL DENTE. AL DENTE. AL DENTE. AL DENTE.

@majestic I guess you've gotten out of the contract market.

Really though Madoka is very good as a subversion of magical girl anime, of which Sailor Moon is the best example of. Which makes it a nice refresh to have after 200 episodes of SM. The way the faces are animated is a little weird to me, so was Sailor Moon tbh, but I think it works as a contrast between the general cute portrayl of magical girls and the brutal reality of having to fight monsters all the time.

I really like Sayaka tbh. She's actually one of the best subversions of a classic trope found in most anime team shows, that of the weak link. She's not the pretty/popular one of her group of friends, she's not the powerful one, and there's nothing to show she's particularly skilled otherwise. She's the eternal secondary, never going to be the star of anything she's involved in and is always relegated to the sidelines. Pretty much all moments leading up to her breakdown she has been told and shown she's lesser than the other main characters in one way or another and her response to it is tragic but just makes sense. In hindsight it is one of the better parts of Madoka imo.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

@majestic I guess you've gotten out of the contract market.

Yeah, that's just not me. I found that interacting with 8th grade girls is much more stressfull than simply watching them from afar. :yes:

Besides, it was weird, being creeped out by that unblinking gaze all the time. I'm also not really good at dealing with change, and that... worked better in my mind than it did in practice. So yeah.

6 hours ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

 

 

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I really like Sayaka tbh. She's actually one of the best subversions of a classic trope found in most anime team shows, that of the weak link. She's not the pretty/popular one of her group of friends, she's not the powerful one, and there's nothing to show she's particularly skilled otherwise. She's the eternal secondary, never going to be the star of anything she's involved in and is always relegated to the sidelines. Pretty much all moments leading up to her breakdown she has been told and shown she's lesser than the other main characters in one way or another and her response to it is tragic but just makes sense. In hindsight it is one of the better parts of Madoka imo.

 

Spoiler

  

 

I've said that before, it but bears repeating, Sayaka's character progression in Madoka is one of my favorites now, especially after a rewatch. From the way she is introduced, where she tells Hitomi that she once woud like to have her problems with love letters, to the way she plays with Madoka because she has new hair ribbons and doesn't want her to become more popular with the boys than she is - which doesn't seem to be very much.

How she spends a lot of time in Kyosuke's friendzone and how she ends up making a contract, being a complete and utter idealist, in a way that immediately ends up hurting herself. Because no, nobody will show you any gratitude if they don't know anything about it. Hitomi can't know what you did, neither does Kyosuke, and even then their feelings would likely not change. It was an impulsive decision brought on by a fit of - understandable - anger by her friend, and Kyubey jumped at the chance to make a contract with her.

Worse, even, because it was never really about her. She's just the proverbial fifth wheel, the one he needs to get to in order to prepare for the real goal: Getting Madoka. The final scene before her transformation is the most telling, where she does or doesn't kill the dillweeds on the train. Given her predisposition at the time, I'm leaning towards them missing a few limbs - if not a head and a half, perhaps. It's how she sees herself, as the loving girl that does everything for the people she cares about while they trash talk about her when she's not around, or worse, don't actively help her and steal her (potential) boyfriends. Her friends and loved ones don't do that (not even Hitomi, who is respectful enough in an unbelievably mature manner for a 14 year old), but that's what her warped perception tells her.

Even in making a contract with Kyubey, she really is just the secondary that's there. It culminates in her attacking Madoka over her never fighting, just before she well and truly snaps. Madoka, who up until this point has been nothing but her emotional anchor. Althoug to be fair, to get to Madoka, for Kyubey everyone is a secondary. At that point we don't really know that yet. Madoka, who she thinks is a friend she doesn't deserve because she thought about that it would have been better to let Hitomi die.

Who would not have that thought for a second in this situation? Having a moment of weakness does not make you bad person, Sayaka, but she immediately compares herself to this idealized version of Mami that she has in her mind because she never truly saw the Mami underneath her artificial "senpai" exterior (unlike Madoka, who got to see it for a brief moment before she died).

Kyoko and Homura are both right of course, Sayaka was never cut out for this. Not because idealism is bad per se, but untempered idealism to the point of self-sacrifice is. It's harmful to yourself, and there's never any true gratitude. You can do that, if that's what you want, but you really need to understand what you're getting into. Sayaka didn't. She truly was an idiot, and she paid dearly for it.

