Tag Archives: madoka
I want to thank everyone for joining me on this philosophical journey over the past week. I had a lot of fun revisiting the Madoka mythos, giving my analytical side a good workout and satisfying my secularist itch, but today is the last part of this series…for now. It’s my hope that this isn’t the end because I’m looking forward to seeing where this can of worms I’ve opened wriggles off to.
7. The Nature of Evil
Madoka recognizes that good and evil aren’t black and white. Jesus is absolute and tyrannical.
When Kyuubey reveals to Madoka the relationship between humanity and the incubators, she’s shocked and disturbed, but she recognizes that things would be much worse if we had never encountered them. What Kyuubey does is a horrifying process, but nonetheless it has yielded something exceedingly beautiful.
By contrast, a certain interpretation of Genesis sees the serpent (a metaphor for Satan) not tempting Eve to sin, but encouraging her to pursue knowledge and free herself and Adam from living in ignorance. I think the majority of Christians would agree with me that learning about ourselves and the world we live in are laudable goals, but god doesn’t see it that way and Satan was punished for it and humanity with him.
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6. Madoka Enables; Jesus Indulges
Madoka doesn’t invite people to rely on her. She just fixed a problem that others were incapable of remedying on their own and allowed life to continue. She gave freedom and because she acts transparently, people don’t depend on her. Jesus on the other hand is a crutch that people depend on far too much, constantly praying to, asking for more favors and preventing Christians from living their
lives with self-reliance.
What’s despicable is how Christians want to spin every little coincidence of good fortune in our lives to be attributable to Jesus and all of our failures are our own. “I found my car keys, praise Jesus!” but you never hear, “Jesus made me lose my shoe.” Even if Christians claim that Jesus helps everyone regardless of belief, in the long run it still doesn’t matter unless you’ve been saved and thank Jesus for looking out for you.
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5. Madoka is More Plausible
The story of Madoka is more internally consistent and has fewer details that are at odds with reality.
Now you might be thinking, hold on! Doesn’t the “magic” part of magic girl indicate something supernatural is going on here? But let’s look more closely at the process. The reason Kyuubey is orchestrating all of this in the first place is because it’s his species’ mission to counteract the entropy of the universe, which scientists agree will be the ultimate demise of our sphere of existence.
Kyuubey indicates that he is simply using processes we can’t understand yet. He’s capable of separating the mind and body, something we know to be interlinked, but there are theories about how one might go about separating them (mind-computer integration). He also claims to be simply physically altering the structures of the girls’ bodies to make them more resilient in battle, almost a kind of bioengineering or integrated prosthetics, something that’s also being put to use with our current medical technology, but not at the level that Kyuubey is capable of.
4. Madoka Succeeded, Jesus Failed
Madoka saved everyone. Jesus only saved a miniscule few.
Madoka is a story about a true savior. When she discovered the truth behind the magic girls and witches, she was facing an external force that was influencing the future of humanity in a negative way. All the magic girls are saved by Madoka’s kindness without the need to accept her as their savior. Her methodology for saving the magic girls was transparent and didn’t draw attention to herself for it. It was a thankless job that she accomplished all on her own.
By contrast, Jesus was the cause of the problems humanity faced in the first place. He was obligated to remedy his own mistakes and despite his attempt to fix things, it ended in failure. By only appearing to a single nation in a less-literate part of the iron-age world, it took thousands of years for his message to reach the world.
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3. Benevolence Given Freely
Madoka doesn’t punish those who don’t believe in her or fail to thank her. Jesus sends nonbelievers and sinners to hell.
A true savior doesn’t ask for compensation for his/her services. A savior gives freely without hope of admiration for doing good deeds. And a savior most certainly doesn’t turn right around and slap the ungrateful in the face. This is why Jesus isn’t a savior at all. He’s a mafia boss offering protection that nobody asked for. And if you don’t pay your dues, he’ll get back at you another way.
In contrast, Madoka doesn’t demand any worship whatsoever. In fact, her circumstances actually make worship impossible because only Homura knows that she ever existed and besides the words of the “prophet” we can never even determine objectively that Homura’s claims are true.
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2. The True Sacrifice
Madoka made a true sacrifice in that she actually gave something up, never to reclaim it again. By contrast, Jesus just had a rough weekend.
This second point ties in with the first point I made about Jesus’s omnipotence. Because Jesus always knew that he was going to be brought back to life after dying, his sacrifice wasn’t a real sacrifice. It would be the equivalent of disciplining a child by taking away a toy for a set amount of time only to replace it with a better one once the lesson had been learned. It’s nothing but a complete farce.
