Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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Puella de Vil
Whille waiting for the arrival of Read or Die (as recommended in a recent comment thread) I started to watch another anime, with the rather fluffy title (and DVD cover to match) of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, a short (twelve-episode) Magical Girl series.

puella


Pretty non-threatening, right? Well, I'm halfway through, and for various reasons I may not get to see the rest for a while, so this is a placeholder. My main message is, DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE FLUFFINESS!!! That's what happened to me. The first couple of episodes looked very familiar from previous magical girl series, after all. Tight friendship group? Check? Cute supernatural animal to explain the rules of the game? Check. Heroine who lacks confidence compared to her friends? You know it. Focus on cool superhero costumes? We have it covered. I've seen Sakura and Usagi do their thing - this is familiar territory. Even the meta line that "You sound like something out of an anime," sounded kind of hackneyed. The one original aspect seemed to be that the series was set in a futuristic Japan that clearly runs on green energy - something that, so far at least, has nothing whatsoever to do with the plot and is never mentioned. That's kind of cool, in an understated way.

And then... Well, let's just say you're reading Winnie-the Pooh for the first time, and round about chapter six you suddenly get to this:

pooh zombi


That's where I am right now.

I think you're not there yet, but at a certain point you get one of the character's backstories, and it's one of the most epic things ever. Please report when you reach it, if you can pry yourself off the screen.

The witches' labyrinths are some of the most fascinating animation I've ever seen in anime. They're shot at a different frame ratio from the rest of the anime, to add to sense of disquiet and wrongness.

I think I may have seen that episode in the hour or so since I wrote this post! At least - well, I just heard about the back story of the girl who is, shall we say, a daughter of the manse? That was pretty mind-blowing.

And yes, about the creepiness - I'd not consciously noticed the frame ratio (unsurprisingly), but I'd certainly been thinking "mind-altering substance".

Normally I watch one anime episode a night, but in this case I may just have to rush through to the end after all - I'm not sure I can bear to leave it hanging at the end of the week.

Ha ha. That's mind-blowing, all right, but it's not the one I meant.


*is a little trembly*

Also waiting for your reaction!

I didn't recommend it only because it didn't seem what you were after at that moment.

Different style, different frame ratio - very good stuff. They remind me of somewhat of the Count of Monte Christo anime (whose name I forget).

Gankutsuo.

Thank you!

My 14 year old friend told me I had to see this, and let me borrow it just a couple of weeks ago. She said "The title doesn't explain it - just watch." And I did. And I suspect our reactions were not dissimilar.

She wanted to watch it so that we could discuss time travel and grandfather paradoxes and quantum stuff. Teenagers these days...

She was fine with the big stuff, for we talked about that, too, but she wanted to sort out the physics.

Edited at 2014-03-31 10:58 pm (UTC)

Haven't had any hint of time travel yet - though I can think of one way it might come in - if Madoka wants to use her wish to undo some the crap that's happened. Well, I will have finished by Thursday, if not sooner, so watch this space!

I shall. And I abbreviated it as time travel (which it isn't, really) when what she was interested in was the way universes work. Another anime we'd talked about had time travel, you see (I forget which) and she referred to Madoka to explain what she was interested in, and I hadn't seen Madoka Magica, so she brought it in.

It's part of an ongoing conversation we're having about ethics, which tangles things even more.

She's the mature end of the discussion. I read the manga she brings in and says "Yes, I know this is six different timelines using the same basis and it would be very interesting to talk about underlying unities, but in this volume EVERYONE DIES! How could they do that? EVERYONE dies!!! It's ***[name of series redacted] all over again. Can't there be even a pretend happy ending?" She nods and is sympathetic, for in that moment I am the teen and she is the wise adult. (We reverse roles when Harry Potter comes up - we're very fair minded.)

Edited at 2014-04-01 06:37 am (UTC)

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