Speaking of the subversion of the weak link character - how tragic is that, really, even when she becomes a magical girl and is arguably at that point more powerful than Madoka who is just a regular girl, that she's still playing second fiddle to her, and in the end, she relies more on Madoka than Madoka on her? Even when risking her life, Sayaka can't step out of the shadows of others.

Spoilers for second film:

Spoiler

 

It's made so much worse by her dragging Kyoko down with her with her idealism after she makes Kyoko realize that there was a reason beyond selfishness that made her become a magical girl in the first place. That's why she tells Homura to protect the one thing that matters the most to her, and how it's funny that she thought she was doing just that all along (i.e. herself). Sayaka is the first person Kyoko cared for in what seems like a long time - with no timeframe given, there's no telling how long she has been a magical girl (or any indication at all that they continue to grow, or age, or anything, really).

Cared enough to die trying to save her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by majestic
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@majestic

Do not feel bad; I know that it is doing some interesting things that make it different, but modern anime is just...like I said, it's way more than just the art style, the way characters talk and behave that is mystifying and beyond frustrating to me. I wish I could jive with it, I wish I could get over it and just to try enjoy it for what it is, but it utterly breaks my brain. There's a reason I have repeatedly said that I still just am not an anime person - some very high quality anime films that I've watched as well as Sailor Moon are exceptions, yet that's exactly what they are: exceptions.

5 hours ago, majestic said:

It realls does have a stilted quality to it. That's by design - in away the voice acting in anime is closer to theatre than it is to regular TV (at least that's my best guess when watching Japanese people speak normally and comparing it to anime voice acting, but that might be a wrong impression - Japanese theatre might be totally different for all I know, I've never seen a play), which makes it all the jarring for us when first encountered. At least it was like that for me, nowadays I can watch JoJo's Bizarre Adventure with subtitles and no longer bat an eyelash, but boy oh boy, especially the parts where the narrator is talking over a scene are incredibly over the top).

That makes a lot sense, actually...and so is it any surprise that trying to listen to or watch most any kind of theatre almost invariably makes me put my hands up to my ears so I cannot hear it? :p That unnecessarily expressive, unnecessarily over-the-top, completely stilted quality to everything inflicts literal physical distress on me. And I really mean that - if there was a video feed of me watching the first half hour of this before switching to Japanese, you would see what I mean as I switched between groaning, covering up my face, covering my ears, looking away, clenching my fists, shuddering, etc. Extreme reactions for just some stilted dialogue or bad voice direction, but that's what happens to me because I'm unable to handle it! Suffice to say, I won't be watching anime as one of my main forms of entertainment any time soon, :p.

5 hours ago, majestic said:

I noticed a lot of people not liking Sayaka because "she dumb" and therefore her entire character arc crumbles. If one doesn't care at all - which is perfectly fine in itself (and she says it herself, she was stupid, so the other group has... a point, really) - then you also feel nothing when Kyubey tortures her. I hated him for it. That's part of what made this so great for me: Kyubey is torturing Sayaka to make a point that's actually perfectly logical.

It should be noted that I do not really hate Sayaka (or anyone else) for her character in of itself - teenage girls are gonna teenage girl, and that can be perfectly fine. Their actual characters are all secondary to the pain being inflicted simply due to stylistic problems in how they're being presented in the show, which is why I don't want to be unnecessarily harsh on the plot or characters themselves. The show is simply and very obviously not for me, which is probably why I shouldn't be watching it as per my prediction before I started it, :(. Well, hopefully the second part will be better: we'll be watching it tonight. Wish me luck!

Edited by Bartimaeus
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44 minutes ago, majestic said:

I found that interacting with 8th grade girls is much more stressfull than simply watching them from afar

Okay Pegasus.

 

I agree with what you've said about Sayaka and Kyubey. Thinking of it, off hand the only anime/manga villain who I think comes close to their level of vileness (discounting edge lords) has to be Griffith* from Berserk (particularly the manga, because the 90s anime stops short and the rest looks awful). Everything Kyubey does is manipulative and awful, there's nothing really redeeming in those creatures. You really have to despise the little ****ers, even if their actions do make sense in context. Kind of like the evil of the machine/system/the world itself, and Kyubey is just the stand in for it.

