Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hope, Despair, and Something Far Stronger

As silly as it sounds, I've been viewing a lot of my life through the lens of an anime about magical girls.

Really, I know, it sounds silly, but hear me out.

Gen Urobuchi is a writer who likes to use the medium of anime to express his stories.  He has worked with a few different animation studios on a very diverse set of topics.  Because he uses anime, he's expected to follow certain really stupid conventions.  One of the popular genres of the medium is the magical girl show.  They're usually unrealistically bubbly, and downplay the immense amount of danger these girls would be in if they were literally fighting destructive, immaterial monsters that defy the laws of our dimension.  For whatever reason, Gen thought that this particular genre needed a deconstruction, and so he made a show about magical girls that explores a lot of very interesting themes, trapping a viewer expecting something carefree in an intensely beautiful narrative of raw character development:  Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

As it stands in production, Madoka went through a 12-episode television series and a movie sequel, titled "The Rebellion Story".  I highly recommend the series to anybody who's intelligent, likes hefty literature, or appreciates fine art.  Since most people in those categories won't have already seen it, I'll avoid spoiling the plot.  What I want to do is simply to frame my own introspection in a way that those who've watched Madoka up to "The Rebellion Story" will recognize as familiar.  To those unfamiliar with the narrative, it should make enough sense on its own.