Date: 2013-06-06 07:33 am (UTC)
erinptah: (sailor moon)
From: [personal profile] erinptah
When PMMM was still a few episodes from the end, people were already criticizing it for sticking the female characters in a terrible crushing no-win situation. My reaction then was, "But it hasn't ended yet! They could still pull off a happy, heroic ending. You don't know!"

Not that I knew how it would end either. And it seemed like a long shot for Madoka to pull off something as epic as she did. But it didn't feel impossible.

If you want to make a series that really drives home the point that magical girls (thanks to their beliefs, and strength, and friendship) have the power to succeed against overwhelming odds, what better way to do it than to make their universe so crushing that even the audience isn't sure they'll win? Isn't a happy ending that much sweeter to watch if the viewers were genuinely worried it wouldn't happen?

So it's counter-intuitive to me to see the show analyzed from a POV of being 100% convinced the moral had to be "it's dangerous for girls to have beliefs and act on their desires" all along, to the point where you reject the ending that says otherwise.

I'm not sure what makes the difference in perception. Is it a genre expectation thing? I went in not knowing anything about the Weepy Moe Seinen Drama tradition. Didn't think to connect PMMM to Elfen Lied in any particular way until you brought it up in this post.

(For comparison: I saw Elfen Lied a few years before PMMM, and was compelled at first, until it became clear that the angst wasn't building to anything satisfying, but was just there for the sake of it. And I Uta-Kata more recently -- because someone had recommended it as "handling these themes so much better than Madoka", in fact -- but was underwhelmed. Largely because of the "but why is any of this happening?" issue you commented on.)

I have other criticisms of the show, and I agree with some of yours. Like the observation that Sayaka's downward spiral and Kyoko's redemption happened awfully fast. And the series definitely isn't a great Faust allegory -- any more than Kaitou Jeanne makes much sense with the book of Genesis, or Sailor Moon has any relation to Arthurian mythology.

But I can't see eye to eye with any complaint based on the idea that the setup was inherently too awful for magical girls to believably overcome.
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