Comparatively, villains like the Professor and DIO are different. They certainly (try to) do awful things and can be ****ing evil, but they're remembered more for being fun than manipulation. Because let's face it, the **** they do is just hilarious and fun to watch. I mean, in the years to come I'll probably remember moments like the Professor's various lab hijinks or Dio's head in a jar more than I will specifics of Kyubey manipulating teenage girls into their contracts, but I'll always remember what a piece of **** Kyubey is more. I dunno if that makes sense.

*Griffith may very well be worse than Kyubey, and if you're going to check out Berserk I'd just read the manga.

Edited by KP the meanie zucchini
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22 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

@majestic

Do not feel bad; I know that it is doing some interesting things that make it different, but modern anime is just...like I said, it's way more than just the art style, the way characters talk and behave that is mystifying and beyond frustrating to me. I wish I could jive with it, I wish I could get over it and just to try enjoy it for what it is, but it utterly breaks my brain. There's a reason I have repeatedly said that I still just am not an anime person - some very high quality anime films that I've watched as well as Sailor Moon are exceptions, yet that's exactly what they are: exceptions.

That makes a lot sense, actually...and so is it any surprise that trying to listen to or watch most any kind of theatre almost invariably makes me put my hands up to my ears so I cannot hear it? :p That unnecessarily expressive, unnecessarily over-the-top, completely stilted quality to everything inflicts literal physical distress on me. And I really mean that - if there was a video feed of me watching the first half hour of this before switching to Japanese, you would see what I mean as I switched between groaning, covering up my face, covering my ears, looking away, clenching my fists, shuddering, etc. Extreme reactions for just some stilted dialogue or bad voice direction, but that's what happens to me because I'm unable to handle it! Suffice to say, I won't be watching anime as one of my main forms of entertainment any time soon, :p.

It should be noted that I do not really hate Sayaka (or anyone else) for her character in of itself - teenage girls are gonna teenage girl, and that can be perfectly fine. Their actual characters are all secondary to the pain being inflicted simply due to stylistic problems in how they're being presented in the show, which is why I don't want to be unnecessarily harsh on the plot or characters themselves. The show is simply and very obviously not for me, which is probably why I shouldn't be watching it as per my prediction before I started it, :(. Well, hopefully the second part will be better: we'll be watching it tonight. Wish me luck!

So first of all, this forum software is atrocious on mobile when using spoilers.

Secondly good luck.

Thirdly, you may want to check out Devilman Crybaby. It's very different than Madoka stylistically and it's only 10 episodes so if you hate it then it will go by quick. It has a lot of sex in it though, especially the first episode.

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2 hours ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

It has a lot of sex in it though, especially the first episode.

No kidding, after the first episode I wondered if I had accidentially stumbled into a tentacle porn anime that someone accidentially rated FSK 16 (our version of R-rated, sort of).

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12 minutes ago, majestic said:

No kidding, after the first episode I wondered if I had accidentially stumbled into a tentacle porn anime that someone accidentially rated FSK 16 (our version of R-rated, sort of).

After seeing the Overfiend, I wouldn't go that far. But it does fit what the show is and works well with that imo.

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2 hours ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

 

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I agree with what you've said about Sayaka and Kyubey. Thinking of it, off hand the only anime/manga villain who I think comes close to their level of vileness (discounting edge lords) has to be Griffith* from Berserk (particularly the manga, because the 90s anime stops short and the rest looks awful). Everything Kyubey does is manipulative and awful, there's nothing really redeeming in those creatures. You really have to despise the little ****ers, even if their actions do make sense in context. Kind of like the evil of the machine/system/the world itself, and Kyubey is just the stand in for it.

Comparatively, villains like the Professor and DIO are different. They certainly (try to) do awful things and can be ****ing evil, but they're remembered more for being fun than manipulation. Because let's face it, the **** they do is just hilarious and fun to watch. I mean, in the years to come I'll probably remember moments like the Professor's various lab hijinks or Dio's head in a jar more than I will specifics of Kyubey manipulating teenage girls into their contracts, but I'll always remember what a piece of **** Kyubey is more. I dunno if that makes sense.

*Griffith may very well be worse than Kyubey, and if you're going to check out Berserk I'd just read the manga.

Spoiler

The manipulation is what really make Kybey that vile disgusting. When Sayaka was traumatized over the fact that her body was basically a corpse and wonder why Kyubey didn't tell her about that, Kyubey replied with "you didn't ask about it". 

