Humanity Vs. The Universe

魔法少女まどかマジか (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)

I can count on one hand the amount of times I have witnessed a show come to a grinding halt, I certainly was not expecting Madoka Magica to be one of them. At one point, a little over halfway through, some revelations are revealed that completely altered the course of the series. Centred on a handful of middle school girl friends and their ordinary lives, a talking alien cat named Kyubei asks them, politely I might add, to become magical girls. With the sole purpose of fighting human-devouring monsters known as witches. Our protagonist Madoka gets to experiences the terrifying life of a magical girl first hand before even signing the contract. Madoka Magica is a great series, but is the hype more of a hindrance than a boost?

From the start, every moment in this show felt genuinely eerie. I recall many who exclaim the series “starts out happy, but after three episodes it changes drastically”. Every situation seems happy, but character’s auras are splashed with despair. Maybe it is just my perception, but the first three episodes are purely character introductions and though they may be having a fun time running around school and falling into witch worlds, the colour pallet reeks of the dreariest greys. Every one of them is dressed in dullness. There is no vibrancy about them. Even hair colours find themselves as dull derivatives of what should be energetic: pink, teal, red and yellow to name a few. Though, for myself it all comes down to the eyes as I feel the melancholy flow from them. Everyone looks so lifeless, the eyes do not shine. Believing characters are happy is hard when their eyes are screaming out in sadness. Despite all the happiness in the first episode that sense of sadness still lingers.

Gaining momentum from first episode the series was storing a lot of potential energy and a time would come when it would be released… but it just dissolved. To get an understanding of what I mean let me build this picture for you. Kyubei approaches Madoka in her bedroom as she mourns the loss of her best friend. At this point (episode nine), Madoka finally asks what Kyubei is even doing recruiting young girls and my gods does he/she deliver. He/she explains its species intentions and identity. Going into great detail of the predicament the universe is currently in, and how its species is trying to fix it. It was at this point I sided with Kyubei. I understand the great pain these young girls must endure, but this is no longer about despairing humanity; it is about the survival of the universe and in the long run it is a win-win for all parties.

The universe history lesson was fascinating. The situation all life forms of the universe find themselves in and Kyubei’s species attempts at combatting the problem. However, all that failed to hit the correct mark for me. Maybe I was supposed to be pissed off with this scene, as many people were, but I took a step back to look at both sides of the argument. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. How did she just ignore Kyubei? Madoka is grieving for her friend, but you were just told there are many sentient beings in the universe. It is not ever day anyone answers the age-old ‘are we alone in the universe’ question. It just flew right over her head. Not even batting an eyelash at the statement.

Humans, man. The selfishness of humanity never ceases to amaze me. Sure, these girls really mean to help others, I just wish they could see the potential for the greater good of humanity in the situation. I had hoped the dynamic of the show would have changed after learning this earth-shattering news, but the idea was immediately thrown on the back burner and never heard of again. A shame, really.

 

-Venomspreader

11 thoughts on “Humanity Vs. The Universe

  1. Very interesting. I always wondered if it were just me who noticed Kyubei leaked the otherwise unearthly secret in that we are definitely not alone. They could’ve taken that idea and ran with it, building on the backbone of selflessness and rising to the occasion when it’s your turn, but it didn’t. Fantastic series, and the fact that it can offer so many more ideas than besides what it sticks with always boggles me!

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    1. If Anime is still a thing in 20 years I would most likely explode if they were to come out with a new Madoka series and it followed what we are talking about. What do you think the likelyhood is of that happening? 1 in a trillion? 😛

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That sounds awesome. They should make an anime of that! With the way they are reaching back in time and creating their own takes on history this magical girl series could go on forever.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. No kidding! I was really looking forward to an adaptation (novel, anime, or otherwise) about Walpurgisnacht and her origins, considering the huge role she plays. That would’ve been the greatest thing!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I never actually thought about her not even acknowledging Kyubei’s reveal. Maybe it didn’t phase her cause of what she has seen and been involved with up to that point. Plus, the grieving friend thing. Maybe she just didn’t give a shit at that point.

    Awesome article, man ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was the one point in the series that kind of threw me off. As I said it was kind of brushed aside. But you bring up a great point, she is basically ready to believe anything after witnessing all that happened.

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  3. Hm. That’s a really interesting take on it all, but you have to remember that Kyubey withheld information from ALL the girls when he gave them their power. He didn’t reveal to them the cost of their choices, or even why it was such a sacrifice for them to make. Unlike a noble hero dying in order to save his planet or whatever, these girls felt more like they died in vain, because they weren’t given all of the information. Instead of fully equipping them for the life they were about to lead, Kyubey pretty much just gives the girls the chance to have power when they’re at their weakest, and basically leaves them to their own devices. The explanation of the Incubator’s purposes was a good one, and I do hope it’s explored in future iterations of the Magica series, but you have to remember that Madoka had just seen one of her friends die pretty much for nothing. Her lack of empathy or even inability to understand the concept of saving the universe is understandable in the context of what she was going through.

    I like the way you laid out your thoughts. Madoka Magica is one of my all-time favorite anime, so I always appreciate a well-written article about the series that makes me think. Looking forward to more from you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I see where you are coming from and that is a big argument that I faced when writing this, but it comes down to many people not asking the right questions (or any for that matter). I bet there was a girl in this madoka universe who was curious about these powers and asked kyubei about them and then refused him because she learned the truth (which is almost exactly what madoka did). Yes, he found them at their lowest, but that’s why the incubator’s go for little girls because they are not rational. Kyubei said that they scoured the universe for an alternate power source, that means they tested many intergalactic species and they definitely tested it on humans of all ages and gender to find the most efficient source. The incubator’s probably quickly realized that young adults had been too thorough in their questioning of their purpose and soon found that young girls were the most bang for their buck. And I agree that madoka was quite in shock from her friend’s death to understand what was going on fully.
      I too loved the series, might bring up a part two to this one day. We will see! And thanks for taking the time to read it all, it is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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