dotsandlines: Lawrence being consoled by his horse. (Spice and Wolf: There there.)
[personal profile] dotsandlines
We made it. adfklajsd;flkjsd.

Granted, Jay and I were a bit primed for this, since we are already fans of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni - one of Madoka's cousins in the grand tradition of Let's Take A Popular Genre and Slooooowly Expose Its Underlying Super Creepy Guts. (Higurashi = dating sims; PMMM = magical girls. I have heard a bit about School Days as another dating sim gone horribly, horribly wrong, but I'm not sure it approaches the topic the same way Higurashi does. It might just be a particularly dark example of the genre.)

...oh, well, plus, you know, only my two favorite anime series ever, Utena and Princess Tutu. Not to mention Evangelion. I love a good deconstruction, is what I'm saying here. Note that deconstruction does NOT have to be bleak - SKU isn't, PT isn't, and it seems as though the Eva movies aren't, either. It's all about taking the structure of an otherwise rote genre and examining and questioning the rules and assumptions that make the story tick - that makes the alternate universe English major version of me very happy.

That's the overview. Particulars:

Like Higurashi, it's also a series that explains very little going in, so some of the fun lies in realizing where the clues/foreshadowing are leading. I knew that a major character got her head bitten off near the beginning of the series. That was kind of it. I knew so little about the show when I heard that spoiler, and it had been so long since I'd heard it, that I forgot which character it was. I spent the first few episodes thinking "OK, maybe the innocent non-magical friend...no... the other friend. Oh, wait, the mentor character is starting to say 'I'm so glad I met you' and 'I'm finally not alone anymore!' Ohhhhh, she's toast."

This led me to start making up conspiracy theories, which I also love. I don't even care whether they pan out or not. It's the same kind of fun as writing fanfic. In the cases in which I guessed right, it tended to be immediately before the plot points happened; I am not exactly Sherlock Holmes. (Ex. Kyoko's origin story had something to do with starving; Homura's origin story had to do with time travel.) The rest of the time, the connections had nothing to do with anything and were just fun. (Ex. Kyoko's outfit and spear reminded me of Goku [Saiyuki version]; and I was convinced that Walpurgis was going to be the witch form of Homura.)

I love the music and may track down a soundtrack, something I haven't done for an anime in quite a long time.

Looking forward to rewatching sometime to catch foreshadowing / underlying truths in various scenes, though not just yet, so as to avoid burnout.


Finally, this essay was linked on TVTropes, and it gave me some feels.

Magical girls are not my genre. I don't have an adoring cadre of friends who will stand by me forever. I don't have the purest heart in the world, thinking only of others, no matter what. There's a reason I jokingly identify with villains. Among other things, they get to mess up, when heroes by definition cannot do wrong. Some villains even get to mess up and then be redeemed. (Hmm, the unified field theory behind my love of villain stories AND advice columns. Who knew?)

(I just flashed to a vision of Anthy hosting a call-in talk show. Hacksaw-behind-the-back, Stepford-style Anthy, giving terrible advice.)

Anyway, I'd tended to write off narratives common to magical girl stories as simply not for me. And since I am a grown adult now, they're still not for me. (My inner child, at best, but my inner child is still not the Chosen One.) But this makes me stop and think about it, and appreciate what the genre has to offer. In the anime world, particularly, there are very few stories in which girls get to be the heroes. It's better than it used to be, especially with the technicality of the moe genre thrown in. Still.

Off track now. So those are some thoughts.
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