Aside from Griffith I think that another antagonist that has that same level of vileness is from the manga Chainsaw Man. Many of the villains in that series are brutal and are very ambitious in their goals but there is one in the series that standouts as being the most conniving and manipulative piece of **** I've ever seen.

 

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5 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

@majestic

Do not feel bad; I know that it is doing some interesting things that make it different, but modern anime is just...like I said, it's way more than just the art style, the way characters talk and behave that is mystifying and beyond frustrating to me. I wish I could jive with it, I wish I could get over it and just to try enjoy it for what it is, but it utterly breaks my brain. There's a reason I have repeatedly said that I still just am not an anime person - some very high quality anime films that I've watched as well as Sailor Moon are exceptions, yet that's exactly what they are: exceptions.

I understand what you mean. It's similar for me with music. There's a reason I'm so hyper focused on vocalists. Most people I know think the vocalist is merely one of the instruments, and when they're not good, just as long as they're not downright awful, it's all right. It's not for me. I for the life of me can't listen to most hip hop, for instance. I have no problems listening to silly Eurodance numbers with rap vocal parts, because they are usually done by people who at least can sing passingly, but to some of the stuff that was really popular in the mid 90ies, dear god, please stop it, please, stop.

The absolute epitome of all that I hate about this was Busta Rhymes' Woo-haa!!. This... creation has the distinction of giving me a headache. I'm not even exaggerating here. The Fugees are another group that are really good at doing this (Lauryn Hill being the sole exception, but that's just one of them...).

Someone on the old Interplay forums once accused me of being racist because I said I don't like hip hop. Man, really, I hate white rappers just as much (oh, by the way, anyone who is reading this, please... don't tell me that there's a difference between rap and hip hop, I know that, and I really don't care, the end result is rhythmic speaking that breaks my brain, thank you very much), if not more so - and don't get me started on German rap and its myriad offshoots that have the crudest, most ridiculous lyrics you could find.

Luckily I don't have reactions like that to other entertainment. I mean, as long as its not an Adam Sandler level "comedy" or animation that lacks any... any sort of artistry. Yes, looking at you South Park, or stuff like Phineas and Ferb.

Or German TV or films. Come to think of it, I hate those for similar reasons you dislike most anime. The (stilted) dialogue, the direction style and editing that is typical for German film, the camera hardware used to film and the character tropes employed. Everything made in Germany looks and feels to god damned German. For me to enjoy any of them, they need to be really good. Insofar, I... understand your position, even if I can't relate to it when it comes to anime. :)

Apology:

Spoiler

Still won't stop me from feeling bad to have wasted your time and brainspace by shilling something that looked interesting enough to try but fell utterly flat. Never mind that IC and KP did the same, I started this! *cough*

0d5b1c76faeea0ba22b6939972224201_w200.gi

So, in the spirit of the thread:

Makoto ni moushiwake gozaimasen desh!ta. (seriously forum software, really?)

(Super formal Japanese apology you'll be hard pressed to hear in real life, it's one level below falling on your sword, and I'm guessing a normal gomen-nasai would suffice, Sakura would half-mumble gomen-ne because she's a girl... :)).

That would be something fun to ask an actual Japanese person - what they'd use to apologize to people on internet forums. Gomen is informal and friendly (as are the male and female variants gomen-na and gomen-ne), gomen-nasai is more formal but for casual situations and gomen-kudasai is proper for an apology at work that doesn't require a more formal apology.

Would you be offeneded by a gomen-na?

 

5 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

That makes a lot sense, actually...and so is it any surprise that trying to listen to or watch most any kind of theatre almost invariably makes me put my hands up to my ears so I cannot hear it? :p That unnecessarily expressive, unnecessarily over-the-top, completely stilted quality to everything inflicts literal physical distress on me. And I really mean that - if there was a video feed of me watching the first half hour of this before switching to Japanese, you would see what I mean as I switched between groaning, covering up my face, covering my ears, looking away, clenching my fists, shuddering, etc. Extreme reactions for just some stilted dialogue or bad voice direction, but that's what happens to me because I'm unable to handle it! Suffice to say, I won't be watching anime as one of my main forms of entertainment any time soon, :p.