Madoka didn’t have such a loophole to escape from after she made her wish. Her sacrifice was real and permanent. An eternity separated from your loved ones who have forgotten you ever existed is an unbelievable sacrifice fitting of Madoka’s truer selflessness. Read more of this post
I didn’t want to discuss these kinds of topics too often because while Charles over at Beneath the Tangles has made a name for himself as the Christian aniblogger, for the longest time I didn’t want to be the atheist aniblogger because I didn’t want to limit myself on the material I wrote about.
But as I’ve been on a little break-ish sort of period to think about the future of the site, I realized that having a focus on one idea I’m well-versed and passionate about doesn’t preclude me from writing about other stuff. So in what I’m expecting to become something of a new theme, today I’m finally getting around to beginning my analysis of why Madoka is a better savior than Jesus.
I say “beginning” because I started writing and ended up with so much material I filled over six pages in MS Word and I’m still not done (one of my usual review posts only takes up half a page). In order to make the reading and commenting easier for everyone, I’m breaking this piece up into articles I’m going to post once per day. So check back every day this week for more content. Special thanks to Charles and Tommy at Anime Bowl for writing some posts here and here that started this fire under my butt and got me motivated to do something I’ve put off for too long. Read more of this post
After waiting many long months since I preordered it, my Ultimate Madoka figure has finally arrived. It’s huge for a 1/8 scale figure, but absolutely beautiful. It also requires a fair bit of assembly…that is…after I finally got it out of its overly-secure packaging. I imagine this is going to be the jewel of my figure collection for many years to come. I apologize for the shaky camera, but I did the best I could with one free hand. If this video proves to be as popular as my other unboxing video, perhaps I’ll consider investing in a tripod for future live videos.
Summer 2012 (12 episodes) (title literal translation – Lagrange of Endless Rebirth) (English title – Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne) (more info)
Picking up after a few months of down time in the story, in the absence of her friends, Madoka has been down and is facing the decision of what she wants to do after graduation. Lan is working with La Garte to push the limits of Vox Limpha and Muginami’s whereabouts are still unknown.
At first glance I thought this series would just be more of the same—a reflection of the first season, but after thinking about it a little more I’m inclined to think that there are enough new elements to tell a very different kind of story. Most importantly a lot of the set pieces don’t need to be introduced and everyone’s role is slightly altered, even if most of the major players still have roughly the same motives.
To have Vox Aura reactivate right at the moment Madoka wills the machine back to life completely devalues having it inexplicably go offline at the end of the previous season. It’s an excellent example of how the writing in this series is much more about feeling than substance. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but probably not everyone is going to appreciate this style that is very much about being in the moment rather than building up to something much bigger and grander by incremental steps.
Because of the nature of its storytelling, I don’t think Rinne no Lagrange 2 is going to attract any new fans who didn’t care for season one. But those who liked the first half are going to enjoy reentering a world that’s starting to realize its potential.
Probably the most outstanding aspect of Rinne no Lagrange is how it tells a story reminiscent of psychological trips with mecha backdrops similar to Evangelion or RahXephon. But very pleasingly it has managed to ditch the angsty boy pilot and replace him with a brave, cheerful young woman.
On the surface this does have a slight tendency to subvert the heavy atmosphere that naturally accompanies these types of anime, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I’m all for taking tried and true methods of storytelling that have produced some great anime and putting just enough twists on the formula to create a familiar, but fresh experience. And that’s what Rinne has accomplished at the halfway point in its two-part run.
Though it’s often silly and a little too lighthearted at times for its own good, the depth of the characters is really something to be appreciated. I think I started out hating every character other than Madoka at first. Her pushy cousin Youko, the halfhearted Lan, deceptive Muginami, annoyingly larger than life Vilajulio & Co. as well as the sickeningly bourgeoisie Astelia all rubbed me the wrong way to start off. But as a testament to the force of Madoka’s personality, they all started to shift ever so slightly as the story progressed and to my surprise, looking back I can’t indicate a specific turning point when they started to grow on me.
This anime has some unique, interesting flaws to point out—most notably being how it ungracefully tiptoes around how it wants to deal with the almost-fanservice moments that it seems to want to indulge in, but always backs off before doing anything too risqué. To its credit it has an elegant air about itself, but that kind of flirtatious attitude can only go so far before it starts to become a little too obvious.
All in all, Rinne has enough originality and depth in the cast to leave me looking forward to seeing where things pick up again this summer. But this break between the two halves got me thinking. Between Fate/Zero and Rinne no Lagrange and then Jormungand soon joining the team, there’s a theme developing where anime are doing two twelve episode seasons separated by a one season gap (about four months). How do you feel about that? Would you rather get it all done in one go or do you think there is a benefit to breaking up a two season series like this?