I'll let you in on a secret: I don't like stage plays either. I mean I read a lot of them because they're part of our curriculum and I, at some point, cared for being able to pass myself off as "cultured" and for that you need to be at least passingly familiar with the classics, and there's not much difference between having read them and having seen them - familiarity is the key, the finer points of who is a better stage actor or some such might be debated, but not that often... so for emulation purposes, reading the silly things is enough. 

There's a certain irony in that, insofar as I think being familiar with Faust made Madoka less enjoyable. Not that it isn't immediately noticable with the atmosphere of the show/films, but there's literally the writing on the wall at the very beginning that comes directly from Faust.

I also mentioned a while back that spoken Standard German was modelled after the language spoken by travelling theatre troupes, so it sort of makes sense that I dislike German film.

Although I don't have such extremely adverse reactions to it. That's really only for terrible vocalists. :)

Since foreign languages seem to break that problem in both our cases (in a milder form for you than English does for me, it seems, but still) how about you just learn German and enjoy German dubs from now on. That doesn't seem at all like a lot of work for very little gain (as a bonus, German voice acting is much less theatery than film). :no:

5 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

It should be noted that I do not really hate Sayaka (or anyone else) for her character in of itself - teenage girls are gonna teenage girl, and that can be perfectly fine. Their actual characters are all secondary to the pain being inflicted simply due to stylistic problems in how they're being presented in the show, which is why I don't want to be unnecessarily harsh on the plot or characters themselves. The show is simply and very obviously not for me, which is probably why I shouldn't be watching it as per my prediction before I started it, :(. Well, hopefully the second part will be better: we'll be watching it tonight. Wish me luck!

Ganbatte! (how perfectly Japanese is that to wish someone good luck by saying do your best?)

I wasn't implying that you hated Sayaka in particular, but the first film is arguably all about her, even more so than it is about Madoka or Homura.

Spoiler

I also identified enough with her where I felt totally disgusted when Kyubey tortured her with her soul gem, and it was really painful to watch her have her breakdown while talking to Madoka. I'm not sure that I would go so far as to call myself a walking corpse in her situation, but it's understandable. Her whole world comes crashing down on her. :(

But who knows, maybe the Speed Racer effect will hit you with the second movie. It doubles down hard on the imagery, relies more on stylistic elements and mood and a bit less on character interactions. Maybe it'll cause a buffer overflow and you'll just start laughing - or enjoying it. I wouldn't bet anything on it however. :p

5 hours ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

Okay Pegasus.

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I agree with what you've said about Sayaka and Kyubey. Thinking of it, off hand the only anime/manga villain who I think comes close to their level of vileness (discounting edge lords) has to be Griffith* from Berserk (particularly the manga, because the 90s anime stops short and the rest looks awful). Everything Kyubey does is manipulative and awful, there's nothing really redeeming in those creatures. You really have to despise the little ****ers, even if their actions do make sense in context. Kind of like the evil of the machine/system/the world itself, and Kyubey is just the stand in for it.

Comparatively, villains like the Professor and DIO are different. They certainly (try to) do awful things and can be ****ing evil, but they're remembered more for being fun than manipulation. Because let's face it, the **** they do is just hilarious and fun to watch. I mean, in the years to come I'll probably remember moments like the Professor's various lab hijinks or Dio's head in a jar more than I will specifics of Kyubey manipulating teenage girls into their contracts, but I'll always remember what a piece of **** Kyubey is more. I dunno if that makes sense.

*Griffith may very well be worse than Kyubey, and if you're going to check out Berserk I'd just read the manga.

Now that's just mean. Pegasus has expressed no interest in the actual 8th graders on the show. He only likes elementary school girls.
 

Spoiler

 

I might check out Berserk, but didn't you say the manga is stuck in some sort of development hell and there's like one issue per decade? Or does that not matter at all?

The Professor and DIO are far more entertaining (actually, all of them were more entertaining - Esidisi , Wamuu and of course Kars too) than Kyubey, but I have a thing for the cold, conniving and calculating type of villains. Like Practical in Planescape: Torment.

Kyubey's favorite sport sure isn't stepping on a chair. :p

 

 

2 hours ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

After seeing the Overfiend, I wouldn't go that far. But it does fit what the show is and works well with that imo.

You're right, that was hyperbole, I was just surprised at the level of, let's say detail, this went into considering it's rating. I liked the anime up until its ending, but that we already talked about a while back. 

Edited by majestic
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16 minutes ago, majestic said:

I might check out Berserk, but didn't you say the manga is stuck in some sort of development hell and there's like one issue per decade? Or does that not matter at all?

Berserk is older than me and there are a lot of chapters, but yeah we're lucky to see three chapters a year these days. Apparently it's closer to finished than not, but unless Miura breaks the slow pace that has been going on for 15 years now we're probably going to be waiting a very long time if it gets finished at all.

23 minutes ago, majestic said:

You're right, that was hyperbole, I was just surprised at the level of, let's say detail, this went into considering it's rating. I liked the anime up until its ending, but that we already talked about a while back. 

In some ways it's tamer than later manga iterations, but it is graphic to go into blind. It really does work though.

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Posted (edited)

Madoka Magica, Part 2, anime is not simply cancelled, but it never existed to begin with:

Spoiler

It's Groundhog Day: The Anime.

Now that I said the only nice thing I could possibly say, let me just that pretty much absolutely nothing about this show works for either myself or the person I'm watching this with. We could not care less about any of the character stuff, every feeling and thought (and not to mention the plot) is so horrifically overdone with these long bouts of either terrible over-explanation or straight-up exposition dumps at pretty much every turn in just an utterly typically anime way, every character is constantly completely overwrought and just generally wearing their feelings on their sleeves in a way that is insufferable and causes our eyes to roll up in our heads - we're trying as hard as we can to like this, and it's just impossible. A little subtlety, a little less hamminess, a little more restraint, a little less...anime would've went a long ways.

Kyubey was my "favorite" character for ultimately making the most sense and offending me the least, even if he was responsible for Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad "lmao let's do the exact opposite of showing-not-telling every single ****ing time" plot dumps at various times. Their favorite character was Madoka's little brother for barely being in the show and doing absolutely nothing to offend. To say we felt like aliens while watching this is understating it. I am really sorry, guys - I truly am the big fat meanie zucchini.

We're watching this to cleanse our palette now. It's not very good either, but at least it isn't making us want to curl up and die like Madoka Magica was and there are some laughs to be had. We probably won't watch more than a few episodes.

(e): Actually, while the first two episodes were pretty meh, the third episode was really good and had some quite good character development to turn what we thought was going to be a re-occurring villain into someone actually somewhat sympathetic and likable in a funny sort of way, so we're probably likely to watch at least a few more episodes, but we're calling it a night for now.

 

Edited by Bartimaeus
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8 hours ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

Berserk is older than me and there are a lot of chapters, but yeah we're lucky to see three chapters a year these days. Apparently it's closer to finished than not, but unless Miura breaks the slow pace that has been going on for 15 years now we're probably going to be waiting a very long time if it gets finished at all.

I don't think we will be getting that ending. Kentaro Miura just passed away.

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7 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:
Spoiler

A little subtlety, a little less hamminess, a little more restraint, a little less...

 

...theatrics? :)

7 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Their favorite character was Madoka's little brother for barely being in the show and doing absolutely nothing to offend.

I feel like they're being entirely unfair to Madoka's father here. He only got a handful of lines and does nothing offensive other than picking tomatoes! I know a lot of people who hate tomatoes for some reason, but surely none of you are among those, are you? :p

Spoiler

Because his scene with Madoka was cut from the film. Her mother comes home from work drunk out of her mind and they carry her to bed, then have a father and daughter talk about how work isn't going all that perfectly well for her mother. This, along with the background of how Mami became a magical girl, happens before Mami's unfortunate encounter with Charlotte. The first scene was taken out of the film, I think, because it's not necessary to show Madoka's role model as not being entirely perfect, the latter was taken out to move Kyubey's "reveal" as problematic a bit further into the film.

Because he comes to Mami and asks her after she's been involved in a car crash that killed her entire family and left her dying. She doesn't word it right, so she survives, and no one else does.

Curiously enough that's one scene where there's a lot of showing, and no telling at all, and it was taken out. Instead, in the film, it's left to his immediately showing up when Kyosuke yells at Sayaka, which worked almost as well (and was really creepy).

One point about the exposition dumps by Kyubey:

Spoiler

I have to admit that after he explained his reasons to Madoka (teenage girls violate the second law of thermodynamics, really... guys, you're making the explanation for The Matrix look sane in comparison here!), I paused the episode and stopped watching for a few days. That yanked me out of suspension of disbelief something fierce, and it took a while for the OCD part of my brain to catch up and force me to finish it. It's a case where I'm glad that happened, because I loved everything before and after that.

Not gonna lie, I'm of course not blind to the issues the show has, it just worked for me. :)

 

7 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

I am really sorry, guys - I truly am the big fat meanie zucchini.

Zucchini and tomatoes have something in common - they're both berries. :yes:

Don't be sorry, I'm trying my best not to hold it against you. :p

No, just kidding, really. I can't even begin to count the amount of films I've hated watching that friends, family or colleagues recommended to me. There are some beloved classics even that I usually just pretend to have enjoyed so I don't get into debates over it (one of my greatest character "strengths" is being utterly focused on avoiding conflict to the point of rather suffering in silence than actually saying something). There's a wide variety of them, across several genres, and is sometimes seemingly so arbitrary that I can't even properly express why.

I absolutely hated Pulp Fiction and I intensely disliked Sin City, and everyone I know enjoyed them.

On a more positive note (has nothing to do with anime, film, tv or music):
 

Spoiler

 

I'm totally overjoyed at the moment that my workplace decided to post pictures on the intranet sharepoint of how the vaccination area looks. My appointment is tomorrow and I already panicked beyond belief because I had no idea where to go or what the procedure is going to look like. They did that in order to prepare everyone for expediency and effeciency when it comes to the vaccinations (it takes a while to get 500 people their shot), but for me that's a lifeline that will allow me to actually sleep tonight, so that's really great.

I mean... I even made the appointment at a totally inconvenient time for me just so I'm sharing a timeslot with someone I know that I can - as fallback - latch onto.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate being me at times? It's okay most of the times these days, sometimes even great, but in situations like this, bah. :(

 

Some talk about Cardcaptor Sakura, Episode 25 (spoilers, obviously):

Spoiler

 

Well that was a bombshell. 25 episodes in, and the barest hint of a plot is forming. Kero postulates that as Sakura is growing stronger and more confindent in her use of magic, she's also causing the remaining cards to communicate with each other and attempt to evade capture. Sakura uses her already captured cards as a Tarot style oracle, and gets three hints: Illusion, Shadow, Water. Meanwhile a Sakura doppelganger is seen causing trouble, she knocks over shelves in stores and is mean to children. 

Her friends see the copy of Sakura, then talk to the real one who was nowhere near them at the time. They tell her a spooky story about how everyone has a doppelganger and that you will die soon once you see yours. Sakura is totally put out by that. At the end, a bit of contrivance happens, the card is apparently immune to all of Sakura's magical attacks she's used or found so far. Kero says she needs to call the card out by its name to capture it, but can't tell her the name. Sakura uses Illusion, Shadow and Water to come up with Mirror.

Sakura's brother Toya is shown to be aware of magic, at the very least, being able to figure out that the copy of Sakura the Mirror card made isn't actually human but a spirit of some sort. If he's aware of Sakura's magical girl nature that would also explain the bouts of overprotectiveness that he has - when he's not teasing her. He's also always trying to keep Shaoran, the only other person with magical abilities away from her. Whether that dislike is conscious or not is somewhat unclear at this point.

Yukito is definitely aware of Toya being able to interact with sprits in some way.

Mirror!Sakura also gets Toya's leg broken, which marks the first time a card has done something harmful to a human with apparent intent. Illusion caused Sakura to fall off a cliff and she was saved by Yukito (that makes a total of three separate hints now that Yukito is away of what is going on in some form), but that may or may not have been intentional, potentially just incidental to the place of residence of Illusion at the time.

The Clow cards being released and their seal broken potentially causing some calamity is also brought up by Sakura, where she asks Kero about what could happen, and if it could be a literal world shattering event. Kero says that depends on who the cards is holding at the time, and it might not even be a calamity. Sakura is happy with that and resolves to collect the rest as quickly as she can. Kero mutters to himself that in the hands of the wrong person, the Earth exploding would be the least of their worries (isn't that ominous).

Cut to a mysterious woman appearing. Since episode names are also often spoilers, the next one is titled Sakura and her beautiful teacher". Pretty redish/brown haired probably evil lady is apparently a teacher.

 

 

Edited by majestic
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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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